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Toxicon. 1999 Mar;37(3):519-36.

Covalent structures of BmK AS and BmK AS-1, two novel bioactive polypeptides purified from Chinese scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch.

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  • 1Shanghai Institute of Physiology, Chinese Academy of Science, Shanghai Research Center of Life Sciences, People's Republic of China. yhji@server.shcnc.ac.cn


Complete amino acid sequences of two novel bioactive polypeptides, each containing 66 amino acid residues, BmK AS and BmK AS-1 purified from the venom of Chinese scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch, have been determined by Edman sequencing and mass spectrometry on native proteins, reduced and S-carboxymethylated proteins and their peptides obtained after cleavage with proteolytic enzymes. Sequence analysis showed 86.4% structural identity between BmK AS and BmK AS-1 and also a high sequence similarity between BmK ASs and AaH IT4, a unique anti-insect toxin and a ligand of Na+ channels obtained from Sahara scorpion A. australis Hector, but poor sequence homology between BmK ASs and those of the known alpha-, beta-type and long-chain insect-selective type scorpion neurotoxins. The positions of four disulfide bridges in BmK AS-1 were established as Cys-12 and Cys-62, Cys-16 and Cys-37, Cys-23 and Cys-44, and Cys-27 and Cys-46, which are the same as those in alpha- and beta-scorpion neurotoxins. These results suggest that BmK ASs and AaH IT4 may form a new group sharing similar structural and functional properties in the family of scorpion neurotoxic polypeptides.

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