An alpha-toxin responsible for nitric oxide (NO) release in rabbit corpus cavernosum (RbCC) was isolated from Tityus serrulatus venom (TSV). The isolated peptide (molecular mass of 7427.66+/-0.15 Da) was identified as Ts3 after determination of Cys residues, N-terminal amino acid analysis, and proteolytic peptide mapping. Ts3 (30 nM) markedly relaxed the RbCC; this response was blocked by the NO synthesis inhibitor N(omega)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (100 microM) and the Na+ channel blocker tetrodotoxin (100 nM). Synthetic peptides based on either Ts3 (P1-16, P17-32, P33-48, P49-64, P9-24, P25-40, P41-56, YGLPDKVPTKT) or Bukatoxin (isolated from Buthus martensi Karsch scorpion venom) sequence (Buka11, Buka11-B, PDKVP, PDSEP) were assayed. These peptides slightly relaxed the RbCC, and such an effect was independent of Na+ channel activation or NO release. Our results indicate that Ts3 exerts nitrergic actions and contributes to the relaxing activity of TSV in RbCC, thus providing a valuable tool to investigate the mechanisms underlying nerve activation in erectile tissues, because NO released from nitrergic fibers plays a key role in the erectile process. Our findings revealed the key importance of the Ts3 structure three-dimensional conformation maintenance for biological activity, because linear peptide sequences neither presented substantial relaxations nor was this effect related to nitrergic activity.
|Titolo:||Sequence and structure-activity relationship of a scorpion venom toxin with nitrergic activity in rabbit corpus cavernosum.|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2003|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|