Sarafotoxin, a novel vasoconstrictor peptide: phosphoinositide hydrolysis in rat heart and brain

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Science  14 Oct 1988:
Vol. 242, Issue 4876, pp. 268-270
DOI: 10.1126/science.2845579


Sarafotoxins, a group of 21-residue cardiotoxic peptides from snake venom that induce coronary vasoconstriction, show high-affinity binding to rat atrial and brain membranes and activate the hydrolysis of phosphoinositides. Neither their binding nor their activity is affected by blockers or activators of known receptors and ion channels, suggesting that sarafotoxins act either directly on the phosphoinositide phosphodiesterase system or on a novel receptor. Their amino acid sequence shows a high degree of homology with that of endothelin, a recently described 21-residue vasoconstrictor peptide found in porcine aortic endothelium. This is remarkable, since endothelin is a natural compound of the mammalian vascular system while sarafotoxins are highly toxic components of snake venom.