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Sample records for snake toxins binding

  1. Computational Studies of Snake Venom Toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojeda, Paola G; Ramírez, David; Alzate-Morales, Jans; Caballero, Julio; Kaas, Quentin; González, Wendy

    2017-12-22

    Most snake venom toxins are proteins, and participate to envenomation through a diverse array of bioactivities, such as bleeding, inflammation, and pain, cytotoxic, cardiotoxic or neurotoxic effects. The venom of a single snake species contains hundreds of toxins, and the venoms of the 725 species of venomous snakes represent a large pool of potentially bioactive proteins. Despite considerable discovery efforts, most of the snake venom toxins are still uncharacterized. Modern bioinformatics tools have been recently developed to mine snake venoms, helping focus experimental research on the most potentially interesting toxins. Some computational techniques predict toxin molecular targets, and the binding mode to these targets. This review gives an overview of current knowledge on the ~2200 sequences, and more than 400 three-dimensional structures of snake toxins deposited in public repositories, as well as of molecular modeling studies of the interaction between these toxins and their molecular targets. We also describe how modern bioinformatics have been used to study the snake venom protein phospholipase A2, the small basic myotoxin Crotamine, and the three-finger peptide Mambalgin.

  2. Computational Studies of Snake Venom Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola G. Ojeda

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Most snake venom toxins are proteins, and participate to envenomation through a diverse array of bioactivities, such as bleeding, inflammation, and pain, cytotoxic, cardiotoxic or neurotoxic effects. The venom of a single snake species contains hundreds of toxins, and the venoms of the 725 species of venomous snakes represent a large pool of potentially bioactive proteins. Despite considerable discovery efforts, most of the snake venom toxins are still uncharacterized. Modern bioinformatics tools have been recently developed to mine snake venoms, helping focus experimental research on the most potentially interesting toxins. Some computational techniques predict toxin molecular targets, and the binding mode to these targets. This review gives an overview of current knowledge on the ~2200 sequences, and more than 400 three-dimensional structures of snake toxins deposited in public repositories, as well as of molecular modeling studies of the interaction between these toxins and their molecular targets. We also describe how modern bioinformatics have been used to study the snake venom protein phospholipase A2, the small basic myotoxin Crotamine, and the three-finger peptide Mambalgin.

  3. Toxin synergism in snake venoms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard

    2016-01-01

    Synergism between venom toxins exists for a range of snake species. Synergism can be derived from both intermolecular interactions and supramolecular interactions between venom components, and can be the result of toxins targeting the same protein, biochemical pathway or physiological process. Few...... simple systematic tools and methods for determining the presence of synergism exist, but include co-administration of venom components and assessment of Accumulated Toxicity Scores. A better understanding of how to investigate synergism in snake venoms may help unravel strategies for developing novel...

  4. Computational Studies of Snake Venom Toxins

    OpenAIRE

    Paola G. Ojeda; David Ramírez; Jans Alzate-Morales; Julio Caballero; Quentin Kaas; Wendy González

    2017-01-01

    Most snake venom toxins are proteins, and participate to envenomation through a diverse array of bioactivities, such as bleeding, inflammation, and pain, cytotoxic, cardiotoxic or neurotoxic effects. The venom of a single snake species contains hundreds of toxins, and the venoms of the 725 species of venomous snakes represent a large pool of potentially bioactive proteins. Despite considerable discovery efforts, most of the snake venom toxins are still uncharacterized. Modern bioinformatics t...

  5. Toxins not neutralized by brown snake antivenom

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Judge, Roopwant K.; Henry, Peter J.; Mirtschin, Peter; Jelinek, George; Wilce, Jacqueline A.

    2006-01-01

    The Australian snakes of the genus Pseudonaja (dugite, gwardar and common brown) account for the majority of snake bite related deaths in Australia. Without antivenom treatment, the risk of mortality is significant. There is an accumulating body of evidence to suggest that the efficacy of the antivenom is limited. The current study investigates the protein constituents recognized by the antivenom using 2-DE, immuno-blot techniques and rat tracheal organ bath assays. The 2-DE profiles for all three snake venoms were similar, with major species visualized at 78-132 kDa, 32-45 kDa and 6-15 kDa. Proteins characterized by LC-MS/MS revealed a coagulant toxin (∼42 kDa) and coagulant peptide (∼6 kDa), as well as two PLA 2 (∼14 kDa). Peptides isolated from ∼78 kDa and 15-32 kDa protein components showed no similarity to known protein sequences. Protein recognition by the antivenom occurred predominantly for the higher molecular weight components with little recognition of 6-32 kDa MW species. The ability of antivenom to neutralize venom activity was also investigated using rat tracheal organ bath assays. The venoms of Pseudonaja affinis affinis and Pseudonaja nuchalis incited a sustained, significant contraction of the trachea. These contractions were attributed to PLA 2 enzymatic activity as pre-treatment with the PLA 2 inhibitor 4-BPB attenuated the venom-induced contractions. The venom of Pseudonaja textilis incited tracheal contractility through a non-PLA 2 enzymatic activity. Neither activity was attenuated by the antivenom treatment. These results represent the first proteomic investigation of the venoms from the snakes of the genus Pseudonaja, revealing a possible limitation of the brown snake antivenom in binding to the low MW protein components

  6. High-throughput epitope profiling of snake venom toxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Engmark, Mikael; Andersen, Mikael Rørdam; Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard

    Insight into the molecular details of polyclonal antivenom antibody specificity is a prerequisite for accurate prediction of cross-reactivity and can provide a basis for design of novel antivenoms. In this work, a highthroughput approach was applied to characterize linear elements in epitopes in ...... toxins from four African mamba and three neurotoxic cobra snakes obtained from public databases....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Binding of ATP by pertussis toxin and isolated toxin subunits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hausman, S.Z.; Manclark, C.R.; Burns, D.L.

    1990-01-01

    The binding of ATP to pertussis toxin and its components, the A subunit and B oligomer, was investigated. Whereas, radiolabeled ATP bound to the B oligomer and pertussis toxin, no binding to the A subunit was observed. The binding of [ 3 H]ATP to pertussis toxin and the B oligomer was inhibited by nucleotides. The relative effectiveness of the nucleotides was shown to be ATP > GTP > CTP > TTP for pertussis toxin and ATP > GTP > TTP > CTP for the B oligomer. Phosphate ions inhibited the binding of [ 3 H]ATP to pertussis toxin in a competitive manner; however, the presence of phosphate ions was essential for binding of ATP to the B oligomer. The toxin substrate, NAD, did not affect the binding of [ 3 H]ATP to pertussis toxin, although the glycoprotein fetuin significantly decreased binding. These results suggest that the binding site for ATP is located on the B oligomer and is distinct from the enzymatically active site but may be located near the eukaryotic receptor binding site

  10. Binding of ATP by pertussis toxin and isolated toxin subunits

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hausman, S.Z.; Manclark, C.R.; Burns, D.L. (Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Bethesda, MD (USA))

    1990-07-03

    The binding of ATP to pertussis toxin and its components, the A subunit and B oligomer, was investigated. Whereas, radiolabeled ATP bound to the B oligomer and pertussis toxin, no binding to the A subunit was observed. The binding of ({sup 3}H)ATP to pertussis toxin and the B oligomer was inhibited by nucleotides. The relative effectiveness of the nucleotides was shown to be ATP > GTP > CTP > TTP for pertussis toxin and ATP > GTP > TTP > CTP for the B oligomer. Phosphate ions inhibited the binding of ({sup 3}H)ATP to pertussis toxin in a competitive manner; however, the presence of phosphate ions was essential for binding of ATP to the B oligomer. The toxin substrate, NAD, did not affect the binding of ({sup 3}H)ATP to pertussis toxin, although the glycoprotein fetuin significantly decreased binding. These results suggest that the binding site for ATP is located on the B oligomer and is distinct from the enzymatically active site but may be located near the eukaryotic receptor binding site.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. A heteromeric snake toxin and the molecular details of pain perception

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Strømgaard, Kristian; Kristensen, Anders Skov

    2012-01-01

    Gaining on pain: Two snake protein toxins combine to form a heteromeric complex, MitTx, which activates acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) and elicits pain. MitTx is used to explore the roles of specific ASIC subtypes in pain pathways. These insights may provide new pharmacological tools ultimately...

  13. Chemical synthesis, 3D structure, and ASIC binding site of the toxin mambalgin-2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Christina I; Rash, Lachlan D; Vila-Farrés, Xavier; Rosengren, K Johan; Mobli, Mehdi; King, Glenn F; Alewood, Paul F; Craik, David J; Durek, Thomas

    2014-01-20

    Mambalgins are a novel class of snake venom components that exert potent analgesic effects mediated through the inhibition of acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs). The 57-residue polypeptide mambalgin-2 (Ma-2) was synthesized by using a combination of solid-phase peptide synthesis and native chemical ligation. The structure of the synthetic toxin, determined using homonuclear NMR, revealed an unusual three-finger toxin fold reminiscent of functionally unrelated snake toxins. Electrophysiological analysis of Ma-2 on wild-type and mutant ASIC1a receptors allowed us to identify α-helix 5, which borders on the functionally critical acidic pocket of the channel, as a major part of the Ma-2 binding site. This region is also crucial for the interaction of ASIC1a with the spider toxin PcTx1, thus suggesting that the binding sites for these toxins substantially overlap. This work lays the foundation for structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies and further development of this promising analgesic peptide. Copyright © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  14. Binding of Diphtheria Toxin to Phospholipids in Liposomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alving, Carl R.; Iglewski, Barbara H.; Urban, Katharine A.; Moss, Joel; Richards, Roberta L.; Sadoff, Jerald C.

    1980-04-01

    Diphtheria toxin bound to the phosphate portion of some, but not all, phospholipids in liposomes. Liposomes consisting of dimyristoyl phosphatidylcholine and cholesterol did not bind toxin. Addition of 20 mol% (compared to dimyristoyl phosphatidylcholine) of dipalmitoyl phosphatidic acid, dicetyl phosphate, phosphatidylinositol phosphate, cardiolipin, or phosphatidylserine in the liposomes resulted in substantial binding of toxin. Inclusion of phosphatidylinositol in dimyristol phosphatidylcholine / cholesterol liposomes did not result in toxin binding. The calcium salt of dipalmitoyl phosphatidic acid was more effective than the sodium salt, and the highest level of binding occurred with liposomes consisting only of dipalmitoyl phosphatidic acid (calcium salt) and cholesterol. Binding of toxin to liposomes was dependent on pH, and the pattern of pH dependence varied with liposomes having different compositions. Incubation of diphtheria toxin with liposomes containing dicetyl phosphate resulted in maximal binding at pH 3.6, whereas binding to liposomes containing phosphatidylinositol phosphate was maximal above pH 7. Toxin did not bind to liposomes containing 20 mol% of a free fatty acid (palmitic acid) or a sulfated lipid (3-sulfogalactosylceramide). Toxin binding to dicetyl phosphate or phosphatidylinositol phosphate was inhibited by UTP, ATP, phosphocholine, or p-nitrophenyl phosphate, but not by uracil. We conclude that (a) diphtheria toxin binds specifically to the phosphate portion of certain phospholipids, (b) binding to phospholipids in liposomes is dependent on pH, but is not due only to electrostatic interaction, and (c) binding may be strongly influenced by the composition of adjacent phospholipids that do not bind toxin. We propose that a minor membrane phospholipid (such as phosphatidylinositol phosphate or phosphatidic acid), or that some other phosphorylated membrane molecule (such as a phosphoprotein) may be important in the initial binding of

  15. Pitfalls to avoid when using phage display for snake toxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard; Lauridsen, Line Præst; Lomonte, Bruno

    2017-01-01

    Antivenoms against bites and stings from snakes, spiders, and scorpions are associated with immunological side effects and high cost of production, since these therapies are still derived from the serum of hyper-immunized production animals. Biotechnological innovations within envenoming therapies...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana M. Moura-da-Silva

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  17. Anticancer Activity of Toxins from Bee and Snake Venom-An Overview on Ovarian Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moga, Marius Alexandru; Dimienescu, Oana Gabriela; Arvătescu, Cristian Andrei; Ifteni, Petru; Pleş, Liana

    2018-03-19

    Cancer represents the disease of the millennium, a major problem in public health. The proliferation of tumor cells, angiogenesis, and the relationship between the cancer cells and the components of the extracellular matrix are important in the events of carcinogenesis, and these pathways are being used as targets for new anticancer treatments. Various venoms and their toxins have shown possible anticancer effects on human cancer cell lines, providing new perspectives in drug development. In this review, we observed the effects of natural toxins from bee and snake venom and the mechanisms through which they can inhibit the growth and proliferation of cancer cells. We also researched how several types of natural molecules from venom can sensitize ovarian cancer cells to conventional chemotherapy, with many toxins being helpful for developing new anticancer drugs. This approach could improve the efficiency of standard therapies and could allow the administration of decreased doses of chemotherapy. Natural toxins from bee and snake venom could become potential candidates for the future treatment of different types of cancer. It is important to continue these studies concerning therapeutic drugs from natural resource and, more importantly, to investigate their mechanism of action on cancer cells.

  18. Specific sensitivity of small cell lung cancer cell lines to the snake venom toxin taipoxin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Thomas T; Pedersen, Nina; Perin, Mark S

    2005-01-01

    and relatively specifically expressed in SCLC, consistent with the neuroendocrine features of this cancer. Normally, NPR is exclusively expressed in neurons, where it associates with the homologous proteins neuronal pentraxins 1 and 2 (NP1 and NP2) in complexes capable of binding the snake venom neurotoxin...

  19. A resistant predator and its toxic prey: persistence of newt toxin leads to poisonous (not venomous) snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Becky L; Brodie, Edmund D; Brodie, Edmund D

    2004-10-01

    The common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) preys upon the rough-skinned newt (Taricha granulosa), which contains the neurotoxin tetrodotoxin (TTX) in the skin. TTX is toxic, large quantities are present in a newt, and highly resistant snakes have the ability to ingest multiple newts; subsequently snakes harbor significant amounts of active toxin in their own tissues after consuming a newt. Snakes harbor TTX in the liver for 1 mo or more after consuming just one newt, and at least 7 wk after consuming a diet of newts. Three weeks after eating one newt, snakes contained an average of 42 microg of TTX in the liver. This amount could severely incapacitate or kill avian predators, and mammalian predators may be negatively affected as well.

  20. Modification of opiate agonist binding by pertussis toxin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abood, M.E.; Lee, N.M.; Loh, H.H.

    1986-03-05

    Opiate agonist binding is decreased by GTP, suggesting the possible involvement of GTP binding proteins in regulation of opiate receptor binding. This possibility was addressed by asking whether pertussis toxin treatment, which results in ADP-ribosylation and modification of G proteins, would alter opiate agonist binding. The striatum was chosen for the initial brain area to be studied, since regulation of opiate action in this area had been shown to be modified by pertussis toxin. Treatment of striatal membranes with pertussis toxin results in up to a 55% decrease in /sup 3/(H)-DADLE binding as compared with membranes treated identically without toxin. This corresponds to a near complete ADP-ribosylation of both G proteins in the striatal membrane. The decrease in agonist binding appears to be due to an altered affinity of the receptor for agonist as opposed to a decrease in the number of sites. This effect of pertussis toxin on opiate agonist binding demonstrates the actual involvement of G proteins in regulation of opiate receptor binding.

  1. Modification of opiate agonist binding by pertussis toxin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abood, M.E.; Lee, N.M.; Loh, H.H.

    1986-01-01

    Opiate agonist binding is decreased by GTP, suggesting the possible involvement of GTP binding proteins in regulation of opiate receptor binding. This possibility was addressed by asking whether pertussis toxin treatment, which results in ADP-ribosylation and modification of G proteins, would alter opiate agonist binding. The striatum was chosen for the initial brain area to be studied, since regulation of opiate action in this area had been shown to be modified by pertussis toxin. Treatment of striatal membranes with pertussis toxin results in up to a 55% decrease in 3 (H)-DADLE binding as compared with membranes treated identically without toxin. This corresponds to a near complete ADP-ribosylation of both G proteins in the striatal membrane. The decrease in agonist binding appears to be due to an altered affinity of the receptor for agonist as opposed to a decrease in the number of sites. This effect of pertussis toxin on opiate agonist binding demonstrates the actual involvement of G proteins in regulation of opiate receptor binding

  2. Molecular evolution and diversification of snake toxin genes, revealed by analysis of intron sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujimi, T J; Nakajyo, T; Nishimura, E; Ogura, E; Tsuchiya, T; Tamiya, T

    2003-08-14

    The genes encoding erabutoxin (short chain neurotoxin) isoforms (Ea, Eb, and Ec), LsIII (long chain neurotoxin) and a novel long chain neurotoxin pseudogene were cloned from a Laticauda semifasciata genomic library. Short and long chain neurotoxin genes were also cloned from the genome of Laticauda laticaudata, a closely related species of L. semifasciata, by PCR. A putative matrix attached region (MAR) sequence was found in the intron I of the LsIII gene. Comparative analysis of 11 structurally relevant snake toxin genes (three-finger-structure toxins) revealed the molecular evolution of these toxins. Three-finger-structure toxin genes diverged from a common ancestor through two types of evolutionary pathways (long and short types), early in the course of evolution. At a later stage of evolution in each gene, the accumulation of mutations in the exons, especially exon II, by accelerated evolution may have caused the increased diversification in their functions. It was also revealed that the putative MAR sequence found in the LsIII gene was integrated into the gene after the species-level divergence.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard; Gutiérrez, José María; Lohse, Brian

    2015-01-01

    /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...

  4. Snake venom toxin from vipera lebetina turanica induces apoptosis of colon cancer cells via upregulation of ROS- and JNK-mediated death receptor expression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Park, Mi Hee; Jo, MiRan; Won, Dohee; Song, Ho Sueb; Han, Sang Bae; Song, Min Jong; Hong, Jin Tae

    2012-01-01

    Abundant research suggested that the cancer cells avoid destruction by the immune system through down-regulation or mutation of death receptors. Therefore, it is very important that finding the agents that increase the death receptors of cancer cells. In this study, we demonstrated that the snake venom toxin from Vipera lebetina turanica induce the apoptosis of colon cancer cells through reactive oxygen species (ROS) and c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK) dependent death receptor (DR4 and DR5) expression. We used cell viability assays, DAPI/TUNEL assays, as well as western blot for detection of apoptosis related proteins and DRs to demonstrate that snake venom toxin-induced apoptosis is DR4 and DR5 dependent. We carried out transient siRNA knockdowns of DR4 and DR5 in colon cancer cells. We showed that snake venom toxin inhibited growth of colon cancer cells through induction of apoptosis. We also showed that the expression of DR4 and DR5 was increased by treatment of snake venom toxin. Moreover, knockdown of DR4 or DR5 reversed the effect of snake venom toxin. Snake venom toxin also induced JNK phosphorylation and ROS generation, however, pretreatment of JNK inhibitor and ROS scavenger reversed the inhibitory effect of snake venom toxin on cancer cell proliferation, and reduced the snake venom toxin-induced upregulation of DR4 and DR5 expression. Our results indicated that snake venom toxin could inhibit human colon cancer cell growth, and these effects may be related to ROS and JNK mediated activation of death receptor (DR4 and DR5) signals

  5. Snakes! Snakes! Snakes!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nature Naturally, 1983

    1983-01-01

    Designed for students in grades 4-6, the teaching unit presents illustrations and facts about snakes. Topics include common snakes found in the United States, how snakes eat, how snakes shed their skin, poisonous snakes, the Eastern Indigo snake, and the anatomy of a snake. A student page includes a crossword puzzle and surprising snake facts. A…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. Three-Fingered RAVERs: Rapid Accumulation of Variations in Exposed Residues of Snake Venom Toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunagar, Kartik; Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Undheim, Eivind A. B.; Ali, Syed. A.; Antunes, Agostinho; Fry, Bryan G.

    2013-01-01

    Three-finger toxins (3FTx) represent one of the most abundantly secreted and potently toxic components of colubrid (Colubridae), elapid (Elapidae) and psammophid (Psammophiinae subfamily of the Lamprophidae) snake venom arsenal. Despite their conserved structural similarity, they perform a diversity of biological functions. Although they are theorised to undergo adaptive evolution, the underlying diversification mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we report the molecular evolution of different 3FTx functional forms and show that positively selected point mutations have driven the rapid evolution and diversification of 3FTx. These diversification events not only correlate with the evolution of advanced venom delivery systems (VDS) in Caenophidia, but in particular the explosive diversification of the clade subsequent to the evolution of a high pressure, hollow-fanged VDS in elapids, highlighting the significant role of these toxins in the evolution of advanced snakes. We show that Type I, II and III α-neurotoxins have evolved with extreme rapidity under the influence of positive selection. We also show that novel Oxyuranus/Pseudonaja Type II forms lacking the apotypic loop-2 stabilising cysteine doublet characteristic of Type II forms are not phylogenetically basal in relation to other Type IIs as previously thought, but are the result of secondary loss of these apotypic cysteines on at least three separate occasions. Not all 3FTxs have evolved rapidly: κ-neurotoxins, which form non-covalently associated heterodimers, have experienced a relatively weaker influence of diversifying selection; while cytotoxic 3FTx, with their functional sites, dispersed over 40% of the molecular surface, have been extremely constrained by negative selection. We show that the a previous theory of 3FTx molecular evolution (termed ASSET) is evolutionarily implausible and cannot account for the considerable variation observed in very short segments of 3FTx. Instead, we propose a theory of

  8. Snake cytotoxins bind to membranes via interactions with phosphatidylserine head groups of lipids.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anastasia G Konshina

    Full Text Available The major representatives of Elapidae snake venom, cytotoxins (CTs, share similar three-fingered fold and exert diverse range of biological activities against various cell types. CT-induced cell death starts from the membrane recognition process, whose molecular details remain unclear. It is known, however, that the presence of anionic lipids in cell membranes is one of the important factors determining CT-membrane binding. In this work, we therefore investigated specific interactions between one of the most abundant of such lipids, phosphatidylserine (PS, and CT 4 of Naja kaouthia using a combined, experimental and modeling, approach. It was shown that incorporation of PS into zwitterionic liposomes greatly increased the membrane-damaging activity of CT 4 measured by the release of the liposome-entrapped calcein fluorescent dye. The CT-induced leakage rate depends on the PS concentration with a maximum at approximately 20% PS. Interestingly, the effects observed for PS were much more pronounced than those measured for another anionic lipid, sulfatide. To delineate the potential PS binding sites on CT 4 and estimate their relative affinities, a series of computer simulations was performed for the systems containing the head group of PS and different spatial models of CT 4 in aqueous solution and in an implicit membrane. This was done using an original hybrid computational protocol implementing docking, Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations. As a result, at least three putative PS-binding sites with different affinities to PS molecule were delineated. Being located in different parts of the CT molecule, these anion-binding sites can potentially facilitate and modulate the multi-step process of the toxin insertion into lipid bilayers. This feature together with the diverse binding affinities of the sites to a wide variety of anionic targets on the membrane surface appears to be functionally meaningful and may adjust CT action against

  9. Identification and characterization of B-cell epitopes of 3FTx and PLA(2) toxins from Micrurus corallinus snake venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Exploration of immunoglobulin transcriptomes from mice immunized with three-finger toxins and phospholipases A2 from the Central American coral snake, Micrurus nigrocinctus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas H. Laustsen

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Snakebite envenomings represent a neglected public health issue in many parts of the rural tropical world. Animal-derived antivenoms have existed for more than a hundred years and are effective in neutralizing snake venom toxins when timely administered. However, the low immunogenicity of many small but potent snake venom toxins represents a challenge for obtaining a balanced immune response against the medically relevant components of the venom. Here, we employ high-throughput sequencing of the immunoglobulin (Ig transcriptome of mice immunized with a three-finger toxin and a phospholipase A2 from the venom of the Central American coral snake, Micrurus nigrocinctus. Although exploratory in nature, our indicate results showed that only low frequencies of mRNA encoding IgG isotypes, the most relevant isotype for therapeutic purposes, were present in splenocytes of five mice immunized with 6 doses of the two types of toxins over 90 days. Furthermore, analysis of Ig heavy chain transcripts showed that no particular combination of variable (V and joining (J gene segments had been selected in the immunization process, as would be expected after a strong humoral immune response to a single antigen. Combined with the titration of toxin-specific antibodies in the sera of immunized mice, these data support the low immunogenicity of three-finger toxins and phospholipases A2found in M. nigrocinctusvenoms, and highlight the need for future studies analyzing the complexity of antibody responses to toxins at the molecular level.

  11. A toxin-binding alkaline phosphatase fragment synergizes Bt toxin Cry1Ac against susceptible and resistant Helicoverpa armigera.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenbo Chen

    Full Text Available Evolution of resistance by insects threatens the continued success of pest control using insecticidal crystal (Cry proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt in sprays and transgenic plants. In this study, laboratory selection with Cry1Ac yielded five strains of cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera, with resistance ratios at the median lethal concentration (LC50 of activated Cry1Ac ranging from 22 to 1700. Reduced activity and reduced transcription of an alkaline phosphatase protein that binds Cry1Ac was associated with resistance to Cry1Ac in the four most resistant strains. A Cry1Ac-binding fragment of alkaline phosphatase from H. armigera (HaALP1f was not toxic by itself, but it increased mortality caused by Cry1Ac in a susceptible strain and in all five resistant strains. Although synergism of Bt toxins against susceptible insects by toxin-binding fragments of cadherin and aminopeptidase N has been reported previously, the results here provide the first evidence of synergism of a Bt toxin by a toxin-binding fragment of alkaline phosphatase. The results here also provide the first evidence of synergism of a Bt toxin by any toxin-binding peptide against resistant insects.

  12. The Venom of the Spine-Bellied Sea Snake (Hydrophis curtus): Proteome, Toxin Diversity and Intraspecific Variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neale, Vanessa; Sotillo, Javier; Seymour, Jamie E; Wilson, David

    2017-12-12

    The spine-bellied sea snake ( Hydrophis curtus ) is known to cause human deaths, yet its venom composition has not yet been proteomically characterised. An indepth proteomic analysis was performed on H. curtus venom from two different seasons, January and June, corresponding to adults and subadults, respectively. Venoms from adult and subadult H. curtus individuals were compared using reversedphase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC), matrix-assisted laser desorption ionisation-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS) to detect intraspecific variation, and the molecular weight data obtained with ESIMS were used to assess toxin diversity. RPHPLC and LCESIMS/MS were used to characterise the venom proteome and estimate the relative abundances of protein families present. The most abundant protein family in January and June venoms is phospholipase A₂ (PLA₂: January 66.7%; June 54.5%), followed by threefinger toxins (3FTx: January 30.4%; June 40.4%) and a minor component of cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISP: January 2.5%; June 5%). Trace amounts of snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMP), C-type lectins and housekeeping and regulatory proteins were also found. Although the complexity of the venom is low by number of families present, each family contained a more diverse set of isoforms than previously reported, a finding that may have implications for the development of next-generation sea snake antivenoms. Intraspecific variability was shown to be minor with one obvious exception of a 14,157-Da protein that was present in some January (adult) venoms, but not at all in June (subadult) venoms. There is also a greater abundance of short-chain neurotoxins in June (subadult) venom compared with January (adult) venom. These differences potentially indicate the presence of seasonal, ontogenetic or sexual variation in H. curtus venom.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Exploration of immunoglobulin transcriptomes from mice immunized with three-finger toxins and phospholipases A2 from the Central American coral snake, Micrurus nigrocinctus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard; Engmark, Mikael; Clouser, Christopher

    2017-01-01

    Snakebite envenomings represent a neglected public health issue in many parts of the rural tropical world. Animal-derived antivenoms have existed for more than a hundred years and are effective in neutralizing snake venom toxins when timely administered. However, the low immunogenicity of many...

  15. Binding properties of Clostridium botulinum type C progenitor toxin to mucins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Toshio; Takada, Noriko; Tonozuka, Takashi; Sakano, Yoshiyuki; Oguma, Keiji; Nishikawa, Atsushi

    2007-04-01

    It has been reported that Clostridium botulinum type C 16S progenitor toxin (C16S toxin) first binds to the sialic acid on the cell surface of mucin before invading cells [A. Nishikawa, N. Uotsu, H. Arimitsu, J.C. Lee, Y. Miura, Y. Fujinaga, H. Nakada, T. Watanabe, T. Ohyama, Y. Sakano, K. Oguma, The receptor and transporter for internalization of Clostridium botulinum type C progenitor toxin into HT-29 cells, Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 319 (2004) 327-333]. In this study we investigated the binding properties of the C16S toxin to glycoproteins. Although the toxin bound to membrane blotted mucin derived from the bovine submaxillary gland (BSM), which contains a lot of sialyl oligosaccharides, it did not bind to neuraminidase-treated BSM. The binding of the toxin to BSM was inhibited by N-acetylneuraminic acid, N-glycolylneuraminic acid, and sialyl oligosaccharides strongly, but was not inhibited by neutral oligosaccharides. Both sialyl alpha2-3 lactose and sialyl alpha2-6 lactose prevented binding similarly. On the other hand, the toxin also bound well to porcine gastric mucin. In this case, neutral oligosaccharides might play an important role as ligand, since galactose and lactose inhibited binding. These results suggest that the toxin is capable of recognizing a wide variety of oligosaccharide structures.

  16. Pathogenesis of Shigella diarrhea: rabbit intestinal cell microvillus membrane binding site for Shigella toxin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fuchs, G.; Mobassaleh, M.; Donohue-Rolfe, A.; Montgomery, R.K.; Grand, R.J.; Keusch, G.T.

    1986-01-01

    This study examined the binding of purified 125 I-labeled shigella toxin to rabbit jejunal microvillus membranes (MVMs). Toxin binding was concentration dependent, saturable, reversible, and specifically inhibited by unlabeled toxin. The calculated number of toxin molecules bound at 4 0 C was 7.9 X 10(10) (3 X 10(10) to 2 X 10(11))/micrograms of MVM protein or 1.2 X 10(6) per enterocyte. Scatchard analysis showed the binding site to be of a single class with an equilibrium association constant, K, of 4.7 X 10(9) M-1 at 4 0 C. Binding was inversely related to the temperature of incubation. A total of 80% of the labeled toxin binding at 4 0 C dissociated from MVM when the temperature was raised to 37 0 C, but reassociated when the temperature was again brought to 4 0 C. There was no structural or functional change of MVM due to toxin as monitored by electron microscopy or assay of MVM sucrase activity. These studies demonstrate a specific binding site for shigella toxin on rabbit MVMs. The physiological relevance of this receptor remains to be determined

  17. Purification and Characterization of BmooAi: A New Toxin from Bothrops moojeni Snake Venom That Inhibits Platelet Aggregation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mayara Ribeiro de Queiroz

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we describe the purification/characterization of BmooAi, a new toxin from Bothrops moojeni that inhibits platelet aggregation. The purification of BmooAi was carried out through three chromatographic steps (ion-exchange on a DEAE-Sephacel column, molecular exclusion on a Sephadex G-75 column, and reverse-phase HPLC chromatography on a C2/C18 column. BmooAi was homogeneous by SDS-PAGE and shown to be a single-chain protein of 15,000 Da. BmooAi was analysed by MALDI-TOF Spectrometry and revealed two major components with molecular masses 7824.4 and 7409.2 as well as a trace of protein with a molecular mass of 15,237.4 Da. Sequencing of BmooAi by Edman degradation showed two amino acid sequences: IRDFDPLTNAPENTA and ETEEGAEEGTQ, which revealed no homology to any known toxin from snake venom. BmooAi showed a rather specific inhibitory effect on platelet aggregation induced by collagen, adenosine diphosphate, or epinephrine in human platelet-rich plasma in a dose-dependent manner, whereas it had little or no effect on platelet aggregation induced by ristocetin. The effect on platelet aggregation induced by BmooAi remained active even when heated to 100°C. BmooAi could be of medical interest as a new tool for the development of novel therapeutic agents for the prevention and treatment of thrombotic disorders.

  18. Diphtheria toxin can simultaneously bind to its receptor and adenylyl-(3',5')-uridine 3'-monophosphate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barbieri, J.T.; Collins, C.M.; Collier, R.J.

    1986-01-01

    Diphtheria toxin (DT) that was bound to receptors on BS-C-1 cells was able to bind approximately 1 molar equiv of adenylyl-(3',5')-uridine 3'-monophosphate (ApUp). In contrast, receptor-bound CRM197, a mutant form of toxin with greatly diminished affinity for dinucleotides, did not bind ApUp. Affinity of the dinucleotide for receptor-bound toxin differed from that for free toxin by less than an order of magnitude. These results indicate that the receptor site and the ApUp site on the toxin do not significantly overlap. BS-C-1 cells were incubated with or without 125 I-DT or CRM 197. They were then incubated with [ 32 P]ApUp, and assayed

  19. A heteromeric Texas coral snake toxin targets acid-sensing ion channels to produce pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohlen, Christopher J; Chesler, Alexander T; Sharif-Naeini, Reza; Medzihradszky, Katalin F; Zhou, Sharleen; King, David; Sánchez, Elda E; Burlingame, Alma L; Basbaum, Allan I; Julius, David

    2011-11-16

    Natural products that elicit discomfort or pain represent invaluable tools for probing molecular mechanisms underlying pain sensation. Plant-derived irritants have predominated in this regard, but animal venoms have also evolved to avert predators by targeting neurons and receptors whose activation produces noxious sensations. As such, venoms provide a rich and varied source of small molecule and protein pharmacophores that can be exploited to characterize and manipulate key components of the pain-signalling pathway. With this in mind, here we perform an unbiased in vitro screen to identify snake venoms capable of activating somatosensory neurons. Venom from the Texas coral snake (Micrurus tener tener), whose bite produces intense and unremitting pain, excites a large cohort of sensory neurons. The purified active species (MitTx) consists of a heteromeric complex between Kunitz- and phospholipase-A2-like proteins that together function as a potent, persistent and selective agonist for acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), showing equal or greater efficacy compared with acidic pH. MitTx is highly selective for the ASIC1 subtype at neutral pH; under more acidic conditions (pH 100-fold) proton-evoked activation of ASIC2a channels. These observations raise the possibility that ASIC channels function as coincidence detectors for extracellular protons and other, as yet unidentified, endogenous factors. Purified MitTx elicits robust pain-related behaviour in mice by activation of ASIC1 channels on capsaicin-sensitive nerve fibres. These findings reveal a mechanism whereby snake venoms produce pain, and highlight an unexpected contribution of ASIC1 channels to nociception. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved

  20. Binding modes and functional surface of anti-mammalian scorpion α-toxins to sodium channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Rong; Chung, Shin-Ho

    2012-10-02

    Scorpion α-toxins bind to the voltage-sensing domains of voltage-gated sodium (Na(V)) channels and interfere with the inactivation mechanisms. The functional surface of α-toxins has been shown to contain an NC-domain consisting of the five-residue turn (positions 8-12) and the C-terminus (positions 56-64) and a core-domain centered on the residue 18. The NC- and core-domains are interconnected by the linker-domain (positions 8-18). Here with atomistic molecular dynamics simulations, we examine the binding modes between two α-toxins, the anti-mammalian AahII and the anti-insect LqhαIT, and the voltage-sensing domain of rat Na(V)1.2, a subtype of Na(V) channels expressed in nerve cells. Both toxins are docked to the extracellular side of the voltage-sensing domain of Na(V)1.2 using molecular dynamics simulations, with the linker-domain assumed to wedge into the binding pocket. Several salt bridges and hydrophobic clusters are observed to form between the NC- and core-domains of the toxins and Na(V)1.2 and stabilize the toxin-channel complexes. The binding modes predicted are consistent with available mutagenesis data and can readily explain the relative affinities of AahII and LqhαIT for Na(V)1.2. The dissociation constants for the two toxin-channel complexes are derived, which compare favorably with experiment. Our models demonstrate that the functional surface of anti-mammalian scorpion α-toxins is centered on the linker-domain, similar to that of β-toxins.

  1. Pharmacokinetics of Snake Venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suchaya Sanhajariya

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Understanding snake venom pharmacokinetics is essential for developing risk assessment strategies and determining the optimal dose and timing of antivenom required to bind all venom in snakebite patients. This review aims to explore the current knowledge of snake venom pharmacokinetics in animals and humans. Literature searches were conducted using EMBASE (1974–present and Medline (1946–present. For animals, 12 out of 520 initially identified studies met the inclusion criteria. In general, the disposition of snake venom was described by a two-compartment model consisting of a rapid distribution phase and a slow elimination phase, with half-lives of 5 to 48 min and 0.8 to 28 h, respectively, following rapid intravenous injection of the venoms or toxins. When the venoms or toxins were administered intramuscularly or subcutaneously, an initial absorption phase and slow elimination phase were observed. The bioavailability of venoms or toxins ranged from 4 to 81.5% following intramuscular administration and 60% following subcutaneous administration. The volume of distribution and the clearance varied between snake species. For humans, 24 out of 666 initially identified publications contained sufficient information and timed venom concentrations in the absence of antivenom therapy for data extraction. The data were extracted and modelled in NONMEM. A one-compartment model provided the best fit, with an elimination half-life of 9.71 ± 1.29 h. It is intended that the quantitative information provided in this review will provide a useful basis for future studies that address the pharmacokinetics of snakebite in humans.

  2. Anticancer Activity of Toxins from Bee and Snake Venom—An Overview on Ovarian Cancer

    OpenAIRE

    Marius Alexandru Moga; Oana Gabriela Dimienescu; Cristian Andrei Arvătescu; Petru Ifteni; Liana Pleş

    2018-01-01

    Cancer represents the disease of the millennium, a major problem in public health. The proliferation of tumor cells, angiogenesis, and the relationship between the cancer cells and the components of the extracellular matrix are important in the events of carcinogenesis, and these pathways are being used as targets for new anticancer treatments. Various venoms and their toxins have shown possible anticancer effects on human cancer cell lines, providing new perspectives in drug development. In ...

  3. In vivo and in vitro toxicity of nanogold conjugated snake venom protein toxin GNP-NKCT1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Partha Pratim Saha

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Research on nanoparticles has created interest among the biomedical scientists. Nanoparticle conjugation aims to target drug delivery, increase drug efficacy and imaging for better diagnosis. Toxicity profile of the nanoconjugated molecules has not been studied well. In this communication, the toxicity profile of snake venom cytotoxin (NKCT1, an antileukemic protein toxin, was evaluated after its conjugation with gold nanoparticle (GNP-NKCT1. Gold nanoparticle conjugation with NKCT1 was done with NaBH4 reduction method. The conjugated product GNP-NKCT1 was found less toxic than NKCT1 on isolated rat lymphocyte, mice peritoneal macrophage, in culture, which was evident from the MTT/Trypan blue assay. Peritoneal mast cell degranulation was in the order of NKCT1 > GNP-NKCT1. The in vitro cardiotoxicity and neurotoxicity were increased in case of NKCT1 than GNP-NKCT1. On isolated kidney tissue, NKCT1 released significant amount of ALP and γ-GT than GNP-NKCT1. Gold nanoconjugation with NKCT1 also reduced the lethal activity in mice. In vivo acute/sub-chronic toxicity studies in mice showed significant increase in molecular markers due to NKCT1 treatment, which was reduced by gold nanoconjugation. Histopathology study showed decreased toxic effect of NKCT1 in kidney tissue after GNP conjugation. The present study confirmed that GNP conjugation significantly decreased the toxicity profile of NKCT1. Further studies are in progress to establish the molecular mechanism of GNP induced toxicity reduction.

  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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daryl C. Yang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available 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

  5. Inhibition of β-bungarotoxin binding to brain membranes by mast cell degranulating peptide, toxin I, and ethylene glycol bis(β-aminoethyl ether)-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schmidt, R.R.; Betz, H.; Rehm, H.

    1988-01-01

    The presynaptically active snake venom neurotoxin β-bungarotoxin (β-Butx) is known to affect neurotransmitter release by binding to a subtype of voltage-activated K + channels. Here the authors show that mast cell degranulating (MCD) peptide from bee venom inhibits the binding of 125 I-labeled β-Butx to chick and rat brain membranes with apparent K/sub i/ values of 180 nM and 1100 nM, respectively. The mechanisms of inhibition of MCD peptide is noncompetitive, as is inhibition of 125 I-β-Butx binding by the protease inhibitor homologue from mamba venom, toxin I. β-Butx and its binding antagonists thus bind to different sites of the same membrane protein. Removal of Ca 2+ by ethylene glycol bis(β-aminoethyl ether)-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid inhibits the binding of 125 I-β-Butx by lowering its affinity to brain membranes

  6. Changes in protease activity and Cry3Aa toxin binding in the Colorado potato beetle: implications for insect resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olga Loseva; Mohamed Ibrahim; Mehmet Candas; C. Noah Koller; Leah S. Bauer; Lee A. Jr. Bulla

    2002-01-01

    Widespread commercial use of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins to control pest insects has increased the likelihood for development of insect resistance to this entomopathogen. In this study, we investigated protease activity profiles and toxin-binding capacities in the midgut of a strain of Colorado potato beetle (CPB) that has developed resistance...

  7. Reconstitution of high affinity α2 adrenergic agonist binding by fusion with a pertussis toxin substrate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, M.H.; Neubig, R.R.

    1986-01-01

    High affinity α 2 adrenergic agonist binding is thought to occur via a coupling of the α 2 receptor with N/sub i/, the inhibitory guanyl nucleotide binding protein. Human platelet membranes pretreated at pH 11.5 exhibit a selective inactivation of agonist binding and N/sub i/. To further study the mechanism of agonist binding, alkali treated membranes (ATM) were mixed with membranes pretreated with 10 μM phenoxybenzamine to block α 2 receptors (POB-M). The combined membrane pellet was incubated in 50% polyethylene glycol (PEG) to promote membrane-membrane fusion and assayed for binding to the α 2 agonist [ 3 H]UK 14,304 (UK) and the antagonist [ 3 H] yohimbine. PEG treatment resulted in a 2-4 fold enhancement of UK binding whereas yohimbine binding was unchanged. No enhancement of UK binding was observed in the absence of PEG treatment. The reconstitution was dependent on the addition of POB-M. They found that a 1:1 ratio of POB-M:ATM was optimal. Reconstituted binding was inhibited by GppNHp. Fusion of rat C6 glioma cell membranes, which do not contain α 2 receptors, also enhanced agonist binding to ATM. Fusion of C6 membranes from cells treated with pertussis toxin did not enhance [ 3 H] UK binding. These data show that a pertussis toxin sensitive membrane component, possibly N/sub i/, can reconstitute high affinity α 2 agonist binding

  8. Localization of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1A toxin-binding molecules in gypsy moth larval gut sections using fluorescence microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Algimantas P. Valaitis

    2011-01-01

    The microbial insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) produces Cry toxins, proteins that bind to the brush border membranes of gut epithelial cells of insects that ingest it, disrupting the integrity of the membranes, and leading to cell lysis and insect death. In gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, two toxin-binding molecules for the...

  9. Structural and binding studies of a C-type galactose-binding lectin from Bothrops jararacussu snake venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sartim, Marco A; Pinheiro, Matheus P; de Pádua, Ricardo A P; Sampaio, Suely V; Nonato, M Cristina

    2017-02-01

    BJcuL is a snake venom galactoside-binding lectin (SVgalL) isolated from Bothrops jararacussu and is involved in a wide variety of biological activities including triggering of pro-inflammatory response, disruption of microbial biofilm structure and induction of apoptosis. In the present work, we determined the crystallographic structure of BJcuL, the first holo structure of a SVgalL, and introduced the fluorescence-based thermal stability assay (Thermofluor) as a tool for screening and characterization of the binding mechanism of SVgalL ligands. BJcuL structure revealed the existence of a porous and flexible decameric arrangement composed of disulfide-linked dimers related by a five-fold symmetry. Each monomer contains the canonical carbohydrate recognition domain, a calcium ion required for BJcuL lectinic activity and a sodium ion required for protein stabilization. BJcuL thermostability was found to be induced by calcium ion and galactoside sugars which exhibit hyperbolic saturation profiles dependent on ligand concentration. Serendipitously, the gentamicin group of aminoglycoside antibiotics (gAGAs) was also identified as BJcuL ligands. On contrast, gAGAs exhibited a sigmoidal saturation profile compatible with a cooperative mechanism of binding. Thermofluor, hemagglutination inhibition assay and molecular docking strategies were used to identify a distinct binding site in BJcuL localized at the dimeric interface near the fully conserved intermolecular Cys86-Cys86 disulfide bond. The hybrid approach used in the present work provided novel insights into structural behavior and functional diversification of SVgaLs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23593597

  11. Synthetic localization of a second toxin-binding region within residues α182-198 of Torpedo acetylcholine receptor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mulac-Jericevic, B.; Atassi, M.Z.

    1986-01-01

    A peptide, corresponding to the region 182-198 (peptide αT182-198) of the α chain of Torpedo californica acetylcholine (AChR) was synthesized, purified and characterized. The binding activities of this peptide to α-bungarotoxin and to cobratoxin were studied and compared to the activities of the previously reported synthetic peptide αT125-147 of Torpedo α chain. Binding studies were performed by quantitative radiometric titrations by studying the binding of 125 I-labelled peptides to toxin adsorbents and the binding of 125 I labelled toxins to peptide adsorbents. The specificity of the binding was confirmed by appropriate inhibition experiments. The results showed unequivocally that the α chain of AChR contains a second toxin binding region which resides within, but may not comprise all of, the residues 182-198. The binding of toxins to one synthetic region is inhibited by the other. Thus, the α chain of AChR contains at least two toxin binding regions which may either be two faces of a larger single binding site or, alternatively, two binding sites that are spatially very close and thus the binding of one synthetic region to the toxin site could sterically obstruct the binding of the second synthetic region

  12. Human mannose-binding lectin inhibitor prevents Shiga toxin-induced renal injury

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ozaki, Masayuki; Kang, Yulin; Tan, Ying Siow

    2016-01-01

    Hemolytic uremic syndrome caused by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC HUS) is a worldwide endemic problem, and its pathophysiology is not fully elucidated. Here we tested whether the mannose-binding lectin (MBL2), an initiating factor of lectin complement pathway activation, plays a cr...

  13. New binding site on common molecular scaffold provides HERG channel specificity of scorpion toxin BeKm-1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korolkova, Yuliya V; Bocharov, Eduard V; Angelo, Kamilla

    2002-01-01

    The scorpion toxin BeKm-1 is unique among a variety of known short scorpion toxins affecting potassium channels in its selective action on ether-a-go-go-related gene (ERG)-type channels. BeKm-1 shares the common molecular scaffold with other short scorpion toxins. The toxin spatial structure...... resolved by NMR consists of a short alpha-helix and a triple-stranded antiparallel beta-sheet. By toxin mutagenesis study we identified the residues that are important for the binding of BeKm-1 to the human ERG K+ (HERG) channel. The most critical residues (Tyr-11, Lys-18, Arg-20, Lys-23) are located...

  14. Binding of fluorescently labeled cholera toxin subunit B to glycolipids in the human submandibular gland and inhibition of binding by periodate oxidation and by galactose

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kirkeby, S

    2016-01-01

    FITC-labeled cholera toxin subunit B (CTB) stained the surfaces of cells of mucous acini in the submandibular gland. CTB, also called choleragenoid, binds to the GM1 glycolipid in the cell membrane. The binding in most acini was inhibited by periodic acid oxidation of the sections, while some acini...... to the internal galactose residue linked to GalNAc, as in the GM1 glycolipid. Inhibition of the GM1 receptor binding to cholera toxin has potential for protection of humans against cholera. Galactose and agents that modify sialic acid inhibit the accessibility of the toxin to the GM1 carbohydrate receptor. Human...

  15. Radiolabelling of phoneutria nigriventer spider toxin (Tx1): a tool to study its binding site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santos, Raquel Gouvea dos; Diniz, Carlos Roberto; Nascimento, Marta Cordeiro; Lima, Maria Elena de

    1996-01-01

    The neurotoxin Tx1, isolated from the venom of the South American spider Phoneutria nigriventer produces tail elevation and spastic paralysis of posterior limbs after intracerebral ventricular injection in mice. Tx1 also produces ileum contraction in bioassay. We have investigated the binding of radioiodinated-Tx1 ( 125 I-Tx1) on the preparation of myenteric plexus-longitudinal muscle membrane from guinea pig ileum (MPLM) as a tool to characterize the interaction of this neurotoxin with its site. The neurotoxin Tx1 was radioiodinated with Na 125 I by the lactoperoxidase method. 125 I-Tx1 specifically binds to a single class of noninteracting binding sites of high affinity (Kd= 3.5 x 10 -10 M) and low capacity (1.2 pmol/mg protein). The specific binding increased in parallel with the protein concentration. In competition experiments the ligands of ionic channels used (sodium, potassium and calcium) did not affect the binding of 125 I-Tx1 to MPLM neither did the cholinergic ligands (hemicholinium-3, hexamethonium, d-tubocurarine and atropine). Another neurotoxin (Tx2-6, one of the isoforms of Tx2 pool) decreased toxin with MPLM and showed that toxin has a specific and saturable binding site in guinea pig ileum and this binding site appears to be related to the Tx2 site. (author)

  16. Clostridium Perfringens Epsilon Toxin Binds to Membrane Lipids and Its Cytotoxic Action Depends on Sulfatide.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carles Gil

    Full Text Available Epsilon toxin (Etx is one of the major lethal toxins produced by Clostridium perfringens types B and D, being the causal agent of fatal enterotoxemia in animals, mainly sheep and goats. Etx is synthesized as a non-active prototoxin form (proEtx that becomes active upon proteolytic activation. Etx exhibits a cytotoxic effect through the formation of a pore in the plasma membrane of selected cell targets where Etx specifically binds due to the presence of specific receptors. However, the identity and nature of host receptors of Etx remain a matter of controversy. In the present study, the interactions between Etx and membrane lipids from the synaptosome-enriched fraction from rat brain (P2 fraction and MDCK cell plasma membrane preparations were analyzed. Our findings show that both Etx and proEtx bind to lipids extracted from lipid rafts from the two different models as assessed by protein-lipid overlay assay. Lipid rafts are membrane microdomains enriched in cholesterol and sphingolipids. Binding of proEtx to sulfatide, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylinositol (3-phosphate and phosphatidylinositol (5-phosphate was detected. Removal of the sulphate groups via sulfatase treatment led to a dramatic decrease in Etx-induced cytotoxicity, but not in proEtx-GFP binding to MDCK cells or a significant shift in oligomer formation, pointing to a role of sulfatide in pore formation in rafts but not in toxin binding to the target cell membrane. These results show for the first time the interaction between Etx and membrane lipids from host tissue and point to a major role for sulfatides in C. perfringens epsilon toxin pathophysiology.

  17. Characterization of a human coagulation factor Xa-binding site on Viperidae snake venom phospholipases A2 by affinity binding studies and molecular bioinformatics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gowda Veerabasappa T

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The snake venom group IIA secreted phospholipases A2 (SVPLA2, present in the Viperidae snake family exhibit a wide range of toxic and pharmacological effects. They exert their different functions by catalyzing the hydrolysis of phospholipids (PL at the membrane/water interface and by highly specific direct binding to: (i presynaptic membrane-bound or intracellular receptors; (ii natural PLA2-inhibitors from snake serum; and (iii coagulation factors present in human blood. Results Using surface plasmon resonance (SPR protein-protein interaction measurements and an in vitro biological test of inhibition of prothrombinase activity, we identify a number of Viperidae venom SVPLA2s that inhibit blood coagulation through direct binding to human blood coagulation factor Xa (FXa via a non-catalytic, PL-independent mechanism. We classify the SVPLA2s in four groups, depending on the strength of their binding. Molecular electrostatic potentials calculated at the surface of 3D homology-modeling models show a correlation with inhibition of prothrombinase activity. In addition, molecular docking simulations between SVPLA2 and FXa guided by the experimental data identify the potential FXa binding site on the SVPLA2s. This site is composed of the following regions: helices A and B, the Ca2+ loop, the helix C-β-wing loop, and the C-terminal fragment. Some of the SVPLA2 binding site residues belong also to the interfacial binding site (IBS. The interface in FXa involves both, the light and heavy chains. Conclusion We have experimentally identified several strong FXa-binding SVPLA2s that disrupt the function of the coagulation cascade by interacting with FXa by the non-catalytic PL-independent mechanism. By theoretical methods we mapped the interaction sites on both, the SVPLA2s and FXa. Our findings may lead to the design of novel, non-competitive FXa inhibitors.

  18. Binding of host-selective toxin analogs to mitochondria from normal and Texas male sterile cytoplasm maize

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frantzen, K.A.; Daly, J.M.; Knoche, H.W.

    1987-01-01

    Tritium-labeled toxin analogs were prepared by reduction with NaB 3 H 4 of either the toxin from Helminthosporium maydis race T or a toxin component from Phyllosticta maydis. These reduced analogs had high radiochemical specific activities, high biological activities, and plant specificities identical to the native toxins. A filtration assay was developed to test the binding of these labeled analogs to isolated mitochondria. Binding was not energy dependent nor was there measurable matrical uptake. The analogs were shown to be lipophilic, a characteristic which gave rise to considerable nondisplaceable binding. Under conditions limiting nondisplaceable binding, the displaceable binding was shown to be linear with respect to toxin concentration and unsaturable. No significant differences were observed in the binding characteristics between the mitochondria from normal and male-sterile (Texas) cytoplasm maize. The findings suggest that, at physiologically relevant concentrations, these toxin analogs permeate the membranes of susceptible and resistant mitochondria alike. The lack of demonstrable specific binding does not rule out the involvement of a classical receptor site but does indicate that other kinds of molecular interactions may be involved in the mechanisms for toxicity and specificity

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Elimination of Endogenous Toxin, Creatinine from Blood Plasma Depends on Albumin Conformation: Site Specific Uremic Toxicity & Impaired Drug Binding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varshney, Ankita; Rehan, Mohd; Subbarao, Naidu; Rabbani, Gulam; Khan, Rizwan Hasan

    2011-01-01

    Uremic syndrome results from malfunctioning of various organ systems due to the retention of uremic toxins which, under normal conditions, would be excreted into the urine and/or metabolized by the kidneys. The aim of this study was to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the renal elimination of uremic toxin creatinine that accumulate in chronic renal failure. Quantitative investigation of the plausible correlations was performed by spectroscopy, calorimetry, molecular docking and accessibility of surface area. Alkalinization of normal plasma from pH 7.0 to 9.0 modifies the distribution of toxin in the body and therefore may affect both the accumulation and the rate of toxin elimination. The ligand loading of HSA with uremic toxin predicts several key side chain interactions of site I that presumably have the potential to impact the specificity and impaired drug binding. These findings provide useful information for elucidating the complicated mechanism of toxin disposition in renal disease state. PMID:21386972

  1. Sugar-binding sites of the HA1 subcomponent of Clostridium botulinum type C progenitor toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Toshio; Tonozuka, Takashi; Ide, Azusa; Yuzawa, Takayuki; Oguma, Keiji; Nishikawa, Atsushi

    2008-02-22

    Clostridium botulinum type C 16S progenitor toxin contains a hemagglutinin (HA) subcomponent, designated HA1, which appears to play an important role in the effective internalization of the toxin in gastrointestinal epithelial cells and in creating a broad specificity for the oligosaccharide structure that corresponds to various targets. In this study, using the recombinant protein fused to glutathione S-transferase, we investigated the binding specificity of the HA1 subcomponent to sugars and estimated the binding sites of HA1 based on X-ray crystallography and soaking experiments using various sugars. N-Acetylneuraminic acid, N-acetylgalactosamine, and galactose effectively inhibited the binding that occurs between glutathione S-transferase-HA1 and mucins, whereas N-acetylglucosamine and glucose did not inhibit it. The crystal structures of HA1 complex with N-acetylneuraminic acid, N-acetylgalactosamine, and galactose were also determined. There are two sugar-binding sites, sites I and II. Site I corresponds to the electron densities noted for all sugars and is located at the C-terminal beta-trefoil domain, while site II corresponds to the electron densities noted only for galactose. An aromatic amino acid residue, Trp176, at site I has a stacking interaction with the hexose ring of the sugars. On the other hand, there is no aromatic residue at site II; thus, the interaction with galactose seems to be poor. The double mutant W176A at site I and D271F at site II has no avidity for N-acetylneuraminic acid but has avidity for galactose. In this report, the binding specificity of botulinum C16S toxin HA1 to various sugars is demonstrated based on its structural features.

  2. An alternative method to isolate protease and phospholipase A2 toxins from snake venoms based on partitioning of aqueous two-phase systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GN Gómez

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Snake venoms are rich sources of active proteins that have been employed in the diagnosis and treatment of health disorders and antivenom therapy. Developing countries demand fast economical downstream processes for the purification of this biomolecule type without requiring sophisticated equipment. We developed an alternative, simple and easy to scale-up method, able to purify simultaneously protease and phospholipase A2 toxins from Bothrops alternatus venom. It comprises a multiple-step partition procedure with polyethylene-glycol/phosphate aqueous two-phase systems followed by a gel filtration chromatographic step. Two single bands in SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and increased proteolytic and phospholipase A2 specific activities evidence the homogeneity of the isolated proteins.

  3. Snake evolution and prospecting of snake venom

    OpenAIRE

    Vonk, Freek Jacobus

    2012-01-01

    in this thesis I have shown that snakes have undergone multiple changes in their genome and embryonic development that has provided them with the variation to which natural selection could act. This thesis provides evidence for the variable mechanisms of venom gene evolution, which presumably is much more flexible than previously thought. But it also underscores the potential use of the many different types of snake venom toxins that could be screened for use against human disorders. And most...

  4. Inhibitory effect of snake venom toxin on NF-κB activity prevents human cervical cancer cell growth via increase of death receptor 3 and 5 expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hye Lim; Park, Mi Hee; Hong, Ji Eun; Kim, Dae Hwan; Kim, Ji Young; Seo, Hyen Ok; Han, Sang-Bae; Yoon, Joo Hee; Lee, Won Hyoung; Song, Ho Sueb; Lee, Ji In; Lee, Ung Soo; Song, Min Jong; Hong, Jin Tae

    2016-02-01

    We previously found that snake venom toxin inhibits nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) activity in several cancer cells. NF-κB is implicated in cancer cell growth and chemoresistance. In our present study, we investigated whether snake venom toxin (SVT) inhibits NF-κB, thereby preventing human cervical cancer cell growth (Ca Ski and C33A). SVT (0-12 μg/ml) inhibited the growth of cervical cancer cells by the induction of apoptotic cell death. These inhibitory effects were associated with the inhibition of NF-κB activity. However, SVT dose dependently increased the expression of death receptors (DRs): DR3, DR5 and DR downstream pro-apoptotic proteins. Exploration of NF-κB inhibitor (Phenylarsine oxide, 0.1 μM) synergistically further increased SVT-induced DR3 and DR5 expressions accompanied with further inhibition of cancer cells growth. Moreover, deletion of DR3 and DR5 by small interfering RNA significantly abolished SVT-induced cell growth inhibitory effects, as well as NF-κB inactivation. Using TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand resistance cancer cells (A549 and MCF-7), we also found that SVT enhanced the susceptibility of chemoresistance of these cancer cells through down-regulation of NF-κB, but up-regulation of DR3 and DR5. In vivo study also showed that SVT (0.5 and 1 mg/kg) inhibited tumor growth accompanied with inactivation of NF-κB. Thus, our present study indicates that SVT could be applicable as an anticancer agent for cervical cancer, or as an adjuvant agent for chemoresistant cancer cells.

