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Sample records for quinquestriatus scorpion venom

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Płusa, Tadeusz; Smędzik, Katarzyna

    2015-09-01

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

  4. Purification and characterization of chlorotoxin, a chloride channel ligand from the venom of the scorpion.

    PubMed

    DeBin, J A; Maggio, J E; Strichartz, G R

    1993-02-01

    We have previously demonstrated that the venom of the scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus blocks small-conductance Cl- channels, derived from epithelial cells, when applied to the cytoplasmic surface. We have now purified to near homogeneity, and characterized, the component responsible for this blocking activity. It is a small basic peptide of 4,070 Da. The primary amino acid structure shows considerable homology to a class of previously described putative short insectotoxins. A brief characterization of the kinetics of Cl- channel block as well as a demonstration of toxicity to arthropods is also presented.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Scorpion venom and the inflammatory response.

    PubMed

    Petricevich, Vera L

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Do changes in body temperature following envenomation by the scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus influence the course of toxicity?

    PubMed

    Ismail, M; Abd-Elsalam, M A; Morad, A M

    1990-01-01

    Four fatal cases following scorpion sting in children are presented. Two victims had rectal temperature above 41 degrees C, the third exhibited a temperature of 40.9 degrees C from the combined effects of scorpion sting and heat stroke, while the fourth was hypothermic. All victims developed hypothermia 48 hr following the sting. The hyperthermia was effectively treated by acetaminophen suppositories, ice packs and water sponges. All victims showed late hypotension that was refractory to dopamine infusion. This was explained by bradykinin released by the venom blocking the dopaminergic receptors. Deterioration of the cortical activity of the victims maintained on mechanical ventilation before the incidence of asystole suggests a central component in the cardiovascular manifestations of envenomation. A. amoreuxi venom was selected as a model for the pharmacokinetic and quantitative toxicological studies since it has no effect on body temperature. In hyperthermic rabbits injected with labelled lethal fraction of A. amoreuxi venom, there was a significant decrease in the elimination half-life, t1/2 beta, the apparent volume of the tissue compartment, Vt, the apparent volume of distribution, Vdss, and the intercompartmental rate constant, kCT. Hypothermic rabbits showed a significant decrease in the apparent first-order elimination rate constant, kd, and a significant increase in the elimination half-life. In both states a higher concentration of the lethal fraction in the blood was calculated. This would explain the rapidity of onset of the electrocardiographic effects and the decreased survival time in both the hyperthermic and hypothermic rabbits injected with venom when compared to normothermic animals. The s.c. LD50 in mice and the i.v. MLD in rats were significantly reduced in the hypothermic mice and hypothermic and hyperthermic rats. PMID:2087694

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Toxicity of scorpion venom in chick embryo and mealworm assay depending on the use of the soluble fraction versus the whole venom.

    PubMed

    van der Valk, Tom; van der Meijden, Arie

    2014-09-01

    The LD50 is an important metric for venom studies and antivenom development. It has been shown that several variables in the protocol influence the LD50 value obtained, such as venom source, extraction and treatment and administration route. These inconsistencies reduce the utility of the results of these test for comparative studies. In scorpion venom LD50 assays, often only the soluble fraction of the venom is used, whereas other studies use the whole venom. We here tested the toxicity of the soluble fraction in isolation, and of the whole venom in two different systems: chick embryos and mealworms Tenebrio molitor. Ten microliters of venom solutions from Hadrurus arizonensis, Leiurus quinquestriatus, Androctonus australis, Grosphus grandidieri and Heterometrus laoticus were applied to five day old chicken embryos at stage 25-27. Our results showed no significant differences between the LD50 based on the whole venom versus that of only the soluble fraction and in the chicken embryo assay in four of the five scorpion species tested. H. laoticus however, showed a significantly lower LD50 value for the whole venom than the soluble fraction. In assays on mealworms however, this pattern was not seen. Nonetheless, caution may be warranted when using LD50 values obtained from only the soluble fraction. The LD50 values of the five species in this study, based on the chicken embryo assay, showed good correlation with values from the literature based on mouse studies. This suggests that the chick embryo assay may be an economic alternative to rodent assays for scorpion LD50 studies. PMID:24951875

  12. Scorpions

    MedlinePlus

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

  13. [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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:24184590

  4. Scorpion anti-venom activity of botanicals: a pharmacological approach.

    PubMed

    Dey, Abhijit; Dey, Amrita; De, Jitendra Nath

    2013-03-01

    Scorpion bite is considered as one of the common and dangerous phenomenon throughout the world. The clinical manifestations include pulmonary edema, myocardial damage, intracerebral haemorrhage, brachial plexopathy, renal failure etc. which sometimes leads to mortality. The common antivenin therapy includes anti-scorpion venom serum or prazosin. In the vast rural areas of the third world countries phytotherapy is considered as an alternative system of medicine and scorpion sting is treated with the help of medicinal botanicals. As the safety and efficacy are considered as important aspects of anti venin therapy, conventional treatment can be supported by the herbal remedy. The present review compiles a number of medicinal plants pharmacologically evaluated in vitro and/or in vivo for scorpion antivenin properties. Considering the aspects like cost effectiveness, availability, lesser side effects and development of drug resistance, plant based anti venin therapy may be considered as a possible remedy against scorpion envenomation.

  5. Scorpion anti-venom activity of botanicals: a pharmacological approach.

    PubMed

    Dey, Abhijit; Dey, Amrita; De, Jitendra Nath

    2013-03-01

    Scorpion bite is considered as one of the common and dangerous phenomenon throughout the world. The clinical manifestations include pulmonary edema, myocardial damage, intracerebral haemorrhage, brachial plexopathy, renal failure etc. which sometimes leads to mortality. The common antivenin therapy includes anti-scorpion venom serum or prazosin. In the vast rural areas of the third world countries phytotherapy is considered as an alternative system of medicine and scorpion sting is treated with the help of medicinal botanicals. As the safety and efficacy are considered as important aspects of anti venin therapy, conventional treatment can be supported by the herbal remedy. The present review compiles a number of medicinal plants pharmacologically evaluated in vitro and/or in vivo for scorpion antivenin properties. Considering the aspects like cost effectiveness, availability, lesser side effects and development of drug resistance, plant based anti venin therapy may be considered as a possible remedy against scorpion envenomation. PMID:24175429

  6. Purification, synthesis and characterization of AaCtx, the first chlorotoxin-like peptide from Androctonus australis scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Rjeibi, Ilhem; Mabrouk, Kamel; Mosrati, Hend; Berenguer, Caroline; Mejdoub, Hafedh; Villard, Claude; Laffitte, Daniel; Bertin, Denis; Ouafik, L'Houcine; Luis, José; Elayeb, Mohamed; Srairi-Abid, Najet

    2011-04-01

    AaCtx is the first chlorotoxin-like peptide isolated from Androctonus australis scorpion venom. Its amino acid sequence shares 70% similarity with chlorotoxin from Leiurus quinquestriatus scorpion venom, from which it differs by twelve amino acids. Due to its very low concentration in venom (0.05%), AaCtx was chemically synthesized. Both native and synthetic AaCtx were active on invasion and migration of human glioma cells. However, their activity was found to be lower than that of chlorotoxin. The molecular model of AaCtx shows that most of amino acids differing between AaCtx and chlorotoxin are localized on the N-terminal loop and the α-helix. Based on known compounds that block chloride channels, we suggest that the absence of negative charged amino acids on AaCtx structure may be responsible for its weak activity on glioma cells migration and invasion. This finding serves as a starting point for structure-function relationship studies leading to design high specific anti-glioma drugs.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. A scorpion venom neurotoxin paralytic to insects that affects sodium current inactivation: Purification, primary structure, and mode of action

    SciTech Connect

    Eitan, M.; Fowler, E.; Herrmann, R.; Duval, A.; Pelhate, M.; Zlotkin, E. )

    1990-06-26

    A new toxin, Lqh alpha IT, which caused a unique mode of paralysis of blowfly larvae, was purified from the venom of the scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus, and its structural and pharmacological properties were compared to those of three other groups of neurotoxins found in Buthinae scorpion venoms. Like the excitatory and depressant insect-selective neurotoxins, Lqh alpha IT was highly toxic to insects, but it differed from these toxins in two important characteristics: (a) Lqh alpha IT lacked strict selectivity for insects; it was highly toxic to crustaceans and had a measurable but low toxicity to mice. (b) It did not displace an excitatory insect toxin, 125I-AaIT, from its binding sites in the insect neuronal membrane; this indicates that the binding sites for Lqh alpha IT are different from those shared by the excitatory and depressant toxins. However, in its primary structure and its effect on excitable tissues, Lqh alpha IT strongly resembled the well-characterized alpha scorpion toxins, which affect mammals. The amino acid sequence was identical with alpha toxin sequences in 55%-75% of positions. This degree of similarity is comparable to that seen among the alpha toxins themselves. Voltage- and current-clamp studies showed that Lqh alpha IT caused an extreme prolongation of the action potential in both cockroach giant axon and rat skeletal muscle preparations as a result of the slowing and incomplete inactivation of the sodium currents. These observations indicate that Lqh alpha IT is an alpha toxin which acts on insect sodium channels.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Scorpion venoms: taking the sting out of lung disease.

    PubMed

    Rogers, D F

    1996-05-01

    Scorpion venoms contain specific toxins which block large conductance calcium-activated potassium (BKCa) channels. Use of these toxins has shown that a significant proportion of the action of bronchodilators such as beta-agonists, theophylline, and nitric oxide occurs as a result of the opening of BKCa channels. Similarly, these toxins have shown that inhibitors of airway neurotransmission also operate via BKCa channels. Drugs that open BKCa channels may be alternative bronchodilators (possibly "airway selective" and with fewer side effects) as well as inhibitors of pathophysiological neurogenic influences in asthma, chronic coughing and sneezing, and chronic bronchitis. PMID:8711688

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-15

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

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-16

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Nisani, Zia; Hayes, William K

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-15

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Pandinus imperator scorpion venom blocks voltage-gated potassium channels in GH3 cells.

    PubMed

    Pappone, P A; Lucero, M T

    1988-06-01

    We examined the effects of Pandinus imperator scorpion venom on voltage-gated potassium channels in cultured clonal rat anterior pituitary cells (GH3 cells) using the gigohm-seal voltage-clamp method in the whole-cell configuration. We found that Pandinus venom blocks the voltage-gated potassium channels of GH3 cells in a voltage-dependent and dose-dependent manner. Crude venom in concentrations of 50-500 micrograms/ml produced 50-70% block of potassium currents measured at -20 mV, compared with 25-60% block measured at +50 mV. The venom both decreased the peak potassium current and shifted the voltage dependence of potassium current activation to more positive potentials. Pandinus venom affected potassium channel kinetics by slowing channel opening, speeding deactivation slightly, and increasing inactivation rates. Potassium currents in cells exposed to Pandinus venom did not recover control amplitudes or kinetics even after 20-40 min of washing with venom-free solution. The concentration dependence of crude venom block indicates that the toxins it contains are effective in the nanomolar range of concentrations. The effects of Pandinus venom were mimicked by zinc at concentrations less than or equal to 0.2 mM. Block of potassium current by zinc was voltage dependent and resembled Pandinus venom block, except that block by zinc was rapidly reversible. Since zinc is found in crude Pandinus venom, it could be important in the interaction of the venom with the potassium channel. We conclude that Pandinus venom contains toxins that bind tightly to voltage-dependent potassium channels in GH3 cells. Because of its high affinity for voltage-gated potassium channels and its irreversibility, Pandinus venom may be useful in the isolation, mapping, and characterization of voltage-gated potassium channels.

  18. Biochemical and electrophysiological characteristics of toxins isolated from the venom of the scorpion Centruroides sculpturatus.

    PubMed

    Meves, H; Simard, J M; Watt, D D

    1984-01-01

    Recent progress in biochemical, structural and physiological studies has revealed several interesting properties of the toxins from the American scorpion, Centruroides sculpturatus. These toxins, together with similar toxins from other species of scorpions, comprise a unique family of homologous proteins with phylogenetically related structural differences. There is now evidence from both binding and electrophysiological studies that two distinct classes of toxins are present in the venom of C. sculpturatus. One class of toxins markedly slows inactivation of the sodium permeability but has no demonstrable effect on activation, whereas the second class induces a transient shift in the voltage-dependence of activation. Both groups make inactivation incomplete.

  19. 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

  20. [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.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  7. Novel potassium channel blocker venom peptides from Mesobuthus gibbosus (Scorpiones: Buthidae).

    PubMed

    Diego-García, Elia; Peigneur, Steve; Debaveye, Sarah; Gheldof, Eveline; Tytgat, Jan; Caliskan, Figen

    2013-01-01

    In the present study, we report for the first time, the molecular, biochemical and electrophysiological characterization of the components present in the soluble venom from Mesobuthus gibbosus (Brullé, 1832). According to the epidemiological and clinical situation of scorpion envenomation cases M. gibbosus scorpion is one of the most important health-threatening species of Turkey. Despite the medical importance reported for M. gibbosus, there is no additional information on toxin peptides and venom components to clarify the toxic effect of the M. gibbosus sting. Biochemical characterization of the venom was performed using different protocols and techniques following a bioassay-guided strategy (HPLC, mass spectrometry and Edman degradation sequencing). Venom fractions were tested in electrophysiological assays on a panel of six K(+) channels (K(v)1.1-1.6) by using the two-electrode voltage clamp technique. Three new α-KTx peptides were found and called MegKTx1, MegKTx2 and MegKTx3 (M. gibbosus, K(+) channel toxin number 1-3). A cDNA library from the telson was constructed and specific screening of transcripts was performed. Biochemical and molecular characterization of MegKTx peptides and transcripts shows a relation with toxins of three different α-KTx subfamilies (α-KTx3.x, α-KTx9.x and α-KTx16.x). PMID:23142506

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Effect of clonidine in mice injected with Tityus discrepans scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, A; Zerpa, H; Ruiz, A; Bermúdez, V; García, F; Silva, A; Gutiérrez, L; Villasmil, S

    2013-03-01

    A study was conducted to assess the effect of clonidine (α(2)-adrenoceptor selective agonist) on glycemia, serum and urine α-amylase, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), serum creatinine, white blood cell count, kidney histology and zymogen granule content in pancreatic acini, in mice under the effect of Tityus discrepans (Td) scorpion venom. BALB/c male mice (20 ± 2 g, n = 7-11) were intraperitoneally (ip) injected with a sublethal dose (1 μg/g) of Td venom, and were treated (ip) with 0.1 μg/g of clonidine (Catapresan(®)) or 0.9% NaCl 30 min after the venom injection, and then every 2 h. Six hours later, mice were anesthetized with diethylether and urine and blood samples were withdrawn by cystocentesis and cardiocentesis, respectively. Tissue samples were obtained and fixed immediately in buffered formalin (2%, pH 7.4) and then processed for stain H&E. Td venom did not cause hyperglycemia by itself. However, clonidine induced hyperglycemia, which was synergized by Td venom. Although the venom did not produce hyperamylasemia, clonidine significantly diminished serum α-amylase activity in envenomed mice. Td venom did not significantly increase urinary α-amylase activity, which was unaffected by clonidine. Morphometric analysis using microphotographs of pancreata from mice injected with Td venom showed a reduced zymogen granule content as judged by the acidophilic bidimensional area of acini. This effect was significantly reduced by clonidine. Kidney samples showed histological changes which were partially affected by the drug. Clonidine reduced the increase in BUN and serum creatinine concentration in envenomed mice. Td venom produced neutrophilia and lymphopenia, which were clonidine-resistant at the assayed dose. These results suggest that α(2)-adrenoceptor selective agonists would be able to reduce some scorpion venom-induced renal and pancreatic disturbances, possibly through the inhibition of neurotransmitter release from presynaptic cholinergic and

  13. Morphofunctional changes in incubated Mauthner neurons in goldfish treated with peptides from scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Tiras, N R; Udal'tsov, S N; Mikheeva, I B; Pakhotin, P I; Moshkov, D A

    2004-09-01

    Electron microscopy with negative contrast showed that direct interaction of one of the peptide fractions of scorpion venom with monomeric chromatographically pure actin led to polymerization of actin, transforming it from the globular form to the fibrillar form. The effects of prolonged orthodromic stimulation on the evoked electrical activity and ultrastructure of Mauthner neurons (MN) were studied in incubated slices of goldfish medulla oblongata in the presence of this actin-polymerizing venom fraction. Peptides in this fraction were found to stabilize the amplitude of the electrical response of MN to exhaustion and to protect the ultrastructure of afferent chemical synapses and the neurons themselves from damage induced by stimulation. Enhancements in morphofunctional resistance were accompanied by stabilization of actin-containing specialized synaptic structures--desmosome-like contacts. The data obtained here provide evidence that peptides of this fraction of scorpion venom have direct actions on the actin component of the MN cytoskeleton and demonstrate potential for its use as a pharmacological tool able to penetrate living cells with value for studying the role of actin in the mechanisms of adaptation and memory.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Effect of cytokine antibodies in the immunomodulation of inflammatory response and metabolic disorders induced by scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Taibi-Djennah, Zahida; Laraba-Djebari, Fatima

    2015-07-01

    Androctonus australis hector (Aah) venom and its neurotoxins may affect the neuro-endocrine immunological axis due to their binding to ionic channels of axonal membranes. This binding leads to the release of neurotransmitters and immunological mediators accompanied by pathophysiological effects. Although the hyperglycemia induced by scorpion venom is clearly established, the involved mediators in these deregulations are unknown. The strong relationship between inflammation and the wide variety of physiological processes can suggest that the activation of the inflammatory response and the massive release of IL-6 and TNF-α release induced by the venom may induce hyperglycemia and various biological disorders. We therefore investigated in this study the contribution of IL-6 and TNF-α in the modulation of inflammatory response and metabolic disorder induced by Aah venom. Obtained results revealed that Aah venom induced inflammatory response characterized by significant increase of inflammatory cells in sera and tissues homogenates accompanied by hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia, suggesting that the venom induced insulin resistance. It also induced severe alterations in hepatic parenchyma associated to metabolic disorders and imbalanced redox status. Cytokine antagonists injected 30 min prior to Aah venom allowed a significant reduction of inflammatory biomarker and plasma glucose levels, they also prevented metabolic disorders, oxidative stress and hepatic tissue damage induced by Aah venom. In conclusion, IL-6 and TNF-α appear to play a crucial role in the inflammatory response, hyperglycemia and associated complications to glucose metabolism disorders (carbohydrate and fat metabolism disorders, oxidative stress and hepatic damage) observed following scorpion envenoming.

  18. General characterization of Tityus fasciolatus scorpion venom. Molecular identification of toxins and localization of linear B-cell epitopes.

    PubMed

    Mendes, T M; Guimarães-Okamoto, P T C; Machado-de-Avila, R A; Oliveira, D; Melo, M M; Lobato, Z I; Kalapothakis, E; Chávez-Olórtegui, C

    2015-06-01

    This communication describes the general characteristics of the venom from the Brazilian scorpion Tityus fasciolatus, which is an endemic species found in the central Brazil (States of Goiás and Minas Gerais), being responsible for sting accidents in this area. The soluble venom obtained from this scorpion is toxic to mice being the LD50 is 2.984 mg/kg (subcutaneally). SDS-PAGE of the soluble venom resulted in 10 fractions ranged in size from 6 to 10-80 kDa. Sheep were employed for anti-T. fasciolatus venom serum production. Western blotting analysis showed that most of these venom proteins are immunogenic. T. fasciolatus anti-venom revealed consistent cross-reactivity with venom antigens from Tityus serrulatus. Using known primers for T. serrulatus toxins, we have identified three toxins sequences from T. fasciolatus venom. Linear epitopes of these toxins were localized and fifty-five overlapping pentadecapeptides covering complete amino acid sequence of the three toxins were synthesized in cellulose membrane (spot-synthesis technique). The epitopes were located on the 3D structures and some important residues for structure/function were identified. PMID:25817000

  19. 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

  20. Diabody mixture providing full protection against experimental scorpion envenoming with crude Androctonus australis venom.

    PubMed

    di Tommaso, Anne; Juste, Matthieu O; Martin-Eauclaire, Marie-France; Dimier-Poisson, Isabelle; Billiald, Philippe; Aubrey, Nicolas

    2012-04-20

    Androctonus australis is primarily involved in envenomations in North Africa, notably in Tunisia and Algeria, and constitutes a significant public health problem in this region. The toxicity of the venom is mainly due to various neurotoxins that belong to two distinct structural and immunological groups, group I (the AahI and AahIII toxins) and group II (AahII). Here, we report the use of a diabody mixture in which the molar ratio matches the characteristics of toxins and polymorphism of the venom. The mixture consists of the Db9C2 diabody (anti-group I) and the Db4C1op diabody (anti-AahII), the latter being modified to facilitate in vitro production and purification. The effectiveness of the antivenom was tested in vivo under conditions simulating scorpion envenomation. The intraperitoneal injection of 30 μg of the diabody mixture protected almost all the mice exposed to 3 LD(50) s.c. of venom. We also show that the presence of both diabodies is necessary for the animals to survive. Our results are the first demonstration of the strong protective power of small quantities of antivenom used in the context of severe envenomation with crude venom. PMID:22375011

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Variability of Potassium Channel Blockers in Mesobuthus eupeus Scorpion Venom with Focus on Kv1.1

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The lesser Asian scorpion Mesobuthus eupeus (Buthidae) is one of the most widely spread and dispersed species of the Mesobuthus genus, and its venom is actively studied. Nevertheless, a considerable amount of active compounds is still under-investigated due to the high complexity of this venom. Here, we report a comprehensive analysis of putative potassium channel toxins (KTxs) from the cDNA library of M. eupeus venom glands, and we compare the deduced KTx structures with peptides purified from the venom. For the transcriptome analysis, we used conventional tools as well as a search for structural motifs characteristic of scorpion venom components in the form of regular expressions. We found 59 candidate KTxs distributed in 30 subfamilies and presenting the cysteine-stabilized α/β and inhibitor cystine knot types of fold. M. eupeus venom was then separated to individual components by multistage chromatography. A facile fluorescent system based on the expression of the KcsA-Kv1.1 hybrid channels in Escherichia coli and utilization of a labeled scorpion toxin was elaborated and applied to follow Kv1.1 pore binding activity during venom separation. As a result, eight high affinity Kv1.1 channel blockers were identified, including five novel peptides, which extend the panel of potential pharmacologically important Kv1 ligands. Activity of the new peptides against rat Kv1.1 channel was confirmed (IC50 in the range of 1–780 nm) by the two-electrode voltage clamp technique using a standard Xenopus oocyte system. Our integrated approach is of general utility and efficiency to mine natural venoms for KTxs. PMID:25792741

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. The effects of a chactoid scorpion venom and its purified toxins on rat blood pressure and mast cells histamine release.

    PubMed

    Ettinger, Keren; Cohen, Gadi; Momic, Tatjana; Lazarovici, Philip

    2013-07-29

    The effect of the venom of the Chactoid family of scorpions on blood pressure was scantly investigated and was addressed in the present study using the venom of the Israeli scorpion, Scorpio maurus palmatus. Blood pressure in rats was monitored via cannulated femoral artery, while venom and toxins were introduced into femoral vein. Venom injection elicited a biphasic effect, expressed first by a fast and transient hypotensive response, which lasted up to 10 min, followed by a hypertensive response, which lasted up to one hour. It was found that these effects resulted from different venom components. Phospholipase A₂ produced the hypotensive effect, while a non-enzymatic neurotoxic polypeptide fraction produced the hypertensive effect. Surprisingly, the main neurotoxic polypeptide to mice had no effect on blood pressure. In vitro experiments indicated that the hypertensive factors caused histamine release from the peritoneal mast cells, but this effect is assumed to be not relevant to their in vivo effect. In spite of the cytotoxic activity of phospholipase A₂, it did not release histamine. These findings suggest that the effects of venom and isolated fractions on blood pressure parameters are mediated by different mechanisms, which deserve further pharmacological investigation.

