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Sample records for agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma

  1. Histological analysis of spermatogenesis and the germ cell development strategy within the testis of the male Western Cottonmouth Snake, Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma.

    PubMed

    Gribbins, Kevin M; Rheubert, Justin L; Collier, Matthew H; Siegel, Dustin S; Sever, David M

    2008-11-20

    Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma) testes were examined histologically to determine the germ cell development strategy employed during spermatogenesis. Testicular tissues from Cottonmouths were collected monthly from swamps around Hammond, Louisiana. Pieces of testis were fixed in Trump's fixative, dehydrated in ethanol, embedded in Spurr's plastic, sectioned with an ultramicrotome, and stained with toluidine blue and basic fuchsin. Spermatogenesis within Cottonmouths occurs in two independent events within a single calendar year. The testes are active during the months of March-June and August-October with spermiation most heavily observed during April-May and October. To our knowledge, this is the first study that describes bimodal spermatogenesis occurring in the same year within the subfamily Crotalinae. During spermatogenesis, no consistent spatial relationships are observed between germ cell generations. Typically, either certain cell types were missing (spermatocytes) or the layering of 3-5 spermatids and/or spermatocytes within the same cross-section of seminiferous tubule prevented consistent spatial stages from occurring. This temporal pattern of sperm development is different from the spatial development found within birds and mammals, being more reminiscent of that seen in amphibians, and has now been documented within every major clade of reptile (Chelonia, Serpentes, Sauria, Crocodylia). This primitive-like sperm development, within a testis structurally similar to mammals and birds, may represent an intermediate testicular model within the basally positioned (phylogenetically) reptiles that may be evolutionarily significant.

  2. Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti (Florida cottonmouth) Diet

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grajal-Puche, Alejandro; Josimovich, Jillian; Falk, Bryan; Reed, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Agkistrodon piscivorus is a generalist predator that feeds on a variety of prey, including snakes (Gloyd and Conant 1990. Snakes of the Agkistrodon Complex: A Monographic Review. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Oxford, Ohio. 614 pp.; Lillywhite et al. 2002. Herpetol. Rev. 33:259–260; Hill and Beaupre 2008. Copeia 2008:105–114). Cemophora coccinea (Scarletsnake) is not known as one of the 26 species of snakes consumed by A. piscivorus (Ernst and Ernst 2011. Venomous Reptiles of the United States, Canada, and Northern Mexico: Volume 1. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland. 193 pp.). On 16 June 2015, at 2210 h, we found a dead-on-road A. piscivorus (total length [TL] = 51.0 cm) in Everglades National Park on Main Park Road, 1.88 km S Pa-hay-okee, Miami-Dade Co., Florida, USA (25.414085°N, 80.78183146°W, WGS84; elev. 3 m). The snake had been killed by a vehicle and some internal organs were exposed. Visible stomach contents included a small (TL ca. 15 cm) C. coccinea. Photographic vouchers of the A. piscivorus (UF-Herpetology 177194) and C. coccinea (UF-Herpetology 177195) were deposited in the Division of Herpetology, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida. Despite the fact that these species are sympatric over large areas of the southeastern United States, this is the first known documented predation of C. coccinea by A. piscivorus.

  3. Do warning displays predict striking behavior in a viperid snake, the cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)?

    SciTech Connect

    Glaudas, X. and C.T. Winne

    2007-01-01

    Warning displays are defined as signals designed to intimidate predators or indicate a proclivity to fight. However, support for the idea that warning behaviors signal an intent to fight is largely based on anecdotes and isolated observations, and a complete understanding of antipredator behavior will only be achieved if specific hypotheses are experimentally tested. Herein, we tested in a North American viperid snake, the cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus), the hypothesis that warning displays serve as a reliable signal to potential predators that a snake will strike. The cottonmouth exhibits two stereotypical warning displays during predator confrontation, i.e., mouth gaping and tail vibrations, making it an ideal study organism to experimentally test the relationship between warning displays and defensive striking. To test this idea, we recorded the sequence of defensive behavior--gaping, tail vibrating, and striking--of cottonmouths towards a standardized predatory stimulus in the laboratory. As predicted, snakes that gaped during the trials were subsequently more likely to strike than snakes that did not. In contrast, striking behavior was independent of the occurrence of tail vibrations. Our results suggest that gaping behavior--but not tail-vibrating behavior--may provide an honest signal to would-be predators.

  4. Sperm aggregations in female Agkistrodon piscivorus (Reptilia:Squamata): a histological and ultrastructural investigation.

    PubMed

    Siegel, Dustin S; Sever, David M

    2008-02-01

    Upon copulation in female Agkistrodon piscivorus, sperm migrate up the oviduct to sperm storage tubules (SSTs) in the posterior infundibulum. The epithelium of the SSTs is composed of ciliated and secretory cells and differs ultrastructurally from that of the epithelium lining the lumen of the posterior infundibulum. Sperm pass through an area composed primarily of ciliated cells at the opening of each gland before aligning themselves in parallel arrays with their nuclei facing an area composed primarily of secretory cells at the base of the tubules. Sperm are also found embedded inter- and intracellularly in the SSTs. The secretory vacuoles in the SSTs become highly electron dense after the start of the fall mating season along with the synthesis of lipid droplets. Histochemical analysis reveals that the alteration in secretory material density is caused by the production of neutral carbohydrates. Some sperm remain in aggregates in the nonglandular section of the posterior uterus until the time of ovulation. However, ultrastructural evidence indicates these sperm degrade before ovulation. Therefore, sperm in posterior aggregates have no role in fertilization of ovulated ova. The data presented here support the hypothesis that infundibular sperm storage is the mode that snakes utilize to sequester viable sperm until ovulation.

  5. Seasonal variation in the oviduct of female Agkistrodon piscivorus (Reptilia:Squamata): an ultrastructural investigation.

    PubMed

    Siegel, Dustin S; Sever, David M

    2008-08-01

    The annual oviductal cycle of the Cottonmouth, Agkistrodon piscivorus, is described using electron microscopy. This is only the second such study on a snake and the first on a viperid species. Specimens were collected in reproductive and nonreproductive condition throughout the year and five ultrastructurally unique regions were recognized: the anterior infundibulum, posterior infundibulum, glandular uterus, nonglandular uterus, and vagina. Except for the anterior infundibulum and vagina, which exhibit no seasonal variation in ultrastructure, the oviduct becomes highly secretory at the start of vitellogenesis. This includes the entire luminal border of the uterus, the tubular glands of the glandular uterus, and the luminal border and sperm storage tubules of the posterior infundibulum. The secretory materials produced in the oviduct vary among regions of the oviduct, and also can vary among time periods in the same region of the oviduct. Variation is especially evident in the sperm storage tubules. Secretory activity in the sperm storage tubules ceases after ovulation, but the tubular glands of the glandular uterus remain secretory until parturition, at which time secretory activity in the varying sections of the oviduct decreases dramatically. After parturition, the oviduct remains in a dormant state until the next reproductive season. The seasonal variation in oviducal morphology mirrors the temperate primitive reproductive cycle known for some pitvipers. Uterine glands of A. piscivorous are more similar in secretory activity to those of an oviparous lizard than a viviparous colubrid snake, suggesting variation in uterine gland morphology between snakes of different families.

  6. Phylogenetic Analysis of Bacterial Communities in Different Regions of the Gastrointestinal Tract of Agkistrodon piscivorus, the Cottonmouth Snake

    PubMed Central

    Colston, Timothy J.; Noonan, Brice P.; Jackson, Colin R.

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrates are metagenomic organisms in that they are composed not only of their own genes but also those of their associated microbial cells. The majority of these associated microorganisms are found in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and presumably assist in processes such as energy and nutrient acquisition. Few studies have investigated the associated gut bacterial communities of non-mammalian vertebrates, and most rely on captive animals and/or fecal samples only. Here we investigate the gut bacterial community composition of a squamate reptile, the cottonmouth snake, Agkistrodon piscivorus through pyrosequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene. We characterize the bacterial communities present in the small intestine, large intestine and cloaca. Many bacterial lineages present have been reported by other vertebrate gut community studies, but we also recovered unexpected bacteria that may be unique to squamate gut communities. Bacterial communities were not phylogenetically clustered according to GIT region, but there were statistically significant differences in community composition between regions. Additionally we demonstrate the utility of using cloacal swabs as a method for sampling snake gut bacterial communities. PMID:26039313

  7. Phylogenetic Analysis of Bacterial Communities in Different Regions of the Gastrointestinal Tract of Agkistrodon piscivorus, the Cottonmouth Snake.

    PubMed

    Colston, Timothy J; Noonan, Brice P; Jackson, Colin R

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrates are metagenomic organisms in that they are composed not only of their own genes but also those of their associated microbial cells. The majority of these associated microorganisms are found in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and presumably assist in processes such as energy and nutrient acquisition. Few studies have investigated the associated gut bacterial communities of non-mammalian vertebrates, and most rely on captive animals and/or fecal samples only. Here we investigate the gut bacterial community composition of a squamate reptile, the cottonmouth snake, Agkistrodon piscivorus through pyrosequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene. We characterize the bacterial communities present in the small intestine, large intestine and cloaca. Many bacterial lineages present have been reported by other vertebrate gut community studies, but we also recovered unexpected bacteria that may be unique to squamate gut communities. Bacterial communities were not phylogenetically clustered according to GIT region, but there were statistically significant differences in community composition between regions. Additionally we demonstrate the utility of using cloacal swabs as a method for sampling snake gut bacterial communities. PMID:26039313

  8. 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

  9. Management of Tissue Loss After Agkistrodon Snakebite: Appropriate Use of Crotalidae-Fab Antivenin.

    PubMed

    Larson, Kenneth W; Schaefer, Keith R; Austin, Cindy; Norton, Rhy; Finley, Phillip J

    2016-01-01

    Although initially created for the treatment of rattlesnake (genus: Crotalus) bites, Crotalidae-Fab antivenin is used to treat many different pit viper envenomations. However, the efficacy of Crotalidae-Fab in preventing tissue loss from copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) or cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) snakebites remains unclear. Recent reports show that Agkistrodon-related bites rarely require treatment beyond simple observation and pain control. The purpose of this study was to examine the amount of tissue loss in patients who received Crotalidae-Fab compared with those who did not after an Agkistrodon bite. After institutional review board approval, a retrospective study was completed at a Level 1 trauma center. Between 2009 and 2013, a total of 57 snakebites were identified. Of the 57 bites, the snake species was documented in 36 cases including 31 copperheads, 1 cottonmouth, and 4 rattlesnakes. The other 21 bites were from unknown or nonvenomous species. Of the 32 Agkistrodon-related bites, 15 patients received Crotalidae-Fab (average of 3 vials administered) and 17 did not receive Crotalidae-Fab. None of the 32 patients, regardless of treatment option, had tissue loss or required surgical interventions. Only 1 patient received Crotalidae-Fab and debridement of a vesicle associated with the bite. No clinically significant differences were observed between the groups. These findings support previous literature that failed to show added benefit of Crotalidae-Fab treatment for Agkistrodon bites beyond patient comfort and pain control. Evaluation of current protocols for Agkistrodon envenomations is warranted. Snakebite wound education in trauma physicians and nurses may decrease unnecessary use of antivenom medication.

  10. Management of Tissue Loss After Agkistrodon Snakebite: Appropriate Use of Crotalidae-Fab Antivenin.

    PubMed

    Larson, Kenneth W; Schaefer, Keith R; Austin, Cindy; Norton, Rhy; Finley, Phillip J

    2016-01-01

    Although initially created for the treatment of rattlesnake (genus: Crotalus) bites, Crotalidae-Fab antivenin is used to treat many different pit viper envenomations. However, the efficacy of Crotalidae-Fab in preventing tissue loss from copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) or cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) snakebites remains unclear. Recent reports show that Agkistrodon-related bites rarely require treatment beyond simple observation and pain control. The purpose of this study was to examine the amount of tissue loss in patients who received Crotalidae-Fab compared with those who did not after an Agkistrodon bite. After institutional review board approval, a retrospective study was completed at a Level 1 trauma center. Between 2009 and 2013, a total of 57 snakebites were identified. Of the 57 bites, the snake species was documented in 36 cases including 31 copperheads, 1 cottonmouth, and 4 rattlesnakes. The other 21 bites were from unknown or nonvenomous species. Of the 32 Agkistrodon-related bites, 15 patients received Crotalidae-Fab (average of 3 vials administered) and 17 did not receive Crotalidae-Fab. None of the 32 patients, regardless of treatment option, had tissue loss or required surgical interventions. Only 1 patient received Crotalidae-Fab and debridement of a vesicle associated with the bite. No clinically significant differences were observed between the groups. These findings support previous literature that failed to show added benefit of Crotalidae-Fab treatment for Agkistrodon bites beyond patient comfort and pain control. Evaluation of current protocols for Agkistrodon envenomations is warranted. Snakebite wound education in trauma physicians and nurses may decrease unnecessary use of antivenom medication. PMID:27163225

  11. Synergistic Effects of Secretory Phospholipase A2 from the Venom of Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus with Cancer Chemotherapeutic Agents

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Jennifer; Barlow, Kristen; Beck, D. Olin; Berbert, Amanda; Eshenroder, Nathan; Francom, Lyndee; Pruitt, Mark; Thompson, Kina; Thompson, Kyle; Thurber, Brian; Yeung, Celestine H.-Y.; Judd, Allan M.; Bell, John D.

    2013-01-01

    Healthy cells typically resist hydrolysis catalyzed by snake venom secretory phospholipase A2. However, during various forms of programmed cell death, they become vulnerable to attack by the enzyme. This observation raises the question of whether the specificity of the enzyme for dying cells could be used as a strategy to eliminate tumor cells that have been intoxicated but not directly killed by chemotherapeutic agents. This idea was tested with S49 lymphoma cells and a broad range of antineoplastic drugs: methotrexate, daunorubicin, actinomycin D, and paclitaxel. In each case, a substantial population of treated cells was still alive yet vulnerable to attack by the enzyme. Induction of cell death by these agents also perturbed the biophysical properties of the membrane as detected by merocyanine 540 and trimethylammonium-diphenylhexatriene. These results suggest that exposure of lymphoma cells to these drugs universally causes changes to the cell membrane that render it susceptible to enzymatic attack. The data also argue that the snake venom enzyme is not only capable of clearing cell corpses but can aid in the demise of tumor cells that have initiated but not yet completed the death process. PMID:23509743

  12. Synergistic effects of secretory phospholipase A2 from the venom of Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus with cancer chemotherapeutic agents.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Jennifer; Barlow, Kristen; Beck, D Olin; Berbert, Amanda; Eshenroder, Nathan; Francom, Lyndee; Pruitt, Mark; Thompson, Kina; Thompson, Kyle; Thurber, Brian; Yeung, Celestine H-Y; Judd, Allan M; Bell, John D

    2013-01-01

    Healthy cells typically resist hydrolysis catalyzed by snake venom secretory phospholipase A2. However, during various forms of programmed cell death, they become vulnerable to attack by the enzyme. This observation raises the question of whether the specificity of the enzyme for dying cells could be used as a strategy to eliminate tumor cells that have been intoxicated but not directly killed by chemotherapeutic agents. This idea was tested with S49 lymphoma cells and a broad range of antineoplastic drugs: methotrexate, daunorubicin, actinomycin D, and paclitaxel. In each case, a substantial population of treated cells was still alive yet vulnerable to attack by the enzyme. Induction of cell death by these agents also perturbed the biophysical properties of the membrane as detected by merocyanine 540 and trimethylammonium-diphenylhexatriene. These results suggest that exposure of lymphoma cells to these drugs universally causes changes to the cell membrane that render it susceptible to enzymatic attack. The data also argue that the snake venom enzyme is not only capable of clearing cell corpses but can aid in the demise of tumor cells that have initiated but not yet completed the death process. PMID:23509743

  13. Non-lethal sampling of liver tissue for toxicologic evaluation of Florida cottonmouths snakes, Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti.

    PubMed

    Quesada, Rolando J; McCleary, Ryan J R; Heard, Darryl J; Lillywhite, Harvey B

    2014-01-01

    Due to their longevity, strong site tenure, poikilothermic metabolism, and low-energy specializations, reptiles might serve as excellent environmental sentinels. Cottonmouth snakes are generalist predators and scavengers, and as such, may have higher exposure to persistent environmental contaminants as a result of bioaccumulation. Traditionally, assessment and monitoring of contaminant exposure in reptiles have involved lethal sampling techniques. In this paper, we describe a non-destructive technique for sampling liver tissue in live anesthetized Florida cottonmouths. Wild-caught snakes (n = 21) were anesthetized with propofol, and a liver wedge biopsy was obtained by clamping the edge of the organ with two small hemostatic mosquito forceps via right-sided coeliotomy incision. A minimum required tissue sample weighing >100 mg was harvested from all except one of the animals. No mortalities occurred during the procedures or recovery from anesthesia, and all snakes were released back into the field after the animal had consumed prey and defecated, usually within 2 weeks following surgery. Hemorrhage was a minor complication in most snakes, especially those with friable discolored livers. The procedure appeared to have no short-term deleterious effects, and two biopsied individuals were captured after being released into the field and appeared to be normal and healthy. However, follow-up studies and recapture of more snakes are needed to assess long-term survivability. Our non-destructive liver sampling technique might be implemented in toxicological studies of other squamates and could help to minimize the lethal sampling of threatened species. PMID:24197420

  14. Fine-scale hormonal patterns associated with birth and maternal care in the cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus), a North American pitviper snake.

    PubMed

    Hoss, Shannon K; Garcia, Mark J; Earley, Ryan L; Clark, Rulon W

    2014-11-01

    Steroid hormones regulate many aspects of reproductive physiology and behavior, including parental care. Reptiles display a variety of egg- and neonate-directed parental behaviors, yet few studies have addressed their endocrine correlates. Viviparous female pitvipers remain at the birth site with their young for one to two weeks until neonates complete their first shed cycle ('ecdysis'). To study possible relationships between steroid hormones and these behaviors, we conducted a captive study on wild-caught pregnant cottonmouths. Females were divided into two treatment groups: Maternal Attendance (MA) - females were allowed a maternal attendance period, where neonates were left with the mother until they completed ecdysis and then were removed; Separated (SE) - females had their neonates removed within 24h of birth. Serial blood samples were collected from MA females at various points during and after attendance; SE females had samples collected on a similar temporal schedule. Plasma levels of progesterone (P), estradiol (E2), testosterone (T), and corticosterone (CORT) were measured in all samples. We did not find a difference in the overall pattern of P, E2, or T between MA and SE females; however, MA females exhibited a significant peak in CORT on the day that neonates shed that was not observed in SE females. It is possible that the elevated CORT observed in MA females was stimulated by increased activity and/or changing chemical cues of shedding neonates. Based on evidence that free-ranging pitvipers cease MA when all offspring complete ecdysis, we hypothesize that CORT has a role in signaling mothers to terminate care and disperse. PMID:25169835

  15. Marked Hypofibrinogenemia and Gastrointestinal Bleeding After Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) Envenomation.

    PubMed

    Kopec, Kathryn T; Yen, May; Bitner, Matthew; Evans, C Scott; Gerardo, Charles J

    2015-12-01

    Compared with other crotaline envenomations, copperhead envenomations have historically been reported as having less severe hematologic venom effects and rarely hemorrhage. We report a case of clinically significant gastrointestinal bleeding after a copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) envenomation. A 52-year-old woman with a history of systemic lupus erythematosus was bitten on her right medial ankle after which hypofibrinogenemia and hematochezia developed. The symptoms resolved after repeated administration of Crotalidae polyvalent immune Fab (ovine) antivenom. She was discharged without further complications 2 days later. Although copperhead envenomations are classically considered less severe than other crotaline envenomations, this case demonstrates the potential of the venom to produce clinically significant hematologic effects. PMID:26432425

  16. Hemocoagulase agkistrodon-induced anaphylactic shock: A case report and literature review.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yan-Yan; Ma, Xu-Hui; Zhang, Shao-Jun

    2016-02-01

    Hemocoagulase agkistrodon for injection is the national first-class new drug of China with good hemostatic function and safety for capillary hemorrhage in abdominal incision of surgical patients. Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) to hemocoagulase agkistrodon are rarely reported. In this paper, we describe a case of a 41-year-old woman who developed anaphylactic shock attributed to hemocoagulase agkistrodon before colon cancer surgery. Based on the Naranjo ADR probability score, a "probable" cause and effect relationship existed for this case. Although the cause of anaphylactic reaction (hemocoagulase or excipient) and exact mechanism of hemocoagulase agkistrodon-induced anaphylactic reaction are unknown, attention should be drawn to potential ADRs in clinical use. PMID:26636421

  17. Envenomation by a juvenile Malayan pit viper (Agkistrodon rhodostoma).

    PubMed

    Vest, D K; Kardong, K V

    1980-05-01

    Following an accidental bite inflicted by a juvenile Malayan pit viper (Agkistrodon rhodostoma), the progress of envenomation was carefully monitored and subsequent laboratory work performed to determine the amount and quality of venom injected. Even a very small amount of venom from this species is capable of inducing noticeable local symptoms including edema, subcutaneous bleeding, and throbbing. Constitutional symptoms were present but minimal. The extent of inflammation present at any given time following envenomation was found to be a more accurate diagnostic signal than the speed with which it developed. This case is similar to that of bites by juveniles of other species of viperines and crotalines and may serve to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of bites by juvenile specimens of serpents in these families.

  18. Renal sexual segment of the Cottonmouth snake, Agkistrodon piscivorous (Reptilia, Squamata, Viperidae).

    PubMed

    Sever, David M; Siegel, Dustin S; Bagwill, April; Eckstut, Mallory E; Alexander, Laura; Camus, Angelle; Morgan, Colby

    2008-06-01

    The seasonal variation of the renal sexual segment (RSS) of males of the Cottonmouth snake, Agkistrodon piscivorous, is described using light and electron microscopy. This study is the first to describe the ultrastructure of the RSS of a viper (Viperidae) and only the fourth on a snake. Renal sexual segments from males collected February to May and from August to November are similar in appearance. The cells are eosinophilic and react with periodic acid/Schiff procedure (PAS) for neutral carbohydrates and bromphenol blue (BB) for proteins. At the ultrastructure level, the cells contain large (2 microm diameter), electron-dense secretory granules and smaller vesicles with a diffuse material, and these structures abut against the luminal border and upon clear vacuoles continuous with intercellular canaliculi. Evidence was found for both apocrine and merocrine processes of product release. In June and July, the RSS are significantly smaller in diameter, largely basophilic, and have only scattered granules that are PAS+ and BB+. Cytologically, the RSS from June to July lack electron-dense secretory granules and the smaller vesicles with diffuse material. Numerous condensing vacuoles and abundant rough endoplasmic reticulum, however, indicate that active product synthesis is occurring. This is the first report of significant seasonal variation in the histology and ultrastructure of the RSS of a snake, although such reports exist for lizards. The seasons when the RSS is most highly hypertrophied correspond to the fall and spring mating seasons of A. piscivorous, as determined by other studies.

