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Sample records for african scorpion androctonus

  1. Antimicrobial/cytolytic peptides from the venom of the North African scorpion, Androctonus amoreuxi: biochemical and functional characterization of natural peptides and a single site-substituted analog.

    PubMed

    Almaaytah, Ammar; Zhou, Mei; Wang, Lei; Chen, Tianbao; Walker, Brian; Shaw, Chris

    2012-06-01

    The venoms of scorpions are complex cocktails of polypeptide toxins that fall into two structural categories: those that contain cysteinyl residues with associated disulfide bridges and those that do not. As the majority of lethal toxins acting upon ion channels fall into the first category, most research has been focused there. Here we report the identification and structural characterization of two novel 18-mer antimicrobial peptides from the venom of the North African scorpion, Androctonus amoreuxi. Named AamAP1 and AamAP2, both peptides are C-terminally amidated and differ in primary structure at just two sites: Leu-->Pro at position 2 and Phe-->Ile at position 17. Synthetic replicates of both peptides exhibited a broad-spectrum of antimicrobial activity against a Gram-positive bacterium (Staphylococcus aureus), a Gram-negative bacterium (Escherichia coli) and a yeast (Candida albicans), at concentrations ranging between 20 μM and 150 μM. In this concentration range, both peptides produced significant degrees of hemolysis. A synthetic replicate of AamAP1 containing a single substitution (His-->Lys) at position 8, generated a peptide (AamAP-S1) with enhanced antimicrobial potency (3-5 μM) against the three test organisms and within this concentration range, hemolytic effects were negligible. In addition, this His-->Lys variant exhibited potent growth inhibitory activity (ID(50) 25-40 μm) against several human cancer cell lines and endothelial cells that was absent in both natural peptides. Natural bioactive peptide libraries, such as those that occur in scorpion venoms, thus constitute a unique source of novel lead compounds with drug development potential whose biological properties can be readily manipulated by simple synthetic chemical means. PMID:22484288

  2. Pathophysiological and neurobehavioral injuries in mice experimentally envenomed with Androctonus liouvillei (Pallary, 1928) scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    El Hidan, Moulay Abdelmonaim; Touloun, Oulaid; El Hiba, Omar; Boumezzough, Ali

    2016-01-01

    The genus Androctonus is represented by 7 scorpion species in Morocco. All studies conducted on the characterization of Androctonus species venom are limited to Androctonus mauritanicus. However, there is other species which arouses also interest of scientists due to their high toxicity. Thus, we chose to assess the toxic effect of Androctonus liouvillei venom by sublethal injection and the effects on some vital organs, by a histological and a biochemical tools. In addition, we aimed to characterize the neurobehavioral impairments, in Swiss mice, 3h, 6h and 12h following envenomation. The LD50 of A. liouvillei scorpion venom was found to be 0.29mg/kg by subcutaneous injection route. Venom administration induced glomerular destruction and disorganization in the Bowman's spac. Examination of lungs showed a remarkable focal rupture of the alveolar structure and intra-alveolar hemorrhage. Concurrently, there was a significant enhancement in the serum enzymes levels of AST, ALT, CPK and LDH, and a high level of glucose and creatinine. Proteinuria was also observed. Regarding the behavioral effects we noted a hypoactivity and anxiogenic-like effect, manifested by an increased time spent in the open arms in groups tested 30min and 12h after the injection. Concomitantly with an increased immobility time in the tail suspension test. The present finding show an obvious profound neuromodulatory effect of A. liouvillei venom manifested by an impaired neurobehavioral and physiological patterns in mice that may in part explain the toxic effect of the venom in human as one of the potent death agents. PMID:26651916

  3. Clinicopathological investigations on mice envenomed with scorpion venom (Androctonus amoreuxi).

    PubMed

    Hamedy, A F; Kilany, Omnia E; Mohallal, Mahmoud E; Soliman, Belal A; Shoukry, Nahla M; Khaled, Howayda S

    2012-12-01

    The present study assessed the toxicity of Androctonus amoreuxi crude venom on blood and biochemical serum parameters of mice. Adult male Albino mice were divided into three groups, in the control group mice were injected S.C. with saline solution. The second group and the third were injected with the venom S.C. in mice in the following doses 1/4 and 1/2 dose of LD50 respectively. Blood and serum samples were taken after 3 hours, 6 hours, 9 hours, 12 hours, 4 days and 7 days. Hematocrit (Ht), red blood cells (RBC) count, hemoglobin, MCV, MCH & MCHC were performed. Serum biochemical parameters, the levels of total proteins, albumin, globulin, glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, ALT, AST, ALP, creatinine, uric acid and urea were measured. RBCs, Hob, PCV, MCV, MCH & MCHC showed significant increase, and increase in total protein, albumin and globulin within the experiment. Glucose and cholesterol levels were significantly increase from the beginning. Triglycerides showed significant decrease after 6 hours. Liver enzymes and kidney functions revealed significant changes post-injection. PMID:23469627

  4. Androctonus crassicauda (Olivier), a dangerous and unduly neglected scorpion--I. Pharmacological and clinical studies.

    PubMed

    Ismail, M; Abd-Elsalam, M A; al-Ahaidib, M S

    1994-12-01

    Androctonus crassicauda venom has an i.v. LD50 in mice of 0.32 +/- 0.02 mg/kg, which makes the scorpion among the most toxic species in the world. Fifty-one non-fatal and one fatal cases of scorpion sting were presented. Pain and tenderness were very common following the sting. Generalized erythema occurred in 20-25% of all infants and children below the age of 5 years. Severe CNS manifestations including seizures, unconsciousness and marked irritability occurred mainly in infants and young children, while hypertension occurred in the majority of victims below the age of 11 years. Two pregnant victims were treated with antivenom with no bad consequences on mothers or foetuses. The fatal case described was inadequately treated with antivenom and presented a rare situation of intracranial coagulation in the basal cisterns or low in the cranial subarachnoid space. The victim developed moderate hydrocephalus of the communicating type with clear ventricular CSF and strongly xanthocromic fluid from lumbar puncture. The effects of A. crassicauda venom on isolated hearts, atria and anaesthetized rat blood pressure appeared to be mediated largely through stimulation of the autonomic nervous system with predominance of sympathetic stimulation and release of tissue catecholamines. Electrocardiograms recorded simultaneously with blood pressure changes showed evidence of ectopic foci during the hypertensive phase and ischaemia, inferior wall infarction and different degrees of heart block during the late hypotensive phase. Androctonus crassicauda venom was unique in following a three-compartment open model comprising a central compartment 'blood', a rapidly equilibrating 'shallow' tissue compartment and a slowly equilibrating 'deep' tissue compartment. The overall elimination half-life, t1/2 beta, was 24 hr, indicating that the venom has the slowest elimination among all known scorpion venoms. The long stay of the venom in the body might explain the increased risk of toxicity

  5. Clinical comparison of scorpion envenomation by Androctonus mauritanicus and Buthus occitanus in children.

    PubMed

    Aboumaâd, Bouchra; Lahssaini, Mohammed; Tiger, Abdelaziz; Benhassain, Sidi Mohammed

    2014-11-01

    The clinical results of scorpion stings by Androctonus mauritanicus (Am) and Buthus occitanus (Bo) (main sources of scorpionism in Morocco) were evaluated in this work. The objective was to compare the clinical manifestations of envenoming from these species by investigating possible correlations among symptoms/signs and laboratory abnormalities of envenomed patients. 41 children (25 males, 18 months - 11 years) were admitted at the Provincial Hospital of El Jadida-Morocco. Their minor (18 children) or severe (23 children) systemic signs such as pallor (48.8%), pulmonary edema (APE) (36.6%), convulsion (26.8%), coma (7.3%) were more frequent in children envenomed by Am than Bo, but angioedema (Quincke's edema) (4.9%) was particularly developed in the latter group. The laboratory blood abnormalities (hyperglycemia, high levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), creatinine, bilirubin, leukocytes, neutrophils, monocytes, platelets and low levels of lymphocytes and hemoglobin) were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in patients envenomed by Am than Bo, and in all population in comparison to control group. The correlation among these biological analyzes and clinical status showed that higher levels of LDH and value of leukocytes ≥19 × 10(3)/mm(3) were indices of cardiac dysfunction with APE. Pallor sign was correlated with a state of shock and/or low level of hemoglobin, associated or not to bilirubin increase. Fatalities (7.3%), presenting toxic myocarditis, had lowest count of lymphocytes (≤4.2%) in comparison to survivors. This is the first report on lymphopenia which may be useful for forecast the fatal outcome in scorpion envenomation. PMID:25218169

  6. Induction of IL-12 from human monocytes after stimulation with Androctonus crassicauda scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Saadi, Samahir; Assarehzadegan, Mohammad-Ali; Pipelzadeh, Mohammad Hassan; Hadaddezfuli, Reza

    2015-11-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the capacity of venom from Androctonus crassicauda to induce expression/production of interleukin (IL)-12 by isolated human monocytes. For this purpose, isolated human monocytes were exposed to different concentrations of the venom (0.16-20 μg/ml) for varying periods (6, 12, and 24 h). Apart from measures of venom cytotoxicity (i.e., lactase dehydrogenase activity [LDH] release), measures of IL-12 p40 mRNA (by Real-time PCR) of IL-12 release (by ELISA) were performed. The results showed that the venom produced significant concentration- and duration of incubation-dependent cytotoxicity. Expression of IL-12 p40 mRNA was significantly increased at all exposure timepoints relative to that in unexposed cells, but was maximal after 6 h of exposure. At that timepoint, the effect from a dose of 2.5 μg venom/ml provided the maximal increase among all doses tested. At the level of the protein itself, IL-12 production remained almost consistently elevated (vs. unexposed control values) across all exposure timepoints, with the greatest formation again occurring after 6 h of incubation at a dose of 2.5 μg venom/ml. The findings from this study demonstrated that venom from the A. crassicauda scorpion contained active constituents that could induce a sustained activation of human monocytes that was manifested, in part, as promotion of the expression/production of IL-12. PMID:26415903

  7. Effect of Androctonus bicolor scorpion venom on serum electrolytes in rats: A 24-h time-course study.

    PubMed

    Al-Asmari, A; Khan, H A; Manthiri, R A

    2016-03-01

    Black fat-tailed scorpion (Androctonus bicolor) belongs to the family Buthidae and is one of the most venomous scorpions in the world. The effects of A. bicolor venom on serum electrolytes were not known and therefore investigated in this study. Adult male Wistar rats were randomly divided into seven groups with five animals in each group. One of the groups served as control and received vehicle only. The animals in the remaining groups received a single subcutaneous injection of crude A. bicolor venom (200 μg/kg bodyweight) and were killed at different time intervals including 30 min, 1 h, 2 h, 4 h, 8 h, and 24 h after venom injection. The results showed that scorpion venom caused significant increase in serum sodium levels within 30 min after injection which slightly subsided after 1 h and then persisted over 24 h. Serum potassium levels continued to significantly increase until 4 h and then slightly subsided. There were significant decreases in serum magnesium (Mg(+)) levels following scorpion venom injection, at all the time points during the course of study. Serum calcium levels were significantly increased during the entire course of study, whereas serum chloride was significantly decreased. In conclusion, A. bicolor envenomation in rats caused severe and persistent hypomagnesemia with accompanied hypernatremia, hyperkalemia, and hypercalcemia. It is important to measure serum Mg(+) levels in victims of scorpion envenomation, and patients with severe Mg(+) deficiency should be treated accordingly. PMID:25964378

  8. Characterization of Am IT, an anti-insect β-toxin isolated from the venom of scorpion Androctonus mauretanicus.

    PubMed

    Oukkache, Naoual; ElJaoudi, Rachid; Chgoury, Fatima; Rocha, Marisa Teixeira; Sabatier, Jean-Marc

    2015-06-25

    In the present study, a 'novel' toxin, called Am IT from the venom of scorpion Androctonus mauretanicus is isolated and characterized. A detailed analysis of the action of Am IT on insect axonal sodium currents is reported. Am IT was purified through gel filtration followed by C18 reversed-phase HPLC. Toxicity of Am IT in vivo was assessed on male German cockroach (Blattella germanica) larvae and C57/BL6 mice. Cross-reactivity of Am IT with two β-toxins was evidenced using (125)I-iodinated toxin-based radioimmunoassays with synaptosomal preparations from rat brain. The complete amino acid sequence of Am IT was finally determined by Edman sequencing. Am IT was observed to compete with AaH IT4 purified from the venom of scorpion Androctonus australis in binding assays. It was recognized by an antibody raised against a β-type toxin, which indicated some structural similarity with β-toxins (or related toxin family). The 'novel' toxin exhibited dual activity since it competed with anti-mammal toxins in binding assays as well as showed contracting activity to insect. The toxin competed with radio-labeled β-toxin Css IV by binding to Na(+) channels of rat brain synaptosomes. Analysis of toxin amino acid sequences showed that Am IT shares high structural identity (92%) with AaH IT4. In conclusion, Am IT not only reveals an anti-insect compound properties secreted by 'Old World' scorpions, paralyzing insect larvae by binding to Na(+) channels on larvae's nerve-cell membranes, but also exerts toxic activity in mice, which is similar to anti-mammal toxins from 'New World' scorpions (North and South Americas). Therefore, Am IT appears to be structurally and functionally similar to AaH IT4. PMID:26109302

  9. Unique diversity of the venom peptides from the scorpion Androctonus bicolor revealed by transcriptomic and proteomic analysis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lei; Shi, Wanxia; Zeng, Xian-Chun; Ge, Feng; Yang, Mingkun; Nie, Yao; Bao, Aorigele; Wu, Shifen; E, Guoji

    2015-10-14

    Androctonus bicolor is one of the most poisonous scorpion species in the world. However, little has been known about the venom composition of the scorpion. To better understand the molecular diversity and medical significance of the venom from the scorpion, we systematically analyzed the venom components by combining transcriptomic and proteomic surveys. Random sequencing of 1000 clones from a cDNA library prepared from the venom glands of the scorpion revealed that 70% of the total transcripts code for venom peptide precursors. Our efforts led to a discovery of 103 novel putative venom peptides. These peptides include NaTx-like, KTx-like and CaTx-like peptides, putative antimicrobial peptides, defensin-like peptides, BPP-like peptides, BmKa2-like peptides, Kunitz-type toxins and some new-type venom peptides without disulfide bridges, as well as many new-type venom peptides that are cross-linked with one, two, three, five or six disulfide bridges, respectively. We also identified three peptides that are identical to known toxins from scorpions. The venom was also analyzed using a proteomic technique. The presence of a total of 16 different venom peptides was confirmed by LC-MS/MS analysis. The discovery of a wide range of new and new-type venom peptides highlights the unique diversity of the venom peptides from A. bicolor. These data also provide a series of novel templates for the development of therapeutic drugs for treating ion channel-associated diseases and infections caused by antibiotic-resistant pathogens, and offer molecular probes for the exploration of structures and functions of various ion channels. PMID:26254009

  10. Subtype-selective activation of K(v)7 channels by AaTXKβ₂₋₆₄, a novel toxin variant from the Androctonus australis scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Landoulsi, Zied; Miceli, Francesco; Palmese, Angelo; Amoresano, Angela; Marino, Gennaro; El Ayeb, Mohamed; Taglialatela, Maurizio; Benkhalifa, Rym

    2013-11-01

    K(v)7.4 channel subunits are expressed in central auditory pathways and in inner ear sensory hair cells and skeletal and smooth muscle cells. Openers of K(v)7.4 channels have been suggested to improve hearing loss, systemic or pulmonary arterial hypertension, urinary incontinence, gastrointestinal and neuropsychiatric diseases, and skeletal muscle disorders. Scorpion venoms are a large source of peptides active on K⁺ channels. Therefore, we have optimized a combined purification/screening procedure to identify specific modulator(s) of K(v)7.4 channels from the venom of the North African scorpion Androctonus australis (Aa). We report the isolation and functional characterization of AaTXKβ₂₋₆₄, a novel variant of AaTXKβ₁₋₆₄, in a high-performance liquid chromatography fraction from Aa venom (named P8), which acts as the first peptide activator of K(v)7.4 channels. In particular, in both Xenopus oocytes and mammalian Chinese hamster ovary cells, AaTXKβ₂₋₆₄, but not AaTXKβ₁₋₆₄, hyperpolarized the threshold voltage of current activation and increased the maximal currents of heterologously expressed K(v)7.4 channels. AaTXKβ₂₋₆₄ also activated K(v)7.3, K(v)7.2/3, and K(v)7.5/3 channels, whereas homomeric K(v)1.1, K(v)7.1, and K(v)7.2 channels were unaffected. We anticipate that these results may prove useful in unraveling the novel biologic roles of AaTXKβ₂₋₆₄-sensitive K(v)7 channels and developing novel pharmacologic tools that allow subtype-selective targeting of K(v)7 channels. PMID:24019223

  11. Scorpion (Androctonus crassicauda) venom limits growth of transformed cells (SH-SY5Y and MCF-7) by cytotoxicity and cell cycle arrest.

    PubMed

    Zargan, Jamil; Sajad, Mir; Umar, Sadiq; Naime, Mohammad; Ali, Shakir; Khan, Haider A

    2011-08-01

    The purpose of study was to examine the cytotoxic and anti-cancer properties along with addressing the plausible pathway followed by scorpion venom to reduce cell viability in SH-SY5Y and MCF-7 cells. Following exposure of cells with scorpion venom, cytotoxicity was estimated using MTT and lactate dehydrogenase assays. Apoptotic effects were measured by assessment of mitochondrial membrane potential, reactive nitrogen species, DNA fragmentation, and caspase-3 activity whereas antiproliferative effect was assayed using BrdU incorporation. Our results indicate that scorpion venom causes suppression of proliferation by arresting S-phase and induction of apoptosis through increased nitric oxide production, caspase-3 activity and depolarization of mitochondrial membrane. Induction of apoptosis and arrest of DNA synthesis are critical determinant factors for development of anti cancer drugs. These properties may lead to isolation of effective molecule(s) with potential anticancer activity from scorpion venom of Androctonus crassicauda. PMID:21536027

  12. Orthorhombic crystals and three-dimensional structure of the potent toxin II from the scorpion Androctonus australis Hector.

    PubMed Central

    Fontecilla-Camps, J C; Habersetzer-Rochat, C; Rochat, H

    1988-01-01

    Orthorhombic crystals (space group P212121, a = 45.94 A, b = 40.68 A, c = 29.93 A) of the potent scorpion alpha-toxin II from Androctonus australis Hector were grown using sterile techniques. The structure was solved by a combination of heavy-atom and model phasing. Subsequently, it was refined at 1.8 A resolution by a fast-Fourier restrained least-squares procedure. The crystallographic R factor is 0.152 for data with 7.0 A greater than d greater than 1.8 A and F greater than 2.5 sigma (F) and 0.177 when all data are considered. Eighty-nine solvent molecules have been incorporated into the model. The dense core formed by the alpha-helical and antiparallel beta-sheet moieties and three of the four disulfide bridges is similar in variant 3, a toxin purified from the North American scorpion Centruroides sculpturatus, and in toxin II. However, the two molecules differ markedly in the orientation of loops protruding from the core. Toxin II seems to contain several highly ordered solvent molecules. Eight of them occupy a cavity consisting of the C-terminal region and a loop found only in scorpion alpha-toxins. The highly reactive and pharmacologically important Lys-58 is found at one of the extremes of this cavity, where it establishes a series of hydrogen bonds with protein and solvent atoms. The reactivities of the five lysine residues of toxin II are highly correlated with the formation of hydrogen bonds, hydrophobic interactions, and salt links. PMID:3174645

  13. In vitro and in vivo antitumor effects of the Egyptian scorpion Androctonus amoreuxi venom in an Ehrlich ascites tumor model.

    PubMed

    Salem, Mohamed L; Shoukry, Nahla M; Teleb, Wafaa K; Abdel-Daim, Mohamed M; Abdel-Rahman, Mohamed A

    2016-01-01

    Scorpion venom is a highly complex mixture of about 100-700 different components, where peptides are the major constituents with various biological and pharmacological properties including anticancer activities. In this study, anticancer efficacy of the venom of the Egyptian scorpion Androctonus amoreuxi has been evaluated. In vitro, the human breast cancer MCF-7 cell line was treated with the venom and the IC50 was estimated. In vivo studies, Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC) cells were inoculated into CD-1 mice intraperitoneally to form liquid tumor or subcutaneously to form solid tumor and then treated with intraperitoneal injection with venom (0.22 mg/kg) every other day. The total tumor cells in the ascitic fluid and the size of the solid tumor were assessed after 14 and 30 days, respectively. In addition, the mean survival time (MST), body weight, tumor volume, PCV, viability of tumor cells, CBC, AST, ALP, creatinine, oxidative stress biomarkers (GSH, MDA, PCC), tumor marker Ki67, growth factor VEGF and caspase-3 were measured in normal control, EAC control and venom-treated groups (n = 6). Treatment with venom induced anti-tumor effects against liquid and in solid tumors as indicated by a significant (P < 0.05) reduction in tumor volume/size, count of viable EAC cells, expression of Ki67 and VEGF as well as by remarkable increases in MST and caspase-3 expression as compared to non-treated group. Interestingly, the venom restored the altered hematological and biochemical parameters of tumor-bearing animals and significantly increased their life span. These data indicate to (1) the cytotoxic potential effects of A. amoreuxi on tumor cells via anti-proliferative, apoptotic and anti-angiogenic activities; (2) opening a new avenue for further studies on the anti-cancer effects of this agent. PMID:27247867

  14. Teratogenicity in the rat of the venom from the scorpion Androctonus amoreuxi (Aud. & Sav.).

    PubMed

    Ismail, M; Ellison, A C; Tilmisany, A K

    1983-01-01

    A. amoreuxi venom caused a high foetal resorption rate in rats, particularly when injected on days 9-11 of gestation. Vertebral and ossification defects and foetal weight loss were observed in many of the viable foetuses obtained from mothers treated with scorpion venom. Treatment of the rats with phentolamine in addition to the venom significantly reduced the venom-induced hyperglycemia. It also conferred some protection against foetal resorption but had only a slight effect on chondrification or foetal weight loss. This shows that hyperglycemia might be responsible for foetal mortality, but alone is not a decisive factor in the effect of the venom on the chondrification process. Treatment of the rats with triamterene reduced the foetal resorption rate and significantly decreased the effects of the venom on chondrification. However, marked stippling was observed in the long bones and was ascribed to marked mobilization of ionized calcium in the foetus. Foetuses removed from rats treated with phentolamine or triamterene in addition to the venom, however, showed flattened and depressed skulls, possibly from a missing 1st cervical vertebra or failure of the occipital fontanel to close. Treatment of the rats with the scorpion venom over a longer period of time and starting at an earlier time of gestation (days 7-14) caused total foetal resorption, which may be due to inhibition of histamine formation by the venom. The teratogenic effect of the venom appears to be the result of its metabolic effect and action on body electrolytes of the maternal animal, rather than to a direct effect on the foetuses. This was evidenced from experiments with labelled venom, where only a small fraction (0.08-0.33%) was detected in foetuses or placenta. PMID:6344336

  15. Histopathological changes in liver of mice after experimental envenomation with Androctonus amoreuxi scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Fetaih, Hamdy A; Shoukry, Nahla M; Soliman, Belal A; Mohallal, Mahmoud E; Khaled, Howayda S

    2013-08-01

    A total of 78 adult male Albino mice were divided into thirteen groups (6 mice in each). One served as a control group and the other twelve groups were venom treated groups. The mice of treated groups were injected with 0.1 ml saline solution in which a particular amount of scorpion venom. The first 6 groups were subcutaneously injected with 1/2 LD50 (0.05 microg/g body weight), while the other 6 groups were injected with 1/4 LD 50 (0.025 microg/g body weight) by the same route. The animals from each group were anesthetized with ethyl ether and sacrificed at different time intervals (3, 6, 9, 12 hrs, 4 & 7days post toxin administration). The microscopic examination of liver tissue obtained from envenomed animals showed variable histopathological changes being severely increased with the time interval of envenoming. The most obvious changes in the liver were acute cellular swelling, hydropic degeneration, congestion of central veins and portal blood vessels. Besides, extramedullary hematopoiesis and invaginations in nuclei of hepatic cells, with formation of intranuclear cytoplasmic inclusions were observed. PMID:24260823

  16. In vitro studies with renal proximal tubule cells show direct cytotoxicity of Androctonus australis hector scorpion venom triggered by oxidative stress, caspase activation and apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Saidani, Chanez; Hammoudi-Triki, Djelila; Laraba-Djebari, Fatima; Taub, Mary

    2016-09-15

    Scorpion envenomation injures a number of organs, including the kidney. Mechanisms proposed to explain the renal tubule injury include direct effects of venom on tubule epithelial cells, as well as indirect effects of the autonomic nervous system, and inflammation. Here, we report direct effects of Androctonus australis hector (Aah) scorpion venom on the viability of Renal Proximal Tubule (RPT) cells in vitro, unlike distal tubule and collecting duct cells. Extensive NucGreen nuclear staining was observed in immortalized rabbit RPT cells following treatment with Aah venom, consistent with cytotoxicity. The involvement of oxidative stress is supported by the observations that 1) anti-oxidants mitigated the Aah venom-induced decrease in the number of viable RPT cells, and 2) Aah venom-treated RPT cells were intensively stained with the CellROX(®) Deep Red reagent, an indicator of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). Relevance to normal RPT cells is supported by the red fluorescence observed in Aah venom treated primary rabbit RPT cell cultures following their incubation with the Flica reagent (indicative of caspase activation and apoptosis), and the green fluorescence of Sytox Green (indicative of dead cells). PMID:27470530

  17. An in vitro comparative study upon the toxic properties of the venoms from Hemiscorpius lepturus, Androctonus crassicauda and Mesobuthus eupeus scorpions.

    PubMed

    Khodadadi, Ali; Pipelzadeh, Mohammad Hassan; Vazirianzadeh, Babak; Pipelzadeh, Mahsa; Sharifat, Mossa

    2012-09-01

    The aim of the present study was to compare the toxic effects of the venoms from Hemiscorpius lepturus (H. lepturus), Androctonus crassicauda (A. crassicauda) and Mesobuthus eupeus (M. eupeus). For this purpose, three in vitro models were employed to compare the toxic effects of various concentrations of the venoms from these three scorpions, namely: hemolytic potential using human RBCs, phospholipase activity using Saubouraud's dextrose agar (SDA) supplemented with 2% egg yolk and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) enzyme releasing effect using K562 leukemia cell line. In addition, the neutralizing effectiveness of the antivenom against these toxic properties was assessed. The results showed that, unlike the venoms from A. crassicauda and M. eupeus, the venom from H. lepturus produced dose-dependent lysis of human RBCs and showed phospholipase activity. However, all the tested venoms showed variable degrees of LDH releasing properties. The venom from H. lepturus had highest and the venom from M. eupeus had the lowest LDH releasing effect. The antivenom effectively inhibited all the tested toxicities. In conclusion, these results suggest that the venoms from the studied scorpions have variable toxic properties, which may explain the underlying reason for the differences in their clinical manifestations. In addition, the antivenom was effective in neutralizing all the tested toxic effects. PMID:22569320

  18. Cationicity-enhanced analogues of the antimicrobial peptides, AcrAP1 and AcrAP2, from the venom of the scorpion, Androctonus crassicauda, display potent growth modulation effects on human cancer cell lines.

    PubMed

    Du, Qiang; Hou, Xiaojuan; Ge, Lilin; Li, Renjie; Zhou, Mei; Wang, Hui; Wang, Lei; Wei, Minjie; Chen, Tianbao; Shaw, Chris

    2014-01-01

    The non disulphide-bridged peptides (NDBPs) of scorpion venoms are attracting increased interest due to their structural heterogeneity and broad spectrum of biological activities. Here, two novel peptides, named AcrAP1 and AcrAP2, have been identified in the lyophilised venom of the Arabian scorpion, Androctonus crassicauda, through "shotgun" molecular cloning of their biosynthetic precursor-encoding cDNAs. The respective mature peptides, predicted from these cloned cDNAs, were subsequently isolated from the same venom sample using reverse phase HPLC and their identities were confirmed by use of mass spectrometric techniques. Both were found to belong to a family of highly-conserved scorpion venom antimicrobial peptides - a finding confirmed through the biological investigation of synthetic replicates. Analogues of both peptides designed for enhanced cationicity, displayed enhanced potency and spectra of antimicrobial activity but, unlike the native peptides, these also displayed potent growth modulation effects on a range of human cancer cell lines. Thus natural peptide templates from venom peptidomes can provide the basis for rational analogue design to improve both biological potency and spectrum of action. The diversity of such templates from such natural sources undoubtedly provides the pharmaceutical industry with unique lead compounds for drug discovery. PMID:25332684

  19. Scorpions

    MedlinePlus

    ... 222-1222) from anywhere in the United States. Poisonous Ingredient Scorpion venom contains the poison. Where Found ... most varieties of North American scorpions are NOT poisonous. The poisonous ones in the United States live ...

  20. AaeAP1 and AaeAP2: novel antimicrobial peptides from the venom of the scorpion, Androctonus aeneas: structural characterisation, molecular cloning of biosynthetic precursor-encoding cDNAs and engineering of analogues with enhanced antimicrobial and anticancer activities.

    PubMed

    Du, Qiang; Hou, Xiaojuan; Wang, Lei; Zhang, Yingqi; Xi, Xinping; Wang, Hui; Zhou, Mei; Duan, Jinao; Wei, Minjie; Chen, Tianbao; Shaw, Chris

    2015-02-01

    The main functions of the abundant polypeptide toxins present in scorpion venoms are the debilitation of arthropod prey or defence against predators. These effects are achieved mainly through the blocking of an array of ion channel types within the membranes of excitable cells. However, while these ion channel-blocking toxins are tightly-folded by multiple disulphide bridges between cysteine residues, there are additional groups of peptides in the venoms that are devoid of cysteine residues. These non-disulphide bridged peptides are the subject of much research interest, and among these are peptides that exhibit antimicrobial activity. Here, we describe two novel non-disulphide-bridged antimicrobial peptides that are present in the venom of the North African scorpion, Androctonus aeneas. The cDNAs encoding the biosynthetic precursors of both peptides were cloned from a venom-derived cDNA library using 3'- and 5'-RACE strategies. Both translated precursors contained open-reading frames of 74 amino acid residues, each encoding one copy of a putative novel nonadecapeptide, whose primary structures were FLFSLIPSVIAGLVSAIRN and FLFSLIPSAIAGLVSAIRN, respectively. Both peptides were C-terminally amidated. Synthetic versions of each natural peptide displayed broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities, but were devoid of antiproliferative activity against human cancer cell lines. However, synthetic analogues of each peptide, engineered for enhanced cationicity and amphipathicity, exhibited increases in antimicrobial potency and acquired antiproliferative activity against a range of human cancer cell lines. These data clearly illustrate the potential that natural peptide templates provide towards the design of synthetic analogues for therapeutic exploitation. PMID:25626077

  1. AaeAP1 and AaeAP2: Novel Antimicrobial Peptides from the Venom of the Scorpion, Androctonus aeneas: Structural Characterisation, Molecular Cloning of Biosynthetic Precursor-Encoding cDNAs and Engineering of Analogues with Enhanced Antimicrobial and Anticancer Activities

    PubMed Central

    Du, Qiang; Hou, Xiaojuan; Wang, Lei; Zhang, Yingqi; Xi, Xinping; Wang, Hui; Zhou, Mei; Duan, Jinao; Wei, Minjie; Chen, Tianbao; Shaw, Chris

    2015-01-01

    The main functions of the abundant polypeptide toxins present in scorpion venoms are the debilitation of arthropod prey or defence against predators. These effects are achieved mainly through the blocking of an array of ion channel types within the membranes of excitable cells. However, while these ion channel-blocking toxins are tightly-folded by multiple disulphide bridges between cysteine residues, there are additional groups of peptides in the venoms that are devoid of cysteine residues. These non-disulphide bridged peptides are the subject of much research interest, and among these are peptides that exhibit antimicrobial activity. Here, we describe two novel non-disulphide-bridged antimicrobial peptides that are present in the venom of the North African scorpion, Androctonus aeneas. The cDNAs encoding the biosynthetic precursors of both peptides were cloned from a venom-derived cDNA library using 3'- and 5'-RACE strategies. Both translated precursors contained open-reading frames of 74 amino acid residues, each encoding one copy of a putative novel nonadecapeptide, whose primary structures were FLFSLIPSVIAGLVSAIRN and FLFSLIPSAIAGLVSAIRN, respectively. Both peptides were C-terminally amidated. Synthetic versions of each natural peptide displayed broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities, but were devoid of antiproliferative activity against human cancer cell lines. However, synthetic analogues of each peptide, engineered for enhanced cationicity and amphipathicity, exhibited increases in antimicrobial potency and acquired antiproliferative activity against a range of human cancer cell lines. These data clearly illustrate the potential that natural peptide templates provide towards the design of synthetic analogues for therapeutic exploitation. PMID:25626077

  2. Biological assays on the effects of Acra3 peptide from Turkish scorpion Androctonus crassicauda venom on a mouse brain tumor cell line (BC3H1) and production of specific monoclonal antibodies.

    PubMed

    Caliskan, Figen; Ergene, Emel; Sogut, Ibrahim; Hatipoglu, Ibrahim; Basalp, Aynur; Sivas, Hulya; Kanbak, Gungor

    2013-12-15

    Constitutes of the venom scorpion are a rich source of low molecular mass peptides which are toxic to various organisms, including man. Androctonus crassicauda is one of the scorpions from the Southeastern Anatolia of Turkey with public health importance. This work is focused on the investigation of biological effects of Acra3 peptide from Androctonus crassicauda. For this purpose, Acra3 isolated from crude venoms was tested for its cytotoxicity on BC3H1 mouse brain tumor cells using tetrazolium salt cleavage and lactate dehydrogenase activity assays. To determine whether the cytotoxic effects of Acra3 was related to the induction of apoptosis, the morphology of the cells and the nuclear fragmentation was examined by using Acridin Orange staining and DNA fragmentation assay, respectively. Caspase 3 and caspase 9 activities were measured spectrophotometrically and flow cytometric assay was performed using Annexin-V FITC and Propidium Iodide staining. Furthermore toxic peptide Acra3 was used as an antigen for immunological studies. Results showed that Acra3 exerted very strong cytotoxic effect on BC3H1 cells with an IC50 value of 5 μg/ml. Exposure of the cells to 0.1 and 0.5 μg/ml was resulted in very strong appearance of the apoptotic morphology in a dose dependent manner. On the other side, not any DNA fragmentation was observed after treatment of the cells. Caspase 3 and 9 activities were slightly decreased with Acra3. Results from flow cytometry and lactate dehydrogenase activity assays indicate that Acra3 exerts its effects by inducing a stronger necrosis than apoptosis in BC3H1 cells. To evaluate its immunogenicity, monoclonal antibody (MAb) specific for Acra3 antigen (5B9) was developed by hybridoma technology using spleen and lymph nodes of mice and immunoglobulin type of antibody was found to be IgM. We suggest that Acra3 may exert its effects by inducing both necrotic and apoptotic pathway in some way on mouse brain tumor cells. These findings will be

  3. Two-dimensional sup 1 H nuclear magnetic resonance study of AaH IT, an anti-insect toxin from the scorpion Androctonus australis Hector. Sequential resonance assignments and folding of the polypeptide chain

    SciTech Connect

    Darbon, H. ); Weber, C.; Braun, W. )

    1991-02-19

    Sequence-specific nuclear magnetic resonance assignments for the polypeptide backbone and for most of the amino acid side-chain protons, as well as the general folding of AaH IT, are described. AaH IT is a neurotoxin purified from the venom of the scorpion Androctonus australis Hector and is specifically active on the insect nervous system. The secondary structure and the hydrogen-bonding patterns in the regular secondary structure elements are deduced from nuclear Overhauser effects and the sequence locations of the slowly exchanging amide protons. The backbone folding is determined by distance geometry calculations with the DISMAN program. The regular secondary structure includes two and a half turns of {alpha}-helix running from residues 21 to 30 and a three-stranded antiparallel {beta}-sheet including peptides 3-5, 34-38, and 41-46. Two tight turns are present, one connecting the end of the {alpha}-helix to an external strand of the {beta}-sheet, i.e., turn 31-34, and another connecting this same strand to the central one, i.e., turn 38-41. The differences in the specificity of these related proteins, which are able to discriminate between mammalian and insect voltage-dependent sodium channels of excitable tissues, are most probably brought about by the position of the C-terminal peptide with regard to a hydrophobic surface common to all scorpion toxins examined thus far. Thus, the interaction of a given scorpion toxin with its receptor might well be governed by the presence of this solvent-exposed hydrophobic surface, whereas adjacent areas modulate the specificity of the interaction.

  4. [Space organization and structure of the scorpion population in the region of Sfax (Tunisia)].

    PubMed

    Nouira, S; Ktari, M H

    1989-01-01

    Four species of scorpions live in Sfax area: Androctonus australis, Androctonus aeneas, Buthus occitanus and Scorpio maurus. Preliminary study of this community organization showed that: spatial segregation allow coexistence of different species, nature and texture of the soil determine biogeography distribution and populations abundances in the sector studied, populations of scorpions maintains close connections between them and with guild of insectivorous and nocturnal lizards, particularly competition and predation. PMID:2488541

  5. Scorpion fauna and epidemiological aspects of scorpionism in southeastern Iran

    PubMed Central

    Nejati, Jalil; Mozafari, Ehsan; Saghafipour, Abedin; Kiyani, Malek

    2014-01-01

    Objective To identify the scorpion fauna and classify the epidemiological aspects of scorpionism in an endemic region, Southeast Iran. Methods Scorpionism data were collected from health centers and hospitals in Sistan-Baluchestan Province during 2010-2011. Specimens were collected at night, using UV light, between May and October 2012. Results In total, 246 scorpions were collected from two families (Buthidae and Scorpionidae). Five species including Odontobuthus odonturus, Hottentotta (Buthotus) jayakari, Compsobuthus matthiesseni, Scorpio maurus and Orthochirus scrobiculosus are reported for the first time from this area. Androctonus crassicauda was the dominant species. In total, 3 638 scorpion sting cases were recorded by health system, the majority of which were females. Stings mostly occurred in July and the age group of 15-24 years presented the highest frequency. Scorpionism decreased during 2011 compared with that in 2010 (68.2%). Conclusions Based on the results, scorpionism is a serious health problem in this area and increasing knowledge of residents regarding the prevention methods of scorpion stings is recommended. Additional research on the scorpion fauna, their ecological and molecular variety in this part of the country is needed as well as the correlation between scorpions' species and the clinical signs and symptoms. PMID:25183084

  6. [Ischemic stroke following a scorpion sting].

    PubMed

    Elkhayari, M; Hachimi, A; Ziadi, A; Abdenasser Samkaoui, M

    2013-01-01

    Scorpion envenomation is caused by an accidental scorpion sting. In its severe form, it involves life-threatening respiratory or cardiac damage; it may also cause the neurological severity of systemic manifestations. We report the case of a young 35-year-old woman stung by an Androctonus mauretanicus scorpion, who developed impaired consciousness, hemiplegia and respiratory distress. At admission, the brain computed tomography showed a hypodense area in the right parietal region; the chest radiograph revealed a bilateral alveolar syndrome. Troponin was elevated and hemostasis disorders were present. The clinical course was remarkable: cardiogenic shock with multiple organ failure followed by death on day 3. This case illustrates a rare complication of scorpion envenomation: ischemic stroke due to an undetermined mechanism, which in addition to the cardiac and respiratory injuries, led to the serious complications and fatal outcome. PMID:23648127

  7. Antigenic Cross-Reactivity Anti-Birtoxin Antibody against Androctonus crassicauda Venom

    PubMed Central

    Van Zoelen, Suhandan Adigüzel; Ozkan, Ozcan; Inceoglu, Bora

    2015-01-01

    Background: Antivenom is still widely used in the treatment of envenomation as there are no vaccines or other effective agents available against animal venoms. Recently, neurotoxins named birtoxin family have been described from Parabuthus transvaalicus and Androctonus crassicauda. The aim of the present study was to test the anti-birtoxin antibodies for their ability to neutralize the lethal effects of A. crassicauda scorpion venom. Methods: SDS-PAGE and Western blotting used the presence of components from A. crassicauda and P. transvaalicus scorpion venoms and to determine the degree of cross-reactivity. The Minimum Lethal Dose (MLD) of venom was assessed by subcutaneously (sc) injections in mice. Results: The MLD of the A. crassicauda venom was 35 μg/ 20g mouse by sc injection route. Western blotting showed the presence of components from A. crassicauda and P. transvaalicus scorpion venoms strongly cross react with the A. crassicauda antivenom. However, Western blotting of the A. crassicauda scorpion venom using the Refik Saydam Public Health Agency (RSPHA) generated antibody showed that not all the venom components cross reacted with the anti-birtoxin antibody. The antibodies only cross reacted with components falling under the 19 kDa protein size of A. crassicauda venom. Conclusion: The bioassays and Western blotting of A. crassicauda venom with the anti-birtoxin antibodies produced against a synthetic peptide showed that these antibodies cross reacted but did not neutralize the venom of A. crassicauda. PMID:26623429

  8. [Application of ELISA for the quantification of Androctonus australis hector venom in the envenomed serum of people and rats before and after immunotherapy].

    PubMed

    Hammoudi-Triki, D; Laraba-Djebari, F

    2003-11-01

    Scorpion envenomation remains an important health problem in many countries in the world, especially in North Africa, Asia and America. In Algeria, the most dangerous species for humans are Androctonus australis hector (Aah) and Buthus occitanus tunetanus (Bot). These scorpions are responsible for the apparition of various symptoms in envenomed patients such as: pain, hypertention, hypotension, sudation and fever. An aggravation of clinical conditions of envenomed patients is characterized by a pulmonary cedema and myocardial damage. The evaluation of the severity of scorpion envenoming by immuno-enzymatic assay requires firstly, the preparation of a specific anti-horse F(ab')2 peroxydase conjugate not yet commercialized. The restatement of conditions of ELISA sandwich test allowed its utilization in determination of the venom concentration in envenomed patients and rats sera after envenoming by scorpion venom. Standardization of this test, its reproductibility, linearity and its detection limit were defined. The venom concentrations are directly deducted from standard curves prepared by the dilution of Androctonus australis hector in human serum collected from healthy donors and in non envenomed rats serum. The present study showed that ELISA test has a good linear response in a range of concentrations of venom antigen. Its detection limit was 0.5 ng/ml of Aah venom in serum. This specific test of scorpion envenoming aims in one side at establishing a correlation between venom levels and the clinical observations and at evaluating the severity of the envenoming before and after immunotherapy. PMID:14717046

  9. Evidence for a new class of scorpion toxins active against K+ channels.

    PubMed

    Legros, C; Céard, B; Bougis, P E; Martin-Eauclaire, M F

    1998-07-24

    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 Kbeta and Ts TX Kbeta, 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. PMID:9714546

  10. [Use of medicinal plants against scorpionic and ophidian venoms].

    PubMed

    Memmi, A; Sansa, G; Rjeibi, I; El Ayeb, M; Srairi-Abid, N; Bellasfer, Z; Fekhih, A

    2007-01-01

    The scorpionic and ophidian envenomations are a serious public health problem in Tunisia especially in Southeastern regions. In these regions Artemisia campestris L is a plant well known which has a very important place in traditional medicine for its effectiveness against alleged venom of scorpions and snakes. In this work, we tested for the first time, the anti-venomous activity of Artemisia campestris L against the scorpion Androctonus australis garzonii and the viper Macrovipera lebetina venoms. Assays were conducted by fixing the dose of extract to3 mg/mouse while doses of venom are variable. The leaves of Artemisia campestris L were extracted by various organic solvents (Ether of oil, ethyl acetate, methanol and ethanol) and each extract was tested for its venom neutralizing capacity. For the ethanolic extract, a significant activity with respect to the venoms of scorpion Androctonus australis garzonii (Aag), was detected. Similarly, a significant neutralizing activity against the venom of a viper Macrovipera lebetina (Ml), was obtained with the dichloromethane extract. These results suggest the presence of two different type of chemical components in this plant: those neutralizing the venom of scorpion are soluble in ethanol whereas those neutralizing the venom of viper are soluble in dichloromethane. PMID:19388583

  11. A first exploration of the venom of the Buthus occitanus scorpion found in southern France

    PubMed Central

    Martin-Eauclaire, Marie-France; Bosmans, Frank; Céard, Brigitte; Diochot, Sylvie; Bougis, Pierre E.

    2014-01-01

    Even though Buthus occitanus scorpions are found throughout the Mediterranean region, a lack of distinctive characteristics has hampered their classification into different subspecies. Yet, stings from this particular scorpion family are reported each year to result in pain followed by various toxic symptoms. In order to determine the toxicity origin of the rare French Buthus occitanus Amoreux scorpion, we collected several specimens and studied their venom composition using a nano ultra high performance liquid chromatography and matrix assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (nano UHPLC/MALDI-TOF-MS) automated workflow combined with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) approach. Moreover, we compared this dataset to that obtained from highly lethal Androctonus australis and Androctonus mauretanicus scorpions collected in North Africa. As a result, we found that the Buthus occitanus Amoreux venom is toxic to mice, an observation that is most likely caused by venom components that inhibit voltage-gated sodium channel inactivation. Moreover, we identified similarities in venom composition between Buthus occitanus scorpions living in the South of France and other Buthidae collected in Morocco and Algeria. As such, the results of this study should be taken into consideration when treating stings from the Buthus occitanus species living in the South of France. PMID:24418174

  12. Polypyrazolylborates: Scorpionates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trofimenko, Swiatoslaw

    2005-01-01

    Scorpionate-type ligands and the original polypyrazolylborates are easy to synthesize, have good stability, and are quite user-friendly. Their thallium(I) salts are readily soluble in organic solvents that permits their use in organic media, or in two-phase aquo-organic solvent mixtures.

  13. Scorpion fish sting

    MedlinePlus

    ... page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002849.htm Scorpion fish sting To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Scorpion fish are members of the family Scorpaenidae, which includes ...

  14. Insects and Scorpions

    MedlinePlus

    ... gov . Workplace Safety and Health Topics Insects & Scorpions Bees, Wasps, and Hornets Fire Ants Scorpions Additional Resources ... to outdoor workers. Stinging or biting insects include bees, wasps, hornets, and fire ants. The health effects ...

  15. Scorpion toxins from Centruroides noxius and Tityus serrulatus. Primary structures and sequence comparison by metric analysis.

    PubMed Central

    Possani, L D; Martin, B M; Svendsen, I; Rode, G S; Erickson, B W

    1985-01-01

    The complete primary structures of toxin II-14 from the Mexican scorpion Centruroides noxius Hoffmann and toxin gamma from the Brazilian scorpion Tityus serrulatus Lutz and Mello have been determined. Cleavage of toxin gamma after Met-6 with CNBr produced the 55-residue peptide 7-61, which maintained the four disulphide bonds but was not toxic to mice at a dose 3 times the lethal dose of native toxin gamma. Pairwise comparison by metric analysis of segment 1-50 of toxin gamma and the corresponding segments from two other South American scorpion toxins, five North American scorpion toxins, nine North African scorpion toxins and one Central Asian scorpion toxin showed that the three Brazilian toxins are intermediate between the North American and North African toxins. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that the South American and African continents were joined by a land connection in the distant past. Images Fig. 1. PMID:4052021

  16. Scorpion sting: eclampsia.

    PubMed

    Zengin, Suat; Al, Behçet; Oktay, Mehmet Murat; Kilic, Hasan

    2012-01-01

    Scorpion stings are common in many regions of the world, particularly in rural areas. While most of the stings are harmless and tend to be milder, some stings rarely have severe clinical course, including neurological, cardiovascular and respiratory system complications. Although there are many studies in the literature related to the scorpion sting, data on effects of scorpion stings in pregnant woman are very little. The authors have not come across any case report of eclampsia as a complication of scorpion sting. With this study, the authors aimed to discuss a scorpion sting lead to an unexpected complication, eclampsia. PMID:22962387

  17. Toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic analyses of Androctonus australis hector venom in rats: Optimization of antivenom therapy

    SciTech Connect

    Hammoudi-Triki, D.; Lefort, J.; Rougeot, C.; Robbe-Vincent, A.; Bon, C.; Laraba-Djebari, F.; Choumet, V. . E-mail: vchoumet@pasteur.fr

    2007-02-01

    This paper reports the simultaneous determination of toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic properties of Androctonus australis hector venom, in the absence and presence of antivenom (F(ab'){sub 2} and Fab), in envenomed rats. After subcutaneous injection of the venom, toxins showed a complete absorption phase from the site of injection associated with a distribution into a large extravascular compartment. The injection of Fab and F(ab'){sub 2} induced the neutralization of venom antigens in the blood compartment, as well as the redistribution of venom components from the extravascular compartment to the blood compartment. Interestingly, F(ab'){sub 2} and Fab showed distinct efficiencies depending on their route of injection. F(ab'){sub 2} induced a faster venom neutralization and redistribution than Fab when injected intravenously. Fab was more effective than F(ab'){sub 2} by the intramuscular route. The hemodynamic effects of Aah venom were further investigated. Changes in mean arterial pressure and heart rate were observed in parallel with an upper airway obstruction. Fab was more effective than F(ab'){sub 2} for preventing early symptoms of envenomation, whatever their route of administration. Intraperitoneal injection of F(ab'){sub 2} and Fab was similar for the prevention of the delayed symptoms, even after a late administration. Fab was more effective than F(ab'){sub 2} in the inhibition of airway resistance, independent of the route and time of administration. These results show that the treatment for scorpion stings might be improved by the intravascular injection of a mixture of Fab and F(ab'){sub 2}. If antivenom cannot be administered intravenously, Fab might be an alternative as they are more effective than F(ab'){sub 2} when injected intramuscularly.

  18. Assessment of immunogenic characteristics of Hemiscorpius lepturus venom and its cross-reactivity with venoms from Androctonus crassicauda and Mesobuthus eupeus.

    PubMed

    Khanbashi, Shahin; Khodadadi, Ali; Assarehzadegan, Mohammad-Ali; Pipelzadeh, Mohammad Hassan; Vazirianzadeh, Babak; Hosseinzadeh, Mohsen; Rahmani, Ali Hassan; Asmar, Akbar

    2015-01-01

    Hemiscorpius lepturus (H. lepturus), one of the most venomous scorpions in tropical and sub-tropical areas, belongs to the Hemiscorpiidae family. Studies of antibodies in sera against the protein component of the venom from this organism can be of great use for the development of engineered variants of proteins for eventual use in the diagnosis/treatment of, and prevention of reactions to, stings. In the present in vitro study, the proteins of H. lepturus venom, which could specifically activate the production of immunoglobulin G (IgG) in victims accidently exposed to the venom from this scorpion, were evaluated and their cross-reactivity with venoms from two other important scorpion species including Androctonus crassicauda and Mesobuthus eupeus assessed. H. lepturus venom was analyzed with respect to its protein composition and its antigenic properties against antibodies found in sera collected from victims exposed to the venom of this scorpion within a previous 2-month period. The cross-reactivity of the H. lepturus venom with those from A. crassicauda and M. eupeus was assessed using ELISA and immunoblotting. Electrophoretic analysis of the venom of H. lepturus revealed several protein bands with weights of 8-116 KDa. The most frequent IgG-reactive bands in the test sera had weights of 34, 50, and 116 kDa. A weak cross-reactivity H. lepturus of venom with venoms from A. crassicauda and M. eupeus was detected. The results of immunoblotting and ELISA experiments revealed that H. lepturus venom activated the host immune response, leading to the production of a high titer of antibodies. Clearly, a determination of the major immunogenic components of H. lepturus venom could be valuable for future studies and ultimately of great importance for the potential production of recombinant or hypo-venom variants of these proteins. PMID:24946724

  19. Complement system and immunological mediators: Their involvements in the induced inflammatory process by Androctonus australis hector venom and its toxic components.

    PubMed

    Bekkari, Nadjia; Martin-Eauclaire, Marie-France; Laraba-Djebari, Fatima

    2015-01-01

    Androctonus australis hector scorpion venom is well known by its high toxicity, it induces massive release of neurotransmitters that lead to pathophysiological disorders in cardiovascular, neuro-hormonal and immune systems. Previous studies have shown the relationship between the severity of scorpion envenoming and immune system activation. This study was assessed to investigate the involvement of complement system and inflammatory mediators after sublethal injection of Aah venom, its toxic fraction (FtoxG50) and its main toxins (AahI and AahII) into NMRI mice. The Activation complement system by the venom is also compared to that induced of lipopolysaccharides (LPS). Obtained results showed that seric complement system (CS) is activated by the venom and by its toxic components; this activation is more pronounced into liver tissue when toxic components (FtoxG50, AahI or AahII) are used. Increase of cytokine levels (IL1β, TNFα and ICAM) into hepatic tissue induced by AahI or AahII neurotoxins is correlated with tissue alterations. Aprotinin, a non specific inhibitor of complement system seems to be able to reduce CS consumption and to restore partially the induced tissue damage by venom. The mechanisms by which toxic fraction or LPS induced the activation of complement system seem to be different. Sensitivity of hepatic tissue is more pronounced after FtoxG50 injection; however lung tissue is more sensible to LPS than FoxG50. PMID:25921955

  20. Cardiac involvement and its complications about three cases of severe scorpion envenomation.

    PubMed

    Aboumaâd, B; Tiger, A; Khattabi, A; Soulaymani, R; Lahssaini, M; Benhassain, S M; Iba, N

    2014-02-01

    For several decades, Morocco is confronted to medico-social problem of scorpion stings and envenomations. In 2009, epidemiological data established by the Poison Control Center recorded 29,816 stung patients, with an incidence of 1.1‰ and a fatality rate of 0.18%. The neurotoxins from scorpion venom are potent activators of the autonomic nervous system resulting a physiopathological disorder of vital systems. The most serious clinical manifestations are neurotoxic effects, pulmonary edema and cardiovascular distress. This present work reports the cases of three children (4 years and 6 months, 8 months and 15 days, 4 years), hospitalized in intensive care for an envenomation by Androctonus mauritanicus (the most fatal scorpion specie). The children presented cardiac dysfunction where pulmonary edema and state of shock were complications resultants. Two cases survived after supportive and symptomatic treatment based on dobutamine as primordial treatment in cardiovascular and pulmonary correction and other drugs. The third case died. The objective of this work was to detect the limit of the effectiveness of symptomatic treatment during a severe scorpion envenomation. PMID:24316266

  1. General biochemical and immunological characteristics of the venom from Peruvian scorpion Hadruroides lunatus.

    PubMed

    Costal-Oliveira, F; Duarte, C G; Machado de Avila, R A; Melo, M M; Bordon, K C F; Arantes, E C; Paredes, N C; Tintaya, B; Bonilla, C; Bonilla, R E; Suarez, W S; Yarleque, A; Fernandez, J M; Kalapothakis, E; Chávez-Olórtegui, Carlos

    2012-10-01

    This communication describes the general biochemical properties and some immunological characteristics of the venom from the Peruvian scorpion Hadruroides lunatus, which is the most medically relevant species in Peru. The soluble venom of this scorpion is toxic to mice, the LD₅₀ determined was 0.1 mg/kg and 21.55 mg/kg when the venom was injected intracranial or intraperitoneally, respectively. The soluble venom displayed proteolytic, hyaluronidasic, phospholipasic and cardiotoxic activities. High performance liquid chromatography of the soluble venom resulted in the separation of 20 fractions. Two peptides with phospholipasic activity were isolated to homogeneity and their molecular masses determined by mass spectrometry (MALDI TOF). Anti-H. lunatus venom sera were produced in rabbits. Western blotting analysis showed that most of the protein content of this venom is immunogenic. H. lunatus anti-venom displayed consistent cross-reactivity with venom antigens from the new World-scorpions Tityus serrulatus and Centruroides sculpturatus venoms; however, a weaker reactivity was observed against the venom antigens from the old World-scorpion Androctonus australis Hector. PMID:22750532

  2. Scorpion image segmentation system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joseph, E.; Aibinu, A. M.; Sadiq, B. A.; Bello Salau, H.; Salami, M. J. E.

    2013-12-01

    Death as a result of scorpion sting has been a major public health problem in developing countries. Despite the high rate of death as a result of scorpion sting, little report exists in literature of intelligent device and system for automatic detection of scorpion. This paper proposed a digital image processing approach based on the floresencing characteristics of Scorpion under Ultra-violet (UV) light for automatic detection and identification of scorpion. The acquired UV-based images undergo pre-processing to equalize uneven illumination and colour space channel separation. The extracted channels are then segmented into two non-overlapping classes. It has been observed that simple thresholding of the green channel of the acquired RGB UV-based image is sufficient for segmenting Scorpion from other background components in the acquired image. Two approaches to image segmentation have also been proposed in this work, namely, the simple average segmentation technique and K-means image segmentation. The proposed algorithm has been tested on over 40 UV scorpion images obtained from different part of the world and results obtained show an average accuracy of 97.7% in correctly classifying the pixel into two non-overlapping clusters. The proposed 1system will eliminate the problem associated with some of the existing manual approaches presently in use for scorpion detection.

  3. Scorpion Envenomation in Pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Shah, Noor; Martens, Mark G

    2016-06-01

    Scorpion envenomation affects more than 1 million people every year and represents an important public health problem worldwide. The effects of envenomation range from localized pain and paresthesias to overactivation of the sympathetic nervous system, leading to neurotoxicity and even death. Of the individuals affected by scorpion envenomation, certain populations, such as young children and older adults, are at high risk for severe disease. Substantial literature exists on the management of envenomation in children; however, scant literature exists that addresses the same phenomenon in pregnant women. This review serves to identify the effects of scorpion envenomation on pregnant women and the treatment options available to them. After thorough review of the treatment modalities that are used to treat scorpion envenomation, we developed a treatment algorithm that may help guide the management of pregnant women who present with scorpion envenomation. PMID:27255088

  4. Natural infestation of Pimeliaphilus joshuae on scorpion species from Egypt.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, Mohamed M; Abdel-Rahman, Mohamed A

    2011-09-01

    The main goal of this study was to study the acarine parasite, Pimeliaphilus joshuae (Prostigmata: Pterygosomatidae) on various scorpion species from Egypt to determine its prevalence, abundance and intensity in relation to host species, size and sex. A total of 95 Leiurus quinquestriatus, 98 Androctonus australis, 40 A. amoreuxi, 30 Scorpio maurus palmatus and 46 Orthochirus scrobicuosus were examined during August 2009. Prevalence and mean abundance of P. joshuae varied significantly in relation to host species, host size and sex. In L. quinquestriatus, A. australis, and A. amoreuxi, the prevalence was 76.8, 13.3, and 50.0%, whereas the mean abundance was 47.6, 6.7 and 14.3%, respectively. Prevalence and mean abundance of P. joshuae were both positively correlated with host size in L. quinquestriatus and A. australis. We conclude that P. joshuae is found in a wide range of scorpion species exhibiting a low degree of host specificity. Controlled laboratory infection experiments are required to explain why S. m. palmatus and O. scrobicuosus are not susceptible to infestation by P. joshuae. PMID:21465333

  5. Scorpions: A Presentation

    PubMed Central

    Goyffon, Max; Tournier, Jean-Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    Scorpions, at least the species of the family Buthidæ whose venoms are better known, appear as animals that have evolved very little over time. The composition of their venoms is relatively simple as most toxins have a common structural motif that is found in other venoms from primitive species. Moreover, all the scorpion venom toxins principally act on membrane ionic channels of excitable cells. The results of recent works lead to the conclusion that in scorpions there is a close relationship between venomous function and innate immune function both remarkably efficient. PMID:25133517

  6. Scorpion sting nephropathy

    PubMed Central

    Prabhu, Chaitanya

    2011-01-01

    Scorpion envenomations are ubiquitous, but nephropathy is a rare manifestation, reported mainly from the Middle East and North Africa. Rapid venom redistribution from blood, delayed excretion from the kidneys, direct toxicity of venom enzymes, cytokine release and afferent arteriolar constriction have been seen in experimental animals. Haemoglobinuria, acute tubular necrosis, interstitial nephritis and haemolytic–uraemic syndrome have been documented in human victims of scorpion envenomation. Epidemiology, venom components and toxins, effects on the laboratory mammals especially the kidneys and reports of renal failure in humans are reviewed in this article. PMID:25984198

  7. Evaluation of the lethal potency of scorpion and snake venoms and comparison between intraperitoneal and intravenous injection routes.

    PubMed

    Oukkache, Naoual; El Jaoudi, Rachid; Ghalim, Noreddine; Chgoury, Fatima; Bouhaouala, Balkiss; Mdaghri, Naima El; Sabatier, Jean-Marc

    2014-06-01

    Scorpion stings and snake bites are major health hazards that lead to suffering of victims and high mortality. Thousands of injuries associated with such stings and bites of venomous animals occur every year worldwide. In North Africa, more than 100,000 scorpion stings and snake bites are reported annually. An appropriate determination of the 50% lethal doses (LD₅₀) of scorpion and snake venoms appears to be an important step to assess (and compare) venom toxic activity. Such LD₅₀ values are also commonly used to evaluate the neutralizing capacity of specific anti-venom batches. In the present work, we determined experimentally the LD₅₀ values of reference scorpion and snake venoms in Swiss mice, and evaluated the influence of two main venom injection routes (i.e., intraperitoneal (IP) versus intravenous (IV)). The analysis of experimental LD₅₀ values obtained with three collected scorpion venoms indicates that Androctonus mauretanicus (Am) is intrinsically more toxic than Androctonus australis hector (Aah) species, whereas the latter is more toxic than Buthus occitanus (Bo). Similar analysis of three representative snake venoms of the Viperidae family shows that Cerastes cerastes (Cc) is more toxic than either Bitis arietans (Ba) or Macrovipera lebetina (Ml) species. Interestingly, the venom of Elapidae cobra snake Naja haje (Nh) is far more toxic than viper venoms Cc, Ml and Ba, in agreement with the known severity of cobra-related envenomation. Also, our data showed that viper venoms are about three-times less toxic when injected IP as compared to IV, distinct from cobra venom Nh which exhibited a similar toxicity when injected IP or IV. Overall, this study clearly highlights the usefulness of procedure standardization, especially regarding the administration route, for evaluating the relative toxicity of individual animal venoms. It also evidenced a marked difference in lethal activity between venoms of cobra and vipers, which, apart from the

  8. Evaluation of the Lethal Potency of Scorpion and Snake Venoms and Comparison between Intraperitoneal and Intravenous Injection Routes

    PubMed Central

    Oukkache, Naoual; Jaoudi, Rachid El; Ghalim, Noreddine; Chgoury, Fatima; Bouhaouala, Balkiss; Mdaghri, Naima El; Sabatier, Jean-Marc

    2014-01-01

    Scorpion stings and snake bites are major health hazards that lead to suffering of victims and high mortality. Thousands of injuries associated with such stings and bites of venomous animals occur every year worldwide. In North Africa, more than 100,000 scorpion stings and snake bites are reported annually. An appropriate determination of the 50% lethal doses (LD50) of scorpion and snake venoms appears to be an important step to assess (and compare) venom toxic activity. Such LD50 values are also commonly used to evaluate the neutralizing capacity of specific anti-venom batches. In the present work, we determined experimentally the LD50 values of reference scorpion and snake venoms in Swiss mice, and evaluated the influence of two main venom injection routes (i.e., intraperitoneal (IP) versus intravenous (IV)). The analysis of experimental LD50 values obtained with three collected scorpion venoms indicates that Androctonus mauretanicus (Am) is intrinsically more toxic than Androctonus australis hector (Aah) species, whereas the latter is more toxic than Buthus occitanus (Bo). Similar analysis of three representative snake venoms of the Viperidae family shows that Cerastes cerastes (Cc) is more toxic than either Bitis arietans (Ba) or Macrovipera lebetina (Ml) species. Interestingly, the venom of Elapidae cobra snake Naja haje (Nh) is far more toxic than viper venoms Cc, Ml and Ba, in agreement with the known severity of cobra-related envenomation. Also, our data showed that viper venoms are about three-times less toxic when injected IP as compared to IV, distinct from cobra venom Nh which exhibited a similar toxicity when injected IP or IV. Overall, this study clearly highlights the usefulness of procedure standardization, especially regarding the administration route, for evaluating the relative toxicity of individual animal venoms. It also evidenced a marked difference in lethal activity between venoms of cobra and vipers, which, apart from the nature of toxins

  9. Induction of neutralizing antibodies against Tityus serrulatus scorpion toxins by immunization with a mixture of defined synthetic epitopes.

    PubMed

    Alvarenga, L M; Diniz, C R; Granier, C; Chávez-Olórtegui, C

    2002-01-01

    We have used the Spot method of multiple peptide synthesis to prepare sets of immobilized overlapping peptides of uniform size (15 mer), covering the complete amino acid sequences of TsNTxP a non-toxic and immunogenic protein and TsIV, an alpha-type toxin that is the major lethal component of the venom of scorpion Tityus serrulatus. Anti-TsNTxP antibodies binding to peptides, revealed three antigenic regions, one in the N-terminal, the second in the central part and the other in the C-terminal part of TsNTxP. One peptide epitope in the C-terminal part of TsIV was identified with anti-TsIV neutralizing rabbit antibodies. Anti-peptide antibodies were raised against these four peptides all together covalently coupled to keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) and found to neutralize in vitro the toxic effects of the T. serrulatus venom. Quantities of venom equivalent to 13.5 LD(50) were effectively neutralized by 1ml of the anti-peptide serum. The antigenic specificities of the anti-peptides were compared by an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using synthetic peptides and crude venoms from T. serrulatus, T. bahiensis, T. cambridgei, T. stigmurus, Androctonus autralis Hector and Centruroides sculpturatus to coat the microtitration plates. The anti-peptide antibodies had a comparable high reactivity with the crude venom of T. serrulatus, moderate binding to T. bahiensis, T. cambridgei, T. stigmurus and Centruroides sculpturatus venoms but were unable to recognize the venom of Androctonus autralis Hector. These results show that by using peptides derived from the sequence of scorpion toxins, the generation of anti-peptide antibodies able to neutralize the cognate venom appears to be an alternative strategy for the easy preparation of antivenoms. PMID:11602284

  10. Immunopathologic effects of scorpion venom on hepato-renal tissues: Involvement of lipid derived inflammatory mediators.

    PubMed

    Lamraoui, Amal; Adi-Bessalem, Sonia; Laraba-Djebari, Fatima

    2015-10-01

    Scorpion venoms are known to cause different inflammatory disorders through complex mechanisms in various tissues. In the study here, the involvement of phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and cyclo-oxygenase (COX)-derived metabolites in hepatic and renal inflammation responses were examined. Mice were envenomed with Androctonus australis hector scorpion venom in the absence or presence of inhibitors that can interfere with lipid inflammatory mediator synthesis, i.e., dexamethasone (PLA2 inhibitor), indomethacin (non-selective COX-1/COX-2 inhibitor), or celecoxib (selective COX-2 inhibitor). The inflammatory response was assessed by evaluating vascular permeability changes, inflammatory cell infiltration, oxidative/nitrosative stress marker levels, and by histologic and functional analyses of the liver and kidney. Results revealed that the venom alone induced an inflammatory response in this tissues marked by increased microvascular permeability and inflammatory cell infiltration, increases in levels of nitric oxide and lipid peroxidation, and decreases in antioxidant defense. Moreover, significant alterations in the histological architecture of these organs were associated with increased serum levels of some metabolic enzymes, as well as urea and uric acid. Pre-treatment of mice with dexamethasone led to significant decreases of the inflammatory disorders in the hepatic parenchyma; celecoxib pre-treatment seemed to be more effective against renal inflammation. Indomethacin pre-treatment only slightly reduced the inflammatory disorders in the tissues. These results suggest that the induced inflammation response in liver was mediated mainly by PLA2 activation, while the renal inflammatory process was mediated by prostaglandin formation by COX-2. These findings provide additional insight toward the understanding of activated pathways and related mechanisms involved in scorpion envenoming syndrome. PMID:26231296

  11. Scorpion envenoming in the north of Mali (West Africa): epidemiological, clinical and therapeutic aspects.

    PubMed

    Dabo, A; Golou, G; Traoré, M S; Diarra, N; Goyffon, M; Doumbo, O

    2011-08-01

    Scorpion envenomation remains a poorly known problem in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in Mali, where the incidence is high in Northern area of the country (Sahara desert). We conducted a prospective study in two district health centers, Kidal and Tessalit (North-east of Mali), to describe the epidemiological, clinical and therapeutic features of scorpion stings. This study consisted of an exhaustive follow-up from admission to discharge of all patients stung by scorpions. Of a total of 282 cases recorded during one year, 207 (73.4%) occurred in Kidal, and the remaining 75 (26.6%) took place in Tessalit. The annual incidence was significantly higher in Tessalit (437 cases/100,000 population/year) than in Kidal (243 cases/100,000 population/year) (p < 10⁻⁶). Two hundred two (71.6%) stings occurred inside human dwellings, 142 (50.4%) during sleeping/resting, especially in August. One hundred ninety-one (67.7%) were on the lower extremities. Nocturnal stings, 168 (59.6%), occurred more often than diurnal stings, 114 (40.4%). Most patients, 163 (57.8%), were admitted less than 1 h after being stung. Local pain at the sting site was the common primary complaint. However, moderate and severe clinical signs were significantly higher in children than in adults (p < 0.05). The death rate (3.9%) was higher in children (3.5%) than in adults (0.3%) (p = 8.10⁻⁶; RR = 0.90 [IC: 0.84-0.06]). Of the 22 scorpion species identified, 13 (59.1%) were Leiurus quinquestriiatus, 8 (36.4%) were Androctonus amoreuxi, and 1 (4.5%) specimen was Buthiscus bicalcaratus. From these species, L. quinquestriiatus and A. amoreuxi were responsible of stings. The medical treatment was only symptomatic, and one hundred twenty-eight (45.3%) patients received traditional remedies before seeking medical attention. Our findings suggest that scorpion stings are common in the north of Mali and are a significant threat to human health. PMID:21605586

  12. Immunomodulatory and protective properties of tacrolimus in experimental scorpion envenomation.

    PubMed

    Kabrine, M; Laraba-Djebari, F

    2014-01-01

    Involvement of imbalance between pro- and anti-inflammatory events has been reported in the developed pathogenesis after scorpion envenomation. The immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties of tacrolimus (FK-506) have been investigated: i) to better understand evolution of signaling pathways which are involved in the immune system ii) to reduce observed clinical signs while keeping a balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Naval Medical Research Institute (NMRI) mice received tacrolimus (1 mg/kg every 12 hours per os) for 21 days before envenomation with a sublethal dose (10 microg/20 g body weight) of Androctonus australis hector venom (Aah). Cell migration, pulmonary edema, exudation, Myeloperoxydase (MPO), Eosinophil peroxydase (EPO), C-reactive protein (CRP), C3, Creatine phosphokinase (CPK), aspartate aminotransferase (ASAT), alanine aminotransferase (ALAT), and hyperglycemia were analyzed 30 min, 3 and 24 hours after injection of Aah venom. Histological analysis of lung parenchyma was undertaken 24 hours after envenomation. Aah lethality was evaluated on mice with or without pretreatment with tacrolimus. (Fab’)2 fragments (40 mg/kg) were also used as specific treatment in all protocols. Tacrolimus significantly inhibited cell migration, pulmonary edema, exudation, CRP and hyperglycemia. It also decreased MPO and EPO activities and prevented tissue damage in lung tissue, balancing seric parameter levels (CPK, ASAT and ALAT). The pretreated animals seemed to be protected by this macrolide against the venom lethality. These findings suggest that the overactivation of the immune system is one of the causes involved in the aggravation of the pathophysiological effects induced after envenomation. The obtained results showed that the use of F(ab’)2 fragments as specific treatment cannot reduce the induced inflammatory response. PMID:24674680

  13. Pre-clinical studies of toxin-specific Nanobodies: Evidence of in vivo efficacy to prevent fatal disturbances provoked by scorpion envenoming

    SciTech Connect

    Hmila, Issam; Cosyns, Bernard; Tounsi, Hayfa; Roosens, Bram; Caveliers, Vicky; Abderrazek, Rahma Ben; Boubaker, Samir; Muyldermans, Serge; El Ayeb, Mohamed; Bouhaouala-Zahar, Balkiss; Lahoutte, Tony

    2012-10-15

    Scorpions represent a significant threat to humans and animals in various countries throughout the world. Recently, we introduced Nanobodies (Nbs) to combat more efficiently scorpion envenoming and demonstrated the performance of NbAahIF12 and NbAahII10 to neutralize scorpion toxins of Androctonus australis hector venom. A bispecific Nb construct (NbF12-10) comprising these two Nbs is far more protective than the classic Fab′{sub 2} based therapy and is the most efficient antivenom therapy against scorpion sting in preclinical studies. Now we investigate the biodistribution and pharmacokinetics of {sup 99m}Tc labeled Nbs by in vivo imaging in rodents and compared these data with those of the Fab′{sub 2} product (PAS). The pharmacodynamics of the Nbs was investigated in rats by in vivo echocardiography and it is shown that NbF12-10 prevents effectively the hemodynamic disturbances induced by a lethal dose of venom. Moreover, even a late injection of NbF12-10 restores the heart rate and brings the blood pressure to baseline values. Histology confirms that NbF12-10 prevents lung and heart lesions of treated mice after envenoming. In conjunction, in this preclinical study, we provide proof of concept that NbF12-10 prevents effectively the fatal disturbances induced by Androctonus venom, and that the Nanobody based therapeutic has a potential to substitute the classic Fab′{sub 2} based product as immunotherapeutic in scorpion envenoming. Further clinical study using larger cohorts of animals should be considered to confirm the full protecting potential of our NbF12-10. -- Highlights: ► Nanobody therapy prevents the hemodynamic disturbances induced by a lethal dose. ► Late injection of Nanobody restores hemodynamic parameters to baseline values. ► Nanobody therapy prevents lung and heart lesions of treated mice after envenoming. ► Labeled Nanobody and Fab’2 pharmacokinetics curves reach plateau in favour of Nanobody.

  14. Clinical update on scorpion envenoming.

    PubMed

    Cupo, Palmira

    2015-01-01

    Scorpion stings are currently the leading cause of venom-related injury to humans in Brazil and are a significant public health problem globally. Only scorpions of the Tityus genus are of medical importance in Brazil, and Tityus serrulatus is responsible for the most serious envenomations and deaths. The toxic effects of scorpion envenomation are due to a massive release of sympathetic and parasympathetic neurotransmitters; the severity is related to cardiac and hemodynamic changes, with cardiogenic shock and pulmonary edema contributing to the main causes of death. The pathophysiology of cardiac involvement has been discussed for decades and has been attributed to adrenergic discharge and a possible toxic effect of venom on the myocardium, while acute pulmonary edema may have a cardiogenic and/or non-cardiogenic origin. Currently, the clinical data point to catecholamine excess as the cause for reversible scorpion cardiomyopathy . These data include electrocardiographic changes, profiling of cardiac enzymes and troponin I, echocardiographic data with global or regional left ventricle dysfunction, and myocardial perfusion alterations compatible with spasm in the coronary microcirculation. Furthermore, recent data on cardiac magnetic resonance imaging findings, which are similar to those observed for stress-induced cardiomyopathy, have also been linked to catecholamine excess. The efficiency of antivenom serum treatment is controversial in the literature. Our experience in Brazil is that the management of patients with systemic manifestations of scorpion stings is based on three approaches, all of which are extremely important. These include symptomatic treatment, antivenom serum, and cardiorespiratory support. PMID:26676487

  15. SCORPION II persistent surveillance system update

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coster, Michael; Hunt, Cassandra

    2011-06-01

    This paper highlights the most recently added features and benefits available in the latest generation of Northrop Grumman SCORPION II persistent surveillance and target recognition systems. By leveraging smaller, lighter, and more power efficient SCORPION II sensor and universal gateway components, with foliage penetrating ad-hoc network communications, persistent field programmable systems that are easier to conceal can be optimized for both image capture and data exfiltration. In addition to the SCORPION II suite of sensor components, a growing list of over sixty different sensor and camera types from a variety of manufacturers have been integrated with the SCORPION Gateway family. In addition to updating several different COP systems, SCORPION and SCORPION II data can be directly processed using a common sensor status graphical user interface (GUI) that allows for viewing and analysis of images and sensor data from hundreds of SCORPION system gateways on single or multiple displays.

  16. TNF-α Involvement in Insulin Resistance Induced by Experimental Scorpion Envenomation

    PubMed Central

    Ait-Lounis, Aouatef; Laraba-Djebari, Fatima

    2012-01-01

    Background Scorpion venom induces systemic inflammation characterized by an increase in cytokine release and chemokine production. There have been few experimental studies assessing the effects of scorpion venom on adipose tissue function in vivo. Methodology/Principal Findings To study the adipose tissue inflammation (ATI) induced by Androctonus australis hector (Aah) venom and to assess possible mechanisms of ATI, mice (n = 6, aged 1 month) were injected with Aah (0.45 mg/kg), toxic fraction of Aah (FTox-G50; 0.2 mg/kg) or saline solution (control). Inflammatory responses were evaluated by ELISA and cell sorting analyses in adipose tissue 45 minutes and 24 hours after injection. Quantitative real-time PCR was used to assess the regulation of genes implicated in glucose uptake. The titers of selected inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α) were also determined in sera and in insulin target tissues. The serum concentration of IL-1β rose 45 minutes after envenomation and returned to basal level after 24 hours. The pathophysiological effects of the venom after 24 hours mainly involved M1-proinflammatory macrophage infiltration in adipose tissue combined with high titers of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α. Indeed, TNF-α was strongly induced in both adipose tissue and skeletal muscle. We studied the effects of Aah venom on genes implicated in insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. Insulin induced a significant increase in the expression of the mRNAs for hexokinase 2 and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase in both skeletal muscle and adipose tissue in control mice; this upregulation was completely abolished after 24 hours in mice envenomed with Aah or FTox-G50. Conclusions/Significance Our findings suggest that Aah venom induces insulin resistance by mechanisms involving TNF-α-dependent Map4k4 kinase activation in the adipose tissue. PMID:22816003

  17. [Scorpion stings in children. Saudi Arabian experience].

