We have recently isolated a peptide neurotoxin, Jingzhaotoxin-I (JZTX-I), from Chinese tarantula Chilobrachys jingzhao venom that preferentially inhibits cardiac sodium channel inactivation and may define a new subclass of spider sodium channel toxins. In this study, we found that in contrast to other spider sodium channel toxins acting presynaptically rather than postsynaptically, JZTX-I augmented frog end-plate potential amplitudes and caused an increase in both nerve mediated and unmediated muscle twitches. Although JZTX-I does not negatively shift sodium channel activation threshold, an evident increase in muscle fasciculation was detected. In adult rat dorsal root ganglion neurons JZTX-I (1 microM) induced a significant sustained tetrodotoxin-sensitive (TTX-S) current that did not decay completely during 500 ms and was inhibited by 0.1 microM TTX or depolarization due to voltage-dependent acceleration of toxin dissociation. Moreover, JZTX-I decreased closed-state inactivation and increased the rate of recovery of sodium channels, which led to an augmentation in TTX-S ramp currents and decreasing the amount of inactivation in a use-dependant manner. Together, these data suggest that JZTX-I acted both presynaptically and postsynaptically and facilitated the neurotransmitter release by biasing the activities of sodium channels towards open state. These actions are similar to those of scorpion alpha-toxin Lqh II.