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Sample records for snake venom proteins

  1. 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.

  2. Snake venoms are integrated systems, but abundant venom proteins evolve more rapidly.

    PubMed

    Aird, Steven D; Aggarwal, Shikha; Villar-Briones, Alejandro; Tin, Mandy Man-Ying; Terada, Kouki; Mikheyev, Alexander S

    2015-08-28

    While many studies have shown that extracellular proteins evolve rapidly, how selection acts on them remains poorly understood. We used snake venoms to understand the interaction between ecology, expression level, and evolutionary rate in secreted protein systems. Venomous snakes employ well-integrated systems of proteins and organic constituents to immobilize prey. Venoms are generally optimized to subdue preferred prey more effectively than non-prey, and many venom protein families manifest positive selection and rapid gene family diversification. Although previous studies have illuminated how individual venom protein families evolve, how selection acts on venoms as integrated systems, is unknown. Using next-generation transcriptome sequencing and mass spectrometry, we examined microevolution in two pitvipers, allopatrically separated for at least 1.6 million years, and their hybrids. Transcriptomes of parental species had generally similar compositions in regard to protein families, but for a given protein family, the homologs present and concentrations thereof sometimes differed dramatically. For instance, a phospholipase A2 transcript comprising 73.4 % of the Protobothrops elegans transcriptome, was barely present in the P. flavoviridis transcriptome (<0.05 %). Hybrids produced most proteins found in both parental venoms. Protein evolutionary rates were positively correlated with transcriptomic and proteomic abundances, and the most abundant proteins showed positive selection. This pattern holds with the addition of four other published crotaline transcriptomes, from two more genera, and also for the recently published king cobra genome, suggesting that rapid evolution of abundant proteins may be generally true for snake venoms. Looking more broadly at Protobothrops, we show that rapid evolution of the most abundant components is due to positive selection, suggesting an interplay between abundance and adaptation. Given log-scale differences in toxin

  3. Structure and function of snake venom cysteine-rich secretory proteins.

    PubMed

    Yamazaki, Yasuo; Morita, Takashi

    2004-09-01

    Cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISPs) are primarily found in the epididymis of mammals and are expressed in diverse organisms. However, the functions of most CRISPs remain unknown. Recent studies reveal that CRISPs are widely distributed in snake venoms and that they inhibit smooth muscle contraction and cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channels. In this review, we discuss recent findings on several snake venom-derived CRISPs.

  4. Snake venom toxins: toxicity and medicinal applications.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  5. Structural divergence of cysteine-rich secretory proteins in snake venoms.

    PubMed

    Matsunaga, Yukiko; Yamazaki, Yasuo; Hyodo, Fumiko; Sugiyama, Yusuke; Nozaki, Masatoshi; Morita, Takashi

    2009-03-01

    Cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISPs) are expressed in spermatocytes and granules of neutrophils in mammals, and are associated with sperm maturation and host defense. Related proteins have recently been recovered in snake venoms, and some of the snake venom-derived CRISPs exhibit ion channel blocking activity. Here we isolated and identified two novel CRISPs (kaouthin-1 and kaouthin-2) from the venom of Naja kaouthia (Elapidae), and cloned the encoding cDNAs. Kaouthin-1 and kaouthin-2 were classified into two broad sister groups of Elapidae, the Asian species and the marine/Australian species, respectively. Sequence comparisons reveal that the high-frequency variable regions among snake venom CRISPs define a continuous line on the molecular surface of the N-terminal pathogenesis-related protein-1 (PR-1) domain and the C-terminal cysteine-rich domain (CRD). Snake venom proteins generally display efficient molecular diversity around functionally key regions, suggesting that the PR-1 domain of CRISPs is important for the recognition of target molecules.

  6. Purification and characterization of a cysteine-rich secretory protein from Philodryas patagoniensis snake venom.

    PubMed

    Peichoto, María E; Mackessy, Stephen P; Teibler, Pamela; Tavares, Flávio L; Burckhardt, Paula L; Breno, María C; Acosta, Ofelia; Santoro, Marcelo L

    2009-07-01

    Cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRiSPs) are widespread in reptile venoms, but most have functions that remain unknown. In the present study we describe the purification and characterization of a CRiSP (patagonin) from the venom of the rear-fanged snake Philodryas patagoniensis, and demonstrate its biological activity. Patagonin is a single-chain protein, exhibiting a molecular mass of 24,858.6 Da, whose NH(2)-terminal and MS/MS-derived sequences are nearly identical to other snake venom CRiSPs. The purified protein hydrolyzed neither azocasein nor fibrinogen, and it could induce no edema, hemorrhage or inhibition of platelet adhesion and aggregation. In addition, patagonin did not inhibit contractions of rat aortic smooth muscle induced by high K(+). However, it caused muscular damage to murine gastrocnemius muscle, an action that has not been previously described for any snake venom CRiSPs. Thus, patagonin will be important for studies of the structure-function and evolutionary relationships of this family of proteins that are widely distributed among snake venoms.

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

    PubMed

    Joubert, F J; Strydom, D J

    1980-12-01

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

  8. A brief review of the scientific history of several lesser-known snake venom proteins: l-amino acid oxidases, hyaluronidases and phosphodiesterases.

    PubMed

    Fox, Jay W

    2013-02-01

    When considering the proteins and toxins in snake venom one's thoughts generally migrate to the proteinases, neurotoxins and phospholipases since these families of proteins are comprised by many of the toxins found in venom. However as modern proteomic and transcriptomic venom research has abundantly shown snake venoms are complex and containing numerous families of protein beyond the "big three". In this brief review we will discuss three of the lesser discussed proteins typically found in snake venoms: l-amino acid oxidases (LAAO); hyaluronidases and phosphodiesterases. These proteins have long been known to be part of many venoms' proteomes with reports appearing in the literature as early as 1944 for LAAO, 1947 for hyaluronidase (spreading factor), and 1932 for venom phosphodiesterase. These are more or less contemporary with the first reports (circa 1950) on snake venom proteases. Thus, the relatively modest literature on these snake venom proteins stems not from lack of early discovery but rather more likely to their ostensibly minor role in snake venom pathophysiology. In this review we will provide an overview of the experimental history of these venom proteins, their biochemical and structural features and their role in snake venom toxinology with the aim of bringing a fuller, more comprehensive, understanding of the history of laboratory research on snake venoms. In addition, there are some comments on these proteins from investigators who were actively engaged in their investigation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. REGULATION OF PROTEIN SYNTHESIS IN THE VENOM GLAND OF VIPERID SNAKES

    PubMed Central

    Oron, U.; Bdolah, A.

    1973-01-01

    Morphological changes in the venom gland of V. ammodytes were studied after the removal of the venom from the gland lumina (milking) It was found that the height of the secretory cells was changed during the secretory cycle. The patterns of the rough endoplasmic reticulum and of the Golgi complex were changed as well Milking induced an increased incorporation of [14C]amino acids into total and venom proteins In V ammodytes, during the first day after milking, 25% of the total counts in protein were precipitable by anti-venom serum, while at 8 days, 80% of the proteins synthesized were venom proteins At this stage, the incorporation was 10- and 20-fold that of unmilked glands for total and venom proteins, respectively. Venom was accumulated (secreted) in the gland lumina of V. ammodytes at a relatively high rate up to 2 wk after milking and leveled off afterwards. Intact glands and gland slices of V ammodytes and V palaestinae, taken from snakes a few days after milking, incorporated [14C]amino acids into proteins in vitro at a rate higher than that of unmilked glands. The activity of two exportable enzymes (phosphodiesterase and benzoyl arginyl ethyl esterase) was assayed in gland homogenates of V. ammodytes. It was found that 2–3 wk after milking, the intracellular level of these enzymes was up to 2-fold that of unmilked glands. PMID:4345163

  10. 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.

  11. Isolation and characterization of biologically active venom protein from sea snake Enhydrina schistosa.

    PubMed

    Damotharan, Palani; Veeruraj, Anguchamy; Arumugam, Muthuvel; Balasubramanian, Thangavel

    2015-03-01

    The present study is designed to investigate the isolation and characterization of biological and biochemical active venom protein from sea snake, Enhydrina schistosa. The highest purification peaks in ion-exchange chromatography on DEAE-cellulose column were obtained for fraction numbers 39-49 when eluted with 0.35-0.45 M NaCl. Eighty per cent purity was obtained in the final stage of purification, and a single protein band of about 44 kDa was visualized in SDS-polyacrylamide gel under reducing condition. Purified venom protein expressed as haemolytic, cytotoxicity and proteolytic activities with lethal concentration (LC50 ) at 2.0 μg/mL. Venom protein exhibits enzymatic activity and hydrolyzed casein and gelatin. Gelatinolytic activity was optimal at pH 5-9. In conclusion, the present results suggested that the sea snake venom might be feasible sources for biologically active substances. Thus, this low molecular weight component of the venom protein could be used in potentially serve biological and pharmaceutical aspects. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Venomics profiling of Thamnodynastes strigatus unveils matrix metalloproteinases and other novel proteins recruited to the toxin arsenal of rear-fanged snakes.

    PubMed

    Ching, Ana T C; Paes Leme, Adriana F; Zelanis, André; Rocha, Marisa M T; Furtado, Maria de Fátima D; Silva, Débora Andrade; Trugilho, Monique R O; da Rocha, Surza L G; Perales, Jonas; Ho, Paulo L; Serrano, Solange M T; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L M

    2012-02-03

    Rear-fanged and aglyphous snakes are usually considered not dangerous to humans because of their limited capacity of injecting venom. Therefore, only a few studies have been dedicated to characterizing the venom of the largest parcel of snake fauna. Here, we investigated the venom proteome of the rear-fanged snake Thamnodynastes strigatus , in combination with a transcriptomic evaluation of the venom gland. About 60% of all transcripts code for putative venom components. A striking finding is that the most abundant type of transcript (∼47%) and also the major protein type in the venom correspond to a new kind of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) that is unrelated to the classical snake venom metalloproteinases found in all snake families. These enzymes were recently suggested as possible venom components, and we show here that they are proteolytically active and probably recruited to venom from a MMP-9 ancestor. Other unusual proteins were suggested to be venom components: a protein related to lactadherin and an EGF repeat-containing transcript. Despite these unusual molecules, seven toxin classes commonly found in typical venomous snakes are also present in the venom. These results support the evidence that the arsenals of these snakes are very diverse and harbor new types of biologically important molecules.

  13. 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.

  14. Early significant ontogenetic changes in snake venoms.

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  15. Snake venom metalloproteinases.

    PubMed

    Markland, Francis S; Swenson, Stephen

    2013-02-01

    Recent proteomic analyses of snake venoms show that metalloproteinases represent major components in most of the Crotalid and Viperid venoms. In this chapter we discuss the multiple activities of the SVMPs. In addition to hemorrhagic activity, members of the SVMP family also have fibrin(ogen)olytic activity, act as prothrombin activators, activate blood coagulation factor X, possess apoptotic activity, inhibit platelet aggregation, are pro-inflammatory and inactivate blood serine proteinase inhibitors. Clearly the SVMPs have multiple functions in addition to their well-known hemorrhagic activity. The realization that there are structural variations in the SVMPs and the early studies that led to their classification represents an important event in our understanding of the structural forms of the SVMPs. The SVMPs were subdivided into the P-I, P-II and P-III protein classes. The noticeable characteristic that distinguished the different classes was their size (molecular weight) differences and domain structure: Class I (P-I), the small SVMPs, have molecular masses of 20-30 kDa, contain only a pro domain and the proteinase domain; Class II (P-II), the medium size SVMPs, molecular masses of 30-60 kDa, contain the pro domain, proteinase domain and disintegrin domain; Class III (P-III), the large SVMPs, have molecular masses of 60-100 kDa, contain pro, proteinase, disintegrin-like and cysteine-rich domain structure. Another significant advance in the SVMP field was the characterization of the crystal structure of the first P-I class SVMP. The structures of other P-I SVMPs soon followed and the structures of P-III SVMPs have also been determined. The active site of the metalloproteinase domain has a consensus HEXXHXXGXXHD sequence and a Met-turn. The "Met-turn" structure contains a conserved Met residue that forms a hydrophobic basement for the three zinc-binding histidines in the consensus sequence. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Role of accelerated segment switch in exons to alter targeting (ASSET) in the molecular evolution of snake venom proteins

    PubMed Central

    Doley, Robin; Mackessy, Stephen P; Kini, R Manjunatha

    2009-01-01

    Background Snake venom toxins evolve more rapidly than other proteins through accelerated changes in the protein coding regions. Previously we have shown that accelerated segment switch in exons to alter targeting (ASSET) might play an important role in its functional evolution of viperid three-finger toxins. In this phenomenon, short sequences in exons are radically changed to unrelated sequences and hence affect the folding and functional properties of the toxins. Results Here we analyzed other snake venom protein families to elucidate the role of ASSET in their functional evolution. ASSET appears to be involved in the functional evolution of three-finger toxins to a greater extent than in several other venom protein families. ASSET leads to replacement of some of the critical amino acid residues that affect the biological function in three-finger toxins as well as change the conformation of the loop that is involved in binding to specific target sites. Conclusion ASSET could lead to novel functions in snake venom proteins. Among snake venom serine proteases, ASSET contributes to changes in three surface segments. One of these segments near the substrate binding region is known to affect substrate specificity, and its exchange may have significant implications for differences in isoform catalytic activity on specific target protein substrates. ASSET therefore plays an important role in functional diversification of snake venom proteins, in addition to accelerated point mutations in the protein coding regions. Accelerated point mutations lead to fine-tuning of target specificity, whereas ASSET leads to large-scale replacement of multiple functionally important residues, resulting in change or gain of functions. PMID:19563684

  17. Unusual stability of messenger RNA in snake venom reveals gene expression dynamics of venom replenishment.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Electrophoretic Characterization of Elapid, Viperid and Crotalid Snake Venoms

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-08-01

    and patent rights’. UNCLASSIFIED UNCLASSIFIED ABSTRACT This report deals with comparative studies of snake venoms from 21 species representing Elapidae ...Blue Stains Figure 4 shows a pair of typical non-SDS electropherograms of native venom proteins from representative species of Elapidae , Viperidae and...SOURCES OF THE SNAKE VENOMS STUDIED VENOM SPECIES COMMON NAME NO. Elapidae : 14. Naja melanoleuca black cobra 15. 9-ja haje Egyptian cobra 16. Naja naja

  19. Studies on sea snake venom

    PubMed Central

    TAMIYA, Nobuo; YAGI, Tatsuhiko

    2011-01-01

    Erabutoxins a and b are neurotoxins isolated from venom of a sea snake Laticauda semifasciata (erabu-umihebi). Amino acid sequences of the toxins indicated that the toxins are members of a superfamily consisting of short and long neurotoxins and cytotoxins found in sea snakes and terrestrial snakes. The short neurotoxins to which erabutoxins belong act by blocking the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor on the post synaptic membrane in a manner similar to that of curare. X-ray crystallography and NMR analyses showed that the toxins have a three-finger structure, in which three fingers made of three loops emerging from a dense core make a gently concave surface of the protein. The sequence comparison and the location of essential residues on the protein suggested the mechanism of binding of the toxin to the acetylcholine receptor. Classification of snakes by means of sequence comparison and that based on different morphological features were inconsistent, which led the authors to propose a hypothesis “Evolution without divergence.” PMID:21422738

  20. Studies on sea snake venom.

    PubMed

    Tamiya, Nobuo; Yagi, Tatsuhiko

    2011-01-01

    Erabutoxins a and b are neurotoxins isolated from venom of a sea snake Laticauda semifasciata (erabu-umihebi). Amino acid sequences of the toxins indicated that the toxins are members of a superfamily consisting of short and long neurotoxins and cytotoxins found in sea snakes and terrestrial snakes. The short neurotoxins to which erabutoxins belong act by blocking the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor on the post synaptic membrane in a manner similar to that of curare. X-ray crystallography and NMR analyses showed that the toxins have a three-finger structure, in which three fingers made of three loops emerging from a dense core make a gently concave surface of the protein. The sequence comparison and the location of essential residues on the protein suggested the mechanism of binding of the toxin to the acetylcholine receptor. Classification of snakes by means of sequence comparison and that based on different morphological features were inconsistent, which led the authors to propose a hypothesis "Evolution without divergence."

  1. Snake oil and venoms for medical research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolpert, H. D.

    2011-04-01

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

  2. Population Divergence in Venom Bioactivities of Elapid Snake Pseudonaja textilis: Role of Procoagulant Proteins in Rapid Rodent Prey Incapacitation

    PubMed Central

    Skejić, Jure; Hodgson, Wayne C.

    2013-01-01

    This study looked at how toxic proteins in venoms of adult Australian eastern Brown snakes Pseudonaja textilis from South Australian and Queensland populations interact with physiological functions of the lab SD rat Rattus norvegicus. Circulatory collapse and incoagulable blood occurred instantly after injection of venom under the dorsal skin of anaesthetised and mechanically ventilated rats in an imitation of a P. textilis bite. Intravenous injection of purified P. textilis (Mackay, QLD) venom prothrombin activator proteins caused instant failure of circulation, testifying of high toxicity of these proteins and suggesting their role in rapid incapacitation of rodent prey. The hypothesis is further supported by circulatory collapse occurring instantly despite artificial respiration in envenomed rats and the finding of extremely high venom procoagulant potency in rat plasma. LC-MS and physiology assays revealed divergent venom composition and biological activity of South Australian (Barossa locality) and Queensland (Mackay locality) populations, which may be driven by selection for different prey. The Queensland venom of P. textilis was found to be more procoagulant and to exhibit predominately presynaptic neurotoxicity, while the South Australian venom contained diverse postsynaptic type II and III α-neurotoxins in addition to the presynaptic neurotoxins and caused significantly faster onset of neuromuscular blockade in the rat phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparation. LC-MS analysis found evidence of multiple coagulation factor X-like proteins in P. textilis venoms, including a match to P. textilis coagulation factor X isoform 2, previously known to be expressed only in the liver. PMID:23691135

  3. Antitumoral Activity of Snake Venom Proteins: New Trends in Cancer Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Calderon, Leonardo A.; Sobrinho, Juliana C.; Zaqueo, Kayena D.; de Moura, Andrea A.; Grabner, Amy N.; Mazzi, Maurício V.; Marcussi, Silvana; Fernandes, Carla F. C.; Zuliani, Juliana P.; Carvalho, Bruna M. A.; da Silva, Saulo L.; Stábeli, Rodrigo G.; Soares, Andreimar M.

    2014-01-01

    For more than half a century, cytotoxic agents have been investigated as a possible treatment for cancer. Research on animal venoms has revealed their high toxicity on tissues and cell cultures, both normal and tumoral. Snake venoms show the highest cytotoxic potential, since ophidian accidents cause a large amount of tissue damage, suggesting a promising utilization of these venoms or their components as antitumoral agents. Over the last few years, we have studied the effects of snake venoms and their isolated enzymes on tumor cell cultures. Some in vivo assays showed antineoplastic activity against induced tumors in mice. In human beings, both the crude venom and isolated enzymes revealed antitumor activities in preliminary assays, with measurable clinical responses in the advanced treatment phase. These enzymes include metalloproteases (MP), disintegrins, L-amino acid oxidases (LAAOs), C-type lectins, and phospholipases A2 (PLA2s). Their mechanisms of action include direct toxic action (PLA2s), free radical generation (LAAOs), apoptosis induction (PLA2s, MP, and LAAOs), and antiangiogenesis (disintegrins and lectins). Higher cytotoxic and cytostatic activities upon tumor cells than normal cells suggest the possibility for clinical applications. Further studies should be conducted to ensure the efficacy and safety of different snake venom compounds for cancer drug development. PMID:24683541

  4. Antitumoral activity of snake venom proteins: new trends in cancer therapy.

    PubMed

    Calderon, Leonardo A; Sobrinho, Juliana C; Zaqueo, Kayena D; de Moura, Andrea A; Grabner, Amy N; Mazzi, Maurício V; Marcussi, Silvana; Nomizo, Auro; Fernandes, Carla F C; Zuliani, Juliana P; Carvalho, Bruna M A; da Silva, Saulo L; Stábeli, Rodrigo G; Soares, Andreimar M

    2014-01-01

    For more than half a century, cytotoxic agents have been investigated as a possible treatment for cancer. Research on animal venoms has revealed their high toxicity on tissues and cell cultures, both normal and tumoral. Snake venoms show the highest cytotoxic potential, since ophidian accidents cause a large amount of tissue damage, suggesting a promising utilization of these venoms or their components as antitumoral agents. Over the last few years, we have studied the effects of snake venoms and their isolated enzymes on tumor cell cultures. Some in vivo assays showed antineoplastic activity against induced tumors in mice. In human beings, both the crude venom and isolated enzymes revealed antitumor activities in preliminary assays, with measurable clinical responses in the advanced treatment phase. These enzymes include metalloproteases (MP), disintegrins, L-amino acid oxidases (LAAOs), C-type lectins, and phospholipases A2 (PLA2s). Their mechanisms of action include direct toxic action (PLA2s), free radical generation (LAAOs), apoptosis induction (PLA2s, MP, and LAAOs), and antiangiogenesis (disintegrins and lectins). Higher cytotoxic and cytostatic activities upon tumor cells than normal cells suggest the possibility for clinical applications. Further studies should be conducted to ensure the efficacy and safety of different snake venom compounds for cancer drug development.

  5. ADAM and ADAMTS Family Proteins and Snake Venom Metalloproteinases: A Structural Overview

    PubMed Central

    Takeda, Soichi

    2016-01-01

    A disintegrin and metalloproteinase (ADAM) family proteins constitute a major class of membrane-anchored multidomain proteinases that are responsible for the shedding of cell-surface protein ectodomains, including the latent forms of growth factors, cytokines, receptors and other molecules. Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) are major components in most viper venoms. SVMPs are primarily responsible for hemorrhagic activity and may also interfere with the hemostatic system in envenomed animals. SVMPs are phylogenetically most closely related to ADAMs and, together with ADAMs and related ADAM with thrombospondin motifs (ADAMTS) family proteinases, constitute adamalysins/reprolysins or the M12B clan (MEROPS database) of metalloproteinases. Although the catalytic domain structure is topologically similar to that of other metalloproteinases such as matrix metalloproteinases, the M12B proteinases have a modular structure with multiple non-catalytic ancillary domains that are not found in other proteinases. Notably, crystallographic studies revealed that, in addition to the conserved metalloproteinase domain, M12B members share a hallmark cysteine-rich domain designated as the “ADAM_CR” domain. Despite their name, ADAMTSs lack disintegrin-like structures and instead comprise two ADAM_CR domains. This review highlights the current state of our knowledge on the three-dimensional structures of M12B proteinases, focusing on their unique domains that may collaboratively participate in directing these proteinases to specific substrates. PMID:27196928

  6. Early evolution of the venom system in lizards and snakes.

    PubMed

    Fry, Bryan G; Vidal, Nicolas; Norman, Janette A; Vonk, Freek J; Scheib, Holger; Ramjan, S F Ryan; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Fung, Kim; Hedges, S Blair; Richardson, Michael K; Hodgson, Wayne C; Ignjatovic, Vera; Summerhayes, Robyn; Kochva, Elazar

    2006-02-02

    Among extant reptiles only two lineages are known to have evolved venom delivery systems, the advanced snakes and helodermatid lizards (Gila Monster and Beaded Lizard). Evolution of the venom system is thought to underlie the impressive radiation of the advanced snakes (2,500 of 3,000 snake species). In contrast, the lizard venom system is thought to be restricted to just two species and to have evolved independently from the snake venom system. Here we report the presence of venom toxins in two additional lizard lineages (Monitor Lizards and Iguania) and show that all lineages possessing toxin-secreting oral glands form a clade, demonstrating a single early origin of the venom system in lizards and snakes. Construction of gland complementary-DNA libraries and phylogenetic analysis of transcripts revealed that nine toxin types are shared between lizards and snakes. Toxinological analyses of venom components from the Lace Monitor Varanus varius showed potent effects on blood pressure and clotting ability, bioactivities associated with a rapid loss of consciousness and extensive bleeding in prey. The iguanian lizard Pogona barbata retains characteristics of the ancestral venom system, namely serial, lobular non-compound venom-secreting glands on both the upper and lower jaws, whereas the advanced snakes and anguimorph lizards (including Monitor Lizards, Gila Monster and Beaded Lizard) have more derived venom systems characterized by the loss of the mandibular (lower) or maxillary (upper) glands. Demonstration that the snakes, iguanians and anguimorphs form a single clade provides overwhelming support for a single, early origin of the venom system in lizards and snakes. These results provide new insights into the evolution of the venom system in squamate reptiles and open new avenues for biomedical research and drug design using hitherto unexplored venom proteins.

  7. Therapeutic potential of snake venom in cancer therapy: current perspectives.

    PubMed

    Vyas, Vivek Kumar; Brahmbhatt, Keyur; Bhatt, Hardik; Parmar, Utsav

    2013-02-01

    Many active secretions produced by animals have been employed in the development of new drugs to treat diseases such as hypertension and cancer. Snake venom toxins contributed significantly to the treatment of many medical conditions. There are many published studies describing and elucidating the anti-cancer potential of snake venom. Cancer therapy is one of the main areas for the use of protein peptides and enzymes originating from animals of different species. Some of these proteins or peptides and enzymes from snake venom when isolated and evaluated may bind specifically to cancer cell membranes, affecting the migration and proliferation of these cells. Some of substances found in the snake venom present a great potential as anti-tumor agent. In this review, we presented the main results of recent years of research involving the active compounds of snake venom that have anticancer activity.

  8. Snake venom metalloproteinases: structure, function and relevance to the mammalian ADAM/ADAMTS family proteins.

    PubMed

    Takeda, Soichi; Takeya, Hiroyuki; Iwanaga, Sadaaki

    2012-01-01

    Metalloproteinases are among the most abundant toxins in many Viperidae venoms. Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) are the primary factors responsible for hemorrhage and may also interfere with the hemostatic system, thus facilitating loss of blood from the vasculature of the prey. SVMPs are phylogenetically most closely related to mammalian ADAM (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase) and ADAMTS (ADAM with thrombospondin type-1 motif) family of proteins and, together with them, constitute the M12B clan of metalloendopeptidases. Large SVMPs, referred to as the P-III class of SVMPs, have a modular architecture with multiple non-catalytic domains. The P-III SVMPs are characterized by higher hemorrhagic and more diverse biological activities than the P-I class of SVMPs, which only have a catalytic domain. Recent crystallographic studies of P-III SVMPs and their mammalian counterparts shed new light on structure-function properties of this class of enzymes. The present review will highlight these structures, particularly the non-catalytic ancillary domains of P-III SVMPs and ADAMs that may target the enzymes to specific substrates. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Proteolysis 50years after the discovery of lysosome. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Mariam, Khafizova; Tu, Anthony T

    2002-12-01

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

  10. Species identification from dried snake venom.

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

  11. Unraveling snake venom complexity with 'omics' approaches: challenges and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Zelanis, André; Tashima, Alexandre Keiji

    2014-09-01

    The study of snake venom proteomes (venomics) has been experiencing a burst of reports, however the comprehensive knowledge of the dynamic range of proteins present within a single venom, the set of post-translational modifications (PTMs) as well as the lack of a comprehensive database related to venom proteins are among the main challenges in venomics research. The phenotypic plasticity in snake venom proteomes together with their inherent toxin proteoform diversity, points out to the use of integrative analysis in order to better understand their actual complexity. In this regard, such a systems venomics task should encompass the integration of data from transcriptomic and proteomic studies (specially the venom gland proteome), the identification of biological PTMs, and the estimation of artifactual proteomes and peptidomes generated by sample handling procedures.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-24

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  14. Proton NMR assignments and secondary structure of the snake venom protein echistatin

    SciTech Connect

    Yuan Chen; Baum, J. ); Pitzenberger, S.M.; Garsky, V.M.; Lumma, P.K.; Sanyal, G. )

    1991-12-17

    The snake venom protein echistatin is a potent inhibitor of platelet aggregation. The inhibitory properties of echistatin have been attributed to the Arg-Gly-Asp sequence at residues 24-26. In this paper, sequence-specific nuclear magnetic resonance assignments are presented for the proton resonances of echistatin in water. The single-chain protein contains 49 amino acids and 4 cystine bridges. All of the backbone amide, C{sub alpha}H, and side-chain resonances, except for the {eta}-NH of the arginines, have been assigned. The secondary structure of the protein was characterized from the pattern of nuclear Overhauser enhancements, from the identification of slowly exchanging amide protons, from {sup 3}J{sub c{alpha}H-NH} coupling constants, and from circular dichroism studies. The data suggest that the secondary structure consists of a type I {beta}-turn, a short {beta}-hairpin, and a short-, irregular, antiparallel {beta}-sheet and that the Arg-Gly-Asp sequence is in a flexible loop connecting two strands of the distorted antiparallel {beta}-sheet.

  15. [Bites of venomous snakes in Switzerland].

    PubMed

    Plate, Andreas; Kupferschmidt, Hugo; Schneemann, Markus

    2016-06-08

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

  16. Bitis gabonica (Gaboon viper) snake venom gland: toward a catalog for the full- length transcripts (cDNA) and proteins

    PubMed Central

    Francischetti, Ivo M. B.; My-Pham, Van; Harrison, Jim; Garfield, Mark K.; Ribeiro, José M. C.

    2010-01-01

    The venom gland of the snake Bitis gabonica (Gaboon viper) was used for the first time to construct a unidirectional cDNA phage library followed by high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatic analysis. Hundreds of cDNAs were obtained and clustered into contigs. We found mostly novel full-length cDNA coding for metalloproteases (P-II and P-III classes), Lys49-phospholipase A2, serine proteases with essential mutations in the active site, Kunitz protease inhibitors, several C-type lectins, bradykinin-potentiating peptide, vascular endothelial growth factor, nucleotidases and nucleases, nerve growth factor, and L-amino acid oxidases. Two new members of the recently described short coding region family of disintegrin, displaying RGD and MLD motifs are reported. In addition, we have identified for the first time a cytokine-like molecule and a multi-Kunitz protease inhibitor in snake venoms. The CLUSTAL alignment and the unrooted cladograms for selected families of B. gabonica venom proteins are also presented. A significant number of sequences were devoid of database matches, suggesting that their biologic function remains to be identified. This paper also reports the N-terminus of the 15 most abundant venom proteins and the sequences matching their corresponding transcripts. The electronic version of this manuscript, available on request, contains spreadsheets with hyperlinks to FASTA-formatted files for each contig and the best match to the GenBank and Conserved Domain Databases, in addition to CLUSTAL alignments of each contig. We have thus generated a comprehensive catalog of the B. gabonica venom gland, containing for each secreted protein: i) the predicted molecular weight, ii) the predicted isoelectric point, iii) the accession number, and iv) the putative function. The role of these molecules is discussed in the context of the envenomation caused by the Gaboon viper. PMID:15276202

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. [Snake venom metalloproteinases: structure, biosynthesis and function(s)].

    PubMed

    Limam, I; El Ayeb, M; Marrakchi, N

    2010-01-01

    The biochemical and the pharmacological characterization of snake venoms revealed an important structural and functional polymorphism of proteins which they contain. Among them, snake venom metalloproteases (SVMPs) constitute approximatively 20 to 60% of the whole venom proteins. During the last decades, a significant progress was performed against structure studies and the biosynthesis of the SVMPs. Indeed, several metalloproteases were isolated and characterized against their structural and pharmacological properties. In this review, we report the most important properties concerning the classification, the structure of the various domains of the SVMPs as well as their biosynthesis and their activities as potential therapeutic agents.

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

    PubMed

    Płusa, Tadeusz; Smędzik, Katarzyna

    2015-09-01

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

  2. Crovirin, a Snake Venom Cysteine-Rich Secretory Protein (CRISP) with Promising Activity against Trypanosomes and Leishmania

    PubMed Central

    Adade, Camila M.; Carvalho, Ana Lúcia O.; Tomaz, Marcelo A.; Costa, Tatiana F. R.; Godinho, Joseane L.; Melo, Paulo A.; Lima, Ana Paula C. A.; Rodrigues, Juliany C. F.; Zingali, Russolina B.; Souto-Padrón, Thaïs

    2014-01-01

    Background The neglected human diseases caused by trypanosomatids are currently treated with toxic therapy with limited efficacy. In search for novel anti-trypanosomatid agents, we showed previously that the Crotalus viridis viridis (Cvv) snake venom was active against infective forms of Trypanosoma cruzi. Here, we describe the purification of crovirin, a cysteine-rich secretory protein (CRISP) from Cvv venom with promising activity against trypanosomes and Leishmania. Methodology/Principal Findings Crude venom extract was loaded onto a reverse phase analytical (C8) column using a high performance liquid chromatographer. A linear gradient of water/acetonitrile with 0.1% trifluoroacetic acid was used. The peak containing the isolated protein (confirmed by SDS-PAGE and mass spectrometry) was collected and its protein content was measured. T. cruzi trypomastigotes and amastigotes, L. amazonensis promastigotes and amastigotes and T. brucei rhodesiense procyclic and bloodstream trypomastigotes were challenged with crovirin, whose toxicity was tested against LLC-MK2 cells, peritoneal macrophages and isolated murine extensor digitorum longus muscle. We purified a single protein from Cvv venom corresponding, according to Nano-LC MS/MS sequencing, to a CRISP of 24,893.64 Da, henceforth referred to as crovirin. Human infective trypanosomatid forms, including intracellular amastigotes, were sensitive to crovirin, with low IC50 or LD50 values (1.10–2.38 µg/ml). A considerably higher concentration (20 µg/ml) of crovirin was required to elicit only limited toxicity on mammalian cells. Conclusions This is the first report of CRISP anti-protozoal activity, and suggests that other members of this family might have potential as drugs or drug leads for the development of novel agents against trypanosomatid-borne neglected diseases. PMID:25330220

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-31

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-24

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

  6. Characterization of inflamin, the first member of a new family of snake venom proteins that induces inflammation.

    PubMed

    Barnwal, Bhaskar; Kini, R Manjunatha

    2013-10-15

    Unlike other sea snakes, Aipysurus eydouxii feeds exclusively on fish eggs. This unusual feeding habit prompted us to search for unique transcripts in their venom glands. In the present study we expressed a novel cysteine-rich secretory protein containing 94 amino acid residues that was identified in its cDNA library. As it induced inflammation and writhing in animals, this protein was named inflamin. It induced two waves of prostanoid production. The first wave peaked at 10 min and 6-oxo PGF1α (prostaglandin F1α) (6-keto PGF1α) was the major product. The second wave, specifically of 6-oxo PGF1α and PGE2 (prostanglandin E2), started after 2 h. In RAW 264.7 cells, COX-1 (cyclo-oxygenase-1) activity showed a transient increase at 10 min and is responsible for the first wave, but its expression was unaffected. COX-2 was induced after 3 h and is responsible for the second wave. Using specific inhibitors, we showed that cPLA2 (calcium-dependent phospholipase A2), and not sPLA2 (secretory phospholipase A2), iPLA2 (calcium-independent phospholipase A2) or DAG (diacylglycerol) lipase, plays a key role in arachidonate release. The cPLA2 activity showed a transient increase of 62% at 10 min; this increase was due to its phosphorylation and not due to an increase in its expression. Thus inflamin, the first member of a new family of snake venom proteins, leads to an increase in the cPLA2 and COX-1 activity resulting in inflammation and pain.

  7. Cysteine-rich secretory proteins in snake venoms form high affinity complexes with human and porcine beta-microseminoproteins.

    PubMed

    Hansson, Karin; Kjellberg, Margareta; Fernlund, Per

    2009-08-01

    BETA-microseminoprotein (MSP), a 10 kDa protein in human seminal plasma, binds human cysteine-rich secretory protein-3 (CRISP-3) with high affinity. CRISP-3 is a member of the family of CRISPs, which are widespread among animals. In this work we show that human as well as porcine MSP binds catrin, latisemin, pseudecin, and triflin, which are CRISPs present in the venoms of the snakes Crotalus atrox, Laticauda semifasciata, Pseudechis porphyriacus, and Trimeresurus flavoviridis, respectively. The CRISPs were purified from the venoms by affinity chromatography on a human MSP column and their identities were settled by gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. Their interactions with human and porcine MSPs were studied with size exclusion chromatography and surface plasmon resonance measurements. The binding affinities at 25 degrees C were between 10(-10)M and 10(-7)M for most of the interactions, with higher affinities for the interactions with porcine MSP compared to human MSP and with Elapidae CRISPs compared to Viperidae CRISPs. The high affinities of the bindings in spite of the differences in amino acid sequence between the MSPs as well as between the CRISPs indicate that the binding is tolerant to amino acid sequence variation and raise the question how universal this cross-species reaction between MSPs and CRISPs is.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Hydrolysis of DNA by 17 snake venoms.

    PubMed

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

    2003-08-01

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

  10. Revisiting Notechis scutatus venom: on shotgun proteomics and neutralization by the "bivalent" Sea Snake Antivenom.

    PubMed

    Tan, Choo Hock; Tan, Kae Yi; Tan, Nget Hong

    2016-07-20

    Recent advances in proteomics enable deep profiling of the compositional details of snake venoms for improved understanding on envenomation pathophysiology and immunological neutralization. In this study, the venom of Australian tiger snake (Notechis scutatus) was trypsin-digested in solution and subjected to nano-ESI-LCMS/MS. Applying a relative quantitative proteomic approach, the findings revealed a proteome comprising 42 toxin subtypes clustered into 12 protein families. Phospholipases A2 constitute the most abundant toxins (74.5% of total venom proteins) followed by Kunitz serine protease inhibitors (6.9%), snake venom serine proteases (5.9%), alpha-neurotoxins (5.6%) and several toxins of lower abundance. The proteome correlates with N. scutatus envenoming effects including pre-synaptic and post-synaptic neurotoxicity and consumptive coagulopathy. The venom is highly lethal in mice (intravenous median lethal dose=0.09μg/g). BioCSL Sea Snake Antivenom, raised against the venoms of beaked sea snake (Hydrophis schistosus) and N. scutatus (added for enhanced immunogenicity), neutralized the lethal effect of N. scutatus venom (potency=2.95mg/ml) much more effectively than the targeted H.schistosus venom (potency=0.48mg/ml). The combined venom immunogen may have improved the neutralization against phospholipases A2 which are abundant in both venoms, but not short-neurotoxins which are predominant only in H. schistosus venom. A shotgun proteomic approach adopted in this study revealed the compositional details of the venom of common tiger snake from Australia, Notechis scutatus. The proteomic findings provided additional information on the relative abundances of toxins and the detection of proteins of minor expression unreported previously. The potent lethal effect of the venom was neutralized by bioCSL Sea Snake Antivenom, an anticipated finding due to the fact that the Sea Snake Antivenom is actually bivalent in nature, being raised against a mix of venoms of the

  11. Snake Venom Disintegrins and Cell Migration

    PubMed Central

    Selistre-de-Araujo, Heloisa S.; Pontes, Carmen L. S.; Montenegro, Cyntia F.; Martin, Ana Carolina B. M.

    2010-01-01

    Cell migration is a key process for the defense of pluricellular organisms against pathogens, and it involves a set of surface receptors acting in an ordered fashion to contribute directionality to the movement. Among these receptors are the integrins, which connect the cell cytoskeleton to the extracellular matrix components, thus playing a central role in cell migration. Integrin clustering at focal adhesions drives actin polymerization along the cell leading edge, resulting in polarity of cell movement. Therefore, small integrin-binding proteins such as the snake venom disintegrins that inhibit integrin-mediated cell adhesion are expected to inhibit cell migration. Here we review the current knowledge on disintegrin and disintegrin-like protein effects on cell migration and their potential use as pharmacological tools in anti-inflammatory therapy as well as in inhibition of metastatic invasion. PMID:22069567

  12. 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

  13. Understanding Biological Roles of Venoms Among the Caenophidia: The Importance of Rear-Fanged Snakes.

    PubMed

    Mackessy, Stephen P; Saviola, Anthony J

    2016-11-01

    Snake venoms represent an adaptive trophic response to the challenges confronting a limbless predator for overcoming combative prey, and this chemical means of subduing prey shows several dominant phenotypes. Many front-fanged snakes, particularly vipers, feed on various vertebrate and invertebrate prey species, and some of their venom components (e.g., metalloproteinases, cobratoxin) appear to have been selected for "broad-brush" incapacitation of different prey taxa. Using proteomic and genomic techniques, the compositional diversity of front-fanged snakes is becoming well characterized; however, this is not the case for most rear-fanged colubroid snakes. Because these species consume a high diversity of prey, and because venoms are primarily a trophic adaptation, important clues for understanding specific selective pressures favoring venom component composition will be found among rear-fanged snake venoms. Rear-fanged snakes typically (but not always) produce venoms with lower complexity than front-fanged snakes, and there are even fewer dominant (and, arguably, biologically most relevant) venom protein families. We have demonstrated taxon-specific toxic effects, where lizards and birds show high susceptibility while mammals are largely unaffected, for both Old World and New World rear-fanged snakes, strongly indicating a causal link between toxin evolution and prey preference. New data are presented on myotoxin a, showing that the extremely rapid paralysis induced by this rattlesnake toxin is specific for rodents, and that myotoxin a is ineffectual against lizards. Relatively few rear-fanged snake venoms have been characterized, and basic natural history data are largely lacking, but directed sampling of specialized species indicates that novel compounds are likely among these specialists, particularly among those species feeding on invertebrate prey such as scorpions and centipedes. Because many of the more than 2200 species of colubroid snakes are rear

  14. Pro-inflammatory activities in elapid snake venoms.

    PubMed Central

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

    1994-01-01

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

  15. Vintage venoms: proteomic and pharmacological stability of snake venoms stored for up to eight decades.

    PubMed

    Jesupret, Clémence; Baumann, Kate; Jackson, Timothy N W; Ali, Syed Abid; Yang, Daryl C; Greisman, Laura; Kern, Larissa; Steuten, Jessica; Jouiaei, Mahdokht; Casewell, Nicholas R; Undheim, Eivind A B; Koludarov, Ivan; Debono, Jordan; Low, Dolyce H W; Rossi, Sarah; Panagides, Nadya; Winter, Kelly; Ignjatovic, Vera; Summerhayes, Robyn; Jones, Alun; Nouwens, Amanda; Dunstan, Nathan; Hodgson, Wayne C; Winkel, Kenneth D; Monagle, Paul; Fry, Bryan Grieg

    2014-06-13

    For over a century, venom samples from wild snakes have been collected and stored around the world. However, the quality of storage conditions for "vintage" venoms has rarely been assessed. The goal of this study was to determine whether such historical venom samples are still biochemically and pharmacologically viable for research purposes, or if new sample efforts are needed. In total, 52 samples spanning 5 genera and 13 species with regional variants of some species (e.g., 14 different populations of Notechis scutatus) were analysed by a combined proteomic and pharmacological approach to determine protein structural stability and bioactivity. When venoms were not exposed to air during storage, the proteomic results were virtually indistinguishable from that of fresh venom and bioactivity was equivalent or only slightly reduced. By contrast, a sample of Acanthophis antarcticus venom that was exposed to air (due to a loss of integrity of the rubber stopper) suffered significant degradation as evidenced by the proteomics profile. Interestingly, the neurotoxicity of this sample was nearly the same as fresh venom, indicating that degradation may have occurred in the free N- or C-terminus chains of the proteins, rather than at the tips of loops where the functional residues are located. These results suggest that these and other vintage venom collections may be of continuing value in toxin research. This is particularly important as many snake species worldwide are declining due to habitat destruction or modification. For some venoms (such as N. scutatus from Babel Island, Flinders Island, King Island and St. Francis Island) these were the first analyses ever conducted and these vintage samples may represent the only venom ever collected from these unique island forms of tiger snakes. Such vintage venoms may therefore represent the last remaining stocks of some local populations and thus are precious resources. These venoms also have significant historical value as

  16. Investigating possible biological targets of Bj-CRP, the first cysteine-rich secretory protein (CRISP) isolated from Bothrops jararaca snake venom.

    PubMed

    Lodovicho, Marina E; Costa, Tássia R; Bernardes, Carolina P; Menaldo, Danilo L; Zoccal, Karina F; Carone, Sante E; Rosa, José C; Pucca, Manuela B; Cerni, Felipe A; Arantes, Eliane C; Tytgat, Jan; Faccioli, Lúcia H; Pereira-Crott, Luciana S; Sampaio, Suely V

    2017-01-04

    Cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISPs) are commonly described as part of the protein content of snake venoms, nevertheless, so far, little is known about their biological targets and functions. Our study describes the isolation and characterization of Bj-CRP, the first CRISP isolated from Bothrops jararaca snake venom, also aiming at the identification of possible targets for its actions. Bj-CRP was purified using three chromatographic steps (Sephacryl S-200, Source 15Q and C18) and showed to be an acidic protein of 24.6kDa with high sequence identity to other snake venom CRISPs. This CRISP was devoid of proteolytic, hemorrhagic or coagulant activities, and it did not affect the currents from 13 voltage-gated potassium channel isoforms. Conversely, Bj-CRP induced inflammatory responses characterized by increase of leukocytes, mainly neutrophils, after 1 and 4h of its injection in the peritoneal cavity of mice, also stimulating the production of IL-6. Bj-CRP also acted on the human complement system, modulating some of the activation pathways and acting directly on important components (C3 and C4), thus inducing the generation of anaphylatoxins (C3a, C4a and C5a). Therefore, our results for Bj-CRP open up prospects for better understanding this class of toxins and its biological actions.

  17. Effect of suramin on myotoxicity of some crotalid snake venoms.

    PubMed

    Arruda, E Z; Silva, N M V; Moraes, R A M; Melo, P A

    2002-06-01

    We investigated the protective effect of suramin, an enzyme inhibitor and an uncoupler of G protein from receptors, on the myotoxic activity in mice of different crotalid snake venoms (A.c. laticinctus, C.v. viridis, C.d. terrificus, B. jararacussu, B. moojeni, B. alternatus, B. jararaca, L. muta). Myotoxicity was evaluated in vivo by injecting im the venoms (0.5 or 1.0 mg/kg) dissolved in physiological saline solution (0.1 ml) and measuring plasma creatine kinase (CK) activity. Two experimental approaches were used in mice (N = 5 for each group). In protocol A, 1 mg of each venom was incubated with 1.0 mg suramin (15 min, 37 degrees C, in vitro), and then injected im into the mice at a dose of 1.0 mg/kg (in vivo). In protocol B, venoms, 1.0 mg/kg, were injected im 15 min prior to suramin (1.0 mg/kg, iv). Before and 2 h after the im injection blood was collected by orbital puncture. Plasma was separated and stored at 4 degrees C for determination of CK activity using a diagnostic kit from Sigma. Preincubation of some venoms (C.v. viridis, A.c. laticinctus, C.d. terrificus and B. jararacussu) with suramin reduced (37-76%) the increase in plasma CK, except for B. alternatus, B. jararaca or L. muta venoms. Injection of suramin after the venom partially protected (34-51%) against the myotoxicity of B. jararacussu, A.c. laticinctus and C.d. terrificus venom, and did not protect against C.v. viridis, L. muta, B. moojeni, B. alternatus or B. jararaca venoms. These results show that suramin has an antimyotoxic effect against some, but not all the North and South American crotalid snake venoms studied here.

  18. Restriction and recruitment-gene duplication and the origin and evolution of snake venom toxins.

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-26

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. A Heterologous Multiepitope DNA Prime/Recombinant Protein Boost Immunisation Strategy for the Development of an Antiserum against Micrurus corallinus (Coral Snake) Venom

    PubMed Central

    Ramos, Henrique Roman; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio de Loiola M.; Novo, Juliana Branco; Castro, Karen; Duarte, Clara Guerra; Machado-de-Ávila, Ricardo A.; Chavez-Olortegui, Carlos; Ho, Paulo Lee

    2016-01-01

    Background Envenoming by coral snakes (Elapidae: Micrurus), although not abundant, represent a serious health threat in the Americas, especially because antivenoms are scarce. The development of adequate amounts of antielapidic serum for the treatment of accidents caused by snakes like Micrurus corallinus is a challenging task due to characteristics such as low venom yield, fossorial habit, relatively small sizes and ophiophagous diet. These features make it difficult to capture and keep these snakes in captivity for venom collection. Furthermore, there are reports of antivenom scarcity in USA, leading to an increase in morbidity and mortality, with patients needing to be intubated and ventilated while the toxin wears off. The development of an alternative method for the production of an antielapidic serum, with no need for snake collection and maintenance in captivity, would be a plausible solution for the antielapidic serum shortage. Methods and Findings In this work we describe the mapping, by the SPOT-synthesis technique, of potential B-cell epitopes from five putative toxins from M. corallinus, which were used to design two multiepitope DNA strings for the genetic immunisation of female BALB/c mice. Results demonstrate that sera obtained from animals that were genetically immunised with these multiepitope constructs, followed by booster doses of recombinant proteins lead to a 60% survival in a lethal dose neutralisation assay. Conclusion Here we describe that the genetic immunisation with a synthetic multiepitope gene followed by booster doses with recombinant protein is a promising approach to develop an alternative antielapidic serum against M. corallinus venom without the need of collection and the very challenging maintenance of these snakes in captivity. PMID:26938217

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

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez, José María

    2002-06-01

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

  4. Strong and widespread action of site-specific positive selection in the snake venom Kunitz/BPTI protein family

    PubMed Central

    Župunski, Vera; Kordiš, Dušan

    2016-01-01

    S1 family of serine peptidases is the largest family of peptidases. They are specifically inhibited by the Kunitz/BPTI inhibitors. Kunitz domain is characterized by the compact 3D structure with the most important inhibitory loops for the inhibition of S1 peptidases. In the present study we analysed the action of site-specific positive selection and its impact on the structurally and functionally important parts of the snake venom Kunitz/BPTI family of proteins. By using numerous models we demonstrated the presence of large numbers of site-specific positively selected sites that can reach between 30–50% of the Kunitz domain. The mapping of the positively selected sites on the 3D model of Kunitz/BPTI inhibitors has shown that these sites are located in the inhibitory loops 1 and 2, but also in the Kunitz scaffold. Amino acid replacements have been found exclusively on the surface, and the vast majority of replacements are causing the change of the charge. The consequence of these replacements is the change in the electrostatic potential on the surface of the Kunitz/BPTI proteins that may play an important role in the precise targeting of these inhibitors into the active site of S1 family of serine peptidases. PMID:27841308

  5. Western Immunoblot Analysis of Twenty-One Snake Venoms from Three Snake Families

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-05-01

    rattlesnake (Crotalus durissus terrificus), using enzyme-linked immuno- sorbent assay (ELISA) and double immunodiffusion ", Toxicon, 19 (1981) pp. 131...5, 11). Unlike immunoelectrophoresis and immunodiffusion , Western immunoblotting allows relatively easy determination of the size and number of...completely neglected area in the cross-reactive analysis of snake venom proteins. Previously, only immunoelectrophoresis and immunodiffusion assays

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Venom down under: dynamic evolution of Australian elapid snake toxins.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-18

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

  8. Unraveling the processing and activation of snake venom metalloproteinases.

    PubMed

    Portes-Junior, José A; Yamanouye, Norma; Carneiro, Sylvia M; Knittel, Paloma S; Sant'Anna, Sávio S; Nogueira, Fabio C S; Junqueira, Magno; Magalhães, Geraldo S; Domont, Gilberto B; Moura-da-Silva, Ana M

    2014-07-03

    Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) are zinc-dependent enzymes responsible for most symptoms of human envenoming. Like matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and a disintegrin and metalloproteinase (ADAM) proteins, SVMPs are synthesized as zymogens, and enzyme activation is regulated by hydrolysis of their prodomain, but the processing of SVMPs is still unclear. In this study, we attempted to identify the presence of prodomain in different compartments of snake venom glands as zymogens or in the free form to elucidate some mechanism involved in SVMP activation. Using antibodies obtained by immunization with a recombinant prodomain, bands of zymogen molecular mass and prodomain peptides were detected mostly in gland extracts all along the venom production cycle and in the venom collected from the lumen at the peak of venom production. Prodomain was detected in secretory cells mostly in the secretory vesicles near the Golgi. We hypothesize that the processing of SVMPs starts within secretory vesicles and continues in the lumen of the venom gland just after enzyme secretion and involves different steps compared to ADAMs and MMPs but can be used as a model for studying the relevance of peptides resulting from prodomain processing and degradation for controlling the activity of metalloproteinases.

  9. A comparative in silico characterization of functional and physicochemical properties of 3FTx (three finger toxin) proteins from four venomous snakes

    PubMed Central

    Roly, Zahida Yesmin; Islam, Md Mahmudul; Reza, Md Abu

    2014-01-01

    Snake venom is an abundant resource of diverse pharmacologically bioactive proteins and peptides and a good natural source of drug lead compounds and used as important research tools in the field of toxicology, pharmacology and neuroscience. Three finger toxins (3FTx) is an important super-family of snake venom proteins which has a conserved three finger like appearance in three dimensional structures. Members of 3FTx family show a wide array of pharmacological effects by targeting different receptors and ion channels with high specificity and many of them are being investigated as potential drug target. Therefore, with a vision to verdict a new edge and attempt we determined the amino acid compositional (%) profile, physiochemical properties, secondary structural and functional analysis and phylogenetic relationship of three finger toxins present in four different elapid snake species namely, Naja naja, Astrotia stokesii, Hydrophis cyanocintus and Pelamis platura using different bioinformatics tools. From the outcome of the current studies, it will be possible to know about a range of biological functions which are responsible mainly for the glowing amino acid composition profile of these proteins. Amino acid composition (%) profile although represents differential amount of different amino acid residues which encompasses a family precise model but all the protein sequence have a conserved amount of cysteine. The analysis of physicochemical properties can be used as a basic approach to contribute in developing rational drug through protein engineering and understanding different physiological function which will be beneficial for the welfare of human being. PMID:24966535

  10. Molecular characterization of metalloproteases from Bothrops alternatus snake venom.

    PubMed

    de Paula, Fernando Fonseca Pereira; Ribeiro, Juliana Uema; Santos, Livia Mara; de Souza, Dulce Helena Ferreira; Leonardecz, Eduardo; Henrique-Silva, Flávio; Selistre-de-Araújo, Heloisa Sobreiro

    2014-12-01

    We have previously demonstrated that alternagin-C (ALT-C), a disintegrin-like, Cys-rich protein isolated from Bothrops alternatus snake venom, induces human vascular endothelial cell (HUVEC) proliferation and angiogenesis in in vitro and in vivo assays. Therefore this protein could be interesting as a new approach for tissue regeneration studies. However, its primary sequence was not completely determined since the protein isolated from crude venom is usually a mixture of isoforms. Here we describe the transcriptome analysis of B. alternatus from the venom glands of a single male specimen. About 800 good-quality contigs were screened for snake venom metalloproteases/disintegrins, resulting in the following expression profile for these enzymes: 4% for P-I, 7% for P-II and 89% for P-III SVMPs. The PII-SVMP sequence code for RGD-disintegrins and all the expressed PIII-sequences have the ECD adhesive motif. A cDNA sequence coding for an ALT-C homolog was completely sequenced and characterized. Comparative sequence and structural analyses suggested new features that distinguish SVMP classes such as two prolyl endopetidase cleavage sites. All these data add new information on the expression pattern of metalloproteases of B. alternatus venom and may have practical applications for the production of recombinant disintegrins for cell adhesion studies. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Snakebite and Snake Venom Ophthalmia

    PubMed Central

    Ajao, O.G.; Hawtin, J.G.

