Paulistine—The functional duality of awasp venom peptide toxin
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It has been reported that Paulistine in the venom of the wasp Polybia paulista co-exists as two different forms: an oxidized form presenting a compact structure due to the presence of a disulfide bridge, which causes inflammation through an apparent interaction with receptors in the 5-lipoxygenase pathway, and a naturally reduced form (without the disulfide bridge) that exists in a linear conformation and which also causes hyperalgesia and acts in the cyclooxygenase type II pathway. The reduced peptide was acetamidomethylated (Acm-Paulistine) to stabilize this form, and it still maintained its typical inflammatory activity. Oxidized Paulistine docks onto PGHS2 (COX-2) molecules, blocking the access of oxygen to the heme group and inhibiting the inflammatory activity of Acm-Paulistine in the cyclooxygenase type II pathway. Docking simulations revealed that the site of the docking of Paulistine within the PGHS2 molecule is unusual among commercial inhibitors of the enzyme, with an affinity potentially much higher than those observed for traditional anti-inflammatory drugs. Therefore, Paulistine causes inflammatory activity at the level of the 5-lipooxygenase pathway and, in parallel, it competes with its reduced form in relation to the activation of the cyclooxygenase pathway. Thus, while the reduced Paulistine causes inflammation, its oxidized form is a potent inhibitor of this activity.
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