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Sample records for fish venoms

  1. Bioactive Components in Fish Venoms

    PubMed Central

    Ziegman, Rebekah; Alewood, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Animal venoms are widely recognized excellent resources for the discovery of novel drug leads and physiological tools. Most are comprised of a large number of components, of which the enzymes, small peptides, and proteins are studied for their important bioactivities. However, in spite of there being over 2000 venomous fish species, piscine venoms have been relatively underrepresented in the literature thus far. Most studies have explored whole or partially fractioned venom, revealing broad pharmacology, which includes cardiovascular, neuromuscular, cytotoxic, inflammatory, and nociceptive activities. Several large proteinaceous toxins, such as stonustoxin, verrucotoxin, and Sp-CTx, have been isolated from scorpaenoid fish. These form pores in cell membranes, resulting in cell death and creating a cascade of reactions that result in many, but not all, of the physiological symptoms observed from envenomation. Additionally, Natterins, a novel family of toxins possessing kininogenase activity have been found in toadfish venom. A variety of smaller protein toxins, as well as a small number of peptides, enzymes, and non-proteinaceous molecules have also been isolated from a range of fish venoms, but most remain poorly characterized. Many other bioactive fish venom components remain to be discovered and investigated. These represent an untapped treasure of potentially useful molecules. PMID:25941767

  2. Bioactive components in fish venoms.

    PubMed

    Ziegman, Rebekah; Alewood, Paul

    2015-05-01

    Animal venoms are widely recognized excellent resources for the discovery of novel drug leads and physiological tools. Most are comprised of a large number of components, of which the enzymes, small peptides, and proteins are studied for their important bioactivities. However, in spite of there being over 2000 venomous fish species, piscine venoms have been relatively underrepresented in the literature thus far. Most studies have explored whole or partially fractioned venom, revealing broad pharmacology, which includes cardiovascular, neuromuscular, cytotoxic, inflammatory, and nociceptive activities. Several large proteinaceous toxins, such as stonustoxin, verrucotoxin, and Sp-CTx, have been isolated from scorpaenoid fish. These form pores in cell membranes, resulting in cell death and creating a cascade of reactions that result in many, but not all, of the physiological symptoms observed from envenomation. Additionally, Natterins, a novel family of toxins possessing kininogenase activity have been found in toadfish venom. A variety of smaller protein toxins, as well as a small number of peptides, enzymes, and non-proteinaceous molecules have also been isolated from a range of fish venoms, but most remain poorly characterized. Many other bioactive fish venom components remain to be discovered and investigated. These represent an untapped treasure of potentially useful molecules. PMID:25941767

  3. The pharmacological activity of fish venoms.

    PubMed

    Church, Jarrod E; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2002-08-01

    Venomous creatures have been the source of much recent research in the effort to find novel physiological tools and pharmaceuticals. However, due to the technical difficulties with obtaining and storing venom extracts, the venoms of marine animals, particularly fish, remain a largely untapped source of novel compounds. The most potent effects of piscine venoms are on the cardiovascular system. All piscine venoms produce profound cardiovascular changes, both in vitro and in vivo, including the release of nitric oxide from endothelial cells, smooth muscle contraction, and differing effects on atria. Although there is a complex balance between different components of the venom response, similarities exist between the responses to the venoms of all species of fish. In addition to their cardiovascular effects, piscine venoms possess neuromuscular activity. Once again, the activities of most piscine venoms are very similar, usually consisting of a depolarising action on both nerve and muscle cells. Most piscine venoms have potent cytolytic activity, and it seems likely that this activity is the mechanism behind many of their cardiovascular and neuromuscular effects. Piscine venoms all seem to share similar activity, probably as a result of evolving for a common purpose, and cross-reactivity with stonefish antivenom, both functionally in experimental models and in Western immunoblotting analysis, suggesting that piscine venoms may also possess structural similarities in addition to their functional similarities. PMID:12165309

  4. Venomous fish stings in tropical northern Australia.

    PubMed

    Isbister, G K

    2001-11-01

    Venomous fish stings are a common environment hazard worldwide. This study investigated the clinical effects and treatment of venomous fish stings. A prospective observational case series of patients presenting with venomous fish stings was conducted in tropical northern Australia. Twenty-two fish stings were included; subjects were 3 females and 19 males; mean age 35 (range 10-63). 9 by stingrays, 8 by catfish, 1 by a stonefish, 1 by a silver scat (Selenotocota multifasciata), and 3 by unknown fish. All patients had severe pain, but less commonly erythema, 3 cases (14%); swelling, 7 cases (33%); bleeding, 5 cases (24%); numbness, 4 cases (19%); and radiating pain, 3 cases (14%). Mild systemic effects occurred in one stingray injury. Treatment included hot water immersion, which was completely effective in 73% of cases, analgesia, wound exploration and prophylactic antibiotics. Stingray injuries should be explored and debrided with large wounds, while other stings only need appropriate cleaning. The routine use of antibiotics is not recommended. PMID:11699001

  5. Kininogenase activity of Thalassophryne nattereri fish venom.

    PubMed

    Lopes-Ferreira, Mônica; Emim, José Artur da Silva; Oliveira, Vitor; Puzer, Luciano; Cezari, Maria Helena; Araújo, Mariana da Silva; Juliano, Luiz; Lapa, Antônio José; Souccar, Caden; Moura-da-Silva, Ana Maria

    2004-12-01

    Accidents caused by the venomous fish Thalassophryne nattereri are characterized by edema, intense pain and necrosis at the site of the sting. This study assessed the nociceptive and edematogenic activities of T. nattereri venom after injection into the mouse hindpaw and determination of the paw licking duration and weight. Subplantar injections of the venom (0.1-6 microg) induced a dose-related increase of the paw licking time and paw swelling with maximal values at 3 microg (209.5 +/- 57.5 s and 135.0 +/- 6.8 mg, respectively). Pretreatment of mice with either indomethacin (10 mg/kg, i.p.), a cyclooxygenase inhibitor, dexamethasone (1 mg/kg, s.c.), a steroid anti-inflammatory agent, cyproheptadine (1 mg/kg, i.p.), antagonist of serotonin receptors or L-NAME (100 mg/kg, s.c.), inhibitor of nitric oxide syntase, did not affect the venom-induced nociceptive and edematogenic responses. Injection of the opioid analgesic fentanyl (0.1 mg/kg, s.c.) reduced the paw licking time induced by 1 microg venom by 84% of control, without affecting the paw swelling. Both nociceptive and edematogenic responses were reduced after treatment with a specific tissue kallikrein inhibitor (TKI, 100 mg/kg, i.p.) by 78% and 24% from control values, respectively. Administration of a specific plasma kallikrein inhibitor (PKSI(527,) 100 mg/kg, s.c.) did not affect the venom-induced nociceptive response, but it decreased the paw edema by 15% from control. After injection of the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor captopril (100 mg/kg, i.p.) the venom-induced nociceptive end edematogenic responses were increased by two-fold. The role of kallikreins possibly present in the venom was further assessed by hydrolysis of human kininogen and kininogen-derived synthetic peptides, showing the release of kallidin (Lys-bradykinin). The hydrolysis was inhibited by metal chelating agents but not by serino-, aspartyl- or cysteino-proteinase inhibitors. The data suggest that a protease with tissue

  6. Venom evolution widespread in fishes: a phylogenetic road map for the bioprospecting of piscine venoms.

    PubMed

    Smith, William Leo; Wheeler, Ward C

    2006-01-01

    Knowledge of evolutionary relationships or phylogeny allows for effective predictions about the unstudied characteristics of species. These include the presence and biological activity of an organism's venoms. To date, most venom bioprospecting has focused on snakes, resulting in six stroke and cancer treatment drugs that are nearing U.S. Food and Drug Administration review. Fishes, however, with thousands of venoms, represent an untapped resource of natural products. The first step involved in the efficient bioprospecting of these compounds is a phylogeny of venomous fishes. Here, we show the results of such an analysis and provide the first explicit suborder-level phylogeny for spiny-rayed fishes. The results, based on approximately 1.1 million aligned base pairs, suggest that, in contrast to previous estimates of 200 venomous fishes, >1,200 fishes in 12 clades should be presumed venomous. This assertion was corroborated by a detailed anatomical study examining potentially venomous structures in >100 species. The results of these studies not only alter our view of the diversity of venomous fishes, now representing >50% of venomous vertebrates, but also provide the predictive phylogeny or "road map" for the efficient search for potential pharmacological agents or physiological tools from the unexplored fish venoms. PMID:16740627

  7. Important biological activities induced by Thalassophryne maculosa fish venom.

    PubMed

    Sosa-Rosales, Josefina Ines; Piran-Soares, Ana Amélia; Farsky, Sandra H P; Takehara, Harumi Ando; Lima, Carla; Lopes-Ferreira, Mônica

    2005-02-01

    The accidents caused by Thalassophryne maculosa fish venoms are frequent and represent a public health problem in some regions of Venezuela. Most accidents occur in the fishing communities and tourists. The clinical picture is characterized by severe pain, dizziness, fever, edema, and necrosis. Due to the lack of efficient therapy it may take weeks, or even months for complete recovery of the victims. The investigations presented here were undertaken to assess the eletrophoretical profile and principal biological properties of the T. maculosa venom. Venom obtained from fresh captured specimens of this fish was tested in vitro or in animal models for a better characterization of its toxic activities. In contrast to other fish venoms, T. maculosa venom showed relative low LD50. The injection of venom in the footpad of mice reproduced a local inflammatory lesion similar to that described in humans. Significant increase of the nociceptive and edematogenic responses was observed followed within 48 h by necrosis. Pronounced alterations on microvascular hemodynamics were visualized after venom application. These alterations were represented by fibrin depots and thrombus formation followed by complete venular stasis and transient arteriolar contraction. T. maculosa venom is devoid of phospholipase A2 activity, but the venom showed proteolytic and myotoxic activities. SDS-Page analysis of the crude venom showed important bands: one band located above 97 M(w), one band between 68 and 97 M(w), one major band between 29 and 43 M(w) and the last one located below 18.4 M(w) Then, the results presented here support that T. maculosa venom present a mixture of bioactive toxins involved in a local inflammatory lesion. PMID:15626364

  8. Variation in lethality and effects of two Australian chirodropid jellyfish venoms in fish.

    PubMed

    Kintner, Anna H; Seymour, Jamie E; Edwards, Susan L

    2005-11-01

    The North Queensland chirodropid box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri and Chiropsalmus sp. share similar nematocyst composition and the same prey of Acetes australis shrimps in their early medusa stages; however, as C. fleckeri individuals reach larger size, the animals add fish to their diet and their complement of nematocyst types changes, allowing larger doses of venom to be delivered to prey. This study demonstrated that the venoms of the two species differ as well: despite similar effects previously documented in crustacean prey models, the two had widely different cardiac and lethal effects in fish, with C. fleckeri being substantially more potent in its ability to cause death. Comparisons between the venom delivery abilities of the two species showed that the change in nematocysts of C. fleckeri cannot alone account for its ontogenetic shift to prey fish; instead, its prey ecology clearly necessitates it having venom capable of acting efficiently to cause death in fish. Although this venom is almost certainly produced at greater metabolic cost to the animal than the less-lethal venom of Chiropsalmus sp., owing to its greater molecular protein complexity, it confers the advantage of increased caloric intake from fish prey, facilitating larger size and potentially greater reproductive output of C. fleckeri over Chiropsalmus sp. PMID:16165181

  9. Analysis of the intersexual variation in Thalassophryne maculosa fish venoms.

    PubMed

    Lopes-Ferreira, Mônica; Sosa-Rosales, Ines; Bruni, Fernanda M; Ramos, Anderson D; Vieira Portaro, Fernanda Calheta; Conceição, Katia; Lima, Carla

    2016-06-01

    Gender related variation in the molecular composition of venoms and secretions have been described for some animal species, and there are some evidences that the difference in the toxin (s) profile among males and females may be related to different physiopathological effects caused by the envenomation by either gender. In order to investigate whether this same phenomenon occurs to the toadfish Thalassophryne maculosa, we have compared some biological and biochemical properties of female and male venoms. Twenty females and males were collected in deep waters of the La Restinga lagoon (Venezuela) and, after protein concentration assessed, the induction of toxic activities in mice and the biochemical properties were analyzed. Protein content is higher in males than in females, which may be associated to a higher size and weight of the male body. In vivo studies showed that mice injected with male venoms presented higher nociception when compared to those injected with female venoms, and both venoms induced migration of macrophages into the paw of mice. On the other hand, mice injected with female venoms had more paw edema and extravasation of Evans blue in peritoneal cavity than mice injected with male venoms. We observed that the female venoms had more capacity for necrosis induction when compared with male venoms. The female samples present a higher proteolytic activity then the male venom when gelatin, casein and FRETs were used as substrates. Evaluation of the venoms of females and males by SDS-PAGE and chromatographic profile showed that, at least three components (present in two peaks) are only present in males. Although the severity of the lesion, characterized by necrosis development, is related with the poisoning by female specimens, the presence of exclusive toxins in the male venoms could be associated with the largest capacity of nociception induction by this sample. PMID:26988736

  10. The first report on coagulation and phospholipase A2 activities of Persian Gulf lionfish, Pterois russelli, an Iranian venomous fish.

    PubMed

    Memar, Bahareh; Jamili, Shahla; Shahbazzadeh, Delavar; Bagheri, Kamran Pooshang

    2016-04-01

    Pterois russelli is a venomous fish belonging to scorpionidae family. Regarding to high significance value for tracing potential therapeutic molecules and special agents from venomous marine creatures, the present study was aimed to characterization of the Persian Gulf lionfish venom. Proteolytic, phospholipase, hemolytic, coagulation, edematogenic and dermonecrotic activities were determined for extracted venom. The LD50 of P. russelli venom was determined by intravenous injection in white Balb/c mice. Phospholipase A2 activity was recorded at 20 μg of total venom. Coagulation activity on human plasma was shown by Prothrombin Time (PT) and activated Partial Thromboplastin Time (APTT) assays and coagulation visualized after 7 and 14 s respectively for 60 μg of crude venom. LD50 was calculated as 10.5 mg/kg. SDS-PAGE revealed the presence of major and minor protein bands between 6 and 205 kDa. Different amounts of crude venom ranged from 1.87 to 30 μg showed proteolytic activity on casein. The highest edematic activity was detected at 20 μg. Our findings showed that the edematic activity was dose dependent and persisted for 48 h after injection. The crude venom did not induce dermonecrotic activity on rabbit skin and showed no hemolytic activity on human, mouse and rabbit erythrocytes. This is the first report for phospholipase A2 and coagulation activity in venomous fish and venomous marine animals respectively. Proteolytic activity of P. russelli venom is in accordance with the other genara of scorpionidae family. According to venom activity on intrinsic and extrinsic coagulation pathways, lionfish venom would be contained an interesting pharmaceutical agent. This study is pending to further characterization of phospholipase A2, coagulation, and protease activities and also in vivo activity on animal model of surface and internal bleeding. PMID:26853495

  11. Systemic response induced by Scorpaena plumieri fish venom initiates acute lung injury in mice.

    PubMed

    Boletini-Santos, Douglas; Komegae, Evilin Naname; Figueiredo, Suely G; Haddad, Vidal; Lopes-Ferreira, Mônica; Lima, Carla

    2008-03-15

    Scorpaena plumieri venomous fish inflicted severe injuries in humans characterized by systemic effects and cardiovascular abnormalities. Although cardiotoxic and hypotensive effects induced in rats by this venom have been studied, little is known about their effect on bronchial epithelial permeability and airway inflammation in mice. The primary goal of this study was to determine whether the intraplantar or intraperitoneal injection of S. plumieri venom results in systemic response, and whether this event initiates acute lung injury. We found that BALB/c mice developed neutrophilic infiltrates, areas of lung hemorrhage and alveolar macrophage activation within 24h after injection with S. plumieri venom. These histopathological changes were associated with an early increase in BAL fluid protein and early induction of cytokines, chemokines and matrix metalloproteinases, followed by a later increase in BAL fluid neutrophils. These findings provide clear evidence that the injection of S. plumieri venom in footpad or peritoneal cavity of mice results in venom deposition in the airway and initiates a sustained inflammatory response in the lungs. PMID:18191167

  12. Transcriptome analysis of expressed sequence tags from the venom glands of the fish Thalassophryne nattereri.

    PubMed

    Magalhães, G S; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, I L M; Lopes-Ferreira, M; Lorenzini, D M; Ho, P L; Moura-da-Silva, A M

    2006-06-01

    Thalassophryne nattereri (niquim) is a venomous fish found on the northern and northeastern coasts of Brazil. Every year, hundreds of humans are affected by the poison, which causes excruciating local pain, edema, and necrosis, and can lead to permanent disabilities. In experimental models, T. nattereri venom induces edema and nociception, which are correlated to human symptoms and dependent on venom kininogenase activity; myotoxicity; impairment of blood flow; platelet lysis and cytotoxicity on endothelial cells. These effects were observed with minute amounts of venom. To characterize the primary structure of T. nattereri venom toxins, a list of transcripts within the venom gland was made using the expressed sequence tag (EST) strategy. Here we report the analysis of 775 ESTs that were obtained from a directional cDNA library of T. nattereri venom gland. Of these ESTs, 527 (68%) were related to sequences previously described. These were categorized into 10 groups according to their biological functions. Sequences involved in gene and protein expression accounted for 14.3% of the ESTs, reflecting the important role of protein synthesis in this gland. Other groups included proteins engaged in the assembly of disulfide bonds (0.5%), chaperones involved in the folding of nascent proteins (1.4%), and sequences related to clusterin (1.5%), as well as transcripts related to calcium binding proteins (1.0%). We detected a large cluster (1.3%) related to cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART), a peptide involved in the regulation of food intake. Surprisingly, several retrotransposon-like sequences (1.0%) were found in the library. It may be that their presence accounts for some of the variation in venom toxins. The toxin category (18.8%) included natterins (18%), which are a new group of kininogenases recently described by our group, and a group of C-type lectins (0.8%). In addition, a considerable number of sequences (32%) was not related to sequences in the

  13. Effects of Thalassophryne nattereri fish venom in isolated perfused rat kidney.

    PubMed

    Facó, P E G; Havt, A; Barbosa, P S F; Nobre, A C L; Bezerra, G P; Menezes, D B; Fonteles, M C; Lopes-Ferreira, M; Monteiro, H S A

    2003-10-01

    Thalassophryne nattereri, popularly known as Niquim, is a venomous fish responsible for many accidents in fishermen in the Northeast of Brazil. The effects of T. nattereri venom on renal physiology has not been tested. Isolated kidneys from Wistar rats of 240-280 g weight were perfused with Krebs-Henseleit solution containing 6g% of previously dialyzed bovine serum albumin. The effects of Niquim venom were studied on the perfusion pressure (PP), renal vascular resistance (RVR), urinary flow (UF), glomerular filtration rate (GFR), percent of sodium tubular transport (%TNa(+)), percent of potassium tubular transport (%TK(+)) and percent of chloride tubular transport (%TCl(-)). The venom of T. nattereri (0.3, 1.0, and 3.0 microg/ml) was always added to the system 30 minutes after the beginning of each experiment (n=6). All experiments were preceded by 30 minutes internal control period and an external control group, where kidneys were perfused with only Krebs-Henseleit solution. All three doses tested promoted increases in PP and RVR. The first two doses also increased GFR and UF. The higher dose promoted decreases in GFR, UF, %TNa(+), %TK(+), %TCl(-). In the treated groups we observed hyalin casts inside all tubules and proteinaceous material in the urinary space. We conclude that the effects resulted from niquim venom agents that promoted a direct effect in kidney cells causing the release of vasoactive factors. PMID:14529732

  14. The first report on some toxic effects of green scat, Scatophagus argus an Iranian Persian Gulf venomous fish.

    PubMed

    Ghafari, Seyedeh Maryam; Jamili, Shahla; Bagheri, Kamran Pooshang; Ardakani, Esmat Mirabzadeh; Fatemi, Mohamad Reza; Shahbazzadeh, Fahimeh; Shahbazzadeh, Delavar

    2013-05-01

    Green scat namely as Scatophagus argus is a venomous aquarium fish belonging to Scatophagidae family. It can induce painful wounds in injured hand with partial paralysis to whom that touch the spines. Dorsal and ventral rough spines contain cells that produce venom with toxic activities. According to unpublished data collected from local hospitals in southern coastal region of Iran, S. argus is reported as a venomous fish. Envenomation induces clinical symptoms such as local pain, partial paralysis, erythema and itching. In the present study green scat (spotted scat) was collected from Persian Gulf coastal waters. SDS-PAGE indicated 12 distinct bands in the venom ranged between 7 and 250 kDa. The crude venom had hemolytic activity on human erythrocytes (1%) with an LC100 (Lytic Concentration) of about 1.7 μg. The crude venom can release 813 μg protein from 0.5% casein. Phospholipase C activity was recorded at 3.125 μg of total venom. Our findings showed that the edematic activity remained over 24 h after injection. The results demonstrated that crude venom extracted from Iranian coastal border has different toxic and enzymatic activities. This study is pending to further investigation on animal model regarding protein purification and in vivo studies. PMID:23416797

  15. Thalassophryne nattereri fish venom: from the envenoming to the understanding of the immune system.

    PubMed

    Lopes-Ferreira, Monica; Grund, Lidiane Zito; Lima, Carla

    2014-01-01

    Thalassophryne nattereri (niquim) is a venomous fish found off North and Northeast coast of Brazil, where it is known by the severity of the accidents involving humans. This review article is divided into four topics. The first one provides a brief description of the animal biology and its distribution off Brazilian coastal waters, the venom apparatus, signs and symptoms observed in envenomated humans and also describes envenomation in mice. The second topic describes the use of modern genetic approach and mass spectrometry for identification of highly expressed genes in its venom glands and the sequence of major toxins. The third chapter offers a detailed study of tissue injury induced by the venom and reveals the role of toxins that impair inflammation reduction. Finally, the fourth section expands the understanding of many extrinsic and intrinsic essential factors in maintaining survival of memory B cell compartment. Our results demonstrate the wide possibilities for research in the area of toxinology, also the necessity of interconnection among biochemistry, pharmacology and immunology areas for the expansion of knowledge and for generation of innovation. PMID:25140174

  16. Thalassophryne nattereri fish venom: from the envenoming to the understanding of the immune system

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Thalassophryne nattereri (niquim) is a venomous fish found off North and Northeast coast of Brazil, where it is known by the severity of the accidents involving humans. This review article is divided into four topics. The first one provides a brief description of the animal biology and its distribution off Brazilian coastal waters, the venom apparatus, signs and symptoms observed in envenomated humans and also describes envenomation in mice. The second topic describes the use of modern genetic approach and mass spectrometry for identification of highly expressed genes in its venom glands and the sequence of major toxins. The third chapter offers a detailed study of tissue injury induced by the venom and reveals the role of toxins that impair inflammation reduction. Finally, the fourth section expands the understanding of many extrinsic and intrinsic essential factors in maintaining survival of memory B cell compartment. Our results demonstrate the wide possibilities for research in the area of toxinology, also the necessity of interconnection among biochemistry, pharmacology and immunology areas for the expansion of knowledge and for generation of innovation. PMID:25140174

  17. Insights into the origins of fish hunting in venomous cone snails from studies of Conus tessulatus.

    PubMed

    Aman, Joseph W; Imperial, Julita S; Ueberheide, Beatrix; Zhang, Min-Min; Aguilar, Manuel; Taylor, Dylan; Watkins, Maren; Yoshikami, Doju; Showers-Corneli, Patrice; Safavi-Hemami, Helena; Biggs, Jason; Teichert, Russell W; Olivera, Baldomero M

    2015-04-21

    Prey shifts in carnivorous predators are events that can initiate the accelerated generation of new biodiversity. However, it is seldom possible to reconstruct how the change in prey preference occurred. Here we describe an evolutionary "smoking gun" that illuminates the transition from worm hunting to fish hunting among marine cone snails, resulting in the adaptive radiation of fish-hunting lineages comprising ∼100 piscivorous Conus species. This smoking gun is δ-conotoxin TsVIA, a peptide from the venom of Conus tessulatus that delays inactivation of vertebrate voltage-gated sodium channels. C. tessulatus is a species in a worm-hunting clade, which is phylogenetically closely related to the fish-hunting cone snail specialists. The discovery of a δ-conotoxin that potently acts on vertebrate sodium channels in the venom of a worm-hunting cone snail suggests that a closely related ancestral toxin enabled the transition from worm hunting to fish hunting, as δ-conotoxins are highly conserved among fish hunters and critical to their mechanism of prey capture; this peptide, δ-conotoxin TsVIA, has striking sequence similarity to these δ-conotoxins from piscivorous cone snail venoms. Calcium-imaging studies on dissociated dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons revealed the peptide's putative molecular target (voltage-gated sodium channels) and mechanism of action (inhibition of channel inactivation). The results were confirmed by electrophysiology. This work demonstrates how elucidating the specific interactions between toxins and receptors from phylogenetically well-defined lineages can uncover molecular mechanisms that underlie significant evolutionary transitions. PMID:25848010

  18. Insights into the origins of fish hunting in venomous cone snails from studies of Conus tessulatus

    PubMed Central

    Aman, Joseph W.; Imperial, Julita S.; Ueberheide, Beatrix; Zhang, Min-Min; Aguilar, Manuel; Taylor, Dylan; Watkins, Maren; Yoshikami, Doju; Showers-Corneli, Patrice; Safavi-Hemami, Helena; Biggs, Jason; Teichert, Russell W.; Olivera, Baldomero M.

    2015-01-01

    Prey shifts in carnivorous predators are events that can initiate the accelerated generation of new biodiversity. However, it is seldom possible to reconstruct how the change in prey preference occurred. Here we describe an evolutionary “smoking gun” that illuminates the transition from worm hunting to fish hunting among marine cone snails, resulting in the adaptive radiation of fish-hunting lineages comprising ∼100 piscivorous Conus species. This smoking gun is δ-conotoxin TsVIA, a peptide from the venom of Conus tessulatus that delays inactivation of vertebrate voltage-gated sodium channels. C. tessulatus is a species in a worm-hunting clade, which is phylogenetically closely related to the fish-hunting cone snail specialists. The discovery of a δ-conotoxin that potently acts on vertebrate sodium channels in the venom of a worm-hunting cone snail suggests that a closely related ancestral toxin enabled the transition from worm hunting to fish hunting, as δ-conotoxins are highly conserved among fish hunters and critical to their mechanism of prey capture; this peptide, δ-conotoxin TsVIA, has striking sequence similarity to these δ-conotoxins from piscivorous cone snail venoms. Calcium-imaging studies on dissociated dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons revealed the peptide’s putative molecular target (voltage-gated sodium channels) and mechanism of action (inhibition of channel inactivation). The results were confirmed by electrophysiology. This work demonstrates how elucidating the specific interactions between toxins and receptors from phylogenetically well-defined lineages can uncover molecular mechanisms that underlie significant evolutionary transitions. PMID:25848010

  19. Neutralization of Thalassophryne nattereri (niquim) fish venom by an experimental antivenom.

    PubMed

    Lopes-Ferreira, M; Moura-da-Silva, A M; Mota, I; Takehara, H A

    2000-08-01

    T. nattereri (niquim) is a venomous fish involved in many human accidents in Brazil. The clinical picture includes mild local erythema, severe edema, intense pain and rapid progression to necrosis. The present therapy with anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs is ineffective and, therefore, we decided to assess serum therapy as an alternative treatment using an experimental antivenom. The antivenom used was raised in rabbits showing an ELISA antibody titer of 1:8,192,000 and its ability to neutralize lethality, necrosis, nociception and edema was evaluated both by pre-incubating the venom with antivenom before injection into mice or by independent injections of venom and antivenom. Lethality was completely neutralized by pre-incubation (ED(50)=141.5 microl/mg) while necrosis and nociception were neutralized by pre-incubation or the independent injection of antivenom. Edema was only partially prevented even when large amounts of antivenom were used. These data suggest that antivenom may be a promising treatment for patients stung by T. nattereri and suggest the viability of producing a horse antivenom for use in clinical trials. PMID:10708804

  20. A comparative study of the molecular composition and electrophysiological activity of the venoms from two fishing spiders Dolomedes mizhoanus and Dolomedes sulfurous.

    PubMed

    Li, Jiayan; Li, Dan; Zhang, Fan; Wang, Hengyun; Yu, Hai; Liu, Zhonghua; Liang, Songping

    2014-06-01

    Dolomedes mizhoanus and Dolomedes sulfurous are two venomous spiders found in the same area in southern China and are characterized by living in water plants and feeding on fish. In this study, the chemical compositions and activities of these venoms were compared. Both venoms contain hundreds of peptides as shown by off-line RP-HPLC/MALDI-TOF-MS analysis, but have a different peptide distribution, with D. mizhoanus venom containing fewer high molecular mass (7000-9000 Da) peptides (3%) than D. sulfurous venom (25.6%). Patch-clamp analyses showed that both venoms inhibited voltage-activated Na(+), K(+) and Ca(2+) channels in rat DRG neurons, however, differences in their inhibitory effects were observed. In general, D. mizhoanus venom had lower inhibitory activity than D. sulfurous venom and both venoms had a different inhibitory spectrum against these ion channels, showing that both venoms are useful for identifying antagonists to them. In addition, intrathoracic injection of both venoms caused severe neurotoxic effects in zebrafish and death at higher concentrations, respectively. Considering that both spiders belong to the same genus, live in the same area and have similar habits, elucidation of the differences between the peptide toxins from both venoms would provide new molecular insights into the evolution of spider peptides. PMID:24593962

  1. A Comparative Analysis of the Venom Gland Transcriptomes of the Fishing Spiders Dolomedes mizhoanus and Dolomedes sulfurous

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Xunxun; Wang, Hengyun; Zhang, Fang; Hu, Zhaotun; Liang, Songping; Liu, Zhonghua

    2015-01-01

    Dolomedes sulfurous and Dolomedes mizhoanus are predaceous arthropods catching and feeding on small fish. They live in the same area and have similar habits. Their venoms exhibit some similarities and differences in biochemical and electrophysiological properties. In the present work, we first performed a transcriptomic analysis by constructing the venom gland cDNA library of D. sulfurous and 127 novel putative toxin sequences were consequently identified, which were classified into eight families. This venom gland transcriptome was then compared with that of D. mizhoanus, which revealed that the putative toxins from both spider venoms might have originated from the same gene ancestors although novel toxins were evolved independently in the two spiders. The putative toxins from both spiders contain 6–12 cysteine residues forming seven cysteine patterns. As revealed by blast search, the two venoms are rich in neurotoxins targeting ion channels with pharmacological and therapeutic significance. This study provides insight into the venoms of two closely related species of spider, which will be of use for future investigations into the structure and function of their toxins. PMID:26445494

  2. The venom of the fishing spider Dolomedes sulfurous contains various neurotoxins acting on voltage-activated ion channels in rat dorsal root ganglion neurons.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hengyun; Zhang, Fan; Li, Dan; Xu, Shiyan; He, Juan; Yu, Hai; Li, Jiayan; Liu, Zhonghua; Liang, Songping

    2013-04-01

    Dolomedes sulfurous is a venomous spider distributed in the south of China and characterized with feeding on fish. The venom exhibits great diversity and contains hundreds of peptides as revealed by off-line RP-HPLC/MALDI-TOF-MS analysis. The venom peptides followed a triple-modal distribution, with 40.7% of peptides falling in the mass range of 1000-3000 Da, 25.6% peptides in the 7000-9000 Da range and 23.5% peptides in the 3000-5000 Da range. This distribution modal is rather different from these of peptides from other spider venoms analyzed. The venom could inhibit voltage-activated Na(+), K(+) and Ca(2+) channels in rat DRG neurons as revealed by voltage-clamp analysis. Significantly, the venom exhibited inhibitory effects on TTX-R Na(+) and T-type Ca(2+) currents, suggesting that there exist both channel antagonists which might be valuable tools for investigation of both channels and drug development. Additionally, intrathoracically injection of venom could cause serve neurotoxic effects on zebrafish and death at higher concentrations. The LD50 value was calculated to be 28.8 μg/g body weight. Our results indicated that the venom of D. sulfurous contain diverse neurotoxins which serve to capture prey. Intensive studies will be necessary to investigate the structures and functions of specific peptides of the venom in the future. PMID:23391637

  3. Structural and biological characterization of Nattectin, a new C-type lectin from the venomous fish Thalassophryne nattereri.

    PubMed

    Lopes-Ferreira, Mônica; Magalhães, Geraldo Santana; Fernandez, Jorge Hernandez; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio de Loiola M; Le Ho, Paulo; Lima, Carla; Valente, Richard H; Moura-da-Silva, Ana Maria

    2011-06-01

    Lectins are glycan-binding receptors that recognize glycan epitopes on foreign pathogens and in the host systems. They can be involved in functions that include innate immunity, development, immune regulation and homeostasis. Several lectins have been purified and characterized from fish species. In this work, using cation-exchange chromatography, a galactose-specific lectin belonging to the family of C-type lectins was isolated from the venom of the Brazilian venomous fish Thalassophryne nattereri. Nattectin is a basic, non-glycosilated, 15 kDa monomeric protein. It exhibits hemagglutination activity that is independent of Ca(2+). We also demonstrated a lectin activity for Nattectin in the innate immune system, especially in neutrophil mobilization in mice, indicating that marine organisms are source of immunomodulator agents. PMID:21396978

  4. Bioactive proteins from stonefish venom.

    PubMed

    Khoo, Hoon Eng

    2002-09-01

    1. Of all the venomous fish known, the stonefish is one of the most commonly encountered by man. Studies on its venom started in the 1950s, but little work was performed after that until several groups revived interest in the venom in the 1980s after easier accessibility to the fish. 2. Stonefish venom is a mixture of proteins, containing several enzymes, including hyaluronidase of high specific activity. A purified stonefish hyaluronidase has been characterized. 3. Several of the effects of the crude venom have been isolated to a protein lethal factor that has cytolytic, neurotoxic and hypotensive activity. This protein is stonustoxin from Synanceja horrida, trachynilysin from Synanceja trachynis and verrucotoxin from Synanceja verrucosa. 4. The biochemical properties and activities of these protein lethal factors are reviewed. PMID:12165046

  5. Uncovering intense protein diversification in a cone snail venom gland using an integrative venomics approach.

    PubMed

    Biass, Daniel; Violette, Aude; Hulo, Nicolas; Lisacek, Frédérique; Favreau, Philippe; Stöcklin, Reto

    2015-02-01

    Marine cone snail venoms are highly complex mixtures of peptides and proteins. They have been studied in-depth over the past 3 decades, but the modus operandi of the venomous apparatus still remains unclear. Using the fish-hunting Conus consors as a model, we present an integrative venomics approach, based on new proteomic results from the venom gland and data previously obtained from the transcriptome and the injectable venom. We describe here the complete peptide content of the dissected venom by the identification of numerous new peptides using nanospray tandem mass spectrometry in combination with transcriptomic data. Results reveal extensive mature peptide diversification mechanisms at work in the venom gland. In addition, by integrating data from three different venom stages, transcriptome, dissected, and injectable venoms, from a single species, we obtain a global overview of the venom processing that occurs from the venom gland tissue to the venom delivery step. In the light of the successive steps in this venom production system, we demonstrate that each venom compartment is highly specific in terms of peptide and protein content. Moreover, the integrated investigative approach discussed here could become an essential part of pharmaceutical development, as it provides new potential drug candidates and opens the door to numerous analogues generated by the very mechanisms used by nature to diversify its peptide and protein arsenal. PMID:25536169

  6. Novel venom gene discovery in the platypus

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background To date, few peptides in the complex mixture of platypus venom have been identified and sequenced, in part due to the limited amounts of platypus venom available to study. We have constructed and sequenced a cDNA library from an active platypus venom gland to identify the remaining components. Results We identified 83 novel putative platypus venom genes from 13 toxin families, which are homologous to known toxins from a wide range of vertebrates (fish, reptiles, insectivores) and invertebrates (spiders, sea anemones, starfish). A number of these are expressed in tissues other than the venom gland, and at least three of these families (those with homology to toxins from distant invertebrates) may play non-toxin roles. Thus, further functional testing is required to confirm venom activity. However, the presence of similar putative toxins in such widely divergent species provides further evidence for the hypothesis that there are certain protein families that are selected preferentially during evolution to become venom peptides. We have also used homology with known proteins to speculate on the contributions of each venom component to the symptoms of platypus envenomation. Conclusions This study represents a step towards fully characterizing the first mammal venom transcriptome. We have found similarities between putative platypus toxins and those of a number of unrelated species, providing insight into the evolution of mammalian venom. PMID:20920228

  7. Diversity, phylogenetic distribution, and origins of venomous catfishes

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background The study of venomous fishes is in a state of relative infancy when compared to that of other groups of venomous organisms. Catfishes (Order Siluriformes) are a diverse group of bony fishes that have long been known to include venomous taxa, but the extent and phylogenetic distribution of this venomous species diversity has never been documented, while the nature of the venoms themselves also remains poorly understood. In this study, I used histological preparations from over 100 catfish genera, basic biochemical and toxicological analyses of fin spine extracts from several species, and previous systematic studies of catfishes to examine the distribution of venom glands in this group. These results also offer preliminary insights into the evolutionary history of venom glands in the Siluriformes. Results Histological examinations of 158 catfish species indicate that approximately 1250-1625+ catfish species should be presumed to be venomous, when viewed in conjunction with several hypotheses of siluriform phylogeny. Maximum parsimony character optimization analyses indicate two to three independent derivations of venom glands within the Siluriformes. A number of putative toxic peptides were identified in the venoms of catfish species from many of the families determined to contain venomous representatives. These peptides elicit a wide array of physiological effects in other fishes, though any one species examined produced no more than three distinct putative toxins in its venom. The molecular weights and effects produced by these putative toxic peptides show strong similarities to previously characterized toxins found in catfish epidermal secretions. Conclusion Venom glands have evolved multiple times in catfishes (Order Siluriformes), and venomous catfishes may outnumber the combined diversity of all other venomous vertebrates. The toxic peptides found in catfish venoms may be derived from epidermal secretions that have been demonstrated to accelerate the

  8. Snake oil and venoms for medical research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolpert, H. D.

    2011-04-01

    Some think that using derivatives of snake venom for medical purposes is the modern version of snake oil but they are seriously misjudging the research potentials of some of these toxins in medicines of the 2000's. Medical trials, using some of the compounds has proven their usefulness. Several venoms have shown the possibilities that could lead to anticoagulants, helpful in heart disease. The blood clotting protein from the taipan snake has been shown to rapidly stop excessive bleeding. The venom from the copperhead may hold an answer to breast cancer. The Malaysian pit viper shows promise in breaking blood clots. Cobra venom may hold keys to finding cures for Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's. Rattlesnake proteins from certain species have produced blood pressure medicines. Besides snake venoms, venom from the South American dart frog, mollusks (i.e. Cone Shell Snail), lizards (i.e. Gila Monster & Komodo Dragon), some species of spiders and tarantulas, Cephalopods, mammals (i.e. Platypus & Shrews), fish (i.e. sting rays, stone fish, puffer fish, blue bottle fish & box jelly fish), intertidal marine animals (echinoderms)(i.e. Crown of Thorn Star Fish & Flower Urchin) and the Honeybee are being investigated for potential medical benefits.

  9. Angiotensin processing activities in the venom of Thalassophryne nattereri.

    PubMed

    Tenório, Humberto de Araújo; Marques, Maria Elizabeth da Costa; Machado, Sonia Salgueiro; Pereira, Hugo Juarez Vieira

    2015-05-01

    The venom of marine animals is a rich source of compounds with remarkable functional specificity and diversity. Thalassophryne nattereri is a small venomous fish inhabiting the northern and northeastern coast of Brazil, and represents a relatively frequent cause of injuries. Its venom causes severe inflammatory response followed frequently by the necrosis of the affected area. This venom presents characterized components such as proteases (Natterins 1-4) and a lectin (Nattectin) with complex effects on the human organism. A specific inhibitor of tissue kallikrein (TKI) reduces the nociception and the edema caused by the venom in mice. Our study sought to investigate the proteolytic activities against vasopeptides Angiotensin I, Angiotensin II, Angiotensin 1-9 and Bradykinin. The venom indicated angiotensin conversion against angiotensin I, as well as kininase against bradykinin. Captopril conducted the total inhibition of the converting activity, featuring the first report of ACE activity in fish venoms. PMID:25702959

  10. [Venomous and poisonous animals. IV. Envenomations by venomous aquatic vertebrates].

