scorpion venoms


Summary: Venoms from animals of the order Scorpionida of the class Arachnida. They contain neuro- and hemotoxins, enzymes, and various other factors that may release acetylcholine and catecholamines from nerve endings. Of the several protein toxins that have been characterized, most are immunogenic.

Top Publications

  1. Schiavon E, Pedraza Escalona M, Gurrola G, Olamendi Portugal T, Corzo G, Wanke E, et al. Negative-shift activation, current reduction and resurgent currents induced by ?-toxins from Centruroides scorpions in sodium channels. Toxicon. 2012;59:283-93 pubmed publisher
    The ?-toxins purified from the New World scorpion venoms of the Centruroides species affect several voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) and thus are essential tools not only for the discrimination of different channel sub-types but ..
  2. Fletcher P, Fletcher M, Weninger K, Anderson T, Martin B. Vesicle-associated membrane protein (VAMP) cleavage by a new metalloprotease from the Brazilian scorpion Tityus serrulatus. J Biol Chem. 2010;285:7405-16 pubmed publisher
    ..We have isolated antarease, a metalloprotease from fraction nu that cleaves VAMP2, and report its amino acid sequence. ..
  3. Takacs Z, Toups M, Kollewe A, Johnson E, Cuello L, Driessens G, et al. A designer ligand specific for Kv1.3 channels from a scorpion neurotoxin-based library. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009;106:22211-6 pubmed publisher
    ..This scaffold-based/target-biased strategy overcomes many obstacles to production of selective toxins. ..
  4. Rodriguez de la Vega R, Schwartz E, Possani L. Mining on scorpion venom biodiversity. Toxicon. 2010;56:1155-61 pubmed publisher
    b>Scorpion venoms are complex mixtures of dozens or even hundreds of distinct proteins, many of which are inter-genome active elements...
  5. Yi H, Qiu S, Wu Y, Li W, Wang B. Differential molecular information of maurotoxin peptide recognizing IK(Ca) and Kv1.2 channels explored by computational simulation. BMC Struct Biol. 2011;11:3 pubmed publisher
    ..2 channels, but also provide novel structural clues that will help in the designing of more selective molecular probes to discriminate between these two channels. ..
  6. Chen Z, Hu Y, Yang W, He Y, Feng J, Wang B, et al. Hg1, novel peptide inhibitor specific for Kv1.3 channels from first scorpion Kunitz-type potassium channel toxin family. J Biol Chem. 2012;287:13813-21 pubmed publisher
    ..3 channels. Their structural and functional diversity strongly suggest that Kunitz-type toxins are a new source to screen and design potential peptides for diagnosing and treating Kv1.3-mediated autoimmune diseases...
  7. Zhang J, Yarov Yarovoy V, Scheuer T, Karbat I, Cohen L, Gordon D, et al. Mapping the interaction site for a ?-scorpion toxin in the pore module of domain III of voltage-gated Na(+) channels. J Biol Chem. 2012;287:30719-28 pubmed publisher
    ..Binding of ?- and ?-scorpion toxins to two distinct, pseudo-symmetrically organized receptor sites on Na(V) channels acts synergistically to modify channel gating and paralyze prey. ..
  8. Hakim A, Sahnoun Z, Kallel H, Kassis M, Bouaziz M, Zeghal K. Beneficial effects of high dobutamine doses on hemodynamic perturbations induced by Buthus occitanus tunetanus venom in rats. Med Sci Monit. 2009;15:BR71-4 pubmed
  9. Leipold E, Borges A, Heinemann S. Scorpion ?-toxin interference with NaV channel voltage sensor gives rise to excitatory and depressant modes. J Gen Physiol. 2012;139:305-19 pubmed publisher
    ..The results are best explained by a two-state voltage-sensor trapping model in that bound scorpion ? toxin slows the activation as well as the deactivation kinetics of the voltage sensor in domain 2. ..

