Novel Peptides of Therapeutic Promise from Indian Conidae
Publication Type:Journal Article
Source:Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Volume 1056, Number 1, p.462–473 (2005)
Keywords:Conidae, contryphans, molluscs, novel peptides
Highly structured small peptides are the major toxic constituents of the venom of cone snails, a family of widely distributed predatory marine molluscs. These animals use the venom for rapid prey immobilization. The peptide components in the venom target a wide variety of membrane-bound ion channels and receptors. Many have been found to be highly selective for a diverse range of mammalian ion channels and receptors associated with pain-signaling pathways. Their small size, structural stability, and target specificity make them attractive pharmacologic agents. A select number of laboratories mainly from the United States, Europe, Australia, Israel, and China have been engaged in intense drug discovery programs based on peptides from a few snail species. Coastal India has an estimated 20–30% of the known cone species; however, few serious studies have been reported so far. We have begun a comprehensive program for the identification and characterization of peptides from cone snails found in Indian Coastal waters. This presentation reviews our progress over the last 2 years. As expected from the evolutionary history of these venom components, our search has yielded novel peptides of therapeutic promise from the new species that we have studied.
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