Scorpion Venom Research Around the World: Turkish Scorpions

  • Figen Caliskan
Reference work entry
Part of the Toxinology book series (TOXI, volume 4)


Pharmacological diversity of animal venoms has made them valuable sources of highly specific molecular tools in drug discovery research. Scorpion venoms contain a number of biologically active compounds, where peptides and proteins play a primary role as novel pharmacologically active molecules. In Turkey, there are 27 different species of scorpions described belonging to the Buthidae, Iuridae, Scorpionidae, and Euscorpiidae families. Despite the long history of venom research in the world, the venom of only few Turkish scorpion species has been investigated. Several health-threatening scorpions are found in Turkey, all of them belonging to the Buthidae family: Androctonus crassicauda, Buthacus macrocentrus, Leiurus abdullahbayrami, Mesobuthus eupeus, and Mesobuthus gibbosus species. Envenomations are characterized by local pain, hyperemia, swelling, burning, hypotension, hypertension, dry mouth, thirst, and sweating. Envenomated patients require medical attention, some of which might be fatal. This chapter gives an overview of peptide research done on the venom of Turkish scorpions and contains some revisions of earlier reports according to newly described scorpion species which was previously incorrectly identified. Up to date, only three medically important scorpion venoms from Buthidae family have been deeply investigated by high-performance liquid chromatography separations, mass spectrometry analysis, and amino acid sequences by direct Edman degradation in conjunction with gene codes obtained from cDNA libraries and electrophysiological records. Eight peptides have been identified from A. crassicauda and named as Acra1 to Acra8, only one peptide from B. macrocentrus named as Bu1, and four peptides from M. gibbosus named as MegKTx1 to MegKTx4. Additionally, electrophoretic profiles of L. abdullahbayrami and Mesobuthus eupeus (Buthidae) and Protoiurus kraepelini and Iurus kinzelbachi (Iuridae) venoms are reported. Also in vivo effects and in vitro cytotoxic and gelatinolytic activities of the A. crassicauda and M. gibbosus crude venom are reported.


High Performance Liquid Chromatography Gelatinolytic Activity Scorpion Venom Crude Venom Scorpion Toxin 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Science and Art, Department of BiologyEskisehir Osmangazi UniversityEskisehirTurkey

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