More Information


  1. D Suze G, Schwartz E, García Gómez B, Sevcik C, Possani L. Molecular cloning and nucleotide sequence analysis of genes from a cDNA library of the scorpion Tityus discrepans. Biochimie. 2009;91:1010-9 pubmed publisher
    ..The N-terminal amino acid sequence of several peptides is reported here for the first time. A phylogenetic tree analysis is also reported, as well as three three-dimensional models of representative toxins...
  2. Zhang J, Yarov Yarovoy V, Scheuer T, Karbat I, Cohen L, Gordon D, et al. Structure-function map of the receptor site for ?-scorpion toxins in domain II of voltage-gated sodium channels. J Biol Chem. 2011;286:33641-51 pubmed publisher
  3. Zhao Z, Ma Y, Dai C, Zhao R, Li S, Wu Y, et al. Imcroporin, a new cationic antimicrobial peptide from the venom of the scorpion Isometrus maculates. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2009;53:3472-7 pubmed publisher
    ..These results revealed that imcroporin could be considered a potential anti-infective drug or lead compound, especially for treating antibiotic-resistant pathogens...
  4. Cao P, Yu J, Lu W, Cai X, Wang Z, Gu Z, et al. Expression and purification of an antitumor-analgesic peptide from the venom of Mesobuthus martensii Karsch by small ubiquitin-related modifier fusion in Escherichia coli. Biotechnol Prog. 2010;26:1240-4 pubmed publisher
    ..The further writhing experiment showed that the rAGAP had an intensive analgesic effect. The expression strategy presented in this study allows convenient high yield and easy purification of the rAGAP with native sequences. ..
  5. Zhu M, Tao J, Tan M, Yang H, Ji Y. U-shaped dose-dependent effects of BmK AS, a unique scorpion polypeptide toxin, on voltage-gated sodium channels. Br J Pharmacol. 2009;158:1895-903 pubmed publisher
    ..1 or 100 nM BmK AS in the oocytes or ND7-23 cells respectively. BmK AS modulated the VGSCs in a unique U-shaped dose-dependent manner, which could be due to the opposing effects of binding to two distinct receptor sites on the VGSCs. ..
  6. Gurevitz M. Mapping of scorpion toxin receptor sites at voltage-gated sodium channels. Toxicon. 2012;60:502-11 pubmed publisher
    ..The other point of interaction between the toxin and the channel has not yet been defined and may involve channel residues of either the Pore-module or the Gating-module. ..
  7. Zhu J, Tong X, Cao C, Wu G, Zhang N, Wu H. Solution structure of BmKalphaTx11, a toxin from the venom of the Chinese scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010;391:627-33 pubmed publisher
    ..The mechanism for stabilizing the geometry of the 'NC-domain' in wide-type scorpion alpha-toxins is also discussed. ..
  8. Chen P, Kuyucak S. Developing a comparative docking protocol for the prediction of peptide selectivity pro?les: investigation of potassium channel toxins. Toxins (Basel). 2012;4:110-38 pubmed publisher
  9. Chen R, Chung S. Engineering a potent and specific blocker of voltage-gated potassium channel Kv1.3, a target for autoimmune diseases. Biochemistry. 2012;51:1976-82 pubmed publisher
    ..We show that the IC(50) values predicted for three toxins and three channels match closely with experiment. Kv1.3 is half-blocked by 0.2 pM mutant OSK1; it is >10000-fold more specific for this channel than for Kv1.1 and Kv1.2. ..
  10. Dutta A, Deshpande S. Indian red scorpion venom-induced augmentation of cardio-respiratory reflexes and pulmonary edema involve the release of histamine. Toxicon. 2011;57:193-8 pubmed publisher
    ..9 cells/mm³). These observations indicate that venom-induced pulmonary edema and augmentation of PBG reflexe are mediated through mast cells by involving H? receptors. ..
