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Sample records for agelenopsis aperta venom

  1. Molecular evidence for Pleistocene glacial cycles driving diversification of a North American desert spider, Agelenopsis aperta.

    PubMed

    Ayoub, Nadia A; Riechert, Susan E

    2004-11-01

    The influence of historical climatic vs. geological changes on species diversification patterns was investigated in a widely distributed North American desert spider, Agelenopsis aperta (Araneae: Agelenidae), with particular reference to Pleistocene glacial cycles and earlier patterns of mountain building. Levels of sequence divergence obtained from the mitochondrial gene, cytochrome oxidase I, dated to the Pleistocene, eliminating Rocky Mountain orogeny as a cause of diversification, as orogeny ended 4 million years ago. The results of phylogenetic and network analyses showed the presence of three geographically defined clades, which were consistent with the presence of at least three glacial refugia: (i) east of the Rocky Mountains; (ii) between the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevadas; and (iii) west of the Sierra Nevadas. In addition, populations within the Rocky Mountains exhibited significantly lower genetic diversity than populations east of the Rocky Mountains and the haplotypes found within the Rockies were a subset of eastern haplotypes. These patterns suggest that a post-Pleistocene range expansion occurred out of an eastern glacial refugium into the Rocky Mountains. Examination of phylogeographical studies of other North American desert taxa indicated that mountain building explained diversification patterns more effectively for some taxa but Pleistocene climate change was more important for others, including A. aperta. PMID:15488003

  2. Molecular evidence for Pleistocene glacial cycles driving diversification of a North American desert spider, Agelenopsis aperta.

    PubMed

    Ayoub, Nadia A; Riechert, Susan E

    2004-11-01

    The influence of historical climatic vs. geological changes on species diversification patterns was investigated in a widely distributed North American desert spider, Agelenopsis aperta (Araneae: Agelenidae), with particular reference to Pleistocene glacial cycles and earlier patterns of mountain building. Levels of sequence divergence obtained from the mitochondrial gene, cytochrome oxidase I, dated to the Pleistocene, eliminating Rocky Mountain orogeny as a cause of diversification, as orogeny ended 4 million years ago. The results of phylogenetic and network analyses showed the presence of three geographically defined clades, which were consistent with the presence of at least three glacial refugia: (i) east of the Rocky Mountains; (ii) between the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevadas; and (iii) west of the Sierra Nevadas. In addition, populations within the Rocky Mountains exhibited significantly lower genetic diversity than populations east of the Rocky Mountains and the haplotypes found within the Rockies were a subset of eastern haplotypes. These patterns suggest that a post-Pleistocene range expansion occurred out of an eastern glacial refugium into the Rocky Mountains. Examination of phylogeographical studies of other North American desert taxa indicated that mountain building explained diversification patterns more effectively for some taxa but Pleistocene climate change was more important for others, including A. aperta.

  3. Inhibition of N- and L-type Ca2+ channels by the spider venom toxin omega-Aga-IIIA.

    PubMed Central

    Mintz, I M; Venema, V J; Adams, M E; Bean, B P

    1991-01-01

    omega-Aga-IIIA, an 8.5-kDa peptide toxin isolated from the venom of Agelenopsis aperta, was found to be a highly potent inhibitor of Ca channels in cardiac muscle and in peripheral and central neurons of rats and frogs. Cardiac L-type Ca channels were completely (Kd approximately 0.6 nM) blocked by omega-Aga-IIIA. In sensory neurons, the toxin inhibited most high-threshold Ca current but not T-type Ca current. omega-Aga-IIIA blocked with similar potency (Kd approximately 1.5 nM) both omega-conotoxin GVIA-sensitive and dihydropyridine-sensitive current components but left a fraction (approximately 35%) of high-threshold current that was also resistant to omega-conotoxin and dihydropyridines. The toxin blocks N- and L-type channels with equal potency and therefore may identify a high-affinity binding site common to these two Ca channel types. Images PMID:1713686

  4. [Spina bifida aperta in a sheep lamb].

    PubMed

    Gutzwiller, N; Hilbe, M; Kircher, P; Bleull, U

    2015-01-01

    The case report describes the symptoms and diagnostic methods of a spina bifida aperta in a new born lamb. The most relevant clinical findings were recumbency immediately after birth with normal consciousness and suckling reflexes, alterations of the skin and coat in the lumbosacral region as well as dysuria. The biochemical and haematological screening of the blood indicated no abnormalities. While the radiological examination of the spine showed no clear evidence of the cause of the clinical sings the ultrasound and computed tomography examination revealed an incomplete closure of the vertebral arch between the 4th lumbar and the 3rd sacral vertebrae. Additionally, a hernia with similar density to the spinal cord was present in the same region of the spine. Based on the findings the lamb was euthanized. The pathological examination confirmed the incomplete closure of the vertebral arch and moreover a myelomeningocele has been diagnosed. In the histopathological examination the white and grey matter were separated in the area of the macroscopic visible lesions. Due to non-specific clinical symptoms imagining diagnostics can be crucial to confirm the diagnosis of this rare syndrome.

  5. Speciation history of the North American funnel web spiders, Agelenopsis (Araneae: Agelenidae): phylogenetic inferences at the population-species interface.

    PubMed

    Ayoub, Nadia A; Riechert, Susan E; Small, Randall L

    2005-07-01

    Intra- and interspecific relationships of 12 out of 13 described species as well as a potential new species in the spider genus Agelenopsis (Araneae: Agelenidae) were analyzed using sequence data from two mitochondrial genes, cytochrome oxidase I (COI) and 16S ribosomal RNA. Approximately half of the species examined formed well-supported monophyletic groups, whereas the rest of the species were part of well-supported monophyletic species groups. Rather than viewing cases where species were not identified as being monophyletic as poor taxonomy, these cases more likely represent recent speciation and offer insights into the process of speciation. The clade with the lowest levels of interspecific sequence divergence was found in eastern North America, whereas western species displayed much higher levels of interspecific divergence. These patterns appear to extend below the species level as well, with southwestern species exhibiting the highest levels of intraspecific sequence divergence and geographic structuring. The relationship between Agelenopsis and Barronopsis, a genus once considered a sub-genus of Agelenopsis, was also examined. The two genera are reciprocally monophyletic but more generic level sampling is needed to confirm an apparent sister relationship between the two.

  6. Proteomic analysis of amniotic fluid of pregnant rats with spina bifida aperta.

    PubMed

    Shan, Liping; Fan, Yang; Li, Hui; Liu, Wei; Gu, Hui; Zhou, Fenghua; Yuan, Zhengwei

    2012-02-01

    Congenital spina bifida aperta is a common congenital malformation in children and has an incidence of 1‰ to 5‰ in China. However, we currently lack specific biomarkers for screening or prenatal diagnosis and there is no method to entirely cure or prevent such defects. In this study, we used two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE)/mass spectrometry (MS) to characterize differentially expressed proteins in amniotic-fluid samples (AFSs) of embryonic day (E) 17.5 rat fetuses with spina bifida aperta induced by retinoic acid (RA). We identified five proteins differentially expressed in AFSs of spina bifida aperta, including three upregulated proteins (transferrin, alpha-1 antiproteinase and signal recognition particle receptor, B subunit [SRPRB] 55 kDa), two downregulated proteins (apolipoprotein A IV [APO A4] and Srprb 77 kDa). Specifically, we found 11 alpha-1 fetoprotein (AFP) fragments that were downregulated and 35 AFP fragments that were upregulated in AFSs from embryos with spina bifida aperta. Of the downregulated AFP fragments, 72.7% (8/11) were confined to the AFP N-terminus (amino acids [aas] 25-440) and 77.1% (27/35) of upregulated AFP fragments were confined to the AFP C-terminus (aas 340-596). We also confirmed APO A4 and AFP by immunoblot analysis. This is the first comparative proteomic study of AFSs from rat fetuses with spina bifida aperta. We demonstrate proteomic alterations in the AFS of spina bifida aperta, which may provide new insights in neural tube defects and contribute to the prenatal screening.

  7. Insight into the routes of Wolbachia invasion: high levels of horizontal transfer in the spider genus Agelenopsis revealed by Wolbachia strain and mitochondrial DNA diversity.

    PubMed

    Baldo, Laura; Ayoub, Nadia A; Hayashi, Cheryl Y; Russell, Jacob A; Stahlhut, Julie K; Werren, John H

    2008-01-01

    The pandemic distribution of Wolbachia (alpha-proteobacteria) across arthropods is largely due to the ability of these maternally inherited endosymbionts to successfully shift hosts across species boundaries. Yet it remains unclear whether Wolbachia has preferential routes of transfer among species. Here, we examined populations of eight species of the North American funnel-web spider genus Agelenopsis to evaluate whether Wolbachia show evidence for host specificity and the relative contribution of horizontal vs. vertical transmission of strains within and among related host species. Wolbachia strains were characterized by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and Wolbachia surface protein (WSP) sequences, and analysed in relation to host phylogeny, mitochondrial diversity and geographical range. Results indicate that at least three sets of divergent Wolbachia strains invaded the genus Agelenopsis. After each invasion, the Wolbachia strains preferentially shuffled across species of this host genus by horizontal transfer rather than cospeciation. Decoupling of Wolbachia and host mitochondrial haplotype (mitotypes) evolutionary histories within single species reveals an extensive contribution of horizontal transfer also in the rapid dispersal of Wolbachia among conspecific host populations. These findings provide some of the strongest evidence to support the association of related Wolbachia strains with related hosts by means of both vertical and horizontal strain transmission. Similar analyses across a broader range of invertebrate taxa are needed, using sensitive methods for strain typing such as MLST, to determine if this pattern of Wolbachia dispersal is peculiar to Agelenopsis (or spiders), or is in fact a general pattern in arthropods.

  8. Molecular characterization of sympatrically distributed Neotricula aperta-like snails in the Mekong River, Kratie, Cambodia.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chennan; Saijuntha, Weerachai; Kirinoki, Masashi; Hayashi, Naoko; Chigusa, Yuichi; Muth, Sinuon; Meng, Chuor Char; Ai, Yingchun; Agatsuma, Takeshi

    2016-01-01

    Fifty-six samples of Neotricula aperta-like snails were collected from six locations in Cambodia. Their mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) sequences were examined using haplotype network and neighbor-joining (NJ) tree analysis. Twenty-seven haplotypes (H1-H27) were observed and were divided into two different groups/lineages. Of 27, 17 haplotypes (H11-H27) were clustered with the reference samples of the γ-race N. aperta. The remaining 10 haplotypes (H1-H10) were clustered in a separate group/lineage, differing from the reference samples of the α-, β-, and γ-race N. aperta, suggesting a new lineage belonging the genus Neotricula. Our results show that both the γ-race and a new lineage were sympatrically present approximately 60 km upstream of the Mekong River near the Kratie port, Cambodia. Further morphological and molecular studies are required to confirm the taxonomic status of this new, unidentified lineage.

  9. A Population Growth Trend Analysis for Neotricula aperta, the Snail Intermediate Host of Schistosoma mekongi, after Construction of the Pak-Mun Dam

    PubMed Central

    Attwood, Stephen W.; Upatham, E. Suchart

    2013-01-01

    Background The Pak-Mun dam is a controversial hydro-power project on the Mun River in Northeast Thailand. The dam is sited in a habitat of the freshwater snail Neotricula aperta, which is the intermediate host for the parasitic blood-fluke Schistosoma mekongi causing Mekong schistosomiasis in humans in Cambodia and Laos. Few data are available which can be used to assess the effects of water resource development on N. aperta. The aim of this study was to obtain data and to analyze the possible impact of the dam on N. aperta population growth. Methodology/Principal Findings Estimated population densities were recorded for an N. aperta population in the Mun River 27 km upstream of Pak-Mun, from 1990 to 2011. The Pak-Mul dam began to operate in 1994. Population growth was modeled using a linear mixed model expression of a modified Gompertz stochastic state-space exponential growth model. The N. aperta population was found to be quite stable, with the estimated growth parameter not significantly different from zero. Nevertheless, some marked changes in snail population density were observed which were coincident with changes in dam operation policy. Conclusions/Significance The study found that there has been no marked increase in N. aperta population growth following operation of the Pak-Mun dam. The analysis did indicate a large and statistically significant increase in population density immediately after the dam came into operation; however, this increase was not persistent. The study has provided the first vital baseline data on N. aperta population behavior near to the Pak-Mun dam and suggests that the operation policy of the dam may have an impact on snail population density. Nevertheless, additional studies are required for other N. aperta populations in the Mun River and for an extended time series, to confirm or refine the findings of this work. PMID:24244775

  10. 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 ...

  11. Venomous snakebites.

    PubMed

    Adukauskienė, Dalia; Varanauskienė, Eglė; Adukauskaitė, Agnė

    2011-01-01

    More than 5 million people are bitten by venomous snakes annually and more than 100,000 of them die. In Europe, one person dies due to envenomation every 3 years. There is only one venomous snake species in Lithuania--the common adder (Vipera berus)--which belongs to the Viperidae family; however, there are some exotic poisonous snakes in the zoos and private collections, such as those belonging to the Elapidae family (cobras, mambas, coral snakes, etc.) and the Crotalidae subfamily of the Viperidae family (pit vipers, such as rattlesnakes). Snake venom can be classified into hemotoxic, neurotoxic, necrotoxic, cardiotoxic, and nephrotoxic according to the different predominant effects depending on the family (i.e., venom of Crotalidae and Viperidae snakes is more hemotoxic and necrotoxic, whereas venom of Elapidae family is mainly neurotoxic). The intoxication degree is estimated according to the appearance of these symptoms: 1) no intoxication ("dry" bite); 2) mild intoxication (local edema and pain); 3) moderate intoxication (pain, edema spreading out of the bite zone, and systemic signs); 4) severe intoxication (shock, severe coagulopathy, and massive edemas). This topic is relevant because people tend to make major mistakes providing first aid (e.g., mouth suction, wound incision, and application of ice or heat). Therefore, this article presents the essential tips on how first aid should be performed properly according to the "Guidelines for the Management of Snake-Bites" by the World Health Organization (2010). Firstly, the victim should be reassured. Rings or other things must be removed preventing constriction of the swelling limb. Airway/breathing must be maintained. The bitten limb should be immobilized and kept below heart level to prevent venom absorption and systemic spread. Usage of pressure bandage is controversial since people usually apply it improperly. Incision, mouth suction, or excision should not be performed; neither a tourniquet nor ice or

  12. Visual assessment of segmental muscle ultrasound images in spina bifida aperta.

    PubMed

    Brandsma, Rick; Verbeek, Renate J; Maurits, Natasha M; Hamminga, Janneke T; Brouwer, Oebele F; van der Hoeven, Johannes H; Burger, Huibert; Sival, Deborah A

    2012-08-01

    In spina bifida aperta (SBA), spinal MRI provides a surrogate marker to estimate muscle damage caudal to the myelomeningocele (MMC). This muscle damage by the MMC can be quantified by intra-individual comparison of muscle ultrasound density (MUD) caudal versus cranial to the MMC (dMUD = [MUD(caudal-to-the-MMC)] - [MUD(cranial-to-the-MMC)]). Quantitative dMUD assessment requires time, equipment and expertise, whereas it could also be visually determined by differences in muscle echodensity caudal vs. cranial to the MMC (visual-dMUD). If visual and quantitative dMUD correspond, visual dMUD assessment could provide a clinical screening parameter. In 100 SBA muscle ultrasound recordings of patients with various MMC levels, we aimed to compare quantitative dMUD (dMUD = [MUD(calf-muscle/S1)] - [MUD(quadriceps-muscle/L2-L4)]) with visual dMUD assessments by 20 different observers. Results indicate that quantitative dMUD can be visually detected (sensitivity 86%; specificity 57%), implicating that visual dMUD screening could provide a quick, clinical screening tool for muscle impairment by the MMC.

  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 mammals: a review.

    PubMed

    Ligabue-Braun, Rodrigo; Verli, Hugo; Carlini, Célia Regina

    2012-06-01

    The occurrence of venom in mammals has long been considered of minor importance, but recent fossil discoveries and advances in experimental techniques have cast new light into this subject. Mammalian venoms form a heterogeneous group having different compositions and modes of action and are present in three classes of mammals, Insectivora, Monotremata, and Chiroptera. A fourth order, Primates, is proposed to have venomous representatives. In this review we highlight recent advances in the field while summarizing biochemical characteristics of these secretions and their effects upon humans and other animals. Historical aspects of venom discovery and evolutionary hypothesis regarding their origin are also discussed.

  15. The venom optimization hypothesis revisited.

    PubMed

    Morgenstern, David; King, Glenn F

    2013-03-01

    Animal venoms are complex chemical mixtures that typically contain hundreds of proteins and non-proteinaceous compounds, resulting in a potent weapon for prey immobilization and predator deterrence. However, because venoms are protein-rich, they come with a high metabolic price tag. The metabolic cost of venom is sufficiently high to result in secondary loss of venom whenever its use becomes non-essential to survival of the animal. The high metabolic cost of venom leads to the prediction that venomous animals may have evolved strategies for minimizing venom expenditure. Indeed, various behaviors have been identified that appear consistent with frugality of venom use. This has led to formulation of the "venom optimization hypothesis" (Wigger et al. (2002) Toxicon 40, 749-752), also known as "venom metering", which postulates that venom is metabolically expensive and therefore used frugally through behavioral control. Here, we review the available data concerning economy of venom use by animals with either ancient or more recently evolved venom systems. We conclude that the convergent nature of the evidence in multiple taxa strongly suggests the existence of evolutionary pressures favoring frugal use of venom. However, there remains an unresolved dichotomy between this economy of venom use and the lavish biochemical complexity of venom, which includes a high degree of functional redundancy. We discuss the evidence for biochemical optimization of venom as a means of resolving this conundrum.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-19

    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.

  18. 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

  19. Regioselective solid-phase synthesis of N-mono-hydroxylated and N-mono-methylated acylpolyamine spider toxins using an 2-(ortho-nitrophenyl)ethanal-modified resin.

    PubMed

    Pauli, Denise; Bienz, Stefan

    2015-04-21

    A recently introduced new SPS resin, possessing a 2-(ortho-nitrophenyl)ethanal linker, was used for the regioselective on-resin synthesis of N-mono-hydroxylated and N-mono-methylated polyamine spider toxins of Agelenopsis aperta and Larinioides folium. The polyamine backbones of the target compounds were efficiently constructed from the center by reductive amination of the aldehyde linker, followed by stepwise alkylation and acylation on solid support. Depending on the cleavage conditions, employing either oxidation/Cope elimination or methylation/Hofmann elimination, regioselectively the respective N-hydroxyl or N-methyl products were obtained. Employing this methodology, a number of acylpolyamine spider toxins were synthesized and identified as venom components by UHPLC and ESI-MS/MS.

  20. [Venoms and medical research].

    PubMed

    Ducancel, Frédéric

    2016-01-01

    Animal venoms are complex chemical cocktails, comprising a wide range of biologically active reticulated peptides that target with high selectivity and efficacy a variety of enzymes, membrane receptors, ion channels...Venoms can therefore be seen as large natural libraries of biologically active molecules that are continuously selected and highly refined by the evolution process, up to the point where every molecule is endowed with pharmacological properties that are highly valuable in the context of human use and drug development. Therefore, venom exploration constitutes a prerequisite to drug discovery. However, mass spectrometry and transcriptomics via NGS (Next Generation Sequencing) studies have shown the presence of up to 1000 peptides in the venom of single species of cone snails and spiders. Therefore the global animal venom resource can be seen as a collection of more than 50 to 100 000 000 peptides and proteins of which only ~5000 are known. That extraordinary "Eldorado" of bio-optimized compounds justifies the development of more global and cutting-edge strategies and technologies to explore this resource more efficiently than actually. De novo developed approaches and recently obtained results will be described. PMID:27687600

  1. 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

  2. [Neurotoxins from snake venom].

    PubMed

    Larréché, S; Mion, G; Clapson, P; Debien, B; Wybrecht, D; Goyffon, M

    2008-04-01

    Many snakes are able to quickly immobilize prey, thanks to their venom neurotoxins. Most of these snakes belong to families Elapidae or Hydrophidae but neurotoxins were also isolated from families Viperidae and Colubridae. Ophidian neurotoxins can be classified into several categories: neurotoxins which inhibit synaptic transmission (postsynaptic and presynaptic neurotoxins) and neurotoxins which facilitate it excessively (dendrotoxin and fasciculin). Their toxicity is dose-dependent, and venom effects are extremely fast. The clinical feature is a potentially fatal neurological syndrome, the so called cobraic syndrome. Because death by respiratory arrest may occur quickly with cobraic syndrome, immunotherapy is a true emergency, because toxins irreversible fixing makes immunotherapy effect uncertain after a few hours passed.

  3. Venomous animals: clinical toxinology.

    PubMed

    White, Julian

    2010-01-01

    Venomous animals occur in numerous phyla and present a great diversity of taxa, toxins, targets, clinical effects and outcomes. Venomous snakes are the most medically significant group globally and may injure >1.25 million humans annually, with up to 100 000 deaths and many more cases with long-term disability. Scorpion sting is the next most important cause of envenoming, but significant morbidity and even deaths occur following envenoming with a wide range of other venomous animals, including spiders, ticks, jellyfish, marine snails, octopuses and fish. Clinical effects vary with species and venom type, including local effects (pain, swelling, sweating, blistering, bleeding, necrosis), general effects (headache, vomiting, abdominal pain, hypertension, hypotension, cardiac arrhythmias and arrest, convulsions, collapse, shock) and specific systemic effects (paralytic neurotoxicity, neuroexcitatory neurotoxicity, myotoxicity, interference with coagulation, haemorrhagic activity, renal toxicity, cardiac toxicity). First aid varies with organism and envenoming type, but few effective first aid methods are recommended, while many inappropriate or frankly dangerous methods are in widespread use. For snakebite, immobilisation of the bitten limb, then the whole patient is the universal method, although pressure immobilisation bandaging is recommended for bites by non-necrotic or haemorrhagic species. Hot water immersion is the most universal method for painful marine stings. Medical treatment includes both general and specific measures, with antivenom being the principal tool in the latter category. However, antivenom is available only for a limited range of species, not for all dangerous species, is in short supply in some areas of highest need, and in many cases, is supported by historical precedent rather than modern controlled trials.

  4. Unusual Stability of Messenger RNA in Snake Venom Reveals Gene Expression Dynamics of Venom Replenishment

    PubMed Central

    Currier, Rachel B.; Calvete, Juan J.; Sanz, Libia; Harrison, Robert A.; Rowley, Paul D.; Wagstaff, Simon C.

    2012-01-01

    Venom is a critical evolutionary innovation enabling venomous snakes to become successful limbless predators; it is therefore vital that venomous snakes possess a highly efficient venom production and delivery system to maintain their predatory arsenal. Here, we exploit the unusual stability of messenger RNA in venom to conduct, for the first time, quantitative PCR to characterise the dynamics of gene expression of newly synthesised venom proteins following venom depletion. Quantitative PCR directly from venom enables real-time dynamic studies of gene expression in the same animals because it circumvents the conventional requirement to sacrifice snakes to extract mRNA from dissected venom glands. Using qPCR and proteomic analysis, we show that gene expression and protein re-synthesis triggered by venom expulsion peaks between days 3–7 of the cycle of venom replenishment, with different protein families expressed in parallel. We demonstrate that venom re-synthesis occurs very rapidly following depletion of venom stores, presumably to ensure venomous snakes retain their ability to efficiently predate and remain defended from predators. The stability of mRNA in venom is biologically fascinating, and could significantly empower venom research by expanding opportunities to produce transcriptomes from historical venom stocks and rare or endangered venomous species, for new therapeutic, diagnostic and evolutionary studies. PMID:22879897

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Common procedures with venomous reptiles.

    PubMed

    Boyer, Thomas H

    2006-05-01

    Venomous reptiles should be handled in a safe and consistent man-ner, even after death. Owners and staff should be warned not to handle the venomous reptile, and one should have emergency protocols in place before the properly bagged and encased reptile is presented. It is important to know what one is treating as well as one's limitations. After being carefully removed from the bag, the venomous reptile may be transferred to a handling container, tubed, or squeezed with the appropriate equipment. The author usually induces injectable or gas anesthesia at this point. Veterinarians who are inexperienced with venomous reptiles should learn how to handle them through a reputable seminar or class before electing to see them in their practice.

  8. High-resolution proteomic profiling of spider venom: expanding the toxin diversity of Phoneutria nigriventer venom.

    PubMed

    Liberato, Tarcísio; Troncone, Lanfranco Ranieri Paolo; Yamashiro, Edson T; Serrano, Solange M T; Zelanis, André

    2016-03-01

    Here we present a proteomic characterization of Phoneutria nigriventer venom. A shotgun proteomic approach allowed the identification, for the first time, of O-glycosyl hydrolases (chitinases) in P. nigriventer venom. The electrophoretic profiles under nonreducing and reducing conditions, and protein identification by mass spectrometry, indicated the presence of oligomeric toxin structures in the venom. Complementary proteomic approaches allowed for a qualitative and semi-quantitative profiling of P. nigriventer venom complexity, expanding its known venom proteome diversity.

  9. Extraction of venom and venom gland microdissections from spiders for proteomic and transcriptomic analyses.

    PubMed

    Garb, Jessica E

    2014-11-03

    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.

  10. 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

  11. Diagnosis of Hymenoptera venom allergy.

    PubMed

    Biló, B M; Rueff, F; Mosbech, H; Bonifazi, F; Oude-Elberink, J N G

    2005-11-01

    The purpose of diagnostic procedure is to classify a sting reaction by history, identify the underlying pathogenetic mechanism, and identify the offending insect. Diagnosis of Hymenoptera venom allergy thus forms the basis for the treatment. In the central and northern Europe vespid (mainly Vespula spp.) and honeybee stings are the most prevalent, whereas in the Mediterranean area stings from Polistes and Vespula are more frequent than honeybee stings; bumblebee stings are rare throughout Europe and more of an occupational hazard. Several major allergens, usually glycoproteins with a molecular weight of 10-50 kDa, have been identified in venoms of bees, vespids. and ants. The sequences and structures of the majority of venom allergens have been determined and several have been expressed in recombinant form. A particular problem in the field of cross-reactivity are specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies directed against carbohydrate epitopes, which may induce multiple positive test results (skin test, in vitro tests) of still unknown clinical significance. Venom hypersensitivity may be mediated by immunologic mechanisms (IgE-mediated or non-IgE-mediated venom allergy) but also by nonimmunologic mechanisms. Reactions to Hymenoptera stings are classified into normal local reactions, large local reactions, systemic toxic reactions, systemic anaphylactic reactions, and unusual reactions. For most venom-allergic patients an anaphylactic reaction after a sting is very traumatic event, resulting in an altered health-related quality of life. Risk factors influencing the outcome of an anaphylactic reaction include the time interval between stings, the number of stings, the severity of the preceding reaction, age, cardiovascular diseases and drug intake, insect type, elevated serum tryptase, and mastocytosis. Diagnostic tests should be carried out in all patients with a history of a systemic sting reaction to detect sensitization. They are not recommended in subjects with

  12. 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

  13. Venom on ice: first insights into Antarctic octopus venoms.

    PubMed

    Undheim, E A B; Georgieva, D N; Thoen, H H; Norman, J A; Mork, J; Betzel, C; Fry, B G

    2010-11-01

    The venom of Antarctic octopus remains completely unstudied. Here, a preliminary investigation was conducted into the properties of posterior salivary gland (PSG) extracts from four Antarctica eledonine (Incirrata; Octopodidae) species (Adelieledone polymorpha, Megaleledone setebos, Pareledone aequipapillae, and Pareledone turqueti) collected from the coast off George V's Land, Antarctica. Specimens were assayed for alkaline phosphatase (ALP), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), proteolytic, phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)), and haemolytic activities. For comparison, stomach tissue from Cirroctopus sp. (Cirrata; Cirroctopodidae) was also assayed for ALP, AChE, proteolytic and haemolytic activities. Dietary and morphological data were collected from the literature to explore the ecological importance of venom, taking an adaptive evolutionary approach. Of the incirrate species, three showed activities in all assays, while P. turqueti did not exhibit any haemolytic activity. There was evidence for cold-adaptation of ALP in all incirrates, while proteolytic activity in all except P. turqueti. Cirroctopus sp. stomach tissue extract showed ALP, AChE and some proteolytic activity. It was concluded that the AChE activity seen in the PSG extracts was possibly due to a release of household proteins, and not one of the secreted salivary toxins. Although venom undoubtedly plays an important part in prey capture and processing by Antarctica eledonines, no obvious adaptations to differences in diet or morphology were apparent from the enzymatic and haemolytic assays. However, several morphological features including enlarged PSG, small buccal mass, and small beak suggest such adaptations are present. Future studies should be conducted on several levels: Venomic, providing more detailed information on the venom compositions as well as the venom components themselves; ecological, for example application of serological or genetic methods in identifying stomach contents; and behavioural

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. [Wasp and bee venom allergy].