  8. Scorpion Venom Heat-Resistant Peptide Attenuates Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein Expression via c-Jun/AP-1.

    PubMed

    Cao, Zhen; Wu, Xue-Fei; Peng, Yan; Zhang, Rui; Li, Na; Yang, Jin-Yi; Zhang, Shu-Qin; Zhang, Wan-Qin; Zhao, Jie; Li, Shao

    2015-11-01

    Scorpion venom has been used in the Orient to treat central nervous system diseases for many years, and the protein/peptide toxins in Buthus martensii Karsch (BmK) venom are believed to be the effective components. Scorpion venom heat-resistant peptide (SVHRP) is an active component of the scorpion venom extracted from BmK. In a previous study, we found that SVHRP could inhibit the formation of a glial scar, which is characterized by enhanced glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression, in the epileptic hippocampus. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying this process remain to be clarified. The results of the present study indicate that endogenous GFAP expression in primary rat astrocytes was attenuated by SVHRP. We further demonstrate that the suppression of GFAP was primarily mediated by inhibiting both c-Jun expression and its binding with AP-1 DNA binding site and other factors at the GFAP promoter. These results support that SVHRP contributes to reducing GFAP at least in part by decreasing the activity of the transcription factor AP-1. In conclusion, the effects of SVHRP on astrocytes with respect to the c-Jun/AP-1 signaling pathway in vitro provide a practical basis for studying astrocyte activation and inhibition and a scientific basis for further studies of traditional medicine.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:27544632

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  13. Arachnids of medical importance in Brazil: main active compounds present in scorpion and spider venoms and tick saliva.

    PubMed

    Cordeiro, Francielle A; Amorim, Fernanda G; Anjolette, Fernando A P; Arantes, Eliane C

    2015-01-01

    Arachnida is the largest class among the arthropods, constituting over 60,000 described species (spiders, mites, ticks, scorpions, palpigrades, pseudoscorpions, solpugids and harvestmen). Many accidents are caused by arachnids, especially spiders and scorpions, while some diseases can be transmitted by mites and ticks. These animals are widely dispersed in urban centers due to the large availability of shelter and food, increasing the incidence of accidents. Several protein and non-protein compounds present in the venom and saliva of these animals are responsible for symptoms observed in envenoming, exhibiting neurotoxic, dermonecrotic and hemorrhagic activities. The phylogenomic analysis from the complementary DNA of single-copy nuclear protein-coding genes shows that these animals share some common protein families known as neurotoxins, defensins, hyaluronidase, antimicrobial peptides, phospholipases and proteinases. This indicates that the venoms from these animals may present components with functional and structural similarities. Therefore, we described in this review the main components present in spider and scorpion venom as well as in tick saliva, since they have similar components. These three arachnids are responsible for many accidents of medical relevance in Brazil. Additionally, this study shows potential biotechnological applications of some components with important biological activities, which may motivate the conducting of further research studies on their action mechanisms.

  14. 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

  15. Morphological abnormalities in myelinated nerve fibres caused by Leiurus, Centruroides and Phoneutria venoms and their prevention by tetrodotoxin.

    PubMed

    Love, S; Cruz-Höfling, M A; Duchen, L W

    1986-01-01

    Morphological changes in peripheral nerve caused by the venoms of the scorpions Leiurus quinquestriatus and Centruroides sculpturatus were compared with those caused by Phoneutria nigriventer spider venom. Both scorpion venoms are known to delay the inactivation of sodium currents, Centruroides venom also altering the voltage dependence of sodium gating. Venom was injected by means of a glass micropipette into the sciatic nerves of anaesthetized mice. After survival times ranging from 15 min to 24 h the nerves were examined by light and electron microscopy. The two scorpion venoms caused alterations virtually identical to those produced by Phoneutria venom, which included swelling of the nodal axoplasm and accumulation of fluid in the periaxonal space of myelinated fibres. These alterations were most marked after 1 to 2 h and had largely disappeared by 24 h. Pre-treatment of the nerves with tetrodotoxin, which specifically blocks sodium channels, completely prevented both the nodal axoplasmic swelling and the periaxonal oedema. It seems likely that these effects result from an action common to the three venoms and that this is probably a delay in the inactivation of sodium current at the node of Ranvier.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Human bronchial epithelial cells injury and cytokine production induced by Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom: An in vitro study.

    PubMed

    Rigoni, Vera Lucia Silva; Kwasniewski, Fabio H; Vieira, Rodolfo Paula; Linhares, Ingrid Sestrem; da Silva, Joelmir Lucena Veiga; Nogueira-Pedro, Amanda; Zamuner, Stella Regina

    2016-09-15

    Tityus serrulatus is the scorpion specie responsible for the majority of scorpion sting accidents in Brazil. Symptoms of envenomation by Tityus serrulatus range from local pain to severe systemic reactions such as cardiac dysfunction and pulmonary edema. Thus, this study has evaluated the participation of bronchial epithelial cells in the pulmonary effects of Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom (Tsv). Human bronchial epithelial cell line BEAS-2B were utilized as a model target and were incubated with Tsv (10 or 50 μg/mL) for 1, 3, 6 and 24 h. Effects on cellular response of venom-induce cytotoxicity were examined including cell viability, cell integrity, cell morphology, apoptosis/necrosis as well as cell activation through the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-8. Tsv caused a decrease in cell viability at 10 and 50 μg/mL, which was confirmed by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) measurement. Flow cytometry analyses revealed necrosis as the main cell death pathway caused by Tsv. Furthermore, Tsv induced the release of IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-8. Altogether, these results demonstrate that Tsv induces cytotoxic effects on bronchial epithelial cells, involving necrosis and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, suggesting that bronchial epithelial cells may play a role in the pulmonary injury caused by Tsv. PMID:27452928

  1. 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.

  2. Tityus serrulatus Hypotensins: a new family of peptides from scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Verano-Braga, T; Rocha-Resende, C; Silva, D M; Ianzer, D; Martin-Eauclaire, M F; Bougis, P E; de Lima, M E; Santos, R A S; Pimenta, A M C

    2008-07-01

    Using a proteomic approach, a new structural family of peptides was put in evidence in the venom of the yellow scorpion Tityus serrulatus. Tityus serrulatus Hypotensins (TsHpt) are random-coiled linear peptides and have a similar bradykinin-potentiating peptide (BPP) amino acid signature. TsHpt-I (2.7kDa), the first member of this family, was able to potentiate the hypotensive effects of bradykinin (BK) in normotensive rats. Using the C-terminal of this peptide as a template, a synthetic analog peptide (TsHpt-I([17-25])) was designed to held the BK-potentiating effect. A relevant hypotensive effect, independent on BK, was also observed on both TsHpt (native and synthetic). To better evaluate this hypotensive effect, we examined the vasorelaxation of aortic rings from male Wistar rats and the peptides were able to induce endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation dependent on NO release. Both TsHpt could not inhibit ACE activity. These peptides appear to exert their anti-hypertensive effect through NO-dependent and ACE-independent mechanisms. PMID:18445483

  3. Targeting the ion channel Kv1.3 with scorpion venom peptides engineered for potency, selectivity, and half-life.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Wilson; Fung-Leung, Wai-Ping; Huang, Chichi; Chi, Ellen; Wu, Nancy; Liu, Yi; Maher, Michael P; Bonesteel, Rachelle; Connor, Judith; Fellows, Ross; Garcia, Elena; Lee, Jerry; Lu, Lu; Ngo, Karen; Scott, Brian; Zhou, Hong; Swanson, Ronald V; Wickenden, Alan D

    2014-08-15

    Ion channels are an attractive class of drug targets, but progress in developing inhibitors for therapeutic use has been limited largely due to challenges in identifying subtype selective small molecules. Animal venoms provide an alternative source of ion channel modulators, and the venoms of several species, such as scorpions, spiders and snails, are known to be rich sources of ion channel modulating peptides. Importantly, these peptides often bind to hyper-variable extracellular loops, creating the potential for subtype selectivity rarely achieved with small molecules. We have engineered scorpion venom peptides and incorporated them in fusion proteins to generate highly potent and selective Kv1.3 inhibitors with long in vivo half-lives. Kv1.3 has been reported to play a role in human T cell activation, and therefore, these Kv1.3 inhibitor fusion proteins may have potential for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Our results support an emerging approach to generating subtype selective therapeutic ion channel inhibitors.

  4. [Effect of polypeptides from scorpion venom on morpho-functional changes of the incubated Mauthner neurons in goldfish].

    PubMed

    Tiras, N R; Udal'tsov, S N; Mikheeva, I B; Pakhotin, P I; Moshkov, D A

    2003-01-01

    Using the electron microscopical method of negative staining it was shown that one of the fractions obtained from scorpion venom directly interacts with monomeric chromatographically pure actin causing its polymerization and transformation from globular into fibrillar form. The effect of long-term orthodromic stimulation on evoked electric activity and on the ultrastructure of Mauthner neurons (MN) in the goldfish hindbrain slices incubated in vitro was studied after the application of this venom fraction. The peptides of this fraction were shown to stabilize the amplitude of MN evoked electric responses to fatigue and to protect the ultrastructure of afferent chemical synapses and MN themselves from stimulation-induced injuries. Increase in morpho-functional resistivity is accompanied by the stabilization of specialized synaptic structures--actin-containing desmosome-like junctions. These data suggest the direct effect of peptides from scorpion venom fraction on actin component of MN cytoskeleton and show the perspective for their application as pharmacological tools capable of penetration into the living cells that may be used for investigation of the role of actin in the mechanisms of adaptation and memory.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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).

  10. 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.

  11. Effects of Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom and its toxin TsTX-V on neurotransmitter uptake in vitro.

    PubMed

    Cecchini, Alessandra L; Vasconcelos, Flávio; Amara, Susan G; Giglio, José Roberto; Arantes, Eliane Candiani

    2006-12-01

    Scorpion neurotoxins targeting the Na(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 (3)H-Glu uptake. On the other hand, Ts venom (0.13 microg/mg) significantly inhibited both (3)H-GABA and (3)H-DA uptake ( approximately 50%). TsTX-V showed IC(50) values of 9.37 microM and 22.2 microM for the inhibition of (3)H-GABA and (3)H-DA uptake, respectively. These effects were abolished by pre-treatment with tetrodotoxin (TTX, 1 microM), indicating the involvement of voltage-gated Na(+) channels in this process. In the absence of Ca(2+), and at low Ts venom concentrations, the reduction of (3)H-GABA uptake was not as marked as in the presence of Ca(2+). TsTX-V did not reduce (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 (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 (3)H-GABA and (3)H-DA uptake in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner, not directly affecting GABA transporters, but, in consequence of depolarization, involving voltage-gated Na(+) channels.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:23523531

  15. Influence of post-starvation extraction time and prey-specific diet in Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom composition and hyaluronidase activity.

    PubMed

    Pucca, Manuela Berto; Amorim, Fernanda Gobbi; Cerni, Felipe Augusto; Bordon, Karla de Castro Figueiredo; Cardoso, Iara Aimê; Anjolette, Fernando Antonio Pino; Arantes, Eliane Candiani

    2014-11-01

    The role of diet in venom composition has been a topic of intense research interest. This work presents evidence that the variation in the venom composition from the scorpion Tityus serrulatus (Ts) is closely associated with post-starvation extraction time and prey-specific diet. The scorpions were fed with cockroach, cricket, peanut beetle or giant Tenebrio. The venoms demonstrated a pronounced difference in the total protein and toxins composition, which was evaluated by electrophoresis, reversed-phase chromatography, densitometry, hyaluronidase activity and N-terminal sequencing. Indeed, many toxins and peptides, such as Ts1, Ts2, Ts4, Ts5, Ts6, Ts15, Ts19 frag. II, hypotensins 1 and 3, PAPE peptide and peptide 9797 (first described in Ts venom), were all identified in different proportions in the analyzed Ts venoms. This study is pioneer on assessing the influence of the starvation time and the prey diet on hyaluronidase activity as well as to describe a modification of Tricine-gel-electrophoresis to evaluate this enzyme activity. Altogether, this study reveal a large contribution of the extraction time and diet on Ts venom variability as well as present a background to recommend the cockroach diet to obtain higher protein content and the cricket diet to obtain higher hyaluronidase specific activity.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-15

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Neuroprotection by scorpion venom heat resistant peptide in 6-hydroxydopamine rat model of early-stage Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Yin, Sheng-Ming; Zhao, Dan; Yu, De-Qin; Li, Sheng-Long; An, Dong; Peng, Yan; Xu, Hong; Sun, Yi-Ping; Wang, Dong-Mei; Zhao, Jie; Zhang, Wan-Qin

    2014-12-25

    Neuroprotective effect of scorpion venom on Parkinson's disease (PD) has already been reported. The present study was aimed to investigate whether scorpion venom heat resistant peptide (SVHRP) could attenuate ultrastructural abnormalities in mitochondria and oxidative stress in midbrain neurons of early-stage PD model. The early-stage PD model was established by injecting 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) (20 μg/3 μL normal saline with 0.1% ascorbic acid) into the striatum of Sprague Dawley (SD) rats unilaterally. The rats were intraperitoneally administered with SVHRP (0.05 mg/kg per day) or vehicle (saline) for 1 week. Two weeks after 6-OHDA treatment, the rats received behavior tests for validation of model. Three weeks after 6-OHDA injection, the immunoreactivity of dopaminergic neurons were detected by immunohistochemistry staining, and the ultrastructure of neuronal mitochondria in midbrain was observed by electron microscope. In the meantime, the activities of monoamine oxidase-B (MAO-B), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and content of malondialdehyde (MDA) in the mitochondria of the midbrain neurons, as well as the inhibitory ability of hydroxyl free radical and the antioxidant ability in the serum, were measured by corresponding kits. The results showed that 6-OHDA reduced the optical density of dopaminergic neurons, induced damage of mitochondrial ultrastructure of midbrain neurons, decreased SOD activity, increased MAO-B activity and MDA content, and reduced the antioxidant ability of the serum. SVHRP significantly reversed the previous harmful effects of 6-OHDA in early-stage PD model. These findings indicate that SVHRP may contribute to neuroprotection by preventing biochemical and ultrastructure damage changes which occur during early-stage PD. PMID:25516514

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Cloning and characterization of a cDNA sequence encoding the precursor of a chlorotoxin-like peptide from the Chinese scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch.

    PubMed

    Zeng, X C; Li, W X; Zhu, S Y; Peng, F; Zhu, Z H; Wu, K L; Yiang, F H

    2000-08-01

    A full-length cDNA sequence encoding the precursor of a venom peptide with homology to chlorotoxin (named BmKCT) was isolated from a cDNA library made from the venom glands of the Chinese Scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch. The encoded precursor of BmKCT was 59 amino acid residues long including a signal peptide of 24 residues and a mature toxin of 35 residues with four disulfide bridges. The sequence of BmKCT is similar (68% identities) to that of chlorotoxin isolated from Leiurus quinguestriatus quinquestriatus. BmKCT is the first report of the cDNA sequences encoding four-disulfide-bridged short-chain toxins from Buthus martensuii Karsch so far.

  4. Scorpion venom activates natural killer cells in hepatocellular carcinoma via the NKG2D-MICA pathway.

    PubMed

    Chen, Han; Zhidan, Wang; Xia, Ren; Zhaoxia, Wang; Qing, Jia; Qiang, Guo; Haipeng, Yin; Hengxiao, Wang

    2016-06-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that polypeptides extracted from scorpion venom (PESV) inhibited cell proliferation in several tumors, however, the effect on dysfunctional and exhausted natural killer cells which contribute to tumor escape from immune surveillance remain to be elucidated. In this study, we determined the effect of PESV on NK infiltration into H22 cells orthotopic transplantation tumors and on the expression of MHC class I chain-related proteins A (MICA) in HepG2 cells. We found that tumor growth in mice was significantly inhibited by PESV and the survival time of tumor-bearing mice treated with PESV was significantly prolonged. Moreover, levels of tumor-infiltrating NK cells, NKG2D protein, perforin and granzyme B mRNA were significantly increased in the group treated with PESV compared with the tumor-bearing control group. In addition, In addition, up-regulation of MICA by PESV enhances the susceptibility of HepG2 cells to NK lysis in vitro. These results indicate that the inhibitory effects of PESV on hepatic carcinoma are likely mediated by up-regulation of NK cell activity via the MICA-NKG2D pathway. PMID:27089390

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-15

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

  8. Opposing roles of LTB4 and PGE2 in regulating the inflammasome-dependent scorpion venom-induced mortality.

    PubMed

    Zoccal, Karina F; Sorgi, Carlos A; Hori, Juliana I; Paula-Silva, Francisco W G; Arantes, Eliane C; Serezani, Carlos H; Zamboni, Dario S; Faccioli, Lúcia H

    2016-01-01

    Tityus serrulatus sting causes thousands of deaths annually worldwide. T. serrulatus-envenomed victims exhibit local or systemic reaction that culminates in pulmonary oedema, potentially leading to death. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying T. serrulatus venom (TsV) activity remain unknown. Here we show that TsV triggers NLRP3 inflammasome activation via K(+) efflux. Mechanistically, TsV triggers lung-resident cells to release PGE2, which induces IL-1β production via E prostanoid receptor 2/4-cAMP-PKA-NFκB-dependent mechanisms. IL-1β/IL-1R actions account for oedema and neutrophil recruitment to the lungs, leading to TsV-induced mortality. Inflammasome activation triggers LTB4 production and further PGE2 via IL-1β/IL-1R signalling. Activation of LTB4-BLT1/2 pathway decreases cAMP generation, controlling TsV-induced inflammation. Exogenous administration confirms LTB4 anti-inflammatory activity and abrogates TsV-induced mortality. These results suggest that the balance between LTB4 and PGE2 determines the amount of IL-1β inflammasome-dependent release and the outcome of envenomation. We suggest COX1/2 inhibition as an effective therapeutic intervention for scorpion envenomation. PMID:26907476

  9. Scorpion venom activates natural killer cells in hepatocellular carcinoma via the NKG2D-MICA pathway.

    PubMed

    Chen, Han; Zhidan, Wang; Xia, Ren; Zhaoxia, Wang; Qing, Jia; Qiang, Guo; Haipeng, Yin; Hengxiao, Wang

    2016-06-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that polypeptides extracted from scorpion venom (PESV) inhibited cell proliferation in several tumors, however, the effect on dysfunctional and exhausted natural killer cells which contribute to tumor escape from immune surveillance remain to be elucidated. In this study, we determined the effect of PESV on NK infiltration into H22 cells orthotopic transplantation tumors and on the expression of MHC class I chain-related proteins A (MICA) in HepG2 cells. We found that tumor growth in mice was significantly inhibited by PESV and the survival time of tumor-bearing mice treated with PESV was significantly prolonged. Moreover, levels of tumor-infiltrating NK cells, NKG2D protein, perforin and granzyme B mRNA were significantly increased in the group treated with PESV compared with the tumor-bearing control group. In addition, In addition, up-regulation of MICA by PESV enhances the susceptibility of HepG2 cells to NK lysis in vitro. These results indicate that the inhibitory effects of PESV on hepatic carcinoma are likely mediated by up-regulation of NK cell activity via the MICA-NKG2D pathway.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-27

    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.

  11. 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

  12. 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. PMID:19469419

  13. Purification and N-terminal partial sequence of anti-epilepsy peptide from venom of the scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch.

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, X H; Yang, D; Zhang, J H; Liu, C M; Lei, K J

    1989-01-01

    An anti-epilepsy peptide (AEP) was isolated and purified from venom of the scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch. The purification procedure included CM-Sephadex C-50 chromatography, gel filtration on Sephadex G-50 and DEAE-Sephadex A-50 chromatography. Its homogeneity was demonstrated by pH 4.3 polyacrylamide-disc-gel electrophoresis, focusing electrophoresis and SDS/polyacrylamide-disc-gel electrophoresis. The Mr of this peptide, calculated from measurements in SDS/15%-polyacrylamide-disc-gel and SDS/20%-polyacrylamide-disc-gel electrophoresis, is 8300. The isoelectric point is 8.52 by pH 8-9.5-range isoelectric focusing. No haemorrhagic or toxic activities were found. No toxicity was found even after the dose reached 28 mg/kg. The pharmacological tests showed that the AEP had no effect on heart rate, blood pressure or electrocardiogram, but strongly inhibited epilepsy induced by coriaria lactone and cephaloridine. The fluorescence spectrum showed that the peptide has a strong emission peak at 337 nm. Amino acid analysis suggested that the AEP is composed of 66 residues from 18 amino acids and has an Mr of 8290. The sequence of the first 50 N-terminal residues is as follows: Asp-Gly-Tyr-Ile-Arg-Gly-Ser-Asp-Asn-Cys-Lys-Val-Ser-Cys-Leu-Leu-Gly-Asn- Glu-Gly - Cys-Asn-Lys-Glu-Cys-Arg-Ala-Tyr-Gly-Ala-Ser-Tyr-Gly-Tyr-Cys-Trp-Thr-Val- Lys-Leu - Ala-Gln-Asp-Cys-Glu-Gly-Leu-Pro-Asp-Thr-. Images Fig. 4. PMID:2930463

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:27395044

  18. 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.

  19. NMR sequential assignments and solution structure of chlorotoxin, a small scorpion toxin that blocks chloride channels.

    PubMed

    Lippens, G; Najib, J; Wodak, S J; Tartar, A

    1995-01-10

    The solution structure of chlorotoxin, a small toxin purified from the venom of the Leiurus quinquestriatus scorpion, has been determined using 2D 1H NMR spectroscopy. Analysis of the NMR data shows that the structure consists of a small three-stranded antiparallel beta-sheet packed against an alpha-helix, thereby adopting the same fold as charybdotoxin and other members of the short scorpion toxin family [Arseniev et al. (1984) FEBS Lett. 165, 57-62; Martins et al. (1990) FEBS Lett. 260, 249-253; Bontems et al. (1991) Science 254, 1521-1523]. Three disulfide bonds of chlorotoxin (Cys5-Cys28, Cys16-Cys33, and Cys20-Cys35), cross-linking the alpha-helix to the beta-sheet, follow the common pattern found in the other short scorpion toxins. The fourth disulfide bridge (Cys2-Cys19) links the small N-terminal beta strand to the rest of the molecule, in contrast to charybdotoxin where this disulfide bridge is absent and the first strand interacts with the rest of the molecule by several contacts between hydrophobic residues. Another structural difference between chlorotoxin and charybdotoxin is observed at the level of the alpha-beta turn. This difference is accompanied by a change in the electrostatic potential surface, which is largely positive at the level of this turn in chlorotoxin, whereas no such positive potential surface can be found at the same position in charybdotoxin. In the latter protein, the positive surface is formed by different charged residues situated on the solvent-exposed site of the C-terminal beta-sheet.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  20. Sustained Ventricular Tachycardia and Cardiogenic Shock due to Scorpion Envenomation.