    PubMed

    Bédry, R; De Haro, L

    2007-04-01

    Epidemiological information on marine envenomation is generally less extensive in Europe than in tropical regions where these injuries are more severe and the need for medical advice is more frequent. For these reasons use of regional Poison Control Centers in the area where the injury occurs must be encouraged. The purpose of this review is to describe envenomation by bony fish (lion fish, stone fish, and catfish), cartilaginous fish (stingrays and poisonous sharks), or other venomous aquatic vertebrates (moray-eels and marine snakes). Understanding of these envenomation syndromes is important not only in tropical areas but also in Europe where importation of dangerous species has increased in recent years. PMID:17691425

  11. Allergies to Insect Venom

    MedlinePlus

    ... The smell of food attracts these insects.  Use insect repellents and keep insecticide available. Treatment tips:  Venom immunotherapy (allergy shots to insect venom(s) is highly effective in preventing subsequent sting ...

  12. Angiotensin converting enzyme of Thalassophryne nattereri venom.

    PubMed

    da Costa Marques, Maria Elizabeth; de Araújo Tenório, Humberto; Dos Santos, Claudio Wilian Victor; Dos Santos, Daniel Moreira; de Lima, Maria Elena; Pereira, Hugo Juarez Vieira

    2016-10-01

    Animal venoms are complex mixtures, including peptides, proteins (i.e., enzymes), and other compounds produced by animals in predation, digestion, and defense. These molecules have been investigated regarding their molecular mechanisms associated with physiological action and possible pharmacological applications. Recently, we have described the presence of a type of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) activity in the venom of Thalassophryne nattereri. It is a zinc-dependent peptidase with a wide range of effects. By removing dipeptide His-Leu from terminal C, the ACE converts angiotensinI (AngI) into angiotensin II (AngII) and inactivates bradykinin, there by regulating blood pressure and electrolyte homeostasis. The fractionation of T. nattereri venom in CM-Sepharose indicated a peak (CM2) with angiotensin-converting activity, converting AngI into Ang II. Electrophoresis on polyacrylamide gel (12%) revealed one band with 30kDa for CM2 similar in size to natterins, which are toxins with proteolytic activity found in T. nattereri venom. Mass spectrometry indicated that the protein sequence of the ACE purified from T. nattereri venom corresponds to natterin 1. The isolated protein has also demonstrated inhibition through captopril and EDTA and is characterized as a classic ACE. Thus, the isolated enzyme purified from T. nattereri venom is the first ACE isolated from fish venom. PMID:27327905

  13. Are ticks venomous animals?

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Introduction As an ecological adaptation venoms have evolved independently in several species of Metazoa. As haematophagous arthropods ticks are mainly considered as ectoparasites due to directly feeding on the skin of animal hosts. Ticks are of major importance since they serve as vectors for several diseases affecting humans and livestock animals. Ticks are rarely considered as venomous animals despite that tick saliva contains several protein families present in venomous taxa and that many Ixodida genera can induce paralysis and other types of toxicoses. Tick saliva was previously proposed as a special kind of venom since tick venom is used for blood feeding that counteracts host defense mechanisms. As a result, the present study provides evidence to reconsider the venomous properties of tick saliva. Results Based on our extensive literature mining and in silico research, we demonstrate that ticks share several similarities with other venomous taxa. Many tick salivary protein families and their previously described functions are homologous to proteins found in scorpion, spider, snake, platypus and bee venoms. This infers that there is a structural and functional convergence between several molecular components in tick saliva and the venoms from other recognized venomous taxa. We also highlight the fact that the immune response against tick saliva and venoms (from recognized venomous taxa) are both dominated by an allergic immunity background. Furthermore, by comparing the major molecular components of human saliva, as an example of a non-venomous animal, with that of ticks we find evidence that ticks resemble more venomous than non-venomous animals. Finally, we introduce our considerations regarding the evolution of venoms in Arachnida. Conclusions Taking into account the composition of tick saliva, the venomous functions that ticks have while interacting with their hosts, and the distinguishable differences between human (non-venomous) and tick salivary

  14. Venomous bites, stings, and poisoning.

    PubMed

    Warrell, David A

    2012-06-01

    This article discusses the epidemiology, prevention, clinical features, first aid and medical treatment of venomous bites by snakes, lizards, and spiders; stings by fish, jellyfish, echinoderms, and insects; and poisoning by fish and molluscs, in all parts of the world. Of these envenoming and poisonings, snake bite causes the greatest burden of human suffering, killing 46,000 people each year in India alone and more than 100,000 worldwide and resulting in physical handicap in many survivors. Specific antidotes (antivenoms/antivenins) are available to treat envenoming by many of these taxa but supply and distribution is inadequate in many tropical developing countries. PMID:22632635

  15. [Venomous spiders and their venoms].

    PubMed

    Schmidt, G

    1985-01-01

    The history of araneidism is long and confusing. The superstition seems to be inexterminatable that tropical mygalomorphs and mediterranean tarantulas are dangerous for humans. It can be looked up even in the most recent edition of the widespread clinical dictionary of Pschyrembel. In contrast to this certain ctenids, the most dangerous spiders up to now known, are mentioned not at all in medical publications. Exaggerated spider-fear is out of place because about 0.1% of all species are dangerous for man only and many of the venomous species live as hidden as they scarcely come in contact with humans. PMID:3895572

  16. Hymenoptera allergens: from venom to "venome".

    PubMed

    Spillner, Edzard; Blank, Simon; Jakob, Thilo

    2014-01-01

    In Western Europe, Hymenoptera venom allergy (HVA) primarily relates to venoms of the honeybee and the common yellow jacket. In contrast to other allergen sources, only a few major components of Hymenoptera venoms had been characterized until recently. Improved expression systems and proteomic detection strategies have allowed the identification and characterization of a wide range of additional allergens. The field of HVA research has moved rapidly from focusing on venom extract and single major allergens to a molecular understanding of the entire "venome" as a system of unique and characteristic components. An increasing number of such components has been identified, characterized regarding function, and assessed for allergenic potential. Moreover, advanced expression strategies for recombinant production of venom allergens allow selective modification of molecules and provide insight into different types of immunoglobulin E reactivities and sensitization patterns. The obtained information contributes to an increased diagnostic precision in HVA and may serve for monitoring, re-evaluation, and improvement of current therapeutic strategies. PMID:24616722

  17. Unmasking venom gland transcriptomes in reptile venoms.

    PubMed

    Chen, Tianbao; Bjourson, Anthony J; Orr, David F; Kwok, HangFai; Rao, Pingfan; Ivanyi, Craig; Shaw, Chris

    2002-12-15

    While structural studies of reptile venom toxins can be achieved using lyophilized venom samples, until now the cloning of precursor cDNAs required sacrifice of the specimen for dissection of the venom glands. Here we describe a simple and rapid technique that unmasks venom protein mRNAs present in lyophilized venom samples. To illustrate the technique we have RT-PCR-amplified a range of venom protein transcripts from cDNA libraries derived from the venoms of a hemotoxic snake, the Chinese copperhead (Deinagkistrodon acutus), a neurotoxic snake, the black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis), and a venomous lizard, the Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum). These include a metalloproteinase and phospholipase A2 from D. acutus, a potassium channel blocker, dendrotoxin K, from D. polylepis, and exendin-4 from H. suspectum. These findings imply that the apparent absence and/or lability of mRNA in complex biological matrices is not always real and paves the way for accelerated acquisition of molecular genetic data on venom toxins for scientific and potential therapeutic purposes without sacrifice of endangered herpetofauna. PMID:12470674

  18. [Accidents with venomous and poisonous animals in Central Europe].

    PubMed

    Bodio, Mauro; Junghanss, Thomas

    2009-05-01

    Central Europe is largely safe from accidents with venomous and poisonous animals. The regions where European vipers are regularly found are shrinking. Today accidents with jellyfish and stings of venomous fish afflicted during leisure activities at the sea side play the dominant role. Life threatening accidents in Europe are mainly due to exotic snakes held in captivity. A system useful in daily medical practice is explained to classify and stage accidents due to poisonous and venomous animals. The important poisonous and venomous animals of Central Europe and the specific therapeutics, the antivenoms, are covered. The antivenom depot "Antivenin-CH" of the Swiss Toxicology Information Centre in Zurich and the MRITox in Munich with the antivenom registry Munich AntiVenom INdex (MAVIN) are presented. PMID:19401985

  19. [Medical treatment during fish envenomation].

    PubMed

    Satora, Leszek; Gawlikowski, Tomasz

    2009-01-01

    Expositions to fish venoms should be treated as a separate group of intoxications because of their different diagnostic procedure. Until now, there are over 220 venomous fish species described, but skin excretions are potentially toxic for humans. Cases of fish envenomations (37), consulted by Poison Information Centres in Poland, as well as described in literature and contained in Micromedex database were analyzed. The course of envenomation, medical management during exposition to venomous of Chondrichthyes and Osteichthyes, freshwater and marine fishes were resolved. Injuries caused by venoms fishes were similarly treated, usually symptomatic. Specific antivenoms are available only for two fish species. Each patient exposed to sting or bite should be examined and observed. If characteristic sings and symptoms of envenomation are present, proper medical management should be proceed. PMID:19788131

  20. Elucidation of the molecular envenomation strategy of the cone snail Conus geographus through transcriptome sequencing of its venom duct

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The fish-hunting cone snail, Conus geographus, is the deadliest snail on earth. In the absence of medical intervention, 70% of human stinging cases are fatal. Although, its venom is known to consist of a cocktail of small peptides targeting different ion-channels and receptors, the bulk of its venom constituents, their sites of manufacture, relative abundances and how they function collectively in envenomation has remained unknown. Results We have used transcriptome sequencing to systematically elucidate the contents the C. geographus venom duct, dividing it into four segments in order to investigate each segment’s mRNA contents. Three different types of calcium channel (each targeted by unrelated, entirely distinct venom peptides) and at least two different nicotinic receptors appear to be targeted by the venom. Moreover, the most highly expressed venom component is not paralytic, but causes sensory disorientation and is expressed in a different segment of the venom duct from venoms believed to cause sensory disruption. We have also identified several new toxins of interest for pharmaceutical and neuroscience research. Conclusions Conus geographus is believed to prey on fish hiding in reef crevices at night. Our data suggest that disorientation of prey is central to its envenomation strategy. Furthermore, venom expression profiles also suggest a sophisticated layering of venom-expression patterns within the venom duct, with disorientating and paralytic venoms expressed in different regions. Thus, our transcriptome analysis provides a new physiological framework for understanding the molecular envenomation strategy of this deadly snail. PMID:22742208

  1. Recruitment of Glycosyl Hydrolase Proteins in a Cone Snail Venomous Arsenal: Further Insights into Biomolecular Features of Conus Venoms

    PubMed Central

    Violette, Aude; Leonardi, Adrijana; Piquemal, David; Terrat, Yves; Biass, Daniel; Dutertre, Sébastien; Noguier, Florian; Ducancel, Frédéric; Stöcklin, Reto; Križaj, Igor; Favreau, Philippe

    2012-01-01

    Cone snail venoms are considered an untapped reservoir of extremely diverse peptides, named conopeptides, displaying a wide array of pharmacological activities. We report here for the first time, the presence of high molecular weight compounds that participate in the envenomation cocktail used by these marine snails. Using a combination of proteomic and transcriptomic approaches, we identified glycosyl hydrolase proteins, of the hyaluronidase type (Hyal), from the dissected and injectable venoms (“injectable venom” stands for the venom variety obtained by milking of the snails. This is in contrast to the “dissected venom”, which was obtained from dissected snails by extraction of the venom glands) of a fish-hunting cone snail, Conus consors (Pionoconus clade). The major Hyal isoform, Conohyal-Cn1, is expressed as a mixture of numerous glycosylated proteins in the 50 kDa molecular mass range, as observed in 2D gel and mass spectrometry analyses. Further proteomic analysis and venom duct mRNA sequencing allowed full sequence determination. Additionally, unambiguous segment location of at least three glycosylation sites could be determined, with glycans corresponding to multiple hexose (Hex) and N-acetylhexosamine (HexNAc) moieties. With respect to other known Hyals, Conohyal-Cn1 clearly belongs to the hydrolase-type of Hyals, with strictly conserved consensus catalytic donor and positioning residues. Potent biological activity of the native Conohyals could be confirmed in degrading hyaluronic acid. A similar Hyal sequence was also found in the venom duct transcriptome of C. adamsonii (Textilia clade), implying a possible widespread recruitment of this enzyme family in fish-hunting cone snail venoms. These results provide the first detailed Hyal sequence characterized from a cone snail venom, and to a larger extent in the Mollusca phylum, thus extending our knowledge on this protein family and its evolutionary selection in marine snail venoms. PMID:22412800

  2. Vipera lebetina venom nucleases.

    PubMed

    Trummal, Katrin; Tõnismägi, Külli; Aaspõllu, Anu; Siigur, Jüri; Siigur, Ene

    2016-09-01

    Nucleases, in particular ribo- and deoxyribonucleases, are among the least-studied snake venom enzymes. In the present study we have partially purified different nucleases from Vipera lebetina venom. The DNase activity has been proved by DNA degradation both in solution as well as in-gel (zymogram-method). In DNA-containing SDS-PAGE V. lebetina venom exhibits DNA-degrading activity in bands with molecular masses of ∼120, 30-35 and 22-25 kDa. The 120 kDa band corresponds to phosphodiesterase, a 3', 5'-exonuclease. The endonucleolytic activity of the lower-molecular-mass protein has been confirmed by plasmid degradation and the visualization of the results in agarose gel (with ethidium bromide) electrophoresis. A partial DNA sequence of putative RNase H1 has been determined from the V. lebetina venom gland cDNA library. The translated sequence is similar to the assumed RNase H1 from Crotalus adamanteus (AFJ51163). The RNA/DNA hybrid is hydrolysed by V. lebetina venom and venom fractions. The masses of tryptic peptides from the SDS-PAGE 30-35 kDa band are in concordance with the theoretical peptide masses from the respective translated sequence. For the first time RNase H1-like enzyme activity has been ascertained in snake venom, and sequencing a relevant partial transcript confirmed the identification of this enzyme. PMID:27179419

  3. Evolution of separate predation- and defence-evoked venoms in carnivorous cone snails.

    PubMed

    Dutertre, Sébastien; Jin, Ai-Hua; Vetter, Irina; Hamilton, Brett; Sunagar, Kartik; Lavergne, Vincent; Dutertre, Valentin; Fry, Bryan G; Antunes, Agostinho; Venter, Deon J; Alewood, Paul F; Lewis, Richard J

    2014-01-01

    Venomous animals are thought to inject the same combination of toxins for both predation and defence, presumably exploiting conserved target pharmacology across prey and predators. Remarkably, cone snails can rapidly switch between distinct venoms in response to predatory or defensive stimuli. Here, we show that the defence-evoked venom of Conus geographus contains high levels of paralytic toxins that potently block neuromuscular receptors, consistent with its lethal effects on humans. In contrast, C. geographus predation-evoked venom contains prey-specific toxins mostly inactive at human targets. Predation- and defence-evoked venoms originate from the distal and proximal regions of the venom duct, respectively, explaining how different stimuli can generate two distinct venoms. A specialized defensive envenomation strategy is widely evolved across worm, mollusk and fish-hunting cone snails. We propose that defensive toxins, originally evolved in ancestral worm-hunting cone snails to protect against cephalopod and fish predation, have been repurposed in predatory venoms to facilitate diversification to fish and mollusk diets. PMID:24662800

  4. Evolution of separate predation- and defence-evoked venoms in carnivorous cone snails

    PubMed Central

    Dutertre, Sébastien; Jin, Ai-Hua; Vetter, Irina; Hamilton, Brett; Sunagar, Kartik; Lavergne, Vincent; Dutertre, Valentin; Fry, Bryan G.; Antunes, Agostinho; Venter, Deon J.; Alewood, Paul F.; Lewis, Richard J.

    2014-01-01

    Venomous animals are thought to inject the same combination of toxins for both predation and defence, presumably exploiting conserved target pharmacology across prey and predators. Remarkably, cone snails can rapidly switch between distinct venoms in response to predatory or defensive stimuli. Here, we show that the defence-evoked venom of Conus geographus contains high levels of paralytic toxins that potently block neuromuscular receptors, consistent with its lethal effects on humans. In contrast, C. geographus predation-evoked venom contains prey-specific toxins mostly inactive at human targets. Predation- and defence-evoked venoms originate from the distal and proximal regions of the venom duct, respectively, explaining how different stimuli can generate two distinct venoms. A specialized defensive envenomation strategy is widely evolved across worm, mollusk and fish-hunting cone snails. We propose that defensive toxins, originally evolved in ancestral worm-hunting cone snails to protect against cephalopod and fish predation, have been repurposed in predatory venoms to facilitate diversification to fish and mollusk diets. PMID:24662800

  5. Mediterranean Jellyfish Venoms: A Review on Scyphomedusae

    PubMed Central

    Mariottini, Gian Luigi; Pane, Luigi

    2010-01-01

    The production of natural toxins is an interesting aspect, which characterizes the physiology and the ecology of a number of marine species that use them for defence/offence purposes. Cnidarians are of particular concern from this point of view; their venoms are contained in specialized structures–the nematocysts–which, after mechanical or chemical stimulation, inject the venom in the prey or in the attacker. Cnidarian stinging is a serious health problem for humans in the zones where extremely venomous jellyfish or anemones are common, such as in temperate and tropical oceanic waters and particularly along several Pacific coasts, and severe cases of envenomation, including also lethal cases mainly induced by cubomedusae, were reported. On the contrary, in the Mediterranean region the problem of jellyfish stings is quite modest, even though they can have anyhow an impact on public health and be of importance from the ecological and economic point of view owing to the implications on ecosystems and on some human activities such as tourism, bathing and fishing. This paper reviews the knowledge about the various aspects related to the occurrence and the stinging of the Mediterranean scyphozoan jellyfish as well as the activity of their venoms. PMID:20479971

  6. Quo vadis venomics? A roadmap to neglected venomous invertebrates.

    PubMed

    von Reumont, Bjoern Marcus; Campbell, Lahcen I; Jenner, Ronald A

    2014-01-01

    Venomics research is being revolutionized by the increased use of sensitive -omics techniques to identify venom toxins and their transcripts in both well studied and neglected venomous taxa. The study of neglected venomous taxa is necessary both for understanding the full diversity of venom systems that have evolved in the animal kingdom, and to robustly answer fundamental questions about the biology and evolution of venoms without the distorting effect that can result from the current bias introduced by some heavily studied taxa. In this review we draw the outlines of a roadmap into the diversity of poorly studied and understood venomous and putatively venomous invertebrates, which together represent tens of thousands of unique venoms. The main groups we discuss are crustaceans, flies, centipedes, non-spider and non-scorpion arachnids, annelids, molluscs, platyhelminths, nemerteans, and echinoderms. We review what is known about the morphology of the venom systems in these groups, the composition of their venoms, and the bioactivities of the venoms to provide researchers with an entry into a large and scattered literature. We conclude with a short discussion of some important methodological aspects that have come to light with the recent use of new -omics techniques in the study of venoms. PMID:25533518

  7. Quo Vadis Venomics? A Roadmap to Neglected Venomous Invertebrates

    PubMed Central

    von Reumont, Bjoern Marcus; Campbell, Lahcen I.; Jenner, Ronald A.

    2014-01-01

    Venomics research is being revolutionized by the increased use of sensitive -omics techniques to identify venom toxins and their transcripts in both well studied and neglected venomous taxa. The study of neglected venomous taxa is necessary both for understanding the full diversity of venom systems that have evolved in the animal kingdom, and to robustly answer fundamental questions about the biology and evolution of venoms without the distorting effect that can result from the current bias introduced by some heavily studied taxa. In this review we draw the outlines of a roadmap into the diversity of poorly studied and understood venomous and putatively venomous invertebrates, which together represent tens of thousands of unique venoms. The main groups we discuss are crustaceans, flies, centipedes, non-spider and non-scorpion arachnids, annelids, molluscs, platyhelminths, nemerteans, and echinoderms. We review what is known about the morphology of the venom systems in these groups, the composition of their venoms, and the bioactivities of the venoms to provide researchers with an entry into a large and scattered literature. We conclude with a short discussion of some important methodological aspects that have come to light with the recent use of new -omics techniques in the study of venoms. PMID:25533518

  8. Venomous bites and stings.

    PubMed

    Warrell, D A; Fenner, P J

    1993-04-01

    Travellers to tropical countries are often extremely concerned about the risk of bites and stings by venomous animals. This fear prompts many enquiries, usually at the last moment before departure, about the possibility of carrying first aid kits and antivenoms. In fact, these accidents are extremely rare because most travellers wear shoes and are far less exposed to venomous animals than indigenous peoples for whom bites and stings may be important causes of death or morbidity. PMID:8101465

  9. Medically important venomous animals: biology, prevention, first aid, and clinical management.

    PubMed

    Junghanss, Thomas; Bodio, Mauro

    2006-11-15

    Venomous animals are a significant health problem for rural populations in many parts of the world. Given the current level of the international mobility of individuals and the inquisitiveness of travelers, clinicians and travel clinics need to be able to give advice on the prevention, first aid, and clinical management of envenoming. Health professionals often feel overwhelmed by the taxonomy of venomous animals; however, venomous animals can be grouped, using a simple set of criteria, into cnidarians, venomous fish, sea snakes, scorpions, spiders, hymenoterans, and venomous terrestrial snakes. Geographic distribution, habitats, and circumstances of accidents further reduce the range of culprits that need to be considered in any single event. Clinical management of envenomed patients relies on supportive therapy and, if available, specific antivenoms. Supplies of life-saving antivenoms are scarce, and this scarcity particularly affects rural populations in resource-poor settings. Travel clinics and hospitals in highly industrialized areas predominantly see patients with injuries caused by accidents involving marine animals: in particular, stings by venomous fish and skin damage caused by jellyfish. However, globally, terrestrial venomous snakes are the most important group of venomous animals. PMID:17051499

  10. Comparative Venomics Reveals the Complex Prey Capture Strategy of the Piscivorous Cone Snail Conus catus.

    PubMed

    Himaya, S W A; Jin, Ai-Hua; Dutertre, Sébastien; Giacomotto, Jean; Mohialdeen, Hoshyar; Vetter, Irina; Alewood, Paul F; Lewis, Richard J

    2015-10-01

    Venomous marine cone snails produce a unique and remarkably diverse range of venom peptides (conotoxins and conopeptides) that have proven to be invaluable as pharmacological probes and leads to new therapies. Conus catus is a hook-and-line fish hunter from clade I, with ∼20 conotoxins identified, including the analgesic ω-conotoxin CVID (AM336). The current study unravels the venom composition of C. catus with tandem mass spectrometry and 454 sequencing data. From the venom gland transcriptome, 104 precursors were recovered from 11 superfamilies, with superfamily A (especially κA-) conotoxins dominating (77%) their venom. Proteomic analysis confirmed that κA-conotoxins dominated the predation-evoked milked venom of each of six C. catus analyzed and revealed remarkable intraspecific variation in both the intensity and type of conotoxins. High-throughput FLIPR assays revealed that the predation-evoked venom contained a range of conotoxins targeting the nAChR, Cav, and Nav ion channels, consistent with α- and ω-conotoxins being used for predation by C. catus. However, the κA-conotoxins did not act at these targets but induced potent and rapid immobilization followed by bursts of activity and finally paralysis when injected intramuscularly in zebrafish. Our venomics approach revealed the complexity of the envenomation strategy used by C. catus, which contains a mix of both excitatory and inhibitory venom peptides. PMID:26322961

  11. Comparative study of the toxic effects of Chrysaora quinquecirrha (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) and Chironex fleckeri (Cnidaria: Cubozoa) venoms using cell-based assays.

    PubMed

    Ponce, Dalia; Brinkman, Diane L; Luna-Ramírez, Karen; Wright, Christine E; Dorantes-Aranda, Juan José

    2015-11-01

    The venoms of jellyfish cause toxic effects in diverse biological systems that can trigger local and systemic reactions. In this study, the cytotoxic and cytolytic effects of Chrysaora quinquecirrha and Chironex fleckeri venoms were assessed and compared using three in vitro assays. Venoms from both species were cytotoxic to fish gill cells and rat cardiomyocytes, and cytolytic in sheep erythrocytes. Both venoms decreased cell viability in a concentration-dependent manner; however, the greatest difference in venom potencies was observed in the fish gill cell line, wherein C. fleckeri was 12.2- (P = 0.0005) and 35.7-fold (P < 0.0001) more potently cytotoxic than C. quinquecirrha venom with 30 min and 120 min cell exposure periods, respectively. Gill cells and rat cardiomyocytes exposed to venoms showed morphological changes characterised by cell shrinkage, clumping and detachment. The cytotoxic effects of venoms may be caused by a group of toxic proteins that have been previously identified in C. fleckeri and other cubozoan jellyfish species. In this study, proteins homologous to CfTX-1 and CfTX-2 toxins from C. fleckeri and CqTX-A toxin from Chironex yamaguchii were identified in C. quinquecirrha venom using tandem mass spectrometry. The presence and relative abundance of these proteins may explain the differences in venom potency between cubozoan and scyphozoan jellyfish and may reflect their importance in the action of venoms. PMID:26385314

  12. Bioactive Mimetics of Conotoxins and other Venom Peptides.

    PubMed

    Duggan, Peter J; Tuck, Kellie L

    2015-10-01

    Ziconotide (Prialt®), a synthetic version of the peptide ω-conotoxin MVIIA found in the venom of a fish-hunting marine cone snail Conus magnus, is one of very few drugs effective in the treatment of intractable chronic pain. However, its intrathecal mode of delivery and narrow therapeutic window cause complications for patients. This review will summarize progress in the development of small molecule, non-peptidic mimics of Conotoxins and a small number of other venom peptides. This will include a description of how some of the initially designed mimics have been modified to improve their drug-like properties. PMID:26501323

  13. Bioactive Mimetics of Conotoxins and other Venom Peptides

    PubMed Central

    Duggan, Peter J.; Tuck, Kellie L.

    2015-01-01

    Ziconotide (Prialt®), a synthetic version of the peptide ω-conotoxin MVIIA found in the venom of a fish-hunting marine cone snail Conus magnus, is one of very few drugs effective in the treatment of intractable chronic pain. However, its intrathecal mode of delivery and narrow therapeutic window cause complications for patients. This review will summarize progress in the development of small molecule, non-peptidic mimics of Conotoxins and a small number of other venom peptides. This will include a description of how some of the initially designed mimics have been modified to improve their drug-like properties. PMID:26501323

  14. Bioinformatics-Aided Venomics

    PubMed Central

    Kaas, Quentin; Craik, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Venomics is a modern approach that combines transcriptomics and proteomics to explore the toxin content of venoms. This review will give an overview of computational approaches that have been created to classify and consolidate venomics data, as well as algorithms that have helped discovery and analysis of toxin nucleic acid and protein sequences, toxin three-dimensional structures and toxin functions. Bioinformatics is used to tackle specific challenges associated with the identification and annotations of toxins. Recognizing toxin transcript sequences among second generation sequencing data cannot rely only on basic sequence similarity because toxins are highly divergent. Mass spectrometry sequencing of mature toxins is challenging because toxins can display a large number of post-translational modifications. Identifying the mature toxin region in toxin precursor sequences requires the prediction of the cleavage sites of proprotein convertases, most of which are unknown or not well characterized. Tracing the evolutionary relationships between toxins should consider specific mechanisms of rapid evolution as well as interactions between predatory animals and prey. Rapidly determining the activity of toxins is the main bottleneck in venomics discovery, but some recent bioinformatics and molecular modeling approaches give hope that accurate predictions of toxin specificity could be made in the near future. PMID:26110505

  15. The toxicogenomic multiverse: convergent recruitment of proteins into animal venoms.

    PubMed

    Fry, Bryan G; Roelants, Kim; Champagne, Donald E; Scheib, Holger; Tyndall, Joel D A; King, Glenn F; Nevalainen, Timo J; Norman, Janette A; Lewis, Richard J; Norton, Raymond S; Renjifo, Camila; de la Vega, Ricardo C Rodríguez

    2009-01-01

    Throughout evolution, numerous proteins have been convergently recruited into the venoms of various animals, including centipedes, cephalopods, cone snails, fish, insects (several independent venom systems), platypus, scorpions, shrews, spiders, toxicoferan reptiles (lizards and snakes), and sea anemones. The protein scaffolds utilized convergently have included AVIT/colipase/prokineticin, CAP, chitinase, cystatin, defensins, hyaluronidase, Kunitz, lectin, lipocalin, natriuretic peptide, peptidase S1, phospholipase A(2), sphingomyelinase D, and SPRY. Many of these same venom protein types have also been convergently recruited for use in the hematophagous gland secretions of invertebrates (e.g., fleas, leeches, kissing bugs, mosquitoes, and ticks) and vertebrates (e.g., vampire bats). Here, we discuss a number of overarching structural, functional, and evolutionary generalities of the protein families from which these toxins have been frequently recruited and propose a revised and expanded working definition for venom. Given the large number of striking similarities between the protein compositions of conventional venoms and hematophagous secretions, we argue that the latter should also fall under the same definition. PMID:19640225

  16. A non-proteinaceous toxin from the venomous spines of the lionfish Pterois volitans (Linnaeus).

    PubMed

    Nair, M S; Cheung, P; Leong, I; Ruggieri, G D

    1985-01-01

    The venomous spines of P. volitans contain a non-proteinaceous ichthyotoxin of low molecular weight. This toxin could be isolated only from spines excised from the living fish; the toxin is apparently destroyed following death, as the extracts of the spines of the dead fish were non-toxic. PMID:4024148

  17. Transcriptome and proteome of Conus planorbis identify the nicotinic receptors as primary target for the defensive venom.

    PubMed

    Jin, Ai-Hua; Vetter, Irina; Himaya, Siddhihalu W A; Alewood, Paul F; Lewis, Richard J; Dutertre, Sébastien

    2015-12-01

    Most venomous predators have evolved complex venom primarily to immobilize their prey and secondarily to defend against predators. In a new paradigm, carnivorous marine gastropods of the genus Conus were shown to rapidly and reversibly switch between two types of venoms in response to predatory or defensive stimulus, suggesting that the defensive use of venom may have a more important role in venom evolution and specialization than previously thought. To further investigate this phenomenon, the defensive repertoire of a vermivorous species, Conus planorbis, was deciphered using second-generation sequencing coupled to high-throughput proteomics. The venom gland transcriptome of C. planorbis revealed 182 unique conotoxin precursors from 25 gene superfamilies, with superfamily T dominating in terms of read and paralog numbers. Analysis of the defense-evoked venom revealed that this vermivorous species uses a similarly complex arsenal to deter aggressors as more recently evolved fish- and mollusk-hunting species, with MS/MS validating 23 conotoxin sequences from six superfamilies. Pharmacological characterization of the defensive venom on human receptors identified the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors as a primary target. This work provides the first insights into the composition and biological activity of specifically evolved defensive venoms in vermivorous cone snails. PMID:26506909

  18. Analysis of the inflammatory reaction induced by the catfish (Cathorops spixii) venoms.

    PubMed

    Junqueira, Marcos Emerson Pinheiro; Grund, Lidiane Zito; Orii, Noêmia M; Saraiva, Tânia Cristina; de Magalhães Lopes, Carlos Alberto; Lima, Carla; Lopes-Ferreira, Mônica

    2007-06-01

    Cathorops spixii is one of the most abundant venomous fish of the southeastern coast of the State of São Paulo, and consequently causes a great part of the accidents seen there. The accidents affect mainly fishermen, swimmers and tourists and are characterized by punctiform or wide wounds, erythema, edema, pain, sudoresis, indisposition, fever, nausea, vomiting and secondary infection. The objective of this work was to characterize the inflammatory response induced in mice by both venoms (mucus and sting) of the catfish C. spixii. Our results demonstrated that both venoms induced a great number of rolling and adherent leukocytes in the post-capillary venules of cremaster muscle of mice, and an increase in the vascular permeability in peritoneal cavity. Mucus induced the recruitment of neutrophils immediately after injection followed later by macrophage infiltration. In contrast, the cellular infiltration elicited by sting venom was rapidly resolved. The peritonitis reaction provoked by venoms was characterized by cytokine (IL-6), chemokines (MCP-1 and KC) or lipid mediator (LTB4) production in the peritoneal cavity. The macrophages from 7-day mucus venom-induced exudates upon in vitro mucus venom stimulation, expressed CD11c x MHC class II and release bioactive IL-12p70. On the other hand, sting venom-elicited peritoneal macrophages lost the ability to differentiate into dendritic cells, following re-stimulation in vitro with sting venom, they do not express CD11c, nor do they exhibit sufficient levels of MHC class II. In conclusion, both types of venoms (mucus or sting) promote inflammatory reaction with different profiles, and the inflammatory reaction induced by the first was characterized by antigen persistence in peritoneal cavity that allowed the activation of phagocytic cells with capacity of antigenic presentation. PMID:17321559

  19. Specialization of the sting venom and skin mucus of Cathorops spixii reveals functional diversification of the toxins.

    PubMed

    Ramos, Anderson Daniel; Conceição, Katia; Silva, Pedro Ismael; Richardson, Michael; Lima, Carla; Lopes-Ferreira, Mônica

    2012-05-01

    Cathorops spixii is the most common venomous fish on the Brazilian coast. Apart from the involvement with defense against pathogens, the possible contribution of skin mucus components to the development of injuries caused by venomous fish species has not been investigated. Thus, the present study was conducted to gain a better understanding of the peptide and protein components of fish skin mucus and the sting venom from the catfish C. spixii. Our results show that sting venom and skin mucus have distinct constituents that distinguished them like structural proteins, chaperones, ion transport, carbohydrate metabolism, oxidoreductase, cell cycle and protein binding present in sting venom and like tropomyosin 3 isoform 2 and energy metabolim proteins in skin mucus. But in a group of common 13 proteins we identified and isolated a WAP65 protein. The peptide fractions caused more harmful effects, such as venular stasis, hemorrhage and changes in the arteriolar wall diameter, and the protein fractions produced a typical inflammatory process in post-capillary venules. And finally we showed for the first time the presence WAP65 in sting venom and skin mucus of C. spixii using LC/MS/MS and also we purified this protein in the sting venom. Wap65 shows inflammatory action, working at different doses inducing an increase in the number of leukocytes rolling and adhering to the endothelium. PMID:22381657

  20. Angiotensins processing activities in the venom and epidermic mucus of Scorpaena plumieri.

    PubMed

    Tenório, Humberto de Araújo; Costa, Ricardo Bezerra; Costa Marques, Maria Elizabeth; Victor Dos Santos, Claudio Wilian; Gomes, Francis Soares; Vieira Pereira, Hugo Juarez

    2016-09-01

    The venom of marine animals is a rich source of compounds with remarkable selectivity and functional diversity. Scorpaena plumieri is the most venomous fish in the Brazilian fauna and is responsible for relatively frequent accidents involving anglers and bathers. In humans, its venom causes edema, erythema, ecchymoses, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, and syncope. The venom is chemically characterized by Sp-CTx, a enzyme able to generate an initial endothelium-dependent relaxation response, followed by a contraction response. This study sought to investigate the proteolytic activities regarding vasopeptides angiotensin I and II. Both the venom and the epidermal mucus presented angiotensin conversion activity for angiotensin I, as well as a capacity to form Ang 1-7 directly via Ang I and II. Captopril (10 μM) and EDTA (1 mM) were able to abolish the converting activity of the venom and the epidermal mucus, representing the first description of a converting activity in S. plumieri venom and epidermal mucus. PMID:27215174

  1. Accessing Novel Conoidean Venoms: Biodiverse Lumun-lumun Marine Communities, An Untapped Biological and Toxinological Resource

    PubMed Central

    Seronay, Romell A.; Fedosov, Alexander E.; Astilla, Mary Anne; Watkins, Maren; Saguil, Noel; Heralde, Francisco M.; Tagaro, Sheila; Poppe, Guido T.; Aliño, Porfirio M.; Oliverio, Marco; Kantor, Yuri I.; Concepcion, Gisela P.; Olivera, Baldomero M.

    2010-01-01

    Cone snail venoms have yielded pharmacologically-active natural products of exceptional scientific interest. However, cone snails are a small minority of venomous molluscan biodiversity, the vast majority being tiny venomous morphospecies in the family Turridae. A novel method called lumun-lumun opens access to these micromolluscs and their venoms. Old fishing nets are anchored to the sea bottom for a period of 1–6 months and marine biotas rich in small molluscs are established. In a single lumun-lumun community, we found a remarkable gastropod biodiversity (155 morphospecies). Venomous predators belonging to the superfamily Conoidea (36 morphospecies) were the largest group, the majority being micromolluscs in the family Turridae. We carried out an initial analysis of the most abundant of the turrid morphospecies recovered, Clathurella (Lienardia) cincta (Dunker, 1871). In contrast to all cDNA clones characterized from cone snail venom ducts, one of the C. cincta clones identified encoded two different peptide precursors presumably translated from a single mRNA. The prospect of easily accessing so many different morphospecies of venomous marine snails raises intriguing toxinological possibilities: the 36 conoidean morphospecies in this one net alone have the potential to yield thousands of novel pharmacologically-active compounds. PMID:20005243

  2. Stonefish antivenom neutralises the inflammatory and cardiovascular effects induced by scorpionfish Scorpaena plumieri venom.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Helena L; Menezes, Thiago N; Carnielli, Juliana B T; Andrich, Filipe; Evangelista, Karla S; Chávez-Olórtegui, Carlos; Vassallo, Dalton V; Figueiredo, Suely G

    2011-06-01

    Venomous fish are often involved in human accidents and symptoms of envenomation include local (intense pain and swelling) and systemic effects (cardiovascular and neurological disorders). However the only commercially available antivenom is against the Indo-Pacific stonefish Synanceja trachynisStonefish Antivenom (SFAV). The aim of the present study was to evaluate the potential of SFAV in neutralising the in vivo effects of some toxic activities of scorpionfish Scorpaena plumieri venom (SpV), and the in vitro immuno cross-reactivity. The SpV (7.5-100 μg/animal) caused nociceptive and dose-dependent edematogenic responses in the mice footpad. In rats SpV (300 μg/kg, i.v.) produced immediate and transient increase in arterial blood pressure and decrease in heart rate. Prior incubation of SpV with SFAV (1 μg SpV/1 U SFAV) abolished the inflammatory response, and significantly attenuated the cardiovascular effects induced by SPV. Western blotting analysis on two-dimensional SDS-PAGE of S plumieri venom proteins using SFAV proved that the epitopes recognized by SFAV are shared with the ∼98 kDa proteins. This is the first report of venom similarities between Indo-Pacific and Atlantic venomous fish, suggesting that the SpV compound responsible for inflammatory and cardiovascular effects possesses similar biochemical and antigenic properties to those found in stonefish venom. PMID:21510970

  3. Cryptic Diversity and Venom Glands in Western Atlantic Clingfishes of the Genus Acyrtus (Teleostei: Gobiesocidae)

    PubMed Central

    Conway, Kevin W.; Baldwin, Carole; White, Macaulay D.

    2014-01-01

    Examination of genetic data (mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I) for western Atlantic clingfishes revealed two distinct lineages within a group of individuals originally identified as Acyrtus artius. Subsequent investigation of preserved voucher specimens was conducted to reconcile the genetic data and the existing classification, which is based on morphology. In addition to discovering that one of the genetic lineages is an undescribed species, which we describe as Acyrtus lanthanum, new species, we found that the nominal species Acyrtus artius has a putative venom gland associated with the subopercle that has been overlooked since the species was described nearly 60 years ago. The new species lacks the subopercular gland as does Acyrtus rubiginosus, but one is present in the related Arcos nudus. Venom glands have not been reported previously for the Gobiesocidae, and the venom gland described herein for Acyrtus and Arcos represents the first example in teleost fishes of a venom gland associated with the subopercle. PMID:24825326

  4. Polymerized soluble venom--human serum albumin

    SciTech Connect

    Patterson, R.; Suszko, I.M.; Grammer, L.C.

    1985-03-01

    Extensive previous studies have demonstrated that attempts to produce polymers of Hymenoptera venoms for human immunotherapy resulted in insoluble precipitates that could be injected with safety but with very limited immunogenicity in allergic patients. We now report soluble polymers prepared by conjugating bee venom with human serum albumin with glutaraldehyde. The bee venom-albumin polymer (BVAP) preparation was fractionated on Sephacryl S-300 to have a molecular weight range higher than catalase. /sup 125/I-labeled bee venom phospholipase A was almost completely incorporated into BVAP. Rabbit antibody responses to bee venom and bee venom phospholipase A were induced by BVAP. Human antisera against bee venom were absorbed by BVAP. No new antigenic determinants on BVAP were present as evidenced by absorption of antisera against BVAP by bee venom and albumin. BVAP has potential immunotherapeutic value in patients with anaphylactic sensitivity to bee venom.

