Correlation of Venom Toxinome Composition of Indian Red Scorpion (Mesobuthus tamulus) with Clinical Manifestations of Scorpion Stings: Failure of Commercial Antivenom to Immune-Recognize the Abundance of Low Molecular Mass Toxins of this Venom
Das, B.; Patra, A.; Mukherjee, A.K.
Journal of Proteome Research 19(4): 1847-1856
The Indian red scorpion (Mesobuthus tamulus), with its life-threatening sting, is the world's most dangerous species of scorpion. The toxinome composition of M. tamulus venom was determined by tandem mass spectrometry (MS) analysis of venom protein bands separated by SDS-PAGE. A total of 110 venom toxins were identified from searching the MS data against the Buthidae family (taxid: 6855) of toxin entries in nonredundant protein databases. The Na+ and K+ ion channel toxins taken together are the most abundant toxins (76.7%) giving rise to the neurotoxic nature of this venom. The other minor toxin classes in the M. tamulus venom proteome are serine protease-like protein (2.9%), serine protease inhibitor (2.2%), antimicrobial peptide (2.3%), hyaluronidase (2.2%), makatoxin (2.1%), lipolysis potentiating peptides (1.2%), neurotoxin affecting Cl- channel (1%), parabutoporin (0.6%), Ca2+ channel toxins (0.8%), bradykinin potentiating peptides (0.2%), HMG CoA reductase inhibitor (0.1%), and other toxins with unknown pharmacological activity (7.7%). Several of these toxins have been shown to be promising drug candidates. M. tamulus venom does not show enzymatic activity (phospholipase A2, l-amino acid oxidase, adenosine tri-, di-, and monophosphatase, hyaluronidase, metalloproteinase, and fibrinogenolytic), in vitro hemolytic activity, interference with blood coagulation, or platelet modulation properties. The clinical manifestations post M. tamulus sting have been described in the literature and are well correlated with its venom proteome composition. An abundance of low molecular mass toxins (3-15 kDa) are responsible for exerting the major pharmacological effects of M. tamulus venom, though they are poorly immune-recognized by commercial scorpion antivenom. This is a major concern for the development of effective antivenom therapy against scorpion stings.