Science.gov

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 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

  4. 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

  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 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

  13. 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

  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. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  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. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  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. 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.

  20. 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

  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. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  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. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  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

    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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  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. 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

  7. 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

  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. 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

  11. 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

  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

    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

  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. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  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. 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

  14. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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)

  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. 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

  1. 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

  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. 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

  7. 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

  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 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

  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

    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. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  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. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  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. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. [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

  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. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  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. 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

  19. [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

  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. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  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

  11. Venom-related transcripts from Bothrops jararaca tissues provide novel molecular insights into the production and evolution of snake venom.

    PubMed

    Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L M; Bastos, Carolina Mancini Val; Ho, Paulo Lee; Luna, Milene Schmidt; Yamanouye, Norma; Casewell, Nicholas R

    2015-03-01

    Attempts to reconstruct the evolutionary history of snake toxins in the context of their co-option to the venom gland rarely account for nonvenom snake genes that are paralogous to toxins, and which therefore represent important connectors to ancestral genes. In order to reevaluate this process, we conducted a comparative transcriptomic survey on body tissues from a venomous snake. A nonredundant set of 33,000 unigenes (assembled transcripts of reference genes) was independently assembled from six organs of the medically important viperid snake Bothrops jararaca, providing a reference list of 82 full-length toxins from the venom gland and specific products from other tissues, such as pancreatic digestive enzymes. Unigenes were then screened for nontoxin transcripts paralogous to toxins revealing 1) low level coexpression of approximately 20% of toxin genes (e.g., bradykinin-potentiating peptide, C-type lectin, snake venom metalloproteinase, snake venom nerve growth factor) in body tissues, 2) the identity of the closest paralogs to toxin genes in eight classes of toxins, 3) the location and level of paralog expression, indicating that, in general, co-expression occurs in a higher number of tissues and at lower levels than observed for toxin genes, and 4) strong evidence of a toxin gene reverting back to selective expression in a body tissue. In addition, our differential gene expression analyses identify specific cellular processes that make the venom gland a highly specialized secretory tissue. Our results demonstrate that the evolution and production of venom in snakes is a complex process that can only be understood in the context of comparative data from other snake tissues, including the identification of genes paralogous to venom toxins. PMID:25502939

  12. Venom-Related Transcripts from Bothrops jararaca Tissues Provide Novel Molecular Insights into the Production and Evolution of Snake Venom

    PubMed Central

    Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L.M.; Bastos, Carolina Mancini Val; Ho, Paulo Lee; Luna, Milene Schmidt; Yamanouye, Norma; Casewell, Nicholas R.

    2015-01-01

    Attempts to reconstruct the evolutionary history of snake toxins in the context of their co-option to the venom gland rarely account for nonvenom snake genes that are paralogous to toxins, and which therefore represent important connectors to ancestral genes. In order to reevaluate this process, we conducted a comparative transcriptomic survey on body tissues from a venomous snake. A nonredundant set of 33,000 unigenes (assembled transcripts of reference genes) was independently assembled from six organs of the medically important viperid snake Bothrops jararaca, providing a reference list of 82 full-length toxins from the venom gland and specific products from other tissues, such as pancreatic digestive enzymes. Unigenes were then screened for nontoxin transcripts paralogous to toxins revealing 1) low level coexpression of approximately 20% of toxin genes (e.g., bradykinin-potentiating peptide, C-type lectin, snake venom metalloproteinase, snake venom nerve growth factor) in body tissues, 2) the identity of the closest paralogs to toxin genes in eight classes of toxins, 3) the location and level of paralog expression, indicating that, in general, co-expression occurs in a higher number of tissues and at lower levels than observed for toxin genes, and 4) strong evidence of a toxin gene reverting back to selective expression in a body tissue. In addition, our differential gene expression analyses identify specific cellular processes that make the venom gland a highly specialized secretory tissue. Our results demonstrate that the evolution and production of venom in snakes is a complex process that can only be understood in the context of comparative data from other snake tissues, including the identification of genes paralogous to venom toxins. PMID:25502939

  13. Assessment of immunogenic characteristics of Hemiscorpius lepturus venom and its cross-reactivity with venoms from Androctonus crassicauda and Mesobuthus eupeus.

    PubMed

    Khanbashi, Shahin; Khodadadi, Ali; Assarehzadegan, Mohammad-Ali; Pipelzadeh, Mohammad Hassan; Vazirianzadeh, Babak; Hosseinzadeh, Mohsen; Rahmani, Ali Hassan; Asmar, Akbar

    2015-01-01

    Hemiscorpius lepturus (H. lepturus), one of the most venomous scorpions in tropical and sub-tropical areas, belongs to the Hemiscorpiidae family. Studies of antibodies in sera against the protein component of the venom from this organism can be of great use for the development of engineered variants of proteins for eventual use in the diagnosis/treatment of, and prevention of reactions to, stings. In the present in vitro study, the proteins of H. lepturus venom, which could specifically activate the production of immunoglobulin G (IgG) in victims accidently exposed to the venom from this scorpion, were evaluated and their cross-reactivity with venoms from two other important scorpion species including Androctonus crassicauda and Mesobuthus eupeus assessed. H. lepturus venom was analyzed with respect to its protein composition and its antigenic properties against antibodies found in sera collected from victims exposed to the venom of this scorpion within a previous 2-month period. The cross-reactivity of the H. lepturus venom with those from A. crassicauda and M. eupeus was assessed using ELISA and immunoblotting. Electrophoretic analysis of the venom of H. lepturus revealed several protein bands with weights of 8-116 KDa. The most frequent IgG-reactive bands in the test sera had weights of 34, 50, and 116 kDa. A weak cross-reactivity H. lepturus of venom with venoms from A. crassicauda and M. eupeus was detected. The results of immunoblotting and ELISA experiments revealed that H. lepturus venom activated the host immune response, leading to the production of a high titer of antibodies. Clearly, a determination of the major immunogenic components of H. lepturus venom could be valuable for future studies and ultimately of great importance for the potential production of recombinant or hypo-venom variants of these proteins. PMID:24946724

  14. Fish Dishes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Derby, Marie

    2003-01-01

    Describes an art project that was inspired by Greek pottery, specifically dishes shaped as fish. Explains that fourth-grade students drew a fish shape that was later used to create their clay version of the fish. Discusses how the students examined the pottery to make decisions about color and design. (CMK)

  15. Using a Novel Ontology to Inform the Discovery of Therapeutic Peptides from Animal Venoms.

    PubMed

    Romano, Joseph D; Tatonetti, Nicholas P

    2016-01-01

    Venoms and venom-derived compounds constitute a rich and largely unexplored source of potentially therapeutic compounds. To facilitate biomedical research, it is necessary to design a robust informatics infrastructure that will allow semantic computation of venom concepts in a standardized, consistent manner. We have designed an ontology of venom-related concepts - named Venom Ontology - that reuses an existing public data source: UniProt's Tox-Prot database. In addition to describing the ontology and its construction, we have performed three separate case studies demonstrating its utility: (1) An exploration of venom peptide similarity networks within specific genera; (2) A broad overview of the distribution of available data among common taxonomic groups spanning the known tree of life; and (3) An analysis of the distribution of venom complexity across those same taxonomic groups. Venom Ontology is publicly available on BioPortal at http://bioportal.bioontology.org/ontologies/CU-VO. PMID:27570672

  16. Venomics of the Australian eastern brown snake (Pseudonaja textilis): Detection of new venom proteins and splicing variants.

    PubMed

    Viala, Vincent Louis; Hildebrand, Diana; Trusch, Maria; Fucase, Tamara Mieco; Sciani, Juliana Mozer; Pimenta, Daniel Carvalho; Arni, Raghuvir K; Schlüter, Hartmut; Betzel, Christian; Mirtschin, Peter; Dunstan, Nathan; Spencer, Patrick Jack

    2015-12-01

    The eastern brown snake is the predominant cause of snakebites in mainland Australia. Its venom induces defibrination coagulopathy, renal failure and microangiopathic hemolytic anemia. Cardiovascular collapse has been described as an early cause of death in patients, but, so far, the mechanisms involved have not been fully identified. In the present work, we analysed the venome of Pseudonaja textilis by combining high throughput proteomics and transcriptomics, aiming to further characterize the components of this venom. The combination of these techniques in the analysis and identification of toxins, venom proteins and putative toxins allowed the sequence description and the identification of the following: prothrombinase coagulation factors, neurotoxic textilotoxin phospholipase A2 (PLA2) subunits and "acidic PLA2", three-finger toxins (3FTx) and the Kunitz-type protease inhibitor textilinin, venom metalloproteinase, C-type lectins, cysteine rich secretory proteins, calreticulin, dipeptidase 2, as well as evidences of Heloderma lizard peptides. Deep data-mining analysis revealed the secretion of a new transcript variant of venom coagulation factor 5a and the existence of a splicing variant of PLA2 modifying the UTR and signal peptide from a same mature protein. The transcriptome revealed the diversity of transcripts and mutations, and also indicates that splicing variants can be an important source of toxin variation. PMID:26079951

  17. New polypeptide components purified from mamba venom.

    PubMed

    Tytgat, J; Vandenberghe, I; Ulens, C; Van Beeumen, J

    2001-03-01

    New polypeptide components have been isolated from Dendroaspis angusticeps venom using chromatography. Two polypeptides containing 59 and 57 amino acids, called 'DaE1' and 'DaE2' respectively, have been purified to homogeneity and fully sequenced. Spectrometric analysis yielded masses of 6631.5 and 6389.0 Da, respectively. The polypeptides share 98 and 95% identity, respectively, with trypsin inhibitor E (DpE) of Dendroaspis polylepis polylepis. 'DaE' polypeptides inhibit Kv1.1 channels with an IC(50) value in the range of 300 nM. They can be considered as new dendrotoxins, albeit with fairly low affinity as compared to alpha-DTX. 'DaE' polypeptides do not affect Kir2.1 channels. PMID:11240130

  18. Insecticidal toxins from black widow spider venom

    PubMed Central

    Rohou, A.; Nield, J.; Ushkaryov, Y.A.

    2007-01-01

    The biological effects of Latrodectus spider venom are similar in animals from different phyla, but these symptoms are caused by distinct phylum-specific neurotoxins (collectively called latrotoxins) with molecular masses ranging from 110 to 140 kDa. To date, the venom has been found to contain five insecticidal toxins, termed α, β, γ, δ and ε-latroinsectotoxins (LITs). There is also a vertebrate-specific neurotoxin, α-latrotoxin (α-LTX), and one toxin affecting crustaceans, α-latrocrustatoxin (α-LCT). These toxins stimulate massive release of neurotransmitters from nerve terminals and act (1) by binding to specific receptors, some of which mediate an exocytotic signal, and (2) by inserting themselves into the membrane and forming ion-permeable pores. Specific receptors for LITs have yet to be identified, but all three classes of vertebrate receptors known to bind α-LTX are also present in insects. All LTXs whose structures have been elucidated (α-LIT, δ-LIT, α-LTX and α-LCT) are highly homologous and have a similar domain architecture, which consists of a unique N-terminal sequence and a large domain composed of 13–22 ankyrin repeats. Three-dimensional (3D) structure analysis, so far done for α-LTX only, has revealed its dimeric nature and an ability to form symmetrical tetramers, a feature probably common to all LTXs. Only tetramers have been observed to insert into membranes and form pores. A preliminary 3D reconstruction of a δ-LIT monomer demonstrates the spatial similarity of this toxin to the monomer of α-LTX. PMID:17210168

  19. Molecular cloning of a hyaluronidase from Bothrops pauloensis venom gland

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Hyaluronate is one of the major components of extracellular matrix from vertebrates whose breakdown is catalyzed by the enzyme hyaluronidase. These enzymes are widely described in snake venoms, in which they facilitate the spreading of the main toxins in the victim’s body during the envenoming. Snake venoms also present some variants (hyaluronidases-like substances) that are probably originated by alternative splicing, even though their relevance in envenomation is still under investigation. Hyaluronidases-like proteins have not yet been purified from any snake venom, but the cDNA that encodes these toxins was already identified in snake venom glands by transcriptomic analysis. Herein, we report the cloning and in silico analysis of the first hyaluronidase-like proteins from a Brazilian snake venom. Methods The cDNA sequence of hyaluronidase was cloned from the transcriptome of Bothrops pauloensis venom glands. This sequence was submitted to multiple alignment with other related sequences by ClustalW. A phylogenetic analysis was performed using MEGA 4 software by the neighbor joining (NJ) method. Results The cDNA from Bothrops pauloensis venom gland that corresponds to hyaluronidase comprises 1175 bp and codifies a protein containing 194 amino acid residues. The sequence, denominated BpHyase, was identified as hyaluronidase-like since it shows high sequence identities (above 83%) with other described snake venom hyaluronidase-like sequences. Hyaluronidases-like proteins are thought to be products of alternative splicing implicated in deletions of central amino acids, including the catalytic residues. Structure-based sequence alignment of BpHyase to human hyaluronidase hHyal-1 demonstrates a loss of some key secondary structures. The phylogenetic analysis indicates an independent evolution of BpHyal when compared to other hyaluronidases. However, these toxins might share a common ancestor, thus suggesting a broad hyaluronidase-like distribution among

  20. Comparison of the effect of Crotalus simus and Crotalus durissus ruruima venoms on the equine antibody response towards Bothrops asper venom: implications for the production of polyspecific snake antivenoms.

    PubMed

    Dos-Santos, Maria Cristina; Arroyo, Cynthia; Solano, Sergio; Herrera, María; Villalta, Mauren; Segura, Alvaro; Estrada, Ricardo; Gutiérrez, José María; León, Guillermo

    2011-02-01

    Antivenoms are preparations of immunoglobulins purified from the plasma of animals immunized with snake venoms. Depending on the number of venoms used during the immunization, antivenoms can be monospecific (if venom from a single species is used) or polyspecific (if venoms from several species are used). In turn, polyspecific antivenoms can be prepared by purifying antibodies from the plasma of animals immunized with a mixture of venoms, or by mixing antibodies purified from the plasma of animals immunized separately with single venom. The suitability of these strategies to produce polyspecific antibothropic-crotalic antivenoms was assessed using as models the venoms of Bothrops asper, Crotalus simus and Crotalus durissus ruruima. It was demonstrated that, when used as co-immunogen, C. simus and C. durissus ruruima venoms exert a deleterious effect on the antibody response towards different components of B. asper venom and in the neutralization of hemorrhagic and coagulant effect of this venom when compared with a monospecific B. asper antivenom. Polyspecific antivenoms produced by purifying immunoglobulins from the plasma of animals immunized with venom mixtures showed higher antibody titers and neutralizing capacity than those produced by mixing antibodies purified from the plasma of animals immunized separately with single venom. Thus, despite the deleterious effect of Crotalus sp venoms on the immune response against B. asper venom, the use of venom mixtures is more effective than the immunization with separate venoms for the preparation of polyspecific bothropic-crotalic antivenoms. PMID:21130107

  1. Intraspecific variation of centruroides edwardsii venom from two regions of Colombia.

    PubMed

    Estrada-Gómez, Sebastián; Cupitra, Nelson Ivan; Arango, Walter Murillo; Muñoz, Leidy Johana Vargas

    2014-01-01

    We report the first description studies, partial characterization, and intraspecific difference of Centruroides edwardsii, Gervais 1843, venom. C. edwardsii from two Colombian regions (Antioquia and Tolima) were evaluated. Both venoms showed hemolytic activity, possibly dependent of enzymatic active phospholipases, and neither coagulant nor proteolytic activities were observed. Venom electrophoretic profile showed significant differences between C. edwardsii venom from both regions. A high concentration of proteins with molecular masses between 31 kDa and 97.4 kDa, and an important concentration close or below 14.4 kDa were detected. RP-HPLC retention times between 38.2 min and 42.1 min, showed bands close to 14.4 kDa, which may correspond to phospholipases. RP-HPLC venom profile showed a well conserved region in both venoms between 7 and 17 min, after this, significant differences were detected. From Tolima region venom, 50 well-defined peaks were detected, while in the Antioquia region venom, 55 well-defined peaks were detected. Larvicidal activity was only detected in the C. edwardsii venom from Antioquia. No antimicrobial activity was observed using complete venom or RP-HPLC collected fractions of both venoms. Lethally activity (carried out on female albino swiss mice) was detected at doses over 19.2 mg/kg of crude venom. Toxic effects included distress, excitability, eye irritation and secretions, hyperventilation, ataxia, paralysis, and salivation. PMID:25025710

  2. Extremely low nerve growth facior (NGF) activity of sea snake (Hydrophiidae) venoms.

    PubMed

    Mariam, Khafizova; Tu, Anthony T

    2002-12-01

    Sea snake venoms contain less protein than those of land snakes (Toom et al., 1969). Sea snake venoms lack arginine ester hydrolyzing activity, whereas those of Crotalidae and Viperidae have such activity (Tu et al., 1966). Sea snakes live in salty water, and their venoms may be different from those of land snakes. Because of the difficulty in obtaining sea snake venoms, information about sea snake venoms is quite incomplete. NGF is commonly present in the venoms of land snakes such as Elapidae, Viperidae, and Crotalidae (Cohen and Levi-Montalcini, 1956; Lipps, 2002). It is therefore of interest to investigate the presence or absence of NGF in sea snake venoms. In order to investigate the presence or absence of NGF, five sea snake venoms were selected. Lapemis hardwickii (Hardwick's sea snake) and Acalyptophis peronii venom were obtained from the Gulf of Thailand. Hydrophis cyanocinctus (common sea snake) and Enhydrina schistosa (beaked sea snake) venom were obtained from the Strait of Malacca. Laticauda semifasciata (broad band blue sea snake) venom was also examined and the venom was obtained from Gato Island in the Philippines. PMID:12503884

  3. Medically important differences in snake venom composition are dictated by distinct postgenomic mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Casewell, Nicholas R; Wagstaff, Simon C; Wüster, Wolfgang; Cook, Darren A N; Bolton, Fiona M S; King, Sarah I; Pla, Davinia; Sanz, Libia; Calvete, Juan J; Harrison, Robert A

    2014-06-24

    Variation in venom composition is a ubiquitous phenomenon in snakes and occurs both interspecifically and intraspecifically. Venom variation can have severe outcomes for snakebite victims by rendering the specific antibodies found in antivenoms ineffective against heterologous toxins found in different venoms. The rapid evolutionary expansion of different toxin-encoding gene families in different snake lineages is widely perceived as the main cause of venom variation. However, this view is simplistic and disregards the understudied influence that processes acting on gene transcription and translation may have on the production of the venom proteome. Here, we assess the venom composition of six related viperid snakes and compare interspecific changes in the number of toxin genes, their transcription in the venom gland, and their translation into proteins secreted in venom. Our results reveal that multiple levels of regulation are responsible for generating variation in venom composition between related snake species. We demonstrate that differential levels of toxin transcription, translation, and their posttranslational modification have a substantial impact upon the resulting venom protein mixture. Notably, these processes act to varying extents on different toxin paralogs found in different snakes and are therefore likely to be as important as ancestral gene duplication events for generating compositionally distinct venom proteomes. Our results suggest that these processes may also contribute to altering the toxicity of snake venoms, and we demonstrate how this variability can undermine the treatment of a neglected tropical disease, snakebite. PMID:24927555

  4. Medically important differences in snake venom composition are dictated by distinct postgenomic mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Casewell, Nicholas R.; Wagstaff, Simon C.; Wüster, Wolfgang; Cook, Darren A. N.; Bolton, Fiona M. S.; King, Sarah I.; Pla, Davinia; Sanz, Libia; Calvete, Juan J.; Harrison, Robert A.

    2014-01-01

    Variation in venom composition is a ubiquitous phenomenon in snakes and occurs both interspecifically and intraspecifically. Venom variation can have severe outcomes for snakebite victims by rendering the specific antibodies found in antivenoms ineffective against heterologous toxins found in different venoms. The rapid evolutionary expansion of different toxin-encoding gene families in different snake lineages is widely perceived as the main cause of venom variation. However, this view is simplistic and disregards the understudied influence that processes acting on gene transcription and translation may have on the production of the venom proteome. Here, we assess the venom composition of six related viperid snakes and compare interspecific changes in the number of toxin genes, their transcription in the venom gland, and their translation into proteins secreted in venom. Our results reveal that multiple levels of regulation are responsible for generating variation in venom composition between related snake species. We demonstrate that differential levels of toxin transcription, translation, and their posttranslational modification have a substantial impact upon the resulting venom protein mixture. Notably, these processes act to varying extents on different toxin paralogs found in different snakes and are therefore likely to be as important as ancestral gene duplication events for generating compositionally distinct venom proteomes. Our results suggest that these processes may also contribute to altering the toxicity of snake venoms, and we demonstrate how this variability can undermine the treatment of a neglected tropical disease, snakebite. PMID:24927555

  5. Intraspecific Variation of Centruroides Edwardsii Venom from Two Regions of Colombia

    PubMed Central

    Estrada-Gómez, Sebastián; Cupitra, Nelson Ivan; Arango, Walter Murillo; Vargas Muñoz, Leidy Johana

    2014-01-01

    We report the first description studies, partial characterization, and intraspecific difference of Centruroides edwardsii, Gervais 1843, venom. C. edwardsii from two Colombian regions (Antioquia and Tolima) were evaluated. Both venoms showed hemolytic activity, possibly dependent of enzymatic active phospholipases, and neither coagulant nor proteolytic activities were observed. Venom electrophoretic profile showed significant differences between C. edwardsii venom from both regions. A high concentration of proteins with molecular masses between 31 kDa and 97.4 kDa, and an important concentration close or below 14.4 kDa were detected. RP-HPLC retention times between 38.2 min and 42.1 min, showed bands close to 14.4 kDa, which may correspond to phospholipases. RP-HPLC venom profile showed a well conserved region in both venoms between 7 and 17 min, after this, significant differences were detected. From Tolima region venom, 50 well-defined peaks were detected, while in the Antioquia region venom, 55 well-defined peaks were detected. Larvicidal activity was only detected in the C. edwardsii venom from Antioquia. No antimicrobial activity was observed using complete venom or RP-HPLC collected fractions of both venoms. Lethally activity (carried out on female albino swiss mice) was detected at doses over 19.2 mg/kg of crude venom. Toxic effects included distress, excitability, eye irritation and secretions, hyperventilation, ataxia, paralysis, and salivation. PMID:25025710

  6. Differential Properties of Venom Peptides and Proteins in Solitary vs. Social Hunting Wasps.

    PubMed

    Lee, Si Hyeock; Baek, Ji Hyeong; Yoon, Kyungjae Andrew

    2016-02-01

    The primary functions of venoms from solitary and social wasps are different. Whereas most solitary wasps sting their prey to paralyze and preserve it, without killing, as the provisions for their progeny, social wasps usually sting to defend their colonies from vertebrate predators. Such distinctive venom properties of solitary and social wasps suggest that the main venom components are likely to be different depending on the wasps' sociality. The present paper reviews venom components and properties of the Aculeata hunting wasps, with a particular emphasis on the comparative aspects of venom compositions and properties between solitary and social wasps. Common components in both solitary and social wasp venoms include hyaluronidase, phospholipase A2, metalloendopeptidase, etc. Although it has been expected that more diverse bioactive components with the functions of prey inactivation and physiology manipulation are present in solitary wasps, available studies on venom compositions of solitary wasps are simply too scarce to generalize this notion. Nevertheless, some neurotoxic peptides (e.g., pompilidotoxin and dendrotoxin-like peptide) and proteins (e.g., insulin-like peptide binding protein) appear to be specific to solitary wasp venom. In contrast, several proteins, such as venom allergen 5 protein, venom acid phosphatase, and various phospholipases, appear to be relatively more specific to social wasp venom. Finally, putative functions of main venom components and their application are also discussed. PMID:26805885

  7. Differential Properties of Venom Peptides and Proteins in Solitary vs. Social Hunting Wasps

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Si Hyeock; Baek, Ji Hyeong; Yoon, Kyungjae Andrew

    2016-01-01

    The primary functions of venoms from solitary and social wasps are different. Whereas most solitary wasps sting their prey to paralyze and preserve it, without killing, as the provisions for their progeny, social wasps usually sting to defend their colonies from vertebrate predators. Such distinctive venom properties of solitary and social wasps suggest that the main venom components are likely to be different depending on the wasps’ sociality. The present paper reviews venom components and properties of the Aculeata hunting wasps, with a particular emphasis on the comparative aspects of venom compositions and properties between solitary and social wasps. Common components in both solitary and social wasp venoms include hyaluronidase, phospholipase A2, metalloendopeptidase, etc. Although it has been expected that more diverse bioactive components with the functions of prey inactivation and physiology manipulation are present in solitary wasps, available studies on venom compositions of solitary wasps are simply too scarce to generalize this notion. Nevertheless, some neurotoxic peptides (e.g., pompilidotoxin and dendrotoxin-like peptide) and proteins (e.g., insulin-like peptide binding protein) appear to be specific to solitary wasp venom. In contrast, several proteins, such as venom allergen 5 protein, venom acid phosphatase, and various phospholipases, appear to be relatively more specific to social wasp venom. Finally, putative functions of main venom components and their application are also discussed. PMID:26805885

  8. Practical applications of snake venom toxins in haemostasis.

    PubMed

    Marsh, N A; Fyffe, T L

    1996-01-01

    Snake venom toxins have an established role in the coagulation laboratory for the assay of haemostatic parameters and a potential role for therapeutic treatment of thrombotic disorders. In the laboratory, snake venom thrombin-like enzymes (SVTLEs) are used for the assay of fibrinogen and detection of fibrinogen breakdown products and dysfibrinogenaemias. Importantly, because SVTLEs are not inhibited by heparin, they can be used for assaying antithrombin III and other parameters in samples which contain heparin. Prothrombin activators occur in many snake venoms and these have become established in the assay of prothrombin, in the study of dysprothrombinaemias and in the preparation of meizothrombin and non enzymic forms of prothrombin. Russell's viper (Daboia russelli) venom contains a number of useful compounds including toxins which can be used to assay blood clotting factors V, VII, X, platelet factor 3 and lupus anticoagulants (LA). More recently, activators from the taipan, Australian brown snake and saw-scaled viper have been used to assay LA. Proteins C and S can be measured by means of 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 proteins found in snake venoms, show great potential for the study of platelet glycoprotein receptors, notably, GPIIb/IIIa and Ib, and in the treatment of arterial thrombotic disease. Established SVTLEs used in clinical practice include ancrod and defibrase although success with these agents has been limited. A further group of enzymes under consideration as thrombolytic agents are the fibrinogenases. PMID:9425723

  9. Fish Rhabdoviruses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kurath, G.; Winton, J.

    2008-01-01

    Many important viral pathogens of fish are members of the family Rhabdoviridae. The viruses in this large group cause significant losses in populations of wild fish as well as among fish reared in aquaculture. Fish rhabdoviruses often have a wide host and geographic range, and infect aquatic animals in both freshwater and seawater. The fish rhabdoviruses comprise a diverse collection of isolates that can be placed in one of two quite different groups: isolates that are members of the established genusNovirhabdovirus, and those that are most similar to members of the genus Vesiculovirus. Because the diseases caused by fish rhabdoviruses are important to aquaculture, diagnostic methods for their detection and identification are well established. In addition to regulations designed to reduce the spread of fish viruses, a significant body of research has addressed methods for the control or prevention of diseases caused by fish rhabdoviruses, including vaccination. The number of reported fish rhabdoviruses continues to grow as a result of the expansion of aquaculture, the increase in global trade, the development of improved diagnostic methods, and heightened surveillance activities. Fish rhabdoviruses serve as useful components of model systems to study vertebrate virus disease, epidemiology, and immunology.

  10. Fish flavor.

    PubMed

    Kawai, T

    1996-02-01

    This article reviews features of flavor in three groups of fishes and summarizes them as follows: (1) fresh saltwater fish are nearly odorless because they contain a small quantity of volatiles; (2 freshwater fish give off pyrrolidine and earthy-odor compounds, which are responsible for their maturity and surrounding water pollution, and (3) euryhaline fish exhibit a variety of unsaturated carbonyls and alcohols derived from enzymatic and nonenzymatic oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PAs). These features are discussed, as are the effects of different enzymatic activities on PA oxidation and the effects of pH on mechanisms of formation of the volatiles. The monotonous volatile constitution of saltwater fish is likely caused by an unknown antioxidation system restraining the fish from oxidizing. The variety of constitution of euryhaline fish, especially that of anadromous fish under spawning conditions, could result from the loss of that system. The thermal environments of heated foods are also reviewed. The basic environment of fish, which allows the formation of flavor compounds, is discussed to confirm the volatiles found in unheated fish. PMID:8744606

  11. Honeybee venom proteome profile of queens and winter bees as determined by a mass spectrometric approach.

    PubMed

    Danneels, Ellen L; Van Vaerenbergh, Matthias; Debyser, Griet; Devreese, Bart; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2015-11-01

    Venoms of invertebrates contain an enormous diversity of proteins, peptides, and other classes of substances. Insect venoms are characterized by a large interspecific variation resulting in extended lists of venom compounds. The venom composition of several hymenopterans also shows different intraspecific variation. For instance, venom from different honeybee castes, more specifically queens and workers, shows quantitative and qualitative variation, while the environment, like seasonal changes, also proves to be an important factor. The present study aimed at an in-depth analysis of the intraspecific variation in the honeybee venom proteome. In summer workers, the recent list of venom proteins resulted from merging combinatorial peptide ligand library sample pretreatment and targeted tandem mass spectrometry realized with a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer (FT-ICR MS/MS). Now, the same technique was used to determine the venom proteome of queens and winter bees, enabling us to compare it with that of summer bees. In total, 34 putative venom toxins were found, of which two were never described in honeybee venoms before. Venom from winter workers did not contain toxins that were not present in queens or summer workers, while winter worker venom lacked the allergen Api m 12, also known as vitellogenin. Venom from queen bees, on the other hand, was lacking six of the 34 venom toxins compared to worker bees, while it contained two new venom toxins, in particularly serine proteinase stubble and antithrombin-III. Although people are hardly stung by honeybees during winter or by queen bees, these newly identified toxins should be taken into account in the characterization of a putative allergic response against Apis mellifera stings. PMID:26529016

  12. Honeybee Venom Proteome Profile of Queens and Winter Bees as Determined by a Mass Spectrometric Approach

    PubMed Central

    Danneels, Ellen L.; Van Vaerenbergh, Matthias; Debyser, Griet; Devreese, Bart; de Graaf, Dirk C.

    2015-01-01

    Venoms of invertebrates contain an enormous diversity of proteins, peptides, and other classes of substances. Insect venoms are characterized by a large interspecific variation resulting in extended lists of venom compounds. The venom composition of several hymenopterans also shows different intraspecific variation. For instance, venom from different honeybee castes, more specifically queens and workers, shows quantitative and qualitative variation, while the environment, like seasonal changes, also proves to be an important factor. The present study aimed at an in-depth analysis of the intraspecific variation in the honeybee venom proteome. In summer workers, the recent list of venom proteins resulted from merging combinatorial peptide ligand library sample pretreatment and targeted tandem mass spectrometry realized with a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer (FT-ICR MS/MS). Now, the same technique was used to determine the venom proteome of queens and winter bees, enabling us to compare it with that of summer bees. In total, 34 putative venom toxins were found, of which two were never described in honeybee venoms before. Venom from winter workers did not contain toxins that were not present in queens or summer workers, while winter worker venom lacked the allergen Api m 12, also known as vitellogenin. Venom from queen bees, on the other hand, was lacking six of the 34 venom toxins compared to worker bees, while it contained two new venom toxins, in particularly serine proteinase stubble and antithrombin-III. Although people are hardly stung by honeybees during winter or by queen bees, these newly identified toxins should be taken into account in the characterization of a putative allergic response against Apis mellifera stings. PMID:26529016

  13. Snake venomics and antivenomics of Bothrops atrox venoms from Colombia and the Amazon regions of Brazil, Perú and Ecuador suggest the occurrence of geographic variation of venom phenotype by a trend towards paedomorphism.

    PubMed

    Núñez, Vitelbina; Cid, Pedro; Sanz, Libia; De La Torre, Pilar; Angulo, Yamileth; Lomonte, Bruno; Gutiérrez, José María; Calvete, Juan J

    2009-11-01

    The venom proteomes of Bothrops atrox from Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Perú were characterized using venomic and antivenomic strategies. Our results evidence the existence of two geographically differentiated venom phenotypes. The venom from Colombia comprises at least 26 different proteins belonging to 9 different groups of toxins. PI-metalloproteinases and K49-PLA(2) molecules represent the most abundant toxins. On the other hand, the venoms from Brazilian, Ecuadorian, and Peruvian B. atrox contain predominantly PIII-metalloproteinases. These toxin profiles correlate with the venom phenotypes of adult and juvenile B. asper from Costa Rica, respectively, suggesting that paedomorphism represented a selective trend during the trans-Amazonian southward expansion of B. atrox through the Andean Corridor. The high degree of crossreactivity of a Costa Rican polyvalent (Bothrops asper, Lachesis stenophrys, Crotalus simus) antivenom against B. atrox venoms further evidenced the close evolutionary kinship between B. asper and B. atrox. This antivenom was more efficient immunodepleting proteins from the venoms of B. atrox from Brazil, Ecuador, and Perú than from Colombia. Such behaviour may be rationalized taking into account the lower content of poorly immunogenic toxins, such as PLA(2) molecules and PI-SVMPs in the paedomorphic venoms. The immunological profile of the Costa Rican antivenom strongly suggests the possibility of using this antivenom for the management of snakebites by B. atrox in Colombia and the Amazon regions of Ecuador, Perú and Brazil. PMID:19665598

  14. Novel apigenin based small molecule that targets snake venom metalloproteases.

    PubMed

    Srinivasa, Venkatachalaiah; Sundaram, Mahalingam S; Anusha, Sebastian; Hemshekhar, Mahadevappa; Chandra Nayaka, Siddaiah; Kemparaju, Kempaiah; Basappa; Girish, Kesturu S; Rangappa, Kanchugarakoppal S

    2014-01-01

    The classical antivenom therapy has appreciably reduced snakebite mortality rate and thus is the only savior drug available. Unfortunately, it considerably fails to shield the viper bite complications like hemorrhage, local tissue degradation and necrosis responsible for severe morbidity. Moreover, the therapy is also tagged with limitations including anaphylaxis, serum sickness and poor availability. Over the last decade, snake venom metalloproteases (SVMPs) are reported to be the primary component responsible for hemorrhage and tissue degradation at bitten site. Thus, antivenom inability to offset viper venom-induced local toxicity has been a basis for an insistent search for SVMP inhibitors. Here we report the inhibitory effect of compound 5d, an apigenin based molecule against SVMPs both in silico and in vivo. Several apigenin analogues are synthesized using multicomponent Ugi reactions. Among them, compound 5d effectively abrogated Echis carinatus (EC) venom-induced local hemorrhage, tissue necrosis and myotoxicity in a dose dependant fashion. The histopathological study further conferred effective inhibition of basement membrane degradation, and accumulation of inflammatory leucocytes at the site of EC venom inoculation. The compound also protected EC venom-induced fibrin and fibrinogen degradation. The molecular docking of compound 5d and bothropasin demonstrated the direct interaction of hydroxyl group of compound with Glu146 present in hydrophobic pocket of active site and does not chelate Zn2+. Hence, it is concluded that compound 5d could be a potent agent in viper bite management. PMID:25184206

  15. Novel Apigenin Based Small Molecule that Targets Snake Venom Metalloproteases

    PubMed Central

    Anusha, Sebastian; Hemshekhar, Mahadevappa; Chandra Nayaka, Siddaiah; Kemparaju, Kempaiah; Basappa; Girish, Kesturu S.; Rangappa, Kanchugarakoppal S.

