Beta-KTx14.3, a scorpion toxin, blocks the human potassium channel KCNQ1.Titaux-Delgado, G., Lopez-Giraldo, A.E., Carrillo, E., Cofas-Vargas, L.F., Carranza, L.E., Lopez-Vera, E., Garcia-Hernandez, E., Del Rio-Portilla, F.
(2023) Biochim Biophys Acta Proteins Proteom 1871: 140906-140906
- PubMed: 36918120
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbapap.2023.140906
- Primary Citation of Related Structures:
- PubMed Abstract:
Potassium channels play a key role in regulating many physiological processes, thus, alterations in their proper functioning can lead to the development of several diseases. Hence, the search for compounds capable of regulating the activity of these channels constitutes an intense field of investigation. Potassium scorpion toxins are grouped into six subfamilies (α, β, γ, κ, δ, and λ). However, experimental structures and functional analyses of the long chain β-KTx subfamily are lacking. In this study, we recombinantly produced the toxins TcoKIK and beta-KTx14.3 present in the venom of Tityus costatus and Lychas mucronatus scorpions, respectively. The 3D structures of these β-KTx toxins were determined by nuclear magnetic resonance. In both toxins, the N-terminal region is unstructured, while the C-terminal possesses the classic CSα/β motif. TcoKIK did not show any clear activity against frog Shaker and human KCNQ1 potassium channels; however, beta-KTx14.3 was able to block the KCNQ1 channel. The toxin-channel interaction mode was investigated using molecular dynamics simulations. The results showed that this toxin could form a stable network of polar-to-polar and hydrophobic interactions with KCNQ1, involving key conserved residues in both molecular partners. The discovery and characterization of a toxin capable of inhibiting KCNQ1 pave the way for the future development of novel drugs for the treatment of human diseases caused by the malfunction of this potassium channel. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Scorpion toxins have been shown to rarely block human KCNQ1 channels, which participate in the regulation of cardiac processes. In this study, we obtained recombinant beta-KTx14.3 and TcoKIK toxins and determined their 3D structures by nuclear magnetic resonance. Electrophysiological studies and molecular dynamics models were employed to examine the interactions between these two toxins and the human KCNQ1, which is the major driver channel of cardiac repolarization; beta-KTx14.3 was found to block effectively this channel. Our findings provide insights for the development of novel toxin-based drugs for the treatment of cardiac channelopathies involving KCNQ1-like channels.
Laboratorio de Toxinología Marina, Unidad Académica de Ecología y Biodiversidad Acuática, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Ciudad de México 04510, Mexico.