  19. Purification and characterization of a novel antinociceptive peptide from venom of Agkistrodon halys Pallas.

    PubMed

    Ye, Yong; Li, Mingyang; Chen, Xuelan

    2013-04-01

    Venom of Agkistrodon halys Pallas can control severe pain such as cancer pain and neuropathic pain, but it is made up of complicated components. Aim of this study is to separate major analgesic fraction from venom of A. halys Pallas, and to reveal its biochemical and pharmacological properties. Three steps with ion exchange column first and molecular sieve columns next were used to separate and purify the fractions of venom. Analgesic effects were evaluated by hot plate tests and writhing tests in mice. The molecular weight (MW), isoelectric point, amino acid sequence, purity were respectively determined by SDS-PAGE electrophoresis, isoelectric focusing, Edman degradation and HPLC. The dependence and tolerance were observed by withdrawal test in rats, and analgesic effects were observed in mice during 7 days administration. Fourteen fractions were obtained by separation; the best analgesic fraction named Pallanalgesin was selected by ED50 and LD50. It had single band in electrophoresis, relative purity 92.16 %, MW 16.6 kDa, isoelectric point 8.8, and former sequence of ten amino acids H-L-L-Q-F-R-K-M-I-K. It showed significant analgesic effect without tolerance and dependence. As a novel analgesic, Pallanalgesin has been found to explain the function of venom of A. halys Pallas on severe pain control in traditional uses. PMID:23435917

  20. [Extraction, purification and identification of type II collagen from Agkistrodon acutus].

    PubMed

    Gu, Heng-Cun; Hu, Jin-Bo; Ding, Zhi-Shan; Fan, Yong-Sheng; Ding, Xing-Hong

    2013-11-01

    The object of the research was to extract, purify and identify the type II collagen of Agkistrodon acutus. Type II collagen of A. acutus was extracted by enzyme decomposition method, and purified by ion exchange column chromatography. It was characterized by SDS-PAGE gel electrophoresis, ultraviolet spectrophotometry, infrared absorption spectroscopy and mass spectroscopy. The results showed that the size of C II was about 130 kDa. It absorbed at 223 nm. IR spectrum obtained showed that the triple helical domains of amino-acid sequences were characterized by the repetition of triplets Gly-X-Y. The MS spectrum graphically stated that C II extracted from cow and A. acutus have the similar peptides. The C II of A. acutus was obtained by extraction and purification. Appraisal analysis by SDS-PAGE, UV, IR and MS, C II of A. acutus was consistent with the standard C II of cow. It was proved that the extracted protein was C II. PMID:24494552

  1. Serious anaphylactic shock induced by hemocoagulase agkistrodon during anesthesia in a 5-year-old child.

    PubMed

    Xu, Ying-Yi; Li, Bi-Lian; Jin, Yu-Lin; Wang, Zi-Xin; Song, Xing-Rong; Ni, Jin

    2015-01-01

    We report a case of serious anaphylactic shock in a 5-year-old child undergoing scheduled surgery blank space of a right femoral intramedullary nail removal. The boy had undergone right femoral elastic intramedullary nail fixation surgery 14 months prior, but had no history of allergies. Within 5 minutes of intravenous bonus injection of hemocoagulase agkistrodon (HCA) 1 unit, a widespread transient diffuse erythema was seen on the front of his chest. After 20 minutes, sudden, profound cardiovascular collapse occurred. The child was treated effectively and sent to a ward 5 hours later. In this period, he received intravenously infused 200 ml hydroxyethyl starch solution and epinephrine at a rate of 0.05-0.01 μg kg(-1) min(-1). Total amount of dexamethasone sodium phosphate 14 mg was used. To the best of our knowledge, few case reports of HCA-induced anaphylactic shock in children exist. Our report will, therefore, increase awareness of the allergic potential of HCA among pediatric anesthesiologists. PMID:26064413

  2. Envenoming by Crotalid Snake Chinese Moccasin Agkistrodon Acutus Bite - A Case Report.

    PubMed

    Valenta, Jiří; Stach, Zdeněk; Michálek, Pavel

    2015-01-01

    Although the bites caused by snakes from former Agkistrodon family in the areas of occurrence are not rare and even have certain epidemiologic importance, in case of envenoming by Deinagkistrodon acutus the clinical studies and case reports are very sporadic. This case report describes the envenoming of a private snake breeder bitten by young Chinese moccasin Deinagkistrodon acutus to the thumb of his left hand. He sought for a medical help immediately after snakebite. Patient presented with a local oedema on the affected limb, extending up to the half of the forearm. Laboratory examinations showed serious haemostatic disturbance with defibrination syndrome, immeasurably prolonged clotting times and extreme elevation of D-dimers. No other obvious clinical symptoms were present. Fibrinogen and fresh frozen plasma were administered because the antivenom was not available immediately. The specific antivenom was urgently imported 22 hours after the bite and administered at a dose of two vials three times until laboratory haemocoagulation parameters returned back to physiological values. PMID:26093669

  3. Development of Snake Fungal Disease after Experimental Challenge with Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola in Cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorous)

    PubMed Central

    Allender, Matthew C.; Baker, Sarah; Wylie, Daniel; Loper, Daniel; Dreslik, Michael J.; Phillips, Christopher A.; Maddox, Carol; Driskell, Elizabeth A.

    2015-01-01

    Snake fungal disease (SFD) is a clinical syndrome associated with dermatitis, myositis, osteomyelitis, and pneumonia in several species of free-ranging snakes in the US. The causative agent has been suggested as Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, but other agents may contribute to the syndrome and the pathogenesis is not understood. To understand the role of O. ophiodiicola in SFD, a cottonmouth snake model of SFD was designed. Five cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorous) were experimentally challenged by nasolabial pit inoculation with a pure culture of O. ophiodiicola. Development of skin lesions or facial swelling at the site of inoculation was observed in all snakes. Twice weekly swabs of the inoculation site revealed variable presence of O. ophiodiicola DNA by qPCR in all five inoculated snakes for 3 to 58 days post-inoculation; nasolabial flushes were not a useful sampling method for detection. Inoculated snakes had a 40% mortality rate. All inoculated snakes had microscopic lesions unilaterally on the side of the swabbed nasolabial pit, including erosions to ulcerations and heterophilic dermatitis. All signs were consistent with SFD; however, the severity of lesions varied in individual snakes, and fungal hyphae were only observed in 3 of 5 inoculated snakes. These three snakes correlated with post-mortem tissue qPCR evidence of O. ophiodiicola. The findings of this study conclude that O. ophiodiicola inoculation in a cottonmouth snake model leads to disease similar to SFD, although lesion severity and the fungal load are quite variable within the model. Future studies may utilize this model to further understand the pathogenesis of this disease and develop management strategies that mitigate disease effects, but investigation of other models with less variability may be warranted. PMID:26469977

  4. Development of Snake Fungal Disease after Experimental Challenge with Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola in Cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorous).

    PubMed

    Allender, Matthew C; Baker, Sarah; Wylie, Daniel; Loper, Daniel; Dreslik, Michael J; Phillips, Christopher A; Maddox, Carol; Driskell, Elizabeth A

    2015-01-01

    Snake fungal disease (SFD) is a clinical syndrome associated with dermatitis, myositis, osteomyelitis, and pneumonia in several species of free-ranging snakes in the US. The causative agent has been suggested as Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, but other agents may contribute to the syndrome and the pathogenesis is not understood. To understand the role of O. ophiodiicola in SFD, a cottonmouth snake model of SFD was designed. Five cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorous) were experimentally challenged by nasolabial pit inoculation with a pure culture of O. ophiodiicola. Development of skin lesions or facial swelling at the site of inoculation was observed in all snakes. Twice weekly swabs of the inoculation site revealed variable presence of O. ophiodiicola DNA by qPCR in all five inoculated snakes for 3 to 58 days post-inoculation; nasolabial flushes were not a useful sampling method for detection. Inoculated snakes had a 40% mortality rate. All inoculated snakes had microscopic lesions unilaterally on the side of the swabbed nasolabial pit, including erosions to ulcerations and heterophilic dermatitis. All signs were consistent with SFD; however, the severity of lesions varied in individual snakes, and fungal hyphae were only observed in 3 of 5 inoculated snakes. These three snakes correlated with post-mortem tissue qPCR evidence of O. ophiodiicola. The findings of this study conclude that O. ophiodiicola inoculation in a cottonmouth snake model leads to disease similar to SFD, although lesion severity and the fungal load are quite variable within the model. Future studies may utilize this model to further understand the pathogenesis of this disease and develop management strategies that mitigate disease effects, but investigation of other models with less variability may be warranted.

  5. A new Agkistrodon halys venom-purified protein C activator prevents myocardial fibrosis in diabetic rats

    PubMed Central

    Li, Shu; Hong, Yun; Jin, Xin; Zhang, Genbao; Hu, Zaichang; Nie, Liuwang

    2015-01-01

    Aim To assess the effects of protein C activator (PCA) from Agkistrodon halys snake venom on cardiac fibrosis in streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic rat model, and investigate the mechanisms of its action. Methods PCA was identified by one-dimensional reversed phase liquid chromatography – mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (120-140 g) were randomly assigned to negative control (NC) and diabetic group. Diabetes was induced by STZ in high-fat diet fed rats. Diabetic group was subdivided into three groups: diabetic group (DM), diabetic group treated with PCA (0.5, 2, and 8 mg/kg), and diabetic group treated with metformin (5 mg/kg, positive control). NC and DM groups received the same volume of distilled water. Left ventricular mass index (LVWI) and collagen volume fraction were measured by hematoxylin and eosin and Masson staining. Transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1) and interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β) levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results The diabetic rat model was successfully established by STZ induction and high-fat diet. Glucose level, LVWI, TGF-β1 and IL-1β level, and collagen volume fraction were significantly reduced in diabetic rats treated by PCA in a dose-dependent manner (P < 0.050), especially in the high dose (8 mg/kg) group (P < 0.010), compared to diabetes group. The high dose PCA had the same effect as metformin positive control in reducing the level of fasting blood glucose. PCA decreased the expression of MMP-2 and reduced that of TIMP-2. Conclusion Our results indicate that PCA has anti-fibrotic effects and that it may be used to treat myocardial fibrosis. PMID:26526881

  6. Development of Snake Fungal Disease after Experimental Challenge with Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola in Cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorous).

    PubMed

    Allender, Matthew C; Baker, Sarah; Wylie, Daniel; Loper, Daniel; Dreslik, Michael J; Phillips, Christopher A; Maddox, Carol; Driskell, Elizabeth A

    2015-01-01

    Snake fungal disease (SFD) is a clinical syndrome associated with dermatitis, myositis, osteomyelitis, and pneumonia in several species of free-ranging snakes in the US. The causative agent has been suggested as Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, but other agents may contribute to the syndrome and the pathogenesis is not understood. To understand the role of O. ophiodiicola in SFD, a cottonmouth snake model of SFD was designed. Five cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorous) were experimentally challenged by nasolabial pit inoculation with a pure culture of O. ophiodiicola. Development of skin lesions or facial swelling at the site of inoculation was observed in all snakes. Twice weekly swabs of the inoculation site revealed variable presence of O. ophiodiicola DNA by qPCR in all five inoculated snakes for 3 to 58 days post-inoculation; nasolabial flushes were not a useful sampling method for detection. Inoculated snakes had a 40% mortality rate. All inoculated snakes had microscopic lesions unilaterally on the side of the swabbed nasolabial pit, including erosions to ulcerations and heterophilic dermatitis. All signs were consistent with SFD; however, the severity of lesions varied in individual snakes, and fungal hyphae were only observed in 3 of 5 inoculated snakes. These three snakes correlated with post-mortem tissue qPCR evidence of O. ophiodiicola. The findings of this study conclude that O. ophiodiicola inoculation in a cottonmouth snake model leads to disease similar to SFD, although lesion severity and the fungal load are quite variable within the model. Future studies may utilize this model to further understand the pathogenesis of this disease and develop management strategies that mitigate disease effects, but investigation of other models with less variability may be warranted. PMID:26469977

  7. A novel recombinant fibrinogenase of Agkistrodon acutus venom protects against hyperacute rejection via degradation of complements.

    PubMed

    Lin, Xi; Qi, Jie-Zhen; Chen, Ming-Hui; Qiu, Bi-Tao; Huang, Zhen-Hua; Qiu, Peng-Xin; Chen, Jia-Shu; Yan, Guang-Mei

    2013-03-15

    Hyperacute rejection (HAR) is a main barrier in xenotransplantation, which is mediated by the combination of natural antibody to the xenograft and complement activation. Current therapies have focus on the inhibition of complement by development of complement inhibitor and transgenic animal organ. Here, we investigated the effects of rFII, a recombinant fibrinogenase from Agkistrodon acutus venom, on complement and HAR. The degradation effect of rFII on complement was tested by SDS-PAGE, CH50 examination, ELISA Kit and cofocal immunofluorescence microscopy in vitro and in vivo. An ex-vivo rat-to-human perfusion model and a vivo guinea-pig-to-rat heat HAR model were used to determine the protection of rFII against HAR. Our investigation indicated that rFII could significantly degrade human C5, C6, and C9, decrease the activity of complement, and inhibit the MAC deposition on HUVECs membrane in vitro. In addition, serum levels of C1q, C3 and C4 in rat were gradually reduced after infusion of rFII. Importantly, in an ex vivo rat-to-human perfusion model, the survival of rat hearts perfused with human serum treated with rFII (83.36 ± 16.63 min) were significantly longer than that of hearts perfused with fresh human serum(15.94 ± 4.75 min). At the time of 15 minutes after perfusion, functions of hearts added with 50 ug/ml rFII sustained well with heart rates at 283 ± 65.32 beats/minute and LVDP at 13.70 ± 5.45 Kpa, while that of hearts perfused with fresh human serum were severely damaged by HAR with heart rates at 107.77 ± 40.31 beats/minute and LVDP at 1.01 ± 0.83 Kpa. We also found that rFII significantly decreased the levels of C1q, C3 and C4 in human fresh serum perfusate. In a vivo guinea-pig-to-rat heat HAR model, the survival of rat hearts treated with rFII were significantly longer than that of hearts perfused with normal saline; and relieved heart damage by complete activation. Our finding demonstrates the anti-complement property of rFII and its

  8. [Fibrinogen/fibrin-specific enzymes from copperhead (Agkistrodon halys halys) and cobra (Naja oxiana eichwald) snake venoms].

    PubMed

    Yunusova, E S; Sadykov, E S; Sultanalieva, N M; Shkinev, A V

    2016-03-01

    Ability of fractions of cobra's (Naja oxiana Eichwald) and copperhead snake's (Agkistrodon halys halys) venoms to hydrolyze fibrinogen/fibrin was studied. In cobra's snake a component with molecular mass of nearly 60 kDa was found to hydrolyze a-chain of fibrinogen but failed to hydrolyze casein/azocasein and fibrin. A fibrinogen-specific metalloproteinase, the enzyme was inhibited by EDTA. Cobra's venom reduced the mass of donor's fresh blood clots. The copperhead snake's venom and the fractions obtained by gel-filtration (HW-50) and ion exchange chromatography (DEAE-650) were found to hydrolyze casein/azocasein, a- and b-chains of fibrinogen/fibrin and donor's blood clots. The results from the study of the venom and proteolytically active fractions are the evidence for a thrombolytic potential in a copperhead snake's venom. PMID:27420616

  9. Effect of Iron and Carbon Monoxide on Fibrinogenase-like Degradation of Plasmatic Coagulation by Venoms of Six Agkistrodon Species.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Vance G; Redford, Daniel T; Boyle, Patrick K

    2016-05-01

    Annually, thousands suffer poisonous snakebite, often from defibrinogenating species. It has been demonstrated that iron and carbon monoxide change the ultrastructure of plasma thrombi and improve coagulation kinetics. Thus, this investigation sought to determine whether pre-treatment of plasma with iron and carbon monoxide could attenuate venom-mediated catalysis of fibrinogen obtained from Agkistrodon species with fibrinogenase activity. Human plasma was pre-treated with ferric chloride (0-10 μM) and carbon monoxide-releasing molecule-2 (CORM-2, 0-100 μM) prior to exposure to 0.5-11 μg/ml of six different Agkistrodon species' venom. The amount of venom used for experimentation needed to decrease coagulation function of one or more kinetic parameters by at least 50% of normal values for (e.g. half the normal speed of clot formation). Coagulation kinetics were determined with thrombelastography. All six snake venoms degraded plasmatic coagulation kinetics to a significant extent, especially prolonging the onset to clot formation and diminishing the speed of clot growth. Pre-treatment of plasma with iron and carbon monoxide attenuated these venom-mediated coagulation kinetic changes in a species-specific manner, with some venom effects markedly abrogated while others were only mildly decreased. Further in vitro investigation of other pit viper venoms that possess fibrinogenolytic activity is indicated to identify species amenable to or resistant to iron and carbon monoxide-mediated attenuation of venom-mediated catalysis of fibrinogen. Lastly, future pre-clinical investigation with animal models (e.g. rabbit ear-bleed model) is planned to determine whether iron and carbon monoxide can be used therapeutically after envenomation.

  10. Effect of Iron and Carbon Monoxide on Fibrinogenase-like Degradation of Plasmatic Coagulation by Venoms of Six Agkistrodon Species.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Vance G; Redford, Daniel T; Boyle, Patrick K

    2016-05-01

    Annually, thousands suffer poisonous snakebite, often from defibrinogenating species. It has been demonstrated that iron and carbon monoxide change the ultrastructure of plasma thrombi and improve coagulation kinetics. Thus, this investigation sought to determine whether pre-treatment of plasma with iron and carbon monoxide could attenuate venom-mediated catalysis of fibrinogen obtained from Agkistrodon species with fibrinogenase activity. Human plasma was pre-treated with ferric chloride (0-10 μM) and carbon monoxide-releasing molecule-2 (CORM-2, 0-100 μM) prior to exposure to 0.5-11 μg/ml of six different Agkistrodon species' venom. The amount of venom used for experimentation needed to decrease coagulation function of one or more kinetic parameters by at least 50% of normal values for (e.g. half the normal speed of clot formation). Coagulation kinetics were determined with thrombelastography. All six snake venoms degraded plasmatic coagulation kinetics to a significant extent, especially prolonging the onset to clot formation and diminishing the speed of clot growth. Pre-treatment of plasma with iron and carbon monoxide attenuated these venom-mediated coagulation kinetic changes in a species-specific manner, with some venom effects markedly abrogated while others were only mildly decreased. Further in vitro investigation of other pit viper venoms that possess fibrinogenolytic activity is indicated to identify species amenable to or resistant to iron and carbon monoxide-mediated attenuation of venom-mediated catalysis of fibrinogen. Lastly, future pre-clinical investigation with animal models (e.g. rabbit ear-bleed model) is planned to determine whether iron and carbon monoxide can be used therapeutically after envenomation. PMID:26467642

  11. [Application of capillary zone electrophoresis in the interaction analysis of protein C with protein C activator from Agkistrodon acutus venom].

    PubMed

    Sun, Yao; Bao, Pengju; Zhang, Genbao

    2013-01-01

    A new capillary zone electrophoresis method (CZE) has been established for the interaction analysis of protein C (PC) with a protein C activator (PCA) from Agkistrodon acutus venom. The analysis was performed on an uncoated fused-silica capillary with 75 microm i.d. and a total length of 60.2 cm (50 cm to the detector) with a buffer solution of 50 mmol/L Tris-HCl (pH 7.4) and 198 nm of wavelength. The factors which influence the separation of the PCA, such as buffer solution and ion concentration, and the interaction between the PCA and PC incubated for different times at 37.5 degrees C were studied. The linear range was from 10 to 300 mg/L. The limit of detection was 3 mg/L (S/N = 3). The relative standard deviation (RSD) for the migration time of the PCA was 0.56%. The RSD for the peak area was 3.8% (n = 6). The equal volumes of the PCA (200 mg/L) and PC (60 mg/L) were incubated for five minutes, at which their binding rate reached the maximum. And no hydrolyzed peptide chain from PC was found in the electropherogram. The PCA from Agkistrodon acutus venom could activate PC directly through changing the space conformation of PC. The method is simple, and highly sensitive with high resolution, and will provide important theoretical basis for the rapid detection of venom proteins and their activities in the future. PMID:23667991

  12. Recombinant expression and affinity purification of snake venom gland parvalbumin in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Jia, Ying; Pérez, John C

    2009-07-01

    Parvalbumins (PV) are small, acidic, water soluble and calcium-binding proteins generally present in muscular and nervous tissues. In the present study, we identified and characterized a cDNA clone encoding PV, named AplPV, from a snake (Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma) venom gland cDNA library. AplPV belongs to EF-hand proteins with six alpha-helices constituting three EF-hand domains. The deduced amino acid sequence of AplPV is 91% and 68% identical to the previously characterized PVs of Boa constrictor and Cyprinus carpio, respectively. The full-length cDNA was subcloned into the expression vector pGEX and transformed into Escherichia coli (E.coli) to produce recombinant protein. The bacterially expressed GST-AplPV fusion protein was highly expressed, and effectively purified by Glutathione-Sepharose affinity chromatography. A high concentration of thrombin protease specifically cleaved and removed the GST tag from fusion protein, and further purified by Benzamidine column for removal of thrombin protease. As a result, the 12 kDa AplPV recombinant protein alone was purified. To investigate the tissue-specific biological occurrence of AplPV, a polyclonal antibody (anti-AplPV-antibody) was raised against GST-AplPV fusion protein in rabbit. Western blot analysis revealed that immunoreactive bands were exhibited in both recombinant protein and samples of venom glands, but not in any crude venom. This specific occurrence indicates a specialized function of AplPV in snake venom glands.

  13. A novel fibrinogenase from Agkistrodon acutus venom protects against DIC via direct degradation of thrombosis and activation of protein C.