    PubMed

    el Aminn, E O; Berair, R

    1995-08-01

    Scorpion stings are a major public health problem in Saudi Arabia. The main victims are children who accidentally tread on a scorpion, about 900 children being admitted to hospitals each summer for such stings. Many cases are fatal. The pathophysiology of scorpion stings is complex and its management is difficult. Almost all body systems are affected but circulatory shock and pulmonary oedema are the usual cause of death. The treatment is based on scorpion antivenom and symptomatic treatment of the envenoming manifestations in an intensive care unit. The currently used antivenom is a polyvalent horse serum preparation given intravenously. PMID:7550843

  18. Acute Scorpion Pancreatitis in Trinidad

    PubMed Central

    Bartholomew, Courtenay

    1970-01-01

    Over a two-month period 30 patients were admitted to hospital following stings of the scorpion of Trinidad, the Tityus trinitatis. In 24 cases acute pancreatitis developed soon after the sting, but in nine of these no abdominal pain occurred. All the patients made an uneventful recovery. Although such complications have been reported no pseudocyst formations or acute haemorrhagic pancreatitis occurred in this series. PMID:5443968

  19. Anemomenotatic orientation in beetles and scorpions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Linsenmair, K. E.

    1972-01-01

    Orientation, by beetles and scorpions, according to wind direction and force are analyzed. Major efforts were made to determine: (1) which physical qualities of the air current influence anemomenotaxis, (2) which physiological mechanism is responsible for such orientation, (3) which sense organs do beetles and scorpions use to perceive wind directions, and (4) what the biological significance of anemomenotaxis in the beetle and scorpion is. Experimental results show that the trichobothria in scorpions perceives wind direction; in the beetle it is perceived by sense organs excited by pendicellus-flagellum joint movements. A compensation mechanism is suggested as the basis for anemomenotactic orientation. It was also suggested that the biological significance of anemomenotaxis in scorpions is space orientation; while in beetles it was found to be part of the appetitive behavior used to search for olfactory sign stimuli.

  20. Use of antibodies specific to defined regions of scorpion. cap alpha. -toxin to study its interaction with its receptor site on the sodium channel

    SciTech Connect

    Ayeb, M.E.; Bahraoui, E.M.; Granier, C.; Rochat, H.

    1986-10-21

    Five antibody populations selected by immunoaffinity chromatography for the specificity toward various regions of toxin II of the scorpion Androctonus australis Hector were used to probe the interaction of this protein with its receptor site on the sodium channel. These studies indicate that two antigenic sites, one located around the disulfide bridge 12-63 and one encompassing residues 50-59, are involved in the molecular mechanisms of toxicity neutralization. Fab fragments specific to the region around disulfide bridge 12-63 inhibit binding of the /sup 125/I-labeled toxin to its receptor site. Also, these two antigenic regions are inaccessible to the antibodies when the toxin is bound to its receptor site. In contrast, the two other antigenic sites encompassing the only ..cap alpha..-helix region (residues 23-32) and a ..beta..-turn structure (residues 32-35) are accessible to the respective antibodies when the toxin is bound to its receptor. Together, these data support the recent proposal that a region made of residues that are conserved in the scorpion toxin family is involved in the binding of the toxin to the receptor.

  1. Development and characterization of a new carrier for vaccine delivery based on calcium-alginate nanoparticles: Safe immunoprotective approach against scorpion envenoming.

    PubMed

    Nait Mohamed, Faez Amokrane; Laraba-Djebari, Fatima

    2016-05-23

    To enhance humoral defense against diseases, vaccine formulation is routinely prepared to improve immune response. Studies in nanomaterials as a carrier of vaccine delivery are promising and interesting. In this study, attenuated Androctonus australis hector (Aah) venom and its toxic fraction were encapsulated into different formulations inside calcium-alginate nanoparticles (Ca-Alg Nps), and used as a vaccine delivery system against scorpion envenomation. Ca-Alg Nps were prepared by ionic gelation and characterized. An immunization schedule was undertaken in rabbits in order to study how Aah venom entrapped in Ca-Alg Nps might induce protective immunity. Results showed the influence of different parameters on the suitable nanoparticle formation. They also showed no toxicity of free Ca-Alg Nps and a different inflammatory profile depending on the nanovaccine formulations. More interestingly, evaluation of specific IgG titer and IgG1/IgG2a isotype balance revealed a protective effect with the nanoparticles encapsulating the attenuated antigens. Challenge up to 6 LD 50 of native venom, allowed to an important immunoprotection of all immunized rabbits, with no recorded death. Taken together and with respect to the properties of nanoparticles and high immunogenicity, calcium-alginate nanoparticles could be considered as a new promising adjuvant system and a vaccine delivery against scorpion envenomation. PMID:27109567

  2. Anaphylaxis to scorpion antivenin and its management following envenomation by Indian red scorpion, Mesobuthus tamulus

    PubMed Central

    Bhoite, Rahul Ramesh; Bhoite, Girija Ramesh; Bagdure, Dayanand N.; Bawaskar, Himmatrao S.

    2015-01-01

    Mesobuthus tamulus is an Indian red scorpion that is responsible for numerous cases of scorpion stings in the Indian subcontinent. Antivenin, vasodilators, and benzodiazepines are medications of choice in the treatment of scorpion bites. Adverse reactions such as anaphylaxis to antivenin have been infrequently described in the literature. We, herein, present a case of a 42-year-old man stung by Indian red scorpion while gardening at home in India, who presented with extreme pain at the sting site and signs of cardio-toxicity. He was treated with scorpion antivenin and vasodilators but developed anaphylaxis to antivenin. We discuss management strategies. Anaphylaxis to antivenin should be on the differential during management of scorpion bites because classical signs of anaphylaxis may be absent. PMID:26430342

  3. Anaphylaxis to scorpion antivenin and its management following envenomation by Indian red scorpion, Mesobuthus tamulus.

    PubMed

    Bhoite, Rahul Ramesh; Bhoite, Girija Ramesh; Bagdure, Dayanand N; Bawaskar, Himmatrao S

    2015-09-01

    Mesobuthus tamulus is an Indian red scorpion that is responsible for numerous cases of scorpion stings in the Indian subcontinent. Antivenin, vasodilators, and benzodiazepines are medications of choice in the treatment of scorpion bites. Adverse reactions such as anaphylaxis to antivenin have been infrequently described in the literature. We, herein, present a case of a 42-year-old man stung by Indian red scorpion while gardening at home in India, who presented with extreme pain at the sting site and signs of cardio-toxicity. He was treated with scorpion antivenin and vasodilators but developed anaphylaxis to antivenin. We discuss management strategies. Anaphylaxis to antivenin should be on the differential during management of scorpion bites because classical signs of anaphylaxis may be absent. PMID:26430342

  4. Beneficial effects of Androctonus australis hector venom and its non-toxic fraction in the restoration of early hepatocyte-carcinogenesis induced by FB1 mycotoxin: Involvement of oxidative biomarkers.

    PubMed

    Nadjia, Bekkari; Fatima, Laraba-Djebari

    2015-10-01

    Some venom components are known to present potential biological activities that are useful as tools in therapeutics. In this study anti-tumoral activity of Androctonus australis hector (Aah) venom and its purified fraction on early step of hepato-carcinogenesis initiated by Fumonisin (FB1), was tested. Initiated hepatic tumor was assessed in mice by decreased doses of Fumonisin B1 associated to phenobarbital. Scorpion venom was used to investigate its activity on initiated tumor by FB1. Evaluation of oxidative unbalance, enzymatic activities and DNA quantification in the liver were correlated with tissue analysis. Obtained results showed that the initiated pathogenesis by FB1 at seven months was characterized by tissue alterations and biomarker variations. These alterations were characterized by atypical lesions such as muffled nucleus, karyo- and cyto-megaly; up normal and large number of nuclei into hepatocytes. These alterations were confirmed by DNA alteration. An unbalance of oxidative status was also observed, characterized by an increased levels of respectively oxidant (NO and MDA) and antioxidant (GSH and catalase activity) mediators. Aah venom and its non-toxic fraction used at low doses seemed to be able to restore partially the hepatic altered tissue induced by FB1. Decreased levels of oxidative and anti-oxidative mediators were also observed. DNA in hepatocytes returned also to the physiological values. Structure of hepatic tissue showed restoration of some alterations such as karyo- and cyto-megaly; decrease of polyploidy hepatocytes induced by FB1. Aah venom and its non-toxic fraction seem to contain some bioactive components with anti-tumoral activity. Purification of this activity from non-toxic fraction F1 could be of interest to identify the components with anti-tumoral activities. PMID:26142225

  5. Overview of Scorpion Species from China and Their Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Zhijian; Di, Zhiyong; Wu, Yingliang; Li, Wenxin

    2014-01-01

    Scorpions are one of the most ancient groups of terrestrial animals. They have maintained a steady morphology over more than 400 million years of evolution. Their venom arsenals for capturing prey and defending against predators may play a critical role in their ancient and conservative appearance. In the current review, we present the scorpion fauna of China: 53 species covering five families and 12 genera. We also systematically list toxins or genes from Chinese scorpion species, involving eight species covering four families. Furthermore, we review the diverse functions of typical toxins from Chinese scorpion species, involving Na+ channel modulators, K+ channel blockers, antimicrobial peptides and protease inhibitors. Using scorpion species and their toxins from China as an example, we build the bridge between scorpion species and their toxins, which helps us to understand the molecular and functional diversity of scorpion venom arsenal, the dynamic and functional evolution of scorpion toxins, and the potential relationships of scorpion species and their toxins. PMID:24577583

  6. Characterization of unique amphipathic antimicrobial peptides from venom of the scorpion Pandinus imperator.

    PubMed Central

    Corzo, G; Escoubas, P; Villegas, E; Barnham, K J; He, W; Norton, R S; Nakajima, T

    2001-01-01

    Two novel antimicrobial peptides have been identified and characterized from venom of the African scorpion Pandinus imperator. The peptides, designated pandinin 1 and 2, are alpha-helical polycationic peptides, with pandinin 1 belonging to the group of antibacterial peptides previously described from scorpions, frogs and insects, and pandinin 2 to the group of short magainin-type helical peptides from frogs. Both peptides demonstrated high antimicrobial activity against a range of Gram-positive bacteria (2.4-5.2 microM), but were less active against Gram-negative bacteria (2.4-38.2 microM), and only pandinin 2 affected the yeast Candida albicans. Pandinin 2 also demonstrated strong haemolytic activity (11.1-44.5 microM) against sheep erythrocytes, in contrast with pandinin 1, which was not haemolytic. CD studies and a high-resolution structure of pandinin 2 determined by NMR, showed that the two peptides are both essentially helical, but differ in their overall structure. Pandinin 2 is composed of a single alpha-helix with a predominantly hydrophobic N-terminal sequence, whereas pandinin 1 consists of two distinct alpha-helices separated by a coil region of higher flexibility. This is the first report of magainin-type polycationic antimicrobial peptides in scorpion venom. Their presence brings new insights into the mode of action of scorpion venom and also opens new avenues for the discovery of novel antibiotic molecules from arthropod venoms. PMID:11563967

  7. Fatal scorpion sting in a child.

    PubMed

    Oyedeji, O A; Musa, T L; Adebami, O J; Oyedeji, G A

    2014-01-01

    Fatal scorpion stings are rare in Nigeria. Hitherto, there has been no report from Nigeria of death following scorpion stings. This report is that of a 2-year-old boy who was stung by a scorpion while playing outside his home environment in Osogbo, South West Nigeria. He subsequently presented to the Children Emergency Unit of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, in pain and with features of shock. He died within 2 h of admission despite all treatment given to relieve pain and manage shock. The case is reported in order to share the important lessons learned. PMID:24326819

  8. Na+-channel-associated scorpion toxin receptor sites as probes for neuronal evolution in vivo and in vitro.

    PubMed

    Berwald-Netter, Y; Martin-Moutot, N; Koulakoff, A; Couraud, F

    1981-02-01

    Purified neurotoxin II of the scorpion Androctonus australis Hector (ScTx) has previously been shown to bind specifically to the Na+-ionophore-associated, voltage-sensitive receptor sites of excitable cells. We have conducted binding studies, using high-specific-activity 125I-labeled ScTx, to detect and quantify the Na+-channel receptors on cells of the developing fetal mouse brain. In vivo, the onset of detectable specific binding is at 12 fetal days. The rate of receptor appearance is initially slow but increases sharply as of the 16th day of mouse ontogenesis. The mean number of receptors at 12 and 19 days is 120 and 20,000 per cell, respectively (i.e., 0.5 and 80 per square micrometer). When corrected for the fraction of cell population corresponding to putative neuroblasts and neurons, identified by immunofluorescence as tetanus toxin binding cells, these values are, respectively, 1040 and 33,900 ScTx receptors per tetanus toxin binding cell or 4.2 and 136 per square micrometer. At all stages, the toxin binds to a single class of noninteracting sites; Kd = 0.1-0.5 nM. Similar findings in terms of ScTx-receptor properties and quantitative evolution were obtained in vitro. Specific 125I-labeled ScTx binding the presence of tetanus toxin binding cells. In cultures of central nervous system glia without neurons, only nonspecific low-level ScTx binding was detected. These results suggest that the high-affinity scorpion toxin receptors may be used as quantitative markers of neuronal differentiation. PMID:6262759

  9. Study of severe scorpion envenoming following subcutaneous venom injection into dogs: Hemodynamic and concentration/effect analysis.

    PubMed

    Elatrous, Souheil; Ouanes-Besbes, Lamia; Ben Sik-Ali, Habiba; Hamouda, Zineb; BenAbdallah, Saoussen; Tilouche, Nejla; Jalloul, Faten; Fkih-Hassen, Mohamed; Dachraoui, Fahmi; Ouanes, Islem; Abroug, Fekri

    2015-09-15

    To evaluate the dose-effects of Androctonus australis hector (Aah) venom injected subcutaneously on hemodynamics and neurohormonal secretions, 10 anesthetized and ventilated mongrel dogs, were split in two groups (n = 5/group). Subcutaneous injection was done with either 0.2 mg/kg or 0.125 mg/kg of the purified G50 scorpion toxic fraction. Hemodynamic parameters using right heart catheter were recorded and plasma concentrations of catecholamine, troponin, and serum toxic fraction were measured sequentially from baseline to 120 min. We identified the dose of toxic fraction evoking characteristic hemodynamic perturbation of severe envenomation, the time-lapse to envenomation, and the associated plasma level. The injection of 0.125 mg/kg toxic fraction was not associated with significant variations in hemodynamic parameters, whereas the 0.2 mg/kg dose caused envenomation characterized by significant increase in plasma catecholamines, increased pulmonary artery occluded pressure, mean arterial pressure, and systemic vascular resistance (p < 0.05), in association with sustained decline in cardiac output (p < 0.001). Envenomation occurred by the 30th minute, and the corresponding concentration of toxic fraction was 1.14 ng/ml. The current experiment allowed the identification of the sub-lethal dose (0.2 mg/kg) of the toxic fraction of Aah administered by the subcutaneous route. Two parameters with potential clinical relevance were also uncovered: the time-lapse to envenomation and the corresponding concentration of toxic fraction. PMID:26166304

  10. The unfulfilled promises of scorpion insectotoxins.

    PubMed

    Ortiz, Ernesto; Possani, Lourival D

    2015-01-01

    Since the description and biochemical characterization of the first insect-specific neurotoxins from scorpion venoms, almost all contributions have highlighted their potential application as leads for the development of potent bioinsecticides. Their practical use, however, has been hindered by different factors, some of which are intrinsically related to the toxins and other external determinants. Recent developments in the understanding of the action mechanisms of the scorpion insectotoxins and their bioactive surfaces, coupled with the exploration of novel bioinsecticide delivery systems have renewed the expectations that the scorpion insectotoxins could find their way into commercial applications in agriculture, as part of integrated pest control strategies. Herein, we review the current arsenal of available scorpion neurotoxins with a degree of specificity for insects, the progress made with alternative delivery methods, and the drawbacks that still preclude their practical use. PMID:26085828

  11. Notes on the scorpions (Arachnida, Scorpiones) from Xizang with the redescription of Scorpiops jendeki Kovařík, 2000 (Scorpiones, Euscorpiidae) from Yunnan (China)

    PubMed Central

    Di, Zhiyong; Xu, Xiaobo; Cao, Zhijian; Wu, Yingliang; Li, Wenxin

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Until now, there are 26 scorpion species of 7 genera of 5 families recorded in Xizang (China). Xizang Autonomous Region (Tibet) is the scorpion biodiversity richest area in China (53 scorpion species of 12 genera of 5 families), also the highest altitude habitat of scorpions in the world. We present information of type specimens, an identification key of the scorpion species from Xizang, the distribution, updated feature pictures, and discussion on the disputed species. The redescriptions of Scorpiops jendeki Kovařík, 2000 (Yunnan) and Scorpiops tibetanus Hirst, 1911 (Xizang), comments and feature figures of species of genus Scorpiops are provided for identification. PMID:23794894

  12. SCORPION II persistent surveillance system update

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coster, Michael; Chambers, Jon

    2010-04-01

    This paper updates the improvements and benefits demonstrated in the next generation Northrop Grumman SCORPION II family of persistent surveillance and target recognition systems produced by the Xetron Campus in Cincinnati, Ohio. SCORPION II reduces the size, weight, and cost of all SCORPION components in a flexible, field programmable system that is easier to conceal and enables integration of over fifty different Unattended Ground Sensor (UGS) and camera types from a variety of manufacturers, with a modular approach to supporting multiple Line of Sight (LOS) and Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) communications interfaces. Since 1998 Northrop Grumman has been integrating best in class sensors with its proven universal modular Gateway to provide encrypted data exfiltration to Common Operational Picture (COP) systems and remote sensor command and control. In addition to feeding COP systems, SCORPION and SCORPION II data can be directly processed using a common sensor status graphical user interface (GUI) that allows for viewing and analysis of images and sensor data from up to seven hundred SCORPION system gateways on single or multiple displays. This GUI enables a large amount of sensor data and imagery to be used for actionable intelligence as well as remote sensor command and control by a minimum number of analysts.

  13. Determination of the Median Lethal Dose and Electrophoretic Pattern of Hottentotta saulcyi (Scorpiones, Buthidae) Scorpion Venom

    PubMed Central

    Yağmur, Ersen Aydın; Özkan, Özcan; Karaer, K Zafer

    2015-01-01

    Background: In this study, we investigated the lethal potency, electrophoretic protein pattern and in vivo effects of Hottentotta saulcyi scorpion venom in mice. Methods: Scorpions were collected at night, by using a UV lamp from Mardin Province, Turkey. Venom was obtained from mature H. saulcyi scorpions by electrical stimulation of the telson. The lethality of the venom was determined by i.v. injections using Swiss mice. In vivo effects of the venom were assessed by using the intraperitoneal route (ip) injections into mice (20±1g) and monitored for 24 h. The protein profiles of the scorpion venom were analyzed by NuPAGE® Novex® 4–12 % gradient Bis-Tris gel followed by Coomassie blue staining. Results: The lethal assay of the venom was 0.73 mg/kg in mice. We determined the electrophoretic protein pattern of this scorpion venom to be 4, 6, 9, 31, 35, 40, 46 and 69 kDa by SDS-PAGE. Analysis of electrophoresis indicated that H. saulcyi scorpion intoxicated mice exhibited autonomic nervous system symptoms (tachypnea, restlessness, hyperexcitability, convulsions, salivation, lacrimation, weakness). Conclusions: Hottentotta saulcyi scorpion venom includes short-chain neurotoxins and long-chain neurotoxins according to the electrophoretic protein patterns. The stings of H. saulcyi scorpion must be considered of risk for humans in the southeastern region, Turkey. PMID:26623435

  14. Evidence for recombination in scorpion mitochondrial DNA (Scorpiones: Buthidae)

    PubMed Central

    Gantenbein, Benjamin; Fet, Victor; Gantenbein-Ritter, Iris A; Balloux, François

    2005-01-01

    There has been very little undisputed evidence for recombination in animal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) provided so far. Previous unpublished results suggestive of mtDNA recombination in the scorpion family Buthidae, together with cytological evidence for a unique mechanism of mitochondrial fusion in that family, prompted us to investigate this group in more details. First, we sequenced the complete mtDNA genome of Mesobuthus gibbosus, and chose two genes opposing each other (16S and coxI). We then sequenced 150 individuals from the natural populations of four species of Buthidae (Old World genera Buthus and Mesobuthus). We observed strong evidence for widespread recombination through highly significant negative correlations between linkage disequilibrium and physical distance in three out of four species. The evidence is further confirmed when using five other tests for recombination and by the presence of a high amount of homoplasy in phylogenetic trees. PMID:15870032

  15. Antepartum fetal death following a yellow scorpion sting.

    PubMed

    Leibenson, Lilach; Leibenson, M; Silberstein, T

    2010-02-01

    Scorpion envenomation in pregnant victims has been scarcely studied. We would like to suggest an association between yellow scorpion sting during the third trimester of pregnancy and adverse fetal outcome. The particular deleterious mechanism of scorpion venom has not been elucidated yet. PMID:19466438

  16. Autoradiographic localization of voltage-dependent sodium channels on the mouse neuromuscular junction using /sup 125/I-alpha scorpion toxin. I. Preferential labeling of glial cells on the presynaptic side

    SciTech Connect

    Boudier, J.L.; Jover, E.; Cau, P.

    1988-05-01

    Alpha-scorpion toxins bind specifically to the voltage-sensitive sodium channel in excitable membranes, and binding is potential-dependent. The radioiodinated toxin II from the scorpion Androctonus australis Hector (alpha ScTx) was used to localize voltage-sensitive sodium channels on the presynaptic side of mouse neuromuscular junctions (NMJ) by autoradiography using both light and electron microscopy. Silver grain localization was analyzed by the cross-fire method. At the light-microscopic level, grain density over NMJ appeared 6-8x higher than over nonjunctional muscle membrane. The specificity of labeling was verified by competition/displacement with an excess of native alpha ScTx. Labeling was also inhibited by incubation in depolarizing conditions, showing its potential-dependence. At the electron-microscopic level, analysis showed that voltage-sensitive sodium channels labeled with alpha ScTx were almost exclusively localized on membranes, as expected. Due to washout after incubation, appreciable numbers of binding sites were not found on the postsynaptic membranes. However, on the presynaptic side, alpha ScTx-labeled voltage-sensitive sodium channels were localized on the membrane of non-myelin-forming Schwann cells covering NMJ. The axonal presynaptic membrane was not labeled. These results show that voltage-sensitive sodium channels are present on glial cells in vivo, as already demonstrated in vitro. It is proposed that these glial channels could be indirectly involved in the ionic homeostasis of the axonal environment.

  17. Optical properties of a scorpion (Centruroides limpidus)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ullrich, Bruno; Duckworth, Robyn M.; Singh, Akhilesh K.; Barik, Puspendu; Mejía-Villanueva, Vicente O.; Garcia-Pérez, Alberto C.

    2016-04-01

    Scorpions, elusive by nature, tend to appear nocturnally and are usually not appreciated when encountered. The exoskeleton is capable of fluorescing allowing for their detection at night in order to prevent undesirable encounters. The specificity of their fluorescing suggests specialized optical features. However, despite the blue-green fluorescence, to the best of our knowledge, no further results have been published on the optical properties of scorpions. Their exoskeletal structure whose versatility provides them protection, camouflage, and flexibility has not been studied under laser excitation and monochromatic light. The experiments reveal the nonlinear optical properties, infrared photoluminescence, and photoconductivity of the epicuticle of scorpions, demonstrating that the scorpion’s outer-covering is a prototype of a semiconducting inherently integrated multifunctional polymeric film with appealing potential applications such as optical logics, photonic frequency converters, novel multiplexers handling electronic and photonic inputs, and lasers.

  18. [The threat of snake and scorpion venoms].

    PubMed

    Płusa, Tadeusz; Smędzik, Katarzyna

    2015-09-01

    Venoms of snakes and scorpions pose a significant threat to the health and life of humans. The speed and range of their actions causes damage of the organ responsible for the maintenance of vital signs. Venomous snake venoms cause blood clotting disorders, tissue necrosis and hemolysis, and the release of a number of proinflammatory cytokines and impair antibody synthesis. Availability of antitoxins is limited and in the most cases supportive treatment is recommended. In turn, the venom of scorpions beside intestinal symptoms cause significant impairment of neuromuscular conduction, causing severe respiratory disorders. Action venom poses a particular threat to sensitive patients. The degree of threat to life caused by the venom of snakes and scorpions authorizes the treatment of these substances as a potential biological weapon. PMID:26449581

  19. Assessing and managing spider and scorpion envenomation.

    PubMed

    McGhee, Stephen; Weiner, Aaron; Finnegan, Alan; Visovsky, Constance; Clochesy, John M; Graves, Brian

    2015-11-01

    Envenomation by spiders or scorpions is a public health problem in many parts of the world and is not isolated to the tropics and subtropics. Spiders and scorpions can be unintentionally transported globally, and keeping them as pets is becoming more popular, so envenomation can occur anywhere. Emergency nurses should be prepared to assess and treat patients who present with a bite or sting. This article gives an overview of the signs, symptoms and treatment of envenomation by species of arachnids that are clinically significant to humans. PMID:26542925

  20. Pseudouroctonus maidu, a new species of scorpion from northern California (Scorpiones, Vaejovidae)

    PubMed Central

    Savary, Warren E.; Bryson Jr., Robert W.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract A new species of vaejovid scorpion from northern California, Pseudouroctonus maidu sp. n., is named and described. This new species appears to be most similar to Pseudouroctonus iviei (Gertsch & Soleglad, 1972) and Pseudouroctonus glimmei (Hjelle, 1972). PMID:27199594

  1. Pseudouroctonus maidu, a new species of scorpion from northern California (Scorpiones, Vaejovidae).

    PubMed

    Savary, Warren E; Bryson, Robert W

    2016-01-01

    A new species of vaejovid scorpion from northern California, Pseudouroctonus maidu sp. n., is named and described. This new species appears to be most similar to Pseudouroctonus iviei (Gertsch & Soleglad, 1972) and Pseudouroctonus glimmei (Hjelle, 1972). PMID:27199594

  2. Scorpionism due to Tityus neoespartanus (Scorpiones, Buthidae) in Margarita Island, northeastern Venezuela.

    PubMed

    De Sousa, Leonardo; Boadas, Jenny; Kiriakos, Demetrio; Borges, Adolfo; Boadas, Jesús; Marcano, Jenny; Turkali, Iván; De Los Ríos, Miguel

    2007-01-01

    The first two cases of scorpion envenoming caused by Tityus neoespartanus (Buthidae) are described. The accidents took place within human environments (one inside a home and the other inside a school), in the village of La Sierra, Margarita Island, State of Nueva Esparta, northeastern Venezuela. Both cases were moderately severe and developed pancreatic involvement and electrocardiographic abnormalities. This report allows inclusion of Margarita Island among the endemic areas of scorpionism in Venezuela. PMID:18200425

  3. SCORPION persistent surveillance system with universal gateway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coster, Michael; Chambers, Jon; Winters, Michael; Belesi, Joe

    2008-04-01

    This paper addresses benefits derived from the universal gateway utilized in Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation's (NGSC) SCORPION, a persistent surveillance and target recognition system produced by the Xetron campus in Cincinnati, Ohio. SCORPION is currently deployed in Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF). The SCORPION universal gateway is a flexible, field programmable system that provides integration of over forty Unattended Ground Sensor (UGS) types from a variety of manufacturers, multiple visible and thermal electro-optical (EO) imagers, and numerous long haul satellite and terrestrial communications links, including the Army Research Lab (ARL) Blue Radio. Xetron has been integrating best in class sensors with this universal gateway to provide encrypted data exfiltration and remote sensor command and control since 1998. SCORPION data can be distributed point to point, or to multiple Common Operational Picture (COP) systems, including Command and Control Personal Computer (C2PC), Common Data Interchange Format for the Situational Awareness Display (CDIF/SAD), Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2), Defense Common Ground Systems (DCGS), and Remote Automated Position Identification System (RAPIDS).

  4. Epidemiological review of scorpion stings in Qatar

    PubMed Central

    Alkahlout, Baha H.; Abid, Muhammad M.; Kasim, Mohammad M.; Haneef, Shumaila M.

    2015-01-01

    Objectives: To review the epidemiology of scorpion sting in Qatar, to explore both the clinical significance, and the role of the emergency department (ED) in the management of such cases. Methods: In this retrospective study, we reviewed the records of all scorpion sting cases presented to the ED of Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar between October 2010 and May 2013. Results: A total of 111 cases of scorpion stings were reviewed, 81 (72.9%) were males and 30 (27.1%) were females, with a mean age of 38 years. Localized pain was the most frequent presenting complaint (89 [80.2%]), whereas localized redness (44 [39.6%]) and swelling (38 [34.2%]) were the most common clinical signs. Abroug’s classification was used, and all cases were found to be class I. All patients received symptomatic treatment and were sent home. Conclusion: Scorpion sting problem in Qatar has a low clinical significance. Data from such studies should be utilized to create more specific (local) management guidelines, which should be more efficient with more rational utilization of ED resources. PMID:26108591

  5. Target-Driven Evolution of Scorpion Toxins.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shangfei; Gao, Bin; Zhu, Shunyi

    2015-01-01

    It is long known that peptide neurotoxins derived from a diversity of venomous animals evolve by positive selection following gene duplication, yet a force that drives their adaptive evolution remains a mystery. By using maximum-likelihood models of codon substitution, we analyzed molecular adaptation in scorpion sodium channel toxins from a specific species and found ten positively selected sites, six of which are located at the core-domain of scorpion α-toxins, a region known to interact with two adjacent loops in the voltage-sensor domain (DIV) of sodium channels, as validated by our newly constructed computational model of toxin-channel complex. Despite the lack of positive selection signals in these two loops, they accumulated extensive sequence variations by relaxed purifying selection in prey and predators of scorpions. The evolutionary variability in the toxin-bound regions of sodium channels indicates that accelerated substitutions in the multigene family of scorpion toxins is a consequence of dealing with the target diversity. This work presents an example of atypical co-evolution between animal toxins and their molecular targets, in which toxins suffered from more prominent selective pressure from the channels of their competitors. Our discovery helps explain the evolutionary rationality of gene duplication of toxins in a specific venomous species. PMID:26444071

  6. Expression of the standard scorpion alpha-toxin AaH II and AaH II mutants leading to the identification of some key bioactive elements.

    PubMed

    Legros, Christian; Céard, Brigitte; Vacher, Hélène; Marchot, Pascale; Bougis, Pierre E; Martin-Eauclaire, Marie-France

    2005-05-25

    The AaH II toxin from the scorpion Androctonus australis Hector is considered to be the standard alpha-toxin because it selectively binds with the highest known affinity to site 3 of mammalian voltage-activated Na+ channels (Na(v)) on rat brain synaptosomes but does not bind to insect synaptosomes. We generated two different constructs in pMALp allowing us to produce AaH II fused with the maltose-binding protein (MBP) in E. coli. We obtained reasonable amounts of recombinant AaH II after cleavage by enterokinase at the site DDDDK. We show that the introduction of a net negative charge at the C-terminus by the suppression of H64 amidation and the addition of an extra residue to the C-terminus (G65) led to fully active AaH II mutants, exhibiting exactly the same affinity as the native toxin for its target on rat brain synaptosomes. In contrast, the mutation of residue K58 into V, I or E residues drastically reduced toxin activity. PMID:15725394

  7. Scorpions from Mexico: From Species Diversity to Venom Complexity

    PubMed Central

    Santibáñez-López, Carlos E.; Francke, Oscar F.; Ureta, Carolina; Possani, Lourival D.

    2015-01-01

    Scorpions are among the oldest terrestrial arthropods, which are distributed worldwide, except for Antarctica and some Pacific islands. Scorpion envenomation represents a public health problem in several parts of the world. Mexico harbors the highest diversity of scorpions in the world, including some of the world’s medically important scorpion species. The systematics and diversity of Mexican scorpion fauna has not been revised in the past decade; and due to recent and exhaustive collection efforts as part of different ongoing major revisionary systematic projects, our understanding of this diversity has changed compared with previous assessments. Given the presence of several medically important scorpion species, the study of their venom in the country is also important. In the present contribution, the diversity of scorpion species in Mexico is revised and updated based on several new systematic contributions; 281 different species are recorded. Commentaries on recent venomic, ecological and behavioral studies of Mexican scorpions are also provided. A list containing the most important peptides identified from 16 different species is included. A graphical representation of the different types of components found in these venoms is also revised. A map with hotspots showing the current knowledge on scorpion distribution and areas explored in Mexico is also provided. PMID:26712787

  8. Scorpions from Mexico: From Species Diversity to Venom Complexity.

    PubMed

    Santibáñez-López, Carlos E; Francke, Oscar F; Ureta, Carolina; Possani, Lourival D

    2016-01-01

    Scorpions are among the oldest terrestrial arthropods, which are distributed worldwide, except for Antarctica and some Pacific islands. Scorpion envenomation represents a public health problem in several parts of the world. Mexico harbors the highest diversity of scorpions in the world, including some of the world's medically important scorpion species. The systematics and diversity of Mexican scorpion fauna has not been revised in the past decade; and due to recent and exhaustive collection efforts as part of different ongoing major revisionary systematic projects, our understanding of this diversity has changed compared with previous assessments. Given the presence of several medically important scorpion species, the study of their venom in the country is also important. In the present contribution, the diversity of scorpion species in Mexico is revised and updated based on several new systematic contributions; 281 different species are recorded. Commentaries on recent venomic, ecological and behavioral studies of Mexican scorpions are also provided. A list containing the most important peptides identified from 16 different species is included. A graphical representation of the different types of components found in these venoms is also revised. A map with hotspots showing the current knowledge on scorpion distribution and areas explored in Mexico is also provided. PMID:26712787

  9. Scorpion: Close Air Support (CAS) aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, Chris; Cheng, Rendy; Koehler, Grant; Lyon, Sean; Paguio, Cecilia

    1991-01-01

    The objective is to outline the results of the preliminary design of the Scorpion, a proposed close air support aircraft. The results obtained include complete preliminary analysis of the aircraft in the areas of aerodynamics, structures, avionics and electronics, stability and control, weight and balance, propulsion systems, and costs. A conventional wing, twin jet, twin-tail aircraft was chosen to maximize the desirable characteristics. The Scorpion will feature low speed maneuverability, high survivability, low cost, and low maintenance. The life cycle cost per aircraft will be 17.5 million dollars. The maximum takeoff weight will be 52,760 pounds. Wing loading will be 90 psf. The thrust to weight will be 0.6 lbs/lb. This aircraft meets the specified mission requirements. Some modifications have been suggested to further optimize the design.

  10. Venom conjugated polylactide applied as biocompatible material for passive and active immunotherapy against scorpion envenomation.

    PubMed

    Ayari-Riabi, Sana; Trimaille, Thomas; Mabrouk, Kamel; Bertin, Denis; Gigmes, Didier; Benlasfar, Zakaria; Zaghmi, Ahlem; Bouhaouala-Zahar, Balkiss; Elayeb, Mohamed

    2016-04-01

    Scorpion envenoming represents a public health issue in subtropical regions of the world. Treatment and prevention need to promote antitoxin immunity. Preserving antigenic presentation while removing toxin effect remains a major challenge in toxin vaccine development. Among particulate adjuvant, particles prepared with poly (D,L-lactide) polymer are the most extensively investigated due to their excellent biocompatibility and biodegradability. The aim of this study is to develop surfactant-free PLA nanoparticles that safely deliver venom toxic fraction to enhance specific immune response. PLA nanoparticles are coated with AahG50 (AahG50/PLA) and BotG50 (BotG50/PLA): a toxic fraction purified from Androctonus australis hector and Buthus occitanus tunetanus venoms, respectively. Residual toxicities are evaluated following injections of PLA-containing high doses of AahG50 (or BotG50). Immunization trials are performed with the detoxified fraction administered alone without adjuvant. A comparative study of the effect of Freund is also included. The neutralizing capacity of sera is determined in naive mice. Six months later, immunized mice are challenged subcutaneously with increased doses of AahG50. Subcutaneous lethal dose 50 (LD50) of AahG50 and BotG50 is of 575 μg/kg and 1300 μg/kg respectively. By comparison, BotG50/PLA is totally innocuous while 50% of tested mice survive 2875 μg AahG50/kg. Alhydrogel and Freund are not able to detoxify such a high dose. Cross-antigenicity between particulate and soluble fraction is also, ensured. AahG50/PLA and BotG50/PLA induce high antibody levels in mice serum. The neutralizing capacity per mL of anti-venom was 258 μg/mL and 186 μg/mL calculated for anti-AahG50/PLA and anti-BotG50/PLA sera, respectively. Animals immunized with AahG50/PLA are protected against AahG50 injected dose of 3162 μg/kg as opposed all non-immunized mice died at this dose. We find that the detoxification approach based PLA nanoparticles, benefit

  11. Transcriptome analysis of the venom gland of the Mexican scorpion Hadrurus gertschi (Arachnida: Scorpiones)

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, Elisabeth F; Diego-Garcia, Elia; Rodríguez de la Vega, Ricardo C; Possani, Lourival D

    2007-01-01

    Background Scorpions like other venomous animals posses a highly specialized organ that produces, secretes and disposes the venom components. In these animals, the last postabdominal segment, named telson, contains a pair of venomous glands connected to the stinger. The isolation of numerous scorpion toxins, along with cDNA-based gene cloning and, more recently, proteomic analyses have provided us with a large collection of venom components sequences. However, all of them are secreted, or at least are predicted to be secretable gene products. Therefore very little is known about the cellular processes that normally take place inside the glands for production of the venom mixture. To gain insights into the scorpion venom gland biology, we have decided to perform a transcriptomic analysis by constructing a cDNA library and conducting a random sequencing screening of the transcripts. Results From the cDNA library prepared from a single venom gland of the scorpion Hadrurus gertschi, 160 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were analyzed. These transcripts were further clustered into 68 unique sequences (20 contigs and 48 singlets), with an average length of 919 bp. Half of the ESTs can be confidentially assigned as homologues of annotated gene products. Annotation of these ESTs, with the aid of Gene Ontology terms and homology to eukaryotic orthologous groups, reveals some cellular processes important for venom gland function; including high protein synthesis, tuned posttranslational processing and trafficking. Nonetheless, the main group of the identified gene products includes ESTs similar to known scorpion toxins or other previously characterized scorpion venom components, which account for nearly 60% of the identified proteins. Conclusion To the best of our knowledge this report contains the first transcriptome analysis of genes transcribed by the venomous gland of a scorpion. The data were obtained for the species Hadrurus gertschi, belonging to the family

  12. Analysis of scorpion venom composition by Raman Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-Zérega, Brenda E.; González-Solís, José L.

    2015-01-01

    In this work we study the venom of two Centruroides scorpion species using Raman spectroscopy. The spectra analysis allows to determine the venoms chemical composition and to establish the main differences and similarities among the species. It is also shown that the use of Principal Component Analysis may help to tell apart between the scorpion species.

  13. Transcriptome analysis of the venom gland of the scorpion Scorpiops jendeki: implication for the evolution of the scorpion venom arsenal

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Yibao; Zhao, Ruiming; He, Yawen; Li, Songryong; Liu, Jun; Wu, Yingliang; Cao, Zhijian; Li, Wenxin

    2009-01-01

    Background The family Euscorpiidae, which covers Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, is one of the most widely distributed scorpion groups. However, no studies have been conducted on the venom of a Euscorpiidae species yet. In this work, we performed a transcriptomic approach for characterizing the venom components from a Euscorpiidae scorpion, Scorpiops jendeki. Results There are ten known types of venom peptides and proteins obtained from Scorpiops jendeki. Great diversity is observed in primary sequences of most highly expressed types. The most highly expressed types are cytolytic peptides and serine proteases. Neurotoxins specific for sodium channels, which are major groups of venom components from Buthidae scorpions, are not detected in this study. In addition to those known types of venom peptides and proteins, we also obtain nine atypical types of venom molecules which haven't been observed in any other scorpion species studied to date. Conclusion This work provides the first set of cDNAs from Scorpiops jendeki, and one of the few transcriptomic analyses from a scorpion. This allows the characterization of a large number of venom molecules, belonging to either known or atypical types of scorpion venom peptides and proteins. Besides, our work could provide some clues to the evolution of the scorpion venom arsenal by comparison with venom data from other scorpion lineages. PMID:19570192

  14. Qualification of the scorpion helmet cueing system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atac, Robert; Bugno, Tony

    2011-06-01

    Gentex Corporation won the Helmet Mounted Integrated Targeting (HMIT) contract with the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve in May 2010 along with Raytheon Technical Services Corporation as the prime contractor. The HMIT program involves qualification and installation of the Scorpion HMCS Color HMD in both the A-10C and F-16C Block 30 aircraft types. Qualification tests include all aspects from ejection safety, to NVG and pilot compatibility as well as performance testing. This paper will review the qualification testing results and program status along with any lessons learned.

  15. Scorpion Biodiversity and Interslope Divergence at “Evolution Canyon”, Lower Nahal Oren Microsite, Mt. Carmel, Israel

    PubMed Central

    Raz, Shmuel; Retzkin, Sion; Pavlíček, Tomáš; Hoffman, Adam; Kimchi, Hagay; Beiles, Avigdor; Nevo, Eviatar

    2009-01-01

    Background Local natural laboratories, designated by us as the “Evolution Canyon” model, are excellent tools to study regional and global ecological dynamics across life. They present abiotic and biotic contrasts locally, permitting the pursuit of observations and experiments across diverse taxa sharing sharp microecological subdivisions. Higher solar radiation received by the “African savannah-like” south-facing slopes (AS) in canyons north of the equator than by the opposite “European maquis-like” north-facing slopes (ES) is associated with higher abiotic stress. Scorpions are a suitable taxon to study interslope biodiversity differences, associated with the differences in abiotic factors (climate, drought), due to their ability to adapt to dry environments. Methodology/Principal Findings Scorpions were studied by the turning stone method and by UV light methods. The pattern observed in scorpions was contrasted with similar patterns in several other taxa at the same place. As expected, the AS proved to be significantly more speciose regarding scorpions, paralleling the interslope patterns in taxa such as lizards and snakes, butterflies (Rhopalocera), beetles (families Tenebrionidae, Dermestidae, Chrysomelidae), and grasshoppers (Orthoptera). Conclusions/Significance Our results support an earlier conclusion stating that the homogenizing effects of migration and stochasticity are not able to eliminate the interslope intra- and interspecific differences in biodiversity despite an interslope distance of only 100 m at the “EC” valley bottom. In our opinion, the interslope microclimate selection, driven mainly by differences in insolance, could be the primary factor responsible for the observed interslope pattern. PMID:19357787

  16. Scorpion venom and the inflammatory response.

    PubMed

    Petricevich, Vera L

    2010-01-01

    Scorpion venoms consist of a complex of several toxins that exhibit a wide range of biological properties and actions, as well as chemical compositions, toxicity, and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics. These venoms are associated with high morbility and mortality, especially among children. Victims of envenoming by a scorpion suffer a variety of pathologies, involving mainly both sympathetic and parasympathetic stimulation as well as central manifestations such as irritability, hyperthermia, vomiting, profuse salivation, tremor, and convulsion. The clinical signs and symptoms observed in humans and experimental animals are related with an excessive systemic host inflammatory response to stings and stings, respectively. Although the pathophysiology of envenomation is complex and not yet fully understood, venom and immune responses are known to trigger the release of inflammatory mediators that are largely mediated by cytokines. In models of severe systemic inflammation produced by injection of high doses of venom or venoms products, the increase in production of proinflammatory cytokines significantly contributes to immunological imbalance, multiple organ dysfunction and death. The cytokines initiate a cascade of events that lead to illness behaviors such as fever, anorexia, and also physiological events in the host such as activation of vasodilatation, hypotension, and increased of vessel permeability. PMID:20300540

  17. Scorpion Venom and the Inflammatory Response

    PubMed Central

    Petricevich, Vera L.

    2010-01-01

    Scorpion venoms consist of a complex of several toxins that exhibit a wide range of biological properties and actions, as well as chemical compositions, toxicity, and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics. These venoms are associated with high morbility and mortality, especially among children. Victims of envenoming by a scorpion suffer a variety of pathologies, involving mainly both sympathetic and parasympathetic stimulation as well as central manifestations such as irritability, hyperthermia, vomiting, profuse salivation, tremor, and convulsion. The clinical signs and symptoms observed in humans and experimental animals are related with an excessive systemic host inflammatory response to stings and stings, respectively. Although the pathophysiology of envenomation is complex and not yet fully understood, venom and immune responses are known to trigger the release of inflammatory mediators that are largely mediated by cytokines. In models of severe systemic inflammation produced by injection of high doses of venom or venoms products, the increase in production of proinflammatory cytokines significantly contributes to immunological imbalance, multiple organ dysfunction and death. The cytokines initiate a cascade of events that lead to illness behaviors such as fever, anorexia, and also physiological events in the host such as activation of vasodilatation, hypotension, and increased of vessel permeability. PMID:20300540

  18. Scorpion envenomation-induced acute thrombotic inferior myocardial infarction.

    PubMed

    Baykan, Ahmet Oytun; Gür, Mustafa; Acele, Armağan; Şeker, Taner; Çaylı, Murat

    2016-01-01

    The occurrence of a serious cardiac emergency following scorpion envenomation has rarely been reported and, when so, mostly presented as non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction, cardiogenic shock, or myocarditis. Possible mechanisms include imbalance in blood pressure and coronary vasospasm caused by the combination of sympathetic excitation, scorpion venom-induced release of catecholamines, and the direct effect of the toxin on the myocardium. We report a case of a 55-year-old man who presented with acute inferior wall myocardial infarction (MI) within 2 h of being stung by a scorpion. Coronary angiogram revealed total thrombotic occlusion of the left circumflex artery, which was treated successfully with glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor, thrombus aspiration, antivenom serum, and supportive therapy. Therefore, life-threatening MI can complicate the clinical course during some types of scorpion envenomation and should be managed as an acute coronary syndrome. PMID:26875137

  19. A new species of scorpion of the genus Neoscorpiops Vachon, 1980 (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae) from India.

    PubMed

    Mirza, Zeeshan Ayaz; Sanap, Rajesh V; Upadhye, Raman

    2014-02-01

    A new species of scorpion of the genus Neoscorpiops Vachon, 1980 is described from Northern Maharashtra. Neoscorpiops maharashtraensis sp. nov. is a medium-sized scorpion species ranging from 36 to 42mm. Carapace, mesosoma and metasoma brown, legs and telson yellow; pedipalp in a shade of brown with carinae dark drown to black. Granulation on carapace coarse, with a few smooth patches; on mesosoma, which is restricted to the posterior half. Anterior margin of carapace with a moderately deep "U"-shaped emargination medially lacking elevated edges. Pectines well developed 7/7. Trichobothria on patella ventral 13-16. Pedipalp chela narrow and elongate in males, length-to-width ratio in males is 4.86-5.05. PMID:24581809

  20. A remarkable new cave scorpion of the family Pseudochactidae Gromov (Chelicerata, Scorpiones) from Vietnam

    PubMed Central

    Lourenço, Wilson R.; Pham, Dinh-Sac

    2010-01-01

    Abstract A new genus and species of scorpion belonging to the family Pseudochactidaeare described based on four specimens collected in the Tien Son cave at the Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park, Quang Binh Province, Vietnam. The new species represents a true troglobitic element, the first one known for the family Pseudochactidae. This represents the third known record of a pseudochactid, and the first from Vietnam. PMID:21594045

  1. Scorpion Sheds ‘Tail’ to Escape: Consequences and Implications of Autotomy in Scorpions (Buthidae: Ananteris)

    PubMed Central

    Mattoni, Camilo I.; García-Hernández, Solimary; Botero-Trujillo, Ricardo; Ochoa, José A.; Ojanguren-Affilastro, Andrés A.; Pinto-da-Rocha, Ricardo; Prendini, Lorenzo

    2015-01-01

    Autotomy, the voluntary shedding or detachment of a body part at a determined cleavage plane, is a common anti-predation defense mechanism in several animal taxa, including arthropods. Among arachnids, autotomy has been observed in harvestmen, mites, and spiders, always involving the loss of legs. Autotomy of the opisthosoma (abdomen) was recently reported in a single species of the Neotropical buthid scorpion genus Ananteris Thorell, 1891, but few details were revealed. Based on observations in the field and laboratory, examination of material in museum collections, and scanning electron microscopy, we document autotomy of the metasoma (the hind part of the opisthosoma, or ‘tail’) in fourteen species of Ananteris. Autotomy is more common in males than females, and has not been observed in juveniles. When the scorpion is held by the metasoma, it is voluntarily severed at the joints between metasomal segments I and II, II and III, or III and IV, allowing the scorpion to escape. After detachment, the severed metasoma moves (twitches) automatically, much like the severed tail of a lizard or the severed leg of a spider, and reacts to contact, even attempting to sting. The severed surface heals rapidly, scar tissue forming in five days. The lost metasomal segments and telson cannot be regenerated. Autotomy of the metasoma and telson results in permanent loss of the posterior part of the scorpion’s digestive system (the anus is situated posteriorly on metasomal segment V) and the ability to inject venom by stinging. After autotomy, scorpions do not defecate and can only capture small prey items. However, males can survive and mate successfully for up to eight months in the laboratory. In spite of diminished predation ability after autotomy, survival allows males to reproduce. Autotomy in Ananteris therefore appears to be an effective, adaptive, anti-predation escape mechanism. PMID:25629529

  2. The sperm and its formation in the scorpion Centruroides vittatus.

    PubMed

    Riess, R W; Barker, K R; Biesele, J J

    1978-01-01

    The development of sperm from a spermatid in the scorpion, Centruroides vittatus (Say), is described. The mature sperm is short with helical nucleus and a peculiar structure of the sperm tail. This peculiarity consists of alternating mitochondrial derivatives and membranous or network elements wrapped about the flagellum. We note the absence both of microtubules in the sperm of Centruroides and also of the centriole adjunct, which is present in other scorpion spermatids. PMID:743731

  3. Toxins and genes isolated from scorpions of the genus Tityus.

    PubMed

    Becerril, B; Marangoni, S; Possani, L D

    1997-06-01

    Scorpion venoms contain a variety of low mol. wt peptides toxic to different organisms. These peptides have been intensively studied because they represent excellent models for investigating structure-function relationships and they are also fine probes for studying ionic channel functions. This review deals with the biological and chemical aspects of toxic peptides that affect Na+ or K+ channels and the cloning of the cDNAs and genes encoding the main alpha and beta neurotoxins present in the venom of the three most dangerous species of Brazilian scorpion, Tityus bahiensis, Tityus stigmurus and Tityus serrulatus, and the Venezuelan scorpion Tityus discrepans. At least 16 different peptides specific for Na+ channels and five affecting K+ channels were isolated and characterized from the venom of these scorpions. The isolation of cDNAs and genes encoding four distinct toxins has permitted the elucidation of their nucleotide sequences as well as their genomic organization. Venoms and isolated toxins from scorpions of the genus Tityus were shown to enhance the secretory activity of the pancreas. Antisera obtained against venom of T. serrulatus show cross-reactivity with other species of the Brazilian scorpions. PMID:9241777

  4. Reproductive system of female scorpion: a partial review.

    PubMed

    Warburg, M R

    2010-10-01

    The female scorpion ovariuterus was examined in 10 scorpion species belonging to five families: Buthidae, Vaejovidae, Scorpionidae, Urodacidae, and Diplocentridae. Two main patterns of development are known in scorpions: (1) The apoikogenic type with an ovariuterus containing yolk-rich eggs housed in follicles. This type is found in many scorpion taxa (largely buthids). A peculiar case of apoikogenic ovariuterus is a "beaded" ovariuterus where most of the ova's embryogenesis takes place inside the ovariuterus rather than on pedicels situated on the external wall of the ovariuterus as in most buthids. This type is found in a few scorpion species. (2) The katoikogenic type with an ovariuterus where the embryo develops in a diverticulum composed of four parts: a stalk (pedicel), a thickened collar, a conical portion containing the ovum, and an appendix containing the oral feeding apparatus where the embryos' chelicerae grip a "teat"-like structure, described in four families: Hemiscorpiidae, Scorpionidae, Urodacidae, and Diplocentridae. There are three kinds of diverticulae: small rudimentary finger-like diverticulae, embryonic (ED) large projections, and postpartum diverticulae (PPD) empty diverticulae, which are remnants after parturition. The subject is reviewed and its bearing on reproduction in scorpions are discussed. PMID:20687160

  5. Scorpion Toxin Polyptides as Therapeutic Agents: An Overview.

    PubMed

    Bhavya, Janardhan; Francois, Niyonzima N; More, Veena S; More, Sunil S

    2016-01-01

    Scorpions are distributed throughout the world and numerous biological molecules are found in their venom most importantly peptide toxins. These toxins modulate the ion channels either by blocking the pore of the channel or by altering the voltage gating. Molecules which block the pores have been useful in deciphering the structure of the ion channels. Many scorpion toxins have already been used for probing the voltage gated sodium channels and studying their activation and inactivation processes. The specialty of scorpion toxins is to discriminate between vertebrate and invertebrate channels which have led them to applications as pharmacological tools. Most of the scorpion toxin polypeptides were isolated, characterized and were shown to possess vital properties useful in the field of medicine. For instance, they show therapeutic properties such as antimicrobial activity, anticancer activity, used to treat autoimmune diseases and cardiovascular effects. Although the scorpion toxins exhibited good therapeutic effects in vitro and in vivo, no one has reached the market with success up to date. In this mini-review, the scorpion polypeptides, their interactions with ion channels and their uses as therapeutic agents are discussed. PMID:27397476

  6. Scorpion sting prevention and treatment in ancient Iran.

    PubMed

    Dehghani, Rouhullah; Arani, Mohammad Ghannaee

    2015-04-01

    Due to the medical and therapeutic importance of scorpions in Iranian traditional medicine, this review was conducted on the treatment of scorpion sting as performed by traditional healers in order to realize complications, clinical manifestations, diversities, and deficiencies in the prevention, control, and treatment as mentioned in the pertained literatures. This study tried to make known and investigate attitudes of the Iranian national and traditional medicine towards controlling these venomous animals. Keywords and articles were searched through relevant sites on the Internet. We investigated different journals and references for the Iranian traditional medicine. Based on the articles and books found, we tried to find suitable solutions to problems from the viewpoint of traditional medicine. Scorpion sting dates back to ancient Iran and has been widely reflected in the resources of Iranian traditional medicine. The traditional medicine offers various guidelines that can be beneficial in this respect. New attitude towards scorpion sting with regard to traditional medicine resources can enhance control and prevention of scorpion stings. Consequently, this attitude leads authorities and researchers to a decreased level of scorpion stings or related consequences. PMID:26151015

  7. Scorpion sting prevention and treatment in ancient Iran

    PubMed Central

    Dehghani, Rouhullah; Arani, Mohammad Ghannaee

    2015-01-01

    Due to the medical and therapeutic importance of scorpions in Iranian traditional medicine, this review was conducted on the treatment of scorpion sting as performed by traditional healers in order to realize complications, clinical manifestations, diversities, and deficiencies in the prevention, control, and treatment as mentioned in the pertained literatures. This study tried to make known and investigate attitudes of the Iranian national and traditional medicine towards controlling these venomous animals. Keywords and articles were searched through relevant sites on the Internet. We investigated different journals and references for the Iranian traditional medicine. Based on the articles and books found, we tried to find suitable solutions to problems from the viewpoint of traditional medicine. Scorpion sting dates back to ancient Iran and has been widely reflected in the resources of Iranian traditional medicine. The traditional medicine offers various guidelines that can be beneficial in this respect. New attitude towards scorpion sting with regard to traditional medicine resources can enhance control and prevention of scorpion stings. Consequently, this attitude leads authorities and researchers to a decreased level of scorpion stings or related consequences. PMID:26151015

  8. Model for simulating scorpion substrate vibration and detection system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadiq, B. A.; Aibinu, A. M.; Joseph, E.; Salau, H. B.; Salami, M. J. E.

    2013-12-01

    Scorpion stings are vital health issues which requires prompt attention to minimize the pain inflicted on victims and avert death. A possible solution in averting the sting is the capability of detecting its presence earlier before it stings. Scorpion like other arthropods have a specific kind of movement pattern called substrate vibration, which generates a specific signal that is used in recognizing and locating mates and preys. This paper aims at developing an intelligent scorpion detection system using vibration frequency detection technique. A six step model for simulating scorpion substrate vibration and detection has been proposed. The surrounding vibrating signal is acquired and passed through a band pass filter. The resulting signal is model using autoregressive modeling technique. Resulting co-efficients are further analyzed for activity detection. The frequency response of scorpion activities for mating behaviour was simulated, detected analysed using MATLAB environment. The resulting coefficients was also compared and analysed. Results obtained shows that the proposed technique is appropriate for model and simulating scorpion substrate vibration and detection system.

  9. Preparation of a potent anti-scorpion-venom-serum against the venom of red scorpion (Buthus tamalus).

    PubMed

    Kankonkar, R C; Kulkurni, D G; Hulikavi, C B

    1998-01-01

    A number of children and adults, especially pregnant women succumb to the sting by red Scorpion (Buthus tamalus) in Konkan region--particularly on the coastal line. No specific antiserum or any other antidote is available to treat a victim of scorpion bite and hence the need to prepare a potent antiserum. Red Scorpion (B. tamalus) venom is a mixture of a number of protein moieties and neurotoxins of low molecular weight. Therefore, the venom is poor in antigenic composition and it is difficult to get antibodies specific to neutralise lethal factor/factors. Using Bentonite as an adjuvant and extending the period of immunization a potent antiserum has been prepared capable of neutralising the lethal factor/factors. In vivo testing carried out in albino mice, guinea pigs, dogs and langurs confirms this finding and shows that the antiserum is quite effective in neutralising the scorpion venom to save the life of envenomated animals. PMID:10703580

  10. Development of segments and appendages in embryos of the desert scorpion Paruroctonus mesaensis (Scorpiones: Vaejovidae).

    PubMed

    Farley, R D

    2001-10-01

    The scanning electron microscope was used to study the changing features of scorpion embryos from the blastula through early stages in the development of appendages. The earliest scorpion fossils (Silurian period) have structures more advanced than the embryos herein, so the possibility is considered that these embryos still retain and display some features indicative of evolutionary patterns in adult pre-Silurian ancestors. The blastodisc stage is followed by a knob-like germinal center that gives rise to most of the embryo body. The germinal center elongates on the ventral surface of the spherical yolk mass. The broad cephalic lobe is first delineated from the following pedipalpal segment. The limbbuds for the pedipalps and anterior walking legs appear, as additional segments are added at a growth zone at the rear of the embryo body. Initially, in the cephalic lobe there are no limbbuds; then the cheliceral buds emerge from the posterior part of the lobe. The stomodeum appears first in the anterior half of the cephalic lobe, but an oral groove forms and the mouth is displaced posteriorly within the groove. This repositioning allows space anteriorly for invagination (semilunar grooves) of epithelium for the brain and medial eyes. The mouth is directed ventrally in all stages of this study. The widespread chelicerae are initially posterior to the mouth, but later move anterior and dorsal to it. Small limbbud bulges on mesosomal segments disappear later and never become protruding appendages. Metasomal segments are produced free from the yolk surface in a ventral flexure beneath the embryo body. The telson starts as two spherical lobes, but later elongates and tapers distally, not yet developing the sharp sting (aculeus) seen in Silurian and all subsequent scorpions. The walking legs are digitigrade, as in most fossil aquatic scorpions. Segments are delineated in the appendages; the chelicerae and pedipalps are divided distally for chela (claw) formation. Bilateral

  11. Test report : Milspray Scorpion energy storage device.

    SciTech Connect

    Rose, David Martin; Schenkman, Benjamin L.; Borneo, Daniel R.

    2013-08-01

    The Department of Energy Office of Electricity (DOE/OE), Sandia National Laboratory (SNL) and the Base Camp Integration Lab (BCIL) partnered together to incorporate an energy storage system into a microgrid configured Forward Operating Base to reduce the fossil fuel consumption and to ultimately save lives. Energy storage vendors have supplied their systems to SNL Energy Storage Test Pad (ESTP) for functional testing and a subset of these systems were selected for performance evaluation at the BCIL. The technologies tested were electro-chemical energy storage systems comprised of lead acid, lithium-ion or zinc-bromide. MILSPRAY Military Technologies has developed an energy storage system that utilizes lead acid batteries to save fuel on a military microgrid. This report contains the testing results and some limited assessment of the Milspray Scorpion Energy Storage Device.

  12. The first scorpionate ligand based on diazaphosphole.

    PubMed

    Mlateček, Martin; Dostál, Libor; Růžičková, Zdeňka; Honzíček, Jan; Holubová, Jana; Erben, Milan

    2015-12-14

    The reaction of PhBCl2 with 1H-1,2,4-λ(3)-diazaphosphole in the presence of NEt3 gives a new scorpionate ligand, phenyl-tris(1,2,4-diazaphospholyl)borate (PhTdap). The coordination behaviour of this ligand toward transition and non-transition metals has been comprehensively studied. In the thallium(I) complex, Tl(PhTdap), κ(2)-N,N bonding supported with intramolecular η(3)-phenyl coordination has been observed in the solid state. Tl(PhTdap) also shows unusual intermolecular π-interactions between five-membered diazaphosphole rings and the thallium atom giving infinite molecular chains in the crystal. In the square planar complex [Pd(C,N-C6H4CH2NMe2)(PhTdap)], κ(2)-bonded scorpionate has been detected in both solution and in the solid state. For other studied compounds with the central metal ion Ti(IV), Mo(II), Mn(I), Fe(II), Ru(II), Co(II), Co(III), Ni(II) and Cd(II), the κ(3)-N,N,N coordination pattern was observed. Electronic properties of PhTdap and its ligand-field strength were elucidated from UV-Vis spectra of transition-metal species. The CH/P replacement on going from tris(pyrazolyl)borate to the ligand PhTdap causes a slight increase in electronic density rendered to the central metal atom. The following order of ligand-field strength has been established: HB(3,5-Me2pz)3 < PhB(pz)3 < HB(1,2,4-triazolyl) < HB(pz)3 < PhB(1,2,4-triazolyl) < PhTdap. The crystal structures of ten metal complexes bearing the new ligand are reported. The possibility of PhTdap coordination through the phosphorus atom is also briefly discussed. PMID:26537349

  13. Preliminary spectroscopic characterization of six toxins from Latin American scorpions.

    PubMed

    Possani, L; Steinmetz, W E; Dent, M A; Alagón, A C; Wüthrich, K

    1981-07-28

    This paper reports on spectroscopic studies of six toxins from the Latin American scorpions Centruroides noxius Hoffmann, Centruroides elegans Thorell and Tityus serrulatus Lutz and Mello. The isolation and purification of five of these toxins was described previously. The preparation of toxin II.9.2.2 from the venom of C. noxius is first described here. Circular dichroism and nuclear magnetic resonance spectra indicate similarities and differences between these scorpion toxins and previously characterized snake toxins. While there is evidence that the toxins from scorpions and snakes both contain extended beta-sheet secondary structures, the spectral properties of the scorpion toxins are overall of a different type from those of snake toxins. Among the six scorpion toxins those from T. serrulatus have spectral properties markedly different from those of the Centruroides species. Furthermore, thermal denaturation and amide proton exchange measurements showed that the globular structures of the Tityus toxins were markedly less stable and less rigid than those of the Centruroides toxins. PMID:7284435

  14. Biotechnological Trends in Spider and Scorpion Antivenom Development.

    PubMed

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard; Solà, Mireia; Jappe, Emma Christine; Oscoz, Saioa; Lauridsen, Line Præst; Engmark, Mikael

    2016-01-01

    Spiders and scorpions are notorious for their fearful dispositions and their ability to inject venom into prey and predators, causing symptoms such as necrosis, paralysis, and excruciating pain. Information on venom composition and the toxins present in these species is growing due to an interest in using bioactive toxins from spiders and scorpions for drug discovery purposes and for solving crystal structures of membrane-embedded receptors. Additionally, the identification and isolation of a myriad of spider and scorpion toxins has allowed research within next generation antivenoms to progress at an increasingly faster pace. In this review, the current knowledge of spider and scorpion venoms is presented, followed by a discussion of all published biotechnological efforts within development of spider and scorpion antitoxins based on small molecules, antibodies and fragments thereof, and next generation immunization strategies. The increasing number of discovery and development efforts within this field may point towards an upcoming transition from serum-based antivenoms towards therapeutic solutions based on modern biotechnology. PMID:27455327

  15. Biotechnological Trends in Spider and Scorpion Antivenom Development

    PubMed Central

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard; Solà, Mireia; Jappe, Emma Christine; Oscoz, Saioa; Lauridsen, Line Præst; Engmark, Mikael

    2016-01-01

    Spiders and scorpions are notorious for their fearful dispositions and their ability to inject venom into prey and predators, causing symptoms such as necrosis, paralysis, and excruciating pain. Information on venom composition and the toxins present in these species is growing due to an interest in using bioactive toxins from spiders and scorpions for drug discovery purposes and for solving crystal structures of membrane-embedded receptors. Additionally, the identification and isolation of a myriad of spider and scorpion toxins has allowed research within next generation antivenoms to progress at an increasingly faster pace. In this review, the current knowledge of spider and scorpion venoms is presented, followed by a discussion of all published biotechnological efforts within development of spider and scorpion antitoxins based on small molecules, antibodies and fragments thereof, and next generation immunization strategies. The increasing number of discovery and development efforts within this field may point towards an upcoming transition from serum-based antivenoms towards therapeutic solutions based on modern biotechnology. PMID:27455327

  16. [Scorpionism caused by Tityus pusillus Pocock, 1893 (Scorpiones; Buthidae) in State of Pernambuco].

    PubMed

    Albuquerque, Cleide Maria Ribeiro de; Porto, Tiago Jordão; Amorim, Maria Lucineide Porto; Santana Neto, Pedro de Lima

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents the first reports on scorpion accidents caused by Tityus pusillus (Buthidae). The accidents took place within the home environment, in rural areas located in the municipalities of Paudalho and São Lourenço da Mata, Pernambuco, Brazil. The two cases described (a child and a pregnant woman) were classified as mild and moderate, respectively. The clinical symptoms presented were local disorders (pain and paresthesia) and systemic disorders (chills, dizziness, headache and vomiting). These records make it possible to including Tityus pusillus as a species of medical importance in Brazil. PMID:19448944

  17. Purification and characterization of a scorpion defensin, a 4kDa antibacterial peptide presenting structural similarities with insect defensins and scorpion toxins.

    PubMed

    Cociancich, S; Goyffon, M; Bontems, F; Bulet, P; Bouet, F; Menez, A; Hoffmann, J

    1993-07-15

    Insect defensins are a group of inducible small-sized antibacterial peptides with three intramolecular disulfide bridges. NMR studies have recently shown that they share striking structural similarities with scorpion toxins. We have investigated in a scorpion species, Leiurus quinquestriatus, the potential presence of antibacterial molecules and report the isolation and structural characterization of a novel insect defensin homologue, which we refer to as scorpion defensin. This peptide shows a remarkably high degree of sequence homology with a defensin recently characterized in a species belonging to the ancient insect order of the Odonata with which it defines a novel ancient subclass of defensins. The scorpion defensin has in common with the scorpion toxins a consensus sequence Cys-[...]-Cys-Xaa-Xaa-Xaa-Cys-[...]-Gly-Xaa-Cys-[...]-Cys-Xaa-Cys present in all scorpion toxins characterized so far. PMID:8333834

  18. Mode of action and application of Scorpion primers to mutation detection

    PubMed Central

    Thelwell, Nicola; Millington, Stephen; Solinas, Antonio; Booth, James; Brown, Tom

    2000-01-01

    Scorpion primers can be used to detect PCR products in homogeneous solution. Their structure promotes a unimolecular probing mechanism. We compare their performance with that of the same probe sequence forced to act in a bimolecular manner. The data suggest that Scorpions indeed probe by a unimolecular mechanism which is faster and more efficient than the bimolecular mechanism. This mechanism is not dependent on enzymatic cleavage of the probe. A direct comparison between Scorpions, TaqMan and Molecular Beacons on a Roche LightCycler indicates that Scorpions perform better, particularly under fast cycling conditions. Development of a cystic fibrosis mutation detection assay shows that Scorpion primers are selective enough to detect single base mutations and give good sensitivity in all cases. Simultaneous detection of both normal and mutant alleles in a single reaction is possible by combining two Scorpions in a multiplex reaction. Such favourable properties of Scorpion primers should make the technology ideal in numerous applications. PMID:11000267

  19. Severe scorpion envenomation in Brazil. Clinical, laboratory and anatomopathological aspects.

    PubMed

    Cupo, P; Jurca, M; Azeedo-Marques, M M; Oliveira, J S; Hering, S E

    1994-01-01

    Scorpion stings in Brazil are important not only because of their incidence but also for their potential ability to induce severe, and often fatal, clinical situations, especially among children. In this report we present the clinical and laboratory data of 4 patients victims of scorpion stings by T. serrulatus, who developed heart failure and pulmonary edema, with 3 of them dying within 24 hours of the sting. Anatomopathologic study of these patients revealed diffuse areas of myocardiocytolysis in addition to pulmonary edema. The surviving child presented enzymatic, electrocardiographic and echocardiographic changes compatible with severe cardiac involvement, which were reversed within 5 days. These findings reinforce the need for continuous monitoring of patients with severe scorpion envenoming during the hours immediately following the sting. PMID:7997776

  20. Treatment of scorpion envenoming syndrome -- need for scientific magnanimity.

    PubMed

    Murthy, K Radha Krishna

    2013-04-01

    Scorpion envenoming syndrome results in a severe autonomic storm with a massive release of catecholamines, increased levels of angiotensin II, an increase in glucagon, cortisol, thyroid hormones; either suppressed insulin levels or hyperinsulinaemia (insulin resistance), hyperglycaemia; increased circulating free fatty acid levels. These hormonal alterations could be responsible for the pathogenesis of a variety of clinical manifestations. Under these conditions, scorpion envenoming syndrome with myocardial damage, cardiovascular disturbances, peripheral circulatory failure, respiratory and cardiac pulmonary oedema, and many other clinical manifestations resulting in a syndrome of fuel-energy deficits and an inability to use the existing metabolic substrates by vital organs causing multisystem organ failure and death. Based on animal experiments in which insulin administration reversed the metabolic and ECG changes induced by scorpion envenoming and treating the poisonous scorpion sting victims with insulin, we consider that insulin has a primary metabolic role in preventing and reversing the cardiovascular, haemodynamic, and neurological manifestations and pulmonary oedema induced by scorpion envenoming. Administration of insulin-glucose infusion to scorpion sting victims appears to be the physiological basis for the control of the metabolic response when that has become a determinant to survival. The mordality of treatment is continuous infusion of regular crystalline insulin at the rate of 0.3 U/g glucose and glucose at the rate of 0.1g/kg body weight/hour, with supplementation of potassium as needed and maintenance of fluid, electrolytes and acid-base balance is required. This treatment should be given at the earliest on admission and continued for the next 48-72 hours. Antiscorpion serum could also be given independently or along with insulin-glucose infusion. PMID:24475558

  1. Whole Transcriptome of the Venom Gland from Urodacus yaschenkoi Scorpion

    PubMed Central

    Juárez-González, Víctor Rivelino; Possani, Lourival D.

    2015-01-01

    Australian scorpion venoms have been poorly studied, probably because they do not pose an evident threat to humans. In addition, the continent has other medically important venomous animals capable of causing serious health problems. Urodacus yaschenkoi belongs to the most widely distributed family of Australian scorpions (Urodacidae) and it is found all over the continent, making it a useful model system for studying venom composition and evolution. This communication reports the whole set of mRNA transcripts produced by the venom gland. U. yaschenkoi venom is as complex as its overseas counterparts. These transcripts certainly code for several components similar to known scorpion venom components, such as: alpha-KTxs, beta-KTxs, calcins, protease inhibitors, antimicrobial peptides, sodium-channel toxins, toxin-like peptides, allergens, La1-like, hyaluronidases, ribosomal proteins, proteasome components and proteins related to cellular processes. A comparison with the venom gland transcriptome of Centruroides noxius (Buthidae) showed that these two scorpions have similar components related to biological processes, although important differences occur among the venom toxins. In contrast, a comparison with sequences reported for Urodacus manicatus revealed that these two Urodacidae species possess the same subfamily of scorpion toxins. A comparison with sequences of an U. yaschenkoi cDNA library previously reported by our group showed that both techniques are reliable for the description of the venom components, but the whole transcriptome generated with Next Generation Sequencing platform provides sequences of all transcripts expressed. Several of which were identified in the proteome, but many more transcripts were identified including uncommon transcripts. The information reported here constitutes a reference for non-Buthidae scorpion venoms, providing a comprehensive view of genes that are involved in venom production. Further, this work identifies new putative

  2. Exploration of refuge preference in the Arizona bark scorpion (Scorpiones: Buthidae).

    PubMed

    Bibbs, Christopher Stephen; Bengston, Sarah Elizabeth; Gouge, Dawn H

    2014-10-01

    The ongoing difficulty in understanding how Centruroides sculpturatus (Ewing) uses the built environment has prompted this study in exploring refuge choices in a school environment and in laboratory behavioral assays. Radio telemetry tags were used at an urban site heavily populated with C. sculpturatus to track scorpions for a period of 21 d from 1 to 21 August 2013. Complimentary laboratory work tested scorpions in refuge choice arenas targeting variables of four crevice widths--14.0, 9.3, 7.0, and 4.6 mm--or of a vertical versus horizontal orientation preference. These crevice sizes were picked as a response to crevices being naturally used in the field. Telemetry and observations tallied significant preference for artificial structural harborage. Ninety-five percent of the structure refuge use occurred in hollow block walls. Vegetative harborage, debris, and underground burrows were not selected with any significance compared with each other or structures. Generalized additive models (GAMs) indicated the strongest predictive power from individual preference. The behavioral choice assays yielded a significant preference for the largest of crevice widths offered, 14.0 mm and to a lesser extent 9.3 mm, both horizontally and vertically. GAMs for these assays indicated size as the strongest predictive factor in choices. The orientation tests and GAMs showed individual preference driving choice favoring vertical planes. Observations about negative geotaxis in assay and refuge use details from the field are also reported. PMID:25203773

  3. Microallopatry Caused Strong Diversification in Buthus scorpions (Scorpiones: Buthidae) in the Atlas Mountains (NW Africa)

    PubMed Central

    Habel, Jan C.; Husemann, Martin; Schmitt, Thomas; Zachos, Frank E.; Honnen, Ann-Christin; Petersen, Britt; Parmakelis, Aristeidis; Stathi, Iasmi

    2012-01-01

    The immense biodiversity of the Atlas Mountains in North Africa might be the result of high rates of microallopatry caused by mountain barriers surpassing 4000 meters leading to patchy habitat distributions. We test the influence of geographic structures on the phylogenetic patterns among Buthus scorpions using mtDNA sequences. We sampled 91 individuals of the genus Buthus from 51 locations scattered around the Atlas Mountains (Antiatlas, High Atlas, Middle Atlas and Jebel Sahro). We sequenced 452 bp of the Cytochrome Oxidase I gene which proved to be highly variable within and among Buthus species. Our phylogenetic analysis yielded 12 distinct genetic groups one of which comprised three subgroups mostly in accordance with the orographic structure of the mountain systems. Main clades overlap with each other, while subclades are distributed parapatrically. Geographic structures likely acted as long-term barriers among populations causing restriction of gene flow and allowing for strong genetic differentiation. Thus, genetic structure and geographical distribution of genetic (sub)clusters follow the classical theory of allopatric differentiation where distinct groups evolve without range overlap until reproductive isolation and ecological differentiation has built up. Philopatry and low dispersal ability of Buthus scorpions are the likely causes for the observed strong genetic differentiation at this small geographic scale. PMID:22383951

  4. Scorpion Peptides: Potential Use for New Drug Development

    PubMed Central

    Hmed, BenNasr; Serria, Hammami Turky; Mounir, Zeghal Khaled

    2013-01-01

    Several peptides contained in scorpion fluids showed diverse array of biological activities with high specificities to their targeted sites. Many investigations outlined their potent effects against microbes and showed their potential to modulate various biological mechanisms that are involved in immune, nervous, cardiovascular, and neoplastic diseases. Because of their important structural and functional diversity, it is projected that scorpion-derived peptides could be used to develop new specific drugs. This review summarizes relevant findings improving their use as valuable tools for new drugs development. PMID:23843786

  5. A rare complication of scorpion venom: atrial fibrillation.

    PubMed

    Duman, Ali; Turkdogan, Kenan Ahmet; Akoz, Ayhan; Avcil, Mucahit; Dagli, Bekir; Canakci, Selcuk Eren

    2016-05-01

    Although the clinical findings of scorpion stings are often mild, they may lead to multiorgan failure and even cardiogenic shock. The toxin has both local and systemic effects. Local effects include edema, bruising(ecchymosis), and burning pain,whereas systemic effects include nausea,vomiting, hypotension or hypertension, cardiovascular toxicity, renal failure,and hemorrhage at different areas. The toxins have been implicated in a number of cardiac arrhythmias, including torsade de pointes, long QT syndrome, and atrial fibrillation. Here, we present a 90-year-old woman with no history of drug use or complaints due to dysrhythmias who developed atrial fibrillation after being stung by a scorpion. PMID:26508584

  6. Global Transcriptome Analysis of the Scorpion Centruroides noxius: New Toxin Families and Evolutionary Insights from an Ancestral Scorpion Species

    PubMed Central

    Rendón-Anaya, Martha; Delaye, Luis; Possani, Lourival D.; Herrera-Estrella, Alfredo

    2012-01-01

    Scorpion venoms have been studied for decades, leading to the identification of hundreds of different toxins with medical and pharmacological implications. However, little emphasis has been given to the description of these arthropods from cellular and evolutionary perspectives. In this report, we describe a transcriptomic analysis of the Mexican scorpion Centruroides noxius Hoffmann, performed with a pyrosequencing platform. Three independent sequencing experiments were carried out, each including three different cDNA libraries constructed from RNA extracted from the whole body of the scorpion after telson removal, and from the venom gland before and after venom extraction. Over three million reads were obtained and assembled in almost 19000 isogroups. Within the telson-specific sequences, 72 isogroups (0.4% of total unique transcripts) were found to be similar to toxins previously reported in other scorpion species, spiders and sea anemones. The annotation pipeline also revealed the presence of important elements of the small non-coding RNA processing machinery, as well as microRNA candidates. A phylogenomic analysis of concatenated essential genes evidenced differential evolution rates in this species, particularly in ribosomal proteins and proteasome components. Additionally, statistical comparison of transcript abundance before and after venom extraction showed that 3% and 2% of the assembled isogroups had higher expression levels in the active and replenishing gland, respectively. Thus, our sequencing and annotation strategies provide a general view of the cellular and molecular processes that take place in these arthropods, allowed the discovery of new pharmacological and biotechnological targets and uncovered several regulatory and metabolic responses behind the assembly of the scorpion venom. The results obtained in this report represent the first high-throughput study that thoroughly describes the universe of genes that are expressed in the scorpion

  7. The Cuban scorpion Rhopalurus junceus (Scorpiones, Buthidae): component variations in venom samples collected in different geographical areas

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Backgound The venom of the Cuban scorpion Rhopalurus junceus is poorly study from the point of view of their components at molecular level and the functions associated. The purpose of this article was to conduct a proteomic analysis of venom components from scorpions collected in different geographical areas of the country. Results Venom from the blue scorpion, as it is called, was collected separately from specimens of five distinct Cuban towns (Moa, La Poa, Limonar, El Chote and Farallones) of the Nipe-Sagua-Baracoa mountain massif and fractionated by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC); the molecular masses of each fraction were ascertained by mass spectrometry analysis. At least 153 different molecular mass components were identified among the five samples analyzed. Molecular masses varied from 466 to 19755 Da. Scorpion HPLC profiles differed among these different geographical locations and the predominant molecular masses of their components. The most evident differences are in the relative concentration of the venom components. The most abundant components presented molecular weights around 4 kDa, known to be K+-channel specific peptides, and 7 kDa, known to be Na+-channel specific peptides, but with small molecular weight differences. Approximately 30 peptides found in venom samples from the different geographical areas are identical, supporting the idea that they all probably belong to the same species, with some interpopulational variations. Differences were also found in the presence of phospholipase, found in venoms from the Poa area (molecular weights on the order of 14 to 19 kDa). The only ubiquitous enzyme identified in the venoms from all five localities studied (hyaluronidase) presented the same 45 kD molecular mass, identified by gel electrophoresis analysis. Conclusions The venom of these scorpions from different geographical areas seem to be similar, and are rich in peptides that have of the same molecular masses of the peptides

  8. Emerging options for the management of scorpion stings

    PubMed Central

    Chippaux, Jean-Philippe

    2012-01-01

    Scorpion stings are common in many tropical countries. Although most scorpion stings cause only localized pain without life-threatening envenoming, about one third of stings cause systemic envenoming which can result in death. Children are particularly sensitive to scorpion envenoming. The severity of scorpion stings is related to the presence of neurotoxins in the venom that cause a sudden release of neurotransmitters from the autonomic nervous system, predominantly sympathetic. There is also a strong inflammatory response that worsens symptoms, including those of a respiratory nature. Several vital functions may be directly affected, including the cardiovascular, respiratory, and neuromuscular systems. Hypertension is constant at the beginning of systemic envenoming and sometimes has a severe cardiac and respiratory impact. Although controversial, immunotherapy is the only etiological treatment. Administered early, it prevents many complications and improves the outcome. New antivenoms are highly purified immunoglobulin fragments, the efficacy and safety of which are excellent. As a consequence, adverse reactions to antivenoms are now very rare and usually mild, which should limit any reluctance regarding their routine use. Symptomatic treatment is still necessary to support immunotherapy, especially in cases of delayed arrival at hospital. A combination of both approaches should be considered, based on local resources and constraints. PMID:22826633

  9. Inter- and intrapopulational genetic variability of Tityus serrulatus (Scorpiones, Buthidae).

    PubMed

    Scholte, Ronaldo G Carvalho; Caldeira, Roberta Lima; Simões, Mariana Crivellari Machado; Stutz, William H; Silva, Larissa Lopes; Carvalho, Omar dos Santos; Oliveira, Guilherme

    2009-11-01

    In Brazil, there are near 20 genera and almost 120 species of scorpions of which 95% reproduce sexually. Parthenogenetic reproduction, however, may also take place. To gain insight into useful molecular markers in parthenogenetic scorpion species, we studied DNA polymorphism using two molecular approaches: simple sequence repeat anchored polymerase chain reaction (SSR-PCR) and sequencing of the cytochrome C oxidase subunit I of the mitochondrial genome, mtDNA (COXI), of Tityus serrulatus. Three different groups were used: group 1, composed of 1 female and 14 descendants; group 2 with 1 female and 17 descendants, both from the city of Uberlândia, State of Minas Gerais (MG), Brazil, and the third group that consisted of three adult scorpions from the city of Belo Horizonte, MG. The profiles generated by SSR-PCR were identical for all specimens, while partial sequencing of COXI showed the presence of SNPs. After aligning COXI contigs, one of the groups presented 18 SNPs and the second 8 SNPs. The two groups were differentiated by two diagnostic SNPs. We did not find evidence of mitochondrial recombination. The results are in agreement with the parthenogenetic mode of reproduction of this species and sequencing of the COXI gene enabled the separation of scorpions groups. PMID:19595660

  10. Management of scorpion stings in Africa and the Mediterranean region.

    PubMed

    Chippaux, J-P

    2016-05-01

    Common in the southern and eastern Mediterranean basin, scorpion stings can develop into a severe medical emergency, especially in young children. Here we review several principles of diagnosis and treatment. The indications for antivenom and symptomatic treatment are detailed according to the symptoms and clinical severity of envenomation. PMID:27412972

  11. Seeking Refuge in Literacy from a Scorpion Bite

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sarroub, Loukia K.