  5. Neutralization of toxicological activities of medically-relevant Bothrops snake venoms and relevant toxins by two polyvalent bothropic antivenoms produced in Peru and Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  6. Changes in intestinal fluid and mucosal immune responses to cholera toxin in Giardia muris infection and binding of cholera toxin to Giardia muris trophozoites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ljungström, I; Holmgren, J; Svennerholm, A M; Ferrante, A

    1985-10-01

    The effect of Giardia muris infection on the diarrheal response and gut mucosal antibody response to cholera toxin was examined in mice. The results obtained showed that the fluid accumulation in intestinal loops exposed to cholera toxin was increased in mice infected with a low number (5 X 10(4) ) of G. muris cysts compared with the response in noninfected mice. This effect was associated with a marked reduction in absorption of oral rehydration fluid from the intestine. In contrast, mice infected with a high dose (2 X 10(5) ) of cysts showed a marked decrease in fluid accumulation in response to the toxin. This decrease might be related to the finding that both G. muris and Giardia lamblia trophozoites can bind significant amounts of cholera toxin. Evidence is presented which suggests that the gut mucosal antibody response, mainly immunoglobulin A but also immunoglobulin G, to an immunization course with perorally administered cholera toxin was depressed in mice infected with G. muris. The reduction in antibody levels was particularly evident when the primary immunization was made very early after infection. The serum antitoxin antibodies to the oral immunization with cholera toxin were, however, not affected. Likewise, the delayed-type hypersensitivity response against sheep erythrocytes in animals primed subcutaneously with sheep erythrocytes was not modified during the course of G. muris infection.

  7. Determination of low tetanus or diphtheria antitoxin titers in sera by a toxin neutralization assay and a modified toxin-binding inhibition test

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.H. Sonobe

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available A method for the screening of tetanus and diphtheria antibodies in serum using anatoxin (inactivated toxin instead of toxin was developed as an alternative to the in vivo toxin neutralization assay based on the toxin-binding inhibition test (TOBI test. In this study, the serum titers (values between 1.0 and 19.5 IU measured by a modified TOBI test (Modi-TOBI test and toxin neutralization assays were correlated (P < 0.0001. Titers of tetanus or diphtheria antibodies were evaluated in serum samples from guinea pigs immunized with tetanus toxoid, diphtheria-tetanus or triple vaccine. For the Modi-TOBI test, after blocking the microtiter plates, standard tetanus or diphtheria antitoxin and different concentrations of guinea pig sera were incubated with the respective anatoxin. Twelve hours later, these samples were transferred to a plate previously coated with tetanus or diphtheria antitoxin to bind the remaining anatoxin. The anatoxin was then detected using a peroxidase-labeled tetanus or diphtheria antitoxin. Serum titers were calculated using a linear regression plot of the results for the corresponding standard antitoxin. For the toxin neutralization assay, L+/10/50 doses of either toxin combined with different concentrations of serum samples were inoculated into mice for anti-tetanus detection, or in guinea pigs for anti-diphtheria detection. Both assays were suitable for determining wide ranges of antitoxin levels. The linear regression plots showed high correlation coefficients for tetanus (r² = 0.95, P < 0.0001 and for diphtheria (r² = 0.93, P < 0.0001 between the in vitro and the in vivo assays. The standardized method is appropriate for evaluating titers of neutralizing antibodies, thus permitting the in vitro control of serum antitoxin levels.

  8. Binding kinetics of Clostridium difficile toxins A and B to intestinal brush border membranes from infant and adult hamsters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rolfe, R.D. (Texas Tech Univ. Health Sciences Center, Lubbock (USA))

    1991-04-01

    This study was undertaken to determine if the relative resistance of neonates and infants to Clostridium difficile-associated intestinal disease can be related to age-dependent differences in intestinal receptors for C. difficile toxins A and B. Brush border membranes (BBMs) from the small intestines of adult and infant hamsters were examined for their ability to bind radiolabeled toxins A and B. (125I)toxin A bound to both infant and adult hamster BBMs at physiological temperature, whereas (125I)toxin B did not bind to the BBMs under any of the conditions examined. The number of (125I)toxin A molecules bound at saturation was approximately 4 x 10(10) per micrograms of membrane protein for adult BBMs and 1 x 10(11) per micrograms of membrane protein for infant BBMs. Scatchard plot analysis suggested the presence of a single class of toxin A binding sites on both infant and adult hamster BBMs. Maximal binding capacity and Kd values were 0.63 pmol/mg of protein and 66.7 nM, respectively, for the infant BBMs, and 0.24 pmol/mg of protein and 27 nM, respectively, for the adult BBMs. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoretic analyses of extracted BBM proteins revealed differences in the proteins of infant and adult BBMs. However, there were not any detectable differences in the protein bands which bound (125I)toxin A between infant and adult hamsters. The results from these investigations indicate that differences in the binding kinetics of toxins A and/or B to infant and adult hamster BBMs do not account for the observed differences in their susceptibility to C. difficile-associated intestinal disease.

  9. Binding kinetics of Clostridium difficile toxins A and B to intestinal brush border membranes from infant and adult hamsters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rolfe, R.D.

    1991-01-01

    This study was undertaken to determine if the relative resistance of neonates and infants to Clostridium difficile-associated intestinal disease can be related to age-dependent differences in intestinal receptors for C. difficile toxins A and B. Brush border membranes (BBMs) from the small intestines of adult and infant hamsters were examined for their ability to bind radiolabeled toxins A and B. [125I]toxin A bound to both infant and adult hamster BBMs at physiological temperature, whereas [125I]toxin B did not bind to the BBMs under any of the conditions examined. The number of [125I]toxin A molecules bound at saturation was approximately 4 x 10(10) per micrograms of membrane protein for adult BBMs and 1 x 10(11) per micrograms of membrane protein for infant BBMs. Scatchard plot analysis suggested the presence of a single class of toxin A binding sites on both infant and adult hamster BBMs. Maximal binding capacity and Kd values were 0.63 pmol/mg of protein and 66.7 nM, respectively, for the infant BBMs, and 0.24 pmol/mg of protein and 27 nM, respectively, for the adult BBMs. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoretic analyses of extracted BBM proteins revealed differences in the proteins of infant and adult BBMs. However, there were not any detectable differences in the protein bands which bound [125I]toxin A between infant and adult hamsters. The results from these investigations indicate that differences in the binding kinetics of toxins A and/or B to infant and adult hamster BBMs do not account for the observed differences in their susceptibility to C. difficile-associated intestinal disease

  10. Clostridium difficile chimeric toxin receptor binding domain vaccine induced protection against different strains in active and passive challenge models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Jing-Hui; Glenn, Gregory; Flyer, David; Zhou, Bin; Liu, Ye; Sullivan, Eddie; Wu, Hua; Cummings, James F; Elllingsworth, Larry; Smith, Gale

    2017-07-24

    Clostridium difficile is the number one cause of nosocomial antibiotic-associated diarrhea in developed countries. Historically, pathogenesis was attributed two homologous glucosylating toxins, toxin-A (TcdA) and toxin-B (TcdB). Over the past decade, however, highly virulent epidemic strains of C. difficile (B1/NAP1/027) have emerged and are linked to an increase in morbidity and mortality. Increased virulence is attributed to multiple factors including: increased production of A- and B-toxins; production of binary toxin (CDT); and the emergence of more toxic TcdB variants (TcdB (027) ). TcdB (027) is more cytotoxicity to cells; causes greater tissue damage and toxicity in animals; and is antigenically distinct from historical TcdB (TcdB (003) ). Broadly protective vaccines and therapeutic antibody strategies, therefore, may target TcdA, TcdB variants and CDT. To facilitate the generation of multivalent toxin-based C. difficile vaccines and therapeutic antibodies, we have generated fusion proteins constructed from the receptor binding domains (RBD) of TcdA, TcdB (003) , TcdB (027) and CDT. Herein, we describe the development of a trivalent toxin (T-toxin) vaccine (CDTb/TcdB (003) /TcdA) and quadravalent toxin (Q-toxin) vaccine (CDTb/TcB (003) /TcdA/TcdB (027) ) fusion proteins that retain the protective toxin neutralizing epitopes. Active immunization of mice or hamsters with T-toxin or Q-toxin fusion protein vaccines elicited the generation of toxin neutralizing antibodies to each of the toxins. Hamsters immunized with the Q-toxin vaccine were broadly protected against spore challenge with historical C. difficile 630 (toxinotype 0/ribotype 003) and epidemic NAP1 (toxinotype III/ribotype 027) strains. Fully human polyclonal antitoxin IgG was produced by immunization of transgenic bovine with these fusion proteins. In passive transfer studies, mice were protected against lethal toxin challenge. Hamsters treated with human antitoxin IgG were completely protected when

  11. Binding and Oligomerization of Modified and Native Bt Toxins in Resistant and Susceptible Pink Bollworm.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josue Ocelotl

    Full Text Available Insecticidal proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt are used extensively in sprays and transgenic crops for pest control, but their efficacy is reduced when pests evolve resistance. Better understanding of the mode of action of Bt toxins and the mechanisms of insect resistance is needed to enhance the durability of these important alternatives to conventional insecticides. Mode of action models agree that binding of Bt toxins to midgut proteins such as cadherin is essential for toxicity, but some details remain unresolved, such as the role of toxin oligomers. In this study, we evaluated how Bt toxin Cry1Ac and its genetically engineered counterpart Cry1AcMod interact with brush border membrane vesicles (BBMV from resistant and susceptible larvae of Pectinophora gossypiella (pink bollworm, a global pest of cotton. Compared with Cry1Ac, Cry1AcMod lacks 56 amino acids at the amino-terminus including helix α-1; previous work showed that Cry1AcMod formed oligomers in vitro without cadherin and killed P. gossypiella larvae harboring cadherin mutations linked with >1000-fold resistance to Cry1Ac. Here we found that resistance to Cry1Ac was associated with reduced oligomer formation and insertion. In contrast, Cry1AcMod formed oligomers in BBMV from resistant larvae. These results confirm the role of cadherin in oligomerization of Cry1Ac in susceptible larvae and imply that forming oligomers without cadherin promotes toxicity of Cry1AcMod against resistant P. gossypiella larvae that have cadherin mutations.

  12. Isolation and partial characterization of gypsy moth BTR-270, an anionic brush border membrane glycoconjugate that binds Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1A toxins with high affinity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Algimantas P. Valaitis; Jeremy L. Jenkins; Mi Kyong Lee; Donald H. Dean; Karen J. Garner

    2001-01-01

    BTR-270, a gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) brush border membrane molecule that binds Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry1A toxins with high affinity, was purified by preparative gel electrophoresis. Rabbit antibodies specific for the Bt toxin-binding molecule were raised. Attempts to label BTR-270 by protein-directed techniques were...

  13. Venom of the Coral Snake Micrurus clarki: Proteomic Profile, Toxicity, Immunological Cross-Neutralization, and Characterization of a Three-Finger Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Lomonte

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  14. Clostridium botulinum serotype D neurotoxin and toxin complex bind to bovine aortic endothelial cells via sialic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoneyama, Tohru; Miyata, Keita; Chikai, Tomoyuki; Mikami, Akifumi; Suzuki, Tomonori; Hasegawa, Kimiko; Ikeda, Toshihiko; Watanabe, Toshihiro; Ohyama, Tohru; Niwa, Koichi

    2008-12-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is produced as a large toxin complex (L-TC) associated with nontoxic nonhemagglutinin (NTNHA) and three hemagglutinin subcomponents (HA-70, -33 and -17). The binding properties of BoNT to neurons and L-TC to intestinal epithelial cells are well documented, while those to other tissues are largely unknown. Here, to obtain novel insights into the pathogenesis of foodborne botulism, we examine whether botulinum toxins bind to vascular endothelial cells. BoNT and 750 kDa L-TC (a complex of BoNT, NTNHA and HAs) of Clostridium botulinum serotype D were incubated with bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs), and binding to the cells was assessed using sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and Western blot. Both BoNT and L-TC bound to BAECs, with L-TC showing stronger binding. Binding of BoNT and L-TC to BAECs was significantly inhibited by N-acetyl neuraminic acid in the cell culture medium or by treatment of the cells with neuraminidase. However, galactose, lactose or N-acetyl galactosamine did not significantly inhibit toxin binding to the cells. This is the first report demonstrating that BoNT and L-TC bind to BAECs via sialic acid, and this mechanism may be important in the trafficking pathway of BoNT in foodborne botulism.

  15. Immunogenicity test of tetanus component in adsorbed vaccines by toxin binding inhibition test

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise Cristina Souza Matos

    2002-09-01

    Full Text Available Samples from 20 lots of diphtheria-tetanus (adult use dT vaccine and from 20 lots of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP vaccine were used to standardize and validate the in vitro toxin binding inhibition (ToBI test for the immunogenicity test of the tetanus component. The levels of tetanus antitoxin obtained by ToBI test were compared to those obtained using the toxin neutralization (TN test in mice routinely employed to perform the quality control of the tetanus component in adsorbed vaccines. The results ranged from 1.8 to 3.5 IU/ml for dT and 2 to 4 IU/ml for DTP by ToBI test and 1.4 to 3 IU/ml for dT and 1.8 to 3.5 IU/ml for DTP by TN in mice. These results were significantly correlated. From this study, it is concluded that the ToBI test is an alternative to the in vivo neutralization procedure in the immunogenicity test of the tetanus component in adsorbed vaccines. A substantial refinement and a reduction in use of animals can be achieved.

  16. Inhibition of. beta. -bungarotoxin binding to brain membranes by mast cell degranulating peptide, toxin I, and ethylene glycol bis(. beta. -aminoethyl ether)-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schmidt, R.R.; Betz, H.; Rehm, H.

    1988-02-09

    The presynaptically active snake venom neurotoxin ..beta..-bungarotoxin (..beta..-Butx) is known to affect neurotransmitter release by binding to a subtype of voltage-activated K/sup +/ channels. Here the authors show that mast cell degranulating (MCD) peptide from bee venom inhibits the binding of /sup 125/I-labeled ..beta..-Butx to chick and rat brain membranes with apparent K/sub i/ values of 180 nM and 1100 nM, respectively. The mechanisms of inhibition of MCD peptide is noncompetitive, as is inhibition of /sup 125/I-..beta..-Butx binding by the protease inhibitor homologue from mamba venom, toxin I. ..beta..-Butx and its binding antagonists thus bind to different sites of the same membrane protein. Removal of Ca/sup 2 +/ by ethylene glycol bis(..beta..-aminoethyl ether)-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid inhibits the binding of /sup 125/I-..beta..-Butx by lowering its affinity to brain membranes.

  17. Phase Partitioning of GM1 and Its Bodipy-Labeled Analog Determine Their Different Binding to Cholera Toxin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rissanen, Sami; Grzybek, Michal; Orłowski, Adam

    2017-01-01

    membrane vesicles and giant unilamellar vesicles, specific binding of Cholera Toxin (CTxB) to GM1 glycolipids is a commonly used strategy to label raft domains or Lo membrane environments. However, these studies often use acyl-chain labeled bodipy-GM1 (bdGM1), whose headgroup accessibility and membrane...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

    2012-01-01

    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. - Highlights: ► Gamma radiation alters the molecular structure of biomolecules. ► The radiation has been able to mitigate snake venoms and its isolated toxins. ► Our aim was to evaluate the effects of radiation in Bothrops lecurus venom lectin. ► The irradiation acts as a detoxification strategy in snake venoms.

  19. Detection of Harmful Algal Toxins Using the Radioligand Receptor Binding Assay. A Manual of Methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2013-12-01

    Marine ecosystems and their resources play major roles in sustaining human population and economic growth in coastal developing countries. These ecosystems are subjected to various natural and human-made threats. Among these are harmful algal blooms (HABs), which are natural phenomena that are increasingly being reported around the globe and responsible for human poisoning through the accumulation of potent toxins in marine food products. The impact of HABs may be aggravated by a limited knowledge of the microalgal species that cause toxic outbreaks, their biology, their diversity, their life cycles, and by poor capabilities for predicting the outbreaks and assessing the degree of HAB toxicity. Other negative factors are the lack of recognition of the disease, the lack of epidemiological data, the lack of adequate and specific treatment and low public awareness. Owing to the profound public health and socioeconomic impact of HABs, many countries have developed and implemented HAB related monitoring programmes and regulatory frameworks. Following a request made by the Philippines during the IAEA General Conference in 1997 to identify possible meaures to address the impacts of HABs, the IAEA initiated related Technical Cooperation projects to assist Member States in strengthening their capacities for prevention, management and mitigation of health and socioeconomic impacts of HABs. Since 1998, the IAEA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have undertaken concerted actions to develop and to validate a radioligand based method, the receptor binding assay (RBA). The RBA is now recognized by the AOAC International as an official method for the detection of paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins. Within the IAEA Technical Cooperation programme, the RBA methodology was transferred to over 23 Member States in Africa, Asia, the Pacific region and Latin America. Transfer of knowledge and relevant equipment has enabled the development and strengthening

  20. Increments in cytokines and matrix metalloproteinases in skeletal muscle after injection of tissue-damaging toxins from the venom of the snake Bothrops asper

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Rucavado

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Envenomations by the snake Bothrops asper are characterized by prominent local tissue damage (i.e. myonecrosis, blistering, hemorrhage and edema. Various phospholipases A2 and metalloproteinases that induce local pathological alterations have been purified from this venom. Since these toxins induce a conspicuous inflammatory response, it has been hypothesized that inflammatory mediators may contribute to the local pathological alterations described. This study evaluated the local production of cytokines and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs as a consequence of intramuscular injections of an Asp-49 myotoxic phospholipase A2 (myotoxin III (MT-III and a P-I type hemorrhagic metalloproteinase (BaP1 isolated from B. asper venom. Both enzymes induced prominent tissue alterations and conspicuous increments in interleukin (IL-1β, IL-6 and a number of MMPs, especially gelatinase MMP-9, rapidly after injection. In contrast, no increments in tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α and interferon-γ were detected. In agreement, MT-III and BaP1 did not induce the synthesis of TNF-α by resident peritoneal macrophages in vitro. Despite the conspicuous expression of latent forms of MMPs in muscle, evidenced by zymography, there were no increments in activated MMP-2 and only a small increase in activated MMP-9, as detected by a functional enzymatic assay. This suggests that MMP activity was regulated by a highly controlled activation of latent forms and, probably, by a concomitant synthesis of MMP inhibitors. Since no hemorrhage nor dermonecrosis were observed after injection of MT-III, despite a prominent increase in MMP expression, and since inflammatory exudate did not enhance hemorrhage induced by BaP1, it is suggested that endogenous MMPs released in the tissue are not responsible for the dermonecrosis and hemorrhage characteristic of B. asper envenomation. Moreover, pretreatment of mice with the peptidomimetic MMP inhibitor batimastat did not reduce myotoxic nor

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Engmark, Mikael; Andersen, Mikael Rørdam; Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard

    2016-01-01

    Snakebite envenoming is a serious condition requiring medical attention and administration of antivenom. Current antivenoms are antibody preparations obtained from the plasma of animals immunised with whole venom(s) and contain antibodies against snake venom toxins, but also against other antigens....... In order to better understand the molecular interactions between antivenom antibodies and epitopes on snake venom toxins, a high-throughput immuno-profiling study on all manually curated toxins from Dendroaspis species and selected African Naja species was performed based on custom-made high......-density peptide microarrays displaying linear toxin fragments. By detection of binding for three different antivenoms and performing an alanine scan, linear elements of epitopes and the positions important for binding were identified. A strong tendency of antivenom antibodies recognizing and binding to epitopes...

  2. Screening Mixtures of Small Molecules for Binding to Multiple Sites on the Surface Tetanus Toxin C Fragment by Bioaffinity NMR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cosman, M; Zeller, L; Lightstone, F C; Krishnan, V V; Balhorn, R

    2002-01-01

    The clostridial neurotoxins include the closely related tetanus (TeNT) and botulinum (BoNT) toxins. Botulinum toxin is used to treat severe muscle disorders and as a cosmetic wrinkle reducer. Large quantities of botulinum toxin have also been produced by terrorists for use as a biological weapon. Because there are no known antidotes for these toxins, they thus pose a potential threat to human health whether by an accidental overdose or by a hostile deployment. Thus, the discovery of high specificity and affinity compounds that can inhibit their binding to neural cells can be used as antidotes or in the design of chemical detectors. Using the crystal structure of the C fragment of the tetanus toxin (TetC), which is the cell recognition and cell surface binding domain, and the computational program DOCK, sets of small molecules have been predicted to bind to two different sites located on the surface of this protein. While Site-1 is common to the TeNT and BoNTs, Site-2 is unique to TeNT. Pairs of these molecules from each site can then be linked together synthetically to thereby increase the specificity and affinity for this toxin. Electrospray ionization mass spectroscopy was used to experimentally screen each compound for binding. Mixtures containing binders were further screened for activity under biologically relevant conditions using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods. The screening of mixtures of compounds offers increased efficiency and throughput as compared to testing single compounds and can also evaluate how possible structural changes induced by the binding of one ligand can influence the binding of the second ligand. In addition, competitive binding experiments with mixtures containing ligands predicted to bind the same site could identify the best binder for that site. NMR transfer nuclear Overhauser effect (trNOE) confirm that TetC binds doxorubicin but that this molecule is displaced by N-acetylneuraminic acid (sialic acid) in a mixture that

  3. Purification and characterization of a chemoattractant from electric shock-induced earthworm secretion, its receptor binding, and signal transduction through the vomeronasal system of garter snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, X C; Inouchi, J; Wang, D; Halpern, M

    1990-05-25

    Following shocks with low voltage electric current, earthworms, Lumbricus terrestris, secrete a yellow mucus that has alarm properties for conspecifics and chemoattractive properties for garter snakes, Thamnophis sirtalis. A proteinaceous chemoattractant for garter snakes has been isolated and purified to homogeneity from such secretions by means of permeation chromatography and semipreparative nondenaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The purified protein is highly attractive to garter snakes; it loses its activity after proteolytic digestion. It is a glycoprotein consisting of a single polypeptide chain with an NH2-terminal alanine. This chemoattractant has a minimum molecular mass of 15.4 kDa calculated from its amino acid and carbohydrate contents and an apparent molecular mass of about 20 kDa as estimated from sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. It has a pI of about 4.0, and it binds wheat germ agglutinin but not concanavalin A. This chemoattractant shows a protein to carbohydrate ratio of 2.0 +/- 0.08 (n = 5) and a ratio of total sugar to amino sugar of 1.9 +/- 0.08 (n = 3). The sequence of its NH2-terminal 15 amino acid residues has been determined. Studies were also conducted on the chemosignal transduction through the vomeronasal sensory system of the garter snake. Dot blot analysis showed that the purified chemoattractant bound to snake vomeronasal sensory epithelial membrane fractions. It did not bind to membrane extracts of the nonsensory epithelium of the vomeronasal mushroom body. The chemoattractant also bound specifically to vomeronasal sensory epithelial membrane in a reversible and saturable fashion with Kd and Bmax values of about 0.3 microM and 0.4 nmol/mg of protein, respectively. In electrophysiological studies, the chemoattractant applied to the vomeronasal epithelium caused an increase in firing rate of individual neurons in the accessory olfactory bulb of garter snakes, the projection site for vomeronasal

  4. Comparative analysis of Bacillus thuringiensis toxin binding to gypsy moth, browntail moth, and douglas-fir tussock moth midgut tissue sections using fluorescence microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Algimantas P. Valaitis; John D. Podgwaite

    2011-01-01

    Many strains of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) produce insecticidal proteins, also referred to as Cry toxins, in crystal inclusions during sporulation. When ingested by insects, the Cry toxins bind to receptors on the brush border midgut epithelial cells and create pores in the epithelial gut membranes resulting in the death of...

  5. Characterization of a Mutant Diphtheria Toxin that is Defective in Binding to Cell Membrane Receptors on Vero Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    1982-08-13

    pinocytlc activity was demonstrated by the Increase in lysosomal vesicles ( acid phosphatase -positive vesicles) (4, 13). Poly-L-ornithine increased... wheat germ agglutinin and the protection was reversed by a-methly- mannoslde and N-acetylglucosamlne, respectively. These studies suggested that the...on the cell surface were involved in the initial binding of toxin to cell surface receptors. Concanavalin A and wheat germ agglutinin Inhibited the

  6. Identification of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry3Aa toxin domain II loop 1 as the binding site of Tenebrio molitor cadherin repeat CR12.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zúñiga-Navarrete, Fernando; Gómez, Isabel; Peña, Guadalupe; Amaro, Itzel; Ortíz, Ernesto; Becerril, Baltazar; Ibarra, Jorge E; Bravo, Alejandra; Soberón, Mario

    2015-04-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins exert their toxic effect by specific recognition of larval midgut proteins leading to oligomerization of the toxin, membrane insertion and pore formation. The exposed domain II loop regions of Cry toxins have been shown to be involved in receptor binding. Insect cadherins have shown to be functionally involved in toxin binding facilitating toxin oligomerization. Here, we isolated a VHH (VHHA5) antibody by phage display that binds Cry3Aa loop 1 and competed with the binding of Cry3Aa to Tenebrio molitor brush border membranes. VHHA5 also competed with the binding of Cry3Aa to a cadherin fragment (CR12) that was previously shown to be involved in binding and toxicity of Cry3Aa, indicating that Cry3Aa binds CR12 through domain II loop 1. Moreover, we show that a loop 1 mutant, previously characterized to have increased toxicity to T. molitor, displayed a correlative enhanced binding affinity to T. molitor CR12 and to VHHA5. These results show that Cry3Aa domain II loop 1 is a binding site of CR12 T. molitor cadherin. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Deficiency of toxin-binding protein activity in mutants of sugarcane clone H54-775 as it relates to disease resistance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Strobel, G.A.; Steiner, G.W.; Byther, R.

    1975-01-01

    Three mutants selected from a population of sugarcane clone H54-775 that had been irradiated with 3 kR γ-radiation all lacked toxin-binding protein activity. This activity previously had been shown to be essential for eye spot disease susceptibility and was demonstrated in the susceptible parent clone H54-775. In one mutant, the biochemical, immunochemical, and electrophoretic mobilities of the toxin-binding protein were all modified

  8. Cooperative binding of anti-tetanus toxin monoclonal antibodies: Implications for designing an efficient biclonal preparation to prevent tetanus toxin intoxication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukic, Ivana; Filipovic, Ana; Inic-Kanada, Aleksandra; Marinkovic, Emilija; Miljkovic, Radmila; Stojanovic, Marijana

    2018-05-15

    Oligoclonal combinations of several monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) are being considered for the treatment of various infectious pathologies. These combinations are less sensitive to antigen structural changes than individual MAbs; at the same time, their characteristics can be more efficiently controlled than those of polyclonal antibodies. The main goal of this study was to evaluate the binding characteristics of six biclonal equimolar preparations (BEP) of tetanus toxin (TeNT)-specific MAbs and to investigate how the MAb combination influences the BEPs' protective capacity. We show that a combination of TeNT-specific MAbs, which not only bind TeNT but also exert positive cooperative effects, results in a BEP with superior binding characteristics and protective capacity, when compared with the individual component MAbs. Furthermore, we show that a MAb with only partial protective capacity but positive effects on the binding of the other BEP component can be used as a valuable constituent of the BEP. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 A 2 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

  10. Pertussis toxin modifies the characteristics of both the inhibitory GTP binding proteins and the somatostatin receptor in anterior pituitary tumor cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mahy, N.; Woolkalis, M.; Thermos, K.; Carlson, K.; Manning, D.; Reisine, T.

    1988-01-01

    The effects of pertussis toxin treatment on the characteristics of somatostatin receptors in the anterior pituitary tumor cell line AtT-20 were examined. Pertussis toxin selectively catalyzed the ADP ribosylation of the alpha subunits of the inhibitory GTP binding proteins in AtT-20 cells. Toxin treatment abolished somatostatin inhibition of forskolin-stimulated adenylyl cyclase activity and somatostatin stimulation of GTPase activity. To examine the effects of pertussis toxin treatment on the characteristics of the somatostatin receptor, the receptor was labeled by the somatostatin analog [125I]CGP 23996. [125I]CGP 23996 binding to AtT-20 cell membranes was saturable and within a limited concentration range was to a single high affinity site. Pertussis toxin treatment reduced the apparent density of the high affinity [125I]CGP 23996 binding sites in AtT-20 cell membranes. Inhibition of [125I]CGP 23996 binding by a wide concentration range of CGP 23996 revealed the presence of two binding sites. GTP predominantly reduced the level of high affinity sites in control membranes. Pertussis toxin treatment also diminished the amount of high affinity sites. GTP did not affect [125I]CGP 23996 binding in the pertussis toxin-treated membranes. The high affinity somatostatin receptors were covalently labeled with [125I] CGP 23996 and the photoactivated crosslinking agent n-hydroxysuccinimidyl-4-azidobenzoate. No high affinity somatostatin receptors, covalently bound to [125I]CGP 23996, were detected in the pertussis toxin-treated membranes. These results are most consistent with pertussis toxin uncoupling the inhibitory G proteins from the somatostatin receptor thereby converting the receptor from a mixed population of high and low affinity sites to only low affinity receptors

  11. Identification and Characterization of Hyphantria cunea Aminopeptidase N as a Binding Protein of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ab35 Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yakun Zhang

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The fall webworm, Hyphantria cunea (Drury is a major invasive pest in China. Aminopeptidase N (APN isoforms in lepidopteran larvae midguts are known for their involvement in the mode of action of insecticidal crystal (Cry proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis. In the present work, we identified a putative Cry1Ab toxin-binding protein, an APN isoform designated HcAPN3, in the midgut of H. cunea by ligand blot and mass spectrometry. HcAPN3 was highly expressed throughout all larval developmental stages and was abundant in the midgut and hindgut tissues. HcAPN3 was down-regulated at 6 h, then was up-regulated significantly at 12 h and 24 h after Cry1Ab toxin treatment. We expressed HcAPN3 in insect cells and detected its interaction with Cry1Ab toxin by ligand blot assays. Furthermore, RNA interference (RNAi against HcAPN3 using oral delivery and injection of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA resulted in a 61–66% decrease in transcript level. Down-regulating of the expression of HcAPN3 was closely associated with reduced susceptibility of H. cunea to Cry1Ab. In addition, the HcAPN3E fragment peptide expressed in Escherichia coli enhanced Cry1Ab toxicity against H. cunea larvae. This work represents the first evidence to suggest that an APN in H. cunea is a putative binding protein involved in Cry1Ab susceptibility.

  12. Pharmacokinetics of Snake Venom

    OpenAIRE

    Suchaya Sanhajariya; Stephen B. Duffull; Geoffrey K. Isbister

    2018-01-01

    Understanding snake venom pharmacokinetics is essential for developing risk assessment strategies and determining the optimal dose and timing of antivenom required to bind all venom in snakebite patients. This review aims to explore the current knowledge of snake venom pharmacokinetics in animals and humans. Literature searches were conducted using EMBASE (1974–present) and Medline (1946–present). For animals, 12 out of 520 initially identified studies met the inclusion criteria. In general, ...

  13. Sequence of ligand binding and structure change in the diphtheria toxin repressor upon activation by divalent transition metals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangachari, Vijayaraghavan; Marin, Vedrana; Bienkiewicz, Ewa A; Semavina, Maria; Guerrero, Luis; Love, John F; Murphy, John R; Logan, Timothy M

    2005-04-19

    The diphtheria toxin repressor (DtxR) is an Fe(II)-activated transcriptional regulator of iron homeostatic and virulence genes in Corynebacterium diphtheriae. DtxR is a two-domain protein that contains two structurally and functionally distinct metal binding sites. Here, we investigate the molecular steps associated with activation by Ni(II)Cl(2) and Cd(II)Cl(2). Equilibrium binding energetics for Ni(II) were obtained from isothermal titration calorimetry, indicating apparent metal dissociation constants of 0.2 and 1.7 microM for two independent sites. The binding isotherms for Ni(II) and Cd(II) exhibited a characteristic exothermic-endothermic pattern that was used to infer the metal binding sequence by comparing the wild-type isotherm with those of several binding site mutants. These data were complemented by measuring the distance between specific backbone amide nitrogens and the first equivalent of metal through heteronuclear NMR relaxation measurements. Previous studies indicated that metal binding affects a disordered to ordered transition in the metal binding domain. The coupling between metal binding and structure change was investigated using near-UV circular dichroism spectroscopy. Together, the data show that the first equivalent of metal is bound by the primary metal binding site. This binding orients the DNA binding helices and begins to fold the N-terminal domain. Subsequent binding at the ancillary site completes the folding of this domain and formation of the dimer interface. This model is used to explain the behavior of several mutants.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kini R Manjunatha

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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.

  15. The Snake Venom Rhodocytin from Calloselasma rhodostoma—A Clinically Important Toxin and a Useful Experimental Tool for Studies of C-Type Lectin-Like Receptor 2 (CLEC-2)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruserud, Øyvind

    2013-01-01

    The snake venom, rhodocytin, from the Malayan viper, Calloselasma rhodostoma, and the endogenous podoplanin are identified as ligands for the C-type lectin-like receptor 2 (CLEC-2). The snakebites caused by Calloselasma rhodostoma cause a local reaction with swelling, bleeding and eventually necrosis, together with a systemic effect on blood coagulation with distant bleedings that can occur in many different organs. This clinical picture suggests that toxins in the venom have effects on endothelial cells and vessel permeability, extravasation and, possibly, activation of immunocompetent cells, as well as effects on platelets and the coagulation cascade. Based on the available biological studies, it seems likely that ligation of CLEC-2 contributes to local extravasation, inflammation and, possibly, local necrosis, due to microthrombi and ischemia, whereas other toxins may be more important for the distant hemorrhagic complications. However, the venom contains several toxins and both local, as well as distant, symptoms are probably complex reactions that cannot be explained by the effects of rhodocytin and CLEC-2 alone. The in vivo reactions to rhodocytin are thus examples of toxin-induced crosstalk between coagulation (platelets), endothelium and inflammation (immunocompetent cells). Very few studies have addressed this crosstalk as a part of the pathogenesis behind local and systemic reactions to Calloselasma rhodostoma bites. The author suggests that detailed biological studies based on an up-to-date methodology of local and systemic reactions to Calloselasma rhodostoma bites should be used as a hypothesis-generating basis for future functional studies of the CLEC-2 receptor. It will not be possible to study the effects of purified toxins in humans, but the development of animal models (e.g., cutaneous injections of rhodocytin to mimic snakebites) would supplement studies in humans. PMID:23594438

  16. Differential neutralizing activities of a single domain camelid antibody (VHH specific for ricin toxin's binding subunit (RTB.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Herrera

    Full Text Available Ricin, a member of the A-B family of ribosome-inactivating proteins, is classified as a Select Toxin by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because of its potential use as a biothreat agent. In an effort to engineer therapeutics for ricin, we recently produced a collection of alpaca-derived, heavy-chain only antibody VH domains (VHH or "nanobody" specific for ricin's enzymatic (RTA and binding (RTB subunits. We reported that one particular RTB-specific VHH, RTB-B7, when covalently linked via a peptide spacer to different RTA-specific VHHs, resulted in heterodimers like VHH D10/B7 that were capable of passively protecting mice against a lethal dose challenge with ricin. However, RTB-B7 itself, when mixed with ricin at a 1 ∶ 10 toxin:antibody ratio did not afford any protection in vivo, even though it had demonstrable toxin-neutralizing activity in vitro. To better define the specific attributes of antibodies associated with ricin neutralization in vitro and in vivo, we undertook a more thorough characterization of RTB-B7. We report that RTB-B7, even at 100-fold molar excess (toxin:antibody was unable to alter the toxicity of ricin in a mouse model. On the other hand, in two well-established cytotoxicity assays, RTB-B7 neutralized ricin with a 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50 that was equivalent to that of 24B11, a well-characterized and potent RTB-specific murine monoclonal antibody. In fact, RTB-B7 and 24B11 were virtually identical when compared across a series of in vitro assays, including adherence to and neutralization of ricin after the toxin was pre-bound to cell surface receptors. RTB-B7 differed from both 24B11 and VHH D10/B7 in that it was relatively less effective at blocking ricin attachment to receptors on host cells and was not able to form high molecular weight toxin:antibody complexes in solution. Whether either of these activities is important in ricin toxin neutralizing activity in vivo remains to be determined.

  17. Exploring Protein Binding of Uremic Toxins in Patients with Different Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease and during Hemodialysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier Deltombe

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available As protein binding of uremic toxins is not well understood, neither in chronic kidney disease (CKD progression, nor during a hemodialysis (HD session, we studied protein binding in two cross-sectional studies. Ninety-five CKD 2 to 5 patients and ten stable hemodialysis patients were included. Blood samples were taken either during the routine ambulatory visit (CKD patients or from blood inlet and outlet line during dialysis (HD patients. Total (CT and free concentrations were determined of p-cresylglucuronide (pCG, hippuric acid (HA, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA, indoxyl sulfate (IS and p-cresylsulfate (pCS, and their percentage protein binding (%PB was calculated. In CKD patients, %PB/CT resulted in a positive correlation (all p < 0.001 with renal function for all five uremic toxins. In HD patients, %PB was increased after 120 min of dialysis for HA and at the dialysis end for the stronger (IAA and the highly-bound (IS and pCS solutes. During one passage through the dialyzer at 120 min, %PB was increased for HA (borderline, IAA, IS and pCS. These findings explain why protein-bound solutes are difficult to remove by dialysis: a combination of the fact that (i only the free fraction can pass the filter and (ii the equilibrium, as it was pre-dialysis, cannot be restored during the dialysis session, as it is continuously disturbed.

  18. Snake resonances

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tepikian, S.

    1988-01-01

    Siberian Snakes provide a practical means of obtaining polarized proton beams in large accelerators. The effect of snakes can be understood by studying the dynamics of spin precession in an accelerator with snakes and a single spin resonance. This leads to a new class of energy independent spin depolarizing resonances, called snake resonances. In designing a large accelerator with snakes to preserve the spin polarization, there is an added constraint on the choice of the vertical betatron tune due to the snake resonances. 11 refs., 4 figs

  19. [Bites of venomous snakes in Switzerland].

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Nanodiscs for immobilization of lipid bilayers and membrane receptors: kinetic analysis of cholera toxin binding to a glycolipid receptor

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borch, Jonas; Torta, Federico; Sligar, Stephen G

    2008-01-01

    nanodiscs and their incorporated membrane receptors can be attached to surface plasmon resonance sensorchips and used to measure the kinetics of the interaction between soluble molecules and membrane receptors inserted in the bilayer of nanodiscs. Cholera toxin and its glycolipid receptor G(M1) constitute...... a system that can be considered a paradigm for interactions of soluble proteins with membrane receptors. In this work, we have investigated different technologies for capturing nanodiscs containing the glycolipid receptor G(M1) in lipid bilayers, enabling measurements of binding of its soluble interaction...

  1. Prediction of DtxR regulon: Identification of binding sites and operons controlled by Diphtheria toxin repressor in Corynebacterium diphtheriae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hasnain Seyed

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The diphtheria toxin repressor, DtxR, of Corynebacterium diphtheriae has been shown to be an iron-activated transcription regulator that controls not only the expression of diphtheria toxin but also of iron uptake genes. This study aims to identify putative binding sites and operons controlled by DtxR to understand the role of DtxR in patho-physiology of Corynebacterium diphtheriae. Result Positional Shannon relative entropy method was used to build the DtxR-binding site recognition profile and the later was used to identify putative regulatory sites of DtxR within C. diphtheriae genome. In addition, DtxR-regulated operons were also identified taking into account the predicted DtxR regulatory sites and genome annotation. Few of the predicted motifs were experimentally validated by electrophoretic mobility shift assay. The analysis identifies motifs upstream to the novel iron-regulated genes that code for Formamidopyrimidine-DNA glycosylase (FpG, an enzyme involved in DNA-repair and starvation inducible DNA-binding protein (Dps which is involved in iron storage and oxidative stress defense. In addition, we have found the DtxR motifs upstream to the genes that code for sortase which catalyzes anchoring of host-interacting proteins to the cell wall of pathogenic bacteria and the proteins of secretory system which could be involved in translocation of various iron-regulated virulence factors including diphtheria toxin. Conclusions We have used an in silico approach to identify the putative binding sites and genes controlled by DtxR in Corynebacterium diphtheriae. Our analysis shows that DtxR could provide a molecular link between Fe+2-induced Fenton's reaction and protection of DNA from oxidative damage. DtxR-regulated Dps prevents lethal combination of Fe+2 and H2O2 and also protects DNA by nonspecific DNA-binding. In addition DtxR could play an important role in host interaction and virulence by regulating the levels of sortase

  2. Snake Genome Sequencing: Results and Future Prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerkkamp, Harald M I; Kini, R Manjunatha; Pospelov, Alexey S; Vonk, Freek J; Henkel, Christiaan V; Richardson, Michael K

    2016-12-01

    Snake genome sequencing is in its infancy-very much behind the progress made in sequencing the genomes of humans, model organisms and pathogens relevant to biomedical research, and agricultural species. We provide here an overview of some of the snake genome projects in progress, and discuss the biological findings, with special emphasis on toxinology, from the small number of draft snake genomes already published. We discuss the future of snake genomics, pointing out that new sequencing technologies will help overcome the problem of repetitive sequences in assembling snake genomes. Genome sequences are also likely to be valuable in examining the clustering of toxin genes on the chromosomes, in designing recombinant antivenoms and in studying the epigenetic regulation of toxin gene expression.

  3. Snake Genome Sequencing: Results and Future Prospects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harald M. I. Kerkkamp

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Snake genome sequencing is in its infancy—very much behind the progress made in sequencing the genomes of humans, model organisms and pathogens relevant to biomedical research, and agricultural species. We provide here an overview of some of the snake genome projects in progress, and discuss the biological findings, with special emphasis on toxinology, from the small number of draft snake genomes already published. We discuss the future of snake genomics, pointing out that new sequencing technologies will help overcome the problem of repetitive sequences in assembling snake genomes. Genome sequences are also likely to be valuable in examining the clustering of toxin genes on the chromosomes, in designing recombinant antivenoms and in studying the epigenetic regulation of toxin gene expression.

  4. Interaction of Bordetella adenylate cyclase toxin with complement receptor 3 involves multivalent glycan binding

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hasan, Shakir; Osičková, Adriana; Bumba, Ladislav; Novák, Petr; Šebo, Peter; Osička, Radim

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 589, č. 3 (2015), s. 374-379 ISSN 0014-5793 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP302/11/0580; GA ČR(CZ) GA15-09157S; GA ČR(CZ) GA15-11851S Institutional support: RVO:61388971 Keywords : Adenylate cyclase toxin * CD11b/CD18 * Complement receptor type 3 Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 3.519, year: 2015

  5. Phase Partitioning of GM1 and Its Bodipy-Labeled Analog Determine Their Different Binding to Cholera Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sami Rissanen

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Driven by interactions between lipids and proteins, biological membranes display lateral heterogeneity that manifests itself in a mosaic of liquid-ordered (Lo or raft, and liquid-disordered (Ld or non-raft domains with a wide range of different properties and compositions. In giant plasma membrane vesicles and giant unilamellar vesicles, specific binding of Cholera Toxin (CTxB to GM1 glycolipids is a commonly used strategy to label raft domains or Lo membrane environments. However, these studies often use acyl-chain labeled bodipy-GM1 (bdGM1, whose headgroup accessibility and membrane order or phase partitioning may differ from those of GM1, rendering the interpretation of CTxB binding data quite problematic. To unravel the molecular basis of CTxB binding to GM1 and bdGM1, we explored the partitioning and the headgroup presentation of these gangliosides in the Lo and Ld phases using atomistic molecular dynamics simulations complemented by CTxB binding experiments. The conformation of both GM1 and bdGM1 was shown to be largely similar in the Lo and Ld phases. However, bdGM1 showed reduction in receptor availability when reconstituted into synthetic bilayer mixtures, highlighting that membrane phase partitioning of the gangliosides plays a considerable role in CTxB binding. Our results suggest that the CTxB binding is predominately modulated by the partitioning of the receptor to an appropriate membrane phase. Further, given that the Lo and Ld partitioning of bdGM1 differs from those of GM1, usage of bdGM1 for studying GM1 behavior in cells can lead to invalid interpretation of experimental data.

  6. Orthosteric Binding of ρ-Da1a, a Natural Peptide of Snake Venom Interacting Selectively with the α1A-Adrenoceptor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maïga, Arhamatoulaye; Merlin, Jon; Marcon, Elodie; Rouget, Céline; Larregola, Maud; Gilquin, Bernard; Fruchart-Gaillard, Carole; Lajeunesse, Evelyne; Marchetti, Charles; Lorphelin, Alain; Bellanger, Laurent; Summers, Roger J.; Hutchinson, Dana S.; Evans, Bronwyn A.; Servent, Denis; Gilles, Nicolas

    2013-01-01

    ρ-Da1a is a three-finger fold toxin from green mamba venom that is highly selective for the α1A-adrenoceptor. This toxin has atypical pharmacological properties, including incomplete inhibition of 3H-prazosin or 125I-HEAT binding and insurmountable antagonist action. We aimed to clarify its mode of action at the α1A-adrenoceptor. The affinity (pKi 9.26) and selectivity of ρ-Da1a for the α1A-adrenoceptor were confirmed by comparing binding to human adrenoceptors expressed in eukaryotic cells. Equilibrium and kinetic binding experiments were used to demonstrate that ρ-Da1a, prazosin and HEAT compete at the α1A-adrenoceptor. ρ-Da1a did not affect the dissociation kinetics of 3H-prazosin or 125I-HEAT, and the IC50 of ρ-Da1a, determined by competition experiments, increased linearly with the concentration of radioligands used, while the residual binding by ρ-Da1a remained stable. The effect of ρ-Da1a on agonist-stimulated Ca2+ release was insurmountable in the presence of phenethylamine- or imidazoline-type agonists. Ten mutations in the orthosteric binding pocket of the α1A-adrenoceptor were evaluated for alterations in ρ-Da1a affinity. The D1063.32A and the S1885.42A/S1925.46A receptor mutations reduced toxin affinity moderately (6 and 7.6 times, respectively), while the F862.64A, F2886.51A and F3127.39A mutations diminished it dramatically by 18- to 93-fold. In addition, residue F862.64 was identified as a key interaction point for 125I-HEAT, as the variant F862.64A induced a 23-fold reduction in HEAT affinity. Unlike the M1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor toxin MT7, ρ-Da1a interacts with the human α1A-adrenoceptor orthosteric pocket and shares receptor interaction points with antagonist (F862.64, F2886.51 and F3127.39) and agonist (F2886.51 and F3127.39) ligands. Its selectivity for the α1A-adrenoceptor may result, at least partly, from its interaction with the residue F862.64, which appears to be important also for HEAT binding. PMID:23935897

  7. Identification of a GTP-binding protein α subunit that lacks an apparent ADP-ribosylation site for pertussis toxin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fong, H.K.W.; Yoshimoto, K.K.; Eversole-Cire, P.; Simon, M.I.

    1988-01-01

    Recent molecular cloning of cDNA for the α subunit of bovine transducin (a guanine nucleotide-binding regulatory protein, or G protein) has revealed the presence of two retinal-specific transducins, called T/sub r/ and T/sub c/, which are expressed in rod or cone photoreceptor cells. In a further study of G-protein diversity and signal transduction in the retina, the authors have identified a G-protein α subunit, which they refer to as G/sub z/α, by isolating a human retinal cDNA clone that cross-hybridizes at reduced stringency with bovine T/sub r/ α-subunit cDNA. The deduced amino acid sequence of G/sub z/α is 41-67% identical with those of other known G-protein α subunits. However, the 355-residue G/sub z/α lacks a consensus site for ADP-ribosylation by pertussis toxin, and its amino acid sequence varies within a number of regions that are strongly conserved among all of the other G-protein α subunits. They suggest that G/sub z/α, which appears to be highly expressed in neural tissues, represents a member of a subfamily of G proteins that mediate signal transduction in pertussis toxin-insensitive systems

  8. Inhibition of Binding of the AB5-Type Enterotoxins LT-I and Cholera Toxin to Ganglioside GM1 by Galactose-Rich Dietary Components

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Becker, P.M.; Widjaja-Greefkes, H.C.A.; Wikselaar, van P.G.

    2010-01-01

    Cholera, travelers' diarrhea, or colibacillosis in pigs can possibly be prevented or attenuated by dietary provision of competitive inhibitors that react with the GM1-binding sites of the enterotoxins cholera toxin (CT), human Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin of serogroup I (LTh-I), and

  9. Effects of clay on toxin binding capacity, ruminal fermentation, diet digestibility, and growth of steers fed high-concentrate diets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antonelo, D S; Lancaster, N A; Melnichenko, S; Muegge, C R; Schoonmaker, J P

    2017-10-01

    Three experiments were conducted to determine the effect of increasing concentrations of a smectite clay on toxin binding capacity, ruminal fermentation, diet digestibility, and growth of feedlot cattle. In Exp. 1, 72 Angus × Simmental steers were blocked by BW (395 ± 9.9 kg) and randomly allotted to 3 treatments (4 pens/treatment and 6 steers/pen) to determine the effects of increasing amounts of clay (0, 1, or 2%) on performance. The clay was top-dressed on an 80% concentrate diet at a rate of 0, 113, or 226 g/steer daily to achieve the 0, 1, and 2% treatments, respectively. Steers were slaughtered at a target BW of 606 kg. In Exp. 2, 6 steers (596 ± 22.2 kg initial BW) were randomly allotted to the same 3 treatments in a replicated 3 × 3 Latin square design (21-d periods) to determine the effects of increasing amounts of clay on ruminal pH, VFA, and nutrient digestibility. In Exp. 3, 150 mg of clay was incubated in 10 mL of rumen fluid with 3 incremental concentrations (6 replicates per concentration) of aflatoxin B (AFB) or ergotamine tartate (ET) to determine binding capacity. During the first 33-d period, there was a quadratic effect of clay on ADG ( clay and then decreasing from 1 to 2% clay. However, during the second 30-d period, clay linearly decreased ADG and G:F ( ≤ 0.03) and overall ADG, DMI, and G:F were not impacted ( ≥ 0.46). Clay linearly decreased marbling score ( = 0.05). Hepatic enzyme activity did not differ among treatments on d 0 or at slaughter ( ≥ 0.15). Clay linearly decreased ruminal lactate and propionate, linearly increased formate and the acetate:propionate ratio ( ≤ 0.04), and tended ( = 0.07) to linearly increase butyrate. Clay tended to linearly increase ( = 0.06) OM and CP apparent digestibility. Ruminal pH, urine pH, and other digestibility measures did not differ among treatments ( ≥ 0.15). Clay was able to effectively bind AFB and ET at concentrations above the normal physiological range (52 and 520 μg/mL), but

  10. Simple method for Shiga toxin 2e purification by affinity chromatography via binding to the divinyl sulfone group.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hideyuki Arimitsu

    Full Text Available Here we describe a simple affinity purification method for Shiga toxin 2e (Stx2e, a major causative factor of edema disease in swine. Escherichia coli strain MV1184 transformed with the expression plasmid pBSK-Stx2e produced Stx2e when cultivated in CAYE broth containing lincomycin. Stx2e bound to commercial D-galactose gel, containing α-D-galactose immobilized on agarose resin via a divinyl sulfone linker, and was eluted with phosphate-buffered saline containing 4.5 M MgCl2. A small amount of Stx2e bound to another commercial α-galactose-immobilized agarose resin, but not to β-galactose-immobilized resin. In addition, Stx2e bound to thiophilic adsorbent resin containing β-mercaptoethanol immobilized on agarose resin via a divinyl sulfone, and was purified in the same manner as from D-galactose gel, but the Stx2e sample contained some contamination. These results indicate that Stx2e bound to D-galactose gel mainly through the divinyl sulfone group on the resin and to a lesser extent through α-D-galactose. With these methods, the yields of Stx2e and attenuated mutant Stx2e (mStx2e from 1 L of culture were approximately 36 mg and 27.7 mg, respectively, and the binding capacity of the D-galactose gel and thiophilic adsorbent resin for Stx2e was at least 20 mg per 1 ml of resin. In addition, using chimeric toxins with prototype Stx2 which did not bind to thiophilic adsorbent resin and some types of mutant Stx2e and Stx2 which contained inserted mutations in the B subunits, we found that, at the least, asparagine (amino acid 17 of the B subunits was associated with Stx2e binding to the divinyl sulfone group. The mStx2e that was isolated exhibited vaccine effects in ICR mice, indicating that these methods are beneficial for large-scale preparation of Stx2e toxoid, which protects swine from edema disease.

  11. Agitation down-regulates immunoglobulin binding protein EibG expression in Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thorsten Kuczius

    Full Text Available Shiga toxin (Stx-producing Escherichia coli (STEC carrying eibG synthesize Escherichia coli immunoglobulin binding protein (EibG. EibG nonspecifically binds to immunoglobulins and tends to aggregate in multimers but is poorly expressed in wild-type strains. To study synthesis of the proteins and their regulation in the pathogens, we identified natural growth conditions that increased EibG synthesis. EibG proteins as well as corresponding mRNA were highly expressed under static growth conditions while shearing stress created by agitation during growth repressed protein synthesis. Further regulation effects were driven by reduced oxygen tension, and pH up-regulated EibG expression, but to a lesser extent than growth conditions while decreased temperature down-regulated EibG. Bacteria with increased EibG expression during static growth conditions showed a distinct phenotype with chain formation and biofilm generation, which disappeared with motion. High and low EibG expression was reversible indicating a process with up- and down-regulation of the protein expression. Our findings indicate that shear stress represses EibG expression and might reduce bacterial attachments to cells and surfaces.

  12. In vivo binding of the Cry11Bb toxin of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. medellin to the midgut of mosquito larvae (Diptera: Culicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruiz Lina María

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. medellin produces numerous proteins among which 94 kDa known as Cry11Bb, has mosquitocidal activity. The mode of action of the Cry11 proteins has been described as similar to those of the Cry1 toxins, nevertheless, the mechanism of action is still not clear. In this study we investigated the in vivo binding of the Cry11Bb toxin to the midgut of the insect species Anopheles albimanus, Aedes aegypti, and Culex quinquefasciatus by immunohistochemical analysis. Spodoptera frugiperda was included as negative control. The Cry11Bb protein was detected on the apical microvilli of the midgut epithelial cells, mostly on the posterior midgut and gastric caeca of the three mosquito species. Additionally, the toxin was detected in the Malpighian tubules of An. albimanus, Ae. aegypti, Cx. quinquefasciatus, and in the basal membrane of the epithelial cells of Ae. aegypti midgut. No toxin accumulation was observed in the peritrophic membrane of any of the mosquito species studied. These results confirm that the primary site of action of the Cry11 toxins is the apical membrane of the midgut epithelial cells of mosquito larvae.

  13. Regulation of formyl peptide receptor binding to rabbit neutrophil plasma membranes. Use of monovalent cations, guanine nucleotides, and bacterial toxins to discriminate among different states of the receptor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feltner, D.E.; Marasco, W.A.

    1989-01-01

    The regulation by monovalent cations, guanine nucleotides, and bacterial toxins of [3H]FMLP binding to rabbit neutrophil plasma membranes was studied by using dissociation techniques to identify regulatory effects on separate receptor states. Under conditions of low receptor occupancy (1 nM [3H]FMLP) and in both Na+ and K+ buffers, dissociation is heterogenous, displaying two distinct, statistically significant off rates. [3H]FMLP binding was enhanced by substituting other monovalent cations for Na+. In particular, enhanced binding in the presence of K+ relative to Na+ was caused by additional binding to both rapidly and slowly dissociating receptors. Three receptor dissociation rates, two of which appear to correspond to the two affinity states detected in equilibrium binding studies, were defined by specific GTP and pertussis toxin (PT) treatments. Neither GTP, nor PT or cholera toxins (CT) had an effect on the rate of dissociation of [3H]FMLP from the rapidly dissociating form of the receptor. Both 100 microM GTP and PT treatments increased the percentage of rapidly dissociating receptors, correspondingly decreasing the percentage of slowly dissociating receptors. The observed changes in the rapidly and slowly dissociating receptors after GTP, PT, and CT treatments were caused by an absolute decrease in the amount of binding to the slowly dissociating receptors. However, complete inhibition of slowly dissociating receptor binding by GTP, PT, or both was never observed. Both GTP and PT treatments, but not CT treatment, increased by two-fold the rate of dissociation of 1 nM [3H]FMLP from the slowly dissociating form of the receptor, resulting in a third dissociation rate. Thus, slowly dissociating receptors comprise two different receptor states, a G protein-associated guanine nucleotide and PT-sensitive state and a guanine nucleotide-insensitive state

  14. Snake bites

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... number if someone has been bitten by a snake. If possible, call ahead to the emergency room so that antivenom can be ready when the person arrives. Your local poison center can be reached directly by calling the ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Radiolabelling of cholera toxin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Santos, R.G.; Neves, Nicoli M.J. [Centro de Desenvolvimento da Tecnologia Nuclear (CDTN), Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil); Abdalla, L.F.; Brandao, R.L.; Etchehebehere, L. [Ouro Preto Univ., MG (Brazil). Escola de Farmacia. Lab. de Fisiologia e Bioquimica de Microorganismos; Lima, M.E. de [Minas Gerais Univ., Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil). Inst. de Ciencias Biologicas. Dept. de Bioquimica e Imunologia; Nicoli, J.R. [Minas Gerais Univ., Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil). Inst. de Ciencias Biologicas. Dept. de Microbiologia

    1999-11-01

    Binding of cholera toxin to ganglioside receptors of enterocyte microvilli catalyzes the activation of adenylate cyclase causing a rise in cAMP which final result is a copious diarrhea. Saccharomyces boulardii, a nonpathogenic yeast has been used to prevent diarrhea. Although the antidiarrheic properties of S. boulardii are widely recognized, this yeast has been used on empirical basis, and the mechanism of this protective effect is unknown. The addition of cholera toxin to S. boulardii induces the raising of cAMP that triggers the activation of neutral trehalase. This suggests that toxin specifically binding to cells, is internalized and active the protein phosphorylation cascade. Our objective is labeling the cholera toxin to verify the presence of binding sites on yeast cell surfaces for the cholera toxin. Cholera toxin was radiolabelled with Na {sup 125} I by a chloramine-T method modified from Cuatrecasas and Griffiths et alii. The {sup 125} I-Cholera toxin showed a specific radioactivity at about 1000 cpm/fmol toxin. Biological activity of labeled cholera toxin measured by trehalase activation was similar to the native toxin. (author) 5 refs., 3 figs.; e-mail: nevesmj at urano.cdtn.br

  18. Radiolabelling of cholera toxin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santos, R.G.; Neves, Nicoli M.J.; Abdalla, L.F.; Brandao, R.L.; Etchehebehere, L.; Lima, M.E. de; Nicoli, J.R.