    PubMed

    Knulst, A C; de Maat-Bleeker, F; Bruijnzeel-Koomen, C A

    1998-04-18

    To diagnose insect venom allergy a good patient history is important. Allergological tests (skin test, specific IgE titre) confirm the diagnosis. Patients are advised on preventive measures (e.g. with respect to clothing and use of perfume). They are also instructed on medical treatment (antihistaminics, epinephrine) in case they are stung again. In patients having had a serious systemic reaction immunotherapy should be considered. Immunotherapy leads to complete protection in more than 98% of patients with wasp (yellow jacket) venom allergy and in 75-80% of patients with bee venom allergy. Serious adverse reactions to immunotherapy are rare. Immunotherapy lasts at least 3 to 5 years. After cessation of immunotherapy the frequency of systemic reactions to the sting of a wasp or bee is in the range of 5-15%. There are insufficient data on the long-term effect of immunotherapy.

  17. Enzymatic and toxic properties of Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra) venom and venom fractions.

    PubMed

    Tan, N H; Hj, M N

    1989-01-01

    Some enzymatic activities and toxic properties of four samples of Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra) venom were investigated. There is little intraspecific variation in enzyme contents, protein composition and toxic properties of the venom. The venom does not exhibit hemolytic or edema-inducing activity but is characterized by an exceptionally high alkaline phosphomonoesterase activity. DEAE-Sephacel ion exchange chromatography and Sephadex G-75 gel filtration chromatography of the venom indicate that the major lethal toxins are the low mol.wt, non-enzymatic basic proteins. Venom fractions exhibiting high enzymatic activities apparently do not play an important role in the lethality in mice of Ophiophagus hannah venom.

  18. 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.

  19. [Study on the venoms of the principal venomous snakes from French Guiana and the neutralization].

    PubMed

    Estévez, J; Magaña, P; Chippaux, J P; Vidal, N; Mancilla, R; Paniagua, J F; de Roodt, A R

    2008-10-01

    We studied some biochemical, toxic and immunological characteristics of the venoms of Bothrops atrox, Bothrops brazili and Lachesis muta, Viperidae responsible for most of the bites of venomous snakes in French Guiana. Chromatographic (HPLC) and electrophoretical profiles (SDS-PAGE), lethal, hemorrhagic, defibrinogenating, coagulant, thrombin like, proteolytic, fibrino(geno)lytic and phospholipase activities were studied. In addition, the neutralization of some toxic activities conferred by four antivenins was compared. The chromatographic and electrophoretic profiles were different for the three venoms, showing differences between Bothrops and L. muta venoms. In general, bothropic venoms showed the highest toxic and enzymatic activities, while the venom of L. muta showed the lowest lethal, hemorrhagic and coagulant activities. The enzymes of bothropic venoms responsible for gelatinolytic activity were around 50-90 kDa. All the venoms were able to hydrolyze a and beta chains of the fibrinogen, showing different patterns of degradation. Although all the antivenoms tested were effective to various degrees in neutralizing the venom of B. brazili and B. atrox, neutralization of L. muta venom was significantly better achieved using the antivenom including this venom in its immunogenic mixture. For the neutralization of L. muta venom, homologous or polyvalent antivenoms that include the "bushmaster" venom in their immunogenic mixture should be preferred. PMID:18956820

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. IgG from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Patients Increases Current Through P-Type Calcium Channels in Mammalian Cerebellar Purkinje Cells and in Isolated Channel Protein in Lipid Bilayer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Llinas, R.; Sugimori, M.; Cherksey, B. D.; Smith, R. Glenn; Delbono, O.; Stefani, E.; Appel, S.

    1993-12-01

    The effect of the IgG from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients was tested on the voltage-dependent barium currents (IBa) in mammalian dissociated Purkinje cells and in isolated P-type calcium channels in lipid bilayers. Whole cell clamp of Purkinje cells demonstrates that ALS IgG increases the amplitude of IBa without modifying their voltage kinetics. This increased IBa could be blocked by a purified nonpeptide toxin from Agelenopsis aperta venom (purified funnel-web spider toxin) or by a synthetic polyamine analog (synthetic funnel-web spider toxin) and by a peptide toxin from the same spider venom, ω-Aga-IVA. Similar results were obtained on single-channel recordings from purified P channel protein. The addition of ALS IgG increased single-channel IBa open time without affecting slope conductance. The results described above were not seen with normal human IgG nor with boiled ALS IgG. It is concluded that ALS IgG enhances inward current through P-type calcium channels. Since P-type Ca2+ channels are present in motoneuron axon terminals, we propose that the enhanced calcium current triggered by ALS IgG may contribute to neuronal damage in ALS.

  4. IgG from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients increases current through P-type calcium channels in mammalian cerebellar Purkinje cells and in isolated channel protein in lipid bilayer.

    PubMed Central

    Llinás, R; Sugimori, M; Cherksey, B D; Smith, R G; Delbono, O; Stefani, E; Appel, S

    1993-01-01

    The effect of the IgG from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients was tested on the voltage-dependent barium currents (IBa) in mammalian dissociated Purkinje cells and in isolated P-type calcium channels in lipid bilayers. Whole cell clamp of Purkinje cells demonstrates that ALS IgG increases the amplitude of IBa without modifying their voltage kinetics. This increased IBa could be blocked by a purified nonpeptide toxin from Agelenopsis aperta venom (purified funnel-web spider toxin) or by a synthetic polyamine analog (synthetic funnel-web spider toxin) and by a peptide toxin from the same spider venom, omega-Aga-IVA. Similar results were obtained on single-channel recordings from purified P channel protein. The addition of ALS IgG increased single-channel IBa open time without affecting slope conductance. The results described above were not seen with normal human IgG nor with boiled ALS IgG. It is concluded that ALS IgG enhances inward current through P-type calcium channels. Since P-type Ca2+ channels are present in motoneuron axon terminals, we propose that the enhanced calcium current triggered by ALS IgG may contribute to neuronal damage in ALS. PMID:8265620

  5. 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

  6. [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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Hydrolysis of DNA by 17 snake venoms.

    PubMed

    de Roodt, Adolfo Rafael; Litwin, Silvana; Angel, Sergio O

    2003-08-01

    DNA hydrolysis caused by venoms of 17 species of snakes was studied by different methodologies. Endonucleolytic activity was tested by incubation of the venoms with the plasmid pBluescript and subsequent visualization of the electrophoretic patterns in 1% agarose gels stained with ethidium bromide. DNA was sequentially degraded, from supercoiled to opened circle, to linear form, in a concentration dependent manner. The highest hydrolytic activity was observed in Bothrops (B.) neuwiedii and Naja (N.) siamensis venoms. Exonucleolytic activity was analyzed on pBluescript digested with SmaI or EcoRI. All venoms caused complete hydrolysis after 2 h of incubation. SDS-PAGE analysis in gels containing calf thymus DNA showed that the hydrolytic bands were located at approximately 30 kDa. DNA degradation was studied by radial hydrolysis in 1% agarose gels containing calf thymus DNA plus ethidium bromide and visualized by UV light. Venom of B. neuwiedii showed the highest activity whereas those of B. ammodytoides and Ovophis okinavensis (P<0.05) showed the lowest activity. Antibodies against venom of B. neuwiedii or N. siamensis neutralized the DNAse activity of both venoms. In conclusion, venom from different snakes showed endo- and exonucleolytic activity on DNA. The inhibition of DNA hydrolysis by EDTA and heterologous antibodies suggests similarities in the structure of the venom components involved.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Proteome and peptidome profiling of spider venoms.

    PubMed

    Liang, Songping

    2008-10-01

    Spider venoms are an important source of novel molecules with different pharmacological properties. Recent technological developments of proteomics, especially mass spectrometry, have greatly promoted the systematic analysis of spider venom. The enormous diversity of venom components between spider species and the lack of complete genome sequence, and the limited database of protein and peptide sequences make spider venom profiling a challenging task and special considerations for technical strategies are required. This review highlights recently used methods for spider venom profiling. In general, spider venom profiling can be achieved in two parts: proteome profiling of the components with molecular weights above 10 kDa, and peptidome profiling of the components with a molecular weight of 10 kDa or under through the use of different methods. Venom proteomes are rich in various enzymes, hemocyanins, toxin-like proteins and many unknown proteins. Peptidomes are dominated by peptides with a mass of 3-6 kDa with three to five disulfide bonds. Although there are some similarities in peptide superfamily types of venoms from different spider species, the venom profile of each species is unique. The linkage of the peptidomic data with that of the cDNA approach is discussed briefly. Future challenges and perspectives are also highlighted in this review.

  16. Snake venom antibodies in Ecuadorian Indians.

    PubMed

    Theakston, R D; Reid, H A; Larrick, J W; Kaplan, J; Yost, J A

    1981-10-01

    Serum samples from 223 Waorani Indians, a tribe in eastern Ecuador, were investigated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for antibodies to snake venom. Seventy-eight per cent were positive, confirming the highest incidence and mortality from snake bite poisoning yet recorded in the world. Most samples were positive for more than one venom antibody. Antibodies were found to venoms of Bothrops viper in 60% of positive cases, of Micrurus coral snake in 21%, and of the bushmaster, Lachesis muta, in 18%. Further studies are needed to determine whether high venom-antibody levels afford protection against further snake envenoming. PMID:7299877

  17. Venom immunotherapy in patients with mastocytosis and hymenoptera venom anaphylaxis.

    PubMed

    González-de-Olano, David; Alvarez-Twose, Iván; Vega, Arantza; Orfao, Alberto; Escribano, Luis

    2011-05-01

    Systemic mastocytosis (SM) is typically suspected in patients with cutaneous mastocytosis (CM). In recent years, the presence of clonal mast cells (MCs) in a subset of patients with systemic symptoms associated with MC activation in the absence of CM has been reported and termed monoclonal MC activation syndromes or clonal systemic MC activation syndromes. In these cases, bone marrow (BM) MC numbers are usually lower than in SM with CM, there are no detectable BM MC aggregates, and serum baseline tryptase is often <20 µg/l; thus, diagnosis of SM in these patients should be based on careful evaluation of other minor WHO criteria for SM in reference centers, where highly sensitive techniques for immunophenotypic analysis and investigation of KIT mutations on fluorescence-activated cell sorter-purified BM MCs are routinely performed. The prevalence of hymenoptera venom anaphylaxis (HVA) among SM patients is higher than among the normal population and it has been reported to be approximately 5%. In SM patients with IgE-mediated HVA, venom immunotherapy is safe and effective and it should be prescribed lifelong. Severe adverse reactions to hymenoptera stings or venom immunotherapy have been associated with increased serum baseline tryptase; however, presence of clonal MC has not been ruled out in most reports and thus both SM and clonal MC activation syndrome might be underdiagnosed in such patients. In fact, clonal BM MC appears to be a relevant risk factor for both HVA and severe reactions to venom immunotherapy, while the increase in serum baseline tryptase by itself should be considered as a powerful surrogate marker for anaphylaxis. The Spanish Network on Mastocytosis has developed a scoring system based on patient gender, the clinical symptoms observed during anaphylaxis and serum baseline tryptase to predict for the presence of both MC clonality and SM among individuals who suffer from anaphylaxis.

  18. Snake venomics and venom gland transcriptomic analysis of Brazilian coral snakes, Micrurus altirostris and M. corallinus.

    PubMed

    Corrêa-Netto, Carlos; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio de L M; Silva, Débora A; Ho, Paulo L; Leitão-de-Araújo, Moema; Alves, Maria Lúcia M; Sanz, Libia; Foguel, Débora; Zingali, Russolina Benedeta; Calvete, Juan J

    2011-08-24

    The venom proteomes of Micrurus altirostris and M. corallinus were analyzed by combining snake venomics and venom gland transcriptomic surveys. In both coral snake species, 3FTx and PLA(2) were the most abundant and diversified toxin families. 33 different 3FTxs and 13 PLA(2) proteins, accounting respectively for 79.5% and 13.7% of the total proteins, were identified in the venom of M. altirostris. The venom of M. corallinus comprised 10 3FTx (81.7% of the venom proteome) and 4 (11.9%) PLA(2) molecules. Transcriptomic data provided the full-length amino acid sequences of 18 (M. altirostris) and 10 (M. corallinus) 3FTxs, and 3 (M. altirostris) and 1 (M. corallinus) novel PLA(2) sequences. In addition, venom from each species contained single members of minor toxin families: 3 common (PIII-SVMP, C-type lectin-like, L-amino acid oxidase) and 4 species-specific (CRISP, Kunitz-type inhibitor, lysosomal acid lipase in M. altirostris; serine proteinase in M. corallinus) toxin classes. The finding of a lipase (LIPA) in the venom proteome and in the venom gland transcriptome of M. altirostris supports the view of a recruitment event predating the divergence of Elapidae and Viperidae more than 60 Mya. The toxin profile of both M. altirostris and M. corallinus venoms points to 3FTxs and PLA(2) molecules as the major players of the envenoming process. In M. altirostris venom, all major, and most minor, 3FTxs display highest similarity to type I α-neurotoxins, suggesting that these postsynaptically acting toxins may play the predominant role in the neurotoxic effect leading to peripheral paralysis, respiratory arrest, and death. M. corallinus venom posesses both, type I α-neurotoxins and a high-abundance (26% of the venom proteome) protein of subfamily XIX of 3FTxs, exhibiting similarity to bucandin from Malayan krait, Bungarus candidus, venom, which enhances acetylcholine release presynaptically. This finding may explain the presynaptic neurotoxicity of M. corallinus venom

  19. 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.

  20. Researching nature's venoms and poisons.

    PubMed

    Warrell, David A

    2009-09-01

    Our environment hosts a vast diversity of venomous and poisonous animals and plants. Clinical toxinology is devoted to understanding, preventing and treating their effects in humans and domestic animals. In Sri Lanka, yellow oleander (Thevetia peruviana, Sinhala 'kaneru'), a widespread and accessible ornamental shrub, is a popular means of self-harm. Its toxic glycosides resemble those of foxglove, against which therapeutic antibodies have been raised. A randomised placebo-controlled trial proved that this treatment effectively reversed kaneru cardiotoxicity. There are strong scientific grounds for the use of activated charcoal, but encouraging results with multiple-dose activated charcoal were not confirmed by a recent more powerful study. Venom of Russell's viper (Daboia siamensis) in Burma (Myanmar) produces lethal effects in human victims. The case of a 17-year-old rice farmer is described with pathophysiological interpretations. During the first 9 days of hospital admission he suffered episodes of shock, coagulopathy, bleeding, acute renal failure, local tissue necrosis, generally increased capillary permeability and acute symptomatic hypoglycaemia with evidence of acute pituitary/adrenal insufficiency. Antivenom rapidly restored haemostatic function but failed to correct other effects of venom toxins incurred during the 3h before he could be treated.

  1. Venom Evolution: Gene Loss Shapes Phenotypic Adaptation.

    PubMed

    Casewell, Nicholas R

    2016-09-26

    Snake venoms are variable protein mixtures with a multitude of bioactivities. New work shows, surprisingly, that it is the loss of toxin-encoding genes that strongly influences venom function in rattlesnakes, highlighting how gene loss can underpin adaptive phenotypic change. PMID:27676304

  2. Reappraisal of Vipera aspis Venom Neurotoxicity

    PubMed Central

    Ferquel, Elisabeth; de Haro, Luc; Jan, Virginie; Guillemin, Isabelle; Jourdain, Sabine; Teynié, Alexandre; d'Alayer, Jacques; Choumet, Valérie

    2007-01-01

    Background The variation of venom composition with geography is an important aspect of intraspecific variability in the Vipera genus, although causes of this variability remain unclear. The diversity of snake venom is important both for our understanding of venomous snake evolution and for the preparation of relevant antivenoms to treat envenomations. A geographic intraspecific variation in snake venom composition was recently reported for Vipera aspis aspis venom in France. Since 1992, cases of human envenomation after Vipera aspis aspis bites in south-east France involving unexpected neurological signs were regularly reported. The presence of genes encoding PLA2 neurotoxins in the Vaa snake genome led us to investigate any neurological symptom associated with snake bites in other regions of France and in neighboring countries. In parallel, we used several approaches to characterize the venom PLA2 composition of the snakes captured in the same areas. Methodology/Principal Findings We conducted an epidemiological survey of snake bites in various regions of France. In parallel, we carried out the analysis of the genes and the transcripts encoding venom PLA2s. We used SELDI technology to study the diversity of PLA2 in various venom samples. Neurological signs (mainly cranial nerve disturbances) were reported after snake bites in three regions of France: Languedoc-Roussillon, Midi-Pyrénées and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. Genomes of Vipera aspis snakes from south-east France were shown to contain ammodytoxin isoforms never described in the genome of Vipera aspis from other French regions. Surprisingly, transcripts encoding venom neurotoxic PLA2s were found in snakes of Massif Central region. Accordingly, SELDI analysis of PLA2 venom composition confirmed the existence of population of neurotoxic Vipera aspis snakes in the west part of the Massif Central mountains. Conclusions/Significance The association of epidemiological studies to genetic, biochemical and

  3. 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

  4. Spider-venom peptides as therapeutics.

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. [Bites of venomous snakes in Switzerland].

    PubMed

    Plate, Andreas; Kupferschmidt, Hugo; Schneemann, Markus

    2016-06-01

    Although snake bites are rare in Europe, there are a constant number of snake bites in Switzerland. There are two domestic venomous snakes in Switzerland: the aspic viper (Vipera aspis) and the common European adder (Vipera berus). Bites from venomous snakes are caused either by one of the two domestic venomous snakes or by an exotic venomous snake kept in a terrarium. Snake- bites can cause both a local and/or a systemic envenoming. Potentially fatal systemic complications are related to disturbances of the hemostatic- and cardiovascular system as well as the central or peripheral nervous system. Beside a symptomatic therapy the administration of antivenom is the only causal therapy to neutralize the venomous toxins.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. [Bites of venomous snakes in Switzerland].

    PubMed

    Plate, Andreas; Kupferschmidt, Hugo; Schneemann, Markus

    2016-06-01

    Although snake bites are rare in Europe, there are a constant number of snake bites in Switzerland. There are two domestic venomous snakes in Switzerland: the aspic viper (Vipera aspis) and the common European adder (Vipera berus). Bites from venomous snakes are caused either by one of the two domestic venomous snakes or by an exotic venomous snake kept in a terrarium. Snake- bites can cause both a local and/or a systemic envenoming. Potentially fatal systemic complications are related to disturbances of the hemostatic- and cardiovascular system as well as the central or peripheral nervous system. Beside a symptomatic therapy the administration of antivenom is the only causal therapy to neutralize the venomous toxins. PMID:27269771

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. [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

  19. [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.

  20. Expression of venom gene homologs in diverse python tissues suggests a new model for the evolution of snake venom.

    PubMed

    Reyes-Velasco, Jacobo; Card, Daren C; Andrew, Audra L; Shaney, Kyle J; Adams, Richard H; Schield, Drew R; Casewell, Nicholas R; Mackessy, Stephen P; Castoe, Todd A

    2015-01-01

    Snake venom gene evolution has been studied intensively over the past several decades, yet most previous studies have lacked the context of complete snake genomes and the full context of gene expression across diverse snake tissues. We took a novel approach to studying snake venom evolution by leveraging the complete genome of the Burmese python, including information from tissue-specific patterns of gene expression. We identified the orthologs of snake venom genes in the python genome, and conducted detailed analysis of gene expression of these venom homologs to identify patterns that differ between snake venom gene families and all other genes. We found that venom gene homologs in the python are expressed in many different tissues outside of oral glands, which illustrates the pitfalls of using transcriptomic data alone to define "venom toxins." We hypothesize that the python may represent an ancestral state prior to major venom development, which is supported by our finding that the expansion of venom gene families is largely restricted to highly venomous caenophidian snakes. Therefore, the python provides insight into biases in which genes were recruited for snake venom systems. Python venom homologs are generally expressed at lower levels, have higher variance among tissues, and are expressed in fewer organs compared with all other python genes. We propose a model for the evolution of snake venoms in which venom genes are recruited preferentially from genes with particular expression profile characteristics, which facilitate a nearly neutral transition toward specialized venom system expression.

  1. Adaptive radiation of venomous marine snail lineages and the accelerated evolution of venom peptide genes.

    PubMed

    Olivera, Baldomero M; Watkins, Maren; Bandyopadhyay, Pradip; Imperial, Julita S; de la Cotera, Edgar P Heimer; Aguilar, Manuel B; Vera, Estuardo López; Concepcion, Gisela P; Lluisma, Arturo

    2012-09-01

    An impressive biodiversity (>10,000 species) of marine snails (suborder Toxoglossa or superfamily Conoidea) have complex venoms, each containing approximately 100 biologically active, disulfide-rich peptides. In the genus Conus, the most intensively investigated toxoglossan lineage (∼500 species), a small set of venom gene superfamilies undergo rapid sequence hyperdiversification within their mature toxin regions. Each major lineage of Toxoglossa has its own distinct set of venom gene superfamilies. Two recently identified venom gene superfamilies are expressed in the large Turridae clade, but not in Conus. Thus, as major venomous molluscan clades expand, a small set of lineage-specific venom gene superfamilies undergo accelerated evolution. The juxtaposition of extremely conserved signal sequences with hypervariable mature peptide regions is unprecedented and raises the possibility that in these gene superfamilies, the signal sequences are conserved as a result of an essential role they play in enabling rapid sequence evolution of the region of the gene that encodes the active toxin.

  2. 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.

  3. Serological analysis of venoms and antivenins*

    PubMed Central

    Schöttler, W. H. A.

    1955-01-01

    The immunological relationship between the venoms of six species of the snake genus Bothrops (alternata, atrox, cotiara, jararaca, jararacussu, neuwiedii) was investigated by assay against the corresponding species-specific antivenins in more than 11,000 intravenous and subcutaneous mouse tests. The observations were statistically analysed after the probit method. Both ways of antivenin assay gave numerically identical results, within the limits of error, in the majority of the tests. The width of the neutralization spectra of the monovalent sera anti-atrox, anti-jararaca, and anti-neuwiedii against the heterologous venoms is similar to that of a polyvalent antivenin obtained by immunization with all the six species of venom. The titre of a polyvalent antibothropic serum may vary with the venom species used in the assay. The following are discussed: reasons for occasional difficulties in reproducing results, variations in the toxicity of different samples of the same venom species, divergences in the susceptibility of various species of laboratory animals to venom, and inter-relations between venoms and antivenins. PMID:13240449

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Hemostatic properties of Venezuelan Bothrops snake venoms with special reference to Bothrops isabelae venom.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Acosta, Alexis; Sánchez, Elda E; Márquez, Adriana; Carvajal, Zoila; Salazar, Ana M; Girón, María E; Estrella, Amalid; Gil, Amparo; Guerrero, Belsy

    2010-11-01

    In Venezuela, Bothrops snakes are responsible for more than 80% of all recorded snakebites. This study focuses on the biological and hemostatic characteristics of Bothrops isabelae venom along with its comparative characteristics with two other closely related Bothrops venoms, Bothrops atrox and Bothrops colombiensis. Electrophoretic profiles of crude B. isabelae venom showed protein bands between 14 and 100 kDa with the majority in the range of 14-31 kDa. The molecular exclusion chromatographic profile of this venom contains five fractions (F1-F5). Amidolytic activity evaluation evidenced strong thrombin-like followed by kallikrein-like activities in crude venom and in fractions F1 and F2. The fibrinogenolytic activity of B. isabelae venom at a ratio of 100:1 (fibrinogen/venom) induced a degradation of A alpha and B beta chains at 15 min and 2 h, respectively. At a ratio of 100:10, a total degradation of A alpha and B beta chains at 5 min and of gamma chains at 24 h was apparent. This current study evidences one of rarely reported for Bothrops venoms, which resembles the physiologic effect of plasmin. B. isabelae venom as well as F2 and F3 fractions, contain fibrinolytic activity on fibrin plate of 36, 23.5 and 9.45 mm(2)/microg, respectively using 25 microg of protein. Crude venom and F1 fraction showed gelatinolytic activity. Comparative analysis amongst Venezuelan bothropoid venoms, evidenced that the LD(50) of B. isabelae (5.9 mg/kg) was similar to B. atrox-Puerto Ayacucho 1 (6.1 mg/kg) and B. colombiensis-Caucagua (5.8 mg/kg). B. isabelae venom showed minor hemorrhagic activity, whereas B. atrox-Parguasa (Bolivar state) was the most hemorrhagic. In this study, a relative high thrombin-like activity was observed in B. colombiensis venoms (502-568 mUA/min/mg), and a relative high factor Xa-like activity was found in B. atrox venoms (126-294 mUA/min/mg). Fibrinolytic activity evaluated with 10 microg protein, showed that B. isabelae venom contained higher

  9. Hemostatic properties of Venezuelan Bothrops snake venoms with special reference to Bothrops isabelae venom.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Acosta, Alexis; Sánchez, Elda E; Márquez, Adriana; Carvajal, Zoila; Salazar, Ana M; Girón, María E; Estrella, Amalid; Gil, Amparo; Guerrero, Belsy

    2010-11-01

    In Venezuela, Bothrops snakes are responsible for more than 80% of all recorded snakebites. This study focuses on the biological and hemostatic characteristics of Bothrops isabelae venom along with its comparative characteristics with two other closely related Bothrops venoms, Bothrops atrox and Bothrops colombiensis. Electrophoretic profiles of crude B. isabelae venom showed protein bands between 14 and 100 kDa with the majority in the range of 14-31 kDa. The molecular exclusion chromatographic profile of this venom contains five fractions (F1-F5). Amidolytic activity evaluation evidenced strong thrombin-like followed by kallikrein-like activities in crude venom and in fractions F1 and F2. The fibrinogenolytic activity of B. isabelae venom at a ratio of 100:1 (fibrinogen/venom) induced a degradation of A alpha and B beta chains at 15 min and 2 h, respectively. At a ratio of 100:10, a total degradation of A alpha and B beta chains at 5 min and of gamma chains at 24 h was apparent. This current study evidences one of rarely reported for Bothrops venoms, which resembles the physiologic effect of plasmin. B. isabelae venom as well as F2 and F3 fractions, contain fibrinolytic activity on fibrin plate of 36, 23.5 and 9.45 mm(2)/microg, respectively using 25 microg of protein. Crude venom and F1 fraction showed gelatinolytic activity. Comparative analysis amongst Venezuelan bothropoid venoms, evidenced that the LD(50) of B. isabelae (5.9 mg/kg) was similar to B. atrox-Puerto Ayacucho 1 (6.1 mg/kg) and B. colombiensis-Caucagua (5.8 mg/kg). B. isabelae venom showed minor hemorrhagic activity, whereas B. atrox-Parguasa (Bolivar state) was the most hemorrhagic. In this study, a relative high thrombin-like activity was observed in B. colombiensis venoms (502-568 mUA/min/mg), and a relative high factor Xa-like activity was found in B. atrox venoms (126-294 mUA/min/mg). Fibrinolytic activity evaluated with 10 microg protein, showed that B. isabelae venom contained higher

  10. 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

  11. Neutralization of Bothrops alternatus regional venom pools and individual venoms by antivenom: a systematic comparison.