    1980-01-01

    Snakebite is not necessarily snake envenomation. Of about 2,500 known species of snakes, only about 40 are regarded as being dangerous. A snake will not go out of its way to attack a person and even in defense, snakes bite humans usually to dissuade and not to kill. Early surgical excision of the bitten area is regarded as a most important aspect in the management of a poisonous snakebite, and because of the side effects of horse serum, cautious use of antivenin is advised only in cases of severe systemic poisoning. When a snake spits into the eyes, prompt treatment is indicated to prevent future blindness. ImagesFigure 1Figure 2Figure 3 PMID:6968356

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-17

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Australian tiger snake (Notechis scutatus) and mexican coral snake (Micruris species) antivenoms prevent death from United States coral snake (Micrurus fulvius fulvius) venom in a mouse model.

    PubMed

    Wisniewski, Michael S; Hill, Robert E; Havey, Joshua M; Bogdan, Gregory M; Dart, Richard C

    2003-01-01

    Wyeth-Ayerst has discontinued production of Antivenin (Micrurus fulvius). Currently, there is no other approved coral snake antivenom available in the United States. This study was a randomized, placebo-controlled and blinded determination of the ability of a Mexican Micrurus (coral snake) antivenom and an Australian Notechis (tiger snake) antivenom to prevent lethality from a United States Micrurus fulvius fulvius venom in a mouse model. Venom dosing was based on an LD50 determined for this experiment. Our comparison groups included: (1) M. f. fulvius venom + Micrurus antivenom, (2) M. f. fulvius venom + Notechis antivenom, (3) M. f. fulvius venom + protein control, (4) 0.9% normal saline + protein control, (5) saline + Notechis antivenom, (6) saline + Micrurus antivenom. Venom dose was 5 times the determined LD50. The antivenom amounts were capable of neutralizing 10 times the venom injected (50 times the LD50). The LD50 of M. f. fulvius venom was determined to be 0.85 mg/kg. All mice in both antivenom test groups were protected from lethality for the entire 24-hour observation period. Six of the 7 mice in the venom test group died, with a survival time of 349 +/- 382 minutes (mean +/- s.d.) after the venom injection. All three groups of control mice survived the entire 24-hour observation period. Mexican Micrurus antivenom and Australian Notechis antivenom provide protection from lethality in mice envenomated with a United States M. f. filvius venom.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-07-01

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

  18. Venomous Snake Bites in Japan

    PubMed Central

    Yasunaga, Hideo; Horiguchi, Hiromasa; Kuwabara, Kazuaki; Hashimoto, Hideki; Matsuda, Shinya

    2011-01-01

    Few reliable data are available on the incidence of snake bites in developing and developed nations. Insufficient epidemiologic data have hindered the recognition of snake bite as an important public health issue. We verified statistics of snake bites (mamushi and habu bites) in Japan by using a currently available, nationally representative, hospital-based database. We identified 1,670 inpatients with snake bites from 404 hospitals during July 1–December 31 in 2007 and 2008. More than 60% were males, the average age was 60.1 years, and the in-hospital mortality rate was 0.2%. The incidence of mamushi bite, distributed between latitudes 30°N and 46°N, was estimated to be 1.67 bites/100,000/6 months. It is important to continue collecting all available data to monitor the trends of this life-threatening disease. PMID:21212215

  19. Modulation of integrin-binding selectivity by mutation within the RGD-loop of snake venom proteins: a novel drug development approach.

    PubMed

    Lu, X; Lu, D; Scully, M F; Kakkar, V V

    2003-06-01

    Integrins are a family of heterodimeric class I transmembrane receptors, many of which bind to the RGD sequence in adhesive proteins and mediate the adhesive interactions of a variety of cells. The RGD motif has also been found in snake venom proteins that specifically inhibit integrin binding function and serve as potent integrin antagonists. The majority of these proteins interact with beta1 and beta3 associated integrins and their potency is at least 500-2000 times higher than short RGD peptides. Structural and functional studies suggest that the inhibitory potency of these proteins lies in subtle positional requirements of the tripeptide RGD that is harboured in a defined flexible loop. The integrin-binding specificity and selectivity of each of the proteins is controlled by amino acid residues in this loop in close vicinity to the RGD-motif. The review includes an overview of the structure and function of snake-venom integrin antagonists. The ability of these proteins to control platelet aggregation, cell adhesion and ligand binding is compared to that of short linear, cyclic RGD-peptides and RGD-containing proteins and the influence of modulation of amino acid residues flanking the RGD motif is also considered. The review is intended to provide insight into the development of novel inhibitors as drugs.

  20. 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

  1. The humoral immune response induced by snake venom toxins.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Wilmar Dias; Tambourgi, Denise V

    2011-10-01

    This review summarizes the key contributions to our knowledge regarding the immune response induced by snake venom toxins, focusing particularly on the production of antibodies and their venom-neutralizing effects. We cover the past and present state of the art of anti-snake venom production, followed by an overview of the venomous snakes and their venoms. The toxic properties of relevant snake venom toxins are approached in some details, with particular emphasis on the molecular domains responsible for binding to cells or plasma components in victims. The interactions of these domains are also reviewed, particularly the putatively relevant epitopes, along with the immune system and the resulting antibodies. We also review trials aimed at reducing the quantities of non-relevant antibodies in the antivenoms by substituting whole venoms with purified toxins to immunize animals, or the immunogenicity of the heterologous antivenom antibodies by humanizing their molecules.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

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

  3. Snake venoms. The amino-acid sequence of protein S5C4 from Dendroaspis jamesoni kaimosae (Jameson's mamba) venom.

    PubMed

    Joubert, F J; Strydom, A J; Taljaard, N

    1978-06-01

    A major component (S5C4) was purified from Jameson's mamba by gel filtration on Sephadex G-50 and by ion-exchange chromotography on CM-cellulose. Protein S5C4 contains 60 amino acid residues and is cross-linked by four intrachain disulphide bridges. The complete primary structure of the protein has been elucidated. The toxicities, the immunochemical properties, the sequence and the invariant amino acid residues of protein S5C4 resemble subgroup II of the angusticeps-type proteins.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-30

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2005-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-09

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-07

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Effects of gamma radiation on snake venoms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1998-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  16. Antibacterial properties of KwaZulu natal snake venoms.

    PubMed

    Blaylock, R S

    2000-11-01

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

  17. Preclinical testing of Peruvian anti-bothropic anti-venom against Bothrops andianus snake venom.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Francisco S; Starling, Maria C; Duarte, Clara G; Machado de Avila, Ricardo; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes; Silva Suarez, Walter; Tintaya, Benigno; Flores Garrido, Karin; Seraylan Ormachea, Silvia; Yarleque, Armando; Bonilla, César; Chávez-Olórtegui, Carlos

    2012-11-01

    Bothrops andianus is a venomous snake found in the area of Machu Picchu (Peru). Its venom is not included in the antigenic pool used for production of the Peruvian anti-bothropic anti-venom. B. andianus venom can elicit many biological effects such as hemorrhage, hemolysis, proteolytic activity and lethality. The Peruvian anti-bothropic anti-venom displays consistent cross-reactivity with B. andianus venom, by ELISA and Western Blotting and is also effective in neutralizing the venom's toxic activities. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-08-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Proteomic characterization and comparison of venoms from two elapid snakes (Bungarus multicinctus and Naja atra) from China.

    PubMed

    Shan, Lin-Lin; Gao, Jian-Fang; Zhang, Yan-Xia; Shen, Shan-Shan; He, Ying; Wang, Jin; Ma, Xiao-Mei; Ji, Xiang

    2016-04-14

    Bungarus multicinctus (many-banded krait) and Naja atra (Chinese cobra) are widely distributed and medically important venomous snakes in China; however, their venom proteomic profiles have not been fully compared. Here, we fractionated crude venoms and analyzed them using a combination of proteomic techniques. Three-finger toxins (3-FTx) and phospholipase A2 (PLA2) were most abundant in both species, respectively accounting for 32.6% and 66.4% of total B. multicinctus venom, and 84.3% and 12.2% of total N. atra venom. Venoms from these two species contained one common protein family and six less abundant species-specific protein families. The proteomic profiles of B. multicinctus and N. atra venoms and analysis of toxicological activity in mice suggested that 3-FTx and PLA2 are the major contributors to clinical symptoms caused by envenomation. The venoms differed in enzymatic activity, likely the result of inter-specific variation in the amount of related venom components. Antivenomics assessment revealed that a small number of venom components (3-FTxs and PLA2s in B. multicinctus, and 3-FTxs in N. atra) could not be immunocaptured completely, suggesting that we should pay attention to enhancing the immune response of these components in designing commercial antivenoms for B. multicinctus and N. atra. The proteomic profiles of venoms from two medically important snake species - B. multicinctus and N. atra - have been explored. Quantitative and qualitative differences are evident in both venoms when proteomic profiles and transcriptomic results are compared; this is a reminder that combined approaches are needed to explore the precise composition of snake venom. Two protein families (3-FTx and PLA2) of high abundance in these snake venoms are major players in the biochemical and pharmacological effects of envenomation. Elucidation of the proteomic profiles of these snake venoms is helpful in understanding composition-function relationships and will facilitate the

  5. Evolution of an arsenal: structural and functional diversification of the venom system in the advanced snakes (Caenophidia).

    PubMed

    Fry, Bryan G; Scheib, Holger; van der Weerd, Louise; Young, Bruce; McNaughtan, Judith; Ramjan, S F Ryan; Vidal, Nicolas; Poelmann, Robert E; Norman, Janette A

    2008-02-01

    Venom is a key innovation underlying the evolution of advanced snakes (Caenophidia). Despite this, very little is known about venom system structural diversification, toxin recruitment event timings, or toxin molecular evolution. A multidisciplinary approach was used to examine the diversification of the venom system and associated toxins across the full range of the approximately 100 million-year-old advanced snake clade with a particular emphasis upon families that have not secondarily evolved a front-fanged venom system ( approximately 80% of the 2500 species). Analysis of cDNA libraries revealed complex venom transcriptomes containing multiple toxin types including three finger toxins, cobra venom factor, cysteine-rich secretory protein, hyaluronidase, kallikrein, kunitz, lectin, matrix metalloprotease, phospholipase A(2), snake venom metalloprotease/a disintegrin and metalloprotease, and waprin. High levels of sequence diversity were observed, including mutations in structural and functional residues, changes in cysteine spacing, and major deletions/truncations. Morphological analysis comprising gross dissection, histology, and magnetic resonance imaging also demonstrated extensive modification of the venom system architecture in non-front-fanged snakes in contrast to the conserved structure of the venom system within the independently evolved front-fanged elapid or viperid snakes. Further, a reduction in the size and complexity of the venom system was observed in species in which constriction has been secondarily evolved as the preferred method of prey capture or dietary preference has switched from live prey to eggs or to slugs/snails. Investigation of the timing of toxin recruitment events across the entire advanced snake radiation indicates that the evolution of advanced venom systems in three front-fanged lineages is associated with recruitment of new toxin types or explosive diversification of existing toxin types. These results support the role of venom

  6. Snake venom derived molecules in tumor angiogenesis and its application in cancer therapy; an overview.

    PubMed

    Dhananjaya, B L; Sivashankari, P R

    2015-01-01

    Snake venom is a complex mixture of biologically and pharmacologically active components, comprising hydrolytic enzymes, non-enzymatic proteins/peptides, and small amounts of organic and inorganic molecules. The venom components are known to vary with geographic location, season, species and age of the snakes. The role of the venom in the snake is not primarily for self-defense, but in prey immobilization and its subsequent digestion. Hence, several digestive enzymes in venoms, in addition to their hydrolytic activity have evolved to interfere in diverse physiological processes that help in the immobilization of prey/victim. As snake components are capable of modulating the physiological response of envenomated prey/victim, they show promise as potential pharmacological tools, as drug leads and in diagnostic applications. This, in a practical sense to be a reality has to be linked to the advances in toxinology that provide investigators with an understanding of the pharmacodynamics of toxins together with improved understanding of the etiology of many human diseases and identification of potential sites for therapeutic intervention. This review aims at providing an overview on snake venom toxins and their derivatives that have potential anti-angiogenic effects for cancer treatment. Some of the anti-angiogenic components of snake venom like Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs), Disintegrins, Phospholipases A2 (PLA2), CType Lectins (CLP), Vascular Apoptosis inducing Proteins (VAP) and L-Amino Acid Oxidases (LAAO) are discussed. This review aims at giving an overall view of these molecules and their mechanism of action as an effective antiangiogenic agent towards the treatment of cancer.

  7. Cross neutralization of coral snake venoms by commercial Australian snake antivenoms.

    PubMed

    Ramos, Henrique Roman; Vassão, Ruth Camargo; de Roodt, Adolfo Rafael; Santos E Silva, Ed Carlos; Mirtschin, Peter; Ho, Paulo Lee; Spencer, Patrick Jack

    2017-01-01

    Although rare, coral snake envenomation is a serious health threat in Brazil, because of the highly neurotoxic venom and the scarcely available antivenom. The major bottleneck for antivenom production is the low availability of venom. Furthermore, the available serum is not effective against all coral snake species found in Brazil. An alternative to circumvent the lack of venom for serum production and the restricted protection of the actually available antivenom would be of great value. We compared the Brazilian coral snake and mono and polyvalent Australian antivenoms in terms of reactivity and protection. The immunoreactivity of venoms from 9 coral snakes species were assayed by ELISA and western blot using the Brazilian Micrurus and the Australian pentavalent as well as monovalent anti-Notechis, Oxyuranus and Pseudechis antivenoms. Neutralization assays were performed in mice, using 3 LD50 of the venoms, incubated for 30 minutes with 100 μL of antivenom/animal. All the venoms reacted against the autologous and heterologous antivenoms. Nevertheless, the neutralization assays showed that the coral snake antivenom was only effective against M. corallinus, M. frontalis, M. fulvius, M. nigrocinctus and M. pyrrhocryptus venoms. On the other hand, the Australian pentavalent antivenom neutralized all venoms except the one from M. spixii. A combination of anti-Oxyuranus and Pseudechis monovalent sera, extended the protection to M. altirostris and, partially, to M. ibiboboca. By adding Notechis antivenom to this mixture, we obtained full protection against M. ibiboboca and partial neutralization against M. lemniscatus venoms. Our findings confirm the limited effectiveness of the Brazilian coral snake antivenom and indicate that antivenoms made from Australian snakes venoms are an effective alternative for coral snake bites in South America and also in the United States were coral snake antivenom production has been discontinued.

  8. Venom yields from Australian and some other species of snakes.

    PubMed

    Mirtschin, Peter J; Dunstan, Nathan; Hough, Ben; Hamilton, Ewan; Klein, Sharna; Lucas, Jonathan; Millar, David; Madaras, Frank; Nias, Timothy

    2006-08-01

    The wet and dry venom yields for most Australian native dangerous snakes and a number of non-Australian species are presented. Snakes from the Pseudonaja genus yielded higher than previously published amounts and suggest reconsideration be given to increasing the volume of antivenom in each vial. Higher percentage solids were obtained from venoms from the 4 cobra species (Naja) and Pseudechis genus included in this series.

  9. Proteomic comparisons of venoms of long-term captive and recently wild-caught Eastern brown snakes (Pseudonaja textilis) indicate venom does not change due to captivity.

    PubMed

    McCleary, Ryan J R; Sridharan, Sindhuja; Dunstan, Nathan L; Mirtschin, Peter J; Kini, R Manjunatha

    2016-07-20

    Snake venom is a highly variable phenotypic character, and its variation and rapid evolution are important because of human health implications. Because much snake antivenom is produced from captive animals, understanding the effects of captivity on venom composition is important. Here, we have evaluated toxin profiles from six long-term (LT) captive and six recently wild-caught (RC) eastern brown snakes, Pseudonaja textilis, utilizing gel electrophoresis, HPLC-MS, and shotgun proteomics. We identified proteins belonging to the three-finger toxins, group C prothrombin activators, Kunitz-type serine protease inhibitors, and phospholipases A2, among others. Although crude venom HPLC analysis showed LT snakes to be higher in some small molecular weight toxins, presence/absence patterns showed no correlation with time in captivity. Shotgun proteomics indicated the presence of similar toxin families among individuals but with variation in protein species. Although no venom sample contained all the phospholipase A2 subunits that form the textilotoxin, all did contain both prothrombin activator subunits. This study indicates that captivity has limited effects on venom composition, that venom variation is high, and that venom composition may be correlated to geographic distribution. Through proteomic comparisons, we show that protein variation within LT and RC groups of snakes (Pseudonaja textilis) is high, thereby resulting in no discernible differences in venom composition between groups. We utilize complementary techniques to characterize the venom proteomes of 12 individual snakes from our study area, and indicate that individuals captured close to one another have more similar venom gel electrophoresis patterns than those captured at more distant locations. These data are important for understanding natural variation in and potential effects of captivity on venom composition. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Analysis of lectin-bound glycoproteins in snake venom from the Elapidae and Viperidae families.

    PubMed

    Nawarak, Jiraporn; Phutrakul, Suree; Chen, Shui-Tein

    2004-01-01

    This paper describes an efficient method of studying the glycoproteins found in snake venom. The glycosylation profiles of the Elapidae and Viperidae snake families were analyzed using FITC-labeled lectin glycoconjugates. The Con A-agarose affinity enrichment technique was used to fractionate glycoproteins from the N. naja kaouthia venom. The results revealed a large number of Con A binding glycoproteins, most of which have moderate to high molecular weights. To identify the proteins, the isolated glycoprotein fractions were subjected to two-dimensional electrophoresis and MALDI-TOF MS. Protein sequences were compared with published protein databases to determine for their biological functions.

  11. Interrogating the Venom of the Viperid Snake Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii by a Combined Approach of Electrospray and MALDI Mass Spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Chapeaurouge, Alex; Reza, Md Abu; Mackessy, Stephen P.; Carvalho, Paulo C.; Valente, Richard H.; Teixeira-Ferreira, André; Perales, Jonas; Lin, Qingsong; Kini, R. Manjunatha

    2015-01-01

    The complete sequence characterization of snake venom proteins by mass spectrometry is rather challenging due to the presence of multiple isoforms from different protein families. In the present study, we investigated the tryptic digest of the venom of the viperid snake Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii by a combined approach of liquid chromatography coupled to either electrospray (online) or MALDI (offline) mass spectrometry. These different ionization techniques proved to be complementary allowing the identification a great variety of isoforms of diverse snake venom protein families, as evidenced by the detection of the corresponding unique peptides. For example, ten out of eleven predicted isoforms of serine proteinases of the venom of S. c. edwardsii were distinguished using this approach. Moreover, snake venom protein families not encountered in a previous transcriptome study of the venom gland of this snake were identified. In essence, our results support the notion that complementary ionization techniques of mass spectrometry allow for the detection of even subtle sequence differences of snake venom proteins, which is fundamental for future structure-function relationship and possible drug design studies. PMID:25955844

  12. Immunogenicity of venoms from four common snakes in the South of Vietnam and development of ELISA kit for venom detection.

    PubMed

    Van Dong, Le; Quyen, Le Khac; Eng, Khoo Hoon; Gopalakrishnakone, P

    2003-11-01

    The antigenicity and antigenic relationship between venoms of four common snakes in the South of Vietnam-Trimeresurus popeorum, Calloselasma rhodostoma, Naja naja and Ophiophagus hannah-were studied. Most of venom components expressed antigenicity and produced high titre antivenoms. The venoms share common components and antivenoms cross-reacted along them. Furthermore, cross-reactions were observed among non-common antigens, indicating that they share common epitopes. Hence, using single component as immunogen for species diagnosis of snakebites can reduce cross-reaction, perhaps may not be totally specific. A three-step affinity purification protocol was set up for preparation of species-specific antivenom antibodies. The steps involved affinity chromatography of IgG from hyper-immunized rabbit sera with protein A columns, immuno-affinity chromatography of monovalent antivenom antibodies with respective homologous venom columns, and immuno-absorption of cross-species reacting antibody molecules with heterologous venom columns. The antibodies were then used for construction of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test kit. The kit can differentiate among the four common snake venoms in various types of samples with the detection limit of 0.2-1.6 ng/ml, depending on the type of samples and species of the snake. The efficacy of this kit for snake venom detection was successfully demonstrated in experimental envenomation in rats. Preliminary evaluation with 140 samples taken from 88 human snakebite victims in Vietnam showed that the kit could detect venom in human samples and would be a very useful tool for fast identification of snakebites in clinics.

  13. Development of dot-ELISA for the detection of venoms of major Indian venomous snakes.

    PubMed

    Shaikh, Innus K; Dixit, Prashant P; Pawade, Balasaheb S; Waykar, Indrasen G

    2017-10-09

    India remained an epicenter for the snakebite-related mortality and morbidities due to widespread agricultural activities across the country and a considerable number of snakebites offended by Indian cobra (Naja naja), common krait (Bungarus caeruleus), Russell's viper (Daboia russelii), and saw-scaled viper (Echis carinatus). Presently, there is no selective test available for the detection of snake envenomation in India before the administration of snake antivenin. Therefore, the present study aimed to develop rapid, sensitive assay for the management of snakebite, which can detect venom, responsible snake species and serve as a tool for the reasonable administration of snake antivenin, which have scarcity across the world. The selective envenomation detection assay needs venom specific antibodies (VSAbs) for that monovalent antisera was prepared by hyperimmunization of rabbits with specific venom. However, obtained antibodies exhibit maximum activity towards homologous venom as well as quantifiable degree of cross-reactivity with heterologous venoms. Use of these antibodies for development of selective envenomation detection assay may create ambiguity in results, therefore needs to isolate VSAbs from monovalent antisera. The cross-reacting antibodies were specifically removed by immunoaffinity chromatography to obtain VSAbs. For the development of venom detection ELISA test (VDET), two different species of antibodies were used that offers enhanced sensitivity along with selective identification of the venoms of the responsible snakes. In conclusion, the developed VDET is rapid, specific, yet sensitive to detect venoms of offending snake species, and its venom concentration down to 1.0 ng/ml. However, the device observed with lowest venom concentration detection ability in the range <1.0 ng/ml from experimentally envenomated samples. The implementation of VDET will help in avoiding unnecessary usage and adverse reactions of snake antivenin. The test has all the

  14. Neonate-to-adult transition of snake venomics in the short-tailed pit viper, Gloydius brevicaudus.

    PubMed

    Gao, Jian-Fang; Qu, Yan-Fu; Zhang, Xiu-Qin; He, Ying; Ji, Xiang

    2013-06-12

    Snake venoms undergo ontogenetic shifts in biochemical and pharmacological activities. This may be related to variation in venom components associated with the ontogenetic shift in diet. We used the short-tailed pit viper Gloydius brevicaudus that displays ontogenetic shifts in diet to examine whether the species displays a neonate-to-adult transition of snake venomics. Venoms from neonates and adults were pooled separately and then analyzed by 2-DE, MALDI-TOF-MS/MS and iTRAQ technologies. The 2-DE profiles showed that the main components in both types of venoms were acidic proteins, and that neonates and adults differed in snake venomics. The proteins with molecular masses/pI of ~12-39kDa/4.0-4.6, ~36-57kDa/5.6-7.0 and ~65-92kDa/4.5-5.8 were more abundant in the neonate venom, while the proteins with molecular masses/pI of ~12-19kDa/4.6-6.4, ~23-30kDa/5.4-6.3 and ~35-62kDa/4.6-5.4 were more abundant in the adult venom. The iTRAQ analysis showed quantitative changes in various toxin families, including mainly metalloproteinases, serine proteinases, phospholipase A2s and C-type lectins. The N-deglycosylation analysis demonstrated that glycosylation was an important post-translational modification of snake venom. Our results show a neonate-to-adult transition of snake venomics in G. brevicaudus. Such a transition might be driven by the divergence in dietary habits between neonates and adults. This study is first to demonstrate a neonate-to-adult transition of snake venomics in G. brevicaudus, and the results will be helpful in predicting and treating clinical pathologic symptoms caused by the snake at different developmental stages. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Label-Free (XIC) Quantification of Venom Procoagulant and Neurotoxin Expression in Related Australian Elapid Snakes Gives Insight into Venom Toxicity Evolution.

    PubMed

    Skejic, Jure; Steer, David L; Dunstan, Nathan; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2015-11-06

    This study demonstrates a direct role of venom protein expression alteration in the evolution of snake venom toxicity. Avian skeletal muscle contractile response to exogenously administered acetylcholine is completely inhibited upon exposure to South Australian and largely preserved following exposure to Queensland eastern brown snake Pseudonaja textilis venom, indicating potent postsynaptic neurotoxicity of the former and lack thereof of the latter venom. Label-free quantitative proteomics reveals extremely large differences in the expression of postsynaptic three-finger α-neurotoxins in these venoms, explaining the difference in the muscle contractile response and suggesting that the type of toxicity induced by venom can be modified by altered expression of venom proteins. Furthermore, the onset of neuromuscular paralysis in the rat phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparation occurs sooner upon exposure to the venom (10 μg/mL) with high expression of α-neurotoxins than the venoms containing predominately presynaptic β-neurotoxins. The study also finds that the onset of rat plasma coagulation is faster following exposure to the venoms with higher expression of venom prothrombin activator subunits. This is the first quantitative proteomic study that uses extracted ion chromatogram peak areas (MS1 XIC) of distinct homologous tryptic peptides to directly show the differences in the expression of venom proteins.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-09-27

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  18. A study on the venom yield of venomous snake species from Argentina.

    PubMed

    de Roodt, A R; Dolab, J A; Galarce, P P; Gould, E; Litwin, S; Dokmetjian, J C; Segre, L; Vidal, J C

    1998-12-01

    A study on the venom yield of snakes from Argentina over a three year period was carried out on adult specimens of Bothrops alternatus (n = 74); Bothrops neuwiedii (n = 127); Bothrops ammodytoides (n = 30); Bothrops moojeni (n = 14); Bothrops jararaca (n = 14); B. jararacussu (n = 6); Crotalus durissus terrificus (n = 120) and Micrurus spp. (n = 6) as well as with 12 specimens of newborn C. d. terrificus kept in captivity. While for each species there was a positive correlation between venom yield and number of snakes milked, the correlation with the snake's body weights after individual milkings was even better, suggesting that the size of the snakes is more important in determining the venom yield than the number of snakes milked or the specimen's sex. Individual milkings indicated that, in addition to the snake size, when the amount of venom is normalized per 100 g body weight there is a species specific difference in venom yield. It follows the order B. jararacussu > B. moojeni approximately = B. jararaca approximately = B. alternatus > B. neuwiedii> Micrurus spp approximately = B. ammodytoides> C. d. terrificus. Although the venom yield per 100 g body weight of newborn C. d. terrificus specimens is 2-fold higher than that of adults, no correlation was observed between venom yield and body weight.

  19. Use of immunoturbidimetry to detect venom-antivenom binding using snake venoms.

    PubMed

    O'Leary, M A; Maduwage, K; Isbister, G K

    2013-01-01

    Immunoturbidimetry studies the phenomenon of immunoprecipitation of antigens and antibodies in solution, where there is the formation of large, polymeric insoluble immunocomplexes that increase the turbidity of the solution. We used immunoturbidimetry to investigate the interaction between commercial snake antivenoms and snake venoms, as well as cross-reactivity between different snake venoms. Serial dilutions of commercial snake antivenoms (100μl) in water were placed in the wells of a microtitre plate and 100μl of a venom solution (50μg/ml in water) was added. Absorbance readings were taken at 340nm every minute on a BioTek ELx808 plate reader at 37°C. Limits imposed were a 30minute cut-off and 0.004 as the lowest significant maximum increase. Reactions with rabbit antibodies were carried out similarly, except that antibody dilutions were in PBS. Mixing venom and antivenom/antibodies resulted in an immediate increase in turbidity, which either reached a maximum or continued to increase until a 30minute cut-off. There was a peak in absorbance readings for most Australian snake venoms mixed with the corresponding commercial antivenom, except for Pseudonaja textilis venom and brown snake antivenom. There was cross-reactivity between Naja naja venom from Sri Lanka and tiger snake antivenom indicated by turbidity when they were mixed. Mixing rabbit anti-snake antibodies with snake venoms resulted in increasing turbidity, but there was not a peak suggesting the antibodies were not sufficiently concentrated. The absorbance reading at pre-determined concentrations of rabbit antibodies mixed with different venoms was able to quantify the cross-reactivity between venoms. Indian antivenoms from two manufacturers were tested against four Sri Lankan snake venoms (Daboia russelli, N. naja, Echis carinatus and Bungarus caeruleus) and showed limited formation of immunocomplexes with antivenom from one manufacturer. The turbidity test provides an easy and rapid way to compare

  20. Proteomic characterization of two snake venoms: Naja naja atra and Agkistrodon halys

    PubMed Central

    Li, Shuting; Wang, Jingqiang; Zhang, Xumin; Ren, Yan; Wang, Ning; Zhao, Kang; Chen, Xishu; Zhao, Caifeng; Li, Xiaolei; Shao, Jianmin; Yin, Jianning; West, Matthew B.; Xu, Ningzhi; Liu, Siqi

    2004-01-01

    Snake venom is a complex mixture of proteins and peptides, and a number of studies have described the biological properties of several venomous proteins. Nevertheless, a complete proteomic profile of venom from any of the many species of snake is not available. Proteomics now makes it possible to globally identify proteins from a complex mixture. To assess the venom proteomic profiles from Naja naja atra and Agkistrodon halys, snakes common to southern China, we used a combination strategy, which included the following four different approaches: (i) shotgun digestion plus HPLC with ion-trap tandem MS, (ii) one-dimensional SDS/PAGE plus HPLC with tandem MS, (iii) gel filtration plus HPLC with tandem MS and (iv) gel filtration and 2DE (two-dimensional gel electrophoresis) plus MALDI–TOF (matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization–time-of-flight) MS. In the present paper, we report the novel identification of 124 and 74 proteins and peptides in cobra and viper venom respectively. Functional analysis based upon toxin categories reveals that, as expected, cobra venom has a high abundance of cardio- and neurotoxins, whereas viper venom contains a significant amount of haemotoxins and metalloproteinases. Although approx. 80% of gel spots from 2DE displayed high-quality MALDI-TOF-MS spectra, only 50% of these spots were confirmed to be venom proteins, which is more than likely to be a result of incomplete protein databases. Interestingly, these data suggest that post-translational modification may be a significant characteristic of venomous proteins. PMID:15285721

  1. Biological and molecular properties of yellow venom of the Amazonian coral snake Micrurus surinamensis.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Fabiana da Rocha; Noronha, Maria das Dores Nogueira; Lozano, Jorge Luis Lopez

    2017-01-01

    The coral snake Micrurus surinamensis, which is widely distributed throughout Amazonia, has a neurotoxic venom. It is important to characterize the biological and molecular properties of this venom in order to develop effective antitoxins. Toxins from the venom of M. surinamensis were analyzed by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and their neurotoxic effects in vivo were evaluated. Most proteins in the venom had masses < 14kDa, low phospholipase A2 activity, and no proteolytic activity. The toxins inhibited the coagulation cascade. The venom had neurotoxic effects in mice, with a median lethal dose upon intravenous administration of 700 µg/kg. Immunogenic studies revealed abundant cross-reactivity of antielapidic serum with 14kDa toxins and limited cross-reactivity with toxins < 10kDa. These results indicate that antielapidic serum against M. surinamensis venom has weak potency (0.35mg/ml) in mice.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  3. The relaxant effect of the Montivipera bornmuelleri snake venom on vascular contractility

    PubMed Central

    Accary, Claudine; Hraoui-Bloquet, Souad; Sadek, Riyad; Alameddine, Asma; Fajloun, Ziad; Desfontis, Jean-Claude; Mallem, Yassine

    2016-01-01

    Molecular richness of snake venoms is an important source of proteins and toxins with potent effects on the cardiovascular system. The alteration of the vascular system in the victim after a venomous snake bite is usually expressed by a significant decrease in blood pressure. Therefore, exploring snake venom to extract and characterize its biomolecules is of considerable medical interest, and formed the basis of this study. We assessed the potential of the venom of Montivipera bornmuelleri, a viper from Lebanon, to induce relaxant effect on isolated Wistar rat aorta via several mechanisms of action. The overall hypotensive effect of Montivipera bornmuelleri venom results from its synergetic action on different channels for the reduction of blood pressure. By actions of its metalloproteinases and phospholipase A2, the venom may induce the production of nitric oxide acting accordingly a vasodilator effect. It could act on the voltage-dependent potassium channels and/or the L-type calcium channels, inhibiting angiotensin converting enzyme and/or inhibiting the α1-adrenoceptors. This work demonstrates vasorelaxant effect of the Montivipera bornmuelleri venom acting on different pathways, reducing blood pressure. PMID:27826409

  4. Bv8, a small protein from frog skin and its homologue from snake venom induce hyperalgesia in rats.

    PubMed

    Mollay, C; Wechselberger, C; Mignogna, G; Negri, L; Melchiorri, P; Barra, D; Kreil, G

    1999-06-18

    From skin secretions of Bombina variegata and Bombina bombina, we isolated a small protein termed Bv8. The sequence of its 77 amino acids was established by peptide analysis and by cDNA cloning of the Bv8 precursor. Bv8 stimulates the contraction of the guinea-pig ileum at nanomolar concentrations. The contraction is not inhibited by a variety of antagonists. Injection of a few micrograms of Bv8 into the brain of rats elicits, as assessed by the tail-flick test and paw pressure threshold, a marked hyperalgesia which lasts for about 1 h. Bv8 is related to protein A, a component of the venom of the black mamba. After i.c.v. injection, protein A is even more active than Bv8 in inducing hyperalgesia.

  5. Snake venom causes apoptosis by increasing the reactive oxygen species in colorectal and breast cancer cell lines

    PubMed Central

    Al-Asmari, Abdulrahman Khazim; Riyasdeen, Anvarbatcha; Al-Shahrani, Mohammad Hamed; Islam, Mozaffarul

    2016-01-01

    Snake venom possesses various kinds of proteins and neurotoxic polypeptides, which can negatively interfere with the neurotransmitter signaling cascade. This phenomenon occurs mainly due to the blocking of ion channels in the body system. Envenomation prevents or severely interrupts nerve impulses from being transmitted, inhibition of adenosine triphosphate synthesis, and proper functioning of the cardiac muscles. However, some beneficial properties of venoms have also been reported. The aim of this study was to examine the snake venom as an anticancer agent due to its inhibitory effects on cancer progression such as cell motility, cell invasion, and colony formation. In this study, the effect of venoms on phenotypic changes and the change on molecular level in colorectal and breast cancer cell lines were examined. A reduction of 60%–90% in cell motility, colony formation, and cell invasion was observed when these cell lines were treated with different concentrations of snake venom. In addition, the increase in oxidative stress that results in an increase in the number of apoptotic cancer cells was significantly higher in the venom-treated cell lines. Further analysis showed that there was a decrease in the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and signaling proteins, strongly suggesting a promising role for snake venom against breast and colorectal cancer cell progression. In conclusion, the snake venoms used in this study showed significant anticancer properties against colorectal and breast cancer cell lines. PMID:27799796

  6. Snake-venom resistance as a mammalian trophic adaptation: lessons from didelphid marsupials.

    PubMed

    Voss, Robert S; Jansa, Sharon A

    2012-11-01

    Mammals that prey on venomous snakes include several opossums (Didelphidae), at least two hedgehogs (Erinaceidae), several mongooses (Herpestidae), several mustelids, and some skunks (Mephitidae). As a group, these taxa do not share any distinctive morphological traits. Instead, mammalian adaptations for ophiophagy seem to consist only in the ability to resist the toxic effects of snake venom. Molecular mechanisms of venom resistance (as indicated by biochemical research on opossums, mongooses, and hedgehogs) include toxin-neutralizing serum factors and adaptive changes in venom-targeted molecules. Of these, toxin-neutralizing serum factors have received the most research attention to date. All of the toxin-neutralizing serum proteins discovered so far in both opossums and mongooses are human α1B-glycoprotein homologs that inhibit either snake-venom metalloproteinases or phospholipase A(2) myotoxins. By contrast, adaptive changes in venom-targeted molecules have received far less attention. The best-documented examples include amino-acid substitutions in mongoose nicotinic acetylcholine receptor that inhibit binding by α-neurotoxins, and amino-acid substitutions in opossum von Willebrand factor (vWF) that are hypothesized to weaken the bond between vWF and coagulopathic C-type lectins. Although multiple mechanisms of venom resistance are known from some species, the proteomic complexity of most snake venoms suggests that the evolved biochemical defences of ophiophagous mammals are likely to be far more numerous than currently recognized. Whereas most previous research in this field has been motivated by the potential for medical applications, venom resistance in ophiophagous mammals is a complex adaptation that merits attention from comparative biologists. Unfortunately, evolutionary inference is currently limited by ignorance about many relevant facts that can only be provided by future research. © 2012 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2012 Cambridge

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-05-01

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

  8. Snake venomics of Bothrops punctatus, a semiarboreal pitviper species from Antioquia, Colombia.

    PubMed

    Fernández Culma, Maritza; Andrés Pereañez, Jaime; Núñez Rangel, Vitelbina; Lomonte, Bruno

    2014-01-01

    Bothrops punctatus is an endangered, semi-arboreal pitviper species distributed in Panamá, Colombia, and Ecuador, whose venom is poorly characterized. In the present work, the protein composition of this venom was profiled using the 'snake venomics' analytical strategy. Decomplexation of the crude venom by RP-HPLC and SDS-PAGE, followed by tandem mass spectrometry of tryptic digests, showed that it consists of proteins assigned to at least nine snake toxin families. Metalloproteinases are predominant in this secretion (41.5% of the total proteins), followed by C-type lectin/lectin-like proteins (16.7%), bradykinin-potentiating peptides (10.7%), phospholipases A2 (93%), serine proteinases (5.4%), disintegrins (38%), L-amino acid oxidases (3.1%), vascular endothelial growth factors (17%), and cysteine-rich secretory proteins (1.2%). Altogether, 6.6% of the proteins were not identified. In vitro, the venom exhibited proteolytic, phospholipase A2, and L-amino acid oxidase activities, as well as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitory activity, in agreement with the obtained proteomic profile. Cytotoxic activity on murine C2C12 myoblasts was negative, suggesting that the majority of venom phospholipases A2 likely belong to the acidic type, which often lack major toxic effects. The protein composition of B. punctatus venom shows a good correlation with toxic activities here and previously reported, and adds further data in support of the wide diversity of strategies that have evolved in snake venoms to subdue prey, as increasingly being revealed by proteomic analyses.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    The venom proteome of the monocled cobra, Naja kaouthia, from Thailand, was characterized by RP-HPLC, SDS-PAGE, and MALDI-TOF-TOF analyses, yielding 38 different proteins that were either identified or assigned to families. Estimation of relative protein abundances revealed that venom is dominated by three-finger toxins (77.5%; including 24.3% cytotoxins and 53.2% neurotoxins) and phospholipases A2 (13.5%). It also contains lower proportions of components belonging to nerve growth factor, ohanin/vespryn, cysteine-rich secretory protein, C-type lectin/lectin-like, nucleotidase, phosphodiesterase, metalloproteinase, l-amino acid oxidase, cobra venom factor, and cytidyltransferase protein families. Small amounts of three nucleosides were also evidenced: adenosine, guanosine, and inosine. The most relevant lethal components, categorized by means of a 'toxicity score', were α-neurotoxins, followed by cytotoxins/cardiotoxins. IgGs isolated from a person who had repeatedly self-immunized with a variety of snake venoms were immunoprofiled by ELISA against all venom fractions. Stronger responses against larger toxins, but lower against the most critical α-neurotoxins were obtained. As expected, no neutralization potential against N. kaouthia venom was therefore detected. Combined, our results display a high level of venom complexity, unveil the most relevant toxins to be neutralized, and provide prospects of discovering human IgGs with toxin neutralizing abilities through use of phage display screening. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Micrurus snake venoms activate human complement system and generate anaphylatoxins

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The genus Micrurus, coral snakes (Serpentes, Elapidae), comprises more than 120 species and subspecies distributed from the south United States to the south of South America. Micrurus snake bites can cause death by muscle paralysis and further respiratory arrest within a few hours after envenomation. Clinical observations show mainly neurotoxic symptoms, although other biological activities have also been experimentally observed, including cardiotoxicity, hemolysis, edema and myotoxicity. Results In the present study we have investigated the action of venoms from seven species of snakes from the genus Micrurus on the complement system in in vitro studies. Several of the Micrurus species could consume the classical and/or the lectin pathways, but not the alternative pathway, and C3a, C4a and C5a were generated in sera treated with the venoms as result of this complement activation. Micrurus venoms were also able to directly cleave the α chain of the component C3, but not of the C4, which was inhibited by 1,10 Phenanthroline, suggesting the presence of a C3α chain specific metalloprotease in Micrurus spp venoms. Furthermore, complement activation was in part associated with the cleavage of C1-Inhibitor by protease(s) present in the venoms, which disrupts complement activation control. Conclusion Micrurus venoms can activate the complement system, generating a significant amount of anaphylatoxins, which may assist due to their vasodilatory effects, to enhance the spreading of other venom components during the envenomation process. PMID:22248157

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

    PubMed

    Osipov, Alexey; Utkin, Yuri

    2012-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. SNAKE VENOM POISONING IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

    PubMed Central

    Russell, Findlay E.

    1960-01-01

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

  14. Venomous snake bites, scorpions, and spiders.

    PubMed

    Kularatne, S A M; Senanayake, Nimal

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Inhibition of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, a novel facet in the pleiotropic activities of snake venom phospholipases A2.

    PubMed

    Vulfius, Catherine A; Kasheverov, Igor E; Starkov, Vladislav G; Osipov, Alexey V; Andreeva, Tatyana V; Filkin, Sergey Yu; Gorbacheva, Elena V; Astashev, Maxim E; Tsetlin, Victor I; Utkin, Yuri N

    2014-01-01

    Phospholipases A2 represent the most abundant family of snake venom proteins. They manifest an array of biological activities, which is constantly expanding. We have recently shown that a protein bitanarin, isolated from the venom of the puff adder Bitis arietans and possessing high phospholipolytic activity, interacts with different types of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and with the acetylcholine-binding protein. To check if this property is characteristic to all venom phospholipases A2, we have studied the capability of these enzymes from other snakes to block the responses of Lymnaea stagnalis neurons to acetylcholine or cytisine and to inhibit α-bungarotoxin binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and acetylcholine-binding proteins. Here we present the evidence that phospholipases A2 from venoms of vipers Vipera ursinii and V. nikolskii, cobra Naja kaouthia, and krait Bungarus fasciatus from different snake families suppress the acetylcholine- or cytisine-elicited currents in L. stagnalis neurons and compete with α-bungarotoxin for binding to muscle- and neuronal α7-types of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, as well as to acetylcholine-binding proteins. As the phospholipase A2 content in venoms is quite high, under some conditions the activity found may contribute to the deleterious venom effects. The results obtained suggest that the ability to interact with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors may be a general property of snake venom phospholipases A2, which add a new target to the numerous activities of these enzymes.

  18. Inhibition of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors, a Novel Facet in the Pleiotropic Activities of Snake Venom Phospholipases A2

    PubMed Central

    Vulfius, Catherine A.; Kasheverov, Igor E.; Starkov, Vladislav G.; Osipov, Alexey V.; Andreeva, Tatyana V.; Filkin, Sergey Yu.; Gorbacheva, Elena V.; Astashev, Maxim E.; Tsetlin, Victor I.; Utkin, Yuri N.

    2014-01-01

    Phospholipases A2 represent the most abundant family of snake venom proteins. They manifest an array of biological activities, which is constantly expanding. We have recently shown that a protein bitanarin, isolated from the venom of the puff adder Bitis arietans and possessing high phospholipolytic activity, interacts with different types of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and with the acetylcholine-binding protein. To check if this property is characteristic to all venom phospholipases A2, we have studied the capability of these enzymes from other snakes to block the responses of Lymnaea stagnalis neurons to acetylcholine or cytisine and to inhibit α-bungarotoxin binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and acetylcholine-binding proteins. Here we present the evidence that phospholipases A2 from venoms of vipers Vipera ursinii and V. nikolskii, cobra Naja kaouthia, and krait Bungarus fasciatus from different snake families suppress the acetylcholine- or cytisine-elicited currents in L. stagnalis neurons and compete with α-bungarotoxin for binding to muscle- and neuronal α7-types of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, as well as to acetylcholine-binding proteins. As the phospholipase A2 content in venoms is quite high, under some conditions the activity found may contribute to the deleterious venom effects. The results obtained suggest that the ability to interact with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors may be a general property of snake venom phospholipases A2, which add a new target to the numerous activities of these enzymes. PMID:25522251

  19. Snake venomics of Bothrops punctatus, a semiarboreal pitviper species from Antioquia, Colombia

    PubMed Central

    Fernández Culma, Maritza; Andrés Pereañez, Jaime; Núñez Rangel, Vitelbina

    2014-01-01

    Bothrops punctatus is an endangered, semi-arboreal pitviper species distributed in Panamá, Colombia, and Ecuador, whose venom is poorly characterized. In the present work, the protein composition of this venom was profiled using the ‘snake venomics’ analytical strategy. Decomplexation of the crude venom by RP-HPLC and SDS-PAGE, followed by tandem mass spectrometry of tryptic digests, showed that it consists of proteins assigned to at least nine snake toxin families. Metalloproteinases are predominant in this secretion (41.5% of the total proteins), followed by C-type lectin/lectin-like proteins (16.7%), bradykinin-potentiating peptides (10.7%), phospholipases A2 (93%), serine proteinases (5.4%), disintegrins (38%), L-amino acid oxidases (3.1%), vascular endothelial growth factors (17%), and cysteine-rich secretory proteins (1.2%). Altogether, 6.6% of the proteins were not identified. In vitro, the venom exhibited proteolytic, phospholipase A2, and L-amino acid oxidase activities, as well as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitory activity, in agreement with the obtained proteomic profile. Cytotoxic activity on murine C2C12 myoblasts was negative, suggesting that the majority of venom phospholipases A2 likely belong to the acidic type, which often lack major toxic effects. The protein composition of B. punctatus venom shows a good correlation with toxic activities here and previously reported, and adds further data in support of the wide diversity of strategies that have evolved in snake venoms to subdue prey, as increasingly being revealed by proteomic analyses. PMID:24498576

  20. MP-4 Contributes to Snake Venom Neutralization by Mucuna pruriens Seeds through an Indirect Antibody-mediated Mechanism.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Ashish; Gupta, Chitra; Nair, Deepak T; Salunke, Dinakar M

    2016-05-20

    Mortality due to snakebite is a serious public health problem, and available therapeutics are known to induce debilitating side effects. Traditional medicine suggests that seeds of Mucuna pruriens can provide protection against the effects of snakebite. Our aim is to identify the protein(s) that may be important for snake venom neutralization and elucidate its mechanism of action. To this end, we have identified and purified a protein from M. pruriens, which we have named MP-4. The full-length polypeptide sequence of MP-4 was obtained through N-terminal sequencing of peptide fragments. Sequence analysis suggested that the protein may belong to the Kunitz-type protease inhibitor family and therefore may potentially neutralize the proteases present in snake venom. Using various structural and biochemical tools coupled with in vivo assays, we are able to show that MP-4 does not afford direct protection against snake venom because it is actually a poor inhibitor of serine proteases. Further experiments showed that antibodies generated against MP-4 cross-react with the whole venom and provide protection to mice against Echis carinatus snake venom. This study shows that the MP-4 contributes significantly to the snake venom neutralization activity of M. pruriens seeds through an indirect antibody-mediated mechanism.

  1. Diversity of Micrurus snake species related to their venom toxic effects and the prospective of antivenom neutralization.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Gabriela D; Furtado, Maria de Fátima D; Portaro, Fernanda C V; Sant'Anna, Osvaldo Augusto; Tambourgi, Denise V

    2010-03-09

    Micrurus snake bites can cause death by muscle paralysis and respiratory arrest, few hours after envenomation. The specific treatment for coral snake envenomation is the intravenous application of heterologous antivenom and, in Brazil, it is produced by horse immunization with a mixture of M. corallinus and M. frontalis venoms, snakes that inhabit the South and Southeastern regions of the country. However, this antivenom might be inefficient, considering the existence of intra- and inter-specific variations in the composition of the venoms. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the toxic properties of venoms from nine species of Micrurus: eight present in different geographic regions of Brazil (M. frontalis, M. corallinus, M. hemprichii, M. spixii, M. altirostris, M. surinamensis, M. ibiboboca, M. lemniscatus) and one (M. fulvius) with large distribution in Southeastern United States and Mexico. This study also analyzed the antigenic cross-reactivity and the neutralizing potential of the Brazilian coral snake antivenom against these Micrurus venoms. Analysis of protein composition and toxicity revealed a large diversity of venoms from the nine Micrurus species. ELISA and Western blot assays showed a varied capability of the therapeutic antivenom to recognize the diverse species venom components. In vivo and in vitro neutralization assays indicated that the antivenom is not able to fully neutralize the toxic activities of all venoms. These results indicate the existence of a large range of both qualitative and quantitative variations in Micrurus venoms, probably reflecting the adaptation of the snakes from this genus to vastly dissimilar habitats. The data also show that the antivenom used for human therapy in Brazil is not fully able to neutralize the main toxic activities present in the venoms from all Micrurus species occurring in the country. It suggests that modifications in the immunization scheme, with the inclusion of other venoms in the

  2. Diversity of Micrurus Snake Species Related to Their Venom Toxic Effects and the Prospective of Antivenom Neutralization

    PubMed Central

    Tanaka, Gabriela D.; Furtado, Maria de Fátima D.; Portaro, Fernanda C. V.; Sant'Anna, Osvaldo Augusto; Tambourgi, Denise V.

    2010-01-01

    Background Micrurus snake bites can cause death by muscle paralysis and respiratory arrest, few hours after envenomation. The specific treatment for coral snake envenomation is the intravenous application of heterologous antivenom and, in Brazil, it is produced by horse immunization with a mixture of M. corallinus and M. frontalis venoms, snakes that inhabit the South and Southeastern regions of the country. However, this antivenom might be inefficient, considering the existence of intra- and inter-specific variations in the composition of the venoms. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the toxic properties of venoms from nine species of Micrurus: eight present in different geographic regions of Brazil (M. frontalis, M. corallinus, M. hemprichii, M. spixii, M. altirostris, M. surinamensis, M. ibiboboca, M. lemniscatus) and one (M. fulvius) with large distribution in Southeastern United States and Mexico. This study also analyzed the antigenic cross-reactivity and the neutralizing potential of the Brazilian coral snake antivenom against these Micrurus venoms. Methodology/Principal Findings Analysis of protein composition and toxicity revealed a large diversity of venoms from the nine Micrurus species. ELISA and Western blot assays showed a varied capability of the therapeutic antivenom to recognize the diverse species venom components. In vivo and in vitro neutralization assays indicated that the antivenom is not able to fully neutralize the toxic activities of all venoms. Conclusion These results indicate the existence of a large range of both qualitative and quantitative variations in Micrurus venoms, probably reflecting the adaptation of the snakes from this genus to vastly dissimilar habitats. The data also show that the antivenom used for human therapy in Brazil is not fully able to neutralize the main toxic activities present in the venoms from all Micrurus species occurring in the country. It suggests that modifications in the

  3. Keeping venomous snakes in the Netherlands: a harmless hobby or a public health threat?

    PubMed

    van Genderen, P J J; Slobbe, L; Koene, H; Mastenbroek, R D L; Overbosch, D

    2013-10-01

    To describe the incidence of venomous snakebites and the hospital treatment thereof (if any) amongst private individuals who keep venomous snakes as a hobby. Descriptive study. Private keepers of venomous snakes were invited via the social media Facebook, Hyves, Twitter, Google Plus, Linked In and two large discussion forums to fill in an online questionnaire on a purely voluntary and anonymous basis. In the period from 1 September 2012 to 31 December 2012, 86 questionnaires were completed by individuals who keep venomous snakes as a hobby. One-third of the venomous snake keepers stated that they had at some point been bitten by a venomous snake. Out of those, two-thirds needed hospital treatment and one-third of those bitten required at least one, sometimes more, doses of antiserum. The chances of being bitten increased the more venomous snakes a person kept. An inventory of the collections of venomous snakes being kept further revealed that no antiserum exists for 16 of the species, including for the most commonly held venomous snake, the coral cobra. Keeping venomous snakes as a hobby is not without danger. Although in the majority of snakebite cases no antiserum had to be administered, there is nevertheless a significant risk of morbidity and sequelae. Preventing snakebites in the first place remains the most important safety measure since there are no antiserums available for a substantial number of venomous snakes.

  4. Gene tree parsimony of multilocus snake venom protein families reveals species tree conflict as a result of multiple parallel gene loss.

