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Toxins 2014, 6(3), 796-815; doi:10.3390/toxins6030796
Review

Overview of Scorpion Species from China and Their Toxins

,
, *  and *
State Key Laboratory of Virology, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 December 2013 / Revised: 16 January 2014 / Accepted: 18 January 2014 / Published: 26 February 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scorpion Toxins)
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Abstract

Scorpions are one of the most ancient groups of terrestrial animals. They have maintained a steady morphology over more than 400 million years of evolution. Their venom arsenals for capturing prey and defending against predators may play a critical role in their ancient and conservative appearance. In the current review, we present the scorpion fauna of China: 53 species covering five families and 12 genera. We also systematically list toxins or genes from Chinese scorpion species, involving eight species covering four families. Furthermore, we review the diverse functions of typical toxins from Chinese scorpion species, involving Na+ channel modulators, K+ channel blockers, antimicrobial peptides and protease inhibitors. Using scorpion species and their toxins from China as an example, we build the bridge between scorpion species and their toxins, which helps us to understand the molecular and functional diversity of scorpion venom arsenal, the dynamic and functional evolution of scorpion toxins, and the potential relationships of scorpion species and their toxins.
Keywords: scorpion; fauna; toxin; function; evolution; relationship scorpion; fauna; toxin; function; evolution; relationship
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Cao, Z.; Di, Z.; Wu, Y.; Li, W. Overview of Scorpion Species from China and Their Toxins. Toxins 2014, 6, 796-815.

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