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Sample records for peptide venom components

  1. Rapid sensitive analysis of cysteine rich peptide venom components.

    PubMed

    Ueberheide, Beatrix M; Fenyö, David; Alewood, Paul F; Chait, Brian T

    2009-04-28

    Disulfide-rich peptide venoms from animals such as snakes, spiders, scorpions, and certain marine snails represent one of nature's great diversity libraries of bioactive molecules. The various species of marine cone shells have alone been estimated to produce >50,000 distinct peptide venoms. These peptides have stimulated considerable interest because of their ability to potently alter the function of specific ion channels. To date, only a small fraction of this immense resource has been characterized because of the difficulty in elucidating their primary structures, which range in size between 10 and 80 aa, include up to 5 disulfide bonds, and can contain extensive posttranslational modifications. The extraordinary complexity of crude venoms and the lack of DNA databases for many of the organisms of interest present major analytical challenges. Here, we describe a strategy that uses mass spectrometry for the elucidation of the mature peptide toxin components of crude venom samples. Key to this strategy is our use of electron transfer dissociation (ETD), a mass spectrometric fragmentation technique that can produce sequence information across the entire peptide backbone. However, because ETD only yields comprehensive sequence coverage when the charge state of the precursor peptide ion is sufficiently high and the m/z ratio is low, we combined ETD with a targeted chemical derivatization strategy to increase the charge state of cysteine-containing peptide toxins. Using this strategy, we obtained full sequences for 31 peptide toxins, using just 7% of the crude venom from the venom gland of a single cone snail (Conus textile).

  2. Bioactive Components in Fish Venoms

    PubMed Central

    Ziegman, Rebekah; Alewood, Paul

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Peptide Toxins in Solitary Wasp Venoms

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-17

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Two novel antimicrobial peptides from centipede venoms.

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The wasp Anisopteromalus calandrae is a small ectoparasitoid that attacks stored product pest beetle larvae that develop inside grain kernels, and is thus a potential insect control tool. The components of the venom have not been studied, but venom peptides from other organisms have been identified ...

  9. Genetic mechanisms of scorpion venom peptide diversification.

    PubMed

    Zhijian, Cao; Feng, Luo; Yingliang, Wu; Xin, Mao; Wenxin, Li

    2006-03-01

    The diversity of scorpion venom peptides is well shown by the presence of about 400 such polypeptides with or without disulfide bonds. Scorpion toxins with disulfide bonds present a variety of sequence features and pharmacological functions by affecting different ion channels, while the venom peptides without disulfide bonds represent a new subfamily, having much lower sequence homology among each other and different functions (e.g. bradykinin-potentiating, antimicrobial, molecular cell signal initiating and immune modulating). Interestingly, all scorpion venom peptides with divergent functions may have evolved from a common ancestor gene. Over the lengthy evolutionary time, the diversification of scorpion venom peptides evolved through polymorphism, duplication, trans-splicing, or alternative splicing at the gene level. In order to completely clarify the diversity of scorpion toxins and toxin-like peptides, toxinomics (genomics and proteomics of scorpion toxins and toxin-like peptides) are expected to greatly advance in the near future.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-28

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Characterization of a Venom Peptide from a Crassispirid Gastropod

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Spider-Venom Peptides as Therapeutics

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Venomics of Remipede Crustaceans Reveals Novel Peptide Diversity and Illuminates the Venom’s Biological Role

    PubMed Central

    von Reumont, Björn M.; Undheim, Eivind A. B.; Jauss, Robin-Tobias; Jenner, Ronald A.

    2017-01-01

    We report the first integrated proteomic and transcriptomic investigation of a crustacean venom. Remipede crustaceans are the venomous sister group of hexapods, and the venom glands of the remipede Xibalbanus tulumensis express a considerably more complex cocktail of proteins and peptides than previously thought. We identified 32 venom protein families, including 13 novel peptide families that we name xibalbins, four of which lack similarities to any known structural class. Our proteomic data confirm the presence in the venom of 19 of the 32 families. The most highly expressed venom components are serine peptidases, chitinase and six of the xibalbins. The xibalbins represent Inhibitory Cystine Knot peptides (ICK), a double ICK peptide, peptides with a putative Cystine-stabilized α-helix/β-sheet motif, a peptide similar to hairpin-like β-sheet forming antimicrobial peptides, two peptides related to different hormone families, and four peptides with unique structural motifs. Remipede venom components represent the full range of evolutionary recruitment frequencies, from families that have been recruited into many animal venoms (serine peptidases, ICKs), to those having a very narrow taxonomic range (double ICKs), to those unique for remipedes. We discuss the most highly expressed venom components to shed light on their possible functional significance in the predatory and defensive use of remipede venom, and to provide testable ideas for any future bioactivity studies. PMID:28933727

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-02

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-22

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

  18. Scorpion venom components that affect ion-channels function

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Peptide toxins from Conus geographus venom.

    PubMed

    Gray, W R; Luque, A; Olivera, B M; Barrett, J; Cruz, L J

    1981-05-25

    Three homologous toxic peptides which cause postsynaptic inhibition at the vertebrate neuromuscular junction have been purified from the venom of the marine snail Conus geographus. Their amino acid sequences are: (formula see text) The biologically active peptides are monomeric, with internal disulfide bonds.

  20. Hormone-like peptides in the venoms of marine cone snails.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Samuel D; Li, Qing; Bandyopadhyay, Pradip K; Gajewiak, Joanna; Yandell, Mark; Papenfuss, Anthony T; Purcell, Anthony W; Norton, Raymond S; Safavi-Hemami, Helena

    2017-04-01

    The venoms of cone snails (genus Conus) are remarkably complex, consisting of hundreds of typically short, disulfide-rich peptides termed conotoxins. These peptides have diverse pharmacological targets, with injection of venom eliciting a range of physiological responses, including sedation, paralysis and sensory overload. Most conotoxins target the prey's nervous system but evidence of venom peptides targeting neuroendocrine processes is emerging. Examples include vasopressin, RFamide neuropeptides and recently also insulin. To investigate the diversity of hormone/neuropeptide-like molecules in the venoms of cone snails we systematically mined the venom gland transcriptomes of several cone snail species and examined secreted venom peptides in dissected and injected venom of the Australian cone snail Conus victoriae. Using this approach we identified several novel hormone/neuropeptide-like toxins, including peptides similar to the bee brain hormone prohormone-4, the mollusc ganglia neuropeptide elevenin, and thyrostimulin, a member of the glycoprotein hormone family, and confirmed the presence of insulin. We confirmed that at least two of these peptides are not only expressed in the venom gland but also form part of the injected venom cocktail, unambiguously demonstrating their role in envenomation. Our findings suggest that hormone/neuropeptide-like toxins are a diverse and integral part of the complex envenomation strategy of Conus. Exploration of this group of venom components offers an exciting new avenue for the discovery of novel pharmacological tools and drug candidates, complementary to conotoxins. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Hormone-like peptides in the venoms of marine cone snails

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Samuel D.; Li, Qing; Bandyopadhyay, Pradip K.; Gajewiak, Joanna; Yandell, Mark; Papenfuss, Anthony T.; Purcell, Anthony W.; Norton, Raymond S.; Safavi-Hemami, Helena

    2015-01-01

    The venoms of cone snails (genus Conus) are remarkably complex, consisting of hundreds of typically short, disulfide-rich peptides termed conotoxins. These peptides have diverse pharmacological targets, with injection of venom eliciting a range of physiological responses, including sedation, paralysis and sensory overload. Most conotoxins target the prey’s nervous system but evidence of venom peptides targeting neuroendocrine processes is emerging. Examples include vasopressin, RFamide neuropeptides and recently also insulin. To investigate the diversity of hormone/neuropeptide-like molecules in the venoms of cone snails we systematically mined the venom gland transcriptomes of several cone snail species and examined secreted venom peptides in dissected and injected venom of the Australian cone snail Conus victoriae. Using this approach we identified several novel hormone/neuropeptide-like toxins, including peptides similar to the bee brain hormone prohormone-4, the mollusc ganglia neuropeptide elevenin, and thyrostimulin, a member of the glycoprotein hormone family, and confirmed the presence of insulin. We confirmed that at least two of these peptides are not only expressed in the venom gland but also form part of the injected venom cocktail, unambiguously demonstrating their role in envenomation. Our findings suggest that hormone/neuropeptide-like toxins are a diverse and integral part of the complex envenomation strategy of Conus. Exploration of this group of venom components offers an exciting new avenue for the discovery of novel pharmacological tools and drug candidates, complementary to conotoxins. PMID:26301480

  2. Peptide fingerprinting of snake venoms by direct infusion nano-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry: potential use in venom identification and taxonomy.

    PubMed

    Souza, Gustavo H M F; Catharino, Rodrigo R; Ifa, Demian R; Eberlin, Marcos N; Hyslop, Stephen

    2008-05-01

    Fingerprinting by mass spectrometry has been increasingly used to study venom variations and for taxonomic analyses based on venom components. Most of these studies have concentrated on components heavier than 3 kDa, but Bothrops snake venoms contain many biologically active peptides, principally C-type natriuretic peptides and bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPPs). In this work, we have examined the peptide profile of Bothrops venoms (B. alternatus, B. erythromelas, B. insularis, B. jararaca, B. jararacussu, B. leucurus and B. moojeni) using direct infusion nano-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (nano-ESI-MS) subjecting the data further to principal components analysis (PCA) to assess whether the peptide distributions are reliable in distinguishing the venoms. ESI-MS of a low molar mass fraction obtained by ultrafiltration of each venom (5 kDa nominal cutoff filters) revealed that the venoms have a variety of peptides in common but that each venom also contains taxonomic marker peptides not shared with other venoms. One BPP peptide, QGGWPRPGPEIPP, was found to be common to the seven Bothrops species examined. This peptide may represent a specific marker for this genus since it was not found in the venom of the South American rattlesnake, Crotalus durissus terrificus. PCA on the ESI-MS data reveals a close relationship between B. jararaca, B. jararacussu and B. moojeni venoms, with B. leucurus and B. erythromelas being more distant from these three; B. alternatus and B. insularis were also located distant from these five species, as was C. d. terrificus. These results agree partially with established phylogenetic relationships among these species and suggest that ESI-MS peptide fingerprinting of snake venoms coupled with PCA is a useful tool for identifying venoms and for taxonomic analyses.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-12

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

  5. A novel natriuretic peptide from the cobra venom.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yong; Wu, Jianbo; Yu, Guoyu; Chen, Zhongming; Zhou, Xingding; Zhu, Shaowen; Li, Rui; Zhang, Yun; Lu, Qiumin

    2011-01-01

    Natriuretic peptides (NPs) play crucial roles in human physiology and pathophysiology through natriuresis, dieresis and vasorelaxation. NPs are also one of the important components of snake venoms. However, the low abundance in snake venom hampered the investigation. Here, a novel natriuretic peptide named Na-NP was purified from the cobra Naja atra venom. Na-NP consists of 45 amino acid residues and its molecular weight is 4618.5 Da. A full-length cDNA encoding Na-NP was obtained from the cDNA library constructed from the venom gland. The open reading frame of cloned Na-NP was composed of 498bp and coded for a 165-amino acid residue protein precursor. The nucleotide and deduced protein sequences of Na-NP were remarkably conserved with other elapid NPs while significant different from the viperid NPs. Na-NP showed weak activity to relax the aortic rings precontracted with phenylephrine. Meanwhile, Na-NP showed cGMP-promotion activity against primary cultured rabbit endocardial endothelial cells, but had no effect on human platelet aggregation. In conclusion, this is the first report of a natriuretic peptide from the cobra N. atra venom. Na-NP might be served as a useful tool for the study of human NPs and the development of novel therapeutic drugs. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Natriuretic peptide drug leads from snake venom.

    PubMed

    Vink, S; Jin, A H; Poth, K J; Head, G A; Alewood, P F

    2012-03-15

    Natriuretic peptides are body fluid volume modulators, termed natriuretic peptides due to a role in natriuresis and diuresis. The three mammalian NPs, atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), brain or b-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and c-type natriuretic peptide (CNP), have been extensively investigated for their use as therapeutic agents for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Although effective, short half-lives and renal side effects limit their use. In approximately 30 years of research, NPs have been discovered in many vertebrates including mammals, amphibians, reptiles and fish, with plants and, more recently, bacteria also being found to possess NPs. Reptiles have produced some of the more interesting NPs, with dendroaspis natriuretic peptide (DNP), which was isolated from the venom of the green mamba (Dendroaspis angusticeps), having greater potency and increased stability as compared to the mammalian family members, and taipan natriuretic peptide c (TNPc), which was isolated from the venom of the inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus) displaying similar activity to ANP and DNP at rat natriuretic peptide receptor A. Although promising, more research is required in this field to develop therapeutics that overcome receptor-mediated clearance, and potential toxicity issues. This review investigates the use of snake venom NPs as therapeutic drug leads. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Two families of antimicrobial peptides from wasp (Vespa magnifica) venom.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xueqing; Li, Jianxu; Lu, Qiuming; Yang, Hailong; Zhang, Yungong; Lai, Ren

    2006-02-01

    The hornet possesses highly toxic venom, which is rich in toxin, enzymes and biologically active peptides. Many bioactive substances were identified from wasp venom. Two families of antimicrobial peptides were purified and characterized from the venom of the wasp, Vespamagnifica (Smith). The primary structures of these peptides are homologous to those of chemotactic peptides and mastoparans isolated from other vespid venoms. They also share similarity to temporins which are amphibian antimicrobial peptides identified from the skin of the frog, Ranaboylii. These peptides show antimicrobial activities against bacteria and fungi. However, they show little hemolytic activity against human blood red cells.

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

    PubMed

    Almaaytah, Ammar; Albalas, Qosay

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Identification of the immunogenic epitopes of the whole venom component of the Hemiscorpius lepturus scorpion using the phage display peptide library.

    PubMed

    Jahdasani, Roghaye; Jamnani, Fatemeh Rahimi; Behdani, Mahdi; Habibi-Anbouhi, Mahdi; Yardehnavi, Najmeh; Shahbazzadeh, Delavar; Kazemi-Lomedasht, Fatemeh

    2016-12-15

    The venom of the Hemiscorpius lepturus scorpion contains mixtures of bioactive compounds that disturb biochemical and physiological functions of the victims. Hemiscorpius lepturus envenomation is recognized as a serious health concern in tropical regions. So far, there is no preventive procedure, and the main focus is on treatment of victims with an antiserum purified from hyper-immunized horses. Although antisera can neutralize the venom, they, in some cases, lead to anaphylactic shock and even death. Selection of peptides mimicking antigenic and immunogenic epitopes of toxins from random peptide libraries is a novel approach for the development of recombinant toxins and poly-epitopic vaccine. To achieve this aim, a phage display peptide library and three rounds of biopanning were performed on immobilized antibodies (IgGs) purified from the sera of hyper-immunized horses. The results show that the highest binding of the phage to immobilized horse antibodies occurred in the third round of biopanning. Over 125 individual clones carrying mimotopes of Hemiscorpius lepturus toxins were selected and subjected for sequencing. The sequencing results identified unique peptides mimicking the antigenic and immunogenic epitopes of Hemiscorpius lepturus toxins. The results of this study provide a basis for further studies and the development of a putative epitopic vaccine and a recombinant toxin. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Diversity of peptide toxins from stinging ant venoms.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-15

    Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of arthropods comprising nearly 13,000 extant species. Sixteen ant subfamilies have individuals that possess a stinger and use their venom for purposes such as a defence against predators, competitors and microbial pathogens, for predation, as well as for social communication. They exhibit a range of activities including antimicrobial, haemolytic, cytolytic, paralytic, insecticidal and pain-producing pharmacologies. While ant venoms are known to be rich in alkaloids and hydrocarbons, ant venoms rich in peptides are becoming more common, yet remain understudied. Recent advances in mass spectrometry techniques have begun to reveal the true complexity of ant venom peptide composition. In the few venoms explored thus far, most peptide toxins appear to occur as small polycationic linear toxins, with antibacterial properties and insecticidal activity. Unlike other venomous animals, a number of ant venoms also contain a range of homodimeric and heterodimeric peptides with one or two interchain disulfide bonds possessing pore-forming, allergenic and paralytic actions. However, ant venoms seem to have only a small number of monomeric disulfide-linked peptides. The present review details the structure and pharmacology of known ant venom peptide toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Scorpion and spider venom peptides: gene cloning and peptide expression.

    PubMed

    Quintero-Hernández, V; Ortiz, E; Rendón-Anaya, M; Schwartz, E F; Becerril, B; Corzo, G; Possani, L D

    2011-12-01

    This communication reviews most of the important findings related to venom components isolated from scorpions and spiders, mainly by means of gene cloning and expression. Rather than revising results obtained by classical biochemical studies that report structure and function of venom components, here the emphasis is placed on cloning and identification of genes present in the venomous glands of these arachnids. Aspects related to cDNA library construction, specific or random ESTs cloning, transcriptome analysis, high-throughput screening, heterologous expression and folding are briefly discussed, showing some numbers of species and components already identified, but also shortly mentioning limitations and perspectives of research for the future in this field. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Antimicrobial peptides from the venoms of Vespa bicolor Fabricius.

    PubMed

    Chen, Wenhu; Yang, Xinbo; Yang, Xiaolong; Zhai, Lei; Lu, Zekuan; Liu, Jingze; Yu, Haining

    2008-11-01

    Hornets possess highly toxic venoms, which are rich in toxins, enzymes and biologically active peptides. Many bioactive substances have been identified from wasp venoms. Vespa mastoparan (MP-VBs) and Vespa chemotatic peptide presenting antimicrobial action (VESP-VBs) were purified and characterized from the venom of the wasp, Vespa bicolor Fabricius. The precursors encoding VESP-VBs and MP-VBs were cloned from the cDNA library of the venomous glands. Analyzed by FAB-MS, the amino acid sequence and molecular mass for VESP-VB1 were FMPIIGRLMSGSL and 1420.6, for MP-VB1 were INMKASAAVAKKLL and 1456.5, respectively. The primary structures of these peptides are homologous to those of chemotactic peptides and mastoparans isolated from other vespid venoms. These peptides showed strong antimicrobial activities against bacteria and fungi and induced mast cell degranulation, but displayed almost no hemolytic activity towards human blood red cells.

  13. The insecticidal potential of venom peptides.

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  14. Mass spectrometry strategies for venom mapping and peptide sequencing from crude venoms: case applications with single arthropod specimen.

    PubMed

    Favreau, Philippe; Menin, Laure; Michalet, Sophie; Perret, Fréderic; Cheneval, Olivier; Stöcklin, Maxime; Bulet, Philippe; Stöcklin, Reto

    2006-05-01

    Due to their complexity and diversity, animal venoms represent an extensive source of bioactive compounds such as peptides and proteins. Conventional approaches for their characterization often require large quantities of biological material. Current mass spectrometry (MS) techniques now give access to a wealth of information in a short working time frame with minute amounts of sample. Such MS approaches may now be used for the discovery of novel compounds, and once their structure has been determined they may be synthesized and tested for functional activity. Molecular mass fingerprints of venoms allow the rapid identification of known toxins as well as preliminary structural characterization of new compounds. De novo peptide sequencing by tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) offers rapid access to partial or total primary peptide structures. This article, written as a tutorial, also contains new material: molecular mass fingerprint analysis of Orthochirus innesi scorpion venom, and identification of components from bumblebee Bombus lapidarius venom, both collected from one single specimen. The structure of the three major peptides detected in the Bombus venom was fully characterized in one working day by de novo sequencing using an electrospray ionization hybrid quadrupole time-of-flight instrument (ESI-QqTOF) and a matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight instrument (MALDI-LIFT-TOF-TOF). After presenting the MS-based sequence elucidation, perspectives in using MS and MS/MS techniques in toxinology are discussed.

  15. Identification of anti-tumor components from toad venom

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Fei; Wang, Xiangjun; Li, Zhao; Zhou, Aicun; Tiffany-Castiglioni, Evelyn; Xie, Lijun; Qian, Yongchang

    2017-01-01

    Secretion of granular glands from the skin of amphibians is a fascinating resource of active substances, particularly for cancer therapy in clinical practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine. A variety of anti-tumor peptides have been isolated from different toads and frogs; however, no anti-tumor peptides are reported in toad venom of Bufo gargarizans. Firstly, soluble fraction from fresh toad venom (FTV) was compared with that from dried toad venom (DTV), using HPLC analysis. It was revealed that FTV has a different HPLC chromatography compared with DTV. Soluble fraction of FTV is more toxic to SH-SY5Y cells than that of DTV, as evaluated by MTT assay. Secondly, it was identified that protein components from soluble fractions of FTV and DTV possess different patterns by SDS-PAGE analysis, and proteins from FTV are also more toxic than that from DTV. Thirdly, an immobilized basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) affinity column was used to isolate bFGF-binding components from soluble fraction of FTV, and it was identified that bFGF-binding components prohibited bFGF-dependent neurite growth of SH-SY5Y cells. Finally, it was identified that bFGF-binding components activated apoptosis via upregulation of caspase-3 and caspase-8 expression in SH-SY5Y cells. These data suggest that FTV contains active components that interact with bFGF and activate apoptosis in SH-SY5Y cells. PMID:28693129

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-16

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    An impressive biodiversity (>10,000 species) of marine snails (suborder Toxoglossa or superfamily Conoidea) have complex venoms, containing ca. 100 biologically active, disulfide-rich peptides. In the genus Conus, the most intensively investigated toxoglossan lineage (~500 species), a small set of venom gene superfamilies undergo rapid sequence hyperdiversification within their mature toxin regions. Each major lineage of Toxoglossa has its own distinct set of venom gene superfamilies. Two recently identified venom gene superfamilies are expressed in the large Turridae clade, but not in Conus. Thus, as major venomous molluscan clades expand, a small set of lineage specific venom gene superfamilies undergo accelerated evolution. The juxtaposition of extremely conserved signal sequences with hypervariable mature peptide regions is unprecedented and raises the possibility that in these gene superfamilies, the signal sequences are conserved as a result of an essential role they play in enabling rapid sequence evolution of the region of the gene that encodes the active toxin. PMID:22954218

  18. Spider-venom peptides as bioinsecticides.

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-01

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

  19. Spider-Venom Peptides as Bioinsecticides

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Duck-billed platypus venom peptides induce Ca2+ influx in neuroblastoma cells.

    PubMed

    Kita, Masaki; Black, David StC; Ohno, Osamu; Yamada, Kaoru; Kigoshi, Hideo; Uemura, Daisuke

    2009-12-23

    The duck-billed platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) is one of the few venomous Australian mammals. We previously found that its crude venom potently induces Ca(2+) influx in human neuroblastoma IMR-32 cells. Guided by this bioassay, we identified 11 novel peptides, including the heptapeptide H-His-Asp-His-Pro-Asn-Pro-Arg-OH (1). Compounds 1-4 and 5-11 coincided with the 6-9 N-terminal residues of Ornithorhynchus venom C-type natriuretic peptide (OvCNP) and the 132-150 part of OvCNP precursor peptide, respectively. Heptapeptide 1, which is one of the primary components of the venom fluid (approximately 200 ng/microL), induced a significant increase in [Ca(2+)](i) in IMR-32 cells at 75 microM. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of the isolation of the N-terminal linear fragments of CNPs in any mammal.

  1. Non-disulfide-bridged peptides from Tityus serrulatus venom: Evidence for proline-free ACE-inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Pucca, Manuela Berto; Cerni, Felipe Augusto; Pinheiro-Junior, Ernesto Lopes; Zoccal, Karina Furlani; Bordon, Karla de Castro Figueiredo; Amorim, Fernanda Gobbi; Peigneur, Steve; Vriens, Kim; Thevissen, Karin; Cammue, Bruno Philippe Angelo; Júnior, Ronaldo Bragança Martins; Arruda, Eurico; Faccioli, Lúcia Helena; Tytgat, Jan; Arantes, Eliane Candiani

    2016-08-01

    The present study purifies two T. serrulatus non-disulfide-bridged peptides (NDBPs), named venom peptides 7.2 (RLRSKG) and 8 (KIWRS) and details their synthesis and biological activity, comparing to the synthetic venom peptide 7.1 (RLRSKGKK), previously identified. The synthetic replicate peptides were subjected to a range of biological assays: hemolytic, antifungal, antiviral, electrophysiological, immunological and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition activities. All venom peptides neither showed to be cytolytic nor demonstrated significant antifungal or antiviral activities. Interestingly, peptides were able to modulate macrophages' responses, increasing IL-6 production. The three venom peptides also demonstrated potential to inhibit ACE in the following order: 7.2>7.1>8. The ACE inhibition activity was unexpected, since peptides that display this function are usually proline-rich peptides. In attempt to understand the origin of such small peptides, we discovered that the isolated peptides 7.2 and 8 are fragments of the same molecule, named Pape peptide precursor. Furthermore, the study discusses that Pape fragments could be originated from a post-splitting mechanism resulting from metalloserrulases and other proteinases cleavage, which can be seen as a clever mechanism used by the scorpion to enlarge its repertoire of venom components. Scorpion venom remains as an interesting source of bioactive proteins and this study advances our knowledge about three NDBPs and their biological activities. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Venom Gland Transcriptomic and Proteomic Analyses of the Enigmatic Scorpion Superstitionia donensis (Scorpiones: Superstitioniidae), with Insights on the Evolution of Its Venom Components

    PubMed Central

    Santibáñez-López, Carlos E.; Cid-Uribe, Jimena I.; Batista, Cesar V. F.; Ortiz, Ernesto; Possani, Lourival D.

    2016-01-01

    Venom gland transcriptomic and proteomic analyses have improved our knowledge on the diversity of the heterogeneous components present in scorpion venoms. However, most of these studies have focused on species from the family Buthidae. To gain insights into the molecular diversity of the venom components of scorpions belonging to the family Superstitioniidae, one of the neglected scorpion families, we performed a transcriptomic and proteomic analyses for the species Superstitionia donensis. The total mRNA extracted from the venom glands of two specimens was subjected to massive sequencing by the Illumina protocol, and a total of 219,073 transcripts were generated. We annotated 135 transcripts putatively coding for peptides with identity to known venom components available from different protein databases. Fresh venom collected by electrostimulation was analyzed by LC-MS/MS allowing the identification of 26 distinct components with sequences matching counterparts from the transcriptomic analysis. In addition, the phylogenetic affinities of the found putative calcins, scorpines, La1-like peptides and potassium channel κ toxins were analyzed. The first three components are often reported as ubiquitous in the venom of different families of scorpions. Our results suggest that, at least calcins and scorpines, could be used as molecular markers in phylogenetic studies of scorpion venoms. PMID:27941686

  4. Venom Gland Transcriptomic and Proteomic Analyses of the Enigmatic Scorpion Superstitionia donensis (Scorpiones: Superstitioniidae), with Insights on the Evolution of Its Venom Components.

    PubMed

    Santibáñez-López, Carlos E; Cid-Uribe, Jimena I; Batista, Cesar V F; Ortiz, Ernesto; Possani, Lourival D

    2016-12-09

    Venom gland transcriptomic and proteomic analyses have improved our knowledge on the diversity of the heterogeneous components present in scorpion venoms. However, most of these studies have focused on species from the family Buthidae. To gain insights into the molecular diversity of the venom components of scorpions belonging to the family Superstitioniidae, one of the neglected scorpion families, we performed a transcriptomic and proteomic analyses for the species Superstitionia donensis. The total mRNA extracted from the venom glands of two specimens was subjected to massive sequencing by the Illumina protocol, and a total of 219,073 transcripts were generated. We annotated 135 transcripts putatively coding for peptides with identity to known venom components available from different protein databases. Fresh venom collected by electrostimulation was analyzed by LC-MS/MS allowing the identification of 26 distinct components with sequences matching counterparts from the transcriptomic analysis. In addition, the phylogenetic affinities of the found putative calcins, scorpines, La1-like peptides and potassium channel κ toxins were analyzed. The first three components are often reported as ubiquitous in the venom of different families of scorpions. Our results suggest that, at least calcins and scorpines, could be used as molecular markers in phylogenetic studies of scorpion venoms.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  6. A novel structural class of toxins: the methionine-rich peptides from the venoms of turrid marine snails (Mollusca, Conoidea).

    PubMed

    López-Vera, Estuardo; Heimer de la Cotera, Edgar P; Maillo, María; Riesgo-Escovar, Juan R; Olivera, Baldomero M; Aguilar, Manuel B

    2004-03-15

    The objective of this investigation was to purify and characterize polypeptides from the venom ducts of the turrid snails Polystira albida and Gemmula periscelida (superfamily: Conoidea, family: Turridae), collected in Mexican waters. Venoms of other groups in the superfamily (family: Conidae, genus: Conus) have peptide toxins ('conotoxins'), but no venom components have been characterized from any turrid species. Crude venoms were fractionated using reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography, and one major component from each venom was characterized. In contrast to most conotoxins, the polypeptides characterized contain a high proportion of Met, Tyr and Arg residues, and few, if any, Cys residues. The two peptides had some regions of homology, but were not significantly similar to other peptides. Both peptides are predicted to contain alpha-helical structures, and the peptide from P. albida is predicted to form a coiled-coil motif. This structural motif could provide conformational stability for these turrid venom components ("turritoxins"), which in the case of conotoxins is primarily achieved by disulfide bonds. Thus, the first turritoxins characterized are strikingly different from the conotoxins, suggesting divergent biochemical strategies in the venoms of different major groups included in the superfamily Conoidea.

  7. Bioactive Mimetics of Conotoxins and other Venom Peptides

    PubMed Central

    Duggan, Peter J.; Tuck, Kellie L.

    2015-01-01

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

  8. A perspective on toxicology of Conus venom peptides.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    The evolutionarily unique and ecologically diverse family Conidae presents fundamental opportunities for marine pharmacology research and drug discovery. The focus of this investigation is to summarize the worldwide distribution of Conus and their species diversity with special reference to the Indian coast. In addition, this study will contribute to understanding the structural properties of conotoxin and therapeutic application of Conus venom peptides. Cone snails can inject a mix of various conotoxins and these venoms are their major weapon for prey capture, and may also have other biological purposes, and some of these conotoxins fatal to humans. Conus venoms contain a remarkable diversity of pharmacologically active small peptides; their targets are an iron channel and receptors in the neuromuscular system. Interspecific divergence is pronounced in venom peptide genes, which is generally attributed to their species specific biotic interactions. There is a notable interspecific divergence observed in venom peptide genes, which can be justified as of biotic interactions that stipulate species peculiar habitat and ecology of cone snails. There are several conopeptides used in clinical trials and one peptide (Ziconotide) has received FDA approval for treatment of pain. This perspective provides a comprehensive overview of the distribution of cone shells and focus on the molecular approach in documenting their taxonomy and diversity with special reference to geographic distribution of Indian cone snails, structure and properties of conopeptide and their pharmacological targets and future directions. Copyright © 2015 Hainan Medical College. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Hyperalgesic and edematogenic effects of Secapin-2, a peptide isolated from Africanized honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom.

    PubMed

    Mourelle, D; Brigatte, P; Bringanti, L D B; De Souza, B M; Arcuri, H A; Gomes, P C; Baptista-Saidemberg, N B; Ruggiero Neto, J; Palma, M S

    2014-09-01

    Honeybee stings are a severe public health problem. Bee venom contains a series of active components, including enzymes, peptides, and biogenic amines. The local reactions observed after envenoming include a typical inflammatory response and pain. Honeybee venom contains some well-known polycationic peptides, such as Melittin, Apamin, MCD peptide, Cardiopep, and Tertiapin. Secapin in honeybee venom was described 38 years ago, yet almost nothing is known about its action. A novel, variant form of this peptide was isolated from the venom of Africanized honeybees (Apis mellifera). This novel peptide, named Secapin-2, is 25 amino acid residues long. Conformational analyses using circular dichroism and molecular dynamics simulations revealed a secondary structure rich in strands and turns, stabilized by an intramolecular disulfide bridge. Biological assays indicated that Secapin-2 did not induce hemolysis, mast cell degranulation or chemotactic activities. However, Secapin-2 caused potent dose-related hyperalgesic and edematogenic responses in experimental animals. To evaluate the roles of prostanoids and lipid mediators in the hyperalgesia and edema induced by this peptide, Indomethacin and Zileuton were used to inhibit the cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase pathways, respectively. The results showed that Zileuton partially blocked the hyperalgesia induced by Secapin-2 and decreased the edematogenic response. In contrast, Indomethacin did not interfere with these phenomena. Zafirlukast, a leukotriene receptor antagonist, blocked the Secapin-2 induced hyperalgesia and edematogenic response. These results indicate that Secapin-2 induces inflammation and pain through the lipoxygenase pathway in both phenomena. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. [Animal toxins and human disease: from single component to venomics, from biochemical characterization to disease mechanisms, from crude venom utilization to rational drug design].

    PubMed

    Lu, Qiu-Min; Lai, Ren; Zhang, Yun

    2010-02-01

    Many animals produced a diversity of venoms and secretions to adapt the changes of environments through the long history of evolution. The components including a large quantity of specific and highly active peptides and proteins have become good research models for protein structure-function and also served as tools and novel clues for illustration of human disease mechanisms. At the same time, they are rich natural resources for new drug development. Through the valuable venomous animal resources of China, researchers at the Kunming Institute of Zoology, CAS have carried out animal toxin research over 30 years. This paper reviews the main work conducted on snake venoms, amphibian and insect secretions, and the development from single component to venomics, from biochemical characterization to human disease mechanisms, from crude venom to rational drug design along with a short perspective on future studies.

  11. Exploring the hidden honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom proteome by integrating a combinatorial peptide ligand library approach with FTMS.

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-17

    At present, 30 compounds have been described in the venom of the honeybee, and 16 of them were confirmed by mass spectrometry. Previous studies typically combined 2-D PAGE with MALDI-TOF/TOF MS, a technology which now appears to lack sensitivity to detect additional venom compounds. Here, we report an in-depth study of the honeybee venom proteome using a combinatorial peptide ligand library sample pretreatment to enrich for minor components followed by shotgun LC-FT-ICR MS analysis. This strategy revealed an unexpectedly rich venom composition: in total 102 proteins and peptides were found, with 83 of them never described in bee venom samples before. Based on their predicted function and subcellular location, the proteins could be divided into two groups. A group of 33 putative toxins is proposed to contribute to venom activity by exerting toxic functions or by playing a role in social immunity. The other group, considered as venom trace molecules, appears to be secreted for their functions in the extracellular space, or is unintentionally secreted by the venom gland cells due to insufficient protein recycling or co-secretion with other compounds. In conclusion, our approach allowed to explore the hidden honeybee venom proteome and extended the list of potential venom allergens. This study dug deeper into the complex honeybee venom proteome than ever before by applying a highly performing sample pretreatment and mass spectrometric technology. We present putative biological functions for all identified compounds, largely extending our knowledge of the venom toxicity. In addition, this study offers a long list of potential new venom allergens. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Purification and characterization of biologically active peptides from spider venoms.

    PubMed

    Vassilevski, Alexander A; Kozlov, Sergey A; Egorov, Tsezi A; Grishin, Eugene V

    2010-01-01

    Spider venoms represent invaluable sources of biologically active compounds suitable for use in life science research and also having a significant potential for biotechnology and therapeutic applications. The methods reported herewith are based on our long experience of spider venom fractionation and peptides purification. We routinely screen new peptides for antimicrobial and insecticidal activities and our detailed protocols are also reported here. So far these have been tested on species of Central Asian and European spiders from the families Agelenidae, Eresidae, Gnaphosidae, Lycosidae, Miturgidae, Oxyopidae, Philodromidae, Pisauridae, Segestriidae, Theridiidae, Thomisidae, and Zodariidae. The reported protocols should be easily adaptable for use with other arthropod species.

  13. Computational Studies of Venom Peptides Targeting Potassium Channels

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Rong; Chung, Shin-Ho

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Animal Venom Peptides: Potential for New Antimicrobial Agents.

    PubMed

    Primon-Barros, Muriel; José Macedo, Alexandre

    2017-01-01

    Microbial infections affect people worldwide, causing diseases with significant impact on public health, indicating the need for research and development of new antimicrobial agents. Animal venoms represent a vast and largely unexploited source of biologically active molecules with attractive candidates for the development of novel therapeutics. Venoms consist of complex mixtures of molecules, including antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). Since the discovery of AMPs, they have been studied as promising new antimicrobial drugs. Amongst the remarkable sources of AMPs with known antimicrobial activities are ants, bees, centipedes, cone snails, scorpions, snakes, spiders, and wasps. The antimicrobial tests against bacteria, protozoans, fungi and viruses using 170 different peptides isolated directly from crude venoms or cDNA libraries of venom glands are listed and discussed in this review, as well as hemolytic ativity. The potential of venoms as source of new compounds, including AMPs, is extensively discussed. Currently, there are six FDA-approved drugs and many others are undergoing preclinical and clinical trials. The search for antimicrobial "weapons" makes the AMPs from venoms promising candidates. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  15. Linear antimicrobial peptides from Ectatomma quadridens ant venom.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Bee Venom and Its Component Apamin as Neuroprotective Agents in a Parkinson Disease Mouse Model

    PubMed Central

    Vulinović, Franca; Grünewald, Anne; Chevarin, Caroline; Klein, Christine; Oertel, Wolfgang H.; Hirsch, Etienne C.; Michel, Patrick P.; Hartmann, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    Bee venom has recently been suggested to possess beneficial effects in the treatment of Parkinson disease (PD). For instance, it has been observed that bilateral acupoint stimulation of lower hind limbs with bee venom was protective in the acute 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mouse model of PD. In particular, a specific component of bee venom, apamin, has previously been shown to have protective effects on dopaminergic neurons in vitro. However, no information regarding a potential protective action of apamin in animal models of PD is available to date. The specific goals of the present study were to (i) establish that the protective effect of bee venom for dopaminergic neurons is not restricted to acupoint stimulation, but can also be observed using a more conventional mode of administration and to (ii) demonstrate that apamin can mimic the protective effects of a bee venom treatment on dopaminergic neurons. Using the chronic mouse model of MPTP/probenecid, we show that bee venom provides sustained protection in an animal model that mimics the chronic degenerative process of PD. Apamin, however, reproduced these protective effects only partially, suggesting that other components of bee venom enhance the protective action of the peptide. PMID:23637888

  18. Deep venomics reveals the mechanism for expanded peptide diversity in cone snail venom.

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Novel potassium channel blocker venom peptides from Mesobuthus gibbosus (Scorpiones: Buthidae).

    PubMed

    Diego-García, Elia; Peigneur, Steve; Debaveye, Sarah; Gheldof, Eveline; Tytgat, Jan; Caliskan, Figen

    2013-01-01

    In the present study, we report for the first time, the molecular, biochemical and electrophysiological characterization of the components present in the soluble venom from Mesobuthus gibbosus (Brullé, 1832). According to the epidemiological and clinical situation of scorpion envenomation cases M. gibbosus scorpion is one of the most important health-threatening species of Turkey. Despite the medical importance reported for M. gibbosus, there is no additional information on toxin peptides and venom components to clarify the toxic effect of the M. gibbosus sting. Biochemical characterization of the venom was performed using different protocols and techniques following a bioassay-guided strategy (HPLC, mass spectrometry and Edman degradation sequencing). Venom fractions were tested in electrophysiological assays on a panel of six K(+) channels (K(v)1.1-1.6) by using the two-electrode voltage clamp technique. Three new α-KTx peptides were found and called MegKTx1, MegKTx2 and MegKTx3 (M. gibbosus, K(+) channel toxin number 1-3). A cDNA library from the telson was constructed and specific screening of transcripts was performed. Biochemical and molecular characterization of MegKTx peptides and transcripts shows a relation with toxins of three different α-KTx subfamilies (α-KTx3.x, α-KTx9.x and α-KTx16.x). Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Isolation and characterization of a structurally unique β-hairpin venom peptide from the predatory ant Anochetus emarginatus.

    PubMed

    Touchard, Axel; Brust, Andreas; Cardoso, Fernanda Caldas; Chin, Yanni K-Y; Herzig, Volker; Jin, Ai-Hua; Dejean, Alain; Alewood, Paul F; King, Glenn F; Orivel, Jérôme; Escoubas, Pierre

    2016-11-01

    Most ant venoms consist predominantly of small linear peptides, although some contain disulfide-linked peptides as minor components. However, in striking contrast to other ant species, some Anochetus venoms are composed primarily of disulfide-rich peptides. In this study, we investigated the venom of the ant Anochetus emarginatus with the aim of exploring these novel disulfide-rich peptides. The venom peptidome was initially investigated using a combination of reversed-phase HPLC and mass spectrometry, then the amino acid sequences of the major peptides were determined using a combination of Edman degradation and de novo MS/MS sequencing. We focused on one of these peptides, U1-PONTX-Ae1a (Ae1a), because of its novel sequence, which we predicted would form a novel 3D fold. Ae1a was chemically synthesized using Fmoc chemistry and its 3D structure was elucidated using NMR spectroscopy. The peptide was then tested for insecticidal activity and its effect on a range of human ion channels. Seven peptides named poneritoxins (PONTXs) were isolated and sequenced. The three-dimensional structure of synthetic Ae1a revealed a novel, compact scaffold in which a C-terminal β-hairpin is connected to the N-terminal region via two disulfide bonds. Synthetic Ae1a reversibly paralyzed blowflies and inhibited human L-type voltage-gated calcium channels (CaV1). Poneritoxins from Anochetus emarginatus venom are a novel class of toxins that are structurally unique among animal venoms. This study demonstrates that Anochetus ant venoms are a rich source of novel ion channel modulating peptides, some of which might be useful leads for the development of biopesticides. Crown Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Scorpion venom components as potential candidates for drug development.

    PubMed

    Ortiz, Ernesto; Gurrola, Georgina B; Schwartz, Elisabeth Ferroni; Possani, Lourival D

    2015-01-01

    Scorpions are well known for their dangerous stings that can result in severe consequences for human beings, including death. Neurotoxins present in their venoms are responsible for their toxicity. Due to their medical relevance, toxins have been the driving force in the scorpion natural compounds research field. On the other hand, for thousands of years, scorpions and their venoms have been applied in traditional medicine, mainly in Asia and Africa. With the remarkable growth in the number of characterized scorpion venom components, several drug candidates have been found with the potential to tackle many of the emerging global medical threats. Scorpions have become a valuable source of biologically active molecules, from novel antibiotics to potential anticancer therapeutics. Other venom components have drawn attention as useful scaffolds for the development of drugs. This review summarizes the most promising candidates for drug development that have been isolated from scorpion venoms.

  3. The Cuban scorpion Rhopalurus junceus (Scorpiones, Buthidae): component variations in venom samples collected in different geographical areas

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Backgound The venom of the Cuban scorpion Rhopalurus junceus is poorly study from the point of view of their components at molecular level and the functions associated. The purpose of this article was to conduct a proteomic analysis of venom components from scorpions collected in different geographical areas of the country. Results Venom from the blue scorpion, as it is called, was collected separately from specimens of five distinct Cuban towns (Moa, La Poa, Limonar, El Chote and Farallones) of the Nipe-Sagua-Baracoa mountain massif and fractionated by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC); the molecular masses of each fraction were ascertained by mass spectrometry analysis. At least 153 different molecular mass components were identified among the five samples analyzed. Molecular masses varied from 466 to 19755 Da. Scorpion HPLC profiles differed among these different geographical locations and the predominant molecular masses of their components. The most evident differences are in the relative concentration of the venom components. The most abundant components presented molecular weights around 4 kDa, known to be K+-channel specific peptides, and 7 kDa, known to be Na+-channel specific peptides, but with small molecular weight differences. Approximately 30 peptides found in venom samples from the different geographical areas are identical, supporting the idea that they all probably belong to the same species, with some interpopulational variations. Differences were also found in the presence of phospholipase, found in venoms from the Poa area (molecular weights on the order of 14 to 19 kDa). The only ubiquitous enzyme identified in the venoms from all five localities studied (hyaluronidase) presented the same 45 kD molecular mass, identified by gel electrophoresis analysis. Conclusions The venom of these scorpions from different geographical areas seem to be similar, and are rich in peptides that have of the same molecular masses of the peptides

  4. Snake Venom Metalloproteinases and Their Peptide Inhibitors from Myanmar Russell’s Viper Venom

    PubMed Central

    Yee, Khin Than; Pitts, Morgan; Tongyoo, Pumipat; Rojnuckarin, Ponlapat; Wilkinson, Mark C.

    2016-01-01

    Russell’s viper bites are potentially fatal from severe bleeding, renal failure and capillary leakage. Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) are attributed to these effects. In addition to specific antivenom therapy, endogenous inhibitors from snakes are of interest in studies of new treatment modalities for neutralization of the effect of toxins. Two major snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs): RVV-X and Daborhagin were purified from Myanmar Russell’s viper venom using a new purification strategy. Using the Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) approach to explore the Myanmar RV venom gland transcriptome, mRNAs of novel tripeptide SVMP inhibitors (SVMPIs) were discovered. Two novel endogenous tripeptides, pERW and pEKW were identified and isolated from the crude venom. Both purified SVMPs showed caseinolytic activity. Additionally, RVV-X displayed specific proteolytic activity towards gelatin and Daborhagin showed potent fibrinogenolytic activity. These activities were inhibited by metal chelators. Notably, the synthetic peptide inhibitors, pERW and pEKW, completely inhibit the gelatinolytic and fibrinogenolytic activities of respective SVMPs at 5 mM concentration. These complete inhibitory effects suggest that these tripeptides deserve further study for development of a therapeutic candidate for Russell’s viper envenomation. PMID:28042812

  5. Molecular diversification of peptide toxins from the tarantula Haplopelma hainanum (Ornithoctonus hainana) venom based on transcriptomic, peptidomic, and genomic analyses.

    PubMed

    Tang, Xing; Zhang, Yongqun; Hu, Weijun; Xu, Dehong; Tao, Huai; Yang, Xiaoxu; Li, Yan; Jiang, Liping; Liang, Songping

    2010-05-07

    The tarantula Haplopelma hainanum (Ornithoctonus hainana) is a very venomous spider found widely in the hilly areas of Hainan province in southern China. Its venom contains a variety of toxic components with different pharmacological properties. In the present study, we used a venomic strategy for high-throughput identification of tarantula-venom peptides from H. hainanum. This strategy includes three different approaches: (i) transcriptomics, that is, EST-based cloning and PCR-based cloning plus DNA sequencing; (ii) peptidomics, that is, off-line multiple dimensional liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (MDLC-MS) plus peptide sequencing (direct Edman sequencing and bottom-up mass spectrometric sequencing); (iii) genomics, that is, genomic DNA cloning plus DNA sequencing. About 420 peptide toxins were detected by mass spectrometry, and 272 peptide precursors were deduced from cDNA and genomic DNA sequences. After redundancy removal, 192 mature sequences were identified by three approaches. This is the largest number of peptide toxin sequences identified from a spider species so far. On the basis of precursor sequence identity, peptide toxins from the tarantula H. hainanum venom can be classified into 11 superfamilies (and related families). Our results revealed that gene duplication and focal hypermutation may be responsible for the enormous molecular diversity in spider peptide toxins. The current work is an initial overview for the study of tarantula-venom peptides in parallel transcriptomic, peptidomic, and genomic analyses. It is hoped that this work will also provide an effective guide for high-throughput identification of peptide toxins from other spider species, especially tarantula species.

  6. Synaptic effects of low molecular weight components from Chilean Black Widow spider venom.

    PubMed

    Parodi, Jorge; Romero, Fernando

    2008-11-01

    alpha-Latrotoxin is the principal component of the venom from the euroasiatic Black Widow spider and has been studied for its pharmacological use as a synaptic modulator. Interestingly, smaller molecular weight fractions have been found to be associated with this toxin, but their cellular actions have not been studied in detail. The venom from the Chilean Black Widow spider (Latrodectus mactans) does not produce alpha-latrotoxin, however it does contain several small polypeptides. We have recently demonstrated cellular effects of these peptides at the synaptic level using whole-cell patch clamp techniques. Purified venom from the glands of L. mactans was studied in 12 DIV rat hippocampal neuronal cultures. Venom at a concentration of 10nM was able to decrease neuronal conductance thereby increasing membrane resistance. This effect on the passive properties of the neurons induced a change in action potential kinetics simulating the action of classic potassium channel blockers. These changes produced an increase in spontaneous synaptic activity in rat hippocampal cultures in the presence of the venom in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. These results indicate that venom from Chilean spider L. mactans is capable of increasing cell membrane resistance, prolonging the action potential and generating an increase in synaptic activity demonstrating an interesting pharmacological effect of these low molecular weight fragments.

  7. Applications of snake venom components to modulate integrin activities in cell-matrix interactions

    PubMed Central

    Marcinkiewicz, Cezary

    2013-01-01

    Snake venom proteins are broadly investigated in the different areas of life science. Direct interaction of these compounds with cells may involve a variety of mechanisms that result in diverse cellular responses leading to the activation or blocking of physiological functions of the cell. In this review, the snake venom components interacting with integrins will be characterized in context of their effect on cellular response. Currently, two major families of snake venom proteins are considered as integrin-binding molecules. The most attention has been devoted to the disintegrin family, which binds certain types of integrins through specific motifs recognized as a tri-peptide structurally localized on an integrin-binding loop. Other snake venom integrin-binding proteins belong to the C-type lectin family. Snake venom molecules bind to the cellular integrins resulting in a modulation of cell signaling and in consequence, the regulation of cell proliferation, migration and apoptosis. Therefore, snake venom research on the integrin-binding molecules may have significance in biomedicine and basic cell biology. PMID:23811033

  8. Cloning and characterization of cDNA sequences encoding for new venom peptides of the Brazilian scorpion Opisthacanthus cayaporum.

    PubMed

    Silva, Edelyn C N; Camargos, Thalita S; Maranhão, Andrea Q; Silva-Pereira, Ildinete; Silva, Luciano P; Possani, Lourival D; Schwartz, Elisabeth F

    2009-09-01

    Scorpion venom glands produce a large variety of bioactive peptides. This communication reports the identification of venom components obtained by sequencing clones isolated from a cDNA library prepared with venomous glands of the Brazilian scorpion Opisthacanthus cayaporum (Ischnuridae). Two main types of components were identified: peptides with toxin-like sequences and proteins involved in cellular processes. Using the expressed sequence tag (EST) strategy 118 clones were identified, from which 61 code for unique sequences (17 contigs and 44 singlets) with an average length of 531 base-pairs (bp). These results were compared with those previously obtained by the proteomic analysis of the same venom, showing a considerable degree of similarity in terms of the molecular masses expected and DNA sequences found. About 36% of the ESTs correspond to toxin-like peptides and proteins with identifiable open reading frames (ORFs). The cDNA sequencing results also show the presence of sequences whose putative products correspond to a scorpine-like component; three short antimicrobial peptides; three K(+)-channel blockers; and an additional peptide containing 78 amino acid residues, whose sequence resembles peptide La1 from another Ischnuridae scorpion Liocheles australiasiae, thus far with unknown function.

  9. Scorpion Venom Heat-Resistant Peptide Protects Transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans from β-Amyloid Toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiao-Gang; Wang, Xi; Zhou, Ting-Ting; Wu, Xue-Fei; Peng, Yan; Zhang, Wan-Qin; Li, Shao; Zhao, Jie

    2016-01-01

    Scorpion venom heat-resistant peptide (SVHRP) is a component purified from Buthus martensii Karsch scorpion venom. Our previous studies found SVHRP could enhance neurogenesis and inhibit microglia-mediated neuroinflammation in vivo. Here, we use the transgenic CL4176, CL2006, and CL2355 strains of Caenorhabditis elegans which express the human Aβ1-42 to investigate the effects and the possible mechanisms of SVHRP mediated protection against Aβ toxicity in vivo. The results showed that SVHRP-fed worms displayed remarkably decreased paralysis, less abundant toxic Aβ oligomers, reduced Aβ plaque deposition with respect to untreated animals. SVHRP also suppressed neuronal Aβ expression-induced defects in chemotaxis behavior and attenuated levels of ROS in the transgenic C. elegans. Taken together, these results suggest SVHRP could protect against Aβ-induced toxicity in C. elegans. Further studies need to be conducted in murine models and humans to analyze the effectiveness of the peptide. PMID:27507947

  10. Isolation of biologically active peptides from the venom of Japanese carpenter bee, Xylocopa appendiculata.

    PubMed

    Kawakami, Hiroko; Goto, Shin G; Murata, Kazuya; Matsuda, Hideaki; Shigeri, Yasushi; Imura, Tomohiro; Inagaki, Hidetoshi; Shinada, Tetsuro

    2017-01-01

    Mass spectrometry-guided venom peptide profiling is a powerful tool to explore novel substances from venomous animals in a highly sensitive manner. In this study, this peptide profiling approach is successfully applied to explore the venom peptides of a Japanese solitary carpenter bee, Xylocopa appendiculata (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Apidae: Anthophila: Xylocopinae: Xylocopini). Although interesting biological effects of the crude venom of carpenter bees have been reported, the structure and biological function of the venom peptides have not been elucidated yet. The venom peptide profiling of the crude venom of X. appendiculata was performed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectroscopy. The venom was purified by a reverse-phase HPLC. The purified peptides were subjected to the Edman degradation, MS/MS analysis, and/or molecular cloning methods for peptide sequencing. Biological and functional characterization was performed by circular dichroism analysis, liposome leakage assay, and antimicrobial, histamine releasing and hemolytic activity tests. Three novel peptides with m/z 16508, 1939.3, and 1900.3 were isolated from the venom of X. appendiculata. The peptide with m/z 16508 was characterized as a secretory phospholipase A2 (PLA2) homolog in which the characteristic cysteine residues as well as the active site residues found in bee PLA2s are highly conserved. Two novel peptides with m/z 1939.3 and m/z 1900.3 were named as Xac-1 and Xac-2, respectively. These peptides are found to be amphiphilic and displayed antimicrobial and hemolytic activities. The potency was almost the same as that of mastoparan isolated from the wasp venom. We found three novel biologically active peptides in the venom of X. appendiculata and analyzed their molecular functions, and compared their sequential homology to discuss their molecular diversity. Highly sensitive mass analysis plays an important role in this study.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-01

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

  14. Comparative proteomic analysis of female and male venoms from the Mexican scorpion Centruroides limpidus: Novel components found.

    PubMed

    Cid Uribe, Jimena Isaias; Jiménez Vargas, Juana Maria; Ferreira Batista, Cesar Vicente; Zamudio Zuñiga, Fernando; Possani, Lourival Domingos

    2017-01-01

    Venom from male and female scorpions of the species Centruroides limpidus were separated by HPLC and their molecular masses determined by mass spectrometry. The relative concentration of components eluting in equivalent retention times from the HPLC column shows some differences. A new peptide with 29 amino acids, cross-linked by three disulfide bonds was found in male scorpions and its structure determined. Another unknown peptide present in female venom, with sequence identity similar to K(+)-channel blocking peptide was isolated. This peptide contains 39 amino acid residues linked by three disulfide bonds. Due to sequence similarities, a systematic number (αKTx2.18) was assigned. Venom from male and female scorpions was separated by Sephadex G-50 gel filtration. Components of fraction I of this chromatogram were analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and 41 spots were selected (20 from female and 21 from male). The spots were excised from the gel, enzymatically digested and sequenced by LC-MS/MS. This procedure allowed the identification of several proteins containing similar amino acid sequence of other known proteins registered on UniProt database. Among these proteins the presence of metalloproteinases (proteolytic enzymes), hyaluronidases and phosphatases were experimentally determined and shown to be present in both venom samples. The results shown here should help further work aimed at fully identification of the structure and function of venom components form C. limpidus male and female scorpions.

  15. Molecular Cloning and Sequence Analysis of the cDNAs Encoding Toxin-Like Peptides from the Venom Glands of Tarantula Grammostola rosea.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Tadashi; Ono, Seigo; Kubo, Tai

    2012-01-01

    Tarantula venom glands produce a large variety of bioactive peptides. Here we present the identification of venom components obtained by sequencing clones isolated from a cDNA library prepared from the venom glands of the Chilean common tarantula, Grammostola rosea. The cDNA sequences of about 1500 clones out of 4000 clones were analyzed after selection using several criteria. Forty-eight novel toxin-like peptides (GTx1 to GTx7, and GTx-TCTP and GTx-CRISP) were predicted from the nucleotide sequences. Among these peptides, twenty-four toxins are ICK motif peptides, eleven peptides are MIT1-like peptides, and seven are ESTX-like peptides. Peptides similar to JZTX-64, aptotoxin, CRISP, or TCTP are also obtained. GTx3 series possess a cysteine framework that is conserved among vertebrate MIT1, Bv8, prokineticins, and invertebrate astakines. GTx-CRISP is the first CRISP-like protein identified from the arthropod venom. Real-time PCR revealed that the transcripts for TCTP-like peptide are expressed in both the pereopodal muscle and the venom gland. Furthermore, a unique peptide GTx7-1, whose signal and prepro sequences are essentially identical to those of HaTx1, was obtained.

  16. Molecular Cloning and Sequence Analysis of the cDNAs Encoding Toxin-Like Peptides from the Venom Glands of Tarantula Grammostola rosea

    PubMed Central

    Kimura, Tadashi; Ono, Seigo; Kubo, Tai

    2012-01-01

    Tarantula venom glands produce a large variety of bioactive peptides. Here we present the identification of venom components obtained by sequencing clones isolated from a cDNA library prepared from the venom glands of the Chilean common tarantula, Grammostola rosea. The cDNA sequences of about 1500 clones out of 4000 clones were analyzed after selection using several criteria. Forty-eight novel toxin-like peptides (GTx1 to GTx7, and GTx-TCTP and GTx-CRISP) were predicted from the nucleotide sequences. Among these peptides, twenty-four toxins are ICK motif peptides, eleven peptides are MIT1-like peptides, and seven are ESTX-like peptides. Peptides similar to JZTX-64, aptotoxin, CRISP, or TCTP are also obtained. GTx3 series possess a cysteine framework that is conserved among vertebrate MIT1, Bv8, prokineticins, and invertebrate astakines. GTx-CRISP is the first CRISP-like protein identified from the arthropod venom. Real-time PCR revealed that the transcripts for TCTP-like peptide are expressed in both the pereopodal muscle and the venom gland. Furthermore, a unique peptide GTx7-1, whose signal and prepro sequences are essentially identical to those of HaTx1, was obtained. PMID:22500178

  17. Structural and Functional Diversity of Peptide Toxins from Tarantula Haplopelma hainanum (Ornithoctonus hainana) Venom Revealed by Transcriptomic, Peptidomic, and Patch Clamp Approaches*

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yi-Ya; Huang, Yong; He, Quan-Ze; Luo, Ji; Zhu, Li; Lu, Shan-Shan; Liu, Jin-Yan; Huang, Peng-Fei; Zeng, Xiong-Zhi; Liang, Song-Ping

    2015-01-01

    Spider venom is a complex mixture of bioactive peptides to subdue their prey. Early estimates suggested that over 400 venom peptides are produced per species. In order to investigate the mechanisms responsible for this impressive diversity, transcriptomics based on second generation high throughput sequencing was combined with peptidomic assays to characterize the venom of the tarantula Haplopelma hainanum. The genes expressed in the venom glands were identified, and the bioactivity of their protein products was analyzed using the patch clamp technique. A total of 1,136 potential toxin precursors were identified that clustered into 90 toxin groups, of which 72 were novel. The toxin peptides clustered into 20 cysteine scaffolds that included between 4 and 12 cysteines, and 14 of these groups were newly identified in this spider. Highly abundant toxin peptide transcripts were present and resulted from hypermutation and/or fragment insertion/deletion. In combination with variable post-translational modifications, this genetic variability explained how a limited set of genes can generate hundreds of toxin peptides in venom glands. Furthermore, the intraspecies venom variability illustrated the dynamic nature of spider venom and revealed how complex components work together to generate diverse bioactivities that facilitate adaptation to changing environments, types of prey, and milking regimes in captivity. PMID:25770214

  18. Structural and Functional Diversity of Peptide Toxins from Tarantula Haplopelma hainanum (Ornithoctonus hainana) Venom Revealed by Transcriptomic, Peptidomic, and Patch Clamp Approaches.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yi-Ya; Huang, Yong; He, Quan-Ze; Luo, Ji; Zhu, Li; Lu, Shan-Shan; Liu, Jin-Yan; Huang, Peng-Fei; Zeng, Xiong-Zhi; Liang, Song-Ping

    2015-05-29

    Spider venom is a complex mixture of bioactive peptides to subdue their prey. Early estimates suggested that over 400 venom peptides are produced per species. In order to investigate the mechanisms responsible for this impressive diversity, transcriptomics based on second generation high throughput sequencing was combined with peptidomic assays to characterize the venom of the tarantula Haplopelma hainanum. The genes expressed in the venom glands were identified, and the bioactivity of their protein products was analyzed using the patch clamp technique. A total of 1,136 potential toxin precursors were identified that clustered into 90 toxin groups, of which 72 were novel. The toxin peptides clustered into 20 cysteine scaffolds that included between 4 and 12 cysteines, and 14 of these groups were newly identified in this spider. Highly abundant toxin peptide transcripts were present and resulted from hypermutation and/or fragment insertion/deletion. In combination with variable post-translational modifications, this genetic variability explained how a limited set of genes can generate hundreds of toxin peptides in venom glands. Furthermore, the intraspecies venom variability illustrated the dynamic nature of spider venom and revealed how complex components work together to generate diverse bioactivities that facilitate adaptation to changing environments, types of prey, and milking regimes in captivity. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  19. Component-resolved diagnosis of wasp (yellow jacket) venom allergy.