    PubMed

    Casewell, Nicholas R; Wagstaff, Simon C; Harrison, Robert A; Wüster, Wolfgang

    2011-03-01

    The proliferation of gene data from multiple loci of large multigene families has been greatly facilitated by considerable recent advances in sequence generation. The evolution of such gene families, which often undergo complex histories and different rates of change, combined with increases in sequence data, pose complex problems for traditional phylogenetic analyses, and in particular, those that aim to successfully recover species relationships from gene trees. Here, we implement gene tree parsimony analyses on multicopy gene family data sets of snake venom proteins for two separate groups of taxa, incorporating Bayesian posterior distributions as a rigorous strategy to account for the uncertainty present in gene trees. Gene tree parsimony largely failed to infer species trees congruent with each other or with species phylogenies derived from mitochondrial and single-copy nuclear sequences. Analysis of four toxin gene families from a large expressed sequence tag data set from the viper genus Echis failed to produce a consistent topology, and reanalysis of a previously published gene tree parsimony data set, from the family Elapidae, suggested that species tree topologies were predominantly unsupported. We suggest that gene tree parsimony failure in the family Elapidae is likely the result of unequal and/or incomplete sampling of paralogous genes and demonstrate that multiple parallel gene losses are likely responsible for the significant species tree conflict observed in the genus Echis. These results highlight the potential for gene tree parsimony analyses to be undermined by rapidly evolving multilocus gene families under strong natural selection.

  5. Snake venomics across genus Lachesis. Ontogenetic changes in the venom composition of Lachesis stenophrys and comparative proteomics of the venoms of adult Lachesis melanocephala and Lachesis acrochorda.

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-21

    We report the proteomic analysis of ontogenetic changes in venom composition of the Central American bushmaster, Lachesis stenophrys, and the characterization of the venom proteomes of two congeneric pitvipers, Lachesis melanocephala (black-headed bushmaster) and Lachesis acrochorda (Chochoan bushmaster). Along with the previous characterization of the venom proteome of Lachesis muta muta (from Bolivia), our present outcome enables a comparative overview of the composition and distribution of the toxic proteins across genus Lachesis. Comparative venomics revealed the close kinship of Central American L. stenophrys and L. melanocephala and support the elevation of L. acrochorda to species status. Major ontogenetic changes in the toxin composition of L. stenophrys venom involves quantitative changes in the concentration of vasoactive peptides and serine proteinases, which steadily decrease from birth to adulthood, and age-dependent de novo biosynthesis of Gal-lectin and snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs). The net result is a shift from a bradykinin-potentiating and C-type natriuretic peptide (BPP/C-NP)-rich and serine proteinase-rich venom in newborns and 2-years-old juveniles to a (PI>PIII) SVMP-rich venom in adults. Notwithstanding minor qualitative and quantitative differences, the venom arsenals of L. melanocephala and L. acrochorda are broadly similar between themselves and also closely mirror those of adult L. stenophrys and L. muta venoms. The high conservation of the overall composition of Central and South American bushmaster venoms provides the ground for rationalizing the "Lachesis syndrome", characterized by vagal syntomatology, sensorial disorders, hematologic, and cardiovascular manifestations, documented in envenomings by different species of this wide-ranging genus. This finding let us predict that monospecific Lachesic antivenoms may exhibit paraspecificity against all congeneric species. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Calvete, Juan J

    2013-12-01

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

  7. Snake venoms: attractive antimicrobial proteinaceous compounds for therapeutic purposes.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira Junior, Nelson Gomes; e Silva Cardoso, Marlon Henrique; Franco, Octavio Luiz

    2013-12-01

    Gram-positive and -negative bacteria are dangerous pathogens that may cause human infection diseases, especially due to the increasingly high prevalence of antibiotic resistance, which is becoming one of the most alarming clinical problems. In the search for novel antimicrobial compounds, snake venoms represent a rich source for such compounds, which are produced by specialized glands in the snake's jawbone. Several venom compounds have been used for antimicrobial effects. Among them are phospholipases A2, which hydrolyze phospholipids and could act on bacterial cell surfaces. Moreover, metalloproteinases and L-amino acid oxidases, which represent important enzyme classes with antimicrobial properties, are investigated in this study. Finally, antimicrobial peptides from multiple classes are also found in snake venoms and will be mentioned. All these molecules have demonstrated an interesting alternative for controlling microorganisms that are resistant to conventional antibiotics, contributing in medicine due to their differential mechanisms of action and versatility. In this review, snake venom antimicrobial compounds will be focused on, including their enormous biotechnological applications for drug development.

  8. Bothrops pauloensis snake venom toxins: the search for new therapeutic models.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Veridiana M; Lopes, Daiana S; Castanheira, Leticia E; Gimenes, Sarah N C; Naves de Souza, Dayane L; Ache, David C; Borges, Isabela P; Yoneyama, Kelly A G; Rodrigues, Renata S

    2015-01-01

    Snake venoms constitute a mixture of bioactive components that are involved not only in envenomation pathophysiology but also in the development of new drugs to treat many diseases. Different enzymatic and non-enzymatic proteins, such as phospholipases A2, hyaluronidases, L-amino acid oxidases, metalloproteinases, serine proteinases, lectins and disintegrins have been isolated and their functional and structural properties described in the literature. Many of these studies have also explored their medicinal potential focusing mainly on anticancer, antithrombotic and microbicide therapies. Bothrops pauloensis is a species found in Brazil, whose venom has been the focus of our studies in order to explore the biochemical and functional characteristics of their components. In this review, we have presented the main results of years of research on different toxins from B. pauloensis emphasizing their therapeutic potential. Studies concerning snake venom toxins to search for new therapeutic models open perspectives for new drug discovery.

  9. Venomic and antivenomic analyses of the Central American coral snake, Micrurus nigrocinctus (Elapidae).

    PubMed

    Fernández, Julián; Alape-Girón, Alberto; Angulo, Yamileth; Sanz, Libia; Gutiérrez, José María; Calvete, Juan J; Lomonte, Bruno

    2011-04-01

    The proteome of the venom of Micrurus nigrocinctus (Central American coral snake) was analyzed by a "venomics" approach. Nearly 50 venom peaks were resolved by RP-HPLC, revealing a complex protein composition. Comparative analyses of venoms from individual specimens revealed that such complexity is an intrinsic feature of this species, rather than the sum of variable individual patterns of simpler composition. Proteins related to eight distinct families were identified by MS/MS de novo peptide sequencing or N-terminal sequencing: phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)), three-finger toxin (3FTx), l-amino acid oxidase, C-type lectin/lectin-like, metalloproteinase, serine proteinase, ohanin, and nucleotidase. PLA(2)s and 3FTxs are predominant, representing 48 and 38% of the venom proteins, respectively. Within 3FTxs, several isoforms of short-chain α-neurotoxins as well as muscarinic-like toxins and proteins with similarity to long-chain κ-2 bungarotoxin were identified. PLA(2)s are also highly diverse, and a toxicity screening showed that they mainly exert myotoxicity, although some are lethal and may contribute to the known presynaptic neurotoxicity of this venom. An antivenomic characterization of a therapeutic monospecific M. nigrocinctus equine antivenom revealed differences in immunorecognition of venom proteins that correlate with their molecular mass, with the weakest recognition observed toward 3FTxs.

  10. Post-transcriptional Mechanisms Contribute Little to Phenotypic Variation in Snake Venoms.

    PubMed

    Rokyta, Darin R; Margres, Mark J; Calvin, Kate

    2015-09-09

    Protein expression is a major link in the genotype-phenotype relationship, and processes affecting protein abundances, such as rates of transcription and translation, could contribute to phenotypic evolution if they generate heritable variation. Recent work has suggested that mRNA abundances do not accurately predict final protein abundances, which would imply that post-transcriptional regulatory processes contribute significantly to phenotypes. Post-transcriptional processes also appear to buffer changes in transcriptional patterns as species diverge, suggesting that the transcriptional changes have little or no effect on the phenotypes undergoing study. We tested for concordance between mRNA and protein expression levels in snake venoms by means of mRNA-seq and quantitative mass spectrometry for 11 snakes representing 10 species, six genera, and three families. In contrast to most previous work, we found high correlations between venom gland transcriptomes and venom proteomes for 10 of our 11 comparisons. We tested for protein-level buffering of transcriptional changes during species divergence by comparing the difference between transcript abundance and protein abundance for three pairs of species and one intraspecific pair. We found no evidence for buffering during divergence of our three species pairs but did find evidence for protein-level buffering for our single intraspecific comparison, suggesting that buffering, if present, was a transient phenomenon in venom divergence. Our results demonstrated that post-transcriptional mechanisms did not contribute significantly to phenotypic evolution in venoms and suggest a more prominent and direct role for cis-regulatory evolution in phenotypic variation, particularly for snake venoms.

  11. Post-transcriptional Mechanisms Contribute Little to Phenotypic Variation in Snake Venoms

    PubMed Central

    Rokyta, Darin R.; Margres, Mark J.; Calvin, Kate

    2015-01-01

    Protein expression is a major link in the genotype–phenotype relationship, and processes affecting protein abundances, such as rates of transcription and translation, could contribute to phenotypic evolution if they generate heritable variation. Recent work has suggested that mRNA abundances do not accurately predict final protein abundances, which would imply that post-transcriptional regulatory processes contribute significantly to phenotypes. Post-transcriptional processes also appear to buffer changes in transcriptional patterns as species diverge, suggesting that the transcriptional changes have little or no effect on the phenotypes undergoing study. We tested for concordance between mRNA and protein expression levels in snake venoms by means of mRNA-seq and quantitative mass spectrometry for 11 snakes representing 10 species, six genera, and three families. In contrast to most previous work, we found high correlations between venom gland transcriptomes and venom proteomes for 10 of our 11 comparisons. We tested for protein-level buffering of transcriptional changes during species divergence by comparing the difference between transcript abundance and protein abundance for three pairs of species and one intraspecific pair. We found no evidence for buffering during divergence of our three species pairs but did find evidence for protein-level buffering for our single intraspecific comparison, suggesting that buffering, if present, was a transient phenomenon in venom divergence. Our results demonstrated that post-transcriptional mechanisms did not contribute significantly to phenotypic evolution in venoms and suggest a more prominent and direct role for cis-regulatory evolution in phenotypic variation, particularly for snake venoms. PMID:26358130

  12. Characterization and evolution of a gene encoding a Trimeresurus flavoviridis serum protein that inhibits basic phospholipase A2 isozymes in the snake's venom.

    PubMed

    Nobuhisa, I; Inamasu, S; Nakai, M; Tatsui, A; Mimori, T; Ogawa, T; Shimohigashi, Y; Fukumaki, Y; Hattori, S; Kihara, H; Ohno, M

    1997-11-01

    The proteins that bind phospholipase A2 (PLA2) isozymes of Trimeresurus flavoviridis (habu snake, crotalinae) venom were fractionated from sera on four columns, each conjugated with one of four PLA2 isozymes. Five proteins, termed PLA2 inhibitors (PLI) I-V, were obtained as the binding components. The combinations of the binding components differed depending on the PLA2 isozymes. PLI-IV and PLI-V correspond to PLI-A and PLI-B, respectively, which were known to bind to a major [Asp49]PLA2, PLA2, and contained a segment similar to the carbohydrate-recognition domain of C-type lectins. PLI-I, which is a major component of inhibitory proteins against three basic PLA2 isozymes, PLA-B (a basic [Asp49]PLA2) and basic proteins I and II (both [Lys49]PLA2s), has been isolated, and its partial amino acid sequence has been determined. A cDNA encoding PLI-I was isolated from a T. flavoviridis liver cDNA library and sequenced. PLI-I cDNA encoded 200 amino acid residues, including a signal peptide of 19 amino acid residues. One sugar chain was predicted to occur at position 157. A gene coding for PLI-I was isolated. It is 9.6-kb long and consists of five exons and four introns. Comparison of the exon-intron structure of the PLI-I gene with those of genes encoding urokinase-type-plasminogen-activator receptor (uPAR), Ly-6, CD59 and neurotoxins showed that they have characteristic unit encoding approximately 90 amino acid residues, which is divided over two exons. This strongly suggests that the PLI-I gene belongs to the uPAR, Ly-6, CD59 and neurotoxin gene family. There are two types of structurally different inhibitors against PLA2 isozymes in T. flavoviridis serum with different evolutionary origins.

  13. Comparative analysis of the venom proteome of four important Malaysian snake species

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Naja kaouthia, Ophiophagus hannah, Bungarus fasciatus and Calloselasma rhodostoma are four venomous snakes indigenous to Malaysia. In the present study, their proteomic profile by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) have been separated and compared. Results The 2-DE of venoms of the four species snake demonstrated complexity and obvious interspecies differences in proteome profiles. A total of 63 proteins were identified in the four species: C. rhodostoma – 26, N. kaouthia – 16, O. hannah – 15 and B. fasciatus – 6. Conclusions Despite the identifications of major proteins in the four snake species, a large number of protein spots from the 2-DE were unidentified even though the spots displayed high-quality MALDI-TOF-MS spectra. Those identified included phospholipase A2 proteins in all four venoms, long neurotoxins in both cobra species and the C. rhodostoma venom found with the most varied types of peptidases, i.e. metalloproteinase kistomin, halystase and L-amino acid oxidase. PMID:24593956

  14. THE PHOTODYNAMIC ACTION OF EOSIN AND ERYTHROSIN UPON SNAKE VENOM

    PubMed Central

    Noguchi, Hideyo

    1906-01-01

    Since the hæmolysins of the several venoms respond differently to photodynamic action, they may be regarded as possessing different chemical constitutions. As regards stability, cobra hæmolysin ranks first, daboia second, and Crotalus third. The toxicity of all the venoms is more or less diminished by eosin and erythrosin in sunlight. This reduction in toxicity depends upon chemical changes, of more or less profound nature, taking place in certain of the active principles of the venom. The more stabile the predominant active principles the less the reduction in toxicity, and vice versa. Venom-neurotoxins are highly resistant to photodynamic action, venom-hæmolysins are less resistant, while the hæmorrhagin and thrombokinase of Crotalus and daboia venoms exhibit weak powers of resistance to their action. Hence it follows that while cobra venom remained almost unaltered, rattlesnake and daboia venoms were greatly reduced in toxicity when mixed with the fluorescent dyes and exposed to sunlight. There is an interesting parallel between the action of eosin and erythrosin upon the different venoms and their reactions to other injurious agencies. For example, the hæmolysins of cobra and daboia venoms are more heat resistant than the hæmolysin of Crotalus venom, and the former are less injured by the dyes than the latter. The neurotoxin of the former venoms is also more heat stabile than that of the rattlesnake, and the same relative degree of resistance holds for this substance and the anilines. Just as the hæmorrhagin of rattlesnake venom and the thrombokinase of daboia venom are destroyed by a temperature of 75° C., so are they readily inactivated by the photo dynamic substances employed. The globulin-precipitating and blood corpuscle-protecting principle of cobra venom is relatively thermostabile and in contradistinction to the immunity-precipitins it is also unaffected by eosin and erythrosin. This study of the action of photodynamic substances upon snake

  15. Identification and phylogeny of Arabian snakes: Comparison of venom chromatographic profiles versus 16S rRNA gene sequences

    PubMed Central

    Al Asmari, Abdulrahman; Manthiri, Rajamohammed Abbas; Khan, Haseeb Ahmad

    2014-01-01

    Identification of snake species is important for various reasons including the emergency treatment of snake bite victims. We present a simple method for identification of six snake species using the gel filtration chromatographic profiles of their venoms. The venoms of Echis coloratus, Echis pyramidum, Cerastes gasperettii, Bitis arietans, Naja arabica, and Walterinnesia aegyptia were milked, lyophilized, diluted and centrifuged to separate the mucus from the venom. The clear supernatants were filtered and chromatographed on fast protein liquid chromatography (FPLC). We obtained the 16S rRNA gene sequences of the above species and performed phylogenetic analysis using the neighbor-joining method. The chromatograms of venoms from different snake species showed peculiar patterns based on the number and location of peaks. The dendrograms generated from similarity matrix based on the presence/absence of particular chromatographic peaks clearly differentiated Elapids from Viperids. Molecular cladistics using 16S rRNA gene sequences resulted in jumping clades while separating the members of these two families. These findings suggest that chromatographic profiles of snake venoms may provide a simple and reproducible chemical fingerprinting method for quick identification of snake species. However, the validation of this methodology requires further studies on large number of specimens from within and across species. PMID:25313278

  16. Identification and phylogeny of Arabian snakes: Comparison of venom chromatographic profiles versus 16S rRNA gene sequences.

    PubMed

    Al Asmari, Abdulrahman; Manthiri, Rajamohammed Abbas; Khan, Haseeb Ahmad

    2014-11-01

    Identification of snake species is important for various reasons including the emergency treatment of snake bite victims. We present a simple method for identification of six snake species using the gel filtration chromatographic profiles of their venoms. The venoms of Echis coloratus, Echis pyramidum, Cerastes gasperettii, Bitis arietans, Naja arabica, and Walterinnesia aegyptia were milked, lyophilized, diluted and centrifuged to separate the mucus from the venom. The clear supernatants were filtered and chromatographed on fast protein liquid chromatography (FPLC). We obtained the 16S rRNA gene sequences of the above species and performed phylogenetic analysis using the neighbor-joining method. The chromatograms of venoms from different snake species showed peculiar patterns based on the number and location of peaks. The dendrograms generated from similarity matrix based on the presence/absence of particular chromatographic peaks clearly differentiated Elapids from Viperids. Molecular cladistics using 16S rRNA gene sequences resulted in jumping clades while separating the members of these two families. These findings suggest that chromatographic profiles of snake venoms may provide a simple and reproducible chemical fingerprinting method for quick identification of snake species. However, the validation of this methodology requires further studies on large number of specimens from within and across species.

  17. A prothrombin activator from Bothrops erythromelas (jararaca-da-seca) snake venom: characterization and molecular cloning.

    PubMed

    Silva, Márcia B; Schattner, Mirta; Ramos, Celso R R; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L M; Guarnieri, Míriam C; Lazzari, María A; Sampaio, Claudio A M; Pozner, Roberto G; Ventura, Janaina S; Ho, Paulo L; Chudzinski-Tavassi, Ana M

    2003-01-01

    A novel prothrombin activator enzyme, which we have named 'berythractivase', was isolated from Bothrops erythromelas (jararaca-da-seca) snake venom. Berythractivase was purified by a single cation-exchange-chromatography step on a Resource S (Amersham Biosciences) column. The overall purification (31-fold) indicates that berythractivase comprises about 5% of the crude venom. It is a single-chain protein with a molecular mass of 78 kDa. SDS/PAGE of prothrombin after activation by berythractivase showed fragment patterns similar to those generated by group A prothrombin activators, which convert prothrombin into meizothrombin, independent of the prothrombinase complex. Chelating agents, such as EDTA and o -phenanthroline, rapidly inhibited the enzymic activity of berythractivase, like a typical metalloproteinase. Human fibrinogen A alpha-chain was slowly digested only after longer incubation with berythractivase, and no effect on the beta- or gamma-chains was observed. Berythractivase was also capable of triggering endothelial proinflammatory and procoagulant cell responses. von Willebrand factor was released, and the surface expression of both intracellular adhesion molecule-1 and E-selectin was up-regulated by berythractivase in cultured human umbilical-vein endothelial cells. The complete berythractivase cDNA was cloned from a B. erythromelas venom-gland cDNA library. The cDNA sequence possesses 2330 bp and encodes a preproprotein with significant sequence similarity to many other mature metalloproteinases reported from snake venoms. Berythractivase contains metalloproteinase, desintegrin-like and cysteine-rich domains. However, berythractivase did not elicit any haemorrhagic response. These results show that, although the primary structure of berythractivase is related to that of snake-venom haemorrhagic metalloproteinases and functionally similar to group A prothrombin activators, it is a prothrombin activator devoid of haemorrhagic activity. This is a feature

  18. Therapeutic application of natural inhibitors against snake venom phospholipase A2

    PubMed Central

    Perumal Samy, Ramar; Gopalakrishnakone, Ponnampalam; Chow, Vincent TK

    2012-01-01

    Natural inhibitors occupy an important place in the potential to neutralize the toxic effects caused by snake venom proteins and enzymes. It has been well recognized for several years that animal sera, some of the plant and marine extracts are the most potent in neutralizing snake venom phospholipase A2 (svPLA2). The implication of this review to update the latest research work which has been accomplished with svPLA2 inhibitors from various natural sources like animal, marine organisms presents a compilation of research in this field over the past decade and revisiting the previous research report including those found in plants. In addition to that the bioactive compounds/inhibitor molecules from diverse sources like aristolochic alkaloid, flavonoids and neoflavonoids from plants, hydrocarbones ­2, 4 dimethyl hexane, 2 methylnonane, and 2, 6 dimethyl heptane obtained from traditional medicinal plants Tragia involucrata (Euphorbiaceae) member of natural products involved for the inhibitory potential of phospholipase A2 (PLA2) enzymes in vitro and also decrease both oedema induced by snake venom as well as human synovial fluid PLA2. Besides marine natural products that inhibit PLA2 are manoalide and its derivatives such as scalaradial and related compounds, pseudopterosins and vidalols, tetracylne from synthetic chemicals etc. There is an overview of the role of PLA2 in inflammation that provides a rationale for seeking inhibitors of PLA2 as anti-inflammatory agents. However, more studies should be considered to evaluate antivenom efficiency of sera and other agents against a variety of snake venoms found in various parts of the world. The implications of these new groups of svPLA2 toxin inhibitors in the context of our current understanding of snake biology as well as in the development of new novel antivenoms therapeutics agents in the efficient treatment of snake envenomations are discussed. PMID:22359435

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

    PubMed

    Weinstein, Scott A

    2015-09-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Blocking Action of Snake Venom Neurotoxins at Receptor Sites to Putative Central Nervous System Transmitters.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    SNAKES, *VENOMS, *PARASYMPATHOLYTIC AGENTS, PROBES, PRECURSORS, VERTEBRATES, NERVOUS SYSTEM, CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM, TOXINS AND ANTITOXINS, CHOLINERGIC NERVES, NERVE TRANSMISSION, MOLLUSCA , EPINEPHRINE.

  2. Biological characterization of Bothrops marajoensis snake venom

    PubMed Central

    Cavalcante, Walter LG; Hernandez-Oliveira, Saraguaci; Galbiatti, Charlene; Randazzo-Moura, Priscila; Rocha, Thalita; Ponce-Soto, Luis; Marangoni, Sérgio; Pai-Silva, Maeli Dal; Gallacci, Márcia; da Cruz-Höfling, Maria A; Rodrigues-Simioni, Léa

    2011-01-01

    This study describes the effects of Bothrops marajoensis venom (Marajó lancehead) on isolated neuromuscular preparations of chick biventer cervicis (CBC) and mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm (PND). At low concentrations (1µg/ml for CBC and 5µg/ml for PND), the venom exhibited a neuromuscular blocking without any damaging effect on the muscle integrity. At higher concentration (20μg/ml for PND), together with the neuromuscular blockade, there was a moderate myonecrosis. The results show differences between mammalian and avian preparations in response to venom concentration; the avian preparation was more sensitive to venom neurotoxic effect than the mammalian preparation. The possible presynaptic mechanism underlying the neuromuscular blocking effect was reinforced by the observed increase in MEPPs at the same time (at 15min) when the facilitation of twitch tension occurred. These results indicate that the B. marajoensis venom produced neuromuscular blockade, which appeared to be presynaptic at low concentrations with a postsynaptic component at high concentrations, leading to muscle oedema. These observations demand the fractionation of the crude venom and characterization of its active components for a better understanding of its biological dynamics. PMID:22091348

  3. Inactivation and fragmentation of lectin from Bothrops leucurus snake venom by gamma irradiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nunes, E. S.; Souza, M. A. A.; Vaz, A. F. M.; Coelho, L. C. B. B.; Aguiar, J. S.; Silva, T. G.; Guarnieri, M. C.; Melo, A. M. M. A.; Oliva, M. L. V.; Correia, M. T. S.

    2012-04-01

    Gamma radiation alters the molecular structure of biomolecules and is able to mitigate the action of snake venoms and their isolated toxins. The effect of γ-radiation on the folding of Bothrops lecurus venom lectin was measured by a hemagglutinating assay, intrinsic and bis-ANS fluorescence. Intrinsic and bis-ANS fluorescence analyses indicated that irradiation caused unfolding followed by aggregation of the lectin. Our results suggest that irradiation can lead to significant changes in the protein structure, which may promote the loss of its binding property and toxic action.

  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. [Venomous and poisonous animals. III. Elapidae snake envenomation].

    PubMed

    Chippaux, J P

    2007-02-01

    Envenomation by Elapidae snakes is less frequent than by Viperidae snakes but represents a true medical emergency due to rapid progression of cobra syndrome. Elapidae venom contains neurotoxins that paralyze striated muscles especially in the thoracic cavity. Respiratory paralysis can occur within a few hours and is preceded by neurological symptoms (local paresthesia and paresis progressing to the cranial nerves). When cobra envenomation is suspected, antivenom administration by the direct venous route must be undertaken as quickly as possible to stop the envenomation process. Artificial ventilation is necessary in case of dyspnea.

  6. Reversible Posterior Leukoencephalopathy in a Venomous Snake (Bothrops asper) Bite Victim

    PubMed Central

    Delgado, Miguel E.; Del Brutto, Oscar H.

    2012-01-01

    An 18-year-old man developed posterior reversible leukoencephalopaty after being bitten by a venomous snake (Bothrops asper). It is possible that this previously unrecognized neurological complication of snake bite envenoming occurred as the result of endothelial dysfunction induced by the venom of the offending snake. This pathogenetic mechanism has also been implicated as the cause of cerebral infarctions in snake bite victims. Alternatively, the leukoencephalopathy might have been a complication of antivenom therapy. PMID:22403325

  7. Isolation and partial purification of anticoagulant fractions from the venom of the Iranian snake Echis carinatus.

    PubMed

    Babaie, Mahdi; Zolfagharian, Hossein; Salmanizadeh, Hossein; Mirakabadi, Abbas Zare; Alizadeh, Hafezeh

    2013-01-01

    Many snake venoms comprise different factors, which can either promote or inhibit the blood coagulation pathway. Coagulation disorders and hemorrhage belong to the most prominent features of bites of the many vipers. A number of these factors interact with components of the human blood coagulation. This study is focused on the effect of Echis carinatus snake venom on blood coagulation pathway. Anticoagulant factors were purified from the Iranian Echis carinatus venom by two steps: gel filtration (Sephadex G-75) and ion-exchange (DEAE-Sephadex) chromatography, in order to study the anticoagulant effect of crude venom and their fractions. The prothrombin time was estimated on human plasma for each fraction. Our results showed that protrombin time value was increase from 13.4 s to 170 s for F2C and to 280 s for F2D. Our study showed that these fractions of the venom delay the prothrombine time and thus can be considered as anticoagulant factors. They were shown to exhibit proteolytic activity. The molecular weights of these anticoagulants (F2C, F2D) were estimated by SDS/PAGE electrophoresis. F2C comprises two protein bands with molecular weights of 50 and 79 kDa and F2D a single band with a molecular weight of 42 kDa.

  8. Screening of Bothrops snake venoms for L-amino acid oxidase activity

    SciTech Connect

    Pessati, M.L.; Fontana, J.D.; Guimaraes, M.F.

    1995-12-31

    Toxins, enzymes, and biologically active peptides are the main components of snake venoms from the genus Bothrops. Following the venom inoculation, the local effects are hemorrhage, edema, and myonecrosis. Nineteen different species of Brazilian Bothrops were screened for protein content and L-amino acid oxidase activity. B. cotiara, formerly found in the South of Brazil, is now threatened with extinction. Its venom contains a highly hemorrhagic fraction and, as expected from the deep yellow color of the corresponding lyophilized powder, a high L-amino acid oxidase (LAO) activity was also characterized. Flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) is its associate coenzyme. B. cotiara venom LAO catalyzed the oxidative deamination of several L-amino acids, and the best substrates were methionine, leucine, tryptophan, and phenylalanine, hence, its potential application for the use in biosensors for aspartame determination and for the removal of amino acids from plasma. High levels for LAO were also found in other species than B. cotiara. In addition, the technique of isoelectric focusing (IEF) was employed as a powerful tool to study the iso- or multi-enzyme distribution for LAO activity in the B. cotiara snake venom.

  9. An efficient analytical platform for on-line microfluidic profiling of neuroactive snake venoms towards nicotinic receptor affinity.

    PubMed

    Heus, Ferry; Vonk, Freek; Otvos, Reka A; Bruyneel, Ben; Smit, August B; Lingeman, Henk; Richardson, Michael; Niessen, Wilfried M A; Kool, Jeroen

    2013-01-01

    Venomous snakes have evolved their efficient venomous arsenals mainly to immobilize prey. The highly variable toxic peptides in these venoms target a myriad of neurotoxic and haemotoxic receptors and enzymes and comprise highly interesting candidates for drug discovery. Discovery of bioactive compounds from snake venoms, however, is a challenge to achieve. We have developed and applied a methodology to rapidly assess bioactives in a snake venom proteome. Our microfluidic platform opens up efficient and rapid profiling of venomous anti-cholinergic receptor compounds. The key advantages of our methodology are: (i) nano amounts of venom needed; and (ii) a direct correlation of selected bioaffinities with accurate mass. To achieve this, we have for the first time successfully constructed a functional post nano-LC split to MS and bioaffinity profiling. In our method, comprehensive venom profiles with accurate masses and corresponding bioaffinities are obtained in one analytical run and will subsequently allow immediate purification of bioactive peptides with LC-MS, guided by accurate masses of the bioactives only. We profiled several neurotoxic Elapidae snake venoms using our methodology in combination with the acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP) as biological target protein. The latter is a homologue of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), a drug target in neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive decline such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, and in pain related diseases. Our methodology was evaluated and validated with high-affinity α-bungarotoxin and haemotoxic/proteolytic Vipera ammodytes venom spiked with α-bungarotoxin. Thereafter, the methodology was applied to profile the venom proteomes of Dendroaspis jamesoni kaimosae, Naja annulifera and Naja nivea. Gathering comprehensive profiling data took less than 2 h per snake venom measured. The data yielded 20 AChBP ligands of which the corresponding accurate masses were used to retrieve information from

  10. Snake venom L-amino acid oxidases: trends in pharmacology and biochemistry.

    PubMed

    Izidoro, Luiz Fernando M; Sobrinho, Juliana C; Mendes, Mirian M; Costa, Tássia R; Grabner, Amy N; Rodrigues, Veridiana M; da Silva, Saulo L; Zanchi, Fernando B; Zuliani, Juliana P; Fernandes, Carla F C; Calderon, Leonardo A; Stábeli, Rodrigo G; Soares, Andreimar M

    2014-01-01

    L-amino acid oxidases are enzymes found in several organisms, including venoms of snakes, where they contribute to the toxicity of ophidian envenomation. Their toxicity is primarily due to enzymatic activity, but other mechanisms have been proposed recently which require further investigation. L-amino acid oxidases exert biological and pharmacological effects, including actions on platelet aggregation and the induction of apoptosis, hemorrhage, and cytotoxicity. These proteins present a high biotechnological potential for the development of antimicrobial, antitumor, and antiprotozoan agents. This review provides an overview of the biochemical properties and pharmacological effects of snake venom L-amino acid oxidases, their structure/activity relationship, and supposed mechanisms of action described so far.

  11. Snake Venom L-Amino Acid Oxidases: Trends in Pharmacology and Biochemistry

    PubMed Central

    Izidoro, Luiz Fernando M.; Sobrinho, Juliana C.; Mendes, Mirian M.; Costa, Tássia R.; Grabner, Amy N.; Rodrigues, Veridiana M.; da Silva, Saulo L.; Zanchi, Fernando B.; Zuliani, Juliana P.; Fernandes, Carla F. C.; Calderon, Leonardo A.; Stábeli, Rodrigo G.; Soares, Andreimar M.

    2014-01-01

    L-amino acid oxidases are enzymes found in several organisms, including venoms of snakes, where they contribute to the toxicity of ophidian envenomation. Their toxicity is primarily due to enzymatic activity, but other mechanisms have been proposed recently which require further investigation. L-amino acid oxidases exert biological and pharmacological effects, including actions on platelet aggregation and the induction of apoptosis, hemorrhage, and cytotoxicity. These proteins present a high biotechnological potential for the development of antimicrobial, antitumor, and antiprotozoan agents. This review provides an overview of the biochemical properties and pharmacological effects of snake venom L-amino acid oxidases, their structure/activity relationship, and supposed mechanisms of action described so far. PMID:24738050

  12. Two color morphs of the pelagic yellow-bellied sea snake, Pelamis platura, from different locations of Costa Rica: snake venomics, toxicity, and neutralization by antivenom.

    PubMed

    Lomonte, Bruno; Pla, Davinia; Sasa, Mahmood; Tsai, Wan-Chih; Solórzano, Alejandro; Ureña-Díaz, Juan Manuel; Fernández-Montes, María Laura; Mora-Obando, Diana; Sanz, Libia; Gutiérrez, José María; Calvete, Juan J

    2014-05-30

    The yellow-bellied sea snake, Pelamis platura, is the most broadly distributed snake species. Despite being endowed with a highly lethal venom, a proteomic analysis of its toxin composition was unavailable. The venoms of specimens collected in Golfo de Papagayo and Golfo Dulce (Costa Rica), where two distinctive color morphs occur, were chromatographically compared. The latter inhabits a fjord-like gulf where the transit of oceanic sea snakes into and from the basin is restricted, thus possibly affecting gene flow. RP-HPLC evidenced a conserved venom protein profile in both populations, despite their divergent color phenotypes. Following a trend observed in other sea snakes, P. platura venom is relatively simple, being composed of proteins of the three-finger toxin (3FTx), phospholipase A2 (PLA2), cysteine-rich secretory protein (CRISP), 5'-nucleotidase, and metalloproteinase families. The first three groups represent 49.9%, 32.9%, and 9.1% of total venom protein, respectively. The most abundant component (~26%) is pelamitoxin (P62388), a short-chain 3FTx, followed by a major basic PLA2 (~20%) and a group of three isoforms of CRISPs (~9%). Whereas isolated pelamitoxin was highly lethal to mice, neither the PLA2 nor the CRISP fraction caused death. However, the PLA2 rapidly increased plasma creatine kinase activity after intramuscular injection, indicating its myotoxic action. Differing from myotoxic PLA2s of viperids, this PLA2 was not cytolytic to murine myogenic cells in vitro, suggesting possible differences in its mechanism of action. The median lethal dose (LD50) estimates for P. platura crude venom in mice and in three species of fishes did not differ significantly. The sea snake antivenom manufactured by CSL Ltd. (Australia), which uses Enhydrina schistosa as immunogen, cross-recognized the three major components of P. platura venom and, accordingly, neutralized the lethal activity of crude venom and pelamitoxin, therefore being of potential usefulness in

  13. Comparison of the adjuvant activity of aluminum hydroxide and calcium phosphate on the antibody response towards Bothrops asper snake venom.

    PubMed

    Olmedo, Hidekel; Herrera, María; Rojas, Leonardo; Villalta, Mauren; Vargas, Mariángela; Leiguez, Elbio; Teixeira, Catarina; Estrada, Ricardo; Gutiérrez, José María; León, Guillermo; Montero, Mavis L

    2014-01-01

    The adjuvanticity of aluminum hydroxide and calcium phosphate on the antibody response in mice towards the venom of the snake Bothrops asper was studied. It was found that, in vitro, most of the venom proteins are similarly adsorbed by both mineral salts, with the exception of some basic phospholipases A2, which are better adsorbed by calcium phosphate. After injection, the adjuvants promoted a slow release of the venom, as judged by the lack of acute toxicity when lethal doses of venom were administered to mice. Leukocyte recruitment induced by the venom was enhanced when it was adsorbed on both mineral salts; however, venom adsorbed on calcium phosphate induced a higher antibody response towards all tested HPLC fractions of the venom. On the other hand, co-precipitation of venom with calcium phosphate was the best strategy for increasing: (1) the capacity of the salt to couple venom proteins in vitro; (2) the venom ability to induce leukocyte recruitment; (3) phagocytosis by macrophages; and (4) a host antibody response. These findings suggest that the chemical nature is not the only one determining factor of the adjuvant activity of mineral salts.

  14. Differential transcript profile of inhibitors with potential anti-venom role in the liver of juvenile and adult Bothrops jararaca snake.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Cícera Maria; de Morais-Zani, Karen; Lu, Stephen; Buarque, Diego de Souza; Braz, Glória Regina Cardoso; Grego, Kathleen Fernandes; Tanaka, Aparecida Sadae; Tanaka-Azevedo, Anita Mitico

    2017-01-01

    Snakes belonging to the Bothrops genus are vastly distributed in Central and South America and are responsible for most cases of reported snake bites in Latin America. The clinical manifestations of the envenomation caused by this genus are due to three major activities-proteolytic, hemorrhagic and coagulant-mediated by metalloproteinases, serine proteinases, phospholipases A2 and other toxic compounds present in snake venom. Interestingly, it was observed that snakes are resistant to the toxic effects of its own and other snake's venoms. This natural immunity may occur due the absence of toxin target or the presence of molecules in the snake plasma able to neutralize such toxins. In order to identify anti-venom molecules, we construct a cDNA library from the liver of B. jararaca snakes. Moreover, we analyzed the expression profile of four molecules-the already known anti-hemorrhagic factor Bj46a, one gamma-phospholipase A2 inhibitor, one inter-alpha inhibitor and one C1 plasma protease inhibitor-in the liver of juvenile and adult snakes by qPCR. The results revealed a 30-fold increase of gamma-phospholipase A2 inhibitor and a minor increase of the inter-alpha inhibitor (5-fold) and of the C1 inhibitor (3-fold) in adults. However, the Bj46a factor seems to be equally transcribed in adults and juveniles. The results suggest the up-regulation of different inhibitors observed in the adult snakes might be a physiological adaptation to the recurrent contact with their own and even other snake's venoms throughout its lifespan. This is the first comparative analysis of ontogenetic variation of expression profiles of plasmatic proteins with potential anti-venom activities of the venomous snake B. jararaca. Furthermore, the present data contributes to the understanding of the natural resistance described in these snakes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Neutralization of two North American coral snake venoms with United States and Mexican antivenoms.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Elda E; Lopez-Johnston, Juan C; Rodríguez-Acosta, Alexis; Pérez, John C

    2008-02-01

    Elapid snakes throughout the world are considered very lethal, containing neurotoxic venoms that affect the nervous system. When humans are envenomated it is considered a serious medical emergency, and antivenom is the main form of treatment considered, in spite of the fact that some patients may only survive under intensive therapy treatment such as respiratory support. Coral snakes are part of the family Elapidae and envenomations by these snakes are very low (<2% of total snakebites) in most countries from southeastern United States to Argentina. In the United States, there are only two species of coral snakes of medical importance that belong to the Micrurus genera: Micrurus fulvius fulvius (Eastern coral snake) and Micrurus tener tener (Texas coral snake). In 2006, Wyeth pharmaceutical notified customers that the production of the North American coral snake antivenin (NACSA) in the US was discontinued and adequate supplies were available to meet historical needs through the end of October 2008; and therefore, it is of utmost important to consider other antivenoms as alternatives for the treatment of coral snake envenoming. One logical alternative is the coral snake antivenom, Coralmyn, produced by the Mexican company, Bioclon. In order to compare neutralization between NACSA and Coralmyn antivenoms with the North American coral snake venoms, the venom lethal doses (LD(50)) and antivenom effective doses (ED(50)) were determined in 18-20 g, female, BALB/c mice. Additionally, venom comparisons were determined through a non-reduced SDS-PAGE for M.f.fulvius, M.t.tener and the Mexican coral snake venom, Micrurus nigrocinctus nigrocinctus. Coralmyn antivenom was able to effectively neutralize three LD(50) doses of all venom from both M.t.tener and M.f.fulvius, while Wyeth antivenom only neutralized M.f.fulvius venom and was not effective in neutralizing three LD(50) doses of M.t.tener venom. Coralmyn is effective in the neutralization of both clinically important

  18. NEUTRALIZATION OF TWO NORTH AMERICAN CORAL SNAKE VENOMS WITH UNITED STATES AND MEXICAN ANTIVENOMS

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez, Elda E.; Lopez-Johnston, Juan C.; Rodríguez-Acosta, Alexis; Pérez, John C.

    2009-01-01

    Elapid snakes throughout the world are considered very lethal containing neurotoxic venoms that affect the nervous system. When humans are envenomated it is considered a serious medical emergency, and antivenom is the main form of treatment considered, in spite of the fact that some patients may only survive under intensive therapy treatment such as respiratory support. Coral snakes are part of the family Elapidae and envenomations by these snakes are very low (< 2% of total snakebites) in most countries from southeastern United States to Argentina. In the United States there are only two species of coral snakes of medical importance which belong to the Micrurus genera: Micrurus fulvius fulvius (Eastern coral snake) and M. tener tener (Texas coral snake). In 2006, Wyeth pharmaceutical notified customers that the production of the North American Coral Snake Antivenin (NACSA) in the U.S. was discontinued and adequate supplies were available to meet historical needs through the end of October 2008; and therefore, it is of utmost important to consider other antivenoms as alternatives for the treatment of coral snake envenoming. One logical alternative is the coral snake antivenom, Coralmyn, produced by the Mexican company, Bioclon. In order to compare neutralization between NACSA and Coralmyn antivenoms with the North American coral snake venoms, the venom lethal doses (LD50) and antivenom effective doses (ED50) were determined in 18–20 g, female, BALB/c mice. Additionally, venom comparisons were determined through a non reduced SDS-PAGE for M. f. fulvius, M. t. tener and the Mexican coral snake venom, M. nigrocinctus nigrocinctus. Coralmyn antivenom was able to effectively neutralize 3 LD50 doses of all venom from both M. t. tener and M. f. fulvius, while Wyeth antivenom only neutralized M. f. fulvius venom and was not effective in neutralizing 3 LD50 doses of M. t. tener venom. Coralmyn is effective in the neutralization of both clinically important coral snake

  19. The Snake with the Scorpion's Sting: Novel Three-Finger Toxin Sodium Channel Activators from the Venom of the Long-Glanded Blue Coral Snake (Calliophis bivirgatus).

    PubMed

    Yang, Daryl C; Deuis, Jennifer R; Dashevsky, Daniel; Dobson, James; Jackson, Timothy N W; Brust, Andreas; Xie, Bing; Koludarov, Ivan; Debono, Jordan; Hendrikx, Iwan; Hodgson, Wayne C; Josh, Peter; Nouwens, Amanda; Baillie, Gregory J; Bruxner, Timothy J C; Alewood, Paul F; Lim, Kelvin Kok Peng; Frank, Nathaniel; Vetter, Irina; Fry, Bryan G

    2016-10-18

    Millions of years of evolution have fine-tuned the ability of venom peptides to rapidly incapacitate both prey and potential predators. Toxicofera reptiles are characterized by serous-secreting mandibular or maxillary glands with heightened levels of protein expression. These glands are the core anatomical components of the toxicoferan venom system, which exists in myriad points along an evolutionary continuum. Neofunctionalisation of toxins is facilitated by positive selection at functional hotspots on the ancestral protein and venom proteins have undergone dynamic diversification in helodermatid and varanid lizards as well as advanced snakes. A spectacular point on the venom system continuum is the long-glanded blue coral snake (Calliophis bivirgatus), a specialist feeder that preys on fast moving, venomous snakes which have both a high likelihood of prey escape but also represent significant danger to the predator itself. The maxillary venom glands of C. bivirgatus extend one quarter of the snake's body length and nestle within the rib cavity. Despite the snake's notoriety its venom has remained largely unstudied. Here we show that the venom uniquely produces spastic paralysis, in contrast to the flaccid paralysis typically produced by neurotoxic snake venoms. The toxin responsible, which we have called calliotoxin (δ-elapitoxin-Cb1a), is a three-finger toxin (3FTx). Calliotoxin shifts the voltage-dependence of NaV1.4 activation to more hyperpolarised potentials, inhibits inactivation, and produces large ramp currents, consistent with its profound effects on contractile force in an isolated skeletal muscle preparation. Voltage-gated sodium channels (NaV) are a particularly attractive pharmacological target as they are involved in almost all physiological processes including action potential generation and conduction. Accordingly, venom peptides that interfere with NaV function provide a key defensive and predatory advantage to a range of invertebrate venomous

  20. 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.

  1. Trends in the Evolution of Snake Toxins Underscored by an Integrative Omics Approach to Profile the Venom of the Colubrid Phalotris mertensi.

    PubMed

    Campos, Pollyanna Fernandes; Andrade-Silva, Débora; Zelanis, André; Paes Leme, Adriana Franco; Rocha, Marisa Maria Teixeira; Menezes, Milene Cristina; Serrano, Solange M T; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio de Loiola Meirelles

    2016-08-16

    Only few studies on snake venoms were dedicated to deeply characterize the toxin secretion of animals from the Colubridae family, despite the fact that they represent the majority of snake diversity. As a consequence, some evolutionary trends observed in venom proteins that underpinned the evolutionary histories of snake toxins were based on data from a minor parcel of the clade. Here, we investigated the proteins of the totally unknown venom from Phalotris mertensi (Dipsadinae subfamily), in order to obtain a detailed profile of its toxins and to appreciate evolutionary tendencies occurring in colubrid venoms. By means of integrated omics and functional approaches, including RNAseq, Sanger sequencing, high-resolution proteomics, recombinant protein production, and enzymatic tests, we verified an active toxic secretion containing up to 21 types of proteins. A high content of Kunitz-type proteins and C-type lectins were observed, although several enzymatic components such as metalloproteinases and an L-amino acid oxidase were also present in the venom. Interestingly, an arguable venom component of other species was demonstrated as a true venom protein and named svLIPA (snake venom acid lipase). This finding indicates the importance of checking the actual protein occurrence across species before rejecting genes suggested to code for toxins, which are relevant for the discussion about the early evolution of reptile venoms. Moreover, trends in the evolution of some toxin classes, such as simplification of metalloproteinases and rearrangements of Kunitz and Wap domains, parallel similar phenomena observed in other venomous snake families and provide a broader picture of toxin evolution. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  2. Trends in the Evolution of Snake Toxins Underscored by an Integrative Omics Approach to Profile the Venom of the Colubrid Phalotris mertensi

    PubMed Central

    Campos, Pollyanna Fernandes; Andrade-Silva, Débora; Zelanis, André; Paes Leme, Adriana Franco; Rocha, Marisa Maria Teixeira; Menezes, Milene Cristina; Serrano, Solange M.T.; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio de Loiola Meirelles

    2016-01-01

    Only few studies on snake venoms were dedicated to deeply characterize the toxin secretion of animals from the Colubridae family, despite the fact that they represent the majority of snake diversity. As a consequence, some evolutionary trends observed in venom proteins that underpinned the evolutionary histories of snake toxins were based on data from a minor parcel of the clade. Here, we investigated the proteins of the totally unknown venom from Phalotris mertensi (Dipsadinae subfamily), in order to obtain a detailed profile of its toxins and to appreciate evolutionary tendencies occurring in colubrid venoms. By means of integrated omics and functional approaches, including RNAseq, Sanger sequencing, high-resolution proteomics, recombinant protein production, and enzymatic tests, we verified an active toxic secretion containing up to 21 types of proteins. A high content of Kunitz-type proteins and C-type lectins were observed, although several enzymatic components such as metalloproteinases and an L-amino acid oxidase were also present in the venom. Interestingly, an arguable venom component of other species was demonstrated as a true venom protein and named svLIPA (snake venom acid lipase). This finding indicates the importance of checking the actual protein occurrence across species before rejecting genes suggested to code for toxins, which are relevant for the discussion about the early evolution of reptile venoms. Moreover, trends in the evolution of some toxin classes, such as simplification of metalloproteinases and rearrangements of Kunitz and Wap domains, parallel similar phenomena observed in other venomous snake families and provide a broader picture of toxin evolution. PMID:27412610

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Danger in the reef: Proteome, toxicity, and neutralization of the venom of the olive sea snake, Aipysurus laevis.

    PubMed

    Laustsen, Andreas H; Gutiérrez, José María; Rasmussen, Arne R; Engmark, Mikael; Gravlund, Peter; Sanders, Kate L; Lohse, Brian; Lomonte, Bruno

    2015-12-01

    Four specimens of the olive sea snake, Aipysurus laevis, were collected off the coast of Western Australia, and the venom proteome was characterized and quantitatively estimated by RP-HPLC, SDS-PAGE, and MALDI-TOF-TOF analyses. A. laevis venom is remarkably simple and consists of phospholipases A2 (71.2%), three-finger toxins (3FTx; 25.3%), cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISP; 2.5%), and traces of a complement control module protein (CCM; 0.2%). Using a Toxicity Score, the most lethal components were determined to be short neurotoxins. Whole venom had an intravenous LD50 of 0.07 mg/kg in mice and showed a high phospholipase A2 activity, but no proteinase activity in vitro. Preclinical assessment of neutralization and ELISA immunoprofiling showed that BioCSL Sea Snake Antivenom was effective in cross-neutralizing A. laevis venom with an ED50 of 821 μg venom per mL antivenom, with a binding preference towards short neurotoxins, due to the high degree of conservation between short neurotoxins from A. laevis and Enhydrina schistosa venom. Our results point towards the possibility of developing recombinant antibodies or synthetic inhibitors against A. laevis venom due to its simplicity.

  8. The good, the bad and the ugly: Australian snake taxonomists and a history of the taxonomy of Australia's venomous snakes.

    PubMed

    Williams, David; Wüster, Wolfgang; Fry, Bryan Grieg

    2006-12-01

    The Australian snake fauna is unique in harbouring more venomous species than non-venomous ones. Although taxonomic research on the elapid snakes of Australia goes back to the late 18th century, in stark contrast to other developed regions of the world (e.g. the continental USA), Australian snake taxonomy is very much in its infancy. Despite this, or perhaps because of this, the taxonomy of Australian snakes has been extraordinarily controversial, and many of the taxonomists involved correspondingly colourful. In this review, we explore the sometimes-tortured history of the taxonomic exploration of the venomous snake fauna of Australia, looking at some of the more colourful and notable contributors and highlighting systematic pitfalls that persist even today.

  9. SNAKE VENOMICS OF Crotalus tigris: THE MINIMALIST TOXIN ARSENAL OF THE DEADLIEST NEARTIC RATTLESNAKE VENOM

    PubMed Central

    CALVETE, Juan J.; PÉREZ, Alicia; LOMONTE, Bruno; SÁNCHEZ, Elda E.; SANZ, Libia

    2012-01-01

    We report the proteomic and antivenomic characterization of Crotalus tigris venom. This venom exhibits the highest lethality for mice among rattlesnakes and the simplest toxin proteome reported to date. The venom proteome of C. tigris comprises 7–8 gene products from 6 toxin families: the presynaptic β-neurotoxic heterodimeric PLA2, Mojave toxin, and two serine proteinases comprise, respectively, 66% and 27% of the C. tigris toxin arsenal, whereas a VEGF-like protein, a CRISP molecule, a medium-sized disintegrin, and 1–2 PIII-SVMPs, each represents 0.1–5% of the total venom proteome. This toxin profile really explains the systemic neuro- and myotoxic effects observed in envenomated animals. In addition, we found that venom lethality of C. tigris and other North American rattlesnake type II venoms correlates with the concentration of Mojave toxin A-subunit, supporting the view that the neurotoxic venom phenotype of crotalid type II venoms may be described as a single-allele adaptation. Our data suggest that the evolutionary trend towards neurotoxicity, which has been also reported for the South American rattlesnakes, may have resulted by paedomorphism. The ability of an experimental antivenom to effectively immunodeplete proteins from the type II venoms of C. tigris, C. horridus, C. oreganus helleri, C. scutulatus scutulatus, and S. catenatus catenatus, indicated the feasibility of generating a pan-American anti-Crotalus type II antivenom, suggested by the identification of shared evolutionary trends among South American and North American Crotalus. PMID:22181673

  10. On the ancestral recruitment of metalloproteinases into the venom of snakes.

    PubMed

    Casewell, Nicholas R

    2012-09-15

    Tracing the evolutionary history of proteins can reveal insights into gene alterations responsible for changes in structure and function. Here, the origin of snake venom metalloproteinases was rigorously reassessed using phylogenetics and the reconstruction of ancestral sequences. Basal SVMPs are most closely related to ADAM 7, 28 and decysin-1 proteins. Reconstructing the evolutionary history of these proteins and their hypothetical ancestors reveals progressive alterations in the amino acid composition and structural characteristics of ADAMs/SVMPs through evolutionary time. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. [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.

  12. Crystal structure of a snake venom cardiotoxin

    SciTech Connect

    Rees, B.; Samama, J.P.; Thierry, J.C.; Gilibert, M.; Fischer, J.; Schweitz, H.; Lazdunski, M.; Moras, D.

    1987-05-01

    Cardiotoxin V/sup II/4 from Naja mossambica crystallizes in space group P6/sub 1/ (a = b = 73.9 A; c = 59.0 A) with two molecules of toxin (molecular mass = 6715 Da) in the asymmetric unit. The structure was solved by using a combination of multiple isomorphous replacement and density modification methods. Model building and least-squares refinement led to an agreement factor of 27% for a data set to 3-A resolution prior to any inclusion of solvent molecules. The topology of the molecule is similar to that found in short and long snake neurotoxins, which block the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Major differences occur in the conformation of the central loop, resulting in a change in the concavity of the molecule. Hydrophobic residues are clustered in two distinct areas. The existence of stable dimeric entities in the crystalline state, with the formation of a six-stranded antiparallel ..beta.. sheet, may be functionally relevant.

  13. Cross neutralization of common Southeast Asian viperid venoms by a Thai polyvalent snake antivenom (Hemato Polyvalent Snake Antivenom).

    PubMed

    Leong, Poh Kuan; Tan, Choo Hock; Sim, Si Mui; Fung, Shin Yee; Sumana, Khomvilai; Sitprija, Visith; Tan, Nget Hong

    2014-04-01

    Snake envenomation is a serious public health threat in many rural areas of Asia and Africa. Antivenom has hitherto been the definite treatment for snake envenomation. Owing to a lack of local production of specific antivenom, most countries in these regions fully depend on foreign supplies of antivenoms. Often, the effectiveness of the imported antivenoms against local medically important species has not been validated. This study aimed to assess cross-neutralizing capacity of a recently developed polyvalent antivenom, Hemato Polyvalent Snake Antivenom (HPAV), against venoms of a common viper and some pit vipers from Southeast Asia. Neutralisation assays showed that HPAV was able to effectively neutralize lethality of the common Southeast Asian viperid venoms examined (Calloselasma, Crytelytrops, Popeia, and Daboia sp.) except for Tropidolaemus wagleri venom. HPAV also effectively neutralized the procoagulant and hemorrhagic activities of all the venoms examined, corroboratively supporting the capability of HPAV in neutralizing viperid venoms which are principally hematoxic. The study also indicated that HPAV fully prevented the occurrence of hematuria and proteinuria in mice envenomed with Thai Daboia siamensis venom but was only partially effective against venoms of Myanmar D. siamensis. Thus, HPAV appears to be useful against its homologous venoms and venoms from Southeast Asian viperids including several medically important pit vipers belonging to the Trimeresurus complex. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of HPAV as a paraspecific antivenom for treatment of viperid envenomation in Southeast Asian region requires further assessment from future clinical trials.

