Abstract: Intermediate-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ (IK) channels are calcium/calmodulin-regulated voltage-independent K+ channels. Activation of IK currents is important in vessel and respiratory tissues, rendering the channels potential drug targets. A variety of small organic molecules have been synthesized and found to be potent activators of IK channels. However, the poor selectivity of these molecules limits their therapeutic value. Venom-derived peptides usually block their targets with high specificity. Therefore, we searched for novel peptide activators of IK channels by testing a series of toxins from spiders. Using electrophysiological experiments, we identified hainantoxin-I (HNTX-I) as an IK-channel activator. HNTX-I has little effect on voltage-gated Na+ and Ca2+ channels from rat dorsal root ganglion neurons and on the heterologous expression of voltage-gated rapidly activating delayed rectifier K+ channels (human ether-à-go-go-related gene; human ERG) in HEK293T cells. Only 35.2% ± 0.4% of the currents were activated in SK channels, and there was no effect on BK channels. We demonstrated that HNTX-I was not a phrenic nerve conduction blocker or acutely toxic. This is believed to be the first report of a peptide activator effect on IK channels. Our study suggests that the activity and selectivity of HNTX-I on IK channels make HNTX-I a promising template for designing new drugs for cardiovascular diseases.
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Huang, P.; Zhang, Y.; Chen, X.; Zhu, L.; Yin, D.; Zeng, X.; Liang, S. The Activation Effect of Hainantoxin-I, a Peptide Toxin from the Chinese Spider, Ornithoctonus hainana, on Intermediate-Conductance Ca2+-Activated K+ Channels. Toxins 2014, 6, 2568-2579.
Huang P, Zhang Y, Chen X, Zhu L, Yin D, Zeng X, Liang S. The Activation Effect of Hainantoxin-I, a Peptide Toxin from the Chinese Spider, Ornithoctonus hainana, on Intermediate-Conductance Ca2+-Activated K+ Channels. Toxins. 2014; 6(8):2568-2579.
Huang, Pengfei; Zhang, Yiya; Chen, Xinyi; Zhu, Li; Yin, Dazhong; Zeng, Xiongzhi; Liang, Songping. 2014. "The Activation Effect of Hainantoxin-I, a Peptide Toxin from the Chinese Spider, Ornithoctonus hainana, on Intermediate-Conductance Ca2+-Activated K+ Channels." Toxins 6, no. 8: 2568-2579.