    PubMed

    de Roodt, Adolfo Rafael; Lanari, Laura Cecilia; de Oliveira, Vanessa Costa; Laskowicz, Rodrigo Daniel; Stock, Roberto Pablo

    2011-06-01

    In this study we report that variation in lethality, hemorrhagic potency and procoagulation between individual samples of Bothrops alternatus venom from a single region, and variation between regional pools at the national level are comparable in range. Furthermore, the range of relative neutralization potencies of individual venoms within a region overlaps, and sometimes exceeds, the range of neutralization of regional venom pools throughout the country. Thus, the potency of neutralization of a national venom pool is poorly predictive of the potencies of neutralization of its constituent regional venom pools and, furthermore, the potency of neutralization of a regional venom pool is poorly predictive of the potencies of neutralization of its individual venom constituents. The efficiencies of neutralization of each of these effects (lethality, hemorrhage and procoagulation) were not significantly related to each other and did not correlate to the corresponding toxic potency of each venom or venom pool. Some implications of these findings are discussed in the context of the distinction between experimental quantitation of antivenom potency and the amount of antivenom that might be actually required to successfully treat two apparently comparable B. alternatus envenomations.

  12. 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

  13. [Venomous and poisonous animals--I. Overview].

    PubMed

    Chippaux, J P; Goyffon, M

    2006-06-01

    Venomous animals that are able to innoculate or inject venom and poisonous animals that cannot inject venom but are toxic when ingested belong to all zoological groups. They can be encountered worldwide in any ecosystem on land and at sea but they are more common and more dangerous in tropical areas. This first article of a series to appear in the next issues of Medecine Tropicale presents an overview of species involved in envenomations and poisonings. In addition to a brief reviewing geographic risks and circumstances in which bites, stings or ingestion occur, some information is provided about antivenim therapy, the only etiological treatment.

  14. The birdlike raptor Sinornithosaurus was venomous.

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-12

    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.

  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.

  16. Extreme diversity of scorpion venom peptides and proteins revealed by transcriptomic analysis: implication for proteome evolution of scorpion venom arsenal.

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-16

    Venom is an important genetic development crucial to the survival of scorpions for over 400 million years. We studied the evolution of the scorpion venom arsenal by means of comparative transcriptome analysis of venom glands and phylogenetic analysis of shared types of venom peptides and proteins between buthids and euscorpiids. Fifteen types of venom peptides and proteins were sequenced during the venom gland transcriptome analyses of two Buthidae species (Lychas mucronatus and Isometrus maculatus) and one Euscorpiidae species (Scorpiops margerisonae). Great diversity has been observed in translated amino acid sequences of these transcripts for venom peptides and proteins. Seven types of venom peptides and proteins were shared between buthids and euscorpiids. Molecular phylogenetic analysis revealed that at least five of the seven common types of venom peptides and proteins were likely recruited into the scorpion venom proteome before the lineage split between Buthidae and Euscorpiidae with their corresponding genes undergoing individual or multiple gene duplication events. These are α-KTxs, βKSPNs (β-KTxs and scorpines), anionic peptides, La1-like peptides, and SPSVs (serine proteases from scorpion venom). Multiple types of venom peptides and proteins were demonstrated to be continuously recruited into the venom proteome during the evolution process of individual scorpion lineages. Our results provide an insight into the recruitment pattern of the scorpion venom arsenal for the first time.

  17. Inhibition of hemorragic snake venom components: old and new approaches.

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

    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.

  18. 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

  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.

  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. A novel bioactive peptide from wasp venom

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Lingling; Chen, Wenlin; Yang, Hailong; Lai, Ren

    2010-01-01

    Wasp venoms contain a number of pharmacologically active biomolecules, undertaking a wide range of functions necessary for the wasp's survival. We purified and characterized a novel bioactive peptide (vespin) from the venoms of Vespa magnifica (Smith) wasps with unique primary structure. Its amino acid sequence was determined to be CYQRRVAITAGGLKHRLMSSLIIIIIIRINYLRDNSVIILESSY. It has 44 residues including 15 leucines or isoleucines (32%) in the sequence. Vespin showed contractile activity on isolated ileum smooth muscle. The cDNA encoding vespin precursor was cloned from the cDNA library of the venomous glands. The precursor consists of 67 amino acid residues including the predicted signal peptide and mature vespin. A di-basic enzymatic processing site (-KR-) is located between the signal peptide and the mature peptide. Vespin did not show similarity with any known proteins or peptides by BLAST search, suggesting it is a novel bioactive peptide from wasp venoms. PMID:21544181

  2. 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.

  3. A spider toxin, ω-agatoxin IV A, binds to fixed as well as living tissues: cytochemical visualization of P/Q-type calcium channels.

    PubMed

    Nakanishi, Setsuko

    2016-08-01

    ω-Agatoxin IV A, a peptidyl toxin from Agelenopsis aperta venom, selectively binds to voltage-gated P/Q-type calcium channels. ω-Agatoxin IV A has been used as a selective tool in pharmacological and electrophysiological studies. Visualization of P/Q-type calcium channels has previously been accomplished using biotin-conjugated ω-Agatoxin IV A in freshly prepared mouse cerebellar and hippocampal slices (Nakanishi et al, J. Neurosci. Res., 41: , 532, 1995). Here biotinylated ω-agatoxin IV A was applied to transcardially fixed brain slices prepared with various fixatives. ω-Agatoxin IV A did not bind to fixed tissues from P/Q-type calcium channel knockout mice, confirming that binding to normal, fixed tissues was not an artifact. Using transmission electron microscopy, locations of biotinylated ω-agatoxin IV A binding sites visualized with gold-conjugated streptavidin showed a similar pattern to those visualized with antibody. The ability of biotinylated ω-agatoxin IV A to bind to fixed tissue provides a new cytochemical technique to study molecular architecture of synapses.

  4. A spider toxin, ω-agatoxin IV A, binds to fixed as well as living tissues: cytochemical visualization of P/Q-type calcium channels.

    PubMed

    Nakanishi, Setsuko

    2016-08-01

    ω-Agatoxin IV A, a peptidyl toxin from Agelenopsis aperta venom, selectively binds to voltage-gated P/Q-type calcium channels. ω-Agatoxin IV A has been used as a selective tool in pharmacological and electrophysiological studies. Visualization of P/Q-type calcium channels has previously been accomplished using biotin-conjugated ω-Agatoxin IV A in freshly prepared mouse cerebellar and hippocampal slices (Nakanishi et al, J. Neurosci. Res., 41: , 532, 1995). Here biotinylated ω-agatoxin IV A was applied to transcardially fixed brain slices prepared with various fixatives. ω-Agatoxin IV A did not bind to fixed tissues from P/Q-type calcium channel knockout mice, confirming that binding to normal, fixed tissues was not an artifact. Using transmission electron microscopy, locations of biotinylated ω-agatoxin IV A binding sites visualized with gold-conjugated streptavidin showed a similar pattern to those visualized with antibody. The ability of biotinylated ω-agatoxin IV A to bind to fixed tissue provides a new cytochemical technique to study molecular architecture of synapses. PMID:27095701

  5. Venom components from Citharischius crawshayi spider (Family Theraphosidae): exploring transcriptome, venomics, and function.

    PubMed

    Diego-García, Elia; Peigneur, Steve; Waelkens, Etienne; Debaveye, Sarah; Tytgat, Jan

    2010-08-01

    Despite strong efforts, knowledge about the composition of the venom of many spider species remains very limited. This work is the first report of transcriptome and venom analysis of the African spider Citharischius crawshayi. We used combined protocols of transcriptomics, venomics, and biological assays to characterize the venom and genes expressed in venom glands. A cDNA library of the venom glands was constructed and used to generate expressed sequence tags (ESTs). Sequence comparisons from 236 ESTs revealed interesting and unique sequences, corresponding to toxin-like and other components. Mass spectrometrical analysis of venom fractions showed more than 600 molecular masses, some of which showed toxic activity on crickets and modulated sodium currents in DmNa(v)1 and Na(v)1.6 channels as expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Taken together, our results may contribute to a better understanding of the cellular processes involved in the transcriptome and help us to discover new components from spider venom glands with therapeutic potential.

  6. On the venom system of centipedes (Chilopoda), a neglected group of venomous animals.

    PubMed

    Undheim, Eivind A B; King, Glenn F

    2011-03-15

    Centipedes are among the oldest extant terrestrial arthropods and are an ecologically important group of soil and leaf litter predators. Despite their abundance and frequent, often painful, encounters with humans, little is known about the venom and venom apparatus of centipedes, although it is apparent that these are both quite different from other venomous lineages. The venom gland can be regarded as an invaginated cuticle and epidermis, consisting of numerous epithelial secretory units each with its own unique valve-like excretory system. The venom contains several different enzymes, but is strikingly different to most other arthropods in that metalloproteases appear to be important. Myotoxic, cardiotoxic, and neurotoxic activities have been described, most of which have been attributed to high molecular weight proteins. Neurotoxic activities are also unusual in that G-protein coupled receptors often seem to be involved, either directly as targets of neurotoxins or indirectly by activating endogenous agonists. These relatively slow responses may be complemented by the rapid effects caused by histamines present in the venom and from endogenous release of histamines induced by venom cytotoxins. The differences probably reflect the ancient and independent evolutionary history of the centipede venom system, although they may also be somewhat exaggerated by the paucity of information available on this largely neglected group.

  7. 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

  8. A multifaceted analysis of viperid snake venoms by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis: an approach to understanding venom proteomics.

    PubMed

    Serrano, Solange M T; Shannon, John D; Wang, Deyu; Camargo, Antonio C M; Fox, Jay W

    2005-02-01

    The complexity of Viperid venoms has long been appreciated by investigators in the fields of toxinology and medicine. However, it is only recently that the depth of that complexity has become somewhat quantitatively and qualitatively appreciated. With the resurgence of two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) and the advances in mass spectrometry virtually all venom components can be visualized and identified given sufficient effort and resources. Here we present the use of 2-DE for examining venom complexity as well as demonstrating interesting approaches to selectively delineate subpopulations of venom proteins based on particular characteristics of the proteins such as antibody cross-reactivity or enzymatic activities. 2-DE comparisons between venoms from different species of the same genus (Bothrops) of snake clearly demonstrated both the similarity as well as the apparent diversity among these venoms. Using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry we were able to identify regions of the two-dimensional gels from each venom in which certain classes of proteins were found. 2-DE was also used to compare venoms from Crotalus atrox and Bothrops jararaca. For these venoms a variety of staining/detection protocols was utilized to compare and contrast the venoms. Specifically, we used various stains to visualize subpopulations of the venom proteomes of these snakes, including Coomassie, Silver, Sypro Ruby and Pro-Q-Emerald. Using specific antibodies in Western blot analyses of 2-DE of the venoms we have examined subpopulations of proteins in these venoms including the serine proteinase proteome, the metalloproteinase proteome, and the phospholipases A2 proteome. A functional assessment of the gelatinolytic activity of these venoms was also performed by zymography. These approaches have given rise to a more thorough understanding of venom complexity and the toxins comprising these venoms and provide insights to investigators who wish to focus on these venom

  9. Anti-venom potential of butanolic extract of Eclipta prostrata against Malayan pit viper venom.

    PubMed

    Pithayanukul, Pimolpan; Laovachirasuwan, Sasitorn; Bavovada, Rapepol; Pakmanee, Narumol; Suttisri, Rutt

    2004-02-01

    The butanolic and purified butanolic extracts (PBEs) of Eclipta prostrata were evaluated for their anti-venom potential. Inhibition of lethal, hemorrhagic, proteolytic, and phospholipase A2 activities of Calloselasma rhodostoma (Malayan pit viper (MPV)) venom by these extracts were determined. Demethylwedelolactone was identified as their major constituent. The butanolic extract, at 2.5 mg per mouse, was able to completely neutralize the lethal activity of 2LD50 of MPV venom, but increasing the dose diminished the effect. The PBE, at 1.5-4.5 mg per mouse, was able to neutralize the lethality of the venom at around 50-58%. Both extracts partially inhibited the hemorrhagic activity but displayed very low anti-phospholipase A2 activity and did not inhibit proteolytic activity of MPV venom.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Immunoreactivity between venoms and commercial antiserums in four Chinese snakes and venom identification by species-specific antibody.

    PubMed

    Gao, Jian-Fang; Wang, Jin; Qu, Yan-Fu; Ma, Xiao-Mei; Ji, Xiang

    2013-01-31

    We studied the immunoreactivity between venoms and commercial antiserums in four Chinese venomous snakes, Bungarus multicinctus, Naja atra, Deinagkistrodon acutus and Gloydius brevicaudus. Venoms from the four snakes shared common antigenic components, and most venom components expressed antigenicity in the immunological reaction between venoms and antiserums. Antiserums cross-reacted with heterologous venoms. Homologous venom and antiserum expressed the highest reaction activity in all cross-reactions. Species-specific antibodies (SSAbs) were obtained from four antiserums by immunoaffinity chromatography: the whole antiserum against each species was gradually passed through a medium system coated with heterologous venoms, and the cross-reacting components in antiserum were immunoabsorbed by the common antigens in heterologous venoms; the unbound components (i.e., SSAbs) were collected, and passed through Hitrap G protein column and concentrated. The SSAbs were found to have high specificity by western blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). A 6-well ELISA strip coated with SSAbs was used to assign a venom sample and blood and urine samples from the envenomed rats to a given snake species. Our detections could differentiate positive and negative samples, and identify venoms of a snake species in about 35 min. The ELISA strips developed in this study are clinically useful in rapid and reliable identification of venoms from the above four snake species.

  13. 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.

  14. Snake venoms in science and clinical medicine. 2. Applied immunology in snake venom research.

    PubMed

    Theakston, R D

    1989-01-01

    Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is a very important tool for studying both the epidemiology and clinical effects of snake bite in man. For epidemiology ELISA depends on the development and persistence of specific humoral venom antibody in previous snake bite victims. In the Nigerian savanna 63% of previous bite victims possessed specific venom antibodies against Echis carinatus venom; in Ecuador, where there is a 5% annual mortality due to snake bite in a population of Waorani Indians, venom antibodies against a wide range of different venoms were identified in previous bite victims using ELISA. In certain areas it is often not possible, using the symptoms of envenoming, to determine which species of snake has bitten the patient. Field studies using ELISA in Nigeria and Thailand have been successful in establishing the species responsible for envenoming. Current studies are in progress on the development of a rapid immunoassay which should be capable of detecting the biting species within 5-10 min of sampling from the admission patient. This will be useful for the clinician as it will enable the rapid detection of the species responsible for envenoming and, therefore, the use of the correct antivenom. Experimental work on the development of new methods of antivenom production includes immunization of experimental animals with venom/liposome preparations, the preparation of venom antigens using monoclonal antibodies on affinity columns, and recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid technology. Liposomal immunization requires only a single injection of venom to obtain a rapid, high level and protective immune response. Venom liposomes may also be given orally resulting in a serum immunoglobulin G immune response in experimental animals. Use of such a system may eventually result in immunization of man in areas of high snake bite incidence and mortality. PMID:2617643

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Pharmacological effects of various venoms on cutaneous capillary leakage.

    PubMed

    Burnett, J W; Calton, G J

    1986-01-01

    Studies to counteract the cutaneous vasopermeability actions of a wasp (Vespa orientalis), an anemone (Bolocera tuediae) and three jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri, Chrysaora quinquecirrha and Physalia physalis) venoms were conducted by using various pharmacological antagonists. Piripost (a leukotriene inhibitor) reduced vasopermeability if administered 5 min prior to challenge with the jellyfish venoms. Methysergide counteracted the vasopermeability of three of four coelenterate venoms, whereas indomethacin was effective against capillary leakage induced by Chironex venom. These studies indicate that anti-dermonecrotic therapy against various venoms will have to be species-specific. PMID:2875548

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-17

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

    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.

  10. 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

  11. King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) bites in Myanmar: venom antigen levels and development of venom antibodies.

    PubMed

    Tun-Pe; Aye-Aye-Myint; Warrell, D A; Tin-Myint

    1995-03-01

    Venom, venom IgG and IgM antibody and total serum IgG levels following king cobra bites in two reptile handlers were measured by enzyme immunoassay. The patient in case 1 received antivenom while the patient in case 2 did not. Case 1 made a complete recovery following the bite and produced a high titre short-lived antibody. Venom antigen was not detected in the sample taken 11 hr after antivenom. Case 2 had experienced two recent minor king cobra bites and had received traditional immunization 4 weeks before the accident reported here. He had developed only local swelling and suffered no neurological symptoms. Venom antigen measured at 1.45 hr after the bite was 132 ng/ml; this rapidly fell to 45 ng/ml over the next 30 min, and was no longer detectable 14 hr after the bite. The pattern of venom IgG and IgM antibody responses in both cases was comparable, except that in case 2 the venom IgG peak was maintained for 13 days, compared with 1 day in case 1; in case 2 it subsequently fell to low levels 8 weeks after the bite. Venom IgM appeared 1 day after the bite, peaked at day 7-9, rapidly tailed off on day 12-16 and was then undetectable from day 20 onwards in both. Total IgG level remained within normal limits in both. It is possible that previous bites and recent immunization contributed to the boosting of the venom IgG response in case 2.

  12. Fossilized venom: the unusually conserved venom profiles of Heloderma species (beaded lizards and gila monsters).

    PubMed

    Koludarov, Ivan; Jackson, Timothy N W; Sunagar, Kartik; Nouwens, Amanda; Hendrikx, Iwan; Fry, Bryan G

    2014-12-22

    Research into snake venoms has revealed extensive variation at all taxonomic levels. Lizard venoms, however, have received scant research attention in general, and no studies of intraclade variation in lizard venom composition have been attempted to date. Despite their iconic status and proven usefulness in drug design and discovery, highly venomous helodermatid lizards (gila monsters and beaded lizards) have remained neglected by toxinological research. Proteomic comparisons of venoms of three helodermatid lizards in this study has unravelled an unusual similarity in venom-composition, despite the long evolutionary time (~30 million years) separating H. suspectum from the other two species included in this study (H. exasperatum and H. horridum). Moreover, several genes encoding the major helodermatid toxins appeared to be extremely well-conserved under the influence of negative selection (but with these results regarded as preliminary due to the scarcity of available sequences). While the feeding ecologies of all species of helodermatid lizard are broadly similar, there are significant morphological differences between species, which impact upon relative niche occupation.

  13. Fossilized Venom: The Unusually Conserved Venom Profiles of Heloderma Species (Beaded Lizards and Gila Monsters)

    PubMed Central

    Koludarov, Ivan; Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Sunagar, Kartik; Nouwens, Amanda; Hendrikx, Iwan; Fry, Bryan G.

    2014-01-01

    Research into snake venoms has revealed extensive variation at all taxonomic levels. Lizard venoms, however, have received scant research attention in general, and no studies of intraclade variation in lizard venom composition have been attempted to date. Despite their iconic status and proven usefulness in drug design and discovery, highly venomous helodermatid lizards (gila monsters and beaded lizards) have remained neglected by toxinological research. Proteomic comparisons of venoms of three helodermatid lizards in this study has unravelled an unusual similarity in venom-composition, despite the long evolutionary time (~30 million years) separating H. suspectum from the other two species included in this study (H. exasperatum and H. horridum). Moreover, several genes encoding the major helodermatid toxins appeared to be extremely well-conserved under the influence of negative selection (but with these results regarded as preliminary due to the scarcity of available sequences). While the feeding ecologies of all species of helodermatid lizard are broadly similar, there are significant morphological differences between species, which impact upon relative niche occupation. PMID:25533521

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-25

    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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Most lay people can correctly identify indigenous venomous snakes.

    PubMed

    Corbett, Stephen W; Anderson, Brian; Nelson, Brett; Bush, Sean; Hayes, William K; Cardwell, Mike D

    2005-10-01

    We attempted to determine how accurately members of the public can identify venomous snakes. Six different snakes indigenous to southern California were displayed in cages for 265 people to view at a street fair. These included 4 nonvenomous snakes and 2 venomous snakes. People were asked whether the snake was venomous and the name of the snake, if they knew it. Overall, people recognized whether a snake was venomous or nonvenomous 81% of the time. They were most accurate at identifying rattlesnakes as being venomous (95%) but incorrectly identified nonvenomous snakes as being venomous 25% of the time. Men were more accurate than women, and adults were more accurate than children. Subjects were less well able to identify the exact species of snakes. The results suggest that there may be no need to capture, kill, or bring a snake to the hospital for identification, at least in this geographic area.

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Venomic and transcriptomic analysis of centipede Scolopendra subspinipes dehaani.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zi-Chao; Zhang, Rong; Zhao, Feng; Chen, Zhong-Ming; Liu, Hao-Wen; Wang, Yan-Jie; Jiang, Ping; Zhang, Yong; Wu, Ying; Ding, Jiu-Ping; Lee, Wen-Hui; Zhang, Yun

    2012-12-01

    Centipedes have venom glands in their first pair of limbs, and their venoms contain a large number of components with different biochemical and pharmacological properties. However, information about the compositions and functions of their venoms is largely unknown. In this study, Scolopendra subspinipes dehaani venoms were systematically investigated by transcriptomic and proteomic analysis coupled with biological function assays. After random screening approximately 1500 independent clones, 1122 full length cDNA sequences, which encode 543 different proteins, were cloned from a constructed cDNA library using a pair of venom glands from a single centipede species. Neurotoxins, ion channel acting components and venom allergens were the main fractions of the crude venom as revealed by transcriptomic analysis. Meanwhile, 40 proteins/peptides were purified and characterized from crude venom of S. subspinipes dehaani. The N-terminal amino acid sequencing and mass spectrum results of 29 out of these 40 proteins or peptides matched well with their corresponding cDNAs. The purified proteins/peptides showed different pharmacological properties, including the following: (1) platelet aggregating activity; (2) anticoagulant activity; (3) phospholipase A(2) activity; (4) trypsin inhibiting activity; (5) voltage-gated potassium channel activities; (6) voltage-gated sodium channel activities; (7) voltage-gated calcium channel activities. Most of them showed no significant similarity to other protein sequences deposited in the known public database. This work provides the largest number of protein or peptide candidates with medical-pharmaceutical significance and reveals the toxin nature of centipede S. subspinipes dehaani venom.

  12. Inhibitors of snake venoms and development of new therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Elda E; Rodríguez-Acosta, Alexis

    2008-01-01

    Natural inhibitors of snake venoms play a significant role in the ability to neutralize the degradation effects induced by venom toxins. It has been known for many years that animal sera and some plant extracts are competent in neutralizing snake venoms. The purpose of this review is to highlight the recent work that has been accomplished with natural inhibitors of snake venoms as well as revisiting the past research including those found in plants. The biomedical value of these natural inhibitors can lead to the development of new therapeutics for an assortment of diseases as well as contributing to efficient antivenoms for the treatment of ophidic accidents.

  13. Novel transcripts in the maxillary venom glands of advanced snakes.

    PubMed

    Fry, Bryan G; Scheib, Holger; de L M Junqueira de Azevedo, Inacio; Silva, Debora Andrade; Casewell, Nicholas R

    2012-06-01

    Venom proteins are added to reptile venoms through duplication of a body protein gene, with the duplicate tissue-specifically expressed in the venom gland. Molecular scaffolds are recruited from a wide range of tissues and with a similar level of diversity of ancestral activity. Transcriptome studies have proven an effective and efficient tool for the discovery of novel toxin scaffolds. In this study, we applied venom gland transcriptomics to a wide taxonomical diversity of advanced snakes and recovered transcripts encoding three novel protein scaffold types lacking sequence homology to any previously characterised snake toxin type: lipocalin, phospholipase A2 (type IIE) and vitelline membrane outer layer protein. In addition, the first snake maxillary venom gland isoforms were sequenced of ribonuclease, which was only recently sequenced from lizard mandibular venom glands. Further, novel isoforms were also recovered for the only recently characterised veficolin toxin class also shared between lizard and snake venoms. The additional complexity of snake venoms has important implications not only for understanding their molecular evolution, but also reinforces the tremendous importance of venoms as a diverse bio-resource.

  14. [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.

  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. Venom Proteins from Parasitoid Wasps and Their Biological Functions.

    PubMed

    Moreau, Sébastien J M; Asgari, Sassan

    2015-06-26

    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.

  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. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    Mourão, Caroline B F; Schwartz, Elisabeth F

    2013-06-14

    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.

  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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    Luna-Ramírez, Karen; Quintero-Hernández, Verónica; 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Pro-inflammatory activities in elapid snake venoms.

    PubMed Central

    Tambourgi, D. V.; dos Santos, M. C.; Furtado, M. de F.; de Freitas, M. C.; da Silva, W. D.; Kipnis, T. L.

    1994-01-01

    1. Snake venoms from the genera Micrurus (M. ibiboboca and M. spixii) and Naja (N. naja, N. melanoleuca and N. nigricollis) were analysed, using biological and immunochemical methods, to detect pro-inflammatory activities, cobra venom factor (COF), proteolytic enzymes, thrombin-like substances, haemorrhagic and oedema-producing substances. 2. The venoms of the five snake species activate the complement system (C) in normal human serum (NHS) in a dose-related fashion, at concentrations ranging from 5 micrograms to 200 micrograms ml-1 serum. Electrophoretic conversion of C3 was observed with all venoms in NHS containing normal concentrations of Ca2+ and Mg2+, but only by venoms from N. naja and N. melanoleuca when Ca2+ was chelated by adding Mg(2+)-EGTA. 3. Purified human C3 was electrophoretically converted, in the absence of other C components, by the venoms from N. naja, N. nigricollis and M. ibiboboca. However, only the venoms from N. naja and N. melanoleuca contained a 144 kDa protein revealed in Western blot with sera against COF or human C3. 4. All venoms, at minimum concentrations of 30 ng ml-1, were capable of lysing sheep red blood cells, also in a dose-related fashion, when incubated with these cells in presence of egg yolk as a source of lecithin. Although the venoms from M. spixii and N. nigricollis showed detectable thrombin-like activity, these and the other venoms were free of proteolytic activity when fibrin, gelatin and casein, were used as substrates. 5. When tested on mice skin, all five venoms were capable of inducing an increase in vascular permeability and oedema, but were devoid of haemorrhagic producing substances (haemorrhagins).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) Images Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 PMID:7921595

  8. Functional and structural diversification of the Anguimorpha lizard venom system.

    PubMed

    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

    2010-11-01

    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 A(2) 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

  9. Two novel antimicrobial peptides from centipede venoms.

    PubMed

    Peng, Kanfu; Kong, Yi; Zhai, Lei; Wu, Xiongfei; Jia, Peng; Liu, Jingze; Yu, Haining

    2010-01-01

    Centipede venoms are complex mixtures of biochemically and pharmacologically active components such as peptides and proteins. Very few are known about their pharmacological actions. The present work reports the structural and functional characterization of two antimicrobial peptides (scolopin 1 and -2) identified from centipede venoms of Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans by Sephadex gel filtration and reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC). The amino acid sequences of scolopin 1 and -2 were FLPKMSTKLRVPYRRGTKDYH and GILKKFMLHRGTKVYKMRTLSKRSH determined by Edman degradation and matrix assisted laser desorption ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). Both scolopin 1 and -2 showed strong antimicrobial activities against tested microorganisms including Gram-positive/negative bacteria and fungi. They also showed moderate hemolytic activity against both human and rabbit red cells. This is the first report of antimicrobial peptides from centipedes.

  10. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Connor, Rod; Peck, Larry

    1980-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Recruitment of glycosyl hydrolase proteins in a cone snail venomous arsenal: further insights into biomolecular features of Conus venoms.