  14. Proteomic and biological characterization of the venom of the redtail coral snake, Micrurus mipartitus (Elapidae), from Colombia and Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Rey-Suárez, Paola; Núñez, Vitelbina; Gutiérrez, José María; Lomonte, Bruno

    2011-12-21

    Venoms of the redtail coral snake Micrurus mipartitus from Colombia and Costa Rica were analyzed by "venomics", a proteomic strategy to determine their composition. Proteins were separated by RP-HPLC, followed by SDS-PAGE, in-gel tryptic digestion, identification by MALDI or ESI tandem mass spectrometry, and assignment to known protein families by similarity. These analyses were complemented with a characterization of venom activities in vitro and in vivo. Proteins belonging to seven families were found in Colombian M. mipartitus venom, including abundant three-finger toxins (3FTx; ~60% of total proteins) and phospholipases A(2) (PLA(2); ~30%), with the remaining ~10% distributed among l-amino acid oxidase, P-III metalloproteinase, Kunitz-type inhibitor, serine proteinase, and C-type lectin-like families. The venoms of two M. mipartitus specimens from Costa Rica, also referred to as M. multifasciatus in some taxonomic classifications, were also analyzed. Both samples were highly similar to each other, and partially resembled the chromatographic and identity profiles of M. mipartitus from Colombia, although presenting a markedly higher proportion of 3FTxs (~83.0%) in relation to PLA(2)s (~8.2%), and a small amount of acetylcholinesterase, not detected in the venom from Colombia. An equine antivenom against the Central American coral snake, M. nigrocinctus, did not recognize venom components of M. mipartitus from Colombia or Costa Rica by enzyme-immunoassay. Four major components of Colombian M. mipartitus venom were isolated and partially characterized. Venomics of Micrurus species may provide a valuable platform for the rational design of immunizing cocktails to obtain polyspecific antivenoms for this highly diverse group of American elapids.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-15

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

  16. Differential transcript profile of inhibitors with potential anti-venom role in the liver of juvenile and adult Bothrops jararaca snake

    PubMed Central

    Gomes, Cícera Maria; de Morais-Zani, Karen; Lu, Stephen; Buarque, Diego de Souza; Braz, Glória Regina Cardoso; Grego, Kathleen Fernandes

    2017-01-01

    Background Snakes belonging to the Bothrops genus are vastly distributed in Central and South America and are responsible for most cases of reported snake bites in Latin America. The clinical manifestations of the envenomation caused by this genus are due to three major activities—proteolytic, hemorrhagic and coagulant—mediated by metalloproteinases, serine proteinases, phospholipases A2 and other toxic compounds present in snake venom. Interestingly, it was observed that snakes are resistant to the toxic effects of its own and other snake’s venoms. This natural immunity may occur due the absence of toxin target or the presence of molecules in the snake plasma able to neutralize such toxins. Methods In order to identify anti-venom molecules, we construct a cDNA library from the liver of B. jararaca snakes. Moreover, we analyzed the expression profile of four molecules—the already known anti-hemorrhagic factor Bj46a, one gamma-phospholipase A2 inhibitor, one inter-alpha inhibitor and one C1 plasma protease inhibitor—in the liver of juvenile and adult snakes by qPCR. Results The results revealed a 30-fold increase of gamma-phospholipase A2 inhibitor and a minor increase of the inter-alpha inhibitor (5-fold) and of the C1 inhibitor (3-fold) in adults. However, the Bj46a factor seems to be equally transcribed in adults and juveniles. Discussion The results suggest the up-regulation of different inhibitors observed in the adult snakes might be a physiological adaptation to the recurrent contact with their own and even other snake’s venoms throughout its lifespan. This is the first comparative analysis of ontogenetic variation of expression profiles of plasmatic proteins with potential anti-venom activities of the venomous snake B. jararaca. Furthermore, the present data contributes to the understanding of the natural resistance described in these snakes. PMID:28462021

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  18. Cobra venom contains a pool of cysteine-rich secretory proteins.

    PubMed

    Osipov, Alexey V; Levashov, Mikhail Yu; Tsetlin, Victor I; Utkin, Yuri N

    2005-03-04

    A large family of cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISPs) includes proteins of different origin, the function of the majority of CRISPs being unknown. For CRISPs isolated from snake venom, two types of activities were found: two proteins blocked cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channels, several others blocked potassium-stimulated smooth muscle contraction. Thus, snake CRISPs represent potentially valuable tools for studies of ion channels, which makes promising a search for new CRISPs. Here we report on the isolation of several novel CRISPs from the venoms of Asian cobra Naja kaouthia and African cobra Naja haje using a combination of different types of liquid chromatography. Four CRISP variants were identified in N. kaouthia venom and three proteins, one of them acidic, were found in N. haje venom. Acidic CRISP was found in a reptilian venom for the first time. Our data suggest that each cobra venom contains a pool of different CRISPs.

  19. Contrasting modes and tempos of venom expression evolution in two snake species.

    PubMed

    Margres, Mark J; McGivern, James J; Seavy, Margaret; Wray, Kenneth P; Facente, Jack; Rokyta, Darin R

    2015-01-01

    Selection is predicted to drive diversification within species and lead to local adaptation, but understanding the mechanistic details underlying this process and thus the genetic basis of adaptive evolution requires the mapping of genotype to phenotype. Venom is complex and involves many genes, but the specialization of the venom gland toward toxin production allows specific transcripts to be correlated with specific toxic proteins, establishing a direct link from genotype to phenotype. To determine the extent of expression variation and identify the processes driving patterns of phenotypic diversity, we constructed genotype-phenotype maps and compared range-wide toxin-protein expression variation for two species of snake with nearly identical ranges: the eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) and the eastern coral snake (Micrurus fulvius). We detected significant expression variation in C. adamanteus, identified the specific loci associated with population differentiation, and found that loci expressed at all levels contributed to this divergence. Contrary to expectations, we found no expression variation in M. fulvius, suggesting that M. fulvius populations are not locally adapted. Our results not only linked expression variation at specific loci to divergence in a polygenic, complex trait but also have extensive conservation and biomedical implications. C. adamanteus is currently a candidate for federal listing under the Endangered Species Act, and the loss of any major population would result in the irrevocable loss of a unique venom phenotype. The lack of variation in M. fulvius has significant biomedical application because our data will assist in the development of effective antivenom for this species.

  20. A comparative analysis of the clotting and fibrinolytic activities of the snake venom (Bothrops atrox) from different geographical areas in Venezuela.

    PubMed

    Salazar, Ana Maria; Rodriguez-Acosta, Alexis; Girón, Maria E; Aguilar, Irma; Guerrero, Belsy

    2007-01-01

    Venom constitution within the same snake species can present considerable geographical variations. Bothrops atrox venoms were obtained from adult snakes captured at different geographical locations: Parguasa (Bolívar state); Puerto Ayacucho 1, Serranía del Cuao and Puerto Ayacucho 2 (Amazon state). The coagulant and fibrinolytic activities of these venoms were compared. Amidolytic activity of crude snake venom was measured by a micromethod designed in our laboratory. Coagulant activity on plasma and fibrinogen due to thrombin-like activity in venoms was also determined. Crude snake venom fibrinolytic activity by the fibrin plate method was assayed. Chromatographic studies were developed on Protein-Pack 300 column. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis was carried out under reduced conditions. After SDS-PAGE of samples, the fibrin-zymography was tested on agarose-fibrin plates. The results demonstrated several differences among B. atrox venoms from different geographical areas. Chromatograms and SDS-PAGE profiles indicated that venoms from the same species presented differences in the molecular mass of their components. The procoagulant activity depended on the utilized method (amidolytic versus clotting). Parguasa and Puerto Ayacucho 2 venoms presented procoagulant activity for both methods. Furthermore, Parguasa venom had also the highest hemorrhagic activity and the lowest LD50. In relation to the fibrinolytic activity, Puerto Ayacucho 1 venom was the most active, equally for fibrin plates as for the amidolytic method (t-PA like). This venom had the lowest coagulant activity, which induced us to think that probably its procoagulant activity was interfered by its fibrinolytic activity.

  1. Tissue Levels of Substance P Associated with Experimental Snake Venom Poisoning

    PubMed Central

    Tiru-Chelvam, R.

    1973-01-01

    This investigation was suggested by gross similarities between the pathophysiological features of Substance P (SP) administration and snake venom poisoning in mammals. Using standard procedures for the extraction, purification and bioassay of SP, levels of SP were measured both in vivo and in vitro before and after treatment of the preparations with venom. There was a consistent depletion of SP in the tissues studied following snake envenomation. The significance of this finding is discussed in the context of the mechanisms of action of snake venom. PMID:4758382

  2. An examination of cardiovascular collapse induced by eastern brown snake (Pseudonaja textilis) venom.

    PubMed

    Chaisakul, Janeyuth; Isbister, Geoffrey K; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Konstantakopoulos, Nicki; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2013-08-29

    The Pseudonaja genus (Brown snakes) is widely distributed across Australia and bites account for significant mortality. Venom-induced consumption coagulopathy (VICC) and, less often, early cardiovascular collapse occur following envenoming by these snakes. We have previously examined possible mechanism(s) behind the early cardiovascular collapse following Papuan taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus) envenoming. In the present study, we investigate early cardiovascular collapse in anaesthetized rats following administration of eastern brown snake (Pseudonaja textilis) venom, and prevention of this effect with prior administration of 'priming' doses (i.e. doses of venom which caused a transient hypotensive response) of venom. P. textilis venom (5-10 μg/kg, i.v.) induced cardiovascular collapse in anaesthetized rats, characterized by a rapid decrease in systolic blood pressure until non recordable. Prior administration of 'priming' doses of P. textilis venom (2 and 3 μg/kg) or, at least, 4-5 doses of O. scutellatus (2 μg/kg, i.v.) or Daboia russelii limitis (20 μg/kg, i.v.) venoms prevented cardiovascular collapse induced by P. textilis venom. Moreover, early collapse was also inhibited by prior administration of 2 discrete doses of Acanthophis rugosus venom. Prior administration of commercial polyvalent snake antivenom (500-3000 units/kg, i.v.) or heparin (300 units/kg, i.v.) also inhibited P. textilis venom-induced cardiovascular collapse. Our results indicate that P. textilis venom-induced cardiovascular collapse can be prevented by prior administration of sub-lethal doses of venom from P. textilis, O. scutellatus, A. rugosus and D. russelii limitis. This suggests that sudden cardiovascular collapse following envenoming is likely to involve a common mechanism/pathway activated by different snake venoms.

  3. Profiling the venom gland transcriptomes of Costa Rican snakes by 454 pyrosequencing

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background A long term research goal of venomics, of applied importance for improving current antivenom therapy, but also for drug discovery, is to understand the pharmacological potential of venoms. Individually or combined, proteomic and transcriptomic studies have demonstrated their feasibility to explore in depth the molecular diversity of venoms. In the absence of genome sequence, transcriptomes represent also valuable searchable databases for proteomic projects. Results The venom gland transcriptomes of 8 Costa Rican taxa from 5 genera (Crotalus, Bothrops, Atropoides, Cerrophidion, and Bothriechis) of pitvipers were investigated using high-throughput 454 pyrosequencing. 100,394 out of 330,010 masked reads produced significant hits in the available databases. 5.165,220 nucleotides (8.27%) were masked by RepeatMasker, the vast majority of which corresponding to class I (retroelements) and class II (DNA transposons) mobile elements. BLAST hits included 79,991 matches to entries of the taxonomic suborder Serpentes, of which 62,433 displayed similarity to documented venom proteins. Strong discrepancies between the transcriptome-computed and the proteome-gathered toxin compositions were obvious at first sight. Although the reasons underlaying this discrepancy are elusive, since no clear trend within or between species is apparent, the data indicate that individual mRNA species may be translationally controlled in a species-dependent manner. The minimum number of genes from each toxin family transcribed into the venom gland transcriptome of each species was calculated from multiple alignments of reads matched to a full-length reference sequence of each toxin family. Reads encoding ORF regions of Kazal-type inhibitor-like proteins were uniquely found in Bothriechis schlegelii and B. lateralis transcriptomes, suggesting a genus-specific recruitment event during the early-Middle Miocene. A transcriptome-based cladogram supports the large divergence between A. mexicanus

  4. Quantitative high-throughput profiling of snake venom gland transcriptomes and proteomes (Ovophis okinavensis and Protobothrops flavoviridis)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Advances in DNA sequencing and proteomics have facilitated quantitative comparisons of snake venom composition. Most studies have employed one approach or the other. Here, both Illumina cDNA sequencing and LC/MS were used to compare the transcriptomes and proteomes of two pit vipers, Protobothrops flavoviridis and Ovophis okinavensis, which differ greatly in their biology. Results Sequencing of venom gland cDNA produced 104,830 transcripts. The Protobothrops transcriptome contained transcripts for 103 venom-related proteins, while the Ovophis transcriptome contained 95. In both, transcript abundances spanned six orders of magnitude. Mass spectrometry identified peptides from 100% of transcripts that occurred at higher than contaminant (e.g. human keratin) levels, including a number of proteins never before sequenced from snakes. These transcriptomes reveal fundamentally different envenomation strategies. Adult Protobothrops venom promotes hemorrhage, hypotension, incoagulable blood, and prey digestion, consistent with mammalian predation. Ovophis venom composition is less readily interpreted, owing to insufficient pharmacological data for venom serine and metalloproteases, which comprise more than 97.3% of Ovophis transcripts, but only 38.0% of Protobothrops transcripts. Ovophis venom apparently represents a hybrid strategy optimized for frogs and small mammals. Conclusions This study illustrates the power of cDNA sequencing combined with MS profiling. The former quantifies transcript composition, allowing detection of novel proteins, but cannot indicate which proteins are actually secreted, as does MS. We show, for the first time, that transcript and peptide abundances are correlated. This means that MS can be used for quantitative, non-invasive venom profiling, which will be beneficial for studies of endangered species. PMID:24224955

  5. Quantitative high-throughput profiling of snake venom gland transcriptomes and proteomes (Ovophis okinavensis and Protobothrops flavoviridis).

    PubMed

    Aird, Steven D; Watanabe, Yutaka; Villar-Briones, Alejandro; Roy, Michael C; Terada, Kouki; Mikheyev, Alexander S

    2013-11-14

    Advances in DNA sequencing and proteomics have facilitated quantitative comparisons of snake venom composition. Most studies have employed one approach or the other. Here, both Illumina cDNA sequencing and LC/MS were used to compare the transcriptomes and proteomes of two pit vipers, Protobothrops flavoviridis and Ovophis okinavensis, which differ greatly in their biology. Sequencing of venom gland cDNA produced 104,830 transcripts. The Protobothrops transcriptome contained transcripts for 103 venom-related proteins, while the Ovophis transcriptome contained 95. In both, transcript abundances spanned six orders of magnitude. Mass spectrometry identified peptides from 100% of transcripts that occurred at higher than contaminant (e.g. human keratin) levels, including a number of proteins never before sequenced from snakes. These transcriptomes reveal fundamentally different envenomation strategies. Adult Protobothrops venom promotes hemorrhage, hypotension, incoagulable blood, and prey digestion, consistent with mammalian predation. Ovophis venom composition is less readily interpreted, owing to insufficient pharmacological data for venom serine and metalloproteases, which comprise more than 97.3% of Ovophis transcripts, but only 38.0% of Protobothrops transcripts. Ovophis venom apparently represents a hybrid strategy optimized for frogs and small mammals. This study illustrates the power of cDNA sequencing combined with MS profiling. The former quantifies transcript composition, allowing detection of novel proteins, but cannot indicate which proteins are actually secreted, as does MS. We show, for the first time, that transcript and peptide abundances are correlated. This means that MS can be used for quantitative, non-invasive venom profiling, which will be beneficial for studies of endangered species.

  6. Snake venom toxins. The amino-acid sequence of a short-neurotoxin homologue from Dendroaspis polylepis polylepis (black mamba) venom.

    PubMed

    Strydom, D J

    1977-06-01

    The third most abundant component of black mamba venom, named FS2, was sequenced with the aid of sequenator studies and peptides derived by tryptic and chymotryptic digestion. Cyanogen bromide digests provided extra information to support the proposed structure. This protein is a homologue of the short neurotoxins of snake venom, but is much less toxic. Its structure is quite different from both neurotoxins and the other mamba proteins, called angusticeps types (neurotoxin homologues). Comparison of the known angusticeps-type toxins from mamba venom with mamba neurotoxins and each other leads to proposals that these proteins of low toxicity are inventions of the group of mambas and that three different, as yet unknown, functions will be associated with the three subgroups that are discernable.

  7. A rapid and sensitive fluorometric method for the quantitative analysis of snake venom metalloproteases and their inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Biardi, J. E.; Nguyen, K. T.; Lander, S.; Whitley, M.; Nambiar, K. P.

    2011-01-01

    Metalloproteases are responsible for the hemorrhagic effects of many snake venoms and contribute to other pathways that lead to local tissue damage. Methods that quantify snake venom metalloproteases (SVMP) are therefore valuable tools in research on the clinical, physiological, and biochemical effects of envenomation. Comparative analysis of individual, population, and species differences requires screening of large numbers of samples and treatments, and therefore require a method of quantifying SVMP activity that is simple, rapid, and sensitive. This paper demonstrates the properties of a new fluorometric assay of SVMP activity that can provide a measure of metalloprotease activity in one hour. The assay is reliable, with variation among replicates sufficiently small to reliably detect differences in between species (F19,60 = 2924, p < 0.001), even for those venoms with low overall activity. It is also sensitive enough to detect differences among venoms using < 2 ng of whole venom protein. We provide an example use of this assay to detect the presence of natural SVMP inhibitors in minute samples of blood plasma from rock squirrels (S. variegatus), a natural prey species for North American rattlesnakes. We propose this assay is a useful addition to the set of tools used to characterize venoms, as well as high-throughput screening of natural or synthetic inhibitors, or other novel therapeutic agents against SVMP effects. PMID:21187109

  8. A rapid and sensitive fluorometric method for the quantitative analysis of snake venom metalloproteases and their inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Biardi, J E; Nguyen, K T; Lander, S; Whitley, M; Nambiar, K P

    2011-02-01

    Metalloproteases are responsible for the hemorrhagic effects of many snake venoms and contribute to other pathways that lead to local tissue damage. Methods that quantify snake venom metalloproteases (SVMP) are therefore valuable tools in research on the clinical, physiological, and biochemical effects of envenomation. Comparative analysis of individual, population, and species differences requires screening of large numbers of samples and treatments, and therefore require a method of quantifying SVMP activity that is simple, rapid, and sensitive. This paper demonstrates the properties of a new fluorometric assay of SVMP activity that can provide a measure of metalloprotease activity in 1 h. The assay is reliable, with variation among replicates sufficiently small to reliably detect differences in between species (F(19,60) = 2924, p < 0.001), even for those venoms with low overall activity. It is also sensitive enough to detect differences among venoms using <2 ng of whole venom protein. We provide an example use of this assay to detect the presence of natural SVMP inhibitors in minute samples of blood plasma from rock squirrels (S. variegatus), a natural prey species for North American rattlesnakes. We propose this assay is a useful addition to the set of tools used to characterize venoms, as well as high-throughput screening of natural or synthetic inhibitors, or other novel therapeutic agents against SVMP effects. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Novel Catalytically-Inactive PII Metalloproteinases from a Viperid Snake Venom with Substitutions in the Canonical Zinc-Binding Motif

    PubMed Central

    Camacho, Erika; Sanz, Libia; Escalante, Teresa; Pérez, Alicia; Villalta, Fabián; Lomonte, Bruno; Neves-Ferreira, Ana Gisele C.; Feoli, Andrés; Calvete, Juan J.; Gutiérrez, José María; Rucavado, Alexandra

    2016-01-01

    Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) play key biological roles in prey immobilization and digestion. The majority of these activities depend on the hydrolysis of relevant protein substrates in the tissues. Hereby, we describe several isoforms and a cDNA clone sequence, corresponding to PII SVMP homologues from the venom of the Central American pit viper Bothriechis lateralis, which have modifications in the residues of the canonical sequence of the zinc-binding motif HEXXHXXGXXH. As a consequence, the proteolytic activity of the isolated proteins was undetectable when tested on azocasein and gelatin. These PII isoforms comprise metalloproteinase and disintegrin domains in the mature protein, thus belonging to the subclass PIIb of SVMPs. PII SVMP homologues were devoid of hemorrhagic and in vitro coagulant activities, effects attributed to the enzymatic activity of SVMPs, but induced a mild edema. One of the isoforms presents the characteristic RGD sequence in the disintegrin domain and inhibits ADP- and collagen-induced platelet aggregation. Catalytically-inactive SVMP homologues may have been hitherto missed in the characterization of snake venoms. The presence of such enzymatically-inactive homologues in snake venoms and their possible toxic and adaptive roles deserve further investigation. PMID:27754342

  10. At-line nanofractionation with parallel mass spectrometry and bioactivity assessment for the rapid screening of thrombin and factor Xa inhibitors in snake venoms.

    PubMed

    Mladic, Marija; Zietek, Barbara M; Iyer, Janaki Krishnamoorthy; Hermarij, Philip; Niessen, Wilfried M A; Somsen, Govert W; Kini, R Manjunatha; Kool, Jeroen

    2016-02-01

    Snake venoms comprise complex mixtures of peptides and proteins causing modulation of diverse physiological functions upon envenomation of the prey organism. The components of snake venoms are studied as research tools and as potential drug candidates. However, the bioactivity determination with subsequent identification and purification of the bioactive compounds is a demanding and often laborious effort involving different analytical and pharmacological techniques. This study describes the development and optimization of an integrated analytical approach for activity profiling and identification of venom constituents targeting the cardiovascular system, thrombin and factor Xa enzymes in particular. The approach developed encompasses reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RPLC) analysis of a crude snake venom with parallel mass spectrometry (MS) and bioactivity analysis. The analytical and pharmacological part in this approach are linked using at-line nanofractionation. This implies that the bioactivity is assessed after high-resolution nanofractionation (6 s/well) onto high-density 384-well microtiter plates and subsequent freeze drying of the plates. The nanofractionation and bioassay conditions were optimized for maintaining LC resolution and achieving good bioassay sensitivity. The developed integrated analytical approach was successfully applied for the fast screening of snake venoms for compounds affecting thrombin and factor Xa activity. Parallel accurate MS measurements provided correlation of observed bioactivity to peptide/protein masses. This resulted in identification of a few interesting peptides with activity towards the drug target factor Xa from a screening campaign involving venoms of 39 snake species. Besides this, many positive protease activity peaks were observed in most venoms analysed. These protease fingerprint chromatograms were found to be similar for evolutionary closely related species and as such might serve as generic snake protease

  11. The in vitro neuromuscular activity of Indo-Pacific sea-snake venoms: efficacy of two commercially available antivenoms.

    PubMed

    Chetty, Navinisha; Du, Amanda; Hodgson, Wayne C; Winkel, Ken; Fry, Bryan G

    2004-08-01

    We examined the neurotoxicity of the following sea snake venoms: Enhydrina schistosa (geographical variants from Weipa and Malaysia), Lapemis curtus (Weipa and Malaysia), Laticauda colubrina, Aipysurus laevis, Aipysurus fuscus and Aipysurus foliosquamatus. Venom from a terrestrial snake, Notechis scutatus (tiger snake), was used as a reference. All venoms (1 and 3 microg/ml) abolished indirect twitches of the chick biventer cervicis muscle and significantly inhibited responses to ACh (1 mM) and CCh (20 microM), but not KCl (40 mM), indicating the presence of post-synaptic toxins. Prior administration (10 min) of CSL sea snake antivenom (1 unit/ml) attenuated the twitch blockade produced by N. scutatus venom and all sea snake venoms (1 microg/ml). Prior administration (10 min) of CSL tiger snake antivenom (1 unit/ml) attenuated the twitch blockade of all venoms except those produced by E. schistosa (Malaysia and Weipa) and A. foliosquamatus. Administration of CSL sea snake antivenom (1 unit/ml) at t90 (i.e. time at which 90% inhibition of initial twitch height occurred) reversed the inhibition of twitches (20-50%) produced by the sea snake venoms (1 microg/ml) but not by N. scutatus venom (1 microg/ml). CSL tiger snake antivenom (1 unit/ml) administered at t90 produced only minor reversal (i.e. 15-25%) of the twitch blockade caused by L. curtus (Weipa), A. foliosquamatus, L. colubrina and A. laevis venoms (1 microg/ml). Differences in the rate of reversal of the neurotoxicity produced by the two geographical variants of E. schistosa venom, after addition of CSL sea snake antivenom, indicate possible differences in venom components. This study shows that sea snake venoms contain potent post-synaptic activity that, despite the significant genetic distances between the lineages, can be neutralised with CSL sea snake antivenom. However, the effects of CSL tiger snake antivenom are more variable.

  12. Feeding behavior and venom toxicity of coral snake Micrurus nigrocinctus (Serpentes: Elapidae) on its natural prey in captivity.

    PubMed

    Urdaneta, Aldo H; Bolaños, Federico; Gutiérrez, José María

    2004-08-01

    The feeding behavior and venom toxicity of the coral snake Micrurus nigrocinctus (Serpentes: Elapidae) on its natural prey in captivity were investigated. Coral snakes searched for their prey (the colubrid snake Geophis godmani) in the cages. Once their preys were located, coral snakes stroke them with a rapid forward movement, biting predominantly in the anterior region of the body. In order to assess the role of venom in prey restraint and ingestion, a group of coral snakes was 'milked' in order to drastically reduce the venom content in their glands. Significant differences were observed between snakes with venom, i.e., 'nonmilked' snakes, and 'milked' snakes regarding their behavior after the bite. The former remained hold to the prey until paralysis was achieved, whereas the latter, in the absence of paralysis, moved their head towards the head of the prey and bit the skull to achieve prey immobilization by mechanical means. There were no significant differences in the time of ingestion between these two groups of coral snakes. Susceptibility to the lethal effect of coral snake venom greatly differed in four colubrid species; G. godmani showed the highest susceptibility, followed by Geophis brachycephalus, whereas Ninia psephota and Ninia maculata were highly resistant to this venom. In addition, the blood serum of N. maculata, but not that of G. brachycephalus, prolonged the time of death of mice injected with 2 LD(50)s of M. nigrocinctus venom, when venom and blood serum were incubated before testing. Subcutaneous injection of coral snake venom in G. godmani induced neurotoxicity and myotoxicity, without causing hemorrhage and without affecting heart and lungs. It is concluded that (a) M. nigrocinctus venom plays a role in prey immobilization, (b) venom induces neurotoxic and myotoxic effects in colubrid snakes which comprise part of their natural prey, and (c) some colubrid snakes of the genus Ninia present a conspicuous resistance to the toxic action of M

  13. Hyaluronidase and protease activities from Indian snake venoms: neutralization by Mimosa pudica root extract.

    PubMed

    Girish, K S; Mohanakumari, H P; Nagaraju, S; Vishwanath, B S; Kemparaju, K

    2004-06-01

    The aqueous root extract of Mimosa pudica dose dependently inhibited the hyaluronidase and protease activities of Indian snakes (Naja naja, Vipera russelii and Echis carinatus) venom. Copyright 2004 Elsevier B.V.

  14. Snake venomics of Micrurus alleni and Micrurus mosquitensis from the Caribbean region of Costa Rica reveals two divergent compositional patterns in New World elapids.

    PubMed

    Fernández, Julián; Vargas-Vargas, Nancy; Pla, Davinia; Sasa, Mahmood; Rey-Suárez, Paola; Sanz, Libia; Gutiérrez, José María; Calvete, Juan J; Lomonte, Bruno

    2015-12-01

    Protein composition, toxicity, and neutralization of the venoms of Micrurus alleni and Micrurus mosquitensis, two sympatric monadal coral snakes found in humid environments of the Caribbean region of Costa Rica, were studied. Proteomic profiling revealed that these venoms display highly divergent compositions: the former dominated by three-finger toxins (3FTx) and the latter by phospholipases A2 (PLA2). Protein family abundances correlated with enzymatic and toxic characteristics of the venoms. Selective inhibition experiments showed that PLA2s play only a marginal role in the lethal effect of M. alleni venom, but have a major role in M. mosquitensis venom. Proteomic data gathered from other Micrurus species evidenced that the two divergent venom phenotypes are recurrent, and may constitute a general trend across New World elapids. Further, M. mosquitensis, but not M. alleni, venom contains PLA2-like/Kunitz-type inhibitor complex(es) that resemble the ASIC1a/2-activating MitTx heterodimeric toxin isolated from Micrurus tener venom. The evolutionary origin and adaptive relevance of the puzzling phenotypic variability of Micrurus venoms remain to be understood. An antivenom against the PLA2-predominant Micrurus nigrocinctus venom strongly cross-recognized and neutralized M. mosquitensis venom, but only weakly M. alleni venom.

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

    PubMed

    Jansa, Sharon A; Voss, Robert S

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Jansa, Sharon A.; Voss, Robert S.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

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

  18. Presynaptic Proteins as Markers of the Neurotoxic Activity of BmjeTX-I and BmjeTX-II Toxins from Bothrops marajoensis (Marajó Lancehead) Snake Venom

    PubMed Central

    Lisboa, Antonio; Melaré, Rodolfo; Franco, Junia R. B.; Bis, Carolina V.; Gracia, Marta; Ponce-Soto, Luis A.; Marangoni, Sérgio; Rodrigues-Simioni, Léa; da Cruz-Höfling, Maria Alice

    2016-01-01

    Neuromuscular preparations exposed to B. marajoensis venom show increases in the frequency of miniature end-plate potentials and twitch tension facilitation followed by presynaptic neuromuscular paralysis, without evidences of muscle damage. Considering that presynaptic toxins interfere into the machinery involved in neurotransmitter release (synaptophysin, synaptobrevin, and SNAP25 proteins), the main objective of this communication is to analyze, by immunofluorescence and western blotting, the expression of the synaptic proteins, synaptophysin, synaptobrevin, and SNAP25 and by myography, light, and transmission electron microscopy the pathology of motor nerve terminals and skeletal muscle fibres of chick biventer cervicis preparations (CBC) exposed in vitro to BmjeTX-I and BmjeTX-II toxins from B. marajoensis venom. CBC incubated with toxins showed irreversible twitch tension blockade and unaffected KCl- and ACh-evoked contractures, and the positive colabelling of acetylcholine receptors confirmed that their action was primarily at the motor nerve terminal. Hypercontraction and loose myofilaments and synaptic vesicle depletion and motor nerve damage indicated that the toxins displayed both myotoxic and neurotoxic effect. The blockade resulted from interference on synaptophysin, synaptobrevin, and SNAP25 proteins leading to the conclusion that BmjeTX-I and BmjeTX-II affected neurotransmitter release machinery by preventing the docking of synaptic vesicles to the axolemma of the nerve terminal. PMID:27635261

  19. Integrative characterization of the venom of the coral snake Micrurus dumerilii (Elapidae) from Colombia: Proteome, toxicity, and cross-neutralization by antivenom.

    PubMed

    Rey-Suárez, Paola; Núñez, Vitelbina; Fernández, Julián; Lomonte, Bruno

    2016-03-16

    In Colombia, nearly 2.8% of the 4200 snakebite accidents recorded annually are inflicted by coral snakes (genus Micrurus). Micrurus dumerilii has a broad distribution in this country, especially in densely populated areas. The proteomic profile of its venom was here studied by a bottom-up approach combining RP-HPLC, SDS-PAGE and MALDI-TOF/TOF. Venom proteins were assigned to eleven families, the most abundant being phospholipases A2 (PLA2; 52.0%) and three-finger toxins (3FTx; 28.1%). This compositional profile shows that M. dumerilii venom belongs to the 'PLA2-rich' phenotype, in the recently proposed dichotomy for Micrurus venoms. Enzymatic and toxic venom activities correlated with protein family abundances. Whole venom induced a conspicuous myotoxic, cytotoxic and anticoagulant effect, and was mildly edematogenic and proteolytic, whereas it lacked hemorrhagic activity. Some 3FTxs and PLA2s reproduced the lethal effect of venom. A coral snake antivenom to Micrurus nigrocinctus demonstrated significant cross-recognition of M. dumerilii venom proteins, and accordingly, ability to neutralize its lethal effect. The combined compositional, functional, and immunological data here reported for M. dumerilii venom may contribute to a better understanding of these envenomings, and support the possible use of anti-M. nigrocinctus coral snake antivenom in their treatment. Coral snakes represent a highly diversified group of elapids in the New World, with nearly 70 species within the genus Micrurus. Owing to their scarce yields, the biochemical composition and toxic activities of coral snake venoms have been less well characterized than those of viperid species. In this work, an integrative view of the venom of M. dumerilii, a medically relevant coral snake from Colombia, was obtained by a combined proteomic, functional, and immunological approach. The venom contains proteins from at least eleven families, with a predominance of phospholipases A2 (PLA2), followed by three

  20. Comparison of total protein and phospholipase A(2) levels in individual coralsnake venoms.

    PubMed

    Kopper, Randall A; Harper, George R; Zimmerman, Sloane; Hook, Jessica

    2013-12-15

    Studies of differences or changes in venom protein levels or enzymatic activities have significance only if contrasted to the normal variations between individual snakes. This study involves the analysis and comparison of venom from 13 individual Texas coralsnakes (Micrurus tener tener) in order to detect differences in the volume, total protein concentration, electrophoretic profile, and PLA2 enzyme activity. A significant inverse correlation between venom volume and total protein concentration was found. Although the 13 venoms were indistinguishable from their electrophoretic protein profiles, phospholipase A2 enzymatic activities varied considerably.

  1. Molecular modeling and snake venom phospholipase A2 inhibition by phenolic compounds: Structure-activity relationship.

    PubMed

    Alam, Md Iqbal; Alam, Mohammed A; Alam, Ozair; Nargotra, Amit; Taneja, Subhash Chandra; Koul, Surrinder

    2016-05-23

    In our earlier study, we have reported that a phenolic compound 2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzaldehyde from Janakia arayalpatra root extract was active against Viper and Cobra envenomations. Based on the structure of this natural product, libraries of synthetic structurally variant phenolic compounds were studied through molecular docking on the venom protein. To validate the activity of eight selected compounds, we have tested them in in vivo and in vitro models. The compound 21 (2-hydroxy-3-methoxy benzaldehyde), 22 (2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzaldehyde) and 35 (2-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzylalcohol) were found to be active against venom-induced pathophysiological changes. The compounds 20, 15 and 35 displayed maximum anti-hemorrhagic, anti-lethal and PLA2 inhibitory activity respectively. In terms of SAR, the presence of a formyl group in conjunction with a phenolic group was seen as a significant contributor towards increasing the antivenom activity. The above observations confirmed the anti-venom activity of the phenolic compounds which needs to be further investigated for the development of new anti-snake venom leads.

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

    PubMed

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

    1994-04-01

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

  3. The role of platelets in hemostasis and the effects of snake venom toxins on platelet function.

    PubMed

    de Queiroz, Mayara Ribeiro; de Sousa, Bruna Barbosa; da Cunha Pereira, Déborah Fernanda; Mamede, Carla Cristine Neves; Matias, Mariana Santos; de Morais, Nadia Cristina Gomes; de Oliveira Costa, Júnia; de Oliveira, Fábio

    2017-07-01

    The human body has a set of physiological processes, known as hemostasis, which keeps the blood fluid and free of clots in normal vessels; in the case of vascular injury, this process induces the local formation of a hemostatic plug, preventing hemorrhage. The hemostatic system in humans presents complex physiological interactions that involve platelets, plasma proteins, endothelial and subendothelial structures. Disequilibrium in the regulatory mechanisms that control the growth and the size of the thrombus is one of the factors that favors the development of diseases related to vascular disorders such as myocardial infarction and stroke, which are among the leading causes of death in the western world. Interfering with platelet function is a strategy for the treatment of thrombotic diseases. Antiplatelet drugs are used mainly in cases related to arterial thrombosis and interfere in the formation of the platelet plug by different mechanisms. Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is the oldest and most widely used antithrombotic drug. Although highly effective in most cases, aspirin has limitations compared to other drugs used in the treatment of homeostatic disorders. For this reason, research related to molecules that interfere with platelet aggregation are of great relevance. In this regard, snake venoms are known to contain a number of molecules that interfere with hemostasis, including platelet function. The mechanisms by which snake venom components inhibit or activate platelet aggregation are varied and can be used as tools for the diagnosis and the treatment of several hemostatic disorders. The aim of this review is to present the role of platelets in hemostasis and the mechanisms by which snake venom toxins interfere with platelet function. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. [Pharmacologic and enzymatic effects of snake venoms from Antioquia and Choco (Colombia)].

    PubMed

    Otero, R; Guillermo Osorio, R; Valderrama, R; Augusto Giraldo, C

    1992-01-01

    We compared several pharmacological and enzymatic effects induced by 11 snake venoms from seven species, six of them from different geographic areas of Antioquia and Choco, north-west of Colombia, South America (Bothrops atrox, B. nasutus, B. schlegelii, B. punctatus, Lachesis muta, Micrurus mipartitus), and Crotalus durissus terrificus venom, from specimens captured in other provinces of the country (Tolima, Huila, Meta and Atlantico). Differences were observed in edema-forming, hemorrhage, defibrination, indirect hemolysis, myonecrosis, proteolysis and lethal activity between venoms from different genera or species, as well as according to the geographic area of origin in B. atrox and B. nasutus snake venoms. Bothrops venoms, in particular B. atrox and L. muta, produced major local effects. All of the venoms, including M. mipartitus, had myotoxic effects. The most defibrinating venoms were B. atrox, L. muta, B. punctatus and C. d. terrificus. All of the venoms had indirect hemolytic activity; the venom of M. mipartitus being greatest. The most lethal venoms were those of C. d. terrificus and M. mipartitus. Within Bothrops species, the venom of B. schlegelii was the least active in terms of local and systemic pathologic effects.

  5. Neutralization of pharmacological and toxic activities of bothrops snake venoms by Schizolobium parahyba (Fabaceae) aqueous extract and its fractions.

    PubMed

    Vale, Luis Henrique F; Mendes, Mirian M; Hamaguchi, Amélia; Soares, Andreimar M; Rodrigues, Veridiana M; Homsi-Brandeburgo, Maria Inês

    2008-07-01

    The aqueous extract prepared from Schizolobium parahyba (Sp) leaves, a native plant from Atlantic Forest (Brazil), was tested to analyse its ability to inhibit some biological and enzymatic activities induced by Bothrops alternatus (BaltCV) and Bothrops moojeni (BmooCV) snake venoms. Sp inhibited 100% of lethality, blood incoagulability, haemorrhagic and indirect haemolytic activities at a 1:10 ratio (venom/extract, w/w), as well as coagulant activity at a 1:5 ratio (venom/extract, w/w) induced by both venoms. BaltCV fibrinogenolytic activity was also neutralized by Sp at a 1:10 ratio, resulting in total protection of fibrinogen Bbeta chain and partial protection of Aalpha chain. Interaction tests have demonstrated that, at certain extract/proteins ratios, Sp precipitates proteins non-specifically suggesting the presence of tannins, which are very likely responsible for the excellent inhibiting effects of the analysed ophidian activities. Sp aqueous extract chromatography on Sephadex LH-20 was carried out aiming at the separation of these compounds that mask the obtained results. Thus, the fractionation of Sp resulted in three fractions: F1 (methanolic fraction); F2 (methanol:water fraction, 1:1 v/v); and F3 (aqueous fraction). These fractions were analysed for their ability to inhibit the BaltCV fibrinogenolytic activity. F1 inhibited 100% the venom fibrinogenolytic activity without presenting protein precipitation effect; F2 showed only partial inhibition of this venom activity. Finally, F3 did not inhibit fibrinogen proteolysis, but presented strong protein precipitating action. We conclude that Sp aqueous extract, together with tannins, also contains other compounds that can display specific inhibitory activity against snake venom toxins.

  6. Dynamic Rearrangement in Snake Venom Gland Proteome: Insights into Bothrops jararaca Intraspecific Venom Variation.

    PubMed

    Augusto-de-Oliveira, César; Stuginski, Daniel R; Kitano, Eduardo S; Andrade-Silva, Débora; Liberato, Tarcísio; Fukushima, Isabella; Serrano, Solange M T; Zelanis, André

    2016-10-07

    We carried out an analysis of the venom gland proteome of Bothrops jararaca taking into account two distinct phases of its ontogenetic development (i.e., newborn and adult) and the marked sexual dimorphism recently reported on its venom proteome. Proteomic data analysis showed a dynamic rearrangement in the proteome landscape of B. jararaca venom gland upon development and gender-related changes. Differentially expressed proteins covered a number of biological pathways related to protein synthesis, including proteins associated with transcription and translation, which were found to be significantly higher expressed in the newborn venom gland. Our results suggest that the variation in the expression levels of cellular proteins might give rise to an even higher variation in the levels of the expressed toxins. Upon aging, the venom gland proteome repertoire related to the protein synthesis together with ecological traits would have an impact on the toxin repertoire, which, in the case of B. jararaca species, would enable the species to deal with different prey types during its lifespan. Proteomic data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD004186.

  7. Proteomics and antivenomics of Papuan black snake (Pseudechis papuanus) venom with analysis of its toxicological profile and the preclinical efficacy of Australian antivenoms.

    PubMed

    Pla, Davinia; Bande, Benjamin W; Welton, Ronelle E; Paiva, Owen K; Sanz, Libia; Segura, Álvaro; Wright, Christine E; Calvete, Juan J; Gutiérrez, José María; Williams, David J

    2017-01-06

    The Papuan black snake (Pseudechis papuanus Serpentes: Elapidae) is endemic to Papua New Guinea, Indonesian Papua and Australia's Torres Strait Islands. We have investigated the biological activity and proteomic composition of its venom. The P. papuanus venom proteome is dominated by a variety (n≥18) of PLA2s, which together account for ~90% of the venom proteins, and a set of low relative abundance proteins, including a short-neurotoxic 3FTx (3.1%), 3-4 PIII-SVMPs (2.8%), 3 cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISP; 2.3%) 1-3 l-amino acid oxidase (LAAO) molecules (1.6%). Probing of a P. papuanus cDNA library with specific primers resulted in the elucidation of the full-length nucleotide sequences of six new toxins, including vespryn and NGF not found in the venom proteome, and a calglandulin protein involved in toxin expression with the venom glands. Intravenous injection of P. papuanus venom in mice induced lethality, intravascular haemolysis, pulmonary congestion and oedema, and anticoagulation after intravenous injection, and these effects are mainly due to the action of PLA2s. This study also evaluated the in vivo preclinical efficacy of Australian black snake and polyvalent Seqirus antivenoms. These antivenoms were effective in neutralising the lethal, PLA2 and anticoagulant activities of P. papuanus venom in mice. On the other hand, all of the Seqirus antivenoms tested using an antivenomic approach exhibited strong immunorecognition of all the venom components. These preclinical results suggest that Australian Seqirus(1) antivenoms may provide paraspecific protection against P. papuanus venom in humans. The toxicological profile and proteomic composition of the venom of the Papuan black snake, Pseudechis papuanus, a large diurnal snake endemic to the southern coast of New Guinea and a handful of close offshore islands, were investigated. Intravenous injection of P. papuanus venom in mice induced intravascular hemolysis, pulmonary congestion and edema

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Snake venom poisoning in Greece. Experiences with 147 cases.

    PubMed

    Frangides, Christos Y; Koulouras, Vasilios; Kouni, Sophia N; Tzortzatos, Gerasimos V; Nikolaou, Athanasios; Pneumaticos, John; Pierrakeas, Christos; Niarchos, Constantinos; Kounis, Nicholas G; Koutsojannis, Constantinos M

    2006-01-01

    Snake venom poisoning is a medical emergency requiring immediate attention. Bites from poisonous European snakes can lead to local tissue damage and systemic symptoms. Vipera ammodytes accounts for the most envenomation in Greece. The demographic and epidemiological characteristics, clinical symptoms and signs, laboratory findings, treatment, and outcome of 147 consecutive victims of V. ammodytes admitted to our hospital from 1988 to 2003 were reviewed and analyzed. The most common symptoms and signs included fang marks (100%), pain (100%), swelling (98.64%), ecchymosis (60.54%), tachycardia (32.65%), fainting or dizziness (29.93%), fever (23.13%), enlargement of regional lymph nodes (17.69%), nausea (16.33%), hypotension (13.61%), and vomiting (12.93%). The main complications were reduced range of motion, thrombophlebitis, local hemorrhagic blister formation, skin bleeding, rhabdomyolysis, reduced sensation, acute renal failure, necrosis with tissue loss, carpal tunnel syndrome, compartment syndrome, Kounis syndrome, and digit amputation. A V. ammodytes bite is a potentially serious event that requires immediate hospital care. Yet, the majority of victims can be treated successfully with conservative methods. No deaths occurred in our series.

  10. 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.

  11. Neutralizing effects of Nectandra angustifolia extracts against Bothrops neuwiedi snake venom.

    PubMed

    Torres, Ana M; Camargo, Francisco J; Ricciardi, Gabriela A L; Ricciardi, Armando I A; Dellacassa, Eduardo

    2011-09-01

    Leaves extracts and essential oil of Nectandra angustifolia were explored for the first time for neutralization of Bothrops neuwiedi diporus snake venom. The ethanol extract was the most active and inhibited both venom activities (hemolytic and coagulant), while the oil was only active on the coagulant activity. These observations confirmed that certain medicinal plants from Corrientes and Chaco Provinces possess significant snake venom neutralizing capacity and need further examination for their active constituents. Analysis by GC and GC-MS of the essential oil and the enantiomeric excess found for alpha-pinene, beta-pinene and limonene allowed a better characterization of this species.

  12. Protective Effect of the Plant Extracts of Erythroxylum sp. against Toxic Effects Induced by the Venom of Lachesis muta Snake.

    PubMed

    Coriolano de Oliveira, Eduardo; Alves Soares Cruz, Rodrigo; de Mello Amorim, Nayanna; Guerra Santos, Marcelo; Carlos Simas Pereira Junior, Luiz; Flores Sanchez, Eladio Oswaldo; Pinho Fernandes, Caio; Garrett, Rafael; Machado Rocha, Leandro; Lopes Fuly, André

    2016-10-11

    Snake venoms are composed of a complex mixture of active proteins that induce toxic effects, such as edema, hemorrhage, and death. Lachesis muta has the highest lethality indices in Brazil. In most cases, antivenom fails to neutralize local effects, leading to disabilities in victims. Thus, alternative treatments are under investigation, and plant extracts are promising candidates. The objective of this work was to investigate the ability of crude extracts, fractions, or isolated products of Erythroxylum ovalifolium and Erythroxylum subsessile to neutralize some toxic effects of L. muta venom. All samples were mixed with L. muta venom, then in vivo (hemorrhage and edema) and in vitro (proteolysis, coagulation, and hemolysis) assays were performed. Overall, crude extracts or fractions of Erythroxylum spp. inhibited (20%-100%) toxic effects of the venom, but products achieved an inhibition of 4%-30%. However, when venom was injected into mice before the plant extracts, hemorrhage and edema were not inhibited by the samples. On the other hand, an inhibition of 5%-40% was obtained when extracts or products were given before venom injection. These results indicate that the extracts or products of Erythroxylum spp. could be a promising source of molecules able to treat local toxic effects of envenomation by L. muta venom, aiding in the development of new strategies for antivenom treatment.

  13. Natural phospholipase A(2) myotoxin inhibitor proteins from snakes, mammals and plants.

    PubMed

    Lizano, Sergio; Domont, Gilberto; Perales, Jonas

    2003-12-15

    A renewed interest in the phenomenon of inter- and intra-species resistance towards the toxicity of snake venoms, coupled with the search for new strategies for treatment of snake envenomations, has prompted the discovery of proteins which neutralize the major toxic components of these venoms. Among these emerging groups of proteins are inhibitors of toxic phospholipases A2 (PLA2s), many of which exhibit a wide range of toxic effects including muscle-tissue damage, neurotoxicity, and inflammation. These proteins have been isolated from both venomous and non-venomous snakes, mammals, and most recently from medicinal plant extracts. The snake blood-derived inhibitors have been grouped into three major classes, alpha, beta, and gamma, based on common structural motifs found in other proteins with diverse physiological properties. In mammals, DM64, an anti-myotoxic protein isolated from opossum serum, belongs to the immunoglobulin super gene family and is homologous to human alpha1B-glycoprotein and DM43, a metalloproteinase inhibitor from the same organism. In plants, a short note is made of WSG, a newly described anti-toxic-PLA2 glycoprotein isolated from Withania somnifera (Ashwaganda), a medicinal plant whose aqueous extracts neutralize the PLA2 activity of the Naja naja venom. The implications of these new groups of PLA2 toxin inhibitors in the context of our current understanding of snake biology as well as in the development of novel therapeutic reagents in the treatment of snake envenomations worldwide are discussed.

  14. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of the myotoxic venom of Pseudechis australis (mulga snake) in the anesthetised rat.

    PubMed

    Hart, A J; Hodgson, W C; O'Leary, M; Isbister, G K

    2014-07-01

    Myotoxicity is a common clinical effect of snake envenoming and results from either local or systemic myotoxins in snake venoms. Although numerous myotoxins have been isolated from snake venoms, there has been limited study on the relationship between the time course of venom concentrations (pharmacokinetics) and the time course of muscle injury measured as a rise in creatine kinase (CK) (pharmacodynamics). The aim of this study was to develop an in vivo model of myotoxicity to investigate the time course of myotoxicity and the effect of antivenom. Anesthetised rats were administered Pseudechis australis (mulga snake) venom either through i.v., i.m. or s.d. route, including a range of doses (5-100 μg/kg). Serial blood samples were collected for measurement of venom using enzyme immunoassay and measurement of CK and creatinine. Antivenom was administered before, 1 and 6 h after venom administration to investigate its effect on muscle injury. Plots of venom and CK versus time were made and the area under the curve (AUC) was calculated. There was a significant dose-dependent increase in CK concentration after administration of P. australis venom, which was greatest for i.v. administration. Timed measurement of venom concentrations showed a rapid absorption through s.d. and i.m. routes and a delayed rise in CK concentrations following any route. Antivenom prevented myotoxicity shown by a decrease in the CK AUC, which was most effective if given earliest. There was a rise in creatinine following i.v. venom administration. The study shows the delayed relationship between venom absorption and the rise in CK, consistent with the delayed onset of myotoxicity in human envenoming. Antivenom prevented myotoxicity more effectively if given earlier.

  15. A Transcriptomic View of the Proteome Variability of Newborn and Adult Bothrops jararaca Snake Venoms

    PubMed Central

    Zelanis, André; Andrade-Silva, Débora; Rocha, Marisa M.; Furtado, Maria F.; Serrano, Solange M. T.; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L. M.; Ho, Paulo Lee

    2012-01-01

    Background Snake bite is a neglected public health problem in communities in rural areas of several countries. Bothrops jararaca causes many snake bites in Brazil and previous studies have demonstrated that the pharmacological activities displayed by its venom undergo a significant ontogenetic shift. Similarly, the venom proteome of B. jararaca exhibits a considerable variation upon neonate to adult transition, which is associated with changes in diet from ectothermic prey in early life to endothermic prey in adulthood. Moreover, it has been shown that the Brazilian commercial antibothropic antivenom, which is produced by immunization with adult venom, is less effective in neutralizing newborn venom effects. On the other hand, venom gland transcripts of newborn snakes are poorly known since all transcriptomic studies have been carried out using mRNA from adult specimens. Methods/Principal Findings Here we analyzed venom gland cDNA libraries of newborn and adult B. jararaca in order to evaluate whether the variability demonstrated for its venom proteome and pharmacological activities was correlated with differences in the structure of toxin transcripts. The analysis revealed that the variability in B. jararaca venom gland transcriptomes is quantitative, as illustrated by the very high content of metalloproteinases in the newborn venom glands. Moreover, the variability is also characterized by the structural diversity of SVMP precursors found in newborn and adult transcriptomes. In the adult transcriptome, however, the content of metalloproteinase precursors considerably diminishes and the number of transcripts of serine proteinases, C-type lectins and bradykinin-potentiating peptides increase. Moreover, the comparison of the content of ESTs encoding toxins in adult male and female venom glands showed some gender-related differences. Conclusions/Significance We demonstrate a substantial shift in toxin transcripts upon snake development and a marked decrease in the

  16. Isolation and identification of a snake venom metalloproteinase inhibitor from California ground squirrel (Spermophilus beecheyi) blood sera.

    PubMed

    Biardi, J E; Ho, C Y L; Marcinczyk, J; Nambiar, K P

    2011-11-01

    California ground squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi) show blood-based defenses to a variety of toxins in the venom of the Northern Pacific rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus oreganus). In this study we demonstrate the presence of an effective snake venom metalloproteinase inhibitor (SVMPI) in S. beecheyi. The blood sera of California ground squirrels were effective at reducing the metalloproteinase activity of Northern Pacific (C. o. oreganus) and prairie rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis viridis) venoms by over 75%, significantly more than its ability to reduce the activity of western diamondback rattlesnake venom. We used anion exchange and affinity chromatography to isolate this protein from the blood sera of S. beecheyi. This SVMPI had a molecular mass of 108.3 kDa and a pI of 5.1. The IC(50) of this inhibitor against whole venom from C. o. oreganus was determined to be 3.14 × 10(-8) M. Subsequent LC MS/MS analysis of a CNBr/tryptic digest of the inhibitor yielded multiple internal peptide sequences. These sequences showed homology to three other known mammalian plasma proteins: inter-α trypsin inhibitor, and two hibernation-associated proteins, HP25 and HP27. The presence of SVMPI in S. beecheyi blood sera is consistent with the resistance of these animals to venom-induced hemorrhage and tissue damage, and consistent with the protective factors conferring venom resistance in other mammals. However, the variety of SVMPI identified to date from mammalian taxa suggests that different species have converged on neutralization of venom metalloproteinase activity as a key step in venom neutralization. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-15

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

  18. Neutralization of hemorrhagic snake venoms by sera of Trimeresurus flavoviridis (Habu), Herpestes edwardsii (mongoose) and Dinodon semicarinatus (Akamata).

