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Isolation, molecular and functional characterization of a new toxin present in the Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom

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Felipe Augusto Cerni
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: Ribeirão Preto.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Eliane Candiani Arantes Braga; Jose Elpidio Barbosa; Palmira Cupo; Wagner Ferreira dos Santos
Advisor: Eliane Candiani Arantes Braga

The scorpion Tityus serrulatus (Ts) is responsible for most cases of scorpion envenomations in Brazil. Although its venom consist of many components, neurotoxins present major relevance because their specific interaction with voltage-gated sodium (Nav) or potassium (Kv) channels. So far, 20 neurotoxins have been described (Ts1 -> Ts20) in the Ts venom. However, omics analysis indicate that this number is much higher. Toxins that interact selectively with ion channels are used as pharmacological tools, as they allow the identification of specific channels and the determination of their physiological roles. Additionally, these toxins may be used for the development of new drugs for treating disorders related to ion channels. Considering the high biotechnology potential of this class of molecules, this study isolated (by 3 chromatographic steps) and characterized a new toxin from Ts venom, named Ts19 Frag-II. The novel toxin presented 49 amino acid residues and a molecular mass of 5534.54012 Da. Classified as ? - KTx, it is speculated that the Ts19 Frag-II is produced from a post- translational modification, referred in this study as post- splitting, a transcript of Ts19. The functional characterization of Ts19 Frag-II was performed using different biological assays. The extensive electrophysiological study on ion channels (16 Kvs and 5 Navs) expressed in oocytes of X. leavis showed that the toxin is able to selectively block the potassium channel Kv1.2 (IC50 = 544 ± 32 nM). In vivo assays (C57BL/6 mice) of nociception showed that Ts19 Frag-II (2 and 4?g) is not able to induce spontaneous or mechanical nociceptive behavior in mice, both by intraplantar as by intrathecal administration. In vivo assays (BALB/c mice) also demonstrated that the novel toxin (4 and 8?g) increased serum levels of urea, ALT, ?-globulin, IL-6, TNF-?, IL-17A and NO, besides decreasing ?-globulins. In addition, using in vitro assays of CD4+ T-lymphocyte cell culture, it was demonstrated that Ts19 Frag-II (2 ug) was able to decrease the differentiation of Th17 cells, as well as it suppresses Th17 function (decreased IL-17 and IL-22 production). Therefore, the present study isolated and performed the molecular and functional characterization of a new toxin from Ts, which presented neurotoxic and pro-inflammatory activity and could contribute significantly to the severity of the envenoming caused by the Ts scorpion. Moreover, based on its selectivity for Kv1.2 channels, this toxin could be used as a tool to study this type of ion channel (AU)

FAPESP's process: 12/13590-8 - Isolation, molecular and functional characterization of a new toxin from Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom
Grantee:Felipe Augusto Cerni
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate