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26 December 1998
Molecular graphics images of conotoxins in pdb format have been updated to include 22 structures. An additional 7 structures are undergoing processing or "on hold". Three of these will be released upon publication and another three are "on-hold" until 18 January 1999. See also 3-D Images of Conotoxins
28 October 1998
Shell and Conotoxins Homepage officially launched by Dynamix during the Multimedia
Conference '98 in Plaza Conference Centre, Melbourne University.
25 October 1998
- Point your browser at the following URL for and excellent summary of
several talks given at a symposium on the value of plants, animals and microbes to human
health held at the Museum of Natural History in New York, NY, June 1998.
- Poisonous Frogs Fight Pain - John W. Daly
- Complex Cone Snail Venom - Baldomero Olivera / George Miljanich
- Snakebite vs Thrombus - Robert J. Gould
The article appeared in the Journal
of the American Medical Association (JAMA) 279: 1679-1681 (1998)
- John Down and Bruce Livett will be presenting a talk entitled "Cone
shell toxins: molecular prospecting for novel drugs from the sea" at the Kaleide
Theatre (RMIT), 360 Swanston St., (opposite A'Beckett St.), Melbourne (Australia) on
Tuesday 27 October at 8.00 pm for the Victorian Division of ANZAAS. All are welcome.
17 October 1998
11 October 1998
- Help required in identifying Conus specimen. Mr. Reuben Clements from Singapore, asks for help
to ID a Conus specimen purchased from fishermen in Pangandaran, Southern Java. It
appears closely allied to the C. cernicus/balteatus group. Length 29.60 mm. Depth
shallow water reef 5-10m from lobster catchers. An image of the shell is depicted on the HELP page of George
Sangioulogou's "Seashells and Underwater World" Web site. (Answer on CONCH-L :
The conus is question is conus hyaena hyaena, (manual of living conus page 354 , #13)
Hwass in Bruguiere 1792 , the locale even matches!!! good luck Mark & Peta Bethke
10 October 1998
- Naming of Conus species: In the book Cone Shells - a
Synopsis of the Living Conidae by Jerry Walls, he states (under the description of Conus
tribblei Walls) " Named in honor of my favorite Cat, Tribble, who in turn was
named after the featureless balls of fur made famous in the science fiction play "The
Trouble with Tribbles" by David Gerrold, from the TV show Star Trek."
- Listen to an audio clip of George Miljanich being
interviewed on the topic "From Killing to Curing: Venom Peptides as Medicine ".
This is from the website for the symposium The Value of Plants, Animals and Microbes
to Human Health, held on April 17 and 18, 1998 at the American Museum of Natural
History. Requires Real Audio. If you don't have "RealAudio" there is a link to
- Listed three new references from Toxicon on conotoxin
structure, characterization and functions.
- Seagar, M., Marin-Moutot, N., Raymond, C., Charvin, N., Leveque, C.,
Walker, D. and De Waard, M. (1998) Omega-conotoxins : diagnostic tools for an autoimmune
disease of the neuromuscular junction. Toxicon 36: 1730-1731
- Favreau, P., Le Gall, F., Molgo, J., Servent, D. and Letourneux Y.
(1998) Extraction, purification and characterization of toxins from the venom of Conus
consor. Toxicon 36: 1737-1738
- Le Gall, F., Favreau, P., Letourneux Y. and Molgo, J. (1998)
Characterization of excitotoxins from the venom of fish-hunting cone snails. Toxicon 36:
1 October 1998
- Internet Hawaiian Shell News
(IHSN) October issue is now on line at http://www.hits.net/~hsn .
The October 1998 issue of the Hawaiian Shell News (HSN) includes a reprint of HSN from
June 1948 on Cones of Hawaii in
two parts, with photographs and a short description of the following cones : PART I.
FAMILY CONIDAE CONUS: C. litteratus millepunctatus (syn. C. millepunctatus), C.
leopardus, C. cingulum (syn. C. ponderosus, C. quercinus), C. distans, C. sumatrensis, C.
vexillum, C. striatus, C. textile, C. imperialis, C. marmoreus (syn. C. bandanus), C.
pulicarius, C. hammatus, and C. eugrammatus.
are three interesting topics discussed in an article by Wesley Thorsson Some Molluscan Observations: Mantles, Conus mantle Papillae (in C.
capitanus) and Sexual dimorphism
in Conus pulicarius. These articles are accompanied by excellent high power
underwater photographs of live Conus (see pages 12-16).
In addition there is a listing of "Marine Molluscs of the
Cook Islands" by Gerald McCormack who is preparing a database currently
listing some 3000 flora and fauna for the Natural Heritage Project. This listing is
available at the above link in both .htm
and .pdf formats. The listing
of Cone Shells (MOLLUSCA, GASTROPODA, Neogastropoda, CONIDAE) begins on p. 28 through 29
of the Adobe .pdf file version and, as of August 1998, includes 50 different species of Conus.
For further information, contact : Gerald McCormack,
Ziconotide (omega conotoxin MVIIA from Conus magus) has been used in
patients with chronic back pain and cancer. In a recent television documentary screened 20
September 1998 on Channel 9 (Australia) "Good Medicine" program, Dr. George
Miljanich from Neurex Inc., Menlo Park, California, (recently acquired by Elan Pharmaceuticals) described the challenge he faced to
separate and use the components of the cone shell venom that were helpful for human pain
relief. Although most clinical trials of this experimental drug have been conducted in the
USA, 15 patients were selected through the pain management clinic at the Sir Charles
Gairdner Hospital in Perth, Australia (Dr. Roger Goucke). In Australia, ziconotide has
been used in patients with chronic back pain and cancer. FDA approval is possibly only a
year away. Other clinical trials are being carried out in Sydney, by Dr. Michael Cousins,
Royal North Shore Hospital, and on dental patients suffering from phantom pain associated
with tooth removal. Fact sheets on Chronic
Pain and the use of ziconotide
in treatment are available on the ninemsn network of websites provided by Nine
Network Australia Pty Ltd as part of the Good
Medicine television program. This fact sheet contains general information only. For
technical and medical trials information contact: Elan Pharmaceuticals (Fax:
29 September 1998
George Sangiouloglou's first auction with 51 shells and with new plates, is now online at:
http://www.geocities.com/Eureka/Plaza/1821/auction.html Please visit it, enjoy the plates and encourage him. The auction starts on Saturday September 26 '98 at 20:00 Greece time
(GTM + 3 hours) and includes the following specimens of Conus:
Conus amadis (pair), Conus aurisiacus (pair), Conus
bengalensis and Conus chusaki. Take a look - there are other shells of interest here too.
