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Synthetic Pinnatoxins A and G Reversibly Block Mouse Skeletal Neuromuscular Transmission In Vivo and In Vitro.


Pinnatoxins (PnTXs) A-H constitute an emerging family belonging to the cyclic imine group of phycotoxins. Interest has been focused on these fast-acting and highly-potent toxins because they are widely found in contaminated shellfish. Despite their highly complex molecular structure, PnTXs have been chemically synthetized and demonstrated to act on various nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtypes. In the present work, PnTX-A, PnTX-G and analogue, obtained by chemical synthesis with a high degree of purity (>98%), have been studied in vivo and in vitro on adult mouse and isolated nerve-muscle preparations expressing the mature muscle-type (α1)2β1δε nAChR. The results show that PnTX-A and G acted on the neuromuscular system of anesthetized mice and blocked the compound muscle action potential (CMAP) in a dose- and time-dependent manner, using a minimally invasive electrophysiological method. The CMAP block produced by both toxins in vivo was reversible within 6-8 h. PnTX-A and G, applied to isolated extensor digitorum longus nerve-muscle preparations, blocked reversibly isometric twitches evoked by nerve stimulation. The action of PnTX-A was reversed by 3,4-diaminopyridine. Both toxins exerted no direct action on muscle fibers, as revealed by direct muscle stimulation. PnTX-A and G blocked synaptic transmission at mouse neuromuscular junctions and PnTX-A amino ketone analogue (containing an open form of the imine ring) had no effect on neuromuscular transmission. These results indicate the importance of the cyclic imine for interacting with the adult mammalian muscle-type nAChR. Modeling and docking studies revealed molecular determinants responsible for the interaction of PnTXs with the muscle-type nAChR.

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