Elucidation of interaction mechanism of hERG1 potassium channel with scorpion toxins BeKm-1 and BmTx3b

Beril Colak Gunay, Mine Yurtsever, Serdar Durdagi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The human ether-a-go-go related gene 1 (hERG1) K+ channels play crucial role in the heart, different regions of brain, endocrine cells, smooth muscle cells, and numerous tumor cells. It is known that the inherited mutations of hERG1 gene may lead to the disorder of cardiac repolarization (i.e., long QT syndrome (LQTS)), which may result in sudden cardiac death. It is known that K+ ion channels involved in signaling pathways lead to cell proliferation or apoptosis and some specific toxins were investigated for diverse therapeutic applications on targeting the hERG1 K+ channel. Thus, investigation of channel/toxin interactions mechanisms in atomic level is an important topic for the development of toxin-based therapeutics. Thus, in this work, the interaction mechanisms of two toxins named as BeKm-1 and BmTx3b with the closed-state hERG1 channel have been studied by using different molecular modeling techniques including protein-protein docking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The crucial residues of toxins in channel interactions have been elucidated. It is found that R1, K6, K18, R20, K23 and R27 residues in BeKm-1 and F1, K7, K19, K20 and K28 in BmTx3b are the important residues involved in the strong interactions with the closed-state hERG1 K+ channel. The results of this study can be used by medicinal chemists in the designing of diverse therapeutic applications of natural or synthetic peptides targeting the closed state hERG1 K+ channels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107504
JournalJournal of Molecular Graphics and Modelling
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Inc.


This work was supported by Istanbul Technical University (ITU) , Scientific Research Fund (Grant number: 39258 ). The numerical calculations reported in this paper were performed at TUBITAK ULAKBIM, High Performance and Grid Computing Center (TRUBA Resources). We thank them for providing us computational resources and technical help for this research.

FundersFunder number
Scientific Research Fund39258
Istanbul Teknik Üniversitesi


    • hERG1 channel
    • MM/PBSA calculations
    • Molecular dynamics
    • Protein-protein docking
    • Scorpion toxins


    Dive into the research topics of 'Elucidation of interaction mechanism of hERG1 potassium channel with scorpion toxins BeKm-1 and BmTx3b'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this