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Department of Molecular Physiology

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toxfinder
Toxfinder
Photo Album of toxic animals (1)  by Erik Leist, Heidelberg
Photo Album of toxic animals (2)  by Erik Leist, Heidelberg


The "Toxfinder" is an automatic screening-system which is able to detect animal toxins, that show  blocking effects on ion-channels.
The "Toxfinder" is a self-made system of a Liquid handling robot, a fluorescence microscope, a camera and a computer

How does it work? Ca2+-Imaging method to examine CNG-channels
1) The cells are loaded with a Ca2+-sensitive fluorescence-dye (Fluo-4,AM)
2) Then, the CNG-channels are activated/opened by the cyclic nucleotide 8-Br-cGMP
3) This opening of the CNG-channels causes Ca2+-influx into the cells
→ The cells now show a fluorescence, that can easily be detected.


image before toxin was added

image with inactive toxin and 8-Br-cGMP


image before toxin was added

image with active toxin and 8-Br-cGMP



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