  5. A Polychaete's powerful punch: venom gland transcriptomics of Glycera reveals a complex cocktail of toxin homologs.

    PubMed

    von Reumont, Björn M; Campbell, Lahcen I; Richter, Sandy; Hering, Lars; Sykes, Dan; Hetmank, Jörg; Jenner, Ronald A; Bleidorn, Christoph

    2014-09-01

    Glycerids are marine annelids commonly known as bloodworms. Bloodworms have an eversible proboscis adorned with jaws connected to venom glands. Bloodworms prey on invertebrates, and it is known that the venom glands produce compounds that can induce toxic effects in animals. Yet, none of these putative toxins has been characterized on a molecular basis. Here we present the transcriptomic profiles of the venom glands of three species of bloodworm, Glycera dibranchiata, Glycera fallax and Glycera tridactyla, as well as the body tissue of G. tridactyla. The venom glands express a complex mixture of transcripts coding for putative toxin precursors. These transcripts represent 20 known toxin classes that have been convergently recruited into animal venoms, as well as transcripts potentially coding for Glycera-specific toxins. The toxins represent five functional categories: Pore-forming and membrane-disrupting toxins, neurotoxins, protease inhibitors, other enzymes, and CAP domain toxins. Many of the transcripts coding for putative Glycera toxins belong to classes that have been widely recruited into venoms, but some are homologs of toxins previously only known from the venoms of scorpaeniform fish and monotremes (stonustoxin-like toxin), turrid gastropods (turripeptide-like peptides), and sea anemones (gigantoxin I-like neurotoxin). This complex mixture of toxin homologs suggests that bloodworms employ venom while predating on macroscopic prey, casting doubt on the previously widespread opinion that G. dibranchiata is a detritivore. Our results further show that researchers should be aware that different assembly methods, as well as different methods of homology prediction, can influence the transcriptomic profiling of venom glands. PMID:25193302

  6. [Seafood poisonings. Part II. Fish poisonings].

    PubMed

    Ciszowski, Krzysztof; Mietka-Ciszowska, Aneta

    2012-01-01

    Fish plays a significant role in human life, mainly as part of a balanced healthy diet and a good source of many of nutrients. However, contact with fish may be harmful or even life-threatening to man. Toxic effects, that fish exerts toward men (ichthyotoxism), result from envenomations by poison. ous fish equipped in venom apparatus (ichthyoacanthotoxism), direct contact with venom produced by skin glandules (ichthyocrinotoxism), or consuming fish containing toxins for nutritional purposes (ichthyosarcotoxism). In the present review, different fish-borne food poisonings are presented including their etiology, pathogenesis, symptomatology and treatment. In fact, the majority of fish poisonings are intoxications with toxins primary produced by bacteria, cyanobacteria and algae. These are consumed and accumulated in the food chain by herbivorous and predatory fish, that in turn may be a cause of poisonings in humans. PMID:23243919

  7. Conus venom peptide pharmacology.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Richard J; Dutertre, Sébastien; Vetter, Irina; Christie, MacDonald J

    2012-04-01

    Conopeptides are a diverse group of recently evolved venom peptides used for prey capture and/or defense. Each species of cone snails produces in excess of 1000 conopeptides, with those pharmacologically characterized (≈ 0.1%) targeting a diverse range of membrane proteins typically with high potency and specificity. The majority of conopeptides inhibit voltage- or ligand-gated ion channels, providing valuable research tools for the dissection of the role played by specific ion channels in excitable cells. It is noteworthy that many of these targets are found to be expressed in pain pathways, with several conopeptides having entered the clinic as potential treatments for pain [e.g., pyroglutamate1-MrIA (Xen2174)] and one now marketed for intrathecal treatment of severe pain [ziconotide (Prialt)]. This review discusses the diversity, pharmacology, structure-activity relationships, and therapeutic potential of cone snail venom peptide families acting at voltage-gated ion channels (ω-, μ-, μO-, δ-, ι-, and κ-conotoxins), ligand-gated ion channels (α-conotoxins, σ-conotoxin, ikot-ikot, and conantokins), G-protein-coupled receptors (ρ-conopeptides, conopressins, and contulakins), and neurotransmitter transporters (χ-conopeptides), with expanded discussion on the clinical potential of sodium and calcium channel inhibitors and α-conotoxins. Expanding the discovery of new bioactives using proteomic/transcriptomic approaches combined with high-throughput platforms and better defining conopeptide structure-activity relationships using relevant membrane protein crystal structures are expected to grow the already significant impact conopeptides have had as both research probes and leads to new therapies. PMID:22407615

  8. Extraction of Venom and Venom Gland Microdissections from Spiders for Proteomic and Transcriptomic Analyses

    PubMed Central

    Garb, Jessica E.

    2014-01-01

    Venoms are chemically complex secretions typically comprising numerous proteins and peptides with varied physiological activities. Functional characterization of venom proteins has important biomedical applications, including the identification of drug leads or probes for cellular receptors. Spiders are the most species rich clade of venomous organisms, but the venoms of only a few species are well-understood, in part due to the difficulty associated with collecting minute quantities of venom from small animals. This paper presents a protocol for the collection of venom from spiders using electrical stimulation, demonstrating the procedure on the Western black widow (Latrodectus hesperus). The collected venom is useful for varied downstream analyses including direct protein identification via mass spectrometry, functional assays, and stimulation of venom gene expression for transcriptomic studies. This technique has the advantage over protocols that isolate venom from whole gland homogenates, which do not separate genuine venom components from cellular proteins that are not secreted as part of the venom. Representative results demonstrate the detection of known venom peptides from the collected sample using mass spectrometry. The venom collection procedure is followed by a protocol for dissecting spider venom glands, with results demonstrating that this leads to the characterization of venom-expressed proteins and peptides at the sequence level. PMID:25407635

  9. Multicomponent venom of the spider Cupiennius salei: a bioanalytical investigation applying different strategies.

    PubMed

    Trachsel, Christian; Siegemund, Doreen; Kämpfer, Urs; Kopp, Lukas S; Bühr, Claudia; Grossmann, Jonas; Lüthi, Christoph; Cunningham, Monica; Nentwig, Wolfgang; Kuhn-Nentwig, Lucia; Schürch, Stefan; Schaller, Johann

    2012-08-01

    The multicomponent venom of the spider Cupiennius salei was separated by three different chromatographic strategies to facilitate subsequent analysis of peptidic venom components by tandem mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS and ESI-MS), Edman degradation and amino acid analysis: (a) desalting of the crude venom by RP-HPLC only, (b) chromatographic separation of the crude venom into 42 fractions by RP-HPLC, and (c) multidimensional purification of the crude venom by size exclusion and cation exchange chromatography and RP-HPLC. A total of 286 components were identified in the venom of C. salei by mass spectrometry and the sequence of 49 new peptides was determined de novo by Edman degradation and tandem mass spectrometry; 30 were C-terminally amidated. The novel peptides were assigned to two main groups: (a) short cationic peptides and (b) Cys-containing peptides with the inhibitor cystine knot motif. Bioinformatics revealed a limited number of substantial similarities, namely with the peptides CpTx1 from the spider Cheiracantium punctorium and U3-ctenitoxin-Asp1a from the South American fishing spider (Ancylometes sp.) and with sequences from a Lycosa singoriensis venom gland transcriptome analysis. The results clearly indicate that the quality of the data is strongly dependent on the chosen separation strategy. The combination of orthogonal analytical methods efficiently excludes alkali ion and matrix adducts, provides indispensable information for an unambiguous identification of isomasses, and results in the most comprehensive repertoire of peptides identified in the venom of C. salei so far. PMID:22672445

  10. Tityus serrulatus venom peptidomics: assessing venom peptide diversity.

    PubMed

    Rates, Breno; Ferraz, Karla K F; Borges, Márcia H; Richardson, Michael; De Lima, Maria Elena; Pimenta, Adriano M C

    2008-10-01

    MALDI-TOF-TOF and de novo sequencing were employed to assess the Tityus serrulatus venom peptide diversity. Previous works has shown the cornucopia of molecular masses, ranging from 800 to 3000Da, present in the venom from this and other scorpions species. This work reports the identification/sequencing of several of these peptides. The majority of the peptides found were fragments of larger venom toxins. For instance, 28 peptides could be identified as fragments from Pape proteins, 10 peptides corresponded to N-terminal fragments of the TsK beta (scorpine-like) toxin and fragments of potassium channel toxins (other than the k-beta) were sequenced as well. N-terminal fragments from the T. serrulatus hypotensins-I and II and a novel hypotensin-like peptide could also be found. This work also reports the sequencing of novel peptides without sequence similarities to other known molecules. PMID:18718845

  11. Diagnostic uses of snake venom.

    PubMed

    Marsh, N A

    2001-01-01

    Snake venom toxins are invaluable for the assay of coagulation factors and for the study of haemostasis generally. Thrombin-like enzymes (SVTLE) are used for fibrinogen and fibrinogen breakdown product assays as well as detecting dysfibrinogenaemias. Since SVTLE are not inhibited by heparin, they can be used for assaying antithrombin III in samples containing heparin. Snake venom prothrombin activators are utilised in prothrombin assays, whilst Russell's viper venom (RVV) can be used to assay clotting factors V, VII, X and lupus anticoagulants (LA). Activators from the taipan, Australian brown snake and saw-scaled viper have also been used to assay LA. Protein C (PC) and activated PC (APC) resistance can be measured by means of RVV, Protac (from Southern copperhead snake venom) and STA-Staclot (from Crotalus viridis helleri) whilst von Willebrand factor can be studied with Botrocetin (Bothrops jararaca). Finally, snake venom C-type lectins and metalloproteinase disintegrins are being used to study platelet glycoprotein receptors and show great potential for use in the routine coagulation laboratory. PMID:11910187

  12. Venomic and pharmacological activity of Acanthoscurria paulensis (Theraphosidae) spider venom.

    PubMed

    Mourão, Caroline Barbosa F; Oliveira, Fagner Neves; e Carvalho, Andréa C; Arenas, Claudia J; Duque, Harry Morales; Gonçalves, Jacqueline C; Macêdo, Jéssica K A; Galante, Priscilla; Schwartz, Carlos A; Mortari, Márcia R; Almeida Santos, Maria de Fátima M; Schwartz, Elisabeth F

    2013-01-01

    In the present study we conducted proteomic and pharmacological characterizations of the venom extracted from the Brazilian tarantula Acanthoscurria paulensis, and evaluated the cardiotoxicity of its two main fractions. The molecular masses of the venom components were identified by mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) after chromatographic separation (HPLC). The lethal dose (LD(50)) was determined in mice. Nociceptive behavior was evaluated by intradermal injection in mice and the edematogenic activity by the rat hind-paw assay. Cardiotoxic activity was evaluated on in situ frog heart and on isolated frog ventricle strip. From 60 chromatographic fractions, 97 distinct components were identified, with molecular masses between 601.4 and 21,932.3 Da. A trimodal molecular mass distribution was observed: 30% of the components within 500-1999 Da, 38% within 3500-5999 Da and 21% within 6500-7999 Da. The LD(50) in mice was 25.4 ± 2.4 μg/g and the effects observed were hypoactivity, anuria, constipation, dyspnea and prostration until death, which occurred at higher doses. Despite presenting a dose-dependent edematogenic activity in the rat hind-paw assay, the venom had no nociceptive activity in mice. Additionally, the venom induced a rapid blockage of electrical activity and subsequent diastolic arrest on in situ frog heart preparation, which was inhibited by pretreatment with atropine. In the electrically driven frog ventricle strip, the whole venom and its low molecular mass fraction, but not the proteic one, induced a negative inotropic effect that was also inhibited by atropine. These results suggest that despite low toxicity, A. paulensis venom can induce severe physiological disturbances in mice. PMID:23178240

  13. Irradiated Cerastes cerastes venom as a novel tool for immunotherapy.

    PubMed

    Oussedik-Oumehdi, Habiba; Laraba-Djebari, Fatima

    2008-01-01

    Immunotherapy is the most effective treatment for the snake bites. The antivenoms are commonly obtained by hyperimmunization of animals that suffer from venom toxicity. The present report describes gamma irradiation effects on Cerastes cerastes venom. Doses of 1 kGy and 2 kGy gamma radiations were used for venom detoxification. These treated venoms did not have any residual lethal effects until 10 LD(50). Immunological analysis of sera raised against native and irradiated venoms, showed that elicited antibodies to irradiated venoms were able to recognize native venom. Anti-2 kGy irradiated venom had more protective ability than anti-native venom, as tested in mice. PMID:18306103

  14. Venom gland transcriptomics for identifying, cataloging, and characterizing venom proteins in snakes.

    PubMed

    Brahma, Rajeev Kungur; McCleary, Ryan J R; Kini, R Manjunatha; Doley, Robin

    2015-01-01

    Snake venoms are cocktails of protein toxins that play important roles in capture and digestion of prey. Significant qualitative and quantitative variation in snake venom composition has been observed among and within species. Understanding these variations in protein components is instrumental in interpreting clinical symptoms during human envenomation and in searching for novel venom proteins with potential therapeutic applications. In the last decade, transcriptomic analyses of venom glands have helped in understanding the composition of various snake venoms in great detail. Here we review transcriptomic analysis as a powerful tool for understanding venom profile, variation and evolution. PMID:25448392

  15. Colubrid Venom Composition: An -Omics Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L. M.; Campos, Pollyanna F.; Ching, Ana T. C.; Mackessy, Stephen P.

    2016-01-01

    Snake venoms have been subjected to increasingly sensitive analyses for well over 100 years, but most research has been restricted to front-fanged snakes, which actually represent a relatively small proportion of extant species of advanced snakes. Because rear-fanged snakes are a diverse and distinct radiation of the advanced snakes, understanding venom composition among “colubrids” is critical to understanding the evolution of venom among snakes. Here we review the state of knowledge concerning rear-fanged snake venom composition, emphasizing those toxins for which protein or transcript sequences are available. We have also added new transcriptome-based data on venoms of three species of rear-fanged snakes. Based on this compilation, it is apparent that several components, including cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRiSPs), C-type lectins (CTLs), CTLs-like proteins and snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs), are broadly distributed among “colubrid” venoms, while others, notably three-finger toxins (3FTxs), appear nearly restricted to the Colubridae (sensu stricto). Some putative new toxins, such as snake venom matrix metalloproteinases, are in fact present in several colubrid venoms, while others are only transcribed, at lower levels. This work provides insights into the evolution of these toxin classes, but because only a small number of species have been explored, generalizations are still rather limited. It is likely that new venom protein families await discovery, particularly among those species with highly specialized diets. PMID:27455326

  16. Colubrid Venom Composition: An -Omics Perspective.

    PubMed

    Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L M; Campos, Pollyanna F; Ching, Ana T C; Mackessy, Stephen P

    2016-01-01

    Snake venoms have been subjected to increasingly sensitive analyses for well over 100 years, but most research has been restricted to front-fanged snakes, which actually represent a relatively small proportion of extant species of advanced snakes. Because rear-fanged snakes are a diverse and distinct radiation of the advanced snakes, understanding venom composition among "colubrids" is critical to understanding the evolution of venom among snakes. Here we review the state of knowledge concerning rear-fanged snake venom composition, emphasizing those toxins for which protein or transcript sequences are available. We have also added new transcriptome-based data on venoms of three species of rear-fanged snakes. Based on this compilation, it is apparent that several components, including cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRiSPs), C-type lectins (CTLs), CTLs-like proteins and snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs), are broadly distributed among "colubrid" venoms, while others, notably three-finger toxins (3FTxs), appear nearly restricted to the Colubridae (sensu stricto). Some putative new toxins, such as snake venom matrix metalloproteinases, are in fact present in several colubrid venoms, while others are only transcribed, at lower levels. This work provides insights into the evolution of these toxin classes, but because only a small number of species have been explored, generalizations are still rather limited. It is likely that new venom protein families await discovery, particularly among those species with highly specialized diets. PMID:27455326

  17. A Polychaete’s Powerful Punch: Venom Gland Transcriptomics of Glycera Reveals a Complex Cocktail of Toxin Homologs

    PubMed Central

    von Reumont, Björn M.; Richter, Sandy; Hering, Lars; Sykes, Dan; Hetmank, Jörg; Jenner, Ronald A.; Bleidorn, Christoph

    2014-01-01

    Glycerids are marine annelids commonly known as bloodworms. Bloodworms have an eversible proboscis adorned with jaws connected to venom glands. Bloodworms prey on invertebrates, and it is known that the venom glands produce compounds that can induce toxic effects in animals. Yet, none of these putative toxins has been characterized on a molecular basis. Here we present the transcriptomic profiles of the venom glands of three species of bloodworm, Glycera dibranchiata, Glycera fallax and Glycera tridactyla, as well as the body tissue of G. tridactyla. The venom glands express a complex mixture of transcripts coding for putative toxin precursors. These transcripts represent 20 known toxin classes that have been convergently recruited into animal venoms, as well as transcripts potentially coding for Glycera-specific toxins. The toxins represent five functional categories: Pore-forming and membrane-disrupting toxins, neurotoxins, protease inhibitors, other enzymes, and CAP domain toxins. Many of the transcripts coding for putative Glycera toxins belong to classes that have been widely recruited into venoms, but some are homologs of toxins previously only known from the venoms of scorpaeniform fish and monotremes (stonustoxin-like toxin), turrid gastropods (turripeptide-like peptides), and sea anemones (gigantoxin I-like neurotoxin). This complex mixture of toxin homologs suggests that bloodworms employ venom while predating on macroscopic prey, casting doubt on the previously widespread opinion that G. dibranchiata is a detritivore. Our results further show that researchers should be aware that different assembly methods, as well as different methods of homology prediction, can influence the transcriptomic profiling of venom glands. PMID:25193302

  18. Species identification from dried snake venom.

    PubMed

    Singh, Chandra S; Gaur, Ajay; Sreenivas, Ara; Singh, Lalji

    2012-05-01

    Illegal trade in snake parts has increased enormously. In spite of strict protection under wildlife act, a large number of snakes are being killed ruthlessly in India for venom and skin. Here, an interesting case involving confiscation of crystallized dried snake venom and subsequent DNA-based species identification is reported. The analysis using the universal primers for cytochrome b region of the mitochondrial DNA revealed that the venom was extracted from an Indian cobra (Naja naja). On the basis of this report, the forwarding authority booked a case in the court of law against the accused for illegal hunting of an endangered venomous snake and smuggling of snake venom. This approach thus has immense potential for rapid identification of snake species facing endangerment because of illegal trade. This is also the first report of DNA isolation from dried snake venom for species identification. PMID:22268640

  19. [The threat of snake and scorpion venoms].

    PubMed

    Płusa, Tadeusz; Smędzik, Katarzyna

    2015-09-01

    Venoms of snakes and scorpions pose a significant threat to the health and life of humans. The speed and range of their actions causes damage of the organ responsible for the maintenance of vital signs. Venomous snake venoms cause blood clotting disorders, tissue necrosis and hemolysis, and the release of a number of proinflammatory cytokines and impair antibody synthesis. Availability of antitoxins is limited and in the most cases supportive treatment is recommended. In turn, the venom of scorpions beside intestinal symptoms cause significant impairment of neuromuscular conduction, causing severe respiratory disorders. Action venom poses a particular threat to sensitive patients. The degree of threat to life caused by the venom of snakes and scorpions authorizes the treatment of these substances as a potential biological weapon. PMID:26449581

  20. Venom gland transcriptome analyses of two freshwater stingrays (Myliobatiformes: Potamotrygonidae) from Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Júnior, Nelson Gomes de Oliveira; Fernandes, Gabriel da Rocha; Cardoso, Marlon Henrique; Costa, Fabrício F.; Cândido, Elizabete de Souza; Neto, Domingos Garrone; Mortari, Márcia Renata; Schwartz, Elisabeth Ferroni; Franco, Octávio Luiz; de Alencar, Sérgio Amorim

    2016-01-01

    Stingrays commonly cause human envenoming related accidents in populations of the sea, near rivers and lakes. Transcriptomic profiles have been used to elucidate components of animal venom, since they are capable of providing molecular information on the biology of the animal and could have biomedical applications. In this study, we elucidated the transcriptomic profile of the venom glands from two different freshwater stingray species that are endemic to the Paraná-Paraguay basin in Brazil, Potamotrygon amandae and Potamotrygon falkneri. Using RNA-Seq, we identified species-specific transcripts and overlapping proteins in the venom gland of both species. Among the transcripts related with envenoming, high abundance of hyaluronidases was observed in both species. In addition, we built three-dimensional homology models based on several venom transcripts identified. Our study represents a significant improvement in the information about the venoms employed by these two species and their molecular characteristics. Moreover, the information generated by our group helps in a better understanding of the biology of freshwater cartilaginous fishes and offers clues for the development of clinical treatments for stingray envenoming in Brazil and around the world. Finally, our results might have biomedical implications in developing treatments for complex diseases. PMID:26916342

  1. Venom gland transcriptome analyses of two freshwater stingrays (Myliobatiformes: Potamotrygonidae) from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Júnior, Nelson Gomes de Oliveira; Fernandes, Gabriel da Rocha; Cardoso, Marlon Henrique; Costa, Fabrício F; Cândido, Elizabete de Souza; Neto, Domingos Garrone; Mortari, Márcia Renata; Schwartz, Elisabeth Ferroni; Franco, Octávio Luiz; de Alencar, Sérgio Amorim

    2016-01-01

    Stingrays commonly cause human envenoming related accidents in populations of the sea, near rivers and lakes. Transcriptomic profiles have been used to elucidate components of animal venom, since they are capable of providing molecular information on the biology of the animal and could have biomedical applications. In this study, we elucidated the transcriptomic profile of the venom glands from two different freshwater stingray species that are endemic to the Paraná-Paraguay basin in Brazil, Potamotrygon amandae and Potamotrygon falkneri. Using RNA-Seq, we identified species-specific transcripts and overlapping proteins in the venom gland of both species. Among the transcripts related with envenoming, high abundance of hyaluronidases was observed in both species. In addition, we built three-dimensional homology models based on several venom transcripts identified. Our study represents a significant improvement in the information about the venoms employed by these two species and their molecular characteristics. Moreover, the information generated by our group helps in a better understanding of the biology of freshwater cartilaginous fishes and offers clues for the development of clinical treatments for stingray envenoming in Brazil and around the world. Finally, our results might have biomedical implications in developing treatments for complex diseases. PMID:26916342

  2. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    PubMed Central

    Touchard, Axel; Aili, Samira R.; Fox, Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson; Escoubas, Pierre; Orivel, Jérôme; Nicholson, Graham M.; Dejean, Alain

    2016-01-01

    Ants (Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to develop complex collaborative strategies, partly involving their venom secretions, to defend their nest against predators, microbial pathogens, ant competitors, and to hunt prey. Activities of ant venom include paralytic, cytolytic, haemolytic, allergenic, pro-inflammatory, insecticidal, antimicrobial, and pain-producing pharmacologic activities, while non-toxic functions include roles in chemical communication involving trail and sex pheromones, deterrents, and aggregators. While these diverse activities in ant venoms have until now been largely understudied due to the small venom yield from ants, modern analytical and venomic techniques are beginning to reveal the diversity of toxin structure and function. As such, ant venoms are distinct from other venomous animals, not only rich in linear, dimeric and disulfide-bonded peptides and bioactive proteins, but also other volatile and non-volatile compounds such as alkaloids and hydrocarbons. The present review details the unique structures and pharmacologies of known ant venom proteinaceous and alkaloidal toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents. PMID:26805882

  3. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms.

    PubMed

    Touchard, Axel; Aili, Samira R; Fox, Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson; Escoubas, Pierre; Orivel, Jérôme; Nicholson, Graham M; Dejean, Alain

    2016-01-01

    Ants (Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to develop complex collaborative strategies, partly involving their venom secretions, to defend their nest against predators, microbial pathogens, ant competitors, and to hunt prey. Activities of ant venom include paralytic, cytolytic, haemolytic, allergenic, pro-inflammatory, insecticidal, antimicrobial, and pain-producing pharmacologic activities, while non-toxic functions include roles in chemical communication involving trail and sex pheromones, deterrents, and aggregators. While these diverse activities in ant venoms have until now been largely understudied due to the small venom yield from ants, modern analytical and venomic techniques are beginning to reveal the diversity of toxin structure and function. As such, ant venoms are distinct from other venomous animals, not only rich in linear, dimeric and disulfide-bonded peptides and bioactive proteins, but also other volatile and non-volatile compounds such as alkaloids and hydrocarbons. The present review details the unique structures and pharmacologies of known ant venom proteinaceous and alkaloidal toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents. PMID:26805882

  4. Snake venom toxins: toxicity and medicinal applications.

    PubMed

    Chan, Yau Sang; Cheung, Randy Chi Fai; Xia, Lixin; Wong, Jack Ho; Ng, Tzi Bun; Chan, Wai Yee

    2016-07-01

    Snake venoms are complex mixtures of small molecules and peptides/proteins, and most of them display certain kinds of bioactivities. They include neurotoxic, cytotoxic, cardiotoxic, myotoxic, and many different enzymatic activities. Snake envenomation is a significant health issue as millions of snakebites are reported annually. A large number of people are injured and die due to snake venom poisoning. However, several fatal snake venom toxins have found potential uses as diagnostic tools, therapeutic agent, or drug leads. In this review, different non-enzymatically active snake venom toxins which have potential therapeutic properties such as antitumor, antimicrobial, anticoagulating, and analgesic activities will be discussed. PMID:27245678

  5. Peptide Toxins in Solitary Wasp Venoms.

    PubMed

    Konno, Katsuhiro; Kazuma, Kohei; Nihei, Ken-ichi

    2016-04-01

    Solitary wasps paralyze insects or spiders with stinging venom and feed the paralyzed preys to their larva. Accordingly, the venoms should contain a variety of constituents acting on nervous systems. However, only a few solitary wasp venoms have been chemically studied despite thousands of species inhabiting the planet. We have surveyed bioactive substances in solitary wasp venoms found in Japan and discovered a variety of novel bioactive peptides. Pompilidotoxins (PMTXs), in the venoms of the pompilid wasps Anoplius samariensis and Batozonellus maculifrons, are small peptides consisting of 13 amino acids without a disulfide bond. PMTXs slowed Na⁺ channel inactivation, in particular against neuronal type Na⁺ channels, and were rather selective to the Nav1.6 channel. Mastoparan-like cytolytic and antimicrobial peptides are the major components of eumenine wasp venoms. They are rich in hydrophobic and basic amino acids, adopting a α-helical secondary structure, and showing mast cell degranulating, antimicrobial and hemolytic activities. The venom of the spider wasp Cyphononyx fulvognathus contained four bradykinin-related peptides. They are hyperalgesic and, dependent on the structure, differently associated with B₁ or B₂ receptors. Further survey led to the isolation of leucomyosuppressin-like FMRFamide peptides from the venoms of the digger wasps Sphex argentatus and Isodontia harmandi. These results of peptide toxins in solitary wasp venoms from our studies are summarized. PMID:27096870

  6. Venomous Frogs Use Heads as Weapons.

    PubMed

    Jared, Carlos; Mailho-Fontana, Pedro Luiz; Antoniazzi, Marta Maria; Mendes, Vanessa Aparecida; Barbaro, Katia Cristina; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut; Brodie, Edmund D

    2015-08-17

    Venomous animals have toxins associated with delivery mechanisms that can introduce the toxins into another animal. Although most amphibian species produce or sequester noxious or toxic secretions in the granular glands of the skin to use as antipredator mechanisms, amphibians have been considered poisonous rather than venomous because delivery mechanisms are absent. The skin secretions of two Brazilian hylid frogs (Corythomantis greening and Aparasphenodon brunoi) are more toxic than the venoms of deadly venomous Brazilian pitvipers, genus Bothrops; C. greeningi secretion is 2-fold and A. brunoi secretion is 25-fold as lethal as Bothrops venom. Like the venoms of other animals, the skin secretions of these frogs show proteolytic and fibrinolytic activity and have hyaluronidase, which is nontoxic and nonproteolytic but promotes diffusion of toxins. These frogs have well-developed delivery mechanisms, utilizing bony spines on the skull that pierce the skin in areas with concentrations of skin glands. C. greeningi has greater development of head spines and enlarged skin glands producing a greater volume of secretion, while A. brunoi has more lethal venom. C. greeningi and A. brunoi have highly toxic skin secretions and an associated delivery mechanism; they are therefore venomous. Because even tiny amounts of these secretions introduced into a wound caused by the head spines could be dangerous, these frogs are capable of using their skin toxins as venoms against would-be predators. PMID:26255851

  7. Peptide Toxins in Solitary Wasp Venoms

    PubMed Central

    Konno, Katsuhiro; Kazuma, Kohei; Nihei, Ken-ichi

    2016-01-01

    Solitary wasps paralyze insects or spiders with stinging venom and feed the paralyzed preys to their larva. Accordingly, the venoms should contain a variety of constituents acting on nervous systems. However, only a few solitary wasp venoms have been chemically studied despite thousands of species inhabiting the planet. We have surveyed bioactive substances in solitary wasp venoms found in Japan and discovered a variety of novel bioactive peptides. Pompilidotoxins (PMTXs), in the venoms of the pompilid wasps Anoplius samariensis and Batozonellus maculifrons, are small peptides consisting of 13 amino acids without a disulfide bond. PMTXs slowed Na+ channel inactivation, in particular against neuronal type Na+ channels, and were rather selective to the Nav1.6 channel. Mastoparan-like cytolytic and antimicrobial peptides are the major components of eumenine wasp venoms. They are rich in hydrophobic and basic amino acids, adopting a α-helical secondary structure, and showing mast cell degranulating, antimicrobial and hemolytic activities. The venom of the spider wasp Cyphononyx fulvognathus contained four bradykinin-related peptides. They are hyperalgesic and, dependent on the structure, differently associated with B1 or B2 receptors. Further survey led to the isolation of leucomyosuppressin-like FMRFamide peptides from the venoms of the digger wasps Sphex argentatus and Isodontia harmandi. These results of peptide toxins in solitary wasp venoms from our studies are summarized. PMID:27096870

  8. Specialized insulin is used for chemical warfare by fish-hunting cone snails

    PubMed Central

    Safavi-Hemami, Helena; Gajewiak, Joanna; Karanth, Santhosh; Robinson, Samuel D.; Ueberheide, Beatrix; Douglass, Adam D.; Schlegel, Amnon; Imperial, Julita S.; Watkins, Maren; Bandyopadhyay, Pradip K.; Yandell, Mark; Li, Qing; Purcell, Anthony W.; Norton, Raymond S.; Ellgaard, Lars; Olivera, Baldomero M.

    2015-01-01

    More than 100 species of venomous cone snails (genus Conus) are highly effective predators of fish. The vast majority of venom components identified and functionally characterized to date are neurotoxins specifically targeted to receptors, ion channels, and transporters in the nervous system of prey, predators, or competitors. Here we describe a venom component targeting energy metabolism, a radically different mechanism. Two fish-hunting cone snails, Conus geographus and Conus tulipa, have evolved specialized insulins that are expressed as major components of their venoms. These insulins are distinctive in having much greater similarity to fish insulins than to the molluscan hormone and are unique in that posttranslational modifications characteristic of conotoxins (hydroxyproline, γ-carboxyglutamate) are present. When injected into fish, the venom insulin elicits hypoglycemic shock, a condition characterized by dangerously low blood glucose. Our evidence suggests that insulin is specifically used as a weapon for prey capture by a subset of fish-hunting cone snails that use a net strategy to capture prey. Insulin appears to be a component of the nirvana cabal, a toxin combination in these venoms that is released into the water to disorient schools of small fish, making them easier to engulf with the snail’s distended false mouth, which functions as a net. If an entire school of fish simultaneously experiences hypoglycemic shock, this should directly facilitate capture by the predatory snail. PMID:25605914

  9. Specialized insulin is used for chemical warfare by fish-hunting cone snails.

    PubMed

    Safavi-Hemami, Helena; Gajewiak, Joanna; Karanth, Santhosh; Robinson, Samuel D; Ueberheide, Beatrix; Douglass, Adam D; Schlegel, Amnon; Imperial, Julita S; Watkins, Maren; Bandyopadhyay, Pradip K; Yandell, Mark; Li, Qing; Purcell, Anthony W; Norton, Raymond S; Ellgaard, Lars; Olivera, Baldomero M

    2015-02-10

    More than 100 species of venomous cone snails (genus Conus) are highly effective predators of fish. The vast majority of venom components identified and functionally characterized to date are neurotoxins specifically targeted to receptors, ion channels, and transporters in the nervous system of prey, predators, or competitors. Here we describe a venom component targeting energy metabolism, a radically different mechanism. Two fish-hunting cone snails, Conus geographus and Conus tulipa, have evolved specialized insulins that are expressed as major components of their venoms. These insulins are distinctive in having much greater similarity to fish insulins than to the molluscan hormone and are unique in that posttranslational modifications characteristic of conotoxins (hydroxyproline, γ-carboxyglutamate) are present. When injected into fish, the venom insulin elicits hypoglycemic shock, a condition characterized by dangerously low blood glucose. Our evidence suggests that insulin is specifically used as a weapon for prey capture by a subset of fish-hunting cone snails that use a net strategy to capture prey. Insulin appears to be a component of the nirvana cabal, a toxin combination in these venoms that is released into the water to disorient schools of small fish, making them easier to engulf with the snail's distended false mouth, which functions as a net. If an entire school of fish simultaneously experiences hypoglycemic shock, this should directly facilitate capture by the predatory snail. PMID:25605914

  10. Venom regeneration in the centipede Scolopendra polymorpha: evidence for asynchronous venom component synthesis.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Allen M; Kelln, Wayne J; Hayes, William K

    2014-12-01

    Venom regeneration comprises a vital process in animals that rely on venom for prey capture and defense. Venom regeneration in scolopendromorph centipedes likely influences their ability to subdue prey and defend themselves, and may influence the quantity and quality of venom extracted by researchers investigating the venom's biochemistry. We investigated venom volume and total protein regeneration during the 14-day period subsequent to venom extraction in the North American centipede Scolopendra polymorpha. We further tested the hypothesis that venom protein components, separated by reversed-phase fast protein liquid chromatography (RP-FPLC), undergo asynchronous (non-parallel) synthesis. During the first 48 h, volume and protein mass increased linearly. Protein regeneration lagged behind volume regeneration, with 65–86% of venom volume and 29–47% of protein mass regenerated during the first 2 days. No additional regeneration occurred over the subsequent 12 days, and neither volume nor protein mass reached initial levels 7 months later (93% and 76%, respectively). Centipede body length was negatively associated with rate of venom regeneration. Analysis of chromatograms of individual venom samples revealed that 5 of 10 chromatographic regions and 12 of 28 peaks demonstrated changes in percent of total peak area (i.e., percent of total protein) among milking intervals, indicating that venom proteins are regenerated asynchronously. Moreover, specimens from Arizona and California differed in relative amounts of some venom components. The considerable regeneration of venom occurring within the first 48 h, despite the reduced protein content, suggests that predatory and defensive capacities are minimally constrained by the timing of venom replacement. PMID:25456977

  11. A new approach for investigating venom function applied to venom calreticulin in a parasitoid wasp.

    PubMed

    Siebert, Aisha L; Wheeler, David; Werren, John H

    2015-12-01

    A new method is developed to investigate functions of venom components, using venom gene RNA interference knockdown in the venomous animal coupled with RNA sequencing in the envenomated host animal. The vRNAi/eRNA-Seq approach is applied to the venom calreticulin component (v-crc) of the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis. Parasitoids are common, venomous animals that inject venom proteins into host insects, where they modulate physiology and metabolism to produce a better food resource for the parasitoid larvae. vRNAi/eRNA-Seq indicates that v-crc acts to suppress expression of innate immune cell response, enhance expression of clotting genes in the host, and up-regulate cuticle genes. V-crc KD also results in an increased melanization reaction immediately following envenomation. We propose that v-crc inhibits innate immune response to parasitoid venom and reduces host bleeding during adult and larval parasitoid feeding. Experiments do not support the hypothesis that v-crc is required for the developmental arrest phenotype observed in envenomated hosts. We propose that an important role for some venom components is to reduce (modulate) the exaggerated effects of other venom components on target host gene expression, physiology, and survival, and term this venom mitigation. A model is developed that uses vRNAi/eRNA-Seq to quantify the contribution of individual venom components to total venom phenotypes, and to define different categories of mitigation by individual venoms on host gene expression. Mitigating functions likely contribute to the diversity of venom proteins in parasitoids and other venomous organisms. PMID:26359852

  12. Latarcins: versatile spider venom peptides.

    PubMed

    Dubovskii, Peter V; Vassilevski, Alexander A; Kozlov, Sergey A; Feofanov, Alexey V; Grishin, Eugene V; Efremov, Roman G

    2015-12-01

    Arthropod venoms feature the presence of cytolytic peptides believed to act synergetically with neurotoxins to paralyze prey or deter aggressors. Many of them are linear, i.e., lack disulfide bonds. When isolated from the venom, or obtained by other means, these peptides exhibit common properties. They are cationic; being mostly disordered in aqueous solution, assume amphiphilic α-helical structure in contact with lipid membranes; and exhibit general cytotoxicity, including antifungal, antimicrobial, hemolytic, and anticancer activities. To suit the pharmacological needs, the activity spectrum of these peptides should be modified by rational engineering. As an example, we provide a detailed review on latarcins (Ltc), linear cytolytic peptides from Lachesana tarabaevi spider venom. Diverse experimental and computational techniques were used to investigate the spatial structure of Ltc in membrane-mimicking environments and their effects on model lipid bilayers. The antibacterial activity of Ltc was studied against a panel of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. In addition, the action of Ltc on erythrocytes and cancer cells was investigated in detail with confocal laser scanning microscopy. In the present review, we give a critical account of the progress in the research of Ltc. We explore the relationship between Ltc structure and their biological activity and derive molecular characteristics, which can be used for optimization of other linear peptides. Current applications of Ltc and prospective use of similar membrane-active peptides are outlined. PMID:26286896

  13. [Venomous animal accidents in childhood

    PubMed

    Oliveira, J S; Campos, J A; Costa, D M

    1999-11-01

    OBJECTIVE: To highlight the importance of venomous animal accidents in childhood. The conducts are based on the proposals of the Ministério da Saúde do Brasil [Ministry of Health of Brazil] to standardize medical care in this kind of accident. This article shows the importance of early clinical diagnosis and assistance.METHODS: Review of international and national literature that includes original articles, official standards and books.RESULTS: Pediatricians may always feel insecure when they have to attend children who had venomous animal accidents because this kind of pathology is not very common. This article tries to offer easy guidelines and describes the main steps to be followed. Besides, peculiar or unusual aspects of these accidents are to be found in the literature referred to in the end of this article. Venomous animal accidents are always more severe in children, therefore resulting in higher mortality and sequelae. We assert that the early antivenom sera is extremely helpful.CONCLUSIONS: The systematization of the assistance may guarantee that the essential steps are followed thus making the assistance itself more effective. This is the purpose of the guidelines presented in this article. PMID:14685472

  14. Inflammation induced by Bothrops asper venom.

    PubMed

    Teixeira, Catarina; Cury, Yara; Moreira, Vanessa; Picolo, Gisele; Chaves, Fernando

    2009-07-01

    Inflammation is a major characteristic of envenomation by snakes from viperine and crotaline species. Bothrops asper snake venom elicits, among other alterations, a pronounced inflammatory response at the site of injection both in humans and experimental animals. This review describes the current status of our understanding of the inflammatory reaction, including pain, triggered by Bothrops asper venom. The experimental studies on the action of this venom as well as the complex network of chemical mediators involved are summarized. Moreover, aspects of the molecular mechanisms orchestrating this important response to envenomation by Bothrops asper are presented. Considering that isolated toxins are relevant tools for understanding the actions of the whole venom, studies dealing with the mechanisms of inflammatory and nociceptive properties of phospholipases A(2), a metalloproteinase and serine-proteases isolated from Bothrops asper venom are also described. PMID:19328821

  15. Inflammation induced by Bothrops asper venom.

    PubMed

    Teixeira, Catarina; Cury, Yara; Moreira, Vanessa; Picolob, Gisele; Chaves, Fernando

    2009-12-01

    Inflammation is a major characteristic of envenomation by snakes from viperine and crotaline species. Bothrops asper snake venom elicits, among other alterations, a pronounced inflammatory response at the site of injection both in humans and experimental animals. This review describes the current status of our understanding of the inflammatory reaction, including pain, triggered by B. asper venom. The experimental studies on the action of this venom as well as the complex network of chemical mediators involved are summarized. Moreover, aspects of the molecular mechanisms orchestrating this important response to envenomation by B. asper are presented. Considering that isolated toxins are relevant tools for understanding the actions of the whole venom, studies dealing with the mechanisms of inflammatory and nociceptive properties of phospholipases A2, a metalloproteinase and serine proteinases isolated from B. asper venom are also described. PMID:19774698

  16. Venom: the sharp end of pain therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Trim, Carol M

    2013-01-01

    Adequate pain control is still a significant challenge and largely unmet medical need in the 21st century. With many small molecules failing to reach required levels of potency and selectivity, drug discovery is once again turning to nature to replenish pain therapeutic pipelines. Venomous animals are frequently stereotyped as inflictors of pain and distress and have historically been vilified by mankind. Yet, ironically, the very venoms that cause pain when directly injected by the host animal may actually turn out to contain the next generation of analgesics when injected by the clinician. The last 12 months have seen dramatic discoveries of analgesic tools within venoms. Spiders, snakes and even centipedes are yielding peptides with immense therapeutic potential. Significant advances are also taking place in delivery methods that can improve bioavailability and pharmacokinetics of these exciting natural resources. Turning proteinaceous venom into pharmaceutical liquid gold is the goal of venomics and the focus of this article. PMID:26516522

  17. Spider-Venom Peptides as Therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Saez, Natalie J.; Senff, Sebastian; Jensen, Jonas E.; Er, Sing Yan; Herzig, Volker; Rash, Lachlan D.; King, Glenn F.