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Yan, Shuai; Wang, Xianchun

    2015-11-27

    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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 the venom have not been studied, but venom peptides from other organisms have been identified ...

  17. 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

  18. Bradykinin is involved in hyperalgesia induced by Bothrops jararaca venom.

    PubMed

    Chacur, M; Picolo, G; Teixeira, C F P; Cury, Y

    2002-07-01

    Bradykinin is involved in hyperalgesia (pain hypersensitivity) induced by Bothrops jararaca venom-intraplantar injection of B. jararaca venom (5microg/paw) in rats caused hyperalgesia, which peaked 1h after venom injection. This phenomenon was not modified by promethazine (H(1) receptor antagonist), methysergide (5-HT receptor antagonist), guanethidine (sympathetic function inhibitor), anti-TNF-alpha or anti-interleukin-1 antibodies or by the chelating agent CaNa(2)EDTA. Venom-induced hyperalgesia was blocked by the bradykinin B(2) receptor antagonist HOE 140. On the other hand, des-Arg(9), [Leu(8)]-bradykinin, a bradykinin B(1) receptor antagonist, did not modify the hyperalgesic response. These results suggest that bradykinin, acting on B(2) receptor, is a mediator of hyperalgesia induced by B. jararaca venom.

  19. Snake Venom: Any Clue for Antibiotics and CAM?

    PubMed Central

    2005-01-01

    Lately several naturally occurring peptides presenting antimicrobial activity have been described in the literature. However, snake venoms, which are an enormous source of peptides, have not been fully explored for searching such molecules. The aim of this work is to review the basis of antimicrobial mechanisms revealing snake venom as a feasible source for searching an antibiotic prototype. Therefore, it includes (i) a description of the constituents of the snake venoms involved in their main biological effects during the envenomation process; (ii) examples of snake venom molecules of commercial use; (iii) mechanisms of action of known antibiotics; and (iv) how the microorganisms can be resistant to antibiotics. This review also shows that snake venoms are not totally unexplored sources for antibiotics and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). PMID:15841277

  20. [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.

  1. Development of immunoglobulins to venoms during specific immunotherapy.

    PubMed

    Palma-Carlos, M L; Santos, M C; Pedro, E; Branco-Ferreira, M; Spínola, A; Palma-Carlos, A G

    1999-03-01

    Immunotherapy against venoms (itv) is an efficacious treatment for most subjects who are allergic to hymnenoptera venoms. The authors studied 8 patients: 7 who were allergic to honey been venom and 1 who was allergic to wasp venom, followed for two years during immunotherapy with an aqueous extract of pure venoms from ALBAY Dome Hollister Stier. Specific IgE and IgG4 were evaluated by the Elisa Cap Technique of Pharmacia at different times: T0 before immunotherapy, T1 (one year after) and T2 (2 years after). A significant fall of specific IgE (p < 0.02) and a significant increase in specific IgG4 (p < 0.008) were seen during the two years in all patients. Four of the patients were re-stung and none had systemic reactions. These results suggest that increase in specific IgG4 is correlated with the protective effect of immunotherapy. PMID:10226679

  2. Venom landscapes: mining the complexity of spider venoms via a combined cDNA and mass spectrometric approach.

    PubMed

    Escoubas, Pierre; Sollod, Brianna; King, Glenn F

    2006-05-01

    The complexity of Australian funnel-web spider venoms has been explored via the combined use of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry coupled with chromatographic separation and the analysis of venom-gland cDNA libraries. The results show that these venoms are far more complex than previously realized. We show that the venoms of Australian funnel-web spiders contain many hundreds of peptides that follow a bimodal distribution, with about 75% of the peptides having a mass of 3000-5000 Da. The mass spectral data were validated by matching the experimentally observed masses with those predicted from peptide sequences derived from analysis of venom-gland cDNA libraries. We show that multiple isoforms of these peptides are found in small chromatographic windows, which suggests that the wide distribution of close molecular weights among the chromatographic fractions probably reflects a diversity of structures and physicochemical properties. The combination of all predicted and measured parameters permits the interpretation of three-dimensional 'venom landscapes' derived from LC-MALDI analysis. We propose that these venom landscapes might have predictive value for the discovery of various groups of pharmacologically distinct toxins in complex venoms.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Preparation of a novel antivenom against Atractaspis and Walterinnesia venoms.

    PubMed

    Ismail, M; Al-Ahaidib, M S; Abdoon, N; Abd-Elsalam, M A

    2007-01-01

    The two deadly snakes, Walterinnesia aegyptia (black desert cobra) and Atractaspis microlepidota (mole viper) share a common habitat in the central, eastern and western provinces of Saudi Arabia. Bites by either snake were characterized by rapid death, sometimes before reaching any medical facility. Confusing reports of "a black snake bite" are frequently found. The NAVPC had succeeded in preparing a highly effective antivenom against W. aegyptia venom which is now available in the market, but no antivenom against Atractaspis venom is found worldwide. This is probably because of the low molecular weight of sarafotoxins in the venom and hence their poor antigenic properties. At the NAVPC, sarafotoxins were separated by sequential gel filtration of A. microlepidota venom, while toxin T(III) of W. aegyptia venom obtained by cation exchange chromatography and gel filtration. Conjugation of the two toxins was carried out using glutaraldehyde in a two-step procedure followed by exhaustive dialysis. The conjugate was utilized to hyperimmunize 3-years old horses for 10 months, applying a low-dosage protocol and immunostimulants; the crude venoms of both snakes being added during the last 2 months. The F(ab')2 fraction of the antivenom was obtained by pH-guided salt precipitation, enzyme digestion and tangential desalting and filtration. The bivalent antivenom obtained protected mice and rats against the lethal effects of both venoms and rescued the rats challenged with lethal doses of the venoms in recovery experiments. It also neutralized the haemorrhagic, necrotizing and the cardiotoxic effects of A. microlepidota venom and the neuromuscular blocking effect of W. aegyptia venom. The antivenom offers a good rescue potential to those who are bitten by "a black snake" in Saudi Arabia.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Epithelium specific ETS transcription factor, ESE-3, of Protobothrops flavoviridis snake venom gland transactivates the promoters of venom phospholipase A2 isozyme genes.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Hitomi; Murakami, Tatsuo; Hattori, Shosaku; Sakaki, Yoshiyuki; Ohkuri, Takatoshi; Chijiwa, Takahito; Ohno, Motonori; Oda-Ueda, Naoko

    2014-12-15

    Protobothrops flavoviridis (habu) (Crotalinae, Viperidae) is a Japanese venomous snake, and its venom contains the enzymes with a variety of physiological activities. The phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) are the major components and exert various toxic effects. They are expressed abundantly in the venom gland. It is thought that the venom gland-specific transcription factors play a key role for activation of PLA2 genes specifically expressed in the venom gland. Thus, the full-length cDNA library for P. flavoviridis venom gland after milking of the venom was made to explore the transcription factors therein. As a result, three cDNAs encoding epithelium-specific ETS transcription factors (ESE)-1, -2, and -3 were obtained. Among them, ESE-3 was specifically expressed in the venom gland and activated the proximal promoters of venom PLA2 genes, which are possibly regarded as the representatives of the venom gland-specific protein genes in P. flavoviridis. Interestingly, the binding specificity of ESE-3 to the ETS binding motif located near TATA box is well correlated with transcriptional activities for the venom PLA2 genes. This is the first report that venom gland-specific transcription factor could actually activate the promoters of the venom protein genes.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Detection of nerve growth factor (NGF) in venoms from diverse source: isolation and characterization of NGF from the venom of honey bee (Apis melifera).

    PubMed

    Lipps, B V

    2000-02-01

    Pearce (1973) reported the absence of NGF in the venoms of bees, scorpions, spiders, and toads. Contrary to the negative findings in the past, results of this research prove the presence of NGF in bee and scorpion venoms. Venoms from various species of snake, bee, scorpion, and toad were screened by two methods: immunological test ELISA using antibodies versus mouse NGF and venom NGF and the biological test of neurite outgrowth, the characteristic of NGF on PC cells. The presence of NGF was detected in snake, bee, and scorpion venoms, but not in toad venom by these tests. NGF was isolated from bee venom by HPLC fractionation using ion exchange chromatography. The molecular weight of bee NGF was found to be 14.0 kDa resolving into a single band by PAGE. The biological activity of bee NGF on PC12 cells was found to be 1/10 of the venom NGF.

  16. Up-regulation of the expressions of phospholipase A2 inhibitors in the liver of a venomous snake by its own venom phospholipase A2.

    PubMed

    Kinkawa, Kohshi; Shirai, Ryoichi; Watanabe, Shin; Toriba, Michihisa; Hayashi, Kyozo; Ikeda, Kiyoshi; Inoue, Seiji

    2010-05-01

    Venomous snakes such as Gloydius brevicaudus have three distinct types of phospholipase A(2) inhibitors (PLIalpha, PLIbeta, and PLIgamma) in their blood so as to protect themselves from their own venom phospholipases A(2) (PLA(2)s). Expressions of these PLIs in G. brevicaudus liver were found to be enhanced by the intramuscular injection of its own venom. The enhancement of gene expressions of PLIalpha and PLIbeta in the liver was also found to be induced by acidic PLA(2) contained in this venom. Furthermore, these effects of acidic PLA(2) on gene expression of PLIs were shown to be unrelated to its enzymatic activity. These results suggest that these venomous snakes have developed the self-protective system against their own venom, by which the venom components up-regulate the expression of anti-venom proteins in their liver.

  17. Exploring the venom proteome of the western diamondback rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox, via snake venomics and combinatorial peptide ligand library approaches.

    PubMed

    Calvete, Juan J; Fasoli, Elisa; Sanz, Libia; Boschetti, Egisto; Righetti, Pier Giorgio

    2009-06-01

    We report the proteomic characterization of the venom of the medically important North American western diamondback rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox, using two complementary approaches: snake venomics (to gain an insight of the overall venom proteome), and two solid-phase combinatorial peptide ligand libraries (CPLL), followed by 2D electrophoresis and mass spectrometric characterization of in-gel digested protein bands (to capture and "amplify" low-abundance proteins). The venomics approach revealed approximately 24 distinct proteins belonging to 2 major protein families (snake venom metalloproteinases, SVMP, and serine proteinases), which represent 69.5% of the total venom proteins, 4 medium abundance families (medium-size disintegrin, PLA(2), cysteine-rich secretory protein, and l-amino acid oxidase) amounting to 25.8% of the venom proteins, and 3 minor protein families (vasoactive peptides, endogenous inhibitor of SVMP, and C-type lectin-like). This toxin profile potentially explains the cytotoxic, myotoxic, hemotoxic, and hemorrhagic effects evoked by C. atrox envenomation. Further, our results showing that C. atrox exhibits a similar level of venom variation as Sistrurus miliarius points to a "diversity gain" scenario in the lineage leading to the Sistrurus catenatus taxa. On the other hand, the two combinatorial hexapeptide libraries captured distinct sets of proteins. Although the CPLL-treated samples did not retain a representative venom proteome, protein spots barely, or not at all, detectable in the whole venom were enriched in the two CPLL-treated samples. The amplified low copy number C. atrox venom proteins comprised a C-type lectin-like protein, several PLA(2) molecules, PIII-SVMP isoforms, glutaminyl cyclase isoforms, and a 2-cys peroxiredoxin highly conserved across the animal kingdom. Peroxiredoxin and glutaminyl cyclase may participate, respectively, in redox processes leading to the structural/functional diversification of toxins, and in the N

  18. 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

  19. 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

    2015-06-18

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    1997-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. [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

  3. 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

  4. [Relationships between venomous function and innate immune function].

    PubMed

    Goyffon, Max; Saul, Frederick; Faure, Grazyna

    2015-01-01

    Venomous function is investigated in relation to innate immune function in two cases selected from scorpion venom and serpent venom. In the first case, structural analysis of scorpion toxins and defensins reveals a close interrelation between both functions (toxic and innate immune system function). In the second case, structural and functional studies of natural inhibitors of toxic snake venom phospholipases A2 reveal homology with components of the innate immune system, leading to a similar conclusion. Although there is a clear functional distinction between neurotoxins, which act by targeting membrane ion channels, and the circulating defensins which protect the organism from pathogens, the scorpion short toxins and defensins share a common protein folding scaffold with a conserved cysteine-stabilized alpha-beta motif of three disulfide bridges linking a short alpha helix and an antiparallel beta sheet. Genomic analysis suggests that these proteins share a common ancestor (long venom toxins were separated from an early gene family which gave rise to separate short toxin and defensin families). Furthermore, a scorpion toxin has been experimentally synthetized from an insect defensin, and an antibacterial scorpion peptide, androctonin (whose structure is similar to that of a cone snail venom toxin), was shown to have a similar high affinity for the postsynaptic acetylcholine receptor of Torpedo sp. Natural inhibitors of phospholipase A2 found in the blood of snakes are associated with the resistance of venomous snakes to their own highly neurotoxic venom proteins. Three classes of phospholipases A2 inhibitors (PLI-α, PLI-β, PLI-γ) have been identified. These inhibitors display diverse structural motifs related to innate immune proteins including carbohydrate recognition domains (CRD), leucine rich repeat domains (found in Toll-like receptors) and three finger domains, which clearly differentiate them from components of the adaptive immune system. Thus, in

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Brown spider venom toxins interact with cell surface and are endocytosed by rabbit endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Nowatzki, Jenifer; de Sene, Reginaldo Vieira; Paludo, Katia Sabrina; Veiga, Silvio Sanches; Oliver, Constance; Jamur, Maria Célia; Nader, Helena Bonciani; Trindade, Edvaldo S; Franco, Célia Regina C

    2010-09-15

    Bites from the Loxosceles genus (brown spiders) cause severe clinical symptoms, including dermonecrotic injury, hemorrhage, hemolysis, platelet aggregation and renal failure. Histological findings of dermonecrotic lesions in animals exposed to Loxosceles intermedia venom show numerous vascular alterations. Study of the hemorrhagic consequences of the venom in endothelial cells has demonstrated that the degeneration of blood vessels results not only from degradation of the extracellular matrix molecule or massive leukocyte infiltration, but also from a direct and primary activity of the venom on endothelial cells. Exposure of an endothelial cell line in vitro to L. intermedia venom induce morphological alterations, such as cell retraction and disadhesion to the extracellular matrix. The aim of the present study was to investigate the interaction between the venom toxins and the endothelial cell surface and their possible internalization, in order to illuminate the information about the deleterious effect triggered by venom. After treating endothelial cells with venom toxins, we observed that the venom interacts with cell surface. Venom treatment also can cause a reduction of cell surface glycoconjugates. When cells were permeabilized, it was possible to verify that some venom toxins were internalized by the endothelial cells. The venom internalization involves endocytic vesicles and the venom was detected in the lysosomes. However, no damage to lysosomal integrity was observed, suggesting that the cytotoxic effect evoked by L. intermedia venom on endothelial cells is not mediated by venom internalization.

  8. 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

  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. 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

  11. Cone snail venomics: from novel biology to novel therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Prashanth, Jutty Rajan; Brust, Andreas; Jin, Ai-Hua; Alewood, Paul F; Dutertre, Sébastien; Lewis, Richard J

    2014-10-01

    Peptide neurotoxins from cone snails called conotoxins are renowned for their therapeutic potential to treat pain and several neurodegenerative diseases. Inefficient assay-guided discovery methods have been replaced by high-throughput bioassays integrated with advanced MS and next-generation sequencing, ushering in the era of 'venomics'. In this review, we focus on the impact of venomics on the understanding of cone snail biology as well as the application of venomics to accelerate the discovery of new conotoxins. We also discuss the continued importance of medicinal chemistry approaches to optimize conotoxins for clinical use, with a descriptive case study of MrIA featured.

  12. 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

  13. Effects of venom immunotherapy on serum level of CCL5/RANTES in patients with Hymenoptera venom allergy.

    PubMed

    Gawlik, Radoslaw; Glück, Joanna; Jawor, Barbara; Rogala, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    Hymenoptera venoms are known to cause life-threatening IgE-mediated anaphylactic reactions in allergic individuals. Venom immunotherapy is a recommended treatment of insect allergy with still the mechanism not being completely understood. We decided to assess the serum CCL5/RANTES level in patients who experienced severe anaphylactic reaction to Hymenoptera venom and to find out changes in the course of immunotherapy. Twenty patients (9 men, 11 women, mean age: 31.91 ± 7.63 years) with history of anaphylactic reaction after insect sting were included into the study. Diagnosis was made according to sIgE and skin tests. All of them were enrolled into rush venom immunotherapy with bee or wasp venom extracts (Pharmalgen, ALK-Abello, Horsholm, Denmark). Serum levels of CCL5/RANTES were measured using a commercially available ELISA kit (R&D Systems, Minneapolis, MN). CCL5/RANTES serum concentration are higher in insect venom allergic patients than in healthy controls (887.5 ± 322.77 versus 387.27 ± 85.11 pg/ml). Serum concentration of CCL5/RANTES in insect venom allergic patient was significantly reduced in the course of allergen immunotherapy already after 6 days of vaccination (887.5 ± 322.77 versus 567.32 ± 92.16 pg/ml). CCL5/RANTES serum doesn't correlate with specific IgE. Chemokine CCL5/RANTES participates in allergic inflammation induced by Hymenoptera venom allergens. Specific immunotherapy reduces chemokine CCL5/RANTES serum level already after initial days of venom immunotherapy.

  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. 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.

  16. 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

  17. IgE antibodies against snake venoms.

    PubMed

    Alonso, A; Scavini, L M; Marino, G A; Rodríguez, S M

    1995-01-01

    A similar event was detected in the clinical records of a small group of atopic patients living in the northern provinces of Argentina, i.e., they were bitten by a snake of the Bothrops species (or yarará) during their rural activities (woodcutters, cattle-drivers and farmers). Those who were bitten twice suffered an acute episode of hives and angioedema within 15 minutes after the snake bite. The presence of specific antibodies against Bothrops alternata (Ba) extract was detected by means of RAST for IgE and Ouchterlony and Boyden for IgG. The Ouchterlony also demonstrated crossreactivity among the venoms of the Bothrops species and the positivity of the six fractions obtained by DEAE-cellulose column fractionation against the horse anti-Ba serum. The Ba antigen induced a definite inhibition of the RAST. We presume that hives and angioedema in atopic patients immediately after a second snake bite could be attributed to the presence of a specific IgE antibody against the venom, and must not be misinterpreted with the toxic effects that appear later. PMID:7551202

  18. Biotechnological applications of brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom toxins.

    PubMed

    Senff-Ribeiro, Andrea; Henrique da Silva, Paulo; Chaim, Olga Meiri; Gremski, Luiza Helena; Paludo, Kátia Sabrina; Bertoni da Silveira, Rafael; Gremski, Waldemiro; Mangili, Oldemir Carlos; Veiga, Silvio Sanches

    2008-01-01

    Loxoscelism (the term used to define accidents by the bite of brown spiders) has been reported worldwide. Clinical manifestations following brown spider bites are frequently associated with skin degeneration, a massive inflammatory response at the injured region, intravascular hemolysis, platelet aggregation causing thrombocytopenia and renal disturbances. The mechanisms by which the venom exerts its noxious effects are currently under investigation. The whole venom is a complex mixture of toxins enriched with low molecular mass proteins in the range of 5-40 kDa. Toxins including alkaline phosphatase, hyaluronidase, metalloproteases (astacin-like proteases), low molecular mass (5.6-7.9 kDa) insecticidal peptides and phospholipases-D (dermonecrotic toxins) have been identified in the venom. The purpose of the present review is to describe biotechnological applications of whole venom or some toxins, with especial emphasis upon molecular biology findings obtained in the last years.

  19. The clotting action of Russell viper venom. 1954.

    PubMed

    2016-03-01

    Samuel I. Rapaport made seminal contributions to our basic understanding of blood coagulation. This paper beautifully illustrates his scientific approach through characterization of the clotting activity of venom from Daboia russelii, distinguishing it from the brain “thromboplastic” activity used in the prothrombin time. Using plasma from patients with deficiencies of proconvertin (factor VII), proaccelerin (factor V), antihemophilic globulin (factor VIII), or Christmas factor (factor IX), Rapaport and colleagues demonstrated that the venom's clotting activity does not require factor VII, but does require factor V and lipid. Thus, by combining the venom clotting test with the quick clotting time (prothrombin time), it was possible to diagnose factor VII deficiency. The venom is now known to act by directly activating factor X, and a form of the clotting test is used in the diagnosis of lupus anticoagulants.

  20. California ground squirrel (Spermophilus beecheyi) defenses against rattlesnake venom digestive and hemostatic toxins.

    PubMed

    Biardi, James E; Chien, David C; Coss, Richard G

    2006-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that some mammals are able to neutralize venom from snake predators. California ground squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi) show variation among populations in their ability to bind venom and minimize damage from northern Pacific rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus), but the venom toxins targeted by resistance have not been investigated. Four California ground squirrel populations, selected for differences in local density or type of rattlesnake predators, were assayed for their ability to neutralize digestive and hemostatic effects of venom from three rattlesnake species. In Douglas ground squirrels (S. b. douglasii), we found that animals from a location where snakes are common showed greater inhibition of venom metalloprotease and hemolytic activity than animals from a location where snakes are rare. Effects on general proteolysis were not different. Douglas ground squirrels also reduced the metalloprotease activity of venom from sympatric northern Pacific rattlesnakes (C. o. oreganus) more than the activity of venom from allopatric western diamondback rattlesnakes (C. atrox), but enhanced the fibrinolysis of sympatric venom almost 1.8 times above baseline levels. Two Beechey ground squirrel (S. b. beecheyi) populations had similar inhibition of venoms from northern and southern Pacific rattlesnakes (C. o. helleri), despite differences between the populations in the locally prevalent predator. However, the venom toxins inhibited by Beechey squirrels varied among venom from Pacific rattlesnake subspecies, and between these venoms and venom from allopatric western diamondback rattlesnakes. Blood plasma from Beechey squirrels showed highest inhibition of metalloprotease activity of northern Pacific rattlesnake venom, general proteolytic activity and hemolysis of southern Pacific rattlesnake venom, and hemolysis by allopatric western diamondback venom. These results reveal previously cryptic variation in venom activity against resistant prey

  1. California ground squirrel (Spermophilus beecheyi) defenses against rattlesnake venom digestive and hemostatic toxins.

    PubMed

    Biardi, James E; Chien, David C; Coss, Richard G

    2005-11-01

    Previous studies have shown that some mammals are able to neutralize venom from snake predators. California ground squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi) show variation among populations in their ability to bind venom and minimize damage from northern Pacific rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus), but the venom toxins targeted by resistance have not been investigated. Four California ground squirrel populations, selected for differences in local density or type of rattlesnake predators, were assayed for their ability to neutralize digestive and hemostatic effects of venom from three rattlesnake species. In Douglas ground squirrels (S. b. douglasii), we found that animals from a location where snakes are common showed greater inhibition of venom metalloprotease and hemolytic activity than animals from a location where snakes are rare. Effects on general proteolysis were not different. Douglas ground squirrels also reduced the metalloprotease activity of venom from sympatric northern Pacific rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus oreganus) more than the activity of venom from allopatric western diamondback rattlesnakes (C. atrox), but enhanced fibrinolysis of sympatric venom almost 1.8 times above baseline levels. Two Beechey ground squirrel (S. b. beecheyi) populations had similar inhibition of venoms from northern and southern Pacific rattlesnakes (C. o. helleri), despite differences between the populations in the locally prevalent predator. However, the venom toxins inhibited by Beechey squirrels did vary among venom from Pacific rattlesnake subspecies, and between these venoms and venom from allopatric western diamondback rattlesnakes. Blood plasma from Beechey squirrels showed highest inhibition of metalloprotease activity of northern Pacific rattlesnake venom, general proteolytic activity and hemolysis of southern Pacific rattlesnake venom, and hemolysis by allopatric western diamondback venom. These results reveal previously cryptic variation in venom activity against

  2. Biological and enzymatic activities of Micrurus sp. (Coral) snake venoms.

    PubMed

    Cecchini, Alessandra L; Marcussi, Silvana; Silveira, Lucas B; Borja-Oliveira, Caroline R; Rodrigues-Simioni, Léa; Amara, Susan; Stábeli, Rodrigo G; Giglio, José R; Arantes, Eliane C; Soares, Andreimar M

    2005-01-01

    The venoms of Micrurus lemniscatus carvalhoi, Micrurus frontalis frontalis, Micrurus surinamensis surinamensis and Micrurus nigrocinctus nigrocinctus were assayed for biological activities. Although showing similar liposome disrupting and myotoxic activities, M. frontalis frontalis and M. nigrocinctus nigrocinctus displayed higher anticoagulant and phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activities. The latter induced a higher edema response within 30 min. Both venoms were the most toxic as well. In the isolated chick biventer cervicis preparation, M. lemniscatus carvalhoi venom blocked the indirectly elicited twitch-tension response (85+/-0.6% inhibition after a 15 min incubation at 5 microg of venom/mL) and the response to acetylcholine (ACh; 55 or 110 microM), without affecting the response to KCl (13.4 mM). In mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparation, the venom (5 microg/mL) produced a complete inhibition of the indirectly elicited contractile response after 50 min incubation and did not affect the contractions elicited by direct stimulation. M. lemniscatus carvalhoi inhibited 3H-L-glutamate uptake in brain synaptosomes in a Ca2+-, but not time, dependent manner. The replacement of Ca2+ by Sr2+ and ethylene glycol-bis(beta-aminoethyl ether) (EGTA), or alkylation of the venom with p-bromophenacyl bromide (BPB), inhibited 3H-L-glutamate uptake. M. lemniscatus carvalhoi venom cross-reacted with postsynaptic alpha-neurotoxins short-chain (antineurotoxin-II) and long-chain (antibungarotoxin) antibodies. It also cross-reacted with antimyotoxic PLA2 antibodies from M. nigrocinctus nigrocinctus (antinigroxin). Our results point to the need of catalytic activity for these venoms to exert their neurotoxic activity efficiently and to their components as attractive tools for the study of molecular targets on cell membranes.

  3. 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

  4. IgY antibodies anti-Tityus caripitensis venom: purification and neutralization efficacy.

    PubMed

    Alvarez, Aurora; Montero, Yuyibeth; Jimenez, Eucarys; Zerpa, Noraida; Parrilla, Pedro; Malavé, Caridad

    2013-11-01

    Tityus caripitensis is responsible for most of scorpion stings related to human incidents in Northeastern Venezuela. The only treatment for scorpion envenomation is immunotherapy based on administration of scorpion anti-venom produced in horses. Avian antibodies (IgY) isolated from chicken egg yolks represent a new alternative to be applied as anti-venom therapy. For this reason, we produced IgY antibodies against T. caripitensis scorpion venom and evaluated its neutralizing capacity. The anti-scorpion venom antibodies were purified by precipitation techniques with polyethylene glycol and evaluated by Multiple Antigen Blot Assay (MABA), an indirect ELISA, and Western blot assays. The lethality neutralization was evaluated by preincubating the venom together with the anti-venom prior to testing. The IgY immunoreactivity was demonstrated by a dose-dependent inhibition in Western blot assays where antibodies pre-absorbed with the venom did not recognize the venom proteins from T. caripitensis. The anti-venom was effective in neutralizing 2LD50 doses of T. caripitensis venom (97.8 mg of IgY neutralized 1 mg of T. caripitensis venom). Our results support the future use of avian anti-scorpion venom as an alternative to conventional equine anti-venom therapy in our country. PMID:23994592

  5. The venom-gland transcriptome of the eastern coral snake (Micrurus fulvius) reveals high venom complexity in the intragenomic evolution of venoms

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Snake venom is shaped by the ecology and evolution of venomous species, and signals of positive selection in toxins have been consistently documented, reflecting the role of venoms as an ecologically critical phenotype. New World coral snakes (Elapidae) are represented by three genera and over 120 species and subspecies that are capable of causing significant human morbidity and mortality, yet coral-snake venom composition is poorly understood in comparison to that of Old World elapids. High-throughput sequencing is capable of identifying thousands of loci, while providing characterizations of expression patterns and the molecular evolutionary forces acting within the venom gland. Results We describe the de novo assembly and analysis of the venom-gland transcriptome of the eastern coral snake (Micrurus fulvius). We identified 1,950 nontoxin transcripts and 116 toxin transcripts. These transcripts accounted for 57.1% of the total reads, with toxins accounting for 45.8% of the total reads. Phospholipases A2 and three-finger toxins dominated expression, accounting for 86.0% of the toxin reads. A total of 15 toxin families were identified, revealing venom complexity previously unknown from New World coral snakes. Toxins exhibited high levels of heterozygosity relative to nontoxins, and overdominance may favor gene duplication leading to the fixation of advantageous alleles. Phospholipase A2 expression was uniformly distributed throughout the class while three-finger toxin expression was dominated by a handful of transcripts, and phylogenetic analyses indicate that toxin divergence may have occurred following speciation. Positive selection was detected in three of the four most diverse toxin classes, suggesting that venom diversification is driven by recurrent directional selection. Conclusions We describe the most complete characterization of an elapid venom gland to date. Toxin gene duplication may be driven by heterozygote advantage, as the frequency of

  6. 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

    2016-06-07

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Venom proteome of the box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri.