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine a refugee boy's experiences with literacy in and out of school in the US. Within these contexts, I explore this youth's literacy development in light of his identity as a poor Yezidi Kurdish refugee from Iraq. Central to the article are two main themes. The first, life as a scorpion sting, explicates the…

  12. Insights into Antimicrobial Peptides from Spiders and Scorpions.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiuqing; Wang, Guangshun

    2016-01-01

    The venoms of spiders and scorpions contain a variety of chemical compounds. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) from these organisms were first discovered in the 1990s. As of May 2015, there were 42 spider's and 63 scorpion's AMPs in the Antimicrobial Peptide Database (http://aps.unmc.edu/AP). These peptides have demonstrated broad or narrow-spectrum activities against bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites. In addition, they can be toxic to cancer cells, insects and erythrocytes. To provide insight into such an activity spectrum, this article discusses the discovery, classification, structure and activity relationships, bioinformatics analysis, and potential applications of spider and scorpion AMPs. Our analysis reveals that, in the case of linear peptides, spiders use both glycine-rich and helical peptide models for defense, whereas scorpions use two distinct helical peptide models with different amino acid compositions to exert the observed antimicrobial activities and hemolytic toxicity. Our structural bioinformatics study improves the knowledge in the field and can be used to design more selective peptides to combat tumors, parasites, and viruses. PMID:27165405

  13. Hox gene duplications correlate with posterior heteronomy in scorpions

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Prashant P.; Schwager, Evelyn E.; Extavour, Cassandra G.; Wheeler, Ward C.

    2014-01-01

    The evolutionary success of the largest animal phylum, Arthropoda, has been attributed to tagmatization, the coordinated evolution of adjacent metameres to form morphologically and functionally distinct segmental regions called tagmata. Specification of regional identity is regulated by the Hox genes, of which 10 are inferred to be present in the ancestor of arthropods. With six different posterior segmental identities divided into two tagmata, the bauplan of scorpions is the most heteronomous within Chelicerata. Expression domains of the anterior eight Hox genes are conserved in previously surveyed chelicerates, but it is unknown how Hox genes regionalize the three tagmata of scorpions. Here, we show that the scorpion Centruroides sculpturatus has two paralogues of all Hox genes except Hox3, suggesting cluster and/or whole genome duplication in this arachnid order. Embryonic anterior expression domain boundaries of each of the last four pairs of Hox genes (two paralogues each of Antp, Ubx, abd-A and Abd-B) are unique and distinguish segmental groups, such as pectines, book lungs and the characteristic tail, while maintaining spatial collinearity. These distinct expression domains suggest neofunctionalization of Hox gene paralogues subsequent to duplication. Our data reconcile previous understanding of Hox gene function across arthropods with the extreme heteronomy of scorpions. PMID:25122224

  14. A new Kunitz-type plasmin inhibitor from scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Ding, Li; Wang, Xiaobo; Liu, Hongyan; San, Mingkui; Xu, Yue; Li, Jian; Li, Shan; Cao, Zhijian; Li, Wenxin; Wu, Yingliang; Chen, Zongyun

    2015-11-01

    Kunitz-type peptides from venomous animals are an important source of lead drug candidates towards human plasmin, a target of protease-associated diseases. However, no Kunitz-type plasmin inhibitor from venomous scorpion has been characterized. Here, we first investigated plasmin inhibiting activities of eight known Kunitz-type scorpion toxins Hg1, BmKTT-1, BmKTT-2, BmKTT-3, LmKTT-1a, LmKTT-1b, LmKTT-1c and BmKPI, and found a new plasmin inhibitor BmKTT-2, a Kunitz-type toxin peptide from the scorpion Buthus martensi karch. Protease inhibitory activity assay showed that BmKTT-2 potently inhibited plasmin with a Ki value of 8.75 ± 2.05 nM. Structure-function relationship studies between BmKTT-2 and plasmin showed that BmKTT-2 is a classical Kunitz-type plasmin inhibitor: Lys13 in BmKTT-2 is the P1 site, and Ala14 in BmKTT-2 is the P1' site. Interestingly, BmKTT-2 has potent inhibiting activities towards three important digestive serine proteases trypsin, chymotrypsin and elastase, suggesting a good stability for administering oral medications. To the best of our knowledge, BmKTT-2 is the first Kunitz-type human plasmin inhibitor from scorpion venom, providing novel insights into drug developments targeting human plasmin protease. PMID:26363290

  15. Enzymatic analysis of venom from Cuban scorpion Rhopalurus junceus

    PubMed Central

    Díaz-García, Alexis; Ruiz-Fuentes, Jenny Laura; Yglesias-Rivera, Arianna; Rodríguez-Sánchez, Hermis; Riquenes Garlobo, Yanelis; Fleitas Martinez, Osmel; Fraga Castro, José A

    2015-01-01

    Rhopalurus junceus scorpion venom has been identified as a natural extract with anticancer potential. Interestingly, this scorpion venom does not cause adverse symptoms in humans. However, there is scarce information about its composition and enzymatic activity. In this work, we determined the electrophoretic profile of the venom, the gelatinase and caseinolytic activity, and the phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and hemolytic activity. The effect of different venom doses (6.25, 12.5 and 25 mg/kg) on gastrocnemius muscle was also measured as CK and LDH activity in serum. The presence of hyaluronidase was determined by turbidimetric assay. The effect of different fractions obtained by gel filtration chromatography were evaluated at different concentrations (0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.4, 0.6mg/ml) against lung cancer cell A549 and lung normal cell MRC-5 using MTT assay. The electrophoretic profile demonstrated the presence of proteins bands around 67kDa, 43kDa, 18.4kDa and a majority band below 14.3kDa. The venom did not showed caseinolytic, gelatinase, PLA2 and hemolytic activity even at highest venom concentration used in the study. Scorpion venom only showed a significant toxic effect on gastrocnemius muscles identified by CK and LDH release after subcutaneous injection of 12.5 and 25mg/kg. Low molecular weight fractions (<4kDa) induced a significant cytotoxicity in A549 cells while high molecular weight proteins (45–60kDa) were responsible for hyaluronidase activity and toxic effect against MRC-5. Experiments indicate that Rhopalurus junceus scorpion venom has low enzymatic activity, which could contribute to the low toxic potential of this scorpion venom. PMID:26605039

  16. Enzymatic analysis of venom from Cuban scorpion Rhopalurus junceus.

    PubMed

    Díaz-García, Alexis; Ruiz-Fuentes, Jenny Laura; Yglesias-Rivera, Arianna; Rodríguez-Sánchez, Hermis; Riquenes Garlobo, Yanelis; Fleitas Martinez, Osmel; Fraga Castro, José A

    2015-01-01

    Rhopalurus junceus scorpion venom has been identified as a natural extract with anticancer potential. Interestingly, this scorpion venom does not cause adverse symptoms in humans. However, there is scarce information about its composition and enzymatic activity. In this work, we determined the electrophoretic profile of the venom, the gelatinase and caseinolytic activity, and the phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and hemolytic activity. The effect of different venom doses (6.25, 12.5 and 25 mg/kg) on gastrocnemius muscle was also measured as CK and LDH activity in serum. The presence of hyaluronidase was determined by turbidimetric assay. The effect of different fractions obtained by gel filtration chromatography were evaluated at different concentrations (0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.4, 0.6mg/ml) against lung cancer cell A549 and lung normal cell MRC-5 using MTT assay. The electrophoretic profile demonstrated the presence of proteins bands around 67kDa, 43kDa, 18.4kDa and a majority band below 14.3kDa. The venom did not showed caseinolytic, gelatinase, PLA2 and hemolytic activity even at highest venom concentration used in the study. Scorpion venom only showed a significant toxic effect on gastrocnemius muscles identified by CK and LDH release after subcutaneous injection of 12.5 and 25mg/kg. Low molecular weight fractions (<4kDa) induced a significant cytotoxicity in A549 cells while high molecular weight proteins (45-60kDa) were responsible for hyaluronidase activity and toxic effect against MRC-5. Experiments indicate that Rhopalurus junceus scorpion venom has low enzymatic activity, which could contribute to the low toxic potential of this scorpion venom. PMID:26605039

  17. Overview of the Knottin scorpion toxin-like peptides in scorpion venoms: Insights on their classification and evolution.

    PubMed

    Santibáñez-López, Carlos E; Possani, Lourival D

    2015-12-01

    Scorpion venoms include several compounds with different pharmacological activities. Within these compounds, toxins affecting ion channels are among the most studied. They are all peptides that have been classified based on their 3D structure, chain size and function. Usually, they show a spatial arrangement characterized by the presence of a cysteine-stabilized alpha beta motif; most of them affect Na(+) and K(+) ion-channels. These features have been revised in several occasions before, but a complete phylogenetic analysis of the disulfide containing peptides is not been done. In the present contribution, two databases (Pfam and InterPro) including more than 800 toxins from different scorpions were analyzed. Pfam database included toxins from several organisms other than scorpions such as insects and plants, while InterPro included only scorpion toxins. Our results suggest that Na(+) toxins have evolved independently from those of K(+) toxins no matter the length of the peptidic chains. These preliminary results suggest that current classification needs a more detailed revision, in order to have better characterized toxin families, so the new peptides obtained from transcriptomic analyses would be properly classified. PMID:26187850

  18. Tityus bahiensis scorpion venom injected to dams during pregnancy affects some cytokines of fetuses.

    PubMed

    Dorce, Ana L C; Frare, Eduardo O; Paulo, Maria E F V; Dorce, Valquiria A C; Nencioni, Ana L A

    2015-09-01

    Due to the high incidence of scorpion stings in Brazil, pregnant women are among the possible victims. Cytokines are important during the pregnancy, and scorpion venoms can change their release. We evaluated the levels of some cytokines in the fetuses after the treatment of pregnant rats with the Tityus bahiensis scorpion venom. The concentration of some of them is altered and can be responsible for the effects previously observed on innate reflexes, and the physical and behavioral development of the offspring. PMID:26140840

  19. Fluorescence and multilayer structure of the scorpion cuticle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yu-Jen; Chiu, Pei-Ju; Lee, Cheng-Chung

    2015-09-01

    We collect the scorpions, Isometrus maculates, in different instars to analyze the photoluminescence (PL), micro-structure of cuticles and their correlation. The photoluminescence is excited by 405 nm solid laser in room temperature and detected by BWtek BRC 112E spectrometer. The result shows that the intensity of photoluminescence positively correlate to instars of scorpion. The images of micro-structures of cuticles captured by scanning electron microscope (SEM) present the multilayer structure in detail. The samples are prepared in small piece to ensure that the PL and SEM data are caught from the same area. The correlation between instars and intensity of photoluminescence is explained according to micro-structures via the thin-film optics theory.

  20. Transcriptome Analysis of Scorpion Species Belonging to the Vaejovis Genus

    PubMed Central

    Quintero-Hernández, Verónica; Ramírez-Carreto, Santos; Romero-Gutiérrez, María Teresa; Valdez-Velázquez, Laura L.; Becerril, Baltazar; Possani, Lourival D.; Ortiz, Ernesto

    2015-01-01

    Scorpions belonging to the Buthidae family have traditionally drawn much of the biochemist’s attention due to the strong toxicity of their venoms. Scorpions not toxic to mammals, however, also have complex venoms. They have been shown to be an important source of bioactive peptides, some of them identified as potential drug candidates for the treatment of several emerging diseases and conditions. It is therefore important to characterize the large diversity of components found in the non-Buthidae venoms. As a contribution to this goal, this manuscript reports the construction and characterization of cDNA libraries from four scorpion species belonging to the Vaejovis genus of the Vaejovidae family: Vaejovis mexicanus, V. intrepidus, V. subcristatus and V. punctatus. Some sequences coding for channel-acting toxins were found, as expected, but the main transcribed genes in the glands actively producing venom were those coding for non disulfide-bridged peptides. The ESTs coding for putative channel-acting toxins, corresponded to sodium channel β toxins, to members of the potassium channel-acting α or κ families, and to calcium channel-acting toxins of the calcin family. Transcripts for scorpine-like peptides of two different lengths were found, with some of the species coding for the two kinds. One sequence coding for La1-like peptides, of yet unknown function, was found for each species. Finally, the most abundant transcripts corresponded to peptides belonging to the long chain multifunctional NDBP-2 family and to the short antimicrobials of the NDBP-4 family. This apparent venom composition is in correspondence with the data obtained to date for other non-Buthidae species. Our study constitutes the first approach to the characterization of the venom gland transcriptome for scorpion species belonging to the Vaejovidae family. PMID:25659089

  1. Transcriptome analysis of scorpion species belonging to the Vaejovis genus.

    PubMed

    Quintero-Hernández, Verónica; Ramírez-Carreto, Santos; Romero-Gutiérrez, María Teresa; Valdez-Velázquez, Laura L; Becerril, Baltazar; Possani, Lourival D; Ortiz, Ernesto

    2015-01-01

    Scorpions belonging to the Buthidae family have traditionally drawn much of the biochemist's attention due to the strong toxicity of their venoms. Scorpions not toxic to mammals, however, also have complex venoms. They have been shown to be an important source of bioactive peptides, some of them identified as potential drug candidates for the treatment of several emerging diseases and conditions. It is therefore important to characterize the large diversity of components found in the non-Buthidae venoms. As a contribution to this goal, this manuscript reports the construction and characterization of cDNA libraries from four scorpion species belonging to the Vaejovis genus of the Vaejovidae family: Vaejovis mexicanus, V. intrepidus, V. subcristatus and V. punctatus. Some sequences coding for channel-acting toxins were found, as expected, but the main transcribed genes in the glands actively producing venom were those coding for non disulfide-bridged peptides. The ESTs coding for putative channel-acting toxins, corresponded to sodium channel β toxins, to members of the potassium channel-acting α or κ families, and to calcium channel-acting toxins of the calcin family. Transcripts for scorpine-like peptides of two different lengths were found, with some of the species coding for the two kinds. One sequence coding for La1-like peptides, of yet unknown function, was found for each species. Finally, the most abundant transcripts corresponded to peptides belonging to the long chain multifunctional NDBP-2 family and to the short antimicrobials of the NDBP-4 family. This apparent venom composition is in correspondence with the data obtained to date for other non-Buthidae species. Our study constitutes the first approach to the characterization of the venom gland transcriptome for scorpion species belonging to the Vaejovidae family. PMID:25659089

  2. Some biological effects of scorpion envenomation in late pregnant rats.

    PubMed

    Ben Nasr, Hmed; Serria, Hammami; Chaker, Selma; Riadh, Badraoui; Zouheir, Sahnoun; Kamel, Jamoussi; Tarek, Rebai; Khaled, Zeghal

    2009-11-01

    Scorpion envenoming is less studied during gestation; however, it may induce various biological disturbances in maternal organism and hypothetical ones on their fetuses. The scope of this report was to elucidate some biological effects of such poisoning in late pregnant rats. Hence, TBARS levels in maternal lung, placental and fetal pulmonary and hepatic tissues and dam's biochemical blood parameters (glucose, creatinine, 17-beta estradiol, progesterone, blood nitrogen urea, sodium and potassium maternal plasma concentrations) had been evaluated after saline (G1), and scorpion venom (G2: 30 min and G3: 60 min) injections in 22nd day pregnant rats. Histological microscopic examination of these tissues was also carried out in HE-stained paraffin sections. In addition, the mean arterial blood pressure following the envenomation variations was measured in three rats from the same pool. Our results showed that Buthus occitanus tunetanus crude venom induced significant increase in maternal, placental and fetal tissues lipid peroxidation, concomitant with blood pressure elevation. Maternal plasma creatinine, estradiol and progesterone concentrations levelled up significantly after 30 min or later (60 min) after the venom injection. Except for a probable pronounced oedema and few congestions in maternal lungs and degenerative aspects of trophoblast cells, all examined tissues showed a conserved structure. These results suggest that scorpion envenomation may induce gestation process disturbances and threatens both mother's and fetus' well-being. PMID:19185478

  3. Spermatozoa and sperm packages of the European troglophylous scorpion Belisarius xambeui Simon, 1879 (Troglotayosicidae, Scorpiones).

    PubMed

    Vignoli, V; Klann, A E; Michalik, P

    2008-12-01

    Studies on the sperm morphology in scorpions are rare, but the existing investigations already revealed a remarkable interfamiliar diversity. The present study reports for the first time on the spermatozoa and sperm packages of a representative of the family Troglotayosicidae, the troglophylous species Belisarius xambeui. The spermatozoa are characterized by (1) a thread-like nucleus, which is slightly bent anteriorly; (2) an asymmetrical cap-like acrosomal vacuole, which encloses the anterior tip of the nucleus; an acrosomal filament is absent; (3) an axoneme with a 9+0 microtubular pattern; (4) a midpiece consisting of elongated mitochondria coiling around the axoneme; the number can vary between 3 and 6 (mostly 4). At the end of spermiogenesis, the spermatozoa aggregate in order to form oval-shaped sperm packages in which all sperm cells show the same orientation. A single package consists of approximately 150 sperms. A secretion sheath is always absent. The present results might provide new characters for further systematic studies and their phylogenetic implications are briefly discussed. PMID:18579173

  4. Physiological resistance of grasshopper mice (Onychomys spp.) to Arizona bark scorpion (Centruroides exilicauda) venom.

    PubMed

    Rowe, Ashlee H; Rowe, Matthew P

    2008-10-01

    Predators feeding on toxic prey may evolve physiological resistance to the preys' toxins. Grasshopper mice (Onychomys spp.) are voracious predators of scorpions in North American deserts. Two species of grasshopper mice (Onychomys torridus and Onychomys arenicola) are broadly sympatric with two species of potentially lethal bark scorpion (Centruroides exilicauda and Centruroides vittatus) in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts, respectively. Bark scorpions produce toxins that selectively bind sodium (Na(+)) and potassium (K(+)) ion channels in vertebrate nerve and muscle tissue. We previously reported that grasshopper mice showed no effects of bark scorpion envenomation following natural stings. Here we conducted a series of toxicity tests to determine whether grasshopper mice have evolved resistance to bark scorpion neurotoxins. Five populations of grasshopper mice, either sympatric with or allopatric to bark scorpions, were injected with bark scorpion venom; LD50s were estimated for each population. All five populations of grasshopper mice demonstrated levels of venom resistance greater than that reported for non-resistant Mus musculus. Moreover, venom resistance in the mice showed intra- and interspecific variability that covaried with bark scorpion sympatry and allopatry, patterns consistent with the hypothesis that venom resistance in grasshopper mice is an adaptive response to feeding on their neurotoxic prey. PMID:18687353

  5. Acute myocardial infarction following scorpion sting in a case with obstructive coronary artery disease.

    PubMed

    Patra, Soumya; Satish, K; Singla, Vivek; Ravindranath, K S

    2013-01-01

    The occurrence of an acute myocardial infarction (MI) following a scorpion sting has been very rarely reported in the previous literature. Possible pathogenetic mechanisms include severe hypotension due to hypovolaemic shock and coronary spasm with subsequent thrombosis of coronary vessels developed after the release of vasoactive, inflammatory and thrombogenic substances contained in the scorpion venom. All of the previously reported cases had normal coronary angiogram. We report a case of a 65-year-old woman who presented with severe scorpion sting and was treated with prazosin. But a few hours later, she developed acute anterior wall MI. Coronary angiogram revealed the presence of significant stenosis in coronary arteries. As acute MI owing to significant coronary artery disease can be evident after severe scorpion envenomation, so every case of acute coronary syndrome following scorpion sting needs early diagnosis, thorough cardiovascular evaluation and appropriate treatment. PMID:23715842

  6. Male and female meiosis in the mountain scorpion Zabius fuscus (Scorpiones, Buthidae): heterochromatin, rDNA and TTAGG telomeric repeats.

    PubMed

    Adilardi, Renzo Sebastián; Ojanguren-Affilastro, Andrés Alejandro; Mattoni, Camilo Iván; Mola, Liliana María

    2015-08-01

    All cytogenetically studied scorpions present male achiasmatic meiosis and lack heteromorphic sex chromosomes. In contrast, information about female meiosis in scorpions is scarce due to the difficulty of finding meiotic cells. The genus Zabius includes three described species and no chromosome studies have been performed on it until now. We analyzed the constitutive heterochromatin distribution, NORs and telomeric sequences in mitosis and meiosis of males and females of different populations of Zabius fuscus. All specimens presented 2n = 18 holokinetic chromosomes that gradually decreased in size. Male meiosis presented nine bivalents and a polymorphism for one reciprocal translocation in one population. Telomeric signals were detected at every terminal region, confirming also the presence of a (TTAGG) n motif in Buthidae. Constitutive heterochromatin was found in three chromosome pairs at a terminal region; moreover, NORs were embedded in the heterochromatic region of the largest pair. Chromosome size and landmarks allowed us to propose the chromosomes involved in the rearrangement. In four females, cells at different prophase I stages were analyzed. We describe a diffuse stage and the presence of ring-shaped bivalents. We discuss the possible origin of these bivalents in the framework of chiasmatic or achiasmatic female meiosis. These results contribute to increase the scarce evidence of female meiosis in scorpions and raise new questions about its mechanism. PMID:25899730

  7. First venom gland transcriptomic analysis of Iranian yellow scorpion "Odonthubuthus doriae" with some new findings.

    PubMed

    NaderiSoorki, Maryam; Galehdari, Hamid; Baradaran, Masomeh; Jalali, Amir

    2016-09-15

    Scorpion venom contains mixture of biologic molecules including selective toxins with medical capability. Odonthubuthus doriae (O. doriae) belonged to Buthidae family of scorpions and gained more interest among Iranian dangerous scorpion since 2005. We constructed the first cDNA library to explore the transcriptomic composition of this Iranian scorpiontelson. Then by used of bioinformatic software each expression sequence taq (EST) from the library analyzed and its quiddity was clear. Analysis showed that toxins (42%) had more venom transcript than other component such as antimicrobial peptides, venom peptides and cell proteins. Over 16% of transcripts didn't have any open reading frames (ORF), however their sequences showed similarity by other scorpion sequences. One EST didn't have any similarity by known scorpion peptides. For the first time; we report a comprehensive study of an Iranian scorpion with interesting and novel findings. We characterized a new putative sodium channel modifier in scorpions by some bioinformatics software, and then predicted its structure and function. PMID:27426055

  8. Scorpion Toxin, BmP01, Induces Pain by Targeting TRPV1 Channel

    PubMed Central

    Hakim, Md Abdul; Jiang, Wenbin; Luo, Lei; Li, Bowen; Yang, Shilong; Song, Yuzhu; Lai, Ren

    2015-01-01

    The intense pain induced by scorpion sting is a frequent clinical manifestation. To date, there is no established protocol with significant efficacy to alleviate the pain induced by scorpion envenomation. One of the important reasons is that, little information on pain-inducing compound from scorpion venoms is available. Here, a pain-inducing peptide (BmP01) has been identified and characterized from the venoms of scorpion (Mesobuthus martensii). In an animal model, intraplantar injection of BmP01 in mouse hind paw showed significant acute pain in wild type (WT) mice but not in TRPV1 knock-out (TRPV1 KO) mice during 30 min recording. BmP01 evoked currents in WT dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons but had no effect on DRG neurons of TRPV1 KO mice. Furthermore, BmP01 evoked currents on TRPV1-expressed HEK293T cells, but not on HEK293T cells without TRPV1. These results suggest that (1) BmP01 is one of the pain-inducing agents in scorpion venoms; and (2) BmP01 induces pain by acting on TRPV1. To our knowledge, this is the first report about a scorpion toxin that produces pain by targeting TRPV1. Identification of a pain-inducing compound may facilitate treating pain induced by scorpion envenomation. PMID:26389953

  9. Camelid antivenom development and potential in vivo neutralization of Hottentotta saulcyi scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Darvish, Maryam; Ebrahimi, Soltan Ahmad; Shahbazzadeh, Delavar; Bagheri, Kamran-Pooshang; Behdani, Mahdi; Shokrgozar, Mohammad Ali

    2016-04-01

    Scorpion envenoming is a serious health problem which can cause a variety of clinical toxic effects. Of the many scorpion species native to Iran, Hottentotta saulcyi is important because its venom can produce toxic effects in man. Nowadays, antivenom derived from hyper immune horses is the only effective treatment for sever scorpion stings. Current limitations of immunotherapy urgently require an efficient alternative with high safety, target affinity and more promising venom neutralizing capability. Recently, heavy chain-only antibodies (HC-Abs) found naturally in camelid serum met the above mentioned advantages. In this study, immuno-reactivities of polyclonal antibodies were tested after successful immunization of camel using H. saulcyi scorpion crude venom. The lethal potency of scorpion venom in C57BL/6 mice injected intraperitoneally was determined to be 2.7 mg/kg. These results were followed by the efficient neutralization of lethal activity of H. saulcyi scorpion venom by injection of antivenom and purified IgG fractions into mice intraperitonelly or intravenously, respectively. HC-Ab camelid antivenom could be considered as a useful serotherapeutics instead of present treatment for scorpion envenomation. PMID:26809016

  10. Scorpion Toxin, BmP01, Induces Pain by Targeting TRPV1 Channel.

    PubMed

    Hakim, Md Abdul; Jiang, Wenbin; Luo, Lei; Li, Bowen; Yang, Shilong; Song, Yuzhu; Lai, Ren

    2015-09-01

    The intense pain induced by scorpion sting is a frequent clinical manifestation. To date, there is no established protocol with significant efficacy to alleviate the pain induced by scorpion envenomation. One of the important reasons is that, little information on pain-inducing compound from scorpion venoms is available. Here, a pain-inducing peptide (BmP01) has been identified and characterized from the venoms of scorpion (Mesobuthus martensii). In an animal model, intraplantar injection of BmP01 in mouse hind paw showed significant acute pain in wild type (WT) mice but not in TRPV1 knock-out (TRPV1 KO) mice during 30 min recording. BmP01 evoked currents in WT dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons but had no effect on DRG neurons of TRPV1 KO mice. Furthermore, OPEN ACCESS Toxins 2015, 7 3672 BmP01 evoked currents on TRPV1-expressed HEK293T cells, but not on HEK293T cells without TRPV1. These results suggest that (1) BmP01 is one of the pain-inducing agents in scorpion venoms; and (2) BmP01 induces pain by acting on TRPV1. To our knowledge, this is the first report about a scorpion toxin that produces pain by targeting TRPV1. Identification of a pain-inducing compound may facilitate treating pain induced by scorpion envenomation. PMID:26389953

  11. Enhancement of long-lasting immunoprotective effect against Androctonus australis hector envenomation using safe antigens: Comparative role of MF59 and Alum adjuvants.

    PubMed

    Nouri, Abdelmounaim; Laraba-Djebari, Fatima

    2015-10-26

    Envenomation is a public health problem in many regions of the world. The only available treatment is the serotherapy that has limited efficiency due to the delay of its administration. The goal of this study is to provide a new and more efficient alternative to this treatment. A comparative study of the effects of two adjuvants in their ability to enhance the efficiency of the detoxified and safe antigens to produce a long lasting immunoprotection is undertaken using Aluminum Hydroxide adjuvant (Alum) or the water-in-oil MF59 adjuvant mixed with Androctonus australis hector (Aah) detoxified venom, and compare their effects on the immune system. Immunization schedule was performed with two groups of rabbits, which were injected with attenuated venom and Alum or MF59 adjuvant preparations, once a month during three months. Blood samples were collected each week for cell count, evaluation of myeloperoxidase (MPO) and eosinoperoxydase (EPO) activities and antibody titer. After four months from the last immunization, rabbits were challenged with increased doses of native Aah venom. Results showed that MF59 effect was immediate in the first 24h post-immunization by activating the recruitment of lymphocytes, monocytes and neutrophils, while Alum adjuvant effect seems to be delayed, and appeared in the second week after immunization. An important cell infiltration was observed with Alum preparation, due to its specific local depot effect. However, immunized animals with MF59 preparation challenged with the native venom showed a protective effect against its toxicity until 6 LD50 compared to those immunized with Alum preparation which are only protected at 4 LD50. One week after challenge, only immunized animals with Alum preparation present an increase in cell infiltration, MPO and EPO activities. These results are correlated with the ability of MF59 adjuvant to induce a potent immunoprotective effect against Aah venom compared to Alum adjuvant. PMID:26419199

  12. Homology of the Lateral Eyes of Scorpiones: A Six-Ocellus Model

    PubMed Central

    Loria, Stephanie F.; Prendini, Lorenzo

    2014-01-01

    Scorpions possess two types of visual organs, the median and lateral eyes. Both eyes consist of simple ocelli with biconvex lenses that differ in structure and function. There is little variation in the number of median ocelli across the order. Except for a few troglomorphic species in which the median ocelli are absent, all scorpions possess a single pair. In contrast, the number of pairs of lateral ocelli varies from zero to five across Scorpiones and may vary within species. No attempt has been made to homologize lateral ocelli across the order, and their utility in scorpion systematics has been questioned, due to the variation in number. A recent study examined the number of lateral ocelli among various Asian Buthidae C.L. Koch, 1837 and proposed a “five-eye model” for the family. This model has not been examined more broadly within Buthidae, however, nor compared with the patterns of variation observed among other scorpion families. An eyespot, referred to as an accessory lateral eye, situated ventral or posteroventral to the lateral ocelli, has also been reported in some scorpions. Analysis of its structure suggests it serves a nonvisual function. We present the first comparative study of variation in the lateral ocelli across the order Scorpiones, based on examination of a broad range of exemplar species, representing all families, 160 genera (78%), 196 species (9%), and up to 12 individuals per species. We propose a six-ocellus model for Recent scorpions with four accessory ocelli observed in various taxa, homologize the individual ocelli, and correct erroneous counts in the recent literature. We also investigate the presence of the eyespot across scorpions and discover that it is more widespread than previously recognized. Future work should investigate the genetic and developmental mechanisms underlying the formation of the lateral ocelli to test the hypotheses proposed here. PMID:25470485

  13. Egg maturation and parthenogenetic recovery of diploidy in the scorpion Liocheles australasiae (Fabricius) (Scorpions, ischnuridae).

    PubMed

    Yamazaki, K; Yahata, H; Kobayashi, N; Makioka, T

    2001-01-01

    In the scorpion Liocheles australasiae, egg maturation and parthenogenetic recoveries of chromosome number and nuclear DNA content were examined by histological, karyological observations and quantitative measurements of DNA. The primary oocyte becomes mature through two successive maturation divisions. The first maturation division takes place in the primary oocyte to produce a secondary oocyte and a first polar body. The second maturation division soon occurs in the secondary oocyte, in which the nucleus is divided into a mature egg nucleus and a second polar body nucleus, not followed by cytoplasmic fission. The first polar body, in one case, was successively divided into two second polar bodies; in the other case it was not divided. In either case, these polar bodies remained attached to the early embryo. The fate of these polar bodies during further embryogenesis were studied. In the karyological analysis, the chromosome number was divided into two groups, one from 27-32, the other was 54-64. The former was presumably the metaphase chromosome number at the meiotic division; the latter was presumably the metaphase chromosome number at the mitotic division. DNA content in the diploid nucleus of the primary oocyte, doubled before the maturation divisions, was reduced through the maturation divisions by one-half in the nuclei of the secondary oocyte and the first polar body and by one-fourth in the nuclei of the egg and the second polar bodies. The first reduction of DNA content corresponded to halving the number of the chromosomes in the first maturation division and the second to the nuclear division in the secondary oocyte. These reductions represent a common process of egg maturation, except the final production of the mature egg with two haploid nuclei, an egg nucleus, and a second polar body nucleus. These two nuclei, which were formed apart in the mature egg, drew near to fuse into a zygote nucleus. The chromosome number and nuclear DNA content were doubled

  14. [Report of the 4th International Conference on Envenomations by Snakebites and Scorpion Stings in Africa, Dakar, April 25-29, 2011].

    PubMed

    Chippaux, J-P; Diouf, A; Massougbodji, A; Stock, R P; Kane, O; Dièye, A M; Lam Faye, A; Mbaye Sène, M; Parra, H-J

    2012-08-01

    The authors present a summary of the proceedings and the recommendations of the Fourth International Conference on Envenomations by Snakebites and Scorpion Stings in Africa, held from 25 to 29 April 2011 in Dakar. After a two-day workshop for Senegalese health personnel on the most relevant aspects of the management of envenomations, about 270 participants met to share their experiences in the field. Nearly a hundred oral and poster presentations were made on the epidemiology of snakebites and scorpion stings in Africa, the composition and action of venoms and the manufacture and use of antivenoms. The last day was devoted to an institutional debate involving experts, representatives of national health authorities and concerned professionals (physicians, pharmacists, nurses and traditional healers) as well as members of the pharmaceutical industry to discuss and elaborate a set of recommendations. It was agreed that it is necessary to improve knowledge of the epidemiological situation by case reporting. Quality control of antivenoms and procedures for their registration at the level of national health authorities should aim at improving the distribution of safe and effective antivenoms in peripheral health centers for the better assessment of victims. It was also recommended that adequate training should be provided for health personnel in all aspects of medical management of envenomations. Equitable distribution of funding and the establishment of a network of African experts were also discussed in the conference. PMID:22006245

  15. Prey-sensing and orientational behaviors of sand scorpions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brownell, Philip

    2000-03-01

    Sand scorpions use exquisitely sensitive vibrational and chemosensory systems to locate prey and identify prospective mates active on the sand surface. Prey location is determined by input to a static array of 8 vibration-sensitive receptors, each responding as phase-locked accelerometers to compressional and surface waves conducted through sand. Angular orientation of the target is determined from passing surface (Rayleigh) waves, target distance possibly from the time delay between arrival of compressional and surface waves. For localization and identification of prospective mates, male scorpions use sexually dimorphic chemosensory appendages, the pectines, which are swept over a static stimulus field (chemical trail deposited on sand). These organs support a 2D array of closely-spaced (freq = 100/mm) sensilla containing more than 10^6 neurons, all projecting with great topographic precision to the central nervous system. Movement of this sensory array over a static stimulus field creates timing within the sensory signal. The potential importance of timing as a means of increasing sensitivity and selectivity of sensory response in two distinctly different modes is discussed.

  16. Diversity of Potassium Channel Ligands: Focus on Scorpion Toxins.

    PubMed

    Kuzmenkov, A I; Grishin, E V; Vassilevski, A A

    2015-12-01

    Potassium (K+) channels are a widespread superfamily of integral membrane proteins that mediate selective transport of K+ ions through the cell membrane. They have been found in all living organisms from bacteria to higher multicellular animals, including humans. Not surprisingly, K+ channels bind ligands of different nature, such as metal ions, low molecular mass compounds, venom-derived peptides, and antibodies. Functionally these substances can be K+ channel pore blockers or modulators. Representatives of the first group occlude the channel pore, like a cork in a bottle, while the second group of ligands alters the operation of channels without physically blocking the ion current. A rich source of K+ channel ligands is venom of different animals: snakes, sea anemones, cone snails, bees, spiders, and scorpions. More than a half of the known K+ channel ligands of polypeptide nature are scorpion toxins (KTx), all of which are pore blockers. These compounds have become an indispensable molecular tool for the study of K+ channel structure and function. A recent special interest is the possibility of toxin application as drugs to treat diseases involving K+ channels or related to their dysfunction (channelopathies). PMID:26878580

  17. Scorpion stings in pregnant women: an analysis of 11 cases and review of literature.

    PubMed

    Kaplanoglu, M; Helvaci, M R

    2015-01-01

    Scorpion sting is one of the most important public health problem in many regions of the world. But there is not enough medical data about scorpion stings in pregnant women in the literature. The aim of this study was to describe the clinical findings and treatment modalities of scorpion stings in pregnant women. This study was performed in the Southeast Region of Turkey, retrospectively. Eleven pregnants were studied, totally. All of the patients were detected as class I according to the scorpion envenomization system. They were in different weeks of gestation. Local pain, hyperemia, swelling, and itching were the most frequent complaint in these cases. None of our patients received antivenom, and all of them were treated, symptomatically. Complication of pregnancy was observed in none of them. PMID:26054125

  18. Potassium channel blockers from the venom of the Brazilian scorpion Tityus serrulatus ().

    PubMed

    Martin-Eauclaire, Marie-France; Pimenta, Adriano M C; Bougis, Pierre E; De Lima, Maria-Elena

    2016-09-01

    Potassium (K(+)) channels are trans-membrane proteins, which play a key role in cellular excitability and signal transduction pathways. Scorpion toxins blocking the ion-conducting pore from the external side have been invaluable probes to elucidate the structural, functional, and physio-pathological characteristics of these ion channels. This review will focus on the interaction between K(+) channels and their peptide blockers isolated from the venom of the scorpion Tityus serrulatus, which is considered as the most dangerous scorpion in Brazil, in particular in Minas-Gerais State, where many casualties are described each year. The primary mechanisms of action of these K(+) blockers will be discussed in correlation with their structure, very often non-canonical compared to those of other well known K(+) channels blockers purified from other scorpion venoms. Also, special attention will be brought to the most recent data obtained by proteomic and transcriptomic analyses on Tityus serrulatus venoms and venom glands. PMID:27349167

  19. Ecology of the scorpion, Microtityus jaumei in Sierra de Canasta, Cuba.

    PubMed

    Cala-Riquelme, Franklyn; Colombo, Marco

    2011-01-01

    An assessment of the population dynamics of Microtityus jaumei Armas (Scorpiones: Buthidae) on the slopes south of Sierra de Canasta, Guantánamo Province, Cuba show an increase in activity over the year (≤ 0.05). The activity peak is related to the reproductive period from June to November. The abundance of scorpions was significantly related to density of the canopy and thickness of the substrate. PMID:21870972

  20. Potency of insect-specific scorpion toxins on mosquito control using Bacillus thuringiensis Cry4Aa.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Riku; Shimizu, Yoshitaka; Howlader, Mohammad Tofazzal Hossain; Namba, Maho; Iwamoto, Aya; Sakai, Hiroshi; Hayakawa, Tohru

    2014-06-01

    Two insect-specific scorpion toxins, BjαIT and AahIT were produced as alkali-soluble protein inclusions in Escherichia coli. The inclusion bodies themselves exhibited no toxicity against Culex pipiens larvae. However, coadministration with Cry4Aa toxin enhanced the mosquitocidal activity by 2-3 fold. Insect-specific scorpion toxins can be good supplements for Cry toxin-based bioinsecticides. PMID:24508022

  1. Ecology of the Scorpion, Microtityus jaumei in Sierra de Canasta, Cuba

    PubMed Central

    Cala-Riquelme, Franklyn; Colombo, Marco

    2011-01-01

    An assessment of the population dynamics of Microtityus jaumei Armas (Scorpiones: Buthidae) on the slopes south of Sierra de Canasta, Guantánamo Province, Cuba show an increase in activity over the year (≤ 0.05). The activity peak is related to the reproductive period from June to November. The abundance of scorpions was significantly related to density of the canopy and thickness of the substrate. PMID:21870972

  2. Scorpion incidents, misidentification cases and possible implications for the final interpretation of results.

    PubMed

    Lourenço, Wilson R

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this contribution is to bring general information on the classification and in particular on the specific identification of scorpion species dangerous to humans. Several generic groups are taken into consideration, but the Neotropical genus Tityus C. L. Koch, 1836 is used as a major example. The content of this paper is mostly addressed to non-specialists whose research embraces scorpions in several fields such as venom toxins and public health. Although efforts have been made in the last 20 years to create better links between 'true scorpion experts' and non-specialists who use scorpions in their research, such exchanges had never led to a consensus among those different branches of biological and medical research. Consequently, many cases of species misidentification and even more serious errors concerning scorpion classification/identification are often present in the specialized literature. In conclusion, it is suggested here that the frequent cases of misidentification observed in several reports may induce mistakes in the final interpretation of results, leading only to more inefficacity in the treatment of problems caused by infamous scorpion species. PMID:27398081

  3. Protease inhibitor in scorpion (Mesobuthus eupeus) venom prolongs the biological activities of the crude venom.

    PubMed

    Ma, Hakim; Xiao-Peng, Tang; Yang, Shi-Long; Lu, Qiu-Min; Lai, Ren

    2016-08-01

    It is hypothesized that protease inhibitors play an essential role in survival of venomous animals through protecting peptide/protein toxins from degradation by proteases in their prey or predators. However, the biological function of protease inhibitors in scorpion venoms remains unknown. In the present study, a trypsin inhibitor was purified and characterized from the venom of scorpion Mesobuthus eupeus, which enhanced the biological activities of crude venom components in mice when injected in combination with crude venom. This protease inhibitor, named MeKTT-1, belonged to Kunitz-type toxins subfamily. Native MeKTT-1 selectively inhibited trypsin with a Kivalue of 130 nmol·L(-1). Furthermore, MeKTT-1 was shown to be a thermo-stable peptide. In animal behavioral tests, MeKTT-1 prolonged the pain behavior induced by scorpion crude venom, suggesting that protease inhibitors in scorpion venom inhibited proteases and protect the functionally important peptide/protein toxins from degradation, consequently keeping them active longer. In conclusion, this was the first experimental evidence about the natural existence of serine protease inhibitor in the venom of scorpion Mesobuthus eupeus, which preserved the activity of venom components, suggests that scorpions may use protease inhibitors for survival. PMID:27608950

  4. Comparative venom gland transcriptome analysis of the scorpion Lychas mucronatus reveals intraspecific toxic gene diversity and new venomous components

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Lychas mucronatus is one scorpion species widely distributed in Southeast Asia and southern China. Anything is hardly known about its venom components, despite the fact that it can often cause human accidents. In this work, we performed a venomous gland transcriptome analysis by constructing and screening the venom gland cDNA library of the scorpion Lychas mucronatus from Yunnan province and compared it with the previous results of Hainan-sourced Lychas mucronatus. Results A total of sixteen known types of venom peptides and proteins are obtained from the venom gland cDNA library of Yunnan-sourced Lychas mucronatus, which greatly increase the number of currently reported scorpion venom peptides. Interestingly, we also identified nineteen atypical types of venom molecules seldom reported in scorpion species. Surprisingly, the comparative transcriptome analysis of Yunnan-sourced Lychas mucronatus and Hainan-sourced Lychas mucronatus indicated that enormous diversity and vastly abundant difference could be found in venom peptides and proteins between populations of the scorpion Lychas mucronatus from different geographical regions. Conclusions This work characterizes a large number of venom molecules never identified in scorpion species. This result provides a comparative analysis of venom transcriptomes of the scorpion Lychas mucronatus from different geographical regions, which thoroughly reveals the fact that the venom peptides and proteins of the same scorpion species from different geographical regions are highly diversified and scorpion evolves to adapt a new environment by altering the primary structure and abundance of venom peptides and proteins. PMID:20663230

  5. The 6(th) international conference on envenomation by Snakebites and Scorpion Stings in Africa: a crucial step for the management of envenomation.

    PubMed

    Chippaux, Jean-Philippe; Akaffou, Marc Hermann; Allali, Bernard Kouadio; Dosso, Mireille; Massougbodji, Achille; Barraviera, Benedito

    2016-01-01

    During the 6(th) International Conference on Envenomation by Snakebites and Scorpion Stings in Africa held in Abidjan, from 1 to 5 June 2015, the measures for the management of envenomation were discussed and new recommendations were adopted by the participants. The high incidence and severity of this affliction were confirmed by several studies conducted in African countries. The poor availability of antivenom, particularly because of the cost, was also highlighted. Some experiences have been reported, mainly those regarding the financial support of antivenom in Burkina Faso (more than 90 %) and Togo (up to 60 %) or the mandatory reporting of cases in Cameroon. Key recommendations concerned: improvement of epidemiological information based on case collection; training of health workers in the management of envenomation; policy to promote the use of effective and safe antivenom; and antivenom funding by sharing its costs with stakeholders in order to improve antivenom accessibility for low-income patients. PMID:26985189

  6. Severity of Scorpion Stings in the Western Brazilian Amazon: A Case-Control Study

    PubMed Central

    Queiroz, Amanda M.; Sampaio, Vanderson S.; Mendonça, Iran; Fé, Nelson F.; Sachett, Jacqueline; Ferreira, Luiz Carlos L.; Feitosa, Esaú; Wen, Fan Hui; Lacerda, Marcus; Monteiro, Wuelton

    2015-01-01

    Background Scorpion stings are a major public health problem in Brazil, with an increasing number of registered cases every year. Affecting mostly vulnerable populations, the phenomenon is not well described and is considered a neglected disease. In Brazil, the use of anti-venom formulations is provided free of charge. The associate scorpion sting case is subject to compulsory reporting. This paper describes the epidemiology and identifies factors associated with severity of scorpions stings in the state of Amazonas, in the Western Brazilian Amazon. Methodology/Principal Findings This study included all cases of scorpion stings in the state of Amazonas reported to the Brazilian Diseases Surveillance System from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2014. A case-control study was conducted to identify factors associated with scorpions sting severity. A total of 2,120 cases were reported during this period. The mean incidence rate in the Amazonas was 7.6 per 100,000 inhabitants/year. Scorpion stings showed a large spatial distribution in the state and represent a potential occupational health problem for rural populations. There was a positive correlation between the absolute number of cases and the altimetric river levels in the Central (p<0.001; Rs = 0.479 linear) and Southwest (p = 0.032; linear Rs = 0.261) regions of the state. Cases were mostly classified as mild (68.6%), followed by moderate (26.8%), and severe (4.6%). The overall lethality rate was 0.3%. Lethality rate among children ≤10 years was 1.3%. Age <10 years [OR = 2.58 (95%CI = 1.47–4.55; p = 0.001)], stings occurring in the rural area [OR = 1.97 (95%CI = 1.18–3.29; p = 0.033) and in the South region of the state [OR = 1.85 (95%CI = 1.17–2.93; p = 0.008)] were independently associated with the risk of developing severity. Conclusions/Significance Scorpion stings show an extensive distribution in the Western Brazilian Amazon threatening especially rural populations, children ≤10 in particular. Thus

  7. Evolution Stings: The Origin and Diversification of Scorpion Toxin Peptide Scaffolds

    PubMed Central

    Sunagar, Kartik; Undheim, Eivind A. B.; Chan, Angelo H. C.; Koludarov, Ivan; Muñoz-Gómez, Sergio A.; Antunes, Agostinho; Fry, Bryan G.

    2013-01-01

    The episodic nature of natural selection and the accumulation of extreme sequence divergence in venom-encoding genes over long periods of evolutionary time can obscure the signature of positive Darwinian selection. Recognition of the true biocomplexity is further hampered by the limited taxon selection, with easy to obtain or medically important species typically being the subject of intense venom research, relative to the actual taxonomical diversity in nature. This holds true for scorpions, which are one of the most ancient terrestrial venomous animal lineages. The family Buthidae that includes all the medically significant species has been intensely investigated around the globe, while almost completely ignoring the remaining non-buthid families. Australian scorpion lineages, for instance, have been completely neglected, with only a single scorpion species (Urodacus yaschenkoi) having its venom transcriptome sequenced. Hence, the lack of venom composition and toxin sequence information from an entire continent’s worth of scorpions has impeded our understanding of the molecular evolution of scorpion venom. The molecular origin, phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary histories of most scorpion toxin scaffolds remain enigmatic. In this study, we have sequenced venom gland transcriptomes of a wide taxonomical diversity of scorpions from Australia, including buthid and non-buthid representatives. Using state-of-art molecular evolutionary analyses, we show that a majority of CSα/β toxin scaffolds have experienced episodic influence of positive selection, while most non-CSα/β linear toxins evolve under the extreme influence of negative selection. For the first time, we have unraveled the molecular origin of the major scorpion toxin scaffolds, such as scorpion venom single von Willebrand factor C-domain peptides (SV-SVC), inhibitor cystine knot (ICK), disulphide-directed beta-hairpin (DDH), bradykinin potentiating peptides (BPP), linear non-disulphide bridged

  8. A wonderful network unraveled - Detailed description of capillaries in the prosomal ganglion of scorpions

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Though it has long been known that the prosomal ganglion of scorpions is supplied by a dense system of arteries, the pattern of this network has never been described and analyzed in detail. Using MicroCT in combination with computer aided 3D-reconstruction we provide the first detailed description of the pattern of arteries in the prosomal ganglion of Brotheas granulatus (Scorpiones, Chactidae) and other scorpion species. Results The entire prosomal ganglion in scorpions is supplied by a network of arteries that branch off the major arteries of the anterior aorta system. The most prominent of these are the nine transganglionic arteries which run through the nerve mass along the midline of the body and branch terminally, i.e. below the neuropils, into smaller arteries. These arteries reticulate into a dense network between the surrounding somata and the centrally located neuropil structures of the ganglion. Conclusions We demonstrate the presence in the prosomal ganglion of scorpions of a capillary system made up of afferent arteries which deliver hemolymph into the ganglion and efferent arteries which transport the hemolymph out of the ganglion. Adopting the structural definition used for vertebrate circulatory systems, this capillary network can also be termed a bipolar rete mirabile (located as it is between afferent and efferent arteries) analogous to those found in vertebrates and some echinoderms. Within the rete mirabile of the scorpion prosomal ganglion, some regions (i.e. neuropils) are better supplied than others. The structural information provided here can now be used in functional neuronal studies to determine the physiological and computational significance of the various neuropils in the complex scorpion nervous system. PMID:24812570

  9. Scorpion Potassium Channel-blocking Defensin Highlights a Functional Link with Neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    Meng, Lanxia; Xie, Zili; Zhang, Qian; Li, Yang; Yang, Fan; Chen, Zongyun; Li, Wenxin; Cao, Zhijian; Wu, Yingliang

    2016-03-25

    The structural similarity between defensins and scorpion neurotoxins suggests that they might have evolved from a common ancestor. However, there is no direct experimental evidence demonstrating a functional link between scorpion neurotoxins and defensins. The scorpion defensin BmKDfsin4 from Mesobuthus martensiiKarsch contains 37 amino acid residues and a conserved cystine-stabilized α/β structural fold. The recombinant BmKDfsin4, a classical defensin, has been found to have inhibitory activity against Gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, and Micrococcus luteusas well as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Interestingly, electrophysiological experiments showed that BmKDfsin4,like scorpion potassium channel neurotoxins, could effectively inhibit Kv1.1, Kv1.2, and Kv1.3 channel currents, and its IC50value for the Kv1.3 channel was 510.2 nm Similar to the structure-function relationships of classical scorpion potassium channel-blocking toxins, basic residues (Lys-13 and Arg-19) of BmKDfsin4 play critical roles in peptide-Kv1.3 channel interactions. Furthermore, mutagenesis and electrophysiological experiments demonstrated that the channel extracellular pore region is the binding site of BmKDfsin4, indicating that BmKDfsin4 adopts the same mechanism for blocking potassium channel currents as classical scorpion toxins. Taken together, our work identifies scorpion BmKDfsin4 as the first invertebrate defensin to block potassium channels. These findings not only demonstrate that defensins from invertebrate animals are a novel type of potassium channel blockers but also provide evidence of a functional link between defensins and neurotoxins. PMID:26817841

  10. The Mediterranean scorpion Mesobuthus gibbosus (Scorpiones, Buthidae): transcriptome analysis and organization of the genome encoding chlorotoxin-like peptides

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Transcrof toxin genes of scorpion species have been published. Up to this moment, no information on the gene characterization of M. gibbosus is available. Results This study provides the first insight into gene expression in venom glands from M. gibbosus scorpion. A cDNA library was generated from the venom glands and subsequently analyzed (301 clones). Sequences from 177 high-quality ESTs were grouped as 48 Mgib sequences, of those 48 sequences, 40 (29 “singletons” and 11 “contigs”) correspond with one or more ESTs. We identified putative precursor sequences and were grouped them in different categories (39 unique transcripts, one with alternative reading frames), resulting in the identification of 12 new toxin-like and 5 antimicrobial precursors (transcripts). The analysis of the gene families revealed several new components categorized among various toxin families with effect on ion channels. Sequence analysis of a new KTx precursor provides evidence to validate a new KTx subfamily (α-KTx 27.x). A second part of this work involves the genomic organization of three Meg-chlorotoxin-like genes (ClTxs). Genomic DNA sequence reveals close similarities (presence of one same-phase intron) with the sole genomic organization of chlorotoxins ever reported (from M. martensii). Conclusions Transcriptome analysis is a powerful strategy that provides complete information of the gene expression and molecular diversity of the venom glands (telson). In this work, we generated the first catalogue of the gene expression and genomic organization of toxins from M. gibbosus. Our result represents a relevant contribution to the knowledge of toxin transcripts and complementary information related with other cell function proteins and venom peptide transcripts. The genomic organization of the chlorotoxin genes may help to understand the diversity of this gene family. PMID:24746279

  11. Isolation and characterization of an anti-insect β-toxin from the venom of the scorpion Isometrus maculatus.

    PubMed

    Kawachi, Tomoyuki; Miyashita, Masahiro; Nakagawa, Yoshiaki; Miyagawa, Hisashi

    2013-01-01

    Im-3 was isolated from the venom of the scorpion Isometrus maculatus through several steps of HPLC fractionation based on the insect paralytic activity. Injecting Im-3 into crickets induced paralysis, but no toxicity was apparent in mice after an intracerebroventricular injection. Im-3 shares sequence similarity to scorpion β-toxins that specifically affect insect sodium channels. PMID:23291760

  12. Epidemiological aspect of scorpion sting in Bandar Abbas, Iran, during 2009–2011

    PubMed Central

    Moosavy, Seyed Hamid; Shahi, Mehran; Rafinejad, Javad; Zare, Shahram; Madani, Abdoulhossain; Navidpour, Shahrokh

    2016-01-01

    Introduction People in tropical and semi-tropical areas are in danger of scorpion sting, and this can be a serious problem for them. Mortality due to scorpion sting in the tropical and semi-tropical areas of Iran is about 75%, and this makes scorpion sting in these areas a serious medical problem. Because of this problem, our aim was to assess the epidemiological aspects of scorpion sting in Bandar Abbas, Iran, during 2009–2011. Methods In this cross-sectional retrospective study, epidemiologic data of 698 scorpion sting cases, who were referred to the Shahid Mohamadi Hospital of Bandar Abbas in Hormozgan Province collected from 2009 until 2011. The data included demographic and individual information, such as age, gender, geographic location, bite site, when the incident occurred, and anti-venom consumption. The required data were extracted from the patients’ recorded information in the Hospital, and we recorded data in a special checklist and imported the data into the computer for statistical analysis using of SPSS software, version 21.0. Descriptive statistics, including mean, standard deviation, frequency, and percentage, were used for data analysis. Results Two hundred and sixty-one (37.4%) of the cases were urban and 437(62.6%) were rural. Males comprised 50.1% of the cases, and women comprised 49.9% (p >0.05). Twenty-five point two percent of scorpion sting cases occurred among people in the 21 to 30 age group, and there were very few cases among people in the 51 to 60 age range (p<0.05). Most of cases were recorded in April and October, and the fewest cases were recorded in July and January (p<0.05); also 32.2% of scorpion sting cases occurred after midnight and in the early morning hours. Conclusion Our survey showed that there was a high incidence of scorpion stings in rural areas, among 21–30 age group, among housekeepers, and among students. These results indicate the need for public education programs and better sanitation services in the rural

  13. Pulmonary edema following scorpion envenomation: mechanisms, clinical manifestations, diagnosis and treatment.

    PubMed

    Bahloul, Mabrouk; Chaari, Anis; Dammak, Hassen; Samet, Mohamed; Chtara, Kamilia; Chelly, Hedi; Ben Hamida, Chokri; Kallel, Hatem; Bouaziz, Mounir

    2013-01-10

    Scorpion envenomation is common in tropical and subtropical regions. Cardio-respiratory manifestations, mainly cardiogenic shock and pulmonary edema, are the leading causes of death after scorpion envenomation. The mechanism of pulmonary edema remains unclear and contradictory conclusions were published. However, most publications confirm that pulmonary edema has been attributed to acute left ventricular failure. Cardiac failure can result from massive release of catecholamines, myocardial damage induced by the venom or myocardial ischemia. Factors usually associated with the diagnosis of pulmonary edema were young age, tachypnea, agitation, sweating, or the presence of high plasma protein concentrations. Treatment of scorpion envenomation has two components: antivenom administration and supportive care. The latter mainly targets hemodynamic impairment and cardiogenic pulmonary edema. In Latin America, and India, the use of Prazosin is recommended for treatment of pulmonary edema because pulmonary edema is associated with arterial hypertension. However, in North Africa, scorpion leads to cardiac failure with systolic dysfunction with normal vascular resistance and dobutamine was recommended. Dobutamine infusion should be used as soon as we have enough evidence suggesting the presence of pulmonary edema, since it has been demonstrated that scorpion envenomation can result in pulmonary edema secondary to acute left ventricular failure. In severe cases, mechanical ventilation can be required. PMID:22075406

  14. Predation among armored arachnids: Bothriurus bonariensis (Scorpions, Bothriuridae) versus four species of harvestmen (Harvestmen, Gonyleptidae).

    PubMed

    Albín, Andrea; Toscano-Gadea, Carlos A

    2015-12-01

    Natural selection shapes prey-predator relationships and their behavioral adaptations, which seek to maximize capture success in the predator and avoidance in the prey. We tested the ability of adults of the scorpion Bothriurus bonariensis (Bothriuridae) to prey on synchronous and sympatric adults harvestmen of Acanthopachylus aculeatus, Discocyrtus prospicuus, Parampheres bimaculatus and Pachyloides thorellii (Gonyleptidae). In 72.5% of the cases B. bonariensis tried to prey on the harvestmen. The most successful captures occurred in the trials against A. aculeatus and D. prospicuus. In all the successful attacks the scorpions stung the prey between the chelicerae and consumed them, starting by the anterior portion of their bodies. The harvestmen used different defensive strategies such as fleeing before or after contact with the predator, exudating of chemical substances or staying still at the scorpion's touch. When scorpions contacted the chemical substances secreted by the harvestmen, they immediately rubbed the affected appendix against the substrate. However, exudating of chemical substances did not prevent, in any case, predation on the harvestmen. This is the first study showing the ability of scorpions to prey on different species of harvestmen, as well as the capture and defensive behaviors used by the predator and the prey. PMID:26470886

  15. Phylogenomic resolution of scorpions reveals multilevel discordance with morphological phylogenetic signal

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Prashant P.; Fernández, Rosa; Esposito, Lauren A.; González-Santillán, Edmundo; Monod, Lionel

    2015-01-01

    Scorpions represent an iconic lineage of arthropods, historically renowned for their unique bauplan, ancient fossil record and venom potency. Yet, higher level relationships of scorpions, based exclusively on morphology, remain virtually untested, and no multilocus molecular phylogeny has been deployed heretofore towards assessing the basal tree topology. We applied a phylogenomic assessment to resolve scorpion phylogeny, for the first time, to our knowledge, sampling extensive molecular sequence data from all superfamilies and examining basal relationships with up to 5025 genes. Analyses of supermatrices as well as species tree approaches converged upon a robust basal topology of scorpions that is entirely at odds with traditional systematics and controverts previous understanding of scorpion evolutionary history. All analyses unanimously support a single origin of katoikogenic development, a form of parental investment wherein embryos are nurtured by direct connections to the parent's digestive system. Based on the phylogeny obtained herein, we propose the following systematic emendations: Caraboctonidae is transferred to Chactoidea new superfamilial assignment; superfamily Bothriuroidea revalidated is resurrected and Bothriuridae transferred therein; and Chaerilida and Pseudochactida are synonymized with Buthida new parvordinal synonymies. PMID:25716788

  16. Structural and Functional Diversity of Acidic Scorpion Potassium Channel Toxins

    PubMed Central

    He, Ya-Wen; Pan, Na; Ding, Jiu-Ping; Cao, Zhi-Jian; Liu, Mai-Li; Li, Wen-Xin; Yi, Hong; Jiang, Ling; Wu, Ying-Liang

    2012-01-01

    Background Although the basic scorpion K+ channel toxins (KTxs) are well-known pharmacological tools and potential drug candidates, characterization the acidic KTxs still has the great significance for their potential selectivity towards different K+ channel subtypes. Unfortunately, research on the acidic KTxs has been ignored for several years and progressed slowly. Principal Findings Here, we describe the identification of nine new acidic KTxs by cDNA cloning and bioinformatic analyses. Seven of these toxins belong to three new α-KTx subfamilies (α-KTx28, α-KTx29, and α-KTx30), and two are new members of the known κ-KTx2 subfamily. ImKTx104 containing three disulfide bridges, the first member of the α-KTx28 subfamily, has a low sequence homology with other known KTxs, and its NMR structure suggests ImKTx104 adopts a modified cystine-stabilized α-helix-loop-β-sheet (CS-α/β) fold motif that has no apparent α-helixs and β-sheets, but still stabilized by three disulfide bridges. These newly described acidic KTxs exhibit differential pharmacological effects on potassium channels. Acidic scorpion toxin ImKTx104 was the first peptide inhibitor found to affect KCNQ1 channel, which is insensitive to the basic KTxs and is strongly associated with human cardiac abnormalities. ImKTx104 selectively inhibited KCNQ1 channel with a Kd of 11.69 µM, but was less effective against the basic KTxs-sensitive potassium channels. In addition to the ImKTx104 toxin, HeTx204 peptide, containing a cystine-stabilized α-helix-loop-helix (CS-α/α) fold scaffold motif, blocked both Kv1.3 and KCNQ1 channels. StKTx23 toxin, with a cystine-stabilized α-helix-loop-β-sheet (CS-α/β) fold motif, could inhibit Kv1.3 channel, but not the KCNQ1 channel. Conclusions/Significance These findings characterize the structural and functional diversity of acidic KTxs, and could accelerate the development and clinical use of acidic KTxs as pharmacological tools and potential drugs. PMID

  17. Molecular diversity and functional evolution of scorpion potassium channel toxins.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Shunyi; Peigneur, Steve; Gao, Bin; Luo, Lan; Jin, Di; Zhao, Yong; Tytgat, Jan

    2011-02-01

    Scorpion toxins affecting K(+) channels (KTxs) represent important pharmacological tools and potential drug candidates. Here, we report molecular characterization of seven new KTxs in the scorpion Mesobuthus eupeus by cDNA cloning combined with biochemical approaches. Comparative modeling supports that all these KTxs share a conserved cysteine-stabilized α-helix/β-sheet structural motif despite the differences in protein sequence and size. We investigated functional diversification of two orthologous α-KTxs (MeuTXKα1 from M. eupeus and BmP01 from Mesobuthus martensii) by comparing their K(+) channel-blocking activities. Pharmacologically, MeuTXKα1 selectively blocked Kv1.3 channel with nanomolar affinity (IC(50), 2.36 ± 0.9 nM), whereas only 35% of Kv1.1 currents were inhibited at 3 μM concentration, showing more than 1271-fold selectivity for Kv1.3 over Kv1.1. This peptide displayed a weak effect on Drosophila Shaker channel and no activity on Kv1.2, Kv1.4, Kv1.5, Kv1.6, and human ether-a-go-go-related gene (hERG) K(+) channels. Although BmB01 and MeuTXKα1 have a similar channel spectrum, their affinity and selectivity for these channels largely varies. In comparison with MeuTXKα1, BmP01 only exhibits a submicromolar affinity (IC(50), 133.72 ± 10.98 nM) for Kv1.3, showing 57-fold less activity than MeuTXKα1. Moreover, it lacks the ability to distinguish between Kv1.1 and Kv1.3. We also found that MeuTXKα1 inhibited the proliferation of activated T cells induced by phorbol myristate acetate and ionomycin at micromolar concentrations. Our results demonstrate that accelerated evolution drives affinity variations of orthologous α-KTxs on Kv channels and indicate that MeuTXKα1 is a promising candidate to develop an immune modulation agent for human autoimmune diseases. PMID:20889474

  18. A theory of vibrational prey localization in two dimensions: the sand scorpion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Hemmen, J. Leo

    2000-03-01

    Sand scorpions, and many other arachnids, find their prey at night by localizing the source of mechanical waves produced by prey movements. Substrate vibrations propagating through sand evoke stimulus-locked action potentials from slit sensilla on the scorpion's eight `feet' (tarsi). We present a neuronal model to account for stimulus angle determination in a two-dimensional plane using a population of second-order neurons, each receiving excitatory input from one tarsus and inhibition from a triad opposite to it. This input opens a time window whose width determines the firing probability of each of the second-order neurons. The population then `votes' for the direction. Stochastic resonance is realized through tuning the balance between excitation and inhibition. The agreement with behavioral experiments on sand scorpions is excellent.

  19. Study of biomechanical, anatomical, and physiological properties of scorpion stingers for developing biomimetic materials.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Zi-Long; Shu, Tao; Feng, Xi-Qiao

    2016-01-01

    Through natural selection, many animal organs have evolved superior mechanical properties and elegant hierarchical structures adaptive to their multiple biological functions. We combine experiments and theory to investigate the composition-structure-property-function relations of scorpion stingers. Their hierarchical structures and functionally gradient mechanical properties were revealed. Slow motion analysis of the penetration process of a scorpion stinger was performed to examine the refined survival skills of scorpions. An experiment-based mechanics model of the stinger was proposed, the results of which revealed an optimized range of penetration angle in an insertion event. Both theoretical and numerical results are in good agreement with our experimental measurements. The analysis method and physical insights of this work are potentially important for investigating a general class of sharp-edge biological materials, e.g., cattle horns, spider fangs, cat claws, and plant thorns. PMID:26478411

  20. A new venomous scorpion responsible for severe envenomation in Argentina: Tityus confluens.

    PubMed

    de Roodt, Adolfo R; Lago, Néstor R; Salomón, Oscar D; Laskowicz, Rodrigo D; Neder de Román, Lilia E; López, Raúl A; Montero, Teresa E; Vega, Valeria Del V

    2009-01-01

    In Argentina the scorpions of medical importance belong to the genus Tityus (T.), particularly the species T. trivittatus, the only scorpion whose sting is recognized to be associated with severe human envenoming and death. This genus is distributed from the north of the Patagonian region to the center and some provinces in the north of the country. During the period 2003-2006 four children died following scorpion stings, of which one was certainly and three were probably by T. confluens. In 2006, in the province of Tucumán, a girl died by scorpion envenoming and the scorpion responsible for the death, found in her shoe, was T. confluens. We thus studied the toxicity of venom gland homogenates from T. confluens from the provinces of Jujuy and Catamarca, and of crude venom from specimens from Catamarca and the province of La Rioja. The lethal potencies of the telson homogenates were 7.0 and 18.6microg/g for Jujuy and Catamarca, respectively, while the lethal potency of the crude venom was 0.7microg/g. Injected mice showed generalized congestion and hepatic lesions. Pancreatic damage was observed in some animals. Lungs showed congestion and foci of hemorrhage and mild edema. The heart showed injury in the muscular fibers. The venom showed high reactivity against anti-T. trivittatus antivenom and against two anti-T. serrulatus antivenoms. The anti-T. trivittatus antivenom neutralized the lethal activity of T. confluens venom. In addition, the venom reacted very slightly against an anti-Centruroides antivenom. Therefore, the stings of this scorpion must be considered of risk for humans to the same degree as the stings of T. trivittatus. PMID:18983868

  1. Broadening the neutralizing capacity of a family of antibody fragments against different toxins from Mexican scorpions.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Everardo Remi; Olamendi-Portugal, Timoteo; Serrano-Posada, Hugo; Arredondo-López, Jonathan Noé; Gómez-Ramírez, Ilse; Fernández-Taboada, Guillermo; Possani, Lourival D; Anguiano-Vega, Gerardo Alfonso; Riaño-Umbarila, Lidia; Becerril, Baltazar

    2016-09-01

    New approaches aimed at neutralizing the primary toxic components present in scorpion venoms, represent a promising alternative to the use of antivenoms of equine origin in humans. New potential therapeutics developed by these approaches correspond to neutralizing antibody fragments obtained by selection and maturation processes from libraries of human origin. The high sequence identity shared among scorpion toxins is associated with an important level of cross reactivity exhibited by these antibody fragments. We have exploited the cross reactivity showed by single chain variable antibody fragments (scFvs) of human origin to re-direct the neutralizing capacity toward various other scorpion toxins. As expected, during these evolving processes several variants derived from a parental scFv exhibited the capacity to simultaneously recognize and neutralize different toxins from Centruroides scorpion venoms. A sequence analyses of the cross reacting scFvs revealed that specific mutations are responsible for broadening their neutralizing capacity. In this work, we generated a set of new scFvs that resulted from the combinatorial insertion of these point mutations. These scFvs are potential candidates to be part of a novel recombinant antivenom of human origin that could confer protection against scorpion stings. A remarkable property of one of these new scFvs (ER-5) is its capacity to neutralize at least three different toxins and its complementary capacity to neutralize the whole venom from Centruroides suffusus in combination with a second scFv (LR), which binds to a different epitope shared by Centruroides scorpion toxins. PMID:27212628

  2. Similar burrow architecture of three arid-zone scorpion species implies similar ecological function.

    PubMed

    Adams, Amanda M; Marais, Eugene; Turner, J Scott; Prendini, Lorenzo; Pinshow, Berry

    2016-08-01

    Many animals reside in burrows that may serve as refuges from predators and adverse environmental conditions. Burrow design varies widely among and within taxa, and these structures are adaptive, fulfilling physiological (and other) functions. We examined the burrow architecture of three scorpion species of the family Scorpionidae: Scorpio palmatus from the Negev desert, Israel; Opistophthalmus setifrons, from the Central Highlands, Namibia; and Opistophthalmus wahlbergii from the Kalahari desert, Namibia. We hypothesized that burrow structure maintains temperature and soil moisture conditions optimal for the behavior and physiology of the scorpion. Casts of burrows, poured in situ with molten aluminum, were scanned in 3D to quantify burrow structure. Three architectural features were common to the burrows of all species: (1) a horizontal platform near the ground surface, long enough to accommodate the scorpion, located just below the entrance, 2-5 cm under the surface, which may provide a safe place where the scorpion can monitor the presence of potential prey, predators, and mates and where the scorpion warms up before foraging; (2) at least two bends that might deter incursion by predators and may reduce convective ventilation, thereby maintaining relatively high humidity and low temperature; and (3) an enlarged terminal chamber to a depth at which temperatures are almost constant (±2-4 °C). These common features among the burrows of three different species suggest that they are important for regulating the physical environment of their inhabitants and that burrows are part of scorpions' "extended physiology" (sensu Turner, Physiol Biochem Zool 74:798-822, 2000). PMID:27312362

  3. Similar burrow architecture of three arid-zone scorpion species implies similar ecological function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, Amanda M.; Marais, Eugene; Turner, J. Scott; Prendini, Lorenzo; Pinshow, Berry

    2016-08-01

    Many animals reside in burrows that may serve as refuges from predators and adverse environmental conditions. Burrow design varies widely among and within taxa, and these structures are adaptive, fulfilling physiological (and other) functions. We examined the burrow architecture of three scorpion species of the family Scorpionidae: Scorpio palmatus from the Negev desert, Israel; Opistophthalmus setifrons, from the Central Highlands, Namibia; and Opistophthalmus wahlbergii from the Kalahari desert, Namibia. We hypothesized that burrow structure maintains temperature and soil moisture conditions optimal for the behavior and physiology of the scorpion. Casts of burrows, poured in situ with molten aluminum, were scanned in 3D to quantify burrow structure. Three architectural features were common to the burrows of all species: (1) a horizontal platform near the ground surface, long enough to accommodate the scorpion, located just below the entrance, 2-5 cm under the surface, which may provide a safe place where the scorpion can monitor the presence of potential prey, predators, and mates and where the scorpion warms up before foraging; (2) at least two bends that might deter incursion by predators and may reduce convective ventilation, thereby maintaining relatively high humidity and low temperature; and (3) an enlarged terminal chamber to a depth at which temperatures are almost constant (±2-4 °C). These common features among the burrows of three different species suggest that they are important for regulating the physical environment of their inhabitants and that burrows are part of scorpions' "extended physiology" ( sensu Turner, Physiol Biochem Zool 74:798-822, 2000).

  4. General biochemical and immunological characterization of the venom from the scorpion Tityus trivittatus of Argentina.