    PubMed

    Ebo, D G; Faber, M; Sabato, V; Leysen, J; Bridts, C H; De Clerck, L S

    2013-02-01

    Wasp venom allergy is a potentially life-threatening condition with serious consequences of diagnostic error. To assess whether component-resolved diagnosis, using non-glycosylated recombinant allergen components from yellow jacket can add to the diagnosis of wasp venom allergy. In total, 148 patients with a wasp (yellow jacket) allergy were included, 91 with unequivocal tests, 26 with double positivity of serum-specific IgE (sIgE) to both venoms, 21 with discrepant sIgE and skin test results and finally 10 having their diagnosis only confirmed by basophil activation test (negative sIgE and skin test results). Specific IgE to recombinant species-specific allergen components Ves v 1 and Ves v 5 from yellow jacket, Api m 1 from honeybee and Ves v 5 complemented wasp venom were tested by ImmunoCAP. Overall, combined use of sIgE to rVes v 1 and rVes v 5 allowed correct diagnosis in 139 of the 148 patients (94%) and rApi m 1 was demonstrable in only one patient. Supplementing the traditional yellow jacket allergosorbent with rVes v 5 allowed to correctly diagnose wasp allergy in patients sensitized to Ves v 5 but demonstrating a negative sIgE to wasp venom. Component-resolved diagnoses with the wasp-specific recombinant allergen components Ves v 1 and Ves v 5 is a reliable method to diagnose yellow jacket allergy and can help to take out the sting of difficult cases. However, as the number of patients with doubt after conventional tests is small, larger collaborative studies are needed to draw more definitive conclusions. Whether the rVes v 5 supplemented yellow jacket allergosorbent constitutes an asset in the diagnostic management of wasp venom allergy remains to be further established. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. Therapeutic potential of cone snail venom peptides (conopeptides).

    PubMed

    Vetter, Irina; Lewis, Richard J

    2012-01-01

    Cone snails have evolved many 1000s of small, structurally stable venom peptides (conopeptides) for prey capture and defense. Whilst < 0.1% have been pharmacologically characterised, those with known function typically target membrane proteins of therapeutic importance, including ion channels, transporters and GPCRs. Several conopeptides reduce pain in animals models, with one in clinical development (χ-conopeptide analogue Xen2174) and one marketed (ω- conotoxin MVIIA or Prialt) for the treatment of severe pain. In addition to their therapeutic potential, conopeptides have been valuable probes for studying the role of a number of key membrane proteins in normal and disease physiology.

  1. Proteomics and deep sequencing comparison of seasonally active venom glands in the platypus reveals novel venom peptides and distinct expression profiles.

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Opossum peptide that can neutralize rattlesnake venom is expressed in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Komives, Claire F.; Sanchez, Elda E.; Rathore, Anurag S.; White, Brandon; Suntravat, Montamas; Balderrama, Michael; Cifelli, Angela; Joshi, Varsha

    2016-01-01

    An eleven amino acid ribosomal peptide was shown to completely neutralize Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) venom in mice when a lethal dose of the venom was pre-incubated with the peptide prior to intravenous injection. We have expressed the peptide as a concatenated chain of peptides and cleaved them apart from an immobilized metal affinity column using a protease. After ultrafiltration steps, the mixture was shown to partially neutralize rattlesnake venom in mice. Preliminary experiments are described here that suggest a potential life-saving therapy could be developed. To date, no recombinant therapies targeting cytotoxic envenomation have been reported. PMID:27718338

  4. Autocrine-Based Selection of Drugs That Target Ion Channels from Combinatorial Venom Peptide Libraries.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hongkai; Du, Mingjuan; Xie, Jia; Liu, Xiao; Sun, Jingying; Wang, Wei; Xin, Xiu; Possani, Lourival D; Yea, Kyungmoo; Lerner, Richard A

    2016-08-01

    Animal venoms represent a rich source of pharmacologically active peptides that interact with ion channels. However, a challenge to discovering drugs remains because of the slow pace at which venom peptides are discovered and refined. An efficient autocrine-based high-throughput selection system was developed to discover and refine venom peptides that target ion channels. The utility of this system was demonstrated by the discovery of novel Kv1.3 channel blockers from a natural venom peptide library that was formatted for autocrine-based selection. We also engineered a Kv1.3 blocker peptide (ShK) derived from sea anemone to generate a subtype-selective Kv1.3 blocker with a long half-life in vivo.

  5. A rapidly diverging superfamily of peptide toxins in venomous Gemmula species.

    PubMed

    Heralde, Francisco M; Imperial, Julita; Bandyopadhyay, Pradip K; Olivera, Baldomero M; Concepcion, Gisela P; Santos, Ameurfina D

    2008-04-01

    The gem turrids (genus Gemmula Weinkauff, 1875) are venomous snails in the family Turridae. A gene superfamily of disulfide-rich peptides expressed in Gemmula venom ducts was characterized. Gemmula speciosa (Reeve, 1843) venom duct cDNA clones revealed two different conotoxin-like prepropeptide precursors, with identical signal sequences, a largely conserved pro region, and a cysteine-rich C-terminal mature peptide region. The conserved signal sequence was used to successfully amplify homologous genes from three other Gemmula species; all had the same pattern of Cys residues in the predicted mature venom peptide. Although the signal sequence and propeptide regions were highly conserved, the mature toxin regions diverged greatly in sequence, except that the Cys residues were conserved. We designate this as the Pg-gene superfamily (Pg-superfamily) of Gemmula venom peptides. Purification of two members of the family directly from G. speciosa venom was achieved; amino acid sequence analysis revealed that these peptides are highly posttranslationally modified. With at least 10-fold as many species of turrids as cone snails, identification of rapidly diversifying gene superfamilies such as the Pg-superfamily of Gemmula is essential before the facile and systematic discovery and characterization of peptide toxins from turrid venoms can be achieved.

  6. Spider-venom peptides: structure, pharmacology, and potential for control of insect pests.

    PubMed

    King, Glenn F; Hardy, Margaret C

    2013-01-01

    Spider venoms are an incredibly rich source of disulfide-rich insecticidal peptides that have been tuned over millions of years to target a wide range of receptors and ion channels in the insect nervous system. These peptides can act individually, or as part of larger toxin cabals, to rapidly immobilize envenomated prey owing to their debilitating effects on nervous system function. Most of these peptides contain a unique arrangement of disulfide bonds that provides them with extreme resistance to proteases. As a result, these peptides are highly stable in the insect gut and hemolymph and many of them are orally active. Thus, spider-venom peptides can be used as stand-alone bioinsecticides, or transgenes encoding these peptides can be used to engineer insect-resistant crops or enhanced entomopathogens. We critically review the potential of spider-venom peptides to control insect pests and highlight their advantages and disadvantages compared with conventional chemical insecticides.

  7. Speciation of cone snails and interspecific hyperdivergence of their venom peptides. Potential evolutionary significance of introns.

    PubMed

    Olivera, B M; Walker, C; Cartier, G E; Hooper, D; Santos, A D; Schoenfeld, R; Shetty, R; Watkins, M; Bandyopadhyay, P; Hillyard, D R

    1999-05-18

    All 500 species of cone snails (Conus) are venomous predators. From a biochemical/genetic perspective, differences among Conus species may be based on the 50-200 different peptides in the venom of each species. Venom is used for prey capture as well as for interactions with predators and competitors. The venom of every species has its own distinct complement of peptides. Some of the interspecific divergence observed in venom peptides can be explained by differential expression of venom peptide superfamilies in different species and of peptide superfamily branching in various Conus lineages into pharmacologic groups with different targeting specificity. However, the striking interspecific divergence of peptide sequences is the dominant factor in the differences observed between venoms. The small venom peptides (typically 10-35 amino acids in length) are processed from larger prepropeptide precursors (ca. 100 amino acids). If interspecific comparisons are made between homologous prepropeptides, the three different regions of a Conus peptide precursor (signal sequence, pro-region, mature peptide) are found to have diverged at remarkably different rates. Analysis of synonymous and nonsynonymous substitution rates for the different segments of a prepropeptide suggests that mutation frequency varies by over an order of magnitude across the segments, with the mature toxin region undergoing the highest rate. The three sections of the prepropeptide which exhibit apparently different mutation rates are separated by introns. This striking segment-specific rate of divergence of Conus prepropeptides suggests a role for introns in evolution: exons separated by introns have the potential to evolve very different mutation rates. Plausible mechanisms that could underlie differing mutational frequency in the different exons of a gene are discussed.

  8. Small peptides, big world: biotechnological potential in neglected bioactive peptides from arthropod venoms.

    PubMed

    Pimenta, Adriano M C; De Lima, Maria Elena

    2005-11-01

    Until recently, a toxinologist's tasks involved the search for highly toxic or lethal toxins in animal venoms that could explain the harmful effects in clinically observed symptoms. Most of these toxins were put on evidence using a function to structure approach, in which a biological phenomena observation usually guided the isolation and characterization of the causative molecule. Paving this way, many toxins were promptly purified because of their readily observed effect. Nevertheless, small molecules with micro-effects that are not easily visualized can be relatively neglected or poorly studied. This situation has changed now with the advent of the sensitivity, resolution and accuracy of techniques such as mass spectrometry and proteomic approaches used in toxinology. Taking advantage of these methodologies, small peptides with 'newly exploited' biological activities such as vasoactive, hormone-like, antimicrobial and others have been recently given much more attention, enlarging the known repertoire of bioactive molecules found in animal venoms. This article aims to review current knowledge on small biologically active peptides (<3 kDa) found in arthropod venoms and discuss their potentialities as new drug candidates or therapeutic lead compounds. Copyright 2005 European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  9. [Potential use of snake venom components in cancer treatment].

    PubMed

    Vivas, Dan; Inga, Rosío; Yarlequé, Armando

    2012-01-01

    Cancer can develop to the extent tumor cells grow, divide and grow into other body tissues. Integrins are a family of cell-surface heterodimeric receptors that play an important role in the development of tumor angiogenesis, growth and metastasis, thus being recognized as an attractive therapeutic target. Snake venom contains low-molecular weight peptides known as "disintegrins" that bind to integrins with high affinity, and prevent their action in cancer. In the next article, we go over the results of investigations, both in vitro and in vivo, which have shown promising results, thus revealing that the use of disintegrins could be a promising alternative for the treatment of different neoplasias.

  10. Characterization of Leiurus abdullahbayrami (Scorpiones: Buthidae) venom: peptide profile, cytotoxicity and antimicrobial activity.

    PubMed

    Erdeş, Efe; Doğan, Tuğba Somay; Coşar, Ilhan; Danışman, Tarık; Kunt, Kadir Boğaç; Seker, Tamay; Yücel, Meral; Ozen, Can

    2014-01-01

    Scorpion venoms are rich bioactive peptide libraries that offer promising molecules that may lead to the discovery and development of new drugs. Leiurus abdullahbayrami produces one of the most potent venoms among Turkish scorpions that provokes severe symptoms in envenomated victims. In the present study, the peptide profile of the venom was investigated by electrophoretic methods, size-exclusion and reversed-phase chromatography and mass spectroscopy. Cytotoxic and antimicrobial effects were evaluated on a breast cancer cell line (MCF-7) and various bacterial and fungal species. Proteins make up approximately half of the dry weight of L. abdullahbayrami crude venom. Microfluidic capillary electrophoresis indicated the presence of 6 to 7 kDa peptides and proved to be a highly practical peptidomics tool with better resolution when compared to conventional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Mass spectroscopy analysis helped us to identify 45 unique peptide masses between 1 to 7 kDa with a bimodal mass distribution peaking between molecular weights of 1 to 2 kDa (29%) and 3 to 4 kDa (31%). L. abdullahbayrami crude venom had a proliferative effect on MCF-7 cells, which may be explained by the high concentration of polyamines as well as potassium and calcium ions in the arachnid venoms. Antimicrobial effect was stronger on gram-negative bacteria. This work represents the first peptidomic characterization of L. abdullahbayrami venom. Considering the molecular weight-function relationship of previously identified venom peptides, future bioactivity studies may lead to the discovery of novel potassium and chloride ion channel inhibitors as well as new antimicrobial peptides from L. abdullahbayrami venom.

  11. Functional characterization on invertebrate and vertebrate tissues of tachykinin peptides from octopus venoms.

    PubMed

    Ruder, Tim; Ali, Syed Abid; Ormerod, Kiel; Brust, Andreas; Roymanchadi, Mary-Louise; Ventura, Sabatino; Undheim, Eivind A B; Jackson, Timothy N W; Mercier, A Joffre; King, Glenn F; Alewood, Paul F; Fry, Bryan G

    2013-09-01

    It has been previously shown that octopus venoms contain novel tachykinin peptides that despite being isolated from an invertebrate, contain the motifs characteristic of vertebrate tachykinin peptides rather than being more like conventional invertebrate tachykinin peptides. Therefore, in this study we examined the effect of three variants of octopus venom tachykinin peptides on invertebrate and vertebrate tissues. While there were differential potencies between the three peptides, their relative effects were uniquely consistent between invertebrate and vertebrae tissue assays. The most potent form (OCT-TK-III) was not only the most anionically charged but also was the most structurally stable. These results not only reveal that the interaction of tachykinin peptides is more complex than previous structure-function theories envisioned, but also reinforce the fundamental premise that animal venoms are rich resources of novel bioactive molecules, which are useful investigational ligands and some of which may be useful as lead compounds for drug design and development.

  12. Molecular Simulations of Disulfide-Rich Venom Peptides with Ion Channels and Membranes.

    PubMed

    Deplazes, Evelyne

    2017-02-27

    Disulfide-rich peptides isolated from the venom of arthropods and marine animals are a rich source of potent and selective modulators of ion channels. This makes these peptides valuable lead molecules for the development of new drugs to treat neurological disorders. Consequently, much effort goes into understanding their mechanism of action. This paper presents an overview of how molecular simulations have been used to study the interactions of disulfide-rich venom peptides with ion channels and membranes. The review is focused on the use of docking, molecular dynamics simulations, and free energy calculations to (i) predict the structure of peptide-channel complexes; (ii) calculate binding free energies including the effect of peptide modifications; and (iii) study the membrane-binding properties of disulfide-rich venom peptides. The review concludes with a summary and outlook.

  13. A rational nomenclature for naming peptide toxins from spiders and other venomous animals.

    PubMed

    King, Glenn F; Gentz, Margaret C; Escoubas, Pierre; Nicholson, Graham M

    2008-08-01

    Molecular toxinology research was initially driven by an interest in the small subset of animal toxins that are lethal to humans. However, the realization that many venomous creatures possess a complex repertoire of bioactive peptide toxins with potential pharmaceutical and agrochemical applications has led to an explosion in the number of new peptide toxins being discovered and characterized. Unfortunately, this increased awareness of peptide-toxin diversity has not been matched by the development of a generic nomenclature that enables these toxins to be rationally classified, catalogued, and compared. In this article, we introduce a rational nomenclature that can be applied to the naming of peptide toxins from spiders and other venomous animals.

  14. Elemental analysis of scorpion venoms.

    PubMed

    Al-Asmari, AbdulRahman K; Kunnathodi, Faisal; Al Saadon, Khalid; Idris, Mohammed M

    2016-01-01

    Scorpion venom is a rich source of biomolecules, which can perturb physiological activity of the host on envenomation and may also have a therapeutic potential. Scorpion venoms produced by the columnar cells of venom gland are complex mixture of mucopolysaccharides, neurotoxic peptides and other components. This study was aimed at cataloguing the elemental composition of venoms obtained from medically important scorpions found in the Arabian peninsula. The global elemental composition of the crude venom obtained from Androctonus bicolor, Androctonus crassicauda and Leiurus quinquestriatus scorpions were estimated using ICP-MS analyzer. The study catalogued several chemical elements present in the scorpion venom using ICP-MS total quant analysis and quantitation of nine elements exclusively using appropriate standards. Fifteen chemical elements including sodium, potassium and calcium were found abundantly in the scorpion venom at PPM concentrations. Thirty six chemical elements of different mass ranges were detected in the venom at PPB level. Quantitative analysis of the venoms revealed copper to be the most abundant element in Androctonus sp. venom but at lower level in Leiurus quinquestriatus venom; whereas zinc and manganese was found at higher levels in Leiurus sp. venom but at lower level in Androctonus sp. venom. These data and the concentrations of other different elements present in the various venoms are likely to increase our understanding of the mechanisms of venom activity and their pharmacological potentials.

  15. Elemental analysis of scorpion venoms

    PubMed Central

    Al-Asmari, AbdulRahman K; Kunnathodi, Faisal; Al Saadon, Khalid; Idris, Mohammed M

    2016-01-01

    Scorpion venom is a rich source of biomolecules, which can perturb physiological activity of the host on envenomation and may also have a therapeutic potential. Scorpion venoms produced by the columnar cells of venom gland are complex mixture of mucopolysaccharides, neurotoxic peptides and other components. This study was aimed at cataloguing the elemental composition of venoms obtained from medically important scorpions found in the Arabian peninsula. The global elemental composition of the crude venom obtained from Androctonus bicolor, Androctonus crassicauda and Leiurus quinquestriatus scorpions were estimated using ICP-MS analyzer. The study catalogued several chemical elements present in the scorpion venom using ICP-MS total quant analysis and quantitation of nine elements exclusively using appropriate standards. Fifteen chemical elements including sodium, potassium and calcium were found abundantly in the scorpion venom at PPM concentrations. Thirty six chemical elements of different mass ranges were detected in the venom at PPB level. Quantitative analysis of the venoms revealed copper to be the most abundant element in Androctonus sp. venom but at lower level in Leiurus quinquestriatus venom; whereas zinc and manganese was found at higher levels in Leiurus sp. venom but at lower level in Androctonus sp. venom. These data and the concentrations of other different elements present in the various venoms are likely to increase our understanding of the mechanisms of venom activity and their pharmacological potentials. PMID:27826410

  16. Peptide diversity in the venom of the social wasp Polybia paulista (Hymenoptera): a comparison of the intra- and inter-colony compositions.

    PubMed

    Dias, Nathalia Baptista; de Souza, Bibiana Monson; Gomes, Paulo Cesar; Palma, Mario Sergio

    2014-01-01

    The venoms of the social wasps evolved to be used as defensive tools to protect the colonies of these insects against the attacks of predators. Previous studies estimated the presence of a dozen peptide components in the venoms of each species of these insects, which altogether comprise up to 70% of the weight of freeze-dried venoms. In the present study, an optimized experimental protocol is reported that utilizes liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization mass spectrometry for the detection of peptides in the venom of the social wasp Polybia paulista; peptide profiles for both intra- and inter-colonial comparisons were obtained using this protocol. The results of our study revealed a surprisingly high level of intra- and inter-colonial variability for the same wasp species. We detected 78-108 different peptides in the venom of different colonies of P. paulista in the molar mass range from 400 to 3000Da; among those, only 36 and 44 common peptides were observed in the inter- and intra-colony comparisons, respectively.

  17. From Mollusks to Medicine: A Venomics Approach for the Discovery and Characterization of Therapeutics from Terebridae Peptide Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Verdes, Aida; Anand, Prachi; Gorson, Juliette; Jannetti, Stephen; Kelly, Patrick; Leffler, Abba; Simpson, Danny; Ramrattan, Girish; Holford, Mandë

    2016-01-01

    Animal venoms comprise a diversity of peptide toxins that manipulate molecular targets such as ion channels and receptors, making venom peptides attractive candidates for the development of therapeutics to benefit human health. However, identifying bioactive venom peptides remains a significant challenge. In this review we describe our particular venomics strategy for the discovery, characterization, and optimization of Terebridae venom peptides, teretoxins. Our strategy reflects the scientific path from mollusks to medicine in an integrative sequential approach with the following steps: (1) delimitation of venomous Terebridae lineages through taxonomic and phylogenetic analyses; (2) identification and classification of putative teretoxins through omics methodologies, including genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics; (3) chemical and recombinant synthesis of promising peptide toxins; (4) structural characterization through experimental and computational methods; (5) determination of teretoxin bioactivity and molecular function through biological assays and computational modeling; (6) optimization of peptide toxin affinity and selectivity to molecular target; and (7) development of strategies for effective delivery of venom peptide therapeutics. While our research focuses on terebrids, the venomics approach outlined here can be applied to the discovery and characterization of peptide toxins from any venomous taxa. PMID:27104567

  18. Elapid snake venom analyses show the specificity of the peptide composition at the level of genera Naja and Notechis.

    PubMed

    Munawar, Aisha; Trusch, Maria; Georgieva, Dessislava; Hildebrand, Diana; Kwiatkowski, Marcel; Behnken, Henning; Harder, Sönke; Arni, Raghuvir; Spencer, Patrick; Schlüter, Hartmut; Betzel, Christian

    2014-02-28

    Elapid snake venom is a highly valuable, but till now mainly unexplored, source of pharmacologically important peptides. We analyzed the peptide fractions with molecular masses up to 10 kDa of two elapid snake venoms-that of the African cobra, N. m. mossambica (genus Naja), and the Peninsula tiger snake, N. scutatus, from Kangaroo Island (genus Notechis). A combination of chromatographic methods was used to isolate the peptides, which were characterized by combining complimentary mass spectrometric techniques. Comparative analysis of the peptide compositions of two venoms showed specificity at the genus level. Three-finger (3-F) cytotoxins, bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPPs) and a bradykinin inhibitor were isolated from the Naja venom. 3-F neurotoxins, Kunitz/basic pancreatic trypsin inhibitor (BPTI)-type inhibitors and a natriuretic peptide were identified in the N. venom. The inhibiting activity of the peptides was confirmed in vitro with a selected array of proteases. Cytotoxin 1 (P01467) from the Naja venom might be involved in the disturbance of cellular processes by inhibiting the cell 20S-proteasome. A high degree of similarity between BPPs from elapid and viperid snake venoms was observed, suggesting that these molecules play a key role in snake venoms and also indicating that these peptides were recruited into the snake venom prior to the evolutionary divergence of the snakes.

  19. From Mollusks to Medicine: A Venomics Approach for the Discovery and Characterization of Therapeutics from Terebridae Peptide Toxins.

    PubMed

    Verdes, Aida; Anand, Prachi; Gorson, Juliette; Jannetti, Stephen; Kelly, Patrick; Leffler, Abba; Simpson, Danny; Ramrattan, Girish; Holford, Mandë

    2016-04-19

    Animal venoms comprise a diversity of peptide toxins that manipulate molecular targets such as ion channels and receptors, making venom peptides attractive candidates for the development of therapeutics to benefit human health. However, identifying bioactive venom peptides remains a significant challenge. In this review we describe our particular venomics strategy for the discovery, characterization, and optimization of Terebridae venom peptides, teretoxins. Our strategy reflects the scientific path from mollusks to medicine in an integrative sequential approach with the following steps: (1) delimitation of venomous Terebridae lineages through taxonomic and phylogenetic analyses; (2) identification and classification of putative teretoxins through omics methodologies, including genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics; (3) chemical and recombinant synthesis of promising peptide toxins; (4) structural characterization through experimental and computational methods; (5) determination of teretoxin bioactivity and molecular function through biological assays and computational modeling; (6) optimization of peptide toxin affinity and selectivity to molecular target; and (7) development of strategies for effective delivery of venom peptide therapeutics. While our research focuses on terebrids, the venomics approach outlined here can be applied to the discovery and characterization of peptide toxins from any venomous taxa.

  20. Crotalphine, a novel potent analgesic peptide from the venom of the South American rattlesnake Crotalus durissus terrificus.

    PubMed

    Konno, Katsuhiro; Picolo, Gisele; Gutierrez, Vanessa P; Brigatte, Patrícia; Zambelli, Vanessa O; Camargo, Antonio C M; Cury, Yara

    2008-08-01

    We have shown that the venom of the South American rattlesnake Crotalus durissus terrificus induces a long-lasting antinociceptive effect mediated by activation of kappa- and delta-opioid receptors. Despite being mediated by opioid receptors, prolonged treatment with the crotalid venom does not cause the development of peripheral tolerance or abstinence symptoms upon withdrawal. In the present study, we have isolated and chemically characterized a novel and potent antinociceptive peptide responsible for the oral opioid activity of this crotalid venom. The amino acid sequence of this peptide, designated crotalphine, was determined by mass spectrometry and corroborated by solid-phase synthesis to be component of this snake venom. Crotalphine, when orally administered (0.008-25mug/kg), induces antinociceptive effect in the prostaglandin E(2)- and carrageenin-induced mechanical hyperalgesia models in rats and in the hot-plate test in mice. Crotalphine was also effective when administered by intravenous (0.0032-0.04mug/kg) or intraplantar (s.c., 0.00006-0.3mug/paw) routes. In the mechanical hyperalgesia models, crotalphine shows a long-lasting (5 days) antinociceptive effect. d-Phe-Cys-Tyr-d-Trp-Orn-Thr-Pen-Thr amide (CTOP) and N,N-diallyl-Tyr-Aib-Aib-Phe-Leu (ICI 174,864), antagonists of mu- and delta-opioid receptors, respectively, did not alter the antinociceptive effect of the peptide, whereas nor-binaltorphimine, an antagonist of kappa-opioid receptors, blocked this effect. These results indicate that crotalphine induces antinociception mediated by activation of kappa-opioid receptors and may contribute to the antinociceptive effect of the crotalid venom.

  1. Combinatorial peptide libraries in drug design: lessons from venomous cone snails.

    PubMed

    Olivera, B M; Hillyard, D R; Marsh, M; Yoshikami, D

    1995-10-01

    Many present-day drugs are derived from compounds that are natural products, a traditional source of which is fermentation broths of microorganisms. The venoms of cone snails are a new natural resource of peptides that may have a pharmaceutical potential equivalent to those from traditional sources, particularly for developing drugs that target cell-surface receptors or ion channels. In effect, cone snails have used a combinatorial library strategy to evolve their small, highly bioactive venom peptides. The methods by which the snails have generated thousands of peptides with remarkable specificity and high affinity for their targets may provide important lessons in designing combinatorial libraries for drug development.

  2. Characterization of unique amphipathic antimicrobial peptides from venom of the scorpion Pandinus imperator.

    PubMed Central

    Corzo, G; Escoubas, P; Villegas, E; Barnham, K J; He, W; Norton, R S; Nakajima, T

    2001-01-01

    Two novel antimicrobial peptides have been identified and characterized from venom of the African scorpion Pandinus imperator. The peptides, designated pandinin 1 and 2, are alpha-helical polycationic peptides, with pandinin 1 belonging to the group of antibacterial peptides previously described from scorpions, frogs and insects, and pandinin 2 to the group of short magainin-type helical peptides from frogs. Both peptides demonstrated high antimicrobial activity against a range of Gram-positive bacteria (2.4-5.2 microM), but were less active against Gram-negative bacteria (2.4-38.2 microM), and only pandinin 2 affected the yeast Candida albicans. Pandinin 2 also demonstrated strong haemolytic activity (11.1-44.5 microM) against sheep erythrocytes, in contrast with pandinin 1, which was not haemolytic. CD studies and a high-resolution structure of pandinin 2 determined by NMR, showed that the two peptides are both essentially helical, but differ in their overall structure. Pandinin 2 is composed of a single alpha-helix with a predominantly hydrophobic N-terminal sequence, whereas pandinin 1 consists of two distinct alpha-helices separated by a coil region of higher flexibility. This is the first report of magainin-type polycationic antimicrobial peptides in scorpion venom. Their presence brings new insights into the mode of action of scorpion venom and also opens new avenues for the discovery of novel antibiotic molecules from arthropod venoms. PMID:11563967

  3. Sample Limited Characterization of a Novel Disulfide-Rich Venom Peptide Toxin from Terebrid Marine Snail Terebra variegata

    PubMed Central

    Anand, Prachi; Grigoryan, Alexandre; Bhuiyan, Mohammed H.; Ueberheide, Beatrix; Russell, Victoria; Quinoñez, Jose; Moy, Patrick; Chait, Brian T.; Poget, Sébastien F.; Holford, Mandë

    2014-01-01

    Disulfide-rich peptide toxins found in the secretions of venomous organisms such as snakes, spiders, scorpions, leeches, and marine snails are highly efficient and effective tools for novel therapeutic drug development. Venom peptide toxins have been used extensively to characterize ion channels in the nervous system and platelet aggregation in haemostatic systems. A significant hurdle in characterizing disulfide-rich peptide toxins from venomous animals is obtaining significant quantities needed for sequence and structural analyses. Presented here is a strategy for the structural characterization of venom peptide toxins from sample limited (4 ng) specimens via direct mass spectrometry sequencing, chemical synthesis and NMR structure elucidation. Using this integrated approach, venom peptide Tv1 from Terebra variegata was discovered. Tv1 displays a unique fold not witnessed in prior snail neuropeptides. The novel structural features found for Tv1 suggest that the terebrid pool of peptide toxins may target different neuronal agents with varying specificities compared to previously characterized snail neuropeptides. PMID:24713808

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

    PubMed Central

    Romano, Joseph D.; Tatonetti, Nicholas P.

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Viper Venom Botox: The Molecular Origin and Evolution of the Waglerin Peptides Used in Anti-Wrinkle Skin Cream.

    PubMed

    Debono, Jordan; Xie, Bing; Violette, Aude; Fourmy, Rudy; Jaeger, Marc; Fry, Bryan G

    2017-01-01

    The molecular origin of waglerin peptides has remained enigmatic despite their industrial application in skin cream products to paralyse facial muscles and thus reduce the incidence of wrinkles. Here we show that these neurotoxic peptides are the result of de novo evolution within the prepro region of the C-type natriuretic peptide gene in Tropidolaemus venoms, at a site distinct from the domain encoding for the natriuretic peptide. It is the same region that yielded the azemiopsin peptides from Azemiops feae, indicative of a close relationship of this toxin gene between these two genera. The precursor region for the molecular evolution is a biodiversity hotspot that has yielded other novel bioactive peptides with novel activities. We detail the diversity of components in this and other species in order to explore what characteristics enable it to be such a biodiscovery treasure trove. The unusual function of Tropidolaemus venoms may have been selected for due to evolutionary pressures brought about by a high likelihood of prey escape.

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

    PubMed

    Garb, Jessica E

    2014-11-03

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Garb, Jessica E.

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Isolation and characterization of a novel type of neurotoxic peptide from the venom of the South African scorpion Parabuthus transvaalicus (Buthidae).

    PubMed

    Inceoglu, B; Lango, J; Wu, J; Hawkins, P; Southern, J; Hammock, B D

    2001-10-01

    The venom of the South African scorpion Parabuthus transvaalicus was characterized using a combination of mass spectrometry and RP-HPLC separation and bioassays. The crude venom was initially separated into 10 fractions. A novel, moderately toxic but very high abundance peptide (birtoxin) of 58 amino-acid residues was isolated, identified and characterized. Each purification step was followed by bioassays and mass spectroscopy. First a C4 RP-HPLC column was used, then a C18 RP Microbore column purification resulted in > 95% purity in the case of birtoxin from a starting material of 230 microg of crude venom. About 12-14% of the D214 absorbance of the total venom as observed after the first chromatography step was composed of birtoxin. This peptide was lethal to mice at low microgram quantities and it induced serious symptoms including tremors, which lasted up to 24 h post injection, at submicrogram amounts. At least seven other fractions that showed different activities including one fraction with specificity against blowfly larvae were identified. Identification of potent components is an important step in designing and obtaining effective anti-venom. Antibodies raised against the critical toxic components have the potential to block the toxic effects and reduce the pain associated with the scorpion envenomation. The discovery of birtoxin, a bioactive long chain neurotoxin peptide with only three disulfide bridges, offers new insight into understanding the role of conserved disulfide bridges with respect to scorpion toxin structure and function.

  9. Vitellogenins Are New High Molecular Weight Components and Allergens (Api m 12 and Ves v 6) of Apis mellifera and Vespula vulgaris Venom

    PubMed Central

    Blank, Simon; Seismann, Henning; McIntyre, Mareike; Ollert, Markus; Wolf, Sara; Bantleon, Frank I.; Spillner, Edzard

    2013-01-01

    Background/Objectives Anaphylaxis due to hymenoptera stings is one of the most severe clinical outcomes of IgE-mediated hypersensitivity reactions. Although allergic reactions to hymenoptera stings are often considered as a general model for the underlying principles of allergic disease, venom immunotherapy is still hampered by severe systemic side effects and incomplete protection. The identification and detailed characterization of all allergens of hymenoptera venoms might result in an improvement in this field and promote the detailed understanding of the allergological mechanism. Our aim was the identification and detailed immunochemical and allergological characterization of the low abundant IgE-reactive 200 kDa proteins of Apis mellifera and Vespula vulgaris venom. Methods/Principal Findings Tandem mass spectrometry-based sequencing of a 200 kDa venom protein yielded peptides that could be assigned to honeybee vitellogenin. The coding regions of the honeybee protein as well as of the homologue from yellow jacket venom were cloned from venom gland cDNA. The newly identified 200 kDa proteins share a sequence identity on protein level of 40% and belong to the family of vitellogenins, present in all oviparous animals, and are the first vitellogenins identified as components of venom. Both vitellogenins could be recombinantly produced as soluble proteins in insect cells and assessed for their specific IgE reactivity. The particular vitellogenins were recognized by approximately 40% of sera of venom-allergic patients even in the absence of cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants. Conclusion With the vitellogenins of Apis mellifera and Vespula vulgaris venom a new homologous pair of venom allergens was identified and becomes available for future applications. Due to their allergenic properties the honeybee and the yellow jacket venom vitellogenin were designated as allergens Api m 12 and Ves v 6, respectively. PMID:23626765

  10. Vitellogenins are new high molecular weight components and allergens (Api m 12 and Ves v 6) of Apis mellifera and Vespula vulgaris venom.

    PubMed

    Blank, Simon; Seismann, Henning; McIntyre, Mareike; Ollert, Markus; Wolf, Sara; Bantleon, Frank I; Spillner, Edzard

    2013-01-01

    Anaphylaxis due to hymenoptera stings is one of the most severe clinical outcomes of IgE-mediated hypersensitivity reactions. Although allergic reactions to hymenoptera stings are often considered as a general model for the underlying principles of allergic disease, venom immunotherapy is still hampered by severe systemic side effects and incomplete protection. The identification and detailed characterization of all allergens of hymenoptera venoms might result in an improvement in this field and promote the detailed understanding of the allergological mechanism. Our aim was the identification and detailed immunochemical and allergological characterization of the low abundant IgE-reactive 200 kDa proteins of Apis mellifera and Vespula vulgaris venom. Tandem mass spectrometry-based sequencing of a 200 kDa venom protein yielded peptides that could be assigned to honeybee vitellogenin. The coding regions of the honeybee protein as well as of the homologue from yellow jacket venom were cloned from venom gland cDNA. The newly identified 200 kDa proteins share a sequence identity on protein level of 40% and belong to the family of vitellogenins, present in all oviparous animals, and are the first vitellogenins identified as components of venom. Both vitellogenins could be recombinantly produced as soluble proteins in insect cells and assessed for their specific IgE reactivity. The particular vitellogenins were recognized by approximately 40% of sera of venom-allergic patients even in the absence of cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants. With the vitellogenins of Apis mellifera and Vespula vulgaris venom a new homologous pair of venom allergens was identified and becomes available for future applications. Due to their allergenic properties the honeybee and the yellow jacket venom vitellogenin were designated as allergens Api m 12 and Ves v 6, respectively.

  11. Molecular Properties and Structure-Function Relationships of Lethal Peptides from Venom of Wagler’s Pit Viper, Trimeresurus Wagleri

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-01-01

    THoMPSON and WElL. 1952). as modified by Spearman and Karber (W.H.O., 1981). Characterization of Trinieresurus wagleri Lethal Peptides 1029 Chymotrypsin...wagleri venom ’waglerins’. MATERIALS AND METHODS High pressure liquid chromatography (HPLCJ Equipment was from Waters Division of Millipore (Milford. MA...be administered to each of two mice. With this method . two previously unreported lethal peptides were found in this venom. Peptide synthesis Peptides

  12. The natriuretic peptide/helokinestatin precursor from Mexican beaded lizard (Heloderma horridum) venom: Amino acid sequence deduced from cloned cDNA and identification of two novel encoded helokinestatins.

    PubMed

    Ma, Chengbang; Yang, Mu; Zhou, Mei; Wu, Yuxin; Wang, Lei; Chen, Tianbao; Ding, Anwei; Shaw, Chris

    2011-06-01

    Natriuretic peptides are common components of reptile venoms and molecular cloning of their biosynthetic precursors has revealed that in snakes, they co-encode bradykinin-potentiating peptides and in venomous lizards, some co-encode bradykinin inhibitory peptides such as the helokinestatins. The common natriuretic peptide/helokinestatin precursor of the Gila Monster, Heloderma suspectum, encodes five helokinestatins of differing primary structures. Here we report the molecular cloning of a natriuretic peptide/helokinestatin precursor cDNA from a venom-derived cDNA library of the Mexican beaded lizard (Heloderma horridum). Deduction of the primary structure of the encoded precursor protein from this cloned cDNA template revealed that it consisted of 196 amino acid residues encoding a single natriuretic peptide and five helokinestatins. While the natriuretic peptide was of identical primary structure to its Gila Monster (H. suspectum) homolog, the encoded helokinestatins were not, with this region of the common precursor displaying some significant differences to its H. suspectum homolog. The helokinestatin-encoding region contained a single copy of helokinestatin-1, 2 copies of helokinestatin-3 and single copies of 2 novel peptides, (Phe)(5)-helokinestatin-2 (VPPAFVPLVPR) and helokinestatin-6 (GPPFNPPPFVDYEPR). All predicted peptides were found in reverse phase HPLC fractions of the same venom. Synthetic replicates of both novel helokinestatins were found to antagonize the relaxing effect of bradykinin on rat tail artery smooth muscle. Thus lizard venom continues to provide a source of novel biologically active peptides. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  13. Molecular diversification in spider venoms: a web of combinatorial peptide libraries.

    PubMed

    Escoubas, Pierre

    2006-11-01

    Spider venoms are a rich source of novel pharmacologically and agrochemically interesting compounds that have received increased attention from pharmacologists and biochemists in recent years. The application of technologies derived from genomics and proteomics have led to the discovery of the enormous molecular diversity of those venoms, which consist mainly of peptides and proteins. The molecular diversity of spider peptides has been revealed by mass spectrometry and appears to be based on a limited set of structural scaffolds. Genetic analysis has led to a further understanding of the molecular evolution mechanisms presiding over the generation of these combinatorial peptide libraries. Gene duplication and focal hypermutation, which has been described in cone snails, appear to be common mechanisms to venomous mollusks and spiders. Post-translational modifications, fine structural variations and new molecular scaffolds are other potential mechanisms of toxin diversification, leading to the pharmacologically complex cocktails used for predation and defense.

  14. [Partial purification of peptides present in the Tityus macrochirus (Buthidae) scorpion venom and preliminary assessment of their cytotoxicity].

    PubMed

    Rincón-Cortés, Clara Andrea; Reyes-Montaño, Edgar Antonio; Vega-Castro, Nohora Angélica

    2017-06-01

    Scorpion venom contains peptides with neurotoxic action primarily active on ion channels in the nervous system of insects and mammals. They are also characterized as cytolytic and anticancer, biological characteristics that have not yet been reported for the Tityus macrochirus venom. To assess if the total T. macrochirus venom and the fraction of partially purified peptides decrease the viability of various tumor-derived cell lines. The scorpion venom was collected by electrical stimulation and, subsequently, subjected to chromatography, electrophoresis, and ultrafiltration with Amicon Ultra 0.5® membranes for the partial identification and purification of its peptides. The cytotoxic activity of the venom and the peptides fraction trials on tumor-derived cell lines were carried out by the MTT method. The T. macrochirus scorpion venom has peptides with molecular weights ranging between 3 and 10 kDa. They were partially purified using the ultrafiltration technique, and assessed by the RP-HPLC method. Cytotoxicity trials with the whole T. macrochirus venom showed a higher viability decrease on the PC3 cell line compared to the other cell lines assessed, while the partially purified peptides decreased the HeLa cell line viability. Peptides in the T. macrochirus scorpion venom showed cytotoxic activity on some tumorderived cell lines. We observed some degree of selectivity against other cell lines assessed.

  15. Venom peptides from solitary hunting wasps induce feeding disorder in lepidopteran larvae.

    PubMed

    Baek, Ji Hyeong; Ji, Yeounjung; Shin, Jeon-Soo; Lee, Seunghwan; Lee, Si Hyeock

    2011-03-01

    The cell lytic activity and toxicity against lepidopteran larvae of 13 venom peptides (4 OdVPs and 9 EpVPs) from two solitary hunting wasps, Orancistrocerus drewseni and Eumenes pomiformis, were examined with mastoparan as a reference peptide. Of the 13 peptides, 7 were predicted to have α-helical structures that exhibit the typical character of amphipathic α-helical antimicrobial peptides. The remaining peptides exhibited coil structures; among these, EpVP5 possesses two Cys residues that form an internal disulfide bridge. All the helical peptides including mastoparan showed antimicrobial and insect cell lytic activities, whereas only two of them were hemolytic against human erythrocytes. The helical peptides induced a feeding disorder when injected into the vicinity of the head and thorax of Spodoptera exigua larvae, perhaps because their non-specific neurotoxic or myotoxic action induced cell lysis. At low concentrations, however, these helical peptides increased cell permeability without inducing cell lysis. These findings suggest that the helical venom peptides may function as non-specific neurotoxins or myotoxins and venom-spreading factors at low concentrations, as well as preservatives for long-term storage of the prey via antimicrobial, particularly antifungal, activities.

  16. Components of Asobara venoms and their effects on hosts.

    PubMed

    Moreau, Sébastien J M; Vinchon, Sophie; Cherqui, Anas; Prévost, Geneviève

    2009-01-01

    Hymenoptera of the Asobara genus are endophagous parasitoids of Drosophila larvae. In these apocrita insects whose venom gland is associated with the female reproductive tract, the wasp venom is injected into the host along with the parasitoid egg during oviposition. We conducted a comparative study of the venom apparatuses from three Asobara spp.: the European Asobara tabida, the Asiatic A. japonica and the African A. citri. Light and electron microscopy of venom glands, together with the biochemical analysis of their contents, revealed important differences between Asobara spp. In addition, the physiological effects of female wasp's venom injected into Drosophila larvae differed greatly between the tested Asobara spp.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

    Members of the spider genus Lasiodora are widely distributed in Brazil, where they are commonly known as caranguejeiras. Lasiodora spider venom is slightly harmful to humans. The bite of this spider causes local pain, edema and erythema. However, Lasiodora sp. spider venom may be a source of important pharmacological tools. Our research group has described previously that Lasiodora sp. venom produces bradycardia in the isolated rat heart. In the present work, we sought to evaluate the vascular effect of Lasiodora sp. venom and to isolate the vasoactive compounds from the venom. The results showed that Lasiodora spider venom induced a concentration-dependent vasodilation in rat aortic rings, which was dependent on the presence of a functional endothelium and abolished by the nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor L-NAME. Western blot experiments revealed that the venom also increased endothelial NOS function by increasing phosphorylation of the Ser¹¹⁷⁷ residue. Assay-directed fractionation isolated a vasoactive fraction from Lasiodora sp. venom. Mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) assays identified a mixture of two compounds: adenosine diphosphate (ADP, approximately 90%) and adenosine monophosphate (AMP, approximately 10%). The vasodilator effects of Lasiodora sp. whole venom, as well as ADP, were significantly inhibited by suramin, which is a purinergic P2-receptor antagonist. Therefore, the results of the present work indicate that ADP is a main vasodilator component of Lasiodora sp. spider venom. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  18. LyeTx I, a potent antimicrobial peptide from the venom of the spider Lycosa erythrognatha.

    PubMed

    Santos, D M; Verly, R M; Piló-Veloso, D; de Maria, M; de Carvalho, M A R; Cisalpino, P S; Soares, B M; Diniz, C G; Farias, L M; Moreira, D F F; Frézard, F; Bemquerer, M P; Pimenta, A M C; de Lima, M E

    2010-06-01

    LyeTx I, an antimicrobial peptide isolated from the venom of Lycosa erythrognatha, known as wolf spider, has been synthesised and its structural profile studied by using the CD and NMR techniques. LyeTx I has shown to be active against bacteria (Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus) and fungi (Candida krusei and Cryptococcus neoformans) and able to alter the permeabilisation of L: -alpha-phosphatidylcholine-liposomes (POPC) in a dose-dependent manner. In POPC containing cholesterol or ergosterol, permeabilisation has either decreased about five times or remained unchanged, respectively. These results, along with the observed low haemolytic activity, indicated that antimicrobial membranes, rather than vertebrate membranes seem to be the preferential targets. However, the complexity of biological membranes compared to liposomes must be taken in account. Besides, other membrane components, such as proteins and even specific lipids, cannot be discarded to be important to the preferential action of the LyeTx I to the tested microorganisms. The secondary structure of LyeTx I shows a small random-coil region at the N-terminus followed by an alpha-helix that reached the amidated C-terminus, which might favour the peptide-membrane interaction. The high activity against bacteria together with the moderate activity against fungi and the low haemolytic activity have indicated LyeTx I as a good prototype for developing new antibiotic peptides.

  19. Molecular characterization of a new scorpion venom lipolysis activating peptide: Evidence for disulfide bridge-mediated functional switch of peptides.

    PubMed

    Zhu, S; Gao, B

    2006-12-22

    Venoms from scorpions contain extremely rich bioactive peptides that often carry diverse functions and are presumably needed to achieve synergistic effects for rapidly immobilizing prey and defending themselves. BotLVP1 is a unique heterodimer protein recently found in the scorpion Buthus occitanus tunetanus venom that is structurally related to scorpion toxins affecting sodium channels (NaScTxs) but exhibits adipocyte lipolysis activity. We have isolated and identified two cDNA clones encoding subunits alpha and beta of a BotLVP1-like peptide (named BmLVP1) from the Chinese scorpion Buthus martensii venom gland and determined the first complete gene structure of this subfamily. These results highlight a genetic link between these lipolysis activating peptides and NaScTxs. Comparison of cDNA and genomic sequences combined with protein structural and functional analysis provides evidence supporting the existence of RNA editing mechanism in scorpion venom glands, which could mediate functional switch of BmLVP1 gene, from adipocyte lipolysis to neurotoxicity, by altering the wrapper disulfide bridge (WDB) pattern of the peptides.

  20. Integrins as Antimetastatic Targets of RGD-Independent Snake Venom Components in Liver Metastasis1

    PubMed Central

    Rosenow, Felix; Ossig, Rainer; Thormeyer, Dorit; Gasmann, Peter; Schlüter, Kerstin; Brunner, Georg; Haier, Jörg; Eble, Johannes A

    2008-01-01

    Metastasis comprises several subsequent steps including local invasion and intravasation at the primary site, then their adhesion/arrest within the vessels of host organs followed by their extravasation and infiltration into the target organ stroma. In contrast to previous studies which have used aspartate-glycine-arginine (RGD) peptides and antibodies against integrins, we used rare collagen- and laminin-antagonizing integrin inhibitors from snake venoms to analyze the colonization of the liver by tumor cells both by intravital microscopy and in vitro. Adhesion of liver-targeting tumor cells to the sinusoid wall components, laminin-1 and fibronectin, is essential for liver metastasis. This step is inhibited by lebein-1, but not by lebein-2 or rhodocetin. Both lebeins from the Vipera lebetina venom block integrin interactions with laminins in an RGD-independent manner. Rhodocetin is an antagonist of α2β1 integrin, a collagen receptor on many tumor cells. Subsequent to tumor cell arrest, extravasation into the liver stroma and micrometastasis are efficiently delayed by rhodocetin. This underlines the importance of α2β1 integrin interaction with the reticular collagen I-rich fibers in liver stroma. Antagonists of laminin- and collagen-binding integrins could be valuable tools to individually block the direct interactions of tumor cells with distinct matrix components of the Disse space, thereby reducing liver metastasis. PMID:18283339

  1. [Isolation and partial structural characteristics of major toxic components of Latrodectus pallidus venom].

    PubMed

    Charakha, A R; Shevchenko, L V; Molodkin, A K; Pluzhnikov, K A; Volkova, T M; Grishin, E V

    1997-03-01

    Toxic components of the Latrodectus pallidus spider venom were isolated and characterized. The venom was shown to contain a toxin specific for mammals and at least one insectospecific toxin. Partial amino acid sequences of both toxins were determined, and their high structural homology with previously studied alpha-latrotoxin and alpha-latroinsectotoxin from L. mactans tredecimguttatus was found.

  2. Anxiolytic-like effect of a novel peptide isolated from the venom of the social wasp Synoeca surinama.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Flávia M M; Paniago, Cássia K; Freire, Daniel O; Souza, Adolfo C B; Lima, Marcos R; Oliveira-Júnior, Nelson G; Franco, Octavio L; Mortari, Márcia R

    2016-11-01

    Pathological anxiety is among the most common psychiatric illnesses, but current treatment is highly limited. In this study, we investigated the potential anxiolytic-like effects of a peptide isolated from Synoeca surinama venom. Rats treated with this peptide spent more time exploring the open arms of elevated plus maze, which indicates an anxiolytic-like profile for this peptide. This study is the first to show the pharmacological use of S. surinama venom in the treatment of anxiety.

  3. Purification and pharmacological characterization of peptide toxins from the black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) venom.

    PubMed

    Schweitz, H; Bidard, J N; Lazdunski, M

    1990-01-01

    This paper reports the purification of 28 different peptides from the venom of the snake Dendroaspis polylepis. These peptides represent 99% of the total peptide fraction in the venom. The 14 most cationic peptides form a structurally and functionally homogeneous group of analogs of the most abundant dendrotoxin toxin I (DTXI). They recognize antibodies raised against DTXI as well as brain membrane binding sites corresponding to K+ channels that are sensitive to DTXI and the bee venom peptide MCD. Similarly to DTXI these 14 peptides induce convulsions after intracerebroventricular injections in mice and induce GABA release from synaptosomes. However, members in this iso-DTXI family differ widely in their affinity for the DTXI/MCD receptors and in their contractility promoting action on intestinal smooth muscle. The 14 other less cationic peptides do not interact with the DTXI receptor or with DTXI antibodies and they do not evoke GABA release. Their targets seem to be essentially of a peripheral nature. Half of them contract guinea pig ileum. In this group of toxins there might be new tools to study membrane excitability.

  4. A novel ICK peptide from the Loxosceles intermedia (brown spider) venom gland: cloning, heterologous expression and immunological cross-reactivity approaches.

    PubMed

    Matsubara, Fernando Hitomi; Gremski, Luiza Helena; Meissner, Gabriel Otto; Constantino Lopes, Eduardo Soares; Gremski, Waldemiro; Senff-Ribeiro, Andrea; Chaim, Olga Meiri; Veiga, Silvio Sanches

    2013-09-01

    The venom of a Loxosceles spider is composed of a complex mixture of biologically active components, consisting predominantly of low molecular mass molecules (3-45 kDa). Transcriptome analysis of the Loxosceles intermedia venom gland revealed ESTs with similarity to the previously described LiTx peptides. Sequences similar to the LiTx3 isoform were the most abundant, representing approximately 13.9% of all ESTs and 32% of the toxin-encoding messengers. These peptides are grouped in the ICK (Inhibitor Cystine Knot) family, which contains single chain molecules with low molecular mass (3-10 kDa). Due to their high number of cysteine residues, ICK peptides form intramolecular disulfide bridges. The aims of this study were to clone and express a novel ICK peptide isoform, as well as produce specific hyperimmune serum for immunoassays. The corresponding cDNA was amplified by PCR using specific primers containing restriction sites for the XhoI and BamHI enzymes; this PCR product was then ligated in the pET-14b vector and transformed into E. coli AD494 (DE3) cells. The peptide was expressed by IPTG induction for 4 h at 30 °C and purified by affinity chromatography with Ni-NTA resin. Hyperimmune serum to the recombinant peptide was produced in rabbits and was able to specifically recognize both the purified recombinant peptide and the native form present in the venom. Furthermore, the recombinant peptide was recognized by antisera raised against L. intermedia, L. gaucho and L. laeta whole venoms. The recombinant peptide obtained will enable future studies to characterize its biological activity, as well as investigations regarding possible biotechnological applications. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  5. Venom Peptides From Cone Snails: Pharmacological Probes for Voltage-Gated Sodium Channels.

    PubMed

    Green, B R; Olivera, B M

    2016-01-01

    The venoms of cone snails provide a rich source of neuroactive peptides (conotoxins). Several venom peptide families have been identified that are either agonists (ι- and δ-conotoxins) or antagonists (μ- and μO-conotoxins) of voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs). Members of these conotoxin classes have been integral in identifying and characterizing specific neurotoxin binding sites on the channel. Furthermore, given the specificity of some of these peptides for one sodium channel subtype over another, conotoxins have also proven useful in exploring differences between VGSC subtypes. This chapter summarizes the current knowledge of the structure and function based on the results of conotoxin interactions with VGSCs and correlates the peptides with the phylogeny of the Conus species from which they were derived.

  6. Identification of the main venom protein components of Aphidius ervi, a parasitoid wasp of the aphid model Acyrthosiphon pisum.

    PubMed

    Colinet, Dominique; Anselme, Caroline; Deleury, Emeline; Mancini, Donato; Poulain, Julie; Azéma-Dossat, Carole; Belghazi, Maya; Tares, Sophie; Pennacchio, Francesco; Poirié, Marylène; Gatti, Jean-Luc

    2014-05-06

    Endoparasitoid wasps are important natural enemies of the widely distributed aphid pests and are mainly used as biological control agents. However, despite the increased interest on aphid interaction networks, only sparse information is available on the factors used by parasitoids to modulate the aphid physiology. Our aim was here to identify the major protein components of the venom injected at oviposition by Aphidius ervi to ensure successful development in its aphid host, Acyrthosiphon pisum. A combined large-scale transcriptomic and proteomic approach allowed us to identify 16 putative venom proteins among which three γ-glutamyl transpeptidases (γ-GTs) were by far the most abundant. Two of the γ-GTs most likely correspond to alleles of the same gene, with one of these alleles previously described as involved in host castration. The third γ-GT was only distantly related to the others and may not be functional owing to the presence of mutations in the active site. Among the other abundant proteins in the venom, several were unique to A. ervi such as the molecular chaperone endoplasmin possibly involved in protecting proteins during their secretion and transport in the host. Abundant transcripts encoding three secreted cystein-rich toxin-like peptides whose function remains to be explored were also identified. Our data further support the role of γ-GTs as key players in A. ervi success on aphid hosts. However, they also evidence that this wasp venom is a complex fluid that contains diverse, more or less specific, protein components. Their characterization will undoubtedly help deciphering parasitoid-aphid and parasitoid-aphid-symbiont interactions. Finally, this study also shed light on the quick evolution of venom components through processes such as duplication and convergent recruitment of virulence factors between unrelated organisms.

  7. Purification, characterization, and chemical modification of neurotoxic peptide from Daboia russelii snake venom of India.

    PubMed

    Venkatesh, Madhukumar; Prasad, Nijaguna; Sing, Tej; Gowda, Veerabasappa

    2013-06-01

    Comprehensive knowledge of venom composition is very important for effective management of snake envenomation and antivenom preparation. Daboia russelii venom from the eastern region of India is the most neurotoxic among the four venom samples investigated. From the eastern D. russelii venom sample, neurotoxic peptide has been purified by combined method of ion exchange gel permeation chromatography and reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography. Molecular weight of Daboia neurotoxin III (DNTx-III) found to be 6,849 Da (as measured on matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation-time of flight mass spectrometer), and N-terminal amino acid sequences is I K C F I T P D U T S Q A. Approximate LD50 dosage was 0.24 mg/kg body weight. It produced concentration- and time-dependent inhibition of indirectly stimulated twitches of Rana hexadactyla sciatic nerve gastrocnemius muscle preparations. Chemical modification of DNTx-III tryptophan residue(s) reduced the twitch height inhibition property of toxin, signifying the importance of tryptophan residues for the neurotoxic function. This type of neurotoxic peptide is unique to east Indian regional D. russelii venom. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Peptides from puff adder Bitis arietans venom, novel inhibitors of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Vulfius, Catherine A; Spirova, Ekaterina N; Serebryakova, Marina V; Shelukhina, Irina V; Kudryavtsev, Denis S; Kryukova, Elena V; Starkov, Vladislav G; Kopylova, Nina V; Zhmak, Maxim N; Ivanov, Igor A; Kudryashova, Ksenia S; Andreeva, Tatyana V; Tsetlin, Victor I; Utkin, Yuri N

    2016-10-01

    Phospholipase A2 (named bitanarin) possessing capability to block nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) was isolated earlier (Vulfius et al., 2011) from puff adder Bitis arietans venom. Further studies indicated that low molecular weight fractions of puff adder venom inhibit nAChRs as well. In this paper, we report on isolation from this venom and characterization of three novel peptides called baptides 1, 2 and 3 that reversibly block nAChRs. To isolate the peptides, the venom of B. arietans was fractionated by gel-filtration and reversed phase chromatography. The amino acid sequences of peptides were established by de novo sequencing using MALDI mass spectrometry. Baptide 1 comprised 7, baptides 2 and 3-10 amino acid residues, the latter being acetylated at the N-terminus. This is the first indication for the presence of such post-translational modification in snake venom proteins. None of the peptides contain cysteine residues. For biological activity studies the peptides were prepared by solid phase peptide synthesis. Baptide 3 and 2 blocked acetylcholine-elicited currents in isolated Lymnaea stagnalis neurons with IC50 of about 50 μM and 250 μM, respectively. In addition baptide 2 blocked acetylcholine-induced currents in muscle nAChR heterologously expressed in Xenopus oocytes with IC50 of about 3 μM. The peptides did not compete with radioactive α-bungarotoxin for binding to Torpedo and α7 nAChRs at concentration up to 200 μM that suggests non-competitive mode of inhibition. Calcium imaging studies on α7 and muscle nAChRs heterologously expressed in mouse neuroblastoma Neuro2a cells showed that on α7 receptor baptide 2 inhibited acetylcholine-induced increasing intracellular calcium concentration with IC50 of 20.6 ± 3.93 μM. On both α7 and muscle nAChRs the suppression of maximal response to acetylcholine by about 50% was observed at baptide 2 concentration of 25 μM, the value being close to IC50 on α7 nAChR. These data are in

  9. Production of recombinant disulfide-rich venom peptides for structural and functional analysis via expression in the periplasm of E. coli.

    PubMed

    Klint, Julie K; Senff, Sebastian; Saez, Natalie J; Seshadri, Radha; Lau, Ho Yee; Bende, Niraj S; Undheim, Eivind A B; Rash, Lachlan D; Mobli, Mehdi; King, Glenn F

    2013-01-01

    Disulfide-rich peptides are the dominant component of most animal venoms. These peptides have received much attention as leads for the development of novel therapeutic agents and bioinsecticides because they target a wide range of neuronal receptors and ion channels with a high degree of potency and selectivity. In addition, their rigid disulfide framework makes them particularly well suited for addressing the crucial issue of in vivo stability. Structural and functional characterization of these peptides necessitates the development of a robust, reliable expression system that maintains their native disulfide framework. The bacterium Escherichia coli has long been used for economical production of recombinant proteins. However, the expression of functional disulfide-rich proteins in the reducing environment of the E. coli cytoplasm presents a significant challenge. Thus, we present here an optimised protocol for the expression of disulfide-rich venom peptides in the periplasm of E. coli, which is where the endogenous machinery for production of disulfide-bonds is located. The parameters that have been investigated include choice of media, induction conditions, lysis methods, methods of fusion protein and peptide purification, and sample preparation for NMR studies. After each section a recommendation is made for conditions to use. We demonstrate the use of this method for the production of venom peptides ranging in size from 2 to 8 kDa and containing 2-6 disulfide bonds.

  10. Production of Recombinant Disulfide-Rich Venom Peptides for Structural and Functional Analysis via Expression in the Periplasm of E. coli

    PubMed Central

    Saez, Natalie J.; Seshadri, Radha; Lau, Ho Yee; Bende, Niraj S.; Undheim, Eivind A. B.; Rash, Lachlan D.; Mobli, Mehdi; King, Glenn F.

