Table of Contents
Mar. Drugs, Volume 15, Issue 10 (October 2017)
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Cover Story (view full-size image) The Conus genus includes around 500 species of marine mollusks producing venomous peptides known as [...] Read more. The Conus genus includes around 500 species of marine mollusks producing venomous peptides known as Conotoxins classified into 16 superfamilies. Among these, µ-Conotoxins are potent and specific blockers of voltage-gated sodium channels, which consists of one α-subunit and two auxiliary β-subunits. The α-subunit comprised of four homologue domains (I-IV), each consisting of six transmembrane helices (S1–S6). Helices S5 and S6 form the channel pore while S1–S4 form the voltage sensor. β-subunits contain immunoglobulin-like folds. Sodium channels are responsible for the influx of sodium ions that generates the action potential in excitable cells. Hyperexcitability results in pain perception and transmission. The μ-conotoxins bind the pore region of sodium channels preventing ion conductance, so they may represent potential analgesic compounds in the clinical management of pain conditions. View this paper