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Sample records for quinquestriatus scorpion venom

  1. Elemental analysis of scorpion venoms

    PubMed Central

    Al-Asmari, AbdulRahman K; Kunnathodi, Faisal; Al Saadon, Khalid; Idris, Mohammed M

    2016-01-01

    Scorpion venom is a rich source of biomolecules, which can perturb physiological activity of the host on envenomation and may also have a therapeutic potential. Scorpion venoms produced by the columnar cells of venom gland are complex mixture of mucopolysaccharides, neurotoxic peptides and other components. This study was aimed at cataloguing the elemental composition of venoms obtained from medically important scorpions found in the Arabian peninsula. The global elemental composition of the crude venom obtained from Androctonus bicolor, Androctonus crassicauda and Leiurus quinquestriatus scorpions were estimated using ICP-MS analyzer. The study catalogued several chemical elements present in the scorpion venom using ICP-MS total quant analysis and quantitation of nine elements exclusively using appropriate standards. Fifteen chemical elements including sodium, potassium and calcium were found abundantly in the scorpion venom at PPM concentrations. Thirty six chemical elements of different mass ranges were detected in the venom at PPB level. Quantitative analysis of the venoms revealed copper to be the most abundant element in Androctonus sp. venom but at lower level in Leiurus quinquestriatus venom; whereas zinc and manganese was found at higher levels in Leiurus sp. venom but at lower level in Androctonus sp. venom. These data and the concentrations of other different elements present in the various venoms are likely to increase our understanding of the mechanisms of venom activity and their pharmacological potentials. PMID:27826410

  2. Effect of a bradykinin-potentiating factor isolated from scorpion venom (Leiurus quinquestriatus) on some blood indices and lipid profile in irradiated rats.

    PubMed

    Salman, Muhammad M A; Kotb, Ahmed M; Haridy, Mohie A M; Golka, Klaus; Hammad, Seddik

    2017-04-08

    Bradykinin appears to be an important regulator of cardiovascular function. It is also being increasingly noted as a participant in actions of drugs that affect the liver, kidney, and circulation. In our previous studies, bradykinin-potentiating factor (BPF) isolated from scorpion venom (Leiurus quinquestriatus) has been shown to be protective against hepato- and nephrotoxicity as well as healing skin burns by reducing oxidative stress in hyperglycemic conditions. Therefore, we aim to evaluate the ability of BPF in treating irradiated rats. A group of rats was exposed to γ-irradiation and subsequently treated with BPF injections aiming to elucidate the possibility of BPF to rescue γ-irradiation harmful effects. As controls, we used γ-irradiation exposed, BPF-injected, and untreated rats. The data obtained showed that the irradiated animals suffered from marked changes of many important blood parameters including red blood cells, leukocytes, platelets, hemoglobin, packed cell volume, high-density cholesterol, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density cholesterol. Interestingly, BPF was able to rescue the deleterious effects of irradiation in rats and normalized their blood parameters to the basal levels. We conclude that BPF could ameliorate irradiation damaging effects.

  3. Leiurus quinquestriatus venom inhibits BRL 34915-induced /sup 86/Rb/sup +/ efflux from the rat portal vein

    SciTech Connect

    Quast, U.; Cook, N.S.

    1988-01-01

    The effect of the crude venom of the Israeli scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus on the /sup 86/Rb/sup +/ efflux stimulated by the K/sup +/ channel opener BRL 34915 in the rat portal vein was examined. Applied alone, the venom greatly increased the spontaneous mechanical activity of and the concomitant /sup 86/Rb/sup +/ efflux from the vessel. When the excitability of the vein was suppressed by the dihydropyridine calcium antagonist, PN 200-110, the /sup 86/Rb/sup +/ efflux stimulated by BRL 34915 could be shown to be inhibited by the venom. From the concentration dependence of this inhibition an IC/sub 50/ value of 0.17 +/- 0.01 mg/ml was estimated. This venom is thus the most potent blocker of BRL 34915-evoked /sup 86/Rb/sup +/ efflux reported so far. 17 references, 2 figures.

  4. Scorpion venoms in gastric cancer

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiao-Ying; Zhang, Pei-Ying

    2016-01-01

    Venom secretions from snakes, scorpions, spiders and bees, have been widely applied in traditional medicine and current biopharmaceutical research. Possession of anticancer potential is another novel discovery for animal venoms and toxins. An increasing number of studies have shown the anticancer effects of venoms and toxins of snakes, and scorpions in vitro and in vivo, which were achieved mainly through the inhibition of cancer growth, arrest of cell cycle, induction of apoptosis and suppression of cancer metastasis. However, more evidence is needed to support this concept and the mechanisms of anticancer actions are not clearly understood. The present review is focused on the recant updates on anticancer venom research. PMID:27900054

  5. 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.

  6. Leiurus quinquestriatus venom inhibits different kinds of Ca2+-dependent K+ channels.

    PubMed

    Abia, A; Lobatón, C D; Moreno, A; García-Sancho, J

    1986-04-14

    A minor protein component of Leiurus quinquestriatus venom has been reported to inhibit selectively the apamin-insensitive Ca2+-dependent K+ channels of mammalian skeletal muscle (Miller, C., Moczydlowski, E., Latorre, R. and Phillips, M. (1985) Nature 313, 316-318). We report the effect of the venom on both the apamin-insensitive channels of the human erythrocyte, the Ehrlich cell and the rat thymocyte and the apamin-sensitive channel of the guinea pig hepatocyte. The venom inhibited Ca2+-dependent K+ transport in all the cases with a Ki value within the range of 1 to 10 micrograms/ml, similar to that reported previously in muscle. Valinomycin-induced K+ transport was also antagonized by the venom but its sensitivity was about 1/10 as much as that of the Ca2+-dependent K+ channel.

  7. The histological changes in the liver, lung and kidney after scorpion poisoning (Buthus quinquestriatus).

    PubMed

    Nawar, N N; Shoukri, N A; Hanna, M M

    1979-06-01

    The effect of sublethal doses of Buthus quinquestriatus on the hepatic vascular bed and hepatic parenchyma were studied. The main effect of the venom was primarily on the vascular bed of the liver as manifested by dilatation of branches of the hepatic artery, portal vein together with intravascular thrombi and subcapsular haemorrhages. Apart from mild hydropic degeneration some cells of the hepatic parenchyma showed focal necrosis and Kupffer cells were frequently hypertrophied and contained pigment. In the lung, dilated thrombosed vessels were observed. In the kidney, the vessels showed the smae changes. The epithelial and endothelial cells of the glomeruli appeared normal except for slight swelling with intact basement membrane. The tubular cells were swollen with increased granularity and attenuation of their tubular lumen, a picture compatible with hydropic degeneration. The possible mechanisms in inducing such lesions were discussed.

  8. Neutralizing capacity of murine sera induced by different antigens of scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Calderon-Aranda, E S; Hozbor, D; Possani, L D

    1993-03-01

    Approximately 700 people die in Mexico each year from scorpion stings. The only useful therapy available is antiserum obtained from horses immunized with macerates of venomous gland from scorpions of the genus Centruroides. We report the results of experiments conducted with mice and rats in order to evaluate the relevant components of the venom from Centruroides noxius in the induction of a protective response against scorpion envenomation, either in vivo or in vitro. Gland macerates of whole telsons (stinger), soluble venom extracted by electrical stimulation, toxic fractions from gel filtration on Sephadex G-50 and highly purified toxin 2 from this scorpion venom were all used to produce hyperimmune mice and rats, which were challenged in vivo with the equivalent of the lethal dose 50% (LD50) of soluble venom, or their sera were prepared for in vitro neutralization experiments using non-immunized animals. The maximum neutralizing capacity (100%) was obtained when soluble venom was used as antigen, while purified toxin 2 produces 80% survival in vivo. The neutralizing capacity of murine antisera evaluated in vitro was: sera antifraction II > antitoxin 2 > antitotal venom > anti-gland macerates of whole telsons. Two additional aspects were further investigated in the present work. One is the demonstration by immunoblotting that proteins corresponding to the electrophoretic mobility of toxins known to block sodium channels are highly immunodominant in this venom. Second, there is a strong cross-reactivity of antisera produced with Centruroides noxius when assayed against venoms from other dangerous species of Centruroides scorpions from Mexico, but not against the Israeli scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus. Finally, the immunodominance of toxic fractions in the immune response was observed either with immunization using Freund's adjuvant or by means of adsorption to nitrocellulose membranes. This latter vehicle was shown to be an excellent detoxifying agent, without

  9. [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.

  10. Effects of potassium channel toxins from Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus venom on responses to cromakalim in rabbit blood vessels.

    PubMed Central

    Strong, P. N.; Weir, S. W.; Beech, D. J.; Hiestand, P.; Kocher, H. P.

    1989-01-01

    1. The effects of fractionated Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus venom on cromakalim-induced 86Rb+ efflux in rabbit aortic smooth muscle were examined. 2. Crude venom (0.1-30 micrograms ml-1) produced a concentration-dependent decrease of 1 microM cromakalim-induced 86Rb+ response. The maximum blocking activity attainable was approximately 60%. 3. Fractionation of crude venom by gel permeation chromatography and subsequent chromatography on a cation ion-exchange column, produced two fractions (X and XI), active in the 86Rb+ blocking assay. 4. Fraction XII contained charybdotoxin (approximately 85% pure). After a final high performance liquid chromatography (h.p.l.c.) purification step, the purified toxin failed to inhibit the cromakalim-stimulated 86Rb+ efflux although it was a potent inhibitor of A23187-induced K+ flux in human erythrocytes and the large conductance calcium-activated potassium channel in rabbit portal vein smooth muscle. 5. Subsequent purification of fraction X by h.p.l.c. yielded a minor peak which contained 86Rb+ blocking activity. This subfraction was also capable of inhibiting apamin-sensitive, angiotensin II-stimulated K+ flux in guinea-pig hepatocytes. 6. It is concluded that the potassium channel opened by cromakalim in rabbit aortic smooth muscle is not blocked by charybdotoxin but by another distinct toxin in the venom of Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus. PMID:2531622

  11. Investigation of in vivo potential of scorpion venom against skin tumorigenesis in mice via targeting markers associated with cancer development

    PubMed Central

    Al Asmari, Abdulrahman K; Khan, Abdul Quaiyoom

    2016-01-01

    Cancer is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality all over the world in spite of the advances made in its management. In this study, we investigated the in vivo anti-tumorigenic potential of the venom obtained from a medically important scorpion species Leiurus quinquestriatus on chemically induced skin cancer in mice. Animals were divided into five groups, with 13 animals in each group. All the treatments were given topically on the shaved dorsal surface of the skin. Animals in Group 1 received vehicle only (0.2 mL acetone). Moreover, 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA, 400 nmol per mouse) was applied to all the animals in the remaining four groups. After 1 week, different concentrations of venom (17.5 μg, 35 μg, and 52.5 μg per animal) were applied to each animal in the Groups III–V. Thirty minutes after the application of venom, croton oil was applied on the same position where venom was administered to the animals of Groups III–V. Animals in Group II were treated as the positive control (without venom) and received croton oil as in Groups III–V. The findings of this study revealed that venom extract of L. quinquestriatus inhibits DMBA + croton oil-induced mouse skin tumor incidence and tumor multiplicity. Venom treatment also decreased the expression of proinflammatory cytokines. Immunohistochemistry results showed a downregulation of the expression of molecular markers such as Ki-67, nuclear factor kappa-B, cyclooxygenase-2, B-cell lymphoma-2, and vascular endothelial growth factor, in venom-treated animals. Our findings suggest that the venom of L. quinquestriatus possesses in vivo anticancer potential and may be used in the development of anticancer molecules. PMID:27799739

  12. Extreme diversity of scorpion venom peptides and proteins revealed by transcriptomic analysis: implication for proteome evolution of scorpion venom arsenal.

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-16

    Venom is an important genetic development crucial to the survival of scorpions for over 400 million years. We studied the evolution of the scorpion venom arsenal by means of comparative transcriptome analysis of venom glands and phylogenetic analysis of shared types of venom peptides and proteins between buthids and euscorpiids. Fifteen types of venom peptides and proteins were sequenced during the venom gland transcriptome analyses of two Buthidae species (Lychas mucronatus and Isometrus maculatus) and one Euscorpiidae species (Scorpiops margerisonae). Great diversity has been observed in translated amino acid sequences of these transcripts for venom peptides and proteins. Seven types of venom peptides and proteins were shared between buthids and euscorpiids. Molecular phylogenetic analysis revealed that at least five of the seven common types of venom peptides and proteins were likely recruited into the scorpion venom proteome before the lineage split between Buthidae and Euscorpiidae with their corresponding genes undergoing individual or multiple gene duplication events. These are α-KTxs, βKSPNs (β-KTxs and scorpines), anionic peptides, La1-like peptides, and SPSVs (serine proteases from scorpion venom). Multiple types of venom peptides and proteins were demonstrated to be continuously recruited into the venom proteome during the evolution process of individual scorpion lineages. Our results provide an insight into the recruitment pattern of the scorpion venom arsenal for the first time.

  13. Scorpion venom components as potential candidates for drug development.

    PubMed

    Ortiz, Ernesto; Gurrola, Georgina B; Schwartz, Elisabeth Ferroni; Possani, Lourival D

    2015-01-01

    Scorpions are well known for their dangerous stings that can result in severe consequences for human beings, including death. Neurotoxins present in their venoms are responsible for their toxicity. Due to their medical relevance, toxins have been the driving force in the scorpion natural compounds research field. On the other hand, for thousands of years, scorpions and their venoms have been applied in traditional medicine, mainly in Asia and Africa. With the remarkable growth in the number of characterized scorpion venom components, several drug candidates have been found with the potential to tackle many of the emerging global medical threats. Scorpions have become a valuable source of biologically active molecules, from novel antibiotics to potential anticancer therapeutics. Other venom components have drawn attention as useful scaffolds for the development of drugs. This review summarizes the most promising candidates for drug development that have been isolated from scorpion venoms.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. [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.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    Luna-Ramírez, Karen; Quintero-Hernández, Verónica; 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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-24

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. Venomous snake bites, scorpions, and spiders.

    PubMed

    Kularatne, S A M; Senanayake, Nimal

    2014-01-01

    Neurologic dysfunction due to natural neurotoxins is an important, but neglected, public health hazard in many parts of the world, particularly in the tropics. These toxins are produced by or found among a variety of live forms that include venomous snakes, arthropods such as scorpions, spiders, centipedes, stinging insects (Hymenoptera), ticks, certain poisonous fish, shellfish, crabs, cone shells, skin secretions of dart-poison frogs, and bacterial poisons such as botulinum toxin. These toxins commonly act on neuromuscular transmission at the neuromuscular junction where acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter, but in certain situations the toxins interfere with neurotransmitters such as GABA, noradrenaline, adrenaline, dopamine, and γ-aminobutyrate. Of the toxins, α-toxins and κ-toxins (e.g., Chinese krait, Bungarus multicinctus) act on the postsynaptic membrane, blocking the receptors, whilst β-toxin (e.g., common krait, B. caeruleus) acts on the presynaptic membrane, causing impairment of acetylcholine release. Conversely, dendrotoxins of the African mamba enhance acetylcholine release. The toxins of scorpions and spiders commonly interfere with voltage-gated ion channels. Clinically, the cardinal manifestation is muscle paralysis. In severe cases respiratory paralysis could be fatal. Effective antivenoms are the mainstay of treatment of envenoming, but their lack of availability is the major concern in the regions of the globe where they are desperately needed. Interestingly, some toxins have proved to be valuable pharmaceutical agents, while some others are widely exploited to study neuromuscular physiology and pathology.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Scorpion venom peptides with no disulfide bridges: a review.

    PubMed

    Almaaytah, Ammar; Albalas, Qosay

    2014-01-01

    Scorpion venoms are rich sources of biologically active peptides that are classified into disulfide-bridged peptides (DBPs) and non-disulfide-bridged peptides (NDBPs). DBPs are the main scorpion venom components responsible for the neurotoxic effects observed during scorpion envenomation as they usually target membrane bound ion channels of excitable and non-excitable cells. Several hundred DBPs have been identified and functionally characterized in the past two decades. The NDBPs represent a novel group of molecules that have gained great interest only recently due to their high diversity both in their primary structures and bioactivities. This review provides an overview of scorpion NDBPs focusing on their therapeutic applications, modes of discovery, mechanisms of NDBPs genetic diversity and structural properties. It also provides a simple classification for NDBPs that could be adopted and applied to other NDBPs identified in future studies.

  7. Exon Shuffling and Origin of Scorpion Venom Biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xueli; Gao, Bin; Zhu, Shunyi

    2016-01-01

    Scorpion venom is a complex combinatorial library of peptides and proteins with multiple biological functions. A combination of transcriptomic and proteomic techniques has revealed its enormous molecular diversity, as identified by the presence of a large number of ion channel-targeted neurotoxins with different folds, membrane-active antimicrobial peptides, proteases, and protease inhibitors. Although the biodiversity of scorpion venom has long been known, how it arises remains unsolved. In this work, we analyzed the exon-intron structures of an array of scorpion venom protein-encoding genes and unexpectedly found that nearly all of these genes possess a phase-1 intron (one intron located between the first and second nucleotides of a codon) near the cleavage site of a signal sequence despite their mature peptides remarkably differ. This observation matches a theory of exon shuffling in the origin of new genes and suggests that recruitment of different folds into scorpion venom might be achieved via shuffling between body protein-coding genes and ancestral venom gland-specific genes that presumably contributed tissue-specific regulatory elements and secretory signal sequences. PMID:28035955

  8. 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.

  9. In vitro determination of the efficacy of scorpion venoms as anti-cancer agents against colorectal cancer cells: a nano-liposomal delivery approach.

    PubMed

    Al-Asmari, Abdulrahman K; Ullah, Zabih; Al Balowi, Ali; Islam, Mozaffarul

    2017-01-01

    The use of liposomes in biological and medicinal sciences is a relatively new approach. The liposomal strategy greatly depends on the technological advancement in the formation of vesicles of various sizes and properties. In the current study, we encapsulated the venoms obtained from medically important scorpions such as Androctonus bicolor (AB), Androctonus crassicauda (AC), and Leiurus quinquestriatus (LQ). To begin with, our first and foremost aim was to prepare biocompatible and biodegradable nanovesicles. Additionally, we intended to enhance the anti-cancer potential of these encapsulated venoms. The liposomal venoms were prepared by rehydration and dehydration methods. Morphology, particle size, and size distribution of the liposomes were examined by scanning electron microscope (SEM), transmission electron microscope (TEM), and Zetasizer. We found that the prepared liposomes had a smooth surface and a spherical/ovoid shape and existed mainly as single unilamellar vesicles (SUVs). Furthermore, the liposomal formulation of all three venoms exhibited excellent stability and good encapsulation efficiency (EE). Additionally, the anti-cancer potential of the encapsulated venoms was also evaluated on a colorectal cancer cell line (HCT-8). The venom-loaded liposomes showed elevated anti-cancer properties such as low rate of cell survival, higher reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, and enhancement in the number of apoptotic cells. In addition to this, cell cycle analysis revealed G0/G1 enrichment upon venom treatment. The effect of treatment was more pronounced when venom-liposome was used as compared to free venom on the HCT-8 cell line. Furthermore, we did not observe any interference of liposomal lipids used in these preparations on the progression of cancer cells. Considering these findings, we can conclude that the encapsulated scorpion venoms exhibit better efficacy and act more vigorously as an anti-cancer agent on the colorectal cancer cell line when

  10. Turkish scorpion Buthacus macrocentrus: general characterization of the venom and description of Bu1, a potent mammalian Na⁺-channel α-toxin.

    PubMed

    Caliskan, F; Quintero-Hernández, V; Restano-Cassulini, R; Batista, C V F; Zamudio, F Z; Coronas, F I; Possani, L D

    2012-03-01

    The venom of the scorpion Buthacus macrocentrus of Turkey was fractionated by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and its mass finger print analysis was obtained by spectrometry. More than 70 different fractions were obtained, allowing the determination of the molecular masses of at least 60 peptides ranging between 648 and 44,336 Da. The venom is enriched with peptides containing molecular masses between 3200-4500 Da, and 6000-7500 Da. They very likely correspond to K⁺-channel and Na⁺-channel specific peptides, respectively, as expected from venoms of scorpions of the family Buthidae, already determined for other species. The major component obtained from HPLC was shown to be lethal to mice and was further purified and characterized. It contains 65 amino acid residues maintained closely packed by 4 disulfide bridges, and shows a molecular weight of 7263 Da. Additionally, a cDNA from the venomous glands of this scorpion was used in conjunction with sequence data from Edman degradation and mass spectrometry for cloning the gene that codes for Bu1 as we named this toxin. This gene codes for a 67 amino acid residues peptide, where the two last are eliminated post-translationally for production of an amidated C-terminal arginine. Its sequence is closely related to toxins from the species Leiurus quinquestriatus, as revealed by a phylogenetic tree analysis. Electrophysiological results conducted with Bu1 using patch-clamp techniques indicate that it modifies the Na⁺ currents, in a similar way as other well known α-scorpion toxins. These results support the conclusion that this species of scorpions is dangerous to humans, having an epidemiological interest for the country.

  11. In vitro determination of the efficacy of scorpion venoms as anti-cancer agents against colorectal cancer cells: a nano-liposomal delivery approach

    PubMed Central

    Al-Asmari, Abdulrahman K; Ullah, Zabih; Al Balowi, Ali; Islam, Mozaffarul

    2017-01-01

    The use of liposomes in biological and medicinal sciences is a relatively new approach. The liposomal strategy greatly depends on the technological advancement in the formation of vesicles of various sizes and properties. In the current study, we encapsulated the venoms obtained from medically important scorpions such as Androctonus bicolor (AB), Androctonus crassicauda (AC), and Leiurus quinquestriatus (LQ). To begin with, our first and foremost aim was to prepare biocompatible and biodegradable nanovesicles. Additionally, we intended to enhance the anti-cancer potential of these encapsulated venoms. The liposomal venoms were prepared by rehydration and dehydration methods. Morphology, particle size, and size distribution of the liposomes were examined by scanning electron microscope (SEM), transmission electron microscope (TEM), and Zetasizer. We found that the prepared liposomes had a smooth surface and a spherical/ovoid shape and existed mainly as single unilamellar vesicles (SUVs). Furthermore, the liposomal formulation of all three venoms exhibited excellent stability and good encapsulation efficiency (EE). Additionally, the anti-cancer potential of the encapsulated venoms was also evaluated on a colorectal cancer cell line (HCT-8). The venom-loaded liposomes showed elevated anti-cancer properties such as low rate of cell survival, higher reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, and enhancement in the number of apoptotic cells. In addition to this, cell cycle analysis revealed G0/G1 enrichment upon venom treatment. The effect of treatment was more pronounced when venom–liposome was used as compared to free venom on the HCT-8 cell line. Furthermore, we did not observe any interference of liposomal lipids used in these preparations on the progression of cancer cells. Considering these findings, we can conclude that the encapsulated scorpion venoms exhibit better efficacy and act more vigorously as an anti-cancer agent on the colorectal cancer cell line when

  12. Sex Differences in Defensive Behavior and Venom of The Striped Bark Scorpion Centruroides vittatus (Scorpiones: Buthidae).

    PubMed

    Miller, D W; Jones, A D; Goldston, J S; Rowe, M P; Rowe, A H

    2016-11-01

    Studies of venom variability have advanced from describing the mechanisms of action and relative potency of medically important toxins to understanding the ecological and evolutionary causes of the variability itself. While most studies have focused on differences in venoms among taxa, populations, or age-classes, there may be intersexual effects as well. Striped bark scorpions (Centruroides vittatus) provide a good model for examining sex differences in venom composition and efficacy, as this species exhibits dramatic sexual dimorphism in both size and defensive behavior; when threatened by an enemy, larger, slower females stand and fight while smaller, fleeter males prefer to run. We here add evidence suggesting that male and female C. vittatus indeed have different defensive propensities; when threatened via an electrical stimulus, females were more likely to sting than were males. We reasoned that intersexual differences in defensive phenotypes would select for venoms with different functions in the two sexes; female venoms should be effective at predator deterrence, whereas male venoms, less utilized defensively, might be better suited to capturing prey or courting females. This rationale led to our predictions that females would inject more venom and/or possess more painful venom than males. We were wrong. While females do inject more venom than males in a defensive sting, females are also larger; when adjusted for body size, male and female C. vittatus commit equal masses of venom in a sting to a potential enemy. Additionally, house mice (Mus musculus) find an injection of male venom more irritating than an equal amount of female venom, likely because male venom contains more of the toxins that induce pain. Taken together, our results suggest that identifying the ultimate causes of venom variability will, as we move beyond adaptive storytelling, be hard-won.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Venom Gland Transcriptomic and Proteomic Analyses of the Enigmatic Scorpion Superstitionia donensis (Scorpiones: Superstitioniidae), with Insights on the Evolution of Its Venom Components.

    PubMed

    Santibáñez-López, Carlos E; Cid-Uribe, Jimena I; Batista, Cesar V F; Ortiz, Ernesto; Possani, Lourival D

    2016-12-09

    Venom gland transcriptomic and proteomic analyses have improved our knowledge on the diversity of the heterogeneous components present in scorpion venoms. However, most of these studies have focused on species from the family Buthidae. To gain insights into the molecular diversity of the venom components of scorpions belonging to the family Superstitioniidae, one of the neglected scorpion families, we performed a transcriptomic and proteomic analyses for the species Superstitionia donensis. The total mRNA extracted from the venom glands of two specimens was subjected to massive sequencing by the Illumina protocol, and a total of 219,073 transcripts were generated. We annotated 135 transcripts putatively coding for peptides with identity to known venom components available from different protein databases. Fresh venom collected by electrostimulation was analyzed by LC-MS/MS allowing the identification of 26 distinct components with sequences matching counterparts from the transcriptomic analysis. In addition, the phylogenetic affinities of the found putative calcins, scorpines, La1-like peptides and potassium channel κ toxins were analyzed. The first three components are often reported as ubiquitous in the venom of different families of scorpions. Our results suggest that, at least calcins and scorpines, could be used as molecular markers in phylogenetic studies of scorpion venoms.

  16. Venom Gland Transcriptomic and Proteomic Analyses of the Enigmatic Scorpion Superstitionia donensis (Scorpiones: Superstitioniidae), with Insights on the Evolution of Its Venom Components

    PubMed Central

    Santibáñez-López, Carlos E.; Cid-Uribe, Jimena I.; Batista, Cesar V. F.; Ortiz, Ernesto; Possani, Lourival D.

    2016-01-01

    Venom gland transcriptomic and proteomic analyses have improved our knowledge on the diversity of the heterogeneous components present in scorpion venoms. However, most of these studies have focused on species from the family Buthidae. To gain insights into the molecular diversity of the venom components of scorpions belonging to the family Superstitioniidae, one of the neglected scorpion families, we performed a transcriptomic and proteomic analyses for the species Superstitionia donensis. The total mRNA extracted from the venom glands of two specimens was subjected to massive sequencing by the Illumina protocol, and a total of 219,073 transcripts were generated. We annotated 135 transcripts putatively coding for peptides with identity to known venom components available from different protein databases. Fresh venom collected by electrostimulation was analyzed by LC-MS/MS allowing the identification of 26 distinct components with sequences matching counterparts from the transcriptomic analysis. In addition, the phylogenetic affinities of the found putative calcins, scorpines, La1-like peptides and potassium channel κ toxins were analyzed. The first three components are often reported as ubiquitous in the venom of different families of scorpions. Our results suggest that, at least calcins and scorpines, could be used as molecular markers in phylogenetic studies of scorpion venoms. PMID:27941686

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. [Dangerous scorpions from Niger].

    PubMed

    Goyffon, M; Guette, C

    2005-11-01

    Two dangerous scorpion species are responsible for the severe human envenomations in Niger, Leiurus quinquestriatus (H. et E.), the most abundant, and Androctonus aeneas C.L. Koch, less frequent and described in a Sahel country for the first time. Up to now, A. aeneas was known in North Africa only. Its venom is highly toxic for humans, similar to those of the most dangerous species living in Africa, such as L. quinquestriatus and other species belonging to the genus Androctonus, A. australis (L.) and A. mauretanicus (Poc.), for the envenoming treatment of which specific antivenoms are prepared. Taking into account the absence of a specific antivenom for A. aeneas, the paraspecific neutralising effect of these antivenoms should be tested.

  1. Pedipalps and venom vesicle anomalies in two families of scorpions (Scorpiones: Hemiscorpiidae, Buthidae) from Iran.

    PubMed

    Jahanifard, E; Navidpour, Sh; Masihipour, B

    2008-01-15

    The developmental anomalies are reported in this study. The first and second abnormally are presented in right pedipalps of Paraorthochirus and Orthochirus (Buthidae) while Paraorthochirus pedipalp just includes coxa, trochanter and without other parts (femur, patella, movable and fixed finger). The right pedipalp of Orthochirus specimen has abnormally too; it has all parts ofpedipalp except complete fixed finger. In both of scorpions, the left pedipalp is normal. Another case is present in venom vesicle of Hemiscourpius (Hemiscorpiidae). Pictures and morphometric measurements for three specimens are given.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Partial transcriptomic profiling of toxins from the venom gland of the scorpion Parabuthus stridulus.

    PubMed

    Mille, Bea G; Peigneur, Steve; Diego-García, Elia; Predel, Reinhard; Tytgat, Jan

    2014-06-01

    Since it is an apocrine secretion, scorpion venom is a complex mixture that contains a variety of low-molecular-weight basic proteins (neurotoxins), mucus, salts, as well as a large number of other constituents. Diversity of scorpion venom peptides exists also at the transcript level. Two kinds of venom peptides are typically considered: the neurotoxins and the antimicrobial peptides. We constructed a cDNA library and carried an EST (Expressed Sequence Tag) approach to overview the different peptides in the transcriptome of the telson from Parabuthus stridulus. P. stridulus are psammophilous and highly venomous scorpions endemic to Namibia (Prendini 2004) with medical relevance because of important human envenomation occurrence. We obtained 111 ESTs, 20% of them corresponding to cellular process transcripts, 7% to hypothetical proteins and 17% were sequences without good matches, but the majority of ESTs, 56%, corresponds to transcripts encoding for different venom components, including voltage-gated sodium, potassium and calcium channel toxins, antimicrobial peptides and other venom and cell proteins. To the best of our knowledge this report contains the first transcriptome analysis of genes transcribed by the venomous gland of the scorpion species P. stridulus, belonging to the family of medically important Buthidae scorpions. One hundred and eleven ESTs were analyzed, showing an important number of genes that encode for products similar to known scorpion venom components. In total, 17 unique and novel sequences were indentified. The identification and characterization of these compounds will be a good source of novel pharmacological tools for studying ion channels and the understanding of the physiological effects of toxins in P. stridulus envenomations at a molecular level.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Recombinant expression, functional characterization of two scorpion venom toxins with three disulfide bridges from the Chinese scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch.

    PubMed

    Lin, ShengGuo; Wang, XueLin; Hu, XueYao; Zhao, YongShan; Zhao, MingYi; Zhang, JingHai; Cui, Yong

    2017-01-17

    Scorpion venom contains a large variety of biologically active peptides. However, most of these peptides have not been identified and characterized. Peptides with three disulfide bridges, existing in the scorpion venom, have not been studied in detail and have been poorly characterized until now. Here, we report the recombinant expression and functional characterization of two kinds of venom peptides (BmKBTx and BmNaL-3SS2) with three disulfide bridges. This study adopted an effective E. coli system. The genes for BmKBTx and BmNaL-3SS2 were obtained by the Polymerase Chain Reaction method and finally cloned to the pSYPU-1b vector. After expression and purification, the two recombinant proteins underwent an analgesic activity assay in mice and whole-cell patch-clamp recording of hNav1.7-CHO cell lines. Functional tests showed that BmKBTx and BmNaL-3SS2 have analgesic activity in mice and can interact with the hNav1.7 subtype of the voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC). Scorpion venom is rich in bioactive proteins, but most of their functions are unknown to us. This study has increased our knowledge of these novel disulfide-bridged peptides (DBPs) and their biological activities.

  9. 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.

  10. The transcriptome recipe for the venom cocktail of Tityus bahiensis scorpion.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Ursula Castro; Candido, Denise Maria; Dorce, Valquíria Abrão Coronado; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio de Loiola Meirelles

    2015-03-01

    Scorpion venom is a mixture of peptides, including antimicrobial, bradykinin-potentiating and anionic peptides and small to medium proteins, such as ion channel toxins, metalloproteinases and phospholipases that together cause severe clinical manifestation. Tityus bahiensis is the second most medically important scorpion species in Brazil and it is widely distributed in the country with the exception of the North Region. Here we sequenced and analyzed the transcripts from the venom glands of T. bahiensis, aiming at identifying and annotating venom gland expressed genes. A total of 116,027 long reads were generated by pyrosequencing and assembled in 2891 isotigs. An annotation process identified transcripts by similarity to known toxins, revealing that putative venom components represent 7.4% of gene expression. The major toxins identified are potassium and sodium channel toxins, whereas metalloproteinases showed an unexpected high abundance. Phylogenetic analysis of deduced metalloproteinases from T. bahiensis and other scorpions revealed a pattern of ancient and intraspecific gene expansions. Other venom molecules identified include antimicrobial, anionic and bradykinin-potentiating peptides, besides several putative new venom components. This report provides the first attempt to massively identify the venom components of this species and constitutes one of the few transcriptomic efforts on the genus Tityus.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

    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 B. 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 B. 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 B. 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 B. occitanus species living in the South of France.

  13. 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

  14. Simultaneous modifications of sodium channel gating by two scorpion toxins.

    PubMed Central

    Wang, G K; Strichartz, G

    1982-01-01

    The effects of purified scorpion toxins from two different species on the kinetics of sodium currents were evaluated in amphibian myelinated nerves under voltage clamp. A toxin from Leiurus quinquestriatus slowed and prevented sodium channel inactivation, exclusively, and a toxin from Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing reduced transient sodium currents during a maintained depolarization, and induced a novel inward current that appeared following repolarization, as previously reported by Cahalan (1975, J. Physiol. [Lond.]. 244:511-534) for the crude scorpion venom. Both of these effects were observed in fibers treated with both of these toxins, and the kinetics of the induced current were modified in a way that showed that the same sodium channels were modified simultaneously by both toxins. Although the toxins can act on different sites, the time course of the action of C. sculpturatus toxin was accelerated in the presence of the L. quinquestriatus toxin, indicating some form of interaction between the two toxin binding sites. PMID:6293596

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Effects of potassium, veratridine, and scorpion venom on calcium accumulation and transmitter release by nerve terminals in vitro.

    PubMed Central

    Blaustein, M P

    1975-01-01

    1. 45-Ca uptake by pinched-off nerve terminals (synaptosomes) of rat brain incubated in standard physiological saline (including 132 mM-Na + 5mM-K + 1-2 mM-Ca) at 30 degrees C averages about 0-5 mumole Ca per g protein per minute. This may be equivalent to a Ca influx of about 0-03 p-mole/cm-2 sec. 2. The rate of 45-Ca uptake is increased when the concentration of K in the medium is increased above 15-20 mM, K replacing Na isosmotically. Maximum stimulation, a three- to six-fold increase in the rate of Ca uptake, occurs when [K]o is about 60 mM. The effect of increased [K]o is reversible. 3. The K-stimulated Ca uptake is associated primarily with the nerve terminal fraction of brain homogenates. The entering Ca is not accompanied by extracellular markers such as mannitol or inulin. Replacement of external chloride by methylsulphate or sulphate does not prevent the stimulation by K. 4. The effects of external K are quantitatively mimicked by Rb. Caesium also stimulates Ca uptake, but is only about one fifth as effective as K or Rb; Li is ineffective. 5. Two other depolarizing agents also stimulate Ca uptake by synaptosomes: veratridine (7-5 times 10- minus 6 to 7-5 times 10- minus 5 M) and scorpion (Leirus quinquestriatus) venom (6-7 times 10- minus 7 to 6-7 times 10- minus g/ml.). The stimulatory effects of veratridine and scorpion venom, but not of increased [K] are blocked by 2 times 10- minus 7 M tetrodotoxin. 6. Internal K also influences the rate of 45-Ca uptake by synaptosomes: lowering [K]i reduces the stimulatory effect of external K and veratridine. 7. Replacement of external Na by choline markedly inhibits the response to veratridine, but has a much smaller effect on the response to increased [K]o. 8. The Ca uptake mechanism has an apparent dissociation constant for Ca (KCa) of about 0-8 mM. Increasing [K]o increases the maximal rate of Ca uptake, but has no effect on KCa. The K-induced 45-Ca uptake is competitively inhibited by Mg-2+, Mn-2+ and La-3+. 9

  19. 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

  20. Production of Recombinant Alpha Neurotoxin of Scorpion Venom Mesobuthus eupeus and Analysis of its Immunogenicity

    PubMed Central

    Eskandari, Ghafar; Jolodar, Abbas; Seyfiabad Shapouri, Masoud Reza; Bahmainmehr, Ardeshir; Navidpour, Shahrokh

    2014-01-01

    Background: Scorpion venom is important and rich source of peptides, most of which have been widely used as pharmacological tools for unraveling structure-function relationship of various ion channels. Naturally occurring toxins can be also considered as lead compounds in the development of novel drugs. Objectives: In this context, the scorpion-derived peptide neurotoxins specific to sodium channels have shown promise as potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of various human diseases. Materials and Methods: A cDNA library from the extracted RNA was constructed using RT-PCR and semi-nested RT-PCR. DNA sequencing followed by phylogenetic analysis was applied to screen the cDNA library clones. For molecular characterization of the BMK gene we used cloning and recombinant protein expression techniques based on E.coli systems. Then we performed mice immunization and Western blot and Immunodot analyses. Results: A novel BMK neurotoxin has been cloned, expressed and characterized from the Iranian scorpion M. eupeus venom. We analyzed the recombinant BMK by immunoblotting with treated antiserum. The result showed that mice antiserum can react also with scorpion crude venom, so is able to recognize native BMK toxin. Conclusion: The newly produced recombinant protein BMK revealed to be immunogenic. Moreover, anti-BMK antibodies produced in mice were able to recognize both the recombinant BMK neurotoxin and the one in M. eupeus crude venome. Taken together, the molecular characterization and recombinant production of the Iranian scorpion M. eupeus venom component can serve as a new probe for further studies of sodium channels function and physiology. This provides a promising perspective for the future design of selective drugs, as well as for research of antivenom production. PMID:24719721

  1. Functional evolution of scorpion venom peptides with an inhibitor cystine knot fold.

    PubMed

    Gao, Bin; Harvey, Peta J; Craik, David J; Ronjat, Michel; De Waard, Michel; Zhu, Shunyi

    2013-06-27

    The ICK (inhibitor cystine knot) defines a large superfamily of polypeptides with high structural stability and functional diversity. Here, we describe a new scorpion venom-derived K+ channel toxin (named λ-MeuKTx-1) with an ICK fold through gene cloning, chemical synthesis, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, Ca2+ release measurements and electrophysiological recordings. λ-MeuKTx-1 was found to adopt an ICK fold that contains a three-strand anti-parallel β-sheet and a 310-helix. Functionally, this peptide selectively inhibits the Drosophila Shaker K+ channel but is not capable of activating skeletal-type Ca2+ release channels/ryanodine receptors, which is remarkably different from the previously known scorpion venom ICK peptides. The removal of two C-terminal residues of λ-MeuKTx-1 led to the loss of the inhibitory activity on the channel, whereas the C-terminal amidation resulted in the emergence of activity on four mammalian K+ channels accompanied by the loss of activity on the Shaker channel. A combination of structural and pharmacological data allows the recognition of three putative functional sites involved in channel blockade of λ-MeuKTx-1. The presence of a functional dyad in λ-MeuKTx-1 supports functional convergence among scorpion venom peptides with different folds. Furthermore, similarities in precursor organization, exon-intron structure, 3D-fold and function suggest that scorpion venom ICK-type K+ channel inhibitors and Ca2+ release channel activators share a common ancestor and their divergence occurs after speciation between buthidae and non-buthids. The structural and functional characterizations of the first scorpion venom ICK toxin with K+ channel-blocking activity sheds light on functionally divergent and convergent evolution of this conserved scaffold of ancient origin.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. [Toxicological and immunological aspects of scorpion venom (Tytius pachyurus): neutralizing capacity of antivenoms produced in Latin America].

    PubMed

    Barona, Jacqueline; Otero, Rafael; Núñez, Vitelbina

    2004-03-01

    The toxicity and immunochemical properties of Tityus pachyurus Pocock scorpion venom was characterized, as well as the neutralization capacity against it by three anti-scorpion antivenoms (Alacramyn, Instituto Bioclón, México; Suero antiescorpiónico, Instituto Butantán, Sao Paulo, Brasil; and Suero antiescorpiónico, Centro de Biotecnología, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela). The venom yield, obtained by manual milking, 680+/-20 microg venom, a 50% lethal dose in mice was 4.8 microg/kg (90 microg for an 18-20 g mouse). The most common symptoms of venom poisoning in mice were sialorrhea, respiratory distress, profuse sweating, ataxia, behavior alterations (restlessness, somnolence) and hyperglycemia at 3 and 24 hours after subcutaneous venom injection (0.5 LD50). The neutralizing capacity of Bioclón (México City) and Butantán (Sao Paulo) antivenoms (for a 50% effective dose) was 330 and 292 microg venom/ml antivenom, respectively. The Biotecnología (Caracas) antivenom did not neutralize the lethal effect of venom. By electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) was demonstrated that the venom contains proteins from less than 14 kd to 97 kd. The Western blots indicated immunological reactivity of the three antivenoms with most of venom components, including proteins of low molecular mass (<14 kd). The results allow to conclude that T. pachyurus venom is neutralized efficiently by anti-scorpion antivenoms produced in México and Brasil.

  5. Mast cell chymase reduces the toxicity of Gila monster venom, scorpion venom, and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide in mice

    PubMed Central

    Akahoshi, Mitsuteru; Song, Chang Ho; Piliponsky, Adrian M.; Metz, Martin; Guzzetta, Andrew; Åbrink, Magnus; Schlenner, Susan M.; Feyerabend, Thorsten B.; Rodewald, Hans-Reimer; Pejler, Gunnar; Tsai, Mindy; Galli, Stephen J.

    2011-01-01

    Mast cell degranulation is important in the pathogenesis of anaphylaxis and allergic disorders. Many animal venoms contain components that can induce mast cell degranulation, and this has been thought to contribute to the pathology and mortality caused by envenomation. However, we recently reported evidence that mast cells can enhance the resistance of mice to the venoms of certain snakes and that mouse mast cell–derived carboxypeptidase A3 (CPA3) can contribute to this effect. Here, we investigated whether mast cells can enhance resistance to the venom of the Gila monster, a toxic component of that venom (helodermin), and the structurally similar mammalian peptide, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP). Using 2 types of mast cell–deficient mice, as well as mice selectively lacking CPA3 activity or the chymase mouse mast cell protease-4 (MCPT4), we found that mast cells and MCPT4, which can degrade helodermin, can enhance host resistance to the toxicity of Gila monster venom. Mast cells and MCPT4 also can limit the toxicity associated with high concentrations of VIP and can reduce the morbidity and mortality induced by venoms from 2 species of scorpions. Our findings support the notion that mast cells can enhance innate defense by degradation of diverse animal toxins and that release of MCPT4, in addition to CPA3, can contribute to this mast cell function. PMID:21926462

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Insights into the Hypertensive Effects of Tityus serrulatus Scorpion Venom: Purification of an Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme-Like Peptidase

    PubMed Central

    Cajado-Carvalho, Daniela; Kuniyoshi, Alexandre Kazuo; Duzzi, Bruno; Iwai, Leo Kei; de Oliveira, Úrsula Castro; Junqueira de Azevedo, Inácio de Loiola Meirelles; Kodama, Roberto Tadashi; Portaro, Fernanda Vieira

    2016-01-01

    The number of cases of envenomation by scorpions has grown significantly in Brazil since 2007, with the most severe cases being caused by the Tityus serrulatus scorpion. Although envenomed patients mostly suffer neurotoxic manifestations, other symptoms, such as hypertension, cannot be exclusively attributed to neurotoxins. Omics analyses have detected plentiful amounts of metalloproteases in T. serrulatus venom. However, the roles played by these enzymes in envenomation are still unclear. Endeavoring to investigate the functions of scorpion venom proteases, we describe here for the first time an Angiotensin I-Converting Enzyme-like peptidase (ACE-like) purified from T. serrulatus venom. The crude venom cleaved natural and fluorescent substrates and these activities were inhibited by captopril. Regarding the serum neutralization, the scorpion antivenom was more effective at blocking the ACE-like activity than arachnid antivenom, although neither completely inhibited the venom cleavage action, even at higher doses. ACE-like was purified from the venom after three chromatographic steps and its identity was confirmed by mass spectrometric and transcriptomic analyses. Bioinformatics analysis showed homology between the ACE-like transcript sequences from Tityus spp. and human testis ACE. These findings advance our understanding of T. serrulatus venom components and may improve treatment of envenomation victims, as ACE-like may contribute to envenomation symptoms, especially the resulting hypertension. PMID:27886129

  10. 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

  11. 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

    2014-06-12

    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

  12. Antigenic cross-reactivity between sixteen venoms from scorpions belonging to six genera.

    PubMed

    D'Suze, G; Moncada, S; González, C; Sevcik, C; Alagón, A

    2007-01-01

    Venoms of 15 scorpion species from Venezuela and one from Brazil were compared in their antigenic cross-reactivity with specific F(ab')2 against Tityus discrepans (Td-antibodies), using the method of King and collaborators (1). Our results show that Tityus venoms cross-reactivity (shared epitopes) with the venoms of other species within the genus tended to be less for a greater distance between the habitat of the species. A nonparametric linear regression of free Td-antibody binding to T. discrepans venom immobilized to a solid phase in the presence of other Tityus venoms versus distance showed binding = a + b x log10 (distance) where: median (95% confidence interval) for a = 0.92 (7.43, 9.80) and b = 17.20 (4.15, 22.57) binding/log10(Km); Spearman rS = 0.783 with associated P = 0.006. Our results show that toxins from different Tityus species, targeting mammalian Na+ and K+ channels, are antigenically very similar. Venoms from species from other genera such as Centruroides, Broteas, Diplocentrus, Chactas, and Rhopalurus did not cross-react with Td-antibodies.

  13. 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.

  14. Scorpion venom components that affect ion-channels function

    PubMed Central

    Quintero-Hernández, V.; Jiménez-Vargas, J.M.; Gurrola, G.B.; Valdivia, H.H.F.; Possani, L.D.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY The number and types of venom components that affect ion-channel function are reviewed. These are the most important venom components responsible for human intoxication, deserving medical attention, often requiring the use of specific anti-venoms. Special emphasis is given to peptides that recognize Na+-, K+- and Ca++-channels of excitable cells. Knowledge generated by direct isolation of peptides from venom and components deduced from cloned genes, whose amino acid sequences are deposited into databanks are now adays in the order of 1.5 thousands, out of an estimate biodiversity closed to 300,000. Here the diversity of components is briefly reviewed with mention to specific references. Structural characteristic are discussed with examples taken from published work. The principal mechanisms of action of the three different types of peptides are also reviewed. Na+-channel specific venom components usually are modifier of the open and closing kinetic mechanisms of the ion-channels, whereas peptides affecting K+-channels are normally pore blocking agents. The Ryanodine Ca++-channel specific peptides are known for causing sub-conducting stages of the channels conductance and some were shown to be able to internalize penetrating inside the muscle cells. PMID:23891887

  15. The depressant scorpion neurotoxin LqqIT2 selectively modulates the insect voltage-gated sodium channel.

    PubMed

    Bosmans, Frank; Martin-Eauclaire, Marie-France; Tytgat, Jan

    2005-03-15

    LqqIT2 is a depressant neurotoxin present in the venom of the Leiurus quinquestriatus quinquestriatus scorpion, one of the world's most dangerous scorpions endemic to dry habitats in Africa and Asia. In order to determine its efficacy, potency and selectivity, LqqIT2 was subjected for the first time to an electrophysiological and pharmacological comparison between two different cloned sodium channels expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Aside from typical beta-toxin effects, LqqIT2 also affected the inactivation process and ion selectivity of the insect voltage-gated sodium channel. The most interesting feature of LqqIT2 is its total insect-selectivity. At a concentration of 1 microM, the insect-voltage-gated sodium channel, para, was profoundly modulated while its mammalian counterpart, the rat brain Na(v)1.2 channel, was not affected. This trait offers excellent prospects for the development of novel insecticides.

  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.

  17. 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

  18. Comparative proteomic analysis of female and male venoms from the Mexican scorpion Centruroides limpidus: Novel components found.

    PubMed

    Cid Uribe, Jimena Isaias; Jiménez Vargas, Juana Maria; Ferreira Batista, Cesar Vicente; Zamudio Zuñiga, Fernando; Possani, Lourival Domingos

    2017-01-01

    Venom from male and female scorpions of the species Centruroides limpidus were separated by HPLC and their molecular masses determined by mass spectrometry. The relative concentration of components eluting in equivalent retention times from the HPLC column shows some differences. A new peptide with 29 amino acids, cross-linked by three disulfide bonds was found in male scorpions and its structure determined. Another unknown peptide present in female venom, with sequence identity similar to K(+)-channel blocking peptide was isolated. This peptide contains 39 amino acid residues linked by three disulfide bonds. Due to sequence similarities, a systematic number (αKTx2.18) was assigned. Venom from male and female scorpions was separated by Sephadex G-50 gel filtration. Components of fraction I of this chromatogram were analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and 41 spots were selected (20 from female and 21 from male). The spots were excised from the gel, enzymatically digested and sequenced by LC-MS/MS. This procedure allowed the identification of several proteins containing similar amino acid sequence of other known proteins registered on UniProt database. Among these proteins the presence of metalloproteinases (proteolytic enzymes), hyaluronidases and phosphatases were experimentally determined and shown to be present in both venom samples. The results shown here should help further work aimed at fully identification of the structure and function of venom components form C. limpidus male and female scorpions.

  19. Anti-HIV-1 Activity of a New Scorpion Venom Peptide Derivative Kn2-7

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yaoqing; Cao, Luyang; Zhong, Maohua; Zhang, Yan; Han, Chen; Li, Qiaoli; Yang, Jingyi; Zhou, Dihan; Shi, Wei; He, Benxia; Liu, Fang; Yu, Jie; Sun, Ying; Cao, Yuan; Li, Yaoming; Li, Wenxin; Guo, Deying; Cao, Zhijian; Yan, Huimin

    2012-01-01

    For over 30 years, HIV/AIDS has wreaked havoc in the world. In the absence of an effective vaccine for HIV, development of new anti-HIV agents is urgently needed. We previously identified the antiviral activities of the scorpion-venom-peptide-derived mucroporin-M1 for three RNA viruses (measles viruses, SARS-CoV, and H5N1). In this investigation, a panel of scorpion venom peptides and their derivatives were designed and chosen for assessment of their anti-HIV activities. A new scorpion venom peptide derivative Kn2-7 was identified as the most potent anti-HIV-1 peptide by screening assays with an EC50 value of 2.76 µg/ml (1.65 µM) and showed low cytotoxicity to host cells with a selective index (SI) of 13.93. Kn2-7 could inhibit all members of a standard reference panel of HIV-1 subtype B pseudotyped virus (PV) with CCR5-tropic and CXCR4-tropic NL4-3 PV strain. Furthermore, it also inhibited a CXCR4-tropic replication-competent strain of HIV-1 subtype B virus. Binding assay of Kn2-7 to HIV-1 PV by Octet Red system suggested the anti-HIV-1 activity was correlated with a direct interaction between Kn2-7 and HIV-1 envelope. These results demonstrated that peptide Kn2-7 could inhibit HIV-1 by direct interaction with viral particle and may become a promising candidate compound for further development of microbicide against HIV-1. PMID:22536342

  20. 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.

  1. Impact of scorpion venom as an acute stressor on the neuroendocrine-immunological network.

    PubMed

    Santhosh, K N; Pavana, D; Thippeswamy, N B

    2016-11-01

    Although immunomodulatory property and many other pharmaceutical applications of scorpion venom have been addressed before, no studies were reported about its application as a neuroimmunomodulator at therapeutic dose. In this study, we conceptualized the property of scorpion venom, capable of inducing the acute pain and neurotoxicity can cause acute stress resulting in the modulation of immune cells through HPA axis. The whole venom from Hottentotta rugiscutis, a widely seen scorpion in the region of eastern Karnataka, was extracted and injected a single dose of 1 mg/kg b.w. to Swiss albino mice and then erythrocytes and leukogram were measured. Whole brain AChE activity, corticosterone, cytokines and NO levels in plasma were also evaluated at various time points. Hrv didn't show any histopathological changes in the lymphoid organs and at the site of injection. However, lymphocytes and neutrophils did get altered at 2 h post-injection. Plasma corticosterone, cytokine levels such as IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α and IL-10 and the AChE activity were significantly increased in a time-dependent manner. Based on these results, it may be predicted, Hrv's ability to cause acute stress resulted in the activation of HPA axis, which stimulates the release of glucocorticoid hormones which in turn elicits the immunomodulation of leukocytes by altering the levels of pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Thus, we can conclude, the impact of acute stress induced by Hrv can intercommunicate the signals between neuroendocrine-immune systems.

  2. Enzymatic properties of venoms from Brazilian scorpions of Tityus genus and the neutralisation potential of therapeutical antivenoms.

