Victor I. Tsetlin

Awards & honors

  • Winner of State Prize of USSR
  • Alexander von Humboldt Prize winner

Selected publications

  1. Lyukmanova E.N., Shenkarev Z.O., Shulepko M.A., Paramonov A.S., Chugunov A.O., Janickova H., Dolejsi E., Dolezal V., Utkin Y.N., Tsetlin V.I., Arseniev A.S., Efremov R.G., Dolgikh D.A., Kirpichnikov M.P. (2015). Structural Insight into Specificity of Interactions between Nonconventional Three-finger Weak Toxin from Naja kaouthia (WTX) and Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptors. J. Biol. Chem. 290 (39), 23616–30 [+]

    Weak toxin from Naja kaouthia (WTX) belongs to the group of nonconventional "three-finger" snake neurotoxins. It irreversibly inhibits nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and allosterically interacts with muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (mAChRs). Using site-directed mutagenesis, NMR spectroscopy, and computer modeling, we investigated the recombinant mutant WTX analogue (rWTX) which, compared with the native toxin, has an additional N-terminal methionine residue. In comparison with the wild-type toxin, rWTX demonstrated an altered pharmacological profile, decreased binding of orthosteric antagonist N-methylscopolamine to human M1- and M2-mAChRs, and increased antagonist binding to M3-mAChR. Positively charged arginine residues located in the flexible loop II were found to be crucial for rWTX interactions with all types of mAChR. Computer modeling suggested that the rWTX loop II protrudes to the M1-mAChR allosteric ligand-binding site blocking the entrance to the orthosteric site. In contrast, toxin interacts with M3-mAChR by loop II without penetration into the allosteric site. Data obtained provide new structural insight into the target-specific allosteric regulation of mAChRs by "three-finger" snake neurotoxins.

    ID:1394
  2. Kasheverov I.E., Kudryavtsev D.S., Ivanov I.A., Zhmak M.N., Chugunov A.O., Tabakmakher V.M., Zelepuga E.A., Efremov R.G., Tsetlin V.I. (2015). Rational design of new ligands for nicotinic receptors on the basis of α-conotoxin PnIA. Dokl. Biochem. Biophys. 461, 106–9 [+]

    A variety of different subtypes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and their involvement in a number of diseases and pathologies (Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, schizophrenia, myasthenia, nicotine addiction) dictates the needs in potent and selective ligands for each subtype. These ligands can be used as a tool for detection and characterization of the distinct nAChR subtypes, as well as be the basis for drug design. Novel cholinergic ligands can emerge in the result of search among natural sources or design (with the use of modern computer modeling) on the basis of known molecules. The significance of the first way was confirmed in our hands by the detection of affinities of a set of marine alkaloids from sponges and ascidians towards some receptor subtypes. The most active of them — makaluvamines — showed micromolar affinity for muscle and neuronal α7 nAChRs. Application of the recently presented Protein Surface Topography method to known natural antagonist of some neuronal nAChRs — α-conotoxin PnIA — resulted in design of new potent analogs with nanomolar affinities for α7 nAChR. Radioactive derivatives of these analogs were successfully applied in radioligand tests for characterization of novel compounds and could be perspective as well for detection of α7 nAChR in the various preparations. Combining these two ways (search and design) was demonstrated in the synthesis of small peptide compounds on the basis of discovered by us in venom of Burmese Viper linear peptide azemiopsin — powerful blocker of muscle-type nAChRs. Some designed peptides have retained a certain affinity to receptor and showed high practical potential: in the absence of toxicity they contributed to the reduction of facial wrinkles (patent application for cosmetic use RU2013102410; PCT/RU2014/000032).

    ID:1393
  3. Hoang A.N., Vo H.D., Vo N.P., Kudryashova K.S., Nekrasova O.V., Feofanov A.V., Kirpichnikov M.P., Andreeva T.V., Serebryakova M.V., Tsetlin V.I., Utkin Y.N. (2014). Vietnamese Heterometrus laoticus scorpion venom: evidence for analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity and isolation of new polypeptide toxin acting on Kv1.3 potassium channel. Toxicon 77, 40–8 [+]

