Weishan Yang

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Human potassium channels are widely inhibited by peptide toxins from venomous animals. However, no human endogenous peptide inhibitor has been discovered so far. In this study, we demonstrate for the first time using electrophysiological techniques, that endogenous human β–defensin 2 (hBD2) is able to selectively and dose-dependently inhibit the human(More)
Potassium channel functions are often deciphered by using selective and potent scorpion toxins. Among these toxins, only a limited subset is capable of selectively blocking small conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (SK) channels. The structural bases of this selective SK channel recognition remain unclear. In this work, we demonstrate the key role of the(More)
Representing a basal branch of arachnids, scorpions are known as 'living fossils' that maintain an ancient anatomy and are adapted to have survived extreme climate changes. Here we report the genome sequence of Mesobuthus martensii, containing 32,016 protein-coding genes, the most among sequenced arthropods. Although M. martensii appears to evolve(More)
Peptides with Ascaris-type fold are a new kind of toxins founded from venomous animals recently. Functionally, these unique toxin peptides had been identified as potent protease inhibitors, which was similar to other known Ascaris-type peptides from non-venomous animals. Whether Ascaris-type peptides from venom animals have neurotoxin activities remains(More)
Besides classical scorpion toxin-potassium channel binding modes, novel modes remain unknown. Here, we report a novel binding mode of native toxin BmKTX towards Kv1.3 channel. The combined experimental and computational data indicated that BmKTX-D33H analog used the classical anti-parallel β-sheet domain as the channel-interacting interface together with(More)
BACKGROUND Recently, a new subfamily of long-chain toxins with a Kunitz-type fold was found in scorpion venom glands. Functionally, these toxins inhibit protease activity and block potassium channels. However, the genomic organization and three-dimensional (3-D) structure of this kind of scorpion toxin has not been reported. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS Here, we(More)
BACKGROUND Serine protease inhibitors act as modulators of serine proteases, playing important roles in protecting animal toxin peptides from degradation. However, all known serine protease inhibitors discovered thus far from animal venom belong to the Kunitz-type subfamily, and whether there are other novel types of protease inhibitors in animal venom(More)
Although numerous Kunitz-type toxins were isolated from snake venom, no bifunctional Kunitz-type snake toxins with protease and potassium channel inhibiting properties have been reported till now. With the help of bioinformatics analyses and biological experiments, we characterized Kunitz-type snake toxin BF9 as a bifunctional peptide. Enzyme and inhibitor(More)
During the long-term evolution of animal toxins acting on potassium channels, the acidic residues can orientate the toxin binding interfaces by adjusting the molecular polarity. Based on the evolutionary function of toxin acidic residues, de novo peptide drugs with distinct binding interfaces were designed for the immunotherapeutic target, the Kv1.3(More)
The potassium channels were recently found to be inhibited by animal toxin-like human β-defensin 2 (hBD2), the first defensin blocker of potassium channels. Whether there are other defensin blockers from different organisms remains an open question. Here, we reported the potassium channel-blocking plectasin, the first defensin blocker from a fungus. Based(More)