Neurex Shareholders Sue in Bid to Stop Elan's $670 Mln Takeover
Jul 21 1998 4:10PM - Bloomberg News
Menlo Park, California, July 21 (Bloomber) -- Neurex Corp. shareholders sued the company to block its planned acquisition by Elan Corp. for about $670 million in stock, arguing that the price is too low considering the promise of Neurex's painkiller Ziconotide [aka Conotoxin MVIIA from Conus magus].
31 August 1998
Posted the Final Program and Posters on cone shells and conotoxins delivered at the Inaugural Meeting "From Venoms to Drugs" on Heron Island, Queensland, Australia (August 16-21, 1998). The abstracts of these talks will appear later in the year in the Conference Proceedings to be published in Toxicon.
Meeting Announcement: Workshop on Natural Toxins, September 27-October 1, 1998 at Dusit Thani Hotel, Bankok, Thailand. Contact: Dr. Anthony Tu, Fort Collins, Co. USA. Phone: 1-800-564-5213 or (970)-482-4632 or Fax: (970)-482-9169
Selected papers include: "Studies on conotoxins of Conus betulinus" by Dr. Ji-Sheng Chen.
Added information to the Contact List of folk interested in Cone Shells and Conotoxins - for Rik Deitsch, a member of the Research Team of Dr. Frank Mari, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. Rik is a Researcher at Florida Atlantic University, Department of Biochemistry, working on contoxins. The research team consists of Dr. Frank Mari, Aldo Franco, Rik Deitsch, Alex Uribe, Herminsul Cano and Fred Pfleuger. They have a nascent web page at http://chemindy.sci.fau.edu/~mari/usscono.html
29 August 1998
Images of cones auctioned at Bret Raines' Molluscs Net Auction, August 1998: C.aurisiacus, C.barthelemyi, C.bengalensis, C.bullatus, C.crocatus, C.episcopus, C.geographus C.tulipa & C.obscorus, C.harlandi (Pair), C.hirasi, C.jaspideus forma pusillus (Set), C.jucundus (Parir), C.marmoreus (Pair), C.moluccensis merletti, C.natalis (mauve), C.natalis (orange), C.regius & C.regius citrinus, C.textle choimondaeieyi, C.textle suzannae, C.textile forma ??? (Set), C.zonatus. Next auction is on October 31, 1998.
27 August 1998
Elan Corporation, plc Completes Acquisition of Neurex Corporation
Friday, August 14, 1998 12:44 PM
DUBLIN, Ireland, Aug. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Elan Corporation, plc (NYSE: ELN) ("Elan") today announced that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of Neurex Corporation (Nasdaq: NXCO) following approval by the stockholders of Neurex on August 11, 1998.
Pursuant to the Agreement and Plan of Merger entered into on April 29, 1998, Neurex becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Elan and each Neurex stockholder will receive 0.51 of an Elan American Depositary Share ("ADS"), each ADS representing one Elan Ordinary Share, for each share of Neurex common stock. Neurex will be operated as a business unit of the Elan Pharmaceuticals division and Paul Goddard, Ph.D., the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Neurex immediately prior to the merger, will be appointed as President of such division.
Neurex is a late-stage biopharmaceutical company developing products for pain management and the acute care market, principally in the area of cardiorenal and neurological disease. Neurex's strategy is to discover, develop and commercialize its products for acute care treatment in hospital settings, such as emergency rooms, intensive care units and pain clinics.
Elan is a leading worldwide specialty pharmaceutical company, with its principal research and manufacturing facilities located in Ireland, the United States and Israel. Elan's shares trade on the New York, London and Dublin stock exchanges.
SOURCE Elan Corporation, plc
CONTACT: Mary Bingham, Director, Investor Relations of Elan Corporation, plc, 212-755-3218
Quote for referenced ticker symbols: NXCO, ELN
© 1998, PR Newswire
Direct your browser here to read about The Discovery and Development of SNX-111 and its clinical applications as Ziconotide, at the Neurex web site. Download a movie of Conus magus envenomating a guppy (2.2Mb), or for a faster download, obtain the animated gif (228K).
16-21 August 1998
1998 Conference : From
Venoms to Drugs, Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef,
Australia, 1621 August, 1998. Final Program (as delivered) posted 31 August (see above).
Links to Heron
Island Research Station (HIRS), and One Tree Island Research Station,
sites for BGL's Field Trip, 16-24 August 1998
13 August 1998
The three articles linked here come from Worth magazine, USA, March 1997 (Part1 and Part 2) and March 1998 (98/03 Follow-Up). They provide a fascinating account of the history of the founding and development of Neurex Corp., the biotechnology company in Menlo Park, California, USA, who have pioneered the development of the cone shell toxin, omega conotoxin MVIIA from the venom of Conus magus, into a drug called ziconotide also known as SNX-111) through Stage III clinical trials for the treatment of intractible morphine-resistant pain.
11 August, 1998
Added Dr. Ronald L. Shimek , Montana,USA,
to the "Contact
List of folk interested in conotoxins". Ron has provided me with a
number of references to the earlier work of Alan Kohn which I will endeavour
to review in the context of these web pages. Ron writes that "My interest
in Conus and conotoxins is as an analogue to the more numerous
and widespread, yet equally venomous gastropods that used to be classified
in the Family Turridae. The more advanced toxoglossate members
of that family are now classified in the Family Conidae, in one
of several subfamilies, but particularly the Oenopotinae, Borsoniinae,
and Mangeliinae. All of these are common and abundant predators
in marine benthic communities throughout the world, yet are poorly known
even though there are several thousand described species".
9 August 1998
Program for the scientific meeting on Heron Is., "From Venoms to Drugs"
16-21 August 1998, is now listed. Conotoxins are featured in the
talks by Prof. Baldomero Olivera, Dr. George Miljanich, Prof. Michael
McIntosh, John Gehrmann, Prof. Kazuki Sato, Dr. K. Nielsen, Dr. Christine
Wright, Dr. P. Pallaghy, Mr. S. Warder, Dr. J. Cox, and Dr. Bruce Livett.
In addition to these talks there will be other presentations on cone shells
and contotoxins in video showings and posters. Looks like an interesting
and active meeting. Both marine and terrestial toxins are featured.
3 August 1998
Emergency Medicine information about CONIDAE, detailing procedures for
dealing with cone
shell envenomation. Essential reading for cone shell collectors and
field trip participants.[Authored by Suzanne Shepherd, Residency Director,
Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine,
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and James Martin, M.D., Emergency
Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania]
31 July, 1998
George Sangiouloglou has recently updated his web
site to include several specimens of "freak" Conus litteratus,
"freak" Conus striatus and an albino Conus amadis. Also a
very attractive Conus
figulinus ? from Zamboanga Philippines with an unusual color and
pattern [possibly Conus betulinus form (Zulu), see Manual of Living
Conidae, page 352 #11], and a live
Conus omaria under dead coral half in sand from Mactan Is. Cebu.