    PubMed

    Venancio, Emerson J; Portaro, Fernanda C V; Kuniyoshi, Alexandre K; Carvalho, Daniela Cajado; Pidde-Queiroz, Giselle; Tambourgi, Denise V

    2013-07-01

    Tityus scorpion stings are an important public health problem in Brazil, where the incidence of such stings exceeds the incidence of the health problems caused by other venomous animals, including snakes. In this study, we have analysed specific enzymatic activities of the venom from the Brazilian scorpions of Tityus genus, i.e., Tityus serrulatus, Tityus bahiensis and Tityus stigmurus. The data presented here revealed that Tityus spp. venoms exhibited significant hyaluronidase activity but no phospholipase activity. All the venom samples exhibited the ability to hydrolyse Abz-FLRRV-EDDnp and dynorphin 1-13 substrates. These activities were inhibited by 1,10-phenanthroline but not by PMSF, indicating the presence of metalloproteinases in the Tityus spp. venoms. The venom peptidase activity on Abz-FLRRV-EDDnp and on dynorphin 1-13 was partially inhibited by therapeutic Brazilian anti-scorpion and anti-arachnidic antivenoms. Dynorphin 1-13 (YGGFLRRIRPKLK) contains two scissile bonds between the residues Leu-Arg and Arg-Arg that are susceptible to cleavage by the Tityus venom metallopeptidase(s). Their cleavage releases leu-enkephalin, an important bioactive peptide. The detection of metalloproteinase(s) with specificity for both dynorphin 1-13 degradation and leu-enkephalin releasing can be important for the mechanistic understanding of hypotension and bradycardia induction in cases of scorpion stings, whereas hyaluronidases might contribute to the diffusion of the toxins present in these venoms. Furthermore, the limited inhibition of the toxic enzymatic activities by commercial antivenoms illustrates the necessity of improvements in current antivenom preparation.

  3. Characterizing the biological and biochemical profile of six different scorpion venoms from the Buthidae and Scorpionidae family.

    PubMed

    Estrada-Gómez, Sebastian; Gomez-Rave, Lyz; Vargas-Muñoz, Leidy Johana; van der Meijden, Arie

    2017-05-01

    The objective of this study was to characterize six different scorpion venoms using biological and biochemical methods, including a preliminary MS/MS and a post-translational modifications analysis. Despite the diversity of scorpion species of medical importance in Africa and Colombia, the venoms of these arachnids have been poorly studied in these two regions. We report the biochemical, electrophoretic, chromatographic profile, internal peptide sequences with a post-translational modification report, and a preliminary antitumor activity of five different scorpions of the Buthidae family, Androctonus amoreuxi, Babycurus jacksoni, Grosphus grandidieri, Hottentotta gentili and Tityus fuhrmanni, and one of the Scorpionidae family Pandinus imperator. No L-amino oxidase activity was detected in the evaluated venoms. Proteolytic activity using azocasein was detected only in G. grandidieri and P. imperator, indicating the possible presence of metalloproteinases in these two venoms. Proteolytic activity using NOBA was detected in all venoms indicating the possible presence of serine-proteinases. Phospholipase A2 activity was detected in the venoms of P. imperator, G. grandidieri, H. gentili and A. amoreuxi, with P. imperator venom being the most active. All venoms analyzed contained defensin-like proteins, alpha toxins, metalloproteinases, neuropeptides, DBP affecting ion channels, DBP with antimicrobial activity, among others. Venoms from P. imperator, G. grandidieri and T. fuhrmanni showed a dose-dependent cytotoxic activity over MCF-7 cells. Only two isolated RP-HPLC fractions from P. imperator and T. fuhrmanni showed cytotoxic activity over MCF-7. No cytotoxic activity was found in the venoms from A. amoreuxi, B. jacksoni, and H. gentili.

  4. Venomous spiders, snakes, and scorpions in the United States.

    PubMed

    Holve, Steve

    2009-04-01

    Venomous bites and stings are complex poisonings that have local and systemic effects. Mild envenomations can be treated with supportive care. Severe envenomations can be treated definitively with species-specific antivenom, although the use of these products has potential risk of immediate and a more delayed onset form of hypersensitivity reactions. Consultation with a toxicologist is recommended to help guide therapy. Field treatments such as tourniquets and incision likely cause more harm than benefit and should be avoided.

  5. 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.

  6. Anti-proliferative Effects of Androctonus amoreuxi Scorpion and Cerastes cerastes Snake Venoms on Human Prostate Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Akef, Hassan; Kotb, Nahla; Abo-Elmatty, Dina; Salem, Sayed

    2017-01-01

    The present study evaluated the effects of Androctonus amoreuxi scorpion venom, Cerastes cerastes snake venom and their mixture on prostate cancer cells (PC3). An MTT assay was used to determine the anti-proliferative effect of the venoms, while quantitative real time PCR was used to evaluate the expression of apoptosis-related genes (Bax and Bcl-2). Furthermore, colorimetric assays were used to measure the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and antioxidant enzymes. Our results show that the venoms significantly reduced PC3 cell viability in a dose-dependent manner. On the other hand, these venoms significantly decreased Bcl-2 gene expression. Additionally, C. cerastes venom significantly reduced Bax gene expression, while A. amoreuxi venom and a mixture of A. amoreuxi & C. cerastes venoms did not alter Bax expression. Consequently, these venoms significantly increased the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and the oxidative stress biomarker MDA. Furthermore, these venoms also increased the activity levels of the antioxidant enzymes, catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, and glutathione-S-transferase. Overall, the venoms have cytotoxic and anti-proliferative effects on PC3 cells. PMID:28382285

  7. Biochemical, genetic and physiological characterization of venom components from two species of scorpions: Centruroides exilicauda Wood and Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing.

    PubMed

    Valdez-Cruz, Norma A; Dávila, Sonia; Licea, Alexei; Corona, Miguel; Zamudio, Fernando Z; García-Valdes, Jesús; Boyer, Leslie; Possani, Lourival D

    2004-06-01

    Current literature concerning the taxonomic names of two possibly distinct species of scorpions from the genus Centruroides (sculpturatus and/or exilicauda) is controversial. This communication reports the results of biochemical, genetic and electrophysiological experiments conducted with C. exilicauda Wood of Baja California (Mexico) and C. sculpturatus Ewing of Arizona (USA). The chromatographic profile fractionation of the soluble venom from both species of scorpions is different. The N-terminal amino acid sequence for nine toxins of C. exilicauda was determined and compared with those from C. sculpturatus. Lethality tests conducted in mice support the idea that C. exilicauda venom should be expected to be medically less important than C. sculpturatus. Thirteen genes from the venomous glands of the scorpion C. exilicauda were obtained and compared with previously published sequences from genes of the species C. sculpturatus. Genes coding for cytochrome oxidase I and II of both species were also sequenced. A phylogenetic tree was generated with this information showing important differences between them. Additionally, the results of electrophysiological assays conducted with the venom from both species on the Ca(2+)-dependent K(+)-channels, showed significant differences. These results strongly support the conclusion that C. exilicauda and C. sculpturatus are in fact two distinct species of scorpions.

  8. Scorpion (Androctonus bicolor) venom exhibits cytotoxicity and induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in breast and colorectal cancer cell lines

    PubMed Central

    Al-Asmari, Abdulrahman K.; Riyasdeen, Anvarbatcha; Abbasmanthiri, Rajamohamed; Arshaduddin, Mohammed; Al-Harthi, Fahad Ali

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: The defective apoptosis is believed to play a major role in the survival and proliferation of neoplastic cells. Hence, the induction of apoptosis in cancer cells is one of the targets for cancer treatment. Researchers are considering scorpion venom as a potent natural source for cancer treatment because it contains many bioactive compounds. The main objective of the current study is to evaluate the anticancer property of Androctonus bicolor scorpion venom on cancer cells. Materials and Methods: Scorpions were milked by electrical stimulation of telsons and lyophilized. The breast (MDA-MB-231) and colorectal (HCT-8) cancer cells were maintained in appropriate condition. The venom cytotoxicity was assessed by 3-(4,5-di-methylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide assay, and the cellular and nuclear changes were studied with propidium iodide and 4’,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole stain, respectively. The cell cycle arrest was examined using muse cell analyzer. Results: The A. bicolor venom exerted cytotoxic effects on MDA-MB-231 and HCT-8 cells in a dose- and duration-dependent manner and induced apoptotic cell death. The treatment with this venom arrests the cancer cells in G0/G1 phase of cell cycle. Conclusions: The venom selectively induces the rate of apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 and HCT-8 cells as reflected by morphological and cell cycle studies. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first scientific evidence demonstrating the induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest by A. bicolor scorpion venom. PMID:27721540

  9. Scorpions

    MedlinePlus

    ... this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002850.htm Scorpions To use the sharing features on this page, ... JavaScript. This article describes the effects of a scorpion sting. This article for information only. DO NOT ...

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Serological, biochemical and enzymatic alterations in rodents after experimental envenomation with Hadruroides lunatus scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Costal-Oliveira, F; Guerra-Duarte, C; Castro, K L P; Tintaya, B; Bonilla, C; Silva, W; Yarlequé, A; Fujiwara, R; Melo, M M; Chávez-Olórtegui, C

    2015-09-01

    Toxic effects of Peruvian Hadruroides lunatus scorpion venom on different biochemical and enzymatic parameters in blood serum of Wistar rats and Swiss mice were determined after experimental envenomation. An increase in enzymatic activities of Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST), Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH) and levels of serum protein and albumin were observed while a decrease in creatinine level in serum was perceived after 30 min of envenomation. No alterations in urea levels and in kidney histology were detected in the envenomed rats. The global leukocytes count was diminished, with decrease in lymphocytes, eosinophils and neutrophils levels in the bloodstream, while no alterations were found in hematological parameters of red series in rats injected with H. lunatus venom. IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, INF-γ, TNF, IL-17A and IL-10 levels were evaluated 0.5, 3 and 6 h after experimental envenomation of mice with H. lunatus venom. From all the analyzed cytokines, only IL-6 showed an increase in serum levels. Taken together, these results point out that envenomation by H. lunatus can impair hematological and immunological parameters and therefore might be monitored in accidents involving this species.

  13. A toxin to nervous, cardiac, and endocrine ERG K+ channels isolated from Centruroides noxius scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Gurrola, G B; Rosati, B; Rocchetti, M; Pimienta, G; Zaza, A; Arcangeli, A; Olivotto, M; Possani, L D; Wanke, E

    1999-05-01

    Toxins isolated from a variety of venoms are tools for probing the physiological function and structure of ion channels. The ether-a-go-go-related genes (erg) codify for the K+ channels (ERG), which are crucial in neurons and are impaired in human long-QT syndrome and Drosophila 'seizure' mutants. We have isolated a peptide from the scorpion Centruroides noxius Hoffmann that has no sequence homologies with other toxins, and demonstrate that it specifically inhibits (IC50=16+/-1 nM) only ERG channels of different species and distinct histogenesis. These results open up the possibility of investigating ERG channel structure-function relationships and novel pharmacological tools with potential therapeutic efficacy.

  14. Characterization of a novel cDNA encoding a short venom peptide derived from venom gland of scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch: trans-splicing may play an important role in the diversification of scorpion venom peptides.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Xian-Chun; Luo, Feng; Li, Wen-Xin

    2006-04-01

    A novel cDNA clone (named BmKT-u) which is a hybrid molecule of the 5'-terminal region of BmKT' cDNA and the 3'-terminal region of an undocumented cDNA (named BmKu), was isolated from a cDNA library made from the venom gland of scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch. BmKT-u codes for a 30 amino acid residue precursor peptide composed of a 20-residue signal sequence, and a putative 10-residue novel mature peptide. Northern blot hybridization showed BmKT-u cDNA is generated from a transcript. RT-PCR experiments excluded the possibility that BmKT-u cDNA is an artifact generated during reverse transcription. Genomic amplifications performed with three pairs of BmKT-u gene-specific primers showed the BmKT-u gene does not exist in the genome of the scorpion as a single transcriptional unit. Genomic cloning for BmKT' showed that the BmKT' gene contains an intron of 509 bp inserted into the region encoding the C-terminal region of the signal peptide. A sequence alignment comparison of the cDNA of BmKT-u with genomic BmKT' revealed that the junction site of the hybrid molecule is located at the 5'-splicing site of the intron. The data suggest that the BmKT-u transcript is a naturally occurring mature mRNA that is generated by trans-splicing. Trans-splicing may contribute to the diversity of venom peptides from venomous animals.

  15. Bothriurus bonariensis scorpion venom activates voltage-dependent sodium channels in insect and mammalian nervous systems.

    PubMed

    Dos Santos, Douglas Silva; Carvalho, Evelise Leis; de Lima, Jeferson Camargo; Breda, Ricardo Vaz; Oliveira, Raquel Soares; de Freitas, Thiago Carrazoni; Salamoni, Simone Denise; Domingues, Michelle Flores; Piovesan, Angela Regina; Boldo, Juliano Tomazzoni; de Assis, Dênis Reis; da Costa, Jaderson Costa; Dal Belo, Cháriston André; Pinto, Paulo Marcos

    2016-10-25

    Animal venoms have been widely recognized as a major source of biologically active molecules. Bothriurus bonariensis, popularly known as black scorpion, is the arthropod responsible for the highest number of accidents involving scorpion sting in Southern Brazil. Here we reported the first attempt to investigate the neurobiology of B. bonariensis venom (BBV) in the insect and mammalian nervous system. BBV (32 μg/g) induced a slow neuromuscular blockade in the in vivo cockroach nerve-muscle preparations (70 ± 4%, n = 6, p < 0.001), provoking repetitive twitches and significantly decreasing the frequency of spontaneous leg action potentials (SNCAPs) from 82 ± 3 min(-1) to 36 ± 1.3 min(-1) (n = 6, p < 0.05), without affecting the amplitude. When tested in primary cultures of rat hippocampal cells, BBV induced a massive increase of Ca(2+) influx (250 ± 1% peak increase, n = 3, p < 0.0001). The disturbance of calcium homeostasis induced by BBV on the mammalian central nervous system was not accompanied by cellular death and was prevented by the co-treatment of the hippocampal cells with tetrodotoxin, a selective sodium channel blocker. The results suggest that the biological activity of BBV is mostly related to a modulation of sodium channels function. Our biological activity survey suggests that BBV may have a promising insecticidal and therapeutic potential.

  16. Effect of age on body distribution of Tityustoxin from Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom in rats.

    PubMed

    Nunan, Elzíria A; Moraes, Márcio F D; Cardoso, Valbert N; Moraes-Santos, Tasso

    2003-06-06

    Previous research from our Laboratory has shown a greater susceptibility of young animals, when compared to adults, to envenomation by tityustoxin (TsTX), one of the main toxins from Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom. Our hypothesis is that a differential body distribution of TsTX among adult and young animals could account for the worse prognosis of scorpion envenomation in infants. Thus, TsTX labeled with technetium-99m was injected (6 microg, subcutaneous) in adult (150-160 day-old) and young (21-22 day-old) male rats. Groups of animals were sacrificed at different times after TsTX injection (0.08, 1.0, 3.0, 6.0, 12.0 and 24.0 hours) under Urethane anesthesia (140 mg/100 g, i.p.). The brain, heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, spleen and thyroid were excised and blood collected. Young rats presented a shorter latency toxin concentration peak in all studied organs except for the liver and the kidney, when compared to adults. The ratio between the area under the curve of the toxin concentration in each organ and that in blood (Kp) indicates higher accumulation in the organs of young animals mainly for brain, liver and heart. These observations suggest a faster toxin distribution in the organs of young rats. The higher uptake of TsTX in the brain is suggestive of a greater permeability for the toxin along the blood-brain barrier of young rats. In conclusion, the higher uptake in heart, together with data from the brain, may help to elucidate the clinical manifestations frequently observed in children under scorpion envenomation.

  17. Cloning and molecular characterization of BumaMPs1, a novel metalloproteinases from the venom of scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch.

    PubMed

    Xia, Xichao; Ma, Yuhong; Xue, Shipeng; Wang, Aimei; Tao, Junliang; Zhao, Yan; Zhang, Qingyuan; Liu, Rongzhi; Lu, Shaoe

    2013-12-15

    Scorpion venoms metalloproteinase is involved in a number of important biological, physiological and pathophysiological processes. In this work, a complete sequence of metalloproteinase was first obtained from venom of scorpion Buthus martensi and named as BumaMPs1. BumaMPs1 has 393 amino acid residues containing with a molecular mass of 44.53 kDa, showing an isoelectric point of 5.66. The primary sequence analysis indicated that the BumaMPs1 contains a zinc-binding motif (HELGHNLGISH), methionine-turn motif (YIM), disintegrin-like domain (ETCD) and N-glycosylation site. The multiple alignment of its deduced amino acid sequence and those of other metalloproteinase showed a high structural similarly, mainly among class reprolysin proteases. The phylogenetic analysis showed early divergence and independent evolution of BumaMPs1 from other metalloproteinase.

  18. Functional and immuno-reactive characterization of a previously undescribed peptide from the venom of the scorpion Centruroides limpidus.

    PubMed

    Olamendi-Portugal, Timoteo; Restano-Cassulini, Rita; Riaño-Umbarila, Lidia; Becerril, Baltazar; Possani, Lourival D

    2017-01-01

    A previously undescribed toxic peptide named Cl13 was purified from the venom of the Mexican scorpion Centruroides limpidus. It contains 66 amino acid residues, including four disulfide bonds. The physiological effects assayed in 7 different subtypes of voltage gated Na(+)-channels, showed that it belongs to the β-scorpion toxin type. The most notorious effects were observed in subtypes Nav1.4, Nav1.5 and Nav1.6. Although having important sequence similarities with two other lethal toxins from this scorpion species (Cll1m and Cll2), the recently developed single chain antibody fragments (scFv) of human origin were not capable of protecting against Cl13. At the amino acid sequence level, in 3 stretches of peptide Cl13 (positions 7-9, 30-38 and 62-66) some differences with respect to other similar toxins are observed. Some of these differences coincide with contact points with the human antibody fragments.

  19. Phaiodotoxin, a novel structural class of insect-toxin isolated from the venom of the Mexican scorpion Anuroctonus phaiodactylus.

    PubMed

    Valdez-Cruz, Norma A; Batista, Cesar V F; Zamudio, Fernando Z; Bosmans, Frank; Tytgat, Jan; Possani, Lourival D

    2004-12-01

    A peptide called phaiodotoxin was isolated from the venom of the scorpion Anuroctonus phaiodactylus. It is lethal to crickets, but non toxic to mice at the doses assayed. It has 72 amino acid residues, with a molecular mass of 7971 atomic mass units. Its covalent structure was determined by Edman degradation and mass spectrometry; it contains four disulfide-bridges, of which one of the pairs is formed between cysteine-7 and cysteine-8 (positions Cys63-Cys71). The other three pairs are formed between Cys13-Cys38, Cys23-Cys50 and Cys27-Cys52. Comparative sequence analysis shows that phaiodotoxin belongs to the long-chain subfamily of scorpion peptides. Several genes coding for this peptide and similar ones were cloned by PCR, using cDNA prepared from the RNA of venomous glands of this scorpion. Electrophysiological assays conducted with this toxin in several mammalian cell lines (TE671, COS7, rat GH3 and cerebellum granular cells), showed no effect on Na+ currents. However, it shifts the voltage dependence of activation and inactivation of insect Na+ channels (para/tipE) to more negative and positive potentials, respectively. Therefore, the 'window' current is increased by 225%, which is thought to be the cause of its toxicity toward insects. Phaiodotoxin is the first toxic peptide ever purified from a scorpion of the family Iuridae.

  20. Characterization of six toxins from the venom of the Moroccan scorpion Buthus occitanus mardochei.

    PubMed

    Vargas, O; Martin, M F; Rochat, H

    1987-02-02

    When the venom of the Moroccan scorpion Buthus occitanus mardochei was submitted to a combination of several chromatographic steps (including gel-filtration and ion-exchange chromatographies), seven proteins were obtained, six being lethal to mice. These proteins have been characterized by their chemical, immunological and toxic properties. The amino acid sequence (66 residues) of Bom III, the most noteworthy toxin of the venom as for its amino acid composition, is proposed following automatic sequencing of the reduced and S-methylated protein and of chymotryptic peptides. It was obvious that this sequence is somewhat different from those of toxins belonging to the same structural and immunological group (Bom III was found to be immunologically related to Buthus occitanus tunetanus toxins I and II which both share with it 56% of homology. Furthermore, Bom III was found to be unable to compete (as does Bot I) with toxin II of Androctonus australis Hector (an alpha-type toxin) for neurotoxin binding site 3 on the sodium channel of rat brain synaptosomes. Bom III was also unable to compete with toxin II of Centruroides suffusus suffusus (a beta-type toxin) to neurotoxin binding site 4 of the same channel.

  1. Exploiting Cross-reactivity to Neutralize Two Different Scorpion Venoms with One Single Chain Antibody Fragment*

    PubMed Central

    Riaño-Umbarila, Lidia; Contreras-Ferrat, Gabriel; Olamendi-Portugal, Timoteo; Morelos-Juárez, Citlalli; Corzo, Gerardo; Possani, Lourival D.; Becerril, Baltazar

    2011-01-01

    We report the optimization of a family of human single chain antibody fragments (scFv) for neutralizing two scorpion venoms. The parental scFv 3F recognizes the main toxins of Centruroides noxius Hoffmann (Cn2) and Centruroides suffusus suffusus (Css2), albeit with low affinity. This scFv was subjected to independent processes of directed evolution to improve its recognition toward Cn2 (Riaño-Umbarila, L., Juárez-González, V. R., Olamendi-Portugal, T., Ortíz-León, M., Possani, L. D., and Becerril, B. (2005) FEBS J. 272, 2591–2601) and Css2 (this work). Each evolved variant showed strong cross-reactivity against several toxins, and was capable of neutralizing Cn2 and Css2. Furthermore, each variant neutralized the whole venoms of the above species. As far as we know, this is the first report of antibodies with such characteristics. Maturation processes revealed key residue changes to attain expression, stability, and affinity improvements as compared with the parental scFv. Combination of these changes resulted in the scFv LR, which is capable of rescuing mice from severe envenomation by 3 LD50 of freshly prepared whole venom of C. noxius (7.5 μg/20 g of mouse) and C. suffusus (26.25 μg/20 g of mouse), with surviving rates between 90 and 100%. Our research is leading to the formulation of an antivenom consisting of a discrete number of human scFvs endowed with strong cross-reactivity and low immunogenicity. PMID:21156801

  2. Exploiting cross-reactivity to neutralize two different scorpion venoms with one single chain antibody fragment.

    PubMed

    Riaño-Umbarila, Lidia; Contreras-Ferrat, Gabriel; Olamendi-Portugal, Timoteo; Morelos-Juárez, Citlalli; Corzo, Gerardo; Possani, Lourival D; Becerril, Baltazar

    2011-02-25

    We report the optimization of a family of human single chain antibody fragments (scFv) for neutralizing two scorpion venoms. The parental scFv 3F recognizes the main toxins of Centruroides noxius Hoffmann (Cn2) and Centruroides suffusus suffusus (Css2), albeit with low affinity. This scFv was subjected to independent processes of directed evolution to improve its recognition toward Cn2 (Riaño-Umbarila, L., Juárez-González, V. R., Olamendi-Portugal, T., Ortíz-León, M., Possani, L. D., and Becerril, B. (2005) FEBS J. 272, 2591-2601) and Css2 (this work). Each evolved variant showed strong cross-reactivity against several toxins, and was capable of neutralizing Cn2 and Css2. Furthermore, each variant neutralized the whole venoms of the above species. As far as we know, this is the first report of antibodies with such characteristics. Maturation processes revealed key residue changes to attain expression, stability, and affinity improvements as compared with the parental scFv. Combination of these changes resulted in the scFv LR, which is capable of rescuing mice from severe envenomation by 3 LD(50) of freshly prepared whole venom of C. noxius (7.5 μg/20 g of mouse) and C. suffusus (26.25 μg/20 g of mouse), with surviving rates between 90 and 100%. Our research is leading to the formulation of an antivenom consisting of a discrete number of human scFvs endowed with strong cross-reactivity and low immunogenicity.

  3. 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

  4. Venom Components of Iranian Scorpion Hemiscorpius lepturus Inhibit the Growth and Replication of Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1 (HIV-1)

    PubMed Central

    Zabihollahi, Rezvan; Bagheri, Kamran Pooshang; Keshavarz, Zohreh; Motevalli, Fatemeh; Bahramali, Golnaz; Siadat, Seyed Davar; Momen, Seyed Bahman; Shahbazzadeh, Delavar; Aghasadeghi, Mohammad Reza

    2016-01-01

    Background: During the recent years, significant progress has been achieved on development of novel anti-viral drugs. Natural products are assumed as the potential sources of novel anti-viral drugs; therefore, there are some previous studies reporting the anti-viral compounds from venomous animals. Based on the significant value for tracing of non-toxic anti-viral agents from natural resources, this study was aimed to investigate the anti-viral activity of some HPLC purified fractions derived from the venom of Iranian scorpion, Hemiscorpius lepturus, against human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) and herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). Methods: H. Lepturus crude venom was subjected to reverse phase HPLC analysis to determine its active components precisely where four dominant fractions obtained at retention time of 156-160 minutes. The phospholipase A2 and hemolytic activities of the purified fractions were first evaluated. Then the anti-viral activity was measured using single cycle HIV (NL4-3) replication and HSV (KOS) plaque reduction assays. Results: The H. lepturus crude venom inhibited HIV replication by 73% at the concentration of 200 µg/ml, while it did not show significant anti-HSV activity. It also inhibited the cell-free viral particles in a virucidal assay, while it showed no toxicity for the target cells in a proliferation assay. The four HPLC fractions purified from H. lepturus inhibited HIV with IC50 of 20 µg/ml. Conclusion: H. lepturus venom contains components with considerable anti-HIV activity insofar as it has virucidal activity that offers a novel therapeutic approach against HIV infection. Our results suggest a promising pilot for anti-HIV drug discovery with H. lepturus scorpion venom. PMID:27594443

  5. Structural and Functional Elucidation of Peptide Ts11 Shows Evidence of a Novel Subfamily of Scorpion Venom Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Cremonez, Caroline M.; Maiti, Mohitosh; Peigneur, Steve; Cassoli, Juliana Silva; Dutra, Alexandre A. A.; Waelkens, Etienne; Lescrinier, Eveline; Herdewijn, Piet; de Lima, Maria Elena; Pimenta, Adriano M. C.; Arantes, Eliane C.; Tytgat, Jan

    2016-01-01

    To date, several families of peptide toxins specifically interacting with ion channels in scorpion venom have been described. One of these families comprise peptide toxins (called KTxs), known to modulate potassium channels. Thus far, 202 KTxs have been reported, belonging to several subfamilies of KTxs (called α, β, γ, κ, δ, and λ-KTxs). Here we report on a previously described orphan toxin from Tityus serrulatus venom, named Ts11. We carried out an in-depth structure-function analysis combining 3D structure elucidation of Ts11 and electrophysiological characterization of the toxin. The Ts11 structure is highlighted by an Inhibitor Cystine Knot (ICK) type scaffold, completely devoid of the classical secondary structure elements (α-helix and/or β-strand). This has, to the best of our knowledge, never been described before for scorpion toxins and therefore represents a novel, 6th type of structural fold for these scorpion peptides. On the basis of their preferred interaction with voltage-gated K channels, as compared to all the other targets tested, it can be postulated that Ts11 is the first member of a new subfamily, designated as ε-KTx. PMID:27706049

  6. Bioactivity of Natural and Engineered Antimicrobial Peptides from Venom of the Scorpions Urodacus yaschenkoi and U. manicatus

    PubMed Central

    Luna-Ramirez, Karen; Tonk, Miray; Rahnamaeian, Mohammad; Vilcinskas, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    The spread of multidrug-resistant human pathogens has drawn attention towards antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), which are major players in the innate immune systems of many organisms, including vertebrates, invertebrates, plants and microbes. Scorpion venom is an abundant source of novel and potent AMPs. Here, we investigated natural and engineered AMPs from the scorpions Urodacus yaschenkoi and U. manicatus to determine their antimicrobial spectra as well as their hemolytic/cytotoxic activity. None of the AMPs were active against fungi, but many of them were active at low concentrations (0.25–30 µM) against seven different bacteria. Hemolytic and cytotoxic activities were determined using pig erythrocytes and baby hamster kidney cells, respectively. The amino acid substitutions in the engineered AMPs did not inhibit cytotoxicity, but reduced hemolysis and therefore increased the therapeutic indices. The phylogenetic analysis of scorpion AMPs revealed they are closely related and the GXK motif is highly conserved. The engineered scorpion AMPs offer a promising alternative for the treatment of multidrug-resistant bacterial infections and could be modified further to reduce their hemolytic/cytotoxic activity. PMID:28067810

  7. Bioactivity of Natural and Engineered Antimicrobial Peptides from Venom of the Scorpions Urodacus yaschenkoi and U. manicatus.

    PubMed

    Luna-Ramirez, Karen; Tonk, Miray; Rahnamaeian, Mohammad; Vilcinskas, Andreas

    2017-01-06

    The spread of multidrug-resistant human pathogens has drawn attention towards antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), which are major players in the innate immune systems of many organisms, including vertebrates, invertebrates, plants and microbes. Scorpion venom is an abundant source of novel and potent AMPs. Here, we investigated natural and engineered AMPs from the scorpions Urodacus yaschenkoi and U. manicatus to determine their antimicrobial spectra as well as their hemolytic/cytotoxic activity. None of the AMPs were active against fungi, but many of them were active at low concentrations (0.25-30 µM) against seven different bacteria. Hemolytic and cytotoxic activities were determined using pig erythrocytes and baby hamster kidney cells, respectively. The amino acid substitutions in the engineered AMPs did not inhibit cytotoxicity, but reduced hemolysis and therefore increased the therapeutic indices. The phylogenetic analysis of scorpion AMPs revealed they are closely related and the GXK motif is highly conserved. The engineered scorpion AMPs offer a promising alternative for the treatment of multidrug-resistant bacterial infections and could be modified further to reduce their hemolytic/cytotoxic activity.

  8. Phospholipid dependent mechanism of smp24, an α-helical antimicrobial peptide from scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Patrick L; Heath, George R; Johnson, Benjamin R G; Abdel-Rahman, Mohamed A; Strong, Peter N; Evans, Stephen D; Miller, Keith

    2016-11-01

    Determining the mechanism of action of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) is critical if they are to be developed into the clinical setting. In recent years high resolution techniques such as atomic force microscopy (AFM) have increasingly been utilised to determine AMP mechanism of action on planar lipid bilayers and live bacteria. Here we present the biophysical characterisation of a prototypical AMP from the venom of the North African scorpion Scorpio maurus palmatus termed Smp24. Smp24 is an amphipathic helical peptide containing 24 residues with a charge of +3 and exhibits both antimicrobial and cytotoxic activity and we aim to elucidate the mechanism of action of this peptide on both membrane systems. Using AFM, quartz crystal microbalance-dissipation (QCM-D) and liposomal leakage assays the effect of Smp24 on prototypical synthetic prokaryotic (DOPG:DOPC) and eukaryotic (DOPE:DOPC) membranes has been determined. Our data points to a toroidal pore mechanism against the prokaryotic like membrane whilst the formation of hexagonal phase non-lamellar phase structures is seen in eukaryotic like membrane. Also, phase segregation is observed against the eukaryotic membrane and this study provides direct evidence of the same peptide having multiple mechanisms of action depending on the membrane lipid composition.

  9. Inhibitory activity and mechanism of two scorpion venom peptides against herpes simplex virus type 1.

    PubMed

    Hong, Wei; Li, Tian; Song, Yu; Zhang, Runhong; Zeng, Zhengyang; Han, Shisong; Zhang, Xianzheng; Wu, Yingliang; Li, Wenxin; Cao, Zhijian

    2014-02-01

    Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is a widespread human pathogen that causes severe diseases, but there are not effective and safe drugs in clinical therapy besides acyclovir (ACV) and related nucleoside analogs. In this study, two new venom peptides from the scorpion Heterometrus petersii were identified with effective inhibitory effect on HSV-1 infection in vitro. Both Hp1036 and Hp1239 peptides exhibited potent virucidal activities against HSV-1 (EC50=0.43±0.09 and 0.41±0.06μM, respectively) and effective inhibitory effects when added at the viral attachment (EC50=2.87±0.16 and 5.73±0.61μM, respectively), entry (EC50=4.29±0.35 and 4.32±0.47μM, respectively) and postentry (EC50=7.86±0.80 and 8.41±0.73μM, respectively) steps. Both Hp1036 and Hp1239 peptides adopted α-helix structure in approximate membrane environment and resulted in the destruction of the viral morphology. Moreover, Hp1036 and Hp1239 peptides entered Vero cells and reduced the intracellular viral infectivity. Taken together, Hp1036 and Hp1239 peptides are two anti-viral peptides with effective inhibitory effect on multiple steps of HSV-1 life cycle and therefore are good candidate for development as virucides.

  10. Venom from Cuban Blue Scorpion has tumor activating effect in hepatocellular carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Giovannini, Catia; Baglioni, Michele; Baron Toaldo, Marco; Cescon, Matteo; Bolondi, Luigi; Gramantieri, Laura

    2017-01-01

    Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is the term used to describe many kinds of products, practices, and systems that are not part of conventional medicine. Cancer patients usually do everything they can to combat the disease, manage its symptoms, and cope with the side effects of treatment. Unfortunately, patients who use CAM underestimate the risk of interaction with cancer therapy or worse they omit conventional therapy thus reducing the possibility of cancer remission. Herein we analyzed the effects of Vidatox 30 CH (venom extracted from the Junceus Rhopalurus scorpion) on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths. We found out that Vidatox increases HCC proliferation and invasion whereas it does not seem to interact with sorafenib, the orally active multikinase inhibitor approved for the treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. Our results suggest that the concentration of Vidatox used in the present study has not anti-neoplastic effects and care must be taken in hiring Vidatox in patients with HCC. PMID:28322221

  11. Novel K(+)-channel-blocking toxins from the venom of the scorpion Centruroides limpidus limpidus Karsch.

    PubMed Central

    Martin, B M; Ramirez, A N; Gurrola, G B; Nobile, M; Prestipino, G; Possani, L D

    1994-01-01

    Two novel toxins were purified from the venom of the Mexican scorpion Centruroides limpidus limpidus, using an immunoassay based on antibodies raised against noxiustoxin (NTX), a known K(+)-channel-blocker-peptide. The primary structure of C. l. limpidus toxin 1 was obtained by Edman degradation and was shown to be composed of 38 amino acid residues, containing six half-cystines. The first 36 residues of C. l. limpidus toxin 2 were also determined. Both toxins are capable of displacing the binding of radio-labelled NTX to rat brain synaptosomes with high affinity (about 100 pM). These toxins are capable of inhibiting transient K(+)-currents (resembling IA-type currents), in cultured rat cerebellar granule cells. About 50% of the peak currents are reduced by application of a 1.5 microM solution of toxins 1 and 2 The K+ current reduction is partially reversible, under washing but not voltage-dependent. Comparison of the primary structure of C. l. limpidus toxin 1 with other known toxins shows 74% identity with margatoxin, 64% with NTX, 51% with kaliotoxin, 39% with iberiotoxin, 37% with charybdotoxin and Lq2, and 29% with leirutoxin 1. The only invariant amino acids in all these toxins are the six cysteines, a glycine in position 26 and two lysines at positions 28 and 33, respectively. The relevance of these differences in terms of possible structure-function relationships is discussed. PMID:7998956

  12. Characterizing Tityus discrepans scorpion venom from a fractal perspective: Venom complexity, effects of captivity, sexual dimorphism, differences among species.

    PubMed

    D'Suze, Gina; Sandoval, Moisés; Sevcik, Carlos

    2015-12-15

    A characteristic of venom elution patterns, shared with many other complex systems, is that many their features cannot be properly described with statistical or euclidean concepts. The understanding of such systems became possible with Mandelbrot's fractal analysis. Venom elution patterns were produced using the reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with 1 mg of venom. One reason for the lack of quantitative analyses of the sources of venom variability is parametrizing the venom chromatograms' complexity. We quantize this complexity by means of an algorithm which estimates the contortedness (Q) of a waveform. Fractal analysis was used to compare venoms and to measure inter- and intra-specific venom variability. We studied variations in venom complexity derived from gender, seasonal and environmental factors, duration of captivity in the laboratory, technique used to milk venom.

  13. 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.

  14. Scorpions: a presentation.

    PubMed

    Goyffon, Max; Tournier, Jean-Nicolas

    2014-07-21

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Isolation and primary structure of a potent toxin from the venom of the scorpion Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing.

    PubMed

    Pete, M J; Conlon, J M; Murphy, R F

    1992-12-01

    A potent toxin has been purified from the venom of the scorpion Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing using the ion-exchange resin CM-Sepharose CL-6B at basic pH. The toxin, designated CsE M1, comprised 65 amino acid residues and its primary structure was established as: Lys-Glu-Gly-Tyr-Leu-Val-Asn-Ser-Tyr-Thr10-Gly-Cys-Lys-Tyr-Glu-Cys- Leu-Lys-Leu- Gly20-Asp-Asn-Asp-Tyr-Cys-Leu-Arg-Glu-Cys-Arg30-Gln-Gln-Tyr- Gly-Lys-Ser-Gly-Gly - Tyr-Cys40-Tyr-Ala-Phe-Ala-Cys-Trp-Cys-Thr-His-Leu50-Tyr-Glu- Gln-Ala-Val-Val-Trp - Pro-Leu-Pro60-Asn-Lys-Thr-Cys-Asn. CsE M1 is the most lethal protein to be identified in C. sculpturatus venom and the LD50 of the toxin, determined by subcutaneous injection into Swiss mice, is 87 micrograms/kg. CsE M1 shows strong structural similarity (92% positional identity) to the most potent beta-toxin, Css II, from the Mexican scorpion, Centruroides suffusus suffusus but is quite dissimilar to the previously characterized toxins with low potency isolated from C. sculpturatus Ewing.

  18. Isolation and molecular cloning of beta-neurotoxins from the venom of the scorpion Centruroides suffusus suffusus.

    PubMed

    Espino-Solis, Gerardo Pavel; Estrada, Georgina; Olamendi-Portugal, Timoteo; Villegas, Elba; Zamudio, Fernando; Cestele, Sandrine; Possani, Lourival D; Corzo, Gerardo

    2011-04-01

    This communication reports the identification and characterization of two new toxins from the venom of the scorpion Centruroides suffusus suffusus, named: CssVIII and CssIX, according to the original nomenclature of toxins previously described for this scorpion. The isolation was obtained by means of two chromatographic steps, and a cDNA library was used to fully identify their precursors. CssVIII and CssIX contain signal peptides of 19 and 17 amino acid residues, and mature peptides of 66 and 65 residues, respectively. Intracranial injections into mice of both purified toxins showed toxicity results similar to those found for toxins CssII and CssIV. Additionally, they compete with the parent toxin CssIV, in binding and displacement experiments, conducted with brain synaptosomes showing nanomolar affinities. These results strongly support the conclusion that they are new β-neurotoxins and certainly would be of the interest of researchers in the field of venomics for studying sodium channels.

  19. OcyKTx2, a new K⁺-channel toxin characterized from the venom of the scorpion Opisthacanthus cayaporum.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Elisabeth F; Bartok, Adam; Schwartz, Carlos Alberto; Papp, Ferenc; Gómez-Lagunas, Froylan; Panyi, Gyorgy; Possani, Lourival D

    2013-08-01

    Opisthacanthus cayaporum belongs to the Liochelidae family, and the scorpions from this genus occur in southern Africa, Central America and South America and, therefore, can be considered a true Gondwana heritage. In this communication, the isolation, primary structure characterization, and K⁺-channel blocking activity of new peptide from this scorpion venom are reported. OcyKTx2 is a 34 amino acid long peptide with four disulfide bridges and molecular mass of 3807 Da. Electrophysiological assays conducted with pure OcyKTx2 showed that this toxin reversibly blocks Shaker B K⁺-channels with a Kd of 82 nM, and presents an even better affinity toward hKv1.3, blocking it with a Kd of ∼18 nM. OcyKTx2 shares high sequence identity with peptides belonging to subfamily 6 of α-KTxs that clustered very closely in the phylogenetic tree included here. Sequence comparison, chain length and number of disulfide bridges analysis classify OcyKTx2 into subfamily 6 of the α-KTx scorpion toxins (systematic name, α-KTx6.17).

  20. 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.

  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. Characterization of the first K⁺ channel blockers from the venom of the Moroccan scorpion Buthus occitanus Paris.

    PubMed

    Martin-Eauclaire, Marie-France; Céard, Brigitte; Belghazi, Maya; Lebrun, Régine; Bougis, Pierre E

    2013-12-01

    The availability of a large variety of specific blockers, which inhibit different K(+) currents, would help to elucidate their differences in physiological function. Short peptide toxins isolated from scorpion venoms are able to block voltage-dependent or Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels. Here, we have studied the venom of the Moroccan scorpion Buthus occitanus Paris (BoP) in order to find new peptides, which could enlarge our structure-function relationship knowledge on the Kv1.3 blocker Kaliotoxin (KTX) that belongs to the α-KTx3.1 family. Indeed and since more a decade, KTX is widely used by international investigators because it exhibits a quite sharp specificity and a high-affinity for the Kv1.3 channel, which is not only a neuronal channel but also a therapeutic target for diverse autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. The BoP venom was first investigated using HPLC and MALDI-TOF/MS. Further, the HPLC fractions were screened by ELISA with antibodies raised against KTX. These antibodies recognized at least three components toxic in mice by intracerebroventricular injection. They were further pharmacologically characterized by competition using (125)I-KTX bound to its specific binding sites on rat brain synaptosomes. A single component (4161 Da) inhibited totally the (125)I-KTX binding and with high-affinity (IC50 = 0.1 nM), while the two other components poorly competed with (IC50 > 100 nM). These toxins were sequenced in full by Edman's degradation. The high-affinity ligand (BoPKTX) shares 86% sequence identity with KTX and was classified as toxin α-KTx3.17. The two others peptides (BoP1 and BoP2, 4093 Da and 4121 Da, respectively) only differ by a Lys/Arg mutation. Their amino acid sequences were related to Martentoxin, which has been characterized from the Chinese scorpion Buthus martenzi Karch and described as both a BKCa and Kv1.3 blocker. Accordingly, they belong to the α-KTx16 family.

  3. 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.

  4. Scorpions and scorpionism in Iran's central desert.

    PubMed

    Nejati, Jalil; Saghafipour, Abedin; Mozaffari, Ehsan; Keyhani, Amir; Jesri, Nahid

    2017-02-01

    Venomous scorpions have extreme importance in field of medicine and public health. This descriptive - analytic study was done to identify scorpion fauna, their ecological aspects as well as scorpionism for risk management and prevention of this health problem in Iran's central desert. Four urban and fifteen rural areas with various climates and topography locations were selected for monthly scorpion collection through a randomly cluster sampling in 2013. The clinical data was obtained from questionnaires provided in 2009-2014. Totally, 1481 scorpion sting cases were recorded. The majority were treated less than 6h after the sting. Statistical tests showed significant difference between season, scorpion's color, living place of patients and scorpionism cases. Plain areas had the most occurrence of scorpionism followed by foothills. Moreover, 311 scorpion samples belonged to 7 species of Buthidae were collected. Mesobuthus eupeus was the dominant species in both rural and urban areas. Most of the collected samples were from indoors, yards and around the houses. The most scorpion activity was recorded in the summer. The studied areas had rich scorpion fauna due to various climates and topography locations. Scorpion stings can be important and fatal in this area, particularly in the plain regions with semi-desert climate. An investigation for assessment of peoples' awareness on prevention methods of scorpionism and also the determination and the assessment of effective factors on reducing the elapsed time between scorpion stings and receiving medical care are here recommended.

  5. Functional depletion of capsaicin-sensitive primary afferent fibers attenuates rat pain-related behaviors and paw edema induced by the venom of scorpion Buthus martensi Karch.

    PubMed

    Bai, Zhan-Tao; Liu, Tong; Pang, Xue-Yan; Jiang, Feng; Cheng, Ming; Ji, Yong-Hua

    2008-10-01

    The role of capsaicin-sensitive primary afferent fibers in rat pain-related behaviors and paw edema induced by scorpion Buthus martensi Karch (BmK) venom was investigated in this study. It was found that functional depletion of capsaicin-sensitive primary afferent fibers with a single systemic injection of resiniferatoxin (RTX) dramatically decreased spontaneous nociceptive behaviors, prevented the development of primary mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia as well as mirror-image mechanical hyperalgesia. RTX treatment significantly attenuated BmK venom-induced c-Fos expression in all laminaes of bilateral L4-L5 lumbar spinal cord, especially in superficial laminaes. Moreover, RTX treatment markedly reduced the early paw edema induced by BmK venom. Thus, the results indicate that capsaicin-sensitive primary afferent fibers play a critical role in various pain-related behaviors and paw edema induced by BmK venom in rats.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Cloning and molecular characterization of BmHYA1, a novel hyaluronidase from the venom of Chinese red scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch.

    PubMed

    Feng, Luo; Gao, Rong; Meng, Jun; Gopalakrishnakone, Ponnampalam

    2010-09-01

    In this communication, the full protein sequence of a novel venom hyaluronidase BmHYA1 was reported. It is the first full hyaluronidase amino acid sequence from scorpion venom. It was deduced from nucleotide sequence by 3' Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends (RACE) PCR cloning, followed by alignment with the N-terminal amino acid sequence, which was obtained by Edman degradation. BmHYA1 has 385 amino acid residues containing five potential N-glycosylation sites. The phylogenetic analysis indicates early divergence and independent evolution of BmHYA1 from other hyaluronidases.

  9. Effect of Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom on the rabbit isolated corpus cavernosum and the involvement of NANC nitrergic nerve fibres

    PubMed Central

    Teixeira, Cleber E; Bento, Antonio C; Lopes-Martins, Rodrigo A B; Teixeira, Simone A; von Eickestedt, Vera; Muscará, Marcelo N; Arantes, Eliane C; Giglio, Jose R; Antunes, Edson; de Nucci, Gilberto

    1998-01-01

    The effect of Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom and its toxin components on the rabbit isolated corpus cavernosum was investigated by use of a bioassay cascade. Tityus serrulatus venom (3–100 μg), acetylcholine (ACh; 0.3–30 nmol) and glyceryl trinitrate (GTN; 0.5–10 nmol) dose-dependently relaxed rabbit isolated corpus cavernosum preparations precontracted with noradrenaline (3 μM). The selective soluble guanylate cyclase inhibitor 1H-[1,2,4] oxadiazolo [4,3,-alquinoxalin-1-one] (ODQ; 30 μM) increased the basal tone of the rabbit isolated corpus cavernosum and abolished the relaxations induced by the agents mentioned above. Methylene blue (30 μM) also inhibited the relaxations induced by Tityus serrulatus venom but, in contrast to ODQ, the inhibition was irreversible. The non-selective NO synthase (NOS) inhibitors NΩ-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME; 10 μM) and NG-iminoethyl-L-ornithine (L-NIO; 30 μM) also increased the tone of the rabbit isolated corpus cavernosum and markedly reduced both ACh- and Tityus serrulatus venom-induced relaxations without affecting those evoked by GTN. The inhibitory effect was reversed by infusion of L-arginine (300 μM), but not D-arginine (300 μM). The neuronal NOS inhibitor 1-(2-trifluoromethylphenyl) imidazole (TRIM, 100 μM) did not affect either the tone of the rabbit isolated corpus cavernosum or the relaxations induced by ACh, bradykinin (Bk), Tityus serrulatus venom and GTN. TRIM was approximately 1,000 times less potent than L-NAME in inhibiting rabbit cerebellar NOS in vitro, as measured by the conversion of [3H]-L-arginine to [3H]-L-citrulline. The protease inhibitor aprotinin (Trasylol; 10 μg ml−1) and the bradykinin B2 receptor antagonist Hoe 140 (D-Arg-[Hyp3,Thi5,D-Tic7, Oic8]-BK; 50 nM) did not affect the rabbit isolated corpus cavernosum relaxations induced by Tityus serrulatus venom. The ATP-dependent K+ channel antagonist glibenclamide (10 μM) and the Ca2+-activated

  10. 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.

  11. Involvement of spinal nitric oxide (NO) in rat pain-related behaviors induced by the venom of scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch.

    PubMed

    Liu, Tong; Pang, Xue-Yan; Jiang, Feng; Ji, Yong-Hua

    2008-07-01

    In the present study, we investigated the role of spinal nitric oxide (NO) in rat pain-related behaviors induced by the venom of scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch (BmK). The results showed that the number of neuronal NO synthase (nNOS) positive neurons significantly increased in superficial (I-II), deep (V-VI) dorsal horn laminae and the ventral gray laminae (VII-X), but not in the nucleus proprius (III and IV) of bilateral L4-L5 lumbar spinal cord after unilateral intraplantar injection of BmK venom from 2h to 7d. This increase on the ipsilateral side to BmK venom injection was always greater than that on the contralateral side. Western blotting analysis confirmed that spinal nNOS expression was significantly up-regulated following BmK venom administration. In addition, intrathecal delivery of N(omega)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride (l-NAME; a NOS inhibitor) before intraplantar injection of BmK venom by 10 min significantly attenuated spontaneous nociceptive responses and prevented the development of primary thermal hyperalgesia as well as bilateral mechanical hyperalgesia. Intrathecal injection of l-NAME could also partially inhibit BmK venom-induced c-Fos expression in lumbar spinal cord at 2 h. Thus, the results suggest that spinal NO as a critical mediator is involved in various pain-related behaviors and c-Fos expression induced by BmK venom in rats.

  12. Stigmurin and TsAP-2 from Tityus stigmurus scorpion venom: Assessment of structure and therapeutic potential in experimental sepsis.

    PubMed

    Daniele-Silva, Alessandra; Machado, Richele J A; Monteiro, Norberto K V; Estrela, Andréia B; Santos, Elizabeth C G; Carvalho, Eneas; Araújo Júnior, Raimundo F; Melo-Silveira, Raniere F; Rocha, Hugo Alexandre O; Silva-Júnior, Arnóbio A; Fernandes-Pedrosa, Matheus F

    2016-10-01

    Microbial resistance to conventional antibiotics is a public health problem worldwide, motivating the search for new therapeutic alternatives in varied natural sources. Cationic peptides without disulfide bridges from scorpions have been targeted in this context, mainly due to their multifunctional action and the limited ability of microorganisms to develop resistance against them. The present study was focused on Stigmurin and TsAP-2, cationic peptides found in the transcriptome of the venom gland from the scorpion Tityus stigmurus. The aims were: to assess the secondary structure of TsAP-2 and the structural stability of both peptides by circular dichroism; to evaluate their antiproliferative effect, and antimicrobial activities in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo; and to investigate their therapeutic potential in a murine model of polymicrobial sepsis. Stigmurin and TsAP-2 secondary structures responded similarly to environment polarity changes, and were stable to temperature and pH variation. Both peptides showed antiproliferative effect on tumor cells. TsAP-2 showed lower cytotoxicity to normal cells, and had a mitogenic activity on murine macrophages. Stigmurin demonstrated bactericidal and bacteriostatic activity, depending on the microorganism, whereas TsAP-2 had bactericidal action upon different bacterial strains analyzed. Both peptides were able to reduce leukocyte migration, TNF-α levels and microorganism load in the peritoneal cavity after induction of experimental sepsis, decreasing inflammation in the lung and cecum of septic animals. TsAP-2 also reduced the release of nitric oxide in the peritoneal cavity. Taken together, these data suggest that Stigmurin and TsAP-2 are structurally stable molecules and are efficient in the control of the infectious focus in polymicrobial sepsis, with potential use as a prototype for the rational design of novel therapeutic agents.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Separation and partial characterization of smooth muscle contractile material in the venom of the scorpion Heterometrus bengalensis.

    PubMed

    Kar, P K; Sarangi, B; Datta, A; Gomes, A; Lahiri, S C

    1983-01-01

    A smooth muscle contractile material was separated from crude venom of the scorpion Heterometrus bengalensis (found in Eastern India) by solvent extraction, gel filtration and thin layer chromatography. Smooth muscle contractile material could be extracted, in descending order of efficiency, with methanol, butanol, ethanol and acetone. The contractile material separated by gel filtration (Sephadex G-25) when further extracted, using the Folch procedure, showed a single spot in thin layer chromatography with one solvent system. Rechromatography of an eluate from this spot with another solvent system resolved it into three spots (SL1, SL2 and SL3, the mixture being designated as Substance L) which could be visualized either with iodine vapour, ninhydrin or molybdenum reagent. Eluates from the three spots contracted guinea-pig ileum which had been pretreated with antagonists of ACh, histamine, 5-HT and prostaglandins. Substance L and its fractions (SL1, SL2 and SL3) contain inorganic phosphorus, amino nitrogen and amino sugar, which point to the likelihood of their being glycophosphatides.

