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Toxicon. 2007 Feb;49(2):171-80. Epub 2006 Sep 27.

Novel paradigms on scorpion toxins that affects the activating mechanism of sodium channels.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Medicine and Bioprocesses, Institute of Biotechnology, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Av. Universidad 2001, Cuernavaca Morelos 62210, México.


Scorpion toxins classified as beta-class are reviewed using a new paradigm. Four distinct sub types are recognized: "classical", "Tsgamma-like", "excitatory" and "depressant"beta-scorpion toxins. Recent experimental data have made possible to identify the interacting interfaces of the Na(+) channel-receptor site 4 with some of these toxins. The voltage-sensor trapping mechanism proposed for the action of these toxic peptides is analyzed in the context of what causes a modification of the activating mechanism of Na(+) channels. A cartoon model is presented with the purpose of summarizing the most current knowledge on the field. Finally, the recent advances on the knowledge of the specific interactions of beta-toxins and different sub types of Na(+) channels are also reviewed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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