Chi, CW (reprint author), Chinese Acad Sci, Key Lab Proteom, Inst Biochem & Cell Biol, 320 Yue Yang Rd, Shanghai 200031, Peoples R China,email@example.com
Small conductance calcium activated potassium channels (SK) are crucial in the regulation of cell firing frequency in the nervous system and other tissues. In the present work, a novel SK channel blocker, designated BmSKTx1, was purified from the scorpion Buthus martensi Karsh venom. The sequence of the N-terminal 22 amino acid residues was determined by Edman degradation. Using this sequence information, the full-length cDNA and genomic gene of BmSKTx1 were cloned and sequenced. By these analyses, BmSKTx1 was found to be a peptide composed of 31 amino acid residues with three disulfide bonds. It shared little sequence homology with other known scorpion alpha-KTxs but showed close relationship with SK channel blockers in the phylogenetic tree. According to the previous nomenclature, BmSKTx1 was classified as alpha-KTx14.1. We examined the effects of BmSKTx1 on different ion channels of rat adrenal chromaffin cells (RACC) and locust dorsal unpaired median (DUM) neurons. BmSKTx1 selectively inhibited apamin-sensitive SK currents in RACC with K-d of 0.72 p,M and Hill coefficient of 2.2. And it had no effect on Na+, Ca2+, Kv, and BK currents in DUM neuron, indicating that BmSKTx1 was a selective SK toxin. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.