  16. Fast K(+) currents from cerebellum granular cells are completely blocked by a peptide purified from Androctonus australis Garzoni scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Pisciotta, M; Coronas, F I; Bloch, C; Prestipino, G; Possani, L D

    2000-09-29

    A novel peptide was purified from the venom of the scorpion Androctonus australis Garzoni (abbreviated Aa1, corresponding to the systematic number alpha KTX4.4). It contains 37 amino acid residues, has a molecular mass of 3850 Da, is closely packed by three disulfide bridges and a blocked N-terminal amino acid. This peptide selectively affects the K(+) currents recorded from cerebellum granular cells. Only the fast activating and inactivating current, with a kinetics similar to I(A)-type current, is completely blocked by the addition of low micromolar concentrations (K(i) value of 150 nM) of peptide Aa1 to the external side of the cell preparation. The blockade is partially reversible in our experimental conditions. Aa1 blocks the channels in both the open and the closed states. The blockage is test potential independent and is not affected by changes in the holding potential. The kinetics of the current are not affected by the addition of Aa1 to the preparation; it means that the block is a simple 'plugging mechanism', in which a single toxin molecule finds a specific receptor site in the external vestibule of the K(+) channel and thereby occludes the outer entry to the K(+) conducting pore.

  17. Short-chain peptides identification of scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch venom by employing high orthogonal 2D-HPLC system and tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Xu, Junyan; Zhang, Xiuli; Guo, Zhimou; Yan, Jingyu; Yu, Long; Li, Xiuling; Xue, Xingya; Liang, Xinmiao

    2012-10-01

    Scorpion venom contains a considerable variety of neurotoxic peptides that can act on ionic channels. Here, we describe an orthogonal 2D-reversed phase/hydrophilic interaction chromatography system (RPLC/HILIC) and use it to separate short-chain peptides from Asian scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch (BmK) venom in a high throughput format. Due to its high orthogonality and efficiency, 18 homogenous peptides were purified and sequence identified by MS/MS with collision-induced dissociation. Among them, four peptides were discovered, which only have evidence at transcript-level, were first purified from crude venom in this study. Two peptides named BmKK2-b and Martentoxin-b were found the new cleaved chains of known BmKK2 and Martentoxin. In addition, two novel peptides named BmKK12 and BmKK16 in this paper were sequenced by de novo MS/MS, which we predict, are members of potassium channel toxin α-KTx 17 subfamily by homology to other known peptides found in the Swiss-Prot protein database.

  18. C-Terminal residues in small potassium channel blockers OdK1 and OSK3 from scorpion venom fine-tune the selectivity.

    PubMed

    Kuzmenkov, Alexey I; Peigneur, Steve; Chugunov, Anton O; Tabakmakher, Valentin M; Efremov, Roman G; Tytgat, Jan; Grishin, Eugene V; Vassilevski, Alexander A

    2017-02-04

    We report isolation, sequencing, and electrophysiological characterization of OSK3 (α-KTx 8.8 in Kalium and Uniprot databases), a potassium channel blocker from the scorpion Orthochirus scrobiculosus venom. Using the voltage clamp technique, OSK3 was tested on a wide panel of 11 voltage-gated potassium channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes, and was found to potently inhibit Kv1.2 and Kv1.3 with IC50 values of ~331nM and ~503nM, respectively. OdK1 produced by the scorpion Odontobuthus doriae differs by just two C-terminal residues from OSK3, but shows marked preference to Kv1.2. Based on the charybdotoxin-potassium channel complex crystal structure, a model was built to explain the role of the variable residues in OdK1 and OSK3 selectivity.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Vasosensory responses elicited by Indian red scorpion venom last longer than capsaicin-induced responses.

    PubMed

    Singh, Sanjeev K; Deshpande, Shripad B

    2008-11-01

    The present study was conducted to compare the time-related cardiorespiratory changes occurring after the injection of Mesobuthus tamulus (BT; 1 mg/kg) venom and capsaicin (1.2 ng/kg) in the peripheral end of femoral artery in urethane anaesthetised rats. Blood pressure (BP), electrocardiogram (for heart rate; HR) and respiratory movements were recorded for 60 min after venom/capsaicin intra-arterially. Minute ventilation (MV) was computed by using appropriate calibrations. After intraarterial injection of BT venom, there was immediate (within 2 sec) increase in respiratory rate (RR) and MV which reached to 40% within 30 sec, followed by a 40% decrease in RR without any change in MV. Further, there was sustained increase in RR (50%) and MV (65%) up to 60 min. The BP began to increase at 40 sec, peaking at 5 min (50%) and remained above the initial level up to 60 min. The bradycardiac response began after 5 min which peaked (50% of the initial) at 25 min and remained at that level up to 60 min. In capsaicin treated group, there was immediate hyperventilatory (increase in RR and MV) changes within 2 sec which returned to the initial level within 2 min and remained at that level up to 60 min. The capsaicin-induced hypotensive response began within 5 sec which returned to the initial level by 5 min and remained at that level throughout. Capsaicin did not produce any change in HR. These observations suggest that intraarterial injection of BT venom produces prolonged cardiorespiratory alterations as compared to the capsaicin-induced responses.

  2. Taxonomical and geographical occurrence of Libyans scorpions.

    PubMed

    Zourgui, L; Maammar, M; Emetris, R

    2008-01-01

    Nine different species of scorpions can be recognized from more than 5000 samples collected from different areas in Libya: Leiurus quinquestriatus, Androctonus bicolor, Androctonus australis, Androctonus amoreuxi, Buthacus leptochelys, Buthus occitanus, Buthacus arenicola, Orthochirus innesi and Scorpio maurus. The geographical occurrence showed that Leiurus quinquestriatus seems to be restricted to the Southern areas. On the contrary, Buthus occitanus was found in the costal regions. Other species such as Androctonus were widely spread in all regions. Buthacus Leptochelys, Orthochirus innesi and Scorpio maurus were found, in the East (Aujlah, Jalu), the South (Wadi-Atbah) and the Western cost of Libya respectively.

  3. 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

  4. Analysis of the immune response induced by a scorpion venom sub-fraction, a pure peptide and a recombinant peptide, against toxin Cn2 of Centruroides noxius Hoffmann.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Consuelo; Calderón-Aranda, Emma S; Anguiano, Gerardo A V; Becerril, Baltazar; Possani, Lourival D

    2003-03-01

    Three different immunogens from the venom of the Mexican scorpion Centruroides noxius Hoffmann were used to study protective antibody response in mice and rabbits, challenged with toxin Cn2, one of the most abundant toxic peptide of this venom. The immunogens were: Cn5, a crustacean specific toxin; a recombinant protein containing the peptide Cn5 linked to the maltose transporter and a sub-fraction (F.II.5) containing 25 distinct peptides, among which is Cn5. Mice immunized with these three preparations, when directly challenged with Cn2 presented no apparent protection, whereas anti-sera produced in rabbits with these three immunogens were capable of partially neutralizing the effect of Cn2, when injected into naive mice. Cn5 rabbit anti-serum showed a better protective effect on mice, than the rabbit sera obtained against the two other antigens. The subcutaneous route of challenging mice was shown to be better than intraperitoneal injections. Comparative structural analysis of Cn5 with other toxins of this venom showed that our results are important to be taken into consideration, when choosing appropriate immunogens aimed at the production of better anti-venoms or for the rational design of possible vaccines.

  5. Structural Insights into Antibody Sequestering and Neutralizing of Na+ Channel α-Type Modulator from Old World Scorpion Venom

    PubMed Central

    Fabrichny, Igor P.; Mondielli, Grégoire; Conrod, Sandrine; Martin-Eauclaire, Marie-France; Bourne, Yves; Marchot, Pascale

    2012-01-01

    The Old World scorpion Androctonus australis hector (Aah) produces one of the most lethal venoms for humans. Peptidic α-toxins AahI to AahIV are responsible for its potency, with AahII accounting for half of it. All four toxins are high affinity blockers of the fast inactivation phase of mammalian voltage-activated Na+ channels. However, the high antigenic polymorphism of α-toxins prevents production of a polyvalent neutralizing antiserum, whereas the determinants dictating their trapping by neutralizing antibodies remain elusive. From an anti-AahII mAb, we generated an antigen binding fragment (Fab) with high affinity and selectivity for AahII and solved a 2.3 Å-resolution crystal structure of the complex. Sequestering of the C-terminal region of the bound toxin within a groove formed by the Fab combining loops is associated with a toxin orientation and main and side chain conformations that dictate the AahII antigenic specificity and efficient neutralization. From an anti-AahI mAb, we also preformed and crystallized a high affinity AahI-Fab complex. The 1.6 Å-resolution structure solved revealed a Fab molecule devoid of a bound AahI and with combining loops involved in packing interactions, denoting expulsion of the bound antigen upon crystal formation. Comparative analysis of the groove-like combining site of the toxin-bound anti-AahII Fab and planar combining surface of the unbound anti-AahI Fab along with complementary data from a flexible docking approach suggests occurrence of distinctive trapping orientations for the two toxins relative to their respective Fab. This study provides complementary templates for designing new molecules aimed at capturing Aah α-toxins and suitable for immunotherapy. PMID:22371498

  6. Hepato- and nephroprotective effects of bradykinin potentiating factor from scorpion (Buthus occitanus) venom on mercuric chloride-treated rats

    PubMed Central

    Salman, Muhammad M. A.; Kotb, Ahmed M.; Haridy, Mohie A. M.; Hammad, Seddik

    2016-01-01

    Bioactive peptides such as bradykinin potentiating factor (BPF), have, anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and ameliorative effects in chronic diseases and play a potential role in cancer prevention. It is known that the liver and kidney accumulate inorganic mercury upon exposure, which often leads to mercury intoxication in these organs. In this study, we investigated the effect of bradykinin potentiating factor (BPF), a scorpion venom peptide, on mercuric chloride-induced hepatic and renal toxicity in rats. We used 20 adult male Albino rats divided into four equal groups: the first group was injected with saline (control); the second group was administered daily with mercuric chloride (HgCl2) for 2 weeks; the third group was administered with BPF twice weekly for 2 successive weeks, while the fourth group was exposed to BPF followed by HgCl2. We observed that HgCl2 treated rats had a significant increase in serum ALT, AST, ALP, creatinine and urea levels compared to control. Furthermore, HgCl2 treated rats showed a marked decrease in total proteins, albumin and uric acids compared to control. The previously studied parameters were not significantly changed in BPF pretreated rats compared to control. Moreover, a significant decrease in the activities of glutathione perioxidase (GSH), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase (CAT), in addition to a significant increase in the level of malondialdehyde (MDA) were observed in hepatic and renal tissues of rats after HgCl2 treatment. In contrast, the HgCl2/BPF treated rats showed a significant elevation in the activity of GSH, SOD, and CAT accompanied with a significant regression in the level of MDA compared to the HgCl2 exposed rats. We conclude that treatment with BPF is a promising prophylactic approach for the management of mercuric chloride-induced hepato- and nephro-toxicities. PMID:28337111

  7. Isolation, chemical and functional characterization of several new K(+)-channel blocking peptides from the venom of the scorpion Centruroides tecomanus.

    PubMed

    Olamendi-Portugal, Timoteo; Bartok, Adam; Zamudio-Zuñiga, Fernando; Balajthy, Andras; Becerril, Baltazar; Panyi, Gyorgy; Possani, Lourival D

    2016-06-01

    Six new peptides were isolated from the venom of the Mexican scorpion Centruroides tecomanus; their primary structures were determined and the effects on ion channels were verified by patch-clamp experiments. Four are K(+)-channel blockers of the α-KTx family, containing 32 to 39 amino acid residues, cross-linked by three disulfide bonds. They all block Kv1.2 in nanomolar concentrations and show various degree of selectivity over Kv1.1, Kv1.3, Shaker and KCa3.1 channels. One peptide has 42 amino acids cross-linked by four disulfides; it blocks ERG-channels and belongs to the γ-KTx family. The sixth peptide has only 32 amino acid residues, three disulfide bonds and has no effect on the ion-channels assayed. It also does not have antimicrobial activity. Systematic numbers were assigned (time of elution on HPLC): α-KTx 10.4 (time 24.1); α-KTx 2.15 (time 26.2); α-KTx 2.16 (time 23.8); α-KTx 2.17 (time 26.7) and γ-KTx 1.9 (elution time 29.6). A partial proteomic analysis of the short chain basic peptides of this venom, which elutes on carboxy-methyl-cellulose column fractionation, is included. The pharmacological properties of the peptides described in this study may provide valuable tools for understanding the structure-function relationship of K(+) channel blocking scorpion toxins.

  8. The Snake with the Scorpion's Sting: Novel Three-Finger Toxin Sodium Channel Activators from the Venom of the Long-Glanded Blue Coral Snake (Calliophis bivirgatus).

    PubMed

    Yang, Daryl C; Deuis, Jennifer R; Dashevsky, Daniel; Dobson, James; Jackson, Timothy N W; Brust, Andreas; Xie, Bing; Koludarov, Ivan; Debono, Jordan; Hendrikx, Iwan; Hodgson, Wayne C; Josh, Peter; Nouwens, Amanda; Baillie, Gregory J; Bruxner, Timothy J C; Alewood, Paul F; Lim, Kelvin Kok Peng; Frank, Nathaniel; Vetter, Irina; Fry, Bryan G

    2016-10-18

    species including cone snails, scorpions, spiders, and anemones. Enhanced activation or delayed inactivation of sodium channels by toxins is associated with the extremely rapid onset of tetanic/excitatory paralysis in envenomed prey animals. A strong selection pressure exists for the evolution of such toxins where there is a high chance of prey escape. However, despite their prevalence in other venomous species, toxins causing delay of sodium channel inhibition have never previously been described in vertebrate venoms. Here we show that NaV modulators, convergent with those of invertebrates, have evolved in the venom of the long-glanded coral snake. Calliotoxin represents a functionally novel class of 3FTx and a structurally novel class of NaV toxins that will provide significant insights into the pharmacology and physiology of NaV. The toxin represents a remarkable case of functional convergence between invertebrate and vertebrate venom systems in response to similar selection pressures. These results underscore the dynamic evolution of the Toxicofera reptile system and reinforces the value of using evolution as a roadmap for biodiscovery.

  9. Activity of Scorpion Venom-Derived Antifungal Peptides against Planktonic Cells of Candida spp. and Cryptococcus neoformans and Candida albicans Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Guilhelmelli, Fernanda; Vilela, Nathália; Smidt, Karina S.; de Oliveira, Marco A.; da Cunha Morales Álvares, Alice; Rigonatto, Maria C. L.; da Silva Costa, Pedro H.; Tavares, Aldo H.; de Freitas, Sônia M.; Nicola, André M.; Franco, Octávio L.; Derengowski, Lorena da Silveira; Schwartz, Elisabeth F.; Mortari, Márcia R.; Bocca, Anamélia L.; Albuquerque, Patrícia; Silva-Pereira, Ildinete

    2016-01-01

    The incidence of fungal infections has been increasing in the last decades, while the number of available antifungal classes remains the same. The natural and acquired resistance of some fungal species to available therapies, associated with the high toxicity of these drugs on the present scenario and makes an imperative of the search for new, more efficient and less toxic therapeutic choices. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are a potential class of antimicrobial drugs consisting of evolutionarily conserved multifunctional molecules with both microbicidal and immunomodulatory properties being part of the innate immune response of diverse organisms. In this study, we evaluated 11 scorpion-venom derived non-disulfide-bridged peptides against Cryptococcus neoformans and Candida spp., which are important human pathogens. Seven of them, including two novel molecules, showed activity against both genera with minimum inhibitory concentration values ranging from 3.12 to 200 μM and an analogous activity against Candida albicans biofilms. Most of the peptides presented low hemolytic and cytotoxic activity against mammalian cells. Modifications in the primary peptide sequence, as revealed by in silico and circular dichroism analyses of the most promising peptides, underscored the importance of cationicity for their antimicrobial activity as well as the amphipathicity of these molecules and their tendency to form alpha helices. This is the first report of scorpion-derived AMPs against C. neoformans and our results underline the potential of scorpion venom as a source of antimicrobials. Further characterization of their mechanism of action, followed by molecular optimization to decrease their cytotoxicity and increase antimicrobial activity, is needed to fully clarify their real potential as antifungals. PMID:27917162

  10. Intrathecal injection of glutamate receptor antagonists/agonist selectively attenuated rat pain-related behaviors induced by the venom of scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch.

    PubMed

    Liu, Tong; Pang, Xue-Yan; Bai, Zhan-Tao; Chai, Zhi-Fang; Jiang, Feng; Ji, Yong-Hua

    2007-12-15

    The present study investigated the involvement of spinal glutamate receptors in the induction and maintenance of the pain-related behaviors induced by the venom of scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch (BmK). (5R,10S)-(+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[a,d]-cyclohepten-5-10-imine hydrogen maleate (MK-801; 40nmol; a non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist), 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX; 40nmol; a non-NMDA receptor antagonist), dl-amino-3-phosphonopropionic acid (dl-AP3; 100nmol; a group I metabotropic glutamate receptor antagonist) and 4-aminopyrrolidine-2,4-dicarboxylate (APDC; 100nmol; a group II metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist) were employed. On intrathecal injection of glutamate receptor antagonists/agonist before BmK venom administration by 10min, BmK venom-induced spontaneous nociceptive responses could be suppressed by all tested agents. Primary thermal hyperalgesia could be inhibited by MK-801 and dl-AP3, while bilateral mechanical hyperalgesia could be inhibited by CNQX and dl-AP3 and contralateral mechanical hyperalgesia could be inhibited by APDC. On intrathecal injection of glutamate receptor antagonists/agonist after BmK venom injection by 4.5h, primary thermal hyperalgesia could be partially reversed by all tested agents, while bilateral mechanical hyperalgesia could only be inhibited by APDC. The results suggest that the role of spinal glutamate receptors may be different on the various manifestations of BmK venom-induced pain-related behaviors.

  11. Chemical synthesis of La1 isolated from the venom of the scorpion Liocheles australasiae and determination of its disulfide bonding pattern.

    PubMed

    Nagao, Junya; Miyashita, Masahiro; Nakagawa, Yoshiaki; Miyagawa, Hisashi

    2015-08-01

    La1 is a 73-residue cysteine-rich peptide isolated from the scorpion Liocheles australasiae venom. Although La1 is the most abundant peptide in the venom, its biological function remains unknown. Here, we describe a method for efficient chemical synthesis of La1 using the native chemical ligation (NCL) strategy, in which three peptide components of less than 40 residues were sequentially ligated. The peptide thioester necessary for NCL was synthesized using an aromatic N-acylurea approach with Fmoc-SPPS. After completion of sequential NCL, disulfide bond formation was carried out using a dialysis method, in which the linear peptide dissolved in an acidic solution was dialyzed against a slightly alkaline buffer to obtain correctly folded La1. Next, we determined the disulfide bonding pattern of La1. Enzymatic and chemical digests of La1 without reduction of disulfide bonds were analyzed by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS), which revealed two of four disulfide bond linkages. The remaining two linkages were assigned based on MS/MS analysis of a peptide fragment containing two disulfide bonds. Consequently, the disulfide bonding pattern of La1 was found to be similar to that of a von Willebrand factor type C (VWC) domain. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the experimental determination of the disulfide bonding pattern of peptides having a single VWC domain as well as their chemical synthesis. La1 synthesized in this study will be useful for investigation of its biological role in the venom.

  12. Characterization of hadrucalcin, a peptide from Hadrurus gertschi scorpion venom with pharmacological activity on ryanodine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, Elisabeth F; Capes, E Michelle; Diego-García, Elia; Zamudio, Fernando Z; Fuentes, Oscar; Possani, Lourival D; Valdivia, Héctor H

    2009-01-01

    Background and purpose: Members of the calcin family, presently including imperatoxin A, maurocalcin, opicalcins and hemicalcin, are basic, 33-mer peptide activators of ryanodine receptors (RyRs), the calcium channels of the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) that provide the majority of calcium for muscle contraction. Here we describe hadrucalcin, a novel member of this family. Experimental approach: Hadrucalcin was isolated from the venom of Hadrurus gertschi. Amino acid sequence and mass were determined by Edman degradation and mass spectrometry respectively. A cDNA library was constructed to generate clones for DNA sequence determination. Biological activity of native toxin was confirmed with [3H]ryanodine binding, by using SR vesicles from cardiac and skeletal muscle, and with single skeletal (RyR1) and cardiac (RyR2) channels reconstituted in lipid bilayers. Hadrucalcin was applied to intact ventricular myocytes to investigate effects on calcium transients. The secondary structure of hadrucalcin was computer-modelled by using atomic coordinates from maurocalcin, a structurally similar peptide. Key results: Hadrucalcin is distinguished from previously described congeners by two additional amino acids in its primary sequence and the lack of prominent amphipathicity. Hadrucalcin activated RyRs with high affinity (EC50= 37 nmol·L−1), induced a long-lasting subconductance state on RyR1 and RyR2, and rapidly (lag time ∼2 s) penetrated ventricular cardiomyocytes, eliciting discharge of internal calcium stores and spontaneous contractions. Conclusions and implications: Hadrucalcin is a cell-permeant, powerful activator of RyRs, which has translational potential for targeted delivery of drugs to RyR as novel therapeutic intervention in arrhythmogenic disease. PMID:19389159

  13. Amino acid sequence and immunological characterization with monoclonal antibodies of two toxins from the venom of the scorpion Centruroides noxius Hoffmann.

    PubMed

    Zamudio, F; Saavedra, R; Martin, B M; Gurrola-Briones, G; Hérion, P; Possani, L D

    1992-02-15

    Two toxins, which we propose to call toxins 2 and 3, were purified to homogeneity from the venom of the scorpion Centruroides noxius Hoffmann. The full primary structures of both peptides (66 amino acid residues each) was determined. Sequence comparison indicates that the two new toxins display 79% identity and present a high similarity to previously characterized Centruroides toxins, the most similar toxins being Centruroides suffusus toxin 2 and Centruroides limpidus tecomanus toxin 1. Six monoclonal antibodies (mAb) directed against purified fraction II-9.2 (which contains toxins 2 and 3) were isolated in order to carry out the immunochemical characterization of these toxins. mAb BCF2, BCF3, BCF7 and BCF9 reacted only with toxin 2, whereas BCF1 and BCF8 reacted with both toxins 2 and 3 with the same affinity. Simultaneous binding of mAb pairs to the toxin and cross-reactivity of the venoms of different scorpions with the mAb were examined. The results of these experiments showed that the mAb define four different epitopes (A-D). Epitope A (BCF8) is topographically unrelated to epitopes B (BCF2 and BCF7), C (BCF3) and D (BCF9) but the latter three appear to be more closely related or in close proximity to each other. Epitope A was found in all Centruroides venoms tested as well as on four different purified toxins of C. noxius, and thus seems to correspond to a highly conserved structure. Based on the cross-reactivity of their venoms with the mAb, Centruroides species could be classified in the following order: Centruroides elegans, Centruroides suffusus suffusus = Centruroides infamatus infamatus, Centruroides limpidus tecomanus, Centruroides limpidus limpidus, and Centruroides limpidus acatlanensis, according to increasing immunochemical relatedness of their toxins to those of Centruroides noxius. All six mAb inhibited the binding of toxin 2 to rat brain synaptosomal membranes, but only mAb BCF2, which belongs to the IgG2a subclass, displayed a clear

  14. Purification and N-terminal sequence of a serine proteinase-like protein (BMK-CBP) from the venom of the Chinese scorpion (Buthus martensii Karsch).

    PubMed

    Gao, Rong; Zhang, Yong; Gopalakrishnakone, Ponnampalam

    2008-08-01

    A serine proteinase-like protein was isolated from the venom of Chinese red scorpion (Buthus martensii Karsch) by combination of gel filtration, ion-exchange and reveres-phase chromatography and named BMK-CBP. The apparent molecular weight of BMK-CBP was identified as 33 kDa by SDS-PAGE under non-reducing condition. The sequence of N-terminal 40 amino acids was obtained by Edman degradation. The sequence shows highest similarity to proteinase from insect source. When tested with commonly used substrates of proteinase, no significant hydrolytic activity was observed for BMK-CBP. The purified BMK-CBP was found to bind to the cancer cell line MCF-7 and the cell binding ability was dose-dependent.

  15. OD1, the first toxin isolated from the venom of the scorpion Odonthobuthus doriae active on voltage-gated Na+ channels.

    PubMed

    Jalali, Amir; Bosmans, Frank; Amininasab, Mehriar; Clynen, Elke; Cuypers, Eva; Zaremirakabadi, Abbas; Sarbolouki, Mohammad-Nabi; Schoofs, Liliane; Vatanpour, Hossein; Tytgat, Jan

    2005-08-01

    In this study, we isolated and pharmacologically characterized the first alpha-like toxin from the venom of the scarcely studied Iranian scorpion Odonthobuthus doriae. The toxin was termed OD1 and its primary sequence was determined: GVRDAYIADDKNCVYTCASNGYCNTECTKNGAESGYCQWIGRYGNACWCIKLPDEVPIRIPGKCR. Using the two-electrode voltage clamp technique, the pharmacological effects of OD1 were studied on three cloned voltage-gated Na+ channels expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes (Na(v)1.2/beta1, Na(v)1.5/beta1, para/tipE). The inactivation process of the insect channel, para/tipE, was severely hampered by 200 nM of OD1 (EC50 = 80+/-14 nM) while Na(v)1.2/beta1 still was not affected at concentrations up to 5 microM. Na(v)1.5/beta1 was influenced at micromolar concentrations.

  16. Involvement of Cholinergic and Adrenergic Receptors in Pathogenesis and Inflammatory Response Induced by Alpha-Neurotoxin Bot III of Scorpion Venom.

    PubMed

    Nakib, Imene; Martin-Eauclaire, Marie-France; Laraba-Djebari, Fatima

    2016-10-01

    Bot III neurotoxin is the most lethal α neurotoxin purified from Buthus occitanus tunetanus scorpion venom. This toxin binds to the voltage-gated sodium channel of excitable cells and blocks its inactivation, inducing an increased release of neurotransmitters (acetylcholine and catecholamines). This study aims to elucidate the involvement of cholinergic and adrenergic receptors in pathogenesis and inflammatory response triggered by this toxin. Injection of Bot III to animals induces an increase of peroxidase activities, an imbalance of oxidative status, tissue damages in lung parenchyma, and myocardium correlated with metabolic disorders. The pretreatment with nicotine (nicotinic receptor agonist) or atropine (muscarinic receptor antagonist) protected the animals from almost all disorders caused by Bot III toxin, especially the immunological alterations. Bisoprolol administration (selective β1 adrenergic receptor antagonist) was also efficient in the protection of animals, mainly on tissue damage. Propranolol (non-selective adrenergic receptor antagonist) showed less effect. These results suggest that both cholinergic and adrenergic receptors are activated in the cardiopulmonary manifestations induced by Bot III. Indeed, the muscarinic receptor appears to be more involved than the nicotinic one, and the β1 adrenergic receptor seems to dominate the β2 receptor. These results showed also that the activation of nicotinic receptor leads to a significant protection of animals against Bot III toxin effect. These findings supply a supplementary data leading to better understanding of the mechanism triggered by scorpionic neurotoxins and suggest the use of drugs targeting these receptors, especially the nicotinic one in order to counteract the inflammatory response observed in scorpion envenomation.

  17. Imperatoxin A, a Cell-Penetrating Peptide from Scorpion Venom, as a Probe of Ca2+-Release Channels/Ryanodine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Gurrola, Georgina B.; Capes, E. Michelle; Zamudio, Fernando Z.; Possani, Lourival D.; Valdivia, Héctor H.

    2010-01-01

    Scorpion venoms are rich in ion channel-modifying peptides, which have proven to be invaluable probes of ion channel structure-function relationship. We previously isolated imperatoxin A (IpTxa), a 3.7 kDa peptide activator of Ca2+-release channels/ryanodine receptors (RyRs) [1,2,3] and founding member of the calcin family of scorpion peptides. IpTxa folds into a compact, mostly hydrophobic molecule with a cluster of positively-charged, basic residues polarized on one side of the molecule that possibly interacts with the phospholipids of cell membranes. To investigate whether IpTxa permeates external cellular membranes and targets RyRs in vivo, we perfused IpTxa on intact cardiomyocytes while recording field-stimulated intracellular Ca2+ transients. To further investigate the cell-penetrating capabilities of the toxin, we prepared thiolated, fluorescent derivatives of IpTxa. Biological activity and spectroscopic properties indicate that these derivatives retain high affinity for RyRs and are only 5- to 10-fold less active than native IpTxa. Our results demonstrate that IpTxa is capable of crossing cell membranes to alter the release of Ca2+ in vivo, and has the capacity to carry a large, membrane-impermeable cargo across the plasma membrane, a finding with exciting implications for novel drug delivery. PMID:20668646

  18. Orthogonal separation and identification of long-chain peptides from scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch venom by using two-dimensional mixed-mode reversed phase-reversed phase chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Xu, Junyan; Zhang, Xiuli; Guo, Zhimou; Yan, Jingyu; Yu, Long; Li, Xiuling; Xue, Xingya; Liang, Xinmiao

    2013-03-21

    Peptide components of scorpion venom have been employed as useful pharmacological tools in the study of ion channel function. The isolation of individual components is necessary for determination of their biological significance. Here, we have described a novel reversed phase (RP)/ion exchange stationary phase, Click oligo ethylene glycol (Click OEG), and the chromatographic efficiency of its mixed-mode sorbent in peptide separation experiments. The Click OEG presents a mixed-mode RP/weak anion-exchange type stationary phase at pH 3.5 and mixed-mode RP/weak cation-exchange type stationary phase at pH 6.0, and it was suitable for separation of long-chain peptides in scorpion venom. Subsequently, a two dimensional mixed-mode RP-RP system based Click OEG and C18 with different pH values in two dimensions was developed for orthogonal separation of scorpion venom. Furthermore, two fractions were analyzed in depth, and 11 long-chain peptides were purified and sequences were identified by using tandem mass spectrometry incorporating the tryptic approach. Among these, we isolated six novel peptides including one peptide with a new sequence and five transcript-level peptides, and speculated on their possible bioactivities.

  19. Two peptides, TsAP-1 and TsAP-2, from the venom of the Brazilian yellow scorpion, Tityus serrulatus: evaluation of their antimicrobial and anticancer activities.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xiaoxiao; Ma, Chengbang; Du, Qiang; Wei, Ran; Wang, Lei; Zhou, Mei; Chen, Tianbao; Shaw, Chris

    2013-09-01

    Here we report two novel 17-mer amidated linear peptides (TsAP-1 and TsAP-2) whose structures were deduced from cDNAs cloned from a venom-derived cDNA library of the Brazilian yellow scorpion, Tityus serrulatus. Both mature peptides were structurally-characterised following their location in chromatographic fractions of venom and synthetic replicates of each were subjected to a range of biological assays. The peptides were each active against model test micro-organisms but with different potencies. TsAP-1 was of low potency against all three test organisms (MICs 120-160 μM), whereas TsAP-2 was of high potency against the Gram-positive bacterium, Staphylococcus aureus (MIC 5 μM) and the yeast, Candida albicans (10 μM). Haemolytic activity of TsAP-1 was low (4% at 160 μM) and in contrast, that of TsAP-2 was considerably higher (18% at 20 μM). Substitution of four neutral amino acid residues with Lys residues in each peptide had dramatic effects on their antimicrobial potencies and haemolytic activities, particularly those of TsAP-1. The MICs of the enhanced cationic analogue (TsAP-S1) were 2.5 μM for S. aureus/C. albicans and 5 μM for E. coli but with an associated large increase in haemolytic activity (30% at 5 μM). The same Lys residue substitutions in TsAP-2 produced a dramatic effect on its MIC for E. coli lowering this from >320 μM to 5 μM. TsAP-1 was ineffective against three of the five human cancer cell lines tested while TsAP-2 inhibited the growth of all five. Lys residue substitution of both peptides enhanced their potency against all five cell lines with TsAp-S2 being the most potent with IC50 values ranging between 0.83 and 2.0 μM. TsAP-1 and TsAP-2 are novel scorpion venom peptides with broad spectrum antimicrobial and anticancer cell activities the potencies of which can be significantly enhanced by increasing their cationicity.

  20. Characterization of BmKbpp, a multifunctional peptide from the Chinese scorpion Mesobuthus martensii Karsch: gaining insight into a new mechanism for the functional diversification of scorpion venom peptides.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Xian-Chun; Wang, Sanxia; Nie, Yao; Zhang, Lei; Luo, Xuesong

    2012-01-01

    BmKbpp is a novel cationic and α-helical peptide from the Chinese scorpion Mesobuthus martensii Karsch, of which function or biological activity has not been characterized so far. Here we showed that BmKbpp possesses strong antimicrobial activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria with a MIC range from 2.3 μM to 68.2 μM for the majority of tested bacteria. BmKbpp also inhibits the growth of tested fungi with an IC50 range from 0.2 μM to 3.1 μM. Because BmKbpp potently inhibits the growth of some antibiotics-resistant pathogens, and shows very weak hemolytic activity, it has considerable potentials for therapeutic applications. Moreover, we found that BmKbpp markedly inhibits the superoxide production in granulocytes or HL-60 cells at the concentrations of submicromolar level; this suggests that BmKbpp can act as a signaling molecule involving innate immune regulation at low concentrations. The C-terminal region of BmKbpp (BmKbpp-C) shows 72% similarity to the peptide K-12, a bradykinin-potentiating peptide. We found that both BmKbpp and BmKbpp-C possess bradykinin-potentiating activity, and the activity of BmKbpp-C is stronger than that of BmKbpp. PCR amplification for the genomic gene of BmBpp showed that it is not a continuous sequence in the genome; it suggests that BmKbpp could come from a recombination event in transcript level. Taken together, our data suggest that multi-functionalization of a single peptide, which is probably mediated by trans-splicing, could be a new mechanism for the functional diversification of scorpion venom peptides.

  1. Overview of scorpion species from China and their toxins.

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-26

    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.

  2. 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

  3. Structure, molecular modeling, and function of the novel potassium channel blocker urotoxin isolated from the venom of the Australian scorpion Urodacus yaschenkoi.

    PubMed

    Luna-Ramírez, Karen; Bartok, Adam; Restano-Cassulini, Rita; Quintero-Hernández, Veronica; Coronas, Fredy I V; Christensen, Janni; Wright, Christine E; Panyi, Gyorgy; Possani, Lourival D

    2014-07-01

    This communication reports the structural and functional characterization of urotoxin, the first K(+) channel toxin isolated from the venom of the Australian scorpion Urodacus yaschenkoi. It is a basic peptide consisting of 37 amino acids with an amidated C-terminal residue. Urotoxin contains eight cysteines forming four disulfide bridges with sequence similarities resembling the α-potassium channel toxin 6 (α-KTx-6) subfamily of peptides; it was assigned the systematic number of α-KTx-6.21. Urotoxin is a potent blocker of human voltage-gated potassium channel (Kv)1.2 channels, with an IC50 of 160 pM, whereas its affinity for other channels tested was in the nanomolar range (hKv1.1, IC50 = 253 nM; hKv1.3, IC50 = 91 nM; and hKCa3.1, IC50 = 70 nM). The toxin had no effect on hKv1.4, hKv1.5, human ether-à-go-go-related gene type 1 (hERG1), or human ether-à-go-go-like (hELK2) channels. Multiple sequence alignments from the venom gland transcriptome showed the existence of four other new peptides similar to urotoxin. Computer modeling of urotoxin's three-dimensional structure suggests the presence of the α/β-scaffold characteristic of other scorpion toxins, although very likely forming an uncommon disulfide pairing pattern. Using molecular dynamics, a model for the binding of this peptide to human Kv1.2 and hKv1.1 channels is presented, along with the binding of an in silico mutant urotoxin (Lys25Ala) to both channels. Urotoxin enriches our knowledge of K(+) channel toxins and, due to its high affinity for hKv1.2 channels, it may be a good candidate for the development of pharmacologic tools to study the physiologic functions of K(+) channels or related channelopathies and for restoring axonal conduction in demyelinated axons.

  4. Solution structure of BmKalphaTx11, a toxin from the venom of the Chinese scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jing; Tong, Xiaotian; Cao, Chunyang; Wu, Gong; Zhang, Naixia; Wu, Houming

    2010-01-01

    The solution structure of BmKalphaTx11 presented by this paper is distinctive from any other structures of wide-type scorpion alpha-toxins reported so far, for its trans-9,10 peptide bond conformation is accompanied by 'protruding' topology of the 'NC-domain'. The orientation of the C-tail of BmKalphaTx11 is obviously different from that of classical alpha-toxins (e.g., AaH2, BmK-M8), despite the fact that they share common trans conformation of peptide bond between residues 9 and 10. Accordingly, there must be other structural factors dominating the orientation of the C-tail except the conformation of peptide bond 9-10. Our study reveals that residues at position 58 play an important role in it, and different type of residues at this position (e.g., Lys, Arg, Met, Ile) result in different spatial relationship between the C-terminus and the 'five-residue-turn' and then different topology of the 'NC-domain', therefore residues at position 58 are believed to function as structure and bioactivity switch for specificity of scorpion alpha-toxins. The mechanism for stabilizing the geometry of the 'NC-domain' in wide-type scorpion alpha-toxins is also discussed.

  5. A high molecular weight protein Bengalin from the Indian black scorpion (Heterometrus bengalensis C.L. Koch) venom having antiosteoporosis activity in female albino rats.

    PubMed

    Haldar, Subhash; Das Gupta, Shubho; Gomes, Aparna; Giri, Biplab; Dasgupta, Subir Chandra; Biswas, Ajay; Mishra, Roshnara; Gomes, Antony

    2010-01-01

    This study reports the presence of a high molecular weight protein (Bengalin) from the Indian black scorpion (Heterometrus bengalensis) venom having antiosteoporosis activity in experimental osteoporosis developed in female albino Wister rats. Bengalin was purified through DEAE-cellulose ion exchange chromatography and high performance liquid chromatography. The molecular weight of the Bengalin was found to be 72kDa and the first 20 amino acid sequence was found to be G-P-L-T-I-L-H-I-N-D-V-H-A-A/R-F-E-Q/G-F/G-N-T. Bengalin exhibited significant antiosteoporosis activity in experimental female rats, which was confirmed through analysis of urine Ca(2+), PO(4)(3-), CRE & OH-P. Bengalin (3 microg and 5 microg/100g rat/i.p.) antagonized osteoporosis by restoring urinary Ca(2+), PO(4)(3-), CRE and OH-P, serum/plasma Ca(2+), PO(4)(3-), ALP, TRAP, PTH, T(3), TSH, Osteocalcin, IL1, IL6 and TNF alpha and bone minerals Ca(2+), P, Mg(2+), Zn(2+), Na(+), as compared with the sham operated control rats. Bone minerals density of osteoporosis female rats was improved due to Bengalin, observed through DEXA scan. Subacute toxicity studies in male albino mice, Bengalin showed cardiotoxicity. In vivo experiments, Bengalin showed cardiotoxicity on isolated guinea pig heart, guinea pig auricle, and neurotoxicity on isolated rat phrenic nerve diaphragm preparation. Further detail studies on the toxicity, antiosteoporosis and structural identity of Bengalin are warranted.

  6. A selective blocker of Kv1.2 and Kv1.3 potassium channels from the venom of the scorpion Centruroides suffusus suffusus.

    PubMed

    Corzo, Gerardo; Papp, Ferenc; Varga, Zoltan; Barraza, Omar; Espino-Solis, Pavel G; Rodríguez de la Vega, Ricardo C; Gaspar, Rezso; Panyi, Gyorgy; Possani, Lourival D

    2008-10-30

    A novel potassium channel blocker peptide was purified from the venom of the scorpion Centruroides suffusus suffusus by high-performance liquid chromatography and its amino acid sequence was completed by Edman degradation and mass spectrometry analysis. It contains 38 amino acid residues with a molecular weight of 4000.3Da, tightly folded by three disulfide bridges. This peptide, named Css20, was shown to block preferentially the currents of the voltage-dependent K+-channels Kv1.2 and Kv1.3. It did not affect several other ion channels tested at 10 nM concentration. Concentration-response curves of Css20 yielded an IC50 of 1.3 and 7.2 nM for Kv1.2- and Kv1.3-channels, respectively. Interestingly, despite the similar affinities for the two channels the association and dissociation rates of the toxin were much slower for Kv1.2, implying that different interactions may be involved in binding to the two channel types; an implication further supported by in silico docking analyses. Based on the primary structure of Css20, the systematic nomenclature proposed for this toxin is alpha-KTx 2.13.

  7. Solution structure of Cn5, a crustacean toxin found in the venom of the scorpions Centruroides noxius and Centruroides suffusus suffusus.

    PubMed

    Corzo, Gerardo; Prochnicka-Chalufour, Ada; García, Blanca I; Possani, Lourival D; Delepierre, Muriel

    2009-11-01

    The crustacean toxin Cn5 from Centruroides noxius Hoffmann and peptide Css39.8 from Centruroides suffusus suffusus scorpion venoms are identical peptides, as confirmed by amino acid sequence of purified toxins and by DNA sequencing of the two respective cloned genes. Therefore in this communication they will be simply named Cn5. Cn5 is a 66 amino acid long peptide with four disulfide bridges, formed between pairs of cysteines: C1-C8, C2-C5, C3-C6, and C4-C7 (the numbers indicate the relative positions of the cysteine residues in the primary structure). This peptide is non-toxic to mammals but deadly to arthropods (LD(50) 28.5 mg/g body weight of crayfish). Its three-dimensional structure was determined by NMR using a total of 965 meaningful distance constraints derived from the volume integration of the 2D NOESY spectra. The Cn5 structure displays a mixed alpha/beta fold stabilized by four disulfide bridges, with a kink induced by a cis-proline in its C-terminal part. Cn5 electrostatic surface is compared to that of Cn2 toxin toxic to mammals. The local differences produced by additional or substituted residues that would influence toxin selectivity towards mammalian or crustacean Na(+) channels are discussed.

  8. Structural mapping of the voltage-dependent sodium channel. Distance between the tetrodotoxin and Centruroides suffusus suffusus II beta-scorpion toxin receptors.

    PubMed

    Darbon, H; Angelides, K J

    1984-05-25

    A 7- dimethylaminocoumarin -4-acetate fluorescent derivative of toxin II from the venom of the scorpion Centruroides suffusus suffusus (Css II) has been prepared to study the structural, conformational, and cellular properties of the beta-neurotoxin receptor site on the voltage-dependent sodium channel. The derivative retains high affinity for its receptor site on the synaptosomal sodium channel with a KD of 7 nM and site capacity of 1.5 pmol/mg of synaptosomal protein. The fluorescent toxin is very environmentally sensitive and the fluorescence emission upon binding indicates that the Css II receptor is largely hydrophobic. Binding of tetrodotoxin or batrachotoxin does not alter the spectroscopic properties of bound Css II, whereas toxin V from Leiurus quinquestriatus effects a 10-nm blue shift to a more hydrophobic environment. This is the first direct indication of conformational coupling between these separate neurotoxin receptor sites. The distance between the tetrodotoxin and Css II scorpion toxin receptors on the sodium channel was measured by fluorescence resonance energy transfer. Efficiencies were measured by both donor quenching and acceptor-sensitized emission. The distance between these two neurotoxin sites is about 34 A. The implications of these receptor locations together with other known molecular distances are discussed in terms of a molecular structure of the voltage-dependent sodium channel.

  9. Scorpion Stings

    MedlinePlus

    Scorpion sting Overview By Mayo Clinic Staff Scorpion stings are painful but rarely life-threatening. Young children, and sometimes ... to be fatal. But with millions of scorpion stings occurring each year, often in areas with a ...

  10. Cobatoxin 1 from Centruroides noxius scorpion venom: chemical synthesis, three-dimensional structure in solution, pharmacology and docking on K+ channels.

    PubMed Central

    Jouirou, Besma; Mosbah, Amor; Visan, Violeta; Grissmer, Stephan; M'Barek, Sarrah; Fajloun, Ziad; Van Rietschoten, Jurphaas; Devaux, Christiane; Rochat, Hervé; Lippens, Guy; El Ayeb, Mohamed; De Waard, Michel; Mabrouk, Kamel; Sabatier, Jean-Marc

    2004-01-01

    CoTX1 (cobatoxin 1) is a 32-residue toxin with three disulphide bridges that has been isolated from the venom of the Mexican scorpion Centruroides noxius Hoffmann. Here we report the chemical synthesis, disulphide bridge organization, 3-D (three-dimensional) solution structure determination, pharmacology on K+ channel subtypes (voltage-gated and Ca2+-activated) and docking-simulation experiments. An enzyme-based cleavage of the synthetic folded/oxidized CoTX1 indicated half-cystine pairs between Cys3-Cys22, Cys8-Cys27 and Cys12-Cys29. The 3-D structure of CoTX1 (solved by 1H-NMR) showed that it folds according to the common alpha/beta scaffold of scorpion toxins. In vivo, CoTX1 was lethal after intracerebroventricular injection to mice (LD50 value of 0.5 microg/mouse). In vitro, CoTX1 tested on cells expressing various voltage-gated or Ca2+-activated (IKCa1) K+ channels showed potent inhibition of currents from rat K(v)1.2 ( K(d) value of 27 nM). CoTX1 also weakly competed with 125I-labelled apamin for binding to SKCa channels (small-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels) on rat brain synaptosomes (IC50 value of 7.2 microM). The 3-D structure of CoTX1 was used in docking experiments which suggests a key role of Arg6 or Lys10, Arg14, Arg18, Lys21 (dyad), Ile23, Asn24, Lys28 and Tyr30 (dyad) residues of CoTX1 in its interaction with the rat K(v)1.2 channel. In addition, a [Pro7,Gln9]-CoTX1 analogue (ACoTX1) was synthesized. The two residue replacements were selected aiming to restore the RPCQ motif in order to increase peptide affinity towards SKCa channels, and to alter the CoTX1 dipole moment such that it is expected to decrease peptide activity on K(v) channels. Unexpectedly, ACoTX1 exhibited an activity similar to that of CoTX1 towards SKCa channels, while it was markedly more potent on IKCa1 and several voltage-gated K+ channels. PMID:14498829

  11. Role of individual disulfide bridges in the conformation and activity of spinoxin (α-KTx6.13), a potassium channel toxin from Heterometrus spinifer scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, Yoko; Peigneur, Steve; Liu, Junyi; Uemura, Shiho; Nose, Takeru; Nirthanan, Selvanayagam; Gopalakrishnakone, Ponnampalam; Tytgat, Jan; Sato, Kazuki

    2016-11-01

    Spinoxin (SPX; α-KTx6.13), isolated from venom of the scorpion Heterometrus spinifer, is a K(+) channel-specific peptide toxin (KTx), which adopts a cysteine-stabilized α/β scaffold that is cross-linked by four disulfide bridges (Cys1-Cys5, Cys2-Cys6, Cys3-Cys7, and Cys4-Cys8). To investigate the role of the individual disulfide bonds in the structure-activity relationship of SPX, we synthesized four SPX analogs in which each pair of cysteine residues was replaced by alanine residues. The analysis of circular dichroism spectra and inhibitory activity against Kv1.3 channels showed that the SPX analogs lacking any of three specific disulfide bonds (Cys1-Cys5, Cys2-Cys6, and Cys3-Cys7) were unable to form the native secondary structure and completely lost inhibitory activities. Thus, we conclude that Cys1-Cys5, Cys2-Cys6, and Cys3-Cys7 are required for the inhibition of the Kv1.3 channel by SPX. In contrast, the analog lacking Cys4-Cys8 retained both native secondary structure and inhibitory activity. Interestingly, one of the isomers of the analog lacking Cys1-Cys5 also showed inhibitory activities, although its inhibition was ∼18-fold weaker than native SPX. This isomer had an atypical disulfide bond pairing (Cys3-Cys4 and Cys7-Cys8) that corresponds to that of maurotoxin (MTX), another α-KTx6 family member. These results indicate that the Cys1-Cys5 and Cys2-Cys6 bonds are important for restricting the toxin from forming an atypical (MTX-type) disulfide bond pairing among the remaining four cysteine residues (Cys3, Cys4, Cys7, and Cys8) in native SPX.

  12. Antibacterial activity of six novel peptides from Tityus discrepans scorpion venom. A fluorescent probe study of microbial membrane Na+ permeability changes.

    PubMed

    Díaz, Patricia; D'Suze, Gina; Salazar, Víctor; Sevcik, Carlos; Shannon, John D; Sherman, Nicholas E; Fox, Jay W

    2009-11-01

    Six novel peptides (named bactridines) were isolated from Tityus discrepans scorpion venom. From mass spectrometry molecular masses were 6916, 7362, 7226, 7011, 7101 and 7173 Da (bactridines 1-6). Bactridines 1 and 2 were sequenced by Edman degradation. The sequences and in silico analysis, indicated that they are positively charged polypeptides comprised of 61 and 64 amino acids (AA), respectively, bactridine 1 and bactridine 2 containing 4 disulfide bridges. Bactridine 1 was only toxic to cockroaches and crabs, and bactridine 2-6 were only toxic to mice. Bactridine 1 has a 78% sequence identity with ardiscretin. Ardisctretin is an insect specific sodium toxin which also produces a small depolarization and induces repetitive firing in squid axons resembling those of DDT [1,10(pchlorobenzyl) 2-trichloretane] in its ability to slow down action potential, to induce repetitive firing. Measured as the minimal inhibitory concentration, bactridines had high antibacterial activity against a wide range of gram positive and gram negative bacteria. Complete bacterial growth inhibition occurred at concentrations from 20 to 80 microM depending on the bacteria and peptide tested. Effects on membrane Na(+) permeability induced by bactridines were observed on Yersinia enterocolitica loaded with 1 microM CoroNa Red. CoroNa Red fluorescence leakage from bacteria was observed after exposure to 0.3 microM of any bactridine tested, indicating that they modified Na(+) membrane permeability. This effect was blocked by 10 microM amiloride and by 25 microM mibefradil drugs that affect Na(+) and Ca(2+) channels respectively. We found no evidence of changes of K(+) or Ca(2+) concentrations neither inside nor outside the bacteria in experiments using the fluorescent dyes Fluo 4AM (10 microM) and PBFI (20 microM).

  13. Heterologous expressed toxic and non-toxic peptide variants of toxin CssII are capable to produce neutralizing antibodies against the venom of the scorpion Centruroides suffusus suffusus.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Salgado, Kenya; Estrada, Georgina; Olvera, Alejandro; Coronas, Fredy I; Possani, Lourival D; Corzo, Gerardo

    2009-08-15

    Two toxic and one non-toxic recombinant peptide variants of the mammalian neurotoxin CssII was cloned into the expression vector pQE30 containing a 6His-tag and a Factor Xa proteolytic cleavage site. The toxic recombinant peptides rCssII, HisrCssII and the non-toxic rCssIIE15R were expressed under induction with isopropyl thiogalactoside (IPTG), isolated using chromatographic techniques and folded correctly in vitro. The three recombinant variants showed similar secondary structures as the native CssII, but only the rCssIIE15R was not toxic to mice at concentrations up to 30microg/20g mouse body weight when injected intraperitoneally. All three recombinant peptides were capable of displacing the native CssII from their receptor sites in rat brain synaptosomes, suggesting that they had similar structural and functional characteristics of the native peptides. The three recombinant variants of CssII and the native one were used as antigens for immunization of New Zealand rabbits. The antibodies present in the rabbit antisera were able to recognize the native CssII. Additionally and more importantly, the sera of the immunized rabbits were able to neutralize both the native toxin CssII and the whole soluble venom of the scorpion Centruroides suffusus suffusus. These results indicate that the recombinant peptides can be used to produce antidotes against the venom of this species of scorpion.

  14. Purification and pharmacological characterization of BmKK2 (alpha-KTx 14.2), a novel potassium channel-blocking peptide, from the venom of Asian scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch.

    PubMed

    Li, Ming-Hua; Zhang, Nai-Xia; Chen, Xue-Qin; Wu, Gong; Wu, Houming; Hu, Guo-Yuan

    2004-06-15

    BmKK2 (alpha-KTx 14.2) is one of the novel short-chain peptides found in molecular cloning of a venom gland cDNA library from Asian scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch. Based upon its amino acid sequence, the peptide was proposed to adopt a classical alpha/beta-scaffold for alpha-KTxs. In the present study, we purified BmKK2 from the venom of B. martensi Karsch, and investigated its action on voltage-dependent K+ currents in dissociated hippocampal neurons from neonatal rats. BmKK2 (10-100 microM) selectively inhibited the delayed rectifier K+ current, but did not affect the fast transient K+ current. The inhibition of BmKK2 on the delayed rectifier K+ current was reversible and voltage-independent. The peptide did not affect the steady-state activation of the current, but caused a depolarizing shift (about 9 mV) of its steady-state inactivation curve. The results demonstrate that BmKK2 is a novel K+ channel-blocking scorpion peptide.

  15. Amino acid sequence of TsTX-V, an alpha-toxin from Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom, and its effect on K+ permeability of beta-cells from isolated rat islets of Langerhans.

    PubMed

    Marangoni, S; Toyama, M H; Arantes, E C; Giglio, J R; da Silva, C A; Carneiro, E M; Gonçalves, A A; Oliveira, B

    1995-04-13

    Highly purified Tityustoxin V (TsTX-V), an alpha-toxin isolated from the venom of the Brazilian scorpion Tityus serrulatus, was obtained by ion exchange chromatography on carboxymethylcellulose-52. It was shown to be homogeneous by reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography, N-terminal sequencing (first 39 residues) of the reduced and alkylated protein and by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in the presence of sodium dodecylsulfate and tricine. Following enzymatic digestion, the complete amino acid sequence (64 residues) was determined. The sequence showed higher homology with the toxins from the venoms of the North African than with those of the North and South American scorpions. Using the rate of 86Rb+ release from depolarized rat pancreatic beta-cells as a measure of K+ permeability changes, TsTX-V (5.6 micrograms/ml) was found to increase by 2.0-2.4-fold the rate of marker outflow in the presence of 8.3 mM glucose. This effect was persistent and slowly reversible, showing similarity to that induced by 100 microM veratridine, an agent that increases the open period of Na+ channels, delaying their inactivation. It is suggested that, by extending the depolarized period, TsTX-V indirectly affects beta-cell voltage-dependent K+ channels, thus increasing K+ permeability.