    PubMed

    Miranda, Carlos Henrique; Maio, Karina Tozatto; Moreira, Henrique Turin; Moraes, Marcos; Custodio, Viviane Imaculada do Carmo; Pazin-Filho, Antonio; Cupo, Palmira

    2014-01-01

    We describe a case of severe scorpion envenomation in an adult patient, with the presence of very rapid sustained ventricular tachycardia followed by cardiogenic shock, which was reversed by scorpion antivenom administration. Scorpion venom causes cardiac changes that can lead to an environment favoring arrhythmogenesis. PMID:24715906

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Sj7170, a Unique Dual-function Peptide with a Specific α-Chymotrypsin Inhibitory Activity and a Potent Tumor-activating Effect from Scorpion Venom*

    PubMed Central

    Song, Yu; Gong, Ke; Yan, Hong; Hong, Wei; Wang, Le; Wu, Yingliang; Li, Wenhua; Li, Wenxin; Cao, Zhijian

    2014-01-01

    A new peptide precursor, termed Sj7170, was characterized from the venomous gland cDNA library of the scorpion Scorpiops jendeki. Sj7170 was deduced to be a 62-amino acid peptide cross-linked by five disulfide bridges. The recombinant Sj7170 peptide (rSj7170) with chromatographic purity was produced by a prokaryotic expression system. Enzyme inhibition assay in vitro and in vivo showed that rSj7170 specifically inhibited the activity of α-chymotrypsin at micromole concentrations. In addition, Sj7170 not only promoted cell proliferation and colony formation by up-regulating the expression of cyclin D1 in vitro but also enhanced tumor growth in nude mice. Finally, Sj7170 accelerated cellular migration and invasion by increasing the expression of the transcription factor Snail and then inducing the epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Moreover, Sj7170 changed cell morphology and cytoskeleton of U87 cells by the GTPase pathway. Taken together, Sj7170 is a unique dual-function peptide, i.e. a specific α-chymotrypsin inhibitor and a potent tumorigenesis/metastasis activator. Our work not only opens an avenue of developing new modulators of tumorigenesis/metastasis from serine protease inhibitors but also strengthens the functional link between protease inhibitors and tumor activators. PMID:24584937

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Therapeutic potential of chlorotoxin-like neurotoxin from the Chinese scorpion for human gliomas.

    PubMed

    Fu, Yue-Jun; Yin, Li-Tian; Liang, Ai-Hua; Zhang, Chao-Feng; Wang, Wei; Chai, Bao-Feng; Yang, Jian-Yi; Fan, Xiao-Jun

    2007-01-22

    Chlorotoxin, one of the key toxins in scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus venom, has been shown to bind specifically to glioma cell surface as a specific chloride channel blocker. In this study, a purified, recombinant chlorotoxin-like peptide from the scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch (named rBmK CTa) was characterized by in vivo and in vitro studies. The results from cell proliferation assay with human glioma (SHG-44) cells showed that rBmK CTa inhibits the growth of glioma cells in a dose-dependent manner, with an IC(50) value of approximately 0.28microM. Under the same conditions, the IC(50) value for normal astrocytes increased to 8microM. This clearly indicated that rBmK CTa had specific toxicity against glioma cells but not astrocytes. Results from whole-cell patch-clamp recording showed that chloride current in SHG-44 was inhibited by rBmK CTa in a voltage-dependent manner and percent inhibitions for the blocking action of rBmK CTa (0.07 and 0.14microM) on I(Cl) was 17.64+/-3.06% and 55.86+/-2.83%, respectively. Histological analysis of rBmK CTa treated mice showed that brain, leg muscle and cardiac muscle were the target organs of this toxin. These results suggest that rBmK CTa may have potential therapeutic application in clinical treatment of human glioma. It represents an approach for developing a novel therapeutic agent.

  8. The pathological effects of Heminecrolysin, a dermonecrotic toxin from Hemiscorpius lepturus scorpion venom are mediated through its lysophospholipase D activity.

    PubMed

    Borchani, Lamia; Sassi, Atfa; Ben Gharsa, Haifa; Safra, Ines; Shahbazzadeh, Delavar; Ben Lasfar, Zakaria; El Ayeb, Mohamed

    2013-06-01

    We have previously identified Heminecrolysin, a sphingomyelinase D (SMaseD), as the major protein responsible for the main pathological effects observed following Hemiscorpius (H.) lepturus scorpion envenomation. We aimed herein to further investigate the kinetics and molecular mechanisms triggered by Heminecrolysin to initiate hematological disorders and inflammatory reaction. We show that Heminecrolysin highly hydrolyzes lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) into lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) and choline, with a Vmax = 1481 ± 51 μmol/min/mg and a Km = 97 ± 16.78 μM, at a much lesser extend sphingomyelin but not phosphatidylcholine substrates. Its lysophospholipase D (lysoPLD) catalytic efficiency, up to three orders of magnitude higher, comparatively to spider's SMaseDs (newly referred as phospholipases D; PLDs), could explain its strong hemolytic capacity. Chelating agents such as EDTA, EGTA, and 1, 10-phenantroline blocked Heminecrolysin-induced LPC hydrolysis at 98, 48, and 70% respectively. Hemolysis blockade occurs only when the toxin is added to erythrocytes in the presence of serum, source of LPC and complement, indicating that the production of LPA and the presence of complement are mandatory for hemolysis. Moreover, we show that Heminecrolysin efficiently binds to erythrocyte's membrane and provokes phosphatidylserine (PS) translocation without cleavage of glycophorin A, suggesting that, unlike spider's PLDs, complement was activated only via the classical pathway. Interestingly, Heminecrolysin was found to induce PS exposure on human nucleated Jurkat T cells, to stimulate secretion of the pro-inflammatory (TNF-α, IL-6), and anti-inflammatory (IL-10) cytokines by human monocytes, and to provoke a disseminated intravascular coagulation on chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane model system. Taken together, our results indicate that Heminecrolysin evokes the major characteristic clinical features of H. lepturus envenomation by using mainly its lyso

  9. Positions under positive selection--key for selectivity and potency of scorpion alpha-toxins.

    PubMed

    Weinberger, Hagar; Moran, Yehu; Gordon, Dalia; Turkov, Michael; Kahn, Roy; Gurevitz, Michael

    2010-05-01

    Alpha-neurotoxins target voltage-gated sodium channels (Na(v)s) and constitute an important component in the venom of Buthidae scorpions. These toxins are short polypeptides highly conserved in sequence and three-dimensional structure, and yet they differ greatly in activity and preference for insect and various mammalian Na(v)s. Despite extensive studies of the structure-function relationship of these toxins, only little is known about their evolution and phylogeny. Using a broad data set based on published sequences and rigorous cloning, we reconstructed a reliable phylogenetic tree of scorpion alpha-toxins and estimated the evolutionary forces involved in the diversification of their genes using maximum likelihood-based methods. Although the toxins are largely conserved, four positions were found to evolve under positive selection, of which two (10 and 18; numbered according to LqhalphaIT and Lqh2 from the Israeli yellow scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus) have been previously shown to affect toxin activity. The putative role of the other two positions (39 and 41) was analyzed by mutagenesis of Lqh2 and LqhalphaIT. Whereas substitution P41K in Lqh2 did not alter its activity, substitution K41P in LqhalphaIT significantly decreased the activity at insect and mammalian Na(v)s. Surprisingly, not only that substitution A39L in both toxins increased their activity by 10-fold but also LqhalphaIT(A39L) was active at the mammalian brain channel rNa(v)1.2a, which otherwise is hardly affected by LqhalphaIT, and Lqh2(A39L) was active at the insect channel, DmNa(v)1, which is almost insensitive to Lqh2. Thus, position 39 is involved not only in activity but also in toxin selectivity. Overall, this study describes evolutionary forces involved in the diversification of scorpion alpha-toxins, highlights the key role of positions under positive selection for selectivity and potency, and raises new questions as to the toxin-channel face of interaction.

  10. [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.

  11. Macrophage alteration induced by inflammatory toxins isolated from Tityus discrepans scorpion venom. The role of Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchangers.

    PubMed

    Ramírez-Bello, Vanesa; Sevcik, Carlos; Peigneur, Steve; Tytgat, Jan; D'Suze, Gina

    2014-05-01

    We study the effect of all Tityus discrepans venom components on macrophage alterations. Only seven toxins called "Inflammatory Toxin" (InfTx1-7) induced cell changes. Incubation with InfTx1 through InfTx5 rose macrophage NO level at 2 h toxin exposure. Cells rose NO release by 4 h exposure with InfTx2 and InfTx5, the NO levels reached concentrations similar or higher than the induced by lipopolysaccharides (LPS) incubation. InfTx2, -6 and -7 increased cell TNF-α release. InfTx2 as LPS roses cell TNF-α secretion gradually in time. Macrophages were loaded with fluorescent dyes, exposed to all toxins and observed with a 3D wide field deconvolution setup. Cells exposed to whole venom or InfTx4 through InfTx7 developed pseudopodia, cytoplasm prolongations, blebs, and loss their rounded form. The molecular masses and N-terminal sequences of InfTx4 through InfTx7 were analyzed by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and Edman degradation. InfTx4-7 induced a remarkable increase of intracellular Ca(2+) levels ([Ca(2+)]i), measured as a rise of normalized cell green fluorescence intensity (FI) ×2.7, ×2.6, ×95 and ×2.9 the controls, respectively. InfTx6-7 action mechanisms were studied under different conditions. Results suggested that InfTx6 interact with a membrane sodium channel inducing cell depolarization with a consequent increase on intracellular [Na(+)], this would activate Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger 3 (NCX) in the reverse mode and the phospholipase C inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (PLC-IP3) signaling pathway inducing [Ca(2+)]i overload. Inftx7 should activate the NCX in reverse mode and/or should activate the Na(+)/H(+) exchanger, increasing intracellular [Na(+)] which indirectly induce the activation of NCX3rv and the PLC-IP3 signaling pathway. All these mechanisms would cooperate with the [Ca(2+)]i overload. A rise of [Ca(2+)]i activates the synthesis and secretion of inflammatory molecules like TNF-α, which in turn, increases the gene transcription for inducible nitric

  12. Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom improves survival and lung inflammation in lethal sepsis induced by CLP in mice.

    PubMed

    Maciel, Márcia C G; Fialho, Eder M S; Guerra, Rosane N M; Borges, Valéria M; Kwasniewski, Fábio H; Nascimento, Flávia R F

    2014-10-01

    Tityus serrulatus venom (Tsv) modifies the behavior of immune cells and induces the production of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines; such action may interfere with physiological or pathological states. Because sepsis is characterized as an inflammatory disorder, the aim of present study was to investigate the effect of a non-lethal dose of Tsv in mice submitted to a polymicrobial infection by cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) model. The parameters evaluated were survival index, cellularity on lymphoid organs, peritoneal cavity and brochoalveolar space, production of IL-10, IL-12, IL-6, TNF-α, IFN-γ and MCP-1, pulmonary inflammation and oxidative burst. The results demonstrated that in sharp contrast to CLP group in which sepsis was lethal in a 24 h period all mice pretreated with Tsv survived even 60 h after CLP. Lung inflammation, another hallmark of CLP group, was also dramatically down regulated in Tsv/CLP group. Despite pretreatment with Tsv did not reduce the inflammatory serum cytokines when compared to CLP group; there was an increase in IL-10. In conclusion, subcutaneous Tsv administration 6 h before CLP was able to control the harmful effects of sepsis (lethality and lung inflammation). We suggest that both systemic IL-10 and oxidative burst are involved in this effect. PMID:24976596

  13. Clinical update on scorpion envenoming.

    PubMed

    Cupo, Palmira

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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. PMID:25847302

  16. Detection of nerve growth factor (NGF) in venoms from diverse source: isolation and characterization of NGF from the venom of honey bee (Apis melifera).

    PubMed

    Lipps, B V

    2000-02-01

    Pearce (1973) reported the absence of NGF in the venoms of bees, scorpions, spiders, and toads. Contrary to the negative findings in the past, results of this research prove the presence of NGF in bee and scorpion venoms. Venoms from various species of snake, bee, scorpion, and toad were screened by two methods: immunological test ELISA using antibodies versus mouse NGF and venom NGF and the biological test of neurite outgrowth, the characteristic of NGF on PC cells. The presence of NGF was detected in snake, bee, and scorpion venoms, but not in toad venom by these tests. NGF was isolated from bee venom by HPLC fractionation using ion exchange chromatography. The molecular weight of bee NGF was found to be 14.0 kDa resolving into a single band by PAGE. The biological activity of bee NGF on PC12 cells was found to be 1/10 of the venom NGF.

  17. Lethal brain edema, shock, and coagulopathy after scorpion envenomation.

    PubMed

    Cavari, Yuval; Lazar, Isaac; Shelef, Ilan; Sofer, Shaul

    2013-03-01

    We report the case of a 2-year-old Bedouin boy in whom developed severe and unusual complications after being stung, most probably, by the yellow scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus. Five hours after arrival to the emergency department, the boy had multisystem organ failure involving the central nervous system (seizure activity followed by coma with dilated, nonreactive pupils, and severe brain edema), shock (noncardiogenic), disseminated intravascular coagulation, renal failure, hepatic failure, and watery diarrhea, causing his death. In view of the relevant literature, we discuss the pathophysiologic events ultimately leading to his death. PMID:23280335

  18. IgY antibodies anti-Tityus caripitensis venom: purification and neutralization efficacy.

    PubMed

    Alvarez, Aurora; Montero, Yuyibeth; Jimenez, Eucarys; Zerpa, Noraida; Parrilla, Pedro; Malavé, Caridad

    2013-11-01

    Tityus caripitensis is responsible for most of scorpion stings related to human incidents in Northeastern Venezuela. The only treatment for scorpion envenomation is immunotherapy based on administration of scorpion anti-venom produced in horses. Avian antibodies (IgY) isolated from chicken egg yolks represent a new alternative to be applied as anti-venom therapy. For this reason, we produced IgY antibodies against T. caripitensis scorpion venom and evaluated its neutralizing capacity. The anti-scorpion venom antibodies were purified by precipitation techniques with polyethylene glycol and evaluated by Multiple Antigen Blot Assay (MABA), an indirect ELISA, and Western blot assays. The lethality neutralization was evaluated by preincubating the venom together with the anti-venom prior to testing. The IgY immunoreactivity was demonstrated by a dose-dependent inhibition in Western blot assays where antibodies pre-absorbed with the venom did not recognize the venom proteins from T. caripitensis. The anti-venom was effective in neutralizing 2LD50 doses of T. caripitensis venom (97.8 mg of IgY neutralized 1 mg of T. caripitensis venom). Our results support the future use of avian anti-scorpion venom as an alternative to conventional equine anti-venom therapy in our country. PMID:23994592

  19. The unfulfilled promises of scorpion insectotoxins.

    PubMed

    Ortiz, Ernesto; Possani, Lourival D

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:25276176

  2. 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.

  3. Biochemical and physiological characterization of a new Na(+)-channel specific peptide from the venom of the Argentinean scorpion Tityus trivittatus.

    PubMed

    Coronas, Fredy I V; Diego-García, Elia; Restano-Cassulini, Rita; de Roodt, Adolfo R; Possani, Lourival D

    2015-06-01

    A new peptide with 61 amino acids cross-linked by 4 disulfide bridges, with molecular weight of 6938.12Da, and an amidated C-terminal amino acid residue was purified and characterized. The primary structure was obtained by direct Edman degradation and sequencing its gene. The peptide is lethal to mammals and was shown to be similar (95% identity) to toxin Ts1 (gamma toxin) from the Brazilian scorpion Tityus serrulatus; it was named Tt1g (from T. trivittatus toxin 1 gamma-like). Tt1g was assayed on several sub-types of Na(+)-channels showing displacement of the currents to more negative voltages, being the hNav1.3 the most affected channel. This toxin displays characteristics typical to the β-type sodium scorpion toxins. Lethality tests and physiological assays indicate that this peptide is probably the most important toxic component of this species of scorpion, known for causing human fatalities in the South American continent. PMID:24862827

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

    PubMed

    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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  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. PMID:26251012

  10. [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. PMID:24402964

  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 Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  13. Target-Driven Evolution of Scorpion Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shangfei; Gao, Bin; Zhu, Shunyi

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Bacterial overexpression of recombinant heteroscorpine-1 (rHS-1), a toxin from Heterometrus laoticus scorpion venom: trends for antibacterial application and antivenom production.

    PubMed

    Uawonggul, Nunthawun; Sukprasert, Sophida; Incamnoi, Paroonkorn; Patramanon, Rina; Thammasirirak, Sompong; Preecharram, Sutthidech; Bunyatratchata, Wandee; Kuaprasert, Buabarn; Daduang, Jureerut; Daduang, Sakda

    2014-12-01

    Heteroscorpine-1 (HS-1) was identified as a member of the scorpine family. HS-1 shows insecticidal activities, exhibiting a low median lethal dose (LD50) in mealworm (Tenebrio molitor L.) and inhibitory activities against Bacillus subtilis, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In this study, a recombinant HS-1 (rHS-1) was produced by overexpression in E. coli. A large yield of product was obtained. The structure of purified rHS-1 was confirmed through mass spectrometry. Both anti-crude venom and anti-rHS-1 antibodies specifically recognized rHS-1, suggesting its structural similarity. Reactivated rHS-1 caused roughening and blebbing of bacterial cell surfaces. It showed higher activity than that of pre-refolded protein. Antisera raised against a partially purified and mis- or unfolded peptide can inhibit relevant bioactivity. PMID:24980735

  16. Biotechnological Trends in Spider and Scorpion Antivenom Development.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-23

    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.

  17. Biotechnological Trends in Spider and Scorpion Antivenom Development.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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

  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

    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.

  20. Insects and Scorpions

    MedlinePlus

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

  1. [Spatial distribution of scorpion stings in Ponta Grossa, Paraná State, Brazil].

    PubMed

    Kotviski, Bianca Mayara; Barbola, Ivana de Freitas

    2013-09-01

    Among all bites and stings by venomous animals, scorpion stings have increased significantly in urban areas all over Brazil. Considering that Ponta Grossa is the city in Paraná State with the highest incidence of reported scorpion stings, the current study aimed to assess trends in scorpion stings based on notification records and complaints from January 2008 to December 2010. The geographic coordinates of addresses with reported scorpion stings were collected, digitized, and spatialized, resulting in a cartogram of the georeferenced scorpion stings in the city. The incidence coefficients for this period showed that Ponta Grossa had 113.3 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and that Colônia Dona Luiza, Neves, and Chapada were the neighborhoods with the highest rates. Investigation of determinants of scorpion stings used visual and statistical analysis, indicating wooded or green areas, water mains, and the sewer system as the main correlated variables. PMID:24068229

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Scorpion bite prevalence and complications: report from a referral centre in southern Iran.

    PubMed

    Sagheb, Mohammad Mahdi; Sharifian, Maryam; Moini, Maryam; Sharifian, Amir Hossein

    2012-04-01

    In this study we describe the clinical features of scorpion bites in southern Iran. The records of scorpion bite victims from January 2000 to January 2009 were obtained from the record library of the Shiraz Nemazi Hospital, Shiraz, Iran. A total of 232 scorpion bite patients were included. Only 14 patients (6%) developed systemic complications. Acute renal failure (ARF) and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) were the most prevalent systemic complications. The renal toxicity of scorpion envenomation is mostly due to Hemiscorpius lepturus stings and this complication is more common in younger children. This may be due to a higher ratio of venom to body mass compared with adults. H. lepturus venom is naturally cytotoxic and may bind directly to kidney tissue causing tubular injury and inducing DIC and haemolysis. PMID:22316623

  11. 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.

  12. [Relationships between venomous function and innate immune function].

    PubMed

    Goyffon, Max; Saul, Frederick; Faure, Grazyna

    2015-01-01

    Venomous function is investigated in relation to innate immune function in two cases selected from scorpion venom and serpent venom. In the first case, structural analysis of scorpion toxins and defensins reveals a close interrelation between both functions (toxic and innate immune system function). In the second case, structural and functional studies of natural inhibitors of toxic snake venom phospholipases A2 reveal homology with components of the innate immune system, leading to a similar conclusion. Although there is a clear functional distinction between neurotoxins, which act by targeting membrane ion channels, and the circulating defensins which protect the organism from pathogens, the scorpion short toxins and defensins share a common protein folding scaffold with a conserved cysteine-stabilized alpha-beta motif of three disulfide bridges linking a short alpha helix and an antiparallel beta sheet. Genomic analysis suggests that these proteins share a common ancestor (long venom toxins were separated from an early gene family which gave rise to separate short toxin and defensin families). Furthermore, a scorpion toxin has been experimentally synthetized from an insect defensin, and an antibacterial scorpion peptide, androctonin (whose structure is similar to that of a cone snail venom toxin), was shown to have a similar high affinity for the postsynaptic acetylcholine receptor of Torpedo sp. Natural inhibitors of phospholipase A2 found in the blood of snakes are associated with the resistance of venomous snakes to their own highly neurotoxic venom proteins. Three classes of phospholipases A2 inhibitors (PLI-α, PLI-β, PLI-γ) have been identified. These inhibitors display diverse structural motifs related to innate immune proteins including carbohydrate recognition domains (CRD), leucine rich repeat domains (found in Toll-like receptors) and three finger domains, which clearly differentiate them from components of the adaptive immune system. Thus, in

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Scorpion sting prevention and treatment in ancient Iran.

    PubMed

    Dehghani, Rouhullah; Arani, Mohammad Ghannaee

    2015-04-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Scorpion sting: update.

    PubMed

    Bawaskar, Himmatrao Saluba; Bawaskar, Pramodini Himmatrao

    2012-01-01

    Scorpion envenomation is an important public health hazard in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Envenomation by scorpions can result in a wide range of clinical effects, including, cardiotoxicity, neurotoxicity and respiratory dysfunction. Out of 1500 scorpion species known to exist, about 30 are of medical importance. Although a variety of different scorpion species exist, majority of them produce similar cardiovascular effects. Scientists and clinicians have studied patho-physiology of scorpion envenomation by critical observations of clinical, neurotransmitters studies, radioisotope studies, echocardiography and haemodynamic patterns. Regimen including scorpion antivenom, vasodilators, intensive care management have been tried to alleviate the systemic effects of envenoming. In spite of advances in patho-physiology and therapy the mortality remains high in rural areas due to lack of access to medical facilities, moreover the medical attendee from developing tropical countries may not be aware of the advances in the treatment of scorpion sting. Since the advent of scorpion Antivenom, vasodilators, dobutamine and intensive care facilities, the fatality due to severe scorpion sting has been significantly reduced in areas where these treatment modalities are used. PMID:22715546

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Scorpion Envenomation in Pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Shah, Noor; Martens, Mark G

    2016-06-01

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

  3. Coevolution of diet and prey-specific venom activity supports the role of selection in snake venom evolution

    PubMed Central

    Barlow, Axel; Pook, Catharine E.; Harrison, Robert A.; Wüster, Wolfgang

    2009-01-01

    The processes that drive the evolution of snake venom variability, particularly the role of diet, have been a topic of intense recent research interest. Here, we test whether extensive variation in venom composition in the medically important viper genus Echis is associated with shifts in diet. Examination of stomach and hindgut contents revealed extreme variation between the major clades of Echis in the proportion of arthropod prey consumed. The toxicity (median lethal dose, LD50) of representative Echis venoms to a natural scorpion prey species was found to be strongly associated with the degree of arthropod feeding. Mapping the results onto a novel Echis phylogeny generated from nuclear and mitochondrial sequence data revealed two independent instances of coevolution of venom toxicity and diet. Unlike venom LD50, the speed with which venoms incapacitated and killed scorpions was not associated with the degree of arthropod feeding. The prey-specific venom toxicity of arthropod-feeding Echis may thus be adaptive primarily by reducing venom expenditure. Overall, our results provide strong evidence that variation in snake venom composition results from adaptive evolution driven by natural selection for different diets, and underscores the need for a multi-faceted, integrative approach to the study of the causes of venom evolution. PMID:19364745

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    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

  13. Insights into Antimicrobial Peptides from Spiders and Scorpions.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiuqing; Wang, Guangshun

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Venomous animals: clinical toxinology.