    1999-01-01

    Binding of cholera toxin to ganglioside receptors of enterocyte microvilli catalyzes the activation of adenylate cyclase causing a rise in cAMP which final result is a copious diarrhea. Saccharomyces boulardii, a nonpathogenic yeast has been used to prevent diarrhea. Although the antidiarrheic properties of S. boulardii are widely recognized, this yeast has been used on empirical basis, and the mechanism of this protective effect is unknown. The addition of cholera toxin to S. boulardii induces the raising of cAMP that triggers the activation of neutral trehalase. This suggests that toxin specifically binding to cells, is internalized and active the protein phosphorylation cascade. Our objective is labeling the cholera toxin to verify the presence of binding sites on yeast cell surfaces for the cholera toxin. Cholera toxin was radiolabelled with Na 125 I by a chloramine-T method modified from Cuatrecasas and Griffiths et alii. The 125 I-Cholera toxin showed a specific radioactivity at about 1000 cpm/fmol toxin. Biological activity of labeled cholera toxin measured by trehalase activation was similar to the native toxin. (author)

  19. C. difficile 630Δerm Spo0A regulates sporulation, but does not contribute to toxin production, by direct high-affinity binding to target DNA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katharina E Rosenbusch

    Full Text Available Clostridium difficile is a Gram positive, anaerobic bacterium that can form highly resistant endospores. The bacterium is the causative agent of C. difficile infection (CDI, for which the symptoms can range from a mild diarrhea to potentially fatal pseudomembranous colitis and toxic megacolon. Endospore formation in Firmicutes, including C. difficile, is governed by the key regulator for sporulation, Spo0A. In Bacillus subtilis, this transcription factor is also directly or indirectly involved in various other cellular processes. Here, we report that C. difficile Spo0A shows a high degree of similarity to the well characterized B. subtilis protein and recognizes a similar binding sequence. We find that the laboratory strain C. difficile 630Δerm contains an 18bp-duplication near the DNA-binding domain compared to its ancestral strain 630. In vitro binding assays using purified C-terminal DNA binding domain of the C. difficile Spo0A protein demonstrate direct binding to DNA upstream of spo0A and sigH, early sporulation genes and several other putative targets. In vitro binding assays suggest that the gene encoding the major clostridial toxin TcdB may be a direct target of Spo0A, but supernatant derived from a spo0A negative strain was no less toxic towards Vero cells than that obtained from a wild type strain, in contrast to previous reports. These results identify for the first time direct (putative targets of the Spo0A protein in C. difficile and make a positive effect of Spo0A on production of the large clostridial toxins unlikely.

  20. Binding of superantigen toxins into the CD28 homodimer interface is essential for induction of cytokine genes that mediate lethal shock.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gila Arad

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial superantigens, a diverse family of toxins, induce an inflammatory cytokine storm that can lead to lethal shock. CD28 is a homodimer expressed on T cells that functions as the principal costimulatory ligand in the immune response through an interaction with its B7 coligands, yet we show here that to elicit inflammatory cytokine gene expression and toxicity, superantigens must bind directly into the dimer interface of CD28. Preventing access of the superantigen to CD28 suffices to block its lethality. Mice were protected from lethal superantigen challenge by short peptide mimetics of the CD28 dimer interface and by peptides selected to compete with the superantigen for its binding site in CD28. Superantigens use a conserved β-strand/hinge/α-helix domain of hitherto unknown function to engage CD28. Mutation of this superantigen domain abolished inflammatory cytokine gene induction and lethality. Structural analysis showed that when a superantigen binds to the T cell receptor on the T cell and major histocompatibility class II molecule on the antigen-presenting cell, CD28 can be accommodated readily as third superantigen receptor in the quaternary complex, with the CD28 dimer interface oriented towards the β-strand/hinge/α-helix domain in the superantigen. Our findings identify the CD28 homodimer interface as a critical receptor target for superantigens. The novel role of CD28 as receptor for a class of microbial pathogens, the superantigen toxins, broadens the scope of pathogen recognition mechanisms.

  1. Venomous snake bites, scorpions, and spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Expression of Cry1Ac toxin-binding region in Plutella xyllostella cadherin-like receptor and studying their interaction mode by molecular docking and site-directed mutagenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xiaodan; Zhang, Xiao; Zhong, Jianfeng; Liu, Yuan; Zhang, Cunzheng; Xie, Yajing; Lin, Manman; Xu, Chongxin; Lu, Lina; Zhu, Qing; Liu, Xianjin

    2018-05-01

    Cadherin-like protein has been identified as the primary Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry toxin receptor in Lepidoptera pests and plays a key role in Cry toxin insecticidal. In this study, we successfully expressed the putative Cry1Ac toxin-binding region (CR7-CR11) of Plutella xylostella cadherin-like in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3). The expressed CR7-CR11 fragment showed binding ability to Cry1Ac toxin under denaturing (Ligand blot) and non-denaturing (ELISA) conditions. The three-dimensional structure of CR7-CR11 was constructed by homology modeling. Molecular docking results of CR7-CR11 and Cry1Ac showed that domain II and domain III of Cry1Ac were taking part in binding to CR7-CR11, while CR7-CR8 was the region of CR7-CR11 in interacting with Cry1Ac. The interaction of toxin-receptor complex was found to arise from hydrogen bond and hydrophobic interaction. Through the computer-aided alanine mutation scanning, amino acid residues of Cry1Ac (Met341, Asn442 and Ser486) and CR7-CR11 (Asp32, Arg101 and Arg127) were predicted as the hot spot residues involved in the interaction of the toxin-receptor complex. At last, we verified the importance role of these key amino acid residues by binding assay. These results will lay a foundation for further elucidating the insecticidal mechanism of Cry toxin and enhancing Cry toxin insecticidal activity by molecular modification. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Platelet cytosolic 44-kDa protein is a substrate of cholera toxin-induced ADP-ribosylation and is not recognized by antisera against the α subunit of the stimulatory guanine nucleotide-binding regulatory protein

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Molina Y Vedia, L.M.; Reep, B.R.; Lapetina, E.G.

    1988-01-01

    ADP-ribosylation induced by cholera toxin and pertussis toxin was studied in particulate and cytosolic fractions of human platelets. Platelets were disrupted by a cycle of freezing and thawing in the presence of a hyposmotic buffer containing protease inhibitors. In both fractions, the A subunit of cholera toxin ADP-ribosylates two proteins with molecular masses of 42 and 44 kDa, whereas pertussis toxin ADP-ribosylates a 41-kDa polypeptide. Two antisera against the α subunit of the stimulatory guanine nucleotide-binding regulatory protein recognize only the 42-kDa polypeptide. Cholera toxin-induced ADP-ribosylation of the 42- and 44-kDa proteins is reduced by pretreatment of platelets with iloprost, a prostacyclin analog. The 44-kDa protein, which is substrate of cholera toxin, could be extracted completely from the membrane and recovered in the cytosolic fraction when the cells were disrupted by Dounce homogenization and the pellet was extensively washed. A 44-kDa protein can also be labeled with 8-azidoguanosine 5'-[α- 32 P]triphosphate in the cytosol and membranes. These finding indicate that cholera and pertussis toxins produced covalent modifications of proteins present in particulate and cytosolic platelet fractions. Moreover, the 44-kDa protein might be an α subunit of a guanine nucleotide-binding regulatory protein that is not recognized by available antisera

  4. Stool C difficile toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... toxin; Colitis - toxin; Pseudomembranous - toxin; Necrotizing colitis - toxin; C difficile - toxin ... be analyzed. There are several ways to detect C difficile toxin in the stool sample. Enzyme immunoassay ( ...

  5. A polyether biotoxin binding site on the lipid-exposed face of the pore domain of Kv channels revealed by the marine toxin gambierol

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopljar, Ivan; Labro, Alain J.; Cuypers, Eva; Johnson, Henry W. B.; Rainier, Jon D.; Tytgat, Jan; Snyders, Dirk J.

    2009-01-01

    Gambierol is a marine polycyclic ether toxin belonging to the group of ciguatera toxins. It does not activate voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) but inhibits Kv1 potassium channels by an unknown mechanism. While testing whether Kv2, Kv3, and Kv4 channels also serve as targets, we found that Kv3.1 was inhibited with an IC50 of 1.2 ± 0.2 nM, whereas Kv2 and Kv4 channels were insensitive to 1 μM gambierol. Onset of block was similar from either side of the membrane, and gambierol did not compete with internal cavity blockers. The inhibition did not require channel opening and could not be reversed by strong depolarization. Using chimeric Kv3.1–Kv2.1 constructs, the toxin sensitivity was traced to S6, in which T427 was identified as a key determinant. In Kv3.1 homology models, T427 and other molecular determinants (L348, F351) reside in a space between S5 and S6 outside the permeation pathway. In conclusion, we propose that gambierol acts as a gating modifier that binds to the lipid-exposed surface of the pore domain, thereby stabilizing the closed state. This site may be the topological equivalent of the neurotoxin site 5 of VGSCs. Further elucidation of this previously undescribed binding site may explain why most ciguatoxins activate VGSCs, whereas others inhibit voltage-dependent potassium (Kv) channels. This previously undescribed Kv neurotoxin site may have wide implications not only for our understanding of channel function at the molecular level but for future development of drugs to alleviate ciguatera poisoning or to modulate electrical excitability in general. PMID:19482941

  6. Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin. Identification of the binding site for chloroquine and related compounds and influence of the binding site on properties of the C2II channel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumeyer, Tobias; Schiffler, Bettina; Maier, Elke; Lang, Alexander E; Aktories, Klaus; Benz, Roland

    2008-02-15

    Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin belongs to the family of binary AB type toxins that are structurally organized into distinct enzyme (A, C2I) and binding (B, C2II) components. The proteolytically activated 60-kDa C2II binding component is essential for C2I transport into target cells. It oligomerizes into heptamers and forms channels in lipid bilayer membranes. The C2II channel is cation-selective and can be blocked by chloroquine and related compounds. Residues 303-330 of C2II contain a conserved pattern of alternating hydrophobic and hydrophilic residues, which has been implicated in the formation of two amphipathic beta-strands involved in membrane insertion and channel formation. In the present study, C2II mutants created by substitution of different negatively charged amino acids by alanine-scanning mutagenesis were analyzed in artificial lipid bilayer membranes. The results suggested that most of the C2II mutants formed SDS-resistant oligomers (heptamers) similar to wild type. The mutated negatively charged amino acids did not influence channel properties with the exception of Glu(399) and Asp(426), which are probably localized in the vestibule near the channel entrance. These mutants show a dramatic decrease in their affinity for binding of chloroquine and its analogues. Similarly, F428A, which represents the Phi-clamp in anthrax protective antigen, was mutated in C2II in several other amino acids. The C2II mutants F428A, F428D, F428Y, and F428W not only showed altered chloroquine binding but also had drastically changed single channel properties. The results suggest that amino acids Glu(399), Asp(426), and Phe(428) have a major impact on the function of C2II as a binding protein for C2I delivery into target cells.

  7. Field-Evolved Mode 1 Resistance of the Fall Armyworm to Transgenic Cry1Fa-Expressing Corn Associated with Reduced Cry1Fa Toxin Binding and Midgut Alkaline Phosphatase Expression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakka, Siva R. K.; Gong, Liang; Hasler, James; Banerjee, Rahul; Sheets, Joel J.; Narva, Kenneth; Blanco, Carlos A.

    2015-01-01

    Insecticidal protein genes from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are expressed by transgenic Bt crops (Bt crops) for effective and environmentally safe pest control. The development of resistance to these insecticidal proteins is considered the most serious threat to the sustainability of Bt crops. Resistance in fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) populations from Puerto Rico to transgenic corn producing the Cry1Fa insecticidal protein resulted, for the first time in the United States, in practical resistance, and Bt corn was withdrawn from the local market. In this study, we used a field-collected Cry1Fa corn-resistant strain (456) of S. frugiperda to identify the mechanism responsible for field-evolved resistance. Binding assays detected reduced Cry1Fa, Cry1Ab, and Cry1Ac but not Cry1Ca toxin binding to midgut brush border membrane vesicles (BBMV) from the larvae of strain 456 compared to that from the larvae of a susceptible (Ben) strain. This binding phenotype is descriptive of the mode 1 type of resistance to Bt toxins. A comparison of the transcript levels for putative Cry1 toxin receptor genes identified a significant downregulation (>90%) of a membrane-bound alkaline phosphatase (ALP), which translated to reduced ALP protein levels and a 75% reduction in ALP activity in BBMV from 456 compared to that of Ben larvae. We cloned and heterologously expressed this ALP from susceptible S. frugiperda larvae and demonstrated that it specifically binds with Cry1Fa toxin. This study provides a thorough mechanistic description of field-evolved resistance to a transgenic Bt crop and supports an association between resistance and reduced Cry1Fa toxin binding and levels of a putative Cry1Fa toxin receptor, ALP, in the midguts of S. frugiperda larvae. PMID:26637593

  8. Zonula occludens toxin structure-function analysis. Identification of the fragment biologically active on tight junctions and of the zonulin receptor binding domain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Pierro, M; Lu, R; Uzzau, S; Wang, W; Margaretten, K; Pazzani, C; Maimone, F; Fasano, A

    2001-06-01

    Zonula occludens toxin (Zot) is an enterotoxin elaborated by Vibrio cholerae that increases intestinal permeability by interacting with a mammalian cell receptor with subsequent activation of intracellular signaling leading to the disassembly of the intercellular tight junctions. Zot localizes in the bacterial outer membrane of V. cholerae with subsequent cleavage and secretion of a carboxyl-terminal fragment in the host intestinal milieu. To identify the Zot domain(s) directly involved in the protein permeating effect, several zot gene deletion mutants were constructed and tested for their biological activity in the Ussing chamber assay and their ability to bind to the target receptor on intestinal epithelial cell cultures. The Zot biologically active domain was localized toward the carboxyl terminus of the protein and coincided with the predicted cleavage product generated by V. cholerae. This domain shared a putative receptor-binding motif with zonulin, the Zot mammalian analogue involved in tight junction modulation. Amino acid comparison between the Zot active fragment and zonulin, combined with site-directed mutagenesis experiments, confirmed the presence of an octapeptide receptor-binding domain toward the amino terminus of the processed Zot.

  9. Guanosine 5'-triphosphate binding protein (G/sub i/) and two additional pertussis toxin substrates associated with muscarinic receptors in rat heart myocytes: characterization and age dependency

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moscona-Amir, E.; Henis, Y.I.; Sokolovsky, M.

    1988-01-01

    The coupling of muscarinic receptors with G-proteins was investigated in cultured myocytes prepared from the hearts of newborn rats. The coupling was investigated in both young (5 days after plating) and aged (14 days after plating) cultures, in view of the completely different effects of 5'-guanylyl imidodiphosphate [Gpp(NH)p] on muscarinic agonist binding to homogenates from young vs aged cultures. Pretreatment of cultures from both ages by Bordetella pertussis toxin (IAP) was found to eliminate any Gpp(NH)p effect on carbamylcholine binding. IAP by itself induced a rightward shift in the carbamylcholine competition curve in homogenates from aged cultures, but no such effect was observed in homogenates from young cultures. IAP-catalyzed [ 32 P]ADP-ribosylation of membrane preparations from young and aged cultures revealed major differences between them. Young cultures exhibited a major IAP substrate at 40 kDa, which was also recognized by anti-α/sub i/ antibodies, and two novel IAP substrates at 28 and 42 kDa, which were weakly ADP-ribosylated by the toxin and were not recognized with either anti-α/sub i/ or anti-α 0 antibodies. In aged cultures, only the 40-kDa band (ribosylated to a lower degree) was detected. The parallel age-dependent changes in the three IAP substrates (28, 40, and 42 kDa) and in the interactions of the G-protein(s) with the muscarinic receptors strongly suggest close association between the two phenomena. All of these age-dependent changes in the G-protein related parameters were prevented by phosphatidylcholine-liposome treatment of the aged cultures. The role of the membrane lipid composition in these phenomena is discussed

  10. Follicle-stimulating hormone receptor-mediated uptake of 45Ca2+ by cultured rat Sertoli cells does not require activation of cholera toxin- or pertussis toxin-sensitive guanine nucleotide binding proteins or adenylate cyclase

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grasso, P.; Reichert, L.E. Jr.

    1990-01-01

    We have previously reported that FSH stimulates flux of 45Ca2+ into cultured Sertoli cells from immature rats via voltage-sensitive and voltage-independent calcium channels. In the present study, we show that this effect of FSH does not require cholera toxin (CT)- or pertussis toxin (PT)-sensitive guanine nucleotide binding (G) protein or activation of adenylate cyclase (AC). Significant stimulation of 45Ca2+ influx was observed within 1 min, and maximal response (3.2-fold over basal levels) was achieved within 2 min after exposure to FSH. FSH-stimulated elevations in cellular cAMP paralleled increases in 45Ca2+ uptake, suggesting a possible coupling of AC activation to 45Ca2+ influx. (Bu)2cAMP, however, was not able to enhance 45Ca2+ uptake over basal levels at a final concentration of 1000 microM, although a concentration-related increase in androstenedione conversion to estradiol was evident. Exposure of Sertoli cells to CT (10 ng/ml) consistently stimulated basal levels of androstenedione conversion to estradiol but had no effect on basal levels of 45Ca2+ uptake. Similarly, CT had no effect on FSH-induced 45Ca2+ uptake, but potentiated FSH-stimulated estradiol synthesis. PT (10 ng/ml) augmented basal and FSH-stimulated estradiol secretion without affecting 45Ca2+ influx. The adenosine analog N6-phenylisopropyladenosine, which binds to Gi-coupled adenosine receptors on Sertoli cells, inhibited FSH-stimulated androgen conversion to estradiol in a dose-related (1-1000 nM) manner, but FSH-stimulated 45Ca2+ influx remained unchanged. Our results show that in contrast to FSH-stimulated estradiol synthesis, the flux of 45Ca2+ into Sertoli cells in response to FSH is not mediated either directly or indirectly by CT- or PT-sensitive G protein, nor does it require activation of AC. Our data further suggest that the FSH receptor itself may function as a calcium channel

  11. Follicle-stimulating hormone receptor-mediated uptake of sup 45 Ca sup 2+ by cultured rat Sertoli cells does not require activation of cholera toxin- or pertussis toxin-sensitive guanine nucleotide binding proteins or adenylate cyclase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grasso, P.; Reichert, L.E. Jr. (Albany Medical College, NY (USA))

    1990-08-01

    We have previously reported that FSH stimulates flux of 45Ca2+ into cultured Sertoli cells from immature rats via voltage-sensitive and voltage-independent calcium channels. In the present study, we show that this effect of FSH does not require cholera toxin (CT)- or pertussis toxin (PT)-sensitive guanine nucleotide binding (G) protein or activation of adenylate cyclase (AC). Significant stimulation of 45Ca2+ influx was observed within 1 min, and maximal response (3.2-fold over basal levels) was achieved within 2 min after exposure to FSH. FSH-stimulated elevations in cellular cAMP paralleled increases in 45Ca2+ uptake, suggesting a possible coupling of AC activation to 45Ca2+ influx. (Bu)2cAMP, however, was not able to enhance 45Ca2+ uptake over basal levels at a final concentration of 1000 microM, although a concentration-related increase in androstenedione conversion to estradiol was evident. Exposure of Sertoli cells to CT (10 ng/ml) consistently stimulated basal levels of androstenedione conversion to estradiol but had no effect on basal levels of 45Ca2+ uptake. Similarly, CT had no effect on FSH-induced 45Ca2+ uptake, but potentiated FSH-stimulated estradiol synthesis. PT (10 ng/ml) augmented basal and FSH-stimulated estradiol secretion without affecting 45Ca2+ influx. The adenosine analog N6-phenylisopropyladenosine, which binds to Gi-coupled adenosine receptors on Sertoli cells, inhibited FSH-stimulated androgen conversion to estradiol in a dose-related (1-1000 nM) manner, but FSH-stimulated 45Ca2+ influx remained unchanged. Our results show that in contrast to FSH-stimulated estradiol synthesis, the flux of 45Ca2+ into Sertoli cells in response to FSH is not mediated either directly or indirectly by CT- or PT-sensitive G protein, nor does it require activation of AC. Our data further suggest that the FSH receptor itself may function as a calcium channel.

  12. Dictionary Snakes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dahl, Anders Bjorholm; Dahl, Vedrana Andersen

    2014-01-01

    for image segmentation that operates without training data. Our method is based on a probabilistic dictionary of image patches coupled with a deformable model inspired by snakes and active contours without edges. We separate the image into two classes based on the information provided by the evolving curve......, which moves according to the probabilistic information obtained from the dictionary. Initially, the image patches are assigned to the nearest dictionary element, where the image is sampled at each pixel such that patches overlap. The curve divides the image into an inside and an outside region allowing...... us to estimate the pixel-wise probability of the dictionary elements. In each iteration we evolve the curve and update the probabilities, which merges similar texture patterns and pulls dissimilar patterns apart. We experimentally evaluate our approach, and show how textured objects are precisely...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  14. Microimaging of Bacillus thuringiensis Toxin-binding proteins in gypsy moth larval gut using confocal fluorescence microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel J. Krofcheck; Algimantas P. Valaitis

    2010-01-01

    After ingestion by susceptible insect larvae, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) insecticidal proteins bind to the brush border membranes of gut epithelial cells and disrupt the integrity of the plasma membrane by forming...

  15. The interaction of the antitoxin DM43 with a snake venom metalloproteinase analyzed by mass spectrometry and surface plasmon resonance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brand, Guilherme D; Salbo, Rune; Jørgensen, Thomas J D

    2012-01-01

    DM43 is a circulating dimeric antitoxin isolated from Didelphis aurita, a South American marsupial naturally immune to snake envenomation. This endogenous inhibitor binds non-covalently to jararhagin, the main hemorrhagic metalloproteinase from Bothrops jararaca snake venom, and efficiently...

  16. [New drug developments of snake venom polypeptides and progress].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Sihai; Feng, Mei; Xiong, Yan

    2017-11-28

    The value of snake venom polypeptides in clinical application has drawn extensive attention, and the development of snake polypeptides into new drugs with anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic, analgesic or antihypertensive properties has become the recent research hotspot. With the rapid development of molecular biology and biotechnology, the mechanisms of snake venom polypeptides are also gradually clarified. Numerous studies have demonstrated that snake venom polypeptides exert their pharmacological effects by regulating ion channels, cell proliferation, apoptosis, intracellular signaling pathway, and expression of cytokine as well as binding to relevant active sites or receptors.

  17. Autoproteolytic Activation of Bacterial Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aimee Shen

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Protease domains within toxins typically act as the primary effector domain within target cells. By contrast, the primary function of the cysteine protease domain (CPD in Multifunctional Autoprocessing RTX-like (MARTX and Clostridium sp. glucosylating toxin families is to proteolytically cleave the toxin and release its cognate effector domains. The CPD becomes activated upon binding to the eukaryotic-specific small molecule, inositol hexakisphosphate (InsP6, which is found abundantly in the eukaryotic cytosol. This property allows the CPD to spatially and temporally regulate toxin activation, making it a prime candidate for developing anti-toxin therapeutics. In this review, we summarize recent findings related to defining the regulation of toxin function by the CPD and the development of inhibitors to prevent CPD-mediated activation of bacterial toxins.

  18. Reproductive Disorders in Snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Girolamo, Nicola; Selleri, Paolo

    2017-05-01

    Reproduction of snakes is one of the challenging aspects of herpetology medicine. Due to the complexity of reproduction, several disorders may present before, during, or after this process. This article describes the physical examination, and radiographic, ultrasonographic, and endoscopic findings associated with reproductive disorders in snakes. Surgical techniques used to resolve reproductive disorders in snakes are described. Finally, common reproductive disorders in snakes are individually discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. The complexity of snake

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Biasi, M.; Ophelders, T.

    2016-01-01

    Snake and Nibbler are two well-known video games in which a snake slithers through a maze and grows as it collects food. During this process, the snake must avoid any collision with its tail. Various goals can be associated with these video games, such as avoiding the tail as long as possible, or

  20. Even order snake resonances

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, S.Y.

    1993-01-01

    We found that the perturbed spin tune due to the imperfection resonance plays an important role in beam depolarization at snake resonances. We also found that even order snake resonances exist in the overlapping intrinsic and imperfection resonances. Due to the perturbed spin tune shift of imperfection resonances, each snake resonance splits into two

  1. Snake venomics of Crotalus tigris: the minimalist toxin arsenal of the deadliest Nearctic rattlesnake venom. Evolutionary Clues for generating a pan-specific antivenom against crotalid type II venoms [corrected].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvete, Juan J; Pérez, Alicia; Lomonte, Bruno; Sánchez, Elda E; Sanz, Libia

    2012-02-03

    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 PLA(2), 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 represent 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 toward neurotoxicity, which has been also reported for the South American rattlesnakes, may have resulted by pedomorphism. The ability of an experimental antivenom to effectively immunodeplete proteins from the type II venoms of C. tigris, Crotalus horridus , Crotalus oreganus helleri, Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus, and Sistrurus 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 and North American Crotalus species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. A Review and Database of Snake Venom Proteomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tasoulis, Theo; Isbister, Geoffrey K

    2017-09-18

    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.

  4. Snakes and spin rotators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, S.Y.

    1990-01-01

    The generalized snake configuration offers advantages of either shorter total snake length and smaller orbit displacement in the compact configuration or the multi-functions in the split configuration. We found that the compact configuration can save about 10% of the total length of a snake. On other hand, the spilt snake configuration can be used both as a snake and as a spin rotator for the helicity state. Using the orbit compensation dipoles, the spilt snake configuration can be located at any distance on both sides of the interaction point of a collider provided that there is no net dipole rotation between two halves of the snake. The generalized configuration is then applied to the partial snake excitation. Simple formula have been obtained to understand the behavior of the partial snake. Similar principle can also be applied to the spin rotators. We also estimate the possible snake imperfections are due to various construction errors of the dipole magnets. Accuracy of field error of better than 10 -4 will be significant. 2 refs., 5 figs

  5. Cholera toxin B subunit-binding and ganglioside GM1 immuno-expression are not necessarily correlated in human salivary glands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kirkeby, Svend

    2014-01-01

    human submandibular, parotid and palatinal glands using cholera toxin sub-unit B and two polyclonal antibodies against ganglioside GM1 as biomarkers. RESULTS: Immunofluorescence microscopy showed that the toxin and antibodies were co-localized in some acini but not in others. The cholera toxin mainly...... reacted with the cell membranes of the mucous acini in the submandibular gland, while incubation with the antibody against GM1 gave rise to a staining of the cytoplasm. The cytoplasm in some secretory acinar cells in the parotid gland was stained by the cholera toxin, whereas only small spots...... on the plasma membranes reacted with anti-GM1. The plasma membranes in the parotid excretory ducts appeared to react to anti-GM1, but not to cholera toxin. CONCLUSIONS: Cholera toxin induces the expression of ion channels and carriers in the small intestine and increases the production of secretory mucins...

  6. Homology modeling and docking of AahII-Nanobody complexes reveal the epitope binding site on AahII scorpion toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ksouri, Ayoub; Ghedira, Kais; Ben Abderrazek, Rahma; Shankar, B A Gowri; Benkahla, Alia; Bishop, Ozlem Tastan; Bouhaouala-Zahar, Balkiss

    2018-02-19

    Scorpion envenoming and its treatment is a public health problem in many parts of the world due to highly toxic venom polypeptides diffusing rapidly within the body of severely envenomed victims. Recently, 38 AahII-specific Nanobody sequences (Nbs) were retrieved from which the performance of NbAahII10 nanobody candidate, to neutralize the most poisonous venom compound namely AahII acting on sodium channels, was established. Herein, structural computational approach is conducted to elucidate the Nb-AahII interactions that support the biological characteristics, using Nb multiple sequence alignment (MSA) followed by modeling and molecular docking investigations (RosettaAntibody, ZDOCK software tools). Sequence and structural analysis showed two dissimilar residues of NbAahII10 CDR1 (Tyr27 and Tyr29) and an inserted polar residue Ser30 that appear to play an important role. Indeed, CDR3 region of NbAahII10 is characterized by a specific Met104 and two negatively charged residues Asp115 and Asp117. Complex dockings reveal that NbAahII17 and NbAahII38 share one common binding site on the surface of the AahII toxin divergent from the NbAahII10 one's. At least, a couple of NbAahII10 - AahII residue interactions (Gln38 - Asn44 and Arg62, His64, respectively) are mainly involved in the toxic AahII binding site. Altogether, this study gives valuable insights in the design and development of next generation of antivenom. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  8. Aluminium fluoride and magnesium, activators of heterotrimeric GTP-binding proteins, affect high-affinity binding of the fungal toxin fusicoccin to the fusicoccin-binding protein in oat root plasma membranes.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Boer, A.H.; Van der Molen, G.W.; Prins, H.B.A.; Korthout, H.A.A.J.; van der Hoeven, P.C.J.

    1994-01-01

    The fusicoccin-binding protein was solubilised from purified oat root plasma membranes. The solubilised protein retained full binding activity, provided that protease inhibitors were included. Sodium fluoride reduced the high-affinity [H-3]fusicoccin binding to almost zero in a

  9. Snake oil and venoms for medical research

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. The Complexity of Snake

    OpenAIRE

    De Biasi, Marzio; Ophelders, Tim

    2016-01-01

    Snake and Nibbler are two well-known video games in which a snake slithers through a maze and grows as it collects food. During this process, the snake must avoid any collision with its tail. Various goals can be associated with these video games, such as avoiding the tail as long as possible, or collecting a certain amount of food, or reaching some target location. Unfortunately, like many other motion-planning problems, even very restricted variants are computationally intractable. In parti...

  11. Immune recognition of botulinum neurotoxin B: antibody-binding regions on the heavy chain of the toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolimbek, Behzod Z; Steward, Lance E; Aoki, K Roger; Atassi, M Zouhair

    2008-02-01

    The purpose of this work was to map the continuous regions recognized by human, horse and mouse anti-botulinum neurotoxin B (BoNT/B) antibodies (Abs). We synthesized a panel of sixty 19-residue peptides (peptide C31 was 24 residues) that overlapped consecutively by 5 residues and together encompassed the entire heavy chain of BoNT/B (H/B, residues 442-1291). Abs from the three host species recognized similar, but not identical, peptides. There were also peptides recognized by two or only by one host species. Where a peptide was recognized by Abs of more than one host species, these Abs were at different levels among the species. Human, horse and mouse Abs bound, although in different amounts, to regions within peptides 736-754, 778-796, 848-866, 932-950, 974-992, 1058-1076 and 1128-1146. Human and horse Abs bound to peptides 890-908 and 1170-1188. Human and mouse Abs recognized peptides 470-488/484-502 overlap, 638-656, 722-740, 862-880, 1030-1048, 1072-1090, 1240-1258 and 1268-1291. We concluded that the antigenic regions localized with the three antisera are quite similar, exhibiting in some cases a small shift to the left or to the right. This is consistent with what is known about protein immune recognition. In the three-dimensional structure, the regions recognized on H/B by anti-BoNT/B Abs occupied surface locations and analysis revealed no correlation between these surface locations and surface electrostatic potential, hydrophilicity, hydrophobicity, or temperature factor. A region that bound mouse Abs overlapped with a recently defined site on BoNT/B that binds to mouse and rat synaptotagmin II, thus providing a molecular explanation for the blocking (protecting) activity of these Abs. The regions thus localized afford candidates for incorporation into a synthetic vaccine design.

  12. Isolation and amino acid sequence of a short-chain neurotoxin from an Australian elapid snake, Pseudechis australis.

    OpenAIRE

    Takasaki, C; Tamiya, N

    1985-01-01

    A short-chain neurotoxin Pseudechis australis a (toxin Pa a) was isolated from the venom of an Australian elapid snake Pseudechis australis (king brown snake) by sequential chromatography on CM-cellulose, Sephadex G-50 and CM-cellulose columns. Toxin Pa a has an LD50 (intravenous) value of 76 micrograms/kg body wt. in mice and consists of 62 amino acid residues. The amino acid sequence of Pa a shows considerable homology with those of short-chain neurotoxins of elapid snakes, especially of tr...

  13. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Polyamine toxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Strømgaard, Kristian; Jensen, Lars S; Vogensen, Stine B

    2005-01-01

    Polyamine toxins, isolated from spiders and wasps, have been used as pharmacological tools for the study of ionotropic receptors, but their use have so far been hampered by their lack of selectivity. In this mini-review, we describe how careful synthetic modification of native polyamine toxins ha...

  15. Snake Venom As An Effective Tool Against Colorectal Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uzair, Bushra; Atlas, Nagina; Malik, Sidra Batool; Jamil, Nazia; Salaam, Temitope Ojuolape; Rehman, Mujaddad Ur; Khan, Barkat Ali

    2018-06-13

    Cancer is considered one of the most predominant causes of morbidity and mortality all over the world and colorectal cancer is the most common fatal cancers, triggering the second cancer related death. Despite progress in understanding carcinogenesis and development in chemotherapeutics, there is an essential need to search for improved treatment. More than the half a century, cytotoxic and cytostatic agents have been examined as a potential treatment of cancer, among these agents; remarkable progresses have been reported by the use of the snake venom. Snake venoms are secreting materials of lethal snakes are store in venomous glands. Venoms are composite combinations of various protein, peptides, enzymes, toxins and non proteinaceous secretions. Snake venom possesses immense valuable mixtures of proteins and enzymes. Venoms have potential to combat with the cancerous cells and produce positive effect. Besides the toxicological effects of venoms, several proteins of snake venom e.g. disintegrins, phospholipases A2, metalloproteinases, and L-amino acid oxidases and peptides e.g. bradykinin potentiators, natriuretic, and analgesic peptides have shown potential as pharmaceutical agents, including areas of diagnosis and cancer treatment. In this review we have discussed recent remarkable research that has involved the dynamic snake venoms compounds, having anticancer bustle especially in case of colorectal cancer. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  16. Effects of gamma radiation on snake venoms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1998-01-01

    Ionizing radiation is able to detoxify several venoms, including snake venoms, without affecting significantly their immunogenic properties. In 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, subsequently submitted to irradiation. 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 ocurred 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)

  17. Mechanisms of Vascular Damage by Hemorrhagic Snake Venom Metalloproteinases: Tissue Distribution and In Situ Hydrolysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  19. Lymphocyte receptors for pertussis toxin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clark, C.G.; Armstrong, G.D. (Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton (Canada))

    1990-12-01

    We have investigated human T-lymphocyte receptors for pertussis toxin by affinity isolation and photoaffinity labeling procedures. T lymphocytes were obtained from peripheral human blood, surface iodinated, and solubilized in Triton X-100. The iodinated mixture was then passed through pertussis toxin-agarose, and the fractions were analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Autoradiography of the fixed, dried gels revealed several bands in the pertussis toxin-bound fraction that were not observed in fractions obtained from histone or fetuin-agarose. Further investigations employed a photoaffinity labeling reagent, sulfosuccinimidyl 2-(p-azido-salicylamido)-1,3'-dithiopropionate, to identify pertussis toxin receptors in freshly isolated peripheral blood monocytic cells, T lymphocytes, and Jurkat cells. In all three cell systems, the pertussis toxin affinity probe specifically labeled a single protein species with an apparent molecular weight of 70,000 that was not observed when the procedure was performed in the presence of excess unmodified pertussis toxin. A protein comparable in molecular weight to the one detected by the photoaffinity labeling technique was also observed among the species that bound to pertussis toxin-agarose. The results suggest that pertussis toxin may bind to a 70,000-Da receptor in human T lymphocytes.

  20. Discovery of a distinct superfamily of Kunitz-type toxin (KTT from tarantulas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun-Hua Yuan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Kuntiz-type toxins (KTTs have been found in the venom of animals such as snake, cone snail and sea anemone. The main ancestral function of Kunitz-type proteins was the inhibition of a diverse array of serine proteases, while toxic activities (such as ion-channel blocking were developed under a variety of Darwinian selection pressures. How new functions were grafted onto an old protein scaffold and what effect Darwinian selection pressures had on KTT evolution remains a puzzle. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we report the presence of a new superfamily of ktts in spiders (TARANTULAS: Ornithoctonus huwena and Ornithoctonus hainana, which share low sequence similarity to known KTTs and is clustered in a distinct clade in the phylogenetic tree of KTT evolution. The representative molecule of spider KTTs, HWTX-XI, purified from the venom of O. huwena, is a bi-functional protein which is a very potent trypsin inhibitor (about 30-fold more strong than BPTI as well as a weak Kv1.1 potassium channel blocker. Structural analysis of HWTX-XI in 3-D by NMR together with comparative function analysis of 18 expressed mutants of this toxin revealed two separate sites, corresponding to these two activities, located on the two ends of the cone-shape molecule of HWTX-XI. Comparison of non-synonymous/synonymous mutation ratios (omega for each site in spider and snake KTTs, as well as PBTI like body Kunitz proteins revealed high Darwinian selection pressure on the binding sites for Kv channels and serine proteases in snake, while only on the proteases in spider and none detected in body proteins, suggesting different rates and patterns of evolution among them. The results also revealed a series of key events in the history of spider KTT evolution, including the formation of a novel KTT family (named sub-Kuntiz-type toxins derived from the ancestral native KTTs with the loss of the second disulfide bridge accompanied by several dramatic sequence modifications

  1. Snake evolution and prospecting of snake venom

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vonk, Freek Jacobus

    2012-01-01

    in this thesis I have shown that snakes have undergone multiple changes in their genome and embryonic development that has provided them with the variation to which natural selection could act. This thesis provides evidence for the variable mechanisms of venom gene evolution, which presumably is

  2. Reproductive strategies in snakes.

    OpenAIRE

    Shine, Richard

    2003-01-01

    Snakes of both sexes display remarkable flexibility and diversity in their reproductive tactics. Many features of reproduction in female snakes (such as reproductive mode and frequency, seasonality and multiple mating) allow flexible maternal control. For example, females can manipulate not only the genotypes of their offspring (through mate choice or enhanced sperm competition) but also the phenotypes of their offspring (through allocation 'decisions', behavioural and physiological thermoreg...

  3. Pertussis toxin substrate is a guanosine 5'-[beta-thio]diphosphate-, N-ethylmaleimide-, Mg2+- and temperature-sensitive GTP-binding protein.

    OpenAIRE

    Wong, S K; Martin, B R; Tolkovsky, A M

    1985-01-01

    We compared the effects of guanine nucleotides and Mg2+ on ADP-ribosylation of rat brain and liver membrane proteins catalysed by Bordetella pertussis toxin (IAP) and cholera toxin (CT). Labelling of proteins in the presence of [alpha-32P]NAD+, ATP and CT required GTP or guanosine 5'-[gamma-thio]triphosphate (GTP [S]). In contrast, labelling of one (liver) or two (brain) polypeptides by IAP was enhanced by guanosine 5'-[beta-thio]diphosphate (GDP[S]) or GTP, but was blocked by GTP[S] or guano...

  4. Botulinum toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nigam P

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum toxin, one of the most poisonous biological substances known, is a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. C. botulinum elaborates eight antigenically distinguishable exotoxins (A, B, C 1 , C 2 , D, E, F and G. All serotypes interfere with neural transmission by blocking the release of acetylcholine, the principal neurotransmitter at the neuromuscular junction, causing muscle paralysis. The weakness induced by injection with botulinum toxin A usually lasts about three months. Botulinum toxins now play a very significant role in the management of a wide variety of medical conditions, especially strabismus and focal dystonias, hemifacial spasm, and various spastic movement disorders, headaches, hypersalivation, hyperhidrosis, and some chronic conditions that respond only partially to medical treatment. The list of possible new indications is rapidly expanding. The cosmetological applications include correction of lines, creases and wrinkling all over the face, chin, neck, and chest to dermatological applications such as hyperhidrosis. Injections with botulinum toxin are generally well tolerated and side effects are few. A precise knowledge and understanding of the functional anatomy of the mimetic muscles is absolutely necessary to correctly use botulinum toxins in clinical practice.

  5. Snakes: An Integrated Unit Plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, Lisa

    This document presents an integrated unit plan on snakes targeting second grade students. Objectives of the unit include developing concepts of living things, understanding the contribution and importance of snakes to the environment, and making connections between different disciplines. The unit integrates the topic of snakes into the areas of…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  8. Addiction to Snake Venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Saibal; Barnwal, Preeti; Maiti, Tanay; Ramasamy, Anand; Mondal, Somnath; Babu, Dinesh

    2017-07-03

    The nature of addiction depends on various factors. The tendency to have already used several addictive substances and to seek high sensation experiences as a result of specific personality traits may lead to extreme and peculiar forms of addictions. Even belonging to specific social and cultural background may lead to such forms of addiction such as intentional snake bite and willful envenomation. In this article, we have discussed the peculiarities and practical insight of such addiction to snake venom. The possible molecular mechanism behind such venom-mediated reinforcement has also been highlighted. Finally, we have stressed upon the treatment and de-addiction measures.

  9. Pulmonoscopy of Snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knotek, Zdenek; Jekl, Vladimir

    2015-09-01

    Pulmonoscopy is a practical diagnostic tool for investigating respiratory diseases in snakes. Two different approaches exist for pulmonoscopy, tracheal and transcutaneous. The access to the proximal or distal lung is limited by the length and diameter of the endoscope when using the tracheal approach. The transcutaneous approach allows direct evaluation of the lung and distal trachea through the air sac. Both of the methods are safe, and specific contraindications for pulmonoscopy in snakes are not known except for any anesthesia contraindication. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. 50 CFR 226.205 - Critical habitat for Snake River sockeye salmon, Snake River fall chinook salmon, and Snake River...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... salmon, Snake River fall chinook salmon, and Snake River spring/summer chinook salmon. 226.205 Section... Snake River sockeye salmon, Snake River fall chinook salmon, and Snake River spring/summer chinook salmon. The following areas consisting of the water, waterway bottom, and adjacent riparian zone of...

  11. Affinity chromatography of tetanus toxin, tetanus toxoid, and botulinum A toxin on synaptosomes, and differentiation of their acceptors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Habermann, E [Giessen Univ. (Germany, F.R.). Pharmakologisches Inst.

    1976-01-01

    /sup 125/I-labelled tetanus toxin and /sup 125/I-labelled botulinum A neurotoxin are known to be specifically bound to brain synaptosomes. In order to discriminate between active toxin and inactive admixtures present in the starting material or arising during iodination, synaptosome columns were prepared using bromacetylcellulose and/or kieselgur (Celite) as carriers. Both types of columns adsorb the toxins from low ionic strength medium and release them if the pH and ionic strength are raised. Botulinum toxin was eluted with lower ionic strength than tetanus toxin, and could be freed from nontoxic admixtures. Analysis by affinity chromatography disclosed partially toxoided tetanus toxin in both labelled and unlabelled toxin samples. High concentrations of formaldehyde (0.5%) destroyed both toxicity and affinity to the synaptosomes of tetanus toxin. Low concentrations of formaldehyde (0.05%) yielded a derivative of low toxicity which was still, however less firmly, bound to synaptosomes. Tetanus and botulinum toxin differ by their acceptors. Whereas unlabelled botulinum toxin is unable to compete with labelled tetanus toxin, unlabelled tetanus toxin slightly competes with botulinum toxin. Both labelled toxins display anomalous binding behaviour in that they cannot be displaced completely even with a large excess of unlabelled toxin.

  12. Affinity chromatography of tetanus toxin, tetanus toxoid, and botulinum A toxin on synaptosomes, and differentiation of their acceptors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Habermann, E.

    1976-01-01

    125 I-labelled tetanus toxin and 125 I-labelled botulinum A neurotoxin are known to be specifically bound to brain synaptosomes. In order to discriminate between active toxin and inactive admixtures present in the starting material or arising during iodination, synaptosome columns were prepared using bromacetylcellulose and/or kieselgur (Celite) as carriers. Both types of columns adsorb the toxins from low ionic strength medium and release them if the pH and ionic strength are raised. Botulinum toxin was eluted with lower ionic strength than tetanus toxin, and could be freed from nontoxic admixtures. Analysis by affinity chromatography disclosed partially toxoided tetanus toxin in both labelled and unlabelled toxin samples. High concentrations of formaldehyde (0.5%) destroyed both toxicity and affinity to the synaptosomes of tetanus toxin. Low concentrations of formaldehyde (0.05%) yielded a derivative of low toxicity which was still, however less firmly, bound to synaptosomes. Tetanus and botulinum toxin differ by their acceptors. Whereas unlabelled botulinum toxin is unable to compete with labelled tetanus toxin, unlabelled tetanus toxin slightly competes with botulinum toxin. Both labelled toxins display anomalous binding behaviour in that they cannot be displaced completely even with a large excess of unlabelled toxin. (orig.) [de

  13. Characterisation of the binding of [{sup 3}H]methyllycaconitine: a new radioligand for labelling {alpha}7-type neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Davies, A.R.L.; Wolstenholme, A.J.; Wonnacott, S. [Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY (United Kingdom); Hardick, D.J.; Blagbrough, I.S.; Potter, B.V.L. [Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY (United Kingdom)

    1999-05-15

    Methyllycaconitine (MLA), a norditerpenoid alkaloid isolated from Delphinium seeds, is one of the most potent non-proteinacious ligands that is selective for {alpha}bungarotoxin-sensitive neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). [{sup 3}H]MLA bound to rat brain membranes with high affinity (K{sub d}=1.86{+-}0.31 nM) with a good ratio of specific to non-specific binding. The binding of [{sup 3}H]MLA was characterised by rapid association (t{sub 1/2}=2.3 min) and dissociation (t{sub 1/2}=12.6 min) kinetics. The radioligand binding displayed nicotinic pharmacology, consistent with an interaction with {alpha}bungarotoxin-sensitive nAChR. The snake {alpha}-toxins, {alpha}bungarotoxin and {alpha}cobratoxin, displaced [{sup 3}H]MLA with high affinity (K{sub i}=1.8{+-}0.5 and 5.5{+-}0.9 nM, respectively), whereas nicotine was less potent (K{sub i}=6.1{+-}1.1 {mu}M). The distribution of [{sup 3}H]MLA binding sites in crudely dissected rat brain regions was identical to that of [{sup 125}I]{alpha}bungarotoxin binding sites, with a high binding site density in hippocampus and hypothalamus, but low density in striatum and cerebellum. [{sup 3}H]MLA also labelled a sub-population of binding sites which are not sensitive to the snake {alpha}toxins, but which did not differ significantly from the major population with respect to their other pharmacological properties or regional distribution. [{sup 3}H]MLA, therefore, is a novel radiolabel for characterising {alpha}7-type nAChR. A good signal to noise ratio and rapid binding kinetics provide advantages over the use of radiolabelled {alpha}bungarotoxin for rapid and accurate equilibrium binding assays. (Copyright (c) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam. All rights reserved.)

  14. Characterisation of the binding of [3H]methyllycaconitine: a new radioligand for labelling α7-type neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Davies, A.R.L.; Wolstenholme, A.J.; Wonnacott, S.; Hardick, D.J.; Blagbrough, I.S.; Potter, B.V.L.

    1999-01-01

    Methyllycaconitine (MLA), a norditerpenoid alkaloid isolated from Delphinium seeds, is one of the most potent non-proteinacious ligands that is selective for αbungarotoxin-sensitive neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). [ 3 H]MLA bound to rat brain membranes with high affinity (K d =1.86±0.31 nM) with a good ratio of specific to non-specific binding. The binding of [ 3 H]MLA was characterised by rapid association (t 1/2 =2.3 min) and dissociation (t 1/2 =12.6 min) kinetics. The radioligand binding displayed nicotinic pharmacology, consistent with an interaction with αbungarotoxin-sensitive nAChR. The snake α-toxins, αbungarotoxin and αcobratoxin, displaced [ 3 H]MLA with high affinity (K i =1.8±0.5 and 5.5±0.9 nM, respectively), whereas nicotine was less potent (K i =6.1±1.1 μM). The distribution of [ 3 H]MLA binding sites in crudely dissected rat brain regions was identical to that of [ 125 I]αbungarotoxin binding sites, with a high binding site density in hippocampus and hypothalamus, but low density in striatum and cerebellum. [ 3 H]MLA also labelled a sub-population of binding sites which are not sensitive to the snake αtoxins, but which did not differ significantly from the major population with respect to their other pharmacological properties or regional distribution. [ 3 H]MLA, therefore, is a novel radiolabel for characterising α7-type nAChR. A good signal to noise ratio and rapid binding kinetics provide advantages over the use of radiolabelled αbungarotoxin for rapid and accurate equilibrium binding assays. (Copyright (c) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam. All rights reserved.)

  15. Snow snake performance monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-12-01

    A recent study, Three-Dimensional Roughness Elements for Snow Retention (FHWA-WY-06/04F) (Tabler 2006), demonstrated : positive evidence for the effectiveness of Snow Snakes, a new type of snow fence suitable for use within the highway right-of...

  16. Differential evolution and neofunctionalization of snake venom metalloprotease domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brust, Andreas; Sunagar, Kartik; Undheim, Eivind A B; Vetter, Irina; Yang, Daryl C; Yang, Dary 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

    2013-03-01

    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.

  17. Where Galactic Snakes Live

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    This infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows what astronomers are referring to as a 'snake' (upper left) and its surrounding stormy environment. The sinuous object is actually the core of a thick, sooty cloud large enough to swallow dozens of solar systems. In fact, astronomers say the 'snake's belly' may be harboring beastly stars in the process of forming. The galactic creepy crawler to the right of the snake is another thick cloud core, in which additional burgeoning massive stars might be lurking. The colorful regions below the two cloud cores are less dense cloud material, in which dust has been heated by starlight and glows with infrared light. Yellow and orange dots throughout the image are monstrous developing stars; the red star on the 'belly' of the snake is 20 to 50 times as massive as our sun. The blue dots are foreground stars. The red ball at the bottom left is a 'supernova remnant,' the remains of massive star that died in a fiery blast. Astronomers speculate that radiation and winds from the star before it died, in addition to a shock wave created when it exploded, might have played a role in creating the snake. Spitzer was able to spot the two black cloud cores using its heat-seeking infrared vision. The objects are hiding in the dusty plane of our Milky Way galaxy, invisible to optical telescopes. Because their heat, or infrared light, can sneak through the dust, they first showed up in infrared images from past missions. The cloud cores are so thick with dust that if you were to somehow transport yourself into the middle of them, you would see nothing but black, not even a star in the sky. Now, that's spooky! Spitzer's new view of the region provides the best look yet at the massive embryonic stars hiding inside the snake. Astronomers say these observations will ultimately help them better understand how massive stars form. By studying the clustering and range of masses of the stellar embryos, they hope to determine if the stars

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  19. Crystal structure of a snake venom cardiotoxin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1987-01-01

    Cardiotoxin V/sup II/4 from Naja mossambica crystallizes in space group P6 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 β sheet, may be functionally relevant

  20. Snake antivenom for snake venom induced consumption coagulopathy

    OpenAIRE

    Maduwage, Kalana; Buckley, Nick A.; Janaka de Silva, H.; Lalloo, David; Isbister, Geoffrey K.

    2015-01-01

    Background\\ud \\ud Snake venom induced consumption coagulopathy is a major systemic effect of envenoming. Observational studies suggest that antivenom improves outcomes for venom induced consumption coagulopathy in some snakebites and not others. However, the effectiveness of snake antivenom in all cases of venom induced consumption coagulopathy is controversial.\\ud \\ud Objectives\\ud \\ud To assess the effect of snake antivenom as a treatment for venom induced consumption coagulopathy in people...

  1. Responses by king snakes (Lampropeltis getulus) to chemicals from colubrid and crotaline snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weldon, P J; Schell, F M

    1984-10-01

    Four litters of king snakes (Lampropeltis getulus), a snake-eating species, were tested for responses to chemicals from colubrid and crotaline snakes. King snakes presented with swabs rubbed against the dorsal skin of living snakes and with swabs treated with methylene chloride extracts of shed snake skins tongue-flicked more to swabs from a northern copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix), a crotaline, than to swabs from some colubrid snakes or to blank swabs. Six out of 10 king snakes in one litter attacked and attempted to ingest swabs treated with snake skin chemicals, implicating these chemicals as feeding stimuli for these ophiophagous snakes. Ingestively naive king snakes presented with plain air and snake odors in an olfactometer tongue-flicked more to snake odors. This study and others suggest that crotaline and colubrid snakes can be distinguished by chemical cues.

  2. Snake studies on Tore Supra

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cristofani, P.; Desgranges, C.; Garbet, X.; Geraud, A.; Gil, C.; Hoang, G.T.; Joffrin, E.; Pecquet, A.L.

    1995-01-01

    Snakes have been achieved after pellet injection in Tore Supra during ohmic as well as ICRH discharges as it has already been observed in other machines. On Tore Supra, high speed H 2 pellets were injected into D 2 plasmas under the specified experimental conditions, the matter is deposited in the centre and snakes are produced in 50% of the cases, but they are created on a second much more internal q=1 surface leading probably to a non monotonic current profile. The properties of the snake, induced current modification and the important role of the bootstrap current in the snake formation are described. (K.A.) 5 refs.; 7 figs

  3. Snake Venom Metalloproteinases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gâz Florea Şerban Andrei

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available As more data are generated from proteome and transcriptome analysis revealing that metalloproteinases represent most of the Viperid and Colubrid venom components authors decided to describe in a short review a classification and some of the multiple activities of snake venom metalloproteinases. SVMPs are classified in three major classes (P-I, P-II and P-III classes based on the presence of various domain structures and according to their domain organization. Furthermore, P-II and P-III classes were separated in subclasses based on distinctive post-translational modifications. SVMPs are synthesized in a latent form, being activated through a Cys-switch mechanism similar to matrix metalloproteinases. Most of the metalloproteinases of the snake venom are responsible for the hemorrhagic events but also have fibrinogenolytic activity, poses apoptotic activity, activate blood coagulation factor II and X, inhibit platelet aggregation, demonstrating that SVMPs have multiple functions in addition to well-known hemorrhagic function.

  4. Snake Venom Metalloproteinases

    OpenAIRE

    Gâz Florea Şerban Andrei; Gâz Florea Adriana; Kelemen Hajnal; Muntean Daniela-Lucia

    2016-01-01

    As more data are generated from proteome and transcriptome analysis revealing that metalloproteinases represent most of the Viperid and Colubrid venom components authors decided to describe in a short review a classification and some of the multiple activities of snake venom metalloproteinases. SVMPs are classified in three major classes (P-I, P-II and P-III classes) based on the presence of various domain structures and according to their domain organization. Furthermore, P-II and P-III clas...

  5. Reproductive strategies in snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shine, Richard

    2003-05-22

    Snakes of both sexes display remarkable flexibility and diversity in their reproductive tactics. Many features of reproduction in female snakes (such as reproductive mode and frequency, seasonality and multiple mating) allow flexible maternal control. For example, females can manipulate not only the genotypes of their offspring (through mate choice or enhanced sperm competition) but also the phenotypes of their offspring (through allocation 'decisions', behavioural and physiological thermoregulation, and nest-site selection). Reliance on stored energy ('capital') to fuel breeding results in low frequencies of female reproduction and, in extreme cases, semelparity. A sophisticated vomeronasal system not only allows male snakes to locate reproductive females by following scent trails, but also facilitates pheromonally mediated mate choice by males. Male-male rivalry takes diverse forms, including female mimicry and mate guarding; combat bouts impose strong selection for large body size in males of some species. Intraspecific (geographical) variation and phenotypic plasticity in a wide array of reproductive traits (offspring size and number; reproductive frequency; incidence of multiple mating; male tactics such as mate guarding and combat; mate choice criteria) provide exceptional opportunities for future studies.

  6. Immunotoxins: The Role of the Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David FitzGerald

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Immunotoxins are antibody-toxin bifunctional molecules that rely on intracellular toxin action to kill target cells. Target specificity is determined via the binding attributes of the chosen antibody. Mostly, but not exclusively, immunotoxins are purpose-built to kill cancer cells as part of novel treatment approaches. Other applications for immunotoxins include immune regulation and the treatment of viral or parasitic diseases. Here we discuss the utility of protein toxins, of both bacterial and plant origin, joined to antibodies for targeting cancer cells. Finally, while clinical goals are focused on the development of novel cancer treatments, much has been learned about toxin action and intracellular pathways. Thus toxins are considered both medicines for treating human disease and probes of cellular function.

  7. Progressive Loss of Function in a Limb Enhancer during Snake Evolution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kvon, Evgeny Z.; Kamneva, Olga K.; Melo, Uirá S.; Barozzi, Iros; Osterwalder, Marco; Mannion, Brandon J.; Tissières, Virginie; Pickle, Catherine S.; Plajzer-Frick, Ingrid; Lee, Elizabeth A.; Kato, Momoe; Garvin, Tyler H.; Akiyama, Jennifer A.; Afzal, Veena; Lopez-Rios, Javier; Rubin, Edward M.; Dickel, Diane E.; Pennacchio, Len A.; Visel, Axel

    2016-10-20

    The evolution of body shape is thought to be tightly coupled to changes in regulatory sequences, but specific molecular events associated with major morphological transitions in vertebrates have remained elusive. In this paper, we identified snake-specific sequence changes within an otherwise highly conserved long-range limb enhancer of Sonic hedgehog (Shh). Transgenic mouse reporter assays revealed that the in vivo activity pattern of the enhancer is conserved across a wide range of vertebrates, including fish, but not in snakes. Genomic substitution of the mouse enhancer with its human or fish ortholog results in normal limb development. In contrast, replacement with snake orthologs caused severe limb reduction. Synthetic restoration of a single transcription factor binding site lost in the snake lineage reinstated full in vivo function to the snake enhancer. Our results demonstrate changes in a regulatory sequence associated with a major body plan transition and highlight the role of enhancers in morphological evolution.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  9. Snakes Have Feelings, Too: Elements of a Camp Snake Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Robert Ross

    2001-01-01

    A camp snake program can help campers overcome their fear of snakes, and people cannot truly enjoy nature when they carry a phobia about any one part of it. It can also help overcome prejudice by teaching truth and respect, instilling compassion, and helping campers develop empathy. Advice on catching, handling, identifying, keeping, and feeding…

  10. \\'The snake will swallow you': supernatural snakes and the creation ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    \\'The snake will swallow you': supernatural snakes and the creation of the Khotso legend. Felicity Wood. Abstract. No Abstract. Indilinga: African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IAJIKS) Vol. 4(1) 2005: 347-359. Full Text: EMAIL FULL TEXT EMAIL FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT.

  11. Discovery Of Human Antibodies Against Spitting Cobra Toxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bojsen-Møller, Laura; Lohse, Brian; Harrison, Robert

    Current snakebite envenoming treatment options consist of animal-derived antisera and are associated with severe adverse reactions due to the heterologous nature of the animal-derived antibodies present in these antisera, and the presence of therapeutically irrelevant antibodies. The African...... spitting cobras are among the most medically important snakes in sub-Saharan regions due to the severity of the clinical outcomes caused by their cytotoxic venom, which is derived from cytotoxins of the 3FTx toxin family and PLA2. Here we report the results of our progress in identifying human antibodies...... targeting relevant toxins from the venom of the black necked spitting cobra (Naja nigricolis)....

  12. Runaway snakes in TEXTOR-94

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Entrop, I.; R. Jaspers,; Cardozo, N. J. L.; Finken, K.H.

    1999-01-01

    Observations of a runaway beam confined in an island-like structure, a so-called runaway snake, are reported. The observations are made in TEXTOR-94 by measurement of synchrotron radiation emitted by these runaways. A full poloidal View allows for the study of the synchrotron pattern of the snake to

  13. Veterinary management of snake reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahl, Scott J

    2002-09-01

    The reptile veterinarian should approach the breeder with a comprehensive plan involving a review of proper husbandry, nutrition, record keeping, and a thorough prebreeding evaluation of the snakes. In addition, an evaluation of the reproductive strategy, assistance with confirming and monitoring gestation, and a review of potential reproductive complications will help to prepare the snake owner for a successful breeding season.