    PubMed

    de Roodt, Adolfo R; Coronas, Fredy I V; Lago, Nestor; González, María E; Laskowicz, Rodrigo D; Beltramino, Juan C; Saavedra, Silvina; López, Raúl A; Reati, Gustavo J; Vucharchuk, Miriam G; Bazán, Eduardo; Varni, Liliana; Salomón, Oscar D; Possani, Lourival D

    2010-01-01

    Tityus trivittatus is the Argentinean scorpion reported to cause the majority of human fatalities in the country, however no systematic studies have been conducted with the venom of this species. This communication describes a general biochemical and immunological characterization of the venom obtained from T. trivittatus scorpions collected in the city of Buenos Aires and various provinces of Argentina: Catamarca, Cordoba, Entre Rios, La Rioja, Santa Fe and Santiago del Estero. These are places where human accidents were reported to occur due to this scorpion. For comparative purposes two types of samples were assayed: whole soluble venom obtained by electrical stimulation and supernatant from homogenized venomous glands. Two strains of mice (NIH and CF-1) were used for LD(50) determinations by two distinct routes of administration (intravenously and intraperitoneally). Important variations were found that goes from 0.5 to 12 mg/kg mouse body weight. Samples of soluble venom were always more potent than Telson homogenates. More complex pattern was observed in homogenates compared to soluble venom, as expected. This was supported by gel electrophoretic analysis and high performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) separations. Additionally, the HPLC profile was enriched in proteins resolved at similar elution times as other known toxins from scorpion venoms studied. Immune enzymatic assays were also conducted comparatively, using four different anti-venoms commercially available for treatment of scorpion stings (Argentinean antidote from INPB, two anti-venoms from Butantan Institute of Brazil and Alacramyn from the Mexican Bioclon Institute). Cross-reactivities were observed and are reported among the various venoms and anti-venoms used. Lung, heart, liver and pancreas pathological modifications were observed on tissues of intoxicated mice. It seems that there are important variations on the venom compositions of the various samples studied and reported here

  5. Intraspecific variation in the Egyptian scorpion Scorpio maurus palmatus venom collected from different biotopes.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Rahman, Mohamed A; Omran, Mohamed Alaa A; Abdel-Nabi, Ismail M; Ueda, Hitoshi; McVean, Alistair

    2009-03-01

    The present study was conducted to explore the following hypotheses: (i) do scorpions (Scorpio maurus palmatus) from different biotopes exhibit intraspecific diversity in their venom? (ii) if so, is this variation associated with ecological or genetic factors, geographical distance, and/or multiple interrelated parameters? To address these questions, scorpions were collected from four geographically isolated localities in Egypt. Three of these locations are from mutually isolated pockets in the arid biotope of Southern Sinai (Wadi Sahab, El-Agramia and Rahaba plains). The fourth population was sampled from the semiarid biotope of Western Mediterranean Costal Desert (WMCD). Using reducing gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), we have shown biotope-specific variation in the expression of peptides from scorpions collected from these distinct areas. WMCD sourced venom samples contain higher molecular weight protein components (219, 200, 170, 139, 116 kDa) than Southern Sinai scorpion venom samples. The Southern Sinai venom is characterized by the presence of 11 protein bands (93-0.58 kDa) that are not mirrored in the individual venom samples of WMCD. Bands of 33 and 3.4 kDa were characteristics of all individual venom samples of the scorpion populations. Even within Southern Sinai area, Sahab venom contains five fractions that are not detected in both El-Agramia and Rahaba venom samples. Moreover, male and female venom analysis revealed some sex-related proteomic similarities and differences between scorpion populations. Female venom appears to be more complicated than the male venom. Female venom samples showed bands of 219, 200, 77.5, 55.5, 45, 39, 37, 24 and 16 kDa which were absent in the male venom. The random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) technique was used to estimate the genetic distance between the four scorpion populations. The RAPD data confirmed the genetic diversity at molecular level among the sampled populations. More than 77 RAPD bands (ranging in size

  6. Kalium: a database of potassium channel toxins from scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Kuzmenkov, Alexey I; Krylov, Nikolay A; Chugunov, Anton O; Grishin, Eugene V; Vassilevski, Alexander A

    2016-01-01

    Kalium (http://kaliumdb.org/) is a manually curated database that accumulates data on potassium channel toxins purified from scorpion venom (KTx). This database is an open-access resource, and provides easy access to pages of other databases of interest, such as UniProt, PDB, NCBI Taxonomy Browser, and PubMed. General achievements of Kalium are a strict and easy regulation of KTx classification based on the unified nomenclature supported by researchers in the field, removal of peptides with partial sequence and entries supported by transcriptomic information only, classification of β-family toxins, and addition of a novel λ-family. Molecules presented in the database can be processed by the Clustal Omega server using a one-click option. Molecular masses of mature peptides are calculated and available activity data are compiled for all KTx. We believe that Kalium is not only of high interest to professional toxinologists, but also of general utility to the scientific community.Database URL:http://kaliumdb.org/. PMID:27087309

  7. Kalium: a database of potassium channel toxins from scorpion venom

    PubMed Central

    Kuzmenkov, Alexey I.; Krylov, Nikolay A.; Chugunov, Anton O.; Grishin, Eugene V.; Vassilevski, Alexander A.

    2016-01-01

    Kalium (http://kaliumdb.org/) is a manually curated database that accumulates data on potassium channel toxins purified from scorpion venom (KTx). This database is an open-access resource, and provides easy access to pages of other databases of interest, such as UniProt, PDB, NCBI Taxonomy Browser, and PubMed. General achievements of Kalium are a strict and easy regulation of KTx classification based on the unified nomenclature supported by researchers in the field, removal of peptides with partial sequence and entries supported by transcriptomic information only, classification of β-family toxins, and addition of a novel λ-family. Molecules presented in the database can be processed by the Clustal Omega server using a one-click option. Molecular masses of mature peptides are calculated and available activity data are compiled for all KTx. We believe that Kalium is not only of high interest to professional toxinologists, but also of general utility to the scientific community. Database URL: http://kaliumdb.org/ PMID:27087309

  8. [A new species of Tityus (Scorpiones: Buthidae) from Turimiquire, Venezuela].

    PubMed

    De Sousa, Leonardo; Manzanilla, Jesús; Parrilla-Alvarez, Pedro

    2006-06-01

    We describe a new species of Buthid scorpion, Tityus quirogae, from the Turimiquire mountains, eastern side of the La Costa range, Monagas and Sucre States, Venezuela. It is morphologically similar to T. nematochirus and T. meridanus. It differs from these species in the distribution of the dorsal femoral trichobothria and in the following combination of characters: (1) I caudal segment with two parallel ventral keels. Caudal segments II to IV with ventral keels that are double in the extremes of the segments and single in the middle, (2) noticeable sexual dimorphism, especially in pedipalp shape; the male chelae are markedly thin and long, (3) number of pectineous teeth (male: 18 in each pecten; female: 18 in the right pecten and 19 in the left one), and (4) number of denticle rows in the movable finger of the right chela (16 in both sexes). T. quirogae is the first species of this genus, in the Northeastern region of Venezuela, with thin and elongated pedipalps. PMID:18494317

  9. Peptides from the scorpion Vaejovis punctatus with broad antimicrobial activity.

    PubMed

    Ramírez-Carreto, Santos; Jiménez-Vargas, Juana María; Rivas-Santiago, Bruno; Corzo, Gerardo; Possani, Lourival D; Becerril, Baltazar; Ortiz, Ernesto

    2015-11-01

    The antimicrobial potential of two new non-disulfide bound peptides, named VpAmp1.0 (LPFFLLSLIPSAISAIKKI, amidated) and VpAmp2.0 (FWGFLGKLAMKAVPSLIGGNKSSSK) is here reported. These are 19- and 25-aminoacid-long peptides with +2 and +4 net charges, respectively. Their sequences correspond to the predicted mature regions from longer precursors, putatively encoded by cDNAs derived from the venom glands of the Mexican scorpion Vaejovis punctatus. Both peptides were chemically synthesized and assayed against a variety of microorganisms, including pathogenic strains from clinical isolates and strains resistant to conventional antibiotics. Two shorter variants, named VpAmp1.1 (FFLLSLIPSAISAIKKI, amidated) and VpAmp2.1 (FWGFLGKLAMKAVPSLIGGNKK), were also synthesized and tested. The antimicrobial assays revealed that the four synthetic peptides effectively inhibit the growth of both Gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus agalactiaea) and Gram-negative (Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) bacteria, with MICs in the range of 2.5-24.0 μM; yeasts (Candida albicans and Candida glabrata) with MICs of 3.1-50.0 μM; and two clinically isolated strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis-including a multi-drug resistant one- with MICs in the range of 4.8-30.5 μM. A comparison between the activities of the original peptides and their derivatives gives insight into the structural/functional role of their distinctive residues. PMID:26352292

  10. A double role of sperm in scorpions: the mating plug of Euscorpius italicus (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae) consists of sperm.

    PubMed

    Althaus, Sarah; Jacob, Alain; Graber, Werner; Hofer, Deborah; Nentwig, Wolfgang; Kropf, Christian

    2010-04-01

    Mating plugs occluding the female gonopore after mating are a widespread phenomenon. In scorpions, two main types of mating plugs are found: sclerotized mating plugs being parts of the spermatophore that break off during mating, and gel-like mating plugs being gelatinous fluids that harden in the female genital tract. In this study, the gel-like mating plug of Euscorpius italicus was investigated with respect to its composition, fine structure, and changes over time. Sperm forms the major component of the mating plug, a phenomenon previously unknown in arachnids. Three parts of the mating plug can be distinguished. The part facing the outside of the female (outer part) contains sperm packages containing inactive spermatozoa. In this state, sperm is transferred. In the median part, the sperm packages get uncoiled to single spermatozoa. In the inner part, free sperm is embedded in a large amount of secretions. Fresh mating plugs are soft gelatinous, later they harden from outside toward inside. This process is completed after 3-5 days. Sperm from artificially triggered spermatophores could be activated by immersion in insect Ringer's solution indicating that the fluid condition in the females' genital tract or females' secretions causes sperm activation. Because of the male origin of the mating plug, it has likely evolved under sperm competition or sexual conflict. As females refused to remate irrespective of the presence or absence of a mating plug, females may have changed their mating behavior in the course of evolution from polyandry to monandry. PMID:20101728

  11. Surveying on the biologic behaviors of Hemiscorpius lepturus Peters 1861, scorpion in laboratory (Khuzestan, Iran) (Scorpions: Hemiscorpiidae).

    PubMed

    Dehghani, Rouhullah; Khamehchian, Tahereh; Miranzadeh, Mohammad Bagher

    2007-09-15

    This descriptive research was conducted so as to find and distinguish the sex of H. lepturus based on 107 dead specimens in the 70% ethyl alcohol and exact decision on their species using a criterion considering all morphological parameters and by the use of stereo microscope. Their biologic behaviors, 50 H. lepturus specimens which were fed and kept alive in capped bottles were studies while their way of shedding and number of newly-born young were also investigated under laboratory conditions in the process. The research revealed that in 107 H. lepturus specimens, 27 specimens (23%) were male and 80 ones (77%) were female. The results gained from 50 scorpions kept in the laboratory showed that only 10 cases (20%) had shed. Duration of emergence varies in each young from 10-20 min and delivery lasts approximately for 4-6 h. The average number of the young born was 24.3 in each delivery. It was concluded that the time of delivery and shedding in H lepturus is definitely fixed during the year and the number ofpectine denticles and length of the tail can be used to differentiate male and female H. lepturus. PMID:19090105

  12. Moving pieces in a taxonomic puzzle: venom 2D-LC/MS and data clustering analyses to infer phylogenetic relationships in some scorpions from the Buthidae family (Scorpiones).

    PubMed

    Nascimento, Danielle G; Rates, Breno; Santos, Daniel M; Verano-Braga, Thiago; Barbosa-Silva, Adriano; Dutra, Alexandre A A; Biondi, Ilka; Martin-Eauclaire, Marie France; De Lima, Maria Elena; Pimenta, Adriano M C

    2006-05-01

    The Buthidae is the most clinically important scorpion family, with over 500 species distributed worldwide. Taxonomical positions and phylogenetic relationships concerning the representative genera and species of this family have been mostly inferred based upon comparisons between morphological characters. Yet, some authors have performed such inferences by comparing some structural properties of a few selected molecules found in the venoms from these scorpions. Here, we propose a novel methodology pipeline designed to address these issues. We have analyzed the whole venoms from some species that exemplify peculiar cases in the Buthidae family (Tityus stigmurus, Tityus serrulatus, Tityus bahiensis, Leiurus quinquestriatus quinquestriatus and Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus), by means of a proteomic approach using a 2D-LC/MS technique. The molecules found in these venoms were clustered according to their physicochemical properties (molecular mass and hydrophobicity), by using the machine learning-based Weka software. The clusters assessment, along with the number of molecules found in a given cluster for each scorpion, which assigns for the venom and structural family complexities, respectively, was used to generate a phenetic correlation tree for positioning these species. Our results were in accordance with the classical taxonomy viewpoint, which places T. serrulatus and T. stigmurus as very close species, T. bahiensis as a less related species in the Tityus genus and L. q. quinquestriatus and L. q. hebraeus with small differences within the same species (L. quinquestriatus). Therefore, we believe that this is a well-suited method to determine venom complexities that reflect the scorpions' evolutionary history, which can be crucial to reconstruct their phylogeny through the molecular evolution of their venoms. PMID:16551474

  13. Solution structure of BTK-2, a novel hK(v)1.1 inhibiting scorpion toxin, from the eastern Indian scorpion Mesobuthus tamulus.

    PubMed

    Kumar, G Senthil; Upadhyay, Sanjeev; Mathew, M K; Sarma, Siddhartha P

    2011-04-01

    The three dimensional structure of a 32 residue three disulfide scorpion toxin, BTK-2, from the Indian red scorpion Mesobuthus tamulus has been determined using isotope edited solution NMR methods. Samples for structural and electrophysiological studies were prepared using recombinant DNA methods. Electrophysiological studies show that the peptide is active against hK(v)1.1 channels. The structure of BTK-2 was determined using 373 distance restraints from NOE data, 66 dihedral angle restraints from NOE, chemical shift and scalar coupling data, 6 constraints based on disulfide linkages and 8 constraints based on hydrogen bonds. The root mean square deviation (r.m.s.d) about the averaged co-ordinates of the backbone (N, C(α), C') and all heavy atoms are 0.81 ± 0.23Å and 1.51 ± 0.29Å respectively. The backbone dihedral angles (ϕ and ψ) for all residues occupy the favorable and allowed regions of the Ramachandran map. The three dimensional structure of BTK-2 is composed of three well defined secondary structural regions that constitute the α-β-β structural motif. Comparisons between the structure of BTK-2 and other closely related scorpion toxins pointed towards distinct differences in surface properties that provide insights into the structure-function relationships among this important class of voltage-gated potassium channel inhibiting peptides. PMID:21256986

  14. Endocrinological and biochemical changes of scorpionism in children in Upper Egypt

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed, Ahmed E.; Abdel-Baseer, Khaled A.; Saad, Khaled; Hassan, Asmaa F.; El-Houfey, Amira A.

    2015-01-01

    Aim: The aim of this study was to determine some endocrinological and biochemical changes of scorpionism in children in Upper Egypt. In addition, it aimed to find any possible relationship between these changes and the severity of scorpionism. Patients and methods: The present study was carried out at two university hospitals in Upper Egypt and included 42 children with envenomation and 20 apparently healthy children as controls. In all subjects, levels were measured of noradrenaline, aldosterone, insulin and cortisol, and some biochemical parameters and electrolytes including nitric oxide (NO), creatine phosphokinase (CPK), Na+ and K+. Results: Na+, NO and CPK levels were significantly higher in children with envenomation compared with the controls. Also, there was a significant reduction in K+ in patients compared with controls. Children with severe envenomation had significantly higher levels of noradrenaline, cortisol and aldosterone compared with the controls and mild cases. However, insulin levels were significantly decreased in severe cases of scorpionism compared with mild ones. Moreover, hyperglycemia was detected in all patients with envenomation compared with controls, with significantly higher blood glucose levels among children with severe envenomation compared with mild cases. Conclusion: Endocrinological changes were common in all children with scorpion envenomation and more obvious in cases of severe envenomation. The released mediators may account for several inflammatory manifestations such as pulmonary edema, myocardial failure, systemic inflammatory response syndrome and multiple organ failure. The use of insulin is recommended in cases of severe envenomation to improve the outcome. PMID:26445643

  15. Venom proteomic and venomous glands transcriptomic analysis of the Egyptian scorpion Scorpio maurus palmatus (Arachnida: Scorpionidae).

    PubMed

    Abdel-Rahman, Mohamed A; Quintero-Hernandez, Veronica; Possani, Lourival D

    2013-11-01

    Proteomic analysis of the scorpion venom Scorpio maurus palmatus was performed using reverse-phase HPLC separation followed by mass spectrometry determination. Sixty five components were identified with molecular masses varying from 413 to 14,009 Da. The high percentage of peptides (41.5%) was from 3 to 5 KDa which may represent linear antimicrobial peptides and KScTxs. Also, 155 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were analyzed through construction the cDNA library prepared from a pair of venomous gland. About 77% of the ESTs correspond to toxin-like peptides and proteins with definite open reading frames. The cDNA sequencing results also show the presence of sequences whose putative products have sequence similarity with antimicrobial peptides (24%), insecticidal toxins, β-NaScTxs, κ-KScTxs, α-KScTxs, calcines and La1-like peptides. Also, we have obtained 23 atypical types of venom molecules not recorded in other scorpion species. Moreover, 9% of the total ESTs revealed significant similarities with proteins involved in the cellular processes of these scorpion venomous glands. This is the first set of molecular masses and transcripts described from this species, in which various venom molecules have been identified. They belong to either known or unassigned types of scorpion venom peptides and proteins, and provide valuable information for evolutionary analysis and venomics. PMID:23998939

  16. Serum production against Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom using cross-linked chitosan nanoparticles as immunoadjuvant.

    PubMed

    Rocha Soares, Karla S; Cardozo Fonseca, José L; Oliveira Bitencourt, Mariana A; Santos, Kátia S C R; Silva, Arnóbio A; Fernandes-Pedrosa, Matheus F

    2012-12-15

    Several species of scorpions are known to cause accidents which can lead to death, most of them belonging to the genus Tityus. Tityus serrulatus is considered the most dangerous scorpion in South America. In Brazil, T. serrulatus is responsible for serious accidents, including deaths, which occur mainly with children and elderly people. Anti-scorpion sera are routinely produced by various institutions, and suitable technologies have been investigated for encapsulation and release recombinant or native proteins capable of inducing antibody production. In this context, biocompatible and biodegradable polymers, such as chitosan, have been employed for this purpose. This study aimed to obtain a protein release system for the peptides or proteins from T. serrulatus, based on cross-linked chitosan nanoparticles (CN) in order to generate a new model of immunization in animals, and consequently a potentially novel polyclonal serum, namely an anti-T. serrulatus venom. CN were successfully obtained by ionic gelation using the polyanion tripolyphosphate (TPP), which demonstrated a suitable particle size of about 200 nm, with maximum encapsulation efficiency (100%) and enhanced antigen-specific antibody titers of 72%. The serum production data revealed that CN were equipotent to aluminum hydroxide, the traditional adjuvant for immunization. This study demonstrates that chitosan nanoparticles are a promising and safe system for peptide/protein delivery for T. serrulatus scorpion. PMID:23006936

  17. Central effects of Tityus serrulatus and Tityus bahiensis scorpion venoms after intraperitoneal injection in rats.

    PubMed

    Nencioni, Ana Leonor A; Lourenço, Geane Antiques; Lebrun, Ivo; Florio, Jorge Camilo; Dorce, Valquiria A C

    2009-10-01

    A great number of studies on scorpion venoms associate their effects to the autonomic nervous system, and few data are available about their action on the central nervous system (CNS). The aim of this work was to evaluate some central effects after intraperitoneal injection of Tityus serrulatus or T. bahiensis scorpion venoms. The hippocampal concentration of some neurotransmitters and their metabolites were determined. Electroencephalographic and behavioral observations were performed, and all brains were removed for histopathological analysis of hippocampal areas. Both venoms induced electrographic and behavioral alterations despite T. bahiensis venom affects less the electrographic activity than T. serrulatus venom. Neurochemical analysis demonstrated no alteration in the extracellular levels of almost all the neurotransmitters evaluated, at least in the hippocampus, and no neuronal loss in this area was observed. Meanwhile, extracellular concentration of HVA increased up to 10 times in approximately 1/3 of the animals of both groups. Scorpion venoms seem to exert a small but important central effect. More studies in this field are necessary because they may be useful in developing new strategies to reduce the damage caused by scorpion stings. PMID:19664683

  18. Clinical pathology alterations in pregnant and non-pregnant rats following scorpion envenomation.

    PubMed

    Nasr, Hmed Ben; Bolon, Brad; Hammami, Serria Turky; Sahnoun, Zouhier; Jamoussi, Kamel; Lahyani, Amina; Zeghal, Khaled Mounir

    2009-10-01

    Scorpion envenomation is a growing problem in many countries, especially among women and children. Existing diagnostic criteria are not sufficiently specific to allow antivenin administration in the absence of a confirmed scorpion sting. This study was performed to evaluate conventional haematological and serum chemical measurements as potential indices of scorpion envenomation. Adult, cycling nulliparous and near-term primiparous, white Wistar rats received a single subcutaneous injection of crude venom (600 µg/kg) from the Buthidae scorpion (Buthus occitanus tunetanus). All envenomed rats were observed for external signs and symptoms of toxicity until necropsy, which entailed terminal blood collection at either 0.5, 1, 2, or 4 hr after venom administration (n = 6 per reproductive state per time-point) for evaluation of selected clinical chemistry and haematological analytes. Control cohorts (matched for age and reproductive state) received saline injections subcutaneously and were necropsied at 0.5 hr. Almost all envenomed rats but no control animals displayed physical symptoms of intoxication, including agitation, mastication with hypersalivation, and/or vocalizing. Reproducible alterations in clinical pathology parameters were lacking in venom-treated rats regardless of reproductive status, although modest but significant Rho correlations suggested that mild haemoconcentration, haemolysis, renal function deficits and possibly coagulation difficulties developed over time. PMID:19663823

  19. Clinical and epidemiological aspects of scorpion stings in the northeast region of Brazil.

    PubMed

    Barros, Rafaella Moreno; Pasquino, Jackeline Araujo; Peixoto, Laisla Rangel; Targino, Isabely Tamarys Gomes; de Sousa, Jorge Alves; Leite, Renner de Souza

    2014-04-01

    Scorpion stings are a serious public health issue in tropical and subtropical countries. This is a descriptive and retrospective study of the clinical-epidemiological characteristics of scorpion sting cases registered in the Health System in the city of Campina Grande, Paraíba state, from 2007 to 2012. Data was collected from the Injury Notification Information System data banks of the Ministry of Health. A total of 2,283 records, provided by the Third Health Sector of Campina Grande, were analyzed. Data revealed that the majority of the victims are female aged between 20 and 29 years, and the highest incidence of stings was in the urban area. Victims were mostly stung on the feet and hand. Serotherapy was not administered in most cases. The majority of the victims received medical assistance within 1 to 3 hours after the sting. The most prevalent clinical manifestations were pain, edema and paresthesias. Most cases were classified as mild, though seven deaths were reported. The high incidence rate suggests that this town may be an endemic area of scorpion stings, supporting the need to develop strategies to control and prevent scorpion stings. PMID:24820610

  20. Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel in Grasshopper Mice Defends Against Bark Scorpion Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Rowe, Matthew P.; Cummins, Theodore R.; Zakon, Harold H.

    2014-01-01

    Painful venoms are used to deter predators. Pain itself, however, can signal damage and thus serves an important adaptive function. Evolution to reduce general pain responses, although valuable for preying on venomous species, is rare, likely because it comes with the risk of reduced response to tissue damage. Bark scorpions capitalize on the protective pain pathway of predators by inflicting intensely painful stings. However, grasshopper mice regularly attack and consume bark scorpions, grooming only briefly when stung. Bark scorpion venom induces pain in many mammals (house mice, rats, humans) by activating the voltage-gated Na+ channel Nav1.7, but has no effect on Nav1.8. Grasshopper mice Nav1.8 has amino acid variants that bind bark scorpion toxins and inhibit Na+ currents, blocking action potential propagation and inducing analgesia. Thus, grasshopper mice have solved the predator-pain problem by using a toxin bound to a nontarget channel to block transmission of the pain signals the venom itself is initiating. PMID:24159039

  1. 78 FR 32274 - Scorpion Pier Replacement Project, Channel Islands National Park, Santa Barbara County, California

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-05-29

    ... National Park Service Scorpion Pier Replacement Project, Channel Islands National Park, Santa Barbara... Environmental Impact Statement. SUMMARY: Pursuant to Sec. 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), and pursuant to the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR part...

  2. Peripheral and central effects of intracerebroventricular microinjection of Hottentotta gentili (Pallary, 1924) (Scorpiones, Buthidae) venom.

    PubMed

    El Hidan, Moulay Abdelmonaim; Touloun, Oulaid; El Hiba, Omar; Laadraoui, Jawad; Ferehan, Hind; Boumezzough, Ali

    2016-03-01

    Central effects of scorpion venom toxins have been neglected, due both to the common belief that scorpion venoms act by targeting peripheral organs and also to the misunderstanding that these peptides do not cross the brain-blood barrier (BBB). Determining whether scorpion neurotoxicity is restricted to peripheral actions or whether a central mechanism may be partly responsible for systemic manifestations could be crucial in clinical therapy trends. The present study therefore aims to assess histopathological damages in some organs (heart, kidney, liver, and lungs) and the related biochemical impairments, together with a neurobehavioral investigation following an intracerebroventricular (i.c.v) micro-injection of Hottentotta gentili (Scorpiones, Buthidae) venom (0.47 μg/kg). I.c.v. injection of venom produced focal fragmentation of myocardial fibers, while lungs showed rupture of the alveolar structure. Concurrently, there was a significant rise in the serum enzymes levels of ASAT, ALAT, CPK and LDH. Meanwhile, we observed behavioral alterations such as a hypoactivity, and in addition the venom seems to have a marked anxiogenic-like effect. The present investigation has brought new experimental evidence of a peripheral impact of central administration of H. gentili venom, such impact was manifested by physiological and behavioral disturbances, the last of these appearing to reflect profound neuro-modulatory action of H. gentili venom. PMID:26718260

  3. Highly efficient anti-cancer therapy using scorpion 'NanoVenin'.

    PubMed

    Misra, Santosh K; Ye, Mao; Kim, Sumin; Pan, Dipanjan

    2014-11-11

    Host defence peptidotoxins from animal venoms have been identified to possess substantial anticancer properties. Towards a safer, translatable approach, we have developed a viable chemical methodology based on a well-defined, self-assembled polymeric nano-architecture for controlled delivery of toxins derived from scorpion venom. PMID:25061638

  4. A new species of Auyantepuia González-Sponga, 1978 (Scorpiones, Chactidae) from French Guiana

    PubMed Central

    Ythier, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Abstract A new species of scorpion belonging to the genus Auyantepuia González-Sponga, 1978 (family Chactidae Pocock, 1893) is described on the basis of three specimens collected in a rainforest formation located in Saut Sabbat, South of Mana, French Guiana. This is the tenth species of the Guiano-Amazonian genus Auyantepuia, and the fifth reported from French Guiana. PMID:26798247

  5. Reproductive toxic effects of Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom in rats.

    PubMed

    Cruttenden, Karen; Nencioni, Ana Leonor A; Bernardi, Maria Martha; Dorce, Valquiria A C

    2008-08-01

    Tityus serrulatus is the most venomous scorpion in Brazil. Little is known about the effect of maternal exposure to the venom on fetal development. We investigated the effect of low to moderate doses of the venom (0.3 or 1.0 mg/kg s.c. on either day 5 or day 10 of gestation) on pregnant rats and on their offspring. For dams, we observed their body weight gain and reproductive parameters. For the offspring, we observed their body weight and weight of internal organs and the number of live and dead fetuses, and we investigated whether the venom caused external, visceral, skeletal or histopathological alterations in the offspring. The offspring were examined on gestational day 21. Injection of the venom on gestational day 5 did not change the reproductive parameters of the dams, their weight or fetuses' weight. Rats that received the high dose of the venom (1.0 mg/kg) on gestational day 10 had heavier placentas and heavier fetuses with heavier lungs. Injections on day 10 of gestation did not alter the reproductive parameters of the dams nor their weight gain at either dose. The venom did not cause malformations of the fetal skeleton or viscera and did not delay fetal development with either dose. In conclusion, subcutaneous administration of 0.3 or 1.0 mg/kg T. serrulatus venom to pregnant Wistar rats at either day 5 or day 10 of gestation did not cause maternal or clear fetal toxicity. Subtle increases in placental weight and fetal body and lung weights observed following treatment with 1.0 mg/kg on day 10 of gestation were not associated with histopathological findings. Whether these observations represent a reaction to treatment and, if so, the underlying mechanisms and their toxicological impact remain to be examined further in future studies. PMID:18550329

  6. Aphicidal efficacy of scorpion- and spider-derived neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Pal, Narinder; Yamamoto, Takashi; King, Glenn F; Waine, Clement; Bonning, Bryony

    2013-08-01

    Insect-specific neurotoxins that act within the insect hemocoel (body cavity) represent an untapped resource for insect pest management. On the basis of recent advances made in development of appropriate delivery systems for transport of these toxins from the insect gut, across the gut epithelium to their target site, we screened neurotoxins derived from scorpion or spider venom for efficacy against the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, and the green peach aphid, Myzus persicae. Toxins were selected to represent different modes of electrophysiological action, including activity on voltage-gated calcium channels (ω-TRTX-Gr1a, ω-agatoxin Aa4a, ω-hexatoxin-Hv1a), calcium- and voltage-activated potassium channels (charybdotoxin, maurotoxin), chloride channels (chlorotoxin) and voltage-gated sodium channels (LqhαIT). The Bacillus thuringiensis-derived toxin Cyt1Aa was also tested as a positive control for toxicity. In per os bioassays with both aphid species, toxicity was only seen for ω-TRTX-Gr1a and Cyt1Aa. On injection into the hemocoel of A. pisum, LD₅₀ values ranged from 1 to 8 ng/mg body weight, with ω-hexatoxin-Hv1a being the most toxic (1.02 ng/mg body weight). All neurotoxins caused rapid paralysis, with charybdotoxin, maurotoxin and chlorotoxin also causing melanization of injected aphids. These data represent the first comprehensive screen of neurotoxins against aphids, and highlight the potential for practical use of the insect-specific toxin ω-hexatoxin-Hv1a in aphid management. PMID:23651761

  7. Impact of hydrocortisone hemisuccinate use on outcome of severe scorpion-envenomed adult patients.

    PubMed

    Bahloul, Mabrouk; Chaari, Anis; Dammak, Hassen; Ben Algia, Najla; Medhioub, Fatma; Ben Hamida, Chokri; Chelly, Hedi; Bouaziz, Mounir

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study is to analyze if the infusion of hydrocortisone hemisuccinate improve outcome in severe scorpion-envenomated adult patients admitted to intensive care unit (ICU). Pairwise retrospective case-control study with 1:1 matching was designed. Patients were defined as cases when they received hydrocortisone hemisuccinate (as alone steroids) during hospitalization and as controls when they did not received any steroids. Patients were matched according to age, severity factors at admission represented by the presence of pulmonary edema and grades of severity of scorpion envenomation, and scorpion antivenom administration. Eighty-four patients were included as follows: 42 patients in the cases group and 42 patients in the control group. The mean age (±SD) was 40±21 years, ranging from 16 to 90 years. Moreover, 67 (80%) patients have a systemic inflammatory response syndrome on ICU admission. The comparison between cases group and control group showed that age is not significantly different. There were the same proportions of patients with pulmonary edema in 2 groups. Moreover, 23 (54%) patients in case group and 23 (54%) in the control group received scorpion antivenom (P>0.05). The mean temperature on admission was also not significantly different. The presence of systemic inflammatory response syndrome was again not significantly different between 2 groups. The comparison of outcome of the 2 groups showed that the use of mechanical ventilation and its duration, the ICU stay length, and ICU mortality was not significantly different between the 2 groups. Although our study has some limitations, it confirms that the use of hydrocortisone hemisuccinate in severe scorpion-envenomed patients did not improve their outcome. PMID:23584312

  8. A single-point mutation enhances dual functionality of a scorpion toxin.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xueli; Gao, Bin; Zhu, Shunyi

    2016-01-01

    Scorpion venom represents a tremendous, hitherto partially explored peptide library that has been proven to be useful not only for understanding ion channels but also for drug design. MeuTXKα3 is a functionally unknown scorpion toxin-like peptide. Here we describe new transcripts of this gene arising from alternative polyadenylation and its biological function as well as a mutant with a single-point substitution at site 30. Native-like MeuTXKα3 and its mutant were produced in Escherichia coli and their toxic function against Drosophila Shaker K(+) channel and its mammalian counterparts (rKv1.1-rKv1.3) were assayed by two-electrode voltage clamp technique. The results show that MeuTXKα3 is a weak toxin with a wide-spectrum of activity on both Drosophila and mammalian K(+) channels. The substitution of a proline at site 30 by an asparagine, an evolutionarily conserved functional residue in the scorpion α-KTx family, led to an increased activity on rKv1.2 and rKv1.3 but a decreased activity on the Shaker channel without changing the potency on rKv1.1, suggesting a key role of this site in species selectivity of scorpion toxins. MeuTXKα3 was also active on a variety of bacteria with lethal concentrations ranging from 4.66 to 52.01μM and the mutant even had stronger activity on some of these bacterial species. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on a bi-functional short-chain peptide in the lesser Asian scorpion venom. Further extensive mutations of MeuTXKα3 at site 30 could help improve its K(+) channel-blocking and antibacterial functions. PMID:26358403

  9. Scorpion (Odontobuthus doriae) venom induces apoptosis and inhibits DNA synthesis in human neuroblastoma cells.

    PubMed

    Zargan, Jamil; Sajad, Mir; Umar, Sadiq; Naime, M; Ali, Shakir; Khan, Haider A

    2011-02-01

    Scorpion and its organs have been used to cure epilepsy, rheumatism, and male impotency since medieval times. Scorpion venom which contains different compounds like enzyme and non-enzyme proteins, ions, free amino acids, and other organic inorganic substances have been reported to posses antiproliferative, cytotoxic, apoptogenic, and immunosuppressive properties. We for the first time report the apoptotic and antiproliferative effects of scorpion venom (Odontobuthus doriae) in human neuroblastoma cells. After exposure of cells to medium containing varying concentrations of venom (10, 25, 50, 100, and 200 μg/ml), cell viability decreased to 90.75, 75.53, 55.52, 37.85, and 14.30%, respectively, after 24 h. Cells expressed morphological changes like swelling, inhibition of neurite outgrowth, irregular shape, aggregation, rupture of membrane, and release of cytosolic contents after treatment with venom. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level increased in 50 and 100 μg/ml as compared to control, but there was no significant increase in LDH level at a dose of 10 and 20 μg/ml. Two concentrations viz. 50 and 100 μ/ml were selected because of the profound effect of these concentrations on the cellular health and population. Treatment with these two concentrations induced reactive nitrogen intermediates and depolarization in mitochondria. While caspase-3 activity increased in a concentration-dependent manner, only 50 μg/ml was able to fragment DNA. It was interesting to note that at higher dose, i.e., 100 μg/ml, the cells were killed, supposedly by acute necrosis. DNA synthesis evidenced by bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation was inhibited in a concentration-dependent manner. The cells without treatment incorporated BrdU with high affinity confirming their cancerous nature whereas very less incorporation was noticed in treated cells. Our results show apoptotic and antiproliferative potential of scorpion venom (O. doriae) in human neuroblastoma cells. These properties

  10. African Aesthetics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abiodun, Rowland

    2001-01-01

    No single traditional discipline can adequately supply answers to the many unresolved questions in African art history. Because of the aesthetic, cultural, historical, and, not infrequently, political biases, already built into the conception and development of Western art history, the discipline of art history as defined and practiced in the West…

  11. Mass landscapes of seven scorpion species: The first analyses of Australian species with 1,5-DAN matrix

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Jennifer J; Jones, Alun; Alewood, Paul F

    2012-01-01

    Scorpion venoms have been studied for over fifty years; however, the majority of research has focussed primarily on medically important Buthidae species. Additionally, venoms of the estimated 200 species of scorpion native to Australia have received very little attention. The first venom mass profiles of six non-buthid and one buthid scorpion species are presented herein, four of which are endemic to Australia. While masses under 5 kDa dominated the venoms of all species, the buthid venom contained considerably more masses between 7 and 8 kDa than those of the non-buthids, corroborating the emergent trend that buthids are richer in long-chain neurotoxins than non-buthids. The Australian scorpion venom fractions were also analysed with the relatively new MALDI-ToF matrix 1,5-DAN. Over forty partial sequences were obtained, the majority of which are homologous to scorpion antimicrobials such as opistoporin and IsCT2. Overall, this study is the single most comprehensive mass spectrometric analysis of scorpion venom landscapes to date and provides an insight into untapped Australian species. PMID:23236582

  12. Investigating the chemical profile of regenerated scorpion (Parabuthus transvaalicus) venom in relation to metabolic cost and toxicity.

    PubMed

    Nisani, Zia; Boskovic, Danilo S; Dunbar, Stephen G; Kelln, Wayne; Hayes, William K

    2012-09-01

    We investigated the biochemical profile of regenerated venom of the scorpion Parabuthus transvaalicus in relation to its metabolic cost and toxicity. Using a closed-system respirometer, we compared oxygen consumption between milked and unmilked scorpions to determine the metabolic costs associated with the first 192 h of subsequent venom synthesis. Milked scorpions had a substantially (21%) higher mean metabolic rate than unmilked scorpions, with the largest increases in oxygen consumption occurring at approximately 120 h, 162 h, and 186 h post-milking. Lethality tests in crickets indicated that toxicity of the regenerated venom returned to normal levels within 4 d after milking. However, the chemical profile of the regenerated venom, as evaluated by FPLC and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, suggested that regeneration of different venom components was asynchronous. Some peptides regenerated quickly, particularly those associated with the scorpion's "prevenom," whereas others required much or all of this time period for regeneration. This asynchrony could explain the different spikes detected in oxygen consumption of milked scorpions as various peptides and other venom components were resynthesized. These observations confirm the relatively high metabolic cost of venom regeneration and suggest that greater venom complexity can be associated with higher costs of venom production. PMID:22564718

  13. Obesity and African Americans

    MedlinePlus

    ... Data > Minority Population Profiles > Black/African American > Obesity Obesity and African Americans African American women have the ... ss6304.pdf [PDF | 3.38MB] HEALTH IMPACT OF OBESITY More than 80 percent of people with type ...

  14. Action of New World scorpion venom and its neurotoxins in secretion.

    PubMed

    Fletcher, P L; Fletcher, M; Fainter, L K; Terrian, D M

    1996-01-01

    New World scorpion venom contains protein toxins specific for ion channels in the plasmalemma of excitable cells. The effects were examined of whole venoms from Tityus serrulatus, T. bahiensis and T. stigmurus, and some purified toxins in isolated nerve endings (synaptosomes) and pancreatic acinar cells. Both systems initiated exocytosis in a dose-dependent response to the venom or its bioactive protein toxins. Actions differed, however, such that pancreatic acinar cells required Ca2+ while cerebrocortical synaptosomes responded by a Ca(2+)-dependent mechanism, except in the case of one toxin, IV-5, that elicited a Ca(2+)-independent response. Membrane depolarization caused by scorpion venom toxins was measured via radioisotopic discharge of tetra[3H]phenylphosphonium bromide. The role of protein kinase C in second-messenger coupling in pancreatic acinar cells is favored over ion-exclusive routes characteristic of synaptosomes. PMID:9027997

  15. The Scorpion Toxin Tf2 from Tityus fasciolatus Promotes Nav1.3 Opening

    PubMed Central

    Camargos, Thalita S.; Bosmans, Frank; Rego, Solange C.; Mourão, Caroline B. F.; Schwartz, Elisabeth F.

    2015-01-01

    We identified Tf2, the first β-scorpion toxin from the venom of the Brazilian scorpion Tityus fasciolatus. Tf2 is identical to Tb2-II found in Tityus bahiensis. We found that Tf2 selectively activates human (h)Nav1.3, a neuronal voltage-gated sodium (Nav) subtype implicated in epilepsy and nociception. Tf2 shifts hNav1.3 activation voltage to more negative values, thereby opening the channel at resting membrane potentials. Seven other tested mammalian Nav channels (Nav1.1-1.2; Nav1.4-1.8) expressed in Xenopus oocytes are insensitive upon application of 1 μM Tf2. Therefore, the identification of Tf2 represents a unique addition to the repertoire of animal toxins that can be used to investigate Nav channel function. PMID:26083731

  16. Insights into reproductive strategies of Tityus (Archaeotityus) pusillus Pocock, 1893 (Scorpiones, Buthidae).

    PubMed

    de Albuquerque, Cleide Maria Ribeiro; de Araujo Lira, André Felipe

    2016-01-01

    A remarkable diversity of life history strategies has evolved among species for achieving reproductive success, including adaptive growth, protandry, iteroparity, and extra molting. Here, we report on the reproductive strategies of the litter-dwelling scorpion, Tityus (Archaeotityus) pusillus, the most abundant and widespread scorpion species in the Atlantic Forest of northeastern Brazil. We observed both iteroparity and protandry reproductive strategies in this species. Females were competent to produce up to three broods after a single insemination, and no correlation between female size and litter size was observed. Most males reached adulthood 1 month before females following four molts, characterizing protandry. Nevertheless, an extra molt was observed to occur in some males (n=4) and females (n=1). These findings highlight the life history traits of T. (A.) pusillus, which may imply in reproductive success and adaptation to changes in environmental conditions. PMID:27083999

  17. EPIDEMIOLOGY OF SCORPION ENVENOMATION IN THE STATE OF CEARÁ, NORTHEASTERN BRAZIL

    PubMed Central

    FURTADO, Sanny da Silva; BELMINO, José Franscidavid Barbosa; DINIZ, Ana Gilza Quaresma; LEITE, Renner de Souza

    2016-01-01

    This report is a retrospective study of the epidemiology of scorpion sting cases recorded from 2007 to 2013 in the State of Ceará, Northeastern Brazil. Data were collected from the Injury Notification Information System database of the Health Department of Ceará. A total of 11,134 cases were studied and distributed across all the months of the studied period and they occurred mainly in urban areas. Victims were predominantly 20-29 years-old women. Most victims were bitten on the hand; and received medical assistance within 1-3 hours after being bitten. Cases were mostly classified as mild and progressed to cure. Scorpion envenomation in Ceará is an environmental public health problem that needs to be monitored and controlled throughout the year. PMID:27007558

  18. Scorpion Venom Heat-Resistant Peptide Protects Transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans from β-Amyloid Toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiao-Gang; Wang, Xi; Zhou, Ting-Ting; Wu, Xue-Fei; Peng, Yan; Zhang, Wan-Qin; Li, Shao; Zhao, Jie

    2016-01-01

    Scorpion venom heat-resistant peptide (SVHRP) is a component purified from Buthus martensii Karsch scorpion venom. Our previous studies found SVHRP could enhance neurogenesis and inhibit microglia-mediated neuroinflammation in vivo. Here, we use the transgenic CL4176, CL2006, and CL2355 strains of Caenorhabditis elegans which express the human Aβ1-42 to investigate the effects and the possible mechanisms of SVHRP mediated protection against Aβ toxicity in vivo. The results showed that SVHRP-fed worms displayed remarkably decreased paralysis, less abundant toxic Aβ oligomers, reduced Aβ plaque deposition with respect to untreated animals. SVHRP also suppressed neuronal Aβ expression-induced defects in chemotaxis behavior and attenuated levels of ROS in the transgenic C. elegans. Taken together, these results suggest SVHRP could protect against Aβ-induced toxicity in C. elegans. Further studies need to be conducted in murine models and humans to analyze the effectiveness of the peptide. PMID:27507947

  19. Odontobuthus tirgari sp. nov. (Scorpiones, Buthidae) from the eastern region of the Iranian Plateau .

    PubMed

    Mirshamsi, Omid; Azghadi, Sara; Navidpour, Shahrokh; Aliabadian, Mansour; Kovařík, František

    2013-01-01

    A new species of scorpions in the genus Odontobuthus (Scorpiones, Buthidae) is described from Khorasan Province, Iran. Currently, Odontobuthus includes two species in Iran, Odontobuthus doriae Thorell, 1876, which is restricted to high elevations of the central Iranian Plateau and Odontobuthus bidentatus Lourenço & Pezier, 2002 from the Zagros Mountains. The results of morphological comparisons, univariate and multivariate statistical analyses and phylogenetic analysis of COI sequence data clearly confirm a deep split between populations from the eastern Iranian Plateau and O. bidentatus Lourenço & Pezier, 2002 and O. doriae Thorell, 1876. Therefore, according to comparative morphological and molecular analyses, a new species, Odontobuthus tigari sp. nov. (♀♂) was described from eastern Iran. This addition represents the third species of this genus from Iran. PMID:25277559

  20. A remarkable new species of Alloscorpiops Vachon, 1980 from a cave in Vietnam (Scorpiones, Euscorpiidae, Scorpiopinae)

    PubMed Central

    Lourenço, Wilson R.; Pham, Dinh-Sac

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Among the genera of the subfamily Scorpiopinae Kraepelin, 1905 Alloscorpiops remains rather discrete. Only recently new species were added to this genus, increasing its number from two to five. Therefore, species of Alloscorpiops remain rare. One remarkable new species, Alloscorpiops troglodytes sp. n., is described on the basis of a single male specimen collected inside a cave from Song Thanh Nature Reserve, Cha Vanh Commune, Nam Giang District in Vietnam. The new species presents most features exhibited by scorpions of the genus Alloscorpiops, but it is characterized by reduced size, slender body and elongated pedipalps. This new scorpion taxon represents the third species of Scorpiopinae discovered in a cave system, and may be another endemic element in the fauna of Vietnam. PMID:25987872

  1. Scorpion Venom Heat-Resistant Peptide Protects Transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans from β-Amyloid Toxicity.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiao-Gang; Wang, Xi; Zhou, Ting-Ting; Wu, Xue-Fei; Peng, Yan; Zhang, Wan-Qin; Li, Shao; Zhao, Jie

    2016-01-01

    Scorpion venom heat-resistant peptide (SVHRP) is a component purified from Buthus martensii Karsch scorpion venom. Our previous studies found SVHRP could enhance neurogenesis and inhibit microglia-mediated neuroinflammation in vivo. Here, we use the transgenic CL4176, CL2006, and CL2355 strains of Caenorhabditis elegans which express the human Aβ1-42 to investigate the effects and the possible mechanisms of SVHRP mediated protection against Aβ toxicity in vivo. The results showed that SVHRP-fed worms displayed remarkably decreased paralysis, less abundant toxic Aβ oligomers, reduced Aβ plaque deposition with respect to untreated animals. SVHRP also suppressed neuronal Aβ expression-induced defects in chemotaxis behavior and attenuated levels of ROS in the transgenic C. elegans. Taken together, these results suggest SVHRP could protect against Aβ-induced toxicity in C. elegans. Further studies need to be conducted in murine models and humans to analyze the effectiveness of the peptide. PMID:27507947

  2. Purification, structure-function analysis, and molecular characterization of novel linear peptides from scorpion Opisthacanthus madagascariensis.

    PubMed

    Dai, Li; Corzo, Gerardo; Naoki, Hideo; Andriantsiferana, Marta; Nakajima, Terumi

    2002-05-24

    In the previous report [Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 286 (2001) 820], we described a novel short linear peptide, IsCT, with cytolytic activity isolated from the venom of scorpion Opisthacanthus madagascariensis. From the same scorpion venom, we further purified and characterized three short linear peptides named IsCT2, IsCTf, and IsCT2f that shared high homology with IsCT, while with different C-terminal areas between IsCT/IsCT2 and IsCTf/IsCT2f. Structure-activity relationship was analyzed by performing vivo and vitro assays and circular dichroism spectroscopy. Like IsCT, IsCT2 showed broad activity spectra against microbes (Gram positive and negative bacteria as well as fungi) and relatively weak hemolytic activity against sheep red blood cells. It adopts an amphipathic alpha-helical structure in aqueous TFE and is able to disrupt the artificial membrane. However, the other two peptides IsCTf and IsCT2f showed no activity in antimicrobial or hemolytic assay. Furthermore, IsCTf and IsCT2f cannot form amphipathic alpha-helix while demonstrating random coil structure in aqueous TFE, which might result in their lost cytolytic activity. IsCTf and IsCT2f both exist in the crude venom and are proved to be enzymatic products from IsCT and IsCT2. Whether they have some other biological activity is still unclear. In addition, we got the cDNAs encoding the precursors of IsCT and IsCT2. Besides the signal peptide, they still contain an unusual acidic pro-peptide at the C-terminal that was quite different from other known precursors of scorpion venom peptides. The novel structure and biological activity of these peptides proposed them to be a new class in scorpion venom. PMID:12054688

  3. Mild reproductive effects of the Tityus bahiensis scorpion venom in rats

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Scorpion envenoming is a public health problem in Brazil, where Tityus serrulatus and T. bahiensis are considered the most dangerous scorpions. They are well adapted to urbanized environments, and there is an increasing probability of human exposure to these venoms, including during pregnancy. Not much is known about the effects of prenatal exposure to the venom, and no information is available to aid in the rational treatment of victims stung during pregnancy. Thus, this study aimed to investigate whether venom from the scorpion T. bahiensis administered once to pregnant female rats at a dose that causes a moderate envenomation may lead to deleterious effects on the reproductive performance of the dams and on the development of their offspring. This is the first work demonstrating that T. bahiensis venom, when administered experimentally to rats, alters maternal reproductive performance and the morphological development of fetuses. The venom was given to dams on the 5th (GD5) or on the 10th (GD10) gestational day. After laparotomy, on GD21, fetuses and placentas were counted, weighed and externally analyzed. The corpora lutea were counted. The sex and vitality of fetuses were evaluated, and each litter was then randomly divided for visceral or skeletal analyses. Data were analyzed by ANOVA followed by the Tukey-Kramer test and Fisher’s exact test. The significance level for all tests was set at p < 0.05. Results GD5 group presented an increased number of pre-implantation losses. Weight gains in fetuses and placentas were observed in the GD5 and GD10 groups. Weights of the heart and lungs were elevated in GD5 and GD10 and liver weight in GD10. Conclusions Moderate envenomation by T. bahiensis scorpion venom alters maternal reproductive performance and fetal development. However, these are preliminary results whose causes should be investigated more carefully in future studies. PMID:24521392

  4. Developmental effects of Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom on the rat offspring.

    PubMed

    Barão, Aline Aparecida Saltão; Bellot, Rogerio Gentil; Dorce, Valquiria Abrão Coronado

    2008-07-30

    Scorpion envenomation is a public health problem. Extensive research has been conducted to describe the systemic effects of scorpion venoms and their toxins, however, few reports are available about their effects on pre- and post-natal periods. Whole venom of the Tityus serrulatus scorpion was administered to rats on the 10th and 16th days of pregnancy to determine the effect on physical, reflexive and behavioral development of offspring. Thirty female Wistar rats were mated and distributed into three groups with one control group (C) and two experimental groups that were injected with venom (1mg/kg) on the 10th (GD10) or the 16th day (GD16) of pregnancy. After birth, the litter was standardized (eight pups for dam) and the rat pups were submitted to physical and behavioral analysis. A greater weight gain was observed on the 20th day of life (PN20) in the female and male pups of the two experimental groups compared to controls. In the GD16 group, a delay in ear opening and acceleration in ear unfolding were observed. In relation to reflexive development, an increased time for palmar grasp reflex was observed on PN8 in GD16. For this group, there was a decrease in the time of righting reflex on PN4 and PN6, and of negative geotaxis on PN6, PN8 and PN10. In conclusion, scorpion venom administered to pregnant rats on specific gestational days and at a dose that simulates a small accident, results in alterations in some reflex and physical parameters in their offspring. PMID:18534258

  5. Scorpion envenoming caused by Tityus cf. silvestris evolving with severe muscle spasms in the Brazilian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Monteiro, Wuelton Marcelo; de Oliveira, Sâmella Silva; Pivoto, Guilherme; Alves, Eliane Campos; de Almeida Gonçalves Sachett, Jacqueline; Alexandre, Cleber Nunes; Fé, Nelson Ferreira; Barbosa Guerra, Maria das Graças Vale; da Silva, Iran Mendonça; Tavares, Antonio Magela; Ferreira, Luiz Carlos de Lima; Lacerda, Marcus Vinícius Guimarães

    2016-09-01

    Scorpion stings are a public health problem in the Brazilian Amazon. However, detailed clinical characterization with the proper animal identification is scarce. Here we report a confirmed case of envenoming by Tityus cf. silvestris in the Brazilian Amazon. The case evolved with generalized muscle spasms and was treated with antivenom and supportive therapy, requiring intensive care unit admission. The patient evolved favourably and was discharged after 9 days of hospitalization. PMID:27368713

  6. Effects of Tityus stigmurus (Thorell 1876) (Scorpiones: Buthidae) venom in isolated perfused rat kidneys.

    PubMed

    Silva, Nathalia A; Albuquerque, Cleide M R; Marinho, Aline D; Jorge, Roberta J B; Silva, Antonio G; Monteiro, Helena S A; Silva, Túlio D; Silva, Márcia V; Correia, Maria Tereza S; Pereira, Ticiana P; Martins, Alice M C; Menezes, Dalgimar B; Ximenes, Rafael M; Martins, René D

    2016-01-01

    Scorpions belonging to the Tityus genus are of medical interest in Brazil. Among them, Tityus stigmurus is the main scorpion responsible for stings in the Northeast region. After a sting, the scorpion venom distributes rapidly to the organs, reaching the kidneys quickly. However, there are few studies concerning the renal pathophysiology of scorpion poisoning. In this study, we evaluated the effects of T. stigmurus venom (TsV) on renal parameters in isolated rat kidneys. Wistar rats (n = 6), weighing 250-300 g, were perfused with Krebs-Henseleit solution containing 6 g/100 mL bovine serum albumin. TsV at 0.3 and 1.0 μg/mL was tested, and the effects on perfusion pressure (PP), renal vascular resistance (RVR), urinary flow (UF), glomerular filtration rate (GFR), and electrolyte excretion were analyzed. Effects were observed only at TsV concentration of 1.0 μg/mL, which increased PP (controlPP40' = 92.7 ± 1.95; TsVPP40' = 182.0 ± 4.70* mmHg, *p < 0.05), RVR (controlRVR40' = 3.28 ± 0.23 mmHg; TstRVR40' = 6.76 ± 0.45* mmHg, *p < 0.05), UF (controlUF50' = 0.16 ± 0.04; TstUF50' = 0.60 ± 0.10* mL/g/min,*p < 0.05), GFR and electrolyte excretion, with histological changes that indicate renal tubular injury. In conclusion, T. stigmurus venom induces a transient increase in PP with tubular injury, both of which lead to an augmented electrolyte excretion. PMID:27142547

  7. Biochemical and molecular characterization of the venom from the Cuban scorpion Rhopalurus junceus.

    PubMed

    García-Gómez, B I; Coronas, F I V; Restano-Cassulini, R; Rodríguez, R R; Possani, L D

    2011-07-01

    This communication describes the first general biochemical, molecular and functional characterization of the venom from the Cuban blue scorpion Rhopalurus junceus, which is often used as a natural product for anti-cancer therapy in Cuba. The soluble venom of this arachnid is not toxic to mice, injected intraperitoneally at doses up to 200 μg/20 g body weight, but it is deadly to insects at doses of 10 μg per animal. The venom causes typical alpha and beta-effects on Na+ channels, when assayed using patch-clamp techniques in neuroblastoma cells in vitro. It also affects K+ currents conducted by ERG (ether-a-go-go related gene) channels. The soluble venom was shown to display phospholipase, hyaluronidase and anti-microbial activities. High performance liquid chromatography of the soluble venom can separate at least 50 components, among which are peptides lethal to crickets. Four such peptides were isolated to homogeneity and their molecular masses and N-terminal amino acid sequence were determined. The major component (RjAa12f) was fully sequenced by Edman degradation. It contains 64 amino acid residues and four disulfide bridges, similar to other known scorpion toxins. A cDNA library prepared from the venomous glands of one scorpion allowed cloning 18 genes that code for peptides of the venom, including RjA12f and eleven other closely related genes. Sequence analyses and phylogenetic reconstruction of the amino acid sequences deduced from the cloned genes showed that this scorpion contains sodium channel like toxin sequences clearly segregated into two monophyletic clusters. Considering the complex set of effects on Na+ currents verified here, this venom certainly warrant further investigation. PMID:21605585

  8. Ovariuterus of Pandinus imperator, Koch (Scorpiones; Scorpionidae): comparison of virgin female with mother.

    PubMed

    Mahsberg, D; Warburg, M R

    2000-03-01

    The ovariuterus of the female Pandinus imperator Koch (Scorpiones; Scorpionidae), was compared in a virgin female and a female that had previously given birth at least twice (in the laboratory). The virgin female did not have any embryonic diverticulae (Ed) nor did it have any degenerated, post-partum diverticulae (Dd), whereas in the mother scorpion several Dd were clearly seen on the ovariuterus. This latter female lacked any embryonic diverticulae (Ed). The number of the Dd corresponds well with the number of juveniles in the last brood born to that female during the previous year. Based on the total number of diverticula observed, and the average known litter size, it is suggested that these long-lived scorpions are potentially able to breed at least six times during their lifetime. Since they apparently do not breed in consecutive years (as is evident from the lack of Ed in the female that had bred a year before) and perhaps only every alternate year, they are capable of breeding for 12 years. If a litter amounts to about 25 young, a female is capable of producing 150 young. As it takes about three years to mature from nymph to adult, the life expectancy in this species is therefore about 15 years, by a conservative estimate. PMID:10755184

  9. Behavioral, histopathological and biochemical impairments observed in mice envenomed by the scorpion: Hottentota gentili (Pallary, 1924).

    PubMed

    El Hidan, Moulay Abdelmonaim; Touloun, Oulaid; El Hiba, Omar; Chait, Abderrahman; Eddine Hafid, Jamal; Boumezzough, Ali

    2015-09-01

    Hottentota gentili is a black scorpion which has been considered as dangerous specie by many authors. However there are no data regarding minimal lethal dose and effects of the scorpion venom till now. We therefore aimed, by the present investigation, to assess on the one hand, the LD50 of H. gentili venom by sublethal injection and the effects on some vital organs, by a histological and a biochemical tools. On the other hand, the possible neurobehavioral impairments, in Swiss mice, 3 h, 6 h and 12 h following envenomation. The LD50 of H. gentili scorpion venom was found to be 0.46 mg/kg by subcutaneous injection route. Venom produced focal fragmentation of myocardial fibers, while lungs showed rupture of the alveolar structure. Intestines showed selective histopathological changes. Concomitantly, there was a significant rise in the serum enzymes levels, as well as hyperkalemia and a high level of plasma albumine and creatine. Proteinuria was also observed. The observed behavioral effects were a hypoactivity in the both experiments 30 min and 3 h after injection. The envenomation produced an increased immobility time only 30 min and 3 h post injection in the tail suspension test (TST). PMID:26091876

  10. Scorpion venom-induced neutrophilia is inhibited by a PAF receptor antagonist in the rat.

    PubMed

    Borges, C M; Silveira, M R; Aparecida, M; Beker, C L; Freire-Maia, L; Teixeira, M M

    2000-04-01

    A dramatic blood neutrophilia is an important feature of the severe envenoming caused by the Brazilian scorpion Tityus serrulatus and may contribute to the development of lung injury in children. We examined the effects of an intravenous injection of T. serrulatus scorpion venom (TsV) on the total number of leukocytes and neutrophils in the blood of anesthetized rats. Injection of TsV (250 microg/kg) induces a significant leukocytosis 2 and 3 h after its injection, explained by an increase in the number of neutrophils. The release of catecholamines and action on adrenoceptors is responsible for most of the systemic manifestations of TsV. However, pretreatment with the beta-adrenoceptor antagonists metoprolol and propranolol or the alpha1-adrenoceptor antagonist prazosin (0.25 mg/kg) did not prevent TsV-induced neutrophilia. Blood neutrophilia induced by TsV occurred simultaneously with a significant reduction of mature neutrophils in bone marrow. Pretreatment with the platelet-activating factor (PAF) receptor antagonists UK-74505 or WEB-2086 prevented TsV-induced increase in blood neutrophils and reduction in the number of neutrophils in the bone marrow. It is concluded that scorpion venom induces blood neutrophilia in rats, explained by a PAF receptor-dependent mobilization of neutrophils from the bone marrow. PMID:10770284

  11. Evidence for a direct action of Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom on the cardiac muscle.

    PubMed

    Teixeira, A L; Fontoura, B F; Freire-Maia, L; Machado, C R; Camargos, E R; Teixeira, M M

    2001-05-01

    The ability of toxins to activate the cardiovascular system plays an important role in the morbidity and lethality of the Tityus serrulatus scorpion envenoming. Most of the actions of the scorpion toxins are indirect and due to the release of adrenergic and cholinergic neurotransmitters. Accordingly, treatment following envenoming is targeted towards inhibition of adrenergic and cholinergic receptors. Here, we have sought evidence for a direct action of T. serrulatus venom on the isolated rat heart (Langendorff's method). We show that the bradycardia induced by T. serrulatus venom was completely blocked by atropine, a muscarinic receptor antagonist. Similarly, the increase in heart rate that follows the venom-induced bradycardia was totally inhibited by a beta(1)-adrenoceptor antagonist or by chemical sympathetic denervation with 6-hydroxydopamine. In contrast to these findings, the venom-induced increase in contractile force was not modified by beta(1)-adrenoceptor blockade or by chemical sympathetic denervation. The results clearly demonstrate that the chronotropic effects of T. serrulatus are dependent on neurotransmitter release, but the inotropic effects are not. The neurotransmitter-independent increase in contractility seems to be a direct action of the venom on cardiomyocytes. We suggest that this direct effect on cardiac fibers may play a role in the development of cardiac arrhythmias and contractility defects following envenoming with T. serrulatus scorpion. PMID:11072050

  12. Effect of scorpion toxin from Tityus serrulatus on the contraction of the isolated rat uterus.

    PubMed

    Mendonça, M; Da Luz, M M; Freire-Maia, L; Cunha-Melo, J R

    1995-03-01

    Scorpion toxin T1 from Tityus serrulatus was tested for its effects on the isolated rat uterus preparation. T1 (5 micrograms/ml) caused a contraction of the uterus, which was potentiated by neostigmine (1.64 x 10(-6) M) and abolished by atropine (1.4 x 10(-7) M). After addition of neostigmine to the bath, we noted a higher amplitude of the toxin-induced contractions, and the appearance of repetitive rhythmic contractions. The scorpion toxin-induced contraction was not prevented by previous addition to the bath of hexamethonium or bradykinin, 5-HT and angiotensin II antagonists. The uterine contraction was prevented by previous addition to the bath of either tetrodotoxin (5 x 10(-8) M) or lidocaine (4.2 x 10(-5) M). These data seem to indicate that scorpion toxin-induced rat uterus contractions are due to actions on post-ganglionic autonomic nerve endings, with acetylcholine release and stimulation of muscarinic receptors. PMID:7638874

  13. Venom-spraying behavior of the scorpion Parabuthus transvaalicus (Arachnida: Buthidae).

    PubMed

    Nisani, Zia; Hayes, William K

    2015-06-01

    Many animals use chemical squirting or spraying behavior as a defensive response. Some members of the scorpion genus Parabuthus (family Buthidae) can spray their venom. We examined the stimulus control and characteristics of venom spraying by Parabuthus transvaalicus to better understand the behavioral context for its use. Venom spraying occurred mostly, but not always, when the metasoma (tail) was contacted (usually grasped by forceps), and was absent during stinging-like thrusts of the metasoma apart from contact. Scorpions were significantly more likely to spray when contact was also accompanied by airborne stimuli. Sprays happened almost instantaneously following grasping by forceps (median=0.23s) as a brief (0.07-0.30s, mean=0.18s), fine stream (<5° arc) that was not directed toward the stimulus source; however, rapid independent movements of the metasoma and/or telson (stinger) often created a more diffuse spray, increasing the possibility of venom contact with the sensitive eyes of potential scorpion predators. Successive venom sprays varied considerably in duration and velocity. Collectively, these results suggest that venom spraying might be useful as an antipredator function and can be modulated based on threat. PMID:25748565

  14. Variability in venom volume, flow rate and duration in defensive stings of five scorpion species.

    PubMed

    van der Meijden, Arie; Coelho, Pedro; Rasko, Mykola

    2015-06-15

    Scorpions have been shown to control their venom usage in defensive encounters, depending on the perceived threat. Potentially, the venom amount that is injected could be controlled by reducing the flow speed, the flow duration, or both. We here investigated these variables by allowing scorpions to sting into an oil-filled chamber, and recording the accreting venom droplets with high-speed video. The size of the spherical droplets on the video can then be used to calculate their volume. We recorded defensive stings of 20 specimens representing 5 species. Significant differences in the flow rate and total expelled volume were found between species. These differences are likely due to differences in overall size between the species. Large variation in both venom flow speed and duration are described between stinging events of single individuals. Both venom flow rate and flow duration correlate highly with the total expelled volume, indicating that scorpions may control both variables in order to achieve a desired end volume of venom during a sting. PMID:25911958

  15. Optimized scorpion polypeptide LMX: a pest control protein effective against rice leaf folder.

    PubMed

    Tianpei, Xiuzi; Zhu, Yingguo; Li, Shaoqing

    2014-01-01

    Lepidopteran insect pests are the main class of pests causing significant damage to crop plant yields. Insecticidal scorpion peptides exhibit toxicity specific for insects. Here, we report that a peptide LMX, optimized from the insect-specific scorpion neurotoxin LqhIT2, showed high levels of activity against rice leaf folder in vitro and in planta. Oral ingestion of LMX protein led to a significant decrease in feeding on rice leaves, repression of larval growth and development, delay in molting, and increase in larval lethality. Compared with LqhIT2 protein, the stability and insecticidal efficacy of LMX was better. Meanwhile, biochemical analysis showed that LMX protein ingestion dramatically decreased ecdysone content in rice leaf folder larvae, and down-regulated enzymatic activities of the detoxification system (α-naphthyl acetate esterase and glutathione S-transferase), the digestive system (tryptase and chymotrypsin), and the antioxidant system (catalase). These changes were tightly correlated with the dosage of LMX protein. Transgene analysis showed that the rate of leaf damage, and the number of damaged tillers and leaves in the transgenic line were greatly reduced relative to wild type plants and empty vector plants. Based on these observations, we propose that the insect-specific scorpion neurotoxin peptide LMX is an attractive and effective alternative molecule for the protection of rice from rice leaf folder. PMID:24964088

  16. Species delimitation and morphological divergence in the scorpion Centruroides vittatus (Say, 1821): insights from phylogeography.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Tsunemi; Rhoads, Douglas D

    2013-01-01

    Scorpion systematics and taxonomy have recently shown a need for revision, partially due to insights from molecular techniques. Scorpion taxonomy has been difficult with morphological characters as disagreement exists among researchers with character choice for adequate species delimitation in taxonomic studies. Within the family Buthidae, species identification and delimitation is particularly difficult due to the morphological similarity among species and extensive intraspecific morphological diversity. The genus Centruroides in the western hemisphere is a prime example of the difficulty in untangling the taxonomic complexity within buthid scorpions. In this paper, we present phylogeographic, Ecological Niche Modeling, and morphometric analyses to further understand how population diversification may have produced morphological diversity in Centruroides vittatus (Say, 1821). We show that C. vittatus populations in the Big Bend and Trans-Pecos region of Texas, USA are phylogeographically distinct and may predate the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). In addition, we suggest the extended isolation of Big Bend region populations may have created the C. vittatus variant once known as C. pantheriensis. PMID:23861878

  17. New Fossil Scorpion from the Chiapas Amber Lagerstätte

    PubMed Central

    Riquelme, Francisco; Villegas-Guzmán, Gabriel; González-Santillán, Edmundo; Córdova-Tabares, Víctor; Francke, Oscar F.; Piedra-Jiménez, Dulce; Estrada-Ruiz, Emilio; Luna-Castro, Bibiano

    2015-01-01

    A new species of scorpion is described based on a rare entire adult male preserved in a cloudy amber from Miocene rocks in the Chiapas Highlands, south of Mexico. The amber-bearing beds in Chiapas constitute a Conservation Lagerstätte with outstanding organic preservation inside plant resin. The new species is diagnosed as having putative characters that largely correspond with the genus Tityus Koch, 1836 (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Accordingly, it is now referred to as Tityus apozonalli sp. nov. Its previously unclear phylogenetic relationship among fossil taxa of the family Buthidae from both Dominican and Mexican amber is also examined herein. Preliminarily results indicate a basal condition of T. apozonalli regarding to Tityus geratus Santiago-Blay and Poinar, 1988, Tityus (Brazilotityus) hartkorni Lourenço, 2009, and Tityus azari Lourenço, 2013 from Dominican amber, as was Tityus (Brazilotityus) knodeli Lourenço, 2014 from Mexican amber. Its close relationships with extant Neotropic Tityus-like subclades such as ‘Tityus clathratus’ and the subgenus Tityus (Archaeotityus) are also discussed. This new taxon adds to the knowledge of New World scorpions from the Miocene that are rarely found trapped in amber. PMID:26244974

  18. Optimized Scorpion Polypeptide LMX: A Pest Control Protein Effective against Rice Leaf Folder

    PubMed Central

    Tianpei, Xiuzi; Zhu, Yingguo; Li, Shaoqing

    2014-01-01

    Lepidopteran insect pests are the main class of pests causing significant damage to crop plant yields. Insecticidal scorpion peptides exhibit toxicity specific for insects. Here, we report that a peptide LMX, optimized from the insect-specific scorpion neurotoxin LqhIT2, showed high levels of activity against rice leaf folder in vitro and in planta. Oral ingestion of LMX protein led to a significant decrease in feeding on rice leaves, repression of larval growth and development, delay in molting, and increase in larval lethality. Compared with LqhIT2 protein, the stability and insecticidal efficacy of LMX was better. Meanwhile, biochemical analysis showed that LMX protein ingestion dramatically decreased ecdysone content in rice leaf folder larvae, and down-regulated enzymatic activities of the detoxification system (α-naphthyl acetate esterase and glutathione S-transferase), the digestive system (tryptase and chymotrypsin), and the antioxidant system (catalase). These changes were tightly correlated with the dosage of LMX protein. Transgene analysis showed that the rate of leaf damage, and the number of damaged tillers and leaves in the transgenic line were greatly reduced relative to wild type plants and empty vector plants. Based on these observations, we propose that the insect-specific scorpion neurotoxin peptide LMX is an attractive and effective alternative molecule for the protection of rice from rice leaf folder. PMID:24964088

  19. BmKn-2 scorpion venom peptide for killing oral cancer cells by apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Tong-ngam, Pirut; Roytrakul, Sittiruk; Sritanaudomchai, Hathaitip

    2015-01-01

    Scorpion venom peptides recently have attracted attention as alternative chemotherapeutic agents that may overcome the limitations of current drugs, providing specific cytotoxicity for cancer cells with an ability to bypass multidrug-resistance mechanisms, additive effects in combination therapy and safety. In the present study, BmKn-2 scorpion venom peptide and its derivatives were chosen for assessment of anticancer activities. BmKn-2 was identified as the most effective against human oral squamous cells carcinoma cell line (HSC-4) by screening assays with an IC50 value of 29 μg/ml. The BmKn-2 peptide killed HSC-4 cells through induction of apoptosis, as confirmed by phase contrast microscopy and RT-PCR techniques. Typical morphological features of apoptosis including cell shrinkage and rounding characteristics were observed in treated HSC-4 cells. The results were further confirmed by increased expression of pro-apoptotic genes such as caspase-3, -7, and -9 but decrease mRNA level of anti-apoptotic BCL-2 in BmKn-2 treated cells, as determined by RT-PCR assay. In summary, the BmKn-2 scorpion venom peptide demonstrates specific membrane binding, growth inhibition and apoptogenic activity against human oral cancer cells. PMID:25854366

  20. Neurotoxic effects of fractions isolated from Tityus bahiensis scorpion venom (Perty, 1834).

    PubMed

    Lourenço, Geane Antiques; Lebrun, Ivo; Dorce, Valquiria A Coronado

    2002-02-01

    Tityus serrulatus and Tityus bahiensis are considered to be the most venomous scorpions in Brazil and are responsible for most of the accidents that occur in our country. The main toxic agents in scorpion venoms are small basic polypeptides that act as neurotoxins. They cause a derangement of ion channels that result in abnormal release of neurotransmitters. In the present study we fractionated the venom of Tityus bahiensis and studied the effects of fractions P2, P3, P4, P5, P6 and P7, on the mammalian central nervous system. Intravenous injection of P5, P6 and P7 in rats induced spontaneous convulsion, intrahippocampal injection caused behavioural seizures, and P5 and P6 induced electrographic seizures. P5 caused neuronal damage in the CA1 area and P6 in the CA1, CA3 areas and hilus of the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus. Injection of P3 in the hippocampus did not induce convulsions or lesions. However, when injected intravenously in mice, this fraction reduced behavioural activity in an open field test. Unilateral injection of P4 in the hippocampus caused neuronal damage in the contralateral CA3, but not in the ipsilateral hippocampus. These results suggest that scorpion toxins present in the venom are able to act directly on the central nervous system promoting behavioural and histopathological effects. PMID:11689236

  1. Screening of plants acting against Heterometrus laoticus scorpion venom activity on fibroblast cell lysis.

    PubMed

    Uawonggul, Nunthawun; Chaveerach, Arunrat; Thammasirirak, Sompong; Arkaravichien, Tarinee; Chuachan, Chattong; Daduang, Sakda

    2006-01-16

    The aqueous extracts of 64 plant species, listed as animal- or insect-bite antidotes in old Thai drug recipes were screened for their activity against fibroblast cell lysis after Heterometrus laoticus scorpion venom treatment. The venom was preincubated with plant extract for 30 min and furthered treated to confluent fibroblast cells for 30 min. More than 40% efficiency (test/control) was obtained from cell treatment with venom preincubated with extracts of Andrographis paniculata Nees (Acanthaceae), Barringtonia acutangula (L.) Gaertn. (Lecythidaceae), Calamus sp. (Palmae), Clinacanthus nutans Lindau (Acanthaceae), Euphorbia neriifolia L. (Euphorbiaceae), Ipomoea aquatica Forssk (Convolvulaceae), Mesua ferrea L. (Guttiferae), Passiflora laurifolia L. (Passifloraceae), Plectranthus amboinicus (Lour.) Spreng. (Labiatae), Ricinus communis L. (Euphorbiaceae), Rumex sp. (Polygonaceae) and Sapindus rarak DC. (Sapindaceae), indicating that they had a tendency to be scorpion venom antidotes. However, only Andrographis paniculata and Barringtonia acutangula extracts provided around 50% viable cells from extract treatments without venom preincubation. These two plant extracts are expected to be scorpion venom antidotes with low cytotoxicity. PMID:16169172

  2. Species Delimitation and Morphological Divergence in the Scorpion Centruroides vittatus (Say, 1821): Insights from Phylogeography

    PubMed Central

    Yamashita, Tsunemi; Rhoads, Douglas D.

    2013-01-01

    Scorpion systematics and taxonomy have recently shown a need for revision, partially due to insights from molecular techniques. Scorpion taxonomy has been difficult with morphological characters as disagreement exists among researchers with character choice for adequate species delimitation in taxonomic studies. Within the family Buthidae, species identification and delimitation is particularly difficult due to the morphological similarity among species and extensive intraspecific morphological diversity. The genus Centruroides in the western hemisphere is a prime example of the difficulty in untangling the taxonomic complexity within buthid scorpions. In this paper, we present phylogeographic, Ecological Niche Modeling, and morphometric analyses to further understand how population diversification may have produced morphological diversity in Centruroides vittatus (Say, 1821). We show that C. vittatus populations in the Big Bend and Trans-Pecos region of Texas, USA are phylogeographically distinct and may predate the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). In addition, we suggest the extended isolation of Big Bend region populations may have created the C. vittatus variant once known as C. pantheriensis. PMID:23861878

  3. SdPI, The First Functionally Characterized Kunitz-Type Trypsin Inhibitor from Scorpion Venom

    PubMed Central

    Li, Tian; He, Yawen; Ma, Yibao; Chen, Zongyun; Wu, Yingliang; Li, Wenxin; Cao, Zhijian

    2011-01-01

    Background Kunitz-type venom peptides have been isolated from a wide variety of venomous animals. They usually have protease inhibitory activity or potassium channel blocking activity, which by virtue of the effects on predator animals are essential for the survival of venomous animals. However, no Kunitz-type peptides from scorpion venom have been functionally characterized. Principal Findings A new Kunitz-type venom peptide gene precursor, SdPI, was cloned and characterized from a venom gland cDNA library of the scorpion Lychas mucronatus. It codes for a signal peptide of 21 residues and a mature peptide of 59 residues. The mature SdPI peptide possesses a unique cysteine framework reticulated by three disulfide bridges, different from all reported Kunitz-type proteins. The recombinant SdPI peptide was functionally expressed. It showed trypsin inhibitory activity with high potency (Ki = 1.6×10−7 M) and thermostability. Conclusions The results illustrated that SdPI is a potent and stable serine protease inhibitor. Further mutagenesis and molecular dynamics simulation revealed that SdPI possesses a serine protease inhibitory active site similar to other Kunitz-type venom peptides. To our knowledge, SdPI is the first functionally characterized Kunitz-type trypsin inhibitor derived from scorpion venom, and it represents a new class of Kunitz-type venom peptides. PMID:22087336

  4. Scorpionism in Ecuador: First report of severe and fatal envenoming cases from northern Manabí by Tityus asthenes Pocock.

    PubMed

    Borges, Adolfo; Morales, Melva; Loor, Wilmer; Delgado, Miguel

    2015-10-01

    The presence in rural areas of western Ecuador of scorpions in the genus Tityus capable of producing pediatric mortality is hereby evidenced. The medical significance of scorpions in Ecuador has been underestimated partly because of the clinically unimportant stings delivered by Centruroides margaritatus and Teuthraustes atramentarius, which have venom with low toxicity to vertebrates. Five intra-domiciliary cases of scorpion envenoming in victims aged between 1.9 and 16 years old, including one fatality, are reported from rural settings in forest areas of Chone (n = 2) and Flavio Alfaro (n = 3) counties, northern Manabí province, western Ecuador. Three cases were graded as Class II (moderate) and two in Class III (severe) envenoming. Manifestations showed characteristic autonomic nervous system hyper-stimulation and the fatality (a 1.9-year-old boy from Flavio Alfaro) was due to cardio-respiratory failure. Marked leukocytosis in four of the cases (21,800-31,800 cells/mm(3)), with notable neutrophilia (58-82%), suggests induction of a venom-mediated systemic inflammatory response-like syndrome. Specimens responsible for cases in Flavio Alfaro County, including the fatality, were classified as Tityus asthenes Pocock, accountable for severe scorpionism in Colombia. These findings demand implementation of control and therapeutic measures in affected areas in Ecuador, including evaluation of available scorpion antivenoms. PMID:26344916

  5. [Distribution of findings of scorpions in Buenos Aires city in the period 2001-2012 and their sanitary implications].

    PubMed

    Blanco, Guillermo; Laskowicz, Rodrigo D; Lanari, Laura C; Scarlato, Eduardo; Damin, Carlos; de Titto, Ernesto H; de Roodt, Adolfo R

    2016-02-01

    Scorpion stings and their associated mortality increased in the last years in Argentina, with a cumulative record of 73,617 cases and 30 deaths during the period 2001-2012, occurring almost all the deaths in pediatric patients. However, deaths due to severe envenoming by scorpion stings have not been recorded in Buenos Aires city and suburban regions, although the presence of scorpions in this city has been increasingly reported. We studied the temporal and geographical distribution of Tityus trivittatus findings in Buenos Aires city from the database of the Research and Development Area from the National Institute for Production of Biologics of the National Ministry of Health during the period 10/01/2001 to 31/12/2012 in order to correlate these findings with the distribution of health centers in the city. In this period 385 consults with identification of scorpions were recorded. Annual records showed a growing trend. Georeferenced data showed that findings appeared to increase in the surroundings of metro and train stations, mainly at the east of the city with expansion to the west. Although Toxicology services are geographically related to the zones with higher density of finding of scorpions, the accessibility to the centers with antivenom may hinder its application in the recommended time; some measures to avoid possible delays in the application of the treatment are suggested. PMID:26914081

  6. Development of respiratory structures in embryos and first and second instars of the bark scorpion, Centruroides gracilis (Scorpiones: Buthidae).

