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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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Shanghai Institute of Physiology, Chinese Academy of Science, Shanghai Research Center of Life Sciences, People's Republic of China.


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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