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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

K+ channel involvement in induction of synaptic enhancement by mast cell degranulating (MCD) peptide.

A bee venom, mast cell degranulating peptide (MCD), which induces long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic transmission in hippocampal slices, was found to possess multiple functions. They include (1) binding and thereby inhibiting a voltage-dependent K(+)-channel in brain membranes, (2) incorporation in a lipid bilayer to form voltage-dependent and cation-selective channels by itself, and (3) activation of a pertussis toxin (Ptx)-sensitive GTP-binding proteins. In this study, we prepared several derivatives and analogues of MCD and investigated which function is more closely related to the induction of LTP. Another bee venom, apamin, formed ion channels in a lipid bilayer which were indistinguishable from those formed by MCD. D-MCD, an optical isomer of MCD, activated a Ptx-sensitive GTP-binding protein. However, these peptides did not induce LTP in the hippocampal slices. A snake venom, dendrotoxin-I (DTX-I), bound to the same K(+)-channels as MCD and did induce LTP. These results suggest that the most potent aspect of MCD involved in LTP inducibility is its interaction with the voltage-dependent K(+)-channel.[1]


  1. K+ channel involvement in induction of synaptic enhancement by mast cell degranulating (MCD) peptide. Kondo, T., Ikenaka, K., Fujimoto, I., Aimoto, S., Kato, H., Ito, K., Taguchi, T., Morita, T., Kasai, M., Mikoshiba, K. Neurosci. Res. (1992) [Pubmed]
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