  16. Solution structure of native and recombinant expressed toxin CssII from the venom of the scorpion Centruroides suffusus suffusus, and their effects on Nav1.5 sodium channels.

    PubMed

    Saucedo, Alma L; del Rio-Portilla, Federico; Picco, Cristiana; Estrada, Georgina; Prestipino, Gianfranco; Possani, Lourival D; Delepierre, Muriel; Corzo, Gerardo

    2012-03-01

    The three-dimensional structures of the long-chain mammalian scorpion β-toxin CssII from Centruroides suffusus suffusus and of its recombinant form, HisrCssII, were determined by NMR. The neurotoxin CssII (nCssII) is a 66 amino acid long peptide with four disulfide bridges; it is the most abundant and deadly toxin from the venom of this scorpion. Both native and recombinant CssII structures were determined by nuclear magnetic resonance using a total of 828 sequential distance constraints derived from the volume integration of the cross peaks observed in 2D NOESY spectra. Both nCssII and HisrCssII structures display a mixed α/β fold stabilized by four disulfide bridges formed between pairs of cysteines: C1-C8, C2-C5, C3-C6, and C4-C7 (the numbers indicate the relative positions of the cysteine residues in the primary structure), with a distortion induced by two cis-prolines in its C-terminal part. The native CssII electrostatic surface was compared to both the recombinant one and to the Cn2 toxin, from the scorpion Centruroides noxius, which is also toxic to mammals. Structural features such N- and C-terminal differences could influence toxin specificity and affinity towards isoforms of different sub-types of Na(v) channels.

  17. Are ticks venomous animals?

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Introduction As an ecological adaptation venoms have evolved independently in several species of Metazoa. As haematophagous arthropods ticks are mainly considered as ectoparasites due to directly feeding on the skin of animal hosts. Ticks are of major importance since they serve as vectors for several diseases affecting humans and livestock animals. Ticks are rarely considered as venomous animals despite that tick saliva contains several protein families present in venomous taxa and that many Ixodida genera can induce paralysis and other types of toxicoses. Tick saliva was previously proposed as a special kind of venom since tick venom is used for blood feeding that counteracts host defense mechanisms. As a result, the present study provides evidence to reconsider the venomous properties of tick saliva. Results Based on our extensive literature mining and in silico research, we demonstrate that ticks share several similarities with other venomous taxa. Many tick salivary protein families and their previously described functions are homologous to proteins found in scorpion, spider, snake, platypus and bee venoms. This infers that there is a structural and functional convergence between several molecular components in tick saliva and the venoms from other recognized venomous taxa. We also highlight the fact that the immune response against tick saliva and venoms (from recognized venomous taxa) are both dominated by an allergic immunity background. Furthermore, by comparing the major molecular components of human saliva, as an example of a non-venomous animal, with that of ticks we find evidence that ticks resemble more venomous than non-venomous animals. Finally, we introduce our considerations regarding the evolution of venoms in Arachnida. Conclusions Taking into account the composition of tick saliva, the venomous functions that ticks have while interacting with their hosts, and the distinguishable differences between human (non-venomous) and tick salivary

  18. Homology modeling, vasorelaxant and bradykinin-potentiating activities of a novel hypotensin found in the scorpion venom from Tityus stigmurus.

    PubMed

    Machado, Richele J A; Junior, Leônidas G M; Monteiro, Norberto K V; Silva-Júnior, Arnóbio A; Portaro, Fernanda C V; Barbosa, Euzébio G; Braga, Valdir A; Fernandes-Pedrosa, Matheus F

    2015-07-01

    In a recent work by our group involving a transcriptomics approach applied to the venom glands from Tityus stigmurus we identified a new family of peptides called Hypotensins (TSTI0006C) (Almeida et al., 2012). The cluster TSTI0006C was analyzed in the main 25 amino acid residues and named T. stigmurus Hypotensin (TistH), showing a molecular mass of 2.7 kDa, an absence of cysteines and the presence of two C-terminal proline residues, which are a bradykinin-potentiating peptide (BPP) signature. Here, we describe the homology modeling of the three-dimensional structure of TistH. In addition, we evaluated the cardiovascular effects elicited by TistH in normotensive rats. Firstly, TistH showed no cytotoxic effect on horse erythrocyte. Furthermore, in normotensive rats TistH was able to potentiate the hypotensive action of bradykinin (BK) and induced a vasorelaxant effect in mesenteric artery rings by endothelium-dependent release of nitric oxide (NO) and demonstrated independent inhibition of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE). Our data can contribute to a better understanding of the structural and functional characteristics of TistH and suggest its potential use in cardiovascular diseases.

  19. [Scorpion envenomation in Morocco: scorpions of the genus Androctonus, Buthus and Hottentota].

    PubMed

    Aboumaâd, B; Iba, N; Dersi, N

    2014-02-01

    Around the world and especially in summer, the scorpion envenomation is a real public health problem. In Morocco, its gravity is due to the diversity of genera of the Buthidae family whose their venom is potentially lethal, mainly the genus Androctonus, Buthus and Hottentota. The areas most affected by this problematic are the central and southern of Morocco. The lethality of scorpion's venom primarily affects children. It is rich in neurotoxic polypeptides that have targeted ion channel membrane Na(+), K(+) activated or not by Ca(++). The toxins polymorphism causes pathophysiological disorders. The diversity of symptomatic treatment in the absence of immunotherapy is due to variability in clinical pictures, which depends on the species involved and the patient at risk. The objective of this review is to highlight the magnitude of the scorpion envenomation by describing its epidemiological characteristics, elucidate the pathophysiological effects of the venom of the most dangerous scorpions in Morocco the genus Androctonus, Buthus and Hottentota, and their therapeutic treatment.

  20. Toxicity of crude and detoxified Tityus serrulatus venom in anti-venom-producing sheep

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Marina G.; Duarte, Clara G.; Oliveira, Maira S.; Castro, Karen L. P.; Teixeira, Maílson S.; Reis, Lílian P. G.; Zambrano, José A.; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes; Michel, Ana Flávia R. M.; Soto-Blanco, Benito; Chávez-Olórtegui, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    Specific anti-venom used to treat scorpion envenomation is usually obtained from horses after hyperimmunization with crude scorpion venom. However, immunized animals often become ill because of the toxic effects of the immunogens used. This study was conducted to evaluate the toxic and immunogenic activities of crude and detoxified Tityus serrulatus (Ts) venom in sheep during the production of anti-scorpionic anti-venom. Sheep were categorized into three groups: G1, control, immunized with buffer only; G2, immunized with crude Ts venom; and G3, immunized with glutaraldehyde-detoxified Ts venom. All animals were subjected to clinical exams and supplementary tests. G2 sheep showed mild clinical changes, but the other groups tolerated the immunization program well. Specific antibodies generated in animals immunized with either Ts crude venom or glutaraldehyde-detoxified Ts venom recognized the crude Ts venom in both assays. To evaluate the lethality neutralization potential of the produced sera, individual serum samples were pre-incubated with Ts crude venom, then subcutaneously injected into mice. Efficient immune protection of 56.3% and 43.8% against Ts crude venom was observed in G2 and G3, respectively. Overall, the results of this study support the use of sheep and glutaraldehyde-detoxified Ts venom for alternative production of specific anti-venom. PMID:27297422

  1. A forward to optimization of antivenom therapy: An in vivo study upon the effectiveness of the antivenom against early and delayed nephrotoxicity induced by the venom of the Iranian scorpion Hemiscorpius lepturus in rat.

    PubMed

    Pipelzadeh, Mohammad Hassan; Jalali, Amir; Dezfulian, Abdul Rahman; Khorasgani, Zahra Nazari; Sarvestani, Somie; Ghalambor, Amir Hossein; Azarpanah, Armita

    2015-06-15

    The aim of the present in vivo study was to identify the optimal effective dose, the most favorable time and the route of administration of the available polyvalent scorpion antivenom against the toxic effects induced by Hemiscorpius lepturus (H. lepturus) venom in rat. The end point for assessment included measurement of alanin-amino-peptidase (AAP) and N-acetyl-b-d-glucosaminidase (NAG), biochemical urine analysis and histopathological assessment. The results showed that a single subcutaneous 50 μg of the venom produced significant increase in the AAP and NAG enzyme activity, urinary biochemical parameters and induced histopathological structural abnormalities in the renal system. The optimal effective co-administered dose of the antivenom was 0.5 ml, which when administered 1 and 2 h of envenomation by intravenous (IV) and subcutaneous (SC) routes respectively produced significant protection against these toxic effects. Prudently, the significance of these findings need to be assessed in further clinical studies.

  2. A strategy for the generation of specific human antibodies by directed evolution and phage display. An example of a single-chain antibody fragment that neutralizes a major component of scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Riaño-Umbarila, Lidia; Juárez-González, Victor Rivelino; Olamendi-Portugal, Timoteo; Ortíz-León, Mauricio; Possani, Lourival Domingos; Becerril, Baltazar

    2005-05-01

    This study describes the construction of a library of single-chain antibody fragments (scFvs) from a single human donor by individual amplification of all heavy and light variable domains (1.1 x 10(8) recombinants). The library was panned using the phage display technique, which allowed selection of specific scFvs (3F and C1) capable of recognizing Cn2, the major toxic component of Centruroides noxius scorpion venom. The scFv 3F was matured in vitro by three cycles of directed evolution. The use of stringent conditions in the third cycle allowed the selection of several improved clones. The best scFv obtained (6009F) was improved in terms of its affinity by 446-fold, from 183 nm (3F) to 410 pm. This scFv 6009F was able to neutralize 2 LD(50) of Cn2 toxin when a 1 : 10 molar ratio of toxin-to-antibody fragment was used. It was also able to neutralize 2 LD(50) of the whole venom. These results pave the way for the future generation of recombinant human antivenoms.

  3. Quo Vadis Venomics? A Roadmap to Neglected Venomous Invertebrates

    PubMed Central

    von Reumont, Bjoern Marcus; Campbell, Lahcen I.; Jenner, Ronald A.

    2014-01-01

    Venomics research is being revolutionized by the increased use of sensitive -omics techniques to identify venom toxins and their transcripts in both well studied and neglected venomous taxa. The study of neglected venomous taxa is necessary both for understanding the full diversity of venom systems that have evolved in the animal kingdom, and to robustly answer fundamental questions about the biology and evolution of venoms without the distorting effect that can result from the current bias introduced by some heavily studied taxa. In this review we draw the outlines of a roadmap into the diversity of poorly studied and understood venomous and putatively venomous invertebrates, which together represent tens of thousands of unique venoms. The main groups we discuss are crustaceans, flies, centipedes, non-spider and non-scorpion arachnids, annelids, molluscs, platyhelminths, nemerteans, and echinoderms. We review what is known about the morphology of the venom systems in these groups, the composition of their venoms, and the bioactivities of the venoms to provide researchers with an entry into a large and scattered literature. We conclude with a short discussion of some important methodological aspects that have come to light with the recent use of new -omics techniques in the study of venoms. PMID:25533518

  4. Quo vadis venomics? A roadmap to neglected venomous invertebrates.

    PubMed

    von Reumont, Bjoern Marcus; Campbell, Lahcen I; Jenner, Ronald A

    2014-12-19

    Venomics research is being revolutionized by the increased use of sensitive -omics techniques to identify venom toxins and their transcripts in both well studied and neglected venomous taxa. The study of neglected venomous taxa is necessary both for understanding the full diversity of venom systems that have evolved in the animal kingdom, and to robustly answer fundamental questions about the biology and evolution of venoms without the distorting effect that can result from the current bias introduced by some heavily studied taxa. In this review we draw the outlines of a roadmap into the diversity of poorly studied and understood venomous and putatively venomous invertebrates, which together represent tens of thousands of unique venoms. The main groups we discuss are crustaceans, flies, centipedes, non-spider and non-scorpion arachnids, annelids, molluscs, platyhelminths, nemerteans, and echinoderms. We review what is known about the morphology of the venom systems in these groups, the composition of their venoms, and the bioactivities of the venoms to provide researchers with an entry into a large and scattered literature. We conclude with a short discussion of some important methodological aspects that have come to light with the recent use of new -omics techniques in the study of venoms.

  5. 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.

  6. Epidemiological Review of Scorpion Envenomation in Iran

    PubMed Central

    Jalali, Amir; Rahim, Fakher

    2014-01-01

    This epidemiological review was carried out to display the magnitude and the geographic distribution of scorpion envenomation in Iran with focus on the southwestern region of Iran, particularly. The Iranian recognized scorpions belonging to two families, including Buthidae and Scorpionidae. Buthidae family consists of 14 genuses, 26 species, and 18 sub-species, while Scorpionidae family has three genuses and four species. The lack of basic knowledge, including the geographical distribution, clinical manifestations, and specific treatments related to scorpiofauna justifies such multidisciplinary studies. The venom of two endemic Iranian scorpions, including Hemiscorpius lepturus (H. lepturus) and Odonthubuthus doriae (O.doriae) have considered as an effective source of new neurotoxin peptides for the further development of physio-pharmacological probes and designing the clinical trials. Such epidemiological information may improve the determinants of Iranian scorpion stings in order to plan and implement effective public health intervention. PMID:25276176

  7. 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.

  8. Epidemiological review of scorpion envenomation in iran.

    PubMed

    Jalali, Amir; Rahim, Fakher

    2014-01-01

    This epidemiological review was carried out to display the magnitude and the geographic distribution of scorpion envenomation in Iran with focus on the southwestern region of Iran, particularly. The Iranian recognized scorpions belonging to two families, including Buthidae and Scorpionidae. Buthidae family consists of 14 genuses, 26 species, and 18 sub-species, while Scorpionidae family has three genuses and four species. The lack of basic knowledge, including the geographical distribution, clinical manifestations, and specific treatments related to scorpiofauna justifies such multidisciplinary studies. The venom of two endemic Iranian scorpions, including Hemiscorpius lepturus (H. lepturus) and Odonthubuthus doriae (O.doriae) have considered as an effective source of new neurotoxin peptides for the further development of physio-pharmacological probes and designing the clinical trials. Such epidemiological information may improve the determinants of Iranian scorpion stings in order to plan and implement effective public health intervention.

  9. A novel cysteine-free venom peptide with strong antimicrobial activity against antibiotics-resistant pathogens from the scorpion Opistophthalmus glabrifrons.

    PubMed

    Bao, Aorigele; Zhong, Jie; Zeng, Xian-Chun; Nie, Yao; Zhang, Lei; Peng, Zhao Feng

    2015-10-01

    Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, pose serious threat to human health. The outbreak of antibiotic-resistant pathogens in recent years emphasizes once again the urgent need for the development of new antimicrobial agents. Here, we discovered a novel antimicrobial peptide from the scorpion Opistophthalmus glabrifrons, which was referred to as Opisin. Opisin consists of 19 amino acid residues without disulfide bridges. It is a cationic, amphipathic, and α-helical molecule. Protein sequence homology search revealed that Opisin shares 42.1-5.3% sequence identities to the 17/18-mer antimicrobial peptides from scorpions. Antimicrobial assay showed that Opisin is able to potently inhibit the growth of the tested Gram-positive bacteria with the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of 4.0-10.0 μM; in contrast, it possesses much lower activity against the tested Gram-negative bacteria and a fungus. It is interesting to see that Opisin is able to strongly inhibit the growth of methicillin- and vancomycin-resistant pathogens with the MICs ranging from 2.0 to 4.0 μM and from 4.0 to 6.0 μM, respectively. We found that at a concentration of 5 × MIC, Opisin completely killed all the cultured methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. These results suggest that Opisin is a promising therapeutic candidate for the treatment of the antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.

  10. Photoaffinity labeling of alpha- and beta- scorpion toxin receptors associated with rat brain sodium channel.

    PubMed

    Darbon, H; Jover, E; Couraud, F; Rochat, H

    1983-09-15

    Azido nitrophenylaminoacetyl [125I]iodo derivative of toxin II from Centruroides suffusus suffusus, a beta-toxin, and azido nitrophenylaminoacetyl [125I]iodo derivative of toxin V from Leiurus quinquestriatus quinquestriatus, an alpha-toxin, have been covalently linked after binding to their receptor sites that are related to the voltage sensitive sodium channel present in rat brain synaptosomes. Both derivatives labeled two polypeptides of 253000 +/- 20000 and 35000 +/- 2000 mol. wt. Labeling was blocked for each derivative by a large excess of the corresponding native toxin but no cross inhibition was obtained. These results suggest that both alpha - and beta - scorpion toxin receptors are located on or near the same two membrane polypeptides which may be part of the voltage dependent sodium channel.

  11. 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

    2015-01-23

    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.

  12. A novel toxin from the venom of the scorpion Tityus trivittatus, is the first member of a new alpha-KTX subfamily.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Mottaleb, Yousra; Coronas, Fredy V; de Roodt, Adolfo R; Possani, Lourival D; Tytgat, Jan

    2006-01-23

    The first example of a new sub-family of toxins (alpha-KTx20.1) from the scorpion Tityus trivittatus was purified, sequenced and characterized physiologically. It has 29 amino acid residues, three disulfide bridges assumed to adopt the cysteine-stabilized alpha/beta scaffold with a pI value of 8.98. The sequence identities with all the other known alpha-KTx are less than 40%. Its effects were verified using seven different cloned K(+) channels (vertebrate Kv1.1-1.5, Shaker IR and hERG) expressed in Xenopus leavis oocytes. The toxin-induced effects show large differences among the different K(+) channels and a preference towards Kv1.3 (EC50=7.9+/-1.4 nM).

  13. The first venomous crustacean revealed by transcriptomics and functional morphology: remipede venom glands express a unique toxin cocktail dominated by enzymes and a neurotoxin.

    PubMed

    von Reumont, Björn M; Blanke, Alexander; Richter, Sandy; Alvarez, Fernando; Bleidorn, Christoph; Jenner, Ronald A

    2014-01-01

    Animal venoms have evolved many times. Venomous species are especially common in three of the four main groups of arthropods (Chelicerata, Myriapoda, and Hexapoda), which together represent tens of thousands of species of venomous spiders, scorpions, centipedes, and hymenopterans. Surprisingly, despite their great diversity of body plans, there is no unambiguous evidence that any crustacean is venomous. We provide the first conclusive evidence that the aquatic, blind, and cave-dwelling remipede crustaceans are venomous and that venoms evolved in all four major arthropod groups. We produced a three-dimensional reconstruction of the venom delivery apparatus of the remipede Speleonectes tulumensis, showing that remipedes can inject venom in a controlled manner. A transcriptomic profile of its venom glands shows that they express a unique cocktail of transcripts coding for known venom toxins, including a diversity of enzymes and a probable paralytic neurotoxin very similar to one described from spider venom. We screened a transcriptomic library obtained from whole animals and identified a nontoxin paralog of the remipede neurotoxin that is not expressed in the venom glands. This allowed us to reconstruct its probable evolutionary origin and underlines the importance of incorporating data derived from nonvenom gland tissue to elucidate the evolution of candidate venom proteins. This first glimpse into the venom of a crustacean and primitively aquatic arthropod reveals conspicuous differences from the venoms of other predatory arthropods such as centipedes, scorpions, and spiders and contributes valuable information for ultimately disentangling the many factors shaping the biology and evolution of venoms and venomous species.

  14. 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.

  15. Target-Driven Evolution of Scorpion Toxins.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shangfei; Gao, Bin; Zhu, Shunyi

    2015-10-07

    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.

  16. Solution structure of BmKalphaIT01, an alpha-insect toxin from the venom of the Chinese scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch.

    PubMed

    Tong, Xiaotian; Zhu, Jing; Ma, Yuguang; Chen, Xiang; Wu, Gong; He, Fahu; Cao, Chunyang; Wu, Houming

    2007-10-09

    The solution structure of an alpha-insect toxin from Buthus martensii Karsch, BmKalphaIT01, has been determined by two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy and molecular modeling techniques. Combining the sequence homology comparison and toxicity bioassays, BmKalphaIT01 has been suggested to be a natural mutant of alpha-insect toxins and so can serve as a tool to study the relationship of structure-function among this group of toxins. The overall structure of BmKalphaIT01 shares a common core structure consisting of an alpha-helix packed against a three-stranded antiparallel beta-sheet, which exhibits distinctive local conformations within the loops connecting these secondary structure elements. The solution structure of BmKalphaIT01 features a non-proline cis peptide bond between Asn9 and Tyr10, which is proposed to mediate the spatial closing of the five-residue turn (Gln8-Cys12) and the C-terminal segment (Arg58-His64) to form the NC domain and confer the toxin insect-specific bioactivity. Conformational heterogeneity is observed in the solution of BmKalphaIT01 and could be attributed to the cis-trans isomerization of the peptide bond between residues 9 and 10. The minor conformation of BmKalphaIT01 with a trans peptide bond between Asn9 and Tyr10 may be responsible for its moderate bioactivity against mammals. The cis-trans isomerization of the peptide bond between residues 9 and 10 may be the structural basis of dual pharmacological activities of alpha-insect and alpha-like scorpion toxins, which is supported by the fact that conformational heterogeneity occurs in the solution structures of LqhalphaIT, LqqIII, and LqhIII and by comparison of the solution structure of BmKalphaIT01 with those of some relevant alpha-type toxins.

  17. 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

  18. Global transcriptome analysis of the scorpion Centruroides noxius: new toxin families and evolutionary insights from an ancestral scorpion species.

    PubMed

    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

  19. 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

  20. Epidemiological characteristics of scorpion sting in León, Guanajuato, México.

    PubMed

    Dehesa-Dávila, M

    1989-01-01

    Poisoning with scorpion venom in the city of León, Guanajuato state, México, is a significant public health problem. The hospital of the Mexican Red Cross gave medical attention to 38,068 cases of envenomation by scorpion sting during 1981-1986; 77% of all accidents occurred among persons under 30 years of age. The 100% survival rate can be attributed to prompt serotherapy. Most stings were due to scorpions from the species Centruroides infamatus infamatus. Scorpion stings increase dramatically in the spring and are lowest during winter. The distribution of scorpions throughout the city is uniform and accidents occur at any time of day or night with no preference in regard to the sex of the affected persons. The epidemiological aspects of scorpion poisoning are emphasized.

  1. Evolution stings: the origin and diversification of scorpion toxin peptide scaffolds.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-13

    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

  2. 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

    2015-09-14

    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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Emergent management of scorpion sting.

    PubMed

    Kluz-Zawadzka, Jolanta; Hartman-Ksycińska, Anna; Lewandowski, Bogumił

    2014-01-01

    Scorpionism (syndrome of scorpion stings) is an important public health problem in many regions of the world, not only in tropics and subtropics. As scorpions may be unintentionally transported to any place in the world and keeping scorpions as pets is becoming more popular, scorpion stings occur also in Poland. Therefore, health professionals should have the knowledge on the management of scorpion stings. This article discusses a case who was stung by scorpion and proposes an algorithm of management with such patients.

  7. Study on Distribution of Scorpions to Provide Prevention and Interventions in Combating Scorpionism in Poldokhtar County, Lorestan Province, Iran

    PubMed Central

    Hassan, Rastgar

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Scorpions are arthropods of medical importance classified in the class Arachnida, inhabiting hot and dry environments. All scorpions have a venomous sting and several thousand people die each year from scorpion stings, but this mortality is due to the venom of about 25 species located in northern Africa, the Middle East, India, Mexico and parts of South America. Poldokhtar County belongs to one of the southern cities of Lorestan Province, providing suitable habitats for many different species of scorpions due to its specific climatic conditions. Aim To examine the fauna of scorpion and its distribution in the Poldokhtar County and to provide appropriate preventive and medical interventions in combating scorpionism. Materials and Methods This present study was a descriptive and analytical cross-sectional study. This study was conducted from April 2014 to November 2014 in regions of Poldokhtar County, Lorestan Province, and west of Iran. Cluster sampling methodology was employed in the sampling and scorpion collection procedure. Sampling was undertaken for an eight-month period, in villages and districts, namely, Myankuhe sharqi, Jayedar, Jelogir and Malavi within the county. The Chi-square test and the Fisher-exact test for homogeneity of proportions were used to compare quantitative variables. Results Totally, 393 specimens were captured entailing 193 (49.1%) males and 200 (50.9%) females. There were at least seven species of scorpions belonging to three families; BU= Buthidae, HE = Hemiscorpiidae, SCN = Scorpionidae in Poldokhtar. Out of 393 collected scorpions, seven species, Androctonus crassicauda, Hottentotta (Buthotus) saulcyi, Compsobuthus matthiesseni, Compsobuthus rugosulus, Orthochirus scrobiculosus, Scorpio maurus and Hemiscorpius lepturus were identified. The overall sex ratio of females to males was 1:1.03. Conclusion It is crucial to improve the knowledge of residents in this region regarding preventive methods towards scorpion stinging

  8. Insects and Scorpions

    MedlinePlus

    ... Topics Publications and Products Programs Contact NIOSH NIOSH INSECTS AND SCORPIONS Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir Stinging or biting insects or scorpions can be hazardous to outdoor workers. ...

  9. Scorpion fish sting

    MedlinePlus

    ... this 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 ...

  10. A novel class of antimicrobial peptides from the scorpion Heterometrus spinifer.

    PubMed

    Nie, Yao; Zeng, Xian-Chun; Yang, Ye; Luo, Feng; Luo, Xuesong; Wu, Shifen; Zhang, Lei; Zhou, Jianping

    2012-12-01

    The venom peptides from the scorpion Heterometrus spinifer have been poorly characterized so far. Here, we identified a novel class of antimicrobial peptides from the venom gland of H. spinifer, which were referred to as HsAp, HsAp2, HsAp3 and HsAp4, respectively. Each of the four peptides consists of 29 amino acid residues, and is cationic and weakly amphipathic. They display no significant homology to any other known peptides, and thus represent a new family of venom peptides from scorpions. Antimicrobial assay showed that HsAp is able to inhibit the growth of both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria with the MIC values of 11.8-51.2 μM. HsAp is also able to inhibit the growth of the tested fungus. Genomic analysis indicated that the genes of all the four peptides are intronless. Our studies expand the families of antimicrobial peptides from scorpions.

  11. Classification of Na channel receptors specific for various scorpion toxins.

    PubMed

    Wheeler, K P; Watt, D D; Lazdunski, M

    1983-04-01

    1. The specific binding to rat brain synaptosomes of a radiolabelled derivative of toxin II from the scorpion Centruroides suffusus suffusus could be prevented by toxins III and IV, but not by toxin V or variants 1-3, from the venom of Centruroides sculpturatus. 2. The specific binding of a similar derivative of toxin II from Androctonus australis Hector was not affected by any of the toxins from Centruroides sculpturatus. 3. There is biochemical evidence for only two distinct classes of Na channel receptors specific for known scorpion toxins.

  12. [Snakes, scorpions and other poisonous creatures: prophylaxis and emergency medicine].

    PubMed

    Mebs, D

    2006-06-29

    Most cases of poisoning by animals are caused by snakes, spiders or scorpions. In addition to"first aid" such as calming the victim and immobilization of the bitten limb, other measures include monitoring vital functions and rapid transportation to hospital as dictated by the symptoms presenting, and, where indicated, injection of an antiserum (identification of the animal concerned). On no account should the bite wound be cut or attempts made to suck out the venom. While the sting of a scorpion or a spider bite often do not lead to severe complications in adults, a brush with a poisonous snake may be much more serious.

  13. Deep intraspecific divergences in the medically relevant fat-tailed scorpions (Androctonus, Scorpiones).

    PubMed

    Coelho, P; Sousa, P; Harris, D J; van der Meijden, A

    2014-06-01

    The genus Androctonus, commonly known as fat-tailed scorpions, contains 22 species distributed from Togo and Mauritania in the west, North Africa, through the Middle East and to as far east as India. With 13 species, a substantial amount of this genus' diversity occurs in North Africa, which is a major hotspot of scorpion sting incidents. Androctonus are among the most medically relevant animals in North Africa. Since venom composition within species is known to vary regionally, the improvement of therapeutic management depends on a correct assessment of the existing regional specific and sub-specific variation. In this study, we assessed the phylogeographical patterns in six species of Androctonus scorpions from North Africa using mitochondrial DNA markers. We sequenced COX1, 12S, 16S and ND1 genes from 110 individuals. Despite lacking basal resolution in the tree, we found taxonomical and geographically coherent clades. We discovered deep intraspecific variation in the widespread Androctonus amoreuxi and Androctonus australis, which consisted of several well-supported clades. Genetic distances between some of these clades are as high as those found between species. North African A. australis have a deep split in Tunisia around the Chott el-Djerid salt-lake. A novel split between A. amoreuxi scorpions was found in Morocco. We also found deep divergences in Androctonus mauritanicus, corresponding to areas attributed to invalidated subspecies. In addition we uncovered a clade of specimens from coastal south Morocco, which could not be ascribed to any know species using morphological characters. Based on these findings we recommend a reassessment of venom potency and anti-venom efficacy between these deep intraspecific divergent clades.

  14. 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.

  15. Epidemiology of Scorpionism in Iran during 2009

    PubMed Central

    Rafizadeh, Sina; Rafinejad, Javad; Rassi, Yavar

    2013-01-01

    Background: Scorpion sting is a major health problem in Iran. The aim of current study was to measure the incidence rates of scorpion stings, mortality, recovery, and affected age groups. The results of treatment with and without anti venom also were considered in the entire country during 2009. Methods: All the data were collected from emergency section of different hospitals and then were analyzed by related software. The responsibility of such data collection and surveillance is related to the Department of Violence and Injury, Ministry of Health and Medical Education of Iran. Results: A total incidence of 59.5/100000 was found for the 12-month period. During the study period the most and the least cases were reported from Khuzestan and Mazandaran Provinces with incidence of 541 and 0 per 100000 respectively. Totally 40220 anti venom vials were used, i.e., the ratio of 91 vial/ 100 affected cases. The stings occur mainly in rural areas (57.7%). Young people with the age group of 15–24 years old were the most victims of stings. The mortality and recovery rates of cases who had received anti venom less than 6 h of stings were calculated as 0.01% and 99.9% respectively. Conclusion: The high incidence of scorpion stings in Iran especially in Khuzestan suggests the necessity of preventive programmes for decreasing the incidence. Such programmes could start by community educating in the high prevalent areas. In addition prompt and local treatment is particularly important for infants and pre-school children. PMID:23785696

  16. Spatial Distribution of Scorpion Sting in a High-Risk Area of Southern Iran.

    PubMed

    Shahi, Mehran; Moosavy, Seyed Hamid; Hanafi-Bojd, Ahamd Ali; Navidpour, Shahrokh; Zare, Shahram; Madani, Abdolhossein; Rafinejad, Javad

    2016-06-16

    Scorpion sting is a public health problem in south and southwestern parts of Iran, with about 36,000 cases recorded annually. This study aimed to find the spatial distribution of scorpions and their stings in Bandar Abbas County. Monthly scorpion sting cases at the village level were obtained and used for mapping. Scorpions were collected from 14 collection sites using a UV lamp at night and searching under stones during the day time. During the study period, a total of 3,971 cases of scorpion sting were recorded, most of them were found in mountainous areas and affected individuals aged 25-44 yrs. In total, 18 scorpion species belonging to 10 genera were collected and identified. The peak of scorpion sting cases occurred from July to September. The northern part of the mountainous areas had a richer species composition. Hemiscorpius persicus and Hemiscorpius gaillardi were collected for the first time in the area. There were 22 scorpion species in the area across studies; among them, 10 were most dangerous. Hemiscorpius genus is the main etiologic agent in Bandar Abbas County. Mapping dangerous species allows the health system to provide relevant anti-scorpion venom serum accordingly and more cost-effectively.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. The First Venomous Crustacean Revealed by Transcriptomics and Functional Morphology: Remipede Venom Glands Express a Unique Toxin Cocktail Dominated by Enzymes and a Neurotoxin

    PubMed Central

    von Reumont, Björn M.; Blanke, Alexander; Richter, Sandy; Alvarez, Fernando; Bleidorn, Christoph; Jenner, Ronald A.

    2014-01-01

    Animal venoms have evolved many times. Venomous species are especially common in three of the four main groups of arthropods (Chelicerata, Myriapoda, and Hexapoda), which together represent tens of thousands of species of venomous spiders, scorpions, centipedes, and hymenopterans. Surprisingly, despite their great diversity of body plans, there is no unambiguous evidence that any crustacean is venomous. We provide the first conclusive evidence that the aquatic, blind, and cave-dwelling remipede crustaceans are venomous and that venoms evolved in all four major arthropod groups. We produced a three-dimensional reconstruction of the venom delivery apparatus of the remipede Speleonectes tulumensis, showing that remipedes can inject venom in a controlled manner. A transcriptomic profile of its venom glands shows that they express a unique cocktail of transcripts coding for known venom toxins, including a diversity of enzymes and a probable paralytic neurotoxin very similar to one described from spider venom. We screened a transcriptomic library obtained from whole animals and identified a nontoxin paralog of the remipede neurotoxin that is not expressed in the venom glands. This allowed us to reconstruct its probable evolutionary origin and underlines the importance of incorporating data derived from nonvenom gland tissue to elucidate the evolution of candidate venom proteins. This first glimpse into the venom of a crustacean and primitively aquatic arthropod reveals conspicuous differences from the venoms of other predatory arthropods such as centipedes, scorpions, and spiders and contributes valuable information for ultimately disentangling the many factors shaping the biology and evolution of venoms and venomous species. PMID:24132120

  20. Serum level of scorpion toxins, electrolytes and electrocardiogram alterations in Mexican children envenomed by scorpion sting.

    PubMed

    Osnaya-Romero, N; Acosta-Saavedra, L C; Goytia-Acevedo, R; Lares-Asseff, I; Basurto-Celaya, G; Perez-Guille, G; Possani, L D; Calderón-Aranda, E S

    2016-11-01

    The scorpion Centruroides limpidus limpidus (C.l.l.) is endemic in México, producing hundreds of accidents in humans; children being one of the most susceptible targets. Few studies reported that severe envenoming by scorpion venom induces cardiac damage and electrolytes abnormalities in children, but the relationship of envenoming severity and toxic blood levels is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship among clinical status of envenoming, serum electrolyte, electrocardiographic abnormalities, and serum toxin levels in 44 children stung by scorpion over a period of 6 months in the State of Morelos, Mexico. The patients were said to be asymptomatic, when they presented just local symptoms, and were said to be symptomatic when showing local symptoms and at least one systemic symptom. The clinical status was evaluated at the admission at the emergency room of the Hospital, and 30 min after the administration of polyspecific F(ab')2 anti-scorpion therapy to symptomatic children. Forty-one percent of the children were asymptomatic and 59% symptomatic. Potassium and sodium imbalance and an elongation of the QT interval were detected; the rate of hypokalemia was higher in symptomatic than on asymptomatic children (50% and 6%, respectively). Hypokalemia persisted in 19% in symptomatic patients, whereas sodium reached normal levels 30 min after anti-venom therapy. The hypokalemia statistically correlated with elongation of the QT interval. The concentration of the toxic components of C.l.l in serum was significantly higher in symptomatic than asymptomatic children, and the serum levels of the toxic component significantly decreased to undetectable levels after the application of anti-venom therapy. Despite the small size of the sample, this study establishes that severity of envenoming was statistically related to potassium imbalance in serum, QT interval and the concentration of toxic components in serum, which decreased at undetectable levels

  1. A review of venomous animal bites and stings in pregnant patients.

    PubMed

    Langley, Ricky Lee

    2004-01-01

    This is a review of Medline and PubMed articles on venomous animal bites and stings during pregnancy reported in English literature from 1966 to 2002. Eighty-five venomous snakebites were reported in pregnant women. Although there are frequent anecdotal reports of scorpion stings in pregnant women, few case reports are documented. Other venomous animal bites or stings to pregnant women that have been reported include spiders, jellyfish, and insects, and these are described. Adverse reproductive and teratogenic effects of venoms on gravid animals are also briefly reviewed. Although uncommon, venomous bites and stings during pregnancy may have significant adverse effects on the fetus and the mother.

  2. Hemprich's long-eared bat (Otonycteris hemprichii) as a predator of scorpions: whispering echolocation, passive gleaning and prey selection.

    PubMed

    Holderied, Marc; Korine, Carmi; Moritz, Thorsten

    2011-05-01

    Over 70% of the droppings of the gleaning bat Otonycteris hemprichii can contain scorpion fragments. Yet, some scorpions found in its desert habitat possess venom of the highest known toxicity, rendering them a very dangerous prey. In this study, we describe how O. hemprichii catches and handles scorpions, quantify its flight and echolocation behaviour in the field, investigate what sensory modality it uses to detect scorpions, and test whether it selects scorpions according to their size or toxicity. We confirmed that O. hemprichi is a whispering bat (approx. 80 dB peSPL) with short, multi-harmonic calls. In a flight room we also confirmed that O. hemprichii detects scorpions by their walking noises. Amplitudes of such noises were measured and they reach the flying bat at or below the level of echoes of the loess substrate. Bats dropped straight onto moving scorpions and were stung frequently even straight in their face. Stings did not change the bats' behaviour and caused no signs of poisoning. Scorpions were eaten including poison gland and stinger. Bats showed no preference neither for any of the scorpion species nor their size suggesting they are generalist predators with regard to scorpions.

  3. Temperature dependence of water loss rates in scorpions and its effect on the distribution of Buthotus judaicus (Buthidae) in Israel.

    PubMed

    Gefen, Eran; Ar, Amos

    2006-05-01

    Scorpions of the family Buthidae have been shown to be more desiccation resistant in comparison with sympatric Scorpionidae species. This has been attributed to the surface-dwelling existence of the former, which unlike most other scorpion species do not avoid environmental extremes by burrowing. Still, within Buthidae, the mesic Buthotus judaicus showed better osmoregulatory capacities than the xeric Leiurus quinquestriatus, largely as a result of its high resistance to water loss. However, B. judaicus exhibited poor ability to regulate its haemolymph osmolarity at 37 degrees C. In this study we report a sharp increase in water loss rates of B. judaicus at the 30-35 degrees C temperature range compared to that measured for L. quinquestriatus, which could explain the poor osmoregulatory performance of the former at higher ambient temperatures. The increase in water loss rates of B. judaicus at high temperatures is not coupled with a similar increase in respiratory rate, suggesting an increase in cuticular permeability. We suggest that this increase in cuticular permeability, which may result from a relatively low critical transition temperature, contributes to limiting the distribution of B. judaicus to habitats of moderate environmental conditions.

  4. A biomechanical view on stinger diversity in scorpions.

    PubMed

    van der Meijden, Arie; Kleinteich, Thomas

    2017-04-01

    Scorpions have elongated metasomas that bear a telson, which is used as a stinger for venom injection. There is a remarkable diversity in the use of the stinger among scorpions, comprising defensive behavior, prey subjugation and mating. This diversity could be reflected by the shape of the telson, as different stinging behaviors will result in very different functional demands. Here we explored the diversity of telson shapes in scorpions by providing morphological measurements, such as curvature and tip angle, as well as by testing stingers under load using finite element analysis (FEA). FEA models were loaded with forces scaled to the surface area of the models, to allow comparison of the relative strain energy based on shape alone. Load force angle was rotated to identify the optimal stinging angle based on the lowest strain energy. Aculeus length and mean aculeus height correlated with minimal strain energy. Optimal stinging angle correlated with tip angle, and differed from the tip angle by about 28.4 ± 6.22 °. We found that species that are more venomous have long aculei (stinger barbs) with a larger radius of curvature. FEA models of these longer aculei showed basal stress concentrations, indicating a potential greater risk of basal breakage due to shape alone. Telsons with shorter and thicker aculeus shapes showed stress concentrations at the tip only. Despite these marked differences in shape, we found no difference in the scaled strain energy between groups of species that are more venomous and less venomous groups of species. These results show that scorpion stingers may be biomechanically optimized, and this may indicate different usage of the stinger in different species.

  5. Centipede venoms and their components: resources for potential therapeutic applications.

    PubMed

    Hakim, Md Abdul; Yang, Shilong; Lai, Ren

    2015-11-17

    Venomous animals have evolved with sophisticated bio-chemical strategies to arrest prey and defend themselves from natural predators. In recent years, peptide toxins from venomous animals have drawn considerable attention from researchers due to their surprising chemical, biochemical, and pharmacological diversity. Similar to other venomous animals, centipedes are one of the crucial venomous arthropods that have been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years in China. Despite signifying pharmacological importance, very little is known about the active components of centipede venoms. More than 500 peptide sequences have been reported in centipede venomous glands by transcriptome analysis, but only a small number of peptide toxins from centipede has been functionally described. Like other venomous animals such as snakes, scorpions, and spiders, the venom of centipedes could be an excellent source of peptides for developing drugs for treatments as well as bio-insecticides for agrochemical applications. Although centipede venoms are yet to be adequately studied, the venom of centipedes as well as their components described to date, should be compiled to help further research. Therefore, based on previous reports, this review focusses on findings and possible therapeutic applications of centipede venoms as well as their components.

  6. Centipede Venoms and Their Components: Resources for Potential Therapeutic Applications

    PubMed Central

    Hakim, Md Abdul; Yang, Shilong; Lai, Ren

    2015-01-01

    Venomous animals have evolved with sophisticated bio-chemical strategies to arrest prey and defend themselves from natural predators. In recent years, peptide toxins from venomous animals have drawn considerable attention from researchers due to their surprising chemical, biochemical, and pharmacological diversity. Similar to other venomous animals, centipedes are one of the crucial venomous arthropods that have been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years in China. Despite signifying pharmacological importance, very little is known about the active components of centipede venoms. More than 500 peptide sequences have been reported in centipede venomous glands by transcriptome analysis, but only a small number of peptide toxins from centipede has been functionally described. Like other venomous animals such as snakes, scorpions, and spiders, the venom of centipedes could be an excellent source of peptides for developing drugs for treatments as well as bio-insecticides for agrochemical applications. Although centipede venoms are yet to be adequately studied, the venom of centipedes as well as their components described to date, should be compiled to help further research. Therefore, based on previous reports, this review focusses on findings and possible therapeutic applications of centipede venoms as well as their components. PMID:26593947

  7. Behavior, Ecology and Toxicity of Venomous Marine Fishes.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1977-12-31

    u ltrastructure of the venom apparatus of the stingrays and scorpion fishes ’~~nd~ .. I# )”the chemistry and pharmacolo~~~~~~M~~ ~~~~~~ o of stingray

  8. 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.

  9. Antitoxin activity of plants used in Mexican traditional medicine against scorpion poisoning.

    PubMed

    Jiménez-Ferrer, J E; Pérez-Terán, Y Y; Román-Ramos, R; Tortoriello, J

    2005-01-01

    Scorpions, especially in urban areas of tropical and subtropical regions, present a common risk of poisoning. In Mexico, scorpion envenomation is considered a public health problem. Despite the frequency of scorpion sting cases, there are to date no uniform criteria for their treatment. In Mexican traditional medicine, different plant species have been widely used as a remedy for treating scorpion poisoning. The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of Bouvardia ternifolia, Aristolochia elegans and Vitex mollis extracts on Centruroides limpidus limpidus venom lethality in mice, and to determine their antagonist activity on guinea pig ileum. The hexane and methanol extract from B. ternifolia modified the LD50 of C. limpidus limpidus venom from 0.750 +/- 0.08 to 1.64 +/- 0.19 and 1.16 +/- 0.14 mg/kg, respectively. The extracts of A. elegans produced lower antitoxic activity, while extracts of V. mollis did not show any protection. On in vitro test, addition of B. ternifolia and A. elegans extracts strongly inhibited, in a concentration-dependent manner, the ileum contractions induced by venom. In general, the results demonstrated the effectiveness of these two plant species in modifying the lethality of C. limpidus limpidus venom in mice.

  10. Scorpion sheds 'tail' to escape: consequences and implications of autotomy in scorpions (Buthidae: Ananteris).

    PubMed

    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.

  11. A checklist of the scorpions of Ecuador (Arachnida: Scorpiones), with notes on the distribution and medical significance of some species.

    PubMed

    Brito, Gabriel; Borges, Adolfo

    2015-01-01

    Ecuador harbors one of the most diverse Neotropical scorpion faunas, hereby updated to 47 species contained within eight genera and five families, which inhabits the "Costa" (n = 17), "Sierra" (n = 34), "Oriente" (n = 16) and "Insular" (n = 2) biogeographical regions, corresponding to the western coastal, Andean, Amazonian, and the Galápagos archipelago regions, respectively. The genus Tityus Koch, in the family Buthidae, responsible for severe/fatal accidents elsewhere in northern South America and the Amazonia, is represented in Ecuador by 16 species, including T. asthenes, which has caused fatalities in Colombia and Panama, and now in the Ecuadorian provinces of Morona Santiago and Sucumbíos. Underestimation of the medical significance of scorpion envenoming in Ecuador arises from the fact that Centruroides margaritatus (Gervais) (family Buthidae) and Teuthraustes atramentarius Simon (family Chactidae), whose venoms show low toxicity towards vertebrates, frequently envenom humans in the highly populated Guayas and Pichincha provinces. This work also updates the local scorpion faunal endemicity (74.5 %) and its geographical distribution, and reviews available medical/biochemical information on each species in the light of the increasing problem of scorpionism in the country. A proposal is hereby put forward to classify the Ecuadorian scorpions based on their potential medical importance.

  12. Inactivation of complement by Loxosceles reclusa spider venom.

    PubMed

    Gebel, H M; Finke, J H; Elgert, K D; Cambell, B J; Barrett, J T

    1979-07-01

    Zymosan depletion of serum complement in guinea pigs rendered them highly resistant to lesion by Loxosceles reclusa spider venom. Guinea pigs deficient in C4 of the complement system are as sensitive to the venom as normal guinea pigs. The injection of 35 micrograms of whole recluse venom intradermally into guinea pigs lowered their complement level by 35.7%. Brown recluse spider venom in concentrations as slight as 0.02 micrograms protein/ml can totally inactivate one CH50 of guinea pig complement in vitro. Bee, scorpion, and other spider venoms had no influence on the hemolytic titer of complement. Fractionation of recluse spider venom by Sephadex G-200 filtration separated the complement-inactivating property of the venom into three major regions which could be distinguished on the basis of heat stability as well as size. None was neutralized by antivenom. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of venom resolved the complement inactivators into five fractions. Complement inactivated by whole venom or the Sephadex fractions could be restored to hemolytic activity by supplements of fresh serum but not by heat-inactivated serum, pure C3, pure C5, or C3 and C5 in combination.

  13. Chemical Punch Packed in Venoms Makes Centipedes Excellent Predators*

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Shilong; Liu, Zhonghua; Xiao, Yao; Li, Yuan; Rong, Mingqiang; Liang, Songping; Zhang, Zhiye; Yu, Haining; King, Glenn F.; Lai, Ren

    2012-01-01

    Centipedes are excellent predatory arthropods that inject venom to kill or immobilize their prey. Although centipedes have long been known to be venomous, their venoms remain largely unexplored. The chemical components responsible for centipede predation and the functional mechanisms are unknown. Twenty-six neurotoxin-like peptides belonging to ten groups were identified from the centipede venoms, Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans L. Koch by peptidomics combined with transcriptome analysis, revealing the diversity of neurotoxins. These neurotoxins each contain two to four intramolecular disulfide bridges, and in most cases the disulfide framework is different from that found in neurotoxins from the venoms of spiders, scorpions, marine cone snails, sea anemones, and snakes (5S animals). Several neurotoxins contain potential insecticidal abilities, and they are found to act on voltage-gated sodium, potassium, and calcium channels, respectively. Although these neurotoxins are functionally similar to the disulfide-rich neurotoxins found in the venoms of 5S animals in that they modulate the activity of voltage-gated ion channels, in almost all cases the primary structures of the centipede venom peptides are unique. This represents an interesting case of convergent evolution in which different venomous animals have evolved different molecular strategies for targeting the same ion channels in prey and predators. Moreover, the high level of biochemical diversity revealed in this study suggests that centipede venoms might be attractive subjects for prospecting and screening for peptide candidates with potential pharmaceutical or agrochemical applications. PMID:22595790

  14. Animal Venoms as a Source of Natural Antimicrobials: An overview.

    PubMed

    Perumal Samy, Ramar; Stiles, Bradley G; Franco, Octavio L; Sethi, Gautam; Lim, Lina Hk

    2017-03-10

    Hospitals are breeding grounds for many life-threatening bacteria worldwide. Clinically associated gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus/methicillin-resistant S. aureus and many others increase the risk of severe mortality and morbidity. The failure of antibiotics to kill various pathogens due to bacterial resistance highlights the urgent need to develop novel, potent, and less toxic agents from natural sources against various infectious agents. Currently, several promising classes of natural molecules from snake (terrestrial and sea), scorpion, spider, honey bee and wasp venoms hold promise as rich sources of chemotherapeutics against infectious pathogens. Interestingly, snake venom-derived synthetic peptide/snake cathelicidin is not only has potent antimicrobial and wound-repair activity but is highly stable and safe. Such molecules are promising candidates for novel venom-based drugs against S. aureus infections. The structure of animal venom proteins/peptides (cysteine rich) consists of hydrophobic α-helices or β-sheets that produce lethal pores and membrane-damaging effects on bacteria. All these antimicrobial peptides are under early experimental or pre-clinical stages of development. It is therefore important to employ novel tools for the design and the development of new antibiotics from the untapped animal venoms of snake, scorpion, and spider for treating resistant pathogens. To date, snail venom toxins have shown little antibiotic potency against human pathogens.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Animal venom studies: Current benefits and future developments

    PubMed Central

    Utkin, Yuri N

    2015-01-01

    Poisonous organisms are represented in many taxa, including kingdom Animalia. During evolution, animals have developed special organs for production and injection of venoms. Animal venoms are complex mixtures, compositions of which depend on species producing venom. The most known and studied poisonous terrestrial animals are snakes, scorpions and spiders. Among marine animals, these are jellyfishes, anemones and cone snails. The toxic substances in the venom of these animals are mainly of protein and peptide origin. Recent studies have indicated that the single venom may contain up to several hundred different components producing diverse physiological effects. Bites or stings by certain poisonous species result in severe envenomations leading in some cases to death. This raises the problem of bite treatment. The most effective treatment so far is the application of antivenoms. To enhance the effectiveness of such treatments, the knowledge of venom composition is needed. On the other hand, venoms contain substances with unique biological properties, which can be used both in basic science and in clinical applications. The best example of toxin application in basic science is α-bungarotoxin the discovery of which made a big impact on the studies of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Today compositions of venom from many species have already been examined. Based on these data, one can conclude that venoms contain a large number of individual components belonging to a limited number of structural types. Often minor changes in the amino acid sequence give rise to new biological properties. Change in the living conditions of poisonous animals lead to alterations in the composition of venoms resulting in appearance of new toxins. At the same time introduction of new methods of proteomics and genomics lead to discoveries of new compounds, which may serve as research tools or as templates for the development of novel drugs. The application of these sensitive and

  20. Animal venom studies: Current benefits and future developments.

    PubMed

    Utkin, Yuri N

    2015-05-26

    Poisonous organisms are represented in many taxa, including kingdom Animalia. During evolution, animals have developed special organs for production and injection of venoms. Animal venoms are complex mixtures, compositions of which depend on species producing venom. The most known and studied poisonous terrestrial animals are snakes, scorpions and spiders. Among marine animals, these are jellyfishes, anemones and cone snails. The toxic substances in the venom of these animals are mainly of protein and peptide origin. Recent studies have indicated that the single venom may contain up to several hundred different components producing diverse physiological effects. Bites or stings by certain poisonous species result in severe envenomations leading in some cases to death. This raises the problem of bite treatment. The most effective treatment so far is the application of antivenoms. To enhance the effectiveness of such treatments, the knowledge of venom composition is needed. On the other hand, venoms contain substances with unique biological properties, which can be used both in basic science and in clinical applications. The best example of toxin application in basic science is α-bungarotoxin the discovery of which made a big impact on the studies of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Today compositions of venom from many species have already been examined. Based on these data, one can conclude that venoms contain a large number of individual components belonging to a limited number of structural types. Often minor changes in the amino acid sequence give rise to new biological properties. Change in the living conditions of poisonous animals lead to alterations in the composition of venoms resulting in appearance of new toxins. At the same time introduction of new methods of proteomics and genomics lead to discoveries of new compounds, which may serve as research tools or as templates for the development of novel drugs. The application of these sensitive and

  1. Modern trends in animal venom research - omics and nanomaterials

    PubMed Central

    Utkin, Yuri N

    2017-01-01

    Animal venom research is a specialized investigation field, in which a number of different methods are used and this array is constantly expanding. Thus, recently emerged omics and nanotechnologies have already been successfully applied to venom research. Animal venoms have been studied for quite a long time. The traditional reductionist approach has been to isolate individual toxins and then study their structure and function. Unfortunately, the characterization of the venom as a whole system and its multiple effects on an entire organism were not possible until recent times. The development of new methods in mass spectrometry and sequencing have allowed such characterizations of venom, encompassing the identification of new toxins present in venoms at extremely low concentrations to changes in metabolism of prey organisms after envenomation. In particular, this type of comprehensive research has become possible due to the development of the various omics technologies: Proteomics, peptidomics, transcriptomics, genomics and metabolomics. As in other research fields, these omics technologies ushered in a revolution for venom studies, which is now entering the era of big data. Nanotechnology is a very new branch of technology and developing at an extremely rapid pace. It has found application in many spheres and has not bypassed the venom studies. Nanomaterials are quite promising in medicine, and most studies combining venoms and nanomaterials are dedicated to medical applications. Conjugates of nanoparticles with venom components have been proposed for use as drugs or diagnostics. For example, nanoparticles conjugated with chlorotoxin - a toxin in scorpion venom, which has been shown to bind specifically to glioma cells - are considered as potential glioma-targeted drugs, and conjugates of neurotoxins with fluorescent semiconductor nanoparticles or quantum dots may be used to detect endogenous targets expressed in live cells. The data on application of omics and

  2. 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).