Take a look - there are other cone shells of interest here too.
30 June, 1998
from : Science Daily , a News
Release (Posted 27/7/98)- "Marine
Snail Toxin Targeted at African Toad Eggs Reveals Novel Impact on the Regulation
of Serotonin", reporting on the recent article in Science by the UC
San Francisco scientists Drs. David Julius and Laura England, together
with Dr. Baldomero M. Olivera (University of Utah) and Drs A. Grey Craig
and Jean Rivier from the Salk Institute. A 41-amino acid peptide, sigma-conotoxin
GVIIIA, extracted from the venom of C.geographus, was found to inhibit
the actions of serotonin on 5-HT3 receptors expressed in African toad eggs.
Potential medical applications for drugs based on this conotoxins structure
include treatment of nausea that accompanies chemotherapy, and pain and
anxiety.For original article see :
England, L.J., Imperial, J., Jacobsen, R., Craig, A.G., Gulyas, J.,
Akhtar, M., Rivier, J., Julius, D. and Olivera, B.M. (1998) Inactivation
of a Serotonin-Gated Ion Channel by a Polypeptide Toxin from Marine Snails.
29 June, 1998
Added reference to new paper on Conotoxin GI structure: Gehrmann J., Alewood,
P.F. and Craik, D.J. (1998) "Structure determination of the three disulfide
bond isomers of alpha-conotoxin GI: A model for the role of disulfide bonds
in structural stability" J
Mol Biol 278(2):401-415.
23 June, 1998
Bret Raines has a huge auction going on at The
Molluscs Net , until 11pm EST on Wednesday, 1 July 1998. He has about
150 shells on this auction and a lot of them are from Easter Is. There
are 26 cones for auction - some very pretty. Here is a list: C.advertex
(pair, Queensland, Australia) , C.aurisiacus
( Phuket, Thailand), C.bocki
(California, Mexico), C.gloriamaris
(Cebu, Philippines), C.hirasei
(Cebu, Philippines), C.lucidus
(rare local, Cocos Islands, Costa Rica), C.memiae
(pair, Cebu, Philippines), C.pascuaensis
(pair, Easter Island), C.paulucciae
(Reunion Is.), C.
polyglotta (set of 4, Cebu, Philippines), C.poppei
(pair, Cape Verde Islands), C.princeps
(Baja Sur, Mexico), C.pulicarius
(pair, Cebu, Philippines), C.sculletti
(pair, Queensland), C.sindon
(Balutis, Philippines), C.tulipa
(Noongoor Reef, Zanzibar), C.victoriae
(set of 4, Western Australia ), C.vicdani
(Bohol, Philippines), C.viola
(Bolo Point, Okinawa), C.zapatoensis
(pair, Mactan Is., Philippines ). So far the prices are low, so you
might be able to get some super shells at a low price. Have fun - see if
you can out-bid me !
19 June, 1998
Added a Discussion List so you can participate in discussions
about Cone Shells and Conotoxins. Join now by entering your email address
above. With a discussion list, anyone
on the list may send a message to the list. You send a message to Cone
shells and conotoxins Discussion List by addressing your email to Cones_and_conotoxins@listbot.com
. The system will check to make sure you are subscribed to the list.
NOTE: If you use an e-mail
address other than the one you signed up with, then it will not allow you
to send the message. However, you can go to the List Members area and enter
additional "aliases" which will let the system accept any new email address
Once you have joined, you can click
on "View List Archive" (in small type below the box above) to view the
previous messages OR click on the message:
Cone Shells and Conotoxins Discussion List Archive
SENDING A MESSAGE: When you send a message to Cones_and_conotoxins@listbot.com
remember that it goes direct to list members' email addresses, unlike when
you post a message to a bulletin board where members have to log in to
the bulletin board in order to read the messages. So be careful to word
your messages politely :)
11 June, 1998
Guido Poppe's Cyberconchology web page now has over 145
images of cone shells and lists some 600 species.
of the Dutch Malacological Society has been updated and is now largely
bilingual (Dutch & English). You are invited to visit.
Some recent scientific papers on conotoxins:
Groebe, D.R., Gray, W.R. and Abramson, S.N. (1997) Determinants involved
in the affinity of a-conotoxins GI and SI for
the muscle subtype of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Biochemistry
Jones, A., Bingham, J., Gehrmann, J., Bond, T., Loughnan, M., Atkins, A.,
Lewis, R.L. and Alewood, P.F. (1996) Isolation and characterization of
conopeptides by HPLC/MS and MS/MS. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrometry
Lew, M.J., Flinn, J.P., Pallaghy, P.K., Murphy, R., Whorlow, S.L., Wright,
C.E., Norton, R.S. and Angus, J.A. (1997) Structure-function relationships
of omega-conotoxin GVIA. J.Biol.Chem. 272: 12014-12023.
Loughnan,M., Bond, T., Atkins, A., Cuevas, J., Adams,
D.J., Broxton, N.M., Down, J.G., Livett, B.G., Jones, A., Alewood, P.F.
and Lewis, R.J. a-Conotoxin EpI, a Novel Sulfated
Peptide from Conus episcopatus that Selectively Targets Neuronal
Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors. Journal
of Biological Chemistry 273: 15667-15674(1998) [Published
June 19, 1998]
Quiram, P.A. and Sine, S.M (1998a) Identification of residues in the neuronal
a7 acetylcholine receptor that confer
selectivity for conotoxin ImI.J.Biol.
Chem. 273: 11001-11006.
Quiram, P.A. and Sine, S.M. (1998b) Structural elements in a-conotoxin
essential for binding to neuronal a7
Villarroya, M., De la Fuente, M., Lopez, M.G., Gandia, L. and Garcia, A.G.
(1997) Distinct effects of omega-toxins and various groups of Ca2+-entry
inhibitors on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and Ca2+ channels
of chromaffin cells. Eur. J. Pharm. 320: 249-257.
Added report of studies on a conotoxin-G precursor from Conus geographus.
Bandyopadhyay, P.K., Colledge, C.J., Walker, C.S., Zhou, L.M., Hillyard,
D.R. and Olivera, B.M. (1998) Conantokin-G precursor and its role in g-carboxylation
by vitamin K-dependent carboxylase from a Conus snail. J.
Biol. Chem. 273: (10) 5447-5450.
The g-carboxylated 17-amino acid
Conus peptide conantokin-G is initially translated as a prepropeptide
of 100 amino acids. The precursor is similar to that previously reported
for disufide-rich conotoxins. The mature peptide is found in a single copy
at the C-terminal end of the precursor and is processed post-translationally
producing : g-carboxylation
of five glu residues, C-terminal amidation of asparagine-17 following excision
of the C-terminal tripeptide, and a proteolytic event between Arg-1 and
The conantokin-G precursor has 59 amino acids in the intervening
pro-region, the longest so far reported for any Conus venom peptide
with a potential function of a g-carboxylation
recognition sequence for the Conus venom duct g-glutamyl
carboxylase in the -1 to -20 region.
recognition sequence included in the -1 to -20 region of the conantokin-G
prepropeptide appears to increase the affinity of the Conus carboxylase
by approximately 2 orders of magnitude !!
