Evidence for a new class of scorpion toxin active against K+ channels

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cDNAs encoding novel long-chain scorpion toxins (64 amino acid residues, including only six cysteines) were isolated from cDNA libraries produced from the venom glands of the scorpions Androctonus australis from Old World and Tityus serrulatus from New World. The encoded peptides were very similar to a recently identified toxin from T. serrulatus, which is active against the voltage-sensitive 'delayed-rectifier' potassium channel, but they were completely different from the long-chain and short-chain scorpion toxins already characterised. However, there was some sequence similarity (42%) between these new toxins, Aa TX Kβ and Ts TX Kβ, and scorpion defensins purified from the hemolymph of Buthidae scorpions Leiurus quinquestriatus and A. australis. Thus, according to a multiple sequence alignment using CLUSTAL, these new toxins seem to be related to the scorpion defensins.




Legros, C., Céard, B., Bougis, P. E., & Martin-Eauclaire, M. F. (1998). Evidence for a new class of scorpion toxin active against K+ channels. FEBS Letters, 431(3), 375–380. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0014-5793(98)00780-7

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