    PubMed

    White, Julian

    2010-01-01

    Venomous animals occur in numerous phyla and present a great diversity of taxa, toxins, targets, clinical effects and outcomes. Venomous snakes are the most medically significant group globally and may injure >1.25 million humans annually, with up to 100 000 deaths and many more cases with long-term disability. Scorpion sting is the next most important cause of envenoming, but significant morbidity and even deaths occur following envenoming with a wide range of other venomous animals, including spiders, ticks, jellyfish, marine snails, octopuses and fish. Clinical effects vary with species and venom type, including local effects (pain, swelling, sweating, blistering, bleeding, necrosis), general effects (headache, vomiting, abdominal pain, hypertension, hypotension, cardiac arrhythmias and arrest, convulsions, collapse, shock) and specific systemic effects (paralytic neurotoxicity, neuroexcitatory neurotoxicity, myotoxicity, interference with coagulation, haemorrhagic activity, renal toxicity, cardiac toxicity). First aid varies with organism and envenoming type, but few effective first aid methods are recommended, while many inappropriate or frankly dangerous methods are in widespread use. For snakebite, immobilisation of the bitten limb, then the whole patient is the universal method, although pressure immobilisation bandaging is recommended for bites by non-necrotic or haemorrhagic species. Hot water immersion is the most universal method for painful marine stings. Medical treatment includes both general and specific measures, with antivenom being the principal tool in the latter category. However, antivenom is available only for a limited range of species, not for all dangerous species, is in short supply in some areas of highest need, and in many cases, is supported by historical precedent rather than modern controlled trials.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  17. Serrumab: a novel human single chain-fragment antibody with multiple scorpion toxin-neutralizing capacities.

    PubMed

    Pucca, Manuela Berto; Cerni, Felipe Augusto; Peigneur, Steve; Arantes, Eliane Candiani; Tytgat, Jan; Barbosa, José Elpidio

    2014-01-01

    In Brazil, scorpion envenomation is an important public health problem. The yellow scorpion, Tityus serrulatus (Ts), is considered the most dangerous species in the country, being responsible for the most severe clinical cases of envenomation. Currently, the administration of serum produced in horses is recognized and used as a treatment for accidents with scorpions. However, horse herds' maintenance is costly and the antibodies are heterologous, which can cause anaphylaxis and Serum Sickness. In the present work, a human monoclonal fragment antibody, Serrumab, has been analysed. Toxin neutralizing effects of Serrumab were evaluated using a two-electrode voltage-clamp technique. The results show that Serrumab presented a high neutralizing effect against Ts β-toxins (Ts1, 43.2% and Ts2, 68.8%) and none or low neutralizing effect against α-toxins (Ts3, 0% and Ts5, 10%). Additional experiments demonstrated that Serrumab was also able to neutralize the action of toxins from other scorpion genus (Css II, 45.96% and Lqh III, 100%/β- and α-toxins, respectively). This work indicated that Serrumab is able to neutralize many toxins in Ts venom, and could being considered as a neutralizing antibody for formulating a human anti-scorpion serum in Brazil. Additionally, this work demonstrated that Serrumab could neutralize different toxins from distinct scorpion genus. All these results reinforce the idea that Serrumab is a scFv antibody with multiple neutralizing capacities and a promising candidate for inclusion in scorpion anti-venoms against different genera. PMID:24001307

  18. Pediatric scorpion envenomation in the United States: morbidity, mortality, and therapeutic innovations.

    PubMed

    Skolnik, Aaron B; Ewald, Michele Burns

    2013-01-01

    In the Southwestern United States, the venom of the scorpion Centruroides sculpturatus (common name bark scorpion) can cause serious and potentially fatal neurotoxicity, with young children most vulnerable to its effects. Historically, advances in the quality of supportive care have made significant improvements in morbidity and mortality. In recent years, the development of effective antivenom therapies has changed the landscape of caring for these patients. This article reviews the background, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment options for C. sculpturatus envenomation. Recent advances in immunotherapy and subsequent implications for pediatric emergency care providers are discussed. PMID:23283277

  19. 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).

  20. Development of protective agent against Hottentotta saulcyi venom using camelid single-domain antibody.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    Hottentotta saulcyi, medically important scorpion species, causes some of harmful toxic exposure in Iran. Administrated, conventional antivenom-based immunotherapy is still limited and hardly meet ideal characteristic of effective treatment for scorpion envenomation. In this study we aimed to develop a neutralizing agent directed against scorpion venom based on VHH, variable domain of the Camelidae heavy chain antibody or Nanobody. This promising biomolecule is well-established as an advantageous tool for therapeutic purposes due to its small size, stability, monomeric performance and less immunogenicity. In this study, a large Nb library was constructed and phage displayed after successful camel immunization using H. saulcyi scorpion crude venom. After a series of biopanning rounds on Sephadex G50 purified venom fraction and screening by monoclonal phage ELISA, the best reactive Nb was retrieved and designated Nb12. The selected Nb was then expressed as soluble protein in Escherichia coli, purified and confirmed by SDS-PAGE analysis and western blotting. The lead candidate Nb12 bound scorpion venom with Kaff value of 5×10(7)M(-1). Nb12 was shown to be capable of neutralizing 2 LD50 of whole venom of scorpion toxin when injected in the ratio of the Nb/toxin of 1.4:1 into C57BL/6 mice. In challenge experiment, Nb succeeded to rescue all i.p. lethal dose injected mice even when administrated i.v., 20min after envenoming. These results with ease of production and superior neutralizing activity make Nb a suitable anti-toxin candidate for treatment of scorpion envenoming. PMID:26468036

  1. Cloning, sequence analysis and homology modeling of a novel phospholipase A2 from Heterometrus fulvipes (Indian black scorpion).

    PubMed

    Hariprasad, Gururao; Singh, Baskar; Das, Utpal; Ethayathulla, Abdul S; Kaur, Punit; Singh, Tej P; Srinivasan, Alagiri

    2007-06-01

    We report the cloning and sequencing of group III phospholipaseA(2) from Heterometrus fulvipes (HfPLA(2)), Indian black scorpion. The cDNA sequence codes for the mature portion of the group PLA(2) of 103 amino acids. The sequence has 85% identity with Mesobuthus tamulus (Indian red scorpion) PLA(2) and a 40% identity with bee venom PLA(2) and human group III PLA(2). Most of the essential features of group III PLA(2) like Ca(2+) binding loop and catalytic residues are conserved. Homology modeling was done with the known structure of group III bee venom PLA(2). All the secondary structural motifs and the disulfide bridges are as predicted. The variation like the replacement of aspartic acid residue with glutamic acid in the well known histidine-aspartic acid dyad is a rare feature. This is the first structural model report of an Indian black scorpion PLA(2).

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

    PubMed

    Lourenço, Wilson R

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Categorization of venoms according to bonding properties: An immunological overview.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, Nihal M; El-Kady, Ebtsam M; Asker, Mohsen S

    2016-02-01

    In this report, we present a study on the antigenic cross-reactivity of various venoms from the most dangerous Egyptian snakes and scorpions belonging to families Elapidae, Viperidae and Buthidae. The study was carried out with special reference to bonding properties between venoms and antivenoms and their involvement in the formation of specific and/or cross-reactive interactions. The homologous polyclonal antivenoms showed high reactivity to the respective venoms and cross-reacted with varying degrees to other non-homologous venoms. Assorting the antivenoms according to their susceptibility to dissociation by different concentrations of NH4SCN revealed that most of the antibodies involved in homologous venom-antivenom interactions were highly avid; building up strong venom-antivenom bonding. Whereas cross-reactions due to heterologous interactions were mediated by less avid antibodies that ultimately led to the formation of venom-antivenom bonding of different power strengths depending on the antigenic similarity and hence on the phylogenetic relationship of the tested venom. A new parameter evaluating high and low avid interactions, designated as H/L value, for each antigen-antibody bonding was initiated and used as an indicator of bonding strength between different venom-antivenom partners. H/L values were many folds higher than 1 for homologous and closely related venoms, 1 or around 1 for cross-reactive venoms, whereas venoms from unrelated remote sources recorded H/L values far less than 1. Using well defined polyclonal antivenoms, H/L value was successfully used to assign eight unknown venoms to their animal families and the results were confirmed by species-specific ELISA and immunoblotting assays. PMID:26690707

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. [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.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  13. 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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Computational Studies of Venom Peptides Targeting Potassium Channels.

    PubMed

    Chen, Rong; Chung, Shin-Ho

    2015-12-01

    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

  2. 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

  3. 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. PMID:22079297

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:25601496

  7. 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. PMID:27471574

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. The importance of early bedside echocardiography in children with scorpion envenomation.

    PubMed

    Sofer, Shaul; Zucker, Nili; Bilenko, Natalya; Levitas, Aviva; Zalzstein, Eli; Amichay, Doron; Cohen-Lahav, Merav; Bernstein, Tamar

    2013-06-01

    Scorpion sting may cause myocardial injury and heart failure (HF). Clinical signs of failure may develop several hours or even days after the sting, while electrocardiography (ECG) and blood examination soon after the sting may be normal. We sought to examine whether normal echocardiographic (echo) examination performed shortly after hospital arrival would exclude subsequent HF. We also sought to check if blood troponin and natriuretic peptide values measured shortly after arrival may predict or exclude subsequent HF. Natriuretic peptide activities have not been measured in scorpion sting victims. We also wanted to check if HF occurs in envenomated young infants. In a 3-year prospective study we looked at the demographic, clinical, laboratory, ECG, and echo data of all patients with general envenomation who arrived at the emergency department (ED) after scorpion sting. Clinical, laboratory, ECG, and echo results on arrival and 24 h after arrival were checked and compared between groups of patients with normal and abnormal echo on arrival. We then looked for differences in clinical course, therapy, and outcome between groups. The study included 98 children aged 80 days to 19 years (median 53.1 months), 25 were below the age of 2 years. Envenomation by the "yellow scorpion"Leiurus quinquestriatus was suspected in 74 cases. Median time between sting and ED arrival was 80 min. Echo was performed on arrival in 93 of the 98 patients, (in 5 occasions it was not performed or not recorded) 74 were normal and 19 were abnormal. Abnormal echo included hypokinesia and low fractional shortening and ejection fraction of the left ventricle. Clinical signs, abnormal ECG, and laboratory results were not discriminative between groups on arrival. Mean troponin T was higher in patients with abnormal echo, but within normal range in 13 of the 19 patients with abnormal echo and above normal in 2 of the 74 patients with normal echo-missing sensitivity and specificity. Mean N-terminal pro

  11. Protease Inhibitors from Marine Venomous Animals and Their Counterparts in Terrestrial Venomous Animals

    PubMed Central

    Mourão, Caroline B.F.; Schwartz, Elisabeth F.

    2013-01-01

    The Kunitz-type protease inhibitors are the best-characterized family of serine protease inhibitors, probably due to their abundance in several organisms. These inhibitors consist of a chain of ~60 amino acid residues stabilized by three disulfide bridges, and was first observed in the bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor (BPTI)-like protease inhibitors, which strongly inhibit trypsin and chymotrypsin. In this review we present the protease inhibitors (PIs) described to date from marine venomous animals, such as from sea anemone extracts and Conus venom, as well as their counterparts in terrestrial venomous animals, such as snakes, scorpions, spiders, Anurans, and Hymenopterans. More emphasis was given to the Kunitz-type inhibitors, once they are found in all these organisms. Their biological sources, specificity against different proteases, and other molecular blanks (being also K+ channel blockers) are presented, followed by their molecular diversity. Whereas sea anemone, snakes and other venomous animals present mainly Kunitz-type inhibitors, PIs from Anurans present the major variety in structure length and number of Cys residues, with at least six distinguishable classes. A representative alignment of PIs from these venomous animals shows that, despite eventual differences in Cys assignment, the key-residues for the protease inhibitory activity in all of them occupy similar positions in primary sequence. The key-residues for the K+ channel blocking activity was also compared. PMID:23771044

  12. Protease inhibitors from marine venomous animals and their counterparts in terrestrial venomous animals.

    PubMed

    Mourão, Caroline B F; Schwartz, Elisabeth F

    2013-06-14

    The Kunitz-type protease inhibitors are the best-characterized family of serine protease inhibitors, probably due to their abundance in several organisms. These inhibitors consist of a chain of ~60 amino acid residues stabilized by three disulfide bridges, and was first observed in the bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor (BPTI)-like protease inhibitors, which strongly inhibit trypsin and chymotrypsin. In this review we present the protease inhibitors (PIs) described to date from marine venomous animals, such as from sea anemone extracts and Conus venom, as well as their counterparts in terrestrial venomous animals, such as snakes, scorpions, spiders, Anurans, and Hymenopterans. More emphasis was given to the Kunitz-type inhibitors, once they are found in all these organisms. Their biological sources, specificity against different proteases, and other molecular blanks (being also K+ channel blockers) are presented, followed by their molecular diversity. Whereas sea anemone, snakes and other venomous animals present mainly Kunitz-type inhibitors, PIs from Anurans present the major variety in structure length and number of Cys residues, with at least six distinguishable classes. A representative alignment of PIs from these venomous animals shows that, despite eventual differences in Cys assignment, the key-residues for the protease inhibitory activity in all of them occupy similar positions in primary sequence. The key-residues for the K+ channel blocking activity was also compared.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    McCowan, Caryn; Garb, Jessica E

    2014-02-25

    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 (Latrodectus 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.

  15. 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

  16. SCORPION II persistent surveillance system update

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coster, Michael; Hunt, Cassandra

    2011-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    de Roodt, Adolfo Rafael

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  5. Antidotes against venomous animals: state of the art and prospectives.

    PubMed

    Espino-Solis, G P; Riaño-Umbarila, L; Becerril, B; Possani, L D

    2009-03-01

    This communication revises the state of the art concerning antivenoms against snakes, spiders and scorpions. An overview of the historical facts that preceded the therapeutic use of antibodies is mentioned. A brief list of the major protein components of these venomous animals is revised with a short discussion of what is known on the proteomic analysis of their venoms, but the emphasis is placed on the type of antivenoms available commercially, including pertinent literature and addresses of the companies that prepare these antivenoms. The final section revises and discusses current research on the field and new potential applications that are being developed geared at obtaining new therapeutic antibodies or fragments of antibodies for neutralization of toxic components of venomous animals.

  6. Kbot55, purified from Buthus occitanus tunetanus venom, represents the first member of a novel α-KTx subfamily.

    PubMed

    ElFessi-Magouri, Rym; Peigneur, Steve; Khamessi, Oussema; Srairi-Abid, Najet; ElAyeb, Mohamed; Mille, Bea Garcia; Cuypers, Eva; Tytgat, Jan; Kharrat, Riadh

    2016-06-01

    Kbot55 is a 39 amino acid peptide isolated from the venom of the Tunisian scorpion Buthus occitanus tunetanus. This peptide is cross-linked by 3 disulfide bridges and has a molecular mass of 4128.65Da. Kbot55 is very low represented in the venom and thus represents a challenge for biochemical characterization. In this study, Kbot55 has been subjected to a screening on ion channels expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. It was found that Kbot55 targets voltage-gated potassium channels with high affinity. Kbot55 shows very low amino acid identity with other scorpion potassium toxins and therefore was considered a bona fide novel type of scorpion toxin. Sequence alignment analysis indicated that Kbot55 is the first representative of the new α-Ktx31 subfamily and therefore was classified as α-Ktx31.1. PMID:26079392

  7. Allergies to Insect Venom

    MedlinePlus

    ... The smell of food attracts these insects.  Use insect repellents and keep insecticide available. Treatment tips:  Venom immunotherapy (allergy shots to insect venom(s) is highly effective in preventing subsequent sting ...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Fluorometric assay using naphthylamide substrates for assessing novel venom peptidase activities.

    PubMed

    Gasparello-Clemente, Elaine; Silveira, Paulo Flávio

    2002-11-01

    In the present study we examined the feasibility of using the fluorometry of naphthylamine derivatives for revealing peptidase activities in venoms of the snakes Bothrops jararaca, Bothrops alternatus, Bothrops atrox, Bothrops moojeni, Bothrops insularis, Crotalus durissus terrificus and Bitis arietans, of the scorpions Tityus serrulatus and Tityus bahiensis, and of the spiders Phoneutria nigriventer and Loxosceles intermedia. Neutral aminopeptidase (APN) and prolyl-dipeptidyl aminopeptidase IV (DPP IV) activities were presented in all snake venoms, with the highest levels in B. alternatus. Although all examined peptidase activities showed relatively low levels in arthropod venoms, basic aminopeptidase (APB) activity from P. nigriventer venom was the exception. Compared to the other peptidase activities, relatively high levels of acid aminopeptidase (APA) activity were restricted to B. arietans venom. B. arietans also exhibited a prominent content of APB activity which was lower in other venoms. Relatively low prolyl endopeptidase and proline iminopeptidase activities were, respectively, detectable only in T. bahiensis and B. insularis. Pyroglutamate aminopeptidase activity was undetectable in all venoms. All examined peptidase activities were undetectable in T. serrulatus venom. In this study, the specificities of a diverse array of peptidase activities from representative venoms were demonstrated for the first time, with a description of their distribution which may contribute to guiding further investigations. The expressive difference between snake and arthropod venoms was indicated by APN and DPP IV activities while APA and APB activities distinguished the venom of B. arietans from those of Brazilian snakes. The data reflected the relatively uniform qualitative distribution of the peptidase activities investigated, together with their unequal quantitative distribution, indicating the evolutionary divergence in the processing of peptides in these different

  11. Venomous snakebites.

    PubMed

    Adukauskienė, Dalia; Varanauskienė, Eglė; Adukauskaitė, Agnė

    2011-01-01

    More than 5 million people are bitten by venomous snakes annually and more than 100,000 of them die. In Europe, one person dies due to envenomation every 3 years. There is only one venomous snake species in Lithuania--the common adder (Vipera berus)--which belongs to the Viperidae family; however, there are some exotic poisonous snakes in the zoos and private collections, such as those belonging to the Elapidae family (cobras, mambas, coral snakes, etc.) and the Crotalidae subfamily of the Viperidae family (pit vipers, such as rattlesnakes). Snake venom can be classified into hemotoxic, neurotoxic, necrotoxic, cardiotoxic, and nephrotoxic according to the different predominant effects depending on the family (i.e., venom of Crotalidae and Viperidae snakes is more hemotoxic and necrotoxic, whereas venom of Elapidae family is mainly neurotoxic). The intoxication degree is estimated according to the appearance of these symptoms: 1) no intoxication ("dry" bite); 2) mild intoxication (local edema and pain); 3) moderate intoxication (pain, edema spreading out of the bite zone, and systemic signs); 4) severe intoxication (shock, severe coagulopathy, and massive edemas). This topic is relevant because people tend to make major mistakes providing first aid (e.g., mouth suction, wound incision, and application of ice or heat). Therefore, this article presents the essential tips on how first aid should be performed properly according to the "Guidelines for the Management of Snake-Bites" by the World Health Organization (2010). Firstly, the victim should be reassured. Rings or other things must be removed preventing constriction of the swelling limb. Airway/breathing must be maintained. The bitten limb should be immobilized and kept below heart level to prevent venom absorption and systemic spread. Usage of pressure bandage is controversial since people usually apply it improperly. Incision, mouth suction, or excision should not be performed; neither a tourniquet nor ice or

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

    PubMed

    Kabrine, M; Laraba-Djebari, F

    2014-01-01

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

  13. From the stretcher to the pharmacy's shelf: drug leads from medically important brazilian venomous arachnid species.

    PubMed

    Rates, Breno; Verano-Braga, Thiago; Santos, Daniel Moreira; Nunes, Kênia Pedrosa; Pimenta, Adriano M C; De Lima, Maria Elena

    2011-10-01

    Accidents involving venomous animals have always caught the attention of mankind due to their lethality and other clinical implications. However, since the molecules obtained from animal venoms have been the product of millions of years of evolutionary process, toxins could be used to probe physiological mechanisms and could serve as leads for drug development. The present work reviews the state of the art pertaining to venom molecules from Brazilian medically important arachnid species bearing potential biotechnological applications. Special focus is given to toxins isolated from the scorpion Tityus serrulatus and the spiders Phoneutria nigriventer and Lycosa erythrognatha, whose venoms possess molecules acting as erectile function modulators and as antihypertensive, analgesic, neuroprotective and antimicrobial agents. PMID:21824079

  14. From the stretcher to the pharmacy's shelf: drug leads from medically important brazilian venomous arachnid species.

    PubMed

    Rates, Breno; Verano-Braga, Thiago; Santos, Daniel Moreira; Nunes, Kênia Pedrosa; Pimenta, Adriano M C; De Lima, Maria Elena

    2011-10-01

    Accidents involving venomous animals have always caught the attention of mankind due to their lethality and other clinical implications. However, since the molecules obtained from animal venoms have been the product of millions of years of evolutionary process, toxins could be used to probe physiological mechanisms and could serve as leads for drug development. The present work reviews the state of the art pertaining to venom molecules from Brazilian medically important arachnid species bearing potential biotechnological applications. Special focus is given to toxins isolated from the scorpion Tityus serrulatus and the spiders Phoneutria nigriventer and Lycosa erythrognatha, whose venoms possess molecules acting as erectile function modulators and as antihypertensive, analgesic, neuroprotective and antimicrobial agents.

  15. Medically important venomous animals: biology, prevention, first aid, and clinical management.

    PubMed

    Junghanss, Thomas; Bodio, Mauro

    2006-11-15

    Venomous animals are a significant health problem for rural populations in many parts of the world. Given the current level of the international mobility of individuals and the inquisitiveness of travelers, clinicians and travel clinics need to be able to give advice on the prevention, first aid, and clinical management of envenoming. Health professionals often feel overwhelmed by the taxonomy of venomous animals; however, venomous animals can be grouped, using a simple set of criteria, into cnidarians, venomous fish, sea snakes, scorpions, spiders, hymenoterans, and venomous terrestrial snakes. Geographic distribution, habitats, and circumstances of accidents further reduce the range of culprits that need to be considered in any single event. Clinical management of envenomed patients relies on supportive therapy and, if available, specific antivenoms. Supplies of life-saving antivenoms are scarce, and this scarcity particularly affects rural populations in resource-poor settings. Travel clinics and hospitals in highly industrialized areas predominantly see patients with injuries caused by accidents involving marine animals: in particular, stings by venomous fish and skin damage caused by jellyfish. However, globally, terrestrial venomous snakes are the most important group of venomous animals.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Scorpion antivenom effect of micropropagated Aristolochia elegans.

    PubMed

    Izquierdo, Alejandro Mora; Zapata, Elsa Ventura; Jiménez-Ferrer, J Enrique; Muñoz, Crescencio Bazaldúa; Aparicio, Antonio Jiménez; Torres, Kalina Bermúdez; Torres, Lidia Osuna

    2010-08-01

    Aristolochia elegans Mast. (Aristolochiaceae) has been used to treat scorpion envenoming in Mexican traditional medicine. In vitro studies of the pharmacological activity of raw extracts from A. elegans roots have shown activity against scorpion bite. The aim of the present study was to determine for the first time the antagonistic effect of hexane and methanol extracts of the aerial parts and roots from micropropagated A. elegans plants in a model of isolated guinea-pig ileum contracted by scorpion bite. Results showed that the methanol extracts of aerial organs (74%) and roots (65%) of micropropagated plants have a similar antitoxin activity against scorpion poisoning to hexane extracts of wild plants (65%). These results suggest that using methanol extracts from the micropropagated plant material instead of wild plant root extracts from A. elegans is an alternative for treatment against scorpion bite symptoms, and will contribute to the conservation of this medicinal species.

  19. 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. PMID:19640225

  20. 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

  1. Non-disulfide-bridged peptides from Tityus serrulatus venom: Evidence for proline-free ACE-inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Pucca, Manuela Berto; Cerni, Felipe Augusto; Pinheiro-Junior, Ernesto Lopes; Zoccal, Karina Furlani; Bordon, Karla de Castro Figueiredo; Amorim, Fernanda Gobbi; Peigneur, Steve; Vriens, Kim; Thevissen, Karin; Cammue, Bruno Philippe Angelo; Júnior, Ronaldo Bragança Martins; Arruda, Eurico; Faccioli, Lúcia Helena; Tytgat, Jan; Arantes, Eliane Candiani

    2016-08-01

    The present study purifies two T. serrulatus non-disulfide-bridged peptides (NDBPs), named venom peptides 7.2 (RLRSKG) and 8 (KIWRS) and details their synthesis and biological activity, comparing to the synthetic venom peptide 7.1 (RLRSKGKK), previously identified. The synthetic replicate peptides were subjected to a range of biological assays: hemolytic, antifungal, antiviral, electrophysiological, immunological and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition activities. All venom peptides neither showed to be cytolytic nor demonstrated significant antifungal or antiviral activities. Interestingly, peptides were able to modulate macrophages' responses, increasing IL-6 production. The three venom peptides also demonstrated potential to inhibit ACE in the following order: 7.2>7.1>8. The ACE inhibition activity was unexpected, since peptides that display this function are usually proline-rich peptides. In attempt to understand the origin of such small peptides, we discovered that the isolated peptides 7.2 and 8 are fragments of the same molecule, named Pape peptide precursor. Furthermore, the study discusses that Pape fragments could be originated from a post-splitting mechanism resulting from metalloserrulases and other proteinases cleavage, which can be seen as a clever mechanism used by the scorpion to enlarge its repertoire of venom components. Scorpion venom remains as an interesting source of bioactive proteins and this study advances our knowledge about three NDBPs and their biological activities. PMID:27221550

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24470450

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Vesicle-associated membrane protein (VAMP) cleavage by a new metalloprotease from the Brazilian scorpion Tityus serrulatus.