    PubMed

    Tomihara, Y; Kawamura, Y; Yonaha, K; Nozaki, M; Yamakawa, M; Yoshida, C

    1990-01-01

    The sera of T. flavoviridis (Habu), H. edwardsii (mongoose) and D. semicarinatus (Akamata, non-venomous snake) were tested for their capacity to neutralize 28 species of hemorrhagic snake venoms in vitro. The sera of these animals neutralized a variety of hemorrhagic venoms, suggesting a common structure for a hemorrhagic factor and a similar mechanism of neutralization for the antihemorrhagic factor in the sera. The serum of T. flavoviridis neutralized the lethal toxicity of the T. flavoviridis venom but could not neutralize those of the other hemorrhagic venoms at all. The sera of H. edwardsii and D. semicarinatus did not inhibit the activity of all hemorrhagic venoms.

  19. Snake Venom Cytotoxins, Phospholipase A2s, and Zn2+-dependent Metalloproteinases: Mechanisms of Action and Pharmacological Relevance

    PubMed Central

    Gasanov, Sardar E; Dagda, Ruben K; Rael, Eppie D

    2014-01-01

    Snake venom toxins are responsible for causing severe pathology and toxicity following envenomation including necrosis, apoptosis, neurotoxicity, myotoxicity, cardiotoxicity, profuse hemorrhage, and disruption of blood homeostasis. Clinically, snake venom toxins therefore represent a significant hazard to snakebite victims which underscores the need to produce more efficient anti-venom. Some snake venom toxins, however, have great potential as drugs for treating human diseases. In this review, we discuss the biochemistry, structure/function, and pathology induced by snake venom toxins on human tissue. We provide a broad overview of cobra venom cytotoxins, catalytically active and inactive phospholipase A2s (PLA2s), and Zn2+-dependent metalloproteinases. We also propose biomedical applications whereby snake venom toxins can be employed for treating human diseases. Cobra venom cytotoxins, for example, may be utilized as anti-cancer agents since they are efficient at destroying certain types of cancer cells including leukemia. Additionally, increasing our understanding of the molecular mechanism(s) by which snake venom PLA2s promote hydrolysis of cell membrane phospholipids can give insight into the underlying biomedical implications for treating autoimmune disorders that are caused by dysregulated endogenous PLA2 activity. Lastly, we provide an exhaustive overview of snake venom Zn2+-dependent metalloproteinases and suggest ways by which these enzymes can be engineered for treating deep vein thrombosis and neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:24949227

  20. Sphero-echinocytosis of human red blood cells caused by snake, red-back spider, bee and blue-ringed octopus venoms and its inhibition by snake sera.

    PubMed

    Flachsenberger, W; Leigh, C M; Mirtschin, P J

    1995-06-01

    It was found that bee (Apis mellifera) venom, red-back spider (Latrodectus mactans) venom, blue-ringed octopus (Hapalochlaena maculosa) venom, ten different snake venoms, phospholipase A2 and four snake toxins caused sphero-echinocytosis of human red blood cells at 200 ng/ml. Most venoms and toxins lost the ability to deform human red blood cells when their components of less than mol. wt 10,000 were applied. In a number of cases the sphero-echinocytotic effect was also inhibited by blood sera of Notechis scutatus and Pseudonaja textilis.

  1. Isolation and cloning of a metalloproteinase from king cobra snake venom.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xiao-Xi; Zeng, Lin; Lee, Wen-Hui; Zhang, Yun; Jin, Yang

    2007-06-01

    A 50 kDa fibrinogenolytic protease, ohagin, from the venom of Ophiophagus hannah was isolated by a combination of gel filtration, ion-exchange and heparin affinity chromatography. Ohagin specifically degraded the alpha-chain of human fibrinogen and the proteolytic activity was completely abolished by EDTA, but not by PMSF, suggesting it is a metalloproteinase. It dose-dependently inhibited platelet aggregation induced by ADP, TMVA and stejnulxin. The full sequence of ohagin was deduced by cDNA cloning and confirmed by protein sequencing and peptide mass fingerprinting. The full-length cDNA sequence of ohagin encodes an open reading frame of 611 amino acids that includes signal peptide, proprotein and mature protein comprising metalloproteinase, disintegrin-like and cysteine-rich domains, suggesting it belongs to P-III class metalloproteinase. In addition, P-III class metalloproteinases from the venom glands of Naja atra, Bungarus multicinctus and Bungarus fasciatus were also cloned in this study. Sequence analysis and phylogenetic analysis indicated that metalloproteinases from elapid snake venoms form a new subgroup of P-III SVMPs.

  2. Sequence analysis and phylogenetic study of some toxin proteins of snakes and related non-toxin proteins of chordates.

    PubMed

    Panda, Subhamay; Chandra, Goutam

    2013-01-01

    Snakes are equipped with their venomic armory to tackle different prey and predators in adverse natural world. The venomic composition of snakes is a mix of biologically active proteins and polypeptides. Among different components snake venom cytotoxins and short neurotoxin are non-enzymatic polypeptide candidates with in the venom. These two components structurally resembled to three-finger protein superfamily specific scaffold. Different non-toxin family members of three-finger protein superfamily are involved in different biological roles. In the present study we analyzed the snake venom cytotoxins, short neurotoxins and related non-toxin proteins of different chordates in terms of amino acid sequence level diversification profile, polarity profile of amino acid sequences, conserved pattern of amino acids and phylogenetic relationship of these toxin and nontoxin protein sequences. Sequence alignment analysis demonstrates the polarity specific molecular enrichment strategy for better system adaptivity. Occurrence of amino acid substitution is high in number in toxin sequences. In non-toxin body proteins there are less amino acid substitutions. With the help of conserved residues these proteins maintain the three-finger protein scaffold. Due to system specific adaptation toxin and non-toxin proteins exhibit a varied type of amino acid residue distribution in sequence stretch. Understanding of Natural invention scheme (recruitment of venom proteins from normal body proteins) may help us to develop futuristic engineered bio-molecules with remedial properties.

  3. Bmoo FIBMP-I: A New Fibrinogenolytic Metalloproteinase from Bothrops moojeni Snake Venom

    PubMed Central

    Torres, F. S.; Rates, B.; Gomes, M. T. R.; Salas, C. E.; Pimenta, A. M. C.; Oliveira, F.; Santoro, M. M.; de Lima, M. E.

    2012-01-01

    A new fibrinogenolytic metalloproteinase (Bmoo FIBMP-I) was purified from Bothrops moojeni snake venom. This enzyme was isolated through a combination of three chromatographic steps (ion-exchange, molecular exclusion, and affinity chromatography). Analyses by reverse phase chromatography, followed by mass spectrometry, showed the presence of enzyme isoforms with average molecular mass of 22.8 kDa. The SDS-PAGE analyses showed a single chain of 27.6 kDa, in the presence and absence of reducing agent. The protein has a blocked N-terminal. One of the peptides obtained by enzymatic digestion of a reduced and S-alkylated isoform was completely sequenced by mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Bmoo FIBMP-I showed similarity with hemorrhagic factor and several metalloproteinases (MP). This enzyme degraded Aα-chain faster than the Bβ-chain and did not affect the γ-chain of bovine fibrinogen. The absence of proteolytic activity after treatment with EDTA, together with the observed molecular mass, led us to suggest that Bmoo FIBMP-I is a member of the P-I class of the snake venom MP family. Bmoo FIBMP-I showed pH-dependent proteolytic activity on azocasein, but was devoid of coagulant, defibrinating, or hemorrhagic activities. The kinetic parameters of proteolytic activity in azocasein were determined (Vmax = 0.4596 Uh−1nmol−1 ± 0.1031 and Km = 14.59 mg/mL ± 4.610). PMID:23762636

  4. Bmoo FIBMP-I: A New Fibrinogenolytic Metalloproteinase from Bothrops moojeni Snake Venom.

    PubMed

    Torres, F S; Rates, B; Gomes, M T R; Salas, C E; Pimenta, A M C; Oliveira, F; Santoro, M M; de Lima, M E

    2012-01-01

    A new fibrinogenolytic metalloproteinase (Bmoo FIBMP-I) was purified from Bothrops moojeni snake venom. This enzyme was isolated through a combination of three chromatographic steps (ion-exchange, molecular exclusion, and affinity chromatography). Analyses by reverse phase chromatography, followed by mass spectrometry, showed the presence of enzyme isoforms with average molecular mass of 22.8 kDa. The SDS-PAGE analyses showed a single chain of 27.6 kDa, in the presence and absence of reducing agent. The protein has a blocked N-terminal. One of the peptides obtained by enzymatic digestion of a reduced and S-alkylated isoform was completely sequenced by mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Bmoo FIBMP-I showed similarity with hemorrhagic factor and several metalloproteinases (MP). This enzyme degraded Aα-chain faster than the Bβ-chain and did not affect the γ-chain of bovine fibrinogen. The absence of proteolytic activity after treatment with EDTA, together with the observed molecular mass, led us to suggest that Bmoo FIBMP-I is a member of the P-I class of the snake venom MP family. Bmoo FIBMP-I showed pH-dependent proteolytic activity on azocasein, but was devoid of coagulant, defibrinating, or hemorrhagic activities. The kinetic parameters of proteolytic activity in azocasein were determined (V max = 0.4596 Uh(-1)nmol(-1) ± 0.1031 and K m = 14.59 mg/mL ± 4.610).

  5. Unveiling the complexities of Daboia russelii venom, a medically important snake of India, by tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Maitreyee; Das, Diganta; Iyer, Janaki Krishnamoorthy; Kini, R Manjunatha; Doley, Robin

    2015-12-01

    Composition of Indian Russell's viper (Daboia russelii russelii) venom, a medically important snake and member of "Big Four" snakes of India was done by gel filtration chromatography followed by tandem mass spectrometry. The MS/MS analyses of tryptic digested gel filtration peaks divulged the presence of 63 different proteins belonging to 12 families. Phospholipase A2 (PLA2), serine proteases, metalloproteases, cysteine-rich secretory proteins, l-amino acid oxidase, C-type lectin-like proteins, kunitz-type serine protease inhibitor, disintegrin, nucleotidase, phosphodiesterase, vascular endothelial growth factor and vascular nerve growth factor families were identified. PLA2 enzymes with isoforms of N-, S- and H-type based on their first N-terminal amino acid residue were observed. The venom is also found to be rich in RVV-X, RVV-V and thrombin-like enzymes. Homologues of disintegrins with RGD and RTS motifs were also observed. The high percentage of PLA2 and proteases in the venom proteome could be responsible for the observed coagulopathy, haemorrhage and edema which can be correlated with the clinical manifestations of Russell's viper envenomation. This is the first proteomic analysis of Indian D. russelii venom which might assist in understanding the pathophysiological effects of viper envenomation. Such study will also be important for developing more effective antivenom for viper bite management.

  6. Contrasting Modes and Tempos of Venom Expression Evolution in Two Snake Species

    PubMed Central

    Margres, Mark J.; McGivern, James J.; Seavy, Margaret; Wray, Kenneth P.; Facente, Jack; Rokyta, Darin R.

    2015-01-01

    Selection is predicted to drive diversification within species and lead to local adaptation, but understanding the mechanistic details underlying this process and thus the genetic basis of adaptive evolution requires the mapping of genotype to phenotype. Venom is complex and involves many genes, but the specialization of the venom gland toward toxin production allows specific transcripts to be correlated with specific toxic proteins, establishing a direct link from genotype to phenotype. To determine the extent of expression variation and identify the processes driving patterns of phenotypic diversity, we constructed genotype-phenotype maps and compared range-wide toxin-protein expression variation for two species of snake with nearly identical ranges: the eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) and the eastern coral snake (Micrurus fulvius). We detected significant expression variation in C. adamanteus, identified the specific loci associated with population differentiation, and found that loci expressed at all levels contributed to this divergence. Contrary to expectations, we found no expression variation in M. fulvius, suggesting that M. fulvius populations are not locally adapted. Our results not only linked expression variation at specific loci to divergence in a polygenic, complex trait but also have extensive conservation and biomedical implications. C. adamanteus is currently a candidate for federal listing under the Endangered Species Act, and the loss of any major population would result in the irrevocable loss of a unique venom phenotype. The lack of variation in M. fulvius has significant biomedical application because our data will assist in the development of effective antivenom for this species. PMID:25387465

  7. Interaction of three-finger proteins from snake venoms and from mammalian brain with the cys-loop receptors and their models.

    PubMed

    Faure, G; Shelukhina, I V; Porowinska, D; Shulepko, M A; Lyukmanova, E N; Dolgikh, D A; Spirova, E N; Kasheverov, I E; Utkin, Yu N; Corringer, J-P; Tsetlin, V I

    2016-05-01

    With the use of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) it was shown that ws-Lynx1, a water-soluble analog of the three-finger membrane-bound protein Lynx1, that modulates the activity of brain nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), interacts with the acetylcholine-binding protein (AChBP) with high affinity, K D = 62 nM. This result agrees with the earlier demonstrated competition of ws-Lynx1 with radioiodinated α-bungarotoxin for binding to AChBP. For the first time it was shown that ws-Lynx1 binds to GLIC, prokaryotic Cys-loop receptor (K D = 1.3 μM). On the contrary, SPR revealed that α-cobratoxin, a three-finger protein from cobra venom, does not bind to GLIC. Obtained results indicate that SPR is a promising method for analysis of topography of ws-Lynx1 binding sites using its mutants and those of AChBP and GLIC.

  8. A transcriptomic analysis of gene expression in the venom gland of the snake Bothrops alternatus (urutu)

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The genus Bothrops is widespread throughout Central and South America and is the principal cause of snakebite in these regions. Transcriptomic and proteomic studies have examined the venom composition of several species in this genus, but many others remain to be studied. In this work, we used a transcriptomic approach to examine the venom gland genes of Bothrops alternatus, a clinically important species found in southeastern and southern Brazil, Uruguay, northern Argentina and eastern Paraguay. Results A cDNA library of 5,350 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) was produced and assembled into 838 contigs and 4512 singletons. BLAST searches of relevant databases showed 30% hits and 70% no-hits, with toxin-related transcripts accounting for 23% and 78% of the total transcripts and hits, respectively. Gene ontology analysis identified non-toxin genes related to general metabolism, transcription and translation, processing and sorting, (polypeptide) degradation, structural functions and cell regulation. The major groups of toxin transcripts identified were metalloproteinases (81%), bradykinin-potentiating peptides/C-type natriuretic peptides (8.8%), phospholipases A2 (5.6%), serine proteinases (1.9%) and C-type lectins (1.5%). Metalloproteinases were almost exclusively type PIII proteins, with few type PII and no type PI proteins. Phospholipases A2 were essentially acidic; no basic PLA2 were detected. Minor toxin transcripts were related to L-amino acid oxidase, cysteine-rich secretory proteins, dipeptidylpeptidase IV, hyaluronidase, three-finger toxins and ohanin. Two non-toxic proteins, thioredoxin and double-specificity phosphatase Dusp6, showed high sequence identity to similar proteins from other snakes. In addition to the above features, single-nucleotide polymorphisms, microsatellites, transposable elements and inverted repeats that could contribute to toxin diversity were observed. Conclusions Bothrops alternatus venom gland contains the major toxin

  9. Venomics of the beaked sea snake, Hydrophis schistosus: A minimalist toxin arsenal and its cross-neutralization by heterologous antivenoms.

    PubMed

    Tan, Choo Hock; Tan, Kae Yi; Lim, Sin Ee; Tan, Nget Hong

    2015-08-03

    The venom proteome of Hydrophis schistosus (syn: Enhydrina schistosa) captured in Malaysian waters was investigated using reverse-phase HPLC, SDS-PAGE and high-resolution liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The findings revealed a minimalist profile with only 18 venom proteins. These proteins belong to 5 toxin families: three-finger toxin (3FTx), phospholipase A2 (PLA2), cysteine-rich secretory protein (CRISP), snake venom metalloprotease (SVMP) and L-amino acid oxidase (LAAO). The 3FTxs (3 short neurotoxins and 4 long neurotoxins) constitute 70.5% of total venom protein, 55.8% being short neurotoxins and 14.7% long neurotoxins. The PLA2 family consists of four basic (21.4%) and three acidic (6.1%) isoforms. The minor proteins include one CRISP (1.3%), two SVMPs (0.5%) and one LAAO (0.2%). This is the first report of the presence of long neurotoxins, CRISP and LAAO in H. schistosus venom. The neurotoxins and the basic PLA2 are highly lethal in mice with an intravenous median lethal dose of <0.2 μg/g. Cross-neutralization by heterologous elapid antivenoms (Naja kaouthia monovalent antivenom and Neuro polyvalent antivenom) was moderate against the long neurotoxin and basic PLA2, but weak against the short neurotoxin, indicating that the latter is the limiting factor to be overcome for improving the antivenom cross-neutralization efficacy. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Differential action of medically important Indian BIG FOUR snake venoms on rodent blood coagulation.

    PubMed

    Hiremath, Vilas; Nanjaraj Urs, A N; Joshi, Vikram; Suvilesh, K N; Savitha, M N; Urs Amog, Prathap; Rudresha, G V; Yariswamy, M; Vishwanath, B S

    2016-02-01

    Snakebite is a global health problem affecting millions of people. According to WHO, India has the highest mortality and/or morbidity due to snakebite. In spite of commendable research on Indian BIG FOUR venomous species; Naja naja and Bungarus caeruleus (elapid); Daboia russelii and Echis carinatus (viperid), no significant progress has been achieved in terms of diagnosis and management of biting species with appropriate anti-snake venom. Major hurdle is identification of offending species. Present study aims at differentiation of Indian BIG FOUR snake venoms based on their distinguish action on rodent blood coagulation. Assessment of coagulation alterations by elapid venoms showed negligible effect on re-calcification time, prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time and factors assay (I, II, V, VIII and X) both in vitro and in vivo. However, viperid venoms demonstrated significant anticoagulant status due to their remarkable fibrinogen degradation potentials as supported by fibrinogenolytic activity, fibrinogen zymography and rotational thromboelastometry. Though results provide hint on probable alterations of Indian BIG FOUR snake venoms on blood coagulation, the study however needs validation from human victim's samples to ascertain its reliability for identification of biting snake species.

  14. Global disulfide bond profiling for crude snake venom using dimethyl labeling coupled with mass spectrometry and RADAR algorithm.

    PubMed

    Huang, Sheng Yu; Chen, Sung Fang; Chen, Chun Hao; Huang, Hsuan Wei; Wu, Wen Guey; Sung, Wang Chou

    2014-09-02

    Snake venom consists of toxin proteins with multiple disulfide linkages to generate unique structures and biological functions. Determination of these cysteine connections usually requires the purification of each protein followed by structural analysis. In this study, dimethyl labeling coupled with LC-MS/MS and RADAR algorithm was developed to identify the disulfide bonds in crude snake venom. Without any protein separation, the disulfide linkages of several cytotoxins and PLA2 could be solved, including more than 20 disulfide bonds. The results show that this method is capable of analyzing protein mixture. In addition, the approach was also used to compare native cytotoxin 3 (CTX III) and its scrambled isomer, another category of protein mixture, for unknown disulfide bonds. Two disulfide-linked peptides were observed in the native CTX III, and 10 in its scrambled form, X-CTX III. This is the first study that reports a platform for the global cysteine connection analysis on a protein mixture. The proposed method is simple and automatic, offering an efficient tool for structural and functional studies of venom proteins.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Purification and characterization of five snake venom metalloproteinases from Egyptian Echis pyramidum pyramidum venom.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Aty, Azza M; Wahby, Ahmed F

    2014-08-01

    New five P-III snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs): EpyB2 (62 kDa), EpyB3 (62+23 kDa), EpyB4 (60 kDa), EpyB5 (67 kDa) and EpyB6 (66 kDa) of the most dangerous viper, Echis pyramidum pyramidum (Epy), were purified and characterized in a set of biochemical assays. The SVMPs were purified by applying a protocol of two successive chromatographic steps. Three purified SVMPs "EpyB2, EpyB4, and EpyB5" have hemorrhagic activity with MHDs, 7 μg, 7.6 μg and 15 μg, respectively; furthermore, they have high preference towards fibronectin, collagen, gelatin, fibrin and hemoglobin substrates compared with non-hemorrhagic SVMPs (EpyB3 and EpyB6). All the purified SVMPs showed remarkable thermal and pH stability, inhibited by metalloproteinase inhibitors and Zn(2+), Mn(2+), Ni(2+), Co(2+), Cu(2+), and Hg(2+). The purified SVMPs act as α-fibrinogenases, prothrombin activators and procoagulants. In conclusion, Epy venom has multiple SVMPs that are responsible for hemorrhagic events and thus represent a significant health hazard for victims of envenomation, however, they may be useful for treating diseases involving abnormal blood clot formation.

  18. Antivenomics of Atropoides mexicanus and Atropoides picadoi snake venoms: Relationship to the neutralization of toxic and enzymatic activities

    PubMed Central

    Antúnez, José; Fernández, Julián; Lomonte, Bruno; Angulo, Yamileth; Sanz, Libia; Pérez, Alicia; Calvete, Juan José; Gutiérrez, José María

    2010-01-01

    Viperid snakes of the genus Atropoides are distributed in Mexico and Central America and, owing to their size and venom yield, are capable of provoking severe envenomings in humans. This study evaluated, using an ‘antivenomics’ approach, the ability of a polyspecific (polyvalent) antivenom manufactured in Costa Rica to recognize the proteins of Atropoides mexicanus and A. picadoi venoms, which are not included in the immunization mixture. In addition, the neutralization of lethal, hemorrhagic, myotoxic, coagulant, proteinase and phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activities of these venoms by the antivenom was assessed. The antivenom was highly-effective in immunodepleting many venom components, particularly high molecular mass P-III metalloproteinases (SVMPs), L-amino acid oxidases, and some serine proteinases and P-I SVMPs. In contrast, PLA2s, certain serine proteinases and P-I SVMPs, and a C type lectin-like protein were only partially immunodepleted, and two PLA2 molecules were not depleted at all. The antivenom was able to neutralize all toxic and enzymatic activities tested, although neutralization of lethality by A. nummifer venom was achieved when a challenge dose of 3 LD50s of venom was used, but was iffective when 4 LD50s were used. These results, and previously obtained evidence on the immunoreactivity of this antivenom towards homologous and heterologous venoms, revealed the low immunogenicity of a number of venom components (PLA2s, CRISPs, P-I SVMPs, and some serine proteinases), underscoring the need to search for innovative immunization protocols to improve the immune response to these antigens. PMID:21544177

  19. Isolation and biochemical characterization of a new thrombin-like serine protease from Bothrops pirajai snake venom.

    PubMed

    Zaqueo, Kayena D; Kayano, Anderson M; Simões-Silva, Rodrigo; Moreira-Dill, Leandro S; Fernandes, Carla F C; Fuly, André L; Maltarollo, Vinícius G; Honório, Kathia M; da Silva, Saulo L; Acosta, Gerardo; Caballol, Maria Antonia O; de Oliveira, Eliandre; Albericio, Fernando; Calderon, Leonardo A; Soares, Andreimar M; Stábeli, Rodrigo G

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a novel serine protease (SP) isolated from Bothrops pirajai, a venomous snake found solely in Brazil that belongs to the Viperidae family. The identified SP, named BpirSP-39, was isolated by three chromatographic steps (size exclusion, bioaffinity, and reverse phase chromatographies). The molecular mass of BpirSP-39 was estimated by SDS-PAGE and confirmed by mass spectrometry (39,408.32 Da). The protein was able to form fibrin networks, which was not observed in the presence of serine protease inhibitors, such as phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride (PMSF). Furthermore, BpirSP-39 presented considerable thermal stability and was apparently able to activate factor XIII of the blood coagulation cascade, unlike most serine proteases. BpirSP-39 was capable of hydrolyzing different chromogenic substrates tested (S-2222, S-2302, and S-2238) while Cu(2+) significantly diminished BspirSP-39 activity on the three tested substrates. The enzyme promoted platelet aggregation and also exhibited fibrinogenolytic, fibrinolytic, gelatinolytic, and amidolytic activities. The multiple alignment showed high sequence similarity to other thrombin-like enzymes from snake venoms. These results allow us to conclude that a new SP was isolated from Bothrops pirajai snake venom.

  20. Isolation and Biochemical Characterization of a New Thrombin-Like Serine Protease from Bothrops pirajai Snake Venom

    PubMed Central

    Zaqueo, Kayena D.; Kayano, Anderson M.; Simões-Silva, Rodrigo; Moreira-Dill, Leandro S.; Fernandes, Carla F. C.; Fuly, André L.; Maltarollo, Vinícius G.; Honório, Kathia M.; da Silva, Saulo L.; Acosta, Gerardo; Caballol, Maria Antonia O.; de Oliveira, Eliandre; Albericio, Fernando; Calderon, Leonardo A.; Soares, Andreimar M.; Stábeli, Rodrigo G.

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a novel serine protease (SP) isolated from Bothrops pirajai, a venomous snake found solely in Brazil that belongs to the Viperidae family. The identified SP, named BpirSP-39, was isolated by three chromatographic steps (size exclusion, bioaffinity, and reverse phase chromatographies). The molecular mass of BpirSP-39 was estimated by SDS-PAGE and confirmed by mass spectrometry (39,408.32 Da). The protein was able to form fibrin networks, which was not observed in the presence of serine protease inhibitors, such as phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride (PMSF). Furthermore, BpirSP-39 presented considerable thermal stability and was apparently able to activate factor XIII of the blood coagulation cascade, unlike most serine proteases. BpirSP-39 was capable of hydrolyzing different chromogenic substrates tested (S-2222, S-2302, and S-2238) while Cu2+ significantly diminished BspirSP-39 activity on the three tested substrates. The enzyme promoted platelet aggregation and also exhibited fibrinogenolytic, fibrinolytic, gelatinolytic, and amidolytic activities. The multiple alignment showed high sequence similarity to other thrombin-like enzymes from snake venoms. These results allow us to conclude that a new SP was isolated from Bothrops pirajai snake venom. PMID:24719874

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Colubrid Venom Composition: An -Omics Perspective

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Colubrid Venom Composition: An -Omics Perspective.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-23

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

  4. Inhibitory effect of plant Manilkara subsericea against biological activities of Lachesis muta snake venom.

    PubMed

    De Oliveira, Eduardo Coriolano; Fernandes, Caio Pinho; Sanchez, Eladio Flores; Rocha, Leandro; Fuly, André Lopes

    2014-01-01

    Snake venom is composed of a mixture of substances that caused in victims a variety of pathophysiological effects. Besides antivenom, literature has described plants able to inhibit injuries and lethal activities induced by snake venoms. This work describes the inhibitory potential of ethanol, hexane, ethyl acetate, or dichloromethane extracts and fractions from stem and leaves of Manilkara subsericea against in vivo (hemorrhagic and edema) and in vitro (clotting, hemolysis, and proteolysis) activities caused by Lachesis muta venom. All the tested activities were totally or at least partially reduced by M. subsericea. However, when L. muta venom was injected into mice 15 min first or after the materials, hemorrhage and edema were not inhibited. Thus, M. subsericea could be used as antivenom in snakebites of L. muta. And, this work also highlights Brazilian flora as a rich source of molecules with antivenom properties.

  5. Inhibitory Effect of Plant Manilkara subsericea against Biological Activities of Lachesis muta Snake Venom

    PubMed Central

    De Oliveira, Eduardo Coriolano; Fernandes, Caio Pinho; Sanchez, Eladio Flores; Fuly, André Lopes

    2014-01-01

    Snake venom is composed of a mixture of substances that caused in victims a variety of pathophysiological effects. Besides antivenom, literature has described plants able to inhibit injuries and lethal activities induced by snake venoms. This work describes the inhibitory potential of ethanol, hexane, ethyl acetate, or dichloromethane extracts and fractions from stem and leaves of Manilkara subsericea against in vivo (hemorrhagic and edema) and in vitro (clotting, hemolysis, and proteolysis) activities caused by Lachesis muta venom. All the tested activities were totally or at least partially reduced by M. subsericea. However, when L. muta venom was injected into mice 15 min first or after the materials, hemorrhage and edema were not inhibited. Thus, M. subsericea could be used as antivenom in snakebites of L. muta. And, this work also highlights Brazilian flora as a rich source of molecules with antivenom properties. PMID:24511532

  6. Cross-neutralisation of the neurotoxic effects of Egyptian cobra venom with commercial tiger snake antivenom.

    PubMed

    Kornhauser, Rachelle; Isbister, Geoffrey K; O'Leary, Margaret A; Mirtschin, Peter; Dunstan, Nathan; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2013-02-01

    Cross-neutralisation has been demonstrated for haemorrhagic venoms including Echis spp. and Cerastes spp. and for Australia elapid procoagulant toxins. A previous study showed that commercial tiger snake antivenom (TSAV) was able to neutralise the systemic effects of the Egyptian cobra, Naja haje, in vivo but it is unclear if this was true cross-neutralisation. The aim of the current study was to determine whether TSAV can neutralise the in vitro neurotoxic effects of N. haje venom. Both Notechis scutatus (10 μg/ml) and N. haje (10 μg/ml) venoms caused inhibition of indirect (supramaximal V, 0.1 Hz, 0.2 msec.) twitches of the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation with t(90) values (i.e. the time to produce 90% inhibition of the original twitch height) of 26 ± 1 min. (n = 4) and 36 ± 4 min.; (n = 4). This effect at 10 μg/ml was significantly attenuated by the prior addition of TSAV (5 U/ml). A comparison of the reverse-phase HPLC profiles of both venoms showed some similarities with peak elution times, and SDS-PAGE analysis elucidated comparable bands across both venoms. Further analysis using Western immunoblotting indicated TSAV was able to detect N. haje venom, and enzyme immunoassay showed that in-house biotinylated polyclonal monovalent N. scutatus antibodies were able to detect N. haje venom. These findings demonstrate cross-neutralisation between different and geographically separated snakes supporting potential immunological similarities in snake toxin groups for a large range of snakes. This provides more evidence that antivenoms could be developed against specific toxin groups to cover a large range of snakes.

  7. Quercetin-3-O-rhamnoside from Euphorbia hirta protects against snake Venom induced toxicity.

    PubMed

    Gopi, Kadiyala; Anbarasu, K; Renu, Kadali; Jayanthi, S; Vishwanath, B S; Jayaraman, Gurunathan

    2016-07-01

    The plant Euphorbia hirta is widely used against snake envenomations in rural areas and it was proved to be effective in animal models. Therefore, the scientific validation of its phytoconstituents for their antiophidian activity is aimed in the present study. E. hirta extract was subjected to bioactivity guided fractionation and the fractions that inhibited different enzyme activities of Naja naja venom in vitro was structurally characterized using UV, FT-IR, LC-MS and NMR spectroscopy. Edema, hemorrhage and lethality inhibition activity of the compound were studied in mice model. In addition, molecular docking and molecular dynamic simulations were also performed in silico. The bioactive fraction was identified as Quercetin-3-O-α-rhamnoside (QR, 448.38 Da). In vitro experiments indicated that protease, phospholipase-A(2), hemolytic activity and hemorrhage inducing activity of the venom were inhibited completely at a ratio of 1:20 (venom: QR) w/w. At the same concentration, the edema ratio was drastically reduced from 187% to 107%. Significant inhibition (93%) of hyaluronidase activity was also observed at a slightly higher concentration of QR (1:50). Further, in in vivo analysis, QR significantly prolonged the survival time of mice injected with snake venom. For the first time Quercetin-3-O-α-rhamnoside, isolated from E. hirta, has been shown to exhibit anti-snake venom activity against Naja naja venom induced toxicity. Exploring such multifunctional lead molecules with anti-venom activity would help in developing complementary medicine for snakebite treatments especially in rural areas where anti-snake venom is not readily available. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Ontogenetic Variation in Biological Activities of Venoms from Hybrids between Bothrops erythromelas and Bothrops neuwiedi Snakes.

    PubMed

    Santoro, Marcelo Larami; do Carmo, Thaís; Cunha, Bruna Heloísa Lopes; Alves, André Fonseca; Zelanis, André; Serrano, Solange Maria de Toledo; Grego, Kathleen Fernandes; Sant'Anna, Savio Stefanini; Barbaro, Katia Cristina; Fernandes, Wilson

    2015-01-01

    Lance-headed snakes are found in Central and South America, and they account for most snakebites in Brazil. The phylogeny of South American pitvipers has been reviewed, and the presence of natural and non-natural hybrids between different species of Bothrops snakes demonstrates that reproductive isolation of several species is still incomplete. The present study aimed to analyze the biological features, particularly the thrombin-like activity, of venoms from hybrids born in captivity, from the mating of a female Bothrops erythromelas and a male Bothrops neuwiedi, two species whose venoms are known to display ontogenetic variation. Proteolytic activity on azocoll and amidolytic activity on N-benzoyl-DL-arginine-p-nitroanilide hydrochloride (BAPNA) were lowest when hybrids were 3 months old, and increased over body growth, reaching values similar to those of the father when hybrids were 12 months old. The clotting activity on plasma diminished as hybrids grew; venoms from 3- and 6-months old hybrids showed low clotting activity on fibrinogen (i.e., thrombin-like activity), like the mother venom, and such activity was detected only when hybrids were older than 1 year of age. Altogether, these results point out that venom features in hybrid snakes are genetically controlled during the ontogenetic development. Despite the presence of the thrombin-like enzyme gene(s) in hybrid snakes, they are silenced during the first six months of life.

  9. Snake Venom PLA2s Inhibitors Isolated from Brazilian Plants: Synthetic and Natural Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Carvalho, B. M. A.; Santos, J. D. L.; Xavier, B. M.; Almeida, J. R.; Resende, L. M.; Martins, W.; Marcussi, S.; Marangoni, S.; Stábeli, R. G.; Calderon, L. A.; Soares, A. M.; Da Silva, S. L.; Marchi-Salvador, D. P.

    2013-01-01

    Ophidian envenomation is an important health problem in Brazil and other South American countries. In folk medicine, especially in developing countries, several vegetal species are employed for the treatment of snakebites in communities that lack prompt access to serum therapy. However, the identification and characterization of the effects of several new plants or their isolated compounds, which are able to inhibit the activities of snake venom, are extremely important and such studies are imperative. Snake venom contains several organic and inorganic compounds; phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) are one of the principal toxic components of venom. PLA2s display a wide variety of pharmacological activities, such as neurotoxicity, myotoxicity, cardiotoxicity, anticoagulant, hemorrhagic, and edema-inducing effects. PLA2 inhibition is of pharmacological and therapeutic interests as these enzymes are involved in several inflammatory diseases. This review describes the results of several studies of plant extracts and their isolated active principles, when used against crude snake venoms or their toxic fractions. Isolated inhibitors, such as steroids, terpenoids, and phenolic compounds, are able to inhibit PLA2s from different snake venoms. The design of specific inhibitors of PLA2s might help in the development of new pharmaceutical drugs, more specific antivenom, or even as alternative approaches for treating snakebites. PMID:24171158

  10. Ontogenetic Variation in Biological Activities of Venoms from Hybrids between Bothrops erythromelas and Bothrops neuwiedi Snakes

    PubMed Central

    Santoro, Marcelo Larami; do Carmo, Thaís; Cunha, Bruna Heloísa Lopes; Alves, André Fonseca; Zelanis, André; Serrano, Solange Maria de Toledo; Grego, Kathleen Fernandes; Sant’Anna, Savio Stefanini; Barbaro, Katia Cristina; Fernandes, Wilson

    2015-01-01

    Lance-headed snakes are found in Central and South America, and they account for most snakebites in Brazil. The phylogeny of South American pitvipers has been reviewed, and the presence of natural and non-natural hybrids between different species of Bothrops snakes demonstrates that reproductive isolation of several species is still incomplete. The present study aimed to analyze the biological features, particularly the thrombin-like activity, of venoms from hybrids born in captivity, from the mating of a female Bothrops erythromelas and a male Bothrops neuwiedi, two species whose venoms are known to display ontogenetic variation. Proteolytic activity on azocoll and amidolytic activity on N-benzoyl-DL-arginine-p-nitroanilide hydrochloride (BAPNA) were lowest when hybrids were 3 months old, and increased over body growth, reaching values similar to those of the father when hybrids were 12 months old. The clotting activity on plasma diminished as hybrids grew; venoms from 3- and 6-months old hybrids showed low clotting activity on fibrinogen (i.e., thrombin-like activity), like the mother venom, and such activity was detected only when hybrids were older than 1 year of age. Altogether, these results point out that venom features in hybrid snakes are genetically controlled during the ontogenetic development. Despite the presence of the thrombin-like enzyme gene(s) in hybrid snakes, they are silenced during the first six months of life. PMID:26714190

  11. 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.

  12. Anti-snake venom activities of ethanolic extract of fruits of Piper longum L. (Piperaceae) against Russell's viper venom: characterization of piperine as active principle.

    PubMed

    Shenoy, P A; Nipate, S S; Sonpetkar, J M; Salvi, N C; Waghmare, A B; Chaudhari, P D

    2013-05-20

    Piper longum L. fruits have been traditionally used against snakebites in north-eastern and southern region of India. To examine the ability of ethanolic extract of fruits of Piper longum L., Piperaceae (PLE) and piperine, one of the main active principles of Piper longum, to inhibit the Russell's viper (Doboia russelii, Viperidae) snake venom activities. Anti-snake venom activities of ethanolic extract of fruits of Piper longum L. (Piperaceae) and piperine against Russell's viper venom was studied in embryonated fertile chicken eggs, mice and rats by using various models as follows: inhibition of venom lethal action, inhibition of venom haemorrhagic action (in vitro), inhibition of venom haemorrhagic action (in vivo), inhibition of venom necrotizing action, inhibition of venom defibrinogenating action, inhibition of venom induced paw edema, inhibition of venom induced mast cell degranulation, creatine kinase assay and assay for catalase activity. PLE was found to inhibit the venom induced haemorrhage in embryonated fertile chicken eggs. Administration of PLE and piperine significantly (p<0.01) inhibited venom induced lethality, haemorrhage, necrosis, defibrinogenation and inflammatory paw edema in mice in a dose dependent manner. PLE and piperine also significantly (p<0.01) reduced venom induced mast cell degranulation in rats. Venom induced decrease in catalase enzyme levels in mice kidney tissue and increase in creatine kinase enzyme levels in mice serum were significantly (p<0.01) reversed by administration of both PLE and piperine. PLE possesses good anti-snake venom properties and piperine is one of the compounds responsible for the effective venom neutralizing ability of the plant. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Comparative Studies of Structural and Functional Properties of Snake Venom Metalloproteinases.

    PubMed

    Pinyachat, Anuwat

    2016-01-01

    Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) induces local and systemic effects on patients suffering from snakebite, degrading extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins such as collagen, gelatin, elastin, laminin, fibronectin, nidogen (entactin), and thrombospondin that cause local hemorrhage and tissue damage. They cleave or activate coagulation factors such as fibrinogen, fibrin, prothrombin, factor V, factor IX, factor X and protein C that bring about systemic coagulopathy. SVMPs and their truncated forms cleave or interfere with platelet adhesive proteins such as vWF, fibrinogen and collagen, and cleave or interfere with platelet receptors such as GPVI, alpha2beta1, GPIb, GPIX, and GPIIbIIIa that result in platelet aggregation defect. SVMPs induce cancer cell line to form morphological changes and apoptosis in vitro concordant with skin necrosis after snakebite in some cases. These local effects caused by SVMPs have no certain treatments, even with commercial anti-venom. SVMPs researches are focusing on their inhibitors, measurement and replacement of blood coagulation factor defects, or anti-cancer drug.

  14. Variability in expression of Bothrops insularis snake venom proteases: an ontogenetic approach.

    PubMed

    Zelanis, André; de Souza Ventura, Janaina; Chudzinski-Tavassi, Ana Marisa; de Fátima Domingues Furtado, Maria

    2007-05-01

    Bothrops insularis is a threatened snake endemic to Queimada Grande Island, southern coast of São Paulo, Brazil, and the occurrence of sexual abnormalities in males, females and intersexes (females with functional ovaries and rudimentary hemipenis) has been reported in this population. The aim of this study was to identify ontogenetic shifts in protease expression of offspring of captive-bred B. insularis. Three neonates from a single litter were maintained at the facilities of Laboratory of Herpetology, Institute Butantan, for 41 months. The snakes were individually milked and venoms were analyzed both by SDS-PAGE, under reducing conditions, and for biochemical activities. The venoms from the mother and from a pool of adult specimens were used as references. In regard to the electrophoretic patterns, common bands were identified mainly between 14 and 50 kDa among snakes. The occurrence of proteolytic activity was noticed predominantly between 27 and 45 kDa in zymograms. Inhibitory assays with 1,10-phenantroline (10 mM) and PMSF (5 mM) showed that venoms possessed both metalloproteases and serine proteases. Venoms of young specimens showed a higher coagulant activity than those of adults, especially upon factors X and II. All venoms presented fibrino(geno)lytic activity, degrading Aalpha and Bbeta chains of fibrinogen, and lysing fibrin plate. These findings can reflect important individual, ontogenetic and sexual differences on venom composition and are likely correlated with diet habits of this species.

  15. Evolution of venom antigenaemia and antivenom concentration in patients bitten by snakes in Uruguay.

    PubMed

    Morais, Victor; Negrín, Alba; Tortorella, María Noel; Massaldi, Hugo

    2012-11-01

    In this work we describe the first study carried out in Uruguay of venom antigenaemia and antivenom concentration in patients bitten by snakes. Between 50 and 70 snake bite accidents per year are caused in Uruguay by 2 species: Rhinocerophis alternatus and Bothropoides pubescens. The patients are treated with a specific polyvalent antivenom. Gaining insight on the evolution of venom antigenaemia and antivenom concentration in patients is important to improve treatment protocols. Blood samples of 29 patients were analysed to determine venom and antivenom concentrations at different times. Venom was detected in 18 of 19 samples before antivenom administration, with a mean concentration of 57 ng/mL. Most of the patients received 4 or 8 vials to neutralize the venom effects. Only one patient needed a total of 16 vials. He showed a severe envenomation and needed supplementary amounts of antivenom after the fifth day of the snake bite accident to reach normal clotting parameters. Antivenom concentrations were determined at 12 h, 24 h and 15 days after antivenom administration. It was found a faster antivenom decrease between 12 and 24 h than to 24 h to 15 days. This was explained by a different clearance mechanism in each period. In the first phase, the cause would be the neutralization of venom present in the blood whereas in the second phase it would be due to unbound antivenom elimination.

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

    PubMed

    Margres, Mark J; Aronow, Karalyn; Loyacano, Jacob; Rokyta, Darin R

    2013-08-02

    Snake venom is shaped by the ecology and evolution of venomous species, and signals of positive selection in toxins have been consistently documented, reflecting the role of venoms as an ecologically critical phenotype. New World coral snakes (Elapidae) are represented by three genera and over 120 species and subspecies that are capable of causing significant human morbidity and mortality, yet coral-snake venom composition is poorly understood in comparison to that of Old World elapids. High-throughput sequencing is capable of identifying thousands of loci, while providing characterizations of expression patterns and the molecular evolutionary forces acting within the venom gland. We describe the de novo assembly and analysis of the venom-gland transcriptome of the eastern coral snake (Micrurus fulvius). We identified 1,950 nontoxin transcripts and 116 toxin transcripts. These transcripts accounted for 57.1% of the total reads, with toxins accounting for 45.8% of the total reads. Phospholipases A(2) and three-finger toxins dominated expression, accounting for 86.0% of the toxin reads. A total of 15 toxin families were identified, revealing venom complexity previously unknown from New World coral snakes. Toxins exhibited high levels of heterozygosity relative to nontoxins, and overdominance may favor gene duplication leading to the fixation of advantageous alleles. Phospholipase A(2) expression was uniformly distributed throughout the class while three-finger toxin expression was dominated by a handful of transcripts, and phylogenetic analyses indicate that toxin divergence may have occurred following speciation. Positive selection was detected in three of the four most diverse toxin classes, suggesting that venom diversification is driven by recurrent directional selection. We describe the most complete characterization of an elapid venom gland to date. Toxin gene duplication may be driven by heterozygote advantage, as the frequency of polymorphic toxin loci was

  17. Putting the brakes on snake venom evolution: the unique molecular evolutionary patterns of Aipysurus eydouxii (Marbled sea snake) phospholipase A2 toxins.

    PubMed

    Li, Min; Fry, Bryan G; Kini, R Manjunatha

    2005-04-01

    Accelerated evolution of toxins is a unique feature of venoms, with the toxins evolving via the birth-and-death mode of molecular evolution. The venoms of sea snakes, however, are remarkably simple in comparison to those of land snakes, which contain highly complex venoms. Aipysurus eydouxii (Marbled sea snake) is a particularly unique sea snake, feeding exclusively upon fish eggs. Secondary to this ecological change, the fangs have been lost and the venom glands greatly atrophied. We recently showed that the only neurotoxin (a three-finger toxin) gene found in the sea snake A. eydouxii has a dinucleotide deletion, resulting in the loss of neurotoxic activity. During these studies, we isolated and identified a number of cDNA clones encoding isozymes of phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)) toxins from its venom gland. Sixteen unique PLA(2) clones were sequenced from the cDNA library and TA cloning of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction products. Phylogenetic analysis of these clones revealed that less diversification of the PLA(2) toxins has occurred in the A. eydouxii venom gland in comparison to equivalent terrestrial and other marine snakes. As there is no longer a positive selection pressure acting upon the venom, mutations have accumulated in the toxin-coding regions that would have otherwise had a deleterious effect upon the ability to use the venom for prey capture. Such mutations include substitutions of highly conserved residues; in one clone, the active site His(48) is replaced by Arg, and in two other clones, highly conserved cysteine residues are replaced. These mutations significantly affect the functional and structural properties of these PLA(2) enzymes, respectively. Thus, in A. eydouxii, the loss of the main neurotoxin is accompanied by a much slower rate of molecular evolution of the PLA(2) toxins as a consequence of the snake's shift in ecological niche. This is the first case of decelerated evolution of toxins in snake venom.

  18. Purification, characterization and cDNA cloning of a phospholipase A2 inhibitor from the serum of the non-venomous snake Elaphe quadrivirgata.

    PubMed Central

    Okumura, K; Masui, K; Inoue, S; Ikeda, K; Hayashi, K

    1999-01-01

    The serum of a non-venomous striated snake, Elaphe quadrivirgata, was found to contain phospholipase A2 (PLA2) inhibitory proteins (PLIs). One of these inhibitors was purified by Sephadex G-200 gel filtration, Q-Sepharose FF ion-exchange chromatography and Butyl Sepharose 4FF hydrophobic chromatography. The purified PLI inhibited the enzymic activities of all PLA2 groups, including Elapidae venom (group-I), Viperidae venom (group-II) and honeybee PLA2s (group-III). The inhibitor was a 130 kDa glycoprotein consisting of two distinct subunits, A and B, of 30 and 29 kDa respectively; each of which was glycosylated with N-linked oligosaccharide chains. The cDNAs encoding the respective inhibitor subunits were isolated from a liver cDNA library by the use of probes, prepared by PCR, based on the partially determined amino-acid sequences of the corresponding subunits. The respective nucleotide sequences encoded 19-amino-acid-residue signal sequences, followed by 183- and 181-residue protein sequences for the A and B subunits respectively. The amino-acid sequences revealed that the E. quadrivirgata inhibitor corresponded to PLIgamma, one of three kinds of inhibitors purified from venomous snakes. The existence of PLIgamma in the serum of this non-venomous snake suggested that, besides having a protective role against the venom PLA2s of other venomous snakes, PLIgamma has other important physiological functions in regulating local PLA2 activities; and thus it raises the possibility that PLIgamma occurs in other animals, including mammals. PMID:10377258

  19. Snake venom: From fieldwork to the clinic: Recent insights into snake biology, together with new technology allowing high-throughput screening of venom, bring new hope for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Vonk, Freek J; Jackson, Kate; Doley, Robin; Madaras, Frank; Mirtschin, Peter J; Vidal, Nicolas

    2011-04-01

    Snake venoms are recognized here as a grossly under-explored resource in pharmacological prospecting. Discoveries in snake systematics demonstrate that former taxonomic bias in research has led to the neglect of thousands of species of potential medical use. Recent discoveries reveal an unexpectedly vast degree of variation in venom composition among snakes, from different species down to litter mates. The molecular mechanisms underlying this diversity are only beginning to be understood. However, the enormous potential that this resource represents for pharmacological prospecting is clear. New high-throughput screening systems offer greatly increased speed and efficiency in identifying and extracting therapeutically useful molecules. At the same time a global biodiversity crisis is threatening the very snake populations on which hopes for new venom-derived medications depend. Biomedical researchers, pharmacologists, clinicians, herpetologists, and conservation biologists must combine their efforts if the full potential of snake venom-derived medications is to be realized.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  1. Enhanced Anti-Cancer Effect of Snake Venom Activated NK Cells on Lung Cancer Cells by Inactivation of NF-κB

    PubMed Central

    Kollipara, Pushpa Saranya; Won, Do Hee; Hwang, Chul Ju; Jung, Yu Yeon; Yoon, Heui Seoung; Park, Mi Hee; Song, Min Jong; Song, Ho Sueb; Hong, Jin Tae

    2014-01-01

    In the present study, we investigated anti-cancer effect of snake venom activated NK cells (NK-92MI) in lung cancer cell lines. We used snake venom (4 μg/ml) treated NK-92MI cells to co-culture with lung cancer cells. There was a further decrease in cancer cell growth up to 65% and 70% in A549 and NCI-H460 cell lines respectively, whereas 30–40% was decreased in cancer cell growth by snake venom or NK-92MI alone treatment. We further found that the expression of various apoptotic proteins such as that Bax, and cleaved caspase-3 as well as the expression of various death receptor proteins like DR3, DR4 and Fas was also further increased. Moreover, consistent with cancer cell growth inhibition, the DNA binding activity of NF-κB was also further inhibited after treatment of snake venom activated NK-92MI cells. Thus, the present data showed that activated NK cells could further inhibit lung cancer cell growth. PMID:24753815

  2. Unraveling the distinctive features of hemorrhagic and non-hemorrhagic snake venom metalloproteinases using molecular simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Souza, Raoni Almeida; Díaz, Natalia; Nagem, Ronaldo Alves Pinto; Ferreira, Rafaela Salgado; Suárez, Dimas

    2016-01-01

    Snake venom metalloproteinases are important toxins that play fundamental roles during envenomation. They share a structurally similar catalytic domain, but with diverse hemorrhagic capabilities. To understand the structural basis for this difference, we build and compare two dynamical models, one for the hemorrhagic atroxlysin-I from Bothrops atrox and the other for the non-hemorraghic leucurolysin-a from Bothrops leucurus. The analysis of the extended molecular dynamics simulations shows some changes in the local structure, flexibility and surface determinants that can contribute to explain the different hemorrhagic activity of the two enzymes. In agreement with previous results, the long Ω-loop (from residue 149 to 177) has a larger mobility in the hemorrhagic protein. In addition, we find some potentially-relevant differences at the base of the S1' pocket, what may be interesting for the structure-based design of new anti-venom agents. However, the sharpest differences in the computational models of atroxlysin-I and leucurolysin-a are observed in the surface electrostatic potential around the active site region, suggesting thus that the hemorrhagic versus non-hemorrhagic activity is probably determined by protein surface determinants.

  3. Unraveling the distinctive features of hemorrhagic and non-hemorrhagic snake venom metalloproteinases using molecular simulations.

    PubMed

    de Souza, Raoni Almeida; Díaz, Natalia; Nagem, Ronaldo Alves Pinto; Ferreira, Rafaela Salgado; Suárez, Dimas

    2016-01-01

    Snake venom metalloproteinases are important toxins that play fundamental roles during envenomation. They share a structurally similar catalytic domain, but with diverse hemorrhagic capabilities. To understand the structural basis for this difference, we build and compare two dynamical models, one for the hemorrhagic atroxlysin-I from Bothrops atrox and the other for the non-hemorraghic leucurolysin-a from Bothrops leucurus. The analysis of the extended molecular dynamics simulations shows some changes in the local structure, flexibility and surface determinants that can contribute to explain the different hemorrhagic activity of the two enzymes. In agreement with previous results, the long Ω-loop (from residue 149 to 177) has a larger mobility in the hemorrhagic protein. In addition, we find some potentially-relevant differences at the base of the S1' pocket, what may be interesting for the structure-based design of new anti-venom agents. However, the sharpest differences in the computational models of atroxlysin-I and leucurolysin-a are observed in the surface electrostatic potential around the active site region, suggesting thus that the hemorrhagic versus non-hemorrhagic activity is probably determined by protein surface determinants.

  4. Rapid Radiations and the Race to Redundancy: An Investigation of the Evolution of Australian Elapid Snake Venoms.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Timothy N W; Koludarov, Ivan; Ali, Syed A; Dobson, James; Zdenek, Christina N; Dashevsky, Daniel; Op den Brouw, Bianca; Masci, Paul P; Nouwens, Amanda; Josh, Peter; Goldenberg, Jonathan; Cipriani, Vittoria; Hay, Chris; Hendrikx, Iwan; Dunstan, Nathan; Allen, Luke; Fry, Bryan G

    2016-10-26

    Australia is the stronghold of the front-fanged venomous snake family Elapidae. The Australasian elapid snake radiation, which includes approximately 100 terrestrial species in Australia, as well as Melanesian species and all the world's sea snakes, is less than 12 million years old. The incredible phenotypic and ecological diversity of the clade is matched by considerable diversity in venom composition. The clade's evolutionary youth and dynamic evolution should make it of particular interest to toxinologists, however, the majority of species, which are small, typically inoffensive, and seldom encountered by non-herpetologists, have been almost completely neglected by researchers. The present study investigates the venom composition of 28 species proteomically, revealing several interesting trends in venom composition, and reports, for the first time in elapid snakes, the existence of an ontogenetic shift in the venom composition and activity of brown snakes (Pseudonaja sp.). Trends in venom composition are compared to the snakes' feeding ecology and the paper concludes with an extended discussion of the selection pressures shaping the evolution of snake venom.

