Baltazar Becerril

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K(+) channels are macromolecules embedded in biological membranes, where they play a key role in cellular excitability and signal transduction pathways. Knowledge of their structure should help improve our understanding of their function and lead to the design of therapeutic compounds. Most pharmacological and structural characteristics of these channels(More)
From the cDNA libraries made from the venom glands of two scorpions belonging to the Vaejovidae family, four different putative non disulfide-bridged antimicrobial peptides were identified: VmCT1 and VmCT2 from Vaejovis mexicanus smithi plus VsCT1 and VsCT2 from Vaejovis subcristatus. These short peptides (with only 13 amino acid residues each) share(More)
Potassium-channel-blocking scorpion toxins (alpha-K-toxins) have been shown to be valuable tools for the study of potassium channels. Here we report two toxins, cobatoxin 1 and 2, of 32 amino acids, containing three disulphide bridges, that were isolated from the venom of the Mexican scorpion Centruroides noxius. Their primary sequences show less than 40%(More)
Voltage-gated potassium channels of the ether-a-go-go related gene (ERG) family are implicated in many important cellular processes. Three such genes have been cloned (erg1, erg2 and erg3) and shown to be expressed in the central nervous system (CNS) of mammalians. This communication describes the isolation and characterization of two isoforms of scorpion(More)
Several site directed mutations were introduced into a synthetic Noxiustoxin (NTX) gene. Alanine scanning of the nonapeptide at the N-terminal segment of NTX (threonine 1 (T1) to serine 9 (S9)) was constructed and the recombinant products were obtained in pure form. Additionally, lysine 28 (K28) was changed to arginine (R) or glutamic acid (E), cysteine 29(More)
alpha-Conotoxins from marine snails are known to be selective and potent competitive antagonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Here we describe the purification, structural features and activity of two novel toxins, SrIA and SrIB, isolated from Conus spurius collected in the Yucatan Channel, Mexico. As determined by direct amino acid and cDNA(More)
From the venom of the Mexican scorpion Centruroides elegans Thorell five peptides were isolated to homogeneity by chromatographic procedures and their full amino acid sequence was determined by automatic Edman degradation. They all belong to the Noxiustoxin subfamily of scorpion toxins and were given the systematic names alpha-KTx 2.8 to 2.12, with trivial(More)
The antimicrobial potential of two new non-disulfide bound peptides, named VpAmp1.0 (LPFFLLSLIPSAISAIKKI, amidated) and VpAmp2.0 (FWGFLGKLAMKAVPSLIGGNKSSSK) is here reported. These are 19- and 25-aminoacid-long peptides with +2 and +4 net charges, respectively. Their sequences correspond to the predicted mature regions from longer precursors, putatively(More)
Peptide de13a was previously purified from the venom of the worm-hunting cone snail Conus delessertii from the Yucatán Channel, México. This peptide has eight cysteine (Cys) residues in the unique arrangement C-C-C-CC-C-C-C, which defines the cysteine framework XIII ("-" represents one or more non-Cys residues). Remarkably, δ-hydroxy-lysine residues have(More)
Scorpions belonging to the Buthidae family have traditionally drawn much of the biochemist's attention due to the strong toxicity of their venoms. Scorpions not toxic to mammals, however, also have complex venoms. They have been shown to be an important source of bioactive peptides, some of them identified as potential drug candidates for the treatment of(More)