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Comparative analysis between venoms of three scorpions species From the Brazilian Amazon Region and Tityus serrylatus: chromatographic profile and enzymatic activity

Grant number: 19/27544-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2020
Effective date (End): May 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Pharmacy - Toxicological Analysis
Principal Investigator:Karla de Castro Figueiredo Bordon
Grantee:Gabrielle Cristina Santos
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto (FCFRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


Scorpions has great relevance in Brazil, being responsible for most accidents involving venomous animals in the country, which leads to severe symptoms that can evolve to death. In recent years, there has been an increase of almost 50% in the incidence of scorpions in the northern region, which is the region with the highest mortality rate recorded in the country. The state of Amazonas has the most diverse and numerous scorpion fauna in Brazil; however, their venoms are still little explored. There are few epidemiological studies, case reports and risk factors for scorpion severity in the state of Amazonas. In addition, the literature presents a clinical case of Tityus silvestris envenoming refractory to antiscorpionic serum produced for T. serrulatus. This study aims to identify and characterize the components with proteolytic activity present in the venom of the scorpions T. metuendeus, T. silvestris and Brotheas amazonicus and compare with the venom of T. serrulatus. The first two species are of medical interest, while B. amazonicus is endemic in the state of Amazonas. The venoms will be fractionated by reversed-phase chromatography under the same gradient used for T. serrulatus venom. The fractions with high purity degree, evaluated by SDS-PAGE, will be subjected to N-terminal sequencing by Edman degradation and in silico analysis of the obtained primary sequences will be performed. The molecular mass of the components of these fractions will be determined by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. This study will evaluate if the venoms have phosphodiesterases, hyaluronidases, phospholipases A2, L-amino acid oxidases, serine proteinases and metalloproteinases, and their specific activities will be compared. This project is a pioneer in the characterization of enzymes present in the venom of T. metuendus, T. silvestris and B. amazonicus. The results of this study are expected to contribute to understanding the heterogeneity of venoms of the genus Tityus, assisting in the development or enhancement of antivenoms and identifying potential pharmacological tools present in scorpion venoms of the Amazon region. These findings may also draw the attention of toxicologists and pharmacologists to the planning of new studies that may contribute to reducing the lethality rate by scorpion envenomings in the northern region in the future. (AU)