[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The auxiliary beta subunit importantly regulates voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channel activity through an interaction with the AID domain, a binding site located in the cytoplasmic I-II linker of the ion-conducting alpha(1) subunit. In the present study, we used two synthetic peptides corresponding to partial sequences of the I-II linker of alpha(1A) (AID(A)-peptides) as tools to disrupt the alpha(1)-beta interaction. In vitro binding experiments confirmed that these peptides exhibit a reasonable affinity to the neuronal beta(3) subunit to serve this purpose, although they failed to prevent immunoprecipitation of native N- and P/Q-type channels by anti-beta(3) antibodies. Together, our results (i) provide evidence for the reversibility of channel subunit association suggesting that the disruption of the alpha(1)-beta interaction may be a possible mechanism for Ca(2+) channel regulation in vivo, and (ii) support a model whereby the alpha(1)-beta association is based on multiple interaction sites.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 12/2000; 277(3):729-35. · 2.41 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pi1 is a 35-residue toxin cross-linked by four disulfide bridges that has been isolated from the venom of the chactidae scorpion Pandinus imperator. Due to its very low abundance in the venom, we have chemically synthesized this toxin in order to study its biological activity. Enzyme-based proteolytic cleavage of the synthetic Pi1 (sPi1) demonstrates half-cystine pairings between Cys4-Cys25, Cys10-Cys30, Cys14-Cys32 and Cys20-Cys35, which is in agreement with the disulfide bridge organization initially reported on the natural toxin. In vivo, intracerebroventricular injection of sPi1 in mice produces lethal effects with an LD50 of 0.2 microgram per mouse. In vitro, the application of sPi1 induces drastic inhibition of Shaker B (IC50 of 23 nM) and rat Kv1.2 channels (IC50 of 0.44 nM) heterologously expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. No effect was observed on rat Kv1.1 and Kv1.3 currents upon synthetic peptide application. Also, sPi1 is able to compete with 125I-labeled apamin for binding onto rat brain synaptosomes with an IC50 of 55 pM. Overall, these results demonstrate that sPi1 displays a large spectrum of activities by blocking both SK- and Kv1-types of K+ channels; a selectivity reminiscent of that of maurotoxin, another structurally related four disulfide-bridged scorpion toxin that exhibits a different half-cystine pairing pattern.
European Journal of Biochemistry 09/2000; 267(16):5149-55. · 3.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maurotoxin (MTX) is a 34-residue toxin that has been isolated from the venom of the chactidae scorpion Scorpio maurus palmatus. The toxin displays an exceptionally wide range of pharmacological activity since it binds onto small conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels and also blocks Kv channels (Shaker, Kv1.2 and Kv1.3). MTX possesses 53-68% sequence identity with HsTx1 and Pi1, two other K(+) channel short chain scorpion toxins cross-linked by four disulfide bridges. These three toxins differ from other K(+)/Cl(-)/Na(+) channel scorpion toxins cross-linked by either three or four disulfide bridges by the presence of an extra half-cystine residue in the middle of a consensus sequence generally associated with the formation of an alpha/beta scaffold (an alpha-helix connected to an antiparallel beta-sheet by two disulfide bridges). Because MTX exhibits an uncommon disulfide bridge organization among known scorpion toxins (C1-C5, C2-C6, C3-C4, and C7-C8 instead of C1-C4, C2-C5, and C3-C6 for three-disulfide-bridged toxins or C1-C5, C2-C6, C3-C7, and C4-C8 for four-disulfide-bridged toxins), we designed and chemically synthesized an MTX analog with three instead of four disulfide bridges ([Abu(19),Abu(34)]MTX) and in which the entire consensus motif of scorpion toxins was restored by the substitution of the two half-cystines in positions 19 and 34 (corresponding to C4 and C8) by two isosteric alpha-aminobutyrate (Abu) derivatives. The three-dimensional structure of [Abu(19), Abu(34)]MTX in solution was solved by (1)H NMR. This analog adopts the alpha/beta scaffold with now conventional half-cystine pairings connecting C1-C5, C2-C6, and C3-C7 (with C4 and C8 replaced by Abu derivatives). This novel arrangement in half-cystine pairings that concerns the last disulfide bridge results mainly in a reorientation of the alpha-helix regarding the beta-sheet structure. In vivo, [Abu(19),Abu(34)]MTX remains lethal in mice as assessed by intracerebroventricular injection of the peptide (LD(50) value of 0. 25 microg/mouse). The structural variations are also accompanied by changes in the pharmacological selectivity of the peptide, suggesting that the organization pattern of disulfide bridges should affect the three-dimensional presentation of certain key residues critical to the blockage of K(+) channel subtypes.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2000; 275(18):13605-12. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maurocalcine is a novel toxin isolated from the venom of the chactid scorpion Scorpio maurus palmatus. It is a 33-mer basic peptide cross-linked by three disulfide bridges, which shares 82% sequence identity with imperatoxin A, a scorpion toxin from the venom of Pandinus imperator. Maurocalcine is peculiar in terms of structural properties since it does not possess any consensus motif reported so far in other scorpion toxins. Due to its low concentration in venom (0.5% of the proteins), maurocalcine was chemically synthesized by means of an optimized solid-phase method, and purified after folding/oxidation by using both C18 reversed-phase and ion exchange high-pressure liquid chromatographies. The synthetic product (sMCa) was characterized. The half-cystine pairing pattern of sMCa was identified by enzyme-based cleavage and Edman sequencing. The pairings were Cys3-Cys17, Cys10-Cys21, and Cys16-Cys32. In vivo, the sMCa was lethal to mice following intracerebroventricular inoculation (LD(50), 20 microg/mouse). In vitro, electrophysiological experiments based on recordings of single channels incorporated into planar lipid bilayers showed that sMCa potently and reversibly modifies channel gating behavior of the type 1 ryanodine receptor by inducing prominent subconductance behavior.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maurotoxin (MTX) is a 34-amino acid polypeptide cross-linked by four disulfide bridges that has been isolated from the venom of the scorpion Scorpio maurus palmatus and characterized. Maurotoxin competed with radiolabeled apamin and kaliotoxin for binding to rat brain synaptosomes and blocked K+ currents from Kv1 channel subtypes expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Structural characterization of the synthetic toxin identified half-cystine pairings at Cys3-Cys24, Cys9-Cys29, Cys13-Cys19 and Cys31-Cys34 This disulfide bridge pattern is unique among known scorpion toxins, particularly the existence of a C-terminal '14-membered disulfide ring' (i.e. cyclic domain 31-34), We therefore studied structure-activity relationships by investigating the structure and pharmacological properties of synthetic MTX peptides either modified at the C-terminus ¿i.e. MTX(1-29), [Abu31,34]-MTX and [Cys31,34, Tyr32]D-MTX) or mimicking the cyclic C-terminal domain [i.e. MTX(31-34)]. Unexpectedly, the absence of a disulfide bridge Cys31-Cys34 in [Abu 31,34]-MTX and MTX(1-29) resulted in MTX-unrelated half-cystine pairings of the three remaining disulfide bridges for the two analogs, which is likely to be responsible for their inactivity against Kv1 channel subtypes. Cyclic MTX(31-34) was also biologically inactive. [Cys31,34, Tyr32]D-MTX, which had a 'native', MTX-related, disulfide bridge organization, but a D-residue-induced reorientation of the C-terminal disulfide bridge, was potent at blocking the Kv1.1 channel. This peptide-induced Kv1.1 blockage was voltage-dependent (a property not observed for MTX), maximal in the low depolarization range and associated with on-rate changes in ligand binding. Thus, the cyclic C-terminal domain of MTX seems to be crucial for recognition of Kv1.3, and to a lesser extent, Kv1.2 channels and it may contribute to the stabilization and strength of the interaction between the toxin and the Kv1.1 channel.
European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 04/2000; 55(3):246-54. · 1.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tityus kappa (Ts kappa), a novel toxin from the venom of the scorpion Tityus serrulatus, is a 35-residue polypeptide cross-linked by three disulphide bridges and acts on small-conductance calcium-activated potassium channels (SK channels). Ts K was chemically synthesized using the solid-phase method and characterized. The synthetic product, sTs kappa, was indistinguishable from the natural toxin when tested in vitro in competition assay with radiolabelled apamin for binding to rat brain synaptosomes (IC50 = 3 nM). The sTs kappa was further tested in vivo for lethal activity to mice following intracerebroventricular inoculation (LD50 = 70 ng per mouse). The half-cystine pairings were formerly established by enzyme-based cleavage of sTs kappa; they were between Cys7-Cys28, Cys13-CyS33 and Cys17-Cys35, which is a disulphide bridge pattern similar to that of other short scorpion toxins. According to previous studies on SK channel-acting toxins, the putative influence of certain basic residues of Ts kappa (i.e. Arg6, Arg9, Lys18, Lys19) in its pharmacological activity was investigated using synthetic point-mutated analogues of the toxin with an Ala substitution at these positions. Data from binding assay, together with conformational analysis of the synthetic analogues by 1H-NMR, suggest that Arg6, and to a lesser extent Arg9, are important residues for an high-affinity interaction of this toxin with SK channels; interestingly these residues are located outside the alpha-helical structure, whereas the pharmacologically important basic residues from other SK channel-specific toxins had been located inside the alpha-helix.
