Arthropod toxins acting on neuronal potassium channels

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Arthropod venoms are a rich mixture of biologically active compounds exerting different physiological actions across diverse phyla and affecting multiple organ systems including the central nervous system. Venom compounds can inhibit or activate ion channels, receptors and transporters with high specificity and affinity providing essential insights into ion channel function. In this review, we focus on arthropod toxins (scorpions, spiders, bees and centipedes) acting on neuronal potassium channels. A brief description of the K+ channels classification and structure is included and a compendium of neuronal K+ channels and the arthropod toxins that modify them have been listed.This article is part of the Special Issue entitled ‘Venom-derived Peptides as Pharmacological Tools.’HIGHLIGHTSK+ channels play an essential role in controlling membrane potentials.Malfunction of neuronal K+ channels leads to neurological disorders.Arthropod toxins are useful probes for studying ion channel function and structure.

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