    PubMed

    Fletcher, Paul L; Fletcher, Maryann D; Weninger, Keith; Anderson, Trevor E; Martin, Brian M

    2010-03-01

    We present evidence that venom from the Brazilian scorpion Tityus serrulatus and a purified fraction selectively cleave essential SNARE proteins within exocrine pancreatic tissue. Western blotting for vesicle-associated membrane protein type v-SNARE proteins (or synaptobrevins) reveals characteristic alterations to venom-treated excised pancreatic lobules in vitro. Immunocytochemistry by electron microscopy confirms both the SNARE identity as VAMP2 and the proteolysis of VAMP2 as a marked decrease in secondary antibody-conjugated colloidal gold particles that are predominantly associated with mature zymogen granules. Studies with recombinant SNARE proteins were used to determine the specific cleavage site in VAMP2 and the susceptibility of VAMP8 (endobrevin). The VAMP2 cleavage site is between the transmembrane anchor and the SNARE motif that assembles into the ternary SNARE complex. Inclusion of divalent chelating agents (EDTA) with fraction nu, an otherwise active purified component from venom, eliminates SNARE proteolysis, suggesting the active protein is a metalloprotease. The unique cleavages of VAMP2 and VAMP8 may be linked to pancreatitis that develops following scorpion envenomation as both of these v-SNARE proteins are associated with zymogen granule membranes in pancreatic acinar cells. We have isolated antarease, a metalloprotease from fraction nu that cleaves VAMP2, and report its amino acid sequence.

  9. Vesicle-associated Membrane Protein (VAMP) Cleavage by a New Metalloprotease from the Brazilian Scorpion Tityus serrulatus*

    PubMed Central

    Fletcher, Paul L.; Fletcher, Maryann D.; Weninger, Keith; Anderson, Trevor E.; Martin, Brian M.

    2010-01-01

    We present evidence that venom from the Brazilian scorpion Tityus serrulatus and a purified fraction selectively cleave essential SNARE proteins within exocrine pancreatic tissue. Western blotting for vesicle-associated membrane protein type v-SNARE proteins (or synaptobrevins) reveals characteristic alterations to venom-treated excised pancreatic lobules in vitro. Immunocytochemistry by electron microscopy confirms both the SNARE identity as VAMP2 and the proteolysis of VAMP2 as a marked decrease in secondary antibody-conjugated colloidal gold particles that are predominantly associated with mature zymogen granules. Studies with recombinant SNARE proteins were used to determine the specific cleavage site in VAMP2 and the susceptibility of VAMP8 (endobrevin). The VAMP2 cleavage site is between the transmembrane anchor and the SNARE motif that assembles into the ternary SNARE complex. Inclusion of divalent chelating agents (EDTA) with fraction ν, an otherwise active purified component from venom, eliminates SNARE proteolysis, suggesting the active protein is a metalloprotease. The unique cleavages of VAMP2 and VAMP8 may be linked to pancreatitis that develops following scorpion envenomation as both of these v-SNARE proteins are associated with zymogen granule membranes in pancreatic acinar cells. We have isolated antarease, a metalloprotease from fraction ν that cleaves VAMP2, and report its amino acid sequence. PMID:20026600

  10. North American snake and scorpion envenomations.

    PubMed

    Wilbeck, Jennifer; Gresham, Chip

    2013-06-01

    Envenomations by snakes and scorpions in North America, although uncommon, do occur, and the victims may seek medical treatment. Combined, snake and scorpion encounters result in more than 25,000 calls a year to poison centers. Although some similarities exist with respect to general signs of envenomation and treatment, specific nuances distinguish the medical care to be anticipated and therapies available. Regardless of geographic practice area, exposures will occur that may result in a significant envenomation. This article provides critical care nurses with fundamental knowledge of varied snake and scorpion envenomation presentations and treatments to assist in optimizing patient outcomes. PMID:23692937

  11. [Ischemic stroke following a scorpion sting].

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. The insecticidal potential of venom peptides.

    PubMed

    Smith, Jennifer J; Herzig, Volker; King, Glenn F; Alewood, Paul F

    2013-10-01

    Pest insect species are a burden to humans as they destroy crops and serve as vectors for a wide range of diseases including malaria and dengue. Chemical insecticides are currently the dominant approach for combating these pests. However, the de-registration of key classes of chemical insecticides due to their perceived ecological and human health risks in combination with the development of insecticide resistance in many pest insect populations has created an urgent need for improved methods of insect pest control. The venoms of arthropod predators such as spiders and scorpions are a promising source of novel insecticidal peptides that often have different modes of action to extant chemical insecticides. These peptides have been optimized via a prey-predator arms race spanning hundreds of millions of years to target specific types of insect ion channels and receptors. Here we review the current literature on insecticidal venom peptides, with a particular focus on their structural and pharmacological diversity, and discuss their potential for deployment as insecticides. PMID:23525661

  15. The insecticidal potential of venom peptides.

    PubMed

    Smith, Jennifer J; Herzig, Volker; King, Glenn F; Alewood, Paul F

    2013-10-01

    Pest insect species are a burden to humans as they destroy crops and serve as vectors for a wide range of diseases including malaria and dengue. Chemical insecticides are currently the dominant approach for combating these pests. However, the de-registration of key classes of chemical insecticides due to their perceived ecological and human health risks in combination with the development of insecticide resistance in many pest insect populations has created an urgent need for improved methods of insect pest control. The venoms of arthropod predators such as spiders and scorpions are a promising source of novel insecticidal peptides that often have different modes of action to extant chemical insecticides. These peptides have been optimized via a prey-predator arms race spanning hundreds of millions of years to target specific types of insect ion channels and receptors. Here we review the current literature on insecticidal venom peptides, with a particular focus on their structural and pharmacological diversity, and discuss their potential for deployment as insecticides.

  16. Molecular, Immunological, and Biological Characterization of Tityus serrulatus Venom Hyaluronidase: New Insights into Its Role in Envenomation

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira-Mendes, Bárbara Bruna Ribeiro; do Carmo, Anderson Oliveira; Duarte, Clara Guerra; Felicori, Liza Figueiredo; Machado-de-Ávila, Ricardo Andrez; Chávez-Olórtegui, Carlos; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes

    2014-01-01

    Background Scorpionism is a public health problem in Brazil, and Tityus serrulatus (Ts) is primarily responsible for severe accidents. The main toxic components of Ts venom are low-molecular-weight neurotoxins; however, the venom also contains poorly characterized high-molecular-weight enzymes. Hyaluronidase is one such enzyme that has been poorly characterized. Methods and principal findings We examined clones from a cDNA library of the Ts venom gland and described two novel isoforms of hyaluronidase, TsHyal-1 and TsHyal-2. The isoforms are 83% identical, and alignment of their predicted amino acid sequences with other hyaluronidases showed conserved residues between evolutionarily distant organisms. We performed gel filtration followed by reversed-phase chromatography to purify native hyaluronidase from Ts venom. Purified native Ts hyaluronidase was used to produce anti-hyaluronidase serum in rabbits. As little as 0.94 µl of anti-hyaluronidase serum neutralized 1 LD50 (13.2 µg) of Ts venom hyaluronidase activity in vitro. In vivo neutralization assays showed that 121.6 µl of anti-hyaluronidase serum inhibited mouse death 100%, whereas 60.8 µl and 15.2 µl of serum delayed mouse death. Inhibition of death was also achieved by using the hyaluronidase pharmacological inhibitor aristolochic acid. Addition of native Ts hyaluronidase (0.418 µg) to pre-neutralized Ts venom (13.2 µg venom+0.94 µl anti-hyaluronidase serum) reversed mouse survival. We used the SPOT method to map TsHyal-1 and TsHyal-2 epitopes. More peptides were recognized by anti-hyaluronidase serum in TsHyal-1 than in TsHyal-2. Epitopes common to both isoforms included active site residues. Conclusions Hyaluronidase inhibition and immunoneutralization reduced the toxic effects of Ts venom. Our results have implications in scorpionism therapy and challenge the notion that only neurotoxins are important to the envenoming process. PMID:24551256

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. [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.

  5. The gene cloning and sequencing of Bm-12, a chlorotoxin-like peptide from the scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch.

    PubMed

    Wu, J J; Dai, L; Lan, Z D; Chi, C W

    2000-05-01

    According to the known amino acid sequence of Bm-12, a short chain insect neurotoxin from the venom of the scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch (BmK) with considerable primary sequence homology to chlorotoxin, the gene specific primers were designed and synthesized for 3' and 5'RACE (Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends). The two partial cDNA fragments obtained by 3' and 5'RACE were cloned and sequenced, and the full length cDNA sequence of Bm-12 was then completed by overlapping these two partial cDNA sequences. The predicted amino acid sequence consists of 59 amino acid residues including a putative signal peptide of 24 residues and a mature toxin of 35 residues. The predicted amino acid sequence of Bm-12 was almost consistent with the determined, different only in one residue at position 27, Lys was replaced by Gly. Based on the determined cDNA sequence, and using the total DNA isolated from the scorpion venom glands as a template, the genomic DNA of Bm-12 was also amplified by PCR and sequenced. The genomic DNA sequence revealed an intron of 93 bp present within the signal peptide region.

  6. 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.

  7. Assessing and managing spider and scorpion envenomation.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    Savary, Warren E; Bryson, Robert W

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-15

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  13. Microglial activation of p38 contributes to scorpion envenomation-induced hyperalgesia.

    PubMed

    Niu, Qing-Shan; Jiang, Feng; Hua, Li-Ming; Fu, Jin; Jiao, Yun-Lu; Ji, Yong-Hua; Ding, Gang

    2013-10-25

    Intraplantar (i.pl.) injection of BmK I, a receptor site 3-specific modulator of voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) from the venom of scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch (BmK), was shown to induce long-lasting and spontaneous nociceptive responses as demonstrated through experiments utilizing primary thermal and mirror-imaged mechanical hypersensitivity with different time course of development in rats. In this study, microglia was activated on both sides of L4-L5 spinal cord by i.pl. injection of BmK I. Meanwhile, the activation of p38/MAPK in L4-L5 spinal cord was found to be co-expressed with OX-42, the cell marker of microglia. The unilateral thermal and bilateral mechanical pain hypersensitivity of rat induced by BmK I was suppressed in a dose-dependent manner following pretreatment with SB203580 (a specific inhibitor of p-p38). Interestingly, microglia activity was also reduced in the presence of SB203580, which suggests that BmK I-induced microglial activation is mediated by p38/MAPK pathway. Combined with previously published literature, the results of this study demonstrate that p38-dependent microglial activation plays a role in scorpion envenomation-induced pain-related behaviors. PMID:24064352

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-31

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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Nait Mohamed, Faez Amokrane; Laraba-Djebari, Fatima

    2016-05-23

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

  17. Solution structure of toxin 2 from centruroides noxius Hoffmann, a beta-scorpion neurotoxin acting on sodium channels.

    PubMed

    Pintar, A; Possani, L D; Delepierre, M

    1999-03-26

    We have determined the solution structure of Cn2, a beta-toxin extracted from the venom of the New World scorpion Centruroides noxius Hoffmann. Cn2 belongs to the family of scorpion toxins that affect the sodium channel activity, and is very toxic to mammals (LD50=0.4 microg/20 g mouse mass). The three-dimensional structure was determined using 1H-1H two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy, torsion angle dynamics, and restrained energy minimization. The final set of 15 structures was calculated from 876 experimental distance constraints and 58 angle constraints. The structures have a global r. m.s.d. of 1.38 A for backbone atoms and 2.21 A for all heavy atoms. The overall fold is similar to that found in the other scorpion toxins acting on sodium channels. It is made of a triple-stranded antiparallel beta-sheet and an alpha-helix, and is stabilized by four disulfide bridges. A cis-proline residue at position 59 induces a kink of the polypeptide chain in the C-terminal region. The hydrophobic core of the protein is made up of residues L5, V6, L51, A55, and by the eight cysteine residues. A hydrophobic patch is defined by the aromatic residues Y4, Y40, Y42, W47 and by V57 on the side of the beta-sheet facing the solvent. A positively charged patch is formed by K8 and K63 on one edge of the molecule in the C-terminal region. Another positively charged spot is represented by the highly exposed K35. The structure of Cn2 is compared with those of other scorpion toxins acting on sodium channels, in particular Aah II and CsE-v3. This is the first structural report of an anti-mammal beta-scorpion toxin and it provides the necessary information for the design of recombinant mutants that can be used to probe structure-function relationships in scorpion toxins affecting sodium channel activity.

  18. [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.

  19. 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.

  20. Ts8 scorpion toxin inhibits the Kv4.2 channel and produces nociception in vivo.

    PubMed

    Pucca, Manuela Berto; Cerni, Felipe Augusto; Cordeiro, Francielle Almeida; Peigneur, Steve; Cunha, Thiago Mattar; Tytgat, Jan; Arantes, Eliane Candiani

    2016-09-01

    The venom from the scorpion Tityus serrulatus (Ts) has been extensively studied mainly because of its rich cocktail of neurotoxins. Neurotoxins are the major and the most known components based on their modulation of voltage-gated ion channels. Until now, electrophysiological studies demonstrated that the Ts venom comprises toxins that affect Nav and Kv channels. However, although many studies have been conducted in this field, many peptides from Ts venom await further studies, including Ts8 toxin. Here we report the isolation and electrophysiological study of Ts8. The toxin Ts19 Frag-II was used as negative control. Ts8 demonstrates, among 20 tested channels, to be a selective modulator of Kv4.2 channels. Based on studies investigating the involvement of Kv4.2 on controlling nociception, we further investigated the modulation of pain by Ts8. Using intraplantar injections, Ts8 induced overt nociception (licking and lifting behaviors) and decreased the mechanical nociceptive threshold (hyperalgesia). Furthermore, the hyperalgesia was prolonged when intrathecal injections were performed. Independent of the severity, most of the victims stung by Ts scorpions report an intense and persistent pain as the major manifestation. The new role of Ts8 on nociception could explain, at least partially, this phenomenon. Additionally, our study also stresses the involvement of toxins specific to Nav channels and inflammatory mediators on the Ts painful sting. This work provides useful insights for a better understanding of the prolonged and intense pain associated with Ts envenoming for the development of specific therapies. PMID:27346450

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  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. 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. 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). PMID:26676488

  6. Chlorotoxin, a scorpion-derived peptide, specifically binds to gliomas and tumors of neuroectodermal origin.

    PubMed

    Lyons, Susan A; O'Neal, Jeffrey; Sontheimer, Harald

    2002-08-01

    Highly migratory neuroectodermal cells share a common embryonic origin with cells of the central nervous system (CNS). They include enteric, parasympathetic, sympathoadrenal, and sensory neurons of the peripheral nervous system, Schwann cells, melanocytes, endocrine cells, and cells forming connective tissue of the face and neck. Because of their common embryologic origin, these cells and the tumors that derive from them can share genetic and antigenic phenotypes with gliomas, tumors derived from CNS glia. We recently discovered that chlorotoxin (ClTx), a 4-kD peptide purified from Leiurus quinquestriatus scorpion, is a highly specific marker for glioma cells in biopsy tissues (Soroceanu et al. Cancer Res 58:4871-4879, 1998) that can target tumors in animal models. We report on the specificity of ClTx as a marker for tumors of neuroectodermal origin that include peripheral neuroectodermal tumors (PNET) and gliomas. Specifically, we histochemically stained frozen and paraffin tissue sections of human biopsy tissues from 262 patients with a synthetically manufactured and biologically active ClTx bearing an N-terminal biotin. The vast majority (74 of 79) of primary human brain tumors investigated showed abundant binding of ClTx with greater than 90% ClTx-positive cells in each section. By comparison, 32 biopsies of uninvolved brain used for comparison were largely ClTx-negative, with only a few isolated reactive astrocytes showing some ClTx binding. However, as with gliomas, the vast majority of PNETs examined showed specific ClTx binding (31 of 34). These include medulloblastomas (4 of 4), neuroblastomas (6 of 7), ganglioneuromas (4 of 4), melanomas (7 of 7), adrenal pheochromocytomas (5 of 6), primitive PNET (1), small cell lung carcinoma (2 of 3), and Ewing's sarcoma (2 of 2). Under identical staining conditions, normal tissues from brain, skin, kidney, and lung were consistently negative for ClTx. These results suggest that chlorotoxin is a reliable and specific

  7. Renal effects and vascular reactivity induced by Tityus serrulatus venom.

    PubMed

    de Sousa Alves, Renata; do Nascimento, Nilberto Robson Falcão; Barbosa, Paulo Sérgio Ferreira; Kerntopf, Marta Regina; Lessa, Lucília Maria Abreu; de Sousa, Clauber Mota; Martins, René Duarte; Sousa, Daniel Freire; de Queiroz, Maria Goretti Rodrigues; Toyama, Marcos Hikari; Fonteles, Manassés Claudino; Martins, Alice Maria Costa; Monteiro, Helena Serra Azul

    2005-09-01

    Tityus serrulatus, popularly known as yellow scorpion, is one of the most studied scorpion species in South America and its venom has supplied some highly active molecules. The effects of T. serrulatus venom upon the renal physiology in human showed increased renal parameters, urea and creatinine. However, in perfused rat kidney the effects were not tested until now. Isolated kidneys from Wistar rats, weighing 240-280 g, were perfused with Krebs-Henseleit solution containing 6% (g weight) of previously dialysed bovine serum albumin. The effects of T. serrulatus venom were studied on the perfusion pressure (PP), renal vascular resistance (RVR), urinary flow (UF), glomerular filtration rate (GFR), sodium tubular transport (%TNa+), potassium tubular transport (%TK+) and chloride tubular transport (%TCl-). Tityus serrulatus venom (TsV; 10 microg/mL) was added to the system 30 min after the beginning of each experiment (n=6). This 30 min period was used as an internal control. The mesenteric bed was perfused with Krebs solution kept warm at 37 degrees C by a constant flow (4 mL/min), while the variable perfusion pressure was measured by means of a pressure transducer. The direct vascular effects of TsV (10 microg/mL/min; n=6), infused at a constant rate (0.1 mL/min), were examined and compared to the infusion of the vehicle alone at the same rate. TsV increased PP (PP30'=127.8+/-0.69 vs PP60'=154.2+/-14 mmHg*, *p<0.05) and RVR (RVR30'=6.29+/-0.25 vs RVR60'=8.03+/-0.82 mmHg/mLg(-1)min(-1)*, *p<0.05), decreased GFR (GFR30'=0.58+/-0.02 vs GFR60'=0.46+/-0.01mLg(-1)min(-1)*, *p<0.05) and UF (UF30'=0.135+/-0.001 vs UF60'=0.114+/-0.003mLg(-1)min(-1)*, *p<0.05). Tubular transport was not affected during the whole experimental period (120 min). On the other hand, the infusion of TsV (10 microg/mL/min) increased the basal perfusion pressure of isolated arteriolar mesenteric bed (basal pressure: 74.17+/-3.42 vs TsV 151.8+/-17.82 mmHg*, *p<0.05). TsV affects renal haemodynamics

  8. 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.

  9. Venom peptides as a rich source of cav2.2 channel blockers.

    PubMed

    Sousa, Silmara R; Vetter, Irina; Lewis, Richard J

    2013-02-01

    Ca(v)2.2 is a calcium channel subtype localized at nerve terminals, including nociceptive fibers, where it initiates neurotransmitter release. Ca(v)2.2 is an important contributor to synaptic transmission in ascending pain pathways, and is up-regulated in the spinal cord in chronic pain states along with the auxiliary α2δ1 subunit. It is therefore not surprising that toxins that inhibit Ca(v)2.2 are analgesic. Venomous animals, such as cone snails, spiders, snakes, assassin bugs, centipedes and scorpions are rich sources of remarkably potent and selective Ca(v)2.2 inhibitors. However, side effects in humans currently limit their clinical use. Here we review Ca(v)2.2 inhibitors from venoms and their potential as drug leads. PMID:23381143

  10. [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.

  11. [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. PMID:22555670

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. [Venoms and medical research].

    PubMed

    Ducancel, Frédéric

    2016-01-01

    Animal venoms are complex chemical cocktails, comprising a wide range of biologically active reticulated peptides that target with high selectivity and efficacy a variety of enzymes, membrane receptors, ion channels...Venoms can therefore be seen as large natural libraries of biologically active molecules that are continuously selected and highly refined by the evolution process, up to the point where every molecule is endowed with pharmacological properties that are highly valuable in the context of human use and drug development. Therefore, venom exploration constitutes a prerequisite to drug discovery. However, mass spectrometry and transcriptomics via NGS (Next Generation Sequencing) studies have shown the presence of up to 1000 peptides in the venom of single species of cone snails and spiders. Therefore the global animal venom resource can be seen as a collection of more than 50 to 100 000 000 peptides and proteins of which only ~5000 are known. That extraordinary "Eldorado" of bio-optimized compounds justifies the development of more global and cutting-edge strategies and technologies to explore this resource more efficiently than actually. De novo developed approaches and recently obtained results will be described. PMID:27687600

  16. Tityus serrulatus venom and toxins Ts1, Ts2 and Ts6 induce macrophage activation and production of immune mediators.

    PubMed

    Zoccal, Karina Furlani; Bitencourt, Claudia da Silva; Secatto, Adriana; Sorgi, Carlos Artério; Bordon, Karla de Castro Figueredo; Sampaio, Suely Vilela; Arantes, Eliane Candiani; Faccioli, Lúcia Helena

    2011-06-01

    Scorpion envenomation induces a systemic immune response, and neurotoxins of venom act on specific ion channels, modulating neurotransmitter release or activity. However, little is known about the immunomodulatory effects of crude venom from scorpion Tityus serrulatus (TsV) or its toxins (Ts1, Ts2 and Ts6) in combination with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). To investigate the immunomodulatory effects of TsV and its toxins (Ts1, Ts2 and Ts6), J774.1 cells were stimulated with different concentrations (25, 50 and 100 μg/mL) of venom or toxins pre-stimulated or not with LPS (0.5 μg/mL). Macrophage cytotoxicity was assessed, and nitric oxide (NO) and cytokine production were analyzed utilizing the culture supernatants. TsV and its toxins did not produce cytotoxic effects. Depending on the concentrations used, TsV, Ts1 and Ts6 stimulated the production of NO, interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in J774.1 cells, which were enhanced under LPS co-stimulation. However, LPS + Ts2 inhibited NO, IL-6 and TNF-α production, and Ts2 alone stimulated the production of IL-10, suggesting an anti-inflammatory activity for this toxin. Our findings are important for the basic understanding of the mechanisms involved in macrophage activation following envenomation; additionally, these findings may contribute to the discovery of new therapeutic compounds to treat immune-mediated diseases.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. History of scorpion antivenom: one Arizonan's view.