    2014-01-01

    The classical antivenom therapy has appreciably reduced snakebite mortality rate and thus is the only savior drug available. Unfortunately, it considerably fails to shield the viper bite complications like hemorrhage, local tissue degradation and necrosis responsible for severe morbidity. Moreover, the therapy is also tagged with limitations including anaphylaxis, serum sickness and poor availability. Over the last decade, snake venom metalloproteases (SVMPs) are reported to be the primary component responsible for hemorrhage and tissue degradation at bitten site. Thus, antivenom inability to offset viper venom-induced local toxicity has been a basis for an insistent search for SVMP inhibitors. Here we report the inhibitory effect of compound 5d, an apigenin based molecule against SVMPs both in silico and in vivo. Several apigenin analogues are synthesized using multicomponent Ugi reactions. Among them, compound 5d effectively abrogated Echis carinatus (EC) venom-induced local hemorrhage, tissue necrosis and myotoxicity in a dose dependant fashion. The histopathological study further conferred effective inhibition of basement membrane degradation, and accumulation of inflammatory leucocytes at the site of EC venom inoculation. The compound also protected EC venom-induced fibrin and fibrinogen degradation. The molecular docking of compound 5d and bothropasin demonstrated the direct interaction of hydroxyl group of compound with Glu146 present in hydrophobic pocket of active site and does not chelate Zn2+. Hence, it is concluded that compound 5d could be a potent agent in viper bite management. PMID:25184206

  16. Scorpion venom components that affect ion-channels function

    PubMed Central

    Quintero-Hernández, V.; Jiménez-Vargas, J.M.; Gurrola, G.B.; Valdivia, H.H.F.; Possani, L.D.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY The number and types of venom components that affect ion-channel function are reviewed. These are the most important venom components responsible for human intoxication, deserving medical attention, often requiring the use of specific anti-venoms. Special emphasis is given to peptides that recognize Na+-, K+- and Ca++-channels of excitable cells. Knowledge generated by direct isolation of peptides from venom and components deduced from cloned genes, whose amino acid sequences are deposited into databanks are now adays in the order of 1.5 thousands, out of an estimate biodiversity closed to 300,000. Here the diversity of components is briefly reviewed with mention to specific references. Structural characteristic are discussed with examples taken from published work. The principal mechanisms of action of the three different types of peptides are also reviewed. Na+-channel specific venom components usually are modifier of the open and closing kinetic mechanisms of the ion-channels, whereas peptides affecting K+-channels are normally pore blocking agents. The Ryanodine Ca++-channel specific peptides are known for causing sub-conducting stages of the channels conductance and some were shown to be able to internalize penetrating inside the muscle cells. PMID:23891887

  17. A perspective on toxicology of Conus venom peptides.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Palanisamy Satheesh; Kumar, Dhanabalan Senthil; Umamaheswari, Sundaresan

    2015-05-01

    The evolutionarily unique and ecologically diverse family Conidae presents fundamental opportunities for marine pharmacology research and drug discovery. The focus of this investigation is to summarize the worldwide distribution of Conus and their species diversity with special reference to the Indian coast. In addition, this study will contribute to understanding the structural properties of conotoxin and therapeutic application of Conus venom peptides. Cone snails can inject a mix of various conotoxins and these venoms are their major weapon for prey capture, and may also have other biological purposes, and some of these conotoxins fatal to humans. Conus venoms contain a remarkable diversity of pharmacologically active small peptides; their targets are an iron channel and receptors in the neuromuscular system. Interspecific divergence is pronounced in venom peptide genes, which is generally attributed to their species specific biotic interactions. There is a notable interspecific divergence observed in venom peptide genes, which can be justified as of biotic interactions that stipulate species peculiar habitat and ecology of cone snails. There are several conopeptides used in clinical trials and one peptide (Ziconotide) has received FDA approval for treatment of pain. This perspective provides a comprehensive overview of the distribution of cone shells and focus on the molecular approach in documenting their taxonomy and diversity with special reference to geographic distribution of Indian cone snails, structure and properties of conopeptide and their pharmacological targets and future directions. PMID:26003592

  18. Target tracking during venom ‘spitting’ by cobras

    PubMed Central

    Westhoff, Guido; Boetig, Melissa; Bleckmann, Horst; Young, Bruce A.

    2010-01-01

    Spitting cobras, which defend themselves by streaming venom towards the face and/or eyes of a predator, must be highly accurate because the venom they spit is only an effective deterrent if it lands on the predator's cornea. Several factors make this level of accuracy difficult to achieve; the target is moving, is frequently >1 m away from the snake and the venom stream is released in approximately 50 ms. In the present study we show that spitting cobras can accurately track the movements of a potentially threatening vertebrate, and by anticipating its subsequent (short-term) movements direct their venom to maximize the likelihood of striking the target's eye. Unlike other animals that project material, in spitting cobras the discharge orifice (the fang) is relatively fixed so directing the venom stream requires rapid movements of the entire head. The cobra's ability to track and anticipate the target's movement, and to perform rapid cephalic oscillations that coordinate with the target's movements suggest a level of neural processing that has not been attributed to snakes, or other reptiles, previously. PMID:20472765

  19. Increased incidence of stings in venom-sensitive patients.

    PubMed

    Stone, B D; Hutcheson, P S; Evans, R G; Slavin, R G

    1992-11-01

    We compared the histories of 29 venom-sensitive and 28 control subjects who were selected from our venom referral and general allergy clinics respectively. The variables in the study included insect avoidance knowledge, the number of stings during the previous 2 years, insects involved, and time spent out of doors per week. There was no significant difference between the two groups with respect to age. All venom-sensitive patients were well versed in avoidance techniques while only 3 of 28 controls (11%) claimed such knowledge. Venom-sensitive subjects were stung almost ten times more frequently than control subjects. Wasp stings were the most common, followed by yellow jacket, honey bee, and hornet. The venom-sensitive patients also reported spending a greater amount of time outdoors (x 17.4 hours versus x 11.8, P < .05). An analysis of covariance showed that this difference in outdoor exposure was insufficient to account for the disparity in the number of stings. We conclude that other factors such as intrinsic attractants must be responsible for this phenomenon. PMID:1456488

  20. Facing Hymenoptera Venom Allergy: From Natural to Recombinant Allergens

    PubMed Central

    Perez-Riverol, Amilcar; Justo-Jacomini, Débora Lais; Zollner, Ricardo de Lima; Brochetto-Braga, Márcia Regina

    2015-01-01

    Along with food and drug allergic reactions, a Hymenoptera insect Sting (Apoidea, Vespidae, Formicidae) is one of the most common causes of anaphylaxis worldwide. Diagnoses of Hymenoptera venom allergy (HVA) and specific immunotherapy (SIT) have been based on the use of crude venom extracts. However, the incidence of cross-reactivity and low levels of sensibility during diagnosis, as well as the occurrence of nonspecific sensitization and undesired side effects during SIT, encourage the search for novel allergenic materials. Recombinant allergens are an interesting approach to improve allergy diagnosis and SIT because they circumvent major problems associated with the use of crude venom. Production of recombinant allergens depends on the profound molecular characterization of the natural counterpart by combining some “omics” approaches with high-throughput screening techniques and the selection of an appropriate system for heterologous expression. To date, several clinically relevant allergens and novel venom toxins have been identified, cloned and characterized, enabling a better understanding of the whole allergenic and envenoming processes. Here, we review recent findings on identification, molecular characterization and recombinant expression of Hymenoptera venom allergens and on the evaluation of these heterologous proteins as valuable tools for tackling remaining pitfalls on HVA diagnosis and immunotherapy. PMID:26184309

  1. A review of venomous animal bites and stings in pregnant patients.

    PubMed

    Langley, Ricky Lee

    2004-01-01

    This is a review of Medline and PubMed articles on venomous animal bites and stings during pregnancy reported in English literature from 1966 to 2002. Eighty-five venomous snakebites were reported in pregnant women. Although there are frequent anecdotal reports of scorpion stings in pregnant women, few case reports are documented. Other venomous animal bites or stings to pregnant women that have been reported include spiders, jellyfish, and insects, and these are described. Adverse reproductive and teratogenic effects of venoms on gravid animals are also briefly reviewed. Although uncommon, venomous bites and stings during pregnancy may have significant adverse effects on the fetus and the mother. PMID:15473462

  2. Studies of the necrotic actions of the venoms of several Australian spiders.

    PubMed

    Atkinson, R K; Wright, L G

    1991-01-01

    1. Raw venoms from a number of Australian Araneomorph spiders were found to cause epidermal disruption in cultured skin from both mice and humans. 2. The more potent ones also caused loss of epidermal cell-cell adhesion of mouse skin in vivo. 3. Raw venoms from three Mygalomorph species did not have these actions. 4. Venom gland extracts from the Araneomorph species were also ineffective. 5. It was concluded that where spider venoms appear to possess necrogenic activity the most likely reason for this is contamination of the venoms with digestive tract secretions. PMID:1676958

  3. Thrombin-like activity in snake venoms from Peruvian Bothrops and Lachesis genera.

    PubMed

    Orejuela, P; Zavaleta, A; Salas, M; Marsh, N

    1991-01-01

    Venoms from Lachesis muta muta, Bothrops pictus, B. barnetti, B. atrox and B. hyoprorus coagulate in vitro canine fibrinogen, and both bovine fibrinogen and bovine plasma. B. barnetti and L. muta muta venoms have greater activity on canine fibrinogen and B. atrox and B. hyoprorus venoms, a greater activity on bovine fibrinogen. Gel filtration showed one peak of coagulant activity in all venoms except B. atrox venom which possessed two peaks. The apparent mol. wt of these enzymes ranged from 45,000 to 69,000. PMID:1796478

  4. Wide distribution of cysteine-rich secretory proteins in snake venoms: isolation and cloning of novel snake venom cysteine-rich secretory proteins.

    PubMed

    Yamazaki, Yasuo; Hyodo, Fumiko; Morita, Takashi

    2003-04-01

    Cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISPs) are found in epididymis and granules of mammals, and they are thought to function in sperm maturation and in the immune system. Recently, we isolated and obtained clones for novel snake venom proteins that are classified as CRISP family proteins. To elucidate the distribution of snake venom CRISP family proteins, we evaluated a wide range of venoms for immuno-cross-reactivity. Then we isolated, characterized, and cloned genes for three novel CRISP family proteins (piscivorin, ophanin, and catrin) from the venom of eastern cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus), king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), and western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox). Our results show the wide distribution of snake venom CRISP family proteins among Viperidae and Elapidae from different continents, indicating that CRISP family proteins compose a new group of snake venom proteins. PMID:12646276

  5. Proteolytic activity of Elapid and Viperid Snake venoms and its implication to digestion

    PubMed Central

    Bottrall, Joshua L; Madaras, Frank; Biven, Christopher D; Venning, Michael G; Mirtschin, Peter J

    2010-01-01

    Testing whether venoms may aid in digestion of the prey, eleven snake venoms were compared for the presence of proteases and endopeptidases that function in alkaline pH conditions. In vitro experiments examined the relative protease and endopeptidase activity of the venoms, which involved combining bovine muscle and snake venom in a buffered solution, encased within dialysis tubing. This mixture was then incubated at room temperature (∼20°C) for 24hr, with constant shaking. Bicinchoninic acid (BCA) assay and ninhydrin assay were used to determine peptide and amino acid concentrations. Histological and immunohistochemical investigations using N. kaouthia venom confirmed in vitro findings. Results show that B. arietans venom generated the highest amount of protein/peptides and amino acids in the dialysates, while O. scutellatus, N. ater niger and P. textilis venom did not show any significant protein degradation under alkaline conditions. Histological examination revealed varying degrees of muscle cell damage for each of the venom investigated, and the immunohistochemical study on N. kaouthia venom showed that the venom penetrated the muscle tissue to a significant degree. In vitro assays and histological results indicate that particular venoms may possess the ability to enhance digestion of bovine muscle tissue. PMID:21544178

  6. Analysis of Protein Composition and Bioactivity of Neoponera villosa Venom (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Pessoa, Wallace Felipe Blohem; Silva, Ludimilla Carvalho Cerqueira; de Oliveira Dias, Leila; Delabie, Jacques Hubert Charles; Costa, Helena; Romano, Carla Cristina

    2016-01-01

    Ants cause a series of accidents involving humans. Such accidents generate different reactions in the body, ranging from a mild irritation at the bite site to anaphylactic shock, and these reactions depend on the mechanism of action of the venom. The study of animal venom is a science known as venomics. Through venomics, the composition of the venom of several ant species has already been characterized and their biological activities described. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the protein composition and biological activities (hemolytic and immunostimulatory) of the venom of Neoponera villosa (N. villosa), an ant widely distributed in South America. The protein composition was evaluated by proteomic techniques, such as two-dimensional electrophoresis. To assess the biological activity, hemolysis assay was carried out and cytokines were quantified after exposure of macrophages to the venom. The venom of N. villosa has a profile composed of 145 proteins, including structural and metabolic components (e.g., tubulin and ATPase), allergenic and immunomodulatory proteins (arginine kinase and heat shock proteins (HSPs)), protective proteins of venom (superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase) and tissue degradation proteins (hyaluronidase and phospholipase A2). The venom was able to induce hemolysis in human erythrocytes and also induced release of both pro-inflammatory cytokines, as the anti-inflammatory cytokine release by murine macrophages. These results allow better understanding of the composition and complexity of N. villosa venom in the human body, as well as the possible mechanisms of action after the bite. PMID:27110765

  7. General biochemical and immunological characteristics of the venom from Peruvian scorpion Hadruroides lunatus.

    PubMed

    Costal-Oliveira, F; Duarte, C G; Machado de Avila, R A; Melo, M M; Bordon, K C F; Arantes, E C; Paredes, N C; Tintaya, B; Bonilla, C; Bonilla, R E; Suarez, W S; Yarleque, A; Fernandez, J M; Kalapothakis, E; Chávez-Olórtegui, Carlos

    2012-10-01

    This communication describes the general biochemical properties and some immunological characteristics of the venom from the Peruvian scorpion Hadruroides lunatus, which is the most medically relevant species in Peru. The soluble venom of this scorpion is toxic to mice, the LD₅₀ determined was 0.1 mg/kg and 21.55 mg/kg when the venom was injected intracranial or intraperitoneally, respectively. The soluble venom displayed proteolytic, hyaluronidasic, phospholipasic and cardiotoxic activities. High performance liquid chromatography of the soluble venom resulted in the separation of 20 fractions. Two peptides with phospholipasic activity were isolated to homogeneity and their molecular masses determined by mass spectrometry (MALDI TOF). Anti-H. lunatus venom sera were produced in rabbits. Western blotting analysis showed that most of the protein content of this venom is immunogenic. H. lunatus anti-venom displayed consistent cross-reactivity with venom antigens from the new World-scorpions Tityus serrulatus and Centruroides sculpturatus venoms; however, a weaker reactivity was observed against the venom antigens from the old World-scorpion Androctonus australis Hector. PMID:22750532

  8. Intersexual variations in Northern (Missulena pruinosa) and Eastern (M. bradleyi) mouse spider venom.

    PubMed

    Herzig, Volker; Khalife, Ali A; Chong, Youmie; Isbister, Geoffrey K; Currie, Bart J; Churchill, Tracey B; Horner, Suzanne; Escoubas, Pierre; Nicholson, Graham M; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2008-06-01

    Venoms of both sexes of Australian Northern (Missulena pruinosa) and Eastern (Missulena bradleyi) mouse spiders were studied in order to determine intersexual variations in venom yield, composition and bioactivity. Females of both species yielded more venom than males. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and mass spectrometry data further indicate a substantial degree of intersexual variation in the venom composition of both species. In a cricket (Acheta domestica) acute toxicity assay, only small intersexual differences were observed, but M. bradleyi venom was found to be considerably more potent than M. pruinosa venom. In the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation, male but not female M. bradleyi venom induced large and sustained muscle contractions with fasciculation and decreased twitch height that could be reversed by CSL funnel-web spider antivenom. In contrast, venoms of both sexes of M. pruinosa did not induce significant effects in the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation. We therefore conclude that female M. bradleyi venom and venoms from male and female M. pruinosa appear to contain few, if any, orthologs of delta-missulenatoxin-Mb1a, the toxin responsible for the effects of male M. bradleyi venom in vertebrates. These findings are consistent with clinical reports that mouse spiders, particularly species other than male M. bradleyi, do not appear to be a major medical problem in humans. PMID:18346773

  9. The Triterpenoid Betulin Protects against the Neuromuscular Effects of Bothrops jararacussu Snake Venom In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Ferraz, Miriéle Cristina; de Oliveira, Jhones Luiz; de Oliveira Junior, Joel Reis; Cogo, José Carlos; dos Santos, Márcio Galdino; Franco, Luiz Madaleno; Puebla, Pilar; Ferraz, Helena Onishi; Ferraz, Humberto Gomes; da Rocha, Marisa Maria Teixeira; Hyslop, Stephen; San Feliciano, Arturo; Oshima-Franco, Yoko

    2015-01-01

    We confirmed the ability of the triterpenoid betulin to protect against neurotoxicity caused by Bothrops jararacussu snake venom in vitro in mouse isolated phrenic nerve-diaphragm (PND) preparations and examined its capability of in vivo protection using the rat external popliteal/sciatic nerve-tibialis anterior (EPSTA) preparation. Venom caused complete, irreversible blockade in PND (40 μg/mL), but only partial blockade (~30%) in EPSTA (3.6 mg/kg, i.m.) after 120 min. In PND, preincubation of venom with commercial bothropic antivenom (CBA) attenuated the venom-induced blockade, and, in EPSTA, CBA given i.v. 15 min after venom also attenuated the blockade (by ~70% in both preparations). Preincubation of venom with betulin (200 μg/mL) markedly attenuated the venom-induced blockade in PND; similarly, a single dose of betulin (20 mg, i.p., 15 min after venom) virtually abolished the venom-induced decrease in contractility. Plasma creatine kinase activity was significantly elevated 120 min after venom injection in the EPSTA but was attenuated by CBA and betulin. These results indicate that betulin given i.p. has a similar efficacy as CBA given i.v. in attenuating the neuromuscular effects of B. jararacussu venom in vivo and could be a useful complementary measure to antivenom therapy for treating snakebite. PMID:26633987

  10. Resistance of cervical adenocarcinoma cells (HeLa) to venom from the scorpion Centruroides limpidus limpidus

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The venom of Centruroides limpidus limpidus (Cll) is a mixture of pharmacologically active principles. The most important of these are toxic proteins that interact both selectively and specifically with different cellular targets such as ion channels. Recently, anticancer properties of the venom from other scorpion species have been described. Studies in vitro have shown that scorpion venom induces cell death, inhibits proliferation and triggers the apoptotic pathway in different cancer cell lines. Herein, after treating human cervical adenocarcinoma (HeLa) cells with Cll crude venom, their cytotoxic activity and apoptosis induction were assessed. Results Cll crude venom induced cell death in normal macrophages in a dose-dependent manner. However, through viability assays, HeLa cells showed high survival rates after exposure to Cll venom. Also, Cll venom did not induce apoptosis after performing ethidium bromide/acridine orange assays, nor was there any evidence of chromatin condensation or DNA fragmentation. Conclusions Crude Cll venom exposure was not detrimental to HeLa cell cultures. This may be partially attributable to the absence of specific HeLa cell membrane targets for molecules present in the venom of Centruroides limpidus limpidus. Although these results might discourage additional studies exploring the potential of Cll venom to treat human papilloma cervical cancer, further research is required to explore positive effects of crude Cll venom on other cancer cell lines. PMID:24004568

  11. Antigenic Cross-Reactivity Anti-Birtoxin Antibody against Androctonus crassicauda Venom

    PubMed Central

    Van Zoelen, Suhandan Adigüzel; Ozkan, Ozcan; Inceoglu, Bora

    2015-01-01

    Background: Antivenom is still widely used in the treatment of envenomation as there are no vaccines or other effective agents available against animal venoms. Recently, neurotoxins named birtoxin family have been described from Parabuthus transvaalicus and Androctonus crassicauda. The aim of the present study was to test the anti-birtoxin antibodies for their ability to neutralize the lethal effects of A. crassicauda scorpion venom. Methods: SDS-PAGE and Western blotting used the presence of components from A. crassicauda and P. transvaalicus scorpion venoms and to determine the degree of cross-reactivity. The Minimum Lethal Dose (MLD) of venom was assessed by subcutaneously (sc) injections in mice. Results: The MLD of the A. crassicauda venom was 35 μg/ 20g mouse by sc injection route. Western blotting showed the presence of components from A. crassicauda and P. transvaalicus scorpion venoms strongly cross react with the A. crassicauda antivenom. However, Western blotting of the A. crassicauda scorpion venom using the Refik Saydam Public Health Agency (RSPHA) generated antibody showed that not all the venom components cross reacted with the anti-birtoxin antibody. The antibodies only cross reacted with components falling under the 19 kDa protein size of A. crassicauda venom. Conclusion: The bioassays and Western blotting of A. crassicauda venom with the anti-birtoxin antibodies produced against a synthetic peptide showed that these antibodies cross reacted but did not neutralize the venom of A. crassicauda. PMID:26623429

  12. Mechanisms controlling venom expulsion in the western diamondback rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox.

    PubMed

    Young, Bruce A; Kardong, Kenneth V

    2007-01-01

    Although many studies have documented variation in the amount of venom expended during bites of venomous snakes, the mechanistic source of this variation remains uncertain. This study used experimental techniques to examine how two different features of the venom delivery system, the muscle surrounding the venom gland (the Compressor Glandulae in the rattlesnake) and the fang sheath, could influence venom flow in the western diamondback rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox. Differential contraction of the Compressor Glandulae explained only approximately 30% of the variation in venom flow. Lifting (compression) of the fang sheath as occurs during a normal strike produced marked increases in venom flow; these changes were closely correlated and exceed in magnitude by almost 10 x those recorded from the Compressor Glandulae alone. These results suggest that variation in these two aspects of the venom delivery system--both in terms of magnitude and temporal patterning--explain most of the observed variation in venom injection. The lack of functional or mechanical links between the Compressor Glandulae and the fang sheath, and the lack of skeletal or smooth muscle within the fang sheath, make it unlikely that variation in venom flow is under direct neural control. Instead, differential venom injection results from differences in the pressurization by the Compressor Glandulae, the gate keeping effects of the fang sheath and enclosed soft-tissue chambers, and by differences in the pressure returned by peripheral resistance of the target tissue. PMID:17094108

  13. The Triterpenoid Betulin Protects against the Neuromuscular Effects of Bothrops jararacussu Snake Venom In Vivo.

    PubMed

    Ferraz, Miriéle Cristina; de Oliveira, Jhones Luiz; de Oliveira Junior, Joel Reis; Cogo, José Carlos; Dos Santos, Márcio Galdino; Franco, Luiz Madaleno; Puebla, Pilar; Ferraz, Helena Onishi; Ferraz, Humberto Gomes; da Rocha, Marisa Maria Teixeira; Hyslop, Stephen; San Feliciano, Arturo; Oshima-Franco, Yoko

    2015-01-01

    We confirmed the ability of the triterpenoid betulin to protect against neurotoxicity caused by Bothrops jararacussu snake venom in vitro in mouse isolated phrenic nerve-diaphragm (PND) preparations and examined its capability of in vivo protection using the rat external popliteal/sciatic nerve-tibialis anterior (EPSTA) preparation. Venom caused complete, irreversible blockade in PND (40 μg/mL), but only partial blockade (~30%) in EPSTA (3.6 mg/kg, i.m.) after 120 min. In PND, preincubation of venom with commercial bothropic antivenom (CBA) attenuated the venom-induced blockade, and, in EPSTA, CBA given i.v. 15 min after venom also attenuated the blockade (by ~70% in both preparations). Preincubation of venom with betulin (200 μg/mL) markedly attenuated the venom-induced blockade in PND; similarly, a single dose of betulin (20 mg, i.p., 15 min after venom) virtually abolished the venom-induced decrease in contractility. Plasma creatine kinase activity was significantly elevated 120 min after venom injection in the EPSTA but was attenuated by CBA and betulin. These results indicate that betulin given i.p. has a similar efficacy as CBA given i.v. in attenuating the neuromuscular effects of B. jararacussu venom in vivo and could be a useful complementary measure to antivenom therapy for treating snakebite. PMID:26633987

  14. Analysis of Protein Composition and Bioactivity of Neoponera villosa Venom (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    PubMed Central

    Pessoa, Wallace Felipe Blohem; Silva, Ludimilla Carvalho Cerqueira; de Oliveira Dias, Leila; Delabie, Jacques Hubert Charles; Costa, Helena; Romano, Carla Cristina

    2016-01-01

    Ants cause a series of accidents involving humans. Such accidents generate different reactions in the body, ranging from a mild irritation at the bite site to anaphylactic shock, and these reactions depend on the mechanism of action of the venom. The study of animal venom is a science known as venomics. Through venomics, the composition of the venom of several ant species has already been characterized and their biological activities described. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the protein composition and biological activities (hemolytic and immunostimulatory) of the venom of Neoponera villosa (N. villosa), an ant widely distributed in South America. The protein composition was evaluated by proteomic techniques, such as two-dimensional electrophoresis. To assess the biological activity, hemolysis assay was carried out and cytokines were quantified after exposure of macrophages to the venom. The venom of N. villosa has a profile composed of 145 proteins, including structural and metabolic components (e.g., tubulin and ATPase), allergenic and immunomodulatory proteins (arginine kinase and heat shock proteins (HSPs)), protective proteins of venom (superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase) and tissue degradation proteins (hyaluronidase and phospholipase A2). The venom was able to induce hemolysis in human erythrocytes and also induced release of both pro-inflammatory cytokines, as the anti-inflammatory cytokine release by murine macrophages. These results allow better understanding of the composition and complexity of N. villosa venom in the human body, as well as the possible mechanisms of action after the bite. PMID:27110765

  15. The venom gland transcriptome of the Desert Massasauga Rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii): towards an understanding of venom composition among advanced snakes (Superfamily Colubroidea)

    PubMed Central

    Pahari, Susanta; Mackessy, Stephen P; Kini, R Manjunatha

    2007-01-01

    Background Snake venoms are complex mixtures of pharmacologically active proteins and peptides which belong to a small number of superfamilies. Global cataloguing of the venom transcriptome facilitates the identification of new families of toxins as well as helps in understanding the evolution of venom proteomes. Results We have constructed a cDNA library of the venom gland of a threatened rattlesnake (a pitviper), Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii (Desert Massasauga), and sequenced 576 ESTs. Our results demonstrate a high abundance of serine proteinase and metalloproteinase transcripts, indicating that the disruption of hemostasis is a principle mechanism of action of the venom. In addition to the transcripts encoding common venom proteins, we detected two varieties of low abundance unique transcripts in the library; these encode for three-finger toxins and a novel toxin possibly generated from the fusion of two genes. We also observed polyadenylated ribosomal RNAs in the venom gland library, an interesting preliminary obsevation of this unusual phenomenon in a reptilian system. Conclusion The three-finger toxins are characteristic of most elapid venoms but are rare in viperid venoms. We detected several ESTs encoding this group of toxins in this study. We also observed the presence of a transcript encoding a fused protein of two well-characterized toxins (Kunitz/BPTI and Waprins), and this is the first report of this kind of fusion in a snake toxin transcriptome. We propose that these new venom proteins may have ancillary functions for envenomation. The presence of a fused toxin indicates that in addition to gene duplication and accelerated evolution, exon shuffling or transcriptional splicing may also contribute to generating the diversity of toxins and toxin isoforms observed among snake venoms. The detection of low abundance toxins, as observed in this and other studies, indicates a greater compositional similarity of venoms (though potency will differ) among

  16. The Effect of a Polyvalent Antivenom on the Serum Venom Antigen Levels of Naja sputatrix (Javan Spitting Cobra) Venom in Experimentally Envenomed Rabbits.

    PubMed

    Yap, Michelle Khai Khun; Tan, Nget Hong; Sim, Si Mui; Fung, Shin Yee; Tan, Choo Hock

    2015-10-01

    The treatment protocol of antivenom in snake envenomation remains largely empirical, partly due to the insufficient knowledge of the pharmacokinetics of snake venoms and the effects of antivenoms on the blood venom levels in victims. In this study, we investigated the effect of a polyvalent antivenom on the serum venom antigen levels of Naja sputatrix (Javan spitting cobra) venom in experimentally envenomed rabbits. Intravenous infusion of 4 ml of Neuro Polyvalent Snake Antivenom [NPAV, F(ab')2 ] at 1 hr after envenomation caused a sharp decline of the serum venom antigen levels, followed by transient resurgence an hour later. The venom antigen resurgence was unlikely to be due to the mismatch of pharmacokinetics between the F(ab')2 and venom antigens, as the terminal half-life and volume of distribution of the F(ab')2 in serum were comparable to that of venom antigens (p > 0.05). Infusion of an additional 2 ml of NPAV was able to prevent resurgence of the serum venom antigen level, resulting in a substantial decrease (67.1%) of the total amount of circulating venom antigens over time course of envenomation. Our results showed that the neutralization potency of NPAV determined by neutralization assay in mice may not be an adequate indicator of its capability to modulate venom kinetics in relation to its in vivo efficacy to neutralize venom toxicity. The findings also support the recommendation of giving high initial dose of NPAV in cobra envenomation, with repeated doses as clinically indicated in the presence of rebound antigenemia and symptom recurrence. PMID:25819552

  17. Spider leg autotomy induced by prey venom injection: An adaptive response to “pain”?*

    PubMed Central

    Eisner, Thomas; Camazine, Scott

    1983-01-01

    Field observations showed orb-weaving spiders (Argiope spp.) to undergo leg autotomy if they are stung in a leg by venomous insect prey (Phymata fasciata). The response occurs within seconds, before the venom can take lethal action by spread to the body of the spiders. Autotomy is induced also by honeybee venom and wasp venom, as well as by several venom components (serotonin, histamine, phospholipase A2, melittin) known to be responsible for the pain characteristically elicited by venom injection in humans. The sensing mechanism by which spiders detect injected harmful chemicals such as venoms therefore may be fundamentally similar to the one in humans that is coupled with the perception of pain. Images PMID:16593325

  18. A rapid and repeatable method for venom extraction from cubozoan nematocysts.

    PubMed

    Carrette, T; Seymour, J

    2004-08-01

    Various comparative studies into the biological activity and relative toxicity of cubozoan venoms have been investigated, in particular the venom from the potentially lethal cubozoan Chironex fleckeri. Efficient and reliable extraction of venom from nematocysts is essential before any research into venom toxicity can be conducted and previous cited methods of extraction have varied greatly, each with their own associated problems. A new standardised technique for the recovery of venom from nematocysts of cubozoans is investigated to decrease the variation displayed between authors due to differing extraction techniques. The use of a mini bead mill beater, as investigated in this trial, allows for the rapid extraction of venom from nematocysts and is devoid of the previously isolated problems experienced with other methods of venom isolation, such as excessive heat build up. PMID:15246760

  19. Cabinet of Curiosities: Venom Systems and Their Ecological Function in Mammals, with a Focus on Primates

    PubMed Central

    Rode-Margono, Johanna E.; Nekaris, K. Anne-Isola

    2015-01-01

    Venom delivery systems (VDS) are common in the animal kingdom, but rare amongst mammals. New definitions of venom allow us to reconsider its diversity amongst mammals by reviewing the VDS of Chiroptera, Eulipotyphla, Monotremata, and Primates. All orders use modified anterior dentition as the venom delivery apparatus, except Monotremata, which possesses a crural system. The venom gland in most taxa is a modified submaxillary salivary gland. In Primates, the saliva is activated when combined with brachial gland exudate. In Monotremata, the crural spur contains the venom duct. Venom functions include feeding, intraspecific competition, anti-predator defense and parasite defense. Including mammals in discussion of venom evolution could prove vital in our understanding protein functioning in mammals and provide a new avenue for biomedical and therapeutic applications and drug discovery. PMID:26193318

  20. Cabinet of Curiosities: Venom Systems and Their Ecological Function in Mammals, with a Focus on Primates.

    PubMed

    Rode-Margono, Johanna E; Nekaris, K Anne-Isola

    2015-07-01

    Venom delivery systems (VDS) are common in the animal kingdom, but rare amongst mammals. New definitions of venom allow us to reconsider its diversity amongst mammals by reviewing the VDS of Chiroptera, Eulipotyphla, Monotremata, and Primates. All orders use modified anterior dentition as the venom delivery apparatus, except Monotremata, which possesses a crural system. The venom gland in most taxa is a modified submaxillary salivary gland. In Primates, the saliva is activated when combined with brachial gland exudate. In Monotremata, the crural spur contains the venom duct. Venom functions include feeding, intraspecific competition, anti-predator defense and parasite defense. Including mammals in discussion of venom evolution could prove vital in our understanding protein functioning in mammals and provide a new avenue for biomedical and therapeutic applications and drug discovery. PMID:26193318

  1. Experimental ophitoxemia produced by the opisthoglyphous lora snake (Philodryas olfersii) venom.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Acosta, Alexis; Lemoine, Karel; Navarrete, Luis; Girón, María E; Aguilar, Irma

    2006-01-01

    Several colubrid snakes produce venomous oral secretions. In this work, the venom collected from Venezuelan opisthoglyphous (rear-fanged) Philodryas olfersii snake was studied. Different proteins were present in its venom and they were characterized by 20% SDS-PAGE protein electrophoresis. The secretion exhibited proteolytic (gelatinase) activity, which was partially purified on a chromatography ionic exchange mono Q2 column. Additionally, the haemorrhagic activity of Philodryas olfersii venom on chicken embryos, mouse skin and peritoneum was demonstrated. Neurotoxic symptoms were demonstrated in mice inoculated with Philodryas olfersii venom. In conclusion, Philodryas olfersii venom showed proteolytic, haemorrhagic, and neurotoxic activities, thus increasing the interest in the high toxic action of Philodryas venom. PMID:16699649

  2. Comparative analysis of local effects caused by Bothrops alternatus and Bothrops moojeni snake venoms: enzymatic contributions and inflammatory modulations.