    PubMed

    Farley, Roger D

    2008-09-01

    The SEM was used to study the development of respiratory structures in successive stages in relation to the overall changes occurring in the scorpions. Book lung development is a slow process, starting with spiracles and a sac-like atrium in the early embryo and continuing lamellar formation to 150 or more in the adult. In the embryo, the primordial epithelial cells become aligned in a planar pattern as they secrete granules of material that aggregate spontaneously to form the cuticular walls of the lamellae. A blade-like structure is formed consisting of cells sandwiched within the two cuticle walls they secreted. These cells are in the primordial air channel. The adjacent hemolymph channel is nearly devoid of cells, but cross-bridges develop and help stabilize the cuticle walls and maintain the width of the channel. The cells in the primordial air channel undergo cytolysis, leaving it open for air except for cuticular cross-bridges. Development continues in the newborn (first instars); the air channels of some lamellae still contain cells and are not yet functional for gas exchange. The first instars are weak and relatively inactive. They climb up on the mother's dorsum until the first molt (about 8 days). With the cuticular walls of the lamellae in place, cells adhering to the wall in the hemolymph channel produce a thin, new tissue layer (epithelium) on the lamellar wall facing the hemolymph channel. This layer has many discontinuities as though it is slowly developing. Formation of the tissue layer and cytolysis of the cells in the air channels continue through the first molt in which little book lung cuticle is shed as exuvium. The air channels of the second instars (foraging nymphs) are now cell free and open for air passage except for the cross-bridges. The tissue layer is still incomplete and continues to be formed. It may provide the hypodermal primordium for cuticle replacement in later molts, but development was not studied beyond the second instar

  7. Africans in America.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hart, Ayanna; Spangler, Earl

    This book introduces African-American history and culture to children. The first Africans in America came from many different regions and cultures, but became united in this country by being black, African, and slaves. Once in America, Africans began a long struggle for freedom which still continues. Slavery, the Civil War, emancipation, and the…

  8. African Outreach Workshop 1974.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmidt, Nancy J.

    This report discusses the 1974 African Outreach Workshop planned and coordinated by the African Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Its major aim was to assist teachers in developing curriculum units on African using materials available in their local community. A second aim was for the African Studies Program to…

  9. Many unique characteristics revealed by the complete mitochondrial genome of the scorpion Tityus serrulatus (Lutz e Mello 1922) (Chelicerata; Arachnida).

    PubMed

    Martins, Ana Paula Vimieiro; Carmo, Anderson Oliveira do; Mesquita, Flavia Oliveira; Pimenta, Ricardo José Gonzaga; Chagas, Aline Torres de Azevedo; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes

    2016-09-01

    This is the first complete mitochondrial genome of a Tityus species, although it is the most medically important genus in South America. Tityus serrulatus (Brazilian yellow scorpion) mtDNA revealed the same gene arrangement of three out of four other mitogenomes published by now for the same family (Centruroides limpidus, Mesobuthus gibbosus, M. martensii and Buthus occitanus). However, it presented many unique characteristics such as possession of Cox1 gene, different from all other protein-coding genes of scorpion mtDNA, starts with an atypical start codon (CTG). Moreover, no tRNA gene have complete typical secondary structure and the Tytius genome presented three non-coding regions longer than 100bp. Also, it contains the smallest scorpion 16S gene reported by now. Phylogenetic analysis using concatenated homologous genes confirmed Buthidae as a monophyletic clade and supports a monophyletic group including T. serrulatus and the other American species, C. limpidus. PMID:26370626

  10. Looking like Limulus? – Retinula axons and visual neuropils of the median and lateral eyes of scorpions

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Despite ongoing interest in the neurophysiology of visual systems in scorpions, aspects of their neuroanatomy have received little attention. Lately sets of neuroanatomical characters have contributed important arguments to the discussion of arthropod ground patterns and phylogeny. In various attempts to reconstruct phylogeny (from morphological, morphological + molecular, or molecular data) scorpions were placed either as basalmost Arachnida, or within Arachnida with changing sister-group relationships, or grouped with the extinct Eurypterida and Xiphosura inside the Merostomata. Thus, the position of scorpions is a key to understanding chelicerate evolution. To shed more light on this, the present study for the first time combines various techniques (Cobalt fills, DiI / DiO labelling, osmium-ethyl gallate procedure, and AMIRA 3D-reconstruction) to explore central projections and visual neuropils of median and lateral eyes in Euscorpius italicus (Herbst, 1800) and E. hadzii Di Caporiacco, 1950. Results Scorpion median eye retinula cells are linked to a first and a second visual neuropil, while some fibres additionally connect the median eyes with the arcuate body. The lateral eye retinula cells are linked to a first and a second visual neuropil as well, with the second neuropil being partly shared by projections from both eyes. Conclusions Comparing these results to previous studies on the visual systems of scorpions and other chelicerates, we found striking similarities to the innervation pattern in Limulus polyphemus for both median and lateral eyes. This supports from a visual system point of view at least a phylogenetically basal position of Scorpiones in Arachnida, or even a close relationship to Xiphosura. In addition, we propose a ground pattern for the central projections of chelicerate median eyes. PMID:23842208

  11. Lung compliance, plasma electrolyte levels and acid-base balance are affected by scorpion envenomation in anesthetized rats under mechanical ventilation.

    PubMed

    Andrade, Marcus V; Caramez, Maria Paula R; Abreu, Elnara Marcia N N; Dolnikoff, Marisa; Omar, Erick D; Velasco, Irineu T; Cunha-Melo, José R

    2004-05-01

    To determine the effects of Tityus serrulatus scorpion toxin on lung compliance and resistance, ionic equilibrium and acid-base balance over time in anesthetized and mechanically ventilated rats, we measured air flow, tracheal and esophageal pressure. Lung volume was obtained by electronic integration of airflow signal. Arterial blood samples were collected through a catheter at baseline (before) and 5, 15, 30 and 60 min after scorpion toxin injection for arterial blood gases, bicarbonate, and alkali reserve levels as well as for, sodium, potassium, magnesium, glucose, lactate, hematocrit, and osmolality analysis. Injection of the gamma fraction of the T. serrulatus scorpion venom in rats under mechanical ventilatory support leads to a continuous decrease in lung compliance secondary to pulmonary edema, but no change in airway resistance. The changes in arterial blood gases characterizing metabolic acidosis were accompanied by an increase in arterial lactate and glucose values, suggesting a scorpion toxin-induced lactic acidosis, in association with poor tissue perfusion (hypotension and low cardiac output). Moreover, scorpion toxin injection resulted in hyperosmolality, hyperkalemia, hypermagnesemia and an increase in hematocrit. The experiments have shown a clinically relevant animal model to study severe scorpion envenoming and may help to better understand the scorpion envenoming syndrome. PMID:15313452

  12. Neurological effects of venomous bites and stings: snakes, spiders, and scorpions.

    PubMed

    Del Brutto, Oscar H

    2013-01-01

    Snake and spider bites, as well as scorpion sting envenoming, are neglected diseases affecting millions of people all over the world. Neurological complications vary according to the offending animal, and are often directly related to toxic effects of the venom, affecting the central nervous system, the neuromuscular transmission, the cardiovascular system, or the coagulation cascade. Snake bite envenoming may result in stroke or muscle paralysis. Metalloproteinases and other substances (common in vipers and colubrids) have anticoagulant or procoagulant activity, and may induce ischemic or hemorrhagic strokes. The venom of elapids is rich in neurotoxins affecting the neuromuscular transmission at either presynaptic or postsynaptic levels. The clinical picture of scorpion sting envenoming is dominated by muscle weakness associated with arterial hypertension, cardiac arrythmias, myocarditis, or pulmonary edema. These manifestations occur as the result of release of catecholamines into the bloodstream or due to direct cardiac toxicity of the venom. Cerebrovascular complications have been reported after the sting of the Indian red scorpion. Intracranial hemorrhages occur in the setting of acute increases in arterial blood pressure related to sympathetic overstimulation, and cerebral infarctions are related to either cerebral hypoperfusion, consumption coagulopathy, vasculitis, or cardiogenic brain embolism. Three main syndromes result from spider bite envenoming: latrodectism, loxoscelism, and funnel-web spider envenoming. Latrodectism is related to neurotoxins present in the venom of widow spiders. Most cases present with headache, lethargy, irritability, myalgia, tremor, fasciculation, or ataxia. Loxoscelism is caused by envenoming by spiders of the family Sicariidae. It may present with a stroke due to a severe coagulopathy. The venom of funnel-web spiders also has neurotoxins that stimulate neurotransmitter release, resulting in sensory disturbances and muscle

  13. Effects of prenatal exposure to Tityus bahiensis scorpion venom on rat offspring development.

    PubMed

    Dorce, Ana Leticia Coronado; Bellot, Rogério Gentil; Dorce, Valquiria Abrão Coronado; Nencioni, Ana Leonor Abrahão

    2009-11-01

    Scorpion envenoming is a public health problem. In Brazil, the scorpion Tityus serrulatus is considered the most dangerous, but a large number of exposures also occur with Tityus bahiensis. There are quite a few studies in literature about the toxic effects of this venom but it is not known if the venom causes malformations or behavioral defects to the offspring of mothers exposed to the venom during pregnancy. The objective of this work was to determine, in rats, the possible toxic effects of T. bahiensis venom on offspring when injected into rats during different periods of fetal development. Rats were assigned to one of three groups: one control group and two experimental groups that were subcutaneously injected with venom (2.5mg/kg) on the 10th (GD10) or on 16th day (GD16) of gestation. Pups were evaluated for changes in physical and behavioral development. GD10 treatment group offspring showed an increase in body weight gain, earlier ear unfolding, incisor tooth eruption and vaginal opening. A decrease in the time of palmar grasp and surface-righting reflexes was observed only for males. In GD16 treatment group, earlier ear unfolding, incisor tooth eruption, and delay in eye opening were observed in the offspring. In female pups a decrease in weight gain and in time for palmar grasp reflex, and an increase in time for negative geotaxis were observed. In male pups a delay in the testis descent, decrease in the time of palmar grasp, increase in the time of negative geotaxis reflex and in the general and locomotor activities could be noticed. Therefore, we concluded that a moderate dose of scorpion venom administered to pregnant rats was able to elicit alterations in physical and behavioral development in the offspring during the postnatal period. PMID:19383539

  14. A Scorpion Defensin BmKDfsin4 Inhibits Hepatitis B Virus Replication in Vitro.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Zhengyang; Zhang, Qian; Hong, Wei; Xie, Yingqiu; Liu, Yun; Li, Wenxin; Wu, Yingliang; Cao, Zhijian

    2016-01-01

    Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major worldwide health problem which can cause acute and chronic hepatitis and can significantly increase the risk of liver cirrhosis and primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Nowadays, clinical therapies of HBV infection still mainly rely on nucleotide analogs and interferons, the usage of which is limited by drug-resistant mutation or side effects. Defensins had been reported to effectively inhibit the proliferation of bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses. Here, we screened the anti-HBV activity of 25 scorpion-derived peptides most recently characterized by our group. Through evaluating anti-HBV activity and cytotoxicity, we found that BmKDfsin4, a scorpion defensin with antibacterial and Kv1.3-blocking activities, has a comparable high inhibitory rate of both HBeAg and HBsAg in HepG2.2.15 culture medium and low cytotoxicity to HepG2.2.15. Then, our experimental results further showed that BmKDfsin4 can dose-dependently decrease the production of HBV DNA and HBV viral proteins in both culture medium and cell lysate. Interestingly, BmKDfsin4 exerted high serum stability. Together, this study indicates that the scorpion defensin BmKDfsin4 also has inhibitory activity against HBV replication along with its antibacterial and potassium ion channel Kv1.3-blocking activities, which shows that BmKDfsin4 is a uniquely multifunctional defensin molecule. Our work also provides a good molecule material which will be used to investigate the link or relationship of its antiviral, antibacterial and ion channel-modulating activities in the future. PMID:27128943

  15. Mass fingerprinting of the venom and transcriptome of venom gland of scorpion Centruroides tecomanus.

    PubMed

    Valdez-Velázquez, Laura L; Quintero-Hernández, Verónica; Romero-Gutiérrez, Maria Teresa; Coronas, Fredy I V; Possani, Lourival D

    2013-01-01

    Centruroides tecomanus is a Mexican scorpion endemic of the State of Colima, that causes human fatalities. This communication describes a proteome analysis obtained from milked venom and a transcriptome analysis from a cDNA library constructed from two pairs of venom glands of this scorpion. High perfomance liquid chromatography separation of soluble venom produced 80 fractions, from which at least 104 individual components were identified by mass spectrometry analysis, showing to contain molecular masses from 259 to 44,392 Da. Most of these components are within the expected molecular masses for Na(+)- and K(+)-channel specific toxic peptides, supporting the clinical findings of intoxication, when humans are stung by this scorpion. From the cDNA library 162 clones were randomly chosen, from which 130 sequences of good quality were identified and were clustered in 28 contigs containing, each, two or more expressed sequence tags (EST) and 49 singlets with only one EST. Deduced amino acid sequence analysis from 53% of the total ESTs showed that 81% (24 sequences) are similar to known toxic peptides that affect Na(+)-channel activity, and 19% (7 unique sequences) are similar to K(+)-channel especific toxins. Out of the 31 sequences, at least 8 peptides were confirmed by direct Edman degradation, using components isolated directly from the venom. The remaining 19%, 4%, 4%, 15% and 5% of the ESTs correspond respectively to proteins involved in cellular processes, antimicrobial peptides, venom components, proteins without defined function and sequences without similarity in databases. Among the cloned genes are those similar to metalloproteinases. PMID:23840487

  16. Choose Your Weapon: Defensive Behavior Is Associated with Morphology and Performance in Scorpions

    PubMed Central

    van der Meijden, Arie; Lobo Coelho, Pedro; Sousa, Pedro; Herrel, Anthony

    2013-01-01

    Morphology can be adaptive through its effect on performance of an organism. The effect of performance may, however, be modulated by behavior; an organism may choose a behavioral option that does not fully utilize its maximum performance. Behavior may therefore be decoupled from morphology and performance. To gain insight into the relationships between these levels of organization, we combined morphological data on defensive structures with measures of defensive performance, and their utilization in defensive behavior. Scorpion species show significant variation in the morphology and performance of their main defensive structures; their chelae (pincers) and the metasoma (“tail”) carrying the stinger. Our data show that size-corrected pinch force varies to almost two orders of magnitude among species, and is correlated with chela morphology. Chela and metasoma morphology are also correlated to the LD50 of the venom, corroborating the anecdotal rule that dangerously venomous scorpions can be recognized by their chelae and metasoma. Analyses of phylogenetic independent contrasts show that correlations between several aspects of chela and metasoma morphology, performance and behavior are present. These correlations suggest co-evolution of behavior with morphology and performance. Path analysis found a performance variable (pinch force) to partially mediate the relationship between morphology (chela aspect ratio) and behavior (defensive stinger usage). We also found a correlation between two aspects of morphology: pincer finger length correlates with the relative “thickness” (aspect ratio) of the metasoma. This suggests scorpions show a trade-off between their two main weapon complexes: the metasoma carrying the stinger, and the pedipalps carrying the chelae. PMID:24236075

  17. Mass Fingerprinting of the Venom and Transcriptome of Venom Gland of Scorpion Centruroides tecomanus

    PubMed Central

    Valdez-Velázquez, Laura L.; Quintero-Hernández, Verónica; Romero-Gutiérrez, Maria Teresa; Coronas, Fredy I. V.; Possani, Lourival D.

    2013-01-01

    Centruroides tecomanus is a Mexican scorpion endemic of the State of Colima, that causes human fatalities. This communication describes a proteome analysis obtained from milked venom and a transcriptome analysis from a cDNA library constructed from two pairs of venom glands of this scorpion. High perfomance liquid chromatography separation of soluble venom produced 80 fractions, from which at least 104 individual components were identified by mass spectrometry analysis, showing to contain molecular masses from 259 to 44,392 Da. Most of these components are within the expected molecular masses for Na+- and K+-channel specific toxic peptides, supporting the clinical findings of intoxication, when humans are stung by this scorpion. From the cDNA library 162 clones were randomly chosen, from which 130 sequences of good quality were identified and were clustered in 28 contigs containing, each, two or more expressed sequence tags (EST) and 49 singlets with only one EST. Deduced amino acid sequence analysis from 53% of the total ESTs showed that 81% (24 sequences) are similar to known toxic peptides that affect Na+-channel activity, and 19% (7 unique sequences) are similar to K+-channel especific toxins. Out of the 31 sequences, at least 8 peptides were confirmed by direct Edman degradation, using components isolated directly from the venom. The remaining 19%, 4%, 4%, 15% and 5% of the ESTs correspond respectively to proteins involved in cellular processes, antimicrobial peptides, venom components, proteins without defined function and sequences without similarity in databases. Among the cloned genes are those similar to metalloproteinases. PMID:23840487

  18. A Scorpion Defensin BmKDfsin4 Inhibits Hepatitis B Virus Replication in Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Zeng, Zhengyang; Zhang, Qian; Hong, Wei; Xie, Yingqiu; Liu, Yun; Li, Wenxin; Wu, Yingliang; Cao, Zhijian

    2016-01-01

    Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major worldwide health problem which can cause acute and chronic hepatitis and can significantly increase the risk of liver cirrhosis and primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Nowadays, clinical therapies of HBV infection still mainly rely on nucleotide analogs and interferons, the usage of which is limited by drug-resistant mutation or side effects. Defensins had been reported to effectively inhibit the proliferation of bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses. Here, we screened the anti-HBV activity of 25 scorpion-derived peptides most recently characterized by our group. Through evaluating anti-HBV activity and cytotoxicity, we found that BmKDfsin4, a scorpion defensin with antibacterial and Kv1.3-blocking activities, has a comparable high inhibitory rate of both HBeAg and HBsAg in HepG2.2.15 culture medium and low cytotoxicity to HepG2.2.15. Then, our experimental results further showed that BmKDfsin4 can dose-dependently decrease the production of HBV DNA and HBV viral proteins in both culture medium and cell lysate. Interestingly, BmKDfsin4 exerted high serum stability. Together, this study indicates that the scorpion defensin BmKDfsin4 also has inhibitory activity against HBV replication along with its antibacterial and potassium ion channel Kv1.3-blocking activities, which shows that BmKDfsin4 is a uniquely multifunctional defensin molecule. Our work also provides a good molecule material which will be used to investigate the link or relationship of its antiviral, antibacterial and ion channel–modulating activities in the future. PMID:27128943

  19. Peptide T, a novel bradykinin potentiator isolated from Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, L A; Alves, E W; Henriques, O B

    1993-08-01

    A bradykinin-potentiating peptide was isolated and characterized from venom of the scorpion Tityus serrulatus by chromatographic techniques followed by biological assays. The complete amino acid sequence (13 residues) of peptide is presented. The peptide potentiated the contractile activity of bradykinin on the isolated guinea-pig ileum, and inhibited the hydrolysis of bradykinin by angiotensin-converting enzyme from B. jararaca plasma and the conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II by kininase II from guinea-pig ileum tissue. The peptide also increased the depressor effect of bradykinin on arterial blood pressure in the anaesthetized rat. PMID:8212046

  20. Scorpine, an anti-malaria and anti-bacterial agent purified from scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Conde, R; Zamudio, F Z; Rodríguez, M H; Possani, L D

    2000-04-14

    A novel peptide, scorpine, was isolated from the venom of the scorpion Pandinus imperator, with anti-bacterial activity and a potent inhibitory effect on the ookinete (ED(50) 0.7 microM) and gamete (ED(50) 10 microM) stages of Plasmodium berghei development. It has 75 amino acids, three disulfide bridges with a molecular mass of 8350 Da. Scorpine has a unique amino acid sequence, similar only to some cecropins in its N-terminal segment and to some defensins in its C-terminal region. Its gene was cloned from a cDNA library. PMID:10767415

  1. Chloride channel inhibition by the venom of the scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus.

    PubMed

    DeBin, J A; Strichartz, G R

    1991-01-01

    The venom of the scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus produced a significant, reversible inhibition of reconstituted Cl- channels of the small conductance type found in rat colonic epithelial cells. The kinetics of single-channel block by this venom were consistent with a first-order binding reaction in which the binding of one ligand molecule is sufficient to induce channel block. Single-channel mean block times were c.6 sec at -20 mV, and a KI in the submicromolar range is predicted. The active component has a mol. wt of roughly 5000 as judged by molecular sieve chromatography. PMID:1726031

  2. Mineral resources of the Scorpion Wilderness study area, Garfield and Kane counties, Utah

    SciTech Connect

    Bartsch-Winkler, S.; Jones, J.L.; Kilburn, J.E.; Cady, J.W.; Duval, J.S.; Cook, K.L. ); Lane, M.E.; Corbetta, P.A. )

    1989-01-01

    This paper reports on the Scorpion Wilderness Study Area which covers 14,978 acres in south- central Utah in Garfield and Kane counties. No mining claims or oil and gas leases or lease applications extend inside this study-area boundary. Demonstrated subeconomic resources of less than 30,000 tons of gypsum are in this study area. The mineral resource potential is low for undiscovered gypsum in the Carmel Formation, for undiscovered uranium in the Chinle Formation in the subsurface, and for undiscovered metals other than uranium. The energy resource potential is low for geothermal resources and is moderate for oil, gas, and carbon dioxide.

  3. Black African Traditional Mathematics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zaslavsky, Claudia

    1970-01-01

    Discusses the traditional number systems and the origin of the number names used by several African peoples living south of the Sahara. Also included are limitations in African mathematical development, and possible topics for research. (RP)

  4. X-ray Structure of Native Scorpion Toxin BmBKTx1 by Racemic Protein Crystallography Using Direct Methods

    SciTech Connect

    Mandal, Kalyaneswar; Pentelute, Brad L.; Tereshko, Valentina; Kossiakoff, Anthony A.; Kent, Stephen B.H.

    2009-04-08

    Racemic protein crystallography, enabled by total chemical synthesis, has allowed us to determine the X-ray structure of native scorpion toxin BmBKTx1; direct methods were used for phase determination. This is the first example of a protein racemate that crystallized in space group I41/a.

  5. Harlem Connections: Teaching Walter Dean Myers'"Scorpions" with Paul Laurence Dunbar's "The Sport of the Gods."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    West, Mark I.

    1999-01-01

    Describes how the author, in a course titled "Literature for Adolescents" paired Walter Dean Myers' 1988 young adult novel, "Scorpions," with Paul Laurence Dunbar's 1902 novel for adults, "The Sport of the Gods." Describes student readers' responses to the pair of books, which focus on the difficulties of growing up in Harlem. (SR)

  6. Cooperative Exploration of Rough Martian Terrains with the "Scorpion" Legged Robot as an Adjunct to a Rover.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colombano, Silvano P.; Kirchner, Frank; Spenneberg, Dirk; Starman, Jared; Hanratty, James; Kovsmeyer, David (Technical Monitor)

    2003-01-01

    NASA needs autonomous robotic exploration of difficult (rough and/or steep) scientifically interesting Martian terrains. Concepts involving distributed autonomy for cooperative robotic exploration are key to enabling new scientific objectives in robotic missions. We propose to utilize a legged robot as an adjunct scout to a rover for access to difficult - scientifically interesting - terrains (rocky areas, slopes, cliffs). Our final mission scenario involves the Ames rover platform "K9" and Scorpion acting together to explore a steep cliff, with the Scorpion robot rappelling down using the K9 as an anchor as well as mission planner and executive. Cooperation concepts, including wheeled rappelling robots have been proposed before. Now we propose to test the combined advantages of a wheeled vehicle with a legged scout as well as the advantages of merging of high level planning and execution with biologically inspired, behavior based robotics. We propose to use the 8-legged, multifunctional autonomous robot platform Scorpion that is currently capable of: Walking on different terrains (rocks, sand, grass, ...). Perceiving its environment and modifying its behavioral pattern accordingly. These capabilities would be extended to enable the Scorpion to: communicate and cooperate with a partner robot; climb over rocks, rubble piles, and objects with structural features. This will be done in the context of exploration of rough terrains in the neighborhood of the rover, but inaccessible to it, culminating in the added capability of rappelling down a steep cliff for both vertical and horizontal terrain observation.

  7. A historical approach to scorpion studies with special reference to the 20th and 21st centuries

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    This work provides historical context about scorpion studies from the end of the 19th century to the present day. The content is mainly addressed to non-zoologists, working in research fields that embrace scorpion biology, notably to those working with venoms and toxins. The historical aspects described include academic professional scholars who worked on scorpion classification and general distribution patterns; and to a lesser extent, on studies of ecology and natural history. The aim is not to provide an exhaustive description of all scholars who in one way or another became involved with scorpions, but rather of those who greatly contributed during a given period to the research of these organisms. No critical analysis of the work of previous researchers is undertaken, but some comments are proposed to bring clarification on ‘who’s who’. Since a global consensus in relation to classification and/or distribution patterns has not been reached among modern experts, these different approaches are also presented without judgment. Consequently, distinct approaches remain open for discussion. PMID:24618067

  8. Comments on Environmental and Sanitary Aspects of the Scorpionism by Tityus trivittatus in Buenos Aires City, Argentina.

    PubMed

    de Roodt, Adolfo Rafael

    2014-04-01

    Deaths by venomous animals are medical emergencies that can lead to death and thus constitute sanitary problems in some regions of the world. In the South of America, the accidents by these animals are a common sanitary problem especially in warm, tropical or subtropical regions, related with rural work in several countries. Argentina is located in the extreme South of South America and a minor part of the continental surface is in tropical or subtropical regions, where most of the accidents by venomous animals happen. However, in the big cities in the center and South of the country, with no relation to rural work, scorpionism, mostly due to the synanthropic and facultative parthenogenetic scorpion Tityus trivittatus, has become a sanitary problem in the last few decades. This scorpion is present in the biggest cities of Argentina and in the last decades has killed over 20 children in provinces of the center and north of the country, mostly in big cities. In addition, it seems that this species is growing and spreading in new regions of the cities. In this revision, some characteristics of this scorpion regarding its habitat, spreading in Buenos Aires city, combat measures and available treatments are discussed. PMID:24759176

  9. Comments on Environmental and Sanitary Aspects of the Scorpionism by Tityus trivittatus in Buenos Aires City, Argentina

    PubMed Central

    de Roodt, Adolfo Rafael

    2014-01-01

    Deaths by venomous animals are medical emergencies that can lead to death and thus constitute sanitary problems in some regions of the world. In the South of America, the accidents by these animals are a common sanitary problem especially in warm, tropical or subtropical regions, related with rural work in several countries. Argentina is located in the extreme South of South America and a minor part of the continental surface is in tropical or subtropical regions, where most of the accidents by venomous animals happen. However, in the big cities in the center and South of the country, with no relation to rural work, scorpionism, mostly due to the synanthropic and facultative parthenogenetic scorpion Tityus trivittatus, has become a sanitary problem in the last few decades. This scorpion is present in the biggest cities of Argentina and in the last decades has killed over 20 children in provinces of the center and north of the country, mostly in big cities. In addition, it seems that this species is growing and spreading in new regions of the cities. In this revision, some characteristics of this scorpion regarding its habitat, spreading in Buenos Aires city, combat measures and available treatments are discussed. PMID:24759176

  10. Characterization of Kbot21 Reveals Novel Side Chain Interactions of Scorpion Toxins Inhibiting Voltage-Gated Potassium Channels

    PubMed Central

    ElFessi-Magouri, Rym; Peigneur, Steve; Othman, Houcemeddine; Srairi-Abid, Najet; ElAyeb, Mohamed; Tytgat, Jan; Kharrat, Riadh

    2015-01-01

    Scorpion toxins are important pharmacological tools for probing the physiological roles of ion channels which are involved in many physiological processes and as such have significant therapeutic potential. The discovery of new scorpion toxins with different specificities and affinities is needed to further characterize the physiology of ion channels. In this regard, a new short polypeptide called Kbot21 has been purified to homogeneity from the venom of Buthus occitanus tunetanus scorpion. Kbot21 is structurally related to BmBKTx1 from the venom of the Asian scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch. These two toxins differ by only two residues at position 13 (R /V) and 24 (D/N).Despite their very similar sequences, Kbot21 and BmBKTx1 differ in their electrophysiological activities. Kbot21 targets KV channel subtypes whereas BmBKTx1 is active on both big conductance (BK) and small conductance (SK) Ca2+-activated K+ channel subtypes, but has no effects on Kv channel subtypes. The docking model of Kbot21 with the Kv1.2 channel shows that the D24 and R13 side-chain of Kbot21 are critical for its interaction with KV channels. PMID:26398235

  11. Inhibition of ClC-2 chloride channels by a peptide component or components of scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Thompson, C H; Fields, D M; Olivetti, P R; Fuller, M D; Zhang, Z R; Kubanek, J; McCarty, N A

    2005-11-01

    ClC chloride channels play essential roles in membrane excitability and maintenance of osmotic balance. Despite the recent crystallization of two bacterial ClC-like proteins, the gating mechanism for these channels remains unclear. In this study we tested scorpion venom for the presence of novel peptide inhibitors of ClC channels, which might be useful tools for dissecting the mechanisms underlying ClC channel gating. Recently, it has been shown that a peptide component of venom from the scorpion L. quinquestriatus hebraeus inhibits the CFTR chloride channel from the intracellular side. Using two-electrode voltage clamp we studied the effect of scorpion venom on ClC-0, -1, and -2, and found both dose- and voltage-dependent inhibition only of ClC-2. Comparison of voltage-dependence of inhibition by venom to that of known pore blockers revealed opposite voltage dependencies, suggesting different mechanisms of inhibition. Kinetic data show that venom induced slower activation kinetics compared to pre-venom records, suggesting that the active component(s) of venom may function as a gating modifier at ClC-2. Trypsinization abolished the inhibitory activity of venom, suggesting that the component(s) of scorpion venom that inhibits ClC-2 is a peptide. PMID:16596447

  12. In vitro analysis of the anticancer properties of scorpion venom in colorectal and breast cancer cell lines

    PubMed Central

    AL-ASMARI, ABDULRAHMAN KHAZIM; ISLAM, MOZAFFARUL; AL-ZAHRANI, ALI MATER

    2016-01-01

    Scorpion venom contains various types of proteins and peptides that are able to act as inhibitors of neurotransmitter molecules. This is achieved primarily via the inhibition of ion channels. In addition, scorpion venom has been demonstrated to exhibit anticancer properties in prostate and breast cancer, as well as leukemia. The anticancer properties of scorpion venom are due to its inhibitory effect on matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity, which leads to reduced motility and invasion in tumor cells. The inhibitory effects of venom on MMPs additionally lead to a reduction in the metastatic potential of malignant tumors. In the present study, the effect of venom obtained from a local serpentarium facility was examined in colorectal and breast cancer cell lines. Cell motility and clonogenic survival assays revealed a significant decrease (60–90%) in cell motility and colony formation, two significant hallmarks of cancer survival, following treatment with various concentrations of venom. These results were in agreement with previous studies demonstrating the anticancer activity of scorpion venom. In conclusion, the venom utilized at the Research Center of Prince Sultan Military Medical City Hospital (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) possesses significant anticancer potential against colorectal and breast cancer cell lines. PMID:26893728

  13. Modulation of tissue inflammatory response by histamine receptors in scorpion envenomation pathogenesis: involvement of H4 receptor.

    PubMed

    Lamraoui, Amal; Adi-Bessalem, Sonia; Laraba-Djebari, Fatima

    2014-10-01

    The inflammatory response caused by scorpion venoms is a key event in the pathogenesis of scorpion envenomation. This response was assessed in the cardiac, pulmonary, and gastric tissues of envenomed mice. The results reveal an increase of permeability in cardiac, pulmonary, and gastric vessels accompanied by an edema-forming, inflammatory cell infiltration, and imbalanced redox status. These effects are correlated with severe tissue alterations and concomitant increase of metabolic enzymes in sera. Pretreatment of mice with antagonists of H1, H2, or H4 receptors markedly alleviated these alterations in the heart and lungs. Nevertheless, the blockade of the H3 receptor slightly reduced these disorders. Histamine H2 and H4 receptors were the most pharmacological targets involved in the gastric oxidative inflammation. These findings could help to better understand the role of histamine in scorpion venom-induced inflammatory response and propose new therapy using as targets the H4 receptor in addition to histamine H1 and H2 receptors to attenuate the induced inflammatory disorders encountered in scorpion envenoming. PMID:24858599

  14. The African Connection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oguntoyinbo, Lekan

    2012-01-01

    From student and faculty exchanges to joint research projects, U.S. universities maintain a broad spectrum of collaborative relationships with African universities. It's unclear how many U.S. colleges and universities have partnerships with African universities. The African Studies Association, an organization of scholars, doesn't keep that kind…

  15. Chlorotoxin: a helpful natural scorpion peptide to diagnose glioma and fight tumor invasion.

    PubMed

    Dardevet, Lucie; Rani, Dipti; Aziz, Tarek Abd El; Bazin, Ingrid; Sabatier, Jean-Marc; Fadl, Mahmoud; Brambilla, Elisabeth; De Waard, Michel

    2015-04-01

    Chlorotoxin is a small 36 amino-acid peptide identified from the venom of the scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus. Initially, chlorotoxin was used as a pharmacological tool to characterize chloride channels. While studying glioma-specific chloride currents, it was soon discovered that chlorotoxin possesses targeting properties towards cancer cells including glioma, melanoma, small cell lung carcinoma, neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma. The investigation of the mechanism of action of chlorotoxin has been challenging because its cell surface receptor target remains under questioning since two other receptors have been claimed besides chloride channels. Efforts on chlorotoxin-based applications focused on producing analogues helpful for glioma diagnosis, imaging and treatment. These efforts are welcome since gliomas are very aggressive brain cancers, close to impossible to cure with the current therapeutic arsenal. Among all the chlorotoxin-based strategies, the most promising one to enhance patient mean survival time appears to be the use of chlorotoxin as a targeting agent for the delivery of anti-tumor agents. Finally, the discovery of chlorotoxin has led to the screening of other scorpion venoms to identify chlorotoxin-like peptides. So far several new candidates have been identified. Only detailed research and clinical investigations will tell us if they share the same anti-tumor potential as chlorotoxin. PMID:25826056

  16. Microwhip Scorpions (Palpigradi) Feed on Heterotrophic Cyanobacteria in Slovak Caves – A Curiosity among Arachnida

    PubMed Central

    Smrž, Jaroslav; Kováč, Ĺubomír; Mikeš, Jaromír; Lukešová, Alena

    2013-01-01

    To date, only morphological and anatomical descriptions of microwhip scorpions (Arachnida: Palpigradi) have been published. This very rare group is enigmatic not only in its relationships to other arachnids, but especially due to the fact that these animals dwell only underground (in caves, soil, and interstitial spaces). We observed the curious feeding habit of the microwhip scorpion Eukoenenia spelaea over the course of one year in Ardovská Cave, located in Slovakia's Karst region. We chose histology as our methodology in studying 17 specimens and based it upon Masson's triple staining, fluorescent light and confocal microscopy. Single-celled cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) were conspicuously predominant in the gut of all studied palpigrades. Digestibility of the consumed cyanobacteria was supported by the presence of guanine crystals, glycogen deposits and haemocytes inside the palpigrade body. Cyanobacteria, the oldest cellular organisms on Earth, are very resistant to severe conditions in caves, including even darkness. Therefore, the cyanobacteria are able to survive in dark caves as nearly heterotrophic organisms and are consumed by cave palpigrades. Such feeding habit is extraordinary within the almost wholly predacious orders of the class Arachnida, and particularly so due to the type of food observed. PMID:24146804

  17. Toxic peptides and genes encoding toxin gamma of the Brazilian scorpions Tityus bahiensis and Tityus stigmurus.

    PubMed

    Becerril, B; Corona, M; Coronas, F I; Zamudio, F; Calderon-Aranda, E S; Fletcher, P L; Martin, B M; Possani, L D

    1996-02-01

    Seven toxic peptides from the venom of Tityus bahiensis and Tityus stigmurus was isolated and sequenced, five of them to completion. The most abundant peptide from each of these two species of scorpion was 95% identical with that of toxin gamma from the venom of Tityus serrulatus. They were consequently named gamma-b and gamma-st respectively. The genes encoding these new gamma-like peptides were cloned and sequenced by utilizing oligonucleotides synthesized according to known cDNA sequences of toxin gamma, and amplified by PCR on templates of DNA purified from both T. bahiensis and T. stigmurus. They contain an intron of approx. 470 bp. Possible mechanisms of processing and expressing these peptides are discussed, in view of the fact that glycine is the first residue of the N-terminal sequence of T. stigmurus, whereas lysine is the residue at position 1 of toxin gamma from T. serrulatus and T. bahiensis. In addition, chemical characterization of the less abundant toxic peptides showed the presence of at least four distinct families of peptides in all three species of the genus Tityus studied. There is a large degree of similarity among peptides from different venoms of the same family. By using specific horse and rabbit antisera, the venoms of T. bahiensis, T. serrulatus and T. stigmurus were compared. They showed an extended degree of cross-reactivity. Thus these three species of scorpion have similar toxic components, the genes of which are similarly organized, processed and expressed. PMID:8611151

  18. Pharmacological investigation of the nociceptive response and edema induced by venom of the scorpion Tityus serrulatus.

    PubMed

    Nascimento, Elias B; Costa, Karina A; Bertollo, Caryne M; Oliveira, Antônio Carlos P; Rocha, Leonardo T S; Souza, Adriano L S; Glória, Maria Beatriz A; Moraes-Santos, Tasso; Coelho, Márcio M

    2005-04-01

    In this study we characterized the nociceptive response and edema induced by the venom of the scorpion Tityus serrulatus in rats and mice and carried out a preliminary pharmacological investigation of the mechanisms involved in these responses. Intraplantar injection of the venom (1 or 10mug) induced edema and a marked ipsilateral nociceptive response, characterized by thermal and mechanical allodynia and paw licking behaviour. The nociceptive response was inhibited by previous intraperitoneal administration of indomethacin (4mg/kg), dipyrone (200mg/kg), cyproheptadine (10mg/kg) or morphine (5 or 10mg/kg), but not by dexamethasone (1 or 4mg/kg) or promethazine (1 or 5mg/kg). The edema was inhibited by previous treatment with promethazine (5 or 10mg/kg) or cyproheptadine (5 or 10mg/kg), but not by indomethacin (2 or 4mg/kg), dexamethasone (1 or 4mg/kg) or cromolyn (40 or 80mg/kg). Some bioactive amines, including histamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine, were found in the venom in low concentrations. In conclusion, the nociceptive response and edema induced by the venom of T. serrulatus may result from the action of multiple mediators including eicosanoids, histamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine. These results may lead to a better understanding of the host response to potent animal toxins and also give insights into a more rational pharmacological approach to alleviate the intense pain associated with the scorpion envenomation. PMID:15777954

  19. Antigenic cross-reactivity among the venoms from several species of Brazilian scorpions.

    PubMed

    Nishikawa, A K; Caricati, C P; Lima, M L; Dos Santos, M C; Kipnis, T L; Eickstedt, V R; Knysak, I; Da Silva, M H; Higashi, H G; Da Silva, W D

    1994-08-01

    The venoms of seven species of scorpions living in different regions of Brazil were analysed with regard to their lethality, antigenic cross-reactivity and ability to induce antibody production. In mice, the tested scorpion venoms can be grouped as: (a) highly toxic: Tityus stigmurus Thorell (LD50 = 0.773 mg/kg), Tityus bahiensis (Perty) (LD50 = 1.062 mg/kg), Tityus serrulatus Lutz and Mello (LD50 = 1.160 mg/kg), and Tityus costatus (Karsch) (LD50 = 1.590 mg/kg); (b) moderately toxic: Tityus cambridgei Pocock (LD50 = 12.136 mg/kg); and (c) practically nontoxic: Rhopalurus agamemnon (Koch) (LD50 = 36.363 mg/kg), and Brotheas amazonicus Lourenço (LD50 = 90.909 mg/kg). On electrophoresis the venoms showed many protein bands displayed along the chromatogram, most of them cross-reacting in immunoelectrophoresis and immunoblotting using horse anti-T. serrulatus, anti-T. bahiensis or anti-T. serrulatus+T. bahiensis sera as probes. The antibodies present in these antivenoms combine with venom components as measured in vitro by the ELISA assay, and neutralize their lethal effects in vivo. These results indicate that horse anti-venoms against a mixture of T. serrulatus and T. bahiensis venoms or only against T. serrulatus venom yield an antibody population able to neutralize the toxic effects found in all venoms studied. PMID:7985203

  20. Genomic data reveal ancient microendemism in forest scorpions across the California Floristic Province.

    PubMed

    Bryson, Robert W; Savary, Warren E; Zellmer, Amanda J; Bury, R Bruce; McCormack, John E

    2016-08-01

    The California Floristic Province (CFP) in western North America is a globally significant biodiversity hotspot. Elucidating patterns of endemism and the historical drivers of this diversity has been an important challenge of comparative phylogeography for over two decades. We generated phylogenomic data using ddRADseq to examine genetic structure in Uroctonus forest scorpions, an ecologically restricted and dispersal-limited organism widely distributed across the CFP north to the Columbia River. We coupled our genetic data with species distribution models (SDMs) to determine climatically suitable areas for Uroctonus both now and during the Last Glacial Maximum. Based on our analyses, Uroctonus is composed of two major genetic groups that likely diverged over 2 million years ago. Each of these groups itself contains numerous genetic groups that reveal a pattern of vicariance and microendemism across the CFP. Migration rates among these populations are low. SDMs suggest forest scorpion habitat has remained relatively stable over the last 21 000 years, consistent with the genetic data. Our results suggest tectonic plate rafting, mountain uplift, river drainage formation and climate-induced habitat fragmentation have all likely played a role in the diversification of Uroctonus. The intricate pattern of genetic fragmentation revealed across a temporal continuum highlights the potential of low-dispersing species to shed light on small-scale patterns of biodiversity and the underlying processes that have generated this diversity in biodiversity hotspots. PMID:27238387

  1. Scorpion Toxins Specific for Potassium (K+) Channels: A Historical Overview of Peptide Bioengineering

    PubMed Central

    Bergeron, Zachary L.; Bingham, Jon-Paul

    2012-01-01

    Scorpion toxins have been central to the investigation and understanding of the physiological role of potassium (K+) channels and their expansive function in membrane biophysics. As highly specific probes, toxins have revealed a great deal about channel structure and the correlation between mutations, altered regulation and a number of human pathologies. Radio- and fluorescently-labeled toxin isoforms have contributed to localization studies of channel subtypes in expressing cells, and have been further used in competitive displacement assays for the identification of additional novel ligands for use in research and medicine. Chimeric toxins have been designed from multiple peptide scaffolds to probe channel isoform specificity, while advanced epitope chimerization has aided in the development of novel molecular therapeutics. Peptide backbone cyclization has been utilized to enhance therapeutic efficiency by augmenting serum stability and toxin half-life in vivo as a number of K+-channel isoforms have been identified with essential roles in disease states ranging from HIV, T-cell mediated autoimmune disease and hypertension to various cardiac arrhythmias and Malaria. Bioengineered scorpion toxins have been monumental to the evolution of channel science, and are now serving as templates for the development of invaluable experimental molecular therapeutics. PMID:23202307

  2. Profiling the resting venom gland of the scorpion Tityus stigmurus through a transcriptomic survey

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The scorpion Tityus stigmurus is widely distributed in Northeastern Brazil and known to cause severe human envenoming, inducing pain, hyposthesia, edema, erythema, paresthesia, headaches and vomiting. The present study uses a transcriptomic approach to characterize the gene expression profile from the non-stimulated venom gland of Tityus stigmurus scorpion. Results A cDNA library was constructed and 540 clones were sequenced and grouped into 153 clusters, with one or more ESTs (expressed sequence tags). Forty-one percent of ESTs belong to recognized toxin-coding sequences, with transcripts encoding antimicrobial toxins (AMP-like) being the most abundant, followed by alfa KTx- like, beta KTx-like, beta NaTx-like and alfa NaTx-like. Our analysis indicated that 34% of the transcripts encode “other possible venom molecules”, which correspond to anionic peptides, hypothetical secreted peptides, metalloproteinases, cystein-rich peptides and lectins. Fifteen percent of ESTs are similar to cellular transcripts. Sequences without good matches corresponded to 11%. Conclusions This investigation provides the first global view of gene expression of the venom gland from Tityus stigmurus under resting conditions. This approach enables characterization of a large number of venom gland component molecules, which belong either to known or non yet described types of venom peptides and proteins from the Buthidae family. PMID:22853446

  3. Neutralizing effects of Mimosa tenuiflora extracts against inflammation caused by Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Bitencourt, Mariana Angélica Oliveira; de Souza Lima, Maira Conceição Jerônimo; Torres-Rêgo, Manoela; Fernandes, Júlia Morais; da Silva-Júnior, Arnóbio Antônio; Tambourgi, Denise Vilarinho; Zucolotto, Silvana Maria; de Freitas Fernandes-Pedrosa, Matheus

    2014-01-01

    Scorpion bite represents a significant and serious public health problem in certain regions of Brazil, as well as in other parts of the world. Inflammatory mediators are thought to be involved in the systemic and local immune response induced by Tityus serrulatus scorpion envenomation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of extracts of Mimosa tenuiflora on model envenomation. In mice, the envenomation model is induced by Tityus serrulatus venom. Previous treatment of mice with fractions from M. tenuiflora was able to suppress the cell migration to the peritoneal cavity. The treatment of mice with M. tenuiflora extracts also decreased the levels of IL-6, IL-12, and IL-1β. We concluded that the administration of the extract and fractions resulted in a reduction in cell migration and showed a reduction in the level of proinflammatory cytokines. This study demonstrates, for the first time, the anti-inflammatory effect of aqueous extract from the Mimosa tenuiflora plant on T. serrulatus venom. PMID:25013776

  4. Resistance of cervical adenocarcinoma cells (HeLa) to venom from the scorpion Centruroides limpidus limpidus

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The venom of Centruroides limpidus limpidus (Cll) is a mixture of pharmacologically active principles. The most important of these are toxic proteins that interact both selectively and specifically with different cellular targets such as ion channels. Recently, anticancer properties of the venom from other scorpion species have been described. Studies in vitro have shown that scorpion venom induces cell death, inhibits proliferation and triggers the apoptotic pathway in different cancer cell lines. Herein, after treating human cervical adenocarcinoma (HeLa) cells with Cll crude venom, their cytotoxic activity and apoptosis induction were assessed. Results Cll crude venom induced cell death in normal macrophages in a dose-dependent manner. However, through viability assays, HeLa cells showed high survival rates after exposure to Cll venom. Also, Cll venom did not induce apoptosis after performing ethidium bromide/acridine orange assays, nor was there any evidence of chromatin condensation or DNA fragmentation. Conclusions Crude Cll venom exposure was not detrimental to HeLa cell cultures. This may be partially attributable to the absence of specific HeLa cell membrane targets for molecules present in the venom of Centruroides limpidus limpidus. Although these results might discourage additional studies exploring the potential of Cll venom to treat human papilloma cervical cancer, further research is required to explore positive effects of crude Cll venom on other cancer cell lines. PMID:24004568

  5. Effect of maternal exposure to Tityus bahiensis scorpion venom during lactation on the offspring of rats.

    PubMed

    Martins, Adriana do Nascimento; Nencioni, Ana Leonor Abrahão; Dorce, Ana Leticia Coronado; Paulo, Maria Eliza F V; Frare, Eduardo Osório; Dorce, Valquíria Abrão Coronado

    2016-01-01

    Scorpion stings are a public health problem in Brazil and lactating women may be affected. We aimed to study the effects of Tityus bahiensis venom in the offspring of rats treated during lactation. Mothers received a subcutaneous injection of saline (1.0ml/kg) or venom (2.5mg/kg) or an intraperitoneal injection of LPS (lipopolysaccharide) (100μg/kg) on postnatal (PN) days 2 (PN2), 10 (PN10) or 16 (PN16). The offspring were evaluated during the childhood and adulthood. Pups showed a delay in physical and reflexological development, and a decrease in motor activity. Adults displayed low anxiety. There was an increase in the number of viable neuronal cells in hippocampal areas CA1 and CA4. The levels of IFN-γ (interferon-gamma) increased in the experimental groups. Several of the parameters analyzed showed important differences between the sexes. Thus, the scorpion venom affects the development in the offspring of mothers envenomed during the lactation. PMID:26746106

  6. Chlorotoxin: A Helpful Natural Scorpion Peptide to Diagnose Glioma and Fight Tumor Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Dardevet, Lucie; Rani, Dipti; Abd El Aziz, Tarek; Bazin, Ingrid; Sabatier, Jean-Marc; Fadl, Mahmoud; Brambilla, Elisabeth; De Waard, Michel

    2015-01-01

    Chlorotoxin is a small 36 amino-acid peptide identified from the venom of the scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus. Initially, chlorotoxin was used as a pharmacological tool to characterize chloride channels. While studying glioma-specific chloride currents, it was soon discovered that chlorotoxin possesses targeting properties towards cancer cells including glioma, melanoma, small cell lung carcinoma, neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma. The investigation of the mechanism of action of chlorotoxin has been challenging because its cell surface receptor target remains under questioning since two other receptors have been claimed besides chloride channels. Efforts on chlorotoxin-based applications focused on producing analogues helpful for glioma diagnosis, imaging and treatment. These efforts are welcome since gliomas are very aggressive brain cancers, close to impossible to cure with the current therapeutic arsenal. Among all the chlorotoxin-based strategies, the most promising one to enhance patient mean survival time appears to be the use of chlorotoxin as a targeting agent for the delivery of anti-tumor agents. Finally, the discovery of chlorotoxin has led to the screening of other scorpion venoms to identify chlorotoxin-like peptides. So far several new candidates have been identified. Only detailed research and clinical investigations will tell us if they share the same anti-tumor potential as chlorotoxin. PMID:25826056

  7. BmK-YA, an Enkephalin-Like Peptide in Scorpion Venom

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhiwei; Zhang, Xiuli; Liang, Xinmiao; Civelli, Olivier

    2012-01-01

    By screening extracts of venom from the Asian scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch (BmK) for their abilities to activate opioid receptors, we have identified BmK-YA, an amidated peptide containing an enkephalin-like sequence. BmK-YA is encoded by a precursor that displays a signal sequence and contains four copies of BmK-YA sequences and four of His4-BmK-YA, all flanked by single amino acid residues. BmK-YA and His4-BmK-YA are amidated and thus fulfill the characteristics expected of bioactive peptides. BmK-YA can activate mammalian opioid receptors with selectivity for the δ subtype while His4-BmK-YA is inactive at opioid receptors. The discovery of BmK-YA suggests that scorpion venom may represent a novel source of bioactive molecules targeting G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and reveal additional insights on the evolution of the opioid precursors. PMID:22792309

  8. Neutralizing Effects of Mimosa tenuiflora Extracts against Inflammation Caused by Tityus serrulatus Scorpion Venom

    PubMed Central

    Bitencourt, Mariana Angélica Oliveira; Lima, Maira Conceição Jerônimo de Souza; Torres-Rêgo, Manoela; da Silva-Júnior, Arnóbio Antônio; Tambourgi, Denise Vilarinho; Zucolotto, Silvana Maria

    2014-01-01

    Scorpion bite represents a significant and serious public health problem in certain regions of Brazil, as well as in other parts of the world. Inflammatory mediators are thought to be involved in the systemic and local immune response induced by Tityus serrulatus scorpion envenomation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of extracts of Mimosa tenuiflora on model envenomation. In mice, the envenomation model is induced by Tityus serrulatus venom. Previous treatment of mice with fractions from M. tenuiflora was able to suppress the cell migration to the peritoneal cavity. The treatment of mice with M. tenuiflora extracts also decreased the levels of IL-6, IL-12, and IL-1β. We concluded that the administration of the extract and fractions resulted in a reduction in cell migration and showed a reduction in the level of proinflammatory cytokines. This study demonstrates, for the first time, the anti-inflammatory effect of aqueous extract from the Mimosa tenuiflora plant on T. serrulatus venom. PMID:25013776

  9. Differences in venom toxicity and antigenicity between females and males Tityus nororientalis (Buthidae) scorpions

    PubMed Central

    De Sousa, Leonardo; Borges, Adolfo; Vásquez-Suárez, Aleikar; Op den Camp, Huub JM; Chadee-Burgos, Rosa I; Romero-Bellorín, Mirna; Espinoza, Jorge; De Sousa-Insana, Leonardo; Pino-García, Oscar

    2010-01-01

    Venom from male and female specimens of the medically important Venezuelan scorpion Tityus nororientalis have been compared. Males showed a significantly higher venom yield (2.39mg/individual) compared to female scorpions (0.98mg/individual). Female venom was significantly more toxic than that of males, with a median lethal dose (LD50) in C57BL/6 mice of 9.46 μg venom protein/gm body weight [95% confidence interval (8.91-9.94)] whereas LD50 for males was 13.36(12.58-14.03) μg/gm. Mass spectral analyses by MALDI-TOF revealed differences in venom composition between males and females. From a clinical standpoint, the time course of toxicity course indicated a tendency, in the case of the female venom, to elicit the earlier occurrence of severe signs such as sialorrhea, dyspnea (bradypnea/apnea) and exophthalmus particularly in the late toxicity phase. Female venom was significantly less efficient than male venom to inhibit the binding of anti-T. discrepans antibodies to immobilized T. discrepans venom in ELISA assays, suggesting sex-related differences in the bioactive surfaces of T. nororientalis toxins. These results indicate that males and females of T. nororientalis produce venoms with different composition and activity which may have epidemiological implications. PMID:21544184

  10. As Old as the Hills: Montane Scorpions in Southwestern North America Reveal Ancient Associations between Biotic Diversification and Landscape History

    PubMed Central

    Bryson, Robert W.; Riddle, Brett R.; Graham, Matthew R.; Smith, Brian Tilston; Prendini, Lorenzo

    2013-01-01

    Background The age of lineages has become a fundamental datum in studies exploring the interaction between geological transformation and biotic diversification. However, phylogeographical studies are often biased towards lineages that are younger than the geological features of the landscapes they inhabit. A temporally deeper historical biogeography framework may be required to address episodes of biotic diversification associated with geologically older landscape changes. Signatures of such associations may be retained in the genomes of ecologically specialized (stenotopic) taxa with limited vagility. In the study presented here, genetic data from montane scorpions in the Vaejovis vorhiesi group, restricted to humid rocky habitats in mountains across southwestern North America, were used to explore the relationship between scorpion diversification and regional geological history. Results Strong phylogeographical signal was evident within the vorhiesi group, with 27 geographically cohesive lineages inferred from a mitochondrial phylogeny. A time-calibrated multilocus species tree revealed a pattern of Miocene and Pliocene (the Neogene period) lineage diversification. An estimated 21 out of 26 cladogenetic events probably occurred prior to the onset of the Pleistocene, 2.6 million years ago. The best-fit density-dependent model suggested diversification rate in the vorhiesi group gradually decreased through time. Conclusions Scorpions of the vorhiesi group have had a long history in the highlands of southwestern North America. Diversification among these stenotopic scorpions appears to have occurred almost entirely within the Neogene period, and is temporally consistent with the dynamic geological history of the Basin and Range, and Colorado Plateau physiographical provinces. The persistence of separate lineages at small spatial scales suggests that a combination of ecological stenotopy and limited vagility may make these scorpions particularly valuable indicators

  11. In vitro anticancer effect of venom from Cuban scorpion Rhopalurus junceus against a panel of human cancer cell lines.

    PubMed

    Díaz-García, Alexis; Morier-Díaz, Luis; Frión-Herrera, Yahima; Rodríguez-Sánchez, Hermis; Caballero-Lorenzo, Yamira; Mendoza-Llanes, Dianeya; Riquenes-Garlobo, Yanelis; Fraga-Castro, José A

    2013-01-01

    In Cuba the endemic species of scorpion Rhopalurus junceus has been used in traditional medicine for cancer treatment. However, there is little scientific evidence about its potential in cancer therapy. The effect of a range of scorpion venom concentrations (0.1, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75 and 1mg/ml) against a panel of human tumor cell lines from epithelial (Hela, SiHa, Hep-2, NCI-H292, A549, MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-468, HT-29), hematopoietic origins (U937, K562, Raji) and normal cells (MRC-5, MDCK, Vero) was determined by the MTT assay. Additionally, the effect of venom on tumor cell death was assayed by Fluorescence microscopy, RT-PCR and western blot. Only the epithelial cancer cells showed significant cell viability reduction, with medium cytotoxic concentration (IC50) ranging from 0.6-1mg/ml, in a concentration-dependent manner. There was no effect on either normal or hematopoietic tumor cells. Scorpion venom demonstrated to induce apoptosis in less sensitive tumor cells (Hela) as evidenced by chromatin condensation, over expression of p53 and bax mRNA, down expression of bcl-2 mRNA and increase of activated caspases 3, 8, 9. In most sensitive tumor cells (A549), scorpion venom induced necrosis evidenced by acridine orange/ethidium bromide fluorescent dyes and down-expression of apoptosis-related genes. We concluded the scorpion venom from R. junceus possessed a selective and differential toxicity against epithelial cancer cells. This is the first report related to biological effect of R. junceus venom against a panel of tumor cells lines. All these results make R. junceus venom as a promise natural product for cancer treatment. PMID:23946884

  12. In vitro anticancer effect of venom from Cuban scorpion Rhopalurus junceus against a panel of human cancer cell lines

    PubMed Central

    Díaz-García, Alexis; Morier-Díaz, Luis; Frión-Herrera, Yahima; Rodríguez-Sánchez, Hermis; Caballero-Lorenzo, Yamira; Mendoza-Llanes, Dianeya; Riquenes-Garlobo, Yanelis; Fraga-Castro, José A

    2013-01-01

    In Cuba the endemic species of scorpion Rhopalurus junceus has been used in traditional medicine for cancer treatment. However, there is little scientific evidence about its potential in cancer therapy. The effect of a range of scorpion venom concentrations (0.1, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75 and 1mg/ml) against a panel of human tumor cell lines from epithelial (Hela, SiHa, Hep-2, NCI-H292, A549, MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-468, HT-29), hematopoietic origins (U937, K562, Raji) and normal cells (MRC-5, MDCK, Vero) was determined by the MTT assay. Additionally, the effect of venom on tumor cell death was assayed by Fluorescence microscopy, RT-PCR and western blot. Only the epithelial cancer cells showed significant cell viability reduction, with medium cytotoxic concentration (IC50) ranging from 0.6-1mg/ml, in a concentration-dependent manner. There was no effect on either normal or hematopoietic tumor cells. Scorpion venom demonstrated to induce apoptosis in less sensitive tumor cells (Hela) as evidenced by chromatin condensation, over expression of p53 and bax mRNA, down expression of bcl-2 mRNA and increase of activated caspases 3, 8, 9. In most sensitive tumor cells (A549), scorpion venom induced necrosis evidenced by acridine orange/ethidium bromide fluorescent dyes and down-expression of apoptosis-related genes. We concluded the scorpion venom from R. junceus possessed a selective and differential toxicity against epithelial cancer cells. This is the first report related to biological effect of R. junceus venom against a panel of tumor cells lines. All these results make R. junceus venom as a promise natural product for cancer treatment. PMID:23946884

  13. Cerebral atrophy and subdural haemorrhage after cerebellar and cerebral infarcts in an 8-month-old child after having been stung by a scorpion

    PubMed Central

    Sığırcı, Ahmet; Öztürk, Mehmet; Yakıncı, Cengiz

    2014-01-01

    A scorpion sting causing cerebellar and cerebral infarctions with corpus callosum involvement and bilateral cerebral atrophy with subdural haemorrhage in an 8-month-old girl, has not been previously described to the best of our knowledge. PMID:24962491

  14. Effect of scorpion toxin on the enterochromaffin-like cells in normal and Trypanosoma cruzi-infected rats: a morphological study.

    PubMed

    Toppa, N H; Leite, V H; Barbosa, A J; Chiari, E; Gonzaga, H M; Freire-Maia, L; Cunha-Melo, J R

    1989-01-01

    Intravenous injection of scorpion toxin (Tityus serrulatus) in normal and Trypanosoma cruzi infected rats did not cause ultrastructural morphologic changes on enterochromaffin-like (ECL) cells of the stomach, although it induced a significant increase of the gastric secretion. Our data seem to indicate that gastric ECL cells structure is not affected by stimulation with scorpion toxin or by acute infection with T. cruzi in the rat. PMID:2510237

  15. Species-specific diversity of novel bacterial lineages and differential abundance of predicted pathways for toxic compound degradation in scorpion gut microbiota.

    PubMed

    Bolaños, Luis M; Rosenblueth, Mónica; Castillo-Ramírez, Santiago; Figuier-Huttin, Gilles; Martínez-Romero, Esperanza

    2016-05-01

    Scorpions are considered 'living fossils' that have conserved ancestral anatomical features and have adapted to numerous habitats. However, their gut microbiota diversity has not been studied. Here, we characterized the gut microbiota of two scorpion species, Vaejovis smithi and Centruroides limpidus. Our results indicate that scorpion gut microbiota is species-specific and that food deprivation reduces bacterial diversity. 16S rRNA gene phylogenetic analysis revealed novel bacterial lineages showing a low level of sequence identity to any known bacteria. Furthermore, these novel bacterial lineages were each restricted to a different scorpion species. Additionally, our results of the predicted metagenomic profiles revealed a core set of pathways that were highly abundant in both species, and mostly related to amino acid, carbohydrate, vitamin and cofactor metabolism. Notably, the food-deprived V. smithi shotgun metagenome matched almost completely the metabolic features of the prediction. Finally, comparisons among predicted metagenomic profiles showed that toxic compound degradation pathways were more abundant in recently captured C. limpidus scorpions. This study gives a first insight into the scorpion gut microbiota and provides a reference for future studies on the gut microbiota from other arachnid species. PMID:26058415

  16. Isolation and Characterization of CvIV4: A Pain Inducing α- Scorpion Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Rowe, Ashlee H.; Xiao, Yucheng; Scales, Joseph; Linse, Klaus D.; Rowe, Matthew P.; Cummins, Theodore R.; Zakon, Harold H.

    2011-01-01

    Background Among scorpion species, the Buthidae produce the most deadly and painful venoms. However, little is known regarding the venom components that cause pain and their mechanism of action. Using a paw-licking assay (Mus musculus), this study compared the pain-inducing capabilities of venoms from two species of New World scorpion (Centruroides vittatus, C. exilicauda) belonging to the neurotoxin-producing family Buthidae with one species of non-neurotoxin producing scorpion (Vaejovis spinigerus) in the family Vaejovidae. A pain-inducing α-toxin (CvIV4) was isolated from the venom of C. vittatus and tested on five Na+ channel isoforms. Principal Findings C. vittatus and C. exilicauda venoms produced significantly more paw licking in Mus than V. spinigerus venom. CvIV4 produced paw licking in Mus equivalent to the effects of whole venom. CvIV4 slowed the fast inactivation of Nav1.7, a Na+ channel expressed in peripheral pain-pathway neurons (nociceptors), but did not affect the Nav1.8-based sodium currents of these neurons. CvIV4 also slowed the fast inactivation of Nav1.2, Nav1.3 and Nav1.4. The effects of CvIV4 are similar to Old World α-toxins that target Nav1.7 (AahII, BmK MI, LqhIII, OD1), however the primary structure of CvIV4 is not similar to these toxins. Mutant Nav1.7 channels (D1586A and E1589Q, DIV S3–S4 linker) reduced but did not abolish the effects of CvIV4. Conclusions This study: 1) agrees with anecdotal evidence suggesting that buthid venom is significantly more painful than non-neurotoxic venom; 2) demonstrates that New World buthids inflict painful stings via toxins that modulate Na+ channels expressed in nociceptors; 3) reveals that Old and New World buthids employ similar mechanisms to produce pain. Old and New World α-toxins that target Nav1.7 have diverged in sequence, but the activity of these toxins is similar. Pain-inducing toxins may have evolved in a common ancestor. Alternatively, these toxins may be the product of convergent

  17. Parameters affecting in vitro oxidation/folding of maurotoxin, a four-disulphide-bridged scorpion toxin.

    PubMed Central

    di Luccio, E; Azulay, D O; Regaya, I; Fajloun, Z; Sandoz, G; Mansuelle, P; Kharrat, R; Fathallah, M; Carrega, L; Estève, E; Rochat, H; De Waard, M; Sabatier, J M

    2001-01-01

    Maurotoxin (MTX) is a 34-mer scorpion toxin cross-linked by four disulphide bridges that acts on various K(+) channel subtypes. MTX adopts a disulphide bridge organization of the type C1-C5, C2-C6, C3-C4 and C7-C8, and folds according to the common alpha/beta scaffold reported for other known scorpion toxins. Here we have investigated the process and kinetics of the in vitro oxidation/folding of reduced synthetic L-MTX (L-sMTX, where L-MTX contains only L-amino acid residues). During the oxidation/folding of reduced L-sMTX, the oxidation intermediates were blocked by iodoacetamide alkylation of free cysteine residues, and analysed by MS. The L-sMTX intermediates appeared sequentially over time from the least (intermediates with one disulphide bridge) to the most oxidized species (native-like, four-disulphide-bridged L-sMTX). The mathematical formulation of the diffusion-collision model being inadequate to accurately describe the kinetics of oxidation/folding of L-sMTX, we have formulated a derived mathematical description that better fits the experimental data. Using this mathematical description, we have compared for the first time the oxidation/folding of L-sMTX with that of D-sMTX, its stereoisomer that contains only D-amino acid residues. Several experimental parameters, likely to affect the oxidation/folding process, were studied further; these included temperature, pH, ionic strength, redox potential and concentration of reduced toxin. We also assessed the effects of some cellular enzymes, peptidylprolyl cis-trans isomerase (PPIase) and protein disulphide isomerase (PDI), on the folding pathways of reduced L-sMTX and D-sMTX. All the parameters tested affect the oxidative folding of sMTX, and the kinetics of this process were indistinguishable for L-sMTX and D-sMTX, except when stereospecific enzymes were used. The most efficient conditions were found to be: 50 mM Tris/HCl/1.4 mM EDTA, pH 7.5, supplemented by 0.5 mM PPIase and 50 units/ml PDI for 0.1 m

  18. Reproductive tradeoff limits the predatory efficiency of female Arizona Bark Scorpions (Centruroides sculpturatus)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Life history tradeoffs may result from temporal and physiological constraints intrinsic to an organism. When faced with limited time and energy, compromises occur and these resources are allocated among essential activities, such as body growth, maintenance, foraging, mating, and offspring care. We investigated potential tradeoffs that may occur between reproductive activities and feeding performance in female Arizona Bark Scorpions (Centruroides sculpturatus) by comparing the time taken to capture prey between non-reproductive and reproductive females (gravid females and females exhibiting maternal care, i.e. carrying offspring on their backs). Results Gravid females were as efficient at catching prey as non-gravid females. To control for variation in the duration of the maternal care period, we removed all offspring from all post-parturient females after 5 days. Brooding females and females 24 hours following offspring removal (FOR) did not successfully capture prey within the 900-second trial period. Twenty-eight days FOR, females caught prey faster than females displaying maternal care and females 24 hours FOR, but were not as efficient at catching prey as non-gravid and gravid females. When pursuing prey, C. sculpturatus exhibiting maternal care used an active foraging strategy more frequently than non-gravid, gravid, and females 28 days FOR. In contrast, non-gravid, gravid, and females 28 days FOR used active and ambush foraging with similar frequency. Conclusions Our data suggest that reproduction does not significantly reduce the predatory efficiency of gravid C. sculpturatus, and that these females can cope with increasing body mass and the physiological costs of gestation. However, the observation that brooding females and females 24 hours FOR did not catch prey within the trial period indicates that maternal care significantly reduces predatory efficiency in these scorpions. Females 28 days FOR were still not as efficient at catching

  19. Molecular basis for the toxin insensitivity of scorpion voltage-gated potassium channel MmKv1.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chuangeng; Xie, Zili; Li, Xinxin; Chen, Jing; Feng, Jing; Lang, Yange; Yang, Weishan; Li, Wenxin; Chen, Zongyun; Yao, Jing; Cao, Zhijian; Wu, Yingliang

    2016-05-01

    Scorpions are insensitive to their own venoms, which contain various neurotoxins specific for mammalian or insect ion channels, whose molecular mechanism remains unsolved. Using MmKv1, a potassium channel identified from the genome of the scorpion Mesobuthus martensii, channel kinetic experiments showed that MmKv1 was a classical voltage-gated potassium channel with a voltage-dependent fast activation and slow inactivation. Compared with the human Kv1.3 channel (hKv1.3), the MmKv1 channel exhibited a remarkable insensitivity to both scorpion venom and toxin. The chimaeric channels of MmKv1 and hKv1.3 revealed that both turret and filter regions of the MmKv1 channel were critical for the toxin insensitivity of MmKv1. Furthermore, mutagenesis of the chimaeric channel indicated that two basic residues (Arg(399) and Lys(403)) in the MmKv1 turret region and Arg(425) in the MmKv1 filter region significantly affected its toxin insensitivity. Moreover, when these three basic residues of MmKv1 were simultaneously substituted with the corresponding residues from hKv1.3, the MmKv1-R399T/K403S/R425H mutant channels exhibited similar sensitivity to both scorpion venom and toxin to hKv1.3, which revealed the determining role of these three basic residues in the toxin insensitivity of the MmKv1 channel. More strikingly, a similar triad sequence structure is present in all Shaker-like channels from venomous invertebrates, which suggested a possible convergent functional evolution of these channels to enable them to resist their own venoms. Together, these findings first illustrate the mechanism by which scorpions are insensitive to their own venoms at the ion channel receptor level and enrich our knowledge of the insensitivity of scorpions and other venomous animals to their own venoms. PMID:26951716

  20. African and non-African admixture components in African Americans and an African Caribbean population.

    PubMed

    Murray, Tanda; Beaty, Terri H; Mathias, Rasika A; Rafaels, Nicholas; Grant, Audrey Virginia; Faruque, Mezbah U; Watson, Harold R; Ruczinski, Ingo; Dunston, Georgia M; Barnes, Kathleen C

    2010-09-01

    Admixture is a potential source of confounding in genetic association studies, so it becomes important to detect and estimate admixture in a sample of unrelated individuals. Populations of African descent in the US and the Caribbean share similar historical backgrounds but the distributions of African admixture may differ. We selected 416 ancestry informative markers (AIMs) to estimate and compare admixture proportions using STRUCTURE in 906 unrelated African Americans (AAs) and 294 Barbadians (ACs) from a study of asthma. This analysis showed AAs on average were 72.5% African, 19.6% European and 8% Asian, while ACs were 77.4% African, 15.9% European, and 6.7% Asian which were significantly different. A principal components analysis based on these AIMs yielded one primary eigenvector that explained 54.04% of the variation and captured a gradient from West African to European admixture. This principal component was highly correlated with African vs. European ancestry as estimated by STRUCTURE (r(2)=0.992, r(2)=0.912, respectively). To investigate other African contributions to African American and Barbadian admixture, we performed PCA on approximately 14,000 (14k) genome-wide SNPs in AAs, ACs, Yorubans, Luhya and Maasai African groups, and estimated genetic distances (F(ST)). We found AAs and ACs were closest genetically (F(ST)=0.008), and both were closer to the Yorubans than the other East African populations. In our sample of individuals of African descent, approximately 400 well-defined AIMs were just as good for detecting substructure as approximately 14,000 random SNPs drawn from a genome-wide panel of markers. PMID:20717976

  1. IsCT, a novel cytotoxic linear peptide from scorpion Opisthacanthus madagascariensis.

    PubMed

    Dai, L; Yasuda, A; Naoki, H; Corzo, G; Andriantsiferana, M; Nakajima, T

    2001-08-31

    A novel cytotoxic linear peptide, IsCT, was characterized from scorpion Opisthacanthus madagascariensis. It is a linear peptide with a molecular weight of 1501.9 Da composed of 13 amino acid residues without cysteines. MS/MS analysis showed that its C-terminal is amidated. The identity of IsCT is re-confirmed by comparing the chemical synthesized peptide with the natural one. IsCT demonstrated antimicrobial activity against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and hemolytic activity to sheep red blood cells. Also, it can release histamine from rat peritoneal mast cells. The CD absorption suggested that IsCT had an alpha-helix configuration in aqueous TFE. IsCT is one of the shortest natural cytotoxic peptides described, and it will be a suitable model for studying peptide-lipid interactions. PMID:11520071

  2. Behavioural and electroencephalographic effects of Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom in rats.

    PubMed

    Sandoval, M R; Dorce, V A

    1993-02-01

    This study was designed to investigate the convulsant effects of T. serrulatus scorpion venom in rats. Pretreatment of rats with venom increased the minimum convulsant dose of picrotoxin, impaired convulsion generalization and displaced to the left the dose-response curve for picrotoxin. It also decreased the intensity but prolonged the duration of seizures caused by pentylenetetrazol injection. Microinjection of the venom into the dorsal hippocampus induced behavioural alterations and epileptiform waves in the EEG. Venom also altered the threshold for, and intensity of, convulsions induced in different experimental models of epilepsy. Different fractions of the venom may be responsible for these different effects. Therefore, purification of venom toxins is necessary for the complete understanding of the present results. PMID:8456448

  3. [Poisonous sting by Tityus stigmurus (Scorpiones; Buthidae) in the state of Bahia, Brazil].

    PubMed

    Lira-da-Silva, R M; Amorim, A M; Brazil, T K

    2000-01-01

    The present investigation is a descriptive study regarding the clinical aspects of accidents caused by the scorpion Tityus stigmurus in Bahia, Brazil. We analyzed 237 confirmed cases treated by the Antivenom Information Centre (CIAVE) from 1982 to 1995. Envenomation by T. stigmurus was mainly characterized by local symptoms: pain (94.4%), dormancy (30.0%), edema (17.8%), erythema (17.8), paresthesia (15.6%) and general manifestations such as headache (4.4%), vomiting (4.4%) and sudoresis (3.3%). Most of the envenomation cases were mild (94%) and all were successfully cured. Although T. stigmurus venom is not in the pool of anti-venom serum (SAE), the absence of lethality and benign nature of the cases suggest the efficiency of SAE. With the exception of deaths and systemic complications, envenoming gravity was similar to those of Tityus serrulatus. PMID:10967591

  4. Potentiation of bradykinin action on smooth muscle by a scorpion venom extract.

    PubMed

    Araujo, R L; Gomez, M V

    1976-08-01

    Gel filtration of the water extract of the venom of the scorpion T. serrulatus showed four peaks; the first peak (P1) is devoid of toxic activity but increases the bradykinin-induced contraction of isolated rat uterus and guinea-pig ileum. The stepwise fractionation of the pooled P1 peak was performed in a DEAE-cellulose column and the bradykinin potentiating activity was found in the second protein peak. Finger-printing of this material showed that the bradykinin potentiating material migrates to the anode, giving two spots when submitted to chromatography, the activity being found in the spot that presents the greatest Rf. The potentiator is destroyed by heating at 97 degrees C, is not dialysable and is destroyed by incubation with pronase. Some of these properties differentiate it from the BPF's from snake venoms. PMID:976731

  5. Scorpion toxins for the reversal of BoNT-induced paralysis.

    PubMed

    Lowery, Colin A; Adler, Michael; Borrell, Andrew; Janda, Kim D

    2013-12-15

    The botulinum neurotoxins, characterized by their neuromuscular paralytic effects, are the most toxic proteins known to man. Due to their extreme potency, ease of production, and duration of activity, the BoNT proteins have been classified by the Centers for Disease Control as high threat agents for bioterrorism. In an attempt to discover effective BoNT therapeutics, we have pursued a strategy in which we leverage the blockade of K(+) channels that ultimately results in the reversal of neuromuscular paralysis. Towards this end, we utilized peptides derived from scorpion venom that are highly potent K(+) channel blockers. Herein, we report the synthesis of charybdotoxin, a 37 amino acid peptide, and detail its activity, along with iberiotoxin and margatoxin, in a mouse phrenic nerve hemidiaphragm assay in the absence and the presence of BoNT/A. PMID:24252544

  6. Apoptogenic peptides from Tityus discrepans scorpion venom acting against the SKBR3 breast cancer cell line.

    PubMed

    D'Suze, Gina; Rosales, Arnaldo; Salazar, Víctor; Sevcik, Carlos

    2010-12-01

    Two novel peptides named neopladine 1 and neopladine 2 were purified from Tityus discrepans scorpion venom and found to be active on human breast carcinoma SKBR3 cells. Mass spectrometry molecular masses of neopladine 1 and 2 were 29918 and 30388 Da, respectively. Their N-terminal sequences were determined by Edman degradation. The peptides induced apoptosis of SKBR3 cells but had a negligible effect on non-malignant MA104 monkey kidney cells. Neopladine 1 and 2 induced 6.3 and 4.1% of SKBR3 apoptosis, respectively, in 5 h of exposure; the effect was larger with more prolonged exposures. Inmunohistochemistry showed that neopladines bind to SKBR3 cell surface inducing FasL and BcL-2 expression. PMID:20888852

  7. [Chlorotoxin and related peptides are short insect toxins from scorpion venom].

    PubMed

    Arzamasov, A A; Vasilevskiĭ, A A; Grishin, E V

    2014-01-01

    Scorpion venom is a complex multicomponent mixture of biologically active substances, some of which possess very interesting properties and are used in quite unexpected fields. The family of chlorotoxin (CTX)-like peptides serves a good example. These toxins exhibit insecticidal activity, however, their molecular mechanism of action on insect organism remains elusive. Nevertheless, CTX-like peptides attracted considerable research effort due to their ability to specifically interact with cells of brain tumors, i.e. gliomas. In the future these compounds may considerably aid anticancer therapy. This review summarizes the results obtained during the past 40 years of CTX-like peptides investigation. Both biological function aspects and the applied field related to gliomas are considered. PMID:25898748

  8. Bugs as drugs, part two: worms, leeches, scorpions, snails, ticks, centipedes, and spiders.

    PubMed

    Cherniack, E Paul

    2011-03-01

    In this second of a two-part series analyzing the evidence for the use of organisms as medicine, the use of a number of different "bugs" (worms, leeches, snails, ticks, centipedes, and spiders) is detailed. Several live organisms are used as treatments: leeches for plastic surgery and osteoarthritis and the helminths Trichuris suis and Necator americanus for inflammatory bowel disease. Leech saliva is the source of a number of anticoagulants, including the antithrombin agent hirudin and its synthetic analogues, which have been approved for human use. Predatory arthropods, such as certain species of snails, spiders, scorpions, centipedes, and ticks provide a trove of potential analgesic peptides in their venom. A synthetic analogue of a snail venom peptide, ziconotide, has been approved for human use and is used as an alternative to opioids in severe pain cases. Arthropods, such as ticks, have venom that contains anticoagulants and centipede venom has a protein that corrects abnormalities in lipid metabolism. PMID:21438646

  9. The African superswell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nyblade, Andrew A.; Robinson, Scott W.

    1994-01-01

    Maps of residual bathymetry in the ocean basins around the African continent reveal a broad bathymetric swell in the southeastern Atlantic Ocean with an amplitude of about 500 m. We propose that this region of anomalously shallow bathymetry, together with the contiguous eastern and southern African plateaus, form a superswell which we refer to as the African superswell. The origin of the African superswell is uncertain. However, rifting and volcanism in eastern Africa, as well as heat flow measurements in southern Africa and the southeastern Atlantic Ocean, suggest that the superswell may be attributed, at least in part, to heating of the lithosphere.

