Neurotoxins: Toxic substances from microorganisms, plants or animals that interfere with the functions of the nervous system. Most venoms contain neurotoxic substances. Myotoxins are included in this concept.Botulinum Toxins: Toxic proteins produced from the species CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM. The toxins are synthesized as a single peptide chain which is processed into a mature protein consisting of a heavy chain and light chain joined via a disulfide bond. The botulinum toxin light chain is a zinc-dependent protease which is released from the heavy chain upon ENDOCYTOSIS into PRESYNAPTIC NERVE ENDINGS. Once inside the cell the botulinum toxin light chain cleaves specific SNARE proteins which are essential for secretion of ACETYLCHOLINE by SYNAPTIC VESICLES. This inhibition of acetylcholine release results in muscular PARALYSIS.Tetanus Toxin: Protein synthesized by CLOSTRIDIUM TETANI as a single chain of ~150 kDa with 35% sequence identity to BOTULINUM TOXIN that is cleaved to a light and a heavy chain that are linked by a single disulfide bond. Tetanolysin is the hemolytic and tetanospasmin is the neurotoxic principle. The toxin causes disruption of the inhibitory mechanisms of the CNS, thus permitting uncontrolled nervous activity, leading to fatal CONVULSIONS.Botulinum Toxins, Type A: A serotype of botulinum toxins that has specificity for cleavage of SYNAPTOSOMAL-ASSOCIATED PROTEIN 25.Cobra Neurotoxin Proteins: Toxins, contained in cobra (Naja) venom that block cholinergic receptors; two specific proteins have been described, the small (short, Type I) and the large (long, Type II) which also exist in other Elapid venoms.Clostridium botulinum: A species of anaerobic, gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria in the family Clostridiaceae that produces proteins with characteristic neurotoxicity. It is the etiologic agent of BOTULISM in humans, wild fowl, HORSES; and CATTLE. Seven subtypes (sometimes called antigenic types, or strains) exist, each producing a different botulinum toxin (BOTULINUM TOXINS). The organism and its spores are widely distributed in nature.Elapid Venoms: Venoms from snakes of the family Elapidae, including cobras, kraits, mambas, coral, tiger, and Australian snakes. The venoms contain polypeptide toxins of various kinds, cytolytic, hemolytic, and neurotoxic factors, but fewer enzymes than viper or crotalid venoms. Many of the toxins have been characterized.Marine Toxins: Toxic or poisonous substances elaborated by marine flora or fauna. They include also specific, characterized poisons or toxins for which there is no more specific heading, like those from poisonous FISHES.Erabutoxins: Toxins isolated from the venom of Laticauda semifasciata, a sea snake (Hydrophid); immunogenic, basic polypeptides of 62 amino acids, folded by four disulfide bonds, block neuromuscular end-plates irreversibly, thus causing paralysis and severe muscle damage; they are similar to Elapid neurotoxins.Botulism: A disease caused by potent protein NEUROTOXINS produced by CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM which interfere with the presynaptic release of ACETYLCHOLINE at the NEUROMUSCULAR JUNCTION. Clinical features include abdominal pain, vomiting, acute PARALYSIS (including respiratory paralysis), blurred vision, and DIPLOPIA. Botulism may be classified into several subtypes (e.g., food-borne, infant, wound, and others). (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1208)Synaptosomal-Associated Protein 25: A ubiquitous target SNARE protein that interacts with SYNTAXIN and SYNAPTOBREVIN. It is a core component of the machinery for intracellular MEMBRANE FUSION. The sequence contains 2 SNARE domains, one is the prototype for the Qb-SNARES, and the other is the prototype for the Qc-SNARES.Snake Venoms: Solutions or mixtures of toxic and nontoxic substances elaborated by snake (Ophidia) salivary glands for the purpose of killing prey or disabling predators and delivered by grooved or hollow fangs. They usually contain enzymes, toxins, and other factors.Elapidae: A family of extremely venomous snakes, comprising coral snakes, cobras, mambas, kraits, and sea snakes. They are widely distributed, being found in the southern United States, South America, Africa, southern Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands. The elapids include three subfamilies: Elapinae, Hydrophiinae, and Lauticaudinae. Like the viperids, they have venom fangs in the front part of the upper jaw. The mambas of Africa are the most