    PubMed

    Mamede, Carla Cristine Neves; de Sousa, Bruna Barbosa; Pereira, Déborah Fernanda da Cunha; Matias, Mariana Santos; de Queiroz, Mayara Ribeiro; de Morais, Nadia Cristina Gomes; Vieira, Sâmela Alves Pereira Batista; Stanziola, Leonilda; de Oliveira, Fábio

    2016-07-01

    Bothropic envenomation is characterised by severe local damage caused by the toxic action of venom components and aggravated by induced inflammation. In this comparative study, the local inflammatory effects caused by the venoms of Bothrops alternatus and Bothrops moojeni, two snakes of epidemiological importance in Brazil, were investigated. The toxic action of venom components induced by bothropic venom was also characterised. Herein, the oedema, hyperalgesia and myotoxicity induced by bothropic venom were monitored for various lengths of time after venom injection in experimental animals. The intensity of the local effects caused by B. moojeni venom is considerably more potent than B. alternatus venom. Our results also indicate that metalloproteases and phospholipases A2 have a central role in the local damage induced by bothropic venoms, but serine proteases also contribute to the effects of these venoms. Furthermore, we observed that specific anti-inflammatory drugs were able to considerably reduce the oedema, the pain and the muscle damage caused by both venoms. The inflammatory reaction induced by B. moojeni venom is mediated by eicosanoid action, histamine and nitric oxide, with significant participation of bradykinin on the hyperalgesic and myotoxic effects of this venom. These mediators also participate to inflammation caused by B. alternatus venom. However, the inefficient anti-inflammatory effects of some local modulation suggest that histamine, leukotrienes and nitric oxide have little role in the oedema or myotoxicity caused by B. alternatus venom. PMID:26975252

  3. A Novel Neurotoxin from Venom of the Spider, Brachypelma albopilosum

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Mingwei; Li, Hongli; Wang, Ping; Yuan, Minglong; Lu, Qiumin

    2014-01-01

    Spiders have evolved highly selective toxins for insects. There are many insecticidal neurotoxins in spider venoms. Although a large amount of work has been done to focus on neurotoxicity of spider components, little information, which is related with effects of spider toxins on tumor cell proliferation and cytotoxicity, is available for Brachypelma albopilosum venom. In this work, a novel spider neurotoxin (brachyin) was identified and characterized from venoms of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum. Brachyin is composed of 41 amino acid residues with the sequence of CLGENVPCDKDRPNCCSRYECLEPTGYGWWYASYYCYKKRS. There are six cysteines in this sequence, which form three disulfided bridges. The serine residue at the C-terminus is amidated. Brachyin showed strong lethal effects on American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana) and Tenebrio molitor (common mealbeetle). This neurotoxin also showed significant analgesic effects in mice models including abdominal writhing induced by acetic acid and formalin-induced paw licking tests. It was interesting that brachyin exerted marked inhibition on tumor cell proliferation. PMID:25329070

  4. Acute kidney injury caused by bothrops snake venom.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues Sgrignolli, Lívia; Florido Mendes, Glória Elisa; Carlos, Carla Patricia; Burdmann, Emmanuel A

    2011-01-01

    Medically important venomous snakes in Latin America belong to the genus Bothrops, Crotalus, Lachesis and Micrurus. The Bothrops genus is responsible for the majority of accidents. The WHO globally estimates 2,500,000 poisonous snakebites and 125,000 deaths annually. In its last report in 2001, the Brazilian Ministry of Health accounted 359 deaths due to snakebites, of which the Bothrops genus was responsible for 185. Snake venoms cause local and systemic damage, including acute kidney injury, which is the most important cause of death among patients surviving the early effects of envenoming by the Crotalus and Bothrops genuses. Venom-induced acute kidney injury is a frequent complication of Bothrops snakebite, carrying relevant morbidity and mortality. PMID:21757950

  5. Preformulation Studies of Bee Venom for the Preparation of Bee Venom-Loaded PLGA Particles.

    PubMed

    Park, Min-Ho; Kim, Ju-Heon; Jeon, Jong-Woon; Park, Jin-Kyu; Lee, Bong-Joo; Suh, Guk-Hyun; Cho, Cheong-Weon

    2015-01-01

    It is known that allergic people was potentially vulnerable to bee venom (BV), which can induce an anaphylactic shock, eventually leading to death. Up until recently, this kind of allergy was treated only by venom immunotherapy (VIT) and its efficacy has been recognized worldwide. This treatment is practiced by subcutaneous injections that gradually increase the doses of the allergen. This is inconvenient for patients due to frequent injections. Poly (D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) has been broadly studied as a carrier for drug delivery systems (DDS) of proteins and peptides. PLGA particles usually induce a sustained release. In this study, the physicochemical properties of BV were examined prior to the preparation of BV-loaded PLGA nanoparticles NPs). The content of melittin, the main component of BV, was 53.3%. When protected from the light BV was stable at 4 °C in distilled water, during 8 weeks. BV-loaded PLGA particles were prepared using dichloromethane as the most suitable organic solvent and two min of ultrasonic emulsification time. This study has characterized the physicochemical properties of BV for the preparation BV-loaded PLGA NPs in order to design and optimize a suitable sustained release system in the future. PMID:26295219

  6. Antifungal Activity of Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom against Clinically Isolated Candida albicans

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Seung-Bae

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the antifungal effect of bee venom (BV) and sweet bee venom (SBV) against Candida albicans (C. albicans) clinical isolates. Methods: In this study, BV and SBV were examined for antifungal activities against the Korean Collection for Type Cultures (KCTC) strain and 10 clinical isolates of C. albicans. The disk diffusion method was used to measure the antifungal activity and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) assays were performed by using a broth microdilution method. Also, a killing curve assay was conducted to investigate the kinetics of the anti- fungal action. Results: BV and SBV showed antifungal activity against 10 clinical isolates of C. albicans that were cultured from blood and the vagina by using disk diffusion method. The MIC values obtained for clinical isolates by using the broth microdilution method varied from 62.5 μg/ mL to 125 μg/mL for BV and from 15.63 μg/mL to 62.5 μg/mL for SBV. In the killing-curve assay, SBV behaved as amphotericin B, which was used as positive control, did. The antifungal efficacy of SBV was much higher than that of BV. Conclusion: BV and SBV showed antifungal activity against C. albicans clinical strains that were isolated from blood and the vagina. Especially, SBV might be a candidate for a new antifungal agent against C. albicans clinical isolates. PMID:27280049

  7. The venomous hair structure, venom and life cycle of Lagoa crispata, a puss caterpillar of Oklahoma.

    PubMed

    Lamdin, J M; Howell, D E; Kocan, K M; Murphey, D R; Arnold, D C; Fenton, A W; Odell, G V; Ownby, C L

    2000-09-01

    The presence of a unique population of Lagoa crispata, puss caterpillar, in western Oklahoma is reported. A detailed microscopic examination shows the structure of the L. crispata spines resemble the type 4 spines described by [Kawamoto, F., Kumada, N., 1984. Biology and venoms of lepidoptera. In: Tu, A.T. (Ed.), Handbook of Natural Toxins, Insect Poisons, Allergens and other invertebrate venoms, vol. 2, pp. 291-332 (ch. 9)]. The major food source of L. crispata are the leaves of oak (shin oak). The high tannin content of this food source results in spine extracts high in oak tannins. These extracts have activity but enzyme and toxin activity is lost with time. The gel filtration protein fractions are colored from brown to yellow and are inactive as enzymes or toxins. No hyaluronidase, protease or phosphohydrolase activity is detected in these protein fractions. The life cycle shows these caterpillars have 6 instars. Characterizations and annual emerging times of each instar are included. PMID:10736472

  8. Lachesis stenophrys venom reduces the equine antibody response towards Bothrops asper venom used as co-immunogen in the production of polyspecific snake antivenom.

    PubMed

    Arroyo, Cynthia; Solano, Sergio; Herrera, María; Segura, Álvaro; Estrada, Ricardo; Vargas, Mariángela; Villalta, Mauren; Gutiérrez, José María; León, Guillermo

    2015-09-01

    The anti-bothropic activity of an antivenom prepared from the plasma of horses immunized with Bothrops asper venom (anti-B antivenom) was compared with a similar formulation produced from the plasma of horses immunized with a mixture of B. asper and Lachesis stenophrys venoms (anti-BL antivenom). Likewise, a comparison between the anti-lachesic activity of the anti-BL antivenom and a similar formulation prepared from horses immunized only with L. stenophrys venom (anti-L antivenom) was performed. The anti-BL antivenom had lower concentration of anti-bothropic antibodies than the anti-B antivenom. This difference was associated to a lower response towards all components of B. asper venom, but particularly towards some D49-phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) and PIII-metalloproteinases. Consequently, the anti-BL antivenom was less effective neutralizing lethal, coagulant, defibrinogenating, PLA2, and myotoxic activities of B. asper venom. On the other hand, anti-BL and anti-L antivenoms showed similar concentration of anti-lachesic antibodies, and similar capacity to recognize the HPLC fractions of L. stenophrys venom and to neutralize lethal, coagulant, proteolytic, hemorrhagic, PLA2 and myotoxic activities induced by this venom. It is concluded that, when used as co-immunogens, the venom of L. stenophrys reduces the antibody response towards B. asper venom, whereas the latter does not affect the anti-lachesic response. PMID:26100664

  9. The effects of hybridization on divergent venom phenotypes: Characterization of venom from Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus × Crotalus oreganus helleri hybrids.

    PubMed

    Smith, Cara Francesca; Mackessy, Stephen P

    2016-09-15

    Hybridization between divergent species can be analyzed to elucidate expression patterns of distinct parental characteristics, as well as to provide information about the extent of reproductive isolation between species. A known hybrid cross between two rattlesnakes with highly divergent venom phenotypes provided the opportunity to examine occurrence of parental venom characteristics in the F1 hybrids as well as ontogenetic shifts in the expression of these characters as the hybrids aged. Although venom phenotypes of adult rattlesnake venoms are known for many species, the effect of hybridization on phenotype inheritance is not well understood, and effects of hybridization on venom ontogeny have not yet been investigated. The current study investigates both phenomena resulting from the hybridization of a male snake with type I degradative venom, Crotalus oreganus helleri (Southern Pacific Rattlesnake), and a female snake with type II highly toxic venom, Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus (Mojave Rattlesnake). SDS-PAGE, enzymology, Western blot and reversed phase HPLC (RP-HPLC) were used to characterize the venom of the C. o. helleri male, the C. s. scutulatus female and their two hybrid offspring as they aged. In general, Crotalus o. helleri × C. s. scutulatus hybrid venoms appeared to exhibit overlapping parental venom profiles, and several different enzyme activity patterns. Both hybrids expressed C. o. helleri father-specific myotoxins as well as C. s. scutulatus mother-specific Mojave toxin. Snake venom metalloprotease activity displayed apparent sex-influenced expression patterns, while hybrid serine protease activities were intermediate to parental activities. The C. s. scutulatus × C. o. helleri hybrid male's venom profile provided the strongest evidence that type I and type II venom characteristics are expressed simultaneously in hybrid venoms, as this snake contained distinctive characteristics of both parental species. However, the possibility of

  10. Comparison of Phylogeny, Venom Composition and Neutralization by Antivenom in Diverse Species of Bothrops Complex

    PubMed Central

    Peixoto, Pedro S.; Bernardoni, Juliana L.; Oliveira, Sâmella S.; Portes-Junior, José Antonio; Mourão, Rosa Helena V.; Lima-dos-Santos, Isa; Sano-Martins, Ida S.; Chalkidis, Hipócrates M.; Valente, Richard H.; Moura-da-Silva, Ana M.

    2013-01-01

    In Latin America, Bothrops snakes account for most snake bites in humans, and the recommended treatment is administration of multispecific Bothrops antivenom (SAB – soro antibotrópico). However, Bothrops snakes are very diverse with regard to their venom composition, which raises the issue of which venoms should be used as immunizing antigens for the production of pan-specific Bothrops antivenoms. In this study, we simultaneously compared the composition and reactivity with SAB of venoms collected from six species of snakes, distributed in pairs from three distinct phylogenetic clades: Bothrops, Bothropoides and Rhinocerophis. We also evaluated the neutralization of Bothrops atrox venom, which is the species responsible for most snake bites in the Amazon region, but not included in the immunization antigen mixture used to produce SAB. Using mass spectrometric and chromatographic approaches, we observed a lack of similarity in protein composition between the venoms from closely related snakes and a high similarity between the venoms of phylogenetically more distant snakes, suggesting little connection between taxonomic position and venom composition. P-III snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) are the most antigenic toxins in the venoms of snakes from the Bothrops complex, whereas class P-I SVMPs, snake venom serine proteinases and phospholipases A2 reacted with antibodies in lower levels. Low molecular size toxins, such as disintegrins and bradykinin-potentiating peptides, were poorly antigenic. Toxins from the same protein family showed antigenic cross-reactivity among venoms from different species; SAB was efficient in neutralizing the B. atrox venom major toxins. Thus, we suggest that it is possible to obtain pan-specific effective antivenoms for Bothrops envenomations through immunization with venoms from only a few species of snakes, if these venoms contain protein classes that are representative of all species to which the antivenom is targeted. PMID

  11. Texture Fish

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stone, Julie

    2007-01-01

    In an effort to provide an opportunity for her first graders to explore texture through an engaging subject, the author developed a three-part lesson that features fish in a mixed-media artwork: (1) Exploring Textured Paint; (2) Creating the Fish; and (3) Role Playing. In this lesson, students effectively explore texture through painting, drawing,…

  12. Computational Studies of Venom Peptides Targeting Potassium Channels.

    PubMed

    Chen, Rong; Chung, Shin-Ho

    2015-12-01

    Small peptides isolated from the venom of animals are potential scaffolds for ion channel drug discovery. This review article mainly focuses on the computational studies that have advanced our understanding of how various toxins interfere with the function of K⁺ channels. We introduce the computational tools available for the study of toxin-channel interactions. We then discuss how these computational tools have been fruitfully applied to elucidate the mechanisms of action of a wide range of venom peptides from scorpions, spiders, and sea anemone. PMID:26633507

  13. Computational Studies of Venom Peptides Targeting Potassium Channels

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Rong; Chung, Shin-Ho

    2015-01-01

    Small peptides isolated from the venom of animals are potential scaffolds for ion channel drug discovery. This review article mainly focuses on the computational studies that have advanced our understanding of how various toxins interfere with the function of K+ channels. We introduce the computational tools available for the study of toxin-channel interactions. We then discuss how these computational tools have been fruitfully applied to elucidate the mechanisms of action of a wide range of venom peptides from scorpions, spiders, and sea anemone. PMID:26633507

  14. Venom Down Under: Dynamic Evolution of Australian Elapid Snake Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Sunagar, Kartik; Undheim, Eivind A. B.; Koludarov, Ivan; Chan, Angelo H. C.; Sanders, Kate; Ali, Syed A.; Hendrikx, Iwan; Dunstan, Nathan; Fry, Bryan G.

    2013-01-01

    Despite the unparalleled diversity of venomous snakes in Australia, research has concentrated on a handful of medically significant species and even of these very few toxins have been fully sequenced. In this study, venom gland transcriptomes were sequenced from eleven species of small Australian elapid snakes, from eleven genera, spanning a broad phylogenetic range. The particularly large number of sequences obtained for three-finger toxin (3FTx) peptides allowed for robust reconstructions of their dynamic molecular evolutionary histories. We demonstrated that each species preferentially favoured different types of α-neurotoxic 3FTx, probably as a result of differing feeding ecologies. The three forms of α-neurotoxin [Type I (also known as (aka): short-chain), Type II (aka: long-chain) and Type III] not only adopted differential rates of evolution, but have also conserved a diversity of residues, presumably to potentiate prey-specific toxicity. Despite these differences, the different α-neurotoxin types were shown to accumulate mutations in similar regions of the protein, largely in the loops and structurally unimportant regions, highlighting the significant role of focal mutagenesis. We theorize that this phenomenon not only affects toxin potency or specificity, but also generates necessary variation for preventing/delaying prey animals from acquiring venom-resistance. This study also recovered the first full-length sequences for multimeric phospholipase A2 (PLA2) ‘taipoxin/paradoxin’ subunits from non-Oxyuranus species, confirming the early recruitment of this extremely potent neurotoxin complex to the venom arsenal of Australian elapid snakes. We also recovered the first natriuretic peptides from an elapid that lack the derived C-terminal tail and resemble the plesiotypic form (ancestral character state) found in viper venoms. This provides supporting evidence for a single early recruitment of natriuretic peptides into snake venoms. Novel forms of kunitz

  15. The venomous toadfish Thalassophryne nattereri (niquim or miquim): report of 43 injuries provoked in fishermen of Salinópolis (Pará State) and Aracaju (Sergipe State), Brazil.

    PubMed

    Haddad Junior, Vidal; Pardal, Pedro Pereira Oliveira; Cardoso, Jo o Luiz Costa; Martins, Itamar Alves

    2003-01-01

    Fishes of family Batrachoididae are responsible for great number of injuries in fishermen in North and Northeast regions of Brazil. The genus Thalassophryne presents various venomous species of fishes found in the Brazilian coast, T. nattereri being the most common of them. The venom is ejected through two hollow spines on the dorsal fin and two on pre-opercular regions, which present a venomous gland in the base and can be erected or depressed by the fish. The manifestations of the envenoming were intense local pain, edema and erythema in 43 patients observed in Salinópolis (Pará State) and Aracaju (Sergipe State). There were no systemic manifestations, but necrosis was detected in eight and bacterial infection in ten injured fishermen. The circumstances of the contacts and therapeutic aspects are discussed. Envenoming by the genus Thalassophryne is important and frequent and should be considered of moderate severity grade, since there are not the excruciating pain or the massive local necrosis provoked by scorpionfishes (Scorpaena) or stingrays injuries nor the systemic manifestations that are the most important marker of severe envenoming. PMID:14502351

  16. Preparation of a potent anti-scorpion-venom-serum against the venom of red scorpion (Buthus tamalus).

    PubMed

    Kankonkar, R C; Kulkurni, D G; Hulikavi, C B

    1998-01-01

    A number of children and adults, especially pregnant women succumb to the sting by red Scorpion (Buthus tamalus) in Konkan region--particularly on the coastal line. No specific antiserum or any other antidote is available to treat a victim of scorpion bite and hence the need to prepare a potent antiserum. Red Scorpion (B. tamalus) venom is a mixture of a number of protein moieties and neurotoxins of low molecular weight. Therefore, the venom is poor in antigenic composition and it is difficult to get antibodies specific to neutralise lethal factor/factors. Using Bentonite as an adjuvant and extending the period of immunization a potent antiserum has been prepared capable of neutralising the lethal factor/factors. In vivo testing carried out in albino mice, guinea pigs, dogs and langurs confirms this finding and shows that the antiserum is quite effective in neutralising the scorpion venom to save the life of envenomated animals. PMID:10703580

  17. Cardiovascular effects of Sp-CTx, a cytolysin from the scorpionfish (Scorpaena plumieri) venom.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Helena L; Menezes, Thiago N; Malacarne, Pedro F; Roman-Campos, Danilo; Gondim, Antonio N; Cruz, Jader S; Vassallo, Dalton V; Figueiredo, Suely G

    2016-08-01

    Fish venom cytolysins are multifunctional proteins that in addition to their cytolytic/hemolytic effects display neurotoxic, cardiotoxic and inflammatory activities, being described as "protein lethal factors". A pore-forming cytolysin called Sp-CTx (Scorpaena plumieriCytolytic Toxin) has been recently purified from the venom of the scorpionfish Scorpaena plumieri. It is a glycoprotein with dimeric constitution, comprising subunits of approximately 65 kDa. Previous studies have revealed that this toxin has a vasorelaxant activity that appears to involve the L-arginine-nitric oxide synthase pathway; however its cardiovascular effects have not been fully comprehended. The present study examined the cardiovascular effects of Sp-CTx in vivo and in vitro. In anesthetized rats Sp-CTx (70 μg/kg i.v) produced a biphasic response which consisted of an initial systolic and diastolic pressure increase followed by a sustained decrease of these parameters and the heart rate. In isolated rats hearts Sp-CTx (10(-9) to 5 × 10(-6) M) produced concentration-dependent and transient ventricular positive inotropic effect and vasoconstriction response on coronary bed. In papillary muscle, Sp-CTx (10(-7) M) also produced an increase in contractile isometric force, which was attenuated by the catecholamine releasing agent tyramine (100 μM) and the β-adrenergic antagonist propranolol (10 μM). On isolated ventricular cardiomyocytes Sp-CTx (1 nM) increased the L-type Ca(2+) current density. The results show that Sp-CTx induces disorders in the cardiovascular system through increase of sarcolemmal calcium influx, which in turn is partially caused by the release of endogenous noradrenaline. PMID:27155562

  18. Some aspects of the venom proteome of the Colubridae snake Philodryas olfersii revealed from a Duvernoy's (venom) gland transcriptome.

    PubMed

    Ching, Ana T C; Rocha, Marisa M T; Paes Leme, Adriana F; Pimenta, Daniel C; de Fátima D Furtado, Maria; Serrano, Solange M T; Ho, Paulo L; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L M

    2006-08-01

    We investigated the putative toxins of Philodryas olfersii (Colubridae), a representative of a family of snakes neglected in venom studies despite their growing medical importance. Transcriptomic data of the venom gland complemented by proteomic analysis of the gland secretion revealed the presence of major toxin classes from the Viperidae family, including serine proteases, metalloproteases, C-type lectins, Crisps, and a C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP). Interestingly, the phylogenetic analysis of the CNP precursor showed it as a linker between two related precursors found in Viperidae and Elapidae snakes. We suggest that these precursors constitute a monophyletic group derived from the vertebrate CNPs. PMID:16857193

  19. Venom lethality and diet: differential responses of natural prey and model organisms to the venom of the saw-scaled vipers (Echis).

    PubMed

    Richards, D P; Barlow, A; Wüster, W

    2012-01-01

    The composition of snake venoms shows a high degree of variation at all taxonomic levels, and natural selection for diet has been implicated as a potential cause. Saw-scaled vipers (Echis) provide a good model for studying this phenomenon. The venoms of arthropod feeding species of Echis are significantly more toxic to natural scorpion prey than those of species which feed predominantly upon vertebrate prey. Although testing venom activity on natural prey is important for our understanding of the evolution of venom, natural prey species are often difficult to obtain in sufficient numbers for toxinological work. In order to test the viability of using cheaper and more easily available model organisms for toxicity assessments in evolutionary research, and the extent to which toxicity of arthropod-eating Echis venoms is increased to arthropods in general or targeted to certain groups, we conducted median lethal dosage (LD(50)) and time to death trials using the desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria) as a model arthropod, rarely consumed by wild Echis. The venoms of arthropod specialist Echis were found to be significantly more toxic to locusts than the venom of a vertebrate feeding outgroup (Bitis arietans), and one arthropod specialist venom was found to be more toxic than those species which feed upon arthropods infrequently or not at all. The venoms of arthropod specialists were also found to cause death and incapacitation faster than the vertebrate feeding outgroup. Despite some similarity of trends, there are considerable differences between the response of natural prey (scorpions) and a model arthropod (locust) to the venoms of Echis species. This suggests that when possible, natural prey rather than convenient model organisms should be used to gain an understanding of the functional significance of variation in venom composition in snakes. PMID:22079297

  20. Biological and immunological properties of the venom of Bothrops alcatraz, an endemic species of pitviper from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Furtado, M F D

    2005-06-01

    Bothrops alcatraz is a new pitviper species derived from the Bothrops jararaca group, whose natural habitat is situated in Alcatrazes Archipelago, a group of marine islands near São Paulo State coast in Brazil. Herein, the biological and biochemical properties of venoms of four adult specimens of B. alcatraz were examined comparatively to a reference pool of Bothrops jararaca venom. Both venoms showed similar activities and electrophoretic patterns, but B. alcatraz venom showed three protein bands of molecular masses of 97, 80 and 38 kDa that were not present in B. jararaca reference venom. The i.p. median lethal dose of B. alcatraz venom ranged from 5.1 to 6.6 mg/kg, while it was 1.5 mg/kg for B. jararaca venom. The minimum hemorrhagic dose of B. jararaca venom was 0.63, whereas 2.28 mug/mouse for B. alcatraz venom. In contrast, B. alcatraz venom was more potent in regard to procoagulant and proteolytic activities. These differences were supported by western blotting and neutralization tests, employing commercial bothropic antivenom, which showed that hemorrhagic and lethal activities of B. alcatraz venom were less effectively inhibited than B. jararaca venom. Such results evidence that B. alcatraz shows quantitative and qualitative differences in venom composition in comparison with its B. jararaca relatives, which might represent an optimization of venom towards a specialized diet. PMID:16002343

  1. One Fish, Two Fish, Redfish, You Fish!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Katherine; Timmons, Maryellen; Medders, Paul

    2011-01-01

    The recreational fishing activity presented in this article provides a hands-on, problem-based experience for students; it unites biology, math, economics, environmental policy, and population dynamics concepts. In addition, the activity allows students to shape environmental policy in a realistic setting and evaluate their peers' work. By…

  2. Fishing Forecasts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    ROFFS stands for Roffer's Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service, Inc. Roffer combines satellite and computer technology with oceanographic information from several sources to produce frequently updated charts sometimes as often as 30 times a day showing clues to the location of marlin, sailfish, tuna, swordfish and a variety of other types. Also provides customized forecasts for racing boats and the shipping industry along with seasonal forecasts that allow the marine industry to formulate fishing strategies based on foreknowledge of the arrival and departure times of different fish. Roffs service exemplifies the potential for benefits to marine industries from satellite observations. Most notable results are reduced search time and substantial fuel savings.

  3. Studies on the venom proteome of Bothrops asper: perspectives and applications.

    PubMed

    Alape-Girón, Alberto; Flores-Díaz, Marietta; Sanz, Libia; Madrigal, Marvin; Escolano, José; Sasa, Mahmood; Calvete, Juan J

    2009-12-01

    Bothrops asper is responsible for the vast majority of snakebite accidents in Central America and several studies have demonstrated that specific toxic and enzymatic activities of its venom vary with the geographic origin and age of the specimens. Variability in venom proteins and enzymes between specimens from the Caribbean and the Pacific versants of Costa Rica has been reported since 1964. Recently, we performed a comparative proteomic characterization of the venoms from one population of each versant. Proteins belonging to several families, including disintegrin, phospholipases A(2), serine proteinases, C-type lectins, CRISP, l-amino acid oxidase, and Zn(2+)-dependent metalloproteinases show a variable degree of relative occurrence in the venoms of both populations. The occurrence of prominent differences in the protein profile between venoms from adults and newborns, and among venom samples from individual specimens of the same region or developmental stage, further demonstrated the existence of geographic, ontogenetic and individual variability in the venom proteome of this species. These findings provide new insights towards understanding the biology of B. asper, contribute to a deeper understanding of the pathology induced by its venom and underscore the importance of the use of venoms pooled from specimens from both regions for producing antivenom exhibiting the broadest cross-reactivity. Furthermore, knowledge of the protein composition of B. asper venom paves the way for detailed future structure-function studies of individual toxins as well as for the development of new protocols to study the reactivity of therapeutic antivenoms. PMID:19539636

  4. Adaptive Evolution of the Venom-Targeted vWF Protein in Opossums that Eat Pitvipers

    PubMed Central

    Jansa, Sharon A.; Voss, Robert S.

    2011-01-01

    The rapid evolution of venom toxin genes is often explained as the result of a biochemical arms race between venomous animals and their prey. However, it is not clear that an arms race analogy is appropriate in this context because there is no published evidence for rapid evolution in genes that might confer toxin resistance among routinely envenomed species. Here we report such evidence from an unusual predator-prey relationship between opossums (Marsupialia: Didelphidae) and pitvipers (Serpentes: Crotalinae). In particular, we found high ratios of replacement to silent substitutions in the gene encoding von Willebrand Factor (vWF), a venom-targeted hemostatic blood protein, in a clade of opossums known to eat pitvipers and to be resistant to their hemorrhagic venom. Observed amino-acid substitutions in venom-resistant opossums include changes in net charge and hydrophobicity that are hypothesized to weaken the bond between vWF and one of its toxic snake-venom ligands, the C-type lectin-like protein botrocetin. Our results provide the first example of rapid adaptive evolution in any venom-targeted molecule, and they support the notion that an evolutionary arms race might be driving the rapid evolution of snake venoms. However, in the arms race implied by our results, venomous snakes are prey, and their venom has a correspondingly defensive function in addition to its usual trophic role. PMID:21731638

  5. Coagulant and anticoagulant activities of Bothrops lanceolatus (Fer de lance) venom.

    PubMed

    Lôbo de Araújo, A; Kamiguti, A; Bon, C

    2001-01-01

    Bothrops lanceolatus venom contains caseinolytic, phospholipase, esterase and haemorrhagic activities. We have investigated the coagulant and anticoagulant actions of B. lanceolatus venom on human citrated plasma and on purified plasma components. Although B. lanceolatus venom up to 50 microg/ml was unable to clot citrated plasma, at concentrations > or = 5 microg/ml the venom dose-dependently clotted purified human fibrinogen, indicating the presence of a thrombin-like enzyme. Human plasma (final concentration > or = 12.5%) dose-dependently inhibited the venom-induced fibrinogen clotting. This finding suggested that endogenous plasma protease inhibitors can affect the venom's action on fibrinogen. To investigate this possibility, B. lanceolatus venom was incubated with different plasma protease inhibitors and the activity on fibrinogen tested. alpha(2)-Macroglobulin and alpha(1)-antitrypsin did not interfere with the coagulant activity of the venom whereas the antithrombin-III/heparin complex partially inhibited this activity. A non-toxic, acidic phospholipase A(2) purified from B. lanceolatus venom prolonged the activated partial thromboplastin time in human plasma from 39.7+/-0.5 s (control with saline) to 60.2+/-0.9 s with 50 microg of PLA(2) (p<0.001), suggesting an anticoagulant activity associated with this enzyme. This anticoagulant activity may account for some of the effects of the venom on blood coagulation. PMID:10978756

  6. Sexual dimorphism in venom chemistry in Tetragnatha spiders is not easily explained by adult niche differences.

    PubMed

    Binford, Greta J; Gillespie, Rosemary G; Maddison, Wayne P

    2016-05-01

    Spider venom composition typically differs between sexes. This pattern is anecdotally thought to reflect differences in adult feeding biology. We used a phylogenetic approach to compare intersexual venom dimorphism between species that differ in adult niche dimorphism. Male and female venoms were compared within and between related species of Hawaiian Tetragnatha, a mainland congener, and outgroups. In some species of Hawaiian Tetragnatha adult females spin orb-webs and adult males capture prey while wandering, while in other species both males and females capture prey by wandering. We predicted that, if venom sexual dimorphism is primarily explained by differences in adult feeding biology, species in which both sexes forage by wandering would have monomorphic venoms or venoms with reduced dimorphism relative to species with different adult feeding biology. However, we found striking sexual dimorphism in venoms of both wandering and orb-weaving Tetragnatha species with males having high molecular weight components in their venoms that were absent in females, and a reduced concentration of low molecular weight components relative to females. Intersexual differences in venom composition within Tetragnatha were significantly larger than in non-Tetragnatha species. Diet composition was not different between sexes. This striking venom dimorphism is not easily explained by differences in feeding ecology or behavior. Rather, we hypothesize that the dimorphism reflects male-specific components that play a role in mating biology possibly in sexual stimulation, nuptial gifts and/or mate recognition. PMID:26908290

  7. Comparisons of Protein and Peptide Complexity in Poneroid and Formicoid Ant Venoms.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    Animal venom peptides are currently being developed as novel drugs and bioinsecticides. Because ants use venoms for defense and predation, venomous ants represent an untapped source of potential bioactive toxins. This study compared the protein and peptide components of the poneroid ants Neoponera commutata, Neoponera apicalis, and Odontomachus hastatus and the formicoid ants Ectatomma tuberculatum, Ectatomma brunneum, and Myrmecia gulosa. 1D and 2D PAGE revealed venom proteins in the mass range <10 to >250 kDa. NanoLC-ESI-QTOF MS/MS analysis of tryptic peptides revealed the presence of common venom proteins and also many undescribed proteins. RP-HPLC separation followed by MALDI-TOF MS of the venom peptides also revealed considerable heterogeneity. It was found that the venoms contained between 144 and 1032 peptides with 5-95% of peptides in the ranges 1-4 and 1-8 kDa for poneroid and formicoid ants, respectively. By employing the reducing MALDI matrix 1,5-diaminonapthalene, up to 28 disulfide-bonded peptides were also identified in each of the venoms. In particular, the mass range of peptides from poneroid ants is lower than peptides from other venoms, indicating possible novel structures and pharmacologies. These results indicate that ant venoms represent an enormous, untapped source of novel therapeutic and bioinsecticide leads. PMID:27436154

  8. Snake venoms: A brief treatise on etymology, origins of terminology, and definitions.

    PubMed

    Weinstein, Scott A

    2015-09-01

    The ancient perceptions of "venomous" and "poisonous snakes", as well as the Indo-European (IE) etymological origins of the term "venom" specifically associated with snakes are considered. Although several ancient cultures perceived snakes as symbols of fecundity and renewal, concurrent beliefs also associated venomous snakes with undesirable human characteristics or as portending non-propitious events. The respective IE roots of the terms "venom" and "poison", "wen" and "poi" refer to desire or the act of ingesting liquids. The origin of the term, "venom", is associated with polytheistic cults that emphasized attainment of desires sometimes assisted by "love potions", a term later interpolated with the word, "poison". Specific interpretation of the term, venom, has varied since its first probable use in the mid-Thirteenth Century. The definition of snake venom has long been contended, and interpretations have often reflected emphasis on the pharmacological or experimental toxicity of medically relevant snake venoms with less regard for the basic biological bases of these venoms, as well as those from snakes with no known medical significance. Several definitions of "snake venom" and their defining criteria are reviewed, and critical consideration is given to traditional criteria that might facilitate the future establishment of a biologically accurate definition. PMID:26166305

  9. VENOM VARIATION IN HEMOSTASIS OF THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC RATTLESNAKE (Crotalus oreganus helleri): ISOLATION OF HELLERASE

    PubMed Central

    Salazar, Ana Maria; Guerrero, Belsy; Cantu, Bruno; Cantu, Esteban; Rodríguez-Acosta, Alexis; Pérez, John C.; Galán, Jacob A.; Tao, Andy; Sánchez, Elda E.

    2009-01-01

    Envenomations by the Southern Pacific Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus helleri) are the most common snakebite accidents in southern California. Intraspecies venom variation may lead to unresponsiveness of antivenom therapy. Even in a known species, venom toxins are recognized as diverse in conformity with interpopulational, seasonal, ontogenetic and individual factors. Five venoms of individual C. o. helleri located in Riverside and San Bernardino counties of southern California were studied for their variation in their hemostasis activity. The results demonstrated that Riverside 2 and San Bernardino 1 venoms presented the highest lethal activity without hemorrhagic activity. In contrast, San Bernardino 2 and 3 venoms had the highest hemorrhagic and fibrinolytic activities with low lethal and coagulant activities. Riverside 1, Riverside 2 and San Bernardino 1 venoms presented a significant thrombin-like activity. San Bernardino 2 and 3 venoms presented an insignificant thrombin-like activity. In relation to the fibrinolytic activity, San Bernardino 3 venom was the most active on fibrin plates, which was in turn neutralized by metal chelating inhibitors. These results demonstrate the differences amongst C. o helleri venoms from close localities. A metalloproteinase, hellerase, was purified by anionic and cationic exchange chromatography from San Bernardino 3 venom. Hellerase exhibited the ability to break fibrin clots in vitro, which can be of biomedically importance in the treatment of heart attacks and strokes. PMID:18804187

  10. Restriction and Recruitment—Gene Duplication and the Origin and Evolution of Snake Venom Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Hargreaves, Adam D.; Swain, Martin T.; Hegarty, Matthew J.; Logan, Darren W.; Mulley, John F.

    2014-01-01

    Snake venom has been hypothesized to have originated and diversified through a process that involves duplication of genes encoding body proteins with subsequent recruitment of the copy to the venom gland, where natural selection acts to develop or increase toxicity. However, gene duplication is known to be a rare event in vertebrate genomes, and the recruitment of duplicated genes to a novel expression domain (neofunctionalization) is an even rarer process that requires the evolution of novel combinations of transcription factor binding sites in upstream regulatory regions. Therefore, although this hypothesis concerning the evolution of snake venom is very unlikely and should be regarded with caution, it is nonetheless often assumed to be established fact, hindering research into the true origins of snake venom toxins. To critically evaluate this hypothesis, we have generated transcriptomic data for body tissues and salivary and venom glands from five species of venomous and nonvenomous reptiles. Our comparative transcriptomic analysis of these data reveals that snake venom does not evolve through the hypothesized process of duplication and recruitment of genes encoding body proteins. Indeed, our results show that many proposed venom toxins are in fact expressed in a wide variety of body tissues, including the salivary gland of nonvenomous reptiles and that these genes have therefore been restricted to the venom gland following duplication, not recruited. Thus, snake venom evolves through the duplication and subfunctionalization of genes encoding existing salivary proteins. These results highlight the danger of the elegant and intuitive “just-so story” in evolutionary biology. PMID:25079342

  11. Recruitment and diversification of an ecdysozoan family of neuropeptide hormones for black widow spider venom expression

    PubMed Central

    McCowan, Caryn; Garb, Jessica E.

