New on this Homepage in 1996

Page last modified - on 31/12/96 at 20:32:11 PM. Continued on What's new in 1997
New items for inclusion are always welcome. Please mail me suggestions at the following address: b.livett@biochemistry.unimelb.edu.au


1996

31 December

  • Link to publications on Conus and other molluscs by William J. Clench, Curator of Mollusks (1926-1966), Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University.

23 December

  • Photograph of C.marmoreus devouring a small mollusc while rolling on its back ! C.marmoreus eating a mollusc

(Photo by Julie Rothacker - Livett laboratory - note empty shells on RHS)

17 December

  • Photograph of C.geographus with dissected venom apparatus and of C.textile with dissected venom apparatus

C.geographus and C.textile

10 December

  • Added new reference on the competitive and reversible nature of Conus imperialis alpha-Conotoxin-ImI. Rereira, E.F.R., Alkondon, M., McIntosh, J.M. and Albuquerque, E.X. (1996) alpha-Conotoxin-ImI: A comptetitive antagonist at alpha-bungarotoxin-sensitive neuronal nicotinic receptors in hippocampal neurons. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 278: 1472-1483. [Patch-clamp technique was applied to rat hippocampal neurons or myoballs in culture to study the actions of a-CTX-ImI on the native a-BGTX-sensitive, presumably alpha7-bearing neuronal nicotinic receptor and on other ligand-gated ion channels. Pre-exposure for 5 min. decreased the peak amplitude (type IA currents) in a concn-depdt. manner. a-CTX-ImI was competitive with agonist (IC50=85nM) and reversible on nAChR but had no effect on activation of currents gated by GABA, glycine, NMDA, kainate or quisquilate in hippocampal neurons, but reduced to approx. 60% the peak amplitude and shortened the decvay phase of curare-sensitive, serotonin-gated currents in these neurons. The competitive and reversible nature of the a-CTX-ImI induced inhibition of native alph7-bearing neuronal nicotinic receptors makes this peptide a valuable new tool for the functional and structural characterization of thiese receptors in the central nervous system]

9 December

  • Added image of Conus marmoreus in our tank in the lab with foot fully extended and siphon sampling environment of a Clown fish Conus marmoreus

8 December

4 December

  • Added new reference on the use of radioactive delta Conotoxin-TxVIA (from Conus textile) as a pharmacological tool.
  • Schichor, I., Fainzilber, M., Pelhate, M., Malecot, C.O., Zlotkin, E., and Gordon, D. (1996) Interactions of delta-conotoxins with alkaloid neurotoxins reveal differences between the silent and effective binding sites on voltage-sensitive sodium channels. J. Neurochem. 67: 2451-2460. [This paper reveals a pharmacological distinction between the silent and effective binding sites of delta TxVIA and points out possible functionally important structural differences between molluscan and rat brain sodium channels].

2 December

16 November

31 October

23 October


Added reference:

  • Concar, D. (1996) "Doctor snail". New Scientist, 19 October, 278: pp.26-28.

21 October

Added reference:

Pereira, E.F.R., Alkondon, M., McIntosh, J.M. and Albuquerque, E.X (1996) A competitive antagonist at alpha-bungarotoxin-sensitive neuronal nicotinic receptors in hippocampal neurons. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Therap. 278: 1472-1483.

15 October

Added link to Guido T. Poppe & Yoshihiro Goto's
Conchology home page. URL http://www.club.innet.be/~year0078
  • This site lists over 2000 images of shells, about 200 alive, and arranged by
  • family. Now, there are only about 40 cones shown, but soon there will be an extra 100 on this page

13 October

  • Added conotoxin papers presented at the 2nd Australian Peptide Conference on Fraser Island (October 6-11, 1996).
  • Guddat, L.W., Martin, J.A., Shan, L., Edmundson, A.B. and Gray, W.R. (1996) Three-dimensional structure of the a-conotoxin GI at 1.2 A resolution. Biochemistry 35: 11329-11335.

23 September

  • Updated oliv-ref.htm to provide a link to Lee Siegel's account in the Salt Lake City Tribune of "Toto" Olivera's research on the mode of envenomation of a clown fish by C. purpurascens (the purple cone). The full scientific description of this work appeared recently in Nature (see below).
  • Provided a link here to Steve Mirsky's excellent review in Sea Frontiers entitled "Sea and Ye Shall Find" describing recent research on marine natural products, including conotoxins, and their contributions to medical research.
  • Updated lgicbgtx.htm to provide link to larkspur toxins such as MLA, (methyllycaconitine) that competitively inhibit the nicotinic receptor at the neuromuscular junction,

25 August

within the Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Biological Chemistry and the Graduate Program in Molecular Biology at The University of Utah.

