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Chemical Properties and Physiological Activity of a Neuroactive Component from the Venom of Conus Californicus


Elliott, Ellen Jeanne (1975) Chemical Properties and Physiological Activity of a Neuroactive Component from the Venom of Conus Californicus. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/6kgj-m088.


A small molecular weight component, named conusine, was purified from the venom of the marine snail Conus californicus. The solubility properties, enzyme susceptibilities, heat and pH sensitivity, spectral characteristics and reactivity with various indicator reagents of conusine were determined. Conusine was found to inhibit the excised, spontaneously beating heart of the clam Mercenaria mercenaria. This inhibition was blocked by those antagonists which were found to block acetylcholine inhibition of the heart. In addition, in the medial cells of the Aplysia pleural ganglion iontophoretically applied conusine was found to activate selectively a cholinergic receptor which mediates a slow hyperpolarization of the cell due to an increase in K+ permeability. Conusine was concluded to be a cholinergic agonist specific for this type of slow hyperpolarizing receptor. From additional pharmacological studies of various cholinergic agonists and antagonists on the clam heart, this tissue was hypothesized to contain the same type of slow hyperpolarizing cholinergic receptor as the medial cells of the Aplysia pleural ganglion.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Biochemistry; Neurophysiology
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Major Option:Biochemistry
Minor Option:Neurobiology
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Raftery, Michael A.
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:19 March 1975
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Calbiochem FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
National Defense Education ActUNSPECIFIED
Biology Division of CaltechUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:03022022-182739139
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:14511
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:07 Mar 2022 20:08
Last Modified:18 Jul 2023 22:51

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