  5. Allopurinol Reduces the Lethality Associated with Acute Renal Failure Induced by Crotalus durissus terrificus Snake Venom: Comparison with Probenecid

    PubMed Central

    Frezzatti, Rodrigo; Silveira, Paulo Flavio

    2011-01-01

    Background Acute renal failure is one of the most serious complications of envenoming resulting from Crotalus durissus terrificus bites. This study evaluated the relevance of hyperuricemia and oxidative stress and the effects of allopurinol and probenecid in renal dysfunction caused by direct nephrotoxicity of C. d. terrificus venom. Methodology/Principal Findings Hematocrit, protein, renal function and redox status were assessed in mice. High ratio of oxidized/reduced glutathione and hyperuricemia induced by C. d. terrificus venom were ameliorated by both, allopurinol or probenecid, but only allopurinol significantly reduced the lethality caused by C. d. terrificus venom. The effectiveness of probenecid is compromised probably because it promoted hypercreatinemia and hypocreatinuria and worsed the urinary hypo-osmolality in envenomed mice. In turn, the highest effectiveness of allopurinol might be due to its ability to diminish the intracellular formation of uric acid. Conclusions/Significance Data provide consistent evidences linking uric acid with the acute renal failure induced by C. d. terrificus venom, as well as that this envenoming in mice constitutes an attractive animal model suitable for studying the hyperuricemia and that the allopurinol deserves to be clinically evaluated as an approach complementary to anti-snake venom serotherapy. PMID:21909449

  6. Fractionation and proteomic analysis of the Walterinnesia aegyptia snake venom using OFFGEL and MALDI-TOF-MS techniques.

    PubMed

    Abd El Aziz, Tarek Mohamed; Bourgoin-Voillard, Sandrine; Combemale, Stéphanie; Beroud, Rémy; Fadl, Mahmoud; Seve, Michel; De Waard, Michel

    2015-10-01

    Animal venoms are complex mixtures of more than 100 different compounds, including peptides, proteins, and nonprotein compounds such as lipids, carbohydrates, and metal ions. In addition, the existing compounds show a wide range of molecular weights and concentrations within these venoms, making separation and purification procedures quite tedious. Here, we analyzed for the first time by MS the advantages of using the OFFGEL technique in the separation of the venom components of the Egyptian Elapidae Walterinnesia aegyptia snake compared to two classical methods of separation, SEC and RP-HPLC. We demonstrate that OFFGEL separates venom components over a larger scale of fractions, preserve respectable resolution with regard to the presence of a given compound in adjacent fractions and allows the identification of a greater number of ions by MS (102 over 134 total ions). We also conclude that applying several separating techniques (SEC and RP-HPLC in addition to OFFGEL) provides complementary results in terms of ion detection (21 more for SEC and 22 more with RP-HPLC). As a result, we provide a complete list of 134 ions present in the venom of W. aegyptia by using all these techniques combined.

  7. Comparison of proteomic profiles of the venoms of two of the 'Big Four' snakes of India, the Indian cobra (Naja naja) and the common krait (Bungarus caeruleus), and analyses of their toxins.

    PubMed

    Choudhury, Manisha; McCleary, Ryan J R; Kesherwani, Manish; Kini, R Manjunatha; Velmurugan, Devadasan

    2017-09-01

    Snake venoms are mixtures of biologically-active proteins and peptides, and several studies have described the characteristics of some of these toxins. However, complete proteomic profiling of the venoms of many snake species has not yet been done. The Indian cobra (Naja naja) and common krait (Bungarus caeruleus) are elapid snake species that are among the 'Big Four' responsible for the majority of human snake envenomation cases in India. As understanding the composition and complexity of venoms is necessary for successful treatment of envenomation in humans, we utilized three different proteomic profiling approaches to characterize these venoms: i) one-dimensional SDS-PAGE coupled with in-gel tryptic digestion and electrospray tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-LC-MS/MS) of individual protein bands; ii) in-solution tryptic digestion of crude venoms coupled with ESI-LC-MS/MS; and iii) separation by gel-filtration chromatography coupled with tryptic digestion and ESI-LC-MS/MS of separated fractions. From the generated data, 81 and 46 different proteins were identified from N. naja and B. caeruleus venoms, respectively, belonging to fifteen different protein families. Venoms from both species were found to contain a variety of phospholipases A2 and three-finger toxins, whereas relatively higher numbers of snake venom metalloproteinases were found in N. naja compared to B. caeruleus venom. The analyses also identified less represented venom proteins including L-amino acid oxidases, cysteine-rich secretory proteins, 5'-nucleotidases and venom nerve growth factors. Further, Kunitz-type serine protease inhibitors, cobra venom factors, phosphodiesterases, vespryns and aminopeptidases were identified in the N. naja venom, while acetylcholinesterases and hyaluronidases were found in the B. caeruleus venom. We further analyzed protein coverage (Lys/Arg rich and poor regions as well as potential glycosylation sites) using in-house software. These studies expand our

  8. Biochemical and biological characterization of Bothriechis schlegelii snake venoms from Colombia and Costa Rica

    PubMed Central

    Prezotto-Neto, José P; Kimura, Louise F; Alves, André F; Gutiérrez, José María; Otero, Rafael; Suárez, Ana M; Santoro, Marcelo L

    2016-01-01

    Snakebites inflicted by the arboreal viperid snake Bothriechis schlegelii in humans are characterized by pain, edema, and ecchymosis at the site of the bite, rarely with blisters, local necrosis, or defibrination. Herein, a comparative study of Bothriechis schlegelii snake venoms from Colombia (BsCo) and Costa Rica (BsCR) was carried out in order to compare their main activities and to verify the efficacy of Bothrops antivenom produced in Brazil to neutralize them. Biochemical (SDS-PAGE and zymography) and biological parameters (edematogenic, lethal, hemorrhagic, nociceptive, and phospholipase A2 activities) induced by BsCo and BsCR snake venoms were evaluated. The presence of antibodies in Bothrops antivenom that recognize BsCo and BsCR snake venoms by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blotting, as well as the ability of this antivenom to neutralize the toxic activities were also verified. SDS-PAGE showed differences between venoms. Distinctive caseinolytic and hyaluronidase patterns were detected by zymography. BsCo and BsCR showed similar phospholipase A2 activity. Strong cross-reactivity between BsCo and BsCR was detected using Bothrops antivenom with many components located between 150 and 35 kDa. BsCR was more edematogenic and almost fourfold more hemorrhagic than BsCo, and both venoms induced nociception. BsCR (LD50 5.60 mg/kg) was more lethal to mice than BsCo (LD50 9.24 mg/kg). Bothrops antivenom was effective in the neutralization of lethal and hemorrhagic activities of BsCo and BsCR and was partially effective in the neutralization of edematogenic and nociceptive activities. In conclusion, geographic distribution influences the composition and activities of Bothriechis schlegelii venoms. Bothrops antivenom cross-reacted with these venoms and was partially effective in neutralizing some toxic activities of BsCo and BsCR. PMID:27439537

  9. Biochemical and biological characterization of Bothriechis schlegelii snake venoms from Colombia and Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Prezotto-Neto, José P; Kimura, Louise F; Alves, André F; Gutiérrez, José María; Otero, Rafael; Suárez, Ana M; Santoro, Marcelo L; Barbaro, Katia C

    2016-12-01

    Snakebites inflicted by the arboreal viperid snake Bothriechis schlegelii in humans are characterized by pain, edema, and ecchymosis at the site of the bite, rarely with blisters, local necrosis, or defibrination. Herein, a comparative study of Bothriechis schlegelii snake venoms from Colombia (BsCo) and Costa Rica (BsCR) was carried out in order to compare their main activities and to verify the efficacy of Bothrops antivenom produced in Brazil to neutralize them. Biochemical (SDS-PAGE and zymography) and biological parameters (edematogenic, lethal, hemorrhagic, nociceptive, and phospholipase A2 activities) induced by BsCo and BsCR snake venoms were evaluated. The presence of antibodies in Bothrops antivenom that recognize BsCo and BsCR snake venoms by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blotting, as well as the ability of this antivenom to neutralize the toxic activities were also verified. SDS-PAGE showed differences between venoms. Distinctive caseinolytic and hyaluronidase patterns were detected by zymography. BsCo and BsCR showed similar phospholipase A2 activity. Strong cross-reactivity between BsCo and BsCR was detected using Bothrops antivenom with many components located between 150 and 35 kDa. BsCR was more edematogenic and almost fourfold more hemorrhagic than BsCo, and both venoms induced nociception. BsCR (LD50 5.60 mg/kg) was more lethal to mice than BsCo (LD50 9.24 mg/kg). Bothrops antivenom was effective in the neutralization of lethal and hemorrhagic activities of BsCo and BsCR and was partially effective in the neutralization of edematogenic and nociceptive activities. In conclusion, geographic distribution influences the composition and activities of Bothriechis schlegelii venoms. Bothrops antivenom cross-reacted with these venoms and was partially effective in neutralizing some toxic activities of BsCo and BsCR.

  10. Procoagulant snake venoms have differential effects in animal plasmas: Implications for antivenom testing in animal models.

    PubMed

    Maduwage, Kalana P; Scorgie, Fiona E; Lincz, Lisa F; O'Leary, Margaret A; Isbister, Geoffrey K

    2016-01-01

    Animal models are used to test toxic effects of snake venoms/toxins and the antivenom required to neutralise them. However, venoms that cause clinically relevant coagulopathy in humans may have differential effects in animals. We aimed to investigate the effect of different procoagulant snake venoms on various animal plasmas. Prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), fibrinogen and D-dimer levels were measured in seven animal plasmas (human, rabbit, cat, guinea pig, pig, cow and rat). In vitro clotting times were then used to calculate the effective concentration (EC50) in each plasma for four snake venoms with different procoagulant toxins: Pseudonaja textilis, Daboia russelli, Echis carinatus and Calloselasma rhodostoma. Compared to human, PT and aPTT were similar for rat, rabbit and pig, but double for cat and cow, while guinea pig had similar aPTT but double PT. Fibrinogen and D-dimer levels were similar for all species. Human and rabbit plasmas had the lowest EC50 for P. textilis (0.1 and 0.4 μg/ml), D. russelli (0.4 and 0.1 μg/ml), E. carinatus (0.6 and 0.1 μg/ml) venoms respectively, while cat plasma had the lowest EC50 for C. rhodostoma (11 μg/ml) venom. Cow, rat, pig and guinea pig plasmas were highly resistant to all four venoms with EC50 10-fold that of human. Different animal plasmas have varying susceptibility to procoagulant venoms, and excepting rabbits, animal models are not appropriate to test procoagulant activity. In vitro assays on human plasma should instead be adopted for this purpose. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. DISC ELECTROPHORESIS OF HYMENOPTERA VENOMS AND BODY PROTEINS.

    PubMed

    O'CONNOR, R; ROSENBROOK, W; ERICKSON, R

    1964-09-18

    The venom proteins of honey bee, Polistes wasp, yellow hornet, and yellow jacket are similar but not identical. Extracts of venom sacs and whole insects contain several proteins not found in the pure venoms.

  12. Venom proteomes of South and North American opisthoglyphous (Colubridae and Dipsadidae) snake species: a preliminary approach to understanding their biological roles.

    PubMed

    Peichoto, María E; Tavares, Flávio L; Santoro, Marcelo L; Mackessy, Stephen P

    2012-12-01

    Opisthoglyphous snake venoms remain under-explored despite being promising sources for ecological, evolutionary and biomedical/biotechnological research. Herein, we compared the protein composition and enzymatic properties of the venoms of Philodryas baroni (PbV), Philodryas olfersii olfersii (PooV) and Philodryas patagoniensis (PpV) from South America, and Hypsiglena torquata texana (HttV) and Trimorphodon biscutatus lambda (TblV) from North America. All venoms degraded azocasein, and this metalloproteinase activity was significantly inhibited by EDTA. PooV exhibited the highest level of catalytic activity towards synthetic substrates for serine proteinases. All venoms hydrolyzed acetylthiocholine at low levels, and only TblV showed phospholipase A(2) activity. 1D and 2D SDS-PAGE profile comparisons demonstrated species-specific components as well as several shared components. Size exclusion chromatograms from the three Philodryas venoms and HttV were similar, but TblV showed a notably different pattern. MALDI-TOF MS of crude venoms revealed as many as 49 distinct protein masses, assigned to six protein families. MALDI-TOF/TOF MS analysis of tryptic peptides confirmed the presence of cysteine-rich secretory proteins in all venoms, as well as a phospholipase A(2) and a three-finger toxin in TblV. Broad patterns of protein composition appear to follow phylogenetic lines, with finer scale variation likely influenced by ecological factors such as diet and habitat.

  13. Toxinology of venoms from five Australian lesser known elapid snakes.

    PubMed

    Pycroft, Kyle; Fry, Bryan G; Isbister, Geoffrey K; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Lawrence, Josie; Ian Smith, A; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2012-10-01

    Research into Australian elapid venoms has mainly focused on the seven genera of greatest clinical significance: Acanthophis, Hoplocephalus, Notechis, Oxyuranus, Pseudechis, Pseudonaja and Tropidechis. However, even small species represent a potential for causing severe clinical envenoming. Further, owing to taxonomic distinctiveness, these species are a potential source of novel toxins for use in drug design and development. This is the first study to characterize the venoms of Cryptophis boschmai, Denisonia devisi, Echiopsis curta, Hemiaspis signata and Vermicella annulata. MALDI analysis of each venom, over the range of 4-40 kDa, indicated components in the weight range for three finger toxins (6-8 kDa) and phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2) ; 12-14 kDA). Interestingly, C. boschmai venom was the only venom, which contained components > 25 kDa. All venoms (10 μg/ml) demonstrated in vitro neurotoxicity in the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation, with a relative rank order of: H. signata ≥ D. devisi ≥ V. annulata = E. curta > C. boschmai. CSL polyvalent antivenom neutralized the inhibitory effects of C. boschmai venom but only delayed the inhibitory effect of the other venoms. All venoms displayed PLA(2) activity but over a wide range (i.e. 1-621 μmol/min./mg). The venoms of C. boschmai (60 μg/kg, i.v.), D. devisi (60 μg/kg, i.v.) and H. signata (60 μg/kg, i.v.) produced hypotensive effects in vivo in an anaesthetized rat preparation. H. signata displayed moderate pro-coagulant activity while the other venoms were weakly pro-coagulant. This study demonstrated that these understudied Australian elapids have varying pharmacological activity, with notable in vitro neurotoxicity for four of the venoms, and may produce mild to moderate effects following systemic envenoming. © 2012 The Authors Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology © 2012 Nordic Pharmacological Society.

  14. Rapid Radiations and the Race to Redundancy: An Investigation of the Evolution of Australian Elapid Snake Venoms

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Koludarov, Ivan; Ali, Syed A.; Dobson, James; Zdenek, Christina N.; Dashevsky, Daniel; op den Brouw, Bianca; Masci, Paul P.; Nouwens, Amanda; Josh, Peter; Goldenberg, Jonathan; Cipriani, Vittoria; Hay, Chris; Hendrikx, Iwan; Dunstan, Nathan; Allen, Luke; Fry, Bryan G.

    2016-01-01

    Australia is the stronghold of the front-fanged venomous snake family Elapidae. The Australasian elapid snake radiation, which includes approximately 100 terrestrial species in Australia, as well as Melanesian species and all the world’s true sea snakes, may be less than 12 million years old. The incredible phenotypic and ecological diversity of the clade is matched by considerable diversity in venom composition. The clade’s evolutionary youth and dynamic evolution should make it of particular interest to toxinologists, however, the majority of species, which are small, typically inoffensive, and seldom encountered by non-herpetologists, have been almost completely neglected by researchers. The present study investigates the venom composition of 28 species proteomically, revealing several interesting trends in venom composition, and reports, for the first time in elapid snakes, the existence of an ontogenetic shift in the venom composition and activity of brown snakes (Pseudonaja sp.). Trends in venom composition are compared to the snakes’ feeding ecology and the paper concludes with an extended discussion of the selection pressures shaping the evolution of snake venom. PMID:27792190

  15. Maintaining Coral Snakes (Micrurus nigrocinctus, Serpentes: Elapidae) for venom production on an alternative fish-based diet.

    PubMed

    Chacón, Danilo; Rodríguez, Santos; Arias, Jazmín; Solano, Gabriela; Bonilla, Fabián; Gómez, Aarón

    2012-09-01

    American Elapid snakes (Coral Snakes) comprise the genera Leptomicrurus, Micruroides and Micrurus, which form a vast taxonomic assembly of 330 species distributed from the South of United States to the southern region of South America. In order to obtain venom for animal immunizations aimed at antivenom production, Coral Snakes must be kept in captivity and submitted periodically to venom extraction procedures. Thus, to maintain a snake colony in good health for this purpose, a complete alternative diet utilizing an easily obtained prey animal is desirable. The development of a diet based on fish is compared to the wild diet based on colubrid snakes, and assessed in terms of gain in body weight rate (g/week), longevity (weeks), venom yield (mg/individual), venom median lethal dose (LD₅₀) and venom chromatographic profiles. The animals fed with the fish-based diet gained more weight, lived longer, and produced similar amount of venom whose biological and biochemical characteristics were similar to those of venom collected from specimens fed with the wild diet. This fish-based diet appears to be suitable (and preferable to the wild diet) to supply the nutritional requirements of a Micrurus nigrocinctus snake collection for the production of antivenom. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Validation of a cell-based assay to differentiate between the cytotoxic effects of elapid snake venoms.

    PubMed

    Kalam, Yasmean; Isbister, Geoffrey K; Mirtschin, Peter; Hodgson, Wayne C; Konstantakopoulos, Nicki

    2011-01-01

    Acanthophis genus (i.e. death adders) and the Naja genus (i.e. cobras) belong to the family elapidae. The current study compared the in vitro cytotoxicity of venoms from four Acanthophis spp. and three Naja spp. on rat aortic smooth muscle cells, A7r5, and rat skeletal muscle cells, L6. The ability of CSL death adder antivenom and SAIMR antivenom, for Acanthophis spp. and Naja spp. venom respectively, to negate the cytotoxicity was also examined. A cell proliferation assay was used to determine cell viability following treatment with venom in the presence or absence of antivenom. Sigmoidal growth curves were obtained, and IC(50) values were determined. Acanthophis spp. and Naja spp. venoms produced concentration-dependent inhibition of cell proliferation in both cell lines. Naja spp. venoms were significantly more cytotoxic than the most potent Acanthophis venom (i.e. A. antarcticus) in both cell lines. Naja spp. venoms also displayed higher sensitivity in L6 cells. SAIMR antivenom significantly inhibited the cytotoxic actions of all Naja spp. venoms in both A7r5 and L6 cells. However, death adder antivenom (CSL Ltd) was unable to negate the cytotoxic effects of Acanthophis spp. venoms. Concentrations of the predominantly cytotoxic Naja spp. venoms used were approximately three times less than the predominantly neurotoxic Acanthophis spp. venoms. SAIMR antivenom was partially effective in neutralising the effects of Naja spp. venoms. Death adder antivenom (CSL Ltd) was not effective in negating the cytotoxic effects of venom from Acanthophis spp. These results indicate that the cell-based assay is suited to the examination of cytotoxic snake venoms and may be used in conjunction with organ bath experiments to pharmacologically characterise snake venoms. Furthermore, the results suggest that the use of a skeletal muscle cell line is likely to be more clinically relevant for the examination of cytotoxic snake venoms. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights

  17. Antihaemolytic and snake venom neutralizing effect of some Indian medicinal plants.

    PubMed

    Kumarapppan, Chidambaram; Jaswanth, Albert; Kumarasunderi, Karpagam

    2011-09-01

    To validate traditional claims of usefulness of the Indian plants in management of poisonous snakebite and evaluate the antivenom properties displayed by the alcoholic extracts of Andrographis paniculata (A. paniculata), Crateva magna (C. magna), Gloriosa superba (G. superba) and Hydrocotyle javanica (H. javanica). These plants were collected, identified and the extracts were prepared by using conventional Soxhlet ethanol extraction technique. The venom neutralization activity was accessed in mice (20-25g) and number of mortalities was observed against clinically important snake (Naja nigricollis) venom. Present study also deals with in vitro membrane stabilizing activity of these plants against hyposaline induced human red blood corpuscles (HRBC). Extracts of H. javanica and G. superba gave 80 % and 90 % protection to mice treated with minimum lethal dose of venom (LD(99)). These two plants showed significant neutralization effect against the venoms of Naja nigricollis venom. H. javanica and G. superba (25-100 mg/mL) produced significant changes of membrane stabilization of human red blood cells (HRBC) exposed to hyposaline-induced haemolysis. We conclude that probably due to presence of various phytochemicals plays an important role in the anti-venom potential of these Indian medicinal plants against Naja nigricollis venom. The above observations confirmed that A. paniculata, C. magna, G. superba and H. javanica plant extracts possess potent snake venom neutralizing capacity and could potentially be used as an adjuvants for antivenin therapy in case of snakebite envenomation, especially against the local effects of cobra venoms. Copyright © 2011 Hainan Medical College. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Protein toxins of the Echis coloratus viper venom directly activate TRPV1.

    PubMed

    Geron, Matan; Kumar, Rakesh; Matzner, Henry; Lahiani, Adi; Gincberg, Galit; Cohen, Gadi; Lazarovici, Philip; Priel, Avi

    2017-03-01

    Peptide and protein toxins are essential tools to dissect and probe the biology of their target receptors. Venoms target vital physiological processes to evoke pain. Snake venoms contain various factors with the ability to evoke, enhance and sustain pain sensation. While a number of venom-derived toxins were shown to directly target TRPV1 channels expressed on somatosensory nerve terminals to evoke pain response, such toxins were yet to be identified in snake venoms. We screened Echis coloratus saw-scaled viper venom's protein fractions isolated by reversed phase HPLC for their ability to activate TRPV1 channels. To this end, we employed heterologous systems to analyze TRPV1 and NGF pathways by imaging and electrophysiology, combined with molecular biology, biochemical, and pharmacological tools. We identified TRPV1 activating proteins in the venom of Echis coloratus that produce a channel-dependent increase in intracellular calcium and outwardly rectifying currents in neurons and heterologous systems. Interestingly, channel activation was not mediated by any of its known toxin binding sites. Moreover, although NGF neurotropic activity was detected in this venom, TRPV1 activation was independent of NGF receptors. Echis coloratus venom contains proteins with the ability to directly activate TRPV1. This activity is independent of the NGF pathway and is not mediated by known TRPV1 toxins' binding sites. Our results could facilitate the discovery of new toxins targeting TRPV1 to enhance current understanding of this receptor activation mechanism. Furthermore, the findings of this study provide insight into the mechanism through which snakes' venom elicit pain. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. Cardiovascular responses to Bothrops alternatus (Urutu) snake venom in anesthetized dogs.

    PubMed

    Dias, Lourdes; Rodrigues, Mariana A P; Smaal, Adriana; Rennó, André L; Mello, Sueli M; Moreno, Heitor; Hyslop, Stephen

    2012-09-01

    The cardiovascular responses to Bothrops alternatus snake venom in anesthetized dogs were investigated. Venom (0.3 mg/kg, i.v.) markedly decreased arterial blood pressure, coronary perfusion pressure, and cardiac output (CO) after 5 min, with progressive recovery of the first two parameters to pre-venom levels after 3 h; CO showed little recovery. There was an abrupt, sustained decrease in left and right ventricular systolic work and stroke volume but no significant changes in heart rate, electrocardiogram, and pulmonary hemodynamics; systemic vascular resistance increased from 1 h onwards. A venom dose of 1 mg/kg produced more pronounced cardiovascular alterations, with a progressive decrease to death. There were no significant changes in blood gas (pO(2), pCO(2), HCO(3), SBC, and SBE) and metabolic (pH, lactate, glucose, creatine kinase activity, Na(+), and K(+)) parameters, although there was a transitory increase in plasma lactate dehydrogenase 2 min after the lower venom dose. There were no cardiac histological alterations, but microaneurysms and epithelial desquamation were seen in renal tubules. Circulating venom concentrations (determined by ELISA) decreased rapidly after administration, but venom was still detectable after 4 h. These results show that in dogs, B. alternatus venom produces marked hypotension and a direct cardiac action, with few metabolic alterations.

  1. A novel synthetic quinolinone inhibitor presents proteolytic and hemorrhagic inhibitory activities against snake venom metalloproteases.

    PubMed

    Baraldi, Patrícia T; Magro, Angelo J; Matioli, Fábio F; Marcussi, Silvana; Lemke, Ney; Calderon, Leonardo A; Stábeli, Rodrigo G; Soares, Andreimar M; Correa, Arlene G; Fontes, Marcos R M

    2016-02-01

    Metalloproteases play a fundamental role in snake venom envenomation inducing hemorrhagic, fibrigen(ogen)olytic and myotoxic effects in their victims. Several snake venoms, such as those from the Bothrops genus, present important local effects which are not efficiently neutralized by conventional serum therapy. Consequently, these accidents may result in permanent sequelae and disability, creating economic and social problems, especially in developing countries, leading the attention of the World Health Organization that considered ophidic envenomations a neglected tropical disease. Aiming to produce an efficient inhibitor against bothropic venoms, we synthesized different molecules classified as quinolinones - a group of low-toxic chemical compounds widely used as antibacterial and antimycobacterial drugs - and tested their inhibitory properties against hemorrhage caused by bothropic venoms. The results from this initial screening indicated the molecule 2-hydroxymethyl-6-methoxy-1,4-dihydro-4-quinolinone (Q8) was the most effective antihemorrhagic compound among all of the assayed synthetic quinolinones. Other in vitro and in vivo experiments showed this novel compound was able to inhibit significantly the hemorrhagic and/or proteolytic activities of bothropic crude venoms and isolated snake venom metalloproteases (SVMPs) even at lower concentrations. Docking and molecular dynamic simulations were also performed to get insights into the structural basis of Q8 inhibitory mechanism against proteolytic and hemorrhagic SVMPs. These structural studies demonstrated that Q8 may form a stable complex with SVMPs, impairing the access of substrates to the active sites of these toxins. Therefore, both experimental and structural data indicate that Q8 compound is an interesting candidate for antiophidic therapy, particularly for the treatment of the hemorrhagic and necrotic effects induced by bothropic venoms. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. and Société Française de

  2. In vitro neurotoxic and myotoxic effects of the venom from the black whip snake (Demansia papuensis).

    PubMed

    Kuruppu, S; Fry, Bryan G; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2006-04-01

    1. Black whip snakes belong to the family elapidae and are found throughout the northern coastal region of Australia. The black whip snake (Demansia papuensis) is considered to be potentially dangerous due to its size and phylogenetic distinctiveness. Previous liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of D. papuensis venom indicated a number of components within the molecular mass ranges compatible with neurotoxins. For the first time, this study examines the in vitro neurotoxic and myotoxic effects of the venom from D. papuensis. 2. Venom (10 microg/mL) caused significant inhibition of twitches elicited by stimulation (0.2 ms, 0.1 Hz, supramaximal V) of motor nerves in the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation. This neurotoxic effect, which was postsynaptic in origin, was weak in comparison to that of most other Australian elapids. Prior addition (10 min) of polyvalent (PSAV) or tiger snake (TSAV) antivenom (5 units/mL) prevented venom-induced twitch inhibition. Addition of PSAV (5 units/mL) at t(50) failed to reverse the inhibitory effect but prevented further inhibition of nerve-mediated twitches. 3. The venom (20-50 microg/mL) is also myotoxic as indicated by a slowly developing contracture and inhibition of twitches elicited by direct stimulation (2 ms, 0.1 Hz, supramaximal V, in the presence of tubocurarine 10 micromol/L) of the chick biventer muscle. This activity was confirmed by histological examination of the muscle. 4. Fractionation and characterization of venom components is required to further investigate the reasons for the weak neurotoxic activity of D. papuensis venom.

  3. Snake venom induced local toxicities: plant secondary metabolites as an auxiliary therapy.

    PubMed

    Santhosh, M Sebastin; Hemshekhar, M; Sunitha, K; Thushara, R M; Jnaneshwari, S; Kemparaju, K; Girish, K S

    2013-01-01

    Snakebite is a serious medical and socio-economic problem affecting the rural and agricultural laborers of tropical and sub-tropical region across the world leading to high morbidity and mortality. In most of the snakebite incidences, victims usually end up with permanent tissue damage and sequelae with high socioeconomic and psychological impacts. Although, mortality has been reduced markedly due to anti-venom regimen, it is associated with several limitations. Snake venom metalloprotease, hyaluronidase and myotoxic phospholipase A2 are the kingpins of tissue necrosis and extracellular matrix degradation. Thus, inhibition of these enzymes is considered to be the rate limiting step in the management of snakebite. Unfortunately, tissue necrosis and extracellular matrix degradation persists even after the administration of anti-venom. At present, inhibitors from snake serum and plasma, several synthetic compounds and their analogs have been demonstrated to possess anti-snake venom activities, but the use of plant metabolites for this purpose has an added advantage of traditional knowledge and will make the treatment cheaper and more accessible to the affected population. Therefore, the clinical and research forums are highly oriented towards plant metabolites and interestingly, certain phytochemicals are implicated as the antibody elicitors against venom toxicity that can be exploited in designing effective anti-venoms. Based on these facts, we have made an effort to enlist plant based secondary metabolites with antiophidian abilities and their mechanism of action against locally acting enzymes/toxins in particular. The review also describes their functional groups responsible for therapeutic beneficial and certainly oblige in designing potent inhibitors against venom toxins.

  4. The Snake with the Scorpion’s Sting: Novel Three-Finger Toxin Sodium Channel Activators from the Venom of the Long-Glanded Blue Coral Snake (Calliophis bivirgatus)

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Daryl C.; Deuis, Jennifer R.; Dashevsky, Daniel; Dobson, James; Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Brust, Andreas; Xie, Bing; Koludarov, Ivan; Debono, Jordan; Hendrikx, Iwan; Hodgson, Wayne C.; Josh, Peter; Nouwens, Amanda; Baillie, Gregory J.; Bruxner, Timothy J. C.; Alewood, Paul F.; Lim, Kelvin Kok Peng; Frank, Nathaniel; Vetter, Irina; Fry, Bryan G.

    2016-01-01

    Millions of years of evolution have fine-tuned the ability of venom peptides to rapidly incapacitate both prey and potential predators. Toxicofera reptiles are characterized by serous-secreting mandibular or maxillary glands with heightened levels of protein expression. These glands are the core anatomical components of the toxicoferan venom system, which exists in myriad points along an evolutionary continuum. Neofunctionalisation of toxins is facilitated by positive selection at functional hotspots on the ancestral protein and venom proteins have undergone dynamic diversification in helodermatid and varanid lizards as well as advanced snakes. A spectacular point on the venom system continuum is the long-glanded blue coral snake (Calliophis bivirgatus), a specialist feeder that preys on fast moving, venomous snakes which have both a high likelihood of prey escape but also represent significant danger to the predator itself. The maxillary venom glands of C. bivirgatus extend one quarter of the snake’s body length and nestle within the rib cavity. Despite the snake’s notoriety its venom has remained largely unstudied. Here we show that the venom uniquely produces spastic paralysis, in contrast to the flaccid paralysis typically produced by neurotoxic snake venoms. The toxin responsible, which we have called calliotoxin (δ-elapitoxin-Cb1a), is a three-finger toxin (3FTx). Calliotoxin shifts the voltage-dependence of NaV1.4 activation to more hyperpolarised potentials, inhibits inactivation, and produces large ramp currents, consistent with its profound effects on contractile force in an isolated skeletal muscle preparation. Voltage-gated sodium channels (NaV) are a particularly attractive pharmacological target as they are involved in almost all physiological processes including action potential generation and conduction. Accordingly, venom peptides that interfere with NaV function provide a key defensive and predatory advantage to a range of invertebrate

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    Bothropic envenomation is characterised by severe local damage caused by the toxic action of venom components and aggravated by induced inflammation. In this comparative study, the local inflammatory effects caused by the venoms of Bothrops alternatus and Bothrops moojeni, two snakes of epidemiological importance in Brazil, were investigated. The toxic action of venom components induced by bothropic venom was also characterised. Herein, the oedema, hyperalgesia and myotoxicity induced by bothropic venom were monitored for various lengths of time after venom injection in experimental animals. The intensity of the local effects caused by B. moojeni venom is considerably more potent than B. alternatus venom. Our results also indicate that metalloproteases and phospholipases A2 have a central role in the local damage induced by bothropic venoms, but serine proteases also contribute to the effects of these venoms. Furthermore, we observed that specific anti-inflammatory drugs were able to considerably reduce the oedema, the pain and the muscle damage caused by both venoms. The inflammatory reaction induced by B. moojeni venom is mediated by eicosanoid action, histamine and nitric oxide, with significant participation of bradykinin on the hyperalgesic and myotoxic effects of this venom. These mediators also participate to inflammation caused by B. alternatus venom. However, the inefficient anti-inflammatory effects of some local modulation suggest that histamine, leukotrienes and nitric oxide have little role in the oedema or myotoxicity caused by B. alternatus venom. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Molecular docking studies and anti-snake venom metalloproteinase activity of Thai mango seed kernel extract.

    PubMed

    Pithayanukul, Pimolpan; Leanpolchareanchai, Jiraporn; Saparpakorn, Patchreenart

    2009-08-27

    Snakebite envenomations cause severe local tissue necrosis and the venom metalloproteinases are thought to be the key toxins involved. In this study, the ethanolic extract from seed kernels of Thai mango (Mangifera indica L. cv. 'Fahlun') (Anacardiaceae) and its major phenolic principle (pentagalloylglucopyranose) exhibited potent and dose-dependent inhibitory effects on the caseinolytic and fibrinogenolytic activities of Malayan pit viper and Thai cobra venoms in in vitro tests. molecular docking studies revealed that the binding orientations of the phenolic principles were in the binding pockets of snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs). The phenolic principles could form hydrogen bonds with the three histidine residues in the conserved zinc-binding motif and could chelate the Zn(2+) atom of the SVMPs, which could potentially result in inhibition of the venom enzymatic activities and thereby inhibit tissue necrosis.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-10-01

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

  8. Comparative sensitivity of commercially available aPTT reagents to mulga snake (Pseudechis australis) venom.

    PubMed

    Lincz, Lisa F; Scorgie, Fiona E; Johnston, Christopher I; O'Leary, Margaret; Prasad, Ritam; Seldon, Michael; Favaloro, Emmanuel; Isbister, Geoffrey K

    2014-08-01

    This study aimed to determine the relative sensitivity of activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) reagents to the anticoagulant effects of phospholipases in mulga snake (Pseudechis australis) venom.Twenty-one haematology laboratories participating in the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia Quality Assurance Programs were sent human plasma samples spiked with mulga venom (n=25 total results). Results for 17 patients with mulga snake envenoming were available through the Australian Snakebite Project.Only 12 of 25 venom spiked samples returned an abnormally prolonged aPTT. Tests performed with Dade Actin FS (n=7) did not identify any of the spiked samples as abnormal. Although clotting times were significantly prolonged using the lupus anticoagulant sensitive Actin FSL (n=5, p=0.043), only one was reported as abnormal. Only laboratories using TriniCLOT aPTT S (n=6), HemosIL APTT SP (n=2) and Stago PTT-A (n=1) consistently recorded the spiked sample as being above the upper normal reference interval. Abnormally prolonged aPTTs were recorded for four of eight patients whose tests were performed with Actin FSL, five of eight patients with TriniCLOT aPTT HS, and three of three patients using TriniCLOT aPTT S.We conclude that some reagents used for routine aPTT testing are relatively insensitive to the anticoagulant effects of mulga snake venom. Tests performed with these reagents should be interpreted with caution.

  9. 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

  10. Biochemical, Pharmacological, and Structural Characterization of New Basic PLA2 Bbil-TX from Bothriopsis bilineata Snake Venom

    PubMed Central

    Corasolla Carregari, Victor; Stuani Floriano, Rafael; Rodrigues-Simioni, Lea; Winck, Flavia V.; Baldasso, Paulo Aparecido; Ponce-Soto, Luis Alberto; Marangoni, Sergio

    2013-01-01

    Bbil-TX, a PLA2, was purified from Bothriopsis bilineata snake venom after only one chromatographic step using RP-HPLC on μ-Bondapak C-18 column. A molecular mass of 14243.8 Da was confirmed by Q-Tof Ultima API ESI/MS (TOF MS mode) mass spectrometry. The partial protein sequence obtained was then submitted to BLASTp, with the search restricted to PLA2 from snakes and shows high identity values when compared to other PLA2s. PLA2 activity was presented in the presence of a synthetic substrate and showed a minimum sigmoidal behavior, reaching its maximal activity at pH 8.0 and 25–37°C. Maximum PLA2 activity required Ca2+ and in the presence of Cd2+, Zn2+, Mn2+, and Mg2+ it was reduced in the presence or absence of Ca2+. Crotapotin from Crotalus durissus cascavella rattlesnake venom and antihemorrhagic factor DA2-II from Didelphis albiventris opossum sera under optimal conditions significantly inhibit the enzymatic activity. Bbil-TX induces myonecrosis in mice. The fraction does not show a significant cytotoxic activity in myotubes and myoblasts (C2C12). The inflammatory events induced in the serum of mice by Bbil-TX isolated from Bothriopsis bilineata snake venom were investigated. An increase in vascular permeability and in the levels of TNF-a, IL-6, and IL-1 was was induced. Since Bbil-TX exerts a stronger proinflammatory effect, the phospholipid hydrolysis may be relevant for these phenomena. PMID:23509754

  11. Biochemical, pharmacological, and structural characterization of new basic PLA2 Bbil-TX from Bothriopsis bilineata snake venom.

    PubMed

    Corasolla Carregari, Victor; Stuani Floriano, Rafael; Rodrigues-Simioni, Lea; Winck, Flavia V; Baldasso, Paulo Aparecido; Ponce-Soto, Luis Alberto; Marangoni, Sergio

    2013-01-01

    Bbil-TX, a PLA2, was purified from Bothriopsis bilineata snake venom after only one chromatographic step using RP-HPLC on μ-Bondapak C-18 column. A molecular mass of 14243.8 Da was confirmed by Q-Tof Ultima API ESI/MS (TOF MS mode) mass spectrometry. The partial protein sequence obtained was then submitted to BLASTp, with the search restricted to PLA2 from snakes and shows high identity values when compared to other PLA2s. PLA2 activity was presented in the presence of a synthetic substrate and showed a minimum sigmoidal behavior, reaching its maximal activity at pH 8.0 and 25-37°C. Maximum PLA2 activity required Ca(2+) and in the presence of Cd(2+), Zn(2+), Mn(2+), and Mg(2+) it was reduced in the presence or absence of Ca(2+). Crotapotin from Crotalus durissus cascavella rattlesnake venom and antihemorrhagic factor DA2-II from Didelphis albiventris opossum sera under optimal conditions significantly inhibit the enzymatic activity. Bbil-TX induces myonecrosis in mice. The fraction does not show a significant cytotoxic activity in myotubes and myoblasts (C2C12). The inflammatory events induced in the serum of mice by Bbil-TX isolated from Bothriopsis bilineata snake venom were investigated. An increase in vascular permeability and in the levels of TNF-a, IL-6, and IL-1 was was induced. Since Bbil-TX exerts a stronger proinflammatory effect, the phospholipid hydrolysis may be relevant for these phenomena.

  12. Stabilising the Integrity of Snake Venom mRNA Stored under Tropical Field Conditions Expands Research Horizons

    PubMed Central

    Logan, Rhiannon A. E.; Leung, Kam-Yin D.; Newberry, Fiona J.; Rowley, Paul D.; Dunbar, John P.; Wagstaff, Simon C.; Casewell, Nicholas R.; Harrison, Robert A.

    2016-01-01

    Background Snake venoms contain many proteinaceous toxins that can cause severe pathology and mortality in snakebite victims. Interestingly, mRNA encoding such toxins can be recovered directly from venom, although yields are low and quality is unknown. It also remains unclear whether such RNA contains information about toxin isoforms and whether it is representative of mRNA recovered from conventional sources, such as the venom gland. Answering these questions will address the feasibility of using venom-derived RNA for future research relevant to biomedical and antivenom applications. Methodology/Principal Findings Venom was extracted from several species of snake, including both members of the Viperidae and Elapidae, and either lyophilized or immediately added to TRIzol reagent. TRIzol-treated venom was incubated at a range of temperatures (4–37°C) for a range of durations (0–48 hours), followed by subsequent RNA isolation and assessments of RNA quantity and quality. Subsequently, full-length toxin transcripts were targeted for PCR amplification and Sanger sequencing. TRIzol-treated venom yielded total RNA of greater quantity and quality than lyophilized venom, and with quality comparable to venom gland-derived RNA. Full-length sequences from multiple Viperidae and Elapidae toxin families were successfully PCR amplified from TRIzol-treated venom RNA. We demonstrated that venom can be stored in TRIzol for 48 hours at 4–19°C, and 8 hours at 37°C, at minimal cost to RNA quality, and found that venom RNA encoded multiple toxin isoforms that seemed homologous (98–99% identity) to those found in the venom gland. Conclusions/Significance The non-invasive experimental modifications we propose will facilitate the future investigation of venom composition by using venom as an alternative source to venom gland tissue for RNA-based studies, thus obviating the undesirable need to sacrifice snakes for such research purposes. In addition, they expand research horizons

  13. Counteraction of Bothrops snake venoms by Combretum leprosum root extract and arjunolic acid.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Fabrício F A; Tomaz, Marcelo A; El-Kik, Camila Z; Monteiro-Machado, Marcos; Strauch, Marcelo A; Cons, Bruno L; Tavares-Henriques, Matheus S; Cintra, Adélia C O; Facundo, Valdir A; Melo, Paulo A

    2014-08-08

    formation, while pre- and posttreatment have been partially effective. Some enzymatic activities of Bothrops jararacussu and Bothrops jararaca venoms, i.e. phospholipase A2, collagenase, proteolytic and hyaluronidase activities, were to some extent inhibited by the extract and arjunolic acid in a concentration-dependent manner. Altogether, our results show that Combretum leprosum extract can inhibit different activities of two important Brazilian snake venoms, giving support for its popular use in folk medicine in the management of venomous snakebites. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Evaluation of the lethal potency of scorpion and snake venoms and comparison between intraperitoneal and intravenous injection routes.

    PubMed

    Oukkache, Naoual; El Jaoudi, Rachid; Ghalim, Noreddine; Chgoury, Fatima; Bouhaouala, Balkiss; Mdaghri, Naima El; Sabatier, Jean-Marc

    2014-06-12

    Scorpion stings and snake bites are major health hazards that lead to suffering of victims and high mortality. Thousands of injuries associated with such stings and bites of venomous animals occur every year worldwide. In North Africa, more than 100,000 scorpion stings and snake bites are reported annually. An appropriate determination of the 50% lethal doses (LD₅₀) of scorpion and snake venoms appears to be an important step to assess (and compare) venom toxic activity. Such LD₅₀ values are also commonly used to evaluate the neutralizing capacity of specific anti-venom batches. In the present work, we determined experimentally the LD₅₀ values of reference scorpion and snake venoms in Swiss mice, and evaluated the influence of two main venom injection routes (i.e., intraperitoneal (IP) versus intravenous (IV)). The analysis of experimental LD₅₀ values obtained with three collected scorpion venoms indicates that Androctonus mauretanicus (Am) is intrinsically more toxic than Androctonus australis hector (Aah) species, whereas the latter is more toxic than Buthus occitanus (Bo). Similar analysis of three representative snake venoms of the Viperidae family shows that Cerastes cerastes (Cc) is more toxic than either Bitis arietans (Ba) or Macrovipera lebetina (Ml) species. Interestingly, the venom of Elapidae cobra snake Naja haje (Nh) is far more toxic than viper venoms Cc, Ml and Ba, in agreement with the known severity of cobra-related envenomation. Also, our data showed that viper venoms are about three-times less toxic when injected IP as compared to IV, distinct from cobra venom Nh which exhibited a similar toxicity when injected IP or IV. Overall, this study clearly highlights the usefulness of procedure standardization, especially regarding the administration route, for evaluating the relative toxicity of individual animal venoms. It also evidenced a marked difference in lethal activity between venoms of cobra and vipers, which, apart from the

  16. 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.

  17. Venoms of Micrurus coral snakes: Evolutionary trends in compositional patterns emerging from proteomic analyses.

    PubMed

    Lomonte, Bruno; Rey-Suárez, Paola; Fernández, Julián; Sasa, Mahmood; Pla, Davinia; Vargas, Nancy; Bénard-Valle, Melisa; Sanz, Libia; Corrêa-Netto, Carlos; Núñez, Vitelbina; Alape-Girón, Alberto; Alagón, Alejandro; Gutiérrez, José María; Calvete, Juan J

    2016-11-01

    The application of proteomic tools to the study of snake venoms has led to an impressive growth in the knowledge about their composition (venomics), immunogenicity (antivenomics), and toxicity (toxicovenomics). About one-third of all venomic studies have focused on elapid species, especially those of the Old World. The New World elapids, represented by coral snakes, have been less studied. In recent years, however, a number of venomic studies on Micrurus species from North, Central, and South America have been conducted. An overview of these studies is presented, highlighting the emergence of some patterns and trends concerning their compositional, functional, and immunological characteristics. Results gathered to date, encompassing 18 out of the approximately 85 species of Micrurus, reveal a dichotomy of venom phenotypes regarding the relative abundance of the omnipresent phospholipases A2 (PLA2) and 'three-finger' toxins (3FTx): a group of species express a PLA2-predominant venom composition, while others display a 3FTx-predominant compositional pattern. These two divergent toxin expression phenotypes appear to be related to phylogenetic positions and geographical distributions along a North-South axis in the Americas, but further studies encompassing a higher number of species are needed to assess these hypotheses. The two contrasting phenotypes also show correlations with some toxic functionalities, complexity in the diversity of proteoforms, and immunological cross-recognition patterns. The biological significance for the emergence of a dichotomy of venom compositions within Micrurus, in some cases observed even among sympatric species that inhabit relatively small geographic areas, represents a puzzling and challenging area of research which warrants further studies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Systemic effects induced by the venom of the snake Bothrops caribbaeus in a murine model.

    PubMed

    Herrera, Cristina; Rucavado, Alexandra; Warrell, David A; Gutiérrez, José María

    2013-03-01

    Snakebite envenoming by Bothrops caribbaeus, an endemic viperid from the Lesser Antillean island of Saint Lucia, is clinically characterized by local tissue damage and systemic thrombosis that can lead to cerebral, myocardial or pulmonary infarctions and venous thromboses. Systemic effects (lethality, pulmonary hemorrhage, thrombocytopenia and coagulopathy) induced by intravenous (i.v.) administration of B. caribbaeus venom were studied in mice. The role of snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) in these systemic alterations was assessed by inhibition with the chelating agent calcium disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (CaNa(2)EDTA). A snake C-type lectin-like (snaclec) and a type P-III hemorrhagic SVMP were isolated and characterized from this venom, and the effect of venom and the isolated snaclec on human platelet aggregation was studied in vitro. Results indicate that SVMPs play an important role in the overall toxicity of B. caribbaeus venom, being responsible for systemic hemorrhage and lethality, but not thrombocytopenia, whereas the isolated snaclec is involved in the thrombocytopenic effect. Both venom and snaclec induce platelet aggregation/agglutination. Moreover, the snaclec binds directly to glycoprotein Ib (GPIb) and induces agglutination in washed fixed platelets. On the other hand, B. caribbaeus venom hydrolyzed fibrinogen in vitro and induced a partial drop of fibrinogen levels with an increase in fibrin/fibrinogen degradation products (FDP) levels in vivo. The negative result for D-dimer (DD) in plasma is consistent with the lack of microscopic evidence of pulmonary thrombosis and endothelial cell damage. Likewise, no increments in plasma sE-selectin levels were detected. The absence of thrombosis in this murine model suggests that this effect may be species-specific. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Venom ophthalmia caused by venoms of spitting elapid and other snakes: Report of ten cases with review of epidemiology, clinical features, pathophysiology and management.

    PubMed

    Chu, Edward R; Weinstein, Scott A; White, Julian; Warrell, David A

    2010-09-01

    Venom ophthalmia caused by venoms of spitting elapid and other snakes: report of ten cases with review of epidemiology, clinical features, pathophysiology and management. Chu, ER, Weinstein, SA, White, J and Warrell, DA. Toxicon XX:xxx-xxx. We present ten cases of ocular injury following instillation into the eye of snake venoms or toxins by spitting elapids and other snakes. The natural history of spitting elapids and the toxinology of their venoms are reviewed together with the medical effects and management of venom ophthalmia in humans and domestic animals including both direct and allergic effects of venoms. Although the clinical features and management of envenoming following bites by spitting elapids (genera Naja and Hemachatus) are well documented, these snakes are also capable of "spraying" venom towards the eyes of predators, a defensive strategy that causes painful and potentially blinding ocular envenoming (venom ophthalmia). Little attention has been given to the detailed clinical description, clinical evolution and efficacy of treatment of venom ophthalmia and no clear management guidelines have been formulated. Knowledge of the pathophysiology of ocular envenoming is based largely on animal studies and a limited body of clinical information. A few cases of ocular exposure to venoms from crotaline viperids have also been described. Venom ophthalmia often presents with pain, hyperemia, blepharitis, blepharospasm and corneal erosions. Delay or lack of treatment may result in corneal opacity, hypopyon and/or blindness. When venom is "spat" into the eye, cranial nerve VII may be affected by local spread of venom but systemic envenoming has not been documented in human patients. Management of venom ophthalmia consists of: 1) urgent decontamination by copious irrigation 2) analgesia by vasoconstrictors with weak mydriatic activity (e.g. epinephrine) and limited topical administration of local anesthetics (e.g. tetracaine) 3) exclusion of corneal abrasions

  20. Protein Characterization of Javan Cobra (Naja sputatrix) Venom Following Sun Exposure and Photo-Oxidation Treatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sulistiyani; Biki, R. S.; Andrianto, D.

    2017-03-01

    Snake venom has always been known for its toxicity that can cause fatality, however, it is also one of the important biological resources to be used for disease treatment. In Indonesia, snake venom previously expose under the sun has been used for alternative treatment of some diseases such as dengue fever, atherosclerosis, cancer, and diabetes. There has been very little scientific evidence on the use of snake venom of Indonesia origin as well as its protein characteristic. Thus, the objective of this research is to characterize the protein content and the specific activity of the venom of Javan Cobra (N.sputatrix) when treated with sun exposure in comparison with photo-oxidation by ultraviolet. Qualitative analysis of protein contents was determined using sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS PAGE). The L-amino acid oxidase activity (LAAO) and the phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activities were determined using spectrophotometry. The venom’s protein was separated into 5 main protein bands with molecular weight ranging from 14 to 108 kDa. A time course study showed that the venom lost 91% of its LAAO activity and 96% of PLA2 activity after 6 hours of sun exposure. UV photo-oxidation carried out for 3 hours decreased 91% of LAAO activity, and almost diminished all of PLA2 activity (99.8%). These findings suggest that the exposure of N. sputatrix venom under the sun and UV photo-oxidation decreased its toxicity as shown by the significant reduction of the enzymes activity, but did not affect the protein’s integrity. Therefore, these approaches produced N.sputatrix venom with less toxicity but still withheld other characters of intact proteins.

  1. Venom of the Coral Snake Micrurus clarki: Proteomic Profile, Toxicity, Immunological Cross-Neutralization, and Characterization of a Three-Finger Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Lomonte, Bruno; Sasa, Mahmood; Rey-Suárez, Paola; Bryan, Wendy; Gutiérrez, José María

    2016-01-01

    Micrurus clarki is an uncommon coral snake distributed from the Southeastern Pacific of Costa Rica to Western Colombia, for which no information on its venom could be found in the literature. Using a ‘venomics’ approach, proteins of at least nine families were identified, with a moderate predominance of three-finger toxins (3FTx; 48.2%) over phospholipase A2 (PLA2; 36.5%). Comparison of this venom profile with those of other Micrurus species suggests that it may represent a more balanced, ‘intermediate’ type within the dichotomy between 3FTx- and PLA2-predominant venoms. M. clarki venom was strongly cross-recognized and, accordingly, efficiently neutralized by an equine therapeutic antivenom against M. nigrocinctus, revealing their high antigenic similarity. Lethal activity for mice could be reproduced by a PLA2 venom fraction, but, unexpectedly, not by fractions corresponding to 3FTxs. The most abundant venom component, hereby named clarkitoxin-I, was identified as a short-chain (type I) 3FTx, devoid of lethal effect in mice, whose target remains to be defined. Its amino acid sequence of 66 residues shows high similarity with predicted sequences of venom gland transcripts described for M. fulvius, M. browni, and M. diastema. PMID:27164141

  2. Mechanisms of Vascular Damage by Hemorrhagic Snake Venom Metalloproteinases: Tissue Distribution and In Situ Hydrolysis

    PubMed Central

    Baldo, Cristiani; Jamora, Colin; Yamanouye, Norma; Zorn, Telma M.; Moura-da-Silva, Ana M.

