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Wide phylogenetic distribution of Scorpine and long-chain beta-KTx-like peptides in scorpion venoms: identification of "orphan" components

, : Wide phylogenetic distribution of Scorpine and long-chain beta-KTx-like peptides in scorpion venoms: identification of "orphan" components. Peptides 28(1): 31-37

Scorpine and toxins specific for potassium channels of the family beta (beta-Ktx) are two types of structurally related scorpion venom components, characterized by an unusually long extended N-terminal segment, followed by a Cys-rich domain with some resemblance to other scorpion toxins. In this communication, we report evidence supporting the ubiquitous presence of Scorpine and beta-KTx-like polypeptides and their precursors in scorpions of the genus Tityus of the family Buthidae, but also included is the first example of such peptides in scorpions from the family Iuridae. Seven new beta-KTxs or Scorpine-like peptides and precursors are reported: five from the genus Tityus (T. costatus, T. discrepans and T. trivittatus) and two from Hadrurus gertschi. The cDNA precursors for all of these peptides were obtained by molecular cloning and their presence in the venoms were confirmed for various peptides. Analysis of the sequences revealed the existence of at least three distinct groups: (1) beta-KTx-like peptides from buthids; (2) Scorpine-like peptides from scorpionid and iurid scorpions; (3) heterogeneous peptides similar to BmTXKbeta of buthids and iurids. The biological function for most of these peptides is not well known; that is why they are here considered "orphan" peptides.


PMID: 17141373

DOI: 10.1016/j.peptides.2006.06.012

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