  10. Characterization of Tityus scorpion venoms using synaptosome binding assays and reactivity towards Venezuelan and Brazilian antivenoms.

    PubMed

    Borges, Adolfo; De Sousa, Leonardo; Espinoza, Jorge; Melo, Marilia Martins; Santos, Raquel G; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes; Valadares, Diogo; Chávez-Olórtegui, Carlos

    2008-01-01

    Venoms from Tityus species inhabiting five endemic regions of scorpionism in Venezuela (Andean, Perijá range, north-central, northeastern, and Guayana) and also southeast Brazil (T. serrulatus and T. bahiensis) were characterized immunologically in ELISA experiments using mouse- and rabbit-derived antibodies to evaluate their cross-reactivity and also functionally, utilizing synaptosome binding assays. While Brazilian and Venezuelan antivenoms cross-reacted poorly, T. discrepans (north-central Venezuela) and T. zulianus (Andean) venoms shared a greater immunological relatedness than with T. perijanensis (Perijá range). Anti-T. breweri (Guayana) antibodies fully cross-reacted with T. discrepans. Native PAGE indicated species-specific fingerprints for all venoms and revealed differences between two populations (Anzoátegui and Monagas States) of T. nororientalis (northeastern Venezuela). Components antigenically related to T. serrulatus beta-toxin TsVII were also detected in T. breweri, T. nororientalis (Anzoátegui) and T. funestus (Andean). Antibodies against T. serrulatus anatoxin TsNTxP did not cross-react significantly with any Venezuelan venoms indicating lack of TsNTxP homologues. The results suggest that the extent of antigenic reactivity depends on the studied species rather than the geographical distance between their habitats. All venoms, with T. discrepans to a lesser extent, were able to significantly displace [(125)I]-TsVII from its binding site in rat brain synaptosomes. Our data indicate that beta-toxins functionally related to TsVII but differing significantly in their antigenic regions exist in Venezuelan venoms from different endemic regions. Identification of shared epitopes with TsVII, at least for some species, may lead to the design of antibodies based on common epitopes for treating scorpion envenoming in Venezuela and Brazil. PMID:17920649

  11. In vivo protection against Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom by antibodies raised against a discontinuous synthetic epitope.

    PubMed

    Duarte, Clara Guerra; Alvarenga, Larissa Magalhães; Dias-Lopes, Camila; Machado-de-Avila, Ricardo Andrés; Nguyen, Christophe; Molina, Frank; Granier, Claude; Chávez-Olórtegui, Carlos

    2010-02-01

    Scorpion stings cause human fatalities in numerous countries. Serotherapy is the only specific means to try to circumvent the noxious effects of venom toxins. TsNTxP is a natural anatoxin from the venom of the scorpion Tityus serrulatus that may be useful to raise therapeutic anti-venom sera. Linear epitopes recognized by anti-TsNTxP antibodies have previously been mapped. Here, we attempted to identify discontinuous epitopes in TsNTxP since neutralizing epitopes are often associated with such complex entities. One hundred and fifty-three octadecapeptides with the general formula (P1)-(Gly-Gly)-(P2) were synthesized by the Spot method on cellulose membranes. P1 and P2 were octapeptides from the TsNTxP N-terminal and C-terminal sections, respectively. Each sequence of eight amino acids was frameshifted in turn by three residues, in order to cover TsNTxP entire sequence. Binding of neutralizing anti-TsNTxP rabbit antibodies to spotted peptides revealed GREGYPADGGGLPDSVKI as the more reactive peptide sequence. This epitope was made from the first eight residues of the protein (GREGYPAD) and from residues 47 to 54 (GLPDSVKI) of the C-terminal part of TsNTxP. BALB/c mice were immunized with synthetic GREGYPADGGGLPDSVKI peptide conjugated to ovalbumin. One week after the last immunization, in vivo protection assays showed that immunized mice could resist a challenge by an amount of T.serrulatus whole venom equivalent to 1.75 LD(100), a dose that killed all control non-immune mice. Based on molecular models of TsNTxP and related Tityus toxins, we found that the above peptide matches with a discontinuous epitope, well exposed at the toxin molecular surface which contains residues known to be important for the bioactivity of toxins. PMID:19948263

  12. An overview of platelet indices for evaluating platelet function in children with scorpion envenomation

    PubMed Central

    Konca, Capan; Tekin, Mehmet; Colak, Pinar; Uckardes, Fatih; Turgut, Mehmet

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the correlation between platelet indices and scorpion envenomations (SE). Medical records of 76 children who were hospitalised for scorpion stings in the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) between February 2013 and November 2013, and 55 healthy children who were similar to the patient group in terms of age and sex, were analysed retrospectively. The leucocyte (WBC), thrombocyte (PLT), plateletcrit (PCT), platelet distribution width (PDW) and mean platelet volume (MPV) values of the 76 children with SE were recorded. These values were compared with the healthy control group. Significantly higher WBC and PDW values were noted in patients with SE in comparison to the controls. Patients with SE had significantly lower mean MPV values compared to the healthy controls (9.03 ± 1.26 compared to 10.43 ± 1.44 fL, respectively; p < 0.001). Although the mean platelet count was slightly elevated in the SE group, no statistically significant difference existed between the two groups (p = 0.097). Furthermore, the mean PCT values in the SE group compared to the control group were slightly decreased, but this decrease was not statistically significant (p = 0.141). A significant inverse correlation existed between the MPV values and the WBC (r = -0.450, p < 0.01) and PLT counts (r = -0.420, p < 0.01). The PLT values were significantly correlated with the PCT values (r = 0.687, p < 0.01). This study demonstrated that SE may lead to several alterations in platelet indices. Significantly lower values of MPV and higher values of PDW were detected in SE patients. However, the increase in the platelet counts and the decrease in the PCT values were not significant. PMID:26417303

  13. Active Sites of Spinoxin, a Potassium Channel Scorpion Toxin, Elucidated by Systematic Alanine Scanning.

    PubMed

    Peigneur, Steve; Yamaguchi, Yoko; Kawano, Chihiro; Nose, Takeru; Nirthanan, Selvanayagam; Gopalakrishnakone, Ponnampalam; Tytgat, Jan; Sato, Kazuki

    2016-05-31

    Peptide toxins from scorpion venoms constitute the largest group of toxins that target the voltage-gated potassium channel (Kv). Spinoxin (SPX) isolated from the venom of scorpion Heterometrus spinifer is a 34-residue peptide neurotoxin cross-linked by four disulfide bridges. SPX is a potent inhibitor of Kv1.3 potassium channels (IC50 = 63 nM), which are considered to be valid molecular targets in the diagnostics and therapy of various autoimmune disorders and cancers. Here we synthesized 25 analogues of SPX and analyzed the role of each amino acid in SPX using alanine scanning to study its structure-function relationships. All synthetic analogues showed similar disulfide bond pairings and secondary structures as native SPX. Alanine replacements at Lys(23), Asn(26), and Lys(30) resulted in loss of activity against Kv1.3 potassium channels, whereas replacements at Arg(7), Met(14), Lys(27), and Tyr(32) also largely reduced inhibitory activity. These results suggest that the side chains of these amino acids in SPX play an important role in its interaction with Kv1.3 channels. In particular, Lys(23) appears to be a key residue that underpins Kv1.3 channel inhibition. Of these seven amino acid residues, four are basic amino acids, suggesting that the positive electrostatic potential on the surface of SPX is likely required for high affinity interaction with Kv1.3 channels. This study provides insight into the structure-function relationships of SPX with implications for the rational design of new lead compounds targeting potassium channels with high potency. PMID:27159046

  14. Brainstem structures are primarily affected in an experimental model of severe scorpion envenomation.

    PubMed

    Guidine, Patrícia Alves Maia; Cash, Diana; Drumond, Luciana Estefani; de Souza E Rezende, Gustavo Henrique; Massensini, André Ricardo; Williams, Steve Charles Rees; Moraes-Santos, Tasso; Moraes, Márcio Flávio Dutra; Mesquita, Michel Bernanos Soares

    2014-01-01

    Severe scorpion envenoming (SSE) is more frequent in children and is characterized by systemic dysfunctions with a mortality rate of up to 9%. Recent evidence shows that the central nervous system (CNS) plays a key role in triggering the cascade of symptoms present in SSE. The age-dependent role of the CNS in SSE lethality may be summarized in 3 hypotheses: (1) the shown increased blood brain barrier permeability of infants to the toxins would especially and primarily compromise neurovegetative control areas, (2) the neurons within these areas have high affinity to the toxins, and (3) the neurovascular interaction is such that SSE metabolically compromises proper function of toxin-targeted areas. A pharmacological magnetic resonance imaging paradigm was used to evaluate localized hemodynamic changes in relative cerebral blood volume (rCBV) for 30 min after the injection of TsTX, the most lethal toxin from the venom of the Tityus serrulatus scorpion. The brainstem showed significant rCBV reduction 1 min after TsTX administration, whereas rostral brain areas had delayed increase in rCBV (confirmed by laser Doppler measurements of cortical cerebral blood flow). Moreover, metabolic activity by 14C-2-deoxyglucose autoradiography showed the highest relative increase at the brainstem. To test whether TsTX has high affinity to brainstem neurons, the lateral ventricle was injected with Alexa Fluor 568 TsTX. Although some neurons showed intense fluorescence, the labeling pattern suggests that specific neurons were targeted. Altogether, these results suggest that brainstem areas involved in neurovegetative control are most likely within the primary structures triggering the cascade of symptoms present in SSE. PMID:24105889

  15. An overview of platelet indices for evaluating platelet function in children with scorpion envenomation.

    PubMed

    Konca, Capan; Tekin, Mehmet; Colak, Pinar; Uckardes, Fatih; Turgut, Mehmet

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the correlation between platelet indices and scorpion envenomations (SE). Medical records of 76 children who were hospitalised for scorpion stings in the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) between February 2013 and November 2013, and 55 healthy children who were similar to the patient group in terms of age and sex, were analysed retrospectively. The leucocyte (WBC), thrombocyte (PLT), plateletcrit (PCT), platelet distribution width (PDW) and mean platelet volume (MPV) values of the 76 children with SE were recorded. These values were compared with the healthy control group. Significantly higher WBC and PDW values were noted in patients with SE in comparison to the controls. Patients with SE had significantly lower mean MPV values compared to the healthy controls (9.03 ± 1.26 compared to 10.43 ± 1.44 fL, respectively; p < 0.001). Although the mean platelet count was slightly elevated in the SE group, no statistically significant difference existed between the two groups (p = 0.097). Furthermore, the mean PCT values in the SE group compared to the control group were slightly decreased, but this decrease was not statistically significant (p = 0.141). A significant inverse correlation existed between the MPV values and the WBC (r = -0.450, p < 0.01) and PLT counts (r = -0.420, p < 0.01). The PLT values were significantly correlated with the PCT values (r = 0.687, p < 0.01). This study demonstrated that SE may lead to several alterations in platelet indices. Significantly lower values of MPV and higher values of PDW were detected in SE patients. However, the increase in the platelet counts and the decrease in the PCT values were not significant. PMID:26417303

  16. Pulmonary oedema produced by scorpion venom augments a phenyldiguanide-induced reflex response in anaesthetized rats

    PubMed Central

    Deshpande, S B; Bagchi, S; Rai, O P; Aryya, N C

    1999-01-01

    The involvement of pulmonary oedema produced by scorpion venom in augmenting a phenyldiguanide (PDG)-induced reflex response was evaluated in urethane-anaesthetized rats. PDG-induced bradycardiac, hypotensive and apnoeic responses, expressed as time–response area, exhibited similarities before or after venom treatment. Hence, the time–response area of bradycardia was taken as a reflex parameter. Pulmonary oedema was determined by physical evaporation and histological methods. Exposure to Indian red scorpion (Buthus tamulus, BT; i.v.) venom for 30 min increased the pulmonary water content (P < 0.05; Student's t test) and augmented the PDG-induced bradycardiac reflex response by more than 2 times (P < 0.001). The increase of pulmonary water content was maximal with 100 μg kg−1 of venom and the augmentation was maximal with 10 μg kg−1. In a separate series of experiments, the venom (100 μg kg−1)-induced pulmonary oedema was confirmed by histological and physical methods. In this group also, the venom augmented the reflex to the same magnitude. Pulmonary oedema (physical and histological) and augmentation of the bradycardiac reflex response after BT venom (100 μg kg−1; i.v.) were absent in animals pretreated with aprotinin, a kallikrein-kinin inhibitor (6000 KIU; i.v.). Ondansetron (10 μg kg−1; i.v.), a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, failed to block the venom-induced pulmonary oedema (physical and histological) but blocked the venom-induced augmentation of the reflex. The results of this study indicate that the venom-induced augmentation of the PDG reflex is associated with pulmonary oedema involving kinins utilizing 5-HT3 receptors. PMID:10581322

  17. Inhibition of CFTR channels by a peptide toxin of scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Fuller, Matthew D; Zhang, Zhi-Ren; Cui, Guiying; Kubanek, Julia; McCarty, Nael A

    2004-11-01

    Peptide toxins have been valuable probes in efforts to identify amino acid residues that line the permeation pathway of cation-selective channels. However, no peptide toxins have been identified that interact with known anion-selective channels such as the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). CFTR channels are expressed in epithelial cells and are associated with several genetic disorders, including cystic fibrosis and polycystic kidney disease. Several organic inhibitors have been used to investigate the structure of the Cl- permeation pathway in CFTR. However, investigations of the wider cytoplasmic vestibule have been hindered by the lack of a high-affinity blocker that interacts with residues in this area. In this study we show that venom of the scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus reversibly inhibits CFTR, in a voltage-independent manner, by decreasing single-channel mean burst duration and open probability only when applied to the cytoplasmic surface of phosphorylated channels. Venom was able to decrease burst duration and open probability even when CFTR channels were locked open by treatment with either vanadate or adenosine 5'-(beta,gamma-imido)triphosphate, and block was strengthened on reduction of extracellular Cl- concentration, suggesting inhibition by a pore-block mechanism. Venom had no effect on ATP-dependent macroscopic opening rate in channels studied by inside-out macropatches. Interestingly, the inhibitory activity was abolished by proteinase treatment. We conclude that a peptide toxin contained in the scorpion venom inhibits CFTR channels by a pore-block mechanism; these experiments provide the first step toward isolation of the active component, which would be highly valuable as a probe for CFTR structure and function. PMID:15240343

  18. Therapeutic potential of chlorotoxin-like neurotoxin from the Chinese scorpion for human gliomas.

    PubMed

    Fu, Yue-Jun; Yin, Li-Tian; Liang, Ai-Hua; Zhang, Chao-Feng; Wang, Wei; Chai, Bao-Feng; Yang, Jian-Yi; Fan, Xiao-Jun

    2007-01-22

    Chlorotoxin, one of the key toxins in scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus venom, has been shown to bind specifically to glioma cell surface as a specific chloride channel blocker. In this study, a purified, recombinant chlorotoxin-like peptide from the scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch (named rBmK CTa) was characterized by in vivo and in vitro studies. The results from cell proliferation assay with human glioma (SHG-44) cells showed that rBmK CTa inhibits the growth of glioma cells in a dose-dependent manner, with an IC(50) value of approximately 0.28microM. Under the same conditions, the IC(50) value for normal astrocytes increased to 8microM. This clearly indicated that rBmK CTa had specific toxicity against glioma cells but not astrocytes. Results from whole-cell patch-clamp recording showed that chloride current in SHG-44 was inhibited by rBmK CTa in a voltage-dependent manner and percent inhibitions for the blocking action of rBmK CTa (0.07 and 0.14microM) on I(Cl) was 17.64+/-3.06% and 55.86+/-2.83%, respectively. Histological analysis of rBmK CTa treated mice showed that brain, leg muscle and cardiac muscle were the target organs of this toxin. These results suggest that rBmK CTa may have potential therapeutic application in clinical treatment of human glioma. It represents an approach for developing a novel therapeutic agent. PMID:17166663

  19. Interacting sites of scorpion toxin ErgTx1 with hERG1 K+ channels.

    PubMed

    Jimenez-Vargas, J M; Restano-Cassulini, R; Possani, L D

    2012-05-01

    Peptides purified from scorpion venoms were shown to interact with specific amino acid residues present in the outer vestibule of various sub-types of potassium channels, occluding the pore and causing a decrement of K(+) permeability through the membrane of excitable and non excitable cells. This communication describes the identification of several interacting sites of toxin ErgTx1, a toxin purified from the venom of the scorpion Centruroides noxius, with the human ERG1 K(+) channels, by means of site-directed mutagenesis of specific residues of the toxin. Recombinant mutants of the gene coding for ErgTx1 were expressed heterologously in Escherichia coli, properly folded and their affinities and interactions with hERG1 channels were determined by patch-clamp techniques. Residues in position Y14, Y17 and F37 of the solvent exposed hydrophobic surface, and charged residues at the position K13 and K38 of ErgTx1 were shown to cause a decrement of the affinity from 20 folds to 3 orders of magnitude, thus suggesting that they are certainly participating on the binding surface of this toxin towards the hERG1 channels. Double mutants at positions K13 and F37, Y14 and F37, Y17 and F37 and K13 and K38 were also prepared and assayed, but the results obtained are not much different from the single point mutants of ErgTx1. The results of the present work indicate the most probable surface area of ErgTx1 that makes contact with the hERG channels. PMID:22366117

  20. ELISA for the detection of toxic antigens in experimental and clinical envenoming by Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Chávez-Olórtegui, C; Fonseca, S C; Campolina, D; Amaral, C F; Diniz, C R

    1994-12-01

    An ELISA was developed for identification of circulating toxic antigens from Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom. The toxic fraction from the scorpion venom was purified by Sephadex G-50 chromatography and immunoaffinity techniques were used for identifying antibodies that reacted with this fraction. These antibodies were used to develop a sandwich-type ELISA. The specificity of the assay was demonstrated by its capacity for identifying mice that were experimentally inoculated with T. serrulatus venom from those inoculated with Phoneutria nigriventer spider venom, Apis mellifera bee venom and Bothrops atrox, Crotalus durissus terrificus, Lachesis muta muta and Micrurus frontalis snake venoms. Measurable absorbance signals were obtained with 0.1 ng of venom per assay. The ELISA also detected antigens in the sera of patients systemically envenomed by T. serrulatus. Therefore, this ELISA could be a valuable tool for clinicians and epidemiologists, owing to its sensitivity and specificity. PMID:7725332

  1. More about the geographical pattern of distribution of the genus Pseudouroplectes Lourenço, 1995 (Scorpiones: Buthidae) from Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Lourenço, Wilson R; Wilmé, Lucienne; Waeber, Patrick O

    2016-01-01

    The genus Pseudouroplectes Lourenço, 1995 (Buthidae) remains among the less speciose Malagasy genera and all the known species are extremely rare. A new species is described from the dry forests in the Tsingy formations of the National Park Bemaraha, extending the distribution of the genus further north. Once again, the single holotype specimen was obtained by extraction with the use of Berlese system. With the description of the new species, the distributional pattern of this genus is confirmed for dry forest formations from the south to the middle of the island; however, for the first time the group's distribution overlaps that of another micro-scorpion genus, Microcharmus Lourenço, 1995. The distribution patterns of the humicolous micro-scorpions endemic to Madagascar are considered to further explore the "Neogrosphus rule" as a possible explanation of global species distribution patterns in changing environments. PMID:26751250

  2. The relative importance of respiratory water loss in scorpions is correlated with species habitat type and activity pattern.

    PubMed

    Gefen, Eran

    2011-01-01

    Scorpions exhibit some of the lowest recorded water loss rates compared with those of other terrestrial arthropods of similar body size. Evaporative water loss (EWL) includes cuticular transpiration and respiratory water loss (RWL) from gas exchange surfaces, that is, book lung lamellae. Estimated fractions of cuticular and respiratory losses currently available from the literature show considerable variation, at least partly as a result of differences in methodology. This study reports RWL rates and their relative importance in scorpions from two families (Buthidae and Scorpionidae), including both xeric and mesic species (or subspecies). Two of the included Buthidae were surface-dwelling species, and another inhabits empty burrows of other terrestrial arthropods. This experimental design enabled correlating RWL importance with scorpion phylogeny, habitat type, and/or homing behavior. Buthidae species exhibited significantly lower EWL rates compared with those of Scorpionidae, whereas effects of habitat type and homing behavior were not significant. Resting RWL rates were not significantly affected by scorpion phylogeny, but rates for the xeric species (totaling ~10% of EWL rates at 30°C) were significantly lower compared with those of mesic species. These lower RWL values were correlated with significantly lower H(2)O/CO(2) emission rates in xeric species. The experimental setup and ~24-h duration of each individual recording allowed estimating the effect of interspecific variation in activity on RWL proportions. The high respiratory losses in active hydrated Scorpio maurus fuscus, totaling 30% of EWL, suggest that behavioral discretion in this species is a more likely mechanism for body water conservation under stressful conditions when compared with the responses of other studied species. PMID:21133796

  3. Target-Driven Positive Selection at Hot Spots of Scorpion Toxins Uncovers Their Potential in Design of Insecticides.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Limei; Peigneur, Steve; Gao, Bin; Zhang, Shangfei; Tytgat, Jan; Zhu, Shunyi

    2016-08-01

    Positive selection sites (PSSs), a class of amino acid sites with an excess of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitutions, are indicators of adaptive molecular evolution and have been detected in many protein families involved in a diversity of biological processes by statistical approaches. However, few studies are conducted to evaluate their functional significance and the driving force behind the evolution (i.e., agent of selection). Scorpion α-toxins are a class of multigene family of peptide neurotoxins affecting voltage-gated Na(+ )(Nav) channels, whose members exhibit differential potency and preference for insect and mammalian Nav channels. In this study, we undertook a systematical molecular dissection of nearly all the PSSs newly characterized in the Mesobuthus α-toxin family and a two-residue insertion ((19)AlaPhe(20)) located within a positively selected loop via mutational analysis of α-like MeuNaTxα-5, one member affecting both insect and mammalian Nav channels. This allows to identify hot-spot residues on its functional face involved in interaction with the receptor site of Nav channels, which comprises two PSSs (Ile(40) and Leu(41)) and the small insertion, both located on two spatially separated functional loops. Mutations at these hot-spots resulted in a remarkably decreased anti-mammalian activity in MeuNaTxα-5 with partially impaired or enhanced insecticide activity, suggesting the potential of PSSs in designing promising candidate insecticides from scorpion α-like toxins. Based on an experiment-guided toxin-channel complex model and high evolutionary variability in the receptor site of predators and prey of scorpions, we provide new evidence for target-driven adaptive evolution of scorpion toxins to deal with their targets' diversity. PMID:27189560

  4. Analysis of lipid and fatty acid composition of three species of scorpions with relation to different organs.

    PubMed

    Laino, Aldana; Mattoni, Camilo; Ojanguren-Affilastro, Andrés; Cunningham, Mónica; Fernando Garcia, C

    2015-12-01

    Within arthropods most of the information related to the type of mobilization and storage of lipids is found in insects and crustaceans. Literature is scarce with relation to scorpions. This order is a remarkably important model of the biochemistry, since it is characterized as an animal with very primitive traits which have varied minimally through time. In the present study we characterize and compare lipids and fatty acids present in three species of scorpion: Timogenes elegans, Timogenes dorbignyi, and Brachistosternus ferrugineus, focusing the study on the main organs/tissues involved in the dynamics of lipids. As found in the fat body of insects, hepatopancreas of crustaceans and midgut diverticula of spiders, the hepatopancreas of the three species studied here turned out to be the organ of lipid storage (great quantity of triacylglycerides). With relation to the hemolymph and muscles, a great quantity of phospholipids was observed, which is possibly involved in membrane formation. It is important to highlight that unlike what happens in insects, in scorpions the main circulating energetic lipid is the triacylglyceride. This lipid is found in greater proportion in the hepatopancreas of females, surely for reproduction. The fatty acid of the different organs/tissues analyzed remained constant in the three species studied with certain characteristic patterns, thus observing saturated and unsaturated most abundant fatty acids of C16 and C18. Finally, it could be observed that in T. elegans, T. dorbignyi and B. ferrugineus scorpions, there is a lack of 20:4 that generates a special condition within fatty acids of arthropods. PMID:26303276

  5. Convergent evolution in the antennae of a cerambycid beetle, Onychocerus albitarsis, and the sting of a scorpion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berkov, Amy; Rodríguez, Nelson; Centeno, Pedro

    2008-03-01

    Venom-injecting structures have arisen independently in unrelated arthropods including scorpions, spiders, centipedes, larval owlflies and antlions, and Hymenoptera (wasps, ants, and bees). Most arthropods use venom primarily as an offensive weapon to subdue prey, and only secondarily in defense against enemies. Venom is injected by biting with fangs or stinging with a specialized hypodermic structure used exclusively for the delivery of venom (usually modified terminal abdominal segments). A true sting apparatus, previously known only in scorpions and aculeate wasps, is now known in a third group. We here report the first known case of a cerambycid beetle using its antennae to inject a secretion that causes cutaneous and subcutaneous inflammation in humans. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that the terminal antennal segment of Onychocerus albitarsis (Pascoe) has two pores opening into channels leading to the tip through which the secretion is delivered. This is a novel case of convergent evolution: The delivery system is almost identical to that found in the stinger of a deadly buthid scorpion.

  6. Proteomic analysis of the venom from the scorpion Tityus stigmurus: biochemical and physiological comparison with other Tityus species.

    PubMed

    Batista, C V F; Román-González, S A; Salas-Castillo, S P; Zamudio, F Z; Gómez-Lagunas, F; Possani, L D

    2007-01-01

    The venom from the Brazilian scorpion Tityus stigmurus was fractionated by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and the corresponding components were used for molecular mass determination using electrospray ion trap mass spectrometry. One hundred distinct components were clearly assigned showing molecular masses from 216.5 to 44,800.0 Da. Fifteen new components were isolated and sequenced, four of them to completion: Tst-3 (similar to Na(+) channel specific scorpion toxins), Tst-17 (a K(+) channel blocking peptide similar to Tc1), Tst beta KTx (a peptide with identical sequence as that of TsTX-K beta toxin earlier described to exist in T. serrulatus venom) and finally a novel proline-rich peptide of unknown function. Among the eleven components partially sequenced were two enzymes: hyaluronidase and lysozyme. The first enzyme has a molecular mass of 44,800.0 Da. This enzyme showed high activity against the substrate hyaluronan in vitro. Amino acid sequence of the second enzyme showed that it is similar to other known lysozymes, with similar molecular mass and sequence to that of bona fide lysozymes reported in public protein data banks. Finally, this communication reports a correlation among HPLC retention times and molecular masses of folded scorpion toxins as well as a comparative structural and physiological analysis of components from the venom of several species of the genus Tityus. PMID:17270501

  7. Children with adrenergic manifestations of envenomation after Tityus serrulatus scorpion sting are protected from early anaphylactic antivenom reactions.

    PubMed

    Amaral, C F; Dias, M B; Campolina, D; Proietti, F A; de Rezende, N A

    1994-02-01

    The incidence of early anaphylactic reactions to scorpion antivenom given i.v. after Tityus serrulatus scorpion sting was evaluated in 103 children aged up to 15 years in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Patients without adrenergic manifestations (Group 1, n = 28) were compared with those who presented systemic involvement that included adrenergic manifestations (Group 2, n = 75). Data were recorded on a proforma and the presence or absence of early anaphylactic reaction was cross-tabulated according to clinical features, sex, age and volume of antivenom used in the treatment. Unpaired Student's t-test was used to calculate significance of differences in age and volume of antivenom used. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the effects of clinical features and volume of antivenom as predictors of early anaphylactic reaction to antivenom treatment. Twelve (42.9%) of 28 children included in Group 1 presented early anaphylactic reactions compared with 6 (8%) of 75 children of Group 2 (OR = 8.63; 95% CI: 2.88, 25.7). The reactions were more severe in Group 1. There were no significant differences with respect to age and sex. After adjusting for clinical form, volume of antivenom was not significantly associated with presence of reactions (OR = 1.11; 95% CI: 0.70, 2.80 for each 5.0 ml of antivenom administered). The results show that children with adrenergic manifestations after T. serrulatus scorpion sting had significantly lower anaphylactic reactions to antivenom than those without these manifestations. PMID:8153960

  8. Human bronchial epithelial cells injury and cytokine production induced by Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom: An in vitro study.

    PubMed

    Rigoni, Vera Lucia Silva; Kwasniewski, Fabio H; Vieira, Rodolfo Paula; Linhares, Ingrid Sestrem; da Silva, Joelmir Lucena Veiga; Nogueira-Pedro, Amanda; Zamuner, Stella Regina

    2016-09-15

    Tityus serrulatus is the scorpion specie responsible for the majority of scorpion sting accidents in Brazil. Symptoms of envenomation by Tityus serrulatus range from local pain to severe systemic reactions such as cardiac dysfunction and pulmonary edema. Thus, this study has evaluated the participation of bronchial epithelial cells in the pulmonary effects of Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom (Tsv). Human bronchial epithelial cell line BEAS-2B were utilized as a model target and were incubated with Tsv (10 or 50 μg/mL) for 1, 3, 6 and 24 h. Effects on cellular response of venom-induce cytotoxicity were examined including cell viability, cell integrity, cell morphology, apoptosis/necrosis as well as cell activation through the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-8. Tsv caused a decrease in cell viability at 10 and 50 μg/mL, which was confirmed by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) measurement. Flow cytometry analyses revealed necrosis as the main cell death pathway caused by Tsv. Furthermore, Tsv induced the release of IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-8. Altogether, these results demonstrate that Tsv induces cytotoxic effects on bronchial epithelial cells, involving necrosis and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, suggesting that bronchial epithelial cells may play a role in the pulmonary injury caused by Tsv. PMID:27452928

  9. Spatio-temporal microhabitat use by two co-occurring species of scorpions in Atlantic rainforest in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Lira, André F A; Souza, Adriano M; Silva Filho, Arthur A C; Albuquerque, Cleide M R

    2013-06-01

    With the increasing devastation of the tropical rain forest, there is a critical need to understand how animal forest communities are structured and how habitat degradation will affect these communities. We conducted a field survey to investigate the microhabitat preferences of two co-occurring species of scorpions (Tityus pusillus and Ananteris mauryi) in a fragment of Atlantic rainforest, as well as their abundance and their ecological niche, during both the dry and rainy seasons. Behavioural aspects related to the use of the environment and the proportions of juveniles and adults are also described. The occurrence of intra- and interspecific coexistence was assessed by active search. In addition, pitfall catches were used to assess the structure of the population in the dry and rainy seasons. The differential patterns of spatial distribution in the litter layers provided evidence of partial niche partitioning between the two coexisting scorpion species depending on age and climatic conditions. Abundance, foraging behaviour and age structure (juveniles and adults) were seasonally influenced. We conclude that the diverse and subtle behaviours involved in interaction and habitat use may facilitate species coexistence. Resource partitioning and refuge sharing on a temporal and/or spatial scale, as well as predation pressure, may drive the dynamics and spatial distribution of scorpion species in the rain forest environment. PMID:23664851

  10. Scorpion venom component III inhibits cell proliferation by modulating NF-κB activation in human leukemia cells

    PubMed Central

    SONG, XIANGFENG; ZHANG, GUOJUN; SUN, AIPING; GUO, JIQIANG; TIAN, ZHONGWEI; WANG, HUI; LIU, YUFENG

    2012-01-01

    Scorpion venom contains various groups of compounds that exhibit anticancer activity against a variety of malignancies through a poorly understood mechanism. While the aberrant activation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) has been linked with hematopoietic malignancies, we hypothesized that scorpion venom mediates its effects by modulating the NF-κB signaling pathway. In the present study, we examined the effects of scorpion venom component III (SVCIII) on the human leukemia cell lines THP-1 and Jurkat and focused on the NF-κB signaling pathway. Our results showed that SVCIII inhibited cell proliferation, caused cell cycle arrest at G1 phase and inhibited the expression of cell cycle regulatory protein cyclin D1 in a dose-dependent manner in THP-1 and Jurkat cells. SVCIII also suppressed the constitutive NF-κB activation through inhibition of the phosphorylation and degradation of IκBα. NF-κB luciferase reporter activity was also inhibited by SVCIII. Our data suggest that SVCIII, a natural compound, may exert its antiproliferative effects by inhibiting the activation of NF-κB and, thus, has potential use in the treatment of hematopoietic malignancies, alone or in combination with other agents. PMID:23060939

  11. Modulation of human Nav1.7 channel gating by synthetic α-scorpion toxin OD1 and its analogs.

    PubMed

    Motin, Leonid; Durek, Thomas; Adams, David J

    2016-03-01

    Nine different voltage-gated sodium channel isoforms are responsible for inducing and propagating action potentials in the mammalian nervous system. The Nav1.7 channel isoform plays an important role in conducting nociceptive signals. Specific mutations of this isoform may impair gating behavior of the channel resulting in several pain syndromes. In addition to channel mutations, similar or opposite changes in gating may be produced by spider and scorpion toxins binding to different parts of the voltage-gated sodium channel. In the present study, we analyzed the effects of the α-scorpion toxin OD1 and 2 synthetic toxin analogs on the gating properties of the Nav1.7 sodium channel. All toxins potently inhibited channel inactivation, however, both toxin analogs showed substantially increased potency by more than one order of magnitude when compared with that of wild-type OD1. The decay phase of the whole-cell Na(+) current was substantially slower in the presence of toxins than in their absence. Single-channel recordings in the presence of the toxins revealed that Na(+) current inactivation slowed due to prolonged flickering of the channel between open and closed states. Our findings support the voltage-sensor trapping model of α-scorpion toxin action, in which the toxin prevents a conformational change in the domain IV voltage sensor that normally leads to fast channel inactivation. PMID:26646206

  12. Unique scorpion toxin with a putative ancestral fold provides insight into evolution of the inhibitor cystine knot motif

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Jennifer J.; Hill, Justine M.; Little, Michelle J.; Nicholson, Graham M.; King, Glenn F.; Alewood, Paul F.

    2011-01-01

    The three-disulfide inhibitor cystine knot (ICK) motif is a fold common to venom peptides from spiders, scorpions, and aquatic cone snails. Over a decade ago it was proposed that the ICK motif is an elaboration of an ancestral two-disulfide fold coined the disulfide-directed β-hairpin (DDH). Here we report the isolation, characterization, and structure of a novel toxin [U1-liotoxin-Lw1a (U1-LITX-Lw1a)] from the venom of the scorpion Liocheles waigiensis that is the first example of a native peptide that adopts the DDH fold. U1-LITX-Lw1a not only represents the discovery of a missing link in venom protein evolution, it is the first member of a fourth structural fold to be adopted by scorpion-venom peptides. Additionally, we show that U1-LITX-Lw1a has potent insecticidal activity across a broad range of insect pest species, thereby providing a unique structural scaffold for bioinsecticide development. PMID:21670253

  13. Scorpion Venom Heat-Resistant Peptide Attenuates Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein Expression via c-Jun/AP-1.

    PubMed

    Cao, Zhen; Wu, Xue-Fei; Peng, Yan; Zhang, Rui; Li, Na; Yang, Jin-Yi; Zhang, Shu-Qin; Zhang, Wan-Qin; Zhao, Jie; Li, Shao

    2015-11-01

    Scorpion venom has been used in the Orient to treat central nervous system diseases for many years, and the protein/peptide toxins in Buthus martensii Karsch (BmK) venom are believed to be the effective components. Scorpion venom heat-resistant peptide (SVHRP) is an active component of the scorpion venom extracted from BmK. In a previous study, we found that SVHRP could inhibit the formation of a glial scar, which is characterized by enhanced glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression, in the epileptic hippocampus. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying this process remain to be clarified. The results of the present study indicate that endogenous GFAP expression in primary rat astrocytes was attenuated by SVHRP. We further demonstrate that the suppression of GFAP was primarily mediated by inhibiting both c-Jun expression and its binding with AP-1 DNA binding site and other factors at the GFAP promoter. These results support that SVHRP contributes to reducing GFAP at least in part by decreasing the activity of the transcription factor AP-1. In conclusion, the effects of SVHRP on astrocytes with respect to the c-Jun/AP-1 signaling pathway in vitro provide a practical basis for studying astrocyte activation and inhibition and a scientific basis for further studies of traditional medicine. PMID:26134308

  14. 16 Extraordinary African Americans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lobb, Nancy

    This collection for children tells the stories of 16 African Americans who helped make America what it is today. African Americans can take pride in the heritage of these contributors to society. Biographies are given for the following: (1) Sojourner Truth, preacher and abolitionist; (2) Frederick Douglass, abolitionist; (3) Harriet Tubman, leader…

  15. African Studies Computer Resources.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuntz, Patricia S.

    African studies computer resources that are readily available in the United States with linkages to Africa are described, highlighting those most directly corresponding to African content. Africanists can use the following four fundamental computer systems: (1) Internet/Bitnet; (2) Fidonet; (3) Usenet; and (4) dial-up bulletin board services. The…

  16. African Literature as Celebration.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Achebe, Chinua

    1989-01-01

    Describes the Igbo tradition of "Mbari," a communal creative enterprise that celebrates the world and the life lived in it through art. Contrasts the cooperative, social dimension of pre-colonial African culture with the exclusion and denial of European colonialism, and sees new African literature again celebrating human presence and dignity. (AF)

  17. Educating African American Males

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bell, Edward E.

    2010-01-01

    Background: Schools across America spend money, invest in programs, and sponsor workshops, offer teacher incentives, raise accountability standards, and even evoke the name of Obama in efforts to raise the academic achievement of African American males. Incarceration and college retention rates point to a dismal plight for many African American…

  18. Africans Away from Home.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clarke, John Henrik

    Africans who were brought across the Atlantic as slaves never fully adjusted to slavery or accepted its inevitability. Resistance began on board the slave ships, where many jumped overboard or committed suicide. African slaves in South America led the first revolts against tyranny in the New World. The first slave revolt in the Caribbean occurred…

  19. Keeping African Masks Real

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waddington, Susan

    2012-01-01

    Art is a good place to learn about our multicultural planet, and African masks are prized throughout the world as powerfully expressive artistic images. Unfortunately, multicultural education, especially for young children, can perpetuate stereotypes. Masks taken out of context lose their meaning and the term "African masks" suggests that there is…

  20. Diabetes in African Americans

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, M

    2005-01-01

    African Americans have a high risk for type 2 diabetes. Genetic traits, the prevalence of obesity, and insulin resistance all contribute to the risk of diabetes in the African American community. African Americans have a high rate of diabetic complications, because of poor glycaemic control and racial disparities in health care in the USA. African Americans with diabetes may have an atypical presentation that simulates type 1 diabetes, but then their subsequent clinical course is typical of type 2 diabetes. Culturally sensitive strategies, structured disease management protocols, and the assistance of nurses, diabetic educators, and other health care professionals are effective in improving the outcome of diabetes in the African American community. PMID:16344294

  1. African bees to control African elephants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vollrath, Fritz; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain

    2002-11-01

    Numbers of elephants have declined in Africa and Asia over the past 30 years while numbers of humans have increased, both substantially. Friction between these two keystone species is reaching levels which are worryingly high from an ecological as well as a political viewpoint. Ways and means must be found to keep the two apart, at least in areas sensitive to each species' survival. The aggressive African bee might be one such method. Here we demonstrate that African bees deter elephants from damaging the vegetation and trees which house their hives. We argue that bees can be employed profitably to protect not only selected trees, but also selected areas, from elephant damage.

  2. Clinical consequences of Tityus bahiensis and Tityus serrulatus scorpion stings in the region of Campinas, southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Bucaretchi, Fábio; Fernandes, Luciane C R; Fernandes, Carla B; Branco, Maíra M; Prado, Camila C; Vieira, Ronan J; De Capitani, Eduardo M; Hyslop, Stephen

    2014-10-01

    Scorpion stings account for most envenomations by venomous animals in Brazil. A retrospective study (1994-2011) of the clinical consequences of Tityus scorpion stings in 1327 patients treated at a university hospital in Campinas, southeastern Brazil, is reported. The clinical classification, based on outcome, was: dry sting (no envenoming), class I (only local manifestations), class II (systemic manifestations), class III (life-threatening manifestations, such as shock and/or cardiac failure requiring inotropic/vasopressor agents, and/or respiratory failure), and fatal. The median patient age was 27 years (interquartile interval = 15-42 years). Scorpions were brought for identification in 47.2% of cases (Tityus bahiensis 27.7%; Tityus serrulatus 19.5%). Sting severity was classified and each accounted for the following percentage of cases: dry stings - 3.4%, class I - 79.6%, class II - 15.1%, class III - 1.8% and fatal - 0.1%. Pain was the primary local manifestation (95.5%). Systemic manifestations such as vomiting, agitation, sweating, dyspnea, bradycardia, tachycardia, tachypnea, somnolence/lethargy, cutaneous paleness, hypothermia and hypotension were detected in class II or class III + fatal groups, but were significantly more frequent in the latter group. Class III and fatal cases occurred only in children <15 years old, with scorpions being identified in 13/25 cases (T. serrulatus, n = 12; T. bahiensis, n = 1). Laboratory blood abnormalities (hyperglycemia, hypokalemia, leukocytosis, elevations in serum total CK, CK-MB and troponin T, bicarbonate consumption and an increase in base deficit and blood lactate), electrocardiographic changes (ST segment) and echocardiographic alterations (ventricular ejected fraction <54%) were frequently detected in class III patients. Seventeen patients developed pulmonary edema, 16 had cardiac failure and seven had cardiogenic shock. These results indicate that most scorpion stings involved only local manifestations

  3. Neutralizing capacity of antibodies elicited by a non-toxic protein purified from the venom of the scorpion Tityus serrulatus.

    PubMed

    Chávez-Olórtegui, C; Kalapothakis, E; Ferreira, A M; Ferreira, A P; Diniz, C R

    1997-02-01

    Polyclonal rabbit antibodies raised against a non-toxic protein (TsNTxP) purified from the toxic fraction of the crude venom of Tityus serrulatus can neutralize the effects of the venom. The antigenic specificities of anti-TsNTxP were compared by an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using TsNTxP, TstFG50 (toxic fraction of venom that represents most of the toxicity of the crude venom), and crude venoms from T. serrulatus, T. bahiensis, T. cambridgei, T. stigmurus, Androctonus australis Hector and Centruroides sculpturatus to coat microtitration plates. The anti-TsNTxP antibodies had a comparable high cross-reactivity with the toxic fraction and crude venom of T. serrulatus, moderate binding capacity for T. bahiensis, T. cambridgei, T. stigmurus and were unable to recognize the venoms of A. australis Hector and C. sculpturatus. Quantities of venom equivalent to 20 LD50 were effectively neutralized by 1 ml of the anti-TsNTxP serum. This result shows that this protein may be of interest in the production of antivenoms for clinical use. PMID:9080578

  4. Black versus Black: The Relationship among African, African American, and African Caribbean Persons.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Jennifer V.; Cothran, Mary E.

    2003-01-01

    Surveyed people of African descent regarding relationships among African, African-American, and African-Caribbean persons, focusing on contact and friendship, travel to countries of the diaspora, cross-cultural communication, thoughts and stereotypes, and education. Most respondents had contacts with the other groups, but groups had preconceived…

  5. Toxin gamma from Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom plays an essential role in immunomodulation of macrophages.

    PubMed

    Petricevich, Vera L; Hernández Cruz, Anselmo; Coronas, Fredy I V; Possani, Lourival D

    2007-10-01

    Fraction number II obtained from Sephadex G-50 gel filtration of the soluble venom from the Brazilian scorpion Tityus serrulatus (TSV) stimulates macrophage function in vitro. The aim of this study was to identify which one of the several components of this fraction was responsible for the main stimulatory activity on macrophages. This component was identified as sub-fraction II-11, also known by the name of gamma toxin or simply abbreviated Ts1, which stands for toxin 1 of T. serrulatus venom. The effect of Ts1 was analyzed by detection of inflammatory mediators. Several functional bioassays were performed: TNF activity was assayed by measuring its cytotoxicity on L929 cells, whereas IL-1, IL-6, IFN-gamma and IL-10 were assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The levels of NO were evaluated by Griess colorimetric reactions in supernatants of macrophages in culture exposed to Ts1 and compared with FII. Macrophages exposed to Ts1 increase the production of mediators. With respect to the pro-inflammatory cytokines, an increment of IL-1alpha, IL-1beta was observed after 12 h; the maximum levels of IL-6 and TNF were observed after 24 h; the highest levels of IFN-gamma and NO were observed after 72 h. In contrast, the highest levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-10 were observed after 120 h. With respect to the balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, IL-1alpha/IL-10 and IL-6/IL-10 ratios appear incremented between 12 and 48 h in macrophages exposed to Ts1. IL-1beta/IL-10 and TNF/IL-10 ratios were increased in macrophages exposed to Ts1 for 12 h. IFN-gamma/IL-10 ratios increased up to 48 h, decaying thereafter. Elevated IL-6/TNF ratios were observed up to 24 h. These ratios may possibly reflect the inflammatory status during exposition to the venom. In conclusion, these data indicate that Ts1 has an important immunomodulatory effect on macrophages, and add important knowledge for understanding scorpion envenomation. It also opens the field for

  6. Tityus perijanensis González-Sponga (Scorpiones, Buthidae): molecular assessment of its geographical distribution and venom lethality of Venezuelan populations.

    PubMed

    Borges, Adolfo; Rojas-Runjaic, Fernando J M

    2007-12-01

    An extensive field survey allowed us to expand the geographical distribution of the scorpion Tityus perijanensis in the Perijá range, western Zulia State, Venezuela, including areas where adult cases of severe scorpionism have been reported. 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequencing, DL(50) determination, and native PAGE suggest low genetic and venom proteomic divergence across the distribution range. The results also indicate phylogenetic divergence between T. perijanensis and T. discrepans, the species prevalent in northcentral Venezuela. T. perijanensis venom lethality (0.91-0.94 mg/kg) is comparable to that of the Brazilian T. serrulatus and ranks highest among toxic Venezuelan Tityus studied so far. The data indicate that the Perijá range should be included amongst the endemic areas of scorpionism of Venezuela and Colombia. PMID:17868753

  7. A preliminary synopsis on amber scorpions with special reference to Burmite species: an extraordinary development of our knowledge in only 20 years.

    PubMed

    Lourenço, Wilson R

    2016-01-01

    A preliminary study on fossil scorpions found in amber, from the Lower Cretaceous through the Palaeocene and up to the Miocene is proposed. Scorpions remain rare among the arthropods found trapped in amber. Only 24 specimens are known from Cretaceous amber, representing eight families and subfamilies, ten genera and 21 species; in parallel, 10 specimens have been recorded from Baltic amber representing seven genera and ten species. A few more recent fossils from Dominican and Mexican amber have also been described. The present study of a new scorpion specimen from the Cretaceous amber of Myanmar (Burmite) resulted in the description of one new species, Betaburmesebuthus bellus sp. n. - belonging to the subfamily Palaeoburmesebuthinae Lourenço, 2015. The new description brings further elements to the clarification of the status of this subfamily, which is now raised to family level. Once again, this new Burmite element attests to the considerable degree of diversity in the Burmese amber-producing forests. PMID:27408601

  8. Variation in quantity and composition of cuticular hydrocarbons in the scorpion Buthus occitanus (Buthidae) in response to acute exposure to desiccation stress.

    PubMed

    Gefen, E; Talal, S; Brendzel, O; Dror, A; Fishman, A

    2015-04-01

    Scorpions exhibit some of the lowest recorded water loss rates among terrestrial arthropods. Evaporative water loss to the surrounding environment occurs mainly through the integument, and thus its resistance to water loss has paramount significance for the ability of scorpions to tolerate extremely dry habitats. Cuticular hydrocarbons (HCs) deposited on the outer epicuticle play an important role in determining cuticular waterproofing, and seasonal variation in both cuticular HC quantity and composition has been shown to correlate with water loss rates. Precursor incorporation rates into cuticle HCs have been observed to be extremely low in scorpions compared with insects. We therefore used adult male Buthus occitanus (Buthidae) in order to test HC profile plasticity during acute exposure to 14 d and 28 d of experimental desiccation. Cuticular HC profile of hydrated scorpions was similar to that reported for several other scorpion species, consisting of similar fractions of n-alkanes and branched alkanes, with no evidence for unsaturation. Most abundant of the n-alkanes were n-heptacosane (C27; 19±2% of total HCs), n-nonacosane (C29; 16±1%) and n-hentriacontane (C31; 11±1%). Exposure to desiccation stress resulted in a significant increase in the total amount of extracted HCs, and in the relative abundance of branched alkanes at the expense of n-alkanes. Together with an increase in HC chain lengths, these changes mimic previously-reported seasonal variation among freshly-collected specimens. This indicates that scorpions respond to water shortage by regulating the properties of their passive integumental barrier to water loss. PMID:25499238

  9. Astronomy for African development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Govender, Kevindran

    2011-06-01

    In recent years there have been a number of efforts across Africa to develop the field of astronomy as well as to reap benefit from astronomy for African people. This presentation will discuss the case of the SALT (Southern African Large Telescope) Collateral Benefits Programme (SCBP) which was set up to ensure societal benefit from astronomy. With African society as the target, the SCBP has embarked on various projects from school level education to public understanding of science to socio-economic development, the latter mainly being felt in the rural communities surrounding the South African Astronomical Observatory (home to SALT). A development plan for ``Astronomy in Africa'' will also be discussed. This plan has been drawn up with input from all over Africa and themed ``Astronomy for Education''. The Africa case stands as a good example for the IYA cornerstone project ``Developing Astronomy Globally'' which focuses on developing regions.

  10. African American Suicide

    MedlinePlus

    ... accounted for 83.8% of Caucasian elderly suicides. • Firearms were the predominant method of suicide among African ... per 100,000 annually. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Vital Statistics System. Mortality Data. ...

  11. Photoinduced Reactivity of the Soft Hydrotris(6-tert-butyl-3-thiopyridazinyl)borate Scorpionate Ligand in Sodium, Potassium, and Thallium Salts.

    PubMed

    Tüchler, Michael; Belaj, Ferdinand; Raber, Georg; Neshchadin, Dmytro; Mösch-Zanetti, Nadia C

    2015-09-01

    The soft scorpionate ligand hydrotris(6-tert-butyl-3-thiopyridazinyl)borate (Tn) was found to exhibit pronounced photoreactivity. Full elucidation of this process revealed the formation of 6-tert-butylpyridazine-3-thione (PnH) and 4,5-dihydro-6-tert-butylpyridazine-3-thione (H2PnH). Under exclusion of light, no solvolytic reactions occur, allowing the development of high-yield preparation protocols for the sodium, potassium, and thallium salts and improving the yield for their derived copper boratrane complex. The photoreactivity is relevant for all future studies with electron-deficient scorpionate ligands. PMID:26260148

  12. Serum levels of cytokines in patients envenomed by Tityus serrulatus scorpion sting.

    PubMed

    Magalhães, M M; Pereira, M E; Amaral, C F; Rezende, N A; Campolina, D; Bucaretchi, F; Gazzinelli, R T; Cunha-Melo, J R

    1999-08-01

    Seventeen patients stung by Tityus serrulatus scorpion were classified as mild (pain at the site of the sting, n = 6), moderate (local pain and one of the following manifestations: vomiting, psychomotor agitation, prostration, sweating, tachypnea, tachycardia and mild arterial hypertension, n = 10) and severe cases (equal moderate cases plus cardiac failure, pulmonary edema and shock, n = 1). Venous blood was sampled for biochemical and hematological analysis and for IL-1alpha, IL-6, IL-10, TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma and GM-CSF ELISAs at the time of hospital admission, 6 h (moderate and severe cases), and 12, 18, 36 and 72 h (severe case) later. Ten age-matched healthy volunteers were used as control. Increased serum levels of IL-1alpha was noticed in all patients, high levels of IL-6, IFN-gamma and GM-CSF were observed only in a patient with severe envenomation. Our data suggest that a systemic inflammatory response-like syndrome is triggered during severe envenomation caused by T. serrulatus sting and that release of cytokines may be involved in this response. PMID:10400299

  13. Biochemical profile of dogs experimentally envenomed with Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, E L; Pinto, M C L; Labarrère, C R; Paes, P R O; Paes-Leme, F O; Chávez-Olórtegui, C; Melo, M M

    2010-06-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the canine blood and urinary profiles after envenomation by Tityus serrulatus venom. Twelve dogs were randomly distributed into two equal groups. Control group animals received 0.5 mL phosphate buffered saline (PBS) injected subcutaneously into the internal portion of the left thigh, whilst dogs in the envenomed group were injected with scorpion venom (250 microg/kg in 0.5 mL PBS). No significant alterations were detected in the urine of envenomed dogs. Levels of plasma glucose and serum urea, creatinine, total protein, potassium, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), creatine kinase (CK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and amylase were determined. Semi-quantitative analysis of serum cardiac troponin I (cTnI) was performed using an immunochromatographic test. The concentrations of cortisol and insulin were determined using commercial radioimmunoassay kits. Increases in serum cortisol levels in experimental group animals coincided with hyperglycaemia and was probably a response to pain. Increased insulin levels were observed during the hyperglycaemic peaks. Envenomed dogs presented discreet increases in ALT, AST and CK, but no alterations in LDH, amylase, cTnI, urea, creatinine and potassium levels were observed. It was concluded that the venom of T. serrulatus induces blood and urinary biochemical changes in dogs. PMID:20060404

  14. A comparative study of severe scorpion envenomation in children caused by Tityus bahiensis and Tityus serrulatus.

    PubMed

    Bucaretchi, F; Baracat, E C; Nogueira, R J; Chaves, A; Zambrone, F A; Fonseca, M R; Tourinho, F S

    1995-01-01

    From January 1984 to May 1994, 17 of 239 children under 15 years old stung by Tityus serrulatus (15.1%) or Tityus bahiensis (84.9%) presented severe envenoming. Of these 17 patients (1-11 years old; median = 2 yr) 14 were stung by T. serrulatus and three by T. bahiensis. All of them received scorpion antivenom i.v. at times ranging from 45 min. to 5 h after the accident (median = 2 h). On admission, the main clinical manifestations and laboratory and electrocardiographic changes were: vomiting (17), diaphoresis (15), tachycardia (14), prostration (10), tachypnea (8), arterial hypertension (7), arterial hypotension (5), tremors (5), hypothermia (4), hyperglycemia (17), leukocytosis (16/16), hypokalemia (13/17), increased CK-MB enzyme activity (> 6% of the total CK, 11/12), hyperamylasemia (11/14), sinusal tachycardia (16/17) and a myocardial infarction-like pattern (11/17). Six patients stung by T. serrulatus had depressed left ventricular systolic function assessed by means of echocardiography. Of these, five presented pulmonary edema and four had shock. A child aged two-years old presented severe respiratory failure and died 65 h after being stung by T. serrulatus. Severe envenomations caused by T. serrulatus were 26.2 times more frequent than those caused by T. bahiensis (p < 0.001). PMID:8599062

  15. Positive inotropic effects of Tityus cambridgei and T. serrulatus scorpion venoms on skeletal muscle.

    PubMed

    Borja-Oliveira, C R; Pertinhez, T A; Rodrigues-Simioni, L; Spisni, A

    2009-04-01

    Toxins that block voltage-dependent K+ channels and those that modify Na+ channel gating exhibit positive inotropic effect on skeletal muscle. We compared the effect of the venom of Tityus cambridgei (Tc) and Tityus serrulatus (Ts) scorpions on mouse diaphragm force, in vitro. In indirect and direct (using D-tubocurarine 7.3 microM) stimulation, Tc, 10microg/mL, increased the contractile force, an effect prevented by tetrodotoxin (TTX) while Ts, 0.5 microg/mL, potentiated only indirectly stimulated diaphragm, thus indicating its activity is mainly mediated through acetylcholine release from nerve terminal. This effect is prevented by TTX and attenuated by the K+ channel opener cromakalim. In conclusion, our data show that while the positive inotropic effect of both venoms appears associated to the activity of Na+ and K+ channels, only Tc venom acts also directly on skeletal muscle. This finding call for further studies on Tc venom to identify the toxin responsible for its direct inotropic activity as it may have clinical applications. PMID:18926933

  16. Efficacy of antivenom therapy for neutralizing circulating venom antigens in patients stung by Tityus serrulatus scorpions.

    PubMed

    De Rezende, N A; Dias, M B; Campolina, D; Chavez-Olortegui, C; Diniz, C R; Amaral, C F

    1995-03-01

    Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for detection of Tityus serrulatus venom antigen and of horse anti-T. serrulatus venom antibodies were carried out before antivenom treatment and at 1, 6, 12, and 24 hr after antivenom therapy in 18 patients with systemic manifestations following T. serrulatus scorpion sting. Increased levels of circulating venom antigens were detected in the patients before antivenom treatment, but were no longer detected 1 hr after specific antivenom therapy. High titers of antivenom persisted for at least 24 hr after treatment with antivenom. The evolution of clinical and laboratory manifestations of envenoming showed that vomiting and local pain decreased within 1 hr and hyperglycemia was no longer detected 12 hr after antivenom therapy. The cardiorespiratory manifestations disappeared 6-24 hr after the administration of antivenom and all patients recovered completely. This study demonstrates the efficacy of antivenom therapy in neutralizing circulating venom antigens and supports the prompt administration of a potent antivenom to patients with systemic manifestations of envenoming. PMID:7694971

  17. A hyaluronidase from Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom: isolation, characterization and inhibition by flavonoids.

    PubMed

    Pessini, A C; Takao, T T; Cavalheiro, E C; Vichnewski, W; Sampaio, S V; Giglio, J R; Arantes, E C

    2001-10-01

    The purification procedure of a hyaluronidase from Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom is described. It involves basically an ion-exchange chromatography on CM-cellulose at pH 7.8 followed by a rechromatography of the active fraction on the same column at pH 4.7. The optima pH and temperature for maximum activity of the isolated enzyme was 6.0 and 40 degrees C, respectively. Its K(M) was 69.7 microg/ml at 37 degrees C and its specific activity was 19,900+/-1,730 turbidity reducing units (TRU)/mg against 845+/-88TRU/mg for the whole desiccated venom, representing a 23- to 24-fold purification range. The hyaluronidase activity of the purified protein (51kDa) was inhibited by some flavonoid compounds. This article also showed that T. serrulatus hyaluronidase affected on the activity of the venom's major toxin, tityustoxin-I (TsTX-I or Ts1), as reflected by alterations in the serum levels of creatine kinase (CK), lactate dehydrogenase (LD) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) following injection of TsTX-I, in the presence or absence of hyaluronidase. PMID:11478957

  18. Effects of in utero exposure to Tityus bahiensis scorpion venom in adult rats.

    PubMed

    Dorce, Ana Leticia Coronado; Dorce, Valquiria Abrão Coronado; Nencioni, Ana Leonor Abrahão

    2010-01-01

    The toxicity of Tityus bahiensis scorpion venom is well known, but there are little data about the damage in offspring of dams that were exposed to the venom during pregnancy. The objective of this work was to determine the toxic effects of venom in adult offspring of Wistar rats exposed to venom in utero. Dams were divided into a control group, subcutaneously injected with saline solution on the 10th (GD10) and 16th (GD16) days, and two experimental groups, subcutaneously injected with venom (2.5mg/kg) on GD10 or GD16, respectively. Adult offspring were evaluated according to behavioral development and neuronal integrity in the hippocampus. Tests performed in the activity box and in the enriched environment demonstrated that males from GD10 had motor decrease. Females from GD10 showed a depressive-like state and were more anxious, as demonstrated by the forced swimming test and social interaction. The plus-maze discriminative avoidance task demonstrated that GD16 males had lower levels of anxiety. The number of neuronal cells was decreased in CA1, CA3 and CA4 hippocampal areas of males and females from GD10 group and in CA1 of females and CA4 of males from GD16 group. Thus, we conclude that venom exposure in pregnant dams causes subtle alteration in the behavioral and neuronal development of offspring in adult life in a gender-dependent manner. PMID:19945531

  19. Phylogeographic Study of Whip Scorpions (Chelicerata: Arachnida: Thelyphonida) in Japan and Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Karasawa, Shigenori; Nagata, Satomi; Aoki, Jun-ichi; Yahata, Kensuke; Honda, Masanao

    2015-08-01

    Whip scorpions (Thelyphonida), comprising an order in the class Arachnida, are distributed from tropical to temperate zones. Two species occur exclusively in Japan and Taiwan, but the border of their distributional ranges is ambiguous in the Central Ryukyus (Japan). We collected new specimens from the Central Ryukyus and revealed that the border of distribution of the two species lies between the Central and Southern Ryukyus, i.e., the Kerama Gap. Moreover, the estimated divergence time (15.8 Mya) of the two species, based on the mitochondrial COI gene, was older than the recently estimated time (1.55 Mya) of formation of the Kerama Gap. These results highlight the risks of a priori assumption solely on the basis of geological data for applying it as a calibration point to some terrestrial animals in this region. Typopeltis stimpsonii was genetically divided into four lineages, two of which turned out to be endemic to the Okinawa Islands. All specimens from the main island of Japan and Shikoku were in one lineage, which was also found in the Amami Islands and Hachijojima Island. This suggests that these specimens may have been dispersed by human activity. Typopeltis crucifer included five genetic lineages. Species collected from Ishigakijima and Iriomotejima Islands were genetically diversified not between the borders of these islands but within Ishigakijima Island. This study also suggests that phylogenetic diversity of the species in the Southern Ryukyus have increased through two times of invasions from Taiwan. PMID:26245222

  20. The Block of CFTR by Scorpion Venom is State-Dependent

    PubMed Central

    Fuller, Matthew D.; Zhang, Zhi-Ren; Cui, Guiying; McCarty, Nael A.

    2005-01-01

    Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) adenosine triphosphate-dependent chloride channels are expressed in epithelial cells and are associated with a number of genetic disorders, including cystic fibrosis. Venom of the scorpion Leirus quinquestriatus hebraeus reversibly inhibits CFTR when applied to its cytoplasmic surface. To examine the state-dependence of inhibition we recorded wild-type and mutant CFTR channel currents using inside-out membrane patches from Xenopus oocytes. Application of either venom or diphenylamine-2-carboxylate to channels that were either activated (open) or resting (closed) indicate primarily closed state-dependent inhibition of CFTR by venom, whereas diphenylamine-2-carboxylate showed no state-dependence of block. Efficacy of venom-mediated macroscopic current inhibition was inversely related to channel activity. Analysis of single-channel and macropatch data indicated that venom could either inhibit channel opening, if it binds during an interburst closed state or in the absence of cytosolic adenosine triphosphate, or introduce new intraburst closed states, if it binds during an open event. The on-rate of venom binding for intraburst block could be modulated by changing CFTR activity with vanadate or adenylyl-imidodiphosphate, or by introducing the Walker A mutation K1250A. These findings represent the first description of state-dependent inhibition of CFTR and suggest that the active toxin could be used as a tool to study the conformational changes that occur during CFTR gating. PMID:16183882

  1. The block of CFTR by scorpion venom is state-dependent.

    PubMed

    Fuller, Matthew D; Zhang, Zhi-Ren; Cui, Guiying; McCarty, Nael A

    2005-12-01

    Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) adenosine triphosphate-dependent chloride channels are expressed in epithelial cells and are associated with a number of genetic disorders, including cystic fibrosis. Venom of the scorpion Leirus quinquestriatus hebraeus reversibly inhibits CFTR when applied to its cytoplasmic surface. To examine the state-dependence of inhibition we recorded wild-type and mutant CFTR channel currents using inside-out membrane patches from Xenopus oocytes. Application of either venom or diphenylamine-2-carboxylate to channels that were either activated (open) or resting (closed) indicate primarily closed state-dependent inhibition of CFTR by venom, whereas diphenylamine-2-carboxylate showed no state-dependence of block. Efficacy of venom-mediated macroscopic current inhibition was inversely related to channel activity. Analysis of single-channel and macropatch data indicated that venom could either inhibit channel opening, if it binds during an interburst closed state or in the absence of cytosolic adenosine triphosphate, or introduce new intraburst closed states, if it binds during an open event. The on-rate of venom binding for intraburst block could be modulated by changing CFTR activity with vanadate or adenylyl-imidodiphosphate, or by introducing the Walker A mutation K1250A. These findings represent the first description of state-dependent inhibition of CFTR and suggest that the active toxin could be used as a tool to study the conformational changes that occur during CFTR gating. PMID:16183882

  2. Comparative proteomic analysis of male and female venoms from the Cuban scorpion Rhopalurus junceus.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Ravelo, Rodolfo; Batista, Cesar V F; Coronas, Fredy I V; Zamudio, Fernando Z; Hernández-Orihuela, Lorena; Espinosa-López, Georgina; Ruiz-Urquiola, Ariel; Possani, Lourival D

    2015-12-01

    A complete mass spectrometry analysis of venom components from male and female scorpions of the species Rhophalurus junceus of Cuba is reported. In the order of 200 individual molecular masses were identified in both venoms, from which 63 are identical in male and females genders. It means that a significant difference of venom components exists between individuals of different sexes, but the most abundant components are present in both sexes. The relative abundance of identical components is different among the genders. Three well defined groups of different peptides were separated and identified. The first group corresponds to peptides with molecular masses of 1000-2000 Da; the second to peptides with 3500-4500 Da molecular weight, and the third with 6500-8000 Da molecular weights. A total of 86 peptides rich in disulfide bridges were found in the venoms, 27 with three disulfide bridges and 59 with four disulfide bridges. LC-MS/MS analysis allowed the identification and amino acid sequence determination of 31 novel peptides in male venom. Two new putative K(+)-channel peptides were sequences by Edman degradation. They contain 37 amino acid residues, packed by three disulfide bridges and were assigned the systematic numbers: α-KTx 1.18 and α-KTx 2.15. PMID:26169670

  3. Construction of three different recombinant scorpion fusion proteins with bifunctional activity.

    PubMed

    Cui, Y; Guo, G L; Liu, Y F; Mao, Y Z; Zhang, R; Wu, C F; Zhang, J H

    2011-06-01

    This is the first report of three different fusion proteins with an antitumor-analgesic peptide obtained from Chinese scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch (BmKAGAP). The fusion proteins were constructed in the form of chimeric toxins, aiming to obtain bifunctional analgesic and antitumor activity. The fusion proteins consisted of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH), three different types of flexible linkers (L1, Ser-Ser-His-His-His-His-His-His-Ser-Ser-Gly-Leu-Val-Pro-Arg-Gly-Ser-His-Met; L2, Gly-Gly-Gly-Ser-Gly-Gly-Gly-Ser; L3, Ser-Gly-Gly-Ser-Gly-Gly-Ser-Gly-Gly-Gly-Ser-Ser-Gly-Gly-Ser-Gly-Gly-Gly-Gly-Ser-Gly-Gly-Gly-Gly-Ser), and BmKAGAP. The genes coding three fusion proteins were cloned and expressed in E. coli in soluble form. Following two successive column chromatographic separations, purified fusion proteins were obtained. These fusion proteins exhibited analgesic activity in mice and were cytotoxic to a hepatocellular carcinoma cell line Hep3B. PMID:21793303

  4. Upregulation of PTEN involved in scorpion venom-induced apoptosis in a lymphoma cell line.

    PubMed

    Gao, Fang; Li, Hao; Chen, Ya-Dong; Yu, Xiao-Ning; Wang, Ran; Chen, Xue-Liang

    2009-04-01

    We investigated whether the venom of the scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch (BmK) inhibited growth of human lymphoma cells by inducing apoptosis, and studied possible signal pathways involved in this cell death. BmK venom selectively reduced the viability of Raji and Jurkat cells, and had low toxicity to human peripheral blood lymphocytes. Flow cytometry showed that BmK venom-induced apoptosis and G(0)/G(1) cell cycle arrest in Raji and Jurkat cells. In Raji cells, BmK venom upregulated the expression of PTEN accompanied by decreased levels of Akt and Bad phosphorylation. Treatment with BmK venom and LY294002 (an inhibitor of Akt) synergistically enhanced apoptosis. The expression of p27 was increased in both PTEN-positive Raji and PTEN-negative Jurkat cells exposed to BmK venom. The results indicate that key regulators in BmK venom-induced apoptosis are PTEN, acting through downregulation of the PI3K/Akt signal pathway, in Raji cells and p27 in Jurkat cells. PMID:19373662

  5. Isolation and characterization of a hyaluronidase from the venom of Chinese red scorpion Buthus martensi.

    PubMed

    Feng, Luo; Gao, Rong; Gopalakrishnakone, Ponnampalam

    2008-09-01

    A hyaluronidase, named BmHYA1, was purified from the venom of Chinese red scorpion (Buthus martensi), using successive chromatography. The homogeneity of BmHYA1 was confirmed by SDS-PAGE and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The molecular mass of BmHYA1 was 48,696 Da determined by MALDI-TOF MS. The optimal temperature and pH of BmHYA1 were 50 degrees C and pH 4.5, respectively. It could be inhibited by DTT, Cu(2+), Fe(3+) or heparin, but not Mg(2+), Ca(2+), reduced glutathione, l-cysteine or EDTA. The sequence of thirty N-terminal amino acids of BmHYA1 was obtained by Edman degradation, as TSADF KVVWE VPSIM CSKKF KICVT DLLTS; but no similarity was found to other venom hyaluronidases. Further, BmHYA1 can hydrolyze hyaluronan into relatively smaller oligosaccharides and modulate the expression of CD44 variant in the breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231. PMID:18611448

  6. PIXE-STIM microtomography: Zinc and manganese concentrations in a scorpion stinger

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schofield, Robert M. S.; Lefevre, Harlan W.

    1992-10-01

    Microtomography using PIXE (proton induced X-ray emission) is developed and applied. Iterative algorithms for emission tomography (Donner algorithms) are modified for this purpose. STIM (scanning transmission ion microscopy) microtomography provides the required local X-ray attenuation factors and X-ray production cross sections (σ x's). The variation in σ x is treated along with X-ray attenuation in an effective attenuation factor. Several criteria for the optimal number of iterations are discussed. Element density values obtained from PIXE tomography are normalized with density values from STIM tomography to provide local concentration values. Three transverse sections of the sting of a scorpion, Hadrurus arizonensis, are reconstructed tomographically. Local zinc concentrations reaching as high as 25(± 3)% of dry mass are found. Manganese concentrations reaching 3.8(± 0.5)% of dry mass are also found. In the section manifesting high concentrations of both manganese and zinc, the zinc is found mainly in a band beneath the manganese-rich surface layer. Specimen damage during PIXE is found not to have significantly affected the results.

  7. Variability of Potassium Channel Blockers in Mesobuthus eupeus Scorpion Venom with Focus on Kv1.1

    PubMed Central

    Kuzmenkov, Alexey I.; Vassilevski, Alexander A.; Kudryashova, Kseniya S.; Nekrasova, Oksana V.; Peigneur, Steve; Tytgat, Jan; Feofanov, Alexey V.; Kirpichnikov, Mikhail P.; Grishin, Eugene V.

    2015-01-01

    The lesser Asian scorpion Mesobuthus eupeus (Buthidae) is one of the most widely spread and dispersed species of the Mesobuthus genus, and its venom is actively studied. Nevertheless, a considerable amount of active compounds is still under-investigated due to the high complexity of this venom. Here, we report a comprehensive analysis of putative potassium channel toxins (KTxs) from the cDNA library of M. eupeus venom glands, and we compare the deduced KTx structures with peptides purified from the venom. For the transcriptome analysis, we used conventional tools as well as a search for structural motifs characteristic of scorpion venom components in the form of regular expressions. We found 59 candidate KTxs distributed in 30 subfamilies and presenting the cysteine-stabilized α/β and inhibitor cystine knot types of fold. M. eupeus venom was then separated to individual components by multistage chromatography. A facile fluorescent system based on the expression of the KcsA-Kv1.1 hybrid channels in Escherichia coli and utilization of a labeled scorpion toxin was elaborated and applied to follow Kv1.1 pore binding activity during venom separation. As a result, eight high affinity Kv1.1 channel blockers were identified, including five novel peptides, which extend the panel of potential pharmacologically important Kv1 ligands. Activity of the new peptides against rat Kv1.1 channel was confirmed (IC50 in the range of 1–780 nm) by the two-electrode voltage clamp technique using a standard Xenopus oocyte system. Our integrated approach is of general utility and efficiency to mine natural venoms for KTxs. PMID:25792741

  8. Hot and not-so-hot females: reproductive state and thermal preferences of female Arizona Bark Scorpions (Centruroides sculpturatus).

    PubMed

    Webber, M M; Gibbs, A G; Rodríguez-Robles, J A

    2015-02-01

    For ectotherms, environmental temperatures influence numerous life history characteristics, and the body temperatures (Tb ) selected by individuals can affect offspring fitness and parental survival. Reproductive trade-offs may therefore ensue for gravid females, because temperatures conducive to embryonic development may compromise females' body condition. We tested whether reproduction influenced thermoregulation in female Arizona Bark Scorpions (Centruroides sculpturatus). We predicted that gravid females select higher Tb and thermoregulate more precisely than nonreproductive females. Gravid C. sculpturatus gain body mass throughout gestation, which exposes larger portions of their pleural membrane, possibly increasing their rates of transcuticular water loss in arid environments. Accordingly, we tested whether gravid C. sculpturatus lose water faster than nonreproductive females. We determined the preferred Tb of female scorpions in a thermal gradient and measured water loss rates using flow-through respirometry. Gravid females preferred significantly higher Tb than nonreproductive females, suggesting that gravid C. sculpturatus alter their thermoregulatory behaviour to promote offspring fitness. However, all scorpions thermoregulated with equal precision, perhaps because arid conditions create selective pressure on all females to thermoregulate effectively. Gravid females lost water faster than nonreproductive animals, indicating that greater exposure of the pleural membrane during gestation enhances the desiccation risk of reproductive females. Our findings suggest that gravid C. sculpturatus experience a trade-off, whereby selection of higher Tb and increased mass during gestation increase females' susceptibility to water loss, and thus their mortality risk. Elucidating the mechanisms that influence thermal preferences may reveal how reproductive trade-offs shape the life history of ectotherms in arid environments. PMID:25495081

  9. A scorpion venom neurotoxin paralytic to insects that affects sodium current inactivation: Purification, primary structure, and mode of action

    SciTech Connect

    Eitan, M.; Fowler, E.; Herrmann, R.; Duval, A.; Pelhate, M.; Zlotkin, E. )

    1990-06-26

    A new toxin, Lqh alpha IT, which caused a unique mode of paralysis of blowfly larvae, was purified from the venom of the scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus, and its structural and pharmacological properties were compared to those of three other groups of neurotoxins found in Buthinae scorpion venoms. Like the excitatory and depressant insect-selective neurotoxins, Lqh alpha IT was highly toxic to insects, but it differed from these toxins in two important characteristics: (a) Lqh alpha IT lacked strict selectivity for insects; it was highly toxic to crustaceans and had a measurable but low toxicity to mice. (b) It did not displace an excitatory insect toxin, 125I-AaIT, from its binding sites in the insect neuronal membrane; this indicates that the binding sites for Lqh alpha IT are different from those shared by the excitatory and depressant toxins. However, in its primary structure and its effect on excitable tissues, Lqh alpha IT strongly resembled the well-characterized alpha scorpion toxins, which affect mammals. The amino acid sequence was identical with alpha toxin sequences in 55%-75% of positions. This degree of similarity is comparable to that seen among the alpha toxins themselves. Voltage- and current-clamp studies showed that Lqh alpha IT caused an extreme prolongation of the action potential in both cockroach giant axon and rat skeletal muscle preparations as a result of the slowing and incomplete inactivation of the sodium currents. These observations indicate that Lqh alpha IT is an alpha toxin which acts on insect sodium channels.

  10. Open conformation of hERG channel turrets revealed by a specific scorpion toxin BmKKx2

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The human ether-a-go-go-related gene potassium channel (hERG) has an unusual long turret, whose role in recognizing scorpion toxins remains controversial. Here, BmKKx2, the first specific blocker of hERG channel derived from scorpion Mesobuthus martensii, was identified and the turret role of hERG channel was re-investigated using BmKKx2 as a molecular probe. Results BmKKx2 was found to block hERG channel with an IC50 of 6.7 ± 1.7 nM and share similar functional surface with the known hERG channel inhibitor BeKm-1. The alanine-scanning mutagenesis data indicate that different residue substitutions on hERG channel by alanine decreased the affinities of toxin BmKKx2 by about 10-fold compared with that of wild-type hERG channel, which reveals that channel turrets play a secondary role in toxin binding. Different from channel turret, the pore region of hERG channel was found to exert the conserved and essential function for toxin binding because the mutant hERG-S631A channel remarkably decreased toxin BmKKx2 affinity by about 104-fold. Conclusions Our results not only revealed that channel turrets of hERG channel formed an open conformation in scorpion toxin binding, but also enriched the diversity of structure-function relationships among the different potassium channel turrets. PMID:24725272

  11. The disposition of carbaryl in the hepatopancreas, haemolymph and embryos of the viviparous scorpion, Heterometrus fulvipes (Koch) during gestation.

    PubMed

    Rajyalakshmi, A; Reddy, P U; Rao, B N; Reddy, T G

    1991-04-01

    1. The disposition of carbaryl in the hepatopancreas and haemolymph of maternal animals and embryos of H. fulvipes (scorpion) after administration of a single sublethal dose was studied by g.l.c. 2. High levels of carbaryl were observed in haemolymph at 10 min, and in hepatopancreas at 1 h after administration. About 90% of the residues in the hepatopancreas were eliminated by 24 h. 3. In embryos high levels were noticed 6 h after administration and only 60% of the accumulated carbaryl was eliminated by 24 h. Carbaryl residues were observed in embryos even 1 week after administration. PMID:1910229

  12. Ecophysiological adaptations to dry thermal environments measured in two unrestrained Namibian scorpions, Parabuthus villosus (Buthidae) and Opisthophthalmus flavescens (Scorpionidae).