9 June, 1998
of interview on June 7 1998 with Dr. Bruce Livett, on "Cone
Shells and Conotoxins - Medical Applications" on station 3RRR(102.7 FM)Melbourne,
Australia. Interviewer Tim Allen.
31 May, 1998
Added link to images of the following 8 Conus
from Brett Raines' site "The Molluscs
Net" (one cone was collected from Easter Island, and the
others from various places). If you would like some good quality, low priced
shells point your browser at www.molluscs.net.
Bret Raines runs a shell auction on the web where the prices are
low. Many of the cones are normally hard to obtain.. Have fun at the auction
at URL http://www.molluscs.net/molluscan/mini_auction.htm.
15 May, 1998
13 May, 1998
The auction began 5pm on 29th May 1998 and closes at 8pm
PST on Wednesday, 3 June 1998): Among the Conus family up for auction
pascuaensis (Easter Island). The Easter Island specimen was
dead collected. Exact locality data is provided with the individual specimens.
For identification, Raines uses "The Marine Mollusks of Easter Island (Isla
de Pascua) and Sala y Gomez" by Dr Harald Rehder as his reference.
The other 7 cones include Conus brunneus
(Gulf of California, Mexico), dusaveli
(Cebu, Philippines), euetrios
(Inhaca Island, Mozambique), gloriamaris
(Cebu, Philippines), ione
(Panglao, Bohol, Philippines), poppei
(Cape Verde Islands), and zonatus
At the Molluscs Net you will also find a neat List
of Mollusc Links.
The Molluscs Net is a network of shell dealers and
collectors. It is the only site on the internet that offers free classifieds
for collectors, on-line dealer's lists, shell auctions, a list of hundreds
of collectors and clubs, a chat room and online forum and tons of links
to other shell-related sites all from one location. The Molluscs Net
also builds and hosts custom webpages for any shell club in the world -
absolutely free of charge. Enjoy :) B.G.L.
April, 1998 - Press Release from Neurex (who brought you SNX-111, alias
w-conotoxin MVIIA or ziconotide)announcing
merger with Elan Corporation. "Elan Corporation, plc (NYSE: ELN)("Elan"),
a leading specialty pharmaceutical company, and Neurex Corporation, (NASDAQ:
NXCO) ("Neurex"), a late-stage biopharmaceutical company developing products
for pain management and the acute care market, announced a definitive
agreement whereby Elan will acquire Neurex in a tax-free all-stock transaction
which values Neurex at $31.81 per share, or approximately $700 million,
based on Elan's closing price of $62.38 on April 28, 1998".
As a consequence of the above, (Press Release 4 May 1998)
Postponed Annual Meeting of Stockholders scheduled for Thursday, May
7, 1998. "The Company reached its decision because an Annual Meeting may
not be necessary in light of the Merger Agreement between Elan Corporation
and Neurex, which was announced April 29, 1998, and provides for Elan to
acquire Neurex in an all stock transaction. A special meeting of Neurex
stockholders will be announce and held later in the year, at which time
postponed matters and resolutions will be, to the extent necessary, voted
Added link to most impressive collection of shell images
at: Gifts of the
World including thumbnails and some full images of the following cone
shells: Conus armadillo, Conus bullatus, Conus ammiralus, Conus caracteristicus,
Conus centuro, Conus circumcisus,Conus floccatus, Conus genuanus, Conus
gloriamaris, Conus gubernator, Conus ione, Conus kinoshitae, Conus lynaceus,
Conus malacanus, Conus moluccenis, Conus neptunus, Conus orbignyi, Conus
elokismenos, Conus perusus, Conus samial, Conus sulcccocastaneus, Conus
suratensis, Conus teramemachchiu, Conus thalassearchio and Conus triblei
Added notice of publication about a-Conotoxin
EpI, a Novel Sulfated Peptide from Conus episcopatus that Selectively
Targets Neuronal Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors" - by Marion Loughnan,Trudy
Bond, Anne Atkins, Javier Cuevas, David J. Adams, Natalie M. Broxton, John
G. Down, Bruce G. Livett, Alun Jones, Paul F. Alewood and Richard J. Lewis.
of Biological Chemistry 273: 15667-15674(1998) [Published
June 19, 1998]
1 May, 1998
14 April, 1998
Added link to
Mike Fainzilber's Molecular Neurobiology Group at the Dept. of Biological
Chemistry, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel. Some recent
publications on conotoxins from Mike Fainzilber:
Kits, K.S., Lodder, J.C., van der Schors,
R., Li, K.W., Geraerts, W.P.M., & Fainzilber, M. , 1996: Novel w-conotoxins
block dihydropyridine-insensitive high voltage-activated calcium channels
in molluscan neurons. J. Neurochem. 67: 2155-2163.
Fainzilber, M., Nakamura, T., Lodder,
J.C., Zlotkin, E., Kits, K.S., & Burlingame, A.L., 1998: g-Conotoxin-PnVIIA,
a gGlu-containing peptide
agonist of neuronal pacemaker cation currents. Biochemistry 37,
5 April, 1998
Link to George Sangioulo's Seashells
& Underwater World Home Page (see also entry for 2 April, below)
containing the Live
Seashells Gallery where the following two live specimens of Conus
are shown: (1) Conus
terebra can be seen under dead coral between big coral blocks in
5 m depth in Had Klong Muang Krabi, December 1997; and (2) Conus
omaria under dead coral, half in sand, from Mactan Is., Cebu, April
Also, specimen shells of Conus
terebra in various sizes and shapes. Conus
ranonganus (Gem 92.6 mm $1,050, very nice pattern. Trawled 80-120
m depth - from west side of Phuket Is. Andaman Sea, 1997), and Conus
schech (form of Castanofasiatus); F+/Gem 69.3 mm $300, very nice.
Trawled 80-120 m depth, - from Phuket Is. Andaman Sea, 1997) and Conus
vicweei (Gem 80.8 mm $1,450. Dark color with excellent pattern
to the lips - the best ever seen - a jewel ! Trawled 80-120 m depth - from
west side of Phuket Is. Andaman Sea, 1997).
Link to Conchologists of America (COA) New
Species of Conus.
Link to Brian
Hayes'ALGOA BAY SPECIMEN SHELLS.
