Scorpion peptides and ion channels: an insightful review of mechanisms and drug development

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The Buthidae family of scorpions consists of arthropods with significant medical relevance, as their venom contains a diverse range of biomolecules, including neurotoxins that selectively target ion channels in cell membranes. These ion channels play a crucial role in regulating physiological processes, and any disturbance in their activity can result in channelopathies, which can lead to various diseases such as autoimmune, cardiovascular, immunological, neurological, and neoplastic conditions. Given the importance of ion channels, scorpion peptides represent a valuable resource for developing drugs with targeted specificity for these channels. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the structure and classification of ion channels, the action of scorpion toxins on these channels, and potential avenues for future research. Overall, this review highlights the significance of scorpion venom as a promising source for discovering novel drugs with therapeutic potential for treating channelopathies.
Mendes LC, Viana GMM, Nencioni ALA, Pimenta DC, Beraldo Neto E. Scorpion peptides and ion channels: an insightful review of mechanisms and drug development. Toxins. 2023 Mar; 15(4):238. doi:10.3390/toxins15040238.
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