Toxic potential analysis of proteases and peptides present in scorpion Tityus serrulatus venom and the blockage capacity of commercial antivenoms: Enhancing the knowledge of venom and its mechanism of action.
Currently, cases of scorpion accidents involving humans are considered a public health problem in Brazil, and the numbers of such accidents surpass the reported data with other venomous animals such as snakes and spiders. The scorpions from Tityus genus are mainly responsible for such situation and, among them, the Tityus serrulatus (yellow scorpion) is the most important. This relevance is due to a high toxicity of its venom and, along with its reproductive strategy (parthenogenesis) and its easy adaptation to urban centers, it contributes to the increase on number of accidents of medical importance. As other animal venoms, the T. serrulatus venom (TsV) is a complex mixture of components that acts on different targets in the prey/victim, wherein peptides that interacts with ion channels are consider the main components. Although much information about neurotoxins is available, the same cannot be said about the proteolytic and peptides components present in this venom. Our laboratory has already obtained four publications about the characterization of these components, and with every discovery, new questions arise. Of these, two main questions are intriguing us. The first is about the failure of commercial antivenoms (anti-scorpionic and anti-arachnid sera) on blocking proteolytic activities and probably on peptides activities present in the T. serrulatus venom. The second question is about the role of these components during the envenomation. In addition, this project also aims to expand our studies analyzing the possible cytotoxic and pro- or anti-inflammatory effects of synthetic peptides and proteases purified from TsV. Obtaining answers for these questions is our greatest motivation to prepare this research project. (AU)
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