PubMed 23743216

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Nav1 , Nav1.1 , Nav1.2 , Nav1.4 , Nav1.5 , Nav1.6

Title: Two recombinant α-like scorpion toxins from Mesobuthus eupeus with differential affinity toward insect and mammalian Na(+) channels.

Authors: Limei Zhu, Steve Peigneur, Bin Gao, Jan Tytgat, Shunyi Zhu

Journal, date & volume: Biochimie, 2013 Sep , 95, 1732-40

PubMed link:

α-Scorpion toxins are modulators of voltage-gated Na(+) channels (Navs), which bind to the receptor site 3 to inhibit the fast inactivation of the channels. MeuNaTxα-12 and MeuNaTxα-13 are two new α-scorpion toxin-like peptides identified by cDNA cloning from the scorpion Mesobuthus eupeus with unknown functions. Here, we report their recombinant production, oxidative refolding, structural and functional features. By in vitro renaturation from bacterial inclusion bodies and further purification through reverse phase high-performance liquid chromatography, we obtained high purity recombinant products with a native-like conformation identified by circular dichroism analysis. Two-electrode voltage clamp recordings on five cloned mammalian Nav subtypes (rNav1.1, rNav1.2, rNav1.4, rNav1.5, and mNav1.6) and the insect counterpart DmNav1, all expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes, showed that these two peptides inhibited rapid inactivation of the sensitive Na(+) channels with significant preference for DmNav1. The half maximal effective concentrations (EC50) of MeuNaTxα-12 and MeuNaTxα-13 for this channel are 19.95 ± 2.99 nM and 65.50 ± 7.28 nM, respectively, showing 45 and 38 folds higher affinities than for rNav1.1, the most sensitive mammalian channel among the five isoforms. Our functional data confirms that these two peptides belong to the α-like scorpion toxin group. A combined analysis of the site 3 sequences and the pharmacological data illuminates the importance of the loop LD4:S5-S6 of the channel in interacting with the toxins whereas affinity variations between MeuNaTxα-12 and MeuNaTxα-13 highlight a key functional role of a cationic side chain at position 28 of MeuNaTxα-12. Successful expression together with structural and functional characterization of these two new α-like scorpion toxins lays basis for further studies of their structure-function relationship.