Sodium Channels and Venom Peptide Pharmacology.Adv Pharmacol. 2017; 79:67-116.AP
Venomous animals including cone snails, spiders, scorpions, anemones, and snakes have evolved a myriad of components in their venoms that target the opening and/or closing of voltage-gated sodium channels to cause devastating effects on the neuromuscular systems of predators and prey. These venom peptides, through design and serendipity, have not only contributed significantly to our understanding of sodium channel pharmacology and structure, but they also represent some of the most phyla- and isoform-selective molecules that are useful as valuable tool compounds and drug leads. Here, we review our understanding of the basic function of mammalian voltage-gated sodium channel isoforms as well as the pharmacology of venom peptides that act at these key transmembrane proteins.