Inhibition of Membrane Transport Systems in Synaptosomes from Torpedo Electric Organ by Snake Neurotoxins

  • M. J. Dowdall
  • P. Fretten
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 25)


Recently there has been considerable interest in the use of naturally occurring neurotoxins as probes for elucidating the molecular processes which underly chemical and electrical transmission in the nervous system. Of those neurotoxins which have been both chemically and pharmacologically characterized a large number occur in the venoms of poisonous snakes. According to Lee (7), snake toxins can be broadly classified into five groups: curaremimetic postsynaptic toxins, cardiotoxins, presynaptic neurotoxins, myonecrotic toxins and toxins affecting Na channels. As tools, the curaremimetic neurotoxins (e.g. α-bungarotoxin) have so far proved to be the most useful since they bind to nicotinic cholinoceptors with high specificity in a quasi-irreversible fashion. Pharmacological evidence suggests that toxins from the other groups exhibit a similar degree of specificity at least at the cellular level of organization. At the molecular level much less is known about the nature of the target sites to which these toxins are directed. The present chapter is concerned with studies aimed at a better understanding of the target sites for the presynaptic neurotoxin group.


Physiological Medium Inhibition Curve Acetate Uptake Membrane Transport System United Kingdom Introduction 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Dolly, J.O., Tse, C.K., Spokes, J.W. and Diniz, C.R. (1978): Biochem. Soc. Trans. 6:652–654.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Dowdall, M.J. (1977): In Cholinergic Mechanisms and Psychopharmacology, (ed) D.J. Jenden, Plenum Press, New York, pp. 359–375.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Dowdall, M.J., Barrantes, F.W., Stender, W. and Jovin, T.M. (1976): J. Neurochem. 26:1253–1255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dowdall, M.J., Fohlman, J.P. and Eaker, D. (1977): Nature 269:700–702.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Dowdall, M.J., Fohlman, J.P. and Watts, A. (1979): In Advances in Cytopharmacology, Vol. 3: Neurotoxins: Tools in Neurobiology, (eds) B. Ceccarelli and F. Clementi, Raven Press, New York, pp. 63–76.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Fohlman, J., Eaker, D., Dowdall, M.J., Lullmann-Rauch, R. Sjodin, T. and Leanders, S. (1979): Eur. J. Biochem. 94: 531–540.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lee, C.Y. (1979): In Advances in Cytopharmacology, Vol. 3: Neurotoxins: Tools in Neurobiology, (eds) B. Ceccarelli and F. Clementi, Raven Press, New York, pp. 1–16.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Meunier, F.M. and Morel, N. (1978): J. Neurochem. 31:845–851.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Morel, N., Israel, M., Manaranche, R. and Mastour-Frachon, F.(1977): J. Cell Biol. 75:43–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ng, R.H. and Howard, B.D. (1978): Biochemistry 17:4978–4986.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sen, I., Grantham, P.A. and Cooper, J.R. (1976): Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 73:2664–2668.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Smith, C.C.T., Bradford, R.F., Thompson, E.J. and MacDermot, J. (1980): J. Neurochem. 34:487–494CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Zimmermann, H., Dowdall, M.J. and Lane, D.A. (1979): Neuroscience 4:979–993.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. Dowdall
    • 1
  • P. Fretten
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Queen’s Medical CenterMedical SchoolNottinghamUnited Kingdom

Personalised recommendations