  • Added links to the delta conotoxins, kappa conotoxins, and conantokins on the vencomp.htm page.

24 August

19 August

Lewis, R., Alewood, P., Dooley, M., Martin, J., Drinkwater, R., Craik, D. and Andrews, P.(1996) Secrets of the Cone Shell. Today's Life Science. 8: 16-24 [Review, The Centre for Drug Design and Development (3D Centre) hopes to discover new bioactive peptides from the venoms of Australian cone shells. These small and conformationally restrained molecules are the basis for developing peptidomimetic drugs to treat stroke and pain. This readable and colourful account of the field reviews work of the 3D Centre in collaboration with Bruce Livett of The University of Melbourne and with David Adams and Peter Dodd, The University of Queensland]

18 August

Coming soon ! (as suggested by Mike Fainzilber, 13 Aug 1996 )

  • Summary on the delta conotoxins - work on this subfamily has expanded in the last two years, and deserves mention alongside the "classic" omega, mu and alpha's. Mike has offered to supply suitable text. Watch this spot !
  • In the section on ecology etc. of Conus venoms: the possible utilization of conotoxins as specific warning molecules by prey Strombus is an interesting phenomenon (see Nature 369 : 192-193). Again, Mike Fainzilber has offered to provide suitable text.

  • Added additional reference on alpha-conotoxins. See below. (Courtesy of Mr. One R. Pagan, Universidad Central del Caribe) .
  • List of researchers working on conotoxins, with contact e-mails.
  • Additional chapters dealing with Conidae in the Eilat symposium book (see below for brief titles).

Some additional Conidae references from the Eilat symposium

  • McIntosh, J.M.: alpha-Conotoxins and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. In: Biochemical Aspects of Marine Pharmacology, Alaken Inc. Fort Collins Colorado, Proceedings of Eilat Conference on Interuniversity Instituite of Marine Sciences Eilat, May, 1995, pp. 28-34.
  • Fainzilber, M. et al.: Novel hydrophobic w-conotoxins from molluscivorous Conus venoms. In: Biochemical Aspects of Marine Pharmacology, Alaken Inc. Fort Collins Colorado, Proceedings of Eilat Conference on Interuniversity Instituite of Marine Sciences Eilat, May, 1995, pp. 34-43.
  • Gordon, D. et al.: The d-conotoxins inhibit sodium current inactivation through binding to distinct but related receptor sites on sodium channels. In: Biochemical Aspects of Marine Pharmacology, Alaken Inc. Fort Collins Colorado, Proceedings of Eilat Conference on Interuniversity Instituite of Marine Sciences Eilat, May, 1995, pp. 44-62.
  • Spira, M.E. et al.: Electrophysiological analysis of target strategies of molluscivorous cone snail neurotoxins. In: Biochemical Aspects of Marine Pharmacology, Alaken Inc. Fort Collins Colorado, Proceedings of Eilat Conference on Interuniversity Instituite of Marine Sciences Eilat, May, 1995, pp. 63-82.
  • Zlotkin, E. et al.: Functional diversity of a venom polypeptide in marine ecosystems. In: Biochemical Aspects of Marine Pharmacology, Alaken Inc. Fort Collins Colorado, Proceedings of Eilat Conference on Interuniversity Instituite of Marine Sciences Eilat, May, 1995, pp. 83-97.

Some recent and forthcoming papers from Mike Fainzilber and his colleagues:

