Peptides from scorpion venom have been previously studied for use in the prevention and treatment of various types of cancer in folk medicine. The present study investigated the anti-proliferative effects and mechanisms of the low molecular weight (~3 kDa) BmK scorpion venom peptides (LMWSVP) on human hepatoma (SMMC 7721) and cervical carcinoma (HeLa) cells. The data indicated that LMWSVP inhibited the growth of SMMC 7721 cells, but had no effect on the growth of HeLa cells. SMMC 7721 cells were more sensitive, with a higher affinity, to LMWSVP as compared with HeLa cells. In addition, LMWSVP induced apoptosis of SMMC 7721 cells by upregulating the expression of caspase-3 and downregulating the expression of Bcl-2. These data provide an experimental basis for further purification and application of LMWSVP for use as an anti-tumor drug in clinical trials.
Li, W., Xin, Y., Chen, Y., Li, X., Zhang, C., Bai, J., & Yuan, J. (2014). The anti-proliferative effects and mechanisms of low molecular weight scorpion BmK venom peptides on human hepatoma and cervical carcinoma cells in vitro. Oncology Letters, 8(4), 1581–1584. https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2014.2336