Venomous secretions from marine snails of the Terebridae family target acetylcholine receptors.
Venoms from cone snails (Conidae) have been extensively studied during the last decades, but those from other members of the suborder Toxoglossa, such as of Terebridae and Turridae superfamilies attracted less interest so far. Here, we report the effects of venom and gland extracts from three species of the superfamily Terebridae. By 2-electrode voltage-clamp technique the gland extracts were tested on Xenopus oocytes expressing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) of rat neuronal (α3β2, α3β4, α4β2, α4β4, α7) and muscle subtypes (α1β1γδ), and expressing potassium (Kv1.2 and Kv1.3) and sodium channels (Nav1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.6). The extracts were shown to exhibit remarkably high inhibitory activities on almost all nAChRs tested, in particular on the α7 subtype suggesting the presence of peptides of the A-superfamily from the venom of Conus species. In contrast, no effects on the potassium and sodium channels tested were observed. The venoms of terebrid snails may offer an additional source of novel biologically active peptides.
PubMed ID: 23698359
PMC ID: PMC3709278
Article link: Toxins (Basel).
Genes referenced: chrna4 kcna2 kcna3 nav1 scn2a
Article Images: [+] show captions
|Figure 1. SEM-pictures of radula teeth from two Terebridae species, Terebra consobrina and T. argus.|
|Figure 2. Effects of Terebra consobrina venom gland extract (12.9 μg) on six nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtypes. 100 µM ACh or nicotine (in the case of the α7) were applied for 2 s in 4 min intervals. Two current responses before application of gland extracts, one response directly after extract application (horizontal bar, 3 min incubation) and two subsequent responses after washout of the extracts are shown for each subtype.|