The primary structure of gamma-bungarotoxin, a new toxin from Bungarus multicinctus venom, was determined using mass spectrometry and Edman degradation. The toxin has a mass of 7524.7 D and consists of 68 residues having the following sequence: MQCKTCSFYT CPNSETCPDG KNICVKRSWT AVRGDGPKRE IRRECAATCP PSKLGLTVFC CTTDNCNH. Gamma-bungarotoxin is structurally similar to both kappa-bungarotoxin and elapid long postsynaptic neurotoxins. Its C-terminal nine residues are identical to those of the kappa-toxins. Its disulfide bond locations appear identical to those of several elapid toxins of unknown pharmacology and its hydrophobicity profile is also strikingly similar. However, with an LD50 of 0.15 microg/g i.v. in mice, gamma-bungarotoxin is 30-150-fold more toxic than other members of this latter class. Its toxicity is comparable to those of alpha-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonists.