AdE-1, a new inotropic Na+ channel toxin from Aiptasia diaphana, is similar to, yet distinct from, known anemone Na+ channel toxins

Nir Nesher, Eli Shapira, Daniel Sher, Yehu Moran, Liora Tsveyer, Ana Luiza Turchetti-Maia, Michal Horowitz, Binyamin Hochner, Eliahu Zlotkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Heart failure is one of the most prevalent causes of death in the western world. Sea anemone contains a myriad of short peptide neurotoxins affecting many pharmacological targets, several of which possess cardiotonic activity. In the present study we describe the isolation and characterization of AdE-1 (ion channel modifier), a novel cardiotonic peptide from the sea anemone Aiptasia diaphana, which differs from other cnidarian toxins. Although AdE-1 has the same cysteine residue arrangement as sea anemone type 1 and 2 Na+ channel toxins, its sequence contains many substitutions in conserved and essential sites and its overall homology to other toxins identified to date is low (<36%). Physiologically, AdE-1 increases the amplitude of cardiomyocyte contraction and slows the late phase of the twitch relaxation velocity with no induction of spontaneous twitching. It increases action potential duration of cardiomyocytes with no effect on its threshold and on the cell's resting potential. Similar to other sea anemone Na+ channel toxins such as Av2 (Anemonia viridis toxin II), AdE-1 markedly inhibits Na+ current inactivationwith no significant effect on current activation, suggesting a similar mechanism of action. However, its effects on twitch relaxation velocity, action potential amplitude and on the time to peak suggest that this novel toxin affects cardiomyocyte function via a more complex mechanism. Additionally, Av2's characteristic delayed and early after-depolarizations were not observed. Despite its structural differences, AdE-1 physiologic effectiveness is comparable with Av2 with a similar ED50 value to blowfly larvae. This finding raises questions regarding the extent of the universality of structure-function in sea anemone Na+ channel toxins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-90
Number of pages10
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2013


  • Cardiomyocyte
  • Cardiotonic effect
  • Peptide purification
  • Sea anemone
  • Sequence alignment
  • Sodium channel toxin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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