Next Article in Journal
Alteration in the Expression of Cytochrome P450s (CYP1A1, CYP2E1, and CYP3A11) in the Liver of Mouse Induced by Microcystin-LR
Previous Article in Journal
Harmful Algal Bloom Characterization at Ultra-High Spatial and Temporal Resolution Using Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Previous Article in Special Issue
Plectasin, First Animal Toxin-Like Fungal Defensin Blocking Potassium Channels through Recognizing Channel Pore Region
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview

Chlorotoxin: A Helpful Natural Scorpion Peptide to Diagnose Glioma and Fight Tumor Invasion

Grenoble Neuroscience Institute, Inserm U836, Team 3, Chemin Fortuné Ferrini, Bâtiment Edmond Safra, 38042 Grenoble Cedex 09, France
Science Technology Health, Université Joseph Fourier, BP53, 38041 Grenoble, France
Labex Ion Channel Science and Therapeutics, 660 route des lucioles, 06560 Valbonne, France
Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, Minia University, 61519 Minia, Egypt
Ecole des Mines d'Ales, 6 av de Clavieres, 30100 Ales Cedex, France
Inserm UMR 1097, 163, Avenue de Luminy, 13288 Marseille Cedex 09, France
Institut Albert Bonniot, Inserm U823, Rond-Point de la Chantourne, 38706 La Tronche Cedex, France
Smartox Biotechnology, 570 Rue de la Chimie, Bâtiment Nanobio campus, 38400 Saint-Martin d'Hères, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jean-Nicolas Tournier
Toxins 2015, 7(4), 1079-1101;
Received: 12 November 2014 / Revised: 22 December 2014 / Accepted: 20 February 2015 / Published: 27 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Channel Neurotoxins)
PDF [730 KB, uploaded 27 March 2015]


Chlorotoxin is a small 36 amino-acid peptide identified from the venom of the scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus. Initially, chlorotoxin was used as a pharmacological tool to characterize chloride channels. While studying glioma-specific chloride currents, it was soon discovered that chlorotoxin possesses targeting properties towards cancer cells including glioma, melanoma, small cell lung carcinoma, neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma. The investigation of the mechanism of action of chlorotoxin has been challenging because its cell surface receptor target remains under questioning since two other receptors have been claimed besides chloride channels. Efforts on chlorotoxin-based applications focused on producing analogues helpful for glioma diagnosis, imaging and treatment. These efforts are welcome since gliomas are very aggressive brain cancers, close to impossible to cure with the current therapeutic arsenal. Among all the chlorotoxin-based strategies, the most promising one to enhance patient mean survival time appears to be the use of chlorotoxin as a targeting agent for the delivery of anti-tumor agents. Finally, the discovery of chlorotoxin has led to the screening of other scorpion venoms to identify chlorotoxin-like peptides. So far several new candidates have been identified. Only detailed research and clinical investigations will tell us if they share the same anti-tumor potential as chlorotoxin. View Full-Text
Keywords: chlorotoxin; glioma; cancer; targeting; diagnosis; treatment; therapy; chloride channel; Annexin A2; metalloprotease chlorotoxin; glioma; cancer; targeting; diagnosis; treatment; therapy; chloride channel; Annexin A2; metalloprotease

Figure 1

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 (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Dardevet, L.; Rani, D.; Aziz, T.A.E.; Bazin, I.; Sabatier, J.-M.; Fadl, M.; Brambilla, E.; De Waard, M. Chlorotoxin: A Helpful Natural Scorpion Peptide to Diagnose Glioma and Fight Tumor Invasion. Toxins 2015, 7, 1079-1101.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Toxins EISSN 2072-6651 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top