Algoa Bay Specimen Shells specializes in shells from
South Africa. Brian Hayes has an honours degree in Zoology and has carried
out research on molluscs at University. Brian obtains many of his shells
from local divers, collectors and deep-sea fishing vessels. Among Brian
Hayes' collection of CONIDAE
for sale are the following: Conus altispiratus,Conus infrenatus, Conus
natalis, Conus pictus, Conus tinianus, and Conus visagenus (new
3 April, 1998
Added link to PBS OnLine Nature program featuring venomous
creatures. Titled, VICTIMS
OF VENOM, the program contains information about Venom From the Sea,
including venomous cone shells, marine snakes, octopi and sea slugs.
Terrestrial snakes (eg. rattlesnakes and cobra), scorpions, and other creatures
such as shrews, spiders, insects, salamanders, and even some types of plants
also use poisonous venoms.
OnLine Nature : "Victims of Venom"
Discover the poisons that make animals, plants and even
people victims of venom with this informative site. Meet venom expert Bill
Haast as well as some creatures of the deep who use poison as a survival
tactic, and learn why a dwindling rattlesnake population could be bad news
for the drug industry.
A very useful Resources
section contains both Online Resources with links to many
interesting web sites, Print Resources - Books and Video.
To purchase the video of VICTIMS OF VENOM, please contact
WNET Video Distribution by calling (800) 336-1917, or by writing to WNET
Video Distribution, P.O. Box 2284, South Burlington, VT 05407.
2 April, 1998
Added link to image of rare orange form of Conus
pictus Reeve, 1843. Source: Brian
BAY SPECIMEN SHELLS - the Largest Specimen Dealer in South Africa
(specialist in S. African and world-wide shells) P.O.BOX 804, Port Elizabeth,
6000, South Africa.
Added link to Conus
pennaceus: Growth, fecundity and mortality of Conus Pennaceus
in Hawaii, another in the sequence of excellent illustrated articles
(this one about Conus pennaceus) resurrected by Wesley Thorssen
from the original article by Frank E. Perron. Note: The complete
reference section of the original paper is presented here, but the remainder
of the original paper has been shortened and most statistical formulae
have not been included. The complete article is available, however in Ecology
64 (1) (1983) pp. 53-62.
See also entry below for 2 March 1998 giving links
to two other articles by Frank Perron "Laboratory Culture of Conus Textile"
, and "Larval Growth and Metamorphosis of Conus".
25 March, 1998
Link to George
Sangiouloglou's Seashell Gallery. Here are some nice images of
amadis albino (F+ 81 mm 350 $ Trawled 60-80 mtrs depths.
From Ranong Andaman Sea, 1997), Conus
amadis (Gem 72,6-87,7 mm 20 $ Trawled From Ranong Andaman
Sea 1997), Conus
arbornatalis (F+/Gem 87 mm 300 $ Trawled 60-80 mtrs depths
From Phuket Isl. Andaman Sea 1997), Conus
bengalensis (F+/Gem 113 mm 250 $ Trawled 60-120 mtrs depths
From west side of Phuket Isl. Andaman Sea 1997). Conus
bengalensis Golden Form (Gem 119,4 mm 300 $ Trawled 60-120
mtrs depths From west side of Phuket Isl. Andaman Sea 1997), Conus
chusaki (F+/Gem 51-56 mm 30 $ & 40-49 mm 20 $ Dived 30
mtrs. Racha Isl. Phuket Andaman Sea1997), Conus
dusaveli (F+++ 82 mm 150 $ Dark color variation only
one growth flow not important still very beautiful. Balut Isl. Mindanao
phuketensis (F+/Gem 70 mm 180 $ Dark color. Trawled 80-120
mtrs. From Ranong to Phuket Isl. Andaman Sea 1997), Conus
phuketensis (F+/Gem 69 mm 180 $ Light color.Trawled 80-120 mtrs.
From Ranong to Phuket Isl. Andaman Sea 1997),
Conus ranonganus (Gem 92,6 mm 1.050 $ Very nice Pattern.
Trawled 80-120 mtrs depths. From West side of Phuket Isl. Andaman
Sea 97), Conus
terebra in various sizes and shapes. Conus
schech (form of Castanofasiatus) F+/Gem 69,3 mm 300 $ Very
nice. Trawled 80-120 mtrs depths, From Phuket Isl. Andaman Sea
1997) and Conus
vicweei (Gem 80,8 mm 1.450 $ Dark color with excellent pattern
till the lips the best never seen is a jewel.Trawled 80-120 mtrs depths
From West side of Phuket Isl. Andaman Sea 1997).
Provided link to an 87Kb animated gif of a cone shell
attacking a small fish. Not for the feint hearted. Video source courtesy
of Dr. George Miljanich of Neurex Corporation, Menlo Park, California.
11 March, 1998
The Web site http://www.erols.com/worldwide/Presentations.htm
describes a video program "Focus
On Conchology" a professionally produced television program (on VHS
cassette) in magazine format dealing with the hobby and science of shell
collecting. It takes you around the world to meet the people, go to the
places, and see the trends in Conchology. The one hour program has four
major segments interspersed with shorter segments. The feature segment
takes you to Hawaii's remote country to see why its endemic land snail
fauna is becoming endangered. The footage is breathtaking. The VHS video
cassette is available for rental to Shell Clubs. An
interview with Cone shell expert Bob
DaMotta will give you a better understanding
about the man who has spent many years studying and amassing one of the
largest private Cone collections in the world. His thoughts and ideas on
taxonomy have been considered controversial. Click here to see a
graphic from the Cone Shell section of the video. A number of beautiful
Cone shells are shown during the interview.
2 March, 1998
Added reference of potential interest to mechanism of action
of conotoxins and other small peptides at the nicotinic receptor. Lin-Shiau,
S-Y. (1998) Studies on curare-like action of the tripeptide carbobenzoxy-Gly-Gly-Arg-[beta]-naphthylamide
in mouse diaphragm. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 343: 51-56.
Added links to two articles in the Hawaii Shell News
23 February, 1998
Culture of Conus Textile" by Frank E. Perron
A summary of information from a paper of this name in
the Journal Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol., 1980, Vol 42, pp 27 - 38 by Frank
E. Perron * and personal communications. Summary by Wesley Thorsson**
with more photos and observations of this Conus
* 26 Union St., Peterborough,
Growth and Metamorphosis of Conus" by Frank E. Perron
A summary of a paper2 by Frank E. Perron1.
Summarized by Wesley Thorsson3 with additional
1 26 Union St., Peterborough,
2 Larval Growth and Metamorphosis
of Conus (Gastropoda: Toxoglossa) in Hawaii
in Pacific Science
(1981), Vol. 35, No. 1, pgs 25 to 38 By Frank E. Perron
Added link to United
States Patent 5700778 Conotoxins I (INVENTORS: Olivera;
Baldomero M., Salt Lake City, UT et al. ASSIGNEES: The Salk Institute
for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA., and University of Utah Research
Foundation, Salt Lake City, UT. ISSUED Dec. 23, 1997; Filed June 2, 1995.)