  • Fainzilber, M., Lodder, J.C., Kits, K.S., Kofman, O., Vinnitsky, I., Van Rietschoten, J., Zlotkin,E. and Gordon, D. (1995) : A new conotoxin affecting sodium current inactivation interacts with the d-conotoxin receptor site. J. Biol . Chem. 270 : 1123-1129.
  • Hasson, A., Fainzilber, M., Zlotkin, E. and Spira, M.E. (1995) : Electrophysiological characterization of a novel conotoxin that blocks molluscan sodium channels. Eur. J. Neurosci. 7: 815-818
  • Fainzilber, M., Nakamura, T., Gaathon, A., Lodder, J.C., Kits, K.S., Burlingame, A.L. and Zlotkin, E. (1995) : A new cysteine framework in sodium channel blocking conotoxins. Biochemistry 34 : 8649-8656.
  • Fainzilber, M., van der Schors, R., Lodder, J.C., Li, K.W., Geraerts, W.P.M. and Kits, K.S.(1995) : New sodium channel blocking conotoxins also affect calcium currents in Lymnaea neurons. Biochemistry 34 : 5364-5371.
  • Nakamura, T., Yu, Z., Fainzilber, M. and Burlingame, A.L. (1996) : Mass spectrometric-based revision of the structure of a Gla containing cysteine rich conopeptide. Protein Science 5 : 524-530.
  • Fainzilber, M., Lodder, J.C., van der Schors, R., Li, K.W., Yu, Z., Burlingame, A.L., Geraerts, W.P.M. and Kits, K.S. (1996) : A novel hydrophobic w-conotoxin blocks molluscan dihydropyridine-sensitive calcium channels. Biochemistry 35, 8748-8752.
  • Schichor, I., Fainzilber, M., Pelhate, M., Malecot, C.O., Zlotkin, E., and Gordon, D. (1996) Interactions of delta-conotoxins with alkaloid neurotoxins reveal differences between the silent and effective binding sites on voltage-sensitive sodium channels. J. Neurochem. 67: 2451-2460.
  • Kits, K.S., Lodder, J.C., van der Schors, R., Li, K.W., Geraerts, W.P.M. and Fainzilber, M. (1996) : Novel w-conotoxins targeted to dihydropyridine-insensitive calcium channels in molluscan neurons. J. Neurochem., in press.

Additional references on alpha-conotoxins.

  • Hann, R. M., Pagan, O. R. and Eterovic, V.A. (1994) The alpha-conotoxins GI and MI distinguish between the nicotinic receptor agonist sites while SI does not. Biochemistry 33:14058-14063.[describes the selectivity of certain alpha-conotoxins toward one of the two agonist sites of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor from electric organ. See also Mechanism of action of alpha conotoxins In addition, the Eterovic research group are currently finishing a sequel of this paper, in which they describe the amino acids responsible of such selectivity (O.R. Pagan, personal communication)]

6 August

  • Updated information on SNX-111 (Conotoxin MVIIA) in cone-snx.htm.
  • Added references to research on structure and function of Conotoxin MVIIA and links to related papers.
  • Added link to search the database using the NCBI Entrez Browser

5 August
Hill, J.M., Alewood, P.F., Craik, D.J. (1996) Three-dimensional solution structure of mu-conotoxin GIIIB, a specific blocker of skeletal muscle sodium channels. Biochemistry 35: 8824-8835 [Conus geographus

, mu-conotoxin GIIB, Indo-Pacific]
Hu, S.-H., Gehrmann, J., Guddat, L.W., Alewood, P.F., Craik, D.J. and Martin, J.L. (1996) The 1.1A crystal structure of the neuronal acetylcholine receptor antagonist, alpha-conotoxin Pn1A from Conus pennaceus. Structure. 4: 417-423. [Conus pennaceus, X-ray structure, alpha-conotoxin Pn1A, Indo-Pacific]

