Histrionicotoxins are a group of related toxins found in the skin of poison frogs from the Dendrobatidae family, notably Oophaga histrionica. It is likely that as with other poison frog alkaloids, histrionicotoxins are not manufactured by the amphibians, but absorbed from insects in their diet and stored in glands in their skin.
Histrionicotoxins are less powerful toxins compared to many of the other alkaloids found in poison frogs; however, they have an unusual chemical structure and a distinct mechanism of action, acting as a potent non-competitive antagonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, binding to a regulatory site on the delta subunit of the ion channel complex. They also have some affinity for sodium and potassium channels, although they are much less potent for these targets. The synthesis of histrionicotoxins and various homologues is synthetically challenging and has been the subject of many different attempts.
See also 
- Daly, JW (1982). "Alkaloids of neotropical poison frogs (Dendrobatidae)". Fortschritte der Chemie organischer Naturstoffe. Progress in the chemistry of organic natural products. Progres dans la chimie des substances organiques naturelles 41: 205–340. PMID 7049875.
- Daly, JW (1995). "The chemistry of poisons in amphibian skin". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 92 (1): 9–13. Bibcode:1995PNAS...92....9D. doi:10.1073/pnas.92.1.9. PMC 42808. PMID 7816854.
- Oberthür, W; Muhn, P; Baumann, H; Lottspeich, F; Wittmann-Liebold, B; Hucho, F (1986). "The reaction site of a non-competitive antagonist in the delta-subunit of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor". The EMBO Journal 5 (8): 1815–9. PMC 1167045. PMID 3758027.
- Johnson, DA; Nuss, JM (1994). "The histrionicotoxin-sensitive ethidium binding site is located outside of the transmembrane domain of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor: a fluorescence study". Biochemistry 33 (31): 9070–7. doi:10.1021/bi00197a007. PMID 8049208.
- Lovenberg, T; Daly, JW (1986). "Histrionicotoxins: effects on binding of radioligands for sodium, potassium, and calcium channels in brain membranes". Neurochemical research 11 (11): 1609–21. doi:10.1007/BF00965779. PMID 2446155.
- Sinclair, A; Stockman, RA (2007). "Thirty-five years of synthetic studies directed towards the histrionicotoxin family of alkaloids". Natural product reports 24 (2): 298–326. doi:10.1039/b604203c. PMID 17389999.