    PubMed

    Boyer, Leslie

    2013-07-01

    This paper was originally presented as the Elsevier Lecture in July, 2012 at the International Society on Toxinology/Venom Week combined meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii. In it, the author addresses the ancient history of venom and immunity, from the Silurian Era to the 1890s; the development of the first antivenoms; the impact of shifting political and economic pressures; the special case of Arizona; the relative stability of the 1960s through 1990s; the transition to regulatory compliance that took place at the time of the author's own research; and concluding thoughts regarding the instability of apparent success.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Guidine, Patrícia Alves Maia; Cash, Diana; Drumond, Luciana Estefani; de Souza E Rezende, Gustavo Henrique; Massensini, André Ricardo; Williams, Steve Charles Rees; Moraes-Santos, Tasso; Moraes, Márcio Flávio Dutra; Mesquita, Michel Bernanos Soares

    2014-01-01

    Severe scorpion envenoming (SSE) is more frequent in children and is characterized by systemic dysfunctions with a mortality rate of up to 9%. Recent evidence shows that the central nervous system (CNS) plays a key role in triggering the cascade of symptoms present in SSE. The age-dependent role of the CNS in SSE lethality may be summarized in 3 hypotheses: (1) the shown increased blood brain barrier permeability of infants to the toxins would especially and primarily compromise neurovegetative control areas, (2) the neurons within these areas have high affinity to the toxins, and (3) the neurovascular interaction is such that SSE metabolically compromises proper function of toxin-targeted areas. A pharmacological magnetic resonance imaging paradigm was used to evaluate localized hemodynamic changes in relative cerebral blood volume (rCBV) for 30 min after the injection of TsTX, the most lethal toxin from the venom of the Tityus serrulatus scorpion. The brainstem showed significant rCBV reduction 1 min after TsTX administration, whereas rostral brain areas had delayed increase in rCBV (confirmed by laser Doppler measurements of cortical cerebral blood flow). Moreover, metabolic activity by 14C-2-deoxyglucose autoradiography showed the highest relative increase at the brainstem. To test whether TsTX has high affinity to brainstem neurons, the lateral ventricle was injected with Alexa Fluor 568 TsTX. Although some neurons showed intense fluorescence, the labeling pattern suggests that specific neurons were targeted. Altogether, these results suggest that brainstem areas involved in neurovegetative control are most likely within the primary structures triggering the cascade of symptoms present in SSE. PMID:24105889

  2. An unusual fold for potassium channel blockers: NMR structure of three toxins from the scorpion Opisthacanthus madagascariensis

    PubMed Central

    Chagot, Benjamin; Pimentel, Cyril; Dai, Li; Pil, Joost; Tytgat, Jan; Nakajima, Terumi; Corzo, Gerardo; Darbon, Hervé; Ferrat, Gilles

    2005-01-01

    The Om-toxins are short peptides (23–27 amino acids) purified from the venom of the scorpion Opisthacanthus madagascariensis. Their pharmacological targets are thought to be potassium channels. Like Csα/β (cystine-stabilized α/β) toxins, the Om-toxins alter the electrophysiological properties of these channels; however, they do not share any sequence similarity with other scorpion toxins. We herein demonstrate by electrophysiological experiments that Om-toxins decrease the amplitude of the K+ current of the rat channels Kv1.1 and Kv1.2, as well as human Kv1.3. We also determine the solution structure of three of the toxins by use of two-dimensional proton NMR techniques followed by distance geometry and molecular dynamics. The structures of these three peptides display an uncommon fold for ion-channel blockers, Csα/α (cystine-stabilized α-helix–loop–helix), i.e. two α-helices connected by a loop and stabilized by two disulphide bridges. We compare the structures obtained and the dipole moments resulting from the electrostatic anisotropy of these peptides with those of the only other toxin known to share the same fold, namely κ-hefutoxin1. PMID:15631621

  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 natural scorpion peptide, BmK NT1 activates voltage-gated sodium channels and produces neurotoxicity in primary cultured cerebellar granule cells.

    PubMed

    Zou, Xiaohan; He, Yuwei; Qiao, Jinping; Zhang, Chunlei; Cao, Zhengyu

    2016-01-01

    The scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat neuronal diseases such as neuropathic pain, paralysis and epilepsy for thousands of years. Studies have demonstrated that scorpion venom is the primary active component. Although scorpion venom can effectively attenuate pain in the clinic, it also produces neurotoxic response. In this study, toxicity guided purification led to identify a mammalian toxin termed BmK NT1 comprising of 65 amino acid residues and an amidated C-terminus, a mature peptide encoded by the nucleotide sequence (GenBank No. AF464898). In contract to the recombinant product of the same nucleotide sequence, BmK AGAP, which displayed analgesic and anti-tumor effect, intravenous injection (i.v.) of BmK NT1 produced acute toxicity in mice with an LD50 value of 1.36 mg/kg. In primary cultured cerebellar granule cells, BmK NT1 produced a concentration-dependent cell death with an IC50 value of 0.65 μM (0.41-1.03 μM, 95% Confidence Intervals, 95% CI) which was abolished by TTX, a voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC) blocker. We also demonstrated that BmK NT1 produced modest sodium influx in cerebellar granule cell cultures with an EC50 value of 2.19 μM (0.76-6.40 μM, 95% CI), an effect similar to VGSC agonist, veratridine. The sodium influx response was abolished by TTX suggesting that BmK NT1-induced sodium influx is solely through activation of VGSC. Considered these data together, we demonstrated that BmK NT1 activated VGSC and produced neurotoxicity in cerebellar granule cell cultures. PMID:26598793

  5. Qualification of the scorpion helmet cueing system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atac, Robert; Bugno, Tony

    2011-06-01

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

  6. SjAPI, the First Functionally Characterized Ascaris-Type Protease Inhibitor from Animal Venoms

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Weishan; Cao, Zhijian; Zhuo, Renxi; Li, Wenxin; Wu, Yingliang

    2013-01-01

    Background Serine protease inhibitors act as modulators of serine proteases, playing important roles in protecting animal toxin peptides from degradation. However, all known serine protease inhibitors discovered thus far from animal venom belong to the Kunitz-type subfamily, and whether there are other novel types of protease inhibitors in animal venom remains unclear. Principal Findings Here, by screening scorpion venom gland cDNA libraries, we identified the first Ascaris-type animal toxin family, which contains four members: Scorpiops jendeki Ascaris-type protease inhibitor (SjAPI), Scorpiops jendeki Ascaris-type protease inhibitor 2 (SjAPI-2), Chaerilus tricostatus Ascaris-type protease inhibitor (CtAPI), and Buthus martensii Ascaris-type protease inhibitor (BmAPI). The detailed characterization of Ascaris-type peptide SjAPI from the venom gland of scorpion Scorpiops jendeki was carried out. The mature peptide of SjAPI contains 64 residues and possesses a classical Ascaris-type cysteine framework reticulated by five disulfide bridges, different from all known protease inhibitors from venomous animals. Enzyme and inhibitor reaction kinetics experiments showed that recombinant SjAPI was a dual function peptide with α-chymotrypsin- and elastase-inhibiting properties. Recombinant SjAPI inhibited α-chymotrypsin with a Ki of 97.1 nM and elastase with a Ki of 3.7 μM, respectively. Bioinformatics analyses and chimera experiments indicated that SjAPI contained the unique short side chain functional residues “AAV” and might be a useful template to produce new serine protease inhibitors. Conclusions/Significance To our knowledge, SjAPI is the first functionally characterized animal toxin peptide with an Ascaris-type fold. The structural and functional diversity of animal toxins with protease-inhibiting properties suggested that bioactive peptides from animal venom glands might be a new source of protease inhibitors, which will accelerate the development of

  7. 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

  8. Applications of the Scorpion color helmet-mounted cueing system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atac, Robert

    2010-04-01

    The innovative technology utilized in the Scorpion HMCS has broken several product and price barriers which now allow it to be used in both traditional and non-traditional applications. In particular, its bright color display provides a new dimension for informational content and vastly improved situational awareness. Users are just beginning to explore the ways that color can be used in an HMD projection display. Scorpion has also broken through price and installation cost barriers allowing, for the first time, its use on platforms that could otherwise never have afforded a helmet mounted display. Scorpion HMCS units are currently being used for both traditional cueing as well as unique new applications in both airborne and maritime platforms. These applications are further described as well as other potential roles for the Scorpion HMCS.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Serrumab: a human monoclonal antibody that counters the biochemical and immunological effects of Tityus serrulatus venom.

    PubMed

    Pucca, Manuela Berto; Zoccal, Karina Furlan; Roncolato, Eduardo Crosara; Bertolini, Thaís Barboza; Campos, Lucas Benício; Cologna, Camila Takeno; Faccioli, Lúcia Helena; Arantes, Eliane Candiani; Barbosa, José Elpidio

    2012-01-01

    In Brazil, the species Tityus serrulatus is responsible for the most severe cases of scorpion envenomation. There is currently a need for new scorpion anti-venoms that are more effective and less harmful. This study attempted to produce human monoclonal antibodies capable of inhibiting the activity of T. serrulatus venom (TsV), using the Griffin.1 library of human single-chain fragment-variable (scFv) phage antibodies. Four rounds of phage antibody selection were performed, and the round with the highest phage antibody titer was chosen for the production of monoclonal phage antibodies and for further analysis. The scFv 2A, designated serrumab, was selected for the production and purification of soluble antibody fragments. In a murine peritoneal macrophage cell line (J774.1), in vitro assays of the cytokines interleukin (IL)-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and IL-10 were performed. In male BALB/c mice, in vivo assays of plasma urea, creatinine, aspartate transaminase, and glucose were performed, as well as of neutrophil recruitment and leukocyte counts. It was found that serrumab inhibited the TsV-induced increases in the production of IL-6, TNFα, and IL-10 in J774.1 cells. The in vivo inhibition assay showed that serrumab also prevented TsV-induced increases in the plasma levels of urea, creatinine, aspartate transaminase, and glucose, as well as preventing the TsV-induced increase in neutrophil recruitment. The results indicate that the human monoclonal antibody serrumab is a candidate for inclusion in a mixture of specific antibodies to the various toxins present in TsV. Therefore, serrumab shows promise for use in the production of new anti-venom. PMID:22424317

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

    PubMed Central

    Lourenço, Wilson R.; Pham, Dinh-Sac

    2010-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Getting stung by black scorpion Androctonus crassicauda: a case report.

    PubMed

    Aghabiklooei, A; Zamani, N; Hassanian-Moghaddam, H

    2014-10-01

    Importance of the correct diagnosis in the correct early management of a scorpion stung patient by using antivenom is not emphasized, particularly when there are little evidences. A 65-year-old female was brought to our emergency department with the chief compliant of being stung by an unknown object 3 h earlier while traveling in an intercity bus. She became agitated and simultaneously experienced tachycardia, very severe generalized sweating, cold and wet extremities, bilateral diffuse crackle in the base of lungs, tachypnea, and lethargy. With the primitive diagnosis of myocardial infarction, scorpion sting was documented as the cause of this combined cholinergic and adrenergic syndrome after the scorpion was found in the patient's bed clothes. She dramatically responded to the administration of low dose of scorpion antivenom. This case dramatically responded to the antivenom administration, especially the cholinergic and sympathetic signs, pulmonary edema, and electrocardiographic changes were fully and almost immediately recovered. Scorpion antivenom may reverse life-threatening manifestations of scorpion envenomation if used early and in appropriate patients. PMID:24347298

  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. 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

  17. [Neurotoxins from snake venom].

    PubMed

    Larréché, S; Mion, G; Clapson, P; Debien, B; Wybrecht, D; Goyffon, M

    2008-04-01

    Many snakes are able to quickly immobilize prey, thanks to their venom neurotoxins. Most of these snakes belong to families Elapidae or Hydrophidae but neurotoxins were also isolated from families Viperidae and Colubridae. Ophidian neurotoxins can be classified into several categories: neurotoxins which inhibit synaptic transmission (postsynaptic and presynaptic neurotoxins) and neurotoxins which facilitate it excessively (dendrotoxin and fasciculin). Their toxicity is dose-dependent, and venom effects are extremely fast. The clinical feature is a potentially fatal neurological syndrome, the so called cobraic syndrome. Because death by respiratory arrest may occur quickly with cobraic syndrome, immunotherapy is a true emergency, because toxins irreversible fixing makes immunotherapy effect uncertain after a few hours passed.

  18. Local and systemic toxicity of Echis carinatus venom: neutralization by Cassia auriculata L. leaf methanol extract.

    PubMed

    Nanjaraj Urs, A N; Yariswamy, M; Joshi, Vikram; Suvilesh, K N; Sumanth, M S; Das, Diganta; Nataraju, A; Vishwanath, B S

    2015-01-01

    Viper bites cause high morbidity and mortality especially in tropical and subtropical regions, affecting a large number of the rural population in these areas. Even though anti-venoms are available, in most cases they fail to tackle viper venom-induced local manifestations that persist even after anti-venom administration. Several studies have been reported the use of plant products and approved drugs along side anti-venom therapy for efficient management of local tissue damage. In this regard, the present study focuses on the protective efficacy of Cassia auriculata L. (Leguminosae) against Echis carinatus venom (ECV) induced toxicity. C. auriculata is a traditional medicinal plant, much valued in alternative medicine for its wide usage in ayurveda, naturopathy, and herbal therapy. Further, it has been used widely by traditional healers for treatment of snake and scorpion bites in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, India. In the present study, C. auriculata leaf methanol extract (CAME) significantly inhibited enzymatic activities of ECV proteases (96 ± 1 %; P = 0.001), PLA2 (45 ± 5 %; P = 0.01) and hyaluronidases (100 %; P = 0.0003) in vitro and hemorrhage, edema and myotoxicity in vivo. Further, CAME effectively reduced the lethal potency of ECV and increased the survival time of mice by ~6 times (17 vs 3 h). These inhibitory potentials of CAME towards hydrolytic enzymes, mortal and morbid symptoms of ECV toxins clearly substantiates the use by traditional healers of C. auriculata as a folk medicinal remedy for snakebite. PMID:25378214

  19. Local and systemic toxicity of Echis carinatus venom: neutralization by Cassia auriculata L. leaf methanol extract.

    PubMed

    Nanjaraj Urs, A N; Yariswamy, M; Joshi, Vikram; Suvilesh, K N; Sumanth, M S; Das, Diganta; Nataraju, A; Vishwanath, B S

    2015-01-01

    Viper bites cause high morbidity and mortality especially in tropical and subtropical regions, affecting a large number of the rural population in these areas. Even though anti-venoms are available, in most cases they fail to tackle viper venom-induced local manifestations that persist even after anti-venom administration. Several studies have been reported the use of plant products and approved drugs along side anti-venom therapy for efficient management of local tissue damage. In this regard, the present study focuses on the protective efficacy of Cassia auriculata L. (Leguminosae) against Echis carinatus venom (ECV) induced toxicity. C. auriculata is a traditional medicinal plant, much valued in alternative medicine for its wide usage in ayurveda, naturopathy, and herbal therapy. Further, it has been used widely by traditional healers for treatment of snake and scorpion bites in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, India. In the present study, C. auriculata leaf methanol extract (CAME) significantly inhibited enzymatic activities of ECV proteases (96 ± 1 %; P = 0.001), PLA2 (45 ± 5 %; P = 0.01) and hyaluronidases (100 %; P = 0.0003) in vitro and hemorrhage, edema and myotoxicity in vivo. Further, CAME effectively reduced the lethal potency of ECV and increased the survival time of mice by ~6 times (17 vs 3 h). These inhibitory potentials of CAME towards hydrolytic enzymes, mortal and morbid symptoms of ECV toxins clearly substantiates the use by traditional healers of C. auriculata as a folk medicinal remedy for snakebite.

  20. NMR analysis of interaction of LqhalphaIT scorpion toxin with a peptide corresponding to the D4/S3-S4 loop of insect para voltage-gated sodium channel.

    PubMed

    Schnur, Einat; Turkov, Michael; Kahn, Roy; Gordon, Dalia; Gurevitz, Michael; Anglister, Jacob

    2008-01-22

    Voltage-gated sodium channels (Navs) are large transmembrane proteins that initiate action potential in electrically excitable cells. This central role in the nervous system has made them a primary target for a large number of neurotoxins. Scorpion alpha-neurotoxins bind to Navs with high affinity and slow their inactivation, causing a prolonged action potential. Despite the similarity in their mode of action and three-dimensional structure, alpha-toxins exhibit great variations in selectivity toward insect and mammalian Navs, suggesting differences in the binding surfaces of the toxins and the channels. The scorpion alpha-toxin binding site, termed neurotoxin receptor site 3, has been shown to involve the extracellular S3-S4 loop in domain 4 of the alpha-subunit of voltage-gated sodium channels (D4/S3-S4). In this study, the binding site for peptides corresponding to the D4/S3-S4 loop of the para insect Nav was mapped on the highly insecticidal alpha-neurotoxin, LqhalphaIT, from the scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus, by following changes in the toxin amide 1H and 15N chemical shifts upon binding. This analysis suggests that the five-residue turn (residues LqK8-LqC12) of LqhalphaIT and those residues in its vicinity interact with the D4/S3-S4 loop of Nav. Residues LqR18, LqW38, and LqA39 could also form a patch contributing to the interaction with D4/S3-S4. Moreover, a new bioactive residue, LqV13, was identified as being important for Nav binding and specifically for the interaction with the D4/S3-S4 loop. The contribution of LqV13 to NaV binding was further verified by mutagenesis. Future studies involving other extracellular regions of Navs are required for further characterization of the structure of the LqhalphaIT-Navs binding site.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    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. 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...

  4. The first scorpionate ligand based on diazaphosphole.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-14

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

  5. Unusual Stability of Messenger RNA in Snake Venom Reveals Gene Expression Dynamics of Venom Replenishment

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:22879897

  6. 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.

  7. Chlorotoxin: Structure, activity, and potential uses in cancer therapy.

    PubMed

    Ojeda, Paola G; Wang, Conan K; Craik, David J

    2016-01-01

    Chlorotoxin is a disulfide-rich stable peptide from the venom of the Israeli scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus, which has potential therapeutic applications in the treatment of cancer. Its ability to preferentially bind to tumor cells has been harnessed to develop an imaging agent to help visualize tumors during surgical resection. In addition, chlorotoxin has attracted interest as a vehicle to deliver anti-cancer drugs specifically to cancer cells. Given its interesting structural and biological properties, chlorotoxin also has the potential to be used in a variety of other biotechnology and biomedical applications. Here, we review the structure, activity and potential applications of chlorotoxin as a drug design scaffold.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Murthy, K Radha Krishna

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  12. Scorpion Peptides: Potential Use for New Drug Development

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Effects of deletion and insertion of amino acids on the activity of HelaTx1, a scorpion toxin on potassium channels.

    PubMed

    Peigneur, Steve; Esaki, Nao; Yamaguchi, Yoko; Tytgat, Jan; Sato, Kazuki

    2016-03-01

    Four analogs of HelaTx1, a 25-mer peptide from scorpion venom, were synthesized by deleting its C-terminal hexapeptide fragment and N-terminal Ser residue and by inserting an amino acid in the middle part of the molecule. CD spectrum of HelaTx1(1-19) was almost superimposable to that of native HelaTx1. Functional characterization showed that HelaTx1(1-19) retained its inhibitory activity on Kv1.1 channel although 3 times less potent than HelaTx1, indicating that C-terminal part of HelaTx1 was not essential for its conformation and activity. Further deletion of N-terminal Ser residue and insertion of Ala in the middle part of the molecule affected the CD spectra and resulted in the decrease of activity.

  14. Common procedures with venomous reptiles.

    PubMed

    Boyer, Thomas H

    2006-05-01

    Venomous reptiles should be handled in a safe and consistent man-ner, even after death. Owners and staff should be warned not to handle the venomous reptile, and one should have emergency protocols in place before the properly bagged and encased reptile is presented. It is important to know what one is treating as well as one's limitations. After being carefully removed from the bag, the venomous reptile may be transferred to a handling container, tubed, or squeezed with the appropriate equipment. The author usually induces injectable or gas anesthesia at this point. Veterinarians who are inexperienced with venomous reptiles should learn how to handle them through a reputable seminar or class before electing to see them in their practice.

  15. Structure-function relationships of scorpion neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Habersetzer-Rochat, C; Sampieri, F

    1976-06-01

    Chemical modification of some trifunctional amino acid residues in toxins I, II, and III of the scorpion Androctonus australis Hector have been performed. The results indicate: (1) Reduction and methylation of one disulfide bridge destroy toxic activity of toxin II. (2) The only tryptophan residue of toxin II (position 38) is not included in the active site of the molecule. (3) Modification of five carboxylates out of the seven contained in toxin II suppresses the toxic activity. (4) Acetylation of the lysine and tyrosine residues in toxin II leads to the loss of both toxic and antigenic activity. Treatment of the acetylated toxin by hydroxylamine restores partially the antigenic activity. In the case of toxin I, total acetylation abolishes only the toxic activity. It is concluded that at least one tyrosine residue must be involved in an antigenic site of toxin II. (5) Citraconylation of toxins II and III leads to complete loss of toxicity; decitraconylation restores full activity. (6) Guanidination of toxin II does not affect its toxicity significantly. (7) Alkylation of toxin II by iodoacetic acid affects both amino groups and histidine residues. The loss of toxicity is mainly due to the modification of the lysine residues. In the case of toxin I, the kinetics of toxicity loss closely parallel the covalent modification of one lysine residue.

  16. The scorpion toxin Amm VIII induces pain hypersensitivity through gain-of-function of TTX-sensitive Na⁺ channels.

    PubMed

    Abbas, Najwa; Gaudioso-Tyzra, Christelle; Bonnet, Caroline; Gabriac, Mélanie; Amsalem, Muriel; Lonigro, Aurélie; Padilla, Françoise; Crest, Marcel; Martin-Eauclaire, Marie-France; Delmas, Patrick

    2013-08-01

    Voltage-gated Na(+) channels (Nav) are the targets of a variety of scorpion toxins. Here, we investigated the effects of Amm VIII, a toxin isolated from the venom of the scorpion Androctonus mauretanicus mauretanicus, on pain-related behaviours in mice. The effects of Amm VIII were compared with the classic scorpion α-toxin AaH II from Androctonus australis. Contrary to AaH II, intraplantar injection of Amm VIII at relatively high concentrations caused little nocifensive behaviours. However, Amm VIII induced rapid mechanical and thermal pain hypersensitivities. We evaluated the toxins' effects on Nav currents in nociceptive dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons and immortalized DRG neuron-derived F11 cells. Amm VIII and AaH II enhanced tetrodotoxin-sensitive (TTX-S) Nav currents in DRG and F11 cells. Both toxins impaired fast inactivation and negatively shifted activation. AaH II was more potent than Amm VIII at modulating TTX-S Nav currents with EC50 of 5 nM and 1 μM, respectively. AaH II and Amm VIII also impaired fast inactivation of Nav1.7, with EC50 of 6.8 nM and 1.76 μM, respectively. Neither Nav1.8 nor Nav1.9 was affected by the toxins. AaH II and Amm VIII reduced first spike latency and lowered action potential threshold. Amm VIII was less efficient than AaH II in increasing the gain of the firing frequency-stimulation relationship. In conclusion, our data show that Amm VIII, although less potent than AaH II, acts as a gating-modifier peptide reminiscent of classic α-toxins, and suggest that its hyperalgesic effects can be ascribed to gain-of-function of TTX-S Na(+) channels in nociceptors. PMID:23685008

  17. The scorpion toxin Amm VIII induces pain hypersensitivity through gain-of-function of TTX-sensitive Na⁺ channels.

    PubMed

    Abbas, Najwa; Gaudioso-Tyzra, Christelle; Bonnet, Caroline; Gabriac, Mélanie; Amsalem, Muriel; Lonigro, Aurélie; Padilla, Françoise; Crest, Marcel; Martin-Eauclaire, Marie-France; Delmas, Patrick

    2013-08-01

    Voltage-gated Na(+) channels (Nav) are the targets of a variety of scorpion toxins. Here, we investigated the effects of Amm VIII, a toxin isolated from the venom of the scorpion Androctonus mauretanicus mauretanicus, on pain-related behaviours in mice. The effects of Amm VIII were compared with the classic scorpion α-toxin AaH II from Androctonus australis. Contrary to AaH II, intraplantar injection of Amm VIII at relatively high concentrations caused little nocifensive behaviours. However, Amm VIII induced rapid mechanical and thermal pain hypersensitivities. We evaluated the toxins' effects on Nav currents in nociceptive dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons and immortalized DRG neuron-derived F11 cells. Amm VIII and AaH II enhanced tetrodotoxin-sensitive (TTX-S) Nav currents in DRG and F11 cells. Both toxins impaired fast inactivation and negatively shifted activation. AaH II was more potent than Amm VIII at modulating TTX-S Nav currents with EC50 of 5 nM and 1 μM, respectively. AaH II and Amm VIII also impaired fast inactivation of Nav1.7, with EC50 of 6.8 nM and 1.76 μM, respectively. Neither Nav1.8 nor Nav1.9 was affected by the toxins. AaH II and Amm VIII reduced first spike latency and lowered action potential threshold. Amm VIII was less efficient than AaH II in increasing the gain of the firing frequency-stimulation relationship. In conclusion, our data show that Amm VIII, although less potent than AaH II, acts as a gating-modifier peptide reminiscent of classic α-toxins, and suggest that its hyperalgesic effects can be ascribed to gain-of-function of TTX-S Na(+) channels in nociceptors.