    2013-01-01

    Disulfide-rich peptides are the dominant component of most animal venoms. These peptides have received much attention as leads for the development of novel therapeutic agents and bioinsecticides because they target a wide range of neuronal receptors and ion channels with a high degree of potency and selectivity. In addition, their rigid disulfide framework makes them particularly well suited for addressing the crucial issue of in vivo stability. Structural and functional characterization of these peptides necessitates the development of a robust, reliable expression system that maintains their native disulfide framework. The bacterium Escherichia coli has long been used for economical production of recombinant proteins. However, the expression of functional disulfide-rich proteins in the reducing environment of the E. coli cytoplasm presents a significant challenge. Thus, we present here an optimised protocol for the expression of disulfide-rich venom peptides in the periplasm of E. coli, which is where the endogenous machinery for production of disulfide-bonds is located. The parameters that have been investigated include choice of media, induction conditions, lysis methods, methods of fusion protein and peptide purification, and sample preparation for NMR studies. After each section a recommendation is made for conditions to use. We demonstrate the use of this method for the production of venom peptides ranging in size from 2 to 8 kDa and containing 2–6 disulfide bonds. PMID:23667680

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Hyaluronidase-like enzymes are a frequent component of venoms from theraphosid spiders.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Rios, Luis; Díaz-Peña, Luis Fernando; Lazcano-Pérez, Fernando; Arreguín-Espinosa, Roberto; Rojas-Molina, Alejandra; García-Arredondo, Alejandro

    2017-09-15

    Theraphosid spider venoms are extremely complex mixtures, composed mainly by low molecular compounds, peptides, and enzymes. The large size of these spiders and their ability to breed in captivity permits access to rather large amounts of venom and an easier venom extraction. In the present study, we conducted a comparative investigation about the content of hyaluronidase-like enzymes in the venoms from several theraphosid spiders, with a special focus on the Poecilotheria species, which are considered as underestimated theraphosids of medical importance. The following species were analyzed: Poecilotheria regalis, Poecilotheria ornata, Poecilotheria rufilata, Poecilotheria vittata, Bonnetina papalutlensis, Aphonopelma sp., Brachypelma smithi, Brachypelma epicureanum, Brachypelma boehmei, Grammostola porteri, Lasiodora klugi, Ceratogyrus darlingi, and Nhandu chromatus. The presence of hyaluronidase-like enzymes was evidenced in all venoms by a turbidimetric method and zymography. Several isoforms of acid-active hyaluronidase-like enzymes were detected in the venoms from Poecilotheria species. These results provide some biochemical characteristics of the high molecular mass proteins of the theraphosid venoms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Immunological characterization of a non-toxic peptide conferring protection against the toxic fraction (AahG50) of the Androctonus australis hector venom.

    PubMed

    Srairi-Abid, Najet; Kaabi, Hajer; Mlayah-Bellalouna, Saoussen; Mejri, Thouraya; Sampieri, François; El Ayeb, Mohamed

    2008-03-01

    KAaH1 and KAaH2 are non-toxic peptides, isolated from the venom of the Androctonus australis hector (Aah) scorpion. In a previous study, we showed these peptides to be the most abundant (approximately 10% each) in the toxic fraction (AahG50) of the Aah venom. KAaH1 and KAaH2 showed high sequence identities (approximately 60%) with birtoxin-like peptides, which likewise are the major peptidic components of Parabuthus transvaalicus scorpion venom. Here, we report the immunological characterization of KAaH1 and KAaH2. These peptides were found to be specifically recognized by polyclonal antibodies raised against AahII, the most toxic peptide of Aah venom, and represents the second antigenic group, including toxins from different scorpion species in the world. Moreover, KAaH1 partially inhibits AahII binding to its specific antibody, suggesting some common epitopes between these two peptides. The identification of possible key antigenic residues in KAaH1 was deduced from comparison of its 3-D model with the experimental structure of AahII. Two clusters of putative antigenically important residues were found at the exposed surface; one could be constituted of V3 and D53, the other of D10, T15 and Y16. Polyclonal antibodies raised against KAaH1 in mice were found to cross-react with both AahII and AahG50, and neutralizing 5LD(50)/ml of the toxic fraction. Mice vaccinated with KAaH1 were protected against a challenge of 2LD(50) of AahG50 fraction. All these data suggest that KAaH1 has clear advantages over the use of the whole or part of the venom. KAaH1 is not toxic and could produce sera-neutralizing scorpion toxins, not only from Aah venom, but also toxins of other venoms from Buthus, Leiurus, or Parabuthus scorpion species presenting antigenically related toxins.

  14. A family of excitatory peptide toxins from venomous crassispirine snails: using Constellation Pharmacology to assess bioactivity.

    PubMed

    Imperial, Julita S; Cabang, April B; Song, Jie; Raghuraman, Shrinivasan; Gajewiak, Joanna; Watkins, Maren; Showers-Corneli, Patrice; Fedosov, Alexander; Concepcion, Gisela P; Terlau, Heinrich; Teichert, Russell W; Olivera, Baldomero M

    2014-10-01

    The toxinology of the crassispirine snails, a major group of venomous marine gastropods within the superfamily Conoidea, is largely unknown. Here we define the first venom peptide superfamily, the P-like crassipeptides, and show that the organization of their gene sequences is similar to conotoxin precursors. We provide evidence that one peptide family within the P-like crassipeptide superfamily includes potassium-channel (K-channel) blockers, the κP-crassipeptides. Three of these peptides were chemically synthesized (cce9a, cce9b and iqi9a). Using conventional electrophysiology, cce9b was shown to be an antagonist of both a human Kv1.1 channel isoform (Shaker subfamily of voltage-gated K channels) and a Drosophila K-channel isoform. We assessed the bioactivity of these peptides in native mammalian dorsal root ganglion neurons in culture. We demonstrate that two of these crassipeptides, cce9a and cce9b, elicited an excitatory phenotype in a subset of small-diameter capsaicin-sensitive mouse DRG neurons that were also affected by κJ-conotoxin PlXIVA (pl14a), a blocker of Kv1.6 channels. Given the vast complexity of heteromeric K-channel isoforms, this study demonstrates that the crassispirine venoms are a potentially rich source for discovering novel peptides that can help to identify and characterize the diversity of K-channel subtypes expressed in native neurons and other cell types.

  15. A sleep-inducing peptide from the venom of the Indian cone snail Conus araneosus.

    PubMed

    Franklin, Jayaseelan Benjamin; Rajesh, Rajaian Pushpabai

    2015-09-01

    The marine snail Conus araneosus has unusual significance due to its confined distribution to coastal regions of southeast India and Sri Lanka. Due to its relative scarceness, this species has been poorly studied. In this work, we characterized the venom of C. araneosus to identify new venom peptides. We identified 14 novel compounds. We determined amino acid sequences from chemically-modified and unmodified crude venom using liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry and matrix assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Ten sequences showed six Cys residues arranged in a pattern that is most commonly associated with the M-superfamily of conotoxins. Four other sequences had four Cys residues in a pattern that is most commonly associated with the T-superfamily of conotoxins. The post-translationally modified residue (pyroglutamate) was determined at the N-terminus of two sequences, ar3h and ar3i respectively. In addition, two sequences, ar3g and ar3h were C-terminally amidated. At a dose of 2 nmol, peptide ar3j elicited sleep when injected intraperitoneally into mice. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a peptide from a molluscivorous cone snail with sleep-inducing effects in mice. The novel peptides characterized herein extend the repertoire of unique peptides derived from cone snails and may add value to the therapeutic promise of conotoxins.

  16. Isolation and molecular cloning of venom peptides from Orancistrocerus drewseni (Hymenoptera: Eumenidae).

    PubMed

    Baek, Ji Hyeong; Lee, Si Hyeock

    2010-04-01

    Three venom peptides (OdVP1, OdVP2 and OdVP3) were isolated from the venom of the solitary wasp Orancistrocerus drewseni (Hymenoptera: Eumenidae). The mature venom peptide sequences were determined via ESI-Q-TOF MS/MS and by searching the O. drewseni venom gland/sac-specific EST library. All of the OdVPs shared the typical characteristics of amidated C-termini proteins and contained a high content of hydrophobic and positively charged amino acids, suggesting that they adopt an amphipathic alpha-helical secondary structure, as is the case for mastoparan from Vespula lewisii. The cDNA sequence of the OdVP1 precursor was obtained by 5'- and 3'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE), and the OdVP2 and OdVP3 precursor transcripts were identified from the venom gland/sac-specific EST library. While the mature peptide sequences were distinct from one another, the overall transcript structure of the OdVPs showed a high homology to that of mastoparan-B from Vespa basalis in that they contained a signal sequence, a prosequence, a mature peptide and a C-terminal glycine. The OdVPs, particularly OdVP2 and OdVP2L (an analog of OdVP2), exhibited strong antifungal activities, but poor antibacterial activities. OdVP2L, which possessed additional Glu-Pro residues, did not have antimicrobial activity against bacteria or Gram-positive yeast but retained activity against Botrytis cinerea.

  17. Dual function of a bee (Apis cerana) inhibitor cysteine knot peptide that acts as an antifungal peptide and insecticidal venom toxin.

    PubMed

    Park, Hee Geun; Kyung, Seung Su; Lee, Kwang Sik; Kim, Bo Yeon; Choi, Yong Soo; Yoon, Hyung Joo; Kwon, Hyung Wook; Je, Yeon Ho; Jin, Byung Rae

    2014-12-01

    Inhibitor cysteine knot (ICK) peptides exhibit ion channel blocking, insecticidal, and antimicrobial activities, but currently, no functional roles for bee-derived ICK peptides have been identified. In this study, a bee (Apis cerana) ICK peptide (AcICK) that acts as an antifungal peptide and as an insecticidal venom toxin was identified. AcICK contains an ICK fold that is expressed in the epidermis, fat body, or venom gland and is present as a 6.6-kDa peptide in bee venom. Recombinant AcICK peptide (expressed in baculovirus-infected insect cells) bound directly to Beauveria bassiana and Fusarium graminearum, but not to Escherichia coli or Bacillus thuringiensis. Consistent with these findings, AcICK showed antifungal activity, indicating that AcICK acts as an antifungal peptide. Furthermore, AcICK expression is induced in the fat body and epidermis after injection with B. bassiana. These results provide insight into the role of AcICK during the innate immune response following fungal infection. Additionally, we show that AcICK has insecticidal activity. Our results demonstrate a functional role for AcICK in bees: AcICK acts as an antifungal peptide in innate immune reactions in the body and as an insecticidal toxin in venom. The finding that the AcICK peptide functions with different mechanisms of action in the body and in venom highlights the two-pronged strategy that is possible with the bee ICK peptide.

  18. Definition of the M-conotoxin superfamily: characterization of novel peptides from molluscivorous Conus venoms.

    PubMed

    Corpuz, Gloria P; Jacobsen, Richard B; Jimenez, Elsie C; Watkins, Maren; Walker, Craig; Colledge, Clark; Garrett, James E; McDougal, Owen; Li, Wenqin; Gray, William R; Hillyard, David R; Rivier, Jean; McIntosh, J Michael; Cruz, Lourdes J; Olivera, Baldomero M

    2005-06-07

    Most of the >50,000 different pharmacologically active peptides in Conus venoms belong to a small number of gene superfamilies. In this work, the M-conotoxin superfamily is defined using both biochemical and molecular criteria. Novel excitatory peptides purified from the venoms of the molluscivorous species Conus textile and Conus marmoreus all have a characteristic pattern of Cys residues previously found in the mu-, kappaM-, and psi-conotoxins (CC-C-C-CC). The new peptides are smaller (12-19 amino acids) than the mu-, kappaM-, and psi-conotoxins (22-24 amino acids). One peptide, mr3a, was chemically synthesized in a biologically active form. Analysis of the disulfide bridges of a natural peptide tx3c from C. textile and synthetic peptide mr3a from C. marmoreus showed a novel pattern of disulfide connectivity, different from that previously established for the mu- and psi-conotoxins. Thus, these peptides belong to a new group of structurally and pharmacologically distinct conotoxins that are particularly prominent in the venoms of mollusc-hunting Conus species. Analysis of cDNA clones encoding the novel peptides as well as those encoding mu-, kappaM-, and psi-conotoxins revealed highly conserved amino acid residues in the precursor sequences; this conservation in both amino acid sequence and in the Cys pattern defines a gene superfamily, designated the M-conotoxin superfamily. The peptides characterized can be provisionally assigned to four distinct groups within the M-superfamily based on sequence similarity within and divergence between each group. A notable feature of the superfamily is that two distinct structural frameworks have been generated by changing the disulfide connectivity on an otherwise conserved Cys pattern.

  19. Therapeutic potential of peptides with neutralizing ability towards the venom and toxin (CaTx-I) of crotalus adamanteus.

    PubMed

    Samy, Ramar Perumal; Thwin, Maung Maung; Stiles, Bradley G; Bow, Ho; Chow, Vincent T K; Gopalakrishnakone, Ponnampalam

    2011-01-01

    The CaTx-I (PLA2) toxin of Crotalus adamanteus venom is responsible for most of the symptoms observed during envenomation. Synthetic peptides were designed and screened for venom (0.8 μg/ml) and CaTx-I (0.1 μM) inhibition at varying doses of the peptide (10000- 0.0001 μM) using a Cayman chemical human secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2, Type II) assay kit. Further, in vitro neutralization studies were evaluated by a fixed dose of peptide (1 μM) against venom (0.8 μg/ml) and toxin (0.1 μM). Among the linear peptides (PIP-18, cyclic C and PIP59-67) that showed potent neutralizing effects against the venom/toxin of C. adamanteus. PIP-18 [IC50, 1.23 μM] and cyclic C [IC50, 1.27 μM] peptides possessed the strongest inhibitory effect against CaTx-I. A fixed dose of CaTx-I (75 μg/kg) was administered intraperitoneally (i.p.) into mice followed by an i.p. injection of peptides PIP-18 and cyclic C at (6 μg/mouse), venom (150 μg/kg) and toxin CaTx-I alone served as references. Mice treated with PIP-18 and cyclic C showed a very strong neutralizing effect and markedly reduced mortality compared to the control after 24 h. The CA venom and CaTx-I injected mice showed severe toxicity after 24 h. Peptides PIP-18 and cyclic C were non-hemolytic at 100 μM. They produced a significant decrease in lipid peroxidase (LPx) and enhancement of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and Glutathione-s-transferase (GST) levels indicating their antioxidant property against venom-induced changes in mice. This study confirmed the potent snake venom neutralizing properties of peptides.

  20. Insecticidal activity of a recombinant knottin peptide from Loxosceles intermedia venom and recognition of these peptides as a conserved family in the genus.

    PubMed

    Matsubara, F H; Meissner, G O; Herzig, V; Justa, H C; Dias, B C L; Trevisan-Silva, D; Gremski, L H; Gremski, W; Senff-Ribeiro, A; Chaim, O M; King, G F; Veiga, S S

    2017-02-01

    Loxosceles intermedia venom comprises a complex mixture of proteins, glycoproteins and low molecular mass peptides that act synergistically to immobilize envenomed prey. Analysis of a venom-gland transcriptome from L. intermedia revealed that knottins, also known as inhibitor cystine knot peptides, are the most abundant class of toxins expressed in this species. Knottin peptides contain a particular arrangement of intramolecular disulphide bonds, and these peptides typically act upon ion channels or receptors in the insect nervous system, triggering paralysis or other lethal effects. Herein, we focused on a knottin peptide with 53 amino acid residues from L. intermedia venom. The recombinant peptide, named U2 -sicaritoxin-Li1b (Li1b), was obtained by expression in the periplasm of Escherichia coli. The recombinant peptide induced irreversible flaccid paralysis in sheep blowflies. We screened for knottin-encoding sequences in total RNA extracts from two other Loxosceles species, Loxosceles gaucho and Loxosceles laeta, which revealed that knottin peptides constitute a conserved family of toxins in the Loxosceles genus. The insecticidal activity of U2 -SCTX-Li1b, together with the large number of knottin peptides encoded in Loxosceles venom glands, suggests that studies of these venoms might facilitate future biotechnological applications of these toxins.

  1. BmKn-2 scorpion venom peptide for killing oral cancer cells by apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Tong-ngam, Pirut; Roytrakul, Sittiruk; Sritanaudomchai, Hathaitip

    2015-01-01

    Scorpion venom peptides recently have attracted attention as alternative chemotherapeutic agents that may overcome the limitations of current drugs, providing specific cytotoxicity for cancer cells with an ability to bypass multidrug-resistance mechanisms, additive effects in combination therapy and safety. In the present study, BmKn-2 scorpion venom peptide and its derivatives were chosen for assessment of anticancer activities. BmKn-2 was identified as the most effective against human oral squamous cells carcinoma cell line (HSC-4) by screening assays with an IC50 value of 29 μg/ml. The BmKn-2 peptide killed HSC-4 cells through induction of apoptosis, as confirmed by phase contrast microscopy and RT-PCR techniques. Typical morphological features of apoptosis including cell shrinkage and rounding characteristics were observed in treated HSC-4 cells. The results were further confirmed by increased expression of pro-apoptotic genes such as caspase-3, -7, and -9 but decrease mRNA level of anti-apoptotic BCL-2 in BmKn-2 treated cells, as determined by RT-PCR assay. In summary, the BmKn-2 scorpion venom peptide demonstrates specific membrane binding, growth inhibition and apoptogenic activity against human oral cancer cells.

  2. Functional evolution of scorpion venom peptides with an inhibitor cystine knot fold.

    PubMed

    Gao, Bin; Harvey, Peta J; Craik, David J; Ronjat, Michel; De Waard, Michel; Zhu, Shunyi

    2013-06-27

    The ICK (inhibitor cystine knot) defines a large superfamily of polypeptides with high structural stability and functional diversity. Here, we describe a new scorpion venom-derived K+ channel toxin (named λ-MeuKTx-1) with an ICK fold through gene cloning, chemical synthesis, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, Ca2+ release measurements and electrophysiological recordings. λ-MeuKTx-1 was found to adopt an ICK fold that contains a three-strand anti-parallel β-sheet and a 310-helix. Functionally, this peptide selectively inhibits the Drosophila Shaker K+ channel but is not capable of activating skeletal-type Ca2+ release channels/ryanodine receptors, which is remarkably different from the previously known scorpion venom ICK peptides. The removal of two C-terminal residues of λ-MeuKTx-1 led to the loss of the inhibitory activity on the channel, whereas the C-terminal amidation resulted in the emergence of activity on four mammalian K+ channels accompanied by the loss of activity on the Shaker channel. A combination of structural and pharmacological data allows the recognition of three putative functional sites involved in channel blockade of λ-MeuKTx-1. The presence of a functional dyad in λ-MeuKTx-1 supports functional convergence among scorpion venom peptides with different folds. Furthermore, similarities in precursor organization, exon-intron structure, 3D-fold and function suggest that scorpion venom ICK-type K+ channel inhibitors and Ca2+ release channel activators share a common ancestor and their divergence occurs after speciation between buthidae and non-buthids. The structural and functional characterizations of the first scorpion venom ICK toxin with K+ channel-blocking activity sheds light on functionally divergent and convergent evolution of this conserved scaffold of ancient origin.

  3. Functional evolution of scorpion venom peptides with an inhibitor cystine knot fold

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Bin; Harvey, Peta J.; Craik, David J.; Ronjat, Michel; De Waard, Michel; Zhu, Shunyi

    2013-01-01

    The ICK (inhibitor cystine knot) defines a large superfamily of polypeptides with high structural stability and functional diversity. Here, we describe a new scorpion venom-derived K+ channel toxin (named λ-MeuKTx-1) with an ICK fold through gene cloning, chemical synthesis, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, Ca2+ release measurements and electrophysiological recordings. λ-MeuKTx-1 was found to adopt an ICK fold that contains a three-strand anti-parallel β-sheet and a 310-helix. Functionally, this peptide selectively inhibits the Drosophila Shaker K+ channel but is not capable of activating skeletal-type Ca2+ release channels/ryanodine receptors, which is remarkably different from the previously known scorpion venom ICK peptides. The removal of two C-terminal residues of λ-MeuKTx-1 led to the loss of the inhibitory activity on the channel, whereas the C-terminal amidation resulted in the emergence of activity on four mammalian K+ channels accompanied by the loss of activity on the Shaker channel. A combination of structural and pharmacological data allows the recognition of three putative functional sites involved in channel blockade of λ-MeuKTx-1. The presence of a functional dyad in λ-MeuKTx-1 supports functional convergence among scorpion venom peptides with different folds. Furthermore, similarities in precursor organization, exon–intron structure, 3D-fold and function suggest that scorpion venom ICK-type K+ channel inhibitors and Ca2+ release channel activators share a common ancestor and their divergence occurs after speciation between buthidae and non-buthids. The structural and functional characterizations of the first scorpion venom ICK toxin with K+ channel-blocking activity sheds light on functionally divergent and convergent evolution of this conserved scaffold of ancient origin. PMID:23721518

  4. PTM-driven differential peptide display: survey of peptides containing inter/intra-molecular disulfide bridges in frog venoms.

    PubMed

    Evaristo, Geisa P C; Verhaert, Peter D E M; Pinkse, Martijn W H

    2012-12-21

    Amphibian defensive skin secretions are complex species-specific mixtures of biologically active molecules, including many uncharacterized peptides. Many of these peptides are post-translationally modified and amongst the modifications discovered so far on amphibian defense peptides, disulfide bonds are quite frequently encountered. The presence of this PTM often complicates the MS-based sequencing. Here we demonstrate a method to target peptides containing inter/intra-molecular S-S bonds applying a PTM-driven differential display. Upon reduction of the disulfide bond both molecular mass and retention time of a peptide are altered. Assembling the LC-MS data by plotting the m/z data against retention time generates a peptide display and overlaying peptide displays of untreated and DTT-reduced material yields a differential display. From such an overlay, peptides originally carrying a disulfide bond are recognized due to the shift in both retention time and m/z values, whereas non cystine containing peptides remain unaltered in the differential display. The success of this approach is demonstrated by the visualization of the cystines-containing peptides in the skin secretion of Odorrana schmackeri, Phyllomedusa burmeisteri, Phyllomedusa rohdei, Kassina senegalensis, and Bombina variegata. The venoms from these different species yield complicated differential displays, showing interesting peptides, allowing one to target them for more detailed structural characterization. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Sea anemone venom as a source of insecticidal peptides acting on voltage-gated Na+ channels

    PubMed Central

    Bosmans, Frank; Tytgat, Jan

    2007-01-01

    Sea anemones produce a myriad of toxic peptides and proteins of which a large group acts on voltage-gated Na+ channels. However, in comparison to other organisms, their venoms and toxins are poorly studied. Most of the known voltage-gated Na+ channel toxins isolated from sea anemone venoms act on neurotoxin receptor site 3 and inhibit the inactivation of these channels. Furthermore, it seems that most of these toxins have a distinct preference for crustaceans. Given the close evolutionary relationship between crustaceans and insects, it is not surprising that sea anemone toxins also profoundly affect insect voltage-gated Na+ channels, which constitutes the scope of this review. For this reason, these peptides can be considered as insecticidal lead compounds in the development of insecticides. PMID:17224168

  6. The first report on transcriptome analysis of the venom gland of Iranian scorpion, Hemiscorpius lepturus.

    PubMed

    Kazemi-Lomedasht, Fatemeh; Khalaj, Vahid; Bagheri, Kamran Pooshang; Behdani, Mahdi; Shahbazzadeh, Delavar

    2017-01-01

    Hemiscorpius lepturus scorpion is one of the most venomous members of the Hemiscorpiidae family. H. lepturus is distributed in Iran, Iraq and Yemen. The prevalence and severity of scorpionism is high and health services are not able to control it. Scorpionism in Iran especially in the southern regions (Khuzestan, Sistan and Baluchestan, Hormozgan, Ilam) is one of the main health challenges. Due to the medical and health importance of scorpionism, the focus of various studies has been on the identification of H. lepturus venom components. Nevertheless, until now, only a few percent of H. lepturus venom components have been identified and there is no complete information about the venom components of H. lepturus. The current study reports transcriptome analysis of the venom gland of H. lepturus scorpion. Illumina Next Generation Sequencing results identified venom components of H. lepturus. When compared with other scorpion's venom, the venom of H. lepturus consists of mixtures of peptides, proteins and enzymes such as; phospholipases, metalloproteases, hyaluronidases, potassium channel toxins, calcium channel toxins, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), venom proteins, venom toxins, allergens, La1-like peptides, proteases and scorpine-like peptides. Comparison of identified components of H. lepturus venom was carried out with venom components of reported scorpions and various identities and similarities between them were observed. With transcriptome analysis of H. lepturus venom unique sequences, coding venom components were investigated. Moreover, our study confirmed transcript expression of previously reported peptides; Hemitoxin, Hemicalcin and Hemilipin. The gene sequences of venom components were investigated employing transcriptome analysis of venom gland of H. lepturus. In summary, new bioactive molecules identified in this study, provide basis for venomics studies of scorpions of Hemiscorpiidae family and promises development of novel biotherapeutics

  7. In vitro diagnosis of Hymenoptera venom allergy and further development of component resolved diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Ebo, Didier G; Van Vaerenbergh, Matthias; de Graaf, Dirk C; Bridts, Chris H; De Clerck, Luc S; Sabato, Vito

    2014-03-01

    For most people Hymenoptera stings result in transient and bothersome local inflammatory responses characterized by pain, itching, redness and swelling. In contrast, for those presenting an IgE-mediated allergic reaction, a re-sting may cause life-threatening reactions. In such patients, correct diagnosis is an absolute prerequisite for effective management, i.e. venom-specific immunotherapy. Generally, identification of the offending insect involves a detailed history along with quantification of venom-specific IgE antibodies and venom skin tests. Unfortunately, due to uncertainties associated with both tests, correct diagnosis is not always straightforward. This review summarizes the potentials and limitations of the various in vitro tests that are currently being used in the diagnosis of Hymenoptera venom allergy. Particular attention is paid to the potential of novel cellular tests such as basophil activation tests and component-resolved diagnosis with recombinant venom allergens in the diagnostic approach of patients with difficult diagnosis, i.e. cases in whom traditional venom specific IgE and skin tests yield equivocal or negative results. Finally, this review also covers the recent discoveries in the field of proteome research of Hymenoptera venoms and the selection of cell types for recombinant allergens production.

  8. 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.

  9. Peptides of arachnid venoms with insecticidal activity targeting sodium channels.

    PubMed

    De Lima, M E; Figueiredo, S G; Pimenta, A M C; Santos, D M; Borges, M H; Cordeiro, M N; Richardson, M; Oliveira, L C; Stankiewicz, M; Pelhate, M

    2007-01-01

    Arachnids have a venom apparatus and secrete a complex chemical mixture of low molecular mass organic molecules, enzymes and polypeptide neurotoxins designed to paralyze or kill their prey. Most of these toxins are specific for membrane voltage-gated sodium channels, although some may also target calcium or potassium channels and other membrane receptors. Scorpions and spiders have provided the greatest number of the neurotoxins studied so far, for which, a good number of primary and 3D structures have been obtained. Structural features, comprising a folding that determines a similar spatial distribution of charged and hydrophobic side chains of specific amino acids, are strikingly common among the toxins from spider and scorpion venoms. Such similarities are, in turn, the key feature to target and bind these proteins to ionic channels. The search for new insecticidal compounds, as well as the study of their modes of action, constitutes a current approach to rationally design novel insecticides. This goal tends to be more relevant if the resistance to the conventional chemical products is considered. A promising alternative seems to be the biotechnological approach using toxin-expressing recombinant baculovirus. Spider and scorpion toxins having insecticidal activity are reviewed here considering their structures, toxicities and action mechanisms in sodium channels of excitable membranes.

  10. Production of antibacterial peptide from bee venom via a new strategy for heterologous expression.

    PubMed

    Hou, Chunsheng; Guo, Liqiong; Lin, Junfang; You, Linfeng; Wu, Wuhua

    2014-12-01

    Honey bee is important economic insect that not only pollinates fruits and crops but also provides products with various physiological activities. Bee venom is a functional agent that is widely applied in clinical treatment and pharmacy. Secapin is one of these agents that have a significant role in therapy. The functions of secapin from the bee venom have been documented, but little information is known about its heterologous expression under natural condition. Moreover, few scholars verified experimentally the functions of secapin from bee venom in vitro. In this study, we successfully constructed a heterologous expression vector, which is different from conventional expression system. A transgenic approach was established for transformation of secapin gene from the venom of Apis mellifera carnica (Ac-sec) into the edible fungi, Coprinus cinereus. Ac-sec was encoded by a 234 bp nucleotide that contained a signal peptide domain and two potential phosphorylation sites. The sequence exhibited highly homology with various secapins characterized from honey bee and related species. Southern blot data indicated that Ac-sec was present as single or multiple copy loci in the C. cinereus genome. By co-transformation and double-layer active assay, Ac-sec was expressed successfully in C. cinereus and the antibacterial activity of the recombinants was identified, showing notable antibacterial activities on different bacteria. Although Ac-sec is from the venom of Apidae, phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that Ac-sec was more closely related to that of Vespid than to bee species from Apidae. The molecular characteristics of Ac-sec and the potential roles of small peptides in biology were discussed.

  11. Protection against the toxic effects of Loxosceles intermedia spider venom elicited by mimotope peptides.

    PubMed

    de Moura, J; Felicori, L; Moreau, V; Guimarães, G; Dias-Lopes, C; Molina, L; Alvarenga, L M; Fernandes, P; Frézard, F; Ribeiro, R R; Fleury, C; Nguyen, C; Molina, F; Granier, C; Chávez-Olórtegui, C

    2011-10-19

    The venom of Loxosceles intermedia (Li) spiders is responsible for cutaneous lesions and other clinical manifestations. We previously reported that the monoclonal antibody LimAb7 can neutralize the dermonecrotic activity of crude Li venom. In this study, we observed that this antibody recognizes several proteins from the venom dermonecrotic fraction (DNF), including LiD1. Identifying the epitope of such a neutralizing antibody could help designing immunogens for producing therapeutic sera or vaccination approaches. To this aim, two sets of 25- and 15-mer overlapping peptides that cover the complete amino acid sequence of LiD1 were synthesized using the SPOT technique. None of them was recognized by LimAb7, suggesting that the epitope is discontinuous. Then, the screening of four peptide phage-display libraries yielded four possible epitope mimics that, however, did not show any obvious similarity with the LiD1 sequence. These mimotopes, together with a 3D model of LiD1, were used to predict with the MIMOP bioinformatic tool the putative epitope region (residues C197, Y224, W225, T226, D228, K229, R230, T232 and Y248 of LiD1) recognized by LimAb7. This analysis and the results of alanine-scanning experiments highlighted a few residues (such as W225 and D228) that are found in the active site of different SMases D and that may be important for LiD1 enzymatic activity. Finally, the only mimotope NCNKNDHLFACW that interacts with LimAb7 by SPOT and its analog NSNKNDHLFASW were used as immunogens in rabbits. The resulting antibodies could neutralize some of the biological effects induced by crude Li venom, demonstrating a mimotope-induced protection against L. intermedia venom.

  12. Defensin-like peptide-2 from platypus venom: member of a class of peptides with a distinct structural fold.

    PubMed Central

    Torres, A M; de Plater, G M; Doverskog, M; Birinyi-Strachan, L C; Nicholson, G M; Gallagher, C H; Kuchel, P W

    2000-01-01

    The venom of the male Australian duck-billed platypus contains a family of four polypeptides of appox. 5 kDa, which are referred to as defensin-like peptides (DLPs). They are unique in that their amino acid sequences have no significant similarities to those of any known peptides; however, the tertiary structure of one of them, DLP-1, has recently been shown to be similar to beta-defensin-12 and to the sodium neurotoxin peptide ShI (Stichodactyla helianthus neurotoxin I). Although DLPs are the major peptides in the platypus venom, little is known about their biological roles. In this study, we determined the three-dimensional structure of DLP-2 by NMR spectroscopy, with the aim of gaining insights into the natural function of the DLPs in platypus venom. The DLP-2 structure was found to incorporate a short helix that spans residues 9-12, and an antiparallel beta-sheet defined by residues 15-18 and 37-40. The overall fold and cysteine-pairing pattern of DLP-2 were found to be similar to those of DLP-1, and hence beta-defensin-12; however, the sequence similarities between the three molecules are relatively small. The distinct structural fold of the DLP-1, DLP-2, and beta-defensin-12 is based upon several key residues that include six cysteines. DLP-3 and DLP-4 are also likely to be folded similarly since they have high sequence similarity with DLP-2. The DLPs, and beta-defensin-12 may thus be grouped together into a class of polypeptide molecules which have a common or very similar global fold. The fact that the DLPs did not display antimicrobial, myotoxic, or cell-growth-promoting activities implies that the nature of the side chains in this group of peptides is likely to play an important role in defining the biological function(s). PMID:10839998

  13. Ammodytoxin content of Vipera ammodytes ammodytes venom as a prognostic factor for venom immunogenicity.

    PubMed

    Halassy, Beata; Habjanec, Lidija; Balija, Maja Lang; Kurtović, Tihana; Brgles, Marija; Krizaj, Igor

    2010-05-01

    Venoms are complex mixtures of proteins, peptides and other compounds whose biochemical and biological variability has been clearly demonstrated. These molecules have been used as antigens for immunization of anti-venom-producing animals (horses or sheep). Ammodytoxins (Atx) are potently neurotoxic compounds, and the most toxic compounds isolated so far from the Vipera ammodytes ammodytes (Vaa) venom. Recently we have shown that the level of antibodies specific to Vaa venom's most toxic component, ammodytoxin A (AtxA), (anti-AtxA IgG) in Vaa venom immunized rabbit sera highly correlated to the venom toxicity-neutralization potential of these sera. Here we investigated whether Atx content of Vaa venom could influence the outcome of immunization procedure. The novel ELISA was developed for precise determination of Atx content and Atx was quantified in venom samples used for immunization of rabbits. We clearly showed that animals immunized with the venom containing lower amount of Atx produced sera with significantly lower venom toxicity-neutralizing power and, vice versa, animals immunized with venoms containing higher amount of Atx produced sera with higher venom toxicity-neutralizing ability. Thus, the content of Atx in Vaa venom is a relevant parameter of its suitability in the production of highly protective Vaa anti-venom. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Selective ruthenium labeling of the tryptophan residue in the bee venom Peptide melittin.

    PubMed

    Perekalin, Dmitry S; Novikov, Valentin V; Pavlov, Alexander A; Ivanov, Igor A; Anisimova, Natalia Yu; Kopylov, Alexey N; Volkov, Dmitry S; Seregina, Irina F; Bolshov, Michail A; Kudinov, Alexander R

    2015-03-23

    Melittin is a membrane-active peptide from bee venom with promising antimicrobial and anticancer activity. Herein we report on a simple and selective method for labeling of the tryptophan residue in melittin by the organometallic fragment [(C5 H5 )Ru](+) in aqueous solution and in air. Ruthenium coordination does not disturb the secondary structure of the peptide (as verified by 2D NMR spectroscopy), but changes the pattern of its intermolecular interactions resulting in an 11-fold decrease of hemolytic activity. The high stability of the organometallic conjugate allowed the establishment of the biodistribution of the labeled melittin in mice by inductively coupled plasma MS analysis of ruthenium.

  15. Characterization and Recombinant Expression of Terebrid Venom Peptide from Terebra guttata

    PubMed Central

    Moon, John; Gorson, Juliette; Wright, Mary Elizabeth; Yee, Laurel; Khawaja, Samer; Shin, Hye Young; Karma, Yasmine; Musunri, Rajeeva Lochan; Yun, Michelle; Holford, Mande

    2016-01-01

    Venom peptides found in terebrid snails expand the toolbox of active compounds that can be applied to investigate cellular physiology and can be further developed as future therapeutics. However, unlike other predatory organisms, such as snakes, terebrids produce very small quantities of venom, making it difficult to obtain sufficient amounts for biochemical characterization. Here, we describe the first recombinant expression and characterization of terebrid peptide, teretoxin Tgu6.1, from Terebra guttata. Tgu6.1 is a novel forty-four amino acid teretoxin peptide with a VI/VII cysteine framework (C–C–CC–C–C) similar to O, M and I conotoxin superfamilies. A ligation-independent cloning strategy with an ompT protease deficient strain of E. coli was employed to recombinantly produce Tgu6.1. Thioredoxin was introduced in the plasmid to combat disulfide folding and solubility issues. Specifically Histidine-6 tag and Ni-NTA affinity chromatography were applied as a purification method, and enterokinase was used as a specific cleavage protease to effectively produce high yields of folded Tgu6.1 without extra residues to the primary sequence. The recombinantly-expressed Tgu6.1 peptide was bioactive, displaying a paralytic effect when injected into a Nereis virens polychaete bioassay. The recombinant strategy described to express Tgu6.1 can be applied to produce high yields of other disulfide-rich peptides. PMID:26950153

  16. Melittin, a honeybee venom-derived antimicrobial peptide, may target methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

    PubMed Central

    CHOI, JI HAE; JANG, A YEUNG; LIN, SHUNMEI; LIM, SANGYONG; KIM, DONGHO; PARK, KYUNGHO; HAN, SANG-MI; YEO, JOO-HONG; SEO, HO SEONG

    2015-01-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is difficult to treat using available antibiotic agents. Honeybee venom has been widely used as an oriental treatment for several inflammatory diseases and bacterial infections. The venom contains predominantly biologically active compounds, however, the therapeutic effects of such materials when used to treat MRSA infections have not been investigated extensively. The present study evaluated bee venom and its principal active component, melittin, in terms of their antibacterial activities and in vivo protection against MRSA infections. In vitro, bee venom and melittin exhibited comparable levels of antibacterial activity, which was more marked against MRSA strains, compared with other Gram-positive bacteria. When MRSA-infected mice were treated with bee venom or melittin, only the latter animals were successfully rescued from MRSA- induced bacteraemia or exhibited recovery from MRSA-infected skin wounds. Together, the data of the present study demonstrated for the first time, to the best of our knowledge, that melittin may be used as a promising antimicrobial agent to enhance the healing of MRSA-induced wounds. PMID:26330195

  17. Snake Venom Components and Their Cross Reactivity: A Short Review

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-10-01

    within the suborder Serpentes: the Uiperidae (old world and pit vipers), the Elapidae (a large and varied group which includes cobras, coral snakes...attempt to classify the toxic proteins of Elapidae and Hydrophi- idae venoms. Toxicon 11 333-340, 1973. 5. Boquet, P. Handbook of Experimental

  18. Anti-HIV-1 Activity of a New Scorpion Venom Peptide Derivative Kn2-7

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yaoqing; Cao, Luyang; Zhong, Maohua; Zhang, Yan; Han, Chen; Li, Qiaoli; Yang, Jingyi; Zhou, Dihan; Shi, Wei; He, Benxia; Liu, Fang; Yu, Jie; Sun, Ying; Cao, Yuan; Li, Yaoming; Li, Wenxin; Guo, Deying; Cao, Zhijian; Yan, Huimin

    2012-01-01

    For over 30 years, HIV/AIDS has wreaked havoc in the world. In the absence of an effective vaccine for HIV, development of new anti-HIV agents is urgently needed. We previously identified the antiviral activities of the scorpion-venom-peptide-derived mucroporin-M1 for three RNA viruses (measles viruses, SARS-CoV, and H5N1). In this investigation, a panel of scorpion venom peptides and their derivatives were designed and chosen for assessment of their anti-HIV activities. A new scorpion venom peptide derivative Kn2-7 was identified as the most potent anti-HIV-1 peptide by screening assays with an EC50 value of 2.76 µg/ml (1.65 µM) and showed low cytotoxicity to host cells with a selective index (SI) of 13.93. Kn2-7 could inhibit all members of a standard reference panel of HIV-1 subtype B pseudotyped virus (PV) with CCR5-tropic and CXCR4-tropic NL4-3 PV strain. Furthermore, it also inhibited a CXCR4-tropic replication-competent strain of HIV-1 subtype B virus. Binding assay of Kn2-7 to HIV-1 PV by Octet Red system suggested the anti-HIV-1 activity was correlated with a direct interaction between Kn2-7 and HIV-1 envelope. These results demonstrated that peptide Kn2-7 could inhibit HIV-1 by direct interaction with viral particle and may become a promising candidate compound for further development of microbicide against HIV-1. PMID:22536342

  19. Extending the honey bee venome with the antimicrobial peptide apidaecin and a protein resembling wasp antigen 5.

    PubMed

    Van Vaerenbergh, M; Cardoen, D; Formesyn, E M; Brunain, M; Van Driessche, G; Blank, S; Spillner, E; Verleyen, P; Wenseleers, T; Schoofs, L; Devreese, B; de Graaf, D C

    2013-04-01

    Honey bee venom is a complex mixture of toxic proteins and peptides. In the present study we tried to extend our knowledge of the venom composition using two different approaches. First, worker venom was analysed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and this revealed the antimicrobial peptide apidaecin for the first time in such samples. Its expression in the venom gland was confirmed by reverse transcription PCR and by a peptidomic analysis of the venom apparatus tissue. Second, genome mining revealed a list of proteins with resemblance to known insect allergens or venom toxins, one of which showed homology to proteins of the antigen 5 (Ag5)/Sol i 3 cluster. It was demonstrated that the honey bee Ag5-like gene is expressed by venom gland tissue of winter bees but not of summer bees. Besides this seasonal variation, it shows an interesting spatial expression pattern with additional production in the hypopharyngeal glands, the brains and the midgut. Finally, our immunoblot study revealed that both synthetic apidaecin and the Ag5-like recombinant from bacteria evoke no humoral activity in beekeepers. Also, no IgG4-based cross-reactivity was detected between the honey bee Ag5-like protein and its yellow jacket paralogue Ves v 5. © 2013 Royal Entomological Society.

  20. Characterization of a novel cDNA encoding a short venom peptide derived from venom gland of scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch: trans-splicing may play an important role in the diversification of scorpion venom peptides.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Xian-Chun; Luo, Feng; Li, Wen-Xin

    2006-04-01

    A novel cDNA clone (named BmKT-u) which is a hybrid molecule of the 5'-terminal region of BmKT' cDNA and the 3'-terminal region of an undocumented cDNA (named BmKu), was isolated from a cDNA library made from the venom gland of scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch. BmKT-u codes for a 30 amino acid residue precursor peptide composed of a 20-residue signal sequence, and a putative 10-residue novel mature peptide. Northern blot hybridization showed BmKT-u cDNA is generated from a transcript. RT-PCR experiments excluded the possibility that BmKT-u cDNA is an artifact generated during reverse transcription. Genomic amplifications performed with three pairs of BmKT-u gene-specific primers showed the BmKT-u gene does not exist in the genome of the scorpion as a single transcriptional unit. Genomic cloning for BmKT' showed that the BmKT' gene contains an intron of 509 bp inserted into the region encoding the C-terminal region of the signal peptide. A sequence alignment comparison of the cDNA of BmKT-u with genomic BmKT' revealed that the junction site of the hybrid molecule is located at the 5'-splicing site of the intron. The data suggest that the BmKT-u transcript is a naturally occurring mature mRNA that is generated by trans-splicing. Trans-splicing may contribute to the diversity of venom peptides from venomous animals.

  1. High-throughput expression of animal venom toxins in Escherichia coli to generate a large library of oxidized disulphide-reticulated peptides for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Turchetto, Jeremy; Sequeira, Ana Filipa; Ramond, Laurie; Peysson, Fanny; Brás, Joana L A; Saez, Natalie J; Duhoo, Yoan; Blémont, Marilyne; Guerreiro, Catarina I P D; Quinton, Loic; De Pauw, Edwin; Gilles, Nicolas; Darbon, Hervé; Fontes, Carlos M G A; Vincentelli, Renaud

    2017-01-17

    Animal venoms are complex molecular cocktails containing a wide range of biologically active disulphide-reticulated peptides that target, with high selectivity and efficacy, a variety of membrane receptors. Disulphide-reticulated peptides have evolved to display improved specificity, low immunogenicity and to show much higher resistance to degradation than linear peptides. These properties make venom peptides attractive candidates for drug development. However, recombinant expression of reticulated peptides containing disulphide bonds is challenging, especially when associated with the production of large libraries of bioactive molecules for drug screening. To date, as an alternative to artificial synthetic chemical libraries, no comprehensive recombinant libraries of natural venom peptides are accessible for high-throughput screening to identify novel therapeutics. In the accompanying paper an efficient system for the expression and purification of oxidized disulphide-reticulated venom peptides in Escherichia coli is described. Here we report the development of a high-throughput automated platform, that could be adapted to the production of other families, to generate the largest ever library of recombinant venom peptides. The peptides were produced in the periplasm of E. coli using redox-active DsbC as a fusion tag, thus allowing the efficient formation of correctly folded disulphide bridges. TEV protease was used to remove fusion tags and recover the animal venom peptides in the native state. Globally, within nine months, out of a total of 4992 synthetic genes encoding a representative diversity of venom peptides, a library containing 2736 recombinant disulphide-reticulated peptides was generated. The data revealed that the animal venom peptides produced in the bacterial host were natively folded and, thus, are putatively biologically active. Overall this study reveals that high-throughput expression of animal venom peptides in E. coli can generate large

  2. Rapid expansion of the protein disulfide isomerase gene family facilitates the folding of venom peptides

    PubMed Central

    Safavi-Hemami, Helena; Li, Qing; Jackson, Ronneshia L.; Song, Albert S.; Boomsma, Wouter; Bandyopadhyay, Pradip K.; Gruber, Christian W.; Purcell, Anthony W.; Yandell, Mark; Olivera, Baldomero M.

    2016-01-01

    Formation of correct disulfide bonds in the endoplasmic reticulum is a crucial step for folding proteins destined for secretion. Protein disulfide isomerases (PDIs) play a central role in this process. We report a previously unidentified, hypervariable family of PDIs that represents the most diverse gene family of oxidoreductases described in a single genus to date. These enzymes are highly expressed specifically in the venom glands of predatory cone snails, animals that synthesize a remarkably diverse set of cysteine-rich peptide toxins (conotoxins). Enzymes in this PDI family, termed conotoxin-specific PDIs, significantly and differentially accelerate the kinetics of disulfide-bond formation of several conotoxins. Our results are consistent with a unique biological scenario associated with protein folding: The diversification of a family of foldases can be correlated with the rapid evolution of an unprecedented diversity of disulfide-rich structural domains expressed by venomous marine snails in the superfamily Conoidea. PMID:26957604

  3. Antimicrobial peptides from arachnid venoms and their microbicidal activity in the presence of commercial antibiotics.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Francia; Villegas, Elba; Espino-Solis, Gerardo Pavel; Rodriguez, Alexis; Paniagua-Solis, Jorge F; Sandoval-Lopez, Gabriel; Possani, Lourival D; Corzo, Gerardo

    2013-01-01

    Two antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), named La47 and Css54, were isolated from the venom of the spider Lachesana sp. and from the scorpion Centruroides suffusus suffusus, respectively. The primary structures of both La47 and Css54 were determined using N-terminal sequencing and mass spectrometry. La47 is identical to the AMP latarcin 3a obtained previously from the venom of the spider Lachesana tarabaevi, but the primary structure of Css54 is unique having 60% identities to the AMP ponericin-W2 from the venom of the ant Pachycondyla goeldii. Both La47 and Css54 have typical α-helix secondary structures in hydrophobic mimicking environments. The biological activities of both La47 and Css54 were compared with the AMP Pin2 isolated from the venom of the scorpion Pandinus imperator. La47 has lower antimicrobial and hemolytic activities compared with Css54 and Pin2. In addition, La47 and Pin2 were evaluated in the presence of the commercial antibiotics, chloramphenicol, ampicillin, novobiocin, streptomycin and kanamycin. Interestingly, the best antimicrobial combinations were obtained with mixtures of La47 and Pin2 with the antibiotics chloramphenicol, streptomycin and kanamycin, respectively. Furthermore, the novel peptide Css54 was evaluated in the presence of antibiotics used for the treatment of tuberculosis, isoniazid, rifampicin, pyrazinamide and ethambutol. Although the mixtures of Css54 with isoniazid, pyrazinamide or ethambutol inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, the best effect was found with rifampicin. Overall, these data show a motivating outlook for potential clinical treatments of bacterial infections using AMPs and commercial antibiotics.

  4. Novel venom gene discovery in the platypus

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Hannahpep: A novel fibrinolytic peptide from the Indian King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) venom.

    PubMed

    Gomes, A; De, P

    1999-12-20

    A novel fibrinolytic peptide (Hannahpep) was isolated and purified from the venom of the Indian King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) by thin-layer chromatography followed by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. The MW of the peptide was found to be 610 Da and the amino acid sequence of Hannahpep was determined to be Arg, His, Ala, Arg, His, Asp. Hannahpep produced defibrinogenating activity in male albino mice. It exhibited significant fibrinolytic and fibrinogenolytic activity in vitro. Hannahpep showed plasma-anticlotting activity. However, it lacked hemolytic, hemorrhagic, or phospholipase activity. This peptide may have possible therapeutic application in the management of thrombosis or occlusion of a blood vessel. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

  6. Delta-conotoxin GmVIA, a novel peptide from the venom of Conus gloriamaris.

    PubMed

    Shon, K J; Hasson, A; Spira, M E; Cruz, L J; Gray, W R; Olivera, B M

    1994-09-27

    A novel peptide toxin, delta-conotoxin GmVIA, was purified from the venom of Conus gloriamaris, a mollusc-hunting snail. It consists of 29 amino acids, including six Cys residues: [sequence: see text] The pattern of disulfide connectivity (4-19, 12-24, and 18-29) is the same as for the omega-conotoxins, which are Ca2+ channel ligands. However, the peptide does not compete with omega-conotoxin for binding to membrane preparations from frog, rat, and chick brain. Instead, initial electrophysiological results suggest that the peptide induces action potential broadening in molluscan neurons by slowing down Na+ current inactivation. Synthetic delta-conotoxin GmVIA was prepared by solid-phase methods and appeared identical in all respects to the natural material. The chromatographic behavior of native and reduced delta-conotoxins is quite remarkable, suggesting that the disulfides form a core which forces hydrophobic residues to point out toward the solvent.

  7. Contryphan Genes and Mature Peptides in the Venom of Nine Cone Snail Species by Transcriptomic and Mass Spectrometric Analysis.

    PubMed

    Vijayasarathy, Marimuthu; Basheer, Soorej M; Franklin, Jayaseelan Benjamin; Balaram, Padmanabhan

    2017-02-03

    The occurrence of contryphans, a class of single-disulfide-bond-containing peptides, is demonstrated by the analysis of the venom of nine species of cone snails. Ten full gene sequences and two partial gene sequences coding for contryphan precursor proteins have been identified by next-generation sequencing and compared with available sequences. The occurrence of mature peptides in isolated venom has been demonstrated by LC-ESI-MS/MS analysis. De novo sequencing of reduced, alkylated contryphans from C. frigidus and C. araneosus provides evidence of sequence variation and post-translational modification, notably gamma carboxylation of glutamic acid. The characterization of Fr965 (C. frigidus) provides a rare example of a sequence lacking Pro at position 5 in the disulfide loop. The widespread occurrence of contryphan genes and mature peptides in the venom of diverse cone snails is suggestive of their potential biological significance.

  8. A novel amphipathic linear peptide with both insect toxicity and antimicrobial activity from the venom of the scorpion Isometrus maculatus.

    PubMed

    Miyashita, Masahiro; Sakai, Atsushi; Matsushita, Nobuto; Hanai, Yosuke; Nakagawa, Yoshiaki; Miyagawa, Hisashi

    2010-01-01

    Scorpion venoms are composed of a number of peptides, many of which show neurotoxicity. In addition to these neurotoxins, several antimicrobial peptides have also been isolated from the venoms. The scorpion Isometrus maculatus, belonging to the Buthidae family, is found in many tropical regions including Japan, but little attention has been paid to its biological activity and chemical composition. In this study, we isolated a novel insect toxin, Im-1, by bioassay-guided fractionation of the venom of I. maculatus. Rapid and reversible paralysis was observed after injection of Im-1 into crickets. Im-1 consists of 56 amino acids, and is predicted to form an amphipathic alpha-helix. Since Im-1 shares sequence similarity to an antimicrobial peptide, parabutoporin, we evaluated its effects on several bacterial strains and found that it showed an antimicrobial activity profile similar to parabutoporin. This suggests that Im-1 and parabutoporin exert their antimicrobial effects through similar mechanisms.

  9. Target promiscuity and heterogeneous effects of tarantula venom peptides affecting Na+ and K+ ion channels.

    PubMed

    Redaelli, Elisa; Cassulini, Rita Restano; Silva, Deyanira Fuentes; Clement, Herlinda; Schiavon, Emanuele; Zamudio, Fernando Z; Odell, George; Arcangeli, Annarosa; Clare, Jeffrey J; Alagón, Alejandro; de la Vega, Ricardo C Rodríguez; Possani, Lourival D; Wanke, Enzo

    2010-02-05

    Venom-derived peptide modulators of ion channel gating are regarded as essential tools for understanding the molecular motions that occur during the opening and closing of ion channels. In this study, we present the characterization of five spider toxins on 12 human voltage-gated ion channels, following observations about the target promiscuity of some spider toxins and the ongoing revision of their "canonical" gating-modifying mode of action. The peptides were purified de novo from the venom of Grammostola rosea tarantulas, and their sequences were confirmed by Edman degradation and mass spectrometry analysis. Their effects on seven tetrodotoxin-sensitive Na(+) channels, the three human ether-à-go-go (hERG)-related K(+) channels, and two human Shaker-related K(+) channels were extensively characterized by electrophysiological techniques. All the peptides inhibited ion conduction through all the Na(+) channels tested, although with distinctive patterns. The peptides also affected the three pharmaceutically relevant hERG isoforms differently. At higher concentrations, all peptides also modified the gating of the Na(+) channels by shifting the activation to more positive potentials, whereas more complex effects were recorded on hERG channels. No effects were evident on the two Shaker-related K(+) channels at concentrations well above the IC(50) value for the affected channels. Given the sequence diversity of the tested peptides, we propose that tarantula toxins should be considered both as multimode and target-promiscuous ion channel modulators; both features should not be ignored when extracting mechanistic interpretations about ion channel gating. Our observations could also aid in future structure-function studies and might help the development of novel ion channel-specific drugs.

  10. Target Promiscuity and Heterogeneous Effects of Tarantula Venom Peptides Affecting Na+ and K+ Ion Channels*

    PubMed Central

    Redaelli, Elisa; Cassulini, Rita Restano; Silva, Deyanira Fuentes; Clement, Herlinda; Schiavon, Emanuele; Zamudio, Fernando Z.; Odell, George; Arcangeli, Annarosa; Clare, Jeffrey J.; Alagón, Alejandro; de la Vega, Ricardo C. Rodríguez; Possani, Lourival D.; Wanke, Enzo

    2010-01-01

    Venom-derived peptide modulators of ion channel gating are regarded as essential tools for understanding the molecular motions that occur during the opening and closing of ion channels. In this study, we present the characterization of five spider toxins on 12 human voltage-gated ion channels, following observations about the target promiscuity of some spider toxins and the ongoing revision of their “canonical” gating-modifying mode of action. The peptides were purified de novo from the venom of Grammostola rosea tarantulas, and their sequences were confirmed by Edman degradation and mass spectrometry analysis. Their effects on seven tetrodotoxin-sensitive Na+ channels, the three human ether-à-go-go (hERG)-related K+ channels, and two human Shaker-related K+ channels were extensively characterized by electrophysiological techniques. All the peptides inhibited ion conduction through all the Na+ channels tested, although with distinctive patterns. The peptides also affected the three pharmaceutically relevant hERG isoforms differently. At higher concentrations, all peptides also modified the gating of the Na+ channels by shifting the activation to more positive potentials, whereas more complex effects were recorded on hERG channels. No effects were evident on the two Shaker-related K+ channels at concentrations well above the IC50 value for the affected channels. Given the sequence diversity of the tested peptides, we propose that tarantula toxins should be considered both as multimode and target-promiscuous ion channel modulators; both features should not be ignored when extracting mechanistic interpretations about ion channel gating. Our observations could also aid in future structure-function studies and might help the development of novel ion channel-specific drugs. PMID:19955179

  11. The Spider Venom Peptide Lycosin-II Has Potent Antimicrobial Activity against Clinically Isolated Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yongjun; Wang, Ling; Yang, Huali; Xiao, Haoliang; Farooq, Athar; Liu, Zhonghua; Hu, Min; Shi, Xiaoliu

    2016-01-01

    Antimicrobial peptides have been accepted as excellent candidates for developing novel antibiotics against drug-resistant bacteria. Recent studies indicate that spider venoms are the source for the identification of novel antimicrobial peptides. In the present study, we isolated and characterized an antibacterial peptide named lycosin-II from the venom of the spider Lycosa singoriensis. It contains 21 amino acid residue lacking cysteine residues and forms a typical linear amphipathic and cationic α-helical conformation. Lycosin-II displays potent bacteriostatic effect on the tested drug-resistant bacterial strains isolated from hospital patients, including multidrug-resistant A. baumannii, which has presented a huge challenge for the infection therapy. The inhibitory ability of lycosin-II might derive from its binding to cell membrane, because Mg2+ could compete with the binding sites to reduce the bacteriostatic potency of lycosin-II. Our data suggest that lycosin-II might be a lead in the development of novel antibiotics for curing drug-resistant bacterial infections. PMID:27128941

  12. 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.

  13. Orthogonal separation and identification of long-chain peptides from scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch venom by using two-dimensional mixed-mode reversed phase-reversed phase chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Xu, Junyan; Zhang, Xiuli; Guo, Zhimou; Yan, Jingyu; Yu, Long; Li, Xiuling; Xue, Xingya; Liang, Xinmiao

    2013-03-21

    Peptide components of scorpion venom have been employed as useful pharmacological tools in the study of ion channel function. The isolation of individual components is necessary for determination of their biological significance. Here, we have described a novel reversed phase (RP)/ion exchange stationary phase, Click oligo ethylene glycol (Click OEG), and the chromatographic efficiency of its mixed-mode sorbent in peptide separation experiments. The Click OEG presents a mixed-mode RP/weak anion-exchange type stationary phase at pH 3.5 and mixed-mode RP/weak cation-exchange type stationary phase at pH 6.0, and it was suitable for separation of long-chain peptides in scorpion venom. Subsequently, a two dimensional mixed-mode RP-RP system based Click OEG and C18 with different pH values in two dimensions was developed for orthogonal separation of scorpion venom. Furthermore, two fractions were analyzed in depth, and 11 long-chain peptides were purified and sequences were identified by using tandem mass spectrometry incorporating the tryptic approach. Among these, we isolated six novel peptides including one peptide with a new sequence and five transcript-level peptides, and speculated on their possible bioactivities.

  14. Substrate specificity of platypus venom L-to-D-peptide isomerase.

    PubMed

    Bansal, Paramjit S; Torres, Allan M; Crossett, Ben; Wong, Karen K Y; Koh, Jennifer M S; Geraghty, Dominic P; Vandenberg, Jamie I; Kuchel, Philip W

    2008-04-04

    The L-to-D-peptide isomerase from the venom of the platypus (Ornithorhyncus anatinus) is the first such enzyme to be reported for a mammal. In delineating its catalytic mechanism and broader roles in the animal, its substrate specificity was explored. We used N-terminal segments of defensin-like peptides DLP-2 and DLP-4 and natriuretic peptide OvCNP from the venom as substrates. The DLP analogues IMFsrs and ImFsrs (srs is a solubilizing chain; lowercase letters denote D-amino acid) were effective substrates for the isomerase; it appears to recognize the N-terminal tripeptide sequence Ile-Xaa-Phe-. A suite of 26 mutants of these hexapeptides was synthesized by replacing the second residue (Met) with another amino acid, viz. Ala, alpha-aminobutyric acid, Ile, Leu, Lys, norleucine, Phe, Tyr, and Val. It was shown that mutant peptides incorporating norleucine and Phe are substrates and exhibit L- or D-amino acid isomerization, but mutant peptides that contain residues with shorter, beta-branched or long side chains with polar terminal groups, viz. Ala, alpha-aminobutyric acid, Ile, Val, Leu, Lys, and Tyr, respectively, are not substrates. It was demonstrated that at least three N-terminal amino acid residues are absolutely essential for L-to-D-isomerization; furthermore, the third amino acid must be a Phe residue. None of the hexapeptides based on LLH, the first three residues of OvCNP, were substrates. A consistent 2-base mechanism is proposed for the isomerization; abstraction of a proton by 1 base is concomitant with delivery of a proton by the conjugate acid of a second base.

  15. Inhibitory activity and mechanism of two scorpion venom peptides against herpes simplex virus type 1.

    PubMed

    Hong, Wei; Li, Tian; Song, Yu; Zhang, Runhong; Zeng, Zhengyang; Han, Shisong; Zhang, Xianzheng; Wu, Yingliang; Li, Wenxin; Cao, Zhijian

    2014-02-01

    Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is a widespread human pathogen that causes severe diseases, but there are not effective and safe drugs in clinical therapy besides acyclovir (ACV) and related nucleoside analogs. In this study, two new venom peptides from the scorpion Heterometrus petersii were identified with effective inhibitory effect on HSV-1 infection in vitro. Both Hp1036 and Hp1239 peptides exhibited potent virucidal activities against HSV-1 (EC50=0.43±0.09 and 0.41±0.06μM, respectively) and effective inhibitory effects when added at the viral attachment (EC50=2.87±0.16 and 5.73±0.61μM, respectively), entry (EC50=4.29±0.35 and 4.32±0.47μM, respectively) and postentry (EC50=7.86±0.80 and 8.41±0.73μM, respectively) steps. Both Hp1036 and Hp1239 peptides adopted α-helix structure in approximate membrane environment and resulted in the destruction of the viral morphology. Moreover, Hp1036 and Hp1239 peptides entered Vero cells and reduced the intracellular viral infectivity. Taken together, Hp1036 and Hp1239 peptides are two anti-viral peptides with effective inhibitory effect on multiple steps of HSV-1 life cycle and therefore are good candidate for development as virucides.

  16. Monotreme glucagon-like peptide-1 in venom and gut: one gene – two very different functions

    PubMed Central

    Tsend-Ayush, Enkhjargal; He, Chuan; Myers, Mark A.; Andrikopoulos, Sof; Wong, Nicole; Sexton, Patrick M.; Wootten, Denise; Forbes, Briony E.; Grutzner, Frank

    2016-01-01

    The importance of Glucagon like peptide 1 (GLP-1) for metabolic control and insulin release sparked the evolution of genes mimicking GLP-1 action in venomous species (e.g. Exendin-4 in Heloderma suspectum (gila monster)). We discovered that platypus and echidna express a single GLP-1 peptide in both intestine and venom. Specific changes in GLP-1 of monotreme mammals result in resistance to DPP-4 cleavage which is also observed in the GLP-1 like Exendin-4 expressed in Heloderma venom. Remarkably we discovered that monotremes evolved an alternative mechanism to degrade GLP-1. We also show that monotreme GLP-1 stimulates insulin release in cultured rodent islets, but surprisingly shows low receptor affinity and bias toward Erk signaling. We propose that these changes in monotreme GLP-1 are the result of conflicting function of this peptide in metabolic control and venom. This evolutionary path is fundamentally different from the generally accepted idea that conflicting functions in a single gene favour duplication and diversification, as is the case for Exendin-4 in gila monster. This provides novel insight into the remarkably different metabolic control mechanism and venom function in monotremes and an unique example of how different selective pressures act upon a single gene in the absence of gene duplication. PMID:27898108

  17. Vipericidins: a novel family of cathelicidin-related peptides from the venom gland of South American pit vipers.

    PubMed

    Falcao, C B; de La Torre, B G; Pérez-Peinado, C; Barron, A E; Andreu, D; Rádis-Baptista, G

    2014-11-01

    Cathelicidins are phylogenetically ancient, pleiotropic host defense peptides-also called antimicrobial peptides (AMPs)-expressed in numerous life forms for innate immunity. Since even the jawless hagfish expresses cathelicidins, these genetically encoded host defense peptides are at least 400 million years old. More recently, cathelicidins with varying antipathogenic activities and cytotoxicities were discovered in the venoms of poisonous snakes; for these creatures, cathelicidins may also serve as weapons against prey and predators, as well as for innate immunity. We report herein the expression of orthologous cathelicidin genes in the venoms of four different South American pit vipers (Bothrops atrox, Bothrops lutzi, Crotalus durissus terrificus, and Lachesis muta rhombeata)-distant relatives of Asian cobras and kraits, previously shown to express cathelicidins-and an elapid, Pseudonaja textilis. We identified six novel, genetically encoded peptides: four from pit vipers, collectively named vipericidins, and two from the elapid. These new venom-derived cathelicidins exhibited potent killing activity against a number of bacterial strains (S. pyogenes, A. baumannii, E. faecalis, S. aureus, E. coli, K. pneumoniae, and P. aeruginosa), mostly with relatively less potent hemolysis, indicating their possible usefulness as lead structures for the development of new anti-infective agents. It is worth noting that these South American snake venom peptides are comparable in cytotoxicity (e.g., hemolysis) to human cathelicidin LL-37, and much lower than other membrane-active peptides such as mastoparan 7 and melittin from bee venom. Overall, the excellent bactericidal profile of vipericidins suggests they are a promising template for the development of broad-spectrum peptide antibiotics.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  19. A Novel Defensin-Like Peptide Associated with Two Other New Cationic Antimicrobial Peptides in Transcriptome of the Iranian Scorpion Venom

    PubMed Central

    Baradaran, Masoumeh; Jalali, Amir; soorki, Maryam Naderi; Galehdari, Hamid

    2017-01-01

    Introduction: Scorpion venom is a source of bioactive peptides, and some antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have been found in the venom gland of scorpions. Therefore, the discovery of new anti-infective agents is an essential need to overcome the problem of antibiotic resistance of clinical isolates. Here, we describe three new cationic AMPs, including meuVAP-6, meuAP-18-1, and meuPep34 from the venom gland of the Iranian scorpion, Mesobuthus eupeus. Methods: The cDNA sequences encoding all the three peptides were obtained from the cDNA library of scorpion venom gland and were deposited in the GenBank database. Results: MeuVAP-6 and meuAP-18-1 are non-disulphide-bridged antimicrobial peptides, while meuPep34 is a cysteine-rich defensin-like peptide. Discussion: All three identified AMPs are rich in arginine and tryptophan. The overall results from the length, net charge, and hydrophobicity index suggested that meuPep34 could be the most active AMPs with the potential ability of biofilm inhibition. The data from molecular characterization of identified AMPs can provide a platform with application in drug discovery programs. PMID:27794585

  20. A Novel Defensin-Like Peptide Associated with Two Other New Cationic Antimicrobial Peptides in Transcriptome of the Iranian Scorpion Venom.

    PubMed

    Baradaran, Masoumeh; Jalali, Amir; Naderi Soorki, Maryam; Galehdari, Hamid

    2017-05-01

    Scorpion venom is a source of bioactive peptides, and some antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have been found in the venom gland of scorpions. Therefore, the discovery of new anti-infective agents is an essential need to overcome the problem of antibiotic resistance of clinical isolates. Here, we describe three new cationic AMPs, including meuVAP-6, meuAP-18-1, and meuPep34 from the venom gland of the Iranian scorpion, Mesobuthus eupeus. The cDNA sequences encoding all the three peptides were obtained from the cDNA library of scorpion venom gland and were deposited in the GenBank database. MeuVAP-6 and meuAP-18-1 are non-disulphide-bridged antimicrobial peptides, while meuPep34 is a cysteine-rich defensin-like peptide. All three identified AMPs are rich in arginine and tryptophan. The overall results from the length, net charge, and hydrophobicity index suggested that meuPep34 could be the most active AMPs with the potential ability of biofilm inhibition. The data from molecular characterization of identified AMPs can provide a platform for further investigations in the drug design.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    It is hypothesized that protease inhibitors play an essential role in survival of venomous animals through protecting peptide/protein toxins from degradation by proteases in their prey or predators. However, the biological function of protease inhibitors in scorpion venoms remains unknown. In the present study, a trypsin inhibitor was purified and characterized from the venom of scorpion Mesobuthus eupeus, which enhanced the biological activities of crude venom components in mice when injected in combination with crude venom. This protease inhibitor, named MeKTT-1, belonged to Kunitz-type toxins subfamily. Native MeKTT-1 selectively inhibited trypsin with a Kivalue of 130 nmol·L(-1). Furthermore, MeKTT-1 was shown to be a thermo-stable peptide. In animal behavioral tests, MeKTT-1 prolonged the pain behavior induced by scorpion crude venom, suggesting that protease inhibitors in scorpion venom inhibited proteases and protect the functionally important peptide/protein toxins from degradation, consequently keeping them active longer. In conclusion, this was the first experimental evidence about the natural existence of serine protease inhibitor in the venom of scorpion Mesobuthus eupeus, which preserved the activity of venom components, suggests that scorpions may use protease inhibitors for survival. Copyright © 2016 China Pharmaceutical University. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Apoptogenic peptides from Tityus discrepans scorpion venom acting against the SKBR3 breast cancer cell line.

    PubMed

    D'Suze, Gina; Rosales, Arnaldo; Salazar, Víctor; Sevcik, Carlos

    2010-12-01

    Two novel peptides named neopladine 1 and neopladine 2 were purified from Tityus discrepans scorpion venom and found to be active on human breast carcinoma SKBR3 cells. Mass spectrometry molecular masses of neopladine 1 and 2 were 29918 and 30388 Da, respectively. Their N-terminal sequences were determined by Edman degradation. The peptides induced apoptosis of SKBR3 cells but had a negligible effect on non-malignant MA104 monkey kidney cells. Neopladine 1 and 2 induced 6.3 and 4.1% of SKBR3 apoptosis, respectively, in 5 h of exposure; the effect was larger with more prolonged exposures. Inmunohistochemistry showed that neopladines bind to SKBR3 cell surface inducing FasL and BcL-2 expression. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Synthetic peptide antigens derived from long-chain alpha-neurotoxins: Immunogenicity effect against elapid venoms.

    PubMed

    de la Rosa, Guillermo; Pastor, Nina; Alagón, Alejandro; Corzo, Gerardo

    2017-02-01

    Three-finger toxins (3FTXs), especially α-neurotoxins, are the most poorly neutralized elapid snake toxins by current antivenoms. In this work, the conserved structural similarity and motif arrangements of long-chain α-neurotoxins led us to design peptides with consensus sequences. Eight long-chain α-neurotoxins (also known as Type II) were used to generate a consensus sequence from which two peptides were chemically synthesized, LCP1 and LCP2. Rabbit sera raised against them were able to generate partially-neutralizing antibodies, which delayed mice mortality in neutralization assays against Naja haje, Dendrospis polylepis and Ophiophagus hannah venoms. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. BmK-YA, an Enkephalin-Like Peptide in Scorpion Venom

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhiwei; Zhang, Xiuli; Liang, Xinmiao; Civelli, Olivier

    2012-01-01

    By screening extracts of venom from the Asian scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch (BmK) for their abilities to activate opioid receptors, we have identified BmK-YA, an amidated peptide containing an enkephalin-like sequence. BmK-YA is encoded by a precursor that displays a signal sequence and contains four copies of BmK-YA sequences and four of His4-BmK-YA, all flanked by single amino acid residues. BmK-YA and His4-BmK-YA are amidated and thus fulfill the characteristics expected of bioactive peptides. BmK-YA can activate mammalian opioid receptors with selectivity for the δ subtype while His4-BmK-YA is inactive at opioid receptors. The discovery of BmK-YA suggests that scorpion venom may represent a novel source of bioactive molecules targeting G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and reveal additional insights on the evolution of the opioid precursors. PMID:22792309

  5. BmK-YA, an enkephalin-like peptide in scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yan; Xu, Junyan; Wang, Zhiwei; Zhang, Xiuli; Liang, Xinmiao; Civelli, Olivier

    2012-01-01

    By screening extracts of venom from the Asian scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch (BmK) for their abilities to activate opioid receptors, we have identified BmK-YA, an amidated peptide containing an enkephalin-like sequence. BmK-YA is encoded by a precursor that displays a signal sequence and contains four copies of BmK-YA sequences and four of His(4)-BmK-YA, all flanked by single amino acid residues. BmK-YA and His(4)-BmK-YA are amidated and thus fulfill the characteristics expected of bioactive peptides. BmK-YA can activate mammalian opioid receptors with selectivity for the δ subtype while His(4)-BmK-YA is inactive at opioid receptors. The discovery of BmK-YA suggests that scorpion venom may represent a novel source of bioactive molecules targeting G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and reveal additional insights on the evolution of the opioid precursors.

  6. Vascular effects and electrolyte homeostasis of the natriuretic peptide isolated from Crotalus oreganus abyssus (North American Grand Canyon rattlesnake) venom.

    PubMed

    Da Silva, S L; Dias-Junior, C A; Baldasso, P A; Damico, D C S; Carvalho, B M A; Garanto, A; Acosta, G; Oliveira, E; Albericio, F; Soares, A M; Marangoni, S; Resende, R R

    2012-08-01

    Crotalus oreganus abyssus is a rattlesnake that is usually found in the Grand Canyon, United States of America. Knowledge regarding the composition of C. o. abyssus venom is scarce. New natriuretic peptides (NPs) have been isolated and characterized from the venoms of members of the Crotalinae family. The NP family comprises three members, ANP (atrial natriuretic peptide), BNP (b-type natriuretic peptide) and CNP (c-type natriuretic peptide), and has an important role in blood pressure regulation and electrolyte homeostasis. The aim of the present study was to characterize a novel natriuretic-like peptide (Coa_NP2), isolated from C. o. abyssus venom. The Coa_NP2 presents an average molecular mass of 3419.88Da (theoretical average molecular mass 3418.94Da, monoisotopic molecular mass 3416.66Da and theoretical PI 7.78) and its amino acid sequence presents the loop region that is characteristic of natriuretic peptides. The peptide has 32 amino acids and its complete sequence is SYGISSGCFGLKLDRIGTMSGLGCWRLLQDSP. Coa_NP2 is a natriuretic peptide of the ANP/BNP-like family, since the carboxyterminal region of CNP has its own NP domain. We demonstrate, herein, that Coa_NP2 produces a dose-dependent decrease in mean arterial pressure in rats, followed by significant increases in concentrations of markers of nitric oxide formation measured in the plasma and vasorelaxation in a thoracic aortic ring bath. The structural and biological aspects confirm Coa_NP2 as a new natriuretic peptide, isolated from snake venom. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Venoms as a platform for human drugs: translating toxins into therapeutics.

    PubMed

    King, Glenn F

    2011-11-01

    An extraordinarily diverse range of animals have evolved venoms for predation, defence, or competitor deterrence. The major components of most venoms are peptides and proteins that are often protease-resistant due to their disulfide-rich architectures. Some of these toxins have become valuable as pharmacological tools and/or therapeutics due to their extremely high specificity and potency for particular molecular targets. There are currently six FDA-approved drugs derived from venom peptides or proteins. This article surveys the current pipeline of venom-derived therapeutics and critically examines the potential of peptide and protein drugs derived from venoms. Emerging trends are identified, including an increasing industry focus on disulfide-rich venom peptides and the use of a broader array of molecular targets in order to develop venom-based therapeutics for treating a wider range of clinical conditions. Key technical advances in combination with a renewed industry-wide focus on biologics have converged to provide a larger than ever pipeline of venom-derived therapeutics. Disulfide-rich venom peptides obviate some of the traditional disadvantages of therapeutic peptides and some may be suitable for oral administration. Moreover, some venom peptides can breach the blood brain barrier and translocate across cell membranes, which opens up the possibility of exploiting molecular targets not previously accessible to peptide drugs.

  8. Peptide-rich venom from the spider Heteropoda venatoria potently inhibits insect voltage-gated sodium channels.

    PubMed

    Huang, Yazhou; Wu, Xinzhou; Zhang, Peng; Duan, Zhigui; Zhou, Xi; Chen, Minzhi; Farooq, Athar; Liang, Songping; Liu, Zhonghua

    2017-01-01

    Heteropoda venatoria is a venomous spider species distributed worldwide and has a characteristic habit of feeding on insects. Reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography and matrix-assisted laser-desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry analyses revealed that H. venatoria venom contains hundreds of peptides with a predominant molecular weights of 3000-5000 Da. Intra-abdominal injection of the venom had severe toxic effects on cockroaches and caused death at higher concentrations. The LD50 was 28.18 μg/g of body weight in the cockroach. It was found that the venom had potent inhibitory effect on voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) in Periplaneta americana cockroach dorsal unpaired median (DUM) neurons with an IC50 values of 6.25 ± 0.02 μg/mL. However, 100 μg/mL venom only partially blocked VGSC currents in rat dorsal root ganglion cells, a much lower inhibitory effect than that on DUM VGSCs. Our results indicate that the venom of H. venatoria contains diverse neurotoxins that might become new leads for bioinsecticides. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Scorpion venom heat-resistant peptide (SVHRP) enhances neurogenesis and neurite outgrowth of immature neurons in adult mice by up-regulating brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

    PubMed

    Wang, Tao; Wang, Shi-Wei; Zhang, Yue; Wu, Xue-Fei; Peng, Yan; Cao, Zhen; Ge, Bi-Ying; Wang, Xi; Wu, Qiong; Lin, Jin-Tao; Zhang, Wan-Qin; Li, Shao; Zhao, Jie

    2014-01-01

    Scorpion venom heat-resistant peptide (SVHRP) is a component purified from Buthus martensii Karsch scorpion venom. Although scorpions and their venom have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to treat chronic neurological disorders, the underlying mechanisms of these treatments remain unknown. We applied SVHRP in vitro and in vivo to understand its effects on the neurogenesis and maturation of adult immature neurons and explore associated molecular mechanisms. SVHRP administration increased the number of 5-bromo-2'-dexoxyuridine (BrdU)-positive cells, BrdU-positive/neuron-specific nuclear protein (NeuN)-positive neurons, and polysialylated-neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM)-positive immature neurons in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and subgranular zone (SGZ) of hippocampus. Furthermore immature neurons incubated with SVHRP-pretreated astrocyte-conditioned medium exhibited significantly increased neurite length compared with those incubated with normal astrocyte-conditioned medium. This neurotrophic effect was further confirmed in vivo by detecting an increased average single area and whole area of immature neurons in the SGZ, SVZ and olfactory bulb (OB) in the adult mouse brain. In contrast to normal astrocyte-conditioned medium, higher concentrations of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) but not nerve growth factor (NGF) or glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) was detected in the conditioned medium of SVHRP-pretreated astrocytes, and blocking BDNF using anti-BDNF antibodies eliminated these SVHRP-dependent neurotrophic effects. In SVHRP treated mouse brain, more glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive cells were detected. Furthermore, immunohistochemistry revealed increased numbers of GFAP/BDNF double-positive cells, which agrees with the observed changes in the culture system. This paper describes novel effects of scorpion venom-originated peptide on the stem cells and suggests the potential therapeutic values of SVHRP.

  10. Molecular cloning and characterization of a new cDNA sequence encoding a venom peptide from the centipede Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wanhong; Luo, Feng; He, Jing; Cao, Zhijian; Miao, Lixia

    2012-01-01

    Many studies have been performed on venomous peptides derived from animals. However, little of this research has focused on peptides from centipede venoms. Here, a venom gland cDNA library was successfully constructed for the centipede Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans. A new cDNA encoding the precursor of a venom peptide, named SsmTx, was cloned from the venomous gland cDNA library of the centipede S. subspinipes mutilans. The full-length SsmTx cDNA sequence is 465 nt, including a 249 nt ORF, a 45 nt 5' UTR and a 171 nt 3' UTR. There is a signal tail AATAAA 31 nt upstream of the poly (A) tail. The precursor nucleotide sequence of SsmTx encodes a signal peptide of 25 residues and a mature peptide of 57 residues, which is bridged by two pairs of disulfide bonds. SsmTx displays a unique cysteine motif that is completely different from that of other venomous animal toxins. This is the first reported cDNA sequence encoding a venom peptide from the centipede S. subspinipes mutilans.

  11. Characterization of LmTxLP11 and LmVP1.1 transcripts and genomic organizations: alternative splicing contributing to the diversity of scorpion venom peptides.

    PubMed

    Ma, Yibao; Zhao, Ruiming; Li, Songryong; Fan, Shaozhong; Wu, Yingliang; Liu, Hui; Cao, Zhijian; Li, Wenxin

    2009-01-01

    Scorpion venoms are rich resources of bioactive peptides with extreme variability. Multiple molecular mechanisms are involved in the diversity of scorpion venom peptides. However, alternative splicing, which plays a major role in the generation of proteomic and functional diversity in metazoan organisms, hasn't been reported in genes coding for scorpion venom peptides. In the EST analysis of venom peptide transcripts from scorpion Lychas mucronatus, we reported an alternative splicing event. Transcripts of LmTxLP11 and LmVP1.1 share identical 5' region. LmVP1.1 is a novel type of scorpion venom peptides constrained by one disulfide bridge, whereas LmTxLP11 is an extended version of LmVP1.1. By transcript alignment with its genomic sequence, it is found that both transcripts are generated from a single gene by alternative poly A site and terminal exon. The gene encoding LmTxLP11 and LmVP1.1 is the first one harboring three introns ever reported from scorpion venoms. This work demonstrates for the first time that alternative splicing is involved in regulating the diversity of scorpion venom peptides.

  12. Phospholipid dependent mechanism of smp24, an α-helical antimicrobial peptide from scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Patrick L; Heath, George R; Johnson, Benjamin R G; Abdel-Rahman, Mohamed A; Strong, Peter N; Evans, Stephen D; Miller, Keith

    2016-11-01

    Determining the mechanism of action of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) is critical if they are to be developed into the clinical setting. In recent years high resolution techniques such as atomic force microscopy (AFM) have increasingly been utilised to determine AMP mechanism of action on planar lipid bilayers and live bacteria. Here we present the biophysical characterisation of a prototypical AMP from the venom of the North African scorpion Scorpio maurus palmatus termed Smp24. Smp24 is an amphipathic helical peptide containing 24 residues with a charge of +3 and exhibits both antimicrobial and cytotoxic activity and we aim to elucidate the mechanism of action of this peptide on both membrane systems. Using AFM, quartz crystal microbalance-dissipation (QCM-D) and liposomal leakage assays the effect of Smp24 on prototypical synthetic prokaryotic (DOPG:DOPC) and eukaryotic (DOPE:DOPC) membranes has been determined. Our data points to a toroidal pore mechanism against the prokaryotic like membrane whilst the formation of hexagonal phase non-lamellar phase structures is seen in eukaryotic like membrane. Also, phase segregation is observed against the eukaryotic membrane and this study provides direct evidence of the same peptide having multiple mechanisms of action depending on the membrane lipid composition.

  13. Effective Tityus serrulatus anti-venom produced using the Ts1 component.

    PubMed

    Mendes, T M; Dias, F; Horta, C C R; Pena, I F; Arantes, E C; Kalapothakis, E

    2008-12-01

    Scorpion stings are a public health problem in Brazil, with most incidents involving the species Tityus serrulatus. Some T. serrulatus toxins may act as immunogens for the production of a specific anti-venom, but many of the component toxins remain poorly characterized. Here, we describe the immunological characteristics of the toxin Ts1 (also known as TsVII and Ts-gamma) and evaluate production of neutralizing antibodies against the crude venom of T. serrulatus. Recombinant Ts1 with one copy (Ts1(1)) or two copies in tandem (Ts1(2)) was expressed in BL21 (DE3) cells. Rabbits and mice were immunized with the recombinant proteins (inclusion bodies) and then tested for production of neutralizing antibodies. Neutralization assays showed that anti-Ts1(1) and anti-Ts1(2) protected animals challenged with T. serrulatus crude venom and native Ts1. Thus, Ts1 could be used in a mixed "cocktail" of immunogens for T. serrulatus anti-venom production.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  15. Gene design, fusion technology and TEV cleavage conditions influence the purification of oxidized disulphide-rich venom peptides in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Sequeira, Ana Filipa; Turchetto, Jeremy; Saez, Natalie J; Peysson, Fanny; Ramond, Laurie; Duhoo, Yoan; Blémont, Marilyne; Fernandes, Vânia O; Gama, Luís T; Ferreira, Luís M A; Guerreiro, Catarina I P I; Gilles, Nicolas; Darbon, Hervé; Fontes, Carlos M G A; Vincentelli, Renaud

    2017-01-17

    Animal venoms are large, complex libraries of bioactive, disulphide-rich peptides. These peptides, and their novel biological activities, are of increasing pharmacological and therapeutic importance. However, recombinant expression of venom peptides in Escherichia coli remains difficult due to the significant number of cysteine residues requiring effective post-translational processing. There is also an urgent need to develop high-throughput recombinant protocols applicable to the production of reticulated peptides to enable efficient screening of their drug potential. Here, a comprehensive study was developed to investigate how synthetic gene design, choice of fusion tag, compartment of expression, tag removal conditions and protease recognition site affect levels of solubility of oxidized venom peptides produced in E. coli. The data revealed that expression of venom peptides imposes significant pressure on cysteine codon selection. DsbC was the best fusion tag for venom peptide expression, in particular when the fusion was directed to the bacterial periplasm. While the redox activity of DsbC was not essential to maximize expression of recombinant fusion proteins, redox activity did lead to higher levels of correctly folded target peptides. With the exception of proline, the canonical TEV protease recognition site tolerated all other residues at its C-terminus, confirming that no non-native residues, which might affect activity, need to be incorporated at the N-terminus of recombinant peptides for tag removal. This study reveals that E. coli is a convenient heterologous host for the expression of soluble and functional venom peptides. Using the optimal construct design, a large and diverse range of animal venom peptides were produced in the µM scale. These results open up new possibilities for the high-throughput production of recombinant disulphide-rich peptides in E. coli.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-07

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

  17. D-amino acid residue in a defensin-like peptide from platypus venom: effect on structure and chromatographic properties.

    PubMed

    Torres, Allan M; Tsampazi, Chryssanthi; Geraghty, Dominic P; Bansal, Paramjit S; Alewood, Paul F; Kuchel, Philip W

    2005-10-15

    The recent discovery that the natriuretic peptide OvCNPb (Ornithorhynchus venom C-type natriuretic peptide B) from platypus (Ornithorynchus anatinus) venom contains a D-amino acid residue suggested that other D-amino-acid-containing peptides might be present in the venom. In the present study, we show that DLP-2 (defensin-like peptide-2), a 42-amino-acid residue polypeptide in the platypus venom, also contains a D-amino acid residue, D-methionine, at position 2, while DLP-4, which has an identical amino acid sequence, has all amino acids in the L-form. These findings were supported further by the detection of isomerase activity in the platypus gland venom extract that converts DLP-4 into DLP-2. In the light of this new information, the tertiary structure of DLP-2 was recalculated using a new structural template with D-Met2. The structure of DLP-4 was also determined in order to evaluate the effect of a D-amino acid at position 2 on the structure and possibly to explain the large retention time difference observed for the two molecules in reverse-phase HPLC. The solution structures of the DLP-2 and DLP-4 are very similar to each other and to the earlier reported structure of DLP-2, which assumed that all amino acids were in the L-form. Our results suggest that the incorporation of the D-amino acid at position 2 has minimal effect on the overall fold in solution.

  18. Analysis of the immune response induced by a scorpion venom sub-fraction, a pure peptide and a recombinant peptide, against toxin Cn2 of Centruroides noxius Hoffmann.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Consuelo; Calderón-Aranda, Emma S; Anguiano, Gerardo A V; Becerril, Baltazar; Possani, Lourival D

    2003-03-01

    Three different immunogens from the venom of the Mexican scorpion Centruroides noxius Hoffmann were used to study protective antibody response in mice and rabbits, challenged with toxin Cn2, one of the most abundant toxic peptide of this venom. The immunogens were: Cn5, a crustacean specific toxin; a recombinant protein containing the peptide Cn5 linked to the maltose transporter and a sub-fraction (F.II.5) containing 25 distinct peptides, among which is Cn5. Mice immunized with these three preparations, when directly challenged with Cn2 presented no apparent protection, whereas anti-sera produced in rabbits with these three immunogens were capable of partially neutralizing the effect of Cn2, when injected into naive mice. Cn5 rabbit anti-serum showed a better protective effect on mice, than the rabbit sera obtained against the two other antigens. The subcutaneous route of challenging mice was shown to be better than intraperitoneal injections. Comparative structural analysis of Cn5 with other toxins of this venom showed that our results are important to be taken into consideration, when choosing appropriate immunogens aimed at the production of better anti-venoms or for the rational design of possible vaccines.

  19. Purification and characterization of raventoxin-I and raventoxin-III, two neurotoxic peptides from the venom of the spider Macrothele raveni.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Xiong-Zhi; Xiao, Qiao-Bin; Liang, Song-Ping

    2003-05-01

    The spider Macrothele raveni was recently identified as a new species of Genus Macrothele. The crude venom from M. raveni was found to be neurotoxic to mice and the LD(50) of the crude venom in mice was 2.852mg/kg. Two neurotoxic peptides, raventoxin-I and raventoxin-III, were isolated from the crude venom by ion-exchange and reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography. Raventoxin-I was the most abundant toxic component in the venom, while raventoxin-III was a lower abundant component. Both toxins can kill mice and block neuromuscular transmission in an isolated mouse phrenic nerve diaphragm preparation, but have no effect on cockroaches. The LD(50) of raventoxin-I in mice is 0.772mg/kg. The complete amino acid sequences of raventoxin-I and raventoxin-III were determined and found to consist of 43 and 29 amino acid residues, respectively. It was determined by mass spectrometry that all Cys residues from raventoxin-I and raventoxin-III are involved in disulphide bonds. raventoxin-III showed no significant sequence homology with any presently known neurotoxins in the protein/DNA databases, while raventoxin-I has limited sequence identity with delta-AcTx-Hv1 and delta-AcTx-Ar1, which target both mammalian and insect sodium channels. Both raventoxin-I and raventoxin-III only work on vertebrates, but not on insects. Moreover, raventoxin-I could exert an effect of first exciting and then inhibiting the contraction of mouse diaphragm muscle caused by electrically stimulating the phrenic nerve, but raventoxin-III could not.

  20. Three Valuable Peptides from Bee and Wasp Venoms for Therapeutic and Biotechnological Use: Melittin, Apamin and Mastoparan

    PubMed Central

    Moreno, Miguel; Giralt, Ernest

    2015-01-01

    While knowledge of the composition and mode of action of bee and wasp venoms dates back 50 years, the therapeutic value of these toxins remains relatively unexploded. The properties of these venoms are now being studied with the aim to design and develop new therapeutic drugs. Far from evaluating the extensive number of monographs, journals and books related to bee and wasp venoms and the therapeutic effect of these toxins in numerous diseases, the following review focuses on the three most characterized peptides, namely melittin, apamin, and mastoparan. Here, we update information related to these compounds from the perspective of applied science and discuss their potential therapeutic and biotechnological applications in biomedicine. PMID:25835385

  1. Solution structure of a defensin-like peptide from platypus venom.

    PubMed Central

    Torres, A M; Wang, X; Fletcher, J I; Alewood, D; Alewood, P F; Smith, R; Simpson, R J; Nicholson, G M; Sutherland, S K; Gallagher, C H; King, G F; Kuchel, P W

    1999-01-01

    Three defensin-like peptides (DLPs) were isolated from platypus venom and sequenced. One of these peptides, DLP-1, was synthesized chemically and its three-dimensional structure was determined using NMR spectroscopy. The main structural elements of this 42-residue peptide were an anti-parallel beta-sheet comprising residues 15-18 and 37-40 and a small 3(10) helix spanning residues 10-12. The overall three-dimensional fold is similar to that of beta-defensin-12, and similar to the sodium-channel neurotoxin ShI (Stichodactyla helianthus neurotoxin I). However, the side chains known to be functionally important in beta-defensin-12 and ShI are not conserved in DLP-1, suggesting that it has a different biological function. Consistent with this contention, we showed that DLP-1 possesses no anti-microbial properties and has no observable activity on rat dorsal-root-ganglion sodium-channel currents. PMID:10417345

  2. [The alterations of apoptosis factor Bcl-2/Bax in the early Parkinson's disease rats and the protective effect of scorpion venom derived activity peptide].

    PubMed

    Xu, Hong; An, Dong; Yin, Sheng-ming; Chen, Wei; Zhao, Dan; Meng, Xu; Yu, De-qin; Sun, Yi-ping; Zhao, Jie; Zhang, Wan-qin

    2015-05-01

    To explore the alterations of apoptosis factor Bcl-2/Bax in the early Parkinson's disease (PD) rats and the protective effect of scorpion venom derived bioactive peptide. Healthy male SD rats (180-220 g) were randomly divided into 4 groups (n = 10): early PD model group, sham operation group, scorpion venom derived bioactive peptide control group, scorpion venom derived bioactive peptide therapy group. 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) was used to prepare the early PD rat model. The immunohistochemistry was used to detect the expression of Bax and Bcl-2 and further explore the mechanism of anti-apoptosis regarding the neuroprotective effect of scorpion venom derived bioactive peptide. The results indicated that compared with the control rats, the immunostaining of Bax in the brain increased significantly while that of Bcl-2 decreased significantly in the lesion side of 6-OHDA treated rats. Interestingly, scorpion venom derived bioactive peptide could attenuate the above abnormal changes. Up-regulation of Bax and down-regulation of Bcl-2 could participate in the early stage of PD and the anti-apoptotic mechanism could be involved in the neuroprotective effect exerted by scorpion venom derived activity peptide regarding the dopaminergic neuron in the early stage.

  3. Elucidation of trends within venom components from the snake families Elapidae and Viperidae using gel filtration chromatography.

    PubMed

    Graham, Robert Leslie James; Graham, Ciaren; Theakston, David; McMullan, Geoff; Shaw, Chris

    2008-01-01

    Research into snake venom components has intensified over the last number of decades, particularly that work directed towards the discovery of novel agents with potential applications in clinical therapy. In the present study we report, for the first time, defined patterns observed in the G-50 chromatographic elution profiles from 30 snake venoms taken from Elapidae and Viperidae families, as well as previously unreported patterns within subfamilies of these snake species. Development of this chromatographic technique thus offers a rapid method for the general classification of snakes within these families as well as providing insights into hitherto uncharacterised trends within the venoms of snake subfamilies that have opened new avenues for further investigation.

  4. High-throughput immuno-profiling of mamba (Dendroaspis) venom toxin epitopes using high-density peptide microarrays

    PubMed Central

    Engmark, Mikael; Andersen, Mikael R.; Laustsen, Andreas H.; Patel, Jigar; Sullivan, Eric; de Masi, Federico; Hansen, Christian S.; Kringelum, Jens V.; Lomonte, Bruno; Gutiérrez, José María; Lund, Ole

    2016-01-01

    Snakebite envenoming is a serious condition requiring medical attention and administration of antivenom. Current antivenoms are antibody preparations obtained from the plasma of animals immunised with whole venom(s) and contain antibodies against snake venom toxins, but also against other antigens. In order to better understand the molecular interactions between antivenom antibodies and epitopes on snake venom toxins, a high-throughput immuno-profiling study on all manually curated toxins from Dendroaspis species and selected African Naja species was performed based on custom-made high-density peptide microarrays displaying linear toxin fragments. By detection of binding for three different antivenoms and performing an alanine scan, linear elements of epitopes and the positions important for binding were identified. A strong tendency of antivenom antibodies recognizing and binding to epitopes at the functional sites of toxins was observed. With these results, high-density peptide microarray technology is for the first time introduced in the field of toxinology and molecular details of the evolution of antibody-toxin interactions based on molecular recognition of distinctive toxic motifs are elucidated. PMID:27824133

  5. Argininosuccinate Synthetase Is a Functional Target for a Snake Venom Anti-hypertensive Peptide

    PubMed Central

    Guerreiro, Juliano R.; Lameu, Claudiana; Oliveira, Eduardo F.; Klitzke, Clécio F.; Melo, Robson L.; Linares, Edlaine; Augusto, Ohara; Fox, Jay W.; Lebrun, Ivo; Serrano, Solange M. T.; Camargo, Antonio C. M.

    2009-01-01

    Bj-BPP-10c is a bioactive proline-rich decapeptide, part of the C-type natriuretic peptide precursor, expressed in the brain and in the venom gland of Bothrops jararaca. We recently showed that Bj-BPP-10c displays a strong, sustained anti-hypertensive effect in spontaneous hypertensive rats (SHR), without causing any effect in normotensive rats, by a pharmacological effect independent of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition. Therefore, we hypothesized that another mechanism should be involved in the peptide activity. Here we used affinity chromatography to search for kidney cytosolic proteins with affinity for Bj-BPP-10c and demonstrate that argininosuccinate synthetase (AsS) is the major protein binding to the peptide. More importantly, this interaction activates the catalytic activity of AsS in a dose-de pend ent manner. AsS is recognized as an important player of the citrulline-NO cycle that represents a potential limiting step in NO synthesis. Accordingly, the functional interaction of Bj-BPP-10c and AsS was evidenced by the following effects promoted by the peptide: (i) increase of NO metabolite production in human umbilical vein endothelial cell culture and of arginine in human embryonic kidney cells and (ii) increase of arginine plasma concentration in SHR. Moreover, α-methyl-dl-aspartic acid, a specific AsS inhibitor, significantly reduced the anti-hypertensive activity of Bj-BPP-10c in SHR. Taken together, these results suggest that AsS plays a role in the anti-hypertensive action of Bj-BPP-10c. Therefore, we propose the activation of AsS as a new mechanism for the anti-hypertensive effect of Bj-BPP-10c in SHR and AsS as a novel target for the therapy of hypertension-related diseases. PMID:19491403

  6. StCT2, a new antibacterial peptide characterized from the venom of the scorpion Scorpiops tibetanus.

    PubMed

    Cao, Luyang; Li, Zhongjie; Zhang, Ruhong; Wu, Yingliang; Li, Wenxin; Cao, Zhijian

    2012-08-01

    Bacterial infection poses an increasing threat to global public health and new types of antibacterial agents are urgently needed to respond to the threat. Scorpion venom contains series of bioactive peptides, among which antibacterial peptide is an important part. Herein, a new antimicrobial peptide StCT2 was characterized from the venomous gland cDNA library of the Scorpiops tibetanus. The full-length cDNA of StCT2 is 369 nucleotides encoding the precursor that contains a putative 24 residues signal peptide, a presumed 14 residues mature peptide, and a putative 37 residues acidic propeptide at the C-terminus. The minimal inhibition concentrations (MICs) of StCT2 for Staphylococcus aureus were 6.25-25μg/ml, including antibiotic-resistant strains such as methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA). StCT2 was further found to show high in vivo antimicrobial activity by an S. aureus infection mouse model. StCT2 exerted its antimicrobial activity via a rapid bactericidal mechanism. Taken together, these results demonstrate the efficacy and general mechanism of StCT2 antimicrobial action and the therapeutic potential of StCT2 as a new antimicrobial peptide. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Centipede venom peptide SsmTX-I with two intramolecular disulfide bonds shows analgesic activities in animal models.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying; Li, Xiaojie; Yang, Meifeng; Wu, Chunyun; Zou, Zhirong; Tang, Jing; Yang, Xinwang

    2017-05-01

    Pain is a major symptom of many diseases and results in enormous pressures on human body or society. Currently, clinically used analgesic drugs, including opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, have adverse reactions, and thus, the development of new types of analgesic drug candidates is urgently needed. Animal venom peptides have proven to have potential as new types of analgesic medicine. In this research, we describe the isolation and characterization of an analgesic peptide from the crude venom of centipede, Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans. The amino acid sequence of this peptide was identical with SsmTX-I that was previously reported as a specific Kv2.1 ion channel blocker. Our results revealed that SsmTX-I was produced by posttranslational processing of a 73-residue prepropeptide. The intramolecular disulfide bridge motifs of SsmTX-I was Cys1-Cys3 and Cys2-Cys4. Functional assay revealed that SsmTX-I showed potential analgesic activities in formalin-induced paw licking, thermal pain, and acetic acid-induced abdominal writhing mice models. Our research provides the first report of cDNA sequences, disulfide motif, successful synthesis, and analgesic potential of SsmTX-I for the development of pain-killing drugs. It indicates that centipede peptide toxins could be a treasure trove for the search of novel analgesic drug candidates. Copyright © 2017 European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2017 European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  8. Pharmacological action of Australian animal venoms.

    PubMed

    Hodgson, W C

    1997-01-01

    1. Australia has some of the most venomous fauna in the world. Although humans are not usually perceived as being predators against these animals they are often envenomated, accidentally or otherwise. This has led to the development of antivenoms against some of the potentially lethal venoms. However, further understanding of the mechanism(s) of action of these and other venoms is important, not only for developing new treatment strategies but also in the search for novel research tools. 2. The present review discusses the pharmacology of some of the components found in venoms and outlines the research undertaken on some of Australia's venomous animals, with the exception of snakes. 3. Biogenic amines, peptides and enzymes are common venom components and produce a wide range of effects in envenomated humans. For example, respiratory failure observed after envenomation by the box jellyfish (Chirnex fleckeri) and Sydney funnel-web spider (Atrax robustus) is most likely due to potent neurotoxins in the venoms. Stonefish (Synanceja trachynis) and platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) venoms, although not considered lethal, cause severe pain. However, the components responsible for these effects have not been isolated. Venom components, as yet unidentified, may be responsible for the cutaneous necrotic lesions that have been reported after some spider bites (e.g. Lampona cylindrata). Other venoms, such as those of the jumper ant (Myrmecia pilosula) and bull ant (M. pyriformis), may produce only mild skin irritation to the majority of humans but a severe anaphylactic response in sensitized victims. 4. While there has been a renewed interest in toxinology, further research is required to fully elucidate the pharmacological action of many of these venoms.

  9. Antimicrobial/cytolytic peptides from the venom of the North African scorpion, Androctonus amoreuxi: biochemical and functional characterization of natural peptides and a single site-substituted analog.

    PubMed

    Almaaytah, Ammar; Zhou, Mei; Wang, Lei; Chen, Tianbao; Walker, Brian; Shaw, Chris

    2012-06-01

    The venoms of scorpions are complex cocktails of polypeptide toxins that fall into two structural categories: those that contain cysteinyl residues with associated disulfide bridges and those that do not. As the majority of lethal toxins acting upon ion channels fall into the first category, most research has been focused there. Here we report the identification and structural characterization of two novel 18-mer antimicrobial peptides from the venom of the North African scorpion, Androctonus amoreuxi. Named AamAP1 and AamAP2, both peptides are C-terminally amidated and differ in primary structure at just two sites: Leu-->Pro at position 2 and Phe-->Ile at position 17. Synthetic replicates of both peptides exhibited a broad-spectrum of antimicrobial activity against a Gram-positive bacterium (Staphylococcus aureus), a Gram-negative bacterium (Escherichia coli) and a yeast (Candida albicans), at concentrations ranging between 20 μM and 150 μM. In this concentration range, both peptides produced significant degrees of hemolysis. A synthetic replicate of AamAP1 containing a single substitution (His-->Lys) at position 8, generated a peptide (AamAP-S1) with enhanced antimicrobial potency (3-5 μM) against the three test organisms and within this concentration range, hemolytic effects were negligible. In addition, this His-->Lys variant exhibited potent growth inhibitory activity (ID(50) 25-40 μm) against several human cancer cell lines and endothelial cells that was absent in both natural peptides. Natural bioactive peptide libraries, such as those that occur in scorpion venoms, thus constitute a unique source of novel lead compounds with drug development potential whose biological properties can be readily manipulated by simple synthetic chemical means. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Conotoxin TVIIA, a novel peptide from the venom of Conus tulipa 1. Isolation, characterization and chemical synthesis.

    PubMed

    Hill, J M; Atkins, A R; Loughnan, M L; Jones, A; Adams, D A; Martin, R C; Lewis, R J; Craik, D J; Alewood, P F

    2000-08-01

    A novel conotoxin belonging to the 'four-loop' structural class has been isolated from the venom of the piscivorous cone snail Conus tulipa. It was identified using a chemical-directed strategy based largely on mass spectrometric techniques. The new toxin, conotoxin TVIIA, consists of 30 amino-acid residues and contains three disulfide bonds. The amino-acid sequence was determined by Edman analysis as SCSGRDSRCOOVCCMGLMCSRGKCVSIYGE where O = 4-transL-hydroxyproline. Two under-hydroxylated analogues, [Pro10]TVIIA and [Pro10,11]TVIIA, were also identified in the venom of C. tulipa. The sequences of TVIIA and [Pro10]TVIIA were further verified by chemical synthesis and coelution studies with native material. Conotoxin TVIIA has a six cysteine/four-loop structural framework common to many peptides from Conus venoms including the omega-, delta- and kappa-conotoxins. However, TVIIA displays little sequence homology with these well-characterized pharmacological classes of peptides, but displays striking sequence homology with conotoxin GS, a peptide from Conus geographus that blocks skeletal muscle sodium channels. These new toxins and GS share several biochemical features and represent a distinct subgroup of the four-loop conotoxins.

  11. Cardiovascular-Active Venom Toxins: An Overview.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Cone venom--from accidental stings to deliberate injection.

    PubMed

    McIntosh, J M; Jones, R M

    2001-10-01

    Cone snails have long been of note due to their colorful shells and deadly venom. Over the years, a number of people who have encountered these molluscs have been injured or killed by their sting. Biochemical analysis of the venom components has revealed a plethora of peptides and proteins that target a variety of receptors and ion channels. Pharmaceutical companies are now utilizing the selectivity and potency of Conus-derived peptides to develop novel medications for pain, epilepsy and other disorders.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. A novel bradykinin potentiating peptide isolated from Bothrops jararacussu venom using catallytically inactive oligopeptidase EP24.15.

    PubMed

    Rioli, Vanessa; Prezoto, Benedito C; Konno, Katsuhiro; Melo, Robson L; Klitzke, Clécio F; Ferro, Emer S; Ferreira-Lopes, Mônica; Camargo, Antonio C M; Portaro, Fernanda C V

    2008-05-01

    Characterization of the peptide content of venoms has a number of potential benefits for basic research, clinical diagnosis, development of new therapeutic agents, and production of antiserum. Here, we use a substrate-capture assay that employs a catalytically inactive mutant of thimet oligopeptidase (EC 3.4.24.15; EP24.15) to identify novel bioactive peptides in Bothrops jararacussu venom. Of the peptides captured with inactive EP24.15 and identified by mass spectrometry, three were previously identified bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPP), peptide containing additional AP amino acids in the C-terminus (peptide was named BPP-AP. Next, dermal and muscle microcirculations were visualized using intravital microscopy to establish the roles of peptides BPP-XIe and BPP-AP in this process. After local administration of peptide BPP-XIe (0.5 microg.microL(-1)), leukocyte rolling flux and adhesion were increased by fivefold in post-capillary venules, without any increments in vasodilatation of arterioles compared to control experiments. In contrast, local administration of BPP-AP (0.5 microg.microL(-1)) potently induced vasodilatation of arterioles (nearly 100% increase compared with the vehicle saline control), with only a small increase in leukocyte rolling flux. Therefore, the novel BPP-AP described herein has pharmacological advantages compared to the BPP-XIe. The present study further suggests that inactive oligopeptidase EP24.15 is a useful tool for the isolation of bioactive peptides from crude biological samples.

  15. An insecticidal peptide from the theraposid Brachypelma smithi spider venom reveals common molecular features among spider species from different genera.

    PubMed

    Corzo, Gerardo; Diego-García, Elia; Clement, Herlinda; Peigneur, Steve; Odell, George; Tytgat, Jan; Possani, Lourival D; Alagón, Alejandro

    2008-11-01

    The soluble venom of the Mexican theraposid spider Brachypelma smithi was screened for insecticidal peptides based on toxicity to house crickets. An insecticidal peptide, named Bs1 (which stands for Brachypelma smithi toxin 1) was obtained in homogeneous form after the soluble venom was fractionated using reverse-phase and cation-exchange chromatography. It contains 41 amino acids cross-linked by three disulfide bridges. Its sequence is similar to an insecticidal peptide isolated from the theraposid spider Ornithoctonus huwena from China, and another from the hexathelid spider Macrothelegigas from Japan, indicating that they are phylogenetically related. A cDNA library was prepared from the venomous glands of B. smithi and the gene that code for Bs1 was cloned. Sequence analysis of the nucleotides of Bs1 showed similarities to that of the hexathelid spider from Japan proving additional evidence for close genetic relationship between these spider peptides. The mRNAs of these toxins code for signal peptides that are processed at the segment rich in acidic and basic residues. Their C-terminal amino acids are amidated. However, they contain only a glycine residue at the most C-terminal position, without the presence of additional basic amino acid residues, normally required for post-translation processing of other toxins reported in the literature. The possible mechanism of action of Bs1 was investigated using several ion channels as putative receptors. Bs1 had minor, but significant effects on the Para/tipE insect ion channel, which could indirectly correlate with the observed lethal activity to crickets.

  16. Characterization of voltage-dependent calcium channel blocking peptides from the venom of the tarantula Grammostola rosea.

    PubMed

    Ono, Seigo; Kimura, Tadashi; Kubo, Tai

    2011-09-01

    Voltage-dependent calcium channel blocking peptides were purified and sequenced from the venom of the tarantula, Grammostola rosea. cDNAs encoding the peptide sequences were cloned from the venom gland cDNA library. The electrophysiological effects of the peptides on several types of voltage-dependent calcium channels were evaluated using a Xenopus laevis oocyte expression system. A peptide contained in one of the HPLC peak fractions inhibited P/Q type voltage-dependent calcium channels (Ca(v)2.1). The amino acid sequence of this peptide is identical to that of ω-grammotoxin SIA. A peptide from another discrete peak, which is identical to GsAFII except for one tryptophan residue in the C-terminus, inhibited L-type voltage-dependent calcium channels (Ca(v)1.2). A novel peptide, named GTx1-15 (Accession number, AB201016), shows 76.5% sequence homology with the sodium channel blocker phrixotoxin 3, however, GTx1-15 preferentially inhibited T-type voltage-dependent calcium channels (Ca(v)3.1). In silico secondary and tertiary structure prediction revealed that GTx1-15 and sodium channel blockers such as hainantoxin-IV, phrixotoxin 3, and ceratotoxin 2 show very similar β-strand composition, distribution of Optimal Docking Areas (continuous surface patches likely to be involved in protein-protein interactions), and surface electrostatic potential. These findings suggest that these peptide toxins evolved from common ancestors by gene duplication to maintain surface atmospheres appropriate for interaction with low-voltage-dependent ion channels. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Quantitative proteomic analysis of Vietnamese krait venoms: Neurotoxins are the major components in Bungarus multicinctus and phospholipases A2 in Bungarus fasciatus.

    PubMed

    Ziganshin, Rustam H; Kovalchuk, Sergey I; Arapidi, Georgij P; Starkov, Vladislav G; Hoang, Anh Ngoc; Thi Nguyen, Thao Thanh; Nguyen, Khoa Cuu; Shoibonov, Batozhab B; Tsetlin, Victor I; Utkin, Yuri N

    2015-12-01

    Kraits are venomous snakes of genus Bungarus from family Elapidae. Krait venoms are generally neurotoxic, but toxicity strongly depends on the particular species and regional origin of snakes. We analyzed the proteomes of Vietnamese Bungarus multicinctus and Bungarus fasciatus venoms both qualitatively and quantitatively. It should be noted that no proteomic data for B. multicinctus venom existed so far. We have found that in this venom, almost half (45%) of the proteins by weight was represented by β-bungarotoxins, followed by three finger toxins (28%) and phospholipases A2 (16%), other proteins being present at the level of 1-3%. In B. fasciatus venom, phospholipase A2 was the main component (71%), followed by oxidase of l-amino acids (8%), acetylcholinesterase (5%) and metalloproteinases (4%). Unexpectedly, extremely low amount of three finger toxins (1%) was found in this venom. Interestingly, the presence of complement depleting factor was observed in both venoms. Although our data showed the presence of the same toxin families in Vietnamese krait venoms as those found earlier in the venoms of kraits from other geographic regions, their relative ratio is completely different. This concerns especially B. fasciatus venom with predominant content of phospholipases A2 and very low amount of three finger toxins. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Novel biopesticide based on a spider venom peptide shows no adverse effects on honeybees.

    PubMed

    Nakasu, Erich Y T; Williamson, Sally M; Edwards, Martin G; Fitches, Elaine C; Gatehouse, John A; Wright, Geraldine A; Gatehouse, Angharad M R

    2014-07-22

    Evidence is accumulating that commonly used pesticides are linked to decline of pollinator populations; adverse effects of three neonicotinoids on bees have led to bans on their use across the European Union. Developing insecticides that pose negligible risks to beneficial organisms such as honeybees is desirable and timely. One strategy is to use recombinant fusion proteins containing neuroactive peptides/proteins linked to a 'carrier' protein that confers oral toxicity. Hv1a/GNA (Galanthus nivalis agglutinin), containing an insect-specific spider venom calcium channel blocker (ω-hexatoxin-Hv1a) linked to snowdrop lectin (GNA) as a 'carrier', is an effective oral biopesticide towards various insect pests. Effects of Hv1a/GNA towards a non-target species, Apis mellifera, were assessed through a thorough early-tier risk assessment. Following feeding, honeybees internalized Hv1a/GNA, which reached the brain within 1 h after exposure. However, survival was only slightly affected by ingestion (LD50>100 µg bee(-1)) or injection of fusion protein. Bees fed acute (100 µg bee(-1)) or chronic (0.35 mg ml(-1)) doses of Hv1a/GNA and trained in an olfactory learning task had similar rates of learning and memory to no-pesticide controls. Larvae were unaffected, being able to degrade Hv1a/GNA. These tests suggest that Hv1a/GNA is unlikely to cause detrimental effects on honeybees, indicating that atracotoxins targeting calcium channels are potential alternatives to conventional pesticides.

  19. The bee venom peptide tertiapin underlines the role of IKACh in acetylcholine-induced atrioventricular blocks

    PubMed Central

    Drici, Milou-Daniel; Diochot, Sylvie; Terrenoire, Cécile; Romey, Georges; Lazdunski, Michel

    2000-01-01

    Acetylcholine (ACh) is an important neuromodulator of cardiac function that is released upon stimulation of the vagus nerve. Despite numerous reports on activation of IKACh by acetylcholine in cardiomyocytes, it has yet to be demonstrated what role this channel plays in cardiac conduction. We studied the effect of tertiapin, a bee venom peptide blocking IKACh, to evaluate the role of IKACh in Langendorff preparations challenged with ACh.ACh (0.5 μM) reproducibly and reversibly induced complete atrioventricular (AV) blocks in retroperfused guinea-pig isolated hearts (n=12).Tertiapin (10 to 300 nM) dose-dependently and reversibly prevented the AV conduction decrements and the complete blocks in unpaced hearts (n=8, P<0.01).Tertiapin dose-dependently blunted the ACh-induced negative chronotropic response from an ACh-induced decrease in heart rate of 39±16% in control conditions to 3±3% after 300 nM tertiapin (P=0.01). These effects were not accompanied by any significant change in QT intervals.Tertiapin blocked IKACh with an IC50 of 30±4 nM with no significant effect on the major currents classically associated with cardiac repolarisation process (IKr, IKs, Ito1, Isus, IK1 or IKATP) or AV conduction (INa and ICa(L)).In summary, tertiapin prevents dose-dependently ACh-induced AV blocks in mammalian hearts by inhibiting IKACh. PMID:11015309

  20. Characterization of hadrucalcin, a peptide from Hadrurus gertschi scorpion venom with pharmacological activity on ryanodine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, Elisabeth F; Capes, E Michelle; Diego-García, Elia; Zamudio, Fernando Z; Fuentes, Oscar; Possani, Lourival D; Valdivia, Héctor H

    2009-01-01

    Background and purpose: Members of the calcin family, presently including imperatoxin A, maurocalcin, opicalcins and hemicalcin, are basic, 33-mer peptide activators of ryanodine receptors (RyRs), the calcium channels of the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) that provide the majority of calcium for muscle contraction. Here we describe hadrucalcin, a novel member of this family. Experimental approach: Hadrucalcin was isolated from the venom of Hadrurus gertschi. Amino acid sequence and mass were determined by Edman degradation and mass spectrometry respectively. A cDNA library was constructed to generate clones for DNA sequence determination. Biological activity of native toxin was confirmed with [3H]ryanodine binding, by using SR vesicles from cardiac and skeletal muscle, and with single skeletal (RyR1) and cardiac (RyR2) channels reconstituted in lipid bilayers. Hadrucalcin was applied to intact ventricular myocytes to investigate effects on calcium transients. The secondary structure of hadrucalcin was computer-modelled by using atomic coordinates from maurocalcin, a structurally similar peptide. Key results: Hadrucalcin is distinguished from previously described congeners by two additional amino acids in its primary sequence and the lack of prominent amphipathicity. Hadrucalcin activated RyRs with high affinity (EC50= 37 nmol·L−1), induced a long-lasting subconductance state on RyR1 and RyR2, and rapidly (lag time ∼2 s) penetrated ventricular cardiomyocytes, eliciting discharge of internal calcium stores and spontaneous contractions. Conclusions and implications: Hadrucalcin is a cell-permeant, powerful activator of RyRs, which has translational potential for targeted delivery of drugs to RyR as novel therapeutic intervention in arrhythmogenic disease. PMID:19389159

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Luna-Ramírez, Karen; Quintero-Hernández, Verónica; Juárez-González, Víctor Rivelino; Possani, Lourival D

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Pharmacological Alternatives for the Treatment of Neurodegenerative Disorders: Wasp and Bee Venoms and Their Components as New Neuroactive Tools

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Juliana; Monge-Fuentes, Victoria; Gomes, Flávia; Lopes, Kamila; dos Anjos, Lilian; Campos, Gabriel; Arenas, Claudia; Biolchi, Andréia; Gonçalves, Jacqueline; Galante, Priscilla; Campos, Leandro; Mortari, Márcia

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases are relentlessly progressive, severely impacting affected patients, families and society as a whole. Increased life expectancy has made these diseases more common worldwide. Unfortunately, available drugs have insufficient therapeutic effects on many subtypes of these intractable diseases, and adverse effects hamper continued treatment. Wasp and bee venoms and their components are potential means of managing or reducing these effects and provide new alternatives for the control of neurodegenerative diseases. These venoms and their components are well-known and irrefutable sources of neuroprotectors or neuromodulators. In this respect, the present study reviews our current understanding of the mechanisms of action and future prospects regarding the use of new drugs derived from wasp and bee venom in the treatment of major neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. PMID:26295258

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

    Venom has only been recently discovered to be a basal trait of the Anguimorpha lizards. Consequently, very little is known about the timings of toxin recruitment events, venom protein molecular evolution, or even the relative physical diversifications of the venom system itself. A multidisciplinary approach was used to examine the evolution across the full taxonomical range of this ∼130 million-year-old clade. Analysis of cDNA libraries revealed complex venom transcriptomes. Most notably, three new cardioactive peptide toxin types were discovered (celestoxin, cholecystokinin, and YY peptides). The latter two represent additional examples of convergent use of genes in toxic arsenals, both having previously been documented as components of frog skin defensive chemical secretions. Two other novel venom gland-overexpressed modified versions of other protein frameworks were also recovered from the libraries (epididymal secretory protein and ribonuclease). Lectin, hyaluronidase, and veficolin toxin types were sequenced for the first time from lizard venoms and shown to be homologous to the snake venom forms. In contrast, phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that the lizard natriuretic peptide toxins were recruited independently of the form in snake venoms. The de novo evolution of helokinestatin peptide toxin encoding domains within the lizard venom natriuretic gene was revealed to be exclusive to the helodermatid/anguid subclade. New isoforms were sequenced for cysteine-rich secretory protein, kallikrein, and phospholipase A(2) toxins. Venom gland morphological analysis revealed extensive evolutionary tinkering. Anguid glands are characterized by thin capsules and mixed glands, serous at the bottom of the lobule and mucous toward the apex. Twice, independently this arrangement was segregated into specialized serous protein-secreting glands with thick capsules with the mucous lobules now distinct (Heloderma and the Lanthanotus/Varanus clade). The results obtained

  7. Proteomic Analyses of Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix Venom Using 2D Electrophoresis and MS Techniques.

    PubMed

    Bocian, Aleksandra; Urbanik, Małgorzata; Hus, Konrad; Łyskowski, Andrzej; Petrilla, Vladimír; Andrejčáková, Zuzana; Petrillová, Monika; Legáth, Jaroslav

    2016-12-13

    Snake venom is a complex mixture of proteins and peptides which in the Viperidae is mainly hemotoxic. The diversity of these components causes the venom to be an extremely interesting object of study. Discovered components can be used in search for new pharmaceuticals used primarily in the treatment of diseases of the cardiovascular system. In order to determine the protein composition of the southern copperhead venom, we have used high resolution two dimensional electrophoresis and MALDI ToF/ToF MS-based identification. We have identified 10 groups of proteins present in the venom, of which phospholipase A₂ and metalloprotease and serine proteases constitute the largest groups. For the first time presence of 5'-nucleotidase in venom was found in this group of snakes. Three peptides present in the venom were also identified. Two of them as bradykinin-potentiating agents and one as an inhibitor.

  8. Proteomic Analyses of Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix Venom Using 2D Electrophoresis and MS Techniques

    PubMed Central

    Bocian, Aleksandra; Urbanik, Małgorzata; Hus, Konrad; Łyskowski, Andrzej; Petrilla, Vladimír; Andrejčáková, Zuzana; Petrillová, Monika; Legáth, Jaroslav

    2016-01-01

    Snake venom is a complex mixture of proteins and peptides which in the Viperidae is mainly hemotoxic. The diversity of these components causes the venom to be an extremely interesting object of study. Discovered components can be used in search for new pharmaceuticals used primarily in the treatment of diseases of the cardiovascular system. In order to determine the protein composition of the southern copperhead venom, we have used high resolution two dimensional electrophoresis and MALDI ToF/ToF MS-based identification. We have identified 10 groups of proteins present in the venom, of which phospholipase A2 and metalloprotease and serine proteases constitute the largest groups. For the first time presence of 5′-nucleotidase in venom was found in this group of snakes. Three peptides present in the venom were also identified. Two of them as bradykinin-potentiating agents and one as an inhibitor. PMID:27983581

  9. Structural characterization of a novel peptide with antimicrobial activity from the venom gland of the scorpion Tityus stigmurus: Stigmurin.

    PubMed

    de Melo, Edinara Targino; Estrela, Andréia Bergamo; Santos, Elizabeth Cristina Gomes; Machado, Paula Renata Lima; Farias, Kleber Juvenal Silva; Torres, Taffarel Melo; Carvalho, Enéas; Lima, João Paulo Matos Santos; Silva-Júnior, Arnóbio Antonio; Barbosa, Euzébio Guimarães; Fernandes-Pedrosa, Matheus de Freitas

    2015-06-01

    A new antimicrobial peptide, herein named Stigmurin, was selected based on a transcriptomic analysis of the Brazilian yellow scorpion Tityus stigmurus venom gland, an underexplored source for toxic peptides with possible biotechnological applications. Stigmurin was investigated in silico, by circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy, and in vitro. The CD spectra suggested that this peptide interacts with membranes, changing its conformation in the presence of an amphipathic environment, with predominance of random coil and beta-sheet structures. Stigmurin exhibited antibacterial and antifungal activity, with minimal inhibitory concentrations ranging from 8.7 to 69.5μM. It was also showed that Stigmurin is toxic against SiHa and Vero E6 cell lines. The results suggest that Stigmurin can be considered a potential anti-infective drug.