    PubMed

    Qi, Jie-zhen; Lin, Xi; Chen, Jia-shu; Huang, Zhen-hua; Qiu, Bi-tao; Qiu, Peng-xin; Yan, Guang-mei

    2012-10-01

    The incidence of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), which leads to multiple organ dysfunction and high mortality, has remained constant in recent years. At present, treatments of DIC have focused on preventing cytokine induction, inhibiting coagulation processes and promoting fibrinolysis. Recent clinical trials have supported the use of antithrombin and activated protein C supplementation in DIC. To better understand the mechanism of treatment on DIC, we here report a novel fibrinogenase from Agkistrodon acutus (FIIa) that effectively protected against LPS-induced DIC in a rabbit model, and detected the tissue factors expression in HUVE cells after using FIIa. In vivo, administration of FIIa reduced hepatic and renal damage, increased the concentration of fibrinogen, the activities of protein C, the platelet count, APTT, PT, FDP, the level of AT-III and t-PA, decreased the level of PAI-1, and increased survival rate in LPS-induced DIC rabbits. In vitro experiments, we further confirmed that FIIa up-regulated the expression of t-PA and u-PA, down-regulated the expression of PAI-1, and directly activated protein C. Our findings suggest that FIIa could effectively protect against DIC via direct degradation of microthrombi and activation of protein C as well as provide a novel strategy to develop a single proteinase molecule for targeting the main pathological processes of this disease. PMID:22728069

  14. [Component I from Agkistrodon acutus venom induces apoptosis of K562/A02 cells by promoting caspase 3 expression].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Bing; Zhang, Gen-Bao; Duan, Ting; Zhou, Jue; Wu, Juan

    2012-04-01

    To investigate the effects of component I from Agkistrodon acutus venom (AAVC-I) on the biological features of chronic myeloid leukemia cells, K562/A02 leukemia cells were cultured in the presence of AAVC-I (6.25 - 100 µg/ml) and the proliferation status was assayed by CCK-8 method. Morphological changes were observed by inversed microscope after Giemsa and Hochest 33258 staining, and cell apoptosis was detected by flow cytometry. Caspase 3 activity was tested by using Chromogenic Activity Assay Kit. The results showed that AAVC-I inhibited the growth of K562/A02 cells in time- and concentration-dependant manners, and the IC(50) at 48 h was 30.988 µg/ml. Giemsa and Hochest 33258 staining showed the typical apoptotic features in K562/A02 cells after induction with AAVC-I for 48 h. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that the percentage of the apoptotic cells reached from 0.88 up to 53.66 as the treated concentration was elevated from 0 to 50 µg/ml. Compared with the control group, the expression of caspase 3 in the tested group was enhanced in a dose-dependent manner (P < 0.05). It is concluded that AAVC-I can effectively inhibit the growth and promote apoptosis of K562/A02 cells. Elevated expression of caspase-3 may be attributed to the apoptosis of K562/A02 cells. PMID:22541080

  15. The characterization of trans-pecos copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix pictigaster) venom and isolation of two new dimeric disintegrins.

    PubMed

    Lucena, Sara; Rodríguez-Acosta, Alexis; Grilli, Elyse; Alfonso, Andrea; Goins, Amber; Ogbata, Ifunanya; Walls, Robert; Suntravat, Montamas; Uzcátegui, Nestor L; Guerrero, Belsy; Sánchez, Elda E

    2016-07-01

    The vast amounts of toxins within the venom of snakes, while known to cause medical emergencies, display various biological functions. Trans-pecos copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix pictigaster) crude venom separated by cation-exchange chromatography showed several fractions with fibrinolytic, hemorrhagic, gelatinase and platelet activities. Venom fractions 1, 2, 4, 5, and 12-17 contained fibrinolytic activity. Venom fractions 1, 2, 5 and 12-14 had hemorrhagic activity. Fractions 1, 2, 12, 13 and 17 contained gelatinase activity. Reverse-Phase C18 High Performance Liquid Chromatography was also used to purify and isolated disintegrins from this venom. Anti-platelet aggregation activity of the C18 fractions collected and performed on whole human blood showed that they inhibited platelet aggregation in presence of several agonists. Results from both SDS-PAGE and N-terminal sequencing determined that pictistatin 1 obtained from the Trans-Pecos copperhead venom was a dimeric disintegrin, and pictistatin 2 was a heterodimeric disintegrin. The molecules with anti-platelet activity could be considered in the development of more effective drugs, for numerous blood-related diseases such as stroke, heart attacks, thrombosis, and other medical conditions. In this study, we are presenting the first report of the purification, isolation, and partial characterization of two new dimeric disintegrins isolated from the venom of trans-pecos copperhead. PMID:27068364

  16. Rapid identification of thousands of copperhead snake (Agkistrodon contortrix) microsatellite loci from modest amounts of 454 shotgun genome sequence.

    PubMed

    Castoe, Todd A; Poole, Alexander W; Gu, Wanjun; Jason de Koning, A P; Daza, Juan M; Smith, Eric N; Pollock, David D

    2010-03-01

    Optimal integration of next-generation sequencing into mainstream research requires re-evaluation of how problems can be reasonably overcome and what questions can be asked. One potential application is the rapid acquisition of genomic information to identify microsatellite loci for evolutionary, population genetic and chromosome linkage mapping research on non-model and not previously sequenced organisms. Here, we report on results using high-throughput sequencing to obtain a large number of microsatellite loci from the venomous snake Agkistrodon contortrix, the copperhead. We used the 454 Genome Sequencer FLX next-generation sequencing platform to sample randomly ∼27 Mbp (128 773 reads) of the copperhead genome, thus sampling about 2% of the genome of this species. We identified microsatellite loci in 11.3% of all reads obtained, with 14 612 microsatellite loci identified in total, 4564 of which had flanking sequences suitable for polymerase chain reaction primer design. The random sequencing-based approach to identify microsatellites was rapid, cost-effective and identified thousands of useful microsatellite loci in a previously unstudied species. PMID:21565030

  17. Ca(2+) -induced binding of anticoagulation factor II from the venom of Agkistrodon acutus with factor IX.

    PubMed

    Shen, Deng-Ke; Xu, Xiao-Long; Zhang, Yan; Song, Jia-Jia; Yan, Xin-Cheng; Guo, Ming-Chun

    2012-10-01

    Anticoagulation factor II (ACF II), a coagulation factor X- binding protein from the venom of Agkistrodon acutus has both anticoagulant and hypotensive activities. Previous studies show that ACF II binds specifically with activated factor X (FXa) in a Ca(2+) -dependent manner and inhibits intrinsic coagulation pathway. In this study, the inhibition of extrinsic coagulation pathway by ACF II was measured in vivo by prothrombin time assay and the binding of ACF II to factor IX (FIX) was investigated by native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and surface plasmon resonance (SPR). The results indicate that ACF II also inhibits extrinsic coagulation pathway, but does not inhibit thrombin activity. ACF II also binds with FIX with high binding affinity in a Ca(2+) -dependent manner and their maximal binding occurs at about 0.1 mM Ca(2+) . ACF II has similar binding affinity to FIX and FX as determined by SPR. Ca(2+) has a slight effect on the secondary structure of FIX as determined by circular dichroism spectroscopy. Ca(2+) ions are required to maintain in vivo function of FIX Gla domain for its recognition of ACF II. However, Ca(2+) at high concentrations (>0.1 mM) inhibits the binding of ACF II to FIX. Ca(2+) functions as a switch for the binding between ACF II and FIX. ACF II extends activated partial thromboplastin time more strongly than prothrombin time, suggesting that the binding of ACF II with FIX may play a dominant role in the anticoagulation of ACF II in vivo. PMID:22806501

  18. Structure of acostatin, a dimeric disintegrin from Southern copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix), at 1.7 Å resolution

    SciTech Connect

    Moiseeva, Natalia; Bau, Robert; Swenson, Stephen D.; Markland, Francis S. Jr; Choe, Jun-Yong; Allaire, Marc

    2008-04-01

    Two acostatin heterodimers interact together to form an αββα tetramer. Disintegrins are a family of small (4–14 kDa) proteins that bind to another class of proteins, integrins. Therefore, as integrin inhibitors, they can be exploited as anticancer and antiplatelet agents. Acostatin, an αβ heterodimeric disintegrin, has been isolated from the venom of Southern copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix). The three-dimensional structure of acostatin has been determined by macromolecular crystallography using the molecular-replacement method. The asymmetric unit of the acostatin crystals consists of two heterodimers. The structure has been refined to an R{sub work} and R{sub free} of 18.6% and 21.5%, respectively, using all data in the 20–1.7 Å resolution range. The structure of all subunits is similar and is well ordered into N-terminal and C-terminal clusters with four intramolecular disulfide bonds. The overall fold consists of short β-sheets, each of which is formed by a pair of antiparallel β-strands connected by β-turns and flexible loops of different lengths. Conformational flexibility is found in the RGD loops and in the C-terminal segment. The interaction of two N-terminal clusters via two intermolecular disulfide bridges anchors the αβ chains of the acostatin dimers. The C-terminal clusters of the heterodimer project in opposite directions and form a larger angle between them in comparison with other dimeric disintegrins. Extensive interactions are observed between two heterodimers, revealing an αββα acostatin tetramer. Further experiments are required to identify whether the αββα acostatin complex plays a functional role in vivo.

  19. Structure of Acostatin, a Dimeric Disintegrin From Southern Copperhead (Agkistrodon Contortrix Contortrix), at 1.7 Angstrom Resolution

    SciTech Connect

    Moiseeva, N.; Bau, R.; Swenson, S.D.; Marklund, F.S.; Jr.; Choe, J.-Y.; Liu, Z.-J.; Allaire, M.

    2009-05-26

    Disintegrins are a family of small (4-14 kDa) proteins that bind to another class of proteins, integrins. Therefore, as integrin inhibitors, they can be exploited as anticancer and antiplatelet agents. Acostatin, an {alpha}{beta} heterodimeric disintegrin, has been isolated from the venom of Southern copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix). The three-dimensional structure of acostatin has been determined by macromolecular crystallography using the molecular-replacement method. The asymmetric unit of the acostatin crystals consists of two heterodimers. The structure has been refined to an R{sub work} and R{sub free} of 18.6% and 21.5%, respectively, using all data in the 20-1.7 {angstrom} resolution range. The structure of all subunits is similar and is well ordered into N-terminal and C-terminal clusters with four intramolecular disulfide bonds. The overall fold consists of short {beta}-sheets, each of which is formed by a pair of antiparallel {beta}-strands connected by {beta}-turns and flexible loops of different lengths. Conformational flexibility is found in the RGD loops and in the C-terminal segment. The interaction of two N-terminal clusters via two intermolecular disulfide bridges anchors the {alpha}{beta}chains of the acostatin dimers. The C-terminal clusters of the heterodimer project in opposite directions and form a larger angle between them in comparison with other dimeric disintegrins. Extensive interactions are observed between two heterodimers, revealing an {alpha}{beta}{beta}{alpha} acostatin tetramer. Further experiments are required to identify whether the {alpha}{beta}{beta}{alpha} acostatin complex plays a functional role in vivo.

  20. Determination of hemocoagulase agkistrodon in a pharmaceutical preparation by high-performance liquid chromatography with pre-column derivatization and fluorescence detection.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Suyuan; Wang, Chaozhong; Li, Jing; Liang, Chenggang; Wang, Fengshan

    2013-07-01

    Currently, there is no analytical method for the quantification of hemocoagulase agkistrodon (HCA) in pharmaceutical preparations. This study presents a pre-column derivatization method for the quantification of HCA, a compound extracted from the venom of Agkistrodon acutus, in a pharmaceutical preparation (trade name Suling). In the proposed method, 6-aminoquinolyl-N-hydroxysuccinimidyl carbamate was used to tag the HCA substrate, and the derivatives were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. Complete and homogeneous derivatization of HCA was confirmed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry analysis. The specificity of the method was validated by forced degradation, and interference was assessed using a placebo. Under the optimum chromatographic conditions, the calibration curve was linear over a range of 10 to 500 ng/mL, featuring a correlation coefficient of 0.9999. The limits of detection and quantification of the method were 0.57 and 1.6 ng/mL, respectively. The percentage recovery of HCA in quality control samples ranged from 97.49 to 99.15%. Overall, this novel method can be applied to the quantitative determination of HCA in pharmaceutical preparations. PMID:23357044

  1. MANAGEMENT OF OSTEOMYELITIS CAUSED BY SALMONELLA ENTERICA SUBSP. HOUTENAE IN A TAYLOR'S CANTIL (AGKISTRODON BILINEATUS TAYLORI) USING AMIKACIN DELIVERED VIA OSMOTIC PUMP.

    PubMed

    Clancy, Meredith M; Newton, Alisa L; Sykes, John M

    2016-06-01

    An adult female Taylor's cantil (Agkistrodon bilineatus taylori) presented with marked spinal and mandibular osteomyelitis that cultured positive for Salmonella enterica subsp. houtenae, serovar IV 43:z4,z32:-. Progression of osteomyelitis was arrested by treatment using amikacin (0.026 mg/kg per hour) delivered via subcutaneous osmotic pump for 10 mo, replacing the pump every 4 wk. No adverse effects on renal function were appreciated throughout the course of therapy. Amikacin therapy was discontinued after improvement with treatment, but 5 mo later, bony lesions worsened, and an additional abscess formed at the previous pump site. The animal's condition declined and euthanasia was elected. Postmortem examination confirmed marked osteomyelitis with Salmonella infection of same serovar as the initial biopsy. This report highlights the pathogenicity of the S. enterica subsp. houtenae serovar and the ability to deliver effective amikacin dosage via osmotic pump to arrest osteomyelitis due to salmonellosis in a venomous snake. PMID:27468053

  2. Purification and amino acid sequence of halystase from snake venom of Agkistrodon halys blomhoffii, a serine protease that cleaves specifically fibrinogen and kininogen.

    PubMed

    Matsui, T; Sakurai, Y; Fujimura, Y; Hayashi, I; Oh-Ishi, S; Suzuki, M; Hamako, J; Yamamoto, Y; Yamazaki, J; Kinoshita, M; Titani, K

    1998-03-15

    We have isolated a serine protease, halystase, from Agkistrodon halys blomhoffii venom by chromatography on DEAE-Sepharose, heparin-Sepharose and Q-Sepharose columns, and have determined the complete amino acid sequence by Edman degradation and by mass spectral analysis of peptides generated by enzymatic and chemical cleavage. The 238-residue sequence of halystase, containing N-linked carbohydrates (about 13%) at two sites showed significant similarity to other thrombin-like snake venom serine proteases (66-72%), mammalian tissue kallikrein (42%) and thrombin (26%). Halystase contained the tentative catalytic triad of His43, Asp88 and Ser184 common to all serine proteases and Asp178 in the primary substrate-binding site. Although halystase contained an RGD sequence at residues 181-183, it did not inhibit platelet aggregation induced by ADP or collagen. It hydrolyzed most efficiently a tissue-kallikrein substrate, prolylphenylalanylarginyl-4-methyl-coumaryl-7-amide, and released bradykinin from bovine kininogen. Halystase did not coagulate human plasma, but it cleaved the fibrinogen B beta chain at the carboxyl side of Arg42 and cleaved slowly the fibrogen A alpha chain. Fibrinogen thus treated gradually became insensitive to thrombin. The proteolytic activity was inhibited with diisopropyl fluorophosphate, phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride or leupeptin. These results indicate that halystase is a serine protease structurally similar to coagulating thrombin-like snake venom proteases, but it specifically cleaves fibrinogen at sites different from thrombin without inducing fibrin clotting, and hydrolyzes kininogen to produce bradykinin, resulting in the reduction of blood pressure.

  3. Purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of an acidic phospholipase A2 with vasoconstrictor activity from Agkistrodon halys pallas venom.

    PubMed

    Zou, Zhisong; Zeng, Fuxing; Zhang, Lu; Niu, Liwen; Teng, Maikun; Li, Xu

    2012-11-01

    Phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) are the major component of snake venoms and exert a variety of relevant toxic actions such as neurotoxicity and myotoxicity, amongst others. An acidic PLA2, here named AhV_aPA, was purified from Agkistrodon halys pallas venom by means of a three-step chromatographic procedure. AhV_aPA migrated as a single band on SDS-PAGE gels, with a molecular weight of about 14 kDa. Like other acidic aPLA2s, AhV_aPA has high enzymatic activity. Tension measurements of mouse thoracic aortic rings remarkably indicated that AhV_aPA could induce a further contractile response on the 60 mM K+-induced contraction, with an EC50 of 369 nmol l(-1). Rod-shaped crystals were obtained by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method and diffracted to a resolution limit of 2.30 Å. The crystals belonged to space group P222, with unit-cell parameters a=44.27, b=68.39, c=81.54 Å. PMID:23143242

  4. rAdinbitor, a disintegrin from Agkistrodon halys brevicaudus stejneger, inhibits tumorigenicity of hepatocarcinoma via enhanced anti-angiogenesis and immunocompetence.

    PubMed

    Sun, Ming-Zhong; Cui, Yanhua; Guo, Chunmei; Zhao, Baochang; Liu, Shuqing

    2015-09-01

    Adinbitor is a disintegrin previously obtained from Agkistrodon halys brevicaudus stejneger by our group. Here, we investigated the in vitro and in vivo anti-tumor activities of recombinant Adinbitor (rAdinbitor). rAdinbitor stimulation can inhibit the in vitro proliferation, migration and invasion capacities of murine hepatocarcinoma H22 and Hca-F cells. The administrations of rAdinbitor either by gavage or intraperitoneal injection suppress the tumor malignancy and prolong the survival rate and time of H22-transplanted mice. The number and size of formed blood vessels decreased dramatically in tumorous tissues in that the expression levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and cluster of differentiation 34 (CD34) were significantly decreased in responding to rAdinbitor treatment. The protein levels of IL-18 and IgG increased significantly in the serum of H22-transplanted tumor mice with rAdinbitor treatment. rAdinbitor shows in vitro and in vivo anti-tumor effects as an angiogenesis inhibitor and immunocompetence enhancer. PMID:26133656

  5. Anticoagulant response to Agkistrodon contortrix venom (ACV test): a new global test to screen for defects in the anticoagulant protein C pathway.

    PubMed

    Robert, A; Eschwège, V; Hameg, H; Drouet, L; Aillaud, M F

    1996-04-01

    As specific assays used to identify defects in the protein C (PC) anticoagulant pathway are laborious and expensive, we describe here a global test to screen for these defects. This assay is expressed as the ratio of two activated partial thromboplastin times, one in the absence and one in the presence of 0,125 U/ml of the PC activator of Agkistrodon contortrix venom (ACV). Eight of the 168 healthy volunteers of the control group exhibited an ACV ratio below the lower normal limit of 3.37 [6 subjects with the mutation Arg 506 to Gln in their factor V gene (FV R506Q) and one with PS deficiency]. 128 patients who have had at least one episode of deep-vein thrombosis were retrospectively studied. All patients carrying FV Q506R (n = 48), PC deficiency (n = 14) or combined defects, i.e. FV Q506R and PC deficiency (n = 4) or FV Q506R and PS deficiency (n = 3), had ACV ratios < 3.37. PS deficient plasmas (n = 20) exhibited ACV ratios which overlapped normal range. ACV ratios of one out of seven patients with antithrombin deficiency, and 10% of patients without identified defect in the PC anticoagulant pathway (n = 30) were < 3.37. An ACV ratio raised to 3.70 could lead to a test identifying all patients with a defect in the PC anticoagulant pathway.

  6. Crystal structure and activating effect on RyRs of AhV_TL-I, a glycosylated thrombin-like enzyme from Agkistrodon halys snake venom.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Fuxing; Shen, Bing; Zhu, Zhongliang; Zhang, Ping; Ji, Yonghua; Niu, Liwen; Li, Xu; Teng, Maikun

    2013-03-01

    A snake venom thrombin-like enzyme (SVTLE) from Agkistrodon halys pallas venom was isolated by means of a two-step chromatographic procedure. The purified enzyme, named AhV_TL-I, showed fibrinogenolytic activity against both the Aα and Bβ chains of bovine fibrinogen. Unlike the other SVTLEs, AhV_TL-I has poor esterolytic activity upon BAEE substrate. The N-terminal sequence of AhV_TL-I was determined to be IIGGDEXNINEHRFLVALYT, and the molecular mass was confirmed to 29389.533 Da by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Its complete cDNA and derived amino acid sequence were obtained by RT-PCR. The crystal structure of AhV_TL-I was determined at a resolution of 1.75 Å. A disaccharide was clearly mapped in the structure, which involved in regulating the esterolytic activity of AhV_TL-I. The presence of the N-glycan deformed the 99-loop, and the resulting steric hindrances hindered the substrates to access the active site. Furthermore, with the carbohydrate moiety, AhV_TL-I could induce mouse thoracic aortic ring contraction with the EC(50) of 147 nmol/L. Besides, the vasoconstrictor effects of AhV_TL-I were also independent of the enzymatic activity. The results of [Ca(2+)](i) measurement showed that the vasoconstrictor effects of AhV_TL-I were attributed to Ca(2+) releasing from Ca(2+) store. Further studies showed that it was related to the activation of ryanodine receptors (RyRs). These offer new insights into the snake SVTLEs functions and provide a novel pathogenesis of A. halys pallas venom. PMID:23052203

  7. Purification and characterization of AHPM, a novel non-hemorrhagic P-IIIc metalloproteinase with α-fibrinogenolytic and platelet aggregation-inhibition activities, from Agkistrodon halys pallas venom.

    PubMed

    Song, Jiajia; Xu, Xiaolong; Zhang, Yan; Guo, Mingchun; Yan, Xincheng; Wang, Shasha; Gao, Shang

    2013-04-01

    A novel non-hemorrhagic metalloproteinase, AHPM, was purified from the venom of Agkistrodon halys pallas by a combination of ion-exchange and gel filtration chromatography. AHPM is a dimeric glycoprotein with multiple pIs around pH 7.9 and has a molecular mass of 110 kDa with two blocked N-terminuses. Partial sequence of AHPM obtained by LC-MS/MS analysis together with its dimeric nature reveals that it is a P-IIIc snake venom metalloproteinase composed of metalloproteinase, disintegrin-like and cysteine-rich domains. AHPM has a conserved DECD sequence in the disintegrin-like domain. AHPM hydrolyzes casein and fibrinogen and also dissolves fibrin clots and the proteolytic activity is abolished by EDTA, but not by PMSF, suggesting that it is a metalloproteinase. The protease hydrolyzes rapidly the Aα-chain of fibrinogen followed by the Bβ-chain and does not cleave the γ-chain. AHPM contains endogenous Zn(2+) and Ca(2+) ions at a molar ratio of 1:1.9 and 1:4.2, respectively, and Zn(2+) ions are essential for its proteolytic activity. AHPM inhibits collagen-and ADP-induced platelet aggregation with half maximal inhibitory concentrations of 200 ± 8 nM and 280 ± 10 nM, respectively. EDTA markedly attenuates the inhibition of ADP-induced platelet aggregation by AHPM, indicating that the fibrinogenolytic activity of AHPM is involved in its inhibition of ADP-induced platelet aggregation. AHPM is devoid of hemorrhagic activity when injected (up to 30 μg) subcutaneously into mice. AHPM is so far identified as first non-hemorrhagic P-IIIc SVMP which has both fibrinolytic and platelet aggregation-inhibition activities. The bifunctional enzyme may have a potential clinical application as a thrombolytic agent. PMID:23104267

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Detection of eastern equine encephalomyelitis virus RNA in North American snakes.

    PubMed

    Bingham, Andrea M; Graham, Sean P; Burkett-Cadena, Nathan D; White, Gregory S; Hassan, Hassan K; Unnasch, Thomas R

    2012-12-01

    The role of non-avian vertebrates in the ecology of eastern equine encephalomyelitis virus (EEEV) is unresolved, but mounting evidence supports a potential role for snakes in the EEEV transmission cycle, especially as over-wintering hosts. To determine rates of exposure and infection, we examined serum samples from wild snakes at a focus of EEEV in Alabama for viral RNA using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Two species of vipers, the copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) and the cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus), were found to be positive for EEEV RNA using this assay. Prevalence of EEEV RNA was more frequent in seropositive snakes than seronegative snakes. Positivity for the quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction in cottonmouths peaked in April and September. Body size and sex ratios were not significantly different between infected and uninfected snakes. These results support the hypothesis that snakes are involved in the ecology of EEEV in North America, possibly as over-wintering hosts for the virus.