    PubMed

    Brinkman, Diane L; Aziz, Ammar; Loukas, Alex; Potriquet, Jeremy; Seymour, Jamie; Mulvenna, Jason

    2012-01-01

    The nematocyst is a complex intracellular structure unique to Cnidaria. When triggered to discharge, the nematocyst explosively releases a long spiny, tubule that delivers an often highly venomous mixture of components. The box jellyfish, Chironex fleckeri, produces exceptionally potent and rapid-acting venom and its stings to humans cause severe localized and systemic effects that are potentially life-threatening. In an effort to identify toxins that could be responsible for the serious health effects caused by C. fleckeri and related species, we used a proteomic approach to profile the protein components of C. fleckeri venom. Collectively, 61 proteins were identified, including toxins and proteins important for nematocyte development and nematocyst formation (nematogenesis). The most abundant toxins identified were isoforms of a taxonomically restricted family of potent cnidarian proteins. These toxins are associated with cytolytic, nociceptive, inflammatory, dermonecrotic and lethal properties and expansion of this important protein family goes some way to explaining the destructive and potentially fatal effects of C. fleckeri venom. Venom proteins and their post-translational modifications (PTMs) were further characterized using toxin-specific antibodies and phosphoprotein/glycoprotein-specific stains. Results indicated that glycosylation is a common PTM of the toxin family while a lack of cross-reactivity by toxin-specific antibodies infers there is significant divergence in structure and possibly function among family members. This study provides insight into the depth and diversity of protein toxins produced by harmful box jellyfish and represents the first description of a cubozoan jellyfish venom proteome. PMID:23236347

  10. 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

  11. Systemic and local reactions of bee venom immunotherapy in Iran.

    PubMed

    Bemanian, Mohammad Hassan; Farhoudi, Abolhassan; Pourpak, Zahra; Gharagozlou, Mohammad; Movahedi, Masoud; Nabavi, Mohammad; Mozafari, Habibeh; Mohammadzadeh, Iraj; Chavoshzadeh, Zahra; Shirkhoda, Zahra

    2007-12-01

    Severe allergic reactions during specific immunotherapy may occur in the treatment of hymenoptera sting allergy. The objective of the present study was to examine the characteristics of allergic reactions during specific immunotherapy in patients with allergy towards hymenoptera venom in the Iranian population. A prospective study was performed using the clinical reports of 27 patients with anaphylaxis to bee venom (Apis melifera, Geupes vespula and Geupes Polites). Ten patients treated with Cluster protocol during 2002 and 2006 After diagnosis of hymenoptera sting allergy according to history and intradermal tests, the patient were treated with Cluster protocol immunotherapy. The protocol lasted 6 weeks with an increase in the concentration of venom from 0.01 microg/ml to 100 microg/ml. None of the patient received premedication. All patients with hymenoptera venom allergy received 120 injections. Anaphylactic reactions were classified according to the Mueller-classification. The frequencies of systemic reactions during Cluster protocol were 8.33% and 5% for yellow jacket and honey bee venom respectively. No patient experienced severe systemic reaction. Cluster protocol for hymenoptera immunotherapy is a reliable method for the treatment of anaphylactic reactions to bee venom. It is safe with low cost and do not need hospitalization.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. P/Q-type calcium channel modulators

    PubMed Central

    Nimmrich, V; Gross, G

    2012-01-01

    P/Q-type calcium channels are high-voltage-gated calcium channels contributing to vesicle release at synaptic terminals. A number of neurological diseases have been attributed to malfunctioning of P/Q channels, including ataxia, migraine and Alzheimer's disease. To date, only two specific P/Q-type blockers are known: both are peptides deriving from the spider venom of Agelenopsis aperta, ω-agatoxins. Other peptidic calcium channel blockers with activity at P/Q channels are available, albeit with less selectivity. A number of low molecular weight compounds modulate P/Q-type currents with different characteristics, and some exhibit a peculiar bidirectional pattern of modulation. Interestingly, there are a number of therapeutics in clinical use, which also show P/Q channel activity. Because selectivity as well as the exact mode of action is different between all P/Q-type channel modulators, the interpretation of clinical and experimental data is complicated and needs a comprehensive understanding of their target profile. The situation is further complicated by the fact that information on potency varies vastly in the literature, which may be the result of different experimental systems, conditions or the splice variants of the P/Q channel. This review attempts to provide a comprehensive overview of the compounds available that affect the P/Q-type channel and should help with the interpretation of results of in vitro experiments and animal models. It also aims to explain some clinical observations by implementing current knowledge about P/Q channel modulation of therapeutically used non-selective drugs. Chances and challenges of the development of P/Q channel-selective molecules are discussed. PMID:22670568

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Detoxification of Echis ocellatus venom-induced toxicity by Annona senegalensis Pers.

    PubMed

    Emmanuel, Amlabu; Ebinbin, Ajagun; Amlabu, Wandayi

    2014-06-01

    Different fractions (I-V) of the methanolic leaf extracts of Annona senegalensis were assessed for their anti-snake venom activities. Fractions III neutralized lethal toxicity induced by Echis ocellatus venom and manifested the same potency as the crude extracts against the venom. The anti-snake venom activity of fraction III was clearly shown by the complete abrogation of venom-induced haemorrhage and the 75% record of surviving mice which were injected with a pre-incubate of venom and extract in the ratio 1:30 w/w after a 24 h. Also, fraction III exhibited a weak inhibitory effect on fibrinogen clotting activity of this venom. The key phytochemicals mediating the activity of this fraction are flavonoids and tannins. The detoxification of this venom by fraction III and the possible mode of action in the pathology of snake envenoming is discussed in this report.

  18. 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

  19. Anti-venom potential of aqueous extract of stem bark of Mangifera indica L. against Daboia russellii (Russell's viper) venom.

    PubMed

    Dhananjaya, B L; Zameer, F; Girish, K S; D'Souza, Cletus J M

    2011-06-01

    Several plant extracts rich in pharmacologically active compounds have shown to antagonize venom of several species. Mangifera indica has been used against snakebite by the traditional healers. However, there is paucity of scientific data in support. In this study, we evaluated the antivenom potential of aqueous extract of stem bark of M. indica against D. russellii venom-induced pharmacological effects such as life myotoxicity, edema, LD50 etc. The extract inhibited the phospholipase, protease, hyaluronidase, 5'nucleotidase, ATPase and alkaline phosphomonoesterase activities with varying IC50 values. It significantly inhibited both metalloproteases and serine proteases activities. Further, the extract significantly reduced the myotoxicity of the venom, as evident by the reduction of serum creatin kinase and lactate dehydrogenase activities. Though the extract completely inhibited in vitro PLA2 activity, it was unable to completely inhibit in situ hemolytic and in vivo edema-inducing activities, usually brought about by PLA2s. In lethality studies, co-injection of the venom preincubated with the extract showed higher protection than the independent injection of venom, followed by the extract in the mice. However, in both the cases the extract -a cocktail of inhibitors significantly increased the survival time, when compared to that of mice injected (i.p) with the venom alone. These results encourage further studies on the potential use of cocktail of inhibitors in improving the treatment of snake envenomation. Further, this study substantiates the use of M. indica as an antidote against snakebite by the traditional healers.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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. Treating venomous snakebites in the United States: a guide for nurse practitioners.

    PubMed

    Evans, Dian Dowling; Nelson, Leah Welbourn

    2013-07-10

    This article discusses the current, evidence-based guidelines for managing venomous snakebites indigenous to the United States. A review of common varieties of venomous snakes, venom effects, risk factors for snakebites, and management strategies are presented to assist nurse practitioners in caring for snakebite victims.

  6. 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

  7. 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

    2015-10-30

    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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. [Understanding snake venoms: 50 years of research in Latin America].

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez, José María

    2002-06-01

    As a tribute to Revista de Biología Tropical in its 50th anniversary, this review describes some of the main research efforts carried out in the study of the chemical composition and the mechanism of action of toxins present in the venoms of snakes distributed in Latin America. Venom proteins involved in neurotoxicity, coagulopathies, hemorrhage and muscle necrosis are discussed, together with a description of the inflammatory reactions elicited by these venoms and toxins. In addition, the search for inhibitory substances present in plants and animals that may be utilized in the neutralization of venoms is analyzed. Some of the clinical studies performed on snakebite envenomations in Latin America are also reviewed, together with the development of technologies aimed at improving the quality of antivenoms produced in the region. Toxinology has become a fruitful and stimulating research field in Latin America which has contributed to a better understanding of snake venoms as well as to an improved management of snake bitten patients.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-09

    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.

  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. Snake venom neutralization by Indian medicinal plants (Vitex negundo and Emblica officinalis) root extracts.

    PubMed

    Alam, M I; Gomes, A

    2003-05-01

    The methanolic root extracts of Vitex negundo Linn. and Emblica officinalis Gaertn. were explored for the first time for antisnake venom activity. The plant (V. negundo and E. officinalis) extracts significantly antagonized the Vipera russellii and Naja kaouthia venom induced lethal activity both in in vitro and in vivo studies. V. russellii venom-induced haemorrhage, coagulant, defibrinogenating and inflammatory activity was significantly neutralized by both plant extracts. No precipitating bands were observed between the plant extract and snake venom. The above observations confirmed that the plant extracts possess potent snake venom neutralizing capacity and need further investigation.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. [Atom-absorption spectrometry in studying of Vipera lebetina obtusa venom].

    PubMed

    Babaev, E T; Abiev, G A; Topchieva, Sh A; Chumburidze, T B; Nemsitsveridze, N G

    2009-09-01

    The aim of the investigation was to work out the atom-absorption spectrometry method for definition of elementary structure of snake venom. The investigation was conducted on venom vipers, caught in the Gobustan district. Determination of heavy metals in venom vipers, was conducted by means of atom-absorption spectrometry (Perkin-Elmer AAS-300). The concentration of the following metals in samples of Vipera Lebetina obtusa venom was defined: Cd (0,012%), (1,234%), Fe (0,487%), Cr (0,171%), Zn (0,78%). The obtained data by means of proposed method of definition of heavy metals in samples of snake venom can be applied to standardize the snake venom, to establish the authenticity in a forensic medical examination, in analyses of medication on the basis of snake venom.

  10. [Influence of electromagnetic radiation on toxicity of Vipera lebetina obtusa venom].

    PubMed

    Abiev, G A; Babaev, E I; Topchieva, Sh A; Chumburidze, T B; Nemsitsveridze, N G

    2009-11-01

    The aim of the article was to study the effect of electromagnetic radiation on toxicity of Vipera lebetina obtusa venom. It was found that mice intoxicated with snake venom, with moderate to high exposure to electromagnetic radiation and mice intoxicated with venom, which had not been exposed to the radiation showed the same symptoms of intoxication and death. At the same time, the longevity of mice intoxicated with venom exposed to electromagnetic radiation was higher. The longevity of mice in control group was 25+/-5 min. The longevity of mice intoxicated with exposed to electromagnetic radiation snake venom was from 29 to 60 min. The research showed that the longevity of mice intoxicated with snake venom rose with the level of electromagnetic radiation intensity the snake was exposed to. Accordingly, snake venom, with exposure to high intensity electromagnetic radiation is less toxic.

  11. Venomous auger snail Hastula (Impages) hectica (Linnaeus, 1758): molecular phylogeny, foregut anatomy and comparative toxinology.

    PubMed

    Imperial, Julita S; Kantor, Yuri; Watkins, Maren; Heralde, Francisco M; Stevenson, Bradford; Chen, Ping; Hansson, Karin; Stenflo, Johan; Ownby, John-Paul; Bouchet, Philippe; Olivera, Baldomero M

    2007-12-15

    The >10,000 living venomous marine snail species [superfamily Conoidea (Fleming, 1822)] include cone snails (Conus), the overwhelming focus of research. Hastula hectica (Linnaeus, 1758), a venomous snail in the family Terebridae (Mörch, 1852) was comprehensively investigated. The Terebridae comprise a major monophyletic group within Conoidea. H. hectica has a striking radular tooth to inject venom that looks like a perforated spear; in Conus, the tooth looks like a hypodermic needle. H. hectica venom contains a large complement of small disulfide-rich peptides, but with no apparent overlap with Conus in gene superfamilies expressed. Although Conus peptide toxins are densely post-translationally modified, no post-translationally modified amino acids were found in any Hastula venom peptide. The results suggest that different major lineages of venomous molluscs have strikingly divergent toxinological and venom-delivery strategies.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. A novel neurotoxin from venom of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Yunhua; Song, Bo; Mo, Guoxiang; 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.

  15. Cross reactivity of three antivenoms against North American snake venoms.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Elda E; Ramírez, María Susana; Galán, Jacob A; López, Gonzalo; Rodríguez-Acosta, Alexis; Pérez, John C

    2003-03-01

    The antivenom in the United States today is in short supply, expensive and may not even be the most effective in neutralizing venoms from snakes in certain geographical locations. The ED(50) is considered to be the best indicator of antivenom efficacy, however, other tests are needed. In this study, three antivenoms (Antivipmyn (Fab(2)H), Crotalidae Polyvalent Immune Fab (Ovine) (FabO) and UCV (FabV) were used to test the effectiveness of neutralization of eight venoms (Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus, Bothrops asper, Crotalus adamanteus, C. durissus durissus, C. horridus atricaudatus, C. h. horridus, C. atrox, and C. molossus molossus). Four different assays were used to study the efficacy of the antivenoms: the antihemorrhagic, antigelatinase, antifibrinolytic and antihide powder azure. Fab(2)H antivenom was more effective in neutralizing the enzymatic activities of these eight venoms than FabO and FabV antivenoms. PMID:12565754

  16. Antidotes against venomous animals: state of the art and prospectives.

    PubMed

    Espino-Solis, G P; Riaño-Umbarila, L; Becerril, B; Possani, L D

    2009-03-01

    This communication revises the state of the art concerning antivenoms against snakes, spiders and scorpions. An overview of the historical facts that preceded the therapeutic use of antibodies is mentioned. A brief list of the major protein components of these venomous animals is revised with a short discussion of what is known on the proteomic analysis of their venoms, but the emphasis is placed on the type of antivenoms available commercially, including pertinent literature and addresses of the companies that prepare these antivenoms. The final section revises and discusses current research on the field and new potential applications that are being developed geared at obtaining new therapeutic antibodies or fragments of antibodies for neutralization of toxic components of venomous animals.

  17. Evolution of phospholipase A2 toxins in venomous animals.

    PubMed

    Kordiš, Dušan

    2011-12-01

    Franc Gubenšek devoted much of his research career to the phospholipases A2 (PLA2), which are the major pharmacologically active components of snake venoms. Our long collaboration started with an analysis of Vipera ammodytes ammodytoxin and ammodytin cDNAs and genes. These PLA2 genes provided us with an entry into the exciting area of molecular evolution. We studied the structures of the PLA2 genes, the evolution of multigene families encoding PLA2 toxins, and the horizontal transfer of unusual retroelements that we found in these genes. In the last decade a number of novel features have emerged concerning the evolution of PLA2s in venomous animals. The large amount of recently accumulated data has provided a timely opportunity to review current understanding of the evolution of PLA2 toxins in venomous animals.

  18. Venomous snakebite in mountainous terrain: prevention and management.

    PubMed

    Boyd, Jeff J; Agazzi, Giancelso; Svajda, Dario; Morgan, Arthur J; Ferrandis, Silvia; Norris, Robert L

    2007-01-01

    The prevention and management of venomous snakebite in the world's mountains present unique challenges. This paper presents a series of practical, clinically sound recommendations for management of venomous snakebite in a mountain environment. The authors performed an extensive review of current literature using search engines and manual searches. They then fused the abundant knowledge of snakebite with the realities of remote first aid and mountain rescue to develop recommendations. A summary is provided of the world's most troublesome mountain snakes and the mechanisms of toxicity from their bites. Preventive measures are described. Expected symptoms and signs are reviewed in lay and medical terms. A review of currently recommended first-aid measures and advanced medical management for physicians, paramedics, and other clinicians is included. Venomous snakebites in mountainous environments present unique challenges for management. This paper offers practical recommendations for managing such cases and summarizes the approach to first aid and advanced management in 2 algorithms.

  19. A novel neurotoxin from venom of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Yunhua; Song, Bo; Mo, Guoxiang; 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

  20. Effects of Mucuna pruriens protease inhibitors on Echis carinatus venom.

    PubMed

    Hope-Onyekwere, Nnadozie Stanley; Ogueli, Godwin Ifeanyi; Cortelazzo, Alessio; Cerutti, Helena; Cito, Annarita; Aguiyi, John C; Guerranti, Roberto

    2012-12-01

    The medicinal plant Mucuna pruriens, with reputed anti-snake venom properties has been reported to contain a kunitz-type trypsin inhibitor. This study was undertaken to further evaluate the protease inhibitory potential of gpMuc, a multiform glycoprotein, and other protein fractions from M. pruriens seeds against trypsin, chymotrypsin, Echis carinatus snake venom, ecarin and thrombin. The results showed that gpMuc inhibited both trypsin and chymotrypsin activities and was thermally stable, maintaining its trypsin inhibitory activity at temperatures of up to 50°C. Its structural conformation was also maintained at pH ranges of 4-7. Immunoreactivity study confirms that it contains protease-recognizing epitope on one of its isoforms. The whole protein extract of M. pruriens seeds inhibited prothrombin activation by ecarin and whole E. carinatus venom, and also thrombin-like activity using chromogenic assay. PMID:22447581

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Pandinus imperator scorpion venom blocks voltage-gated potassium channels in GH3 cells.

    PubMed

    Pappone, P A; Lucero, M T

    1988-06-01

    We examined the effects of Pandinus imperator scorpion venom on voltage-gated potassium channels in cultured clonal rat anterior pituitary cells (GH3 cells) using the gigohm-seal voltage-clamp method in the whole-cell configuration. We found that Pandinus venom blocks the voltage-gated potassium channels of GH3 cells in a voltage-dependent and dose-dependent manner. Crude venom in concentrations of 50-500 micrograms/ml produced 50-70% block of potassium currents measured at -20 mV, compared with 25-60% block measured at +50 mV. The venom both decreased the peak potassium current and shifted the voltage dependence of potassium current activation to more positive potentials. Pandinus venom affected potassium channel kinetics by slowing channel opening, speeding deactivation slightly, and increasing inactivation rates. Potassium currents in cells exposed to Pandinus venom did not recover control amplitudes or kinetics even after 20-40 min of washing with venom-free solution. The concentration dependence of crude venom block indicates that the toxins it contains are effective in the nanomolar range of concentrations. The effects of Pandinus venom were mimicked by zinc at concentrations less than or equal to 0.2 mM. Block of potassium current by zinc was voltage dependent and resembled Pandinus venom block, except that block by zinc was rapidly reversible. Since zinc is found in crude Pandinus venom, it could be important in the interaction of the venom with the potassium channel. We conclude that Pandinus venom contains toxins that bind tightly to voltage-dependent potassium channels in GH3 cells. Because of its high affinity for voltage-gated potassium channels and its irreversibility, Pandinus venom may be useful in the isolation, mapping, and characterization of voltage-gated potassium channels.

  5. Comparison of phylogeny, venom composition and neutralization by antivenom in diverse species of bothrops complex.

    PubMed

    Sousa, Leijiane F; Nicolau, Carolina A; 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

  6. 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

  7. SNAKE VENOM POISONING IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

    PubMed Central

    Russell, Findlay E.

    1960-01-01

    The annual incidence of rattlesnake bite in Southern California is approximately 1 per 75,000 population. The case fatality rate is 1.5 per cent. The snakes implicated in the greatest number of injuries are the southern Pacific rattlesnake, the red diamond rattlesnake and the sidewinder. Rattlesnake venom produces deleterious changes in the blood cells, defects in blood coagulation, injury to the intimal linings of vessels, damage to the heart muscle, alterations in the respiratory cycle and, to a lesser extent, changes in neuromuscular conduction. The most frequently observed symptoms and signs following ophidiasis in this area are swelling and edema, pain, ecchymosis, swelling of the regional lymph nodes, weakness, sweating, increased body temperature, faintness, and hemorrhagic vesiculations. First aid treatment consists of immobilization of the affected part, application of a constriction band, incision and suction with subsequent local application of ice packs. Treatment in hospital consists of administration of antivenin, antitetanus agent and antibiotic. Transfusions, oxygen and a corticosteroid may be indicated in some cases. PMID:13744840

  8. Venomous snake bites, scorpions, and spiders.

    PubMed

    Kularatne, S A M; Senanayake, Nimal

    2014-01-01

    Neurologic dysfunction due to natural neurotoxins is an important, but neglected, public health hazard in many parts of the world, particularly in the tropics. These toxins are produced by or found among a variety of live forms that include venomous snakes, arthropods such as scorpions, spiders, centipedes, stinging insects (Hymenoptera), ticks, certain poisonous fish, shellfish, crabs, cone shells, skin secretions of dart-poison frogs, and bacterial poisons such as botulinum toxin. These toxins commonly act on neuromuscular transmission at the neuromuscular junction where acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter, but in certain situations the toxins interfere with neurotransmitters such as GABA, noradrenaline, adrenaline, dopamine, and γ-aminobutyrate. Of the toxins, α-toxins and κ-toxins (e.g., Chinese krait, Bungarus multicinctus) act on the postsynaptic membrane, blocking the receptors, whilst β-toxin (e.g., common krait, B. caeruleus) acts on the presynaptic membrane, causing impairment of acetylcholine release. Conversely, dendrotoxins of the African mamba enhance acetylcholine release. The toxins of scorpions and spiders commonly interfere with voltage-gated ion channels. Clinically, the cardinal manifestation is muscle paralysis. In severe cases respiratory paralysis could be fatal. Effective antivenoms are the mainstay of treatment of envenoming, but their lack of availability is the major concern in the regions of the globe where they are desperately needed. Interestingly, some toxins have proved to be valuable pharmaceutical agents, while some others are widely exploited to study neuromuscular physiology and pathology.

  9. Antiproliferative activity of cobra venom cytotoxins.

    PubMed

    Dubovskii, Peter V; Utkin, Yuri N

    2015-01-01

    Cytotoxins (or cardiotoxins, CTs) are small rigid membrane-active proteins of the three-finger toxin (TFT) family. They comprise about 60 amino acid residues, stabilized by four disulphide bridges. CTs, the most abundant proteins in cobra venom are able to kill cancer cells in a dose and time-dependent manner. The present review summarizes the current data on the molecular pathways of cancer cell death, induced by CTs. A relationship between structural characteristics of CTs and mechanism of their antiproliferative activity is reviewed as well. The CT molecules are rigid and their structure does not change significantly, when they interact with their molecular targets. This rigidity facilitates identification of molecular entities, responsible for antiproliferative activity of the toxins. We demonstrate that consideration of a net electrostatic charge and recently introduced HTL (Hydrophobicity of the Tips of the Loops) score allows distinguishing between the two mechanisms of cell death. The first is related to membrane destabilization by the toxins. The second involves their capture inside the cells, followed by interrogation into signal cascades mediated by the proteins, essential for cell life. Via addressing to antibacterial activity of CTs, which is supposed to arise from the plasma membrane damage, we demonstrate that, if membrane deterioration is involved in malignant cell death, the toxic activity of CTs correlates with their HTL scores and net electrostatic charge. We assume the relationship found may be used for rational design of antiproliferative compounds.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Animal venoms/toxins and the complement system.

    PubMed

    Tambourgi, Denise V; van den Berg, Carmen W

    2014-10-01

    Nature is a wealthy source of agents that have been shown to be beneficial to human health, but nature is also a rich source of potential dangerous health damaging compounds. This review will summarise and discuss the agents from the animal kingdom that have been shown to interact with the human complement (C) system. Most of these agents are toxins found in animal venoms and animal secretions. In addition to the mechanism of action of these toxins, their contribution to the field of complement, their role in human pathology and the potential benefit to the venomous animal itself will be discussed. Potential therapeutic applications will also be discussed.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Inhibition of toxic activities of Bothrops asper venom and other crotalid snake venoms by a novel neutralizing mixture.