  11. Li Q, Zhao Z, Zhou D, Chen Y, Hong W, Cao L, et al. Virucidal activity of a scorpion venom peptide variant mucroporin-M1 against measles, SARS-CoV and influenza H5N1 viruses. Peptides. 2011;32:1518-25 pubmed publisher
  12. Kumar G, Upadhyay S, Mathew M, Sarma S. Solution structure of BTK-2, a novel hK(v)1.1 inhibiting scorpion toxin, from the eastern Indian scorpion Mesobuthus tamulus. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011;1814:459-69 pubmed publisher
  13. Boyer L, Theodorou A, Berg R, Mallie J, Chávez Méndez A, García Ubbelohde W, et al. Antivenom for critically ill children with neurotoxicity from scorpion stings. N Engl J Med. 2009;360:2090-8 pubmed publisher
    ..We hypothesized that a scorpion-specific F(ab')(2) antivenom would promptly resolve clinical symptoms in children with this syndrome...
  14. Qiu S, Yi H, Liu H, Cao Z, Wu Y, Li W. Molecular Information of charybdotoxin blockade in the large conductance calcium-activated potassium channel. J Chem Inf Model. 2009;49:1831-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Together, all these information is helpful to reveal the diverse interactions between scorpion toxins and potassium channels and can accelerate the molecular engineering of specific inhibitor design. ..
  15. Remijsen Q, Verdonck F, Willems J. Parabutoporin, a cationic amphipathic peptide from scorpion venom: much more than an antibiotic. Toxicon. 2010;55:180-5 pubmed publisher
    ..Therefore, parabutoporin is a well documented scorpion venom peptide with immuno-regulatory properties beyond its antibiotic effects...
  16. Abdoon N, Fatani A. Correlation between blood pressure, cytokines and nitric oxide in conscious rabbits injected with Leiurus quinquestriatus quinquestriatus scorpion venom. Toxicon. 2009;54:471-80 pubmed publisher
    ..001) and nitric oxide (P<0.0001) observed in the present study supports the evidence for the role of these potent vasodilators in the terminal hypotension that is usually observed in humans and animals after envenomation. ..
  17. Morgenstern D, Rohde B, King G, Tal T, Sher D, Zlotkin E. The tale of a resting gland: transcriptome of a replete venom gland from the scorpion Hottentotta judaicus. Toxicon. 2011;57:695-703 pubmed publisher
    ..This study therefore provides an important foundation for future studies into the dynamics of transcription in the venom glands of scorpions and other venomous animals...
  18. Ma Y, He Y, Zhao R, Wu Y, Li W, Cao Z. Extreme diversity of scorpion venom peptides and proteins revealed by transcriptomic analysis: implication for proteome evolution of scorpion venom arsenal. J Proteomics. 2012;75:1563-76 pubmed publisher
    ..Our results provide an insight into the recruitment pattern of the scorpion venom arsenal for the first time...
  19. Stehling E, Sforça M, Zanchin N, Oyama S, Pignatelli A, Belluzzi O, et al. Looking over toxin-K(+) channel interactions. Clues from the structural and functional characterization of ?-KTx toxin Tc32, a Kv1.3 channel blocker. Biochemistry. 2012;51:1885-94 pubmed publisher
    ..In addition, we found that, regardless of whether the dyad motif is present, it is always a Lys side chain that physically blocks the channels, irrespective of its position in the toxin sequence. ..
  20. Yuan W, Cao L, Ma Y, Mao P, Wang W, Zhao R, et al. Cloning and functional characterization of a new antimicrobial peptide gene StCT1 from the venom of the scorpion Scorpiops tibetanus. Peptides. 2010;31:22-6 pubmed publisher
    ..These results show that the antimicrobial peptide encoded by StCT1 gene from the venom of the scorpion S. tibetanus is a potential anti-infective polypeptide or lead compound, especially for treating antibiotics-resistant pathogens. ..
  21. Zhao R, Dai H, Qiu S, Li T, He Y, Ma Y, et al. SdPI, the first functionally characterized Kunitz-type trypsin inhibitor from scorpion venom. PLoS ONE. 2011;6:e27548 pubmed publisher
    ..To our knowledge, SdPI is the first functionally characterized Kunitz-type trypsin inhibitor derived from scorpion venom, and it represents a new class of Kunitz-type venom peptides. ..