European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 12/1999; 54(5):369-76. · 1.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the last decade, numerous polypeptide toxins acting on ion channels have been isolated and characterized from diverse scorpion venoms. These toxins are useful pharmacological probes to study ion-specific channel proteins because they interact selectively with these channels and modulate their activities. Since low amounts of natural toxins can be isolated from scorpion venoms, the chemical synthesis approach is extremely useful to produce larger quantities of toxins and toxin analogs. This report is a succinct overview of the possibilities offered by the chemical synthesis to investigate pharmacological and structural properties of these compounds.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: TsKapa (TsK), purified from the Buthidae Tityus serrulatus is a very high potent ligand for small-conductance apamin-sensitive calcium-activated potassium channels (SK). It is able to efficiently compete with apamin for binding on this channel (K0.5 = 0.3 nM) [Legros, C. et al., FEBS Lett. 390:81-84, 1996]. The solution structure of TsK has been determined by 2D-NMR techniques, which led to the full description of its 3D conformation: a short alpha helix from residues 14 to 20 and a three-stranded antiparallel beta sheet (residues 2-3, 27-29, and 32-34). The interaction of TsK with the SK potassium channel has been modeled according to the charge anisotropy of the ligand. The resulting dipole moment orientates TsK so that it presents toward the receptor, a surface, mainly basic, encompassing residues K18 and K19 on one side and R9 and Y8 on the other. Despite its three-dimensional structure that is related with scorpion toxins active on voltage-gated potassium channels such as charybdotoxin, the pharmacological activity and specificity of TsK is related with shorter scorpion toxins (i.e., possessing an only two-stranded beta sheet) such as scyllatoxin (also named leiurotoxin I) or P05.
Proteins Structure Function and Bioinformatics 12/1997; 29(3):359-69. · 3.34 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Leiurotoxin I is a neurotoxin, blocker of Ca(2+)-activated apamin-sensitive K+ channel, purified from the venom of the scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus. It is a 31-residue polypeptide reticulated by three disulfide bridges, i.e. Cys3-Cys21, Cys8-Cys26 and Cys12-Cys28. To investigate the role of these disulfide bridges in the folding of this toxin, analogs lacking one disulfide bridge were synthesized. The structures of two analogs in which two half-cystines were placed by alpha-aminobutyrate residues to suppress one disulfide bridge, were analyzed by 1H NMR. The NMR studies reveal a three-dimensional structure identical with the native toxin for the analog lacking disulfide bridge Cys3-Cys21 and a loss of organized structure for another analog lacking disulfide bridge Cys12-Cys28. These analogs are, respectively, fully active and weakly active (2% of the residual activity) when tested in vitro for their ability to interact with their receptor channel and in vivo for their neurotoxic activity in mice. This suggest that disulfide bridge Cys12-Cys28 is essential for the folding process. In contrast, the lack of disulfide bridge Cys3-Cys21 does not affect the folding and the maintenance of bioactive conformation of Leiurotoxin I.
European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 08/1997; 50(1):39-47. · 1.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Leiurotoxin I (Lei-NH2), a toxin isolated from the venom of the scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus, is a blocker of the apamin-sensitive Ca(2+)-activated K+ channels. It is a 31-residue polypeptide cross-linked by three disulfide bridges which are presumably between Cys3-Cys21, Cys8-Cys26, and Cys12-Cys28. To investigate the role of these disulfides, analogs of Lei-NH2 lacking one disulfide bridge (i.e., [Abu3,21]Lei-NH2, [Abu8,26]Lei-NH2, and [Abu12,28]Lei-NH2) were chemically synthesized by selective replacement of each pair of half-cystines forming a bridge by two alpha-aminobutyrate (Abu) residues. The two disulfide pairings of the main folded form of the synthetic analogs were established by enzymatic proteolysis. They were as expected between Cys8-Cys26 and Cys12-Cys28 for [Abu3,21]Lei-NH2 but were unexpectedly between Cys3-Cys12 and Cys21-Cys28 for [Abu8,26]Lei-NH2 and between Cys3-Cys8 and Cys21-Cys26 for [Abu12,28]Lei-NH2. The synthetic peptides were tested in vitro for their capacity to compete with the binding of [125I]apamin to rat brain synaptosomes and in vivo for their neurotoxicity in mice. In both assays, [Abu3,21]Lei-NH2 exhibited full Lei-NH2-like activity whereas [Abu8,26]Lei-NH2 and [Abu12,28]-Lei-NH2 possessed only residual activities (< 2% native toxin activity). This suggests that disulfide bridge Cys3-Cys21 is not essential per se for high toxin activity. Circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy of the three analogs showed that only [Abu3,21]Lei-NH2 exhibited a CD spectrum similar to that of Lei-NH2, suggesting they both adopt closely related conformations, in agreement with the pharmacological data. Structural models of the analogs were constructed on the basis of the disulfide pairing assignment and compared with that of Lei-NH2.