    The scorpion Heterometrus laoticus (Scorpionidae) inhabits Indochinese peninsula and is widely distributed in South-West Vietnam. Since no human fatalities caused by H. laoticus stings were reported, no systematic characterization of the venom was earlier done. In this study we report on biological activity of the venom from H. laoticus caught in Vietnamese province An Giang. The venom manifested a very low acute toxicity with LD50 of about 190 mg/kg body weight in mice at subcutaneous (s.c.) injection and 12 mg/kg at intravenous injection. The venom analgesic effects using tail immersion and writhing tests as well as anti-inflammatory effect using carrageenan test were analyzed at doses of 9.5 and 19 mg/kg at s.c. injections. It was found that at two doses tested H. laoticus venom showed both anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory activity. The venom was fractionated by means of gel-filtration and reversed-phase HPLC. As a result several polypeptide toxins were isolated and new toxin hetlaxin was identified. Its amino acid sequence was determined and binding to the extracellular vestibule of the K⁺-conducting pore of Kv1.1 and Kv1.3 potassium channels was studied. Hetlaxin belongs to the scorpion alpha-toxin family and is the first toxin isolated from H. laoticus venom which possesses high affinity (K(i) 59 nM) to Kv1.3 potassium channel.

    ID:1082
  4. Kasheverov I.E., Zhmak M.N., Fish A., Rucktooa P., Khruschov A.Y., Osipov A.V., Ziganshin R.H., D'hoedt D., Bertrand D., Sixma T.K., Smit A.B., Tsetlin V.I. (2009). Interaction of alpha-conotoxin ImII and its analogs with nicotinic receptors and acetylcholine-binding proteins: additional binding sites on Torpedo receptor. J. Neurochem. 111 (4), 934–44 [+]

    alpha-Conotoxins interact with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and acetylcholine-binding proteins (AChBPs) at the sites for agonists/competitive antagonists. alpha-Conotoxins blocking muscle-type or alpha7 nAChRs compete with alpha-bungarotoxin. However, alpha-conotoxin ImII, a close homolog of the alpha7 nAChR-targeting alpha-conotoxin ImI, blocked alpha7 and muscle nAChRs without displacing alpha-bungarotoxin (Ellison et al. 2003, 2004), suggesting binding at a different site. We synthesized alpha-conotoxin ImII, its ribbon isomer (ImIIiso), 'mutant' ImII(W10Y) and found similar potencies in blocking human alpha7 and muscle nAChRs in Xenopus oocytes. Both isomers displaced [(125)I]-alpha-bungarotoxin from human alpha7 nAChRs in the cell line GH(4)C(1) (IC(50) 17 and 23 microM, respectively) and from Lymnaea stagnalis and Aplysia californica AChBPs (IC(50) 2.0-9.0 microM). According to SPR measurements, both isomers bound to immobilized AChBPs and competed with AChBP for immobilized alpha-bungarotoxin (K(d) and IC(50) 2.5-8.2 microM). On Torpedo nAChR, alpha-conotoxin [(125)I]-ImII(W10Y) revealed specific binding (K(d) 1.5-6.1 microM) and could be displaced by alpha-conotoxin ImII, ImIIiso and ImII(W10Y) with IC(50) 2.7, 2.2 and 3.1 microM, respectively. As alpha-cobratoxin and alpha-conotoxin ImI displaced [(125)I]-ImII(W10Y) only at higher concentrations (IC(50)> or = 90 microM), our results indicate that alpha-conotoxin ImII and its congeners have an additional binding site on Torpedo nAChR distinct from the site for agonists/competitive antagonists.

    ID:191
  5. Mordvintsev D.Y., Polyak Y.L., Rodionov D.I., Jakubik J., Dolezal V., Karlsson E., Tsetlin V.I., Utkin Y.N. (2009). Weak toxin WTX from Naja kaouthia cobra venom interacts with both nicotinic and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. FEBS J. 276 (18), 5065–75 [+]

    Iodinated [125I] weak toxin from Naja kaouthia (WTX) cobra venom was injected into mice, and organ-specific binding was monitored. Relatively high levels of [125I]WTX were detected in the adrenal glands. Rat adrenal membranes were therefore used for analysis of [125I]WTX-binding sites. Specific [125I]WTX binding was partially inhibited by both alpha-cobratoxin, a blocker of the alpha7 and muscle-type nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), and by atropine, an antagonist of the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR). Binding to rat adrenal nAChR had a Kd of 2.0+/-0.8 microM and was inhibited by alpha-cobratoxin but not by a short-chain alpha-neurotoxin antagonist of the muscle-type nAChR, suggesting a specific interaction with the alpha7-type nAChR. WTX binding was reduced not only by atropine but also by other muscarinic agents (oxotremorine and muscarinic toxins from Dendroaspis angusticeps), indicating an interaction with mAChR. This interaction was further characterized using individual subtypes of human mAChRs expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells. WTX concentrations up to 30 microM did not inhibit binding of [3H]acetylcholine to any subtype of mAChR by more than 50%. Depending on receptor subtype, WTX either increased or had no effect on the binding of the muscarinic antagonist [3H]N-methylscopolamine, which binds to the orthosteric site, a finding indicative of an allosteric interaction. Furthermore, WTX alone activated G-protein coupling with all mAChR subtypes and reduced the efficacy of acetylcholine in activating G-proteins with the M1, M4, and M5 subtypes. Our data demonstrate an orthosteric WTX interaction with nAChR and an allosteric interaction with mAChRs.