  14. Brown spider dermonecrotic toxin directly induces nephrotoxicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chaim, Olga Meiri; Sade, Youssef Bacila; Bertoni da Silveira, Rafael; Toma, Leny; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes; Chavez-Olortegui, Carlos; Mangili, Oldemir Carlos; Gremski, Waldemiro; Dietrich, Carl Peter von; Nader, Helena B.; Sanches Veiga, Silvio

    2006-01-01

    Brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom can induce dermonecrotic lesions at the bite site and systemic manifestations including fever, vomiting, convulsions, disseminated intravascular coagulation, hemolytic anemia and acute renal failure. The venom is composed of a mixture of proteins with several molecules biochemically and biologically well characterized. The mechanism by which the venom induces renal damage is unknown. By using mice exposed to Loxosceles intermedia recombinant dermonecrotic toxin (LiRecDT), we showed direct induction of renal injuries. Microscopic analysis of renal biopsies from dermonecrotic toxin-treated mice showed histological alterations including glomerular edema and tubular necrosis. Hyalinization of tubules with deposition of proteinaceous material in the tubule lumen, tubule epithelial cell vacuoles, tubular edema and epithelial cell lysis was also observed. Leukocytic infiltration was neither observed in the glomerulus nor the tubules. Renal vessels showed no sign of inflammatory response. Additionally, biochemical analyses showed such toxin-induced changes in renal function as urine alkalinization, hematuria and azotemia with elevation of blood urea nitrogen levels. Immunofluorescence with dermonecrotic toxin antibodies and confocal microscopy analysis showed deposition and direct binding of this toxin to renal intrinsic structures. By immunoblotting with a hyperimmune dermonecrotic toxin antiserum on renal lysates from toxin-treated mice, we detected a positive signal at the region of 33-35 kDa, which strengthens the idea that renal failure is directly induced by dermonecrotic toxin. Immunofluorescence reaction with dermonecrotic toxin antibodies revealed deposition and binding of this toxin directly in MDCK epithelial cells in culture. Similarly, dermonecrotic toxin treatment caused morphological alterations of MDCK cells including cytoplasmic vacuoles, blebs, evoked impaired spreading and detached cells from each other and from

  15. Quantum snake walk on graphs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosmanis, Ansis

    2011-01-01

    I introduce a continuous-time quantum walk on graphs called the quantum snake walk, the basis states of which are fixed-length paths (snakes) in the underlying graph. First, I analyze the quantum snake walk on the line, and I show that, even though most states stay localized throughout the evolution, there are specific states that most likely move on the line as wave packets with momentum inversely proportional to the length of the snake. Next, I discuss how an algorithm based on the quantum snake walk might potentially be able to solve an extended version of the glued trees problem, which asks to find a path connecting both roots of the glued trees graph. To the best of my knowledge, no efficient quantum algorithm solving this problem is known yet.

  16. Nanofibrous Snake Venom Hemostat

    OpenAIRE

    Kumar, Vivek A.; Wickremasinghe, Navindee C.; Shi, Siyu; Hartgerink, Jeffrey D.

    2015-01-01

    Controlling perioperative bleeding is of critical importance to minimize hemorrhaging and fatality. Patients on anticoagulant therapy such as heparin have diminished clotting potential and are at risk for hemorrhaging. Here we describe a self-assembling nanofibrous peptide hydrogel (termed SLac) that on its own can act as a physical barrier to blood loss. SLac was loaded with snake-venom derived Batroxobin (50 μg/mL) yielding a drug-loaded hydrogel (SB50). SB50 was potentiated to enhance clot...

  17. Recombinant antivenoms based on mixtures of human antibodies against D. jamesoni toxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pus, Urska; Harrison, Robert; Andersen, Mikael Rørdam

    Each year, more than 5 million people worldwide are affected by a snakebite, resulting in 150,000 deaths, and 400,000 amputations. The current medical treatment against envenoming is based on the administration of an animal-derived antiserum, containing antibodies against snake venom toxins. Due...

  18. JESS: Java extensible snakes system

    Science.gov (United States)

    McInerney, Tim; Akhavan Sharif, M. Reza; Pashotanizadeh, Nasrin

    2005-04-01

    Snakes (Active Contour Models) are powerful model-based image segmentation tools. Although researchers have proven them especially useful in medical image analysis over the past decade, Snakes have remained primarily in the academic world and they have not become widely used in clinical practice or widely available in commercial packages. A number of confusing and specialized variants exist and there has been no standard open-source implementation available. To address this problem, we present a Java Extensible Snakes System (JESS) that is general, portable, and extensible. The system uses Java Swing classes to allow for the rapid development of custom graphical user interfaces (GUI's). It also incorporates the Java Advanced Imaging(JAI) class library, which provide custom image preprocessing, image display and general image I/O. The Snakes algorithm itself is written in a hierarchical fashion, consisting of a general Snake class and several subclasses that span the main variants of Snakes including a new, powerful, robust subdivision-curve Snake. These subclasses can be easily and quickly extended and customized for any specific segmentation and analysis task. We demonstrate the utility of these classes for segmenting various anatomical structures from 2D medical images. We also demonstrate the effectiveness of JESS by using it to rapidly build a prototype semi-automatic sperm analysis system. The JESS software will be made publicly available in early 2005.

  19. Developmental changes in the role of a pertussis toxin sensitive guanine nucleotide binding protein in the rat cardiac alpha1-adrenergic system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Han, H.M.

    1989-01-01

    During development, the cardiac alpha 1 -adrenergic chronotropic response changes from positive in the neonate to negative in the adult. This thesis examined the possibility of a developmental change in coupling of a PT-sensitive G-protein to the alpha 1 -adrenergic receptor. Radioligand binding experiments performed with the iodinated alpha 1 -selective radioligand [ 125 I]-I-2-[β-(4-hydroxphenyl)ethylaminomethyl]tetralone ([ 125 I]-IBE 2254) demonstrated that the alpha 1 -adrenergic receptor is coupled to a G-protein in both neonatal and adult rat hearts. However, in the neonate the alpha 1 -adrenergic receptor is coupled to a PT-insensitive G-protein, whereas in the adult the alpha 1 -adrenergic receptor is coupled to both a PT-insensitive and a PT-sensitive G-protein. Consistent with the results from binding experiments, PT did not have any effect on the alpha 1 -mediated positive chronotropic response in the neonate, whereas in the adult the alpha 1 -mediated negative chronotropic response was completely converted to a positive one after PT-treatment. This thesis also examined the possibility of an alteration in coupling of the alpha 1 -adrenergic receptor to its effector under certain circumstances such as high potassium (K + ) depolarization in nerve-muscle (NM) co-cultures, a system which has been previously shown to be a convenient in vitro model to study the mature inhibitory alpha 1 -response

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. Structural biology of the sequestration and transport of heavy metal toxins: NMR structure determination of proteins containing the -Cys-X-Y-Cys-metal binding motifs. 1997 annual progress report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Opella, S.J.

    1997-01-01

    'There are enormous amounts of heavy metals in the environment, much of it in the form of organometallic compounds resulting from various types of industrial and military waste. Nearly all of these metals and compounds are highly toxic to biological organisms including humans. However, some bacteria thrive in the presence of high concentrations of heavy metal toxins because they possess efficient mechanisms for the detoxification of these metals and compounds. Heavy metals appear to be universally toxic because of their non-selective chemistry, for example Hg(II) reacts with essentially all exposed sulfhydryl groups on proteins, thus, it may seem surprising that any organism at all can survive these chemical insults much less those that grow in a toxic milieu. However, the prebiotic environment was undoubtedly heavily polluted with heavy metals from geological processes, and the most primitive organisms simply had to evolve mechanisms for dealing with them if they were going to be able to utilize Cys, His, and the other amino acids that contribute to metal binding sites in their proteins. Genes associated with bacterial resistance to Ag, AsO 2 , AsO 4 , Bi, Cd, Co, CrO 4 , Cu, Hg, iNi, TeO 3 , TI, Pb, Zn, and other metals of environmental concern have been described (Silver, 1992; Silver and Walderhaug, 1995).'

  2. Channel formation by the binding component of Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin: glutamate 307 of C2II affects channel properties in vitro and pH-dependent C2I translocation in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blöcker, Dagmar; Bachmeyer, Christoph; Benz, Roland; Aktories, Klaus; Barth, Holger

    2003-05-13

    The binding component (C2II) of the binary Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin mediates transport of the actin ADP-ribosylating enzyme component (C2I) into the cytosol of target cells. C2II (80 kDa) is activated by trypsin cleavage, and proteolytically activated C2II (60 kDa) oligomerizes to heptamers in solution. Activated C2II forms channels in lipid bilayer membranes which are highly cation selective and voltage-gated. A role for this channel in C2I translocation across the cell membrane into the cytosol is discussed. Amino acid residues 303-331 of C2II contain a conserved pattern of alternating hydrophobic and hydrophilic residues, which likely facilitates membrane insertion and channel formation by creating two antiparallel beta-strands. Some of the residues are in strategic positions within the putative C2II channel, in particular, glutamate 307 (E307) localized in its center and glycine 316 (G316) localized on the trans side of the membrane. Here, single-lysine substitutions of these amino acids and the double mutant E307K/G316K of C2II were analyzed in vivo and in artificial lipid bilayer experiments. The pH dependence of C2I transport across cellular membranes was altered, and a pH of properties of C2II were substantially changed by the mutations, as evidenced by reduced cation selectivity. Interestingly, the voltage dependence of wild-type C2II was completely lost for the E307K mutant, which means that E307 is responsible for voltage gating. Chloroquine blocked the E307K mutant channel and intoxication of Vero cells by mutant C2II and C2I, indicating that chloroquine binding does not involve E307. Overall, the voltage gating and cation selectivity of the C2II channel do not play an important role in translocation of C2I into the cytosol.

  3. Monoclonal antibodies and toxins--a perspective on function and isotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chow, Siu-Kei; Casadevall, Arturo

    2012-06-01

    Antibody therapy remains the only effective treatment for toxin-mediated diseases. The development of hybridoma technology has allowed the isolation of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) with high specificity and defined properties, and numerous mAbs have been purified and characterized for their protective efficacy against different toxins. This review summarizes the mAb studies for 6 toxins--Shiga toxin, pertussis toxin, anthrax toxin, ricin toxin, botulinum toxin, and Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB)--and analyzes the prevalence of mAb functions and their isotypes. Here we show that most toxin-binding mAbs resulted from immunization are non-protective and that mAbs with potential therapeutic use are preferably characterized. Various common practices and caveats of protection studies are discussed, with the goal of providing insights for the design of future research on antibody-toxin interactions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Genomic evidence of bitter taste in snakes and phylogenetic analysis of bitter taste receptor genes in reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huaming Zhong

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available As nontraditional model organisms with extreme physiological and morphological phenotypes, snakes are believed to possess an inferior taste system. However, the bitter taste sensation is essential to distinguish the nutritious and poisonous food resources and the genomic evidence of bitter taste in snakes is largely scarce. To explore the genetic basis of the bitter taste of snakes and characterize the evolution of bitter taste receptor genes (Tas2rs in reptiles, we identified Tas2r genes in 19 genomes (species corresponding to three orders of non-avian reptiles. Our results indicated contractions of Tas2r gene repertoires in snakes, however dramatic gene expansions have occurred in lizards. Phylogenetic analysis of the Tas2rs with NJ and BI methods revealed that Tas2r genes of snake species formed two clades, whereas in lizards the Tas2r genes clustered into two monophyletic clades and four large clades. Evolutionary changes (birth and death of intact Tas2r genes in reptiles were determined by reconciliation analysis. Additionally, the taste signaling pathway calcium homeostasis modulator 1 (Calhm1 gene of snakes was putatively functional, suggesting that snakes still possess bitter taste sensation. Furthermore, Phylogenetically Independent Contrasts (PIC analyses reviewed a significant correlation between the number of Tas2r genes and the amount of potential toxins in reptilian diets, suggesting that insectivores such as some lizards may require more Tas2rs genes than omnivorous and carnivorous reptiles.

  9. Minor snake venom proteins: Structure, function and potential applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boldrini-França, Johara; Cologna, Camila Takeno; Pucca, Manuela Berto; Bordon, Karla de Castro Figueiredo; Amorim, Fernanda Gobbi; Anjolette, Fernando Antonio Pino; Cordeiro, Francielle Almeida; Wiezel, Gisele Adriano; Cerni, Felipe Augusto; Pinheiro-Junior, Ernesto Lopes; Shibao, Priscila Yumi Tanaka; Ferreira, Isabela Gobbo; de Oliveira, Isadora Sousa; Cardoso, Iara Aimê; Arantes, Eliane Candiani

    2017-04-01

    Snake venoms present a great diversity of pharmacologically active compounds that may be applied as research and biotechnological tools, as well as in drug development and diagnostic tests for certain diseases. The most abundant toxins have been extensively studied in the last decades and some of them have already been used for different purposes. Nevertheless, most of the minor snake venom protein classes remain poorly explored, even presenting potential application in diverse areas. The main difficulty in studying these proteins lies on the impossibility of obtaining sufficient amounts of them for a comprehensive investigation. The advent of more sensitive techniques in the last few years allowed the discovery of new venom components and the in-depth study of some already known minor proteins. This review summarizes information regarding some structural and functional aspects of low abundant snake venom proteins classes, such as growth factors, hyaluronidases, cysteine-rich secretory proteins, nucleases and nucleotidases, cobra venom factors, vespryns, protease inhibitors, antimicrobial peptides, among others. Some potential applications of these molecules are discussed herein in order to encourage researchers to explore the full venom repertoire and to discover new molecules or applications for the already known venom components. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cícera Maria Gomes

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  11. Natural History of Pseudoboine Snakes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marília P. Gaiarsa

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Even though natural history information is crucial for answering key ecological, evolutionary, and conservation questions, basic studies are still lacking for Neotropical snakes. This study aims at contributing to the knowledge of the Neotropical tribe Pseudoboini, based on literature data, analysis of museum specimens and unpublished data. The tribe is mainly composed of moderate-sized snakes, although small and large-sized snakes also occur in the clade. Mean fecundity ranged from two (Rodriguesophis iglesiasi to 29 eggs (Clelia plumbea and the species are predominantly terrestrial and nocturnal. Most species are diet specialists and lizards are the most commonly consumed prey (found in the diet of 29 species, followed by small mammals (consumed by 20 species and snakes (consumed by 18 species. Although the tribe Pseudoboini appears to be well studied, for 15 species (32% only a small amount of information or none was available. We hope that our study can motivate research on the least known species.

  12. Botulinum toxin injection - larynx

    Science.gov (United States)

    Injection laryngoplasty; Botox - larynx: spasmodic dysphonia-BTX; Essential voice tremor (EVT)-btx; Glottic insufficiency; Percutaneous electromyography - guided botulinum toxin treatment; Percutaneous indirect laryngoscopy - guided botulinum toxin treatment; ...

  13. Defense against Toxin Weapons

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Franz, David

    1998-01-01

    .... We typically fear what we do not understand. Although un- derstanding toxin poisoning is less useful in a toxin attack than knowledge of cold injury on an Arctic battlefield, information on any threat reduces its potential to harm...

  14. A Rare Case Series of Ischemic Stroke Following Russell’s Viper Snake Bite in India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Venkata Krishna Pothukuchi

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Snakebite is an important medical problem in India. Among their various manifestations, cerebral complications are uncommonly found in literature. Moreover, Ischemic stroke following snake bite is quite rare. Here we report a case series of two such cases that developed neurological manifestations following Russell’s viper bite. On computerized tomography (CT scan of brain; cerebral infarcts were revealed. Their likely mechanisms are discussed in present study which include disseminated intravascular coagulation, toxin induced vasculitis and endothelial damage.

  15. Cellular Entry of Clostridium perfringens Iota-Toxin and Clostridium botulinum C2 Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masaya Takehara

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Clostridium perfringens iota-toxin and Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin are composed of two non-linked proteins, one being the enzymatic component and the other being the binding/translocation component. These latter components recognize specific receptors and oligomerize in plasma membrane lipid-rafts, mediating the uptake of the enzymatic component into the cytosol. Enzymatic components induce actin cytoskeleton disorganization through the ADP-ribosylation of actin and are responsible for cell rounding and death. This review focuses upon the recent advances in cellular internalization of clostridial binary toxins.

  16. Cellular Entry of Clostridium perfringens Iota-Toxin and Clostridium botulinum C2 Toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takehara, Masaya; Takagishi, Teruhisa; Seike, Soshi; Oda, Masataka; Sakaguchi, Yoshihiko; Hisatsune, Junzo; Ochi, Sadayuki; Kobayashi, Keiko; Nagahama, Masahiro

    2017-08-11

    Clostridium perfringens iota-toxin and Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin are composed of two non-linked proteins, one being the enzymatic component and the other being the binding/translocation component. These latter components recognize specific receptors and oligomerize in plasma membrane lipid-rafts, mediating the uptake of the enzymatic component into the cytosol. Enzymatic components induce actin cytoskeleton disorganization through the ADP-ribosylation of actin and are responsible for cell rounding and death. This review focuses upon the recent advances in cellular internalization of clostridial binary toxins.

  17. Recombinant snake venom prothrombin activators

    OpenAIRE

    L?vgren, Ann

    2012-01-01

    Three prothrombin activators; ecarin, which was originally isolated from the venom of the saw-scaled viper Echis carinatus, trocarin from the rough-scaled snake Tropidechis carinatus, and oscutarin from the Taipan snake Oxyuranus scutellatus, were expressed in mammalian cells with the purpose to obtain recombinant prothrombin activators that could be used to convert prothrombin to thrombin. We have previously reported that recombinant ecarin can efficiently generate thrombin without the need ...

  18. Rosmarinic acid, a new snake venom phospholipase A2 inhibitor from Cordia verbenacea (Boraginaceae): antiserum action potentiation and molecular interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ticli, Fábio K; Hage, Lorane I S; Cambraia, Rafael S; Pereira, Paulo S; Magro, Angelo J; Fontes, Marcos R M; Stábeli, Rodrigo G; Giglio, José R; França, Suzelei C; Soares, Andreimar M; Sampaio, Suely V

    2005-09-01

    Many plants are used in traditional medicine as active agents against various effects induced by snakebite. The methanolic extract from Cordia verbenacea (Cv) significantly inhibited paw edema induced by Bothrops jararacussu snake venom and by its main basic phospholipase A2 homologs, namely bothropstoxins I and II (BthTXs). The active component was isolated by chromatography on Sephadex LH-20 and by RP-HPLC on a C18 column and identified as rosmarinic acid (Cv-RA). Rosmarinic acid is an ester of caffeic acid and 3,4-dihydroxyphenyllactic acid [2-O-cafeoil-3-(3,4-di-hydroxy-phenyl)-R-lactic acid]. This is the first report of RA in the species C. verbenacea ('baleeira', 'whaler') and of its anti-inflammatory and antimyotoxic properties against snake venoms and isolated toxins. RA inhibited the edema and myotoxic activity induced by the basic PLA2s BthTX-I and BthTX-II. It was, however, less efficient to inhibit the PLA2 activity of BthTX-II and, still less, the PLA2 and edema-inducing activities of the acidic isoform BthA-I-PLA2 from the same venom, showing therefore a higher inhibitory activity upon basic PLA2s. RA also inhibited most of the myotoxic and partially the edema-inducing effects of both basic PLA2s, thus reinforcing the idea of dissociation between the catalytic and pharmacological domains. The pure compound potentiated the ability of the commercial equine polyvalent antivenom in neutralizing lethal and myotoxic effects of the crude venom and of isolated PLA2s in experimental models. CD data presented here suggest that, after binding, no significant conformation changes occur either in the Cv-RA or in the target PLA2. A possible model for the interaction of rosmarinic acid with Lys49-PLA2 BthTX-I is proposed.

  19. Molecular immune recognition of botulinum neurotoxin B. The light chain regions that bind human blocking antibodies from toxin-treated cervical dystonia patients. Antigenic structure of the entire BoNT/B molecule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atassi, M Zouhair; Jankovic, Joseph; Steward, Lance E; Aoki, K Roger; Dolimbek, Behzod Z

    2012-01-01

    We recently mapped the regions on the heavy (H) chain of botulinum neurotoxin, type B (BoNT/B) recognized by blocking antibodies (Abs) from cervical dystonia (CD) patients who develop immunoresistance during toxin treatment. Since blocking could also be effected by Abs directed against regions on the light (L) chain, we have mapped here the L chain, using the same 30 CD antisera. We synthesized, purified and characterized 32 19-residue L chain peptides that overlapped successively by 5 residues (peptide L32 overlapped with peptide N1 of the H chain by 12 residues). In a given patient, Abs against the L chain seemed less intense than those against H chain. Most sera recognized a limited set of L chain peptides. The levels of Abs against a given region varied with the patient, consistent with immune responses to each epitope being under separate MHC control. The peptides most frequently recognized were: L13, by 30 of 30 antisera (100%); L22, by 23 of 30 (76.67%); L19, by 15 of 30 (50.00%); L26, by 11 of 30 (36.70%); and L14, by 12 of 30 (40.00%). The activity of L14 probably derives from its overlap with L13. The levels of Ab binding decreased in the following order: L13 (residues 169-187), L22 (295-313), L19 (253-271), and L26 (351-369). Peptides L12 (155-173), L18 (239-257), L15 (197-215), L1 (1-19) and L23 (309-327) exhibited very low Ab binding. The remaining peptides had little or no Ab-binding activity. The antigenic regions are analyzed in terms of their three-dimensional locations and the enzyme active site. With the previous localization of the antigenic regions on the BoNT/B H chain, the human Ab recognition of the entire BoNT/B molecule is presented and compared to the recognition of BoNT/A by human blocking Abs. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier GmbH.

  20. Bioinformatics and multiepitope DNA immunization to design rational snake antivenom.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon C Wagstaff

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Snake venom is a potentially lethal and complex mixture of hundreds of functionally diverse proteins that are difficult to purify and hence difficult to characterize. These difficulties have inhibited the development of toxin-targeted therapy, and conventional antivenom is still generated from the sera of horses or sheep immunized with whole venom. Although life-saving, antivenoms contain an immunoglobulin pool of unknown antigen specificity and known redundancy, which necessitates the delivery of large volumes of heterologous immunoglobulin to the envenomed victim, thus increasing the risk of anaphylactoid and serum sickness adverse effects. Here we exploit recent molecular sequence analysis and DNA immunization tools to design more rational toxin-targeted antivenom.We developed a novel bioinformatic strategy that identified sequences encoding immunogenic and structurally significant epitopes from an expressed sequence tag database of a venom gland cDNA library of Echis ocellatus, the most medically important viper in Africa. Focusing upon snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs that are responsible for the severe and frequently lethal hemorrhage in envenomed victims, we identified seven epitopes that we predicted would be represented in all isomers of this multimeric toxin and that we engineered into a single synthetic multiepitope DNA immunogen (epitope string. We compared the specificity and toxin-neutralizing efficacy of antiserum raised against the string to antisera raised against a single SVMP toxin (or domains or antiserum raised by conventional (whole venom immunization protocols. The SVMP string antiserum, as predicted in silico, contained antibody specificities to numerous SVMPs in E. ocellatus venom and venoms of several other African vipers. More significantly, the antiserum cross-specifically neutralized hemorrhage induced by E. ocellatus and Cerastes cerastes cerastes venoms.These data provide valuable sequence and structure

  1. Cutaneous Chromatophoromas in Captive Snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Gutiérrez, J F; Garner, M M; Kiupel, M

    2016-11-01

    Chromatophoromas are neoplasms arising from pigment-bearing cells (chromatophores) of the dermis. While isolated cases have been reported in the literature, the prevalence and biological behavior of chromatophoromas in snakes are unknown. Forty-two chromatophoromas were identified among 4663 submissions (0.9%) to a private diagnostic laboratory in a 16-year period. The most commonly affected snakes were colubrids (23 cases, 55%) and vipers (8 cases, 19%). The San Francisco garter snake was the most commonly affected species (6 cases; 14% of all affected snake species and 3.7% of all garter snake submissions). No sex predilection was found. The age of 28 snakes ranged from 5 to 27 years. Single cutaneous chromatophoromas were most commonly observed and presented as pigmented cutaneous masses or plaques along any body segment. Euthanasia or death due to progressive neoplastic disease or metastasis was reported in 8 (19%) and 4 (10%) cases, respectively. The survival time of 4 animals ranged from 4 to 36 months. Microscopically, xanthophoromas, iridophoromas, melanocytic neoplasms, and mixed chromatophoromas were identified, with melanocytic neoplasms being most common. Microscopic examination alone was generally sufficient for the diagnosis of chromatophoroma, but immunohistochemistry for S-100 and PNL-2 may be helpful for diagnosing poorly pigmented cases. Moderate to marked nuclear atypia appears to be consistently present in cutaneous chromatophoromas with a high risk of metastasis, while mitotic count, lymphatic invasion, the level of infiltration, and the degree of pigmentation or ulceration were not reliable predictors of metastasis. © The Author(s) 2016.

  2. Runaway snakes in TEXTOR-94

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Entrop, I.; Jaspers, R.; Lopes Cardozo, N.J.; Finken, K.H.

    1999-01-01

    Observations of a runaway beam confined in an island-like structure, a so-called runaway snake, are reported. The observations are made in TEXTOR-94 by measurement of synchrotron radiation emitted by these runaways. A full poloidal view allows for the study of the synchrotron pattern of the snake to estimate runaway energy, pitch angle and the radius, shift and safety factor of the drift surface q D at which the runaway beam has developed. The runaway snake parameters are investigated under different current and magnetic field strength conditions. Examples are found of a runaway snake at the q D =1 and the q D =2 drift surface. The radial diffusion coefficient of runaways inside a snake is D r approx. 0.01m 2 s -1 . The rapid runaway losses in regions of (macroscopic) magnetic perturbations outside a snake and the good confinement inside an island assumed to consist of perfect nested surfaces are consistent with magnetic turbulence as the main cause for runaway transport. (author)

  3. Tumor Targeting and Drug Delivery by Anthrax Toxin

    OpenAIRE

    Bachran, Christopher; Leppla, Stephen H.

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax toxin is a potent tripartite protein toxin from Bacillus anthracis. It is one of the two virulence factors and causes the disease anthrax. The receptor-binding component of the toxin, protective antigen, needs to be cleaved by furin-like proteases to be activated and to deliver the enzymatic moieties lethal factor and edema factor to the cytosol of cells. Alteration of the protease cleavage site allows the activation of the toxin selectively in response to the presence of tumor-associ...

  4. Insights into the Mechanisms Involved in Strong Hemorrhage and Dermonecrosis Induced by Atroxlysin-Ia, a PI-Class Snake Venom Metalloproteinase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freitas-de-Sousa, Luciana Aparecida; Colombini, Mônica; Lopes-Ferreira, Mônica; Serrano, Solange M T; Moura-da-Silva, Ana Maria

    2017-08-02

    Hemorrhage is the most prominent effect of snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) in human envenomation. The capillary injury is a multifactorial effect caused by hydrolysis of the components of the basement membrane (BM). The PI and PIII classes of SVMPs are abundant in viperid venoms and hydrolyze BM components. However, hemorrhage is associated mostly with PIII-class SVMPs that contain non-catalytic domains responsible for the binding of SVMPs to BM proteins, facilitating enzyme accumulation in the tissue and enhancing its catalytic efficiency. Here we report on Atroxlysin-Ia, a PI-class SVMP that induces hemorrhagic lesions in levels comparable to those induced by Batroxrhagin (PIII-class), and a unique SVMP effect characterized by the rapid onset of dermonecrotic lesions. Atroxlysin-Ia was purified from B. atrox venom, and sequence analyses indicated that it is devoid of non-catalytic domains and unable to bind to BM proteins as collagen IV and laminin in vitro or in vivo. The presence of Atroxlysin-Ia was diffuse in mice skin, and localized mainly in the epidermis with no co-localization with BM components. Nevertheless, the skin lesions induced by Atroxlysin-Ia were comparable to those induced by Batroxrhagin, with induction of leukocyte infiltrates and hemorrhagic areas soon after toxin injection. Detachment of the epidermis was more intense in skin injected with Atroxlysin-Ia. Comparing the catalytic activity of both toxins, Batroxrhagin was more active in the hydrolysis of a peptide substrate while Atroxlysin-Ia hydrolyzed more efficiently fibrin, laminin, collagen IV and nidogen. Thus, the results suggest that Atroxlysin-Ia bypasses the binding step to BM proteins, essential for hemorrhagic lesions induced by PII- and P-III class SVMPs, causing a significantly fast onset of hemorrhage and dermonecrosis, due to its higher proteolytic capacity on BM components.

  5. Unusual presentations of acute kidney injury and neurologic complications due to snake bite

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamid Noshad

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Vascularity of kidneys is very high, so these organs are potentially susceptible to be affected with toxins including snake venom. Hypersensitivity to snake venous could cause some neurological problem. Case Report: We present a 14-year-old boy with acute kidney injury (AKI due to snake bite. After a few days, kidney failure with hematuria was developed. His serum creatinine level rose to 3 mg/dl and following 2 weeks gradually and decreased to normal level without any special treatment except for anti-venom, which was not prescribed inappropriate time (this type of AKI is not reported previously. He had seizure attacks, which were according to magnetic resonance imaging due to posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES (This neurologic complication has been seen in other kidney injuries but up to now it was not reported in snake bite victims. Conclusion: Sanke venom could cause PRES due to AKI and seizure could be one of the most important complications in snake bite.

  6. Bioterrorism: toxins as weapons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Peter D

    2012-04-01

    The potential for biological weapons to be used in terrorism is a real possibility. Biological weapons include infectious agents and toxins. Toxins are poisons produced by living organisms. Toxins relevant to bioterrorism include ricin, botulinum, Clostridium perfrigens epsilson toxin, conotoxins, shigatoxins, saxitoxins, tetrodotoxins, mycotoxins, and nicotine. Toxins have properties of biological and chemical weapons. Unlike pathogens, toxins do not produce an infection. Ricin causes multiorgan toxicity by blocking protein synthesis. Botulinum blocks acetylcholine in the peripheral nervous system leading to muscle paralysis. Epsilon toxin damages cell membranes. Conotoxins block potassium and sodium channels in neurons. Shigatoxins inhibit protein synthesis and induce apoptosis. Saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin inhibit sodium channels in neurons. Mycotoxins include aflatoxins and trichothecenes. Aflatoxins are carcinogens. Trichothecenes inhibit protein and nucleic acid synthesis. Nicotine produces numerous nicotinic effects in the nervous system.

  7. The oldest known snakes from the Middle Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous provide insights on snake evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldwell, Michael W; Nydam, Randall L; Palci, Alessandro; Apesteguía, Sebastián

    2015-01-27

    The previous oldest known fossil snakes date from ~100 million year old sediments (Upper Cretaceous) and are both morphologically and phylogenetically diverse, indicating that snakes underwent a much earlier origin and adaptive radiation. We report here on snake fossils that extend the record backwards in time by an additional ~70 million years (Middle Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous). These ancient snakes share features with fossil and modern snakes (for example, recurved teeth with labial and lingual carinae, long toothed suborbital ramus of maxillae) and with lizards (for example, pronounced subdental shelf/gutter). The paleobiogeography of these early snakes is diverse and complex, suggesting that snakes had undergone habitat differentiation and geographic radiation by the mid-Jurassic. Phylogenetic analysis of squamates recovers these early snakes in a basal polytomy with other fossil and modern snakes, where Najash rionegrina is sister to this clade. Ingroup analysis finds them in a basal position to all other snakes including Najash.

  8. Siberian snakes for the Fermilab Main Injector

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anferov, V.A.; Baiod, R.; Courant, E.D.

    1993-01-01

    Appropriate Siberian snakes were designed to maintain the proton beam polarization during acceleration in the Fermilab Main Injector from 8 to 150 GeV. Various snake designs were investigated to find one fitting into the 14 m straight section spaces with the required spin rotation axis and the minimum orbit excursion. The authors studied both cold and warm discrete magnet snakes as well as warm snakes with helical magnets. For the warm discrete magnet snake, obtaining small orbit excursions required a nearly longitudinal snake axis, while axes near ±45 degrees are needed when using two snakes in a ring. The authors found acceptable snakes either by using superconducting magnets or by using warm magnets with a helical dipole field

  9. Analysis, reconstruction and manipulation using arterial snakes

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Guo; Liu, Ligang; Zheng, Hanlin; Mitra, Niloy J.

    2010-01-01

    , and manipulating such arterial surfaces. The core of the algorithm is a novel deformable model, called arterial snake, that simultaneously captures the topology and geometry of the arterial objects. The recovered snakes produce a natural decomposition of the raw

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Design of a new therapy to treat snake envenomation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shahidi Bonjar L

    2014-06-01

    become immobilized, and are eliminated from the poisoned patient blood. Detoxification resuscitation is expected to take 2–3 hours, when the titers of venom antigens in the blood reach harmless levels, as confirmed by sampling of the blood and appropriate serological evaluations. If conventional antivenoms do not cover the entire spectrum of venom antigens in blood, rehabilitation would be a matter of a longer period; whilst the PVAC covers the widest range of antibodies to remove the broadest range of venom antigens, the rehabilitation period would be shorter since venom antigens have been removed from the body in a few hours duration. PVACs are to be biotechnologically engineered against a wide spectra of antigens present in the venoms of the dominant poisonous snakes for a defined geographical zone; ie, a country, part of a continent, or an entire continent. As a polyvalent column, the PVAC bears a sufficient amount of venom antibodies of all snakes that pose a threat in the region. PVAC treatment would have high applicability in cases where the patient is unconscious and/or the snake identity is not clear for administration of related antivenom medication. For opportune administration, research on the use of PVACs in emergency ambulances should receive special attention. Starting in situ detoxification, such ambulances would provide more efficient resuscitations to envenomed patients.Keywords: venom, toxin, intoxication, detoxification, blood, polyvalent antibody

  12. Diphtheria toxin translocation across cellular membranes is regulated by sphingolipids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spilsberg, Bjorn; Hanada, Kentaro; Sandvig, Kirsten

    2005-01-01

    Diphtheria toxin is translocated across cellular membranes when receptor-bound toxin is exposed to low pH. To study the role of sphingolipids for toxin translocation, both a mutant cell line lacking the first enzyme in de novo sphingolipid synthesis, serine palmitoyltransferase, and a specific inhibitor of the same enzyme, myriocin, were used. The serine palmitoyltransferase-deficient cell line (LY-B) was found to be 10-15 times more sensitive to diphtheria toxin than the genetically complemented cell line (LY-B/cLCB1) and the wild-type cell line (CHO-K1), both when toxin translocation directly across the plasma membrane was induced by exposing cells with surface-bound toxin to low pH, and when the toxin followed its normal route via acidified endosomes into the cytosol. Toxin binding was similar in these three cell lines. Furthermore, inhibition of serine palmitoyltransferase activity by addition of myriocin sensitized the two control cell lines (LY-B/cLCB1 and CHO-K1) to diphtheria toxin, whereas, as expected, no effect was observed in cells lacking serine palmitoyltransferase (LY-B). In conclusion, diphtheria toxin translocation is facilitated by depletion of membrane sphingolipids

  13. 33 CFR 117.1058 - Snake River.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Snake River. 117.1058 Section 117... OPERATION REGULATIONS Specific Requirements Washington § 117.1058 Snake River. (a) The draw of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad bridge across the Snake River at mile 1.5 between Pasco and Burbank is...

  14. 33 CFR 117.331 - Snake Creek.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Snake Creek. 117.331 Section 117.331 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY BRIDGES DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS Specific Requirements Florida § 117.331 Snake Creek. The draw of the Snake Creek...

  15. Coyotes Are Afraid of Little Snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weewish Tree, 1979

    1979-01-01

    Wichita tale of a contest between Coyote and Small Snake to see whose teeth are strongest. They bite each other, and soon big, strong Coyote is dead from the poisoned bite of the tiny snake. Explains why, from that time onward, coyotes have been afraid of little snakes. (DS)

  16. New practicable Siberian Snake schemes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Steffen, K.

    1983-07-01

    Siberian Snake schemes can be inserted in ring accelerators for making the spin tune almost independent of energy. Two such schemes are here suggested which lend particularly well to practical application over a wide energy range. Being composed of horizontal and vertical bending magnets, the proposed snakes are designed to have a small maximum beam excursion in one plane. By applying in this plane a bending correction that varies with energy, they can be operated at fixed geometry in the other plane where most of the bending occurs, thus avoiding complicated magnet motion or excessively large magnet apertures that would otherwise be needed for large energy variations. The first of the proposed schemes employs a pair of standard-type Siberian Snakes, i.e. of the usual 1st and 2nd kind which rotate the spin about the longitudinal and the transverse horizontal axis, respectively. The second scheme employs a pair of novel-type snakes which rotate the spin about either one of the horizontal axes that are at 45 0 to the beam direction. In obvious reference to these axes, they are called left-pointed and right-pointed snakes. (orig.)

  17. [Snakes as pets - consequences of an exotic hobby].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minkley, L; Overkamp, D; Fischer, J

    2013-12-01

    We report on a young man who presented at our emergency unit with pain and swelling of his left hand, after he had been bitten into his left middle finger by a sidewinder rattlesnake one hour ago. Local findings were a swollen left middle finger, a red-livid discoloration along his nail rim with paleness of the surrounding skin. Vital signs were stable, ECG showed sinus rhythm, laboratory parameters were normal, without signs of liver or kidney damage and without coagulopathy. Diagnosis was local tissue reaction due to a snake bite of a sidewinder rattlesnake without evidence of systemic toxic effect. Due to the absence of systemic toxic effects the patient received monitoring of his vital signs and we controlled local tissue reaction constantly and laboratory parameters every 6 hours, as recommended by the "Giftnotrufzentrale" (poison emergency advisory service). The patient left hospital on his own will against medical advice in the night after first laboratory control, which showed no signs of organ damage and we recommended reasessment the following morning. At that time the swelling had extended to the whole arm, furthermore large hematoma reaching up to the axilla had developed over night. Again we contacted the "Giftnotrufzentrale" and decided to begin the administration of an antivenom, after allergic testing. The administration was without complications, the swelling decreased constantly and since laboratory controll still showed no signs of systemic toxin effect, we could discharge the patient on day 3. Follow-up visit 6 months later showed complete and natural healing. Snake bites are altogether rare among our patients, nevertheless since possible toxin effects and its dynamics are unpredictable and can vary highly, they demand monitoring at close intervals of vitals signs, local swelling and laboratory parameters. As early as possible an advisory service, such as "Giftnotrufzentrale" should be contacted to acquire information on possible toxin effects

  18. Molecular Identification of Cryptosporidium Species from Pet Snakes in Thailand

    OpenAIRE

    Yimming, Benjarat; Pattanatanang, Khampee; Sanyathitiseree, Pornchai; Inpankaew, Tawin; Kamyingkird, Ketsarin; Pinyopanuwat, Nongnuch; Chimnoi, Wissanuwat; Phasuk, Jumnongjit

    2016-01-01

    Cryptosporidium is an important pathogen causing gastrointestinal disease in snakes and is distributed worldwide. The main objectives of this study were to detect and identify Cryptosporidium species in captive snakes from exotic pet shops and snake farms in Thailand. In total, 165 fecal samples were examined from 8 snake species, boa constrictor (Boa constrictor constrictor), corn snake (Elaphe guttata), ball python (Python regius), milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum), king snake (Lampropel...

  19. EGA Protects Mammalian Cells from Clostridium difficile CDT, Clostridium perfringens Iota Toxin and Clostridium botulinum C2 Toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnell, Leonie; Mittler, Ann-Katrin; Sadi, Mirko; Popoff, Michel R; Schwan, Carsten; Aktories, Klaus; Mattarei, Andrea; Azarnia Tehran, Domenico; Montecucco, Cesare; Barth, Holger

    2016-04-01

    The pathogenic bacteria Clostridium difficile, Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium botulinum produce the binary actin ADP-ribosylating toxins CDT, iota and C2, respectively. These toxins are composed of a transport component (B) and a separate enzyme component (A). When both components assemble on the surface of mammalian target cells, the B components mediate the entry of the A components via endosomes into the cytosol. Here, the A components ADP-ribosylate G-actin, resulting in depolymerization of F-actin, cell-rounding and eventually death. In the present study, we demonstrate that 4-bromobenzaldehyde N-(2,6-dimethylphenyl)semicarbazone (EGA), a compound that protects cells from multiple toxins and viruses, also protects different mammalian epithelial cells from all three binary actin ADP-ribosylating toxins. In contrast, EGA did not inhibit the intoxication of cells with Clostridium difficile toxins A and B, indicating a possible different entry route for this toxin. EGA does not affect either the binding of the C2 toxin to the cells surface or the enzyme activity of the A components of CDT, iota and C2, suggesting that this compound interferes with cellular uptake of the toxins. Moreover, for C2 toxin, we demonstrated that EGA inhibits the pH-dependent transport of the A component across cell membranes. EGA is not cytotoxic, and therefore, we propose it as a lead compound for the development of novel pharmacological inhibitors against clostridial binary actin ADP-ribosylating toxins.

  20. EGA Protects Mammalian Cells from Clostridium difficile CDT, Clostridium perfringens Iota Toxin and Clostridium botulinum C2 Toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnell, Leonie; Mittler, Ann-Katrin; Sadi, Mirko; Popoff, Michel R.; Schwan, Carsten; Aktories, Klaus; Mattarei, Andrea; Tehran, Domenico Azarnia; Montecucco, Cesare; Barth, Holger

    2016-01-01

    The pathogenic bacteria Clostridium difficile, Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium botulinum produce the binary actin ADP-ribosylating toxins CDT, iota and C2, respectively. These toxins are composed of a transport component (B) and a separate enzyme component (A). When both components assemble on the surface of mammalian target cells, the B components mediate the entry of the A components via endosomes into the cytosol. Here, the A components ADP-ribosylate G-actin, resulting in depolymerization of F-actin, cell-rounding and eventually death. In the present study, we demonstrate that 4-bromobenzaldehyde N-(2,6-dimethylphenyl)semicarbazone (EGA), a compound that protects cells from multiple toxins and viruses, also protects different mammalian epithelial cells from all three binary actin ADP-ribosylating toxins. In contrast, EGA did not inhibit the intoxication of cells with Clostridium difficile toxins A and B, indicating a possible different entry route for this toxin. EGA does not affect either the binding of the C2 toxin to the cells surface or the enzyme activity of the A components of CDT, iota and C2, suggesting that this compound interferes with cellular uptake of the toxins. Moreover, for C2 toxin, we demonstrated that EGA inhibits the pH-dependent transport of the A component across cell membranes. EGA is not cytotoxic, and therefore, we propose it as a lead compound for the development of novel pharmacological inhibitors against clostridial binary actin ADP-ribosylating toxins. PMID:27043629

  1. New findings from the first transcriptome of the Bothrops moojeni snake venom gland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amorim, Fernanda Gobbi; Morandi-Filho, Romualdo; Fujimura, Patricia Tieme; Ueira-Vieira, Carlos; Sampaio, Suely Vilela

    2017-12-15

    Snakebites are a serious health problem in tropical countries. In Brazil, the genus Bothrops (Viperidae family) causes most of the ophidic accidents, characterized by proteolysis and haemorrhage. Snake venoms are rich sources of toxins with great therapeutic and biotechnological potential and omics approaches is a valuable tool for identification of new bioactive components in the venom. In this study, we described the first transcriptome of the venom gland of Bothrops moojeni snake, using the next-generation sequencing with the Illumina platform. We identified: (i) 20 venom components classes, among which metalloproteases were the most expressed ones, followed by serine proteases and phospholipases; and (ii) the 33 full-length amino acid sequences of toxins that have never been reported before in B. moojeni venom, such as one cysteine-rich secretory protein (Moojin), two hyaluronidases (BmooHyal-1 and BmooHyal-2), and one three-finger toxin (Bmoo-3FTx). Altogether, the transcripts identified herein represent a starting point for the analysis of structure-function relationships of toxins, which shall help develop novel biological tools and therapeutic drugs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. A New Platelet-Aggregation-Inhibiting Factor Isolated from Bothrops moojeni Snake Venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruna Barbosa de Sousa

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This work reports the purification and functional characterization of BmooPAi, a platelet-aggregation-inhibiting factor from Bothrops moojeni snake venom. The toxin was purified by a combination of three chromatographic steps (ion-exchange on DEAE-Sephacel, molecular exclusion on Sephadex G-75, and affinity chromatography on HiTrap™ Heparin HP. BmooPAi was found to be a single-chain protein with an apparent molecular mass of 32 kDa on 14% SDS-PAGE, under reducing conditions. Sequencing of BmooPAi by Edman degradation revealed the amino acid sequence LGPDIVPPNELLEVM. The toxin was devoid of proteolytic, haemorrhagic, defibrinating, or coagulant activities and induced no significant oedema or hyperalgesia. BmooPAi showed a rather specific inhibitory effect on ristocetin-induced platelet aggregation in human platelet-rich plasma, whereas it had little or no effect on platelet aggregation induced by collagen and adenosine diphosphate. The results presented in this work suggest that BmooPAi is a toxin comprised of disintegrin-like and cysteine-rich domains, originating from autolysis/proteolysis of PIII SVMPs from B. moojeni snake venom. This toxin may be of medical interest because it is a platelet aggregation inhibitor, which could potentially be developed as a novel therapeutic agent to prevent and/or treat patients with thrombotic disorders.

  3. Toxin studies using an integrated biophysical and structural biology approach.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Last, Julie A.; Schroeder, Anne E.; Slade, Andrea Lynn; Sasaki, Darryl Yoshio; Yip, Christopher M. (University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada); Schoeniger, Joseph S. (Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA)

    2005-03-01

    Clostridial neurotoxins, such as botulinum and tetanus, are generally thought to invade neural cells through a process of high affinity binding mediated by gangliosides, internalization via endosome formation, and subsequent membrane penetration of the catalytic domain activated by a pH drop in the endosome. This surface recognition and internalization process is still not well understood with regard to what specific membrane features the toxins target, the intermolecular interactions between bound toxins, and the molecular conformational changes that occur as a result of pH lowering. In an effort to elucidate the mechanism of tetanus toxin binding and permeation through the membrane a simple yet representative model was developed that consisted of the ganglioside G{sub tlb} incorporated in a bilayer of cholesterol and DPPC (dipalmitoylphosphatidyl choline). The bilayers were stable over time yet sensitive towards the binding and activity of whole toxin. A liposome leakage study at constant pH as well as with a pH gradient, to mimic the processes of the endosome, was used to elucidate the effect of pH on the toxin's membrane binding and permeation capability. Topographic imaging of the membrane surface, via in situ tapping mode AFM, provided nanoscale characterization of the toxin's binding location and pore formation activity.

  4. Siberian Snakes in high-energy accelerators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mane, S R; Shatunov, Yu M; Yokoya, K

    2005-01-01

    We review modern techniques to accelerate spin-polarized beams to high energy and to preserve their polarization in storage rings. Crucial to the success of such work is the use of so-called Siberian Snakes. We explain these devices and the reason for their necessity. Closely related to Snakes is the concept of 'spin rotators'. The designs and merits of several types of Snakes and spin rotators are examined. Theoretical work with Snakes and spin rotators, and experimental results from several storage rings, are reviewed, including the so-called Snake resonances. (topical review)

  5. First test of the Siberian Snake concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krisch, A.D.

    1990-01-01

    Test results of the Siberian Snake concept at the Indiana University Cooler Ring are presented. The Siberian Snake is a clever and interesting concept for accelerating polarized protons to high energy. Thus it would be especially useful at TeV energies where there are thousands of depolarizing resonances. The Snake is the device which job is to rotate the proton's spin by 180 deg. every time the proton goes around the ring. The Snake's main element is the superconducting solenoid magnet. Examples of the Siberian Snake overcoming depolarizing resonances are presented. 6 refs.; 24 figs

  6. [Intoxication of botulinum toxin].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chudzicka, Aleksandra

    2015-09-01

    Botulinum toxin is an egzotoxin produced by Gram positive bacteria Clostridium botulinum. It is among the most potent toxins known. The 3 main clinical presentations of botulism are as follows: foodborne botulism, infant botulism and wound botulism. The main symptom of intoxication is flat muscles paralysis. The treatment is supportive care and administration of antitoxin. In prevention the correct preparing of canned food is most important. Botulinum toxin is accepted as a biological weapon. © 2015 MEDPRESS.

  7. Snake Robots Modelling, Mechatronics, and Control

    CERN Document Server

    Liljebäck, Pål; Stavdahl, Øyvind; Gravdahl, Jan Tommy

    2013-01-01

    Snake Robots is a novel treatment of theoretical and practical topics related to snake robots: robotic mechanisms designed to move like biological snakes and able to operate in challenging environments in which human presence is either undesirable or impossible. Future applications of such robots include search and rescue, inspection and maintenance, and subsea operations. Locomotion in unstructured environments is a focus for this book. The text targets the disparate muddle of approaches to modelling, development and control of snake robots in current literature, giving a unified presentation of recent research results on snake robot locomotion to increase the reader’s basic understanding of these mechanisms and their motion dynamics and clarify the state of the art in the field. The book is a complete treatment of snake robotics, with topics ranging from mathematical modelling techniques, through mechatronic design and implementation, to control design strategies. The development of two snake robots is de...

  8. A description of parasites from Iranian snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasiri, Vahid; Mobedi, Iraj; Dalimi, Abdolhossein; Mirakabadi, Abbas Zare; Ghaffarifar, Fatemeh; Teymurzadeh, Shohreh; Karimi, Gholamreza; Abdoli, Amir; Paykari, Habibollah

    2014-12-01

    Little is known of the parasitic fauna of terrestrial snakes in Iran. This study aimed to evaluate the parasitic infection rates of snakes in Iran. A total of 87 snakes belonging to eight different species, that were collected between May 2012 and September 2012 and died after the hold in captivity, under which they were kept for taking poisons, were examined for the presence of gastrointestinal and blood parasites. According to our study 12 different genera of endoparasites in 64 (73.56%) of 87 examined snakes were determined. Forty one snakes (47.12%) had gastrointestinal parasites. In prepared blood smears, it was found that in 23 (26.43%) of 87 examined snakes there are at least one hemoparasite. To our knowledge, these are the first data on the internal parasitic fauna of Iranian terrestrial snakes and our findings show a higher prevalence of these organisms among them. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Snake fungal disease: an emerging threat to wild snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorch, Jeffrey M; Knowles, Susan; Lankton, Julia S; Michell, Kathy; Edwards, Jaime L; Kapfer, Joshua M; Staffen, Richard A; Wild, Erik R; Schmidt, Katie Z; Ballmann, Anne E; Blodgett, Doug; Farrell, Terence M; Glorioso, Brad M; Last, Lisa A; Price, Steven J; Schuler, Krysten L; Smith, Christopher E; Wellehan, James F X; Blehert, David S

    2016-12-05

    Since 2006, there has been a marked increase in the number of reports of severe and often fatal fungal skin infections in wild snakes in the eastern USA. The emerging condition, referred to as snake fungal disease (SFD), was initially documented in rattlesnakes, where the infections were believed to pose a risk to the viability of affected populations. The disease is caused by Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, a fungus recently split from a complex of fungi long referred to as the Chrysosporium anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii (CANV). Here we review the current state of knowledge about O. ophiodiicola and SFD. In addition, we provide original findings which demonstrate that O. ophiodiicola is widely distributed in eastern North America, has a broad host range, is the predominant cause of fungal skin infections in wild snakes and often causes mild infections in snakes emerging from hibernation. This new information, together with what is already available in the scientific literature, advances our knowledge of the cause, pathogenesis and ecology of SFD. However, additional research is necessary to elucidate the factors driving the emergence of this disease and develop strategies to mitigate its impacts.This article is part of the themed issue 'Tackling emerging fungal threats to animal health, food security and ecosystem resilience'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  10. Snake fungal disease: An emerging threat to wild snakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorch, Jeffrey M.; Knowles, Susan N.; Lankton, Julia S.; Michell, Kathy; Edwards, Jaime L.; Kapfer, Joshua M.; Staffen, Richard A.; Wild, Erik R.; Schmidt, Katie Z.; Ballmann, Anne; Blodgett, Doug; Farrell, Terence M.; Glorioso, Brad M.; Last, Lisa A.; Price, Steven J.; Schuler, Krysten L.; Smith, Christopher; Wellehan, James F. X.; Blehert, David S.

    2016-01-01

    Since 2006, there has been a marked increase in the number of reports of severe and often fatal fungal skin infections in wild snakes in the eastern USA. The emerging condition, referred to as snake fungal disease (SFD), was initially documented in rattlesnakes, where the infections were believed to pose a risk to the viability of affected populations. The disease is caused byOphidiomyces ophiodiicola, a fungus recently split from a complex of fungi long referred to as the Chrysosporium anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii (CANV). Here we review the current state of knowledge about O. ophiodiicola and SFD. In addition, we provide original findings which demonstrate that O. ophiodiicola is widely distributed in eastern North America, has a broad host range, is the predominant cause of fungal skin infections in wild snakes and often causes mild infections in snakes emerging from hibernation. This new information, together with what is already available in the scientific literature, advances our knowledge of the cause, pathogenesis and ecology of SFD. However, additional research is necessary to elucidate the factors driving the emergence of this disease and develop strategies to mitigate its impacts.

  11. In vitro reconstitution of the Clostridium botulinum type D progenitor toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouguchi, Hirokazu; Watanabe, Toshihiro; Sagane, Yoshimasa; Sunagawa, Hiroyuki; Ohyama, Tohru

    2002-01-25

    Clostridium botulinum type D strain 4947 produces two different sizes of progenitor toxins (M and L) as intact forms without proteolytic processing. The M toxin is composed of neurotoxin (NT) and nontoxic-nonhemagglutinin (NTNHA), whereas the L toxin is composed of the M toxin and hemagglutinin (HA) subcomponents (HA-70, HA-17, and HA-33). The HA-70 subcomponent and the HA-33/17 complex were isolated from the L toxin to near homogeneity by chromatography in the presence of denaturing agents. We were able to demonstrate, for the first time, in vitro reconstitution of the L toxin formed by mixing purified M toxin, HA-70, and HA-33/17. The properties of reconstituted and native L toxins are indistinguishable with respect to their gel filtration profiles, native-PAGE profiles, hemagglutination activity, binding activity to erythrocytes, and oral toxicity to mice. M toxin, which contained nicked NTNHA prepared by treatment with trypsin, could no longer be reconstituted to the L toxin with HA subcomponents, whereas the L toxin treated with proteases was not degraded into M toxin and HA subcomponents. We conclude that the M toxin forms first by assembly of NT with NTNHA and is subsequently converted to the L toxin by assembly with HA-70 and HA-33/17.

  12. Cellular Uptake of the Clostridium perfringens Binary Iota-Toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blöcker, Dagmar; Behlke, Joachim; Aktories, Klaus; Barth, Holger

    2001-01-01

    The binary iota-toxin is produced by Clostridium perfringens type E strains and consists of two separate proteins, the binding component iota b (98 kDa) and an actin-ADP-ribosylating enzyme component iota a (47 kDa). Iota b binds to the cell surface receptor and mediates the translocation of iota a into the cytosol. Here we studied the cellular uptake of iota-toxin into Vero cells. Bafilomycin A1, but not brefeldin A or nocodazole, inhibited the cytotoxic effects of iota-toxin, indicating that toxin is translocated from an endosomal compartment into the cytoplasm. Acidification (pH ≤ 5.0) of the extracellular medium enabled iota a to directly enter the cytosol in the presence of iota b. Activation by chymotrypsin induced oligomerization of iota b in solution. An average mass of 530 ± 28 kDa for oligomers was determined by analytical ultracentrifugation, indicating heptamer formation. The entry of iota-toxin into polarized CaCo-2 cells was studied by measuring the decrease in transepithelial resistance after toxin treatment. Iota-toxin led to a significant decrease in resistance when it was applied to the basolateral surface of the cells but not following application to the apical surface, indicating a polarized localization of the iota-toxin receptor. PMID:11292715

  13. Toxin-Induced Experimental Models of Learning and Memory Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    More, Sandeep Vasant; Kumar, Hemant; Cho, Duk-Yeon; Yun, Yo-Sep; Choi, Dong-Kug

    2016-09-01

    Animal models for learning and memory have significantly contributed to novel strategies for drug development and hence are an imperative part in the assessment of therapeutics. Learning and memory involve different stages including acquisition, consolidation, and retrieval and each stage can be characterized using specific toxin. Recent studies have postulated the molecular basis of these processes and have also demonstrated many signaling molecules that are involved in several stages of memory. Most insights into learning and memory impairment and to develop a novel compound stems from the investigations performed in experimental models, especially those produced by neurotoxins models. Several toxins have been utilized based on their mechanism of action for learning and memory impairment such as scopolamine, streptozotocin, quinolinic acid, and domoic acid. Further, some toxins like 6-hydroxy dopamine (6-OHDA), 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) and amyloid-β are known to cause specific learning and memory impairment which imitate the disease pathology of Parkinson's disease dementia and Alzheimer's disease dementia. Apart from these toxins, several other toxins come under a miscellaneous category like an environmental pollutant, snake venoms, botulinum, and lipopolysaccharide. This review will focus on the various classes of neurotoxin models for learning and memory impairment with their specific mechanism of action that could assist the process of drug discovery and development for dementia and cognitive disorders.

  14. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Proteomic profiling of liver from Elaphe taeniura, a common snake in eastern and southeastern Asia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liang Chen

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Snake liver has been implicated in the adaptation of snakes to a variety of habitats. However, to date, there has been no systematic analysis of snake liver proteins. In this study, we undertook a proteomic analysis of liver from the colubrid snake Elaphe taeniura using a combination of two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flightmass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS. We also constructed a local protein sequence database based on transcriptome sequencing to facilitate protein identification. Of the 268 protein spots revealed by 2-DE 109 gave positive MS signals, 84 of which were identified by searching the NCBInr, Swiss-Prot and local databases. The other 25 protein spots could not be identified, possibly because their transcripts were not be stable enough to be detected by transcriptome sequencing. GO analysis showed that most proteins may be involved in binding, catalysis, cellular processes and metabolic processes. Forty-two of the liver proteins identified were found in other reptiles and in amphibians. The findings of this study provide a good reference map of snake liver proteins that will be useful in molecular investigations of snake physiology and adaptation.

  16. Venomous Snake Bite Injuries at Kitui District Hospital | Kihiko ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background Snake bites are a neglected public health issue in poor rural communities, and the true burden of snake bites is not known. Kitui County has a high incidence of snake bites and no functional snake bite control programs exists. Diagnostic tests for snake species identification are not available and management ...

  17. Antivenom Cross-Neutralization of the Venoms of Hydrophis schistosus and Hydrophis curtus, Two Common Sea Snakes in Malaysian Waters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Choo Hock Tan

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  18. Tumor Targeting and Drug Delivery by Anthrax Toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Bachran

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Anthrax toxin is a potent tripartite protein toxin from Bacillus anthracis. It is one of the two virulence factors and causes the disease anthrax. The receptor-binding component of the toxin, protective antigen, needs to be cleaved by furin-like proteases to be activated and to deliver the enzymatic moieties lethal factor and edema factor to the cytosol of cells. Alteration of the protease cleavage site allows the activation of the toxin selectively in response to the presence of tumor-associated proteases. This initial idea of re-targeting anthrax toxin to tumor cells was further elaborated in recent years and resulted in the design of many modifications of anthrax toxin, which resulted in successful tumor therapy in animal models. These modifications include the combination of different toxin variants that require activation by two different tumor-associated proteases for increased specificity of toxin activation. The anthrax toxin system has proved to be a versatile system for drug delivery of several enzymatic moieties into cells. This highly efficient delivery system has recently been further modified by introducing ubiquitin as a cytosolic cleavage site into lethal factor fusion proteins. This review article describes the latest developments in this field of tumor targeting and drug delivery.