22 March, 1998
21 February, 1998
Added a Search
capability to this site.
20 February, 1998
Added link to three past Shell-O-Gram newsletter articles
from the Jacksonville
Shell Club containing a very interesting article on Mollusks
and Man: A Medical Perspective, by Harry G. Lee, M.D.
(Adapted from The Junonia, newsletter of The Sanibel-Captiva
Shell Club, June 1995 and published in the Shell-O-Gram, July-August,
1995). The first two installments deal with infections and intoxications
(biotoxins) brought to man through the agency of mollusks. Part
Three - gives a historical perspective on the discovery of
cones and the examination of their venom, together with preliminary
data on the toxins that constitute the venom This article reports
on envenomation from Conus aulicus, Conus textile and Conus
striatus and is very readable.
18 February, 1998
Added several sources of information to the First
Aid page dealing with management and treatment of cone shell
envenomation . These are essential reading for anyone handling or
collecting cone shells.
25 January, 1998
Added two references on Conus venoms and their toxins
(one new, one old).
Fainzilber, M., Nakamura, T., Lodder, J.C., Zlotkin, E.,
Kits, K.S. and Burlingame, A.L. (1998) g-Conotoxin-PnVIIA,
peptide agonist of neuronal pacemaker cation currents. Biochemistry
Lev-Ram, V., Olivera, B.M., Levitan, I.B., Corpuz, G.P.,
Ramilo, C.A., Hillyard, D.R. and Cruz, L.J. (1991) Molluscan Conus
venoms: A source of toxin probes for molluscan neurobiology. In: Molluscan
Neurobiology. Edited by K.S. Kits, H.H. Boer and J. Joose. Proceedings
of the 3rd Symposium on Molluscan Neurobiology, Amsterdam, the Netherlands,
Aug 20-24 1990, North-Holland, Amsterdam / Oxford / New York, 1991 [Abstract:
The approximately 50 different species of molluscivorous Conus marine
snails use their venoms to prey on other molluscs. Although the physiological
characterization of these venoms has just been initiated, extensive biochemical
work has revealed that the venoms are very complex, with many disulfide
rich peptides present in a single venom. Preliminary evidence that these
components are likely to affect receptors and ion channels in molluscan
neurons is described here. The molluscivorous Conus are therefore
a potentially rich source of specifically targeted ligands for the receptors
and ion channels that are responsible for molluscan nervous system function.
We anticipate that these will become standard tools in molluscan neurobiology]
For those interested in following Neurex
(NXCO) stock, the following Comments
from Tom Genna hosted on the Silicon
Talk for Biotechnology
Groups, with Sales
under $10MM, provides much information and the opportunity to contribute
comments on the performance of Neurex (Menlo Park, CA). Started by Chinmoy
replies to 28 December 1997) this discussion
archive presents interesting insights into the various governmental
and commercial controls on small biotech companies involved in drug design
and development for clinical applications .
Link to Company
Information for Neurex Pharmaceuticals, including Valuation, Analyst
SEC Filings, Quote Graph, News, Alliances, Clinicals and Contacts.
(Neurex has 2 drugs in advanced
Phase 3 trials (Corlopam
and the results for both so far are very promising. Corlopam, is
used to control blood pressure in patients undergoing major heart surgery
and for severely hypertensive patients who can't take pills. Approximately
450,000 bypass operations and heart surgeries are performed in the USA
each year requiring patient's blood pressure to be lowered. Another 120,000
patients suffer from severe hypertension. "Montgomery Securities analyst
Scott Sacane sees Corlopam pulling in sales of $9 million in 1997, $18
million in 1998 and $36 million in 1999." SNX-111 (w-conotoxin
MVIIA) is Neurex's revolutionary pain killing
drug and when approved may replace morphine and the popular pain killer,
codeine. The drug has two main applications : the treatment of severe intractable
pain caused by cancer or AIDS or phantom limb syndrome, and the treatment
of brain damage due to a lack of oxygen to the brain, a condition known
as ischemia. A history of the discussions on this stock appears in AOL
under "Company Message Boards".
21 January, 1998
remedy wins orphan-drug status. The Food and Drug Administration
has granted orphan drug status to methylnaltrexone, a medication
that blocks the side effects of morphine without interfering with pain
Many patients with chronic pain cannot tolerate the side effects
of long-term use of opioid-based pain medications such as morphine. These
side effects include nausea and severe constipation. As many as 40 percent
of chronic pain patients chose to live with the pain rather than endure
the side effects. But methylnaltrexone may make morphine more manageable.
Recently published studies from Roizen, Foss and colleagues Chun-Su Yuan,
PhD and Jonathan Moss, MD PhD from the University of Chicago, demonstrated
that it can block the side effects of opioid-based pain relievers, preventing
the constipation without altering its effects on pain
.Phase II-III trials
of methylnaltrexone, which will test how well the drug works and how it
compares to alternative medications, will begin at the University of Chicago
Hospitals Clinical Research Center and a hospice in Great Britain this
on conotoxins at the Twenty Third Annual Lorne Conference on "Protein
structure and Function", Lorne, Australia, 8-12 February 1998.
Added reference to molecular action of SNX-111 in humans.
Mcguire, D., Bowersox, S., Fellmann, J.D. and Luther, R.R . (1997) "Sympatholysis
after neuron-specific, N-type, voltage-sensitive calcium channel blockade
- first demonstration of N-channel function in humans". Journal of Cardiovascular
Abstract: "SNX-111 [w-conotoxin
MVIIA] is the first neuronal N-type, voltage-sensitive calcium channel
(VSCC) blocker to enter clinical drug development. Areas of potential therapeutic
utility include treatment of nociceptive and neuropathic pain and neuroprotection
after ischemic brain injury. The data presented demonstrate that SNX-111
is biologically active in humans and indicate for the first time a neurophysiologic
function of N-type VSCCs in humans".
Reference on action of w-conotoxins
on chromaffin cells. Gandia, L., Lara, B., Imperial,
J.S., Villarroya, M., Albillos, A., Maroto, R., Garcia, A.G. and Olivera
B.M. (1997) "Analogies and differences between omega-conotoxins MVIIC and
MVIID - binding sites and functions in bovine chromaffin cells". Pflugers
Archiv - European Journal of Physiology. 435(1):55-64, 1997
19 January, 1998
studies with conotoxin MVIIA (SNX-111) to evaluate the safety and
early evidence of therapeutic efficacy of SNX-111
administered intrathecally to patients with chronic intractable pain. This
research with terminally ill patients is being conducted by Dr.
Willam G. Brose at the General Clinical Research Center, Stanford University
School of Medicine. (See also, clinical studies by Dr.