    PubMed

    Borkow, G; Gutierrez, J M; Ovadia, M

    1997-12-01

    The majority of snake bites in Central America are caused by Bothrops asper, whose venom induce complex local effects such as myonecrosis, edema and especially hemorrhage. These effects are only partially neutralized by the clinically used antivenom, even when administered rapidly after envenomation. Recently we screened 49 substances for antihemorrhagic activity and found that a mixture composed of CaNa2, EDTA, a B. asper serum fraction (natural antidote), and the currently used horse polyvalent antiserum is highly effective in the neutralization of local and systemic hemorrhage developing after B. asper envenomation (Borkow et al., Toxicon 35, 865-877, 1997). In the present study we screened the best six antihemorrhagic compounds for their capacity to neutralize the lethal activity in mice and the proteolytic, hemolytic, and antiattachment activities in vitro of the venom. The compounds tested included the currently used horse antivenom, rabbit antiserum against whole B. asper venom or against heated venom, B. asper and Natrix tessellata serum fractions, and CaNa2 EDTA. The constituents of the antihemorrhagic mixture were also the best inhibitors of the other examined toxic activities. Importantly, the mixture effectively neutralized toxic activities of an additional nine venoms from snakes abundant in Central America. This work suggests that the polyvalent antivenom used in Central America could be enriched with a B. asper serum fraction producing a more effective antivenom. In addition, the local application of CaNa2 EDTA to neutralize hemorrhagic toxins, immediately after a snake bite, may provide rapid inhibition of local damage caused by the venoms. PMID:9439739

  17. Testing the "toxin hypothesis of allergy": Mast cells, IgE, and innate and acquired immune responses to venoms*

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Mindy; Starkl, Philipp; Marichal, Thomas; Galli, Stephen J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Work in mice indicates that innate functions of mast cells, particularly degradation of venom toxins by mast cell-derived proteases, can enhance resistance to certain arthropod or reptile venoms. Recent reports indicate that acquired Th2 immune responses associated with the production of IgE antibodies, induced by Russell’s viper venom or honeybee venom, or by a component of honeybee venom, bee venom phospholipase 2 (bvPLA2), can increase the resistance of mice to challenge with potentially lethal doses of either of the venoms or bvPLA2. These findings support the conclusion that, in contrast to the detrimental effects associated with allergic Th2 immune responses, mast cells and IgE-dependent immune responses to venoms can contribute to innate and adaptive resistance to venom-induced pathology and mortality. PMID:26210895

  18. Inhibition of hemorrhagic and edematogenic activities of snake venoms by a broad-spectrum protease inhibitor, murinoglobulin; the effect on venoms from five different genera in Viperidae family.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro Filho, Wilker; Sugiki, Masahiko; Yoshida, Etsuo; Maruyama, Masugi

    2003-08-01

    In order to obtain basic data on the effect of broad-spectrum protease inhibitor against local symptoms of Viperidae snake envenomation, inhibitory capacity of rat murinoglobulin on local hemorrhagic and edematogenic activities of venoms from Crotalus atrox, Bothrops jararaca, Lachesis muta muta, Trimeresurus flavoviridis and Echis carinatus sochureki were examined. Murinoglobulin, pre-incubated with the crude venoms at 37 degrees C for 15 min, inhibited hemorrhagic activity of all five venoms to various extents. The activity of C. atrox was almost completely inhibited at the murinoglobulin/venom ratio (w/w) of 20. The activity of B. jararaca, Lachesis muta muta and T. flavoviridis venoms was considerably inhibited at the ratio of 20 (77.2, 80.0 and 86.2% inhibition, respectively), however some of the activity still remained even at the ratio of 40 (84.2, 79.8 and 86.2% inhibition, respectively). Among the five venoms, E. c. sochureki venom is quite resistant to murinoglobulin treatment and statistically significant inhibition was only found at the ratio of 40 (64.1% inhibition). Fibrinolytic and gelatinase activities were more susceptible to murinoglobulin inhibition. The treatment at the ratios of 10 and 20 almost completely inhibited respectively the fibrinolytic and the gelatinase activities of all the venoms. Murinoglobulin treatment also significantly inhibited the edematogenic activity of L. muta muta, T. flavoviridis and Echis carinatus sochureki. The treatment of murinoglobulin at the ratio of 40 considerably suppressed the swelling up to 60 min after subcutaneous injection of L. muta muta and E. c. sochureki venoms, and up to 30 min after T. flavoviridis venom injection. Murinoglobulin is a potent inhibitor against local effects of multiple snake venoms in Viperidae family. PMID:12906888

  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. 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

  2. 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

  3. Brown spider (Loxosceles intermedia) venom triggers endothelial cells death by anoikis.

    PubMed

    Nowatzki, Jenifer; Sene, Reginaldo Vieira; Paludo, Katia Sabrina; Rizzo, Luiz Eduardo; Souza-Fonseca-Guimarães, Fernando; Veiga, Silvio Sanches; Nader, Helena Bonciani; Franco, Célia Regina C; Trindade, Edvaldo S

    2012-09-01

    Brown spider (Loxosceles sp.) venom affects the endothelium of vessels and triggers disruptive activity in the subendothelial matrix. The vascular disorders observed after venom exposure include leukocyte and platelet activation, disseminated intravascular coagulation, an increase in vessel permeability and hemorrhage into the dermis. In this study, we report additional evidence regarding the mechanism of endothelial cell cytotoxicity induced by Loxosceles intermedia venom. Exposure to venom led to endothelial cell detachment in a time-dependent manner. Loss of cell anchorage and cell-cell adhesion following venom exposure was accompanied by changes in the distribution of the α₅β₁ integrin and VE-cadherin. An ultrastructural analysis of cells treated with venom revealed morphological alterations characteristic of apoptosis. Moreover, after venom exposure, the ratio between Bax and Bcl-2 proteins was disturbed in favor of Bax. In addition, late apoptosis was only observed in cells detached by the action of venom. Accordingly, there was no increase in apoptosis when cells were exposed to L. intermedia venom in suspension, suggesting that the loss of cell anchorage provides the signal to initiate apoptosis. Thus, L. intermedia venom likely triggers endothelial cell death indirectly through an apoptotic mechanism known as anoikis.

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

    PubMed

    McCowan, Caryn; Garb, Jessica E

    2014-02-25

    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 (Latrodectus 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.

  5. ADP is a vasodilator component from Lasiodora sp. mygalomorph spider venom.

    PubMed

    Horta, C C; Rezende, B A; Oliveira-Mendes, B B R; Carmo, A O; Capettini, L S A; Silva, J F; Gomes, M T; Chávez-Olórtegui, C; Bravo, C E S; Lemos, V S; Kalapothakis, E

    2013-09-01

    Members of the spider genus Lasiodora are widely distributed in Brazil, where they are commonly known as caranguejeiras. Lasiodora spider venom is slightly harmful to humans. The bite of this spider causes local pain, edema and erythema. However, Lasiodora sp. spider venom may be a source of important pharmacological tools. Our research group has described previously that Lasiodora sp. venom produces bradycardia in the isolated rat heart. In the present work, we sought to evaluate the vascular effect of Lasiodora sp. venom and to isolate the vasoactive compounds from the venom. The results showed that Lasiodora spider venom induced a concentration-dependent vasodilation in rat aortic rings, which was dependent on the presence of a functional endothelium and abolished by the nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor L-NAME. Western blot experiments revealed that the venom also increased endothelial NOS function by increasing phosphorylation of the Ser¹¹⁷⁷ residue. Assay-directed fractionation isolated a vasoactive fraction from Lasiodora sp. venom. Mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) assays identified a mixture of two compounds: adenosine diphosphate (ADP, approximately 90%) and adenosine monophosphate (AMP, approximately 10%). The vasodilator effects of Lasiodora sp. whole venom, as well as ADP, were significantly inhibited by suramin, which is a purinergic P2-receptor antagonist. Therefore, the results of the present work indicate that ADP is a main vasodilator component of Lasiodora sp. spider venom.

  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.

  7. 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

  8. Venom variation in hemostasis of the southern Pacific rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus helleri): isolation of hellerase.

    PubMed

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

    2009-04-01

    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 to 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. oreganus helleri located in Riverside and San Bernardino counties of southern California were studied for their variation in their hemostatic 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. oreganus helleri venoms from close localities. A metalloproteinase, hellerase, was purified by anionic and cationic exchange chromatographies 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.

  9. 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

  10. Ontogenetic variability of Bothrops atrox and Bothrops asper snake venoms from Colombia.

    PubMed

    Saldarriaga, Mónica María; Otero, Rafael; Núñez, Vitelbina; Toro, Maria Fabiola; Díaz, Abel; Gutiérrez, José María

    2003-09-15

    The lancehead snakes Bothrops asper and Bothrops atrox inflict 70-90% of the 3000 bites reported every year in Colombia. In this work, the venoms of B. atrox from Meta (Villavicencio, 33 specimens) and B. asper from Antioquia (San Carlos, 45 specimens), all of them born in captivity, were obtained at different ages (0-6 months; 1, 2 and 3-years old) and compared in terms of their pharmacological and immunochemical characteristics. A conspicuous ontogenetic variability was observed in venom samples from both species. Venoms from newborn and juvenile specimens showed higher lethal, hemorrhagic, edema-forming and coagulant activities, whereas venoms from 3-year old specimens showed higher indirect hemolytic, i.e. phospholipase A2 activity, being more significant in the case of B. asper. SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of whole venom for both species evidenced a predominance of high mol. mass bands in the venoms from specimens of <1 year of age, with a change towards bands having lower mol. mass as snakes aged. Gel filtration chromatography showed five peaks in the venoms of B. asper of <6 months and in those from 3-year old specimens. Venom of adult specimens showed a higher number of peaks with indirect hemolytic activity than venom of newborn specimens. Polyvalent antivenom produced in Costa Rica recognized all the bands of both venoms from specimens at all ages tested, when assayed by Western blotting. PMID:14505941

  11. [Toxicity of venoms from snakes of medical importance in México].

    PubMed

    de Roodt, Adolfo R; Estévez-Ramírez, Judith; Paniagua-Solís, Jorge F; Litwin, Silvana; Carvajal-Saucedo, Alejandro; Dolab, Jorge A; Robles-Ortiz, Luis E; Alagón, Alejandro

    2005-01-01

    The characterization of the toxic activities of snake venoms is necessary to understand the physiopathology of the envenomation and to test the potency of the antivenoms used to treat this pathology. Because of the lack of data on the toxic activities of venoms from Mexican snakes of medical importance, we studied the venoms from Bothrops asper, Athropoides nummifrr, Agkistrodon billineatus, Crotalus durissus durissus, Crotalus basiliscus, Crotalus scutulatus, Crotalus atrox and Micrurus nigrocinctus. The studies performed were: SDS-PAOE, determination of lethal potency, hemorrhagic, necrotizing, coagulation on plasma and fibrinogen, phospholipasic and fibri(noge)nolytic activities. In addition we studied the neutralizing capacity of the toxic activities of an antivenom currently used for the treatment of snakebites in Mexico. The venom from viperids showed important hemorrhagic, necrotizing, coagulative on plasma, prothrombinic, fibrinogenolytic and phospholipase activities. The venoms with the highest lethal potency were those of Micrurus nigrocinctus and Crotalus scutulatus; however, the viperine venom that globally displayed the most potent toxic activities was from Bothrops asper. All the venoms showed toxic activities of similar range to those described for other American venomous snakes. The activity on plasma or fibrinogen varied widely among the different venoms but all displayed capacity to act on the coagulation system. The antivenom tested not only neutralized the lethality B. asper venom but also its other toxic activities. PMID:15754746

  12. 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.

  13. Adaptive evolution of the venom-targeted vWF protein in opossums that eat pitvipers.

    PubMed

    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.

  14. [Effects of venom from Sclerodermus sichuanensis Xiao on pupa of Tenebrio molitor].

    PubMed

    Zhuo, Zhi-Hang; Yang, Wei; Qin, Huan; Yang, Chun-Ping; Yang, Hua; Xu, Dan-Ping

    2013-11-01

    To explore the regulatory mechanisms of parasitism of Sclerodermus sichuanensis on Tenebrio molitor, the methods of natural parasitism and venom injection were adopted to investigate the effects of the venom from S. sichuanensis on the pupa of T. molitor in the parasitic process. Under venom injection, the paralytic degree of the pupa had a positive correlation with the concentration of injected venom, and the number of recovered pupa had a negative correlation with the injected venom concentration. The T. molitor pupa was in slight and reversible paralysis when injected with 0.01 VRE (venom reservoir equivalent) of venom, and in non-reversible and complete paralysis when 0.2 VRE was injected. The pupa died massively and appeared a wide range of melanization when injected with soil bacterial suspension alone, but the melanization delayed and the mortality declined significantly when the mixed liquor of bacterium and venom was injected. The bacteriostasis of the venom on Staphylococcus aureus was significantly stronger than that on Escherichia coli. Within a definite range of temperature, the paralytic activity decreased significantly with increasing temperature, the bacteriostasis on S. aureus increased significantly, while that on E. coli was opposite. This study showed that the venom from S. sichuanensis had the effects of paralysis, bacteriostasis, inhibiting exuviations, and delaying melanization.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Venomic analysis and evaluation of antivenom cross-reactivity of South American Micrurus species.

    PubMed

    Ciscotto, Paula H C; Rates, Breno; Silva, Daniel A F; Richardson, Michael; Silva, Luciano P; Andrade, Helida; Donato, Micheline F; Cotta, Giselle Agostini; Maria, Wany Selena; Rodrigues, Raquel J; Sanchez, Eladio; De Lima, Maria Elena; Pimenta, Adriano M C

    2011-08-24

    Coral snakes from Micrurus genus are the main representatives of the Elapidae family in South America. However, biochemical and pharmacological features regarding their venom constituents remain poorly investigated. Here, venomic analyses were carried out aiming at a deeper understanding on the composition of M. frontalis, M. ibiboboca, and M. lemniscatus venoms. In the three venoms investigated, proteins ranging from 6 to 8 kDa (3FTx) and 12 to 14 kDa (PLA(2)) were found to be the most abundant. Also, the N-terminal sequences of four new proteins, purified from the M. lemniscatus venom, similar to 3FTx, PLA(2) and Kunitz-type protease inhibitor from other Micrurus and elapid venoms are reported. Cross-reactivity among different Micrurus venoms and homologous or heterologous antivenoms was carried out by means of 2D-electrophoresis and immunoblotting. As, expected, the heterologous anti-Elapid venom displayed the highest degree of cross-reactivity. Conversely, anti-M. corallinus reacted weakly against the tested venoms. In gel digestions, followed by mass spectrometry sequencing and similarity searching, revealed the most immunogenic protein families as similar to short and long neurotoxins, weak neurotoxins, PLA(2), β-bungarotoxin, venom protein E2, frontoxin III, LAO and C-type lectin. The implications of our results for the production of Micrurus antivenoms are discussed.

  18. 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

  19. [Effects of venom from Sclerodermus sichuanensis Xiao on pupa of Tenebrio molitor].

    PubMed

    Zhuo, Zhi-Hang; Yang, Wei; Qin, Huan; Yang, Chun-Ping; Yang, Hua; Xu, Dan-Ping

    2013-11-01

    To explore the regulatory mechanisms of parasitism of Sclerodermus sichuanensis on Tenebrio molitor, the methods of natural parasitism and venom injection were adopted to investigate the effects of the venom from S. sichuanensis on the pupa of T. molitor in the parasitic process. Under venom injection, the paralytic degree of the pupa had a positive correlation with the concentration of injected venom, and the number of recovered pupa had a negative correlation with the injected venom concentration. The T. molitor pupa was in slight and reversible paralysis when injected with 0.01 VRE (venom reservoir equivalent) of venom, and in non-reversible and complete paralysis when 0.2 VRE was injected. The pupa died massively and appeared a wide range of melanization when injected with soil bacterial suspension alone, but the melanization delayed and the mortality declined significantly when the mixed liquor of bacterium and venom was injected. The bacteriostasis of the venom on Staphylococcus aureus was significantly stronger than that on Escherichia coli. Within a definite range of temperature, the paralytic activity decreased significantly with increasing temperature, the bacteriostasis on S. aureus increased significantly, while that on E. coli was opposite. This study showed that the venom from S. sichuanensis had the effects of paralysis, bacteriostasis, inhibiting exuviations, and delaying melanization. PMID:24564160

  20. A pharmacological and biochemical examination of the geographical variation of Chironex fleckeri venom.

    PubMed

    Winter, Kelly L; Isbister, Geoffrey K; McGowan, Sheena; Konstantakopoulos, Nicki; Seymour, Jamie E; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2010-02-15

    Chironex fleckeri (box jellyfish) are found in the northern tropical waters of Australia. Although C. fleckeri have a wide geographical distribution and are able to swim large distances, adults tend to stay in small restricted areas. Clinical data shows that deaths from envenoming have not been recorded in Western Australia, yet numerous fatalities have occurred in Northern Territory and Queensland waters. One explanation for this discrepancy is a geographical variation in venom composition. This study examined the pharmacological and biochemical profiles of C. fleckeri venom from different geographical locations and seasons. Venoms were screened for cytotoxicity using a rat aortic smooth muscle cell line (A7r5). While all venoms caused concentration-dependent cytotoxicity, differences were seen in the potency of venoms from Mission Beach and Weipa, when collected in different seasons, as indicated by IC(50) values. Similarly venoms collected within the same season, from different locations around Australia, displayed marked differences in venom composition as shown by size exclusion HPLC and SDS-PAGE profiles which indicated the absence or reduced quantity of 'peaks' in some venoms. Based on IC(50) data obtained from the cell assay, the effects of the most potent (i.e. from Weipa in 2006) and the least potent (i.e. from Broome in 2007) venoms were examined in anesthetised rats. Both venoms at 10 microg/kg (i.v.) caused a transient hypertensive phase followed by cardiovascular collapse. However, at 4 microg/kg (i.v.) venom from Weipa 2006 caused a transient hypertensive phase followed by a transient decrease in MAP while venom from Broome 2007 only caused a small transient increase in MAP. This study demonstrates that there is considerable geographical variation in the composition of C. fleckeri venoms which is most distinct between specimens from western and eastern Australia and may explain the geographical variation in reported deaths. PMID:19945518

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  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. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  11. Factor V activation and inactivation by venom proteases.

    PubMed

    Rosing, J; Govers-Riemslag, J W; Yukelson, L; Tans, G

    2001-01-01

    Blood coagulation factor V is a single-chain glycoprotein with M(r) = 330,000 which plays an important role in the procoagulant and anticoagulant pathways. Thrombin activates factor V into factor Va, a two-chain molecule which is composed of a heavy (M(r) = 105,000) and a light chain (M(r) = 71,000/74,000). Factor Va accelerates factor Xa-catalysed prothrombin activation more than 1,000-fold and under physiological conditions the cofactor activity of factor Va in prothrombin activation is down-regulated by activated protein C. Factor V can also be activated by a wide variety of snake venoms (e.g. from Vipera species, Naja naja oxiana, Bothrops atrox) and by proteases present in the bristles of a South American caterpillar (Lonomia achelous). Some venoms, notably of Vipera lebetina turanica and Lonomia achelous, contain proteases that are able to inactivate factor V or factor Va. Venom factor V activators are excellent tools in studying the structure-function relationship of factor V(a) and they are also used in diagnostic tests for quantification of plasma factor V levels and for the screening of defects in the protein C pathway. In this review, the structural and functional properties of animal venom factor V activators and inactivators is described. PMID:11910191

  12. 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

  13. Sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for Taiwan cobra venom.

    PubMed

    Huang, Yu-Ping; Yu, Yi-Jung; Hung, Dong-Zong

    2002-08-01

    Poisonous snake bite victims usually have difficulty identifying the species, and clinical manifestations alone are not reliable because of overlapping symptoms. Thus, it is important to develop a quick and reliable mean of identifying the snake responsible. We describe the development of a sandwich-ELISA method for detection of venom in biological samples and apply it to a case of snakebite to confirm the clinical diagnosis. The sandwich-ELISA takes 6 h to complete. Cobra venom antigen gave positive absorbance at about 500 pg/ml. Good linearity with R2 values over 0.99 were observed in dilution series of 1:100 ng/mL of cobra venom in calf serum and human urine. A snakebite initially thought to be Trimeresurus mucrosquamatus was proven cobra with a serum venom level up to 288 ngmL 3 h after envenoming. Sandwich-ELISA provides a rapid and accurate method for clinical identification and evaluation of toxic antigens circulating in individuals bitten by the Taiwan cobra snake. PMID:12136964

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Viper venom induced inflammation with Montivipera xanthina (Gray, 1849) and the anti-snake venom activities of Artemisia absinthium L. in rat.

    PubMed

    Nalbantsoy, Ayse; Erel, Sura Baykan; Köksal, Cinel; Göçmen, Bayram; Yıldız, Mehmet Zülfü; Karabay Yavaşoğlu, Nefise Ülkü

    2013-04-01

    The present study was conducted to explore the characterization of Montivipera xanthina crude venom partially by in vitro and in vivo and the anti-snake venom activities of Artemisia absinthium L. in comparison with carrageenan-induced acute inflammation model in rats. The LD50 value was estimated as 8.78 mg/kg within 24 h by different venom doses administrated intraperitoneally in mice. The IC50 value was 0.43 ± 0.18 μg/ml after 48 h treatment while the calculated value was 0.73 ± 0.10 μg/ml for the culture media totally refreshed after 2 h treatment with venom. Wistar rats were treated intraperitoneally with A. absinthium extract, 30 min before venom or carrageenan was injected subplantarly into the left hind paw. Intraperitoneal administration of 25 and 50 mg/kg extract was inhibited venom induced paw swelling at 0.5, 1, 2 and 3 h (p < 0.05) while 12.5, 25 and 50 mg/kg extract treatment was inhibited carrageenan-induced paw swelling at 2, 3, 4 and 5 h (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the in vivo toxicity and inflammatory actions and in vitro cytotoxic actions of crude M. xanthina venom were performed as a first report and inhibition of venom-induced inflammation by methanolic extract of A. absinthium was described.

  17. 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.

  18. Oxidative stress markers in patients with hymenoptera venom allergy.

    PubMed

    Patella, Vincenzo; Incorvaia, Cristoforo; Minciullo, Paola Lucia; Oricchio, Carmine; Saitta, Salvatore; Florio, Giovanni; Saija, Antonella; Gangemi, Sebastiano

    2015-01-01

    Oxidative stress occurs in many allergic and immunologic disorders as a result of the imbalance between the endogenous production of free reactive oxygen species (ROS) and/or the reduction of antioxidant defense mechanisms. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs), advanced oxidation protein products (AOPPs), and nitrosylated proteins (NPs) can be used as markers of oxidative stress and inflammation. Our objective was to examine the serum levels of AGEs, AOPPs, and NPs in patients with allergic reactions to hymenoptera venom before and after ultrarush venom immunotherapy (VIT). The study included two groups of patients: 30 patients allergic to yellow jacket or honey bee venom and treated by aqueous preparation of Vespula spp (26 patients) or Apis mellifera (four patients) VIT, and 30 healthy donors as controls. Blood samples were collected to measure serum levels of AGEs, AOPPs, and NPs at baseline (T1), at the end of the incremental phase of the VIT protocol (T2), and after 15 days (T3). Serum AOPP levels at T1 were significantly higher in comparison with controls (p = 0.001), whereas serum levels of NPs at T1 were significantly lower than those in controls (p < 0.0001). No significant difference in circulating levels of AOPPs, AGEs, and NPs was found during immunotherapy. These findings suggest that, although hymenoptera venom allergy (HVA) is characterized by isolated episodes of reactions to stinging insect venom and is not included among chronic inflammatory diseases, an oxidative stress status occurs in patients suffering from this kind of allergy. Furthermore, VIT does not modify serum levels of these oxidative stress biomarkers.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Cardiotoxic effects of venom fractions from the Australian box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri on human myocardiocytes.

    PubMed

    Saggiomo, Silvia L A; Seymour, Jamie E

    2012-09-01

    An investigation into the cardiotoxic effects in human cardiomyocytes of different fractions (as produced from an FPLC) of the venom from Chironex fleckeri showed that whole venom caused cardiac cell death in minutes, measured as cell detachment using xCELLigence technology. However, only one fraction of the venom was responsible for this effect. When all extracted venoms were recombined a similar result was seen for the toxic fraction, however these effects were slower than unfractionated venom alone even though the concentrations were similar. The difference in the results between fractioned and unfractionated venom may have been caused by compounds remaining in the FPLC column, which may interact with the toxic fraction to cause rapid cell detachment or death. PMID:22560886

  3. Ctenus medius and Phoneutria nigriventer spiders venoms share noxious proinflammatory activities.

    PubMed

    Okamoto, Cinthya Kimori; Gonçalves-De-Andrade, Rute M; Queiroz, Giselle Pidde; Gutierez, Vanessa P; De Almeida, Daniel Manzoni; Cury, Yara; Bertani, Rogério; Portaro, Fernanda C V; Tambourgi, Denise V

    2009-01-01

    Ctenus medius Keyserling, 1891 (Araneae: Ctenidae) co-occurs in various microhabitats of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and can be easily misidentified as the medically important spider Phoneutria nigriventer Keyserling, 1981 (Ctenidae). Despite being phylogenetically close to Phoneutria, no data are available about the toxic potential of Ctenus medius venom. Here we show that, although presenting different profile of protein composition, C. medius venom displays some of the toxic properties exhibited by P. nigriventer venom, including proteolytic, hyaluronidasic and phospholipasic activities, as well as the ability of causing hyperalgesia and edema. Moreover, C. medius venom interferes in the activation of the complement system in concentrations that P. nigriventer venom is inactive. Thus, these data show that venoms of spiders from Ctenidae family share important proinflammatory properties and suggest that the C. medius bite may have an important noxious effect in human accidents.

  4. 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

    2014-05-06

    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.

  5. Inhibitory effect of tea polyphenols on local tissue damage induced by snake venoms.

    PubMed

    Pithayanukul, P; Leanpolchareanchai, J; Bavovada, R

    2010-01-01

    The methanolic extract of fresh tea leaves of Camellia sinensis L. (Theaceae) (CS) was assayed for its potential to inhibit enzymes with hydrolytic activity in Naja naja kaouthia Lesson (Elapidae) and Calloselasma rhodostoma Kuhl (Viperidae) venoms. These snake venom enzymes are responsible for the early effects of envenomation, such as local tissue damage and inflammation. The CS extract inhibited phospholipase A(2), proteases, hyaluronidase and L-amino acid oxidase in both venoms by in vitro neutralization and inhibited the hemorrhagic and the dermonecrotic activities of the venoms in vivo. It is suggested that the inhibitory potential of the CS extract against local tissue damage induced by snake venoms may be attributed to complexation and chelation between the venom proteins and the phenolic contents of the extract.

  6. Antisnake venom activity of ethanolic seed extract of Strychnos nux vomica Linn.

    PubMed

    Chatterjee, Ipshita; Chakravarty, A K; Gomes, A

    2004-05-01

    The whole seed extract of S. nux vomica (in low doses) effectively neutralized Daboia russelii venom induced lethal, haemorrhage, defibrinogenating, PLA2 enzyme activity and Naja kaouthia venom induced lethal, cardiotoxic, neurotoxic, PLA2 enzyme activity. The seed extract potentiated polyvalent snake venom antiserum action in experimental animals. An active compound (SNVNF) was isolated and purified by thin layer chromatography and silica gel column chromatography, which effectively antagonised D. russelii venom induced lethal, haemorrhagic, defibrinogenating, oedema, PLA2 enzyme activity and N. kaouthia induced lethal, cardiotoxic, neurotoxic, PLA, enzyme activity. Polyvalent snake venom antiserum action was significantly potentiated by the active compound. Spectral studies revealed it to be a small, straight chain compound containing methyl and amide radicals. Detailed structure elucidation of the compound (SNVNF) is warranted before its clinical trials as a snake venom antagonist.

  7. 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

  8. Toxicity of South American snake venoms measured by an in vitro cell culture assay.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, J C R; de Oca, H M; Duarte, M M; Diniz, C R; Fortes-Dias, C L

    2002-03-01

    Cytotoxicity of venoms from eight medically important South American Crotalidae snakes (Bothrops and Lachesis genera) was determined, based on a procedure originally described for the screening of cytotoxic agents in general. The assay, the conditions of which were adapted to snake venoms, determines the survival of viable cells in monolayer culture upon exposure to the toxic agent. Snake venom toxicity was expressed as the venom dose that killed 50% of the cells (CT(50)) under the assay conditions. Bothrops neuwieddi mattogrossensis (CT(50)=4.74+/-0.35 microg/ml) and Bothrops leucurus (CT(50)=4.95+/-0.51 microg/ml) were the most cytotoxic whereas Bothrops atrox (CT(50)=34.64+/-2.38 microg/ml) and Bothrops sp. (CT(50)=33.89+/-3.89 microg/ml) were the least cytotoxic venoms, respectively. The relationship between CT(50) and other biological activities of these snake venoms was evaluated. PMID:11711131

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Local effects induced by venoms from five species of genus Micrurus sp. (coral snakes).

    PubMed

    Barros, A C; Fernandes, D P; Ferreira, L C; Dos Santos, M C

    1994-04-01

    Venoms from five species of Micrurus (coral snakes) from Brazil (Amazonas State) were tested for the following effects: edematogenic, myotoxic, coagulant, hemorrhagic and phospholipase A2 (PLA2) detection. None of the venoms tested presented coagulant activity. The presence of PLA2 was detected by ELISA in the venoms of M. spixii, M. averyi and M. lemniscatus. The myotoxicity was estimated by the increase in the serum creatine kinase level and by histological analysis. All venoms, except that from M. surinamensis, induced intense edematogenic and myotoxic effects. The venom of M. averyi showed hemorrhagic activity which was confirmed by histopathological analysis. This is the first evidence of such an effect by coral snake venom.

  12. 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

    2016-08-01

    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.

  13. Efficacy of antivenom against the procoagulant effect of Australian brown snake (Pseudonaja sp.) venom: in vivo and in vitro studies.