    2010-01-01

    Spiders are the most successful venomous animals and the most abundant terrestrial predators. Their remarkable success is due in large part to their ingenious exploitation of silk and the evolution of pharmacologically complex venoms that ensure rapid subjugation of prey. Most spider venoms are dominated by disulfide-rich peptides that typically have high affinity and specificity for particular subtypes of ion channels and receptors. Spider venoms are conservatively predicted to contain more than 10 million bioactive peptides, making them a valuable resource for drug discovery. Here we review the structure and pharmacology of spider-venom peptides that are being used as leads for the development of therapeutics against a wide range of pathophysiological conditions including cardiovascular disorders, chronic pain, inflammation, and erectile dysfunction. PMID:22069579

  18. Honeybee venom immunotherapy: certainties and pitfalls.

    PubMed

    Bilò, M Beatrice; Antonicelli, Leonardo; Bonifazi, Floriano

    2012-11-01

    The honeybee is an interesting insect because of the fundamental agricultural role it plays, together with the composition of its venom, which presents new diagnostic and immunotherapeutic challenges. This article examines various aspects of honeybee venom allergy from epidemiology to diagnosis and treatment, with special emphasis on venom immunotherapy (VIT). Honeybee venom allergy represents a risk factor for severe systemic reaction in challenged allergic patients, for the diminished effectiveness of VIT, for more frequent side effects during VIT and relapse after cessation of treatment. Some strategies are available for reducing the risk of honeybee VIT-induced side effects; however, there is considerable room for further improvement in these all-important areas. At the same time, sensitized and allergic beekeepers represent unique populations for epidemiological, venom allergy immunopathogenesis and VIT mechanism studies. PMID:23194365

  19. Spider venomics: implications for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Pineda, Sandy S; Undheim, Eivind A B; Rupasinghe, Darshani B; Ikonomopoulou, Maria P; King, Glenn F

    2014-10-01

    Over a period of more than 300 million years, spiders have evolved complex venoms containing an extraordinary array of toxins for prey capture and defense against predators. The major components of most spider venoms are small disulfide-bridged peptides that are highly stable and resistant to proteolytic degradation. Moreover, many of these peptides have high specificity and potency toward molecular targets of therapeutic importance. This unique combination of bioactivity and stability has made spider-venom peptides valuable both as pharmacological tools and as leads for drug development. This review describes recent advances in spider-venom-based drug discovery pipelines. We discuss spider-venom-derived peptides that are currently under investigation for treatment of a diverse range of pathologies including pain, stroke and cancer. PMID:25406008

  20. Tears of Venom: Hydrodynamics of Reptilian Envenomation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Bruce A.; Herzog, Florian; Friedel, Paul; Rammensee, Sebastian; Bausch, Andreas; van Hemmen, J. Leo

    2011-05-01

    In the majority of venomous snakes, and in many other reptiles, venom is conveyed from the animal’s gland to the prey’s tissue through an open groove on the surface of the teeth and not through a tubular fang. Here we focus on two key aspects of the grooved delivery system: the hydrodynamics of venom as it interacts with the groove geometry, and the efficiency of the tooth-groove-venom complex as the tooth penetrates the prey’s tissue. We show that the surface tension of the venom is the driving force underlying the envenomation dynamics. In so doing, we explain not only the efficacy of the open groove, but also the prevalence of this mechanism among reptiles.

  1. Neutralization of cobra venom by cocktail antiserum against venom proteins of cobra (Naja naja naja).

    PubMed

    Venkatesan, C; Sarathi, M; Balasubramanaiyan, G; Vimal, S; Madan, N; Sundar Raj, N; Mohammed Yusuf Bilal, S; Nazeer Basha, A; Farook, M A; Sahul Hameed, A S; Sridevi, G

    2014-01-01

    Naja naja venom was characterized by its immunochemical properties and electrophoretic pattern which revealed eight protein bands (14 kDa, 24 kDa, 29 kDa, 45 kDa, 48 kDa, 65 kDa, 72 kDa and 99 kDa) by SDS-PAGE in reducing condition after staining with Coomassie Brilliant Blue. The results showed that Naja venom presented high lethal activity. Whole venom antiserum or individual venom protein antiserum (14 kDa, 29 kDa, 65 kDa, 72 kDa and 99 kDa) of venom could recognize N. naja venom by Western blotting and ELISA, and N. naja venom presented antibody titer when assayed by ELISA. The neutralization tests showed that the polyvalent antiserum neutralized lethal activities by both in vivo and in vitro studies using mice and Vero cells. The antiserum could neutralize the lethal activities in in-vivo and antivenom administered after injection of cobra venom through intraperitoneal route in mice. The cocktail antiserum also could neutralize the cytotoxic activities in Vero cell line by MTT and Neutral red assays. The results of the present study suggest that cocktail antiserum neutralizes the lethal activities in both in vitro and in vivo models using the antiserum against cobra venom and its individual venom proteins serum produced in rabbits. PMID:24176716

  2. VenomKB, a new knowledge base for facilitating the validation of putative venom therapies

    PubMed Central

    Romano, Joseph D.; Tatonetti, Nicholas P.

    2015-01-01

    Animal venoms have been used for therapeutic purposes since the dawn of recorded history. Only a small fraction, however, have been tested for pharmaceutical utility. Modern computational methods enable the systematic exploration of novel therapeutic uses for venom compounds. Unfortunately, there is currently no comprehensive resource describing the clinical effects of venoms to support this computational analysis. We present VenomKB, a new publicly accessible knowledge base and website that aims to act as a repository for emerging and putative venom therapies. Presently, it consists of three database tables: (1) Manually curated records of putative venom therapies supported by scientific literature, (2) automatically parsed MEDLINE articles describing compounds that may be venom derived, and their effects on the human body, and (3) automatically retrieved records from the new Semantic Medline resource that describe the effects of venom compounds on mammalian anatomy. Data from VenomKB may be selectively retrieved in a variety of popular data formats, are open-source, and will be continually updated as venom therapies become better understood. PMID:26601758

  3. Venomics of New World pit vipers: Genus-wide comparisons of venom proteomes across Agkistrodon

    PubMed Central

    Lomonte, Bruno; Tsai, Wan-Chih; Ureña-Diaz, Juan Manuel; Sanz, Libia; Mora-Obando, Diana; Sánchez, Elda E.; Fry, Bryan G.; Gutiérrez, José María; Gibbs, H. Lisle; Sovic, Michael G.; Calvete, Juan J.

    2015-01-01

    We report a genus-wide comparison of venom proteome variation across New World pit vipers in the genus Agkistrodon. Despite the wide variety of habitats occupied by this genus and that all its taxa feed on diverse species of vertebrates and invertebrate prey, the venom proteomes of copperheads, cottonmouths, and cantils are remarkably similar, both in the type and relative abundance of their different toxin families. The venoms from all the eleven species and subspecies sampled showed relatively similar proteolytic and PLA2 activities. In contrast, quantitative differences were observed in hemorrhagic and myotoxic activities in mice. The highest myotoxic activity was observed with the venoms of A. b. bilineatus, followed by A. p. piscivorus, whereas the venoms of A. c. contortrix and A. p. leucostoma induced the lowest myotoxic activity. The venoms of Agkistrodon bilineatus subspecies showed the highest hemorrhagic activity and A. c. contortrix the lowest. Compositional and toxicological analyses agree with clinical observations of envenomations by Agkistrodon in the USA and Central America. A comparative analysis of Agkistrodon shows that venom divergence tracks phylogeny of this genus to a greater extent than in Sistrurus rattlesnakes, suggesting that the distinct natural histories of Agkistrodon and Sistrurus clades may have played a key role in molding the patterns of evolution of their venom protein genes. Biological significance A deep understanding of the structural and functional profiles of venoms and of the principles governing the evolution of venomous systems is a goal of venomics. Isolated proteomics analyses have been conducted on venoms from many species of vipers and pit vipers. However, making sense of these large inventories of data requires the integration of this information across multiple species to identify evolutionary and ecological trends. Our genus-wide venomics study provides a comprehensive overview of the toxic arsenal across

  4. Exploiting the Nephrotoxic Effects of Venom from the Sea Anemone, Phyllodiscus semoni, to Create a Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Model in the Rat

    PubMed Central

    Mizuno, Masashi; Ito, Yasuhiko; Morgan, B. Paul

    2012-01-01

    In the natural world, there are many creatures with venoms that have interesting and varied activities. Although the sea anemone, a member of the phylum Coelenterata, has venom that it uses to capture and immobilise small fishes and shrimp and for protection from predators, most sea anemones are harmless to man. However, a few species are highly toxic; some have venoms containing neurotoxins, recently suggested as potential immune-modulators for therapeutic application in immune diseases. Phyllodiscus semoni is a highly toxic sea anemone; the venom has multiple effects, including lethality, hemolysis and renal injuries. We previously reported that venom extracted from Phyllodiscus semoni induced acute glomerular endothelial injuries in rats resembling hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), accompanied with complement dysregulation in glomeruli and suggested that the model might be useful for analyses of pathology and development of therapeutic approaches in HUS. In this mini-review, we describe in detail the venom-induced acute renal injuries in rat and summarize how the venom of Phyllodiscus semoni could have potential as a tool for analyses of complement activation and therapeutic interventions in HUS. PMID:22851928

  5. Low cost venom extractor based on Arduino(®) board for electrical venom extraction from arthropods and other small animals.

    PubMed

    Besson, Thomas; Debayle, Delphine; Diochot, Sylvie; Salinas, Miguel; Lingueglia, Eric

    2016-08-01

    Extracting venom from small species is usually challenging. We describe here an affordable and versatile electrical venom extractor based on the Arduino(®) Mega 2560 Board, which is designed to extract venom from arthropods and other small animals. The device includes fine tuning of stimulation time and voltage. It was used to collect venom without apparent deleterious effects, and characterized for the first time the venom of Zoropsis spinimana, a common spider in French Mediterranean regions. PMID:27158113

  6. Induction of cytotoxicity of Pelagia noctiluca venom causes reactive oxygen species generation, lipid peroxydation induction and DNA damage in human colon cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The long-lasting and abundant blooming of Pelagia noctiluca in Tunisian coastal waters compromises both touristic and fishing activities and causes substantial economic losses. Determining their molecular mode of action is, important in order to limit or prevent the subsequent damages. Thus, the aim of the present study was to investigate the propensity of Pelagia noctiluca venom to cause oxidative damage in HCT 116 cells and its associated genotoxic effects. Results Our results indicated an overproduction of ROS, an induction of catalase activity and an increase of MDA generation. We looked for DNA fragmentation by means of the comet assay. Results indicated that venom of Pelagia noctiluca induced DNA fragmentation. SDS-PAGE analysis of Pelagia noctiluca venom revealed at least 15 protein bands of molecular weights ranging from 4 to 120 kDa. Conclusion Oxidative damage may be an initiating event and contributes, in part, to the mechanism of toxicity of Pelagia noctiluca venom. PMID:22151830

  7. Tityus serrulatus venom--A lethal cocktail.

    PubMed

    Pucca, Manuela Berto; Cerni, Felipe Augusto; Pinheiro Junior, Ernesto Lopes; Bordon, Karla de Castro Figueiredo; Amorim, Fernanda Gobbi; Cordeiro, Francielle Almeida; Longhim, Heloisa Tavoni; Cremonez, Caroline Marroni; Oliveira, Guilherme Honda; Arantes, Eliane Candiani

    2015-12-15

    Tityus serrulatus (Ts) is the main scorpion species of medical importance in Brazil. Ts venom is composed of several compounds such as mucus, inorganic salts, lipids, amines, nucleotides, enzymes, kallikrein inhibitor, natriuretic peptide, proteins with high molecular mass, peptides, free amino acids and neurotoxins. Neurotoxins are considered the most responsible for the envenoming syndrome due to their pharmacological action on ion channels such as voltage-gated sodium (Nav) and potassium (Kv) channels. The major goal of this review is to present important advances in Ts envenoming research, correlating both the crude Ts venom and isolated toxins with alterations observed in all human systems. The most remarkable event lies in the Ts induced massive releasing of neurotransmitters influencing, directly or indirectly, the entire body. Ts venom proved to extremely affect nervous and muscular systems, to modulate the immune system, to induce cardiac disorders, to cause pulmonary edema, to decrease urinary flow and to alter endocrine, exocrine, reproductive, integumentary, skeletal and digestive functions. Therefore, Ts venom possesses toxins affecting all anatomic systems, making it a lethal cocktail. However, its low lethality may be due to the low venom mass injected, to the different venom compositions, the body characteristics and health conditions of the victim and the local of Ts sting. Furthermore, we also described the different treatments employed during envenoming cases. In particular, throughout the review, an effort will be made to provide information from an extensive documented studies concerning Ts venom in vitro, in animals and in humans (a total of 151 references). PMID:26522893

  8. Early significant ontogenetic changes in snake venoms.

    PubMed

    Wray, Kenneth P; Margres, Mark J; Seavy, Margaret; Rokyta, Darin R

    2015-03-01

    Snake venom plays a critical role in food acquisition, digestion, and defense. Venoms are known to change throughout the life of some snake species, but nothing is known about the venom composition of hatchling/neonate snakes prior to and just after their first shedding cycle, despite this being a critical time in the life of the snake. Using a cohort of Crotalus horridus and two cohorts of Crotalus adamanteus, we showed for the first time that snakes undergo significant changes in venom composition after the postnatal shedding event. The number of changes among cohorts ranged widely and there was wide variation in the direction of protein regulation, which appeared to be on a locus-specific level rather than protein-family level. These significant venom composition changes that take place in the first few weeks of life most likely play critical roles in venom economy and resource conservation and may partially explain the rare, post-birth maternal care found in some venomous species. PMID:25600640

  9. Identifying and managing Hymenoptera venom allergy.

    PubMed

    Matron, Patricia Kane; Timms, Victoria; Fitzsimons, Roisin

    2016-05-25

    Hymenoptera venom allergy is an immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated hypersensitivity to the venom of insects from the Hymenoptera order and is a common cause of anaphylaxis. A diagnosis of venom allergy is made by taking an accurate medical, family and social history, alongside specific allergy testing. Systemic reactions to Hymenoptera venom occur in a small proportion of the population; these range from mild to life-threatening in severity. Treatment for local reactions involves the use of cold packs, antihistamines, analgesia and topical corticosteroids to help alleviate swelling, pain and pruritus. Venom immunotherapy is the treatment of choice for reducing the incidence of future anaphylactic reactions in individuals who have signs of respiratory obstruction or hypotension. Venom immunotherapy is the most effective treatment in reduction of life-threatening reactions to venom, and can improve quality of life for individuals. Treatment should only be provided by experienced staff who are able to provide emergency care for anaphylaxis and life-threatening episodes. A risk assessment to deliver treatment should be undertaken before treatment is commenced. PMID:27224630

  10. Cardiovascular-Active Venom Toxins: An Overview.

    PubMed

    Rebello Horta, Carolina Campolina; Chatzaki, Maria; Rezende, Bruno Almeida; Magalhães, Bárbara de Freitas; Duarte, Clara Guerra; Felicori, Liza Figueiredo; Ribeiro Oliveira-Mendes, Bárbara Bruna; do Carmo, Anderson Oliveira; Chávez-Olórtegui, Carlos; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes

    2016-01-01

    Animal venoms are a mixture of bioactive compounds produced as weapons and used primarily to immobilize and kill preys. As a result of the high potency and specificity for various physiological targets, many toxins from animal venoms have emerged as possible drugs for the medication of diverse disorders, including cardiovascular diseases. Captopril, which inhibits the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), was the first successful venom-based drug and a notable example of rational drug design. Since captopril was developed, many studies have discovered novel bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPPs) with actions on the cardiovascular system. Natriuretic peptides (NPs) have also been found in animal venoms and used as template to design new drugs with applications in cardiovascular diseases. Among the anti-arrhythmic peptides, GsMTx-4 was discovered to be a toxin that selectively inhibits the stretch-activated cation channels (SACs), which are involved in atrial fibrillation. The present review describes the main components isolated from animal venoms that act on the cardiovascular system and presents a brief summary of venomous animals and their venom apparatuses. PMID:26812904

  11. Canopy Venom: Proteomic Comparison among New World Arboreal Pit-Viper Venoms.

    PubMed

    Debono, Jordan; Cochran, Chip; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Nouwens, Amanda; Rajapakse, Niwanthi W; Kawasaki, Minami; Wood, Kelly; Dobson, James; Baumann, Kate; Jouiaei, Mahdokht; Jackson, Timothy N W; Koludarov, Ivan; Low, Dolyce; Ali, Syed A; Smith, A Ian; Barnes, Andrew; Fry, Bryan G

    2016-01-01

    Central and South American pitvipers, belonging to the genera Bothrops and Bothriechis, have independently evolved arboreal tendencies. Little is known regarding the composition and activity of their venoms. In order to close this knowledge gap, venom proteomics and toxin activity of species of Bothriechis, and Bothrops (including Bothriopsis) were investigated through established analytical methods. A combination of proteomics and bioactivity techniques was used to demonstrate a similar diversification of venom composition between large and small species within Bothriechis and Bothriopsis. Increasing our understanding of the evolution of complex venom cocktails may facilitate future biodiscoveries. PMID:27399777

  12. Canopy Venom: Proteomic Comparison among New World Arboreal Pit-Viper Venoms

    PubMed Central

    Debono, Jordan; Cochran, Chip; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Nouwens, Amanda; Rajapakse, Niwanthi W.; Kawasaki, Minami; Wood, Kelly; Dobson, James; Baumann, Kate; Jouiaei, Mahdokht; Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Koludarov, Ivan; Low, Dolyce; Ali, Syed A.; Smith, A. Ian; Barnes, Andrew; Fry, Bryan G.

    2016-01-01

    Central and South American pitvipers, belonging to the genera Bothrops and Bothriechis, have independently evolved arboreal tendencies. Little is known regarding the composition and activity of their venoms. In order to close this knowledge gap, venom proteomics and toxin activity of species of Bothriechis, and Bothrops (including Bothriopsis) were investigated through established analytical methods. A combination of proteomics and bioactivity techniques was used to demonstrate a similar diversification of venom composition between large and small species within Bothriechis and Bothriopsis. Increasing our understanding of the evolution of complex venom cocktails may facilitate future biodiscoveries. PMID:27399777

  13. Protease inhibitor in scorpion (Mesobuthus eupeus) venom prolongs the biological activities of the crude venom.

    PubMed

    Ma, Hakim; Xiao-Peng, Tang; Yang, Shi-Long; Lu, Qiu-Min; Lai, Ren

    2016-08-01

    It is hypothesized that protease inhibitors play an essential role in survival of venomous animals through protecting peptide/protein toxins from degradation by proteases in their prey or predators. However, the biological function of protease inhibitors in scorpion venoms remains unknown. In the present study, a trypsin inhibitor was purified and characterized from the venom of scorpion Mesobuthus eupeus, which enhanced the biological activities of crude venom components in mice when injected in combination with crude venom. This protease inhibitor, named MeKTT-1, belonged to Kunitz-type toxins subfamily. Native MeKTT-1 selectively inhibited trypsin with a Kivalue of 130 nmol·L(-1). Furthermore, MeKTT-1 was shown to be a thermo-stable peptide. In animal behavioral tests, MeKTT-1 prolonged the pain behavior induced by scorpion crude venom, suggesting that protease inhibitors in scorpion venom inhibited proteases and protect the functionally important peptide/protein toxins from degradation, consequently keeping them active longer. In conclusion, this was the first experimental evidence about the natural existence of serine protease inhibitor in the venom of scorpion Mesobuthus eupeus, which preserved the activity of venom components, suggests that scorpions may use protease inhibitors for survival. PMID:27608950

  14. The birdlike raptor Sinornithosaurus was venomous

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Enpu; Martin, Larry D.; Burnham, David A.; Falk, Amanda R.

    2009-01-01

    We suggest that some of the most avian dromaeosaurs, such as Sinornithosaurus, were venomous, and propose an ecological model for that taxon based on its unusual dentition and other cranial features including grooved teeth, a possible pocket for venom glands, and a groove leading from that pocket to the exposed bases of the teeth. These features are all analogous to the venomous morphology of lizards. Sinornithosaurus and related dromaeosaurs probably fed on the abundant birds of the Jehol forests during the Early Cretaceous in northeastern China. PMID:20080749

  15. Diversification rates and phenotypic evolution in venomous snakes (Elapidae).

    PubMed

    Lee, Michael S Y; Sanders, Kate L; King, Benedict; Palci, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    The relationship between rates of diversification and of body size change (a common proxy for phenotypic evolution) was investigated across Elapidae, the largest radiation of highly venomous snakes. Time-calibrated phylogenetic trees for 175 species of elapids (more than 50% of known taxa) were constructed using seven mitochondrial and nuclear genes. Analyses using these trees revealed no evidence for a link between speciation rates and changes in body size. Two clades (Hydrophis, Micrurus) show anomalously high rates of diversification within Elapidae, yet exhibit rates of body size evolution almost identical to the general elapid 'background' rate. Although correlations between speciation rates and rates of body size change exist in certain groups (e.g. ray-finned fishes, passerine birds), the two processes appear to be uncoupled in elapid snakes. There is also no detectable shift in diversification dynamics associated with the colonization of Australasia, which is surprising given that elapids appear to be the first clade of venomous snakes to reach the continent. PMID:26909162

  16. Diversification rates and phenotypic evolution in venomous snakes (Elapidae)

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Michael S. Y.; Sanders, Kate L.; King, Benedict; Palci, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    The relationship between rates of diversification and of body size change (a common proxy for phenotypic evolution) was investigated across Elapidae, the largest radiation of highly venomous snakes. Time-calibrated phylogenetic trees for 175 species of elapids (more than 50% of known taxa) were constructed using seven mitochondrial and nuclear genes. Analyses using these trees revealed no evidence for a link between speciation rates and changes in body size. Two clades (Hydrophis, Micrurus) show anomalously high rates of diversification within Elapidae, yet exhibit rates of body size evolution almost identical to the general elapid ‘background’ rate. Although correlations between speciation rates and rates of body size change exist in certain groups (e.g. ray-finned fishes, passerine birds), the two processes appear to be uncoupled in elapid snakes. There is also no detectable shift in diversification dynamics associated with the colonization of Australasia, which is surprising given that elapids appear to be the first clade of venomous snakes to reach the continent. PMID:26909162

  17. Characterizing Tityus discrepans scorpion venom from a fractal perspective: Venom complexity, effects of captivity, sexual dimorphism, differences among species.

    PubMed

    D'Suze, Gina; Sandoval, Moisés; Sevcik, Carlos

    2015-12-15

    A characteristic of venom elution patterns, shared with many other complex systems, is that many their features cannot be properly described with statistical or euclidean concepts. The understanding of such systems became possible with Mandelbrot's fractal analysis. Venom elution patterns were produced using the reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with 1 mg of venom. One reason for the lack of quantitative analyses of the sources of venom variability is parametrizing the venom chromatograms' complexity. We quantize this complexity by means of an algorithm which estimates the contortedness (Q) of a waveform. Fractal analysis was used to compare venoms and to measure inter- and intra-specific venom variability. We studied variations in venom complexity derived from gender, seasonal and environmental factors, duration of captivity in the laboratory, technique used to milk venom. PMID:26415902

  18. Inhibition of Hemorragic Snake Venom Components: Old and New Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Panfoli, Isabella; Calzia, Daniela; Ravera, Silvia; Morelli, Alessandro

    2010-01-01

    Snake venoms are complex toxin mixtures. Viperidae and Crotalidae venoms, which are hemotoxic, are responsible for most of the envenomations around the world. Administration of antivenins aimed at the neutralization of toxins in humans is prone to potential risks. Neutralization of snake venom toxins has been achieved through different approaches: plant extracts have been utilized in etnomedicine. Direct electric current from low voltage showed neutralizing properties against venom phospholipase A2 and metalloproteases. This mini-review summarizes new achievements in venom key component inhibition. A deeper knowledge of alternative ways to inhibit venom toxins may provide supplemental treatments to serum therapy. PMID:22069593

  19. Hemostatic interference of Indian king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) Venom. Comparison with three other snake venoms of the subcontinent.

    PubMed

    Gowtham, Yashonandana J; Kumar, M S; Girish, K S; Kemparaju, K

    2012-06-01

    Unlike Naja naja, Bungarus caeruleus, Echis carinatus, and Daboia/Vipera russellii venoms, Ophiophagus hannah venom is medically ignored in the Indian subcontinent. Being the biggest poisonous snake, O. hannah has been presumed to inject several lethal doses of venom in a single bite. Lack of therapeutic antivenom to O. hannah bite in India makes any attempt to save the victim a difficult exercise. This study was initiated to compare O. hannah venom with the above said venoms for possible interference in hemostasis. Ophiophagus hannah venom was found to actively interfere in hemostatic stages such as fibrin clot formation, platelet activation/aggregation, and fibrin clot dissolution. It decreased partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), prothrombin time (PT), and thrombin clotting time (TCT). These activities are similar to that shown by E. carinatus and D. russellii venoms, and thus O. hannah venom was found to exert procoagulant activity through the common pathway of blood coagulation, while N. naja venom increased aPTT and TCT but not PT, and hence it was found to exert anticoagulant activity through the intrinsic pathway. Venoms of O. hannah, E. carinatus, and D. russellii lack plasminogen activation property as they do not hydrolyze azocasein, while they all show plasmin-like activity by degrading the fibrin clot. Although N. naja venom did not degrade azocasein, unlike other venoms, it showed feeble plasmin-like activity on fibrin clot. Venom of E. carinatus induced clotting of human platelet rich plasma (PRP), while the other three venoms interfered in agonist-induced platelet aggregation in PRP. Venom of O. hannah least inhibited the ADP induced platelet aggregation as compared to D. russellii and N. naja venoms. All these three venoms showed complete inhibition of epinephrine-induced aggregation at varied doses. However, O. hannah venom was unique in inhibiting thrombin induced aggregation. PMID:22817464

  20. Echidna venom gland transcriptome provides insights into the evolution of monotreme venom.

    PubMed

    Wong, Emily S W; Nicol, Stewart; Warren, Wesley C; Belov, Katherine

    2013-01-01

    Monotremes (echidna and platypus) are egg-laying mammals. One of their most unique characteristic is that males have venom/crural glands that are seasonally active. Male platypuses produce venom during the breeding season, delivered via spurs, to aid in competition against other males. Echidnas are not able to erect their spurs, but a milky secretion is produced by the gland during the breeding season. The function and molecular composition of echidna venom is as yet unknown. Hence, we compared the deeply sequenced transcriptome of an in-season echidna crural gland to that of a platypus and searched for putative venom genes to provide clues into the function of echidna venom and the evolutionary history of monotreme venom. We found that the echidna venom gland transcriptome was markedly different from the platypus with no correlation between the top 50 most highly expressed genes. Four peptides found in the venom of the platypus were detected in the echidna transcriptome. However, these genes were not highly expressed in echidna, suggesting that they are the remnants of the evolutionary history of the ancestral venom gland. Gene ontology terms associated with the top 100 most highly expressed genes in echidna, showed functional terms associated with steroidal and fatty acid production, suggesting that echidna "venom" may play a role in scent communication during the breeding season. The loss of the ability to erect the spur and other unknown evolutionary forces acting in the echidna lineage resulted in the gradual decay of venom components and the evolution of a new role for the crural gland. PMID:24265746

  1. Venom-based biotoxins as potential analgesics.

    PubMed

    Gazerani, Parisa; Cairns, Brian Edwin

    2014-11-01

    Chronic pain is a common debilitating condition with negative social and economic consequences. Management of chronic pain is challenging and the currently available medications do not yet yield satisfactory outcomes for many patients. Venom-derived biotoxins from various venomous species consist of several substances with different structures and compositions that include peptides. A unique characteristic of some venom-based biotoxins is the ability to block essential components of the pain signaling system, notably ion channels. This property is leading to the evaluation of the potential of biotoxins as analgesics to manage chronic pain. In addition to their therapeutic potential, biotoxins have also been essential tools to probe mechanisms underlying pain signaling, channelopathies and receptor expression. This review discusses venom-derived peptidergic biotoxins that are in preclinical stages or already in clinical trials. Some promising results from preliminary in vitro studies, ongoing challenges and unmet needs will also be discussed. PMID:25234848

  2. 9.3 KDa components of the injected venom of Conus purpurascens define a new five-disulfide conotoxin framework.

    PubMed

    Möller, Carolina; Marí, Frank

    2011-01-01

    The 83-residue conopeptide (p21a) and its corresponding nonhydroxylated analog were isolated from the injected venom of Conus purpurascens. The complete conopeptide sequences were derived from Edman degradation sequencing of fragments from tryptic, chymotryptic and cyanogen bromide digestions, p21a has a unique, 10-cystine/5-disulfide 7-loop framework with extended 10-residue N-terminus and a 5-residue C-terminus tails, respectively. p21a has a 48% sequence homology with a recently described 13-cystine conopeptide, con-ikot-ikot, isolated from the dissected venom of the fish-hunting snail Conus striatus. However, unlike con-ikot-ikot, p21a does not form a dimer of dimers. MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry suggests that p21a may form a noncovalent dimer. p21a is an unusually large conotoxin and in so far is the largest isolated from injected venom. p21a provides evidence that the Conus venom arsenal includes larger molecules that are directly injected into the prey. Therefore, cone snails can utilize toxins that are comparable in size to the ones commonly found in other venomous animals. PMID:20564010

  3. The Mitochondrial Genome of the Venomous Cone Snail Conus consors

    PubMed Central

    Brauer, Age; Kurz, Alexander; Stockwell, Tim; Baden-Tillson, Holly; Heidler, Juliana; Wittig, Ilka; Kauferstein, Silke; Mebs, Dietrich; Stöcklin, Reto; Remm, Maido

    2012-01-01

    Cone snails are venomous predatory marine neogastropods that belong to the species-rich superfamily of the Conoidea. So far, the mitochondrial genomes of two cone snail species (Conus textile and Conus borgesi) have been described, and these feed on snails and worms, respectively. Here, we report the mitochondrial genome sequence of the fish-hunting cone snail Conus consors and describe a novel putative control region (CR) which seems to be absent in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of other cone snail species. This possible CR spans about 700 base pairs (bp) and is located between the genes encoding the transfer RNA for phenylalanine (tRNA-Phe, trnF) and cytochrome c oxidase subunit III (cox3). The novel putative CR contains several sequence motifs that suggest a role in mitochondrial replication and transcription. PMID:23236512

  4. Black Bear Reactions to Venomous and Non-venomous Snakes in Eastern North America

    PubMed Central

    Rogers, Lynn L; Mansfield, Susan A; Hornby, Kathleen; Hornby, Stewart; Debruyn, Terry D; Mize, Malvin; Clark, Rulon; Burghardt, Gordon M

    2014-01-01

    Bears are often considered ecological equivalents of large primates, but the latter often respond with fear, avoidance, and alarm calls to snakes, both venomous and non-venomous, there is sparse information on how bears respond to snakes. We videotaped or directly observed natural encounters between black bears (Ursus americanus) and snakes. Inside the range of venomous snakes in Arkansas and West Virginia, adolescent and adult black bears reacted fearfully in seven of seven encounters upon becoming aware of venomous and non-venomous snakes; but in northern Michigan and Minnesota where venomous snakes have been absent for millennia, black bears showed little or no fear in four encounters with non-venomous snakes of three species. The possible roles of experience and evolution in bear reactions to snakes and vice versa are discussed. In all areas studied, black bears had difficulty to recognize non-moving snakes by smell or sight. Bears did not react until snakes moved in 11 of 12 encounters with non-moving timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) and four species of harmless snakes. However, in additional tests in this study, bears were repulsed by garter snakes that had excreted pungent anal exudates, which may help explain the absence of snakes, both venomous and harmless, in bear diets reported to date. PMID:25635152

  5. Recombinant snake venom prothrombin activators.

    PubMed

    Lövgren, Ann

    2013-01-01

    Three prothrombin activators; ecarin, which was originally isolated from the venom of the saw-scaled viper Echis carinatus, trocarin from the rough-scaled snake Tropidechis carinatus, and oscutarin from the Taipan snake Oxyuranus scutellatus, were expressed in mammalian cells with the purpose to obtain recombinant prothrombin activators that could be used to convert prothrombin to thrombin. We have previously reported that recombinant ecarin can efficiently generate thrombin without the need for additional cofactors, but does not discriminate non-carboxylated prothrombin from biologically active γ-carboxylated prothrombin. Here we report that recombinant trocarin and oscutarin could not efficiently generate thrombin without additional protein co-factors. We confirm that both trocarin and oscutarin are similar to human coagulation Factor X (FX), explaining the need for additional cofactors. Sequencing of a genomic fragment containing 7 out of the 8 exons coding for oscutarin further confirmed the similarity to human FX. PMID:23111318

  6. Echidna Venom Gland Transcriptome Provides Insights into the Evolution of Monotreme Venom

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Emily S. W.; Nicol, Stewart; Warren, Wesley C.; Belov, Katherine

    2013-01-01

    Monotremes (echidna and platypus) are egg-laying mammals. One of their most unique characteristic is that males have venom/crural glands that are seasonally active. Male platypuses produce venom during the breeding season, delivered via spurs, to aid in competition against other males. Echidnas are not able to erect their spurs, but a milky secretion is produced by the gland during the breeding season. The function and molecular composition of echidna venom is as yet unknown. Hence, we compared the deeply sequenced transcriptome of an in-season echidna crural gland to that of a platypus and searched for putative venom genes to provide clues into the function of echidna venom and the evolutionary history of monotreme venom. We found that the echidna venom gland transcriptome was markedly different from the platypus with no correlation between the top 50 most highly expressed genes. Four peptides found in the venom of the platypus were detected in the echidna transcriptome. However, these genes were not highly expressed in echidna, suggesting that they are the remnants of the evolutionary history of the ancestral venom gland. Gene ontology terms associated with the top 100 most highly expressed genes in echidna, showed functional terms associated with steroidal and fatty acid production, suggesting that echidna “venom” may play a role in scent communication during the breeding season. The loss of the ability to erect the spur and other unknown evolutionary forces acting in the echidna lineage resulted in the gradual decay of venom components and the evolution of a new role for the crural gland. PMID:24265746

  7. Strategy for rapid immobilization of prey by a fish-hunting marine snail.

    PubMed

    Terlau, H; Shon, K J; Grilley, M; Stocker, M; Stühmer, W; Olivera, B M

    1996-05-01

    Some venomous animals capture prey with remarkable efficiency and speed. The purple cone, Conus purpurascens, uses two parallel physiological mechanisms requiring multiple neurotoxins to immobilize fish rapidly: neuromuscular block, and excitotoxic shock. The latter requires the newly characterized peptide kappa-conotoxin PVIIA, which inhibits the Shaker potassium channel 2-4, and beta-conotoxin PVIA5, which delays sodium-channel inactivation. Despite the extreme biochemical diversity in venoms, the number of effective strategic alternatives for prey capture are limited. How securely prey is initially tethered may strongly influence the venom strategy evolved by a predator. PMID:12074021

  8. Comparative venom gland transcriptome analysis of the scorpion Lychas mucronatus reveals intraspecific toxic gene diversity and new venomous components

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Lychas mucronatus is one scorpion species widely distributed in Southeast Asia and southern China. Anything is hardly known about its venom components, despite the fact that it can often cause human accidents. In this work, we performed a venomous gland transcriptome analysis by constructing and screening the venom gland cDNA library of the scorpion Lychas mucronatus from Yunnan province and compared it with the previous results of Hainan-sourced Lychas mucronatus. Results A total of sixteen known types of venom peptides and proteins are obtained from the venom gland cDNA library of Yunnan-sourced Lychas mucronatus, which greatly increase the number of currently reported scorpion venom peptides. Interestingly, we also identified nineteen atypical types of venom molecules seldom reported in scorpion species. Surprisingly, the comparative transcriptome analysis of Yunnan-sourced Lychas mucronatus and Hainan-sourced Lychas mucronatus indicated that enormous diversity and vastly abundant difference could be found in venom peptides and proteins between populations of the scorpion Lychas mucronatus from different geographical regions. Conclusions This work characterizes a large number of venom molecules never identified in scorpion species. This result provides a comparative analysis of venom transcriptomes of the scorpion Lychas mucronatus from different geographical regions, which thoroughly reveals the fact that the venom peptides and proteins of the same scorpion species from different geographical regions are highly diversified and scorpion evolves to adapt a new environment by altering the primary structure and abundance of venom peptides and proteins. PMID:20663230

  9. Venom proteomic and venomous glands transcriptomic analysis of the Egyptian scorpion Scorpio maurus palmatus (Arachnida: Scorpionidae).

    PubMed

    Abdel-Rahman, Mohamed A; Quintero-Hernandez, Veronica; Possani, Lourival D

    2013-11-01

    Proteomic analysis of the scorpion venom Scorpio maurus palmatus was performed using reverse-phase HPLC separation followed by mass spectrometry determination. Sixty five components were identified with molecular masses varying from 413 to 14,009 Da. The high percentage of peptides (41.5%) was from 3 to 5 KDa which may represent linear antimicrobial peptides and KScTxs. Also, 155 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were analyzed through construction the cDNA library prepared from a pair of venomous gland. About 77% of the ESTs correspond to toxin-like peptides and proteins with definite open reading frames. The cDNA sequencing results also show the presence of sequences whose putative products have sequence similarity with antimicrobial peptides (24%), insecticidal toxins, β-NaScTxs, κ-KScTxs, α-KScTxs, calcines and La1-like peptides. Also, we have obtained 23 atypical types of venom molecules not recorded in other scorpion species. Moreover, 9% of the total ESTs revealed significant similarities with proteins involved in the cellular processes of these scorpion venomous glands. This is the first set of molecular masses and transcripts described from this species, in which various venom molecules have been identified. They belong to either known or unassigned types of scorpion venom peptides and proteins, and provide valuable information for evolutionary analysis and venomics. PMID:23998939

  10. Characterization of venom (Duvernoy's secretion) from twelve species of colubrid snakes and partial sequence of four venom proteins.

