Structure-Activity Relationship of Chlorotoxin-Like Peptides

July 28, 2017


Structure-Activity Relationship of Chlorotoxin-Like Peptides


Syed Abid Ali, Mehtab Alam, Atiya Abbasi, Eivind A. B. Undheim, Bryan Grieg Fry, Hubert Kalbacher, Wolfgang Voelter






Animal venom (e.g., scorpion) is a rich source of various protein and peptide toxins with diverse physio-/pharmaco-logical activities, which generally exert their action via target-specific modulation of different ion channel functions. Scorpion venoms are among the most widely-known source of peptidyl neurotoxins used for callipering different ion channels, such as; Na+, K+, Ca+, Cl−, etc. A new peptide of the chlorotoxin family (i.e., Bs-Tx7) has been isolated, sequenced and synthesized from scorpion Buthus sindicus (family Buthidae) venom. This peptide demonstrates 66% with chlorotoxin (ClTx) and 82% with CFTR channel inhibitor (GaTx1) sequence identities reported from Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus venom. The toxin has a molecular mass of 3821 Da and possesses four intra-chain disulphide bonds. Amino acid sequence analysis of Bs-Tx7 revealed the presence of a scissile peptide bond (i.e., Gly-Ile) for human MMP2, whose activity is increased in the case of tumour malignancy. The effect of hMMP2 on Bs-Tx7, or vice versa, observed using the FRET peptide substrate with methoxycoumarin (Mca)/dinitrophenyl (Dnp) as fluorophore/quencher, designed and synthesized to obtain the lowest Km value for this substrate, showed approximately a 60% increase in the activity of hMMP2 upon incubation of Bs-Tx7 with the enzyme at a micromolar concentration (4 µM), indicating the importance of this toxin in diseases associated with decreased MMP2 activity.




Circular dichroism, Secondary structure, Toxicology,