    2014-01-01

    Venoms have attracted enormous attention because of their potent physiological effects and dynamic evolution, including the convergent recruitment of homologous genes for venom expression. Here we provide novel evidence for the recruitment of genes from the Crustacean Hyperglycemic Hormone (CHH) and arthropod Ion Transport Peptide (ITP) superfamily for venom expression in black widow spiders. We characterized latrodectin peptides from venom gland cDNAs from the Western black widow spider (Latrodectus hesperus), the brown widow (L. geometricus) and cupboard spider (Steatoda grossa). Phylogenetic analyses of these sequences with homologs from other spider, scorpion and wasp venom cDNAs, as well as CHH/ITP neuropeptides, show latrodectins as derived members of the CHH/ITP superfamily. These analyses suggest that CHH/ITP homologs are more widespread in spider venoms, and were recruited for venom expression in two additional arthropod lineages. We also found that the latrodectin 2 gene and nearly all CHH/ITP genes include a phase 2 intron in the same position, supporting latrodectin’s placement within the CHH/ITP superfamily. Evolutionary analyses of latrodectins suggest episodes of positive selection along some sequence lineages, and positive and purifying selection on specific codons, supporting its functional importance in widow venom. We consider how this improved understanding of latrodectin evolution informs functional hypotheses regarding its role in black widow venom as well as its potential convergent recruitment for venom expression across arthropods. PMID:24316130

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

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Gihyun; Bae, Hyunsu

    2016-01-01

    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. Differences in venom toxicity and antigenicity between females and males Tityus nororientalis (Buthidae) scorpions

    PubMed Central

    De Sousa, Leonardo; Borges, Adolfo; Vásquez-Suárez, Aleikar; Op den Camp, Huub JM; Chadee-Burgos, Rosa I; Romero-Bellorín, Mirna; Espinoza, Jorge; De Sousa-Insana, Leonardo; Pino-García, Oscar

    2010-01-01

    Venom from male and female specimens of the medically important Venezuelan scorpion Tityus nororientalis have been compared. Males showed a significantly higher venom yield (2.39mg/individual) compared to female scorpions (0.98mg/individual). Female venom was significantly more toxic than that of males, with a median lethal dose (LD50) in C57BL/6 mice of 9.46 μg venom protein/gm body weight [95% confidence interval (8.91-9.94)] whereas LD50 for males was 13.36(12.58-14.03) μg/gm. Mass spectral analyses by MALDI-TOF revealed differences in venom composition between males and females. From a clinical standpoint, the time course of toxicity course indicated a tendency, in the case of the female venom, to elicit the earlier occurrence of severe signs such as sialorrhea, dyspnea (bradypnea/apnea) and exophthalmus particularly in the late toxicity phase. Female venom was significantly less efficient than male venom to inhibit the binding of anti-T. discrepans antibodies to immobilized T. discrepans venom in ELISA assays, suggesting sex-related differences in the bioactive surfaces of T. nororientalis toxins. These results indicate that males and females of T. nororientalis produce venoms with different composition and activity which may have epidemiological implications. PMID:21544184

  14. Fluorometric assay using naphthylamide substrates for assessing novel venom peptidase activities.

    PubMed

    Gasparello-Clemente, Elaine; Silveira, Paulo Flávio

    2002-11-01

    In the present study we examined the feasibility of using the fluorometry of naphthylamine derivatives for revealing peptidase activities in venoms of the snakes Bothrops jararaca, Bothrops alternatus, Bothrops atrox, Bothrops moojeni, Bothrops insularis, Crotalus durissus terrificus and Bitis arietans, of the scorpions Tityus serrulatus and Tityus bahiensis, and of the spiders Phoneutria nigriventer and Loxosceles intermedia. Neutral aminopeptidase (APN) and prolyl-dipeptidyl aminopeptidase IV (DPP IV) activities were presented in all snake venoms, with the highest levels in B. alternatus. Although all examined peptidase activities showed relatively low levels in arthropod venoms, basic aminopeptidase (APB) activity from P. nigriventer venom was the exception. Compared to the other peptidase activities, relatively high levels of acid aminopeptidase (APA) activity were restricted to B. arietans venom. B. arietans also exhibited a prominent content of APB activity which was lower in other venoms. Relatively low prolyl endopeptidase and proline iminopeptidase activities were, respectively, detectable only in T. bahiensis and B. insularis. Pyroglutamate aminopeptidase activity was undetectable in all venoms. All examined peptidase activities were undetectable in T. serrulatus venom. In this study, the specificities of a diverse array of peptidase activities from representative venoms were demonstrated for the first time, with a description of their distribution which may contribute to guiding further investigations. The expressive difference between snake and arthropod venoms was indicated by APN and DPP IV activities while APA and APB activities distinguished the venom of B. arietans from those of Brazilian snakes. The data reflected the relatively uniform qualitative distribution of the peptidase activities investigated, together with their unequal quantitative distribution, indicating the evolutionary divergence in the processing of peptides in these different

  15. Neuromuscular action of venom from the South American colubrid snake Philodryas patagoniensis.

    PubMed

    Carreiro da Costa, Roberta S; Prudêncio, Luiz; Ferrari, Erika Fonseca; Souza, Gustavo H M F; de Mello, Sueli Moreira; Prianti Júnior, Antonio Carlos Guimarães; Ribeiro, Wellington; Zamunér, Stella Regina; Hyslop, Stephen; Cogo, José Carlos

    2008-07-01

    Snakes of the opisthoglyphous genus Philodryas are widespread in South America and cause most bites by colubrids in this region. In this study, we examined the neurotoxic and myotoxic effects of venom from Philodryas patagoniensis in biventer cervicis and phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparations and we compared the biochemical activities of venoms from P. patagoniensis and Philodryas olfersii. Philodryas patagoniensis venom (40 microg/mL) had no effect on mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparations but caused time-dependent neuromuscular blockade of chick biventer cervicis preparations. This blockade was not reversed by washing. The highest concentration of venom tested (40 microg/mL) significantly reduced (p<0.05) the contractures to exogenous acetylcholine (55 microM and 110 microM) and K(+) (13.4 mM) after 120 min; lower concentrations of venom had no consistent or significant effect on these responses. Venom caused a concentration- and time-dependent release of creatine kinase (CK) from biventer cervicis preparations. Histological analysis showed contracted muscle fibers at low venom concentrations and myonecrosis at high concentrations. Philodryas venoms had low esterase and phospholipase A(2) but high proteolytic activities compared to the pitviper Bothrops jararaca. SDS-PAGE showed that the Philodryas venoms had similar electrophoretic profiles, with most proteins having a molecular mass of 25-80 kDa. Both of the Philodryas venoms cross-reacted with bothropic antivenom in ELISA, indicating the presence of proteins immunologically related to Bothrops venoms. RP-HPLC of P. patagoniensis venom yielded four major peaks, each of which contained several proteins, as shown by SDS-PAGE. These results indicate that P. patagoniensis venom has neurotoxic and myotoxic components that may contribute to the effects of envenoming by this species. PMID:18455482

  16. Molecular Diversity and Gene Evolution of the Venom Arsenal of Terebridae Predatory Marine Snails

    PubMed Central

    Gorson, Juliette; Ramrattan, Girish; Verdes, Aida; Wright, Elizabeth M.; Kantor, Yuri; Rajaram Srinivasan, Ramakrishnan; Musunuri, Raj; Packer, Daniel; Albano, Gabriel; Qiu, Wei-Gang; Holford, Mandë

    2015-01-01

    Venom peptides from predatory organisms are a resource for investigating evolutionary processes such as adaptive radiation or diversification, and exemplify promising targets for biomedical drug development. Terebridae are an understudied lineage of conoidean snails, which also includes cone snails and turrids. Characterization of cone snail venom peptides, conotoxins, has revealed a cocktail of bioactive compounds used to investigate physiological cellular function, predator-prey interactions, and to develop novel therapeutics. However, venom diversity of other conoidean snails remains poorly understood. The present research applies a venomics approach to characterize novel terebrid venom peptides, teretoxins, from the venom gland transcriptomes of Triplostephanus anilis and Terebra subulata. Next-generation sequencing and de novo assembly identified 139 putative teretoxins that were analyzed for the presence of canonical peptide features as identified in conotoxins. To meet the challenges of de novo assembly, multiple approaches for cross validation of findings were performed to achieve reliable assemblies of venom duct transcriptomes and to obtain a robust portrait of Terebridae venom. Phylogenetic methodology was used to identify 14 teretoxin gene superfamilies for the first time, 13 of which are unique to the Terebridae. Additionally, basic local algorithm search tool homology-based searches to venom-related genes and posttranslational modification enzymes identified a convergence of certain venom proteins, such as actinoporin, commonly found in venoms. This research provides novel insights into venom evolution and recruitment in Conoidean predatory marine snails and identifies a plethora of terebrid venom peptides that can be used to investigate fundamental questions pertaining to gene evolution. PMID:26025559

  17. Venomous snakebites in children in southern Croatia.

    PubMed

    Karabuva, Svjetlana; Vrkić, Ivana; Brizić, Ivica; Ivić, Ivo; Lukšić, Boris

    2016-03-15

    This retrospective study represents observation of 160 children and adolescents aged up to 18 years that experienced venomous snakebites in southern Croatia and were treated in the Clinical Department of Infectious Diseases in the University Hospital Centre Split from 1979 to 2013. The main purpose of this research was to determine the epidemiological characteristics, clinical presentation, local and general complications, and received treatment. Most bites occurred during warm months, from early May to late August (80%), mostly in May and June. Upper limb bites were more frequent (59%) than lower limb bites (40%). Out of the total number of poisoned children, 24% developed local, and 25% general complications. The most common local complications were haemorrhagic blisters that occurred in 20% children, followed by compartment syndrome presented in 7.5% patients. The most dominated general complication was cranial nerve paresis or paralysis, which was identified in 11.2% patients, whereas shock symptoms were registrated in 7% children. According to severity of poisoning, 9.4% children had minor, 35% mild, 30.6% moderate, and 24.4% had severe clinical manifestation of envenomation. Only one (0.6%) child passed away because of snakebite directly on the neck. All patients received antivenom produced by the Institute of Immunology in Zagreb, tetanus prophylaxis as well, and almost all of them received antibiotics, and a great majority of them also received corticosteroids and antihistamines. Neighter anaphylactic reaction nor serum disease were noticed in our patients after administrating antivenom. A total of 26% children underwent surgical interventions, and incision of haemorrhagic blister was the most common applied surgical treatment, which was preformed in 15.6% patients, while fasciotomy was done in 7.5% subjects. All of our surgically treated patients recovered successfully. PMID:26802624

  18. Cobra venom cytotoxins; apoptotic or necrotic agents?

    PubMed

    Ebrahim, Karim; Shirazi, Farshad H; Mirakabadi, Abbas Zare; Vatanpour, Hossein

    2015-12-15

    Organs homeostasis is controlled by a dynamic balance between cell proliferation and apoptosis. Failure to induction of apoptosis has been implicated in tumor development. Cytotoxin-I (CTX-I) and cytotoxin-II (CTX-II) are two physiologically active polypeptides found in Caspian cobra venom. Anticancer activity and mechanism of cell death induced by these toxins have been studied. The toxins were purified by different chromatographic steps and their cytotoxicity and pattern of cell death were determined by MTT, LDH release, acridine orange/ethidium bromide (AO/EtBr) double staining, flow cytometric analysis, caspase-3 activity and neutral red assays. The IC50 of CTX-II in MCF-7, HepG2, DU-145 and HL-60 was 4.1 ± 1.3, 21.2 ± 4.4, 9.4 ± 1.8 μg/mL and 16.3 ± 1.9 respectively while the IC50 of this toxin in normal MDCK cell line was 54.5 ± 3.9 μg/mL. LDH release suddenly increase after a specific toxins concentrations in all cell lines. AO/EtBr double staining, flow cytometric analysis and caspase-3 activity assay confirm dose and time-dependent induction of apoptosis by both toxins. CTX-I and CTX-II treated cells lost their lysosomal membrane integrity and couldn't uptake neutral red day. CTX-I and CTX-II showed significant anticancer activity with minimum effects on normal cells and better IC50 compared to current anticancer drug; cisplatin. They induce their apoptotic effect via lysosomal pathways and release of cathepsins to cytosol. These effects were seen in limited rage of toxins concentrations and pattern of cell death rapidly changes to necrosis by increase in toxin's concentration. In conclusion, significant apoptogenic effects of these toxins candidate them as a possible anticancer agent. PMID:26482932

  19. Hemolytic venoms from marine cnidarian jellyfish – an overview

    PubMed Central

    Mariottini, Gian Luigi

    2014-01-01

    Cnidarian jellyfish are viewed as an emergent problem in several coastal zones throughout the world. Recurrent outbreaks pose a serious threat to tourists and bathers, as well as to sea-workers, involving health and economical aspects. As a rule, cnidarian stinging as a consequence of nematocyst firing induces merely local symptoms but cardiovascular or neurological complications can also occur. Hemolysis is a frequent effect of cnidarian stinging; this dangerous condition is known to be caused by several venoms and can sometimes be lethal. At present, the bulk of data concerning hemolytic cnidarian venoms comes from the study of benthic species, such as sea anemones and soft corals, but hemolytic factors were found in venoms of several siphonophore, cubozoan and scyphozoan jellyfish, which are mainly involved in the envenomation of bathers and sea-workers. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to review the scientific literature concerning the hemolytic venoms from cnidarian jellyfish taking into consideration their importance in human pathology as well as health implications and possible therapeutic measures. PMID:25386336

  20. Natural Inhibitors of Snake Venom Metalloendopeptidases: History and Current Challenges.

    PubMed

    Bastos, Viviane A; Gomes-Neto, Francisco; Perales, Jonas; Neves-Ferreira, Ana Gisele C; Valente, Richard H

    2016-01-01

    The research on natural snake venom metalloendopeptidase inhibitors (SVMPIs) began in the 18th century with the pioneering work of Fontana on the resistance that vipers exhibited to their own venom. During the past 40 years, SVMPIs have been isolated mainly from the sera of resistant animals, and characterized to different extents. They are acidic oligomeric glycoproteins that remain biologically active over a wide range of pH and temperature values. Based on primary structure determination, mammalian plasmatic SVMPIs are classified as members of the immunoglobulin (Ig) supergene protein family, while the one isolated from muscle belongs to the ficolin/opsonin P35 family. On the other hand, SVMPIs from snake plasma have been placed in the cystatin superfamily. These natural antitoxins constitute the first line of defense against snake venoms, inhibiting the catalytic activities of snake venom metalloendopeptidases through the establishment of high-affinity, non-covalent interactions. This review presents a historical account of the field of natural resistance, summarizing its main discoveries and current challenges, which are mostly related to the limitations that preclude three-dimensional structural determinations of these inhibitors using "gold-standard" methods; perspectives on how to circumvent such limitations are presented. Potential applications of these SVMPIs in medicine are also highlighted. PMID:27571103

  1. 21 CFR 864.8950 - Russell viper venom reagent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Russell viper venom reagent. 864.8950 Section 864.8950 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES HEMATOLOGY AND PATHOLOGY DEVICES Hematology Reagents § 864.8950 Russell viper...

  2. 21 CFR 864.8950 - Russell viper venom reagent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Russell viper venom reagent. 864.8950 Section 864.8950 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES HEMATOLOGY AND PATHOLOGY DEVICES Hematology Reagents § 864.8950 Russell viper...

  3. 21 CFR 864.8950 - Russell viper venom reagent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Russell viper venom reagent. 864.8950 Section 864.8950 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES HEMATOLOGY AND PATHOLOGY DEVICES Hematology Reagents § 864.8950 Russell viper...

  4. 21 CFR 864.8950 - Russell viper venom reagent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Russell viper venom reagent. 864.8950 Section 864.8950 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES HEMATOLOGY AND PATHOLOGY DEVICES Hematology Reagents § 864.8950 Russell viper...

  5. 21 CFR 864.8950 - Russell viper venom reagent.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Russell viper venom reagent. 864.8950 Section 864.8950 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES HEMATOLOGY AND PATHOLOGY DEVICES Hematology Reagents § 864.8950 Russell viper...

  6. Proteomic Analysis Provides Insights on Venom Processing in Conus textile

    PubMed Central

    Tayo, Lemmuel L.; Lu, Bingwen; Cruz, Lourdes J.; Yates, John R.

    2010-01-01

    Conus species of marine snails deliver a potent collection of toxins from the venom duct via a long proboscis attached to a harpoon tooth. Conotoxins are known to possess powerful neurological effects and some have been developed for therapeutic uses. Using mass-spectrometry based proteomics, qualitative and quantitative differences in conotoxin components were found in the proximal, central and distal sections of the C. textile venom duct suggesting specialization of duct sections for biosynthesis of particular conotoxins. Reversed phase HPLC followed by Orbitrap mass spectrometry and data analysis using SEQUEST and ProLuCID identified 31 conotoxin sequences and 25 post-translational modification (PTM) variants with King-Kong 2 peptide being the most abundant. Several previously unreported variants of known conopeptides and were found and this is the first time that HyVal is reported for a disulfide rich Conus peptide. Differential expression along the venom duct, production of PTM variants, alternative proteolytic cleavage sites, and venom processing enroute to the proboscis all appear to contribute to enriching the combinatorial pool of conopeptides and producing the appropriate formulation for a particular hunting situation. The complimentary tools of mass spectrometry-based proteomics and molecular biology can greatly accelerate the discovery of Conus peptides and provide insights on envenomation and other biological strategies of cone snails. PMID:20334424

  7. [Risks posed by venomous animals -- accidents due to snakebite envenomation].

    PubMed

    Erkens, K; Boecken, G

    2004-10-01

    In regions where poisonous animals are widely distributed, the management of injuries due to these animals is part of the routine medical care. Personnel e. g. deployed for humanitarian aid missions in these areas have to be prepared to face these challenges as well. Beside this group zoo personnel and snake charmers here in Europe are also endangered. The most common form of animal poisoning is due to snake bites. There are approximately 600 different species of poisonous snakes, commonly found in the warm climatic regions. But poisoning from spiders, scorpions and some marine animals can also be life threatening. There are different kinds of snake venoms, which result into different clinical presentations depending on the components of the venom. The venom may be cytotoxic, hematotoxic, neurotoxic, rhabdomyolytic, cardiotoxic, renotoxic or may cause an autoimmune reaction by complement activation. In the management of injuries following animal poisoning, besides the first aid measures taken, the injured is supposed to be managed according to the poison component in the venom with specific antivenin treatment and supportive therapeutic care. There are mono- and polyvalent antivenins available. Noneffective first-aid measures or measures which can cause further trauma must always be avoided. In general adapted behaviour in the field can prevent envenomation. Education on preventive measures with the aim of behaviour change are central components for pre-deployment preparations. PMID:15486801

  8. Fish Facts

    MedlinePlus

    ... not eat any fish because they worry about mercury in seafood. Mercury is a metal that, at high levels, can ... many types of seafood have little or no mercury at all. So your risk of mercury exposure ...

  9. Designer Fish.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, William R., Jr.

    1990-01-01

    Described is an activity in which students are asked to design a fish that would survive in a natural system. A project to computerize the activity is discussed. The development of this artificial intelligence software is detailed. (CW)

  10. Fish Allergy

    MedlinePlus

    ... specific fish used on the label. Read all product labels carefully before purchasing and consuming any item. Ingredients ... Getting Started Newly Diagnosed Emergency Care Plan Food Labels Mislabeled Products Tips for Managing Food Allergies Resources For... Most ...

  11. Bites and stings from venomous animals: a global overview.

    PubMed

    White, J

    2000-02-01

    Venomous and poisonous animals are a significant cause of global morbidity and mortality. This Seminar will cover selected aspects of these animals, their venoms/poisons, and their clinical impact on humankind, from a global perspective, but with a distinctive Australian flavor and a clinical emphasis. Venomous snakes are found throughout most of the world, including many oceans, and have evolved a variety of highly effective toxins and methods of delivery. Their impact on humans is considerable, most current data suggesting they cause in excess of 3 million bites per year with more than 150,000 deaths. Particularly in the rural tropics, snakebite morbidity and mortality has a significant human medical and economic toll. The major groups of snakes causing bites are the vipers, the elapids (cobra type), the sea snakes, the side-fanged vipers, and the back-fanged colubrids. Australian venomous snakes are nearly all elapids and have evolved some of the most toxic of all snake venoms. Their effects include potent procoagulants and anticoagulants, neurotoxins, myotoxins, and nephrotoxins, but a distinct absence of the major local necrotoxins found in some non-Australian elapids and many vipers. The effect of these toxins on humans is not limited to envenoming, for the toxins are proving invaluable as research tools and diagnostic agents, and may even have a future as precursors of therapeutic agents. Because of the high toxicity and diversity of Australian elapids, a variety of monovalent antivenoms have been developed. There is also a venom detection kit to determine the type of snake and allow targeted antivenom therapy. The kit has also increased information available on diagnostic patterns of envenoming for each species. Australia is also home to the world's most lethal spiders, the funnel webs of eastern Australia, as well as the red back spider, the single most common reason for antivenom treatment in Australia. The latter spiders have been accidently exported to

  12. In vitro antibacterial effect of wasp (Vespa orientalis) venom

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The emergence of antibacterial resistance against several classes of antibiotics is an inevitable consequence of drug overuse. As antimicrobial resistance spreads throughout the globe, new substances will always be necessary to fight against multidrug-resistant microorganisms. Venoms of many animals have recently gained attention in the search for new antimicrobials to treat infectious diseases. Thefore, the present study aimed to study the antibacterial effects of wasp (Vespa orientalis) crude venom. Two gram-positive bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis) and two gram-negative ones (Escherichia coli and Klesiella pneumonia) were compared for their sensitivity to the venom by determining the inhibition zone (Kirby-Bauer method) and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). A microbroth kinetic system based on continuous monitoring of changes in the optical density of bacterial growth was also used for determination of antimicrobial activity. Results The venom exhibited a well-recognized antimicrobial property against the tested bacterial strains. The inhibition zones were determined to be 12.6, 22.7, 22.4 and 10.2 mm for S. aureus, B. subtilis, E. coli and K. pneumonia, respectively. The corresponding MIC values were determined to be 64, 8, 64 and 128 μg/mL, respectively. The MIC50 and MIC90 values of the venom were respectively determined to be 63.6 and 107 μg/mL for S. aureus, 4.3 and 7.0 μg/mL for B. subtilis, 45.3 and 65.7 μg/mL for E. coli and 74.4 and 119.2 μg/mL for K. pneumonia. Gram-positive bacteria were generally more sensitive to the venom than gram-negative ones. Conclusions Results revealed that the venom markedly inhibits the growth of both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and could be considered a potential source for developing new antibacterial drugs. PMID:24955088

  13. An investigation of the coagulant activity of the venom of the saw-scaled viper (Echis carinatus) from Saudi Arabia.

    PubMed

    Kamiguti, A S; Theakston, R D; Tomy, S C

    1988-10-01

    Unlike the venom of Echis carinatus from India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Kenya, Iran and Oman, Saudi Arabian E. carinatus venom is a poor activator of prothrombin. However, it possesses similar defibrinogenating activity to the other venoms. This is because the venom from Saudi Arabian snakes contains a calcium-dependent factor X activator. It is suggested that in future studies of the coagulant activity of venoms, the determination of plasma coagulant activity should be carried out in the presence of added calcium ions. This applies particularly to those venoms which do not act on plasma or fibrinogen, but which do cause in vivo defibrinogenation. PMID:3257079

  14. Antibodies against Tityus discrepans venom do not abolish the effect of Tityus serrulatus venom on the rat sodium and potassium channels.

    PubMed

    Borges, A; Tsushima, R G; Backx, P H

    1999-06-01

    Anti-(Tityus serrulatus + Tityus bahiensis) and anti-Tityus discrepans venom polyclonal antisera were used to investigate whether antigenic differences exist between the venoms of the Brazilian T. serrulatus and the Venezuelan T. discrepans scorpions. Both antisera recognised the toxin-containing electrophoretic fractions of their cognate venoms and also those from Tityus zulianus and Tityus trinitatis venoms on Western blots. The anti-T. discrepans antiserum reacted only weakly with T. serrulatus toxic polypeptides. The effect of T. serrulatus alpha- or beta-toxins on rat skeletal muscle Na+ channels expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes was abolished by pre-incubating the venom with anti-(T. serrulatus + T. bahiensis) serum but not with anti-T. discrepans serum. Nor did the Brazilian or the Venezuelan sera prevent the reduction in K+ currents by T. serrulatus venom in X. laevis oocytes expressing the rat brain delayed rectifying Shaker K+ channel (Kv1.2). These results indicate that toxins from T. serrulatus and T. discrepans venoms, which primarily target mammalian Na+ channels, are antigenically distinct, although they probably share common epitopes. Our results also suggest that Na+ channel-active toxins are the immunodominant antigens of the T. serrulatus venom. PMID:10340827

  15. The history of venomous spider identification, venom extraction methods and antivenom production: a long journey at the Butantan Institute, São Paulo, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Lucas, Sylvia M

    2015-01-01

    The article provides a historical report on venomous spider identification, venom obtainment methods and serum production at the Butantan Institute, São Paulo, Brazil. It is based on literature and personnal experience during the last 50 years. This result is the discovery that the real species causing potential severe human accidents were the spiders of the genus Loxosceles and Phoneutria. PMID:26085831

  16. Laterally Transferred Gene Recruited as a Venom in Parasitoid Wasps.

    PubMed

    Martinson, Ellen O; Martinson, Vincent G; Edwards, Rachel; Mrinalini; Werren, John H

    2016-04-01

    Parasitoid wasps use venom to manipulate the immunity and metabolism of their host insects in a variety of ways to provide resources for their offspring. Yet, how genes are recruited and evolve to perform venom functions remain open questions. A recently recognized source of eukaryotic genome innovation is lateral gene transfer (LGT). Glycoside hydrolase family 19 (GH19) chitinases are widespread in bacteria, microsporidia, and plants where they are used in nutrient acquisition or defense, but have previously not been known in metazoans. In this study, a GH19 chitinase LGT is described from the unicellular microsporidia/Rozella clade into parasitoid wasps of the superfamily Chalcidoidea, where it has become recruited as a venom protein. The GH19 chitinase is present in 15 species of chalcidoid wasps representing four families, and phylogenetic analysis indicates that it was laterally transferred near or before the origin of Chalcidoidea (∼95 Ma). The GH19 chitinase gene is highly expressed in the venom gland of at least seven species, indicating a role in the complex host manipulations performed by parasitoid wasp venom. RNAi knockdown in the model parasitoid Nasonia vitripennis reveals that-following envenomation-the GH19 chitinase induces fly hosts to upregulate genes involved in an immune response to fungi. A second, independent LGT of GH19 chitinase from microsporidia into mosquitoes was also found, also supported by phylogenetic reconstructions. Besides these two LGT events, GH19 chitinase is not found in any other sequenced animal genome, or in any fungi outside the microsporidia/Rozella clade. PMID:26715630

  17. Snake venomics of the lancehead pitviper Bothrops asper: geographic, individual, and ontogenetic variations.

    PubMed

    Alape-Girón, Alberto; Sanz, Libia; Escolano, José; Flores-Díaz, Marietta; Madrigal, Marvin; Sasa, Mahmood; Calvete, Juan J

    2008-08-01

    We report the comparative proteomic characterization of the venoms of adult and newborn specimens of the lancehead pitviper Bothrops asper from two geographically isolated populations from the Caribbean and the Pacific versants of Costa Rica. The crude venoms were fractionated by reverse-phase HPLC, followed by analysis of each chromatographic fraction by SDS-PAGE, N-terminal sequencing, MALDI-TOF mass fingerprinting, and collision-induced dissociation tandem mass spectrometry of tryptic peptides. The two B. asper populations, separated since the late Miocene or early Pliocene (8-5 mya) by the Guanacaste Mountain Range, Central Mountain Range, and Talamanca Mountain Range, contain both identical and different (iso)enzymes from the PLA 2, serine proteinase, and SVMP families. Using a similarity coefficient, we estimate that the similarity of venom proteins between the two B. asper populations may be around 52%. Compositional differences between venoms among different geographic regions may be due to evolutionary environmental pressure acting on isolated populations. To investigate venom variability among specimens from the two B. asper populations, the reverse-phase HPLC protein profiles of 15 venoms from Caribbean specimens and 11 venoms from snakes from Pacific regions were compared. Within each B. asper geographic populations, all major venom protein families appeared to be subjected to individual variations. The occurrence of intraspecific individual allopatric variability highlights the concept that a species, B. asper in our case, should be considered as a group of metapopulations. Analysis of pooled venoms of neonate specimens from Caribbean and Pacific regions with those of adult snakes from the same geographical habitat revealed prominent ontogenetic changes in both geographical populations. Major ontogenetic changes appear to be a shift from a PIII-SVMP-rich to a PI-SVMP-rich venom and the secretion in adults of a distinct set of PLA 2 molecules than in

  18. Combined venomics, venom gland transcriptomics, bioactivities, and antivenomics of two Bothrops jararaca populations from geographic isolated regions within the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves-Machado, Larissa; Pla, Davinia; Sanz, Libia; Jorge, Roberta Jeane B; Leitão-De-Araújo, Moema; Alves, Maria Lúcia M; Alvares, Diego Janisch; De Miranda, Joari; Nowatzki, Jenifer; de Morais-Zani, Karen; Fernandes, Wilson; Tanaka-Azevedo, Anita Mitico; Fernández, Julián; Zingali, Russolina B; Gutiérrez, José María; Corrêa-Netto, Carlos; Calvete, Juan J

    2016-03-01

    Bothrops jararaca is a slender and semi-arboreal medically relevant pit viper species endemic to tropical and subtropical forests in southern Brazil, Paraguay, and northern Argentina (Misiones). Within its geographic range, it is often abundant and is an important cause of snakebite. Although no subspecies are currently recognized, geographic analyses have revealed the existence of two well-supported B. jararaca clades that diverged during the Pliocene ~3.8Mya and currently display a southeastern (SE) and a southern (S) Atlantic rainforest (Mata Atlântica) distribution. The spectrum, geographic variability, and ontogenetic changes of the venom proteomes of snakes from these two B. jararaca phylogroups were investigated applying a combined venom gland transcriptomic and venomic analysis. Comparisons of the venom proteomes and transcriptomes of B. jararaca from the SE and S geographic regions revealed notable interpopulational variability that may be due to the different levels of population-specific transcriptional regulation, including, in the case of the southern population, a marked ontogenetic venom compositional change involving the upregulation of the myotoxic PLA2 homolog, bothropstoxin-I. This population-specific marker can be used to estimate the proportion of venom from the southern population present in the B. jararaca venom pool used for the Brazilian soro antibotrópico (SAB) antivenom production. On the other hand, the southeastern population-specific D49-PLA2 molecules, BinTX-I and BinTX-II, lend support to the notion that the mainland ancestor of Bothrops insularis was originated within the same population that gave rise to the current SE B. jararaca phylogroup, and that this insular species endemic to Queimada Grande Island (Brazil) expresses a pedomorphic venom phenotype. Mirroring their compositional divergence, the two geographic B. jararaca venom pools showed distinct bioactivity profiles. However, the SAB antivenom manufactured in Vital Brazil

  19. Neutralization of the haemorrhagic activities of viperine snake venoms and venom metalloproteinases using synthetic peptide inhibitors and chelators.

    PubMed

    Howes, J-M; Theakston, R D G; Laing, G D

    2007-04-01

    Envenoming by the West African saw-scaled viper, Echis ocellatus resembles that of most vipers, in that it results in local blistering, necrosis and sometimes life-threatening systemic haemorrhage. While effective against systemic envenoming, current antivenoms have little or no effect against local tissue damage. The major mediators of local venom pathology are the zinc-dependant snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs). The high degree of structural and functional homology between SVMPs and their mammalian relatives the matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) suggests that substrate/inhibitor interactions between these subfamilies are likely to be analogous. In this study, four recently developed MMP inhibitors (MMPIs) (Marimastat, AG-3340, CGS-270 23A and Bay-12 9566) are evaluated in addition to three metal ion chelators (EDTA, TPEN and BAPTA) for their ability to inhibit the haemorrhagic activities of the medically important E. ocellatus venom and one of its haemorrhagic SVMPs, EoVMP2. As expected, the metal ion chelators significantly inhibited the haemorrhagic activities of both whole E. ocellatus venom and EoVMP2, while the synthetic MMPIs show more variation in their efficacies. These variations suggest that individual MMPIs show specificity towards SVMPs and that their application to the neutralization of local haemorrhage may require a synthetic MMPI mixture, ensuring that a close structural component for each SVMP is represented. PMID:17196631

  20. Spider genomes provide insight into composition and evolution of venom and silk.

    PubMed

    Sanggaard, Kristian W; Bechsgaard, Jesper S; Fang, Xiaodong; Duan, Jinjie; Dyrlund, Thomas F; Gupta, Vikas; Jiang, Xuanting; Cheng, Ling; Fan, Dingding; Feng, Yue; Han, Lijuan; Huang, Zhiyong; Wu, Zongze; Liao, Li; Settepani, Virginia; Thøgersen, Ida B; Vanthournout, Bram; Wang, Tobias; Zhu, Yabing; Funch, Peter; Enghild, Jan J; Schauser, Leif; Andersen, Stig U; Villesen, Palle; Schierup, Mikkel H; Bilde, Trine; Wang, Jun

    2014-01-01

    Spiders are ecologically important predators with complex venom and extraordinarily tough silk that enables capture of large prey. Here we present the assembled genome of the social velvet spider and a draft assembly of the tarantula genome that represent two major taxonomic groups of spiders. The spider genomes are large with short exons and long introns, reminiscent of mammalian genomes. Phylogenetic analyses place spiders and ticks as sister groups supporting polyphyly of the Acari. Complex sets of venom and silk genes/proteins are identified. We find that venom genes evolved by sequential duplication, and that the toxic effect of venom is most likely activated by proteases present in the venom. The set of silk genes reveals a highly dynamic gene evolution, new types of silk genes and proteins, and a novel use of aciniform silk. These insights create new opportunities for pharmacological applications of venom and biomaterial applications of silk. PMID:24801114

  1. Partial in vitro analysis of toxic and antigenic activities of eleven Peruvian pitviper snake venoms.

    PubMed

    Guerra-Duarte, C; Lopes-Peixoto, J; Fonseca-de-Souza, B R; Stransky, S; Oliveira, D; Schneider, F S; Lopes-de-Souza, L; Bonilla, C; Silva, W; Tintaya, B; Yarleque, A; Chávez-Olórtegui, C

    2015-12-15

    This work used eleven Peruvian snake venoms (Bothrops andianus, Bothrops atrox, Bothrops barnetti, Bothrops castelnaudi, Bothriopsis chloromelas, Bothrocophias microphthalmus, Bothrops neuwiedi, Bothriopsis oligolepis, Bothriopsis peruviana, Bothrops pictus and Bothriopsis taeniata) to perform in vitro experimentation and determine its main characteristics. Hyaluronidase (HYAL), phospholipase A2 (PLA2), snake venom metalloproteinase (SVMP), snake venom serine protease (SVSP) and L-amino acid oxidase (LAAO) activities; toxicity by cell viability assays using MGSO3, VERO and HeLa cell lineages; and crossed immunoreactivity with Peruvian (PAV) and Brazilian (BAV) antibothropic polyvalent antivenoms, through ELISA and Western Blotting assays, were determined. Results show that the activities tested in this study were not similar amongst the venoms and each species present their own peculiarities, highlighting the diversity within Bothrops complex. All venoms were capable of reducing cell viability of all tested lineages. It was also demonstrated the crossed recognition of all tested venoms by both antivenoms. PMID:26365916

  2. Behavioural and electroencephalographic effects of Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom in rats.

    PubMed

    Sandoval, M R; Dorce, V A

    1993-02-01

    This study was designed to investigate the convulsant effects of T. serrulatus scorpion venom in rats. Pretreatment of rats with venom increased the minimum convulsant dose of picrotoxin, impaired convulsion generalization and displaced to the left the dose-response curve for picrotoxin. It also decreased the intensity but prolonged the duration of seizures caused by pentylenetetrazol injection. Microinjection of the venom into the dorsal hippocampus induced behavioural alterations and epileptiform waves in the EEG. Venom also altered the threshold for, and intensity of, convulsions induced in different experimental models of epilepsy. Different fractions of the venom may be responsible for these different effects. Therefore, purification of venom toxins is necessary for the complete understanding of the present results. PMID:8456448

  3. Induction of apoptosis by hemorrhagic snake venom in vascular endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Araki, S; Ishida, T; Yamamoto, T; Kaji, K; Hayashi, H

    1993-01-15

    Vascular degeneration appears to play crucial roles in producing many vascular malfunctions (1-3). In order to identify specific inducers of programmed death in vascular endothelial cells (VEC), examinations were made of the effects of substances that are known to affect the vascular system by using VEC in culture (4,5). We found that hemorrhagic snake venoms induced apoptotic cell death or programmed cell death of VEC. By contrast, neurotoxic snake venoms did not induce programmed cell death but caused necrosis at much higher doses of the venoms. No effect of hemorrhagic venom was observed with many types of cultured cells other than VEC. Thus, hemorrhagic snake venom appears to be a useful tool for studies of the molecular mechanisms of vascular apoptosis. The results also suggest a possible mechanism of action of hemorrhagic snake venom on the vascular system. PMID:8422240

  4. ISOB: A Database of Indigenous Snake Species of Bangladesh with respective known venom composition

    PubMed Central

    Roly, Zahida Yesmin; Hakim, Md Abdul; Zahan, ASM Shahriar; Hossain, M Monzur; Reza, Md Abu

    2015-01-01

    At present there is no well structured database available for the venomous snakes and venom composition of snakes in the world although venom has immense importance in biomedical research. Searching for a specific venom component from NCBI, PDB or public databases is troublesome, because they contain huge amount of data entries. Therefore, we created a database named “ISOB” which is a web accessible unique secondary database that represents the first online available bioinformatics resource showing venom composition of snakes. This database provides a comprehensive overview of seventy-eight indigenous snake species covering description of snakes supplemented with structural information of the relevant individual available venom proteins. We strongly believe that this database will contribute significantly in the field of bioinformatics, environmental research, proteomics, drug development and rationale drug designing. Availability The database is freely available at http://www.snakebd.com/ PMID:25848172

