Unraveling and profiling Tityus bahiensis venom: biochemical analyses of the major toxins

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Among the scorpions found in Brazil, Tityus bahiensis is one of the species that causes most of the reported human accidents. In spite of this important constatation, the venom composition description is not available in the literature. Thus, this venom remains not properly studied, segregating this particular species into an abandoned, forgotten condition. In the present study, chromatographic separation (RP-HPLC-C18) and proteomic analyses were employed to unravel the diversity, complexity, and proportional distribution of the main peptides and proteins found in the scorpion venom. Moreover, sequence analyses and the presence of new isoforms and toxins are discussed based on a database comparison with other Tityus toxins. Our results show the presence of a wide diversity of potassium and sodium channel toxins and enzymes, such as metallopeptidases and hyaluronidases, as previously described for other species. However, the current work also describes for the first time, at the protein level, phospholipase, angiotensin-converting enzyme, cysteine-rich proteins, serine peptidase inhibitors peptides, and antimicrobial peptides. Finally, thorough data analyses allowed the description of the venom toxins distribution regarding their diversity and relative quantity. Significance: the work presents the first Tityus bahiensis proteome. We have focused on describing the neurotoxin variability in terms of their isoforms/amino acid substitutions. Understanding the natural variations in the toxins' sequences is essential, once the affinity of these peptides to their respective receptors/ionic channels will vary depending on the specific peptide sequences. Moreover, the current study describes some proteins present in the venom, including enzymes being described for the first time in scorpion venoms, such as PLA2 and ACE. Moreover, we describe the individual relative quantity distribution for the different protein classes identified, as well as their variability in the T.bahiensis venom. Finally, this study also reports the development of a simple straightforward chromatographic method for scorpion venom fractionation.
Beraldo Neto E, Vigerelli H, Coelho GR, Silva DL, Nencioni ALA, Pimenta DC. Unraveling and profiling Tityus bahiensis venom: biochemical analyses of the major toxins. J Proteomics. 2023 Mar; 274:104824. doi:10.1016/j.jprot.2023.104824.
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