Boodida Chandragiri, Mallaiah Kampally


Scorpion and its organs have been used to cure epilepsy, rheumatism, and male impotency since medieval times. Scorpion venom which contains different compounds like enzyme and non-enzyme proteins, ions, free amino acids, and other organic inorganic substances have been reported to posses antiproliferative, cytotoxic, apoptogenic, and immunosuppressive properties. We report the cytotoxic and antiproliferative effects of scorpion venom in human MCF-7 cells. After exposure of cells to medium containing varying concentrations of venom (10, 20, 30, 50, and 75 µM/ml), cell viability decreased 62%, 58%, 49%, 41% and 29% respectively, after 24 hrs. Cells expressed morphological changes like swelling, inhibition of neurite outgrowth, irregular shape, aggregation, rupture of membrane, and release of cytosolic contents after treatment with venom. The cytotoxicity of heteroscorpion venom against MCF (Michigan Cancer Foundation) cancer cell lines was investigated through standard MTT assay and Comet assay. The Comet assay method for measuring deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) strand breaks, the Comet DNA damage determined under microscopic analysis.  heteroscorpion venom showed moderate toxicity on MCF respectively. Interestingly, venom exhibited remarkable cytotoxicity results with IC50 of 28.53µM on MCF cell lines which are comparable to the infamous anti-cancer drug, MCF cells were treated with 50 µM of heteroscorpion venom and incubated at 37 °c for 24 hrs along with a set of control cells to determined Comet DNA damage where respectively in order of tail length 63µm, and head length 41 µm. Our results show cytotoxic and antiproliferative potential of scorpion venom in human MCF-7 cells. These properties make scorpion venom a valuable therapeutic agent in cancer research.

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