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8.B: Ribosomally synthesized protein/peptide toxins/agonists that target channels and carriers

Many toxins and activators target transporters, particularly ion channels. For example, venomous creatures deploy a wide arsenal of biologically active compounds to capture prey, acting on a vast array of targets (Dutertre and Lewis, 2010). Prey immobilization is achieved by either inhibiting or activating the electrical activity. Venom components belong to a number of compound classes, including small molecular weight compounds, electrolytes, polyamines, neurotransmitters, amino acids, small peptides and high MW proteins. A single type of spider venom contains up to 500 peptides (Bogin, 2006). Small molecule and peptide toxins targetting mammalian sodium channels have been reviewed (Israel et al., 2017, Adv Pharmacol. 2017;79:67-116 [PMID# 28528674]).