  18. 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.

  19. A new high-elevation scorpion species of the genus Scorpiops Peters, 1861 (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae: Scorpiopinae) from the Himalayas, India.

    PubMed

    Zambre, Amod; Sanap, Rajesh V; Mirza, Zeeshan A

    2014-06-01

    A new high-elevation scorpion species of the genus Scorpiops is described from the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Scorpiops spitiensis sp. nov. is the second highest-elevation scorpion species in Asia and the first one from India occurring at elevations above 4200 m. The new species closely resembles Scorpiops petersii, but it can be distinguished from it based on a suit of characters, one of which is the presence of 16 trichobothria on the external aspect of the patella, which is unique to the new species.

  20. 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. PMID:26492826

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Chippaux, J-P

    2016-05-01

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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    Chippaux, J-P

    2016-05-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Diagnosis of Hymenoptera venom allergy.

    PubMed

    Biló, B M; Rueff, F; Mosbech, H; Bonifazi, F; Oude-Elberink, J N G

    2005-11-01

    The purpose of diagnostic procedure is to classify a sting reaction by history, identify the underlying pathogenetic mechanism, and identify the offending insect. Diagnosis of Hymenoptera venom allergy thus forms the basis for the treatment. In the central and northern Europe vespid (mainly Vespula spp.) and honeybee stings are the most prevalent, whereas in the Mediterranean area stings from Polistes and Vespula are more frequent than honeybee stings; bumblebee stings are rare throughout Europe and more of an occupational hazard. Several major allergens, usually glycoproteins with a molecular weight of 10-50 kDa, have been identified in venoms of bees, vespids. and ants. The sequences and structures of the majority of venom allergens have been determined and several have been expressed in recombinant form. A particular problem in the field of cross-reactivity are specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies directed against carbohydrate epitopes, which may induce multiple positive test results (skin test, in vitro tests) of still unknown clinical significance. Venom hypersensitivity may be mediated by immunologic mechanisms (IgE-mediated or non-IgE-mediated venom allergy) but also by nonimmunologic mechanisms. Reactions to Hymenoptera stings are classified into normal local reactions, large local reactions, systemic toxic reactions, systemic anaphylactic reactions, and unusual reactions. For most venom-allergic patients an anaphylactic reaction after a sting is very traumatic event, resulting in an altered health-related quality of life. Risk factors influencing the outcome of an anaphylactic reaction include the time interval between stings, the number of stings, the severity of the preceding reaction, age, cardiovascular diseases and drug intake, insect type, elevated serum tryptase, and mastocytosis. Diagnostic tests should be carried out in all patients with a history of a systemic sting reaction to detect sensitization. They are not recommended in subjects with

  13. Diagnostic uses of snake venom.

    PubMed

    Marsh, N A

    2001-01-01

    Snake venom toxins are invaluable for the assay of coagulation factors and for the study of haemostasis generally. Thrombin-like enzymes (SVTLE) are used for fibrinogen and fibrinogen breakdown product assays as well as detecting dysfibrinogenaemias. Since SVTLE are not inhibited by heparin, they can be used for assaying antithrombin III in samples containing heparin. Snake venom prothrombin activators are utilised in prothrombin assays, whilst Russell's viper venom (RVV) can be used to assay clotting factors V, VII, X and lupus anticoagulants (LA). Activators from the taipan, Australian brown snake and saw-scaled viper have also been used to assay LA. Protein C (PC) and activated PC (APC) resistance can be measured by means of RVV, Protac (from Southern copperhead snake venom) and STA-Staclot (from Crotalus viridis helleri) whilst von Willebrand factor can be studied with Botrocetin (Bothrops jararaca). Finally, snake venom C-type lectins and metalloproteinase disintegrins are being used to study platelet glycoprotein receptors and show great potential for use in the routine coagulation laboratory. PMID:11910187

  14. 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

  15. Venomic and pharmacological activity of Acanthoscurria paulensis (Theraphosidae) spider venom.

    PubMed

    Mourão, Caroline Barbosa F; Oliveira, Fagner Neves; e Carvalho, Andréa C; Arenas, Claudia J; Duque, Harry Morales; Gonçalves, Jacqueline C; Macêdo, Jéssica K A; Galante, Priscilla; Schwartz, Carlos A; Mortari, Márcia R; Almeida Santos, Maria de Fátima M; Schwartz, Elisabeth F

    2013-01-01

    In the present study we conducted proteomic and pharmacological characterizations of the venom extracted from the Brazilian tarantula Acanthoscurria paulensis, and evaluated the cardiotoxicity of its two main fractions. The molecular masses of the venom components were identified by mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) after chromatographic separation (HPLC). The lethal dose (LD(50)) was determined in mice. Nociceptive behavior was evaluated by intradermal injection in mice and the edematogenic activity by the rat hind-paw assay. Cardiotoxic activity was evaluated on in situ frog heart and on isolated frog ventricle strip. From 60 chromatographic fractions, 97 distinct components were identified, with molecular masses between 601.4 and 21,932.3 Da. A trimodal molecular mass distribution was observed: 30% of the components within 500-1999 Da, 38% within 3500-5999 Da and 21% within 6500-7999 Da. The LD(50) in mice was 25.4 ± 2.4 μg/g and the effects observed were hypoactivity, anuria, constipation, dyspnea and prostration until death, which occurred at higher doses. Despite presenting a dose-dependent edematogenic activity in the rat hind-paw assay, the venom had no nociceptive activity in mice. Additionally, the venom induced a rapid blockage of electrical activity and subsequent diastolic arrest on in situ frog heart preparation, which was inhibited by pretreatment with atropine. In the electrically driven frog ventricle strip, the whole venom and its low molecular mass fraction, but not the proteic one, induced a negative inotropic effect that was also inhibited by atropine. These results suggest that despite low toxicity, A. paulensis venom can induce severe physiological disturbances in mice.

  16. Venomic and pharmacological activity of Acanthoscurria paulensis (Theraphosidae) spider venom.

    PubMed

    Mourão, Caroline Barbosa F; Oliveira, Fagner Neves; e Carvalho, Andréa C; Arenas, Claudia J; Duque, Harry Morales; Gonçalves, Jacqueline C; Macêdo, Jéssica K A; Galante, Priscilla; Schwartz, Carlos A; Mortari, Márcia R; Almeida Santos, Maria de Fátima M; Schwartz, Elisabeth F

    2013-01-01

    In the present study we conducted proteomic and pharmacological characterizations of the venom extracted from the Brazilian tarantula Acanthoscurria paulensis, and evaluated the cardiotoxicity of its two main fractions. The molecular masses of the venom components were identified by mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) after chromatographic separation (HPLC). The lethal dose (LD(50)) was determined in mice. Nociceptive behavior was evaluated by intradermal injection in mice and the edematogenic activity by the rat hind-paw assay. Cardiotoxic activity was evaluated on in situ frog heart and on isolated frog ventricle strip. From 60 chromatographic fractions, 97 distinct components were identified, with molecular masses between 601.4 and 21,932.3 Da. A trimodal molecular mass distribution was observed: 30% of the components within 500-1999 Da, 38% within 3500-5999 Da and 21% within 6500-7999 Da. The LD(50) in mice was 25.4 ± 2.4 μg/g and the effects observed were hypoactivity, anuria, constipation, dyspnea and prostration until death, which occurred at higher doses. Despite presenting a dose-dependent edematogenic activity in the rat hind-paw assay, the venom had no nociceptive activity in mice. Additionally, the venom induced a rapid blockage of electrical activity and subsequent diastolic arrest on in situ frog heart preparation, which was inhibited by pretreatment with atropine. In the electrically driven frog ventricle strip, the whole venom and its low molecular mass fraction, but not the proteic one, induced a negative inotropic effect that was also inhibited by atropine. These results suggest that despite low toxicity, A. paulensis venom can induce severe physiological disturbances in mice. PMID:23178240

  17. [Wasp and bee venom allergy].

    PubMed

    Knulst, A C; de Maat-Bleeker, F; Bruijnzeel-Koomen, C A

    1998-04-18

    To diagnose insect venom allergy a good patient history is important. Allergological tests (skin test, specific IgE titre) confirm the diagnosis. Patients are advised on preventive measures (e.g. with respect to clothing and use of perfume). They are also instructed on medical treatment (antihistaminics, epinephrine) in case they are stung again. In patients having had a serious systemic reaction immunotherapy should be considered. Immunotherapy leads to complete protection in more than 98% of patients with wasp (yellow jacket) venom allergy and in 75-80% of patients with bee venom allergy. Serious adverse reactions to immunotherapy are rare. Immunotherapy lasts at least 3 to 5 years. After cessation of immunotherapy the frequency of systemic reactions to the sting of a wasp or bee is in the range of 5-15%. There are insufficient data on the long-term effect of immunotherapy.

  18. Cloning and characterization of cDNAs that code for Na(+)-channel-blocking toxins of the scorpion Centruroides noxius Hoffmann.

    PubMed

    Becerril, B; Vázquez, A; García, C; Corona, M; Bolivar, F; Possani, L D

    1993-06-30

    With the purpose of studying the organization and characteristics of the genes that code for toxins present in the venom of the Mexican scorpion, Centruroides noxius Hoffmann (CnH), we prepared a lambda gt11 cDNA library from the venom glands. Using specific oligodeoxyribonucleotides (oligos) designed according to known amino acid (aa) sequences of CnH toxins (STox), we detected several positive clones, determined their nucleotide (nt) sequences and deduced their aa sequences. A comparative analysis of these sequences with previously reported STox revealed that CnH cDNAs code for a family of very similar STox. The cDNA coding for a known STox, II-10, was cloned. Additionally, three other complete (new) nt sequences were obtained for cDNAs encoding peptides similar to STox 1 from CnH or variants 2 and 3 from Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing. Southern blot genomic DNA analysis showed a minimum size of approximately 600 bp as EcoRI fragments for elements of this family. PCR amplifications of CnH genomic DNA and hybridization of PCR products with specific probes indicated that the genomic structural regions that code for these genes do not contain introns, or at least not large introns.

  19. 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.

  20. Enzymatic and toxic properties of Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra) venom and venom fractions.

    PubMed

    Tan, N H; Hj, M N

    1989-01-01

    Some enzymatic activities and toxic properties of four samples of Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra) venom were investigated. There is little intraspecific variation in enzyme contents, protein composition and toxic properties of the venom. The venom does not exhibit hemolytic or edema-inducing activity but is characterized by an exceptionally high alkaline phosphomonoesterase activity. DEAE-Sephacel ion exchange chromatography and Sephadex G-75 gel filtration chromatography of the venom indicate that the major lethal toxins are the low mol.wt, non-enzymatic basic proteins. Venom fractions exhibiting high enzymatic activities apparently do not play an important role in the lethality in mice of Ophiophagus hannah venom.

  1. 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.

  2. First record of the family Pseudochactidae Gromov (Chelicerata, Scorpiones) from Laos and new biogeographic evidence of a Pangaean palaeodistribution.

    PubMed

    Lourenço, Wilson R

    2007-10-01

    A new genus and species of scorpion belonging to the recently named family Pseudochactidae is described based on two specimens collected in the Tham Xe Bangfai cave, Province of Khammouan, Laos. This new scorpion represents the second known record of a pseudochactid, and the first from Laos. The possible biogeographic consequences of this scorpion's distribution are discussed, associated with the possible Pangaean origin of pseudochactid scorpions.

  3. [Study on the venoms of the principal venomous snakes from French Guiana and the neutralization].

    PubMed

    Estévez, J; Magaña, P; Chippaux, J P; Vidal, N; Mancilla, R; Paniagua, J F; de Roodt, A R

    2008-10-01

    We studied some biochemical, toxic and immunological characteristics of the venoms of Bothrops atrox, Bothrops brazili and Lachesis muta, Viperidae responsible for most of the bites of venomous snakes in French Guiana. Chromatographic (HPLC) and electrophoretical profiles (SDS-PAGE), lethal, hemorrhagic, defibrinogenating, coagulant, thrombin like, proteolytic, fibrino(geno)lytic and phospholipase activities were studied. In addition, the neutralization of some toxic activities conferred by four antivenins was compared. The chromatographic and electrophoretic profiles were different for the three venoms, showing differences between Bothrops and L. muta venoms. In general, bothropic venoms showed the highest toxic and enzymatic activities, while the venom of L. muta showed the lowest lethal, hemorrhagic and coagulant activities. The enzymes of bothropic venoms responsible for gelatinolytic activity were around 50-90 kDa. All the venoms were able to hydrolyze a and beta chains of the fibrinogen, showing different patterns of degradation. Although all the antivenoms tested were effective to various degrees in neutralizing the venom of B. brazili and B. atrox, neutralization of L. muta venom was significantly better achieved using the antivenom including this venom in its immunogenic mixture. For the neutralization of L. muta venom, homologous or polyvalent antivenoms that include the "bushmaster" venom in their immunogenic mixture should be preferred. PMID:18956820

  4. Orientation and Pore-Forming Mechanism of a Scorpion Pore-Forming Peptide Bound to Magnetically Oriented Lipid Bilayers

    PubMed Central

    Nomura, Kaoru; Corzo, Gerardo; Nakajima, Terumi; Iwashita, Takashi

    2004-01-01

    The orientation and pore-forming mechanisms of pandinin 2 (pin2), an antimicrobial peptide isolated from venom of the African scorpion Pandinus imperator, bound to magnetically oriented lipid bilayers were examined by 31P and 13C solid-state, and 15N liquid-state NMR spectroscopy. 31P NMR measurements at various temperatures, under neutral and acidic conditions, showed that membrane lysis occurred only under acidic conditions, and at temperatures below the liquid crystal-gel phase transition of the lipid bilayers, after incubation for two days in the magnet. Differential scanning calorimetry measurements showed that pin2 induced negative curvature strain in lipid bilayers. The 13C chemical shift values of synthetic pin2 labeled at Gly3, Gly8, Leu12, Phe17, or Ser18 under static or slow magic-angle spinning conditions, indicate that pin2 penetrates the membrane with its average helical axis perpendicular to the membrane surface. Furthermore, amide H-D exchange experiments of 15N-Ala4, Gly8, and Ala9 triply-labeled pin2 suggest that this peptide forms oligomers and confirms that the N-terminal region creates membrane pores. PMID:15298871

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Colubrid Venom Composition: An -Omics Perspective.

    PubMed

    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

  9. Novel venom gene discovery in the platypus

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background To date, few peptides in the complex mixture of platypus venom have been identified and sequenced, in part due to the limited amounts of platypus venom available to study. We have constructed and sequenced a cDNA library from an active platypus venom gland to identify the remaining components. Results We identified 83 novel putative platypus venom genes from 13 toxin families, which are homologous to known toxins from a wide range of vertebrates (fish, reptiles, insectivores) and invertebrates (spiders, sea anemones, starfish). A number of these are expressed in tissues other than the venom gland, and at least three of these families (those with homology to toxins from distant invertebrates) may play non-toxin roles. Thus, further functional testing is required to confirm venom activity. However, the presence of similar putative toxins in such widely divergent species provides further evidence for the hypothesis that there are certain protein families that are selected preferentially during evolution to become venom peptides. We have also used homology with known proteins to speculate on the contributions of each venom component to the symptoms of platypus envenomation. Conclusions This study represents a step towards fully characterizing the first mammal venom transcriptome. We have found similarities between putative platypus toxins and those of a number of unrelated species, providing insight into the evolution of mammalian venom. PMID:20920228

  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. The "SCORPION" experiment onboard the International Space Station. Preliminary results.

    PubMed

    Borisov, V; Deshevaya, E; Grachov, E; Grigoryan, O; Tchurilo, I; Tsetlin, V

    2003-01-01

    The "SCORPION" program onboard the Russian Segment (RS) of the International Space Station (ISS) is designed to carry out complex research of the effects of the nar-Earth space parameters on the conditions under which various experiments and operations are being conducted. Special attention in this program was paid to the biological objects onboard the orbital station, e.g. it was found that variation in the number of colony forming units (micromicets and bacteria) correlates with the solar activity and the absorbed dose. The "SCORPION" experiment onboard the RS ISS started in January 2002. It was designed to measure the following parameters inside the space absorbed doses in different places inside the RS ISS, the fluxes of energetic charged particles, neutrons and gamma-quanta; the vectors of the magnetic field and low-frequency electromagnetic waves. At the same time the growth of micromicets on the samples of various materials was studied. The description of the "SCORPION" experiment and the preliminary results obtained onboard the RS ISS in 2002 are presented.

  12. Erosion resistance of bionic functional surfaces inspired from desert scorpions.

    PubMed

    Zhiwu, Han; Junqiu, Zhang; Chao, Ge; Li, Wen; Ren, Luquan

    2012-02-01

    In this paper, a bionic method is presented to improve the erosion resistance of machine components. Desert scorpion (Androctonus australis) is a typical animal living in sandy deserts, and may face erosive action of blowing sand at a high speed. Based on the idea of bionics and biologic experimental techniques, the mechanisms of the sand erosion resistance of desert scorpion were investigated. Results showed that the desert scorpions used special microtextures such as bumps and grooves to construct the functional surfaces to achieve the erosion resistance. In order to understand the erosion resistance mechanisms of such functional surfaces, the combination of computational and experimental research were carried out in this paper. The Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) method was applied to predict the erosion performance of the bionic functional surfaces. The result demonstrated that the microtextured surfaces exhibited better erosion resistance than the smooth surfaces. The further erosion tests indicated that the groove surfaces exhibited better erosion performance at 30° injection angle. In order to determine the effect of the groove dimensions on the erosion resistance, regression analysis of orthogonal multinomials was also performed under a certain erosion condition, and the regression equation between the erosion rate and groove distance, width, and height was established.

  13. A new species of the rare buthid scorpion genus Lissothus Vachon, 1948 from Central Algeria (Scorpiones, Buthidae).

    PubMed

    Lourenço, Wilson Roberto; Sadine, Salah Eddine

    2014-06-01

    Taxonomic considerations are given for the genus Lissothus Vachon, 1948 (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Two species are currently known, Lissothus bernardi Vachon, 1948 from Libya and Lissothus occidentalis Vachon, 1950 from Mauritania. In this contribution, a new species, Lissothus chaambi sp. n., is described from the desert of Central Algeria. The new species is most closely related to L. bernardi. The geographical distribution of the genus is discussed.

  14. 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. PMID:22268640

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

    PubMed

    Darbon, H; Weber, C; Braun, W

    1991-02-19

    Sequence-specific nuclear magnetic resonance assignments for the polypeptide backbone and for most of the amino acid side-chain protons, as well as the general folding of AaH IT, are described. AaH IT is a neurotoxin purified from the venom of the scorpion Androctonus australis Hector and is specifically active on the insect nervous system. The secondary structure and the hydrogen-bonding patterns in the regular secondary structure elements are deduced from nuclear Overhauser effects and the sequence locations of the slowly exchanging amide protons. The backbone folding is determined by distance geometry calculations with the DISMAN program. The regular secondary structure includes two and a half turns of alpha-helix running from residues 21 to 30 and a three-stranded antiparallel beta-sheet including peptides 3-5, 34-38, and 41-46. Two tight turns are present, one connecting the end of the alpha-helix to an external strand of the beta-sheet, i.e., turn 31-34, and another connecting this same strand to the central one, i.e., turn 38-41. These structure elements are very similar to the secondary structure reported in single crystals for either variant 3 from the scorpion Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing (CsE V3) or toxin II from the scorpion A. australis Hector (AaH II). The differences in the specificity of these related proteins, which are able to discriminate between mammalian and insect voltage-dependent sodium channels of excitable tissues, are most probably brought about by the position of the C-terminal peptide with regard to a hydrophobic surface common to all scorpion toxins examined thus far. This surface is made of an aromatic cluster that is surrounded by long hydrophobic side-chain residues, as well as the loops protruding out of it. Thus, the interaction of a given scorpion toxin with its receptor might well be governed by the presence of this solvent-exposed hydrophobic surface, whereas adjacent areas modulate the specificity of the interaction.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  17. Purification, characterization and molecular modelling of two toxin-like proteins from the Androctonus australis Hector venom.

    PubMed

    Srairi-Abid, N; Mansuelle, P; Mejri, T; Karoui, H; Rochat, H; Sampieri, F; El Ayeb, M

    2000-09-01

    Two toxin-like proteins (AahTL1 and AahTL3) were purified from the venom of the scorpion Androctonus australis Hector (Aah). AahTL1 and AahTL3 are the first non toxic proteins cross-reacting with AahI toxins group which indicates that these proteins can be used as a model of vaccins. In order to study structure-function relationships, their complete amino-acid sequences (66 residues) were determined, by automated Edman degradation. They show more than 50% of similarity with both AahI and AahIII antimammal toxins. Three-dimensional structural models of AahTL1 and AahTL3 constructed by homology suggest that the two proteins are structurally similar to antimammal scorpion alpha-toxins specific to voltage dependent Na+ channels. The models showed also that amino-acid changes between potent Aah toxins and both AahTL1 and AahTL3 disrupt the electrostatic potential gradient at their surface preventing their interaction with the receptor, which may explain their non toxicity.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:25456977

  20. Peptide Toxins in Solitary Wasp Venoms.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    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

  1. 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

  2. Hydrolysis of DNA by 17 snake venoms.

    PubMed

    de Roodt, Adolfo Rafael; Litwin, Silvana; Angel, Sergio O

    2003-08-01

    DNA hydrolysis caused by venoms of 17 species of snakes was studied by different methodologies. Endonucleolytic activity was tested by incubation of the venoms with the plasmid pBluescript and subsequent visualization of the electrophoretic patterns in 1% agarose gels stained with ethidium bromide. DNA was sequentially degraded, from supercoiled to opened circle, to linear form, in a concentration dependent manner. The highest hydrolytic activity was observed in Bothrops (B.) neuwiedii and Naja (N.) siamensis venoms. Exonucleolytic activity was analyzed on pBluescript digested with SmaI or EcoRI. All venoms caused complete hydrolysis after 2 h of incubation. SDS-PAGE analysis in gels containing calf thymus DNA showed that the hydrolytic bands were located at approximately 30 kDa. DNA degradation was studied by radial hydrolysis in 1% agarose gels containing calf thymus DNA plus ethidium bromide and visualized by UV light. Venom of B. neuwiedii showed the highest activity whereas those of B. ammodytoides and Ovophis okinavensis (P<0.05) showed the lowest activity. Antibodies against venom of B. neuwiedii or N. siamensis neutralized the DNAse activity of both venoms. In conclusion, venom from different snakes showed endo- and exonucleolytic activity on DNA. The inhibition of DNA hydrolysis by EDTA and heterologous antibodies suggests similarities in the structure of the venom components involved.