    PubMed

    Hill, R E; Mackessy, S P

    2000-12-01

    R.E. Hill and S.P. Mackessy. Characterization of venom (Duvernoy's secretion) from twelve species of colubrid snakes and partial sequence of four venom proteins. Toxicon XX, xx-yy, 2000. - Venomous colubrids, which include more than 700 snake species worldwide, represent a vast potential source of novel biological compounds. The present study characterized venom (Duvernoy's gland secretion) collected from twelve species of opisthoglyphous (rear-fanged) colubrid snakes, an extremely diverse assemblage of non-venomous to highly venomous snakes. Most venoms displayed proteolytic activity (casein), though activity levels varied considerably. Low phosphodiesterase activity was detected in several venoms (Amphiesma stolata, Diadophis punctatus, Heterodon nasicus kennerlyi, H. n. nasicus and Thamnophis elegans vagrans), and acetylcholinesterase was found in Boiga irregularis saliva and venom, but no venoms displayed hyaluronidase, thrombin-like or kallikrein-like activities. High phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)) activity was found in Trimorphodon biscutatus lambda venom, and moderate levels were detected in Boiga dendrophila and D. p. regalis venoms as well as B. dendrophila and H. n. nasicus salivas. Non-reducing SDS-PAGE revealed 7-20 protein bands (3.5 to over 200 kD, depending on species) for all venoms analyzed, and electrophoretic profiles of venoms were typically quite distinct from saliva profiles. Components from A. stolata, Hydrodynastes gigas, Tantilla nigriceps and T. e. vagrans venoms showed protease activity when run on gelatin zymogram gels. N-terminal protein sequences for three 26 kD venom components of three species (H. gigas, H. torquata, T. biscutatus) and one 3.5 kD component (T. nigriceps) were also obtained, and the 3.5 kD peptide showed apparent sequence homology with human vascular endothelial growth factor; these data represent the first sequences of colubrid venom components. Protease, phosphodiesterase and PLA(2) activities are also common to elapid

  11. Scorpion venom and the inflammatory response.

    PubMed

    Petricevich, Vera L

    2010-01-01

    Scorpion venoms consist of a complex of several toxins that exhibit a wide range of biological properties and actions, as well as chemical compositions, toxicity, and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics. These venoms are associated with high morbility and mortality, especially among children. Victims of envenoming by a scorpion suffer a variety of pathologies, involving mainly both sympathetic and parasympathetic stimulation as well as central manifestations such as irritability, hyperthermia, vomiting, profuse salivation, tremor, and convulsion. The clinical signs and symptoms observed in humans and experimental animals are related with an excessive systemic host inflammatory response to stings and stings, respectively. Although the pathophysiology of envenomation is complex and not yet fully understood, venom and immune responses are known to trigger the release of inflammatory mediators that are largely mediated by cytokines. In models of severe systemic inflammation produced by injection of high doses of venom or venoms products, the increase in production of proinflammatory cytokines significantly contributes to immunological imbalance, multiple organ dysfunction and death. The cytokines initiate a cascade of events that lead to illness behaviors such as fever, anorexia, and also physiological events in the host such as activation of vasodilatation, hypotension, and increased of vessel permeability. PMID:20300540

  12. Scorpion Venom and the Inflammatory Response

    PubMed Central

    Petricevich, Vera L.

    2010-01-01

    Scorpion venoms consist of a complex of several toxins that exhibit a wide range of biological properties and actions, as well as chemical compositions, toxicity, and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics. These venoms are associated with high morbility and mortality, especially among children. Victims of envenoming by a scorpion suffer a variety of pathologies, involving mainly both sympathetic and parasympathetic stimulation as well as central manifestations such as irritability, hyperthermia, vomiting, profuse salivation, tremor, and convulsion. The clinical signs and symptoms observed in humans and experimental animals are related with an excessive systemic host inflammatory response to stings and stings, respectively. Although the pathophysiology of envenomation is complex and not yet fully understood, venom and immune responses are known to trigger the release of inflammatory mediators that are largely mediated by cytokines. In models of severe systemic inflammation produced by injection of high doses of venom or venoms products, the increase in production of proinflammatory cytokines significantly contributes to immunological imbalance, multiple organ dysfunction and death. The cytokines initiate a cascade of events that lead to illness behaviors such as fever, anorexia, and also physiological events in the host such as activation of vasodilatation, hypotension, and increased of vessel permeability. PMID:20300540

  13. Mast Cells Can Enhance Resistance to Snake and Honeybee Venoms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Metz, Martin; Piliponsky, Adrian M.; Chen, Ching-Cheng; Lammel, Verena; Åbrink, Magnus; Pejler, Gunnar; Tsai, Mindy; Galli, Stephen J.

    2006-07-01

    Snake or honeybee envenomation can cause substantial morbidity and mortality, and it has been proposed that the activation of mast cells by snake or insect venoms can contribute to these effects. We show, in contrast, that mast cells can significantly reduce snake-venom-induced pathology in mice, at least in part by releasing carboxypeptidase A and possibly other proteases, which can degrade venom components. Mast cells also significantly reduced the morbidity and mortality induced by honeybee venom. These findings identify a new biological function for mast cells in enhancing resistance to the morbidity and mortality induced by animal venoms.

  14. Anti-venom-induced myelopathy in a semipoisonous snakebite.

    PubMed

    Biswas, R; Irodi, A; Paul, A; Ghimere, G; Joshi, K R; Alurkar, V M; Shetty, K J

    2004-06-01

    A 40-year-old woman developed myelopathy manifesting as Brown Sequard syndrome after administration of Anti-venom (polyvalent enzyme-refined equine globulin supposed to neutralise 0.6 mg of standard cobra venom, 0.45 mg of standard krait venom, 0.6 mg of standard Russel's viper venom and 0.45 mg of saw scaled viper venom, manufactured by Serum Institute of India, Pune, India). It was concluded to be an immunological inflammation of the spinal cord after ruling out hematomyelia on imaging. The necessity of antivenom in semipoisonous snake bites have been addressed further in the article. PMID:15311570

  15. Combined snake venomics and venom gland transcriptomic analysis of the ocellated carpet viper, Echis ocellatus.

    PubMed

    Wagstaff, Simon C; Sanz, Libia; Juárez, Paula; Harrison, Robert A; Calvete, Juan J

    2009-01-30

    Snakebite in Africa causes thousands of deaths annually and considerable permanent physical disability. The saw-scaled viper, Echis ocellatus, represents the single most medically important snake species in West Africa. To provide a detailed compositional analysis of the venom of E. ocellatus for designing novel toxin-specific immunotherapy and to delineate sequence structure-function relationships of individual toxins, we characterised the venom proteome and the venom gland transcriptome. Whole E. ocellatus venom was fractionated by reverse-phase HPLC, followed by analysis of each chromatographic fraction using a combination of SDS-PAGE, N-terminal sequencing, MALDI-TOF mass fingerprinting, and CID-MS/MS of tryptic peptides. This analysis identified around 35 distinct proteins of molecular masses in the range of 5.5-110 kDa belonging to 8 different toxin families (disintegrin, DC-fragment, phospholipase A(2), cysteine-rich secretory protein, serine proteinase, C-type lectin, l-amino acid oxidase, and Zn(2+)-dependent metalloprotease). Comparison of the toxin composition of E. ocellatus venom determined using a proteomic approach, with the predicted proteome derived from assembly of 1000 EST sequences from a E. ocellatus venom gland cDNA library, shows some differences. Most notably, peptides derived from 26% of the venom proteins could not be ascribed an exact match in the transcriptome. Similarly, 64 (67%) out of the 95 putative toxin clusters reported in the transcriptome did not match to peptides detected in the venom proteome. These data suggest that the final composition of venom is influenced by transcriptional and post-translational mechanisms that may be more complex than previously appreciated. This, in turn, emphasises the value of combining proteomic and transcriptomic approaches to acquire a more complete understanding of the precise composition of snake venom, than would be gleaned from using one analysis alone. From a clinical perspective, the large

  16. Full-Length Venom Protein cDNA Sequences from Venom-Derived mRNA: Exploring Compositional Variation and Adaptive Multigene Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Modahl, Cassandra M.; Mackessy, Stephen P.

    2016-01-01

    Envenomation of humans by snakes is a complex and continuously evolving medical emergency, and treatment is made that much more difficult by the diverse biochemical composition of many venoms. Venomous snakes and their venoms also provide models for the study of molecular evolutionary processes leading to adaptation and genotype-phenotype relationships. To compare venom complexity and protein sequences, venom gland transcriptomes are assembled, which usually requires the sacrifice of snakes for tissue. However, toxin transcripts are also present in venoms, offering the possibility of obtaining cDNA sequences directly from venom. This study provides evidence that unknown full-length venom protein transcripts can be obtained from the venoms of multiple species from all major venomous snake families. These unknown venom protein cDNAs are obtained by the use of primers designed from conserved signal peptide sequences within each venom protein superfamily. This technique was used to assemble a partial venom gland transcriptome for the Middle American Rattlesnake (Crotalus simus tzabcan) by amplifying sequences for phospholipases A2, serine proteases, C-lectins, and metalloproteinases from within venom. Phospholipase A2 sequences were also recovered from the venoms of several rattlesnakes and an elapid snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus), and three-finger toxin sequences were recovered from multiple rear-fanged snake species, demonstrating that the three major clades of advanced snakes (Elapidae, Viperidae, Colubridae) have stable mRNA present in their venoms. These cDNA sequences from venom were then used to explore potential activities derived from protein sequence similarities and evolutionary histories within these large multigene superfamilies. Venom-derived sequences can also be used to aid in characterizing venoms that lack proteomic profiles and identify sequence characteristics indicating specific envenomation profiles. This approach, requiring only venom, provides

  17. Full-Length Venom Protein cDNA Sequences from Venom-Derived mRNA: Exploring Compositional Variation and Adaptive Multigene Evolution.

    PubMed

    Modahl, Cassandra M; Mackessy, Stephen P

    2016-06-01

    Envenomation of humans by snakes is a complex and continuously evolving medical emergency, and treatment is made that much more difficult by the diverse biochemical composition of many venoms. Venomous snakes and their venoms also provide models for the study of molecular evolutionary processes leading to adaptation and genotype-phenotype relationships. To compare venom complexity and protein sequences, venom gland transcriptomes are assembled, which usually requires the sacrifice of snakes for tissue. However, toxin transcripts are also present in venoms, offering the possibility of obtaining cDNA sequences directly from venom. This study provides evidence that unknown full-length venom protein transcripts can be obtained from the venoms of multiple species from all major venomous snake families. These unknown venom protein cDNAs are obtained by the use of primers designed from conserved signal peptide sequences within each venom protein superfamily. This technique was used to assemble a partial venom gland transcriptome for the Middle American Rattlesnake (Crotalus simus tzabcan) by amplifying sequences for phospholipases A2, serine proteases, C-lectins, and metalloproteinases from within venom. Phospholipase A2 sequences were also recovered from the venoms of several rattlesnakes and an elapid snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus), and three-finger toxin sequences were recovered from multiple rear-fanged snake species, demonstrating that the three major clades of advanced snakes (Elapidae, Viperidae, Colubridae) have stable mRNA present in their venoms. These cDNA sequences from venom were then used to explore potential activities derived from protein sequence similarities and evolutionary histories within these large multigene superfamilies. Venom-derived sequences can also be used to aid in characterizing venoms that lack proteomic profiles and identify sequence characteristics indicating specific envenomation profiles. This approach, requiring only venom, provides

  18. Centipede venoms and their components: resources for potential therapeutic applications.

    PubMed

    Hakim, Md Abdul; Yang, Shilong; Lai, Ren

    2015-11-01

    Venomous animals have evolved with sophisticated bio-chemical strategies to arrest prey and defend themselves from natural predators. In recent years, peptide toxins from venomous animals have drawn considerable attention from researchers due to their surprising chemical, biochemical, and pharmacological diversity. Similar to other venomous animals, centipedes are one of the crucial venomous arthropods that have been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years in China. Despite signifying pharmacological importance, very little is known about the active components of centipede venoms. More than 500 peptide sequences have been reported in centipede venomous glands by transcriptome analysis, but only a small number of peptide toxins from centipede has been functionally described. Like other venomous animals such as snakes, scorpions, and spiders, the venom of centipedes could be an excellent source of peptides for developing drugs for treatments as well as bio-insecticides for agrochemical applications. Although centipede venoms are yet to be adequately studied, the venom of centipedes as well as their components described to date, should be compiled to help further research. Therefore, based on previous reports, this review focusses on findings and possible therapeutic applications of centipede venoms as well as their components. PMID:26593947

  19. Fibrin(ogen)olytic activity of bumblebee venom serine protease

    SciTech Connect

    Qiu Yuling; Choo, Young Moo; Yoon, Hyung Joo; Jia Jingming; Cui Zheng; Wang Dong; Kim, Doh Hoon; Sohn, Hung Dae; Jin, Byung Rae

    2011-09-01

    Bee venom is a rich source of pharmacologically active components; it has been used as an immunotherapy to treat bee venom hypersensitivity, and venom therapy has been applied as an alternative medicine. Here, we present evidence that the serine protease found in bumblebee venom exhibits fibrin(ogen)olytic activity. Compared to honeybee venom, bumblebee venom contains a higher content of serine protease, which is one of its major components. Venom serine proteases from bumblebees did not cross-react with antibodies against the honeybee venom serine protease. We provide functional evidence indicating that bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) venom serine protease (Bt-VSP) acts as a fibrin(ogen)olytic enzyme. Bt-VSP activates prothrombin and directly degrades fibrinogen into fibrin degradation products. However, Bt-VSP is not a plasminogen activator, and its fibrinolytic activity is less than that of plasmin. Taken together, our results define roles for Bt-VSP as a prothrombin activator, a thrombin-like protease, and a plasmin-like protease. These findings offer significant insight into the allergic reaction sequence that is initiated by bee venom serine protease and its potential usefulness as a clinical agent in the field of hemostasis and thrombosis. - Graphical abstract: Display Omitted Highlights: > Bumblebee venom serine protease (Bt-VSP) is a fibrin(ogen)olytic enzyme. > Bt-VSP activates prothrombin. > Bt-VSP directly degrades fibrinogen into fibrin degradation products. > Bt-VSP is a hemostatically active protein that is a potent clinical agent.

  20. Centipede Venoms and Their Components: Resources for Potential Therapeutic Applications

    PubMed Central

    Hakim, Md Abdul; Yang, Shilong; Lai, Ren

    2015-01-01

    Venomous animals have evolved with sophisticated bio-chemical strategies to arrest prey and defend themselves from natural predators. In recent years, peptide toxins from venomous animals have drawn considerable attention from researchers due to their surprising chemical, biochemical, and pharmacological diversity. Similar to other venomous animals, centipedes are one of the crucial venomous arthropods that have been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years in China. Despite signifying pharmacological importance, very little is known about the active components of centipede venoms. More than 500 peptide sequences have been reported in centipede venomous glands by transcriptome analysis, but only a small number of peptide toxins from centipede has been functionally described. Like other venomous animals such as snakes, scorpions, and spiders, the venom of centipedes could be an excellent source of peptides for developing drugs for treatments as well as bio-insecticides for agrochemical applications. Although centipede venoms are yet to be adequately studied, the venom of centipedes as well as their components described to date, should be compiled to help further research. Therefore, based on previous reports, this review focusses on findings and possible therapeutic applications of centipede venoms as well as their components. PMID:26593947

  1. Tracing monotreme venom evolution in the genomics era.

    PubMed

    Whittington, Camilla M; Belov, Katherine

    2014-04-01

    The monotremes (platypuses and echidnas) represent one of only four extant venomous mammalian lineages. Until recently, monotreme venom was poorly understood. However, the availability of the platypus genome and increasingly sophisticated genomic tools has allowed us to characterize platypus toxins, and provides a means of reconstructing the evolutionary history of monotreme venom. Here we review the physiology of platypus and echidna crural (venom) systems as well as pharmacological and genomic studies of monotreme toxins. Further, we synthesize current ideas about the evolution of the venom system, which in the platypus is likely to have been retained from a venomous ancestor, whilst being lost in the echidnas. We also outline several research directions and outstanding questions that would be productive to address in future research. An improved characterization of mammalian venoms will not only yield new toxins with potential therapeutic uses, but will also aid in our understanding of the way that this unusual trait evolves. PMID:24699339

  2. Inhibition of Naja kaouthia venom activities by plant polyphenols.

    PubMed

    Pithayanukul, Pimolpan; Ruenraroengsak, Pakatip; Bavovada, Rapepol; Pakmanee, Narumol; Suttisri, Rutt; Saen-oon, Suwipa

    2005-03-21

    Plant polyphenols from the aqueous extracts of Pentace burmanica, Pithecellobium dulce, Areca catechu and Quercus infectoria were tested for their inhibitory activities against Naja kaouthia (NK) venom by in vitro neutralization method. The first three extracts could completely inhibit the lethality of the venom at 4 LD50 concentration and the venom necrotizing activity at the minimum necrotizing dose while also inhibited up to 90% of the acetylcholinesterase activity of NK venom at much lower tannin concentrations than that of Quercus infectoria. The ED50 of plant tannins in inhibiting NK venom activities varied according to condensed tannins and their content in the extracts. Molecular docking of the complexes between alpha-cobratoxin and either hydrolysable or condensed tannins at their lowest energetic conformations were proposed. The anti-venom activities of these plant polyphenols by selectively blocking the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and non-selectively by precipitation of the venom proteins were suggested. PMID:15740891

  3. Tracing Monotreme Venom Evolution in the Genomics Era

    PubMed Central

    Whittington, Camilla M.; Belov, Katherine

    2014-01-01

    The monotremes (platypuses and echidnas) represent one of only four extant venomous mammalian lineages. Until recently, monotreme venom was poorly understood. However, the availability of the platypus genome and increasingly sophisticated genomic tools has allowed us to characterize platypus toxins, and provides a means of reconstructing the evolutionary history of monotreme venom. Here we review the physiology of platypus and echidna crural (venom) systems as well as pharmacological and genomic studies of monotreme toxins. Further, we synthesize current ideas about the evolution of the venom system, which in the platypus is likely to have been retained from a venomous ancestor, whilst being lost in the echidnas. We also outline several research directions and outstanding questions that would be productive to address in future research. An improved characterization of mammalian venoms will not only yield new toxins with potential therapeutic uses, but will also aid in our understanding of the way that this unusual trait evolves. PMID:24699339

  4. Insect venom allergy: diagnosis and treatment.

    PubMed

    Valentine, M D

    1984-03-01

    Allergy to insect venom is IgE mediated. Untreated, it occasionally terminates fatally and often causes temporary illness. Medical intervention with venom immunotherapy in patients with prior systemic reactions presents reactions to stings by inducing IgG-antibody formation, although in some groups of patients this results in little real benefit. Emergency self-treatment kits (Epi-Pen and Epi-Pen Jr., Center Laboratories, Port Washington, N.Y.; Ana Kit, Hollister-Stier, Spokane, Wash.), if promptly and intelligently used, may reverse most moderate sting reactions. Some severe reactions require aggressive therapy. Until better treatment criteria are available, the most certain way of reducing the risk of systemic reactions to stings is with venom immunotherapy. PMID:6366028

  5. Venomous snakebites in southern Croatia.

    PubMed

    Luksić, Boris; Bradarić, Nikola; Prgomet, Sandra

    2006-03-01

    This retrospective study is based on the analysis of 542 snakebite envenomation cases in southern Croatia, which were treated in the University Hospital Split over the period of 21 years. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of venomous snakebite in southern Croatia, epidemiological and clinical features of snakebite and treatment in the region. The mean annual snakebite incidence in southern Croatia was 5.2 per 100,000 inhabitants. The nose- horned viper (Vipera ammodytes) was responsible for most bites, only a small proportion being inflicted by the adder (Vipera berus). People of all ages were affected (1 - 82 year old), but the bites were more frequent in individuals older than 50 (46% of the cases) and in children and adolescents 19 year old and younger (27% of the cases). Most snakebite accidents happened in warm spring and summer months, the highest number occurring in May (22%). A majority of the victims were rural people engaged in agricultural activities. Bites on the upper limbs were more frequent (57%) than bites on the lower limbs (42%). With regard to envenomation severity, there were 15.1% minor, 40.5% mild, 26% moderate and 18% severe cases. Two victims died (0.4%). The antivenom produced by the Institute of Immunology in Zagreb was given to virtually all patients, and complications following its administration were rare. The antivenom was used more often than it was suggested by the symptoms present. PMID:16617597

  6. Quantitative Proteomic Analysis of Venoms from Russian Vipers of Pelias Group: Phospholipases A2 are the Main Venom Components

    PubMed Central

    Kovalchuk, Sergey I.; Ziganshin, Rustam H.; Starkov, Vladislav G.; Tsetlin, Victor I.; Utkin, Yuri N.

    2016-01-01

    Venoms of most Russian viper species are poorly characterized. Here, by quantitative chromato-mass-spectrometry, we analyzed protein and peptide compositions of venoms from four Vipera species (V. kaznakovi, V. renardi, V. orlovi and V. nikolskii) inhabiting different regions of Russia. In all these species, the main components were phospholipases A2, their content ranging from 24% in V. orlovi to 65% in V. nikolskii. Altogether, enzyme content in venom of V. nikolskii reached ~85%. Among the non-enzymatic proteins, the most abundant were disintegrins (14%) in the V. renardi venom, C-type lectin like (12.5%) in V. kaznakovi, cysteine-rich venom proteins (12%) in V. orlovi and venom endothelial growth factors (8%) in V. nikolskii. In total, 210 proteins and 512 endogenous peptides were identified in the four viper venoms. They represented 14 snake venom protein families, most of which were found in the venoms of Vipera snakes previously. However, phospholipase B and nucleotide degrading enzymes were reported here for the first time. Compositions of V. kaznakovi and V. orlovi venoms were described for the first time and showed the greatest similarity among the four venoms studied, which probably reflected close relationship between these species within the “kaznakovi” complex. PMID:27077884

  7. Tarantula (Eurypelma californicum) venom, a multicomponent system.

    PubMed

    Savel-Niemann, A

    1989-05-01

    The venom of the tarantula Eurypelma californicum was analysed biochemically, the components were isolated and characterized. The pH value of the crude venom is 5.3 +/- 0.3. After dilution with distilled water, UV-absorption spectra showed a single maximum at 258 nm (pH ca. 7.0). A second maximum at 328 nm emerged above pH 8.0. Protein concentration of the venom is ca. 65 mg/ml. After Coomassie staining SDS-PAGE patterns show three major bands with apparent molecular masses around 40 kDa, 4.3 kDa and 1.3 kDa besides some weak high molecular protein bands. The following low-molecular mass constituents were determined in the crude venom: ATP, ADP, AMP, glutamic acid, aspartic acid, gamma-aminobutyric acid, glucose and the ions potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and chloride; the osmolality was 361 micro0smol/ml. The LD50 value for female cockroaches was 0.15 microliters venom per g body weight and for male cockroaches 0.4 microliters venom per g body weight. Separation of the crude venom by gel chromatography yielded four elution peaks. Peak I contains the enzyme hyaluronidase. The activity is 200-900 U/microliters. Peak II contains a mixture of toxic peptides. Peak III contains the 1.3-kDa components of SDS-PAGE and peak IV mainly contains ATP. Venom proteins including the enzyme hyaluronidase were precipitated by 5% trichloroacetic acid. The supernatant was separated by HPLC into 13 fractions. Fraction 1 contains glutamic acid, aspartic acid, gamma-aminobutyric acid and ATP; fraction 2 contains ATP, ADP and AMP as well as a component 2' visible in SDS-PAGE as 1.3-kDa band and consisting of spermine and tryptophan; fraction 3 contains ATP and an unknown component 3'; fractions 4-6 also show a 1.3-kDa band in SDS-PAGE, fraction 4 being tyrosylspermine and fractions 5 and 6 containing compounds of spermine and aromatic molecules; fraction 7 contains a peptide which lacks aromatic amino acids, it was sequenced from the N-terminus; fractions 8-13 contain very similar

  8. Snake venom. The amino acid sequence of protein A from Dendroaspis polylepis polylepis (black mamba) venom.

    PubMed

    Joubert, F J; Strydom, D J

    1980-12-01

    Protein A from Dendroaspis polylepis polylepis venom comprises 81 amino acids, including ten half-cystine residues. The complete primary structures of protein A and its variant A' were elucidated. The sequences of proteins A and A', which differ in a single position, show no homology with various neurotoxins and non-neurotoxic proteins and represent a new type of elapid venom protein. PMID:7461607

  9. Next-generation snake venomics: protein-locus resolution through venom proteome decomplexation.

    PubMed

    Calvete, Juan J

    2014-06-01

    Venom research has been continuously enhanced by technological advances. High-throughput technologies are changing the classical paradigm of hypothesis-driven research to technology-driven approaches. However, the thesis advocated in this paper is that full proteome coverage at locus-specific resolution requires integrating the best of both worlds into a protocol that includes decomplexation of the venom proteome prior to liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry matching against a species-specific transcriptome. This approach offers the possibility of proof-checking the species-specific contig database using proteomics data. Immunoaffinity chromatography constitutes the basis of an antivenomics workflow designed to quantify the extent of cross-reactivity of antivenoms against homologous and heterologous venom toxins. In the author's view, snake venomics and antivenomics form part of a biology-driven conceptual framework to unveil the genesis and natural history of venoms, and their within- and between-species toxicological and immunological divergences and similarities. Understanding evolutionary trends across venoms represents the Rosetta Stone for generating broad-ranging polyspecific antivenoms. PMID:24678852

  10. Centipede venom: recent discoveries and current state of knowledge.

    PubMed

    Undheim, Eivind A B; Fry, Bryan G; King, Glenn F

    2015-03-01

    Centipedes are among the oldest extant venomous predators on the planet. Armed with a pair of modified, venom-bearing limbs, they are an important group of predatory arthropods and are infamous for their ability to deliver painful stings. Despite this, very little is known about centipede venom and its composition. Advances in analytical tools, however, have recently provided the first detailed insights into the composition and evolution of centipede venoms. This has revealed that centipede venom proteins are highly diverse, with 61 phylogenetically distinct venom protein and peptide families. A number of these have been convergently recruited into the venoms of other animals, providing valuable information on potential underlying causes of the occasionally serious complications arising from human centipede envenomations. However, the majority of venom protein and peptide families bear no resemblance to any characterised protein or peptide family, highlighting the novelty of centipede venoms. This review highlights recent discoveries and summarises the current state of knowledge on the fascinating venom system of centipedes. PMID:25723324

  11. Plectreurys tristis venome: A proteomic and transcriptomic analysis

    PubMed Central

    Zobel-Thropp, Pamela A; Thomas, Emily Z; David, Cynthia L; Breci, Linda A; Binford, Greta J

    2014-01-01

    Spider venoms are complex cocktails rich in peptides, proteins and organic molecules that collectively act to immobilize prey. Venoms of the primitive hunting spider, Plectreurys tristis, have numerous neurotoxic peptides called “plectoxins” (PLTX), a unique acylpolyamine called bis(agmatine)oxalamide, and larger unidentified protein components. These spiders also have unconventional multi-lobed venom glands. Inspired by these unusual characteristics and their phylogenetic position as Haplogynes, we have partially characterized the venome of P. tristis using combined transcriptomic and proteomic methods. With these analyses we found known venom neurotoxins U1-PLTX-Pt1a, U3-PLTX-Pt1a, and we discovered new groups of potential neurotoxins, expanding the U1- and ω-PLTX families and adding U4-through U9-PLTX as six new groups. The venom also contains proteins that are homologs of astacin metalloproteases that, combined with venom peptides, make up 94% of components detected in crude venom, while the remaining 6% is a single undescribed protein with unknown function. Other proteins detected in the transcriptome were found to be members of conserved gene families and make up 20% of the transcripts. These include cDNA sequences that match venom proteins from Mesobuthus and Hottentotta scorpions, Loxosceles and Dysdera spiders, and also salivary and secreted peptide sequences from Ixodes, Amblyomma and Rhipicephalus ticks. Finally, we show that crude venom has neurotoxic effects and an effective paralytic dose on crickets of 3.3µg/gm. PMID:25400903

  12. Bee Venom Phospholipase A2: Yesterday's Enemy Becomes Today's Friend.

    PubMed

    Lee, Gihyun; Bae, Hyunsu

    2016-02-01

    Bee venom therapy has been used to treat immune-related diseases such as arthritis for a long time. Recently, it has revealed that group III secretory phospholipase A2 from bee venom (bee venom group III sPLA2) has in vitro and in vivo immunomodulatory effects. A growing number of reports have demonstrated the therapeutic effects of bee venom group III sPLA2. Notably, new experimental data have shown protective immune responses of bee venom group III sPLA2 against a wide range of diseases including asthma, Parkinson's disease, and drug-induced organ inflammation. It is critical to evaluate the beneficial and adverse effects of bee venom group III sPLA2 because this enzyme is known to be the major allergen of bee venom that can cause anaphylactic shock. For many decades, efforts have been made to avoid its adverse effects. At high concentrations, exposure to bee venom group III sPLA2 can result in damage to cellular membranes and necrotic cell death. In this review, we summarized the current knowledge about the therapeutic effects of bee venom group III sPLA2 on several immunological diseases and described the detailed mechanisms of bee venom group III sPLA2 in regulating various immune responses and physiopathological changes. PMID:26907347

  13. Centipede Venom: Recent Discoveries and Current State of Knowledge

    PubMed Central

    Undheim, Eivind A. B.; Fry, Bryan G.; King, Glenn F.

    2015-01-01

    Centipedes are among the oldest extant venomous predators on the planet. Armed with a pair of modified, venom-bearing limbs, they are an important group of predatory arthropods and are infamous for their ability to deliver painful stings. Despite this, very little is known about centipede venom and its composition. Advances in analytical tools, however, have recently provided the first detailed insights into the composition and evolution of centipede venoms. This has revealed that centipede venom proteins are highly diverse, with 61 phylogenetically distinct venom protein and peptide families. A number of these have been convergently recruited into the venoms of other animals, providing valuable information on potential underlying causes of the occasionally serious complications arising from human centipede envenomations. However, the majority of venom protein and peptide families bear no resemblance to any characterised protein or peptide family, highlighting the novelty of centipede venoms. This review highlights recent discoveries and summarises the current state of knowledge on the fascinating venom system of centipedes. PMID:25723324

  14. Modulation of intracellular Ca2+ levels by Scorpaenidae venoms.

    PubMed

    Church, Jarrod E; Moldrich, Randal X; Beart, Philip M; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2003-05-01

    The crude venoms of the soldierfish (Gymnapistes marmoratus), the lionfish (Pterois volitans) and the stonefish (Synanceia trachynis) display pronounced neuromuscular activity. Since [Ca(2+)](i) is a key regulator in many aspects of neuromuscular function we sought to determine its involvement in the neuromuscular actions of the venoms. In the chick biventer cervicis muscle, all three venoms produced a sustained contraction (approx 20-30% of 1mM acetylcholine). Blockade of nicotinic receptors with tubocurarine (10 micro M) failed to attenuate the contractile response to either G. marmoratus venom or P. volitans venom, but produced slight inhibition of the response to S. trachynis venom. All three venoms produced a rise in intracellular Ca(2+) (approx. 200-300% of basal) in cultured murine cortical neurons. The Ca(2+)-channel blockers omega-conotoxin MVIIC, omega-conotoxin GVIA, omega-agatoxin IVa and nifedipine (each at 1 micro M) potentiated the increase in [Ca(2+)](i) in response to G. marmoratus venom and P. volitans venom, while attenuating the response to S. trachynis venom. Removal of extracellular Ca(2+), replacement of Ca(2+) with La(3+) (0.5mM), or addition of stonefish antivenom (3units/ml) inhibited both the venom-induced increase in [Ca(2+)](i) in cultured neurones and contraction in chick biventer cervicis muscle. Venom-induced increases in [Ca(2+)](i) correlated with an increased cell death of cultured neurones as measured using propidium iodide (1 micro g/ml). Morphological analysis revealed cellular swelling and neurite loss consistent with necrosis. These data indicate that the effects of all three venoms are due in part to an increase in intracellular Ca(2+), possibly via the formation of pores in the cellular membrane which, under certain conditions, can lead to necrosis. PMID:12727272

  15. Categorization of venoms according to bonding properties: An immunological overview.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, Nihal M; El-Kady, Ebtsam M; Asker, Mohsen S

    2016-02-01

    In this report, we present a study on the antigenic cross-reactivity of various venoms from the most dangerous Egyptian snakes and scorpions belonging to families Elapidae, Viperidae and Buthidae. The study was carried out with special reference to bonding properties between venoms and antivenoms and their involvement in the formation of specific and/or cross-reactive interactions. The homologous polyclonal antivenoms showed high reactivity to the respective venoms and cross-reacted with varying degrees to other non-homologous venoms. Assorting the antivenoms according to their susceptibility to dissociation by different concentrations of NH4SCN revealed that most of the antibodies involved in homologous venom-antivenom interactions were highly avid; building up strong venom-antivenom bonding. Whereas cross-reactions due to heterologous interactions were mediated by less avid antibodies that ultimately led to the formation of venom-antivenom bonding of different power strengths depending on the antigenic similarity and hence on the phylogenetic relationship of the tested venom. A new parameter evaluating high and low avid interactions, designated as H/L value, for each antigen-antibody bonding was initiated and used as an indicator of bonding strength between different venom-antivenom partners. H/L values were many folds higher than 1 for homologous and closely related venoms, 1 or around 1 for cross-reactive venoms, whereas venoms from unrelated remote sources recorded H/L values far less than 1. Using well defined polyclonal antivenoms, H/L value was successfully used to assign eight unknown venoms to their animal families and the results were confirmed by species-specific ELISA and immunoblotting assays. PMID:26690707

  16. Proteomics and Deep Sequencing Comparison of Seasonally Active Venom Glands in the Platypus Reveals Novel Venom Peptides and Distinct Expression Profiles*

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Emily S. W.; Morgenstern, David; Mofiz, Ehtesham; Gombert, Sara; Morris, Katrina M.; Temple-Smith, Peter; Renfree, Marilyn B.; Whittington, Camilla M.; King, Glenn F.; Warren, Wesley C.; Papenfuss, Anthony T.; Belov, Katherine

    2012-01-01

    The platypus is a venomous monotreme. Male platypuses possess a spur on their hind legs that is connected to glands in the pelvic region. They produce venom only during the breeding season, presumably to fight off conspecifics. We have taken advantage of this unique seasonal production of venom to compare the transcriptomes of in- and out-of-season venom glands, in conjunction with proteomic analysis, to identify previously undiscovered venom genes. Comparison of the venom glands revealed distinct gene expression profiles that are consistent with changes in venom gland morphology and venom volumes in and out of the breeding season. Venom proteins were identified through shot-gun sequenced venom proteomes of three animals using RNA-seq-derived transcripts for peptide-spectral matching. 5,157 genes were expressed in the venom glands, 1,821 genes were up-regulated in the in-season gland, and 10 proteins were identified in the venom. New classes of platypus-venom proteins identified included antimicrobials, amide oxidase, serpin protease inhibitor, proteins associated with the mammalian stress response pathway, cytokines, and other immune molecules. Five putative toxins have only been identified in platypus venom: growth differentiation factor 15, nucleobindin-2, CD55, a CXC-chemokine, and corticotropin-releasing factor-binding protein. These novel venom proteins have potential biomedical and therapeutic applications and provide insights into venom evolution. PMID:22899769

  17. Coevolution of diet and prey-specific venom activity supports the role of selection in snake venom evolution

    PubMed Central

    Barlow, Axel; Pook, Catharine E.; Harrison, Robert A.; Wüster, Wolfgang

    2009-01-01

    The processes that drive the evolution of snake venom variability, particularly the role of diet, have been a topic of intense recent research interest. Here, we test whether extensive variation in venom composition in the medically important viper genus Echis is associated with shifts in diet. Examination of stomach and hindgut contents revealed extreme variation between the major clades of Echis in the proportion of arthropod prey consumed. The toxicity (median lethal dose, LD50) of representative Echis venoms to a natural scorpion prey species was found to be strongly associated with the degree of arthropod feeding. Mapping the results onto a novel Echis phylogeny generated from nuclear and mitochondrial sequence data revealed two independent instances of coevolution of venom toxicity and diet. Unlike venom LD50, the speed with which venoms incapacitated and killed scorpions was not associated with the degree of arthropod feeding. The prey-specific venom toxicity of arthropod-feeding Echis may thus be adaptive primarily by reducing venom expenditure. Overall, our results provide strong evidence that variation in snake venom composition results from adaptive evolution driven by natural selection for different diets, and underscores the need for a multi-faceted, integrative approach to the study of the causes of venom evolution. PMID:19364745

  18. Transcriptome analysis of the venom gland of the scorpion Scorpiops jendeki: implication for the evolution of the scorpion venom arsenal

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Yibao; Zhao, Ruiming; He, Yawen; Li, Songryong; Liu, Jun; Wu, Yingliang; Cao, Zhijian; Li, Wenxin

    2009-01-01

    Background The family Euscorpiidae, which covers Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, is one of the most widely distributed scorpion groups. However, no studies have been conducted on the venom of a Euscorpiidae species yet. In this work, we performed a transcriptomic approach for characterizing the venom components from a Euscorpiidae scorpion, Scorpiops jendeki. Results There are ten known types of venom peptides and proteins obtained from Scorpiops jendeki. Great diversity is observed in primary sequences of most highly expressed types. The most highly expressed types are cytolytic peptides and serine proteases. Neurotoxins specific for sodium channels, which are major groups of venom components from Buthidae scorpions, are not detected in this study. In addition to those known types of venom peptides and proteins, we also obtain nine atypical types of venom molecules which haven't been observed in any other scorpion species studied to date. Conclusion This work provides the first set of cDNAs from Scorpiops jendeki, and one of the few transcriptomic analyses from a scorpion. This allows the characterization of a large number of venom molecules, belonging to either known or atypical types of scorpion venom peptides and proteins. Besides, our work could provide some clues to the evolution of the scorpion venom arsenal by comparison with venom data from other scorpion lineages. PMID:19570192

  19. Proteome and phosphoproteome analysis of honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom collected from electrical stimulation and manual extraction of the venom gland

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Honeybee venom is a complicated defensive toxin that has a wide range of pharmacologically active compounds. Some of these compounds are useful for human therapeutics. There are two major forms of honeybee venom used in pharmacological applications: manually (or reservoir disrupting) extracted glandular venom (GV), and venom extracted through the use of electrical stimulation (ESV). A proteome comparison of these two venom forms and an understanding of the phosphorylation status of ESV, are still very limited. Here, the proteomes of GV and ESV were compared using both gel-based and gel-free proteomics approaches and the phosphoproteome of ESV was determined through the use of TiO2 enrichment. Results Of the 43 proteins identified in GV, < 40% were venom toxins, and > 60% of the proteins were non-toxic proteins resulting from contamination by gland tissue damage during extraction and bee death. Of the 17 proteins identified in ESV, 14 proteins (>80%) were venom toxic proteins and most of them were found in higher abundance than in GV. Moreover, two novel proteins (dehydrogenase/reductase SDR family member 11-like and histone H2B.3-like) and three novel phosphorylation sites (icarapin (S43), phospholipase A-2 (T145), and apamin (T23)) were identified. Conclusions Our data demonstrate that venom extracted manually is different from venom extracted using ESV, and these differences may be important in their use as pharmacological agents. ESV may be more efficient than GV as a potential pharmacological source because of its higher venom protein content, production efficiency, and without the need to kill honeybee. The three newly identified phosphorylated venom proteins in ESV may elicit a different immune response through the specific recognition of antigenic determinants. The two novel venom proteins extend our proteome coverage of honeybee venom. PMID:24199871

  20. Antitumor effect of Bothrops jararaca venom.

    PubMed Central

    da Silva, Reinaldo J; da Silva, Márcia G; Vilela, Lízia C; Fecchio, Denise

    2002-01-01

    Many experimental studies have been carried out using snake venoms for the treatment of animal tumors, with controversial results. While some authors have reported an antitumor effect of treatment with specific snake venom fractions, others have reported no effects after this treatment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of Bothrops jararaca venom (BjV) on Ehrlich ascites tumor (EAT) cells in vivo and in vitro. In the in vivo study, Swiss mice were inoculated with EAT cells by the intraperitoneal (i.p.) route and treated with BjV venom (0.4 mg/kg, i.p.), on the 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, and 13th days. Mice were evaluated for total and differential cells number on the 2nd, 5th, 8th, 11th and 14th days. The survival time was also evaluated after 60 days of tumor growth. In the in vitro study, EAT and normal peritoneal cells were cultivated in the presence of different BjV concentrations (2.5, 5.0, 10.0, 20.0, 40.0, and 80 microg) and viability was verified after 3, 6, 12 and 24 h of cultivation. Results were analyzed statistically by the Kruskal-Wallis and Tukey tests at the 5% level of significance. It was observed that in vivo treatment with BjV induced tumor growth inhibition, increased animal survival time, decreased mortality, increased the influx of polymorphonuclear leukocytes on the early stages of tumor growth, and did not affect the mononuclear cells number. In vitro treatment with BjV produced a dose-dependent toxic effect on EAT and peritoneal cells, with higher effects against peritoneal cells. Taken together, our results demonstrate that BjV has an important antitumor effect. This is the first report showing this in vivo effect for this venom. PMID:12061431

  1. Fish Allergy

    MedlinePlus

    ... Story" 5 Things to Know About Zika & Pregnancy Fish Allergy KidsHealth > For Parents > Fish Allergy Print A ... From Home en español Alergia al pescado About Fish Allergy A fish allergy is not exactly the ...