  11. Facultative parthenogenesis discovered in wild vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Booth, Warren; Smith, Charles F.; Eskridge, Pamela H.; Hoss, Shannon K.; Mendelson, Joseph R.; Schuett, Gordon W.

    2012-01-01

    Facultative parthenogenesis (FP)—asexual reproduction by bisexual species—has been documented in a variety of multi-cellular organisms but only recently in snakes, varanid lizards, birds and sharks. Unlike the approximately 80 taxa of unisexual reptiles, amphibians and fishes that exist in nature, FP has yet to be documented in the wild. Based on captive documentation, it appears that FP is widespread in squamate reptiles (snakes, lizards and amphisbaenians), and its occurrence in nature seems inevitable, yet the task of detecting FP in wild individuals has been deemed formidable. Here we show, using microsatellite DNA genotyping and litter characteristics, the first cases of FP in wild-collected pregnant females and their offspring of two closely related species of North American pitviper snakes—the copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) and cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus). Our findings support the view that non-hybrid origins of parthenogenesis, such as FP, are more common in squamates than previously thought. With this confirmation, FP can no longer be viewed as a rare curiosity outside the mainstream of vertebrate evolution. Future research on FP in squamate reptiles related to proximate control of induction, reproductive competence of parthenogens and population genetics modelling is warranted. PMID:22977071

  12. Facultative parthenogenesis in a critically endangered wild vertebrate.

    PubMed

    Fields, Andrew T; Feldheim, Kevin A; Poulakis, Gregg R; Chapman, Demian D

    2015-06-01

    Facultative parthenogenesis - the ability of sexually reproducing species to sometimes produce offspring asexually - is known from a wide range of ordinarily sexually reproducing vertebrates in captivity, including some birds, reptiles and sharks [1-3]. Despite this, free-living parthenogens have never been observed in any of these taxa in the wild, although two free-living snakes were recently discovered each gestating a single parthenogen - one copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) and one cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) [1]. Vertebrate parthenogens are characterized as being of the homogametic sex (e.g., females in sharks, males in birds) and by having elevated homozygosity compared to their mother [1-3], which may reduce their viability [4]. Although it is unknown if either of the parthenogenetic snakes would have been carried to term or survived in the wild, facultative parthenogenesis might have adaptive significance [1]. If this is true, it is reasonable to hypothesize that parthenogenesis would be found most often at low population density, when females risk reproductive failure because finding mates is difficult [5]. Here, we document the first examples of viable parthenogens living in a normally sexually reproducing wild vertebrate, the smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata). We also provide a simple approach to screen any microsatellite DNA database for parthenogens, which will enable hypothesis-driven research on the significance of vertebrate parthenogenesis in the wild. PMID:26035783

  13. Detection of eastern equine encephalomyelitis virus RNA in North American snakes.

    PubMed

    Bingham, Andrea M; Graham, Sean P; Burkett-Cadena, Nathan D; White, Gregory S; Hassan, Hassan K; Unnasch, Thomas R

    2012-12-01

    The role of non-avian vertebrates in the ecology of eastern equine encephalomyelitis virus (EEEV) is unresolved, but mounting evidence supports a potential role for snakes in the EEEV transmission cycle, especially as over-wintering hosts. To determine rates of exposure and infection, we examined serum samples from wild snakes at a focus of EEEV in Alabama for viral RNA using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Two species of vipers, the copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) and the cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus), were found to be positive for EEEV RNA using this assay. Prevalence of EEEV RNA was more frequent in seropositive snakes than seronegative snakes. Positivity for the quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction in cottonmouths peaked in April and September. Body size and sex ratios were not significantly different between infected and uninfected snakes. These results support the hypothesis that snakes are involved in the ecology of EEEV in North America, possibly as over-wintering hosts for the virus. PMID:23033405

  14. Facultative parthenogenesis discovered in wild vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Booth, Warren; Smith, Charles F; Eskridge, Pamela H; Hoss, Shannon K; Mendelson, Joseph R; Schuett, Gordon W

    2012-12-23

    Facultative parthenogenesis (FP)-asexual reproduction by bisexual species-has been documented in a variety of multi-cellular organisms but only recently in snakes, varanid lizards, birds and sharks. Unlike the approximately 80 taxa of unisexual reptiles, amphibians and fishes that exist in nature, FP has yet to be documented in the wild. Based on captive documentation, it appears that FP is widespread in squamate reptiles (snakes, lizards and amphisbaenians), and its occurrence in nature seems inevitable, yet the task of detecting FP in wild individuals has been deemed formidable. Here we show, using microsatellite DNA genotyping and litter characteristics, the first cases of FP in wild-collected pregnant females and their offspring of two closely related species of North American pitviper snakes-the copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) and cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus). Our findings support the view that non-hybrid origins of parthenogenesis, such as FP, are more common in squamates than previously thought. With this confirmation, FP can no longer be viewed as a rare curiosity outside the mainstream of vertebrate evolution. Future research on FP in squamate reptiles related to proximate control of induction, reproductive competence of parthenogens and population genetics modelling is warranted. PMID:22977071

  15. Environmental contaminants in Texas, USA, wetland reptiles: Evaluation using blood samples

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, D.R.; Bickham, J.W.; Baker, D.L.; Cowman, D.F.

    2000-01-01

    Four species of reptiles (diamondback water snake [Nerodia rhombifer], blotched water snake [N. erythrogaster], cottonmouth [Agkistrodon piscivorus], and red-eared slider [Trachemys scripta]) were collected at two contaminated and three reference sites in Texas, USA. Old River Slough has received intensive applications of agricultural chemicals since the 1950s. Municipal Lake received industrial arsenic wastes continuously from 1940 to 1993. Blood samples were analyzed for organochlorines, potentially toxic elements, genetic damage, and plasma cholinesterase (ChE). Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) concentrations reached as high as 3.0 ppm (wet weight) in whole blood of a diamondback water snake at Old River Slough, a level probably roughly equivalent to the maximum concentration found in plasma of peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) in 1978 to 1979 when DDE peaked in this sensitive species. Possible impacts on diamondback water snakes are unknown, but at least one diamondback water snake was gravid when captured, indicating active reproduction. Arsenic was not found in red-eared sliders (only species sampled) from Municipal Lake. Red-eared sliders of both sexes at Old River Slough showed declining levels of ChE with increasing mass, suggesting a life-long decrease of ChE levels. Possible negative population consequences are unknown, but no evidence was found in body condition (mass relative to carapace length) that red-eared sliders at either contaminated site were harmed.

  16. [Expression, refolding and biological activity of recombinant type-I metalloproteinase acutolysin a from Agkistrodon acutus].

    PubMed

    Xiang, Kai-Jun; Yu, Hong-Xiu; Zou, Chun-Sen; Yuan, Pei-Hua; Liu, Jing

    2002-09-01

    Type-I snake venom metalloproteinase acutolysin A gene was cloned into the prokaryotic expression vector pBAD/gIIIA and the resulting recombinant plasmid pDS was obtained. By the induction with 0.02% L-(+)-arabinose, the recombinant metalloproteinase was expressed in insoluble inclusion body in E. coli TOP10 and reached up to 5%--10% of total bacterial proteins. The recombinant metalloproteinase has an additional sequence of N-terminal 22 amino acids and C-terminal 8 amino acids (housing 6 histidines), both of which derived from the vector. The purified inclusion body was solubilized by 8 mol/L urea or 6 mol/L guanidine-HCl and the denatured soluble recombinant metalloproteinase was allowed to refold in vitro. Western blotting and ELISA obviously showed that the renatured recombinant metalloproteinase possessed strong immune reactivity very closely related to natural acutolysin A. Animal experiments showed that the refolded recombinant metalloproteinase had an obvious hemorrhagic activity. Except PMSF, 1 mmol/L EDTA, 1 mmol/L EGTA, and 3 mmol/L imidazole could inhibit the hemorrhagic activity of the recombinant and the natural metalloproteinases to different extent. Based on the investigations of others and our experimental results, the hemorrhagic mechanism of snake metalloproteinases was discussed.

  17. Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) envenomation of dogs: 52 cases (2004-2011).

    PubMed

    Pritchard, Jessica C; Birkenheuer, Adam J; Hanel, Rita M; Wood, Michael W

    2014-01-01

    Copperhead envenomation is common within the US, and no studies exist describing the clinical course of copperhead envenomation in dogs. Almost all treatment decisions regarding those bites are extrapolated from retrospective studies evaluating the clinical course of rattlesnake bites. Because copperheads and rattlesnakes produce venom with different potency, assumptions that treatment of the different envenomations should be similar may be incorrect. The purpose of this retrospective study was to evaluate the clinical course of copperhead envenomation in dogs and administered treatments. Medical records of 52 dogs treated for copperhead envenomation were reviewed, and owners were contacted regarding outcome. The most common clinical signs associated with copperhead envenomation included swelling, pain, and ecchymosis. Clinicopathological abnormalities (e.g., thrombocytopenia, elevated clotting times, leukocytosis) were mild, and red blood cell morphology changes and coagulopathies were rare. Most dogs were treated with antimicrobials, analgesics, and fluid therapy. No dogs in this study required the use of antivenin and all survived to discharge. This study found that the clinical course after copperhead envenomation is generally limited to local rather than systemic illness. Copperhead envenomation in dogs is largely self-limiting and responsive to supportive care with hospitalization for monitoring. PMID:25028441

  18. Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) envenomation of dogs: 52 cases (2004-2011).

    PubMed

    Pritchard, Jessica C; Birkenheuer, Adam J; Hanel, Rita M; Wood, Michael W

    2014-01-01

    Copperhead envenomation is common within the US, and no studies exist describing the clinical course of copperhead envenomation in dogs. Almost all treatment decisions regarding those bites are extrapolated from retrospective studies evaluating the clinical course of rattlesnake bites. Because copperheads and rattlesnakes produce venom with different potency, assumptions that treatment of the different envenomations should be similar may be incorrect. The purpose of this retrospective study was to evaluate the clinical course of copperhead envenomation in dogs and administered treatments. Medical records of 52 dogs treated for copperhead envenomation were reviewed, and owners were contacted regarding outcome. The most common clinical signs associated with copperhead envenomation included swelling, pain, and ecchymosis. Clinicopathological abnormalities (e.g., thrombocytopenia, elevated clotting times, leukocytosis) were mild, and red blood cell morphology changes and coagulopathies were rare. Most dogs were treated with antimicrobials, analgesics, and fluid therapy. No dogs in this study required the use of antivenin and all survived to discharge. This study found that the clinical course after copperhead envenomation is generally limited to local rather than systemic illness. Copperhead envenomation in dogs is largely self-limiting and responsive to supportive care with hospitalization for monitoring.

  19. Comparative mitochondrial genomics of snakes: extraordinary substitution rate dynamics and functionality of the duplicate control region

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Zhi J; Castoe, Todd A; Austin, Christopher C; Burbrink, Frank T; Herron, Matthew D; McGuire, Jimmy A; Parkinson, Christopher L; Pollock, David D

    2007-01-01

    Background The mitochondrial genomes of snakes are characterized by an overall evolutionary rate that appears to be one of the most accelerated among vertebrates. They also possess other unusual features, including short tRNAs and other genes, and a duplicated control region that has been stably maintained since it originated more than 70 million years ago. Here, we provide a detailed analysis of evolutionary dynamics in snake mitochondrial genomes to better understand the basis of these extreme characteristics, and to explore the relationship between mitochondrial genome molecular evolution, genome architecture, and molecular function. We sequenced complete mitochondrial genomes from Slowinski's corn snake (Pantherophis slowinskii) and two cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorus) to complement previously existing mitochondrial genomes, and to provide an improved comparative view of how genome architecture affects molecular evolution at contrasting levels of divergence. Results We present a Bayesian genetic approach that suggests that the duplicated control region can function as an additional origin of heavy strand replication. The two control regions also appear to have different intra-specific versus inter-specific evolutionary dynamics that may be associated with complex modes of concerted evolution. We find that different genomic regions have experienced substantial accelerated evolution along early branches in snakes, with different genes having experienced dramatic accelerations along specific branches. Some of these accelerations appear to coincide with, or subsequent to, the shortening of various mitochondrial genes and the duplication of the control region and flanking tRNAs. Conclusion Fluctuations in the strength and pattern of selection during snake evolution have had widely varying gene-specific effects on substitution rates, and these rate accelerations may have been functionally related to unusual changes in genomic architecture. The among-lineage and

  20. A Novel Direct Factor Xa Inhibitory Peptide with Anti-Platelet Aggregation Activity from Agkistrodon acutus Venom Hydrolysates.

    PubMed

    Chen, Meimei; Ye, Xiaohui; Ming, Xin; Chen, Yahui; Wang, Ying; Su, Xingli; Su, Wen; Kong, Yi

    2015-01-01

    Snake venom is a natural substance that contains numerous bioactive proteins and peptides, nearly all of which have been identified over the last several decades. In this study, we subjected snake venom to enzymatic hydrolysis to identify previously unreported bioactive peptides. The novel peptide ACH-11 with the sequence LTFPRIVFVLG was identified with both FXa inhibition and anti-platelet aggregation activities. ACH-11 inhibited the catalytic function of FXa towards its substrate S-2222 via a mixed model with a Ki value of 9.02 μM and inhibited platelet aggregation induced by ADP and U46619 in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, ACH-11 exhibited potent antithrombotic activity in vivo. It reduced paralysis and death in an acute pulmonary thrombosis model by 90% and attenuated thrombosis weight in an arterio-venous shunt thrombosis model by 57.91%, both at a dose of 3 mg/kg. Additionally, a tail cutting bleeding time assay revealed that ACH-11 did not prolong bleeding time in mice at a dose of 3 mg/kg. Together, our results reveal that ACH-11 is a novel antithrombotic peptide exhibiting both FXa inhibition and anti-platelet aggregation activities, with a low bleeding risk. We believe that it could be a candidate or lead compound for new antithrombotic drug development. PMID:26035670

  1. Characterization of Cytospora isolates from wood cankers of declining grapevine in North America, with the descriptions of two new Cytospora species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cytospora species are ubiquitous pathogens of woody plants, causing dieback and wood cankers in numerous perennial hosts, including agronomic crops (e.g., Prunus), timber trees (e.g., Eucalyptus), and riparian hosts (e.g., Salix). Cytospora chrysosperma, C. cincta, and C. leucostoma have been report...

  2. Two new Cytospora species, Cytospora vinacea sp. nov. and Cytospora viticola sp. nov., from declining vineyards in eastern North America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cytospora species are ubiquitous pathogens of woody plants, causing branch dieback and wood cankers in numerous perennial hosts, including agronomic crops (e.g., Prunus), timber trees (e.g., Eucalyptus), and riparian hosts (e.g., Salix). Cytospora chrysosperma, C. cincta, and C. leucostoma have been...

  3. Unusual snail species involved in the transmission of Fasciola hepatica in watercress beds in central France.

    PubMed

    Dreyfuss, G; Vignoles, P; Abrous, M; Rondelaud, D

    2002-06-01

    Four freshwater pulmonate species (Lymnaea ovata, L. stagnalis, Physa acuta, Planorbis leucostoma) were living in several watercress beds known for their relationships with human cases of fasciolosis, whereas L. truncatula was never found. The aims of these studies were to determine the prevalence of natural infections with Fasciola hepatica in snails and to verify if these species might ensure the full larval development of this trematode (with cercarial shedding) when they were experimentally subjected to F. hepatica only, or to co-infections with an other trematode species. Investigations were so carried out in six snail populations living in watercress beds (including three for P. acuta) and in four others originating from three brooks or a pond (as controls). Snails naturally infected with F. hepatica were found in two watercress beds inhabited by L. ovata (prevalence of infection: 1.4%) and P. leucostoma (0.1%), respectively. The L. ovata from the watercress bed could be infected at a higher size than those from the control population and the prevalence of this infection was greater in the bed population. Similar findings were noted for L. stagnalis. Despite single or dual infections, the results obtained with the four populations of P. acuta were unsuccessful. In contrast, the co-infections of young P. leucostoma with Paramphistomum daubneyi and F. hepatica resulted in the shedding of some F. hepatica cercariae. According to the authors, the occurrence of fasciolosis in these watercress beds would be the consequence of frequent natural encounters between parasite and snails (L. ovata, L. stagnalis), or of co-infections with P. daubneyi and F. hepatica (P. leucostoma). In watercress beds only colonized by P. acuta, a lymnaeid species would have ensured the larval development of F. hepatica but it would have been eliminated by P. acuta, as this last species was known to be invasive and could colonize open drainage ditches on siliceous soil.

  4. Molecular Identification of Necrophagous Muscidae and Sarcophagidae Fly Species Collected in Korea by Mitochondrial Cytochrome c Oxidase Subunit I Nucleotide Sequences

    PubMed Central

    Ham, Chan Seon; Kim, Seong Yoon; Ko, Kwang Soo; Jo, Tae-Ho; Son, Gi Hoon

    2014-01-01

    Identification of insect species is an important task in forensic entomology. For more convenient species identification, the nucleotide sequences of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene have been widely utilized. We analyzed full-length COI nucleotide sequences of 10 Muscidae and 6 Sarcophagidae fly species collected in Korea. After DNA extraction from collected flies, PCR amplification and automatic sequencing of the whole COI sequence were performed. Obtained sequences were analyzed for a phylogenetic tree and a distance matrix. Our data showed very low intraspecific sequence distances and species-level monophylies. However, sequence comparison with previously reported sequences revealed a few inconsistencies or paraphylies requiring further investigation. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first report of COI nucleotide sequences from Hydrotaea occulta, Muscina angustifrons, Muscina pascuorum, Ophyra leucostoma, Sarcophaga haemorrhoidalis, Sarcophaga harpax, and Phaonia aureola. PMID:24982938

  5. IgG subclass distributions of anti-horse serum antibodies and natural venom-antibodies produced in response to antivenom injection or snake bite in humans.

    PubMed

    Ameno, S; Ameno, K; Fuke, C; Kiryu, T; Ijiri, I

    1990-01-01

    The Japanese Mamushi (Agkistrodon halys blomhoffi, BOIE) is the most common snake in Japan. Bite victims treated with antivenom (horse serum) can produce antibodies against the horse serum and the snake venom. We studied distributions of the IgG subclasses of both these antibodies produced in response to antivenom injection and snake bite. We found that IgG1 and IgG4 of each antibody in the victims' serum were present for a long period of time. PMID:2343468

  6. Aptamer RA36 inhibits of human, rabbit, and rat plasma coagulation activated with thrombin or snake venom coagulases.

    PubMed

    Savchik, E Yu; Kalinina, T B; Drozd, N N; Makarov, V A; Zav'yalova, E G; Lapsheva, E N; Mudrik, N N; Babij, A V; Pavlova, G V; Golovin, A V; Kopylov, A M

    2013-11-01

    RA36 DNA aptamer is a direct anticoagulant prolonging clotting time of human, rabbit, and rat plasma in the thrombin time test. Anticoagulant activity of RA36 is lower than that of recombinant hirudin. During inhibition of human plasma clotting activated with echitox (coagulase from Echis multisquamatus venom), the aptamer presumably binds to meisothrombin exosite I. The sensitivity of human plasma to the aptamer 5-fold surpasses that of rat plasma. Analysis of RA36 binding to coagulase of Agkistrodon halys venom (ancistron) is required for proving the effect of aptamer on polymerization of human fibrinogen. PMID:24319726

  7. Cytospora species from Populus and Salix in China with C. davidiana sp. nov.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yan-Li; Lu, Quan; Decock, Cony; Li, Yong-Xia; Zhang, Xing-Yao

    2015-05-01

    Poplar and willow plantations have become widespread in China, in order to meet national economic and environmental needs. The emergence of several pathogens is enhanced by climatic change and associated human factors. Species of Cytospora are well-known pathogens on poplar and willow, and cause stem cankers and diebacks. In the present study, we conducted a survey of Cytospora species occurring on Populus spp. and Salix spp. in China. We used morphological examination and phylogenetic inferences, based on the DNA sequence data from the internal transcribed spacer regions (ITS1, 5.8S rDNA, and ITS2) and partial β-tubulin gene, to identify six Cytospora species occurring on poplar and willow. Five of these species belonged to known taxa, viz. Cytospora chrysosperma (asexual state of Valsa sordida), Cytospora translucens (asexual state of Leucostoma translucens), Cytospora fugax (asexual state of Valsa salicina), Cytospora atrocirrhata, and Cytospora kantschavelii. Our study yielded a new species, Cytospora davidiana sp. nov., on poplar. The new species is characterized by typical torsellioid conidiomata. An additional Cytospora sp. 1, which formed a distinct clade in the phylogenetic inferences, remains unnamed; the paucity of available materials prevented phenotypical characterization.

  8. Inhibitory effects on phospholipase A2 and antivenin activity of melanin extracted from Thea sinensis Linn.

    PubMed

    Hung, Yao-Ching; Sava, Vasyl; Hong, Meng-Yen; Huang, G Steven

    2004-03-01

    Antivenin activity of melanin extracted from black tea (MEBT) was reported for the first time. The antagonistic effect of MEBT was evaluated for Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus (broadbanded copperhead), Agkistrodon halys blomhoffii (Japanese mamushi), and Crotalus atrox (western diamondback rattlesnake) snake venoms administered i.p. to ICR mice. MEBT was injected i.p. immediately after the venom administration in dose of 3 mg per mouse in the same place of venom injection. MEBT demonstrated neutralization effect against all venoms tested. The greatest antivenin effect of MEBT was found against Japanese mamushi snake venom. In this case, half the mice died within 2.5 +/- 0.7 h after injection of 0.9 mg/kg of venom. An immediate injection of MEBT substantially reduced the toxic effect of venom and extended time at the 50% level of survival up to 52.3 +/- 2.3 h. The antivenin activity of MEBT is due to chelating of Ca++ and non-specific binding of phospholipase A2. The inhibitory effect of MEBT on phospholipase A2 assessed for different venoms was similar to that obtained with pure enzyme. Low toxicity of MEBT in combination with its antagonistic activity against different venoms may allow effective life-saving treatment against snakebites. Such application of MEBT is important when identification of the snake is impossible or if specific treatment is unavailable.

  9. [Properties of extracellular proteinase--an activator of protein C in blood plasma formed by Aspergillus ochraceus].