  5. Sandwich-ELISA detection of venom antigens in envenoming by Phoneutria nigriventer spider.

    PubMed

    Chávez-Olórtegui, C; Bohórquez, K; Alvarenga, L M; Kalapothakis, E; Campolina, D; Maria, W S; Diniz, C R

    2001-06-01

    Enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) were developed to detect antigens from Phoneutria nigriventer spider venom. Horse anti-P. nigriventer immunoglobulins were prepared by immunoaffinity chromatography and used to set up a sandwich-type ELISA. The specificity of the assay was demonstrated by its capacity to correctly discriminate between the circulating antigens in mice that were experimentally inoculated with P. nigriventer venom from those in mice inoculated with Lycosa sp. and Loxosceles intermedia spider venoms, Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom and Apis mellifera bee venom. Measurable absorbance signals were obtained with 0.8ng of venom per assay. The ELISA was used to follow the kinetic distribution of antigens in experimentally envenomed mice and to detect antigens in the sera of patients envenomed by P. nigriventer. PMID:11137553

  6. Spider genomes provide insight into composition and evolution of venom and silk

    PubMed Central

    Sanggaard, Kristian W.; Bechsgaard, Jesper S.; Fang, Xiaodong; Duan, Jinjie; Dyrlund, Thomas F.; Gupta, Vikas; Jiang, Xuanting; Cheng, Ling; Fan, Dingding; Feng, Yue; Han, Lijuan; Huang, Zhiyong; Wu, Zongze; Liao, Li; Settepani, Virginia; Thøgersen, Ida B.; Vanthournout, Bram; Wang, Tobias; Zhu, Yabing; Funch, Peter; Enghild, Jan J.; Schauser, Leif; Andersen, Stig U.; Villesen, Palle; Schierup, Mikkel H; Bilde, Trine; Wang, Jun

    2014-01-01

    Spiders are ecologically important predators with complex venom and extraordinarily tough silk that enables capture of large prey. Here we present the assembled genome of the social velvet spider and a draft assembly of the tarantula genome that represent two major taxonomic groups of spiders. The spider genomes are large with short exons and long introns, reminiscent of mammalian genomes. Phylogenetic analyses place spiders and ticks as sister groups supporting polyphyly of the Acari. Complex sets of venom and silk genes/proteins are identified. We find that venom genes evolved by sequential duplication, and that the toxic effect of venom is most likely activated by proteases present in the venom. The set of silk genes reveals a highly dynamic gene evolution, new types of silk genes and proteins, and a novel use of aciniform silk. These insights create new opportunities for pharmacological applications of venom and biomaterial applications of silk. PMID:24801114

  7. Evaluation of cytotoxic activities of snake venoms toward breast (MCF-7) and skin cancer (A-375) cell lines.

    PubMed

    Bradshaw, Michael J; Saviola, Anthony J; Fesler, Elizabeth; Mackessy, Stephen P

    2014-11-19

    Snake venoms are mixtures of bioactive proteins and peptides that exhibit diverse biochemical activities. This wide array of pharmacologies associated with snake venoms has made them attractive sources for research into potentially novel therapeutics, and several venom-derived drugs are now in use. In the current study we performed a broad screen of a variety of venoms (61 taxa) from the major venomous snake families (Viperidae, Elapidae and "Colubridae") in order to examine cytotoxic effects toward MCF-7 breast cancer cells and A-375 melanoma cells. MTT cell viability assays of cancer cells incubated with crude venoms revealed that most venoms showed significant cytotoxicity. We further investigated venom from the Red-bellied Blacksnake (Pseudechis porphyriacus); venom was fractionated by ion exchange fast protein liquid chromatography and several cytotoxic components were isolated. SDS-PAGE and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry were used to identify the compounds in this venom responsible for the cytotoxic effects. In general, viper venoms were potently cytotoxic, with MCF-7 cells showing greater sensitivity, while elapid and colubrid venoms were much less toxic; notable exceptions included the elapid genera Micrurus, Naja and Pseudechis, which were quite cytotoxic to both cell lines. However, venoms with the most potent cytotoxicity were often not those with low mouse LD50s, including some dangerously venomous viperids and Australian elapids. This study confirmed that many venoms contain cytotoxic compounds, including catalytic PLA2s, and several venoms also showed significant differential toxicity toward the two cancer cell lines. Our results indicate that several previously uncharacterized venoms could contain promising lead compounds for drug development. PMID:25407733

  8. Purification of the Immunogenic Fractions and Determination of Toxicity in Mesobuthus eupeus (Scorpionida: Buthidae) Venom

    PubMed Central

    Khoobdel, Mehdi; Zahraei-Salehi, Taghi; Nayeri-Fasaei, Bahar; Khosravi, Mohammad; Omidian, Zahra; Motedayen, Mohammad Hassan; Akbari, Abolfazal

    2013-01-01

    Background: Scorpions stings are a health problem in many parts of the world. Mesobuthus eupeus (Buthidae) is the most prevalent species in the Middle East and Central Asia. Definition of toxicogenic and immunogenic characteristics of the venom is necessary to produce antidote. In this study, the noted properties of M. eupeus venom were evaluated. Methods: Venom was obtained by milking M. eupeus scorpions for lyophilization. Toxicity was determined after injecting the venom to albino mice and calculating LD50. Polyclonal antibodies against M. eupeus venom were obtained from immunized rabbits. The CH-Sepharose 4B column was used for isolating the specific antibodies. 10 mg of the affinity-purified antibodies were conjugated with a CH-Sepharose 4B column and M. eupeus venom was applied to the column. The bound fragments were eluted using hydrogen chloride (pH: 2.5). Crude venom and affinity-purified fractions of the venom were analyzed by SDS-PAGE technique. Results: Lethal dose (LD) was 8.75, 11.5 and 4.5 mg/kg for IP, SC and IV respectively. The LD50 of M. eupeus venom was 6.95 mg/kg. The crude venom had 12 detectable bands with molecular weights of 140, 70, 50, 33, 30, 27, 22, 18, 14, 10 kDa and two bands less than 5 kDa. The affinity-purified venom presented eight bands. The 27 kDa band was clearly sharper than other bands but 70, 18, 10 and one of the less than 5 kDa bands were not observed. Conclusions: Contrary to popular belief, which know scorpion venom as non-immunogenic composition, the current study was shown that the most fractions of the M. eupeus are immunogenic. PMID:24409439

  9. Costs of venom production in the common death adder (Acanthophis antarcticus).

    PubMed

    Pintor, Anna F V; Krockenberger, Andrew K; Seymour, Jamie E

    2010-11-01

    The utilization of venom in predatory and defensive contexts is associated with benefits regarding minimization of energetic expenditure on hunting, maximization of success in prey acquisition and avoidance of injury from dangerous prey and aggressors. Multiple characteristics suggest that venom is quite expensive to produce, thereby creating a tradeoff between advantages and disadvantages associated with its possession. The metabolic costs of venom production have rarely been studied and no information on the detailed metabolic processes during venom replenishment exists. Where costs of venom production have been studied they are often not in context with other components of the energy budget of the study organism. Using flow-through respirometry, we examined changes in metabolic rate in the Australian elapid Acanthophis antarcticus after venom expenditure and feeding as well as during preparation for shedding to establish a comparison of the magnitude of energetic expenditure during venom replenishment and other common physiological processes. We also defined the temporal pattern of metabolic processes during venom replenishment at a higher resolution than has previously been attempted in snakes. Our results suggest that total costs of venom replenishment are relatively small when compared to costs of digestion and shedding. We conclude that, in spite of the manifold factors suggesting a high cost of venom in snakes, its production is less energetically costly than often assumed. Until further research can clarify the reasons for this more caution should therefore be applied when assuming that costs of venom production exert strong selection pressures on the ecology, behavior and evolution of venomous taxa. PMID:20659494

  10. Determination of factor X activator in the venom of the saw-scaled viper (Echis carinatus).

    PubMed

    Stocker, K; Fischer, H; Brogli, M

    1986-01-01

    Factor X activator in Echis carinatus venom was determined by incubating the zymogen 'factor X' with venom, interrupting the activation process by ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid and measuring the generated proteinase 'factor Xa' by means of a synthetic chromogenic substrate. A comparison of factor X- and prothrombin-activating potencies in E. carinatus venoms of five different geographic origins revealed no correlation between these two procoagulant activities. PMID:3715901

  11. General biochemical and immunological characterization of the venom from the scorpion Tityus trivittatus of Argentina.

    PubMed

    de Roodt, Adolfo R; Coronas, Fredy I V; Lago, Nestor; González, María E; Laskowicz, Rodrigo D; Beltramino, Juan C; Saavedra, Silvina; López, Raúl A; Reati, Gustavo J; Vucharchuk, Miriam G; Bazán, Eduardo; Varni, Liliana; Salomón, Oscar D; Possani, Lourival D

    2010-01-01

    Tityus trivittatus is the Argentinean scorpion reported to cause the majority of human fatalities in the country, however no systematic studies have been conducted with the venom of this species. This communication describes a general biochemical and immunological characterization of the venom obtained from T. trivittatus scorpions collected in the city of Buenos Aires and various provinces of Argentina: Catamarca, Cordoba, Entre Rios, La Rioja, Santa Fe and Santiago del Estero. These are places where human accidents were reported to occur due to this scorpion. For comparative purposes two types of samples were assayed: whole soluble venom obtained by electrical stimulation and supernatant from homogenized venomous glands. Two strains of mice (NIH and CF-1) were used for LD(50) determinations by two distinct routes of administration (intravenously and intraperitoneally). Important variations were found that goes from 0.5 to 12 mg/kg mouse body weight. Samples of soluble venom were always more potent than Telson homogenates. More complex pattern was observed in homogenates compared to soluble venom, as expected. This was supported by gel electrophoretic analysis and high performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) separations. Additionally, the HPLC profile was enriched in proteins resolved at similar elution times as other known toxins from scorpion venoms studied. Immune enzymatic assays were also conducted comparatively, using four different anti-venoms commercially available for treatment of scorpion stings (Argentinean antidote from INPB, two anti-venoms from Butantan Institute of Brazil and Alacramyn from the Mexican Bioclon Institute). Cross-reactivities were observed and are reported among the various venoms and anti-venoms used. Lung, heart, liver and pancreas pathological modifications were observed on tissues of intoxicated mice. It seems that there are important variations on the venom compositions of the various samples studied and reported here

  12. Neuromuscular activity of Bothrops alcatraz snake venom in chick biventer cervicis preparations.

    PubMed

    de Moraes, Delkia Seabra; Aparecido de Abreu, Valdemir; Rostelato-Ferreira, Sandro; Leite, Gildo B; Alice da Cruz-Höfling, Maria; Travaglia-Cardoso, Silvia R; Hyslop, Stephen; Rodrigues-Simioni, Léa

    2012-02-01

    Venom (10-100 μg/ml) from Bothrops alcatraz, a pitviper from the Alcatrazes Archipelago off the coast of southeastern Brazil, caused progressive, irreversible neuromuscular blockade in chick isolated biventer cervicis preparations. The venom also inhibited contractures to exogenous ACh (110 μM) and KCl (20 mM), caused myofiber damage and increased creatine kinase release. Commercial bothropic antivenom raised against mainland Bothrops species neutralized the neuromuscular activity, depending on the venom concentration. PMID:22155137

  13. The beneficial effects of honeybee-venom serum on facial wrinkles in humans

    PubMed Central

    Han, Sang Mi; Hong, In Phyo; Woo, Soon Ok; Chun, Sung Nam; Park, Kwan Kyu; Nicholls, Young Mee; Pak, Sok Cheon

    2015-01-01

    Facial wrinkles are an undesirable outcome caused by extrinsic photodamage and intrinsic aging processes. Currently, no effective strategies are known to prevent facial wrinkles. We assessed the beneficial effects of bee-venom serum on the clinical signs of aging skin. Our results show that bee-venom serum treatment clinically improved facial wrinkles by decreasing total wrinkle area, total wrinkle count, and average wrinkle depth. Therefore, bee-venom serum may be effective for the improvement of skin wrinkles. PMID:26491274

  14. Defensins and the convergent evolution of platypus and reptile venom genes.

    PubMed

    Whittington, Camilla M; Papenfuss, Anthony T; Bansal, Paramjit; Torres, Allan M; Wong, Emily S W; Deakin, Janine E; Graves, Tina; Alsop, Amber; Schatzkamer, Kyriena; Kremitzki, Colin; Ponting, Chris P; Temple-Smith, Peter; Warren, Wesley C; Kuchel, Philip W; Belov, Katherine

    2008-06-01

    When the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) was first discovered, it was thought to be a taxidermist's hoax, as it has a blend of mammalian and reptilian features. It is a most remarkable mammal, not only because it lays eggs but also because it is venomous. Rather than delivering venom through a bite, as do snakes and shrews, male platypuses have venomous spurs on each hind leg. The platypus genome sequence provides a unique opportunity to unravel the evolutionary history of many of these interesting features. While searching the platypus genome for the sequences of antimicrobial defensin genes, we identified three Ornithorhynchus venom defensin-like peptide (OvDLP) genes, which produce the major components of platypus venom. We show that gene duplication and subsequent functional diversification of beta-defensins gave rise to these platypus OvDLPs. The OvDLP genes are located adjacent to the beta-defensins and share similar gene organization and peptide structures. Intriguingly, some species of snakes and lizards also produce venoms containing similar molecules called crotamines and crotamine-like peptides. This led us to trace the evolutionary origins of other components of platypus and reptile venom. Here we show that several venom components have evolved separately in the platypus and reptiles. Convergent evolution has repeatedly selected genes coding for proteins containing specific structural motifs as templates for venom molecules. PMID:18463304

  15. New immunization protocol to produce crotalic antivenom combining Crotalus durissus terrificus venom and its PLA2.

    PubMed

    Fusco, Luciano Sebastián; Rodríguez, Juan Pablo; Teibler, Pamela; Maruñak, Silvana; Acosta, Ofelia; Leiva, Laura

    2015-01-01

    Antivenoms are usually obtained by animal immunization with successive inoculations of increasing sublethal amounts of venom, which may impair the animal health. The high lethality of venom requires prolonged immunization plans with small amounts of venom. Thus, we propose an alternative plan that includes a pre-immunization of the animal with phospholipase A2, the main crotoxin component, which is responsible for the whole venom lethality. For comparison, three different immunization schemes were designed: high dose protocol (HDP; 0.5-27 mg of venom), low dose protocol (LDP; 0.1-7 mg of venom) and Mix protocol (MP; preimmunization 0.1-1.2 mg of crotalic PLA2, and then 4.5-8 mg of venom). Antibody titers were determined by ELISA, in blood plasma obtained from the marginal vein of the ear. The neutralizing ability of the different sera obtained by all protocols (HDS, LDS and MS) was tested against the most important pharmacological activities of whole venom: PLA2 activity, myotoxicity, thrombin like activity and lethality. MS showed the best neutralizing efficacy and at the same time, it was obtained by an immunization protocol that takes account of animal health care, since it requires low quantities of venoms in comparison to traditional protocols. PMID:25453603

  16. Characterization of Three Venom Peptides from the Spitting Spider Scytodes thoracica

    PubMed Central

    Ariki, Nathanial K.; Muñoz, Lisa E.; Armitage, Elizabeth L.; Goodstein, Francesca R.; George, Kathryn G.; Smith, Vanessa L.; Vetter, Irina; Herzig, Volker; King, Glenn F.; Loening, Nikolaus M.

    2016-01-01

    We present the solution-state NMR structures and preliminary functional characterizations of three venom peptides identified from the spitting spider Scytodes thoracica. Despite little sequence identity to other venom peptides, structural characterization reveals that these peptides contain an inhibitor cystine knot motif common to many venom peptides. These are the first structures for any peptide or protein from spiders of the Scytodidae family. Many venom peptides target neuronal ion channels or receptors. However, we have not been able to determine the target of these Scytodes peptides so we can only state with certainty the channels and receptors that they do not target. PMID:27227898

  17. Venoms of Heteropteran Insects: A Treasure Trove of Diverse Pharmacological Toolkits

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Andrew A.; Weirauch, Christiane; Fry, Bryan G.; King, Glenn F.

    2016-01-01

    The piercing-sucking mouthparts of the true bugs (Insecta: Hemiptera: Heteroptera) have allowed diversification from a plant-feeding ancestor into a wide range of trophic strategies that include predation and blood-feeding. Crucial to the success of each of these strategies is the injection of venom. Here we review the current state of knowledge with regard to heteropteran venoms. Predaceous species produce venoms that induce rapid paralysis and liquefaction. These venoms are powerfully insecticidal, and may cause paralysis or death when injected into vertebrates. Disulfide-rich peptides, bioactive phospholipids, small molecules such as N,N-dimethylaniline and 1,2,5-trithiepane, and toxic enzymes such as phospholipase A2, have been reported in predatory venoms. However, the detailed composition and molecular targets of predatory venoms are largely unknown. In contrast, recent research into blood-feeding heteropterans has revealed the structure and function of many protein and non-protein components that facilitate acquisition of blood meals. Blood-feeding venoms lack paralytic or liquefying activity but instead are cocktails of pharmacological modulators that disable the host haemostatic systems simultaneously at multiple points. The multiple ways venom is used by heteropterans suggests that further study will reveal heteropteran venom components with a wide range of bioactivities that may be recruited for use as bioinsecticides, human therapeutics, and pharmacological tools. PMID:26907342

  18. The king cobra genome reveals dynamic gene evolution and adaptation in the snake venom system

    PubMed Central

    Vonk, Freek J.; Casewell, Nicholas R.; Henkel, Christiaan V.; Heimberg, Alysha M.; Jansen, Hans J.; McCleary, Ryan J. R.; Kerkkamp, Harald M. E.; Vos, Rutger A.; Guerreiro, Isabel; Calvete, Juan J.; Wüster, Wolfgang; Woods, Anthony E.; Logan, Jessica M.; Harrison, Robert A.; Castoe, Todd A.; de Koning, A. P. Jason; Pollock, David D.; Yandell, Mark; Calderon, Diego; Renjifo, Camila; Currier, Rachel B.; Salgado, David; Pla, Davinia; Sanz, Libia; Hyder, Asad S.; Ribeiro, José M. C.; Arntzen, Jan W.; van den Thillart, Guido E. E. J. M.; Boetzer, Marten; Pirovano, Walter; Dirks, Ron P.; Spaink, Herman P.; Duboule, Denis; McGlinn, Edwina; Kini, R. Manjunatha; Richardson, Michael K.

    2013-01-01

    Snakes are limbless predators, and many species use venom to help overpower relatively large, agile prey. Snake venoms are complex protein mixtures encoded by several multilocus gene families that function synergistically to cause incapacitation. To examine venom evolution, we sequenced and interrogated the genome of a venomous snake, the king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), and compared it, together with our unique transcriptome, microRNA, and proteome datasets from this species, with data from other vertebrates. In contrast to the platypus, the only other venomous vertebrate with a sequenced genome, we find that snake toxin genes evolve through several distinct co-option mechanisms and exhibit surprisingly variable levels of gene duplication and directional selection that correlate with their functional importance in prey capture. The enigmatic accessory venom gland shows a very different pattern of toxin gene expression from the main venom gland and seems to have recruited toxin-like lectin genes repeatedly for new nontoxic functions. In addition, tissue-specific microRNA analyses suggested the co-option of core genetic regulatory components of the venom secretory system from a pancreatic origin. Although the king cobra is limbless, we recovered coding sequences for all Hox genes involved in amniote limb development, with the exception of Hoxd12. Our results provide a unique view of the origin and evolution of snake venom and reveal multiple genome-level adaptive responses to natural selection in this complex biological weapon system. More generally, they provide insight into mechanisms of protein evolution under strong selection. PMID:24297900

  19. Insights into the venom composition of the ectoparasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis from bioinformatic and proteomic studies

    PubMed Central

    de Graaf, D. C.; Aerts, M.; Brunain, M.; Desjardins, C. A.; Jacobs, F. J.; Werren, J. H.; Devreese, B.

    2013-01-01

    With the Nasonia vitripennis genome sequences available, we attempted to determine the proteins present in venom by two different approaches. First, we searched for the transcripts of venom proteins by a bioinformatic approach using amino acid sequences of known hymenopteran venom proteins. Second, we performed proteomic analyses of crude N. vitripennis venom removed from the venom reservoir, implementing both an off-line two-dimensional liquid chromatography matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (2D-LC-MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS) and a two-dimensional liquid chromatography electrospray ionization Founer transform ion cyclotron resonance (2D-LC-ESI-FT-ICR) MS setup. This combination of bioinformatic and proteomic studies resulted in an extraordinary richness of identified venom constituents. Moreover, half of the 79 identified proteins were not yet associated with insect venoms: 16 proteins showed similarity only to known proteins from other tissues or secretions, and an additional 23 did not show similarity to any known protein. Serine proteases and their inhibitors were the most represented. Fifteen nonsecretory proteins were also identified by proteomic means and probably represent so-called ‘venom trace elements’. The present study contributes greatly to the understanding of the biological diversity of the venom of parasitoid wasps at the molecular level. PMID:20167014

  20. Characterization of Three Venom Peptides from the Spitting Spider Scytodes thoracica.

    PubMed

    Ariki, Nathanial K; Muñoz, Lisa E; Armitage, Elizabeth L; Goodstein, Francesca R; George, Kathryn G; Smith, Vanessa L; Vetter, Irina; Herzig, Volker; King, Glenn F; Loening, Nikolaus M

    2016-01-01

    We present the solution-state NMR structures and preliminary functional characterizations of three venom peptides identified from the spitting spider Scytodes thoracica. Despite little sequence identity to other venom peptides, structural characterization reveals that these peptides contain an inhibitor cystine knot motif common to many venom peptides. These are the first structures for any peptide or protein from spiders of the Scytodidae family. Many venom peptides target neuronal ion channels or receptors. However, we have not been able to determine the target of these Scytodes peptides so we can only state with certainty the channels and receptors that they do not target. PMID:27227898

  1. The king cobra genome reveals dynamic gene evolution and adaptation in the snake venom system.

    PubMed

    Vonk, Freek J; Casewell, Nicholas R; Henkel, Christiaan V; Heimberg, Alysha M; Jansen, Hans J; McCleary, Ryan J R; Kerkkamp, Harald M E; Vos, Rutger A; Guerreiro, Isabel; Calvete, Juan J; Wüster, Wolfgang; Woods, Anthony E; Logan, Jessica M; Harrison, Robert A; Castoe, Todd A; de Koning, A P Jason; Pollock, David D; Yandell, Mark; Calderon, Diego; Renjifo, Camila; Currier, Rachel B; Salgado, David; Pla, Davinia; Sanz, Libia; Hyder, Asad S; Ribeiro, José M C; Arntzen, Jan W; van den Thillart, Guido E E J M; Boetzer, Marten; Pirovano, Walter; Dirks, Ron P; Spaink, Herman P; Duboule, Denis; McGlinn, Edwina; Kini, R Manjunatha; Richardson, Michael K

    2013-12-17

    Snakes are limbless predators, and many species use venom to help overpower relatively large, agile prey. Snake venoms are complex protein mixtures encoded by several multilocus gene families that function synergistically to cause incapacitation. To examine venom evolution, we sequenced and interrogated the genome of a venomous snake, the king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), and compared it, together with our unique transcriptome, microRNA, and proteome datasets from this species, with data from other vertebrates. In contrast to the platypus, the only other venomous vertebrate with a sequenced genome, we find that snake toxin genes evolve through several distinct co-option mechanisms and exhibit surprisingly variable levels of gene duplication and directional selection that correlate with their functional importance in prey capture. The enigmatic accessory venom gland shows a very different pattern of toxin gene expression from the main venom gland and seems to have recruited toxin-like lectin genes repeatedly for new nontoxic functions. In addition, tissue-specific microRNA analyses suggested the co-option of core genetic regulatory components of the venom secretory system from a pancreatic origin. Although the king cobra is limbless, we recovered coding sequences for all Hox genes involved in amniote limb development, with the exception of Hoxd12. Our results provide a unique view of the origin and evolution of snake venom and reveal multiple genome-level adaptive responses to natural selection in this complex biological weapon system. More generally, they provide insight into mechanisms of protein evolution under strong selection. PMID:24297900

  2. Identification of major Toxoneuron nigriceps venom proteins using an integrated transcriptomic/proteomic approach.

    PubMed

    Laurino, Simona; Grossi, Gerarda; Pucci, Pietro; Flagiello, Angela; Bufo, Sabino Aurelio; Bianco, Giuliana; Salvia, Rosanna; Vinson, S Bradleigh; Vogel, Heiko; Falabella, Patrizia

    2016-09-01

    Endoparasitoids in the order Hymenoptera are natural enemies of several herbivorous insect pest species. During oviposition they inject a mixture of factors, which include venom, into the host, ensuring the successful parasitism and the development of their progeny. Although these parasitoid factors are known to be responsible for host manipulation, such as immune system suppression, little is known about both identity and function of the majority of their venom components. To identify the major proteins of Toxoneuron nigriceps (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) venom, we used an integrated transcriptomic and proteomic approach. The tandem-mass spectrometric (LC-MS/MS) data combined with T. nigriceps venom gland transcriptome used as a reference database resulted in the identification of a total of thirty one different proteins. While some of the identified proteins have been described in venom from several parasitoids, others were identified for the first time. Among the identified proteins, hydrolases constituted the most abundant family followed by transferases, oxidoreductases, ligases, lyases and isomerases. The hydrolases identified in the T. nigriceps venom glands included proteases, peptidases and glycosidases, reported as common components of venom from several parasitoid species. Taken together, the identified proteins included factors that could potentially inhibit the host immune system, manipulate host physiological processes and host development, as well as provide nutrients to the parasitoid progeny, degrading host tissues by specific hydrolytic enzymes. The venom decoding provides us with information about the identity of candidate venom factors which could contribute to the success of parasitism, together with other maternal and embryonic factors. PMID:27388778

  3. Distribution of low molecular weight platelet aggregation inhibitors from snake venoms.

    PubMed

    Oyama, Etsuko; Takahashi, Hidenobu

    2007-03-01

    An assay of platelet aggregation inhibitors measured by the turbidimeter using Aggregometer PAM 8C (Mebanix) was performed after each crude snake venom (57 species) was subjected to ultrafiltration using MILLIPORE UFP 1 LGC. The snake venoms of Viperidae (three species), Elapidae (11 species), and Hydrophiidae (two species) inhibited ADP-induced rabbit platelet aggregation. In particular, six venoms of Bitis gabonica, Pseudocerastes persicus, Dendroaspis angusticeps, D. polylepis, Ophiophagus hannah, and N. nigricollis crawshawii strongly inhibited platelet aggregation. Furthermore, adenosine was identified from Bitis gabonica venom using HPLC and FAB/MS analysis. PMID:17141819

  4. Biological and Pathological Studies of Rosmarinic Acid as an Inhibitor of Hemorrhagic Trimeresurus flavoviridis (habu) Venom

    PubMed Central

    Aung, Hnin Thanda; Nikai, Toshiaki; Komori, Yumiko; Nonogaki, Tsunemasa; Niwa, Masatake; Takaya, Yoshiaki

    2010-01-01

    In our previous report, rosmarinic acid (RA) was revealed to be an antidote active compound in Argusia argentea (family: Boraginaceae). The plant is locally used in Okinawa in Japan as an antidote for poisoning from snake venom, Trimeresurus flavoviridis (habu). This article presents mechanistic evidence of RA’s neutralization of the hemorrhagic effects of snake venom. Anti-hemorrhagic activity was assayed by using several kinds of snake venom. Inhibition against fibrinogen hydrolytic and collagen hydrolytic activities of T. flavoviridis venom were examined by SDS-PAGE. A histopathological study was done by microscopy after administration of venom in the presence or absence of RA. RA was found to markedly neutralize venom-induced hemorrhage, fibrinogenolysis, cytotoxicity and digestion of type IV collagen activity. Moreover, RA inhibited both hemorrhage and neutrophil infiltrations caused by T. flavoviridis venom in pathology sections. These results demonstrate that RA inhibited most of the hemorrhage effects of venom. These findings indicate that rosmarinic acid can be expected to provide therapeutic benefits in neutralization of snake venom accompanied by heat stability. PMID:22069562

  5. Venoms of Heteropteran Insects: A Treasure Trove of Diverse Pharmacological Toolkits.

    PubMed

    Walker, Andrew A; Weirauch, Christiane; Fry, Bryan G; King, Glenn F

    2016-02-01

    The piercing-sucking mouthparts of the true bugs (Insecta: Hemiptera: Heteroptera) have allowed diversification from a plant-feeding ancestor into a wide range of trophic strategies that include predation and blood-feeding. Crucial to the success of each of these strategies is the injection of venom. Here we review the current state of knowledge with regard to heteropteran venoms. Predaceous species produce venoms that induce rapid paralysis and liquefaction. These venoms are powerfully insecticidal, and may cause paralysis or death when injected into vertebrates. Disulfide-rich peptides, bioactive phospholipids, small molecules such as N,N-dimethylaniline and 1,2,5-trithiepane, and toxic enzymes such as phospholipase A2, have been reported in predatory venoms. However, the detailed composition and molecular targets of predatory venoms are largely unknown. In contrast, recent research into blood-feeding heteropterans has revealed the structure and function of many protein and non-protein components that facilitate acquisition of blood meals. Blood-feeding venoms lack paralytic or liquefying activity but instead are cocktails of pharmacological modulators that disable the host haemostatic systems simultaneously at multiple points. The multiple ways venom is used by heteropterans suggests that further study will reveal heteropteran venom components with a wide range of bioactivities that may be recruited for use as bioinsecticides, human therapeutics, and pharmacological tools. PMID:26907342

  6. SdPI, The First Functionally Characterized Kunitz-Type Trypsin Inhibitor from Scorpion Venom

    PubMed Central

    Li, Tian; He, Yawen; Ma, Yibao; Chen, Zongyun; Wu, Yingliang; Li, Wenxin; Cao, Zhijian

    2011-01-01

    Background Kunitz-type venom peptides have been isolated from a wide variety of venomous animals. They usually have protease inhibitory activity or potassium channel blocking activity, which by virtue of the effects on predator animals are essential for the survival of venomous animals. However, no Kunitz-type peptides from scorpion venom have been functionally characterized. Principal Findings A new Kunitz-type venom peptide gene precursor, SdPI, was cloned and characterized from a venom gland cDNA library of the scorpion Lychas mucronatus. It codes for a signal peptide of 21 residues and a mature peptide of 59 residues. The mature SdPI peptide possesses a unique cysteine framework reticulated by three disulfide bridges, different from all reported Kunitz-type proteins. The recombinant SdPI peptide was functionally expressed. It showed trypsin inhibitory activity with high potency (Ki = 1.6×10−7 M) and thermostability. Conclusions The results illustrated that SdPI is a potent and stable serine protease inhibitor. Further mutagenesis and molecular dynamics simulation revealed that SdPI possesses a serine protease inhibitory active site similar to other Kunitz-type venom peptides. To our knowledge, SdPI is the first functionally characterized Kunitz-type trypsin inhibitor derived from scorpion venom, and it represents a new class of Kunitz-type venom peptides. PMID:22087336

  7. Assessment of the Antimicrobial Activity of Few Saudi Arabian Snake Venoms

    PubMed Central

    Al-Asmari, Abdulrahman K.; Abbasmanthiri, Rajamohamed; Abdo Osman, Nasreddien M.; Siddiqui, Yunus; Al-Bannah, Faisal Ahmed; Al-Rawi, Abdulgadir M.; Al-Asmari, Sarah A.

    2015-01-01

    Background Venoms of two cobras, four vipers, a standard antibiotic and an antimycotic, were evaluated comparatively, as antimicrobials. Methods: Six venom concentrations and three of the standard antibiotic and the antimycotic were run in micro-dilution and diffusion plates against the microorganisms. RESULTS: Echis pyramidum, Echis coloratus and Cerastes cerastes gasperettii highest venom concentrations gave significant growth inhibition zones (GIZ) with respect to a negative control, except Bitis arietans, whose concentrations were significant. The cobra Walterinnesia aegyptia had significant venom concentrations more than Naja haje arabica. The Staphylococcus aureus Methicillin Resistant (MRSA) bacterium was the most susceptible, with a highly (P < 0.001) significant GIZ mean difference followed by the Gram positive Staphylococcus aureus, (P < 0.001), Escherichia coli (P < 0.001), Enterococcus faecalis (P < 0.001) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa which, had the least significance (P < 0.05). The fungus Candida albicans was resistant to both viper and cobra venoms (P > 0.05). The antibiotic Vancomycin was more effective than snake venoms though, they were more efficient in inhibiting growth of the resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This antibiotic was also inactive against the fungus, whilst its specific antifungal Fungizone was highly efficient with no antibacterial activity. Conclusions: These findings showed that snake venoms had antibacterial activity comparable to antibiotics, with a directly proportional relationship of venom concentration and GIZ, though, they were more efficient in combatting resistant types of bacteria. Both venoms and the standard antibiotic, showed no antifungal benefits. PMID:26668657

  8. Biological and Enzymatic Characterization of Proteases from Crude Venom of the Ant Odontomachus bauri

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Mariana Ferreira; Mota, Caroline Martins; Miranda, Vanessa dos Santos; de Oliveira Cunha, Amanda; Silva, Maraísa Cristina; Naves, Karinne Spirandelli Carvalho; de Oliveira, Fábio; Silva, Deise Aparecida de Oliveira; Mineo, Tiago Wilson Patriarca; Santiago, Fernanda Maria

    2015-01-01

    Hymenoptera venoms constitute an interesting source of natural toxins that may lead to the development of novel therapeutic agents. The present study investigated the enzymatic and biological characteristics of the crude venom of the ant Odontomachus bauri. Its crude venom presents several protein bands, with higher staining for six proteins with gelatinolytic activity (17, 20, 26, 29, 43 and 48 kDa). The crude venom showed high proteolytic activity on azocasein at optimal pH 8.0 and 37 °C. In the presence of protease inhibitors as aprotinin, leupeptin and EDTA, the azocaseinolytic activity was reduced by 45%, 29% and 9%, respectively, suggesting that the enzymes present in the crude venom belong to the three classes of proteases, with the serine proteases in greater intensity. The crude venom degraded the fibrinogen α-chain faster than the β-chain, while the fibrinogen γ-chain remained unchanged. In biological assays, O. bauri venom showed hemolytic and coagulant activity in vitro, and defibrinating activity in vivo. In addition, the venom showed antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli as well as antiparasitic activity on Toxoplasma gondii infection in vitro. In that sense, this study sheds perspectives for pharmacological applications of O. bauri venom enzymes. PMID:26633501

  9. NETosis and lack of DNase activity are key factors in Echis carinatus venom-induced tissue destruction

    PubMed Central

    Katkar, Gajanan D.; Sundaram, Mahalingam S.; NaveenKumar, Somanathapura K.; Swethakumar, Basavarajaiah; Sharma, Rachana D.; Paul, Manoj; Vishalakshi, Gopalapura J.; Devaraja, Sannaningaiah; Girish, Kesturu S.; Kemparaju, Kempaiah

    2016-01-01

    Indian Echis carinatus bite causes sustained tissue destruction at the bite site. Neutrophils, the major leukocytes in the early defence process, accumulate at the bite site. Here we show that E. carinatus venom induces neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation. The NETs block the blood vessels and entrap the venom toxins at the injection site, promoting tissue destruction. The stability of NETs is attributed to the lack of NETs-degrading DNase activity in E. carinatus venom. In a mouse tail model, mice co-injected with venom and DNase 1, and neutropenic mice injected with the venom, do not develop NETs, venom accumulation and tissue destruction at the injected site. Strikingly, venom-induced mice tail tissue destruction is also prevented by the subsequent injection of DNase 1. Thus, our study suggests that DNase 1 treatment may have a therapeutic potential for preventing the tissue destruction caused by snake venom. PMID:27093631

  10. NETosis and lack of DNase activity are key factors in Echis carinatus venom-induced tissue destruction.

    PubMed

    Katkar, Gajanan D; Sundaram, Mahalingam S; NaveenKumar, Somanathapura K; Swethakumar, Basavarajaiah; Sharma, Rachana D; Paul, Manoj; Vishalakshi, Gopalapura J; Devaraja, Sannaningaiah; Girish, Kesturu S; Kemparaju, Kempaiah

    2016-01-01

    Indian Echis carinatus bite causes sustained tissue destruction at the bite site. Neutrophils, the major leukocytes in the early defence process, accumulate at the bite site. Here we show that E. carinatus venom induces neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation. The NETs block the blood vessels and entrap the venom toxins at the injection site, promoting tissue destruction. The stability of NETs is attributed to the lack of NETs-degrading DNase activity in E. carinatus venom. In a mouse tail model, mice co-injected with venom and DNase 1, and neutropenic mice injected with the venom, do not develop NETs, venom accumulation and tissue destruction at the injected site. Strikingly, venom-induced mice tail tissue destruction is also prevented by the subsequent injection of DNase 1. Thus, our study suggests that DNase 1 treatment may have a therapeutic potential for preventing the tissue destruction caused by snake venom. PMID:27093631

  11. A simple non-invasive technique for venom milking from a solitary wasp Delta conoideum Gmelin (Hymenoptera: Vespidae).

    PubMed

    Bhagavathula, Naga Chaitanya; Kumar, Mukesh; Krishnappa, Chandrashekra

    2016-01-01

    Prospecting wasp, ant and bee venom for active bio-molecules has gained considerable interest among researchers in recent years. Collecting sufficient quantity of venom from solitary wasps without sacrificing them is often difficult. Here we describe a non-invasive technique for collecting venom from a solitary wasp Delta conoideum Gmelin (Red-backed potter wasp). Venom was milked by presenting an agar block to a single female wasp for stinging. The venom was extracted from the agar block using ACN: water solvent system. The total protein in venom was estimated quantitatively and the presence of peptides in the venom was confirmed by MALDI-TOF analysis. The proposed technique is non-invasive and pure venom can be repeatedly 'milked' using this method from other wasps and also bees without the need for sacrificing a large number of individuals. PMID:26556656

  12. Commercial Fishing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Florida State Dept. of Education, Tallahassee. Div. of Vocational Education.

    This document is a curriculum framework for a program in commercial fishing to be taught in Florida secondary and postsecondary institutions. This outline covers the major concepts/content of the program, which is designed to prepare students for employment in occupations with titles such as net fishers, pot fishers, line fishers, shrimp boat…

  13. Gone Fishing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olson-Demme, Hillary; Kisiel, Jim

    2003-01-01

    Presents a hands-on activity in which students create a model of an ocean ecosystem to gain an understanding of how humans can alter biodiversity through their actions. Uses differing levels of fishing technology to explore the concepts of sustainability and overfishing. (Author/SOE)

  14. Venomous snakebite in Thailand. I: Medically important snakes.

    PubMed

    Chanhome, L; Cox, M J; Wilde, H; Jintakoon, P; Chaiyabutr, N; Sitprija, V

    1998-05-01

    Thailand has an abundance of venomous snakes. Among the neurotoxic family Elapidae, there are three species of the genus Naja (cobras), three of the genus Bungarus (kraits), and the king cobra of the genus Ophiophagus. Other Elapidae snakes in Thailand include sea snakes and Asian coral snakes of the genus Calliophis. They have potent venoms but rarely bite humans. Tissue and hemotoxic snakes are represented by family Viperidae, subfamilies Viperinae and Crotalinae. They remain an occupational hazard for farmers and rubber tappers, causing serious morbidity but only rare deaths, since competent treatment is now widely available throughout Thailand. Purified equine antivenin is manufactured locally for the monocled and Siamese spitting cobras (Naja kaouthia and N. siamensis), king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), banded krait (Bungarus fasciatus), most green pit vipers (Trimeresurus sp.), Malayan pit viper (Calloselasma rhodostoma), and the Siamese Russell's viper (Daboia russelli siamensis). PMID:9597848

  15. [Obtention of an antivenom against Phoneutria nigriventer (arachnida; ctenidae) venom].

    PubMed

    de Roodt, Adolfo R; Gutiérrez, Luis R; Rufino Caro, Roberto; Lago, Néstor R; Montenegro, José L

    2011-02-01

    Envenomation by spiders of the genus Phoneutria ("banana spider") may be lethal, especially in children. The only available specific treatment is the use of antivenom, which is produced by only one laboratory in the world. In this study we report the development of an equine F (ab')2 experimental antivenom raised against the venom of Phoneutria nigriventer. The antivenom neutralized the venom of spiders from different regions of Argentina (Misiones and Jujuy), the development of envenomation symptoms in experimental animals was totally inhibited. These results show that local production of this type of antivenom is possible. Independence of production is important since international acquisition is always conditioned by the availability of stock surplus from the sole producer. PMID:21283947

  16. Negative pressure wound therapy: treating a venomous insect bite.

    PubMed

    Miller, Michael S; Ortegon, Marta; McDaniel, Cheryl

    2007-03-01

    Reports of spider bites appear throughout North America. Bites associated with the brown recluse spider (Loxosceles recluse) cause serious medical complications because the venom of this spider contains a powerful necrotising agent with the potential to cause severe cutaneous necrosis. Although not much is known regarding the application of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) to spider bites, this therapy has considerable literature support for its efficacy, cost-effectiveness and ease of use in chronic, difficult-to-heal wounds. A case study using NPWT to successfully treat a non healing upper arm wound presumed due to a venomous spider bite is presented here. The patient was successfully treated with a new, less costly NPWT product called the Versatile 1 and a new combination drain plus dressing called the Miller DermiVex drain, both manufactured by Blue Sky Medical (Carlsbad, CA). PMID:17425551

  17. Intraspecific variation in the Egyptian scorpion Scorpio maurus palmatus venom collected from different biotopes.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Rahman, Mohamed A; Omran, Mohamed Alaa A; Abdel-Nabi, Ismail M; Ueda, Hitoshi; McVean, Alistair

    2009-03-01

    The present study was conducted to explore the following hypotheses: (i) do scorpions (Scorpio maurus palmatus) from different biotopes exhibit intraspecific diversity in their venom? (ii) if so, is this variation associated with ecological or genetic factors, geographical distance, and/or multiple interrelated parameters? To address these questions, scorpions were collected from four geographically isolated localities in Egypt. Three of these locations are from mutually isolated pockets in the arid biotope of Southern Sinai (Wadi Sahab, El-Agramia and Rahaba plains). The fourth population was sampled from the semiarid biotope of Western Mediterranean Costal Desert (WMCD). Using reducing gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), we have shown biotope-specific variation in the expression of peptides from scorpions collected from these distinct areas. WMCD sourced venom samples contain higher molecular weight protein components (219, 200, 170, 139, 116 kDa) than Southern Sinai scorpion venom samples. The Southern Sinai venom is characterized by the presence of 11 protein bands (93-0.58 kDa) that are not mirrored in the individual venom samples of WMCD. Bands of 33 and 3.4 kDa were characteristics of all individual venom samples of the scorpion populations. Even within Southern Sinai area, Sahab venom contains five fractions that are not detected in both El-Agramia and Rahaba venom samples. Moreover, male and female venom analysis revealed some sex-related proteomic similarities and differences between scorpion populations. Female venom appears to be more complicated than the male venom. Female venom samples showed bands of 219, 200, 77.5, 55.5, 45, 39, 37, 24 and 16 kDa which were absent in the male venom. The random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) technique was used to estimate the genetic distance between the four scorpion populations. The RAPD data confirmed the genetic diversity at molecular level among the sampled populations. More than 77 RAPD bands (ranging in size

  18. Teratogenicity in the rat of the venom from the scorpion Androctonus amoreuxi (Aud. & Sav.).

    PubMed

    Ismail, M; Ellison, A C; Tilmisany, A K

    1983-01-01

    A. amoreuxi venom caused a high foetal resorption rate in rats, particularly when injected on days 9-11 of gestation. Vertebral and ossification defects and foetal weight loss were observed in many of the viable foetuses obtained from mothers treated with scorpion venom. Treatment of the rats with phentolamine in addition to the venom significantly reduced the venom-induced hyperglycemia. It also conferred some protection against foetal resorption but had only a slight effect on chondrification or foetal weight loss. This shows that hyperglycemia might be responsible for foetal mortality, but alone is not a decisive factor in the effect of the venom on the chondrification process. Treatment of the rats with triamterene reduced the foetal resorption rate and significantly decreased the effects of the venom on chondrification. However, marked stippling was observed in the long bones and was ascribed to marked mobilization of ionized calcium in the foetus. Foetuses removed from rats treated with phentolamine or triamterene in addition to the venom, however, showed flattened and depressed skulls, possibly from a missing 1st cervical vertebra or failure of the occipital fontanel to close. Treatment of the rats with the scorpion venom over a longer period of time and starting at an earlier time of gestation (days 7-14) caused total foetal resorption, which may be due to inhibition of histamine formation by the venom. The teratogenic effect of the venom appears to be the result of its metabolic effect and action on body electrolytes of the maternal animal, rather than to a direct effect on the foetuses. This was evidenced from experiments with labelled venom, where only a small fraction (0.08-0.33%) was detected in foetuses or placenta. PMID:6344336

  19. Intraspecific variation of biological activities in venoms from wild and captive Bothrops jararaca.

    PubMed

    Saad, Eduardo; Curtolo Barros, Luciana; Biscola, Natalia; Pimenta, Daniel C; Barraviera, Silvia R C S; Barraviera, Benedito; Seabra Ferreira, Rui

    2012-01-01

    The venom of Bothrops jararaca is composed of complex mixture of molecules, mainly lectins, metalloproteinases, serinoproteinases, desintegrins, phospholipases, and peptides. This composition may vary according to the snake's age, gender, and region of origin. The aim of the was to determine individual variation in Bothrops jararaca venom in the Botucatu region, Sao Paulo State, Brazil, by means of enzymatic, biochemical, and pharmacological characterization, utilizing in vitro tests and biological assays. The activities were compared with those of Brazilian Reference Venom (BRV). Protein concentration varied between adult and juvenile groups. The electrophoretic profiles were similar, with molecular masses ranging between 25 and 50 kD, but with intraspecific variations. Reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) revealed protein concentration differences. Coagulant activity did not differ significantly among adult groups, but there was a large variation between juvenile venom and BRV, which coagulated more extensively. Venoms from adults displayed greater hemorrhagic activity, especially in males recently obtained from the wild. In contrast, juveniles kept in captivity and adult males showed higher values. Edematogenic activity displayed an increase in edema in all groups. At the mean lethal dose (LD₅₀), toxicity varied significantly between groups, with venom from captive females being threefold more toxic than juvenile venom. Data illustrate the intra- and interspecific complexity that occurs in snake venoms, which may be attributed to ontogenetic, sexual, and environmental factors that affect variability in Bothrops jararaca venom. Further, it is proposed that Brazilian public health authorities document the constitution of pooled venom employed in the immunization of serum-producing animals due to this variability in venom properties. Given the large Brazilian territory, this variability requires regional monitoring and evaluation of

  20. The antisnake venom activities of Parkia biglobosa (Mimosaceae) stem bark extract.

    PubMed

    Asuzu, I U; Harvey, A L

    2003-12-01

    Snake bites in rural Nigeria are commonly treated with plant extracts. We have studied the ability of one such traditionally used plant (Parkia biglobosa; [Jacq.] Benth., Mimosaceae) to reduce the effects of two snake venoms (Naja nigricollis, and Echis ocellatus) in several experimental models. A water-methanol extract of P. biglobosa stem bark significantly (p<0.001) protected the chick biventer cervicis (cbc) muscle preparation from N. nigricollis venom-induced inhibition of neurally evoked twitches when it was added to the bath 3-5 min before or after the venom. The extract also reduced the loss of responses to acetylcholine (Ach), carbachol and KCl, which are normally blocked by N. nigricollis venom, and significantly reduced the contractures of the preparation induced by venom. P. biglobosa extract (75, 150 and 300 microg/ml) significantly (p<0.05) protected C2C12 murine muscle cells in culture against the cytotoxic effects of N. nigricollis and E. ocellatus venoms. The extract protected egg embryos exposed to lethal concentrations of E. ocellatus venom for more than 12 h and completely blocked the haemorrhagic activity of the venom at concentrations of 5 and 10 microg/1.5 microl. P. biglobosa extract (400 mg/kg) did not protect mice injected i.p. with 5 and 2.5 mg/kg of E. ocellatus and N. nigricollis venoms, respectively. It, however, protected 40% of the mice from death caused by E. ocellatus venom after the extract and venom were pre-incubated for 30 min before injecting the mixture. PMID:14757207

  1. A Limited Role for Gene Duplications in the Evolution of Platypus Venom

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Emily S. W.; Papenfuss, Anthony T.; Whittington, Camilla M.; Warren, Wesley C.; Belov, Katherine

    2012-01-01

    Gene duplication followed by adaptive selection is believed to be the primary driver of venom evolution. However, to date, no studies have evaluated the importance of gene duplications for venom evolution using a genomic approach. The availability of a sequenced genome and a venom gland transcriptome for the enigmatic platypus provides a unique opportunity to explore the role that gene duplication plays in venom evolution. Here, we identify gene duplication events and correlate them with expressed transcripts in an in-season venom gland. Gene duplicates (1,508) were identified. These duplicated pairs (421), including genes that have undergone multiple rounds of gene duplications, were expressed in the venom gland. The majority of these genes are involved in metabolism and protein synthesis not toxin functions. Twelve secretory genes including serine proteases, metalloproteinases, and protease inhibitors likely to produce symptoms of envenomation such as vasodilation and pain were detected. Only 16 of 107 platypus genes with high similarity to known toxins evolved through gene duplication. Platypus venom C-type natriuretic peptides and nerve growth factor do not possess lineage-specific gene duplicates. Extensive duplications, believed to increase the potency of toxic content and promote toxin diversification, were not found. This is the first study to take a genome-wide approach in order to examine the impact of gene duplication on venom evolution. Our findings support the idea that adaptive selection acts on gene duplicates to drive the independent evolution and functional diversification of similar venom genes in venomous species. However, gene duplications alone do not explain the “venome” of the platypus. Other mechanisms, such as alternative splicing and mutation, may be important in venom innovation. PMID:21816864

  2. Adrenergic and cholinergic activity contributes to the cardiovascular effects of lionfish (Pterois volitans) venom.

    PubMed

    Church, Jarrod E; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2002-06-01

    The aim of the present study was to further investigate the cardiovascular activity of Pterois volitans crude venom. Venom (0.6-18 microg protein/ml) produced dose- and endothelium-dependent relaxation in porcine coronary arteries that was potentiated by atropine (10nM), but significantly attenuated by the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor N(omega)-nitro-L-arginine (NOLA; 0.1mM), by prior exposure of the tissue to stonefish antivenom (SFAV, 3 units/ml, 10 min), or by removal of extracellular Ca(2+). In rat paced left atria, venom (10 microg protein/ml) produced a decrease, followed by an increase, in contractile force. Atropine (0.5 microM) abolished the decrease in force and potentiated the increase. Propranolol (5 microM) did not affect the decrease in force but significantly attenuated the increase. In spontaneously beating right atria, venom (10 microg protein/ml) produced an increase in rate that was significantly attenuated by propranolol (5 microM). Prior incubation with SFAV (0.3 units/microg protein, 10 min) abolished both the inotropic and chronotropic responses to venom. In the anaesthetised rat, venom (100 micro protein/kg, i.v.) produced a pressor response, followed by a sustained depressor response. Atropine (1mg/kg, i.v.) potentiated the pressor response. The further addition of prazosin (50 microg/kg, i.v.) restored the original response to venom. Prior administration of SFAV (100 units/kg, i.v., 10 min) significantly attenuated the in vivo response to venom. It is concluded that P. volitans venom produces its cardiovascular effects primarily by acting on muscarinic cholinergic receptors and adrenoceptors. As SFAV neutralised many of the effects of P. volitans venom, we suggest that the two venoms share a similar component(s). PMID:12175616

  3. Characterization of Venom and Oviduct Components of Parasitoid Wasp Asobara japonica.

    PubMed

    Furihata, Shunsuke; Matsumura, Takashi; Hirata, Makiko; Mizutani, Tetsuya; Nagata, Noriyo; Kataoka, Michiyo; Katayama, Yukie; Omatsu, Tsutomu; Matsumoto, Hitoshi; Hayakawa, Yoichi

    2016-01-01

    During natural parasitization, Asobara japonica wasps introduce lateral oviduct (LO) components into their Drosophila hosts soon after the venom injection to neutralize its strong toxicity; otherwise, the host will die. Although the orchestrated relationship between the venom and LO components necessary for successful parasitism has attracted the attention of many researchers in this field, the molecular natures of both factors remain ambiguous. We here showed that precipitation of the venom components by ultracentrifugation yielded a toxic fraction that was inactivated by ultraviolet light irradiation, boiling, and sonication, suggesting that it is a virus-like entity. Morphological observation of the precipitate after ultracentrifugation showed small spherical heterogeneous virus-like particles 20-40 nm in diameter. The venom's detrimental effect on D. melanogaster larvae was not directly neutralized by the LO components but blocked by a hemolymphal neutralizing factor activated by the LO factor. Furthermore, we found that A. japonica venom and LO components acted similarly on the larvae of the common cutworm Spodoptera litura: the venom injection caused mortality but coinjection of the LO factor protected S. litura larvae from the venom's toxicity. In contrast, D. ficusphila and D. bipectinata, which are closely related to D. melanogaster but non-habitual host species of A. japonica, were not negatively affected by A. japonica venom due to an intrinsic neutralizing activity in their hemolymph, indicating that these species must have acquired a neutralizer of A. japonica venom during evolution. These results give new insights into the characteristics of both the venom and LO components: A. japonica females have utilized the virus-like toxic venom factor to exploit a wider range of host species after the evolutionary process enabled them to use the LO factor for activation of the host hemolymph neutralizer precursor, although the non-habitual host Drosophila

  4. Mad, bad and dangerous to know: the biochemistry, ecology and evolution of slow loris venom.

    PubMed

    Nekaris, K Anne-Isola; Moore, Richard S; Rode, E Johanna; Fry, Bryan G

    2013-01-01

    Only seven types of mammals are known to be venomous, including slow lorises (Nycticebus spp.). Despite the evolutionary significance of this unique adaptation amongst Nycticebus, the structure and function of slow loris venom is only just beginning to be understood. Here we review what is known about the chemical structure of slow loris venom. Research on a handful of captive samples from three of eight slow loris species reveals that the protein within slow loris venom resembles the disulphide-bridged heterodimeric structure of Fel-d1, more commonly known as cat allergen. In a comparison of N. pygmaeus and N. coucang, 212 and 68 compounds were found, respectively. Venom is activated by combining the oil from the brachial arm gland with saliva, and can cause death in small mammals and anaphylactic shock and death in humans. We examine four hypotheses for the function of slow loris venom. The least evidence is found for the hypothesis that loris venom evolved to kill prey. Although the venom's primary function in nature seems to be as a defense against parasites and conspecifics, it may also serve to thwart olfactory-orientated predators. Combined with numerous other serpentine features of slow lorises, including extra vertebra in the spine leading to snake-like movement, serpentine aggressive vocalisations, a long dark dorsal stripe and the venom itself, we propose that venom may have evolved to mimic cobras (Naja sp.). During the Miocene when both slow lorises and cobras migrated throughout Southeast Asia, the evolution of venom may have been an adaptive strategy against predators used by slow lorises as a form of Müllerian mimicry with spectacled cobras. PMID:24074353

  5. Snake population venomics and antivenomics of Bothrops atrox: Paedomorphism along its transamazonian dispersal and implications of geographic venom variability on snakebite management.

    PubMed

    Calvete, Juan J; Sanz, Libia; Pérez, Alicia; Borges, Adolfo; Vargas, Alba M; Lomonte, Bruno; Angulo, Yamileth; Gutiérrez, José María; Chalkidis, Hipócrates M; Mourão, Rosa H V; Furtado, M Fatima D; Moura-Da-Silva, Ana M

    2011-04-01

    We describe two geographically differentiated venom phenotypes across the wide distribution range of Bothrops atrox, from the Colombian Magdalena Medio Valley through Puerto Ayacucho and El Paují, in the Venezuelan States of Amazonas and Orinoquia, respectively, and São Bento in the Brazilian State of Maranhão. Colombian and Venezuelan venoms show an ontogenetic toxin profile phenotype whereas Brazilian venoms exhibit paedomorphic phenotypes. Venoms from each of the 16 localities sampled contain both population-specific toxins and proteins shared by neighboring B. atrox populations. Mapping the molecular similarity between conspecific populations onto a physical map of B. atrox range provides clues for tracing dispersal routes that account for the current biogeographic distribution of the species. The proteomic pattern is consistent with a model of southeast and southwest dispersal and allopatric fragmentation northern of the Amazon Basin, and trans-Amazonian expansion through the Andean Corridor and across the Amazon river between Monte Alegre and Santarém. An antivenomic approach applied to assess the efficacy towards B. atrox venoms of two antivenoms raised in Costa Rica and Brazil using Bothrops venoms different than B. atrox in the immunization mixtures showed that both antivenoms immunodepleted very efficiently the major toxins (PIII-SVMPs, serine proteinases, CRISP, LAO) of paedomorphic venoms from Puerto Ayacucho (Venezuelan Amazonia) through São Bento, but had impaired reactivity towards PLA(2) and P-I SVMP molecules abundantly present in ontogenetic venoms. The degree of immunodepletion achieved suggests that each of these antivenoms may be effective against envenomations by paedomorphic, and some ontogenetic, B. atrox venoms. PMID:21278006

  6. Proteomic and toxicological profiling of the venom of Bothrocophias campbelli, a pitviper species from Ecuador and Colombia.

    PubMed

    Salazar-Valenzuela, David; Mora-Obando, Diana; Fernández, María Laura; Loaiza-Lange, Amaru; Gibbs, H Lisle; Lomonte, Bruno

    2014-11-01

    Detailed snake venom proteomes for nearly a hundred species in different pitviper genera have accumulated using 'venomics' methodologies. However, venom composition for some lineages remains poorly known. Bothrocophias (toad-headed pitvipers) is a genus restricted to the northwestern portion of South America for which information on venom composition is lacking. Here, we describe the protein composition, toxicological profiling, and antivenom neutralization of the venom of Bothrocophias campbelli, a species distributed in Colombia and Ecuador. Our analyses show that its venom mainly consists of phospholipases A2 (43.1%), serine proteinases (21.3%), and metalloproteinases (15.8%). The low proportion of metalloproteinases and high amount of a Lys49 phospholipase A2 homologue correlate well with the low hemorrhagic and high myotoxic effects found. Overall, B. campbelli venom showed a simpler composition compared to other crotalines in the region. A polyvalent antivenom prepared with a mixture of Bothrops asper, Crotalus simus, and Lachesis stenophrys venoms cross-recognized B. campbelli venom and neutralized its lethal effect in mice, albeit with a lower potency than for B. asper venom. Additional work comparing B. campbelli venom properties with those of related species could help understand the evolution of different venom protein families during the South American radiation of New World pitvipers. PMID:25091349

  7. Antibodies against Venom of the Snake Deinagkistrodon acutus

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Yu-Ching; Liang, Meng-Huei; Leu, Sy-Jye; Lin, Liang-Tzung; Chiang, Jen-Ron

    2015-01-01

    Snake venom protein from Deinagkistrodon acutus (DA protein), one of the major venomous species in Taiwan, causes hemorrhagic symptoms that can lead to death. Although horse-derived antivenin is a major treatment, relatively strong and detrimental side effects are seen occasionally. In our study, yolk immunoglobulin (IgY) was purified from eggs, and DA protein was recognized using Western blotting and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), similar to therapeutic horse antivenin. The ELISA also indicated that specific IgY antibodies were elicited after the fifth booster, plateaued, and lasted for at least 3 months. To generate monoclonal single-chain variable fragment (scFv) antibodies, we used phage display technology to construct two libraries with short or long linkers, containing 6.24 × 108 and 5.28 × 108 transformants, respectively. After four rounds of biopanning, the eluted phage titer increased, and the phage-based ELISA indicated that the specific clones were enriched. Nucleotide sequences of 30 individual clones expressing scFv were analyzed and classified into four groups that all specifically recognized the DA venom protein. Furthermore, based on mass spectrometry, the scFv-bound protein was deduced to be snake venom metalloproteinase proteins. Most importantly, both IgY and mixed scFv inhibited the lethal effect in mice injected with the minimum lethal dosage of the DA protein. We suggest that together, these antibodies could be applied to the development of diagnostic agents or treatments for snakebite envenomation in the future. PMID:26475102

  8. Synergistically acting PLA₂: peptide hemorrhagic complex from Daboia russelii venom.

    PubMed

    Venkatesh, Madhukumar; Gowda, Veerabasappa

    2013-10-01

    Snake venoms are complex mixture of enzymatic and non-enzymatic proteins. Non-covalent protein-protein interaction leads to protein complexes, which bring about enhanced pharmacological injuries by their synergistic action. Here we report identification and characterization of a new Daboia russelii hemorrhagic complex I (DR-HC-I) containing phospholipase A₂ (PLA₂) and non-enzymatic peptide. DR-HC-I was isolated from the venom of D. russelii by CM-Shepadex-C25 and gel permeation chromatography. Individual components were purified and identified by RP-HPL chromatography, mass spectrometry and N-terminal amino acid sequencing. DR-HC-I complex was lethal to mice with the LD₅₀ dose of 0.7 mg/kg body weight with hemorrhagic and neurotoxic properties. DR-HC-I complex consists of non-hemorrhagic PLA₂ and neurotoxic non-enzymatic peptide. The non-enzymatic peptide quenched the intrinsic fluorescence of PLA₂ in a dose dependent manner, signifying the synergistic interaction between two proteins. PLA₂ and peptide toxin in a 5:2 M ratio induced skin hemorrhage in mice with MHD 20 μg. However, addition of ANS (1-Anilino-8-naphthalene sulfonate) to DR-HC-I complex inhibited skin hemorrhagic effect and also synergic interaction. But there was no impact on PLA₂ due to this synergistic interaction, and indirect hemolytic or plasma re-calcification activity. However, the synergistic interaction of PLA₂ and non-enzymatic peptide contributes to the enhanced venom-induced hemorrhage and toxicity of Daboia russellii venom. PMID:23872188

  9. Animal experimentation in snake venom research and in vitro alternatives.

    PubMed

    Sells, Paula G

    2003-08-01

    Current experimental techniques used in snake venom research (with and without the use of animals) are reviewed. The emphasis is on the reduction of the use of animals in the development of antivenoms for the clinical treatment of snakebite. Diagnostic and research techniques for the major pathologies of envenoming are described and those using animals are contrasted with non-sentient methods where possible. In particular, LD50 and ED50 assays using animals (in vivo) and fertilised eggs (in vivo, non-sentient) are compared as well as in vitro procedures (ELISA and haemolytic test) for ED50 estimations. The social context of antivenom production, supply and demand is outlined together with the consequent tension between the benefits derived and the increase in opposition to experiments on animals. Stringent regulations governing the use of animals, limited research funds and public pressure all focus the need for progress towards non-animal, or non-sentient, research methods. Some achievements are noted but success is hampered by lack of detailed knowledge of the many constituents of venom which have to be assessed as a whole rather than individually. The only way to evaluate the net pathological effect of venom is to use a living system, usually a rodent, and similarly, the efficacy of antivenoms is also measured in vivo. The pre-clinical testing of antivenoms in animals is therefore a legal requirement in many countries and is strictly monitored by government authorities. New technologies applied to the characterisation of individual venom proteins should enable novel in vitro assays to be designed thus reducing the number of animals required. In the meantime, the principles of Reduce, Refine and Replace relating to animals in research are increasingly endorsed by those working in the field and the many agencies regulating ethical and research policy. PMID:12906883

  10. Melittin, the Major Pain-Producing Substance of Bee Venom.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jun; Guan, Su-Min; Sun, Wei; Fu, Han

    2016-06-01

    Melittin is a basic 26-amino-acid polypeptide that constitutes 40-60% of dry honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom. Although much is known about its strong surface activity on lipid membranes, less is known about its pain-producing effects in the nervous system. In this review, we provide lines of accumulating evidence to support the hypothesis that melittin is the major pain-producing substance of bee venom. At the psychophysical and behavioral levels, subcutaneous injection of melittin causes tonic pain sensation and pain-related behaviors in both humans and animals. At the cellular level, melittin activates primary nociceptor cells through direct and indirect effects. On one hand, melittin can selectively open thermal nociceptor transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor channels via phospholipase A2-lipoxygenase/cyclooxygenase metabolites, leading to depolarization of primary nociceptor cells. On the other hand, algogens and inflammatory/pro-inflammatory mediators released from the tissue matrix by melittin's pore-forming effects can activate primary nociceptor cells through both ligand-gated receptor channels and the G-protein-coupled receptor-mediated opening of transient receptor potential canonical channels. Moreover, subcutaneous melittin up-regulates Nav1.8 and Nav1.9 subunits, resulting in the enhancement of tetrodotoxin-resistant Na(+) currents and the generation of long-term action potential firing. These nociceptive responses in the periphery finally activate and sensitize the spinal dorsal horn pain-signaling neurons, resulting in spontaneous nociceptive paw flinches and pain hypersensitivity to thermal and mechanical stimuli. Taken together, it is concluded that melittin is the major pain-producing substance of bee venom, by which peripheral persistent pain and hyperalgesia (or allodynia), primary nociceptive neuronal sensitization, and CNS synaptic plasticity (or metaplasticity) can be readily induced and the molecular and cellular mechanisms

  11. Adverse Cardiovascular Events after a Venomous Snakebite in Korea

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Oh Hyun; Lee, Joon Woo; Kim, Hyung Il; Cha, KyoungChul; Kim, Hyun; Lee, Kang Hyun; Hwang, Sung Oh

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Although cardiac involvement is an infrequently recognized manifestation of venomous snakebites, little is known of the adverse cardiovascular events (ACVEs) arising as a result of snakebite in Korea. Accordingly, we studied the prevalence of ACVEs associated with venomous snakebites in Korea and compared the clinical features of patients with and without ACVEs. Materials and Methods A retrospective review was conducted on 65 consecutive venomous snakebite cases diagnosed and treated at the emergency department of Wonju Severance Christian Hospital between May 2011 and October 2014. ACVEs were defined as the occurrence of at least one of the following: 1) myocardial injury, 2) shock, 3) ventricular dysrhythmia, or 4) cardiac arrest. Results Nine (13.8%) of the 65 patients had ACVEs; myocardial injury (9 patients, 13.8%) included high sensitivity troponin I (hs-TnI) elevation (7 patients, 10.8%) or electrocardiogram (ECG) determined ischemic change (2 patients, 3.1%), and shock (2 patient, 3.1%). Neither ventricular dysrhythmia nor cardiac arrest was observed. The median of elevated hs-TnI levels observed in the present study were 0.063 ng/mL (maximum: 3.000 ng/mL) and there was no mortality in the ACVEs group. Underlying cardiac diseases were more common in the ACVEs group than in the non-ACVEs group (p=0.017). Regarding complications during hospitalization, 3 patients (5.4%) in the non-ACVEs group and 3 patients (33.3%) in the ACVEs group developed bleeding (p=0.031). Conclusion Significant proportion of the patients with venomous snakebite is associated with occurrence of ACVEs. Patients with ACVEs had more underlying cardiac disease and bleeding complication. PMID:26847308

  12. Studies on sea-snake venoms. Crystallization of erabutoxins a and b from Laticauda semifasciata venom

    PubMed Central

    Tamiya, N.; Arai, Hiroko

    1966-01-01

    1. The toxic principles in the venom of the sea-snake Laticauda semifasciata were separated into two components by CM-cellulose chromatography and obtained in crystalline forms. They were named `erabutoxins a and b'. 2. The homogeneity of each toxin was shown by rechromatography, by disk electrophoresis, by ultracentrifuging, by toxicity measurements before and after repeated crystallizations and by N-terminal analysis. 3. They had molecular weights of about 7000. Both of them contained 61 (or 62) amino acid residues/molecule. The only difference between erabutoxins a and b was that one of the aspartic acid (or asparagine) residues in erabutoxin a was replaced by a histidine residue in erabutoxin b. 4. Both of the toxins had LD50 values of 0·15μg./g. body wt. for mice and 0·07μg./g. for rats. It was shown with frog-muscle preparations that they acted on postsynaptic membrane to block neuromuscular transmission. ImagesFig. 2.Fig. 3.Fig. 4.Fig. 5. PMID:5964959

  13. Snake venom toxins. The amino acid sequence of toxin Vi2, a homologue of pancreatic trypsin inhibitor, from Dendroaspis polylepis polylepis (black mamba) venom.

    PubMed

    Strydom, D J

    1977-04-25

    The amino acid sequence of venom component Vi2, a protein of low toxicity from Dendroaspis polylepis polylepis venom was determined by automatic sequence analysis in combination with sequence studies on tryptic peptides. This protein, the most retarded fraction of this venom on a cation-exchange resin, is a homologue of bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor consisting of a single chain of 57 amino acid residues containing six half-cystine residues. The active site lysyl residue of bovine trypsin inhibitor is conserved in Vi2 although large differences are found in the rest of the molecule. PMID:857902

  14. Linear antimicrobial peptides from Ectatomma quadridens ant venom.

    PubMed

    Pluzhnikov, Kirill A; Kozlov, Sergey A; Vassilevski, Alexander A; Vorontsova, Olga V; Feofanov, Alexei V; Grishin, Eugene V

    2014-12-01

    Venoms from three poneromorph ant species (Paraponera clavata, Ectatomma quadridens and Ectatomma tuberculatum) were investigated for the growth inhibition of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. It was shown that the venom of E. quadridens and its peptide fraction in particular possess marked antibacterial action. Three linear antimicrobial peptides sharing low similarity to the well-known ponericin peptides were isolated from this ant venom by means of size-exclusion and reversed-phase chromatography. The peptides showed antimicrobial activity at low micromolar concentrations. Their primary structure was established by direct Edman sequencing in combination with mass spectrometry. The most active peptide designated ponericin-Q42 was chemically synthesized. Its secondary structure was investigated in aqueous and membrane-mimicking environment, and the peptide was shown to be partially helical already in water, which is unusual for short linear peptides. Analysis of its activity on different bacterial strains, human erythrocytes and chronic myelogenous leukemia K562 cells revealed that the peptide shows broad spectrum cytolytic activity at micromolar and submicromolar concentrations. Ponericin-Q42 also possesses weak toxic activity on flesh fly larvae with LD50 of ∼105 μg/g. PMID:25220871

  15. Neurological complications of venomous snake bites: a review.

    PubMed

    Del Brutto, O H; Del Brutto, V J

    2012-06-01

    Snake bite envenoming is a neglected tropical disease affecting millions of people living in the developing world. According to the offending snake species, the clinical picture may be dominated by swelling and soft tissue necrosis in the bitten limb, or by systemic or neurological manifestations. Serious neurological complications, including stroke and muscle paralysis, are related to the toxic effects of the venom, which contains a complex mixture of toxins affecting the coagulation cascade, the neuromuscular transmission, or both. Metalloproteinases, serine proteases, and C-type lentins (common in viper and colubrid venoms) have anticoagulant or procoagulant activity and may be either agonists or antagonists of platelet aggregation; as a result, ischemic or hemorrhagic strokes may occur. In contrast, the venom of elapids is rich in phospholipase A(2) and three-finger proteins, which are potent neurotoxins affecting the neuromuscular transmission at either presynaptic or post-synaptic levels. Presynaptic-acting neurotoxins (called β-neurotoxins) inhibit the release of acetylcholine, while post-synaptic-acting neurotoxins (called α-neurotoxins) cause a reversible blockage of acetylcholine receptors. Proper management of the envenomed patient, including prompt transport to the hospital, correction of the hemostatic disorder, ventilatory support, and administration of antivenom, significantly reduces the risk of neurological complications which, in turn, reduce the mortality and improve the functional outcome of survivors. PMID:21999367

  16. Scorpions from Mexico: From Species Diversity to Venom Complexity

    PubMed Central

    Santibáñez-López, Carlos E.; Francke, Oscar F.; Ureta, Carolina; Possani, Lourival D.

