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YEAR : 2014

AaTX1, from Androctonus australis scorpion venom: Purification, synthesis and characterization in dopaminergic neurons

AUTHORS : Mlayah-Bellalouna S, Dufour M, Mabrouk S, Mejdoub, H, Carlier E, Othman H, Belghazi M, Tarbe M, Goaillard JM, Gigmes D, Seagar M, El Ayeb M, Debanne D, Srairi-Abid N.

JOURNAL : Toxicon
N° Pubmed : 25240295

We have purified the AaTX1 peptide from the Androctonus australis (Aa) scorpion venom, previously cloned and sequenced by Legros and collaborators in a venom gland cDNA library from Aa scorpion. AaTX1 belongs to the α-Ktx15 scorpion toxins family (αKTx15-4). Characterized members of this family share high sequence similarity and were found to block preferentially IA-type voltage-dependent K+ currents in rat cerebellum granular cells in an irreversible way. In the current work, we studied the effects of native AaTX1 (nAaTX1) using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of IA current in substantia nigra pars compacta dopaminergic neurons. At 250 nM, AaTX1 induces 90% decrease in IA current amplitude. Its activity was found to be comparable to that of rAmmTX3 (αKTx15-3), which differs by only one conserved (R/K) amino acid in the 19th position suggesting that the difference between R19 and K19 in AaTX1 and AmmTX3, respectively, may not be critical for the toxins' effects. Molecular docking of both toxins with Kv4.3 channel is in agreement with experimental data and suggests the implication of the functional dyade K27-Y36 in toxin-channel interactions. Since AaTX1 is not highly abundant in Aa venom, it was synthesized as well as AmmTX3. Synthetic peptides, native AaTX1 and rAmmTX3 peptides showed qualitatively the same pharmacological activity. Overall, these data identify a new biologically active toxin that belongs to a family of peptides active on Kv4.3 channel.