  22. Borges A, Rojas Runjaic F, Diez N, Faks J, Op den Camp H, De Sousa L. Envenomation by the scorpion Tityus breweri in the Guayana Shield, Venezuela: report of a case, efficacy and reactivity of antivenom, and proposal for a toxinological partitioning of the Venezuelan scorpion fauna. Wilderness Environ Med. 2010;21:282-90 pubmed publisher
    ..Toxin composition and antigenic reactivity of T breweri venom were also explored. T breweri distribution range was re-evaluated...
  23. García Gómez B, Olamendi Portugal T, Paniagua J, van der Walt J, Dyason K, Possani L. Heterologous expression of a gene that codes for Pg8, a scorpion toxin of Parabuthus granulatus, capable of generating protecting antibodies in mice. Toxicon. 2009;53:770-8 pubmed publisher
    ..A volume of 0.25ml of the anti-serum produced was capable of protecting up to 3 LD(50) doses of pure toxin Pg8 but also, and more importantly, the entire soluble venom. ..
  24. Nikouee A, Khabiri M, Grissmer S, Ettrich R. Charybdotoxin and margatoxin acting on the human voltage-gated potassium channel hKv1.3 and its H399N mutant: an experimental and computational comparison. J Phys Chem B. 2012;116:5132-40 pubmed publisher
    ..Our studies suggest that the toxin-channel interactions might partially restore rigidity in the selectivity filter and thereby prevent the structural rearrangements associated with C-type inactivation. ..
  25. Karbat I, Ilan N, Zhang J, Cohen L, Kahn R, Benveniste M, et al. Partial agonist and antagonist activities of a mutant scorpion beta-toxin on sodium channels. J Biol Chem. 2010;285:30531-8 pubmed publisher
  26. Cologna C, Marcussi S, Giglio J, Soares A, Arantes E. Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom and toxins: an overview. Protein Pept Lett. 2009;16:920-32 pubmed
  27. Vandendriessche T, Olamendi Portugal T, Zamudio F, Possani L, Tytgat J. Isolation and characterization of two novel scorpion toxins: The alpha-toxin-like CeII8, specific for Na(v)1.7 channels and the classical anti-mammalian CeII9, specific for Na(v)1.4 channels. Toxicon. 2010;56:613-23 pubmed publisher
    ..Since these effects have also been reported for the beta-toxin CssIV, the bioactive surfaces of the toxins have been compared to each other. ..
  28. Smith J, Hill J, Little M, Nicholson G, King G, Alewood P. Unique scorpion toxin with a putative ancestral fold provides insight into evolution of the inhibitor cystine knot motif. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011;108:10478-83 pubmed publisher
    ..Additionally, we show that U(1)-LITX-Lw1a has potent insecticidal activity across a broad range of insect pest species, thereby providing a unique structural scaffold for bioinsecticide development...
  29. Villalonga N, David M, Bielanska J, Vicente R, Comes N, Valenzuela C, et al. Immunomodulation of voltage-dependent K+ channels in macrophages: molecular and biophysical consequences. J Gen Physiol. 2010;135:135-47 pubmed publisher
    ..5. Our results demonstrate that the immunomodulation of macrophages triggers molecular and biophysical consequences in K(v)1.3/K(v)1.5 hybrid channels by altering the subunit stoichiometry. ..
  30. Jiang F, Liu T, Cheng M, Pang X, Bai Z, Zhou J, et al. Spinal astrocyte and microglial activation contributes to rat pain-related behaviors induced by the venom of scorpion Buthus martensi Karch. Eur J Pharmacol. 2009;623:52-64 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, spinal glia may represent novel targets for effective treatment of pain syndrome associated with scorpion envenomation. ..
  31. Paneque Peres A, Nonaka P, de Carvalho P, Toyama M, Silva C, Vieira R, et al. Effects of Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom on lung mechanics and inflammation in mice. Toxicon. 2009;53:779-85 pubmed publisher
    ..001). In conclusion, T. serrulatus venom leads to acute lung injury, characterised by altered lung mechanics and increased pulmonary inflammation. ..