  3. [Quod medicina aliis, aliis est acre venenum**--venoms as a source of anticancer agents].

    PubMed

    Kucińska, Małgorzata; Ruciński, Piotr; Murias, Marek

    2013-01-01

    Natural product derived from plants and animals were used in folk medicine for centuries. The venoms produced by animals for hunting of self-defence are rich in bioactive compounds with broad spectrum of biological activity. The papers presents the most promising compounds isolated from venoms of snakes, scorpions and toads. For these compounds both: mechanism of anticancer activity as well as possibilities of clinical use are presented.

  4. A novel human recombinant antibody fragment capable of neutralizing Mexican scorpion toxins.

    PubMed

    Riaño-Umbarila, Lidia; Olamendi-Portugal, Timoteo; Morelos-Juárez, Citlalli; Gurrola, Georgina B; Possani, Lourival D; Becerril, Baltazar

    2013-12-15

    Using phage display and directed evolution, our group has progressed in the construction of a second family of human single chain variable fragments (scFv) which bind to scorpion toxins dangerous to mammals. It was observed that scFv C1 only bound initially to toxin Cn2, which constitutes 6.8% of whole venom from the scorpion Centruroides noxius Hoffman. Only a few amino acid changes were necessary to extend its recognition to other similar toxins and without affecting the recognition for its primary antigen (Cn2 toxin). One variant of scFv C1 (scFv 202F) was selected after two cycles of directed evolution against Cll1 toxin, the second major toxic component from the venom of the Mexican scorpion Centruroides limpidus limpidus Karsh (0.5% of the whole venom). scFv 202F is also capable of recognizing Cn2 toxin. Despite not having the highest affinity for toxins Cll1 (KD = 25.1 × 10(-9) M) or Cn2 (KD = 8.1 × 10(-9) M), this antibody fragment neutralized one LD50 of each one of these toxins. Additionally, scFv 202F moderately recognized Cll2 toxin which constitutes 1.5% of the venom from C. limpidus. Based on our previous experience, we consider that these results are promising; consequently, we continue working on generating new optimized variants from scFv C1 that could be part of a recombinant scorpion anti-venom from human origin, that might reach the market in the near future.

  5. A chimeric scorpion alpha-toxin displays de novo electrophysiological properties similar to those of alpha-like toxins.

    PubMed

    Bouhaouala-Zahar, Balkiss; Benkhalifa, Rym; Srairi, Najet; Zenouaki, Ilhem; Ligny-Lemaire, Caroline; Drevet, Pascal; Sampieri, François; Pelhate, Marcel; El Ayeb, Mohamed; Ménez, André; Karoui, Habib; Ducancel, Frédéric

    2002-06-01

    BotXIV and LqhalphaIT are two structurally related long chain scorpion alpha-toxins that inhibit sodium current inactivation in excitable cells. However, while LqhalphaIT from Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus is classified as a true and strong insect alpha-toxin, BotXIV from Buthus occitanus tunetanus is characterized by moderate biological activities. To assess the possibility that structural differences between these two molecules could reflect the localization of particular functional topographies, we compared their sequences. Three structurally deviating segments located in three distinct and exposed loops were identified. They correspond to residues 8-10, 19-22, and 38-43. To evaluate their functional role, three BotXIV/LqhalphaIT chimeras were designed by transferring the corresponding LqhalphaIT sequences into BotXIV. Structural and antigenic characterizations of the resulting recombinant chimera show that BotXIV can accommodate the imposed modifications, confirming the structural flexibility of that particular alpha/beta fold. Interestingly, substitution of residues 8-10 yields to a new electrophysiological profile of the corresponding variant, partially comparable to that one of alpha-like scorpion toxins. Taken together, these results suggest that even limited structural deviations can reflect functional diversity, and also that the structure-function relationships between insect alpha-toxins and alpha-like scorpion toxins are probably more complex than expected.

  6. Venom lethality and diet: differential responses of natural prey and model organisms to the venom of the saw-scaled vipers (Echis).

    PubMed

    Richards, D P; Barlow, A; Wüster, W

    2012-01-01

    The composition of snake venoms shows a high degree of variation at all taxonomic levels, and natural selection for diet has been implicated as a potential cause. Saw-scaled vipers (Echis) provide a good model for studying this phenomenon. The venoms of arthropod feeding species of Echis are significantly more toxic to natural scorpion prey than those of species which feed predominantly upon vertebrate prey. Although testing venom activity on natural prey is important for our understanding of the evolution of venom, natural prey species are often difficult to obtain in sufficient numbers for toxinological work. In order to test the viability of using cheaper and more easily available model organisms for toxicity assessments in evolutionary research, and the extent to which toxicity of arthropod-eating Echis venoms is increased to arthropods in general or targeted to certain groups, we conducted median lethal dosage (LD(50)) and time to death trials using the desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria) as a model arthropod, rarely consumed by wild Echis. The venoms of arthropod specialist Echis were found to be significantly more toxic to locusts than the venom of a vertebrate feeding outgroup (Bitis arietans), and one arthropod specialist venom was found to be more toxic than those species which feed upon arthropods infrequently or not at all. The venoms of arthropod specialists were also found to cause death and incapacitation faster than the vertebrate feeding outgroup. Despite some similarity of trends, there are considerable differences between the response of natural prey (scorpions) and a model arthropod (locust) to the venoms of Echis species. This suggests that when possible, natural prey rather than convenient model organisms should be used to gain an understanding of the functional significance of variation in venom composition in snakes.

  7. A New Assay for the Detection of Loxosceles Species (Brown Recluse) Spider Venom

    PubMed Central

    Gomez, Hernan F.; Krywko, Diann M.; Stoecker, William V.

    2011-01-01

    Study objective Dermal lesions from unrelated arthropod species and medical causes appear similar to Loxosceles species (brown recluse spider) bites. This may result in delayed diagnosis and treatment. We developed a sensitive Loxosceles species venom enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and characterized the specificity of the assay by evaluating antigenic cross-reactivity from a variety of North American arthropod venoms. Methods North American arthropod (14 spiders, 2 scorpions, and 1 bee) venoms were studied. Three venom amounts (diluted in 100 μL of ELISA buffer) were assayed: 16,000 ng, 2,000 ng, and 40 ng. The latter quantity was selected because this is the observed maximum amount of venom we detect when inoculating dermis with amounts likely to be deposited by a spider bite. The larger venom amounts are overwhelming quantities designed to test the limits of the assay for arthropod venom cross-reactivity. Similar amounts of Loxosceles species venom and bovine albumin served as positive and negative controls, respectively. Results At the lowest amount of venom tested (40 ng), the ELISA detected only the Loxosceles species positive control. When 2,000 ng was assayed, only Scytodes fusca and Kukulcania hibernalis arachnid venoms (in addition to Loxosceles species) cross-reacted to the assay. Finally, at 16,000 ng, the ELISA assay modestly detected Diguetia canities, Heteropoda venatoria, Tegenaria agrestis, Plectreurys tristes, Dolomedes tenebrosus, and Hadrurus arizonensis arachnid venoms. Conclusion Cross-reactivity was observed in 8 of 17 North American arthropod venoms when large venom amounts were assayed with a Loxosceles species ELISA. By using a relevant quantity of venom, 40 ng, the assay was specific for Loxosceles species venom. The venom specificity of the ELISA may allow clinical application in Loxosceles species endemic regions of North America. PMID:11973553

  8. Computational Studies of Venom Peptides Targeting Potassium Channels

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Rong; Chung, Shin-Ho

    2015-01-01

    Small peptides isolated from the venom of animals are potential scaffolds for ion channel drug discovery. This review article mainly focuses on the computational studies that have advanced our understanding of how various toxins interfere with the function of K+ channels. We introduce the computational tools available for the study of toxin-channel interactions. We then discuss how these computational tools have been fruitfully applied to elucidate the mechanisms of action of a wide range of venom peptides from scorpions, spiders, and sea anemone. PMID:26633507

  9. Cloning and characterization of a novel calcium channel toxin-like gene BmCa1 from Chinese scorpion Mesobuthus martensii Karsch.

    PubMed

    Zhijian, Cao; Yun, Xie; Chao, Dai; Shunyi, Zhu; Shijin, Yin; Yingliang, Wu; Wenxin, Li

    2006-06-01

    Many studies have been carried on peptides and genes encoding scorpion toxins from the venom of Mesobuthus martensii Karsch (synonym: Buthus martensii Karsch, BmK), such as Na+, K+ and Cl- channel modulators. In this study, a novel calcium channel toxin-like gene BmCa1 was isolated and characterized from the venom of Mesobuthus martensii Karsch. First, a partial cDNA sequence of the Ca2+ channel toxin-like gene was identified by random sequencing method from a venomous gland cDNA library of Mesobuthus martensii Karsch. The full-length sequence of BmCa1 was then obtained by 5'RACE technique. The peptide deduced from BmCa1 precursor nucleotide sequence contains a 27-residue signal peptide and a 37-residue mature peptide. Although BmCa1 and other scorpion toxins are different at the gene and protein primary structure levels, BmCa1 has the same precursor nucleotide organization and cysteine arrangement as that of the first subfamily members of calcium channel scorpion toxins. Genomic DNA sequence of BmCa1 was also cloned by PCR. Sequence analysis showed that BmCa1 gene consists of three exons separated by two introns of 72 bp and 1076 bp in length, respectively. BmCa1 is the first calcium channel toxin-like gene cloned from the venom of Mesobuthus martensii Karsch and potentially represents a novel class of calcium channel toxins in scorpion venoms.

  10. 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.

  11. Electrophysiological Characterization of the Antarease Metalloprotease from Tityus serrulatus Venom

    PubMed Central

    Zornetta, Irene; Scorzeto, Michele; Mendes Dos Reis, Pablo Victor; De Lima, Maria E.; Montecucco, Cesare; Megighian, Aram; Rossetto, Ornella

    2017-01-01

    Scorpions are among the oldest venomous living organisms and the family Buthidae is the largest and most medically relevant one. Scorpion venoms include many toxic peptides, but recently, a metalloprotease from Tityus serrulatus called antarease was reported to be capable of cleaving VAMP2, a protein involved in the neuroparalytic syndromes of tetanus and botulism. We have produced antarease and an inactive metalloprotease mutant in a recombinant form and analyzed their enzymatic activity on recombinant VAMP2 in vitro and on mammalian and insect neuromuscular junction. The purified recombinant antarease paralyzed the neuromuscular junctions of mice and of Drosophila melanogaster whilst the mutant was inactive. We were unable to demonstrate any cleavage of VAMP2 under conditions which leads to VAMP proteolysis by botulinum neurotoxin type B. Antarease caused a reduced release probability, mainly due to defects upstream of the synaptic vesicles fusion process. Paired pulse experiments indicate that antarease might proteolytically inactivate a voltage-gated calcium channel. PMID:28264432

  12. 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

  13. Neurotoxic and Cytotoxic Effects of Venom from Different Populations of the Egyptian Scorpio Maurus Palmatus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Neurotoxic and cytotoxic effects of venoms from Scorpio maurus palmatus taken from different populations were assessed for geographic based variability in toxicity and to evaluate their insecticidal potency. Scorpions were collected from four regions. Three locations were mutually isolated pockets i...

  14. A K⁺ channel blocking peptide from the Cuban scorpion Rhopalurus garridoi.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Ravelo, Rodolfo; Restano-Cassulini, Rita; Zamudio, Fernando Z; Coronas, Fredy I V; Espinosa-López, Georgina; Possani, Lourival D

    2014-03-01

    A proteomic analysis of the venom obtained from the Cuban scorpion Rhopalurus garridoi was performed. Venom was obtained by electrical stimulation, separated by high performance liquid chromatography, and the molecular masses of their 50 protein components were identified by mass spectrometry. A peptide of 3940 Da molecular mass was obtained in pure form and its primary structure determined. It contains 37 amino acid residues, including three disulfide bridges. Electrophysiological experiments showed that this peptide is capable of blocking reversibly K(+)-channels hKv1.1 with a Kd close to 1 μM, but is not effective against hKv1.4, hERG1 and EAG currents, at the same concentration. This is the first protein component ever isolated from this species of scorpion and was assigned the systematic number α-KTx 2.14.

  15. Preparation of a polyvalent antivenom against various Mexican scorpion Centruroides species.

    PubMed

    Garcia y Perez, G; Martin, M F; Rochat, H

    1988-01-01

    Antisera were obtained from rabbits injected with four different immunogens from the Mexican scorpion Centruroides suffusus suffusus i.e. the crude venom, a telson extract, a toxic fraction obtained from this telson extract by gel filtration and the same toxic fraction subjected to acetylation. The neutralizing capacity of these antisera are compared: it appears that a telson extract can be used instead of the crude venom to produce an efficient antiserum. The immunological properties of ground telsons obtained from three other species of the Mexican scorpion Centruroides (Centruroides noxius, Centruroides limpidus limpidus, Centruroides limpidus tecomanus) are studied with the antisera raised against Centruroides suffusus suffusus immunogens: an almost total cross-neutralization is observed.

  16. 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

  17. Effects of Animal Venoms and Toxins on Hallmarks of Cancer.

    PubMed

    Chaisakul, Janeyuth; Hodgson, Wayne C; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Prasongsook, Naiyarat

    2016-01-01

    Animal venoms are a cocktail of proteins and peptides, targeting vital physiological processes. Venoms have evolved to assist in the capture and digestion of prey. Key venom components often include neurotoxins, myotoxins, cardiotoxins, hematoxins and catalytic enzymes. The pharmacological activities of venom components have been investigated as a source of potential therapeutic agents. Interestingly, a number of animal toxins display profound anticancer effects. These include toxins purified from snake, bee and scorpion venoms effecting cancer cell proliferation, migration, invasion, apoptotic activity and neovascularization. Indeed, the mechanism behind the anticancer effect of certain toxins is similar to that of agents currently used in chemotherapy. For example, Lebein is a snake venom disintegrin which generates anti-angiogenic effects by inhibiting vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF). In this review article, we highlight the biological activities of animal toxins on the multiple steps of tumour formation or hallmarks of cancer. We also discuss recent progress in the discovery of lead compounds for anticancer drug development from venom components.

  18. Effects of Animal Venoms and Toxins on Hallmarks of Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Chaisakul, Janeyuth; Hodgson, Wayne C.; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Prasongsook, Naiyarat

    2016-01-01

    Animal venoms are a cocktail of proteins and peptides, targeting vital physiological processes. Venoms have evolved to assist in the capture and digestion of prey. Key venom components often include neurotoxins, myotoxins, cardiotoxins, hematoxins and catalytic enzymes. The pharmacological activities of venom components have been investigated as a source of potential therapeutic agents. Interestingly, a number of animal toxins display profound anticancer effects. These include toxins purified from snake, bee and scorpion venoms effecting cancer cell proliferation, migration, invasion, apoptotic activity and neovascularization. Indeed, the mechanism behind the anticancer effect of certain toxins is similar to that of agents currently used in chemotherapy. For example, Lebein is a snake venom disintegrin which generates anti-angiogenic effects by inhibiting vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF). In this review article, we highlight the biological activities of animal toxins on the multiple steps of tumour formation or hallmarks of cancer. We also discuss recent progress in the discovery of lead compounds for anticancer drug development from venom components. PMID:27471574

  19. Androctonus australis hector venom contributes to the interaction between neuropeptides and mast cells in pulmonary hyperresponsiveness.

    PubMed

    Chaïr-Yousfi, Imène; Laraba-Djebari, Fatima; Hammoudi-Triki, Djelila

    2015-03-01

    Lung injury and respiratory distress syndrome are frequent symptoms observed in the most severe cases of scorpion envenomation. The uncontrolled transmigration of leukocyte cells into the lung interstitium and alveolar space and pulmonary edema may be the cause of death. Mast cells can release various inflammatory mediators known to be involved in the development of lung edema following scorpion venom injection. The present study was designed to determine the evidence of neurokinin 1 (NK1) receptor and the involvement of mast cell activation to induce pulmonary edema and to increase vascular permeability after Androctonus australis hector (Aah) venom administration. To this end, mast cells were depleted using compound 48/80 (C48/80). Furthermore, the involvement of tachykinin NK1 receptors expressed on mast cell membranes was elucidated by their blocking with an antagonist. On the other hand, the ability of Aah venom to increase vascular permeability and to induce edema was also assessed by measuring the amount of Evans blue dye (EBD) extravasation in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid and in the lungs of mice. Pulmonary edema, as assessed by the levels of EBD extravasation, was completely inhibited in compound 48/80-treated animals. Depletion by stimuli non-immunological C48/80 component markedly reduced induced inflammatory response following the venom administration. The mast cells seem to play an important role in the development of lung injury and the increase of vascular permeability in mice following the subcutaneous administration of Aah scorpion venom through the NK1 receptor.

  20. Recruitment and diversification of an ecdysozoan family of neuropeptide hormones for black widow spider venom expression

    PubMed Central

    McCowan, Caryn; Garb, Jessica E.

    2014-01-01

    Venoms have attracted enormous attention because of their potent physiological effects and dynamic evolution, including the convergent recruitment of homologous genes for venom expression. Here we provide novel evidence for the recruitment of genes from the Crustacean Hyperglycemic Hormone (CHH) and arthropod Ion Transport Peptide (ITP) superfamily for venom expression in black widow spiders. We characterized latrodectin peptides from venom gland cDNAs from the Western black widow spider (Latrodectus hesperus), the brown widow (L. geometricus) and cupboard spider (Steatoda grossa). Phylogenetic analyses of these sequences with homologs from other spider, scorpion and wasp venom cDNAs, as well as CHH/ITP neuropeptides, show latrodectins as derived members of the CHH/ITP superfamily. These analyses suggest that CHH/ITP homologs are more widespread in spider venoms, and were recruited for venom expression in two additional arthropod lineages. We also found that the latrodectin 2 gene and nearly all CHH/ITP genes include a phase 2 intron in the same position, supporting latrodectin’s placement within the CHH/ITP superfamily. Evolutionary analyses of latrodectins suggest episodes of positive selection along some sequence lineages, and positive and purifying selection on specific codons, supporting its functional importance in widow venom. We consider how this improved understanding of latrodectin evolution informs functional hypotheses regarding its role in black widow venom as well as its potential convergent recruitment for venom expression across arthropods. PMID:24316130

  1. 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.

  2. Three new antimicrobial peptides from the scorpion Pandinus imperator.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Xian-Chun; Zhou, Lingli; Shi, Wanxia; Luo, Xuesong; Zhang, Lei; Nie, Yao; Wang, Jinwei; Wu, Shifen; Cao, Bin; Cao, Hanjun

    2013-07-01

    Three novel cysteine-free venom peptides, which were referred to as Pantinin-1, Pantinin-2 and Pantinin-3, respectively, have been identified from the scorpion Pandinus imperator by cDNA cloning strategy. The precursor of each peptide consists of a signal peptide, a mature peptide with no disulfide bridges, and an acidic propeptide with a typical processing signal. Each of the three peptides is an α-helical, cationic and amphipathic molecule with 13 or 14 amino acid residues. Their amino acid sequences are homologous to those of some 13-mer antimicrobial peptides isolated from scorpions. Antimicrobial assay showed that all the three peptides possess relatively strong activities against Gram-positive bacteria and a fungus, but have very weak antimicrobial activities against Gram-negative bacteria. Toxicity assay showed that the three peptides exhibit very low or mild hemolytic activities against human red blood cells. It is interesting to see that Pantinin-3 is able to potently inhibit the growth of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) S13, a pathogen that can cause a number of human infections; this suggests that Pantinin-3 has great potential to be applied in the treatment of VRE infections. Our findings gain new insights into the structure/function relationships of the small linear cationic antimicrobial peptides from scorpions, and provide new templates for designing of antimicrobial agents targeting antibiotic-resistant pathogenic bacteria.

  3. Insights into Antimicrobial Peptides from Spiders and Scorpions

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiuqing; Wang, Guangshun

    2015-01-01

    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

  4. 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.

  5. A Combinational Strategy upon RNA Sequencing and Peptidomics Unravels a Set of Novel Toxin Peptides in Scorpion Mesobuthus martensii

    PubMed Central

    Luan, Ning; Shen, Wang; Liu, Jie; Wen, Bo; Lin, Zhilong; Yang, Shilong; Lai, Ren; Liu, Siqi; Rong, Mingqiang

    2016-01-01

    Scorpion venom is deemed to contain many toxic peptides as an important source of natural compounds. Out of the two hundred proteins identified in Mesobuthus martensii (M. martensii), only a few peptide toxins have been found so far. Herein, a combinational approach based upon RNA sequencing and Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC MS/MS) was employed to explore the venom peptides in M. martensii. A total of 153 proteins were identified from the scorpion venom, 26 previously known and 127 newly identified. Of the novel toxins, 97 proteins exhibited sequence similarities to known toxins, and 30 were never reported. Combining peptidomic and transcriptomic analyses, the peptide sequence of BmKKx1 was reannotated and four disulfide bridges were confirmed within it. In light of the comparison of conservation and variety of toxin amino acid sequences, highly conserved and variable regions were perceived in 24 toxins that were parts of two sodium channel and two potassium channel toxins families. Taking all of this evidences together, the peptidomic analysis on M. martensii indeed identified numerous novel scorpion peptides, expanded our knowledge towards the venom diversity, and afforded a set of pharmaceutical candidates. PMID:27782050

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-07

    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: .

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1996-01-01

    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

  10. Pediatric electrocardiograph abnormalities following Centruroides limpidus tecomanus scorpion envenomation.

    PubMed

    Diaz, P; Chowell, G; Ceja, G; D'Auria, T C; Lloyd, R C; Castillo-Chavez, C

    2005-01-01

    Scorpionism is an endemic public health problem in Mexico [Hoffmann, C.C., 1936. La distribucion geografica de los alacranes peligrosos en la Republica Mexicana. Bol. Inst. Hygiene Mex. 2, 321; Hoffmann, C.C., Nieto, D.R., 1939. Segunda contribucion al conocimiento de los alacranes mexicanos. Anal. Inst. Biol. 10, 83-92; Mazzoti, L., Bravo-Becherelle, M.A., 1963. Scorpionism in the Mexican Republic. In: Keegan, H.L., McFarlane, W.V. (Eds.), Venomous and Poissonous Animals and Noxious Plants of the Pacific Area. Pergamon Press, London, pp. 119-131; Monroy-Velasco, J., 1961. Alacranes venenosos de Mexico. Rev. Mex. Cien. Med. Biol., Mex. 1, 1-23; Diaz-Najera, A., 1975. Listas y datos de distribucion geografica de los alacranes de Mexico. Rev. Inv. Salud. Publica. (Mex.) 35, 1; Velasco-Castrejon, O., Lara-Aguilera, R., Alatorre, H., 1976. Aspectos epidemiologicos y clinicos de la picadura de alacran en una area hiperendemica. Rev. Inv. Salud Publica. (Mex.) 36, 93-103; Dehesa-Davila, M., Possani, L.D., 1994. Scorpionism and serotherapy in Mexico. Toxicon 32 (9), 1015-1018]. In this prospective study, we assess cardiovascular disorders in children via electrocardiographic (ECG) recordings following envenomation by scorpion species Centruroides limpidus tecomanus found in the state of Colima, Mexico. We analyzed 113 cases between the ages of 5 and 14 years. Among the most frequent symptoms presented included local pain (99.1%) and paresthesia (75.2%), pruritus (36.3%), sialorrhoea (35.4%), and nystagmus (24.8%). Cardiovascular disorders were observed in 39.8% of cases, 71% of which were rhythm abnormalities. We find a significant association between the frequency of ECG alterations and age, whereby 8-9-year-old children are more likely to experience ECG alterations when compared with other tested age groups.

  11. Design and expression of recombinant toxins from Mexican scorpions of the genus Centruroides for production of antivenoms.

    PubMed

    Jiménez-Vargas, J M; Quintero-Hernández, V; González-Morales, L; Ortiz, E; Possani, L D

    2017-03-15

    This manuscript describes the design of plasmids containing the genes coding for four main mammalian toxins of scorpions from the genus Centruroides (C.) of Mexico. The genes that code for toxin 2 of C. noxius (Cn2), toxin 2 from C. suffusus (Css2) and toxins 1 and 2 from C. limpidus (Cll1 and Cll2) were included into individual plasmids carrying the genetic construction for expression of fusion proteins containing a leader peptide (pelB) that directs the expressed protein to the bacterial periplasm, a carrier protein (thioredoxin), the cleavage site for enterokinase, the chosen toxin and a poly-histidine tag (6xHis-tag) for purification of the hybrid protein by immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography after expression in Escherichia coli strain BL21 (DE3). The purified hybrid proteins containing the recombinant toxins (abbreviated Thio-EK-Toxin) were used for immunization of three independent groups of ten mice and four rabbits. Challenging the first group of mice, immunized with recombinant Thio-EK-Css2, with three median lethal doses (LD50) of C. suffusus soluble venom resulted in the survival of all the test animals without showing intoxication symptoms. All control mice (none immunized) died. Similar results were obtained with mice previously immunized with Thio-EK-Cn2 and challenged with C. noxius venom. The third group of mice immunized with both Thio-EK-Cll1 and Thio-EK-Cll2 showed an 80% survival ratio when challenged with only one LD50 of C. limpidus venom, all showing symptoms of intoxication. The sera from rabbits immunized with a combination of the four recombinant toxins were collected separately and used to assess their neutralization capacity in vitro (pre-incubating the serum with the respective scorpion venom and injecting the mixture into mice), using six mice for each serum/venom combination tested. The venoms from the six most dangerous scorpion species of Mexico were assayed: C. noxius, C. suffusus, C. limpidus, C. elegans, C

  12. BjalphaIT: a novel scorpion alpha-toxin selective for insects--unique pharmacological tool.

    PubMed

    Arnon, Tal; Potikha, Tamara; Sher, Daniel; Elazar, Menashe; Mao, Wenfu; Tal, Tzachy; Bosmans, Frank; Tytgat, Jan; Ben-Arie, Nissim; Zlotkin, Eliahu

    2005-03-01

    Long-chain neurotoxins derived from the venom of the Buthidae scorpions, which affect voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) can be subdivided according to their toxicity to insects into insect-selective excitatory and depressant toxins (beta-toxins) and the alpha-like toxins which affect both mammals and insects. In the present study by the aid of reverse-phase HPLC column chromatography, RT-PCR, cloning and various toxicity assays, a new insect selective toxin designated as BjalphaIT was isolated from the venom of the Judean Black Scorpion (Buthotus judaicus), and its full primary sequence was determined: MNYLVVICFALLLMTVVESGRDAYIADNLNCAYTCGSNSYCNTECTKNGAVSGYCQWLGKYGNACWCINLPDKVPIRIPGACR (leader sequence is underlined). Despite its lack of toxicity to mammals and potent toxicity to insects, BjalphaIT reveals an amino acid sequence and an inferred spatial arrangement that is characteristic of the well-known scorpion alpha-toxins highly toxic to mammals. BjalphaITs sharp distinction between insects and mammals was also revealed by its effect on sodium conductance of two cloned neuronal VGSCs heterloguously expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes and assayed with the two-electrode voltage-clamp technique. BjalphaIT completely inhibits the inactivation process of the insect para/tipE VGSC at a concentration of 100 nM, in contrast to the rat brain Na(v)1.2/beta1 which is resistant to the toxin. The above categorical distinction between mammal and insect VGSCs exhibited by BjalphaIT enables its employment in the clarification of the molecular basis of the animal group specificity of scorpion venom derived neurotoxic polypeptides and voltage-gated sodium channels.

  13. 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.

  14. The effect of venom skin testing on venom RAST titers.

    PubMed

    Green, R L; Levine, M I

    1982-03-01

    Venom RAST titers were measured in 20 insect-sensitive patients before and two to three weeks after skin testing with insect venoms to determine whether venom testing might cause a rise in venom IgE titers. No significant rise in venom-specific RAST titers for honey bee, wasp and yellow jacket venoms was observed.

  15. 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.

  16. Hey! A Scorpion Stung Me!

    MedlinePlus

    ... arachnid family, which also includes mites, ticks , and spiders. Scorpions are about 3 inches long (about the ... A Bee Stung Me! Hey! A Black Widow Spider Bit Me! Hey! A Mosquito Bit Me! Hey! ...

  17. Morphine blocks the Mesobuthus tamulus venom-induced augmentation of phenyldiguanide reflex and pulmonary edema in anesthetized rats

    PubMed Central

    Akella, Aparna; Tiwari, Anil K.; Rai, Om P.; Deshpande, Shripad B.

    2016-01-01

    Objective: Pulmonary edema, a manifestation of scorpion envenomation syndrome, is attributed to cardiogenic or noncardiogenic factors. Morphine is a drug used for cardiogenic pulmonary edema and its effect on Mesobuthus tamulus (MBT) venom-induced changes is not known. Therefore, we hypothesized that morphine blocks the MBT venom-induced augmentation of phenyldiguanide (PDG) reflex and pulmonary edema. Materials and Methods: Experiments were performed on anesthetized adult female rats. Trachea and jugular vein were cannulated, and the electrocardiographic potentials were recorded by connecting needle electrodes in limb lead II configuration. PDG (10 ΅g/kg, IV, bolus injection) responses were elicited by bolus injection initially, after saline/morphine (1 mg/kg) and after injecting MBT venom (100 μg/kg). The time-response area of the PDG-induced bradycardiac response after treatment was calculated as % of the initial PDG response area. At the end of experiments, lungs were excised for determination of pulmonary water content. Results: PDG produced bradycardiac response that lasted for >60 s. MBT venom augmented the PDG reflex response by 2.5 times. In morphine pretreated group, augmentation of bradycardiac response induced by MBT venom was absent. MBT venom increased the pulmonary water content, and the increase was absent in morphine pretreated animals. Conclusion: The results reveal that morphine prevents the MBT venom-induced augmentation of PDG reflex response and pulmonary edema. Thus, morphine can be useful in scorpion envenomation syndrome associated with pulmonary edema. PMID:26997727

  18. Voltage-gated sodium channel modulation by scorpion α-toxins

    PubMed Central

    Bosmans, Frank; Tytgat, Jan

    2007-01-01

    Voltage-gated Na+ channels are integral membrane proteins that function as a gateway for a selective permeation of sodium ions across biological membranes. In this way, they are crucial players for the generation of action potentials in excitable cells. Voltage-gated Na+ channels are encoded by at least nine genes in mammals. The different isoforms have remarkably similar functional properties, but small changes in function and pharmacology are biologically well-defined, as underscored by mutations that cause several diseases and by modulation of a myriad of compounds respectively. This review will stress on the modulation of voltage-gated Na+ channels by scorpion alpha-toxins. Nature has designed these two classes of molecules as if they were predestined to each other: an inevitable ‘encounter’ between a voltage-gated Na+ channel isoform and an alpha-toxin from scorpion venom indeed results in a dramatically changed Na+ current phenotype with clear-cut consequences on electrical excitability and sometimes life or death. This fascinating aspect justifies an overview on scorpion venoms, their alpha-toxins and the Na+ channel targets they are built for, as well as on the molecular determinants that govern the selectivity and affinity of this ‘inseparable duo’. PMID:17087986

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Sample Limited Characterization of a Novel Disulfide-Rich Venom Peptide Toxin from Terebrid Marine Snail Terebra variegata

    PubMed Central

    Anand, Prachi; Grigoryan, Alexandre; Bhuiyan, Mohammed H.; Ueberheide, Beatrix; Russell, Victoria; Quinoñez, Jose; Moy, Patrick; Chait, Brian T.; Poget, Sébastien F.; Holford, Mandë

    2014-01-01

    Disulfide-rich peptide toxins found in the secretions of venomous organisms such as snakes, spiders, scorpions, leeches, and marine snails are highly efficient and effective tools for novel therapeutic drug development. Venom peptide toxins have been used extensively to characterize ion channels in the nervous system and platelet aggregation in haemostatic systems. A significant hurdle in characterizing disulfide-rich peptide toxins from venomous animals is obtaining significant quantities needed for sequence and structural analyses. Presented here is a strategy for the structural characterization of venom peptide toxins from sample limited (4 ng) specimens via direct mass spectrometry sequencing, chemical synthesis and NMR structure elucidation. Using this integrated approach, venom peptide Tv1 from Terebra variegata was discovered. Tv1 displays a unique fold not witnessed in prior snail neuropeptides. The novel structural features found for Tv1 suggest that the terebrid pool of peptide toxins may target different neuronal agents with varying specificities compared to previously characterized snail neuropeptides. PMID:24713808

  2. The toxicogenomic multiverse: convergent recruitment of proteins into animal venoms.

    PubMed

    Fry, Bryan G; Roelants, Kim; Champagne, Donald E; Scheib, Holger; Tyndall, Joel D A; King, Glenn F; Nevalainen, Timo J; Norman, Janette A; Lewis, Richard J; Norton, Raymond S; Renjifo, Camila; de la Vega, Ricardo C Rodríguez

    2009-01-01

    Throughout evolution, numerous proteins have been convergently recruited into the venoms of various animals, including centipedes, cephalopods, cone snails, fish, insects (several independent venom systems), platypus, scorpions, shrews, spiders, toxicoferan reptiles (lizards and snakes), and sea anemones. The protein scaffolds utilized convergently have included AVIT/colipase/prokineticin, CAP, chitinase, cystatin, defensins, hyaluronidase, Kunitz, lectin, lipocalin, natriuretic peptide, peptidase S1, phospholipase A(2), sphingomyelinase D, and SPRY. Many of these same venom protein types have also been convergently recruited for use in the hematophagous gland secretions of invertebrates (e.g., fleas, leeches, kissing bugs, mosquitoes, and ticks) and vertebrates (e.g., vampire bats). Here, we discuss a number of overarching structural, functional, and evolutionary generalities of the protein families from which these toxins have been frequently recruited and propose a revised and expanded working definition for venom. Given the large number of striking similarities between the protein compositions of conventional venoms and hematophagous secretions, we argue that the latter should also fall under the same definition.

  3. Discovery of three toxin peptides with Kv1.3 channel and IL-2 cytokine inhibiting activities from Non-Buthidae scorpions Chaerilus tricostatus and Chaerilus tryznai.

    PubMed

    Ding, Li; Chen, Jing; Hao, Jinbo; Zhang, Jiahui; Huang, Xuejun; Hu, Fangfang; Wu, Zheng; Liu, Yaru; Li, Wenxin; Cao, Zhijian; Wu, Yingliang; Li, Jian; Li, Shan; Liu, Hongyan; Wu, Wenlong; Chen, Zongyun

    2017-03-11

    Non-Buthidae venomous scorpions are huge natural sources, however, only a few works have been done to understand their toxin peptides. Here, we described three new potential immunomodulating toxin peptides Ctri18, Ctry68 and Ctry2908 from two Non-Buthidae scorpions Chaerilus tricostatus and Chaerilus tryznai. Sequence alignment analyses showed that Ctri18, Ctry68 and Ctry2908 are three new members of scorpion toxin α-KTx15 subfamily. Electrophysiological experiments showed that Ctri18, Ctry68 and Ctry2908 blocked the Kv1.3 channel at micromole to nanomole levels, but had weak effects on potassium channel KCNQ1 and sodium channel Nav1.4, which indicated that Ctri18, Ctry68 and Ctry2908 might have specific inhibiting effects on the Kv1.3 channel. ELISA experiments showed that Ctri18, Ctry68 and Ctry2908 inhibited IL-2 cytokine secretions of activated T lymphocyte in human PBMCs. Excitingly, consistent with the good Kv1.3 channel inhibitory activity, Ctry2908 inhibited cytokine IL-2 secretion in nanomole level, which indicated that Ctry2908 might be a new lead drug template towards Kv1.3 channels. Together, these studies discovered three new toxin peptides Ctri18, Ctry68 and Ctry2908 with Kv1.3 channel and IL-2 cytokine inhibiting activities from two scorpions Chaerilus tricostatus and Chaerilus tryznai, and highlighted that non-Buthidae venomous scorpions are new natural toxin peptide sources.

  4. [The epidemiological situation of scorpion stings in the Beni Mellal province].

    PubMed

    Charrab, Nezha; Soulaymani, Rachida; Mokhtari, Abdelrhani; Semlali, Ilham; El Oufir, Rhizlane; Soulaymani, Abdelmajid

    2009-01-01

    The objective of this work is to analyse and interpret data from patients bitten by scorpions in a province of Morocco in order to reduce morbidity and mortality caused by scorpion venom. A study was conducted of 901 cases of poisoning among 6959 cases of scorpion stings recorded between January 2002 and December 2006 from bites recorded in Beni Mellal. The results show that poisoning strongly coincides with the summer period, especially in July and August. All age groups are affected by this disease with an average age of 17.28 +/- 17.91 years. For the time post injection, 35.2% were able to check in under an hour. On the other hand, 70.9% reach a health facility with symptoms (class II) and 29.1% with signs of distress (Class III). Finally, the evolution of patients is mostly positive in 94.7% of cases, and the case fatality rate from scorpion sting poisoning is 3.88%.

  5. 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.

  6. Substitutions in the Domain III Voltage-sensing Module Enhance the Sensitivity of an Insect Sodium Channel to a Scorpion β-Toxin*

    PubMed Central

    Song, Weizhong; Du, Yuzhe; Liu, Zhiqi; Luo, Ningguang; Turkov, Michael; Gordon, Dalia; Gurevitz, Michael; Goldin, Alan L.; Dong, Ke

    2011-01-01

    Scorpion β-toxins bind to the extracellular regions of the voltage-sensing module of domain II and to the pore module of domain III in voltage-gated sodium channels and enhance channel activation by trapping and stabilizing the voltage sensor of domain II in its activated state. We investigated the interaction of a highly potent insect-selective scorpion depressant β-toxin, Lqh-dprIT3, from Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus with insect sodium channels from Blattella germanica (BgNav). Like other scorpion β-toxins, Lqh-dprIT3 shifts the voltage dependence of activation of BgNav channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes to more negative membrane potentials but only after strong depolarizing prepulses. Notably, among 10 BgNav splice variants tested for their sensitivity to the toxin, only BgNav1-1 was hypersensitive due to an L1285P substitution in IIIS1 resulting from a U-to-C RNA-editing event. Furthermore, charge reversal of a negatively charged residue (E1290K) at the extracellular end of IIIS1 and the two innermost positively charged residues (R4E and R5E) in IIIS4 also increased the channel sensitivity to Lqh-dprIT3. Besides enhancement of toxin sensitivity, the R4E substitution caused an additional 20-mV negative shift in the voltage dependence of activation of toxin-modified channels, inducing a unique toxin-modified state. Our findings provide the first direct evidence for the involvement of the domain III voltage-sensing module in the action of scorpion β-toxins. This hypersensitivity most likely reflects an increase in IIS4 trapping via allosteric mechanisms, suggesting coupling between the voltage sensors in neighboring domains during channel activation. PMID:21454658

  7. Allergies to Insect Venom

    MedlinePlus

    Allergies To Insect Venom Facts About Allergies The tendency to develop allergies may be inherited. If you have allergic tendencies and ... lives of those who are sensitive to it...insect venom! Although less common than pollen allergy, insect ...

  8. Molecular approaches for structural characterization of a new potassium channel blocker from Tityus stigmurus venom: cDNA cloning, homology modeling, dynamic simulations and docking.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Diego Dantas; Torres, Taffarel Melo; Barbosa, Euzébio Guimarães; Lima, João Paulo Matos Santos; de Freitas Fernandes-Pedrosa, Matheus

    2013-01-04

    Potassium channels are involved in the maintenance of resting membrane potential, control of cardiac and neuronal excitability, neurotransmitters release, muscle contractility and hormone secretion. The Tityus stigmurus scorpion is widely distributed in Northeastern Brazil and known to cause severe human envenomations, inducing pain, hypoesthesia, edema, erythema, paresthesia, headaches and vomiting. Most potassium channel blocking peptides that have been purified from scorpion venoms contain 30-40 amino acids with three or four disulfide bridges. These peptides belong to α-KTx subfamily. On the other hand, the β-KTx subfamily is poorly characterized, though it is very representative in some scorpion venoms. A transcriptomic approach of T.stigmurus scorpions developed by our group revealed the repertoire of possible molecules present in the venom, including many toxins of the β-KTx subfamily. One of the ESTs found, named TSTI0003C has a cDNA sequence of 538 bp codifying a mature protein with 47 amino acid residues, corresponding to 5299 Da. This β-KTx peptide is a new member of the BmTXKβ-related toxins, and was here named TstKMK. The three-dimensional structure of this potassium channel toxin of the T. stigmurus scorpion was obtained by computational modeling and refined by molecular dynamic simulations. Furthermore, we have made docking simulations using a Shaker kV-1.2 potassium channel from rats as receptor model and proposed which amino acid residues and interactions could be involved in its blockade.

  9. Understanding Biological Roles of Venoms Among the Caenophidia: The Importance of Rear-Fanged Snakes.

    PubMed

    Mackessy, Stephen P; Saviola, Anthony J

    2016-11-01

    Snake venoms represent an adaptive trophic response to the challenges confronting a limbless predator for overcoming combative prey, and this chemical means of subduing prey shows several dominant phenotypes. Many front-fanged snakes, particularly vipers, feed on various vertebrate and invertebrate prey species, and some of their venom components (e.g., metalloproteinases, cobratoxin) appear to have been selected for "broad-brush" incapacitation of different prey taxa. Using proteomic and genomic techniques, the compositional diversity of front-fanged snakes is becoming well characterized; however, this is not the case for most rear-fanged colubroid snakes. Because these species consume a high diversity of prey, and because venoms are primarily a trophic adaptation, important clues for understanding specific selective pressures favoring venom component composition will be found among rear-fanged snake venoms. Rear-fanged snakes typically (but not always) produce venoms with lower complexity than front-fanged snakes, and there are even fewer dominant (and, arguably, biologically most relevant) venom protein families. We have demonstrated taxon-specific toxic effects, where lizards and birds show high susceptibility while mammals are largely unaffected, for both Old World and New World rear-fanged snakes, strongly indicating a causal link between toxin evolution and prey preference. New data are presented on myotoxin a, showing that the extremely rapid paralysis induced by this rattlesnake toxin is specific for rodents, and that myotoxin a is ineffectual against lizards. Relatively few rear-fanged snake venoms have been characterized, and basic natural history data are largely lacking, but directed sampling of specialized species indicates that novel compounds are likely among these specialists, particularly among those species feeding on invertebrate prey such as scorpions and centipedes. Because many of the more than 2200 species of colubroid snakes are rear

  10. Does scorpion bite lead to development of resistance to the effect of local anaesthetics?

    PubMed

    Panditrao, Minnu Mridul; Panditrao, Mridul Madhav; Khan, Mohd Irfan; Yadav, Nikhil

    2012-11-01

    A patient posted for vaginal hysterectomy was administered subarachnoid block, which failed, so was repeated in one space above. The block failed again, after waiting for 30 min. Patient gave a history of scorpion bite twice, once at the age of 17 years on her right foot and again about 8 months back. Thereafter, balanced general anaesthesia was given. On eighth post-operative day, after explaining about her possible special condition (?Resistance to local anaesthetic agents), the patient was given left median, ulnar and radial nerve blocks at the wrist and local infiltration near the anatomical snuff box. There was neither sensory nor motor block. The scorpion venom is known to affect the pumping mechanism of sodium channels in the nerve fibres, which are involved in the mechanism of action of local anaesthetic drugs, it may be responsible for the development of 'resistance' to the action of local anaesthetic agents.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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

  13. History of study, updated checklist, distribution and key of scorpions (Arachnida: Scorpiones) from China.

    PubMed

    Di, Zhi-Yong; Yang, Zi-Zhong; Yin, Shi-Jin; Cao, Zhi-Jian; Li, Wen-Xin

    2014-01-01

    This review describes the history of taxonomic research on scorpions and provides an updated checklist and key of the scorpions currently known in China. This checklist is based on a thorough review of the extant literatures on scorpion species whose presence has been confirmed in China through field expeditions and examination of scorpion collections, excepting a few members that have no clear distribution or are currently in doubt. Totally, the scorpion fauna of China consists of 53 species and subspecies belonging to 12 genera crossing five families, with 33 species (62.3%) and one genus being recorded as endemic. Additionally, identification key and the distribution of scorpions from China are provided.

  14. Another record of significant regional variation in toxicity of Tityus serrulatus venom in Brazil: a step towards understanding the possible role of sodium channel modulators.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Fagner Neves; Mortari, Márcia Renata; Carneiro, Fabiana Pirani; Guerrero-Vargas, Jimmy Alexander; Santos, Daniel M; Pimenta, Adriano M C; Schwartz, Elisabeth F

    2013-10-01

    The scorpion Tityus serrulatus is responsible for the most severe accidents that have been registered in Brazil, mainly in the state of Minas Gerais (MG), being the lung edema (LE), the main cause of death in these accidents. Although an increased in the number of accidents caused to this species in Federal District (Distrito Federal - DF), it seems that this particular species is not responsible for severe scorpionism cases in this region. Given this observation, we tested the toxicity in mice and compared the ability of T. serrulatus venom from DF (Ts-DF) and Minas Gerais State (Ts-MG) to induce LE in rats. The LD50 of Ts-DF venom was 51.6 μg/mouse, almost twice (1.98) higher than that obtained for Ts-MG venom. The ability of venom (0.5 mg/kg) to induce LE in rats was determined by the wet weight differences between treated and untreated lungs, by pulmonary morphological analyses and by pulmonary vascular permeability (PVP) using the Evans blue protocol. Significant differences in the wet weight of lungs and changes in PVP were found in Ts-MG venom treated rats when compared to rats treated with Ts-DF venom or untreated rats (p < 0.001), but no differences occurred when comparing rats treated with Ts-DF venom and untreated rats (p < 0.05). These results were confirmed by evaluation of pulmonary morphology. Comparison of chromatographic profiles obtained from these venoms (Ts-DF and Ts-MG) using the fractal dimension (D) analysis and the molecular mass fingerprint of the chromatographic fractions showed a higher number of components between 35 and 40% acetonitrile in Ts-MG venom than in Ts-DF venom, indicating a higher diversity of sodium channel modulators in that venom.

  15. Venomics: integrative venom proteomics and beyond.

    PubMed

    Calvete, Juan J

    2017-02-20

    Venoms are integrated phenotypes that evolved independently in, and are used for predatory and defensive purposes by, a wide phylogenetic range of organisms. The same principles that contribute to the evolutionary success of venoms, contribute to making the study of venoms of great interest in such diverse fields as evolutionary ecology and biotechnology. Evolution is profoundly contingent, and nature also reinvents itself continuosly. Changes in a complex phenotypic trait, such as venom, reflect the influences of prior evolutionary history, chance events, and selection. Reconstructing the natural history of venoms, particularly those of snakes, which will be dealt with in more detail in this review, requires the integration of different levels of knowledge into a meaningful and comprehensive evolutionary framework for separating stochastic changes from adaptive evolution. The application of omics technologies and other disciplines have contributed to a qualitative and quantitative advance in the road map towards this goal. In this review we will make a foray into the world of animal venoms, discuss synergies and complementarities of the different approaches used in their study, and identify current bottlenecks that prevent inferring the evolutionary mechanisms and ecological constraints that molded snake venoms to their present-day variability landscape.

  16. Genetic and morphological analyses indicate that the Australian endemic scorpion Urodacus yaschenkoi (Scorpiones: Urodacidae) is a species complex

    PubMed Central

    Luna-Ramirez, Karen; Miller, Adam D.

    2017-01-01

    Background Australian scorpions have received far less attention from researchers than their overseas counterparts. Here we provide the first insight into the molecular variation and evolutionary history of the endemic Australian scorpion Urodacus yaschenkoi. Also known as the inland robust scorpion, it is widely distributed throughout arid zones of the continent and is emerging as a model organism in biomedical research due to the chemical nature of its venom. Methods We employed Bayesian Inference (BI) methods for the phylogenetic reconstructions and divergence dating among lineages, using unique haplotype sequences from two mitochondrial loci (COXI, 16S) and one nuclear locus (28S). We also implemented two DNA taxonomy approaches (GMYC and PTP/dPTP) to evaluate the presence of cryptic species. Linear Discriminant Analysis was used to test whether the linear combination of 21 variables (ratios of morphological measurements) can predict individual’s membership to a putative species. Results Genetic and morphological data suggest that U. yaschenkoi is a species complex. High statistical support for the monophyly of several divergent lineages was found both at the mitochondrial loci and at a nuclear locus. The extent of mitochondrial divergence between these lineages exceeds estimates of interspecific divergence reported for other scorpion groups. The GMYC model and the PTP/bPTP approach identified major lineages and several sub-lineages as putative species. Ratios of several traits that approximate body shape had a strong predictive power (83–100%) in discriminating two major molecular lineages. A time-calibrated phylogeny dates the early divergence at the onset of continental-wide aridification in late Miocene and Pliocene, with finer-scale phylogeographic patterns emerging during the Pleistocene. This structuring dynamics is congruent with the diversification history of other fauna of the Australian arid zones. Discussion Our results indicate that the

  17. Pre-clinical studies of toxin-specific nanobodies: evidence of in vivo efficacy to prevent fatal disturbances provoked by scorpion envenoming.

    PubMed

    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'(2) based therapy and is the most efficient antivenom therapy against scorpion sting in preclinical studies. Now we investigate the biodistribution and pharmacokinetics of (99m)Tc labeled Nbs by in vivo imaging in rodents and compared these data with those of the Fab'(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'(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.

  18. Characteristics and Lethality of a Novel Recombinant Dermonecrotic Venom Phospholipase D from Hemiscorpius lepturus

    PubMed Central

    Torabi, Elham; Behdani, Mahdi; Hosseininejad Chafi, Mohammad; Moazzami, Reza; Sabatier, Jean-Marc; Khalaj, Vahid; Shahbazzadeh, Delavar; Pooshang Bagheri, Kamran

    2017-01-01

    Hemoscorpius lepturus is the most medically important scorpion in Iran. The clinical signs of H. lepturus envenomation are remarkably similar to those reported for brown spiders, including dermonecrosis, hematuria, renal failure and even death. The lethality and toxicity of brown spiders’ venom have been attributed to its phospholipase D activity. This study aims to identify a phospholipase D with possible lethality and dermonecrotic activity in H. lepturus venom. In this study, a cDNA library of the venom glands was generated by Illumina RNA sequencing. Phospholipase D (PLD) from H. lepturus was characterized according to its significant similarity with PLDs from brown spiders. The main chain designated as Hl-RecPLD1 (the first recombinant isoform of H. lepturus PLD) was cloned, expressed and purified. Sphingomyelinase, dermonecrotic and lethal activities were examined. Hl-PLD1 showed remarkable sequence similarity and structural homology with PLDs of brown spiders. The conformation of Hl-PLD1 was predicted as a “TIM beta/alpha-barrel”. The lethal dose 50 (LD50) and dermonecrotic activities of Hl-RecPLD1 were determined as 3.1 µg/mouse and 0.7 cm2 at 1 µg respectively. It is the first report indicating that a similar molecular evolutionary mechanism has occurred in both American brown spiders and this Iranian scorpion. In conclusion, Hl-RecPLD1 is a highly active phospholipase D, which would be considered as the lethal dermonecrotic toxin in H. lepturus venom. PMID:28335389

  19. Binding characteristics of BmK I, an alpha-like scorpion neurotoxic polypeptide, on cockroach nerve cord synaptosomes.

    PubMed

    Li, Y J; Ji, Y H

    2000-10-01

    In this study, the binding characteristics of BmK I, an alpha-like neurotoxic polypeptide purified from the venom of the Chinese scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch, were investigated on rat brain and cockroach nerve cord synaptosomes. The results showed that BmK I can bind to a single class of noninteracting binding sites on cockroach nerve cord synaptosomes with medium affinity (Kd = 16.5 +/ - 4.4 nM) and low binding capacity (Bmax = 1.05 +/- 0.23 pmol/mg protein), but lacks specific binding on rat brain synaptosomes. BmK AS, BmK AS-1 (two novel sodium channel-blocking ligands), BmK IT (an excitatory insect-selective toxin) and BmK IT2 (a depressant insect-selective toxin) from the same venom were found to be capable of depressing BmK I binding in cockroach nerve cord synaptosomes, which might be attributed to either allosteric modulation of voltage-gated Na+ channels by these toxic polypeptides or partial overlapping between the receptor binding sites of BmK I and these toxins. This thus supported the notion that alpha-like scorpion neurotoxic polypeptides bind to a distinct receptor site on sodium channels, which might be similar to the binding receptor site of alpha-type insect toxins, and also related to those of BmK AS type and insect-selective scorpion toxins on insect sodium channels.

  20. [Toxicology of Hymenoptera venoms].