dangerous of all snakes by virtue of their size, speed, and highly toxic venom. (Goin, Goin, and Zug, Introduction to Herpetology, 3d ed, p329-33)Oxocins: Compounds based on an 8-membered heterocyclic ring including an oxygen. They can be considered medium ring ethers.Cobra Venoms: Venoms from snakes of the genus Naja (family Elapidae). They contain many specific proteins that have cytotoxic, hemolytic, neurotoxic, and other properties. Like other elapid venoms, they are rich in enzymes. They include cobramines and cobralysins.Botulinum Antitoxin: Antiserum given therapeutically in BOTULISM.R-SNARE Proteins: SNARE proteins where the central amino acid residue of the SNARE motif is an ARGININE. They are classified separately from the Q-SNARE PROTEINS where the central amino acid residue of the SNARE motif is a GLUTAMINE. This subfamily contains the vesicle associated membrane proteins (VAMPs) based on similarity to the prototype for the R-SNAREs, VAMP2 (synaptobrevin 2).Scorpion Venoms: Venoms from animals of the order Scorpionida of the class Arachnida. They contain neuro- and hemotoxins, enzymes, and various other factors that may release acetylcholine and catecholamines from nerve endings. Of the several protein toxins that have been characterized, most are immunogenic.Bungarus: A genus of poisonous snakes of the subfamily Elapinae of the family ELAPIDAE. They comprise the kraits. Twelve species are recognized and all inhabit southeast Asia. They are considered extremely dangerous. (Moore: Poisonous Snakes of the World, 1980, p120)Bungarotoxins: Neurotoxic proteins from the venom of the banded or Formosan krait (Bungarus multicinctus, an elapid snake). alpha-Bungarotoxin blocks nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and has been used to isolate and study them; beta- and gamma-bungarotoxins act presynaptically causing acetylcholine release and depletion. Both alpha and beta forms have been characterized, the alpha being similar to the large, long or Type II neurotoxins from other elapid venoms.Spider Venoms: Venoms of arthropods of the order Araneida of the ARACHNIDA. The venoms usually contain several protein fractions, including ENZYMES, hemolytic, neurolytic, and other TOXINS, BIOLOGICAL.Scorpions: Arthropods of the order Scorpiones, of which 1500 to 2000 species have been described. The most common live in tropical or subtropical areas. They are nocturnal and feed principally on insects and other arthropods. They are large arachnids but do not attack man spontaneously. They have a venomous sting. Their medical significance varies considerably and is dependent on their habits and venom potency rather than on their size. At most, the sting is equivalent to that of a hornet but certain species possess a highly toxic venom potentially fatal to humans. (From Dorland, 27th ed; Smith, Insects and Other Arthropods of Medical Importance, 1973, p417; Barnes, Invertebrate Zoology, 5th ed, p503)Reptilian Proteins: Proteins obtained from species of REPTILES.Crotoxin: A specific complex of toxic proteins from the venom of Crotalus durissus terrificus (South American rattlesnake). It can be separated into a phospholipase A and crotapotin fragment; the latter consists of three different amino acid chains, potentiates the enzyme, and is specifically neurotoxic.Vesicle-Associated Membrane Protein 2: A synaptic membrane protein involved in MEMBRANE FUSION of SYNAPTIC VESICLES with the presynaptic membranes. It is the prototype member of the R-SNARE PROTEINS.Clostridium botulinum type A: Subtype of CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM that produces BOTULINUM TOXINS, TYPE A which is neurotoxic to humans and animals.Guam: An island in Micronesia, east of the Philippines, the largest and southernmost of the Marianas. Its capital is Agana. It was discovered by Magellan in 1521 and occupied by Spain in 1565. They ceded it to the United States in 1898. It is an unincorporated territory of the United States, administered by the Department of the Interior since 1950. The derivation of the name Guam is in dispute. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p471)Saxitoxin: A compound that contains a reduced purine ring system but is not biosynthetically related to the purine alkaloids. It is a poison found in certain edible mollusks at certain times; elaborated by GONYAULAX and consumed by mollusks, fishes, etc. without ill effects. It is neurotoxic and causes RESPIRATORY PARALYSIS and other effects in MAMMALS, known as paralytic SHELLFISH poisoning.Dinoflagellida: Flagellate EUKARYOTES, found mainly in the oceans. They are characterized by the presence of transverse and longitudinal flagella which propel the organisms in a rotating manner through the water. Dinoflagellida were formerly members of the class Phytomastigophorea under the old five kingdom paradigm.Cycas: A plant genus of the family Cycadaceae, order Cycadales, class Cycadopsida, division CYCADOPHYTA of palm-like trees. It is a source of CYCASIN, the beta-D-glucoside of methylazoxymethanol.Synaptotagmin II: A vesicular transport protein that was originally characterized as an inositol polyphosphate binding protein. Synaptotagmin II helps regulate EXOCYTOSIS of SYNAPTIC VESICLES and appears to serve as a calcium sensor to trigger NEUROTRANSMITTER release. It also acts as a nerve cell receptor for certain BOTULINUM TOXINS.Shellfish: Aquatic invertebrates belonging to the phylum MOLLUSCA or the subphylum CRUSTACEA, and used as food.Arthropod Venoms: Venoms from animals of the phylum Arthropoda. Those most investigated are from scorpions and spiders of the class Arachnidae and from ant, bee, and wasp families of the Insecta order Hymenoptera. The venoms contain protein toxins, enzymes, and other bioactive substances and may be lethal to man.Cnidarian Venoms: Venoms from jellyfish; CORALS; SEA ANEMONES; etc. They contain hemo-, cardio-, dermo- , and neuro-toxic substances and probably ENZYMES. They include palytoxin, sarcophine, and anthopleurine.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.SNARE Proteins: A superfamily of small proteins which are involved in the MEMBRANE FUSION events, intracellular protein trafficking and secretory processes. They share a homologous SNARE motif. The SNARE proteins are divided into subfamilies: QA-SNARES; QB-SNARES; QC-SNARES; and R-SNARES. The formation of a SNARE complex (composed of one each of the four different types SNARE domains (Qa, Qb, Qc, and R)) mediates MEMBRANE FUSION. Following membrane fusion SNARE complexes are dissociated by the NSFs (N-ETHYLMALEIMIDE-SENSITIVE FACTORS), in conjunction with SOLUBLE NSF ATTACHMENT PROTEIN, i.e., SNAPs (no relation to SNAP 25.)Ciguatoxins: Polycyclic ethers produced by Gambierdiscus (DINOFLAGELLATES) from gambiertoxins, which are ingested by fish which in turn may be ingested by humans who are susceptible to the CIGUATERA POISONING.Synaptosomes: Pinched-off nerve endings and their contents of vesicles and cytoplasm together with the attached subsynaptic area of the membrane of the post-synaptic cell. They are largely artificial structures produced by fractionation after selective centrifugation of nervous tissue homogenates.Torpedo: A genus of the Torpedinidae family consisting of several species. Members of this family have powerful electric organs and are commonly called electric rays.Exocytosis: Cellular release of material within membrane-limited vesicles by fusion of the vesicles with the CELL MEMBRANE.Veratridine: A benzoate-cevane found in VERATRUM and Schoenocaulon. It activates SODIUM CHANNELS to stay open longer than normal.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Gangliosides: A subclass of ACIDIC GLYCOSPHINGOLIPIDS. They contain one or more sialic acid (N-ACETYLNEURAMINIC ACID) residues. Using the Svennerholm system of abbrevations, gangliosides are designated G for ganglioside, plus subscript M, D, or T for mono-, di-, or trisialo, respectively, the subscript letter being followed by a subscript arabic numeral to indicated sequence of migration in thin-layer chromatograms. (From Oxford Dictionary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1997)Salsoline Alkaloids: Tetrahydroisoquinolinol alkaloids in both dextro and levo forms, originally found in SALSOLA plants.Agatoxins: A class of polyamine and peptide toxins which are isolated from the venom of spiders such as Agelenopsis aperta.Synaptic Vesicles: Membrane-bound compartments which contain transmitter molecules. Synaptic vesicles are concentrated at presynaptic terminals. They actively sequester transmitter molecules from the cytoplasm. In at least some synapses, transmitter release occurs by fusion of these vesicles with the presynaptic membrane, followed by exocytosis of their contents.Batrachotoxins: Batrachotoxin is the 20-alpha-bromobenzoate of batrachotoxin A; they are toxins from the venom of a small Colombian frog, Phyllobates aurotaenia, cause release of acetylcholine, destruction of synaptic vesicles and depolarization of nerve and muscle fibers.Neurons: The basic cellular units of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the NERVOUS SYSTEM.Toxins, Biological: Specific, characterizable, poisonous chemicals, often PROTEINS, with specific biological properties, including immunogenicity, produced by microbes, higher plants (PLANTS, TOXIC), or ANIMALS.Aconitine: A C19 norditerpenoid alkaloid (DITERPENES) from the root of ACONITUM plants. It activates VOLTAGE-GATED SODIUM CHANNELS. It has been used to induce ARRHYTHMIAS in experimental animals and it has antiinflammatory and antineuralgic properties.Sea Anemones: The order Actiniaria, in the class ANTHOZOA, comprised of large, solitary polyps. All species are carnivorous.Ciguatera Poisoning: Poisoning caused by ingestion of SEAFOOD containing microgram levels of CIGUATOXINS. The poisoning is characterized by gastrointestinal, neurological and cardiovascular disturbances.Lethal Dose 50: The dose amount of poisonous or toxic substance or dose of ionizing radiation required to kill 50% of the tested population.Clostridium botulinum type F: Subtype of CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM that produces botulinum toxin type F which is neurotoxic to humans and animals.1-Methyl-4-phenylpyridinium: An active neurotoxic metabolite of 1-METHYL-4-PHENYL-1,2,3,6-TETRAHYDROPYRIDINE. The compound reduces dopamine levels, inhibits the biosynthesis of catecholamines, depletes cardiac norepinephrine and inactivates tyrosine hydroxylase. These and other toxic effects lead to cessation of oxidative phosphorylation, ATP depletion, and cell death. The compound, which is related to PARAQUAT, has also been used as an herbicide.Clostridium botulinum type E: Subtype of CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM that produces botulinum toxin type E which is neurotoxic to humans and animals.Guadeloupe: The name of two islands of the West Indies, separated by a narrow channel. Their capital is Basse-Terre. They were discovered by Columbus in 1493, occupied by the French in 1635, held by the British at various times between 1759 and 1813, transferred to Sweden in 1813, and restored to France in 1816. Its status was changed from colony to a French overseas department in 1946. Columbus named it in honor of the monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe in Spain. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p470 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p221)Mefenamic Acid: A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent with analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic properties. It is an inhibitor of cyclooxygenase.Snakes: Limbless REPTILES of the suborder Serpentes.Biological Assay: A method of measuring the effects of a biologically active substance using an intermediate in vivo or in vitro tissue or cell model under controlled conditions. It includes virulence studies in animal fetuses in utero, mouse convulsion bioassay of insulin, quantitation of tumor-initiator systems in mouse skin, calculation of potentiating effects of a hormonal factor in an isolated strip of contracting stomach muscle, etc.Clostridium tetani: The cause of TETANUS in humans and domestic animals. It is a common inhabitant of human and horse intestines as well as soil. Two components make up its potent exotoxin activity, a neurotoxin and a hemolytic toxin.Phospholipases A2: Phospholipases that hydrolyze the acyl group attached to the 2-position of PHOSPHOGLYCERIDES.Nerve Tissue ProteinsBlack Widow Spider: A venomous New World spider with an hourglass-shaped red mark on the abdomen.Neurotransmitter Agents: Substances used for their pharmacological actions on any aspect of neurotransmitter systems. Neurotransmitter agents include agonists, antagonists, degradation inhibitors, uptake inhibitors, depleters, precursors, and modulators of receptor function.Mercenaria: A genus of hard-shelled clams in the family Veneridae, class BIVALVIA, commonly called quahogs. They are found just below the surface in the subtidal or lower intertidal coastal waters.Biological Warfare Agents: Living organisms or their toxic products that are used to cause disease or death of humans during WARFARE.Neuromuscular Junction: The synapse between a neuron and a muscle.Antitoxins: Antisera from immunized animals that is purified and used as a passive immunizing agent against specific BACTERIAL TOXINS.Eutrophication: The enrichment of a terrestrial or aquatic ECOSYSTEM by the addition of nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus, that results in a superabundant growth of plants, ALGAE, or other primary producers. It can be a natural process or result from human activity such as agriculture runoff or sewage pollution. In aquatic ecosystems, an increase in the algae population is termed an algal bloom.Phospholipases A: Phospholipases that hydrolyze one of the acyl groups of phosphoglycerides or glycerophosphatidates.Paralysis: A general term most often used to describe severe or complete loss of muscle strength due to motor system disease from the level of the cerebral cortex to the muscle fiber. This term may also occasionally refer to a loss of sensory function. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p45)Structure-Activity Relationship: The relationship between the chemical structure of a compound and its biological or pharmacological activity. Compounds are often classed together because they have structural characteristics in common including shape, size, stereochemical arrangement, and distribution of functional groups.IminesReceptors, Nicotinic: One of the two major classes of cholinergic receptors. Nicotinic receptors were originally distinguished by their preference for NICOTINE over MUSCARINE. They are generally divided into muscle-type and neuronal-type (previously ganglionic) based on pharmacology, and subunit composition of the receptors.Tetrodotoxin: An aminoperhydroquinazoline poison found mainly in the liver and ovaries of fishes in the order TETRAODONTIFORMES, which are eaten. The toxin causes paresthesia and paralysis through interference with neuromuscular conduction.Parkinson Disease, Secondary: Conditions which feature clinical manifestations resembling primary Parkinson disease that are caused by a known or suspected condition. Examples include parkinsonism caused by vascular injury, drugs, trauma, toxin exposure, neoplasms, infections and degenerative or hereditary conditions. Clinical features may include bradykinesia, rigidity, parkinsonian gait, and masked facies. In general, tremor is less prominent in secondary parkinsonism than in the primary form. (From Joynt, Clinical Neurology, 1998, Ch38, pp39-42)Viper Venoms: Venoms from SNAKES of the viperid family. They tend to be less toxic than elapid or hydrophid venoms and act mainly on the vascular system, interfering with coagulation and capillary membrane integrity and are highly cytotoxic. They contain large amounts of several enzymes, other factors, and some toxins.Tropanes: N-methyl-8-azabicyclo[3.2.1]octanes best known for the ones found in PLANTS.Electrophorus: A genus of fish, in the family GYMNOTIFORMES, capable of producing an electric shock that immobilizes fish and other prey. The species Electrophorus electricus is also known as the electric eel, though it is not a true eel.MPTP Poisoning: A condition caused by the neurotoxin MPTP which causes selective destruction of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. Clinical features include irreversible parkinsonian signs including rigidity and bradykinesia (PARKINSON DISEASE, SECONDARY). MPTP toxicity is also used as an animal model for the study of PARKINSON DISEASE. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p1072; Neurology 1986 Feb;36(2):250-8)Qa-SNARE Proteins: A subfamily of Q-SNARE PROTEINS which occupy the same position as syntaxin 1A in the SNARE complex and which also are most similar to syntaxin 1A in their AMINO ACID SEQUENCE. This subfamily is also known as the syntaxins, although a few so called syntaxins are Qc-SNARES.Synaptic Membranes: Cell membranes associated with synapses. Both presynaptic and postsynaptic membranes are included along with their integral or tightly associated specializations for the release or reception of transmitters.Models, Molecular: Models used experimentally or theoretically to study molecular shape, electronic properties, or interactions; includes analogous molecules, computer-generated graphics, and mechanical structures.Peptide Fragments: Partial proteins formed by partial hydrolysis of complete proteins or generated through PROTEIN ENGINEERING techniques.Sodium Channels: Ion channels that specifically allow the passage of SODIUM ions. A variety of specific sodium channel subtypes are involved in serving specialized functions such as neuronal signaling, CARDIAC MUSCLE contraction, and KIDNEY function.Cockroaches: Insects of the order Dictyoptera comprising several families including Blaberidae, BLATTELLIDAE, Blattidae (containing the American cockroach PERIPLANETA americana), Cryptocercidae, and Polyphagidae.Mollusk Venoms: Venoms from mollusks, including CONUS and