  32. Chen Y, Cao L, Zhong M, Zhang Y, Han C, Li Q, et al. Anti-HIV-1 activity of a new scorpion venom peptide derivative Kn2-7. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e34947 pubmed publisher
    ..These results demonstrated that peptide Kn2-7 could inhibit HIV-1 by direct interaction with viral particle and may become a promising candidate compound for further development of microbicide against HIV-1. ..
  33. Silva E, Camargos T, Maranhão A, Silva Pereira I, Silva L, Possani L, et al. Cloning and characterization of cDNA sequences encoding for new venom peptides of the Brazilian scorpion Opisthacanthus cayaporum. Toxicon. 2009;54:252-61 pubmed publisher
  34. Luna Ramírez K, Quintero Hernández V, Vargas Jaimes L, Batista C, Winkel K, Possani L. Characterization of the venom from the Australian scorpion Urodacus yaschenkoi: Molecular mass analysis of components, cDNA sequences and peptides with antimicrobial activity. Toxicon. 2013;63:44-54 pubmed publisher
  35. Ma R, Cui Y, Zhou Y, Bao Y, Yang W, Liu Y, et al. Location of the analgesic domain in Scorpion toxin BmK AGAP by mutagenesis of disulfide bridges. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010;394:330-4 pubmed publisher
    ..Following the conformational analysis, one domain, called the "core domain", was found to be the key to the analgesic activity. ..
  36. Ma Y, Zhao Y, Zhao R, Zhang W, He Y, Wu Y, et al. Molecular diversity of toxic components from the scorpion Heterometrus petersii venom revealed by proteomic and transcriptome analysis. Proteomics. 2010;10:2471-85 pubmed publisher
    b>Scorpion venoms contain a vast untapped reservoir of natural products, which have the potential for medicinal value in drug discovery...
  37. Bai Z, Liu T, Jiang F, Cheng M, Pang X, Hua L, et al. Phenotypes and peripheral mechanisms underlying inflammatory pain-related behaviors induced by BmK I, a modulator of sodium channels. Exp Neurol. 2010;226:159-72 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, BmK I may be a valuable pharmacological tool to understand the sodium channel-involved pain mechanisms. ..
  38. Borges A, Bermingham E, Herrera N, Alfonzo M, Sanjur O. Molecular systematics of the neotropical scorpion genus Tityus (Buthidae): the historical biogeography and venom antigenic diversity of toxic Venezuelan species. Toxicon. 2010;55:436-54 pubmed publisher
    ..serrulatus and anti-T. discrepans antivenoms was low, suggesting that venom components produced by the subgenus Archaeotityus (which encompass "clathratus" species) diverge antigenically from other Tityus scorpions. ..
  39. Zhu S, Gao B, Aumelas A, del Carmen Rodríguez M, Lanz Mendoza H, Peigneur S, et al. MeuTXKbeta1, a scorpion venom-derived two-domain potassium channel toxin-like peptide with cytolytic activity. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2010;1804:872-83 pubmed publisher
    ..Our structural and functional data clearly indicate an evolutionary link between TsTXKbeta-related peptides and antiparasitic scorpines which both comprise the betaSPN (beta-KTxs and scorpines) family...
  40. Ruiming Z, Yibao M, Yawen H, Zhiyong D, Yingliang W, Zhijian C, et al. Comparative venom gland transcriptome analysis of the scorpion Lychas mucronatus reveals intraspecific toxic gene diversity and new venomous components. BMC Genomics. 2010;11:452 pubmed publisher
  41. Yan R, Zhao Z, He Y, Wu L, Cai D, Hong W, et al. A new natural ?-helical peptide from the venom of the scorpion Heterometrus petersii kills HCV. Peptides. 2011;32:11-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Our work opens a new avenue for antiviral drug discovery in natural scorpion venom. ..
  42. Bawaskar H, Bawaskar P. Efficacy and safety of scorpion antivenom plus prazosin compared with prazosin alone for venomous scorpion (Mesobuthus tamulus) sting: randomised open label clinical trial. BMJ. 2011;342:c7136 pubmed publisher
    ..We assessed the efficacy of prazosin combined with scorpion antivenom, compared with prazosin alone, in individuals with autonomic storm caused by scorpion sting...
