Scorpion toxin peptide action at the ion channel subunit level

Housley, David M., Housley, Gary D., Liddell, Michael J., and Jennings, Ernest A. (2017) Scorpion toxin peptide action at the ion channel subunit level. Neuropharmacology, 127. pp. 46-78.

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This review categorizes functionally validated actions of defined scorpion toxin (SCTX) neuropeptides across ion channel subclasses, highlighting key trends in this rapidly evolving field. Scorpion envenomation is a common event in many tropical and subtropical countries, with neuropharmacological actions, particularly autonomic nervous system modulation, causing significant mortality. The primary active agents within scorpion venoms are a diverse group of small neuropeptides that elicit specific potent actions across a wide range of ion channel classes. The identification and functional characterisation of these SCTX peptides has tremendous potential for development of novel pharmaceuticals that advance knowledge of ion channels and establish lead compounds for treatment of excitable tissue disorders. This review delineates the unique specificities of 320 individual SCTX peptides that collectively act on 41 ion channel subclasses. Thus the SCTX research field has significant translational implications for pathophysiology spanning neurotransmission, neurohumoral signalling, sensori-motor systems and excitation-contraction coupling.

Item ID: 46685
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-7064
Keywords: scorpion; venom; neurotoxin; neuropeptide; ion channels
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This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

Funders: James Cook University (JCU)
Projects and Grants: JCU Faculty Grants
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2017 23:55
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3209 Neurosciences > 320902 Cellular nervous system @ 40%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3214 Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences > 321407 Toxicology (incl. clinical toxicology) @ 30%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3208 Medical physiology > 320801 Cell physiology @ 30%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920111 Nervous System and Disorders @ 100%
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