  10. Effect of hydrocarbon stapling on the properties of α-helical antimicrobial peptides isolated from the venom of hymenoptera.

    PubMed

    Chapuis, Hubert; Slaninová, Jiřina; Bednárová, Lucie; Monincová, Lenka; Buděšínský, Miloš; Čeřovský, Václav

    2012-11-01

    The impact of inserting hydrocarbon staples into short α-helical antimicrobial peptides lasioglossin III and melectin (antimicrobial peptides of wild bee venom) on their biological and biophysical properties has been examined. The stapling was achieved by ring-closing olefin metathesis, either between two S-2-(4'-pentenyl) alanine residues (S (5)) incorporated at i and i + 4 positions or between R-2-(7'-octenyl) alanine (R (8)) and S (5) incorporated at the i and i + 7 positions, respectively. We prepared several lasioglossin III and melectin analogs with a single staple inserted into different positions within the peptide chains as well as analogs with double staples. The stapled peptides exhibited a remarkable increase in hemolytic activity, while their antimicrobial activities decreased. Some single stapled peptides showed a higher resistance against proteolytic degradation than native ones, while the double stapled analogs were substantially more resistant. The CD spectra of the singly stapled peptides measured in water showed only a slightly better propensity to form α-helical structure when compared to native peptides, whereas the doubly stapled analogs exhibited dramatically enhanced α-helicity.

  11. An unexpected cell-penetrating peptide from Bothrops jararaca venom identified through a novel size exclusion chromatography screening.

    PubMed

    Sciani, Juliana Mozer; Vigerelli, Hugo; Costa, André Santos; Câmara, Diana Aparecida Dias; Junior, Paulo Luiz-de-Sá; Pimenta, Daniel Carvalho

    2017-01-01

    Efficient drug delivery systems are currently one of the greatest challenges in pharmacokinetics, and the transposition of the gap between in vitro candidate molecule and in vivo test drug is, sometimes, poles apart. In this sense, the cell-penetrating peptides (CPP) may be the bridge uniting these worlds. Here, we describe a technique to rapidly identify unlabeled CPPs after incubation with liposomes, based on commercial desalting (size exclusion) columns and liquid chromatography-MS/MS, for peptide de novo sequencing. Using this approach, we found it possible to identify one new CPP - interestingly, a classical bradykinin-potentiating peptide - in the peptide-rich low molecular mass fraction of the Bothrops jararaca venom, which was also able to penetrate live cell membranes, as confirmed by classical approaches employing fluorescence-labeled analogues of this CPP. Moreover, both the labeled and unlabeled CPPs caused no metabolic, cell-cycle or morphologic alterations, proving to be unmistakably cargo deliverers and not drugs themselves. In sum, we have developed and validated a method for screening label-free peptides for CPP activity, regardless of their biological origin, which could lead to the identification of new and more efficient drug delivery systems. Copyright © 2017 European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2017 European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  12. Cloning and functional characterization of a new antimicrobial peptide gene StCT1 from the venom of the scorpion Scorpiops tibetanus.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Wenying; Cao, Luyang; Ma, Yibao; Mao, Panyong; Wang, Weipeng; Zhao, Ruiming; Wu, Yingliang; Cao, Zhijian; Li, Wenxin

    2010-01-01

    Scorpion has an innovative venom gland, which is an important determinant in contributing to its successful survival for more than 400 million years. Scorpion venom contains a diversity of bioactive peptides, which represent a tremendous hitherto unexplored resource for use in drug design and development. Here, StCT1, a new antimicrobial peptide gene, was screened and isolated from the venomous gland cDNA library of the scorpion Scorpiops tibetanus. The full-length cDNA of StCT1 is 369 nucleotides encoding the precursor that contains a putative 24-residue signal peptide, a presumed 14-residue mature peptide, and an uncommon 37-residue acidic propeptide at the C-terminus. The minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of the synthetic StCT1 peptide against Staphylococcus aureus and Micrococcus luteus were 12.5microg/ml and 100microg/ml, respectively. The MICs of StCT1 against clinical antibiotics-resistant bacterial strains, were 50-250microg/ml, 2-40 folds lower than those of penicillin. These results show that the antimicrobial peptide encoded by StCT1 gene from the venom of the scorpion S. tibetanus is a potential anti-infective polypeptide or lead compound, especially for treating antibiotics-resistant pathogens.

  13. Structural and Functional Elucidation of Peptide Ts11 Shows Evidence of a Novel Subfamily of Scorpion Venom Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Cremonez, Caroline M.; Maiti, Mohitosh; Peigneur, Steve; Cassoli, Juliana Silva; Dutra, Alexandre A. A.; Waelkens, Etienne; Lescrinier, Eveline; Herdewijn, Piet; de Lima, Maria Elena; Pimenta, Adriano M. C.; Arantes, Eliane C.; Tytgat, Jan

    2016-01-01

    To date, several families of peptide toxins specifically interacting with ion channels in scorpion venom have been described. One of these families comprise peptide toxins (called KTxs), known to modulate potassium channels. Thus far, 202 KTxs have been reported, belonging to several subfamilies of KTxs (called α, β, γ, κ, δ, and λ-KTxs). Here we report on a previously described orphan toxin from Tityus serrulatus venom, named Ts11. We carried out an in-depth structure-function analysis combining 3D structure elucidation of Ts11 and electrophysiological characterization of the toxin. The Ts11 structure is highlighted by an Inhibitor Cystine Knot (ICK) type scaffold, completely devoid of the classical secondary structure elements (α-helix and/or β-strand). This has, to the best of our knowledge, never been described before for scorpion toxins and therefore represents a novel, 6th type of structural fold for these scorpion peptides. On the basis of their preferred interaction with voltage-gated K channels, as compared to all the other targets tested, it can be postulated that Ts11 is the first member of a new subfamily, designated as ε-KTx. PMID:27706049

  14. Structural and Functional Elucidation of Peptide Ts11 Shows Evidence of a Novel Subfamily of Scorpion Venom Toxins.

    PubMed

    Cremonez, Caroline M; Maiti, Mohitosh; Peigneur, Steve; Cassoli, Juliana Silva; Dutra, Alexandre A A; Waelkens, Etienne; Lescrinier, Eveline; Herdewijn, Piet; de Lima, Maria Elena; Pimenta, Adriano M C; Arantes, Eliane C; Tytgat, Jan

    2016-09-30

    To date, several families of peptide toxins specifically interacting with ion channels in scorpion venom have been described. One of these families comprise peptide toxins (called KTxs), known to modulate potassium channels. Thus far, 202 KTxs have been reported, belonging to several subfamilies of KTxs (called α, β, γ, κ, δ, and λ-KTxs). Here we report on a previously described orphan toxin from Tityus serrulatus venom, named Ts11. We carried out an in-depth structure-function analysis combining 3D structure elucidation of Ts11 and electrophysiological characterization of the toxin. The Ts11 structure is highlighted by an Inhibitor Cystine Knot (ICK) type scaffold, completely devoid of the classical secondary structure elements (α-helix and/or β-strand). This has, to the best of our knowledge, never been described before for scorpion toxins and therefore represents a novel, 6th type of structural fold for these scorpion peptides. On the basis of their preferred interaction with voltage-gated K channels, as compared to all the other targets tested, it can be postulated that Ts11 is the first member of a new subfamily, designated as ε-KTx.

  15. High throughput screening of bradykinin-potentiating peptides in Bothrops moojeni snake venom using precursor ion mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Menin, Laure; Perchuć, Anna; Favreau, Philippe; Perret, Frédéric; Michalet, Sophie; Schöni, Reto; Wilmer, Marianne; Stöcklin, Reto

    2008-06-01

    Snake venoms are known to be an extensive source of bioactive peptides. Bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPPs) are inhibitors of the angiotensin-converting enzyme that have already been identified in the venom of many snake, scorpion, spider and batrachian species. Their most characteristic structural features are an invariable N-terminal pyroglutamate residue (pGlu or Z) and two consecutive proline residues at the C-terminus. Fragmentation of BPPs by collision-induced dissociation during electrospray tandem mass spectrometry analysis (ESI-MS/MS) generates a predominant signal at m/z 213.1 corresponding to the y-ion of the terminal Pro-Pro fragment. In addition, signals at m/z 226.1 and 240.1 that correspond to the b ions of the N-terminus pGlu-Asn and pGlu-Lys, respectively, can often be observed. Based on these structural determinants, the present work describes an original methodology for the discovery of BPPs in natural extracts using liquid chromatography coupled to ESI-MS/MS operated in precursor ion-scan mode. The venom of the Bothrops moojeni snake was used as a model and the methodology was applied for subsequent structural analysis of the identified precursors by tandem mass spectrometry on quadrupole-time-of-flight (Q-TOF) and matrix-assisted laser-desorption/ionization time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS/MS) instruments. More than 40 peptides below 2500 Da could be detected, among them 20 were shown to belong to the BPP-like family including the related tripeptides pGlu-Lys-Trp and pGlu-Asn-Trp. A total of 15 new sequences have been identified using this approach.

  16. Are ticks venomous animals?

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Novel biopesticide based on a spider venom peptide shows no adverse effects on honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Nakasu, Erich Y. T.; Williamson, Sally M.; Edwards, Martin G.; Fitches, Elaine C.; Gatehouse, John A.; Wright, Geraldine A.; Gatehouse, Angharad M. R.

    2014-01-01

    Evidence is accumulating that commonly used pesticides are linked to decline of pollinator populations; adverse effects of three neonicotinoids on bees have led to bans on their use across the European Union. Developing insecticides that pose negligible risks to beneficial organisms such as honeybees is desirable and timely. One strategy is to use recombinant fusion proteins containing neuroactive peptides/proteins linked to a ‘carrier’ protein that confers oral toxicity. Hv1a/GNA (Galanthus nivalis agglutinin), containing an insect-specific spider venom calcium channel blocker (ω-hexatoxin-Hv1a) linked to snowdrop lectin (GNA) as a ‘carrier’, is an effective oral biopesticide towards various insect pests. Effects of Hv1a/GNA towards a non-target species, Apis mellifera, were assessed through a thorough early-tier risk assessment. Following feeding, honeybees internalized Hv1a/GNA, which reached the brain within 1 h after exposure. However, survival was only slightly affected by ingestion (LD50 > 100 µg bee−1) or injection of fusion protein. Bees fed acute (100 µg bee−1) or chronic (0.35 mg ml−1) doses of Hv1a/GNA and trained in an olfactory learning task had similar rates of learning and memory to no-pesticide controls. Larvae were unaffected, being able to degrade Hv1a/GNA. These tests suggest that Hv1a/GNA is unlikely to cause detrimental effects on honeybees, indicating that atracotoxins targeting calcium channels are potential alternatives to conventional pesticides. PMID:24898372

  18. Enhanced Antimicrobial Activity of AamAP1-Lysine, a Novel Synthetic Peptide Analog Derived from the Scorpion Venom Peptide AamAP1

    PubMed Central

    Almaaytah, Ammar; Tarazi, Shadi; Abu-Alhaijaa, Ahmad; Altall, Yara; Alshar’i, Nizar; Bodoor, Khaldon; Al-Balas, Qosay

    2014-01-01

    There is great interest in the development of antimicrobial peptides as a potentially novel class of antimicrobial agents. Several structural determinants are responsible for the antimicrobial and cytolytic activity of antimicrobial peptides. In our study, a new synthetic peptide analog, AamAP1-Lysine from the naturally occurring scorpion venom antimicrobial peptide AamAP1, was designed by modifying the parent peptide in order to increase the positive charge and optimize other physico-chemical parameters involved in antimicrobial activity. AamAP1-Lysine displayed potent antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The minimum inhibitory concentration was in the range of 5 to 15 µM with a 10 fold increase in potency over the parent peptide. The hemolytic and antiproliferative activity of AamAP1-Lysine against eukaryotic mammalian cells was minimal at the concentration range needed to inhibit bacterial growth. The antibacterial mechanism analysis indicated that AamAP1-Lysine is probably inducing bacterial cell death through membrane damage and permeabilization determined by the release of β-galactosidase enzyme from peptide treated E. coli cells. DNA binding studies revealed that AamAP1-Lysine caused complete retardation of DNA migration and could display intracellular activities in addition to the membrane permeabilization mode of action reported earlier. In conclusion, AamAP1-Lysine could prove to be a potential candidate for antimicrobial drug development in future studies. PMID:24776889

  19. NMR-spectroscopic screening of spider venom reveals sulfated nucleosides as major components for the brown recluse and related species

    PubMed Central

    Schroeder, Frank C.; Taggi, Andrew E.; Gronquist, Matthew; Malik, Rabia U.; Grant, Jacqualine B.; Eisner, Thomas; Meinwald, Jerrold

    2008-01-01

    Extensive chemical analyses of spider venoms from many species have revealed complex mixtures of biologically active compounds, of which several have provided important leads for drug development. We have recently shown that NMR spectroscopy can be used advantageously for a direct structural characterization of the small-molecule content of such complex mixtures. Here, we report the application of this strategy to a larger-scale analysis of a collection of spider venoms representing >70 species, which, in combination with mass spectrometric analyses, allowed the identification of a wide range of known, and several previously undescribed, small molecules. These include polyamines, common neurotransmitters, and amino acid derivatives as well as two additional members of a recently discovered family of natural products, the sulfated nucleosides. In the case of the well studied brown recluse spider, Loxosceles reclusa, sulfated guanosine derivatives were found to comprise the major small-molecule components of the venom. PMID:18794518

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-06-01

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

  1. Venom Components of Iranian Scorpion Hemiscorpius lepturus Inhibit the Growth and Replication of Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1 (HIV-1)

    PubMed Central

    Zabihollahi, Rezvan; Bagheri, Kamran Pooshang; Keshavarz, Zohreh; Motevalli, Fatemeh; Bahramali, Golnaz; Siadat, Seyed Davar; Momen, Seyed Bahman; Shahbazzadeh, Delavar; Aghasadeghi, Mohammad Reza

    2016-01-01

    Background: During the recent years, significant progress has been achieved on development of novel anti-viral drugs. Natural products are assumed as the potential sources of novel anti-viral drugs; therefore, there are some previous studies reporting the anti-viral compounds from venomous animals. Based on the significant value for tracing of non-toxic anti-viral agents from natural resources, this study was aimed to investigate the anti-viral activity of some HPLC purified fractions derived from the venom of Iranian scorpion, Hemiscorpius lepturus, against human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) and herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). Methods: H. Lepturus crude venom was subjected to reverse phase HPLC analysis to determine its active components precisely where four dominant fractions obtained at retention time of 156-160 minutes. The phospholipase A2 and hemolytic activities of the purified fractions were first evaluated. Then the anti-viral activity was measured using single cycle HIV (NL4-3) replication and HSV (KOS) plaque reduction assays. Results: The H. lepturus crude venom inhibited HIV replication by 73% at the concentration of 200 µg/ml, while it did not show significant anti-HSV activity. It also inhibited the cell-free viral particles in a virucidal assay, while it showed no toxicity for the target cells in a proliferation assay. The four HPLC fractions purified from H. lepturus inhibited HIV with IC50 of 20 µg/ml. Conclusion: H. lepturus venom contains components with considerable anti-HIV activity insofar as it has virucidal activity that offers a novel therapeutic approach against HIV infection. Our results suggest a promising pilot for anti-HIV drug discovery with H. lepturus scorpion venom. PMID:27594443

  2. Peptidome profiling of venom from the social wasp Polybia paulista.

    PubMed

    Dias, Nathalia Batista; de Souza, Bibiana Monson; Gomes, Paulo Cesar; Brigatte, Patricia; Palma, Mario Sergio

    2015-12-01

    Most crude venom from Polybia paulista is composed of short, linear peptides; however, only five of these peptides are structurally and functionally characterized. Therefore, the peptides in this venom were profiled using an HPLC-IT-TOF/MS and MS(n) system. The presence of type -d and -w ions that are generated from the fragmentation of the side chains was used to resolve I/L ambiguity. The distinction between K and Q residues was achieved through esterification of the α- and ε-amino groups in the peptide chains, followed by mass spectrometry analysis. Fourteen major peptides were detected in P. paulista venom and sequenced; all the peptides were synthesized on solid-phase and submitted to a series of bioassays. Five of them had been previously characterized, and nine were novel toxins. The novel peptides correspond to two wasp kinins, two chemotactic components, three mastoparans, and two peptides of unknown function. The seven novel peptides with identified functions appear to act synergistically with the previously known ones, constituting three well-known families of peptide toxins (wasp kinins, chemotactic peptides, and mastoparans) in the venom of social wasps. These multifunctional toxins can cause pain, oedema formation, haemolysis, chemotaxis of PMNLs, and mast cell degranulation in victims who are stung by wasps. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Utkin, Yuri N

    2015-05-26

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

  4. Animal venom studies: Current benefits and future developments

    PubMed Central

    Utkin, Yuri N

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Functional and immuno-reactive characterization of a previously undescribed peptide from the venom of the scorpion Centruroides limpidus.

    PubMed

    Olamendi-Portugal, Timoteo; Restano-Cassulini, Rita; Riaño-Umbarila, Lidia; Becerril, Baltazar; Possani, Lourival D

    2017-01-01

    A previously undescribed toxic peptide named Cl13 was purified from the venom of the Mexican scorpion Centruroides limpidus. It contains 66 amino acid residues, including four disulfide bonds. The physiological effects assayed in 7 different subtypes of voltage gated Na(+)-channels, showed that it belongs to the β-scorpion toxin type. The most notorious effects were observed in subtypes Nav1.4, Nav1.5 and Nav1.6. Although having important sequence similarities with two other lethal toxins from this scorpion species (Cll1m and Cll2), the recently developed single chain antibody fragments (scFv) of human origin were not capable of protecting against Cl13. At the amino acid sequence level, in 3 stretches of peptide Cl13 (positions 7-9, 30-38 and 62-66) some differences with respect to other similar toxins are observed. Some of these differences coincide with contact points with the human antibody fragments.

  7. Calciseptine, a peptide isolated from black mamba venom, is a specific blocker of the L-type calcium channel.

    PubMed

    de Weille, J R; Schweitz, H; Maes, P; Tartar, A; Lazdunski, M

    1991-03-15

    The venom of the black mamba contains a 60-amino acid peptide called calciseptine. The peptide has been fully sequenced. It is a smooth muscle relaxant and an inhibitor of cardiac contractions. Its physiological action resembles that of drugs, such as the 1,4-dihydropyridines, which are important in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Calciseptine, like the 1,4-dihydropyridines, selectively blocks L-type Ca2+ channels and is totally inactive on other voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels such as N-type and T-type channels. To our knowledge, it is the only natural polypeptide that has been shown to be a specific inhibitor of L-type Ca2+ channels.

  8. Scorpion venom peptide SPVII promotes irradiated cells proliferation and increases the expression of the IL-3 receptor

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The previous investigation demonstrated the radioprotective efficacy of peptides isolated from the venom of Buthus Martti Karsch. In this study, the effect of isolated scorpion venom peptide II (SVPII) on irradiated M-NFS-60 cells and mouse bone marrow mononuclear cells (BM-MNCs) was observed. The AlamarBlue cell viability assay, a colony-forming unit (CFU) assay, flow cytometry (FCM), immunofluorescence, and Western blotting were used to evaluate cell proliferation, cell cycle progression, and the expression of the IL-3 receptor (IL-3R) protein in non-irradiated and irradiated cells. Results Proliferation of irradiated M-NFS-60 cells was significantly accelerated by SPVII, and this effect was further enhanced by co-application of IL-3. Similarly, SPVII increased the number of BM-MNC CFUs and this proliferative effect was greater in the presence of SVPII plus IL-3. In addition, SPVII significantly altered cell cycle progression; SVPII enhanced the fraction of unirradiated M-NFS-60 cells in S phase and the fraction of irradiated M-NFS-60 cells arrested in G2/M. The expression of IL-3R protein by unirradiated M-NFS-60 cells was enhanced significantly by SVPII, and SVPII-induced IL-3R overexpression was 10-fold greater in irradiated M-NFS-60 cells. Conclusions These results indicated the hematopoietic growth factor (HGF)-like effects of SVPII on irradiated cells, possibly mediated by upregulation of IL-3R. PMID:23835458

  9. Synthetic peptides corresponding to sequences of snake venom neurotoxins and rabies virus glycoprotein bind to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Lentz, T L; Hawrot, E; Wilson, P T

    1987-01-01

    Peptides corresponding to portions of loop 2 of snake venom curare-mimetic neurotoxins and to a structurally similar region of rabies virus glycoprotein were synthesized. Interaction of these peptides with purified Torpedo electric organ acetylcholine receptor was tested by measuring their ability to block the binding of 125I-labeled alpha-bungarotoxin to the receptor. In addition, inhibition of alpha-bungarotoxin binding to a 32-residue synthetic peptide corresponding to positions 173-204 of the alpha-subunit was determined. Neurotoxin and glycoprotein peptides corresponding to toxin loop 2 inhibited labeled toxin binding to the receptor with IC50 values comparable to those of nicotine and the competitive antagonist d-tubocurarine and to the alpha-subunit peptides with apparent affinities between those of d-tubocurarine and alpha-cobratoxin. Substitution of neurotoxin residue Arg37, the proposed counterpart of the quaternary ammonium of acetylcholine, with a negatively charged Glu residue reduced the apparent affinity about 10-fold. Peptides containing the neurotoxin invariant residue Trp29 and 10- to 100-fold higher affinities than peptides lacking this residue. These results demonstrate that relatively short synthetic peptides retain some of the binding ability of the native protein from which they are derived, indicating that such peptides are useful in the study of protein-protein interactions. The ability of the peptides to compete alpha-bungarotoxin binding to the receptor with apparent affinities comparable to those of other cholinergic ligands indicates that loop 2 of the neurotoxins and the structurally similar segment of the rabies virus glycoprotein act as recognition sites for the acetylcholine receptor. Invariant toxin residues Arg37 and Trp29 and their viral homologs play important, although not essential, roles in binding, possibly by interaction with complementary anionic and hydrophobic subsites on the acetylcholine receptor. The alpha

  10. Anxiolytic activity and evaluation of potentially adverse effects of a bradykinin-related peptide isolated from a social wasp venom.

    PubMed

    dos Anjos, Lilian Carneiro; Gomes, Flávia Maria Medeiros; do Couto, Lucianna Lopes; Mourão, Cecília Alves; Moreira, Karla Graziela; Silva, Luciano Paulino; Mortari, Márcia Renata

    2016-03-15

    Anxiety disorders are major health problems in terms of costs stemming from sick leave, disabilities, healthcare and premature mortality. Despite the availability of classic anxiolytics, some anxiety disorders are still resistant to treatment, with higher rates of adverse effects. In this respect, several toxins isolated from arthropod venoms are useful in identifying new compounds to treat neurological disorders, particularly pathological anxiety. Thus, the aims of this study were to identify and characterize an anxiolytic peptide isolated from the venom of the social wasp Polybia paulista. The peptide was identified as Polisteskinin R, with nominal molecular mass [M+H](+)=1301Da and primary structure consisting of Ala-Arg-Arg-Pro-Pro-Gly-Phe-Thr-Pro-Phe-Arg-OH. The anxiolytic effect was tested using the elevated plus maze test. Moreover, adverse effects on the spontaneous behavior and motor coordination of animals were assessed using the open field and rotarod tests. Polisteskinin R induced a dose-dependent anxiolytic effect. Animals treated with the peptide and diazepam spent significantly more time into the open arms when compared to the groups treated with the vehicle and pentylenetetrazole. No significant differences in spontaneous behavior or motor coordination were observed between the groups, showing that the peptide was well tolerated. The interaction by agonists in both known BK receptors induces a variability of physiological effects; Polisteskinin R can act on these receptors, inducing modulatory activity and thus, attenuating anxiety behaviors. The results of this study demonstrated that the compound Polisteskinin R exerted potent anxiolytic effects and its analogues are promising candidates for experimental pharmacology.

  11. Short-chain peptides identification of scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch venom by employing high orthogonal 2D-HPLC system and tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Xu, Junyan; Zhang, Xiuli; Guo, Zhimou; Yan, Jingyu; Yu, Long; Li, Xiuling; Xue, Xingya; Liang, Xinmiao

    2012-10-01

    Scorpion venom contains a considerable variety of neurotoxic peptides that can act on ionic channels. Here, we describe an orthogonal 2D-reversed phase/hydrophilic interaction chromatography system (RPLC/HILIC) and use it to separate short-chain peptides from Asian scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch (BmK) venom in a high throughput format. Due to its high orthogonality and efficiency, 18 homogenous peptides were purified and sequence identified by MS/MS with collision-induced dissociation. Among them, four peptides were discovered, which only have evidence at transcript-level, were first purified from crude venom in this study. Two peptides named BmKK2-b and Martentoxin-b were found the new cleaved chains of known BmKK2 and Martentoxin. In addition, two novel peptides named BmKK12 and BmKK16 in this paper were sequenced by de novo MS/MS, which we predict, are members of potassium channel toxin α-KTx 17 subfamily by homology to other known peptides found in the Swiss-Prot protein database.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Venom-based biotoxins as potential analgesics.

    PubMed

    Gazerani, Parisa; Cairns, Brian Edwin

    2014-11-01

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

  14. Characterization of the gila monster (Heloderma suspectum suspectum) venom proteome.

    PubMed

    Sanggaard, Kristian W; Dyrlund, Thomas F; Thomsen, Line R; Nielsen, Tania A; Brøndum, Lars; Wang, Tobias; Thøgersen, Ida B; Enghild, Jan J

    2015-03-18

    The archetypical venomous lizard species are the helodermatids, the gila monsters (Heloderma suspectum) and the beaded lizards (Heloderma horridum). In the present study, the gila monster venom proteome was characterized using 2D-gel electrophoresis and tandem mass spectrometry-based de novo peptide sequencing followed by protein identification based on sequence homology. A total of 39 different proteins were identified out of the 58 selected spots that represent the major constituents of venom. Of these proteins, 19 have not previously been identified in helodermatid venom. The data showed that helodermatid venom is complex and that this complexity is caused by genetic isoforms and post-translational modifications including proteolytic processing. In addition, the venom proteome analysis revealed that the major constituents of the gila monster venom are kallikrein-like serine proteinases (EC 3.4.21) and phospholipase A2 (type III) enzymes (EC 3.1.1.4). A neuroendocrine convertase 1 homolog that most likely converts the proforms of the previously identified bioactive exendins into the mature and active forms was identified suggesting that these peptide toxins are secreted as proforms that are activated by proteolytic cleavage following secretion as opposed to being activated intracellularly. The presented global protein identification-analysis provides the first overview of the helodermatid venom composition. The helodermatid lizards are the classical venomous lizards, and the pharmacological potential of the venom from these species has been known for years; best illustrated by the identification of exendin-4, which is now used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Despite the potential, no global analyses of the protein components in the venom exist. A hindrance is the lack of a genome sequence because it prevents protein identification using a conventional approach where MS data are searched against predicted protein sequences based on the genome sequence

  15. Unraveling the venom components of an encyrtid endoparasitoid wasp Diversinervus elegans.

    PubMed

    Liu, Nai-Yong; Wang, Jin-Qiang; Zhang, Zu-Bing; Huang, Jing-Mei; Zhu, Jia-Ying

    2017-09-15

    The encyrtid parasitoid, Diversinervus elegans (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae), is a natural enemy of the notorious scale pests belonging to the family of Coccidae. Venom containing a rich source of bioactive molecules is a key virulent factor used to regulate host physiology by parasitoids. Although knowledge regarding venom constituents accumulated from limited parasitoids has provided insights into their roles in host-parasitoid interaction, toxins involving in manipulating scale physiology remain sparsely documented. Here, a total number of 48 putative venom proteins were identified from D. elegans using an integrative transcriptomic and proteomic approach. The majority of them such as serine protease, esterase, and major royal jelly protein have been found in venom of other several parasitoid species. Several venom proteins including three novel proteins having unknown function were firstly revealed. Quantitative real time PCR analysis demonstrated that 16 venom genes displayed female-biased expression, which might be important for parasitism success. These data enrich our understanding of parasitoid venom evolution and diversity, and will undoubtedly help deciphering functional venom proteins as potential candidates for pest control. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Inhibitory effects of bee venom and its components against viruses in vitro and in vivo.

    PubMed

    Uddin, Md Bashir; Lee, Byeong-Hoon; Nikapitiya, Chamilani; Kim, Jae-Hoon; Kim, Tae-Hwan; Lee, Hyun-Cheol; Kim, Choul Goo; Lee, Jong-Soo; Kim, Chul-Joong

    2016-12-01

    Bee venom (BV) from honey bee (Apis Melifera L.) contains at least 18 pharmacologically active components including melittin (MLT), phospholipase A2 (PLA2), and apamin etc. BV is safe for human treatments dose dependently and proven to possess different healing properties including antibacterial and antiparasitidal properties. Nevertheless, antiviral properties of BV have not well investigated. Hence, we identified the potential antiviral properties of BV and its component against a broad panel of viruses. Co-incubation of non-cytotoxic amounts of BV and MLT, the main component of BV, significantly inhibited the replication of enveloped viruses such as Influenza A virus (PR8), Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV), Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), and Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). Additionally, BV and MLT also inhibited the replication of non-enveloped viruses such as Enterovirus-71 (EV-71) and Coxsackie Virus (H3). Such antiviral properties were mainly explained by virucidal mechanism. Moreover, MLT protected mice which were challenged with lethal doses of pathogenic influenza A H1N1 viruses. Therefore, these results provides the evidence that BV and MLT could be a potential source as a promising antiviral agent, especially to develop as a broad spectrum antiviral agent.

  17. Pertussis toxin-insensitive effects of mastoparan, a wasp venom peptide, in PC12 cells.

    PubMed

    Murayama, T; Oda, H; Nomura, Y

    1996-12-01

    Recent studies have shown that mastoparan, an amphiphilic peptide derived from wasp venom, modifies the secretion of neurotransmitters and hormones from a variety of cell types. Mastoparan interacts with heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (G proteins) such as Gi and G(o), which are ADP-ribosylated by pertussis toxin (PTX) and thereby uncoupled from receptors. Previously, some of the effects of mastoparan including secretion were reported to be modified selectively by PTX but not by cholera toxin (CTX). In the present study, we examined the influence of bacterial toxins on the effects of mastoparan in PC12 cells. Mastoparan stimulated [3H]noradrenaline (NA) release from prelabeled PC12 cells in the absence of CaCl2, although high K+ or ATP-stimulated the release in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner. Pretreatment with CTX, not PTX, for 24 h inhibited mastoparan-stimulated [3H]NA release. Mastoparan inhibited forskolin-stimulated cyclic AMP accumulation in a dose-dependent manner, although mastoparan had no effect by itself. Pretreatment with PTX completely abolished the inhibitory effect of carbachol via Gi on cyclic AMP accumulation and partially reduced the effect of mastoparan. However, the inhibitory effect of 20 microM mastoparan was not modified by pretreatment with PTX. Thus, we investigated the effect of mastoparan on CTX-catalyzed [32P]ADP-ribosylation of proteins in PC12 cells. A subunit of CTX (CTX-A) catalyzed [32P]ADP-ribosylation of many proteins in the cytosolic fraction of PC12 cells. One of these was a 20 kDa protein, named ADP-ribosylating factor (ARF). The addition of mastoparan to assay mixtures inhibited ADP-ribosylation of many proteins including ARF and CTX-A in the presence of the cytosolic fraction. In the absence of the cytosolic fraction, however, mastoparan slightly enhanced ADP-ribosylation of bovine serum albumin and auto-ADP-ribosylation by CTX-A. Mastoparan did not inhibit ADP-ribosylation of the alpha subunit of Gs in the

  18. Inhibition of adamalysin II and MMPs by phosphonate analogues of snake venom peptides.

    PubMed

    D'Alessio, S; Gallina, C; Gavuzzo, E; Giordano, C; Gorini, B; Mazza, F; Paradisi, M P; Panini, G; Pochetti, G; Sella, A

    1999-02-01

    Phosphonate analogues of the peptidomimetic N-(Furan-2-yl)carbonyl-Leu-Trp-OH were prepared with the goal of evaluating the effect of phosphonate for carboxylate replacement on binding with snake venom metalloproteinases and MMPs. N-(Furan-2-yl)carbonyl-Leu-L-Trp(P)-(OH)2 showed a 75-fold increase of the inhibiting activity against adamalysin II, a snake venom metalloproteinase structurally related to MMPs and TACE. Both the phosphonate and carboxylate peptidomimetics fit into the active site adopting a retrobinding mode and provide the structural base for a new class of metalloproteinases inhibitors.

  19. Venomous snakes of Costa Rica: biological and medical implications of their venom proteomic profiles analyzed through the strategy of snake venomics.

    PubMed

    Lomonte, Bruno; Fernández, Julián; Sanz, Libia; Angulo, Yamileth; Sasa, Mahmood; Gutiérrez, José María; Calvete, Juan J

    2014-06-13

    In spite of its small territory of ~50,000km(2), Costa Rica harbors a remarkably rich biodiversity. Its herpetofauna includes 138 species of snakes, of which sixteen pit vipers (family Viperidae, subfamily Crotalinae), five coral snakes (family Elapidae, subfamily Elapinae), and one sea snake (Family Elapidae, subfamily Hydrophiinae) pose potential hazards to human and animal health. In recent years, knowledge on the composition of snake venoms has expanded dramatically thanks to the development of increasingly fast and sensitive analytical techniques in mass spectrometry and separation science applied to protein characterization. Among several analytical strategies to determine the overall protein/peptide composition of snake venoms, the methodology known as 'snake venomics' has proven particularly well suited and informative, by providing not only a catalog of protein types/families present in a venom, but also a semi-quantitative estimation of their relative abundances. Through a collaborative research initiative between Instituto de Biomedicina de Valencia (IBV) and Instituto Clodomiro Picado (ICP), this strategy has been applied to the study of venoms of Costa Rican snakes, aiming to obtain a deeper knowledge on their composition, geographic and ontogenic variations, relationships to taxonomy, correlation with toxic activities, and discovery of novel components. The proteomic profiles of venoms from sixteen out of the 22 species within the Viperidae and Elapidae families found in Costa Rica have been reported so far, and an integrative view of these studies is hereby presented. In line with other venomic projects by research groups focusing on a wide variety of snakes around the world, these studies contribute to a deeper understanding of the biochemical basis for the diverse toxic profiles evolved by venomous snakes. In addition, these studies provide opportunities to identify novel molecules of potential pharmacological interest. Furthermore, the

  20. Overview of the Knottin scorpion toxin-like peptides in scorpion venoms: Insights on their classification and evolution.

    PubMed

    Santibáñez-López, Carlos E; Possani, Lourival D

    2015-12-01

    Scorpion venoms include several compounds with different pharmacological activities. Within these compounds, toxins affecting ion channels are among the most studied. They are all peptides that have been classified based on their 3D structure, chain size and function. Usually, they show a spatial arrangement characterized by the presence of a cysteine-stabilized alpha beta motif; most of them affect Na(+) and K(+) ion-channels. These features have been revised in several occasions before, but a complete phylogenetic analysis of the disulfide containing peptides is not been done. In the present contribution, two databases (Pfam and InterPro) including more than 800 toxins from different scorpions were analyzed. Pfam database included toxins from several organisms other than scorpions such as insects and plants, while InterPro included only scorpion toxins. Our results suggest that Na(+) toxins have evolved independently from those of K(+) toxins no matter the length of the peptidic chains. These preliminary results suggest that current classification needs a more detailed revision, in order to have better characterized toxin families, so the new peptides obtained from transcriptomic analyses would be properly classified.

  1. Ctriporin, a New Anti-Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Peptide from the Venom of the Scorpion Chaerilus tricostatus ▿

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Zheng; Cao, Luyang; He, Yawen; Hu, Jun; Di, Zhiyong; Wu, Yingliang; Li, Wenxin; Cao, Zhijian

    2011-01-01

    Antibiotic-resistant microbes, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, seriously threaten human health. The outbreak of “superbugs” in recent years emphasizes once again the need for the development of new antimicrobial agents or resources. Antimicrobial peptides have an evident bactericidal effect against multidrug-resistant pathogens. In the present study, a new antimicrobial peptide, ctriporin, was cloned and characterized from the venom of the scorpion Chaerilus tricostatus, an animal which has not yet been explored for toxic peptide resources. The MICs of ctriporin against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus thuringiensis, Bacillus subtilis, Micrococcus luteus, and Candida albicans are 5 to 20 μg/ml. Meanwhile, it MIC against clinical antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains is 10 μg/ml. Furthermore, the potential for ctriporin to be used as a topical antibiotic for treating staphylococcal skin infections was investigated. External use of the peptide ctriporin dramatically decreased the bacterial counts and cured skin infections in mice. In addition, ctriporin demonstrates antimicrobial efficacy via the bactericidal mechanism of rapid cell lysis. Together, these results suggest the potential of developing ctriporin as a new topical antibiotic. PMID:21876042

  2. Ctriporin, a new anti-methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus peptide from the venom of the scorpion Chaerilus tricostatus.

    PubMed

    Fan, Zheng; Cao, Luyang; He, Yawen; Hu, Jun; Di, Zhiyong; Wu, Yingliang; Li, Wenxin; Cao, Zhijian

    2011-11-01

    Antibiotic-resistant microbes, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, seriously threaten human health. The outbreak of "superbugs" in recent years emphasizes once again the need for the development of new antimicrobial agents or resources. Antimicrobial peptides have an evident bactericidal effect against multidrug-resistant pathogens. In the present study, a new antimicrobial peptide, ctriporin, was cloned and characterized from the venom of the scorpion Chaerilus tricostatus, an animal which has not yet been explored for toxic peptide resources. The MICs of ctriporin against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus thuringiensis, Bacillus subtilis, Micrococcus luteus, and Candida albicans are 5 to 20 μg/ml. Meanwhile, it MIC against clinical antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains is 10 μg/ml. Furthermore, the potential for ctriporin to be used as a topical antibiotic for treating staphylococcal skin infections was investigated. External use of the peptide ctriporin dramatically decreased the bacterial counts and cured skin infections in mice. In addition, ctriporin demonstrates antimicrobial efficacy via the bactericidal mechanism of rapid cell lysis. Together, these results suggest the potential of developing ctriporin as a new topical antibiotic.

  3. Exploring high-affinity binding properties of octamer peptides by principal component analysis of tetramer peptides.

    PubMed

    Kume, Akiko; Kawai, Shun; Kato, Ryuji; Iwata, Shinmei; Shimizu, Kazunori; Honda, Hiroyuki

    2017-02-01

    To investigate the binding properties of a peptide sequence, we conducted principal component analysis (PCA) of the physicochemical features of a tetramer peptide library comprised of 512 peptides, and the variables were reduced to two principal components. We selected IL-2 and IgG as model proteins and the binding affinity to these proteins was assayed using the 512 peptides mentioned above. PCA of binding affinity data showed that 16 and 18 variables were suitable for localizing IL-2 and IgG high-affinity binding peptides, respectively, into a restricted region of the PCA plot. We then investigated whether the binding affinity of octamer peptide libraries could be predicted using the identified region in the tetramer PCA. The results show that octamer high-affinity binding peptides were also concentrated in the tetramer high-affinity binding region of both IL-2 and IgG. The average fluorescence intensity of high-affinity binding peptides was 3.3- and 2.1-fold higher than that of low-affinity binding peptides for IL-2 and IgG, respectively. We conclude that PCA may be used to identify octamer peptides with high- or low-affinity binding properties from data from a tetramer peptide library. Copyright © 2016 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Proteomic identification of gender molecular markers in Bothrops jararaca venom.

    PubMed

    Zelanis, André; Menezes, Milene C; Kitano, Eduardo S; Liberato, Tarcísio; Tashima, Alexandre K; Pinto, Antonio F M; Sherman, Nicholas E; Ho, Paulo L; Fox, Jay W; Serrano, Solange M T

    2016-04-29

    Variation in the snake venom proteome is a well-documented phenomenon; however, sex-based variation in the venom proteome/peptidome is poorly understood. Bothrops jararaca shows significant sexual size dimorphism and here we report a comparative proteomic/peptidomic analysis of venoms from male and female specimens and correlate it with the evaluation of important venom features. We demonstrate that adult male and female venoms have distinct profiles of proteolytic activity upon fibrinogen and gelatin. These differences were clearly reflected in their different profiles of SDS-PAGE, two-dimensional electrophoresis and glycosylated proteins. Identification of differential protein bands and spots between male or female venoms revealed gender-specific molecular markers. However, the proteome comparison by in-solution trypsin digestion and label-free quantification analysis showed that the overall profiles of male and female venoms are similar at the polypeptide chain level but show striking variation regarding their attached carbohydrate moieties. The analysis of the peptidomes of male and female venoms revealed different contents of peptides, while the bradykinin potentiating peptides (BPPs) showed rather similar profiles. Furthermore we confirmed the ubiquitous presence of four BPPs that lack the C-terminal Q-I-P-P sequence only in the female venom as gender molecular markers. As a result of these studies we demonstrate that the sexual size dimorphism is associated with differences in the venom proteome/peptidome in B. jararaca species. Moreover, gender-based variations contributed by different glycosylation levels in toxins impact venom complexity. Bothrops jararaca is primarily a nocturnal and generalist snake species, however, it exhibits a notable ontogenetic shift in diet and in venom proteome upon neonate to adult transition. As is common in the Bothrops genus, B. jararaca shows significant sexual dimorphism in snout-vent length and weight, with females being

  5. Ophiophagus hannah venom: proteome, components bound by Naja kaouthia antivenin and neutralization by N. kaouthia neurotoxin-specific human ScFv.

    PubMed

    Danpaiboon, Witchuda; Reamtong, Onrapak; Sookrung, Nitat; Seesuay, Watee; Sakolvaree, Yuwaporn; Thanongsaksrikul, Jeeraphong; Dong-din-on, Fonthip; Srimanote, Potjanee; Thueng-in, Kanyarat; Chaicumpa, Wanpen

    2014-05-13

    Venomous snakebites are an important health problem in tropical and subtropical countries. King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is the largest venomous snake found in South and Southeast Asia. In this study, the O. hannah venom proteome and the venom components cross-reactive to N. kaouthia monospecific antivenin were studied. O. hannah venom consisted of 14 different protein families, including three finger toxins, phospholipases, cysteine-rich secretory proteins, cobra venom factor, muscarinic toxin, L-amino acid oxidase, hypothetical proteins, low cysteine protein, phosphodiesterase, proteases, vespryn toxin, Kunitz, growth factor activators and others (coagulation factor, endonuclease, 5'-nucleotidase). N. kaouthia antivenin recognized several functionally different O. hannah venom proteins and mediated paratherapeutic efficacy by rescuing the O. hannah envenomed mice from lethality. An engineered human ScFv specific to N. kaouthia long neurotoxin (NkLN-HuScFv) cross-neutralized the O. hannah venom and extricated the O. hannah envenomed mice from death in a dose escalation manner. Homology modeling and molecular docking revealed that NkLN-HuScFv interacted with residues in loops 2 and 3 of the neurotoxins of both snake species, which are important for neuronal acetylcholine receptor binding. The data of this study are useful for snakebite treatment when and where the polyspecific antivenin is not available. Because the supply of horse-derived antivenin is limited and the preparation may cause some adverse effects in recipients, a cocktail of recombinant human ScFvs for various toxic venom components shared by different venomous snakes, exemplified by the in vitro produced NkLN-HuScFv in this study, should contribute to a possible future route for an improved alternative to the antivenins.

  6. Antibodies to a fragment of the Bothrops moojenil-amino acid oxidase cross-react with snake venom components unrelated to the parent protein.

    PubMed

    Stábeli, Rodrigo Guerino; Magalhães, Lívia Maria Pimenta; Selistre-de-Araujo, Heloísa S; Oliveira, Eduardo Brandt

    2005-09-01

    It is widely accepted that immunological cross-reactivity of snake venoms is mediated by antibodies that recognize venom components bearing either amino acid sequence homology or similar biological functions. However, here we demonstrate that polyspecific Bothrops antivenom is a source of cross-reactive antibodies that interact with venom proteins of distinctive primary structures and biological functions. The homoserine lactone derivative of the undecapeptide IQRWSLDKYAM (Ile1-Hse11), excised from the l-amino acid oxidase (LAAO) of the Bothrops moojeni venom, was the ligand of an affinity resin used to isolate specific anti-Ile1-Hse11 antibodies which were instrumental in revealing immunological cross-reactivity among unrelated venom proteins. We examined the extent of the cross-reactivity of these antibodies by probing electroblots of venoms from representative snakes of genera Bothrops, Lachesis, Crotalus and Micrurus, and by unambiguous structural characterization of the affinity-purified proteins of B. moojeni venom recovered from an agarose-anti-Ile1-Hse11 column. Our results indicate that all venoms tested had at least three reactive components toward anti-Ile1-Hse11 antibodies, among which we identified two serine proteases, one phospholipase A2 homologue, and LAAO. We hypothesize that the cross-reactivity of the anti-Ile1-Hse11 antibodies to unrelated venom proteins derives from their mechanism of antigen recognition, whereby complementarity is achieved through reciprocal conformational adaptation of the reacting molecules. Also, we believe these findings have implications both in the development of improved antivenoms and the preparation of immunochemical reagents for diagnostic and scientific investigation purposes in the field of snake venoms.

  7. Ophiophagus hannah Venom: Proteome, Components Bound by Naja kaouthia Antivenin and Neutralization by N. kaouthia Neurotoxin-Specific Human ScFv

    PubMed Central

    Danpaiboon, Witchuda; Reamtong, Onrapak; Sookrung, Nitat; Seesuay, Watee; Sakolvaree, Yuwaporn; Thanongsaksrikul, Jeeraphong; Dong-din-on, Fonthip; Srimanote, Potjanee; Thueng-in, Kanyarat; Chaicumpa, Wanpen

    2014-01-01

    Venomous snakebites are an important health problem in tropical and subtropical countries. King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is the largest venomous snake found in South and Southeast Asia. In this study, the O. hannah venom proteome and the venom components cross-reactive to N. kaouthia monospecific antivenin were studied. O. hannah venom consisted of 14 different protein families, including three finger toxins, phospholipases, cysteine-rich secretory proteins, cobra venom factor, muscarinic toxin, L-amino acid oxidase, hypothetical proteins, low cysteine protein, phosphodiesterase, proteases, vespryn toxin, Kunitz, growth factor activators and others (coagulation factor, endonuclease, 5’-nucleotidase). N. kaouthia antivenin recognized several functionally different O. hannah venom proteins and mediated paratherapeutic efficacy by rescuing the O. hannah envenomed mice from lethality. An engineered human ScFv specific to N. kaouthia long neurotoxin (NkLN-HuScFv) cross-neutralized the O. hannah venom and extricated the O. hannah envenomed mice from death in a dose escalation manner. Homology modeling and molecular docking revealed that NkLN-HuScFv interacted with residues in loops 2 and 3 of the neurotoxins of both snake species, which are important for neuronal acetylcholine receptor binding. The data of this study are useful for snakebite treatment when and where the polyspecific antivenin is not available. Because the supply of horse-derived antivenin is limited and the preparation may cause some adverse effects in recipients, a cocktail of recombinant human ScFvs for various toxic venom components shared by different venomous snakes, exemplified by the in vitro produced NkLN-HuScFv in this study, should contribute to a possible future route for an improved alternative to the antivenins. PMID:24828754

  8. Peptides with in vitro anti-tumor activity from the venom of the Eastern green mamba, Dendroaspis angusticeps (Elapidae)

    PubMed Central

    Conlon, J Michael; Prajeep, Manju; Mechkarska, Milena; Arafat, Kholoud; Attoub, Samir; Adem, Abdu; Pla, Davinia; Calvete, Juan J

    2014-01-01

    Two structurally related (48.6% amino acid sequence identity) peptides with cytotoxic activity against human non-small cell lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells were purified from the venom of the Eastern green mamba Dendroaspis angusticeps using reversed phase HPLC. The peptides were identified as members of the three-finger superfamily of snake toxins by mass fingerprinting of tryptic digests. The more potent peptide (LC50 against A549 cells = 56±4µg/ml) was identical to the previously described toxin C13S1C1 and the less active peptide (LC50 against A549 cells = 106±5µg/ml) was identical to toxin F-VIII. Toxin C13S1C1 was also cytotoxic against breast adenocarcinoma MDA-MB-231 cells (LC50 = 62±2µg/ml) and colorectal adenocarcinoma HT-29 cells (LC50 = 110±4µg/ml). Although the peptide was appreciably less hemolytic activity against human erythrocytes (LC50 >600µg/ml), it was cytotoxic to human umbilical vein endothelial HUVEC cells (57±3µg/ml) indicating no differential activity against cell lines derived from neoplastic tissues. Toxin F-VIII was not cytotoxic to MDA-MB-231, HT-29 cells, and HUVEC cells at concentrations up to 300µg/ml and was not hemolytic at concentrations up to 1mg/ml. Neither peptide inhibited growth of reference strains of Escherichia coli or Staphylococcus aureus (MIC values >200μg/ml). PMID:25035794

  9. Peptides with in vitro anti-tumor activity from the venom of the Eastern green mamba, Dendroaspis angusticeps (Elapidae).

    PubMed

    Conlon, J Michael; Prajeep, Manju; Mechkarska, Milena; Arafat, Kholoud; Attoub, Samir; Adem, Abdu; Pla, Davinia; Calvete, Juan J

    2014-01-01

    Two structurally related (48.6% amino acid sequence identity) peptides with cytotoxic activity against human non-small cell lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells were purified from the venom of the Eastern green mamba Dendroaspis angusticeps using reversed phase HPLC. The peptides were identified as members of the three-finger superfamily of snake toxins by mass fingerprinting of tryptic digests. The more potent peptide (LC50 against A549 cells = 56±4µg/ml) was identical to the previously described toxin C13S1C1 and the less active peptide (LC50 against A549 cells = 106±5µg/ml) was identical to toxin F-VIII. Toxin C13S1C1 was also cytotoxic against breast adenocarcinoma MDA-MB-231 cells (LC50 = 62±2µg/ml) and colorectal adenocarcinoma HT-29 cells (LC50 = 110±4µg/ml). Although the peptide was appreciably less hemolytic activity against human erythrocytes (LC50 >600µg/ml), it was cytotoxic to human umbilical vein endothelial HUVEC cells (57±3µg/ml) indicating no differential activity against cell lines derived from neoplastic tissues. Toxin F-VIII was not cytotoxic to MDA-MB-231, HT-29 cells, and HUVEC cells at concentrations up to 300µg/ml and was not hemolytic at concentrations up to 1mg/ml. Neither peptide inhibited growth of reference strains of Escherichia coli or Staphylococcus aureus (MIC values >200μg/ml).

  10. Proteomic characterization of the venom and transcriptomic analysis of the venomous gland from the Mexican centipede Scolopendra viridis.

    PubMed

    González-Morales, Lidia; Pedraza-Escalona, Martha; Diego-Garcia, Elia; Restano-Cassulini, Rita; Batista, Cesar V F; Gutiérrez, Maria del Carmen; Possani, Lourival D

    2014-12-05

    This communication reports the results of proteomic, transcriptomic, biochemical and electrophysiological analysis of the soluble venom and venom glands of the Mexican centipede Scolopendra viridis Say (here thereafter abbreviated S. viridis). Separation of the soluble venom permitted to obtain 54 different fractions, from which a mass finger printing analysis permitted the identification of at least 86 components, where 70% of the molecules have low molecular masses. Two-dimensional electrophoretic separation of this venom revealed the presence of about forty proteins with molecular weights ranging from 17 to 58kDa. The novo sequencing of 149 peptides obtained by LC-MS/MS from the 2D-gels showed the presence of proteins with amino acid sequences similar to several enzymes and venom allergens type 3. Furthermore, a total of 180 sequences were obtained from a cDNA library prepared with two venomous glands. From this, 155 sequences correspond to complete genes containing more than 200 base pairs each. Comparative sequence analyses of these sequences indicated the presence of different types of enzymes and toxin-like genes. Two proteins with molecular weights around 37,000 and 42,000Da were shown to contain hyaluronidase activity. Electrophysiological assays performed with soluble venom show that it decreases mammalian sodium channel currents. Animal venoms of Scolopendra species have been scarcely studied, although they have been reported to contain several bioactive compounds, some of which with potential therapeutic interest. The Mexican centipede S. viridis contains a powerful venom, capable of inflicting immediate effects on their preys. This communication is focused on the identification and description of a proteomic and transcriptomic analysis of the protein components of this venom. Several amino acid sequences similar to reported enzymes are the principal components in the S. viridis venom, but also a low number of toxins were identified. This knowledge

  11. Studies on Bee Venom and Its Medical Uses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ali, Mahmoud Abdu Al-Samie Mohamed

    2012-07-01

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

  12. Peptidomic analysis of the venom of the solitary bee Xylocopa appendiculata circumvolans.

    PubMed

    Kazuma, Kohei; Ando, Kenji; Nihei, Ken-Ichi; Wang, Xiaoyu; Rangel, Marisa; Franzolin, Marcia Regina; Mori-Yasumoto, Kanami; Sekita, Setsuko; Kadowaki, Makoto; Satake, Motoyoshi; Konno, Katsuhiro

    2017-01-01

    Among the hymenopteran insect venoms, those from social wasps and bees - such as honeybee, hornets and paper wasps - have been well documented. Their venoms are composed of a number of peptides and proteins and used for defending their nests and themselves from predators. In contrast, the venoms of solitary wasps and bees have not been the object of further research. In case of solitary bees, only major peptide components in a few venoms have been addressed. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to explore the peptide component profile of the venom from the solitary bee Xylocopa appendiculata circumvolans by peptidomic analysis with using LC-MS. A reverse-phase HPLC connected to ESI-OrbiTrap MS was used for LC-MS. On-line mass fingerprinting was made from TIC, and data-dependent tandem mass spectrometry gave MSMS spectra. A major peptide component was isolated by reverse-phase HPLC by conventional way, and its sequence was determined by Edman degradation, which was finally corroborated by solid phase synthesis. Using the synthetic specimen, biological activities (antimicrobial activity, mast cell devaluation, hemolysis, leishmanicidal activity) and pore formation in artificial lipid bilayer were evaluated. On-line mass fingerprinting revealed that the crude venom contained 124 components. MS/MS analysis gave 75 full sequences of the peptide components. Most of these are related to the major and novel peptide, xylopin. Its sequence, GFVALLKKLPLILKHLH-NH2, has characteristic features of linear cationic α-helical peptides; rich in hydrophobic and basic amino acids with no disulfide bond, and accordingly, it can be predicted to adopt an amphipathic α-helix secondary structure. In biological evaluation, xylopin exhibited broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, and moderate mast cell degranulation and leishmanicidal activities, but showed virtually no hemolytic activity. Additionally, the peptide was able to incorporate pores in artificial lipid bilayers of

  13. Fast K(+) currents from cerebellum granular cells are completely blocked by a peptide purified from Androctonus australis Garzoni scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Pisciotta, M; Coronas, F I; Bloch, C; Prestipino, G; Possani, L D

    2000-09-29

    A novel peptide was purified from the venom of the scorpion Androctonus australis Garzoni (abbreviated Aa1, corresponding to the systematic number alpha KTX4.4). It contains 37 amino acid residues, has a molecular mass of 3850 Da, is closely packed by three disulfide bridges and a blocked N-terminal amino acid. This peptide selectively affects the K(+) currents recorded from cerebellum granular cells. Only the fast activating and inactivating current, with a kinetics similar to I(A)-type current, is completely blocked by the addition of low micromolar concentrations (K(i) value of 150 nM) of peptide Aa1 to the external side of the cell preparation. The blockade is partially reversible in our experimental conditions. Aa1 blocks the channels in both the open and the closed states. The blockage is test potential independent and is not affected by changes in the holding potential. The kinetics of the current are not affected by the addition of Aa1 to the preparation; it means that the block is a simple 'plugging mechanism', in which a single toxin molecule finds a specific receptor site in the external vestibule of the K(+) channel and thereby occludes the outer entry to the K(+) conducting pore.

  14. Venom Peptides as a Rich Source of Cav2.2 Channel Blockers

    PubMed Central

    Sousa, Silmara R.; Vetter, Irina; Lewis, Richard J.

    2013-01-01

    Cav2.2 is a calcium channel subtype localized at nerve terminals, including nociceptive fibers, where it initiates neurotransmitter release. Cav2.2 is an important contributor to synaptic transmission in ascending pain pathways, and is up-regulated in the spinal cord in chronic pain states along with the auxiliary α2δ1 subunit. It is therefore not surprising that toxins that inhibit Cav2.2 are analgesic. Venomous animals, such as cone snails, spiders, snakes, assassin bugs, centipedes and scorpions are rich sources of remarkably potent and selective Cav2.2 inhibitors. However, side effects in humans currently limit their clinical use. Here we review Cav2.2 inhibitors from venoms and their potential as drug leads. PMID:23381143

  15. Rational Engineering Defines a Molecular Switch That Is Essential for Activity of Spider-Venom Peptides against the Analgesics Target NaV1.7.

    PubMed

    Klint, Julie K; Chin, Yanni K-Y; Mobli, Mehdi

    2015-12-01

    Many spider-venom peptides are known to modulate the activity of the voltage-gated sodium (NaV) subtype 1.7 (NaV1.7) channel, which has emerged as a promising analgesic target. In particular, a class of spider-venom peptides (NaSpTx1) has been found to potently inhibit NaV1.7 (nanomolar IC50), and has been shown to produce analgesic effects in animals. However, one member of this family [µ-TRTX-Hhn2b (Hhn2b)] does not inhibit mammalian NaV channels expressed in dorsal root ganglia at concentrations up to 100 µM. This peptide is classified as a NaSpTx1 member by virtue of its cysteine spacing and sequence conservation over functionally important residues. Here, we have performed detailed structural and functional analyses of Hhn2b, leading us to identify two nonpharmacophore residues that contribute to human NaV1.7 (hNaV1.7) inhibition by nonoverlapping mechanisms. These findings allowed us to produce a double mutant of Hhn2b that shows nanomolar inhibition of hNaV1.7. Traditional structure/function analysis did not provide sufficient resolution to identify the mechanism underlying the observed gain of function. However, by solving the high-resolution structure of both the wild-type and mutant peptides using advanced multidimensional NMR experiments, we were able to uncover a previously unknown network of interactions that stabilize the pharmacophore region of this class of venom peptides. We further monitored the lipid binding properties of the peptides and identified that one of the key amino acid substitutions also selectively modulates the binding of the peptide to anionic lipids. These results will further aid the development of peptide-based analgesics for the treatment of chronic pain.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-25

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Toxicity study of antimicrobial peptides from wild bee venom and their analogs toward mammalian normal and cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Slaninová, Jiřina; Mlsová, Veronika; Kroupová, Hilda; Alán, Lukáš; Tůmová, Tereza; Monincová, Lenka; Borovičková, Lenka; Fučík, Vladimír; Ceřovský, Václav

    2012-01-01

    Recently, we have isolated and characterized remarkable antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) from the venom reservoirs of wild bees. These peptides (melectin, lasioglossins, halictines and macropin) and their analogs display high antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive and -negative bacteria, antifungal activity and low or moderate hemolytic activity. Here we describe cytotoxicity of the above-mentioned AMPs and some of their analogs toward two normal cell lines (human umbilical vein endothelial cells, HUVEC, and rat intestinal epithelial cells, IEC) and three cancer cell lines (HeLa S3, CRC SW 480 and CCRF-CEM T). HeLa S3 cells were the most sensitive ones (concentration causing 50% cell death in the case of the most toxic analogs was 2.5-10 μM) followed by CEM cells. For the other cell lines to be killed, the concentrations had to be four to twenty times higher. These results bring promising outlooks of finding medically applicable drugs on the basis of AMPs. Experiments using fluorescently labeled lasioglossin III (Fl-VNWKKILGKIIKVVK-NH(2)) as a tracer confirmed that the peptides entered the mammalian cells in higher quantities only after they reached the toxic concentration. After entering the cells, their concentration was the highest in the vicinity of the nucleus, in the nucleolus and in granules which were situated at very similar places as mitochondria. Experiments performed using cells with tetramethylrhodamine labeled mitochondria showed that mitochondria were fragmented and lost their membrane potential in parallel with the entrance of the peptides into the cell and the disturbance of the cell membrane.

  19. Melt With This Kiss: Paralyzing and Liquefying Venom of The Assassin Bug Pristhesancus plagipennis (Hemiptera: Reduviidae).

