Peptide Toxin Inhibition of Voltage Gated Calcium Channels

Selectivity and Mechanisms
  • Stefan I. McDonough


Peptide toxins from animal venom are some of the most potent and selective antagonists currentlyavailable for voltage-gatedcalciumchannels, especially of the Cav2.lα1, 2.2α1, and 2.3α1 families (p-type, N-type, and R-type channels). Such toxins are commonly used to investigate the involvement of different channel subtypes in calcium-mediated signaling and may form the basis for drugs targeted against calcium channel-related disorders including severe pain, stroke, and migraine. This chapter discusses the specificity of known toxins for different subtypes and splice forms of vertebrate and invertebrate calcium charinels, mechanisms by which the best-characterized toxins inhibit calcium influx, toxin binding sites on the channel, and experimental considerations for the use of peptide toxins in physiology experiments.


Calcium Channel Purkinje Neuron Scorpion Toxin Peptide Toxin Spider Venom 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan I. McDonough
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine Biological LaboratoryBioCurrents Research CenterWoods Hole

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