  43. Akcan M, Stroud M, Hansen S, Clark R, Daly N, Craik D, et al. Chemical re-engineering of chlorotoxin improves bioconjugation properties for tumor imaging and targeted therapy. J Med Chem. 2011;54:782-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Based on these data, we propose to advance a monolabeled chlorotoxin to human clinical trials. ..
  44. Veiseh O, Sun C, Fang C, Bhattarai N, Gunn J, Kievit F, et al. Specific targeting of brain tumors with an optical/magnetic resonance imaging nanoprobe across the blood-brain barrier. Cancer Res. 2009;69:6200-7 pubmed publisher
  45. Amaro I, Riaño Umbarila L, Becerril B, Possani L. Isolation and characterization of a human antibody fragment specific for Ts1 toxin from Tityus serrulatus scorpion. Immunol Lett. 2011;139:73-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Mice challenged with a LD(50) of Ts1 in the presence of this scFv were substantially resistant to intoxication. ScFv 15e is a leading compound for the development of better anti-scorpion antidotes...
  46. Lee C, Bae C, Lee J, Ryu J, Kim H, Kohno T, et al. Solution structure of kurtoxin: a gating modifier selective for Cav3 voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels. Biochemistry. 2012;51:1862-73 pubmed publisher
    ..These distinct surface properties of kurtoxin could explain its binding to Cav3 (T-type) voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels. ..
  47. Chen R, Robinson A, Gordon D, Chung S. Modeling the binding of three toxins to the voltage-gated potassium channel (Kv1.3). Biophys J. 2011;101:2652-60 pubmed publisher
    ..We pinpoint the residues in the toxins and the channel that are critical for the formation of the stable venom-channel complexes. ..
  48. Nencioni A, Lourenço G, Lebrun I, Florio J, Dorce V. Central effects of Tityus serrulatus and Tityus bahiensis scorpion venoms after intraperitoneal injection in rats. Neurosci Lett. 2009;463:234-8 pubmed publisher
    A great number of studies on scorpion venoms associate their effects to the autonomic nervous system, and few data are available about their action on the central nervous system (CNS)...
  49. Quintero Hernández V, Ortiz E, Rendón Anaya M, Schwartz E, Becerril B, Corzo G, et al. Scorpion and spider venom peptides: gene cloning and peptide expression. Toxicon. 2011;58:644-63 pubmed publisher
  50. Fu Y, An N, Chan K, Wu Y, Zheng S, Liang A. A model of BmK CT in inhibiting glioma cell migration via matrix metalloproteinase-2 from experimental and molecular dynamics simulation study. Biotechnol Lett. 2011;33:1309-17 pubmed publisher
    ..This is the first documentation of the structural mechanism of in the inhibition of glioma cell migration by BmK CT and may lead to the molecular design of specific inhibitors of MMP-2. ..
  51. Khattabi A, Soulaymani Bencheikh R, Achour S, Salmi L. Classification of clinical consequences of scorpion stings: consensus development. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2011;105:364-9 pubmed publisher
    ..These consensus-based tools should facilitate development of international clinical studies...
  52. Chen Z, Hu Y, Han S, Yin S, He Y, Wu Y, et al. ImKTx1, a new Kv1.3 channel blocker with a unique primary structure. J Biochem Mol Toxicol. 2011;25:244-51 pubmed publisher
    ..3 channel blocker with a unique primary structure. Our results indicate the diversity of K(+) channel toxins from scorpion venoms and also provide a new molecular template targeting Kv1.3 channel.
  53. Jalali A, Pipelzadeh M, Taraz M, Khodadadi A, Makvandi M, Rowan E. Serum TNF-? levels reflect the clinical severity of envenomation following a Hemiscorpius lepturus sting. Eur Cytokine Netw. 2011;22:5-10 pubmed publisher
    ..Furthermore, serotherapy is only effective when administered to mild cases of H. lepturus scorpion envenomation. ..