A novel K+ channel blocker isolated from 'hiccup nut' toxin

Ezia Guatteo, Laura Bianchi, Laura Faravelli, Luisella Verotta, Francesca Pelizzoni, Colin B. Rogers, Enzo Wanke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Combretastatin B1, a polyhydroxybibenzyl compound extracted from the fruit of Combretum kraussii, known to contain 'hiccup nut' toxin, reversibly increased the duration, but not the peak or the rate of rise, of the action potential in rat sensory neurones by approximately 300%. This effect was only seen when it was applied to the extracellular side of the membrane. No effects on the resting potential were observed. K+ delayed rectifier currents were inhibited in neurones and in human myotubes with an IC50 of about 300 μM; the HERG-type inward rectifier channels in tumour cells were inhibited to a greater degree. Due to its selective action and the similarity of its blockade to that produced by class III antiarrhythmic drugs, the toxin could be the origin of compounds of potentially significant pharmacological interest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2575-2579
Number of pages5
Issue number15-17
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Combretastatin B1
  • Hiccup nut toxin
  • Hydroxybibenzyls
  • K channel blocker
  • Potassium currents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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