    PubMed

    Osmolovskiĭ, A A; Kreĭer, V G; Baranova, N A; Kurakov, A V; Egorov, N S

    2015-01-01

    The properties of an extracellular proteinase activating plasma protein C isolated from the culture supernatant of A. ochraceus VKM F-4104D have been studied. This enzyme demonstrated a substrate specificity absent of hydrolyzing activity toward chromogenic proteinase substrates. On the basis of inhibitory analysis, the protein C-activating proteinase from A. ochraceus VKM F-4104D appeared to be a serine proteinase, together with that isolated from the venom of Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix. The isolated enzyme was a nonglycosylated protein with a molecular weight of about 33 kDa, pI 6.0 with an observed optimal activity under a pH of 8.0-9.0 and 37°C. A comparison of the properties of the protein C-activating proteinase formed by A. ochraceus and the enzyme derived from the venom of Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix demonstrated a similarity in their properties; however, proteinase from the micromycete appeared to be in the nonglycosylated state and possessed the ability to hydrolyze the chromogenic plasmin substrate H-D-Val-Leu-Lys-pNA. PMID:25842908

  10. Cloning of cDNAs and molecular characterisation of C-type lectin-like proteins from snake venoms.

    PubMed

    Feng, Jian; Chen, Tianbao; Zhou, Mei; Shaw, Chris

    2012-12-15

    C-type lectin-like proteins (CTLPs) isolated from snake venoms are the largest and most complex non-mammalian vertebrate C-type lectin-like domain family. In the present study, we simultaneously amplified four cDNAs encoding different types of CTLP subunits from the venoms of two different species of snakes by RT-PCR with a single sense primer and a nested universal primer - two CTLP subunit-encoding cDNAs were cloned from Deinagkistrodon acutus venom and two from Agkistrodon halys Pallas venom. All four cloned CTLP subunits exhibited typical motifs in their corresponding domain regions but with relatively-low sequence similarities to each other. Compared with previously-published CTLPs, the four cloned CTLPs subunits showed slight variations in the calcium-binding sites and the disulphide bonding patterns. To our knowledge, these data constitute the first example of co-expression of CTLP platelet glycoprotein Ib-binding subunits and coagulation factors in Agkistrodon halys Pallas venom. PMID:23010162

  11. Anadromous alewives, Alosa pseudoharengus, as prey for white perch, Morone americana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moring, J.R.; Mink, L.H.

    2002-01-01

    The reintroduction of anadromous alewives, Alosa pseudoharengus, to their historic habitats in the inland waters of the United States and Canada, has prompted concerns about possible interactions with a popular sport fish, white perch, Morone americana. Both species are now widely distributed in northeastern North America. Diets of white perch in Lake George, Maine, U.S.A., where alewives were absent, were monitored and compared with those of white perch populations that were sympatric with anadromous alewives in two coastal Maine lakes, Biscay Pond and North Pond. In the presence of introduced alewives, the diet of adult white perch became almost exclusively juvenile alewives by late summer in ponds where both species were present. White perch that were sympatric with alewives were more piscivorus than were Lake George white perch, which primarily consumed Cladocera. Not only were alewives the principal prey item in the diet of white perch in Biscay and North ponds, but adult alewives were largely cannibalistic by August. Thus, success of reintroducing anadromous alewives in waters containing white perch may be negatively impacted by predation as well as cannibalism.

  12. Rosmarinic acid in Argusia argentea inhibits snake venom-induced hemorrhage.

    PubMed

    Aung, Hnin Thanda; Nikai, Toshiaki; Niwa, Masatake; Takaya, Yoshiaki

    2010-10-01

    A methanolic extract of Argusia (or Messerschmidia or Tournefortia) argentea (Boraginaceae) significantly inhibited hemorrhage induced by crude venom of Trimeresurus flavoviridis. The extract was then separated according to antivenom activity by using silica gel column chromatography and HPLC equipped with an octadecylsilanized silica gel (ODS) column to afford rosmarinic acid (RA) (1) as an active principle. RA (1) significantly inhibited the hemorrhagic effect of crude venoms of T. flavoviridis, Crotalus atrox, Gloydius blomhoffii, Bitis arietans as well as snake venom metalloproteinases, HT-b (C. atrox), bilitoxin 2 (Agkistrodon bilineatus), HF (B. arietans), and Ac1-proteinase (Deinagkistrodon acutus). This is the first report of the antihemorrhage activity of RA (1), and RA (1) greatly contributes to the antihemorrhagic efficiency of A. argentea against crude snake venoms and hemorrhagic toxins.

  13. [Application of rapid PCR to authenticate medicinal snakes].

    PubMed

    Chen, Kang; Jiang, Chao; Yuan, Yuan; Huang, Lu-Qi; Li, Man

    2014-10-01

    To obtained an accurate, rapid and efficient method for authenticate medicinal snakes listed in Chinese Pharmacopoeia (Zaocysd humnades, Bungarus multicinctus, Agkistrodon acutus), a rapid PCR method for authenticate snakes and its adulterants was established based on the classic molecular authentication methods. DNA was extracted by alkaline lysis and the specific primers were amplified by two-steps PCR amplification method. The denatured and annealing temperature and cycle numbers were optimized. When 100 x SYBR Green I was added in the PCR product, strong green fluorescence was visualized under 365 nm UV whereas adulterants without. The whole process can complete in 30-45 minutes. The established method provides the technical support for authentication of the snakes on field.

  14. [Expression of snake venom thrombin-like enzyme calobin in Pichia pastoris].

    PubMed

    Yuan, Shengling; Wang, Peng; Tao, Haoxia; Zhan, Dewen; Wang, Yanchun; Wang, Lingchun; Liu, Chunjie; Zhang, Zhaoshan

    2009-04-01

    Thrombin-like enzymes (TLEs) are studied widely because of their therapeutic potential in myocardial infarction and thrombotic diseases. We synthesized the DNA fragment encoding thrombin-like enzyme calobin from Agkistrodon caliginosus (Korean Viper) venom by fusion PCR and expressed it in Pichia pastoris. After induction by 0.5% methanol for 48 h, the expression level of recombinant calobin reached 3.5 g/L in medium. The recombinant calobin was purified by Q-Sepharose Fast Flow ion-exchange chromatography and Sephacryl-S-100 gel filtration chromatography. Purified sample had a molecular weight of 32 kD shown in SDS-PAGE. It hydrolyzed fibrinogen and formed a light white hydrolysis circle in fibrinogen plate. SDS-PAGE analysis showed that recombinant calobin cleaved Aalpha-chain of fibrinogen specifically, and produced an appropriately 40 kD new band. However, we failed to find its fibrin-clot formation activity. PMID:19637626

  15. Crystal structure of Jararacussin-I: the highly negatively charged catalytic interface contributes to macromolecular selectivity in snake venom thrombin-like enzymes.

    PubMed

    Ullah, A; Souza, T A C B; Zanphorlin, L M; Mariutti, R B; Santana, V S; Murakami, M T; Arni, R K

    2013-01-01

    Snake venom serine proteinases (SVSPs) are hemostatically active toxins that perturb the maintenance and regulation of both the blood coagulation cascade and fibrinolytic feedback system at specific points, and hence, are widely used as tools in pharmacological and clinical diagnosis. The crystal structure of a thrombin-like enzyme (TLE) from Bothrops jararacussu venom (Jararacussin-I) was determined at 2.48 Å resolution. This is the first crystal structure of a TLE and allows structural comparisons with both the Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix Protein C Activator and the Trimeresurus stejnegeri plasminogen activator. Despite the highly conserved overall fold, significant differences in the amino acid compositions and three-dimensional conformations of the loops surrounding the active site significantly alter the molecular topography and charge distribution profile of the catalytic interface. In contrast to other SVSPs, the catalytic interface of Jararacussin-I is highly negatively charged, which contributes to its unique macromolecular selectivity. PMID:23139169

  16. Design, synthesis of novel tryptophan derivatives for antiplatelet aggregation activity based on tripeptide pENW (pGlu-Asn-Trp).

    PubMed

    Xie, Zhouling; Feng, Sen; Wang, Ying; Cao, Chen; Huang, Jing; Chen, Yahui; Kong, Yi; Li, Zhiyu

    2015-09-18

    pENW, a three mer peptide derived from Agkistrodon acutus Guenther venom, has been found to be an antagonist of the GPIIb/IIIa receptor and shows antiplatelet aggregation activity. Based on pENW and a GPIIb/IIIa inhibitor Tirofiban, a series of tryptophan derivatives were designed, synthesized and evaluated for their antiplatelet aggregation activity induced by ADP. The most potent compound 87 was also tested for the bleeding time and antithrombotic activity in vivo in comparison with Tirofiban. The results indicated that 87 shows similar antiplatelet aggregation activity as Tirofiban to the aggregation of platelet induced by all of the four agonists, but has lower bleeding risk than Tirofiban, representing a promising lead compound for further study. PMID:26298494

  17. [Application of rapid PCR to authenticate medicinal snakes].

    PubMed

    Chen, Kang; Jiang, Chao; Yuan, Yuan; Huang, Lu-Qi; Li, Man

    2014-10-01

    To obtained an accurate, rapid and efficient method for authenticate medicinal snakes listed in Chinese Pharmacopoeia (Zaocysd humnades, Bungarus multicinctus, Agkistrodon acutus), a rapid PCR method for authenticate snakes and its adulterants was established based on the classic molecular authentication methods. DNA was extracted by alkaline lysis and the specific primers were amplified by two-steps PCR amplification method. The denatured and annealing temperature and cycle numbers were optimized. When 100 x SYBR Green I was added in the PCR product, strong green fluorescence was visualized under 365 nm UV whereas adulterants without. The whole process can complete in 30-45 minutes. The established method provides the technical support for authentication of the snakes on field. PMID:25612419

  18. Trimeresurus venom inhibition of anti-HPA-1a and anti-HPA-1b antibody binding to human platelets.

    PubMed

    Wlodar, S J; Stone, D L; Sinor, L T

    1995-01-01

    A solid-phase red cell adherence assay was used to demonstrate the specific inhibitory effect of seven species of Trimeresurus snake venom on the binding of HPA-1a- and HPA-1b-specific platelet antibodies. Trimeresurus venom did not inhibit the binding of HLA-, HPA-3a-, HPA-3b-, HPA-4a-, HPA-5a-, and HPA-5b-specific platelet antibodies. Venom from other genera of snakes, including representatives from Agkistrodon, Ancistrodon, Bitis, Bothrops, Bungarus, Causus, Crotalus, Dendroaspis, Ecis, Micrurus, Naja, Notechis, Ophiophagus, Pseudechis, Sepedon (Hemachatus), and Vipera, all failed to specifically inhibit anti-HPA-1a and HPA-1b binding. These results may indicate that the component in Trimeresurus snake venom previously reported to bind to the platelet GPIIb-IIIa complex, inhibiting fibrinogen binding, binds close to the HPA-1a and HPA-1b epitopes.

  19. Isolation and characterization of three Ca2+-dependent beta-galactoside-specific lectins from snake venoms.

    PubMed Central

    Gartner, T K; Ogilvie, M L

    1984-01-01

    Three lactose-inhibited lectins from the venoms of the snakes Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix (southern copperhead), Ancistrodon piscivorous leukostoma (western cottonmouth moccasin) and Crotalus atrox (western diamondback rattlesnake) have been isolated and newly characterized. The three lectins are similar to thrombolectin, a lectin isolated from the venom of Bothrops atrox (fer-de-lance) (Gartner, Stocker & Williams, 1980), with regard to sugar specificity, Mr, Ca2+ requirements and sensitivity to reducing agents. Each lectin is a dimer (Mr 28 000) consisting of monomers (Mr 14 000) indistinguishable on sodium dodecyl sulphate/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis. Haemagglutination activity is dependent on the presence of Ca2+ and is inhibited by reducing agents. The lectins are not identical and can be distinguished on the basis of relative affinities for inhibiting sugars, isoelectric points and immunoprecipitation assays using anti-(cottonmouth lectin) serum. Images Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 4. Fig. 5. PMID:6391472

  20. A double antibody sandwich micro-ELISA kit for the rapid diagnosis of snake bite.

    PubMed

    Dhaliwal, J S; Lim, T W; Sukumaran, K D

    1983-09-01

    A micro ELISA assay was established to diagnose systemic poisoning for the rapid administration of specific antivenom. Rabbit anti venom IgG was bound to the solid phase to enable detection of venom from both the Malayan Pit Viper (Agkistrodon rhodostoma) and the Common Cobra (Naja naja). This assay is read visually and takes 35 to 45 minutes to perform. It can detect 15.6 ng/ml of viper venom in 75 minutes and 7.8 ng/ml of cobra venom in 55 minutes. Tests on sera from snake bite patients showed detectable levels of snake venom in the serum even though administration of antivenom was not necessary. Furthermore, results from these clinical cases were obtained in less than 45 minutes. It was found that the most suitable washing media was saline/Tween, the assay could be performed at room temperature and plates stored for 6 months showed no loss of activity. PMID:6658505

  1. Optimum temperature for growth and preferred temperatures of age-0 lake trout

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Edsall, Thomas A.; Cleland, Joshua

    2000-01-01

    This study was performed to determine the thermal preferences and optimum temperature for growth of age-0 lake trout Salvelinus namaycush to help predict the thermal habitat they select when they leave the spawning grounds and to assess the risk posed to them in the Great Lakes by piscivorus, nonnative fishes whose thermal habitat preferences are known. The test fish were hatched in the laboratory from eggs taken from wild fish, acclimated to 5, 10, 15, and 18°C, and fed to excess with commercial trout food for 47 d. The test fish grew at all of the temperatures, and the specific growth rate was highest at about 12.5°C (3.8% wet body weight/d). Fish used in the growth study were also tested in a vertical thermal gradient tank and had a final thermal preferendum between 10.1°C and 10.2°C. These results, which generally agreed with those of an earlier laboratory study of the temperature preference of age-1 lake trout and the limited information on thermal habitat use by age-0 lake trout in the Great Lakes, indicated age-0 lake trout would tend to seek temperatures near 10°C, or as high as 12.5°C, during summer if food was abundant. Published information on thermal habitat use of age-1 and adult alewives Alosa pseudoharengus and rainbow smelt Osmerus mordax indicated they would be expected to co-occur with age-0 lake trout during much of the time when the lake trout were small enough to be eaten by these two introduced piscivores.

  2. Identification and functional analysis of a novel bradykinin inhibitory peptide in the venoms of New World Crotalinae pit vipers

    SciTech Connect

    James Graham, Robert Leslie . E-mail: rl.graham@ulster.ac.uk; Graham, Ciaren; McClean, Stephen; Chen, Tianbao; O'Rourke, Martin; Hirst, David; Theakston, David; Shaw, Chris

    2005-12-23

    A novel undecapeptide has been isolated and structurally characterized from the venoms of three species of New World pit vipers from the subfamily, Crotalinae. These include the Mexican moccasin (Agkistrodon bilineatus), the prairie rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis viridis), and the South American bushmaster (Lachesis muta). The peptide was purified from all three venoms using a combination of gel permeation chromatography and reverse-phase HPLC. Automated Edman degradation sequencing and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry established its peptide primary structure as: Thr-Pro-Pro-Ala-Gly-Pro-Asp-Val-Gly-Pro-Arg-OH, with a non-protonated molecular mass of 1063.18 Da. A synthetic replicate of the peptide was found to be an antagonist of bradykinin action at the rat vascular B2 receptor. This is the first bradykinin inhibitory peptide isolated from snake venom. Database searching revealed the peptide to be highly structurally related (10/11 residues) with a domain residing between the bradykinin-potentiating peptide and C-type natriuretic peptide domains of a recently cloned precursor from tropical rattlesnake (Crotalus durissus terrificus) venom gland. BIP thus represents a novel biological entity from snake venom.

  3. Bioenergetic components of reproductive effort in viviparous snakes: costs of vitellogenesis exceed costs of pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Van Dyke, James U; Beaupre, Steven J

    2011-12-01

    Reproductive effort has been defined as the proportion of an organism's energy budget that is allocated to reproduction over a biologically meaningful time period. Historically, studies of reproductive bioenergetics considered energy content of gametes, but not costs of gamete production. Although metabolic costs of vitellogenesis (MCV) fundamentally reflect the primary bioenergetic cost of reproductive allocation in female reptiles, the few investigations that have considered costs of reproductive allocation have focused on metabolic costs of pregnancy (MCP) in viviparous species. We define MCP as energetic costs incurred by pregnant females, including all costs of maintaining gestation conditions necessary for embryogenesis. MCP by our definition do not include fetal costs of embryogenesis. We measured metabolic rates in five species of viviparous snakes (Agkistrodon contortrix, Boa constrictor, Eryx colubrinus, Nerodia sipedon, and Thamnophis sirtalis) during vitellogenesis and pregnancy in order to estimate MCV and MCP. Across all species, MCV were responsible for 30% increases in maternal metabolism. Phylogenetically-independent contrasts showed that MCV were significantly greater in B. constrictor than in other species, likely because B. constrictor yolk energy content was greater than that of other species. Estimates of MCP were not significantly different from zero in any species. In viviparous snakes, MCV appear to represent significant bioenergetic expenditures, while MCP do not. We suggest that MCV, together with yolk energy content, represent the most significant component of reptilian reproductive effort, and therefore deserve greater attention than MCP in studies of reptilian reproductive bioenergetics.

  4. Purification and cloning of cysteine-rich proteins from Trimeresurus jerdonii and Naja atra venoms.

    PubMed

    Jin, Yang; Lu, Qiumin; Zhou, Xingding; Zhu, Shaowen; Li, Rui; Wang, Wanyu; Xiong, Yuliang

    2003-10-01

    Three 26 kDa proteins, named as TJ-CRVP, NA-CRVP1 and NA-CRVP2, were isolated from the venoms of Trimeresurus jerdonii and Naja atra, respectively. The N-terminal sequences of TJ-CRVP and NA-CRVPs were determined. These components were devoid of the enzymatic activities tested, such as phospholipase A(2), arginine esterase, proteolysis, L-amino acid oxidase, 5'nucleotidase, acetylcholinesterase. Furthermore, these three components did not have the following biological activities: coagulant and anticoagulant activities, lethal activity, myotoxicity, hemorrhagic activity, platelet aggregation and platelet aggregation-inhibiting activities. These proteins are named as cysteine-rich venom protein (CRVP) because their sequences showed high level of similarity with mammalian cysteine-rich secretory protein (CRISP) family. Recently, some CRISP-like proteins were also isolated from several different snake venoms, including Agkistrodon blomhoffi, Trimeresurus flavoviridis, Lanticauda semifascita and king cobra. We presumed that CRVP might be a common component in snake venoms. Of particular interest, phylogenetic analysis and sequence alignment showed that NA-CRVP1 and ophanin, both from elapid snakes, share higher similarity with CRVPs from Viperidae snakes. PMID:14529736

  5. Comparative analysis of viperidae venoms antibacterial profile: a short communication for proteomics.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Bruno L; Santos, Dilvani O; Dos Santos, André Luis; Rodrigues, Carlos R; de Freitas, Cícero C; Cabral, Lúcio M; Castro, Helena C

    2011-01-01

    Bacterial infections involving multidrug-resistant strains are one of the ten leading causes of death and an important health problem in need for new antibacterial sources and agents. Herein, we tested and compared four snake venoms (Agkistrodon rhodostoma, Bothrops jararaca, B. atrox and Lachesis muta) against 10 Gram-positive and Gram-negative drug-resistant clinical bacteria strains to identify them as new sources of potential antibacterial molecules. Our data revealed that, as efficient as some antibiotics currently on the market (minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) = 1-32 μg mL(-1)), A. rhodostoma and B. atrox venoms were active against Staphylococcus epidermidis and Enterococcus faecalis (MIC = 4.5 μg mL(-1)), while B. jararaca inhibited S. aureus growth (MIC = 13 μg ml(-1)). As genomic and proteomic technologies are improving and developing rapidly, our results suggested that A. rhodostoma, B. atrox and B. jararaca venoms and glands are feasible sources for searching antimicrobial prototypes for future design new antibiotics against drug-resistant clinical bacteria. They also point to an additional perspective to fully identify the pharmacological potential of these venoms by using different techniques. PMID:18955360

  6. [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

  7. Discovery of Larval Gnathostoma nipponicum in Frogs and Snakes from Jeju-do (Province), Republic of Korea

    PubMed Central

    Woo, Ho-Choon; Oh, Hong-Shik; Cho, Shin-Hyeong; Na, Byoung-Kuk

    2011-01-01

    A survey was performed to find out the intermediate hosts of Gnathostoma nipponicum in Jeju-do (Province), the Republic of Korea. In August 2009 and 2010, a total of 82 tadpoles, 23 black-spotted pond frogs (Rana nigromaculata), 7 tiger keelback snakes (Rhabdophis tigrinus tigrinus), 6 red-tongue viper snakes (Agkistrodon ussuriensis), and 2 cat snakes (Elaphe dione) were collected in Jeju-do and examined by the pepsin-HCl digestion method. Total 5 gnathostome larvae were detected in 3 (50%) of 6 A. ussuriensis, 70 larvae in 3 of 7 (42.9%) R. tigrinus tigrinus, and 2 larvae in 2 of 82 (8.7%) frogs. No gnathostome larvae were detected in tadpoles and cat snakes. The larvae detected were a single species, and 2.17×0.22 mm in average size. They had characteristic head bulbs, muscular esophagus, and 4 cervical sacs. Three rows of hooklets were arranged in the head bulbs, and the number of hooklets in each row was 29, 33, and 36 posteriorly. All these characters were consistent with the advanced third-stage larvae of G. nipponicum. It has been first confirmed in Jeju-do that R. nigromaculata, A. ussuriensis, and R. tigrinus tigrinus play a role for intermediate and/or paratenic hosts for G. nipponicum. PMID:22355217

  8. Tetrathyridia of Mesocestoides lineatus in Chinese snakes and their adults recovered from experimental animals.

    PubMed

    Cho, Shin-Hyeong; Kim, Tong-Soo; Kong, Yoon; Na, Byoung-Kuk; Sohn, Woon-Mok

    2013-10-01

    Morphological characteristics of Mesocestoides lineatus tetrathyridia collected from Chinese snakes and their adults recovered from experimental animals were studied. The tetrathyridia were detected mainly in the mesentery of 2 snake species, Agkistrodon saxatilis (25%) and Elaphe schrenckii (20%). They were 1.73 by 1.02 mm in average size and had an invaginated scolex with 4 suckers. Adult tapeworms were recovered from 2 hamsters and 1 dog, which were orally infected with 5-10 larvae each. Adults from hamsters were about 32 cm long and those from a dog were about 58 cm long. The scolex was 0.56 mm in average width with 4 suckers of 0.17 by 0.15 mm in average size. Mature proglottids measured 0.29 by 0.91 mm (av.). Ovaries and vitellaria bilobed and located in the posterior portion of proglottids. The cirrus sac was oval-shaped and located median. Testes were follicular, distributed in both lateral fields of proglottids, and 41-52 in number per proglottid. Gravid proglottids were 1.84 by 1.39 mm (av.) with a characteristic paruterine organ. Eggs were 35 by 27 µm in average size with a hexacanth embryo. These morphological characteristics of adult worms were identical with those of M. lineatus reported previously. Therefore, it has been confirmed that the tetrathyridia detected in 2 species of Chinese snakes are the metacestodes of M. lineatus, and 2 snake species, A. saxatilis and E. schrenckii, play the role of intermediate hosts.