    PubMed

    Ciszowski, Krzysztof; Mietka-Ciszowska, Aneta

    2012-01-01

    Hymenoptera venom is a secretion of special poison glands of insects. It serves both as a defensive substance against aggressors, as well as weapon used to paralyze the victim during gaining food. Chemically, the venom is a mixture of biologically active substances of high-, medium-, and small molecular weight with a variety of physiological functions. Individual substances may have toxic effects on stung human contributing to certain clinical signs and symptoms of venom poisoning. In the present paper, chemical structure, physiological role and toxicity of particular components of Hymenoptera venom are described.

  1. Venomous mammals: a review.

    PubMed

    Ligabue-Braun, Rodrigo; Verli, Hugo; Carlini, Célia Regina

    2012-06-01

    The occurrence of venom in mammals has long been considered of minor importance, but recent fossil discoveries and advances in experimental techniques have cast new light into this subject. Mammalian venoms form a heterogeneous group having different compositions and modes of action and are present in three classes of mammals, Insectivora, Monotremata, and Chiroptera. A fourth order, Primates, is proposed to have venomous representatives. In this review we highlight recent advances in the field while summarizing biochemical characteristics of these secretions and their effects upon humans and other animals. Historical aspects of venom discovery and evolutionary hypothesis regarding their origin are also discussed.

  2. The venom optimization hypothesis revisited.

    PubMed

    Morgenstern, David; King, Glenn F

    2013-03-01

    Animal venoms are complex chemical mixtures that typically contain hundreds of proteins and non-proteinaceous compounds, resulting in a potent weapon for prey immobilization and predator deterrence. However, because venoms are protein-rich, they come with a high metabolic price tag. The metabolic cost of venom is sufficiently high to result in secondary loss of venom whenever its use becomes non-essential to survival of the animal. The high metabolic cost of venom leads to the prediction that venomous animals may have evolved strategies for minimizing venom expenditure. Indeed, various behaviors have been identified that appear consistent with frugality of venom use. This has led to formulation of the "venom optimization hypothesis" (Wigger et al. (2002) Toxicon 40, 749-752), also known as "venom metering", which postulates that venom is metabolically expensive and therefore used frugally through behavioral control. Here, we review the available data concerning economy of venom use by animals with either ancient or more recently evolved venom systems. We conclude that the convergent nature of the evidence in multiple taxa strongly suggests the existence of evolutionary pressures favoring frugal use of venom. However, there remains an unresolved dichotomy between this economy of venom use and the lavish biochemical complexity of venom, which includes a high degree of functional redundancy. We discuss the evidence for biochemical optimization of venom as a means of resolving this conundrum.

  3. Nanoparticle-conjugated animal venom-toxins and their possible therapeutic potential

    PubMed Central

    Biswas, Archita; Gomes, Aparna; Sengupta, Jayeeta; Datta, Poulami; Singha, Santiswarup; Dasgupta, Anjan Kr; Gomes, Antony

    2012-01-01

    Nano-medical approaches to develop drugs have attracted much attention in different arenas to design nanoparticle conjugates for better efficacy of the potential bio-molecules. A group of promising candidates of this category would be venom-toxins of animal origin of potential medicinal value. Traditional systems of medicine as well as folklores mention the use of venom-toxins for the treatment of various diseases. Research has led to scientific validation of medicinal applications of venoms-toxins and many active constituents derived from venoms-toxins are already in clinical use or under clinical trial. Nanomedicine is an emerging field of medicine where nanotechnology is used to develop molecules of nano-scale dimension, so that these molecules can be taken up by the cells more easily and have better efficacy, as compared to large molecules that may tend to get eliminated. This review will focus on some of the potential venoms and toxins along with nanoparticle conjugated venom-toxins of snakes, amphibians, scorpions and bees, etc., for possible therapeutic clues against emerging diseases. PMID:23236583

  4. Amino acid sequence of neurotoxin III of the scorpion Androctonus austrialis Hector.

    PubMed

    Kopeyan, C; Martinez, G; Rochat, H

    1979-03-01

    The amino acid sequence of neurotoxin III, purified from the venom of the North African scorpion Androctonus australis Hector, has been determined by Edman degradation using a liquid-phase sequencer. Carboxypeptidase A hydrolyses confirmed not only the sequence of the five last residues but also the presence of a free alpha-carboxylic group at the C-terminus. Edman degradation was conducted on one hand with the Quadrol [N,N,N',N'-tetrakis(2-hydroxypropyl)ethylene diamine] program and S-alkylated protein before or after coupling with sulfophenylisothiocynate (the first 34 residues were thus identified), on the other hand on tryptic and chymotryptic peptides with a dimethylbenzylamine program (residues 1--23 and 31--34 were confirmed, the positions of residues 35-64 were established). Neurotoxin III was found to belong to the same group of scorpion toxins active on mammals as neurotoxin I purified from the same venom (50 homologous positions exist in the two proteins).

  5. Purification and chemical and biological characterizations of seven toxins from the Mexican scorpion, Centruroides suffusus suffusus.

    PubMed

    Martin, M F; Garcia y Perez, L G; el Ayeb, M; Kopeyan, C; Bechis, G; Jover, E; Rochat, H

    1987-04-05

    Seven polypeptides highly toxic to mice were isolated from the venom of the scorpion, Centruroides suffusus suffusus (Css), and their chemical and toxic properties were characterized. It was shown that the most active toxins by intracerebroventricular injection are less active when injected subcutaneously. The complete amino acid sequence (66 residues) of toxin II (Css II) has been determined. The C-terminal end is amidated as found for most other scorpion toxins. Css II is a beta-type toxin, previously used to define the binding site for activation of the sodium channel. Using rat brain synaptosomes, we demonstrated that all Css toxins compete with 125I-Css II to bind to site 4 and should be considered as beta-scorpion toxins. Specific binding parameters for Css VI, one of the most active toxins, were determined: KD = 100 pM; capacity in binding sites, 2.2 pmol of toxin/mg of synaptosomal protein. Css VI was shown to inhibit gamma-aminobutyric acid uptake by synaptosomes: K 0.5 = 100 pM, which agrees with its KD. Competition experiments between the seven Css toxins and 125I-Css II for antiserum raised against Css II demonstrated that all these toxins have common antigenic properties.

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Choose your weapon: defensive behavior is associated with morphology and performance in scorpions.

    PubMed

    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.

  11. Two types of scorpion receptor sites, one related to the activation, the other to the inactivation of the action potential sodium channel.

    PubMed

    Couraud, F; Jover, E; Dubois, J M; Rochat, H

    1982-01-01

    The action of the neurotoxin in Buthinae scorpion venoms (Androctonus, Buthus or Leiurus genera) has been extensively studied. These proteins induce a prolongation of the action potential of nerves and muscles by slowing down inactivation of the sodium channel. Their affinity for their receptor site depends on membrane potential. In the present report we describe a toxin from a Centrurinae scorpion, Centruroides suffusus, which binds rat brain synaptosomes at a receptor site distinct from the Buthinae scorpion site independently of voltage. We name Androctonus-like toxins, alpha-scorpion toxins (alpha-ScTX), and Centruroides-like toxins, beta-scorpion toxins (beta-ScTX). We further report that beta-ScTX induces repetitive firing in frog myelinated nerve fibres by producing an abnormal sodium permeability. The beta-toxin binds specifically to rat brain synaptosomes (Kd = 3 nM) and induces an inhibition of the uptake and a stimulation of the release of GABA at concentrations which are in good agreement with the Kd value. These effects are blocked by tetrodotoxin. The binding site of beta -ScTX is distinct from those of other neurotoxins acting on the sodium channel like tetrodotoxin, alpha-ScTX and veratridine. The alpha-ScTX/beta-ScTX binding site capacities decreases as development of rat brain synaptosomes progresses ; at day 7 after birth, it is 1.1. and at day 39, 0.3.

  12. Cloning, expression, and pharmacological activity of BmK AS, an active peptide from scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch.

    PubMed

    Shao, Jian-Hua; Wang, Yue-Qiu; Wu, Xiao-Yan; Jiang, Rui; Zhang, Rong; Wu, Chun-Fu; Zhang, Jing-Hai

    2008-01-01

    BmK AS is a beta long-chain scorpion peptide from the venom of Buthus martensii Karsch (BmK). It was efficiently expressed as a soluble and functional peptide in Escherichia coli, and purified by metal chelating chromatography. About 4.2 mg/l purified recombinant BmK AS could be obtained. The recombinant BmK AS maintained a similar analgesic activity to the natural one in both the mouse-twisting test and hot-plate procedure. It also exhibited antimicrobial activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. BmK AS is the first long-chain scorpion peptide reported to have antimicrobial activity, and is a valuable molecular scaffold for pharmacological research.

  13. The insecticidal potential of scorpion beta-toxins.

    PubMed

    Gurevitz, Michael; Karbat, Izhar; Cohen, Lior; Ilan, Nitza; Kahn, Roy; Turkov, Michael; Stankiewicz, Maria; Stühmer, Walter; Dong, Ke; Gordon, Dalia

    2007-03-15

    Voltage-gated sodium channels are a major target for toxins and insecticides due to their central role in excitability, but due to the conservation of these channels in Animalia most insecticides do not distinguish between those of insects and mammals, thereby imposing risks to humans and livestock. Evidently, as long as modern agriculture depends heavily on the use of insecticides there is a great need for new substances capable of differentiating between sodium channel subtypes. Such substances exist in venomous animals, but ways for their exploitation have not yet been developed due to problems associated with manufacturing, degradation, and delivery to the target channels. Engineering of plants for expression of anti-insect toxins or use of natural vectors that express toxins near their target site (e.g. baculoviruses) are still problematic and raise public concern. In this problematic reality a rational approach might be to learn from nature how to design highly selective anti-insect compounds preferably in the form of peptidomimetics. This is a complex task that requires the elucidation of the face of interaction between insect-selective toxins and their sodium channel receptor sites. This review delineates current progress in: (i) elucidation of the bioactive surfaces of scorpion beta-toxins, especially the excitatory and depressant groups, which show high preference for insects and bind insect sodium channels with high affinity; (ii) studies of the mode of interaction of scorpion beta-toxins with receptor site-4 on voltage-gated sodium channels; and (iii) clarification of channel elements that constitute receptor site-4. This information may be useful in future attempts to mimic the bioactive surface of the toxins for the design of anti-insect selective peptidomimetics.

  14. 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

  15. Introducing Compsobuthus matthiesseni (Birula, 1905) scorpion as one of the major stinging scorpions in Khuzestan, Iran.

    PubMed

    Dehghani, Ruhollah; Djadid, Navid Dinparast; Shahbazzadeh, Dellavar; Bigdelli, Shahlla

    2009-09-01

    Khuzestan province has the highest rate of scorpion sting in Iran. This is a study to identify these scorpions in Khuzestan. In this study 418 scorpions were kept in the ethyl alcohol 70%, each being studied by stereomicroscopy and diagnosis key separately. 120 (28.7%) Androctonus crassicauda, 104 (24.9%) Hemiscorpius lepturus, 91 (21.7%) Mesobuthus eupeus, 86 (20.65%) Compsobuthus matthiesseni, 14 (3.35%) Hottentotta saulcyi, 2 (0.5%) Orthochirus scrobiculosus and 1 (0.25%) Hottentotta schach were identified. H. lepturus is in the Hemiscorpiidae family and the rest are in Buthidae. C. matthiesseni is the most frequent and O. scrobiculosus is the least frequent newly identified scorpion. This study adds two new sting scorpions to the previous list of 8 identified scorpions in Iran.

  16. [des-Arg(1)]-Proctolin: A novel NEP-like enzyme inhibitor identified in Tityus serrulatus venom.

    PubMed

    Duzzi, Bruno; Cajado-Carvalho, Daniela; Kuniyoshi, Alexandre Kazuo; Kodama, Roberto Tadashi; Gozzo, Fabio Cesar; Fioramonte, Mariana; Tambourgi, Denise Vilarinho; Portaro, Fernanda Vieira; Rioli, Vanessa

    2016-06-01

    The scorpion Tityus serrulatus venom comprises a complex mixture of molecules that paralyzes and kills preys, especially insects. However, venom components also interact with molecules in humans, causing clinic envenomation. This cross-interaction may result from homologous molecular targets in mammalians and insects, such as (NEP)-like enzymes. In face of these similarities, we searched for peptides in Tityus serrulatus venom using human NEP as a screening tool. We found a NEP-inhibiting peptide with the primary sequence YLPT, which is very similar to that of the insect neuropeptide proctolin (RYLPT). Thus, we named the new peptide [des-Arg(1)]-proctolin. Comparative NEP activity assays using natural substrates demonstrated that [des-Arg(1)]-proctolin has high specificity for NEP and better inhibitory activity than proctolin. To test the initial hypothesis that molecular homologies allow Tityus serrulatus venom to act on both mammal and insect targets, we investigated the presence of a NEP-like in cockroaches, the main scorpion prey, that could be likewise inhibited by [des-Arg(1)]-proctolin. Indeed, we detected a possible NEP-like in a homogenate of cockroach heads whose activity was blocked by thiorphan and also by [des-Arg(1)]-proctolin. Western blot analysis using a human NEP monoclonal antibody suggested a NEP-like enzyme in the homogenate of cockroach heads. Our study describes for the first time a proctolin-like peptide, named [des-Arg(1)]-proctolin, isolated from Tityus serrulatus venom. The tetrapeptide inhibits human NEP activity and a NEP-like activity in a cockroach head homogenate, thus it may play a role in human envenomation as well as in the paralysis and death of scorpion preys.

  17. Diffuse resistance courtship in the scorpion Rhopalurus rochai (Scorpiones: Buthidae).

    PubMed

    Chantall-Rocha, Shayanne; Japyassú, Hilton F

    2017-02-01

    Male-female courtship signals are frequently subject to arms races, with patterns of behaviour evolving reciprocally to manipulate the reproductive output. Female resistance should be particularly effective when asymmetrical offspring care occurs under low and unpredictable resource distribution, because this would increase maternal costs. Our hypothesis is that under these conditions females will evolve diffuse mating strategies to avoid predictable exploitation by male optimal counter tactics. Mating in scorpions is a complex process, and female resistance occurs through specific behaviours. Here we focus on the scorpion Rhopalurus rochai that inhabits strongly unpredictable arid habitats. We find that courtship success does not rely on typical resistance and stimulatory patterns of behaviours. The screening for prospective partners occurs in the pre-dance phase. Network statistics reveal that unsuccessful courtships are characterised by reduced complexity of interactions, a result typical of non-additive interactions that introduce unpredictability in the network. Unpredictable female resistance reduces male control over female reproduction more effectively than resistance through specific behavioural tactics; it could be selected in cases of extreme parental investment asymmetry, particularly in the context of resource fluctuation, as in the scorpion R. rochai, that inhabits environments with characteristic climatic unpredictability. Female resistance through a diffuse process would function as an extremely efficient screening device. The establishment of diffuse female resistance courtship would preclude the evolution of simple/single male optimal behavioural patterns, and thus the male-female arms races would reach a more complex state, whereby varied and contextually dependent male strategies would be required to settle the reproductive game.

  18. Identification and Phylogenetic Analysis of Tityus pachyurus and Tityus obscurus Novel Putative Na+-Channel Scorpion Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Guerrero-Vargas, Jimmy A.; Mourão, Caroline B. F.; Quintero-Hernández, Verónica; Possani, Lourival D.; Schwartz, Elisabeth F.

    2012-01-01

    Background Colombia and Brazil are affected by severe cases of scorpionism. In Colombia the most dangerous accidents are caused by Tityus pachyurus that is widely distributed around this country. In the Brazilian Amazonian region scorpion stings are a common event caused by Tityus obscurus. The main objective of this work was to perform the molecular cloning of the putative Na+-channel scorpion toxins (NaScTxs) from T. pachyurus and T. obscurus venom glands and to analyze their phylogenetic relationship with other known NaScTxs from Tityus species. Methodology/Principal Findings cDNA libraries from venom glands of these two species were constructed and five nucleotide sequences from T. pachyurus were identified as putative modulators of Na+-channels, and were named Tpa4, Tpa5, Tpa6, Tpa7 and Tpa8; the latter being the first anti-insect excitatory β-class NaScTx in Tityus scorpion venom to be described. Fifteen sequences from T. obscurus were identified as putative NaScTxs, among which three had been previously described, and the others were named To4 to To15. The peptides Tpa4, Tpa5, Tpa6, To6, To7, To9, To10 and To14 are closely related to the α-class NaScTxs, whereas Tpa7, Tpa8, To4, To8, To12 and To15 sequences are more related to the β-class NaScTxs. To5 is possibly an arthropod specific toxin. To11 and To13 share sequence similarities with both α and β NaScTxs. By means of phylogenetic analysis using the Maximum Parsimony method and the known NaScTxs from Tityus species, these toxins were clustered into 14 distinct groups. Conclusions/Significance This communication describes new putative NaScTxs from T. pachyurus and T. obscurus and their phylogenetic analysis. The results indicate clear geographic separation between scorpions of Tityus genus inhabiting the Amazonian and Mountain Andes regions and those distributed over the Southern of the Amazonian rainforest. Based on the consensus sequences for the different clusters, a new nomenclature for the Na

  19. Immunological characterization of a non-toxic peptide conferring protection against the toxic fraction (AahG50) of the Androctonus australis hector venom.

    PubMed

    Srairi-Abid, Najet; Kaabi, Hajer; Mlayah-Bellalouna, Saoussen; Mejri, Thouraya; Sampieri, François; El Ayeb, Mohamed

    2008-03-01

    KAaH1 and KAaH2 are non-toxic peptides, isolated from the venom of the Androctonus australis hector (Aah) scorpion. In a previous study, we showed these peptides to be the most abundant (approximately 10% each) in the toxic fraction (AahG50) of the Aah venom. KAaH1 and KAaH2 showed high sequence identities (approximately 60%) with birtoxin-like peptides, which likewise are the major peptidic components of Parabuthus transvaalicus scorpion venom. Here, we report the immunological characterization of KAaH1 and KAaH2. These peptides were found to be specifically recognized by polyclonal antibodies raised against AahII, the most toxic peptide of Aah venom, and represents the second antigenic group, including toxins from different scorpion species in the world. Moreover, KAaH1 partially inhibits AahII binding to its specific antibody, suggesting some common epitopes between these two peptides. The identification of possible key antigenic residues in KAaH1 was deduced from comparison of its 3-D model with the experimental structure of AahII. Two clusters of putative antigenically important residues were found at the exposed surface; one could be constituted of V3 and D53, the other of D10, T15 and Y16. Polyclonal antibodies raised against KAaH1 in mice were found to cross-react with both AahII and AahG50, and neutralizing 5LD(50)/ml of the toxic fraction. Mice vaccinated with KAaH1 were protected against a challenge of 2LD(50) of AahG50 fraction. All these data suggest that KAaH1 has clear advantages over the use of the whole or part of the venom. KAaH1 is not toxic and could produce sera-neutralizing scorpion toxins, not only from Aah venom, but also toxins of other venoms from Buthus, Leiurus, or Parabuthus scorpion species presenting antigenically related toxins.

  20. Conformational flexibility of a scorpion toxin active on mammals and insects: a circular dichroism study.

    PubMed

    Loret, E P; Sampieri, F; Roussel, A; Granier, C; Rochat, H

    1990-01-01

    Three scorpion toxins have been analyzed by circular dichroism in water and in 2,2,2-trifluoroethanol (TFE) solutions. These toxins were chosen because they are representative of three kinds of pharmacological activities: (1) toxin AaH IT2, an antiinsect toxin purified from the venom of Androctonus australis Hector, which is able to bind to insect nervous system preparation, (2) toxin Css II, from the venom of Centruroides suffusus suffusus, which is a beta-type antimammal toxin capable of binding to mammal nervous system preparation, and (3) the toxin Ts VII from the venom of Tityus serrulatus, which is able to bind to both types of nervous systems. In order to minimize bias, CD data were analyzed by a predictive algorithm to assess secondary structure content. Among the three molecules, Ts VII presented the most unordered secondary structure in water, but it gained in ordered forms when solubilized in TFE. These results indicated that the Ts VII backbone is the most flexible, which might result in a more pronounced tendency for this toxin molecule to undergo conformational changes. This is consistent with the fact that it competes with both antiinsect and beta-type antimammal toxins for the binding to the sodium channel.

  1. 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.

  2. Mechanisms underlying the augmentation of phenylbiguanide and capsaicin induced cardiorespiratory reflexes by Mesobuthus tamulus venom.

    PubMed

    Dutta, Abhaya; Akella, Aparna; Deshpande, Shripad B

    2012-10-01

    Phenylbiguanide (PBG) and capsaicin evoke cardiorespiratory reflexes utilizing two separate pathways. It is known that Indian Red Scorpion (Mesobuthus tumulus; MBT) venom augments PBG (5-HT(3)) responses but, the effect of MBT venom on capsaicin (TRPV1)-induced response is not known. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to ascertain whether MBT venom also augments the capsaicin-induced reflex responses involving mechanisms similar to PBG. Experiments were performed on anaesthetized adult rats. Blood pressure, respiratory excursions and ECG were recorded. At the end of each experiment pulmonary water content was determined. PBG (10 μg/kg) produced hypotension, bradycardia and apnoea-bradypnoea. Capsaicin (10 μg/kg) also produced hypotension, bradycardia and apnoea-bradypnoea. MBT venom (100 μg/kg) augmented PBG as well as capsaicin-induced responses and produced pulmonary oedema (increased pulmonary water content). Prostaglandin synthase inhibitor (indomethacin; 10 mg/kg) blocked the venom-induced augmentation of PBG and capsaicin reflexes. Kinin synthase inhibitor (aprotinin; 6000 KIU) and guanylate cyclase (GC) inhibitor (methylene blue; 5 mg/kg) blocked the venom-induced augmentation of PBG response but not the capsaicin response. However, pulmonary oedema was blocked by these antagonists. Phosphodiesterase V inhibitor (sildenafil; 100 μg/kg) augmented the PBG response but not the capsaicin response, though pulmonary oedema was seen in both the groups. The present results indicate that MBT venom also augments the capsaicin-induced responses. The augmentation of capsaicin response involves PGs and pulmonary oedema-independent mechanisms whereas, the augmentation of PBG response involves kinin mediated GC-cGMP pathway and pulmonary oedema-dependent mechanisms.

  3. Buthid scorpions found in caves; a new species of Isometrus Ehrenberg, 1828 (Scorpiones, Buthidae) from southern Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Lourenço, Wilson R; Duhem, Bernard

    2010-08-01

    A new species, Isometrus (Reddyanus) deharvengi sp. n., is described from caves of the region of Hon Chong, Kien Giang in southern Vietnam. Comments are also added about the scorpion fauna of Southeast Asia and cave dwelling buthid scorpions.

  4. Venomous and poisonous arthropods: identification, clinical manifestations of envenomation, and treatments used in human injuries.

    PubMed

    Haddad Junior, Vidal; Amorim, Paulo Cezar Haddad de; Haddad Junior, William Teixeira; Cardoso, João Luiz Costa

    2015-01-01

    This review presents the main species of venomous and poisonous arthropods, with commentary on the clinical manifestations provoked by the toxins and therapeutic measures used to treat human envenomations. The groups of arthopods discussed include the class Arachnida (spiders and scorpions, which are responsible for many injuries reported worldwide, including Brazil); the subphylum Myriapoda, with the classes Chilopoda and Diplopoda (centipedes and millipedes); and the subphylum Hexapoda, with the class Insecta and the orders Coleoptera (beetles), Hemiptera (stink bugs, giant water bugs, and cicadas), Hymenoptera (ants, wasps, and bees), and Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths).

  5. Troglobitic scorpions: a new genus and species from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Lourenço, Wilson R; Baptista, Renner Luiz Cerqueira; de Leão Giupponi, Alessandro Ponce

    2004-12-01

    A new genus and species of troglobitic buthid scorpion are described on the basis of a single specimen collected in Brazil. This is the first cavernicolous scorpion ever found in Brazil, and only the second to be found in South America. Some considerations on troglobitic scorpions are proposed.

  6. Mountain scorpions: a new genus and species from Tibet (China).

    PubMed

    Lourenço, Wilson R; Qi, Jian-xin

    2006-04-01

    A new genus and species of mountain liochelid scorpion are described on the basis of a single specimen collected in Tibet (China). This is the first liochelid scorpion found in the high Himalayan Mountains of Tibet, and the first example of the family to be collected out of its typical tropical and subtropical areas of distribution. Some considerations on mountain scorpions are proposed.

  7. Purification and cDNA cloning of a novel neurotoxic peptide (Acra3) from the scorpion Androctonus crassicauda.

    PubMed

    Caliskan, Figen; García, Blanca I; Coronas, Fredy I V; Restano-Cassulini, Rita; Korkmaz, Ferhan; Sahin, Yalcin; Corzo, Gerardo; Possani, Lourival D

    2012-09-01

    Androctonus crassicauda is one of the Southeastern Anatolian scorpions of Turkey with ethno-medical and toxicological importance. Two toxic peptides (Acra1 and Acra2) were isolated and characterized from the venom of this scorpion. In this communication, the isolation of an additional toxin (Acra3) by chromatographic separations (HPLC and TSK-gel sulfopropyl) and its chemical and functional characterization is reported. Acra3 is a 7620Da molecular weight peptide, with 66 amino acid residues crosslinked by four disulfide bridges. The gene coding for this peptide was cloned and sequenced. Acra3 is anticipated to undergo post-translational modifications at the C-terminal region, having an amidated serine as last residue. Injection of Acra3 induces severe neurotoxic events in mice, such as: excitability and convulsions, leading to the death of the animals within a few minutes after injection. Electrophysiological assays conducted with pure Acra3, using cells that specifically expressed sodium channels (Nav1.1-Nav1.6) showed no clear effect. The exact molecular target of Acra3 remained undiscovered, similar to three other scorpion peptides that clustered very closely in the phylogenetic tree included here. The exact target of these four peptides is not very clear.

  8. Antimicrobial peptides from arachnid venoms and their microbicidal activity in the presence of commercial antibiotics.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Francia; Villegas, Elba; Espino-Solis, Gerardo Pavel; Rodriguez, Alexis; Paniagua-Solis, Jorge F; Sandoval-Lopez, Gabriel; Possani, Lourival D; Corzo, Gerardo

    2013-01-01

    Two antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), named La47 and Css54, were isolated from the venom of the spider Lachesana sp. and from the scorpion Centruroides suffusus suffusus, respectively. The primary structures of both La47 and Css54 were determined using N-terminal sequencing and mass spectrometry. La47 is identical to the AMP latarcin 3a obtained previously from the venom of the spider Lachesana tarabaevi, but the primary structure of Css54 is unique having 60% identities to the AMP ponericin-W2 from the venom of the ant Pachycondyla goeldii. Both La47 and Css54 have typical α-helix secondary structures in hydrophobic mimicking environments. The biological activities of both La47 and Css54 were compared with the AMP Pin2 isolated from the venom of the scorpion Pandinus imperator. La47 has lower antimicrobial and hemolytic activities compared with Css54 and Pin2. In addition, La47 and Pin2 were evaluated in the presence of the commercial antibiotics, chloramphenicol, ampicillin, novobiocin, streptomycin and kanamycin. Interestingly, the best antimicrobial combinations were obtained with mixtures of La47 and Pin2 with the antibiotics chloramphenicol, streptomycin and kanamycin, respectively. Furthermore, the novel peptide Css54 was evaluated in the presence of antibiotics used for the treatment of tuberculosis, isoniazid, rifampicin, pyrazinamide and ethambutol. Although the mixtures of Css54 with isoniazid, pyrazinamide or ethambutol inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, the best effect was found with rifampicin. Overall, these data show a motivating outlook for potential clinical treatments of bacterial infections using AMPs and commercial antibiotics.

  9. Understanding and utilising mammalian venom via a platypus venom transcriptome.

    PubMed

    Whittington, Camilla M; Koh, Jennifer M S; Warren, Wesley C; Papenfuss, Anthony T; Torres, Allan M; Kuchel, Philip W; Belov, Katherine

    2009-03-06

    Only five mammalian species are known to be venomous, and while a large amount of research has been carried out on reptile venom, mammalian venom has been poorly studied to date. Here we describe the status of current research into the venom of the platypus, a semi-aquatic egg-laying Australian mammal, and discuss our approach to platypus venom transcriptomics. We propose that such construction and analysis of mammalian venom transcriptomes from small samples of venom gland, in tandem with proteomics studies, will allow the identification of the full range of mammalian venom components. Functional studies and pharmacological evaluation of the identified toxins will then lay the foundations for the future development of novel biomedical substances. A large range of useful molecules have already been identified in snake venom, and many of these are currently in use in human medicine. It is therefore hoped that this basic research to identify the constituents of platypus venom will eventually yield novel drugs and new targets for painkillers.

  10. 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.

  11. Scorpion sting in Iran: a review.

    PubMed

    Dehghani, Rouhullah; Fathi, Behrooz

    2012-10-01

    Among Middle Eastern countries, at least 52 species of scorpions, especially dangerous types, have been reported in Iran. This is more than any other country in the region. In addition, in Iran the recorded scorpion stings from 2001 to 2009 were more than 42,500 per year, of which, approximately 19.5 deaths have been reported each year, mostly in spring and summer. About 10 species are responsible for the reported envenoming which belong to the Buthidae family apart from Hemiscorpius lepturus which is a Hemiscorpiidae. The Buthidae family includes: Androctonus crassicauda, Mesobuthus eupeus, Odontobuthus doriae, Hottentotta saulcyi, Hottentotta schach, Compsobuthus matthiesseni, Orthochirus scrobiculosus, Apistobuthus pterygocercus and Olivierus caucasicus. A. crassicauda and H. lepturus are usually cited as the most dangerous species among Iranian scorpions. This article focuses on the main Iranian scorpions and their geographical distribution, especially those which are medically important and considered to be the more dangerous to human, and also attempts to demonstrate an accurate magnitude of scorpion stings in Iran.

  12. Selected scorpion toxin exposures induce cytokine release in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

    PubMed

    Corzo, Gerardo; Espino-Solis, Gerardo Pavel

    2017-03-01

    A cytokine screening on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) stimulated with selected scorpion toxins (ScTx's) was performed in order to evaluate their effect on human immune cells. The ScTx's chosen for this report were three typical buthid scorpion venom peptides, one with lethal effects on mammals Centruroides suffussus suffusus toxin II (CssII), another, with lethal effects on insects and crustaceans Centruroides noxius toxin 5 (Cn5), and one more without lethal effects Tityus discrepans toxin (Discrepin). A Luminex multiplex analysis was performed in order to determine the amounts chemokines and cytokines IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12-p40, IL-13, interferon alpha (IFN-α), interferon gamma (IFN-γ), tumor necrosis factor alpha TNF-α, and interferon-inducible protein-10 (IP-10) secreted from human PBMCs exposed to these toxins. Although, the ScTx Cn5 is not lethal for mammals, it was able to induce the secretion of cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α, IL-10 and IP-10 in comparison to the lethal CssII, which was able to induce only IP-10 secretion. Discrepin also was able to induce only IP-10. Interestingly, only low amounts of interferons α and β were induced in the presence of the ScTx's assayed. In a synergic experiment, the combination of Discrepin and Cn5 displayed considerable reverse effects on induction of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10 and TNF-α, but they had a slight synergic effect on IP-10 cytokine production in comparison with the single effect obtained with the Cn5 alone. Thus, the results obtained suggest that the profile of secreted cytokines promoted by ScTx Cn5 is highly related with a cytokine storm event, and also it suggests that the mammalian lethal neurotoxins are not solely responsible of the scorpion envenomation symptomatology.

  13. 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.

  14. Bioinformatics-Aided Venomics

    PubMed Central

    Kaas, Quentin; Craik, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Venomics is a modern approach that combines transcriptomics and proteomics to explore the toxin content of venoms. This review will give an overview of computational approaches that have been created to classify and consolidate venomics data, as well as algorithms that have helped discovery and analysis of toxin nucleic acid and protein sequences, toxin three-dimensional structures and toxin functions. Bioinformatics is used to tackle specific challenges associated with the identification and annotations of toxins. Recognizing toxin transcript sequences among second generation sequencing data cannot rely only on basic sequence similarity because toxins are highly divergent. Mass spectrometry sequencing of mature toxins is challenging because toxins can display a large number of post-translational modifications. Identifying the mature toxin region in toxin precursor sequences requires the prediction of the cleavage sites of proprotein convertases, most of which are unknown or not well characterized. Tracing the evolutionary relationships between toxins should consider specific mechanisms of rapid evolution as well as interactions between predatory animals and prey. Rapidly determining the activity of toxins is the main bottleneck in venomics discovery, but some recent bioinformatics and molecular modeling approaches give hope that accurate predictions of toxin specificity could be made in the near future. PMID:26110505

  15. Purification, characterization, and bioactivity of a new analgesic-antitumor peptide from Chinese scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch.

    PubMed

    Shao, Jian-Hua; Cui, Yong; Zhao, Ming-Yi; Wu, Chun-Fu; Liu, Yan-Feng; Zhang, Jing-Hai

    2014-03-01

    Scorpion venoms are complex mixtures of dozens or even hundreds of distinct proteins, many of which have diverse bioactivities. In this study, after bioassay-driven chromatographic purification, a new dual-function peptide with analgesic and antitumor activities was isolated and designated BmK AGAP-SYPU2. The first 12 amino acid residues were sequenced with Edman degradation. The cDNA was cloned by using rapid amplification of cDNA ends from the cDNA pool from scorpion glands. The amino acid sequence of BmK AGAP-SYPU2 was then deduced, and is consistent with the molecular mass measured with MALDI-TOF-MS. A preliminary pharmacological analysis revealed the following: in the dose-effect curve plotted with the mouse-twisting test, BmK AGAP-SYPU2 showed analgesic activity with an ED50 value of 1.42 mg/kg; in the time-effect curves plotted with a hot-plate procedure, BmK AGAP-SYPU2 had similar effects to those of the painkiller morphine, except for its longer duration. BmK AGAP-SYPU2 also showed antitumor activity against Ehrlich ascites tumor and S-180 fibrosarcoma models in vivo. Sequence alignment and homology modeling showed that BmK AGAP-SYPU2 is highly conserved relative to other scorpion α-toxins. However, a few different amino acids endow it with unique molecular properties, which may be responsible for its specific bioactivities. BmK AGAP-SYPU2, a new scorpion neurotoxin with dual functions, is a potential candidate drug amenable to exploitation and modification.

  16. 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.

  17. Preclinical testing of Peruvian anti-bothropic anti-venom against Bothrops andianus snake venom.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Francisco S; Starling, Maria C; Duarte, Clara G; Machado de Avila, Ricardo; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes; Silva Suarez, Walter; Tintaya, Benigno; Flores Garrido, Karin; Seraylan Ormachea, Silvia; Yarleque, Armando; Bonilla, César; Chávez-Olórtegui, Carlos

    2012-11-01

    Bothrops andianus is a venomous snake found in the area of Machu Picchu (Peru). Its venom is not included in the antigenic pool used for production of the Peruvian anti-bothropic anti-venom. B. andianus venom can elicit many biological effects such as hemorrhage, hemolysis, proteolytic activity and lethality. The Peruvian anti-bothropic anti-venom displays consistent cross-reactivity with B. andianus venom, by ELISA and Western Blotting and is also effective in neutralizing the venom's toxic activities.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Activity trends and movement distances in the Arizona bark scorpion (Scorpiones: Buthidae).

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    The bark scorpion, Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing, is a nocturnal, cryptic, nonburrowing, mobile species that is common in urban landscapes spanning the desert southwest. Bark scorpions are often found in dense localized populations in cities, but the question of whether this is because the species is metabolically movement limited or choose to aggregate has not been addressed. Field observations lead us to believe that the scorpions move very little. Their ability to move is tested here. A circular pacing ring was constructed to observe the distance individuals could move in 2 h under both dark and light conditions. Observations under light motivate the arthropods to move, and significantly greater distances were observed in light trials, the maximum travel distance being 104.37 m, while the maximum distance in dark trials was 14.63 m. To monitor movement in the field, telemetry tags were used to mark female and male scorpions over 21 d during which relocation distances were recorded daily. Additionally, 12-h and 6-h overnight observational periods took place during which, scorpion movements were recorded hourly. Overall, it was found that scorpions moved significantly more in the pacing ring than in the field, indicating that field individuals are not moving at their maximum potential. Movement limitation does not explain their distribution pattern. In both the pacing ring and field, gender and pregnancy status had significant influence on distances moved. We conclude that C. sculpturatus is capable of much greater movement than is typically observed in the field.

  2. Common features in the functional surface of scorpion beta-toxins and elements that confer specificity for insect and mammalian voltage-gated sodium channels.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Lior; Karbat, Izhar; Gilles, Nicolas; Ilan, Nitza; Benveniste, Morris; Gordon, Dalia; Gurevitz, Michael

    2005-02-11

    Scorpion beta-toxins that affect the activation of mammalian voltage-gated sodium channels (Navs) have been studied extensively, but little is known about their functional surface and mode of interaction with the channel receptor. To enable a molecular approach to this question, we have established a successful expression system for the anti-mammalian scorpion beta-toxin, Css4, whose effects on rat brain Navs have been well characterized. A recombinant toxin, His-Css4, was obtained when fused to a His tag and a thrombin cleavage site and had similar binding affinity for and effect on Na currents of rat brain sodium channels as those of the native toxin isolated from the scorpion venom. Molecular dissection of His-Css4 elucidated a functional surface of 1245 A2 composed of the following: 1) a cluster of residues associated with the alpha-helix, which includes a putative "hot spot" (this cluster is conserved among scorpion beta-toxins and contains their "pharmacophore"); 2) a hydrophobic cluster associated mainly with the beta2 and beta3 strands, which is likely to confer the specificity for mammalian Navs; 3) a single bioactive residue (Trp-58) in the C-tail; and 4) a negatively charged residue (Glu-15) involved in voltage sensor trapping as inferred from our ability to uncouple toxin binding from activity upon its substitution. This study expands our understanding about the mode of action of scorpion beta-toxins and illuminates differences in the functional surfaces that may dictate their specificities for mammalian versus insect sodium channels.

  3. The new kappa-KTx 2.5 from the scorpion Opisthacanthus cayaporum.

    PubMed

    Camargos, Thalita Soares; Restano-Cassulini, Rita; Possani, Lourival Domingos; Peigneur, Steve; Tytgat, Jan; Schwartz, Carlos Alberto; Alves, Erica Maria C; de Freitas, Sonia Maria; Schwartz, Elisabeth Ferroni

    2011-07-01

    The kappa-KTx family of peptides, which is the newest K⁺-channel blocker family from scorpion venom, is present in scorpions from the families Scorpionidae and Liochelidae. Differently from the other scorpion KTx families, the three-dimensional structure of the known kappa-KTxs toxins is formed by two parallel α-helices linked by two disulfide bridges. Here, the characterization of a new kappa-KTx peptide, designated kappa-KTx 2.5, derived from the Liochelidae scorpion Opisthacanthus cayaporum, is described. This peptide was purified by HPLC and found to be identical to OcyC8, a predicted mature sequence precursor (UniProtKB C5J89) previously described by our group. The peptide was chemically synthesized and the circular dichroism (CD) spectra of both, native and synthetic, conducted at different temperatures in water and water/trifluoroethanol (TFE), showed a predominance of α-helices. The kappa-KTx 2.5 is heat stable and was shown to be a blocker of K⁺-currents on hKv1.1, and hKv1.4, with higher affinity for Kv1.4 channels (IC₅₀= 71 μM). Similarly to the other kappa-KTxs, the blockade of K⁺-channels occurred at micromolar concentrations, leading to uncertainness about their proper molecular target, and consequently their pharmacologic effect. In order to test other targets, kappa-KTx2.5 was tested on other K⁺-channels, on Na⁺-channels, on bacterial growth and on smooth muscle tissue, a known assay to identify possible bradykinin-potentiating peptides, due to the presence of two contiguous prolines at the C-terminal sequence. It has no effect on the targets used except on hKv1.1, and hKv1.4 expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells. Since the only plausible function found for kappa-KTx2.5 seems to be the blockade of K⁺-channels, a discussion regarding the analysis of structure-function relationships is included in this communication, based on sequence alignments of members of the kappa-KTx toxin family, and on computational simulation of a

  4. [Management of scorpion sting in Morocco].

    PubMed

    Bencheikh, R Soulaymani; Khattabi, A; Faraj, Z; Semlali, I

    2008-04-01

    Scorpion stings are the first cause of poisoning, and represent between 30 and 50% of all cases reported to the Moroccan Poison Control Centre. Concerned by the size of the problem, we have paid special attention to this pathology. Through retrospective and prospective studies, it has been possible to determine the nature and the chronology of clinical stages, as well as the epidemiological, clinical and therapeutic factors of gravity. On this basis, we worked out a new management to provide support for patients. This management will standardize support provided at the national level, and will reduce the number of lethal case and rationalize spending by reviewing medication, transfer of patients and hospital care. This standardization is an essential component of the national strategy against scorpion poisoning. Other components include training of medical staff, awareness campaigns, and information systems to monitor lethal cases. A survey over five years shows a reduction in the number of lethal cases and rationalization of costs. Medical care provided rests upon the distinction between patients stung by scorpions and patients actually poisoned. The first category of patients will be monitored up to four hours after the scorpion sting, while poisoned patients will be transferred to an intensive care unit.

  5. Mucormycosis after scorpion sting: case report.

    PubMed

    Pourahmad, Morteza; Sepidkar, Abdolali; Farokhnia, Mohmmad H; Tadayon, Seyed M K; Salehi, Hassan; Zabetian, Hassan

    2013-09-01

    Mucor is a fungus, which give rise to opportunistic infection in immunocompromised patients. We described a 55-year-old immunocompetent woman with cutaneous mucormycosis after scorpion sting. Mucormycosis may happen in patients with intact immunity and is not allocated only to patients with immune deficiency.

  6. [Insect venom allergies].

    PubMed

    Przybilla, Bernhard; Ruëff, Franziska

    2003-10-01

    Systemic IgE-mediated immediate type reactions (anaphylaxis) due to honeybee or vespid stings are potentially life-threatening; they are reported in up to 5% of the general population. Insect venom allergy is diagnosed by history, skin testing and measurement of insect venom-specific serum IgE; sometimes additional tests are needed. The diagnosis is based on the history of a systemic allergic immediate type sting reaction, without such a medical history any other "positive" test results are irrelevant. Nearly always, patients with systemic allergic sting reactions can be protected from further episodes of anaphylaxis by a carefully performed hyposensitization (specific immunotherapy). If therapeutic efficacy has been proven by tolerance of a re-sting, hyposensitization can be frequently stopped after 3 to 5 years. Patients with a particular risk of frequent re-stings or of very severe sting reactions may have to be treated for a longer time, some of them even life-long.

  7. Optimal Neutralization of Centruroides noxius Venom Is Understood through a Structural Complex between Two Antibody Fragments and the Cn2 Toxin.

    PubMed

    Riaño-Umbarila, Lidia; Ledezma-Candanoza, Luis M; Serrano-Posada, Hugo; Fernández-Taboada, Guillermo; Olamendi-Portugal, Timoteo; Rojas-Trejo, Sonia; Gómez-Ramírez, Ilse V; Rudiño-Piñera, Enrique; Possani, Lourival D; Becerril, Baltazar

    2016-01-22

    The current trend of using recombinant antibody fragments in research to develop novel antidotes against scorpion stings has achieved excellent results. The polyclonal character of commercial antivenoms, obtained through the immunization of animals and which contain several neutralizing antibodies that recognize different epitopes on the toxins, guarantees the neutralization of the venoms. To avoid the use of animals, we aimed to develop an equivalent recombinant antivenom composed of a few neutralizing single chain antibody fragments (scFvs) that bind to two different epitopes on the scorpion toxins. In this study, we obtained scFv RU1 derived from scFv C1. RU1 showed a good capacity to neutralize the Cn2 toxin and whole venom of the scorpion Centruroides noxius. Previously, we had produced scFv LR, obtained from a different parental fragment (scFv 3F). LR also showed a similar neutralizing capacity. The simultaneous administration of both scFvs resulted in improved protection, which was translated as a rapid recovery of previously poisoned animals. The crystallographic structure of the ternary complex scFv LR-Cn2-scFv RU1 allowed us to identify the areas of interaction of both scFvs with the toxin, which correspond to non-overlapping sites. The epitope recognized by scFv RU1 seems to be related to a greater efficiency in the neutralization of the whole venom. In addition, the structural analysis of the complex helped us to explain the cross-reactivity of these scFvs and how they neutralize the venom.

  8. Optimal Neutralization of Centruroides noxius Venom Is Understood through a Structural Complex between Two Antibody Fragments and the Cn2 Toxin*

    PubMed Central

    Riaño-Umbarila, Lidia; Ledezma-Candanoza, Luis M.; Serrano-Posada, Hugo; Fernández-Taboada, Guillermo; Olamendi-Portugal, Timoteo; Rojas-Trejo, Sonia; Gómez-Ramírez, Ilse V.; Rudiño-Piñera, Enrique; Possani, Lourival D.; Becerril, Baltazar

    2016-01-01

    The current trend of using recombinant antibody fragments in research to develop novel antidotes against scorpion stings has achieved excellent results. The polyclonal character of commercial antivenoms, obtained through the immunization of animals and which contain several neutralizing antibodies that recognize different epitopes on the toxins, guarantees the neutralization of the venoms. To avoid the use of animals, we aimed to develop an equivalent recombinant antivenom composed of a few neutralizing single chain antibody fragments (scFvs) that bind to two different epitopes on the scorpion toxins. In this study, we obtained scFv RU1 derived from scFv C1. RU1 showed a good capacity to neutralize the Cn2 toxin and whole venom of the scorpion Centruroides noxius. Previously, we had produced scFv LR, obtained from a different parental fragment (scFv 3F). LR also showed a similar neutralizing capacity. The simultaneous administration of both scFvs resulted in improved protection, which was translated as a rapid recovery of previously poisoned animals. The crystallographic structure of the ternary complex scFv LR-Cn2-scFv RU1 allowed us to identify the areas of interaction of both scFvs with the toxin, which correspond to non-overlapping sites. The epitope recognized by scFv RU1 seems to be related to a greater efficiency in the neutralization of the whole venom. In addition, the structural analysis of the complex helped us to explain the cross-reactivity of these scFvs and how they neutralize the venom. PMID:26589800

  9. A Novel Hyaluronidase from Brown Spider (Loxosceles intermedia) Venom (Dietrich's Hyaluronidase): From Cloning to Functional Characterization

    PubMed Central

    Ferrer, Valéria Pereira; de Mari, Thiago Lopes; Gremski, Luiza Helena; Trevisan Silva, Dilza; da Silveira, Rafael Bertoni; Gremski, Waldemiro; Chaim, Olga Meiri; Senff-Ribeiro, Andrea; Nader, Helena Bonciani; Veiga, Silvio Sanches

    2013-01-01

    Loxoscelism is the designation given to clinical symptoms evoked by Loxosceles spider's bites. Clinical manifestations include skin necrosis with gravitational spreading and systemic disturbs. The venom contains several enzymatic toxins. Herein, we describe the cloning, expression, refolding and biological evaluation of a novel brown spider protein characterized as a hyaluronidase. Employing a venom gland cDNA library, we cloned a hyaluronidase (1200 bp cDNA) that encodes for a signal peptide and a mature protein. Amino acid alignment revealed a structural relationship with members of hyaluronidase family, such as scorpion and snake species. Recombinant hyaluronidase was expressed as N-terminal His-tag fusion protein (∼45 kDa) in inclusion bodies and activity was achieved using refolding. Immunoblot analysis showed that antibodies that recognize the recombinant protein cross-reacted with hyaluronidase from whole venom as well as an anti-venom serum reacted with recombinant protein. Recombinant hyaluronidase was able to degrade purified hyaluronic acid (HA) and chondroitin sulfate (CS), while dermatan sulfate (DS) and heparan sulfate (HS) were not affected. Zymograph experiments resulted in ∼45 kDa lytic zones in hyaluronic acid (HA) and chondroitin sulfate (CS) substrates. Through in vivo experiments of dermonecrosis using rabbit skin, the recombinant hyaluronidase was shown to increase the dermonecrotic effect produced by recombinant dermonecrotic toxin from L. intermedia venom (LiRecDT1). These data support the hypothesis that hyaluronidase is a “spreading factor”. Recombinant hyaluronidase provides a useful tool for biotechnological ends. We propose the name Dietrich's Hyaluronidase for this enzyme, in honor of Professor Carl Peter von Dietrich, who dedicated his life to studying proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans. PMID:23658852

  10. Unusual stability of messenger RNA in snake venom reveals gene expression dynamics of venom replenishment.

    PubMed

    Currier, Rachel B; Calvete, Juan J; Sanz, Libia; Harrison, Robert A; Rowley, Paul D; Wagstaff, Simon C

    2012-01-01

    Venom is a critical evolutionary innovation enabling venomous snakes to become successful limbless predators; it is therefore vital that venomous snakes possess a highly efficient venom production and delivery system to maintain their predatory arsenal. Here, we exploit the unusual stability of messenger RNA in venom to conduct, for the first time, quantitative PCR to characterise the dynamics of gene expression of newly synthesised venom proteins following venom depletion. Quantitative PCR directly from venom enables real-time dynamic studies of gene expression in the same animals because it circumvents the conventional requirement to sacrifice snakes to extract mRNA from dissected venom glands. Using qPCR and proteomic analysis, we show that gene expression and protein re-synthesis triggered by venom expulsion peaks between days 3-7 of the cycle of venom replenishment, with different protein families expressed in parallel. We demonstrate that venom re-synthesis occurs very rapidly following depletion of venom stores, presumably to ensure venomous snakes retain their ability to efficiently predate and remain defended from predators. The stability of mRNA in venom is biologically fascinating, and could significantly empower venom research by expanding opportunities to produce transcriptomes from historical venom stocks and rare or endangered venomous species, for new therapeutic, diagnostic and evolutionary studies.

  11. 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

  12. Bioactive Components in Fish Venoms

    PubMed Central

    Ziegman, Rebekah; Alewood, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Animal venoms are widely recognized excellent resources for the discovery of novel drug leads and physiological tools. Most are comprised of a large number of components, of which the enzymes, small peptides, and proteins are studied for their important bioactivities. However, in spite of there being over 2000 venomous fish species, piscine venoms have been relatively underrepresented in the literature thus far. Most studies have explored whole or partially fractioned venom, revealing broad pharmacology, which includes cardiovascular, neuromuscular, cytotoxic, inflammatory, and nociceptive activities. Several large proteinaceous toxins, such as stonustoxin, verrucotoxin, and Sp-CTx, have been isolated from scorpaenoid fish. These form pores in cell membranes, resulting in cell death and creating a cascade of reactions that result in many, but not all, of the physiological symptoms observed from envenomation. Additionally, Natterins, a novel family of toxins possessing kininogenase activity have been found in toadfish venom. A variety of smaller protein toxins, as well as a small number of peptides, enzymes, and non-proteinaceous molecules have also been isolated from a range of fish venoms, but most remain poorly characterized. Many other bioactive fish venom components remain to be discovered and investigated. These represent an untapped treasure of potentially useful molecules. PMID:25941767

  13. Purification, characterization and functional expression of a new peptide with an analgesic effect from Chinese scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch (BmK AGP-SYPU1).

    PubMed

    Wang, Yu; Wang, Li; Cui, Yong; Song, Yong-Bo; Liu, Yan-Feng; Zhang, Rong; Wu, Chun-Fu; Zhang, Jing-Hai

    2011-07-01

    In this study, a new peptide named BmK AGP-SYPU1 with an analgesic effect was purified from the venom of Chinese scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch (BmK) through a four-step chromatographic process. The mouse twisting test was used to identify the target peptides in every separation step. The purified BmK AGP-SYPU1 was further qualified by RP-HPLC and HPCE. The molecular mass determined by the MALDI-4800-TOF/TOF MS for BmK AGP-SYPU1 was 7544 Da. Its primary structure of the N-terminal was obtained using Edman degradation. The gene sequence of BmK AGP-SYPU1 was cloned from the cDNA pool and genomic of scorpion glands, respectively, and then expressed in Escherichia coli. The sequence determination showed that BmK AGP-SYPU1 was composed of 66 amino acid residues with a new primary structure. The metal chelating affinity column and cation exchange chromatography were used to purify the recombinant BmK AGP-SYPU1. Consequently, the native and recombinant BmK AGP-SYPU1 showed similar analgesic effects on mice as assayed using a mouse twisting model. These results suggested that BmK AGP-SYPU1 is a new analgesic component found in the Chinese scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch.

  14. Chinese-scorpion (Buthus martensi Karsch) toxin BmK alphaIV, a novel modulator of sodium channels: from genomic organization to functional analysis.

    PubMed

    Chai, Zhi-Fang; Zhu, Mang-Mang; Bai, Zhan-Tao; Liu, Tong; Tan, Miao; Pang, Xue-Yan; Ji, Yong-Hua

    2006-11-01

    In the present study, BmK alphaIV, a novel modulator of sodium channels, was cloned from venomous glands of the Chinese scorpion (Buthus martensi Karsch) and expressed successfully in Escherichia coli. The BmK alphaIV gene is composed of two exons separated by a 503 bp intron. The mature polypeptide contains 66 amino acids. BmK alphaIV has potent toxicity in mice and cockroaches. Surface-plasmon-resonance analysis found that BmK alphaIV could bind to both rat cerebrocortical synaptosomes and cockroach neuronal membranes, and shared similar binding sites on sodium channels with classical AaH II (alpha-mammal neurotoxin from the scorpion Androctonus australis Hector), BmK AS (beta-like neurotoxin), BmK IT2 (the depressant insect-selective neurotoxin) and BmK abT (transitional neurotoxin), but not with BmK I (alpha-like neurotoxin). Two-electrode voltage clamp recordings on rNav1.2 channels expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes revealed that BmK alphaIV increased the peak amplitude and prolonged the inactivation phase of Na+ currents. The structural and pharmacological properties compared with those of other scorpion alpha-toxins suggests that BmK alphaIV represents a novel subgroup or functional hybrid of alpha-toxins and might be an evolutionary intermediate neurotoxin for alpha-toxins.