OCTOPUS species. The venoms contain proteins, enzymes, choline derivatives, slow-reacting substances, and several characterized polypeptide toxins that affect the nervous system. Mollusk venoms include cephalotoxin, venerupin, maculotoxin, surugatoxin, conotoxins, and murexine.Lindane: An organochlorine insecticide that has been used as a pediculicide and a scabicide. It has been shown to cause cancer.1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine: A dopaminergic neurotoxic compound which produces irreversible clinical, chemical, and pathological alterations that mimic those found in Parkinson disease.Membrane Proteins: Proteins which are found in membranes including cellular and intracellular membranes. They consist of two types, peripheral and integral proteins. They include most membrane-associated enzymes, antigenic proteins, transport proteins, and drug, hormone, and lectin receptors.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Vesicular Transport Proteins: A broad category of proteins involved in the formation, transport and dissolution of TRANSPORT VESICLES. They play a role in the intracellular transport of molecules contained within membrane vesicles. Vesicular transport proteins are distinguished from MEMBRANE TRANSPORT PROTEINS, which move molecules across membranes, by the mode in which the molecules are transported.Synaptotagmins: A family of vesicular transport proteins characterized by an N-terminal transmembrane region and two C-terminal calcium-binding domains.Phrenic Nerve: The motor nerve of the diaphragm. The phrenic nerve fibers originate in the cervical spinal column (mostly C4) and travel through the cervical plexus to the diaphragm.Electric Organ: In about 250 species of electric fishes, modified muscle fibers forming disklike multinucleate plates arranged in stacks like batteries in series and embedded in a gelatinous matrix. A large torpedo ray may have half a million plates. Muscles in different parts of the body may be modified, i.e., the trunk and tail in the electric eel, the hyobranchial apparatus in the electric ray, and extrinsic eye muscles in the stargazers. Powerful electric organs emit pulses in brief bursts several times a second. They serve to stun prey and ward off predators. A large torpedo ray can produce of shock of more than 200 volts, capable of stunning a human. (Storer et al., General Zoology, 6th ed, p672)Metalloendopeptidases: ENDOPEPTIDASES which use a metal such as ZINC in the catalytic mechanism.Crotalid Venoms: Venoms from snakes of the subfamily Crotalinae or pit vipers, found mostly in the Americas. They include the rattlesnake, cottonmouth, fer-de-lance, bushmaster, and American copperhead. Their venoms contain nontoxic proteins, cardio-, hemo-, cyto-, and neurotoxins, and many enzymes, especially phospholipases A. Many of the toxins have been characterized.Receptors, Cholinergic: Cell surface proteins that bind acetylcholine with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes influencing the behavior of cells. Cholinergic receptors are divided into two major classes, muscarinic and nicotinic, based originally on their affinity for nicotine and muscarine. Each group is further subdivided based on pharmacology, location, mode of action, and/or molecular biology.Sequence Homology, Amino Acid: The degree of similarity between sequences of amino acids. This information is useful for the analyzing genetic relatedness of proteins and species.Oxidopamine: A neurotransmitter analogue that depletes noradrenergic stores in nerve endings and induces a reduction of dopamine levels in the brain. Its mechanism of action is related to the production of cytolytic free-radicals.AIDS Dementia Complex: A neurologic condition associated with the ACQUIRED IMMUNODEFICIENCY SYNDROME and characterized by impaired concentration and memory, slowness of hand movements, ATAXIA, incontinence, apathy, and gait difficulties associated with HIV-1 viral infection of the central nervous system. Pathologic examination of the brain reveals white matter rarefaction, perivascular infiltrates of lymphocytes, foamy macrophages, and multinucleated giant cells. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp760-1; N Engl J Med, 1995 Apr 6;332(14):934-40)Binding Sites: The parts of a macromolecule that directly participate in its specific combination with another molecule.Protein Conformation: The characteristic 3-dimensional shape of a protein, including the secondary, supersecondary (motifs), tertiary (domains) and quaternary structure of the peptide chain. PROTEIN STRUCTURE, QUATERNARY describes the conformation assumed by multimeric proteins (aggregates of more than one polypeptide chain).Protein Binding: The process in which substances, either endogenous or exogenous, bind to proteins, peptides, enzymes, protein precursors, or allied compounds. Specific protein-binding measures are often used as assays in diagnostic assessments.Ion Channels: Gated, ion-selective glycoproteins that traverse membranes. The stimulus for ION CHANNEL GATING can be due to a variety of stimuli such as LIGANDS, a TRANSMEMBRANE POTENTIAL DIFFERENCE, mechanical deformation or through INTRACELLULAR SIGNALING PEPTIDES AND PROTEINS.Brain: The part of CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM that is contained within the skull (CRANIUM). Arising from the NEURAL TUBE, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including PROSENCEPHALON (the forebrain); MESENCEPHALON (the midbrain); and RHOMBENCEPHALON (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of CEREBRUM; CEREBELLUM; and other structures in the BRAIN STEM.Conotoxins: 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. (From Concise Encyclopedia Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 3rd ed)Recombinant Proteins: Proteins prepared by recombinant DNA technology.Parkinsonian Disorders: A group of disorders which feature impaired motor control characterized by bradykinesia, MUSCLE RIGIDITY; TREMOR; and postural instability. Parkinsonian diseases are generally divided into primary parkinsonism (see PARKINSON DISEASE), secondary parkinsonism (see PARKINSON DISEASE, SECONDARY) and inherited forms. These conditions are associated with dysfunction of dopaminergic or closely related motor integration neuronal pathways in the BASAL GANGLIA.Protein Structure, Tertiary: The level of protein structure in which combinations of secondary protein structures (alpha helices, beta sheets, loop regions, and motifs) pack together to form folded shapes called domains. Disulfide bridges between cysteines in two different parts of the polypeptide chain along with other interactions between the chains play a role in the formation and stabilization of tertiary structure. Small proteins usually consist of only one domain but larger proteins may contain a number of domains connected by segments of polypeptide chain which lack regular secondary structure.Food Contamination: The presence in food of harmful, unpalatable, or otherwise objectionable foreign substances, e.g. chemicals, microorganisms or diluents, before, during, or after processing or storage.Peptides: Members of the class of compounds composed of AMINO ACIDS joined together by peptide bonds between adjacent amino acids into linear, branched or cyclical structures. OLIGOPEPTIDES are composed of approximately 2-12 amino acids. Polypeptides are composed of approximately 13 or more amino acids. PROTEINS are linear polypeptides that are normally synthesized on RIBOSOMES.Circular Dichroism: A change from planar to elliptic polarization when an initially plane-polarized light wave traverses an optically active medium. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)Aplysia: An opisthobranch mollusk of the order Anaspidea. It is used frequently in studies of nervous system development because of its large identifiable neurons. Aplysiatoxin and its derivatives are not biosynthesized by Aplysia, but acquired by ingestion of Lyngbya (seaweed) species.Toxicity Tests: An array of tests used to determine the toxicity of a substance to living systems. These include tests on clinical drugs, foods, and environmental pollutants.Nerve Degeneration: Loss of functional activity and trophic degeneration of nerve axons and their terminal arborizations following the destruction of their cells of origin or interruption of their continuity with these cells. The pathology is characteristic of neurodegenerative diseases. Often the process of nerve degeneration is studied in research on neuroanatomical localization and correlation of the neurophysiology of neural pathways.Dopamine: One of the catecholamine NEUROTRANSMITTERS in the brain. It is derived from TYROSINE and is the precursor to NOREPINEPHRINE and EPINEPHRINE. Dopamine is a major transmitter in the extrapyramidal system of the brain, and important in regulating movement. A family of receptors (RECEPTORS, DOPAMINE) mediate its action.Central Nervous System: The main information-processing organs of the nervous system, consisting of the brain, spinal cord, and meninges.