Purification and biochemical characterisation of a putative sodium channel agonist secreted from the South African Knobbly sea anemone Bunodosoma capense

van Losenoord, W., et al. Purification and biochemical characterisation of a putative sodium channel agonist secreted from the South African Knobbly sea anemone Bunodosoma capense, Toxicon. Volume 168, 147-157

Voltage gated ion channels have become a subject of investigation as possible pharmaceutical targets. Research has linked the activity of ion channels directly to anti-inflammatory pathways, energy homeostasis, cancer proliferation and painful diabetic neuropathy. Sea anemones secrete a diverse array of bioactive compounds including potassium and sodium channel toxins. A putative novel sodium channel agonist (molecular mass of 4619.7 Da) with a predicted sequence: CLCNSDGPSV RGNTLSGILW LAGCPSGWHN CKKHKPTIGW CCK was isolated from Bunodosoma capense using a modified stimulation technique to induce the secretion of the neurotoxin rich mucus confirmed by an Artemia nauplii bio-assay. The peptide purification combined size-exclusion and reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography. A thallium-based ion flux assay confirmed the presence of a sodium channel agonist/inhibitor and purity was determined using a modified tricine SDS-PAGE system. The peptide isolated indicated the presence of multiple disulfide bonds in a tight β-defensin cystine conformation. An IC50 value of 26 nM was determined for total channel inhibition on MCF-7 cells. The unique putative sodium channel agonist initiating with a cystine bond indicates a divergent evolution to those previously isolated from Bunodosoma species.

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