  15. 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.

  16. NMR solution structure of Cn12, a novel peptide from the Mexican scorpion Centruroides noxius with a typical beta-toxin sequence but with alpha-like physiological activity.

    PubMed

    del Río-Portilla, Federico; Hernández-Marín, Elizabeth; Pimienta, Genaro; Coronas, Fredy V; Zamudio, Fernando Z; Rodríguez de la Vega, Ricardo C; Wanke, Enzo; Possani, Lourival D

    2004-06-01

    Cn12 isolated from the venom of the scorpion Centruroides noxius has 67 amino-acid residues, closely packed with four disulfide bridges. Its primary structure and disulfide bridges were determined. Cn12 is not lethal to mammals and arthropods in vivo at doses up to 100 microg per animal. Its 3D structure was determined by proton NMR using 850 distance constraints, 36 phi angles derived from 36 coupling constants obtained by two different methods, and 22 hydrogen bonds. The overall structure has a two and half turn alpha-helix (residues 24-32), three strands of antiparallel beta-sheet (residues 2-4, 37-40 and 45-48), and a type II turn (residues 41-44). The amino-acid sequence of Cn12 resembles the beta scorpion toxin class, although patch-clamp experiments showed the induction of supplementary slow inactivation of Na(+) channels in F-11 cells (mouse neuroblastoma N18TG-2 x rat DRG2), which means that it behaves more like an alpha scorpion toxin. This behaviour prompted us to analyse Na(+) channel binding sites using information from 112 Na(+) channel gene clones available in the literature, focusing on the extracytoplasmic loops of the S5-S6 transmembrane segments of domain I and the S3-S4 segments of domain IV, sites considered to be responsible for binding alpha scorpion toxins.

  17. Polymerized soluble venom--human serum albumin

    SciTech Connect

    Patterson, R.; Suszko, I.M.; Grammer, L.C.

    1985-03-01

    Extensive previous studies have demonstrated that attempts to produce polymers of Hymenoptera venoms for human immunotherapy resulted in insoluble precipitates that could be injected with safety but with very limited immunogenicity in allergic patients. We now report soluble polymers prepared by conjugating bee venom with human serum albumin with glutaraldehyde. The bee venom-albumin polymer (BVAP) preparation was fractionated on Sephacryl S-300 to have a molecular weight range higher than catalase. /sup 125/I-labeled bee venom phospholipase A was almost completely incorporated into BVAP. Rabbit antibody responses to bee venom and bee venom phospholipase A were induced by BVAP. Human antisera against bee venom were absorbed by BVAP. No new antigenic determinants on BVAP were present as evidenced by absorption of antisera against BVAP by bee venom and albumin. BVAP has potential immunotherapeutic value in patients with anaphylactic sensitivity to bee venom.

  18. Humicolous buthoid scorpions: a new species from Brazilian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Lourenço, Wilson R

    2005-01-01

    A new species of humicolous buthid scorpion is described on the basis of a single specimen collected in the Brazilian Amazonia. New considerations on the taxonomy and biogeography of some micro-scorpions of the subfamily Ananterinae Pocock, 1900 are proposed in relation to their possible evolution from endogeous to epygean environments.

  19. Humicolous microcharmid scorpions: a new genus and species from Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Lourenço, Wilson R

    2004-01-01

    A new genus and species of humicolous microcharmid scorpion are described on the basis of a single specimen collected in the Ankarana Reserve, Madagascar. New considerations regarding the taxonomy and morphology of micro-buthoid Malagasy scorpions are proposed, based mainly on the study of the peg-shaped sensillae of the pectines by scanning electron microscopy.

  20. Gene cloning and functional characterization of four novel antimicrobial-like peptides from scorpions of the family Vaejovidae.

    PubMed

    Ramírez-Carreto, Santos; Quintero-Hernández, Verónica; Jiménez-Vargas, Juana María; Corzo, Gerardo; Possani, Lourival D; Becerril, Baltazar; Ortiz, Ernesto

    2012-04-01

    From the cDNA libraries made from the venom glands of two scorpions belonging to the Vaejovidae family, four different putative non disulfide-bridged antimicrobial peptides were identified: VmCT1 and VmCT2 from Vaejovis mexicanus smithi plus VsCT1 and VsCT2 from Vaejovis subcristatus. These short peptides (with only 13 amino acid residues each) share important amino acid sequence similarities among themselves and with other reported antimicrobial peptides, but their biological activities vary dramatically. This communication reports the cloning, chemical synthesis and characterization of these peptides. Two peptides, VmCT1 and VmCT2 showed broad-spectrum antibacterial activity with minimum inhibitory concentrations MICs in the range of 5-25 μM and 10-20 μM respectively, whereas their hemolytic activity at these concentrations was low. Structure-function relationships that might determine the differences in activities are discussed.

  1. [Epidemiological data on scorpion envenomation in Algeria].

    PubMed

    Hellal, H; Guerinik, M; Griene, L; Laid, Y; Mesbah, S; Merad, R; Alamir, B

    2012-08-01

    The scorpion envenomation is a major public health problem in Algeria. Given this fact, the Ministry of Health has developed a national strategy for prevention and control based on the training of health personnel, information, education and communication, and standardization of care on the basis of a therapeutic consensus. The monitoring and evaluation activities are carried out by epidemiological indicators through the implementation of an information system based in the services of Epidemiology, INSP (National Institute of Public Health) and Prevention Department of the Health Ministry. The information carriers are report cards implemented in different health facilities that collect data on bites and deaths from scorpion envenomation. Summaries of notifications from the wilayas are collected monthly, and processed by the Epi info software using monitoring indicators. From 1991 to 2010, there has been a stagnation in the number of stings with an average of 50,000 cases per year, but mortality decreased from more than 100 deaths in the last fifty years to 50 nowadays. The higher proportion of stings was recorded during the summer period. The most affected group is from 15 to 49 years which constitute the workforce, but children from 5 to 14 years rank first in terms of mortality. But these rates vary across years and regions. Despite all these efforts, the scorpion envenomation in Algeria remains of concern and our main challenges are to strengthen cross-sectional actions at the local level and improving the quality of care.

  2. 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.

  3. First chemical synthesis of a scorpion alpha-toxin affecting sodium channels: the Aah I toxin of Androctonus australis hector.

    PubMed

    M'Barek, Sarrah; Fajloun, Ziad; Cestèle, Sandrine; Devaux, Christiane; Mansuelle, Pascal; Mosbah, Amor; Jouirou, Besma; Mantegazza, Massimo; Van Rietschoten, Jurphaas; El Ayeb, Mohamed; Rochat, Hervé; Sabatier, Jean-Marc; Sampieri, François

    2004-11-01

    Aah I is a 63-residue alpha-toxin isolated from the venom of the Buthidae scorpion Androctonus australis hector, which is considered to be the most dangerous species. We report here the first chemical synthesis of Aah I by the solid-phase method, using a Fmoc strategy. The synthetic toxin I (sAah I) was renatured in DMSO-Tris buffer, purified and subjected to thorough analysis and comparison with the natural toxin. The sAah I showed physico-chemical (CD spectrum, molecular mass, HPLC elution), biochemical (amino-acid composition, sequence), immunochemical and pharmacological properties similar to those of the natural toxin. The synthetic toxin was recognized by a conformation-dependent monoclonal anti-Aah I antibody, with an IC50 value close to that for the natural toxin. Following intracerebroventricular injection, the synthetic and the natural toxins were similarly lethal to mice. In voltage-clamp experiments, Na(v) 1.2 sodium channel inactivation was inhibited by the application of sAah I or of the natural toxin in a similar way. This work describes a simple protocol for the chemical synthesis of a scorpion alpha-toxin, making it possible to produce structural analogues in time.

  4. The solution structure of BmTx3B, a member of the scorpion toxin subfamily alpha-KTx 16.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuefeng; Chen, Xiang; Zhang, Naixia; Wu, Gong; Wu, Houming

    2005-02-01

    This article reports the solution structure of BmTx3B (alpha-KTx16.2), a potassium channel blocker belonging to the subfamily alpha-KTx16, purified from the venom of the Chinese scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch. In solution, BmTx3B assumes a typical CSalphabeta motif, with an alpha-helix connected to a triple-stranded beta-sheet by 3 disulfide bridges, which belongs to the first structural group of short-chain scorpion toxins. On the other hand, BmTx3B is quite different from other toxins (such as ChTx and AgTx2) of this group in terms of the electrostatic and hydrophobic surface distribution. The functional surface (beta-face) of the molecule is characterized by less basic residues (only 2: Lys28 and Arg35) and extra aromatic residues (Phe1, Phe9, Trp15, and Tyr37). The peptide shows a great preference for the Kca1.1 channel over the Kv channel (about a 10(3)-fold difference). The model of BmTx3B/Kca1.1 channel complex generated by docking and dynamic simulation reveals that the stable binding between the BmTx3B and Kca1.1 channel is favored by a number of aromatic pi-pi stacking interactions. The influences of these structural features on the kinetic behavior of the toxin binding to Kca1.1 channel are also discussed.

  5. 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.

  6. Polypeptide toxins from animal venoms.

    PubMed

    Kozlov, Sergey A

    2007-01-01

    In the course of evolution, venomous animals developed highly specialized venomous systems that provided for drastic increase in hunting and defense efficiency. Venoms of a vast number of animal species represent complex mixtures of compounds such as ions, biogenic amines, polyamines, polypeptide neurotoxins, cytolytic peptides, enzymes, etc. that exert different functions. Natural toxins are sequentially variable molecules that are very stable structurally and produce pronounced biological effects on molecular targets. High activity made them very attractive in terms of novel structure discovery and characterization. In the present review we draw attention to the structure of polypeptide molecules preferably in the 2-12 kDa molecular mass range produced by various venomous animals that were published in patent literature. The structures were reviewed on the basis of functional relation to molecular targets. We also compared the sequence information from patents with Uniprot and other protein databanks to define structures that were patented but missing from the public databases.

  7. Charaterization of bumarsin, a 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme reductase inhibitor from Mesobuthus martensii Karsch venom.

    PubMed

    Chai, S C; Armugam, A; Strong, P N; Jeyaseelan, K

    2012-09-01

    Scorpion venoms are rich sources of bioactive peptides and are widely known for their ion channel inhibiting properties. We have isolated, cloned and characterized a venom protein (Bumarsin) from the Chinese scorpion, Mesobuthus martensii Karsch. Bumarsin cDNA encodes a 8132 Da, 72 amino acid mature protein that most probably exists in its native form as a Cys-bridged homodimer. We have identified this novel protein to be an inhibitor of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase activity. 0.6 μM of Bumarsin inhibits 32% of the HMG-CoA reductase activity, in comparison to 10 μM simvastatin which only inhibits 35% of the activity. RT-PCR and SELDI-TOF mass spectrometric studies demonstrate that bumarsin regulates the expression of both genes and proteins involved in cholesterol homeostasis. Our results suggest that bumarsin may provide a model for the design of novel drugs that can be used to modulate cholesterol homeostasis.

  8. Injuries caused by venomous animals and folk medicine in farmers from Cuité, State of Paraiba, Northeast of Brazil.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Hellyson Fidel Araujo; da Costa, Cristiane Francisca; Sassi, Roberto

    2013-09-01

    Injuries caused by venomous animals reported by the agricultural workers from the municipality of Cuité, Curimataú region of Paraiba State, Northeast of Brazil, and the practices of folk medicine which they use to treat these cases were studied in this work from June to August 2010. The farmers studied aged from 11 to 90 years. The number of people who reported cases of injury by these animals in their families was high (89.3%). Scorpions, wasps, bees and snakes were the most cited and the extremities of the body (hands, feet, legs and head) were the most affected. The practice of folk medicine to treat these injuries includes various procedures ranging from ritualistic treatments, use of animals or parts of them, and some herbal preparations. The folk treatment was reported as effective by most of the workers injured (63.9%). Body parts of dead snakes are used in various zootherapic treatments. In the imaginary of the agricultural workers the venomous animals are considered hazardous (48.7%) or disgusting (11.3%), and several parts of such animals as the rattle, bee sting or snake leather are used as amulet. Several legends have also been reported about snakes, scorpions and bees. The need for educational activities that aim to clarify these workers about the dangers of such practices is urgent.

  9. Divergent non-LTR retrotransposon lineages from the genomes of scorpions (Arachnida: Scorpiones).

    PubMed

    Glushkov, Sergei; Novikova, Olga; Blinov, Alexander; Fet, Victor

    2006-03-01

    We screened across the taxonomic diversity of order Scorpiones (22 species belonging to 21 genera and 10 families) for the presence of seven different clades of non-LTR retrotransposons in their genomes using PCR with newly designed clade-specific consensus-degenerate hybrid oligonucleotide primers. Scorpion genomes were found to contain four known non-LTR retrotransposon clades: R1, I, Jockey, and CR1. In total, 35 fragments of reverse transcriptase genes of new elements from 22 scorpion species were obtained and analyzed for three clades, Jockey, I, and CR1. Phylogenies of different clades of elements were built using amino acid sequences inferred from 33 non-LTR retrotransposon clones. Distinct evolutionary lineages, with several major groups of the non-LTR retroelements were identified, showing significant variation. Four lineages were revealed in Jockey clade. The phylogeny of I clade showed strong support for the monophyletic origin of such group of elements in scorpions. Three separate lineages can be distinguished in the phylogenetic tree of CR1 clade. The large fraction of the isolated elements appeared to be defective.

  10. High-resolution proteomic profiling of spider venom: expanding the toxin diversity of Phoneutria nigriventer venom.

    PubMed

    Liberato, Tarcísio; Troncone, Lanfranco Ranieri Paolo; Yamashiro, Edson T; Serrano, Solange M T; Zelanis, André

    2016-03-01

    Here we present a proteomic characterization of Phoneutria nigriventer venom. A shotgun proteomic approach allowed the identification, for the first time, of O-glycosyl hydrolases (chitinases) in P. nigriventer venom. The electrophoretic profiles under nonreducing and reducing conditions, and protein identification by mass spectrometry, indicated the presence of oligomeric toxin structures in the venom. Complementary proteomic approaches allowed for a qualitative and semi-quantitative profiling of P. nigriventer venom complexity, expanding its known venom proteome diversity.

  11. Extraction of venom and venom gland microdissections from spiders for proteomic and transcriptomic analyses.

    PubMed

    Garb, Jessica E

    2014-11-03

    Venoms are chemically complex secretions typically comprising numerous proteins and peptides with varied physiological activities. Functional characterization of venom proteins has important biomedical applications, including the identification of drug leads or probes for cellular receptors. Spiders are the most species rich clade of venomous organisms, but the venoms of only a few species are well-understood, in part due to the difficulty associated with collecting minute quantities of venom from small animals. This paper presents a protocol for the collection of venom from spiders using electrical stimulation, demonstrating the procedure on the Western black widow (Latrodectus hesperus). The collected venom is useful for varied downstream analyses including direct protein identification via mass spectrometry, functional assays, and stimulation of venom gene expression for transcriptomic studies. This technique has the advantage over protocols that isolate venom from whole gland homogenates, which do not separate genuine venom components from cellular proteins that are not secreted as part of the venom. Representative results demonstrate the detection of known venom peptides from the collected sample using mass spectrometry. The venom collection procedure is followed by a protocol for dissecting spider venom glands, with results demonstrating that this leads to the characterization of venom-expressed proteins and peptides at the sequence level.

  12. Extraction of Venom and Venom Gland Microdissections from Spiders for Proteomic and Transcriptomic Analyses

    PubMed Central

    Garb, Jessica E.

    2014-01-01

    Venoms are chemically complex secretions typically comprising numerous proteins and peptides with varied physiological activities. Functional characterization of venom proteins has important biomedical applications, including the identification of drug leads or probes for cellular receptors. Spiders are the most species rich clade of venomous organisms, but the venoms of only a few species are well-understood, in part due to the difficulty associated with collecting minute quantities of venom from small animals. This paper presents a protocol for the collection of venom from spiders using electrical stimulation, demonstrating the procedure on the Western black widow (Latrodectus hesperus). The collected venom is useful for varied downstream analyses including direct protein identification via mass spectrometry, functional assays, and stimulation of venom gene expression for transcriptomic studies. This technique has the advantage over protocols that isolate venom from whole gland homogenates, which do not separate genuine venom components from cellular proteins that are not secreted as part of the venom. Representative results demonstrate the detection of known venom peptides from the collected sample using mass spectrometry. The venom collection procedure is followed by a protocol for dissecting spider venom glands, with results demonstrating that this leads to the characterization of venom-expressed proteins and peptides at the sequence level. PMID:25407635

  13. Synthesis and characterization of Pi4, a scorpion toxin from Pandinus imperator that acts on K+ channels.

    PubMed

    M'Barek, Sarrah; Mosbah, Amor; Sandoz, Guillaume; Fajloun, Ziad; Olamendi-Portugal, Timoteo; Rochat, Hervé; Sampieri, François; Guijarro, J Iñaki; Mansuelle, Pascal; Delepierre, Muriel; De Waard, Michel; Sabatier, Jean-Marc

    2003-09-01

    Pi4 is a 38-residue toxin cross-linked by four disulfide bridges that has been isolated from the venom of the Chactidae scorpion Pandinus imperator. Together with maurotoxin, Pi1, Pi7 and HsTx1, Pi4 belongs to the alpha KTX6 subfamily of short four-disulfide-bridged scorpion toxins acting on K+ channels. Due to its very low abundance in venom, Pi4 was chemically synthesized in order to better characterize its pharmacology and structural properties. An enzyme-based cleavage of synthetic Pi4 (sPi4) indicated half-cystine pairings between Cys6-Cys27, Cys12-32, Cys16-34 and Cys22-37, which denotes a conventional pattern of scorpion toxin reticulation (Pi1/HsTx1 type). In vivo, sPi4 was lethal after intracerebroventricular injection to mice (LD50 of 0.2 microg per mouse). In vitro, addition of sPi4 onto Xenopus laevis oocytes heterologously expressing various voltage-gated K+ channel subtypes showed potent inhibition of currents from rat Kv1.2 (IC50 of 8 pm) and Shaker B (IC50 of 3 nm) channels, whereas no effect was observed on rat Kv1.1 and Kv1.3 channels. The sPi4 was also found to compete with 125I-labeled apamin for binding to small-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K+ (SK) channels from rat brain synaptosomes (IC50 value of 0.5 microm). sPi4 is a high affinity blocker of the Kv1.2 channel. The toxin was docked (BIGGER program) on the Kv channel using the solution structure of sPi4 and a molecular model of the Kv1.2 channel pore region. The model suggests a key role for residues Arg10, Arg19, Lys26 (dyad), Ile28, Lys30, Lys33 and Tyr35 (dyad) in the interaction and the associated blockage of the Kv1.2 channel.

  14. The pharmacological activity of fish venoms.

    PubMed

    Church, Jarrod E; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2002-08-01

    Venomous creatures have been the source of much recent research in the effort to find novel physiological tools and pharmaceuticals. However, due to the technical difficulties with obtaining and storing venom extracts, the venoms of marine animals, particularly fish, remain a largely untapped source of novel compounds. The most potent effects of piscine venoms are on the cardiovascular system. All piscine venoms produce profound cardiovascular changes, both in vitro and in vivo, including the release of nitric oxide from endothelial cells, smooth muscle contraction, and differing effects on atria. Although there is a complex balance between different components of the venom response, similarities exist between the responses to the venoms of all species of fish. In addition to their cardiovascular effects, piscine venoms possess neuromuscular activity. Once again, the activities of most piscine venoms are very similar, usually consisting of a depolarising action on both nerve and muscle cells. Most piscine venoms have potent cytolytic activity, and it seems likely that this activity is the mechanism behind many of their cardiovascular and neuromuscular effects. Piscine venoms all seem to share similar activity, probably as a result of evolving for a common purpose, and cross-reactivity with stonefish antivenom, both functionally in experimental models and in Western immunoblotting analysis, suggesting that piscine venoms may also possess structural similarities in addition to their functional similarities.

  15. 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

  16. Venom on ice: first insights into Antarctic octopus venoms.

    PubMed

    Undheim, E A B; Georgieva, D N; Thoen, H H; Norman, J A; Mork, J; Betzel, C; Fry, B G

    2010-11-01

    The venom of Antarctic octopus remains completely unstudied. Here, a preliminary investigation was conducted into the properties of posterior salivary gland (PSG) extracts from four Antarctica eledonine (Incirrata; Octopodidae) species (Adelieledone polymorpha, Megaleledone setebos, Pareledone aequipapillae, and Pareledone turqueti) collected from the coast off George V's Land, Antarctica. Specimens were assayed for alkaline phosphatase (ALP), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), proteolytic, phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)), and haemolytic activities. For comparison, stomach tissue from Cirroctopus sp. (Cirrata; Cirroctopodidae) was also assayed for ALP, AChE, proteolytic and haemolytic activities. Dietary and morphological data were collected from the literature to explore the ecological importance of venom, taking an adaptive evolutionary approach. Of the incirrate species, three showed activities in all assays, while P. turqueti did not exhibit any haemolytic activity. There was evidence for cold-adaptation of ALP in all incirrates, while proteolytic activity in all except P. turqueti. Cirroctopus sp. stomach tissue extract showed ALP, AChE and some proteolytic activity. It was concluded that the AChE activity seen in the PSG extracts was possibly due to a release of household proteins, and not one of the secreted salivary toxins. Although venom undoubtedly plays an important part in prey capture and processing by Antarctica eledonines, no obvious adaptations to differences in diet or morphology were apparent from the enzymatic and haemolytic assays. However, several morphological features including enlarged PSG, small buccal mass, and small beak suggest such adaptations are present. Future studies should be conducted on several levels: Venomic, providing more detailed information on the venom compositions as well as the venom components themselves; ecological, for example application of serological or genetic methods in identifying stomach contents; and behavioural

  17. Evidence of duplicated Hox genes in the most recent common ancestor of extant scorpions.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Prashant P; Santiago, Marc A; González-Santillán, Edmundo; Monod, Lionel; Wheeler, Ward C

    2015-01-01

    Scorpions (order Scorpiones) are unusual among arthropods, both for the extreme heteronomy of their bauplan and for the high gene family turnover exhibited in their genomes. These phenomena appear to be correlated, as two scorpion species have been shown to possess nearly twice the number of Hox genes present in most arthropods. Segmentally offset anterior expression boundaries of a subset of Hox paralogs have been shown to correspond to transitions in segmental identities in the scorpion posterior tagmata, suggesting that posterior heteronomy in scorpions may have been achieved by neofunctionalization of Hox paralogs. However, both the first scorpion genome sequenced and the developmental genetic data are based on exemplars of Buthidae, one of 19 families of scorpions. It is therefore not known whether Hox paralogy is limited to Buthidae or widespread among scorpions. We surveyed 24 high throughput transcriptomes and the single whole genome available for scorpions, in order to test the prediction that Hox gene duplications are common to the order. We used gene tree parsimony to infer whether the paralogy was consistent with a duplication event in the scorpion common ancestor. Here we show that duplicated Hox genes in non-buthid scorpions occur in six of the ten Hox classes. Gene tree topologies and parsimony-based reconciliation of the gene trees are consistent with a duplication event in the most recent common ancestor of scorpions. These results suggest that a Hox paralogy, and by extension the model of posterior patterning established in a buthid, can be extended to non-Buthidae scorpions.

  18. S-alkylation of soft scorpionates.

    PubMed

    Rajasekharan-Nair, Rajeev; Moore, Dean; Chalmers, Kirsten; Wallace, Dawn; Diamond, Louise M; Darby, Lisa; Armstrong, David R; Reglinski, John; Spicer, Mark D

    2013-02-11

    The alkylation reactions of soft scorpionates are reported. The hydrotris(S-alkyl-methimazolyl)borate dications (alkyl = methyl, allyl, benzyl), which were prepared by the reaction of Tm(Me) anion and primary alkyl halides, have been isolated and structurally characterised. The reaction is, however, not universally successful. DFT analysis of these alkylation reactions (C=S versus B-H alkylation) indicates that the observed outcome is driven by kinetic factors. Extending the study to incorporate alternative imine thiones (mercaptobenzothiazole, bz; thiazoline, tz) led to the structural characterisation of di[aquo-μ-aquohydrotris(mercaptobenzothiazolyl)boratosodium], which contains sodium atoms in the κ(3)-S,S,S coordination mode. Alkylation of Na[Tbz] and Na[tzTtz] leads to decomposition resulting in the formation of the simple S-alkylated heterocycles. The analysis of the species involved in these reactions shows an inherent weakness in the B-N bond in soft scorpionates, which has implications for their use in more advanced chemistry.

  19. Tropical marine neurotoxins: venoms to drugs.

    PubMed

    Watters, Michael R

    2005-09-01

    Neurotoxic venoms are common among tropical marine creatures, which have specialized apparatuses for delivery of the venoms. These include jellyfish and anemones, venomous cone snails, venomous fish, stingrays, sea snakes, and venomous octopuses. Numerous toxic neuropeptides are found within these venoms, and some can discriminate between closely related intracellular targets, a characteristic that makes them useful to define cation channels and attractive for drug development. A synthetic derivative of an omega-conotoxin is now available, representing a new class of analgesics. In general, toxic marine venoms contain proteins that are heat labile, providing opportunity for therapeutic intervention following envenomation, while ingestible seafood toxins are thermostable toxins. Ingestible toxins found in the tropics include those associated with reef fish, pufferfish, and some shellfish, which serve as food-chain vectors for toxins produced by marine microorganisms.

  20. Straightforward approach to produce recombinant scorpion toxins-Pore blockers of potassium channels.

    PubMed

    Nekrasova, Oksana; Kudryashova, Ksenia; Fradkov, Arkadiy; Yakimov, Sergey; Savelieva, Maria; Kirpichnikov, Mikhail; Feofanov, Alexey

    2017-01-10

    Scorpion venom peptide blockers (KTx) of potassium channels are a valuable tool for structure-functional studies and prospective candidates for medical applications. Low yields of recombinant KTx hamper their wide application. We developed convenient and efficient bioengineering approach to a large-scale KTx production that meets increasing demands for such peptides. Maltose-binding protein was used as a carrier for cytoplasmic expression of folded disulfide-rich KTx in E. coli. TEV protease was applied for in vitro cleavage of the target peptide from the carrier. To produce KTx with retained native N-terminal sequence, the last residue of TEV protease cleavage site (CSTEV) was occupied by the native N-terminal residue of a target peptide. It was shown that decreased efficiency of hydrolysis of fusion proteins with non-canonical CSTEV can be overcome without by-product formation. Disulfide formation and folding of a target peptide occurred in cytoplasm eliminating the need for renaturation procedure in vitro. Advantages of this approach were demonstrated by producing six peptides with three disulfide bonds related to four KTx sub-families and achieving peptide yields of 12-22mg per liter of culture. The developed approach can be of general use for low-cost production of various KTx, as well as other disulfide-rich peptides and proteins.

  1. Membrane interactions and biological activity of antimicrobial peptides from Australian scorpion.

    PubMed

    Luna-Ramírez, Karen; Sani, Marc-Antoine; Silva-Sanchez, Jesus; Jiménez-Vargas, Juana María; Reyna-Flores, Fernando; Winkel, Kenneth D; Wright, Christine E; Possani, Lourival D; Separovic, Frances

    2014-09-01

    UyCT peptides are antimicrobial peptides isolated from the venom of the Australian scorpion. The activity of the UyCT peptides against Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria and red blood cells was determined. The membrane interactions of these peptides were evaluated by dye release (DR) of the fluorophore calcein from liposomes and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC); and their secondary structure was determined by circular dichroism (CD). Three different lipid systems were used to mimic red blood cells, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus membranes. UyCT peptides exhibited broad spectrum antimicrobial activity with low MIC for S. aureus and multi-drug resistant Gram negative strains. Peptide combinations showed some synergy enhancing their potency but not hemolytic activity. The UyCT peptides adopted a helical structure in lipid environments and DR results confirmed that the mechanism of action is by disrupting the membrane. ITC data indicated that UyCT peptides preferred prokaryotic rather than eukaryotic membranes. The overall results suggest that UyCT peptides could be pharmaceutical leads for the treatment of Gram negative multiresistant bacterial infections, especially against Acinetobacter baumanni, and candidates for peptidomimetics to enhance their potency and minimize hemolysis. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Interfacially Active Peptides and Proteins. Guest Editors: William C. Wimley and Kalina Hristova.

  2. Fluorescent protein-scorpion toxin chimera is a convenient molecular tool for studies of potassium channels

    PubMed Central

    Kuzmenkov, Alexey I.; Nekrasova, Oksana V.; Kudryashova, Kseniya S.; Peigneur, Steve; Tytgat, Jan; Stepanov, Alexey V.; Kirpichnikov, Mikhail P.; Grishin, Eugene V.; Feofanov, Alexey V.; Vassilevski, Alexander A.

    2016-01-01

    Ion channels play a central role in a host of physiological and pathological processes and are the second largest target for existing drugs. There is an increasing need for reliable tools to detect and visualize particular ion channels, but existing solutions suffer from a number of limitations such as high price, poor specificity, and complicated protocols. As an alternative, we produced recombinant chimeric constructs (FP-Tx) consisting of fluorescent proteins (FP) fused with potassium channel toxins from scorpion venom (Tx). In particular, we used two FP, eGFP and TagRFP, and two Tx, OSK1 and AgTx2, to create eGFP-OSK1 and RFP-AgTx2. We show that these chimeras largely retain the high affinity of natural toxins and display selectivity to particular ion channel subtypes. FP-Tx are displaced by other potassium channel blockers and can be used as an imaging tool in ion channel ligand screening setups. We believe FP-Tx chimeras represent a new efficient molecular tool for neurobiology. PMID:27650866

  3. Venom gland transcriptomics for identifying, cataloging, and characterizing venom proteins in snakes.

    PubMed

    Brahma, Rajeev Kungur; McCleary, Ryan J R; Kini, R Manjunatha; Doley, Robin

    2015-01-01

    Snake venoms are cocktails of protein toxins that play important roles in capture and digestion of prey. Significant qualitative and quantitative variation in snake venom composition has been observed among and within species. Understanding these variations in protein components is instrumental in interpreting clinical symptoms during human envenomation and in searching for novel venom proteins with potential therapeutic applications. In the last decade, transcriptomic analyses of venom glands have helped in understanding the composition of various snake venoms in great detail. Here we review transcriptomic analysis as a powerful tool for understanding venom profile, variation and evolution.

  4. Hymenoptera venom allergy in humans.

    PubMed

    Cichocka-Jarosz, Ewa

    2012-01-01

    Reactions to Hymenoptera stings may appear as local or systemic responses. According to European data, the incidence of systemic reactions to Hymenoptera stings in the general population is 0.3-7.5%, with the value being 0.3-0.8% in children and 14-43% in beekeepers. The most common systemic allergic (anaphylactic) reactions are caused by honeybees (Apis mellifera), and certain species of wasps in the family Vespidae. Severe generalized immediate-type allergic (anaphylactic) reactions to insect stings are of the highest clinical importance. They affect skin, gastrointestinal tract, respiratory and cardiovascular system. The classification of severity of anaphylactic reaction following insect stings is based on the 4-grade Mueller scale. Crucial in patomechanism of anaphylaxis are specific IgE antibodies directed against the components of the venom, which mediate the activation of mast cells, the main effector cells of anaphylaxis. Therapeutic management in insect venom allergy should be considered in the context of prophylaxis, intervention in case symptoms develop, prevention in the form of venom specific immunotherapy (VIT). There are two steps of VIT 1. Initial dose venom immunotherapy (given according to four protocols which differ the time to reach the maintenance dose) 2. Maintenance dose VIT, usually equal 100 µg. Standard treatment time should span 3-5 years. The main mechanisms of immune tolerance that are initiated by VIT are associated with: 1. a decreased reactivity of effector cells, 2. expansion of T regulatory lymphocytes with IL-10 expression. Therapeutic effectiveness amounts to 90-100% in wasp venom allergy and approximately 80% in bee venom allergy.

  5. 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.

  6. DISC ELECTROPHORESIS OF HYMENOPTERA VENOMS AND BODY PROTEINS.

    PubMed

    O'CONNOR, R; ROSENBROOK, W; ERICKSON, R

    1964-09-18

    The venom proteins of honey bee, Polistes wasp, yellow hornet, and yellow jacket are similar but not identical. Extracts of venom sacs and whole insects contain several proteins not found in the pure venoms.

  7. Mapping of scorpion toxin receptor sites at voltage-gated sodium channels.

    PubMed

    Gurevitz, Michael

    2012-09-15

    Scorpion alpha and beta toxins interact with voltage-gated sodium channels (Na(v)s) at two pharmacologically distinct sites. Alpha toxins bind at receptor site-3 and inhibit channel inactivation, whereas beta toxins bind at receptor site-4 and shift the voltage-dependent activation toward more hyperpolarizing potentials. The two toxin classes are subdivided to distinct pharmacological groups according to their binding preferences and ability to compete for the receptor sites at Na(v) subtypes. To elucidate the toxin-channel surface of interaction at both receptor sites and clarify the molecular basis of varying toxin preferences, an efficient bacterial system for their expression in recombinant form was established. Mutagenesis accompanied by toxicity, binding and electrophysiological assays, in parallel to determination of the three-dimensional structure using NMR and X-ray crystallography uncovered a bipartite bioactive surface in toxin representatives of all pharmacological groups. Exchange of external loops between the mammalian brain channel rNa(v)1.2a and the insect channel DmNa(v)1 highlighted channel regions involved in the varying sensitivity to assorted toxins. In parallel, thorough mutagenesis of channel external loops illuminated points of putative interaction with the toxins. Amino acid substitutions at external loops S1-S2 and S3-S4 of the voltage sensor module in domain II of rNa(v)1.2a had prominent impact on the activity of the beta-toxin Css4 (from Centruroides suffusus suffusus), and substitutions at external loops S1-S2 and S3-S4 of the voltage sensor module in domain IV affected the activity of the alpha-toxin Lqh2 (from Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus). Rosetta modeling of toxin-Na(v) interaction using the voltage sensor module of the potassium channel as template raises commonalities in the way alpha and beta toxins interact with the channel. Css4 interacts with rNa(v)1.2a at a crevice between S1-S2 and S3-S4 transmembrane segments in domain

  8. 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

  9. 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... analysis process for the proposed replacement and potential relocation of the existing Scorpion Pier at..., Attn: Scorpion Pier Project, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, CA 93001 or electronically to...

  10. Colubrid Venom Composition: An -Omics Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L. M.; Campos, Pollyanna F.; Ching, Ana T. C.; Mackessy, Stephen P.

    2016-01-01

    Snake venoms have been subjected to increasingly sensitive analyses for well over 100 years, but most research has been restricted to front-fanged snakes, which actually represent a relatively small proportion of extant species of advanced snakes. Because rear-fanged snakes are a diverse and distinct radiation of the advanced snakes, understanding venom composition among “colubrids” is critical to understanding the evolution of venom among snakes. Here we review the state of knowledge concerning rear-fanged snake venom composition, emphasizing those toxins for which protein or transcript sequences are available. We have also added new transcriptome-based data on venoms of three species of rear-fanged snakes. Based on this compilation, it is apparent that several components, including cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRiSPs), C-type lectins (CTLs), CTLs-like proteins and snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs), are broadly distributed among “colubrid” venoms, while others, notably three-finger toxins (3FTxs), appear nearly restricted to the Colubridae (sensu stricto). Some putative new toxins, such as snake venom matrix metalloproteinases, are in fact present in several colubrid venoms, while others are only transcribed, at lower levels. This work provides insights into the evolution of these toxin classes, but because only a small number of species have been explored, generalizations are still rather limited. It is likely that new venom protein families await discovery, particularly among those species with highly specialized diets. PMID:27455326

  11. Colubrid Venom Composition: An -Omics Perspective.

    PubMed

    Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L M; Campos, Pollyanna F; Ching, Ana T C; Mackessy, Stephen P

    2016-07-23

    Snake venoms have been subjected to increasingly sensitive analyses for well over 100 years, but most research has been restricted to front-fanged snakes, which actually represent a relatively small proportion of extant species of advanced snakes. Because rear-fanged snakes are a diverse and distinct radiation of the advanced snakes, understanding venom composition among "colubrids" is critical to understanding the evolution of venom among snakes. Here we review the state of knowledge concerning rear-fanged snake venom composition, emphasizing those toxins for which protein or transcript sequences are available. We have also added new transcriptome-based data on venoms of three species of rear-fanged snakes. Based on this compilation, it is apparent that several components, including cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRiSPs), C-type lectins (CTLs), CTLs-like proteins and snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs), are broadly distributed among "colubrid" venoms, while others, notably three-finger toxins (3FTxs), appear nearly restricted to the Colubridae (sensu stricto). Some putative new toxins, such as snake venom matrix metalloproteinases, are in fact present in several colubrid venoms, while others are only transcribed, at lower levels. This work provides insights into the evolution of these toxin classes, but because only a small number of species have been explored, generalizations are still rather limited. It is likely that new venom protein families await discovery, particularly among those species with highly specialized diets.

  12. The phylum Cnidaria and investigations of its toxins and venoms until 1990.

    PubMed

    Turk, Tom; Kem, William R

    2009-12-15

    Cnidarians are the largest phylum of generally toxic animals, yet their toxins and venoms have not received as much scientific attention as those of many terrestrial (snakes, scorpions, spiders, etc.) and even some marine animals (i.e. cone snails). Approximately 13,000 living cnidarian species have been described by systematists. A major rationale for their study in the past, besides scientific curiosity, was to better treat victims of their envenomation. While that goal remains a high priority, it is now appreciated that the toxins of these mostly marine animals can be very useful molecular probes for the analysis of ion channels involved in electrical signaling, immune responses and other signal transduction processes of biomedical interest. For instance, anaphylaxis was discovered by Richet (1905) during experiments with sea anemone and hydrozoan tentacular extracts. Similarly, it has recently been shown that a toxin from another sea anemone is able to potently inhibit T-lymphocyte proliferation in models of certain autoimmune diseases. Thus, these natural substances continue to be of relevance for understanding and treating human diseases. In addition to introducing phylum Cnidaria (Coelenterata), we provide a short history of early (until about 1990) research on cnidarian toxins and venoms, to provide a perspective for appreciating the scientific advances of the past two decades that are summarized in the ensuing 19 papers in this special Toxicon issue.

  13. Lizard Bite Masquerading as Scorpion Sting Envenomation

    PubMed Central

    Neelannavar, Ramesh; Patil, Shankargouda; Lakhkar, Bhavana; Shegji, Vijaykumar

    2016-01-01

    Lizard bite is very infrequent in children. Lizards tend to avoid confrontation. Bites are only inflicted when they are manipulated or when they are cornered and feel threatened. Lizard bites may be frightening but most do not cause serious health problems. The wall lizard or gecko, found in most homes, is not poisonous at all. It only checks insect population. A two-year-old boy was brought with history of lizard bite over right hand when he was trying to capture it. The child had experienced excessive sweating and irritability within two hours of bite. He was treated with supportive care. Prazosin hydrochloride was administered in the dose of 30μ/kg as his symptoms mimicked the autonomic storm which is typically seen with scorpion sting envenomation. To the best of our knowledge autonomic storm following lizard bite has not been reported in the Indian literature so far. PMID:28050465

  14. Approaches to the treatment of scorpion envenoming.

    PubMed

    Freire-Maia, L; Campos, J A; Amaral, C F

    1994-09-01

    A total of 3866 patients stung by Tityus serrulatus scorpion was admitted to Hospital João XXIII, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, over a 16-year period (an average of 241 cases per year). Of these, 73% were adults and 27% were children aged less than 14 years. The moderate or benign cases were treated with symptomatic measures and/or i.v. antivenom, whereas 168 severely envenomed children were treated in the Intensive Care Unit. Lung oedema was unilateral in several cases, with the presence of air bronchograms and a peripheral distribution, suggesting that a noncardiogenic factor is also involved in the genesis of lung oedema. The treatment consisted of symptomatic measures, support of vital functions and i.v. antivenom. The mortality was 1% among children and 0.28% for the total number of patients.

  15. Species identification from dried snake venom.

    PubMed

    Singh, Chandra S; Gaur, Ajay; Sreenivas, Ara; Singh, Lalji

    2012-05-01

    Illegal trade in snake parts has increased enormously. In spite of strict protection under wildlife act, a large number of snakes are being killed ruthlessly in India for venom and skin. Here, an interesting case involving confiscation of crystallized dried snake venom and subsequent DNA-based species identification is reported. The analysis using the universal primers for cytochrome b region of the mitochondrial DNA revealed that the venom was extracted from an Indian cobra (Naja naja). On the basis of this report, the forwarding authority booked a case in the court of law against the accused for illegal hunting of an endangered venomous snake and smuggling of snake venom. This approach thus has immense potential for rapid identification of snake species facing endangerment because of illegal trade. This is also the first report of DNA isolation from dried snake venom for species identification.

  16. The scorpion toxin Bot IX is a potent member of the α-like family and has a unique N-terminal sequence extension.

    PubMed

    Martin-Eauclaire, Marie-France; Salvatierra, Juan; Bosmans, Frank; Bougis, Pierre E

    2016-09-01

    We report the detailed chemical, immunological and pharmacological characterization of the α-toxin Bot IX from the Moroccan scorpion Buthus occitanus tunetanus venom. Bot IX, which consists of 70 amino acids, is a highly atypical toxin. It carries a unique N-terminal sequence extension and is highly lethal in mice. Voltage clamp recordings on oocytes expressing rat Nav1.2 or insect BgNav1 reveal that, similar to other α-like toxins, Bot IX inhibits fast inactivation of both variants. Moreover, Bot IX belongs to the same structural/immunological group as the α-like toxin Bot I. Remarkably, radioiodinated Bot IX competes efficiently with the classical α-toxin AaH II from Androctonus australis, and displays one of the highest affinities for Nav channels.

  17. Ichthyotoxicity caused by marine cone snail venoms?

    PubMed

    Mebs, Dietrich; Kauferstein, Silke

    2005-09-01

    Ten venoms from marine cone snails were tested for ichthyotoxic effects on zebra fish (Brachydanio rerio) when added to the water. Only two venoms, from Conus capitaneus and Conus episcopatus, produced lethal effects at high concentrations (50-300 microg/ml) within 20-90 min. No sedative or hypnotic symptoms were observed. The experiments confirm that Conus venoms exert a quick and prompt activity only by parenteral injection into the prey as it is performed by the snail.

  18. Peptide Toxins in Solitary Wasp Venoms

    PubMed Central

    Konno, Katsuhiro; Kazuma, Kohei; Nihei, Ken-ichi

    2016-01-01

    Solitary wasps paralyze insects or spiders with stinging venom and feed the paralyzed preys to their larva. Accordingly, the venoms should contain a variety of constituents acting on nervous systems. However, only a few solitary wasp venoms have been chemically studied despite thousands of species inhabiting the planet. We have surveyed bioactive substances in solitary wasp venoms found in Japan and discovered a variety of novel bioactive peptides. Pompilidotoxins (PMTXs), in the venoms of the pompilid wasps Anoplius samariensis and Batozonellus maculifrons, are small peptides consisting of 13 amino acids without a disulfide bond. PMTXs slowed Na+ channel inactivation, in particular against neuronal type Na+ channels, and were rather selective to the Nav1.6 channel. Mastoparan-like cytolytic and antimicrobial peptides are the major components of eumenine wasp venoms. They are rich in hydrophobic and basic amino acids, adopting a α-helical secondary structure, and showing mast cell degranulating, antimicrobial and hemolytic activities. The venom of the spider wasp Cyphononyx fulvognathus contained four bradykinin-related peptides. They are hyperalgesic and, dependent on the structure, differently associated with B1 or B2 receptors. Further survey led to the isolation of leucomyosuppressin-like FMRFamide peptides from the venoms of the digger wasps Sphex argentatus and Isodontia harmandi. These results of peptide toxins in solitary wasp venoms from our studies are summarized. PMID:27096870

  19. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    PubMed Central

    Touchard, Axel; Aili, Samira R.; Fox, Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson; Escoubas, Pierre; Orivel, Jérôme; Nicholson, Graham M.; Dejean, Alain

    2016-01-01

    Ants (Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to develop complex collaborative strategies, partly involving their venom secretions, to defend their nest against predators, microbial pathogens, ant competitors, and to hunt prey. Activities of ant venom include paralytic, cytolytic, haemolytic, allergenic, pro-inflammatory, insecticidal, antimicrobial, and pain-producing pharmacologic activities, while non-toxic functions include roles in chemical communication involving trail and sex pheromones, deterrents, and aggregators. While these diverse activities in ant venoms have until now been largely understudied due to the small venom yield from ants, modern analytical and venomic techniques are beginning to reveal the diversity of toxin structure and function. As such, ant venoms are distinct from other venomous animals, not only rich in linear, dimeric and disulfide-bonded peptides and bioactive proteins, but also other volatile and non-volatile compounds such as alkaloids and hydrocarbons. The present review details the unique structures and pharmacologies of known ant venom proteinaceous and alkaloidal toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents. PMID:26805882

  20. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms.

    PubMed

    Touchard, Axel; Aili, Samira R; Fox, Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson; Escoubas, Pierre; Orivel, Jérôme; Nicholson, Graham M; Dejean, Alain

    2016-01-20

    Ants (Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to develop complex collaborative strategies, partly involving their venom secretions, to defend their nest against predators, microbial pathogens, ant competitors, and to hunt prey. Activities of ant venom include paralytic, cytolytic, haemolytic, allergenic, pro-inflammatory, insecticidal, antimicrobial, and pain-producing pharmacologic activities, while non-toxic functions include roles in chemical communication involving trail and sex pheromones, deterrents, and aggregators. While these diverse activities in ant venoms have until now been largely understudied due to the small venom yield from ants, modern analytical and venomic techniques are beginning to reveal the diversity of toxin structure and function. As such, ant venoms are distinct from other venomous animals, not only rich in linear, dimeric and disulfide-bonded peptides and bioactive proteins, but also other volatile and non-volatile compounds such as alkaloids and hydrocarbons. The present review details the unique structures and pharmacologies of known ant venom proteinaceous and alkaloidal toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents.

  1. Snake venom toxins: toxicity and medicinal applications.

    PubMed

    Chan, Yau Sang; Cheung, Randy Chi Fai; Xia, Lixin; Wong, Jack Ho; Ng, Tzi Bun; Chan, Wai Yee

    2016-07-01

    Snake venoms are complex mixtures of small molecules and peptides/proteins, and most of them display certain kinds of bioactivities. They include neurotoxic, cytotoxic, cardiotoxic, myotoxic, and many different enzymatic activities. Snake envenomation is a significant health issue as millions of snakebites are reported annually. A large number of people are injured and die due to snake venom poisoning. However, several fatal snake venom toxins have found potential uses as diagnostic tools, therapeutic agent, or drug leads. In this review, different non-enzymatically active snake venom toxins which have potential therapeutic properties such as antitumor, antimicrobial, anticoagulating, and analgesic activities will be discussed.

  2. Exploring the therapeutic potential of jellyfish venom.

    PubMed

    Daly, Norelle L; Seymour, Jamie; Wilson, David

    2014-10-01

    The venom of certain jellyfish has long been known to be potentially fatal to humans, but it is only recently that details of the proteomes of these fascinating creatures are emerging. The molecular contents of the nematocysts from several jellyfish species have now been analyzed using proteomic MS approaches and include the analysis of Chironex fleckeri, one of the most venomous jellyfish known. These studies suggest that some species contain toxins related to peptides and proteins found in other venomous creatures. The detailed characterization of jellyfish venom is likely to provide insight into the diversification of toxins and might be a valuable resource in drug design.

  3. A new approach for investigating venom function applied to venom calreticulin in a parasitoid wasp

    PubMed Central

    Siebert, Aisha L.; Wheeler, David; Werren, John H.

    2015-01-01

    A new method is developed to investigate functions of venom components, using venom gene RNA interference knockdown in the venomous animal coupled with RNA sequencing in the envenomated host animal. The vRNAi/eRNA-Seq approach is applied to the venom calreticulin component (v-crc) of the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis. Parasitoids are common, venomous animals that inject venom proteins into host insects, where they modulate physiology and metabolism to produce a better food resource for the parasitoid larvae. vRNAi/eRNA-Seq indicates that v-crc acts to suppress expression of innate immune cell response, enhance expression of clotting genes in the host, and up-regulate cuticle genes. V-crc KD also results in an increased melanization reaction immediately following envenomation. We propose that v-crc inhibits innate immune response to parasitoid venom and reduces host bleeding during adult and larval parasitoid feeding. Experiments do not support the hypothesis that v-crc is required for the developmental arrest phenotype observed in envenomated hosts. We propose that an important role for some venom components is to reduce (modulate) the exaggerated effects of other venom components on target host gene expression, physiology, and survival, and term this venom mitigation. A model is developed that uses vRNAi/eRNA-Seq to quantify the contribution of individual venom components to total venom phenotypes, and to define different categories of mitigation by individual venoms on host gene expression. Mitigating functions likely contribute to the diversity of venom proteins in parasitoids and other venomous organisms. PMID:26359852

  4. Venom regeneration in the centipede Scolopendra polymorpha: evidence for asynchronous venom component synthesis.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Allen M; Kelln, Wayne J; Hayes, William K

    2014-12-01

    Venom regeneration comprises a vital process in animals that rely on venom for prey capture and defense. Venom regeneration in scolopendromorph centipedes likely influences their ability to subdue prey and defend themselves, and may influence the quantity and quality of venom extracted by researchers investigating the venom's biochemistry. We investigated venom volume and total protein regeneration during the 14-day period subsequent to venom extraction in the North American centipede Scolopendra polymorpha. We further tested the hypothesis that venom protein components, separated by reversed-phase fast protein liquid chromatography (RP-FPLC), undergo asynchronous (non-parallel) synthesis. During the first 48 h, volume and protein mass increased linearly. Protein regeneration lagged behind volume regeneration, with 65–86% of venom volume and 29–47% of protein mass regenerated during the first 2 days. No additional regeneration occurred over the subsequent 12 days, and neither volume nor protein mass reached initial levels 7 months later (93% and 76%, respectively). Centipede body length was negatively associated with rate of venom regeneration. Analysis of chromatograms of individual venom samples revealed that 5 of 10 chromatographic regions and 12 of 28 peaks demonstrated changes in percent of total peak area (i.e., percent of total protein) among milking intervals, indicating that venom proteins are regenerated asynchronously. Moreover, specimens from Arizona and California differed in relative amounts of some venom components. The considerable regeneration of venom occurring within the first 48 h, despite the reduced protein content, suggests that predatory and defensive capacities are minimally constrained by the timing of venom replacement.

  5. Reconstitution of high-affinity binding of a beta-scorpion toxin to neurotoxin receptor site 4 on purified sodium channels.

    PubMed

    Thomsen, W; Martin-Eauclaire, M F; Rochat, H; Catterall, W A

    1995-09-01

    Reconstitution of purified sodium channels into phospholipid vesicles restores many aspects of sodium channel function including high-affinity neurotoxin binding and action at neurotoxin receptor sites 1-3 and 5, but neurotoxin binding and action at receptor site 4 has not previously been demonstrated in purified and reconstituted preparations. Toxin IV from the venom of the American scorpion Centruroides suffusus suffusus (Css IV), a beta-scorpion toxin, shifts the voltage dependence of sodium channel activation by binding with high affinity to neurotoxin receptor site 4. Sodium channels were purified from rat brain and reconstituted into phospholipid vesicles composed of phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine (65:35). 125I-Css IV, purified by reversed-phase HPLC, bound rapidly and specifically to reconstituted sodium channels. Dissociation of the bound toxin was biphasic with half-times of 0.22 min-1 and 0.015 min-1. At equilibrium, the toxin bound to two classes of specific high-affinity sites, a variable minor class with KD of approximately 0.1 nM and a major class with a KD of approximately 5 nM. Approximately 0.8 mol 125I-Css IV was bound per mole of reconstituted, right-side-out sodium channels, as assessed from comparison of binding of saxitoxin and Css IV. Binding of Css IV was unaffected by membrane potential or by neurotoxins that bind at sites 1-3 or 5, consistent with the characteristics of binding of beta-scorpion toxins to sodium channels in cells and membrane preparations.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  6. Venom immunotherapy in patients with mastocytosis and hymenoptera venom anaphylaxis.

