Sodium Channel Inhibiting Marine Toxins

  • Lyndon E. Llewellyn
Part of the Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology book series (PMSB, volume 46)


Saxitoxin (STX), tetrodotoxin (TTX) and their many chemical relatives are part of our daily lives. From killing people who eat seafood containing these toxins, to being valuable research tools unveiling the invisible structures of their pharmacological receptor, their global impact is beyond measure. The pharmacological receptor for these toxins is the voltage-gated sodium channel which transports Na ions between the exterior to the interior of cells. The two structurally divergent families of STX and TTX analogues bind at the same location on these Na channels to stop the flow of ions. This can affect nerves, muscles and biological senses of most animals. It is through these and other toxins that we have developed much of our fundamental understanding of the Na channel and its part in generating action potentials in excitable cells.


Sodium Channel Paralytic Shellfish Poison Paralytic Shellfish Puff Fish Marine Toxin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lyndon E. Llewellyn
    • 1
  1. 1.Australian Institute of Marine ScienceTownsville MCAustralia

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