Structural and functional characterization of toxic peptides purified from the venom of the Colombian scorpion Tityus macrochirus
Rincón Cortés, Clara Andrea | 2019
The soluble venom of the scorpion Tityus macrochirus was separated by chromatographic procedures and three homogeneous peptides were obtained and their primary structures were determined. They were called: Tma1-Tma3, from the abbreviated name of the scorpion. Tma1 is a peptide containing 65 amino acids with four disulfide linkages and a molecular weight of 7386.2 Da. It is a mammalian toxin, shown to affect human sodium-channels sub-types hNav1.6 and hNav1.4. Tma2 and Tma3 are peptides containing 69 amino acids linked by four disulfide bonds, molecular weights 7819.7 and 7830.0 Da, respectively. They do not affect human sodium-channels but are lethal to insects (crickets). A phylogenic analysis of the three peptides and those of other toxic peptides isolated from the genus Tityus and Centruroides were grouped together and analyzed, permitting to obtain a topology with two main clades, one includes most sodium-channel anti-insect scorpion toxins and others includes mostly sodium-channel scorpion toxins anti-mammalian. Tma1 segregates among a group of well-studied β-class toxins of other Tityus species such as T. discrepans, T. obscurus and T. pachyurus. Tma2 and Tma3 are associated with anti-insect toxins, particularly with one of T. obscurus. This phylogenetic analysis confirms and enforces our experimental results obtained with these three new sodium-channel scorpion toxins.