Characterization of venom components from the scorpion Androctonus crassicauda of Turkey: peptides and genes.

Caliskan F., Garcia B. I., Coronas F. I. V., Batista C. V. F., Zamudio F. Z., Possani L. D.

Toxicon : official journal of the International Society on Toxinology, vol.48, no.1, pp.12-22, 2006 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


The soluble venom from the scorpion Androctonus crassicauda was fractionated by high performance liquid chromatography. At least 44 different sub-fractions were resolved and collected for finger print mass analysis using an electrospray mass spectrometer. This analysis revealed the presence of 80 distinct molecular mass components, from which five were further characterized. A peptide, named Acral was fully sequenced. It contains 58 amino acid residues cross-bridged by six cysteines forming three disulfide pairs, with a molecular mass of 6497 Da. A second purified peptide named Acra2 was partially sequenced with a molecular mass of 7849 Da. Acral is toxic and Acra2 is lethal to mice, at the dose assayed. Additionally, a cDNA library of the venomous gland of one specimen was prepared and several clones were obtained among which is one that codes for Acral. Three analog gene sequences were found with point mutations either in the section that corresponds to the mature peptide or to the signal peptide. The signal peptide is 22 amino acid residues long. Several other gene sequences obtained suggest the presence in this venom of three distinct groups of peptides, among which are peptides similar to known Na+-channel specific toxins of other scorpions. A new type of peptide was identified with odd number of cysteines (seven), allowing the formation of heterodimers with molecular masses in the range of 16,000 atomic mass units (a.m.u.) (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.