, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 265-278

Molecular mechanism of scorpion neurotoxins acting on sodium channels

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Abstract

Scorpion toxins that affect sodium channel gating traditionally are divided into α- and β-classes. They show vast diversity in their selectivity for phyletic- or isoform-specific sodium channels. This article discusses the molecular mechanism of the selectivity. Moreover, a phylogenetic tree of scorpion toxins has been constructed, which, together with the worldwide distribution of toxins and the zoogeographic dispersion of the studied genera, offers an insight into the evolution of diverse scorption toxins.