Toxin:The Marine Cone Snails

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by Evasassi
Last updated 4 years ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Biology

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Toxin:The Marine Cone Snails

Correct Mechanism— A normal organism has properly operating neuromuscular junctions before being affected by the snail's poison. Action potentials traveling on the axon of a nerve cell eventually reach a synaptic terminal between the nerve cell and a muscle cell. When the action potential arrives at this point, the neurotransmitter acetylcholine is released due to a change in permeability caused by the action potential. Afterwards, acetylcholine molecules bind to sarcolemma receptors, releasing sodium ions into the muscle cell. Calcium ions are then released due to the depolarization caused by the release of positive Na ions, which bind to specific receptors resulting in muscle contraction. To repolarize the fiber, potassium channels open and eject potassium ions from the cell.

Signal Mechanism and type of receptor-- What is the ligand?Any substance that binds specifically and reversibly to another chemical entity to form a larger complex. The toxin attacks the ion receptor .

Correct Mechanism— A normal organism has properly operating neuromuscular junctions before being affected by the snail's poison. Action potentials traveling on the axon of a nerve cell eventually reach a synaptic terminal between the nerve cell and a muscle cell. When the action potential arrives at this point, the neurotransmitter acetylcholine is released due to a change in permeability caused by the action potential. Afterwards, acetylcholine molecules bind to sarcolemma receptors, releasing sodium ions into the muscle cell. Calcium ions are then released due to the depolarization caused by the release of positive Na ions, which bind to specific receptors resulting in muscle contraction. To repolarize the fiber, potassium channels open and eject potassium ions from the cell.

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Specifics of cellular response and organismal response — This change in concentration provokes a response in the nerve cells of the organism. However, when these sodium, potassium, and calcium channels are blocked by the toxin of the snail, the nervous system becomes unable to receive any chemical messages, leading to paralysis.

Correct Mechanism— A normal organism has properly operating neuromuscular junctions before being affected by the snail's poison. Action potentials traveling on the axon of a nerve cell eventually reach a synaptic terminal between the nerve cell and a muscle cell. When the action potential arrives at this point, the neurotransmitter acetylcholine is released due to a change in permeability caused by the action potential. Afterwards, acetylcholine molecules bind to sarcolemma receptors, releasing sodium ions into the muscle cell. Calcium ions are then released due to the depolarization caused by the release of positive Na ions, which bind to specific receptors resulting in muscle contraction. To repolarize the fiber, potassium channels open and eject potassium ions from the cell.

Basics of the topic — The cone snail is a predatory marine snail found in warm seas and oceans all over the globe. They are frequently located in coral reefs, where they burrow into the sad, leaving only their siphon visible. The snail's main weapon against prey is its venom that can be injected into a target through a needle-like harpoon on the snail's body.

Pictures of the Cone Marine Snail —

Basics of signal transduction Pathway — Normally, an amino acid ligand binds to a ion receptor, ultimately causing a change in ion concentration in the cell disabling the prey's ion channels.

TOXIN: The Marine Cone Snails

Current direction of research — The marine cone snail's venom has several pharmaceutical applications. Through testing with lab mice as well as field testing and sample taking of effects of the Marine cone snails venom, scientists have determined that the venom, aside from paralyzing the prey, also is an extremely powerful pain killer, estimated to be 1,000 times stronger then morphine! Current research lends to the use of specific chemicals from the cone snails venom to cure diseases such as Alzheimers, Parkinson's, and epilepsy

Faulty Mechanism — When an organism is hit by the snail venom, the toxins in the venom attach themselves to the ion channel active sites of the prey's cells. This can vary from snail to snail, but one common effect is that the Na+ channels remain open while the K+ channels are closed for up to 20 hours. This causes paralysis in the organism. The toxin can also blocks calcium channels, interfering with the organism's pain signaling.

Group Members: Leandra Davis, Rahat Verma

Graphics of Cellular Pathway


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