Peptide neurotoxins from the marine fish-hunting snails of the genus Conus. They contain 13 to 29 amino acids which are strongly basic and are highly cross-linked by disulfide bonds. There are three types of conotoxins, omega-, alpha-, and mu-. Omega-conotoxins inhibit voltage-activated entry of calcium into the presynaptic membrane and therefore the release of acetylcholine. Alpha-conotoxins inhibit the postsynaptic acetylcholine receptor. Mu-conotoxins prevent the generation of muscle action potentials.
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