    2015-01-01

    Scorpions are among the oldest terrestrial arthropods, which are distributed worldwide, except for Antarctica and some Pacific islands. Scorpion envenomation represents a public health problem in several parts of the world. Mexico harbors the highest diversity of scorpions in the world, including some of the world’s medically important scorpion species. The systematics and diversity of Mexican scorpion fauna has not been revised in the past decade; and due to recent and exhaustive collection efforts as part of different ongoing major revisionary systematic projects, our understanding of this diversity has changed compared with previous assessments. Given the presence of several medically important scorpion species, the study of their venom in the country is also important. In the present contribution, the diversity of scorpion species in Mexico is revised and updated based on several new systematic contributions; 281 different species are recorded. Commentaries on recent venomic, ecological and behavioral studies of Mexican scorpions are also provided. A list containing the most important peptides identified from 16 different species is included. A graphical representation of the different types of components found in these venoms is also revised. A map with hotspots showing the current knowledge on scorpion distribution and areas explored in Mexico is also provided. PMID:26712787

  17. Scorpions from Mexico: From Species Diversity to Venom Complexity.

    PubMed

    Santibáñez-López, Carlos E; Francke, Oscar F; Ureta, Carolina; Possani, Lourival D

    2016-01-01

    Scorpions are among the oldest terrestrial arthropods, which are distributed worldwide, except for Antarctica and some Pacific islands. Scorpion envenomation represents a public health problem in several parts of the world. Mexico harbors the highest diversity of scorpions in the world, including some of the world's medically important scorpion species. The systematics and diversity of Mexican scorpion fauna has not been revised in the past decade; and due to recent and exhaustive collection efforts as part of different ongoing major revisionary systematic projects, our understanding of this diversity has changed compared with previous assessments. Given the presence of several medically important scorpion species, the study of their venom in the country is also important. In the present contribution, the diversity of scorpion species in Mexico is revised and updated based on several new systematic contributions; 281 different species are recorded. Commentaries on recent venomic, ecological and behavioral studies of Mexican scorpions are also provided. A list containing the most important peptides identified from 16 different species is included. A graphical representation of the different types of components found in these venoms is also revised. A map with hotspots showing the current knowledge on scorpion distribution and areas explored in Mexico is also provided. PMID:26712787

  18. A new Kunitz-type plasmin inhibitor from scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Ding, Li; Wang, Xiaobo; Liu, Hongyan; San, Mingkui; Xu, Yue; Li, Jian; Li, Shan; Cao, Zhijian; Li, Wenxin; Wu, Yingliang; Chen, Zongyun

    2015-11-01

    Kunitz-type peptides from venomous animals are an important source of lead drug candidates towards human plasmin, a target of protease-associated diseases. However, no Kunitz-type plasmin inhibitor from venomous scorpion has been characterized. Here, we first investigated plasmin inhibiting activities of eight known Kunitz-type scorpion toxins Hg1, BmKTT-1, BmKTT-2, BmKTT-3, LmKTT-1a, LmKTT-1b, LmKTT-1c and BmKPI, and found a new plasmin inhibitor BmKTT-2, a Kunitz-type toxin peptide from the scorpion Buthus martensi karch. Protease inhibitory activity assay showed that BmKTT-2 potently inhibited plasmin with a Ki value of 8.75 ± 2.05 nM. Structure-function relationship studies between BmKTT-2 and plasmin showed that BmKTT-2 is a classical Kunitz-type plasmin inhibitor: Lys13 in BmKTT-2 is the P1 site, and Ala14 in BmKTT-2 is the P1' site. Interestingly, BmKTT-2 has potent inhibiting activities towards three important digestive serine proteases trypsin, chymotrypsin and elastase, suggesting a good stability for administering oral medications. To the best of our knowledge, BmKTT-2 is the first Kunitz-type human plasmin inhibitor from scorpion venom, providing novel insights into drug developments targeting human plasmin protease. PMID:26363290

  19. Anticoagulant proteins from snake venoms: structure, function and mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Kini, R. Manjunatha

    2006-01-01

    Over the last several decades, research on snake venom toxins has provided not only new tools to decipher molecular details of various physiological processes, but also inspiration to design and develop a number of therapeutic agents. Blood circulation, particularly thrombosis and haemostasis, is one of the major targets of several snake venom proteins. Among them, anticoagulant proteins have contributed to our understanding of molecular mechanisms of blood coagulation and have provided potential new leads for the development of drugs to treat or to prevent unwanted clot formation. Some of these anticoagulants exhibit various enzymatic activities whereas others do not. They interfere in normal blood coagulation by different mechanisms. Although significant progress has been made in understanding the structure–function relationships and the mechanisms of some of these anticoagulants, there are still a number of questions to be answered as more new anticoagulants are being discovered. Such studies contribute to our fight against unwanted clot formation, which leads to death and debilitation in cardiac arrest and stroke in patients with cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, arteriosclerosis and hypertension. This review describes the details of the structure, mechanism and structure–function relationships of anticoagulant proteins from snake venoms. PMID:16831131

  20. A Novel Factor Xa-Inhibiting Peptide from Centipedes Venom.

    PubMed

    Kong, Yi; Shao, Yu; Chen, Hao; Ming, Xin; Wang, Jin-Bin; Li, Zhi-Yu; Wei, Ji-Fu

    2013-01-01

    Centipedes have been used as traditional medicine for thousands of years in China. Centipede venoms consist of many biochemical peptides and proteins. Factor Xa (FXa) is a serine endopeptidase that plays the key role in blood coagulation, and has been used as a new target for anti-thrombotic drug development. A novel FXa inhibitor, a natural peptide with the sequence of Thr-Asn-Gly-Tyr-Thr (TNGYT), was isolated from the venom of Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans using a combination of size-exclusion and reverse-phase chromatography. The molecular weight of the TNGYT peptide was 554.3 Da measured by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. The amino acid sequence of TNGYT was determined by Edman degradation. TNGYT inhibited the activity of FXa in a dose-dependent manner with an IC50 value of 41.14 mg/ml. It prolonged the partial thromboplastin time and prothrombin time in both in vitro and ex vivo assays. It also significantly prolonged whole blood clotting time and bleeding time in mice. This is the first report that an FXa inhibiting peptide was isolated from centipedes venom. PMID:24273471

  1. Histopathological changes induced by Hemiscorpius lepturus scorpion venom in mice.

    PubMed

    Heidarpour, Mojgan; Ennaifer, Emna; Ahari, Hamed; Srairi-Abid, Najet; Borchani, Lamia; Khalili, Ghader; Amini, Hossein; Anvar, Amir Ali; Boubaker, Samir; El-Ayeb, Mohamed; Shahbazzadeh, Delavar

    2012-03-01

    Envenomation by Hemiscorpius lepturus (H. lepturus) is associated with local necrosis, followed by systemic manifestations. In this work the LD₅₀ of H. lepturus venom were determined by subcutaneous (SC) injection in white Balb/c mice (5 mg/kg). Histopathological alterations in organs such as kidney, heart, liver, lungs, stomach and intestine were determined in 3, 6, 12 and 24 h following experimental (SC) envenoming injection of one LD ₅₀ of the venom in Balb/c mice. Histological studies showed degenerative changes in the kidney with disorganized glomeruli and necrotic tubular in 3 h and reached to its climax in 6 h. Myocardium showed massive myocytolysis with interstitial necrosis in 3 h and reached to its peak after 6 h past envenoming. Bowels showed edema of lamina propria and slight villous necrosis. The enzymatic activities of creatine kinase (CK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) were significantly increased in the serum in 9 h. No necrotic lesion observed in lungs and liver. The results indicate that the venom of H. lepturus is a highly cytotoxic, and induces massive tissue damages in specific organs, starting from the heart and kidney as the first target in 3 h and ends to the bowels in 6 h post envenomation. PMID:22230352

  2. Snake venom toxins. Purification and properties of low-molecular-weight polypeptides of Dendroaspis polylepis polylepis (black mamba) venom.

    PubMed

    Strydom, D J

    1976-10-01

    Twelve low-molecular-weight proteins, of which eleven have subcutaneous LD50 values of less than 40 mug/g mouse, were purified from Dendroaspis polylepis polylepis venom. Ion-exchange chromatography on Amberlite CG-50 and ion-exchange chromatography on carboxymethyl-cellulose and/or phosphocellulose was used for the purification. The amino-terminal sequences of these proteins were determined and used to indicate that five groups of low-molecular-weight polypeptides are to be found in black mamba venom. Proteins from two of these groups which have low toxicity individually, when used together show synergism, in that their toxicity in combination is greater than the sum of their individual toxicities. PMID:991854

  3. Health-related quality of life in Polish adolescents with Hymenoptera venom allergy treated with venom immunotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Brzyski, Piotr; Świebocka, Ewa; Lange, Joanna; Tobiasz-Adamczyk, Beata; Lis, Grzegorz; Jedynak-Wąsowicz, Urszula; Kulus, Marek; Kaczmarski, Maciej; Małaczyńska, Teresa; Klajna-Kraluk, Barbara; Bręborowicz, Anna; Kycler, Zdzisława; Pietrzyk, Jacek J.

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Venom allergy, though rare, may seriously influence health-related quality of life (HRQoL). There is a paucity of research on HRQoL of adolescents and young adults with Hymenoptera venom allergy. The aim was to assess the level of HRQoL and to evaluate its independent predictors in Polish adolescents and young adults treated with venom immunotherapy. Material and methods A multicenter cross-sectional study based on the Vespid Allergy Quality of Life Questionnaire (VQLQ) adapted for Polish adolescents was used. The study sample included 87 patients (14-21 years) studied at different stages of venom immunotherapy (VIT). Statistical analysis was done with multivariate linear regression. Results Anxiety level was higher in patients with 4th grade of Mueller's classification (anaphylactic shock) than in those with 3rd grade (B = 0.84, 95% CI = 0.07-1.61, p = 0.03). Caution increased along with an increase of anxiety of adolescents treated with VIT (B = 0.54, 95% CI = 0.39-0.68, p < 0.01). Level of limitations increased with increasing caution of adolescents (B = 0.63, 95% CI = 0.35-0.91, p < 0.01). Discomfort increased along with a rise of caution of patients (B = 0.38, 95% CI = 0.22-0.55, p < 0.01). Similarly, it increased with an increase of their feeling of limitations (B = 0.37, 95% CI = 0.23-0.51, p < 0.01). The level of discomfort in adolescents treated with VIT was lower in those who were treated with conventional protocol in comparison to those treated with rush or ultra-rush ones (B = –0.47, 95% CI = –0.90 - –0.03, p = 0.04). Conclusions Severity of anaphylactic reaction is an independent determinant of anxiety level in adolescents treated with VIT. The VIT protocol affects HRQoL of treated patients. PMID:23319984

  4. Snake venoms. The amino-acid sequence of trypsin inhibitor E of Dendroaspis polylepis polylepis (Black Mamba) venom.

    PubMed

    Joubert, F J; Strydom, D J

    1978-06-01

    Trypsin inhibitor E from black mamba venom comprises 59 amino acid residues in a single polypeptide chain, cross-linked by three intrachain disulphide bridges. The complete primary structure of inhibitor E was elucidated. The sequence is homologous with trypsin inhibitors from different sources. Unique among this homologous series of proteinase inhibitors, inhibitor E has an affinity for transition metal ions, exemplified here by Cu2 and Co2+. PMID:668688

  5. Neurotoxic and cytotoxic effects of venom from different populations of the Egyptian Scorpio maurus palmatus.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Rahman, Mohamed A; Omran, Mohamed Alaa A; Abdel-Nabi, Ismail M; Nassier, Omimah A; Schemerhorn, Brandon J

    2010-01-01

    Neurotoxic and cytotoxic effects of venoms from Scorpio maurus palmatus taken from different populations were assessed for geographic based variability in toxicity, and to evaluate their insecticidal potency. Scorpions were collected from four regions. Three locations were mutually isolated pockets in the arid area of Southern Sinai. The fourth sample was collected from a population inhabiting the semi-arid environment of Western Mediterranean Coastal Desert. The neurotoxic (paralytic) effect of the venom from each population was assayed by its ability to induce permanent disability in adult cockroaches within 3h. Venom was applied using microinjection techniques through an intersegmental membrane. Probit analysis was used to calculate the Paralytic Effective Dose (PED(50), ng/100mg). Levels of glutathione, lipid peroxidation, protein carbonyl content and nitric oxide, as well as the activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase and cholinesterase, were measured to assess the cytotoxicity of the venom. The results show that the injected venom from each population induced obvious spasticity, followed by flaccid paralysis. All the tested biochemical parameters, except glutathione content, revealed significant differences in toxicity in venom taken from the different scorpion populations. We conclude that (i) the venom of this scorpion has significant neurotoxic and cytotoxic effects on insect cells, (ii) its efficacy, as assessed by the PED(50) unit, exhibited variation across its geographic range, and (iii) components in the venom may have the potential for being developed into effective and environmentally friendly bioinsecticides. PMID:19682484

  6. Determination of the Median Lethal Dose and Electrophoretic Pattern of Hottentotta saulcyi (Scorpiones, Buthidae) Scorpion Venom

    PubMed Central

    Yağmur, Ersen Aydın; Özkan, Özcan; Karaer, K Zafer

    2015-01-01

    Background: In this study, we investigated the lethal potency, electrophoretic protein pattern and in vivo effects of Hottentotta saulcyi scorpion venom in mice. Methods: Scorpions were collected at night, by using a UV lamp from Mardin Province, Turkey. Venom was obtained from mature H. saulcyi scorpions by electrical stimulation of the telson. The lethality of the venom was determined by i.v. injections using Swiss mice. In vivo effects of the venom were assessed by using the intraperitoneal route (ip) injections into mice (20±1g) and monitored for 24 h. The protein profiles of the scorpion venom were analyzed by NuPAGE® Novex® 4–12 % gradient Bis-Tris gel followed by Coomassie blue staining. Results: The lethal assay of the venom was 0.73 mg/kg in mice. We determined the electrophoretic protein pattern of this scorpion venom to be 4, 6, 9, 31, 35, 40, 46 and 69 kDa by SDS-PAGE. Analysis of electrophoresis indicated that H. saulcyi scorpion intoxicated mice exhibited autonomic nervous system symptoms (tachypnea, restlessness, hyperexcitability, convulsions, salivation, lacrimation, weakness). Conclusions: Hottentotta saulcyi scorpion venom includes short-chain neurotoxins and long-chain neurotoxins according to the electrophoretic protein patterns. The stings of H. saulcyi scorpion must be considered of risk for humans in the southeastern region, Turkey. PMID:26623435

  7. Antigenic cross-reactivity among the venoms from several species of Brazilian scorpions.

    PubMed

    Nishikawa, A K; Caricati, C P; Lima, M L; Dos Santos, M C; Kipnis, T L; Eickstedt, V R; Knysak, I; Da Silva, M H; Higashi, H G; Da Silva, W D

    1994-08-01

    The venoms of seven species of scorpions living in different regions of Brazil were analysed with regard to their lethality, antigenic cross-reactivity and ability to induce antibody production. In mice, the tested scorpion venoms can be grouped as: (a) highly toxic: Tityus stigmurus Thorell (LD50 = 0.773 mg/kg), Tityus bahiensis (Perty) (LD50 = 1.062 mg/kg), Tityus serrulatus Lutz and Mello (LD50 = 1.160 mg/kg), and Tityus costatus (Karsch) (LD50 = 1.590 mg/kg); (b) moderately toxic: Tityus cambridgei Pocock (LD50 = 12.136 mg/kg); and (c) practically nontoxic: Rhopalurus agamemnon (Koch) (LD50 = 36.363 mg/kg), and Brotheas amazonicus Lourenço (LD50 = 90.909 mg/kg). On electrophoresis the venoms showed many protein bands displayed along the chromatogram, most of them cross-reacting in immunoelectrophoresis and immunoblotting using horse anti-T. serrulatus, anti-T. bahiensis or anti-T. serrulatus+T. bahiensis sera as probes. The antibodies present in these antivenoms combine with venom components as measured in vitro by the ELISA assay, and neutralize their lethal effects in vivo. These results indicate that horse anti-venoms against a mixture of T. serrulatus and T. bahiensis venoms or only against T. serrulatus venom yield an antibody population able to neutralize the toxic effects found in all venoms studied. PMID:7985203

  8. Maturity-related changes in venom toxicity of the freshwater stingray Potamotrygon leopoldi.

    PubMed

    Kirchhoff, Kim N; Klingelhöfer, Ines; Dahse, Hans-Martin; Morlock, Gertrud; Wilke, Thomas

    2014-12-15

    Aquatic venomous animals such as stingrays represent a largely untapped source for venom-based drug development. However, the major challenge for a potential drug development pipeline is the high inter- and intraspecific variability in toxicity and venom composition. As of today, little is known about maturity-driven changes in these traits in stingrays. The present study investigates the differences in toxicity and venom composition in different maturity stages of the freshwater stingray Potamotrygon leopoldi. This species can be found in the Xingú River basin (Brazil), where it mainly feeds on invertebrates, while being predated by other stingrays or large catfishes. P. leopoldi, as commonly known for stingrays, can cause severe injuries with the venomous dentine spine located at its tails. The toxicity of tissue extracts of juvenile and mature specimens was recorded on a myoblast cell culture bioassay. Venom composition and bioactivity of compounds were analyzed with planar chromatography linked to an Aliivibrio fischeri bioassay. Results revealed a decrease in venom toxicity during maturation, but no changes in venom composition. These findings may indicate that toxicity in mature specimens becomes evolutionary less important, probably due to a decrease in predation pressure. PMID:25449099

  9. Properties of biological and biochemical effects of the Iranian saw-scaled viper (Echis carinatus) venom.

    PubMed

    Babaie, M; Salmanizadeh, H; Zolfagharian, H; Alizadeh, H

    2014-01-01

    The venom of Echis carinatus is rich in proteins and peptides effective on the hemostatic system. This venom is contains metalloproteinase which convert prothrombin to meizothrombin. The prothrombin activator which leads to the formation of small blood clots inside the blood vessels throughout the body. To understand the mechanism of the effects of Iranian Echis carinatus venom, the effects of E. carinatus on human and Wistar rat plasma, plasma proteins (prothrombin and fibrinogen) and blood coagulation were studied. Proteolytic activity of the crude venom on blood coagulation factors such as prothrombin, partial thromboplastin and fibrinogen times were studied. In the present study the PT test for human plasma was reduced from 13.4 s (±0.59) to 8.6 s (±0.64) when human plasma was treated with crude venom (concentration of venom was 1 mg/ml) and for rat plasma PT was reduced from 14.5 s (±0.47) to 8 s (±0.49). Some possible biological and biochemical effects of IEc crude venom were investigated. The blood coagulation in human and in rat were investigated in vivo and in-vitro. In this paper, we show that the procoagulant action of Echis carinatus venom is due in part to a protein component that activates prothrombin and the procoagulant activity on human and rat plasma was evaluated (Tab. 2, Fig. 2, Ref. 31). PMID:25077367

  10. Analgesic and antibutyrylcholinestrasic activities of the venom prepared from the Mediterranean jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca (Forsskal, 1775)

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Toxins derived from jellyfishes have been exploited as a model for the development of new drug promising applications to treat neurodegenerative diseases. The present work is aimed to evaluate the acute toxicity of crude venom of Pelagia noctiluca and then to screen the analgesic and antibutyrylcholinestrasic (anti-BuChE) activities of the crude venom and its fractions. Methods Sephadex G75 gel was used to separate crude venom of Pelagia noctiluca, which led to some fractions. In addition, in vivo analgesic and in vitro plasma antibutyrylcholinestrasic activities were carried out with Pelagia crude venom and its fractions respectively. Results The crude venom and its fractions displayed analgesic and anti-BuChE activities at different doses without inducing acute toxicity. Fraction 2 possesses the highest analgesic and antibutyrylcholinestrasic properties. The crude venom and fraction 1 had shown to possess less significant inhibitory activity against analgesic and antibutyrylcholinestrasic models. Conclusions Based on this study, the crude venom of Pelagia noctiluca is found to be a useful tool for probing pharmacological activity. The purification and the determination of chemical structures of compounds of active fractions of the venom are under investigation. PMID:22691546

  11. Tentacle Transcriptome and Venom Proteome of the Pacific Sea Nettle, Chrysaora fuscescens (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa)

    PubMed Central

    Ponce, Dalia; Brinkman, Diane L.; Potriquet, Jeremy; Mulvenna, Jason

    2016-01-01

    Jellyfish venoms are rich sources of toxins designed to capture prey or deter predators, but they can also elicit harmful effects in humans. In this study, an integrated transcriptomic and proteomic approach was used to identify putative toxins and their potential role in the venom of the scyphozoan jellyfish Chrysaora fuscescens. A de novo tentacle transcriptome, containing more than 23,000 contigs, was constructed and used in proteomic analysis of C. fuscescens venom to identify potential toxins. From a total of 163 proteins identified in the venom proteome, 27 were classified as putative toxins and grouped into six protein families: proteinases, venom allergens, C-type lectins, pore-forming toxins, glycoside hydrolases and enzyme inhibitors. Other putative toxins identified in the transcriptome, but not the proteome, included additional proteinases as well as lipases and deoxyribonucleases. Sequence analysis also revealed the presence of ShKT domains in two putative venom proteins from the proteome and an additional 15 from the transcriptome, suggesting potential ion channel blockade or modulatory activities. Comparison of these potential toxins to those from other cnidarians provided insight into their possible roles in C. fuscescens venom and an overview of the diversity of potential toxin families in cnidarian venoms. PMID:27058558

  12. Using a Novel Ontology to Inform the Discovery of Therapeutic Peptides from Animal Venoms

    PubMed Central

    Romano, Joseph D.; Tatonetti, Nicholas P.

    2016-01-01

    Venoms and venom-derived compounds constitute a rich and largely unexplored source of potentially therapeutic compounds. To facilitate biomedical research, it is necessary to design a robust informatics infrastructure that will allow semantic computation of venom concepts in a standardized, consistent manner. We have designed an ontology of venom-related concepts — named Venom Ontology — that reuses an existing public data source: UniProt’s Tox-Prot database. In addition to describing the ontology and its construction, we have performed three separate case studies demonstrating its utility: (1) An exploration of venom peptide similarity networks within specific genera; (2) A broad overview of the distribution of available data among common taxonomic groups spanning the known tree of life; and (3) An analysis of the distribution of venom complexity across those same taxonomic groups. Venom Ontology is publicly available on BioPortal at http://bioportal.bioontology.org/ontologies/CU-VO. PMID:27570672

  13. In Vitro Toxic Effects of Puff Adder (Bitis arietans) Venom, and Their Neutralization by Antivenom

    PubMed Central

    Fernandez, Steven; Hodgson, Wayne; Chaisakul, Janeyuth; Kornhauser, Rachelle; Konstantakopoulos, Nicki; Smith, Alexander Ian; Kuruppu, Sanjaya

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the in vitro toxic effects of Bitis arietans venom and the ability of antivenom produced by the South African Institute of Medical Research (SAIMR) to neutralize these effects. The venom (50 µg/mL) reduced nerve-mediated twitches of the chick biventer muscle to 19% ± 2% of initial magnitude (n = 4) within 2 h. This inhibitory effect of the venom was significantly attenuated by prior incubation of tissues with SAIMR antivenom (0.864 µg/µL; 67% ± 4%; P < 0.05; n = 3–5, unpaired t-test). Addition of antivenom at t50 failed to prevent further inhibition or reverse the inhibition of twitches and responses to agonists. The myotoxic action of the venom (50 µg/mL) was evidenced by a decrease in direct twitches (30% ± 6% of the initial twitch magnitude) and increase in baseline tension (by 0.7 ± 0.3 g within 3 h) of the chick biventer. Antivenom failed to block these effects. Antivenom however prevented the venom induced cytotoxic effects on L6 skeletal muscle cells. Venom induced a marginal but significant reduction in plasma clotting times at concentrations above 7.8 µg/100 µL of plasma, indicating poor procoagulant effects. In addition, the results of western immunoblotting indicate strong immunoreactivity with venom proteins, thus warranting further detailed studies on the neutralization of the effects of individual venom toxins by antivenom. PMID:24854547

  14. Bee Venom Promotes Hair Growth in Association with Inhibiting 5α-Reductase Expression.

    PubMed

    Park, Seeun; Erdogan, Sedef; Hwang, Dahyun; Hwang, Seonwook; Han, Eun Hye; Lim, Young-Hee

    2016-06-01

    Alopecia is an important issue that can occur in people of all ages. Recent studies show that bee venom can be used to treat certain diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, neuralgia, and multiple sclerosis. In this study, we investigated the preventive effect of bee venom on alopecia, which was measured by applying bee venom (0.001, 0.005, 0.01%) or minoxidil (2%) as a positive control to the dorsal skin of female C57BL/6 mice for 19 d. Growth factors responsible for hair growth were analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR and Western blot analysis using mice skins and human dermal papilla cells (hDPCs). Bee venom promoted hair growth and inhibited transition from the anagen to catagen phase. In both anagen phase mice and dexamethasone-induced catagen phase mice, hair growth was increased dose dependently compared with controls. Bee venom inhibited the expression of SRD5A2, which encodes a type II 5α-reductase that plays a major role in the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. Moreover, bee venom stimulated proliferation of hDPCs and several growth factors (insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF)2 and 7) in bee venom-treated hDPCs dose dependently compared with the control group. In conclusion, bee venom is a potentially potent 5α-reductase inhibitor and hair growth promoter. PMID:27040904

  15. Tentacle Transcriptome and Venom Proteome of the Pacific Sea Nettle, Chrysaora fuscescens (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa).

    PubMed

    Ponce, Dalia; Brinkman, Diane L; Potriquet, Jeremy; Mulvenna, Jason

    2016-01-01

    Jellyfish venoms are rich sources of toxins designed to capture prey or deter predators, but they can also elicit harmful effects in humans. In this study, an integrated transcriptomic and proteomic approach was used to identify putative toxins and their potential role in the venom of the scyphozoan jellyfish Chrysaora fuscescens. A de novo tentacle transcriptome, containing more than 23,000 contigs, was constructed and used in proteomic analysis of C. fuscescens venom to identify potential toxins. From a total of 163 proteins identified in the venom proteome, 27 were classified as putative toxins and grouped into six protein families: proteinases, venom allergens, C-type lectins, pore-forming toxins, glycoside hydrolases and enzyme inhibitors. Other putative toxins identified in the transcriptome, but not the proteome, included additional proteinases as well as lipases and deoxyribonucleases. Sequence analysis also revealed the presence of ShKT domains in two putative venom proteins from the proteome and an additional 15 from the transcriptome, suggesting potential ion channel blockade or modulatory activities. Comparison of these potential toxins to those from other cnidarians provided insight into their possible roles in C. fuscescens venom and an overview of the diversity of potential toxin families in cnidarian venoms. PMID:27058558

  16. Comparative proteomic analysis of two wasps venom, Vespa tropica and Vespa affinis.

    PubMed

    Rungsa, Prapenpuksiri; Incamnoi, Paroonkorn; Sukprasert, Sophida; Uawonggul, Nunthawun; Klaynongsruang, Sompong; Daduang, Jureerut; Patramanon, Rina; Roytrakul, Sittiruk; Daduang, Sakda

    2016-09-01

    Vespid venom is composed of many bioactive compounds. The venom of the banded tiger wasp (Vespa affinis, or VA) and the great banded wasp (Vespa tropica, or VT)-which are locally found in the northeastern part of Thailand and are well known for their life-threatening venom potency-were comparatively studied in terms of potency, composition and biological activity. Clinical studies that included word-of-mouth information shared by traditional healers in local areas noted that the venom of VT is more potent than that of VA. Our previous study showed that the venom of VA is lower in potency (PD50 = 12.5 μg/g body weight) than that of VT (PD50 = 3 μg/g body weight). Analysis with the PAGE technique showed that these two venoms showed similar patterns of active proteins. Most protein spots were basic proteins at an isoelectric point (pI) ranging from 5 to 10, with molecular weights between 27 and 50 kDa. These spots were identified as hyaluronidase, phospholipase, antigen 5, dipeptidyl peptidase and albumin-like protein. The proportion of hyaluronidase was 2.5 times higher in VT than in VA. VT also showed higher hyaluronidase, phospholipase and dipeptidyl peptidase activities, suggesting that these components made VT venom more potent than VA venom. PMID:27288895

  17. Activities of Venom Proteins and Peptides with Possible Therapeutic Applications from Bees and WASPS.

    PubMed

    Ye, Xiujuan; Guan, Suzhen; Liu, Jiwen; Ng, Charlene C W; Chan, Gabriel H H; Sze, Stephen C W; Zhang, Kalin Y; Naude, Ryno; Rolka, Krzysztof; Wong, Jack Ho; Ng, Tzi Bun

    2016-01-01

    The variety of proteins and peptides isolated from honey bee venom and wasp venom includes melittin, adiapin, apamine, bradykinin, cardiopep, mast cell degranulating peptide, mastoparan, phospholipase A2 and secapin. Some of the activities they demonstrate may find therapeutic applications. PMID:27323949

  18. Venom from the spider Araneus ventricosus is lethal to insects but inactive in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Liu, Kai; Wang, Meichi; Herzig, Volker; Liu, Zhen; Hu, Weijun; Zhou, Guihua; Duan, Zhigui

    2016-06-01

    Araneus ventricosus spider venom, which was collected by electrical stimulation, is abundant in peptides and proteins with molecular weights ranging from 2 kDa to 70 kDa as determined by gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. Electrophysiological experiments showed that 50 μg/mL venom could block the voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) currents of the dorsal unpaired median (DUM) neurons of Periplaneta americana cockroaches. However, 500 μg/mL venom could not block the VGSCs currents in rat dorsal root ganglion cells or the neuromuscular transmission in isolated mouse phrenic nerve-hemidiaphragm. Moreover, we also observed that injection of the venom in P. americana gave rise to obvious envenomation symptoms, with a LD50 value of 30.7 μg/g. Enzymatic analysis indicated that the venom possessed activities of several kinds of hydrolases including hyaluronidase and proteases. These results demonstrate that A. ventricosus venom contains bioactive components targeting insects, which are the natural prey of these spiders. Furthermore, the venom was found to be not active in vertebrate. Thus, we suggest that A. ventricosus venom contains novel insect-selective compounds that might be helpful in developing new and safe insecticides. PMID:26995209

  19. 467 Clinical Case. Bee Venom Anaphylaxis

    PubMed Central

    Barreto-Sosa, Adriana; Velasco-Medina, Andrea Aida; Burbano-Ceron, Andres-Leonardo; Gonzalez-Carsolio, Aida; Velázquez-Sámano, Guillermo

    2012-01-01

    Background Skin testing remains the principal confirmatory test for sensitization to hymenopteravenoms. Mechanisms on how venom induces vascular permeability in the skinfollowing intradermal testing are elucidated and how tolerance is induced followinghigh-dose venom exposure. For management, venom immunotherapy remains the mosteffective treatment. Use of immunotherapy in large local reactors to reduce morbidity is discussed. Baseline serum tryptase levels have been identified as one potential markerfor severe systemic reactions to a subsequent sting. Bee venom immunotherapy is effective in most patients immediately after the conventionalmaintenance dose has been reached. In the minority of patients who are not protected withthis dose, an increased maintenance dose will provide appropriate protection immediately after itis achieved usually by 3 to 6 months withstandarding protocols. Thus, the dosage of the maintenance dose seems to be the major factor affectingprotection from re-stings rather than the accumulated venom dose or the durationon the Maintenance Dose. A rush protocol would be recommendedif the patient's risk of being stung againbefore standard immunotherapy could work wereconsidered high. Although immunotherapy is oftenadministered by allergists, it may be deliveredby any practitioner who is willing to observe the patientand to treat anaphylaxis if it should occur. Methods A 17-year-old man reported being stung by a bee in his workplace. He had been stung several times before, with no clinical manifestations. This last time, he developed face edema, respiratory distress, dyspnea, vomiting recieveing treatment with hydrocortisone. Some time later, he was stung another time, presenting more severe symptoms including dyspnea, stridor, altered mental status, hives, so he was taken to a local clinic where he received epinephrine, dextrose, was hospitalized 4 hours until clinical remission. How should his case be managed subsequently? Results Intradermal test

  20. Venomous and Poisonous Australian Animals of Veterinary Importance: A Rich Source of Novel Therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Allavena, Rachel E.

    2014-01-01

    Envenomation and poisoning by terrestrial animals (both vertebrate and invertebrate) are a significant economic problem and health risk for domestic animals in Australia. Australian snakes are some of the most venomous animals in the world and bees, wasps, ants, paralysis ticks, and cane toads are also present as part of the venomous and poisonous fauna. The diagnosis and treatment of envenomation or poisoning in animals is a challenge and can be a traumatic and expensive process for owners. Despite the potency of Australian venoms, there is potential for novel veterinary therapeutics to be modeled on venom toxins, as has been the case with human pharmaceuticals. A comprehensive overview of envenomation and poisoning signs in livestock and companion animals is provided and related to the potential for venom toxins to act as therapeutics. PMID:25143943

  1. Processing of Snake Venom Metalloproteinases: Generation of Toxin Diversity and Enzyme Inactivation

    PubMed Central

    Moura-da-Silva, Ana M.; Almeida, Michelle T.; Portes-Junior, José A.; Nicolau, Carolina A.; Gomes-Neto, Francisco; Valente, Richard H.

    2016-01-01

    Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) are abundant in the venoms of vipers and rattlesnakes, playing important roles for the snake adaptation to different environments, and are related to most of the pathological effects of these venoms in human victims. The effectiveness of SVMPs is greatly due to their functional diversity, targeting important physiological proteins or receptors in different tissues and in the coagulation system. Functional diversity is often related to the genetic diversification of the snake venom. In this review, we discuss some published evidence that posit that processing and post-translational modifications are great contributors for the generation of functional diversity and for maintaining latency or inactivation of enzymes belonging to this relevant family of venom toxins. PMID:27294958

  2. Snake Venomics and Antivenomics of Bothrops diporus, a Medically Important Pitviper in Northeastern Argentina

    PubMed Central

    Gay, Carolina; Sanz, Libia; Calvete, Juan J.; Pla, Davinia

    2015-01-01

    Snake species within genus Bothrops are responsible for more than 80% of the snakebites occurring in South America. The species that cause most envenomings in Argentina, B. diporus, is widely distributed throughout the country, but principally found in the Northeast, the region with the highest rates of snakebites. The venom proteome of this medically relevant snake was unveiled using a venomic approach. It comprises toxins belonging to fourteen protein families, being dominated by PI- and PIII-SVMPs, PLA2 molecules, BPP-like peptides, L-amino acid oxidase and serine proteinases. This toxin profile largely explains the characteristic pathophysiological effects of bothropic snakebites observed in patients envenomed by B. diporus. Antivenomic analysis of the SAB antivenom (Instituto Vital Brazil) against the venom of B. diporus showed that this pentabothropic antivenom efficiently recognized all the venom proteins and exhibited poor affinity towards the small peptide (BPPs and tripeptide inhibitors of PIII-SVMPs) components of the venom. PMID:26712790

  3. Comparative analysis of methods for concentrating venom from jellyfish Rhopilema esculentum Kishinouye

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Cuiping; Yu, Huahua; Feng, Jinhua; Chen, Xiaolin; Li, Pengcheng

    2009-02-01

    In this study, several methods were compared for the efficiency to concentrate venom from the tentacles of jellyfish Rhopilema esculentum Kishinouye. The results show that the methods using either freezing-dry or gel absorption to remove water to concentrate venom are not applicable due to the low concentration of the compounds dissolved. Although the recovery efficiency and the total venom obtained using the dialysis dehydration method are high, some proteins can be lost during the concentrating process. Comparing to the lyophilization method, ultrafiltration is a simple way to concentrate the compounds at high percentage but the hemolytic activities of the proteins obtained by ultrafiltration appear to be lower. Our results suggest that overall lyophilization is the best and recommended method to concentrate venom from the tentacles of jellyfish. It shows not only the high recovery efficiency for the venoms but high hemolytic activities as well.

  4. [Toxicity and neutralization of venoms from Peruvian snakes of the genera Bothrops and Lachesis (Serpentes: Viperidae)].