    PubMed

    Bridges, C R; le Roux, J M; van Aardt, W J

    1997-01-01

    The daily changes in body temperature experienced by Parabuthus villosus (Buthidae), a scorpion found on the gravel plains around Gobabeb, Namibia, and by Opisthophthalmus flavescens (Scorpionidae), a dune-dwelling species from the same area, were measured under similar field conditions. Thermocouples implanted under the segments of the mesosoma measured maximum temperatures as high as 43 degrees C in the shade. Air temperatures reached a maximum of 33 degrees C during the daytime and a minimum of 12 degrees C at night. Very low metabolic rates compared with those of other nonsedentary invertebrates were recorded in both species; oxygen consumption ranged from 8 microL g-1 h-1 at 16 degrees C to 115 microL g-1 h-1 at 40 degrees C. A pulsed Doppler system was used to measure heart rate in situ in free-moving scorpions. At night, heart rate declined to about 4 beats min-1 in resting undisturbed scorpions. During daylight excursions and while scorpions hunted for food, heart rates as high as 180 beats min-1 were observed. Heart rate was linearly correlated with temperature in P. villosus, with a slope of 2.37 (Q10 = 2.18), but in O. flavescens only a limited correlation was observed, with a slope of 1.18 (Q10 = 1.69). In O. flavescens, heart rate showed hysteresis as body temperature rose during daylight and then decreased during the late afternoon and evening; the reverse was observed in P. villosus. In both species, haemocyanin-oxygen affinity was independent of temperature, with a higher oxygen affinity and a larger pH sensitivity in O. flavescens. The Q10's of oxygen consumption and heart rate are quite different in O. flavescens but not as different in P. villosus. Although changes in the cardiovascular system, such as stroke volume, may also play a role in meeting increased oxygen demand, the features of the haemocyanin oxygen transport system, such as the absence of temperature sensitivity and a marked pH sensitivity, can also influence the maintenance of VO2

  13. Modeling of spatial distribution for scorpions of medical importance in the São Paulo State, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Brites-Neto, José; Duarte, Keila Maria Roncato

    2015-01-01

    Aim: In this work, we aimed to develop maps of modeling geographic distribution correlating to environmental suitability for the two species of scorpions of medical importance at São Paulo State and to develop spatial configuration parameters for epidemiological surveillance of these species of venomous animals. Materials and Methods: In this study, 54 georeferenced points for Tityus serrulatus and 86 points for Tityus bahiensis and eight environmental indicators, were used to generate species distribution models in Maxent (maximum entropy modeling of species geographic distributions) version 3.3.3k using 70% of data for training (n=38 to T. serrulatus and n=60 to T. bahiensis) and 30% to test the models (n=16 for T. serrulatus and n=26 for T. bahiensis). The logistic threshold used to cut models in converting the continuous probability model into a binary model was the “maximum test sensitivity plus specificity,” provided by Maxent, with results of 0.4143 to T. serrulatus and of 0.3401 to T. bahiensis. The models were evaluated by the area under the curve (AUC), using the omission error and the binomial probability. With the data generated by Maxent, distribution maps were produced using the “ESRI® ArcGIS 10.2.2 for Desktop” software. Results: The models had high predictive success (AUC=0.7698±0.0533, omission error=0.2467 and p<0.001 for T. serrulatus and AUC=0.8205±0.0390, omission error=0.1917 and p<0.001 for T. bahiensis) and the resultant maps showed a high environmental suitability in the north, central, and southeast of the state, confirming the increasing spread of these species. The environmental variables that mostly contributed to the scorpions species distribution model were rain precipitation (28.9%) and tree cover (28.2%) for the T. serrulatus and temperature (45.8%) and thermal amplitude (12.6%) for the T. bahiensis. Conclusion: The distribution model of these species of medical importance scorpions in São Paulo State revealed a higher

  14. African-Americans and Alzheimer's

    MedlinePlus

    ... Share Plus on Google Plus African-Americans and Alzheimer's alz.org | IHaveAlz Introduction 10 Warning Signs Brain ... African-Americans are at a higher risk for Alzheimer's disease. Many Americans dismiss the warning signs of ...

  15. Acute cerebellar dysfunction with neuromuscular manifestations after scorpionism presumably caused by Tityus obscurus in Santarém, Pará / Brazil.

    PubMed

    Torrez, Pasesa P Q; Quiroga, Mariana M M; Abati, Paulo A M; Mascheretti, Melissa; Costa, Walter Silva; Campos, Luciana P; França, Francisco O S

    2015-03-01

    Scorpionism is a public health problem in many tropical countries, especially in North Africa, South India, Latin America and the Middle East. In Brazil, patients with severe scorpion envenoming have mainly cardiovascular events, including acute heart failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome and shock, death is rare. We described 58 accidents presumably caused by Tityus obscurus in Brazilian Amazonia. Patients reported a sensation of "electric shocks" which could last hours. The vast majority of patients presented a clinical picture compatible with acute cerebellar dysfunction, beginning minutes and lasting up to 2 days after the accident. They presented cerebellar ataxia, dysdiadochokinesia, dysmetry, dysarthria, dyslalia, nausea and vomiting. Besides, some patients presented myoclonus and fasciculation which can also be attributed to cerebellar dysfunction or maybe the result of direct action on skeletal muscle. Two patients had evidence of intense rhabdomyolysis and acute kidney injury. The clinical picture in this scorpion envenoming is mainly characterized by an acute dysfunction of cerebellar activities and abnormal neuromuscular manifestations and in some cases muscle injury which are not described in any other region of the world. This work presents clinical, epidemiologic, laboratory and treatment aspects of this unmatched scorpion envenoming in the state of Pará, northern Brazil. PMID:25549940

  16. The Struggles over African Languages

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maseko, Pam; Vale, Peter

    2016-01-01

    In this interview, African Language expert Pam Maseko speaks of her own background and her first encounter with culture outside of her mother tongue, isiXhosa. A statistical breakdown of South African languages is provided as background. She discusses Western (originally missionary) codification of African languages and suggests that this approach…

  17. Psychological Misdiagnosis of African Americans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garretson, Deborah J.

    1993-01-01

    Reviews historical and current problems with making accurate psychological diagnoses of African Americans. Suggests that misdiagnosis is strongly related to pathologization of African-American culture itself. Explores diagnostic process, stereotypes of African-American psychopathology, cultural differences in values and life stressors, and…

  18. Narcolepsy in African Americans

    PubMed Central

    Kawai, Makoto; O'Hara, Ruth; Einen, Mali; Lin, Ling; Mignot, Emmanuel

    2015-01-01

    Study Objectives: Although narcolepsy affects 0.02–0.05% of individuals in various ethnic groups, clinical presentation in different ethnicities has never been fully characterized. Our goal was to study phenotypic expression across ethnicities in the United States. Design/Setting: Cases of narcolepsy from 1992 to 2013 were identified from searches of the Stanford Center for Narcolepsy Research database. International Classification of Sleep Disorders, Third Edition diagnosis criteria for type 1 and type 2 narcolepsy were used for inclusion, but subjects were separated as with and without cataplexy for the purpose of data presentation. Information extracted included demographics, ethnicity and clinical data, HLA-DQB1*06:02, polysomnography (PSG), multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) data, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) hypocretin-1 level. Patients: 182 African-Americans, 839 Caucasians, 35 Asians, and 41 Latinos with narcolepsy. Results: Sex ratio, PSG, and MSLT findings did not differ across ethnicities. Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) score was higher and age of onset of sleepiness earlier in African Americans compared with other ethnicities. HLA-DQB1*06:02 positivity was higher in African Americans (91.0%) versus others (76.6% in Caucasians, 80.0% in Asians, and 65.0% in Latinos). CSF hypocretin-1 level, obtained in 222 patients, was more frequently low (≤ 110 pg/ml) in African Americans (93.9%) versus Caucasians (61.5%), Asians (85.7%) and Latinos (75.0%). In subjects with low CSF hypocretin-1, African Americans (28.3%) were 4.5 fold more likely to be without cataplexy when compared with Caucasians (8.1%). Conclusions: Narcolepsy in African Americans is characterized by earlier symptom onset, higher Epworth Sleepiness Scale score, higher HLA-DQB1*06:02 positivity, and low cerebrospinal fluid hypocretin-1 level in the absence of cataplexy. In African Americans, more subjects without cataplexy have type 1 narcolepsy. Citation: Kawai M, O'Hara R, Einen M, Lin L

  19. Isolation and characterization of toxic proteins from the venom of the Brazilian scorpion Tityus serrulatus.

    PubMed

    Sampaio, S V; Laure, C J; Giglio, J R

    1983-01-01

    Through gel filtration on Sephadex G-25 and chromatography on CM-cellulose-52 five toxic proteins, electrophoretically pure, were isolated from the venom of the Brazilian scorpion Tityus serrulatus and partially characterized, as follows: 1. Toxin T1 VIII, with 61 amino acid residues, mol. wt 6675 and amino terminal sequence Lys-Glx-Gly-Tyr-Leu-Met-Asx-His-Glx-Gly-Cys-Lys-; 2. Toxin T1VI with amino acid residues, mol. wt. 7549 and amino terminal sequence Gly-His-Phe-Gly-Lys; 3. Toxin T2III(I), with 63 amino acid residues, mol. wt. 7216 and amino terminal sequence Lys-Lys-Asx-Gly-Tyr-Pro-Val-Cys-Cys-Ser-; 4. Toxin T2IV, which is apparently identical to toxin T1VIII above, since it showed the same elution volume in chromatography on CM-cellulose-52, the same N-terminal Lys and the same electrophoretic mobility as T1VIII; 5. Toxin T1IV, a not previously described toxin from the venom of T. serrulatus, with 45 amino acid residues, mol. wt. 5188 and amino terminal sequence Lys-Glx-Gly-Tyr-Leu-, identical to the first five residues of T1VIII, although with a lower molecular weight. The pharmacological study of T1VIII in guinea pig vas deferens showed a pre-junctional sensitizing action, evidenced by a decrease of the dose-response curves to adrenaline and acetylcholine, with no increase of the maximum. This effect may be due to the liberation of noradrenaline. PMID:6857710

  20. An engineered scorpion toxin analogue with improved Kv1.3 selectivity displays reduced conformational flexibility

    PubMed Central

    Bartok, Adam; Fehér, Krisztina; Bodor, Andrea; Rákosi, Kinga; Tóth, Gábor K.; Kövér, Katalin E.; Panyi, Gyorgy; Varga, Zoltan

    2015-01-01

    The voltage-gated Kv1.3 K+ channel plays a key role in the activation of T lymphocytes. Kv1.3 blockers selectively suppress immune responses mediated by effector memory T cells, which indicates the great potential of selective Kv1.3 inhibitors in the therapy of certain autoimmune diseases. Anuroctoxin (AnTx), a 35-amino-acid scorpion toxin is a high affinity blocker of Kv1.3, but also blocks Kv1.2 with similar potency. We designed and produced three AnTx variants: ([F32T]-AnTx, [N17A]-AnTx, [N17A/F32T]-AnTx) using solid-phase synthesis with the goal of improving the selectivity of the toxin for Kv1.3 over Kv1.2 while keeping the high affinity for Kv1.3. We used the patch-clamp technique to determine the blocking potency of the synthetic toxins on hKv1.3, mKv1.1, hKv1.2 and hKCa3.1 channels. Of the three variants [N17A/F32T]-AnTx maintained the high affinity of the natural peptide for Kv1.3 but became more than 16000-fold selective over Kv1.2. NMR data and molecular dynamics simulations suggest that the more rigid structure with restricted conformational space of the double substituted toxin compared to the flexible wild-type one is an important determinant of toxin selectivity. Our results provide the foundation for the possibility of the production and future therapeutic application of additional, even more selective toxins targeting various ion channels. PMID:26689143

  1. Venom from Opisthacanthus elatus scorpion of Colombia, could be more hemolytic and less neurotoxic than thought.

    PubMed

    Estrada-Gómez, Sebastián; Vargas Muñoz, Leidy Johana; Saldarriaga-Córdoba, Mónica; Quintana Castillo, Juan Carlos

    2016-01-01

    We report the first biochemical, biological, pharmacological and partial proteomic characterization studies of the Opisthancanthus elatus venom (Gervais, 1844) from Colombia. The Reverse Phase High-Performance Liquid Chromatography venom profile showed 28 main well-defined peaks, most eluting between 20 and 45min (18-30% of acetonitrile, respectively). High-resolution mass analysis indicates the presence of 106 components ranging from 806.59742Da to 16849.4139Da. O. elatus venom showed hemolytic activity and hydrolyzed the specific substrate BapNa suggesting the presence of proteins with serine-protease activity. Collected RP-HPLC fractions eluting at 52.6, 55.5, 55.8, 56.2, and 63.9min (PLA2 region between 33 and 40% of acetonitrile), showed hemolytic activity and hydrolyzed the synthetic substrate 4-nitro-3-octanoyloxy-benzoic acid, indicating the presence of compounds with phospholipases A2 activity. These RP-HPLC fractions, showed molecular masses values up to 13978.19546Da, corroborating the possible presence of the mentioned enzymes. Tryptic digestion and MS/MS analysis showed the presence of a phospholipase like fragment, similar to on described in other Opisthacanthus genus studies. No coagulant activity was observed. No larvicidal or antimicrobial activity was observed at concentrations evaluated. Lethal and toxic activity is expected at doses above 100mg/kg, no neurotoxic effects were detected at lower doses. In conclusion, O. elatus exhibits a venom with a predominant phospholipase A2 activity than thought; mammal's neurotoxic activity is expected above the 100mg/kg, which is very high compared to the venom from other neurotoxic scorpions. PMID:26477848

  2. Caves as microrefugia: Pleistocene phylogeography of the troglophilic North American scorpion Pseudouroctonus reddelli

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Survival in microrefugia represents an important paradigm in phylogeography for explaining rapid postglacial re-colonization by species in temperate regions. Microrefugia may allow populations to persist in areas where the climatic conditions on the surface have become unfavourable. Caves generally contain stable microclimates and may represent microrefugia for species capable of exploiting both cave and surface habitats (troglophiles). We examine the phylogeography of the troglophilic North American vaejovid scorpion Pseudouroctonus reddelli using 1,993 base pairs of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence data generated from 12 populations. We use (i) descriptive measures of genetic diversity and population genetics statistics, (ii) reconstructions of phylogeographical structure, spatial diffusion during diversification, and population sizes through time, and (iii) species distribution modelling to test predictions of the hypothesis that caves serve as microrefugia. We compare phylogeographical patterns in P. reddelli with other troglophilic species across the Edwards Plateau karst region of Texas. Results Results revealed high haplotype and nucleotide diversity and substantial phylogeographical structure, probably generated during the Pleistocene. Spatial diffusion occurred along the southern edge of the Edwards Plateau from multiple refugia along the Balcones Escarpment. There was little evidence for population and geographical expansion. Species distribution models predicted substantial reductions in suitable epigean habitat for P. reddelli at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Conclusions High genetic diversity, strong phylogeographical structure, diffusion from multiple refugia, and unfavourable climatic conditions at the LGM collectively support the hypothesis that caves served as microrefugia for P. reddelli. Similar patterns of genetic structure in P. reddelli and other troglophilic species across the Edwards Plateau karst region of Texas suggest

  3. Mapping the receptor site for α-scorpion toxins on a Na+ channel voltage sensor

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jinti; Yarov-Yarovoy, Vladimir; Kahn, Roy; Gordon, Dalia; Gurevitz, Michael; Scheuer, Todd; Catterall, William A.

    2011-01-01

    The α-scorpions toxins bind to the resting state of Na+ channels and inhibit fast inactivation by interaction with a receptor site formed by domains I and IV. Mutants T1560A, F1610A, and E1613A in domain IV had lower affinities for Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus toxin II (LqhII), and mutant E1613R had ∼73-fold lower affinity. Toxin dissociation was accelerated by depolarization and increased by these mutations, whereas association rates at negative membrane potentials were not changed. These results indicate that Thr1560 in the S1-S2 loop, Phe1610 in the S3 segment, and Glu1613 in the S3-S4 loop in domain IV participate in toxin binding. T393A in the SS2-S6 loop in domain I also had lower affinity for LqhII, indicating that this extracellular loop may form a secondary component of the receptor site. Analysis with the Rosetta-Membrane algorithm resulted in a model of LqhII binding to the voltage sensor in a resting state, in which amino acid residues in an extracellular cleft formed by the S1-S2 and S3-S4 loops in domain IV interact with two faces of the wedge-shaped LqhII molecule. The conserved gating charges in the S4 segment are in an inward position and form ion pairs with negatively charged amino acid residues in the S2 and S3 segments of the voltage sensor. This model defines the structure of the resting state of a voltage sensor of Na+ channels and reveals its mode of interaction with a gating modifier toxin. PMID:21876146

  4. The effects of a chactoid scorpion venom and its purified toxins on rat blood pressure and mast cells histamine release.

    PubMed

    Ettinger, Keren; Cohen, Gadi; Momic, Tatjana; Lazarovici, Philip

    2013-08-01

    The effect of the venom of the Chactoid family of scorpions on blood pressure was scantly investigated and was addressed in the present study using the venom of the Israeli scorpion, Scorpio maurus palmatus. Blood pressure in rats was monitored via cannulated femoral artery, while venom and toxins were introduced into femoral vein. Venom injection elicited a biphasic effect, expressed first by a fast and transient hypotensive response, which lasted up to 10 min, followed by a hypertensive response, which lasted up to one hour. It was found that these effects resulted from different venom components. Phospholipase A₂ produced the hypotensive effect, while a non-enzymatic neurotoxic polypeptide fraction produced the hypertensive effect. Surprisingly, the main neurotoxic polypeptide to mice had no effect on blood pressure. In vitro experiments indicated that the hypertensive factors caused histamine release from the peritoneal mast cells, but this effect is assumed to be not relevant to their in vivo effect. In spite of the cytotoxic activity of phospholipase A₂, it did not release histamine. These findings suggest that the effects of venom and isolated fractions on blood pressure parameters are mediated by different mechanisms, which deserve further pharmacological investigation. PMID:23899970

  5. Vesicle-associated Membrane Protein (VAMP) Cleavage by a New Metalloprotease from the Brazilian Scorpion Tityus serrulatus*

    PubMed Central

    Fletcher, Paul L.; Fletcher, Maryann D.; Weninger, Keith; Anderson, Trevor E.; Martin, Brian M.

    2010-01-01

    We present evidence that venom from the Brazilian scorpion Tityus serrulatus and a purified fraction selectively cleave essential SNARE proteins within exocrine pancreatic tissue. Western blotting for vesicle-associated membrane protein type v-SNARE proteins (or synaptobrevins) reveals characteristic alterations to venom-treated excised pancreatic lobules in vitro. Immunocytochemistry by electron microscopy confirms both the SNARE identity as VAMP2 and the proteolysis of VAMP2 as a marked decrease in secondary antibody-conjugated colloidal gold particles that are predominantly associated with mature zymogen granules. Studies with recombinant SNARE proteins were used to determine the specific cleavage site in VAMP2 and the susceptibility of VAMP8 (endobrevin). The VAMP2 cleavage site is between the transmembrane anchor and the SNARE motif that assembles into the ternary SNARE complex. Inclusion of divalent chelating agents (EDTA) with fraction ν, an otherwise active purified component from venom, eliminates SNARE proteolysis, suggesting the active protein is a metalloprotease. The unique cleavages of VAMP2 and VAMP8 may be linked to pancreatitis that develops following scorpion envenomation as both of these v-SNARE proteins are associated with zymogen granule membranes in pancreatic acinar cells. We have isolated antarease, a metalloprotease from fraction ν that cleaves VAMP2, and report its amino acid sequence. PMID:20026600

  6. The Effects of a Chactoid Scorpion Venom and Its Purified Toxins on Rat Blood Pressure and Mast Cells Histamine Release

    PubMed Central

    Ettinger, Keren; Cohen, Gadi; Momic, Tatjana; Lazarovici, Philip

    2013-01-01

    The effect of the venom of the Chactoid family of scorpions on blood pressure was scantly investigated and was addressed in the present study using the venom of the Israeli scorpion, Scorpio maurus palmatus. Blood pressure in rats was monitored via cannulated femoral artery, while venom and toxins were introduced into femoral vein. Venom injection elicited a biphasic effect, expressed first by a fast and transient hypotensive response, which lasted up to 10 min, followed by a hypertensive response, which lasted up to one hour. It was found that these effects resulted from different venom components. Phospholipase A2 produced the hypotensive effect, while a non-enzymatic neurotoxic polypeptide fraction produced the hypertensive effect. Surprisingly, the main neurotoxic polypeptide to mice had no effect on blood pressure. In vitro experiments indicated that the hypertensive factors caused histamine release from the peritoneal mast cells, but this effect is assumed to be not relevant to their in vivo effect. In spite of the cytotoxic activity of phospholipase A2, it did not release histamine. These findings suggest that the effects of venom and isolated fractions on blood pressure parameters are mediated by different mechanisms, which deserve further pharmacological investigation. PMID:23899970

  7. In vivo protection against Tityus serrulatus scorpion toxins by immunization of mice with a non-toxic protein.

    PubMed

    Moreira-Ferreira, A M; Kalapothakis, E; Diniz, C R; Chávez-Olórtegui, C

    1998-02-01

    The possibility of inducing a humoral immune response able to produce neutralizing antibodies against the lethal effects of scorpion toxins was evaluated in the mouse model. A non-toxic protein (TsNTxP) was purified from the venom of the Brazilian scorpion Tityus serrulatus by combining gel filtration, ion exchange and reverse phase HPLC chromatographic steps. After four injections of TsNTxP the mice developed an IgG response. The anti-TsNTxP antibodies had a comparable high cross-reactivity for the crude venom, toxic fraction (toxic fraction of venom that represents most of the toxicity of the crude venom -- TsTFG50) and TsIV, a representative alpha-type toxin of T. serrulatus, and moderate binding capacity for TsVII, a representative beta-type toxin. In vitro neutralization assays indicated that preincubation of a lethal dose of the toxic fraction with immune serum strongly reduced its toxicity. In vivo protection assays showed that mice immunized with TsNTxP resisted a challenge of 10 LD50 (s.c.) of the toxic fraction of T. serrulatus venom. PMID:9620580

  8. A bradykinin-potentiating peptide (peptide K12) isolated from the venom of Egyptian scorpion Buthus occitanus.

    PubMed

    Meki, A R; Nassar, A Y; Rochat, H

    1995-01-01

    A nontoxic peptide with bradykinin-potentiating activity was isolated from the dialyzed venom of the scorpion Buthus occitanus by reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC). The pharmacological activity of the peptide was bioassayed by its ability to potentiate added bradykinin (BK) on the isolated guinea pig ileum as well as the isolated rat uterus for contraction. Moreover, the peptide potentiates in vivo the depressor effect of BK on arterial blood pressure in the normotensive anesthetized rat. Chemical characterization of the peptide was also performed. The amino acid composition of the peptide showed 21 amino acid residues per molecule including three proline residues. The amino acid sequence of the purified peptide was confirmed by mass spectrometry. Either N- or C-terminal ends were free. The sequence does not show a homology with bradykinin-potentiating peptides isolated from either scorpion or snake venoms. Furthermore, we did not find a significant sequence homology between the sequence of the isolated peptide and any of proteins or peptides in GenPro or NBRF data banks. The peptide also inhibited angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), and could not serve as substrate for the enzyme. It could be concluded that the mechanism of bradykinin-potentiating peptide (BPP) activity may be due to ACE inhibition. PMID:8745044

  9. An unusual fold for potassium channel blockers: NMR structure of three toxins from the scorpion Opisthacanthus madagascariensis

    PubMed Central

    Chagot, Benjamin; Pimentel, Cyril; Dai, Li; Pil, Joost; Tytgat, Jan; Nakajima, Terumi; Corzo, Gerardo; Darbon, Hervé; Ferrat, Gilles

    2005-01-01

    The Om-toxins are short peptides (23–27 amino acids) purified from the venom of the scorpion Opisthacanthus madagascariensis. Their pharmacological targets are thought to be potassium channels. Like Csα/β (cystine-stabilized α/β) toxins, the Om-toxins alter the electrophysiological properties of these channels; however, they do not share any sequence similarity with other scorpion toxins. We herein demonstrate by electrophysiological experiments that Om-toxins decrease the amplitude of the K+ current of the rat channels Kv1.1 and Kv1.2, as well as human Kv1.3. We also determine the solution structure of three of the toxins by use of two-dimensional proton NMR techniques followed by distance geometry and molecular dynamics. The structures of these three peptides display an uncommon fold for ion-channel blockers, Csα/α (cystine-stabilized α-helix–loop–helix), i.e. two α-helices connected by a loop and stabilized by two disulphide bridges. We compare the structures obtained and the dipole moments resulting from the electrostatic anisotropy of these peptides with those of the only other toxin known to share the same fold, namely κ-hefutoxin1. PMID:15631621

  10. Cloning and characterization of BmK86, a novel K{sup +}-channel blocker from scorpion venom

    SciTech Connect

    Mao, Xin; Cao, Zhijian; Yin, Shijin; Ma, Yibao; Wu, Yingliang; Li, Wenxin . E-mail: liwxlab@whu.edu.cn

    2007-09-07

    Scorpion venom represents a tremendous hitherto unexplored resource for understanding ion channels. BmK86 is a novel K{sup +}-channel toxin gene isolated from a cDNA library of Mesobuthus martensii Karsch, which encodes a signal peptide of 22 amino acid residues and a mature toxin of 35 residues with three disulfide bridges. The genomic sequence of BmK86 consists of two exons disrupted by an intron of 72 bp. Comparison with the other scorpion toxins BmK86 shows low sequence similarity. The GST-BmK86 fusion protein was successfully expressed in Escherichia coli. The fusion protein was cleaved by enterokinase and the recombinant BmK86 was purified by HPLC. Using whole-cell patch-clamp recording, the recombinant BmK86 was found to inhibit the potassium current of mKv1.3 channel expressed in COS7 cells. These results indicated that BmK86 belongs to a representative member of a novel subfamily of {alpha}-KTxs. The systematic number assigned to BmK86 is {alpha}-KTx26.1.

  11. Comparison of antimicrobial activities of newly obtained low molecular weight scorpion chitosan and medium molecular weight commercial chitosan.

    PubMed

    Kaya, Murat; Asan-Ozusaglam, Meltem; Erdogan, Sevil

    2016-06-01

    In this study the antimicrobial activity of low molecular weight (3.22 kDa) chitosan, obtained for the first time from a species belonging to the Scorpiones, was screened against nine pathogenic microorganisms (seven bacteria and two yeasts) and compared with that of medium molecular weight commercial chitosan (MMWCC). It was observed that the antimicrobial activity of the low molecular weight scorpion chitosan (LMWSC) was specific to bacterial species in general rather than gram-negative or gram-positive bacterial groups. It was also determined that LMWSC had a stronger inhibitory effect than the MMWCC, particularly on the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes and the yeast Candida albicans, which are important pathogens for public health. In addition, it was recorded that the MMWCC had a greater inhibitory effect on Bacillus subtilis than LMWSC. According to the results obtained by the disc diffusion method, the antibacterial activity of both LMWSC and MMWCC against B. subtilis and Salmonella enteritidis was higher than the widely used antibiotic Gentamicin (CN, 10 μg/disc). PMID:26702952

  12. Targeting the Ion Channel Kv1.3 with Scorpion Venom Peptides Engineered for Potency, Selectivity, and Half-life

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Wilson; Fung-Leung, Wai-Ping; Huang, Chichi; Chi, Ellen; Wu, Nancy; Liu, Yi; Maher, Michael P.; Bonesteel, Rachelle; Connor, Judith; Fellows, Ross; Garcia, Elena; Lee, Jerry; Lu, Lu; Ngo, Karen; Scott, Brian; Zhou, Hong; Swanson, Ronald V.; Wickenden, Alan D.

    2014-01-01

    Ion channels are an attractive class of drug targets, but progress in developing inhibitors for therapeutic use has been limited largely due to challenges in identifying subtype selective small molecules. Animal venoms provide an alternative source of ion channel modulators, and the venoms of several species, such as scorpions, spiders and snails, are known to be rich sources of ion channel modulating peptides. Importantly, these peptides often bind to hyper-variable extracellular loops, creating the potential for subtype selectivity rarely achieved with small molecules. We have engineered scorpion venom peptides and incorporated them in fusion proteins to generate highly potent and selective Kv1.3 inhibitors with long in vivo half-lives. Kv1.3 has been reported to play a role in human T cell activation, and therefore, these Kv1.3 inhibitor fusion proteins may have potential for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Our results support an emerging approach to generating subtype selective therapeutic ion channel inhibitors. PMID:24939846

  13. General characterization of Tityus fasciolatus scorpion venom. Molecular identification of toxins and localization of linear B-cell epitopes.

    PubMed

    Mendes, T M; Guimarães-Okamoto, P T C; Machado-de-Avila, R A; Oliveira, D; Melo, M M; Lobato, Z I; Kalapothakis, E; Chávez-Olórtegui, C

    2015-06-01

    This communication describes the general characteristics of the venom from the Brazilian scorpion Tityus fasciolatus, which is an endemic species found in the central Brazil (States of Goiás and Minas Gerais), being responsible for sting accidents in this area. The soluble venom obtained from this scorpion is toxic to mice being the LD50 is 2.984 mg/kg (subcutaneally). SDS-PAGE of the soluble venom resulted in 10 fractions ranged in size from 6 to 10-80 kDa. Sheep were employed for anti-T. fasciolatus venom serum production. Western blotting analysis showed that most of these venom proteins are immunogenic. T. fasciolatus anti-venom revealed consistent cross-reactivity with venom antigens from Tityus serrulatus. Using known primers for T. serrulatus toxins, we have identified three toxins sequences from T. fasciolatus venom. Linear epitopes of these toxins were localized and fifty-five overlapping pentadecapeptides covering complete amino acid sequence of the three toxins were synthesized in cellulose membrane (spot-synthesis technique). The epitopes were located on the 3D structures and some important residues for structure/function were identified. PMID:25817000

  14. The Genetic Structure and History of Africans and African Americans

    PubMed Central

    Tishkoff, Sarah A.; Reed, Floyd A.; Friedlaender, Françoise R.; Ehret, Christopher; Ranciaro, Alessia; Froment, Alain; Hirbo, Jibril B.; Awomoyi, Agnes A.; Bodo, Jean-Marie; Doumbo, Ogobara; Ibrahim, Muntaser; Juma, Abdalla T.; Kotze, Maritha J.; Lema, Godfrey; Moore, Jason H.; Mortensen, Holly; Nyambo, Thomas B.; Omar, Sabah A.; Powell, Kweli; Pretorius, Gideon S.; Smith, Michael W.; Thera, Mahamadou A.; Wambebe, Charles; Weber, James L.; Williams, Scott M.

    2010-01-01

    Africa is the source of all modern humans, but characterization of genetic variation and of relationships among populations across the continent has been enigmatic. We studied 121 African populations, four African American populations, and 60 non-African populations for patterns of variation at 1327 nuclear microsatellite and insertion/deletion markers. We identified 14 ancestral population clusters in Africa that correlate with self-described ethnicity and shared cultural and/or linguistic properties. We observed high levels of mixed ancestry in most populations, reflecting historical migration events across the continent. Our data also provide evidence for shared ancestry among geographically diverse hunter-gatherer populations (Khoesan speakers and Pygmies). The ancestry of African Americans is predominantly from Niger-Kordofanian (~71%), European (~13%), and other African (~8%) populations, although admixture levels varied considerably among individuals. This study helps tease apart the complex evolutionary history of Africans and African Americans, aiding both anthropological and genetic epidemiologic studies. PMID:19407144

  15. Biochemical, Transcriptomic and Proteomic Analyses of Digestion in the Scorpion Tityus serrulatus: Insights into Function and Evolution of Digestion in an Ancient Arthropod

    PubMed Central

    Fuzita, Felipe J.; Pinkse, Martijn W. H.; Patane, José S. L.; Juliano, Maria A.; Verhaert, Peter D. E. M.; Lopes, Adriana R.

    2015-01-01

    Scorpions are among the oldest terrestrial arthropods and they have passed through small morphological changes during their evolutionary history on land. They are efficient predators capable of capturing and consuming large preys and due to envenomation these animals can become a human health challenge. Understanding the physiology of scorpions can not only lead to evolutionary insights but also is a crucial step in the development of control strategies. However, the digestive process in scorpions has been scarcely studied. In this work, we describe the combinatory use of next generation sequencing, proteomic analysis and biochemical assays in order to investigate the digestive process in the yellow scorpion Tityus serrulatus, mainly focusing in the initial protein digestion. The transcriptome generated database allowed the quantitative identification by mass spectrometry of different enzymes and proteins involved in digestion. All the results suggested that cysteine cathepsins play an important role in protein digestion. Two digestive cysteine cathepsins were isolated and characterized presenting acidic characteristics (pH optima and stability), zymogen conversion to the mature form after acidic activation and a cross-class inhibition by pepstatin. A more elucidative picture of the molecular mechanism of digestion in a scorpion was proposed based on our results from Tityus serrulatus. The midgut and midgut glands (MMG) are composed by secretory and digestive cells. In fasting animals, the secretory granules are ready for the next predation event, containing enzymes needed for alkaline extra-oral digestion which will compose the digestive fluid, such as trypsins, astacins and chitinase. The digestive vacuoles are filled with an acidic proteolytic cocktail to the intracellular digestion composed by cathepsins L, B, F, D and legumain. Other proteins as lipases, carbohydrases, ctenitoxins and a chitolectin with a perithrophin domain were also detected. Evolutionarily

  16. Biochemical, transcriptomic and proteomic analyses of digestion in the scorpion Tityus serrulatus: insights into function and evolution of digestion in an ancient arthropod.

    PubMed

    Fuzita, Felipe J; Pinkse, Martijn W H; Patane, José S L; Juliano, Maria A; Verhaert, Peter D E M; Lopes, Adriana R

    2015-01-01

    Scorpions are among the oldest terrestrial arthropods and they have passed through small morphological changes during their evolutionary history on land. They are efficient predators capable of capturing and consuming large preys and due to envenomation these animals can become a human health challenge. Understanding the physiology of scorpions can not only lead to evolutionary insights but also is a crucial step in the development of control strategies. However, the digestive process in scorpions has been scarcely studied. In this work, we describe the combinatory use of next generation sequencing, proteomic analysis and biochemical assays in order to investigate the digestive process in the yellow scorpion Tityus serrulatus, mainly focusing in the initial protein digestion. The transcriptome generated database allowed the quantitative identification by mass spectrometry of different enzymes and proteins involved in digestion. All the results suggested that cysteine cathepsins play an important role in protein digestion. Two digestive cysteine cathepsins were isolated and characterized presenting acidic characteristics (pH optima and stability), zymogen conversion to the mature form after acidic activation and a cross-class inhibition by pepstatin. A more elucidative picture of the molecular mechanism of digestion in a scorpion was proposed based on our results from Tityus serrulatus. The midgut and midgut glands (MMG) are composed by secretory and digestive cells. In fasting animals, the secretory granules are ready for the next predation event, containing enzymes needed for alkaline extra-oral digestion which will compose the digestive fluid, such as trypsins, astacins and chitinase. The digestive vacuoles are filled with an acidic proteolytic cocktail to the intracellular digestion composed by cathepsins L, B, F, D and legumain. Other proteins as lipases, carbohydrases, ctenitoxins and a chitolectin with a perithrophin domain were also detected. Evolutionarily

  17. The Other African Americans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matory, J. Lorand

    Black North America is ethnically and culturally diverse. It contains many groups who do not call themselves or have not always called themselves "Negro,""Black,""African-American," and so forth, such as Louisiana Creoles of color and many of the Indian tribes east of the Mississippi. There are also numerous North American ethnic groups of African…

  18. African American rhinoplasty.

    PubMed

    Boyette, Jennings R; Stucker, Fred J

    2014-08-01

    Rhinoplasty in patients of African descent requires a patient-specific approach, because the goals and ideal proportions differ from the white nose. This article discusses approaches to surgical correction of common anatomic variations. In addition, common pitfalls are outlined. PMID:25049123

  19. Elective: African Literature.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jenkins, Kenneth V.

    The make-up of a course in African literature for high school students is discussed. It is pointed out that the course can be constructed on already familiar lines. High school students will be able to describe clearly, for example, the relationship between environment and character or the dilemma of characters caught between traditional values…

  20. African Ancestry Is Associated with Asthma Risk in African Americans

    PubMed Central

    Pino-Yanes, María; Wade, Michael S.; Pérez-Méndez, Lina; Kittles, Rick A.; Wang, Deli; Papaiahgari, Srinivas; Ford, Jean G.; Kumar, Rajesh; Garcia, Joe G. N.

    2012-01-01

    Background Asthma is a common complex condition with clear racial and ethnic differences in both prevalence and severity. Asthma consultation rates, mortality, and severe symptoms are greatly increased in African descent populations of developed countries. African ancestry has been associated with asthma, total serum IgE and lower pulmonary function in African-admixed populations. To replicate previous findings, here we aimed to examine whether African ancestry was associated with asthma susceptibility in African Americans. In addition, we examined for the first time whether African ancestry was associated with asthma exacerbations. Methodology/Principal Findings After filtering for self-reported ancestry and genotype data quality, samples from 1,117 self-reported African-American individuals from New York and Baltimore (394 cases, 481 controls), and Chicago (321 cases followed for asthma exacerbations) were analyzed. Genetic ancestry was estimated based on ancestry informative markers (AIMs) selected for being highly divergent among European and West African populations (95 AIMs for New York and Baltimore, and 66 independent AIMs for Chicago). Among case-control samples, the mean African ancestry was significantly higher in asthmatics than in non-asthmatics (82.0±14.0% vs. 77.8±18.1%, mean difference 4.2% [95% confidence interval (CI):2.0–6.4], p<0.0001). This association remained significant after adjusting for potential confounders (odds ratio: 4.55, 95% CI: 1.69–12.29, p = 0.003). African ancestry failed to show an association with asthma exacerbations (p = 0.965) using a model based on longitudinal data of the number of exacerbations followed over 1.5 years. Conclusions/Significance These data replicate previous findings indicating that African ancestry constitutes a risk factor for asthma and suggest that elevated asthma rates in African Americans can be partially attributed to African genetic ancestry. PMID:22235241

  1. Molecular systematics of the neotropical scorpion genus Tityus (Buthidae): the historical biogeography and venom antigenic diversity of toxic Venezuelan species.

    PubMed

    Borges, Adolfo; Bermingham, Eldredge; Herrera, Nimiadina; Alfonzo, Marcelo J; Sanjur, Oris I

    2010-01-01

    We provide a mitochondrial DNA-based phylogenetic hypothesis for 21 Tityus species collected in Venezuela, Trinidad, Brazil and Panama, including 12 taxa known to be toxic to humans. Our phylogenetic reconstruction is based on 850 nucleotides of the combined cytochrome oxidase subunit I and 16S rRNA genes for most species, and centered on Venezuelan scorpions owing to the detailed taxonomic and biogeographic information available for Tityus in this region. The principal phylogenetic result was the strong support for mtDNA clades representing geographical groupings associated with the Perijá mountain range, the Mérida Andes, or the central and eastern coastal ranges in Venezuela, suggesting that vicariance has been a potent force in the diversification of local scorpions. Venezuelan Tityus species have been organized by González-Sponga into three artificial morphological groups, "androcottoides", "discrepans", and "nematochirus", based on the array of ventral carinae in metasomal segments II-IV. We also incorporated a fourth morphological group ("Tityus clathratus"), recently documented in Venezuela. Our results do not support the clustering of the species in the "androcottoides" and "discrepans" morphological groups, which include the majority of taxa of medical importance, but provided support for the "nematochirus" species group. T. clathratus was found to cluster with the Brazilian T. serrulatus and T. bahiensis. Divergence times of most clades are consistent with major events in the geological history of northern Venezuela and suggest that many Venezuelan Tityus species formed in the late Miocene and the Pliocene. In turn, we used the Tityus mtDNA phylogeny to determine the potential utility of phylogenetic systematics to predict Tityus venom antigenic reactivity by testing the recognition of T. nororientalis, T. discrepans, T. zulianus, T. perijanensis, and T. clathratus venoms by anti-T. discrepans horse antibodies. Cross-reactivity was significantly

  2. Moving pieces in a proteomic puzzle: mass fingerprinting of toxic fractions from the venom of Tityus serrulatus (Scorpiones, Buthidae).

    PubMed

    Pimenta, A M; Stöcklin, R; Favreau, P; Bougis, P E; Martin-Eauclaire, M F

    2001-01-01

    Scorpion venoms are very complex mixtures of molecules, most of which are peptides that display different kinds of biological activity. These venoms have been studied in the light of their pharmacological targets and their constituents are able to bind specifically to a variety of ionic channels located in prey tissues, resulting in neurotoxic effects. Toxins that modulate Na(+), K(+), Ca(++) and Cl(-) currents have been described in scorpion venoms. Mass spectrometry was employed to analyze toxic fractions from the venom of the Brazilian scorpion Tityus serrulatus in order to shed light on the molecular composition of this venom and to facilitate the search for novel pharmacologically active compounds. T. serrulatus venom was first subjected to gel filtration to separate its constituents according to their molecular size. The resultant fractions II and III, which account for 90 and 10% respectively of the whole venom toxic effect, were further analyzed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOFMS), on-line liquid chromatography/electrospray mass spectrometry (LC/ESMS) and off-line LC/MALDI-TOFMS in order to establish their mass fingerprints. The molecular masses in fraction II were predominantly between 6500 and 7500 Da. This corresponds to long-chain toxins that mainly act on voltage-gated Na(+) channels. Fraction III is more complex and predominantly contained molecules with masses between 2500 and 5000 Da. This corresponds to the short-chain toxin family, most of which act on K(+) channels, and other unknown peptides. Finally, we were able to measure the molecular masses of 380 different compounds present in the two fractions investigated. To our knowledge, this is the largest number of components ever detected in the venom of a single animal species. Some of the toxins described previously from T. serrulatus venom could be detected by virtue of their molecular masses. The interpretation of this large set of data

  3. Comprehensive analysis of venom from the scorpion Centruroides tecomanus reveals compounds with antimicrobial, cytotoxic, and insecticidal activities.

    PubMed

    Valdez-Velazquéz, L L; Romero-Gutierrez, M T; Delgado-Enciso, I; Dobrovinskaya, O; Melnikov, V; Quintero-Hernández, V; Ceballos-Magaña, S G; Gaitan-Hinojosa, M A; Coronas, F I; Puebla-Perez, A M; Zamudio, F; De la Cruz-García, I; Vázquez-Vuelvas, O F; Soriano-Hernandez, A D; Possani, L D

    2016-08-01

    Centruroides tecomanus is a medically important scorpion of the state of Colima (Mexico). This communication reports the identification of venom components of this scorpion with biological activity over insects/crickets (Acheta domestica), crustaceans/fresh water shrimps (Cambarellus montezumae), and mammalians/mice (Mus musculus, strain CD1). It also describes the pharmacological effects on cell lines in culture (L5178Y cells, HeLa cells, HuTu cells and Jurkat E6-1 cells), as well as on several types of bacteria (see below). The soluble venom of this scorpion was fractionated by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and collected separately in twelve independent fractions collected over 60 min run (5 min time apart each other). The HPLC components of fraction VII were lethal to all three species used for assay. The IVth fraction had a toxic effect on freshwater shrimps. In this species, fractions VI, VII and VIII were all lethal. For crickets, fractions V and VI were toxic and fraction VII was lethal. In mouse, the lethal components were found in fraction VII, whereas fraction VIII was toxic, but not lethal, at the doses assayed. The molecular weight of peptides from the various group of fractions were identified by mass spectrometry determination. Components lethal to mice showed molecular weights from 7013 to 7487 Da. Two peptides were obtained in homogeneous form and shown to be lethal to the three species of animal used for assay. The soluble venom tested on L5178Y cell line survival was shown to be cytotoxic, at 10-100 μg/mL concentration, when compared to control murine splenocytes (p = 0.007). The soluble venom applied to Hela, Hutu and Jurkat cell lines did not show cytotoxic effects at these concentrations. On the contrary, it seems to have a proliferative effect. However the HPLC fractions I, III, VI and XII do have a cytotoxic effect on Jurkat E06-1 cells in culture at 200 μg/mL concentration. The antimicrobial activity of the venom

  4. Understanding traditional African healing

    PubMed Central

    MOKGOBI, M.G.

    2015-01-01

    Traditional African healing has been in existence for many centuries yet many people still seem not to understand how it relates to God and religion/spirituality. Some people seem to believe that traditional healers worship the ancestors and not God. It is therefore the aim of this paper to clarify this relationship by discussing a chain of communication between the worshipers and the Almighty God. Other aspects of traditional healing namely types of traditional healers, training of traditional healers as well as the role of traditional healers in their communities are discussed. In conclusion, the services of traditional healers go far beyond the uses of herbs for physical illnesses. Traditional healers serve many roles which include but not limited to custodians of the traditional African religion and customs, educators about culture, counselors, social workers and psychologists. PMID:26594664

  5. African horse sickness.

    PubMed

    Zientara, S; Weyer, C T; Lecollinet, S

    2015-08-01

    African horse sickness (AHS) is a devastating disease of equids caused by an arthropod-borne virus belonging to the Reoviridae family, genus Orbivirus. It is considered a major health threat for horses in endemic areas in sub-Saharan Africa. African horse sickness virus (AHSV) repeatedly caused large epizootics in the Mediterranean region (North Africa and southern Europe in particular) as a result of trade in infected equids. The unexpected emergence of a closely related virus, the bluetongue virus, in northern Europe in 2006 has raised fears about AHSV introduction into Europe, and more specifically into AHSV-free regions that have reported the presence of AHSV vectors, e.g. Culicoides midges. North African and European countries should be prepared to face AHSV incursions in the future, especially since two AHSV serotypes (serotypes 2 and 7) have recently spread northwards to western (e.g. Senegal, Nigeria, Gambia) and eastern Africa (Ethiopia), where historically only serotype 9 had been isolated. The authors review key elements of AHS epidemiology, surveillance and prophylaxis. PMID:26601437

  6. East African Rift Valley, Kenya

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This rare, cloud free view of the East African Rift Valley, Kenya (1.5N, 35.5E) shows a clear view of the Turkwell River Valley, an offshoot of the African REift System. The East African Rift is part of a vast plate fracture which extends from southern Turkey, through the Red Sea, East Africa and into Mozambique. Dark green patches of forests are seen along the rift margin and tea plantations occupy the cooler higher ground.

  7. Isolation of toxin TsTX-VI from Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom. Effects on the release of neurotransmitters from synaptosomes.

    PubMed

    Sampaio, S V; Coutinho-Netto, J; Arantes, E C; Marangoni, S; Oliveira, B; Giglio, J R

    1996-07-01

    A detailed procedure for the purification of Tityustoxin-VI, TsTX-VI, from Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom is described. For comparative purposes, a second toxin, CM-VI, obtained from the same fractionation procedure, was analyzed in parallel. Typical biochemical parameters, such as electrophoretic migration, mol.weight, amino acid composition and N-terminal sequence (first 42 amino acid residues out of a total of approx. 60) were determined for both. Our data showed that CM-VI is identical or extremely homologous to gamma-toxin (TsTX-I), the highly toxic major toxin from T. serrulatus venom. TsTX-VI was less toxic, although still effective at inducing an allergic reaction, lacrymation and contraction of the hind legs of mice. Both toxins produced a dose dependent release of the neurotransmitters glutamic acid and gamma aminobutyric acid from rat brain synaptosomes, this effect being blocked by tetrodotoxin. PMID:8843341

  8. Scorpion toxins that block T-type Ca2+ channels in spermatogenic cells inhibit the sperm acrosome reaction.

    PubMed

    López-González, Ignacio; Olamendi-Portugal, Timoteo; De la Vega-Beltrán, José L; Van der Walt, Jurg; Dyason, Karin; Possani, Lourival D; Felix, Ricardo; Darszon, Alberto

    2003-01-10

    The acrosome reaction (AR) is a Ca(2+)-dependent event required for sperm to fertilize the egg. The activation of T-type voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels plays a key role in the induction of this process. This report describes the actions of two toxins from the scorpion Parabuthus granulatus named kurtoxin-like I and II (KLI and KLII, respectively) on sperm Ca(2+) channels. Both toxins decrease T-type Ca(2+) channel activity in mouse spermatogenic cells and inhibit the AR in mature sperm. Saturating concentrations of the toxins inhibited at most approximately 70% of the whole-cell Ca(2+) current, suggesting the presence of a toxin-resistant component. In addition, both toxins inhibited approximately 60% of the AR, which is consistent with the participation of T-type Ca(2+) channels in the sperm AR. PMID:12504099

  9. The genus Hormiops Fage, 1933 (Hormuridae, Scorpiones), a palaeoendemic of the South China Sea: systematics and biogeography.

    PubMed

    Monod, Lionel

    2014-10-01

    The monotypic genus Hormiops Fage, 1933 is so far only known from two groups of granitic islands off the coasts of Peninsular Malaysia and Vietnam. Examination of newly collected material from both archipelagos and of the type series of Hormiops davidovi Fage, 1933 reveals previously disregarded morphological differences sufficient to assign the Malaysian specimens to a distinct species, described here as Hormiops infulcra sp. nov. An updated diagnosis of the genus, as well as a dichotomic key enabling the determination of Hormiops from its close relatives, Hormurus Thorell, 1876 and Liocheles Sundevall, 1833 are also provided. The phylogenetic position, distribution pattern, and ecology of these insular scorpions suggest that they are palaeoendemics, remnants of a previously more widely distributed lineage. A biogeographical model is proposed for the genus based on these observations and on a synthesis of palaeogeographical and palaeoenvironmental data currently available for Sundaland. PMID:25282174

  10. Synthesis and structural characterization of two half-sandwich nickel(II) complexes with the scorpionate ligands

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, G.-F. E-mail: s-shuwen@163.com; Zhang, X.; Sun, S.-W.; Sun, H.; Ma, H.-X.

    2015-12-15

    The synthesis and characterization of two new halfsandwich mononuclear nickel(II) complexes with the scorpionate ligands, [k{sup 3}-N, N',N''-Tp{sup t-Bu}, {sup Me}NiI] (1) and [k{sup 3}-N,N',N''-Tp{sup t-Bu}, {sup Me}NiNO{sub 3}] (2), are reported. These complexes have been fully characterized by elemental analyses and infrared spectra. Their molecular structures were determined by single crystal X-ray diffraction. The nickel(II) ion of complex 1 is in a four-coordinate environment, in which the donor atoms are provided by three nitrogen atoms of a hydrotris(pyrazolyl) borate ligand and one iodide atom, while that of complex 2 is in a five-coordinate environment with three nitrogen atoms from a hydrotris(pyrazolyl)borate ligand and two oxygen atoms from a nitrate ion.

  11. Structural Mechanism of SDS-induced Enzyme Activity of Scorpion Hemocyanin Revealed by Electron Cryo-Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Cong, Yao; Zhang, Qinfen; Woolford, David; Schweikardt, Thorsten; Khant, Htet; Dougherty, Matthew; Ludtke, Steven J; Chiu, Wah; Decker, Heinz

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY Phenoloxidases (POs) occur in all organisms and are involved in skin and hair coloring in mammals, and initiating melanisation in wound healing. Mutation or overexpression of PO can cause albinism or melanoma, respectively. SDS can convert inactive PO and the oxygen carrier hemocyanin (Hc) into enzymatically active PO. Here we present single particle cryo-EM maps at subnanometer resolution and pseudo atomic models of the 24-oligomeric Hc from scorpion Pandinus imperator in resting and SDS activated states. Our structural analyses lead to a plausible mechanism of Hc enzyme PO activation: upon SDS activation the intrinsically flexible Hc domain I twists away from domains II and III in each subunit, exposing the entrance to the active site; this movement is stabilized by enhanced inter-hexamer and inter-dodecamer interactions, particularly in the central linker subunits. This mechanism could be applicable to other type 3 copper proteins since the active site is highly conserved. PMID:19446530

  12. Structural characterization of a novel peptide with antimicrobial activity from the venom gland of the scorpion Tityus stigmurus: Stigmurin.

    PubMed

    de Melo, Edinara Targino; Estrela, Andréia Bergamo; Santos, Elizabeth Cristina Gomes; Machado, Paula Renata Lima; Farias, Kleber Juvenal Silva; Torres, Taffarel Melo; Carvalho, Enéas; Lima, João Paulo Matos Santos; Silva-Júnior, Arnóbio Antonio; Barbosa, Euzébio Guimarães; Fernandes-Pedrosa, Matheus de Freitas

    2015-06-01

    A new antimicrobial peptide, herein named Stigmurin, was selected based on a transcriptomic analysis of the Brazilian yellow scorpion Tityus stigmurus venom gland, an underexplored source for toxic peptides with possible biotechnological applications. Stigmurin was investigated in silico, by circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy, and in vitro. The CD spectra suggested that this peptide interacts with membranes, changing its conformation in the presence of an amphipathic environment, with predominance of random coil and beta-sheet structures. Stigmurin exhibited antibacterial and antifungal activity, with minimal inhibitory concentrations ranging from 8.7 to 69.5μM. It was also showed that Stigmurin is toxic against SiHa and Vero E6 cell lines. The results suggest that Stigmurin can be considered a potential anti-infective drug. PMID:25805002

  13. Synthesis and structural characterization of two half-sandwich nickel(II) complexes with the scorpionate ligands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, G.-F.; Zhang, X.; Sun, S.-W.; Sun, H.; Ma, H.-X.

    2015-12-01

    The synthesis and characterization of two new halfsandwich mononuclear nickel(II) complexes with the scorpionate ligands, [ k 3- N, N', N''- Tp t-Bu, Me NiI] ( 1) and [ k 3- N, N', N''- Tp t-Bu, Me NiNO3] ( 2), are reported. These complexes have been fully characterized by elemental analyses and infrared spectra. Their molecular structures were determined by single crystal X-ray diffraction. The nickel(II) ion of complex 1 is in a four-coordinate environment, in which the donor atoms are provided by three nitrogen atoms of a hydrotris(pyrazolyl) borate ligand and one iodide atom, while that of complex 2 is in a five-coordinate environment with three nitrogen atoms from a hydrotris(pyrazolyl)borate ligand and two oxygen atoms from a nitrate ion.

  14. The development of the hardware for studying biological clock systems under microgravity conditions, using scorpions as animal models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serafini, L.; Viganò, W.; Donati, A.; Porciani, M.; Zolesi, V.; Schulze-Varnholt, D.; Manieri, P.; El-Din Sallam, A.; Schmäh, M.; Horn, E. R.

    2007-02-01

    The study of internal clock systems of scorpions in weightless conditions is the goal of the SCORPI experiment. SCORPI was selected for flight on the International Space Station (ISS) and will be mounted in the European facility BIOLAB, the European Space Agency (ESA) laboratory designed to support biological experiments on micro-organisms, cells, tissue, cultures, small plants and small invertebrates. This paper outlines the main features of a breadboard designed and developed in order to allow the analysis of critical aspects of the experiment. It is a complete tool to simulate the experiment mission on ground and it can be customised, adapted and tuned to the scientific requirements. The paper introduces the SCORPI-T experiment which represents an important precursor for the success of the SCORPI on BIOLAB. The capabilities of the hardware developed show its potential use for future similar experiments in space.

  15. Tryptophan-47 rotational isomerization in variant-3 scorpion neurotoxin. A combination thermodynamic perturbation and umbrella sampling study.

    PubMed Central

    Haydock, C; Sharp, J C; Prendergast, F G

    1990-01-01

    A combination thermodynamic perturbation and umbrella sampling study predicts two free energy wells for the rotational isomerization of the variant-3 scorpion neurotoxin tryptophan-47 indole side chain. One well has the indole side chain in the crystallographic orientation; the other has the indole rotated approximately 220 degrees to form a new conformation with a relative free energy of 3 +/- 2 kcal/mol. The activation barrier is 8.5 kcal/mol from the crystallographic well, from which transition state theory predicts a rate of escape of 2 x 10(5) s-1. Correlations in the displacements of side chains neighboring tryptophan-47 and the isomerization reaction coordinate last up to 20 ps. Favorable conditions of experimental verification are discussed. PMID:2393708

  16. A scorpion venom peptide fraction induced prostaglandin biosynthesis in guinea pig kidneys: incorporation of 14C-linoleic acid.

    PubMed

    el-Saadani, Muhammad A

    2004-01-01

    A peptide fraction isolated from the venom of the Egyptian scorpion Buthus occitanus was proved to have a bradykinin- potentiating activity. In vivo and in vitro modes of action of the isolated bradykinin-potentiating peptide (BPP) on kidneys of guinea pigs were investigated. Animals received five successive i.p. doses of the scorpion BPP (1 microg/g body weight) at one-week intervals. The control animals were i.p. injected with saline solution only. In vivo experiments showed a significant increase in renal tissue PGE(2) content and lipid peroxides of the treated guinea pigs compared to the control animals (p < 0.05). Nonsignificant changes were detected in the levels of tissue c-AMP and 5-nucleotidase activity (p > 0.05) of the treated animals, while the changes in c-GMP and c-AMP/c-GMP ratio were both significant (p < 0.05). In vitro experiments demonstrated enhanced capacity of guinea pig-renal tissue to convert (14)C-linoleic acid to its metabolites, 6-keto-PGF(1)alpha, PGF(2)alpha, PGE(2), TxB(2), PGD(2), and arachidonic acid, in response to the added PBP (1 microg/ml) and bradykinin (1 microg/ml). This enhanced response was abolished upon the addition of 1 microg/ml of BK-inhibitor (D-Arg- [Hyp(3), Thi(5,6), Phe(7)]). The capacity for labeled metabolites recovery in BPP treated renal tissue was 19.78%, while it was 13.00% in the basal control. The total increase that evoked by BPP was 62.78%. The results clearly indicate that the isolated BPP induced prostaglandin biosynthesis, which may trigger enhanced glomerular filtration in guinea pigs. PMID:14999016

  17. Effect of three feeding management systems on some reproductive parameters of Scorpion mud turtles (Kinosternon scorpioides) in Brazil.

    PubMed

    da Costa Araújo, Jamile; Vieira e Rosa, Priscila; das Dores Correia Palha, Maria; Rodrigues, Paulo Borges; de Freitas, Rilke Tadeu Fonseca; do Socorro Lima da Silva, Alanna

    2013-03-01

    Chelonians have been exploited since ancient times for their meat, eggs, fat, and offal, among other things. Among these animals, there is Scorpion mud turtle (Kinosternon scorpioides) which is an omnivorous turtle with semiaquatic habits and is widely consumed in Brazil. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of different feeding management systems on the reproductive performance of captive-bred Scorpion mud turtles, including egg quality and chemical composition. Study animals included 15 males and 48 females, divided into three groups. Animals were fed with either a commercial diet or a commercial diet supplemented with one of two different mixes (wet diet). All animals were fed at 1 % BW/day divided on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Treatments were as follows: TR = 100 % fish food (22 % CP); TRM1 = 70 % fish food + 30 % mix 1 (bovine offal and fish); TRM2 = 70 % fish food + 30 % mix 2 (bovine offal, fish, and shrimp). Samples were collected during 7 months, and eggs were identified, weighed, measured, and frozen for later analysis. Statistical analyses, including ANOVA, were performed using the program SAEG 9.0. Measurements taken from the nests were compared using the Tukey's test (P < 0.05). The different diets were associated with differential egg-laying performance and eggshell thickness. Animals fed with wet diets containing protein of animal origin displayed the best performance. Furthermore, nests with fewer eggs contained eggs of better external quality (e.g., greater length, width, and eggshell thickness). Finally, animals fed with only commercial feed produced eggs with lower saturated fatty acid content. PMID:23054808

  18. Effect of acid secretion blockade on acute gastric mucosal lesions induced by Tityus serrulatus scorpion toxin in anaesthetized rats.

    PubMed

    Melo, Júnio Rios; de Araújo, Gnana Keith Marques; da Luz, Magda Maria Profeta; da Conceição, Sérgio Alexandre; Lisboa, Felipe Assis; Moraes-Santos, Tasso; Cunha-Melo, José Renan

    2006-10-01

    Scorpion venom (TX) promotes gastric acid and pepsin secretion leading to acute gastric mucosal lesions (AGML), when injected in animals. The goal of the present study was to observe the effects of acid gastric secretion blockers over the incidence of TX-induced AGML in vivo. To verify this model, we used male albino rats, fasted 18-20 h (n=122) and anaesthetized with urethane (1.4 g/kg, i.p.). Their trachea and left femoral vein were both cannulated; the first to avoid airway obstructions during scorpion intoxication and the second for administration of saline, TX and acid blockers. Following the surgical procedure, the animals were divided in 10 groups of at least 10 animals each. Control groups were injected with NaCl 0.9% 1 ml/kg (n=10) or TX 375 microg/kg (n=32). Test groups (n=10, each) received atropine 5 mg/kg, cimetidine 10mg/kg, ranitidine 2.5mg/kg, ranitidine 5mg/kg, omeprazol 1 mg/kg, omeprazol 4 mg/kg, octreotide 80 and octreotide 100 microg/kg 10 min before the TX was injected. After 1h of intoxication, the stomach was resected for macroscopic study and the gastric secretion was collected for volume, pH and acid output assessment. We observed that all blockers were able to completely or partially prevent the TX-induced acid secretion as well as the AGML (p<0.05). Our data suggest the TX-induced AGML can be prevented by different class of acid blockers injected before the intoxication. PMID:16926041

  19. Ts8 scorpion toxin inhibits the Kv4.2 channel and produces nociception in vivo.

    PubMed

    Pucca, Manuela Berto; Cerni, Felipe Augusto; Cordeiro, Francielle Almeida; Peigneur, Steve; Cunha, Thiago Mattar; Tytgat, Jan; Arantes, Eliane Candiani

    2016-09-01

    The venom from the scorpion Tityus serrulatus (Ts) has been extensively studied mainly because of its rich cocktail of neurotoxins. Neurotoxins are the major and the most known components based on their modulation of voltage-gated ion channels. Until now, electrophysiological studies demonstrated that the Ts venom comprises toxins that affect Nav and Kv channels. However, although many studies have been conducted in this field, many peptides from Ts venom await further studies, including Ts8 toxin. Here we report the isolation and electrophysiological study of Ts8. The toxin Ts19 Frag-II was used as negative control. Ts8 demonstrates, among 20 tested channels, to be a selective modulator of Kv4.2 channels. Based on studies investigating the involvement of Kv4.2 on controlling nociception, we further investigated the modulation of pain by Ts8. Using intraplantar injections, Ts8 induced overt nociception (licking and lifting behaviors) and decreased the mechanical nociceptive threshold (hyperalgesia). Furthermore, the hyperalgesia was prolonged when intrathecal injections were performed. Independent of the severity, most of the victims stung by Ts scorpions report an intense and persistent pain as the major manifestation. The new role of Ts8 on nociception could explain, at least partially, this phenomenon. Additionally, our study also stresses the involvement of toxins specific to Nav channels and inflammatory mediators on the Ts painful sting. This work provides useful insights for a better understanding of the prolonged and intense pain associated with Ts envenoming for the development of specific therapies. PMID:27346450

  20. Chaperone-mediated native folding of a β-scorpion toxin in the periplasm of Escherichia coli☆

    PubMed Central

    O'Reilly, A.O.; Cole, A.R.; Lopes, J.L.S.; Lampert, A.; Wallace, B.A.

    2014-01-01

    Background Animal neurotoxin peptides are valuable probes for investigating ion channel structure/function relationships and represent lead compounds for novel therapeutics and insecticides. However, misfolding and aggregation are common outcomes when toxins containing multiple disulfides are expressed in bacteria. Methods The β-scorpion peptide toxin Bj-xtrIT from Hottentotta judaica and four chaperone enzymes (DsbA, DsbC, SurA and FkpA) were co-secreted into the oxidizing environment of the Escherichia coli periplasm. Expressed Bj-xtrIT was purified and analyzed by HPLC and FPLC chromatography. Its thermostability was assessed using synchrotron radiation circular dichroism spectroscopy and its crystal structure was determined. Results Western blot analysis showed that robust expression was only achieved when cells co-expressed the chaperones. The purified samples were homogenous and monodisperse and the protein was thermostable. The crystal structure of the recombinant toxin confirmed that it adopts the native disulfide connectivity and fold. Conclusions The chaperones enabled correct folding of the four-disulfide-bridged Bj-xtrIT toxin. There was no apparent sub-population of misfolded Bj-xtrIT, which attests to the effectiveness of this expression method. General significance We report the first example of a disulfide-linked scorpion toxin natively folded during bacterial expression. This method eliminates downstream processing steps such as oxidative refolding or cleavage of a fusion-carrier and therefore enables efficient production of insecticidal Bj-xtrIT. Periplasmic chaperone activity may produce native folding of other extensively disulfide-reticulated proteins including animal neurotoxins. This work is therefore relevant to venomics and studies of a wide range of channels and receptors. PMID:23999087

  1. Modular Organization of α-Toxins from Scorpion Venom Mirrors Domain Structure of Their Targets, Sodium Channels*

    PubMed Central

    Chugunov, Anton O.; Koromyslova, Anna D.; Berkut, Antonina A.; Peigneur, Steve; Tytgat, Jan; Polyansky, Anton A.; Pentkovsky, Vladimir M.; Vassilevski, Alexander A.; Grishin, Eugene V.; Efremov, Roman G.

    2013-01-01

    To gain success in the evolutionary “arms race,” venomous animals such as scorpions produce diverse neurotoxins selected to hit targets in the nervous system of prey. Scorpion α-toxins affect insect and/or mammalian voltage-gated sodium channels (Navs) and thereby modify the excitability of muscle and nerve cells. Although more than 100 α-toxins are known and a number of them have been studied into detail, the molecular mechanism of their interaction with Navs is still poorly understood. Here, we employ extensive molecular dynamics simulations and spatial mapping of hydrophobic/hydrophilic properties distributed over the molecular surface of α-toxins. It is revealed that despite the small size and relatively rigid structure, these toxins possess modular organization from structural, functional, and evolutionary perspectives. The more conserved and rigid “core module” is supplemented with the “specificity module” (SM) that is comparatively flexible and variable and determines the taxon (mammal versus insect) specificity of α-toxin activity. We further show that SMs in mammal toxins are more flexible and hydrophilic than in insect toxins. Concomitant sequence-based analysis of the extracellular loops of Navs suggests that α-toxins recognize the channels using both modules. We propose that the core module binds to the voltage-sensing domain IV, whereas the more versatile SM interacts with the pore domain in repeat I of Navs. These findings corroborate and expand the hypothesis on different functional epitopes of toxins that has been reported previously. In effect, we propose that the modular structure in toxins evolved to match the domain architecture of Navs. PMID:23637230

  2. Neuroprotection by scorpion venom heat resistant peptide in 6-hydroxydopamine rat model of early-stage Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Yin, Sheng-Ming; Zhao, Dan; Yu, De-Qin; Li, Sheng-Long; An, Dong; Peng, Yan; Xu, Hong; Sun, Yi-Ping; Wang, Dong-Mei; Zhao, Jie; Zhang, Wan-Qin

    2014-12-25

    Neuroprotective effect of scorpion venom on Parkinson's disease (PD) has already been reported. The present study was aimed to investigate whether scorpion venom heat resistant peptide (SVHRP) could attenuate ultrastructural abnormalities in mitochondria and oxidative stress in midbrain neurons of early-stage PD model. The early-stage PD model was established by injecting 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) (20 μg/3 μL normal saline with 0.1% ascorbic acid) into the striatum of Sprague Dawley (SD) rats unilaterally. The rats were intraperitoneally administered with SVHRP (0.05 mg/kg per day) or vehicle (saline) for 1 week. Two weeks after 6-OHDA treatment, the rats received behavior tests for validation of model. Three weeks after 6-OHDA injection, the immunoreactivity of dopaminergic neurons were detected by immunohistochemistry staining, and the ultrastructure of neuronal mitochondria in midbrain was observed by electron microscope. In the meantime, the activities of monoamine oxidase-B (MAO-B), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and content of malondialdehyde (MDA) in the mitochondria of the midbrain neurons, as well as the inhibitory ability of hydroxyl free radical and the antioxidant ability in the serum, were measured by corresponding kits. The results showed that 6-OHDA reduced the optical density of dopaminergic neurons, induced damage of mitochondrial ultrastructure of midbrain neurons, decreased SOD activity, increased MAO-B activity and MDA content, and reduced the antioxidant ability of the serum. SVHRP significantly reversed the previous harmful effects of 6-OHDA in early-stage PD model. These findings indicate that SVHRP may contribute to neuroprotection by preventing biochemical and ultrastructure damage changes which occur during early-stage PD. PMID:25516514

  3. The anti-proliferative effects and mechanisms of low molecular weight scorpion BmK venom peptides on human hepatoma and cervical carcinoma cells in vitro.

    PubMed

    Li, Weiling; Xin, Yi; Chen, Yang; Li, Xinli; Zhang, Cuili; Bai, Jing; Yuan, Jieli

    2014-10-01

    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. PMID:25202371

  4. A Teacher's Guide to African Narratives. Studies in African Literature.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Brien, Sara Talis

    This guide is designed to help secondary school teachers include African literature in their classes. It furnishes English and social studies teachers with a foundation for teaching African literature by offering critical commentary on the texts themselves. A synthesis of anthropological and historical material is presented to help both teachers…

  5. Characterization of the venom from the Australian scorpion Urodacus yaschenkoi: Molecular mass analysis of components, cDNA sequences and peptides with antimicrobial activity.

    PubMed

    Luna-Ramírez, Karen; Quintero-Hernández, Veronica; Vargas-Jaimes, Leonel; Batista, Cesar V F; Winkel, Kenneth D; Possani, Lourival D

    2013-03-01

    The Urodacidae scorpions are the most widely distributed of the four families in Australia and represent half of the species in the continent, yet their venoms remain largely unstudied. This communication reports the first results of a proteome analysis of the venom of the scorpion Urodacus yaschenkoi performed by mass fingerprinting, after high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) separation. A total of 74 fractions were obtained by HPLC separation allowing the identification of approximately 274 different molecular masses with molecular weights varying from 287 to 43,437 Da. The most abundant peptides were those from 1 K Da and 4-5 K Da representing antimicrobial peptides and putative potassium channel toxins, respectively. Three such peptides were chemically synthesized and tested against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria showing minimum inhibitory concentration in the low micromolar range, but with moderate hemolytic activity. It also reports a transcriptome analysis of the venom glands of the same scorpion species, undertaken by constructing a cDNA library and conducting random sequencing screening of the transcripts. From the resultant cDNA library 172 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were analyzed. These transcripts were further clustered into 120 unique sequences (23 contigs and 97 singlets). The identified putative proteins can be assorted in several groups, such as those implicated in common cellular processes, putative neurotoxins and antimicrobial peptides. The scorpion U. yaschenkoi is not known to be dangerous to humans and its venom contains peptides similar to those of Opisthacanthus cayaporum (antibacterial), Scorpio maurus palmatus (maurocalcin), Opistophthalmus carinatus (opistoporines) and Hadrurus gerstchi (scorpine-like molecules), amongst others. PMID:23182832

  6. Scorpion venom heat-resistant peptide (SVHRP) enhances neurogenesis and neurite outgrowth of immature neurons in adult mice by up-regulating brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

    PubMed

    Wang, Tao; Wang, Shi-Wei; Zhang, Yue; Wu, Xue-Fei; Peng, Yan; Cao, Zhen; Ge, Bi-Ying; Wang, Xi; Wu, Qiong; Lin, Jin-Tao; Zhang, Wan-Qin; Li, Shao; Zhao, Jie

    2014-01-01

    Scorpion venom heat-resistant peptide (SVHRP) is a component purified from Buthus martensii Karsch scorpion venom. Although scorpions and their venom have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to treat chronic neurological disorders, the underlying mechanisms of these treatments remain unknown. We applied SVHRP in vitro and in vivo to understand its effects on the neurogenesis and maturation of adult immature neurons and explore associated molecular mechanisms. SVHRP administration increased the number of 5-bromo-2'-dexoxyuridine (BrdU)-positive cells, BrdU-positive/neuron-specific nuclear protein (NeuN)-positive neurons, and polysialylated-neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM)-positive immature neurons in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and subgranular zone (SGZ) of hippocampus. Furthermore immature neurons incubated with SVHRP-pretreated astrocyte-conditioned medium exhibited significantly increased neurite length compared with those incubated with normal astrocyte-conditioned medium. This neurotrophic effect was further confirmed in vivo by detecting an increased average single area and whole area of immature neurons in the SGZ, SVZ and olfactory bulb (OB) in the adult mouse brain. In contrast to normal astrocyte-conditioned medium, higher concentrations of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) but not nerve growth factor (NGF) or glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) was detected in the conditioned medium of SVHRP-pretreated astrocytes, and blocking BDNF using anti-BDNF antibodies eliminated these SVHRP-dependent neurotrophic effects. In SVHRP treated mouse brain, more glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive cells were detected. Furthermore, immunohistochemistry revealed increased numbers of GFAP/BDNF double-positive cells, which agrees with the observed changes in the culture system. This paper describes novel effects of scorpion venom-originated peptide on the stem cells and suggests the potential therapeutic values of SVHRP

  7. Scorpion Venom Heat-Resistant Peptide (SVHRP) Enhances Neurogenesis and Neurite Outgrowth of Immature Neurons in Adult Mice by Up-Regulating Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yue; Wu, Xue-Fei; Peng, Yan; Cao, Zhen; Ge, Bi-Ying; Wang, Xi; Wu, Qiong; Lin, Jin-Tao; Zhang, Wan-Qin; Li, Shao; Zhao, Jie

    2014-01-01

    Scorpion venom heat-resistant peptide (SVHRP) is a component purified from Buthus martensii Karsch scorpion venom. Although scorpions and their venom have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to treat chronic neurological disorders, the underlying mechanisms of these treatments remain unknown. We applied SVHRP in vitro and in vivo to understand its effects on the neurogenesis and maturation of adult immature neurons and explore associated molecular mechanisms. SVHRP administration increased the number of 5-bromo-2’-dexoxyuridine (BrdU)-positive cells, BrdU- positive/neuron-specific nuclear protein (NeuN)-positive neurons, and polysialylated-neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM)-positive immature neurons in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and subgranular zone (SGZ) of hippocampus. Furthermore immature neurons incubated with SVHRP-pretreated astrocyte-conditioned medium exhibited significantly increased neurite length compared with those incubated with normal astrocyte-conditioned medium. This neurotrophic effect was further confirmed in vivo by detecting an increased average single area and whole area of immature neurons in the SGZ, SVZ and olfactory bulb (OB) in the adult mouse brain. In contrast to normal astrocyte-conditioned medium, higher concentrations of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) but not nerve growth factor (NGF) or glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) was detected in the conditioned medium of SVHRP-pretreated astrocytes, and blocking BDNF using anti-BDNF antibodies eliminated these SVHRP-dependent neurotrophic effects. In SVHRP treated mouse brain, more glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive cells were detected. Furthermore, immunohistochemistry revealed increased numbers of GFAP/BDNF double-positive cells, which agrees with the observed changes in the culture system. This paper describes novel effects of scorpion venom-originated peptide on the stem cells and suggests the potential therapeutic values of

  8. The Dilemma of Choosing a Reference Character for Measuring Sexual Size Dimorphism, Sexual Body Component Dimorphism, and Character Scaling: Cryptic Dimorphism and Allometry in the Scorpion Hadrurus arizonensis

    PubMed Central

    Fox, Gerad A.; Cooper, Allen M.; Hayes, William K.

    2015-01-01

    Sexual differences in morphology, ranging from subtle to extravagant, occur commonly in many animal species. These differences can encompass overall body size (sexual size dimorphism, SSD) or the size and/or shape of specific body parts (sexual body component dimorphism, SBCD). Interacting forces of natural and sexual selection shape much of the expression of dimorphism we see, though non-adaptive processes may be involved. Differential scaling of individual features can result when selection favors either exaggerated (positive allometry) or reduced (negative allometry) size during growth. Studies of sexual dimorphism and character scaling rely on multivariate models that ideally use an unbiased reference character as an overall measure of body size. We explored several candidate reference characters in a cryptically dimorphic taxon, Hadrurus arizonensis. In this scorpion, essentially every body component among the 16 we examined could be interpreted as dimorphic, but identification of SSD and SBCD depended on which character was used as the reference (prosoma length, prosoma area, total length, principal component 1, or metasoma segment 1 width). Of these characters, discriminant function analysis suggested that metasoma segment 1 width was the most appropriate. The pattern of dimorphism in H. arizonensis mirrored that seen in other more obviously dimorphic scorpions, with static allometry trending towards isometry in most characters. Our findings are consistent with the conclusions of others that fecundity selection likely favors a larger prosoma in female scorpions, whereas sexual selection may favor other body parts being larger in males, especially the metasoma, pectines, and possibly the chela. For this scorpion and probably most other organisms, the choice of reference character profoundly affects interpretations of SSD, SBCD, and allometry. Thus, researchers need to broaden their consideration of an appropriate reference and exercise caution in interpreting

  9. Multiple actions of φ-LITX-Lw1a on ryanodine receptors reveal a functional link between scorpion DDH and ICK toxins

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Jennifer J.; Vetter, Irina; Lewis, Richard J.; Peigneur, Steve; Tytgat, Jan; Lam, Alexander; Gallant, Esther M.; Beard, Nicole A.; Alewood, Paul F.; Dulhunty, Angela F.

    2013-01-01

    We recently reported the isolation of a scorpion toxin named U1-liotoxin-Lw1a (U1-LITX-Lw1a) that adopts an unusual 3D fold termed the disulfide-directed hairpin (DDH) motif, which is the proposed evolutionary structural precursor of the three-disulfide-containing inhibitor cystine knot (ICK) motif found widely in animals and plants. Here we reveal that U1-LITX-Lw1a targets and activates the mammalian ryanodine receptor intracellular calcium release channel (RyR) with high (fM) potency and provides a functional link between DDH and ICK scorpion toxins. Moreover, U1-LITX-Lw1a, now described as φ-liotoxin-Lw1a (φ-LITX-Lw1a), has a similar mode of action on RyRs as scorpion calcines, although with significantly greater potency, inducing full channel openings at lower (fM) toxin concentrations whereas at higher pM concentrations increasing the frequency and duration of channel openings to a submaximal state. In addition, we show that the C-terminal residue of φ-LITX-Lw1a is crucial for the increase in full receptor openings but not for the increase in receptor subconductance opening, thereby supporting the two-binding-site hypothesis of scorpion toxins on RyRs. φ-LITX-Lw1a has potential both as a pharmacological tool and as a lead molecule for the treatment of human diseases that involve RyRs, such as malignant hyperthermia and polymorphic ventricular tachycardia. PMID:23671114

  10. Biochemical and physiological characterization of a new Na(+)-channel specific peptide from the venom of the Argentinean scorpion Tityus trivittatus.

