Bungarotoxin (more accurately α-bungarotoxin) is one of the components of the venom of the elapid snake Taiwanese banded krait (Bungarus multicinctus). It binds irreversibly to the acetylcholine receptor found at the neuromuscular junction, causing paralysis, respiratory failure and death in the victim.
α-bungarotoxin is also a selective antagonist of the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in the brain, and as such has applications in neuroscience research.
In addition to the α-type bungarotoxin, a β-bungarotoxin is fairly common in some snake venom. The target of this neurotoxin is at the pre-synaptic terminal, where it prevents release of acetylcholine by binding to proteins, most commonly actin.
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