Michael G. Byas-Smith (Emory, Atlanta) and Dr. Kim
J. Burchiel (OHSU, Portland).
Launches Advanced Pain Therapy: New Initiative Focuses on Chronic
Pain. Press Release (June 24, 1997) from Medtronic, Inc.
(NYSE: MDT), Minneapolis, MN, announcing a major chronic pain management
initiative called Advanced Pain Therapy, "designed to offer new programs
and products to provide relief and restore the quality of life to millions
of Americans who suffer from severe intractable pain...Intrathecal pain
therapy which delivers medication directly into the spinal fluid provides
the efficacy of high-dose opioids while substantially reducing the activity
limiting side-effects such as lethargy, nausea, and vomiting....The Drug
Delivery Business is also striving to develop a non-opiate analgesic
through strategic alliances with pharmaceutical companies. Clinical trials
are being conducted in collaboration with Neurex, Inc. (Menlo Park, Calif.)
in the development of SNX-111.." (omega conotoxin MVIIA from Conus
magus, a neuronal calcium channel blocker which acts as an analgesic).
Pain Study: To determine the efficacy and safety of SNX-111 in
the treatment of severe and intractable pain in people with cancer and
AIDS. Information and contact number for enrollment.
Evaluation of w -Conotoxin MVIIA (reduced, cyclic (1-16), (8-20), (15-25)
- SNX-111). Biological Evaluation of Compounds for their Physical
Dependence Potential and Abuse Liability. XXI. Drug Evaluation Committee
of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence. Arthur E. Jacobson, (NIH),
Biological Coordinator, Drug Evaluation Committee, CPDD. "The total
number of publications released for publication this year was somewhat
less than the number released last year, as shown in Fig. 1, but there
are several very interesting drugs (see Experimental Observations section),
one of which [SNX-111] is in phase III clinical trials for intractable
pain untreatable by morphine.... An w-conotoxin
(NIH 10887, Table 8) was sent to us by pharmaceutical industry. That drug
was noted by the submitter to be an extremely potent intrathecal analgesic.
DEC found it to have a little antinociceptive activity sc or iv and it
does not appear to have affinity for any of the opioid receptors, except
weak affinity for the d-receptor. It would not be predicted to have physical
dependence potential or abuse liability of the opioid-type from our self-administration
and drug discrimination tests. The conotoxin family of toxins come from
the cone snail and it was recently noted that the disulfide links confer
its rigidity and a characteristic shape allowing the toxin to nestle in
a particular channel or portion of a specific CNS receptor (Ackerman
1997). The w-conotoxin
which DEC evaluated is a synthetic peptide which was developed as a potential
treatment for intractable pain, for those unresponsive to morphine It is
in phase III clinical trials (Ackerman 1997).Table
1 lists the names and assigned NIH and CPDD numbers of the compounds examined
in 1997, and notes the specific table number where they appear. w-conotoxin
MVIIA (reduced, cyclic (1-16), (8-20), (15-25)
- SNX-111) NIH # 10887, appears in Table 8 where structures and a summary
of the biological activities of compounds evaluated as analgesics, as obtained
from work at the Medical College of Virginia (UCV) and the University of
Michigan (UM) (Aceto et al 1998; Woods
et al 1998) are presented.
Conference : From
Venoms to Drugs, Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef,
Australia, 1621 August, 1998. Preliminary Program, Invited Speakers
and Information. View the Logo (alpha
Neurobiology: A Gallery of Animations: 3-D Studio graphic of ions
entering the pentameric ligand-gated ion channel associated with the nicotinic
acetylcholine receptor (as found at cholinergic synapses).
As seen on ABC, Peter Jennings. Animation of nicotine competition
with acetylcholine at nicotinic cholinergic receptors showing opening of
ion channels and current spread. (see also Neuroscience
on the Internet).
Copyright 1997, Gayle
Gross de Nunez and SAVANTES. Used with permission.
To see full animation DOWNLOAD
"nicotine.avi" FROM FTP SITE: 100 X 67 pixels, 1.258
or click here
(and then click again on image after it has downloaded).
Portions of these animations were featured on "An ABC News
Town Meeting, 'Kids ... Parents ... Straight Talk on Drugs' with Peter
Jennings" (ABC) Sunday March 30th, 1997. Videotapes of that show are available
via ABC at 800-913-3434.
"Animated Neuroscience" is a SAVANTES production
Copyright 1996, Gayle
Gross de Nunez and SAVANTES.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The images are from a 20 min. animation on normal brain function
produced by Savantes under a grant from the National Institute on Drug
Animations may be downloaded from Animation
Gallery I : Medical Animation, Synaptic Pharmacology.
- the amino acid sequence of w-conotoxin
MVIIA reduced, cyclic(1-16),(8-20),(15-25) is:
S. J. Reform of the Killer Snails. National Center for Research Resources
(NCRR) Reporter XXI: 5- 7, 1997.
Aceto, M. D.; Bowman, E. R.; Harris,
L. S.; and May, E. L.: Dependence Studies of New Compounds in the Rhesus
Monkey, Rat and Mouse (1997). In: L. S. Harris, ed. Problems of Drug Dependence
1997, NIDA Research Monograph, Washington, D.C., 1998, in press.
Woods, J. H.; Traynor, J.; Butelman,
E. R.; and Winger, G. D.: Evaluation of New Compounds for Opioid Activity
(1997). In: L. S. Harris, ed. Problems of Drug Dependence 1997, NIDA Research
Monograph, Washington, D.C., 1998, in press.
18 January, 1998
to Eddie's Shell Catalogue listing some 650 species of CONIDAE
(cone shells) with location and habitat given. Those listed with an asterisk
(*) preceding the name (eg. *Conus
marmoreus and *Conus
magus) are accompanied by an image. There are over 197 different
images of cone shells in this catalogue. Also take a look at Eddie's list
of shell books.
The shell connection:
A Quality Specimen Shell Supplier. Extensive database of quality shells
shells (be patient, takes a while to load 86K database).
: with on line images to allow you to preview each dive location.Includes
an image of a live tented
program and video on Conus envenomation: This ITV science program
is Part 4 in a Nature Watch Digest series designed for schools. It contains
video footage of cone shell envenomation.
of Linnaeus giving a cone shell its pattern !: One of the most
common questions asked of a shell collector is "Are those shells painted
?". It was this question that gave Ed Blackwell the idea for this print.
The shells in the print were chosen by the Indianapolis Shell Club to depict
the most common classes - and naturally the cone shell is prominently featured.
The print (in Black & White, or Color) is available for purchase from
the Indianapolis Shell Club.
Mccabe's nightmare about collecting live cones. This amusing and
scary piece appeared on CONCH-L on Tue, 6 Jan 1998, in response to emails
to Kathleen Mccabe from mail list members giving her advice on how to handle
dangerous cones in advance of her collecting trip to Fiji later this year.