  19. Tumor Targeting and Drug Delivery by Anthrax Toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachran, Christopher; Leppla, Stephen H

    2016-07-01

    Anthrax toxin is a potent tripartite protein toxin from Bacillus anthracis. It is one of the two virulence factors and causes the disease anthrax. The receptor-binding component of the toxin, protective antigen, needs to be cleaved by furin-like proteases to be activated and to deliver the enzymatic moieties lethal factor and edema factor to the cytosol of cells. Alteration of the protease cleavage site allows the activation of the toxin selectively in response to the presence of tumor-associated proteases. This initial idea of re-targeting anthrax toxin to tumor cells was further elaborated in recent years and resulted in the design of many modifications of anthrax toxin, which resulted in successful tumor therapy in animal models. These modifications include the combination of different toxin variants that require activation by two different tumor-associated proteases for increased specificity of toxin activation. The anthrax toxin system has proved to be a versatile system for drug delivery of several enzymatic moieties into cells. This highly efficient delivery system has recently been further modified by introducing ubiquitin as a cytosolic cleavage site into lethal factor fusion proteins. This review article describes the latest developments in this field of tumor targeting and drug delivery.

  20. Tolerance of Snakes to Hypergravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lillywhite, H. B.; Ballard, R. E.; Hargens, A. R.

    1994-01-01

    Sensitivity of carotid blood flow to +Gz (head-to-tail) acceleration was studied in six species of snakes hypothesized to show varied adaptive cardiovascular responses to gravity. Blood flow in the proximal carotid artery was measured in 15 snakes before, during and following stepwise increments of +0.25Gz force produced on a 2.4 m diameter centrifuge. During centrifugation each snake was confined to a straight position within an individually- fitted acrylic tube with the head facing the center of rotation. We measured the centrifugal force at the tail of the snake in order to quantify the maximum intensity of force gradient promoting antero-posterior pooling of blood. Tolerance to increased gravity was quantified as the acceleration force at which carotid blood flow ceased. This parameter varied according to the gravitational adaptation of species defined by their ecology and behavior. At the extremes, carotid blood flow decreased in response to increasing gravity and approached zero near +1Gz in aquatic and ground-dwelling species, whereas in climbing species carotid flow was maintained at forces in excess of +2Gz. Surprisingly, tolerant (arboreal) species withstood hypergravic forces of +2 to +3 G. for periods up to 1 h without cessation of carotid blood flow or apparent loss of consciousness. Data suggest that relatively tight skin of the tolerant species provides a natural antigravity suit which is of prime importance in counteracting Gz stress on blood circulation.

  1. Regina rigida (glossy crayfish snake)

    Science.gov (United States)

    David A. Steen; James A. Stiles; Sierra H. Stiles; Craig Guyer; Josh B. Pierce; D. Craig Rudolph; Lora L. Smith

    2011-01-01

    The overland movements and upland habitat use of wetland-associated reptiles has important conservation implications (Semlitsch and Bodie 2003. Conserv. BioI. 17:1219-1228). However, for many species, particularly snakes, we lack a basic understanding of spatial ecology and habitat use. Regina rigida is a poorly known species for which "observations of any kind...

  2. Snakes of the Guianan region

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoogmoed, M.S.

    1982-01-01

    The study of snaks from the Guianan region got an early start in 1705 when several species were pictured by Merian. As relatively large proportion of the snakes described by Linnaeus originated from Surinam. Interest for and knowledge of this group of animals steadily increased in the 18th and 19th

  3. The Burmese python genome reveals the molecular basis for extreme adaptation in snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castoe, Todd A; de Koning, A P Jason; Hall, Kathryn T; Card, Daren C; Schield, Drew R; Fujita, Matthew K; Ruggiero, Robert P; Degner, Jack F; Daza, Juan M; Gu, Wanjun; Reyes-Velasco, Jacobo; Shaney, Kyle J; Castoe, Jill M; Fox, Samuel E; Poole, Alex W; Polanco, Daniel; Dobry, Jason; Vandewege, Michael W; Li, Qing; Schott, Ryan K; Kapusta, Aurélie; Minx, Patrick; Feschotte, Cédric; Uetz, Peter; Ray, David A; Hoffmann, Federico G; Bogden, Robert; Smith, Eric N; Chang, Belinda S W; Vonk, Freek J; Casewell, Nicholas R; Henkel, Christiaan V; Richardson, Michael K; Mackessy, Stephen P; Bronikowski, Anne M; Bronikowsi, Anne M; Yandell, Mark; Warren, Wesley C; Secor, Stephen M; Pollock, David D

    2013-12-17

    Snakes possess many extreme morphological and physiological adaptations. Identification of the molecular basis of these traits can provide novel understanding for vertebrate biology and medicine. Here, we study snake biology using the genome sequence of the Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus), a model of extreme physiological and metabolic adaptation. We compare the python and king cobra genomes along with genomic samples from other snakes and perform transcriptome analysis to gain insights into the extreme phenotypes of the python. We discovered rapid and massive transcriptional responses in multiple organ systems that occur on feeding and coordinate major changes in organ size and function. Intriguingly, the homologs of these genes in humans are associated with metabolism, development, and pathology. We also found that many snake metabolic genes have undergone positive selection, which together with the rapid evolution of mitochondrial proteins, provides evidence for extensive adaptive redesign of snake metabolic pathways. Additional evidence for molecular adaptation and gene family expansions and contractions is associated with major physiological and phenotypic adaptations in snakes; genes involved are related to cell cycle, development, lungs, eyes, heart, intestine, and skeletal structure, including GRB2-associated binding protein 1, SSH, WNT16, and bone morphogenetic protein 7. Finally, changes in repetitive DNA content, guanine-cytosine isochore structure, and nucleotide substitution rates indicate major shifts in the structure and evolution of snake genomes compared with other amniotes. Phenotypic and physiological novelty in snakes seems to be driven by system-wide coordination of protein adaptation, gene expression, and changes in the structure of the genome.

  4. Gene expression in SK-Mel-28 human melanoma cells treated with the snake venom jararhagin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Anelise; Capitanio, Juliana Silva; Maria, Durvanei Augusto; Ruiz, Itamar Romano Garcia

    2011-01-01

    Alternative approaches to improve the treatment of advanced melanomas are highly needed. The disintegrin domain of metalloproteinases binds integrin receptors on tumor cells, blocking migration, invasion, and metastatization. Previous studies showed that jararhagin, from the Bothrops jararaca snake venom, induces changes in the morphology and viability of SK-Mel-28 human melanoma cells, and decreases the number of metastases in mice injected with pre-treated cells. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the molecular effects of jararhagin on SK-Mel-28 cells and fibroblasts, concerning the expression of integrins, cadherins, caspases, and TP53 genes. Sub-toxic doses of jararhagin were administered to confluent cells. RT-PCR was performed following extraction of total RNA. Jararhagin treatments induced similar morphological alterations in both normal and tumor cells, with higher IC50 values for fibroblasts. Integrin genes were downregulated in untreated cells, except for ITGA6a,b, ITGAv, and ITGB3 which were highly expressed in SK-Mel-28. The integrin expression profiles were not affected by the toxin. However, jararhagin 30ng/μl upregulated genes TP53, CDKN1A, CDKN2A, CASP3, CASP5, CASP6, CASP8, and E-CDH in SK-Mel-28, and genes ITGB6, ITGB7, CASP3, TP53, and CDKN1B in fibroblasts. Appropriate jararhagin concentration can have apoptotic and suppressant effects on SK-Mel-28 cells, rather than on fibroblasts, and can be used to develop potential anti-cancer drugs. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Tarantula toxins use common surfaces for interacting with Kv and ASIC ion channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Kanchan; Zamanian, Maryam; Bae, Chanhyung; Milescu, Mirela; Krepkiy, Dmitriy; Tilley, Drew C; Sack, Jon T; Yarov-Yarovoy, Vladimir; Kim, Jae Il; Swartz, Kenton J

    2015-05-07

    Tarantula toxins that bind to voltage-sensing domains of voltage-activated ion channels are thought to partition into the membrane and bind to the channel within the bilayer. While no structures of a voltage-sensor toxin bound to a channel have been solved, a structural homolog, psalmotoxin (PcTx1), was recently crystalized in complex with the extracellular domain of an acid sensing ion channel (ASIC). In the present study we use spectroscopic, biophysical and computational approaches to compare membrane interaction properties and channel binding surfaces of PcTx1 with the voltage-sensor toxin guangxitoxin (GxTx-1E). Our results show that both types of tarantula toxins interact with membranes, but that voltage-sensor toxins partition deeper into the bilayer. In addition, our results suggest that tarantula toxins have evolved a similar concave surface for clamping onto α-helices that is effective in aqueous or lipidic physical environments.

  6. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of coagulation factor IX-binding protein from habu snake venom at pH 6.5 and 4.6

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suzuki, Nobuhiro; Shikamoto, Yasuo; Fujimoto, Zui; Morita, Takashi; Mizuno, Hiroshi

    2004-01-01

    Crystals of habu coagulation factor IX-binding protein have been obtained at pH 6.5 and 4.6 and characterized by X-ray diffraction. Coagulation factor IX-binding protein isolated from Trimeresurus flavoviridis (IX-bp) is a C-type lectin-like protein. It is an anticoagulant protein consisting of homologous subunits A and B. The subunits both contain a Ca 2+ -binding site with differing affinity (K d values of 14 and 130 µM at pH 7.5). These binding characteristics are pH-dependent; under acidic conditions, the affinity of the low-affinity site was reduced considerably. In order to identify which site has high affinity and also to investigate the Ca 2+ -releasing mechanism, IX-bp was crystallized at pH 6.5 and 4.6. The crystals at pH 6.5 and 4.6 diffracted to 1.72 and 2.29 Å resolution, respectively; the former crystals belong to the monoclinic space group P2 1 , with unit-cell parameters a = 60.7, b = 63.5, c = 66.9 Å, β = 117.0°, while the latter belong to the monoclinic space group C2, with a = 134.1, b = 37.8, c = 55.8 Å, β = 110.4°

  7. Fucosylation and protein glycosylation create functional receptors for cholera toxin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wands, Amberlyn M; Fujita, Akiko; McCombs, Janet E

    2015-01-01

    Cholera toxin (CT) enters and intoxicates host cells after binding cell surface receptors using its B subunit (CTB). The ganglioside (glycolipid) GM1 is thought to be the sole CT receptor; however, the mechanism by which CTB binding to GM1 mediates internalization of CT remains enigmatic. Here we...... in normal human intestinal epithelia and could play a role in cholera....

  8. Growth factor toxin fusion proteins for the treatment of leukemia: Preclinical animal studies relevant for human acute myeloid leukemia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    H. Rozemuller (Henk)

    1997-01-01

    textabstractIn the development of new therapeutic agents to treat malignancies. bacterial and plant toxins are being investigated. Targeting cells with these toxins has been facilitated by chemical conjugation or genetic engineering of the toxin to proteins with cellular binding potential, such as

  9. Crystal structure of Clostridium difficile toxin A

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chumbler, Nicole M.; Rutherford, Stacey A.; Zhang, Zhifen; Farrow, Melissa A.; Lisher, John P.; Farquhar, Erik; Giedroc, David P.; Spiller, Benjamin W.; Melnyk, Roman A.; Lacy, D. Borden

    2016-01-11

    Clostridium difficile infection is the leading cause of hospital-acquired diarrhoea and pseudomembranous colitis. Disease is mediated by the actions of two toxins, TcdA and TcdB, which cause the diarrhoea, as well as inflammation and necrosis within the colon. The toxins are large (308 and 270 kDa, respectively), homologous (47% amino acid identity) glucosyltransferases that target small GTPases within the host. The multidomain toxins enter cells by receptor-mediated endocytosis and, upon exposure to the low pH of the endosome, insert into and deliver two enzymatic domains across the membrane. Eukaryotic inositol-hexakisphosphate (InsP6) binds an autoprocessing domain to activate a proteolysis event that releases the N-terminal glucosyltransferase domain into the cytosol. Here, we report the crystal structure of a 1,832-amino-acid fragment of TcdA (TcdA1832), which reveals a requirement for zinc in the mechanism of toxin autoprocessing and an extended delivery domain that serves as a scaffold for the hydrophobic α-helices involved in pH-dependent pore formation. A surface loop of the delivery domain whose sequence is strictly conserved among all large clostridial toxins is shown to be functionally important, and is highlighted for future efforts in the development of vaccines and novel therapeutics.

  10. Array biosensor for detection of toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ligler, Frances S.; Taitt, Chris Rowe; Shriver-Lake, Lisa C.; Sapsford, Kim E.; Shubin, Yura; Golden, Joel P.

    2003-01-01

    The array biosensor is capable of detecting multiple targets rapidly and simultaneously on the surface of a single waveguide. Sandwich and competitive fluoroimmunoassays have been developed to detect high and low molecular weight toxins, respectively, in complex samples. Recognition molecules (usually antibodies) were first immobilized in specific locations on the waveguide and the resultant patterned array was used to interrogate up to 12 different samples for the presence of multiple different analytes. Upon binding of a fluorescent analyte or fluorescent immunocomplex, the pattern of fluorescent spots was detected using a CCD camera. Automated image analysis was used to determine a mean fluorescence value for each assay spot and to subtract the local background signal. The location of the spot and its mean fluorescence value were used to determine the toxin identity and concentration. Toxins were measured in clinical fluids, environmental samples and foods, with minimal sample preparation. Results are shown for rapid analyses of staphylococcal enterotoxin B, ricin, cholera toxin, botulinum toxoids, trinitrotoluene, and the mycotoxin fumonisin. Toxins were detected at levels as low as 0.5 ng mL(-1).

  11. Catch a tiger snake by its tail: Differential toxicity, co-factor dependence and antivenom efficacy in a procoagulant clade of Australian venomous snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lister, Callum; Arbuckle, Kevin; Jackson, Timothy N W; Debono, Jordan; Zdenek, Christina N; Dashevsky, Daniel; Dunstan, Nathan; Allen, Luke; Hay, Chris; Bush, Brian; Gillett, Amber; Fry, Bryan G

    2017-11-01

    A paradigm of venom research is adaptive evolution of toxins as part of a predator-prey chemical arms race. This study examined differential co-factor dependence, variations relative to dietary preference, and the impact upon relative neutralisation by antivenom of the procoagulant toxins in the venoms of a clade of Australian snakes. All genera were characterised by venoms rich in factor Xa which act upon endogenous prothrombin. Examination of toxin sequences revealed an extraordinary level of conservation, which indicates that adaptive evolution is not a feature of this toxin type. Consistent with this, the venoms did not display differences on the plasma of different taxa. Examination of the prothrombin target revealed endogenous blood proteins are under extreme negative selection pressure for diversification, this in turn puts a strong negative selection pressure upon the toxins as sequence diversification could result in a drift away from the target. Thus this study reveals that adaptive evolution is not a consistent feature in toxin evolution in cases where the target is under negative selection pressure for diversification. Consistent with this high level of toxin conservation, the antivenom showed extremely high-levels of cross-reactivity. There was however a strong statistical correlation between relative degree of phospholipid-dependence and clotting time, with the least dependent venoms producing faster clotting times than the other venoms even in the presence of phospholipid. The results of this study are not only of interest to evolutionary and ecological disciplines, but also have implications for clinical toxinology. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Transcriptomic basis for an antiserum against Micrurus corallinus (coral snake venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ho Paulo L

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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

  13. Higher cytotoxicity of divalent antibody-toxins than monovalent antibody-toxins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Won, JaeSeon; Nam, PilWon; Lee, YongChan; Choe, MuHyeon

    2009-01-01

    Recombinant antibody-toxins are constructed via the fusion of a 'carcinoma-specific' antibody fragment to a toxin. Due to the high affinity and high selectivity of the antibody fragments, antibody-toxins can bind to surface antigens on cancer cells and kill them without harming normal cells [L.H. Pai, J.K. Batra, D.J. FitzGerald, M.C. Willingham, I. Pastan, Anti-tumor activities of immunotoxins made of monoclonal antibody B3 and various forms of Pseudomonas exotoxin, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 88 (1991) 3358-3362]. In this study, we constructed the antibody-toxin, Fab-SWn-PE38, with SWn (n = 3, 6, 9) sequences containing n-time repeated (G 4 S) between the Fab fragment and PE38 (38 kDa truncated form of Pseudomonas exotoxin A). The SWn sequence also harbored one cysteine residue that could form a disulfide bridge between two Fab-SWn-PE38 monomers. We assessed the cytotoxicity of the monovalent (Fab-SWn-PE38), and divalent ([Fab-SWn-PE38] 2 ) antibody-toxins. The cytotoxicity of the dimer against the CRL1739 cell line was approximately 18.8-fold higher than that of the monomer on the ng/ml scale, which was approximately 37.6-fold higher on the pM scale. These results strongly indicate that divalency provides higher cytotoxicity for an antibody-toxin.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gareth Whiteley

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available 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.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.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 to rare, endangered or protected snake species and provide

  15. Coral snake venoms: mode of action and pathophysiology of experimental envenomation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oswald Vital Brazil

    1987-06-01

    Full Text Available Coral snakes, the New World Elapidae, are included in the genera Micniroides and Micrurus. The genus Mlcrurus comprises nearly all coral snake species and those which are responsible for human snake-bite accidents. The following generalizations concerning the effects induced by their venoms, and their venom-properties can be made. Coral snake venoms are neurotoxic, producing loss of muscle strenght and death by respiratory paralysis. Local edema and necrosis are not induced nor blood coagulation or hemorrhages. Proteolysis activity is absent or of very low grade. They display phospholipase A2 activity. Nephrotoxic effects are not evoked. The main toxins from elapid venoms are postsynaptic and presynaptic neurotoxins and cardiotoxins. Phospholipases A2 endowed with myonecrotic or cardiotoxin-like properties are important toxic components from some elapid venoms. The mode of action of Micrurus frontalis, M. lemniscatus, M. corallinus and M. fulvius venoms has been investigated in isolated muscle preparations and is here discussed. It is shown that while M. frontalis and M. lemniscatus venoms must contain only neurotoxins that act at the cholinergic end-plate receptor (postsynaptic neurotoxins, M. corallinus venom also inhibits evoked acetylcholine release by the motor nerve endings (presynaptic neurotoxin-like effect and M. fulvius induces muscle fiber membrane depolarization (cardiotoxin-like effect. The effects produced by M. corallinus and M. fulvius venoms in vivo in dogs and M. frontalis venom in dogs and monkeys are also reported.

  16. Observations of Snake Resonance in RHIC

    CERN Document Server

    Bai, Mei; Lee, Shyh-Yuan; Lin, Fanglei; MacKay, William; Ptitsyn, Vadim; Roser, Thomas; Tepikian, Steven

    2005-01-01

    Siberian snakes now become essential in the polarized proton acceleration. With proper configuration of Siberian snakes, the spin precession tune of the beam becomes $\\frac{1}{2}$ which avoids all the spin depolarizing resonance. However, the enhancement of the perturbations on the spin motion can still occur when the betatron tune is near some low order fractional numbers, called snake resonances, and the beam can be depolarized when passing through the resonance. The snake resonances have been confirmed in the spin tracking calculations, and observed in RHIC with polarized proton beam. Equipped with two full Siberian snakes in each ring, RHIC provides us a perfect facility for snake resonance studies. This paper presents latest experimental results. New insights are also discussed.

  17. The Study on the Snake by TOXICON

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sung-wook Kim

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available The study was carried out to investigate the researches of Snake which was published papers in the TOXICON(1990-2.000, one of the most famous Journal of toxicology. And the results were as follows: 1. The number related with Snake is 195papers. 2. There were great papers related wih Cobra, and next is Tigris, Viper, etc. 3. There were great papers related wih protein in the composition of snake venom. 4. There were great papers related wih neurotoxin in the research of poisonous character. 5. There were great papers related wih Viper according to the anticoagulation. 6. Eight papers were published to study the immune response of snake venom. 7. The papers of molecular study of snake venom were seven. 8. The papers of anti-snake venom study were three.

  18. Microalgal toxin(s): characteristics and importance

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Prokaryotic and eukaryotic microalgae produce a wide array of compounds with biological activities. These include antibiotics, algicides, toxins, pharmaceutically active compounds and plant growth regulators. Toxic microalgae, in this sense, are common only among the cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates. The microalgal ...

  19. Snake scales, partial exposure, and the Snake Detection Theory: A human event-related potentials study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Strien, Jan W.; Isbell, Lynne A.

    2017-01-01

    Studies of event-related potentials in humans have established larger early posterior negativity (EPN) in response to pictures depicting snakes than to pictures depicting other creatures. Ethological research has recently shown that macaques and wild vervet monkeys respond strongly to partially exposed snake models and scale patterns on the snake skin. Here, we examined whether snake skin patterns and partially exposed snakes elicit a larger EPN in humans. In Task 1, we employed pictures with close-ups of snake skins, lizard skins, and bird plumage. In task 2, we employed pictures of partially exposed snakes, lizards, and birds. Participants watched a random rapid serial visual presentation of these pictures. The EPN was scored as the mean activity (225–300 ms after picture onset) at occipital and parieto-occipital electrodes. Consistent with previous studies, and with the Snake Detection Theory, the EPN was significantly larger for snake skin pictures than for lizard skin and bird plumage pictures, and for lizard skin pictures than for bird plumage pictures. Likewise, the EPN was larger for partially exposed snakes than for partially exposed lizards and birds. The results suggest that the EPN snake effect is partly driven by snake skin scale patterns which are otherwise rare in nature. PMID:28387376

  20. CORAL SNAKE ANTIVENOM PRODUCED IN CHICKENS (Gallus domesticus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irma Aguilar

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The production of anti-snake venom from large mammal's blood has been found to be low-yielding and arduous, consequently, antivenom immunoglobulins for treatment are achieved regularly as polyvalent serum. We have standardized an undemanding technique for making purified immunoglobulin IgY antivenom consisting of polyclonal antibodies against coral snake venom in the egg yolk of immunized hens. We have adapted a reported process of antibody purification from egg yolks, and achieved 90% antibody purity. The customized technique consisted of the removal of lipids from distilled water-diluted egg yolks by a freeze–thaw sequence. The specific immunoglobulins were present in the egg yolk for up to 180 days postimmunization. Therefore, by means of small venom quantities, a significant amount of immunoglobulins were found in an adequately purified state (The obtained material contained about 90% pure IgY. The antigen binding of the immunoglobulins was detected by a double immunodiffusion test. Titers of antibodies in the yolk were estimated with a serum protection assay (Median effective dose = ED50 (ED50= 477 mg/kg. Given that breeding hens is economically feasible, egg gathering is noninvasive and the purification of IgY antibodies is quick and easy, chicken immunization is an excellent alternative for the production of polyclonal antibodies. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first coral snake antivenom prepared in birds.

  1. Crotacetin, a novel snake venom C-type lectin, is homolog of convulxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Rádis-Baptista

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Snake venom (sv C-type lectins encompass a group of hemorrhagic toxins, which are able to interfere with hemostasis. They share significant similarity in their primary structures with C-type lectins of other animals, and also present a conserved carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD. A very well studied sv C-type lectin is the heterodimeric toxin, convulxin (CVX, from the venoms of South American rattlesnakes, Crotalus durissus terrificus and C. d. cascavella. It consists of two subunits, alfa (CVXalpha , 13.9 kDa and beta (CVXbeta , 12.6 kDa, joined by inter and intra-chain disulfide bounds, and is arranged in a tetrameric alpha4beta4 conformation. Convulxin is able to activate platelet and induce their aggregation by acting via p62/GPVI collagen receptor. Several cDNA precursors, homolog of CVX subunits, were cloned by PCR homology screening. As determined by computational analysis, one of them, named crotacetin beta subunit, was predicted as a polypeptide with a tridimensional conformation very similar to other subunits of convulxin-like snake toxins. Crotacetin was purified from C. durissus venoms by gel permeation and reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography. The heterodimeric crotacetin is expressed in the venoms of several C. durissus subspecies, but it is prevalent in the venom of C. durissus cascavella. As inferred from homology modeling, crotacetin induces platelet aggregation but noticeably exhibits antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.

  2. Helical Siberian snakes using dipole magnets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wienands, U.

    1990-09-01

    A family of multi-twist transverse-field spin rotators using discrete bending magnets is described that can be used as Siberian snakes. By varying the number of twists, snakes with quite small excursions can be constructed at only a small penalty in the overall field integral. Examples for a 1/4-twist snake and a 3-twist snake are presented, the first suitable for a very high energy machine and the second for use in the proposed TRIUMF Kaon Factory. (Author) (3 refs.)

  3. Clostridial Binary Toxins: Iota and C2 Family Portraits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stiles, Bradley G.; Wigelsworth, Darran J.; Popoff, Michel R.; Barth, Holger

    2011-01-01

    There are many pathogenic Clostridium species with diverse virulence factors that include protein toxins. Some of these bacteria, such as C. botulinum, C. difficile, C. perfringens, and C. spiroforme, cause enteric problems in animals as well as humans. These often fatal diseases can partly be attributed to binary protein toxins that follow a classic AB paradigm. Within a targeted cell, all clostridial binary toxins destroy filamentous actin via mono-ADP-ribosylation of globular actin by the A component. However, much less is known about B component binding to cell-surface receptors. These toxins share sequence homology amongst themselves and with those produced by another Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium also commonly associated with soil and disease: Bacillus anthracis. This review focuses upon the iota and C2 families of clostridial binary toxins and includes: (1) basics of the bacterial source; (2) toxin biochemistry; (3) sophisticated cellular uptake machinery; and (4) host–cell responses following toxin-mediated disruption of the cytoskeleton. In summary, these protein toxins aid diverse enteric species within the genus Clostridium. PMID:22919577

  4. Short Toxin-like Proteins Abound in Cnidaria Genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michal Linial

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Cnidaria is a rich phylum that includes thousands of marine species. In this study, we focused on Anthozoa and Hydrozoa that are represented by the Nematostella vectensis (Sea anemone and Hydra magnipapillata genomes. We present a method for ranking the toxin-like candidates from complete proteomes of Cnidaria. Toxin-like functions were revealed using ClanTox, a statistical machine-learning predictor trained on ion channel inhibitors from venomous animals. Fundamental features that were emphasized in training ClanTox include cysteines and their spacing along the sequences. Among the 83,000 proteins derived from Cnidaria representatives, we found 170 candidates that fulfill the properties of toxin-like-proteins, the vast majority of which were previously unrecognized as toxins. An additional 394 short proteins exhibit characteristics of toxin-like proteins at a moderate degree of confidence. Remarkably, only 11% of the predicted toxin-like proteins were previously classified as toxins. Based on our prediction methodology and manual annotation, we inferred functions for over 400 of these proteins. Such functions include protease inhibitors, membrane pore formation, ion channel blockers and metal binding proteins. Many of the proteins belong to small families of paralogs. We conclude that the evolutionary expansion of toxin-like proteins in Cnidaria contributes to their fitness in the complex environment of the aquatic ecosystem.

  5. Indiana: Siberian Snake saves spin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anon.

    1990-01-15

    A team working at the Indiana University Cooler Ring has used a 'Siberian Snake' system to accelerate a spin-polarized proton beam through two depolarizing resonances with no loss of spin. The Michigan/lndiana/Brookhaven team under Alan Krisch overcame their first imperfection resonance hurdle at 108 MeV, and in a subsequent run vanquished a further resonance at 177 MeV.

  6. Indiana: Siberian Snake saves spin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1990-01-01

    A team working at the Indiana University Cooler Ring has used a 'Siberian Snake' system to accelerate a spin-polarized proton beam through two depolarizing resonances with no loss of spin. The Michigan/lndiana/Brookhaven team under Alan Krisch overcame their first imperfection resonance hurdle at 108 MeV, and in a subsequent run vanquished a further resonance at 177 MeV

  7. Structures of pseudechetoxin and pseudecin, two snake-venom cysteine-rich secretory proteins that target cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channels: implications for movement of the C-terminal cysteine-rich domain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suzuki, Nobuhiro [Department of Applied Biochemistry, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8572 (Japan); Department of Biochemistry, National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8602 (Japan); Yamazaki, Yasuo [Department of Biochemistry, Meiji Pharmaceutical University, Kiyose, Tokyo 204-8588 (Japan); Brown, R. Lane [Neurological Science Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, Beaverton, Oregon 97006 (United States); Fujimoto, Zui [Department of Biochemistry, National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8602 (Japan); Morita, Takashi, E-mail: tmorita@my-pharm.ac.jp [Department of Biochemistry, Meiji Pharmaceutical University, Kiyose, Tokyo 204-8588 (Japan); Mizuno, Hiroshi, E-mail: tmorita@my-pharm.ac.jp [Department of Biochemistry, National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8602 (Japan); VALWAY Technology Center, NEC Soft Ltd, Koto-ku, Tokyo 136-8627 (Japan); Institute for Biological Resources and Functions, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Central 6, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8566 (Japan); Department of Applied Biochemistry, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8572 (Japan)

    2008-10-01

    The structures of pseudechetoxin and pseudecin suggest that both proteins bind to cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channels in a manner in which the concave surface occludes the pore entrance. Cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) ion channels play pivotal roles in sensory transduction by retinal photoreceptors and olfactory neurons. The elapid snake toxins pseudechetoxin (PsTx) and pseudecin (Pdc) are the only known protein blockers of CNG channels. These toxins belong to a cysteine-rich secretory protein (CRISP) family containing an N-terminal pathogenesis-related proteins of group 1 (PR-1) domain and a C-terminal cysteine-rich domain (CRD). PsTx and Pdc are highly homologous proteins, but their blocking affinities on CNG channels are different: PsTx blocks both the olfactory and retinal channels with ∼15–30-fold higher affinity than Pdc. To gain further insights into their structure and function, the crystal structures of PsTx, Pdc and Zn{sup 2+}-bound Pdc were determined. The structures revealed that most of the amino-acid-residue differences between PsTx and Pdc are located around the concave surface formed between the PR-1 domain and the CRD, suggesting that the concave surface is functionally important for CNG-channel binding and inhibition. A structural comparison in the presence and absence of Zn{sup 2+} ion demonstrated that the concave surface can open and close owing to movement of the CRD upon Zn{sup 2+} binding. The data suggest that PsTx and Pdc occlude the pore entrance and that the dynamic motion of the concave surface facilitates interaction with the CNG channels.

  8. Structures of pseudechetoxin and pseudecin, two snake-venom cysteine-rich secretory proteins that target cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channels: implications for movement of the C-terminal cysteine-rich domain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suzuki, Nobuhiro; Yamazaki, Yasuo; Brown, R. Lane; Fujimoto, Zui; Morita, Takashi; Mizuno, Hiroshi

    2008-01-01

    The structures of pseudechetoxin and pseudecin suggest that both proteins bind to cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channels in a manner in which the concave surface occludes the pore entrance. Cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) ion channels play pivotal roles in sensory transduction by retinal photoreceptors and olfactory neurons. The elapid snake toxins pseudechetoxin (PsTx) and pseudecin (Pdc) are the only known protein blockers of CNG channels. These toxins belong to a cysteine-rich secretory protein (CRISP) family containing an N-terminal pathogenesis-related proteins of group 1 (PR-1) domain and a C-terminal cysteine-rich domain (CRD). PsTx and Pdc are highly homologous proteins, but their blocking affinities on CNG channels are different: PsTx blocks both the olfactory and retinal channels with ∼15–30-fold higher affinity than Pdc. To gain further insights into their structure and function, the crystal structures of PsTx, Pdc and Zn 2+ -bound Pdc were determined. The structures revealed that most of the amino-acid-residue differences between PsTx and Pdc are located around the concave surface formed between the PR-1 domain and the CRD, suggesting that the concave surface is functionally important for CNG-channel binding and inhibition. A structural comparison in the presence and absence of Zn 2+ ion demonstrated that the concave surface can open and close owing to movement of the CRD upon Zn 2+ binding. The data suggest that PsTx and Pdc occlude the pore entrance and that the dynamic motion of the concave surface facilitates interaction with the CNG channels

  9. Experimental research of specificity of fear of snake: coral snake pattern

    OpenAIRE

    Průšová, Lucie

    2013-01-01

    Due to shared coevolutionary history of snakes and primates with snakes acting as their main predators, snakes elicit fear in most of the primates, humans included. Humans are able to notice a stimulus that elicits fear, e.g., a snake, much faster. Such ability might have surely positively affected their survival in the past. In the nature, aposematic coloration acts as a warning of a dangerous prey to its predators not to devour it. The highly poisonous American coral snakes have this colora...

  10. Topical botulinum toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Ashley; Nasir, Adnan

    2010-03-01

    Nanotechnology is a rapidly growing discipline that capitalizes on the unique properties of matter engineered on the nanoscale. Vehicles incorporating nanotechnology have led to great strides in drug delivery, allowing for increased active ingredient stability, bioavailability, and site-specific targeting. Botulinum toxin has historically been used for the correction of neurological and neuromuscular disorders, such as torticollis, blepharospasm, and strabismus. Recent dermatological indications have been for the management of axillary hyperhydrosis and facial rhytides. Traditional methods of botulinum toxin delivery have been needle-based. These have been associated with increased pain and cost. Newer methods of botulinum toxin formulation have yielded topical preparations that are bioactive in small pilot clinical studies. While there are some risks associated with topical delivery, the refinement and standardization of delivery systems and techniques for the topical administration of botulinum toxin using nanotechnology is anticipated in the near future.

  11. Fasting for 21days leads to changes in adipose tissue and liver physiology in juvenile checkered garter snakes (Thamnophis marcianus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Mary; Jessee, Renee; Close, Matthew; Fu, Xiangping; Settlage, Robert; Wang, Guoqing; Cline, Mark A; Gilbert, Elizabeth R

    2015-12-01

    Snakes often undergo periods of prolonged fasting and, under certain conditions, can survive years without food. Despite this unique phenomenon, there are relatively few reports of the physiological adaptations to fasting in snakes. At post-prandial day 1 (fed) or 21 (fasting), brain, liver, and adipose tissues were collected from juvenile checkered garter snakes (Thamnophis marcianus). There was greater glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (G3PDH)-specific activity in the liver of fasted than fed snakes (P=0.01). The mRNA abundance of various fat metabolism-associated factors was measured in brain, liver, and adipose tissue. Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) mRNA was greater in fasted than fed snakes in the brain (P=0.04). Adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL; P=0.006) mRNA was greater in the liver of fasted than fed snakes. In adipose tissue, expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)γ (P=0.01), and fatty acid binding protein 4 (P=0.03) was greater in fed than fasted snakes. Analysis of adipocyte morphology revealed that cross-sectional area (P=0.095) and diameter (P=0.27) were not significantly different between fed and fasted snakes. Results suggest that mean adipocyte area can be preserved during fasting by dampening lipid biosynthesis while not changing rates of lipid hydrolysis. In the liver, however, extensive lipid remodeling may provide energy and lipoproteins to maintain lipid structural integrity during energy restriction. Because the duration of fasting was not sufficient to change adipocyte size, results suggest that the liver is important as a short-term provider of energy in the snake. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Breaking Snake Camouflage: Humans Detect Snakes More Accurately than Other Animals under Less Discernible Visual Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawai, Nobuyuki; He, Hongshen

    2016-01-01

    Humans and non-human primates are extremely sensitive to snakes as exemplified by their ability to detect pictures of snakes more quickly than those of other animals. These findings are consistent with the Snake Detection Theory, which hypothesizes that as predators, snakes were a major source of evolutionary selection that favored expansion of the visual system of primates for rapid snake detection. Many snakes use camouflage to conceal themselves from both prey and their own predators, making it very challenging to detect them. If snakes have acted as a selective pressure on primate visual systems, they should be more easily detected than other animals under difficult visual conditions. Here we tested whether humans discerned images of snakes more accurately than those of non-threatening animals (e.g., birds, cats, or fish) under conditions of less perceptual information by presenting a series of degraded images with the Random Image Structure Evolution technique (interpolation of random noise). We find that participants recognize mosaic images of snakes, which were regarded as functionally equivalent to camouflage, more accurately than those of other animals under dissolved conditions. The present study supports the Snake Detection Theory by showing that humans have a visual system that accurately recognizes snakes under less discernible visual conditions.

  13. Breaking Snake Camouflage: Humans Detect Snakes More Accurately than Other Animals under Less Discernible Visual Conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nobuyuki Kawai

    Full Text Available Humans and non-human primates are extremely sensitive to snakes as exemplified by their ability to detect pictures of snakes more quickly than those of other animals. These findings are consistent with the Snake Detection Theory, which hypothesizes that as predators, snakes were a major source of evolutionary selection that favored expansion of the visual system of primates for rapid snake detection. Many snakes use camouflage to conceal themselves from both prey and their own predators, making it very challenging to detect them. If snakes have acted as a selective pressure on primate visual systems, they should be more easily detected than other animals under difficult visual conditions. Here we tested whether humans discerned images of snakes more accurately than those of non-threatening animals (e.g., birds, cats, or fish under conditions of less perceptual information by presenting a series of degraded images with the Random Image Structure Evolution technique (interpolation of random noise. We find that participants recognize mosaic images of snakes, which were regarded as functionally equivalent to camouflage, more accurately than those of other animals under dissolved conditions. The present study supports the Snake Detection Theory by showing that humans have a visual system that accurately recognizes snakes under less discernible visual conditions.

  14. Toxin-mediated effects on the innate mucosal defenses: implications for enteric vaccines

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Glenn, Gregory M; Francis, David H; Danielsen, E Michael

    2009-01-01

    mucosal barrier as a key step in enteric pathogen survival. We review key observations relevant to the roles of LT and cholera toxin in protective immunity and the effects of these toxins on innate mucosal defenses. We suggest either that toxin-mediated fluid secretion mechanically disrupts the mucus...... layer or that toxins interfere with innate mucosal defenses by other means. Such a breach gives pathogens access to the enterocyte, leading to binding and pathogenicity by enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) and other organisms. Given the common exposure to LT(+) ETEC by humans visiting or residing...... unexpectedly broad protective effects against LT(+) ETEC and mixed infections when using a toxin-based enteric vaccine. If toxins truly exert barrier-disruptive effects as a key step in pathogenesis, then a return to classic toxin-based vaccine strategies for enteric disease is warranted and can be expected...

  15. Anti-idiotypic antibodies that protect cells against the action of diphtheria toxin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rolf, J.M.; Gaudin, H.M.; Tirrell, S.M.; MacDonald, A.B.; Eidels, L.

    1989-01-01

    An anti-idiotypic serum prepared against the combining site (idiotype) of specific anti-diphtheria toxoid antibodies was characterized with respect to its interaction with highly diphtheria toxin-sensitive Vero cells. Although the anti-idiotypic serum protected Vero cells against the cytotoxic action of diphtheria toxin, it did not prevent the binding of 125 I-labeled diphtheria toxin to the cells but did inhibit the internalization and degradation of 125 I-labeled toxin. This anti-idiotypic serum immunoprecipitated a cell-surface protein from radiolabeled Vero cells with an apparent Mr of approximately 15,000. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the anti-idiotypic serum contains antibodies that carry an internal image of an internalization site on the toxin and that a cell-surface protein involved in toxin internalization possesses a complementary site recognized by both the toxin and the anti-idiotypic antibodies

  16. Anti-idiotypic antibodies that protect cells against the action of diphtheria toxin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rolf, J.M.; Gaudin, H.M.; Tirrell, S.M.; MacDonald, A.B.; Eidels, L.

    1989-03-01

    An anti-idiotypic serum prepared against the combining site (idiotype) of specific anti-diphtheria toxoid antibodies was characterized with respect to its interaction with highly diphtheria toxin-sensitive Vero cells. Although the anti-idiotypic serum protected Vero cells against the cytotoxic action of diphtheria toxin, it did not prevent the binding of /sup 125/I-labeled diphtheria toxin to the cells but did inhibit the internalization and degradation of /sup 125/I-labeled toxin. This anti-idiotypic serum immunoprecipitated a cell-surface protein from radiolabeled Vero cells with an apparent Mr of approximately 15,000. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the anti-idiotypic serum contains antibodies that carry an internal image of an internalization site on the toxin and that a cell-surface protein involved in toxin internalization possesses a complementary site recognized by both the toxin and the anti-idiotypic antibodies.

  17. 33 CFR 117.385 - Snake River.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Snake River. 117.385 Section 117.385 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY BRIDGES DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS Specific Requirements Idaho § 117.385 Snake River. The drawspan of the U.S. 12 bridge...

  18. An unusual complication of snake bite

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary Grace

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Anterior pituitary hypofunction is a well-known complication following snake bite. However, central diabetes insipidus as a complication of snake bite is only rarely reported in the literature. We are reporting a case of central diabetes insipidus, which developed as sequelae to viper bite.

  19. On a collection of Snakes from Dehli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lidth de Jeude, van Th.W.

    1890-01-01

    During his stay in Laboean (Delili, East-Sumatra) Dr. B. Hagen, to whom the Leyden Museum is indebted for large series of mammals, birds and insects, also collected a large number of snakes, the greater part of which were sent to our Museum. Dr. Hagen took a lively interest in snakes, and being

  20. Evolutionary stability of sex chromosomes in snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rovatsos, Michail; Vukić, Jasna; Lymberakis, Petros; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2015-12-22

    Amniote vertebrates possess various mechanisms of sex determination, but their variability is not equally distributed. The large evolutionary stability of sex chromosomes in viviparous mammals and birds was believed to be connected with their endothermy. However, some ectotherm lineages seem to be comparably conserved in sex determination, but previously there was a lack of molecular evidence to confirm this. Here, we document a stability of sex chromosomes in advanced snakes based on the testing of Z-specificity of genes using quantitative PCR (qPCR) across 37 snake species (our qPCR technique is suitable for molecular sexing in potentially all advanced snakes). We discovered that at least part of sex chromosomes is homologous across all families of caenophidian snakes (Acrochordidae, Xenodermatidae, Pareatidae, Viperidae, Homalopsidae, Colubridae, Elapidae and Lamprophiidae). The emergence of differentiated sex chromosomes can be dated back to about 60 Ma and preceded the extensive diversification of advanced snakes, the group with more than 3000 species. The Z-specific genes of caenophidian snakes are (pseudo)autosomal in the members of the snake families Pythonidae, Xenopeltidae, Boidae, Erycidae and Sanziniidae, as well as in outgroups with differentiated sex chromosomes such as monitor lizards, iguanas and chameleons. Along with iguanas, advanced snakes are therefore another example of ectothermic amniotes with a long-term stability of sex chromosomes comparable with endotherms. © 2015 The Author(s).

  1. Snake venom instability | Willemse | African Zoology

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Egyptian cobra Naja haje haje) and puffadder (Bills arietans). Considerable differences in electrophoretic characteristics were found between fresh venom and commercial venom samples from the same species of snake. These differences could be attributed partly to the instability of snake venom under conditions of drying ...

  2. Anthrax Toxin Receptor 2–Dependent Lethal Toxin Killing In Vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scobie, Heather M; Wigelsworth, Darran J; Marlett, John M; Thomas, Diane; Rainey, G. Jonah A; Lacy, D. Borden; Manchester, Marianne; Collier, R. John; Young, John A. T

    2006-01-01

    Anthrax toxin receptors 1 and 2 (ANTXR1 and ANTXR2) have a related integrin-like inserted (I) domain which interacts with a metal cation that is coordinated by residue D683 of the protective antigen (PA) subunit of anthrax toxin. The receptor-bound metal ion and PA residue D683 are critical for ANTXR1-PA binding. Since PA can bind to ANTXR2 with reduced affinity in the absence of metal ions, we reasoned that D683 mutant forms of PA might specifically interact with ANTXR2. We show here that this is the case. The differential ability of ANTXR1 and ANTXR2 to bind D683 mutant PA proteins was mapped to nonconserved receptor residues at the binding interface with PA domain 2. Moreover, a D683K mutant form of PA that bound specifically to human and rat ANTXR2 mediated killing of rats by anthrax lethal toxin, providing strong evidence for the physiological importance of ANTXR2 in anthrax disease pathogenesis. PMID:17054395

  3. 27 CFR 9.208 - Snake River Valley.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 27 Alcohol, Tobacco Products and Firearms 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Snake River Valley. 9.208... Snake River Valley. (a) Name. The name of the viticultural area described in this section is “Snake River Valley”. For purposes of part 4 of this chapter, “Snake River Valley” is a term of viticultural...

  4. 77 FR 10960 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Snake Creek, Islamorada, FL

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-02-24

    ... Operation Regulation; Snake Creek, Islamorada, FL AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS. ACTION: Notice of temporary... deviation from the regulation governing the operation of Snake Creek Bridge, mile 0.5, across Snake Creek... schedule of Snake Creek Bridge in Islamorada, Florida. This deviation will result in the bridge opening...

  5. Epidemiology of Snake Bites among Selected Communities in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Snake is one of the major group of games feared by people in many localities because of their venoms, yet snakes are equally afraid of human beings. This balance of terror apart from affecting both man and snakes has also led to their deaths. Epidemiology of snake bites among selected communities in the enclave of ...

  6. Sea Snake Harvest in the Gulf of Thailand

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Van Cao, Nguyen; Thien Tao, Nguyen; Moore, Amelia

    2014-01-01

    Abstract: Conservation of sea snakes is virtually nonexistent in Asia, and its role in human–snake interactions in terms of catch, trade, and snakebites as an occupational hazard is mostly unexplored. We collected data on sea snake landings from the Gulf of Thailand, a hotspot for sea snake harvest...... years), and the treatment of sea snake bites with rhinoceros horn. Emerging markets in Southeast Asia drive the harvest of venomous sea snakes in the Gulf of Thailand and sea snake bites present a potentially lethal occupational hazard. We call for implementation of monitoring programs to further...... address the conservation implications of this large-scale marine reptile exploitation....

  7. Functional variability of snake venom metalloproteinases: adaptive advantages in targeting different prey and implications for human envenomation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliana L Bernardoni

    Full Text Available 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.

  8. Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin--new insights into the cellular up-take of the actin-ADP-ribosylating toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aktories, Klaus; Barth, Holger

    2004-04-01

    Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin is a member of the family of binary actin-ADP-ribosylating toxins. It consists of the enzyme component C2I, and the separated binding/translocation component C2II. Proteolytically activated C2II forms heptamers and binds to a carbohydrate cell surface receptor. After attachment of C2I, the toxin complex is endocytosed to reach early endosomes. At low pH of endosomes, C2II-heptamers insert into the membrane, form pores and deliver C2I into the cytosol. Here, C2I ADP-ribosylates actin at Arg177 to block actin polymerization and to induce depolymerization of actin filaments. The mini-review describes main properties of C2 toxin and discusses new findings on the involvement of chaperones in the up-take process of the toxin.

  9. Exponential asymptotics of homoclinic snaking

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dean, A D; Matthews, P C; Cox, S M; King, J R

    2011-01-01

    We study homoclinic snaking in the cubic-quintic Swift–Hohenberg equation (SHE) close to the onset of a subcritical pattern-forming instability. Application of the usual multiple-scales method produces a leading-order stationary front solution, connecting the trivial solution to the patterned state. A localized pattern may therefore be constructed by matching between two distant fronts placed back-to-back. However, the asymptotic expansion of the front is divergent, and hence should be truncated. By truncating optimally, such that the resultant remainder is exponentially small, an exponentially small parameter range is derived within which stationary fronts exist. This is shown to be a direct result of the 'locking' between the phase of the underlying pattern and its slowly varying envelope. The locking mechanism remains unobservable at any algebraic order, and can only be derived by explicitly considering beyond-all-orders effects in the tail of the asymptotic expansion, following the method of Kozyreff and Chapman as applied to the quadratic-cubic SHE (Chapman and Kozyreff 2009 Physica D 238 319–54, Kozyreff and Chapman 2006 Phys. Rev. Lett. 97 44502). Exponentially small, but exponentially growing, contributions appear in the tail of the expansion, which must be included when constructing localized patterns in order to reproduce the full snaking diagram. Implicit within the bifurcation equations is an analytical formula for the width of the snaking region. Due to the linear nature of the beyond-all-orders calculation, the bifurcation equations contain an analytically indeterminable constant, estimated in the previous work by Chapman and Kozyreff using a best fit approximation. A more accurate estimate of the equivalent constant in the cubic-quintic case is calculated from the iteration of a recurrence relation, and the subsequent analytical bifurcation diagram compared with numerical simulations, with good agreement

  10. 50 CFR Table 3 to Part 226 - Hydrologic Units Containing Critical Habitat for Snake River Sockeye Salmon and Snake River...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... Habitat for Snake River Sockeye Salmon and Snake River Spring/Summer and Fall Chinook Salmon 3 Table 3 to... Part 226—Hydrologic Units Containing Critical Habitat for Snake River Sockeye Salmon and Snake River... Snake—Asotin 17060103 17060103 17060103 Upper Grande Ronde 17060104 Wallowa 17060105 Lower Grande Ronde...

  11. The Biology of the Cytolethal Distending Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa Frisan

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The cytolethal distending toxins (CDTs, produced by a variety of Gram-negative pathogenic bacteria, are the first bacterial genotoxins described, since they cause DNA damage in the target cells. CDT is an A-B2 toxin, where the CdtA and CdtC subunits are required to mediate the binding on the surface of the target cells, allowing internalization of the active CdtB subunit, which is functionally homologous to the mammalian deoxyribonuclease I. The nature of the surface receptor is still poorly characterized, however binding of CDT requires intact lipid rafts, and its internalization occurs via dynamin-dependent endocytosis. The toxin is retrograde transported through the Golgi complex and the endoplasmic reticulum, and subsequently translocated into the nuclear compartment, where it exerts the toxic activity. Cellular intoxication induces DNA damage and activation of the DNA damage responses, which results in arrest of the target cells in the G1 and/or G2 phases of the cell cycle and activation of DNA repair mechanisms. Cells that fail to repair the damage will senesce or undergo apoptosis. This review will focus on the well-characterized aspects of the CDT biology and discuss the questions that still remain unanswered.

  12. Marine and freshwater toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hungerford, James M

    2006-01-01

    In a very busy and exciting year, 2005 included First Action approval of a much needed official method for paralytic shellfish toxins and multiple international toxin symposia highlighted by groundbreaking research. These are the first-year milestones and activities of the Marine and Freshwater Toxins Task Force and Analytical Community. Inaugurated in 2004 and described in detail in last year's General Referee Report (1) this international toxins group has grown to 150 members from many regions and countries. Perhaps most important they are now making important and global contributions to food safety and to providing alternatives to animal-based assays. Official Method 2005.06 was first approved in late 2004 by the Task Force and subsequently Official First Action in 2005 (2) by the Methods Committee on Natural Toxins and Food Allergens and the Official Methods Board. This nonproprietary method (3) is a precolumn oxidation, liquid chromatographic method that makes good use of fluorescence detection to provide high sensitivity detection of the saxitoxins. It has also proven to be rugged enough for regulatory use and the highest level of validation. As pointed out in the report of method principle investigator and Study Director James Lawrence, approval of 2005.06 now provides the first official alternative to the mouse bioassay after many decades of shellfish monitoring. This past year in April 2005 the group also held their first international conference, "Marine and Freshwater Toxins Analysis: Ist Joint Symposium and AOAC Task Force Meeting," in Baiona, Spain. The 4-day conference consisted of research and stakeholder presentations and symposium-integrated subgroup sessions on ciguatoxins, saxitoxin assays and liquid chromatography (LC) methods for saxitoxins and domoic acids, okadaiates and azaspiracids, and yessotoxins. Many of these subgroups were recently formed in 2005 and are working towards their goals of producing officially validated analytical methods

  13. Toxins of filamentous fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatnagar, Deepak; Yu, Jiujiang; Ehrlich, Kenneth C

    2002-01-01

    Mycotoxins are low-molecular-weight secondary metabolites of fungi. The most significant mycotoxins are contaminants of agricultural commodities, foods and feeds. Fungi that produce these toxins do so both prior to harvest and during storage. Although contamination of commodities by toxigenic fungi occurs frequently in areas with a hot and humid climate (i.e. conditions favorable for fungal growth), they can also be found in temperate conditions. Production of mycotoxins is dependent upon the type of producing fungus and environmental conditions such as the substrate, water activity (moisture and relative humidity), duration of exposure to stress conditions and microbial, insect or other animal interactions. Although outbreaks of mycotoxicoses in humans have been documented, several of these have not been well characterized, neither has a direct correlation between the mycotoxin and resulting toxic effect been well established in vivo. Even though the specific modes of action of most of the toxins are not well established, acute and chronic effects in prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems, including humans have been reported. The toxicity of the mycotoxins varies considerably with the toxin, the animal species exposed to it, and the extent of exposure, age and nutritional status. Most of the toxic effects of mycotoxins are limited to specific organs, but several mycotoxins affect many organs. Induction of cancer by some mycotoxins is a major concern as a chronic effect of these toxins. It is nearly impossible to eliminate mycotoxins from the foods and feed in spite of the regulatory efforts at the national and international levels to remove the contaminated commodities. This is because mycotoxins are highly stable compounds, the producing fungi are ubiquitous, and food contamination can occur both before and after harvest. Nevertheless, good farm management practices and adequate storage facilities minimize the toxin contamination problems. Current research is

  14. North American snake and scorpion envenomations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilbeck, Jennifer; Gresham, Chip

    2013-06-01

    Envenomations by snakes and scorpions in North America, although uncommon, do occur, and the victims may seek medical treatment. Combined, snake and scorpion encounters result in more than 25,000 calls a year to poison centers. Although some similarities exist with respect to general signs of envenomation and treatment, specific nuances distinguish the medical care to be anticipated and therapies available. Regardless of geographic practice area, exposures will occur that may result in a significant envenomation. This article provides critical care nurses with fundamental knowledge of varied snake and scorpion envenomation presentations and treatments to assist in optimizing patient outcomes. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. The Hidden Snake in the Grass: Superior Detection of Snakes in Challenging Attentional Conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra C Soares

    Full Text Available Snakes have provided a serious threat to primates throughout evolution. Furthermore, bites by venomous snakes still cause significant morbidity and mortality in tropical regions of the world. According to the Snake Detection Theory (SDT Isbell, 2006; 2009, the vital need to detect camouflaged snakes provided strong evolutionary pressure to develop astute perceptual capacity in animals that were potential targets for snake attacks. We performed a series of behavioral tests that assessed snake detection under conditions that may have been critical for survival. We used spiders as the control stimulus because they are also a common object of phobias and rated negatively by the general population, thus commonly lumped together with snakes as "evolutionary fear-relevant". Across four experiments (N = 205 we demonstrate an advantage in snake detection, which was particularly obvious under visual conditions known to impede detection of a wide array of common stimuli, for example brief stimulus exposures, stimuli presentation in the visual periphery, and stimuli camouflaged in a cluttered environment. Our results demonstrate a striking independence of snake detection from ecological factors that impede the detection of other stimuli, which suggests that, consistent with the SDT, they reflect a specific biological adaptation. Nonetheless, the empirical tests we report are limited to only one aspect of this rich theory, which integrates findings across a wide array of scientific disciplines.

  16. The Hidden Snake in the Grass: Superior Detection of Snakes in Challenging Attentional Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soares, Sandra C; Lindström, Björn; Esteves, Francisco; Ohman, Arne

    2014-01-01

    Snakes have provided a serious threat to primates throughout evolution. Furthermore, bites by venomous snakes still cause significant morbidity and mortality in tropical regions of the world. According to the Snake Detection Theory (SDT Isbell, 2006; 2009), the vital need to detect camouflaged snakes provided strong evolutionary pressure to develop astute perceptual capacity in animals that were potential targets for snake attacks. We performed a series of behavioral tests that assessed snake detection under conditions that may have been critical for survival. We used spiders as the control stimulus because they are also a common object of phobias and rated negatively by the general population, thus commonly lumped together with snakes as "evolutionary fear-relevant". Across four experiments (N = 205) we demonstrate an advantage in snake detection, which was particularly obvious under visual conditions known to impede detection of a wide array of common stimuli, for example brief stimulus exposures, stimuli presentation in the visual periphery, and stimuli camouflaged in a cluttered environment. Our results demonstrate a striking independence of snake detection from ecological factors that impede the detection of other stimuli, which suggests that, consistent with the SDT, they reflect a specific biological adaptation. Nonetheless, the empirical tests we report are limited to only one aspect of this rich theory, which integrates findings across a wide array of scientific disciplines.

  17. On some labelings of triangular snake and central graph of triangular snake graph

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agasthi, P.; Parvathi, N.

    2018-04-01

    A Triangular snake Tn is obtained from a path u 1 u 2 … u n by joining ui and u i+1 to a new vertex wi for 1≤i≤n‑1. A Central graph of Triangular snake C(T n ) is obtained by subdividing each edge of Tn exactly once and joining all the non adjacent vertices of Tn . In this paper the ways to construct square sum, square difference, Root Mean square, strongly Multiplicative, Even Mean and Odd Mean labeling for Triangular Snake and Central graph of Triangular Snake graphs are reported.

  18. First documented case of snake fungal disease in a free-ranging wild snake in Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glorioso, Brad M.; Waddle, J. Hardin; Green, David E.; Lorch, Jeffrey M.

    2016-01-01

    Snake fungal disease (SFD) is a recently documented mycotic disease characterized by scabs or crusty scales, subcutaneous nodules, abnormal molting, cloudiness of the eyes (not associated with molting), and localized thickening or crusting of the skin. SFD has been documented in many species in the Eastern and Midwestern United States within the last decade. SFD has proven lethal in many snakes, and the disease is recognized as an emerging threat to wild snake populations. Here, we describe the first documented case of SFD in Louisiana in a free-ranging wild snake.

  19. A Novel Tenebrio molitor Cadherin Is a Functional Receptor for Bacillus thuringiensis Cry3Aa Toxin*

    OpenAIRE

    Fabrick, Jeff; Oppert, Cris; Lorenzen, Marcé D.; Morris, Kaley; Oppert, Brenda; Jurat-Fuentes, Juan Luis

    2009-01-01

    Cry toxins produced by the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis are effective biological insecticides. Cadherin-like proteins have been reported as functional Cry1A toxin receptors in Lepidoptera. Here we present data that demonstrate that a coleopteran cadherin is a functional Cry3Aa toxin receptor. The Cry3Aa receptor cadherin was cloned from Tenebrio molitor larval midgut mRNA, and the predicted protein, TmCad1, has domain structure and a putative toxin binding region similar to those in lepid...

  20. Understanding the Snake Venom Metalloproteinases: An Interview with Jay Fox and José María Gutiérrez.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Jay W; Gutiérrez, José María

    2017-01-16

    Jay W. Fox and José María Gutiérrez recently finished editing a Special Issue on the topic "Snake Venom Metalloproteinases" in Toxins . The Special Issue covers a wide range of topics, including the molecular evolution and structure of snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs), the mechanisms involved in the generation of diversity of SVMPs, the mechanism of action of SVMPs, and their role in the pathophysiology of envenomings, with implications for improving the therapy of envenomings. In this interview, we discussed with Jay W. Fox and José María Gutiérrez their research on the SVMPs and their perspectives on the future trends and challenges for studying snake venoms.

  1. Botulinum toxin: yesterday, today, tomorrow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. R. Artemenko

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum toxin (BoNT is a bacterial neurotoxin presented with seven serotypes that inhibit neurotransmitter release from nerve endings. The serotypes of BoNT are antigenically dissimilar, act via different, but interconnected mechanisms, and are not interchangeable. The activity of BoNT is associated with impaired neuroexocytosis occurring in several steps: from the binding of BoNT to its specific receptor on the axon terminal membrane to the proteolytic enzymatic cleavage of SNARE substrate. The effect of BoNT is considered to be restricted to the peripheral nervous system, but when given in particularly high doses, it has been recently shown to affect individual brain structures. In addition, by modulating peripheral afferentation, BoNT may influence the excitability of central neuronal structures at both spinal and cortical levels. Only BoNT serotypes A and B are used in clinical practice and aesthetic medicine. The type A has gained the widest acceptance as a therapeutic agent for more than 100 abnormalities manifesting themselves as muscular hyperactivity, hyperfunction of endocrine gland, and chronic pain. The effect of BoNT preparations shows itself 2-5 days after injection, lasts 3 months or more, and gradually decreases with as a result of pharmacokinetic and intracellular reparative processes. Biotechnology advances and potentialities allow purposefully modification of the protein molecular structure of BoNT, which expands the use and efficiency of performed therapy with neurotoxins. Recombinant technologies provide a combination of major therapeutic properties of each used BoNT serotype and expand indications for recombinant chimeric toxins.