    PubMed

    Walker, Andrew A; Madio, Bruno; Jin, Jiayi; Undheim, Eivind A B; Fry, Bryan G; King, Glenn F

    2017-04-01

    Assassin bugs (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Reduviidae) are venomous insects, most of which prey on invertebrates. Assassin bug venom has features in common with venoms from other animals, such as paralyzing and lethal activity when injected, and a molecular composition that includes disulfide-rich peptide neurotoxins. Uniquely, this venom also has strong liquefying activity that has been hypothesized to facilitate feeding through the narrow channel of the proboscis-a structure inherited from sap- and phloem-feeding phytophagous hemipterans and adapted during the evolution of Heteroptera into a fang and feeding structure. However, further understanding of the function of assassin bug venom is impeded by the lack of proteomic studies detailing its molecular composition.By using a combined transcriptomic/proteomic approach, we show that the venom proteome of the harpactorine assassin bug Pristhesancus plagipennis includes a complex suite of >100 proteins comprising disulfide-rich peptides, CUB domain proteins, cystatins, putative cytolytic toxins, triabin-like protein, odorant-binding protein, S1 proteases, catabolic enzymes, putative nutrient-binding proteins, plus eight families of proteins without homology to characterized proteins. S1 proteases, CUB domain proteins, putative cytolytic toxins, and other novel proteins in the 10-16-kDa mass range, were the most abundant venom components. Thus, in addition to putative neurotoxins, assassin bug venom includes a high proportion of enzymatic and cytolytic venom components likely to be well suited to tissue liquefaction. Our results also provide insight into the trophic switch to blood-feeding by the kissing bugs (Reduviidae: Triatominae). Although some protein families such as triabins occur in the venoms of both predaceous and blood-feeding reduviids, the composition of venoms produced by these two groups is revealed to differ markedly. These results provide insights into the venom evolution in the insect suborder

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. A bradykinin potentiating peptide from Egyptian cobra venom strongly affects rat atrium contractile force and cellular calcium regulation.

    PubMed

    El-Saadani, Muhammad A M; El-Sayed, Muhammad F

    2003-12-01

    Peptide fractions were isolated from venoms of the Egyptian snake Naja haje haje (cobra BPP) and the scorpions Buthus occitanus (BPP(B)) and Leirus quenquestriatus (BPP(L)). The pharmacological effects of these peptides were bioassayed and showed bradykinin potentiating activities. Amino acid analysis revealed that 14 amino acids contribute to the structure of BPP(B) and 16 for BPP(L), while cobra BPP was composed of 15 amino acids. Treatment of rat atrial preparations with 50 microg/ml of cobra BPP caused a significant reduction (P<0.001) in myocardial force. Elevation of extracellular calcium concentration from 1.25 to 5 mM antagonized the effect of cobra BPP in a way that restored the atrial force development. Na(+)-channel blockers did not change the force development at 5 mM Ca(2+). Experiments with (45)Ca revealed that Ca(2+) uptake of cobra BPP treated atria was 0.52+/-0.07 microM/g wet mass and the force at the end of the uptake period was 55.0+/-2.0%. The corresponding values for non-treated preparations were 0.56+/-0.04 microM/g and 92.0%+/-3.0%, respectively. Our results revealed that cobra BPP did not exhibit any effect on Ca(2+) uptake by rat atrial preparations, but strongly affected cellular Ca(2+) regulation.

  3. Membrane-active action mode of polybia-CP, a novel antimicrobial peptide isolated from the venom of Polybia paulista.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kairong; Yan, Jiexi; Chen, Ru; Dang, Wen; Zhang, Bangzhi; Zhang, Wei; Song, Jingjing; Wang, Rui

    2012-06-01

    The extensive use of antibiotics in medicine, the food industry, and agriculture has resulted in the frequent emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria, which creates an urgent need for new antibiotics. It is now widely recognized that antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) could play a promising role in fighting multidrug-resistant bacteria. Antimicrobial peptide polybia-CP was purified from the venom of the social wasp Polybia paulista. In this study, we synthesized polybia-CP and studied its action mode of antibacterial activity. Our results revealed that polybia-CP has potent antibacterial activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The results from both the real bacterial membrane and the in vitro model membrane showed that polybia-CP is membrane active and that its action target is the membrane of bacteria. It is difficult for bacteria to develop resistance to polybia-CP, which may thus offer a new strategy for defending against resistant bacteria in medicine and the food and farming industries.

  4. Snake Venom: From Deadly Toxins to Life-saving Therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Waheed, Humera; Moin, Syed F; Choudhary, M I

    2017-01-01

    Snakes are fascinating creatures and have been residents of this planet well before ancient humans dwelled the earth. Venomous snakes have been a figure of fear, and cause notable mortality throughout the world. The venom constitutes families of proteins and peptides with various isoforms that make it a cocktail of diverse molecules. These biomolecules are responsible for the disturbance in fundamental physiological systems of the envenomed victim, leading to morbidity which can lead to death if left untreated. Researchers have turned these life-threatening toxins into life-saving therapeutics via technological advancements. Since the development of captopril, the first drug that was derived from bradykininpotentiating peptide of Bothrops jararaca, to the disintegrins that have potent activity against certain types of cancers, snake venom components have shown great potential for the development of lead compounds for new drugs. There is a continuous development of new drugs from snake venom for coagulopathy and hemostasis to anti-cancer agents. In this review, we have focused on different snake venom proteins / peptides derived drugs that are in clinical use or in developmental stages till to date. Also, some commonly used snake venom derived diagnostic tools along with the recent updates in this exciting field are discussed. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  5. Properties and Mechanism of the Mechanosensitive Ion Channel Inhibitor GsMTx4, a Therapeutic Peptide Derived from Tarantula Venom.

    PubMed

    Gottlieb, Philip A; Suchyna, Thomas M; Sachs, Frederick

    2007-01-01

    Mechanosensitive ion channels (MSCs) are found in all types of cells ranging from Escherichia coli to morning glories to humans. They seem to fall into two families: those in specialized receptors, such as the hair cells of the cochlea, and those in cells not clearly differentiated for sensory duty. The physiological function of the channels in nonspecialized cells has not been demonstrated, although their activity has been demonstrated innumerable times in vitro. The only specific reagent to block MSCs isGsMTx4, a 4-kDa peptide isolated from tarantula venom. Despite being isolated from venom, it is nontoxic to mice. GsMTx4 is specific for an MSC subtype, the nonselective cation channels that may be members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) family. GsMTx4 acts as a gating modifier, increasing the energy of the open state relative to the closed state. The mirror image D enantiomer of GsMTx4 is equally active, so mode of action is not via the traditional lock and key model. GsMTx4 probably acts in the boundary lipid of the channel by changing local curvature and mechanically stressing the channel toward the closed state. Despite the lack of definitive physiological data on the function of the cationic MSCs, GsMTx4 may prove useful as a drug or lead compound that can affect physiological processes. These processes would be those driven by mechanical stress, such as blood vessel autoregulation, stress-induced contraction of smooth muscle, and Ca(2+) loading in muscular dystrophy. © 2007, Elsevier Inc. All right reserved.

  6. Conotoxin TVIIA, a novel peptide from the venom of Conus tulipa 2. Three-dimensional solution structure.

    PubMed

    Hill, J M; Alewood, P F; Craik, D J

    2000-08-01

    The three-dimensional solution structure of conotoxin TVIIA, a 30-residue polypeptide from the venom of the piscivorous cone snail Conus tulipa, has been determined using 2D 1H NMR spectroscopy. TVIIA contains six cysteine residues which form a 'four-loop' structural framework common to many peptides from Conus venoms including the omega-, delta-, kappa-, and muO-conotoxins. However, TVIIA does not belong to these well-characterized pharmacological classes of conotoxins, but displays high sequence identity with conotoxin GS, a muscle sodium channel blocker from Conus geographus. Structure calculations were based on 562 interproton distance restraints inferred from NOE data, together with 18 backbone and nine side-chain torsion angle restraints derived from spin-spin coupling constants. The final family of 20 structures had mean pairwise rms differences over residues 2-27 of 0.18+/-0.05 A for the backbone atoms and 1.39+/-0.33 A for all heavy atoms. The structure consists of a triple-stranded, antiparallel beta sheet with +2x, -1 topology (residues 7-9, 16-20 and 23-27) and several beta turns. The core of the molecule is formed by three disulfide bonds which form a cystine knot motif common to many toxic and inhibitory polypeptides. The global fold, molecular shape and distribution of amino-acid sidechains in TVIIA is similar to that previously reported for conotoxin GS, and comparison with other four-loop conotoxin structures provides further indication that TVIIA and GS represent a new and distinct subgroup of this structural family. The structure of TVIIA determined in this study provides the basis for determining a structure-activity relationship for these molecules and their interaction with target receptors.

  7. In vitro cleavage of bioactive peptides by peptidases from Bothrops jararaca venom and its neutralization by bothropic antivenom produced by Butantan Institute: Major contribution of serine peptidases.

    PubMed

    Kuniyoshi, Alexandre Kazuo; Kodama, Roberto Tadashi; Moraes, Luis Henrique Ferreira; Duzzi, Bruno; Iwai, Leo Kei; Lima, Ismael Feitosa; Cajado-Carvalho, Daniela; Portaro, Fernanda Vieira

    2017-10-01

    In Brazil, envenomation by Bothrops pitvipers is responsible for over 73% of snakebites, and their venom is a rich source of proteolytic enzymes. Most studies have demonstrated that Bothrops jararaca venom acts on macromolecular substrates, causing an imbalance in the victim's hemostatic system. In contrast, fewer studies have examined the proteolytic activity on small molecules such as peptides. In this study, we used a set of bioactive peptides (insulin B chain, Met-enkephalin, Leu-enkephalin, neuropeptide Y, peptide YY, pancreatic polypeptide, substance P and somatostatin) to identify new peptide substrates for the metallopeptidases and serine peptidases from the B. jararaca venom. The majority of these peptides were substrates for the venom, but neuropeptide Y and pancreatic polypeptide presented higher hydrolyses rates. Although most of the peptides were simultaneously substrates for both classes of proteases, serine peptidases were the most active. Substance P was an exclusive substrate for metallopeptidases, while somatostatin was a selective substrate for serine peptidases. The neutralizing efficacy of the bothropic antivenom produced by the Butantan Institute was also assessed and found to totally prevent substance P hydrolysis, whereas somatostatin cleavage was not inhibited. Thus, the antivenom effectively inhibited metallopeptidase activity, but did not neutralize some of the serine peptidases. These results indicate that, in addition to cleaving proteins, the proteolytic enzymes from this venom also hydrolyze bioactive peptides, and this peptidase activity could effectively contribute to some of the many dire manifestations of envenomation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  9. Comparative analysis of proteases in the injected and dissected venom of cone snail species

    PubMed Central

    Möller, Carolina; Vanderweit, Nicole; Bubis, José; Marí, Frank

    2013-01-01

    The venom of cone snails has been the subject of intense studies because it contains small neuroactive peptides of therapeutic value. However, much less is known about their larger proteins counterparts and their role in prey envenomation. Here, we analyzed the proteolytic enzymes in the injected venom of Conus purpurascens and Conus ermineus (piscivorous), and the dissected venom of Conus purpurascens, Conus marmoreus (molluscivorous) and Conus virgo (vermivorous). Zymograms show that all venom samples displayed proteolytic activity on gelatin. However, the electrophoresis patterns and sizes of the proteases varied considerably among these four species. The protease distribution also varied dramatically between the injected and dissected venom of C. purpurascens. Protease inhibitors demonstrated that serine and metalloproteases are responsible for the gelatinolytic activity. We found fibrinogenolytic activity in the injected venom of C. ermineus suggesting that this venom might have effects on the hemostatic system of the prey. Remarkable differences in protein and protease expression were found in different sections of the venom duct, indicating that these components are related to the storage granules and that they participate in venom biosynthesis. Consequently, different conoproteases play major roles in venom processing and prey envenomation. PMID:23339854

  10. Comparative analysis of proteases in the injected and dissected venom of cone snail species.

    PubMed

    Möller, Carolina; Vanderweit, Nicole; Bubis, José; Marí, Frank

    2013-04-01

    The venom of cone snails has been the subject of intense studies because it contains small neuroactive peptides of therapeutic value. However, much less is known about their larger proteins counterparts and their role in prey envenomation. Here, we analyzed the proteolytic enzymes in the injected venom of Conus purpurascens and Conus ermineus (piscivorous), and the dissected venom of C. purpurascens, Conus marmoreus (molluscivorous) and Conus virgo (vermivorous). Zymograms show that all venom samples displayed proteolytic activity on gelatin. However, the electrophoresis patterns and sizes of the proteases varied considerably among these four species. The protease distribution also varied dramatically between the injected and dissected venom of C. purpurascens. Protease inhibitors demonstrated that serine and metalloproteases are responsible for the gelatinolytic activity. We found fibrinogenolytic activity in the injected venom of C. ermineus suggesting that this venom might have effects on the hemostatic system of the prey. Remarkable differences in protein and protease expression were found in different sections of the venom duct, indicating that these components are related to the storage granules and that they participate in venom biosynthesis. Consequently, different conoproteases play major roles in venom processing and prey envenomation.

  11. Structure and biological activities of eumenine mastoparan-AF (EMP-AF), a new mast cell degranulating peptide in the venom of the solitary wasp (Anterhynchium flavomarginatum micado).

    PubMed

    Konno, K; Hisada, M; Naoki, H; Itagaki, Y; Kawai, N; Miwa, A; Yasuhara, T; Morimoto, Y; Nakata, Y

    2000-11-01

    A new mast cell degranulating peptide, eumenine mastoparan-AF (EMP-AF), was isolated from the venom of the solitary wasp Anterhynchium flavomarginatum micado, the most common eumenine wasp found in Japan. The structure was analyzed by FAB-MS/MS together with Edman degradation, which was corroborated by solid-phase synthesis. The sequence of EMP-AF, Ile-Asn-Leu-Leu-Lys-Ile-Ala-Lys-Gly-Ile-Ile-Lys-Ser-Leu-NH(2), was similar to that of mastoparan, a mast cell degranulating peptide from a hornet venom; tetradecapeptide with C-terminus amidated and rich in hydrophobic and basic amino acids. In fact, EMP-AF exhibited similar activity to mastoparan in stimulating degranulation from rat peritoneal mast cells and RBL-2H3 cells. It also showed significant hemolytic activity in human erythrocytes. Therefore, this is the first example that a mast cell degranulating peptide is found in the solitary wasp venom. Besides the degranulation and hemolytic activity, EMP-AF also affects on neuromuscular transmission in the lobster walking leg preparation. Three analogs EMP-AF-1 approximately 3 were snythesized and biologically tested together with EMP-AF, resulting in the importance of the C-terminal amide structure for biological activities.

  12. The major royal jelly proteins 8 and 9 (Api m 11) are glycosylated components of Apis mellifera venom with allergenic potential beyond carbohydrate-based reactivity.

    PubMed

    Blank, S; Bantleon, F I; McIntyre, M; Ollert, M; Spillner, E

    2012-06-01

    As hymenoptera venoms are one of the allergen sources causing the highest incidence of anaphylaxis and sometimes fatal consequences, the detailed characterization of all venom allergens is imperative for design of component-resolved diagnostic approaches and improved intervention strategies. Our aim was the immunochemical characterization of major royal jelly proteins (MRJP) 8 and 9, both components identified in honeybee venom (HBV) and putative allergens. Both MRJPs were recombinantly produced as soluble differentially glycosylated proteins providing a defined degree of reactivity to cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants (CCD) in insect cells. Allergen-specific IgE(sIgE) reactivity of HBV-allergic patients was analysed by ELISA and immunoblotting. MRJP8 and MRJP9 were identified as venom components by MS-based proteomic analyses. In a population of 47 HBV-allergic patients, reactivities with CCD-carrying MRJPs were in the range of 56% (61%), underlining the contribution of CCDs to allergen-binding. Beyond CCD-reactivity, 15% of patients showed sIgE reactivity with MRJP8 and 34% with MRJP9 respectively. These reactivities roughly in the range of Api m 2 render the MRJPs minor, but important allergens. The glycosylated MRJP8 and MRJP9 of HBV have IgE-sensitizing potential in HBV-allergic patients beyond CCD reactivity and have to be considered as allergens, which might be potentially important for a fraction of venom allergic patients. They are valuable tools to elucidate individual component-resolved reactivity profiles of venom allergic patients and to provide insights into the role of particular venom components. Due to their allergenic properties, MRJP8 and MRJP9 were designated as isoallergens Api m 11.0101 and Api m 11.0201 respectively. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  13. Improved sensitivity to venom specific-immunoglobulin E by spiking with the allergen component in Japanese patients suspected of Hymenoptera venom allergy.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Naruo; Hirata, Hirokuni; Watanabe, Mineaki; Sugiyama, Kumiya; Arima, Masafumi; Fukushima, Yasutsugu; Ishii, Yoshiki

    2015-07-01

    Ves v 5 and Pol d 5, which constitute antigen 5, are recognized as the major, most potent allergens of family Vespidae. Several studies have reported the diagnostic sensitivity of the novel recombinant (r)Ves v 5 and rPol d 5 allergens in routine clinical laboratory settings by analyzing a group of Vespula and Polistes venom-allergic patients. In this study, we analyzed the sensitivity to venom specific (s)IgE by spiking with rVes v 5 and rPol d 5 in Japanese patients suspected of Hymenoptera venom allergy. Subjects were 41 patients who had experienced systemic reactions to hornet and/or paper wasp stings. Levels of serum sIgE against hornet and paper wasp venom by spiking with rVes v 5 and rPold d 5, respectively, as improvement testing, compared with hornet and paper wasp venom, as conventional testing, were measured by ImmunoCAP. Of the 41 patients, 33 (80.5%) were positive (≥0.35 UA/ml) for hornet and/or paper wasp venom in conventional sIgE testing. sIgE levels correlated significantly (P < 0.01) between hornet (R = 0.92) or paper wasp venom (R = 0.78) in improvement testing and conventional testing. To determine specificity, 20 volunteers who had never experienced a Hymenoptera sting were all negative for sIgE against these venoms in both improvement and conventional testing. Improved sensitivity was seen in 8 patients negative for sIgE against both venoms in conventional testing, while improvement testing revealed sIgE against hornet or paper wasp venom in 5 (total 38 (92.7%)) patients. The measurement of sIgE following spiking of rVes v 5 and rPol d 5 by conventional testing in Japanese subjects with sIgE against hornet and paper wasp venom, respectively, improved the sensitivity for detecting Hymenoptera venom allergy. Improvement testing for measuring sIgE levels against hornet and paper wasp venom has potential for serologically elucidating Hymenoptera allergy in Japan. Copyright © 2015 Japanese Society of Allergology. Production and hosting by

  14. Characterization of a new bioactive peptide from Potamotrygon gr. orbignyi freshwater stingray venom.

    PubMed

    Conceição, Katia; Santos, Juliane M; Bruni, Fernanda M; Klitzke, Clécio F; Marques, Elineide E; Borges, Márcia H; Melo, Robson L; Fernandez, Jorge H; Lopes-Ferreira, Mônica

    2009-12-01

    Brazilian freshwater stingrays, Potamotrygon gr. orbigyni, are relatively common in the middle-western regions of Brazil, where they are considered an important public health threat. In order to identify some of their naturally occurring toxin peptides available in very low amounts, we combine analytical protocols such as reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC), followed by a biological microcirculatory screening and mass spectrometry analysis. Using this approach, one bioactive peptide was identified and characterized, and two analogues were synthesized. The natural peptide named Porflan has the primary structure ESIVRPPPVEAKVEETPE (MW 2006.09 Da) and has no similarity with any bioactive peptide or protein found in public data banks. Bioassay protocols characterized peptides as presenting potent activity in a microcirculatory environment. The primary sequences and bioassay results, including interactions with the membrane phospholipids, suggest that these toxins are a new class of fish toxins, directly involved in the inflammatory processes of a stingray sting.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. TFF peptides and mucins are major components of dacryoliths.

    PubMed

    Paulsen, Friedrich P; Schaudig, Ulrich; Fabian, Alexander; Ehrich, Dirk; Sel, Saadettin

    2006-09-01

    The study was performed to determine whether trefoil factor peptides (TFF) and/or mucins are components of dacryoliths and to gain further insight into dacryolith composition and formation. Twenty dacryoliths found in lacrimal surgery in patients suffering from primary acquired nasolacrimal duct obstruction were analyzed for the presence of TFF peptides (TFF1, 2, 3), mucins (MUC1, 2, 3, 4, 5AC, 5B, 6, 7, 8), defense cells (T- and B lymphocytes, macrophages, neutrophils), and antimicrobial substances (alpha defensins 1-3, secretory phospholipase A(2)) by means of light microscopy, histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and real-time PCR. All dacryoliths except one revealed clear immunoreactivity for all three TFF peptides. The immunohistochemical distribution of mucins was inhomogeneous throughout the different dacryoliths. However, in some dacryoliths all mucins investigated were detected. MUC8 showed reactivity in 14 out of 15 dacryoliths analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Most dacryoliths contained alpha defensins 1-3 as the secretory product of neutrophils. T and B lymphocytes, macrophages and secretory phospholipase A(2) were only present in single dacryoliths. Quantification of TFF peptide expression supported the immunohistochemical finding that all three TFF peptides are augmented in dacryoliths. Dacryoliths consist partly of secreted mucins comparable with the mucin spectrum of the epithelium of healthy nasolacrimal ducts. Beside TFF1 and TFF3, both of which are produced under healthy circumstances, TFF2 is additionally induced and secreted in cases of dacryolithiasis. All three TFF peptides appear to be augmented in dacryoliths. With regard to their rheologic properties, TFF peptides may play a functional role in dacryolith formation. However, our results raise the question of whether TFF peptides per se influence dacryolith formation or whether their secretion, as in secretion of mucins and alpha

  17. Investigating the chemical profile of regenerated scorpion (Parabuthus transvaalicus) venom in relation to metabolic cost and toxicity.

    PubMed

    Nisani, Zia; Boskovic, Danilo S; Dunbar, Stephen G; Kelln, Wayne; Hayes, William K

    2012-09-01

    We investigated the biochemical profile of regenerated venom of the scorpion Parabuthus transvaalicus in relation to its metabolic cost and toxicity. Using a closed-system respirometer, we compared oxygen consumption between milked and unmilked scorpions to determine the metabolic costs associated with the first 192 h of subsequent venom synthesis. Milked scorpions had a substantially (21%) higher mean metabolic rate than unmilked scorpions, with the largest increases in oxygen consumption occurring at approximately 120 h, 162 h, and 186 h post-milking. Lethality tests in crickets indicated that toxicity of the regenerated venom returned to normal levels within 4 d after milking. However, the chemical profile of the regenerated venom, as evaluated by FPLC and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, suggested that regeneration of different venom components was asynchronous. Some peptides regenerated quickly, particularly those associated with the scorpion's "prevenom," whereas others required much or all of this time period for regeneration. This asynchrony could explain the different spikes detected in oxygen consumption of milked scorpions as various peptides and other venom components were resynthesized. These observations confirm the relatively high metabolic cost of venom regeneration and suggest that greater venom complexity can be associated with higher costs of venom production.

  18. Isolation, chemical and functional characterization of several new K(+)-channel blocking peptides from the venom of the scorpion Centruroides tecomanus.

    PubMed

    Olamendi-Portugal, Timoteo; Bartok, Adam; Zamudio-Zuñiga, Fernando; Balajthy, Andras; Becerril, Baltazar; Panyi, Gyorgy; Possani, Lourival D

    2016-06-01

    Six new peptides were isolated from the venom of the Mexican scorpion Centruroides tecomanus; their primary structures were determined and the effects on ion channels were verified by patch-clamp experiments. Four are K(+)-channel blockers of the α-KTx family, containing 32 to 39 amino acid residues, cross-linked by three disulfide bonds. They all block Kv1.2 in nanomolar concentrations and show various degree of selectivity over Kv1.1, Kv1.3, Shaker and KCa3.1 channels. One peptide has 42 amino acids cross-linked by four disulfides; it blocks ERG-channels and belongs to the γ-KTx family. The sixth peptide has only 32 amino acid residues, three disulfide bonds and has no effect on the ion-channels assayed. It also does not have antimicrobial activity. Systematic numbers were assigned (time of elution on HPLC): α-KTx 10.4 (time 24.1); α-KTx 2.15 (time 26.2); α-KTx 2.16 (time 23.8); α-KTx 2.17 (time 26.7) and γ-KTx 1.9 (elution time 29.6). A partial proteomic analysis of the short chain basic peptides of this venom, which elutes on carboxy-methyl-cellulose column fractionation, is included. The pharmacological properties of the peptides described in this study may provide valuable tools for understanding the structure-function relationship of K(+) channel blocking scorpion toxins.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-12

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. A tarantula-venom peptide antagonizes the TRPA1 nociceptor ion channel by binding to the S1-S4 gating domain.

    PubMed

    Gui, Junhong; Liu, Boyi; Cao, Guan; Lipchik, Andrew M; Perez, Minervo; Dekan, Zoltan; Mobli, Mehdi; Daly, Norelle L; Alewood, Paul F; Parker, Laurie L; King, Glenn F; Zhou, Yufeng; Jordt, Sven-Eric; Nitabach, Michael N

    2014-03-03

    The venoms of predators have been an excellent source of diverse highly specific peptides targeting ion channels. Here we describe the first known peptide antagonist of the nociceptor ion channel transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1). We constructed a recombinant cDNA library encoding ∼100 diverse GPI-anchored peptide toxins (t-toxins) derived from spider venoms and screened this library by coexpression in Xenopus oocytes with TRPA1. This screen resulted in identification of protoxin-I (ProTx-I), a 35-residue peptide from the venom of the Peruvian green-velvet tarantula, Thrixopelma pruriens, as the first known high-affinity peptide TRPA1 antagonist. ProTx-I was previously identified as an antagonist of voltage-gated sodium (NaV) channels. We constructed a t-toxin library of ProTx-I alanine-scanning mutants and screened this library against NaV1.2 and TRPA1. This revealed distinct partially overlapping surfaces of ProTx-I by which it binds to these two ion channels. Importantly, this mutagenesis yielded two novel ProTx-I variants that are only active against either TRPA1or NaV1.2. By testing its activity against chimeric channels, we identified the extracellular loops of the TRPA1 S1-S4 gating domain as the ProTx-I binding site. These studies establish our approach, which we term "toxineering," as a generally applicable method for isolation of novel ion channel modifiers and design of ion channel modifiers with altered specificity. They also suggest that ProTx-I will be a valuable pharmacological reagent for addressing biophysical mechanisms of TRPA1 gating and the physiology of TRPA1 function in nociceptors, as well as for potential clinical application in the context of pain and inflammation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Construction and expression of an antimicrobial peptide scolopin 1 from the centipede venoms of Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans in Escherichia coli using SUMO fusion partner.

    PubMed

    Hou, Huanhuan; Yan, Weili; Du, Kexing; Ye, Yangjing; Cao, Qianqian; Ren, Wenhua

    2013-12-01

    Antimicrobial peptide scolopin 1 (AMP-scolopin 1) is a small cationic peptide identified from centipede venoms of Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans. It has broad-spectrum activities against bacteria, fungi, and tumor cells, which may possibly be used as an antimicrobial agent. We first report here the application of small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) fusion technology to the expression and purification of cationic antimicrobial peptide AMP-scolopin 1. The fusion protein expressed in a soluble form was purified to a purity of 95% by Ni-IDA chromatography. After the SUMO-scolopin 1 fusion protein was cleaved by the SUMO protease at 30°C for 1 h, the cleaved sample was reapplied to a Ni-IDA. The recombinant scolopin1 had similar antimicrobial properties to the synthetic scolopin 1. Thus, we successfully established a system for purifying peptide of centipede, which could be used for further research.

  3. An Unusual Family of Glycosylated Peptides Isolated from Dendroaspis angusticeps Venom and Characterized by Combination of Collision Induced and Electron Transfer Dissociation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinton, Loïc; Gilles, Nicolas; Smargiasso, Nicolas; Kiehne, Andrea; de Pauw, Edwin

    2011-11-01

    This study describes the structural characterization of a totally new family of peptides from the venom of the snake green mamba ( Dendroaspis angusticeps). Interestingly, these peptides differ in several points from other already known mamba toxins. First of all, they exhibit very small molecular masses, ranging from 1.3 to 2.4 kDa. The molecular mass of classical mamba toxins is in the range of 7 to 25 kDa. Second, the new peptides do not contain disulfide bonds, a post-translational modification commonly encountered in animal toxins. The third difference is the very high proportion of proline residues in the sequence accounting for about one-third of the sequence. Finally, these new peptides reveal a carbohydrate moiety, indicating a glycosylation in the sequence. The last two features have made the structural characterization of the new peptides by mass spectrometry a real analytical challenge. Peptides were characterized by a combined use of MALDI- TOF/TOF and nanoESI-IT-ETD experiments to determine not only the peptide sequence but also the composition and the position of the carbohydrate moiety. Anyway, such small glycosylated and proline-rich toxins are totally different from any other known snake peptide and form, as a consequence, a new family of peptides.

  4. Pseudechis guttatus venom proteome: Insights into evolution and toxin clustering.

    PubMed

    Viala, Vincent L; Hildebrand, Diana; Trusch, Maria; Arni, Raghuvir K; Pimenta, Daniel C; Schlüter, Hartmut; Betzel, Christian; Spencer, Patrick J

    2014-10-14

    The Australian Elapidae spotted black snake Pseudechis guttatus venom proteome composition was analyzed by high throughput mass spectrometry. The crude venom proteins were decomplexed by 2D-PAGE and in-gel digestion peptides from 66 spot samples and analyzed by tandem mass spectrometry-LC-ESI-ion trap. Protein identification was performed combining PEAKS studio 7.0 and Mascot software. The analysis identified l-amino-acid oxidases, phospholipases A2, metalloproteases, nerve growth factors and ecto-5'-nucleotidases, and for the first time in this venom the components cysteine-rich secretory proteins similar to pseudechetoxin, phospholipase B and transferrin-like protein. The envenomation symptoms are in agreement with the identified components, but the present limitations of database information might impair the detection of toxin families, protein species and still unknown toxins. From the qualitative point of view, the similarity of this venom with the ones from other Pseudechis species could be assigned to recent speciation events. Studies on the proteome of Australian Elapidae (Ancanthophiinae) are quite rare. In the present work we performed, using classic proteomic methods, a qualitative and partial analysis of the proteic components of Pseudechis guttatus venom. Although previous studies contributed to the knowledge of the major components of this venom, our study revealed some yet undescribed protein species, as well as new toxins, such as CRiSPs, phospholipase B, transferrin-like protein and ecto 5'-nucleotidase. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Analgesic effect of Persian Gulf Conus textile venom

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Pharmacological characterisation of the highly NaV1.7 selective spider venom peptide Pn3a

    PubMed Central

    Deuis, Jennifer R.; Dekan, Zoltan; Wingerd, Joshua S.; Smith, Jennifer J.; Munasinghe, Nehan R.; Bhola, Rebecca F.; Imlach, Wendy L.; Herzig, Volker; Armstrong, David A.; Rosengren, K. Johan; Bosmans, Frank; Waxman, Stephen G.; Dib-Hajj, Sulayman D.; Escoubas, Pierre; Minett, Michael S.; Christie, Macdonald J.; King, Glenn F.; Alewood, Paul F.; Lewis, Richard J.; Wood, John N.; Vetter, Irina

    2017-01-01

    Human genetic studies have implicated the voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.7 as a therapeutic target for the treatment of pain. A novel peptide, μ-theraphotoxin-Pn3a, isolated from venom of the tarantula Pamphobeteus nigricolor, potently inhibits NaV1.7 (IC50 0.9 nM) with at least 40–1000-fold selectivity over all other NaV subtypes. Despite on-target activity in small-diameter dorsal root ganglia, spinal slices, and in a mouse model of pain induced by NaV1.7 activation, Pn3a alone displayed no analgesic activity in formalin-, carrageenan- or FCA-induced pain in rodents when administered systemically. A broad lack of analgesic activity was also found for the selective NaV1.7 inhibitors PF-04856264 and phlotoxin 1. However, when administered with subtherapeutic doses of opioids or the enkephalinase inhibitor thiorphan, these subtype-selective NaV1.7 inhibitors produced profound analgesia. Our results suggest that in these inflammatory models, acute administration of peripherally restricted NaV1.7 inhibitors can only produce analgesia when administered in combination with an opioid. PMID:28106092

  7. Evaluation of the antichagasic activity of batroxicidin, a cathelicidin-related antimicrobial peptide found in Bothrops atrox venom gland.

    PubMed

    Mello, Clarissa Perdigão; Lima, Danya Bandeira; Menezes, Ramon Róseo Paula Pessoa Bezerra de; Bandeira, Izabel Cristina Justino; Tessarolo, Louise Donadello; Sampaio, Tiago Lima; Falcão, Claudio Borges; Rádis-Baptista, Gandhi; Martins, Alice Maria Costa

    2017-05-01

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are potential alternatives to conventional antibiotics, as they have a fast mode of action, a low likelihood of resistance development and can act in conjunction with existing drug regimens. We report in this study the effects of batroxicidin (BatxC), a cathelicidin-related AMP from Bothrops atrox venom gland, over Trypanosoma cruzi, a protozoan that causes Chagas' disease. BatxC inhibited all T. cruzi (Y strain: benznidazole-resistant) developmental forms, with selectivity index of 315. Later, separate flow cytometry assays showed T. cruzi cell labeling by 7-aminoactinomycin D, the increase in reactive oxygen species and the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential when the parasite was treated with BatxC, which are indication of necrosis. T. cruzi cell death pathway by a necrotic mechanism was finally confirmed by scanning electron microscopy which observed loss of cell membrane integrity. In conclusion, BatxC was able to inhibit T. cruzi, with high selectivity index, by inducing necrosis.

  8. Bioactivity of Natural and Engineered Antimicrobial Peptides from Venom of the Scorpions Urodacus yaschenkoi and U. manicatus

    PubMed Central

    Luna-Ramirez, Karen; Tonk, Miray; Rahnamaeian, Mohammad; Vilcinskas, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    The spread of multidrug-resistant human pathogens has drawn attention towards antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), which are major players in the innate immune systems of many organisms, including vertebrates, invertebrates, plants and microbes. Scorpion venom is an abundant source of novel and potent AMPs. Here, we investigated natural and engineered AMPs from the scorpions Urodacus yaschenkoi and U. manicatus to determine their antimicrobial spectra as well as their hemolytic/cytotoxic activity. None of the AMPs were active against fungi, but many of them were active at low concentrations (0.25–30 µM) against seven different bacteria. Hemolytic and cytotoxic activities were determined using pig erythrocytes and baby hamster kidney cells, respectively. The amino acid substitutions in the engineered AMPs did not inhibit cytotoxicity, but reduced hemolysis and therefore increased the therapeutic indices. The phylogenetic analysis of scorpion AMPs revealed they are closely related and the GXK motif is highly conserved. The engineered scorpion AMPs offer a promising alternative for the treatment of multidrug-resistant bacterial infections and could be modified further to reduce their hemolytic/cytotoxic activity. PMID:28067810

  9. Apoptosis Activation in Human Lung Cancer Cell Lines by a Novel Synthetic Peptide Derived from Conus californicus Venom.

    PubMed

    Oroz-Parra, Irasema; Navarro, Mario; Cervantes-Luevano, Karla E; Álvarez-Delgado, Carolina; Salvesen, Guy; Sanchez-Campos, Liliana N; Licea-Navarro, Alexei F

    2016-02-05

    Lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men and women and a leading cause of death worldwide resulting in more than one million deaths per year. The venom of marine snails Conus contains up to 200 pharmacologically active compounds that target several receptors in the cell membrane. Due to their diversity and specific binding properties, Conus toxins hold great potential as source of new drugs against cancer. We analyzed the cytotoxic effect of a 17-amino acid synthetic peptide (s-cal14.1a) that is based on a native toxin (cal14.1a) isolated from the sea snail Conus californicus. Cytotoxicity studies in four lung cancer cell lines were complemented with measurement of gene expression of apoptosis-related proteins Bcl-2, BAX and the pro-survival proteins NFκB-1 and COX-2, as well as quantification of caspase activity. Our results showed that H1299 and H1437 cell lines treated with s-call4.1a had decreased cell viability, activated caspases, and reduced expression of the pro-survival protein NFκB-1. To our knowledge, this is the first report describing activation of apoptosis in human lung cancer cell lines by s-cal14.1a and we offer insight into the possible mechanism of action.

  10. Bioactivity of Natural and Engineered Antimicrobial Peptides from Venom of the Scorpions Urodacus yaschenkoi and U. manicatus.

    PubMed

    Luna-Ramirez, Karen; Tonk, Miray; Rahnamaeian, Mohammad; Vilcinskas, Andreas

    2017-01-06

    The spread of multidrug-resistant human pathogens has drawn attention towards antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), which are major players in the innate immune systems of many organisms, including vertebrates, invertebrates, plants and microbes. Scorpion venom is an abundant source of novel and potent AMPs. Here, we investigated natural and engineered AMPs from the scorpions Urodacus yaschenkoi and U. manicatus to determine their antimicrobial spectra as well as their hemolytic/cytotoxic activity. None of the AMPs were active against fungi, but many of them were active at low concentrations (0.25-30 µM) against seven different bacteria. Hemolytic and cytotoxic activities were determined using pig erythrocytes and baby hamster kidney cells, respectively. The amino acid substitutions in the engineered AMPs did not inhibit cytotoxicity, but reduced hemolysis and therefore increased the therapeutic indices. The phylogenetic analysis of scorpion AMPs revealed they are closely related and the GXK motif is highly conserved. The engineered scorpion AMPs offer a promising alternative for the treatment of multidrug-resistant bacterial infections and could be modified further to reduce their hemolytic/cytotoxic activity.

  11. Pharmacological characterisation of the highly NaV1.7 selective spider venom peptide Pn3a.

    PubMed

    Deuis, Jennifer R; Dekan, Zoltan; Wingerd, Joshua S; Smith, Jennifer J; Munasinghe, Nehan R; Bhola, Rebecca F; Imlach, Wendy L; Herzig, Volker; Armstrong, David A; Rosengren, K Johan; Bosmans, Frank; Waxman, Stephen G; Dib-Hajj, Sulayman D; Escoubas, Pierre; Minett, Michael S; Christie, Macdonald J; King, Glenn F; Alewood, Paul F; Lewis, Richard J; Wood, John N; Vetter, Irina

    2017-01-20

    Human genetic studies have implicated the voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.7 as a therapeutic target for the treatment of pain. A novel peptide, μ-theraphotoxin-Pn3a, isolated from venom of the tarantula Pamphobeteus nigricolor, potently inhibits NaV1.7 (IC50 0.9 nM) with at least 40-1000-fold selectivity over all other NaV subtypes. Despite on-target activity in small-diameter dorsal root ganglia, spinal slices, and in a mouse model of pain induced by NaV1.7 activation, Pn3a alone displayed no analgesic activity in formalin-, carrageenan- or FCA-induced pain in rodents when administered systemically. A broad lack of analgesic activity was also found for the selective NaV1.7 inhibitors PF-04856264 and phlotoxin 1. However, when administered with subtherapeutic doses of opioids or the enkephalinase inhibitor thiorphan, these subtype-selective NaV1.7 inhibitors produced profound analgesia. Our results suggest that in these inflammatory models, acute administration of peripherally restricted NaV1.7 inhibitors can only produce analgesia when administered in combination with an opioid.

  12. Apoptosis Activation in Human Lung Cancer Cell Lines by a Novel Synthetic Peptide Derived from Conus californicus Venom

    PubMed Central

    Oroz-Parra, Irasema; Navarro, Mario; Cervantes-Luevano, Karla E.; Álvarez-Delgado, Carolina; Salvesen, Guy; Sanchez-Campos, Liliana N.; Licea-Navarro, Alexei F.

    2016-01-01

    Lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men and women and a leading cause of death worldwide resulting in more than one million deaths per year. The venom of marine snails Conus contains up to 200 pharmacologically active compounds that target several receptors in the cell membrane. Due to their diversity and specific binding properties, Conus toxins hold great potential as source of new drugs against cancer. We analyzed the cytotoxic effect of a 17-amino acid synthetic peptide (s-cal14.1a) that is based on a native toxin (cal14.1a) isolated from the sea snail Conus californicus. Cytotoxicity studies in four lung cancer cell lines were complemented with measurement of gene expression of apoptosis-related proteins Bcl-2, BAX and the pro-survival proteins NFκB-1 and COX-2, as well as quantification of caspase activity. Our results showed that H1299 and H1437 cell lines treated with s-call4.1a had decreased cell viability, activated caspases, and reduced expression of the pro-survival protein NFκB-1. To our knowledge, this is the first report describing activation of apoptosis in human lung cancer cell lines by s-cal14.1a and we offer insight into the possible mechanism of action. PMID:26861394

  13. [Toxicology of Hymenoptera venoms].

    PubMed

    Ciszowski, Krzysztof; Mietka-Ciszowska, Aneta

    2012-01-01

    Hymenoptera venom is a secretion of special poison glands of insects. It serves both as a defensive substance against aggressors, as well as weapon used to paralyze the victim during gaining food. Chemically, the venom is a mixture of biologically active substances of high-, medium-, and small molecular weight with a variety of physiological functions. Individual substances may have toxic effects on stung human contributing to certain clinical signs and symptoms of venom poisoning. In the present paper, chemical structure, physiological role and toxicity of particular components of Hymenoptera venom are described.

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

    PubMed

    Strydom, D J

    1977-04-25

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

  15. Antiplatelet Aggregation and Antithrombosis Efficiency of Peptides in the Snake Venom of Deinagkistrodon acutus: Isolation, Identification, and Evaluation.

    PubMed

    Ding, Bin; Xu, Zhenghong; Qian, Chaodong; Jiang, Fusheng; Ding, Xinghong; Ruan, Yeping; Ding, Zhishan; Fan, Yongsheng

    2015-01-01

    Two peptides of Pt-A (Glu-Asn-Trp 429 Da) and Pt-B (Glu-Gln-Trp 443 Da) were isolated from venom liquor of Deinagkistrodon acutus. Their antiplatelet aggregation effects were evaluated with platelet-rich human plasma in vitro; the respective IC50 of Pt-A and Pt-B was 66 μM and 203 μM. Both peptides exhibited protection effects on ADP-induced paralysis in mice. After ADP administration, the paralysis time of different concentration of Pt-A and Pt-B lasted as the following: 80 mg/kg Pt-B (152.8 ± 57.8 s) < 40 mg/kg Pt-A (163.5 ± 59.8 s) < 20 mg/kg Pt-A (253.5 ± 74.5 s) < 4 mg/kg clopidogrel (a positive control, 254.5 ± 41.97 s) < 40 mg/kg Pt-B (400.8 ± 35.9 s) < 10 mg/kg Pt-A (422.8 ± 55.4 s), all of which were statistically shorter than the saline treatment (666 ± 28 s). Pulmonary tissue biopsy confirmed that Pt-A and Pt-B prevented the formation of thrombi in the lung. Unlike ADP injection alone, which caused significant reduction of peripheral platelet count, Pt-A treatment prevented the drop of peripheral platelet counts; interestingly, Pt-B could not, even though the same amount of Pt-B also showed protection effects on ADP-induced paralysis and thrombosis. More importantly, intravenous injection of Pt-A and Pt-B did not significantly increase the hemorrhage risks as clopidogrel.

  16. Two tarantula venom peptides as potent and differential Na(V) channels blockers.

    PubMed

    Cherki, Ronit S; Kolb, Ela; Langut, Yael; Tsveyer, Lior; Bajayo, Nissim; Meir, Alon

    2014-01-01

    Voltage dependent sodium (Na(V)) channels are large membrane spanning proteins which lie in the basis of action potential generation and propagation in excitable cells and hence are essential mediators of neuronal signaling. Inhibition of Na(V) channel activity is one of the core mechanisms to treat conditions related to neuronal hyperexcitability, such as epilepsy in the clinic. Na(V) channel blockers are also extensively used to locally inhibit action potential generation and related pain perceptions in the form of local anesthetics. Here we describe the isolation, biochemical characterization, synthesis and in vitro characterization of two potent Na(V) channel blockers from the venom of the Paraphysa scrofa (Phrixotrichus auratus) tarantula spider. Both Voltage sensor toxin 3 (VSTx-3, κ-theraphotoxin-Gr4a) and GTx1-15 (Toxin Gtx1-15), were originally isolated from the venom of the related tarantula Grammostola rosea and described as K(V) and Ca(V) channel blockers, respectively. In our hands, GTx1-15 was shown to be a potent inhibitor of tetrodotoxin (TTX)-sensitive channels (IC₅₀ 0.007 μM for hNa(V)1.7 and 0.12 μM for hNa(V)1.3 channels), with very little effect on TTX-resistant (Na(V)1.5 and NaV1.8) channels. VSTx-3 was demonstrated to be a potent, TTX-sensitive sodium channel blocker and especially, potent blocker of Na(V)1.8 channels (IC₅₀ 0.19 μM for hNa(V)1.3, 0.43 μM for hNa(V)1.7 and 0.77 μM for hNa(V)1.8 channels). Such potent inhibitors with differential selectivity among Na(V) channel isoforms may be used as tools to study the roles of the different channels in processes related to hyperexcitability and as lead compounds to treat pathological pain conditions. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  17. Antimicrobial Peptide from the Wild Bee Hylaeus signatus Venom and Its Analogues: Structure-Activity Study and Synergistic Effect with Antibiotics.

    PubMed

    Nešuta, Ondřej; Hexnerová, Rozálie; Buděšínský, Miloš; Slaninová, Jiřina; Bednárová, Lucie; Hadravová, Romana; Straka, Jakub; Veverka, Václav; Čeřovský, Václav

    2016-04-22

    Venoms of hymenopteran insects have attracted considerable interest as a source of cationic antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). In the venom of the solitary bee Hylaeus signatus (Hymenoptera: Colletidae), we identified a new hexadecapeptide of sequence Gly-Ile-Met-Ser-Ser-Leu-Met-Lys-Lys-Leu-Ala-Ala-His-Ile-Ala-Lys-NH2. Named HYL, it belongs to the category of α-helical amphipathic AMPs. HYL exhibited weak antimicrobial activity against several strains of pathogenic bacteria and moderate activity against Candida albicans, but its hemolytic activity against human red blood cells was low. We prepared a set of HYL analogues to evaluate the effects of structural modifications on its biological activity and to increase its potency against pathogenic bacteria. This produced several analogues exhibiting significantly greater activity compared to HYL against strains of both Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa even as their hemolytic activity remained low. Studying synergism of HYL peptides and conventional antibiotics showed the peptides act synergistically and preferentially in combination with rifampicin. Fluorescent dye propidium iodide uptake showed the tested peptides were able to facilitate entrance of antibiotics into the cytoplasm by permeabilization of the outer and inner bacterial cell membrane of P. aeruginosa. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that treatment of P. aeruginosa with one of the HYL analogues caused total disintegration of bacterial cells. NMR spectroscopy was used to elucidate the structure-activity relationship for the effect of amino acid residue substitution in HYL.

  18. Tst26, a novel peptide blocker of Kv1.2 and Kv1.3 channels from the venom of Tityus stigmurus.

    PubMed

    Papp, Ferenc; Batista, Cesar V F; Varga, Zoltan; Herceg, Monika; Román-González, Sergio A; Gaspar, Rezso; Possani, Lourival D; Panyi, Gyorgy

    2009-09-15

    Using high-performance liquid chromatography Tst26, a novel potassium channel blocker peptide, was purified from the venom of the Brazilian scorpion Tityus stigmurus. Its primary structure was determined by means of automatic Edman degradation and mass spectrometry analysis. The peptide is composed of 37 amino acid residues and tightly folded through three disulfide bridges, similar to other K(+) channel blocking peptides purified from scorpion venoms. It contains the "essential dyad" for K(+) channel recognition comprised of a lysine at position 27 and a tyrosine at position 36. Electrophysiological assays revealed that Tst26 blocked hKv1.2 and hKv1.3 channels with high affinity (K(d)=1.9 nM and 10.7 nM, respectively) while it did not affect several other ion channels (mKv1.1, hKv1.4, hKv1.5, hERG, hIKCa1, hBK, hNav1.5) tested at 10 nM concentration. The voltage-dependent steady-state parameters of K(+) channel gating were unaffected by the toxin in both channels, but due to the fast association and dissociation kinetics Tst26 slowed the rate of inactivation of Kv1.3 channels. Based on the primary structure, the systematic nomenclature proposed for this peptide is alpha-KTx 4.6.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. An in-depth snake venom proteopeptidome characterization: Benchmarking Bothrops jararaca.

    PubMed

    Nicolau, Carolina A; Carvalho, Paulo C; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L M; Teixeira-Ferreira, André; Junqueira, Magno; Perales, Jonas; Neves-Ferreira, Ana Gisele C; Valente, Richard H

    2017-01-16

    A large-scale proteomic approach was devised to advance the understanding of venom composition. Bothrops jararaca venom was fractionated by OFFGEL followed by chromatography, generating peptidic and proteic fractions. The latter was submitted to trypsin digestion. Both fractions were separately analyzed by reversed-phase nanochromatography coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry. This strategy allowed deeper and joint characterizations of the peptidome and proteome (proteopeptidome) of this venom. Our results lead to the identification of 46 protein classes (with several uniquely assigned proteins per class) comprising eight high-abundance bona fide venom components, and 38 additional classes in smaller quantities. This last category included previously described B. jararaca venom proteins, common Elapidae venom constituents (cobra venom factor and three-finger toxin), and proteins typically encountered in lysosomes, cellular membranes and blood plasma. Furthermore, this report is the most complete snake venom peptidome described so far, both in number of peptides and in variety of unique proteins that could have originated them. It is hypothesized that such diversity could enclose cryptides, whose bioactivities would contribute to envenomation in yet undetermined ways. Finally, we propose that the broad range screening of B. jararaca peptidome will facilitate the discovery of bioactive molecules, eventually leading to valuable therapeutical agents.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-18

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

  2. A new structurally atypical bradykinin-potentiating peptide isolated from Crotalus durissus cascavella venom (South American rattlesnake).

    PubMed

    Lopes, Denise M; Junior, Norberto E G; Costa, Paula P C; Martins, Patrícia L; Santos, Cláudia F; Carvalho, Ellaine D F; Carvalho, Maria D F; Pimenta, Daniel C; Cardi, Bruno A; Fonteles, Manassés C; Nascimento, Nilberto R F; Carvalho, Krishnamurti M

    2014-11-01

    Venom glands of some snakes synthesize bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPP's) which increase bradykinin-induced hypotensive effect and decrease angiotensin I vasopressor effect by angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition. The present study shows a new BPP (BPP-Cdc) isolated from Crotalus durissus cascavella venom: Pro-Asn-Leu-Pro-Asn-Tyr-Leu-Gly-Ile-Pro-Pro. Although BPP-Cdc presents the classical sequence IPP in the C-terminus, it has a completely atypical N-terminal sequence, which shows very low homology with all other BPPs isolated to date. The pharmacological effects of BPP-Cdc were compared to BBP9a from Bothrops jararaca and captopril. BPP-Cdc (1 μM) significantly increased BK-induced contractions (BK; 1 μM) on the guinea pig ileum by 267.8% and decreased angiotensin I-induced contractions (AngI; 10 nM) by 62.4% and these effects were not significantly different from those of BPP9a (1 μM) or captopril (200 nM). Experiments with 4-week hypertensive 2K-1C rats show that the vasopressor effect of AngI (10 ng) was decreased by 50 μg BPP-Cdc (69.7%), and this result was similar to that obtained with 50 μg BPP9a (69.8%). However, the action duration of BPP-Cdc (60 min) was 2 times greater than that of BPP-9a (30 min). On the other hand, the hypotensive effect of BK (250 ng) was significantly increased by 176.6% after BPP-Cdc (50 μg) administration, value 2.5 times greater than that obtained with BPP9a administered at the same doses (71.4%). In addition, the duration of the action of BPP-Cdc (120 min) was also at least 4 times greater than that of BPP-9a (30 min). Taken together, these results suggest that BPP-Cdc presents more selective action on arterial blood system than BPP9a. Besides the inhibition of ACE, it may present other mechanisms of action yet to be elucidated.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    The eastern brown snake is the predominant cause of snakebites in mainland Australia. Its venom induces defibrination coagulopathy, renal failure and microangiopathic hemolytic anemia. Cardiovascular collapse has been described as an early cause of death in patients, but, so far, the mechanisms involved have not been fully identified. In the present work, we analysed the venome of Pseudonaja textilis by combining high throughput proteomics and transcriptomics, aiming to further characterize the components of this venom. The combination of these techniques in the analysis and identification of toxins, venom proteins and putative toxins allowed the sequence description and the identification of the following: prothrombinase coagulation factors, neurotoxic textilotoxin phospholipase A2 (PLA2) subunits and "acidic PLA2", three-finger toxins (3FTx) and the Kunitz-type protease inhibitor textilinin, venom metalloproteinase, C-type lectins, cysteine rich secretory proteins, calreticulin, dipeptidase 2, as well as evidences of Heloderma lizard peptides. Deep data-mining analysis revealed the secretion of a new transcript variant of venom coagulation factor 5a and the existence of a splicing variant of PLA2 modifying the UTR and signal peptide from a same mature protein. The transcriptome revealed the diversity of transcripts and mutations, and also indicates that splicing variants can be an important source of toxin variation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Biochemical characterization of the Micrurus pyrrhocryptus venom.

    PubMed

    Dokmetjian, José Christian; Del Canto, Sergio; Vinzón, Sabrina; de Jiménez Bonino, Mirtha Biscoglio

    2009-03-01

    Snake venom toxicity is the consequence of a combination of peptides and proteins whose identification and characterization are of great importance to understand envenomation and develop new clinical treatments. The Elapinae subfamily includes coral snakes whose bite causes mainly neurotoxic effects which disable muscle contraction and paralyse the heart as well as inhibit respiration. However, the structure-function relationship of venom toxins has been investigated only for a few species. We herein study biological aspects of the Micrurus pyrrhocryptus venom such as LD(50), hemorrhagic, necrotic, coagulant, myotoxic and hemolytic activity as well as the ability of venom components to compete with alpha-Bungarotoxin for the ligand-binding site of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Besides, we report the determination of the molecular mass and N-terminal sequence of toxins including PLA2s, short, long and weak neurotoxins. The complete sequence of one of the short neurotoxins has also been obtained, this being the first sequence of an alpha-neurotoxin determined in the M. pyrrhocryptus venom and one of the few fully determined in members of the Micrurus genus.

  5. Lemnitoxin, the major component of Micrurus lemniscatus coral snake venom, is a myotoxic and pro-inflammatory phospholipase A2.

    PubMed

    Casais-E-Silva, Luciana L; Teixeira, Catarina F P; Lebrun, Ivo; Lomonte, Bruno; Alape-Girón, Alberto; Gutiérrez, José María

    2016-08-22

    The venom of Micrurus lemniscatus, a coral snake of wide geographical distribution in South America, was fractionated by reverse-phase HPLC and the fractions screened for phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activity. The major component of the venom, a PLA2, here referred to as 'Lemnitoxin', was isolated and characterized biochemically and toxicologically. It induces myotoxicity upon intramuscular or intravenous injection into mice. The amino acid residues Arg15, Ala100, Asn108, and a hydrophobic residue at position 109, which are characteristic of myotoxic class I phospholipases A2, are present in Lemnitoxin. This PLA2 is antigenically related to M. nigrocinctus nigroxin, Notechis scutatus notexin, Pseudechis australis mulgotoxin, and Pseudonaja textilis textilotoxin, as demonstrated with monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies. Lemnitoxin is highly selective in its targeting of cells, being cytotoxic for differentiated myotubes in vitro and muscle fibers in vivo, but not for undifferentiated myoblasts or endothelial cells. Lemnitoxin is not lethal after intravenous injection at doses up to 2μg/g in mice, evidencing its lack of significant neurotoxicity. Lemnitoxin displays anticoagulant effect on human plasma and proinflammatory activity also, as it induces paw edema and mast cell degranulation. Thus, the results of this work demonstrate that Lemnitoxin is a potent myotoxic and proinflammatory class I PLA2.

  6. Partial transcriptomic profiling of toxins from the venom gland of the scorpion Parabuthus stridulus.

    PubMed

    Mille, Bea G; Peigneur, Steve; Diego-García, Elia; Predel, Reinhard; Tytgat, Jan

    2014-06-01

    Since it is an apocrine secretion, scorpion venom is a complex mixture that contains a variety of low-molecular-weight basic proteins (neurotoxins), mucus, salts, as well as a large number of other constituents. Diversity of scorpion venom peptides exists also at the transcript level. Two kinds of venom peptides are typically considered: the neurotoxins and the antimicrobial peptides. We constructed a cDNA library and carried an EST (Expressed Sequence Tag) approach to overview the different peptides in the transcriptome of the telson from Parabuthus stridulus. P. stridulus are psammophilous and highly venomous scorpions endemic to Namibia (Prendini 2004) with medical relevance because of important human envenomation occurrence. We obtained 111 ESTs, 20% of them corresponding to cellular process transcripts, 7% to hypothetical proteins and 17% were sequences without good matches, but the majority of ESTs, 56%, corresponds to transcripts encoding for different venom components, including voltage-gated sodium, potassium and calcium channel toxins, antimicrobial peptides and other venom and cell proteins. To the best of our knowledge this report contains the first transcriptome analysis of genes transcribed by the venomous gland of the scorpion species P. stridulus, belonging to the family of medically important Buthidae scorpions. One hundred and eleven ESTs were analyzed, showing an important number of genes that encode for products similar to known scorpion venom components. In total, 17 unique and novel sequences were indentified. The identification and characterization of these compounds will be a good source of novel pharmacological tools for studying ion channels and the understanding of the physiological effects of toxins in P. stridulus envenomations at a molecular level.

  7. The scorpion venom peptide BmKn2 induces apoptosis in cancerous but not in normal human oral cells.

    PubMed

    Satitmanwiwat, Saranya; Changsangfa, Chinarat; Khanuengthong, Anuson; Promthep, Kornkanok; Roytrakul, Sittiruk; Arpornsuwan, Teerakul; Saikhun, Kulnasan; Sritanaudomchai, Hathaitip

    2016-12-01

    This study aimed to investigate the mechanism of the induction of apoptosis of human oral cancer cells by the scorpion venom peptide BmKn2. Human oral squamous carcinoma cells (HSC4), mouth epidermoid carcinoma cells (KB), human normal gingival cells (HGC) and dental pulp cells (DPC) were treated with BmKn-2 peptide for 24h. Cell viability was determined by the MTT assay. Apoptosis was assessed using phase contrast microscopy, by propidium iodide (PI) staining to assess nuclear morphology and by Annexin V staining. Apoptotic signaling pathways were investigated by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and Western blotting. BmKn-2 showed potent cytotoxic effects towards both HSC4 and KB cells with the associated induction of apoptosis. The cells showed distinct morphological changes, nuclear disintegration and an increase in the number of Annexin V-positive cells. Interestingly, at concentrations which kill cancerous cells, BmKn-2 did not affect cell viability or mediate the induction of apoptosis in normal HGC or DPC. Induction of apoptosis by BmKn-2 in HSC4 and KB cells was associated with the activation of tumor suppress p53. Pro-apoptotic BAX expression was increased, whereas antiapoptotic BCL-2 expression was decreased in BmKn-2 exposed HSC4 and KB cells. BmKn-2 treated-oral cancer cells showed distinct upregulation of initiator caspase-9, with no effect on caspase-8 expression. Increased expression levels of executor caspases-3 and -7 were also found in treated cells for both oral cancers. This study has suggested for the first time that BmKn-2 exerts selective cytotoxic effects on human oral cancer cells by inducting apoptosis via a p53-dependent intrinsic apoptotic pathway. BmKn-2 peptide originally derived from a natural source shows great promise as a candidate treatment for oral cancer, with minimal effects on healthy tissue. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  8. ESI-MS/MS identification of a bradykinin-potentiating peptide from Amazon Bothrops atrox snake venom using a hybrid Qq-oaTOF mass spectrometer.

    PubMed

    Coutinho-Neto, Antonio; Caldeira, Cleópatra A S; Souza, Gustavo H M F; Zaqueo, Kayena D; Kayano, Anderson M; Silva, Rodrigo S; Zuliani, Juliana P; Soares, Andreimar M; Stábeli, Rodrigo G; Calderon, Leonardo A

    2013-02-18

    A bradykinin-potentiating peptide (BPP) from Amazon Bothrops atrox venom with m/z 1384.7386 was identified and characterized by collision induced dissociation (CID) using an ESI-MS/MS spectra obtained in positive ion mode on a hybrid Qq-oaTOF mass spectrometer, Xevo G2 QTof MS (Waters, Manchester, UK). De novo peptide sequence analysis of the CID fragmentation spectra showed the amino acid sequence ZKWPRPGPEIPP, with a pyroglutamic acid and theoretical monoisotopic m/z 1384.7378, which is similar to experimental data, showing a mass accuracy of 0.6 ppm. The peptide is homologous to other BPP from Bothrops moojeni and was named as BPP-BAX12.

  9. Venom gland transcriptomic and venom proteomic analyses of the scorpion Megacormus gertschi Díaz-Najera, 1966 (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae: Megacorminae).

