Apr 20th, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM


Effects of Sea Snail Conotoxins on Acetycholine Binding Protein

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Ken Cornell


Acetylcholine binding protein, AChBP, is a model for nicotinic acid receptors involved in intercellular signaling. Many biological agents can disrupt these receptors, including peptide conotoxins used by sea snails to paralyze their prey. To study the effects of these polypeptides and their derivatives on AChBP, AChBP was over expressed in HEK 293 cells, and purified by affinity chromatography. Binding constants of conotoxin based peptides were studied using microcalorimetry to measure the enthalpic change caused by conotoxin binding to AChBP. These studies should help with the development of new treatments for Parkinson’s disease.