Venoms of Iranian Scorpions (Arachnida, Scorpiones) and Their Potential for Drug Discovery


  • Kazemi Seyed Mahdi
  • Sabatier Jean-Marc


  • Scorpion
  • Fauna
  • Venom
  • Toxin
  • Iran


Scorpions, a characteristic group of arthropods, are among the earliest diverging arachnids, dating back almost 440 million years. One of the many interesting aspects of scorpions is that they have venom arsenals for capturing prey and defending against predators, which may play a critical role in their evolutionary success. Unfortunately, however, scorpion envenomation represents a serious health problem in several countries, including Iran. Iran is acknowledged as an area with a high richness of scorpion species and families. The diversity of the scorpion fauna in Iran is the subject of this review, in which we report a total of 78 species and subspecies in 19 genera and four families. We also list some of the toxins or genes studied from five species, including Androctonus crassicauda, Hottentotta zagrosensis, Mesobuthus phillipsi, Odontobuthus doriae, and Hemiscorpius lepturus, in the Buthidae and Hemiscorpiidae families. Lastly, we review the diverse functions of typical toxins from the Iranian scorpion species, including their medical applications.

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