  2. Antibacterial properties of KwaZulu natal snake venoms.

    PubMed

    Blaylock, R S

    2000-11-01

    The objective was to ascertain whether local snake venoms have antibacterial properties. The venoms of the common night adder (Causus rhombeatus), gaboon adder (Bitis gabonica), puff adder (Bitis arietans), black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis), eastern green mamba (Dendroaspis augusticeps), forest cobra (Naja melanoleuca), snouted cobra (Naja annulifera) and Mozambique spitting cobra (Naja mossambica) were collected and, by gel diffusion, tested against the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeriginosa, Bacteriodes fragilis, Bacteroides intermedius, Clostridium sordellii and Clostridium perfringens. All snake venoms showed antibacterial activity, with the adders showing most activity against the aerobes while the cobras showed lesser, but equal activity against the aerobes and anaerobes. Black mamba venom only showed activity against C. perfringens. In conclusion, local snake venoms have antibacterial properties which are dependent on the venom and bacterial type; and in the Naja spp., for anaerobic bacteria, diminish in winter. There is liable to be more than one toxin component responsible. PMID:10775753

  3. Histological characterization of the special venom secretory cells in the stinger of rays in the northern waters of Persian Gulf and Oman Sea.

    PubMed

    Dehghani, Hadi; Sajjadi, Mir Masoud; Parto, Paria; Rajaian, Hamid; Mokhlesi, Amin

    2010-06-01

    Rays are common elasmobranches in the northern waters of Persian Gulf and Oman Sea that may have one or more mineralized serrated stingers on the whip-like tail. The stingers are covered by epidermal cells among which some can produce venom. When these animals are dorsally touched, the stinger can be introduced into the aggressor by a whip reflex mechanism of the tail when the pectoral fins are touched, causing severe mechanical injuries and inoculating the venom. The exact localization of the venom secretory cells in the stinger of different species is controversial, but it is known that the cells are preferentially located in the ventro-lateral grooves in marine stingrays. A comparative morphological characterization of the stinger epidermal tissue of different ray species in the northern part of Persian Gulf and Oman Sea was carried out in this study. EDTA was used for decalcification of stings and conventional histological processes were subsequently employed. The results indicated that structure of dermis and epidermis layers of stings in all species are similar to the structure of corresponding layers in other parts of fish's body. The results of the present study have shown that all examined species of Dasyatidae family, but not Myliobatidae and Gymnuridae families, had venom secretory cells. Distribution of venom secretory cells varies in each species and is often located around or inside the stinger ventro-lateral grooves. These differences among the stingers of various species may explain the envenomation severity in these species. PMID:20080118

  4. Snake venomics: from the inventory of toxins to biology.

    PubMed

    Calvete, Juan J

    2013-12-01

    A deep understanding of the composition of venoms and of the principles governing the evolution of venomous systems is of applied importance for exploring the enormous potential of venoms as sources of chemical and pharmacological novelty but also to fight the dire consequences of snakebite envenomings. This goal is now within the reach of "omic" technologies. A central thesis developed in this essay is the view that making sense of the huge inventory of data gathered through "omic" approaches requires the integration of this information across the biological system. Key to this is the identification of evolutionary and ecological trends; without the evolutionary link, systems venomics is relegated to a set of miscellaneous facts. The interplay between chance and adaptation plays a central role in the evolution of biological systems (Monod, 1970). However, the evolution of venomous species and their venoms do not always follow the same course, and the identification of structural and functional convergences and divergences among venoms is often unpredictable by a phylogenetic hypothesis. Toxins sharing a structural fold present in venoms from phylogenetically distant snakes often share antigenic determinants. The deficit of antivenom supply in certain regions of the world can be mitigated in part through the optimized use of existing antivenoms, and through the design of novel broad-range polyspecific antivenoms. Proteomics-guided identification of evolutionary and immunoreactivity trends among homologous and heterologous venoms may aid in the replacement of the traditional geographic- and phylogenetic-driven hypotheses for antivenom production strategies by a more rationale approach based on a hypothesis-driven systems venomics approach. Selected applications of venomics and antivenomics for exploring the chemical space and immunological profile of venoms will illustrate the author's views on the impact these proteomics tools may have in the field of toxinology

  5. Widespread Chemical Detoxification of Alkaloid Venom by Formicine Ants.

    PubMed

    LeBrun, Edward G; Diebold, Peter J; Orr, Matthew R; Gilbert, Lawrence E

    2015-10-01

    The ability to detoxify defensive compounds of competitors provides key ecological advantages that can influence community-level processes. Although common in plants and bacteria, this type of detoxification interaction is extremely rare in animals. Here, using laboratory behavioral assays and analyses of videotaped interactions in South America, we report widespread venom detoxification among ants in the subfamily Formicinae. Across both data sets, nine formicine species, representing all major clades, used a stereotyped grooming behavior to self-apply formic acid (acidopore grooming) in response to fire ant (Solenopsis invicta and S. saevissima) venom exposure. In laboratory assays, this behavior increased the survivorship of species following exposure to S. invicta venom. Species expressed the behavior when exposed to additional alkaloid venoms, including both compositionally similar piperidine venom of an additional fire ant species and the pyrrolidine/pyrroline alkaloid venom of a Monomorium species. In addition, species expressed the behavior following exposure to the uncharacterized venom of a Crematogaster species. However, species did not express acidopore grooming when confronted with protein-based ant venoms or when exposed to monoterpenoid-based venom. This pattern, combined with the specific chemistry of the reaction of formic acid with venom alkaloids, indicates that alkaloid venoms are targets of detoxification grooming. Solenopsis thief ants, and Monomorium species stand out as brood-predators of formicine ants that produce piperidine, pyrrolidine, and pyrroline venom, providing an important ecological context for the use of detoxification behavior. Detoxification behavior also represents a mechanism that can influence the order of assemblage dominance hierarchies surrounding food competition. Thus, this behavior likely influences ant-assemblages through a variety of ecological pathways. PMID:26385230

  6. Animal venom studies: Current benefits and future developments.

    PubMed

    Utkin, Yuri N

    2015-05-26

    Poisonous organisms are represented in many taxa, including kingdom Animalia. During evolution, animals have developed special organs for production and injection of venoms. Animal venoms are complex mixtures, compositions of which depend on species producing venom. The most known and studied poisonous terrestrial animals are snakes, scorpions and spiders. Among marine animals, these are jellyfishes, anemones and cone snails. The toxic substances in the venom of these animals are mainly of protein and peptide origin. Recent studies have indicated that the single venom may contain up to several hundred different components producing diverse physiological effects. Bites or stings by certain poisonous species result in severe envenomations leading in some cases to death. This raises the problem of bite treatment. The most effective treatment so far is the application of antivenoms. To enhance the effectiveness of such treatments, the knowledge of venom composition is needed. On the other hand, venoms contain substances with unique biological properties, which can be used both in basic science and in clinical applications. The best example of toxin application in basic science is α-bungarotoxin the discovery of which made a big impact on the studies of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Today compositions of venom from many species have already been examined. Based on these data, one can conclude that venoms contain a large number of individual components belonging to a limited number of structural types. Often minor changes in the amino acid sequence give rise to new biological properties. Change in the living conditions of poisonous animals lead to alterations in the composition of venoms resulting in appearance of new toxins. At the same time introduction of new methods of proteomics and genomics lead to discoveries of new compounds, which may serve as research tools or as templates for the development of novel drugs. The application of these sensitive and

  7. Animal venom studies: Current benefits and future developments

    PubMed Central

    Utkin, Yuri N

    2015-01-01

    Poisonous organisms are represented in many taxa, including kingdom Animalia. During evolution, animals have developed special organs for production and injection of venoms. Animal venoms are complex mixtures, compositions of which depend on species producing venom. The most known and studied poisonous terrestrial animals are snakes, scorpions and spiders. Among marine animals, these are jellyfishes, anemones and cone snails. The toxic substances in the venom of these animals are mainly of protein and peptide origin. Recent studies have indicated that the single venom may contain up to several hundred different components producing diverse physiological effects. Bites or stings by certain poisonous species result in severe envenomations leading in some cases to death. This raises the problem of bite treatment. The most effective treatment so far is the application of antivenoms. To enhance the effectiveness of such treatments, the knowledge of venom composition is needed. On the other hand, venoms contain substances with unique biological properties, which can be used both in basic science and in clinical applications. The best example of toxin application in basic science is α-bungarotoxin the discovery of which made a big impact on the studies of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Today compositions of venom from many species have already been examined. Based on these data, one can conclude that venoms contain a large number of individual components belonging to a limited number of structural types. Often minor changes in the amino acid sequence give rise to new biological properties. Change in the living conditions of poisonous animals lead to alterations in the composition of venoms resulting in appearance of new toxins. At the same time introduction of new methods of proteomics and genomics lead to discoveries of new compounds, which may serve as research tools or as templates for the development of novel drugs. The application of these sensitive and

  8. Studies on Bee Venom and Its Medical Uses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ali, Mahmoud Abdu Al-Samie Mohamed

    2012-07-01

    Use of honey and other bee products in human treatments traced back thousands of years and healing properties are included in many religious texts including the Veda, Bible and Quran. Apitherapy is the use of honey bee products for medical purposes, this include bee venom, raw honey, royal jelly, pollen, propolis, and beeswax. Whereas bee venom therapy is the use of live bee stings (or injectable venom) to treat various diseases such as arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus, sciatica, low back pain, and tennis elbow to name a few. It refers to any use of venom to assist the body in healing itself. Bee venom contains at least 18 pharmacologically active components including various enzymes, peptides and amines. Sulfur is believed to be the main element in inducing the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands and in protecting the body from infections. Contact with bee venom produces a complex cascade of reactions in the human body. The bee venom is safe for human treatments, the median lethal dose (LD50) for an adult human is 2.8 mg of venom per kg of body weight, i.e. a person weighing 60 kg has a 50% chance of surviving injections totaling 168 mg of bee venom. Assuming each bee injects all its venom and no stings are quickly removed at a maximum of 0.3 mg venom per sting, 560 stings could well be lethal for such a person. For a child weighing 10 kg, as little as 93.33 stings could be fatal. However, most human deaths result from one or few bee stings due to allergic reactions, heart failure or suffocation from swelling around the neck or the mouth. As compare with other human diseases, accidents and other unusual cases, the bee venom is very safe for human treatments.

  9. One Fish Two Fish.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoffman, Michele

    1998-01-01

    This activity explains fisheries resource management to seven-year olds. First-grade students learn concepts such as offspring viability, life expectancy, and distribution of species, which help to determine when, where, and how people fish and the importance of fishing responsibly. Lists materials, procedures, and extensions. (SJR)

  10. Solution Structures of Two Homologous Venom Peptides from Sicarius dolichocephalus

    PubMed Central

    Loening, Nikolaus M.; Wilson, Zachary N.; Zobel-Thropp, Pamela A.; Binford, Greta J.

    2013-01-01

    We present solution-state NMR structures for two putative venom peptides from Sicarius dolichocephalus. These peptides were identified from cDNA libraries created from venom gland mRNA and then recombinantly expressed. They are the first structures from any species of Sicarius spiders, and the first peptide structures for any haplogyne spiders. These peptides are homologous to one another, and while they have at most only 20% sequence identity with known venom peptides their structures follow the inhibitor cystine knot motif that has been found in a broad range of venom peptides. PMID:23342149

  11. Duration of Loxosceles reclusa Venom Detection by ELISA from Swabs

    PubMed Central

    McGLASSON, DAVID L; GREEN, JONATHON A; STOECKER, WILLIAM V; BABCOCK, JAMES L; CALCARA, DAVID A

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND Diagnosis of Loxosceles reclusa envenomations is currently based upon clinical presentation. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) can detect surface Loxosceles venom at the envenomation site, allowing diagnostic confirmation. The length of time that venom on the skin is recoverable non-invasively is unknown. MATERIALS AND METHODS To investigate duration of recoverable venom antigen, whole venom and fractionated sphingomyelinase D venom aliquots were injected subcutaneously in New Zealand White rabbits. Cotton and Dacron swabs were compared for venom recovery over a 21-day period using a surface swab technique. RESULTS Significant amounts of Loxosceles reclusa antigen were found on the surface of rabbit skin after experimental injection of whole venom and sphingomyelinase D. The duration of recoverable antigen using this experimental model appears to be at least two weeks and as long as 21 days in some cases. CONCLUSIONS Because the duration of the recoverable antigen is seen to be at least two weeks, the ELISA venom test appears capable of detecting venom on most patients presenting with Loxosceles envenomations. This detection system will allow the physician more accurate determination of whether the lesion is from a brown recluse spider or some other agent that can cause this type of necrotic ulcer. PMID:19967916

  12. Venom Proteins from Parasitoid Wasps and Their Biological Functions

    PubMed Central

    Moreau, Sébastien J. M.; Asgari, Sassan

    2015-01-01

    Parasitoid wasps are valuable biological control agents that suppress their host populations. Factors introduced by the female wasp at parasitization play significant roles in facilitating successful development of the parasitoid larva either inside (endoparasitoid) or outside (ectoparasitoid) the host. Wasp venoms consist of a complex cocktail of proteinacious and non-proteinacious components that may offer agrichemicals as well as pharmaceutical components to improve pest management or health related disorders. Undesirably, the constituents of only a small number of wasp venoms are known. In this article, we review the latest research on venom from parasitoid wasps with an emphasis on their biological function, applications and new approaches used in venom studies. PMID:26131769

  13. Anti-necrosis potential of polyphenols against snake venoms.

    PubMed

    Leanpolchareanchai, Jiraporn; Pithayanukul, Pimolpan; Bavovada, Rapepol

    2009-01-01

    Polyphenols from the extracts of Areca catechu L. and Quercus infectoria Oliv. inhibited phospholipase A(2), proteases, hyaluronidase and L-amino acid oxidase of Naja naja kaouthia Lesson (NK) and Calloselasma rhodostoma Kuhl (CR) venoms by in vitro tests. Both extracts inhibited the hemorrhagic activity of CR venom and the dermonecrotic activity of NK venom by in vivo tests. The inhibitory activity of plant polyphenols against local tissue necrosis induced by snake venoms may be caused by inhibition of inflammatory reactions, hemorrhage, and necrosis. The result implies the therapeutic potential of plant polyphenols against necrosis in snakebite victims. PMID:19874222

  14. Diversity of peptide toxins from stinging ant venoms.

    PubMed

    Aili, Samira R; Touchard, Axel; Escoubas, Pierre; Padula, Matthew P; Orivel, Jérôme; Dejean, Alain; Nicholson, Graham M

    2014-12-15

    Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of arthropods comprising nearly 13,000 extant species. Sixteen ant subfamilies have individuals that possess a stinger and use their venom for purposes such as a defence against predators, competitors and microbial pathogens, for predation, as well as for social communication. They exhibit a range of activities including antimicrobial, haemolytic, cytolytic, paralytic, insecticidal and pain-producing pharmacologies. While ant venoms are known to be rich in alkaloids and hydrocarbons, ant venoms rich in peptides are becoming more common, yet remain understudied. Recent advances in mass spectrometry techniques have begun to reveal the true complexity of ant venom peptide composition. In the few venoms explored thus far, most peptide toxins appear to occur as small polycationic linear toxins, with antibacterial properties and insecticidal activity. Unlike other venomous animals, a number of ant venoms also contain a range of homodimeric and heterodimeric peptides with one or two interchain disulfide bonds possessing pore-forming, allergenic and paralytic actions. However, ant venoms seem to have only a small number of monomeric disulfide-linked peptides. The present review details the structure and pharmacology of known ant venom peptide toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents. PMID:25448389

  15. Decahydroquinolines from the venom of a formicinae ant, Oecophylla smaragdina.

    PubMed

    Das, Priya; Dileepkumar, R; Anaswara Krishnan, S; Nair, Achuthsankar S; Dhar, Pawan K; Oommen, Oommen V

    2014-12-15

    Ecologically significant species in controlling pests, Oecophylla smaragdina uses its venom to paralyze their prey and to communicate with their colony mates. But no significant analysis of the ant's venom gland secretions has been carried out hitherto. This study describes the identification of venom constituents of Oecophylla smaragdina using coupled gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) analysis. The results indicate the anticipated presence of a neurotoxin i.e., 2, 5 dipropyl decahydroquinoline and phenol, 2, 4-bis (1, 1 dimethylethyl). This is the first report on presence of decahydroquinolines in the venom of formicinae ant species of genera Oecophylla. PMID:25286394

  16. Putative cardiotoxicity of the venoms of three mamba species.

    PubMed

    van Aswegen, G; van Rooyen, J M; Fourie, C; Oberholzer, G

    1996-05-01

    The venoms of all mamba species are known to contain potent neurotoxins. Some authors suggest that cardiotoxins from mamba venom are responsible for heart failure in envenomated patients. This study was undertaken to come to a better understanding of the mechanisms and possible effects of mamba venom on the hearts of animals. The venoms of three mamba species namely Dendroaspis polylepis, Dendroaspis angusticeps, and Dendroaspis jamesoni were screened for cardiotoxicity by the cardiomyocyte viability test on cardiomyocytes isolated enzymatically from guinea pig ventricle muscle. This analysis was followed by an electrophysiological evaluation of the effects of venoms (from the Dendroaspis species) on cardiac ion channels by employing the whole-cell clamp procedure. In this study the cardiomyocyte viability test indicates differences among the venoms of the three mamba species. The venom of D. jamesoni seems to be the most potent followed by D. angusticeps and then D. polylepis. The whole-cell clamp results indicate that the venoms have no affinity for cardiac potassium channels but have an inhibitory influence on cardiac L-calcium channels. Although this study provides evidence that mamba venoms have a specific effect on isolated myocytes of guinea pig, it is doubtful that it will have a profound influence on a human heart in case of envenomation. PMID:11990104

  17. [Use of medicinal plants against scorpionic and ophidian venoms].

    PubMed

    Memmi, A; Sansa, G; Rjeibi, I; El Ayeb, M; Srairi-Abid, N; Bellasfer, Z; Fekhih, A

    2007-01-01

    The scorpionic and ophidian envenomations are a serious public health problem in Tunisia especially in Southeastern regions. In these regions Artemisia campestris L is a plant well known which has a very important place in traditional medicine for its effectiveness against alleged venom of scorpions and snakes. In this work, we tested for the first time, the anti-venomous activity of Artemisia campestris L against the scorpion Androctonus australis garzonii and the viper Macrovipera lebetina venoms. Assays were conducted by fixing the dose of extract to3 mg/mouse while doses of venom are variable. The leaves of Artemisia campestris L were extracted by various organic solvents (Ether of oil, ethyl acetate, methanol and ethanol) and each extract was tested for its venom neutralizing capacity. For the ethanolic extract, a significant activity with respect to the venoms of scorpion Androctonus australis garzonii (Aag), was detected. Similarly, a significant neutralizing activity against the venom of a viper Macrovipera lebetina (Ml), was obtained with the dichloromethane extract. These results suggest the presence of two different type of chemical components in this plant: those neutralizing the venom of scorpion are soluble in ethanol whereas those neutralizing the venom of viper are soluble in dichloromethane. PMID:19388583

  18. Chemical Punch Packed in Venoms Makes Centipedes Excellent Predators*

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Shilong; Liu, Zhonghua; Xiao, Yao; Li, Yuan; Rong, Mingqiang; Liang, Songping; Zhang, Zhiye; Yu, Haining; King, Glenn F.; Lai, Ren

    2012-01-01

    Centipedes are excellent predatory arthropods that inject venom to kill or immobilize their prey. Although centipedes have long been known to be venomous, their venoms remain largely unexplored. The chemical components responsible for centipede predation and the functional mechanisms are unknown. Twenty-six neurotoxin-like peptides belonging to ten groups were identified from the centipede venoms, Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans L. Koch by peptidomics combined with transcriptome analysis, revealing the diversity of neurotoxins. These neurotoxins each contain two to four intramolecular disulfide bridges, and in most cases the disulfide framework is different from that found in neurotoxins from the venoms of spiders, scorpions, marine cone snails, sea anemones, and snakes (5S animals). Several neurotoxins contain potential insecticidal abilities, and they are found to act on voltage-gated sodium, potassium, and calcium channels, respectively. Although these neurotoxins are functionally similar to the disulfide-rich neurotoxins found in the venoms of 5S animals in that they modulate the activity of voltage-gated ion channels, in almost all cases the primary structures of the centipede venom peptides are unique. This represents an interesting case of convergent evolution in which different venomous animals have evolved different molecular strategies for targeting the same ion channels in prey and predators. Moreover, the high level of biochemical diversity revealed in this study suggests that centipede venoms might be attractive subjects for prospecting and screening for peptide candidates with potential pharmaceutical or agrochemical applications. PMID:22595790

  19. Observations on white and yellow venoms from an individual southern Pacific rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis helleri).

    PubMed

    Johnson, E K; Kardong, K V; Ownby, C L

    1987-01-01

    Biochemical differences in white and yellow venoms produced in the separate venom glands of an individual southern Pacific rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis helleri) were investigated. Compared to the yellow venom, the white venom contained fewer low molecular weight components and was considerably less toxic. Although the exact LD50 was not determined, the white venom did not produce toxic effects in mice when injected i.v. at concentrations up to 10 mg/kg. The i.v. LD50 of the yellow venom was approximately 1.6 mg/kg. Both white and yellow venoms had hemorrhagic activity, but the white venom caused less intradermal hemorrhage in mice. No L-amino acid oxidase activity was measured in the white venom and protease and phospholipase A2 activities of the white venom were much less than in the yellow venom. The white and yellow venoms both produced myonecrosis at 1, 3 and 24 hr after i.m. injection into mice, however, there were some qualitative differences in the myonecrosis produced. When the venom samples were reacted against Wyeth's polyvalent (Crotalidae) antivenom using immunodiffusion, three precipitin bands formed against the yellow venom, whereas only one formed against the white venom. When reacted against an antiserum to myotoxin alpha from C. viridis viridis venom, both the white and yellow venoms produced one precipitin band each. PMID:3124297

  20. Coevolution of venom function and venom resistance in a rattlesnake predator and its squirrel prey.

    PubMed

    Holding, Matthew L; Biardi, James E; Gibbs, H Lisle

    2016-04-27

    Measuring local adaptation can provide insights into how coevolution occurs between predators and prey. Specifically, theory predicts that local adaptation in functionally matched traits of predators and prey will not be detected when coevolution is governed by escalating arms races, whereas it will be present when coevolution occurs through an alternate mechanism of phenotype matching. Here, we analyse local adaptation in venom activity and prey resistance across 12 populations of Northern Pacific rattlesnakes and California ground squirrels, an interaction that has often been described as an arms race. Assays of venom function and squirrel resistance show substantial geographical variation (influenced by site elevation) in both venom metalloproteinase activity and resistance factor effectiveness. We demonstrate local adaptation in the effectiveness of rattlesnake venom to overcoming present squirrel resistance, suggesting that phenotype matching plays a role in the coevolution of these molecular traits. Further, the predator was the locally adapted antagonist in this interaction, arguing that rattlesnakes are evolutionarily ahead of their squirrel prey. Phenotype matching needs to be considered as an important mechanism influencing coevolution between venomous animals and resistant prey. PMID:27122552

  1. Protease inhibitors from marine venomous animals and their counterparts in terrestrial venomous animals.

    PubMed

    Mourão, Caroline B F; Schwartz, Elisabeth F

    2013-06-01

    The Kunitz-type protease inhibitors are the best-characterized family of serine protease inhibitors, probably due to their abundance in several organisms. These inhibitors consist of a chain of ~60 amino acid residues stabilized by three disulfide bridges, and was first observed in the bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor (BPTI)-like protease inhibitors, which strongly inhibit trypsin and chymotrypsin. In this review we present the protease inhibitors (PIs) described to date from marine venomous animals, such as from sea anemone extracts and Conus venom, as well as their counterparts in terrestrial venomous animals, such as snakes, scorpions, spiders, Anurans, and Hymenopterans. More emphasis was given to the Kunitz-type inhibitors, once they are found in all these organisms. Their biological sources, specificity against different proteases, and other molecular blanks (being also K+ channel blockers) are presented, followed by their molecular diversity. Whereas sea anemone, snakes and other venomous animals present mainly Kunitz-type inhibitors, PIs from Anurans present the major variety in structure length and number of Cys residues, with at least six distinguishable classes. A representative alignment of PIs from these venomous animals shows that, despite eventual differences in Cys assignment, the key-residues for the protease inhibitory activity in all of them occupy similar positions in primary sequence. The key-residues for the K+ channel blocking activity was also compared. PMID:23771044

  2. Protease Inhibitors from Marine Venomous Animals and Their Counterparts in Terrestrial Venomous Animals

    PubMed Central

    Mourão, Caroline B.F.; Schwartz, Elisabeth F.

    2013-01-01

    The Kunitz-type protease inhibitors are the best-characterized family of serine protease inhibitors, probably due to their abundance in several organisms. These inhibitors consist of a chain of ~60 amino acid residues stabilized by three disulfide bridges, and was first observed in the bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor (BPTI)-like protease inhibitors, which strongly inhibit trypsin and chymotrypsin. In this review we present the protease inhibitors (PIs) described to date from marine venomous animals, such as from sea anemone extracts and Conus venom, as well as their counterparts in terrestrial venomous animals, such as snakes, scorpions, spiders, Anurans, and Hymenopterans. More emphasis was given to the Kunitz-type inhibitors, once they are found in all these organisms. Their biological sources, specificity against different proteases, and other molecular blanks (being also K+ channel blockers) are presented, followed by their molecular diversity. Whereas sea anemone, snakes and other venomous animals present mainly Kunitz-type inhibitors, PIs from Anurans present the major variety in structure length and number of Cys residues, with at least six distinguishable classes. A representative alignment of PIs from these venomous animals shows that, despite eventual differences in Cys assignment, the key-residues for the protease inhibitory activity in all of them occupy similar positions in primary sequence. The key-residues for the K+ channel blocking activity was also compared. PMID:23771044

  3. Proteome and allergenome of Asian wasp, Vespa affinis, venom and IgE reactivity of the venom components.

    PubMed

    Sookrung, Nitat; Wong-din-Dam, Siriporn; Tungtrongchitr, Anchalee; Reamtong, Onrapak; Indrawattana, Nitaya; Sakolvaree, Yuwaporn; Visitsunthorn, Nualanong; Manuyakorn, Wiparat; Chaicumpa, Wanpen

    2014-03-01

    Vespa affinis (Asian wasp, Thai banded tiger wasp, or local name: Tor Hua Seua) causes the most frequent incidence of medically important Hymenoptera sting in South and Southeast Asia. However, data on the venom components attributable to the sting derived-clinical manifestations (local reactions, IgE mediated-anaphylaxis, or systemic envenomation) are lacking. This study provides the first set information on V. affinis venom proteome, allergenome, and IgE reactivity of individual venom components. From 2DE-gel based-proteomics, the venom revealed 93 protein spots, of which proteins in 51 spots could be identified and classified into three groups: typical venom components and structural and housekeeping proteins. Venom proteins in 32 spots reacted with serum IgE of wasp allergic patients. Major allergenic proteins that reacted to IgE of >50% of the wasp allergic patients included PLA1 (100%), arginine kinase (73%), heat shock 70 kDa protein (73.3%), venom allergen-5 (66.7%), enolase (66.7%), PLA1 magnifin (60%), glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (60%), hyaluronidase (53.3%), and fructose-bisphosphate aldolase (53.3%). The venom minor allergens were GB17876 transcript (40%), GB17291 transcript (20%), malic enzyme (13.3%), aconitate hydratase (6.7%), and phosphoglucomutase (6.7%). The information has diagnostic and clinical implications for future improvement of case diagnostic sensitivity and specificity, component-resolve diagnosis, and design of specific Hymenoptera venom immunotherapy. PMID:24437991

  4. Pathophysiological effects of Cerastes cerastes and Vipera lebetina venoms: Immunoneutralization using anti-native and anti-(60)Co irradiated venoms.

    PubMed

    Boumaiza, Sabrina; Oussedik-Oumehdi, Habiba; Laraba-Djebari, Fatima

    2016-01-01

    Cerastes cerastes and Vipera lebetina are the most medically important vipers in Algeria. Their bite induces several pathological effects on victims of accidental envenomation. In this study we analyzed the pathogenesis induced after an experimental envenomation. Indeed, we determined, in vitro, venom enzymatic activities and we analyzed, in vivo, pathological effects induced on liver, heart, lung and skin. In addition we investigated the neutralizing potency of four experimental antivenoms elicited against native and irradiated venoms. Results revealed that V. lebetina and Cerastes cerastes venoms presented strong hemorrhagic, oedematic and necrotic activities. Histopathological study showed that both venoms induced deep damage in tissue structures leading to organ dysfunction. They also increased cellular peroxidases activities, indicating an inflammatory process that is known to amplify tissue damage. Western-blot analysis evidenced that anti-irradiated venoms recognized most components of native venoms. Antivenoms were effective in neutralizing all tested activities, with an increased protective effect obtained with anti-irradiated venoms. Anti-irradiated venoms reduced cellular peroxidases activities indicating a reduction of the inflammatory response. These results may improve our understanding of Algerian Viperidae bite pathogenesis and would encourage further studies planning to provide more proofs on the effectiveness of anti-irradiated venoms administration in the treatment of envenomation. PMID:26678662

  5. Effects of gamma radiation on snake venoms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nascimento, N.; Spencer, P. J.; Andrade, H. F.; Guarnieri, M. C.; Rogero, J. R.

    1998-06-01

    Ionizing radiation is able to detoxify several venoms, including snake venoms, without affecting significantly their immunogenic properties. Inn order to elucidate this phenomena, we conceived a comparative pharmacological study between native and irradiated (2,000 Gy) crotoxin, the main toxin of the South American rattlesnake Crotalus durissus terrificus. Crotoxin was isolated and purified by molecular exclusion chromatography, pI precipitation and, susbequentely submitted to irradiaiton. Gel filtration of the irradiated toxin resulted in some high molecular weight aggregates formation. Crotoxin toxicity decreased two folds after irradiation, as determined by LD 50 in mice. Native and irradiated crotoxin biodistribution ocured in the same general manner, with renal elimination. However, in contrast to irradiated crotoxin, the native form was initially retained in kidneys. A later concentration (2-3 hr) appeared in phagocytic mononuclear cells rich organs (liver and spleen) and neural junction rich organs (muscle and brain).

  6. Functional and Structural Diversification of the Anguimorpha Lizard Venom System*

    PubMed Central

    Fry, Bryan G.; Winter, Kelly; Norman, Janette A.; Roelants, Kim; Nabuurs, Rob J. A.; van Osch, Matthias J. P.; Teeuwisse, Wouter M.; van der Weerd, Louise; Mcnaughtan, Judith E.; Kwok, Hang Fai; Scheib, Holger; Greisman, Laura; Kochva, Elazar; Miller, Laurence J.; Gao, Fan; Karas, John; Scanlon, Denis; Lin, Feng; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Shaw, Chris; Wong, Lily; Hodgson, Wayne C.

    2010-01-01

    Venom has only been recently discovered to be a basal trait of the Anguimorpha lizards. Consequently, very little is known about the timings of toxin recruitment events, venom protein molecular evolution, or even the relative physical diversifications of the venom system itself. A multidisciplinary approach was used to examine the evolution across the full taxonomical range of this ∼130 million-year-old clade. Analysis of cDNA libraries revealed complex venom transcriptomes. Most notably, three new cardioactive peptide toxin types were discovered (celestoxin, cholecystokinin, and YY peptides). The latter two represent additional examples of convergent use of genes in toxic arsenals, both having previously been documented as components of frog skin defensive chemical secretions. Two other novel venom gland-overexpressed modified versions of other protein frameworks were also recovered from the libraries (epididymal secretory protein and ribonuclease). Lectin, hyaluronidase, and veficolin toxin types were sequenced for the first time from lizard venoms and shown to be homologous to the snake venom forms. In contrast, phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that the lizard natriuretic peptide toxins were recruited independently of the form in snake venoms. The de novo evolution of helokinestatin peptide toxin encoding domains within the lizard venom natriuretic gene was revealed to be exclusive to the helodermatid/anguid subclade. New isoforms were sequenced for cysteine-rich secretory protein, kallikrein, and phospholipase A2 toxins. Venom gland morphological analysis revealed extensive evolutionary tinkering. Anguid glands are characterized by thin capsules and mixed glands, serous at the bottom of the lobule and mucous toward the apex. Twice, independently this arrangement was segregated into specialized serous protein-secreting glands with thick capsules with the mucous lobules now distinct (Heloderma and the Lanthanotus/Varanus clade). The results obtained highlight

  7. Whole Transcriptome of the Venom Gland from Urodacus yaschenkoi Scorpion

    PubMed Central

    Juárez-González, Víctor Rivelino; Possani, Lourival D.

    2015-01-01

    Australian scorpion venoms have been poorly studied, probably because they do not pose an evident threat to humans. In addition, the continent has other medically important venomous animals capable of causing serious health problems. Urodacus yaschenkoi belongs to the most widely distributed family of Australian scorpions (Urodacidae) and it is found all over the continent, making it a useful model system for studying venom composition and evolution. This communication reports the whole set of mRNA transcripts produced by the venom gland. U. yaschenkoi venom is as complex as its overseas counterparts. These transcripts certainly code for several components similar to known scorpion venom components, such as: alpha-KTxs, beta-KTxs, calcins, protease inhibitors, antimicrobial peptides, sodium-channel toxins, toxin-like peptides, allergens, La1-like, hyaluronidases, ribosomal proteins, proteasome components and proteins related to cellular processes. A comparison with the venom gland transcriptome of Centruroides noxius (Buthidae) showed that these two scorpions have similar components related to biological processes, although important differences occur among the venom toxins. In contrast, a comparison with sequences reported for Urodacus manicatus revealed that these two Urodacidae species possess the same subfamily of scorpion toxins. A comparison with sequences of an U. yaschenkoi cDNA library previously reported by our group showed that both techniques are reliable for the description of the venom components, but the whole transcriptome generated with Next Generation Sequencing platform provides sequences of all transcripts expressed. Several of which were identified in the proteome, but many more transcripts were identified including uncommon transcripts. The information reported here constitutes a reference for non-Buthidae scorpion venoms, providing a comprehensive view of genes that are involved in venom production. Further, this work identifies new putative

  8. Comparative study of anticoagulant and procoagulant properties of 28 snake venoms from families Elapidae, Viperidae, and purified Russell's viper venom-factor X activator (RVV-X).

    PubMed

    Suntravat, Montamas; Nuchprayoon, Issarang; Pérez, John C

    2010-09-15

    Snake venoms consist of numerous molecules with diverse biological functions used for capturing prey. Each component of venom has a specific target, and alters the biological function of its target. Once these molecules are identified, characterized, and cloned; they could have medical applications. The activated clotting time (ACT) and clot rate were used for screening procoagulant and anticoagulant properties of 28 snake venoms. Crude venoms from Daboia russellii siamensis, Bothrops asper, Bothrops moojeni, and one Crotalus oreganus helleri from Wrightwood, CA, had procoagulant activity. These venoms induced a significant shortening of the ACT and showed a significant increase in the clot rate when compared to the negative control. Factor X activator activity was also measured in 28 venoms, and D. r. siamensis venom was 5-6 times higher than those of B. asper, B. moojeni, and C. o. helleri from Wrightwood County. Russell's viper venom-factor X activator (RVV-X) was purified from D. r. siamensis venom, and then procoagulant activity was evaluated by the ACT and clot rate. Other venoms, Crotalus atrox and two Naja pallida, had anticoagulant activity. A significant increase in the ACT and a significant decrease in the clot rate were observed after the addition of these venoms; therefore, the venoms were considered to have anticoagulant activity. Venoms from the same species did not always have the same ACT and clot rate profiles, but the profiles were an excellent way to identify procoagulant and anticoagulant activities in snake venoms. PMID:20677373

  9. Deciphering the main venom components of the ectoparasitic ant-like bethylid wasp, Scleroderma guani.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jia-Ying

    2016-04-01

    Similar to venom found in most venomous animals, parasitoid venoms contain a complex cocktail of proteins with potential agrichemical and pharmaceutical use. Even though parasitoids are one of the largest group of venomous animals, little is known about their venom composition. Recent few studies revealed high variated venom composition existing not only in different species but also between closely related strains, impling that increasing information on the venom proteins from more greater diversity of species of different taxa is key to comprehensively uncover the complete picture of parasitoid venom. Here, we explored the major protein components of the venom of ectoparasitic ant-like bethylid wasp, Scleroderma guani by an integrative transcriptomic-proteomic approach. Illumina deep sequencing of venom apparatus cDNA produced 49,873 transcripts. By mapping the peptide spectral data derived from venom reservoir against these transcripts, mass spectrometry analysis revealed ten main venom proteins, including serine proteinase, metalloprotease, dipeptidyl peptidase IV, esterase, antithrombin-III, acid phosphatase, neural/ectodermal development factor IMP-L2 like protein, venom allergen 3, and unknown protein. Interestingly, one serine proteinase was firstly identified with rarely high molecular weight about 200 kDa in parasitoid venom. The occurrence of abundant acid phosphatase, antithrombin-III and venom allergen 3 demonstrated that S. guani venom composition is similar to that of social wasp venoms. All identified venom genes showed abundantly biased expression in venom apparatus, indicating their virulent functions involved in parasitization. This study shed light on the more better understanding of parasitoid venom evolution across species and will facilitate the further elucidation of function and toxicity of these venom proteins. PMID:26853496

  10. Detection of Snake Venom in Post-Antivenom Samples by Dissociation Treatment Followed by Enzyme Immunoassay.

    PubMed

    Maduwage, Kalana P; O'Leary, Margaret A; Silva, Anjana; Isbister, Geoffrey K

    2016-01-01

    Venom detection is crucial for confirmation of envenomation and snake type in snake-bite patients. Enzyme immunoassay (EIA) is used to detect venom, but antivenom in samples prevents venom detection. We aimed to detect snake venom in post-antivenom samples after dissociating venom-antivenom complexes with glycine-HCl (pH 2.2) and heating for 30 min at 950 °C. Serum samples underwent dissociation treatment and then Russell's viper venom or Australian elapid venom measured by EIA. In confirmed Russell's viper bites with venom detected pre-antivenom (positive controls), no venom was detected in untreated post-antivenom samples, but was after dissociation treatment. In 104 non-envenomed patients (negative controls), no venom was detected after dissociation treatment. In suspected Russell's viper bites, ten patients with no pre-antivenom samples had venom detected in post-antivenom samples after dissociation treatment. In 20 patients with no venom detected pre-antivenom, 13 had venom detected post-antivenom after dissociation treatment. In another 85 suspected Russell's viper bites with no venom detected pre-antivenom, 50 had venom detected after dissociation treatment. Dissociation treatment was also successful for Australian snake envenomation including taipan, mulga, tiger snake and brown snake. Snake venom can be detected by EIA in post-antivenom samples after dissociation treatment allowing confirmation of diagnosis of envenomation post-antivenom. PMID:27136587

  11. Chem I Supplement: Bee Sting: The Chemistry of an Insect Venom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Connor, Rod; Peck, Larry

    1980-01-01

    Considers various aspects of bee stings including the physical mechanism of the venom apparatus in the bee, categorization of physiological responses of nonprotected individuals to bee sting, chemical composition of bee venom and the mechanisms of venom action, and areas of interest in the synthesis of bee venom. (CS)

  12. Detection of Snake Venom in Post-Antivenom Samples by Dissociation Treatment Followed by Enzyme Immunoassay

    PubMed Central

    Maduwage, Kalana P.; O’Leary, Margaret A.; Silva, Anjana; Isbister, Geoffrey K.

