αLatrotoxin of the black widow spider venom opens a small, non-closing cation channel

E. Wanke, A. Ferroni, P. Gattanini, J. Meldolesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

αLatrotoxin, a presynaptically acting polypeptide neurotoxin, induces massive neurotrasmitter release from both synapses of vertebrates and the neurosecretory cells of the line PC12, derived from a rat pheochromocytoma. Single PC12 cells, differentiated by treatment with nerve growth factor, were used to investigate by the patch-clamp technique i) the alterations of the resting cell conditions (membrane potential and resistance) and ii) the microscopic mechanism of the permeability changes that underly the response to αLTx. The toxin was found to open a channel, 15 pS in conductance, that is permeable to various cations (Na+, K+ and probably Ca2+) and has little tendency to close. This channel is different from the classical voltage- and receptor-operated channels present in PC12 cells, as well as from the large conductances induced by the toxin in artificial lipid membranes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-325
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Volume134
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 14 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology

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