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Article

C-Terminal residues in small potassium channel blockers OdK1 and OSK3 from scorpion venom fine-tune the selectivity.

Kuzmenkov A., Peigneur S., Chugunov A., Tabakmakher V., Efremov R.G., Tytgat J., Grishin E., Vassilevski A.

We report isolation, sequencing, and electrophysiological characterization of OSK3 (α-KTx 8.8 in Kalium and Uniprot databases), a potassium channel blocker from the scorpion Orthochirus scrobiculosus venom. Using the voltage clamp technique, OSK3 was tested on a wide panel of 11 voltage-gated potassium channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes, and was found to potently inhibit Kv1.2 and Kv1.3 with IC50 values of ~ 331 nM and ~ 503 nM, respectively. OdK1 produced by the scorpion Odontobuthus doriae differs by just two C-terminal residues from OSK3, but shows marked preference to Kv1.2. Based on the charybdotoxin-potassium channel complex crystal structure, a model was built to explain the role of the variable residues in OdK1 and OSK3 selectivity.