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Department of Molecular Physiology

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toxfinder
Toxins
Photo Album of toxic animals (1)  by Erik Leist, Heidelberg
Photo Album of toxic animals (2)  by Erik Leist, Heidelberg

Toxins we use - Snake toxins & Conotoxins
Conotoxin is the venom of the cone shell („Kegelschnecke“). Some species of these marine snails are even dangerous to humans (e.g. Conus textile, Conus geographus). We also use snake toxins (Vipera nikolski, Agkistrodon saxatilis) to examine their blocking effects on CNG-channels.

photo:Toxfinder To specify the active compounds of these venoms, the samples are fractionated repeatedly, whenever we find a fraction that shows a blocking activity. Finding a blocking fraction is very rare as you can see in the table, where we tested 5 fractions from each of 19 species and only had one hit at Conus catus fraction 3. What makes the „Toxfinder“-system very useful, is that it detects  animal-toxins with blocking effect  fast and automatically.

There a two different ways to proceed with the positively tested fraction Conus catus 3:
1) examined in the same way with the „Toxfinder“, after its separation  into subfractions by a chromatographical method.
2) The blocking effect can be further characterized using the patch-clamp method. See more details
  patch-clamp…

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