  2. Headache and botulinum toxin

    OpenAIRE

    Porta, M.; Camerlingo, M.

    2005-01-01

    The authors discuss clinical and international experience about botulinum toxins (BTX types A and B) in headache treatment. Data from literature suggest good results for the treatment of tensiontype headache, migraine and chronic tension–type headache. In the present paper mechanisms of action and injection sites will also be discussed.

  3. Botulinum Toxin for Rhinitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozcan, Cengiz; Ismi, Onur

    2016-08-01

    Rhinitis is a common clinical entity. Besides nasal obstruction, itching, and sneezing, one of the most important symptoms of rhinitis is nasal hypersecretion produced by nasal glands and exudate from the nasal vascular bed. Allergic rhinitis is an IgE-mediated inflammatory reaction of nasal mucosa after exposure to environmental allergens. Idiopathic rhinitis describes rhinitis symptoms that occur after non-allergic, noninfectious irritants. Specific allergen avoidance, topical nasal decongestants, nasal corticosteroids, immunotherapy, and sinonasal surgery are the main treatment options. Because the current treatment modalities are not enough for reducing rhinorrhea in some patients, novel treatment options are required to solve this problem. Botulinum toxin is an exotoxin generated by Clostridium botulinum. It disturbs the signal transmission at the neuromuscular and neuroglandular junction by inhibiting the acetylcholine release from the presynaptic nerve terminal. It has been widely used in neuromuscular, hypersecretory, and autonomic nerve system disorders. There have been a lot of published articles concerning the effect of this toxin on rhinitis symptoms. Based on the results of these reports, intranasal botulinum toxin A administration appears to be a safe and effective treatment method for decreasing rhinitis symptoms in rhinitis patients with a long-lasting effect. Botulinum toxin type A will be a good treatment option for the chronic rhinitis patients who are resistant to other treatment methods.

  4. Diffusion of Botulinum Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew A. Brodsky

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: It is generally agreed that diffusion of botulinum toxin occurs, but the extent of the spread and its clinical importance are disputed. Many factors have been suggested to play a role but which have the most clinical relevance is a subject of much discussion.Methods: This review discusses the variables affecting diffusion, including protein composition and molecular size as well as injection factors (e.g., volume, dose, injection method. It also discusses data on diffusion from comparative studies in animal models and human clinical trials that illustrate differences between the available botulinum toxin products (onabotulinumtoxinA, abobotulinumtoxinA, incobotulinumtoxinA, and rimabotulinumtoxinB.Results: Neither molecular weight nor the presence of complexing proteins appears to affect diffusion; however, injection volume, concentration, and dose all play roles and are modifiable. Both animal and human studies show that botulinum toxin products are not interchangeable, and that some products are associated with greater diffusion and higher rates of diffusion-related adverse events than others.Discussion: Each of the botulinum toxins is a unique pharmacologic entity. A working knowledge of the different serotypes is essential to avoid unwanted diffusion-related adverse events. In addition, clinicians should be aware that the factors influencing diffusion may range from properties intrinsic to the drug to accurate muscle selection as well as dilution, volume, and dose injected.

  5. Topical Botulinum Toxin

    OpenAIRE

    Collins, Ashley; Nasir, Adnan

    2010-01-01

    Nanotechnology is a rapidly growing discipline that capitalizes on the unique properties of matter engineered on the nanoscale. Vehicles incorporating nanotechnology have led to great strides in drug delivery, allowing for increased active ingredient stability, bioavailability, and site-specific targeting. Botulinum toxin has historically been used for the correction of neurological and neuromuscular disorders, such as torticollis, blepharospasm, and strabismus. Recent dermatological indicati...

  6. Membrane invagination induced by Shiga toxin B-subunit

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pezeshkian, W.; Hansen, Allan Grønhøj; Johannes, Ludger

    2016-01-01

    -atom molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo simulations we show that the molecular architecture of STxB enables the following sequence of events: the Gb3 binding sites on STxB are arranged such that tight avidity-based binding results in a small increment of local curvature. Membrane-mediated clustering of several...... toxin molecules then creates a tubular membrane invagination that drives toxin entry into the cell. This mechanism requires: (1) a precise molecular architecture of the STxB binding sites; (2) a fluid bilayer in order for the tubular invagination to form. Although, STxB binding to the membrane requires...... specific interactions with Gb3 lipids, our study points to a generic molecular design principle for clathrin-independent endocytosis of nanoparticles....

  7. Inventing an arsenal: adaptive evolution and neofunctionalization of snake venom phospholipase A2 genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lynch Vincent J

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Gene duplication followed by functional divergence has long been hypothesized to be the main source of molecular novelty. Convincing examples of neofunctionalization, however, remain rare. Snake venom phospholipase A2 genes are members of large multigene families with many diverse functions, thus they are excellent models to study the emergence of novel functions after gene duplications. Results Here, I show that positive Darwinian selection and neofunctionalization is common in snake venom phospholipase A2 genes. The pattern of gene duplication and positive selection indicates that adaptive molecular evolution occurs immediately after duplication events as novel functions emerge and continues as gene families diversify and are refined. Surprisingly, adaptive evolution of group-I phospholipases in elapids is also associated with speciation events, suggesting adaptation of the phospholipase arsenal to novel prey species after niche shifts. Mapping the location of sites under positive selection onto the crystal structure of phospholipase A2 identified regions evolving under diversifying selection are located on the molecular surface and are likely protein-protein interactions sites essential for toxin functions. Conclusion These data show that increases in genomic complexity (through gene duplications can lead to phenotypic complexity (venom composition and that positive Darwinian selection is a common evolutionary force in snake venoms. Finally, regions identified under selection on the surface of phospholipase A2 enzymes are potential candidate sites for structure based antivenin design.

  8. Partial Purification and Characterization of Anticoagulant Factor from the Snake (Echis Carinatus) Venom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amrollahi Byoki, Elham; Zare Mirakabadi, Abbas

    2013-01-01

    Objective(s): Snake venoms contain complex mixture of proteins with biological activities. Some of these proteins affect blood coagulation and platelet function in different ways. Snake venom toxin may serve as a starting material for drug design to combat several pathophysiological problems such as cardiovascular disorders. In the present study, purification of anticoagulation factor from venom of snake (Echis carinatus) was studied. Materials and Methods: Anticoagulation activity of crude venom, fractions and purified peptide were determined by using prothrombin time (PT) and thrombin time (TT). Three fractions were partially purified from the venom of E. Carinatus by gel filtration on sephadex G-75 and final purification was performed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with C18 column. A purified anticoagulant factor was derived which showed a single protein band in SDS-PAGE electrophoresis under reducing condition. Results: Results of PT and TT tests for purified peptide (EC217) were found to be 102±4.242 and < 5 min. respectively. Determination of molecular weight revealed that the active purified peptide (EC217) was about 30 KD. Conclusion: The present study showed that the venom of E. carinatus contains at least one anticoagulant factor. PMID:24494065

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khin Than Yee

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  10. NMR structure of bitistatin – a missing piece in the evolutionary pathway of snake venom disintegrins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2014 FEBS.

  11. Partial Purification and Characterization of Anticoagulant Factor from the Snake (Echis carinatus Venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elham Amrollahi Byoki

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available   Objective(s: Snake venoms contain complex mixture of proteins with biological activities. Some of these proteins affect blood coagulation and platelet function in different ways. Snake venom toxin may serve as a starting material for drug design to combat several pathophysiological problems such as cardiovascular disorders. In the present study, purification of anticoagulation factor from venom of snake (Echis carinatus was studied. Anticoagulation activity of crude venom, fractions and purified peptide were determined by using prothrombin time (PT and thrombin time (TT. Three fractions were partially purified from the venom of E. Carinatus by gel filtration on sephadex G-75 and final purification was performed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC with C18 column. A purified anticoagulant factor was derived which showed a single protein band in SDS-PAGE electrophoresis under reducing condition. Results of PT and TT tests for purified peptide (EC217 were found to be 102±4.242 and < 5 min. respectively. Determination of molecular weight revealed that the active purified peptide (EC217 was about 30 KD. In conclusion, the present study showed that the venom of E. carinatus contains at least one anticoagulant factor.

  12. Safe Handling of Snakes in an ED Setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockrell, Melanie; Swanson, Kristofer; Sanders, April; Prater, Samuel; von Wenckstern, Toni; Mick, JoAnn

    2017-01-01

    Efforts to improve consistency in management of snakes and venomous snake bites in the emergency department (ED) can improve patient and staff safety and outcomes, as well as improve surveillance data accuracy. The emergency department at a large academic medical center identified an opportunity to implement a standardized process for snake disposal and identification to reduce staff risk exposure to snake venom from snakes patients brought with them to the ED. A local snake consultation vendor and zoo Herpetologist assisted with development of a process for snake identification and disposal. All snakes have been identified and securely disposed of using the newly implemented process and no safety incidents have been reported. Other emergency department settings may consider developing a standardized process for snake disposal using listed specialized consultants combined with local resources and suppliers to promote employee and patient safety. Copyright © 2017 Emergency Nurses Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. CD44 Promotes intoxication by the clostridial iota-family toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wigelsworth, Darran J; Ruthel, Gordon; Schnell, Leonie; Herrlich, Peter; Blonder, Josip; Veenstra, Timothy D; Carman, Robert J; Wilkins, Tracy D; Van Nhieu, Guy Tran; Pauillac, Serge; Gibert, Maryse; Sauvonnet, Nathalie; Stiles, Bradley G; Popoff, Michel R; Barth, Holger

    2012-01-01

    Various pathogenic clostridia produce binary protein toxins associated with enteric diseases of humans and animals. Separate binding/translocation (B) components bind to a protein receptor on the cell surface, assemble with enzymatic (A) component(s), and mediate endocytosis of the toxin complex. Ultimately there is translocation of A component(s) from acidified endosomes into the cytosol, leading to destruction of the actin cytoskeleton. Our results revealed that CD44, a multifunctional surface protein of mammalian cells, facilitates intoxication by the iota family of clostridial binary toxins. Specific antibody against CD44 inhibited cytotoxicity of the prototypical Clostridium perfringens iota toxin. Versus CD44(+) melanoma cells, those lacking CD44 bound less toxin and were dose-dependently resistant to C. perfringens iota, as well as Clostridium difficile and Clostridium spiroforme iota-like, toxins. Purified CD44 specifically interacted in vitro with iota and iota-like, but not related Clostridium botulinum C2, toxins. Furthermore, CD44 knockout mice were resistant to iota toxin lethality. Collective data reveal an important role for CD44 during intoxication by a family of clostridial binary toxins.

  14. New progress in snake mitochondrial gene rearrangement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Nian; Zhao, Shujin

    2009-08-01

    To further understand the evolution of snake mitochondrial genomes, the complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences were determined for representative species from two snake families: the Many-banded krait, the Banded krait, the Chinese cobra, the King cobra, the Hundred-pace viper, the Short-tailed mamushi, and the Chain viper. Thirteen protein-coding genes, 22-23 tRNA genes, 2 rRNA genes, and 2 control regions were identified in these mtDNAs. Duplication of the control region and translocation of the tRNAPro gene were two notable features of the snake mtDNAs. These results from the gene rearrangement comparisons confirm the correctness of traditional classification schemes and validate the utility of comparing complete mtDNA sequences for snake phylogeny reconstruction.

  15. 2015 OLC FEMA Lidar: Snake River, ID

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Quantum Spatial has collected Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data for the Oregon LiDAR Consortium (OLC) Snake River FEMA study area. This study area is located...

  16. First Observation of a Snake Depolarizing Resonance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Phelps, R.; Anferov, V.; Blinov, B.; Crandell, D.; Koutin, S.; Krisch, A.; Liu, T.; Ratner, L.; Wong, V.; Chu, C.; Lee, S.; Rinckel, T.; Schwandt, P.; Sperisen, F.; Stephenson, E.; von Przewoski, B.; Sato, H.

    1997-01-01

    Using a 104MeV stored polarized proton beam and a full Siberian snake, we recently found evidence for a so-called open-quotes snakeclose quotes depolarizing resonance. A full Siberian snake forces the spin tune ν s to be a half integer. Thus, if the vertical betatron tune ν y is set near a quarter integer, then the ν s =n±2ν y second-order snake resonance can depolarize the beam. Indeed, with a full Siberian snake, we found a deep depolarization dip when ν y was equal to 4.756; moreover, when ν y was changed to 4.781, the deep dip disappeared and the polarization was preserved. copyright 1997 The American Physical Society

  17. Friction enhancement in concertina locomotion of snakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marvi, Hamidreza; Hu, David L.

    2012-01-01

    Narrow crevices are challenging terrain for most organisms and biomimetic robots. Snakes move through crevices using sequential folding and unfolding of their bodies in the manner of an accordion or concertina. In this combined experimental and theoretical investigation, we elucidate this effective means of moving through channels. We measure the frictional properties of corn snakes, their body kinematics and the transverse forces they apply to channels of varying width and inclination. To climb channels inclined at 60°, we find snakes use a combination of ingenious friction-enhancing techniques, including digging their ventral scales to double their frictional coefficient and pushing channel walls transversely with up to nine times body weight. Theoretical modelling of a one-dimensional n-linked crawler is used to calculate the transverse force factor of safety: we find snakes push up to four times more than required to prevent sliding backwards, presumably trading metabolic energy for an assurance of wall stability. PMID:22728386

  18. A test of reproductive power in snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boback, Scott M; Guyer, Craig

    2008-05-01

    Reproductive power is a contentious concept among ecologists, and the model has been criticized on theoretical and empirical grounds. Despite these criticisms, the model has successfully predicted the modal (optimal) size in three large taxonomic groups and the shape of the body size distribution in two of these groups. We tested the reproductive power model on snakes, a group that differs markedly in physiology, foraging ecology, and body shape from the endothermic groups upon which the model was derived. Using detailed field data from the published literature, snake-specific constants associated with reproductive power were determined using allometric relationships of energy invested annually in egg production and population productivity. The resultant model accurately predicted the mode and left side of the size distribution for snakes but failed to predict the right side of that distribution. If the model correctly describes what is possible in snakes, observed size diversity is limited, especially in the largest size classes.

  19. Analysis of the mechanisms that underlie absorption of botulinum toxin by the inhalation route.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Saleem, Fetweh H; Ancharski, Denise M; Joshi, Suresh G; Elias, M; Singh, Ajay; Nasser, Zidoon; Simpson, Lance L

    2012-12-01

    Botulinum toxin is a highly potent oral and inhalation poison, which means that the toxin must have an efficient mechanism for penetration of epithelial barriers. To date, three models for toxin passage across epithelial barriers have been proposed: (i) the toxin itself undergoes binding and transcytosis; (ii) an auxiliary protein, HA35, transports toxin from the apical to the basal side of epithelial cells; and (iii) an auxiliary protein, HA35, acts on the basal side of epithelial cells to disrupt tight junctions, and this permits paracellular flux of toxin. These models were evaluated by studying toxin absorption following inhalation exposure in mice. Three types of experiments were conducted. In the first, the potency of pure neurotoxin was compared with that of progenitor toxin complex, which contains HA35. The results showed that the rate and extent of toxin absorption, as well as the potency of absorbed toxin, did not depend upon, nor were they enhanced by, the presence of HA35. In the second type of experiment, the potencies of pure neurotoxin and progenitor toxin complex were compared in the absence or presence of antibodies on the apical side of epithelial cells. Antibodies directed against the neurotoxin protected against challenge, but antibodies against HA35 did not. In the final type of experiment, the potency of pure neurotoxin and toxin complex was compared in animals pretreated to deliver antibodies to the basal side of epithelial cells. Once again, antibodies directed against the neurotoxin provided resistance to challenge, but antibodies directed against HA35 did not. Taken collectively, the data indicate that the toxin by itself is capable of crossing epithelial barriers. The data do not support any hypothesis in which HA35 is essential for toxin penetration of epithelial barriers.

  20. Experimental Infection of Snakes with Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola Causes Pathological Changes That Typify Snake Fungal Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorch, Jeffrey M; Lankton, Julia; Werner, Katrien; Falendysz, Elizabeth A; McCurley, Kevin; Blehert, David S

    2015-11-17

    Snake fungal disease (SFD) is an emerging skin infection of wild snakes in eastern North America. The fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola is frequently associated with the skin lesions that are characteristic of SFD, but a causal relationship between the fungus and the disease has not been established. We experimentally infected captive-bred corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus) in the laboratory with pure cultures of O. ophiodiicola. All snakes in the infected group (n = 8) developed gross and microscopic lesions identical to those observed in wild snakes with SFD; snakes in the control group (n = 7) did not develop skin infections. Furthermore, the same strain of O. ophiodiicola used to inoculate snakes was recovered from lesions of all animals in the infected group, but no fungi were isolated from individuals in the control group. Monitoring progression of lesions throughout the experiment captured a range of presentations of SFD that have been described in wild snakes. The host response to the infection included marked recruitment of granulocytes to sites of fungal invasion, increased frequency of molting, and abnormal behaviors, such as anorexia and resting in conspicuous areas of enclosures. While these responses may help snakes to fight infection, they could also impact host fitness and may contribute to mortality in wild snakes with chronic O. ophiodiicola infection. This work provides a basis for understanding the pathogenicity of O. ophiodiicola and the ecology of SFD by using a model system that incorporates a host species that is easy to procure and maintain in the laboratory. Skin infections in snakes, referred to as snake fungal disease (SFD), have been reported with increasing frequency in wild snakes in the eastern United States. While most of these infections are associated with the fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, there has been no conclusive evidence to implicate this fungus as a primary pathogen. Furthermore, it is not understood why the

  1. Prey handling and diet of Louisiana pine snakes (Pituophis ruthveni) and black pine snakes (P. melanoleucus lodingi), with comparisons to other selected colubrid snakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. Craig Rudolph; Shirley J. Burgdorf; Richard N. Conner; Christopher S. Collins; Daniel Saenz; Richard R. Schaefer; Toni Trees; C. Michael Duran; Marc Ealy; John G. Himes

    2002-01-01

    Diet and prey handling behavior were determined for Louisiana pine snakes (Pituophis ruthveni) and black pine snakes (P. melanoleucus lodingi). Louisiana pine snakes prey heavily on Baird's pocket gophers (Geomys breviceps), with which they are sympatric, and exhibit specialized behaviors that facilitate...

  2. Generation of antibodies against disintegrin and cysteine-rich domains by DNA immunization: An approach to neutralize snake venom-induced haemorrhage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sidgi Syed Anwer Abdo Hasson

    2017-03-01

    Conclusions: Antibodies generated against the E. ocellatus venom prothrombin activator-like metalloprotease and disintegrin-cysteine-rich domains modulated and inhibited the catalytic activity both in vitro and in vivo of venom metalloproteinase disintegrin cysteine rich molecules. Thus, generating of venom specific-toxin antibodies by DNA immunization offer a more rational treatment of snake envenoming than conventional antivenom.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Evaluation of Snake Bites with Bedside Ultrasonography

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josef E Jolissaint

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available History of present illness: While watering his lawn, a 36-year-old man felt two sharp bites to his bilateral ankles. He reports that he then saw a light brown, 2-foot snake slither away from him. He came to the emergency department because of pain and swelling in his ankles and inability to bear weight. Physical examination revealed bilateral ankle swelling and puncture marks on his left lateral heel and medial right ankle. Palpation, passive flexion and extension elicited severe pain bilaterally. Blood work including prothrombin time (PT, partial thromboplastin time (PTT, international normalized ratio (INR, and fibrinogen were within normal limits. Consultation with Poison Control indicated the snake was likely a copperhead, which is a venomous snake whose bites rarely require antivenin. Significant findings: In this case, ultrasonography of the lateral surface of the left foot revealed soft tissue edema (red arrow and fluid collection (white asterisk adjacent to the extensor tendon (white arrow. The edematous area resembles cobblestones, with hypoechoic areas of fluid spanning relatively hyperechoic fat lobules. The tendon is surrounded by anechoic fluid, expanding the potential space in the sheath. No hyperechoic foreign objects were noted. Discussion: The patient was diagnosed with soft tissue injury and extensor tenosynovitis after a snake envenomation. Snake venom contains metalloproteinases and other enzymatic proteins that cause local tissue edema and necrosis.1 After a snake bite, ultrasound can be used to assess for retained fangs, soft tissue edema, tendon sheath fluid, muscle fasciculation, and injury to deeper musculature that may not be readily apparent on physical exam.2,3 Most patients with tenosynovitis will recover with immobilization of the joint and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications.4 Rarely, the tendon may become infected requiring antibiotics and surgical intervention.4 Topics: Ultrasound, snake envenomation

  5. A partial snake for the AGS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ratner, L.G.

    1990-01-01

    Based on snake experiments at the Indian University Cyclotron Facility and computer simulations at Brookhaven National Laboratory, as well as the conclusions of a BNL mini-workshop, we feel that a partial Siberian snake is a practical device for the AGS. It is anticipated that such a device could reduce the polarized beam tune-up time from 2--3 weeks to 2--3 days

  6. Cardiovascular responses of snakes to hypergravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lillywhite, H. B.; Ballard, R. E.; Hargens, A. R.; Rosenberg, H. I.

    1997-01-01

    Snakes have provided useful vertebrate models for understanding circulatory adaptation to gravity, attributable to their elongate body shape and evolutionary diversificaton in terms of ecology and behavior. Recently we have studied cardiovascular responses of snakes to hypergravic acceleration forces produced acutely in the head-to-tail direction (+Gz) on a short-arm centrifuge. Snakes were held in a nearly straight position within a horizontal plastic tube and subjected to a linear force gradient during acceleration. Carotid blood flow provided an integrated measure of cardiovascular performance. Thus, cardiovascular tolerance of snakes to stepwise increments of Gz was measured as the caudal Gz force at which carotid blood flow ceased. Tolerance to increasing Gz varies according to adaptive evolutionary history inferred from the ecology and behavior of species. With respect to data for six species we investigated, multiple regression analysis demonstrates that Gz tolerance correlates with gravitational habitat, independently of body length. Relative to aquatic and non-climbing species, carotid blood flow is better maintained in arboreal or scansorial species, which tolerate hypergravic forces of +2 to +3.5 Gz. Additionally, semi-arboreal rat snakes (Elaphe obsoleta) exhibit plasticity of responses to long-term, intermittent +1.5 Gz stress. Compared to non-acclimated controls, acclimated snakes show greater increases of heart rate during head-up tilt or acceleration, greater sensitivity of arterial pressure to circulating catecholamines, higher blood levels of prostaglandin ratios favorable to maintenance of arterial blood pressure, and medial hypertrophy in major arteries and veins. As in other vertebrates, Gz tolerance of snakes is enhanced by acclimation, high arterial pressure, comparatively large blood volume, and body movements. Vascular studies of snakes suggest the importance to acclimation of local responses involving vascular tissue, in addition to

  7. Are snake populations in widespread decline?

    OpenAIRE

    Reading, C. J.; Luiselli, L. M.; Akani, G. C.; Bonnet, X.; Amori, G.; Ballouard, J. M.; Filippi, E.; Naulleau, G.; Pearson, D.; Rugiero, L.

    2010-01-01

    Long-term studies have revealed population declines in fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. In birds, and particularly amphibians, these declines are a global phenomenon whose causes are often unclear. Among reptiles, snakes are top predators and therefore a decline in their numbers may have serious consequences for the functioning of many ecosystems. Our results show that, of 17 snake populations (eight species) from the UK, France, Italy, Nigeria and Australia, 11 have declined ...

  8. Shiga toxin induces membrane reorganization and formation of long range lipid order

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solovyeva, Vita; Johannes, Ludger; Simonsen, Adam Cohen

    2015-01-01

    membrane reordering. When Shiga toxin was added above the lipid chain melting temperature, the toxin interaction with the membrane induced rearrangement and clustering of Gb3 lipids that resulted in the long range order and alignment of lipids in gel domains. The toxin induced redistribution of Gb3 lipids...... inside gel domains is governed by the temperature at which Shiga toxin was added to the membrane: above or below the phase transition. The temperature is thus one of the critical factors controlling lipid organization and texture in the presence of Shiga toxin. Lipid chain ordering imposed by Shiga toxin...... binding can be another factor driving the reconstruction of lipid organization and crystallization of lipids inside gel domains....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Chemical basis of prey recognition in thamnophiine snakes: the unexpected new roles of parvalbumins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maïté Smargiassi

    Full Text Available Detecting and locating prey are key to predatory success within trophic chains. Predators use various signals through specialized visual, olfactory, auditory or tactile sensory systems to pinpoint their prey. Snakes chemically sense their prey through a highly developed auxiliary olfactory sense organ, the vomeronasal organ (VNO. In natricine snakes that are able to feed on land and water, the VNO plays a critical role in predatory behavior by detecting cues, known as vomodors, which are produced by their potential prey. However, the chemical nature of these cues remains unclear. Recently, we demonstrated that specific proteins-parvalbumins-present in the cutaneous mucus of the common frog (Rana temporaria may be natural chemoattractive proteins for these snakes. Here, we show that parvalbumins and parvalbumin-like proteins, which are mainly intracellular, are physiologically present in the epidermal mucous cells and mucus of several frog and fish genera from both fresh and salt water. These proteins are located in many tissues and function as Ca(2+ buffers. In addition, we clarified the intrinsic role of parvalbumins present in the cutaneous mucus of amphibians and fishes. We demonstrate that these Ca(2+-binding proteins participate in innate bacterial defense mechanisms by means of calcium chelation. We show that these parvalbumins are chemoattractive for three different thamnophiine snakes, suggesting that these chemicals play a key role in their prey-recognition mechanism. Therefore, we suggest that recognition of parvalbumin-like proteins or other calcium-binding proteins by the VNO could be a generalized prey-recognition process in snakes. Detecting innate prey defense mechanism compounds may have driven the evolution of this predator-prey interaction.

  11. Negative snakes in JET: evidence for negative shear

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gill, R D; Alper, B; Edwards, A W [Commission of the European Communities, Abingdon (United Kingdom). JET Joint Undertaking; Pearson, D [Reading Univ. (United Kingdom)

    1994-07-01

    The signature of the negative snakes from the soft X-ray cameras is very similar to the more usual snakes except that the localised region of the snake has, compared with its surroundings, decreased rather than increased emission. Circumstances where negative snakes have been seen are reviewed. The negative snake appears as a region of increased resistance and of increased impurity density. The relationship between the shear and the current perturbation is shown, and it seem probable that the magnetic shear is reversed at the point of the negative snake, i.e. that q is decreasing with radius. 6 refs., 6 figs.

  12. Negative snakes in JET: evidence for negative shear

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gill, R.D.; Alper, B.; Edwards, A.W.

    1994-01-01

    The signature of the negative snakes from the soft X-ray cameras is very similar to the more usual snakes except that the localised region of the snake has, compared with its surroundings, decreased rather than increased emission. Circumstances where negative snakes have been seen are reviewed. The negative snake appears as a region of increased resistance and of increased impurity density. The relationship between the shear and the current perturbation is shown, and it seem probable that the magnetic shear is reversed at the point of the negative snake, i.e. that q is decreasing with radius. 6 refs., 6 figs

  13. Beam polarization during a Siberian snake turn-on

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anferov, Vladimir A.

    1999-01-01

    Installing Siberian snakes in a circular proton accelerator allows one to overcome all spin depolarizing resonances even at very high energies. However, Siberian snake application at low energies is technically rather difficult. Turning snake on at some energy during acceleration would allow using Siberian snakes even in rings with low injection energies. It is shown that the beam polarization would be preserved during the snake ramp, provided that the snake is turned on in more than ten turns, and the energy is set near a half-integer Gγ

  14. Snake studies on TORE-SUPRA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cristofani, P.; Desgranges, C.; Garbet, X.; Geraud, A.; Gil, C.; Hoang, G.T.; Joffrin, E.; Pecquet, A.L.

    1994-01-01

    Snakes have been achieved after pellet injection in TORE-SUPRA during ohmic as well as ICRH discharges as it has already been observed in other machines. They are usually localized on a region around the q=1 surface, and correspond mainly to a perturbation of the density profile. The formation of the snake depends on the penetration depth L p of the pellet: the maximum of ablation must be well inside the q=1 surface, this condition is necessary but not sufficient to produce snakes. For example on TORE-SUPRA high speed H 2 pellets (1500 m/s and approximately 10 21 atoms) were injected into D 2 plasmas with following parameters: I p =1.4 MA, B Φ =3 T, T e =1.7 KeV, e >=2-3 10 19 m -3 , a=0.78 m, R=2.4 m, and q a =3.3. In such experimental conditions, the matter is deposited in the centre and snakes are produced in 50% of the cases, but they are created on a second much more internal q=1 surface leading probably to a non monotonic current profile. The first two paragraphs describe the properties of the snake and the induced current modification. The latter paragraph discusses the important role of the bootstrap current in the snake formation. (author) 5 refs., 7 figs

  15. Cholera toxin entry into pig enterocytes occurs via a lipid raft- and clathrin-dependent mechanism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Gert H; Dalskov, Stine-Mathilde; Rasmussen, Christina Rehné

    2005-01-01

    The small intestinal brush border is composed of lipid raft microdomains, but little is known about their role in the mechanism whereby cholera toxin gains entry into the enterocyte. The present work characterized the binding of cholera toxin B subunit (CTB) to the brush border and its internaliz......The small intestinal brush border is composed of lipid raft microdomains, but little is known about their role in the mechanism whereby cholera toxin gains entry into the enterocyte. The present work characterized the binding of cholera toxin B subunit (CTB) to the brush border and its...... accompanied the toxin internalization whereas no formation of caveolae was observed. CTB was strongly associated with the buoyant, detergent-insoluble fraction of microvillar membranes. Neither CTB's raft association nor uptake via clathrin-coated pits was affected by methyl-beta-cyclodextrin, indicating...... that membrane cholesterol is not required for toxin binding and entry. The ganglioside GM(1) is known as the receptor for CTB, but surprisingly the toxin also bound to sucrase-isomaltase and coclustered with this glycosidase in apical membrane pits. CTB binds to lipid rafts of the brush border...

  16. MICHIGAN/INDIANA: Siberian Snakes strike again

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1993-01-01

    Full text: Siberian snakes are showing themselves to be even more deadly than expected in killing their prey, the depolarizing resonances which would make it very difficult to accelerate polarized protons to TeV energies at accelerators such as the Tevatron, UNK, LHC, and SSC. The snake concept was proposed in the mid-1970s by Siberians Yaroslav Derbenev and Anatoly Kondratenko at Novosibirsk, but the snakes lay almost dormant until Owen Chamberlain, Ernest Courant, Alan Krisch, and the late Kent Terwilliger organized the 1985 Superconducting Supercollider (SSC) polarized beam workshop in Ann Arbor, which highlighted the need to test the concept. The idea is to rotate the spin through 180° on each turn in the ring. With such successive spin flips, the depolarizing effects seen in one turn should be cancelled by an equal and opposite perturbation on the subsequent turn. The new Cooler Ring at the Indiana University Cyclotron Facility then seemed an excellent test site for these eager but untested serpents. The Michigan/lndiana/Brookhaven team led by Krisch constructed the world's first snake and found that it could easily overcome its initial enemy, the imperfection depolarizing resonances caused by ring magnet imperfections (January/February 1990, page 20). In the next few years the growing team of ''herpetologists'' showed that Siberian snakes could overcome all kinds of depolarizing resonances, including the intrinsic kind (caused by the vertical betatron oscillations which keep the beam focused) and the synchrotron resonances (caused by synchrotron oscillations in energy). The team also discovered a new type of snake that was inadvertently built into the cooling section. This socalled type-3 snake rotates the spin around the vertical direction. A full type-1 snake (such as the team's superconducting solenoid magnet) rotates the spin by 180° around the beam direction; a type-2 snake rotates the spin around the radial direction

  17. snake and staff symbolism and healing 1. introduction 2. the snake

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Since time immemorial the snake has been venerated as an enigmatic creature with supernatural ... ticular reference to their significance in the field of health care. 2. THE SNAKE IN ... as an aid in walking and as a weapon, it was also used by rulers in .... always included an abaton (open porch with roof) where patients un-.

  18. Anti-snake venom: use and adverse reaction in a snake bite study clinic in Bangladesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MR Amin

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Snakebites can present local or systemic envenomation, while neurotoxicity and respiratory paralysis are the main cause of death. The mainstay of management is anti-snake venom (ASV, which is highly effective, but liable to cause severe adverse reactions including anaphylaxis. The types of adverse reaction to polyvalent anti-snake venom have not been previously studied in Bangladesh. In this prospective observational study carried out between 1999 and 2001, in the Snake Bite Study Clinic of Chittagong Medical College Hospital, 35 neurotoxic-snake-bite patients who had received polyvalent anti-snake venom were included while the ones sensitized to different antitoxins and suffering from atopy were excluded. The common neurotoxic features were ptosis (100%, external ophthalmoplegia (94.2%, dysphagia (77.1%, dysphonia (68.5% and broken neck sign (80%. The percentage of anti-snake venom reaction cases was 88.57%; pyrogenic reaction was 80.64%; and anaphylaxis was 64.51%. The common features of anaphylaxis were urticaria (80%; vomiting and wheezing (40%; and angioedema (10%. The anti-snake venom reaction was treated mainly with adrenaline for anaphylaxis and paracetamol suppository in pyrogenic reactions. The average recovery time was 4.5 hours. Due to the danger of reactions the anti-snake venom should not be withheld from a snakebite victim when indicated and appropriate guidelines should be followed for its administration.

  19. Association of Bordetella dermonecrotic toxin with the extracellular matrix

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miyake Masami

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bordetella dermonecrotic toxin (DNT causes the turbinate atrophy in swine atrophic rhinitis, caused by a Bordetella bronchiseptica infection of pigs, by inhibiting osteoblastic differentiation. The toxin is not actively secreted from the bacteria, and is presumed to be present in only small amounts in infected areas. How such small amounts can affect target tissues is unknown. Results Fluorescence microscopy revealed that DNT associated with a fibrillar structure developed on cultured cells. A cellular component cross-linked with DNT conjugated with a cross-linker was identified as fibronectin by mass spectrometry. Colocalization of the fibronectin network on the cells with DNT was also observed by fluorescence microscope. Several lines of evidence suggested that DNT interacts with fibronectin not directly, but through another cellular component that remains to be identified. The colocalization was observed in not only DNT-sensitive cells but also insensitive cells, indicating that the fibronectin network neither serves as a receptor for the toxin nor is involved in the intoxicating procedures. The fibronectin network-associated toxin was easily liberated when the concentration of toxin in the local environment decreased, and was still active. Conclusions Components in the extracellular matrix are known to regulate activities of various growth factors by binding and liberating them in response to alterations in the extracellular environment. Similarly, the fibronectin-based extracellular matrix may function as a temporary storage system for DNT, enabling small amounts of the toxin to efficiently affect target tissues or cells.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 (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 abundance, which are likely correlated with biosynthetic costs, we hypothesize that as a result of natural selection, snakes optimize return on energetic investment by producing more of venom proteins that increase their fitness. Natural selection then acts on the additive genetic variance of these components, in proportion to their contributions to overall fitness. Adaptive

  1. Toxins and drug discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, Alan L

    2014-12-15

    Components from venoms have stimulated many drug discovery projects, with some notable successes. These are briefly reviewed, from captopril to ziconotide. However, there have been many more disappointments on the road from toxin discovery to approval of a new medicine. Drug discovery and development is an inherently risky business, and the main causes of failure during development programmes are outlined in order to highlight steps that might be taken to increase the chances of success with toxin-based drug discovery. These include having a clear focus on unmet therapeutic needs, concentrating on targets that are well-validated in terms of their relevance to the disease in question, making use of phenotypic screening rather than molecular-based assays, and working with development partners with the resources required for the long and expensive development process. Copyright © 2014 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  2. Perfringolysin O: The Underrated Clostridium perfringens Toxin?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verherstraeten, Stefanie; Goossens, Evy; Valgaeren, Bonnie; Pardon, Bart; Timbermont, Leen; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Ducatelle, Richard; Deprez, Piet; Wade, Kristin R; Tweten, Rodney; Van Immerseel, Filip

    2015-05-14

    The anaerobic bacterium Clostridium perfringens expresses multiple toxins that promote disease development in both humans and animals. One such toxin is perfringolysin O (PFO, classically referred to as θ toxin), a pore-forming cholesterol-dependent cytolysin (CDC). PFO is secreted as a water-soluble monomer that recognizes and binds membranes via cholesterol. Membrane-bound monomers undergo structural changes that culminate in the formation of an oligomerized prepore complex on the membrane surface. The prepore then undergoes conversion into the bilayer-spanning pore measuring approximately 250-300 Å in diameter. PFO is expressed in nearly all identified C. perfringens strains and harbors interesting traits that suggest a potential undefined role for PFO in disease development. Research has demonstrated a role for PFO in gas gangrene progression and bovine necrohemorrhagic enteritis, but there is limited data available to determine if PFO also functions in additional disease presentations caused by C. perfringens. This review summarizes the known structural and functional characteristics of PFO, while highlighting recent insights into the potential contributions of PFO to disease pathogenesis.

  3. Perfringolysin O: The Underrated Clostridium perfringens Toxin?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie Verherstraeten

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The anaerobic bacterium Clostridium perfringens expresses multiple toxins that promote disease development in both humans and animals. One such toxin is perfringolysin O (PFO, classically referred to as θ toxin, a pore-forming cholesterol-dependent cytolysin (CDC. PFO is secreted as a water-soluble monomer that recognizes and binds membranes via cholesterol. Membrane-bound monomers undergo structural changes that culminate in the formation of an oligomerized prepore complex on the membrane surface. The prepore then undergoes conversion into the bilayer-spanning pore measuring approximately 250–300 Å in diameter. PFO is expressed in nearly all identified C. perfringens strains and harbors interesting traits that suggest a potential undefined role for PFO in disease development. Research has demonstrated a role for PFO in gas gangrene progression and bovine necrohemorrhagic enteritis, but there is limited data available to determine if PFO also functions in additional disease presentations caused by C. perfringens. This review summarizes the known structural and functional characteristics of PFO, while highlighting recent insights into the potential contributions of PFO to disease pathogenesis.

  4. Experimental infection of snakes with Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola causes pathological changes that typify snake fungal disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorch, Jeffrey M.; Lankton, Julia S.; Werner, Katrien; Falendysz, Elizabeth A.; McCurley, Kevin; Blehert, David S.

    2015-01-01

    Snake fungal disease (SFD) is an emerging skin infection of wild snakes in eastern North America. The fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola is frequently associated with the skin lesions that are characteristic of SFD, but a causal relationship between the fungus and the disease has not been established. We experimentally infected captive-bred corn snakes (Pantherophis guttatus) in the laboratory with pure cultures of O. ophiodiicola. All snakes in the infected group (n = 8) developed gross and microscopic lesions identical to those observed in wild snakes with SFD; snakes in the control group (n = 7) did not develop skin infections. Furthermore, the same strain of O. ophiodiicola used to inoculate snakes was recovered from lesions of all animals in the infected group, but no fungi were isolated from individuals in the control group. Monitoring progression of lesions throughout the experiment captured a range of presentations of SFD that have been described in wild snakes. The host response to the infection included marked recruitment of granulocytes to sites of fungal invasion, increased frequency of molting, and abnormal behaviors, such as anorexia and resting in conspicuous areas of enclosures. While these responses may help snakes to fight infection, they could also impact host fitness and may contribute to mortality in wild snakes with chronic O. ophiodiicola infection. This work provides a basis for understanding the pathogenicity of O. ophiodiicola and the ecology of SFD by using a model system that incorporates a host species that is easy to procure and maintain in the laboratory.

  5. A Monoclonal Antibody Based Capture ELISA for Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype B: Toxin Detection in Food

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larry H. Stanker

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Botulism is a serious foodborne neuroparalytic disease, caused by botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT, produced by the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Seven toxin serotypes (A–H have been described. The majority of human cases of botulism are caused by serotypes A and B followed by E and F. We report here a group of serotype B specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs capable of binding toxin under physiological conditions. Thus, they serve as capture antibodies for a sandwich (capture ELISA. The antibodies were generated using recombinant peptide fragments corresponding to the receptor-binding domain of the toxin heavy chain as immunogen. Their binding properties suggest that they bind a complex epitope with dissociation constants (KD’s for individual antibodies ranging from 10 to 48 × 10−11 M. Assay performance for all possible combinations of capture-detector antibody pairs was evaluated and the antibody pair resulting in the lowest level of detection (L.O.D., ~20 pg/mL was determined. Toxin was detected in spiked dairy samples with good recoveries at concentrations as low as 0.5 pg/mL and in ground beef samples at levels as low as 2 ng/g. Thus, the sandwich ELISA described here uses mAb for both the capture and detector antibodies (binding different epitopes on the toxin molecule and readily detects toxin in those food samples tested.

  6. A monoclonal antibody based capture ELISA for botulinum neurotoxin serotype B: toxin detection in food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanker, Larry H; Scotcher, Miles C; Cheng, Luisa; Ching, Kathryn; McGarvey, Jeffery; Hodge, David; Hnasko, Robert

    2013-11-18

    Botulism is a serious foodborne neuroparalytic disease, caused by botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), produced by the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Seven toxin serotypes (A-H) have been described. The majority of human cases of botulism are caused by serotypes A and B followed by E and F. We report here a group of serotype B specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) capable of binding toxin under physiological conditions. Thus, they serve as capture antibodies for a sandwich (capture) ELISA. The antibodies were generated using recombinant peptide fragments corresponding to the receptor-binding domain of the toxin heavy chain as immunogen. Their binding properties suggest that they bind a complex epitope with dissociation constants (KD's) for individual antibodies ranging from 10 to 48 × 10-11 M. Assay performance for all possible combinations of capture-detector antibody pairs was evaluated and the antibody pair resulting in the lowest level of detection (L.O.D.), ~20 pg/mL was determined. Toxin was detected in spiked dairy samples with good recoveries at concentrations as low as 0.5 pg/mL and in ground beef samples at levels as low as 2 ng/g. Thus, the sandwich ELISA described here uses mAb for both the capture and detector antibodies (binding different epitopes on the toxin molecule) and readily detects toxin in those food samples tested.

  7. Development of a Novel Locomotion Algorithm for Snake Robot

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, Raisuddin; Billah, Md Masum; Watanabe, Mitsuru; Shafie, A A

    2013-01-01

    A novel algorithm for snake robot locomotion is developed and analyzed in this paper. Serpentine is one of the renowned locomotion for snake robot in disaster recovery mission to overcome narrow space navigation. Several locomotion for snake navigation, such as concertina or rectilinear may be suitable for narrow spaces, but is highly inefficient if the same type of locomotion is used even in open spaces resulting friction reduction which make difficulties for snake movement. A novel locomotion algorithm has been proposed based on the modification of the multi-link snake robot, the modifications include alterations to the snake segments as well elements that mimic scales on the underside of the snake body. Snake robot can be able to navigate in the narrow space using this developed locomotion algorithm. The developed algorithm surmount the others locomotion limitation in narrow space navigation

  8. Cardiovascular Responses of Snakes to Gravitational Gradients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Shi-Tong T.; Lillywhite, H. B.; Ballard, R. E.; Hargens, A. R.; Holton, Emily M. (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    Snakes are useful vertebrates for studies of gravitational adaptation, owing to their elongate body and behavioral diversification. Scansorial species have evolved specializations for regulating hemodynamics during exposure to gravitational stress, whereas, such adaptations are less well developed in aquatic and non-climbing species. We examined responses of the amphibious snake,\\italicize (Nerodia rhombifera), to increments of Gz (head-to-tail) acceleration force on both a short- and long-arm centrifuge (1.5 vs. 3.7 m radius, from the hub to tail end of snake). We recorded heart rate, dorsal aortic pressure, and carotid arterial blood flow during stepwise 0.25 G increments of Gz force (referenced at the tail) in conscious animals. The Benz tolerance of a snake was determined as the Gz level at which carotid blood flow ceased and was found to be significantly greater at the short- than long-arm centrifuge radius (1.57 Gz vs. 2.0 Gz, respectively; P=0.016). A similar pattern of response was demonstrated in semi-arboreal rat snakes,\\italicize{Elaphe obsoleta}, which are generally more tolerant of Gz force (2.6 Gz at 1.5m radius) than are water snakes. The tolerance differences of the two species reflected cardiovascular responses, which differed quantitatively but not qualitatively: heart rates increased while arterial pressure and blood flow decreased in response to increasing levels of Gz. Thus, in both species of snakes, a reduced gradient of Gz force (associated with greater centrifuge radius) significantly decreases the Gz level that can be tolerated.

  9. Harvesting Venom Toxins from Assassin Bugs and Other Heteropteran Insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Andrew Allan; Rosenthal, Max; Undheim, Eivind E A; King, Glenn F

    2018-04-21

    Heteropteran insects such as assassin bugs (Reduviidae) and giant water bugs (Belostomatidae) descended from a common predaceous and venomous ancestor, and the majority of extant heteropterans retain this trophic strategy. Some heteropterans have transitioned to feeding on vertebrate blood (such as the kissing bugs, Triatominae; and bed bugs, Cimicidae) while others have reverted to feeding on plants (most Pentatomomorpha). However, with the exception of saliva used by kissing bugs to facilitate blood-feeding, little is known about heteropteran venoms compared to the venoms of spiders, scorpions and snakes. One obstacle to the characterization of heteropteran venom toxins is the structure and function of the venom/labial glands, which are both morphologically complex and perform multiple biological roles (defense, prey capture, and extra-oral digestion). In this article, we describe three methods we have successfully used to collect heteropteran venoms. First, we present electrostimulation as a convenient way to collect venom that is often lethal when injected into prey animals, and which obviates contamination by glandular tissue. Second, we show that gentle harassment of animals is sufficient to produce venom extrusion from the proboscis and/or venom spitting in some groups of heteropterans. Third, we describe methods to harvest venom toxins by dissection of anaesthetized animals to obtain the venom glands. This method is complementary to other methods, as it may allow harvesting of toxins from taxa in which electrostimulation and harassment are ineffective. These protocols will enable researchers to harvest toxins from heteropteran insects for structure-function characterization and possible applications in medicine and agriculture.

  10. PLASMA ELECTROPHORETIC PROFILES IN THE EASTERN MASSASAUGA (SISTRURUS CATENATUS) AND INFLUENCES OF AGE, SEX, YEAR, LOCATION, AND SNAKE FUNGAL DISEASE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allender, Matthew C; Junge, Randall E; Baker-Wylie, Sarah; Hileman, Eric T; Faust, Lisa J; Cray, Carolyn

    2015-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to establish reference intervals of the protein electrophoretic fractions and the acute-phase proteins hemoglobin binding protein (as determined by the haptoglobin assay) and C-reactive protein (CRP) and assess any possible correlations between varying age class, sex, location (Illinois or Michigan), year, or presence of snake fungal disease (SFD). Banked plasma samples were assayed from 130 eastern massasaugas from 2009 to 2014 in Illinois and Michigan. Snakes from Michigan had higher total protein (mean: 5.50 g/dl), albumin/globulin ratio (0.42), albumin (1.59 g/dl), and gamma globulins (0.55 g/dl) than from snakes in Illinois (4.72 g/dl, 0.29, 1.03 g/dl, 0.38 g/dl, respectively). Snakes in Illinois (22.19 g/ml) had higher CRP than snakes in Michigan (10.89 mg/ml). Adults had higher gamma globulins (0.47 g/dl) than juveniles (0.28 g/dl). Males had higher alpha-2 globulins (0.98 g/dl) and CRP (21.4 mg/ml) than females (0.85, 11.6, respectively). There were no significant differences in absolute plasma proteins in SFD-positive snakes, but the percentage of gamma globulins was significantly higher in positive snakes. Future research in this area can now build on this data to determine changes in population health over time or due to specific environmental or disease threats.

  11. Structural biology of the sequestration and transport of heavy metal toxins: NMR structure determination of proteins containing the -Cys-X-Y-Cys-metal binding motifs. 1998 annual progress report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Opella, S.J.

    1998-01-01

    'The overall goal of the research is to apply the methods of structural biology, which have been previously used primarily in biomedical applications, to bioremediation. The authors are doing this by using NMR spectroscopy to determine the structures of proteins involved in the bacterial mercury detoxification system. The research is based on the premise that the proteins encoded in the genes of the bacterial detoxification system are an untapped source of reagents and, more fundamentally, chemical strategies that can be used to remove heavy metal toxins from the environment. The initial goals are to determine the structures of the proteins of the bacterial mercury detoxification systems responsible for the sequestration and transport of the Hg(II) ions in to the cell where reduction to Hg(O) occurs. These proteins are meP, which is water soluble and can be investigated with multidimensional solution NMR methods, and merT, the transport protein in the membrane that requires solid-state NMR methods. As of June 1998, this report summarizes work after about one and half years of the three-year award. The authors have made significant accomplishments in three aspects of the NMR studies of the proteins of the bacterial mercury detoxification system.'

  12. Diversification of a single ancestral gene into a successful toxin superfamily in highly venomous Australian funnel-web spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineda, Sandy S; Sollod, Brianna L; Wilson, David; Darling, Aaron; Sunagar, Kartik; Undheim, Eivind A B; Kely, Laurence; Antunes, Agostinho; Fry, Bryan G; King, Glenn F

    2014-03-05

    Spiders have evolved pharmacologically complex venoms that serve to rapidly subdue prey and deter predators. The major toxic factors in most spider venoms are small, disulfide-rich peptides. While there is abundant evidence that snake venoms evolved by recruitment of genes encoding normal body proteins followed by extensive gene duplication accompanied by explosive structural and functional diversification, the evolutionary trajectory of spider-venom peptides is less clear. Here we present evidence of a spider-toxin superfamily encoding a high degree of sequence and functional diversity that has evolved via accelerated duplication and diversification of a single ancestral gene. The peptides within this toxin superfamily are translated as prepropeptides that are posttranslationally processed to yield the mature toxin. The N-terminal signal sequence, as well as the protease recognition site at the junction of the propeptide and mature toxin are conserved, whereas the remainder of the propeptide and mature toxin sequences are variable. All toxin transcripts within this superfamily exhibit a striking cysteine codon bias. We show that different pharmacological classes of toxins within this peptide superfamily evolved under different evolutionary selection pressures. Overall, this study reinforces the hypothesis that spiders use a combinatorial peptide library strategy to evolve a complex cocktail of peptide toxins that target neuronal receptors and ion channels in prey and predators. We show that the ω-hexatoxins that target insect voltage-gated calcium channels evolved under the influence of positive Darwinian selection in an episodic fashion, whereas the κ-hexatoxins that target insect calcium-activated potassium channels appear to be under negative selection. A majority of the diversifying sites in the ω-hexatoxins are concentrated on the molecular surface of the toxins, thereby facilitating neofunctionalisation leading to new toxin pharmacology.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Menossi Marcelo

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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

  14. Pine snake (Pituophis ruthveni and Pituophis mellanoleucus lodingi) hibernacula

    Science.gov (United States)

    D.C. Rudolph; R.R. Schaefer; S.J. Burgdorf; M. Duran; R.N. Conner

    2007-01-01

    Snakes are often highly selective in the choice of sites for hibernation, and suitable sites can potentially be a limiting resource. Hibernating Louisiana Pine Snakes (Pituopllis ruthveni; N = 7) in eastern Texas and Black Pine Snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus lodingi; N = 5) in Mississippi were excavated to characterize their...

  15. Snakes in the Grass: Weaving Success for Everyone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ide, Janet L.

    2000-01-01

    Describes "Snakes in the Grass," a weaving project used with special needs students. Discusses the preliminary skill-building activities used, the process for creating the students' individual snakes, and the preparation and process for how the students wove the snakes. (CMK)

  16. Snake and staff symbolism in healing | Retief | Acta Theologica

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Since time immemorial the snake has been venerated as an enigmatic creature with supernatural powers. As a snake and staff symbol it is also traditionally associated with the healing arts, either as the single-snake attribute of Asclepius, or as the doublesnake attribute of Hermes. In this article the mythological basis for this ...

  17. Management of Poisonous Snake Bites in Southern Taiwan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kao-Ping Chang

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Snake bite envenomation is not uncommon in Taiwan. This study focuses on the pattern of poisonous snake bites and their management in southern Taiwan over a 5-year period. The case histories of 37 patients with poisonous snake bites admitted to the Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital between June 2001 and July 2005 were analyzed retrospectively. Three patients, bitten by unknown species of venomous snakes, were excluded from this study. The frequency of snake bites from each species of snake, the local and systemic manifestations of snake bite, treatment of complications and final outcomes were analyzed. Of the remaining 34 patients, 11 (32.4% were bitten by bamboo vipers, 10 (29.4% by Russell's pit vipers, 8 (23.5% by Taiwan cobras and 5 (14.7% by Taiwan Habu. The majority of snake bites (28 occurred between May and November. Those affected were mainly outdoor hikers (14 and workers (9. The antivenin requirements for treatment in the emergency room were in accordance with standard procedures. No mortality was noted among those envenomed by poisonous snakes. Although poisonous snake bite is not a common life-threatening emergency in the study area, we observed both an environmental risk and a seasonal incidence of snake bite. Keeping the varied clinical manifestations of snake bite in mind is important for effective management. Ready availability and appropriate use of antivenin, close monitoring of patients, institution of ventilatory support and early referral to a larger hospital when required, all help reduce mortality.

  18. Effect of Gating Modifier Toxins on Membrane Thickness: Implications for Toxin Effect on Gramicidin and Mechanosensitive Channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shin-Ho Chung

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Various gating modifier toxins partition into membranes and interfere with the gating mechanisms of biological ion channels. For example, GsMTx4 potentiates gramicidin and several bacterial mechanosensitive channels whose gating kinetics are sensitive to mechanical properties of the membrane, whereas binding of HpTx2 shifts the voltage-activity curve of the voltage-gated potassium channel Kv4.2 to the right. The detailed process by which the toxin partitions into membranes has been difficult to probe using molecular dynamics due to the limited time scale accessible. Here we develop a protocol that allows the spontaneous assembly of a polypeptide toxin into membranes in atomistic molecular dynamics simulations of tens of nanoseconds. The protocol is applied to GsMTx4 and HpTx2. Both toxins, released in water at the start of the simulation, spontaneously bind into the lipid bilayer within 50 ns, with their hydrophobic patch penetrated into the bilayer beyond the phosphate groups of the lipids. It is found that the bilayer is about 2 Å thinner upon the binding of a GsMTx4 monomer. Such a thinning effect of GsMTx4 on membranes may explain its potentiation effect on gramicidin and mechanosensitive channels.

  19. Saccharomyces boulardii protease inhibits Clostridium difficile toxin A effects in the rat ileum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castagliuolo, I; LaMont, J T; Nikulasson, S T; Pothoulakis, C

    1996-01-01

    Saccharomyces boulardii, a nonpathogenic yeast, is effective in treating some patients with Clostridium difficile diarrhea and colitis. We have previously reported that S. boulardii inhibits rat ileal secretion in response to C. difficile toxin A possibly by releasing a protease that digests the intestinal receptor for this toxin (C. Pothoulakis, C. P. Kelly, M. A. Joshi, N. Gao, C. J. O'Keane, I. Castagliuolo, and J. T. LaMont, Gastroenterology 104: 1108-1115, 1993). The aim of this study was to purify and characterize this protease. S. boulardii protease was partially purified by gel filtration on Sephadex G-50 and octyl-Sepharose. The effect of S. boulardii protease on rat ileal secretion, epithelial permeability, and morphology in response to toxin A was examined in rat ileal loops in vivo. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of the purified S. boulardii protease revealed a major band at 54 kDa. Pretreatment of rat ileal brush border (BB) membranes with partially purified protease reduced specific toxin A receptor binding (by 26%). Partially purified protease digested the toxin A molecule and significantly reduced its binding to BB membranes in vitro (by 42%). Preincubation of toxin A with S. boulardii protease inhibited ileal secretion (46% inhibition, P < 0.01), mannitol permeability (74% inhibition, P < 0.01), and histologic damage caused by toxin A. Thus, S. boulardii protease inhibits the intestinal effects of C. difficile toxin A by proteolysis of the toxin and inhibition of toxin A binding to its BB receptor. Our results may be relevant to the mechanism by which S. boulardii exerts its protective effects in C. difficile infection in humans. PMID:8945570

  20. Molecular detection of Toxoplasma gondii in snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasiri, Vahid; Teymurzadeh, Shohreh; Karimi, Gholamreza; Nasiri, Mehdi

    2016-10-01

    Toxoplasma gondii, an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite, is responsible for one of the most common zoonotic parasitic diseases in almost all warm-blooded vertebrates worldwide, and it is estimated that about one-third of the world human population is chronically infected with this parasite. Little is known about the circulation of T. gondii in snakes and this study for the first time aimed to evaluate the infection rates of snakes by this parasite by PCR methods. The brain of 68 Snakes, that were collected between May 2012 and September 2015 and died after the hold in captivity, under which they were kept for taking poisons, were examined for the presence of this parasite. DNA was extracted and Nested-PCR method was carried out with two of pairs of primers to detect the 344 bp fragment of T. gondii GRA6 gene. Five positive nested-PCR products were directly sequenced in the forward and reverse directions by Sequetech Company (Mountain View, CA). T. gondii GRA6 gene were detected from 55 (80.88%) of 68 snakes brains. Sequencing of the GRA6 gene revealed 98-100% of similarity with T. gondii sequences deposited in GenBank. To our knowledge, this is the first study of molecular detection of T. gondii in snakes and our findings show a higher frequency of this organism among them. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Oral microbiota of Brazilian captive snakes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MG Fonseca

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The present work aimed to determine the oral microbiotic composition of snakes from São José do Rio Preto city, São Paulo State, Brazil. Ten snake species, comprising the families Boidae, Colubridae, Elapidae and Viperidae, were submitted to microbiological examination of their oral cavity, which indicated positivity for all buccal samples. Gram-negative bacilli, gram-negative cocci bacilli, gram-positive bacilli and gram-positive cocci were isolated from the snakes. Among isolated bacterium species, the occurrence of coagulase-negative staphylococci in the buccal cavity of Crotalus durissus (Viperiade, Eunectes murinus (Boidae, Mastigodryas bifossatus (Colubridae and Bacillus subtilis, common to oral cavity of Bothrops alternatus (Viperidae and Phalotris mertensi (Colubridae, was detected. It was observed higher diversity of isolated bacteria from the oral cavity of Micrurus frontalis (Elapidae and Philodryas nattereri (Colubridae, as well as the prevalence of gram-positive baccillus and gram-positive cocci. The composition of the oral microbiota of the studied snakes, with or without inoculating fangs, is diverse and also related to the formation of abscesses at the bite site in the victims of the ophidian accidents, and to pathogenic processes in the snakes that host these microorganisms.

