Parabutoporin (PP) from the South African scorpion Parabuthus schlechteri is a 45-mer lysine-rich and cysteine-free peptide. At micromolar concentrations it has antimicrobial effects against G+ and G- bacteria and is antifungal as well.
However, at submicromolar concentrations, parabutoporin also directly interferes with cellular functions of the human innate immune system, especially polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN): parabutoporin acts as a chemoattractant for neutrophils, induces their degranulation, while delaying constitutive neutrophil apoptosis. In addition, it potently inhibits induced superoxide production.
Different signalling pathways regulating these biochemical processes were identified as targets of parabutoporin. Therefore, parabutoporin is a well documented scorpion venom peptide with immuno-regulatory properties beyond its antibiotic effects.