α-Conotoxins (α-Ctxs) are the major class of Ctxs extracted from the venom of marine
cone snails. Most α-Ctxs specifically target various subtypes of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors
(nAChRs) with high affinity and potency as antagonists. Therefore, they may be used for the treatment
of numerous diseases that nAChRs involved. The subtype affinity and selectivity of α-Ctxs arise from
their amino acid composition and geometric conformation of microsites. To reveal the structural features
of α-Ctxs, detailed structural information on the various nAChR subtypes and their ligand complexes
is needed. This review article provides an overview of the structural data on α-Ctx-nAChR interactions
to investigate the prediction and evaluation of the affinity and selectivity of α-Ctx.
Keywords: α-Conotoxin, Affinity, Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, Selectivity, Structure-activity relationship, Structure feature.
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