    PubMed

    Incio Ruiz, R; Incio Ruiz, L; Martínez-Vargas, A Z; Salas Arruz, M; Gutiérrez, J M

    1993-12-01

    The lethal potencies (Median Lethal Dose) of the venoms of Peruvian snakes (Bothrops atrox, Bothrops barnetti, Bothrops pictus and Lachesis muta muta) were determined in mice by using intravenous and intraperitoneal routes of injection. In addition, the neutralizing ability of three antivenoms (bothropic polyvalent, bothropic bivalent and lachetic) was studied by preincubation-type experiments. B. pictus venom had the highest lethality by the intraperitoneal route whereas B. atrox venom had the highest lethality when tested by the intravenous route. The three antivenoms were effective in neutralizing lethality of the homologous venoms. Bivalent antivenom was more effective than polyvalent antivenom in the neutralization of B. pictus venom. On the basis of these findings, the use of bivalent bothropic antivenom is recommended in the Pacific coastal regions of Perú, whereas polyvalent bothropic antivenom is recommended in the oriental jungle regions of the country. PMID:7701074

  5. The Protective Effect of Bee Venom on Fibrosis Causing Inflammatory Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Woo-Ram; Pak, Sok Cheon; Park, Kwan-Kyu

    2015-01-01

    Bee venom therapy is a treatment modality that may be thousands of years old and involves the application of live bee stings to the patient’s skin or, in more recent years, the injection of bee venom into the skin with a hypodermic needle. Studies have proven the effectiveness of bee venom in treating pathological conditions such as arthritis, pain and cancerous tumors. However, there has not been sufficient review to fully elucidate the cellular mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory effects of bee venom and its components. In this respect, the present study reviews current understanding of the mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory properties of bee venom and its components in the treatment of liver fibrosis, atherosclerosis and skin disease. PMID:26580653

  6. Neuromuscular effects of venoms and crotoxin-like proteins from Crotalus durissus ruruima and Crotalus durissus cumanensis.

    PubMed

    Cavalcante, Walter Luís Garrido; Ponce-Soto, Luis Alberto; Marangoni, Sérgio; Gallacci, Márcia

    2015-03-01

    A myographic study was performed to compare the neuromuscular effects of venoms and crotoxin-like proteins from Crotalus durissus ruruima and Crotalus durissus cumanensis in mice phrenic-diaphragm preparation. It was concluded that both venoms present neurotoxic activity as a consequence of their crotoxin content. Furthermore, crotoxin from C.d. cumanensis is more potent than that from C.d. ruruima venom. At the concentration range in which both venoms express neurotoxic activity, only C.d. cumanensis venom also manifest a direct myotoxic effect that probably involves the synergic participation of other components than crotoxin. PMID:25598498

  7. Connectivity maps for biosimilar drug discovery in venoms: the case of Gila monster venom and the anti-diabetes drug Byetta®.

    PubMed

    Aramadhaka, Lavakumar Reddy; Prorock, Alyson; Dragulev, Bojan; Bao, Yongde; Fox, Jay W

    2013-07-01

    Like most natural product libraries animal venoms have long been recognized as potentially rich source of biologically active molecules with the potential to be mined for the discovery of drugs, drug leads and/or biosimilars. In this work we demonstrate as a proof of concept a novel approach to explore venoms for potential biosimilarity to other drugs based on their ability to alter the transcriptomes of test cell lines followed by informatic searches and Connectivity Mapping to match the action of the venom on the cell gene expression to that of other drugs in the Connectivity Map (C-Map) database. As our test animal venom we chose Heloderma suspectum venom (Gila monster) since exendin-4, a glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist, isolated from the venom is currently on the market to treat type 2 diabetes. The action of Byetta(®) (exentide, synthetic exendin-4), was also used in transcriptome studies. Analysis of transcriptomes from cells treated with the venom or the drug showed similarities as well as differences. The former case was primarily attributed to the fact that Gila monster venom likely contains a variety of biologically active molecules that could alter the MCF7 cell transcriptome compared to that of the single perturbant Byetta(®). Using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis software, insulin-like growth factor 1 signaling was identified in the category of "Top Canonical Pathways" for both the venom and Byetta(®). In the category of "Top Molecules" up-regulated, both venom and Byetta(®) shared IL-8, cyclic AMP-dependent transcription factor 3 (ATF-3), neuron-derived orphan receptor 1 (NR4A3), dexamethasone-induced Ras-related protein 1 (RASD1) and early growth response protein 1, (EGR-1) all with potential relevance in diabetes. Using Connectivity Mapping, Gila monster venom showed positive correlation with 1732 instances and negative correlation with 793 instances in the Connectivity database whereas Byetta(®) showed positive correlation with 1692

  8. The in vitro and in vivo pharmacological activity of Boiga dendrophila (mangrove catsnake) venom.

    PubMed

    Lumsden, N G; Fry, B G; Ventura, S; Kini, R M; Hodgson, W C

    2004-10-01

    The great taxonomic and prey base diversity of colubrids (non-front-fanged snakes) suggests that their venoms may represent a 'literal gold mine' for scientists eager to find novel pharmacological probes. While pharmacological characterization is lacking for most of these venoms, this is even more so with regard to activity of colubrid venoms on the mammalian autonomic nervous system. This study characterizes the activity of venom from the colubrid, Boiga dendrophila using in vitro smooth muscle preparations and the anaesthetized rat. In the prostatic segment of the rat vas deferens, cumulative additions of venom (1-150 microg ml(-1)) induced concentration-dependent inhibition of electrically evoked (0.2 Hz, 0.3 ms, 70-100 V) twitches. The inhibitory effect of venom (100 microg ml(-1)) was attenuated by 8-phenyltheophylline (8-PT) (20 microM) and 8-cyclopentyl-1, 3-dipropylxanthine (20 microM) but not idazoxan (1 microM), or a combination of ranitidine (0.2 microM) and thioperamide (10 microM). The inhibitory effect of venom (100 microg ml(-1)) was augmented by dipyridamole (10 microM) but abolished by pretreatment with adenosine deaminase (7.5 units/100 microl) suggesting that it contains components with adenosine A(1) receptor activity, most likely adenosine. In isolated segments of guinea-pig ileum, venom (10-100 microg ml(-1)) caused concentration-dependent contractions which were inhibited by the muscarinic receptor antagonist atropine (0.1 microM) but not by the histamine receptor antagonist mepyramine (0.5 microM). In the anaesthetized rat, venom (5-7.5 mg kg(-1), i.v.) caused a hypotensive effect. Our data suggest that the venom contains components with purinergic and muscarinic receptor activity. PMID:15595930

  9. Expression of enzymatically inactive wasp venom phospholipase A1 in Pichia pastoris.

    PubMed

    Borodina, Irina; Jensen, Bettina M; Wagner, Tim; Hachem, Maher A; Søndergaard, Ib; Poulsen, Lars K

    2011-01-01

    Wasp venom allergy is the most common insect venom allergy in Europe. It is manifested by large local reaction or anaphylactic shock occurring after a wasp sting. The allergy can be treated by specific immunotherapy with whole venom extracts. Wasp venom is difficult and costly to obtain and is a subject to composition variation, therefore it can be advantageous to substitute it with a cocktail of recombinant allergens. One of the major venom allergens is phospholipase A1, which so far has been expressed in Escherichia coli and in insect cells. Our aim was to produce the protein in secreted form in yeast Pichia pastoris, which can give high yields of correctly folded protein on defined minimal medium and secretes relatively few native proteins simplifying purification.Residual amounts of enzymatically active phospholipase A1 could be expressed, but the venom protein had a deleterious effect on growth of the yeast cells. To overcome the problem we introduced three different point mutations at the critical points of the active site, where serine137, aspartate165 or histidine229 were replaced by alanine (S137A, D165A and H229A). All the three mutated forms could be expressed in P. pastoris. The H229A mutant did not have any detectable phospholipase A1 activity and was secreted at the level of several mg/L in shake flask culture. The protein was purified by nickel-affinity chromatography and its identity was confirmed by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The protein could bind IgE antibodies from wasp venom allergic patients and could inhibit the binding of wasp venom to IgE antibodies specific for phospholipase A1 as shown by Enzyme Allergo-Sorbent Test (EAST). Moreover, the recombinant protein was allergenic in a biological assay as demonstrated by its capability to induce histamine release of wasp venom-sensitive basophils.The recombinant phospholipase A1 presents a good candidate for wasp venom immunotherapy. PMID:21731687

  10. Mad, bad and dangerous to know: the biochemistry, ecology and evolution of slow loris venom

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Only seven types of mammals are known to be venomous, including slow lorises (Nycticebus spp.). Despite the evolutionary significance of this unique adaptation amongst Nycticebus, the structure and function of slow loris venom is only just beginning to be understood. Here we review what is known about the chemical structure of slow loris venom. Research on a handful of captive samples from three of eight slow loris species reveals that the protein within slow loris venom resembles the disulphide-bridged heterodimeric structure of Fel-d1, more commonly known as cat allergen. In a comparison of N. pygmaeus and N. coucang, 212 and 68 compounds were found, respectively. Venom is activated by combining the oil from the brachial arm gland with saliva, and can cause death in small mammals and anaphylactic shock and death in humans. We examine four hypotheses for the function of slow loris venom. The least evidence is found for the hypothesis that loris venom evolved to kill prey. Although the venom’s primary function in nature seems to be as a defense against parasites and conspecifics, it may also serve to thwart olfactory-orientated predators. Combined with numerous other serpentine features of slow lorises, including extra vertebra in the spine leading to snake-like movement, serpentine aggressive vocalisations, a long dark dorsal stripe and the venom itself, we propose that venom may have evolved to mimic cobras (Naja sp.). During the Miocene when both slow lorises and cobras migrated throughout Southeast Asia, the evolution of venom may have been an adaptive strategy against predators used by slow lorises as a form of Müllerian mimicry with spectacled cobras. PMID:24074353

  11. Pulmonary oedema produced by scorpion venom augments a phenyldiguanide-induced reflex response in anaesthetized rats

    PubMed Central

    Deshpande, S B; Bagchi, S; Rai, O P; Aryya, N C

    1999-01-01

    The involvement of pulmonary oedema produced by scorpion venom in augmenting a phenyldiguanide (PDG)-induced reflex response was evaluated in urethane-anaesthetized rats. PDG-induced bradycardiac, hypotensive and apnoeic responses, expressed as time–response area, exhibited similarities before or after venom treatment. Hence, the time–response area of bradycardia was taken as a reflex parameter. Pulmonary oedema was determined by physical evaporation and histological methods. Exposure to Indian red scorpion (Buthus tamulus, BT; i.v.) venom for 30 min increased the pulmonary water content (P < 0.05; Student's t test) and augmented the PDG-induced bradycardiac reflex response by more than 2 times (P < 0.001). The increase of pulmonary water content was maximal with 100 μg kg−1 of venom and the augmentation was maximal with 10 μg kg−1. In a separate series of experiments, the venom (100 μg kg−1)-induced pulmonary oedema was confirmed by histological and physical methods. In this group also, the venom augmented the reflex to the same magnitude. Pulmonary oedema (physical and histological) and augmentation of the bradycardiac reflex response after BT venom (100 μg kg−1; i.v.) were absent in animals pretreated with aprotinin, a kallikrein-kinin inhibitor (6000 KIU; i.v.). Ondansetron (10 μg kg−1; i.v.), a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, failed to block the venom-induced pulmonary oedema (physical and histological) but blocked the venom-induced augmentation of the reflex. The results of this study indicate that the venom-induced augmentation of the PDG reflex is associated with pulmonary oedema involving kinins utilizing 5-HT3 receptors. PMID:10581322

  12. Expression of Enzymatically Inactive Wasp Venom Phospholipase A1 in Pichia pastoris

    PubMed Central

    Borodina, Irina; Jensen, Bettina M.; Wagner, Tim; Hachem, Maher A.; Søndergaard, Ib; Poulsen, Lars K.

    2011-01-01

    Wasp venom allergy is the most common insect venom allergy in Europe. It is manifested by large local reaction or anaphylactic shock occurring after a wasp sting. The allergy can be treated by specific immunotherapy with whole venom extracts. Wasp venom is difficult and costly to obtain and is a subject to composition variation, therefore it can be advantageous to substitute it with a cocktail of recombinant allergens. One of the major venom allergens is phospholipase A1, which so far has been expressed in Escherichia coli and in insect cells. Our aim was to produce the protein in secreted form in yeast Pichia pastoris, which can give high yields of correctly folded protein on defined minimal medium and secretes relatively few native proteins simplifying purification. Residual amounts of enzymatically active phospholipase A1 could be expressed, but the venom protein had a deleterious effect on growth of the yeast cells. To overcome the problem we introduced three different point mutations at the critical points of the active site, where serine137, aspartate165 or histidine229 were replaced by alanine (S137A, D165A and H229A). All the three mutated forms could be expressed in P. pastoris. The H229A mutant did not have any detectable phospholipase A1 activity and was secreted at the level of several mg/L in shake flask culture. The protein was purified by nickel-affinity chromatography and its identity was confirmed by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The protein could bind IgE antibodies from wasp venom allergic patients and could inhibit the binding of wasp venom to IgE antibodies specific for phospholipase A1 as shown by Enzyme Allergo-Sorbent Test (EAST). Moreover, the recombinant protein was allergenic in a biological assay as demonstrated by its capability to induce histamine release of wasp venom-sensitive basophils. The recombinant phospholipase A1 presents a good candidate for wasp venom immunotherapy. PMID:21731687

  13. Effect of Ottoman Viper (Montivipera xanthina (Gray, 1849)) Venom on Various Cancer Cells and on Microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Yalcın, Husniye Tansel; Ozen, Mehmet Ozgün; Gocmen, Bayram; Nalbantsoy, Ayse

    2014-01-01

    Cytotoxic and antimicrobial effects of Montivipera xanthina venom against LNCaP, MCF-7, HT-29, Saos-2, Hep3B, Vero cells and antimicrobial activity against selected bacterial and fungal species: Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923, Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, E. coli O157H7, Enterococcus faecalis 29212, Enterococcus faecium DSM 13590, Staphylococcus epidermidis ATCC 12228, S. typhimirium CCM 5445, Proteus vulgaris ATCC 6957 and Candida albicans ATCC 10239 were studied for evaluating the potential medical benefit of this snake venom. Cytotoxicity of venom was determined using MTT assay. Snake venom cytotoxicity was expressed as the venom dose that killed 50 % of the cells (IC50). The antimicrobial activity of venom was studied by minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and disc diffusion assay. MIC was determined using broth dilution method. The estimated IC50 values of venom varied from 3.8 to 12.7 or from 1.9 to 7.2 μg/ml after treatment with crude venom for 24 or 48 h for LNCaP, MCF-7, HT-29 and Saos-2 cells. There was no observable cytotoxic effect on Hep3B and Vero cells. Venom exhibited the most potent activity against C. albicans (MIC, 7.8 μg/ml and minimal fungicidal concentration, 62.5 μg/ml) and S. aureus (MIC, 31.25 μg/ml). This study is the first report showing the potential of M. xanthina venom as an alternative therapeutic approach due to its cytotoxic and antimicrobial effects. PMID:23381026

  14. Local inflammatory reaction induced by Scolopendra viridicornis centipede venom in mice.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Louise Faggionato; Prezotto-Neto, José Pedro; Távora, Bianca de Carvalho Lins Fernandes; Antoniazzi, Marta Maria; Knysak, Irene; Gióia Guizze, Samuel Paulo; Santoro, Marcelo Larami; Barbaro, Katia Cristina

    2013-12-15

    Centipede envenomation is generally mild, and human victims usually manifest burning pain, erythema and edema. Despite the abundance and ubiquity of these animals, centipede venom has been poorly characterized in literature. For this reason, the aim of this work was to investigate local inflammatory features induced by Scolopendra viridicornis centipede envenomation in mice, evaluating edema formation, leukocyte infiltration, production of inflammatory mediators, and also performing histological analysis. The highest edematogenic activity induced by the venom, determined by plethysmometry, was noticed 0.5 h after injection in mice footpad. At 24 h, edema was still detected in animals that received 15 and 60 μg of venom, and at 48 h, only in animals injected with 60 μg of venom. In relation to leukocyte count, S. viridicornis venom induced cell recruitment, mainly neutrophils and monocytes/macrophages, in all doses and time periods analyzed in comparison with PBS-injected mice. An increase in lymphocytes was detected especially between 1 and 24 h at 60 μg dose. Besides, eosinophil recruitment was observed mainly for 15 and 60 μg doses in early time periods. Edema formation and cell recruitment were also confirmed by histological analysis. Moreover, S. viridicornis venom stimulated the release of IL-6, MCP-1, KC, and IL-1β. Conversely, S. viridicornis venom did not induce the release of detectable levels of TNF-α. We demonstrated that the edematogenic activity induced by S. viridicornis venom was of rapid onset, and the venom stimulated secretion of pro-inflammatory mediators which contribute to the inflammatory reaction induced by S. viridicornis venom in an experimental model. PMID:24140924

  15. The transcriptomic and proteomic basis for the evolution of a novel venom phenotype within the Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus).

    PubMed

    Rokyta, Darin R; Wray, Kenneth P; McGivern, James J; Margres, Mark J

    2015-05-01

    The genetics underlying adaptive trait evolution describes the intersection between the probability that particular types of mutation are beneficial and the rates they arise. Snake venoms can vary in a directly meaningful manner through coding mutations and regulatory mutations. The amounts of different components determine venom efficacy, but point mutations in coding sequences can also change efficacy and function. The Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) has populations that have evolved neurotoxic venom from the typical hemorrhagic rattlesnake venom present throughout most of its range. We identified only a handful of nonsynonymous differences in just five loci between animals with each venom type, and these differences affected lower-abundance toxins. Expression of at least 18 loci encoding hemorrhagic toxins was severely reduced in the production of neurotoxic venom. The entire phospholipase A2 toxin family was completely replaced in the neurotoxic venom, possibly through intergeneric hybridization. Venom paedomorphosis could, at best, explain only some of the loss of expression of hemorrhagic toxins. The number of potential mechanisms for altering venom composition and the patterns observed for C. horridus suggest that rapid venom evolution should occur primarily through changes in venom composition, rather than point mutations affecting coding sequences. PMID:25727380

  16. ELISA for the detection of toxic antigens in experimental and clinical envenoming by Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Chávez-Olórtegui, C; Fonseca, S C; Campolina, D; Amaral, C F; Diniz, C R

    1994-12-01

    An ELISA was developed for identification of circulating toxic antigens from Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom. The toxic fraction from the scorpion venom was purified by Sephadex G-50 chromatography and immunoaffinity techniques were used for identifying antibodies that reacted with this fraction. These antibodies were used to develop a sandwich-type ELISA. The specificity of the assay was demonstrated by its capacity for identifying mice that were experimentally inoculated with T. serrulatus venom from those inoculated with Phoneutria nigriventer spider venom, Apis mellifera bee venom and Bothrops atrox, Crotalus durissus terrificus, Lachesis muta muta and Micrurus frontalis snake venoms. Measurable absorbance signals were obtained with 0.1 ng of venom per assay. The ELISA also detected antigens in the sera of patients systemically envenomed by T. serrulatus. Therefore, this ELISA could be a valuable tool for clinicians and epidemiologists, owing to its sensitivity and specificity. PMID:7725332

  17. Role of IgG(T) and IgGa isotypes obtained from arachnidic antivenom to neutralize toxic activities of Loxosceles gaucho, Phoneutria nigriventer and Tityus serrulatus venoms.

    PubMed

    Toro, Ana Flávia; Malta, Marília Brinati; Soares, Sabrina Lucio; Da Rocha, Guilherme Casoni; da Silva Lira, Marcela; De Oliveira, Thais Abbate; Takehara, Harumi Ando; Lopes-Ferreira, Mônica; Santoro, Marcelo Larami; Guidolin, Rosalvo; Gondo Higashi, Hisako; Fernandes, Irene; Barbaro, Katia Cristina

    2006-11-01

    The ability of IgG(T) and IgGa subclasses--isolated by liquid chromatography from equine arachnidic antivenom (AAV)-to neutralize toxic activities of Loxosceles gaucho, Phoneutria nigriventer and Tityus serrulatus venoms as well as to remove venom toxins from circulation was investigated. These subclasses showed similar antibody titers against L. gaucho, P. nigriventer and T. serrulatus venoms, and by immunoblotting few differences were observed in the recognition pattern of venom antigens. IgG(T) and IgGa neutralized 100% lethality induced by L. gaucho and 50% of P. nigriventer venom, but IgGa failed to neutralize T. serrulatus venom, in contrast to IgG(T). Both subclasses neutralized local reactions and dermonecrosis induced by L. gaucho venom in rabbits. In mice, IgG(T) and IgGa partially neutralized the edematogenic activity induced by P. nigriventer and T. serrulatus venoms, but only IgG(T) neutralized (ca. 81%) the nociceptive activity induced by T. serrulatus venom. Both subclasses failed to neutralize nociceptive activity induced by P. nigriventer venom. IgG(T) reduced the serum venom levels of animals injected with L. gaucho, P. nigriventer or T. serrulatus venoms, while IgGa solely reduced L. gaucho and P. nigriventer venoms levels. Our results demostrate that IgG(T) and IgGa subclasses neutralize toxic activities induced by P. nigriventer, T. serrulatus and L. gaucho venoms with different efficacies, as well as depurate these venoms from circulation. PMID:16979205

  18. Extracts of Renealmia alpinia (Rottb.) MAAS Protect against Lethality and Systemic Hemorrhage Induced by Bothrops asper Venom: Insights from a Model with Extract Administration before Venom Injection.

    PubMed

    Patiño, Arley Camilo; Quintana, Juan Carlos; Gutiérrez, José María; Rucavado, Alexandra; Benjumea, Dora María; Pereañez, Jaime Andrés

    2015-05-01

    Renealmia alpinia (Rottb.) MAAS, obtained by micropropagation (in vitro) and wild forms have previously been shown to inhibit some toxic activities of Bothrops asper snake venom if preincubated before injection. In this study, assays were performed in a murine model in which extracts were administered for three days before venom injection. R. alpinia extracts inhibited lethal activity of B. asper venom injected by intraperitoneal route. Median Effective Dose (ED50) values were 36.6 ± 3.2 mg/kg and 31.7 ± 5.4 mg/kg (p > 0.05) for R. alpinia wild and in vitro extracts, respectively. At a dose of 75 mg/kg, both extracts totally inhibited the lethal activity of the venom. Moreover, this dose prolonged survival time of mice receiving a lethal dose of venom by the intravenous route. At 75 mg/kg, both extracts of R. alpinia reduced the extent of venom-induced pulmonary hemorrhage by 48.0% (in vitro extract) and 34.7% (wild extract), in agreement with histological observations of lung tissue. R. alpinia extracts also inhibited hemorrhage in heart and kidneys, as evidenced by a decrease in mg of hemoglobin/g of organ. These results suggest the possibility of using R. alpinia as a prophylactic agent in snakebite, a hypothesis that needs to be further explored. PMID:25941768

  19. Epidemiology of venomous and semi-venomous snakebites (Ophidia: Viperidae, Colubridae) in the Kashan city of the Isfahan province in Central Iran

    PubMed Central

    Dehghani, Rouhullah; Mehrpour, Omid; Shahi, Morteza Panjeh; Jazayeri, Mehrdad; Karrari, Parissa; Keyler, Dan; Zamani, Nasim

    2014-01-01

    Background: Information on the epidemiology of venomous snake species responsible for envenomation to humans in Iran has not been well documented. In the Kashan city, venomous snakebite remains a recurring medical problem. Information providing the correct identification of snake species responsible for envenomation in this geographic region would be useful to regional medical clinics and personnel for the effective and optimal management of the patients. Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, all patient data was collected from Kashan city and its suburbs. The specific data relating to the taxonomic identification of snakes responsible for envenomation were evaluated. A general approach to the diagnosis and management of patients was also provided. Snakes responsible for bites were transported to a laboratory, where their taxonomic classification was confirmed based on key anatomical features and morphological characteristics. Results: A total of 46 snakes were examined. Of these, 37 (80%) were non-venomous species, and 9 (20%) were identified as venomous. Seven of the nine venomous snake species (78%) were of the family Viperidae, and two specimens (22%) were in the family Colubridae. Specifically, the viperid species were Macrovipera lebetina obtusa, Pseudocerastes persicus, Pseudocerastes fieldi, and Echis carinatus. The two colubrid species were Malpolon monspessulanus insignitus and Psammophis schkari. Conclusion: Five different species of venomous snakes responsible for envenomation in the Kashan city region were confirmed. The viper, P. fieldi, was reported for the first time in the central part of Iran. PMID:24672563

  20. Extracts of Renealmia alpinia (Rottb.) MAAS Protect against Lethality and Systemic Hemorrhage Induced by Bothrops asper Venom: Insights from a Model with Extract Administration before Venom Injection

    PubMed Central

    Patiño, Arley Camilo; Quintana, Juan Carlos; Gutiérrez, José María; Rucavado, Alexandra; Benjumea, Dora María; Pereañez, Jaime Andrés

    2015-01-01

    Renealmia alpinia (Rottb.) MAAS, obtained by micropropagation (in vitro) and wild forms have previously been shown to inhibit some toxic activities of Bothrops asper snake venom if preincubated before injection. In this study, assays were performed in a murine model in which extracts were administered for three days before venom injection. R. alpinia extracts inhibited lethal activity of B. asper venom injected by intraperitoneal route. Median Effective Dose (ED50) values were 36.6 ± 3.2 mg/kg and 31.7 ± 5.4 mg/kg (p > 0.05) for R. alpinia wild and in vitro extracts, respectively. At a dose of 75 mg/kg, both extracts totally inhibited the lethal activity of the venom. Moreover, this dose prolonged survival time of mice receiving a lethal dose of venom by the intravenous route. At 75 mg/kg, both extracts of R. alpinia reduced the extent of venom-induced pulmonary hemorrhage by 48.0% (in vitro extract) and 34.7% (wild extract), in agreement with histological observations of lung tissue. R. alpinia extracts also inhibited hemorrhage in heart and kidneys, as evidenced by a decrease in mg of hemoglobin/g of organ. These results suggest the possibility of using R. alpinia as a prophylactic agent in snakebite, a hypothesis that needs to be further explored. PMID:25941768

  1. Analysis of camelid antibodies for antivenom development: Neutralisation of venom-induced pathology.

    PubMed

    Cook, Darren A N; Owen, Timothy; Wagstaff, Simon C; Kinne, Joerg; Wernery, Ulrich; Harrison, Robert A

    2010-09-01

    Camelid IgG has been reported to be less immunogenic, less able to activate the complement cascade and more thermostable than IgG from other mammals, and has the ability to bind antigens that are unreactive with other mammalian IgGs. We are investigating whether these attributes of camelid IgG translate into antivenom with immunological and venom-neutralising efficacy advantages over conventional equine and ovine antivenoms. The objective of this study was to determine the preclinical venom-neutralising effectiveness of IgG from camels immunised with venoms, individually or in combination, of the saw-scaled viper, Echis ocellatus, the puff adder, Bitis arietans and the spitting cobra, Naja nigricollis - the most medically-important snake species in West Africa. Neutralisation of the pathological effects of venoms from E. ocellatus, B. arietans and N. nigricollis by IgG from the venom-immunised camels, or commercial antivenom, was compared using assays of venom lethality (ED(50)), haemorrhage (MHD) and coagulopathy (MCD). The E. ocellatus venom ED(50), MHD and MCD results of the E. ocellatus monospecific camel IgG antivenom were broadly equivalent to comparable ovine (EchiTAbG, MicroPharm Ltd, Wales) and equine (SAIMR Echis, South African Vaccine Producer, South Africa) antivenoms, although the equine antivenom required half the amount of IgG. The B. arietans monospecific camel IgG neutralised the lethal effects of B. arietans venom at one fourth the concentration of the SAIMR polyspecific antivenom (a monospecific B. arietans antivenom is not available). The N. nigricollis camel IgG antivenom was ineffective (at the maximum permitted dose, 100 mul) against the lethal effects of N. nigricollis venom. All the equine polyspecific antivenoms required more than 100 microl to be effective against this venom. The polyspecific camel IgG antivenom, prepared from five camels, was effective against the venom-induced effects of E. ocellatus but not against that of B. arietans

  2. Fish Tales

    SciTech Connect

    McLerran, L.

    2010-07-06

    This talk is about fishing and the friendships that have resulted in its pursuit. It is also about theoretical physics, and the relationship of imagination and fantasy to the establishment of ideas about nature. Fishermen, like theoretical physicists, are well known for their inventive imaginations. Perhaps neither are as clever as sailors, who conceived of the mermaid. If one doubts the power of this fantasy, one should remember the ghosts of the many sailors who drowned pursuing these young nymphs. An extraordinary painting by J. Waterhouse is shown as Fig. 1. The enchantment of a mermaid must reflect an extraordinary excess of imagination on the part of the sailor, perhaps together with an impractical turn of mind. A consummated relationship with a mermaid is after all, by its very nature a fantasy incapable of realization. To a theoretical physicist, she is symbolic of many ideas we develop. There are many truths known to fisherman in which one might also find parallels to the goals of scientists: (1) A fish is the only animal that keeps growing after its death; (2) Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught; (3) ''...of all the liars among mankind, the fisherman is the most trustworthy.'' (William Sherwood Fox, in Silken Lines and Silver Hooks); and (4) Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths. These quotes may be interpreted as reflecting skepticism regarding the honesty of fisherman, and probably do not reflect adequate admiration for a creative imagination. Is it fair to criticize a person for believing a falsehood that he or she sincerely believes to be true? The fisherman simultaneously invents the lie, and believes in it himself. The parallel with theoretical physics is perhaps only approximate, although we physicists may invent stories that we come to believe, on some rare occasions our ideas actually correspond to a more or less true descriptions of nature. These minor philosophical differences are not

  3. Differential Evolution and Neofunctionalization of Snake Venom Metalloprotease Domains*

    PubMed Central

    Brust, Andreas; Sunagar, Kartik; Undheim, Eivind A.B.; Vetter, Irina; Yang, Daryl C.; Casewell, Nicholas R.; Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Koludarov, Ivan; Alewood, Paul F.; Hodgson, Wayne C.; Lewis, Richard J.; King, Glenn F.; Antunes, Agostinho; Hendrikx, Iwan; Fry, Bryan G.

    2013-01-01

    Snake venom metalloproteases (SVMP) are composed of five domains: signal peptide, propeptide, metalloprotease, disintegrin, and cysteine-rich. Secreted toxins are typically combinatorial variations of the latter three domains. The SVMP-encoding genes of Psammophis mossambicus venom are unique in containing only the signal and propeptide domains. We show that the Psammophis SVMP propeptide evolves rapidly and is subject to a high degree of positive selection. Unlike Psammophis, some species of Echis express both the typical multidomain and the unusual monodomain (propeptide only) SVMP, with the result that a lower level of variation is exerted upon the latter. We showed that most mutations in the multidomain Echis SVMP occurred in the protease domain responsible for proteolytic and hemorrhagic activities. The cysteine-rich and disintegrin-like domains, which are putatively responsible for making the P-III SVMPs more potent than the P-I and P-II forms, accumulate the remaining variation. Thus, the binding sites on the molecule's surface are evolving rapidly whereas the core remains relatively conserved. Bioassays conducted on two post-translationally cleaved novel proline-rich peptides from the P. mossambicus propeptide domain showed them to have been neofunctionalized for specific inhibition of mammalian a7 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. We show that the proline rich postsynaptic specific neurotoxic peptides from Azemiops feae are the result of convergent evolution within the precursor region of the C-type natriuretic peptide instead of the SVMP. The results of this study reinforce the value of studying obscure venoms for biodiscovery of novel investigational ligands. PMID:23242553

  4. Irradiation of the Crude Venom of Bothrops jararacussu to Obtain Toxoid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferreira, Camila G.; Avalloni, Tânia M.; Oshima-Franco, Yoko; de J. Oliveira, Sara; de Oliveira, José M.; Cogo, José C.

    2011-08-01

    The aim of this work was to reduce the toxicity of Bothrops jararacussu venom using gamma-rays of low-energy coming from a source of Americium-241 (E = 59.6 keV and 3.7×109 Bq of activity) in order to obtain a toxoid. The radiation dose that each sample received was controlled by exposure time of the venom to the radiation beam. Mouse nerve phrenic-diaphragm preparation was used for testing the loss of venom toxicity, since the venom causes an irreversible neuromuscular blockade. In this condition, the several samples of irradiated venom, when assayed in neuromuscular preparation showed that with a dose of 0.051 Gy the paralysis caused by the irradiated venom was of 91%, at 0.360 Gy was of 79%, at 1.662 Gy was of 50% and at 2.448 Gy was of 42%. Therefore, it can be concluded that the irradiation model was able to induce a progressive loss of the venom toxicity.

  5. Transcriptome analysis provides insight into venom evolution in a seed-parasitic wasp, Megastigmus spermotrophus.

    PubMed

    Paulson, A R; Le, C H; Dickson, J C; Ehlting, J; von Aderkas, P; Perlman, S J

    2016-10-01

    One of the most striking host range transitions is the evolution of plant parasitism from animal parasitism. Parasitoid wasps that have secondarily evolved to attack plants (ie gall wasps and seed-feeders) demonstrate intimate associations with their hosts, yet the mechanism of plant-host manipulation is currently not known. There is, however, emerging evidence suggesting that ovipositional secretions play a role in plant manipulation. To investigate whether parasites have modified pre-existing adaptations to facilitate dramatic host shifts we aimed to characterize the expression of venom proteins in a plant parasite using a collection of parasitoid venom sequences as a guide. The transcriptome of a seed-feeding wasp, Megastigmus spermotrophus, was assembled de novo and three putative venoms were found to be highly expressed in adult females. One of these putative venoms, aspartylglucosaminidase, has been previously identified as a major venom component in two distantly related parasitoid wasps (Asobara tabida and Leptopilina heterotoma) and may have originated via gene duplication within the Hymenoptera. Our study shows that M. spermotrophus, a specialized plant parasite, expresses putative venom transcripts that share homology to venoms identified in Nasonia vitripennis (both superfamily Chalcidoidea), which suggests that M. spermotrophus may have co-opted pre-existing machinery to develop as a plant parasite. PMID:27286234

  6. Characterization of the venom from the spider, Araneus gemma: search for a glutamate antagonist

    SciTech Connect

    Early, S.L.

    1985-01-01

    Venom from three spiders, Argiope aurantia, Neoscona arabesca, and Araneus gemma have been shown to inhibit the binding of L-(/sup 3/H)glutamate to both GBP and synaptic membranes. The venom from Araneus gemma was shown to be the most potent of the three venoms in inhibiting the binding of L-(/sup 3/H)glutamate to GBP. Therefore, Araneus gemma venom was selected for further characterization. Venom from Araneus gemma appeared to contain two factors which inhibit the binding of L-(/sup 3/H)glutamate to GBP and at least one factor that inhibits L-glutamate-stimulated /sup 35/SCN flux. Factor I is thought to be L-glutamic acid, based on: (1) its similar mobility to glutamic acid in thin-layer chromatography and amino acid analysis, (2) the presence of fingerprint molecular ion peaks for glutamate in the mass spectrum for the methanol:water (17:1) extract and for the fraction from the HPLC-purification of the crude venom, and (3) its L-glutamate-like interaction with the sodium-dependent uptake system. Factor II appears to be a polypeptide, possibly 21 amino acids in length, and does not appear to contain any free amino groups or tryptophan. While the venom does not appear to contain any indoleamines, three catecholamines (epinephrine, epinine, dopamine) and one catecholamine metabolite (DOPAC) were detected.

  7. Pulsed ultrasound therapy accelerates the recovery of skeletal muscle damage induced by Bothrops jararacussu venom.

    PubMed

    Saturnino-Oliveira, J; Tomaz, M A; Fonseca, T F; Gaban, G A; Monteiro-Machado, M; Strauch, M A; Cons, B L; Calil-Elias, S; Martinez, A M B; Melo, P A

    2012-06-01

    We studied the effect of pulsed ultrasound therapy (UST) and antibothropic polyvalent antivenom (PAV) on the regeneration of mouse extensor digitorum longus muscle following damage by Bothrops jararacussu venom. Animals (Swiss male and female mice weighing 25.0 ± 5.0 g; 5 animals per group) received a perimuscular injection of venom (1 mg/kg) and treatment with UST was started 1 h later (1 min/day, 3 MHz, 0.3 W/cm(2), pulsed mode). Three and 28 days after injection, muscles were dissected and processed for light microscopy. The venom caused complete degeneration of muscle fibers. UST alone and combined with PAV (1.0 mL/kg) partially protected these fibers, whereas muscles receiving no treatment showed disorganized fascicules and fibers with reduced diameter. Treatment with UST and PAV decreased the effects of the venom on creatine kinase content and motor activity (approximately 75 and 48%, respectively). Sonication of the venom solution immediately before application decreased the in vivo and ex vivo myotoxic activities (approximately 60 and 50%, respectively). The present data show that UST counteracts some effects of B. jararacussu venom, causing structural and functional improvement of the regenerated muscle after venom injury. PMID:22415117

  8. Molecular cloning and characterization of a ven