    PubMed

    Santibáñez-López, Carlos E; Cid-Uribe, Jimena I; Zamudio, Fernando Z; Batista, Cesar V F; Ortiz, Ernesto; Possani, Lourival D

    2017-07-01

    The soluble venom from the Mexican scorpion Megacormus gertschi of the family Euscorpiidae was obtained and its biological effects were tested in several animal models. This venom is not toxic to mice at doses of 100 μg per 20 g of mouse weight, while being lethal to arthropods (insects and crustaceans), at doses of 20 μg (for crickets) and 100 μg (for shrimps) per animal. Samples of the venom were separated by high performance liquid chromatography and circa 80 distinct chromatographic fractions were obtained from which 67 components have had their molecular weights determined by mass spectrometry analysis. The N-terminal amino acid sequence of seven protein/peptides were obtained by Edman degradation and are reported. Among the high molecular weight components there are enzymes with experimentally-confirmed phospholipase activity. A pair of telsons from this scorpion species was dissected, from which total RNA was extracted and used for cDNA library construction. Massive sequencing by the Illumina protocol, followed by de novo assembly, resulted in a total of 110,528 transcripts. From those, we were able to annotate 182, which putatively code for peptides/proteins with sequence similarity to previously-reported venom components available from different protein databases. Transcripts seemingly coding for enzymes showed the richest diversity, with 52 sequences putatively coding for proteases, 20 for phospholipases, 8 for lipases and 5 for hyaluronidases. The number of different transcripts potentially coding for peptides with sequence similarity to those that affect ion channels was 19, for putative antimicrobial peptides 19, and for protease inhibitor-like peptides, 18. Transcripts seemingly coding for other venom components were identified and described. The LC/MS analysis of a trypsin-digested venom aliquot resulted in 23 matches with the translated transcriptome database, which validates the transcriptome. The proteomic and transcriptomic analyses

  10. Three Peptide Modulators of the Human Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel 1.7, an Important Analgesic Target, from the Venom of an Australian Tarantula.

    PubMed

    Chow, Chun Yuen; Cristofori-Armstrong, Ben; Undheim, Eivind A B; King, Glenn F; Rash, Lachlan D

    2015-06-30

    Voltage-gated sodium (NaV) channels are responsible for propagating action potentials in excitable cells. NaV1.7 plays a crucial role in the human pain signalling pathway and it is an important therapeutic target for treatment of chronic pain. Numerous spider venom peptides have been shown to modulate the activity of NaV channels and these peptides represent a rich source of research tools and therapeutic lead molecules. The aim of this study was to determine the diversity of NaV1.7-active peptides in the venom of an Australian Phlogius sp. tarantula and to characterise their potency and subtype selectivity. We isolated three novel peptides, μ-TRTX-Phlo1a, -Phlo1b and -Phlo2a, that inhibit human NaV1.7 (hNaV1.7). Phlo1a and Phlo1b are 35-residue peptides that differ by one amino acid and belong in NaSpTx family 2. The partial sequence of Phlo2a revealed extensive similarity with ProTx-II from NaSpTx family 3. Phlo1a and Phlo1b inhibit hNaV1.7 with IC50 values of 459 and 360 nM, respectively, with only minor inhibitory activity on rat NaV1.2 and hNaV1.5. Although similarly potent at hNaV1.7 (IC50 333 nM), Phlo2a was less selective, as it also potently inhibited rNaV1.2 and hNaV1.5. All three peptides cause a depolarising shift in the voltage-dependence of hNaV1.7 activation.

  11. Three Peptide Modulators of the Human Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel 1.7, an Important Analgesic Target, from the Venom of an Australian Tarantula

    PubMed Central

    Chow, Chun Yuen; Cristofori-Armstrong, Ben; Undheim, Eivind A. B.; King, Glenn F.; Rash, Lachlan D.

    2015-01-01

    Voltage-gated sodium (NaV) channels are responsible for propagating action potentials in excitable cells. NaV1.7 plays a crucial role in the human pain signalling pathway and it is an important therapeutic target for treatment of chronic pain. Numerous spider venom peptides have been shown to modulate the activity of NaV channels and these peptides represent a rich source of research tools and therapeutic lead molecules. The aim of this study was to determine the diversity of NaV1.7-active peptides in the venom of an Australian Phlogius sp. tarantula and to characterise their potency and subtype selectivity. We isolated three novel peptides, μ-TRTX-Phlo1a, -Phlo1b and -Phlo2a, that inhibit human NaV1.7 (hNaV1.7). Phlo1a and Phlo1b are 35-residue peptides that differ by one amino acid and belong in NaSpTx family 2. The partial sequence of Phlo2a revealed extensive similarity with ProTx-II from NaSpTx family 3. Phlo1a and Phlo1b inhibit hNaV1.7 with IC50 values of 459 and 360 nM, respectively, with only minor inhibitory activity on rat NaV1.2 and hNaV1.5. Although similarly potent at hNaV1.7 (IC50 333 nM), Phlo2a was less selective, as it also potently inhibited rNaV1.2 and hNaV1.5. All three peptides cause a depolarising shift in the voltage-dependence of hNaV1.7 activation. PMID:26134258

  12. Molecular cloning and in silico characterization of knottin peptide, U2-SCRTX-Lit2, from brown spider (Loxosceles intermedia) venom glands.

    PubMed

    Meissner, Gabriel Otto; de Resende Lara, Pedro Túlio; Scott, Luis Paulo Barbour; Braz, Antônio Sérgio Kimus; Chaves-Moreira, Daniele; Matsubara, Fernando Hitomi; Soares, Eduardo Mendonça; Trevisan-Silva, Dilza; Gremski, Luiza Helena; Veiga, Silvio Sanches; Chaim, Olga Meiri

    2016-09-01

    Inhibitor cystine knots (ICKs) are a family of structural peptides with a large number of cysteine residues that form intramolecular disulfide bonds, resulting in a knot. These peptides are involved in a variety of biological functions including predation and defense, and are found in various species, such as spiders, scorpions, sea anemones, and plants. The Loxosceles intermedia venom gland transcriptome identified five groups of ICK peptides that represent more than 50 % of toxin-coding transcripts. Here, we describe the molecular cloning of U2-Sicaritoxin-Lit2 (U2-SCRTX-Lit2), bioinformatic characterization, structure prediction, and molecular dynamic analysis. The sequence of U2-SCRTX-Lit2 obtained from the transcriptome is similar to that of μ-Hexatoxin-Mg2, a peptide that inhibits the insect Nav channel. Bioinformatic analysis of sequences classified as ICK family members also showed a conservation of cysteine residues among ICKs from different spiders, with the three dimensional molecular model of U2-SCRTX-Lit2 similar in structure to the hexatoxin from μ-hexatoxin-Mg2a. Molecular docking experiments showed the interaction of U2-SCRTX-Lit2 to its predictable target-the Spodoptera litura voltage-gated sodium channel (SlNaVSC). After 200 ns of molecular dynamic simulation, the final structure of the complex showed stability in agreement with the experimental data. The above analysis corroborates the existence of a peptide toxin with insecticidal activity from a novel ICK family in L. intermedia venom and demonstrates that this peptide targets Nav channels.

  13. Black mamba venom peptides target acid-sensing ion channels to abolish pain.

    PubMed

    Diochot, Sylvie; Baron, Anne; Salinas, Miguel; Douguet, Dominique; Scarzello, Sabine; Dabert-Gay, Anne-Sophie; Debayle, Delphine; Friend, Valérie; Alloui, Abdelkrim; Lazdunski, Michel; Lingueglia, Eric

    2012-10-25

    Polypeptide toxins have played a central part in understanding physiological and physiopathological functions of ion channels. In the field of pain, they led to important advances in basic research and even to clinical applications. Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are generally considered principal players in the pain pathway, including in humans. A snake toxin activating peripheral ASICs in nociceptive neurons has been recently shown to evoke pain. Here we show that a new class of three-finger peptides from another snake, the black mamba, is able to abolish pain through inhibition of ASICs expressed either in central or peripheral neurons. These peptides, which we call mambalgins, are not toxic in mice but show a potent analgesic effect upon central and peripheral injection that can be as strong as morphine. This effect is, however, resistant to naloxone, and mambalgins cause much less tolerance than morphine and no respiratory distress. Pharmacological inhibition by mambalgins combined with the use of knockdown and knockout animals indicates that blockade of heteromeric channels made of ASIC1a and ASIC2a subunits in central neurons and of ASIC1b-containing channels in nociceptors is involved in the analgesic effect of mambalgins. These findings identify new potential therapeutic targets for pain and introduce natural peptides that block them to produce a potent analgesia.

  14. Juruin: an antifungal peptide from the venom of the Amazonian Pink Toe spider, Avicularia juruensis, which contains the inhibitory cystine knot motif

    PubMed Central

    Ayroza, Gabriela; Ferreira, Ivan L. C.; Sayegh, Raphael S. R.; Tashima, Alexandre K.; da Silva, Pedro I.

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to screen the venom of the theraposid spider Avicularia juruensis for the identification of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) which could be further used as prototypes for drug development. Eleven AMPs, named juruentoxins, with molecular weight ranging from 3.5 to 4.5 kDa, were identified by mass spectrometry after the soluble venom was separated by high performance liquid chromatography. Juruentoxins have a putative inhibitory cystine knot (ICK) motif, generally found in neurotoxins, which are also resistant to proteolysis. One juruentoxin that has 38 amino acid residues and three disulfide bonds were characterized, to which we proposed the name Juruin. Based on liquid growth inhibition assays, it has potent antifungal activity in the micromolar range. Importantly, Juruin lacks haemolytic activity on human erythrocytes at the antimicrobial concentrations. Based on the amino acid sequence, it is highly identical to the insecticidal peptides from the theraposid spiders Selenocosmia huwena, Chilobrachys jingzhao, and Haplopelma schmidti from China, indicating they belong to a group of conserved toxins which are likely to inhibit voltage-gated ion channels. Juruin is a cationic AMP, and Lys22 and Lys23 show maximum positive charge localization that might be important for receptor recognition. Although it shows marked sequence similarity to neurotoxic peptides, Juruin is a novel exciting molecule with potent antifungal activity, which could be used as a novel template for development of drugs against clinical resistant fungi strains. PMID:22973266

  15. Identification and characterization of B-cell epitopes of 3FTx and PLA(2) toxins from Micrurus corallinus snake venom.

    PubMed

    Castro, K L; Duarte, C G; Ramos, H R; Machado de Avila, R A; Schneider, F S; Oliveira, D; Freitas, C F; Kalapothakis, E; Ho, P L; Chávez-Olortegui, C

    2015-01-01

    The main goal of this work was to develop a strategy to identify B-cell epitopes on four different three finger toxins (3FTX) and one phospholipase A2 (PLA2) from Micrurus corallinus snake venom. 3FTx and PLA2 are highly abundant components in Elapidic venoms and are the major responsibles for the toxicity observed in envenomation by coral snakes. Overlapping peptides from the sequence of each toxin were prepared by SPOT method and three different anti-elapidic sera were used to map the epitopes. After immunogenicity analysis of the spot-reactive peptides by EPITOPIA, a computational method, nine sequences from the five toxins were chemically synthesized and antigenically and immunogenically characterized. All the peptides were used together as immunogens in rabbits, delivered with Freund's adjuvant for a first cycle of immunization and Montanide in the second. A good antibody response against individual synthetic peptides and M. corallinus venom was achieved. Anti-peptide IgGs were also cross-reactive against Micrurus frontalis and Micrurus lemniscatus crude venoms. In addition, anti-peptide IgGs inhibits the lethal and phospholipasic activities of M. corallinus crude venom. Our results provide a rational basis to the identification of neutralizing epitopes on coral snake toxins and show that their corresponding synthetic peptides could improve the generation of immuno-therapeutics. The use of synthetic peptide for immunization is a reasonable approach, since it enables poly-specificity, low risk of toxic effects and large scale production.

  16. Mast cell chymase reduces the toxicity of Gila monster venom, scorpion venom, and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide in mice

    PubMed Central

    Akahoshi, Mitsuteru; Song, Chang Ho; Piliponsky, Adrian M.; Metz, Martin; Guzzetta, Andrew; Åbrink, Magnus; Schlenner, Susan M.; Feyerabend, Thorsten B.; Rodewald, Hans-Reimer; Pejler, Gunnar; Tsai, Mindy; Galli, Stephen J.

    2011-01-01

    Mast cell degranulation is important in the pathogenesis of anaphylaxis and allergic disorders. Many animal venoms contain components that can induce mast cell degranulation, and this has been thought to contribute to the pathology and mortality caused by envenomation. However, we recently reported evidence that mast cells can enhance the resistance of mice to the venoms of certain snakes and that mouse mast cell–derived carboxypeptidase A3 (CPA3) can contribute to this effect. Here, we investigated whether mast cells can enhance resistance to the venom of the Gila monster, a toxic component of that venom (helodermin), and the structurally similar mammalian peptide, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP). Using 2 types of mast cell–deficient mice, as well as mice selectively lacking CPA3 activity or the chymase mouse mast cell protease-4 (MCPT4), we found that mast cells and MCPT4, which can degrade helodermin, can enhance host resistance to the toxicity of Gila monster venom. Mast cells and MCPT4 also can limit the toxicity associated with high concentrations of VIP and can reduce the morbidity and mortality induced by venoms from 2 species of scorpions. Our findings support the notion that mast cells can enhance innate defense by degradation of diverse animal toxins and that release of MCPT4, in addition to CPA3, can contribute to this mast cell function. PMID:21926462

  17. Mast cell chymase reduces the toxicity of Gila monster venom, scorpion venom, and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide in mice.

    PubMed

    Akahoshi, Mitsuteru; Song, Chang Ho; Piliponsky, Adrian M; Metz, Martin; Guzzetta, Andrew; Abrink, Magnus; Schlenner, Susan M; Feyerabend, Thorsten B; Rodewald, Hans-Reimer; Pejler, Gunnar; Tsai, Mindy; Galli, Stephen J

    2011-10-01

    Mast cell degranulation is important in the pathogenesis of anaphylaxis and allergic disorders. Many animal venoms contain components that can induce mast cell degranulation, and this has been thought to contribute to the pathology and mortality caused by envenomation. However, we recently reported evidence that mast cells can enhance the resistance of mice to the venoms of certain snakes and that mouse mast cell-derived carboxypeptidase A3 (CPA3) can contribute to this effect. Here, we investigated whether mast cells can enhance resistance to the venom of the Gila monster, a toxic component of that venom (helodermin), and the structurally similar mammalian peptide, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP). Using 2 types of mast cell-deficient mice, as well as mice selectively lacking CPA3 activity or the chymase mouse mast cell protease-4 (MCPT4), we found that mast cells and MCPT4, which can degrade helodermin, can enhance host resistance to the toxicity of Gila monster venom. Mast cells and MCPT4 also can limit the toxicity associated with high concentrations of VIP and can reduce the morbidity and mortality induced by venoms from 2 species of scorpions. Our findings support the notion that mast cells can enhance innate defense by degradation of diverse animal toxins and that release of MCPT4, in addition to CPA3, can contribute to this mast cell function.

  18. Two peptides, TsAP-1 and TsAP-2, from the venom of the Brazilian yellow scorpion, Tityus serrulatus: evaluation of their antimicrobial and anticancer activities.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xiaoxiao; Ma, Chengbang; Du, Qiang; Wei, Ran; Wang, Lei; Zhou, Mei; Chen, Tianbao; Shaw, Chris

    2013-09-01

    Here we report two novel 17-mer amidated linear peptides (TsAP-1 and TsAP-2) whose structures were deduced from cDNAs cloned from a venom-derived cDNA library of the Brazilian yellow scorpion, Tityus serrulatus. Both mature peptides were structurally-characterised following their location in chromatographic fractions of venom and synthetic replicates of each were subjected to a range of biological assays. The peptides were each active against model test micro-organisms but with different potencies. TsAP-1 was of low potency against all three test organisms (MICs 120-160 μM), whereas TsAP-2 was of high potency against the Gram-positive bacterium, Staphylococcus aureus (MIC 5 μM) and the yeast, Candida albicans (10 μM). Haemolytic activity of TsAP-1 was low (4% at 160 μM) and in contrast, that of TsAP-2 was considerably higher (18% at 20 μM). Substitution of four neutral amino acid residues with Lys residues in each peptide had dramatic effects on their antimicrobial potencies and haemolytic activities, particularly those of TsAP-1. The MICs of the enhanced cationic analogue (TsAP-S1) were 2.5 μM for S. aureus/C. albicans and 5 μM for E. coli but with an associated large increase in haemolytic activity (30% at 5 μM). The same Lys residue substitutions in TsAP-2 produced a dramatic effect on its MIC for E. coli lowering this from >320 μM to 5 μM. TsAP-1 was ineffective against three of the five human cancer cell lines tested while TsAP-2 inhibited the growth of all five. Lys residue substitution of both peptides enhanced their potency against all five cell lines with TsAp-S2 being the most potent with IC50 values ranging between 0.83 and 2.0 μM. TsAP-1 and TsAP-2 are novel scorpion venom peptides with broad spectrum antimicrobial and anticancer cell activities the potencies of which can be significantly enhanced by increasing their cationicity.

  19. Activity of Scorpion Venom-Derived Antifungal Peptides against Planktonic Cells of Candida spp. and Cryptococcus neoformans and Candida albicans Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Guilhelmelli, Fernanda; Vilela, Nathália; Smidt, Karina S.; de Oliveira, Marco A.; da Cunha Morales Álvares, Alice; Rigonatto, Maria C. L.; da Silva Costa, Pedro H.; Tavares, Aldo H.; de Freitas, Sônia M.; Nicola, André M.; Franco, Octávio L.; Derengowski, Lorena da Silveira; Schwartz, Elisabeth F.; Mortari, Márcia R.; Bocca, Anamélia L.; Albuquerque, Patrícia; Silva-Pereira, Ildinete

    2016-01-01

    The incidence of fungal infections has been increasing in the last decades, while the number of available antifungal classes remains the same. The natural and acquired resistance of some fungal species to available therapies, associated with the high toxicity of these drugs on the present scenario and makes an imperative of the search for new, more efficient and less toxic therapeutic choices. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are a potential class of antimicrobial drugs consisting of evolutionarily conserved multifunctional molecules with both microbicidal and immunomodulatory properties being part of the innate immune response of diverse organisms. In this study, we evaluated 11 scorpion-venom derived non-disulfide-bridged peptides against Cryptococcus neoformans and Candida spp., which are important human pathogens. Seven of them, including two novel molecules, showed activity against both genera with minimum inhibitory concentration values ranging from 3.12 to 200 μM and an analogous activity against Candida albicans biofilms. Most of the peptides presented low hemolytic and cytotoxic activity against mammalian cells. Modifications in the primary peptide sequence, as revealed by in silico and circular dichroism analyses of the most promising peptides, underscored the importance of cationicity for their antimicrobial activity as well as the amphipathicity of these molecules and their tendency to form alpha helices. This is the first report of scorpion-derived AMPs against C. neoformans and our results underline the potential of scorpion venom as a source of antimicrobials. Further characterization of their mechanism of action, followed by molecular optimization to decrease their cytotoxicity and increase antimicrobial activity, is needed to fully clarify their real potential as antifungals. PMID:27917162

  20. Chemical and biological characterization of four new linear cationic α-helical peptides from the venoms of two solitary eumenine wasps.

    PubMed

    Rangel, Marisa; Cabrera, Marcia Perez dos Santos; Kazuma, Kohei; Ando, Kenji; Wang, Xiaoyu; Kato, Manabu; Nihei, Ken-ichi; Hirata, Izaura Yoshico; Cross, Tyra J; Garcia, Angélica Nunes; Faquim-Mauro, Eliana L; Franzolin, Marcia Regina; Fuchino, Hiroyuki; Mori-Yasumoto, Kanami; Sekita, Setsuko; Kadowaki, Makoto; Satake, Motoyoshi; Konno, Katsuhiro

    2011-06-01

    Four novel peptides were isolated from the venoms of the solitary eumenine wasps Eumenes rubrofemoratus and Eumenes fraterculus. Their sequences were determined by MALDI-TOF/TOF (matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry) analysis, Edman degradation and solid-phase synthesis. Two of them, eumenitin-R (LNLKGLIKKVASLLN) and eumenitin-F (LNLKGLFKKVASLLT), are highly homologous to eumenitin, an antimicrobial peptide from a solitary eumenine wasp, whereas the other two, EMP-ER (FDIMGLIKKVAGAL-NH(2)) and EMP-EF (FDVMGIIKKIAGAL-NH(2)), are similar to eumenine mastoparan-AF (EMP-AF), a mast cell degranulating peptide from a solitary eumenine wasp. These sequences have the characteristic features of linear cationic cytolytic peptides; rich in hydrophobic and basic amino acids with no disulfide bond, and accordingly, they can be predicted to adopt an amphipathic α-helix secondary structure. In fact, the CD (circular dichroism) spectra of these peptides showed significant α-helical conformation content in the presence of TFE (trifluoroethanol), SDS (sodium dodecylsulfate) and asolectin vesicles. In the biological evaluation, all the peptides exhibited a significant broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, and moderate mast cell degranulation and leishmanicidal activities, but showed virtually no hemolytic activity.

  1. Characterization and Amino Acid Sequences of Two Lethal Peptides Isolated from Venom of Wagler’s Pit Viper, Trimeresurus wagleri

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-01-01

    dosages were necropsied and any gross tissue pathology examined and noted. The LD, was calculated by the Spearman - Karber method (WHO, 1981). The 95...sequences of two lethal toxins from the venom of T. wagleri. MATERIALS AND METHODS Chemicals Trifluoroacetic acid (TFA), "sequenal grade", was...from Yuma, AZ) according to the method of WEINSTEIN et al. (1985). Toxin II from Androctonus australis venom (AaH II) was purified by successive

  2. Firing the Sting: Chemically Induced Discharge of Cnidae Reveals Novel Proteins and Peptides from Box Jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri) Venom

    PubMed Central

    Jouiaei, Mahdokht; Casewell, Nicholas R.; Yanagihara, Angel A.; Nouwens, Amanda; Cribb, Bronwen W.; Whitehead, Darryl; Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Ali, Syed A.; Wagstaff, Simon C.; Koludarov, Ivan; Alewood, Paul; Hansen, Jay; Fry, Bryan G.

    2015-01-01

    Cnidarian venom research has lagged behind other toxinological fields due to technical difficulties in recovery of the complex venom from the microscopic nematocysts. Here we report a newly developed rapid, repeatable and cost effective technique of venom preparation, using ethanol to induce nematocyst discharge and to recover venom contents in one step. Our model species was the Australian box jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri), which has a notable impact on public health. By utilizing scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy, we examined nematocyst external morphology before and after ethanol treatment and verified nematocyst discharge. Further, to investigate nematocyst content or “venom” recovery, we utilized both top-down and bottom-up transcriptomics–proteomics approaches and compared the proteome profile of this new ethanol recovery based method to a previously reported high activity and recovery protocol, based upon density purified intact cnidae and pressure induced disruption. In addition to recovering previously characterized box jellyfish toxins, including CfTX-A/B and CfTX-1, we recovered putative metalloproteases and novel expression of a small serine protease inhibitor. This study not only reveals a much more complex toxin profile of Australian box jellyfish venom but also suggests that ethanol extraction method could augment future cnidarian venom proteomics research efforts. PMID:25793725

  3. Comparative venomics of the Prairie Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis viridis) from Colorado: Identification of a novel pattern of ontogenetic changes in venom composition and assessment of the immunoreactivity of the commercial antivenom CroFab®.

    PubMed

    Saviola, Anthony J; Pla, Davinia; Sanz, Libia; Castoe, Todd A; Calvete, Juan J; Mackessy, Stephen P

    2015-05-21

    Here we describe and compare the venomic and antivenomic characteristics of both neonate and adult Prairie Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis viridis) venoms. Although both neonate and adult venoms contain unique components, similarities among protein family content were seen. Both neonate and adult venoms consisted of myotoxin, bradykinin-potentiating peptide (BPP), phospholipase A2 (PLA2), Zn(2+)-dependent metalloproteinase (SVMP), serine proteinase, L-amino acid oxidase (LAAO), cysteine-rich secretory protein (CRISP) and disintegrin families. Quantitative differences, however, were observed, with venoms of adults containing significantly higher concentrations of the non-enzymatic toxic compounds and venoms of neonates containing higher concentrations of pre-digestive enzymatic proteins such as SVMPs. To assess the relevance of this venom variation in the context of snakebite and snakebite treatment, we tested the efficacy of the common antivenom CroFab® for recognition of both adult and neonate venoms in vitro. This comparison revealed that many of the major protein families (SVMPs, CRISP, PLA2, serine proteases, and LAAO) in both neonate and adult venoms were immunodepleted by the antivenom, whereas myotoxins, one of the major toxic components of C. v. viridis venom, in addition to many of the small peptides, were not efficiently depleted by CroFab®. These results therefore provide a comprehensive catalog of the venom compounds present in C. v. viridis venom and new molecular insight into the potential efficacy of CroFab® against human envenomations by one of the most widely distributed rattlesnake species in North America. Comparative proteomic analysis of venoms of neonate and adult Prairie Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis viridis) from a discrete population in Colorado revealed a novel pattern of ontogenetic shifts in toxin composition for viperid snakes. The observed stage-dependent decrease of the relative content of disintegrins, catalytically active D49-PLA2s

  4. Wasp Venom Toxins as a Potential Therapeutic Agent.

    PubMed

    Dongol, Yashad; Dhananjaya, Bhadrapara L; Shrestha, Rakesh K; Aryal, Gopi

    2016-01-01

    It is high time now to discover novel drugs due to the increasing rate of drug resistance by the pathogen organisms and target cells as well as the dependence or tolerance of the body towards the drug. As it is obvious that significant numbers of the modern day pharmaceuticals are derived from natural products, it is equally astonishing to accept that venoms of various origins have therapeutic potentials. Wasp venoms are also a rich source of therapeutically important toxins which includes short cationic peptides, kinins, polyamines and polyDNA viruses, to name a few indentified. Wasp venom cationic peptides, namely mastoparan and its analogs, show a very important potency as an antimicrobial and anticancer agents of the future. They have proven to be the better candidates due to their lesser toxic effects and higher selectivity upon chemical modification and charge optimization. They also have superiority over the conventional chemical drugs as the target cells very rarely develop resistance against them because these peptides primarily imparts its effect through biophysical interaction with the target cell membrane which is dependent upon the net charge of the peptide, its hydrophobicity and anionicity and fluidity of the target cell membranes. Besides, the other components of wasp venom such as kinins, polyamines and polyDNA viruses show various pharmacological promise in the treatment of pain, inflammatory disease, and neurodegenerative diseases such as epilepsy and aversion.

  5. [Venoms and medical research].

    PubMed

    Ducancel, Frédéric

    2016-01-01

    Animal venoms are complex chemical cocktails, comprising a wide range of biologically active reticulated peptides that target with high selectivity and efficacy a variety of enzymes, membrane receptors, ion channels...Venoms can therefore be seen as large natural libraries of biologically active molecules that are continuously selected and highly refined by the evolution process, up to the point where every molecule is endowed with pharmacological properties that are highly valuable in the context of human use and drug development. Therefore, venom exploration constitutes a prerequisite to drug discovery. However, mass spectrometry and transcriptomics via NGS (Next Generation Sequencing) studies have shown the presence of up to 1000 peptides in the venom of single species of cone snails and spiders. Therefore the global animal venom resource can be seen as a collection of more than 50 to 100 000 000 peptides and proteins of which only ~5000 are known. That extraordinary "Eldorado" of bio-optimized compounds justifies the development of more global and cutting-edge strategies and technologies to explore this resource more efficiently than actually. De novo developed approaches and recently obtained results will be described. © Société de Biologie, 2016.

  6. Peptidomics of Three Bothrops Snake Venoms: Insights Into the Molecular Diversification of Proteomes and Peptidomes*

    PubMed Central

    Tashima, Alexandre K.; Zelanis, André; Kitano, Eduardo S.; Ianzer, Danielle; Melo, Robson L.; Rioli, Vanessa; Sant'anna, Sávio S.; Schenberg, Ana C. G.; Camargo, Antônio C. M.; Serrano, Solange M. T.

    2012-01-01

    Snake venom proteomes/peptidomes are highly complex and maintenance of their integrity within the gland lumen is crucial for the expression of toxin activities. There has been considerable progress in the field of venom proteomics, however, peptidomics does not progress as fast, because of the lack of comprehensive venom sequence databases for analysis of MS data. Therefore, in many cases venom peptides have to be sequenced manually by MS/MS analysis or Edman degradation. This is critical for rare snake species, as is the case of Bothrops cotiara (BC) and B. fonsecai (BF), which are regarded as near threatened with extinction. In this study we conducted a comprehensive analysis of the venom peptidomes of BC, BF, and B. jararaca (BJ) using a combination of solid-phase extraction and reversed-phase HPLC to fractionate the peptides, followed by nano-liquid chromatography-tandem MS (LC-MS/MS) or direct infusion electrospray ionization-(ESI)-MS/MS or MALDI-MS/MS analyses. We detected marked differences in the venom peptidomes and identified peptides ranging from 7 to 39 residues in length by de novo sequencing. Forty-four unique sequences were manually identified, out of which 30 are new peptides, including 17 bradykinin-potentiating peptides, three poly-histidine-poly-glycine peptides and interestingly, 10 l-amino acid oxidase fragments. Some of the new bradykinin-potentiating peptides display significant bradykinin potentiating activity. Automated database search revealed fragments from several toxins in the peptidomes, mainly from l-amino acid oxidase, and allowed the determination of the peptide bond specificity of proteinases and amino acid occurrences for the P4-P4′ sites. We also demonstrate that the venom lyophilization/resolubilization process greatly increases the complexity of the peptidome because of the imbalance caused to the venom proteome and the consequent activity of proteinases on venom components. The use of proteinase inhibitors clearly showed

  7. Isolation: analysis and properties of three bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPP-II, BPP-III, and BPP-V) from Bothrops neuwiedi venom.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, L A; Galle, A; Raida, M; Schrader, M; Lebrun, I; Habermehl, G

    1998-04-01

    In the course of systematic investigations on low-molecular-weight compounds from the venom of Crotalidae and Viperidae, we have isolated and characterized at least three bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPP-II, BPP-III, and BPP-V) from Bothrops neuwiedi venom by gel filtration on Sephadex G-25 M, Sephadex G-10 followed by HPLC. The peptides showed bradykinin-potentiating action on isolated guinea-pig ileum, for which the BPP-V was more active than of BPP-II, and BPP-III, rat arterial blood pressure, and a relevant angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) competitive inhibiting activity. The kinetic studies showed a Ki of the order of 9.7 x 10(-3) microM to BPP-II, 7 x 10(-3) microM to BPP-III, and 3.3 x 10(-3) microM to BPP-V. The amino acid sequence of the BPP-III has been determined to be pGlu-Gly-Gly-Trp-Pro-Arg-Pro-Gly-Pro-Glu-Ile-Pro-Pro, and the amino acid compositions of the BPP-II and BPP-V by amino acid analysis were 2Glu-2Gly-1Arg-4Pro-1Ile and 2Glu-2Gly-1Ser-3Pro-2Val-1Ile, with molecular weight of 1372, 1046, and 1078, respectively.

  8. In vitro angiotensin I converting enzyme inhibition by a peptide isolated from Chiropsalmus quadrigatus Haeckel (box jellyfish) venom hydrolysate.

    PubMed

    So, Pamela Berilyn T; Rubio, Peter; Lirio, Stephen; Macabeo, Allan Patrick; Huang, Hsi-Ya; Corpuz, Mary Jho-Anne T; Villaflores, Oliver B

    2016-09-01

    The anti-angiotensin I converting enzyme activity of box jellyfish, Chiropsalmus quadrigatus Haeckel venom hydrolysate was studied. The venom extract was obtained by centrifugation and ultrasonication. Protein concentration of 12.99 μg/mL was determined using Bradford assay. The pepsin and papain hydrolysate was tested for its toxicity by Limit test following the OECD Guideline 425 using 5 female Sprague-Dawley rats. Results showed that the hydrolysate is nontoxic with an LD50 above 2000 mg/kg. In vitro angiotensin I converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory activity was determined using ACE kit-WST. Isolation of ACE inhibitory peptides using column chromatography with SP-Sephadex G-25 yielded 8 pooled fractions with fraction 3 (86.5%) exhibiting the highest activity. This was followed by reverse phase - high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) with an octadecyl silica column (Inertsil ODS-3) using methanol:water 15:85 at a flow rate of 1.0 mL/min. Among the 13 fractions separated with the RP-HPLC, fraction 3.5 exhibited the highest ACE inhibitory activity (84.1%). The peptide sequence ACPGPNPGRP (IC50 2.03 μM) from fraction 3.5 was identified using Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization with time-of-flight tandem mass spectroscopy analysis (MALDI-TOF/MS).

  9. Protein Profile Analysis of Two Australian Snake Venoms by One- Dimensional Gel Electrophoresis and MS/MS Experiments.

    PubMed

    Georgieva, Dessislava; Hildebrand, Diana; Simas, Rodrigo; Coronado, Monika A; Kwiatkowski, Marcel; Schlüter, Hartmut; Arni, Raghuvir; Spencer, Patrick; Betzel, Christian

    2017-01-01

    The Pseudechis colletti and Pseudechis butleri venoms were analyzed by 1-D gel electrophoresis, followed by mass spectrometric analysis of tryptic peptides obtained from the protein bands. Both venoms contain highly potent pharmacologically active components, which were assigned to the following protein families: basic and acidic phospholipases A2 (PLA2s), L-amino acid oxidases (LAAOs), P-III metalloproteinases (P-III SVMPs), 5'- nucleotidases (5'-NTDs), cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISPs), venom nerve growth factors (VNGFs) and post-synaptic neurotoxins. Considerable predominance of PLA2s over other toxins is a characteristic feature of both venoms. The major differences in the venom compositions are the higher concentration of SVMPs and CRISPs in the P. butleri venom, as well as the presence of post-synaptic neurotoxins. Furthermore, the analysis revealed a high concentration of proteins with myotoxic, coagulopathic and apoptotic activities. PLA2s are responsible for the myotoxic and anticoagulant effects observed in patients after envenomation (4). The other protein families, encountered in the two venoms, probably contribute to the major symptoms described for these venoms. These results explain the observed clinical effects of the black snake envenomation. The analyzed venoms contain group P-III metalloproteinases of medical importance with the potency to be used for diagnostic purposes of von Willebrand factor (vWF) disease, for regulation of vWF in thrombosis and haemostasis, for studying the function of the complement system in host defense and in the pathogenesis of diseases. Comparison of venomic data showed similarities in the major venom components of snakes from the genus Pseudechis, resulting in common clinical effects of envenomation, and demonstrating close relationships between venom toxins of Elapidae snakes. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  10. Evaluation of separation properties of a modified strong cation exchange material named MEX and its application in 2D-MEX × C18 system to separate peptides from scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Chen, Bo; Xu, Junyan; Fu, Qing; Dong, Xuefang; Guo, Zhimou; Jin, Yu; Liang, Xinmiao

    2015-07-07

    Peptides from scorpion venom represent one of the most promising drug sources for drug discovery for some specific diseases. Current challenges in their separation include high complexity, high homologies and the huge range of peptides. In this paper, a modified strong cation exchange material, named MEX, was utilised for the two-dimensional separation of peptides from complex scorpion venom. The silica-based MEX column was bonded with two functional groups; benzenesulfonic acid and cyanopropyl. To better understand its separation mechanisms, seven standard peptides with different properties were employed in an evaluation study, the results of which showed that two interactions were involved in the MEX column: electrostatic interactions based on benzenesulfonic acid groups dominated the separation of peptides; weak hydrophobic interactions introduced by cyanopropyl groups increased the column's selectivity for peptides with the same charge. This characteristic allowed the MEX column to overcome some of the drawbacks of traditional strong cation exchange (SCX) columns. Furthermore, the study showed the great effects of the acetonitrile (ACN) content, the sodium perchlorate (NaClO4) concentration and the buffer pH in the mobile phase on the peptides' retention and separation selectivity on the MEX column. Subsequently, the MEX column was combined with a C18 column to establish an off-line 2D-MEX × C18 system to separate peptides from scorpion Buthus martensi Karsch (BmK) venom. Due to complementary separation mechanisms in each dimension, a high orthogonality of 47.62% was achieved. Moreover, a good loading capacity, excellent stability and repeatability were exhibited by the MEX column, which are beneficial for its use in future preparation experiments. Therefore, the MEX column could be an alternative to the traditional SCX columns for the separation of peptides from scorpion venom.

  11. Identification and characterization of toxins in the venom gland of the Chinese bird spider, Haplopelma hainanum, by transcriptomic analysis.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Ting-Cai; Long, Ren-Wen; Wu, Yu-Qian; Guo, You-Bing; Liu, Duo-Lian; Peng, Li; Li, Dai-Qin; Yang, Dai-Wen; Xu, Xin; Liu, Feng-Xiang; Xia, Qing-You

    2016-06-01

    Tarantula venoms provide a model system for studying toxin selectivity, structure-activity relationships and molecular evolution of peptide toxins. Previous studies have identified a large number of peptide toxins in the venom of the Chinese bird spider Haplopelma hainanum, generally regarded as a highly venomous spider. However, the lack of available RNA-seq transcriptomic and genomic data is an obstacle to understanding its venom at the molecular level. In this study, we investigated the venom gland transcriptome of H. hainanum by RNA-seq, in the absence of an available genomic sequence. We identified 201 potential toxins among 57 181 de novo assembled transcripts, including knottins, Kunitz-type toxins, enzymes and other proteins. We systematically identified most of the knottins and Kunitz-type toxins, some of which showed strongly biased expression in the venom gland, including members of the huwentoxin-1, huwentoxin-2 and magi-1 families. We also discovered several novel potential toxins. These data demonstrate the high molecular and structural diversity in the venom toxins of H. hainanum. This study offers a useful strategy for exploring the complex components of spider venoms. © 2015 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  12. Isolation, synthesis and characterization of ω-TRTX-Cc1a, a novel tarantula venom peptide that selectively targets L-type Cav channels.

    PubMed

    Klint, Julie K; Berecki, Géza; Durek, Thomas; Mobli, Mehdi; Knapp, Oliver; King, Glenn F; Adams, David J; Alewood, Paul F; Rash, Lachlan D

    2014-05-15

    Spider venoms are replete with peptidic ion channel modulators, often with novel subtype selectivity, making them a rich source of pharmacological tools and drug leads. In a search for subtype-selective blockers of voltage-gated calcium (CaV) channels, we isolated and characterized a novel 39-residue peptide, ω-TRTX-Cc1a (Cc1a), from the venom of the tarantula Citharischius crawshayi (now Pelinobius muticus). Cc1a is 67% identical to the spider toxin ω-TRTX-Hg1a, an inhibitor of CaV2.3 channels. We assembled Cc1a using a combination of Boc solid-phase peptide synthesis and native chemical ligation. Oxidative folding yielded two stable, slowly interconverting isomers. Cc1a preferentially inhibited Ba(2+) currents (IBa) mediated by L-type (CaV1.2 and CaV1.3) CaV channels heterologously expressed in Xenopus oocytes, with half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values of 825nM and 2.24μM, respectively. In rat dorsal root ganglion neurons, Cc1a inhibited IBa mediated by high voltage-activated CaV channels but did not affect low voltage-activated T-type CaV channels. Cc1a exhibited weak activity at NaV1.5 and NaV1.7 voltage-gated sodium (NaV) channels stably expressed in mammalian HEK or CHO cells, respectively. Experiments with modified Cc1a peptides, truncated at the N-terminus (ΔG1-E5) or C-terminus (ΔW35-V39), demonstrated that the N- and C-termini are important for voltage-gated ion channel modulation. We conclude that Cc1a represents a novel pharmacological tool for probing the structure and function of L-type CaV channels. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Potent and rapid antigonococcal activity of the venom peptide BmKn2 and its derivatives against different Maldi biotype of multidrug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

    PubMed

    Arpornsuwan, Teerakul; Buasakul, Brisana; Jaresitthikunchai, Janthima; Roytrakul, Sittiruk

    2014-03-01

    The emergence of multidrug-resistant strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae constitutes a serious threat to public health and necessitates the discovery of new types of antimicrobial agents. Among the 18 clinical isolates of N. gonorrhoeae with susceptible to spectinomycin, ceftriaxone and cefixime, 14 isolates were resistance to penicillin, tetracycline and ciprofloxacin, while 2 isolates were susceptible to tetracycline and another was penicillin intermediate isolate. Significant differences between laboratory strain and multidrug resistant strains were revealed by means of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry profiling and bioinformatics examination using the MALDI BioTyper software. However, Maldi Biotyper was not successfully separated ciprofloxacin-penicillin resistance and ciprofloxacin-tetracycline resistance from ciprofloxacin-penicillin-tetracycline resistant N. gonorrhoeae isolates. BmKn2 is a basic, alpha-helical peptide with no disulfide-bridge venom peptides that was first isolated from Buthus martensii Kasch. A panel of BmKn2 scorpion venom peptide and its derivatives of varying length and characteristics were synthesized chemically and evaluated for their ability to inhibit the growth of clinical N. gonorrhoeae isolates. Synthetic BmKn2 displayed potent activity against 18 clinical isolates of N. gonorrhoeae with MIC50 values of 6.9-27.6 μM. BmKn2 exerted its antibacterial activity via a bactericidal mechanism. Cyclic BmKn1 did not show antigonococcal activity. Decreasing the cationicity and helix percentage at the C-terminus of BmKn2 reduced the potency against N. gonorrhoeae. Taken together, the BmKn1 peptide can be developed as a topical therapeutic agent for treating multidrug-resistant strains of N. gonorrhoeae infections. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Channel-forming activity in the venom of the cockroach-hunting wasp, Ampulex compressa.

    PubMed

    Gincel, Dan; Haspel, Gal; Libersat, Frederic

    2004-05-01

    The parasitoid solitary wasp Ampulex compressa uses the cockroach Periplaneta americana as a food supply for its larvae. To subdue its prey, the wasp injects a venom cocktail into the brain of the cockroach. We investigated channel activity of A. compressa venom by collecting venom and incorporating it into a planar lipid bilayer. The venom, reconstituted into the bilayer, showed ion channel activity, forming a fast-fluctuating channel with a small conductance of 20+/-0.1pS, with no voltage sensitivity. These channels were not observed when the venom was digested with proteases before application to the bilayer, but were not affected by exposure to protease after their incorporation into the bilayer, indicating that the active venom component is a peptide. The channels were found to be cation selective with similar selectivity for the monovalent cations K(+), Li(+) and Na(+), but showed high selectivity against anions (Cl(-)) and divalent cations (Ca(2+) and Mg(2+)). This study is the first demonstration and biophysical characterization of channel activity in the venom of A. compressa. The possible functional significance of this channel activity is discussed in light of the unusual nature of the effects of this wasp venom on the behavior of its prey.

  15. Expression of mastoparan B, a venom peptide, via Escherichia coli C43 (DE3) coupled with an artificial oil body-cyanogen bromide technology platform.

    PubMed

    Jinn, Tzyy-Rong; Hsieh, Sheng-Kuo; Yu, Yu-Jen; Tang, Nou-Ying; Lin, Jhao-Ren

    2017-07-24

    Here, we successfully use the oleosin-based fusion expression strategy coupled with the artificial oil body (AOB)-cyanogen bromide (CNBr) platform to produce bioactive MPB peptide which, in a manner identical to that of its native counterpart. In this study, the MPB peptide was interlinked with recombinant oleosin (rOle(127M→L)) by a methionine residue, a CNBr cleavage site. The recombinant rOle(127M→L)-MPB fusion gene was cloned into the pET30a(+) vector and was expressed in E. coli (DE3) after IPTG induction under optimized conditions. Furthermore, the expressed MPB was released from this AOB-CNBr platform, since AOB purification system provides a useful machinery to purify target protein. The purified MPB was identified by MALDI-MS analysis, and its bioactivity was examined by antimicrobial test. It is important to note that this study not only provides a new insight into the expression of active MPB, but also provides an alternative and reliable model to express other valuable venom peptides, such as mastoparan-II, and matoparan A, B, C, J, L, M, T, X, and melittin, which possesses important functional peptides in medical applications. Take together, in this study provides a new avenue for the production of active MPB and facilitate the studies and applications of the peptide in the future. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  16. Structure and in vitro activities of a Copper II-chelating anionic peptide from the venom of the scorpion Tityus stigmurus.

    PubMed

    Melo, Menilla M A; Daniele-Silva, Alessandra; Teixeira, Diego G; Estrela, Andréia B; Melo, Karolline R T; Oliveira, Verônica S; Rocha, Hugo A O; Ferreira, Leandro de Santis; Pontes, Daniel L; Lima, João P M S; Silva-Júnior, Arnóbio A; Barbosa, Euzebio G; Carvalho, Eneas; Fernandes-Pedrosa, Matheus F

    2017-08-01

    Anionic Peptides are molecules rich in aspartic acid (Asp) and/or glutamic acid (Glu) residues in the primary structure. This work presents, for the first time, structural characterization and biological activity assays of an anionic peptide from the venom of the scorpion Tityus stigmurus, named TanP. The three-dimensional structure of TanP was obtained by computational modeling and refined by molecular dynamic (MD) simulations. Furthermore, we have performed circular dichroism (CD) analysis to predict TanP secondary structure, and UV-vis spectroscopy to evaluate its chelating activity. CD indicated predominance of random coil conformation in aqueous medium, as well as changes in structure depending on pH and temperature. TanP has chelating activity on copper ions, which modified the peptide's secondary structure. These results were corroborated by MD data. The molar ratio of binding (TanP:copper) depends on the concentration of peptide: at lower TanP concentration, the molar ratio was 1:5 (TanP:Cu(2+)), whereas in concentrated TanP solution, the molar ratio was 1:3 (TanP:Cu(2+)). TanP was not cytotoxic to non-neoplastic or cancer cell lines, and showed an ability to inhibit the in vitro release of nitric oxide by LPS-stimulated macrophages. Altogether, the results suggest TanP is a promising peptide for therapeutic application as a chelating agent. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Dietary breadth is positively correlated with venom complexity in cone snails.

    PubMed

    Phuong, Mark A; Mahardika, Gusti N; Alfaro, Michael E

    2016-05-26

    Although diet is believed to be a major factor underlying the evolution of venom, few comparative studies examine both venom composition and diet across a radiation of venomous species. Cone snails within the family, Conidae, comprise more than 700 species of carnivorous marine snails that capture their prey by using a cocktail of venomous neurotoxins (conotoxins or conopeptides). Venom composition across species has been previously hypothesized to be shaped by (a) prey taxonomic class (i.e., worms, molluscs, or fish) and (b) dietary breadth. We tested these hypotheses under a comparative phylogenetic framework using ecological data from past studies in conjunction with venom duct transcriptomes sequenced from 12 phylogenetically disparate cone snail species, including 10 vermivores (worm-eating), one molluscivore, and one generalist. We discovered 2223 unique conotoxin precursor peptides that encoded 1864 unique mature toxins across all species, >90 % of which are new to this study. In addition, we identified two novel gene superfamilies and 16 novel cysteine frameworks. Each species exhibited unique venom profiles, with venom composition and expression patterns among species dominated by a restricted set of gene superfamilies and mature toxins. In contrast with the dominant paradigm for interpreting Conidae venom evolution, prey taxonomic class did not predict venom composition patterns among species. We also found a significant positive relationship between dietary breadth and measures of conotoxin complexity. The poor performance of prey taxonomic class in predicting venom components suggests that cone snails have either evolved species-specific expression patterns likely as a consequence of the rapid evolution of conotoxin genes, or that traditional means of categorizing prey type (i.e., worms, mollusc, or fish) and conotoxins (i.e., by gene superfamily) do not accurately encapsulate evolutionary dynamics between diet and venom composition. We also show that

  18. Mastoparan, a wasp venom peptide, stimulates release of prolactin from cultured rat anterior pituitary cells.

    PubMed

    Mau, S E; Witt, M R; Vilhardt, H

    1994-07-01

    Studies have shown that mastoparan and other amphiphilic peptides induce exocytosis of hormones from anterior pituitary cells. We have studied the effect of mastoparan on the secretion of prolactin from cultured rat anterior pituitary cells and on the concomitant functional status of signal-transducing pathways in lactotroph-enriched cell cultures. Mastoparan stimulation of prolactin secretion was dose-dependent, time-dependent, reversible and required the presence of calcium. Pretreatment of pituitary cell cultures with cholera and pertussis toxin had no effect on the secretory response, whereas encapsulation of guanosine 5-[beta-thio]diphosphate (GDP-beta-S) by reversible electropermeabilization inhibited mastoparan-stimulated secretion. Incubation of mastoparan with myo-[3H]inositol-labelled lactotroph-enriched anterior pituitary cell cultures resulted in increased formation of inositol phosphates compared with control cells, and encapsulation of GDP-beta-S blocked mastoparan-induced inositol lipid hydrolysis. Mastoparan caused translocation of protein kinase C activity from a soluble to a membrane-attached form. Mastoparan was able to increase the intracellular Ca2+ concentration in Fura-2-loaded individual lactotrophs. Omission of Ca2+ from the extracellular medium did not change the Ca2+ response in lactotrophs when stimulated with mastoparan. On the basis of these results it is concluded that mastoparan-induced release of prolactin is preceded by activation of the inositol(1,4,5)trisphosphate/diacylglycerol pathway with resulting translocation of protein kinase activity and increment in intracellular Ca2+. However, other signal-transducing pathways may be involved in the secretory process.

  19. A Review and Database of Snake Venom Proteomes

    PubMed Central

    Tasoulis, Theo

    2017-01-01

    Advances in the last decade combining transcriptomics with established proteomics methods have made possible rapid identification and quantification of protein families in snake venoms. Although over 100 studies have been published, the value of this information is increased when it is collated, allowing rapid assimilation and evaluation of evolutionary trends, geographical variation, and possible medical implications. This review brings together all compositional studies of snake venom proteomes published in the last decade. Compositional studies were identified for 132 snake species: 42 from 360 (12%) Elapidae (elapids), 20 from 101 (20%) Viperinae (true vipers), 65 from 239 (27%) Crotalinae (pit vipers), and five species of non-front-fanged snakes. Approximately 90% of their total venom composition consisted of eight protein families for elapids, 11 protein families for viperines and ten protein families for crotalines. There were four dominant protein families: phospholipase A2s (the most common across all front-fanged snakes), metalloproteases, serine proteases and three-finger toxins. There were six secondary protein families: cysteine-rich secretory proteins, l-amino acid oxidases, kunitz peptides, C-type lectins/snaclecs, disintegrins and natriuretic peptides. Elapid venoms contained mostly three-finger toxins and phospholipase A2s and viper venoms metalloproteases, phospholipase A2s and serine proteases. Although 63 protein families were identified, more than half were present in <5% of snake species studied and always in low abundance. The importance of these minor component proteins remains unknown. PMID:28927001

  20. Lethal effects of an insecticidal spider venom peptide involve positive allosteric modulation of insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    PubMed

    Windley, Monique J; Vetter, Irina; Lewis, Richard J; Nicholson, Graham M

    2017-04-08

    κ-Hexatoxins (κ-HXTXs) are a family of excitotoxic insect-selective neurotoxins from Australian funnel-web spiders that are lethal to a wide range of insects, but display no toxicity towards vertebrates. The prototypic κ-HXTX-Hv1c selectively blocks native and expressed cockroach large-conductance calcium-activated potassium (BKCa or KCa1.1) channels, but not their mammalian orthologs. Despite this potent and selective action on insect KCa1.1 channels, we found that the classical KCa1.1 blockers paxilline, charybdotoxin and iberiotoxin, which all block insect KCa1.1 channels, are not lethal in crickets. We therefore used whole-cell patch-clamp analysis of cockroach dorsal unpaired median (DUM) neurons to study the effects of κ-HXTX-Hv1c on sodium-activated (KNa), delayed-rectifier (KDR) and 'A-type' transient (KA) K(+) channels. 1 μM κ-HXTX-Hv1c failed to significantly inhibit cockroach KNa and KDR channels, but did cause a 30 ± 7% saturating inhibition of KA channel currents, possibly via a Kv4 (Shal-like) action. However, this modest action at such a high concentration of κ-HXTX-Hv1c would indicate a different lethal target. Accordingly, we assessed the actions of κ-HXTX-Hv1c on neurotransmitter-gated ion channels in cockroach DUM neurons. We found that κ-HXTX-Hv1c failed to produce any major effects on GABAA or glutamate-Cl receptors but dramatically slowed nicotine-evoked ACh receptor (nAChR) current decay and reversed nAChR desensitization. These actions occurred without any alterations to nAChR current amplitude or the nicotine concentration-response curve, and are consistent with a positive allosteric modulation of nAChRs. κ-HXTX-Hv1c therefore represents the first venom peptide that selectively modulates insect nAChRs with a mode of action similar to the excitotoxic insecticide spinosyn A. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. The venom composition of the parasitic wasp Chelonus inanitus resolved by combined expressed sequence tags analysis and proteomic approach

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Parasitic wasps constitute one of the largest group of venomous animals. Although some physiological effects of their venoms are well documented, relatively little is known at the molecular level on the protein composition of these secretions. To identify the majority of the venom proteins of the endoparasitoid wasp Chelonus inanitus (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), we have randomly sequenced 2111 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from a cDNA library of venom gland. In parallel, proteins from pure venom were separated by gel electrophoresis and individually submitted to a nano-LC-MS/MS analysis allowing comparison of peptides and ESTs sequences. Results About 60% of sequenced ESTs encoded proteins whose presence in venom was attested by mass spectrometry. Most of the remaining ESTs corresponded to gene products likely involved in the transcriptional and translational machinery of venom gland cells. In addition, a small number of transcripts were found to encode proteins that share sequence similarity with well-known venom constituents of social hymenopteran species, such as hyaluronidase-like proteins and an Allergen-5 protein. An overall number of 29 venom proteins could be identified through the combination of ESTs sequencing and proteomic analyses. The most highly redundant set of ESTs encoded a protein that shared sequence similarity with a venom protein of unknown function potentially specific of the Chelonus lineage. Venom components specific to C. inanitus included a C-type lectin domain containing protein, a chemosensory protein-like protein, a protein related to yellow-e3 and ten new proteins which shared no significant sequence similarity with known sequences. In addition, several venom proteins potentially able to interact with chitin were also identified including a chitinase, an imaginal disc growth factor-like protein and two putative mucin-like peritrophins. Conclusions The use of the combined approaches has allowed to discriminate between cellular

  2. A tarantula-venom peptide that antagonises the TRPA1 nociceptor ion channel by binding to the S1-S4 gating domain

    PubMed Central

    Gui, Junhong; Liu, Boyi; Cao, Guan; Lipchik, Andrew M.; Perez, Minervo; Dekan, Zoltan; Mobli, Mehdi; Daly, Norelle L.; Alewood, Paul F.; Parker, Laurie L.; King, Glenn F.; Zhou, Yufeng; Jordt, Sven-Eric; Nitabach, Michael N.

    2014-01-01

    Background The venoms of predators such as spiders, scorpions, cone snails, sea anemones, and snakes, have been an excellent source of pharmacological diversity for drug discovery and as pharmacological tools for elucidating the structure, function, and physiological properties of ion channels. Here we describe the first known peptide antagonist of the nociceptor ion channel transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1). Results We constructed a recombinant cDNA library encoding ∼100 diverse GPI-anchored peptide toxins (t-toxins) derived from spider venoms and screened this library by co-expression in Xenopus oocytes with TRPA1. This screen resulted in identification of protoxin-I (ProTx-I), a 35-residue peptide from the venom of the Peruvian green-velvet tarantula, Thrixopelma pruriens, as the first known high-affinity peptide TRPA1 antagonist. Interestingly, ProTx-I was previously identified as an antagonist of voltage-gated sodium (NaV) channels. To identify the surfaces of ProTx-I by which it binds to these distinct ion channel types, we constructed a t-toxin library of ProTx-I alanine-scanning mutants and screened this library against NaV1.2 and TRPA1. This revealed distinct partially overlapping surfaces of ProTx-I by which it binds to these two ion channels, and whose specific chemical features explain its higher affinity for NaV1.2 than for TRPA1. Importantly, this mutagenesis yielded two novel ProTx-I variants that are only active against either TRPA1or NaV1.2, but not both. By testing its activity against chimeric channels, we identified the extracellular loops of the TRPA1 S1-S4 gating domain as the ProTx-I binding site. Conclusions These studies establish screening of t-toxin libraries of native and mutated toxins, which we term “toxineering”, as a generally applicable method for isolation of novel ion channel modifiers and for design of ion channel modifiers with altered target selectivity. They also suggest that ProTx-I will be a valuable

  3. Characterization of a Gene Coding for the Complement System Component FB from Loxosceles laeta Spider Venom Glands

    PubMed Central

    Myamoto, Daniela Tiemi; Pidde-Queiroz, Giselle; Gonçalves-de-Andrade, Rute Maria; Pedroso, Aurélio; van den Berg, Carmen W.; Tambourgi, Denise V.

    2016-01-01

    The human complement system is composed of more than 30 proteins and many of these have conserved domains that allow tracing the phylogenetic evolution. The complement system seems to be initiated with the appearance of C3 and factor B (FB), the only components found in some protostomes and cnidarians, suggesting that the alternative pathway is the most ancient. Here, we present the characterization of an arachnid homologue of the human complement component FB from the spider Loxosceles laeta. This homologue, named Lox-FB, was identified from a total RNA L. laeta spider venom gland library and was amplified using RACE-PCR techniques and specific primers. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequence and the domain structure showed significant similarity to the vertebrate and invertebrate FB/C2 family proteins. Lox-FB has a classical domain organization composed of a control complement protein domain (CCP), a von Willebrand Factor domain (vWFA), and a serine protease domain (SP). The amino acids involved in Mg2+ metal ion dependent adhesion site (MIDAS) found in the vWFA domain in the vertebrate C2/FB proteins are well conserved; however, the classic catalytic triad present in the serine protease domain is not conserved in Lox-FB. Similarity and phylogenetic analyses indicated that Lox-FB shares a major identity (43%) and has a close evolutionary relationship with the third isoform of FB-like protein (FB-3) from the jumping spider Hasarius adansoni belonging to the Family Salcitidae. PMID:26771533

  4. The peptide Phα1β, from spider venom, acts as a TRPA1 channel antagonist with antinociceptive effects in mice.

    PubMed

    Tonello, Raquel; Fusi, Camilla; Materazzi, Serena; Marone, Ilaria M; De Logu, Francesco; Benemei, Silvia; Gonçalves, Muryel C; Coppi, Elisabetta; Castro-Junior, Celio J; Gomez, Marcus Vinicius; Geppetti, Pierangelo; Ferreira, Juliano; Nassini, Romina

    2017-01-01

    Peptides from venomous animals have long been important for understanding pain mechanisms and for the discovery of pain treatments. Here, we hypothesized that Phα1β, a peptide from the venom of the armed spider Phoneutria nigriventer, produces analgesia by blocking the TRPA1 channel. Cultured rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, human fetal lung fibroblasts (IMR90) or HEK293 cells expressing the human TRPA1 (hTRPA1-HEK293), human TRPV1 (hTRPV1-HEK293) or human TRPV4 channels (hTRPV4-HEK293), were used for calcium imaging and electrophysiology. Nociceptive responses induced by TRPA1, TRPV1 or TRPV4 agonists or by bortezomib were investigated in mice. Phα1β selectively inhibited calcium responses and currents evoked by the TRPA1 agonist, allyl isothiocyanate (AITC), on hTRPA1-HEK293, IMR90 fibroblasts and DRG neurons. Phα1β did not affect calcium responses evoked by selective TRPV1 (capsaicin) or TRPV4 (GSK 1016790A) agonists on the various cell types. Intrathecal (i.t.) and intraplantar (i.pl.) administration of low doses of Phα1β (up to 300 pmol per paw) attenuated acute nociception and mechanical and cold hyperalgesia evoked by AITC (i.t. or i.pl.), without affecting responses produced by capsaicin or hypotonic solution. Notably, Phα1β abated the TRPA1-dependent neuropathic pain-like responses induced by bortezomib. In vitro and in vivo inhibition of TRPA1 by Phα1β was reproduced by a recombinant form of the peptide, CTK 01512-2. Phα1β and CTK 01512-2 selectively target TRPA1, but not other TRP channels. This specific action underlines the potential of Phα1β and CTK 01512-2 for pain treatment. © 2016 The British Pharmacological Society.

  5. Electrophysiological characterization of a novel small peptide from the venom of Conus californicus that targets voltage-gated neuronal Ca2+ channels.

    PubMed

    Bernaldez, Johanna; López, Omar; Licea, Alexei; Salceda, Emilio; Arellano, Rogelio O; Vega, Rosario; Soto, Enrique

    2011-01-01

    Conus californicus belongs to a genus of marine gastropods with more than 700 extant species. C. californicus has been shown to be distantly related to all Conus species, but showing unusual biological features. We report a novel peptide isolated from C. californicus with a significant inhibitory action over neuronal voltage-gated calcium channels. The new toxin is formed by 13-amino acid residues with two disulfide bonds, whose sequence (NCPAGCRSQGCCM) is strikingly different from regular ω-conotoxins. In the HPLC purification procedure, the venom fraction eluted in the first 10-15 min produced a significant decrease (54% ± 3%) of the Ca(2+) current in Xenopus laevis oocytes transfected with purified rat-brain mRNA. A specific peptide obtained from the elution at 13 min decreased the Ca(2+) current in the adult rat dorsal-root ganglion neurons in a primary culture by 34% ± 2%. The cysteine pattern of this peptide corresponds to the framework XVI described for the M-superfamily of conopeptides and is unprecedented among Conus peptides acting on Ca(2+) channels.

  6. Isolation, purification and N-terminal sequencing of a bioactive peptide that alters action potentials from the venom of Buthus martensii Karsch.