  9. Thousands of microsatellite loci from the venomous coralsnake (Micrurus fulvius) and variability of select loci across populations and related species

    PubMed Central

    Castoe, Todd A.; Streicher, Jeffrey W.; Meik, Jesse M.; Ingrasci, Matthew J.; Poole, Alexander W.; de Koning, A.P. Jason; Campbell, Jonathan A.; Parkinson, Christopher L.; Smith, Eric N.; Pollock, David D.

    2012-01-01

    Studies of population genetics increasingly use next-generation DNA sequencing to identify microsatellite loci in non-model organisms. There are, however, relatively few studies that validate the feasibility of transitioning from marker development to experimental application across populations and species. North American coralsnakes of the Micrurus fulvius species complex occur in the United States and Mexico, and little is known about their population structure and phylogenetic relationships. This absence of information and population genetics markers is particularly concerning because they are highly venomous and have important implications on human health. To alleviate this problem in coralsnakes, we investigated the feasibility of using 454 shotgun sequences for microsatellite marker development. First, a genomic shotgun library from a single individual was sequenced (~7.74 megabases; 26,831 reads) to identify potentially amplifiable microsatellite loci (PALs). We then hierarchically sampled 76 individuals from throughout the geographic distribution of the species complex and examined whether PALs were amplifiable and polymorphic. Approximately half of the loci tested were readily amplifiable from all individuals, and 80% of the loci tested for variation were variable and thus informative as population genetic markers. To evaluate the repetitive landscape characteristics across multiple snakes, we also compared microsatellite content between the coralsnake and two other previously sampled snakes, the venomous copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) and Burmese python (Python molurus). PMID:22938699

  10. AhV_aPA-induced vasoconstriction involves the IP₃Rs-mediated Ca²⁺ releasing.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Fuxing; Zou, Zhisong; Niu, Liwen; Li, Xu; Teng, Maikun

    2013-08-01

    AhV_aPA, the acidic PLA₂ purified from Agkistrodon halys pallas venom, was previously reported to possess a strong enzymatic activity and can remarkably induce a further contractile response on the 60 mM K⁺-induced contraction with an EC₅₀ in 369 nM on mouse thoracic aorta rings. In the present study, we found that the p-bromo-phenacyl-bromide (pBPB), which can completely inhibit the enzymatic activity of AhV_aPA, did not significantly reduce the contractile response on vessel rings induced by AhV_aPA, indicating that the vasoconstrictor effects of AhV_aPA are independent of the enzymatic activity. The inhibitor experiments showed that the contractile response induced by AhV_aPA is mainly attributed to the Ca²⁺ releasing from Ca²⁺ store, especially sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). Detailed studies showed that the Ca²⁺ release from SR is related to the activation of inositol trisphosphate receptors (IP₃Rs) rather than ryanodine receptors (RyRs). Furthermore, the vasoconstrictor effect could be strongly reduced by pre-incubation with heparin, indicating that the basic amino acid residues on the surface of AhV_aPA may be involved in the interaction between AhV_aPA and the molecular receptors. These findings offer new insights into the functions of snake PLA₂ and provide a novel pathogenesis of A. halys pallas venom.

  11. Co-overexpression of PpPDI enhances secretion of ancrod in Pichia pastoris.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shou-Tao; Fang, Hui-Min; Zhao, Li; Tian, Qing-Nan; Qin, Yun-Fei; Lu, Ping; Chen, San-Jun; Bao, Zhen-Xia; Liang, Feng

    2011-08-01

    Ancrod, a serine protease purified from the venom of Agkistrodon rhodostoma, is highly specific for fibrinogen. It causes anticoagulation by defibrinogenation and has been used as a therapeutic anticoagulant for the treatment of moderate to severe forms of peripheral arterial circulatory disorders in a variety of countries. The DNA of ancrod was amplified by recursive PCR with a yeast bias codon and cloned into the pGEM-T Easy vector. In order to achieve a high level secretion and a full activity expression of ancrod in Pichia pastoris (P. pastoris), the P. pastoris protein disulfide bond isomerase (PpPDI) was co-overexpressed in the strain. The secretion characteristics of ancrod with and without PpPDI were examined. With co-overexpression of PpPDI, the production of recombinant ancrod (rAncrod) was increased to 315 mg/L in the culture medium, which is twofold higher than the control strain carrying only the ancrod gene. Through purified by Ni²⁺ affinity chromatography and phenyl Sepharose column, the purity of rAncrod was found to be as high as 95.2%. The fibrinogenolytic and zymographic activities of the rAncrod were determined and found to be similar to that of the native protein. This improved expression system can facilitate further studies and the industrial production of ancrod. PMID:21340538

  12. Thousands of microsatellite loci from the venomous coralsnake Micrurus fulvius and variability of select loci across populations and related species.

    PubMed

    Castoe, Todd A; Streicher, Jeffrey W; Meik, Jesse M; Ingrasci, Matthew J; Poole, Alexander W; de Koning, A P Jason; Campbell, Jonathan A; Parkinson, Christopher L; Smith, Eric N; Pollock, David D

    2012-11-01

    Studies of population genetics increasingly use next-generation DNA sequencing to identify microsatellite loci in nonmodel organisms. There are, however, relatively few studies that validate the feasibility of transitioning from marker development to experimental application across populations and species. North American coralsnakes of the Micrurus fulvius species complex occur in the United States and Mexico, and little is known about their population structure and phylogenetic relationships. This absence of information and population genetics markers is particularly concerning because they are highly venomous and have important implications on human health. To alleviate this problem in coralsnakes, we investigated the feasibility of using 454 shotgun sequences for microsatellite marker development. First, a genomic shotgun library from a single individual was sequenced (approximately 7.74 megabases; 26,831 reads) to identify potentially amplifiable microsatellite loci (PALs). We then hierarchically sampled 76 individuals from throughout the geographic distribution of the species complex and examined whether PALs were amplifiable and polymorphic. Approximately half of the loci tested were readily amplifiable from all individuals, and 80% of the loci tested for variation were variable and thus informative as population genetic markers. To evaluate the repetitive landscape characteristics across multiple snakes, we also compared microsatellite content between the coralsnake and two other previously sampled snakes, the venomous copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) and Burmese python (Python molurus).

  13. Interaction of toxic venoms with the complement system

    PubMed Central

    Birdsey, Vanessa; Lindorfer, Jean; Gewurz, H.

    1971-01-01

    Thirty-nine venoms from various vertebrate and invertebrate species were tested for their ability to consume haemolytic complement (C) activity upon incubation in fresh guinea-pig serum. Nineteen had `anti-complementary' activity, and these were provisionally sorted into the following groups: Pattern I—exemplified by the Naja haje (Egyptian cobra) and six other Elapidae species (all cobras), which induced selective consumption of C3—C9, and led to formation of a stable C3—C9-consuming intermediate; Pattern II—exemplified by the Agkistrodon rhodostoma (Malayan pit viper), Bitis arietans (puff adder), Bothrops jararaca (South American pit viper), Bothrops atrox (Fer de Lance) and three other species, which induced marked consumption of C4 and C2, as well as C3—C9, but did not form a stable C3—C9-consuming intermediate; and individual animals, e.g. the Lachesis muta (bushmaster), which induced other patterns (III—VI) of complement component consumption. Active fractions of representative venoms were partially purified by ion exchange and gel filtration chromatography and their interactions with the complement system characterized further. It is anticipated that these enzymes, with a capacity to activate the complement system in unique ways, will prove to be of further experimental usefulness. PMID:4398349

  14. [Mitochondrial mechanisms of apoptosis of human leukemia K562 cells induced by AVVC-1].

    PubMed

    Zheng, Ru-Qi; Zhang, Gen-Bao; Huang, Lu; Ma, Kai-Ran; Wu, Juan; Li, Shu

    2013-06-01

    This study was purpose to investigate apoptosis pathway of leukemia K562 cells induced by anticoagulant fraction from Agkistrodon acutus venom (AVVC-1). The mitochondrial transmembrane potential (ΔΨm) of leukemia K562 cells was detected by flow cytometry with JC-1 single staining. The expression of cytochrome C in the mitochondrial of leukemia K562 cells was analyzed by Western blot after AVVC-1 treatment. The distribution of cytochrome C in leukemia K562 cells was measured by immuno-fluorescence test. The results showed that the potential of mitochondrial membrane decreased after treatment with different concentrations of AVVC-1 (12.5, 25, 50, 100 µg/ml) for 6 h (P < 0.01). The expression level of cytochrome C protein in mitochondria obviously declined after treatment with 30 µg/ml AVVC-1 for 48 h, and the fluorescent intensity of cytochrome C in cytosol was enhanced at the same time. It is concluded that AVVC-1-induced K562 cell apoptosis is related with mitochondrial damage, and cytochrome C may be a useful agent for investigating human leukemia therapy by using AVVC-1. PMID:23815904

  15. Roads are associated with a blunted stress response in a North American pit viper.

    PubMed

    Owen, Dustin A S; Carter, Evin T; Holding, Matthew L; Islam, Kamal; Moore, Ignacio T

    2014-06-01

    Whereas numerous studies have examined roads as anthropogenic stressors in birds and mammals, comparatively few studies have been undertaken on reptiles. We investigated plasma corticosterone (CORT) levels at baseline and following 30min of restraint stress in free-ranging copperhead snakes (Agkistrodon contortrix) captured within the forest interior or while in contact with public roads. There was no difference in baseline CORT levels between snakes in the forest and on roads. Copperheads responded to restraint stress by increasing plasma levels of CORT; however snakes on roads exhibited a lower CORT stress response compared to forest snakes. Additionally, among snakes captured on roads there was a negative association between road traffic and baseline CORT, stressed CORT, and the magnitude of the CORT response. Our results suggest that roads are associated with a blunted stress response in copperheads. Reduced stress responses may be indicative of acclimation, the inhibited ability to mount a stress response in the face of prolonged chronic stress, or that road environments select for individuals with lower CORT responsiveness. Either scenario could result in increased road mortality if snakes do not perceive roads as a potential threat. PMID:24798578

  16. Balancing the Expression and Production of a Heterodimeric Protein: Recombinant Agkisacutacin as a Novel Antithrombotic Drug Candidate

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Yugang; Wu, Jing; Jia, Hao; Chen, Wei; Shao, Changsheng; Zhao, Lei; Ma, Jiajia; Li, Rui; Zhong, Yongjun; Fang, Fang; Wang, Dong; Sun, Jie; Qian, Fang; Dai, Xiangrong; Zhang, Guohui; Tian, Zhigang; Xiaoyi Li, Benjamin; Xiao, Weihua

    2015-01-01

    Agkisacucetin extracted from the venom of Agkistrodon acutus has been demonstrated to be a promising antithrombotic drug candidate in clinical studies due to its function as a novel platelet membrane glycoprotein (GP) Ib inhibitor. Agkisacucetin is a heterodimeric protein composed of α- and β-subunits with seven disulphide bonds. Both subunits form inactive homodimeric products, which cause difficulties for recombinant production. In this study, Agkisacucetin α- and β-subunits were inserted sequentially into the chromosome of Pichia pastoris at the mutant histidinol dehydrogenase gene and ribosomal DNA repeat sites, respectively. By optimizing the gene copies and productivity of each subunit by drug screening, we successfully obtained a recombinant strain with balanced expression of the two subunits. Using this strain, a yield greater than 100 mg/L recombinant Agkisacucetin in fed-batch fermentation was reached. The recombinant Agkisacucetin possessed extremely similar binding affinity to recombinant GPIb and human platelets in in vitro assays, and its ristocetin-induced platelet aggregation activity ex vivo was identical to that of the extracted native Agkisacucetin, demonstrating that the yeast-derived Agkisacucetin could be an effective alternative to native Agkisacucetin. Moreover, this study provides an effective strategy for balancing the expression and production of heterodimeric proteins in P. pastoris. PMID:26144864

  17. Inhibition of integrins αv/α5-dependent functions in melanoma cells by an ECD-disintegrin acurhagin-C.

    PubMed

    Shih, Chun-Ho; Chiang, Tin-Bin; Wang, Wen-Jeng

    2013-04-24

    Acurhagin-C, a Glu-Cys-Asp (ECD)-disintegrin from Agkistrodon acutus venom, has been reported as an endothelial apoptosis inducer, previously. Here we further evaluate its potential applications in cancer therapy. In vitro assays indicated that acurhagin-C not only may influence the cell viability at higher concentration, but also can potently and dose-dependently decrease cell proliferation in murine B16-F10 melanoma. Otherwise, it also had a dose-dependent inhibition on B16-F10 cell adhesion to extracellular matrices, collagen VI, gelatin B and fibronectin, as well as disturbed transendothelial migration of B16-F10 cell. Morphological study found that acurhagin-C dramatically affected B16-F10 cell adhesion to immobilized fibronectin, leading to the formation of multicellular aggregates with rounded shape. Detected by flow cytometry, acurhagin-C was able to induce B16-F10 cell apoptosis and alter cell cycle distribution through its interactions with integrins αv/α5, and thereafter initiation the apoptotic pathways of caspase-8/-9. Furthermore, acurhagin-C could synergistically enhance the anti-proliferative activity of methotrexate in B16-F10 cells and human melanoma SK-MEL-1 cells, without diminishing the growth of human epidermal melanocytes. Taken together, acurhagin-C proved to be a potent inhibitor of integrin-based functions in melanoma cells by activating the complex apoptotic pathways. PMID:23333557

  18. An indirect sandwich ELISA for the determination of agkisacutacin in human serum: application to pharmacokinetic study in Chinese healthy volunteers.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Ya-Nan; Dai, Xiang-Rong; Liu, Juan-Juan; Li, Xiang-Hong; Yang, Jing-Jing; Sun, Hua; Wu, Ping; Shen, Jie; Lu, Jian-Ping; Xie, Hai-Tang; Liu, Xiao-Quan

    2012-11-01

    The platelet receptor glycoprotein Ib-IX-V complex (GPIb-IX-V) plays a dominant role in the first step of platelet adhesion and arterial thrombus formation. Agkisacutacin, a C-type lectin-like protein (CLP) from Agkistrodon acutus venom, had been previously identified as an antagonist of platelet aggregation and a membrane glycoprotein Ib-binding protein (GPIb-bp). For the analysis of pharmacokinetics of agkisacutacin, an indirect sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was established and validated to quantify agkisacutacin in human serum. The method was precise and accurate over the entire linear range of 1.0 and 1000 pg/mL with a lower limit of quantification of 1.0 pg/mL. The intra- and inter-assay coefficient of variation ranged from 0.7 to 4.2% and 1.1 to 4.1%, respectively. Recovery obtained from the accuracy test, using three concentration levels, varied between 96.1 and 110.6%, confirming the assay's reliability. The long-term study showed agkisacutacin was stable at -70 °C up to 46 days. This ELISA was first used to assess the pharmacokinetics of agkisacutacin in healthy volunteers. The characteristics of pharmacokinetic showed that agkisacutacin could rapidly combine with GPIb and slowly dissociate from GPIb-bound form in the body. PMID:22738788

  19. Balancing the Expression and Production of a Heterodimeric Protein: Recombinant Agkisacutacin as a Novel Antithrombotic Drug Candidate.

    PubMed

    Guo, Yugang; Wu, Jing; Jia, Hao; Chen, Wei; Shao, Changsheng; Zhao, Lei; Ma, Jiajia; Li, Rui; Zhong, Yongjun; Fang, Fang; Wang, Dong; Sun, Jie; Qian, Fang; Dai, Xiangrong; Zhang, Guohui; Tian, Zhigang; Xiaoyi Li, Benjamin; Xiao, Weihua

    2015-01-01

    Agkisacucetin extracted from the venom of Agkistrodon acutus has been demonstrated to be a promising antithrombotic drug candidate in clinical studies due to its function as a novel platelet membrane glycoprotein (GP) Ib inhibitor. Agkisacucetin is a heterodimeric protein composed of α- and β-subunits with seven disulphide bonds. Both subunits form inactive homodimeric products, which cause difficulties for recombinant production. In this study, Agkisacucetin α- and β-subunits were inserted sequentially into the chromosome of Pichia pastoris at the mutant histidinol dehydrogenase gene and ribosomal DNA repeat sites, respectively. By optimizing the gene copies and productivity of each subunit by drug screening, we successfully obtained a recombinant strain with balanced expression of the two subunits. Using this strain, a yield greater than 100 mg/L recombinant Agkisacucetin in fed-batch fermentation was reached. The recombinant Agkisacucetin possessed extremely similar binding affinity to recombinant GPIb and human platelets in in vitro assays, and its ristocetin-induced platelet aggregation activity ex vivo was identical to that of the extracted native Agkisacucetin, demonstrating that the yeast-derived Agkisacucetin could be an effective alternative to native Agkisacucetin. Moreover, this study provides an effective strategy for balancing the expression and production of heterodimeric proteins in P. pastoris. PMID:26144864

  20. Thousands of microsatellite loci from the venomous coralsnake Micrurus fulvius and variability of select loci across populations and related species.

    PubMed

    Castoe, Todd A; Streicher, Jeffrey W; Meik, Jesse M; Ingrasci, Matthew J; Poole, Alexander W; de Koning, A P Jason; Campbell, Jonathan A; Parkinson, Christopher L; Smith, Eric N; Pollock, David D

    2012-11-01

    Studies of population genetics increasingly use next-generation DNA sequencing to identify microsatellite loci in nonmodel organisms. There are, however, relatively few studies that validate the feasibility of transitioning from marker development to experimental application across populations and species. North American coralsnakes of the Micrurus fulvius species complex occur in the United States and Mexico, and little is known about their population structure and phylogenetic relationships. This absence of information and population genetics markers is particularly concerning because they are highly venomous and have important implications on human health. To alleviate this problem in coralsnakes, we investigated the feasibility of using 454 shotgun sequences for microsatellite marker development. First, a genomic shotgun library from a single individual was sequenced (approximately 7.74 megabases; 26,831 reads) to identify potentially amplifiable microsatellite loci (PALs). We then hierarchically sampled 76 individuals from throughout the geographic distribution of the species complex and examined whether PALs were amplifiable and polymorphic. Approximately half of the loci tested were readily amplifiable from all individuals, and 80% of the loci tested for variation were variable and thus informative as population genetic markers. To evaluate the repetitive landscape characteristics across multiple snakes, we also compared microsatellite content between the coralsnake and two other previously sampled snakes, the venomous copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) and Burmese python (Python molurus). PMID:22938699

  1. Genetic Identification of Spirometra decipiens Plerocercoids in Terrestrial Snakes from Korea and China.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Hyeong-Kyu; Park, Hansol; Lee, Dongmin; Choe, Seongjun; Kim, Kyu-Heon; Sohn, Woon-Mok; Eom, Keeseon S

    2016-04-01

    Human sparganosis is a zoonotic disease caused by infection with larval forms (procercoid/plerocercoid) of Spirometra spp. The purpose of this study was to identify Spirometra spp. of infected snakes using a multiplex PCR assay and phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequence data from the spargana of terrestrial snakes obtained from Korea and China. A total of 283 snakes were obtained that included 4 species of Colubridae comprising Rhabdophis tigrinus tigrinus (n=150), Dinodon rufozonatum rufozonatum (n=64), Elaphe davidi (n=2), and Elaphe schrenkii (n=7), and 1 species of Viperidae, Agkistrodon saxatilis (n=60). The snakes were collected from the provinces of Chungbuk, Chungnam, and Gyeongbuk in Korea (n=161), and from China (n=122). The overall infection rate with spargana was 83% (235/283). The highest was recorded for D. rufozonatum rufozonatum (100%), followed by A. saxatilis (85%) and R. tigrinus tigrinus (80%), with a negative result for E. davidi (0%) and E. schrenkii (0%). The sequence identities between the spargana from snakes (n=50) and Spirometra erinaceieuropaei (KJ599680) or S. decipiens (KJ599679) control specimens were 90.8% and 99.2%, respectively. Pairwise genetic distances between spargana (n=50) and S. decipiens ranged from 0.0080 to 0.0107, while those between spargana and S. erinaceieuropaei ranged from 0.1070 to 0.1096. In this study, all of the 904 spargana analyzed were identified as S. decipiens either by a multiplex PCR assay (n=854) or mitochondrial cox1 sequence analysis (n=50).

  2. Agglucetin, a tetrameric C-type lectin-like venom protein, regulates endothelial cell survival and promotes angiogenesis by activating integrin {alpha}v{beta}3 signaling

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, W.-J.

    2008-05-02

    Agglucetin, a platelet glycoprotein (GP)Ib binding protein from Formosan Agkistrodon acutus (A. acutus) venom, could sustain human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) proliferation and HUVEC adhering to immobilized agglucetin showed extensive spreading, which was strongly abrogated by integrin antagonists 7E3 and triflavin. Flow cytometric analyses confirmed the expression of GPIb complex on HUVEC is absent and fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-agglucetin binds to HUVEC in a dose-dependent and saturable manner. Furthermore, native agglucetin specifically and dose-dependently inhibited the binding of FITC-23C6, an anti-{alpha}v{beta}3 monoclonal antibody (mAb), but not antibodies against {alpha}2 and {alpha}5, toward HUVEC and purified {alpha}v{beta}3 also bound to immobilized agglucetin-{beta} in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, agglucetin exhibited a pro-angiogenic effect in vitro, as well as the focal adhesion kinase (FAK)-associated signaling molecules responsible for HUVEC activation were initiated by agglucetin. In conclusion, agglucetin, acting as a survival factor, promotes endothelial adhesion and angiogenesis by triggering {alpha}v{beta}3 signaling through FAK/phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway.

  3. Annotated catalogue of the Tachinidae (Insecta, Diptera) of the Afrotropical Region, with the description of seven new genera.

