In vivo testing of native α-conotoxins from the injected venom of Conus purpurascens
α-conotoxins selectively inhibit nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and have been used as probes to study cholinergic pathways in vertebrates. Drosophila melanogaster expresses nAChRs in the CNS and is a suitable model to investigate the effects of alpha-conotoxins in vivo. Here we report the paired nanoinjection of native α-conotoxin PIA and two other novel α- conotoxins from the injected venom of Conus purpurascens and electrophysiological recordings of their effects on the giant fiber system (GFS) of D. melanogaster. αPIA, PIC and PIC[O7] caused differential disruption (αPIA > PIC > PIC[O7]) of the function of the giant fiber to dorsal longitudinal muscle (GF-DLM) pathway by inhibiting the Dα7 nAChR, a homolog to the vertebrate α7 nAChR.