-- Still want to work on cone shells ?
shell armbands from Nan Madol. The rulers of Nan Madol on the island
of Pohnpei were identified by their shell armbands made of tridacna and
conus shell. The armbands, carved in several styles, have been found in
association with the remains of chiefs on the islets Nan Madol within tombs
(date 600 BP) and as surface finds. This fascinating article by Christopher
J. Scheller, Department of Anthropology, University of Oregon, describes
the classification, analysis and construction of these shell armbands in
which the largest part of the conus shell is cut away and then the inside
spirals are removed (see Figure
1) leaving a natural band to be worn on the arm or strung as bead.
Link to publications
from "Of Sea and Shore" which publishes "Of Sea and Shore Magazine",
"Catalog of Dealer's Prices of Shells (Marine, Land & Freshwater)",
"A Sheller's Directory of Clubs, Books, Periodicals & Dealers", "The
Directory of Conchologists / Malacologists", "A Checklist of Mollusks on
Postage Stamps", "Dictionary to English/French Shell Terms", and other
shell-related publications. These publications include information on cone
Link to Cone
Shells at Einstein's Emporium. Here are some nice images of the
Geographic Cone (Conus
geographus), Textile Cone (Conus
textile), Lettered Cone (Conus
litteratus), Marbled Cone (Conus
marmoreus) and the Virgin Cone (Conus
Links to current
research on Conus peptides (conotoxins). Studies by Drs. Baldomero
Olivera (Utah), Jean E. Rivier, J.M. Mc Intosh (Utah), Steven M. Sine (Mayo),
Vladimir J. Basus (UCSF), Thomas L. James (UCSF) and others. Summaries
of work completed and work in progress on conotoxins from Conus magus,
striatus, obscurus, tulipa, purpurascens, radiatus, californicus, textile,
geographus, imperialis and pacificus.The conotoxins being studied include
w-conotoxins GVIA, MVIIA,
MVIIC and SVIB;and alpha conotoxins MI and ImI. The research program initiated
Olivera supports three major projects, each divided into three subprojects.The
program supports three scientific coores: (1) a Conus venom resource core,
which includes a molecular biology component, (2) a peptide sequencing
and synthesis core and (3) an electrophysiology core. The focus of each
project is : Project I - omega-conotoxins and Ca++ channels; Project II
- Cholinergic Conus peptides and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors
and Project III - Conantokins and NMDA receptors. Studies include use of
mass spectrometry to determine post translational modifications including
acylation, glycosylation, phosphorylation, sulfation and amidation. Sequence
and structure analysis of synthetic peptides (Rivier) makes use of solid-phase
peptide synthesis, HPLC, capillary zone electrophoresis, Edman degradation,
amino acid analysis, mass spectrometry (LC/MS) (Rivier / Fainzilber),
enzymatic and chemical hydrolysis and partial reduction techniques. A variety
of conotoxins isolated from conus snails from the Gulf of Acquaba are being
studied by Michael Fainzilber by mass spectrometric methods.Dynamic structural
studies of w-conotoxins
(Basus / James) and psi-conotoxin, a novel non-competitive inhibitor of
the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (Shon)
makes use of both solid phase and solution NMR. The study by Basus and
James makes use of the program MARDIGRAS to obtain accurate distance constraints,
and PARSE (Probability Assessment via Relaxation rates of a Structural
Ensemble), respectively, to refine individual conformers contributing to
the observable NMR parameters giving rise to multiple conformers of w-conotoxins
in solution. In other studies (Mc Intosh / Sine) site-directed mutagenesis,
an oocyte expression system and expression in mammalian cells as well as
a battery of functional measurements including radiolabeling and receptor
binding techniques, single channel recording and protein biochemistry will
be used to determine the subtype specificity of novel ligands (conotoxins)
to cloned nicotinic receptors (nAChRs) expressed in oocytes. Conotoxins
will help researchers determine the functional role and significance of
neuronal nAChRs in health and in several neuromuscular and neuropsychiatric
disorders including congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS), Tourette's syndrome,
Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, tardive dyskinesia, and Parkinson's
Wes comments that one outcome of Frank's work was to resolve
the question of whether the cone called "Conus elisae" in Hawaii
was actually a form of Conus pennaceus. Frank raised cones from
C.elisae eggs and some were normal C.pennaceus and some the
It has come to my attention through information provided
on CONCH-L mail list by Wes Thorsson (Hawaiin Shell Club), that some time
ago Frank Perron raised almost all the Hawaiian Conus from eggs.
Wes is compiling this material as a web document. In the meantime, here
are the original references to these fascinating studies:
"Growth, Fecundity, and Mortality of Conus Pennaceus in Hawaii"
by Frank E. Perron. Ecology, 64(1), 1983, pp 53-62 Copywrite 1983 by the
Ecological Society of America.
"Laboratory Culture of the Larvae of Conus Textile Linne
(Gastropoda: Toxoglossa)" by Frank E. Perron. J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol.,
1980, Vol 42, pp. 27-28 Copywrite Elsevier/North-Holland Biomedical Press.
"Larval Growth and Metamorphosis of Conus (Gastropoda: Toxoglossa)
in Hawaii" by Frank E. Peron. Pacific Science (1981), vol.35 no. 1. Copywrite
1981 by The University Press of Hawaii.
I would be interested in hearing of any other successes
in raising cones from eggs.
17 January, 1998
15 January, 1998
Added reference to "Venom Peptides as Human Pharmaceuticals"
by George Miljanich, Science and Medicine, September-October 1997, pp.
CONTINUED IN WHAT'S
NEW IN 1997
Added link to images of the following cones (for auction
at Molluscs Net at URL http://www.molluscs.net/molluscan/mini_auction.htm
until 8 PM Friday 15 January, 1998): Conus cedonulli
(South of St. Vincent), centurio
(Guajiara Peninsula, Columbia), crotchii
(Cape Verde Islands), delessertii
(Ft. Myers Beach, Florida), dusaveli
(Balut Is., Mindanao, Philippines), episcopus
(Sempora, Sabah, Borneo), gloriamaris
(Cebu, Philippines), gubernator
(Northern Transkei area of S. Africa), poppei
(Cape Verde Islands), pulicarius
(Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo), victoriae
(Broome, Australia), zapatoensis
(Mactan Is., Philippines), and zonatus
The Southern Synthesis is now published (Jan. 1998) and is
the most comprehensive and authoritative treatment yet of Australia's marine,
freshwater and terrestrial molluscs. It is a significant international
reference, with contributions from 70 authors, and in which some 7700 papers
in the primary literature are cited. Most molluscan families described
in the book are also found in the Northern Hemisphere, making this title
an essential reference for malacologists worldwide.
See also :
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