    2010-01-01

    Background Envenoming by viper snakes constitutes an important public health problem in Brazil and other developing countries. Local hemorrhage is an important symptom of these accidents and is correlated with the action of snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs). The degradation of vascular basement membrane has been proposed as a key event for the capillary vessel disruption. However, SVMPs that present similar catalytic activity towards extracellular matrix proteins differ in their hemorrhagic activity, suggesting that other mechanisms might be contributing to the accumulation of SVMPs at the snakebite area allowing capillary disruption. Methodology/Principal Findings In this work, we compared the tissue distribution and degradation of extracellular matrix proteins induced by jararhagin (highly hemorrhagic SVMP) and BnP1 (weakly hemorrhagic SVMP) using the mouse skin as experimental model. Jararhagin induced strong hemorrhage accompanied by hydrolysis of collagen fibers in the hypodermis and a marked degradation of type IV collagen at the vascular basement membrane. In contrast, BnP1 induced only a mild hemorrhage and did not disrupt collagen fibers or type IV collagen. Injection of Alexa488-labeled jararhagin revealed fluorescent staining around capillary vessels and co-localization with basement membrane type IV collagen. The same distribution pattern was detected with jararhagin-C (disintegrin-like/cysteine-rich domains of jararhagin). In opposition, BnP1 did not accumulate in the tissues. Conclusions/Significance These results show a particular tissue distribution of hemorrhagic toxins accumulating at the basement membrane. This probably occurs through binding to collagens, which are drastically hydrolyzed at the sites of hemorrhagic lesions. Toxin accumulation near blood vessels explains enhanced catalysis of basement membrane components, resulting in the strong hemorrhagic activity of SVMPs. This is a novel mechanism that underlies the difference between

  3. Transcriptomic basis for an antiserum against Micrurus corallinus (coral snake) venom

    PubMed Central

    Leão, Luciana I; Ho, Paulo L; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inacio de LM

    2009-01-01

    Background Micrurus corallinus (coral snake) is a tropical forest snake belonging to the family Elapidae. Its venom shows a high neurotoxicity associated with pre- and post-synaptic toxins, causing diaphragm paralysis, which may result in death. In spite of a relatively small incidence of accidents, serum therapy is crucial for those bitten. However, the adequate production of antiserum is hampered by the difficulty in obtaining sufficient amounts of venom from a small snake with demanding breeding conditions. In order to elucidate the molecular basis of this venom and to uncover possible immunogens for an antiserum, we generated expressed sequences tags (ESTs) from its venom glands and analyzed the transcriptomic profile. In addition, their immunogenicity was tested using DNA immunization. Results A total of 1438 ESTs were generated and grouped into 611 clusters. Toxin transcripts represented 46% of the total ESTs. The two main toxin classes consisted of three-finger toxins (3FTx) (24%) and phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) (15%). However, 8 other classes of toxins were present, including C-type lectins, natriuretic peptide precursors and even high-molecular mass components such as metalloproteases and L-amino acid oxidases. Each class included an assortment of isoforms, some showing evidence of alternative splicing and domain deletions. Five antigenic candidates were selected (four 3FTx and one PLA2) and used for a preliminary study of DNA immunization. The immunological response showed that the sera from the immunized animals were able to recognize the recombinant antigens. Conclusion Besides an improvement in our knowledge of the composition of coral snake venoms, which are very poorly known when compared to Old World elapids, the expression profile suggests abundant and diversified components that may be used in future antiserum formulation. As recombinant production of venom antigens frequently fails due to complex disulfide arrangements, DNA immunization may be a

  4. Micrurus snake species: Venom immunogenicity, antiserum cross-reactivity and neutralization potential.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Gabriela D; Sant'Anna, Osvaldo Augusto; Marcelino, José Roberto; Lustoza da Luz, Ana Cristina; Teixeira da Rocha, Marisa Maria; Tambourgi, Denise V

    2016-07-01

    Micrurus snakebites can cause death by muscle paralysis and respiratory arrest a few hours after envenomation. The specific treatment for these snake envenomations is the intravenous application of heterologous antivenom. In Brazil, this antivenom is produced from horses that are immunized with a mixture of Micrurus corallinus and Micrurus frontalis venoms, which are snakes that inhabit the south and southeastern regions of the country. Previously, we demonstrated that the coral antivenom, which is used in human therapy, was not able to neutralize several of the toxic venom effects from some Micrurus species that inhabit the country, as measured by in vitro and in vivo assays. The present study aimed to investigate the immunogenic properties of Micrurus spp. venoms, as well as the cross-reactivity and neutralization potential of experimental monovalent and polyvalent sera that were produced in different animal species. The present data showed that Micrurus venoms exhibited the same immunogenicity pattern in the three utilized animal species and that the specific antisera presented a large cross-reactivity when analyzed with ELISA and Western blot assays. Nonetheless, these positive results were not well correlated with the neutralizing potential of the antisera. Thus, the establishment of a new antigenic mixture to produce novel more efficient therapeutic Micrurus antivenom is not a simple task. Further studies, particularly with the Micrurus lemniscatus, Micrurus altirostris and Micrurus surinamensis venoms, are necessary to establish new strategies for the production of antivenoms with broad neutralizing activity for the treatment of accidents involving coral snakes throughout the country. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Bothrops fonsecai snake venom activities and cross-reactivity with commercial bothropic venom.

    PubMed

    Collaço, Rita de Cássia O; Randazzo-Moura, Priscila; Tamascia, Mariana L; da Silva, Igor Rapp F; Rocha, Thalita; Cogo, José C; Hyslop, Stephen; Sanny, Charles G; Rodrigues-Simioni, Léa

    2017-01-01

    In this work, we examined some biochemical and biological activities of Bothrops fonsecai venom, a pitviper endemic to southeastern Brazil, and assessed their neutralization by commercial bothropic antivenom (CAv). Cross-reactivity of venom with CAv was also assessed by immunoblotting and size-exclusion high performance chromatography (SE-HPLC). Bothrops fonsecai venom had PLA2, proteolytic and esterase activities that were neutralized to varying extents by venom:antivenom ratios of 5:1 and 5:2 (PLA2 and esterase activities) or not significantly by either venom:antivenom ratio (proteolytic activity). The minimum hemorrhagic dose (69.2μg) was totally neutralized by both ratios. Clotting time in rat citrated plasma was 33±10.5s (mean±SD; n=5) and was completely neutralized by a 5:2 ratio. Edema formation was dose-dependent (1-30μg/site) and significantly inhibited by both ratios. Venom (10-300μg/mL) caused neuromuscular blockade in extensor digitorum longus preparations; this blockade was inhibited best by a 5:2 ratio. Venom caused myonecrosis and creatine kinase release in vivo (gastrocnemius muscle) and in vitro (extensor digitorum longus) that was effectively neutralized by both venom:antivenom ratios. Immunoblotting showed that venom components of ~25-100kDa interacted with CAv. SE-HPLC profiles for venom incubated with CAv or specific anti-B. fonsecai antivenom raised in rabbits (SAv) indicated that CAv had a higher binding capacity than SAv, whereas SAv had higher affinity than CAv. These findings indicate that B. fonsecai venom contains various activities that are neutralized to different extents by CAv and suggest that CAv could be used to treat envenoming by B. fonsecai.

  6. Structural and functional analyses of DM43, a snake venom metalloproteinase inhibitor from Didelphis marsupialis serum.

    PubMed

    Neves-Ferreira, Ana G C; Perales, Jonas; Fox, Jay W; Shannon, John D; Makino, Débora L; Garratt, Richard C; Domont, Gilberto B

    2002-04-12

    DM43, an opossum serum protein inhibitor of snake venom metalloproteinases, has been completely sequenced, and its disulfide bond pattern has been experimentally determined. It shows homology to human alpha(1)B-glycoprotein, a plasma protein of unknown function and a member of the immunoglobulin supergene family. Size exclusion and dynamic laser light scattering data indicated that two monomers of DM43, each composed of three immunoglobulin-like domains, associated to form a homodimer in solution. Analysis of its glycan moiety showed the presence of N-acetylglucosamine, mannose, galactose, and sialic acid, most probably forming four biantennary N-linked chains. DM43 inhibited the fibrinogenolytic activities of bothrolysin and jararhagin and formed 1:1 stoichiometric stable complexes with both metalloproteinases. DM43 was ineffective against atrolysin C or A. No complex formation was detected between DM43 and jararhagin C, indicating the essential role of the metalloproteinase domain for interaction. Homology modeling based on the crystal structure of a killer cell inhibitory receptor suggested the existence of an I-type Ig fold, a hydrophobic dimerization surface and six surface loops potentially forming the metalloproteinase-binding surface on DM43.

  7. NMR structure of bitistatin – a missing piece in the evolutionary pathway of snake venom disintegrins.

    PubMed

    Carbajo, Rodrigo J; Sanz, Libia; Perez, Alicia; Calvete, Juan J

    2015-01-01

    Extant disintegrins, as found in the venoms of Viperidae and Crotalidae snakes (vipers and rattlesnakes, represent a family of polypeptides that block the function of β1 and β3 integrin receptors, both potently and with a high degree of selectivity. This toxin family owes its origin to the neofunctionalization of the extracellular region of an ADAM (a disintegrin and metalloprotease) molecule recruited into the snake venom gland proteome in the Jurassic. The evolutionary structural diversification of the disintegrin scaffold, from the ancestral long disintegrins to the more recently evolved medium-sized, dimeric and short disintegrins, involved the stepwise loss of pairs of class-specific disulfide linkages and the processing of the N-terminal region. NMR and crystal structures of medium-sized, dimeric and short disintegrins have been solved. However, the structure of a long disintegrin remained unknown. The present study reports the NMR solution structures of two disulfide bond conformers of the long disintegrin bitistatin from the African puff adder Bitis arietans. The findings provide insight into how a structural domain of the extracellular region of an ADAM molecule, recruited into and selectively expressed in the snake venom gland proteome as a PIII metalloprotease in the Jurassic, has subsequently been tranformed into a family of integrin receptor antagonists.

  8. On the modeling of snake venom serine proteinase interactions with benzamidine-based thrombin inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Henriques, Elsa S.; Fonseca, Nelson; Ramos, Maria João

    2004-01-01

    Pit viper venoms contain a number of serine proteinases that exhibit one or more thrombin-like activities on fibrinogen and platelets, this being the case for the kinin-releasing and fibrinogen-clotting KN-BJ from the venom of Bothrops jararaca. A three-dimensional structural model of the KN-BJ2 serine proteinase was built by homology modeling using the snake venom plasminogen activator TSV-PA as a major template and porcine kallikrein as additional structural support. A set of intrinsic buried waters was included in the model and its behavior under dynamic conditions was molecular dynamics simulated, revealing a most interesting similarity pattern to kallikrein. The benzamidine-based thrombin inhibitors α-NAPAP, 3-TAPAP, and 4-TAPAP were docked into the refined model, allowing for a more insightful functional characterization of the enzyme and a better understanding of the reported comparatively low affinity of KN-BJ2 toward those inhibitors. PMID:15322279

  9. A retrospective study of use of polyvalent anti-snake venom and risk factors for mortality from snake bite in a tertiary care setting

    PubMed Central

    Pore, Shraddha M.; Ramanand, Sunita J.; Patil, Praveenkumar T.; Gore, Alka D.; Pawar, Mayur P.; Gaidhankar, Smita L.; Ghanghas, Ravi R.

    2015-01-01

    Aims: Envenomation with poisonous snakes is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. The present study was undertaken with the objectives of assessing anti-snake venom (ASV) use, early adverse reactions to ASV, premedication and clinical outcomes in snake bite patients. Association of various risk factors (age, gender, dose of ASV, time gap between snake bite and ASV administration, use of mechanical ventilation and type of snake bite) with mortality was also assessed. Settings and Design: This retrospective study was conducted at two Tertiary Care Teaching Hospitals. Subjects and Methods: The medical records of 176 patients of snake bite with documented use of ASV were retrospectively analyzed to retrieve relevant data. Statistical Analysis: Descriptive statistics was used to express results about ASV use, early adverse reactions to ASV, premedication and clinical outcomes. Univariate and multivariate analysis was performed to find out significant risk factors associated with mortality. Results: The main indication for ASV was vasculotoxic snake bite (75%) followed by neurotoxic snake bite (16%). Mean dose of ASV was 18.63 ± 14.52 vials. Prophylactic premedication with corticosteroids alone or in combination with antihistaminic was used in more than 70% patients. Early adverse reactions to ASV were seen in 4% patients. Neurotoxic snake bite was a significant risk factor associated with mortality in multivariate analysis. Conclusions: Neurotoxic snake bite is an independent predictor of mortality in snake bite patients. Currently used polyvalent ASV may be less effective in treating neurotoxic snake bite. PMID:26069363

  10. Diversity of metalloproteinases in Bothrops neuwiedi snake venom transcripts: evidences for recombination between different classes of SVMPs

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) are widely distributed in snake venoms and are versatile toxins, targeting many important elements involved in hemostasis, such as basement membrane proteins, clotting proteins, platelets, endothelial and inflammatory cells. The functional diversity of SVMPs is in part due to the structural organization of different combinations of catalytic, disintegrin, disintegrin-like and cysteine-rich domains, which categorizes SVMPs in 3 classes of precursor molecules (PI, PII and PIII) further divided in 11 subclasses, 6 of them belonging to PII group. This heterogeneity is currently correlated to genetic accelerated evolution and post-translational modifications. Results Thirty-one SVMP cDNAs were full length cloned from a single specimen of Bothrops neuwiedi snake, sequenced and grouped in eleven distinct sequences and further analyzed by cladistic analysis. Class P-I and class P-III sequences presented the expected tree topology for fibrinolytic and hemorrhagic SVMPs, respectively. In opposition, three distinct segregations were observed for class P-II sequences. P-IIb showed the typical segregation of class P-II SVMPs. However, P-IIa grouped with class P-I cDNAs presenting a 100% identity in the 365 bp at their 5' ends, suggesting post-transcription events for interclass recombination. In addition, catalytic domain of P-IIx sequences segregated with non-hemorrhagic class P-III SVMPs while their disintegrin domain grouped with other class P-II disintegrin domains suggesting independent evolution of catalytic and disintegrin domains. Complementary regions within cDNA sequences were noted and may participate in recombination either at DNA or RNA levels. Proteins predicted by these cDNAs show the main features of the correspondent classes of SVMP, but P-IIb and P-IIx included two additional cysteines cysteines at the C-termini of the disintegrin domains in positions not yet described. Conclusions In B. neuwiedi venom gland

  11. The pharmacological role of phosphatases (acid and alkaline phosphomonoesterases) in snake venoms related to release of purines - a multitoxin.

    PubMed

    Dhananjaya, Bhadrapura L; D'Souza, Cletus J M

    2011-02-01

    Snake venom components, acting in concert in the prey, cause their immobilization and initiate digestion. To achieve this, several hydrolytic enzymes of snake venom have evolved to interfere in various physiological processes, which are well defined. However, hydrolytic enzymes such as phosphatases (acid and alkaline phosphomonoesterases) are less studied and their pharmacological role in venoms is not clearly defined. Also, they show overlapping substrate specificities and have other common biochemical properties causing uncertainty about their identity in venoms. The near-ubiquitous distribution of these enzymes in venoms, suggests a significant role for these enzymes in envenomation. It appears that these enzymes may play a central role in liberating purines (mainly adenosine) - a multitoxin and through the action of purines help in prey immobilization. However, apart from this, these enzymes could also possess other pharmacological activities as venom enzymes have been evolved to interfere in diverse physiological processes. This has not been verified by pharmacological studies using purified enzymes. Further research is needed to biologically characterize these enzymes in snake venoms, such that their role in venom is clearly established.

  12. Antivenom cross-neutralization of the venoms of Hydrophis schistosus and Hydrophis curtus, two common sea snakes in Malaysian waters.

    PubMed

    Tan, Choo Hock; Tan, Nget Hong; Tan, Kae Yi; Kwong, Kok Onn

    2015-02-16

    Sea snake envenomation is a serious occupational hazard in tropical waters. In Malaysia, the beaked sea snake (Hydrophis schistosus, formerly known as Enhydrina schistosa) and the spine-bellied sea snake (Hydrophis curtus, formerly known as Lapemis curtus or Lapemis hardwickii) are two commonly encountered species. Australian CSL sea snake antivenom is the definitive treatment for sea snake envenomation; it is unfortunately extremely costly locally and is not widely available or adequately stocked in local hospitals. This study investigated the cross-neutralizing potential of three regionally produced anti-cobra antivenoms against the venoms of Malaysian H. schistosus and H. curtus. All three antivenoms conferred paraspecific protection from sea snake venom lethality in mice, with potency increasing in the following order: Taiwan bivalent antivenom < Thai monocled cobra monovalent antivenom < Thai neuro polyvalent antivenom (NPAV). NPAV demonstrated cross-neutralizing potencies of 0.4 mg/vial for H. schistosus venom and 0.8 mg/vial for H. curtus, which translates to a dose of less than 20 vials of NPAV to neutralize an average amount of sea snake venom per bite (inferred from venom milking). The cross-neutralization activity was supported by ELISA cross-reactivity between NPAV and the venoms of H. schistosus (58.4%) and H. curtus (70.4%). These findings revealed the potential of NPAV as a second-line treatment for sea snake envenomation in the region. Further profiling of the cross-neutralization activity should address the antivenomic basis using purified toxin-based assays.

  13. Antivenom Cross-Neutralization of the Venoms of Hydrophis schistosus and Hydrophis curtus, Two Common Sea Snakes in Malaysian Waters

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Choo Hock; Tan, Nget Hong; Tan, Kae Yi; Kwong, Kok Onn

    2015-01-01

    Sea snake envenomation is a serious occupational hazard in tropical waters. In Malaysia, the beaked sea snake (Hydrophis schistosus, formerly known as Enhydrina schistosa) and the spine-bellied sea snake (Hydrophis curtus, formerly known as Lapemis curtus or Lapemis hardwickii) are two commonly encountered species. Australian CSL sea snake antivenom is the definitive treatment for sea snake envenomation; it is unfortunately extremely costly locally and is not widely available or adequately stocked in local hospitals. This study investigated the cross-neutralizing potential of three regionally produced anti-cobra antivenoms against the venoms of Malaysian H. schistosus and H. curtus. All three antivenoms conferred paraspecific protection from sea snake venom lethality in mice, with potency increasing in the following order: Taiwan bivalent antivenom < Thai monocled cobra monovalent antivenom < Thai neuro polyvalent antivenom (NPAV). NPAV demonstrated cross-neutralizing potencies of 0.4 mg/vial for H. schistosus venom and 0.8 mg/vial for H. curtus, which translates to a dose of less than 20 vials of NPAV to neutralize an average amount of sea snake venom per bite (inferred from venom milking). The cross-neutralization activity was supported by ELISA cross-reactivity between NPAV and the venoms of H. schistosus (58.4%) and H. curtus (70.4%). These findings revealed the potential of NPAV as a second-line treatment for sea snake envenomation in the region. Further profiling of the cross-neutralization activity should address the antivenomic basis using purified toxin-based assays. PMID:25690691

  14. Effects of Bothrops asper Snake Venom on Lymphatic Vessels: Insights into a Hidden Aspect of Envenomation

    PubMed Central

    Mora, Javier; Mora, Rodrigo; Lomonte, Bruno; Gutiérrez, José María

    2008-01-01

    Background Envenomations by the snake Bothrops asper represent a serious medical problem in Central America and parts of South America. These envenomations concur with drastic local tissue pathology, including a prominent edema. Since lymph flow plays a role in the maintenance of tissue fluid balance, the effect of B. asper venom on collecting lymphatic vessels was studied. Methodology/Principal Findings B. asper venom was applied to mouse mesentery, and the effects were studied using an intravital microscopy methodology coupled with an image analysis program. B. asper venom induced a dose-dependent contraction of collecting lymphatic vessels, resulting in a reduction of their lumen and in a halting of lymph flow. The effect was reproduced by a myotoxic phospholipase A2 (PLA2) homologue isolated from this venom, but not by a hemorrhagic metalloproteinase or a coagulant thrombin-like serine proteinase. In agreement with this, treatment of the venom with fucoidan, a myotoxin inhibitor, abrogated the effect, whereas no inhibition was observed after incubation with the peptidomimetic metalloproteinase inhibitor Batimastat. Moreover, fucoidan significantly reduced venom-induced footpad edema. The myotoxic PLA2 homologue, known to induce skeletal muscle necrosis, was able to induce cytotoxicity in smooth muscle cells in culture and to promote an increment in the permeability to propidium iodide in these cells. Conclusions/Significance Our observations indicate that B. asper venom affects collecting lymphatic vessels through the action of myotoxic PLA2s on the smooth muscle of these vessels, inducing cell contraction and irreversible cell damage. This activity may play an important role in the pathogenesis of the pronounced local edema characteristic of viperid snakebite envenomation, as well as in the systemic biodistribution of the venom, thus representing a potential therapeutical target in these envenomations. PMID:18923712

  15. Proteomic analysis of the venom from the fish eating coral snake Micrurus surinamensis: novel toxins, their function and phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Olamendi-Portugal, Timoteo; Batista, Cesar V F; Restano-Cassulini, Rita; Pando, Victoria; Villa-Hernandez, Oscar; Zavaleta-Martínez-Vargas, Alfonso; Salas-Arruz, Maria C; Rodríguez de la Vega, Ricardo C; Becerril, Baltazar; Possani, Lourival D

    2008-05-01

    The protein composition of the soluble venom from the South American fish-eating coral snake Micrurus surinamensis surinamensis, here abbreviated M. surinamensis, was separated by RP-HPLC and 2-DE, and their components were analyzed by automatic Edman degradation, MALDI-TOF and ESI-MS/MS. Approximately 100 different molecules were identified. Sixty-two components possess molecular masses between 6 and 8 kDa, are basically charged molecules, among which are cytotoxins and neurotoxins lethal to fish (Brachidanios rerio). Six new toxins (abbreviated Ms1-Ms5 and Ms11) were fully sequenced. Amino acid sequences similar to the enzymes phospholipase A2 and amino acid oxidase were identified. Over 20 additional peptides were identified by sequencing minor components of the HPLC separation and from 2-DE gels. A functional assessment of the physiological activity of the six toxins was also performed by patch clamp using muscular nicotinic acetylcholine receptor assays. Variable degrees of blockade were observed, most of them reversible. The structural and functional data obtained were used for phylogenetic analysis, providing information on some evolutionary aspects of the venom components of this snake. This contribution increases by a factor of two the total number of alpha-neurotoxins sequenced from the Micrurus genus in currently available literature.

  16. Delineating residues for haemolytic activities of snake venom cardiotoxin 1 from Naja naja as probed by molecular dynamics simulations and in vitro validations.

    PubMed

    Gorai, Biswajit; Sivaraman, Thirunavukkarasu

    2017-02-01

    Cardiotoxins (CTXs) are single polypeptide chain consisting of 59-62 amino acids with four disulfide bridges and globular proteins of simple β-sheet folds. The CTXs are one of principal toxic components causing haemolysis and damaging various cells and belong to three-finger toxin (TFT) superfamily of snake venoms. However, there is no natural or synthetic small molecular inhibitor to the protein toxins to date. In the present study, modes of interaction of cardiotoxin 1 (CTX1) from Indian cobra (Naja naja) with heterogeneous erythrocyte membrane (EM) model system have been extensively examined by using all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations in near physiological conditions and comprehensive analyses of the MD data revealed two distinct principal regions ('head groove' and 'loop groove') of the protein toxin for establishing structural interactions with the EM system. Moreover, combined analyses of data from high-throughput virtual screening of NCI small molecular database, in vitro haemolytic assays for top-hits of the chemical compounds against crude venom of Naja naja and as well CTXs purified from the venom and pharmacokinetic examinations on the chemical compounds retarding haemolytic activities of CTXs suggested that Etidronic acid and Zoledronic acid are promising prototypic chemical inhibitors to CTXs of snake venoms.

  17. Aqueous Leaf Extract of Jatropha gossypiifolia L. (Euphorbiaceae) Inhibits Enzymatic and Biological Actions of Bothrops jararaca Snake Venom

    PubMed Central

    Félix-Silva, Juliana; Souza, Thiago; Menezes, Yamara A. S.; Cabral, Bárbara; Câmara, Rafael B. G.; Silva-Junior, Arnóbio A.; Rocha, Hugo A. O.; Rebecchi, Ivanise M. M.; Zucolotto, Silvana M.; Fernandes-Pedrosa, Matheus F.

    2014-01-01

    Snakebites are a serious public health problem due their high morbi-mortality. The main available specific treatment is the antivenom serum therapy, which has some disadvantages, such as poor neutralization of local effects, risk of immunological reactions, high cost and difficult access in some regions. In this context, the search for alternative therapies is relevant. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the antiophidic properties of Jatropha gossypiifolia, a medicinal plant used in folk medicine to treat snakebites. The aqueous leaf extract of the plant was prepared by decoction and phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of sugars, alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, terpenes and/or steroids and proteins. The extract was able to inhibit enzymatic and biologic activities induced by Bothrops jararaca snake venom in vitro and in vivo. The blood incoagulability was efficiently inhibited by the extract by oral route. The hemorrhagic and edematogenic local effects were also inhibited, the former by up to 56% and the latter by 100%, in animals treated with extract by oral and intraperitoneal routes, respectively. The inhibition of myotoxic action of B. jararaca reached almost 100%. According to enzymatic tests performed, it is possible to suggest that the antiophidic activity may be due an inhibitory action upon snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) and/or serine proteinases (SVSPs), including fibrinogenolytic enzymes, clotting factors activators and thrombin like enzymes (SVTLEs), as well upon catalytically inactive phospholipases A2 (Lys49 PLA2). Anti-inflammatory activity, at least partially, could also be related to the inhibition of local effects. Additionally, protein precipitating and antioxidant activities may also be important features contributing to the activity presented. In conclusion, the results demonstrate the potential antiophidic activity of J. gossypiifolia extract, including its significant action upon local effects, suggesting that

  18. Aqueous leaf extract of Jatropha gossypiifolia L. (Euphorbiaceae) inhibits enzymatic and biological actions of Bothrops jararaca snake venom.

    PubMed

    Félix-Silva, Juliana; Souza, Thiago; Menezes, Yamara A S; Cabral, Bárbara; Câmara, Rafael B G; Silva-Junior, Arnóbio A; Rocha, Hugo A O; Rebecchi, Ivanise M M; Zucolotto, Silvana M; Fernandes-Pedrosa, Matheus F

    2014-01-01

    Snakebites are a serious public health problem due their high morbi-mortality. The main available specific treatment is the antivenom serum therapy, which has some disadvantages, such as poor neutralization of local effects, risk of immunological reactions, high cost and difficult access in some regions. In this context, the search for alternative therapies is relevant. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the antiophidic properties of Jatropha gossypiifolia, a medicinal plant used in folk medicine to treat snakebites. The aqueous leaf extract of the plant was prepared by decoction and phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of sugars, alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, terpenes and/or steroids and proteins. The extract was able to inhibit enzymatic and biologic activities induced by Bothrops jararaca snake venom in vitro and in vivo. The blood incoagulability was efficiently inhibited by the extract by oral route. The hemorrhagic and edematogenic local effects were also inhibited, the former by up to 56% and the latter by 100%, in animals treated with extract by oral and intraperitoneal routes, respectively. The inhibition of myotoxic action of B. jararaca reached almost 100%. According to enzymatic tests performed, it is possible to suggest that the antiophidic activity may be due an inhibitory action upon snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) and/or serine proteinases (SVSPs), including fibrinogenolytic enzymes, clotting factors activators and thrombin like enzymes (SVTLEs), as well upon catalytically inactive phospholipases A2 (Lys49 PLA2). Anti-inflammatory activity, at least partially, could also be related to the inhibition of local effects. Additionally, protein precipitating and antioxidant activities may also be important features contributing to the activity presented. In conclusion, the results demonstrate the potential antiophidic activity of J. gossypiifolia extract, including its significant action upon local effects, suggesting that

  19. THE COAGULATION OF BLOOD BY SNAKE VENOMS AND ITS PHYSIOLOGIC SIGNIFICANCE.

    PubMed

    Eagle, H

    1937-04-30

    Nine of the 17 venoms here tested were found capable of coagulating citrated blood or plasma. As has been believed by most workers in the field, 7 of these 9 coagulant venoms convert fibrinogen to an insoluble modification resembling fibrin (Bothrops atrox, Bothrops jararaca, Bothrops nummifera, Crotalus adamanteus, Crotalus horridus, Crotalus terrificus basiliscus, Crotalus terrificus terrificus). The optimum pH for this coagulation was determined for 3 of these, and was found in each case to be approximately pH 6.5, the same as that for the action of thrombin on fibrinogen. Unlike thrombin, however, the fibrinogen-coagulating activity of the venoms was unaffected by the antithrombin elaborated in the course of anaphylactic shock. In addition to coagulating fibrinogen directly, 3 of these venoms (Bothrops atrox, Bothrops jararaca, and to a less extent, Crotalus terrificus basiliscus) acted on prothrombin to convert it to thrombin, without the necessary intervention of either calcium or platelets. Finally, 2 venoms (Notechis scutatus, and to a slight extent, a mixed Micrurus venom), which had no demonstrable effect on purified fibrinogen, nevertheless converted prothrombin to thrombin. Unlike the reaction between the venoms and fibrinogen, this activation of prothrombin has no definite pH optimum, but takes place over a wide zone (pH 5.6-8.3). In the case of Bothrops atrox, there was some indication that the initial velocity of the reaction increased with increasing alkalinity, but that the amount of thrombin ultimately formed decreased. Extraordinarily minute quantities of some of these venoms sufficed to produce a demonstrable activation of prothrombin. Thus, the fer de lance (Bothrops atrox) venom was active in a 1:25,000,000 dilution, and that of the Australian tiger snake (Notechis scutatus) was active in a 1:4,000,000 dilution. The thrombin formed was indistinguishable from that produced by the action of calcium + platelets on prothrombin. Like the latter

  20. Purification and characterization of a phospholipase A2 from the venom of the coral snake, Micrurus fulvius microgalbineus (Brown and Smith).

    PubMed Central

    Possani, L D; Alagòn, A C; Fletcher, P L; Varela, M J; Juliá, J Z

    1979-01-01

    A phospholipase A2 was purified from the Mexican coral snake Micrurus fulvius microgalbieus (Brown and Smith). Gel filtration of the soluble crude venom on Sephadex g-50 resolved five fractions, of which fraction II had 98% of the total phospholipase activity. This fraction was rechromatographed on a CM-cellulose column that resolved eight fractions, four of which had an important phospholipase activity. The first fraction (II-1) was homogeneous by polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis and displayed a phospholipase specific activity of 920 units/mg of protein. The apparent molecular weight as determined by sodium dodecyl sulphate/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis was approx. 14000. The amino acid analysis revealed the presence of 119 amino acid residues, with 12 half-cystines. the N-terminal sequence was shown to be Ser-Leu-Leu-Asx-Phe-Lys-Asx-Met-Ile-Glu-Ser-Thr..., which is homologous with that of phospholipases from other snake venoms. PMID:475771

  1. An isoflavone from Dipteryx alata Vogel is active against the in vitro neuromuscular paralysis of Bothrops jararacussu snake venom and bothropstoxin I, and prevents venom-induced myonecrosis.

    PubMed

    Ferraz, Miriéle C; Yoshida, Edson H; Tavares, Renata V S; Cogo, José C; Cintra, Adélia C O; Dal Belo, Cháriston A; Franco, Luiz M; dos Santos, Márcio G; Resende, Flávia A; Varanda, Eliana A; Hyslop, Stephen; Puebla, Pilar; San Feliciano, Arturo; Oshima-Franco, Yoko

    2014-05-06

    Snakebite is a neglected disease and serious health problem in Brazil, with most bites being caused by snakes of the genus Bothrops. Although serum therapy is the primary treatment for systemic envenomation, it is generally ineffective in neutralizing the local effects of these venoms. In this work, we examined the ability of 7,8,3'-trihydroxy-4'-methoxyisoflavone (TM), an isoflavone from Dipteryx alata, to neutralize the neurotoxicity (in mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparations) and myotoxicity (assessed by light microscopy) of Bothrops jararacussu snake venom in vitro. The toxicity of TM was assessed using the Salmonella microsome assay (Ames test). Incubation with TM alone (200 μg/mL) did not alter the muscle twitch tension whereas incubation with venom (40 μg/mL) caused irreversible paralysis. Preincubation of TM (200 μg/mL) with venom attenuated the venom-induced neuromuscular blockade by 84% ± 5% (mean ± SEM; n = 4). The neuromuscular blockade caused by bothropstoxin-I (BthTX-I), the major myotoxic PLA2 of this venom, was also attenuated by TM. Histological analysis of diaphragm muscle incubated with TM showed that most fibers were preserved (only 9.2% ± 1.7% were damaged; n = 4) compared to venom alone (50.3% ± 5.4% of fibers damaged; n = 3), and preincubation of TM with venom significantly attenuated the venom-induced damage (only 17% ± 3.4% of fibers damaged; n = 3; p < 0.05 compared to venom alone). TM showed no mutagenicity in the Ames test using Salmonella strains TA98 and TA97a with (+S9) and without (-S9) metabolic activation. These findings indicate that TM is a potentially useful compound for antagonizing the neuromuscular effects (neurotoxicity and myotoxicity) of B. jararacussu venom.

  2. Lebein, a Snake Venom Disintegrin, Induces Apoptosis in Human Melanoma Cells

    PubMed Central

    Hammouda, Manel B.; Montenegro, María F.; Sánchez-del-Campo, Luis; Zakraoui, Ons; Aloui, Zohra; Riahi-Chebbi, Ichrak; Karoui, Habib; Rodríguez-López, José Neptuno; Essafi-Benkhadir, Khadija

    2016-01-01

    Melanoma, the most threatening form of skin cancer, has a very poor prognosis and is characterized by its very invasive and chemoresistant properties. Despite the recent promising news from the field of immunotherapy, there is an urgent need for new therapeutic approaches that are free of resistance mechanisms and side effects. Anti-neoplasic properties have been highlighted for different disintegrins from snake venom including Lebein; however, the exact effect of Lebein on melanoma has not yet been defined. In this study, we showed that Lebein blocks melanoma cell proliferation and induces a more differentiated phenotype with inhibition of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) overexpression. Melanoma cells became detached but were less invasive with upregulation of E-cadherin after Lebein exposure. Lebein induced a caspase-independent apoptotic program with apoptosis inducing factor (AIF), BCL-2-associated X protein (BAX) and Bim overexpression together with downregulation of B-cell lymphoma-2 (BCL-2). It generated a distinct response in reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and p53 levels depending on the p53 cell line status (wild type or mutant). Therefore, we propose Lebein as a new candidate for development of potential therapies for melanoma. PMID:27399772

  3. Action of two phospholipases A2 purified from Bothrops alternatus snake venom on macrophages.

    PubMed

    Setúbal, S S; Pontes, A S; Furtado, J L; Xavier, C V; Silva, F L; Kayano, A M; Izidoro, L F M; Soares, A M; Calderon, L A; Stábeli, R G; Zuliani, J P

    2013-02-01

    The in vitro effects of BaltTX-I, a catalytically inactive Lys49 variant of phospholipase A2 (PLA2), and BaltTX-II, an Asp49 catalytically active PLA2 isolated from Bothrops alternatus snake venom, on thioglycollate-elicited macrophages (TG-macrophages) were investigated. At non-cytotoxic concentrations, the secretory PLA2 BaltTX-I but not BaltTX-II stimulated complement receptor-mediated phagocytosis. Pharmacological treatment of TG-macrophages with staurosporine, a protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor, showed that this kinase is involved in the increase of serum-opsonized zymosan phagocytosis induced by BaltTX-I but not BaltTX-II secretory PLA2, suggesting that PKC may be involved in the stimulatory effect of this toxin in serum-opsonized zymosan phagocytosis. Moreover, BaltTX-I and -II induced superoxide production by TG-macrophages. This superoxide production stimulated by both PLA2s was abolished after treatment of cells with staurosporine, indicating that PKC is an important signaling pathway for the production of this radical. Our experiments showed that, at non-cytotoxic concentrations, BaltTX-I may upregulate phagocytosis via complement receptors, and that both toxins upregulated the respiratory burst in TG-macrophages.

  4. Identification of proteins interacting with ammodytoxins in Vipera ammodytes ammodytes venom by immuno-affinity chromatography.

    PubMed

    Brgles, Marija; Kurtović, Tihana; Kovačič, Lidija; Križaj, Igor; Barut, Miloš; Lang Balija, Maja; Allmaier, Günter; Marchetti-Deschmann, Martina; Halassy, Beata

    2014-01-01

    In order to perform their function, proteins frequently interact with other proteins. Various methods are used to reveal protein interacting partners, and affinity chromatography is one of them. Snake venom is composed mostly of proteins, and various protein complexes in the venom have been found to exhibit higher toxicity levels than respective components separately. Complexes can modulate envenomation activity of a venom and/or potentiate its effect. Our previous data indicate that the most toxic components of the Vipera ammodytes ammodytes (Vaa) venom isolated so far-ammodytoxins (Atxs)-are contributing to the venom's toxicity only moderately; therefore, we aimed to explore whether they have some interacting partner(s) potentiating toxicity. For screening of possible interactions, immuno-affinity chromatography combined with identification by mass spectrometry was used. Various chemistries (epoxy, carbonyldiimidazole, ethylenediamine) as well as protein G functionality were used to immobilize antibodies on monolith support, a Convective Interaction Media disk. Monoliths have been demonstrated to better suit the separation of large biomolecules. Using such approach, several proteins were indicated as potential Atx-binding proteins. Among these, the interaction of Atxs with a Kunitz-type inhibitor was confirmed by far-Western dot-blot and surface plasmon resonance measurement. It can be concluded that affinity chromatography on monolithic columns combined with mass spectrometry identification is a successful approach for screening of protein interactions and it resulted with detection of the interaction of Atx with Kunitz-type inhibitor in Vaa venom for the first time.

  5. Pathogenesis of myonecrosis induced by coral snake (Micrurus nigrocinctus) venom in mice.

    PubMed Central

    Gutiérrez, J. M.; Arroyo, O.; Chaves, F.; Lomonte, B.; Cerdas, L.

    1986-01-01

    The mode by which coral snake (Micrurus nigrocinctus) venom affects skeletal muscle was studied using a combined approach. The venom induced early functional and structural alterations in the plasma membrane of muscle cells, suggesting that sarcolemma is the primary site of action of this venom. This was shown by the presence of wedge-shaped ('delta') lesions at the periphery of the cells, as well as by focal disruptions in the continuity of plasma membrane as early as 15 min after envenomation. After this initial alteration the rest of the organelles were severely affected. Myofilaments were hypercontracted leaving, as a consequence, areas of overstretched myofibrils as well as empty spaces. Eventually, myofilaments formed dense, clumped masses in which the striated structure was totally lost. At 24 h, myofilaments were still disorganized but they presented a more hyaline and homogeneous appearance. As early as 15 and 30 min mitochondria were swollen; later, by I, 3 and 24 h, they showed further alterations such as the presence of dense intracristal spaces and vesiculated cristae, as well as disruption in the integrity of their membranes. Sarcoplasmic reticulum was dilated and disorganized into many small vesicles randomly distributed throughout the cellular space. Moreover, the venom induced a rapid decrease in muscle levels of creatine and creatine-kinase (CK) and a calcium influx. Since the rates of efflux of creatine and CK were similar, it is suggested that the lesions produced in the membrane are large enough to allow the escape of these two molecules. As corroboration of the severe myotoxic effect, envenomated mice excreted reddish urine containing large quantities of myoglobin. Skeletal muscle cells are more susceptible to the action of the venom than erythrocytes, since coral snake venom induced only a mild direct haemolytic effect in vitro and haemolysis is not a significant effect in vivo. M. nigrocinctus venom induced a drastic increase in plasma

  6. Comparative study of the cytolytic activity of snake venoms from African spitting cobras (Naja spp., Elapidae) and its neutralization by a polyspecific antivenom.

    PubMed

    Méndez, Ileana; Gutiérrez, José María; Angulo, Yamileth; Calvete, Juan J; Lomonte, Bruno

    2011-11-01

    Venoms of several Naja species found in Sub-Saharan Africa, and commonly known as "spitting cobras", induce a predominantly cytotoxic pattern of envenomings that may evolve into tissue necrosis and gangrene. Cytotoxic components of their venoms have been identified as members of the three-finger toxin and phospholipase A(2) protein families. In this study, an in vitro assay using the myogenic cell line C2C12, was utilized to compare the cytolytic activities of venoms from five species of spitting cobras: Naja nigricollis, Naja katiensis, Naja pallida, Naja nubiae, and Naja mossambica. These venoms were strongly cytotoxic, causing a 50% effect at ~1.5 μg/well (15 μg/ml), except for N. katiensis venom, which required nearly twice this amount. Using the cell-based assay, the ability of an equine polyspecific antivenom (EchiTab-Plus-ICP) to neutralize cytotoxicity was assessed. The antivenom completely inhibited the cytotoxic activity of all five venoms, although high antivenom/venom ratios were needed. Neutralization curves displayed the following decreasing order of efficiency: N. nubiae > N. pallida > N. mossambica > N. nigricollis > N. katiensis. Results indicate that neutralizing antibodies toward toxins responsible for this particular effect are present in the antivenom, albeit in low titers. Fucoidan, a natural sulfated polysaccharide known to inhibit the toxic effects of some basic snake venom components, was unable to reduce cytotoxicity of Naja venoms. Results emphasize the need of enhancing the immunogenicity of low molecular mass toxins during antivenom production, as well as to search for useful toxin inhibitors which could complement antivenom therapy.

  7. Toxicity of venoms from vipers of Pelias group to crickets Gryllus assimilis and its relation to snake entomophagy.

    PubMed

    Starkov, Vladislav G; Osipov, Alexey V; Utkin, Yuri N

    2007-06-01

    The existing data indicate that snake venom is most toxic towards the natural vertebrate preys. Several species of snake include arthropods in their food. However, there is no available data on the toxicity of venom from entomophagous snakes towards their prey. We have studied the toxicity of venom from vipers of Pelias group towards crickets Gryllus assimilis. The Pelias group includes several closely related viper species inhabiting mainly the South European part of Russia, and they differ in their feeding preferences. Snakes from the Vipera renardi, Vipera lotievi, Vipera kaznakovi, and Vipera orlovi species feed on wide range of animals including insects, whereas snakes from Vipera berus and Vipera nikolskii species do not include insects in their diet. We have found that the venom from vipers that include insects in their diet possesses greater toxicity towards crickets. The greatest toxicity was observed for the venom from V. lotievi, which displays a preference for insects in its diet. Therefore, based on our data, we suggest that the viper entomophagy is not a result of behavior plasticity, but is probably determined at a genetic level.

  8. 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.

  9. Venomous spiders, snakes, and scorpions in the United States.

    PubMed

    Holve, Steve

    2009-04-01

    Venomous bites and stings are complex poisonings that have local and systemic effects. Mild envenomations can be treated with supportive care. Severe envenomations can be treated definitively with species-specific antivenom, although the use of these products has potential risk of immediate and a more delayed onset form of hypersensitivity reactions. Consultation with a toxicologist is recommended to help guide therapy. Field treatments such as tourniquets and incision likely cause more harm than benefit and should be avoided.

  10. Anti-proliferative Effects of Androctonus amoreuxi Scorpion and Cerastes cerastes Snake Venoms on Human Prostate Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Akef, Hassan; Kotb, Nahla; Abo-Elmatty, Dina; Salem, Sayed

    2017-01-01

    The present study evaluated the effects of Androctonus amoreuxi scorpion venom, Cerastes cerastes snake venom and their mixture on prostate cancer cells (PC3). An MTT assay was used to determine the anti-proliferative effect of the venoms, while quantitative real time PCR was used to evaluate the expression of apoptosis-related genes (Bax and Bcl-2). Furthermore, colorimetric assays were used to measure the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and antioxidant enzymes. Our results show that the venoms significantly reduced PC3 cell viability in a dose-dependent manner. On the other hand, these venoms significantly decreased Bcl-2 gene expression. Additionally, C. cerastes venom significantly reduced Bax gene expression, while A. amoreuxi venom and a mixture of A. amoreuxi & C. cerastes venoms did not alter Bax expression. Consequently, these venoms significantly increased the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and the oxidative stress biomarker MDA. Furthermore, these venoms also increased the activity levels of the antioxidant enzymes, catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, and glutathione-S-transferase. Overall, the venoms have cytotoxic and anti-proliferative effects on PC3 cells. PMID:28382285

  11. Development of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for identification of venoms from snakes in the Agkistrodon genus.

    PubMed

    Li, Q; Ownby, C L

    1994-11-01

    An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using a purified myotoxin from the venom of Agkistrodon contortrix laticintus (broad-banded copperhead) as immunogen was developed for potential use in the identification of envenomation by snakes belonging to the genus Agkistrodon native to North America. The specificity of the assay was tested using a total of 43 venom samples from snakes of diverse geographic locations. Venom samples used for cross-reactivity determination represent eight snake families including 14 species from the genus Crotalus. The assay detected venom from all Agkistrodon species tested without significant cross-reactivity with other venoms except for samples from two species of Bothrops which do not occur naturally north of Southern Mexico. The detection limit of the assay was 2 ng/ml for homologous crude venom dissolved in normal human serum. The assay was highly accurate in correlating optical densities with venom concentrations (r = 0.997). The presence of the antigen in experimental envenomations was readily detected by the assay at an i.m. injection dosage of 0.1 microgram/g. This ELISA is a promising test for identification of envenomations by species of Agkistrodon found in most of North America. It can also be used to study the kinetics of the myotoxin in experimental envenomations.

  12. Neurological effects of venomous bites and stings: snakes, spiders, and scorpions.

    PubMed

    Del Brutto, Oscar H

    2013-01-01

    Snake and spider bites, as well as scorpion sting envenoming, are neglected diseases affecting millions of people all over the world. Neurological complications vary according to the offending animal, and are often directly related to toxic effects of the venom, affecting the central nervous system, the neuromuscular transmission, the cardiovascular system, or the coagulation cascade. Snake bite envenoming may result in stroke or muscle paralysis. Metalloproteinases and other substances (common in vipers and colubrids) have anticoagulant or procoagulant activity, and may induce ischemic or hemorrhagic strokes. The venom of elapids is rich in neurotoxins affecting the neuromuscular transmission at either presynaptic or postsynaptic levels. The clinical picture of scorpion sting envenoming is dominated by muscle weakness associated with arterial hypertension, cardiac arrythmias, myocarditis, or pulmonary edema. These manifestations occur as the result of release of catecholamines into the bloodstream or due to direct cardiac toxicity of the venom. Cerebrovascular complications have been reported after the sting of the Indian red scorpion. Intracranial hemorrhages occur in the setting of acute increases in arterial blood pressure related to sympathetic overstimulation, and cerebral infarctions are related to either cerebral hypoperfusion, consumption coagulopathy, vasculitis, or cardiogenic brain embolism. Three main syndromes result from spider bite envenoming: latrodectism, loxoscelism, and funnel-web spider envenoming. Latrodectism is related to neurotoxins present in the venom of widow spiders. Most cases present with headache, lethargy, irritability, myalgia, tremor, fasciculation, or ataxia. Loxoscelism is caused by envenoming by spiders of the family Sicariidae. It may present with a stroke due to a severe coagulopathy. The venom of funnel-web spiders also has neurotoxins that stimulate neurotransmitter release, resulting in sensory disturbances and muscle

  13. Ohanin, a novel protein from king cobra venom, induces hypolocomotion and hyperalgesia in mice.

    PubMed

    Pung, Yuh Fen; Wong, Peter T H; Kumar, Prakash P; Hodgson, Wayne C; Kini, R Manjunatha

    2005-04-01

    We have identified, purified, and determined the complete amino acid sequence of a novel protein, ohanin from Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra) venom. It is a small protein containing 107 amino acid residues with a molecular mass of 11951.47 +/- 0.67 Da as assessed by electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry. It does not show similarity to any known families of snake venom proteins and hence is the first member of a new family of snake venom proteins. It shows similarity to PRY and SPRY domain proteins. It is nontoxic up to 10 mg/kg when injected intraperitoneally in mice. Ohanin produced statistically significant and dose-dependent hypolocomotion in mice. In a pain threshold assay, it showed dose-dependent hyperalgesic effect. The ability of the protein to elicit a response at greatly reduced doses when injected intracerebroventricularly as compared with intraperitoneal administration in both the locomotion and hot plate experiments strongly suggests that ohanin acts on the central nervous system. Since the natural abundance of the protein in the venom is low (approximately 1 mg/g), a synthetic gene was constructed and expressed. The recombinant protein, which was obtained in the insoluble fraction in Escherichia coli, was purified under denaturing condition and was refolded. Recombinant ohanin is structurally and functionally similar to native protein as determined by circular dichroism and hot plate assay, suggesting that it will be useful in future structure-function relationship studies.

  14. Coagulating Colubrids: Evolutionary, Pathophysiological and Biodiscovery Implications of Venom Variations between Boomslang (Dispholidus typus) and Twig Snake (Thelotornis mossambicanus)

    PubMed Central

    Debono, Jordan; Dobson, James; Casewell, Nicholas R.; Romilio, Anthony; Li, Bin; Kurniawan, Nyoman; Mardon, Karine; Weisbecker, Vera; Nouwens, Amanda; Kwok, Hang Fai; Fry, Bryan G.

    2017-01-01

    Venoms can deleteriously affect any physiological system reachable by the bloodstream, including directly interfering with the coagulation cascade. Such coagulopathic toxins may be anticoagulants or procoagulants. Snake venoms are unique in their use of procoagulant toxins for predatory purposes. The boomslang (Dispholidus typus) and the twig snakes (Thelotornis species) are iconic African snakes belonging to the family Colubridae. Both species produce strikingly similar lethal procoagulant pathologies. Despite these similarities, antivenom is only produced for treating bites by D. typus, and the mechanisms of action of both venoms have been understudied. In this study, we investigated the venom of D. typus and T. mossambicanus utilising a range of proteomic and bioactivity approaches, including determining the procoagulant properties of both venoms in relation to the human coagulation pathways. In doing so, we developed a novel procoagulant assay, utilising a Stago STA-R Max analyser, to accurately detect real time clotting in plasma at varying concentrations of venom. This approach was used to assess the clotting capabilities of the two venoms both with and without calcium and phospholipid co-factors. We found that T. mossambicanus produced a significantly stronger coagulation response compared to D. typus. Functional enzyme assays showed that T. mossambicanus also exhibited a higher metalloprotease and phospholipase activity but had a much lower serine protease activity relative to D. typus venom. The neutralising capability of the available boomslang antivenom was also investigated on both species, with it being 11.3 times more effective upon D. typus venom than T. mossambicanus. In addition to being a faster clotting venom, T. mossambicanus was revealed to be a much more complex venom composition than D. typus. This is consistent with patterns seen for other snakes with venom complexity linked to dietary complexity. Consistent with the external morphological

  15. Effects of a low-level semiconductor gallium arsenide laser on local pathological alterations induced by Bothrops moojeni snake venom.

    PubMed

    Aranha de Sousa, Elziliam; Bittencourt, José Adolfo Homobono Machado; Seabra de Oliveira, Nayana Keyla; Correia Henriques, Shayanne Vanessa; dos Santos Picanço, Leide Caroline; Lobato, Camila Pena; Ribeiro, José Renato; Pereira, Washington Luiz Assunção; Carvalho, José Carlos Tavares; da Silva, Jocivânia Oliveira

    2013-10-01

    Antivenom therapy has been ineffective in neutralizing the tissue damage caused by snakebites. Among therapeutic strategies to minimize effects after envenoming, it was hypothesized that a low level laser would reduce complications and reduce the severity of local snake venom effects. In the current study, the effect of a low-level semiconductor gallium arsenide (GaAs) laser on the local pathological alterations induced by B. moojeni snake venom was investigated. The experimental groups consisted of five male mice, each administered either B. moojeni venom (VB), B. moojeni venom + antivenom (VAV), B. moojeni venom + laser (VL), B. moojeni venom + antivenom + laser (VAVL), or sterile saline solution (SSS) alone. Paw oedema was induced by intradermal administration of 0.05 mg kg(-1) of B. moojeni venom and was expressed in mm of directly induced oedema. Mice received by subcutaneous route 0.20 mg kg(-1) of venom for evaluating nociceptive activity and the time (in seconds) spent in licking and biting the injected paw was taken as an indicator of pain response. Inflammatory infiltration was determined by counting the number of leukocytes present in the gastrocnemius muscle after venom injection (0.10 mg kg(-1)). For histological examination of myonecrosis, venom (0.10 mg kg(-1)) was administered intramuscularly. The site of venom injection was irradiated by the GaAs laser and some animals received antivenom intraperitoneally. The results indicated that GaAs laser irradiation can help in reducing some local effects produced by the B. moojeni venom in mice, stimulating phagocytosis, proliferation of myoblasts and the regeneration of muscle fibers.

  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. Cardiovascular, haematological and neurological effects of the venom of the Papua New Guinean small-eyed snake (Micropechis ikaheka) and their neutralisation with CSL polyvalent and black snake antivenoms.

    PubMed

    Tibballs, J; Kuruppu, S; Hodgson, W C; Carroll, T; Hawdon, G; Sourial, M; Baker, T; Winkel, K

    2003-11-01

    Cardiovascular and haematological effects of venom of the small-eyed Snake (Micropechis ikaheka) were examined in ventilated anaesthetised piglets. Neurotoxic effects were examined in chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparations. Immunoreactivity of venom was tested against the monovalent antivenom components in a CSL Ltd Venom Detection Kit. Neutralisation was tested in vivo and in vitro with CSL Ltd polyvalent snake and Black Snake (Pseudechis australis) antivenoms. Venom in 0.1% bovine serum albumin in saline was infused into piglets in doses 1-2000 microg/kg. Pulmonary hypertension (P= 0.0007) and depression of cardiac output (P= 0.002) were observed up to 3 h after 150-160 microg/kg. The concentration of plasma free-haemoglobin increased more than 50-fold, indicating haemolysis. Neither coagulopathy nor thrombocytopenia occurred. Creatine phosphokinase and serum potassium levels did not increase suggesting absence of acute rhabdomyolysis. The venom caused post-synaptic neurotoxicty. Immunoreactivity of venom with Black Snake antivenom was observed at very high venom concentrations. Cardiovascular effects were absent and haemolysis was less after venom was pre-incubated at 37 degrees C for 30 min with polyvalent antivenom. Neutralisation by Black Snake antivenom was less effective. The neurotoxicity was neutralised by polyvalent or Black Snake antivenoms. Human envenomation may be treated with CSL Ltd polyvalent snake antivenom.

  18. AAPCC database characterization of native U.S. venomous snake exposures, 2001-2005.

    PubMed

    Seifert, Steven A; Boyer, Leslie V; Benson, Blaine E; Rogers, Jody J

    2009-04-01

    Differences in victim demographics, clinical effects, managements, and outcomes among native viperid (rattlesnake, copperhead, and cottonmouth) and elapid (coral snake) species have not been systematically characterized. The database of the American Association of Poison Control Centers from 2001 through 2005 was analyzed. Between 2001 and 2005, there were 23,676 human exposures (average = 4,735/year) to native venomous snakes in the United States reported to U.S. poison centers in all states except Hawaii: 98% were to viperid snakes and 2% to elapids. Overall, 77% of victims were male, 70% were adults >20 years, and 12% were aged less than 10 years. Sixty-five cases involved pregnant women, with rattlesnake bites resulting in moderate or greater effects in over 70%. The overall hospital admission rate was 53%. Outcomes were generally more severe with rattlesnake and copperhead envenomations and in children <6 years of age. The fatality rate of reported cases was 0.06%. Native U.S. venomous snakebite results in considerable morbidity and mortality. Rattlesnake and copperhead envenomations, and those in children <6 years of age, produce the most severe outcomes, but coral snakebites result in similar hospital admission rates.

  19. Cross Neutralization of Afro-Asian Cobra and Asian Krait Venoms by a Thai Polyvalent Snake Antivenom (Neuro Polyvalent Snake Antivenom)

    PubMed Central

    Leong, Poh Kuan; Sim, Si Mui; Fung, Shin Yee; Sumana, Khomvilai; Sitprija, Visith; Tan, Nget Hong

    2012-01-01

    Background Snake envenomation is a serious public health threat in the rural areas of Asian and African countries. To date, the only proven treatment for snake envenomation is antivenom therapy. Cross-neutralization of heterologous venoms by antivenom raised against venoms of closely related species has been reported. The present study examined the cross neutralizing potential of a newly developed polyvalent antivenom, termed Neuro Polyvalent Snake Antivenom (NPAV). NPAV was produced by immunization against 4 Thai elapid venoms. Principal Findings In vitro neutralization study using mice showed that NPAV was able to neutralize effectively the lethality of venoms of most common Asiatic cobras (Naja spp.), Ophiophagus hannah and kraits (Bungarus spp.) from Southeast Asia, but only moderately to weakly effective against venoms of Naja from India subcontinent and Africa. Studies with several venoms showed that the in vivo neutralization potency of the NPAV was comparable to the in vitro neutralization potency. NPAV could also fully protect against N. sputatrix venom-induced cardio-respiratory depressant and neuromuscular blocking effects in anesthetized rats, demonstrating that the NPAV could neutralize most of the major lethal toxins in the Naja venom. Conclusions/Significance The newly developed polyvalent antivenom NPAV may find potential application in the treatment of elapid bites in Southeast Asia, especially Malaysia, a neighboring nation of Thailand. Nevertheless, the applicability of NPAV in the treatment of cobra and krait envenomations in Southeast Asian victims needs to be confirmed by clinical trials. The cross-neutralization results may contribute to the design of broad-spectrum polyvalent antivenom. PMID:22679522

  20. Why the honey badger don't care: Convergent evolution of venom-targeted nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in mammals that survive venomous snake bites.

    PubMed

    Drabeck, Danielle H; Dean, Antony M; Jansa, Sharon A

    2015-06-01

    Honey badgers (Mellivora capensis) prey upon and survive bites from venomous snakes (Family: Elapidae), but the molecular basis of their venom resistance is unknown. The muscular nicotinic cholinergic receptor (nAChR), targeted by snake α-neurotoxins, has evolved in some venom-resistant mammals to no longer bind these toxins. Through phylogenetic analysis of mammalian nAChR sequences, we show that honey badgers, hedgehogs, and pigs have independently acquired functionally equivalent amino acid replacements in the toxin-binding site of this receptor. These convergent amino acid changes impede toxin binding by introducing a positively charged amino acid in place of an uncharged aromatic residue. In venom-resistant mongooses, different replacements at these same sites are glycosylated, which is thought to disrupt binding through steric effects. Thus, it appears that resistance to snake venom α-neurotoxin has evolved at least four times among mammals through two distinct biochemical mechanisms operating at the same sites on the same receptor.

  1. Development of a polymerase chain reaction to distinguish monocellate cobra (Naja khouthia) bites from other common Thai snake species, using both venom extracts and bite-site swabs.

    PubMed

    Suntrarachun, S; Pakmanee, N; Tirawatnapong, T; Chanhome, L; Sitprija, V

    2001-07-01

    A PCR technique was used in this study to identify and distinguish monocellate cobra snake bites using snake venoms and swab specimens from snake bite-sites in mice from bites by other common Thai snakes. The sequences of nucleotide primers were selected for the cobrotoxin-encoding gene from the Chinese cobra (Naja atra) since the sequences of monocellate cobra (Naja kaouthia) venom are still unknown. However, the 113-bp fragment of cDNA of the cobrotoxin-encoding gene was detected in the monocellate cobra venom using RT-PCR. This gene was not found in the venoms of Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra), Bungarus fasciatus (banded krait), Daboia russelii siamensis (Siamese Russell's Viper, and Calloselasma rhodostoma (Malayan pit viper). Moreover, direct PCR could detect a 665-bp fragment of the cobrotoxin-encoding gene in the monocellate cobra venom but not the other snake venoms. Likewise, this gene was only observed in swab specimens from cobra snake bite-sites in mice. This is the first report demonstrating the ability of PCR to detect the cobrotoxin-encoding gene from snake venoms and swab specimens. Further studies are required for identification of this and other snakes from the bite-sites on human skin.

  2. Local inflammatory events induced by Bothrops atrox snake venom and the release of distinct classes of inflammatory mediators.

    PubMed

    Moreira, Vanessa; Dos-Santos, Maria Cristina; Nascimento, Neide Galvão; Borges da Silva, Henrique; Fernandes, Cristina Maria; D'Império Lima, Maria Regina; Teixeira, Catarina

    2012-07-01

    Bothrops atrox is responsible for most accidents involving snakes in the Brazilian Amazon and its venom induces serious systemic and local effects. The local effects are not neutralized effectively by commercial antivenoms, resulting in serious sequelae in individuals bitten by this species. This study investigates the local inflammatory events induced in mice by B. atrox venom (BaV), such as vascular permeability, leukocyte influx and the release of important inflammatory mediators such as cytokines, eicosanoids and the chemokine CCL-2, at the injection site. The effect of BaV on cyclooxygenase (COX-1 and COX-2) expression was also investigated. The results showed that intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of BaV promoted a rapid and significant increase in vascular permeability, which reached a peak 1 h after venom administration. Furthermore, BaV caused leukocyte infiltration into the peritoneal cavity between 1 and 8 h after i.p. injection, with mononuclear leukocytes (MNs) predominating in the first 4 h, and polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) in the last 4 h. Increased protein expression of COX-2, but not of COX-1, was detected in leukocytes recruited in the first and fourth hours after injection of BaV. The venom caused the release of eicosanoids PGD₂, PGE₂, TXA₂ and LTB₄, cytokines TNF-α, IL-6, IL-10 and IL-12p70, but not IFN-γ, and chemokine CCL-2 at different times. The results show that BaV is able to induce an early increase in vascular permeability and a leukocyte influx to the injection site consisting mainly of MNs initially and PMNs during the later stages. These phenomena are associated with the production of cytokines, the chemokine CCL-2 and eicosanoids derived from COX-1 and COX-2. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Functional variability of snake venom metalloproteinases: adaptive advantages in targeting different prey and implications for human envenomation.

    PubMed

    Bernardoni, Juliana L; Sousa, Leijiane F; Wermelinger, Luciana S; Lopes, Aline S; Prezoto, Benedito C; Serrano, Solange M T; Zingali, Russolina B; Moura-da-Silva, Ana M

    2014-01-01

    Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) are major components in most viperid venoms that induce disturbances in the hemostatic system and tissues of animals envenomated by snakes. These disturbances are involved in human pathology of snake bites and appear to be essential for the capture and digestion of snake's prey and avoidance of predators. SVMPs are a versatile family of venom toxins acting on different hemostatic targets which are present in venoms in distinct structural forms. However, the reason why a large number of different SVMPs are expressed in some venoms is still unclear. In this study, we evaluated the interference of five isolated SVMPs in blood coagulation of humans, birds and small rodents. P-III class SVMPs (fractions Ic, IIb and IIc) possess gelatinolytic and hemorrhagic activities, and, of these, two also show fibrinolytic activity. P-I class SVMPs (fractions IVa and IVb) are only fibrinolytic. P-III class SVMPs reduced clotting time of human plasma. Fraction IIc was characterized as prothrombin activator and fraction Ic as factor X activator. In the absence of Ca2+, a firm clot was observed in chicken blood samples with fractions Ic, IIb and partially with fraction IIc. In contrast, without Ca2+, only fraction IIc was able to induce a firm clot in rat blood. In conclusion, functionally distinct forms of SVMPs were found in B. neuwiedi venom that affect distinct mechanisms in the coagulation system of humans, birds and small rodents. Distinct SVMPs appear to be more specialized to rat or chicken blood, strengthening the current hypothesis that toxin diversity enhances the possibilities of the snakes for hunting different prey or evading different predators. This functional diversity also impacts the complexity of human envenoming since different hemostatic mechanisms will be targeted by SVMPs accounting for the complexity of the response of humans to venoms.

  4. Functional Variability of Snake Venom Metalloproteinases: Adaptive Advantages in Targeting Different Prey and Implications for Human Envenomation

    PubMed Central

    Bernardoni, Juliana L.; Sousa, Leijiane F.; Wermelinger, Luciana S.; Lopes, Aline S.; Prezoto, Benedito C.; Serrano, Solange M. T.; Zingali, Russolina B.; Moura-da-Silva, Ana M.

    2014-01-01

    Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) are major components in most viperid venoms that induce disturbances in the hemostatic system and tissues of animals envenomated by snakes. These disturbances are involved in human pathology of snake bites and appear to be essential for the capture and digestion of snake's prey and avoidance of predators. SVMPs are a versatile family of venom toxins acting on different hemostatic targets which are present in venoms in distinct structural forms. However, the reason why a large number of different SVMPs are expressed in some venoms is still unclear. In this study, we evaluated the interference of five isolated SVMPs in blood coagulation of humans, birds and small rodents. P-III class SVMPs (fractions Ic, IIb and IIc) possess gelatinolytic and hemorrhagic activities, and, of these, two also show fibrinolytic activity. P-I class SVMPs (fractions IVa and IVb) are only fibrinolytic. P-III class SVMPs reduced clotting time of human plasma. Fraction IIc was characterized as prothrombin activator and fraction Ic as factor X activator. In the absence of Ca2+, a firm clot was observed in chicken blood samples with fractions Ic, IIb and partially with fraction IIc. In contrast, without Ca2+, only fraction IIc was able to induce a firm clot in rat blood. In conclusion, functionally distinct forms of SVMPs were found in B. neuwiedi venom that affect distinct mechanisms in the coagulation system of humans, birds and small rodents. Distinct SVMPs appear to be more specialized to rat or chicken blood, strengthening the current hypothesis that toxin diversity enhances the possibilities of the snakes for hunting different prey or evading different predators. This functional diversity also impacts the complexity of human envenoming since different hemostatic mechanisms will be targeted by SVMPs accounting for the complexity of the response of humans to venoms. PMID:25313513

  5. North American coral snake antivenin for the neutralization of non-native elapid venoms in a murine model.

    PubMed

    Richardson, William H; Tanen, David A; Tong, Tri C; Betten, David P; Carstairs, Shaun D; Williams, Saralyn R; Cantrell, Frank L; Clark, Richard F

    2006-02-01

    North American coral snake antivenin (CSAV; Wyeth Antivenin [Micrurus fulvius], equine origin) is approved for the treatment of coral snake envenomations in the United States. The coral snake is the only elapid that is native to North America, but envenomations from non-native elapids are occurring more commonly in this country. This study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of CSAV in the neutralization of two exotic elapid envenomations: Naja naja (Indian cobra) and Dendroaspis polylepsis (black mamba). A randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled murine model of intraperitoneal venom injection was employed. Venom potency was determined in preliminary dosing studies. Study animals then were divided into five groups: 1) N. naja venom + CSAV, 2) N. naja venom + 0.9% normal saline (NS), 3) D. polylepsis venom + CSAV, 4) D. polylepsis venom + NS, and 5) CSAV + NS. The venom dose was chosen to be twice the estimated LD50. The amount of CSAV injected was ten times the amount necessary for neutralization of a 2 x LD50 dose of M. f. fulvius venom in a murine model. Statistical analysis included Fisher's exact and log-rank testing to compare survival rates and times. Preliminary studies estimated the venom LD50 to be 2.58 mg/kg and 0.45 mg/kg, respectively, for the N. naja and D. polylepsis. A significant difference was shown in comparison of survival times between CSAV-venom groups and normal saline-venom groups despite all animals in both treatment and control arms dying. Animals receiving CSAV and N. naja venom survived (mean +/- SD) 24.4 +/- 3.0 minutes, versus 17.8 +/- 1.3 minutes in the control group (p < 0.001), whereas those receiving CSAV and D. polylepsis venom survived 203.8 +/- 37.0 minutes versus 130.0 +/- 42.6 minutes in the control group (p < 0.001). All animals in the CSAV + NS group survived to the conclusion of the study. When premixed with venom, CSAV increased survival time in a murine model of intraperitoneal N. naja and D. polylepsis venom injection

  6. Hemorrhage Caused by Snake Venom Metalloproteinases: A Journey of Discovery and Understanding †

    PubMed Central

    Gutiérrez, José María; Escalante, Teresa; Rucavado, Alexandra; Herrera, Cristina

    2016-01-01

    The historical development of discoveries and conceptual frames for understanding the hemorrhagic activity induced by viperid snake venoms and by hemorrhagic metalloproteinases (SVMPs) present in these venoms is reviewed. Histological and ultrastructural tools allowed the identification of the capillary network as the main site of action of SVMPs. After years of debate, biochemical developments demonstrated that all hemorrhagic toxins in viperid venoms are zinc-dependent metalloproteinases. Hemorrhagic SVMPs act by initially hydrolyzing key substrates at the basement membrane (BM) of capillaries. This degradation results in the weakening of the mechanical stability of the capillary wall, which becomes distended owing of the action of the hemodynamic biophysical forces operating in the circulation. As a consequence, the capillary wall is disrupted and extravasation occurs. SVMPs do not induce rapid toxicity to endothelial cells, and the pathological effects described in these cells in vivo result from the mechanical action of these hemodynamic forces. Experimental evidence suggests that degradation of type IV collagen, and perhaps also perlecan, is the key event in the onset of microvessel damage. It is necessary to study this phenomenon from a holistic, systemic perspective in which the action of other venom components is also taken into consideration. PMID:27023608

  7. Amino acid sequence of two neurotoxins from the venom of the Egyptian black snake (Walterinnesia aegyptia).

    PubMed

    Samejima, Y; Aoki-Tomomatsu, Y; Yanagisawa, M; Mebs, D

    1997-02-01

    The venom of the Egyptian black snake Walterinnesia aegyptia contains at least three toxins, which act postsynaptically to block the neuromuscular transmission of isolated rat phrenic nerve-diaphragm and chicken biventer cervicis muscle. The complete amino acid sequence of the two toxins, W-III and W-IV, consisting of 62 amino acid residues, was elucidated by Edman degradation of fragments obtained after Staphylococcus aureus protease and prolylpeptidase digestion. Although the toxins exhibit close structural homology to other short-chain postsynaptic neurotoxins from Elapidae venoms, toxin IV is unique by having a free SH-group (cysteine) at position 16. In position 35 of W-III, which is located at the tip of the central loop, threonine is replaced by lysine, which may alter the interaction of the toxin with the acetylcholine receptor, since the toxin is seven times less lethal than toxin W-IV.

  8. Domain loss facilitates accelerated evolution and neofunctionalization of duplicate snake venom metalloproteinase toxin genes.

    PubMed

    Casewell, Nicholas R; Wagstaff, Simon C; Harrison, Robert A; Renjifo, Camila; Wüster, Wolfgang

    2011-09-01

    Gene duplication is a key mechanism for the adaptive evolution and neofunctionalization of gene families. Large multigene families often exhibit complex evolutionary histories as a result of frequent gene duplication acting in concordance with positive selection pressures. Alterations in the domain structure of genes, causing changes in the molecular scaffold of proteins, can also result in a complex evolutionary history and has been observed in functionally diverse multigene toxin families. Here, we investigate the role alterations in domain structure have on the tempo of evolution and neofunctionalization of multigene families using the snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) as a model system. Our results reveal that the evolutionary history of viperid (Serpentes: Viperidae) SVMPs is repeatedly punctuated by domain loss, with the single loss of the cysteine-rich domain, facilitating the formation of P-II class SVMPs, occurring prior to the convergent loss of the disintegrin domain to form multiple P-I SVMP structures. Notably, the majority of phylogenetic branches where domain loss was inferred to have occurred exhibited highly significant evidence of positive selection in surface-exposed amino acid residues, resulting in the neofunctionalization of P-II and P-I SVMP classes. These results provide a valuable insight into the mechanisms by which complex gene families evolve and detail how the loss of domain structures can catalyze the accelerated evolution of novel gene paralogues. The ensuing generation of differing molecular scaffolds encoded by the same multigene family facilitates gene neofunctionalization while presenting an evolutionary advantage through the retention of multiple genes capable of encoding functionally distinct proteins.

  9. Bothrops asper snake venom and its metalloproteinase BaP-1 activate the complement system. Role in leucocyte recruitment.

    PubMed Central

    Farsky, S H; Gonçalves, L R; Gutiérrez, J M; Correa, A P; Rucavado, A; Gasque, P; Tambourgi, D V

    2000-01-01

    The venom of the snake Bothrops asper, the most important poisonous snake in Central America, evokes an inflammatory response, the mechanisms of which are not well characterized. The objectives of this study were to investigate whether B. asper venom and its purified toxins--phospholipases and metalloproteinase--activate the complement system and the contribution of the effect on leucocyte recruitment. In vitro chemotaxis assays were performed using Boyden's chamber model to investigate the ability of serum incubated with venom and its purified toxins to induce neutrophil migration. The complement consumption by the venom was evaluated using an in vitro haemolytic assay. The importance of complement activation by the venom on neutrophil migration was investigated in vivo by injecting the venom into the peritoneal cavity of C5-deficient mice. Data obtained demonstrated that serum incubated with crude venom and its purified metalloproteinase BaP-1 are able to induce rat neutrophil chemotaxis, probably mediated by agent(s) derived from the complement system. This hypothesis was corroborated by the capacity of the venom to activate this system in vitro. The involvement of C5a in neutrophil chemotaxis induced by venom-activated serum was demonstrated by abolishing migration when neutrophils were pre-incubated with antirat C5a receptor antibody. The relevance of the complement system in in vivo leucocyte mobilization was further demonstrated by the drastic decrease of this response in C5-deficient mice. Pre-incubation of serum with the soluble human recombinant complement receptor type 1 (sCR 1) did not prevent the response induced by the venom, but abolished the migration evoked by metalloproteinase-activated serum. These data show the role of the complement system in bothropic envenomation and the participation of metalloproteinase in the effect. Also, they suggest that the venom may contain other component(s) which can cause direct activation of C5a. PMID:11200361

  10. Neutralization of toxicological activities of medically-relevant Bothrops snake venoms and relevant toxins by two polyvalent bothropic antivenoms produced in Peru and Brazil.

    PubMed

    Estevao-Costa, Maria I; Gontijo, Silea S; Correia, Barbara L; Yarleque, Armando; Vivas-Ruiz, Dan; Rodrigues, Edith; Chávez-Olortegui, Carlos; Oliveira, Luciana S; Sanchez, Eladio F

    2016-11-01

    Snakebite envenoming is a neglected public pathology, affecting especially rural communities or isolated areas of tropical and subtropical Latin American countries. The parenteral administration of antivenom is the mainstay and the only validated treatment of snake bite envenoming. Here, we assess the efficacy of polyspecific anti-Bothrops serum (α-BS) produced in the Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS, Peru) and at the Fundação Ezequiel Dias (FUNED, Brazil), to neutralize the main toxic activities induced by five medically-relevant venoms of: Bothrops atrox, B. barnetti, and B. pictus from Peru, and the Brazilian B. jararaca and B. leucurus, all of them inhabiting different geographical locations. Protein electrophoretic patterns of these venoms showed significant differences in composition, number and intensity of bands. Another goal was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of lyophilized α-BS developed at INS to neutralize the detrimental effects of these venoms using in vivo and in vitro assays. The availability of lyophilized α-BS has relevant significance in its distribution to distant rural communities where the access to antivenom in health facilities is more difficult. Despite the fact that different antigen mixtures were used for immunization during antivenom production, our data showed high toxin-neutralizing activity of α-BS raised against Bothrops venoms. Moreover, the antivenom cross-reacted even against venoms not included in the immunization mixture. Furthermore, we have evaluated the efficacy of both α-BS to neutralize key toxic compounds belonging to the predominant protein families of Bothrops snakes. Most significantly, both α-BS cross-specifically neutralized the main toxicological activities e.g. lethality and hemorrhage induced by these venoms. Thus, our data indicate that both α-BS are equally effective to treat snake bite victims inflicted by Bothrops snakes particularly B. atrox, responsible for the largest numbers of human

  11. Exploring and understanding the functional role, and biochemical and structural characteristics of an acidic phospholipase A2, AplTx-I, purified from Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma snake venom.

    PubMed

    Resende, L M; Almeida, J R; Schezaro-Ramos, R; Collaço, R C O; Simioni, L R; Ramírez, D; González, W; Soares, A M; Calderon, L A; Marangoni, S; da Silva, S L

    2017-03-01

    Phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) constitute a class of extensively studied toxins, isolated from snake venoms. Basic PLA2 isoforms mediate various toxicological effects, while the acidic isoforms generally have higher enzymatic activities, but do not promote evident toxic effects. The functions of these acidic isoforms in snake venoms are still not completely understood and more studies are needed to characterize the biological functions and diversification of acidic toxins in order to justify their abundant presence in these secretions. Recently, Lomonte and collaborators demonstrated, in a proteomic and toxicological study, high concentrations of PLA2s in the venom of Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma. We have, herein, purified and characterized an acidic PLA2 from this snake venom, denominated AplTx-I, in order to better understand its biochemical and structural characteristics, as well as its biological effects. AplTx-I was purified using two chromatographic steps, in association with enzymatic and biological assays. The acidic toxin was found to be one of the most abundant proteins in the venom of A. p. leucostoma; the protein was monomeric with a molecular mass of 13,885.8 Da, as identified by mass spectrometry ESI-TOF and electrophoresis. The toxin has similar primary and tridimensional structures to those of other acidic PLA2s, a theoretical and experimental isoelectric point of ≈5.12, and a calcium-dependent enzyme activity of 25.8985 nM/min/mg, with maximum values at 37 °C and pH 8.0. Despite its high enzymatic activity on synthetic substrate, AplTx-I did not induce high or significant myotoxic, coagulant, anticoagulant, edema, neuromuscular toxicity in mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparations or antibacterial activities. Interestingly, AplTx-I triggered a high and selective neuromuscular toxicity in chick biventer cervicis preparations. These findings are relevant to provide a deeper understanding of the pharmacology, role and diversification of acidic

  12. Effect of Bothrops bilineata snake venom on neutrophil function.

    PubMed

    Setubal, Sulamita da Silva; Pontes, Adriana Silva; Nery, Neriane Monteiro; Bastos, Jéssica Silva Félix; Castro, Onassis Boeri; Pires, Weverson Luciano; Zaqueo, Kayena Delaix; Calderon, Leonardo de Azevedo; Stábeli, Rodrigo Guerino; Soares, Andreimar Martins; Zuliani, Juliana Pavan

    2013-12-15

    The aim of the study was to evaluate the in vitro effects of Bothrops bilineata crude venom (BbV) on isolated human neutrophil function. We proved that BbV isn't toxic towards human neutrophils. During an incubation of human neutrophils with BbV hydrogen peroxide was produced. Moreover, BbV was able to stimulate neutrophil release of proinflammatory mediators such as IL-8 and IL-6 as well as PGE2 and NETs liberation. There is no data in the literature showing the effect of BbV on the production of IL-6 and IL-8 or NETs liberation by isolated human neutrophils. Taken together our results testify that BbV triggers relevant proinflammatory events in human neutrophils. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Purification and Biochemical Characterization of Three Myotoxins from Bothrops mattogrossensis Snake Venom with Toxicity against Leishmania and Tumor Cells

    PubMed Central

    de Moura, Andréa A.; Kayano, Anderson M.; Oliveira, George A.; Setúbal, Sulamita S.; Ribeiro, João G.; Barros, Neuza B.; Nicolete, Roberto; Moura, Laura A.; Fuly, Andre L.; Nomizo, Auro; da Silva, Saulo L.; Fernandes, Carla F. C.; Zuliani, Juliana P.; Stábeli, Rodrigo G.; Soares, Andreimar M.; Calderon, Leonardo A.

    2014-01-01

    Bothrops mattogrossensis snake is widely distributed throughout eastern South America and is responsible for snakebites in this region. This paper reports the purification and biochemical characterization of three new phospholipases A2 (PLA2s), one of which is presumably an enzymatically active Asp49 and two are very likely enzymatically inactive Lys49 PLA2 homologues. The purification was obtained after two chromatographic steps on ion exchange and reverse phase column. The 2D SDS-PAGE analysis revealed that the proteins have pI values around 10, are each made of a single chain, and have molecular masses near 13 kDa, which was confirmed by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The N-terminal similarity analysis of the sequences showed that the proteins are highly homologous with other Lys49 and Asp49 PLA2s from Bothrops species. The PLA2s isolated were named BmatTX-I (Lys49 PLA2-like), BmatTX-II (Lys49 PLA2-like), and BmatTX-III (Asp49 PLA2). The PLA2s induced cytokine release from mouse neutrophils and showed cytotoxicity towards JURKAT (leukemia T) and SK-BR-3 (breast adenocarcinoma) cell lines and promastigote forms of Leishmania amazonensis. The structural and functional elucidation of snake venoms components may contribute to a better understanding of the mechanism of action of these proteins during envenomation and their potential pharmacological and therapeutic applications. PMID:24724078

  14. Purification and biochemical characterization of three myotoxins from Bothrops mattogrossensis snake venom with toxicity against Leishmania and tumor cells.

    PubMed

    de Moura, Andréa A; Kayano, Anderson M; Oliveira, George A; Setúbal, Sulamita S; Ribeiro, João G; Barros, Neuza B; Nicolete, Roberto; Moura, Laura A; Fuly, Andre L; Nomizo, Auro; da Silva, Saulo L; Fernandes, Carla F C; Zuliani, Juliana P; Stábeli, Rodrigo G; Soares, Andreimar M; Calderon, Leonardo A

    2014-01-01

    Bothrops mattogrossensis snake is widely distributed throughout eastern South America and is responsible for snakebites in this region. This paper reports the purification and biochemical characterization of three new phospholipases A2 (PLA2s), one of which is presumably an enzymatically active Asp49 and two are very likely enzymatically inactive Lys49 PLA2 homologues. The purification was obtained after two chromatographic steps on ion exchange and reverse phase column. The 2D SDS-PAGE analysis revealed that the proteins have pI values around 10, are each made of a single chain, and have molecular masses near 13 kDa, which was confirmed by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The N-terminal similarity analysis of the sequences showed that the proteins are highly homologous with other Lys49 and Asp49 PLA2s from Bothrops species. The PLA2s isolated were named BmatTX-I (Lys49 PLA2-like), BmatTX-II (Lys49 PLA2-like), and BmatTX-III (Asp49 PLA2). The PLA2s induced cytokine release from mouse neutrophils and showed cytotoxicity towards JURKAT (leukemia T) and SK-BR-3 (breast adenocarcinoma) cell lines and promastigote forms of Leishmania amazonensis. The structural and functional elucidation of snake venoms components may contribute to a better understanding of the mechanism of action of these proteins during envenomation and their potential pharmacological and therapeutic applications.

  15. Metalloproteases Affecting Blood Coagulation, Fibrinolysis and Platelet Aggregation from Snake Venoms: Definition and Nomenclature of Interaction Sites

    PubMed Central

    Kini, R. Manjunatha; Koh, Cho Yeow

    2016-01-01

    Snake venom metalloproteases, in addition to their contribution to the digestion of the prey, affect various physiological functions by cleaving specific proteins. They exhibit their activities through activation of zymogens of coagulation factors, and precursors of integrins or receptors. Based on their structure–function relationships and mechanism of action, we have defined classification and nomenclature of functional sites of proteases. These metalloproteases are useful as research tools and in diagnosis and treatment of various thrombotic and hemostatic conditions. They also contribute to our understanding of molecular details in the activation of specific factors involved in coagulation, platelet aggregation and matrix biology. This review provides a ready reference for metalloproteases that interfere in blood coagulation, fibrinolysis and platelet aggregation. PMID:27690102

  16. Efficacy of Indian polyvalent snake antivenoms against Sri Lankan snake venoms: lethality studies or clinically focussed in vitro studies

    PubMed Central

    Maduwage, Kalana; Silva, Anjana; O’Leary, Margaret A.; Hodgson, Wayne C.; Isbister, Geoffrey K.

    2016-01-01

    In vitro antivenom efficacy studies were compared to rodent lethality studies to test two Indian snake antivenoms (VINS and BHARAT) against four Sri Lankan snakes. In vitro efficacy was tested at venom concentrations consistent with human envenoming. Efficacy was compared statistically for one batch from each manufacturer where multiple vials were available. In binding studies EC50 for all VINS antivenoms were less than BHARAT for D. russelii [553 μg/mL vs. 1371 μg/mL;p = 0.016), but were greater for VINS antivenoms compared to BHARAT for N. naja [336 μg/mL vs. 70 μg/mL;p < 0.0001]. EC50 of both antivenoms was only slighty different for E. carinatus and B. caeruleus. For procoagulant activity neutralisation, the EC50 was lower for VINS compared to BHARAT - 60 μg/mL vs. 176 μg/mL (p < 0.0001) for Russell’s viper and 357 μg/mL vs. 6906μg/mL (p < 0.0001) for Saw-scaled viper. Only VINS antivenom neutralized in vitro neurotoxicity of krait venom. Both antivenoms partially neutralized cobra and didn’t neutralize Russell’s viper neurotoxicity. Lethality studies found no statistically significant difference in ED50 values between VINS and BHARAT antivenoms. VINS antivenoms appeared superior to BHARAT at concentrations equivalent to administering 10 vials antivenom, based on binding and neutralisation studies. Lethality studies were inconsistent suggesting rodent death may not measure relevant efficacy outcomes in humans. PMID:27231196

  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. Fatal presumed tiger snake (Notechis scutatus) envenomation in a cat with measurement of venom and antivenom concentration.

    PubMed

    Padula, Andrew M; Winkel, Kenneth D

    2016-04-01

    A fatal outcome of a presumed tiger snake (Notechis scutatus) envenomation in a cat is described. Detectable venom components and antivenom concentrations in serum from clotted and centrifuged whole blood and urine were measured using a sensitive and specific ELISA. The cat presented in a paralysed state with a markedly elevated serum CK but with normal clotting times. The cat was treated with intravenous fluids and received two vials of equine whole IgG bivalent (tiger and brown snake) antivenom. Despite treatment the cat's condition did not improve and it died 36 h post-presentation. Serum concentration of detectable tiger snake venom components at initial presentation was 311 ng/mL and urine 832 ng/mL, this declined to non-detectable levels in serum 15-min after intravenous antivenom. Urine concentration of detectable tiger snake venom components declined to 22 ng/mL at post-mortem. Measurement of equine anti-tiger snake venom specific antibody demonstrated a concentration of 7.2 Units/mL in serum at post-mortem which had declined from an initial high of 13 Units/mL at 15-min post-antivenom. The ELISA data demonstrated the complete clearance of detectable venom components from serum with no recurrence in the post-mortem samples. Antivenom concentrations in serum at initial presentation were at least 100-fold higher than theoretically required to neutralise the circulating concentrations of venom. Despite the fatal outcome in this case it was concluded that this was unlikely that is was due to insufficient antivenom.

  19. Discovery of toxin-encoding genes from the false viper Macropisthodon rudis, a rear-fanged snake, by transcriptome analysis of venom gland.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhixiao; Zhang, Xi; Hu, Tingsong; Zhou, Weiguo; Cui, Qinghua; Tian, Jing; Zheng, Ying; Fan, Quanshui

    2015-11-01

    Although rear-fanged snakes are often considered as non-threatening to humans, some species are lethal or medically hazardous. The toxin components and bioactivities of front-fanged snakes have been extensively studied; however, only limited research has explored the venoms of rear-fanged snakes. The false viper, Macropisthodon rudis, is widespread in southern China, but little is known about the toxins that this snake produces. Here, we analyzed the transcriptome of the venom gland of M. rudis using high-throughput sequencing with an illumina HiSeq 2000. The raw data were assembled and annotated using public databases. The Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways and gene ontology (GO) were analyzed. Using sequence comparisons, snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) and a phosphodiesterase (PDE) were discovered in the venom gland of M. rudis.

  20. Bothrops jararaca and Bothrops erythromelas Snake Venoms Promote Cell Cycle Arrest and Induce Apoptosis via the Mitochondrial Depolarization of Cervical Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Gomes, Dayanne Lopes; Martelli Palomino, Gustavo; da Silva, Wilmar Dias; Gonçalves, Ana Katherine; Fernandes-Pedrosa, Matheus de Freitas; Crispim, Janaina Cristiana de Oliveira

    2016-01-01

    Bothrops jararaca (BJ) and Bothrops erythromelas (BE) are viper snakes found in South-Southeast and Northeast regions of Brazil, respectively. Snake venoms are bioactive neurotoxic substances synthesized and stored by venom glands, with different physiological and pharmacological effects, recently suggesting a possible preference for targets in cancer cells; however, mechanisms of snakes have been little studied. Here, we investigated the mechanism responsible for snake crude venoms toxicity in cultured cervical cancer cells SiHa and HeLa. We show that BJ and BE snake crude venoms exert cytotoxic effects to these cells. The percentage of apoptotic cells and cell cycle analysis and cell proliferation were assessed by flow cytometry and MTT assay. Detection of mitochondrial membrane potential (Rhodamine-123), nuclei morphological change, and DNA fragmentation were examined by staining with DAPI. The results showed that both the BJ and BE venoms were capable of inhibiting tumor cell proliferation, promoting cytotoxicity and death by apoptosis of target SiHa and HeLa cells when treated with BJ and BE venoms. Furthermore, data revealed that both BJ venoms in SiHa cell promoted nuclear condensation, fragmentation, and formation of apoptotic bodies by DAPI assay, mitochondrial damage by Rhodamine-123, and cell cycle block in the G1-G0 phase. BJ and BE venoms present anticancer potential, suggesting that both Bothrops venoms could be used as prototypes for the development of new therapies. PMID:28050190

  1. Interaction of Bothrops jararaca venom metalloproteinases with protein inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Asega, Amanda F; Oliveira, Ana K; Menezes, Milene C; Neves-Ferreira, Ana Gisele C; Serrano, Solange M T

    2014-03-01

    Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) play important roles in the local and systemic hemorrhage observed upon envenomation. In a previous study on the structural elements important for the activities of HF3 (highly hemorrhagic, P-III-SVMP), bothropasin (hemorrhagic, P-III-SVMP) and BJ-PI (non-hemorrhagic, P-I-SVMP), from Bothrops jararaca, it was demonstrated that they differ in their proteolysis profile of plasma and extracellular matrix proteins. In this study, we evaluated the ability of proteins DM43 and α2-macroglobulin to interfere with the proteolytic activity of these SVMPs on fibrinogen and collagen VI and with their ability to induce hemorrhage. DM43 inhibited the proteolytic activity of bothropasin and BJ-PI but not that of HF3, and was not cleaved the three proteinases. On the other hand, α2-macroglobulin did not inhibit any of the proteinases and was rather cleaved by them. In agreement with these findings, binding analysis showed interaction of bothropasin and BJ-PI but not HF3 to DM43 while none of the proteinases bound to α2-macroglobulin. Moreover, DM43 promoted partial inhibition of the hemorrhagic activity of bothropasin but not that of HF3. Our results demonstrate that metalloproteinases of B. jararaca venom showing different domain composition, glycosylation level and hemorrhagic potency show variable susceptibilities to protein inhibitors. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Exploring the venom of the forest cobra snake: Toxicovenomics and antivenom profiling of Naja melanoleuca.

    PubMed

    Lauridsen, Line P; Laustsen, Andreas H; Lomonte, Bruno; Gutiérrez, José María

    2017-01-06

    A toxicovenomic analysis of the venom of the forest cobra, N. melanoleuca, was performed, revealing the presence of a total of 52 proteins by proteomics analysis. The most abundant proteins belong to the three-finger toxins (3FTx) (57.1wt%), which includes post-synaptically acting α-neurotoxins. Phospholipases A2 (PLA2) were the second most abundant group of proteins (12.9wt%), followed by metalloproteinases (SVMPs) (9.7wt%), cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISPs) (7.6wt%), and Kunitz-type serine proteinase inhibitors (3.8wt%). A number of additional protein families comprised each <3wt% of venom proteins. A toxicity screening of the fractions, using the mouse lethality test, identified toxicity in RP-HPLC peaks 3, 4, 5 and 8, all of them containing α-neurotoxins of the 3FTx family, whereas the rest of the fractions did not show toxicity at a dose of 0.53mg/kg. Three polyspecific antivenoms manufactured in South Africa and India were tested for their immunoreactivity against crude venom and fractions of N. melanoleuca. Overall, antivenoms immunorecognized all fractions in the venom, the South African antivenom showing a higher titer against the neurotoxin-containing fractions. This toxicovenomic study identified the 3FTx group of α-neurotoxins in the venom of N. melanoleuca as the relevant targets to be neutralized.

  3. Cell adhesion molecules involved in the leukocyte recruitment induced by venom of the snake Bothrops jararaca.

    PubMed Central

    Zamuner, Stella R; Teixeira, Catarina F P

    2002-01-01

    It has been shown that Bothrops jararaca venom (BjV) induces a significant leukocyte accumulation, mainly neutrophils, at the local of tissue damage. Therefore, the role of the adhesion molecules intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), LECAM-1, CD18, leukocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) and platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1) on the BjV-induced neutrophil accumulation and the correlation with release of LTB4, TXA2, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1 and IL-6 have been investigated. Anti-mouse LECAM-1, LFA-1, ICAM-1 and PECAM-1 monoclonal antibody injection resulted in a reduction of 42%, 80%, 66% and 67%, respectively, of neutrophil accumulation induced by BjV (250 microg/kg, intraperitoneal) injection in male mice compared with isotype-matched control injected animals. The anti-mouse CD18 monoclonal antibody had no significant effect on venom-induced neutrophil accumulation. Concentrations of LTB(4), TXA(2), IL-6 and TNF-alpha were significant increased in the peritoneal exudates of animals injected with venom, whereas no increment in IL-1 was detected. This results suggest that ICAM-1, LECAM-1, LFA-1 and PECAM-1, but not CD18, adhesion molecules are involved in the recruitment of neutrophils into the inflammatory site induced by BjV. This is the first in vivo evidence that snake venom is able to up-regulate the expression of adhesion molecules by both leukocytes and endothelial cells. This venom effect may be indirect, probably through the release of the inflammatory mediators evidenced in the present study. PMID:12581499

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

    PubMed

    Strydom, D J

    1976-10-01

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

  5. Isolation and chemical characterization of a toxin isolated from the venom of the sea snake, Hydrophis torquatus aagardi.

    PubMed

    Nagamizu, Masaya; Komori, Yumiko; Uchiya, Kei-Ichi; Nikai, Toshiaki; Tu, Anthony T

    2009-12-01

    Sea snakes (family: Hydrophiidae) are serpents found in the coastal areas of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. There are two subfamilies in Hydrophiidae: Hydrophiinae and Laticaudinae. A toxin, aagardi toxin, was isolated from the venom of the Hydrophiinae snake, Hydrophis torquatus aagardi and its chemical properties such as molecular weight, isoelectric point, importance of disulfide bonds, lack of enzymatic activity and amino acid sequence were determined. The amino acid sequence indicated a close relationship to the primary structure of other Hydrophiinae toxins and a significant difference from Laticaudinae toxins, confirming that primary toxin structure is closely related to sea snake phylogenecity.

  6. Complete amino-acid sequence, crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction studies of leucurolysin-a, a nonhaemorrhagic metalloproteinase from Bothrops leucurus snake venom

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Rodrigo Novaes; Rates, Breno; Richardson, Michael; Guimarães, Beatriz Gomes; Sanchez, Eládio Oswaldo Flores; de Castro Pimenta, Adriano Monteiro; Nagem, Ronaldo Alves Pinto

    2009-01-01

    Leucurolysin-a (leuc-a) is a class P-I snake-venom metalloproteinase isolated from the venom of the South American snake Bothrops leucurus (white-tailed jararaca). The mature protein is composed of 202 amino-acid residues in a single polypeptide chain. It contains a blocked N-terminus and is not glycosylated. In vitro studies revealed that leuc-a dissolves clots made either from purified fibrinogen or from whole blood. Unlike some other venom fibrinolytic metalloproteinases, leuc-a has no haemorrhagic activity. Leuc-a was sequenced and was crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion technique. Crystals were obtained using PEG 6000 or PEG 1500. Diffraction data to 1.80 and 1.60 Å resolution were collected from two crystals (free enzyme and the endogenous ligand–protein complex, respectively). They both belonged to space group P212121, with very similar unit-cell parameters (a = 44.0, b = 56.2, c = 76.3 Å for the free-enzyme crystal). PMID:19652343

  7. Ontogenetic variations in the venom proteome of the Amazonian snake Bothrops atrox.

    PubMed

    Guércio, Rafael A P; Shevchenko, Anna; Shevchenko, Andrej; López-Lozano, Jorge L; Paba, Jaime; Sousa, Marcelo V; Ricart, Carlos A O

    2006-05-11

    Bothrops atrox is responsible for the majority of snakebite accidents in the Brazilian Amazon region. Previous studies have demonstrated that the biological and pharmacological activities of B. atrox venom alter with the age of the animal. Here, we present a comparative proteome analysis of B. atrox venom collected from specimens of three different stages of maturation: juveniles, sub-adults and adults. Optimized conditions for two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) of pooled venom samples were achieved using immobilized pH gradient (IPG) gels of non-linear 3-10 pH range during the isoelectric focusing step and 10-20% gradient polyacrylamide gels in the second dimension. Software-assisted analysis of the 2-DE gels images demonstrated differences in the number and intensity of spots in juvenile, sub-adult and adult venoms. Although peptide mass fingerprinting (PMF) failed to identify even a minor fraction of spots, it allowed us to group spots that displayed similar peptide maps. The spots were subjected to a combination of tandem mass spectrometry and Mascot and MS BLAST database searches that identified several classes of proteins, including metalloproteinases, serine proteinases, lectins, phospholipases A2, L-amino oxidases, nerve growth factors, vascular endothelial growth factors and cysteine-rich secretory proteins. The analysis of B. atrox samples from specimens of different ages by 2-DE and mass spectrometry suggested that venom proteome alters upon ontogenetic development. We identified stage specific and differentially expressed polypeptides that may be responsible for the activities of the venom in each developmental stage. The results provide insight into the molecular basis of the relation between symptomatology of snakebite accidents in humans and the venom composition. Our findings underscore the importance of the use of venoms from individual specimen at various stages of maturation for the production of antivenoms.

  8. RNA-seq and high-definition mass spectrometry reveal the complex and divergent venoms of two rear-fanged colubrid snakes.

    PubMed

    McGivern, James J; Wray, Kenneth P; Margres, Mark J; Couch, Michelle E; Mackessy, Stephen P; Rokyta, Darin R

    2014-12-03

    Largely because of their direct, negative impacts on human health, the venoms of front-fanged snakes of the families Viperidae and Elapidae have been extensively characterized proteomically, transcriptomically, and pharmacologically. However, relatively little is known about the molecular complexity and evolution of the venoms of rear-fanged colubrid snakes, which are, with a few notable exceptions, regarded as harmless to humans. Many of these snakes have venoms with major effects on their preferred prey, and their venoms are probably as critical to their survival as those of front-fanged elapids and viperids. We sequenced the venom-gland transcriptomes from a specimen of Hypsiglena (Desert Night Snake; family Colubridae, subfamily Dipsadinae) and of Boiga irregularis (Brown Treesnake; family Colubridae, subfamily Colubrinae) and verified the transcriptomic results proteomically by means of high-definition mass spectrometry. We identified nearly 3,000 nontoxin genes for each species. For B. irregularis, we found 108 putative toxin transcripts in 46 clusters with <1% nucleotide divergence, and for Hypsiglena we identified 79 toxin sequences that were grouped into 33 clusters. Comparisons of the venoms revealed divergent venom types, with Hypsiglena possessing a viper-like venom dominated by metalloproteinases, and B. irregularis having a more elapid-like venom, consisting primarily of three-finger toxins. Despite the difficulty of procuring venom from rear-fanged species, we were able to complete all analyses from a single specimen of each species without pooling venom samples or glands, demonstrating the power of high-definition transcriptomic and proteomic approaches. We found a high level of divergence in the venom types of two colubrids. These two venoms reflected the hemorrhagic/neurotoxic venom dichotomy that broadly characterizes the difference in venom strategies between elapids and viperids.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-01

    Antivenoms are preparations of immunoglobulins purified from the plasma of animals immunized with snake venoms. Depending on the number of venoms used during the immunization, antivenoms can be monospecific (if venom from a single species is used) or polyspecific (if venoms from several species are used). In turn, polyspecific antivenoms can be prepared by purifying antibodies from the plasma of animals immunized with a mixture of venoms, or by mixing antibodies purified from the plasma of animals immunized separately with single venom. The suitability of these strategies to produce polyspecific antibothropic-crotalic antivenoms was assessed using as models the venoms of Bothrops asper, Crotalus simus and Crotalus durissus ruruima. It was demonstrated that, when used as co-immunogen, C. simus and C. durissus ruruima venoms exert a deleterious effect on the antibody response towards different components of B. asper venom and in the neutralization of hemorrhagic and coagulant effect of this venom when compared with a monospecific B. asper antivenom. Polyspecific antivenoms produced by purifying immunoglobulins from the plasma of animals immunized with venom mixtures showed higher antibody titers and neutralizing capacity than those produced by mixing antibodies purified from the plasma of animals immunized separately with single venom. Thus, despite the deleterious effect of Crotalus sp venoms on the immune response against B. asper venom, the use of venom mixtures is more effective than the immunization with separate venoms for the preparation of polyspecific bothropic-crotalic antivenoms. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Multi-Level Induction of Categories: Venomous Snakes Hijack the Learning of Lower Levels

    PubMed Central

    Noh, Sharon M.; Yan, Veronica X.; Vendetti, Michael S.; Castel, Alan D.; Bjork, Robert A.

    2014-01-01

    The induction of categories and concepts from examples—which plays an important role in how we come to organize and understand the world—can happen at multiple levels, but how does competing values of these different levels affect their learning? Using perceptually rich images of snakes that could be categorized by their specific genus or a broader category, and that varied in value (whether the snake was venomous vs. whether it was tropical), we asked participants to attend to one level but tested induction at both levels. We found an interaction between study instruction and intrinsic value: Participants in the low-value condition were better able to induce the instructed level, whereas participants in the high-value condition, were significantly better at learning the broad category (i.e., venomness), regardless of instruction. Our results suggest that intrinsically valuable features can affect learning by disrupting the intentional learning of other, task-relevant information, but enhancing the incidental learning of these same features. PMID:24966070

  11. 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.

  12. BbMP-1, a new metalloproteinase isolated from Bothrops brazili snake venom with in vitro antiplasmodial properties.

    PubMed

    Kayano, Anderson M; Simões-Silva, Rodrigo; Medeiros, Patrícia S M; Maltarollo, Vinícius G; Honorio, Kathia M; Oliveira, Eliandre; Albericio, Fernando; da Silva, Saulo L; Aguiar, Anna Caroline C; Krettli, Antoniana U; Fernandes, Carla F C; Zuliani, Juliana P; Calderon, Leonardo A; Stábeli, Rodrigo G; Soares, Andreimar M

    2015-11-01

    This study describes the biochemical and functional characterization of a new metalloproteinase named BbMP-1, isolated from Bothrops brazili venom. BbMP-1 was homogeneous on SDS-PAGE, presented molecular mass of 22,933Da and pI 6.4. The primary structure was partially elucidated with high identity with others metalloproteinases from Viperidae venoms. The enzymatic activity on azocasein was evaluated in different experimental conditions (pH, temperature). A significant reduction in enzyme activity after exposure to chelators of divalent cations (EDTA), reducing agents (DTT), pH less than 5.0 or temperatures higher than 45 °C was observed. BbMP-1 showed activity on fibrinogen degrading Aα chain quickly and to a lesser extent the Bβ chain. Also demostrated to be weakly hemorrhagic, presenting however, significant myotoxic and edematogenic activity. The in vitro activity of BbMP-1 against Plasmodium falciparum showed an IC50 of 3.2 ± 2.0 μg/mL. This study may help to understand the pathophysiological effects induced by this group of toxin and their participation in the symptoms observed in cases of snake envenomation. Moreover, this result is representative for this group of proteins and shows the biotechnological potential of BbMP-1 by the demonstration of its antiplasmodial activity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Toxicity of Bothrops sp snake venoms from Ecuador and preclinical assessment of the neutralizing efficacy of a polyspecific antivenom from Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Laines, Johana; Segura, Álvaro; Villalta, Mauren; Herrera, María; Vargas, Mariángela; Alvarez, Gladys; Gutiérrez, José María; León, Guillermo

    2014-09-01

    The toxicological profile of the venoms of the snakes Bothrops asper and Bothrops atrox from Ecuador was investigated, together with the venom of a population of B. asper formerly classified as 'Bothrops xanthogrammus'. The three venoms exerted lethal, hemorrhagic, myotoxic, coagulant and defibrinogenating effects, in agreement with the characteristic toxicological profile of Bothrops sp venoms. A polyspecific antivenom (bothropic-crotalic-lachesic) manufactured in Costa Rica was assessed for its preclinical efficacy against the toxic activities of these Ecuadorian venoms. Antivenom was effective in the neutralization of the five activities tested in the three venoms. These observations are in agreement with previous reports on the extensive cross-reactivity and paraspecific neutralization of antivenoms manufactured in Latin America against the venoms of Bothrops sp snakes.

  14. The electric fence for preventing invasion of Trimeresurus flavoviridis, Habu, the venomous snake.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Y; Tanaka, H; Wada, Y; Mishima, S

    1983-06-01

    For the purpose of preventing invasion of Trimeresurus flavoviridis, Habu, the venomous snake, the effect of an electric fence made of hollow tile blocks or polyethylene net was examined in 3 villages on Amamioshima and Tokunoshima islands in the southernmost area of Japan. The electric pulses were supplied by a pulse maker at 0.75 sec. intervals with 480 mA, 0.13 m coulombs at a load of 500 ohms and estimated peak of 8 to 10 kV. The anode from a pulse maker was connected to a stainless steel plate or a metal string woven in a vinyl rope on the fence and the cathode was grounded. The power to the pulse maker was generated by silicon solar cells, stored in a car battery and regulated by an electric eye switch to activate it at night. The necessary height of the fence to prevent Habu from slithering over the fence was experimentally determined to be 60 cm. In 3 villages, 6.75 ha were enclosed with 1000 m fence, 13.7 ha with 2100 m and 23.8 ha with 2500 m, respectively. The effect of the electric fence was remarkable as determined by the annual monitoring of the number of snakes sighted by people and the captivity rate in box traps inside the fence. The number of snakes found annually in Tean Village was 10 before construction and 5, 4, 5 after construction; 119 before construction 55, 20, 20 after construction at Tete; and 109 and 82 before construction and 15 and 11 after construction at Todoroki. The snakes were observed to aggregate outside the fence. The net barrier could be constructed at any topographical conditions with less expense. The effect was further pronounced when snakes were removed by box trap and other methods from inside the fenced area.

  15. BmajPLA2-II, a basic Lys49-phospholipase A2 homologue from Bothrops marajoensis snake venom with parasiticidal potential.

    PubMed

    Grabner, Amy N; Alfonso, Jorge; Kayano, Anderson M; Moreira-Dill, Leandro S; Dos Santos, Ana Paula de A; Caldeira, Cleópatra A S; Sobrinho, Juliana C; Gómez, Ana; Grabner, Fernando P; Cardoso, Fabio F; Zuliani, Juliana Pavan; Fontes, Marcos R M; Pimenta, Daniel C; Gómez, Celeste Vega; Teles, Carolina B G; Soares, Andreimar M; Calderon, Leonardo A

    2017-09-01

    Snake venoms contain various proteins, especially phospholipases A2 (PLA2s), which present potential applications in diverse areas of health and medicine. In this study, a new basic PLA2 from Bothrops marajoensis with parasiticidal activity was purified and characterized biochemically and biologically. B. marajoensis venom was fractionated through cation exchange followed by reverse phase chromatographies. The isolated toxin, BmajPLA2-II, was structurally characterized with MALDI-TOF (Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight) mass spectrometry, sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), followed by two-dimensional electrophoresis, partial amino acid sequencing, an enzymatic activity assay, circular dichroism, and dynamic light scattering assays. These structural characterization tests presented BmajPLA2-II as a basic Lys49 PLA2 homologue, compatible with other basic snake venom PLA2s (svPLA2), with a tendency to form aggregations. The in vitro anti-parasitic potential of B. marajoensis venom and of BmajPLA2-II was evaluated against Leishmania infantum promastigotes and Trypanosoma cruzi epimastigotes, showing significant activity at a concentration of 100μg/mL. The venom and BmajPLA2-II presented IC50 of 0.14±0.08 and 6.41±0.64μg/mL, respectively, against intraerythrocytic forms of Plasmodium falciparum with CC50 cytotoxicity values against HepG2 cells of 43.64±7.94 and >150μg/mL, respectively. The biotechnological potential of these substances in relation to leishmaniasis, Chagas disease and malaria should be more deeply investigated. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Nomenclatural instability in the venomous snakes of the Bothrops complex: Implications in toxinology and public health.

    PubMed

    Carrasco, Paola Andrea; Venegas, Pablo Javier; Chaparro, Juan Carlos; Scrocchi, Gustavo José

    2016-09-01

    Since nomenclature is intended to reflect the evolutionary history of organisms, advances in our understanding of historical relationships may lead to changes in classification, and thus potentially in taxonomic instability. An unstable nomenclature for medically important animals like venomous snakes is of concern, and its implications in venom/antivenom research and snakebite treatment have been extensively discussed since the 90´s. The taxonomy of the pitvipers of the Bothrops complex has been historically problematic and different genus-level rearrangements were proposed to rectify the long-standing paraphyly of the group. Here we review the toxinological literature on the Bothrops complex to estimate the impact of recent proposals of classification in non-systematic research. This assessment revealed moderate levels of nomenclatural instability in the last five years, and the recurrence of some practices discussed in previous studies regarding the use of classifications and the information provided about the origin of venom samples. We briefly comment on a few examples and the implications of different proposals of classifications for the Bothrops complex. The aim of this review is to contribute to the reduction of adverse effects of current taxonomic instability in a group of medical importance in the Americas.

  19. Adverse drug reaction profile of anti-snake venom in a rural tertiary care te