    PubMed

    O'Hara, James E; Cerretti, Pierfilippo

    2016-01-01

    . n. (South Africa), and Myxophryxe satanas Cerretti & O'Hara, sp. n. (South Africa) (Exoristinae, Goniini); and Stiremania Cerretti & O'Hara with type species Stiremania karoo Cerretti & O'Hara, gen. n. and sp. n. (South Africa), and Stiremania robusta Cerretti & O'Hara, sp. n. (South Africa) (Exoristinae, Goniini). Paraclara Bezzi, 1908 is transferred from the Cylindromyiini to the Hermyini, comb. n. Sarrorhina Villeneuve, 1936 is transferred from the Minthoini to the Graphogastrini, comb. n. Three genera are newly recorded from the Afrotropical Region: Madremyia Townsend, 1916 (Eryciini); Paratrixa Brauer & Bergenstamm, 1891 (Blondeliini); and Simoma Aldrich, 1926 (Goniini). Three genera previously recorded from the Afrotropical Region are no longer recognized from the region: Calozenillia Townsend, 1927 (Palaearctic, Oriental and Australasian regions); Eurysthaea Robineau-Desvoidy, 1863 (Palaearctic, Oriental and Australasian regions); and Trixa Meigen, 1824 (Palaearctic and Oriental regions). Two species are newly recorded from the Afrotropical Region: Amnonia carmelitana Kugler, 1971 (Ethiopia, Kenya); and Simoma grahami Aldrich, 1926 (Namibia). Three species previously recorded from the Afrotropical Region are no longer recognized from the region: Euthera peringueyi Bezzi, 1925 (Oriental Region); Hamaxia incongrua Walker, 1860 (Palaearctic, Oriental and Australasian regions); Leucostoma tetraptera (Meigen, 1824) (Palaearctic Region). New replacement names are proposed for five preoccupied names of Afrotropical species: Billaea rubida O'Hara & Cerretti for Phorostoma rutilans Villeneuve, 1916, preoccupied in the genus Billaea Robineau-Desvoidy, 1830 by Musca rutilans Fabricius, 1781, nom. n.; Cylindromyia braueri O'Hara & Cerretti for Ocyptera nigra Villeneuve, 1918, preoccupied in the genus Cylindromyia Meigen, 1803 by Glossidionophora nigra Bigot, 1885, nom. n.; Cylindromyia rufohumera O'Hara & Cerretti for Ocyptera scapularis Villeneuve, 1944, preoccupied in

  4. Annotated catalogue of the Tachinidae (Insecta, Diptera) of the Afrotropical Region, with the description of seven new genera

    PubMed Central

    O’Hara, James E.; Cerretti, Pierfilippo

    2016-01-01

    regalis Cerretti & O’Hara, sp. n. (South Africa), and Myxophryxe satanas Cerretti & O’Hara, sp. n. (South Africa) (Exoristinae, Goniini); and Stiremania Cerretti & O’Hara with type species Stiremania karoo Cerretti & O’Hara, gen. n. and sp. n. (South Africa), and Stiremania robusta Cerretti & O’Hara, sp. n. (South Africa) (Exoristinae, Goniini). Paraclara Bezzi, 1908 is transferred from the Cylindromyiini to the Hermyini, comb. n. Sarrorhina Villeneuve, 1936 is transferred from the Minthoini to the Graphogastrini, comb. n. Three genera are newly recorded from the Afrotropical Region: Madremyia Townsend, 1916 (Eryciini); Paratrixa Brauer & Bergenstamm, 1891 (Blondeliini); and Simoma Aldrich, 1926 (Goniini). Three genera previously recorded from the Afrotropical Region are no longer recognized from the region: Calozenillia Townsend, 1927 (Palaearctic, Oriental and Australasian regions); Eurysthaea Robineau-Desvoidy, 1863 (Palaearctic, Oriental and Australasian regions); and Trixa Meigen, 1824 (Palaearctic and Oriental regions). Two species are newly recorded from the Afrotropical Region: Amnonia carmelitana Kugler, 1971 (Ethiopia, Kenya); and Simoma grahami Aldrich, 1926 (Namibia). Three species previously recorded from the Afrotropical Region are no longer recognized from the region: Euthera peringueyi Bezzi, 1925 (Oriental Region); Hamaxia incongrua Walker, 1860 (Palaearctic, Oriental and Australasian regions); Leucostoma tetraptera (Meigen, 1824) (Palaearctic Region). New replacement names are proposed for five preoccupied names of Afrotropical species: Billaea rubida O’Hara & Cerretti for Phorostoma rutilans Villeneuve, 1916, preoccupied in the genus Billaea Robineau-Desvoidy, 1830 by Musca rutilans Fabricius, 1781, nom. n.; Cylindromyia braueri O’Hara & Cerretti for Ocyptera nigra Villeneuve, 1918, preoccupied in the genus Cylindromyia Meigen, 1803 by Glossidionophora nigra Bigot, 1885, nom. n.; Cylindromyia rufohumera O’Hara & Cerretti for Ocyptera

  5. Genetic Identification of Spirometra decipiens Plerocercoids in Terrestrial Snakes from Korea and China

    PubMed Central

    Jeon, Hyeong-Kyu; Park, Hansol; Lee, Dongmin; Choe, Seongjun; Kim, Kyu-Heon; Sohn, Woon-Mok; Eom, Keeseon S.

    2016-01-01

    Human sparganosis is a zoonotic disease caused by infection with larval forms (procercoid/plerocercoid) of Spirometra spp. The purpose of this study was to identify Spirometra spp. of infected snakes using a multiplex PCR assay and phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequence data from the spargana of terrestrial snakes obtained from Korea and China. A total of 283 snakes were obtained that included 4 species of Colubridae comprising Rhabdophis tigrinus tigrinus (n=150), Dinodon rufozonatum rufozonatum (n=64), Elaphe davidi (n=2), and Elaphe schrenkii (n=7), and 1 species of Viperidae, Agkistrodon saxatilis (n=60). The snakes were collected from the provinces of Chungbuk, Chungnam, and Gyeongbuk in Korea (n=161), and from China (n=122). The overall infection rate with spargana was 83% (235/283). The highest was recorded for D. rufozonatum rufozonatum (100%), followed by A. saxatilis (85%) and R. tigrinus tigrinus (80%), with a negative result for E. davidi (0%) and E. schrenkii (0%). The sequence identities between the spargana from snakes (n=50) and Spirometra erinaceieuropaei (KJ599680) or S. decipiens (KJ599679) control specimens were 90.8% and 99.2%, respectively. Pairwise genetic distances between spargana (n=50) and S. decipiens ranged from 0.0080 to 0.0107, while those between spargana and S. erinaceieuropaei ranged from 0.1070 to 0.1096. In this study, all of the 904 spargana analyzed were identified as S. decipiens either by a multiplex PCR assay (n=854) or mitochondrial cox1 sequence analysis (n=50). PMID:27180576

  6. A new modified animal model of myosin-induced experimental autoimmune myositis enhanced by defibrase

    PubMed Central

    Wen-Jing, Luo; Hong-Hua, Li; Xiang-Hui, Lu; Jie-Xiao, Liu

    2015-01-01

    Introduction We investigated the effect of defibrase (a proteolytic enzyme extraction of Agkistrodon halys venom) on experimental autoimmune myositis (EAM) in guinea pigs and explored the option of using a modified pig model of EAM to enhance the study of this disease. Material and methods Guinea pigs were divided into 3 groups: group A (control group) was immunized with complete Freund adjuvant (CFA), then received 6 injections of saline weekly; group B (EAM group) was immunized with partially purified rabbit myosin emulsified with CFA, then received an injection of saline; group C (EAM + defibrase group) was immunized with purified rabbit myosin emulsified with CFA, then received an injection of defibrase. The animals were observed for their general health condition and the body weight was measured daily. Plasma levels of fibrinogen and creatine kinase (CK) were determined. Muscle tissues were examined histologically. Results After immunizations for 6 weeks, incidence of EAM in groups A, B and C was 0 (0/7), 83.3% (10/12) and 100% (15/15), respectively. Guinea pigs with EAM presented angeitis symptoms of muscle weakness. Histological analysis revealed a significant difference. Muscles with EAM had scattered or diffuse inflammatory manifestations, which are also common pathological features of human idiopathic polymyositis (IPM). Defibrase-treated animals displayed extensive inflammation and fiber necrosis compared with the EAM group (histological score: 2.80 ±1.15 vs. 1.88 ±1.32, p < 0.05). Severity of inflammation of group B was mainly mild to moderate; 16.7% (2/12) of animals developed severe inflammation. Incidence of severe inflammation with a score up to 4 in group C was 40% (6/15). Conclusions Defibrase can exacerbate myosin-induced EAM; thus a new modified model was generated. PMID:26788090

  7. Akbu-LAAO exhibits potent anti-tumor activity to HepG2 cells partially through produced H2O2 via TGF-β signal pathway

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Chunmei; Liu, Shuqing; Dong, Panpan; Zhao, Dongting; Wang, Chengyi; Tao, Zhiwei; Sun, Ming-Zhong

    2015-01-01

    Previously, we characterized the biological properties of Akbu-LAAO, a novel L-amino acid oxidase from Agkistrodon blomhoffii ussurensis snake venom (SV). Current work investigated its in vitro anti-tumor activity and underlying mechanism on HepG2 cells. Akbu-LAAO inhibited HepG2 growth time and dose-dependently with an IC50 of ~38.82 μg/mL. It could induce the apoptosis of HepG2 cells. Akbu-LAAO exhibited cytotoxicity by inhibiting growth and inducing apoptosis of HepG2 as it showed no effect on its cell cycle. The inhibition of Akbu-LAAO to HepG2 growth partially relied on enzymatic-released H2O2 as catalase only partially antagonized this effect. cDNA microarray results indicated TGF-β signaling pathway was linked to the cytotoxicity of Akbu-LAAO on HepG2. TGF-β pathway related molecules CYR61, p53, GDF15, TOB1, BTG2, BMP2, BMP6, SMAD9, JUN, JUNB, LOX, CCND1, CDK6, GADD45A, CDKN1A were deregulated in HepG2 following Akbu-LAAO stimulation. The presence of catalase only slightly restored the mRNA changes induced by Akbu-LAAO for differentially expressed genes. Meanwhile, LDN-193189, a TGF-β pathway inhibitor reduced Akbu-LAAO cytotoxicity on HepG2. Collectively, we reported, for the first time, SV-LAAO showed anti-tumor cell activity via TGF-β pathway. It provides new insight of SV-LAAO exhibiting anti-tumor effect via a novel signaling pathway. PMID:26655928

  8. Stable isotope tracer reveals that viviparous snakes transport amino acids to offspring during gestation.

    PubMed

    Van Dyke, James U; Beaupre, Steven J

    2012-03-01

    Viviparity and placentation have evolved from oviparity over 100 times in squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes). The independent origins of placentation have resulted in a variety of placental morphologies in different taxa, ranging from simple apposition of fetal and maternal tissues to endotheliochorial implantation that is homoplasious with mammalian placentation. Because the eggs of oviparous squamates transport gases and water from the environment and calcium from the eggshell, the placentae of viviparous squamates are thought to have initially evolved to accomplish these functions from within the maternal oviduct. Species with complex placentae have also been shown to rely substantially, or even primarily, on placental transport of organic nutrients for embryonic nutrition. However, it is unclear whether species with only simple placentae are also capable of transporting organic nutrients to offspring. Among viviparous squamates, all of the snakes that have been studied thus far have been shown to have simple placentae. However, most studies of snake placentation are limited to a single lineage, the North American Natricinae. We tested the abilities of four species of viviparous snakes - Agkistrodon contortrix (Viperidae), Boa constrictor (Boidae), Nerodia sipedon (Colubridae: Natricinae) and Thamnophis sirtalis (Colubridae: Natricinae) - to transport diet-derived amino acids to offspring during gestation. We fed [(15)N]leucine to pregnant snakes, and compared offspring (15)N content with that of unlabeled controls. Labeled females allocated significantly more (15)N to offspring than did controls, but (15)N allocation did not differ among species. Our results indicate that viviparous snakes are capable of transporting diet-derived amino acids to their offspring during gestation, possibly via placentation.

  9. Akbu-LAAO exhibits potent anti-tumor activity to HepG2 cells partially through produced H2O2 via TGF-β signal pathway.

    PubMed

    Guo, Chunmei; Liu, Shuqing; Dong, Panpan; Zhao, Dongting; Wang, Chengyi; Tao, Zhiwei; Sun, Ming-Zhong

    2015-01-01

    Previously, we characterized the biological properties of Akbu-LAAO, a novel L-amino acid oxidase from Agkistrodon blomhoffii ussurensis snake venom (SV). Current work investigated its in vitro anti-tumor activity and underlying mechanism on HepG2 cells. Akbu-LAAO inhibited HepG2 growth time and dose-dependently with an IC50 of ~38.82 μg/mL. It could induce the apoptosis of HepG2 cells. Akbu-LAAO exhibited cytotoxicity by inhibiting growth and inducing apoptosis of HepG2 as it showed no effect on its cell cycle. The inhibition of Akbu-LAAO to HepG2 growth partially relied on enzymatic-released H2O2 as catalase only partially antagonized this effect. cDNA microarray results indicated TGF-β signaling pathway was linked to the cytotoxicity of Akbu-LAAO on HepG2. TGF-β pathway related molecules CYR61, p53, GDF15, TOB1, BTG2, BMP2, BMP6, SMAD9, JUN, JUNB, LOX, CCND1, CDK6, GADD45A, CDKN1A were deregulated in HepG2 following Akbu-LAAO stimulation. The presence of catalase only slightly restored the mRNA changes induced by Akbu-LAAO for differentially expressed genes. Meanwhile, LDN-193189, a TGF-β pathway inhibitor reduced Akbu-LAAO cytotoxicity on HepG2. Collectively, we reported, for the first time, SV-LAAO showed anti-tumor cell activity via TGF-β pathway. It provides new insight of SV-LAAO exhibiting anti-tumor effect via a novel signaling pathway. PMID:26655928

  10. Multi-host Model-Based Identification of Armillifer agkistrodontis (Pentastomida), a New Zoonotic Parasite from China

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Shao-Hong; Liu, Qin; Zhang, Yong-Nian; Chen, Jia-Xu; Li, Hao; Chen, Ying; Steinmann, Peter; Zhou, Xiao-Nong

    2010-01-01

    Background Pentastomiasis is a rare parasitic infection of humans. Pentastomids are dioecious obligate parasites requiring multiple hosts to complete their lifecycle. Despite their worm-like appearance, they are commonly placed into a separate sub-class of the subphylum Crustacea, phylum Arthropoda. However, their systematic position is not uncontested and historically, they have been considered as a separate phylum. Methodology/Principal Findings An appraisal of Armillifer agkistrodontis was performed in terms of morphology and genetic identification after its lifecycle had been established in a multi-host model, i.e., mice and rats as intermediate hosts, and snakes (Agkistrodon acutus and Python molurus) as definitive hosts. Different stages of the parasite, including eggs, larvae and adults, were isolated and examined morphologically using light and electron microscopes. Phylogenetic and cluster analysis were also undertaken, focusing on the 18S rRNA and the Cox1 gene. The time for lifecycle completion was about 14 months, including 4 months for the development of eggs to infectious larvae in the intermediate host and 10 months for infectious larvae to mature in the final host. The main morphological difference between A. armillatus and Linguatula serrata is the number of abdominal annuli. Based on the 18S rRNA sequence, the shortest hereditary distance was found between A. agkistrodontis and Raillietiella spp. The highest degree of homology in the Cox 1 nucleic acid sequences and predicted amino acid sequences was found between A. agkistrodontis and A. armillatus. Conclusion This is the first time that a multi-host model of the entire lifecycle of A. agkistrodontis has been established. Morphologic and genetic analyses supported the notion that pentastomids should be placed into the phylum Arthropoda. PMID:20386597

  11. A critical role for the regulation of Syk from agglutination to aggregation in human platelets.

    PubMed

    Shih, Chun-Ho; Chiang, Tin-Bin; Wang, Wen-Jeng

    2014-01-10

    Agglucetin, a tetrameric glycoprotein (GP) Ibα agonist from Formosan Agkistrodon acutus venom, has been characterized as an agglutination inducer in human washed platelets (WPs). In platelet-rich plasma (PRP), agglucetin dramatically elicits a biphasic response of agglutination and subsequent aggregation. For clarifying the intracellular signaling events from agglutination to aggregation in human platelets, we examined the essential signaling molecules involved through the detection of protein tyrosine phosphorylation (PTP). In WPs, an anti-GPIbα monoclonal antibody (mAb) AP1, but not a Src kinase inhibitor PP1, completely inhibited agglucetin-induced agglutination. However, PP1 but not AP1 had a potent suppression on platelet aggregation by a GPVI activator convulxin. The PTP analyses showed agglucetin alone can cause a weak pattern involving sequential phosphorylation of Lyn/Fyn, Syk, SLP-76 and phospholipase Cγ2 (PLCγ2). Furthermore, a Syk-selective kinase inhibitor, piceatannol, significantly suppressed the aggregating response in agglucetin-activated PRP. Analyzed by flow cytometry, the binding capacity of fluorophore-conjugated PAC-1, a mAb recognizing activated integrin αIIbβ3, was shown to increase in agglucetin-stimulated platelets. Again, piceatannol but not PP1 had a concentration-dependent suppression on agglucetin-induced αIIbβ3 exposure. Moreover, the formation of signalosome, including Syk, SLP-76, VAV, adhesion and degranulation promoting adapter protein (ADAP) and PLCγ2, are required for platelet aggregation in agglucetin/fibrinogen-activated platelets. In addition, GPIbα-ligation via agglucetin can substantially promote the interactions between αIIbβ3 and fibrinogen. Therefore, the signal pathway of Lyn/Fyn/Syk/SLP-76/ADAP/VAV/PLCγ2/PKC is sufficient to trigger platelet aggregation in agglucetin/fibrinogen-pretreated platelets. Importantly, Syk may function as a major regulator for the response from GPIbα-initiated agglutination to

  12. Landscape-level influences of terrestrial snake occupancy within the southeastern United States.

    PubMed

    Steen, David A; McClure, Christopher J W; Brock, Jean C; Rudolph, D Craig; Pierce, Josh B; Lee, James R; Humphries, W Jeffrey; Gregory, Beau B; Sutton, William B; Smith, Lora L; Baxley, Danna L; Stevenson, Dirk J; Guyer, Craig

    2012-06-01

    Habitat loss and degradation are thought to be the primary drivers of species extirpations, but for many species we have little information regarding specific habitats that influence occupancy. Snakes are of conservation concern throughout North America, but effective management and conservation are hindered by a lack of basic natural history information and the small number of large-scale studies designed to assess general population trends. To address this information gap, we compiled detection/nondetection data for 13 large terrestrial species from 449 traps located across the southeastern United States, and we characterized the land cover surrounding each trap at multiple spatial scales (250-, 500-, and 1000-m buffers). We used occupancy modeling, while accounting for heterogeneity in detection probability, to identify habitat variables that were influential in determining the presence of a particular species. We evaluated 12 competing models for each species, representing various hypotheses pertaining to important habitat features for terrestrial snakes. Overall, considerable interspecific variation existed in important habitat variables and relevant spatial scales. For example, kingsnakes (Lampropeltis getula) were negatively associated with evergreen forests, whereas Louisiana pinesnake (Pituophis ruthveni) occupancy increased with increasing coverage of this forest type. Some species were positively associated with grassland and scrub/shrub (e.g., Slowinski's cornsnake, Elaphe slowinskii) whereas others, (e.g., copperhead, Agkistrodon contortrix, and eastern diamond-backed rattlesnake, Crotalus adamanteus) were positively associated with forested habitats. Although the species that we studied may persist in varied landscapes other than those we identified as important, our data were collected in relatively undeveloped areas. Thus, our findings may be relevant when generating conservation plans or restoration goals. Maintaining or restoring landscapes that

  13. A critical role for the regulation of Syk from agglutination to aggregation in human platelets.

    PubMed

    Shih, Chun-Ho; Chiang, Tin-Bin; Wang, Wen-Jeng

    2014-01-10

    Agglucetin, a tetrameric glycoprotein (GP) Ibα agonist from Formosan Agkistrodon acutus venom, has been characterized as an agglutination inducer in human washed platelets (WPs). In platelet-rich plasma (PRP), agglucetin dramatically elicits a biphasic response of agglutination and subsequent aggregation. For clarifying the intracellular signaling events from agglutination to aggregation in human platelets, we examined the essential signaling molecules involved through the detection of protein tyrosine phosphorylation (PTP). In WPs, an anti-GPIbα monoclonal antibody (mAb) AP1, but not a Src kinase inhibitor PP1, completely inhibited agglucetin-induced agglutination. However, PP1 but not AP1 had a potent suppression on platelet aggregation by a GPVI activator convulxin. The PTP analyses showed agglucetin alone can cause a weak pattern involving sequential phosphorylation of Lyn/Fyn, Syk, SLP-76 and phospholipase Cγ2 (PLCγ2). Furthermore, a Syk-selective kinase inhibitor, piceatannol, significantly suppressed the aggregating response in agglucetin-activated PRP. Analyzed by flow cytometry, the binding capacity of fluorophore-conjugated PAC-1, a mAb recognizing activated integrin αIIbβ3, was shown to increase in agglucetin-stimulated platelets. Again, piceatannol but not PP1 had a concentration-dependent suppression on agglucetin-induced αIIbβ3 exposure. Moreover, the formation of signalosome, including Syk, SLP-76, VAV, adhesion and degranulation promoting adapter protein (ADAP) and PLCγ2, are required for platelet aggregation in agglucetin/fibrinogen-activated platelets. In addition, GPIbα-ligation via agglucetin can substantially promote the interactions between αIIbβ3 and fibrinogen. Therefore, the signal pathway of Lyn/Fyn/Syk/SLP-76/ADAP/VAV/PLCγ2/PKC is sufficient to trigger platelet aggregation in agglucetin/fibrinogen-pretreated platelets. Importantly, Syk may function as a major regulator for the response from GPIbα-initiated agglutination to

  14. Tetrathyridia of Mesocestoides lineatus in Chinese snakes and their adults recovered from experimental animals.

    PubMed

    Cho, Shin-Hyeong; Kim, Tong-Soo; Kong, Yoon; Na, Byoung-Kuk; Sohn, Woon-Mok

    2013-10-01

    Morphological characteristics of Mesocestoides lineatus tetrathyridia collected from Chinese snakes and their adults recovered from experimental animals were studied. The tetrathyridia were detected mainly in the mesentery of 2 snake species, Agkistrodon saxatilis (25%) and Elaphe schrenckii (20%). They were 1.73 by 1.02 mm in average size and had an invaginated scolex with 4 suckers. Adult tapeworms were recovered from 2 hamsters and 1 dog, which were orally infected with 5-10 larvae each. Adults from hamsters were about 32 cm long and those from a dog were about 58 cm long. The scolex was 0.56 mm in average width with 4 suckers of 0.17 by 0.15 mm in average size. Mature proglottids measured 0.29 by 0.91 mm (av.). Ovaries and vitellaria bilobed and located in the posterior portion of proglottids. The cirrus sac was oval-shaped and located median. Testes were follicular, distributed in both lateral fields of proglottids, and 41-52 in number per proglottid. Gravid proglottids were 1.84 by 1.39 mm (av.) with a characteristic paruterine organ. Eggs were 35 by 27 µm in average size with a hexacanth embryo. These morphological characteristics of adult worms were identical with those of M. lineatus reported previously. Therefore, it has been confirmed that the tetrathyridia detected in 2 species of Chinese snakes are the metacestodes of M. lineatus, and 2 snake species, A. saxatilis and E. schrenckii, play the role of intermediate hosts. PMID:24327778

  15. AhV_aPA-induced vasoconstriction involves the IP₃Rs-mediated Ca²⁺ releasing.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Fuxing; Zou, Zhisong; Niu, Liwen; Li, Xu; Teng, Maikun

    2013-08-01

    AhV_aPA, the acidic PLA₂ purified from Agkistrodon halys pallas venom, was previously reported to possess a strong enzymatic activity and can remarkably induce a further contractile response on the 60 mM K⁺-induced contraction with an EC₅₀ in 369 nM on mouse thoracic aorta rings. In the present study, we found that the p-bromo-phenacyl-bromide (pBPB), which can completely inhibit the enzymatic activity of AhV_aPA, did not significantly reduce the contractile response on vessel rings induced by AhV_aPA, indicating that the vasoconstrictor effects of AhV_aPA are independent of the enzymatic activity. The inhibitor experiments showed that the contractile response induced by AhV_aPA is mainly attributed to the Ca²⁺ releasing from Ca²⁺ store, especially sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). Detailed studies showed that the Ca²⁺ release from SR is related to the activation of inositol trisphosphate receptors (IP₃Rs) rather than ryanodine receptors (RyRs). Furthermore, the vasoconstrictor effect could be strongly reduced by pre-incubation with heparin, indicating that the basic amino acid residues on the surface of AhV_aPA may be involved in the interaction between AhV_aPA and the molecular receptors. These findings offer new insights into the functions of snake PLA₂ and provide a novel pathogenesis of A. halys pallas venom. PMID:23648424

  16. Orthogonal optimization of prokaryotic expression of a natural snake venom phospholipase A2 inhibitor from Sinonatrix annularis.

