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Hyperhydroxylation: a new strategy for neuronal targeting by venomous marine molluscs.

Franco A., Pisarewicz K., Moller C., Mora D., Fields G.B., Mari F.

Venomous marine molluscs belonging to the genus Conus (cone snails) utilize a unique neurochemical strategy to capture their prey. Their venom is composed of a complex mixture of highly modified peptides (conopeptides) that interact with a wide range of neuronal targets. In this chapter, we describe a set of modifications based upon the hydroxylation of polypeptidic chains that are defining within the neurochemical strategy used by cone snails to capture their prey. In particular, we present a differential hydroxylation strategy that affects the neuronal targeting of a new set of a-conotoxins, mini-M conotoxins, conophans, and y-hydroxyconophans. Differential hydroxylation, preferential hydroxylation and hyperhydroxylation have been observed in these conopeptide families as a means of augmenting the venom arsenal used by cone snails for neuronal targeting and prey capture.

Prog. Mol. Subcell. Biol. 43:83-103(2006) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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