Long (4 C-C) scorpion toxin superfamily, Sodium channel inhibitor family, Alpha subfamily

General Scorpion α-toxins bind to site 3 of the voltage-gated sodium channels (Nav) and function by preventing outward movement of the S4 segment from domain IV of these channels, decreasing or delaying the inactivation mechanism (Couraud et al., 1982, Cestele and Catterall, 2000, Rodriguez de la Vega and Possani, 2005).

This group of toxins can be sub-divided into three main groups, named "α-classic", "anti-insect" and "α-like", according to prey phylum preference. The α-classic group is active in mammals with poor toxicity against insects, the anti-insect toxins show high toxicity towards insects, and the α-like toxins are active in both mammals and insects, with a preference for insects (Gordon et al., 2007).