Expression and characterization of a novel scorpine-like peptide Ev37, from the scorpion Euscorpiops validus

Jing Feng, Congya Yu, Mingyu Wang, Zhi Li, Yingliang Wu, Zhijian Cao, Wenxin Li, Xiaohua He, Song Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Scorpion venom contains a group of two-domain peptides that function to block potassium channels or have cytolytic activities. These peptides, whose functions are poorly studied, are named β-KTx or scorpine-like peptides. Ev37, the first identified gene in the Euscorpiidae family, which encoded a novel scorpine-like peptide, was cloned from the venom cDNA library of scorpion Euscorpiops validus. Sequence analysis showed that the mature Ev37 peptide contained 78 amino acid residues, which formed two structural domains: a putative α-helical N-terminus and a C-terminus with the cysteine-stabilized α/β motif. The peptide rEv37 and two truncated peptides representing the individual structural domains (Ev37-N and Ev37-C) were expressed in Escherichia coli and purified for functional study. Unlike classic scorpine-like peptides, rEv37 and truncated peptides showed no cytolytic activity against bacteria or eukaryotic cells. Interestingly, rEv37 selectively inhibited Kv1.3 channel without effectively blocking Kv1.1 and Kv1.2 channels. Neither Ev37-N nor Ev37-C blocked Kv1.3 channel, suggesting that both the N-terminal and C-terminal domain of Ev37 are likely involved in the interaction with Kv1.3 channel. These results not only enrich our knowledge of scorpion toxins from scorpine-like subfamily but also provide a novel template with unique structure for designing new types of selective Kv1.3 blockers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-133
Number of pages7
JournalProtein Expression and Purification
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Euscorpiops validus
  • Ev37
  • Kv1.3 channel
  • Scorpion toxin


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