    PubMed

    Le, Zhen; Li, XingZhang; Yuan, Peng; Liu, Pi; Huang, Chunhong

    2015-12-15

    Phospholipase A2 (PLA2) is a calcium-dependent enzyme that is involved in inflammatory processes such as the liberation of free arachidonic acid from the membrane pool for the biosynthesis of eicosanoids. Snake venom are known containing PLA2s (svPLA2s) which exhibit a wide variety of pharmacological effects including neurotoxicity, cardiotoxicity, myotoxicity and hemorrhage. Therefore, inhibition of svPLA2 would be advantageous to successful envenomation treatment. A gamma type PLI (PLA2 inhibitor) has been extracted from the serum of Sinonatrix annularis, a non-venomous snake indigenous to China. This showed strong inhibition of Deinagkistrrodon acutus PLA2, however, the PLIγ level in the serum and snake resource are not sufficiently sustainable for further research. To overcome these limitations, we constructed a His6-PLIγ pET28 fusion expression vector and transformed Escherichia coli BL21. To improve the expression of PLIγ, an orthogonal experiment [L16(4)(5)] was performed to optimize induction parameters. The optimized condition was determined to be: induction by 0.4 mM isopropyl-β-D-thiogalactoside (IPTG) for 6 h to the recombinant BL21 after its OD600 was 0.8, with continuous shaking cultivation at 190 rpm and 35 °C. Under these conditions, the amount of expressed protein could reach 57 mg/L. The His6-PLIγ was purified by nickel affinity chromatography and renatured by On-column refolding. The resulting PLIγ showed a good inhibitory effect of enzymatic activities to venom PLA2 isolated from D. acutus. Moreover, the PLIγ had a wide anti-hemorrhage activities to D. acutus, Naja atra and Agkistrodon halys venom. PMID:26546697

  17. Southern copperhead venom enhances tissue-type plasminogen activator induced fibrinolysis but does not directly lyse human plasma thrombi.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Vance G

    2016-07-01

    In addition to degrading fibrinogen as a source of consumptive coagulopathy, purified fractions of southern copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix; A. c. contortrix) venom has been demonstrated to enhance fibrinolysis. The goal of this investigation was to characterize the kinetic fibrinolytic profile of A. c. contortrix venom in the absence and presence of tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) to determine if intact venom had tPA independent fibrinolytic properties. Utilizing thrombelastographic methods, the coagulation and fibrinolytic kinetic profiles of human plasma exposed to A. c. contortrix venom (0-6 μg/ml) were determined in the absence or presence of tPA (0-100 IU/ml). Then, plasma was exposed to 0-6 μg/ml of venom without tPA added and coagulation observed for 3 h. Venom significantly prolonged the onset of coagulation, decreased the velocity of thrombus growth but did not significantly decrease clot strength. In the presence of tPA, venom significantly decreased clot strength, shortened the time of onset of fibrinolysis, decreased clot lysis time but did not significantly affect the maximum rate of lysis. Lastly, while venom exposure in the absence of tPA significantly prolonged the onset of coagulation and decreased the velocity of clot growth, venom exposure did not result in detectable fibrinolysis over the 3 h observation period. A. c. contortrix venom enhances tPA mediated fibrinolysis by degrading plasma coagulation kinetics. Intact A. c. contortrix venom does not possess sufficient fibrinolytic activity to cause fibrinolysis in human plasma at the concentration tested. PMID:26407681

  18. Genetic Identification of Spirometra decipiens Plerocercoids in Terrestrial Snakes from Korea and China.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Hyeong-Kyu; Park, Hansol; Lee, Dongmin; Choe, Seongjun; Kim, Kyu-Heon; Sohn, Woon-Mok; Eom, Keeseon S

    2016-04-01

    Human sparganosis is a zoonotic disease caused by infection with larval forms (procercoid/plerocercoid) of Spirometra spp. The purpose of this study was to identify Spirometra spp. of infected snakes using a multiplex PCR assay and phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequence data from the spargana of terrestrial snakes obtained from Korea and China. A total of 283 snakes were obtained that included 4 species of Colubridae comprising Rhabdophis tigrinus tigrinus (n=150), Dinodon rufozonatum rufozonatum (n=64), Elaphe davidi (n=2), and Elaphe schrenkii (n=7), and 1 species of Viperidae, Agkistrodon saxatilis (n=60). The snakes were collected from the provinces of Chungbuk, Chungnam, and Gyeongbuk in Korea (n=161), and from China (n=122). The overall infection rate with spargana was 83% (235/283). The highest was recorded for D. rufozonatum rufozonatum (100%), followed by A. saxatilis (85%) and R. tigrinus tigrinus (80%), with a negative result for E. davidi (0%) and E. schrenkii (0%). The sequence identities between the spargana from snakes (n=50) and Spirometra erinaceieuropaei (KJ599680) or S. decipiens (KJ599679) control specimens were 90.8% and 99.2%, respectively. Pairwise genetic distances between spargana (n=50) and S. decipiens ranged from 0.0080 to 0.0107, while those between spargana and S. erinaceieuropaei ranged from 0.1070 to 0.1096. In this study, all of the 904 spargana analyzed were identified as S. decipiens either by a multiplex PCR assay (n=854) or mitochondrial cox1 sequence analysis (n=50). PMID:27180576

  19. Tetrathyridia of Mesocestoides lineatus in Chinese Snakes and Their Adults Recovered from Experimental Animals

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Shin-Hyeong; Kim, Tong-Soo; Kong, Yoon; Na, Byoung-Kuk

    2013-01-01

    Morphological characteristics of Mesocestoides lineatus tetrathyridia collected from Chinese snakes and their adults recovered from experimental animals were studied. The tetrathyridia were detected mainly in the mesentery of 2 snake species, Agkistrodon saxatilis (25%) and Elaphe schrenckii (20%). They were 1.73 by 1.02 mm in average size and had an invaginated scolex with 4 suckers. Adult tapeworms were recovered from 2 hamsters and 1 dog, which were orally infected with 5-10 larvae each. Adults from hamsters were about 32 cm long and those from a dog were about 58 cm long. The scolex was 0.56 mm in average width with 4 suckers of 0.17 by 0.15 mm in average size. Mature proglottids measured 0.29 by 0.91 mm (av.). Ovaries and vitellaria bilobed and located in the posterior portion of proglottids. The cirrus sac was oval-shaped and located median. Testes were follicular, distributed in both lateral fields of proglottids, and 41-52 in number per proglottid. Gravid proglottids were 1.84 by 1.39 mm (av.) with a characteristic paruterine organ. Eggs were 35 by 27 µm in average size with a hexacanth embryo. These morphological characteristics of adult worms were identical with those of M. lineatus reported previously. Therefore, it has been confirmed that the tetrathyridia detected in 2 species of Chinese snakes are the metacestodes of M. lineatus, and 2 snake species, A. saxatilis and E. schrenckii, play the role of intermediate hosts. PMID:24327778

  20. Orthogonal optimization of prokaryotic expression of a natural snake venom phospholipase A2 inhibitor from Sinonatrix annularis.

    PubMed

    Le, Zhen; Li, XingZhang; Yuan, Peng; Liu, Pi; Huang, Chunhong

    2015-12-15

    Phospholipase A2 (PLA2) is a calcium-dependent enzyme that is involved in inflammatory processes such as the liberation of free arachidonic acid from the membrane pool for the biosynthesis of eicosanoids. Snake venom are known containing PLA2s (svPLA2s) which exhibit a wide variety of pharmacological effects including neurotoxicity, cardiotoxicity, myotoxicity and hemorrhage. Therefore, inhibition of svPLA2 would be advantageous to successful envenomation treatment. A gamma type PLI (PLA2 inhibitor) has been extracted from the serum of Sinonatrix annularis, a non-venomous snake indigenous to China. This showed strong inhibition of Deinagkistrrodon acutus PLA2, however, the PLIγ level in the serum and snake resource are not sufficiently sustainable for further research. To overcome these limitations, we constructed a His6-PLIγ pET28 fusion expression vector and transformed Escherichia coli BL21. To improve the expression of PLIγ, an orthogonal experiment [L16(4)(5)] was performed to optimize induction parameters. The optimized condition was determined to be: induction by 0.4 mM isopropyl-β-D-thiogalactoside (IPTG) for 6 h to the recombinant BL21 after its OD600 was 0.8, with continuous shaking cultivation at 190 rpm and 35 °C. Under these conditions, the amount of expressed protein could reach 57 mg/L. The His6-PLIγ was purified by nickel affinity chromatography and renatured by On-column refolding. The resulting PLIγ showed a good inhibitory effect of enzymatic activities to venom PLA2 isolated from D. acutus. Moreover, the PLIγ had a wide anti-hemorrhage activities to D. acutus, Naja atra and Agkistrodon halys venom.

  1. Traditional Chinese Medicine Induced Liver Injury

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is popular around the world and encompasses many different practices with particular emphasis on herbal TCM. Using the PubMed database, a literature search was undertaken to assess the extent herbal TCM products exert rare hepatotoxicity. Analysis of reported cases revealed numerous specified herbal TCM products with potential hepatotoxicity. Among these were An Shu Ling, Bai Fang, Bai Xian Pi, Ban Tu Wan, Bo He, Bo Ye Qing Niu Dan, Bofu Tsu Sho San, Boh Gol Zhee, Cang Er Zi, Chai Hu, Chaso, Chi R Yun, Chuan Lian Zi, Ci Wu Jia, Da Chai Hu Tang, Da Huang, Du Huo, Gan Cao, Ge Gen, Ho Shou Wu, Hu Bohe You, Hu Zhang, Huang Qin, Huang Yao Zi, Hwang Geun Cho, Ji Gu Cao, Ji Ji, Ji Xue Cao, Jiguja, Jin Bu Huan, Jue Ming Zi, Kamishoyosan, Kudzu, Lei Gong Teng, Long Dan Xie Gan Tang, Lu Cha, Ma Huang, Mao Guo Tian Jie Cai, Onshido, Polygonum multiflorum, Qian Li Guang, Ren Shen, Sairei To, Shan Chi, Shen Min, Shi Can, Shi Liu Pi, Shou Wu Pian, Tian Hua Fen, White flood, Wu Bei Zi, Xi Shu, Xiao Chai Hu Tang, Yin Chen Hao, Zexie, Zhen Chu Cao, and various unclassified Chinese herbal mixtures. Causality was firmly established for a number of herbal TCM products by a positive reexposure test result, the liver specific scale of CIOMS (Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences), or both. Otherwise, the quality of case data was mixed, especially regarding analysis of the herb ingredients because of adulteration with synthetic drugs, contamination with heavy metals, and misidentification. In addition, non-herbal TCM elements derived from Agaricus blazei, Agkistrodon, Antelope, Bombyx, Carp, Fish gallbladder, Phellinus, Scolopendra, Scorpio, and Zaocys are also known or potential hepatotoxins. For some patients, the clinical course was severe, with risks for acute liver failure, liver transplantation requirement, and lethality. In conclusion, the use of few herbal TCM products may rarely be associated with hepatotoxicity in some

  2. Isolation of a proteinase with plasminogen-activating activity from Lachesis muta muta (bushmaster) snake venom.

    PubMed

    Sanchez, E F; Santos, C I; Magalhaes, A; Diniz, C R; Figueiredo, S; Gilroy, J; Richardson, M

    2000-06-01

    A plasminogen activator enzyme (LV-PA) from Lachesis muta muta venom was purified to homogeneity using gel filtration and anion exchange chromatography. SDS-PAGE under reducing conditions showed a single protein band with an Mr of 33,000 Da. It is an acidic glycoprotein which activates plasminogen to plasmin indirectly, functioning via prior formation of a molecular complex, known as plasminogen activator. The purified preparation catalyzes the hydrolysis of several p-nitroanilide peptide substrates containing Lys at the scissile bond. In contrast, no hydrolysis was detected on the synthetic substrates TAME and BAPNA, which contain arginine. By the use of the plasmin-specific chromogenic substrate Tos-Gly-Pro-Lys-pNA, the preparation had a plasmin-like activity of 0.68 U/mg, which was 35.8-fold higher than that of the crude venom from which it was prepared. In vitro, fibrin hydrolysis using LV-PA as plasminogen activator displayed more similarity with the effect produced by streptokinase (SK). SDS-PAGE (10%) analysis showed a 115-kDa complex formation after incubation of plasminogen with either LV-PA or SK. At a molar ratio of 50:1 (fibrinogen:enzyme), the preparation exhibited weakly fibrinogenolytic activity. However, LV-PA is distinguished from thrombin in that it does not clot fibrinogen. After incubation of LV-PA with platelet-rich plasma, the enzyme (2 microM) showed no effect on platelet aggregation induced by ADP, epinephrine, or collagen. Comparison of the N-terminal sequence of LV-PA with other snake venom plasminogen activators revealed that LV-PA exhibits a high degree of sequence identity with the TsVPA from Trimeresurus stejnegeri (90%) and with the Haly-PA from Agkistrodon halys (85%). LV-PA also has homology with other snake venom serine proteinases such as the thrombin-like/gyroxin analogue (38%) from bushmaster venom and with other coagulation serine proteases. The proteinase was readily inhibited by treatment with p-nitrophenyl p

  3. Serine proteinase inhibition by the active site titrant N alpha-(N, N-dimethylcarbamoyl)-alpha-azaornithine p-nitrophenyl ester. A comparative study.

    PubMed

    Ascenzi, P; Balliano, G; Gallina, C; Polticelli, F; Bolognesi, M

    2000-02-01

    Kinetics for the hydrolysis of the chromogenic active-site titrant N alpha-(N,N-dimethylcarbamoyl)-alpha-azaornithine p-nitrophenyl ester (Dmc-azaOrn-ONp) catalysed by bovine beta-trypsin, bovine alpha-thrombin, bovine Factor Xa, human alpha-thrombin, human Factor Xa, human Lys77-plasmin, human urinary kallikrein, Mr 33 000 and Mr 54 000 species of human urokinase, porcine pancreatic beta-kallikrein-A and -B and Ancrod (the coagulating serine proteinase from the Malayan pit viper Agkistrodon rhodostoma venom) have been obtained between pH 6.0 and 8.0, at 21.0 degrees C, and analysed in parallel with those for the enzymatic cleavage of N alpha-(N,N-dimethylcarbamoyl)-alpha-azalysine p-nitrophenyl ester (Dmc-azaLys-ONp). The enzyme kinetics are consistent with the minimum three-step catalytic mechanism of serine proteinases, the rate-limiting step being represented by the deacylation process. Bovine beta-trypsin kinetics are modulated by the acid-base equilibrium of the His57 catalytic residue (pKa approximately 6.9). Dmc-azaOrn-ONp and Dmc-azaLys-ONp bind stoichiometrically to the serine proteinase active site, and allow the reliable determination of the active enzyme concentration between 1.0 x 10-6 M and 3.0 x 10-4 M. The affinity and the reactivity for Dmc-azaOrn-ONp (expressed by Ks and k+2/Ks, respectively) of the serine proteinases considered are much lower than those for Dmc-azaLys-ONp. The very different affinity and reactivity properties for Dmc-azaOrn-ONp and Dmc-azaLys-ONp have been related to the different size of the ornithine/lysine side chains, and to the ensuing different positioning of the active-site titrants upon binding to the enzyme catalytic centre (i.e. to P1-S1 recognition). These data represent the first detailed comparative investigation on the catalytic properties of serine proteinases towards an ornithine derivative (i. e. Dmc-azaOrn-ONp).

  4. Traditional Chinese Medicine Induced Liver Injury.

    PubMed

    Teschke, Rolf

    2014-06-01

    Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is popular around the world and encompasses many different practices with particular emphasis on herbal TCM. Using the PubMed database, a literature search was undertaken to assess the extent herbal TCM products exert rare hepatotoxicity. Analysis of reported cases revealed numerous specified herbal TCM products with potential hepatotoxicity. Among these were An Shu Ling, Bai Fang, Bai Xian Pi, Ban Tu Wan, Bo He, Bo Ye Qing Niu Dan, Bofu Tsu Sho San, Boh Gol Zhee, Cang Er Zi, Chai Hu, Chaso, Chi R Yun, Chuan Lian Zi, Ci Wu Jia, Da Chai Hu Tang, Da Huang, Du Huo, Gan Cao, Ge Gen, Ho Shou Wu, Hu Bohe You, Hu Zhang, Huang Qin, Huang Yao Zi, Hwang Geun Cho, Ji Gu Cao, Ji Ji, Ji Xue Cao, Jiguja, Jin Bu Huan, Jue Ming Zi, Kamishoyosan, Kudzu, Lei Gong Teng, Long Dan Xie Gan Tang, Lu Cha, Ma Huang, Mao Guo Tian Jie Cai, Onshido, Polygonum multiflorum, Qian Li Guang, Ren Shen, Sairei To, Shan Chi, Shen Min, Shi Can, Shi Liu Pi, Shou Wu Pian, Tian Hua Fen, White flood, Wu Bei Zi, Xi Shu, Xiao Chai Hu Tang, Yin Chen Hao, Zexie, Zhen Chu Cao, and various unclassified Chinese herbal mixtures. Causality was firmly established for a number of herbal TCM products by a positive reexposure test result, the liver specific scale of CIOMS (Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences), or both. Otherwise, the quality of case data was mixed, especially regarding analysis of the herb ingredients because of adulteration with synthetic drugs, contamination with heavy metals, and misidentification. In addition, non-herbal TCM elements derived from Agaricus blazei, Agkistrodon, Antelope, Bombyx, Carp, Fish gallbladder, Phellinus, Scolopendra, Scorpio, and Zaocys are also known or potential hepatotoxins. For some patients, the clinical course was severe, with risks for acute liver failure, liver transplantation requirement, and lethality. In conclusion, the use of few herbal TCM products may rarely be associated with hepatotoxicity in some

  5. Annotated catalogue of the Tachinidae (Insecta, Diptera) of the Afrotropical Region, with the description of seven new genera

    PubMed Central

    O’Hara, James E.; Cerretti, Pierfilippo

    2016-01-01

    regalis Cerretti & O’Hara, sp. n. (South Africa), and Myxophryxe satanas Cerretti & O’Hara, sp. n. (South Africa) (Exoristinae, Goniini); and Stiremania Cerretti & O’Hara with type species Stiremania karoo Cerretti & O’Hara, gen. n. and sp. n. (South Africa), and Stiremania robusta Cerretti & O’Hara, sp. n. (South Africa) (Exoristinae, Goniini). Paraclara Bezzi, 1908 is transferred from the Cylindromyiini to the Hermyini, comb. n. Sarrorhina Villeneuve, 1936 is transferred from the Minthoini to the Graphogastrini, comb. n. Three genera are newly recorded from the Afrotropical Region: Madremyia Townsend, 1916 (Eryciini); Paratrixa Brauer & Bergenstamm, 1891 (Blondeliini); and Simoma Aldrich, 1926 (Goniini). Three genera previously recorded from the Afrotropical Region are no longer recognized from the region: Calozenillia Townsend, 1927 (Palaearctic, Oriental and Australasian regions); Eurysthaea Robineau-Desvoidy, 1863 (Palaearctic, Oriental and Australasian regions); and Trixa Meigen, 1824 (Palaearctic and Oriental regions). Two species are newly recorded from the Afrotropical Region: Amnonia carmelitana Kugler, 1971 (Ethiopia, Kenya); and Simoma grahami Aldrich, 1926 (Namibia). Three species previously recorded from the Afrotropical Region are no longer recognized from the region: Euthera peringueyi Bezzi, 1925 (Oriental Region); Hamaxia incongrua Walker, 1860 (Palaearctic, Oriental and Australasian regions); Leucostoma tetraptera (Meigen, 1824) (Palaearctic Region). New replacement names are proposed for five preoccupied names of Afrotropical species: Billaea rubida O’Hara & Cerretti for Phorostoma rutilans Villeneuve, 1916, preoccupied in the genus Billaea Robineau-Desvoidy, 1830 by Musca rutilans Fabricius, 1781, nom. n.; Cylindromyia braueri O’Hara & Cerretti for Ocyptera nigra Villeneuve, 1918, preoccupied in the genus Cylindromyia Meigen, 1803 by Glossidionophora nigra Bigot, 1885, nom. n.; Cylindromyia rufohumera O’Hara & Cerretti for Ocyptera

  6. Alfimeprase.

    PubMed

    2008-01-01

    Alfimeprase, a fibrolase derivative with thrombolytic activity produced by recombinant DNA technology, was discovered by Amgen and was in development with Nuvelo for the treatment of stroke and catheter occlusion. However, development has been discontinued. Fibrolase is a zinc-containing metalloendopeptidase that was first isolated from the venom of the Southern copperhead snake, Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix. Alfimeprase directly degrades fibrin to break down clots. Alfimeprase is infused directly into the thrombus (side-hole catheter pushed through the entire clot) via multiple manual pulsed infusions. Alfimeprase degrades fibrin directly and entrapped blood cells are freed. Excess alfimeprase is rapidly inactivated by alpha-2 macroglobulin through an irreversible, covalent interaction. Phase III development of alfimeprase for peripheral arterial occlusion was discontinued based on poor results from the NAPA-2 and SONOMA-2 trials; however, Nuvelo resumed development of alfimeprase in 2007 for stroke and catheter occlusion.Alfimeprase's thrombolytic activity appears to be localized to the site of delivery because it is rapidly inactivated by alpha-2 macroglobulin, a naturally occurring protein in the blood, as it moves away from the site of delivery and into general blood circulation. In January 2002, Amgen and Hyseq Pharmaceuticals (now Nuvelo) entered into a collaboration to develop and commercialize alfimeprase. Nuvelo is to develop the product through clinical trials and Amgen was to be responsible for its manufacture. Both companies were to participate in commercial activities; Amgen was to have the option to lead these. Full financial terms were not disclosed. Further to this agreement, in November 2004 Amgen granted Nuvelo worldwide rights to develop and commercialize alfimeprase in exchange for milestone and royalty payments. In August 2007, Nuvelo decided to focus on core development programmes that it believed would produce the nearest-term proof