Snake C-type lectin-like proteins inhibit nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

Researh Article

J Venom Res 
(2020), Vol 10, 23-29

Published online: 06 July 2020

Full Text (Kryukova~1270kb)

Elena V Kryukova1, Catherine A Vulfius2, Rustam H Ziganshin1, Tatyana V Andreeva1, Vladislav G Starkov1, Victor I Tsetlin1, Yuri N Utkin1*

1Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Miklukho-Maklaya 16/10, Moscow 117997, Russia

2Institute of Cell Biophysics Russian Academy of Sciences, 3 Institutskaya Street, Pushchino Moscow region, 142290, Russia

*Correspondence to: Yuri Utkin, E-mail:;, Tel/Fax: +74953366522

Received: 30 April 2020 | Revised: 02 July 2020 | Accepted: 06 July 2020

© Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article, published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( This license permits non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction of this article, provided the original work is appropriately acknowledged, with correct citation details.


Venoms of viperid snakes affect mostly hemostasis while C-type lectin-like proteins (CTLPs), one of the main components of viperid venoms, act as anticoagulants, procoagulants, or agonists/antagonists of platelet activation. However, we have shown earlier that CTLPs from the saw-scaled viper Echis multisquamatus, called emunarecins EM1 and EM2, were able to inhibit nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in neurons of a pond snail (Lymnaea stagnalis). Here we analysed the structure of the emunarecins by mass spectrometry and report that EM1 and EM2 inhibit fluorescent α-bungarotoxin binding to both muscle-type nAChRs from Torpedo californica and human neuronal α7 nAChRs. EM1 at 23µM and EM2 at 9µM almost completely prevented fluorecsent α-bungarotoxin binding to muscle-type nAChRs. Interaction with human neuronal α7 nAChR was weaker; EM1 at the concentration of 23µM blocked the α-bungarotoxin binding only by about 40% and EM2 at 9µM by about 20%. The efficiency of the EM2 interaction with nAChRs was comparable to that of a non-conventional toxin, WTX, from Naja kaouthia cobra venom. Together with the data obtained earlier, these results show that CTLPs may represent new nAChR ligands.

KEYWORDS: α-bungarotoxin, C-type lectin-like protein, nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, saw-scaled viper, snake, venom


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