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Toxicon. 2004 Jun 15;43(8):895-900.

Purification and pharmacological characterization of BmKK2 (alpha-KTx 14.2), a novel potassium channel-blocking peptide, from the venom of Asian scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch.

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State Key Laboratory of Drug Research, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 555 Zu-Chong-Zhi Road, Shanghai 201203, China.


BmKK2 (alpha-KTx 14.2) is one of the novel short-chain peptides found in molecular cloning of a venom gland cDNA library from Asian scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch. Based upon its amino acid sequence, the peptide was proposed to adopt a classical alpha/beta-scaffold for alpha-KTxs. In the present study, we purified BmKK2 from the venom of B. martensi Karsch, and investigated its action on voltage-dependent K+ currents in dissociated hippocampal neurons from neonatal rats. BmKK2 (10-100 microM) selectively inhibited the delayed rectifier K+ current, but did not affect the fast transient K+ current. The inhibition of BmKK2 on the delayed rectifier K+ current was reversible and voltage-independent. The peptide did not affect the steady-state activation of the current, but caused a depolarizing shift (about 9 mV) of its steady-state inactivation curve. The results demonstrate that BmKK2 is a novel K+ channel-blocking scorpion peptide.

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