    2016-01-01

    Venom detection is crucial for confirmation of envenomation and snake type in snake-bite patients. Enzyme immunoassay (EIA) is used to detect venom, but antivenom in samples prevents venom detection. We aimed to detect snake venom in post-antivenom samples after dissociating venom-antivenom complexes with glycine-HCl (pH 2.2) and heating for 30 min at 950 °C. Serum samples underwent dissociation treatment and then Russell’s viper venom or Australian elapid venom measured by EIA. In confirmed Russell’s viper bites with venom detected pre-antivenom (positive controls), no venom was detected in untreated post-antivenom samples, but was after dissociation treatment. In 104 non-envenomed patients (negative controls), no venom was detected after dissociation treatment. In suspected Russell’s viper bites, ten patients with no pre-antivenom samples had venom detected in post-antivenom samples after dissociation treatment. In 20 patients with no venom detected pre-antivenom, 13 had venom detected post-antivenom after dissociation treatment. In another 85 suspected Russell’s viper bites with no venom detected pre-antivenom, 50 had venom detected after dissociation treatment. Dissociation treatment was also successful for Australian snake envenomation including taipan, mulga, tiger snake and brown snake. Snake venom can be detected by EIA in post-antivenom samples after dissociation treatment allowing confirmation of diagnosis of envenomation post-antivenom. PMID:27136587

  13. Recent Advances in Research on Widow Spider Venoms and Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Shuai; Wang, Xianchun

    2015-01-01

    Widow spiders have received much attention due to the frequently reported human and animal injures caused by them. Elucidation of the molecular composition and action mechanism of the venoms and toxins has vast implications in the treatment of latrodectism and in the neurobiology and pharmaceutical research. In recent years, the studies of the widow spider venoms and the venom toxins, particularly the α-latrotoxin, have achieved many new advances; however, the mechanism of action of the venom toxins has not been completely clear. The widow spider is different from many other venomous animals in that it has toxic components not only in the venom glands but also in other parts of the adult spider body, newborn spiderlings, and even the eggs. More recently, the molecular basis for the toxicity outside the venom glands has been systematically investigated, with four proteinaceous toxic components being purified and preliminarily characterized, which has expanded our understanding of the widow spider toxins. This review presents a glance at the recent advances in the study on the venoms and toxins from the Latrodectus species. PMID:26633495

  14. Nucleotidase and DNase activities in Brazilian snake venoms.

    PubMed

    Sales, Paulo Bruno Valadão; Santoro, Marcelo L

    2008-01-01

    Among the myriad of enzymes present in animal venoms, nucleotidases and nucleases are poorly investigated. Herein, we studied such enzymes in 28 crude venoms of animals found in Brazil. Higher levels of ATPase, 5'-nucleotidase, ADPase, phosphodiesterase and DNase activities were observed in snake venoms belonging to Bothrops, Crotalus and Lachesis genera than to Micrurus genus. The venom of Bothrops brazili snake showed the highest nucleotidase and DNase activities, whereas that of Micrurus frontalis snake the highest alkaline phosphatase activity. On the other hand, the venoms of the snake Philodryas olfersii and the spider Loxosceles gaucho were devoid of most nucleotidase and DNase activities. Species that exhibited similar nucleotidase activities by colorimetric assays showed different banding pattern by zymography, suggesting the occurrence of structural differences among them. Hydrolysis of nucleotides showed that 1 mol of ATP is cleaved in 1 mol of pyrophosphate and 1 mol of orthophosphate, whereas 1 mol of ADP is cleaved exclusively in 2 mol of orthophosphates. Pyrophosphate is barely hydrolyzed by snake venoms. Phosphodiesterase activity was better correlated with 5'-nucleotidase, ADPase and ATPase activities than with DNase activity, evidencing that phosphodiesterases are not the main agent of DNA hydrolysis in animal venoms. The omnipresence of nucleotidase and DNase activities in viperid venoms implies a role for them within the repertoire of enzymes involved in immobilization and death of preys. PMID:17904425

  15. Recent Advances in Research on Widow Spider Venoms and Toxins.

    PubMed

    Yan, Shuai; Wang, Xianchun

    2015-12-01

    Widow spiders have received much attention due to the frequently reported human and animal injures caused by them. Elucidation of the molecular composition and action mechanism of the venoms and toxins has vast implications in the treatment of latrodectism and in the neurobiology and pharmaceutical research. In recent years, the studies of the widow spider venoms and the venom toxins, particularly the α-latrotoxin, have achieved many new advances; however, the mechanism of action of the venom toxins has not been completely clear. The widow spider is different from many other venomous animals in that it has toxic components not only in the venom glands but also in other parts of the adult spider body, newborn spiderlings, and even the eggs. More recently, the molecular basis for the toxicity outside the venom glands has been systematically investigated, with four proteinaceous toxic components being purified and preliminarily characterized, which has expanded our understanding of the widow spider toxins. This review presents a glance at the recent advances in the study on the venoms and toxins from the Latrodectus species. PMID:26633495

  16. Analysis of scorpion venom composition by Raman Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-Zérega, Brenda E.; González-Solís, José L.

    2015-01-01

    In this work we study the venom of two Centruroides scorpion species using Raman spectroscopy. The spectra analysis allows to determine the venoms chemical composition and to establish the main differences and similarities among the species. It is also shown that the use of Principal Component Analysis may help to tell apart between the scorpion species.

  17. Why myotoxin-containing snake venoms possess powerful nucleotidases?

    PubMed

    Caccin, Paola; Pellegatti, Patrizia; Fernandez, Julián; Vono, Maria; Cintra-Francischinelli, Mariana; Lomonte, Bruno; Gutiérrez, José María; Di Virgilio, Francesco; Montecucco, Cesare

    2013-01-25

    The venom of the snake Bothrops asper causes muscle necrosis, pain and inflammation. This venom contains myotoxins which cause an increase in intracellular Ca(2+) concentration and release of K(+) and ATP from myotubes. ATP is a key danger molecule that triggers a variety of reactions, including activation of the innate immune response. Here, using ATP-luciferase bioluminescence imaging technique, we show for the first time in vivo, that the purified myotoxins induce rapid release of ATP, whilst the complete venom of B. asper does at a very small extent. This apparent contradiction is explained by the finding that the venom contains powerful nucleotidases that in vivo convert ATP into ADP, AMP and Adenosine. These findings indicate that high concentrations of adenosine are generated by the double action of the venom and provide the experimental basis to the suggestion that in situ generated adenosine plays an important role in envenomation via its hypotensive, paralyzing and anti-coagulant activities. PMID:23261426

  18. Fish Hearing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blaxter, J. H. S.

    1980-01-01

    Provides related information about hearing in fish, including the sensory stimulus of sound in the underwater environment, mechanoreceptors in fish, pressure perception and the swimbladder, specializations in sound conduction peculiar to certain fish families. Includes numerous figures. (CS)

  19. City Fishing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lange, Robert E.

    1979-01-01

    A program of supplying opportunities for fishing at locations within and near urban areas was developed. This effort included stocking, management of bodies of water for fishing, and presentation of fishing clinics for urban fishermen. (RE)

  20. Brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom toxins: tools for biological purposes.

    PubMed

    Chaim, Olga Meiri; Trevisan-Silva, Dilza; Chaves-Moreira, Daniele; Wille, Ana Carolina M; Ferrer, Valéria Pereira; Matsubara, Fernando Hitomi; Mangili, Oldemir Carlos; da Silveira, Rafael Bertoni; Gremski, Luiza Helena; Gremski, Waldemiro; Senff-Ribeiro, Andrea; Veiga, Silvio Sanches

    2011-03-01

    Venomous animals use their venoms as tools for defense or predation. These venoms are complex mixtures, mainly enriched of proteic toxins or peptides with several, and different, biological activities. In general, spider venom is rich in biologically active molecules that are useful in experimental protocols for pharmacology, biochemistry, cell biology and immunology, as well as putative tools for biotechnology and industries. Spider venoms have recently garnered much attention from several research groups worldwide. Brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom is enriched in low molecular mass proteins (5-40 kDa). Although their venom is produced in minute volumes (a few microliters), and contain only tens of micrograms of protein, the use of techniques based on molecular biology and proteomic analysis has afforded rational projects in the area and permitted the discovery and identification of a great number of novel toxins. The brown spider phospholipase-D family is undoubtedly the most investigated and characterized, although other important toxins, such as low molecular mass insecticidal peptides, metalloproteases and hyaluronidases have also been identified and featured in literature. The molecular pathways of the action of these toxins have been reported and brought new insights in the field of biotechnology. Herein, we shall see how recent reports describing discoveries in the area of brown spider venom have expanded biotechnological uses of molecules identified in these venoms, with special emphasis on the construction of a cDNA library for venom glands, transcriptome analysis, proteomic projects, recombinant expression of different proteic toxins, and finally structural descriptions based on crystallography of toxins. PMID:22069711

  1. Analgesic effect of Persian Gulf Conus textile venom

    PubMed Central

    Tabaraki, Nasim; Shahbazzadeh, Delavar; Moradi, Ali Mashinchian; Vosughi, Gholamhossein; Mostafavi, Pargol Ghavam

    2014-01-01

    Objective(s): Cone snails are estimated to consist of up to 700 species. The venom of these snails has yielded a rich source of novel peptides. This study was aimed to study the analgesic effect of Persian Gulf Conus textile and its comparison with morphine in mouse model. Materials and Methods: Samples were collected in Larak Island. The venom ducts were Isolated and kept on ice then homogenized. The mixture centrifuged at 10000 × g for 20 min. Supernatant was considered as extracted venom. The protein profile of venom determined using 15% sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Venom was administered intraperitoneally (IP) to evaluate the LD50 in Swiss albino mice. Different concentrations of Conus textile venom were injected intrathecally to mice to evaluate their analgesic effect in comparison to morphine. Injection was carried out between the L5 and L6 vertebrae. Differences between groups in the first and second phase were tested with Two-Way analysis of variance (ANOVA). Results: SDS-PAGE indicated 12 bands ranged between 6 and 180 KDa. Finally, ten ng of Conus crude venom showed the best analgesic activity in formalin test. No death observed up to 100 mg/kg. Analgesic activity of crude venom was more significant (P<0.05) in acute pain than inflammatory pain. The analgesic effect of 10 ng Conus venom was the same as morphine for reduction of inflammatory pain (P=0.27). Conclusion: The venom of Persian Gulf Conus textile contains an analgesic component for reliving of acute pain which can lead to find an analgesic drug. PMID:25729549

  2. Brown Spider (Loxosceles genus) Venom Toxins: Tools for Biological Purposes

    PubMed Central

    Chaim, Olga Meiri; Trevisan-Silva, Dilza; Chaves-Moreira, Daniele; Wille, Ana Carolina M.; Ferrer, Valéria Pereira; Matsubara, Fernando Hitomi; Mangili, Oldemir Carlos; da Silveira, Rafael Bertoni; Gremski, Luiza Helena; Gremski, Waldemiro; Senff-Ribeiro, Andrea; Veiga, Silvio Sanches

    2011-01-01

    Venomous animals use their venoms as tools for defense or predation. These venoms are complex mixtures, mainly enriched of proteic toxins or peptides with several, and different, biological activities. In general, spider venom is rich in biologically active molecules that are useful in experimental protocols for pharmacology, biochemistry, cell biology and immunology, as well as putative tools for biotechnology and industries. Spider venoms have recently garnered much attention from several research groups worldwide. Brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom is enriched in low molecular mass proteins (5–40 kDa). Although their venom is produced in minute volumes (a few microliters), and contain only tens of micrograms of protein, the use of techniques based on molecular biology and proteomic analysis has afforded rational projects in the area and permitted the discovery and identification of a great number of novel toxins. The brown spider phospholipase-D family is undoubtedly the most investigated and characterized, although other important toxins, such as low molecular mass insecticidal peptides, metalloproteases and hyaluronidases have also been identified and featured in literature. The molecular pathways of the action of these toxins have been reported and brought new insights in the field of biotechnology. Herein, we shall see how recent reports describing discoveries in the area of brown spider venom have expanded biotechnological uses of molecules identified in these venoms, with special emphasis on the construction of a cDNA library for venom glands, transcriptome analysis, proteomic projects, recombinant expression of different proteic toxins, and finally structural descriptions based on crystallography of toxins. PMID:22069711

  3. Integrative Approach Reveals Composition of Endoparasitoid Wasp Venoms

    PubMed Central

    Mobley, James A.; Bowersock, Gregory J.; Taylor, James; Schlenke, Todd A.

    2013-01-01

    The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and its endoparasitoid wasps are a developing model system for interactions between host immune responses and parasite virulence mechanisms. In this system, wasps use diverse venom cocktails to suppress the conserved fly cellular encapsulation response. Although numerous genetic tools allow detailed characterization of fly immune genes, lack of wasp genomic information has hindered characterization of the parasite side of the interaction. Here, we use high-throughput nucleic acid and amino acid sequencing methods to describe the venoms of two related Drosophila endoparasitoids with distinct infection strategies, Leptopilina boulardi and L. heterotoma. Using RNA-seq, we assembled and quantified libraries of transcript sequences from female wasp abdomens. Next, we used mass spectrometry to sequence peptides derived from dissected venom gland lumens. We then mapped the peptide spectral data against the abdomen transcriptomes to identify a set of putative venom genes for each wasp species. Our approach captured the three venom genes previously characterized in L. boulardi by traditional cDNA cloning methods as well as numerous new venom genes that were subsequently validated by a combination of RT-PCR, blast comparisons, and secretion signal sequence search. Overall, 129 proteins were found to comprise L. boulardi venom and 176 proteins were found to comprise L. heterotoma venom. We found significant overlap in L. boulardi and L. heterotoma venom composition but also distinct differences that may underlie their unique infection strategies. Our joint transcriptomic-proteomic approach for endoparasitoid wasp venoms is generally applicable to identification of functional protein subsets from any non-genome sequenced organism. PMID:23717546

  4. Integrative approach reveals composition of endoparasitoid wasp venoms.

    PubMed

    Goecks, Jeremy; Mortimer, Nathan T; Mobley, James A; Bowersock, Gregory J; Taylor, James; Schlenke, Todd A

    2013-01-01

    The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and its endoparasitoid wasps are a developing model system for interactions between host immune responses and parasite virulence mechanisms. In this system, wasps use diverse venom cocktails to suppress the conserved fly cellular encapsulation response. Although numerous genetic tools allow detailed characterization of fly immune genes, lack of wasp genomic information has hindered characterization of the parasite side of the interaction. Here, we use high-throughput nucleic acid and amino acid sequencing methods to describe the venoms of two related Drosophila endoparasitoids with distinct infection strategies, Leptopilina boulardi and L. heterotoma. Using RNA-seq, we assembled and quantified libraries of transcript sequences from female wasp abdomens. Next, we used mass spectrometry to sequence peptides derived from dissected venom gland lumens. We then mapped the peptide spectral data against the abdomen transcriptomes to identify a set of putative venom genes for each wasp species. Our approach captured the three venom genes previously characterized in L. boulardi by traditional cDNA cloning methods as well as numerous new venom genes that were subsequently validated by a combination of RT-PCR, blast comparisons, and secretion signal sequence search. Overall, 129 proteins were found to comprise L. boulardi venom and 176 proteins were found to comprise L. heterotoma venom. We found significant overlap in L. boulardi and L. heterotoma venom composition but also distinct differences that may underlie their unique infection strategies. Our joint transcriptomic-proteomic approach for endoparasitoid wasp venoms is generally applicable to identification of functional protein subsets from any non-genome sequenced organism. PMID:23717546

  5. The genesis of an exceptionally lethal venom in the timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) revealed through comparative venom-gland transcriptomics

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Snake venoms generally show sequence and quantitative variation within and between species, but some rattlesnakes have undergone exceptionally rapid, dramatic shifts in the composition, lethality, and pharmacological effects of their venoms. Such shifts have occurred within species, most notably in Mojave (Crotalus scutulatus), South American (C. durissus), and timber (C. horridus) rattlesnakes, resulting in some populations with extremely potent, neurotoxic venoms without the hemorrhagic effects typical of rattlesnake bites. Results To better understand the evolutionary changes that resulted in the potent venom of a population of C. horridus from northern Florida, we sequenced the venom-gland transcriptome of an animal from this population for comparison with the previously described transcriptome of the eastern diamondback rattlesnake (C. adamanteus), a congener with a more typical rattlesnake venom. Relative to the toxin transcription of C. adamanteus, which consisted primarily of snake-venom metalloproteinases, C-type lectins, snake-venom serine proteinases, and myotoxin-A, the toxin transcription of C. horridus was far simpler in composition and consisted almost entirely of snake-venom serine proteinases, phospholipases A2, and bradykinin-potentiating and C-type natriuretic peptides. Crotalus horridus lacked significant expression of the hemorrhagic snake-venom metalloproteinases and C-type lectins. Evolution of shared toxin families involved differential expansion and loss of toxin clades within each species and pronounced differences in the highly expressed toxin paralogs. Toxin genes showed significantly higher rates of nonsynonymous substitution than nontoxin genes. The expression patterns of nontoxin genes were conserved between species, despite the vast differences in toxin expression. Conclusions Our results represent the first complete, sequence-based comparison between the venoms of closely related snake species and reveal in unprecedented

  6. Sympathetic outflow activates the venom gland of the snake Bothrops jararaca by regulating the activation of transcription factors and the synthesis of venom gland proteins.

    PubMed

    Luna, Milene S A; Hortencio, Thiago M A; Ferreira, Zulma S; Yamanouye, Norma

    2009-05-01

    The venom gland of viperid snakes has a central lumen where the venom produced by secretory cells is stored. When the venom is lost from the gland, the secretory cells are activated and new venom is produced. The production of new venom is triggered by the action of noradrenaline on both alpha(1)- and beta-adrenoceptors in the venom gland. In this study, we show that venom removal leads to the activation of transcription factors NFkappaB and AP-1 in the venom gland. In dispersed secretory cells, noradrenaline activated both NFkappaB and AP-1. Activation of NFkappaB and AP-1 depended on phospholipase C and protein kinase A. Activation of NFkappaB also depended on protein kinase C. Isoprenaline activated both NFkappaB and AP-1, and phenylephrine activated NFkappaB and later AP-1. We also show that the protein composition of the venom gland changes during the venom production cycle. Striking changes occurred 4 and 7 days after venom removal in female and male snakes, respectively. Reserpine blocks this change, and the administration of alpha(1)- and beta-adrenoceptor agonists to reserpine-treated snakes largely restores the protein composition of the venom gland. However, the protein composition of the venom from reserpinized snakes treated with alpha(1)- or beta-adrenoceptor agonists appears normal, judging from SDS-PAGE electrophoresis. A sexual dimorphism in activating transcription factors and activating venom gland was observed. Our data suggest that the release of noradrenaline after biting is necessary to activate the venom gland by regulating the activation of transcription factors and consequently regulating the synthesis of proteins in the venom gland for venom production. PMID:19411547

  7. The First Venomous Crustacean Revealed by Transcriptomics and Functional Morphology: Remipede Venom Glands Express a Unique Toxin Cocktail Dominated by Enzymes and a Neurotoxin

    PubMed Central

    von Reumont, Björn M.; Blanke, Alexander; Richter, Sandy; Alvarez, Fernando; Bleidorn, Christoph; Jenner, Ronald A.

    2014-01-01

    Animal venoms have evolved many times. Venomous species are especially common in three of the four main groups of arthropods (Chelicerata, Myriapoda, and Hexapoda), which together represent tens of thousands of species of venomous spiders, scorpions, centipedes, and hymenopterans. Surprisingly, despite their great diversity of body plans, there is no unambiguous evidence that any crustacean is venomous. We provide the first conclusive evidence that the aquatic, blind, and cave-dwelling remipede crustaceans are venomous and that venoms evolved in all four major arthropod groups. We produced a three-dimensional reconstruction of the venom delivery apparatus of the remipede Speleonectes tulumensis, showing that remipedes can inject venom in a controlled manner. A transcriptomic profile of its venom glands shows that they express a unique cocktail of transcripts coding for known venom toxins, including a diversity of enzymes and a probable paralytic neurotoxin very similar to one described from spider venom. We screened a transcriptomic library obtained from whole animals and identified a nontoxin paralog of the remipede neurotoxin that is not expressed in the venom glands. This allowed us to reconstruct its probable evolutionary origin and underlines the importance of incorporating data derived from nonvenom gland tissue to elucidate the evolution of candidate venom proteins. This first glimpse into the venom of a crustacean and primitively aquatic arthropod reveals conspicuous differences from the venoms of other predatory arthropods such as centipedes, scorpions, and spiders and contributes valuable information for ultimately disentangling the many factors shaping the biology and evolution of venoms and venomous species. PMID:24132120

  8. Biological activities of Peristrophe bivalvis extracts: promising potential for anti-snake venoms against Naja kaouthia and Trimeresurus albolabris venoms.

    PubMed

    Phaopongthai, Jatuporn; Noiphrom, Jureeporn; Phaopongthai, Supat; Pakmanee, Narumol; Sichaem, Jirapast

    2016-01-01

    This study evaluates the in vitro anti-snake venom potential of Peristrophe bivalvis (PB) extracts against Naja kaouthia (NK) and Trimeresurus albolabris (TA) venoms, including inhibition of cytotoxic effects and enzymatic activities, and the binding-precipitation of extracts and venom proteins analysis. In addition, the antioxidant, cytotoxic and in vivo acute oral toxic activities of PB extracts are also reported. The in vitro cytotoxic and enzymatic analysis reveals that the ethanol extracts of stems and leaves of PB showed good anti-snake venom activity against NK and TA venoms. In addition, the antioxidant result indicated that only the ethanol extract of leaves exhibited weak DPPH radical-scavenging activity. The ethanol whole-plant extract of PB also showed no cytotoxicity against four cell lines. Moreover, the in vivo acute oral toxicity result of the ethanol whole-plant extract showed that all treated rats did not exhibit abnormal toxic signs or deaths. PMID:25942501

  9. Ontogenesis, gender, and molting influence the venom yield in the spider Coremiocnemis tropix (Araneae, Theraphosidae)

    PubMed Central

    Herzig, Volker

    2010-01-01

    The demand for spider venom increases along with the growing popularity of venoms-based research. A deeper understanding of factors that influence the venom yield in spiders would therefore be of interest to both commercial venom suppliers and research facilities. The present study addresses the influence of several factors on the venom yield by systematically analyzing the data obtained from 1773 electrical milkings of the Australian theraphosid spider Coremiocnemis tropix. Gender and ontogenesis were found to cause a major effect on the venom yield, as adult female C. tropix yielded significantly more venom than adult males. During ontogenesis, the venom yield increased with increasing size of the spiders. Furthermore, a significant reduction in the venom yield during the 50-day time interval preceding a molt was found. On the other hand, extended milking intervals (up to 449 days) and different states of nutrition (as an indication of how well the spider was fed) did not significantly affect the venom yield. Overall, the present findings suggest that venom production in spiders is carefully balanced between the demand for venom and the energy costs associated with its production. It can therefore be concluded that, in line with the venom optimization hypothesis, venom is a precious resource for spiders, which have implemented control mechanisms to ensure economical venom production and usage. PMID:21544186

  10. Mass fingerprinting of the venom and transcriptome of venom gland of scorpion Centruroides tecomanus.

    PubMed

    Valdez-Velázquez, Laura L; Quintero-Hernández, Verónica; Romero-Gutiérrez, Maria Teresa; Coronas, Fredy I V; Possani, Lourival D

    2013-01-01

    Centruroides tecomanus is a Mexican scorpion endemic of the State of Colima, that causes human fatalities. This communication describes a proteome analysis obtained from milked venom and a transcriptome analysis from a cDNA library constructed from two pairs of venom glands of this scorpion. High perfomance liquid chromatography separation of soluble venom produced 80 fractions, from which at least 104 individual components were identified by mass spectrometry analysis, showing to contain molecular masses from 259 to 44,392 Da. Most of these components are within the expected molecular masses for Na(+)- and K(+)-channel specific toxic peptides, supporting the clinical findings of intoxication, when humans are stung by this scorpion. From the cDNA library 162 clones were randomly chosen, from which 130 sequences of good quality were identified and were clustered in 28 contigs containing, each, two or more expressed sequence tags (EST) and 49 singlets with only one EST. Deduced amino acid sequence analysis from 53% of the total ESTs showed that 81% (24 sequences) are similar to known toxic peptides that affect Na(+)-channel activity, and 19% (7 unique sequences) are similar to K(+)-channel especific toxins. Out of the 31 sequences, at least 8 peptides were confirmed by direct Edman degradation, using components isolated directly from the venom. The remaining 19%, 4%, 4%, 15% and 5% of the ESTs correspond respectively to proteins involved in cellular processes, antimicrobial peptides, venom components, proteins without defined function and sequences without similarity in databases. Among the cloned genes are those similar to metalloproteinases. PMID:23840487

  11. Deep Venomics Reveals the Mechanism for Expanded Peptide Diversity in Cone Snail Venom*

    PubMed Central

    Dutertre, Sébastien; Jin, Ai-hua; Kaas, Quentin; Jones, Alun; Alewood, Paul F.; Lewis, Richard J.

    2013-01-01

    Cone snails produce highly complex venom comprising mostly small biologically active peptides known as conotoxins or conopeptides. Early estimates that suggested 50–200 venom peptides are produced per species have been recently increased at least 10-fold using advanced mass spectrometry. To uncover the mechanism(s) responsible for generating this impressive diversity, we used an integrated approach combining second-generation transcriptome sequencing with high sensitivity proteomics. From the venom gland transcriptome of Conus marmoreus, a total of 105 conopeptide precursor sequences from 13 gene superfamilies were identified. Over 60% of these precursors belonged to the three gene superfamilies O1, T, and M, consistent with their high levels of expression, which suggests these conotoxins play an important role in prey capture and/or defense. Seven gene superfamilies not previously identified in C. marmoreus, including five novel superfamilies, were also discovered. To confirm the expression of toxins identified at the transcript level, the injected venom of C. marmoreus was comprehensively analyzed by mass spectrometry, revealing 2710 and 3172 peptides using MALDI and ESI-MS, respectively, and 6254 peptides using an ESI-MS TripleTOF 5600 instrument. All conopeptides derived from transcriptomic sequences could be matched to masses obtained on the TripleTOF within 100 ppm accuracy, with 66 (63%) providing MS/MS coverage that unambiguously confirmed these matches. Comprehensive integration of transcriptomic and proteomic data revealed for the first time that the vast majority of the conopeptide diversity arises from a more limited set of genes through a process of variable peptide processing, which generates conopeptides with alternative cleavage sites, heterogeneous post-translational modifications, and highly variable N- and C-terminal truncations. Variable peptide processing is expected to contribute to the evolution of venoms, and explains how a limited set of

  12. Mass Fingerprinting of the Venom and Transcriptome of Venom Gland of Scorpion Centruroides tecomanus

    PubMed Central

    Valdez-Velázquez, Laura L.; Quintero-Hernández, Verónica; Romero-Gutiérrez, Maria Teresa; Coronas, Fredy I. V.; Possani, Lourival D.

    2013-01-01

    Centruroides tecomanus is a Mexican scorpion endemic of the State of Colima, that causes human fatalities. This communication describes a proteome analysis obtained from milked venom and a transcriptome analysis from a cDNA library constructed from two pairs of venom glands of this scorpion. High perfomance liquid chromatography separation of soluble venom produced 80 fractions, from which at least 104 individual components were identified by mass spectrometry analysis, showing to contain molecular masses from 259 to 44,392 Da. Most of these components are within the expected molecular masses for Na+- and K+-channel specific toxic peptides, supporting the clinical findings of intoxication, when humans are stung by this scorpion. From the cDNA library 162 clones were randomly chosen, from which 130 sequences of good quality were identified and were clustered in 28 contigs containing, each, two or more expressed sequence tags (EST) and 49 singlets with only one EST. Deduced amino acid sequence analysis from 53% of the total ESTs showed that 81% (24 sequences) are similar to known toxic peptides that affect Na+-channel activity, and 19% (7 unique sequences) are similar to K+-channel especific toxins. Out of the 31 sequences, at least 8 peptides were confirmed by direct Edman degradation, using components isolated directly from the venom. The remaining 19%, 4%, 4%, 15% and 5% of the ESTs correspond respectively to proteins involved in cellular processes, antimicrobial peptides, venom components, proteins without defined function and sequences without similarity in databases. Among the cloned genes are those similar to metalloproteinases. PMID:23840487

  13. Chironex fleckeri (Box Jellyfish) Venom Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Brinkman, Diane L.; Konstantakopoulos, Nicki; McInerney, Bernie V.; Mulvenna, Jason; Seymour, Jamie E.; Isbister, Geoffrey K.; Hodgson, Wayne C.

    2014-01-01

    The box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri produces extremely potent and rapid-acting venom that is harmful to humans and lethal to prey. Here, we describe the characterization of two C. fleckeri venom proteins, CfTX-A (∼40 kDa) and CfTX-B (∼42 kDa), which were isolated from C. fleckeri venom using size exclusion chromatography and cation exchange chromatography. Full-length cDNA sequences encoding CfTX-A and -B and a third putative toxin, CfTX-Bt, were subsequently retrieved from a C. fleckeri tentacle cDNA library. Bioinformatic analyses revealed that the new toxins belong to a small family of potent cnidarian pore-forming toxins that includes two other C. fleckeri toxins, CfTX-1 and CfTX-2. Phylogenetic inferences from amino acid sequences of the toxin family grouped CfTX-A, -B, and -Bt in a separate clade from CfTX-1 and -2, suggesting that the C. fleckeri toxins have diversified structurally and functionally during evolution. Comparative bioactivity assays revealed that CfTX-1/2 (25 μg kg−1) caused profound effects on the cardiovascular system of anesthetized rats, whereas CfTX-A/B elicited only minor effects at the same dose. Conversely, the hemolytic activity of CfTX-A/B (HU50 = 5 ng ml−1) was at least 30 times greater than that of CfTX-1/2. Structural homology between the cubozoan toxins and insecticidal three-domain Cry toxins (δ-endotoxins) suggests that the toxins have a similar pore-forming mechanism of action involving α-helices of the N-terminal domain, whereas structural diversification among toxin members may modulate target specificity. Expansion of the cnidarian toxin family therefore provides new insights into the evolutionary diversification of box jellyfish toxins from a structural and functional perspective. PMID:24403082

  14. Alkaline phosphatase from venom of the endoparasitoid wasp, Pteromalus puparum.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jia-Ying; Yin Ye, Gong; Fang, Qi; Hu, Cui

    2010-01-01

    Using chromogenic substrates 5-bromo-4-chloro-3'-indolyl phosphate and nitro blue tetrazolium, alkaline phosphatase (ALPase) was histochemically detected in the venom apparatus of an endoparasitoid wasp, Pteromalus puparum L. (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae). Ultrastructural observations demonstrated its presence in the secretory vesicles and nuclei of the venom gland secretory cells. Using p-nitrophenyl phosphate as substrate to measure enzyme activity, the venom ALPase was found to be temperature dependent with bivalent cation effects. The full-length cDNA sequence of ALPase was amplified from the cDNA library of the venom apparatus of P. puparum, providing the first molecular characterization of ALPase in the venom of a parasitoid wasp. The cDNA consisted of 2645 bp with a 1623 bp open reading frame coding for 541 deduced amino acids with a predicted molecular mass of 59.83 kDa and pI of 6.98. Using multiple sequence alignment, the deduced amino acid sequence shared high identity to its counterparts from other insects. A signal peptide and a long conserved ALPase gene family signature sequence were observed. The amino acid sequence of this venom protein was characterized with different potential glycosylation, myristoylation, phosphorylation sites and metal ligand sites. The transcript of the ALPase gene was detected by RT-PCR in the venom apparatus with development related expression after adult wasp emergence, suggesting a possible correlation with the oviposition process. PMID:20575745

  15. Effects of Animal Venoms and Toxins on Hallmarks of Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Chaisakul, Janeyuth; Hodgson, Wayne C.; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Prasongsook, Naiyarat

    2016-01-01

    Animal venoms are a cocktail of proteins and peptides, targeting vital physiological processes. Venoms have evolved to assist in the capture and digestion of prey. Key venom components often include neurotoxins, myotoxins, cardiotoxins, hematoxins and catalytic enzymes. The pharmacological activities of venom components have been investigated as a source of potential therapeutic agents. Interestingly, a number of animal toxins display profound anticancer effects. These include toxins purified from snake, bee and scorpion venoms effecting cancer cell proliferation, migration, invasion, apoptotic activity and neovascularization. Indeed, the mechanism behind the anticancer effect of certain toxins is similar to that of agents currently used in chemotherapy. For example, Lebein is a snake venom disintegrin which generates anti-angiogenic effects by inhibiting vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF). In this review article, we highlight the biological activities of animal toxins on the multiple steps of tumour formation or hallmarks of cancer. We also discuss recent progress in the discovery of lead compounds for anticancer drug development from venom components. PMID:27471574

  16. Role of the inflammasome in defense against venoms

    PubMed Central

    Palm, Noah W.; Medzhitov, Ruslan

    2013-01-01

    Venoms consist of a complex mixture of toxic components that are used by a variety of animal species for defense and predation. Envenomation of mammalian species leads to an acute inflammatory response and can lead to the development of IgE-dependent venom allergy. However, the mechanisms by which the innate immune system detects envenomation and initiates inflammatory and allergic responses to venoms remain largely unknown. Here we show that bee venom is detected by the NOD-like receptor family, pyrin domain-containing 3 inflammasome and can trigger activation of caspase-1 and the subsequent processing and unconventional secretion of the leaderless proinflammatory cytokine IL-1β in macrophages. Whereas activation of the inflammasome by bee venom induces a caspase-1–dependent inflammatory response, characterized by recruitment of neutrophils to the site or envenomation, the inflammasome is dispensable for the allergic response to bee venom. Finally, we find that caspase-1–deficient mice are more susceptible to the noxious effects of bee and snake venoms, suggesting that a caspase-1–dependent immune response can protect against the damaging effects of envenomation. PMID:23297192

  17. Effects of Animal Venoms and Toxins on Hallmarks of Cancer.

    PubMed

    Chaisakul, Janeyuth; Hodgson, Wayne C; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Prasongsook, Naiyarat

    2016-01-01

    Animal venoms are a cocktail of proteins and peptides, targeting vital physiological processes. Venoms have evolved to assist in the capture and digestion of prey. Key venom components often include neurotoxins, myotoxins, cardiotoxins, hematoxins and catalytic enzymes. The pharmacological activities of venom components have been investigated as a source of potential therapeutic agents. Interestingly, a number of animal toxins display profound anticancer effects. These include toxins purified from snake, bee and scorpion venoms effecting cancer cell proliferation, migration, invasion, apoptotic activity and neovascularization. Indeed, the mechanism behind the anticancer effect of certain toxins is similar to that of agents currently used in chemotherapy. For example, Lebein is a snake venom disintegrin which generates anti-angiogenic effects by inhibiting vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF). In this review article, we highlight the biological activities of animal toxins on the multiple steps of tumour formation or hallmarks of cancer. We also discuss recent progress in the discovery of lead compounds for anticancer drug development from venom components. PMID:27471574

  18. Scyphozoan jellyfish venom metalloproteinases and their role in the cytotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyunkyoung; Jung, Eun-sun; Kang, Changkeun; Yoon, Won Duk; Kim, Jong-Shu; Kim, Euikyung

    2011-09-01

    The present study, for the first time, comparatively investigated the enzymatic activities (proteases and hyaluronidases) in the venoms of four Scyphozoan jellyfish species, including Nemopilema nomurai, Rhopilema esculenta, Cyanea nozakii, and Aurelia aurita. For this, various zymographic analyses were performed using assay specific substrates. Interestingly, all the four jellyfish venoms showed gelatinolytic, caseinolytic, and fibrinolytic activities, each of which contains a multitude of enzyme components with molecular weights between 17 and 130 kDa. These four jellyfish venoms demonstrated a huge variation in their proteolytic activities in quantitative and qualitative manner depending on the species. Most of these enzymatic activities were disappeared by the treatment of 1,10-phenanthroline, suggesting they might be belonged to metalloproteinases. Toxicological significance of these venom proteases was examined by comparing their proteolytic activity and the cytotoxicity in NIH 3T3 cells. The relative cytotoxic potency was C. nozakii > N. nomurai > A. aurita > R. esculenta. The cytotoxicity of jellyfish venom shows a positive correlation with its overall proteolytic activity. The metalloproteinases appear to play an important role in the induction of jellyfish venom toxicities. In conclusion, the present report proposes a novel finding of Scyphozoan jellyfish venom metalloproteinases and their potential role in the cytotoxicity. PMID:21718715

  19. Effects of snake venom polypeptides on central nervous system.

    PubMed

    Osipov, Alexey; Utkin, Yuri

    2012-12-01

    The nervous system is a primary target for animal venoms as the impairment of its function results in the fast and efficient immobilization or death of a prey. There are numerous evidences about effects of crude snake venoms or isolated toxins on peripheral nervous system. However, the data on their interactions with the central nervous system (CNS) are not abundant, as the blood-brain barrier (BBB) impedes penetration of these compounds into brain. This updated review presents the data about interaction of snake venom polypeptides with CNS. Such data will be described according to three main modes of interactions: - Direct in vivo interaction of CNS with venom polypeptides either capable to penetrate BBB or injected into the brain. - In vitro interactions of cell or sub-cellular fractions of CNS with crude venoms or purified toxins. - Indirect effects of snake venoms or their components on functioning of CNS under different conditions. Although the venom components penetrating BBB are not numerous, they seem to be the most suitable candidates for the leads in drug design. The compounds with other modes of action are more abundant and better studied, but the lack of the data about their ability to penetrate BBB may substantially aggravate the potentials for their medical perspectives. Nevertheless, many such compounds are used for research of CNS in vitro. These investigations may give invaluable information for understanding the molecular basis of CNS diseases and thus lay the basis for targeted drug design. This aspect also will be outlined in the review. PMID:23270323

  20. [Drug or plant substances which antagonize venoms or potentiate antivenins].

    PubMed

    Chippaux, J P; Rakotonirina, V S; Rakotonirina, A; Dzikouk, G

    1997-01-01

    Dendroaspis jamesoni (Elapidae) and Echis oceliatus (Viperidae) are responsible for most of severe evenomation in Cameroon. Toxicity of venoms of these two species has been measured using mice according to the method of Spearman & Kàrber. The effect on experimental envenomation of various drugs (atropine, promethazine, neostigmine, hydrocortisone, pentosane sulfuric polyester, heparin, tranexamic acid and aminocaproic acid) and plant extracts (Schumanniophyton magnificum, Bidens pilosa, Securidaca longepedunculata and Garcinia lucida) has been observed associated or not with the antivenom lpser Afrique (SAV). The venom of D. jamesoni contains neurotoxins agonizing and antagonising acetylcholine. The toxicity of the venom did not depend on the route of injection. Atropine, promethazine, neostigmine and hydrocortisone protected animals against a venom dose up to 2 LD50. Moreover, atropine and promethazine potentiated the SAV. Similar results have been obtained with extracts from S. magnificum and B. pilosa. The venom of E. ocellatus induces haemorrhage and necrosis. The toxicity increased by 3-fold when the venom was injected through intravenous or intraperitoneal route, compared to intramuscular route. Pentosane sulfuric polyester and tranexamic acid protected mice against doses up to 3 LD50. Pentosane sulfuric polyester, hydrocortisone, heparin and aminocaproic acid increased the SAV protective titre by 50%. However, tried plant extracts weakly antagonised the venom and did not potentiate the SAV. PMID:9479470

  1. Mechanisms of immunotherapy to wasp and bee venom.

    PubMed

    Ozdemir, C; Kucuksezer, U C; Akdis, M; Akdis, C A

    2011-09-01

    Hymenoptera venoms are important allergens that can elicit both local and systemic allergic reactions, including life-threatening anaphylaxis. Venom immunotherapy (VIT) remains the most effective treatment, reducing the risk of systemic reactions in individuals with Hymenoptera venom allergy. VIT can restore normal immunity against venom allergens and provide patients with a lifetime of tolerance to venoms. During VIT, peripheral tolerance is induced by the generation of allergen-specific regulatory T (Treg) cells, which suppress proliferative and cytokine responses against the venom allergens. Treg cells are characterized by IL-10 secretion that directly or indirectly influence effector cells of allergic inflammation, such as mast cells, basophils and eosinophils. Treg cells also have influence on B cells, suppressing IgE production and inducing the production of blocking type IgG4 antibodies against venom allergens. An accumulating body of evidence suggests that Treg cells may affect allergen sensitization and methods for enhancing this cell population may eventually improve the efficacy of VIT. In this article, immune mechanisms enrolled in bee and wasp VIT are reviewed. PMID:21729181

  2. Use of snake venom fractions in the coagulation laboratory.

    PubMed

    Marsh, N A

    1998-07-01

    Snake venom toxins are now regularly used in the coagulation laboratory for assaying haemostatic parameters and as coagulation reagents. Snake venom thrombin-like enzymes (SVTLE) are used for fibrinogen and fibrinogen breakdown product assay as well as detecting dysfibrinogenaemias. Significantly, because SVTLE are not inhibited by heparin, they can be used for defibrinating samples that contain the anticoagulant before assay of haemostatic variables. Prothrombin activators are found in many snake venoms and are used in prothrombin assays, for studying dysprothrombinaemias and preparing meizothrombin and non-enzymic prothrombin. Russell's viper (Daboia russelli) venom (RVV) contains a number of compounds useful in the assay of factors V, VII, X, platelet factor 3 and lupus anticoagulants. Activators from the taipan, Australian brown snake and saw-scaled viper have been used to assay lupus anticoagulants. Protein C and activated protein C resistance can be measured by means of RVV and Protac, a fast acting inhibitor from Southern copperhead snake venom and von Willebrand factor can be studied with Botrocetin from Bothrops jararaca venom. Finally, phospholipase A2 enzymes and the disintegrins, a family of Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD)-containing proteins found in snake venoms, show great potential for the study of haemostasis including, notably, platelet glycoprotein receptors GPIIb/IIIa and Ib. PMID:9712287

  3. Ancient Venom Systems: A Review on Cnidaria Toxins.

    PubMed

    Jouiaei, Mahdokht; Yanagihara, Angel A; Madio, Bruno; Nevalainen, Timo J; Alewood, Paul F; Fry, Bryan G

    2015-06-01

    Cnidarians are the oldest extant lineage of venomous animals. Despite their simple anatomy, they are capable of subduing or repelling prey and predator species that are far more complex and recently evolved. Utilizing specialized penetrating nematocysts, cnidarians inject the nematocyst content or "venom" that initiates toxic and immunological reactions in the envenomated organism. These venoms contain enzymes, potent pore forming toxins, and neurotoxins. Enzymes include lipolytic and proteolytic proteins that catabolize prey tissues. Cnidarian pore forming toxins self-assemble to form robust membrane pores that can cause cell death via osmotic lysis. Neurotoxins exhibit rapid ion channel specific activities. In addition, certain cnidarian venoms contain or induce the release of host vasodilatory biogenic amines such as serotonin, histamine, bunodosine and caissarone accelerating the pathogenic effects of other venom enzymes and porins. The cnidarian attacking/defending mechanism is fast and efficient, and massive envenomation of humans may result in death, in some cases within a few minutes to an hour after sting. The complexity of venom components represents a unique therapeutic challenge and probably reflects the ancient evolutionary history of the cnidarian venom system. Thus, they are invaluable as a therapeutic target for sting treatment or as lead compounds for drug design. PMID:26094698

  4. Transgenic Fish

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fish into which foreign DNA is artificially introduced and integrated into their genome are called transgenic fish. Since the development of the first transgenic fish in 1985, techniques to produce transgenic fish have improved tremendously, resulting in the production of genetically modified (GM) ...