29 July
Bingham, J-P., Jones, A., Lewis, R.J., Andrews, P.R. and Alewood, P.F. (1996)
Conus venom peptides (Conopeptides): Inter-Species, intra-species and within individual variation revealed by ionspray mass spectrometry. Chapter 2, In: Biochemical Aspects of Marine Pharmacology, Alaken Inc. Fort Collins Colorado, Proceedings of Eilat Conference on Interuniversity Instituite of Marine Sciences Eilat, May, 1995, pp. 13-27.[This manuscript provides an overview of the mass spectrometric studies of cone shell venoms that the Alewood group is currently conducting as part of a search for new bioactive conopeptides and, ultimately, novel peptidomimetic drugs. These studies reveal surprising variability in the molecular composition of Conus toxins both beween and within species, and even within individual specimens]
Partoens, P., Wang, J.M., Coen, E.P., Vauquelin, G., De Potter, W.P. (1996) Two polypeptide toxins with opposite effects on calcium uptake in bovine chromaffin cells: Isolation from the venom of the marine snail Conus distans. Neurochemistry International 28: (5-6): 619-624.
Codignola, A., McIntosh, J.M., Cattaneo, M.G., Vicentini, L.M., Clementi, F. and Sher, E. (1996) alpha-Conotoxin imperialis I inhibits nicotine-evoked hormone release and cell proliferation in human neuroendocrine carcinoma cells. Neuroscience Letters 206: 53-56. [Conus imperialis, a potent antagonist of mammalian neuronal alpha-bungarotoxin-sensitive nAChRs, inhibits the nicotinic secretion of mitogenic hormones (serotonin, 5HT), and cell proliferation evoked by nicotine or cytisine in three different SCLC cell lines, GLC8, NCI-N592 and NCI-H69. Possible role of alpha-7 nAChRs]
Ramirez-Latorre, J., Yu, C.R., Qu, X., Perin, F., Karlin, A. and Role, L. (1996) Functional contributions of alpha-5 subunit to neuronal acetylcholine receptor channels. Nature 380: 347-348.[Heterologous expression of alpha-5, either alone or with any beta-type subunit has failed to yield functional channels. Here the authors demonstrate that alpha-5 does participate in nAChRs expressed in heterologous systems and in primary neurons, and further that alpha-5 contributes to the lining of functionally unique nAChR channels, but only if coexpressed with both another alpha- and beta-type subunit. Furthermore, channels containing the alpha-5 subunit are potently activated and desensitized by nanomolar concentrations of nicotine]
Updated links on files snx-aids.htm and snx-856e.htm. Responded to correspondence from Marjolaine Rompre, WebEditor of Doctor's Guide to the Internet by providing direct links to pages maintained at this site.
Poisonous Cones , Nudibranchs and Others

Guide to potentially harmful fish and molluscs

Radula on litteratus or leopardis :


Some books from the master - Alan Kohn:
Rockel, D., Korn, W. and Kohn, A. (ISBN 3-925919-09-0) "Manual of the Living Conidae, Vol. 1., Indopacific". 518 pp., 84 colour plates, 170 figs. and maps, hardcover, size 24x32 cm. Verlag Christa Hemmen. DM 198.--
Kohn, A.J. (1994) Life History and Biogeography. Patterns in Conus. ISBN 0-19-854080-9, 114 pages, 2 pp colour illustrations, halftones, line figures, tables, Clarendon Press, January 1994, Hardback, UK Pounds 37.50. Oxford Biogeography Series No. 9. Oxford Science Publications, Oxford University Press, UK. [Contents: Introduction; Reproductive biology of Conus; Collections and observations; Relationships among aspects of reproduction and life history; Relationships of development and biogeographic patterns; Conus development outside the Indo-Pacific region; Discussion, synthesis and conclusions; Index]
Kohn, A.(1994) "A Chronological Taxonomy of Conus, 1758-1840". 13 colour illustrations, 562 b&w illustrations., 368 pp. Cloth: ISBN 1-56098-094-XH. Smithsonian Institution Press, USA. US$36.00 [Probably the largest genus of marine animals, Conus, a group of marine gastropods or snails, is widely valued by shell collectors and essential to scientists studying, among other things, the organism's role in the ecology of coral reefs. Yet the nomenclature of Conus, especially those species described before 1850, has been unclear. A Chronological Taxonomy of Conus definitively clarifies the taxonomy of the 660 nominal species described between 1758 and 1840, enhancing research and appreciation of Conus among malacologists, and shell collectors]
- and a Field Trip report from Heron Is.
Reichelt, R.E. and Kohn, A.J. (1985) Feeding and distribution of predatory gastropods of some Great Barrier Reef Platforms. Proceedings of the Fifth International Coral Reef Congress, Tahiti, 1985, Vol. 5, pp. 191-196.
21 May
Terlau, H., Shon, K-J., Grilley, M., Stocker, M., Stuhmer, W. and Olivera, B.M. (1996) Strategy for rapid immobilization of prey by a fish-hunting marine snail. Nature 381: 148-151.
11 May
Links to other Mollusc sites
Pain killer from the sea may be useful for cancer and AIDS patients.
10 May
Updated Referenceson Cone Shells (referenc.htm and oliv-ref.htm )
Pain killer from the sea [SNX-111 an omega conotoxin (MVIIa) from
Conus magus (cone-snx.htm)]
Added "What's New " (newlog.htm) = THIS FILE !


All contributions cited gratefully acknowledged. Thanks, Bruce Livett.

BGL, December 31, 1996 

Do you have any positive comments or/and questions ? Please send to Dr. Bruce Livett


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