  3. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  4. Venomous Frogs Use Heads as Weapons.

    PubMed

    Jared, Carlos; Mailho-Fontana, Pedro Luiz; Antoniazzi, Marta Maria; Mendes, Vanessa Aparecida; Barbaro, Katia Cristina; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut; Brodie, Edmund D

    2015-08-17

    Venomous animals have toxins associated with delivery mechanisms that can introduce the toxins into another animal. Although most amphibian species produce or sequester noxious or toxic secretions in the granular glands of the skin to use as antipredator mechanisms, amphibians have been considered poisonous rather than venomous because delivery mechanisms are absent. The skin secretions of two Brazilian hylid frogs (Corythomantis greening and Aparasphenodon brunoi) are more toxic than the venoms of deadly venomous Brazilian pitvipers, genus Bothrops; C. greeningi secretion is 2-fold and A. brunoi secretion is 25-fold as lethal as Bothrops venom. Like the venoms of other animals, the skin secretions of these frogs show proteolytic and fibrinolytic activity and have hyaluronidase, which is nontoxic and nonproteolytic but promotes diffusion of toxins. These frogs have well-developed delivery mechanisms, utilizing bony spines on the skull that pierce the skin in areas with concentrations of skin glands. C. greeningi has greater development of head spines and enlarged skin glands producing a greater volume of secretion, while A. brunoi has more lethal venom. C. greeningi and A. brunoi have highly toxic skin secretions and an associated delivery mechanism; they are therefore venomous. Because even tiny amounts of these secretions introduced into a wound caused by the head spines could be dangerous, these frogs are capable of using their skin toxins as venoms against would-be predators.

  5. 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

  6. Proteome and peptidome profiling of spider venoms.

    PubMed

    Liang, Songping

    2008-10-01

    Spider venoms are an important source of novel molecules with different pharmacological properties. Recent technological developments of proteomics, especially mass spectrometry, have greatly promoted the systematic analysis of spider venom. The enormous diversity of venom components between spider species and the lack of complete genome sequence, and the limited database of protein and peptide sequences make spider venom profiling a challenging task and special considerations for technical strategies are required. This review highlights recently used methods for spider venom profiling. In general, spider venom profiling can be achieved in two parts: proteome profiling of the components with molecular weights above 10 kDa, and peptidome profiling of the components with a molecular weight of 10 kDa or under through the use of different methods. Venom proteomes are rich in various enzymes, hemocyanins, toxin-like proteins and many unknown proteins. Peptidomes are dominated by peptides with a mass of 3-6 kDa with three to five disulfide bonds. Although there are some similarities in peptide superfamily types of venoms from different spider species, the venom profile of each species is unique. The linkage of the peptidomic data with that of the cDNA approach is discussed briefly. Future challenges and perspectives are also highlighted in this review.

  7. Snake venom antibodies in Ecuadorian Indians.

    PubMed

    Theakston, R D; Reid, H A; Larrick, J W; Kaplan, J; Yost, J A

    1981-10-01

    Serum samples from 223 Waorani Indians, a tribe in eastern Ecuador, were investigated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for antibodies to snake venom. Seventy-eight per cent were positive, confirming the highest incidence and mortality from snake bite poisoning yet recorded in the world. Most samples were positive for more than one venom antibody. Antibodies were found to venoms of Bothrops viper in 60% of positive cases, of Micrurus coral snake in 21%, and of the bushmaster, Lachesis muta, in 18%. Further studies are needed to determine whether high venom-antibody levels afford protection against further snake envenoming. PMID:7299877

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:24464516

  11. 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

  12. Latarcins: versatile spider venom peptides.

    PubMed

    Dubovskii, Peter V; Vassilevski, Alexander A; Kozlov, Sergey A; Feofanov, Alexey V; Grishin, Eugene V; Efremov, Roman G

    2015-12-01

    Arthropod venoms feature the presence of cytolytic peptides believed to act synergetically with neurotoxins to paralyze prey or deter aggressors. Many of them are linear, i.e., lack disulfide bonds. When isolated from the venom, or obtained by other means, these peptides exhibit common properties. They are cationic; being mostly disordered in aqueous solution, assume amphiphilic α-helical structure in contact with lipid membranes; and exhibit general cytotoxicity, including antifungal, antimicrobial, hemolytic, and anticancer activities. To suit the pharmacological needs, the activity spectrum of these peptides should be modified by rational engineering. As an example, we provide a detailed review on latarcins (Ltc), linear cytolytic peptides from Lachesana tarabaevi spider venom. Diverse experimental and computational techniques were used to investigate the spatial structure of Ltc in membrane-mimicking environments and their effects on model lipid bilayers. The antibacterial activity of Ltc was studied against a panel of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. In addition, the action of Ltc on erythrocytes and cancer cells was investigated in detail with confocal laser scanning microscopy. In the present review, we give a critical account of the progress in the research of Ltc. We explore the relationship between Ltc structure and their biological activity and derive molecular characteristics, which can be used for optimization of other linear peptides. Current applications of Ltc and prospective use of similar membrane-active peptides are outlined.

  13. Researching nature's venoms and poisons.

    PubMed

    Warrell, David A

    2009-09-01

    Our environment hosts a vast diversity of venomous and poisonous animals and plants. Clinical toxinology is devoted to understanding, preventing and treating their effects in humans and domestic animals. In Sri Lanka, yellow oleander (Thevetia peruviana, Sinhala 'kaneru'), a widespread and accessible ornamental shrub, is a popular means of self-harm. Its toxic glycosides resemble those of foxglove, against which therapeutic antibodies have been raised. A randomised placebo-controlled trial proved that this treatment effectively reversed kaneru cardiotoxicity. There are strong scientific grounds for the use of activated charcoal, but encouraging results with multiple-dose activated charcoal were not confirmed by a recent more powerful study. Venom of Russell's viper (Daboia siamensis) in Burma (Myanmar) produces lethal effects in human victims. The case of a 17-year-old rice farmer is described with pathophysiological interpretations. During the first 9 days of hospital admission he suffered episodes of shock, coagulopathy, bleeding, acute renal failure, local tissue necrosis, generally increased capillary permeability and acute symptomatic hypoglycaemia with evidence of acute pituitary/adrenal insufficiency. Antivenom rapidly restored haemostatic function but failed to correct other effects of venom toxins incurred during the 3h before he could be treated.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-02-19

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

  15. Venom Evolution: Gene Loss Shapes Phenotypic Adaptation.

    PubMed

    Casewell, Nicholas R

    2016-09-26

    Snake venoms are variable protein mixtures with a multitude of bioactivities. New work shows, surprisingly, that it is the loss of toxin-encoding genes that strongly influences venom function in rattlesnakes, highlighting how gene loss can underpin adaptive phenotypic change. PMID:27676304

  16. Clinical course of bark scorpion envenomation managed without antivenom.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Ayrn; Ruha, Anne-Michelle

    2012-09-01

    Bark scorpion envenomation is potentially life threatening in children and traditionally treated with antivenom (AV). We sought to describe the clinical course, management, complications and outcome of children with severe scorpion envenomation treated with supportive care during a period when AV was unavailable. A retrospective chart review was performed, all children presenting to a referral hospital between September 1, 2004 and July 31, 2006 with severe scorpion envenomation not receiving AV, were included. A standardized data abstraction form was used to record time of symptom onset, time to healthcare facility (HCF), clinical findings, treatment, complications, and length of stay. Eighty-eight patients were included with mean age of 3.7 years (0.33-12). Mean time to symptom onset was 20 min (0-130) and mean time to HCF was 79 min (10-240). Incidence of clinical manifestations include: neuromuscular agitation, 100 %; opsoclonus, 97 %; hypersalivation, 81 %; tachycardia, 82 %; hypertension, 49 %; vomiting, 38 %; fever, 28 %; respiratory distress, 33 %; and hypoxia, 18 %. Complications included rhabdomyolysis in 18 (20 %) and aspiration in 12 (13 %) patients. Intubation was required in 24 % of patients. The most frequently used agents to control symptoms were benzodiazepines (98 %) followed by opioids (69 %). Intravenous fluids were given to 84 %. Mean length of stay was 29 h (range, 6-73 h). There were no deaths. In addition to the classic findings of neuromuscular hyperactivity, opsoclonus, and hypersalivation, a high incidence of hyperadrenergic findings and respiratory compromise are noted in this series. A significant number of patients required mechanical ventilation. Benzodiazpines and opioids were the most common medications used to control symptoms. PMID:22562239

  17. Reappraisal of Vipera aspis Venom Neurotoxicity

    PubMed Central

    Ferquel, Elisabeth; de Haro, Luc; Jan, Virginie; Guillemin, Isabelle; Jourdain, Sabine; Teynié, Alexandre; d'Alayer, Jacques; Choumet, Valérie

    2007-01-01

    Background The variation of venom composition with geography is an important aspect of intraspecific variability in the Vipera genus, although causes of this variability remain unclear. The diversity of snake venom is important both for our understanding of venomous snake evolution and for the preparation of relevant antivenoms to treat envenomations. A geographic intraspecific variation in snake venom composition was recently reported for Vipera aspis aspis venom in France. Since 1992, cases of human envenomation after Vipera aspis aspis bites in south-east France involving unexpected neurological signs were regularly reported. The presence of genes encoding PLA2 neurotoxins in the Vaa snake genome led us to investigate any neurological symptom associated with snake bites in other regions of France and in neighboring countries. In parallel, we used several approaches to characterize the venom PLA2 composition of the snakes captured in the same areas. Methodology/Principal Findings We conducted an epidemiological survey of snake bites in various regions of France. In parallel, we carried out the analysis of the genes and the transcripts encoding venom PLA2s. We used SELDI technology to study the diversity of PLA2 in various venom samples. Neurological signs (mainly cranial nerve disturbances) were reported after snake bites in three regions of France: Languedoc-Roussillon, Midi-Pyrénées and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. Genomes of Vipera aspis snakes from south-east France were shown to contain ammodytoxin isoforms never described in the genome of Vipera aspis from other French regions. Surprisingly, transcripts encoding venom neurotoxic PLA2s were found in snakes of Massif Central region. Accordingly, SELDI analysis of PLA2 venom composition confirmed the existence of population of neurotoxic Vipera aspis snakes in the west part of the Massif Central mountains. Conclusions/Significance The association of epidemiological studies to genetic, biochemical and

  18. 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

  19. Spider-venom peptides as therapeutics.

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

    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.

  20. Spider venomics: implications for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Pineda, Sandy S; Undheim, Eivind A B; Rupasinghe, Darshani B; Ikonomopoulou, Maria P; King, Glenn F

    2014-10-01

    Over a period of more than 300 million years, spiders have evolved complex venoms containing an extraordinary array of toxins for prey capture and defense against predators. The major components of most spider venoms are small disulfide-bridged peptides that are highly stable and resistant to proteolytic degradation. Moreover, many of these peptides have high specificity and potency toward molecular targets of therapeutic importance. This unique combination of bioactivity and stability has made spider-venom peptides valuable both as pharmacological tools and as leads for drug development. This review describes recent advances in spider-venom-based drug discovery pipelines. We discuss spider-venom-derived peptides that are currently under investigation for treatment of a diverse range of pathologies including pain, stroke and cancer.

  1. [Bites of venomous snakes in Switzerland].

    PubMed

    Plate, Andreas; Kupferschmidt, Hugo; Schneemann, Markus

    2016-06-01

    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. Honeybee venom immunotherapy: certainties and pitfalls.

    PubMed

    Bilò, M Beatrice; Antonicelli, Leonardo; Bonifazi, Floriano

    2012-11-01

    The honeybee is an interesting insect because of the fundamental agricultural role it plays, together with the composition of its venom, which presents new diagnostic and immunotherapeutic challenges. This article examines various aspects of honeybee venom allergy from epidemiology to diagnosis and treatment, with special emphasis on venom immunotherapy (VIT). Honeybee venom allergy represents a risk factor for severe systemic reaction in challenged allergic patients, for the diminished effectiveness of VIT, for more frequent side effects during VIT and relapse after cessation of treatment. Some strategies are available for reducing the risk of honeybee VIT-induced side effects; however, there is considerable room for further improvement in these all-important areas. At the same time, sensitized and allergic beekeepers represent unique populations for epidemiological, venom allergy immunopathogenesis and VIT mechanism studies.

  3. 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

  4. Spider venomics: implications for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Pineda, Sandy S; Undheim, Eivind A B; Rupasinghe, Darshani B; Ikonomopoulou, Maria P; King, Glenn F

    2014-10-01

    Over a period of more than 300 million years, spiders have evolved complex venoms containing an extraordinary array of toxins for prey capture and defense against predators. The major components of most spider venoms are small disulfide-bridged peptides that are highly stable and resistant to proteolytic degradation. Moreover, many of these peptides have high specificity and potency toward molecular targets of therapeutic importance. This unique combination of bioactivity and stability has made spider-venom peptides valuable both as pharmacological tools and as leads for drug development. This review describes recent advances in spider-venom-based drug discovery pipelines. We discuss spider-venom-derived peptides that are currently under investigation for treatment of a diverse range of pathologies including pain, stroke and cancer. PMID:25406008

  5. [Bites of venomous snakes in Switzerland].

    PubMed

    Plate, Andreas; Kupferschmidt, Hugo; Schneemann, Markus

    2016-06-01

    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. PMID:27269771

  6. 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. PMID:24176716

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  10. 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

  11. 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. PMID:27158113

  12. 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.

  13. [Venomous and poisonous animals. IV. Envenomations by venomous aquatic vertebrates].

    PubMed

    Bédry, R; De Haro, L

    2007-04-01

    Epidemiological information on marine envenomation is generally less extensive in Europe than in tropical regions where these injuries are more severe and the need for medical advice is more frequent. For these reasons use of regional Poison Control Centers in the area where the injury occurs must be encouraged. The purpose of this review is to describe envenomation by bony fish (lion fish, stone fish, and catfish), cartilaginous fish (stingrays and poisonous sharks), or other venomous aquatic vertebrates (moray-eels and marine snakes). Understanding of these envenomation syndromes is important not only in tropical areas but also in Europe where importation of dangerous species has increased in recent years. PMID:17691425

  14. [Venomous and poisonous animals. IV. Envenomations by venomous aquatic vertebrates].

    PubMed

    Bédry, R; De Haro, L

    2007-04-01

    Epidemiological information on marine envenomation is generally less extensive in Europe than in tropical regions where these injuries are more severe and the need for medical advice is more frequent. For these reasons use of regional Poison Control Centers in the area where the injury occurs must be encouraged. The purpose of this review is to describe envenomation by bony fish (lion fish, stone fish, and catfish), cartilaginous fish (stingrays and poisonous sharks), or other venomous aquatic vertebrates (moray-eels and marine snakes). Understanding of these envenomation syndromes is important not only in tropical areas but also in Europe where importation of dangerous species has increased in recent years.

  15. 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.

  16. Prey-sensing and orientational behaviors of sand scorpions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brownell, Philip

    2000-03-01

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

  17. Scorpion envenomation in children: an analysis of 99 cases.

    PubMed

    Uluğ, Mehmet; Yaman, Yöntem; Yapici, Ferda; Can-Uluğ, Nuray

    2012-01-01

    Scorpion envenomation is a life-threatening emergency and a common public health problem in many regions of the world, particularly in children. The aim of this retrospective descriptive study was to describe the epidemiological characteristics and some common clinical symptoms and signs, laboratory findings and outcomes among humans in the southeast Anatolia region of Turkey (Mardin, Midyat). The sting cases mostly occurred in the month of July (36.4%) when the annual temperature is the highest. The majority of the cases were in the 6-10 years of age group. Most of the stings were seen in exposed extremities (92.9%), mainly in the lower limbs (58.6%). Patients in the emergency units showed signs of local and systemic effects, but no lethality occurred except one. Local and autonomic nervous system effects were most frequently characterized by local pain, hyperemia, swelling, itching, malaise, dry mouth, sweating, and thirst. Neurological, cardiovascular and respiratory disorders were uncommon. The global mortality recorded was 10 per 1000 cases. In conclusion, we propose that this information is beneficial for health education and prevention of scorpion sting cases. PMID:22734297

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

    PubMed

    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

    2012-09-01

    An impressive biodiversity (>10,000 species) of marine snails (suborder Toxoglossa or superfamily Conoidea) have complex venoms, each containing approximately 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.

  19. A new mid-Silurian aquatic scorpion-one step closer to land?

    PubMed

    Waddington, Janet; Rudkin, David M; Dunlop, Jason A

    2015-01-01

    One of the oldest known fossil scorpions, a new species from the mid-Silurian Eramosa Formation (430 myr) of Ontario, Canada, exhibits several surprising features. The depositional environment and associated biota indicate a marine habitat; however, the leg morphology of this scorpion, which has a short tarsus in common with all Recent scorpions, suggests that a key adaptation for terrestrial locomotion, the ability to support its weight on a subterminal 'foot', appeared remarkably early in the scorpion fossil record. Specimens are preserved intact and undisturbed in a splayed posture typical of moults rather than carcasses. We postulate that these animals were aquatic, but occasionally ventured into extremely shallow water, or onto a transient subaerially exposed surface while moulting, before returning to deeper water. Shed exuviae were preserved in situ by rapid overgrowth of bacterial biofilm.

  20. Angiotensin converting enzyme of Thalassophryne nattereri venom.

    PubMed

    da Costa Marques, Maria Elizabeth; de Araújo Tenório, Humberto; Dos Santos, Claudio Wilian Victor; Dos Santos, Daniel Moreira; de Lima, Maria Elena; Pereira, Hugo Juarez Vieira

    2016-10-01

    Animal venoms are complex mixtures, including peptides, proteins (i.e., enzymes), and other compounds produced by animals in predation, digestion, and defense. These molecules have been investigated regarding their molecular mechanisms associated with physiological action and possible pharmacological applications. Recently, we have described the presence of a type of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) activity in the venom of Thalassophryne nattereri. It is a zinc-dependent peptidase with a wide range of effects. By removing dipeptide His-Leu from terminal C, the ACE converts angiotensinI (AngI) into angiotensin II (AngII) and inactivates bradykinin, there by regulating blood pressure and electrolyte homeostasis. The fractionation of T. nattereri venom in CM-Sepharose indicated a peak (CM2) with angiotensin-converting activity, converting AngI into Ang II. Electrophoresis on polyacrylamide gel (12%) revealed one band with 30kDa for CM2 similar in size to natterins, which are toxins with proteolytic activity found in T. nattereri venom. Mass spectrometry indicated that the protein sequence of the ACE purified from T. nattereri venom corresponds to natterin 1. The isolated protein has also demonstrated inhibition through captopril and EDTA and is characterized as a classic ACE. Thus, the isolated enzyme purified from T. nattereri venom is the first ACE isolated from fish venom.

  1. Serological analysis of venoms and antivenins*

    PubMed Central

    Schöttler, W. H. A.

    1955-01-01

    The immunological relationship between the venoms of six species of the snake genus Bothrops (alternata, atrox, cotiara, jararaca, jararacussu, neuwiedii) was investigated by assay against the corresponding species-specific antivenins in more than 11,000 intravenous and subcutaneous mouse tests. The observations were statistically analysed after the probit method. Both ways of antivenin assay gave numerically identical results, within the limits of error, in the majority of the tests. The width of the neutralization spectra of the monovalent sera anti-atrox, anti-jararaca, and anti-neuwiedii against the heterologous venoms is similar to that of a polyvalent antivenin obtained by immunization with all the six species of venom. The titre of a polyvalent antibothropic serum may vary with the venom species used in the assay. The following are discussed: reasons for occasional difficulties in reproducing results, variations in the toxicity of different samples of the same venom species, divergences in the susceptibility of various species of laboratory animals to venom, and inter-relations between venoms and antivenins. PMID:13240449

  2. Angiotensin converting enzyme of Thalassophryne nattereri venom.

    PubMed

    da Costa Marques, Maria Elizabeth; de Araújo Tenório, Humberto; Dos Santos, Claudio Wilian Victor; Dos Santos, Daniel Moreira; de Lima, Maria Elena; Pereira, Hugo Juarez Vieira

    2016-10-01

    Animal venoms are complex mixtures, including peptides, proteins (i.e., enzymes), and other compounds produced by animals in predation, digestion, and defense. These molecules have been investigated regarding their molecular mechanisms associated with physiological action and possible pharmacological applications. Recently, we have described the presence of a type of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) activity in the venom of Thalassophryne nattereri. It is a zinc-dependent peptidase with a wide range of effects. By removing dipeptide His-Leu from terminal C, the ACE converts angiotensinI (AngI) into angiotensin II (AngII) and inactivates bradykinin, there by regulating blood pressure and electrolyte homeostasis. The fractionation of T. nattereri venom in CM-Sepharose indicated a peak (CM2) with angiotensin-converting activity, converting AngI into Ang II. Electrophoresis on polyacrylamide gel (12%) revealed one band with 30kDa for CM2 similar in size to natterins, which are toxins with proteolytic activity found in T. nattereri venom. Mass spectrometry indicated that the protein sequence of the ACE purified from T. nattereri venom corresponds to natterin 1. The isolated protein has also demonstrated inhibition through captopril and EDTA and is characterized as a classic ACE. Thus, the isolated enzyme purified from T. nattereri venom is the first ACE isolated from fish venom. PMID:27327905

  3. Identifying and managing Hymenoptera venom allergy.

    PubMed

    Matron, Patricia Kane; Timms, Victoria; Fitzsimons, Roisin

    2016-05-25

    Hymenoptera venom allergy is an immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated hypersensitivity to the venom of insects from the Hymenoptera order and is a common cause of anaphylaxis. A diagnosis of venom allergy is made by taking an accurate medical, family and social history, alongside specific allergy testing. Systemic reactions to Hymenoptera venom occur in a small proportion of the population; these range from mild to life-threatening in severity. Treatment for local reactions involves the use of cold packs, antihistamines, analgesia and topical corticosteroids to help alleviate swelling, pain and pruritus. Venom immunotherapy is the treatment of choice for reducing the incidence of future anaphylactic reactions in individuals who have signs of respiratory obstruction or hypotension. Venom immunotherapy is the most effective treatment in reduction of life-threatening reactions to venom, and can improve quality of life for individuals. Treatment should only be provided by experienced staff who are able to provide emergency care for anaphylaxis and life-threatening episodes. A risk assessment to deliver treatment should be undertaken before treatment is commenced. PMID:27224630

  4. 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.

  5. Un remarquable scorpion fossile dans l'ambre du Liban. Implications dans la phylogénie des Buthoidea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lourenço, Wilson R.

    2001-05-01

    A specimen belonging to a new family, genus and species of fossil scorpion, Archaeobuthidae fam. n., Archaeobuthus estephani gen. n., sp. n., is described from the Early Cretaceous amber of Lebanon. This is the first scorpion to have been found and described from Lebanese amber (±125 Myr). In view of the fact that Lebanese amber is the oldest known amber containing a high diversity of biological inclusions, it is highly unlikely that an older scorpion specimen in amber will ever be found.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cala-Riquelme, Franklyn; Colombo, Marco

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Cala-Riquelme, Franklyn; Colombo, Marco

    2011-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. [Venomous and poisonous animals--I. Overview].

    PubMed

    Chippaux, J P; Goyffon, M

    2006-06-01

    Venomous animals that are able to innoculate or inject venom and poisonous animals that cannot inject venom but are toxic when ingested belong to all zoological groups. They can be encountered worldwide in any ecosystem on land and at sea but they are more common and more dangerous in tropical areas. This first article of a series to appear in the next issues of Medecine Tropicale presents an overview of species involved in envenomations and poisonings. In addition to a brief reviewing geographic risks and circumstances in which bites, stings or ingestion occur, some information is provided about antivenim therapy, the only etiological treatment.

  15. 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.

  16. 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 Central

    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.

    2016-01-01

    venomous 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 i