PROSITE documentation PDOC00243
Endothelin family signature


Endothelins (ET's) are a family of potent mammalian vasoconstrictor peptides [1,2,3]. Sarafotoxins (SRTX) and bibrotoxin (BTX) are cardiotoxins from the venom of snakes of the Atractaspis family, structurally and functionally [4,5] similar to endothelin. The peptides currently known to belonging to the ET/SRTX family are:

  • Endothelin 1 (ET-1).
  • Endothelin 2 (ET-2) which is also known in mouse as Vasoactive Intestinal Contractor (VIC).
  • Endothelin 3 (ET-3).
  • Sarafotoxins SRTX-A, -B, -C and -D from Atractaspis engaddensis.
  • Bibrotoxin (BTX) from Atractaspis bibroni.

As shown in the following schematic representation, these peptides which are 21 residues long contain two intramolecular disulfide bonds.

                        |             |
                          |       |
'C': conserved cysteine involved in a disulfide bond.

As a signature pattern for this family of proteins, we have taken the conserved residues in the disulfide loops region.


In addition to endothelin, the precursors of ETs contain an endothelin- like domain which is also detected by this pattern.


The precursor of sarafotoxins is a large protein that contains 12 copies of various isoforms of the toxin [6].

Last update:

May 2004 / Text revised.


Technical section

PROSITE method (with tools and information) covered by this documentation:

ENDOTHELIN, PS00270; Endothelin family signature  (PATTERN)


1AuthorsYanagisawa M. Masaki T.
TitleMolecular biology and biochemistry of the endothelins.
SourceTrends Pharmacol. Sci. 10:374-378(1989).
PubMed ID2690429

2AuthorsSimonson M.S. Dunn M.J.
TitleCellular signaling by peptides of the endothelin gene family.
SourceFASEB J. 4:2989-3000(1990).
PubMed ID2168326

3AuthorsRubanyi G.M. Parker Botelho L.H.
SourceFASEB J. 5:2713-2720(1991).
PubMed ID1916094

4AuthorsKloog Y. Sokolovsky M.
TitleSimilarities in mode and sites of action of sarafotoxins and endothelins.
SourceTrends Pharmacol. Sci. 10:212-214(1989).
PubMed ID2549664

5AuthorsSokolovsky M.
TitleEndothelins and sarafotoxins: physiological regulation, receptor subtypes and transmembrane signaling.
SourceTrends Biochem. Sci. 16:261-264(1991).
PubMed ID1656557

6AuthorsDucancel F. Matre V. Dupont C. Lajeunesse E. Wollberg Z. Bdolah A. Kochva E. Boulain J.C.C. Menez A.
TitleCloning and sequence analysis of cDNAs encoding precursors of sarafotoxins. Evidence for an unusual 'rosary-type' organization.
SourceJ. Biol. Chem. 268:3052-3055(1993).
PubMed ID8428983

PROSITE is copyrighted by the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) License, see prosite_license.html.


View entry in original PROSITE document format
View entry in raw text format (no links)