Characteristics and Lethality of a Novel Recombinant  Dermonecrotic Venom Phospholipase D from  Hemiscorpius lepturus.

Research paper by Elham E Torabi, Mahdi M Behdani, Mohammad Hosseininejad MH Chafi, Reza R Moazzami, Jean-Marc JM Sabatier, Vahid V Khalaj, Delavar D Shahbazzadeh, Kamran Pooshang KP Bagheri

Indexed on: 25 Mar '17Published on: 25 Mar '17Published in: Toxins


Hemoscorpius lepturus is the most medically important scorpion in Iran. The clinical signs of H. lepturus envenomation are remarkably similar to those reported for brown spiders, including dermonecrosis, hematuria, renal failure and even death. The lethality and toxicity of brown spiders' venom have been attributed to its phospholipase D activity. This study aims to identify a phospholipase D with possible lethality and dermonecrotic activity in H. lepturus venom. In this study, a cDNA library of the venom glands was generated by Illumina RNA sequencing. Phospholipase D (PLD) from H. lepturus was characterized according to its significant similarity with PLDs from brown spiders. The main chain designated as Hl-RecPLD1 (the first recombinant isoform of H. lepturus PLD) was cloned, expressed and purified. Sphingomyelinase, dermonecrotic and lethal activities were examined. Hl-PLD1 showed remarkable sequence similarity and structural homology with PLDs of brown spiders. The conformation of Hl-PLD1 was predicted as a "TIM beta/alpha-barrel". The lethal dose 50 (LD50) and dermonecrotic activities of Hl-RecPLD1 were determined as 3.1 μg/mouse and 0.7 cm2 at 1 μg respectively. It is the first report indicating that a similar molecular evolutionary mechanism has occurred in both American brown spiders and this Iranian scorpion. In conclusion, Hl-RecPLD1 is a highly active phospholipase D, which would be considered as the lethal dermonecrotic toxin in H. lepturus venom.