  2. Function of snake mobbing in spectral tarsiers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gursky, Sharon

    2006-04-01

    Numerous species are known for their tendency to approach and confront their predators as a group. This behavior is known as mobbing. Snakes seem to be one of the more consistent recipients of this type of predator-directed behavior. This paper explores individual differences (sex and age) in the mobbing behavior of the spectral tarsier toward live and model snakes. This study was conducted at Tangkoko Nature Reserve (Sulawesi, Indonesia) during 2003-2004. During this research, 11 natural mobbing events and 31 artificially induced mobbing events were observed. The mean number of individuals at a mobbing was 5.7. The duration of mobbing events was strongly correlated with the number of assembled mobbers. Adults were more likely than other age classes to participate in mobbings. Males were more likely than females to participate in mobbings. Mobbing groups often contained more than one adult male, despite the fact that no spectral tarsier group contains more than one adult male. No difference in body size between extragroup males and resident males was observed, refuting the "attract the mightier" hypothesis. The number of mobbers did not affect whether the tarsier or the snake retreated first, countering the "move-on" hypothesis. The "perception advertisement" hypothesis was tentatively supported, in that live snakes were rarely seen in the area following mobbing calls, in comparison to when tarsiers either ignored the snake or alarm call. Copyright 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  3. Tolerance of snakes to hypergravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lillywhite, H. B.; Ballard, R. E.; Hargens, A. R.

    1996-01-01

    Sensitivity of carotid blood flow to increased gravitational force acting in the head-to-tail direction(+Gz) was studied in diverse species of snakes hypothesized to show adaptive variation of response. Tolerance to increased gravity was measured red as the maximum graded acceleration force at which carotid blood flow ceased and was shown to vary according to gravitational adaptation of species defined by their ecology and behavior. Multiple regression analysis showed that gravitational habitat, but not body length, had a significant effect on Gz tolerance. At the extremes, carotid blood flow decreased in response to increasing G force and approached zero near +1 Gz in aquatic and ground-dwelling species, whereas in climbing species carotid flow was maintained at forces in excess of +2 Gz. Tolerant (arboreal) species were able to withstand hypergravic forces of +2 to +3 Gz for periods up to 1 h without cessation of carotid blood flow or loss of body movement and tongue flicking. Data suggest that the relatively tight skin characteristic of tolerant species provides a natural antigravity suit and is of prime importance in counteracting Gz stress on blood circulation.

  4. Prevalence and Characterization of a Binary Toxin (Actin-Specific ADP-Ribosyltransferase) from Clostridium difficile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves, Carina; Decré, Dominique; Barbut, Frédéric; Burghoffer, Béatrice; Petit, Jean-Claude

    2004-01-01

    In addition to the two large clostridial cytotoxins (TcdA and TcdB), some strains of Clostridium difficile also produce an actin-specific ADP-ribosyltransferase, called binary toxin CDT. We used a PCR method and Southern blotting for the detection of genes encoding the enzymatic (CDTa) and binding (CDTb) components of the binary toxin in 369 strains isolated from patients with suspected C. difficile-associated diarrhea or colitis. Twenty-two strains (a prevalence of 6%) harbored both genes. When binary toxin production was assessed by Western blotting, 19 of the 22 strains reacted with antisera against the iota toxin of C. perfringens (anti-Ia and anti-Ib). Additionally, binary toxin activity, detected by the ADP-ribosyltransferase assay, was present in only 17 of the 22 strains. Subsequently, all 22 binary toxin-positive strains were tested for the production of toxins TcdA and TcdB, toxinotyped, and characterized by serogrouping, PCR ribotyping, arbitrarily primed PCR, and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. All binary toxin-positive strains also produced TcdB and/or TcdA. However, they had significant changes in the tcdA and tcdB genes and belonged to variant toxinotypes III, IV, V, VII, IX, and XIII. We could differentiate 16 profiles by using typing methods, indicating that most of the binary toxin-positive strains were unrelated. PMID:15131151

  5. The toxins of Cyanobacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patocka, J

    2001-01-01

    Cyanobacteria, formerly called "blue-green algae", are simple, primitive photosynthetic microorganism wide occurrence in fresh, brackish and salt waters. Forty different genera of Cyanobacteria are known and many of them are producers of potent toxins responsible for a wide array of human illnesses, aquatic mammal and bird morbidity and mortality, and extensive fish kills. These cyanotoxins act as neurotoxins or hepatotoxins and are structurally and functionally diverse, and many are derived from unique biosynthetic pathways. All known cyanotoxins and their chemical and toxicological characteristics are presented in this article.

  6. Respiratory Effects of Sarafotoxins from the Venom of Different Atractaspis Genus Snake Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphanie Malaquin

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Sarafotoxins (SRTX are endothelin-like peptides extracted from the venom of snakes belonging to the Atractaspididae family. A recent in vivo study on anesthetized and ventilated animals showed that sarafotoxin-b (SRTX-b, extracted from the venom of Atractaspis engaddensis, decreases cardiac output by inducing left ventricular dysfunction while sarafotoxin-m (SRTX-m, extracted from the venom of Atractaspis microlepidota microlepidota, induces right ventricular dysfunction with increased airway pressure. The aim of the present experimental study was to compare the respiratory effects of SRTX-m and SRTX-b. Male Wistar rats were anesthetized, tracheotomized and mechanically ventilated. They received either a 1 LD50 IV bolus of SRTX-b (n = 5 or 1 LD50 of SRTX-m (n = 5. The low-frequency forced oscillation technique was used to measure respiratory impedance. Airway resistance (Raw, parenchymal damping (G and elastance (H were determined from impedance data, before and 5 min after SRTX injection. SRTX-m and SRTX-b injections induced acute hypoxia and metabolic acidosis with an increased anion gap. Both toxins markedly increased Raw, G and H, but with a much greater effect of SRTX-b on H, which may have been due to pulmonary edema in addition to bronchoconstriction. Therefore, despite their structural analogy, these two toxins exert different effects on respiratory function. These results emphasize the role of the C-terminal extension in the in vivo effect of these toxins.

  7. CD28: Direct and Critical Receptor for Superantigen Toxins

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    Ziv Rotfogel

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Every adaptive immune response requires costimulation through the B7/CD28 axis, with CD28 on T-cells functioning as principal costimulatory receptor. Staphylococcal and streptococcal superantigen toxins hyperstimulate the T-cell-mediated immune response by orders of magnitude, inducing a lethal cytokine storm. We show that to elicit an inflammatory cytokine storm and lethality, superantigens must bind directly to CD28. Blocking access of the superantigen to its CD28 receptor with peptides mimicking the contact domains in either toxin or CD28 suffices to protect mice effectively from lethal shock. Our finding that CD28 is a direct receptor of superantigen toxins broadens the scope of microbial pathogen recognition mechanisms.

  8. Snake Envenomation Causing Distant Tracheal Myonecrosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amina Khimani

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Snakebites are often believed to be poisonous. However, this is not always the case. In fact, each bite differs from snake to snake, depending on if the snake is poisonous and if there is envenomation. Venom in pit viper snakebites is often associated with local necrosis. The abundant literature selections and research articles justify local myonecrosis due to envenomation, but there is not much in the literature regarding myonecrosis at a site distant from the snakebite. We hereby present a case of a 42-year-old man who was transferred to our emergency department after a rattlesnake bit him twice. The patient, besides developing local myonecrosis at the site of the snakebite, developed necrosis of the scrotum as well as tracheal pressure myonecrosis at the site of the endotracheal tube balloon. In this review, we will attempt to discuss the myonecrosis pathophysiology and management related to the rattle snakebite.

  9. Helical spin rotators and snakes for RHIC

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ptitsin, V.I.; Shatunov, Yu.M.; Peggs, S.

    1995-01-01

    The RHIC collider, now under construction at BNL, will have the possibility of polarized proton-proton collisions up to a beam energy of 250 Gev. Polarized proton beams of such high energy can be only obtained with the use of siberian snakes, a special kind of spin rotator that rotates the particle spin by 180 degree around an axis lying in the horizontal plane. Siberian snakes help to preserve the beam polarization while numerous spin depolarizing resonances are crossed, during acceleration. In order to collide longitudinally polarized beams, it is also planned to install spin rotators around two interaction regions. This paper discusses snake and spin rotator designs based on sequences of four helical magnets. The schemes that were chosen to be applied at RHIC are presented

  10. SUPERCONDUCTING HELICAL SNAKE MAGNETS: CONSTRUCTION AND MEASUREMENTS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mackay, W.W.; Anerella, M.; Courant, E.

    1999-01-01

    In order to collide polarized protons, the RHIC project will have two snakes in each ring and four rotators around each of two interaction regions. Two snakes on opposite sides of each ring can minimize depolarization during acceleration by keeping the spin tune at a half. Since the spin direction is normally along the vertical direction in a flat ring, spin rotators must be used around an interaction point to have longitudinal polarization in a collider experiment. Each snake or rotator will be composed of four helical dipoles to provide the required rotation of spin with minimal transverse orbit excursions in a compact length of 10m. The basic helical dipole is a superconducting magnet producing a transverse dipole field which is twisted about the magnet axis through 360 o in a length of 2.4 m. The design and construction of the magnets is described in this paper

  11. Inhibitory potential of important phytochemicals from Pergularia daemia (Forsk. chiov., on snake venom (Naja naja

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.T.V. Raghavamma

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Pergularia daemia (Forsk. chiov., is a milk weed of Asclepiadaceae family. In the present study β-sitosterol, β-amyrin, α-amyrin and lupeol were identified in the leaf by GC–MS. Molecular docking studies were performed to evaluate their activities on phospholipase A2 (PLA2 and l-amino acid oxidase enzymes which constituted a rich source in snake venoms (Naja naja. Snake venom Phospholipase A2 with PDB code 1A3D devoid of co-crystallized ligand was extracted from Protein Data Bank. Using Molegro Virtual Docker two cavities are formed by cocrystallization. l-Amino acid oxidase (PDB code 4E0V was a receptor model with a co-crystallized ligand FAD. Among the phytochemicals analysed, β-sitosterol displayed high affinity of binding to the active site regions of phospholipase A2 and l-amino acid oxidase, respectively. The affinity of binding was −125.939 and −157.521 kcal/mole identified by gold scores. α-Amyrin and β-amyrin had two hydrogen bond interactions with PLA2. Hence this study suggests that β-sitosterol identified in P. daemia can antagonize PLA2 and LAAO activities and forms a theoretical basis for the folk use of the plant against snake venom.

  12. A new solid-phase sandwich radioimmunoassay and its application to the detection of snake venom

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coulter, A.R.; Cox, J.C.; Sutherland, S.K.; Waddel, C.J.

    1978-01-01

    A solid-phase sandwich radioimmunoassay is described which can be used for the detection and quantitative estimation of crude snake venom and a snake neurotoxin in clinical and experimental situations. Rabbit IgG antivenom or antineurotoxin, covalently coupled to a solid phase (CH-Sepharose 4B) is incubated with sample of unknown venom concentration. Venom bound by the solid-phase antibody is detected by reaction with 125 I-labelled rabbit IgG antivenom or antineurotoxin ([ 125 I]IgG). The resultant count, T, is the total (specific and non-specific) uptake of [ 125 I]IgG. Non-specific binding N, is similarly determined, but with normal rabbit IgG antivenom or antineurotoxin ([ 125 I]IgG). The resultant count, T, is the total (specific and non-specific) uptake of [ 125 I]IgG. Non-specific binding N, is similarly determined, but with normal rabbit IgG bound to the solid phase. A T:N value greater than 1.8 for human serum or urine indicates the presence of venom in a sample (P>0.95). Positive samples are assayed at several dilutions and the venom present estimated from the specific count (T-N). Levels of 0.4 ng/ml of crude tiger snake venom (TSV) and 0.1 ng/ml of neurotoxin can be reliably detected by this procedure. (Auth.)

  13. An ABC transporter mutation is correlated with insect resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac toxin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linda J Gahan

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Transgenic crops producing insecticidal toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt are commercially successful in reducing pest damage, yet knowledge of resistance mechanisms that threaten their sustainability is incomplete. Insect resistance to the pore-forming Cry1Ac toxin is correlated with the loss of high-affinity, irreversible binding to the mid-gut membrane, but the genetic factors responsible for this change have been elusive. Mutations in a 12-cadherin-domain protein confer some Cry1Ac resistance but do not block this toxin binding in in vitro assays. We sought to identify mutations in other genes that might be responsible for the loss of binding. We employed a map-based cloning approach using a series of backcrosses with 1,060 progeny to identify a resistance gene in the cotton pest Heliothis virescens that segregated independently from the cadherin mutation. We found an inactivating mutation of the ABC transporter ABCC2 that is genetically linked to Cry1Ac resistance and is correlated with loss of Cry1Ac binding to membrane vesicles. ABC proteins are integral membrane proteins with many functions, including export of toxic molecules from the cell, but have not been implicated in the mode of action of Bt toxins before. The reduction in toxin binding due to the inactivating mutation suggests that ABCC2 is involved in membrane integration of the toxin pore. Our findings suggest that ABC proteins may play a key role in the mode of action of Bt toxins and that ABC protein mutations can confer high levels of resistance that could threaten the continued utilization of Bt-expressing crops. However, such mutations may impose a physiological cost on resistant insects, by reducing export of other toxins such as plant secondary compounds from the cell. This weakness could be exploited to manage this mechanism of Bt resistance in the field.

  14. An ABC transporter mutation is correlated with insect resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gahan, Linda J; Pauchet, Yannick; Vogel, Heiko; Heckel, David G

    2010-12-16

    Transgenic crops producing insecticidal toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are commercially successful in reducing pest damage, yet knowledge of resistance mechanisms that threaten their sustainability is incomplete. Insect resistance to the pore-forming Cry1Ac toxin is correlated with the loss of high-affinity, irreversible binding to the mid-gut membrane, but the genetic factors responsible for this change have been elusive. Mutations in a 12-cadherin-domain protein confer some Cry1Ac resistance but do not block this toxin binding in in vitro assays. We sought to identify mutations in other genes that might be responsible for the loss of binding. We employed a map-based cloning approach using a series of backcrosses with 1,060 progeny to identify a resistance gene in the cotton pest Heliothis virescens that segregated independently from the cadherin mutation. We found an inactivating mutation of the ABC transporter ABCC2 that is genetically linked to Cry1Ac resistance and is correlated with loss of Cry1Ac binding to membrane vesicles. ABC proteins are integral membrane proteins with many functions, including export of toxic molecules from the cell, but have not been implicated in the mode of action of Bt toxins before. The reduction in toxin binding due to the inactivating mutation suggests that ABCC2 is involved in membrane integration of the toxin pore. Our findings suggest that ABC proteins may play a key role in the mode of action of Bt toxins and that ABC protein mutations can confer high levels of resistance that could threaten the continued utilization of Bt-expressing crops. However, such mutations may impose a physiological cost on resistant insects, by reducing export of other toxins such as plant secondary compounds from the cell. This weakness could be exploited to manage this mechanism of Bt resistance in the field.

  15. Phylogeny, ecology, and heart position in snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gartner, Gabriel E A; Hicks, James W; Manzani, Paulo R; Andrade, Denis V; Abe, Augusto S; Wang, Tobias; Secor, Stephen M; Garland, Theodore

    2010-01-01

    The cardiovascular system of all animals is affected by gravitational pressure gradients, the intensity of which varies according to organismic features, behavior, and habitat occupied. A previous nonphylogenetic analysis of heart position in snakes-which often assume vertical postures-found the heart located 15%-25% of total body length from the head in terrestrial and arboreal species but 25%-45% in aquatic species. It was hypothesized that a more anterior heart in arboreal species served to reduce the hydrostatic blood pressure when these animals adopt vertical postures during climbing, whereas an anterior heart position would not be needed in aquatic habitats, where the effects of gravity are less pronounced. We analyzed a new data set of 155 species from five major families of Alethinophidia (one of the two major branches of snakes, the other being blind snakes, Scolecophidia) using both conventional and phylogenetically based statistical methods. General linear models regressing log(10) snout-heart position on log(10) snout-vent length (SVL), as well as dummy variables coding for habitat and/or clade, were compared using likelihood ratio tests and the Akaike Information Criterion. Heart distance to the tip of the snout scaled isometrically with SVL. In all instances, phylogenetic models that incorporated transformation of the branch lengths under an Ornstein-Uhlenbeck model of evolution (to mimic stabilizing selection) better fit the data as compared with their nonphylogenetic counterparts. The best-fit model predicting snake heart position included aspects of both habitat and clade and indicated that arboreal snakes in our study tend to have hearts placed more posteriorly, opposite the trend identified in previous studies. Phylogenetic signal in relative heart position was apparent both within and among clades. Our results suggest that overcoming gravitational pressure gradients in snakes most likely involves the combined action of several cardiovascular and

  16. Retargeting the Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin to the neuronal cytosol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlik, Benjamin J; Hruska, Elizabeth J; Van Cott, Kevin E; Blum, Paul H

    2016-03-30

    Many biological toxins are known to attack specific cell types, delivering their enzymatic payloads to the cytosol. This process can be manipulated by molecular engineering of chimeric toxins. Using toxins with naturally unlinked components as a starting point is advantageous because it allows for the development of payloads separately from the binding/translocation components. Here the Clostridium botulinum C2 binding/translocation domain was retargeted to neural cell populations by deleting its non-specific binding domain and replacing it with a C. botulinum neurotoxin binding domain. This fusion protein was used to deliver fluorescently labeled payloads to Neuro-2a cells. Intracellular delivery was quantified by flow cytometry and found to be dependent on artificial enrichment of cells with the polysialoganglioside receptor GT1b. Visualization by confocal microscopy showed a dissociation of payloads from the early endosome indicating translocation of the chimeric toxin. The natural Clostridium botulinum C2 toxin was then delivered to human glioblastoma A172 and synchronized HeLa cells. In the presence of the fusion protein, native cytosolic enzymatic activity of the enzyme was observed and found to be GT1b-dependent. This retargeted toxin may enable delivery of therapeutics to peripheral neurons and be of use in addressing experimental questions about neural physiology.

  17. Botulinum toxin: bioweapon & magic drug.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhaked, Ram Kumar; Singh, Manglesh Kumar; Singh, Padma; Gupta, Pallavi

    2010-11-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins, causative agents of botulism in humans, are produced by Clostridium botulinum, an anaerobic spore-former Gram positive bacillus. Botulinum neurotoxin poses a major bioweapon threat because of its extreme potency and lethality; its ease of production, transport, and misuse; and the need for prolonged intensive care among affected persons. A single gram of crystalline toxin, evenly dispersed and inhaled, can kill more than one million people. The basis of the phenomenal potency of botulinum toxin is enzymatic; the toxin is a zinc proteinase that cleaves neuronal vesicle associated proteins responsible for acetylcholine release into the neuromuscular junction. As a military or terrorist weapon, botulinum toxin could be disseminated via aerosol or by contamination of water or food supplies, causing widespread casualties. A fascinating aspect of botulinum toxin research in recent years has been development of the most potent toxin into a molecule of significant therapeutic utility . It is the first biological toxin which is licensed for treatment of human diseases. In the late 1980s, Canada approved use of the toxin to treat strabismus, in 2001 in the removal of facial wrinkles and in 2002, the FDA in the United States followed suit. The present review focuses on both warfare potential and medical uses of botulinum neurotoxin.

  18. What killed Karl Patterson Schmidt? Combined venom gland transcriptomic, venomic and antivenomic analysis of the South African green tree snake (the boomslang), Dispholidus typus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pla, Davinia; Sanz, Libia; Whiteley, Gareth; Wagstaff, Simon C; Harrison, Robert A; Casewell, Nicholas R; Calvete, Juan J

    2017-04-01

    Non-front-fanged colubroid snakes comprise about two-thirds of extant ophidian species. The medical significance of the majority of these snakes is unknown, but at least five species have caused life-threatening or fatal human envenomings. However, the venoms of only a small number of species have been explored. A combined venomic and venom gland transcriptomic approach was employed to characterise of venom of Dispholidus typus (boomslang), the snake that caused the tragic death of Professor Karl Patterson Schmidt. The ability of CroFab™ antivenom to immunocapture boomslang venom proteins was investigated using antivenomics. Transcriptomic-assisted proteomic analysis identified venom proteins belonging to seven protein families: three-finger toxin (3FTx); phospholipase A 2 (PLA 2 ); cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISP); snake venom (SV) serine proteinase (SP); C-type lectin-like (CTL); SV metalloproteinases (SVMPs); and disintegrin-like/cysteine-rich (DC) proteolytic fragments. CroFab™ antivenom efficiently immunodepleted some boomslang SVMPs. The present work is the first to address the overall proteomic profile of D. typus venom. This study allowed us to correlate the toxin composition with the toxic activities of the venom. The antivenomic analysis suggested that the antivenom available at the time of the unfortunate accident could have exhibited at least some immunoreactivity against the boomslang SVMPs responsible for the disseminated intravascular coagulation syndrome that caused K.P. Schmidt's fatal outcome. This study may stimulate further research on other non-front-fanged colubroid snake venoms capable of causing life-threatening envenomings to humans, which in turn should contribute to prevent fatal human accidents, such as that unfortunately suffered by K.P. Schmidt. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Antiradiation Vaccine: Immunological neutralization of Radiation Toxins at Acute Radiation Syndromes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popov, Dmitri; Maliev, Slava

    Introduction: Current medical management of the Acute Radiation Syndromes (ARS) does not include immune prophylaxis based on the Antiradiation Vaccine. Existing principles for the treatment of acute radiation syndromes are based on the replacement and supportive therapy. Haemotopoietic cell transplantation is recomended as an important method of treatment of a Haemopoietic form of the ARS. Though in the different hospitals and institutions, 31 pa-tients with a haemopoietic form have previously undergone transplantation with stem cells, in all cases(100%) the transplantants were rejected. Lethality rate was 87%.(N.Daniak et al. 2005). A large amount of biological substances or antigens isolated from bacterias (flagellin and derivates), plants, different types of venom (honeybees, scorpions, snakes) have been studied. This biological active substances can produce a nonspecific stimulation of immune system of mammals and protect against of mild doses of irradiation. But their radioprotection efficacy against high doses of radiation were not sufficient. Relative radioprotection characteristics or adaptive properties of antioxidants were expressed only at mild doses of radiation. However antioxidants demonstrated a very low protective efficacy at high doses of radiation. Some ex-periments demonstrated even a harmful effect of antioxidants administered to animals that had severe forms of the ARS. Only Specific Radiation Toxins roused a specific antigenic stim-ulation of antibody synthesis. An active immunization by non-toxic doses of radiation toxins includes a complex of radiation toxins that we call the Specific Radiation Determinant (SRD). Immunization must be provided not less than 24 days before irradiation and it is effective up to three years and more. Active immunization by radiation toxins significantly reduces the mortality rate (100%) and improves survival rate up to 60% compare with the 0% sur-vival rate among the irradiated animals in control groups

  20. Toxin-Based Therapeutic Approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Itai Benhar

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Protein toxins confer a defense against predation/grazing or a superior pathogenic competence upon the producing organism. Such toxins have been perfected through evolution in poisonous animals/plants and pathogenic bacteria. Over the past five decades, a lot of effort has been invested in studying their mechanism of action, the way they contribute to pathogenicity and in the development of antidotes that neutralize their action. In parallel, many research groups turned to explore the pharmaceutical potential of such toxins when they are used to efficiently impair essential cellular processes and/or damage the integrity of their target cells. The following review summarizes major advances in the field of toxin based therapeutics and offers a comprehensive description of the mode of action of each applied toxin.

  1. Toxin-Based Therapeutic Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapira, Assaf; Benhar, Itai

    2010-01-01

    Protein toxins confer a defense against predation/grazing or a superior pathogenic competence upon the producing organism. Such toxins have been perfected through evolution in poisonous animals/plants and pathogenic bacteria. Over the past five decades, a lot of effort has been invested in studying their mechanism of action, the way they contribute to pathogenicity and in the development of antidotes that neutralize their action. In parallel, many research groups turned to explore the pharmaceutical potential of such toxins when they are used to efficiently impair essential cellular processes and/or damage the integrity of their target cells. The following review summarizes major advances in the field of toxin based therapeutics and offers a comprehensive description of the mode of action of each applied toxin. PMID:22069564

  2. Study of spin resonances in the accelerators with snakes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, S.Y.

    1989-01-01

    Spin resonances in the circular accelerators with snakes are studied to understand the nature of snake resonances. We analyze the effect of snake configuration, and the snake superperiod on the resonance. Defining the critical resonance strength ε c as the maximum tolerable resonance strength without losing the beam polarization after passing through the resonance, we found that ε c is a sensitive function of the snake configuration, the snake superperiod at the first order snake resonance, the higher order snake resonance conditions and the spin matching condition. Under properly designed snake configuration, the critical resonance strength ε c is found to vary linearly with N S as left-angle ε c right-angle=(1/π)sin -1 (cos πν z | 1/2 )N S , where ν| z and N S are the betatron tune and the number of snakes respectively. We also study the effect of overlapping intrinsic and imperfection resonances. The imperfection resonance should be corrected to a magnitude of insignificance (e.g., ε≤0.1 for two snakes case) to maintain proper polarization

  3. The status of taxonomy and venom in sea snakes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Redsted Rasmussen, Arne; Sanders, Kate L.

    2017-01-01

    The status of taxonomy and venom in sea snakesArne R Rasmussen1, Kate L Sanders21 The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Design & Conservation, Copenhagen, Denmark2 School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, AustraliaSea...... snakes form two aquatic groups of snakes with a flat vertically paddle-form tail (sea kraits and viviparous sea snakes). Sea snakes belong to the same family Elapidae, which also includes the terrestrial mambas, cobra, kraits, taipan and brown snake. All elapids are characterized by the anterior position...... of the poison-fangs on the maxillary bone (proteroglyphous). Globally there are some 70 species of sea snake found in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Most species are found in the Indo-Malayan Archipelago, the China Sea, Indonesia, and the Australian region...

  4. The detection of hemorrhagic proteins in snake venoms using monoclonal antibodies against Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) serum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, E E; García, C; Pérez, J C; De La Zerda, S J

    1998-10-01

    Most snakes and a few warm-blooded animals have a resistance to snake venoms because of naturally occurring antihemorrhagins found in their sera. The antihemorrhagins in serum of Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) neutralize hemorrhagic activity by binding to hemorrhagins in snake venoms. The binding characteristic of antihemorrhagins in D. virginiana serum was used to develop a five-step western blot. The detection of hemorrhagic proteins were measured indirectly with antihemorrhagins in Virginia opossum serum and with DV-2LD#2, a monoclonal antibody specific for Virginia opossum antihemorrhagins. Snake venoms were separated by native-PAGE, transferred to a Millipore Immobilon-P membrane and then incubated with crude Virginia opossum serum. The hemorrhagins in snake venom bind to antihemorrhagins in Virginia opossum serum which react with DV-2LD#2 a monoclonal antibody that is specific for Virginia opossum antihemorrhagins. DV-2LD#2 monoclonal antibody inhibits antihemorrhagic activity in Virginia opossum serum when mixed in equal amounts. The inhibition of antihemorrhagins by DV-2LD#2 monoclonal antibody suggests specificity. DV-2LD#2 monoclonal antibody does not recognize antihemorrhagins in gray woodrat (Neotoma micropus) serum. The five-step western blot reveals two well-defined bands which represent hemorrhagins found in Western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) venom. Venoms from 15 different snake species were examined to determine the usefulness of the five-step western blot. Other hemorrhagic venoms (Great Basin rattlesnake (C. viridis lutosus), Prairie rattlesnake (C. viridis viridis), Tancitaran dusky rattlesnake (C. pusillus), Northern Mojave rattlesnake (C. scutulatus scutulatus type B) and Northern Pacific rattlesnake (C. v. oreganus)) had one single band in the five-step western blot. DV-2LD#2 did not bind to the non-hemorrhagic venoms and reacted with 50% of the hemorrhagic venoms used in this study. The monoclonal antibody, CAH

  5. Evolution of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins insecticidal activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bravo, Alejandra; Gómez, Isabel; Porta, Helena; García-Gómez, Blanca Ines; Rodriguez-Almazan, Claudia; Pardo, Liliana; Soberón, Mario

    2013-01-01

    Insecticidal Cry proteins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis are use worldwide in transgenic crops for efficient pest control. Among the family of Cry toxins, the three domain Cry family is the better characterized regarding their natural evolution leading to a large number of Cry proteins with similar structure, mode of action but different insect specificity. Also, this group is the better characterized regarding the study of their mode of action and the molecular basis of insect specificity. In this review we discuss how Cry toxins have evolved insect specificity in nature and analyse several cases of improvement of Cry toxin action by genetic engineering, some of these examples are currently used in transgenic crops. We believe that the success in the improvement of insecticidal activity by genetic evolution of Cry toxins will depend on the knowledge of the rate-limiting steps of Cry toxicity in different insect pests, the mapping of the specificity binding regions in the Cry toxins, as well as the improvement of mutagenesis strategies and selection procedures. © 2012 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology © 2012 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  6. Escherichia coli Shiga Toxin Mechanisms of Action in Renal Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tom G. Obrig

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli is a contaminant of food and water that in humans causes a diarrheal prodrome followed by more severe disease of the kidneys and an array of symptoms of the central nervous system. The systemic disease is a complex referred to as diarrhea-associated hemolytic uremic syndrome (D+HUS. D+HUS is characterized by thrombocytopenia, microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, and acute renal failure. This review focuses on the renal aspects of D+HUS. Current knowledge of this renal disease is derived from a combination of human samples, animal models of D+HUS, and interaction of Shiga toxin with isolated renal cell types. Shiga toxin is a multi-subunit protein complex that binds to a glycosphingolipid receptor, Gb3, on select eukaryotic cell types. Location of Gb3 in the kidney is predictive of the sites of action of Shiga toxin. However, the toxin is cytotoxic to some, but not all cell types that express Gb3. It also can cause apoptosis or generate an inflammatory response in some cells. Together, this myriad of results is responsible for D+HUS disease.

  7. T-2 Toxin-induced Toxicity in Pregnant Mice and Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shinya Sehata

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available T-2 toxin is a cytotoxic secondary fungal metabolite that belongs to the trichothecene mycotoxin family. This mycotoxin is a well known inhibitor of protein synthesis through its high binding affinity to peptidyl transferase, which is an integral part of the ribosomal 60s subunit, and it also inhibits the synthesis of DNA and RNA, probably secondary to the inhibition of protein synthesis. In addition, T-2 toxin is said to induce apoptosis in many types of cells bearing high proliferating activity. T-2 toxin readily passes the placenta and is distributed to embryo/fetal tissues, which include many component cells bearing high proliferating activity. This paper reviews the reported data related to T-2 toxin-induced maternal and fetal toxicities in pregnant mice and rats. The mechanisms of T-2 toxin-induced apoptosis in maternal and fetal tissues are also discussed in this paper.

  8. Action of cholera toxin in the intestinal epithelial cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hyun, C.S.

    1982-01-01

    The primary event in the action of cholera toxin on the isolated chick intestinal epithelial cell is its interaction with the cell membrane. This involves a large number (17 million per cell) of high affinity binding sites which belong to a single class. Binding of biologically active 125 I-labeled toxin is rapid, temperature-dependent, reversible, and saturable over a wide range of concentrations and includes only a small contribution from nonspecific sites. A characteristic lag phase of 10 min occurs following the complete binding of toxin before any increase in cellular cAMP levels can be detected in the isolated cells. The response (elevation of cellular cAMP) of the enterocytes to cholera toxin is linear with time for 40-50 min and causes a six- to eight-fold increase over control levels at steady stae. cAMP and agents that increase cAMP production inhibit Cl - -independent Na + influx into the isolated enterocytes whereas chlorporomazine (CPZ) which completely abolishes toxin-induced elevation of cAMP both reverses and prevents the cAMP-mediated inhibition of Na + entry. Correlation between cellular cAMP levels and the magnitude of Na + influx into the enterocytes provides evidence for a cAMP-mediated control of intestinal Na + uptake, which may represent the mechanistic basis for the antiabsorptive effect of CT and Na + during induction of intestinal secretion. The effect of cAMP on Na + but no Cl - influx in our villus cell preparation can be partially explained in terms of a cAMP-regulated Na + /H + neutral exchange system

  9. Born Knowing: Tentacled Snakes Innately Predict Future Prey Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catania, Kenneth C.

    2010-01-01

    Background Aquatic tentacled snakes (Erpeton tentaculatus) can take advantage of their prey's escape response by startling fish with their body before striking. The feint usually startles fish toward the snake's approaching jaws. But when fish are oriented at a right angle to the jaws, the C-start escape response translates fish parallel to the snake's head. To exploit this latter response, snakes must predict the future location of the fish. Adult snakes can make this prediction. Is it learned, or are tentacled snakes born able to predict future fish behavior? Methods and Findings Laboratory-born, naïve snakes were investigated as they struck at fish. Trials were recorded at 250 or 500 frames per second. To prevent learning, snakes were placed in a water container with a clear transparency sheet or glass bottom. The chamber was placed over a channel in a separate aquarium with fish below. Thus snakes could see and strike at fish, without contact. The snake's body feint elicited C-starts in the fish below the transparency sheet, allowing strike accuracy to be quantified in relationship to the C-starts. When fish were oriented at a right angle to the jaws, naïve snakes biased their strikes to the future location of the escaping fish's head, such that the snake's jaws and the fish's translating head usually converged. Several different types of predictive strikes were observed. Conclusions The results show that some predators have adapted their nervous systems to directly compensate for the future behavior of prey in a sensory realm that usually requires learning. Instead of behavior selected during their lifetime, newborn tentacled snakes exhibit behavior that has been selected on a different scale—over many generations. Counter adaptations in fish are not expected, as tentacled snakes are rare predators exploiting fish responses that are usually adaptive. PMID:20585384

  10. Sea snake harvest in the gulf of Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Cao, Nguyen; Thien Tao, Nguyen; Moore, Amelia; Montoya, Alfred; Redsted Rasmussen, Arne; Broad, Kenneth; Voris, Harold K; Takacs, Zoltan

    2014-12-01

    Conservation of sea snakes is virtually nonexistent in Asia, and its role in human-snake interactions in terms of catch, trade, and snakebites as an occupational hazard is mostly unexplored. We collected data on sea snake landings from the Gulf of Thailand, a hotspot for sea snake harvest by squid fishers operating out of the ports of Song Doc and Khanh Hoi, Ca Mau Province, Vietnam. The data were collected during documentation of the steps of the trading process and through interviewers with participants in the trade. Squid vessels return to ports once per lunar synodic cycle and fishers sell snakes to merchants who sort, package, and ship the snakes to various destinations in Vietnam and China for human consumption and as a source of traditional remedies. Annually, 82 t, roughly equal to 225,500 individuals, of live sea snakes are brought to ports. To our knowledge, this rate of harvest constitutes one of the largest venomous snake and marine reptile harvest activities in the world today. Lapemis curtus and Hydrophis cyanocinctus constituted about 85% of the snake biomass, and Acalyptophis peronii, Aipysurus eydouxii, Hydrophis atriceps, H. belcheri, H. lamberti, and H. ornatus made up the remainder. Our results establish a quantitative baseline for characteristics of catch, trade, and uses of sea snakes. Other key observations include the timing of the trade to the lunar cycle, a decline of sea snakes harvested over the study period (approximately 30% decline in mass over 4 years), and the treatment of sea snake bites with rhinoceros horn. Emerging markets in Southeast Asia drive the harvest of venomous sea snakes in the Gulf of Thailand and sea snake bites present a potentially lethal occupational hazard. We call for implementation of monitoring programs to further address the conservation implications of this large-scale marine reptile exploitation. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  11. ADP-ribosylation by cholera toxin: functional analysis of a cellular system that stimulates the enzymic activity of cholera toxin fragment A1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gill, D.M.; Coburn, J.

    1987-01-01

    The authors have clarified relationships between cholera toxin, cholera toxin substrates, a membrane protein S that is required for toxin activity, and a soluble protein CF that is needed for the function of S. The toxin has little intrinsic ability to catalyze ADP-ribosylations unless it encounters the active form of the S protein, which is S liganded to GTP or to a GTP analogue. In the presence of CF, S x GTP forms readily, though reversibly, but a more permanent active species, S-guanosine 5'-O-(3-thiotriphosphate) (S x GTPγS), forms over a period of 10-15 min at 37 0 C. Both guanosine 5'-O-(2-thiodiphosphate) and GTP block this quasi-permanent activation. Some S x GTPγS forms in membranes that are exposed to CF alone and then to GTPγS, with a wash in between, and it is possible that CF facilitates a G nucleotide exchange. S x GTPγS dissolved by nonionic detergents persists in solution and can be used to support the ADP-ribosylation of nucleotide-free substrates. In this circumstance, added guanyl nucleotides have no further effect. This active form of S is unstable, especially when heated, but the thermal inactivation above 45 0 C is decreased by GTPγS. Active S is required equally for the ADP-ribosylation of all of cholera toxin's protein substrates, regardless of whether they bind GTP or not. They suggest that active S interacts directly with the enzymic A 1 fragments of cholera toxin and not with any toxin substrate. The activation and activity of S are independent of the state, or even the presence, of adenylate cyclase and seem to be involved with the cyclase system only via cholera toxin. S is apparently not related by function to certain other GTP binding proteins, including p21/sup ras/, and appears to be a new GTP binding protein whose physiologic role remains to be identified

  12. Bumpus in the snake den: effects of sex, size, and body condition on mortality of red-sided garter snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shine, R; LeMaster, M P; Moore, I T; Olsson, M M; Mason, R T

    2001-03-01

    Huge breeding aggregations of red-sided garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis) at overwintering dens in Manitoba provide a unique opportunity to identify sources of mortality and to clarify factors that influence a snake's vulnerability to these factors. Comparisons of sexes, body sizes, and body condition of more than 1000 dead snakes versus live animals sampled at the same time reveal significant biases. Three primary sources of mortality were identified. Predation by crows, Corvus brachyrhynchos (590 snakes killed), was focussed mostly on small snakes of both sexes. Crows generally removed the snake's liver and left the carcass, but very small snakes were sometimes brought back to the nest. Suffocation beneath massive piles of other snakes within the den (301 dead animals) involved mostly small males and (to a lesser extent) large females; snakes in poor body condition were particularly vulnerable. Many emaciated snakes (n = 142, mostly females) also died without overt injuries, probably due to depleted energy reserves. These biases in vulnerability are readily interpretable from information on behavioral ecology of the snakes. For example, sex biases in mortality reflect differences in postemergence behavior and locomotor capacity, the greater attractiveness of larger females to males, and the high energy costs of reproduction for females.

  13. Higher-Order Structure in Bacterial VapBC Toxin-Antitoxin Complexes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bendtsen, Kirstine L; Brodersen, Ditlev E

    2017-01-01

    Toxin-antitoxin systems are widespread in the bacterial kingdom, including in pathogenic species, where they allow rapid adaptation to changing environmental conditions through selective inhibition of key cellular processes, such as DNA replication or protein translation. Under normal growth...... that allow auto-regulation of transcription by direct binding to promoter DNA. In this chapter, we review our current understanding of the structural characteristics of type II toxin-antitoxin complexes in bacterial cells, with a special emphasis on the staggering variety of higher-order architecture...... conditions, type II toxins are inhibited through tight protein-protein interaction with a cognate antitoxin protein. This toxin-antitoxin complex associates into a higher-order macromolecular structure, typically heterotetrameric or heterooctameric, exposing two DNA binding domains on the antitoxin...

  14. The upper cretaceous snake Dinilysia patagonica Smith-Woodward, 1901, and the crista circumfenestralis of snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palci, Alessandro; Caldwell, Michael W

    2014-10-01

    Studies on the phylogenetic relationships of snakes and lizards are plagued by problematic characterizations of anatomy that are then used to define characters and states in taxon-character matrices. State assignments and character descriptions must be clear characterizations of observable anatomy and topological relationships if homologies are to be hypothesized. A supposed homology among snakes, not observed in lizards, is the presence of a crista circumfenestralis (CCF), a system of bony crests surrounding the fenestra ovalis and lateral aperture of the recessus scalae tympani. We note that there are some fossil and extant snakes that lack a CCF, and some extant lizards that possess a morphological equivalent. The phylogenetically important upper Cretaceous fossil snake Dinilysia patagonica has been interpreted by different authors as either having or lacking a CCF. These conflicting results for Dinilysia were tested by re-examining the morphology of the otic region in a large sample of snakes and lizards. An unambiguous criterion arising from the test of topology is used to define the presence of a CCF: the enclosure of the ventral margin of the juxtastapedial recess by flanges of the otoccipital (crista tuberalis and crista interfenestralis) that extend forward to contact the posterior margin of the prootic. According to this criterion D. patagonica does not possess a CCF, therefore, this anatomical feature must have arisen later during the evolution of snakes. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Combination of Ambiguous and Unambiguous Data in the Restraint-driven Docking of Flexible Peptides with HADDOCK: The Binding of the Spider Toxin PcTx1 to the Acid Sensing Ion Channel (ASIC) 1a.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deplazes, Evelyne; Davies, Josephine; Bonvin, Alexandre M J J; King, Glenn F; Mark, Alan E

    2016-01-25

    Peptides that bind to ion channels have attracted much interest as potential lead molecules for the development of new drugs and insecticides. However, the structure determination of large peptide-channel complexes using experimental methods is challenging. Thus structural models are often derived from combining experimental information with restraint-driven docking approaches. Using the complex formed by the venom peptide PcTx1 and the acid sensing ion channel (ASIC) 1a as a case study, we have examined the effect of different combinations of restraints and input structures on the statistical likelihood of (a) correctly predicting the structure of the binding interface and (b) the ability to predict which residues are involved in specific pairwise peptide-channel interactions. For this, we have analyzed over 200,000 water-refined docked structures obtained with various amounts and types of restraints of the peptide-channel complex predicted using the docking program HADDOCK. We found that increasing the number of restraints or even the use of pairwise interaction data resulted in only a modest improvement in the likelihood of finding a structure within a given accuracy. This suggests that shape complementarity and the force field make a large contribution to the accuracy of the predicted structure. The results also showed that there are large variations in the accuracy of the predicted structure depending on the precise combination of residues used as restraints. Finally, we reflect on the limitations of relying on geometric criteria such as root-mean square deviations to assess the accuracy of docking procedures. We propose that in addition to currently used measures, the likelihood of finding a structure within a given level of accuracy should be also used to evaluate docking methods.

  16. Spin with two snakes and overlapping resonances

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, S.Y.; Zhao, X.F.

    1987-01-01

    We study the effect of multiple spin depolarization resonances on the spin of the particles with two snakes. When two resonances are well separated, the polarization can be restored in passing through these resonances provided that the snake resonances are avoided. When two resonances are overlapping, the beam particles may be depolarized depending on the spacing between these two resonances. If the spacing between these two resonances is an odd number for two snakes, the beam particles may be depolarized depending on the strength of the resonance. When the spacing becomes an even number, the spin can tolerate a much larger resonance strength without depolarization. Numerical simulations can be shown to agree well with the analytic formula. However, the spin is susceptible to the combination of an intrinsic and an imperfection resonances even in the presence of the snakes. Numerical simulation indicates that the spin can be restored after the resonances provided that imperfection strength is less than 0.1 if intrinsic strength is fixed at 0.745

  17. A Schoolwide Endeavor: Our Exquisite Snake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Anne Marie

    2009-01-01

    The author was originally inspired by "The Exquisite Snake" exhibit she saw at a local museum. Two hundred contemporary artists contributed to this exhibit, which was an adaptation of the old parlor game called "The Exquisite Corpse" that Surrealist artists used to play in the late 1920s and '30s. The author just loved this idea and decided to…

  18. A Novel Tenebrio molitor Cadherin Is a Functional Receptor for Bacillus thuringiensis Cry3Aa Toxin*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabrick, Jeff; Oppert, Cris; Lorenzen, Marcé D.; Morris, Kaley; Oppert, Brenda; Jurat-Fuentes, Juan Luis

    2009-01-01

    Cry toxins produced by the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis are effective biological insecticides. Cadherin-like proteins have been reported as functional Cry1A toxin receptors in Lepidoptera. Here we present data that demonstrate that a coleopteran cadherin is a functional Cry3Aa toxin receptor. The Cry3Aa receptor cadherin was cloned from Tenebrio molitor larval midgut mRNA, and the predicted protein, TmCad1, has domain structure and a putative toxin binding region similar to those in lepidopteran cadherin B. thuringiensis receptors. A peptide containing the putative toxin binding region from TmCad1 bound specifically to Cry3Aa and promoted the formation of Cry3Aa toxin oligomers, proposed to be mediators of toxicity in lepidopterans. Injection of TmCad1-specific double-stranded RNA into T. molitor larvae resulted in knockdown of the TmCad1 transcript and conferred resistance to Cry3Aa toxicity. These data demonstrate the functional role of TmCad1 as a Cry3Aa receptor in T. molitor and reveal similarities between the mode of action of Cry toxins in Lepidoptera and Coleoptera. PMID:19416969

  19. Acid Sphingomyelinase Promotes Cellular Internalization of Clostridium perfringens Iota-Toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagahama, Masahiro; Takehara, Masaya; Miyamoto, Kazuaki; Ishidoh, Kazumi; Kobayashi, Keiko

    2018-05-20

    Clostridium perfringens iota-toxin is a binary actin-ADP-ribosylating toxin composed of the enzymatic component Ia and receptor binding component Ib. Ib binds to a cell surface receptor, forms Ib oligomer in lipid rafts, and associates with Ia. The Ia-Ib complex then internalizes by endocytosis. Here, we showed that acid sphingomyelinase (ASMase) facilitates the cellular uptake of iota-toxin. Inhibitions of ASMase and lysosomal exocytosis by respective blockers depressed cell rounding induced by iota-toxin. The cytotoxicity of the toxin increased in the presence of Ca 2+ in extracellular fluids. Ib entered target cells in the presence but not the absence of Ca 2+ . Ib induced the extracellular release of ASMase in the presence of Ca 2+ . ASMase siRNA prevented the cell rounding induced by iota-toxin. Furthermore, treatment of the cells with Ib resulted in the production of ceramide in cytoplasmic vesicles. These observations showed that ASMase promotes the internalization of iota-toxin into target cells.

  20. Delayed Toxicity Associated with Soluble Anthrax Toxin Receptor Decoy-Ig Fusion Protein Treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cote, Christopher; Welkos, Susan; Manchester, Marianne; Young, John A. T.

    2012-01-01

    Soluble receptor decoy inhibitors, including receptor-immunogloubulin (Ig) fusion proteins, have shown promise as candidate anthrax toxin therapeutics. These agents act by binding to the receptor-interaction site on the protective antigen (PA) toxin subunit, thereby blocking toxin binding to cell surface receptors. Here we have made the surprising observation that co-administration of receptor decoy-Ig fusion proteins significantly delayed, but did not protect, rats challenged with anthrax lethal toxin. The delayed toxicity was associated with the in vivo assembly of a long-lived complex comprised of anthrax lethal toxin and the receptor decoy-Ig inhibitor. Intoxication in this system presumably results from the slow dissociation of the toxin complex from the inhibitor following their prolonged circulation. We conclude that while receptor decoy-Ig proteins represent promising candidates for the early treatment of B. anthracis infection, they may not be suitable for therapeutic use at later stages when fatal levels of toxin have already accumulated in the bloodstream. PMID:22511955

  1. Food toxin detection with atomic force microscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Externally introduced toxins or internal spoilage correlated pathogens and their metabolites are all potential sources of food toxins. To prevent and protect unsafe food, many food toxin detection techniques have been developed to detect various toxins for quality control. Although several routine m...

  2. Botulinum Toxin (Botox) for Facial Wrinkles

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Stories Español Eye Health / Eye Health A-Z Botulinum Toxin (Botox) for Facial Wrinkles Sections Botulinum Toxin (Botox) ... Facial Wrinkles How Does Botulinum Toxin (Botox) Work? Botulinum Toxin (Botox) for Facial Wrinkles Leer en Español: La ...

  3. Dissecting the role of ADAM10 as a mediator of Staphylococcus aureus α-toxin action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Hoven, Gisela; Rivas, Amable J; Neukirch, Claudia; Klein, Stefan; Hamm, Christian; Qin, Qianqian; Meyenburg, Martina; Füser, Sabine; Saftig, Paul; Hellmann, Nadja; Postina, Rolf; Husmann, Matthias

    2016-07-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a leading cause of bacterial infections in humans, including life-threatening diseases such as pneumonia and sepsis. Its small membrane-pore-forming α-toxin is considered an important virulence factor. By destroying cell-cell contacts through cleavage of cadherins, the metalloproteinase ADAM10 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase 10) critically contributes to α-toxin-dependent pathology of experimental S. aureus infections in mice. Moreover, ADAM10 was proposed to be a receptor for α-toxin. However, it is unclear whether the catalytic activity or specific domains of ADAM10 are involved in mediating binding and/or subsequent cytotoxicity of α-toxin. Also, it is not known how α-toxin triggers ADAM10's enzymatic activity, and whether ADAM10 is invariably required for all α-toxin action on cells. In the present study, we show that efficient cleavage of the ADAM10 substrate epithelial cadherin (E-cadherin) requires supra-cytotoxic concentrations of α-toxin, leading to significant increases in intracellular [Ca(2+)]; the fall in cellular ATP levels, typically following membrane perforation, became observable at far lower concentrations. Surprisingly, ADAM10 was dispensable for α-toxin-dependent xenophagic targeting of S. aureus, whereas a role for α-toxin attack on the plasma membrane was confirmed. The catalytic site of ADAM10, furin cleavage site, cysteine switch and intracellular domain of ADAM10 were not required for α-toxin binding and subsequent cytotoxicity. In contrast, an essential role for the disintegrin domain and the prodomain emerged. Thus, co-expression of the prodomain with prodomain-deficient ADAM10 reconstituted binding of α-toxin and susceptibility of ADAM10-deficient cells. The results of the present study may help to inform structural analyses of α-toxin-ADAM10 interactions and to design novel strategies to counteract S. aureus α-toxin action. © 2016 The Author(s). published by Portland Press Limited on behalf

  4. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Ontogenetic shifts of heart position in snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lillywhite, Harvey B; Lillywhite, Steven M

    2017-08-01

    Heart position relative to total body length (TL) varies among snakes, with anterior hearts in arboreal species and more centrally located hearts in aquatic or ground-dwelling species. Anterior hearts decrease the cardiac work associated with cranial blood flow and minimize drops in cranial pressure and flow during head-up climbing. Here, we investigate whether heart position shifts intraspecifically during ontogenetic increases in TL. Insular Florida cottonmouth snakes, Agkistrodon conanti, are entirely ground-dwelling and have a mean heart position that is 33.32% TL from the head. In contrast, arboreal rat snakes, Pantherophis obsoleta, of similar lengths have a mean heart position that is 17.35% TL from the head. In both species, relative heart position shifts craniad during ontogeny, with negative slopes = -.035 and -.021% TL/cm TL in Agkistrodon and Pantherophis, respectively. Using a large morphometric data set available for Agkistrodon (N = 192 individuals, 23-140 cm TL), we demonstrate there is an anterior ontogenetic shift of the heart position within the trunk (= 4.56% trunk length from base of head to cloacal vent), independent of head and tail allometry which are both negative. However, in longer snakes > 100 cm, the heart position reverses and shifts caudally in longer Agkistrodon but continues toward the head in longer individuals of Pantherophis. Examination of data sets for two independent lineages of fully marine snakes (Acrochordus granulatus and Hydrophis platurus), which do not naturally experience postural gravity stress, demonstrate both ontogenetic patterns for heart position that are seen in the terrestrial snakes. The anterior migration of the heart is greater in the terrestrial species, even if TL is standardized to that of the longer P. obsoleta, and compensates for about 5 mmHg gravitational pressure head if they are fully upright. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Standardization of anti-lethal toxin potency test of antivenoms prepared from two different Agkistrodon halys venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. H. Lee

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available In Korea, antivenoms for the treatment of patients bitten by venomous snakes have been imported from Japan or China. Although there is cross-reactivity between these antibodies and venoms from snakes indigenous to Korea (e.g. Agkistrodon genus, protection is not optimal. Antivenoms specifically prepared to neutralize Korean snake venoms could be more effective, with fewer side effects. To this end, we established an infrastructure to develop national standards and created a standardized method to evaluate the efficacy of two horse-derived antivenoms using mouse lethal toxin test. Additionally, we determined the antivenoms neutralizing activity against lethal doses (LD50 of Agkistrodon halys (from Japan and Jiangzhe Agkistrodon halys (from China venoms. We also performed cross-neutralization tests using probit analysis on each pairing of venom and antivenom in order to check the possibility of using Jiangzhe A. halys venom as a substitute for A. halys venom, the current standard. Slope of A. halys venom with A. halys antivenom was 10.2 and that of A. halys venom with Jiangzhe A. halys antivenom was 9.6. However, Slope of Jiangzhe A. halys venom with A. halys antivenom was 4.7 while that of Jiangzhe A. halys venom with Jiangzhe A. halys antivenom was 11.5. Therefore, the significant difference in slope patterns suggests that Jiangzhe A. halys venom cannot be used as a substitute for the standard venom to test the anti-lethal toxin activity of antivenoms (p<0.05.

  7. Food Forensics: Using Mass Spectrometry To Detect Foodborne Protein Contaminants, as Exemplified by Shiga Toxin Variants and Prion Strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Christopher J

    2018-06-13

    Food forensicists need a variety of tools to detect the many possible food contaminants. As a result of its analytical flexibility, mass spectrometry is one of those tools. Use of the multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) method expands its use to quantitation as well as detection of infectious proteins (prions) and protein toxins, such as Shiga toxins. The sample processing steps inactivate prions and Shiga toxins; the proteins are digested with proteases to yield peptides suitable for MRM-based analysis. Prions are detected by their distinct physicochemical properties and differential covalent modification. Shiga toxin analysis is based on detecting peptides derived from the five identical binding B subunits comprising the toxin. 15 N-labeled internal standards are prepared from cloned proteins. These examples illustrate the power of MRM, in that the same instrument can be used to safely detect and quantitate protein toxins, prions, and small molecules that might contaminate our food.

  8. Australian elapid snake envenomation in cats: Clinical priorities and approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcalees, Trudi J; Abraham, Linda A

    2017-11-01

    Practical relevance: No fewer than 140 species of terrestrial snakes reside in Australia, 92 of which possess venom glands. With the exception of the brown tree snake, the venom-producing snakes belong to the family Elapidae. The venom of a number of elapid species is more toxic than that of the Indian cobra and eastern diamondback rattle snake, which has earned Australia its reputation for being home to the world's most venomous snakes. Clinical challenges: The diagnosis of elapid snake envenomation is not always easy. Identification of Australian snakes is not straightforward and there are no pathognomonic clinical signs. In cats, diagnosis of envenomation is confounded by the fact that, in most cases, there is a delay in seeking veterinary attention, probably because snake encounters are not usually witnessed by owners, and also because of the tendency of cats to hide and seek seclusion when unwell. Although the administration of antivenom is associated with improved outcomes, the snake venom detection kit and antivenom are expensive and so their use may be precluded if there are financial constraints. Evidence base: In providing comprehensive guidance on the diagnosis and treatment of Australian elapid snake envenomation in cats, the authors of this review draw on the published veterinary, medical and toxicology literature, as well as their professional experience as specialists in medicine, and emergency medicine and critical care.

  9. The effects of two phospholipase A2 inhibitors on the neuromuscular blocking activities of homologous phospholipases A2 from the venom of Pseudechis australis, the Australian king brown snake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatehi, M; Rowan, E G; Harvey, A L

    1995-12-01

    Previous studies have shown that homologous phospholipases A2 (PLA2) (Pa-3, Pa-9C, Pa-10F and Pa-11) from the venom of the Australian king brown snake, Pseudechis australis, significantly reduce the resting membrane potentials and quantal contents of endplate potentials recorded from endplate regions of mouse triangularis sterni nerve-muscle preparations. It is not clear whether PLA2 activity is essential for their neuromuscular activities. Therefore, pharmacological studies were carried out to determine whether neuromuscular activity of the toxins changed after treatment with the phospholipase A2 inhibitors 7,7-dimethyl-eicosadienoic acid (DEDA) and manoalide. After incubation of the toxins with manoalide (120 nM), or DEDA (50 microM), no PLA2 activity against 1-stearoyl 2-[3H]arachidonoylglycerophosphocholine was detected. After incubation with manoalide and/or DEDA, the toxins did not depolarize muscle fibre membranes up to 60 min after administration. However, manoalide and DEDA had different influences on the inhibitory effect of these toxic enzymes on acetylcholine release from nerve terminals. Manoalide abolished the inhibitory effect of the toxins on evoked release of acetylcholine. In contrast, DEDA was not able to prevent the reduction of quantal content of endplate potentials induced by the toxins. This study provides evidence that the depolarizing action and the inhibitory effect on release of acetylcholine exerted by these toxic PLA2 from king brown snake are independent phenomena. The evidence for this conclusion was that inhibition of enzymatic activity with an arachidonic acid analogue (DEDA) abolished the depolarizing effect of the toxins but not the effects on the quantal release of acetylcholine from mouse motor nerve terminals. The data suggest that the depolarizing effect of these toxins is probably due to the enzymatic activity. Since manoalide interacts with lysine residues of PLA2 polypeptides, and, as shown here, manoalide prevented

  10. Bio Warfare and Terrorism: Toxins and Other Mid-Spectrum Agents

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Madsen, James M

    2005-01-01

    ... counterparts are still by definition toxins. Related terms include phycotoxins (toxins from algae), mycotoxins (fungal toxins), phytotoxins (plant toxins), and venoms (toxins from animals, especially vertebrates...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2015 by the Genetics Society of America.

  13. Systematic analysis of snake neurotoxins' functional classification using a data warehousing approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siew, Joyce Phui Yee; Khan, Asif M; Tan, Paul T J; Koh, Judice L Y; Seah, Seng Hong; Koo, Chuay Yeng; Chai, Siaw Ching; Armugam, Arunmozhiarasi; Brusic, Vladimir; Jeyaseelan, Kandiah

    2004-12-12

    Sequence annotations, functional and structural data on snake venom neurotoxins (svNTXs) are scattered across multiple databases and literature sources. Sequence annotations and structural data are available in the public molecular databases, while functional data are almost exclusively available in the published articles. There is a need for a specialized svNTXs database that contains NTX entries, which are organized, well annotated and classified in a systematic manner. We have systematically analyzed svNTXs and classified them using structure-function groups based on their structural, functional and phylogenetic properties. Using conserved motifs in each phylogenetic group, we built an intelligent module for the prediction of structural and functional properties of unknown NTXs. We also developed an annotation tool to aid the functional prediction of newly identified NTXs as an additional resource for the venom research community. We created a searchable online database of NTX proteins sequences (http://research.i2r.a-star.edu.sg/Templar/DB/snake_neurotoxin). This database can also be found under Swiss-Prot Toxin Annotation Project website (http://www.expasy.org/sprot/).

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pessati, M.L.; Fontana, J.D.; Guimaraes, M.F. [Federal Univ. of Parana, Curitiba (Brazil)

    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.

  15. When dinner is dangerous: toxic frogs elicit species-specific responses from a generalist snake predator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Ben; Shine, Richard

    2007-12-01

    In arms races between predators and prey, some evolved tactics are unbeatable by the other player. For example, many types of prey are inedible because they have evolved chemical defenses. In this case, prey death removes any selective advantage of toxicity to the prey but not the selective advantage to a predator of being able to consume the prey. In the absence of effective selection for postmortem persistence of the toxicity then, some chemical defenses probably break down rapidly after prey death. If so, predators can overcome the toxic defense simply by waiting for that breakdown before consuming the prey. Floodplain death adders (Acanthophis praelongus) are highly venomous frog-eating elapid snakes native to northern Australia. Some of the frogs they eat are nontoxic (Litoria nasuta), others produce gluelike mucus when seized by a predator (Limnodynastes convexiusculus), and one species (Litoria dahlii) is dangerously toxic to snakes. Both the glue and the toxin degrade within about 20 min of prey death. Adders deal with these prey types in different and highly stereotyped ways: they consume nontoxic frogs directly but envenomate and release the other taxa, waiting until the chemical defense loses its potency before consuming the prey.