    PubMed

    Coronas, Fredy I V; Diego-García, Elia; Restano-Cassulini, Rita; de Roodt, Adolfo R; Possani, Lourival D

    2015-06-01

    A new peptide with 61 amino acids cross-linked by 4 disulfide bridges, with molecular weight of 6938.12Da, and an amidated C-terminal amino acid residue was purified and characterized. The primary structure was obtained by direct Edman degradation and sequencing its gene. The peptide is lethal to mammals and was shown to be similar (95% identity) to toxin Ts1 (gamma toxin) from the Brazilian scorpion Tityus serrulatus; it was named Tt1g (from T. trivittatus toxin 1 gamma-like). Tt1g was assayed on several sub-types of Na(+)-channels showing displacement of the currents to more negative voltages, being the hNav1.3 the most affected channel. This toxin displays characteristics typical to the β-type sodium scorpion toxins. Lethality tests and physiological assays indicate that this peptide is probably the most important toxic component of this species of scorpion, known for causing human fatalities in the South American continent. PMID:24862827

  11. Standardization of an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for detecting circulating toxic venom antigens in patients stung by the scorpion Tityus serrulatus.

    PubMed

    de Rezende, N A; Dias, M B; Campolina, D; Chavéz-Olortegui, C; Amaral, C F

    1995-01-01

    The sensitivity and specificity of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of circulating antigens from toxic components of Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom was determined in patients stung by T. serrulatus before antivenom administration. Thirty-seven patients were classified as mild cases and 19 as moderate or severe cases. The control absorbance in the venom assay was provided by serum samples from 100 individuals of same socioeconomic group and geographical area who had never been stung by scorpions or treated with horse antisera. The negative cutoff value (mean + 2 SD) corresponded to a venom concentration of 4.8 ng/ml. Three out of the 100 normal sera were positive, resulting in a specificity of 97%. The sensitivity of the ELISA when all cases of scorpion sting were included was 39.3%. When mild cases were excluded, the sensitivity increased to 94.7%. This study showed that this ELISA can be used for the detection of circulating venom toxic antigens in patients with systemic manifestations following. T. serrulatus sting but cannot be used for clinical studies in mild cases of envenoming since the test does not discriminate mild cases from control patients. PMID:7569644

  12. The three-dimensional structural surface of two beta-sheet scorpion toxins mimics that of an alpha-helical dihydropyridine receptor segment.

    PubMed Central

    Green, Daniel; Pace, Suzi; Curtis, Suzanne M; Sakowska, Magdalena; Lamb, Graham D; Dulhunty, Angela F; Casarotto, Marco G

    2003-01-01

    An alpha-helical II-III loop segment of the dihydropyridine receptor activates the ryanodine receptor calcium-release channel. We describe a novel manipulation in which this agonist's activity is increased by modifying its surface structure to resemble that of a toxin molecule. In a unique system, native beta-sheet scorpion toxins have been reported to activate skeletal muscle ryanodine receptor calcium channels with high affinity by binding to the same site as the lower-affinity alpha-helical dihydropyridine receptor segment. We increased the alignment of basic residues in the alpha-helical peptide to mimic the spatial orientation of active residues in the scorpion toxin, with a consequent 2-20-fold increase in the activity of the alpha-helical peptide. We hypothesized that, like the native peptide, the modified peptide and the scorpion toxin may bind to a common site. This was supported by (i) similar changes in ryanodine receptor channel gating induced by the native or modified alpha-helical peptide and the beta-sheet toxin, a 10-100-fold reduction in channel closed time, with a < or = 2-fold increase in open dwell time and (ii) a failure of the toxin to further activate channels activated by the peptides. These results suggest that diverse structural scaffolds can present similar conformational surface properties to target common receptor sites. PMID:12429019

  13. A preliminary synopsis on amber scorpions with special reference to Burmite species: an extraordinary development of our knowledge in only 20 years

    PubMed Central

    Lourenço, Wilson R.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract A preliminary study on fossil scorpions found in amber, from the Lower Cretaceous through the Palaeocene and up to the Miocene is proposed. Scorpions remain rare among the arthropods found trapped in amber. Only 24 specimens are known from Cretaceous amber, representing eight families and subfamilies, ten genera and 21 species; in parallel, 10 specimens have been recorded from Baltic amber representing seven genera and ten species. A few more recent fossils from Dominican and Mexican amber have also been described. The present study of a new scorpion specimen from the Cretaceous amber of Myanmar (Burmite) resulted in the description of one new species, Betaburmesebuthus bellus sp. n. – belonging to the subfamily Palaeoburmesebuthinae Lourenço, 2015. The new description brings further elements to the clarification of the status of this subfamily, which is now raised to family level. Once again, this new Burmite element attests to the considerable degree of diversity in the Burmese amber-producing forests. PMID:27408601

  14. African-American Sacred Music.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bailey, A. Peter

    1991-01-01

    The history of African-American sacred music is traced from the time of slavery to the present interest in gospel music. The religious music of African Americans is geared toward liberation themes. It is important that this music does not dilute its power through cross-over with other music forms. (SLD)

  15. African oil plays

    SciTech Connect

    Clifford, A.J. )

    1989-09-01

    The vast continent of Africa hosts over eight sedimentary basins, covering approximately half its total area. Of these basins, only 82% have entered a mature exploration phase, 9% have had little or no exploration at all. Since oil was first discovered in Africa during the mid-1950s, old play concepts continue to bear fruit, for example in Egypt and Nigeria, while new play concepts promise to become more important, such as in Algeria, Angola, Chad, Egypt, Gabon, and Sudan. The most exciting developments of recent years in African oil exploration are: (1) the Gamba/Dentale play, onshore Gabon; (2) the Pinda play, offshore Angola; (3) the Lucula/Toca play, offshore Cabinda; (4) the Metlaoui play, offshore Libya/Tunisia; (5) the mid-Cretaceous sand play, Chad/Sudan; and (6) the TAG-I/F6 play, onshore Algeria. Examples of these plays are illustrated along with some of the more traditional oil plays. Where are the future oil plays likely to develop No doubt, the Saharan basins of Algeria and Libya will feature strongly, also the presalt of Equatorial West Africa, the Central African Rift System and, more speculatively, offshore Ethiopia and Namibia, and onshore Madagascar, Mozambique, and Tanzania.

  16. Bioenergy and African transformation.

    PubMed

    Lynd, Lee R; Sow, Mariam; Chimphango, Annie Fa; Cortez, Luis Ab; Brito Cruz, Carlos H; Elmissiry, Mosad; Laser, Mark; Mayaki, Ibrahim A; Moraes, Marcia Afd; Nogueira, Luiz Ah; Wolfaardt, Gideon M; Woods, Jeremy; van Zyl, Willem H

    2015-01-01

    Among the world's continents, Africa has the highest incidence of food insecurity and poverty and the highest rates of population growth. Yet Africa also has the most arable land, the lowest crop yields, and by far the most plentiful land resources relative to energy demand. It is thus of interest to examine the potential of expanded modern bioenergy production in Africa. Here we consider bioenergy as an enabler for development, and provide an overview of modern bioenergy technologies with a comment on application in an Africa context. Experience with bioenergy in Africa offers evidence of social benefits and also some important lessons. In Brazil, social development, agricultural development and food security, and bioenergy development have been synergistic rather than antagonistic. Realizing similar success in African countries will require clear vision, good governance, and adaptation of technologies, knowledge, and business models to myriad local circumstances. Strategies for integrated production of food crops, livestock, and bioenergy are potentially attractive and offer an alternative to an agricultural model featuring specialized land use. If done thoughtfully, there is considerable evidence that food security and economic development in Africa can be addressed more effectively with modern bioenergy than without it. Modern bioenergy can be an agent of African transformation, with potential social benefits accruing to multiple sectors and extending well beyond energy supply per se. Potential negative impacts also cut across sectors. Thus, institutionally inclusive multi-sector legislative structures will be more effective at maximizing the social benefits of bioenergy compared to institutionally exclusive, single-sector structures. PMID:25709714

  17. Assimilation Differences among Africans in America.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dodoo, F. Nii-Amoo

    1997-01-01

    Census data (1990) indicate that male African immigrants earn more than their Caribbean-born counterparts or native-born African Americans, but controlling for relevant earnings-related endowments erases the African advantage and elevates Caribbean earnings above those of the other groups. Also, African (but not Caribbean) university degree…

  18. Successfully Educating Our African-American Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moncree-Moffett, Kareem

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this empirical study was to explore the lived experiences of African American retired female teachers who have prior experience with educating urban African American students in public schools. Also explored are the experiences of active African American female teachers of urban African American students and comparisons are…

  19. Negro, Black, Black African, African Caribbean, African American or what? Labelling African origin populations in the health arena in the 21st century.

    PubMed

    Agyemang, Charles; Bhopal, Raj; Bruijnzeels, Marc

    2005-12-01

    Broad terms such as Black, African, or Black African are entrenched in scientific writings although there is considerable diversity within African descent populations and such terms may be both offensive and inaccurate. This paper outlines the heterogeneity within African populations, and discusses the strengths and limitations of the term Black and related labels from epidemiological and public health perspectives in Europe and the USA. This paper calls for debate on appropriate terminologies for African descent populations and concludes with the proposals that (1) describing the population under consideration is of paramount importance (2) the word African origin or simply African is an appropriate and necessary prefix for an ethnic label, for example, African Caribbean or African Kenyan or African Surinamese (3) documents should define the ethnic labels (4) the label Black should be phased out except when used in political contexts. PMID:16286485

  20. African swine fever.

    PubMed

    Penrith, Mary-Louise

    2009-03-01

    African swine fever (ASF) is a devastating haemorrhagic fever of pigs that causes up to 100% mortality, for which there is no vaccine. It is caused by a unique DNA virus that is maintained in an ancient cycle between warthogs and argasid ticks, making it the only known DNA arbovirus. ASF has a high potential for transboundary spread, and has twice been transported from Africa to other continents--Europe and subsequently the Caribbean and Brazil (1957, 1959) and the Caucasus (2007). It is also a devastating constraint for pig production in Africa. Research at Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute has made and is making important contributions to knowledge of this disease, focusing on the cycle in warthogs and tampans and transmission from that cycle to domestic pigs, resistance to its effects in domestic pigs, and the molecular genetic characterisation and epidemiology of the virus. PMID:19967933

  1. The African Millennium Villages

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez, Pedro; Palm, Cheryl; Sachs, Jeffrey; Denning, Glenn; Flor, Rafael; Harawa, Rebbie; Jama, Bashir; Kiflemariam, Tsegazeab; Konecky, Bronwen; Kozar, Raffaela; Lelerai, Eliud; Malik, Alia; Modi, Vijay; Mutuo, Patrick; Niang, Amadou; Okoth, Herine; Place, Frank; Sachs, Sonia Ehrlich; Said, Amir; Siriri, David; Teklehaimanot, Awash; Wang, Karen; Wangila, Justine; Zamba, Colleen

    2007-01-01

    We describe the concept, strategy, and initial results of the Millennium Villages Project and implications regarding sustainability and scalability. Our underlying hypothesis is that the interacting crises of agriculture, health, and infrastructure in rural Africa can be overcome through targeted public-sector investments to raise rural productivity and, thereby, to increased private-sector saving and investments. This is carried out by empowering impoverished communities with science-based interventions. Seventy-eight Millennium Villages have been initiated in 12 sites in 10 African countries, each representing a major agroecological zone. In early results, the research villages in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Malawi have reduced malaria prevalence, met caloric requirements, generated crop surpluses, enabled school feeding programs, and provided cash earnings for farm families. PMID:17942701

  2. Larger genetic differences within africans than between Africans and Eurasians.

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Ning; Chen, Feng-Chi; Ota, Satoshi; Jorde, Lynn B; Pamilo, Pekka; Patthy, Laszlo; Ramsay, Michele; Jenkins, Trefor; Shyue, Song-Kun; Li, Wen-Hsiung

    2002-01-01

    The worldwide pattern of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) variation is of great interest to human geneticists, population geneticists, and evolutionists, but remains incompletely understood. We studied the pattern in noncoding regions, because they are less affected by natural selection than are coding regions. Thus, it can reflect better the history of human evolution and can serve as a baseline for understanding the maintenance of SNPs in human populations. We sequenced 50 noncoding DNA segments each approximately 500 bp long in 10 Africans, 10 Europeans, and 10 Asians. An analysis of the data suggests that the sampling scheme is adequate for our purpose. The average nucleotide diversity (pi) for the 50 segments is only 0.061% +/- 0.010% among Asians and 0.064% +/- 0.011% among Europeans but almost twice as high (0.115% +/- 0.016%) among Africans. The African diversity estimate is even higher than that between Africans and Eurasians (0.096% +/- 0.012%). From available data for noncoding autosomal regions (total length = 47,038 bp) and X-linked regions (47,421 bp), we estimated the pi-values for autosomal regions to be 0.105, 0.070, 0.069, and 0.097% for Africans, Asians, Europeans, and between Africans and Eurasians, and the corresponding values for X-linked regions to be 0.088, 0.042, 0.053, and 0.082%. Thus, Africans differ from one another slightly more than from Eurasians, and the genetic diversity in Eurasians is largely a subset of that in Africans, supporting the out of Africa model of human evolution. Clearly, one must specify the geographic origins of the individuals sampled when studying pi or SNP density. PMID:12019240

  3. [West African childbirth traditions].

    PubMed

    Hallgren, R

    1983-11-01

    Religious and medical practices are steeped in the traditions of West African culture vis-a-vis childbirth. It is customary for delivery to occur with the woman squatting on the ground surrounded by sisters and female relatives, some of whom function as midwives. Midwives get paid only if delivery is successful. A stool is also often used in childbirth. The name given to a child in the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria has to refer to the circumstances of the individual's birth. The contact with the earth (as in the squatting position) has religious overtones--it indicates the fecundity of the earth, and the mother's contact with it. Infertility is considered the greatest tragedy in traditional African society. In Senegal, a childless woman pays a fertile one a certain sum in return for bearing her a child who would be raised as her own (this tradition is not unlike surrogate motherhood in Western countries). Men are never present at birth; however, in urban settings this practice is changing. The burial of the placenta and umbilical cord is thought to restore the woman's fertility and help heal her womb. This practice was even recorded in 19th century Sweden harkening back to heathen times. In Ghana, an infertile woman urinates on the ground where the placenta is buried in the belief that her fertility will be restored. The birth of twins is regarded as a great blessing, and as a sign of fertility; however, the inability of the mother to breast-feed both twins may result in the death of the weaker child. The harmony of nature, animals, and human beings is paramount in traditional West Africa religion and life, and undoubtedly Western culture could learn from some of these beliefs. PMID:6558064

  4. Early African Hominids: Pedagogic Patterns.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newman, James L.

    1984-01-01

    By studying early African hominids, students can learn about the interactive testing and creative aspects of scientific thinking and sharpen their geographical skills. It is impossible to study this topic without giving prominence to space and time. (RM)

  5. Antibiotic activity and structural analysis of the scorpion-derived antimicrobial peptide IsCT and its analogs.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kyungik; Shin, Song Yub; Kim, Kyoungho; Lim, Shin Saeng; Hahm, Kyung-Soo; Kim, Yangmee

    2004-10-15

    IsCT is a non-cell-selective antimicrobial peptide isolated from the scorpion Opisthacanthus madagascariensis that has potent cytolytic activity against both mammalian and bacterial cells. To investigate the structure-activity relationships of IsCT and to design novel peptide antibiotics with bacterial cell selectivity, we synthesized several analogs of IsCT and determined their three-dimensional structures in solution by 2D-NMR spectroscopy. IsCT has a linear alpha-helical structure from Gly3 to Phe13, and [K7]-IsCT has a linear alpha-helical structure from Leu2 to Phe13. [K7, P8, K11]-IsCT, which has a bend in its middle region, exhibited the highest antibacterial activity without hemolytic activity, suggesting that its proline-induced bend is an important determinant of this selectivity. Tryptophan fluorescence showed that the high selectivity of [K7, P8, K11]-IsCT toward bacterial cells is closely correlated with its highly selective interaction with negatively charged phospholipids. Its potent activity against antibiotic-resistant bacteria suggests that [K7, P8, K11]-IsCT may serve as a promising lead candidate in the development of new peptide antibiotics. PMID:15369808

  6. Isolation, molecular cloning and functional characterization of a novel beta-toxin from the Venezuelan scorpion, Tityus zulianus.

    PubMed

    Borges, Adolfo; Alfonzo, Marcelo J; García, Carmen C; Winand, Nena J; Leipold, Enrico; Heinemann, Stefan H

    2004-05-01

    Sting in children by Tityus zulianus scorpions (western Venezuela) often produces cardiorespiratory arrest and death by pulmonary oedema. To assess its toxicity, lethality in mice of T. zulianus soluble venom was determined. Toxin composition was studied by fractionating the crude venom through reversed-phase HPLC. The most abundant peptide, Tz1, was purified further and its N-terminal sequence, amino acid composition and molecular mass (by electron-spray ionization mass spectrometry) determined. In the presence of Tz1, activation of recombinant rat skeletal muscle sodium channels (Na(V)1.4) was shifted about 35 mV in the hyperpolarizing direction in a prepulse-dependent manner. This typical beta-toxin effect had an apparent EC50 of 3.5 microM A cDNA sequence encoding Tz1 was isolated from T. zulianus venom gland RNA using a combination of 5'- and 3'-RACE PCR. Analysis of the encoded sequence indicated that Tz1 is the processed product of a precursor containing: (i) a 20-residue long leader peptide; (ii) the amino acid sequence of the mature toxin (64 residues); and (iii) an extra Gly-Lys tail at the C-terminus, probably removed post-translationally. A comparison of Tz1 with Tityus serrulatus beta-toxin Ts1 revealed that some of the non-conservative replacements in Tz1 lie in regions potentially involved in receptor recognition. PMID:15109888

  7. Offspring size-number trade-offs in scorpions: an empirical test of the van Noordwijk and de Jong model.

    PubMed

    Brown, Christopher A

    2003-09-01

    Life-history traits are expected to exhibit negative phenotypic trade-offs, but often do not. In a seminal paper, van Noordwijk and de Jong (1986) provided an answer to this seeming paradox. According to their model, trade-offs will be more difficult to detect if variation in resource acquisition (or investment) is high relative to variation in resource allocation to the traits under consideration. Despite its influence on subsequent life-history studies, this model has rarely been tested. I use data from 10 species of scorpion (a total of 30 datasets, including multiple populations or years for some species) to test the van Noordwijk-de Jong model as modified to examine the relationship between offspring size and number. For both the overall data and a subset, including only the species Centruroides vittatus, I found that the correlation between offspring size and number within a population was significantly negatively correlated with the ratio of allocation variance to investment variance. That is, strong trade-offs were found when the investment variance was low relative to the allocation variance. These results were robust to the particular measure of offspring size and to whether offspring data were adjusted for female size variation. My results therefore provide strong evidence in support of the van Noordwijk and de Jong model. PMID:14575339

  8. Monoclonal immunotoxin acting on the Na/sup +/ channel, with properties similar to those of a scorpion toxin

    SciTech Connect

    Barhanin, J.; Meiri, H.; Romey, G.; Pauron, D.; Lazdunski, M.

    1985-03-01

    The authors describe the properties of a monoclonal antibody against the Na/sup +/ channel. The antibody, 72.38, competitively inhibited the binding of an /sup 125/I-labeled toxin from the Brazilian scorpion Tityus serrulatus (/sup 125/I-TiTX..gamma..) to Na/sup +/ channels of rat brain membranes. The inhibition of /sup 125/I-TiTX..gamma.. binding also was observed with the solubilized Na/sup +/ channel from rat brain membranes. Antibody 72.38 antagonized /sup 125/I-TiTX..gamma.. binding to Na/sup +/ channels from different animal species (fish, avian, and mammalian) and from different tissues (electroplax, brain, heart, and muscle). Moreover, 72.38 has been used for immunofluorescence labeling of Na/sup +/ channels in rat sciatic nodes of Ranvier and cultured dorsal root ganglion cells. Electrophysiological experiments on rat muscle cells fully confirmed the similarity between TiTX..gamma.. and 72.38 seen in binding experiments. TiTX..gamma.. and 72.38 are without effect on the ion selectivity of the Na/sup +/ channel, but they both drastically change the voltage-dependence of activation and inactivation of the Na/sup +/ channel.

  9. Sodium channel from rat brain. Reconstitution of voltage-dependent scorpion toxin binding in vesicles of defined lipid composition

    SciTech Connect

    Feller, D.J.; Talvenheimo, J.A.; Catterall, W.A.

    1985-09-25

    Purified sodium channels incorporated into phosphatidylcholine (PC) vesicles mediate neurotoxin-activated SSNa influx but do not bind the alpha-scorpion toxin from Leiurus quinquestriatus (LqTx) with high affinity. Addition of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) or phosphatidylserine to the reconstitution mixture restores high affinity LqTx binding with KD = 1.9 nM for PC/PE vesicles at -90 mV and 36 degrees C in sucrose-substituted medium. Other lipids tested were markedly less effective. The binding of LqTx in vesicles of PC/PE (65:35) is sensitive to both the membrane potential formed by sodium gradients across the reconstituted vesicle membrane and the cation concentration in the extravesicular medium. Binding of LqTx is reduced 3- to 4-fold upon depolarization to 0 mV from -50 to -60 mV in experiments in which (Na+)out/(Na+)in is varied by changing (Na+)in or (Na+)out at constant extravesicular ionic strength. It is concluded that the purified sodium channel contains the receptor site for LqTx in functional form and that restoration of high affinity, voltage-dependent binding of LqTx by the purified sodium channel requires an appropriate ratio of PC to PE and/or phosphatidylserine in the vesicle membrane.

  10. Opposing roles of LTB4 and PGE2 in regulating the inflammasome-dependent scorpion venom-induced mortality.

    PubMed

    Zoccal, Karina F; Sorgi, Carlos A; Hori, Juliana I; Paula-Silva, Francisco W G; Arantes, Eliane C; Serezani, Carlos H; Zamboni, Dario S; Faccioli, Lúcia H

    2016-01-01

    Tityus serrulatus sting causes thousands of deaths annually worldwide. T. serrulatus-envenomed victims exhibit local or systemic reaction that culminates in pulmonary oedema, potentially leading to death. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying T. serrulatus venom (TsV) activity remain unknown. Here we show that TsV triggers NLRP3 inflammasome activation via K(+) efflux. Mechanistically, TsV triggers lung-resident cells to release PGE2, which induces IL-1β production via E prostanoid receptor 2/4-cAMP-PKA-NFκB-dependent mechanisms. IL-1β/IL-1R actions account for oedema and neutrophil recruitment to the lungs, leading to TsV-induced mortality. Inflammasome activation triggers LTB4 production and further PGE2 via IL-1β/IL-1R signalling. Activation of LTB4-BLT1/2 pathway decreases cAMP generation, controlling TsV-induced inflammation. Exogenous administration confirms LTB4 anti-inflammatory activity and abrogates TsV-induced mortality. These results suggest that the balance between LTB4 and PGE2 determines the amount of IL-1β inflammasome-dependent release and the outcome of envenomation. We suggest COX1/2 inhibition as an effective therapeutic intervention for scorpion envenomation. PMID:26907476

  11. Scorpion venom activates natural killer cells in hepatocellular carcinoma via the NKG2D-MICA pathway.

    PubMed

    Chen, Han; Zhidan, Wang; Xia, Ren; Zhaoxia, Wang; Qing, Jia; Qiang, Guo; Haipeng, Yin; Hengxiao, Wang

    2016-06-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that polypeptides extracted from scorpion venom (PESV) inhibited cell proliferation in several tumors, however, the effect on dysfunctional and exhausted natural killer cells which contribute to tumor escape from immune surveillance remain to be elucidated. In this study, we determined the effect of PESV on NK infiltration into H22 cells orthotopic transplantation tumors and on the expression of MHC class I chain-related proteins A (MICA) in HepG2 cells. We found that tumor growth in mice was significantly inhibited by PESV and the survival time of tumor-bearing mice treated with PESV was significantly prolonged. Moreover, levels of tumor-infiltrating NK cells, NKG2D protein, perforin and granzyme B mRNA were significantly increased in the group treated with PESV compared with the tumor-bearing control group. In addition, In addition, up-regulation of MICA by PESV enhances the susceptibility of HepG2 cells to NK lysis in vitro. These results indicate that the inhibitory effects of PESV on hepatic carcinoma are likely mediated by up-regulation of NK cell activity via the MICA-NKG2D pathway. PMID:27089390

  12. Effects of Buthus martensii (Karsch) scorpion venom on sodium currents in rat anterior pituitary (GH3/B6) cells.

    PubMed

    Bauer, C K; Krylov, B; Zhou, P A; Schwarz, J R

    1992-01-01

    The effects of two fractions (II, containing anti-insect toxins, and III, containing eight anti-mammal toxins) isolated from the venom of the Old World scorpion Buthus martensii (Karsch) on Na+ currents of rat anterior pituitary cells (GH3/B6 cells) were investigated using the whole-cell configuration of the patch clamp technique. Fraction II induced a temporary, and fraction III a permanent increase of the Na+ current amplitude. Application of each of the venom fractions resulted in a flattening of the curve relating steady state Na+ inactivation to membrane potential. In addition, the two fractions had specific effects. Fraction II shifted the voltage dependence of Na+ current activation by -42 mV, and the voltage dependence of Na+ inactivation by -25 mV in the absence of a conditioning depolarizing pre-pulse. Slowing of Na+ inactivation was most prominent at negative membrane potentials, resulting in a steady Na+ inward current at the holding potential of -80 mV. Fraction III induced a pronounced slowing of Na+ inactivation leading to an increase of peak Na+ currents and to incomplete steady state Na+ inactivation even at positive membrane potentials. PMID:1325686

  13. StCT2, a new antibacterial peptide characterized from the venom of the scorpion Scorpiops tibetanus.

    PubMed

    Cao, Luyang; Li, Zhongjie; Zhang, Ruhong; Wu, Yingliang; Li, Wenxin; Cao, Zhijian

    2012-08-01

    Bacterial infection poses an increasing threat to global public health and new types of antibacterial agents are urgently needed to respond to the threat. Scorpion venom contains series of bioactive peptides, among which antibacterial peptide is an important part. Herein, a new antimicrobial peptide StCT2 was characterized from the venomous gland cDNA library of the Scorpiops tibetanus. The full-length cDNA of StCT2 is 369 nucleotides encoding the precursor that contains a putative 24 residues signal peptide, a presumed 14 residues mature peptide, and a putative 37 residues acidic propeptide at the C-terminus. The minimal inhibition concentrations (MICs) of StCT2 for Staphylococcus aureus were 6.25-25μg/ml, including antibiotic-resistant strains such as methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA). StCT2 was further found to show high in vivo antimicrobial activity by an S. aureus infection mouse model. StCT2 exerted its antimicrobial activity via a rapid bactericidal mechanism. Taken together, these results demonstrate the efficacy and general mechanism of StCT2 antimicrobial action and the therapeutic potential of StCT2 as a new antimicrobial peptide. PMID:22542475

  14. A designer ligand specific for Kv1.3 channels from a scorpion neurotoxin-based library

    PubMed Central

    Takacs, Zoltan; Toups, Megan; Kollewe, Astrid; Johnson, Erik; Cuello, Luis G.; Driessens, Gregory; Biancalana, Matthew; Koide, Akiko; Ponte, Cristiano G.; Perozo, Eduardo; Gajewski, Thomas F.; Suarez-Kurtz, Guilherme; Koide, Shohei; Goldstein, Steve A. N.

    2009-01-01

    Venomous animals immobilize prey using protein toxins that act on ion channels and other targets of biological importance. Broad use of toxins for biomedical research, diagnosis, and therapy has been limited by inadequate target discrimination, for example, among ion channel subtypes. Here, a synthetic toxin is produced by a new strategy to be specific for human Kv1.3 channels, critical regulators of immune T cells. A phage display library of 11,200 de novo proteins is designed using the α-KTx scaffold of 31 scorpion toxin sequences known or predicted to bind to potassium channels. Mokatoxin-1 (moka1) is isolated by affinity selection on purified target. Moka1 blocks Kv1.3 at nanomolar levels that do not inhibit Kv1.1, Kv1.2, or KCa1.1. As a result, moka1 suppresses CD3/28-induced cytokine secretion by T cells without cross-reactive gastrointestinal hyperactivity. The 3D structure of moka1 rationalizes its specificity and validates the engineering approach, revealing a unique interaction surface supported on an α-KTx scaffold. This scaffold-based/target-biased strategy overcomes many obstacles to production of selective toxins. PMID:20007782

  15. Effects of Scorpion venom peptide B5 on hematopoietic recovery in irradiated mice and the primary mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Wang, Caixia; Zhou, Meixun; Li, Ting; Wang, Yan; Xing, Baiqian; Kong, Tianhan; Dong, Weihua

    2015-01-01

    Scorpion venom peptide B5 (SVP-B5) stimulates recovery of hematopoiesis after exposure to radiation. However, its radioprotective effects and mechanisms are still unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of SVP-B5 on hematopoietic recovery in mice after total body irradiation (TBI) at a dose of 7.5 Gy and 6 Gy and to explore the possible primary mechanisms. SVP-B5 at a dose of 2.63 μg/kg significantly reduced the mortality rate of mice after TBI (p < 0.05). It showed markedly protective effects against radiation injury. SVP-B5 also significantly increased the number of bone marrow nucleated cells (BMNCs) and increased the colony forming unit (CFU) number in irradiated mice, accelerated the post-irradiation recovery of peripheral blood leukocytes and platelets in mice. SVP-B5 treatment markedly reduced the Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) levels in BMNCs after TBI, reduced γH2AX levels, and decreased the relative expression levels of p16 and p21 mRNA at day 14 (d14) after irradiation. Our study indicated that SVP-B5 could partially mitigate radiation-induced DNA damage, enhance the post-radiation hematopoietic recovery, and improve the survival rate probably through the ROS-p16/p21 pathway. PMID:26482294

  16. Effects of Scorpion venom peptide B5 on hematopoietic recovery in irradiated mice and the primary mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Caixia; Zhou, Meixun; Li, Ting; Wang, Yan; Xing, Baiqian; Kong, Tianhan; Dong, Weihua

    2015-01-01

    Scorpion venom peptide B5 (SVP-B5) stimulates recovery of hematopoiesis after exposure to radiation. However, its radioprotective effects and mechanisms are still unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of SVP-B5 on hematopoietic recovery in mice after total body irradiation (TBI) at a dose of 7.5Gy and 6Gy and to explore the possible primary mechanisms. SVP-B5 at a dose of 2.63 μg/kg significantly reduced the mortality rate of mice after TBI (p < 0.05). It showed markedly protective effects against radiation injury. SVP-B5 also significantly increased the number of bone marrow nucleated cells (BMNCs) and increased the colony forming unit (CFU) number in irradiated mice, accelerated the post-irradiation recovery of peripheral blood leukocytes and platelets in mice. SVP-B5 treatment markedly reduced the Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) levels in BMNCs after TBI, reduced γH2AX levels, and decreased the relative expression levels of p16 and p21 mRNA at day14 (d14) after irradiation. Our study indicated that SVP-B5 could partially mitigate radiation-induced DNA damage, enhance the post-radiation hematopoietic recovery, and improve the survival rate probably through the ROS-p16/p21 pathway. PMID:26482294

  17. Opposing roles of LTB4 and PGE2 in regulating the inflammasome-dependent scorpion venom-induced mortality

    PubMed Central

    Zoccal, Karina F.; Sorgi, Carlos A.; Hori, Juliana I.; Paula-Silva, Francisco W. G.; Arantes, Eliane C.; Serezani, Carlos H.; Zamboni, Dario S.; Faccioli, Lúcia H.

    2016-01-01

    Tityus serrulatus sting causes thousands of deaths annually worldwide. T. serrulatus-envenomed victims exhibit local or systemic reaction that culminates in pulmonary oedema, potentially leading to death. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying T. serrulatus venom (TsV) activity remain unknown. Here we show that TsV triggers NLRP3 inflammasome activation via K+ efflux. Mechanistically, TsV triggers lung-resident cells to release PGE2, which induces IL-1β production via E prostanoid receptor 2/4-cAMP-PKA-NFκB-dependent mechanisms. IL-1β/IL-1R actions account for oedema and neutrophil recruitment to the lungs, leading to TsV-induced mortality. Inflammasome activation triggers LTB4 production and further PGE2 via IL-1β/IL-1R signalling. Activation of LTB4-BLT1/2 pathway decreases cAMP generation, controlling TsV-induced inflammation. Exogenous administration confirms LTB4 anti-inflammatory activity and abrogates TsV-induced mortality. These results suggest that the balance between LTB4 and PGE2 determines the amount of IL-1β inflammasome-dependent release and the outcome of envenomation. We suggest COX1/2 inhibition as an effective therapeutic intervention for scorpion envenomation. PMID:26907476

  18. The African Pediatric Fellowship Program: Training in Africa for Africans.

    PubMed

    Wilmshurst, Jo M; Morrow, Brenda; du Preez, Avril; Githanga, David; Kennedy, Neil; Zar, Heather J

    2016-01-01

    Africa has a significant burden of childhood disease, with relatively few skilled health care professionals. The African Paediatric Fellowship Programme was developed by the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health at the University of Cape Town to provide relevant training for African child health professionals, by Africans, within Africa. Trainees identified by partner academic institutions spend 6 months to 2 years training in the Department of Pediatrics and allied disciplines. They then return to their home institution to build practice, training, research, and advocacy. From 2008 to 2015, 73 physicians have completed or are completing training in general pediatrics or a pediatric subspecialty. At 1 year posttraining, 98% to 100% are practicing back in their home institution. The impact of the returning fellows is evident from their practice interventions, research collaborations, and positions as stakeholders who can change health care policies. Thirty-three centers in 13 African countries are partners with the program, and the program template is now followed by other partner sites in Africa. Increasing and retaining the skills pool of African child health specialists is building a network of motivated, highly skilled clinicians who are equipped to advance child health in Africa. PMID:26659458

  19. East African Rift

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    Places where the earth's crust has formed deep fissures and the plates have begun to move apart develop rift structures in which elongate blocks have subsided relative to the blocks on either side. The East African Rift is a world-famous example of such rifting. It is characterized by 1) topographic deep valleys in the rift zone, 2) sheer escarpments along the faulted walls of the rift zone, 3) a chain of lakes within the rift, most of the lakes highly saline due to evaporation in the hot temperatures characteristic of climates near the equator, 4) voluminous amounts of volcanic rocks that have flowed from faults along the sides of the rift, and 5) volcanic cones where magma flow was most intense. This example in Kenya displays most of these features near Lake Begoria.

    The image was acquired December 18, 2002, covers an area of 40.5 x 32 km, and is located at 0.1 degrees north latitude, 36.1 degrees east longitude.

    The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

  20. The natural scorpion peptide, BmK NT1 activates voltage-gated sodium channels and produces neurotoxicity in primary cultured cerebellar granule cells.

    PubMed

    Zou, Xiaohan; He, Yuwei; Qiao, Jinping; Zhang, Chunlei; Cao, Zhengyu

    2016-01-01

    The scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat neuronal diseases such as neuropathic pain, paralysis and epilepsy for thousands of years. Studies have demonstrated that scorpion venom is the primary active component. Although scorpion venom can effectively attenuate pain in the clinic, it also produces neurotoxic response. In this study, toxicity guided purification led to identify a mammalian toxin termed BmK NT1 comprising of 65 amino acid residues and an amidated C-terminus, a mature peptide encoded by the nucleotide sequence (GenBank No. AF464898). In contract to the recombinant product of the same nucleotide sequence, BmK AGAP, which displayed analgesic and anti-tumor effect, intravenous injection (i.v.) of BmK NT1 produced acute toxicity in mice with an LD50 value of 1.36 mg/kg. In primary cultured cerebellar granule cells, BmK NT1 produced a concentration-dependent cell death with an IC50 value of 0.65 μM (0.41-1.03 μM, 95% Confidence Intervals, 95% CI) which was abolished by TTX, a voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC) blocker. We also demonstrated that BmK NT1 produced modest sodium influx in cerebellar granule cell cultures with an EC50 value of 2.19 μM (0.76-6.40 μM, 95% CI), an effect similar to VGSC agonist, veratridine. The sodium influx response was abolished by TTX suggesting that BmK NT1-induced sodium influx is solely through activation of VGSC. Considered these data together, we demonstrated that BmK NT1 activated VGSC and produced neurotoxicity in cerebellar granule cell cultures. PMID:26598793

  1. The Scorpion Toxin Analogue BmKTX-D33H as a Potential Kv1.3 Channel-Selective Immunomodulator for Autoimmune Diseases.

    PubMed

    Ye, Fang; Hu, Youtian; Yu, Weiwei; Xie, Zili; Hu, Jun; Cao, Zhijian; Li, Wenxin; Wu, Yingliang

    2016-04-01

    The Kv1.3 channel-acting scorpion toxins usually adopt the conserved anti-parallel β-sheet domain as the binding interface, but it remains challenging to discover some highly selective Kv1.3 channel-acting toxins. In this work, we investigated the pharmacological profile of the Kv1.3 channel-acting BmKTX-D33H, a structural analogue of the BmKTX scorpion toxin. Interestingly, BmKTX-D33H, with its conserved anti-parallel β-sheet domain as a Kv1.3 channel-interacting interface, exhibited more than 1000-fold selectivity towards the Kv1.3 channel as compared to other K⁺ channels (including Kv1.1, Kv1.2, Kv1.7, Kv11.1, KCa2.2, KCa2.3, and KCa3.1). As expected, BmKTX-D33H was found to inhibit the cytokine production and proliferation of both Jurkat cells and human T cells in vitro. It also significantly improved the delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses, an autoreactive T cell-mediated inflammation in rats. Amino acid sequence alignment and structural analysis strongly suggest that the "evolutionary" Gly11 residue of BmKTX-D33H interacts with the turret domain of Kv1 channels; it appears to be a pivotal amino acid residue with regard to the selectivity of BmKTX-D33H towards the Kv1.3 channel (in comparison with the highly homologous scorpion toxins). Together, our data indicate that BmKTX-D33H is a Kv1.3 channel-specific blocker. Finally, the remarkable selectivity of BmKTX-D33H highlights the great potential of evolutionary-guided peptide drug design in future studies. PMID:27104568

  2. Zinc is incorporated into cuticular "tools" after ecdysis: the time course of the zinc distribution in "tools" and whole bodies of an ant and a scorpion.

    PubMed

    Schofield, R M S; Nesson, M H; Richardson, K A; Wyeth, P

    2003-01-01

    An understanding of the developmental course of specialized accumulations in the cuticular "tools" of arthropods will give clues to the chemical form, function and biology of these accumulations as well as to their evolutionary history. Specimens from individuals representing a range of developmental stages were examined using MeV - Ion microscopy. We found that zinc, manganese, calcium and chlorine began to accumulate in the mandibular teeth of the ant Tapinoma sessile after pre-ecdysial tanning, and the zinc mostly after eclosion; peak measured zinc concentrations reached 16% of dry mass. Accumulations in the pedipalp teeth, tarsal claws, cheliceral teeth and sting (aculeus) of the scorpion Vaejovis spinigeris also began after pre-ecdysial tanning and more than 48 h after ecdysis of the second instars. Zinc may be deposited in the fully formed cuticle through a network of nanometer scale canals that we observed only in the metal bearing cuticle of both the ants and scorpions. In addition to the elemental analyses of cuticular "tools", quantitative distribution maps for whole ants were obtained. The zinc content of the mandibular teeth was a small fraction of, and independent of, the total body content of zinc. We did not find specialized storage sites that were depleted when zinc was incorporated into the mandibular teeth. The similarities in the time course of zinc, manganese and calcium deposition in the cuticular "tools" of the ant (a hexapod arthropod) and those of the scorpion (a chelicerate arthropod) contribute to the evidence suggesting that heavy metal-halogen fortification evolved before these groups diverged. PMID:12770014

  3. The Scorpion Toxin Analogue BmKTX-D33H as a Potential Kv1.3 Channel-Selective Immunomodulator for Autoimmune Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Fang; Hu, Youtian; Yu, Weiwei; Xie, Zili; Hu, Jun; Cao, Zhijian; Li, Wenxin; Wu, Yingliang

    2016-01-01

    The Kv1.3 channel-acting scorpion toxins usually adopt the conserved anti-parallel β-sheet domain as the binding interface, but it remains challenging to discover some highly selective Kv1.3 channel-acting toxins. In this work, we investigated the pharmacological profile of the Kv1.3 channel-acting BmKTX-D33H, a structural analogue of the BmKTX scorpion toxin. Interestingly, BmKTX-D33H, with its conserved anti-parallel β-sheet domain as a Kv1.3 channel-interacting interface, exhibited more than 1000-fold selectivity towards the Kv1.3 channel as compared to other K+ channels (including Kv1.1, Kv1.2, Kv1.7, Kv11.1, KCa2.2, KCa2.3, and KCa3.1). As expected, BmKTX-D33H was found to inhibit the cytokine production and proliferation of both Jurkat cells and human T cells in vitro. It also significantly improved the delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses, an autoreactive T cell-mediated inflammation in rats. Amino acid sequence alignment and structural analysis strongly suggest that the “evolutionary” Gly11 residue of BmKTX-D33H interacts with the turret domain of Kv1 channels; it appears to be a pivotal amino acid residue with regard to the selectivity of BmKTX-D33H towards the Kv1.3 channel (in comparison with the highly homologous scorpion toxins). Together, our data indicate that BmKTX-D33H is a Kv1.3 channel–specific blocker. Finally, the remarkable selectivity of BmKTX-D33H highlights the great potential of evolutionary-guided peptide drug design in future studies. PMID:27104568

  4. Mapping the Interaction Site for a β-Scorpion Toxin in the Pore Module of Domain III of Voltage-gated Na+ Channels*

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Joel Z.; Yarov-Yarovoy, Vladimir; Scheuer, Todd; Karbat, Izhar; Cohen, Lior; Gordon, Dalia; Gurevitz, Michael; Catterall, William A.

    2012-01-01

    Activation of voltage-gated sodium (Nav) channels initiates and propagates action potentials in electrically excitable cells. β-Scorpion toxins, including toxin IV from Centruroides suffusus suffusus (CssIV), enhance activation of NaV channels. CssIV stabilizes the voltage sensor in domain II in its activated state via a voltage-sensor trapping mechanism. Amino acid residues required for the action of CssIV have been identified in the S1-S2 and S3-S4 extracellular loops of domain II. The extracellular loops of domain III are also involved in toxin action, but individual amino acid residues have not been identified. We used site-directed mutagenesis and voltage clamp recording to investigate amino acid residues of domain III that are involved in CssIV action. In the IIISS2-S6 loop, five substitutions at four positions altered voltage-sensor trapping by CssIVE15A. Three substitutions (E1438A, D1445A, and D1445Y) markedly decreased voltage-sensor trapping, whereas the other two substitutions (N1436G and L1439A) increased voltage-sensor trapping. These bidirectional effects suggest that residues in IIISS2-S6 make both positive and negative interactions with CssIV. N1436G enhanced voltage-sensor trapping via increased binding affinity to the resting state, whereas L1439A increased voltage-sensor trapping efficacy. Based on these results, a three-dimensional model of the toxin-channel interaction was developed using the Rosetta modeling method. These data provide additional molecular insight into the voltage-sensor trapping mechanism of toxin action and define a three-point interaction site for β-scorpion toxins on NaV channels. Binding of α- and β-scorpion toxins to two distinct, pseudo-symmetrically organized receptor sites on NaV channels acts synergistically to modify channel gating and paralyze prey. PMID:22761417

  5. An African ethic for nursing?

    PubMed

    Haegert, S

    2000-11-01

    This article derives from a doctoral thesis in which a particular discourse was used as a 'paradigm case'. From this discourse an ethic set within a South African culture arose. Using many cultural 'voices' to aid the understanding of this narrative, the ethic shows that one can build on both a 'justice' and a 'care' ethic. With further development based on African culture one can take the ethic of care deeper and reveal 'layers of understanding'. Care, together with compassion, forms the foundation of morality. Nursing ethics has followed particular western moral philosophers. Often nursing ethics has been taught along the lines of Kohlberg's theory of morality, with its emphasis on rules, rights, duties and general obligations. These principles were universalistic, masculine and noncontextual. However, there is a new ethical movement among Thomist philosophers along the lines to be expounded in this article. Nurses such as Benner, Bevis, Dunlop, Fry and Gadow--to name but a few--have welcomed the concept of an 'ethic of care'. Gilligan's work gave a feminist view and situated ethics in the everyday aspects of responsiveness, responsibility, context and concern. Shutte's search for a 'philosophy for Africa' has resulted in finding similarities in Setiloane and in Senghor with those of Thomist philosophers. Using this African philosophy and a research participant's narrative, an African ethic evolves out of the African proverb: 'A person is a person through other persons', or its alternative rendering: 'I am because we are: we are because I am.' This hermeneutic narrative reveals 'the way affect imbues activity with ethical meaning' within the context of a black nursing sister in a rural South African hospital. It expands upon the above proverb and incorporates the South African constitutional idea of 'Ubuntu' (compassion and justice or humanness). PMID:11221391

  6. African American Males. A Critical Link in the African American Family.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Dionne J., Ed.

    African Americans are experiencing extreme stress in the United States, and African-American males appear to suffer the most. The chapters in this volume examine some of the issues confronting African-American men today. They include: (1) "Introduction" (Dionne J. Jones); (2) "Reaffirming Young African American Males: Mentoring and Community…

  7. African American Preschoolers' Language, Emergent Literacy Skills, and Use of African American English: A Complex Relation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Connor, Carol McDonald; Craig, Holly K.

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: This study examined the relation between African American preschoolers' use of African American English (AAE) and their language and emergent literacy skills in an effort to better understand the perplexing and persistent difficulties many African American children experience learning to read proficiently. Method: African American…

  8. Technical Consulting: The African-American Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whitfield, Tracy N.

    2010-01-01

    The qualitative research study explored the organizational characteristics necessary in addressing the low concentration of African American technical consultants employed in the information technology industry. Using research participants' professional experience, participants responded to a developed questionnaire. African American technical…

  9. Towards an African Philosophy of Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ocaya-Lakidi, Dent

    1980-01-01

    Compares and contrasts contemporary philosophies of education in Africa with two philosophical doctrines (naturalism and idealism). Topics discussed include value selectors, westernization, the role of missionaries in African education, critical consciousness, relevance, and African education today. (DB)

  10. African N Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bekunda, M.; Galford, G. L.; Hickman, J. E.; Palm, C.

    2011-12-01

    Africa's smallholder agricultural systems face unique challenges in planning for reducing poverty, concurrent with adaptation and mitigation to climate change. At continental level, policy seeks to promote a uniquely African Green Revolution to increase crop yields and food production, and improve local livelihoods. However, the consequences on the environment and climate are not clear; these pro-economic development measures should be linked to climate change adaptation and mitigation measures, and research is required to help achieve these policy proposals by identifying options, and testing impacts. In particular, increased nitrogen (N) inputs are essential for increasing food production in Africa, but are accompanied by inevitable increases in losses to the environment. These losses appear to be low at input levels promoted in agricultural development programs, while the increased N inputs both increase current food production and appear to reduce the vulnerability of food production to changes in climate. We present field and remote sensing evidence from Malawi that subsidizing improved seed and fertilizers increases resilience to drought without adding excess N to the environment. In Kenya, field research identified thresholds in N2O losses, where emissions are very low at fertilization rates of less than 200 kg ha-1. Village-scale models have identified potential inefficiencies in the food production process where the largest losses of reactive N occur, and which could be targeted to reduce the amount of N released to the environment. We further review some on-going research activities and progress in Africa that compare different methods of managing resources that target resilience in food production and adaptation to climate change, using nutrient N as an indicator, while evaluating the effects of these resource management practices on ecosystems and the environment.

  11. The African Cultural Astronomy Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urama, Johnson O.; Holbrook, Jarita C.

    2011-06-01

    Indigenous, endogenous, traditional, or cultural astronomy focuses on the many ways that people and cultures interact with celestial bodies. In most parts of Africa, there is very little or no awareness about modern astronomy. However, like ancient people everywhere, Africans wondered at the sky and struggled to make sense of it. The African Cultural Astronomy Project aims to unearth the body of traditional knowledge of astronomy possessed by peoples of the different ethnic groups in Africa and to consider scientific interpretations when appropriate for cosmogonies and ancient astronomical practices. Regardless of scientific validity, every scientist can relate to the process of making observations and creating theoretical mechanisms for explaining what is observed. Through linking the traditional and the scientific, it is believed that this would be used to create awareness and interest in astronomy in most parts of Africa. This paper discusses the vision, challenges and prospects of the African Cultural Astronomy Project in her quest to popularize astronomy in Africa.

  12. West African crude production diversifies

    SciTech Connect

    Aalund, L.

    1983-06-01

    Nigeria, with its seven crude-oil export streams, dominated West African production and accounted for over 70% of the depressed 1.8 million b/d output from the region last year. However, during the 1970s a flurry of new producing fields, primarily off the African coast, diversified production among a number of countries and touched off a wave of oil activity. The Journal takes a close look at the quality of West African oil in this installment of assays on world export crudes. This issue covers, in alphabetical order, Bonny Light (Nigeria) to Espoir (Ivory Coast). A following issue will wrap up West Africa by presenting assays on crudes from Forcados Blend (Nigeria) to Zaire Crude (Zaire).

  13. Plio-pleistocene African climate

    SciTech Connect

    deMenocal, P.B.

    1995-10-06

    Marine records of African climate variability document a shift toward more arid conditions after 2.8 million years ago (Ma), evidently resulting from remote forcing by cold North Atlantic sea-surface temperatures associated with the onset of Northern Hemisphere glacial cycles. African climate before 2.8 Ma was regulated by low-latitude insolation forcing of monsoonal climate due to Earth orbital precession. Major steps in the evolution of African hominids and other vertebrates are coincident with shifts to more arid, open conditions near 2.8 Ma, 1.7 Ma, and 1.0 Ma, suggesting that some Pliocene (Plio)-Pleistocene speciation events may have been climatically mediated. 65 refs., 6 figs.

  14. Plio-Pleistocene African Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demenocal, Peter B.

    1995-10-01

    Marine records of African climate variability document a shift toward more arid conditions after 2.8 million years ago (Ma), evidently resulting from remote forcing by cold North Atlantic sea-surface temperatures associated with the onset of Northern Hemisphere glacial cycles. African climate before 2.8 Ma was regulated by low-latitude insolation forcing of monsoonal climate due to Earth orbital precession. Major steps in the evolution of African hominids and other vertebrates are coincident with shifts to more arid, open conditions near 2.8 Ma, 1.7 Ma, and 1.0 Ma, suggesting that some Pliocene (Plio)-Pleistocene speciation events may have been climatically mediated.

  15. Brownian dynamics simulations of the recognition of the scorpion toxin maurotoxin with the voltage-gated potassium ion channels.

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Wei; Cui, Meng; Briggs, James M; Huang, Xiaoqin; Xiong, Bing; Zhang, Yingmin; Luo, Xiaomin; Shen, Jianhua; Ji, Ruyun; Jiang, Hualiang; Chen, Kaixian

    2002-01-01

    The recognition of the scorpion toxin maurotoxin (MTX) by the voltage-gated potassium (Kv1) channels, Kv1.1, Kv1.2, and Kv1.3, has been studied by means of Brownian dynamics (BD) simulations. All of the 35 available structures of MTX in the Protein Data Bank (http://www.rcsb.org/pdb) determined by nuclear magnetic resonance were considered during the simulations, which indicated that the conformation of MTX significantly affected both the recognition and the binding between MTX and the Kv1 channels. Comparing the top five highest-frequency structures of MTX binding to the Kv1 channels, we found that the Kv1.2 channel, with the highest docking frequencies and the lowest electrostatic interaction energies, was the most favorable for MTX binding, whereas Kv1.1 was intermediate, and Kv1.3 was the least favorable one. Among the 35 structures of MTX, the 10th structure docked into the binding site of the Kv1.2 channel with the highest probability and the most favorable electrostatic interactions. From the MTX-Kv1.2 binding model, we identified the critical residues for the recognition of these two proteins through triplet contact analyses. MTX locates around the extracellular mouth of the Kv1 channels, making contacts with its beta-sheets. Lys23, a conserved amino acid in the scorpion toxins, protrudes into the pore of the Kv1.2 channel and forms two hydrogen bonds with the conserved residues Gly401(D) and Tyr400(C) and one hydrophobic contact with Gly401(C) of the Kv1.2 channel. The critical triplet contacts for recognition between MTX and the Kv1.2 channel are Lys23(MTX)-Asp402(C)(Kv1), Lys27(MTX)-Asp378(D)(Kv1), and Lys30(MTX)-Asp402(A)(Kv1). In addition, six hydrogen-bonding interactions are formed between residues Lys23, Lys27, Lys30, and Tyr32 of MTX and residues Gly401, Tyr400, Asp402, Asp378, and Thr406 of Kv1.2. Many of them are formed by side chains of residues of MTX and backbone atoms of the Kv1.2 channel. Five hydrophobic contacts exist between residues Pro

  16. The Education of African-Americans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Willie, Charles V., Ed.; And Others

    The 17 papers in this volume are products of a study group on the education of African Americans that was part of a national project, "The Assessment of the Status of African-Americans." The volume takes a comprehensive look at the education of African Americans, specifically early childhood through postsecondary education, and relevant public…

  17. An Introduction to West African Literature.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taiwo, Oladele

    Intended to provide help for those interested in studying West African literature, this book is divided into three parts. Part One provides background information: the various African oral traditions are discussed, related to the way of life of the people, and examined for the extent to which they form the basis of present West African literary…

  18. Engaging African Americans in Smoking Cessation Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wallen, Jacqueline; Randolph, Suzanne; Carter-Pokras, Olivia; Feldman, Robert; Kanamori-Nishimura, Mariano

    2014-01-01

    Background: African Americans are disproportionately exposed to and targeted by prosmoking advertisements, particularly menthol cigarette ads. Though African Americans begin smoking later than whites, they are less likely to quit smoking than whites. Purpose: This study was designed to explore African American smoking cessation attitudes,…

  19. Freedom Road: Adult Education of African Americans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peterson, Elizabeth A., Ed.

    This book contains six chapters by various authors about the history of African Americans' contributions and participation in adult education. The book reports on how some African American leaders saw the connection between education and the eventual freedom or uplift of the African American people. Following a foreword (Phyllis M. Cunningham) and…

  20. A Scale To Assess African American Acculturation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Snowden, Lonnie R.; Hines, Alice M.

    1999-01-01

    Investigated an acculturation scale designed for use in the African-American population. Responses from more than 900 African Americans generally indicate an African-American orientation within the sample, although there are notable variations on all 10 scale items. Discusses evidence for scale reliability and validity. (SLD)

  1. Towards a Norm in South African Englishes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van der Walt, Johann L.; van Rooy, Bertus

    2002-01-01

    Investigates the perception and application of the norm in South African English with specific reference to Black South African English. Hypothesizes that South African English is in the hibernation and expansion phase. Three sets of data are presented and analyzed. (Author/VWL)

  2. African Heritage Curriculum Materials. Teacher's Manual.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Museum of African Art, Washington, DC.

    This guide for secondary teachers focuses on sub-Saharan (Black) African history and culture. Although the guide is intended to be used in conjunction with the audiovisual materials on African heritage produced by the Museum of African Art, it can also be used as a source of background reading for teachers and as a guide to additional…

  3. The myosin interacting-heads motif is present in the relaxed thick filament of the striated muscle of scorpion.

    PubMed

    Pinto, Antonio; Sánchez, Fredi; Alamo, Lorenzo; Padrón, Raúl

    2012-12-01

    Electron microscopy (EM) studies of 2D crystals of smooth muscle myosin molecules have shown that in the inactive state the two heads of a myosin molecule interact asymmetrically forming a myosin interacting-heads motif. This suggested that inactivation of the two heads occurs by blocking of the actin-binding site of one (free head) and the ATP hydrolysis site of the other (blocked head). This motif has been found by EM of isolated negatively stained myosin molecules of unregulated (vertebrate skeletal and cardiac muscle) and regulated (invertebrate striated and vertebrate smooth muscle) myosins, and nonmuscle myosin. The same motif has also been found in 3D-reconstructions of frozen-hydrated (tarantula, Limulus, scallop) and negatively stained (scallop, vertebrate cardiac) isolated thick filaments. We are carrying out studies of isolated thick filaments from other species to assess how general this myosin interacting-heads motif is. Here, using EM, we have visualized isolated, negatively stained thick filaments from scorpion striated muscle. We modified the iterative helical real space reconstruction (IHRSR) method to include filament tilt, and band-pass filtered the aligned segments before averaging, achieving a 3.3 nm resolution 3D-reconstruction. This reconstruction revealed the presence of the myosin interacting-heads motif (adding to evidence that is widely spread), together with 12 subfilaments in the filament backbone. This demonstrates that conventional negative staining and imaging can be used to detect the presence of the myosin interacting-heads motif in helically ordered thick filaments from different species and muscle types, thus avoiding the use of less accessible cryo-EM and low electron-dose procedures. PMID:22982253

  4. Two Biological Active Fractions Isolated from Buthotus schach (BS)Scorpion Venom Examined on Striated Muscle Preparation, In-vitro

    PubMed Central

    Vatanpour, Hossein; Ahmadi, Farhad; Zare Mirakabadi, Abbas; Jalali, Amir

    2012-01-01

    Buthotus schach is one of the most dangerous scorpions in tropical part of Iran. The effects of its crude venom at 1, 3, 10 μg/mL and its obtained fractions by gel filtrations were investigated on neuromuscular transmission. CBC and MHD indirectly and directly stimulated preparations techniques were used to study their possible pre or post junctional activities. At 3 and 10 μg/mL (not at 1 μg/mL), BS venom caused initiall increase in twitch height followed by blockage due to large contraction that responded gradually at the same time. Contracture responses to exogenous Ach (1-2 mM, 30 sec) and Carb (30-40 μM, 60 sec) in the presence of the venom were not increased which does show no anticholinstrease effects. Furthermore Contracture response to KCl (20-40 mM, 30 sec) does changed exposure to venom in CBC preparations. On the other hand the effects of the venom in response to directly stimulated preparations was shallower than in indirect stimulated preparations. So in agreement with KCL response BS venom affects mostly prejunctionally to facilitate the neurotransmitter release rather than postjunctionally effects. To access bioactive components, seven fractions were collected by gel filtrations techniques. Among the fractions F6, LD50=21 μg < F4, LD50= 35.5 μg < Venom LD50= 84 μg per mice were more toxic respectively. Both fractions show the same effects but stronger than venom on twitch height responses in indirectly stimulated CBC preparations. Finally, according to our results venom as well as fractions F4 and F6 act mostly prejunctionally on Ach release. More attempt is carrying out to study their effects on ion channel activities. PMID:24250518

  5. Two conserved arginine residues from the SK3 potassium channel outer vestibule control selectivity of recognition by scorpion toxins.

    PubMed

    Feng, Jing; Hu, Youtian; Yi, Hong; Yin, Shijin; Han, Song; Hu, Jun; Chen, Zongyun; Yang, Weishan; Cao, Zhijian; De Waard, Michel; Sabatier, Jean-Marc; Li, Wenxin; Wu, Yingliang

    2013-05-01

    Potassium channel functions are often deciphered by using selective and potent scorpion toxins. Among these toxins, only a limited subset is capable of selectively blocking small conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (SK) channels. The structural bases of this selective SK channel recognition remain unclear. In this work, we demonstrate the key role of the electric charges of two conserved arginine residues (Arg-485 and Arg-489) from the SK3 channel outer vestibule in the selective recognition by the SK3-blocking BmP05 toxin. Indeed, individually substituting these residues with histidyl or lysyl (maintaining the positive electric charge partially or fully), although decreasing BmP05 affinity, still preserved the toxin sensitivity profile of the SK3 channel (as evidenced by the lack of recognition by many other types of potassium channel-sensitive charybdotoxin). In contrast, when Arg-485 or Arg-489 of the SK3 channel was mutated to an acidic (Glu) or alcoholic (Ser) amino acid residue, the channel lost its sensitivity to BmP05 and became susceptible to the "new" blocking activity by charybdotoxin. In addition to these SK3 channel basic residues important for sensitivity, two acidic residues, Asp-492 and Asp-518, also located in the SK3 channel outer vestibule, were identified as being critical for toxin affinity. Furthermore, molecular modeling data indicate the existence of a compact SK3 channel turret conformation (like a peptide screener), where the basic rings of Arg-485 and Arg-489 are stabilized by strong ionic interactions with Asp-492 and Asp-518. In conclusion, the unique properties of Arg-485 and Arg-489 (spatial orientations and molecular interactions) in the SK3 channel account for its toxin sensitivity profile. PMID:23511633

  6. Influence of post-starvation extraction time and prey-specific diet in Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom composition and hyaluronidase activity.

    PubMed

    Pucca, Manuela Berto; Amorim, Fernanda Gobbi; Cerni, Felipe Augusto; Bordon, Karla de Castro Figueiredo; Cardoso, Iara Aimê; Anjolette, Fernando Antonio Pino; Arantes, Eliane Candiani

    2014-11-01

    The role of diet in venom composition has been a topic of intense research interest. This work presents evidence that the variation in the venom composition from the scorpion Tityus serrulatus (Ts) is closely associated with post-starvation extraction time and prey-specific diet. The scorpions were fed with cockroach, cricket, peanut beetle or giant Tenebrio. The venoms demonstrated a pronounced difference in the total protein and toxins composition, which was evaluated by electrophoresis, reversed-phase chromatography, densitometry, hyaluronidase activity and N-terminal sequencing. Indeed, many toxins and peptides, such as Ts1, Ts2, Ts4, Ts5, Ts6, Ts15, Ts19 frag. II, hypotensins 1 and 3, PAPE peptide and peptide 9797 (first described in Ts venom), were all identified in different proportions in the analyzed Ts venoms. This study is pioneer on assessing the influence of the starvation time and the prey diet on hyaluronidase activity as well as to describe a modification of Tricine-gel-electrophoresis to evaluate this enzyme activity. Altogether, this study reveal a large contribution of the extraction time and diet on Ts venom variability as well as present a background to recommend the cockroach diet to obtain higher protein content and the cricket diet to obtain higher hyaluronidase specific activity. PMID:25199494

  7. Individual variability in Tityus serrulatus (Scorpiones, Buthidae) venom elicited by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Pimenta, Adriano M C; De Marco Almeida, Flavia; de Lima, Maria Elena; Martin-Eauclaire, Marie France; Bougis, Pierre E

    2003-01-01

    Venom variability in specimens of Tityus serrulatus scorpion was assessed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOFMS) analyses. An expanded time lag venom extraction protocol was carried out using ten scorpions to study individual variations that might occur due to different rates in protein expression and/or processing. The first extraction of venom was made from the animals after 20 days of starvation, which allowed the venom gland to be filled up. The second extraction event was carried out 24 hours after the first one. The third was 8 days after the first extraction. By means of MALDI-TOF analyses, important variations were observed in venoms of a single specimen extracted at different times, especially in latter extraction events. These variations are most probably related to dynamics in cell gland production. Since T. serrulatus is a parthenogenetic species, sexual variations are naturally excluded and we did not expect intra-specific variations, which was confirmed. Knowledge of individual venom variability is extremely important to avoid misunderstandings in the use of venom proteomic analysis as a taxonomic tool. PMID:12590389

  8. Karyotype conservation in 2 populations of the parthenogenetic scorpion Tityus serrulatus (Buthidae): rDNA and its associated heterochromatin are concentrated on only one chromosome.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Marielle C; Cella, Doralice M

    2010-01-01

    Within the order Scorpiones, the parthenogenetic mode of reproduction has been described for 11 species, 6 of which belong to the genus Tityus. In this work, an investigation of the chromosome characteristics of 2 populations of Tityus serrulatus, the first scorpion species known to be thelytokously parthenogenetic, is described. An analysis of 40 individuals revealed holocentric chromosomes of large, medium, and small sizes and an invariable diploid number of 2n = 12. In addition to the conserved macrokaryotype structure, specific chromosome regions also appeared unchanged within and between the samples studied; that is, each sample displayed only one chromosome carrier of the active nucleolar organizer region containing ribosomal genes (5.8S, 18S, and 28S) and AT-rich heterochromatin associated with the ribosomal DNA. The high conservation of the chromosomal features observed in T. serrulatus differed from that verified in certain species of other groups of animals that possess both holocentric chromosomes and parthenogenetic reproduction. Moreover, the cytogenetic results obtained herein permit us to suggest how the eggs of T. serrulatus develop, whether by apomixis or automixis. PMID:20231264

  9. Vietnamese Heterometrus laoticus scorpion venom: evidence for analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity and isolation of new polypeptide toxin acting on Kv1.3 potassium channel.

    PubMed

    Hoang, Anh N; Vo, Hoang D M; Vo, Nguyen P; Kudryashova, Kseniya S; Nekrasova, Oksana V; Feofanov, Alexey V; Kirpichnikov, Mikhail P; Andreeva, Tatyana V; Serebryakova, Marina V; Tsetlin, Victor I; Utkin, Yuri N

    2014-01-01

    The scorpion Heterometrus laoticus (Scorpionidae) inhabits Indochinese peninsula and is widely distributed in South-West Vietnam. Since no human fatalities caused by H. laoticus stings were reported, no systematic characterization of the venom was earlier done. In this study we report on biological activity of the venom from H. laoticus caught in Vietnamese province An Giang. The venom manifested a very low acute toxicity with LD50 of about 190 mg/kg body weight in mice at subcutaneous (s.c.) injection and 12 mg/kg at intravenous injection. The venom analgesic effects using tail immersion and writhing tests as well as anti-inflammatory effect using carrageenan test were analyzed at doses of 9.5 and 19 mg/kg at s.c. injections. It was found that at two doses tested H. laoticus venom showed both anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory activity. The venom was fractionated by means of gel-filtration and reversed-phase HPLC. As a result several polypeptide toxins were isolated and new toxin hetlaxin was identified. Its amino acid sequence was determined and binding to the extracellular vestibule of the K⁺-conducting pore of Kv1.1 and Kv1.3 potassium channels was studied. Hetlaxin belongs to the scorpion alpha-toxin family and is the first toxin isolated from H. laoticus venom which possesses high affinity (K(i) 59 nM) to Kv1.3 potassium channel. PMID:24189292

  10. African-American Children's Stories.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nichols, Patricia C.

    Examination of representative stories told by black American children of West African descent in South Carolina shows that specific cultural motifs have been preserved in the oral tradition of black communities. Typical stories are tales of the supernatural, such as the Hag story about mortals who shed their skin at night to do evil deeds.…

  11. African American Men in College

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cuyjet, Michael J., Ed.

    2006-01-01

    This book is a much-needed resource that includes examples of real-world programs and activities to enhance academic success in the college environment for African American men. The examples are collected from a variety of institutions across the country. With contributions from leading practitioners and scholars in the field, this book explores…

  12. Vitamin D and African Americans

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vitamin D insufficiency is more prevalent among African Americans than other Americans and, in North America, most young, healthy blacks do not achieve optimal 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations at any time of the year. This is primarily due to the fact that pigmentation reduces vitamin D...

  13. Classic African American Children's Literature

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McNair, Jonda C.

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to assert that there are classic African American children's books and to identify a sampling of them. The author presents multiple definitions of the term classic based on the responses of children's literature experts and relevant scholarship. Next, the manner in which data were collected and analyzed in regard to…

  14. Developing anatomical terms in an African language.

    PubMed

    Madzimbamuto, Farai Daniel

    2012-03-01

    Clinical and technical information imparted in most African languages involves inexact terminology and code switching, so it lacks the explanatory power characterised by the English language. African languages are absent in the tertiary science education environment and forums where African scientists could present scientific material in the medium of African languages. This limits the development of African languages in the scientific domain. There has recently been a trend in several African languages to develop and intellectualise them, especially in the field of medical sciences. The ChiShona language is used to explore the ability of an African language to develop new terminology, to name the vertebral skeleton and describe it scientifically. It uses word compounding to demonstrate terminology development. ChiShona has similarities with several hundred other Bantu languages in East, Central and Southern Africa. Advancing this language can promote similar developments in others, making them more explanatory for the lay public and health professionals. PMID:22380900

  15. Effects of atropine and propranolol on lung inflammation in experimental envenomation: comparison of two buthidae venoms

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Previous works had shown that scorpion venom induced neurotransmitter elevation and an inflammatory response associated with various anatomo-pathological modifications. The most dangerous scorpions species in Algeria responsible for these effects are Androctonus australis hector (Aah) and Androctonus amoreuxi (Aam). Results Comparison of the physiopathological effects induced by the two venoms showed differences in the kinetic of cytokine release and in lung injury. The lung edema was only observed in response to Aah venom and it was correlated with cell infiltration. In order to better understand the involved mechanism in inflammatory response, we used two antagonists, atropine (non-selective muscarinic antagonist) and propranolol (β adrenergic antagonist), which lead to a decrease of cell infiltration but has no effect on edema forming. Conclusion These results suggest another pathway in the development of lung injury following envenomation with Aam or Aah venom. PMID:23849182

  16. Effects of tachykinin NK1 or PAF receptor blockade on the lung injury induced by scorpion venom in rats.

    PubMed

    Matos, I M; Souza, D G; Seabra, D G; Freire-Maia, L; Teixeira, M M

    1999-07-01

    In cases of severe human scorpion envenoming, lung injury is a common finding and frequently the cause of death. In the rat, two distinct mechanisms account for oedema following the intravenous injection of the venom -- acute left ventricular failure resulting from a massive release of catecholamines and an increase in pulmonary vascular permeability. In the present work, we investigated the effects of a tachykinin NK1 receptor antagonist (CP96,345, the dihydrochloride salt of (2S,3S)-cis-2-(diphenylmethyl)-N-((2-methoxyphenyl)methyl)-1-az abicycol[2.2.2]octan-3-amine) and its 2 R-3 R inactive enantiomer (CP96,344) on the acute lung injury induced by the i.v. injection of Tityus serrulatus venom in rats. Lung injury was assessed by evaluating the extravasation of Evans blue dye in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and in the lung of venom-treated and control animals. The effects of the platelet-activating factor (PAF) receptor antagonist WEB2170 (2-methyl-1-phenylimidazol[4,5c]pyridine) were evaluated for comparison. The i.v. injection of the venom induced the extravasation of Evans blue in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and into the left lung. Pretreament with the tachykinin NK1 receptor antagonist CP96,345, but not CP96,344, inhibited Evans blue dye extravasation in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and in the lung by 96% and 86%, respectively. The PAF receptor antagonist WEB2170 inhibited the increase in vascular permeability in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid by 60% and had no effect on the extravasation to the lung parenchyma of venom-injected animals. In addition to abrogating lung injury, pretreatment of rats with CP96,345, but not CP96,344 or WEB2170, decreased by 70% the mortality induced by the venom. This is the first study to show the relevance of the tachykinin NK1 receptor in mediating lung injury and mortality in animals injected with the neurotoxic T. serrulatus venom. Blockade of the tachykinin NK1 receptor may represent an important strategy in

  17. Direct Evidence that Scorpion α-Toxins (Site-3) Modulate Sodium Channel Inactivation by Hindrance of Voltage-Sensor Movements

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Zhongming; Kong, Jun; Gordon, Dalia; Gurevitz, Michael; Kallen, Roland G.

    2013-01-01

    The position of the voltage-sensing transmembrane segment, S4, in voltage-gated ion channels as a function of voltage remains incompletely elucidated. Site-3 toxins bind primarily to the extracellular loops connecting transmembrane helical segments S1-S2 and S3-S4 in Domain 4 (D4) and S5-S6 in Domain 1 (D1) and slow fast-inactivation of voltage-gated sodium channels. As S4 of the human skeletal muscle voltage-gated sodium channel, hNav1.4, moves in response to depolarization from the resting to the inactivated state, two D4S4 reporters (R2C and R3C, Arg1451Cys and Arg1454Cys, respectively) move from internal to external positions as deduced by reactivity to internally or externally applied sulfhydryl group reagents, methane thiosulfonates (MTS). The changes in reporter reactivity, when cycling rapidly between hyperpolarized and depolarized voltages, enabled determination of the positions of the D4 voltage-sensor and of its rate of movement. Scorpion α-toxin binding impedes D4S4 segment movement during inactivation since the modification rates of R3C in hNav1.4 with methanethiosulfonate (CH3SO2SCH2CH2R, where R = -N(CH3)3+ trimethylammonium, MTSET) and benzophenone-4-carboxamidocysteine methanethiosulfonate (BPMTS) were slowed ~10-fold in toxin-modified channels. Based upon the different size, hydrophobicity and charge of the two reagents it is unlikely that the change in reactivity is due to direct or indirect blockage of access of this site to reagent in the presence of toxin (Tx), but rather is the result of inability of this segment to move outward to the normal extent and at the normal rate in the toxin-modified channel. Measurements of availability of R3C to internally applied reagent show decreased access (slower rates of thiol reaction) providing further evidence for encumbered D4S4 movement in the presence of toxins consistent with the assignment of at least part of the toxin binding site to the region of D4S4 region of the voltage-sensor module. PMID

  18. Effects of Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom and its toxin TsTX-V on neurotransmitter uptake in vitro

    SciTech Connect

    Cecchini, Alessandra L.; Vasconcelos, Flavio; Giglio, Jose Roberto; Arantes, Eliane Candiani . E-mail: ecabraga@fcfrp.usp.br

    2006-12-01

    Scorpion neurotoxins targeting the Na{sub v} channel can be classified into two classes: {alpha}- and {beta}-neurotoxins and are reported as highly active in mammalian brain. In this work, we evaluate the effects of Tityus serrulatus venom (Ts venom) and its {alpha}-neurotoxin TsTX-V on {gamma}-aminobutyric acid (GABA), dopamine (DA) and glutamate (Glu) uptake in isolated rat brain synaptosomes. TsTX-V was isolated from Ts venom by ion exchange chromatography followed by reverse-phase (C18) high-performance liquid chromatography. Neither Ts venom nor TsTX-V was able to affect {sup 3}H-Glu uptake. On the other hand, Ts venom (0.13 {mu}g/mg) significantly inhibited both {sup 3}H-GABA and {sup 3}H-DA uptake ({approx} 50%). TsTX-V showed IC{sub 5} values of 9.37 {mu}M and 22.2 {mu}M for the inhibition of {sup 3}H-GABA and {sup 3}H-DA uptake, respectively. These effects were abolished by pre-treatment with tetrodotoxin (TTX, 1 {mu}M), indicating the involvement of voltage-gated Na{sup +} channels in this process. In the absence of Ca{sup 2+}, and at low Ts venom concentrations, the reduction of {sup 3}H-GABA uptake was not as marked as in the presence of Ca{sup 2+}. TsTX-V did not reduce {sup 3}H-GABA uptake in COS-7 cells expressing the GABA transporters GAT-1 and GAT-3, suggesting that this toxin indirectly reduces the transport. The reduced {sup 3}H-GABA uptake by synaptosomes might be due to rapid cell depolarization as revealed by confocal microscopy of C6 glioma cells. Thus, TsTX-V causes a reduction of {sup 3}H-GABA and {sup 3}H-DA uptake in a Ca{sup 2+}-dependent manner, not directly affecting GABA transporters, but, in consequence of depolarization, involving voltage-gated Na{sup +} channels.

  19. The UCAR Africa Initiative: Enabling African Solutions to African Needs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pandya, R.; Bruintjes, R.; Foote, B.; Heck, S.; Hermann, S.; Hoswell, L.; Konate, M.; Kucera, P.; Laing, A.; Lamptey, B.; Moncrieff, M.; Ramamurthy, M.; Roberts, R.; Spangler, T.; Traoré, A.; Yoksas, T.; Warner, T.

    2007-12-01

    The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) Africa Initiative (AI) is a coordinated effort aimed at building sustainable partnerships between UCAR and African institutions in order to pursue research and applications for the benefit of the African people. The initiative is based on four fundamental operating principles, concisely summarized by the overall philosophy of enabling African solutions to African needs. The four principles are: • Collaborate with African institutions • Focus on institutional capacity building and research support • Explore science research themes critical to Africa and important for the world • Leverage the research infrastructure in UCAR to add value These principles are realized in a set of pilot activities, chosen for their high probability of short-term results and ability to set the stage for longer-term collaboration. The three pilot activities are listed below. 1. A modest radar network and data-distribution system in Mali and Burkina Faso, including a data-sharing MOU between the Mail and Burkina Faso Weather Services. 2. A partnership among UCAR, the Ghana Meteorological Agency, and the Ghana university community to develop an operational Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model for West Africa. The output is used by researchers and operational forecasters in Africa. Model output is also part of a demonstration project that aims to allow humanitarian agencies to share geo-referenced information in Africa via a web portal. 3. A workshop in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso from April 2-6, 2007, with the theme Improving Lives by Understanding Weather. The workshop, co-organized with Programme SAAGA and the Commité Permanent Inter-Etats de Lutte Contre la Sécheresse dans le Sahel (CILSS), included over 80 participants from 18 countries, and produced a set of recommendations for continued collaboration. Our presentation will provide an update of these pilot activities and point to future directions. Recognizing

  20. Genome-wide patterns of population structure and admixture in West Africans and African Americans.

    PubMed

    Bryc, Katarzyna; Auton, Adam; Nelson, Matthew R; Oksenberg, Jorge R; Hauser, Stephen L; Williams, Scott; Froment, Alain; Bodo, Jean-Marie; Wambebe, Charles; Tishkoff, Sarah A; Bustamante, Carlos D

    2010-01-12

    Quantifying patterns of population structure in Africans and African Americans illuminates the history of human populations and is critical for undertaking medical genomic studies on a global scale. To obtain a fine-scale genome-wide perspective of ancestry, we analyze Affymetrix GeneChip 500K genotype data from African Americans (n = 365) and individuals with ancestry from West Africa (n = 203 from 12 populations) and Europe (n = 400 from 42 countries). We find that population structure within the West African sample reflects primarily language and secondarily geographical distance, echoing the Bantu expansion. Among African Americans, analysis of genomic admixture by a principal component-based approach indicates that the median proportion of European ancestry is 18.5% (25th-75th percentiles: 11.6-27.7%), with very large variation among individuals. In the African-American sample as a whole, few autosomal regions showed exceptionally high or low mean African ancestry, but the X chromosome showed elevated levels of African ancestry, consistent with a sex-biased pattern of gene flow with an excess of European male and African female ancestry. We also find that genomic profiles of individual African Americans afford personalized ancestry reconstructions differentiating ancient vs. recent European and African ancestry. Finally, patterns of genetic similarity among inferred African segments of African-American genomes and genomes of contemporary African populations included in this study suggest African ancestry is most similar to non-Bantu Niger-Kordofanian-speaking populations, consistent with historical documents of the African Diaspora and trans-Atlantic slave trade. PMID:20080753