    ID:193
  6. Osipov A.V., Kasheverov I.E., Makarova Y.V., Starkov V.G., Vorontsova O.V., Ziganshin R.K., Andreeva T.V., Serebryakova M.V., Benoit A., Hogg R.C., Bertrand D., Tsetlin V.I., Utkin Y.N. (2008). Naturally occurring disulfide-bound dimers of three-fingered toxins: a paradigm for biological activity diversification. J. Biol. Chem. 283 (21), 14571–80 [+]

    Three-fingered toxins of new structural type were found: disulphide bound dimmers of cobratoxin with cytotoxins and cobrotoxin homodimer. It was shown that cobratoxin dimer acquires the capacity to interact with one more acetylcholine receptor subtype. This post-translational modification may be regarded as a new way for biological activity diversification in three-fingered toxins.

    ID:105
  7. Kasheverov I.E., Zhmak M.N., Vulfius C.A., Gorbacheva E.V., Mordvintsev D.Y., Utkin Y.N., van Elk R., Smit A.B., Tsetlin V.I. (2006). Alpha-conotoxin analogs with additional positive charge show increased selectivity towards Torpedo californica and some neuronal subtypes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. FEBS J. 273 (19), 4470–81 [+]

    Alpha-conotoxins from Conus snails are indispensable tools for distinguishing various subtypes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), and synthesis of alpha-conotoxin analogs may yield novel antagonists of higher potency and selectivity. We incorporated additional positive charges into alpha-conotoxins and analyzed their binding to nAChRs. Introduction of Arg or Lys residues instead of Ser12 in alpha-conotoxins GI and SI, or D12K substitution in alpha-conotoxin SIA increased the affinity for both the high- and low-affinity sites in membrane-bound Torpedo californica nAChR. The effect was most pronounced for [D12K]SIA with 30- and 200-fold enhancement for the respective sites, resulting in the most potent alpha-conotoxin blocker of the Torpedo nAChR among those tested. Similarly, D14K substitution in alpha-conotoxin [A10L]PnIA, a blocker of neuronal alpha7 nAChR, was previously shown to increase the affinity for this receptor and endowed [A10L,D14K]PnIA with the capacity to distinguish between acetylcholine-binding proteins from the mollusks Lymnaea stagnalis and Aplysia californica. We found that [A10L,D14K]PnIA also distinguishes two alpha7-like anion-selective nAChR subtypes present on identified neurons of L. stagnalis: [D14K] mutation affected only slightly the potency of [A10L]PnIA to block nAChRs on neurons with low sensitivity to alpha-conotoxin ImI, but gave a 50-fold enhancement of blocking activity in cells with high sensitivity to ImI. Therefore, the introduction of an additional positive charge in the C-terminus of alpha-conotoxins targeting some muscle or neuronal nAChRs made them more discriminative towards the respective nAChR subtypes. In the case of muscle-type alpha-conotoxin [D12K]SIA, the contribution of the Lys12 positive charge to enhanced affinity towards Torpedo nAChR was rationalized with the aid of computer modeling.

    ID:190
  8. Kasheverov I.E., Chiara D.C., Zhmak M.N., Maslennikov I.V., Pashkov V.S., Arseniev A.S., Utkin Y.N., Cohen J.B., Tsetlin V.I. (2006). alpha-Conotoxin GI benzoylphenylalanine derivatives. (1)H-NMR structures and photoaffinity labeling of the Torpedo californica nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. FEBS J. 273 (7), 1373–88 [+]

    alpha-Conotoxins are small peptides from cone snail venoms that function as nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR)-competitive antagonists differentiating between nAChR subtypes. Current understanding about the mechanism of these selective interactions is based largely on mutational analyses, which identify amino acids in the toxin and nAChR that determine the energetics of ligand binding. To identify regions of the nAChR involved in alpha-conotoxin binding by use of photoactivated cross-linking, two benzoylphenylalanine (Bpa) analogs of alpha-conotoxin GI, GI(Bpa12) and GI(Bpa4), were synthesized by replacing the respective residues with Bpa, and their (1)H-NMR structures were determined.

