Characterization of scorpion alpha-like toxin group using two new toxins from the scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus
Hamon, Alain × Gilles, Nicolas Sautière, Pierre Martinage, Arlette Kopeyan, Charles Ulens, Chris Tytgat, Jan Lancelin, Jean-Marc Gordon, Dalia #
European Journal of Biochemistry vol:269 issue:16 pages:3920-33
Two novel toxins, Lqh6 and Lqh7, isolated from the venom of the scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus, have in their sequence a molecular signature (8Q/KPE10) associated with a recently defined group of alpha-toxins that target Na channels, namely the alpha-like toxins [reviewed in Gordon, D., Savarin, P., Gurevitz, M. & Zinn-Justin, S. (1998) J. Toxicol. Toxin Rev. 17, 131-159]. Lqh6 and Lqh7 are highly toxic to insects and mice, and inhibit the binding of alpha-toxins to cockroach neuronal membranes. Although they kill rodents by intracerebroventricular injection, they do not inhibit the binding of antimammal alpha-toxins (e.g. Lqh2) to rat brain synaptosomes, not even at high concentrations. Furthermore, in voltage-clamp experiments, rat brain Na channels IIA (rNav1.2A) expressed in Xenopus oocytes are not affected by Lqh6 nor by Lqh7 below 3 micro m. In contrast, muscular Na channels (rNav1.4 and hNav1.5) expressed in the same cells respond to nanomolar concentrations of Lqh6 and Lqh7 by slowing of Na current inactivation and a leftward shift of the peak conductance-voltage curve. The structural and pharmacological properties of the new toxins are compared to those of other scorpion alpha-toxins in order to re-examine the hallmarks previously set for the alpha-like toxin group.