  16. Medicinal plants used to treat Snake bite by Fulani Herdsmen in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Dr. Ameen

    the use of village surrounding medicinal plants for the treatment of the snake bite. Recent efforts on ... treatment of snake bites. Information .... Snake venoms are complex mixture of enzymatic and .... treated, mode of diagnosis and medicinal.

  17. Lipid reorganization induced by Shiga toxin clustering on planar membranes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Windschiegl

    Full Text Available The homopentameric B-subunit of bacterial protein Shiga toxin (STxB binds to the glycolipid Gb(3 in plasma membranes, which is the initial step for entering cells by a clathrin-independent mechanism. It has been suggested that protein clustering and lipid reorganization determine toxin uptake into cells. Here, we elucidated the molecular requirements for STxB induced Gb(3 clustering and for the proposed lipid reorganization in planar membranes. The influence of binding site III of the B-subunit as well as the Gb(3 lipid structure was investigated by means of high resolution methods such as fluorescence and scanning force microscopy. STxB was found to form protein clusters on homogenous 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC/cholesterol/Gb(3 (65:30:5 bilayers. In contrast, membranes composed of DOPC/cholesterol/sphingomyelin/Gb(3 (40:35:20:5 phase separate into a liquid ordered and liquid disordered phase. Dependent on the fatty acid composition of Gb(3, STxB-Gb(3 complexes organize within the liquid ordered phase upon protein binding. Our findings suggest that STxB is capable of forming a new membrane phase that is characterized by lipid compaction. The significance of this finding is discussed in the context of Shiga toxin-induced formation of endocytic membrane invaginations.

  18. Botulinum toxin in trigeminal neuralgia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo-Álvarez, Federico; Hernando de la Bárcena, Ignacio; Marzo-Sola, María Eugenia

    2017-01-06

    Trigeminal neuralgia is one of the most disabling facial pain syndromes, with a significant impact on patients' quality of life. Pharmacotherapy is the first choice for treatment but cases of drug resistance often require new strategies, among which various interventional treatments have been used. In recent years a new therapeutic strategy consisting of botulinum toxin has emerged, with promising results. We reviewed clinical cases and case series, open-label studies and randomized clinical trials examining the use of botulinum toxin for drug-refractory trigeminal neuralgia published in the literature. The administration of botulinum toxin has proven to be a safe and effective therapeutic strategy in patients with drug-refractory idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia, but many questions remain unanswered as to the precise role of botulinum toxin in the treatment of this disease. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  19. The CREC family, a novel family of multiple EF-hand, low-affinity Ca(2+)-binding proteins localised to the secretory pathway of mammalian cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Honoré, B; Vorum, H

    2000-01-01

    (2+)-regulated activities. Recent evidence has been obtained that some CREC family members are involved in pathological activities such as malignant cell transformation, mediation of the toxic effects of snake venom toxins and putative participation in amyloid formation. Udgivelsesdato: 2000-Jan-21...

  20. Rhodocytin (aggretin) activates platelets lacking alpha(2)beta(1) integrin, glycoprotein VI, and the ligand-binding domain of glycoprotein Ibalpha

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bergmeier, W; Bouvard, D; Eble, J A

    2001-01-01

    Although alpha(2)beta(1) integrin (glycoprotein Ia/IIa) has been established as a platelet collagen receptor, its role in collagen-induced platelet activation has been controversial. Recently, it has been demonstrated that rhodocytin (also termed aggretin), a snake venom toxin purified from the v...

  1. Toxin-Based Therapeutic Approaches

    OpenAIRE

    Itai Benhar; Assaf Shapira

    2010-01-01

    Protein toxins confer a defense against predation/grazing or a superior pathogenic competence upon the producing organism. Such toxins have been perfected through evolution in poisonous animals/plants and pathogenic bacteria. Over the past five decades, a lot of effort has been invested in studying their mechanism of action, the way they contribute to pathogenicity and in the development of antidotes that neutralize their action. In parallel, many research groups turned to explore the pharmac...

  2. Pathophysiological significance and therapeutic applications of snake venom protease inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thakur, Rupamoni; Mukherjee, Ashis K

    2017-06-01

    Protease inhibitors are important constituents of snake venom and play important roles in the pathophysiology of snakebite. Recently, research on snake venom protease inhibitors has provided valuable information to decipher the molecular details of various biological processes and offer insight for the development of some therapeutically important molecules from snake venom. The process of blood coagulation and fibrinolysis, in addition to affecting platelet function, are well known as the major targets of several snake venom protease inhibitors. This review summarizes the structure-functional aspects of snake venom protease inhibitors that have been described to date. Because diverse biological functions have been demonstrated by protease inhibitors, a comparative overview of their pharmacological and pathophysiological properties is also highlighted. In addition, since most snake venom protease inhibitors are non-toxic on their own, this review evaluates the different roles of individual protease inhibitors that could lead to the identification of drug candidates and diagnostic molecules. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Smart Material-Actuated Flexible Tendon-Based Snake Robot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohiuddin Ahmed

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available A flexible snake robot has better navigation ability compare with the existing electrical motor-based rigid snake robot, due to its excellent bending capability during navigation inside a narrow maze. This paper discusses the modelling, simulation and experiment of a flexible snake robot. The modelling consists of the kinematic analysis and the dynamic analysis of the snake robot. A platform based on the Incompletely Restrained Positioning Mechanism (IRPM is proposed, which uses the external force provided by a compliant flexible beam in each of the actuators. The compliant central column allows the configuration to achieve three degrees of freedom (3DOFs with three tendons. The proposed flexible snake robot has been built using smart material, such as electroactive polymers (EAPs, which can be activated by applying power to it. Finally, the physical prototype of the snake robot has been built. An experiment has been performed in order to justify the proposed model.

  4. The Lurking Snake in the Grass: Interference of Snake Stimuli in Visually Taxing Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Cristina Soares

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Based on evolutionary considerations, it was hypothesized that humans have been shaped to easily spot snakes in visually cluttered scenes that might otherwise hide camouflaged snakes. This hypothesis was tested in a visual search experiment in which I assessed automatic attention capture to evolutionarily-relevant distractor stimuli (snakes, in comparison with another animal which is also feared but where this fear has a disputed evolutionary origin (spiders, and neutral stimuli (mushrooms. Sixty participants were engaged in a task that involved the detection of a target (a bird among pictures of fruits. Unexpectedly, on some trials, a snake, a spider, or a mushroom replaced one of the fruits. The question of interest was whether the distracting stimuli slowed the reaction times for finding the target (the bird to different degrees. Perceptual load of the task was manipulated by increments in the set size (6 or 12 items on different trials. The findings showed that snake stimuli were processed preferentially, particularly under conditions where attentional resources were depleted, which reinforced the role of this evolutionarily-relevant stimulus in accessing the visual system (Isbell, 2009.

  5. Effect of experience with pine (Pituophis melanoleucus) and king (Lampropeltis getulus) snake odors on Y-maze behavior of pine snake hatchlings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, J; Boarman, W; Kurzava, L; Gochfeld, M

    1991-01-01

    The abilities of hatchling pine snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus) and king snakes (Lampropeltis getulus) to discriminate the chemical trails of pine and king snakes was investigated inY-maze experiments. Pine snakes were housed for 17 days either with shavings impregnated with pine snake odor, king snake odor, or no odor to test for the effect of experience on choice. Both pine and king snake hatchlings entered the arm with the pine snake odor and did not enter the arm with the king snake odor. The data support the hypothesis that hatchlings of both species can distinguish conspecific odors from other odors and that our manipulation of previous experience was without effect for pine snake hatchlings.

  6. Annual incidence of snake bite in rural bangladesh.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ridwanur Rahman

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Snake bite is a neglected public health problem in the world and one of the major causes of mortality and morbidity in many areas, particularly in the rural tropics. It also poses substantial economic burdens on the snake bite victims due to treatment related expenditure and loss of productivity. An accurate estimate of the risk of snake bite is largely unknown for most countries in the developing world, especially South-East Asia. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We undertook a national epidemiological survey to determine the annual incidence density of snake bite among the rural Bangladeshi population. Information on frequency of snake bite and individuals' length of stay in selected households over the preceding twelve months was rigorously collected from the respondents through an interviewer administered questionnaire. Point estimates and confidence intervals of the incidence density of snake bite, weighted and adjusted for the multi-stage cluster sampling design, were obtained. Out of 18,857 study participants, over one year a total of 98 snake bites, including one death were reported in rural Bangladesh. The estimated incidence density of snake bite is 623.4/100,000 person years (95% C I 513.4-789.2/100,000 person years. Biting occurs mostly when individuals are at work. The majority of the victims (71% receive snake bites to their lower extremities. Eighty-six percent of the victims received some form of management within two hours of snake bite, although only three percent of the victims went directly to either a medical doctor or a hospital. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Incidence density of snake bite in rural Bangladesh is substantially higher than previously estimated. This is likely due to better ascertainment of the incidence through a population based survey. Poor access to health services increases snake bite related morbidity and mortality; therefore, effective public health actions are warranted.

  7. Monkey pulvinar neurons fire differentially to snake postures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, Quan Van; Isbell, Lynne A; Matsumoto, Jumpei; Le, Van Quang; Hori, Etsuro; Tran, Anh Hai; Maior, Rafael S; Tomaz, Carlos; Ono, Taketoshi; Nishijo, Hisao

    2014-01-01

    There is growing evidence from both behavioral and neurophysiological approaches that primates are able to rapidly discriminate visually between snakes and innocuous stimuli. Recent behavioral evidence suggests that primates are also able to discriminate the level of threat posed by snakes, by responding more intensely to a snake model poised to strike than to snake models in coiled or sinusoidal postures (Etting and Isbell 2014). In the present study, we examine the potential for an underlying neurological basis for this ability. Previous research indicated that the pulvinar is highly sensitive to snake images. We thus recorded pulvinar neurons in Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) while they viewed photos of snakes in striking and non-striking postures in a delayed non-matching to sample (DNMS) task. Of 821 neurons recorded, 78 visually responsive neurons were tested with the all snake images. We found that pulvinar neurons in the medial and dorsolateral pulvinar responded more strongly to snakes in threat displays poised to strike than snakes in non-threat-displaying postures with no significant difference in response latencies. A multidimensional scaling analysis of the 78 visually responsive neurons indicated that threat-displaying and non-threat-displaying snakes were separated into two different clusters in the first epoch of 50 ms after stimulus onset, suggesting bottom-up visual information processing. These results indicate that pulvinar neurons in primates discriminate between poised to strike from those in non-threat-displaying postures. This neuronal ability likely facilitates behavioral discrimination and has clear adaptive value. Our results are thus consistent with the Snake Detection Theory, which posits that snakes were instrumental in the evolution of primate visual systems.

  8. The snakes and ladders of FM service excellence

    OpenAIRE

    Price, Ilfryn; Mccarroll, Patricia

    2015-01-01

    A report to accompany a workshop and gamification event at EFMC 2015 in Glasgow.\\ud \\ud Snakes and Ladders is an ancient Indian board game regarded today as a worldwide classic. The historic version had its root in morality lessons, where a player's progression up the board represented a life journey complicated by virtues (ladders) and vices (snakes). Our version brings back the morality element by associating each ladder and snake with enablers or barriers to service excellence in FM all id...

  9. Molecular evidence of Sarcocystis species in captive snakes in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abe, Niichiro; Matsubara, Katsuki; Tamukai, Kenichi; Miwa, Yasutsugu; Takami, Kazutoshi

    2015-08-01

    Sarcocystis nesbitti, using snakes as the definitive host, is a causative agent of acute human muscular sarcocystosis in Malaysia. Therefore, it is important to explore the distribution and prevalence of S. nesbitti in snakes. Nevertheless, epizootiological information of S. nesbitti in snakes remains insufficient because few surveys have assessed Sarcocystis infection in snakes in endemic countries. In Japan, snakes are popular exotic pet animals that are imported from overseas, but the degree of Sarcocystis infection in them remains unclear. The possibility exists that muscular sarcocystosis by S. nesbitti occurs in contact with captive snakes in non-endemic countries. For a total of 125 snake faecal samples from 67 snake species collected at animal hospitals, pet shops and a zoo, this study investigated the presence of Sarcocystis using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the 18S ribosomal RNA gene (18S rDNA). Four (3.2%) faecal samples were positive by PCR. Phylogenetic analysis of the 18S rDNA sequences obtained from four amplification products revealed one isolate from a beauty snake (Elaphe taeniura), Sarcocystis zuoi, which uses rat snakes as the definitive host. The isolate from a Macklot's python (Liasis mackloti) was closely related with unidentified Sarcocystis sp. from reticulated pythons in Malaysia. The remaining two isolates from tree boas (Corallus spp.) were closely related with Sarcocystis lacertae, Sarcocystis gallotiae and unidentified Sarcocystis sp. from smooth snakes, Tenerife lizards and European shrews, respectively. This report is the first of a study examining the distribution of Sarcocystis species in captive snakes in Japan.

  10. Filaggrin-dependent secretion of sphingomyelinase protects against staphylococcal α-toxin-induced keratinocyte death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brauweiler, Anne M; Bin, Lianghua; Kim, Byung Eui; Oyoshi, Michiko K; Geha, Raif S; Goleva, Elena; Leung, Donald Y M

    2013-02-01

    The skin of patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) has defects in keratinocyte differentiation, particularly in expression of the epidermal barrier protein filaggrin. AD skin lesions are often exacerbated by Staphylococcus aureus-mediated secretion of the virulence factor α-toxin. It is unknown whether lack of keratinocyte differentiation predisposes to enhanced lethality from staphylococcal toxins. We investigated whether keratinocyte differentiation and filaggrin expression protect against cell death induced by staphylococcal α-toxin. Filaggrin-deficient primary keratinocytes were generated through small interfering RNA gene knockdown. RNA expression was determined by using real-time PCR. Cell death was determined by using the lactate dehydrogenase assay. Keratinocyte cell survival in filaggrin-deficient (ft/ft) mouse skin biopsies was determined based on Keratin 5 staining. α-Toxin heptamer formation and acid sphingomyelinase expression were determined by means of immunoblotting. We found that filaggrin expression, occurring as the result of keratinocyte differentiation, significantly inhibits staphylococcal α-toxin-mediated pathogenicity. Furthermore, filaggrin plays a crucial role in protecting cells by mediating the secretion of sphingomyelinase, an enzyme that reduces the number of α-toxin binding sites on the keratinocyte surface. Finally, we determined that sphingomyelinase enzymatic activity directly prevents α-toxin binding and protects keratinocytes against α-toxin-induced cytotoxicity. The current study introduces the novel concept that S aureus α-toxin preferentially targets and destroys filaggrin-deficient keratinocytes. It also provides a mechanism to explain the increased propensity for S aureus-mediated exacerbation of AD skin disease. Copyright © 2012 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Saccharomyces boulardii Protease Inhibits the Effects of Clostridium difficile Toxins A and B in Human Colonic Mucosa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castagliuolo, Ignazio; Riegler, Martin F.; Valenick, Leyla; LaMont, J. Thomas; Pothoulakis, Charalabos

    1999-01-01

    Saccharomyces boulardii is a nonpathogenic yeast used in the treatment of Clostridium difficile diarrhea and colitis. We have reported that S. boulardii inhibits C. difficile toxin A enteritis in rats by releasing a 54-kDa protease which digests the toxin A molecule and its brush border membrane (BBM) receptor (I. Castagliuolo, J. T. LaMont, S. T. Nikulasson, and C. Pothoulakis, Infect. Immun. 64:5225–5232, 1996). The aim of this study was to further evaluate the role of S. boulardii protease in preventing C. difficile toxin A enteritis in rat ileum and determine whether it protects human colonic mucosa from C. difficile toxins. A polyclonal rabbit antiserum raised against purified S. boulardii serine protease inhibited by 73% the proteolytic activity present in S. boulardii conditioned medium in vitro. The anti-protease immunoglobulin G (IgG) prevented the action of S. boulardii on toxin A-induced intestinal secretion and mucosal permeability to [3H]mannitol in rat ileal loops, while control rabbit IgG had no effect. The anti-protease IgG also prevented the effects of S. boulardii protease on digestion of toxins A and B and on binding of [3H]toxin A and [3H]toxin B to purified human colonic BBM. Purified S. boulardii protease reversed toxin A- and toxin B-induced inhibition of protein synthesis in human colonic (HT-29) cells. Furthermore, toxin A- and B-induced drops in transepithelial resistance in human colonic mucosa mounted in Ussing chambers were reversed by 60 and 68%, respectively, by preexposing the toxins to S. boulardii protease. We conclude that the protective effects of S. boulardii on C. difficile-induced inflammatory diarrhea in humans are due, at least in part, to proteolytic digestion of toxin A and B molecules by a secreted protease. PMID:9864230

  12. Delineating residues for haemolytic activities of snake venom cardiotoxin 1 from Naja naja as probed by molecular dynamics simulations and in vitro validations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Molecular Identification of Cryptosporidium Species from Pet Snakes in Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yimming, Benjarat; Pattanatanang, Khampee; Sanyathitiseree, Pornchai; Inpankaew, Tawin; Kamyingkird, Ketsarin; Pinyopanuwat, Nongnuch; Chimnoi, Wissanuwat; Phasuk, Jumnongjit

    2016-08-01

    Cryptosporidium is an important pathogen causing gastrointestinal disease in snakes and is distributed worldwide. The main objectives of this study were to detect and identify Cryptosporidium species in captive snakes from exotic pet shops and snake farms in Thailand. In total, 165 fecal samples were examined from 8 snake species, boa constrictor (Boa constrictor constrictor), corn snake (Elaphe guttata), ball python (Python regius), milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum), king snake (Lampropeltis getula), rock python (Python sebae), rainbow boa (Epicrates cenchria), and carpet python (Morelia spilota). Cryptosporidium oocysts were examined using the dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)-modified acid-fast staining and a molecular method based on nested-PCR, PCR-RFLP analysis, and sequencing amplification of the SSU rRNA gene. DMSO-modified acid-fast staining revealed the presence of Cryptosporidium oocysts in 12 out of 165 (7.3%) samples, whereas PCR produced positive results in 40 (24.2%) samples. Molecular characterization indicated the presence of Cryptosporidium parvum (mouse genotype) as the most common species in 24 samples (60%) from 5 species of snake followed by Cryptosporidium serpentis in 9 samples (22.5%) from 2 species of snake and Cryptosporidium muris in 3 samples (7.5%) from P. regius.

  14. Snake-like phenomena in Tore Supra following pellet injection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pecquet, A.L.; Cristofani, P.; Mattioli, M.; Garbet, X.; Laurent, L.; Geraud, A.; Gil, C.; Joffrin, E.; Sabot, R.

    1996-01-01

    Snakes are observed in Tore-Supra, after injection of high velocity solid hydrogen or deuterium pellets ablated inside the q=1 surface. They are detected, immediately after the ablation, as oscillations on the line integrated densities of the central interferometer channels. The corresponding oscillations on the soft X-ray signals detach from the noise about 70 ms later. Snakes survive sawtooth crashes, but are nevertheless affected by them. Variations, during the about 500 ms long lifetime, of the snake radius τ s , of the rotation frequency and of the rotation direction are discussed, stressing the effects of the sawtooth crashes. In many snakes τ s /τ q =1 is of the order of 0.5. Since the snake has a m=1, n=1 helicity, this points out the existence of a flat or inverted safety factor profile, confirmed by calculation of the current profile using Spitzer's resistivity. Combined simulations of the snake oscillations on both interferometer and soft X-ray signals have indicated that, starting about 80 ms after the snake formation, the impurity (carbon) density inside the snake is much larger than outside it. Since a change of regime seems to appear about 80 ms after the snake formation on the soft X-ray, it seems plausible that impurity (carbon) accumulation takes place at this time. A stability criterion taking into account both impurity and bootstrap effects is presented, the result agrees with the model proposed by Wesson. (authors)

  15. ACCELERATION OF POLARIZED BEAMS USING MULTIPLE STRONG PARTIAL SIBERIAN SNAKES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    ROSER, T.; AHRENS, L.; BAI, M.

    2004-01-01

    Acceleration of polarized protons in the energy range of 5 to 25 GeV is particularly difficult since depolarizing spin resonances are strong enough to cause significant depolarization but full Siberian snakes cause intolerably large orbit excursions. Using a 20-30% partial Siberian snake both imperfection and intrinsic resonances can be overcome. Such a strong partial Siberian snake was designed for the Brookhaven AGS using a dual pitch helical superconducting dipole. Multiple strong partial snakes are also discussed for spin matching at beam injection and extraction

  16. Primary homologies of the circumorbital bones of snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palci, Alessandro; Caldwell, Michael W

    2013-09-01

    Some snakes have two circumorbital ossifications that in the current literature are usually referred to as the postorbital and supraorbital. We review the arguments that have been proposed to justify this interpretation and provide counter-arguments that reject those conjectures of primary homology based on the observation of 32 species of lizards and 81 species of snakes (both extant and fossil). We present similarity arguments, both topological and structural, for reinterpretation of the primary homologies of the dorsal and posterior orbital ossifications of snakes. Applying the test of similarity, we conclude that the posterior orbital ossification of snakes is topologically consistent as the homolog of the lacertilian jugal, and that the dorsal orbital ossification present in some snakes (e.g., pythons, Loxocemus, and Calabaria) is the homolog of the lacertilian postfrontal. We therefore propose that the terms postorbital and supraorbital should be abandoned as reference language for the circumorbital bones of snakes, and be replaced with the terms jugal and postfrontal, respectively. The primary homology claim for the snake "postorbital" fails the test of similarity, while the term "supraorbital" is an unnecessary and inaccurate application of the concept of a neomorphic ossification, for an element that passes the test of similarity as a postfrontal. This reinterpretation of the circumorbital bones of snakes is bound to have important repercussions for future phylogenetic analyses and consequently for our understanding of the origin and evolution of snakes. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Studies of polarized beam acceleration and Siberian Snakes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, S.Y.

    1992-01-01

    We studied depolarization mechanisms of polarized proton acceleration in high energy accelerators with snakes and found that the perturbed spin tune due to the imperfection resonance plays an important role in beam depolarization at snake resonances. We also found that even order snake resonances exist in the overlapping intrinsic and imperfection resonances. Due to the perturbed spin tune of imperfection resonances, each snake resonance splits into two. Thus the available betatron tune space becomes smaller. Some constraints on polarized beam colliders were also examined

  18. Serpents in jars: the snake wine industry in Vietnam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Somaweera

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Exploitation of snakes in Vietnam takes place for different purposes, and among them the snake wine industry is prominent but has received far less attention than other dealings, such as the pet trade. Despite widespread commercialisation there is a general lack of information about this snake trade, which makes it difficult to evaluate its magnitude and impact on snake populations. This study documents the use of snakes in snake wine in four cities in Vietnam through surveys conducted in 127 locations selling snake wine in September 2009. This study provides a list of species used along with the number of individuals observed. While none of the species involved are listed in the IUCN Red List, seven species are listed in the Vietnam Red Data Book, of which five are regulated by CITES. On the other hand, the most abundant species used in the trade, Xenochrophis flavipunctatus, is not listed in any conservation document. The popularity and economic importance of snakes in the form of snake wine demonstrates the need for the development of sustainable use programs for these species.

  19. BaltDC: purification, characterization and infrared spectroscopy of an antiplatelet DC protein isolated from Bothrops alternatus snake venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matias, Mariana Santos; de Sousa, Bruna Barbosa; da Cunha Pereira, Déborah Fernanda; Dias, Edigar Henrique Vaz; Mamede, Carla Cristine Neves; de Queiroz, Mayara Ribeiro; Silva, Anielle Christine Almeida; Dantas, Noelio Oliveira; Soares, Andreimar Martins; de Oliveira Costa, Júnia; de Oliveira, Fábio

    2017-01-01

    Snake venoms are a complex mixture of proteins, organic and inorganic compounds. Some of these proteins, enzymatic or non-enzymatic ones, are able to interact with platelet receptors, causing hemostatic disorders. The possible therapeutic potential of toxins with antiplatelet properties may arouse interest in the pharmacological areas. The present study aimed to purify and characterize an antiplatelet DC protein from Bothrops alternatus snake venom. The protein, called BaltDC (DC protein from B. alternatus snake venom), was purified by a combination of ion-exchange chromatography on DEAE-Sephacel column and gel filtration on Sephadex G-75. The molecular mass was estimated by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS-PAGE). The amino acid sequence of the N-terminal region was carried out by Edman degradation method. Platelet aggregation assays were performed in human platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Infrared (IR) spectroscopy was used in order to elucidate the interactions between BaltDC and platelet membrane. BaltDC ran as a single protein band on SDS-PAGE and showed apparent molecular mass of 32 kDa under reducing or non-reducing conditions. The N-terminal region of the purified protein revealed the amino acid sequence IISPPVCGNELLEVGEECDCGTPENCQNECCDA, which showed identity with other snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs). BaltDC was devoid of proteolytic, hemorrhagic, defibrinating or coagulant activities, but it showed a specific inhibitory effect on platelet aggregation induced by ristocetin and epinephrine in PRP. IR analysis spectra strongly suggests that PO 3 2- groups, present in BaltDC, form hydrogen bonds with the PO 2 - groups present in the non-lipid portion of the membrane platelets. BaltDC may be of medical interest since it was able to inhibit platelet aggregation.

  20. Texas coral snake (Micrurus tener) bites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, David L; Borys, Douglas J; Stanford, Rhandi; Kjar, Dean; Tobleman, William

    2007-02-01

    The clinical features of bites from Texas coral snakes (Micrurus tener) have not been well studied. Our goal was to review the largest number of victims of Texas coral snakebites to determine their characteristics, effects, treatment, and outcome. Retrospective case series of Micrurus tener exposures reported to the Texas Poison Center Network from 2000 to 2004. Eighty-two patients were included in the analysis. Most (57.3%) were 18 to 49-year-old men. Almost 90% had local swelling, pain, erythema, or paresthesias. Only 7.3% had systemic effects, and none of these were severe. Over half received coral snake antivenin, and 15.9% were given opioids for pain. No patient died and no patient required mechanical ventilation due to hypoventilation from the snakebite. There were more local findings and less severe systemic effects than previously reported. Antivenin is not needed for most of these patients, and opioids may be administered safely.

  1. Reading color barcodes using visual snakes.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaub, Hanspeter (ORION International Technologies, Albuquerque, NM)

    2004-05-01

    Statistical pressure snakes are used to track a mono-color target in an unstructured environment using a video camera. The report discusses an algorithm to extract a bar code signal that is embedded within the target. The target is assumed to be rectangular in shape, with the bar code printed in a slightly different saturation and value in HSV color space. Thus, the visual snake, which primarily weighs hue tracking errors, will not be deterred by the presence of the color bar codes in the target. The bar code is generate with the standard 3 of 9 method. Using this method, the numeric bar codes reveal if the target is right-side-up or up-side-down.

  2. Are snake populations in widespread decline?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reading, C J; Luiselli, L M; Akani, G C; Bonnet, X; Amori, G; Ballouard, J M; Filippi, E; Naulleau, G; Pearson, D; Rugiero, L

    2010-12-23

    Long-term studies have revealed population declines in fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. In birds, and particularly amphibians, these declines are a global phenomenon whose causes are often unclear. Among reptiles, snakes are top predators and therefore a decline in their numbers may have serious consequences for the functioning of many ecosystems. Our results show that, of 17 snake populations (eight species) from the UK, France, Italy, Nigeria and Australia, 11 have declined sharply over the same relatively short period of time with five remaining stable and one showing signs of a marginal increase. Although the causes of these declines are currently unknown, we suspect that they are multi-faceted (such as habitat quality deterioration, prey availability), and with a common cause, e.g. global climate change, at their root.

  3. An in-depth snake venom proteopeptidome characterization: Benchmarking Bothrops jararaca.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Our proteopeptidomic strategy yielded unprecedented insights into the remarkable diversity of B. jararaca venom composition, both at the peptide and protein levels. These results bring a substantial contribution to the actual pursuit of large-scale protein-level assignment in snake venomics. The detection of typical elapidic venom components, in a Viperidae venom, reinforces our view that the use of this approach (hand-in-hand with transcriptomic and genomic data) for venom proteomic analysis, at the specimen

  4. Action of cholera toxin in the intestinal epithelial cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hyun, C.S.

    1982-01-01

    The primary event in the action of cholera toxin on the isolated chick intestinal epithelial cell is its interaction with a large number of high affinity binding sites in the cell membrane. Binding of 125 I-labeled toxin is rapid, temperature-dependent, reversible, and saturable over a wide range of concentrations and includes only a small contribution from nonspecific sites. A characteristic lag phase of 10 min occurs following the complete binding of toxin before any increase in cellular cAMP levels can be detected. The response (elevation of cellular cAMP) is linear with time for 40 to 50 min and causes a six- to eight-fold increase over control levels (10 to 15 picomole cAMP/mg cellular protein) at steady state. cAMP and agents that increase cAMP production inhibit Cl - -independent Na + influx into the isolated enterocytes whereas chlorpromazine (CPZ) which completely abolishes toxin-induced elevation of cAMP both reverses and prevents the cAMP-mediated inhibition of Na + entry. Correlation between cellular cAMP levels and the magnitude of Na + influx provides evidence for a cAMP-mediated control of intestinal Na + uptake, which may represent the mechanistic basis for the antiabsorptive effect of CT on Na + during induction of intestinal secretion. The effect of cAMP on Na + but not Cl - influx preparations can be partially explained in terms of a cAMP-regulated Na + /H + neutral exchange system. Data on the coupling relationship between Na + transport and the intra- and extracellular pH in the enterocytes show that an amiloride-sensitive electroneutral Na + /H + exchange process occurs. This coupling between Na + and H + is partially inhibited by CT and dbcAMP, suggesting that the Na + /H + exchange may be a cAMP-regulated process. 31 references, 32 figures, 5 tables

  5. Snake-bite-induced Acute Kidney Injury

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Naqvi, R.

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To describe the clinical spectrum and outcome of patients presenting to a tertiary care kidney center, developing acute kidney injury (AKI) after snake-bite. Study Design: An observational study. Place and Duration of Study: Nephrology Department, Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT), Karachi, from January 1990 to December 2014. Methodology: All patients coming to SIUT identified as having AKI after snake-bite during the study period were included. AKI was defined according to RIFLE criteria with sudden rise in creatinine or decline in urine output or both. Demographics, clinical presentation, laboratory profile, and final outcome was noted. Result: During the studied period, 115 cases of AKI, secondary to snake-bite, were registered at this institution. Median age of patients was 35.92 ±15.04 (range: 6 - 70) years and male to female ratio was 1.6:1. Time from bite and referral to this hospital ranged from 2 to 28 days (mean: 8.77 ±5.58 days). Oligo-anuria was the most common presentation, being found in 98 (93.90 percentage) patients. Bleeding diathesis was reported in 75 (65.21 percentage) patients on presentation. All patients had normal sized, non-obstructed kidneys on ultrasonography, with no previous comorbids. Renal replacement therapy (RRT) was required in 106 (92.17 percentage) patients. Complete recovery was seen in 59 (51.30 percentage), while 15 (13.04 percentage) patients expired during acute phase of illness, 4 (3.47 percentage) developed CKD, 11 (9.56 percentage) required dialysis beyond 90 days, and 26 (22.60 percentage) were lost to long-term follow-up. Conclusion: Snake-bite, leading to multiple complications including renal failure and death, is a major health issue in tropical countries. Late referral of these patients to specialized centres Result in undesirable outcome. (author)

  6. Field of a helical Siberian Snake

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luccio, A. [Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY (United States)

    1995-02-01

    To preserve the spin polarization of a beam of high energy protons in a circular accelerator, magnets with periodic magnetic field, called Siberian Snakes are being used. Recently, it was proposed to build Siberian Snakes with superconducting helical dipoles. In a helical, or twisted dipole, the magnetic field is perpendicular to the axis of the helix and rotates around it as one proceeds along the magnet. In an engineering study of a 4 Tesla helical snake, the coil geometry is derived, by twisting, from the geometry of a cosine superconducting dipole. While waiting for magnetic measurement data on such a prototype, an analytical expression for the field of the helice is important, to calculate the particle trajectories and the spin precession in the helix. This model will also allow to determine the optical characteristics of the snake, as an insertion in the lattice of the accelerator. In particular, one can calculate the integrated multipoles through the magnet and the equivalent transfer matrix. An expression for the field in the helix body, i.e., excluding the fringe field was given in a classical paper. An alternate expression can be found by elaborating on the treatment of the field of a transverse wiggler obtained under the rather general conditions that the variables are separable. This expression exactly satisfies Maxwell`s div and curl equations for a stationary field, {del} {center_dot} B = 0, {del} x B = 0. This approach is useful in that it will allow one to use much of the work already done on the problem of inserting wigglers and undulators in the lattice of a circular accelerator.

  7. Diagnostic Imaging in Snakes and Lizards

    OpenAIRE

    Banzato , Tommaso

    2013-01-01

    The increasing popularity of snakes and lizards as pets has led to an increasing demand of specialised veterinary duties in these animals. Diagnostic imaging is often a fundamental step of the clinical investigation. The interpretation of diagnostic images is complex and requires a broad knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology of the species object of the clinical investigation. Moreover, in order to achieve a correct diagnosis, the comparison between normal and abnormal diagnostic im...

  8. Novel molecular mechanism for targeting the parasite Trypanosoma brucei with snake venom toxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Martos Esteban, Andrea; Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard; Carrington, Mark

    Trypanosoma brucei is a parasitic protozoan species capable to infecting insect vectors whose bite further produces African sleeping sickness inhuman beings. During parasites’extracellular lives in the mammalian host, its outer coat, mainly composedof Variable surface glycoproteins (VSGs)[2...

  9. Structural constraints-based evaluation of immunogenic avirulent toxins from Clostridium botulinum C2 and C3 toxins as subunit vaccines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prisilla, A; Prathiviraj, R; Sasikala, R; Chellapandi, P

    2016-10-01

    Clostridium botulinum (group-III) is an anaerobic bacterium producing C2 and C3 toxins in addition to botulinum neurotoxins in avian and mammalian cells. C2 and C3 toxins are members of bacterial ADP-ribosyltransferase superfamily, which modify the eukaryotic cell surface proteins by ADP-ribosylation reaction. Herein, the mutant proteins with lack of catalytic and pore forming function derived from C2 (C2I and C2II) and C3 toxins were computationally evaluated to understand their structure-function integrity. We have chosen many structural constraints including local structural environment, folding process, backbone conformation, conformational dynamic sub-space, NAD-binding specificity and antigenic determinants for screening of suitable avirulent toxins. A total of 20 avirulent mutants were identified out of 23 mutants, which were experimentally produced by site-directed mutagenesis. No changes in secondary structural elements in particular to α-helices and β-sheets and also in fold rate of all-β classes. Structural stability was maintained by reordered hydrophobic and hydrogen bonding patterns. Molecular dynamic studies suggested that coupled mutations may restrain the binding affinity to NAD(+) or protein substrate upon structural destabilization. Avirulent toxins of this study have stable energetic backbone conformation with a common blue print of folding process. Molecular docking studies revealed that avirulent mutants formed more favorable hydrogen bonding with the side-chain of amino acids near to conserved NAD-binding core, despite of restraining NAD-binding specificity. Thus, structural constraints in the avirulent toxins would determine their immunogenic nature for the prioritization of protein-based subunit vaccine/immunogens to avian and veterinary animals infected with C. botulinum. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. An inspection of pipe by snake robot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    František Trebuňa

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The article deals with development and application of snake robot for inspection pipes. The first step involves the introduction of a design of mechanical and electrical parts of the snake robot. Next, the analysis of the robot locomotion is introduced. For the curved pipe, potential field method is used. By this method, the system is able to generate path for the head and rear robot, linking the environment with obstacles, which are represented by the walls of the pipe. Subsequently, the solution of potential field method is used in inverse kinematic model, which respects tasks as obstacle avoidance, joint limit avoidance, and singularity avoidance. Mentioned approach is then tested on snake robot in provisional pipe with rectangular cross section. For this research, software Matlab (2013b is used as the control system in cooperation with the control system of robot, which is based on microcontrollers. By experiments, it is shown that designed robot is able to pass through straight and also curved pipe.

  11. Endogenous hepadnaviruses, bornaviruses and circoviruses in snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, C; Meik, J M; Dashevsky, D; Card, D C; Castoe, T A; Schaack, S

    2014-09-22

    We report the discovery of endogenous viral elements (EVEs) from Hepadnaviridae, Bornaviridae and Circoviridae in the speckled rattlesnake, Crotalus mitchellii, the first viperid snake for which a draft whole genome sequence assembly is available. Analysis of the draft assembly reveals genome fragments from the three virus families were inserted into the genome of this snake over the past 50 Myr. Cross-species PCR screening of orthologous loci and computational scanning of the python and king cobra genomes reveals that circoviruses integrated most recently (within the last approx. 10 Myr), whereas bornaviruses and hepadnaviruses integrated at least approximately 13 and approximately 50 Ma, respectively. This is, to our knowledge, the first report of circo-, borna- and hepadnaviruses in snakes and the first characterization of non-retroviral EVEs in non-avian reptiles. Our study provides a window into the historical dynamics of viruses in these host lineages and shows that their evolution involved multiple host-switches between mammals and reptiles. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  12. Sample limited characterization of a novel disulfide-rich venom peptide toxin from terebrid marine snail Terebra variegata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prachi Anand

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

  13. Structure of a bacterial toxin-activating acyltransferase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greene, Nicholas P; Crow, Allister; Hughes, Colin; Koronakis, Vassilis

    2015-06-09

    Secreted pore-forming toxins of pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli hemolysin (HlyA) insert into host-cell membranes to subvert signal transduction and induce apoptosis and cell lysis. Unusually, these toxins are synthesized in an inactive form that requires posttranslational activation in the bacterial cytosol. We have previously shown that the activation mechanism is an acylation event directed by a specialized acyl-transferase that uses acyl carrier protein (ACP) to covalently link fatty acids, via an amide bond, to specific internal lysine residues of the protoxin. We now reveal the 2.15-Å resolution X-ray structure of the 172-aa ApxC, a toxin-activating acyl-transferase (TAAT) from pathogenic Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae. This determination shows that bacterial TAATs are a structurally homologous family that, despite indiscernible sequence similarity, form a distinct branch of the Gcn5-like N-acetyl transferase (GNAT) superfamily of enzymes that typically use acyl-CoA to modify diverse bacterial, archaeal, and eukaryotic substrates. A combination of structural analysis, small angle X-ray scattering, mutagenesis, and cross-linking defined the solution state of TAATs, with intermonomer interactions mediated by an N-terminal α-helix. Superposition of ApxC with substrate-bound GNATs, and assay of toxin activation and binding of acyl-ACP and protoxin peptide substrates by mutated ApxC variants, indicates the enzyme active site to be a deep surface groove.

  14. Identification of B cell recognized linear epitopes in a snake venom serine proteinase from the central American bushmaster Lachesis stenophrys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madrigal, M; Alape-Girón, A; Barboza-Arguedas, E; Aguilar-Ulloa, W; Flores-Díaz, M

    2017-12-15

    Snake venom serine proteinases are toxins that perturb hemostasis acting on proteins from the blood coagulation cascade, the fibrinolytic or the kallikrein-kinin system. Despite the relevance of these enzymes in envenomations by viper bites, the characterization of the antibody response to these toxins at the molecular level has not been previously addressed. In this work surface-located B cell recognized linear epitopes from a Lachesis stenophrys venom serine proteinase (UniProt accession number Q072L7) were predicted using an artificial neuronal network at the ABCpred server, the corresponding peptides were synthesized and their immunoreactivity was analyzed against a panel of experimental and therapeutic antivenoms. A molecular model of the L. stenophrys enzyme was built using as a template the structure of the D. acutus Dav-PA serine proteinase (Q9I8X1), which displays the highest degree of sequence similarity to the L. stenophrys enzyme among proteins of known 3D structure, and the surface-located epitopes were identified in the protein model using iCn3D. A total of 13 peptides corresponding to the surface exposed predicted epitopes from L. stenophrys serine proteinase were synthesized and, their reactivity with a rabbit antiserum against the recombinant enzyme and a panel of antivenoms was evaluated by a capture ELISA. Some of the epitopes recognized by monospecific and polyspecific antivenoms comprise sequences overlapping motifs conserved in viper venom serine proteinases. The identification and characterization of relevant epitopes recognized by B cells in snake venom toxins may provide valuable information for the preparation of immunogens that help in the production of improved therapeutic antivenoms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Snake venom serine proteinases specificity mapping by proteomic identification of cleavage sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelanis, André; Huesgen, Pitter F; Oliveira, Ana Karina; Tashima, Alexandre K; Serrano, Solange M T; Overall, Christopher M

    2015-01-15

    Many snake venom toxins are serine proteases but their specific in vivo targets are mostly unknown. Various act on components of the coagulation cascade, and fibrinolytic and kallikrein-kinin systems to trigger various pathological effects observed in the envenomation. Despite showing high similarity in terms of primary structure snake venom serine proteinases (SVSPs) show exquisite specificity towards macromolecular substrates. Therefore, the characterization of their peptide bond specificity is important for understanding the active site preference associated with effective proteolysis as well as for the design of peptide substrates and inhibitors. Bothrops jararaca contains various SVSPs among which Bothrops protease A is a specific fibrinogenolytic agent and PA-BJ is a platelet-activating enzyme. In this study we used proteome derived peptide libraries in the Proteomic Identification of protease Cleavage Sites (PICS) approach to explore the peptide bond specificity of Bothrops protease A and PA-BJ in order to determine their individual peptide cleavage sequences. A total of 371 cleavage sites (208 for Bothrops protease A and 163 for PA-BJ) were detected and both proteinases displayed a clear preference for arginine at the P1 position. Moreover, the analysis of the specificity profiles of Bothrops protease A and PA-BJ revealed subtle differences in the preferences along P6-P6', despite a common yet unusual preference for Pro at P2. Taken together, these results map the subsite specificity of both SVSPs and shed light in the functional differences between these proteinases. Proteolysis is key to various pathological effects observed upon envenomation by viperid snakes. The use of the Proteomic Identification of protease Cleavage Sites (PICS) approach for the easy mapping of proteinase subsite preferences at both the prime- and non-prime sides concurrently gives rise to a fresh understanding of the interaction of the snake venom serine proteinases with peptide and

  17. Botulinum toxin in pain treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colhado, Orlando Carlos Gomes; Boeing, Marcelo; Ortega, Luciano Bornia

    2009-01-01

    Botulinum toxin (BTX) is one of the most potent bacterial toxins known and its effectiveness in the treatment of some pain syndromes is well known. However, the efficacy of some of its indications is still in the process of being confirmed. The objective of this study was to review the history, pharmacological properties, and clinical applications of BTX in the treatment of pain of different origins. Botulinum toxin is produced by fermentation of Clostridium botulinum, a Gram-positive, anaerobic bacterium. Commercially, BTX comes in two presentations, types A and B. Botulinum toxin, a neurotoxin with high affinity for cholinergic synapses, blocks the release of acetylcholine by nerve endings without interfering with neuronal conduction of electrical signals or synthesis and storage of acetylcholine. It has been proven that BTX can selectively weaken painful muscles, interrupting the spasm-pain cycle. Several studies have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of BTX-A in the treatment of tension headaches, migraines, chronic lumbar pain, and myofascial pain. Botulinum toxin type A is well tolerated in the treatment of chronic pain disorders in which pharmacotherapy regimens can cause side effects. The reduction in the consumption of analgesics and length of action of 3 to 4 months per dose represent other advantages of its use. However, further studies are necessary to establish the efficacy of BTX-A in chronic pain disorders and its exact mechanism of action, as well as its potential in multifactorial treatments.

  18. The cytolethal distending toxin contributes to microbial virulence and disease pathogenesis by acting as a tri-perditious toxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monika D Scuron

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This review summarizes the current status and recent advances in our understanding of the role that the cytolethal distending toxin (Cdt plays as a virulence factor in promoting disease by toxin-producing pathogens. A major focus of this review is on the relationship between structure and function of the individual subunits that comprise the AB2 Cdt holotoxin. In particular, we concentrate on the molecular mechanisms that characterize this toxin and which account for the ability of Cdt to intoxicate multiple cell types by utilizing a ubiquitous binding partner on the cell membrane. Furthermore, we propose a paradigm shift for the molecular mode of action by which the active Cdt subunit, CdtB, is able to block a key signaling cascade and thereby lead to outcomes based upon programming and the role of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI-3K in a variety of cells. Based upon the collective Cdt literature, we now propose that Cdt is a unique and potent virulence factor capable of acting as a tri-perditious toxin that impairs host defenses by: 1 disrupting epithelial barriers; 2 suppressing acquired immunity; 3 promoting pro-inflammatory responses. Thus Cdt plays a key role in facilitating the early stages of infection and the later stages of disease progression by contributing to persistence and impairing host elimination.

  19. Influence of bacterial toxins on the GTPase activity of transducin from bovine retinal rod outer segments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rybin, V.O.; Gureeva, A.A.

    1986-01-01

    The action of cholera toxin, capable of ADP-ribosylation of the activator N/sub s/ protein, and pertussis toxin, capable of ADP-ribosylation of the inhibitor N/sub i/ protein of the adenylate cyclase complex, on transducin, the GTP-binding protein of the rod outer segments of the retina, was investigated. It was shown that under the action of pertussis and cholera toxins, the GTPase activity of transducin is inhibited. Pertussin toxin inhibits the GTPase of native retinal rod outer segments by 30-40%, while GTPase of homogeneous transducin produces a 70-80% inhibition. The action of toxins on transducin depends on the presence and nature of the guanylic nucleotide with which incubation is performed. On the basis of the data obtained it is suggested that pertussis toxin interacts with pretransducin and with the transducin-GDP complex, while cholera toxin ADP-ribosylates the transducin-GTP complex and does not act on transducin lacking GTP

  20. DNA aptamers as a novel approach to neutralize Staphylococcus aureus α-toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vivekananda, Jeevalatha; Salgado, Christi; Millenbaugh, Nancy J

    2014-02-14

    Staphylococcus aureus is a versatile pathogen capable of causing a broad spectrum of diseases ranging from superficial skin infections to life threatening conditions such as endocarditis, septicemia, pneumonia and toxic shock syndrome. In vitro and in vivo studies identified an exotoxin, α-toxin, as a major cause of S. aureus toxicity. Because S. aureus has rapidly evolved resistance to a number of antibiotics, including methicillin, it is important to identify new therapeutic strategies, other than antibiotics, for inhibiting the harmful effects of this pathogen. Aptamers are single-stranded DNA or RNA oligonucleotides with three-dimensional folded conformations that bind with high affinity and selectivity to targets and modulate their biological functions. The goal of this study was to isolate DNA aptamers that specifically inhibit the cytotoxic activity of α-toxin. After 10 rounds of Systematic Evolution of Ligands by EXponential Enrichment (SELEX), 49 potential anti-α-toxin aptamers were identified. In vitro neutralization assays demonstrated that 4 of these 49 aptamers, AT-27, AT-33, AT-36, and AT-49, significantly inhibited α-toxin-mediated cell death in Jurkat T cells. Furthermore, RT-PCR analysis revealed that α-toxin increased the transcription of the inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-17 and that anti-α-toxin aptamers AT-33 and AT-36 inhibited the upregulation of these genes. Collectively, the data suggest the feasibility of generating functionally effective aptamers against α-toxin for treatment of S. aureus infections. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  1. Design of monodisperse and well-defined polypeptide-based polyvalent inhibitors of anthrax toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patke, Sanket; Boggara, Mohan; Maheshwari, Ronak; Srivastava, Sunit K; Arha, Manish; Douaisi, Marc; Martin, Jacob T; Harvey, Ian B; Brier, Matthew; Rosen, Tania; Mogridge, Jeremy; Kane, Ravi S

    2014-07-28

    The design of polyvalent molecules, presenting multiple copies of a specific ligand, represents a promising strategy to inhibit pathogens and toxins. The ability to control independently the valency and the spacing between ligands would be valuable for elucidating structure-activity relationships and for designing potent polyvalent molecules. To that end, we designed monodisperse polypeptide-based polyvalent inhibitors of anthrax toxin in which multiple copies of an inhibitory toxin-binding peptide were separated by flexible peptide linkers. By tuning the valency and linker length, we designed polyvalent inhibitors that were over four orders of magnitude more potent than the corresponding monovalent ligands. This strategy for the rational design of monodisperse polyvalent molecules may not only be broadly applicable for the inhibition of toxins and pathogens, but also for controlling the nanoscale organization of cellular receptors to regulate signaling and the fate of stem cells. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. Entry of Shiga toxin into cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandvig, Kirsten; van Deurs, Bo

    1994-01-01

    Cellebiologi, Shiga toxin, receptors, glycolipids, endocytosis, trans-Golgi network, endoplasmic reticulum, retrograde transport......Cellebiologi, Shiga toxin, receptors, glycolipids, endocytosis, trans-Golgi network, endoplasmic reticulum, retrograde transport...

  3. Inhibition of cholera toxin and other AB toxins by polyphenolic compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    All AB-type protein toxins have intracellular targets despite an initial extracellular location. These toxins use different methods to reach the cytosol and have different effects on the target cell. Broad-spectrum inhibitors against AB toxins are therefore hard to develop because the toxins use dif...

  4. The partial Siberian snake experiment at the Brookhaven AGS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huang, H.; Caussyn, D.D.; Ellison, T.; Jones, B.; Lee, S.Y.; Schwandt, P.; Ahren, L.; Alessi, J.; Bleser, E.J.; Bunce, G.; Cameron, P.; Courant, E.D.; Foelsche, H.W.; Gardner, C.J.; Geller, J.; Lee, Y.Y.; Makdisi, Y.I.; Mane, S.R.; Ratner, L.; Reece, K.; Roser, T.; Skelly, J.F.; Soukas, A.; Tepikian, S.; Thern, R.E.; van Asselt, W.; Spinka, H.; Teng, L.; Underwood, D.G.; Yokosawa, A.; Wienands, U.; Bharadwaj, V.; Hsueh, S.; Hiramatsu, S.; Mori, Y.; Sato, H.; Yokoya, K.

    1992-01-01

    We are building a 4.7 Tesla-meter room temperature solenoid to be installed in a 10-foot long AGS straight section. This experiment will test the idea of using a partial snake to correct all depolarizing imperfection resonances and also test the feasibility of betatron tune jump in correction intrinsic resonances in the presence of a partial snake

  5. The snake as the symbol of medicine, toxicology and toxinology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramoutsaki, I A; Haniotakis, S; Tsatsakis, A M

    2000-10-01

    We investigated the meaning and the roots of the snake's usage as a symbol of medicine, the medical profession, toxicology and toxinology by examining mythological, archeological data and a variety of texts from the ancient Greek world. The snake figure was associated with Asclepios, the ancient Greek God of medicine, and possessed benevolent properties. It was believed to be able to cure a patient or a wounded person just by touch. The snake is also connected with pharmacology and antisepsis, as snakes possess an antivenom against their own poison. The snake is related to sciences associated with poison and death, such as toxicology and toxinology, and it also implies a metaphysical idea. It is connected with the underworld, not only because it crawls on the ground, but because it can bring death, connecting the upper with the underground world. The ability of the snake to shed its skin has been associated with the circle of life, and the renaissance spirit also, ever since early Hellenic antiquity. Consequently, as a symbol of the modern medical profession, toxicology and toxinology, the snake twisted around a stick or the snake beside a pharmapeutic cup, which also implies the use of medicines or even poison, has its roots in the ancient Mediterranean area as proven by the archeological data combined with literary references. Its benevolent as well as its poisonous properties could be paralleled by the similar properties of medicines.

  6. Snake mortality associated with late season radio-transmitter implantation

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. Craig Rudolph; Shirley J. Burgdorf; Richard R. Schaefer; Richard N. Conner; Robert T. Zappalorth

    1998-01-01

    Radio-telemetry is an increasingly used procedure to obtain data on the biology of free-living snakes (Reinert 1992, 1994). In Texas and Louisiana we have been using the surgical technique of Weatherhead and Anderka (1984) to implant transmitters in timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) and Louisiana pine snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus...

  7. Resonant depolarization in electron storage rings equipped with ''siberia snakes''

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buon, J.

    1984-11-01

    Resonant depolarization induced by field errors and quantum emissions in an electron ring equipped with two ''siberian snakes'' is investigated with a first order perturbation calculation. It is shown that this depolarization is not reduced by the snakes when the operating energy is set out of the depolarization resonances [fr

  8. Skin lipid structure controls water permeability in snake molts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torri, Cristian; Mangoni, Alfonso; Teta, Roberta; Fattorusso, Ernesto; Alibardi, Lorenzo; Fermani, Simona; Bonacini, Irene; Gazzano, Massimo; Burghammer, Manfred; Fabbri, Daniele; Falini, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    The role of lipids in controlling water exchange is fundamentally a matter of molecular organization. In the present study we have observed that in snake molt the water permeability drastically varies among species living in different climates and habitats. The analysis of molts from four snake species: tiger snake, Notechis scutatus, gabon viper, Bitis gabonica, rattle snake, Crotalus atrox, and grass snake, Natrix natrix, revealed correlations between the molecular composition and the structural organization of the lipid-rich mesos layer with control in water exchange as a function of temperature. It was discovered, merging data from micro-diffraction and micro-spectroscopy with those from thermal, NMR and chromatographic analyses, that this control is generated from a sophisticated structural organization that changes size and phase distribution of crystalline domains of specific lipid molecules as a function of temperature. Thus, the results of this research on four snake species suggest that in snake skins different structured lipid layers have evolved and adapted to different climates. Moreover, these lipid structures can protect, "safety", the snakes from water lost even at temperatures higher than those of their usual habitat. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Snakes of Sulawesi: checklist, key and additional Biogeographical remarks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosch, in den H.A.J.

    1985-01-01

    A checklist with concise synonymy and a key to the snakes of Sulawesi is presented, comprising 63 species in 38 genera; 3 subspecies and 15 species, of which one constitutes a monotypic genus, are considered endemic. There is a strong Indo-Malayan relationship. Sea-snakes and Candoia carinata

  10. Emerging fungal pathogen Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola in wild European snakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklinos, Lydia H. V.; Lorch, Jeffrey M.; Bohuski, Elizabeth A.; Rodriguez-Ramos Fernandez, Julia; Wright, Owen; Fitzpatrick, Liam; Petrovan, Silviu; Durrant, Chris; Linton, Chris; Baláž, Vojtech; Cunningham, Andrew A; Lawson, Becki

    2017-01-01

    Snake fungal disease (SFD) is an emerging disease of conservation concern in eastern North America. Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, the causative agent of SFD, has been isolated from over 30 species of wild snakes from six families in North America. Whilst O. ophiodiicola has been isolated from captive snakes outside North America, the pathogen has not been reported from wild snakes elsewhere. We screened 33 carcasses and 303 moulted skins from wild snakes collected from 2010–2016 in Great Britain and the Czech Republic for the presence of macroscopic skin lesions and O. ophiodiicola. The fungus was detected using real-time PCR in 26 (8.6%) specimens across the period of collection. Follow up culture and histopathologic analyses confirmed that both O. ophiodiicola and SFD occur in wild European snakes. Although skin lesions were mild in most cases, in some snakes they were severe and were considered likely to have contributed to mortality. Culture characterisations demonstrated that European isolates grew more slowly than those from the United States, and phylogenetic analyses indicated that isolates from European wild snakes reside in a clade distinct from the North American isolates examined. These genetic and phenotypic differences indicate that the European isolates represent novel strains of O. ophiodiicola. Further work is required to understand the individual and population level impact of this pathogen in Europe.

  11. Particle spin tune in a partially excited snake

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, S.Y.; Tepikian, S.; Courant, E.D.

    1985-01-01

    In this paper, we address the question on the effect of the particle spin when a snake is turned on adiabatically near a depolarization resonance while not accelerating. The spinor equation and its solution are reviewed briefly and the spin transfer matrix method in the presence of a snake are used to evaluate the spin tune and the precession axis

  12. An Unusual Case of Acute Asthma after Snake Bite | Ikuabe ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background Although the cytolytic, neurotoxic and haemolytic actions of snake venoms are well known, the ability of snake venom to induce asthma (as a distinct entity from just difficulty in breathing) is not previously reported in the literature. Methods The case records of the patient in the index case and a review of existing ...

  13. Vine snake (Thelotornis capensis bite in a dog : clinical communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Otto

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available A vine snake bite in a dog is reported. There was continued minor bleeding from the assumed nose bite site for 4 days. Currently manufactured snakebite antivenom is not effective against vine snake bites and treatment is supportive.

  14. Identification of snake bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPPs)-simile sequences in rat brain--Potential BPP-like precursor protein?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campeiro, Joana D'Arc; Neshich, Izabella P; Sant'Anna, Osvaldo A; Lopes, Robson; Ianzer, Danielle; Assakura, Marina T; Neshich, Goran; Hayashi, Mirian A F

    2015-08-01

    Bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPPs) from the South American pit viper snake venom were the first natural inhibitors of the human angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) described. The pioneer characterization of the BPPs precursor from the snake venom glands by our group showed for the first time the presence of the C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) in this same viper precursor protein. The confirmation of the BPP/CNP expression in snake brain regions correlated with neuroendocrine functions stimulated us to pursue the physiological correlates of these vasoactive peptides in mammals. Notably, several snake toxins were shown to have endogenous physiological correlates in mammals. In the present work, we expressed in bacteria the BPPs domain of the snake venom gland precursor protein, and this purified recombinant protein was used to raise specific polyclonal anti-BPPs antibodies. The correspondent single protein band immune-recognized in adult rat brain cytosol was isolated by 2D-SDS/PAGE and/or HPLC, before characterization by MS fingerprint analysis, which identified this protein as superoxide dismutase (SOD, EC 1.15.1.1), a classically known enzyme with antioxidant activity and important roles in the blood pressure modulation. In silico analysis showed the exposition of the BPP-like peptide sequences on the surface of the 3D structure of rat SOD. These peptides were chemically synthesized to show the BPP-like biological activities in ex vivo and in vivo pharmacological bioassays. Taken together, our data suggest that SOD protein have the potential to be a source for putative BPP-like bioactive peptides, which once released may contribute to the blood pressure control in mammals. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Snake fungal disease caused by Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola in a free-ranging mud snake (Farancia abacura).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Last, Lisa A; Fenton, Heather; Gonyor-McGuire, Jessica; Moore, Matthew; Yabsley, Michael J

    2016-11-01

    Snake fungal disease is an emerging infectious disease caused by the fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola leading to severe dermatitis and facial disfiguration in numerous free-ranging and captive snakes. A free-ranging mud snake (Farancia abacura) from Bulloch County, Georgia, was presented for autopsy because of facial swelling and emaciation. Extensive ulceration of the skin, which was especially severe on the head, and retained shed were noted on external examination. Microscopic examination revealed severe heterophilic dermatitis with intralesional fungal hyphae and arthroconidia consistent with O. ophiodiicola A skin sample incubated on Sabouraud dextrose agar yielded a white-to-tan powdery fungal culture that was confirmed to be O. ophiodiicola by polymerase chain reaction and sequence analysis. Heavy infestation with adult tapeworms (Ophiotaenia faranciae) was present within the intestine. Various bacterial and fungal species, interpreted to either be secondary invaders or postmortem contaminants, were associated with oral lesions. Although the role of these other organisms in the overall health of this individual is not known, factors such as concurrent infections or immunosuppression should be considered in order to better understand the overall manifestation of snake fungal disease, which remains