The Receptor for α-Latrotoxin, Studied in Pre-Synaptic Membranes and Membrane Extracts
Specific, high-affinity binding sites for α-latrotoxin (αLTx) — the major toxin of the black widow spider venom — are exposed at the external surface of the plasmalemma in vertebrate nerve terminals as well as in a neurosecretory cell line (PC12 cells). Binding of the toxin to these sites triggers massive stimulation of transmitter release, apparently mediated by the stimulated influx of divalent cations, which probably occurs through a channel other than the classical Na+ and Ca2+ channels. The membrane-bound αLTx receptor has been characterized in several sensitive preparations using as the tracer the toxin iodinated without loss of biological activity.
KeywordsPC12 Cell Transmitter Release Membrane Extract Synaptosome Membrane Ringer Medium
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