    PubMed

    Isbister, Geoffrey K; O'Leary, Margaret A; Schneider, Jennifer J; Brown, Simon G A; Currie, Bart J

    2007-01-01

    Snake venom induced consumption coagulopathy (VICC) is a common complication of snake bite due to prothrombin activators or thrombin-like enzymes in the venom. This study aimed to determine the efficacy and dose of antivenom for treating VICC in patients envenomed by brown snakes (Pseudonaja spp.), including in vitro coagulation studies. In serial blood samples from patients with brown snake envenoming, venom and antivenom concentrations were measured using enzyme immunoassays. In vitro mixtures of brown snake venom and antivenom were used to investigate antivenom binding, neutralisation of prothrombin activity, prevention of venom-mediated clotting and effect on thrombin generation parameters using a thrombinoscope. In 27 envenomed patients the median venom concentration was 20 ng/mL (Interquartile range[IQR]:12-44 ng/mL) prior to antivenom and was not detected after antivenom administration, including 9 patients given one vial. In vitro, 200 microg/mL of antivenom bound all free venom at venom concentrations seen in patients. In vitro prothrombinase activity of the venom (using a chromogenic substrate) was not neutralised by antivenom. However, for venom concentrations seen in humans, 100 microg/mL of antivenom prevented venom clotting activity in human plasma and 479 microg/mL neutralised procoagulant venom activity measured by triggering thrombin generation. One vial of antivenom appears to be sufficient to bind and neutralise all venom in patients with severe brown snake envenoming.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Variations in Loxosceles spider venom composition and toxicity contribute to the severity of envenomation.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Kátia C; Gonçalves de Andrade, Rute M; Piazza, Roxane M F; Ferreira, Jorge M C; van den Berg, C W; Tambourgi, Denise V

    2005-03-15

    Envenomation by Loxosceles spiders causes two main clinical manifestations: cutaneous and systemic loxoscelism. The factors contributing to the severity of loxoscelism are not fully understood. We have analysed biochemical and toxicity variations in venom of L. laeta and L. intermedia, with the aim to find a correlation with the seriousness of loxoscelism. Differences in expression of proteins, glycoproteins and sphingomyelinase activity were observed between venom from male and female spiders and between venom from the two species. These differences were reflected in the toxicity of the venoms including the capacity to induce complement-dependent haemolysis, dermonecrosis and lethality. Comparative analysis of gender and species, showed that these biological activities were more prominent in venom from female spiders, especially from L. laeta. Antiserum raised against venom from females L. laeta spiders had the highest efficacy in neutralizing venoms of males and females of both species. These results indicate that the severity of loxoscelism depends, at least partially, on the species and sex of the spider and suggest that for accidents involving L. laeta an specific serum therapy is necessary. Furthermore, it emphasizes the efficacy of the antiserum produced against L. laeta female venom in neutralizing Loxosceles venoms from different species and gender.

  20. Inflammatory mediators generated at the site of inoculation of Loxosceles gaucho spider venom.

    PubMed

    Barbaro, Katia C; Lira, Marcela S; Araújo, Claudia A; Pareja-Santos, Alessandra; Távora, Bianca C L F; Prezotto-Neto, José Pedro; Kimura, Louise F; Lima, Carla; Lopes-Ferreira, Mônica; Santoro, Marcelo L

    2010-11-01

    Patients bitten by Loxosceles spiders generally manifest marked local inflammatory reaction and dermonecrosis. This report evaluated edema formation, leukocyte infiltration and release of inflammatory mediators at the injection site of Loxosceles gaucho venom. BALB/c mice were i.d. injected with venom and thereafter paws were disrupted and homogenized to obtain differential counts of migrated cells, as well to assay the levels of cytokines, chemokines and lipid mediators. Increased footpad thickness was detected as soon as 30 min after venom injection, and 24h later was similar to that of the control group. Loxosceles venom mildly augmented the recruitment of leukocytes to the footpad in comparison with PBS-injected mice. Moreover, it stimulated the release of IL-6, MCP-1 and KC at 2 and 24h after venom injection. In addition, higher levels of PGE(2) were detected 30 min after venom injection in comparison with control group. However, the venom failed to increase levels of IL-1 beta, TNF-alpha, TXB(2) and LTB(4). Our results demonstrate that L. gaucho venom evokes an early complex inflammatory reaction, stimulating the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and lipid mediators (PGE(2)), and recruiting leukocytes to the footpad which contribute to the local reaction induced by L. gaucho venom.

  1. 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.

  2. In vitro snake venom detoxifying action of the leaf extract of Guiera senegalensis.

    PubMed

    Abubakar, M S; Sule, M I; Pateh, U U; Abdurahman, E M; Haruna, A K; Jahun, B M

    2000-03-01

    The extract of the leaves of Guiera senegalensis was found to detoxify (in vitro) venom from two common northern Nigerian snake species, Echis carinatus and Naja nigricollis, in separate experiments. There was a remarkable reduction in the mortality of albino mice after intra-peritoneal (i.p.) administration of reconstituted venom incubated with the extract, when compared to those challenged with the venom only. The survival of the animals exposed to the venom incubated with the different concentrations of the extract was used as the in vitro detoxification parameter.

  3. Biological and pathological studies of rosmarinic acid as an inhibitor of hemorrhagic Trimeresurus flavoviridis (habu) venom.

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

    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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Cloning and characterisation of novel cystatins from elapid snake venom glands.

    PubMed

    Richards, Renée; St Pierre, Liam; Trabi, Manuela; Johnson, Lambro A; de Jersey, John; Masci, Paul P; Lavin, Martin F

    2011-04-01

    Snake venoms contain a complex mixture of polypeptides that modulate prey homeostatic mechanisms through highly specific and targeted interactions. In this study we have identified and characterised cystatin-like cysteine-protease inhibitors from elapid snake venoms for the first time. Novel cystatin sequences were cloned from 12 of 13 elapid snake venom glands and the protein was detected, albeit at very low levels, in a total of 22 venoms. One highly conserved isoform, which displayed close sequence identity with family 2 cystatins, was detected in each elapid snake. Crude Austrelaps superbus (Australian lowland copperhead) snake venom inhibited papain, and a recombinant form of A. superbus cystatin inhibited cathepsin L ≅ papain > cathepsin B, with no inhibition observed for calpain or legumain. While snake venom cystatins have truncated N-termini, sequence alignment and structural modelling suggested that the evolutionarily conserved Gly-11 of family 2 cystatins, essential for cysteine protease inhibition, is conserved in snake venom cystatins as Gly-3. This was confirmed by mutagenesis at the Gly-3 site, which increased the dissociation constant for papain by 10(4)-fold. These data demonstrate that elapid snake venom cystatins are novel members of the type 2 family. The widespread, low level expression of type 2 cystatins in snake venom, as well as the presence of only one highly conserved isoform in each species, imply essential housekeeping or regulatory roles for these proteins.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Clinical significance of venom antigen levels in patients envenomed by the Malayan pit viper (Calloselasma rhodostoma).

    PubMed

    Ho, M; Warrell, D A; Looareesuwan, S; Phillips, R E; Chanthavanich, P; Karbwang, J; Supanaranond, W; Viravan, C; Hutton, R A; Vejcho, S

    1986-05-01

    Serial venom antigen levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in 46 patients with systemic envenoming by the Malayan pit viper (Calloselasma rhodostoma), a major cause of snake bite in Southeast Asia. The principal effects of the venom are defibrination, hemorrhage and local tissue necrosis. Admission venom levels, which varied between 0 and 595 ng/ml, correlated with the incidence of spontaneous systemic bleeding, blood incoagulability and concentrations of plasma fibrinogen and serum fibrin degradation products. The presence or absence of nonclotting blood also correlated with the time elapsed between the bite and hospital admission. The development of nonclotting blood may be delayed by up to 72 hr after the bite even though circulating venom and raised FDP may be detected at presentation. This is probably explained by a temporary equilibrium between synthesis and consumption of fibrinogen. Venom antigenemia recurred in 12 patients (26%) suggesting continuous absorption of venom from the wound or saturation of extravascular binding sites. Admission venom levels also correlated with the extent of local swelling and the occurrence of tissue necrosis at the site of the bite. Venom was detected in 87% of wound aspirates and 88% of urine specimens taken on admission. Tourniquets, of the type used in rural Thailand, did not delay the absorption of venom into the circulation. PMID:3706625

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-30

    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.

  18. 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

  19. In vitro snake venom detoxifying action of some marine algae of Gulf of Mannar, south-east coast of India.

    PubMed

    Vasanthi, Hannah R; Jaswanth, A; Krishnaraj, V; Rajamanickam, G V; Saraswathy, A

    2003-12-01

    The extract of the brown seaweed Padina boergesenii and the red seaweed Hypnea valentiae was found to detoxify (in vitro) the venom of Naja nigricollis. There was a remarkable reduction in the mortality of albino mice after intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of reconstituted venom with the extract compared to those challenged with the venom only. The survival of the animals exposed to the venom incubated with the different concentrations of the extract was used as the in vitro detoxification parameter.

  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.

  1. 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

    2013-09-27

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  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. Scorpion venom peptides with no disulfide bridges: a review.

    PubMed

    Almaaytah, Ammar; Albalas, Qosay

    2014-01-01

    Scorpion venoms are rich sources of biologically active peptides that are classified into disulfide-bridged peptides (DBPs) and non-disulfide-bridged peptides (NDBPs). DBPs are the main scorpion venom components responsible for the neurotoxic effects observed during scorpion envenomation as they usually target membrane bound ion channels of excitable and non-excitable cells. Several hundred DBPs have been identified and functionally characterized in the past two decades. The NDBPs represent a novel group of molecules that have gained great interest only recently due to their high diversity both in their primary structures and bioactivities. This review provides an overview of scorpion NDBPs focusing on their therapeutic applications, modes of discovery, mechanisms of NDBPs genetic diversity and structural properties. It also provides a simple classification for NDBPs that could be adopted and applied to other NDBPs identified in future studies.

  6. [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

  7. Modulation of TRP ion channels by venomous toxins.

    PubMed

    Siemens, Jan; Hanack, Christina

    2014-01-01

    Venoms are evolutionarily fine-tuned mixtures of small molecules, peptides, and proteins-referred to as toxins-that have evolved to specifically modulate and interfere with the function of diverse molecular targets within the envenomated animal. Many of the identified toxin targets are membrane receptors and ion channels. Due to their high specificity, toxins have emerged as an invaluable tool set for the molecular characterization of ion channels, and a selected group of toxins even have been developed into therapeutics. More recently, TRP ion channels have been included as targets for venomous toxins. In particular, a number of apparently unrelated peptide toxins target the capsaicin receptor TRPV1 to produce inflammatory pain. These toxins have turned out to be invaluable for structural and functional characterizations of the capsaicin receptor. If toxins will serve similar roles for other TRP ion channels, only future will tell.

  8. Management of venomous snakebite injury to the extremities.

    PubMed

    Anz, Adam W; Schweppe, Mark; Halvorson, Jason; Bushnell, Brandon; Sternberg, Michael; Andrew Koman, L

    2010-12-01

    Pit vipers (subfamily Crotalinae) are responsible for most venomous snakebites in the United States. The mixture of proteins with cytotoxic, proteolytic, and/or neurotoxic enzymes in snake venom varies by species. Treatment in the field consists of safe identification of the species of snake and rapid transport of the patient to the nearest health care facility. Swelling, bruising, and systemic symptoms are seen following snakebite. Most patients respond to elevation of the affected extremity and observation. Some require the administration of antivenin. Crotalidae Polyvalent Immune Fab (Ovine) (CroFab, BTG International, West Conshohocken, PA) antivenin is safe and effective for the management of local and systemic effects of envenomation. Rarely, compartment syndrome may develop in the affected limb because of edema and tissue necrosis. Close monitoring of the extremity via serial physical examination and measurement of compartment pressure is a reliable method of determining whether surgical intervention is required.

  9. 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).

  10. Scorpion venom peptides with no disulfide bridges: a review.

    PubMed

    Almaaytah, Ammar; Albalas, Qosay

    2014-01-01

    Scorpion venoms are rich sources of biologically active peptides that are classified into disulfide-bridged peptides (DBPs) and non-disulfide-bridged peptides (NDBPs). DBPs are the main scorpion venom components responsible for the neurotoxic effects observed during scorpion envenomation as they usually target membrane bound ion channels of excitable and non-excitable cells. Several hundred DBPs have been identified and functionally characterized in the past two decades. The NDBPs represent a novel group of molecules that have gained great interest only recently due to their high diversity both in their primary structures and bioactivities. This review provides an overview of scorpion NDBPs focusing on their therapeutic applications, modes of discovery, mechanisms of NDBPs genetic diversity and structural properties. It also provides a simple classification for NDBPs that could be adopted and applied to other NDBPs identified in future studies. PMID:24184590

  11. 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.

  12. Toxicity of scorpion venom in chick embryo and mealworm assay depending on the use of the soluble fraction versus the whole venom.

    PubMed

    van der Valk, Tom; van der Meijden, Arie

    2014-09-01

    The LD50 is an important metric for venom studies and antivenom development. It has been shown that several variables in the protocol influence the LD50 value obtained, such as venom source, extraction and treatment and administration route. These inconsistencies reduce the utility of the results of these test for comparative studies. In scorpion venom LD50 assays, often only the soluble fraction of the venom is used, whereas other studies use the whole venom. We here tested the toxicity of the soluble fraction in isolation, and of the whole venom in two different systems: chick embryos and mealworms Tenebrio molitor. Ten microliters of venom solutions from Hadrurus arizonensis, Leiurus quinquestriatus, Androctonus australis, Grosphus grandidieri and Heterometrus laoticus were applied to five day old chicken embryos at stage 25-27. Our results showed no significant differences between the LD50 based on the whole venom versus that of only the soluble fraction and in the chicken embryo assay in four of the five scorpion species tested. H. laoticus however, showed a significantly lower LD50 value for the whole venom than the soluble fraction. In assays on mealworms however, this pattern was not seen. Nonetheless, caution may be warranted when using LD50 values obtained from only the soluble fraction. The LD50 values of the five species in this study, based on the chicken embryo assay, showed good correlation with values from the literature based on mouse studies. This suggests that the chick embryo assay may be an economic alternative to rodent assays for scorpion LD50 studies. PMID:24951875

  13. 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

  14. Comparison of venoms from wild and long-term captive Bothrops atrox snakes and characterization of Batroxrhagin, the predominant class PIII metalloproteinase from the venom of this species.

    PubMed

    Freitas-de-Sousa, L A; Amazonas, D R; Sousa, L F; Sant'Anna, S S; Nishiyama, M Y; Serrano, S M T; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, I L M; Chalkidis, H M; Moura-da-Silva, A M; Mourão, R H V

    2015-11-01

    Comparisons between venoms from snakes kept under captivity or collected at the natural environment are of fundamental importance in order to obtain effective antivenoms to treat human victims of snakebites. In this study, we compared composition and biological activities of Bothrops atrox venom from snakes collected at Tapajós National Forest (Pará State, Brazil) or maintained for more than 10 years under captivity at Instituto Butantan herpetarium after have been collected mostly at Maranhão State, Brazil. Venoms from captive or wild snakes were similar except for small quantitative differences detected in peaks correspondent to phospholipases A2 (PLA2), snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMP) class PI and serine proteinases (SVSP), which did not correlate with fibrinolytic and coagulant activities (induced by PI-SVMPs and SVSPs). In both pools, the major toxic component corresponded to PIII-SVMPs, which were isolated and characterized. The characterization by mass spectrometry of both samples identified peptides that matched with a single PIII-SVMP cDNA characterized by transcriptomics, named Batroxrhagin. Sequence alignments show a strong similarity between Batroxrhagin and Jararhagin (96%). Batroxrhagin samples isolated from venoms of wild or captive snakes were not pro-coagulant, but inhibited collagen-induced platelet-aggregation, and induced hemorrhage and fibrin lysis with similar doses. Results suggest that in spite of environmental differences, venom variability was detected only among the less abundant components. In opposition, the most abundant toxin, which is a PIII-SVMP related to the key effects of the venom, is structurally conserved in the venoms. This observation is relevant for explaining the efficacy of antivenoms produced with venoms from captive snakes in human accidents inflicted at distinct natural environments. PMID:26276061

  15. Comparison of venoms from wild and long-term captive Bothrops atrox snakes and characterization of Batroxrhagin, the predominant class PIII metalloproteinase from the venom of this species.

    PubMed

    Freitas-de-Sousa, L A; Amazonas, D R; Sousa, L F; Sant'Anna, S S; Nishiyama, M Y; Serrano, S M T; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, I L M; Chalkidis, H M; Moura-da-Silva, A M; Mourão, R H V

    2015-11-01

    Comparisons between venoms from snakes kept under captivity or collected at the natural environment are of fundamental importance in order to obtain effective antivenoms to treat human victims of snakebites. In this study, we compared composition and biological activities of Bothrops atrox venom from snakes collected at Tapajós National Forest (Pará State, Brazil) or maintained for more than 10 years under captivity at Instituto Butantan herpetarium after have been collected mostly at Maranhão State, Brazil. Venoms from captive or wild snakes were similar except for small quantitative differences detected in peaks correspondent to phospholipases A2 (PLA2), snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMP) class PI and serine proteinases (SVSP), which did not correlate with fibrinolytic and coagulant activities (induced by PI-SVMPs and SVSPs). In both pools, the major toxic component corresponded to PIII-SVMPs, which were isolated and characterized. The characterization by mass spectrometry of both samples identified peptides that matched with a single PIII-SVMP cDNA characterized by transcriptomics, named Batroxrhagin. Sequence alignments show a strong similarity between Batroxrhagin and Jararhagin (96%). Batroxrhagin samples isolated from venoms of wild or captive snakes were not pro-coagulant, but inhibited collagen-induced platelet-aggregation, and induced hemorrhage and fibrin lysis with similar doses. Results suggest that in spite of environmental differences, venom variability was detected only among the less abundant components. In opposition, the most abundant toxin, which is a PIII-SVMP related to the key effects of the venom, is structurally conserved in the venoms. This observation is relevant for explaining the efficacy of antivenoms produced with venoms from captive snakes in human accidents inflicted at distinct natural environments.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Neuromuscular Activity of Micrurus laticollaris (Squamata: Elapidae) Venom in Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Carbajal-Saucedo, Alejandro; Floriano, Rafael Stuani; Dal Belo, Cháriston André; Olvera-Rodríguez, Alejandro; Alagón, Alejandro; Rodrigues-Simioni, Léa

    2014-01-01

    In this work, we have examined the neuromuscular activity of Micrurus laticollaris (Mexican coral snake) venom (MLV) in vertebrate isolated nerve-muscle preparations. In chick biventer cervicis preparations, the MLV induced an irreversible concentration- and time-dependent (1–30 µg/mL) neuromuscular blockade, with 50% blockade occurring between 8 and 30 min. Muscle contractures evoked by exogenous acetylcholine were completely abolished by MLV, whereas those of KCl were also significantly altered (86% ± 11%, 53% ± 11%, 89% ± 5% and 89% ± 7% for one, three, 10 and 30 µg of venom/mL, respectively; n = 4; p < 0.05). In mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparations, MLV (1–10 µg/mL) promoted a slight increase in the amplitude of twitch-tension (3 µg/mL), followed by neuromuscular blockade (n = 4); the highest concentration caused complete inhibition of the twitches (time for 50% blockade = 26 ± 3 min), without exhibiting a previous neuromuscular facilitation. The venom (3 µg/mL) induced a biphasic modulation in the frequency of miniature end-plate potentials (MEPPs)/min, causing a significant increase after 15 min, followed by a decrease after 60 min (from 17 ± 1.4 (basal) to 28 ± 2.5 (t15) and 12 ± 2 (t60)). The membrane resting potential of mouse diaphragm preparations pre-exposed or not to d-tubocurarine (5 µg/mL) was also significantly less negative with MLV (10 µg/mL). Together, these results indicate that M. laticollaris venom induces neuromuscular blockade by a combination of pre- and post-synaptic activities. PMID:24445448

  19. Neuromuscular activity of Micrurus laticollaris (Squamata: Elapidae) venom in vitro.

    PubMed

    Carbajal-Saucedo, Alejandro; Floriano, Rafael Stuani; Dal Belo, Cháriston André; Olvera-Rodríguez, Alejandro; Alagón, Alejandro; Rodrigues-Simioni, Léa

    2014-01-17

    In this work, we have examined the neuromuscular activity of Micrurus laticollaris (Mexican coral snake) venom (MLV) in vertebrate isolated nerve-muscle preparations. In chick biventer cervicis preparations, the MLV induced an irreversible concentration- and time-dependent (1-30 µg/mL) neuromuscular blockade, with 50% blockade occurring between 8 and 30 min. Muscle contractures evoked by exogenous acetylcholine were completely abolished by MLV, whereas those of KCl were also significantly altered (86% ± 11%, 53% ± 11%, 89% ± 5% and 89% ± 7% for one, three, 10 and 30 µg of venom/mL, respectively; n = 4; p < 0.05). In mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparations, MLV (1-10 µg/mL) promoted a slight increase in the amplitude of twitch-tension (3 µg/mL), followed by neuromuscular blockade (n = 4); the highest concentration caused complete inhibition of the twitches (time for 50% blockade = 26 ± 3 min), without exhibiting a previous neuromuscular facilitation. The venom (3 µg/mL) induced a biphasic modulation in the frequency of miniature end-plate potentials (MEPPs)/min, causing a significant increase after 15 min, followed by a decrease after 60 min (from 17 ± 1.4 (basal) to 28 ± 2.5 (t15) and 12 ± 2 (t60)). The membrane resting potential of mouse diaphragm preparations pre-exposed or not to d-tubocurarine (5 µg/mL) was also significantly less negative with MLV (10 µg/mL). Together, these results indicate that M. laticollaris venom induces neuromuscular blockade by a combination of pre- and post-synaptic activities.

  20. 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

  1. Approach to the epidemiology of venomous bites in Spain.

    PubMed

    Saz-Parkinson, Zuleika; del Pino Luengo, Miguel; López-Cuadrado, Teresa; Andújar, Dionisio; Carmona-Alférez, Rocío; Flores, Ricardo Martín; Amate, José María

    2012-09-15

    This review presents a geographic distribution of the three autochthonous venomous snake species, which are the only viperids present in Spain, among the Iberian fauna: Vipera aspid; Vipera seoianei and Vipera latasti. This is followed by a detailed descriptive analysis of hospital care provided to patients admitted into hospital due to venomous bites, in the period from 1997 to 2009, using the data from the Spanish hospital discharge registry database. This analysis reveals that in Spain, during this period, 1649 cases were recorded, which means that hospital care was required for more than one hundred cases per year, of which nearly 1% of the cases resulted in death. Cases were recorded in all the Autonomous communities, but more than half (54, 14%) were concentrated in the following four regions: Cataluña, Castilla and León, Galicia and Andalucía. It is notable that this concentration of cases is not associated only with the population demographics of the community, but is also the result of the concurrence of very diverse factors of exposure including: habitat of venomous fauna, volume of rural population, farming activities, and practice of outdoor leisure activities. We also carried out a gross economic calculation for the use of hospital resources by each snakebite case requiring hospital care in Spain, which provided us with an approximate figure of 2000€ per case. PMID:22484223

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-24

    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.

  4. Approach to the epidemiology of venomous bites in Spain.

    PubMed

    Saz-Parkinson, Zuleika; del Pino Luengo, Miguel; López-Cuadrado, Teresa; Andújar, Dionisio; Carmona-Alférez, Rocío; Flores, Ricardo Martín; Amate, José María

    2012-09-15

    This review presents a geographic distribution of the three autochthonous venomous snake species, which are the only viperids present in Spain, among the Iberian fauna: Vipera aspid; Vipera seoianei and Vipera latasti. This is followed by a detailed descriptive analysis of hospital care provided to patients admitted into hospital due to venomous bites, in the period from 1997 to 2009, using the data from the Spanish hospital discharge registry database. This analysis reveals that in Spain, during this period, 1649 cases were recorded, which means that hospital care was required for more than one hundred cases per year, of which nearly 1% of the cases resulted in death. Cases were recorded in all the Autonomous communities, but more than half (54, 14%) were concentrated in the following four regions: Cataluña, Castilla and León, Galicia and Andalucía. It is notable that this concentration of cases is not associated only with the population demographics of the community, but is also the result of the concurrence of very diverse factors of exposure including: habitat of venomous fauna, volume of rural population, farming activities, and practice of outdoor leisure activities. We also carried out a gross economic calculation for the use of hospital resources by each snakebite case requiring hospital care in Spain, which provided us with an approximate figure of 2000€ per case.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Intersexual variations in the pharmacological properties of Coremiocnemis tropix (Araneae, Theraphosidae) spider venom.

    PubMed

    Herzig, Volker; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2009-02-01

    This study aimed to determine the biochemical, insecticidal and neurotoxic properties of venom from both sexes of the Australian spider Coremiocnemis tropix (Araneae, Theraphosidae). Insecticidal properties were tested in crickets, while in vitro neurotoxicity was determined in an avian skeletal muscle preparation. Some intersexual differences in venom composition were identified by rp-HPLC and by LC-MS, but the majority of components were found in venoms of both sexes. Injecting the venom into crickets revealed that venom from male specimens was slightly more potent, while female venom induced more prominent effects in the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation. The results from the chick assay suggest the presence of at least two vertebrate-active neurotoxins. A pre-synaptic neurotoxin may explain the reversible inhibition of muscle twitches and the unaffected response to nicotinic agonists at medium concentrations of female and medium to high concentrations of male venom. In addition, the presence of a neurotoxin that blocks post-synaptic nicotinic receptors might explain the irreversible inhibition of muscle twitches and the reduced response to nicotinic agonists at high concentrations (5-10 microg/ml) of venom from female specimens only.

  10. Comparative analyses of venoms from American and African Sicarius spiders that differ in sphingomyelinase D activity.

    PubMed

    Zobel-Thropp, Pamela A; Bodner, Melissa R; Binford, Greta J

    2010-06-15

    Spider venoms are cocktails of toxic proteins and peptides, whose composition varies at many levels. Understanding patterns of variation in chemistry and bioactivity is fundamental for understanding factors influencing variation. The venom toxin sphingomyelinase D (SMase D) in sicariid spider venom (Loxosceles and Sicarius) causes dermonecrotic lesions in mammals. Multiple forms of venom-expressed genes with homology to SMase D are expressed in venoms of both genera. SMase D activity levels differ among major clades with American Sicarius vastly reduced relative to all Loxosceles and African Sicarius despite expression of SMase D homologs in venoms of American Sicarius. Here we report comparative analyses of protein composition and insecticidal activity of crude venoms from three Sicarius species, two from South Africa and one from Central America. Comparative 2-dimensional electrophoresis shows dense regions of proteins in the size range of SMase D in all three species, but there are differences in sizes and isoelectric points (pIs). Few proteins strictly co-migrate and there are clusters of proteins with similar pIs and molecular weights whose patterns of similarity do not necessarily reflect phylogenetic relatedness. In addition, PD(50) estimates on crickets indicate a small though significant decrease in potency of South American Sicarius venoms relative to African species.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Transcriptome and proteome of the highly neurotoxic venom of Gloydius intermedius.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhang-Min; Yang, Yu-E; Chen, Yu; Cao, Jing; Zhang, Cui; Liu, Ling-Ling; Wang, Zhe-Zhi; Wang, Xu-Min; Wang, Ying-Ming; Tsai, Inn-Ho

    2015-12-01

    The venomics of Gloydius intermedius were investigated using expressed sequence tags (ESTs) analyses, 2D gel-electrophoresis combined with MALDI-TOF/TOF, and LC-MS/MS. A total of 1920 ESTs from the venom gland cDNA library were sequenced; 74% of them belonged to toxin-families. The four most abundant families among the toxin transcripts were: serine protease (SP, 36.2%), bradykinin potentiating peptide (25.3%), l-amino acid oxidase (LAAO, 13.1%), and phospholipase A2 (PLA2, 9.9%). Moreover, the full sequences of four PLA2s, eight SPs, cysteine-rich secretory protein (CRISP), C-type-lectin-like-protein (CTLP), hyaluronidase, metalloproteinase, and nerve growth factor were deduced from the cDNA sequences. Excluding the CRISP and hyaluronidase, most of the G. intermedius venom proteins bear 92-99% sequence identities to those of other pitviper venoms. The most abundant components are PLA2s (37%), SPs (20%) and LAAO (6%), while metalloproteinase, CTLP, and other components each account for <3% of the total venom proteins. The abundance of Gintexin (a crotoxin-like neurotoxin) and low levels of hemorrhagic metalloproteases, disintegrins and CTLPs highlight the great venom differences between G. intermedius and other hemorrhagic pitvipers. The bimorphism of hemorrhagic and neurotoxic venoms among Gloydius is confirmed; our results shed more lights on the co-evolution of both neurotoxicity and hypotension in some viperid venoms.

