Abstract: Martentoxin (MarTX), a 37-residue peptide purified from the venom of East-Asian scorpion (Buthus martensi Karsch), was capable of blocking large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ (BK) channels. Here, we report an effective expression and purification approach for this toxin. The cDNA encoding martentoxin was expressed by the prokaryotic expression system pGEX-4T-3 which was added an enterokinase cleavage site by PCR. The fusion protein (GST-rMarTX) was digested by enterokinase to release hetero-expressed toxin and further purified via reverse-phase HPLC. The molecular weight of the hetero-expressed rMarTX was 4059.06 Da, which is identical to that of the natural peptide isolated from scorpion venom. Functional characterization through whole-cell patch clamp showed that rMarTX selectively and potently inhibited the currents of neuronal BK channels (α + β4) (IC50 = 186 nM), partly inhibited mKv1.3, but hardly having any significant effect on hKv4.2 and hKv3.1a even at 10 μM. Successful expression of martentoxin lays basis for further studies of structure-function relationship underlying martentoxin or other potassium-channel specific blockers.
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Tao, J.; Zhou, Z.L.; Wu, B.; Shi, J.; Chen, X.M.; Ji, Y.H. Recombinant Expression and Functional Characterization of Martentoxin: A Selective Inhibitor for BK Channel (α + β4). Toxins 2014, 6, 1419-1433.
Tao J, Zhou ZL, Wu B, Shi J, Chen XM, Ji YH. Recombinant Expression and Functional Characterization of Martentoxin: A Selective Inhibitor for BK Channel (α + β4). Toxins. 2014; 6(4):1419-1433.
Tao, Jie; Zhou, Zhi L.; Wu, Bin; Shi, Jian; Chen, Xiao M.; Ji, Yong H. 2014. "Recombinant Expression and Functional Characterization of Martentoxin: A Selective Inhibitor for BK Channel (α + β4)." Toxins 6, no. 4: 1419-1433.