    PubMed

    González-de-Olano, David; Alvarez-Twose, Iván; Vega, Arantza; Orfao, Alberto; Escribano, Luis

    2011-05-01

    Systemic mastocytosis (SM) is typically suspected in patients with cutaneous mastocytosis (CM). In recent years, the presence of clonal mast cells (MCs) in a subset of patients with systemic symptoms associated with MC activation in the absence of CM has been reported and termed monoclonal MC activation syndromes or clonal systemic MC activation syndromes. In these cases, bone marrow (BM) MC numbers are usually lower than in SM with CM, there are no detectable BM MC aggregates, and serum baseline tryptase is often <20 µg/l; thus, diagnosis of SM in these patients should be based on careful evaluation of other minor WHO criteria for SM in reference centers, where highly sensitive techniques for immunophenotypic analysis and investigation of KIT mutations on fluorescence-activated cell sorter-purified BM MCs are routinely performed. The prevalence of hymenoptera venom anaphylaxis (HVA) among SM patients is higher than among the normal population and it has been reported to be approximately 5%. In SM patients with IgE-mediated HVA, venom immunotherapy is safe and effective and it should be prescribed lifelong. Severe adverse reactions to hymenoptera stings or venom immunotherapy have been associated with increased serum baseline tryptase; however, presence of clonal MC has not been ruled out in most reports and thus both SM and clonal MC activation syndrome might be underdiagnosed in such patients. In fact, clonal BM MC appears to be a relevant risk factor for both HVA and severe reactions to venom immunotherapy, while the increase in serum baseline tryptase by itself should be considered as a powerful surrogate marker for anaphylaxis. The Spanish Network on Mastocytosis has developed a scoring system based on patient gender, the clinical symptoms observed during anaphylaxis and serum baseline tryptase to predict for the presence of both MC clonality and SM among individuals who suffer from anaphylaxis.

  7. [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.

  8. 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.

  9. Negative-shift activation, current reduction and resurgent currents induced by β-toxins from Centruroides scorpions in sodium channels.

    PubMed

    Schiavon, Emanuele; Pedraza-Escalona, Martha; Gurrola, Georgina B; Olamendi-Portugal, Timoteo; Corzo, Gerardo; Wanke, Enzo; Possani, Lourival D

    2012-02-01

    The β-toxins purified from the New World scorpion venoms of the Centruroides species affect several voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) and thus are essential tools not only for the discrimination of different channel sub-types but also for studying the structure-function relationship between channels and toxins. This communication reports the results obtained with four different peptides purified from three species of Centruroides scorpions and assayed on seven distinct isoforms of VGSC (Na(v)1.1-Na(v)1.7) by specific functional analysis conducted through single cell electrophysiology. The toxins studied were CssII from Centruroides suffusus suffusus, Cll1 and Cll2 from Centruroides limpidus limpidus and a novel toxin from Centruroides noxius, which was characterized for the first time here. It has 67 amino acid residues and four disulfide bridges with a molecular mass of 7626 Da. Three different functional features were identified: current reduction of macroscopic conductance, left shift of the voltage-dependent activation and induction of resurgent currents at negative voltages following brief, strong depolarizations. The isoforms which revealed to be more affected resulted to be Na(v)1.6 > 1.1 > 1.2 and, for the first time, a β-toxin is here shown to induce resurgent current also in isoforms different from Na(v)1.6. Additionally, these results were analyzed with molecular modelling. In conclusion, although the four toxins have a high degree of identity, they display tri-modal function, each of which shows selectivity among the different sub-types of Na+ -channels. Thus, they are invaluable as tools for structure-function studies of β-toxins and offer a basis for the design of novel ion channel-specific drugs.

  10. Pharmacological action of Australian animal venoms.

    PubMed

    Hodgson, W C

    1997-01-01

    1. Australia has some of the most venomous fauna in the world. Although humans are not usually perceived as being predators against these animals they are often envenomated, accidentally or otherwise. This has led to the development of antivenoms against some of the potentially lethal venoms. However, further understanding of the mechanism(s) of action of these and other venoms is important, not only for developing new treatment strategies but also in the search for novel research tools. 2. The present review discusses the pharmacology of some of the components found in venoms and outlines the research undertaken on some of Australia's venomous animals, with the exception of snakes. 3. Biogenic amines, peptides and enzymes are common venom components and produce a wide range of effects in envenomated humans. For example, respiratory failure observed after envenomation by the box jellyfish (Chirnex fleckeri) and Sydney funnel-web spider (Atrax robustus) is most likely due to potent neurotoxins in the venoms. Stonefish (Synanceja trachynis) and platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) venoms, although not considered lethal, cause severe pain. However, the components responsible for these effects have not been isolated. Venom components, as yet unidentified, may be responsible for the cutaneous necrotic lesions that have been reported after some spider bites (e.g. Lampona cylindrata). Other venoms, such as those of the jumper ant (Myrmecia pilosula) and bull ant (M. pyriformis), may produce only mild skin irritation to the majority of humans but a severe anaphylactic response in sensitized victims. 4. While there has been a renewed interest in toxinology, further research is required to fully elucidate the pharmacological action of many of these venoms.

  11. [Microbial diversity in scorpion intestine (Buthus martensii Karsch)].

    PubMed

    Wang, Bao-Jun; Liu, Ying; Jiang, Jia-Tong; Liu, Bin; Liu, Shuang-Jiang

    2007-10-01

    Scorpion is an important officinal animal, and has a high nutritional value. In this study, the culture-independent and culture-dependent methods were used to investigate the microbial diversity in the scorpion's intestine. Results based on culture-independent method showed the bacteria to be related to alpha, beta, gamma-proteobacteria. Bacteria isolated by the culture-dependent method were high G + C, gram-positive bacteria. The genera Enterobacter, Serratia and Ochrobactrum were detected by both methods. To sum up the results from the two methods, the bacteria in scorpion intestine belong to 23 genera, which are Enterobacter, Serratia, Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Aeromonas, Citrobacter, Pedobacter, Delftia, Ralstonia, Ochrobactrum, Sphingomonas, Exiguobacterium, Gordonia, Nocardia, Rhodococcus, Janibacte, Kocuria, Micrococcus, Agromyces, Microbacterium, Agrococcus, Deinococcus, Ornithinimicrobium, and some uncultured species. The two methods have both advantages and shortcomings. However, when used simultaneously, they complement each other.

  12. Acute renal insufficiency and toxic hepatitis following scorpions sting.

    PubMed

    Krkic-Dautovic, Sajma; Begovic, Begler

    2007-01-01

    Scorpion sting is a huge medical problem in countries of South America, Arabian Peninsula and Africa. In countries of Mediterranean region, where Bosnia and Herzegovina belongs, this problem is sporadic. Following the sting of very poisonous red scorpions, death may occur inside of 48 hours by reason of cardiac arrest and acute renal insufficiency (ARI). In our work we represent a case of 54-years old man. In his case, ARI and toxic hepatitis developed inside of 24 hours after the scorpion sting. Applied conservative therapy was not sufficient enough to solve ARI, so patient needed haemodialysis. With intensive conservative therapy and haemodialysis applied every other day, ARI and toxic hepatitis were solved within 25 days. After that, patient was released from hospital for ambulant treatment.

  13. Snake venomics and venom gland transcriptomic analysis of Brazilian coral snakes, Micrurus altirostris and M. corallinus.

    PubMed

    Corrêa-Netto, Carlos; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio de L M; Silva, Débora A; Ho, Paulo L; Leitão-de-Araújo, Moema; Alves, Maria Lúcia M; Sanz, Libia; Foguel, Débora; Zingali, Russolina Benedeta; Calvete, Juan J

    2011-08-24

    The venom proteomes of Micrurus altirostris and M. corallinus were analyzed by combining snake venomics and venom gland transcriptomic surveys. In both coral snake species, 3FTx and PLA(2) were the most abundant and diversified toxin families. 33 different 3FTxs and 13 PLA(2) proteins, accounting respectively for 79.5% and 13.7% of the total proteins, were identified in the venom of M. altirostris. The venom of M. corallinus comprised 10 3FTx (81.7% of the venom proteome) and 4 (11.9%) PLA(2) molecules. Transcriptomic data provided the full-length amino acid sequences of 18 (M. altirostris) and 10 (M. corallinus) 3FTxs, and 3 (M. altirostris) and 1 (M. corallinus) novel PLA(2) sequences. In addition, venom from each species contained single members of minor toxin families: 3 common (PIII-SVMP, C-type lectin-like, L-amino acid oxidase) and 4 species-specific (CRISP, Kunitz-type inhibitor, lysosomal acid lipase in M. altirostris; serine proteinase in M. corallinus) toxin classes. The finding of a lipase (LIPA) in the venom proteome and in the venom gland transcriptome of M. altirostris supports the view of a recruitment event predating the divergence of Elapidae and Viperidae more than 60 Mya. The toxin profile of both M. altirostris and M. corallinus venoms points to 3FTxs and PLA(2) molecules as the major players of the envenoming process. In M. altirostris venom, all major, and most minor, 3FTxs display highest similarity to type I α-neurotoxins, suggesting that these postsynaptically acting toxins may play the predominant role in the neurotoxic effect leading to peripheral paralysis, respiratory arrest, and death. M. corallinus venom posesses both, type I α-neurotoxins and a high-abundance (26% of the venom proteome) protein of subfamily XIX of 3FTxs, exhibiting similarity to bucandin from Malayan krait, Bungarus candidus, venom, which enhances acetylcholine release presynaptically. This finding may explain the presynaptic neurotoxicity of M. corallinus venom

  14. Characterization of Amm VIII from Androctonus mauretanicus mauretanicus: a new scorpion toxin that discriminates between neuronal and skeletal sodium channels.

    PubMed Central

    Alami, Meriem; Vacher, Hélène; Bosmans, Frank; Devaux, Christiane; Rosso, Jean-Pierre; Bougis, Pierre E; Tytgat, Jan; Darbon, Hervé; Martin-Eauclaire, Marie-France

    2003-01-01

    The venom of the scorpion Androctonus mauretanicus mauretanicus was screened by use of a specific serum directed against AaH II, the scorpion alpha-toxin of reference, with the aim of identifying new analogues. This led to the isolation of Amm VIII (7382.57 Da), which gave a highly positive response in ELISA, but was totally devoid of toxicity when injected subcutaneously into mice. In voltage-clamp experiments with rat brain type II Na+ channel rNa(v)1.2 or rat skeletal muscle Na+ channel rNa(v)1.4, expressed in Xenopus oocytes, the EC50 values of the toxin-induced slowing of inactivation were: 29+/-5 and 416+/-14 nM respectively for AmmVIII and 2.6+/-0.3 nM and 2.2+/-0.2 nM, respectively, for AaH II interactions. Accordingly, Amm VIII clearly discriminates neuronal versus muscular Na+ channel. The Amm VIII cDNA was amplified from a venom gland cDNA library and its oligonucleotide sequence determined. It shows 87% sequence homology with AaH II, but carries an unusual extension at its C-terminal end, consisting of an additional Asp due to a point mutation in the cDNA penultimate codon. We hypothesized that this extra amino acid residue could induce steric hindrance and dramatically reduce recognition of the target by Amm VIII. We constructed a model of Amm VIII based on the X-ray structure of AaH II to clarify this point. Molecular modelling showed that this C-terminal extension does not lead to an overall conformational change in Amm VIII, but drastically modifies the charge repartition and, consequently, the electrostatic dipole moment of the molecule. At last, liquid-phase radioimmunassays with poly- and monoclonal anti-(AaH II) antibodies showed the loss of conformational epitopes between AaH II and Amm VIII. PMID:12911331

  15. Microallopatry caused strong diversification in Buthus scorpions (Scorpiones: Buthidae) in the Atlas Mountains (NW Africa).

    PubMed

    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.

  16. Asymmetric pulmonary edema after scorpion sting: a case report.

    PubMed

    Razi, Ebrahim; Malekanrad, Elaheh

    2008-01-01

    A 12-year-old boy was referred with acute asymmetric pulmonary edema (APE) four-hour after scorpion sting to Emergency department. On admission, the main clinical manifestations were: dyspnea, tachypnea, and tachycardia. Chest x-ray revealed APE predominantly on the right hemithorax. The patient was treated with oxygen, intravenous frusemide and digoxin and discharged on the sixth hospital day in a good condition. This case report emphasizes the occurrence of asymmetric pulmonary edema after severe scorpion envenomation within few hours immediately after the sting.

  17. Prazosin treatment in the management of scorpion envenomation.

    PubMed

    Peker, Erdal; Oktar, Suleyman; Dogan, Murat; Kaya, Ergun; Duru, Mehmet

    2010-03-01

    Scorpion stings represent an important and serious public health problem worldwide due to their high incidence and potentially severe and often fatal clinical manifestations. Children are at greater risk of developing severe cardiac, respiratory, and neurological complications due to lesser body surface area. Alpha receptor stimulation plays important role in the pathogenesis of pulmonary edema. Prazosin, a post synaptic alpha blocker, can be recommended as an effective drug in the treatment of serious scorpion envenomations with significant sympathetic symptoms. Oral prazosin is fast acting, easily available, relatively cheap, free from any anaphylaxis and highly effective.

  18. Scorpion peptides: potential use for new drug development.

    PubMed

    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.

  19. Angiotensin converting enzymes in fish venom.

    PubMed

    Dos Santos, Dávida Maria Ribeiro Cardoso; de Souza, Cledson Barros; Pereira, Hugo Juarez Vieira

    2017-06-01

    Animal venoms are multifaceted mixtures, including proteins, peptides and enzymes produced by animals in defense, predation and digestion. These molecules have been investigated concerning their molecular mechanisms associated and possible pharmacological applications. Thalassophryne nattereri is a small venomous fish inhabiting the northern and northeastern coast of Brazil, and represents a relatively frequent cause of injuries. Its venom causes severe inflammatory response followed frequently by the necrosis of the affected area. Scorpaena plumieri is the most venomous fish in the Brazilian fauna and is responsible for relatively frequent accidents involving anglers and bathers. In humans, its venom causes edema, erythema, ecchymoses, nausea, vomiting, and syncope. Recently, the presence of a type of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) activity in the venom of Thalassophryne nattereri and Scorpaena plumieri, endemic fishes in northeastern coast of Brazil, has been described. The ACE converts angiotensin I (Ang I) into angiotensin II (Ang II) and inactivates bradykinin, there by regulating blood pressure and electrolyte homeostasis, however, their function in these venoms remains an unknown. This article provides an overview of the current knowledge on ACE in the venoms of Thalassophryne nattereri and Scorpaena plumier.

  20. Spider-Venom Peptides as Therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Saez, Natalie J.; Senff, Sebastian; Jensen, Jonas E.; Er, Sing Yan; Herzig, Volker; Rash, Lachlan D.; King, Glenn F.

    2010-01-01

    Spiders are the most successful venomous animals and the most abundant terrestrial predators. Their remarkable success is due in large part to their ingenious exploitation of silk and the evolution of pharmacologically complex venoms that ensure rapid subjugation of prey. Most spider venoms are dominated by disulfide-rich peptides that typically have high affinity and specificity for particular subtypes of ion channels and receptors. Spider venoms are conservatively predicted to contain more than 10 million bioactive peptides, making them a valuable resource for drug discovery. Here we review the structure and pharmacology of spider-venom peptides that are being used as leads for the development of therapeutics against a wide range of pathophysiological conditions including cardiovascular disorders, chronic pain, inflammation, and erectile dysfunction. PMID:22069579

  1. [Bites of venomous snakes in Switzerland].

    PubMed

    Plate, Andreas; Kupferschmidt, Hugo; Schneemann, Markus

    2016-06-08

    Although snake bites are rare in Europe, there are a constant number of snake bites in Switzerland. There are two domestic venomous snakes in Switzerland: the aspic viper (Vipera aspis) and the common European adder (Vipera berus). Bites from venomous snakes are caused either by one of the two domestic venomous snakes or by an exotic venomous snake kept in a terrarium. Snake- bites can cause both a local and/or a systemic envenoming. Potentially fatal systemic complications are related to disturbances of the hemostatic- and cardiovascular system as well as the central or peripheral nervous system. Beside a symptomatic therapy the administration of antivenom is the only causal therapy to neutralize the venomous toxins.

  2. Venom: the sharp end of pain therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Trim, Steven A; Trim, Carol M

    2013-11-01

    Adequate pain control is still a significant challenge and largely unmet medical need in the 21st century. With many small molecules failing to reach required levels of potency and selectivity, drug discovery is once again turning to nature to replenish pain therapeutic pipelines. Venomous animals are frequently stereotyped as inflictors of pain and distress and have historically been vilified by mankind. Yet, ironically, the very venoms that cause pain when directly injected by the host animal may actually turn out to contain the next generation of analgesics when injected by the clinician. The last 12 months have seen dramatic discoveries of analgesic tools within venoms. Spiders, snakes and even centipedes are yielding peptides with immense therapeutic potential. Significant advances are also taking place in delivery methods that can improve bioavailability and pharmacokinetics of these exciting natural resources. Turning proteinaceous venom into pharmaceutical liquid gold is the goal of venomics and the focus of this article.

  3. Tears of Venom: Hydrodynamics of Reptilian Envenomation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Bruce A.; Herzog, Florian; Friedel, Paul; Rammensee, Sebastian; Bausch, Andreas; van Hemmen, J. Leo

    2011-05-01

    In the majority of venomous snakes, and in many other reptiles, venom is conveyed from the animal’s gland to the prey’s tissue through an open groove on the surface of the teeth and not through a tubular fang. Here we focus on two key aspects of the grooved delivery system: the hydrodynamics of venom as it interacts with the groove geometry, and the efficiency of the tooth-groove-venom complex as the tooth penetrates the prey’s tissue. We show that the surface tension of the venom is the driving force underlying the envenomation dynamics. In so doing, we explain not only the efficacy of the open groove, but also the prevalence of this mechanism among reptiles.

  4. Venom: the sharp end of pain therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Trim, Carol M

    2013-01-01

    Adequate pain control is still a significant challenge and largely unmet medical need in the 21st century. With many small molecules failing to reach required levels of potency and selectivity, drug discovery is once again turning to nature to replenish pain therapeutic pipelines. Venomous animals are frequently stereotyped as inflictors of pain and distress and have historically been vilified by mankind. Yet, ironically, the very venoms that cause pain when directly injected by the host animal may actually turn out to contain the next generation of analgesics when injected by the clinician. The last 12 months have seen dramatic discoveries of analgesic tools within venoms. Spiders, snakes and even centipedes are yielding peptides with immense therapeutic potential. Significant advances are also taking place in delivery methods that can improve bioavailability and pharmacokinetics of these exciting natural resources. Turning proteinaceous venom into pharmaceutical liquid gold is the goal of venomics and the focus of this article. PMID:26516522

  5. IgE antibodies to bee venom, phospholipase A, melittin and wasp venom.

    PubMed

    Jarisch, R; Yman, L; Boltz, A; Sandor, I; Janitsch, A

    1979-09-01

    Specific IgE antibodies against bee venom, phospholipase A, melittin and wasp venom have been examined in fifty patients with an unusually severe reaction after bee or wasp sting. Two thirds of the bee venom-sensitive patients also have detectable IgE antibodies to wasp venom. More than 50% of the wasp venom-sensitive patients are also allergic to bee venom. Phospholipase A and melittin IgE antibodies were found, respectively, in two thirds and one third of the bee venom-sensitive cases. Specific IgE antibody determinations by the Radioallergosorbent test play an essential role in the diagnostic work. After a reaction to hymenoptera stings both bee and wasp venom tests are necessary due to the high incidence of a false or incomplete identification of the stinging insect. Melittin, known for its potent pharmacological activity and possibly responsible for most of the side effects in bee venom immunotherapy, can probably not be excluded from therapeutic venom preparations since IgE antibodies to the melittin preparation were detected in one third of the cases.

  6. VenomKB, a new knowledge base for facilitating the validation of putative venom therapies

    PubMed Central

    Romano, Joseph D.; Tatonetti, Nicholas P.

    2015-01-01

    Animal venoms have been used for therapeutic purposes since the dawn of recorded history. Only a small fraction, however, have been tested for pharmaceutical utility. Modern computational methods enable the systematic exploration of novel therapeutic uses for venom compounds. Unfortunately, there is currently no comprehensive resource describing the clinical effects of venoms to support this computational analysis. We present VenomKB, a new publicly accessible knowledge base and website that aims to act as a repository for emerging and putative venom therapies. Presently, it consists of three database tables: (1) Manually curated records of putative venom therapies supported by scientific literature, (2) automatically parsed MEDLINE articles describing compounds that may be venom derived, and their effects on the human body, and (3) automatically retrieved records from the new Semantic Medline resource that describe the effects of venom compounds on mammalian anatomy. Data from VenomKB may be selectively retrieved in a variety of popular data formats, are open-source, and will be continually updated as venom therapies become better understood. PMID:26601758

  7. Neutralization of cobra venom by cocktail antiserum against venom proteins of cobra (Naja naja naja).

    PubMed

    Venkatesan, C; Sarathi, M; Balasubramanaiyan, G; Vimal, S; Madan, N; Sundar Raj, N; Mohammed Yusuf Bilal, S; Nazeer Basha, A; Farook, M A; Sahul Hameed, A S; Sridevi, G

    2014-01-01

    Naja naja venom was characterized by its immunochemical properties and electrophoretic pattern which revealed eight protein bands (14 kDa, 24 kDa, 29 kDa, 45 kDa, 48 kDa, 65 kDa, 72 kDa and 99 kDa) by SDS-PAGE in reducing condition after staining with Coomassie Brilliant Blue. The results showed that Naja venom presented high lethal activity. Whole venom antiserum or individual venom protein antiserum (14 kDa, 29 kDa, 65 kDa, 72 kDa and 99 kDa) of venom could recognize N. naja venom by Western blotting and ELISA, and N. naja venom presented antibody titer when assayed by ELISA. The neutralization tests showed that the polyvalent antiserum neutralized lethal activities by both in vivo and in vitro studies using mice and Vero cells. The antiserum could neutralize the lethal activities in in-vivo and antivenom administered after injection of cobra venom through intraperitoneal route in mice. The cocktail antiserum also could neutralize the cytotoxic activities in Vero cell line by MTT and Neutral red assays. The results of the present study suggest that cocktail antiserum neutralizes the lethal activities in both in vitro and in vivo models using the antiserum against cobra venom and its individual venom proteins serum produced in rabbits.

  8. Scorpion toxins from Buthus martensii Karsch all possess a predicted alpha-tight-turn.

    PubMed

    Hahin, Richard; Chen, Ziyi; Wang, Danhui; Reddy, Giridher; Mao, Long

    2003-01-01

    We have purified a new toxin (BmK 17[4]) from Asian scorpion (Buthus martensii Karsch) venom that possesses a distinctive structural motif in its N-terminal (positions 8-12) that is similarly found in two other previously described alpha-like toxins. BmK 17[4] prolongs action potentials (APs) in frog nerve and was purified using gel filtration, ion exchange, fast protein liquid chromatography (FPLC), and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). BmK 17[4] significantly prolonged frog APs but it did not alter APs from an insect ventral nerve cord at similar doses. When applied to voltage-clamped frog muscle single fibers, BmK 17[4] prolonged fast inactivation. Because the polypeptide prolongs APs when both K+ and Ca2+ channels were blocked, BMK 17[4] acts to selectively alter Na+ channel inactivation. The N-terminal sequence of BmK 17[4] was found to be VRDAYIAKPENCVYXC --. The molar mass of BmK 17[4] was determined by LC/MS/MS to be 7097 Daltons. The N- terminal motif (KPENC), which introduces a reverse turn in residues 8-12, does not appear in previously characterized BmK alpha-toxins and may be characteristic of alpha-like toxins. Sequence similarity database searches were used to test whether the N-terminal sequences of alpha-like polypeptide toxins from B. martensii Karsch possess a distinctive structural motif in its 5-residue reverse turn (alpha-turn) that is conserved. Sequence similarities with putative polypeptides encoded by cDNAs obtained from a cDNA library [Zhu, S. Y., Li, W. X., Zenq, X. C., et al. (2000) Nine novel precursors of Buthus martensii scorpiox alpha-toxin homologues. Toxicon 38, 1653-1661] from BmK venom glands showed that an active polypeptide toxin cleaved from the putative propolypeptide toxin BmK M9 is likely identical to BmK 17[4]. Sequence comparisons with toxins and putative toxins from B. martensii Karsch and other species revealed that a group of these toxins possess a common structural motif in their alpha-turn. A neighbor

  9. Venomics of New World pit vipers: Genus-wide comparisons of venom proteomes across Agkistrodon

    PubMed Central

    Lomonte, Bruno; Tsai, Wan-Chih; Ureña-Diaz, Juan Manuel; Sanz, Libia; Mora-Obando, Diana; Sánchez, Elda E.; Fry, Bryan G.; Gutiérrez, José María; Gibbs, H. Lisle; Sovic, Michael G.; Calvete, Juan J.

    2015-01-01

    We report a genus-wide comparison of venom proteome variation across New World pit vipers in the genus Agkistrodon. Despite the wide variety of habitats occupied by this genus and that all its taxa feed on diverse species of vertebrates and invertebrate prey, the venom proteomes of copperheads, cottonmouths, and cantils are remarkably similar, both in the type and relative abundance of their different toxin families. The venoms from all the eleven species and subspecies sampled showed relatively similar proteolytic and PLA2 activities. In contrast, quantitative differences were observed in hemorrhagic and myotoxic activities in mice. The highest myotoxic activity was observed with the venoms of A. b. bilineatus, followed by A. p. piscivorus, whereas the venoms of A. c. contortrix and A. p. leucostoma induced the lowest myotoxic activity. The venoms of Agkistrodon bilineatus subspecies showed the highest hemorrhagic activity and A. c. contortrix the lowest. Compositional and toxicological analyses agree with clinical observations of envenomations by Agkistrodon in the USA and Central America. A comparative analysis of Agkistrodon shows that venom divergence tracks phylogeny of this genus to a greater extent than in Sistrurus rattlesnakes, suggesting that the distinct natural histories of Agkistrodon and Sistrurus clades may have played a key role in molding the patterns of evolution of their venom protein genes. Biological significance A deep understanding of the structural and functional profiles of venoms and of the principles governing the evolution of venomous systems is a goal of venomics. Isolated proteomics analyses have been conducted on venoms from many species of vipers and pit vipers. However, making sense of these large inventories of data requires the integration of this information across multiple species to identify evolutionary and ecological trends. Our genus-wide venomics study provides a comprehensive overview of the toxic arsenal across

  10. A second species of Euscorpiops Vachon from caves in Vietnam (Scorpiones, Euscorpiidae, Scorpiopinae). Cave Euscorpiops scorpion from Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Lourenço, Wilson R; Pham, Dinh-Sac

    2014-09-01

    Euscorpiops dakrong sp. n., belonging to the family Euscorpiidae Laurie, is described on the basis of one male and one female collected in the Dakrong Nature Reserve cave system, Dakrong District, Quang Tri Province, Vietnam. The new species presents most features exhibited by scorpions of the genus Euscorpiops, but it is characterized by a slender body and elongated pedipalps. This new scorpion taxon represents the second species of Scorpiopinae discovered in a cave system and may be yet another endemic element in the fauna of Vietnam. Some taxonomic propositions on the generic position of Scorpiops oligotrichus Fage, 1933 are also suggested.

  11. Isolation and characterization of SsmTx-I, a Specific Kv2.1 blocker from the venom of the centipede Scolopendra Subspinipes Mutilans L. Koch.

    PubMed

    Chen, Minzhi; Li, Jing; Zhang, Fan; Liu, Zhonghua

    2014-03-01

    Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans, also known as Chinese red-headed centipede, is a venomous centipede from East Asia and Australasia. Venom from this animal has not been researched as thoroughly as venom from snakes, snails, scorpions, and spiders. In this study, we isolated and characterized SsmTx-I, a novel neurotoxin from the venom of S. subspinipes mutilans. SsmTx-I contains 36 residues with four cysteines forming two disulfide bonds. It had low sequence similarity (<10%) with other identified peptide toxins. By whole-cell recording, SsmTx-I significantly blocked voltage-gated K⁺ channels in dorsal root ganglion neurons with an IC₅₀ value of 200 nM, but it had no effect on voltage-gated Na⁺ channels. Among the nine K⁺ channel subtypes expressed in human embryonic kidney 293 cells, SsmTx-I selectively blocked the Kv2.1 current with an IC₅₀ value of 41.7 nM, but it had little effect on currents mediated by other K⁺ channel subtypes. Blockage of Kv2.1 by SsmTx-I was not associated with significant alteration of steady-state activation, suggesting that SsmTx-I might act as a simple inhibitor or channel blocker rather than a gating modifier. Our study reported a specific Kv2.1-blocker from centipede venom and provided a basis for future investigations of SsmTx-I, for example on structure-function relationships, mechanism of action, and pharmacological potential.

  12. Localization of epitopes in the toxins of Tityus serrulatus scorpions and neutralizing potential of therapeutic antivenoms.

    PubMed

    Maria, W S; Velarde, D T; Alvarenga, L M; Nguyen, C; Villard, S; Granier, C; Chávez-Olórtegui, C

    2005-08-01

    Overlapping pentadecapeptides covering the complete amino acid sequence of TsII, TsVII and TsIV toxins from the venom of scorpion Tityus serrulatus (Ts), were prepared by use of the Spot method of multiple peptide synthesis. Horse anti-Ts antisera for therapeutic use were tested for their binding to peptides. All nine antisera tested showed reactivity with several peptides from the three toxins. Three antigenic regions, one in the very N-terminal, the second in the central part and the other in the C-terminal part of the three toxins were frequently, but not constantly recognized, with an intensity that seemed to be related to the neutralizing potency of the tested antivenom. Thus the corresponding peptides (residues 1-15 and 48-62 of TsII; residues 1-15, 16-30 and 48-62 of TsIV and residues 1-15 and 47-61 of TsVII) were synthesized, coupled to KLH and used as antigens to coat the microtitration plates to determine any relationship between their ELISA reactivity with therapeutic horse antivenoms and the neutralizing potential of these antivenoms. The mixture of the N-terminal peptide of TsII, of the N-terminal TsVII peptide and of the C-terminal of TsIV was found to give a linear relationship with the neutralizing titer of horse serum of low neutralizing potency (< or =1 mg/ml). However, high neutralizing antivenoms did not show the expected response in peptide ELISA. This observation is discussed in the context of the occurrence of continuous and discontinuous epitopes on toxins.

  13. Low cost venom extractor based on Arduino(®) board for electrical venom extraction from arthropods and other small animals.

    PubMed

    Besson, Thomas; Debayle, Delphine; Diochot, Sylvie; Salinas, Miguel; Lingueglia, Eric

    2016-08-01

    Extracting venom from small species is usually challenging. We describe here an affordable and versatile electrical venom extractor based on the Arduino(®) Mega 2560 Board, which is designed to extract venom from arthropods and other small animals. The device includes fine tuning of stimulation time and voltage. It was used to collect venom without apparent deleterious effects, and characterized for the first time the venom of Zoropsis spinimana, a common spider in French Mediterranean regions.

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. Hox gene duplications correlate with posterior heteronomy in scorpions.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-07

    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.

  17. Expression of venom gene homologs in diverse python tissues suggests a new model for the evolution of snake venom.

    PubMed

    Reyes-Velasco, Jacobo; Card, Daren C; Andrew, Audra L; Shaney, Kyle J; Adams, Richard H; Schield, Drew R; Casewell, Nicholas R; Mackessy, Stephen P; Castoe, Todd A

    2015-01-01

    Snake venom gene evolution has been studied intensively over the past several decades, yet most previous studies have lacked the context of complete snake genomes and the full context of gene expression across diverse snake tissues. We took a novel approach to studying snake venom evolution by leveraging the complete genome of the Burmese python, including information from tissue-specific patterns of gene expression. We identified the orthologs of snake venom genes in the python genome, and conducted detailed analysis of gene expression of these venom homologs to identify patterns that differ between snake venom gene families and all other genes. We found that venom gene homologs in the python are expressed in many different tissues outside of oral glands, which illustrates the pitfalls of using transcriptomic data alone to define "venom toxins." We hypothesize that the python may represent an ancestral state prior to major venom development, which is supported by our finding that the expansion of venom gene families is largely restricted to highly venomous caenophidian snakes. Therefore, the python provides insight into biases in which genes were recruited for snake venom systems. Python venom homologs are generally expressed at lower levels, have higher variance among tissues, and are expressed in fewer organs compared with all other python genes. We propose a model for the evolution of snake venoms in which venom genes are recruited preferentially from genes with particular expression profile characteristics, which facilitate a nearly neutral transition toward specialized venom system expression.

  18. Adaptive radiation of venomous marine snail lineages and the accelerated evolution of venom peptide genes

    PubMed Central

    Olivera, Baldomero M.; Watkins, Maren; Bandyopadhyay, Pradip; Imperial, Julita S.; de la Cotera, Edgar P. Heimer; Aguilar, Manuel B.; Vera, Estuardo López; Concepcion, Gisela P.; Lluisma, Arturo

    2012-01-01

    An impressive biodiversity (>10,000 species) of marine snails (suborder Toxoglossa or superfamily Conoidea) have complex venoms, containing ca. 100 biologically active, disulfide-rich peptides. In the genus Conus, the most intensively investigated toxoglossan lineage (~500 species), a small set of venom gene superfamilies undergo rapid sequence hyperdiversification within their mature toxin regions. Each major lineage of Toxoglossa has its own distinct set of venom gene superfamilies. Two recently identified venom gene superfamilies are expressed in the large Turridae clade, but not in Conus. Thus, as major venomous molluscan clades expand, a small set of lineage specific venom gene superfamilies undergo accelerated evolution. The juxtaposition of extremely conserved signal sequences with hypervariable mature peptide regions is unprecedented and raises the possibility that in these gene superfamilies, the signal sequences are conserved as a result of an essential role they play in enabling rapid sequence evolution of the region of the gene that encodes the active toxin. PMID:22954218

  19. 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

  20. Cardiovascular-Active Venom Toxins: An Overview.

    PubMed

    Rebello Horta, Carolina Campolina; Chatzaki, Maria; Rezende, Bruno Almeida; Magalhães, Bárbara de Freitas; Duarte, Clara Guerra; Felicori, Liza Figueiredo; Ribeiro Oliveira-Mendes, Bárbara Bruna; do Carmo, Anderson Oliveira; Chávez-Olórtegui, Carlos; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes

    2016-01-01

    Animal venoms are a mixture of bioactive compounds produced as weapons and used primarily to immobilize and kill preys. As a result of the high potency and specificity for various physiological targets, many toxins from animal venoms have emerged as possible drugs for the medication of diverse disorders, including cardiovascular diseases. Captopril, which inhibits the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), was the first successful venom-based drug and a notable example of rational drug design. Since captopril was developed, many studies have discovered novel bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPPs) with actions on the cardiovascular system. Natriuretic peptides (NPs) have also been found in animal venoms and used as template to design new drugs with applications in cardiovascular diseases. Among the anti-arrhythmic peptides, GsMTx-4 was discovered to be a toxin that selectively inhibits the stretch-activated cation channels (SACs), which are involved in atrial fibrillation. The present review describes the main components isolated from animal venoms that act on the cardiovascular system and presents a brief summary of venomous animals and their venom apparatuses.

  1. Early significant ontogenetic changes in snake venoms.

    PubMed

    Wray, Kenneth P; Margres, Mark J; Seavy, Margaret; Rokyta, Darin R

    2015-03-01

    Snake venom plays a critical role in food acquisition, digestion, and defense. Venoms are known to change throughout the life of some snake species, but nothing is known about the venom composition of hatchling/neonate snakes prior to and just after their first shedding cycle, despite this being a critical time in the life of the snake. Using a cohort of Crotalus horridus and two cohorts of Crotalus adamanteus, we showed for the first time that snakes undergo significant changes in venom composition after the postnatal shedding event. The number of changes among cohorts ranged widely and there was wide variation in the direction of protein regulation, which appeared to be on a locus-specific level rather than protein-family level. These significant venom composition changes that take place in the first few weeks of life most likely play critical roles in venom economy and resource conservation and may partially explain the rare, post-birth maternal care found in some venomous species.

  2. Venomous bites, stings, and poisoning.

    PubMed

    Warrell, David A

    2012-06-01

    This article discusses the epidemiology, prevention, clinical features, first aid and medical treatment of venomous bites by snakes, lizards, and spiders; stings by fish, jellyfish, echinoderms, and insects; and poisoning by fish and molluscs, in all parts of the world. Of these envenoming and poisonings, snake bite causes the greatest burden of human suffering, killing 46,000 people each year in India alone and more than 100,000 worldwide and resulting in physical handicap in many survivors. Specific antidotes (antivenoms/antivenins) are available to treat envenoming by many of these taxa but supply and distribution is inadequate in many tropical developing countries.

  3. Neutralization of Bothrops alternatus regional venom pools and individual venoms by antivenom: a systematic comparison.

    PubMed

    de Roodt, Adolfo Rafael; Lanari, Laura Cecilia; de Oliveira, Vanessa Costa; Laskowicz, Rodrigo Daniel; Stock, Roberto Pablo

    2011-06-01

    In this study we report that variation in lethality, hemorrhagic potency and procoagulation between individual samples of Bothrops alternatus venom from a single region, and variation between regional pools at the national level are comparable in range. Furthermore, the range of relative neutralization potencies of individual venoms within a region overlaps, and sometimes exceeds, the range of neutralization of regional venom pools throughout the country. Thus, the potency of neutralization of a national venom pool is poorly predictive of the potencies of neutralization of its constituent regional venom pools and, furthermore, the potency of neutralization of a regional venom pool is poorly predictive of the potencies of neutralization of its individual venom constituents. The efficiencies of neutralization of each of these effects (lethality, hemorrhage and procoagulation) were not significantly related to each other and did not correlate to the corresponding toxic potency of each venom or venom pool. Some implications of these findings are discussed in the context of the distinction between experimental quantitation of antivenom potency and the amount of antivenom that might be actually required to successfully treat two apparently comparable B. alternatus envenomations.

  4. Canopy Venom: Proteomic Comparison among New World Arboreal Pit-Viper Venoms.

    PubMed

    Debono, Jordan; Cochran, Chip; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Nouwens, Amanda; Rajapakse, Niwanthi W; Kawasaki, Minami; Wood, Kelly; Dobson, James; Baumann, Kate; Jouiaei, Mahdokht; Jackson, Timothy N W; Koludarov, Ivan; Low, Dolyce; Ali, Syed A; Smith, A Ian; Barnes, Andrew; Fry, Bryan G

    2016-07-08

    Central and South American pitvipers, belonging to the genera Bothrops and Bothriechis, have independently evolved arboreal tendencies. Little is known regarding the composition and activity of their venoms. In order to close this knowledge gap, venom proteomics and toxin activity of species of Bothriechis, and Bothrops (including Bothriopsis) were investigated through established analytical methods. A combination of proteomics and bioactivity techniques was used to demonstrate a similar diversification of venom composition between large and small species within Bothriechis and Bothriopsis. Increasing our understanding of the evolution of complex venom cocktails may facilitate future biodiscoveries.

  5. Canopy Venom: Proteomic Comparison among New World Arboreal Pit-Viper Venoms

    PubMed Central

    Debono, Jordan; Cochran, Chip; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Nouwens, Amanda; Rajapakse, Niwanthi W.; Kawasaki, Minami; Wood, Kelly; Dobson, James; Baumann, Kate; Jouiaei, Mahdokht; Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Koludarov, Ivan; Low, Dolyce; Ali, Syed A.; Smith, A. Ian; Barnes, Andrew; Fry, Bryan G.

    2016-01-01

    Central and South American pitvipers, belonging to the genera Bothrops and Bothriechis, have independently evolved arboreal tendencies. Little is known regarding the composition and activity of their venoms. In order to close this knowledge gap, venom proteomics and toxin activity of species of Bothriechis, and Bothrops (including Bothriopsis) were investigated through established analytical methods. A combination of proteomics and bioactivity techniques was used to demonstrate a similar diversification of venom composition between large and small species within Bothriechis and Bothriopsis. Increasing our understanding of the evolution of complex venom cocktails may facilitate future biodiscoveries. PMID:27399777

  6. SNAKE VENOMICS OF Crotalus tigris: THE MINIMALIST TOXIN ARSENAL OF THE DEADLIEST NEARTIC RATTLESNAKE VENOM

    PubMed Central

    CALVETE, Juan J.; PÉREZ, Alicia; LOMONTE, Bruno; SÁNCHEZ, Elda E.; SANZ, Libia

    2012-01-01

    We report the proteomic and antivenomic characterization of Crotalus tigris venom. This venom exhibits the highest lethality for mice among rattlesnakes and the simplest toxin proteome reported to date. The venom proteome of C. tigris comprises 7–8 gene products from 6 toxin families: the presynaptic β-neurotoxic heterodimeric PLA2, Mojave toxin, and two serine proteinases comprise, respectively, 66% and 27% of the C. tigris toxin arsenal, whereas a VEGF-like protein, a CRISP molecule, a medium-sized disintegrin, and 1–2 PIII-SVMPs, each represents 0.1–5% of the total venom proteome. This toxin profile really explains the systemic neuro- and myotoxic effects observed in envenomated animals. In addition, we found that venom lethality of C. tigris and other North American rattlesnake type II venoms correlates with the concentration of Mojave toxin A-subunit, supporting the view that the neurotoxic venom phenotype of crotalid type II venoms may be described as a single-allele adaptation. Our data suggest that the evolutionary trend towards neurotoxicity, which has been also reported for the South American rattlesnakes, may have resulted by paedomorphism. The ability of an experimental antivenom to effectively immunodeplete proteins from the type II venoms of C. tigris, C. horridus, C. oreganus helleri, C. scutulatus scutulatus, and S. catenatus catenatus, indicated the feasibility of generating a pan-American anti-Crotalus type II antivenom, suggested by the identification of shared evolutionary trends among South American and North American Crotalus. PMID:22181673

  7. Hemostatic properties of Venezuelan Bothrops snake venoms with special reference to Bothrops isabelae venom.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Acosta, Alexis; Sánchez, Elda E; Márquez, Adriana; Carvajal, Zoila; Salazar, Ana M; Girón, María E; Estrella, Amalid; Gil, Amparo; Guerrero, Belsy

    2010-11-01

    In Venezuela, Bothrops snakes are responsible for more than 80% of all recorded snakebites. This study focuses on the biological and hemostatic characteristics of Bothrops isabelae venom along with its comparative characteristics with two other closely related Bothrops venoms, Bothrops atrox and Bothrops colombiensis. Electrophoretic profiles of crude B. isabelae venom showed protein bands between 14 and 100 kDa with the majority in the range of 14-31 kDa. The molecular exclusion chromatographic profile of this venom contains five fractions (F1-F5). Amidolytic activity evaluation evidenced strong thrombin-like followed by kallikrein-like activities in crude venom and in fractions F1 and F2. The fibrinogenolytic activity of B. isabelae venom at a ratio of 100:1 (fibrinogen/venom) induced a degradation of A alpha and B beta chains at 15 min and 2 h, respectively. At a ratio of 100:10, a total degradation of A alpha and B beta chains at 5 min and of gamma chains at 24 h was apparent. This current study evidences one of rarely reported for Bothrops venoms, which resembles the physiologic effect of plasmin. B. isabelae venom as well as F2 and F3 fractions, contain fibrinolytic activity on fibrin plate of 36, 23.5 and 9.45 mm(2)/microg, respectively using 25 microg of protein. Crude venom and F1 fraction showed gelatinolytic activity. Comparative analysis amongst Venezuelan bothropoid venoms, evidenced that the LD(50) of B. isabelae (5.9 mg/kg) was similar to B. atrox-Puerto Ayacucho 1 (6.1 mg/kg) and B. colombiensis-Caucagua (5.8 mg/kg). B. isabelae venom showed minor hemorrhagic activity, whereas B. atrox-Parguasa (Bolivar state) was the most hemorrhagic. In this study, a relative high thrombin-like activity was observed in B. colombiensis venoms (502-568 mUA/min/mg), and a relative high factor Xa-like activity was found in B. atrox venoms (126-294 mUA/min/mg). Fibrinolytic activity evaluated with 10 microg protein, showed that B. isabelae venom contained higher

  8. The roles of some scorpions, Hemiscorpius lepturus and Androctonus crassicauda, in a scorpionism focus in Ramhormorz, southwestern Iran.

    PubMed

    Mohseni, Alireza; Vazirianzadeh, Babak; Hossienzadeh, Mohsen; Salehcheh, Maryam; Moradi, Azra; Moravvej, Seyed Abbas

    2013-01-01

    Scorpion stings are a common and important health problem in Iran, particularly in south and southwestern Iran, including the province of Khuzestan. In the area of Khuzestan near the city of Ramhormoz, Hemiscorpius lepturus (Scorpionida: Hemiscorpioiidae) and Androctonus crassicauda (Buthidae) are present. Ramhormoz is in southwestern Iran and is one of the most important foci of the scorpion sting problem. The current study was carried out to gain both epidemiological and medical information about scorpion stings in and around the city of Ramhormoz. In total, 179 people who were admitted to the Emergency Department of Ramhormoz Imam Khomeini Hospital during 2008 and 2009 after being stung by scorpions were monitored. Epidemiological and medical parameters including sex of the victim; the part of the body stung; the month when stung; the biochemical parameters comprising blood sugar (BS), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and creatinine (CR); hematological parameters including white blood cells (WBC), count blood cells (CBC), red blood cells (RBC), hemoglobin (Hb), hematocrit (HCT), platelet (PLT); and urine analysis including hemoglobinuria were recorded. The current study showed that most of the victims were stung by H. lepturus, while very few were stung by A. crassicaud, but in over half of the cases the species was not known. Stings were most common from May to Aguust. 73% of the victims were female. The limbs were the part of the body most likely to be stung. Hemogobinuria was very common in H. lepturus victims.

  9. Identification and molecular characterization of three new K+-channel specific toxins from the Chinese scorpion Mesobuthus martensii Karsch revealing intronic number polymorphism and alternative splicing in duplicated genes.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Xian-Chun; Zhang, Lei; Nie, Yao; Luo, Xuesong

    2012-04-01

    K(+)-channel specific toxins from scorpions are powerful probes used in the structural and functional characterization of different subfamilies of K(+)-channels which are thought to be the most diverse ion channels. However, only a limited number of K(+)-channel toxins have been identified from scorpions so far; moreover, little is known about the mechanisms for the generation of a combinatorial peptide library in a venom gland of a scorpion. Here, we identified and characterized three new K(+)-channel toxin-like peptides from the scorpion Mesobuthus martensii Karsch, which were referred to as BmKcug1, BmKcug2 and BmKcugx, respectively. BmKcug1 and BmKcug2 are two new members of α-KTx1 subfamily, and have been classified as α-KTx1.14 and α-KTx1.15, respectively. BmKcugx represents a new subfamily of K(+)-channel specific toxins which was classified into α-KTx22. BmKcugx was thus classified as α-KTx22.1. Genomic analysis demonstrated that BmKcugx gene has two exons interrupted by an intron inserted in the signal peptide encoding region, whereas BmKcug1a (a close homologue of BmKcug1)/BmKcug2 gene was interrupted by two introns, located within the 5'UTR of the gene and in the signal peptide encoding region, respectively. Transcriptomic analysis for the venom glands of M. martensii Karsch indicated that the abundances of the transcripts of BmKcug1a and BmKcug2 are much higher than that of BmKcugx; it suggests that the intron in 5'UTR could markedly increase the expression level of the K(+)-channel toxins. Alignment of the genomic sequences of BmKcug1a and BmKcug2 revealed that an alternative splicing event occurred at the intron 1-exon 2 junction in the 5'UTR of BmKcug2 transcript.

  10. The birdlike raptor Sinornithosaurus was venomous

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Enpu; Martin, Larry D.; Burnham, David A.; Falk, Amanda R.

    2009-01-01

    We suggest that some of the most avian dromaeosaurs, such as Sinornithosaurus, were venomous, and propose an ecological model for that taxon based on its unusual dentition and other cranial features including grooved teeth, a possible pocket for venom glands, and a groove leading from that pocket to the exposed bases of the teeth. These features are all analogous to the venomous morphology of lizards. Sinornithosaurus and related dromaeosaurs probably fed on the abundant birds of the Jehol forests during the Early Cretaceous in northeastern China. PMID:20080749

  11. The birdlike raptor Sinornithosaurus was venomous.

    PubMed

    Gong, Enpu; Martin, Larry D; Burnham, David A; Falk, Amanda R

    2010-01-12

    We suggest that some of the most avian dromaeosaurs, such as Sinornithosaurus, were venomous, and propose an ecological model for that taxon based on its unusual dentition and other cranial features including grooved teeth, a possible pocket for venom glands, and a groove leading from that pocket to the exposed bases of the teeth. These features are all analogous to the venomous morphology of lizards. Sinornithosaurus and related dromaeosaurs probably fed on the abundant birds of the Jehol forests during the Early Cretaceous in northeastern China.

  12. Cholinergic antagonists in a solitary wasp venom.

    PubMed

    Piek, T; Mantel, P

    1986-01-01

    The venom of the solitary wasp Philanthus triangulum contains a cholinergic antagonist of the nicotinic receptor of the rectus abdominis muscle of the frog, Xenopus laevis. The venom of African P. triangulum contains two different cholinergic factors, a competitive and a non-competitive antagonist. The venom of the European P. triangulum may not contain a competitive antagonist of the nicotinic receptor of X. laevis, but only a very strong non-competitive antagonist. The possible non-synonymity of both groups of P. triangulum is discussed.

  13. Expression of scorpion toxin LqhIT2 increases the virulence of Metarhizium acridum towards Locusta migratoria manilensis.

    PubMed

    Peng, Guoxiong; Xia, Yuxian

    2014-11-01

    LqhIT2 is an insect-specific neurotoxin from the venom of scorpion. In this study, the LqhIT2 gene was introduced into the entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium acridum. The virulence of the genetically modified strain MaLqhIT2 was then evaluated against locusts (Locusta migratoria manilensis). Compared with the wild-type strain, the median lethal cell density (LC50) for MaLqhIT2 was a 22.6-fold lower, and the median times to death (LT50) for MaLqhIT2 were reduced by 30.3 and 29.6 %, respectively, after topical inoculation and injection. MaLqhIT2 also grew significantly faster in the hemolymph than wild-type strain. There were no significant differences in germination, appressorium formation and sporulation in locust carcasses between the MaLqhIT2 and wild-type strain. These results indicate that LqhIT2 increased the virulence of M. acridum towards locusts by shortening the in vivo infection period, without affecting cuticle penetration or conidia formation in the carcasses. LqhIT2 thus shows considerable potential for increasing fungal virulence against locusts.

  14. Hemicalcin, a new toxin from the Iranian scorpion Hemiscorpius lepturus which is active on ryanodine-sensitive Ca2+ channels

    PubMed Central

    Shahbazzadeh, Delavar; Srairi-Abid, Najet; Feng, Wei; Ram, Narendra; Borchani, Lamia; Ronjat, Michel; Akbari, Abolfazl; Pessah, Isaac N.; De Waard, Michel; El Ayeb, Mohamed

    2007-01-01

    In the present work, we purified and characterized a novel toxin named hemicalcin from the venom of the Iranian chactoid scorpion Hemiscorpius lepturus where it represents 0.6% of the total protein content. It is a 33-mer basic peptide reticulated by three disulfide bridges, and that shares between 85 and 91% sequence identity with four other toxins, all known or supposed to be active on ryanodine-sensitive calcium channels. Hemicalcin differs from these other toxins by seven amino acids at positions 9 (leucine/arginine), 12 (alanine/glutamic acid), 13 (aspartic acid/asparagine), 14 (lysine/asparagine), 18 (serine/glycine), 26 (threonine/alanine) and 28 (proline/isoleucine/alanine). In spite of these differences, hemicalcin remains active on ryanodine-sensitive Ca2+ channels, since it increases [3H]ryanodine binding on RyR1 (ryanodine receptor type 1) and triggers Ca2+ release from sarcoplasmic vesicles. Bilayer lipid membrane experiments, in which the RyR1 channel is reconstituted and its gating properties are analysed, indicate that hemicalcin promotes an increase in the opening probability at intermediate concentration and induces a long-lasting subconductance level of 38% of the original amplitude at higher concentrations. Mice intracerebroventricular inoculation of 300 ng of hemicalcin induces neurotoxic symptoms in vivo, followed by death. Overall, these data identify a new biologically active toxin that belongs to a family of peptides active on the ryanodine-sensitive channel. PMID:17291197

  15. Role of lysine and tryptophan residues in the biological activity of toxin VII (Ts gamma) from the scorpion Tityus serrulatus.

    PubMed

    Hassani, O; Mansuelle, P; Cestèle, S; Bourdeaux, M; Rochat, H; Sampieri, F

    1999-02-01

    Toxin VII (TsVII), also known as Ts gamma, is the most potent neurotoxin in the venom of the Brazilian scorpion Tityus serrulatus. It has been purified to homogeneity using a new fast and efficient method. Chemical modification of TsVII with the tryptophan-specific reagent o-nitrophenylsulfenyl chloride yielded three modified derivatives (residues Trp39, Trp50 and Trp54). Acetylation of TsVII mostly generated the monoacetylated Lys12 derivative. No side reactions were detected, as indicated by endoproteinase Lys-C peptide mapping, Edman degradation and electrospray mass spectrometry. Circular dichroism and fluorimetric measurements showed that none of the chemical modifications altered the overall structure of the derivatives. The acetylation of Lys12 or the sulfenylation of Trp39 or Trp54 led to a loss of both toxicity in mice and apparent binding affinity for rat brain and cockroach synaptosomal preparations. Sulfenylation of Trp50, however, moderately affected the toxicity of TsVII in mice and had almost no effect on its binding properties. A 3-dimensional model of TsVII was constructed by homology modeling. It suggests that the most reactive residues (Lys12 and Trp39 and Trp54) are all important in the functional disruption of neuronal sodium channels by TsVII, and are close to each other in the hydrophobic conserved region.

  16. Characterization of a new Kv1.3 channel-specific blocker, J123, from the scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch.