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Cloning and characterization of the pseudonajatoxin b precursor.

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  • Research Article


An Australian common brown snake, Pseudonaja textilis, is known to contain highly lethal neurotoxins. Among them, a long-chain alpha-neurotoxin, pseudonajatoxin b, has been identified. In this report, while presenting evidence for the presence of at least four such long-chain alpha-neurotoxins in the venom of P. textilis, we describe the characteristics of both the mRNA and the gene responsible for the synthesis of these neurotoxins. A precursor toxin synthesized from the gene has been identified as being capable of producing the isoforms possibly by post-translational modifications at its C-terminal end. Recombinant toxins corresponding to the precursor and its product have been found to possess similar binding affinities for muscular acetylcholine receptors (IC(50)=3x10(-8) M) and a lethality, LD(50), of 0.15 microg/g in mice.

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