Philipp. Sci. Lett. 2017 10 (1) 72-80
available online: June 30, 2017
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Received: April 10, 2017
Revised: June 15, 2017
Accepted: June 20, 2017
D-amino acids have been documented in relatively few gene products, including peptides found in Conus venoms. The present work provides an overview of various D-amino acid-containing Conus peptides (conopeptides or conotoxins), such as the contryphans, conomarphins, conophans, conomap and certain I₁-superfamily conotoxins. Characterization of their sequences and structures, as well as the known physiological targets are presented. Some contryphans and one I₁-superfamily conotoxin were found to bind specific ion channels, thus making them useful ligands to elucidate further the ion channel subtypes. Conus venom has notable diversity of peptides, of which the D-amino acid-containing peptides could serve as lead compounds or important scaffolds for the development of neuropharmacological agents. Future research will hopefully elucidate the specific physiological targets and mechanisms of action, as well as the exact biological roles in Conus venoms, of more members of these conopeptide families.