  5. Enzymatic analysis of venom from Cuban scorpion Rhopalurus junceus

    PubMed Central

    Díaz-García, Alexis; Ruiz-Fuentes, Jenny Laura; Yglesias-Rivera, Arianna; Rodríguez-Sánchez, Hermis; Riquenes Garlobo, Yanelis; Fleitas Martinez, Osmel; Fraga Castro, José A

    2015-01-01

    Rhopalurus junceus scorpion venom has been identified as a natural extract with anticancer potential. Interestingly, this scorpion venom does not cause adverse symptoms in humans. However, there is scarce information about its composition and enzymatic activity. In this work, we determined the electrophoretic profile of the venom, the gelatinase and caseinolytic activity, and the phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and hemolytic activity. The effect of different venom doses (6.25, 12.5 and 25 mg/kg) on gastrocnemius muscle was also measured as CK and LDH activity in serum. The presence of hyaluronidase was determined by turbidimetric assay. The effect of different fractions obtained by gel filtration chromatography were evaluated at different concentrations (0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.4, 0.6mg/ml) against lung cancer cell A549 and lung normal cell MRC-5 using MTT assay. The electrophoretic profile demonstrated the presence of proteins bands around 67kDa, 43kDa, 18.4kDa and a majority band below 14.3kDa. The venom did not showed caseinolytic, gelatinase, PLA2 and hemolytic activity even at highest venom concentration used in the study. Scorpion venom only showed a significant toxic effect on gastrocnemius muscles identified by CK and LDH release after subcutaneous injection of 12.5 and 25mg/kg. Low molecular weight fractions (<4kDa) induced a significant cytotoxicity in A549 cells while high molecular weight proteins (45–60kDa) were responsible for hyaluronidase activity and toxic effect against MRC-5. Experiments indicate that Rhopalurus junceus scorpion venom has low enzymatic activity, which could contribute to the low toxic potential of this scorpion venom. PMID:26605039

  6. Neutralization of Apis mellifera bee venom activities by suramin.

    PubMed

    El-Kik, Camila Z; Fernandes, Fabrício F A; Tomaz, Marcelo Amorim; Gaban, Glauco A; Fonseca, Tatiane F; Calil-Elias, Sabrina; Oliveira, Suellen D S; Silva, Claudia L M; Martinez, Ana Maria Blanco; Melo, Paulo A

    2013-06-01

    In this work we evaluated the ability of suramin, a polysulfonated naphthylurea derivative, to antagonize the cytotoxic and enzymatic effects of the crude venom of Apis mellifera. Suramin was efficient to decrease the lethality in a dose-dependent way. The hemoconcentration caused by lethal dose injection of bee venom was abolished by suramin (30 μg/g). The edematogenic activity of the venom (0.3 μg/g) was antagonized by suramin (10 μg/g) in all treatment protocols. The changes in the vascular permeability caused by A. mellifera (1 μg/g) venom were inhibited by suramin (30 μg/g) in the pre- and posttreatment as well as when the venom was preincubated with suramin. In addition, suramin also inhibited cultured endothelial cell lesion, as well as in vitro myotoxicity, evaluated in mouse extensor digitorum longus muscle, which was inhibited by suramin (10 and 25 μM), decreasing the rate of CK release, showing that suramin protected the sarcolemma against damage induced by components of bee venom (2.5 μg/mL). Moreover, suramin inhibited the in vivo myotoxicity induced by i.m. injection of A. mellifera venom in mice (0.5 μg/g). The analysis of the area under the plasma CK vs. time curve showed that preincubation, pre- and posttreatment with suramin (30 μg/g) inhibited bee venom myotoxic activity in mice by about 89%, 45% and 40%, respectively. Suramin markedly inhibited the PLA2 activity in a concentration-dependent way (1-30 μM). Being suramin a polyanion molecule, the effects observed may be due to the interaction of its charges with the polycation components present in A. mellifera bee venom. PMID:23474269

  7. Practical applications of snake venom toxins in haemostasis.

    PubMed

    Marsh, Neville; Williams, Vaughan

    2005-06-15

    Snake venom toxins affecting haemostasis have facilitated extensively the routine assays of haemostatic parameters in the coagulation laboratory. Snake venom thrombin-like enzymes (SVTLE) are used for fibrinogen/fibrinogen breakdown product assay and for the detection of fibrinogen dysfunction. SVTLE are not inhibited by heparin and can thus can be used for assaying antithrombin III and other haemostatic variables in heparin-containing samples. Snake venoms are a rich source of prothrombin activators and these are utilised in prothrombin assays, for studying dysprothrombinaemias and for preparing meizothrombin and non-enzymic forms of prothrombin. Russell's viper (Daboia russelli) venom (RVV) contains toxins which have been used to assay blood clotting factors V, VII, X, platelet factor 3 and, importantly, lupus anticoagulants (LA). Other prothrombin activators (from the taipan, Australian brown snake and saw-scaled viper) have now been used to assay LA. Protein C and activated protein C resistance can be measured by means of RVV and Protac, a fast acting inhibitor from Southern copperhead snake venom and von Willebrand factor can be studied with botrocetin from Bothrops jararaca venom. The disintegrins, a large family of Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD)-containing snake venom proteins, show potential for studying platelet glycoprotein receptors, notably, GPIIb/IIIa and Ib. Snake venom toxins affecting haemostasis are also used in the therapeutic setting: Ancrod (from the Malayan pit viper, Calloselasma rhodostoma), in particular, has been used as an anticoagulant to achieve 'therapeutic defibrination'. Other snake venom proteins show promise in the treatment of a range of haemostatic disorders. PMID:15922782

  8. Enzymatic analysis of venom from Cuban scorpion Rhopalurus junceus.

    PubMed

    Díaz-García, Alexis; Ruiz-Fuentes, Jenny Laura; Yglesias-Rivera, Arianna; Rodríguez-Sánchez, Hermis; Riquenes Garlobo, Yanelis; Fleitas Martinez, Osmel; Fraga Castro, José A

    2015-01-01

    Rhopalurus junceus scorpion venom has been identified as a natural extract with anticancer potential. Interestingly, this scorpion venom does not cause adverse symptoms in humans. However, there is scarce information about its composition and enzymatic activity. In this work, we determined the electrophoretic profile of the venom, the gelatinase and caseinolytic activity, and the phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and hemolytic activity. The effect of different venom doses (6.25, 12.5 and 25 mg/kg) on gastrocnemius muscle was also measured as CK and LDH activity in serum. The presence of hyaluronidase was determined by turbidimetric assay. The effect of different fractions obtained by gel filtration chromatography were evaluated at different concentrations (0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.4, 0.6mg/ml) against lung cancer cell A549 and lung normal cell MRC-5 using MTT assay. The electrophoretic profile demonstrated the presence of proteins bands around 67kDa, 43kDa, 18.4kDa and a majority band below 14.3kDa. The venom did not showed caseinolytic, gelatinase, PLA2 and hemolytic activity even at highest venom concentration used in the study. Scorpion venom only showed a significant toxic effect on gastrocnemius muscles identified by CK and LDH release after subcutaneous injection of 12.5 and 25mg/kg. Low molecular weight fractions (<4kDa) induced a significant cytotoxicity in A549 cells while high molecular weight proteins (45-60kDa) were responsible for hyaluronidase activity and toxic effect against MRC-5. Experiments indicate that Rhopalurus junceus scorpion venom has low enzymatic activity, which could contribute to the low toxic potential of this scorpion venom. PMID:26605039

  9. Production and packaging of a biological arsenal: evolution of centipede venoms under morphological constraint.

    PubMed

    Undheim, Eivind A B; Hamilton, Brett R; Kurniawan, Nyoman D; Bowlay, Greg; Cribb, Bronwen W; Merritt, David J; Fry, Bryan G; King, Glenn F; Venter, Deon J

    2015-03-31

    Venom represents one of the most extreme manifestations of a chemical arms race. Venoms are complex biochemical arsenals, often containing hundreds to thousands of unique protein toxins. Despite their utility for prey capture, venoms are energetically expensive commodities, and consequently it is hypothesized that venom complexity is inversely related to the capacity of a venomous animal to physically subdue prey. Centipedes, one of the oldest yet least-studied venomous lineages, appear to defy this rule. Although scutigeromorph centipedes produce less complex venom than those secreted by scolopendrid centipedes, they appear to rely heavily on venom for prey capture. We show that the venom glands are large and well developed in both scutigerid and scolopendrid species, but that scutigerid forcipules lack the adaptations that allow scolopendrids to inflict physical damage on prey and predators. Moreover, we reveal that scolopendrid venom glands have evolved to accommodate a much larger number of secretory cells and, by using imaging mass spectrometry, we demonstrate that toxin production is heterogeneous across these secretory units. We propose that the differences in venom complexity between centipede orders are largely a result of morphological restrictions of the venom gland, and consequently there is a strong correlation between the morphological and biochemical complexity of this unique venom system. The current data add to the growing body of evidence that toxins are not expressed in a spatially homogenous manner within venom glands, and they suggest that the link between ecology and toxin evolution is more complex than previously thought. PMID:25775536

  10. Production and packaging of a biological arsenal: Evolution of centipede venoms under morphological constraint

    PubMed Central

    Undheim, Eivind A. B.; Hamilton, Brett R.; Kurniawan, Nyoman D.; Bowlay, Greg; Cribb, Bronwen W.; Merritt, David J.; Fry, Bryan G.; King, Glenn F.; Venter, Deon J.

    2015-01-01

    Venom represents one of the most extreme manifestations of a chemical arms race. Venoms are complex biochemical arsenals, often containing hundreds to thousands of unique protein toxins. Despite their utility for prey capture, venoms are energetically expensive commodities, and consequently it is hypothesized that venom complexity is inversely related to the capacity of a venomous animal to physically subdue prey. Centipedes, one of the oldest yet least-studied venomous lineages, appear to defy this rule. Although scutigeromorph centipedes produce less complex venom than those secreted by scolopendrid centipedes, they appear to rely heavily on venom for prey capture. We show that the venom glands are large and well developed in both scutigerid and scolopendrid species, but that scutigerid forcipules lack the adaptations that allow scolopendrids to inflict physical damage on prey and predators. Moreover, we reveal that scolopendrid venom glands have evolved to accommodate a much larger number of secretory cells and, by using imaging mass spectrometry, we demonstrate that toxin production is heterogeneous across these secretory units. We propose that the differences in venom complexity between centipede orders are largely a result of morphological restrictions of the venom gland, and consequently there is a strong correlation between the morphological and biochemical complexity of this unique venom system. The current data add to the growing body of evidence that toxins are not expressed in a spatially homogenous manner within venom glands, and they suggest that the link between ecology and toxin evolution is more complex than previously thought. PMID:25775536

  11. Immobilizing and lethal effects of spider venoms on the cockroach and the common mealbeetle.

    PubMed

    Friedel, T; Nentwig, W

    1989-01-01

    Immobilizing and lethal effects of the venoms obtained from six spider species (Brachypelma albopilosum, Atrax robustus, Cupiennius salei, Selenops mexicanus, Tegenaria atrica, Argiope bruennichi) were tested on Blatta orientalis (cockroach) and Tenebrio molitor (common mealbeetle). The immobilizing effects were quantified by measuring insect locomotor activity in circle arenas observed over 72 hr after venom injection. Both insect species showed cramps, quivering and jerking of the limbs as well as flaccid paralysis after venom injection. Through relative toxicity of the venoms tested is the same in T. molitor and B. orientalis, T. molitor is absolutely less sensitive to spider venoms. The effects on locomotor activity show time characteristics specific for each venom. A dependence of the venom paralyzing effects on insect locomotor activity, low intensity of the initial excitatory phase of the venom effects and partial recovery of the insects was found with A. bruennichi and T. atrica venom. The maximal venom yields of A. bruennichi and S. mexicanus are not lethal to B. orientalis, indicating that the mere immobilizing effects of spider venoms are far more crucial to prey capture than their lethal effects. The contribution of a variety of differently acting neurotoxic components in spider venoms to the observed venom effects on insects and the significance of the venoms in spider nutrition, hunting behaviour and ecology are discussed. PMID:2728023

  12. Snake venomics of monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia) and investigation of human IgG response against venom toxins.

    PubMed

    Laustsen, Andreas H; Gutiérrez, José María; Lohse, Brian; Rasmussen, Arne R; Fernández, Julián; Milbo, Christina; Lomonte, Bruno

    2015-06-01

    The venom proteome of the monocled cobra, Naja kaouthia, from Thailand, was characterized by RP-HPLC, SDS-PAGE, and MALDI-TOF-TOF analyses, yielding 38 different proteins that were either identified or assigned to families. Estimation of relative protein abundances revealed that venom is dominated by three-finger toxins (77.5%; including 24.3% cytotoxins and 53.2% neurotoxins) and phospholipases A2 (13.5%). It also contains lower proportions of components belonging to nerve growth factor, ohanin/vespryn, cysteine-rich secretory protein, C-type lectin/lectin-like, nucleotidase, phosphodiesterase, metalloproteinase, l-amino acid oxidase, cobra venom factor, and cytidyltransferase protein families. Small amounts of three nucleosides were also evidenced: adenosine, guanosine, and inosine. The most relevant lethal components, categorized by means of a 'toxicity score', were α-neurotoxins, followed by cytotoxins/cardiotoxins. IgGs isolated from a person who had repeatedly self-immunized with a variety of snake venoms were immunoprofiled by ELISA against all venom fractions. Stronger responses against larger toxins, but lower against the most critical α-neurotoxins were obtained. As expected, no neutralization potential against N. kaouthia venom was therefore detected. Combined, our results display a high level of venom complexity, unveil the most relevant toxins to be neutralized, and provide prospects of discovering human IgGs with toxin neutralizing abilities through use of phage display screening. PMID:25771242

  13. Neurotoxin localization to ectodermal gland cells uncovers an alternative mechanism of venom delivery in sea anemones.

    PubMed

    Moran, Yehu; Genikhovich, Grigory; Gordon, Dalia; Wienkoop, Stefanie; Zenkert, Claudia; Ozbek, Suat; Technau, Ulrich; Gurevitz, Michael

    2012-04-01

    Jellyfish, hydras, corals and sea anemones (phylum Cnidaria) are known for their venomous stinging cells, nematocytes, used for prey and defence. Here we show, however, that the potent Type I neurotoxin of the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis, Nv1, is confined to ectodermal gland cells rather than nematocytes. We demonstrate massive Nv1 secretion upon encounter with a crustacean prey. Concomitant discharge of nematocysts probably pierces the prey, expediting toxin penetration. Toxin efficiency in sea water is further demonstrated by the rapid paralysis of fish or crustacean larvae upon application of recombinant Nv1 into their medium. Analysis of other anemone species reveals that in Anthopleura elegantissima, Type I neurotoxins also appear in gland cells, whereas in the common species Anemonia viridis, Type I toxins are localized to both nematocytes and ectodermal gland cells. The nematocyte-based and gland cell-based envenomation mechanisms may reflect substantial differences in the ecology and feeding habits of sea anemone species. Overall, the immunolocalization of neurotoxins to gland cells changes the common view in the literature that sea anemone neurotoxins are produced and delivered only by stinging nematocytes, and raises the possibility that this toxin-secretion mechanism is an ancestral evolutionary state of the venom delivery machinery in sea anemones. PMID:22048953

  14. The insecticidal potential of venom peptides.

    PubMed

    Smith, Jennifer J; Herzig, Volker; King, Glenn F; Alewood, Paul F

    2013-10-01

    Pest insect species are a burden to humans as they destroy crops and serve as vectors for a wide range of diseases including malaria and dengue. Chemical insecticides are currently the dominant approach for combating these pests. However, the de-registration of key classes of chemical insecticides due to their perceived ecological and human health risks in combination with the development of insecticide resistance in many pest insect populations has created an urgent need for improved methods of insect pest control. The venoms of arthropod predators such as spiders and scorpions are a promising source of novel insecticidal peptides that often have different modes of action to extant chemical insecticides. These peptides have been optimized via a prey-predator arms race spanning hundreds of millions of years to target specific types of insect ion channels and receptors. Here we review the current literature on insecticidal venom peptides, with a particular focus on their structural and pharmacological diversity, and discuss their potential for deployment as insecticides. PMID:23525661

  15. Spider-Venom Peptides as Bioinsecticides

    PubMed Central

    Windley, Monique J.; Herzig, Volker; Dziemborowicz, Sławomir A.; Hardy, Margaret C.; King, Glenn F.; Nicholson, Graham M.

    2012-01-01

    Over 10,000 arthropod species are currently considered to be pest organisms. They are estimated to contribute to the destruction of ~14% of the world’s annual crop production and transmit many pathogens. Presently, arthropod pests of agricultural and health significance are controlled predominantly through the use of chemical insecticides. Unfortunately, the widespread use of these agrochemicals has resulted in genetic selection pressure that has led to the development of insecticide-resistant arthropods, as well as concerns over human health and the environment. Bioinsecticides represent a new generation of insecticides that utilise organisms or their derivatives (e.g., transgenic plants, recombinant baculoviruses, toxin-fusion proteins and peptidomimetics) and show promise as environmentally-friendly alternatives to conventional agrochemicals. Spider-venom peptides are now being investigated as potential sources of bioinsecticides. With an estimated 100,000 species, spiders are one of the most successful arthropod predators. Their venom has proven to be a rich source of hyperstable insecticidal mini-proteins that cause insect paralysis or lethality through the modulation of ion channels, receptors and enzymes. Many newly characterized insecticidal spider toxins target novel sites in insects. Here we review the structure and pharmacology of these toxins and discuss the potential of this vast peptide library for the discovery of novel bioinsecticides. PMID:22741062

  16. Expression pattern of three-finger toxin and phospholipase A2 genes in the venom glands of two sea snakes, Lapemis curtus and Acalyptophis peronii: comparison of evolution of these toxins in land snakes, sea kraits and sea snakes

    PubMed Central

    Pahari, Susanta; Bickford, David; Fry, Bryan G; Kini, R Manjunatha

    2007-01-01

    Background Snake venom composition varies widely both among closely related species and within the same species, based on ecological variables. In terrestrial snakes, such variation has been proposed to be due to snakes' diet. Land snakes target various prey species including insects (arthropods), lizards (reptiles), frogs and toads (amphibians), birds (aves), and rodents (mammals), whereas sea snakes target a single vertebrate class (fishes) and often specialize on specific types of fish. It is therefore interesting to examine the evolution of toxins in sea snake venoms compared to that of land snakes. Results Here we describe the expression of toxin genes in the venom glands of two sea snakes, Lapemis curtus (Spine-bellied Sea Snake) and Acalyptophis peronii (Horned Sea Snake), two members of a large adaptive radiation which occupy very different ecological niches. We constructed cDNA libraries from their venom glands and sequenced 214 and 192 clones, respectively. Our data show that despite their explosive evolutionary radiation, there is very little variability in the three-finger toxin (3FTx) as well as the phospholipase A2 (PLA2) enzymes, the two main constituents of Lapemis curtus and Acalyptophis peronii venom. To understand the evolutionary trends among land snakes, sea snakes and sea kraits, pairwise genetic distances (intraspecific and interspecific) of 3FTx and PLA2 sequences were calculated. Results show that these proteins appear to be highly conserved in sea snakes in contrast to land snakes or sea kraits, despite their extremely divergent and adaptive ecological radiation. Conclusion Based on these results, we suggest that streamlining in habitat and diet in sea snakes has possibly kept their toxin genes conserved, suggesting the idea that prey composition and diet breadth may contribute to the diversity and evolution of venom components. PMID:17900344

  17. Spitting cobras adjust their venom distribution to target distance.

    PubMed

    Berthé, Ruben Andres; de Pury, Stéphanie; Bleckmann, Horst; Westhoff, Guido

    2009-08-01

    If threatened by a human, spitting cobras defend themselves by ejecting their venom toward the face of the antagonist. Circulating head movements of the cobra ensure that the venom is distributed over the face. To assure an optimal distribution of the venom, the amplitudes of head movements should decrease with increasing target distance. To find out whether cobras (Naja pallida and N. nigricollis) adjust their spitting behavior according to target distance we induced spitting from different distances and analyzed their spitting patterns. Our results show that the spray pattern of spitting cobras is not fixed. Instead the snake matches its venom distribution to the size of the target independent of target distance. PMID:19462171

  18. [Cytotoxicity induced by Peruvian snake venom on fibroblasts of mice].

    PubMed

    Goñi, M; Vaisberg, A; Zavaleta, A

    1992-04-01

    The cytotoxic effect of venoms from six crotalinae Peruvian snakes (Bothrops atrox; B. brazili; B. pictus; B. barnetti; Lachesis m. muta y Crotalus durissus terrificus) was studied in an in vitro system of BALB/c 3T3 fibroblasts grown in Dulbecco modified minimal essential medium at 37 degrees C in a humidified atmosphere of 5% CO2-95% air. The viability of the cells was evaluated 24 hours after the treatment with the different venoms, using the method of exclusion of trypan blue. The six venoms produced cytotoxic effects at 24 hours on the 3T3 fibroblasts. The venom from B. atrox was the most potent (DE50 = 162 ng/ml) and that from B. barnetti the least (DE50 = 7182 ng/ml). PMID:1297169

  19. Pro and antiinflammatory properties of toxins from animal venoms.

    PubMed

    Farsky, Sandra H P; Antunes, Edson; Mello, Suzana B V

    2005-06-01

    Accidents evoked by venomous animals are common in tropical regions. In Brazil, envenomation evoked by snakes, spiders and scorpions are an important public health problem. Their venoms are composed of a great number of toxins, which are capable of acting on tissue and plasma components with consequent toxic and pharmacological effects. On the other hand, the diversity of venom composition makes them important source of toxins that can be employed as scientific tools. Here we describe the mechanisms of anti and pro-inflammatory properties of toxins of Bothrops and Crotalus genus snakes and Loxosceles and Phoneutria genus spider venoms. The emphasis was to summarise, both in vivo and in vitro, studies that focused on the action of phospholipases, metalloproteinases and sphingomyelinase D on vascular and cellular aspects of the process as well as the complex network of chemical mediators involved. PMID:16101549

  20. Snake venoms. The amino acid sequences of two proteinase inhibitor homologues from Dendroaspis angusticeps venom.

    PubMed

    Joubert, F J; Taljaard, N

    1980-05-01

    Toxins C13S1C3 and C13S2C3 from D. angusticeps venom were purified by gel filtration and ion exchange chromatography. Whereas C13S1C3 contains 57 amino acids, C13S2C3 contains 59 but each include six half-cystine residues. The complete primary structure of the low toxicity proteins have been elucidated. The sequences and the invariant residues of toxins C13S1C3 and C13S2C3 from D. angusticeps venom resemble, respectively, those of the proteinase inhibitor homologues K and I from D. polylepis polylepis venom and they are also homologous to the active proteinase inhibitors from various sources. In C13S1C3 and K the active site lysyl residue of active bovine pancreatic proteinase inhibitor is conserved but the site residue alanine, is replaced by lysine. In C13S2C3 and I the active site residue is replaced by tyrosine. PMID:7429422

  1. Reproductive toxic effects of Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom in rats.

    PubMed

    Cruttenden, Karen; Nencioni, Ana Leonor A; Bernardi, Maria Martha; Dorce, Valquiria A C

    2008-08-01

    Tityus serrulatus is the most venomous scorpion in Brazil. Little is known about the effect of maternal exposure to the venom on fetal development. We investigated the effect of low to moderate doses of the venom (0.3 or 1.0 mg/kg s.c. on either day 5 or day 10 of gestation) on pregnant rats and on their offspring. For dams, we observed their body weight gain and reproductive parameters. For the offspring, we observed their body weight and weight of internal organs and the number of live and dead fetuses, and we investigated whether the venom caused external, visceral, skeletal or histopathological alterations in the offspring. The offspring were examined on gestational day 21. Injection of the venom on gestational day 5 did not change the reproductive parameters of the dams, their weight or fetuses' weight. Rats that received the high dose of the venom (1.0 mg/kg) on gestational day 10 had heavier placentas and heavier fetuses with heavier lungs. Injections on day 10 of gestation did not alter the reproductive parameters of the dams nor their weight gain at either dose. The venom did not cause malformations of the fetal skeleton or viscera and did not delay fetal development with either dose. In conclusion, subcutaneous administration of 0.3 or 1.0 mg/kg T. serrulatus venom to pregnant Wistar rats at either day 5 or day 10 of gestation did not cause maternal or clear fetal toxicity. Subtle increases in placental weight and fetal body and lung weights observed following treatment with 1.0 mg/kg on day 10 of gestation were not associated with histopathological findings. Whether these observations represent a reaction to treatment and, if so, the underlying mechanisms and their toxicological impact remain to be examined further in future studies. PMID:18550329

  2. Neuromuscular activity of Bothrops fonsecai snake venom in vertebrate preparations

    PubMed Central

    Fernandes, Carla T; Giaretta, Vânia MA; Prudêncio, Luiz S; Toledo, Edvana O; da Silva, Igor RF; Collaço, Rita CO; Barbosa, Ana M; Hyslop, Stephen; Rodrigues-Simioni, Léa; Cogo, José C

    2014-01-01

    The neuromuscular activity of venom from Bothrops fonsecai, a lancehead endemic to southeastern Brazil, was investigated. Chick biventer cervicis (CBC) and mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm (PND) preparations were used for myographic recordings and mouse diaphragm muscle was used for membrane resting potential (RP) and miniature end-plate potential (MEPP) recordings. Creatine kinase release and muscle damage were also assessed. In CBC, venom (40, 80 and 160μg/ml) produced concentration- and time-dependent neuromuscular blockade (50% blockade in 85±9 min and 73±8 min with 80 and 160μg/ml, respectively) and attenuated the contractures to 110μM ACh (78–100% inhibition) and 40mM KCl (45–90% inhibition). The venom-induced decrease in twitch-tension in curarized, directly-stimulated preparations was similar to that in indirectly stimulated preparations. Venom (100 and 200μg/ml) also caused blockade in PND preparations (50% blockade in 94±13 min and 49±8 min with 100 and 200μg/ml, respectively) but did not alter the RP or MEPP amplitude. In CBC, venom caused creatine kinase release and myonecrosis. The venom-induced decrease in twitch-tension and in the contractures to ACh and K+ were abolished by preincubating venom with commercial antivenom. These findings indicate that Bothrops fonsecai venom interferes with neuromuscular transmission essentially through postsynaptic muscle damage that affects responses to ACh and KCl. These actions are effectively prevented by commercial antivenom. PMID:25028603

  3. Venomic Analysis of the Poorly Studied Desert Coral Snake, Micrurus tschudii tschudii, Supports the 3FTx/PLA2 Dichotomy across Micrurus Venoms

    PubMed Central

    Sanz, Libia; Pla, Davinia; Pérez, Alicia; Rodríguez, Yania; Zavaleta, Alfonso; Salas, Maria; Lomonte, Bruno; Calvete, Juan J.

    2016-01-01

    The venom proteome of the poorly studied desert coral snake Micrurus tschudii tschudii was unveiled using a venomic approach, which identified ≥38 proteins belonging to only four snake venom protein families. The three-finger toxins (3FTxs) constitute, both in number of isoforms (~30) and total abundance (93.6% of the venom proteome), the major protein family of the desert coral snake venom. Phospholipases A2 (PLA2s; seven isoforms, 4.1% of the venom proteome), 1–3 Kunitz-type proteins (1.6%), and 1–2 l-amino acid oxidases (LAO, 0.7%) complete the toxin arsenal of M. t. tschudii. Our results add to the growing evidence that the occurrence of two divergent venom phenotypes, i.e., 3FTx- and PLA2-predominant venom proteomes, may constitute a general trend across the cladogenesis of Micrurus. The occurrence of a similar pattern of venom phenotypic variability among true sea snake (Hydrophiinae) venoms suggests that the 3FTx/PLA2 dichotomy may be widely distributed among Elapidae venoms. PMID:27338473

  4. Venomic Analysis of the Poorly Studied Desert Coral Snake, Micrurus tschudii tschudii, Supports the 3FTx/PLA₂ Dichotomy across Micrurus Venoms.

    PubMed

    Sanz, Libia; Pla, Davinia; Pérez, Alicia; Rodríguez, Yania; Zavaleta, Alfonso; Salas, Maria; Lomonte, Bruno; Calvete, Juan J

    2016-01-01

    The venom proteome of the poorly studied desert coral snake Micrurus tschudii tschudii was unveiled using a venomic approach, which identified ≥38 proteins belonging to only four snake venom protein families. The three-finger toxins (3FTxs) constitute, both in number of isoforms (~30) and total abundance (93.6% of the venom proteome), the major protein family of the desert coral snake venom. Phospholipases A₂ (PLA₂s; seven isoforms, 4.1% of the venom proteome), 1-3 Kunitz-type proteins (1.6%), and 1-2 l-amino acid oxidases (LAO, 0.7%) complete the toxin arsenal of M. t. tschudii. Our results add to the growing evidence that the occurrence of two divergent venom phenotypes, i.e., 3FTx- and PLA₂-predominant venom proteomes, may constitute a general trend across the cladogenesis of Micrurus. The occurrence of a similar pattern of venom phenotypic variability among true sea snake (Hydrophiinae) venoms suggests that the 3FTx/PLA₂ dichotomy may be widely distributed among Elapidae venoms. PMID:27338473

  5. Venom gland components of the ectoparasitoid wasp, Anisopteromalus calandrae

    PubMed Central

    Perkin, Lindsey C; Friesen, Kenlee S; Flinn, Paul W; Oppert, Brenda

    2015-01-01

    The wasp Anisopteromalus calandrae is a small ectoparasitoid that attacks stored product pest beetle larvae that develop inside grain kernels, and is thus a potential insect control tool. The components of A. calandrae venom have not been studied, but venom from other organisms contains proteins with potential applications, such as pest management tools and treatments for human diseases. We dissected female A. calandrae and collected venom and associated glands. Using high throughput sequencing, a venom gland transcriptome was assembled that contained 45,432 contigs, 25,726 of which had BLASTx hits. The majority of hits were to Nasonia vitripennis, an ectoparasitoid from the same taxonomic family, as well as other bees, wasps, and ants. Gene ontology grouped sequences into eleven molecular functions, among which binding and catalytic activity had the most representatives. In this study, we highlighted the most abundant sequences, including those that are likely the functional components of the venom. Specifically, we focused on genes encoding proteins potentially involved in host developmental arrest, disrupting the host immune system, host paralysis, and transcripts that support these functions. Our report is the first to characterize components of the A. calandrae venom gland that may be useful as control tools for insect pests and other applications. PMID:26998218

  6. First evidence of a venom delivery apparatus in extinct mammals.

    PubMed

    Fox, Richard C; Scott, Craig S

    2005-06-23

    Numerous non-mammalian vertebrates have evolved lethal venoms to aid either in securing prey or as protection from predators, but modern mammals that use venoms in these ways are rare, including only the duck-billed platypus (Ornithorhynchus), the Caribbean Solenodon, and a few shrews (Soricidae) (Order Insectivora). Here we report evidence of a venom delivery apparatus in extinct mammals, documented by well-preserved specimens recovered from late Palaeocene rocks in Alberta, Canada. Although classified within Eutheria, these mammals are phylogenetically remote from modern Insectivora and have evolved specialized teeth as salivary venom delivery systems (VDSs) that differ markedly from one another and from those of Solenodon and shrews. Our discoveries therefore show that mammals have been much more flexible in the evolution of VDSs than previously believed, contradicting currently held notions that modern insectivorans are representative of the supposedly limited role of salivary venoms in mammalian history. Evidently, small predatory eutherians have paralleled colubroid snakes in evolving salivary venoms and their delivery systems several times independently. PMID:15973406

  7. Characterization of a Venom Peptide from a Crassispirid Gastropod

    PubMed Central

    Cabang, April B.; Imperial, Julita S.; Gajewiak, Joanna; Watkins, Maren; Corneli, Patrice Showers; Olivera, Baldomero M.; Concepcion, Gisela P.

    2011-01-01

    The crassispirids are a large branch of venomous marine gastropods whose venoms have not been investigated previously. We demonstrate that crassispirids comprise a major group of toxoglossate snails in a clade distinct from all turrids whose venoms have been analyzed. The isolation and biochemical definition of the first venom component from any crassispirid is described. Crassipeptide cce9a from Crassispira cerithina (Anton, 1838) was purified from crude venom by following biological activity elicited in young mice, lethargy and a lack of responsiveness to external stimuli. Using Edman sequencing and mass spectrometry, the purified peptide was shown to be 29 amino acid residues long, with the sequence: GSCGLPCHENRRCGWACYCDDGICKPLRV. The sequence assignment was verified through the analysis of a cDNA clone encoding the peptide. The peptide was chemically synthesized and folded; the synthetic peptide was biologically active and coelution with the native venom peptide was demonstrated. When injected into mice of various ages, the peptide elicited a striking shift in behavioral phenotype between 14 and 16 days, from lethargy to hyperactivity. PMID:21939682

  8. Lonomia obliqua venomous secretion induces human platelet adhesion and aggregation.

    PubMed

    Berger, Markus; Reck, José; Terra, Renata M S; Beys da Silva, Walter O; Santi, Lucélia; Pinto, Antônio F M; Vainstein, Marilene H; Termignoni, Carlos; Guimarães, Jorge A

    2010-10-01

    The caterpillar Lonomia obliqua is a venomous animal that causes numerous accidents, especially in southern Brazil, where it is considered a public health problem. The clinical manifestations include several haemostatic disturbances that lead to a hemorrhagic syndrome. Considering that platelets play a central role in hemostasis, in this work we investigate the effects of L. obliqua venomous secretion upon blood platelets responses in vitro. Results obtained shows that L. obliqua venom directly induces aggregation and ATP secretion in human washed platelets in a dose-dependent manner. Electron microscopy studies clearly showed that the venomous bristle extract was also able to produce direct platelets shape change and adhesion as well as activation and formation of platelet aggregates. Differently from other enzyme inhibitors, the venom-induced platelet aggregation was significatively inhibited by p-bromophenacyl bromide, a specific inhibitor of phospholipases A2. Additional experiments with different pharmacological antagonists indicate that the aggregation response triggered by the venom active components occurs through a calcium-dependent mechanism involving arachidonic acid metabolite(s) of the cyclooxygenase pathway and activation of phosphodiesterase 3A, an enzyme that leads to the consumption of intracellular cAMP content. It was additionally found that L. obliqua-induced platelet aggregation was independent of ADP release. Altogether, these findings are in line with the need for a better understanding of the complex hemorrhagic syndrome resulting from the envenomation caused by L. obliqua caterpillars, and can also give new insights into the management of its clinical profile. PMID:20157842

  9. Ancient Venom Systems: A Review on Cnidaria Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Jouiaei, Mahdokht; Yanagihara, Angel A.; Madio, Bruno; Nevalainen, Timo J.; Alewood, Paul F.; Fry, Bryan G.

    2015-01-01

    Cnidarians are the oldest extant lineage of venomous animals. Despite their simple anatomy, they are capable of subduing or repelling prey and predator species that are far more complex and recently evolved. Utilizing specialized penetrating nematocysts, cnidarians inject the nematocyst content or “venom” that initiates toxic and immunological reactions in the envenomated organism. These venoms contain enzymes, potent pore forming toxins, and neurotoxins. Enzymes include lipolytic and proteolytic proteins that catabolize prey tissues. Cnidarian pore forming toxins self-assemble to form robust membrane pores that can cause cell death via osmotic lysis. Neurotoxins exhibit rapid ion channel specific activities. In addition, certain cnidarian venoms contain or induce the release of host vasodilatory biogenic amines such as serotonin, histamine, bunodosine and caissarone accelerating the pathogenic effects of other venom enzymes and porins. The cnidarian attacking/defending mechanism is fast and efficient, and massive envenomation of humans may result in death, in some cases within a few minutes to an hour after sting. The complexity of venom components represents a unique therapeutic challenge and probably reflects the ancient evolutionary history of the cnidarian venom system. Thus, they are invaluable as a therapeutic target for sting treatment or as lead compounds for drug design. PMID:26094698

  10. Geographical venom variations of the Southeast Asian monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia): venom-induced neuromuscular depression and antivenom neutralization.

    PubMed

    Tan, Kae Yi; Tan, Choo Hock; Sim, Si Mui; Fung, Shin Yee; Tan, Nget Hong

    2016-01-01

    The Southeast Asian monocled cobras (Naja kaouthia) exhibit geographical variations in their venom proteomes, especially on the composition of neurotoxins. This study compared the neuromuscular depressant activity of the venoms of N. kaouthia from Malaysia (NK-M), Thailand (NK-T) and Vietnam (NK-V), and the neutralization of neurotoxicity by a monospecific antivenom. On chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation, all venoms abolished the indirect twitches, with NK-T venom being the most potent (shortest t90, time to 90% twitch inhibition), followed by NK-V and NK-M. Acetylcholine and carbachol failed to reverse the blockade, indicating irreversible/pseudo-irreversible post-synaptic neuromuscular blockade. KCl restored the twitches variably (NK-M preparation being the least responsive), consistent with different degree of muscle damage. The findings support that NK-T venom has the most abundant curarimimetic alpha-neurotoxins, while NK-M venom contains more tissue-damaging cytotoxins. Pre-incubation of tissue with N. kaouthia monovalent antivenom (NKMAV) prevented venom-induced twitch depression, with the NK-T preparation needing the largest antivenom dose. NKMAV added after the onset of neuromuscular depression could only halt the inhibitory progression but failed to restore full contraction. The findings highlight the urgency of early antivenom administration to sequester as much circulating neurotoxins as possible, thereby hastening toxin elimination from the circulation. In envenomed mice, NKMAV administered upon the first neurological sign neutralized the neurotoxic effect, with the slowest full recovery noticed in the NK-T group. This is consistent with the high abundance of neurotoxins in the NK-T venom, implying that a larger amount or repeated dosing of NKMAV may be required in NK-T envenomation. PMID:26972756