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: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Link to publications on Conus and other
molluscs by William J. Clench, Curator of Mollusks (1926-1966), Museum of
Comparative Zoology, Harvard University.
- Photograph of C.marmoreus devouring a small mollusc while
rolling on its back !
(Photo by Julie Rothacker - Livett laboratory - note empty shells on
- Photograph of C.geographus with dissected venom apparatus and
of C.textile with dissected venom apparatus
C.geographus and C.textile
- 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
- Added image of Conus marmoreus in our tank in the lab
with foot fully extended and siphon sampling environment of a Clown fish
- 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].
- Concar, D. (1996) "Doctor snail". New Scientist,
19 October, 278: pp.26-28.
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.
- Added link to Guido T. Poppe & Yoshihiro Goto's
- Conchology home page.
- This site lists over 2000 images of shells, about 200 alive, and
- family. Now, there are only about 40 cones
shown, but soon there will be an extra 100 on this page
- 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
- 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
within the Interdepartmental Graduate
Program in Biological Chemistry and the Graduate Program in Molecular
Biology at The University of
- Added links to the delta conotoxins, kappa conotoxins,
and conantokins on the vencomp.htm page.
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]
Coming soon ! (as suggested by Mike Fainzilber, 13 Aug
- 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).
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
- 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
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)]
- 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
- Added link to search the database using the NCBI Entrez Browser
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]
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
potentially harmful fish and molluscs
Radula on litteratus or
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;
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.
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.
Links to other Mollusc sites
Pain killer from the sea may be useful for cancer and AIDS
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
BGL, December 31, 1996