The amino acid sequence for the variant-3 (CsE-v3) toxin from the venom of the scorpion Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing contains eight aromatic residues. By use of 2D NMR spectroscopic methods, the resonances from the individual protons (NH, CαH, CβH', H”, and the ring) for each of the individual aromatic residues have been completely assigned. The spatial arrangement of the aromatic ring systems with respect to each other has been qualitatively analyzed by 2D-NOESY techniques. The results show that Trp-47, Tyr-4, and Tyr-42 are in close spatial proximity to each other. The NOESY contacts and the ring current induced shifts in the resonances of the individual protons of Tyr-4 and Trp-47 suggest that the aromatic ring planes of these residues are in an orthogonal arrangement. In addition, the spatial proximity of the rings in the pairs Tyr-4, Tyr-58; Tyr-42, Tyr-40; and Tyr-40, Tyr-38 has also been established. A comparison with the published crystal structure suggests that there is a minor rearrangement of the aromatic rings in the solution phase. No 2D-NOESY contacts involving Phe-44 and Tyr-14 to any other aromatic ring protons have been observed. The pH dependence of the aromatic ring proton chemical shifts has also been studied. These results suggest that the Tyr-58 phenolic group is experiencing a hydrogen-bonding interaction with a positively charged group, while Tyr-4, -14, -38, and -40 are experiencing through-space interactions with proximal negatively charged groups. The Trp-47 indole NH is interacting with the carboxylate groups of two proximal acidic residues. These studies define the microenvironment of the aromatic residues in the variant-3 neurotoxin in aqueous solution. © 1989, American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.