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Papers of the Week

Papers: 21 Jan 2023 - 3 Feb 2023

2022 Dec 21

Toxins (Basel)



The Sea Anemone Neurotoxins Modulating Sodium Channels: An Insight at Structure and Functional Activity after Four Decades of Investigation.


Many human cardiovascular and neurological disorders (such as ischemia, epileptic seizures, traumatic brain injury, neuropathic pain, etc.) are associated with the abnormal functional activity of voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs/Nas). Many natural toxins, including the sea anemone toxins (called neurotoxins), are an indispensable and promising tool in pharmacological researches. They have widely been carried out over the past three decades, in particular, in establishing different Na subtypes functional properties and a specific role in various pathologies. Therefore, a large number of publications are currently dedicated to the search and study of the structure-functional relationships of new sea anemone natural neurotoxins-potential pharmacologically active compounds that specifically interact with various subtypes of voltage gated sodium channels as drug discovery targets. This review presents and summarizes some updated data on the structure-functional relationships of known sea anemone neurotoxins belonging to four structural types. The review also emphasizes the study of type 2 neurotoxins, produced by the tropical sea anemone , five structurally homologous and one unique double-stranded peptide that, due to the absence of a functionally significant Arg14 residue, loses toxicity but retains the ability to modulate several VGSCs subtypes.