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Molecular diversity of toxic components from the scorpion Heterometrus petersii venom revealed by proteomic and transcriptome analysis

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Abstract

Scorpion venoms contain a vast untapped reservoir of natural products, which have the potential for medicinal value in drug discovery. In this study, toxin components from the scorpion Heterometrus petersii venom were evaluated by transcriptome and proteome analysis. Ten known families of venom peptides and proteins were identified, which include: two families of potassium channel toxins, four families of antimicrobial and cytolytic peptides, and one family from each of the calcium channel toxins, La1-like peptides, phospholipase A2, and the serine proteases. In addition, we also identified 12 atypical families, which include the acid phosphatases, diuretic peptides, and ten orphan families. From the data presented here, the extreme diversity and convergence of toxic components in scorpion venom was uncovered. Our work demonstrates the power of combining transcriptomic and proteomic approaches in the study of animal venoms.

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