    ID:189
  9. Celie P.H., Kasheverov I.E., Mordvintsev D.Y., Hogg R.C., van Nierop P., van Elk R., van Rossum-Fikkert S.E., Zhmak M.N., Bertrand D., Tsetlin V.I., Sixma T.K., Smit A.B. (2005). Crystal structure of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor homolog AChBP in complex with an alpha-conotoxin PnIA variant. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 12 (7), 582–8 [+]

    For the first time the X-ray structure of acetylcholine-binding protein in complex with conotoxin was established. The data obtained allowed to reveal the main structural features of conotoxin interaction with acetylcholine receptors.

    ID:104
  10. Osipov A.V., Astapova M.V., Tsetlin V.I., Utkin Y.N. (2004). The first representative of glycosylated three-fingered toxins. Cytotoxin from the Naja kaouthia cobra venom. Eur. J. Biochem. 271 (10), 2018–27 [+]

    There are different glycosylated proteins in snake venoms, but no glycosylated representatives of a large family of three-fingered toxins have previously been detected. A new glycoprotein was isolated from the venom of the Thai cobra Naja kaouthia. MALDI MS of the glycoprotein contained an array of peaks in the range from approximately 8900 to approximately 9400 Da indicating its microheterogeneity. Carbohydrate analysis showed the presence of mannose, galactose, N-acetylglucosamine, fucose and neuraminic acid. The N-terminal sequence of the glycoprotein was identical to that of cytotoxin 3 (CX3) from N. kaouthia, and CD spectra of the glycoprotein and CX3 were almost the same. Cleavage of a glycan moiety by N-glycosidase F gave a protein of molecular mass practically coinciding with that of CX3. MALDI MS of the tryptic digest of reduced glycoprotein S-pyridylethylated at cysteine residues, contained peaks corresponding to all tryptic fragments of CX3, with the exception of fragment 24-30. The peak corresponding to this peptide appeared in the mass-spectrum of similarly treated deglycosylated glycoprotein. These data show that the potential N-glycosylation site at Asn29 in CX3 is utilized for glycan attachment and that the glycoprotein is glycosylated CX3. In vivo toxicity of the glycoprotein to the cricket Gryllus assimilis was twofold lower than that of CX3. The cytotoxic activity of the glycoprotein towards HL60 cells was about two orders of magnitude lower than that of CX3, but could be made equal to the CX3 cytotoxicity by deglycosylation. Thus for the first time we have isolated a glycosylated three-fingered snake venom toxin wherein glycosylation appears to modulate its biological activity.

    ID:192
  11. Utkin Y.N., Kukhtina V.V., Kryukova E.V., Chiodini F., Bertrand D., Methfessel C., Tsetlin V.I. (2001). "Weak toxin" from Naja kaouthia is a nontoxic antagonist of alpha 7 and muscle-type nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. J. Biol. Chem. 276 (19), 15810–5 [+]

    This work has shown that known for a long time “weak” toxins are capable to interact with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. However, possessing low affinity to the receptors these toxins bind practically irreversible.

    ID:103
  12. Machold J., Utkin Y., Kirsch D., Kaufmann R., Tsetlin V., Hucho F. (1995). Photolabeling reveals the proximity of the alpha-neurotoxin binding site to the M2 helix of the ion channel in the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 92 (16), 7282–6 [+]

    For the first time the amino acid residue labelled by photoactivatable neurotoxin derivative was localized in amino acid sequence of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Basing on these data the position of neurotoxin molecule on the receptor was established. The toxin molecule is located much closer to membrane surface than it was accepted earlier.

    ID:102
  13. Kreienkamp H.J., Utkin Y.N., Weise C., Machold J., Tsetlin V.I., Hucho F. (1992). Investigation of ligand-binding sites of the acetylcholine receptor using photoactivatable derivatives of neurotoxin II from Naja naja oxiana. Biochemistry 31 (35), 8239–44 [+]

    In this work the subunits of muscle-type receptor participating in formation of binding sites for agonist/competitive antagonists were established by use of photoactivatable neurotoxin derivatives.

    ID:101