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Published: Kem. Ind. 53 (7-8) (2004) 343–348
Paper reference number: KUI-33/2003
Paper type: Conference paper
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Conotoxins: Disulfide-rich Small Peptides

B. Hargittai


Various naturally occurring peptide toxins and antibiotics contain one or more rings, often through disulfide bridges. α-Conotoxins are a family of small disulfide-rich peptides that contain thirteen or fourteen amino acids and have two disulfide bridges, leading to three possible regioisomers. Most reduced forms of native conotoxins are able to fold forming the isomer found in nature. However, under certain conditions the oxidation of these peptides will yield a mixture of all three isomers. This paper gives an overview of the family of conotoxin peptides, including their synthesis and the contributions that I have made to the field. We have successfully synthesized all three regioisomers of α-conotoxins SI (a thirteen amino acid-containing peptide amide having four cysteine residues, found in Conus Striatus), along with the four lactam analogues of the natural isomer. We have also looked at how slight changes in the sequence of these small peptides could influence their folding properties.

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α-conotoxin SI, disulfide bridges, orthogonal synthesis, structure-activity relationships