Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.299, No.4, 562-568, 2002
Two new scorpion toxins that target voltage-gated Ca2+ and Na+ channels
This report describes the isolation, primary structure determination, and functional characterization of two similar toxins from the scorpion Parabuthus granulatus named kurtoxin-like I and II (KLI and KLII, respectively). KLII from P. granulatus is identical to kurtoxin from Parabuthus transvaalicus (a 63 amino-acid long toxin) whereas KLI is a new peptide containing 62 amino acid residues closely packed by four disulfide bridges with a molecular mass of 7244. Functional assays showed that both toxins, KLI and kurtoxin from P. granulatus, potently inhibit native voltage-gated T-type Ca2+ channel activity in mouse male germ cells. In addition, KLI was shown to significantly affect the gating mechanisms of recombinant Na+ channels and weakly block alpha(1) 3.3 Ca-v channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes. KLI and kurtoxin from P. granulatus represent new probes to study the role of ion channels in germ cells, as well as in cardiac and neural tissue. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.