  15. 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

  16. Pharmacological characterization and neutralization of the venoms used in the production of Bothropic antivenom in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Camey, Kyoko U; Velarde, David T; Sanchez, Eladio F

    2002-05-01

    Some pharmacological effects of the venoms of five different Brazilian Bothrops species and a pool of these venoms (AgB) were quantified. The ability of polyspecific Bothropic antivenom produced at Fundação Ezequiel Dias (FUNED, Brazil) to neutralize the principal toxic and enzymatic activities was studied using in vivo and in vitro assays. The lethality, hemorrhagic, necrotizing, proteolytic, phospholipase, coagulant and fibrinolytic activities were measured for each of these venoms. Comparison of protein electrophoretic patterns showed significant differences such as the presence of common and also unique components. Furthermore, experimental studies revealed differences in their biological properties among individual samples. It was found that the Bothrops antivenom was highly effective in the neutralization of the toxic activities of all venoms tested. In addition, indirect ELISA was used to compare the antigenic cross-reactivity for each of the five Bothrops venoms as well as the venoms of B. atrox, B. leucurus and B. erythromelas which were not included in the antigenic pool (AgB). Therefore, the characterization of several toxic activities of snake venoms is necessary, if toxicity is to be properly evaluated. Results indicate that the Brazilian antivenom prepared at FUNED against Bothrops snakes is effective in neutralizing the main toxic effects of Bothrops venoms. PMID:11821121

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Proteomic Characterization and Comparison of Malaysian Tropidolaemus wagleri and Cryptelytrops purpureomaculatus Venom Using Shotgun-Proteomics

    PubMed Central

    Zainal Abidin, Syafiq Asnawi; Rajadurai, Pathmanathan; Chowdhury, Md Ezharul Hoque; Ahmad Rusmili, Muhamad Rusdi; Othman, Iekhsan; Naidu, Rakesh

    2016-01-01

    Tropidolaemus wagleri and Cryptelytrops purpureomaculatus are venomous pit viper species commonly found in Malaysia. Tandem mass spectrometry analysis of the crude venoms has detected different proteins in T. wagleri and C. purpureomaculatus. They were classified into 13 venom protein families consisting of enzymatic and nonenzymatic proteins. Enzymatic families detected in T. wagleri and C. purpureomaculatus venom were snake venom metalloproteinase, phospholipase A2, l-amino acid oxidase, serine proteases, 5′-nucleotidase, phosphodiesterase, and phospholipase B. In addition, glutaminyl cyclotransferase was detected in C. purpureomaculatus. C-type lectin-like proteins were common nonenzymatic components in both species. Waglerin was present and unique to T. wagleri—it was not in C. purpureomaculatus venom. In contrast, cysteine-rich secretory protein, bradykinin-potentiating peptide, and C-type natriuretic peptide were present in C. purpureomaculatus venom. Composition of the venom proteome of T. wagleri and C. purpureomaculatus provides useful information to guide production of effective antivenom and identification of proteins with potential therapeutic applications. PMID:27763534

  20. 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.

  1. Characterization of inflammatory response induced by Potamotrygon motoro stingray venom in mice.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Louise F; Prezotto-Neto, José P; Antoniazzi, Marta M; Jared, Simone Gs; Santoro, Marcelo L; Barbaro, Katia C

    2014-05-01

    Freshwater stingray accidents cause intense pain followed by edema, erythema, and necrosis formation. Treatment for stingray envenomation is based on administration of analgesic, antipyretic, and anti-inflammatory drugs. This report evaluated the local inflammatory reaction-including edema formation, leukocyte recruitment, release of inflammatory mediators, and histopathological changes-after the intraplantar injection of Potamotrygon motoro stingray venom in mice. Edema was observed as soon as 15 min after venom injection, peaking at 30 min, and lasted up to 48 h. In addition, P. motoro venom increased neutrophil counts in the site of injection, at all time periods and venom doses analyzed. Increased eosinophil and lymphocyte counts were detected mainly at 24 h. Moreover, monocytes/macrophages were observed in large amounts at 24 and 48 h. Microscopically, the venom induced leukocyte migration to the injured tissue, edema, mast cell degranulation, angiogenesis, and epidermal damage. Inflammatory mediator release (IL-6, MCP-1 and KC) was detected as soon as 1 h after venom injection, and it increased significantly at 4 h. At 24 h, the venom induced only the production of MCP-1. These results show that this stingray venom evokes a complex inflammatory reaction, with rapid and persistent edema formation, leukocyte recruitment, and release of cytokines and chemokines. PMID:24668554

  2. Prey specificity, comparative lethality and compositional differences of coral snake venoms.

    PubMed

    Jorge da Silva, N; Aird, S D

    2001-03-01

    Toxicities of crude venoms from 49 coral snake (Micrurus sp.) populations, representing 15 nominal taxa, were examined in both laboratory mice and in native prey animals and compared with data gathered from two non-micrurine elapids and a crotalid, which served as outgroups. These venoms were further compared on the basis of 23 enzymatic activities. Both toxicities and enzymatic activities were analyzed with respect to natural prey preferences, as determined from stomach content analyses and literature reports. Venoms of nearly all Micrurus for which prey preferences are known, are more toxic to natural prey than to non-prey species. Except for amphisbaenians, prey are more susceptible to venoms of Micrurus that feed upon them, than to venoms of those that eat other organisms. All venoms were more toxic i.v.>i.p.>i.m. Route-specific differences in toxicity are generally greatest for preferred prey species. Cluster analyses of venom enzymatic activities resulted in five clusters, with the fish-eating M. surinamensis more distant from other Micrurus than even the crotalid, Bothrops moojeni. Ophiophagous and amphisbaenian-eating Micrurus formed two close subclusters, one allied to the outgroup species Naja naja and the other to the fossorial, ophiophagous Bungarus multicinctus. Prey preference is shown to be the most important determinant of venom composition in Micrurus.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Russell's viper venom levels in serum of snake bite victims in Burma.

    PubMed

    Khin Ohn Lwin; Aye Aye Myint; Tun, P e; Theingie Nwe; Min Naing

    1984-01-01

    Serum levels of venom antigen were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in 38 Russel's viper bite victims before and after administration of 40 ml of monovalent liquid antivenom. Initial serum levels ranged from one with less than 10.0 ng to 290 ng/ml and in one case a level of 75 ng/ml was detected 27 hours after the bite. Serum venom levels after liquid monospecific antivenom therapy indicated that venom clearance was similar in each case to the natural clearance of venom in the absence of antivenom therapy. In one case a venom level of 11.5 ng/ml was detected 66 hours after liquid antivenom therapy whereas in two fatal cases, serum venom levels of 95 ng/ml and 185 ng/ml were detected after the same interval. Failure of complete neutralization of venom is probably the result of loss of potency of antivenom during improper storage. The amount of venom excreted in the urine was not related to initial serum levels. PMID:6464103

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Sphingomyelinase D in sicariid spider venom is a potent insecticidal toxin.

    PubMed

    Zobel-Thropp, Pamela A; Kerins, Alec E; Binford, Greta J

    2012-09-01

    Spider venoms have evolved over hundreds of millions of years with a primary role of immobilizing prey. Sphingomyelinase D (SMase D) and homologs in the SicTox gene family are the most abundantly expressed toxic protein in venoms of Loxosceles and Sicarius spiders (Sicariidae). While SMase D is well known to cause dermonecrotic lesions in mammals, little work has investigated the bioactivity of this enzyme in its presumed natural role of immobilizing insect prey. We expressed and purified recombinant SMase D from Loxosceles arizonica (Laz-SMase D) and compared its enzymatic and insecticidal activity to that of crude venom. SMase D enzymatic activities of purified protein and crude venom from the same species were indistinguishable. In addition, SMase D and crude venom have comparable and high potency in immobilization assays on crickets. These data indicate that SMase D is a potent insecticidal toxin, the role for which it presumably evolved.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Venomous and poisonous Australian animals of veterinary importance: a rich source of novel therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Hardy, Margaret C; Cochrane, Jonathon; 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.

  19. Isolation of hybridomas secreting monoclonal antibodies against Physalia physalis (Portuguese man-o'war) nematocyst venom.

    PubMed

    Gaur, P K; Anthony, R L; Calton, G J; Burnett, J W

    1982-01-01

    Balb/C mice were immunized with crude Portuguese Man-O'War (Physalia physalis) nematocyst venom and their spleen immunocytes were fused with plasmacytoma cells. Nine hybridomas which produced IgG specific for Man-O'War venom were identified using a specific ELISA technique. Ammonium sulfate and DEAE cellulose-purified monoclonal anti-venom antibody had an ELISA titer of 1:4000 and an ability to neutralize the lethal activity (4 LD50/0.6 ml ascites fluid) of an i.v. challenge of crude venom. Indirect immunofluorescence testing demonstrated that the monoclonal antibody isolated in these experiments reacted against a venom component located in the nematocyst wall and thread. PMID:6123165

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-25

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  2. Marine snail venoms: use and trends in receptor and channel neuropharmacology.

    PubMed

    Favreau, Philippe; Stöcklin, Reto

    2009-10-01

    Venoms are rich mixtures of mainly peptides and proteins evolved by nature to catch and digest preys or for protection against predators. They represent extensive sources of potent and selective bioactive compounds that can lead to original active ingredients, for use as drugs, as pharmacological tools in research and for the biotechnology industry. Among the most fascinating venomous animals, marine snails offer a unique set of pharmacologically active components, targeting a wide diversity of receptors and ion channels. Recent advances still continue to demonstrate their huge neuropharmacological potential. In the quest for interesting pharmacological profiles, researchers face a vast number of venom components to investigate within time and technological constraints. A brief perspective on marine snail venom's complexity and features is given followed by the different discovery strategies and pharmacological approaches, exemplified with some recent developments. These advances will hopefully help further uncovering new pharmacologically important venom molecules.

  3. Effect of geographical variation of Echis ocellatus, Naja nigricollis and Bitis arietans venoms on their neutralization by homologous and heterologous antivenoms.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Andrés; Coto, Jorge; Segura, Álvaro; Vargas, Mariángela; Solano, Gabriela; Herrera, María; Villalta, Mauren; Estrada, Ricardo; Gutiérrez, José María; León, Guillermo

    2015-12-15

    Two antivenoms prepared by using Echis ocellatus, Bitis arietans and Naja nigricollis venoms from different locations in sub-Saharan Africa were compared for their neutralizing ability. Both antivenoms were similarly effective in the neutralization of the venoms of the three species from different locations. However in the case of E. ocellatus venom, antivenom prepared using venom from Nigerian specimens was more effective than antivenom prepared with venom from Cameroon specimens in the neutralization of coagulant activity. PMID:26450770

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Milking and partial characterization of venom from the Brazilian spider Vitalius dubius (Theraphosidae).

    PubMed

    Rocha-E-Silva, Thomaz A A; Sutti, Rafael; Hyslop, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    The theraphosid spider genus Vitalius contains several species found in southeastern Brazil. In this work, we used electrostimulation to obtain venom from Vitalius dubius and examined its general composition. Male spiders yielded significantly less (p < 0.05) venom (12.5 +/- 0.7 mg of liquid/spider, n = 16; mean +/- S.E.M.) than female spiders (25.5 +/- 2.0 mg of liquid/spider, n = 11). However, when corrected for spider weight, males yielded slightly more venom (2.89 +/- 0.16 mg/g vs. 2.45 +/- 0.76 mg/g for males and females, respectively, p < 0.05). Venom yield correlated linearly with spider weight for spiders weighing up to approximately 12-13 g, but decreased in very heavy females. There was a marked decrease in venom yield after the first milking. The protein concentration of pooled venom was 18.3 +/- 2.4 mg/ml (n = 4) and accounted for 16.6 +/- 4.7% of the dry venom weight. The venom contained high hyaluronidase activity (275 +/- 24 TRU/mg of protein, n = 4), with a molecular mass of approximately 45 kDa estimated by zymography. SDS-PAGE revealed a few proteins with molecular masses >14 kDa but showed two staining bands of peptides <14 kDa. The venom reacted in ELISA with affinity-purified IgG from commercial arachnidic antivenom. Immunoblotting with this IgG detected proteins of 30-140 kDa only. Fractionation of the venom by reverse-phase chromatography resulted in five major and eight minor peaks.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Cytotoxicity and hemolytic activity of jellyfish Nemopilema nomurai (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae) venom.

    PubMed

    Kang, Changkeun; Munawir, Al; Cha, Mijin; Sohn, Eun-Tae; Lee, Hyunkyoung; Kim, Jong-Shu; Yoon, Won Duk; Lim, Donghyun; Kim, Euikyung

    2009-07-01

    The recent bloom of a giant jellyfish Nemopilema nomurai has caused a danger to sea bathers and fishery damages in the waters of China, Korea, and Japan. The present study investigated the cytotoxic and hemolytic activities of crude venom extract of N. nomurai using a number of in vitro assays. The jellyfish venom showed a much higher cytotoxic activity in H9C2 heart myoblast than in C2C12 skeletal myoblast (LC(50)=2 microg/mL vs. 12 microg/mL, respectively), suggesting its possible in vivo selective toxicity on cardiac tissue. This result is consistent with our previous finding that cardiovascular function is a target of the venom. In order to determine the stability of N. nomurai venom, its cytotoxicity was examined under the various temperature and pH conditions. The activity was relatively well retained at low environmental temperature (or=60 degrees C). In pH stability test, the venom has abruptly lost its activity at low pH environment (pHvenom was examined using the erythrocytes of cat, dog, human, rabbit and rat. Venom concentration-dependent hemolysis could be observed from 10 microg/mL of protein equivalents or higher with variable potencies in different species, among which dog erythrocyte was the most susceptible to the venom (EC(50)=151 microg/mL). SDS-PAGE analysis of N. nomurai venom showed the molecules of 20-40 kDa and 10-15 kDa appeared to be the major protein components of the venom.

  12. Use of microarrays for investigating the subtoxic effects of snake venoms: insights into venom-induced apoptosis in human umbilical vein endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Gallagher, Paul G; Bao, Yongde; Serrano, Solange M T; Kamiguti, Aura S; Theakston, R David G; Fox, Jay W

    2003-03-01

    The pathological effects of only a small percentage of the total number of protein components of snake venoms are well documented, yet this knowledge has led to a general understanding of the physiological consequences of snake venom poisoning. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of subpathological levels of Crotalus atrox (Western diamondback rattlesnake) and Bothrops jararaca (Jararaca) snake venoms on the gene expression profile of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) in culture. Analysis of the data demonstrated that HUVECs treated with C. atrox venom had 33 genes up-regulated with significant fold changes of 1.5 or greater compared to untreated control cells. Ten genes were down-regulated with 1.5 or greater fold changes. In cells treated with B. jararaca venom, 33 genes were observed to be up-regulated and 11 genes were down-regulated with a fold change of 1.5 or more. More than half of the up-regulated genes and approximately half of the down-regulated genes detected in cells treated with the venoms were found in both data sets underscoring both the similarities and differences between the two venoms. Ontological categorization of the up-regulated genes from endothelial cells treated with either C. atrox or B. jararaca venom gave the cell growth/maintenance and signal transducer groups as having the most members. The ontology of the down-regulated genes from both venom-treated cell samples was more varied but interestingly, the predominant ontology class was also cell growth/maintenance. Many of the up-regulated genes are involved in the Fas ligand/TNF-alpha receptor apoptotic pathway. In summary, these experiments demonstrate the power of gene expression profiling to explore the subtoxic effects of venoms on gene expression and highlight its potential for the discovery of novel insights into a variety of biological processes and signal transduction pathways. Furthermore, these studies illustrate the subtle functional differences between

  13. Isolation and characterization of an immunosuppressive protein from venom of the pupa-specific endoparasitoid Pteromalus puparum.

    PubMed

    Wu, Ma-li; Ye, Gong-yin; Zhu, Jia-ying; Chen, Xue-xin; Hu, Cui

    2008-10-01

    In hymenopteran parasitoids devoid of symbiotic viruses, venom proteins appear to play a major role in host immune suppression and host regulation. Not much is known about the active components of venom proteins in these parasitoids, especially those that have the functions involved in the suppression of host cellular immunity. Here, we report the isolation and characterization of a venom protein Vn.11 with 24.1 kDa in size from Pteromalus puparum, a pupa-specific endoparasitoid of Pieris rapae. The Vn.11 venom protein is isolated with the combination of ammonium sulfate precipitation and anion exchange chromatography, and its purity is verified using SDS-PAGE analysis. Like crude venom, the Vn.11 venom protein significantly inhibits the spreading behavior and encapsulation ability of host hemocytes in vitro. It is suggested that this protein is an actual component of P. puparum crude venom as host cellular-immune suppressive factor.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

    2015-04-30

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. Action of Micrurus dumerilii carinicauda coral snake venom on the mammalian neuromuscular junction.

    PubMed

    Serafim, Francine G; Reali, Marielga; Cruz-Höfling, Maria Alice; Fontana, Marcos D

    2002-02-01

    The venoms of coral snakes (mainly Micrurus species) have pre- and/or postsynaptic actions, but only a few of these have been studied in detail. We have investigated the effects of Micrurus dumerilii carinicauda coral snake venom on neurotransmission in rat isolated phrenic nerve-diaphragm muscle and chick biventer cervicis preparations stimulated directly or indirectly. M. d. carinicauda venom (5 or 10 microg/ml) produced neuromuscular blockade in rat (85-90% in 291.8+/-7.3 min and 108.3+/-13.8, respectively; n=5) and avian (95.0+/-2.0 min; 5 microg/ml, n=5) preparations. Neostigmine (5.8 microM) and 3,4-diaminopyridine (230 microM) partially reversed the venom-induced neuromuscular blockade in rat nerve-muscle preparations. In neither preparation did the venom depress the twitch response elicited by direct muscle stimulation. The contractures induced by acetylcholine in chick preparations were inhibited by the venom (95-100%; n=4; p<0.05). In rat preparations, the venom produced a progressive decrease in the amplitude of miniature end-plate potentials (m.e.p.ps control frequency=69.3+/-5.0/min and control amplitude=0.4+/-0.2 mV) until these were abolished. Neostigmine (5.8 microM) and 3,4-diaminopyridine (230 microM) partially antagonized this blockade of m.e.p.ps. The resting membrane potential was not altered with the venom (10 microg/ml). M. d. carinicauda venom produced dose-dependent morphological changes in indirectly stimulated mammal preparations. Twenty-five per cent of muscle fibers were affected by a venom concentration of 5 microg/ml, whilst 60.7% were damaged by 10 microg of venom/ml. In biventer cervicis preparations, the morphological changes were slower in onset and were generally characterized by undulating fibers and, to a lesser extent, by zones of disintegrating myofibrils. A venom concentration of 5 microg/ml damaged 52.2% of the fibers. These findings indicate that M. d. carinicauda venom has neurotoxic and myotoxic effects and that the

  20. 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

  1. Inhibition of presynaptic neurotoxins in taipan venom by suramin.

    PubMed

    Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Chaisakul, Janeyuth; Smith, A Ian; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2014-04-01

    Taipans are amongst the most venomous snakes in the world, and neurotoxicity is a major life-threatening symptom of envenoming by these snakes. Three species of taipans exist, and the venom from each species contains a presynaptic neurotoxin which accounts for much of the neurotoxicity observed following human envenoming. The high cost of antivenom used to treat neurotoxicity has resulted in the need to develop alternative but effective therapies. Therefore, in this study, we examined the ability of the P2Y receptor antagonist suramin to prevent the in vitro neurotoxic effects of the three presynaptic neurotoxins in taipan venoms: taipoxin, paradoxin and cannitoxin. Toxins were purchased from commercial sources or purified in house, using multiple steps of gel filtration chromatography. All three toxins (11 nM) inhibited nerve-mediated twitches in the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation within 300 min. The presence of suramin (0.3 mM) completely blocked the taipoxin and cannitoxin-mediated inhibition of nerve-mediated twitches within the course of the experiment (P < 0.0001). However, paradoxin induced a 32 % decrease in twitch height even in the presence of suramin within 360 min. This was significantly different compared to toxin alone (P < 0.0001). We also examined the effect of suramin on the neurotoxic effects of textilotoxin and the products of phospholipase A2 action. Each toxin alone or in the presence of suramin failed to inhibit the responses to exogenous agonists ACh, CCh or KCl. Our results warrant clinical studies aimed determining the efficacy of suramin in preventing the onset of neurotoxicity following taipan envenoming.

  2. Tissue-Specific Venom Composition and Differential Gene Expression in Sea Anemones.

    PubMed

    Macrander, Jason; Broe, Michael; Daly, Marymegan

    2016-01-01

    Cnidarians represent one of the few groups of venomous animals that lack a centralized venom transmission system. Instead, they are equipped with stinging capsules collectively known as nematocysts. Nematocysts vary in abundance and type across different tissues; however, the venom composition in most species remains unknown. Depending on the tissue type, the venom composition in sea anemones may be vital for predation, defense, or digestion. Using a tissue-specific RNA-seq approach, we characterize the venom assemblage in the tentacles, mesenterial filaments, and column for three species of sea anemone (Anemonia sulcata, Heteractis crispa, and Megalactis griffithsi). These taxa vary with regard to inferred venom potency, symbiont abundance, and nematocyst diversity. We show that there is significant variation in abundance of toxin-like genes across tissues and species. Although the cumulative toxin abundance for the column was consistently the lowest, contributions to the overall toxin assemblage varied considerably among tissues for different toxin types. Our gene ontology (GO) analyses also show sharp contrasts between conserved GO groups emerging from whole transcriptome analysis and tissue-specific expression among GO groups in our differential expression analysis. This study provides a framework for future characterization of tissue-specific venom and other functionally important genes in this lineage of simple bodied animals. PMID:27389690

  3. Hemolytic activity of venom from crown-of-thorns starfish Acanthaster planci spines

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The crown-of-thorns starfish Acanthaster planci is a venomous species from Taiwan whose venom provokes strong hemolytic activity. To understand the hemolytic properties of A. planci venom, samples were collected from A. planci spines in the Penghu Islands, dialyzed with distilled water, and lyophilized into A. planci spine venom (ASV) powder. Results Both crude venom and ASV cause 50% hemolysis at a concentration of 20 μg/mL. The highest hemolytic activity of ASV was measured at pH 7.0-7.4; ASV-dependent hemolysis was sharply reduced when the pH was lower than 3 or greater than 8. There was almost no hemolytic activity when the Cu2+ concentration was increased to 10 mM. Furthermore, incubation at 100°C for 30 to 60 minutes sharply decreased the hemolytic activity of ASV. After treatment with the protease α-chymotrypsin, the glycoside hydrolase cellulase, and the membrane component cholesterin, the hemolytic activity of ASV was significantly inhibited. Conclusions The results of this study provide fundamental information about A. planci spine venom. The hemolytic activity was affected by pH, temperature, metal ions, EDTA, cholesterin, proteases, and glycoside hydrolases. ASV hemolysis was inhibited by Cu2+, cholesterin, α-chymotrypsin, and cellulose, factors that might prevent the hemolytic activity of venom and provide the medical treatment for sting. PMID:24063308

  4. The anti-snake venom properties of Tamarindus indica (leguminosae) seed extract.

    PubMed

    Ushanandini, S; Nagaraju, S; Harish Kumar, K; Vedavathi, M; Machiah, D K; Kemparaju, K; Vishwanath, B S; Gowda, T V; Girish, K S

    2006-10-01

    In Indian traditional medicine, various plants have been used widely as a remedy for treating snake bites. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of Tamarindus indica seed extract on the pharmacological as well as the enzymatic effects induced by V. russelli venom. Tamarind seed extract inhibited the PLA(2), protease, hyaluronidase, l-amino acid oxidase and 5'-nucleotidase enzyme activities of venom in a dose-dependent manner. These are the major hydrolytic enzymes responsible for the early effects of envenomation, such as local tissue damage, inflammation and hypotension. Furthermore, the extract neutralized the degradation of the Bbeta chain of human fibrinogen and indirect hemolysis caused by venom. It was also observed that the extract exerted a moderate effect on the clotting time, prolonging it only to a small extent. Edema, hemorrhage and myotoxic effects including lethality, induced by venom were neutralized significantly when different doses of the extract were preincubated with venom before the assays. On the other hand, animals that received extract 10 min after the injection of venom were protected from venom induced toxicity. Since it inhibits hydrolytic enzymes and pharmacological effects, it may be used as an alternative treatment to serum therapy and, in addition, as a rich source of potential inhibitors of PLA(2), metalloproteinases, serine proteases, hyaluronidases and 5 cent-nucleotidases, the enzymes involved in several physiopathological human and animal diseases.

  5. The transcriptome recipe for the venom cocktail of Tityus bahiensis scorpion.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Ursula Castro; Candido, Denise Maria; Dorce, Valquíria Abrão Coronado; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio de Loiola Meirelles

    2015-03-01

    Scorpion venom is a mixture of peptides, including antimicrobial, bradykinin-potentiating and anionic peptides and small to medium proteins, such as ion channel toxins, metalloproteinases and phospholipases that together cause severe clinical manifestation. Tityus bahiensis is the second most medically important scorpion species in Brazil and it is widely distributed in the country with the exception of the North Region. Here we sequenced and analyzed the transcripts from the venom glands of T. bahiensis, aiming at identifying and annotating venom gland expressed genes. A total of 116,027 long reads were generated by pyrosequencing and assembled in 2891 isotigs. An annotation process identified transcripts by similarity to known toxins, revealing that putative venom components represent 7.4% of gene expression. The major toxins identified are potassium and sodium channel toxins, whereas metalloproteinases showed an unexpected high abundance. Phylogenetic analysis of deduced metalloproteinases from T. bahiensis and other scorpions revealed a pattern of ancient and intraspecific gene expansions. Other venom molecules identified include antimicrobial, anionic and bradykinin-potentiating peptides, besides several putative new venom components. This report provides the first attempt to massively identify the venom components of this species and constitutes one of the few transcriptomic efforts on the genus Tityus.

  6. Pelagia noctiluca (Scyphozoa) Crude Venom Injection Elicits Oxidative Stress and Inflammatory Response in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Bruschetta, Giuseppe; Impellizzeri, Daniela; Morabito, Rossana; Marino, Angela; Ahmad, Akbar; Spanò, Nunziacarla; La Spada, Giuseppa; Cuzzocrea, Salvatore; Esposito, Emanuela

    2014-01-01

    Cnidarian toxins represent a rich source of biologically active compounds. Since they may act via oxidative stress events, the aim of the present study was to verify whether crude venom, extracted from the jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca, elicits inflammation and oxidative stress processes, known to be mediated by Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) production, in rats. In a first set of experiments, the animals were injected with crude venom (at three different doses 6, 30 and 60 µg/kg, suspended in saline solution, i.v.) to test the mortality and possible blood pressure changes. In a second set of experiments, to confirm that Pelagia noctiluca crude venom enhances ROS formation and may contribute to the pathophysiology of inflammation, crude venom-injected animals (30 µg/kg) were also treated with tempol, a powerful antioxidant (100 mg/kg i.p., 30 and 60 min after crude venom). Administration of tempol after crude venom challenge, caused a significant reduction of each parameter related to inflammation. The potential effect of Pelagia noctiluca crude venom in the systemic inflammation process has been here demonstrated, adding novel information about its biological activity. PMID:24727391