Two recombinant depressant scorpion neurotoxins differentially affecting mammalian sodium channels
Yuan, Yuzhe × Luo, Lan Peigneur, Steve Tytgat, Jan Zhu, Shunyi #
Toxicon vol:55 issue:8 pages:1425-1433
The scorpion depressant toxins are a group of evolutionarily conserved polypeptides targeting sodium channels, which show preferential ability to induce flaccid paralysis in insects, making them attractive candidates for the construction of transgenic plants or viral vectors to control pests. In this study, two new depressant toxin-like peptides (BmKITc and BmKITc2) differing only at position 52 (Lys for Thr) were produced in Escherichia coil. Circular dichroism analysis indicated that these two recombinant peptides display a typical structural feature similar to native scorpion toxins. They both cause a maintained current component at the last phase of inactivation of the insect sodium channel DmNav1/tipE expressed in Xeno pus oocytes and interestingly, they do not produce a beta effect despite of their primary structure as beta-toxins. Furthermore, an inhibitory effect with BmKITc but not with BmKITc2 was observed on TTX-R sodium currents in rat DRG neurons. We hypothesize that such differential potency highlights a crucial role of lysine 52 in channel selectivity. Our results therefore indicate that, in spite of the general idea, not all scorpion depressant toxins interact with mammalian and/or insect sodium channels in the same manner. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.