    PubMed

    Hahin, R; Chen, Z; Reddy, G; Li, Y

    2001-08-01

    A bioactive peptide that extensively prolongs action potentials (APs) in frog nerve has been isolated and purified from the venom of the scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch (BMK). The peptide, designated as BMK 18(2), was purified using gel filtration, ion exchange, FPLC, and HPLC chromatography. APs recorded in the presence of nanomolar concentrations of the peptide were extensively prolonged with some attenuation in their heights. The N-terminal sequence of BMK 18(2) was found to be: VRDAYIAEDYD-VYH-ARDA. Sequence similarity comparisons to other alpha-scorpion toxins suggest that the two blanks in the sequences are cysteines. The molecular weight (M.W.) of BMK 18(2) was determined by LC/MS/MS to be 7185 Da. Since the peptide prolongs APs when both K+ and Ca++ channels were blocked and shows sequence similarity to other alpha-neurotoxins, it appears likely that BMK 18(2) acts to alter Na channel inactivation to produce its effect.

  7. Induction of seizures by the potent K+ channel-blocking scorpion venom peptide toxins tityustoxin-K(alpha) and pandinustoxin-K(alpha).

    PubMed

    Juhng, K N; Kokate, T G; Yamaguchi, S; Kim, B Y; Rogowski, R S; Blaustein, M P; Rogawski, M A

    1999-04-01

    The scorpion venom peptide toxins tityustoxin-K(alpha) (TsTx-K(alpha)) and pandinustoxin-K(alpha) (PiTx-K(alpha)) are novel, highly potent and selective blockers of voltage-activated K+ channels. PiTx-K(alpha) preferentially blocks rapidly inactivating (A-type) K+ channels whereas TsTx-K(alpha) is selective for slowly inactivating (delayed rectifier-type) channels. K+ channel blockers are known to induce seizures, but the specific K channel types that can serve as convulsant targets are not well defined. To address this issue, we examined for convulsant activity the K+ channel type-specific scorpion toxins and the selective K+ channel antagonists 4-aminopyridine (4-AP), an inhibitor of A-type voltage-activated K+ channels, and paxilline, a selective blocker of large conductance (maxi K) Ca(2+)-activated K+ channels. Intracerebroventricular injection of recombinant TsTx-K(alpha) and PiTx-K(alpha) in mice produced limbic and clonic-tonic seizures. The severity of the seizures increased during the 60-min period following injection, culminating in continuous clonic seizure activity (status epilepticus), tonic hindlimb extension, and eventually in death. The estimated doses producing limbic and clonic seizures in 50% of animals (CD50) for TsTx-K(alpha) and PiTx-K(alpha) were 9 and 33 ng, respectively. 4-AP produced seizure activity similar to the toxins (CD50, 76 ng) whereas paxilline failed to induce seizures at doses up to 13.5 microg. Carbamazepine protected fully against the toxin- and 4-AP-induced seizures whereas phenytoin had variable activity against the clonic component although it was protective against tonic hindlimb extension. The AMPA receptor antagonist GYKI 52466 also conferred full protection against toxin-induced seizures, but the NMDA receptor antagonists (R)-CPP and dizocilpine failed to affect limbic and clonic seizures, although they protected against hindlimb extension. We conclude that selective blockade of delayed rectifier- or A-type voltage

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-03-01

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

  9. Shotgun proteome analysis of honeybee venom using targeted enrichment strategies.

    PubMed

    Matysiak, Jan; Hajduk, Joanna; Pietrzak, Łukasz; Schmelzer, Christian E H; Kokot, Zenon J

    2014-11-01

    The aim of this study was to explore the honeybee venom proteome applying a shotgun proteomics approach using different enrichment strategies (combinatorial peptide ligand libraries and solid phase extraction). The studies were conducted using nano-LC/MALDI-TOF/TOF-MS system. The MS analysis of peptide profiles (in the range of 900-4500 Da) and virtual gel-image of proteins from Lab-on-Chip assay (in the range of 10-250 kDa) confirm that use of targeted enrichment strategies increase detection of honeybee venom components. The gel-free shotgun strategy and sophisticated instrumentation led to a significant increase of the sensitivity and higher number of identified peptides in honeybee venom samples, comparing with the current literature. Moreover, 11 of 12 known honeybee venom allergens were acknowledged and 4 new, so far uncharacterized proteins were identified. In addition, similarity searches were performed in order to investigate biological relations and homology between newly identified proteins sequences from Apis mellifera and other Hymenoptera. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Understanding and utilising mammalian venom via a platypus venom transcriptome.

    PubMed

    Whittington, Camilla M; Koh, Jennifer M S; Warren, Wesley C; Papenfuss, Anthony T; Torres, Allan M; Kuchel, Philip W; Belov, Katherine

    2009-03-06

    Only five mammalian species are known to be venomous, and while a large amount of research has been carried out on reptile venom, mammalian venom has been poorly studied to date. Here we describe the status of current research into the venom of the platypus, a semi-aquatic egg-laying Australian mammal, and discuss our approach to platypus venom transcriptomics. We propose that such construction and analysis of mammalian venom transcriptomes from small samples of venom gland, in tandem with proteomics studies, will allow the identification of the full range of mammalian venom components. Functional studies and pharmacological evaluation of the identified toxins will then lay the foundations for the future development of novel biomedical substances. A large range of useful molecules have already been identified in snake venom, and many of these are currently in use in human medicine. It is therefore hoped that this basic research to identify the constituents of platypus venom will eventually yield novel drugs and new targets for painkillers.

  11. Lebetin 2, a Snake Venom-Derived Natriuretic Peptide, Attenuates Acute Myocardial Ischemic Injury through the Modulation of Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore at the Time of Reperfusion

    PubMed Central

    Tourki, Bochra; Matéo, Philippe; Morand, Jessica; Elayeb, Mohamed; Godin-Ribuot, Diane; Marrakchi, Naziha; Belaidi, Elise; Messadi, Erij

    2016-01-01

    Cardiac ischemia is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. It is now well established that natriuretic peptides can attenuate the development of irreversible ischemic injury during myocardial infarction. Lebetin 2 (L2) is a new discovered peptide isolated from Macrovipera lebetina venom with structural similarity to B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP). Our objectives were to define the acute cardioprotective actions of L2 in isolated Langendorff-perfused rat hearts after regional or global ischemia-reperfusion (IR). We studied infarct size, left ventricular contractile recovery, survival protein kinases and mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening in injured myocardium. L2 dosage was determined by preliminary experiments at its ability to induce cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) release without changing hemodynamic effects in normoxic hearts. L2 was found to be as effective as BNP in reducing infarct size after the induction of either regional or global IR. Both peptides equally improved contractile recovery after regional IR, but only L2 increased coronary flow and reduced severe contractile dysfunction after global ischemia. Cardioprotection afforded by L2 was abolished after isatin or 5-hydroxydecanote pretreatment suggesting the involvement of natriuretic peptide receptors and mitochondrial KATP (mitoKATP) channels in the L2-induced effects. L2 also increased survival protein expression in the reperfused myocardium as evidenced by phosphorylation of signaling pathways PKCε/ERK/GSK3β and PI3K/Akt/eNOS. IR induced mitochondrial pore opening, but this effect was markedly prevented by L2 treatment. These data show that L2 has strong cardioprotective effect in acute ischemia through stimulation of natriuretic peptide receptors. These beneficial effects are mediated, at least in part, by mitoKATP channel opening and downstream activated survival kinases, thus delaying mPTP opening and improving IR-induced mitochondrial dysfunction. PMID

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    Comparisons between venoms from snakes kept under captivity or collected at the natural environment are of fundamental importance in order to obtain effective antivenoms to treat human victims of snakebites. In this study, we compared composition and biological activities of Bothrops atrox venom from snakes collected at Tapajós National Forest (Pará State, Brazil) or maintained for more than 10 years under captivity at Instituto Butantan herpetarium after have been collected mostly at Maranhão State, Brazil. Venoms from captive or wild snakes were similar except for small quantitative differences detected in peaks correspondent to phospholipases A2 (PLA2), snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMP) class PI and serine proteinases (SVSP), which did not correlate with fibrinolytic and coagulant activities (induced by PI-SVMPs and SVSPs). In both pools, the major toxic component corresponded to PIII-SVMPs, which were isolated and characterized. The characterization by mass spectrometry of both samples identified peptides that matched with a single PIII-SVMP cDNA characterized by transcriptomics, named Batroxrhagin. Sequence alignments show a strong similarity between Batroxrhagin and Jararhagin (96%). Batroxrhagin samples isolated from venoms of wild or captive snakes were not pro-coagulant, but inhibited collagen-induced platelet-aggregation, and induced hemorrhage and fibrin lysis with similar doses. Results suggest that in spite of environmental differences, venom variability was detected only among the less abundant components. In opposition, the most abundant toxin, which is a PIII-SVMP related to the key effects of the venom, is structurally conserved in the venoms. This observation is relevant for explaining the efficacy of antivenoms produced with venoms from captive snakes in human accidents inflicted at distinct natural environments. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. and Société Française de Biochimie et Biologie Moléculaire (SFBBM). All rights reserved.

  13. Hydrostatin-TL1, an Anti-Inflammatory Active Peptide from the Venom Gland of Hydrophis cyanocinctus in the South China Sea

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ningyuan; Huang, Yan; Li, An; Jiang, Hailong; Wang, Jie; Li, Jianzhong; Qiu, Lei; Li, Ka; Lu, Yiming

    2016-01-01

    Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α is a pleiotropic cytokine with intense pro-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties, and anti-TNF-α biologics are effective therapies for various inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and sepsis. Snake venom, as a traditional Chinese medicine, has been used in the treatment of inflammatory diseases in China for centuries. In this research, we constructed a venom gland T7 phage display library of the sea snake Hydrophis cyanocinctus to screen bioactive compounds that antagonize TNF-α and identified a novel nine-amino-acid peptide, termed hydrostatin-TL1 (H-TL1). In enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) analyses, H-TL1 inhibited the interaction between TNF-α and TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1). Further, H-TL1 attenuated the cytotoxicity of TNF-α in L929 cells as determined by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. H-TL1 also decreased the mRNA expression of TNF-α/TNFR1 downstream targets and suppressed the phosphorylation of well-characterized proteins of downstream signal transduction pathways in HEK-293 cells. In vivo data demonstrated that H-TL1 protects animals against dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced acute colitis and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced acute shock. Given its significant anti-inflammatory activity in vitro and in vivo, H-TL1 is a potential peptide for the development of new agents to treat TNF-α-associated inflammatory diseases. PMID:27879679

  14. Hydrostatin-TL1, an Anti-Inflammatory Active Peptide from the Venom Gland of Hydrophis cyanocinctus in the South China Sea.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ningyuan; Huang, Yan; Li, An; Jiang, Hailong; Wang, Jie; Li, Jianzhong; Qiu, Lei; Li, Ka; Lu, Yiming

    2016-11-22

    Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α is a pleiotropic cytokine with intense pro-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties, and anti-TNF-α biologics are effective therapies for various inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and sepsis. Snake venom, as a traditional Chinese medicine, has been used in the treatment of inflammatory diseases in China for centuries. In this research, we constructed a venom gland T7 phage display library of the sea snake Hydrophis cyanocinctus to screen bioactive compounds that antagonize TNF-α and identified a novel nine-amino-acid peptide, termed hydrostatin-TL1 (H-TL1). In enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) analyses, H-TL1 inhibited the interaction between TNF-α and TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1). Further, H-TL1 attenuated the cytotoxicity of TNF-α in L929 cells as determined by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. H-TL1 also decreased the mRNA expression of TNF-α/TNFR1 downstream targets and suppressed the phosphorylation of well-characterized proteins of downstream signal transduction pathways in HEK-293 cells. In vivo data demonstrated that H-TL1 protects animals against dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced acute colitis and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced acute shock. Given its significant anti-inflammatory activity in vitro and in vivo, H-TL1 is a potential peptide for the development of new agents to treat TNF-α-associated inflammatory diseases.

  15. Imperatoxin A, a Cell-Penetrating Peptide from Scorpion Venom, as a Probe of Ca2+-Release Channels/Ryanodine Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Gurrola, Georgina B.; Capes, E. Michelle; Zamudio, Fernando Z.; Possani, Lourival D.; Valdivia, Héctor H.

    2010-01-01

    Scorpion venoms are rich in ion channel-modifying peptides, which have proven to be invaluable probes of ion channel structure-function relationship. We previously isolated imperatoxin A (IpTxa), a 3.7 kDa peptide activator of Ca2+-release channels/ryanodine receptors (RyRs) [1,2,3] and founding member of the calcin family of scorpion peptides. IpTxa folds into a compact, mostly hydrophobic molecule with a cluster of positively-charged, basic residues polarized on one side of the molecule that possibly interacts with the phospholipids of cell membranes. To investigate whether IpTxa permeates external cellular membranes and targets RyRs in vivo, we perfused IpTxa on intact cardiomyocytes while recording field-stimulated intracellular Ca2+ transients. To further investigate the cell-penetrating capabilities of the toxin, we prepared thiolated, fluorescent derivatives of IpTxa. Biological activity and spectroscopic properties indicate that these derivatives retain high affinity for RyRs and are only 5- to 10-fold less active than native IpTxa. Our results demonstrate that IpTxa is capable of crossing cell membranes to alter the release of Ca2+ in vivo, and has the capacity to carry a large, membrane-impermeable cargo across the plasma membrane, a finding with exciting implications for novel drug delivery. PMID:20668646

  16. Recent advances in the understanding of brown spider venoms: From the biology of spiders to the molecular mechanisms of toxins.

    PubMed

    Gremski, Luiza Helena; Trevisan-Silva, Dilza; Ferrer, Valéria Pereira; Matsubara, Fernando Hitomi; Meissner, Gabriel Otto; Wille, Ana Carolina Martins; Vuitika, Larissa; Dias-Lopes, Camila; Ullah, Anwar; de Moraes, Fábio Rogério; Chávez-Olórtegui, Carlos; Barbaro, Katia Cristina; Murakami, Mario Tyago; Arni, Raghuvir Krishnaswamy; Senff-Ribeiro, Andrea; Chaim, Olga Meiri; Veiga, Silvio Sanches

    2014-06-01

    The Loxosceles genus spiders (the brown spiders) are encountered in all the continents, and the clinical manifestations following spider bites include skin necrosis with gravitational lesion spreading and occasional systemic manifestations, such as intravascular hemolysis, thrombocytopenia and acute renal failure. Brown spider venoms are complex mixtures of toxins especially enriched in three molecular families: the phospholipases D, astacin-like metalloproteases and Inhibitor Cystine Knot (ICK) peptides. Other toxins with low level of expression also present in the venom include the serine proteases, serine protease inhibitors, hyaluronidases, allergen factors and translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP). The mechanisms by which the Loxosceles venoms act and exert their noxious effects are not fully understood. Except for the brown spider venom phospholipase D, which causes dermonecrosis, hemolysis, thrombocytopenia and renal failure, the pathological activities of the other venom toxins remain unclear. The objective of the present review is to provide insights into the brown spider venoms and loxoscelism based on recent results. These insights include the biology of brown spiders, the clinical features of loxoscelism and the diagnosis and therapy of brown spider bites. Regarding the brown spider venom, this review includes a description of the novel toxins revealed by molecular biology and proteomics techniques, the data regarding three-dimensional toxin structures, and the mechanism of action of these molecules. Finally, the biotechnological applications of the venom components, especially for those toxins reported as recombinant molecules, and the challenges for future study are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Mipartoxin-I, a novel three-finger toxin, is the major neurotoxic component in the venom of the redtail coral snake Micrurus mipartitus (Elapidae).

    PubMed

    Rey-Suárez, Paola; Floriano, Rafael Stuani; Rostelato-Ferreira, Sandro; Saldarriaga-Córdoba, Mónica; Núñez, Vitelbina; Rodrigues-Simioni, Léa; Lomonte, Bruno

    2012-10-01

    The major venom component of Micrurus mipartitus, a coral snake distributed from Nicaragua to northern South America, was characterized biochemically and functionally. This protein, named mipartoxin-I, is a novel member of the three-finger toxin superfamily, presenting the characteristic cysteine signature and amino acid sequence length of the short-chain, type-I, α-neurotoxins. Nevertheless, it varies considerably from related toxins, with a sequence identity not higher than 70% in a multiple alignment of 67 proteins within this family. Its observed molecular mass (7030.0) matches the value predicted by its amino acid sequence, indicating lack of post-translational modifications. Mipartoxin-I showed a potent lethal effect in mice (intraperitoneal median lethal dose: 0.06 μg/g body weight), and caused a clear neuromuscular blockade on both avian and mouse nerve-muscle preparations, presenting a post-synaptic action through the cholinergic nicotinic receptor. Since mipartoxin-I is the most abundant (28%) protein in M. mipartitus venom, it should play a major role in its toxicity, and therefore represents an important target for developing a therapeutic antivenom, which is very scarce or even unavailable in the regions where this snake inhabits. The structural information here provided might help in the preparation of a synthetic or recombinant immunogen to overcome the limited venom availability.

  18. Animal venoms as antimicrobial agents.

    PubMed

    Perumal Samy, Ramar; Stiles, Bradley G; Franco, Octavio L; Sethi, Gautam; Lim, Lina H K

    2017-06-15

    Hospitals are breeding grounds for many life-threatening bacteria worldwide. Clinically associated gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus/methicillin-resistant S. aureus and many others increase the risk of severe mortality and morbidity. The failure of antibiotics to kill various pathogens due to bacterial resistance highlights the urgent need to develop novel, potent, and less toxic agents from natural sources against various infectious agents. Currently, several promising classes of natural molecules from snake (terrestrial and sea), scorpion, spider, honey bee and wasp venoms hold promise as rich sources of chemotherapeutics against infectious pathogens. Interestingly, snake venom-derived synthetic peptide/snake cathelicidin not only has potent antimicrobial and wound-repair activity but is highly stable and safe. Such molecules are promising candidates for novel venom-based drugs against S. aureus infections. The structure of animal venom proteins/peptides (cysteine rich) consists of hydrophobic α-helices or β-sheets that produce lethal pores and membrane-damaging effects on bacteria. All these antimicrobial peptides are under early experimental or pre-clinical stages of development. It is therefore important to employ novel tools for the design and the development of new antibiotics from the untapped animal venoms of snake, scorpion, and spider for treating resistant pathogens. To date, snail venom toxins have shown little antibiotic potency against human pathogens. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. MeuTXKbeta1, a scorpion venom-derived two-domain potassium channel toxin-like peptide with cytolytic activity.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Shunyi; Gao, Bin; Aumelas, André; del Carmen Rodríguez, Maria; Lanz-Mendoza, Humberto; Peigneur, Steve; Diego-Garcia, Elia; Martin-Eauclaire, Marie-France; Tytgat, Jan; Possani, Lourival D

    2010-04-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that scorpion venom contains unique two-domain peptides with the peculiarity of possessing different functions, i.e. neurotoxic and cytolytic activities. Here we report systematic characterization of a new two-domain peptide (named MeuTXKbeta1) belonging to the TsTXKbeta molecular subfamily from the scorpion Mesobuthus eupeus by molecular cloning, biochemical purification, recombinant expression, functional assays, CD and NMR studies. Its full-length bioactive form as well as 1-21 and 22-72 fragments (named N(1-21) and C(22-72), respectively) was produced in Escherichia coli by an on-column refolding approach. Recombinant peptide (rMeuTXKbeta1) exhibited a low affinity for K(+) channels and cytolytic effects against bacteria and several eukaryotic cells. N(1-21) was found to preserve anti-Plasmodium activity in contrast to haemolytic activity, whereas C(22-72) retains these two activities. Circular dichroism analysis demonstrates that rMeuTXKbeta1 presents a typical scorpion toxin scaffold in water and its alpha-helical content largely increases in a membrane-mimicking environment, consistent with the NMR structure of N(1-21) and an ab initio structure model of MeuTXKbeta1 predicted using I-TASSER algorithm. Our structural and functional data clearly indicate an evolutionary link between TsTXKbeta-related peptides and antiparasitic scorpines which both comprise the betaSPN (beta-KTxs and scorpines) family. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Pi5 and Pi6, two undescribed peptides from the venom of the scorpion Pandinus imperator and their effects on K(+)-channels.

    PubMed

    Olamendi-Portugal, T; Csoti, A; Jimenez-Vargas, J M; Gomez-Lagunas, F; Panyi, G; Possani, L D

    2017-07-01

    This work reports the isolation, chemical and functional characterization of two previously unknown peptides purified from the venom of the scorpion Pandinus imperator, denominated Pi5 and Pi6. Pi5 is a classical K(+)-channel blocking peptide containing 33 amino acid residues with 4 disulfide bonds. It is the first member of a new subfamily, here defined by the systematic number α-KTx 24.1. Pi6 is a peptide of unknown real function, containing only two disulfide bonds and 28 amino acid residues, but showing sequence similarities to the κ-family of K-channel toxins. The systematic number assigned is κ-KTx2.9. The function of both peptides was assayed on Drosophila Shab and Shaker K(+)-channels, as well as four different subtypes of voltage-dependent K(+)-channels: hKv1.1, hKv1.2, hKv1.3 and hKv1.4. The electrophysiological assays showed that Pi5 inhibited Shaker B, hKv1.1, hKv1.2 and hKv1.3 channels with Kd = 540 nM, Kd = 92 nM and Kd = 77 nM, respectively, other studied channels were not affected. Of the channels tested only hKv1.2 and hKv1.3 were inhibited at 100 nM concentration of Pi6, the remaining current fractions were 68% and 77%, respectively. Thus, Pi5 and Pi6 are high nanomolar affinity non-selective blockers of hKv1.2 and hKv1.3 channels. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Argininosuccinate synthetase is a functional target for a snake venom anti-hypertensive peptide: role in arginine and nitric oxide production.

    PubMed

    Guerreiro, Juliano R; Lameu, Claudiana; Oliveira, Eduardo F; Klitzke, Clécio F; Melo, Robson L; Linares, Edlaine; Augusto, Ohara; Fox, Jay W; Lebrun, Ivo; Serrano, Solange M T; Camargo, Antonio C M

    2009-07-24

    Bj-BPP-10c is a bioactive proline-rich decapeptide, part of the C-type natriuretic peptide precursor, expressed in the brain and in the venom gland of Bothrops jararaca. We recently showed that Bj-BPP-10c displays a strong, sustained anti-hypertensive effect in spontaneous hypertensive rats (SHR), without causing any effect in normotensive rats, by a pharmacological effect independent of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition. Therefore, we hypothesized that another mechanism should be involved in the peptide activity. Here we used affinity chromatography to search for kidney cytosolic proteins with affinity for Bj-BPP-10c and demonstrate that argininosuccinate synthetase (AsS) is the major protein binding to the peptide. More importantly, this interaction activates the catalytic activity of AsS in a dose-de pend ent manner. AsS is recognized as an important player of the citrulline-NO cycle that represents a potential limiting step in NO synthesis. Accordingly, the functional interaction of Bj-BPP-10c and AsS was evidenced by the following effects promoted by the peptide: (i) increase of NO metabolite production in human umbilical vein endothelial cell culture and of arginine in human embryonic kidney cells and (ii) increase of arginine plasma concentration in SHR. Moreover, alpha-methyl-dl-aspartic acid, a specific AsS inhibitor, significantly reduced the anti-hypertensive activity of Bj-BPP-10c in SHR. Taken together, these results suggest that AsS plays a role in the anti-hypertensive action of Bj-BPP-10c. Therefore, we propose the activation of AsS as a new mechanism for the anti-hypertensive effect of Bj-BPP-10c in SHR and AsS as a novel target for the therapy of hypertension-related diseases.

  3. Variability of Potassium Channel Blockers in Mesobuthus eupeus Scorpion Venom with Focus on Kv1.1

    PubMed Central

    Kuzmenkov, Alexey I.; Vassilevski, Alexander A.; Kudryashova, Kseniya S.; Nekrasova, Oksana V.; Peigneur, Steve; Tytgat, Jan; Feofanov, Alexey V.; Kirpichnikov, Mikhail P.; Grishin, Eugene V.

    2015-01-01

    The lesser Asian scorpion Mesobuthus eupeus (Buthidae) is one of the most widely spread and dispersed species of the Mesobuthus genus, and its venom is actively studied. Nevertheless, a considerable amount of active compounds is still under-investigated due to the high complexity of this venom. Here, we report a comprehensive analysis of putative potassium channel toxins (KTxs) from the cDNA library of M. eupeus venom glands, and we compare the deduced KTx structures with peptides purified from the venom. For the transcriptome analysis, we used conventional tools as well as a search for structural motifs characteristic of scorpion venom components in the form of regular expressions. We found 59 candidate KTxs distributed in 30 subfamilies and presenting the cysteine-stabilized α/β and inhibitor cystine knot types of fold. M. eupeus venom was then separated to individual components by multistage chromatography. A facile fluorescent system based on the expression of the KcsA-Kv1.1 hybrid channels in Escherichia coli and utilization of a labeled scorpion toxin was elaborated and applied to follow Kv1.1 pore binding activity during venom separation. As a result, eight high affinity Kv1.1 channel blockers were identified, including five novel peptides, which extend the panel of potential pharmacologically important Kv1 ligands. Activity of the new peptides against rat Kv1.1 channel was confirmed (IC50 in the range of 1–780 nm) by the two-electrode voltage clamp technique using a standard Xenopus oocyte system. Our integrated approach is of general utility and efficiency to mine natural venoms for KTxs. PMID:25792741

  4. Characterization of a novel peptide toxin from Acanthoscurria paulensis spider venom: a distinct cysteine assignment to the HWTX-II family.

    PubMed

    Mourão, Caroline B F; Heghinian, Mari D; Barbosa, Eder A; Marí, Frank; Bloch, Carlos; Restano-Cassulini, Rita; Possani, Lourival D; Schwartz, Elisabeth F

    2013-04-09

    Spider venom toxins have raised interest in prospecting new drugs and pesticides. Nevertheless, few studies are conducted with tarantula toxins, especially with species found in Brazil. This study aims to characterize chemically and biologically the first toxin isolated from Acanthoscurria paulensis venom. Ap1a consists of 48 amino acid residues and has a molecular mass of 5457.79 Da. The cloned gene encodes a putative sequence of 23 amino acid residues for the signal peptide and 27 for the pro-peptide. The sequence of the mature peptide is 60-84% identical with those of toxins of the HWTX-II family. Different from the structural pattern proposed for these toxins, the disulfide pairing of Ap1a is of the ICK type motif, which is also shared by the U1-TRTX-Bs1a toxin. Ap1a induced a dose-dependent and reversible paralytic effect in Spodoptera frugiperda caterpillars, with an ED50 of 13.0 ± 4.2 μg/g 8 h after injections. In the Drosophila melanogaster Giant Fiber circuit, Ap1a (1.14-22.82 μg/g) reduces both the amplitude and frequency of responses from GF-TTM and GF-DLM pathways, suggesting an action at the neuromuscular junction, which is mediated by glutamatergic receptors. It is also lethal to mice (1.67 μg/g, intracranial route), inducing effects similar to those reported with intracerebroventricular administration of NMDA. Ap1a (1 μM) does not alter the response induced by acetylcholine on the rhabdomyosarcoma cell preparation and shows no significant effects on hNav1.2, hNav1.4, hNav1.5, and hNav1.6 channels. Because of its unique sequence and cysteine assignment to the HWTX-II family, Ap1a is a significant contribution to the structure-function study of this family of toxins.

  5. Virucidal activity of a scorpion venom peptide variant mucroporin-M1 against measles, SARS-CoV and influenza H5N1 viruses.

    PubMed

    Li, Qiaoli; Zhao, Zhenhuan; Zhou, Dihan; Chen, Yaoqing; Hong, Wei; Cao, Luyang; Yang, Jingyi; Zhang, Yan; Shi, Wei; Cao, Zhijian; Wu, Yingliang; Yan, Huimin; Li, Wenxin

    2011-07-01

    Outbreaks of SARS-CoV, influenza A (H5N1, H1N1) and measles viruses in recent years have raised serious concerns about the measures available to control emerging and re-emerging infectious viral diseases. Effective antiviral agents are lacking that specifically target RNA viruses such as measles, SARS-CoV and influenza H5N1 viruses, and available vaccinations have demonstrated variable efficacy. Therefore, the development of novel antiviral agents is needed to close the vaccination gap and silence outbreaks. We previously identified mucroporin, a cationic host defense peptide from scorpion venom, which can effectively inhibit standard bacteria. The optimized mucroporin-M1 can inhibit gram-positive bacteria at low concentrations and antibiotic-resistant pathogens. In this investigation, we further tested mucroporin and the optimized mucroporin-M1 for their antiviral activity. Surprisingly, we found that the antiviral activities of mucroporin-M1 against measles, SARS-CoV and influenza H5N1 viruses were notably increased with an EC₅₀ of 7.15 μg/ml (3.52 μM) and a CC₅₀ of 70.46 μg/ml (34.70 μM) against measles virus, an EC₅₀ of 14.46 μg/ml (7.12 μM) against SARS-CoV and an EC₅₀ of 2.10 μg/ml (1.03 μM) against H5N1, while the original peptide mucroporin showed no antiviral activity against any of these three viruses. The inhibition model could be via a direct interaction with the virus envelope, thereby decreasing the infectivity of virus. This report provides evidence that host defense peptides from scorpion venom can be modified for antiviral activity by rational design and represents a practical approach for developing broad-spectrum antiviral agents, especially against RNA viruses. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Engineering potent and selective analogues of GpTx-1, a tarantula venom peptide antagonist of the Na(V)1.7 sodium channel.

    PubMed

    Murray, Justin K; Ligutti, Joseph; Liu, Dong; Zou, Anruo; Poppe, Leszek; Li, Hongyan; Andrews, Kristin L; Moyer, Bryan D; McDonough, Stefan I; Favreau, Philippe; Stöcklin, Reto; Miranda, Les P

    2015-03-12

    NaV1.7 is a voltage-gated sodium ion channel implicated by human genetic evidence as a therapeutic target for the treatment of pain. Screening fractionated venom from the tarantula Grammostola porteri led to the identification of a 34-residue peptide, termed GpTx-1, with potent activity on NaV1.7 (IC50 = 10 nM) and promising selectivity against key NaV subtypes (20× and 1000× over NaV1.4 and NaV1.5, respectively). NMR structural analysis of the chemically synthesized three disulfide peptide was consistent with an inhibitory cystine knot motif. Alanine scanning of GpTx-1 revealed that residues Trp(29), Lys(31), and Phe(34) near the C-terminus are critical for potent NaV1.7 antagonist activity. Substitution of Ala for Phe at position 5 conferred 300-fold selectivity against NaV1.4. A structure-guided campaign afforded additive improvements in potency and NaV subtype selectivity, culminating in the design of [Ala5,Phe6,Leu26,Arg28]GpTx-1 with a NaV1.7 IC50 value of 1.6 nM and >1000× selectivity against NaV1.4 and NaV1.5.

  7. Genetically Engineered Yeast Expressing a Lytic Peptide from Bee Venom (Melittin) Kills Symbiotic Protozoa in the Gut of Formosan Subterranean Termites

    PubMed Central

    Husseneder, Claudia; Donaldson, Jennifer R.; Foil, Lane D.

    2016-01-01

    The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, is a costly invasive urban pest in warm and humid regions around the world. Feeding workers of the Formosan subterranean termite genetically engineered yeast strains that express synthetic protozoacidal lytic peptides has been shown to kill the cellulose digesting termite gut protozoa, which results in death of the termite colony. In this study, we tested if Melittin, a natural lytic peptide from bee venom, could be delivered into the termite gut via genetically engineered yeast and if the expressed Melittin killed termites via lysis of symbiotic protozoa in the gut of termite workers and/or destruction of the gut tissue itself. Melittin expressing yeast did kill protozoa in the termite gut within 56 days of exposure. The expressed Melittin weakened the gut but did not add a synergistic effect to the protozoacidal action by gut necrosis. While Melittin could be applied for termite control via killing the cellulose-digesting protozoa in the termite gut, it is unlikely to be useful as a standalone product to control insects that do not rely on symbiotic protozoa for survival. PMID:26985663

  8. Membrane perturbation action mode and structure-activity relationships of Protonectin, a novel antimicrobial peptide from the venom of the neotropical social wasp Agelaia pallipes pallipes.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kairong; Dang, Wen; Yan, Jiexi; Chen, Ru; Liu, Xin; Yan, Wenjin; Zhang, Bangzhi; Xie, Junqiu; Zhang, Jindao; Wang, Rui

    2013-10-01

    With the extensive use of antibiotics, multidrug-resistant bacteria emerge frequently. New antimicrobial agents with novel modes of action are urgently needed. It is now widely accepted that antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) could be promising alternatives to conventional antibiotics. In this study, we aimed to study the antimicrobial activity and mechanism of action of protonectin, a cationic peptide from the venom of the neotropical social wasp Agelaia pallipes pallipes. We demonstrated that protonectin exhibits potent antimicrobial activity against a spectrum of bacteria, including multidrug-resistant strains. To further understand this mechanism, the structural features of protonectin and its analogs were studied by circular dichroism (CD). The CD spectra demonstrated that protonectin and its natural analog polybia-CP formed a typical α-helical conformation in the membrane-mimicking environment, while its proline-substituted analog had much lower or even no α-helix conformation. Molecular dynamics simulations indicated that the α-helical conformation in the membrane is required for the exhibition of antibacterial activity. In conclusion, protonectin exhibits potent antimicrobial activity by disruption of the integrity of the bacterial membrane, and its α-helical confirmation in the membrane is essential for this action.

  9. Genetically Engineered Yeast Expressing a Lytic Peptide from Bee Venom (Melittin) Kills Symbiotic Protozoa in the Gut of Formosan Subterranean Termites.

    PubMed

    Husseneder, Claudia; Donaldson, Jennifer R; Foil, Lane D

    2016-01-01

    The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, is a costly invasive urban pest in warm and humid regions around the world. Feeding workers of the Formosan subterranean termite genetically engineered yeast strains that express synthetic protozoacidal lytic peptides has been shown to kill the cellulose digesting termite gut protozoa, which results in death of the termite colony. In this study, we tested if Melittin, a natural lytic peptide from bee venom, could be delivered into the termite gut via genetically engineered yeast and if the expressed Melittin killed termites via lysis of symbiotic protozoa in the gut of termite workers and/or destruction of the gut tissue itself. Melittin expressing yeast did kill protozoa in the termite gut within 56 days of exposure. The expressed Melittin weakened the gut but did not add a synergistic effect to the protozoacidal action by gut necrosis. While Melittin could be applied for termite control via killing the cellulose-digesting protozoa in the termite gut, it is unlikely to be useful as a standalone product to control insects that do not rely on symbiotic protozoa for survival.

  10. Biochemical, genetic and physiological characterization of venom components from two species of scorpions: Centruroides exilicauda Wood and Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing.

    PubMed

    Valdez-Cruz, Norma A; Dávila, Sonia; Licea, Alexei; Corona, Miguel; Zamudio, Fernando Z; García-Valdes, Jesús; Boyer, Leslie; Possani, Lourival D

    2004-06-01

    Current literature concerning the taxonomic names of two possibly distinct species of scorpions from the genus Centruroides (sculpturatus and/or exilicauda) is controversial. This communication reports the results of biochemical, genetic and electrophysiological experiments conducted with C. exilicauda Wood of Baja California (Mexico) and C. sculpturatus Ewing of Arizona (USA). The chromatographic profile fractionation of the soluble venom from both species of scorpions is different. The N-terminal amino acid sequence for nine toxins of C. exilicauda was determined and compared with those from C. sculpturatus. Lethality tests conducted in mice support the idea that C. exilicauda venom should be expected to be medically less important than C. sculpturatus. Thirteen genes from the venomous glands of the scorpion C. exilicauda were obtained and compared with previously published sequences from genes of the species C. sculpturatus. Genes coding for cytochrome oxidase I and II of both species were also sequenced. A phylogenetic tree was generated with this information showing important differences between them. Additionally, the results of electrophysiological assays conducted with the venom from both species on the Ca(2+)-dependent K(+)-channels, showed significant differences. These results strongly support the conclusion that C. exilicauda and C. sculpturatus are in fact two distinct species of scorpions.

  11. Unraveling the venom proteome of the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) by integrating a combinatorial peptide ligand library approach with FT-ICR MS.

    PubMed

    Van Vaerenbergh, Matthias; Debyser, Griet; Smagghe, Guy; Devreese, Bart; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2015-08-01

    Within the Apidae, the largest family of bees with over 5600 described species, the honeybee is the sole species with a well studied venom proteome. So far, only little research has focused on bumblebee venom. Recently, the genome sequence of the European large earth bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) became available and this allowed the first in-depth proteomic analysis of its venom composition. We identified 57 compounds, with 52 of them never described in bumblebee venom. Remarkably, 72% of the detected compounds were found to have a honeybee venom homolog, which reflects the similar defensive function of both venoms and the high degree of homology between both genomes. However, both venoms contain a selection of species-specific toxins, revealing distinct damaging effects that may have evolved in response to species-specific attackers. Further, this study extends the list of potential venom allergens. The availability of both the honeybee and bumblebee venom proteome may help to develop a strategy that solves the current issue of false double sensitivity in allergy diagnosis, which is caused by cross-reactivity between both venoms. A correct diagnosis is important as it is recommended to perform an immunotherapy with venom of the culprit species.

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

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Wright, Jeremy J

    2009-12-04

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

  14. Transcriptomic messiness in the venom duct of Conus miles contributes to conotoxin diversity.

    PubMed

    Jin, Ai-hua; Dutertre, Sébastien; Kaas, Quentin; Lavergne, Vincent; Kubala, Petra; Lewis, Richard J; Alewood, Paul F

    2013-12-01

    Marine cone snails have developed sophisticated chemical strategies to capture prey and defend themselves against predators. Among the vast array of bioactive molecules in their venom, peptide components called conotoxins or conopeptides dominate, with many binding with high affinity and selectivity to a broad range of cellular targets, including receptors and transporters of the nervous system. Whereas the conopeptide gene precursor organization has a conserved topology, the peptides in the venom duct are highly processed. Indeed, deep sequencing transcriptomics has uncovered on average fewer than 100 toxin gene precursors per species, whereas advanced proteomics has revealed >10-fold greater diversity at the peptide level. In the present study, second-generation sequencing technologies coupled to highly sensitive mass spectrometry methods were applied to rapidly uncover the conopeptide diversity in the venom of a worm-hunting species, Conus miles. A total of 662 putative conopeptide encoded sequences were retrieved from transcriptomic data, comprising 48 validated conotoxin sequences that clustered into 10 gene superfamilies, including 3 novel superfamilies and a novel cysteine framework (C-C-C-CCC-C-C) identified at both transcript and peptide levels. A surprisingly large number of conopeptide gene sequences were expressed at low levels, including a series of single amino acid variants, as well as sequences containing deletions and frame and stop codon shifts. Some of the toxin variants generate alternative cleavage sites, interrupted or elongated cysteine frameworks, and highly variable isoforms within families that could be identified at the peptide level. Together with the variable peptide processing identified previously, background genetic and phenotypic levels of biological messiness in venoms contribute to the hypervariability of venom peptides and their ability to evolve rapidly.

  15. Transcriptomic Messiness in the Venom Duct of Conus miles Contributes to Conotoxin Diversity*

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Ai-hua; Dutertre, Sébastien; Kaas, Quentin; Lavergne, Vincent; Kubala, Petra; Lewis, Richard J.; Alewood, Paul F.

    2013-01-01

    Marine cone snails have developed sophisticated chemical strategies to capture prey and defend themselves against predators. Among the vast array of bioactive molecules in their venom, peptide components called conotoxins or conopeptides dominate, with many binding with high affinity and selectivity to a broad range of cellular targets, including receptors and transporters of the nervous system. Whereas the conopeptide gene precursor organization has a conserved topology, the peptides in the venom duct are highly processed. Indeed, deep sequencing transcriptomics has uncovered on average fewer than 100 toxin gene precursors per species, whereas advanced proteomics has revealed >10-fold greater diversity at the peptide level. In the present study, second-generation sequencing technologies coupled to highly sensitive mass spectrometry methods were applied to rapidly uncover the conopeptide diversity in the venom of a worm-hunting species, Conus miles. A total of 662 putative conopeptide encoded sequences were retrieved from transcriptomic data, comprising 48 validated conotoxin sequences that clustered into 10 gene superfamilies, including 3 novel superfamilies and a novel cysteine framework (C-C-C-CCC-C-C) identified at both transcript and peptide levels. A surprisingly large number of conopeptide gene sequences were expressed at low levels, including a series of single amino acid variants, as well as sequences containing deletions and frame and stop codon shifts. Some of the toxin variants generate alternative cleavage sites, interrupted or elongated cysteine frameworks, and highly variable isoforms within families that could be identified at the peptide level. Together with the variable peptide processing identified previously, background genetic and phenotypic levels of biological messiness in venoms contribute to the hypervariability of venom peptides and their ability to evolve rapidly. PMID:24043424

  16. Neutralizing capacity of murine sera induced by different antigens of scorpion venom.

    PubMed

    Calderon-Aranda, E S; Hozbor, D; Possani, L D

    1993-03-01

    Approximately 700 people die in Mexico each year from scorpion stings. The only useful therapy available is antiserum obtained from horses immunized with macerates of venomous gland from scorpions of the genus Centruroides. We report the results of experiments conducted with mice and rats in order to evaluate the relevant components of the venom from Centruroides noxius in the induction of a protective response against scorpion envenomation, either in vivo or in vitro. Gland macerates of whole telsons (stinger), soluble venom extracted by electrical stimulation, toxic fractions from gel filtration on Sephadex G-50 and highly purified toxin 2 from this scorpion venom were all used to produce hyperimmune mice and rats, which were challenged in vivo with the equivalent of the lethal dose 50% (LD50) of soluble venom, or their sera were prepared for in vitro neutralization experiments using non-immunized animals. The maximum neutralizing capacity (100%) was obtained when soluble venom was used as antigen, while purified toxin 2 produces 80% survival in vivo. The neutralizing capacity of murine antisera evaluated in vitro was: sera antifraction II > antitoxin 2 > antitotal venom > anti-gland macerates of whole telsons. Two additional aspects were further investigated in the present work. One is the demonstration by immunoblotting that proteins corresponding to the electrophoretic mobility of toxins known to block sodium channels are highly immunodominant in this venom. Second, there is a strong cross-reactivity of antisera produced with Centruroides noxius when assayed against venoms from other dangerous species of Centruroides scorpions from Mexico, but not against the Israeli scorpion Leiurus quinquestriatus. Finally, the immunodominance of toxic fractions in the immune response was observed either with immunization using Freund's adjuvant or by means of adsorption to nitrocellulose membranes. This latter vehicle was shown to be an excellent detoxifying agent, without

  17. Characterization of BmKbpp, a multifunctional peptide from the Chinese scorpion Mesobuthus martensii Karsch: gaining insight into a new mechanism for the functional diversification of scorpion venom peptides.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Xian-Chun; Wang, Sanxia; Nie, Yao; Zhang, Lei; Luo, Xuesong

    2012-01-01

    BmKbpp is a novel cationic and α-helical peptide from the Chinese scorpion Mesobuthus martensii Karsch, of which function or biological activity has not been characterized so far. Here we showed that BmKbpp possesses strong antimicrobial activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria with a MIC range from 2.3 μM to 68.2 μM for the majority of tested bacteria. BmKbpp also inhibits the growth of tested fungi with an IC50 range from 0.2 μM to 3.1 μM. Because BmKbpp potently inhibits the growth of some antibiotics-resistant pathogens, and shows very weak hemolytic activity, it has considerable potentials for therapeutic applications. Moreover, we found that BmKbpp markedly inhibits the superoxide production in granulocytes or HL-60 cells at the concentrations of submicromolar level; this suggests that BmKbpp can act as a signaling molecule involving innate immune regulation at low concentrations. The C-terminal region of BmKbpp (BmKbpp-C) shows 72% similarity to the peptide K-12, a bradykinin-potentiating peptide. We found that both BmKbpp and BmKbpp-C possess bradykinin-potentiating activity, and the activity of BmKbpp-C is stronger than that of BmKbpp. PCR amplification for the genomic gene of BmBpp showed that it is not a continuous sequence in the genome; it suggests that BmKbpp could come from a recombination event in transcript level. Taken together, our data suggest that multi-functionalization of a single peptide, which is probably mediated by trans-splicing, could be a new mechanism for the functional diversification of scorpion venom peptides.

  18. Exploring the therapeutic potential of jellyfish venom.

    PubMed

    Daly, Norelle L; Seymour, Jamie; Wilson, David

    2014-10-01

    The venom of certain jellyfish has long been known to be potentially fatal to humans, but it is only recently that details of the proteomes of these fascinating creatures are emerging. The molecular contents of the nematocysts from several jellyfish species have now been analyzed using proteomic MS approaches and include the analysis of Chironex fleckeri, one of the most venomous jellyfish known. These studies suggest that some species contain toxins related to peptides and proteins found in other venomous creatures. The detailed characterization of jellyfish venom is likely to provide insight into the diversification of toxins and might be a valuable resource in drug design.

  19. Snake venom toxins: toxicity and medicinal applications.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  20. The pharmacological activity of fish venoms.

    PubMed

    Church, Jarrod E; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2002-08-01

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

  1. BcIV, a new paralyzing peptide obtained from the venom of the sea anemone Bunodosoma caissarum. A comparison with the Na+ channel toxin BcIII.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Joacir Stolarz; Zaharenko, André Junqueira; Ferreira, Wilson Alves; Konno, Katsuhiro; Shida, Cláudio Saburo; Richardson, Michael; Lúcio, Aline Duarte; Beirão, Paulo Sérgio Lacerda; de Freitas, José Carlos

    2006-10-01

    Sea anemones produce a wide variety of biologically active compounds, such as the proteinaceous neurotoxins and cytolysins. Herein we report a new peptide, purified to homogeneity from the neurotoxic fraction of B. caissarum venom, by using gel filtration followed by rp-HPLC, naming it as BcIV. BcIV is a 41 amino acid peptide (molecular mass of 4669 amu) possessing 6 cysteines covalently linked by three disulfide bonds. This toxin has 45 and 48% of identity when compared to APETx1 and APETx2 from Anthopleura elegantissima, respectively, and 42% of identity with Am-II and BDS-I and-II obtained from Antheopsis maculata and Anemonia sulcata, respectively. This neurotoxin presents only a weak-paralyzing action (minimal Lethal Dose close to 2000 microg/kg) in swimming crabs Callinectes danae. This appears to be a different effect to that caused by the type 1 sea anemone toxin BcIII that is lethal to the same animals at lower doses (LD50=219 microg/kg). Circular dichroism spectra of BcIII and BcIV show a high content of beta-strand secondary structure in both peptides, very similar to type 1 sodium channel toxins from various sea anemones, and to APETx1 and APETx2 from A. elegantissima, a HERG channel modulator and an ASIC3 inhibitor, respectively. Interestingly, BcIII and BcIV have similar effects on the action potential of the crab leg nerves, suggesting the same target in this tissue. As BcIII was previously reported as a Na+ channel effector and BcIV is inactive over Na+ currents of mammalian GH3 cells, we propose a species-specific action for this new molecule. A molecular model of BcIV was constructed using the structure of the APETx1 as template and putative key residues are discussed.

  2. Polypeptide toxins from animal venoms.

    PubMed

    Kozlov, Sergey A

    2007-01-01

    In the course of evolution, venomous animals developed highly specialized venomous systems that provided for drastic increase in hunting and defense efficiency. Venoms of a vast number of animal species represent complex mixtures of compounds such as ions, biogenic amines, polyamines, polypeptide neurotoxins, cytolytic peptides, enzymes, etc. that exert different functions. Natural toxins are sequentially variable molecules that are very stable structurally and produce pronounced biological effects on molecular targets. High activity made them very attractive in terms of novel structure discovery and characterization. In the present review we draw attention to the structure of polypeptide molecules preferably in the 2-12 kDa molecular mass range produced by various venomous animals that were published in patent literature. The structures were reviewed on the basis of functional relation to molecular targets. We also compared the sequence information from patents with Uniprot and other protein databanks to define structures that were patented but missing from the public databases.

  3. Heterologous expressed toxic and non-toxic peptide variants of toxin CssII are capable to produce neutralizing antibodies against the venom of the scorpion Centruroides suffusus suffusus.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Salgado, Kenya; Estrada, Georgina; Olvera, Alejandro; Coronas, Fredy I; Possani, Lourival D; Corzo, Gerardo

    2009-08-15

    Two toxic and one non-toxic recombinant peptide variants of the mammalian neurotoxin CssII was cloned into the expression vector pQE30 containing a 6His-tag and a Factor Xa proteolytic cleavage site. The toxic recombinant peptides rCssII, HisrCssII and the non-toxic rCssIIE15R were expressed under induction with isopropyl thiogalactoside (IPTG), isolated using chromatographic techniques and folded correctly in vitro. The three recombinant variants showed similar secondary structures as the native CssII, but only the rCssIIE15R was not toxic to mice at concentrations up to 30microg/20g mouse body weight when injected intraperitoneally. All three recombinant peptides were capable of displacing the native CssII from their receptor sites in rat brain synaptosomes, suggesting that they had similar structural and functional characteristics of the native peptides. The three recombinant variants of CssII and the native one were used as antigens for immunization of New Zealand rabbits. The antibodies present in the rabbit antisera were able to recognize the native CssII. Additionally and more importantly, the sera of the immunized rabbits were able to neutralize both the native toxin CssII and the whole soluble venom of the scorpion Centruroides suffusus suffusus. These results indicate that the recombinant peptides can be used to produce antidotes against the venom of this species of scorpion.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Jellyfish venomics and venom gland transcriptomics analysis of Stomolophus meleagris to reveal the toxins associated with sting.

    PubMed

    Li, Rongfeng; Yu, Huahua; Xue, Wei; Yue, Yang; Liu, Song; Xing, Ronge; Li, Pengcheng

    2014-06-25

    Jellyfish Stomolophus meleagris is a very dangerous animal because of its strong toxicity. However, the composition of the venom is still unclear. Both proteomics and transcriptomics approaches were applied in present study to investigate the major components and their possible relationships to the sting. The proteomics of the venom from S. meleagris was conducted by tryptic digestion of the crude venom followed by RP-HPLC separation and MS/MS analysis of the tryptic peptides. The venom gland transcriptome was analyzed using a high-throughput Illumina sequencing platform HiSeq 2000 with de novo assembly. A total of 218 toxins were identified including C-type lectin, phospholipase A₂ (PLA₂), potassium channel inhibitor, protease inhibitor, metalloprotease, hemolysin and other toxins, most of which should be responsible for the sting. Among them, serine protease inhibitor, PLA₂, potassium channel inhibitor and metalloprotease are predominant, representing 28.44%, 21.56%, 16.06% and 15.14% of the identified venom proteins, respectively. Overall, our combined proteomics and transcriptomics approach provides a systematic overview of the toxins in the venom of jellyfish S. meleagris and it will be significant to understand the mechanism of the sting. Jellyfish Stomolophus meleagris is a very dangerous animal because of its strong toxicity. It often bloomed in the coast of China in recent years and caused thousands of people stung and even deaths every year. However, the components which caused sting are still unknown yet. In addition, no study about the venomics of jellyfish S. meleagris has been reported. In the present study, both proteomics and transcriptomics approaches were applied to investigate the major components related to the sting. The result showed that major component included C-type lectin, phospholipase A₂, potassium channel inhibitor, protease inhibitor, metalloprotease, hemolysin and other toxins, which should be responsible for the effect of

  6. Peptide pal9a from the venom of the turrid snail Polystira albida from the Gulf of Mexico: purification, characterization, and comparison with P-conotoxin-like (framework IX) conoidean peptides

    PubMed Central

    Aguilar, Manuel B.; Chan de la Rosa, Ruby A.; Falcón, Andrés; Olivera, Baldomero M.; Heimer de la Cotera, Edgar P.

    2009-01-01

    A novel peptide, pal9a, was purified from the venom duct extract of the turrid snail, Polystira albida (superfamily Conoidea, family Turridae), collected in the Gulf of Mexico. Its primary structure was determined by automated Edman degradation and confirmed by mass spectrometry. Turritoxin pal9a contains 34 amino acid residues, including 6 Cys residues arranged in the pattern C-C-C-C-C-C (framework IX, where “-“ represents one or more non-Cys amino acids), which characterizes the P-conotoxins. Peptide pal9a is the first P-conotoxin-like turritoxin characterized from a member of family Turridae of the Western Atlantic. The primary structure of turritoxin pal9a, NVCDGDACPDGVCRSGCTCDFNVAQRKDTCFYPQ-nh2 (-nh2, amidated C-terminus; calculated monoisotopic mass, 3679.48 Da; experimental monoisotopic mass, 3678.84 Da), shows variable degrees of low sequence similarity with framework IX-toxins from turrid (three species of Lophiotoma, and four species of Gemmula), terebrid (Hastula hectica), and Conus species of the Indo-Pacific (C. textile, C. gloriamaris, C. amadis, and C. litteratus) and of the Western Atlantic (C. regius). During the comparison of peptide pal9a with the other framework IX-toxins known to date, we realized that, in general, these peptides are hydrophilic, acidic compounds that have not been found in the fish-hunting Conus species studied thus far; we also found support for the notion that they may belong to several distinct gene superfamilies, even those from the same species. Given the broad distribution of framework IX-toxins within superfamily Conoidea, it will be interesting to identify the still-unknown molecular targets of P-conotoxins, P-conotoxin-like turritoxins, and P-conotoxin-like augertoxins. PMID:18948154

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

    PubMed

    Modahl, Cassandra M; Mackessy, Stephen P

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Modahl, Cassandra M.; Mackessy, Stephen P.

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Identification and molecular characterization of five putative toxins from the venom gland of the snake Philodryas chamissonis (Serpentes: Dipsadidae).

    PubMed

    Urra, Félix A; Pulgar, Rodrigo; Gutiérrez, Ricardo; Hodar, Christian; Cambiazo, Verónica; Labra, Antonieta

    2015-12-15

    Philodryas chamissonis is a rear-fanged snake endemic to Chile. Its bite produces mild to moderate symptoms with proteolytic and anti-coagulant effects. Presently, the composition of the venom, as well as, the biochemical and structural characteristics of its toxins, remains unknown. In this study, we cloned and reported the first full-length sequences of five toxin-encoding genes from the venom gland of this species: Type III snake venom metalloprotease (SVMP), snake venom serine protease (SVSP), Cysteine-rich secretory protein (CRISP), α and β subunits of C-type lectin-like protein (CLP) and C-type natriuretic peptide (NP). These genes are highly expressed in the venom gland and their sequences exhibited a putative signal peptide, suggesting that these are components of the venom. These putative toxins had different evolutionary relationships with those reported for some front-fanged snakes, being SVMP, SVSP and CRISP of P. chamissonis closely related to the toxins present in Elapidae species, while NP was more related to those of Viperidae species. In addition, analyses suggest that the α and β subunits of CLP of P. chamissonis might have a α-subunit scaffold in common with Viperidae species, whose highly variable C-terminal region might have allowed the diversification in α and β subunits. Our results provide the first molecular description of the toxins possibly implicated in the envenomation of prey and humans by the bite of P. chamissonis.

  10. Venom Proteomics of Indonesian King Cobra, Ophiophagus hannah: Integrating Top-Down and Bottom-Up Approaches.

    PubMed

    Petras, Daniel; Heiss, Paul; Süssmuth, Roderich D; Calvete, Juan J

    2015-06-05

    We report on the first application of top-down mass spectrometry in snake venomics. De novo sequence tags generated by, and ProSight Lite supported analysis of, combined collisional based dissotiations (CID and HCD) recorded in a hybrid LTQ Orbitrap instrument in data-dependent mode identified a number of proteins from different toxin families, namely, 11 three-finger toxins (7-7.9 kDa), a Kunitz-type inhibitor (6.3 kDa), ohanin (11.9 kDa), a novel phospholipase A2 molecule (13.8 kDa), and the cysteine-rich secretory protein (CRISP) ophanin (25 kDa) from Indonesian king cobra venom. Complementary bottom-up MS/MS analyses contributed to the completion of a locus-resolved venom phenotypic map for Ophiophagus hannah, the world's longest venomous snake and a species of medical concern across its wide distribution range in forests from India to Southeast Asia. Its venom composition, comprising 32-35 proteins/peptides from 10 protein families, is dominated by α-neurotoxins and convincingly explains the main neurotoxic effects of human envenoming caused by king cobra bite. The integration of efficient chromatographic separation of the venom's components and locus-resolved toxin identification through top-down and bottom-up MS/MS-based species-specific database searching and de novo sequencing holds promise that the future will be bright for the field of venom research.

  11. Proteomic and Glycoproteomic Profilings Reveal That Post-translational Modifications of Toxins Contribute to Venom Phenotype in Snakes.

    PubMed

    Andrade-Silva, Débora; Zelanis, André; Kitano, Eduardo S; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L M; Reis, Marcelo S; Lopes, Aline S; Serrano, Solange M T

    2016-08-05

    Snake venoms are biological weapon systems composed of secreted proteins and peptides that are used for immobilizing or killing prey. Although post-translational modifications are widely investigated because of their importance in many biological phenomena, we currently still have little understanding of how protein glycosylation impacts the variation and stability of venom proteomes. To address these issues, here we characterized the venom proteomes of seven Bothrops snakes using a shotgun proteomics strategy. Moreover, we compared the electrophoretic profiles of native and deglycosylated venoms and, in order to assess their subproteomes of glycoproteins, we identified the proteins with affinity for three lectins with different saccharide specificities and their putative glycosylation sites. As proteinases are abundant glycosylated toxins, we examined the effect of N-deglycosylation on their catalytic activities and show that the proteinases of the seven venoms were similarly affected by removal of N-glycans. Moreover, we prospected putative glycosylation sites of transcripts of a B. jararaca venom gland data set and detected toxin family related patterns of glycosylation. Based on our global analysis, we report that Bothrops venom proteomes and glycoproteomes contain a core of components that markedly define their composition, which is conserved upon evolution in parallel to other molecular markers that determine their phylogenetic classification.

  12. Multiple functional therapeutic effects of TnP: A small stable synthetic peptide derived from fish venom in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Komegae, Evilin Naname; Souza, Tais Aparecida Matozo; Grund, Lidiane Zito; Lima, Carla

    2017-01-01

    The pathological condition of multiple sclerosis (MS) relies on innate and adaptive immunity. New types of agents that beneficially modify the course of MS, stopping the progression and repairing the damage appear promising. Here, we studied TnP, a small stable synthetic peptide derived from fish venom in the control of inflammation and demyelination in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis as prophylactic treatment. TnP decreased the number of the perivascular infiltrates in spinal cord, and the activity of MMP-9 by F4/80+ macrophages were decreased after different regimen treatments. TnP reduces in the central nervous system the infiltration of IFN-γ-producing Th1 and IL-17A-producing Th17 cells. Also, treatment with therapeutic TnP promotes the emergence of functional Treg in the central nervous system entirely dependent on IL-10. Therapeutic TnP treatment accelerates the remyelination process in a cuprizone model of demyelination. These findings support the beneficial effects of TnP and provides a new therapeutic opportunity for the treatment of MS. PMID:28235052

  13. δ-Ctenitoxin-Pn1a, a Peptide from Phoneutria nigriventer Spider Venom, Shows Antinociceptive Effect Involving Opioid and Cannabinoid Systems, in Rats.

    PubMed

    Emerich, Bruna Luiza; Ferreira, Renata C M; Cordeiro, Marta N; Borges, Márcia Helena; Pimenta, Adriano M C; Figueiredo, Suely G; Duarte, Igor Dimitri G; de Lima, Maria Elena

    2016-04-12

    PnTx4(6-1), henceforth renamed δ-Ctenitoxin-Pn1a (δ-CNTX-Pn1a), a peptide from Phoneutria nigriventer spider venom, initially described as an insect toxin, binds to site 3 of sodium channels in nerve cord synaptosomes and slows down sodium current inactivation in isolated axons in cockroaches (Periplaneta americana). δ-CNTX-Pn1a does not cause any apparent toxicity to mice, when intracerebroventricularly injected (30 μg). In this study, we evaluated the antinociceptive effect of δ-CNTX-Pn1a in three animal pain models and investigated its mechanism of action in acute pain. In the inflammatory pain model, induced by carrageenan, δ-CNTX-Pn1a restored the nociceptive threshold of rats, when intraplantarly injected, 2 h and 30 min after carrageenan administration. Concerning the neuropathic pain model, δ-CNTX-Pn1a, when intrathecally administered, reversed the hyperalgesia evoked by sciatic nerve constriction. In the acute pain model, induced by prostaglandin E₂, intrathecal administration of δ-CNTX-Pn1a caused a dose-dependent antinociceptive effect. Using antagonists of the receptors, we showed that the antinociceptive effect of δ-CNTX-Pn1a involves both the cannabinoid system, through CB₁ receptors, and the opioid system, through μ and δ receptors. Our data show, for the first time, that δ-Ctenitoxin-Pn1a is able to induce antinociception in inflammatory, neuropathic and acute pain models.

  14. δ-Ctenitoxin-Pn1a, a Peptide from Phoneutria nigriventer Spider Venom, Shows Antinociceptive Effect Involving Opioid and Cannabinoid Systems, in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Emerich, Bruna Luiza; Ferreira, Renata C. M.; Cordeiro, Marta N.; Borges, Márcia Helena; Pimenta, Adriano M. C.; Figueiredo, Suely G.; Duarte, Igor Dimitri G.; de Lima, Maria Elena

    2016-01-01

    PnTx4(6-1), henceforth renamed