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Sample records for venoms structure function

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

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    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.

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

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeda, Soichi; Takeya, Hiroyuki; Iwanaga, Sadaaki

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Transcriptome analysis of Deinagkistrodon acutus venomous gland focusing on cellular structure and functional aspects using expressed sequence tags

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    Qiu Pengxin

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The snake venom gland is a specialized organ, which synthesizes and secretes the complex and abundant toxin proteins. Though gene expression in the snake venom gland has been extensively studied, the focus has been on the components of the venom. As far as the molecular mechanism of toxin secretion and metabolism is concerned, we still knew a little. Therefore, a fundamental question being arisen is what genes are expressed in the snake venom glands besides many toxin components? Results To examine extensively the transcripts expressed in the venom gland of Deinagkistrodon acutus and unveil the potential of its products on cellular structure and functional aspects, we generated 8696 expressed sequence tags (ESTs from a non-normalized cDNA library. All ESTs were clustered into 3416 clusters, of which 40.16% of total ESTs belong to recognized toxin-coding sequences; 39.85% are similar to cellular transcripts; and 20.00% have no significant similarity to any known sequences. By analyzing cellular functional transcripts, we found high expression of some venom related genes and gland-specific genes, such as calglandulin EF-hand protein gene and protein disulfide isomerase gene. The transcripts of creatine kinase and NADH dehydrogenase were also identified at high level. Moreover, abundant cellular structural proteins similar to mammalian muscle tissues were also identified. The phylogenetic analysis of two snake venom toxin families of group III metalloproteinase and serine protease in suborder Colubroidea showed an early single recruitment event in the viperids evolutionary process. Conclusion Gene cataloguing and profiling of the venom gland of Deinagkistrodon acutus is an essential requisite to provide molecular reagents for functional genomic studies needed for elucidating mechanisms of action of toxins and surveying physiological events taking place in the very specialized secretory tissue. So this study provides a first

  6. Biochemical, functional, structural and phylogenetic studies on Intercro, a new isoform phospholipase A2 from Crotalus durissus terrificus snake venom.

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    Vieira, Lara F; Magro, Angelo J; Fernandes, Carlos A H; de Souza, Bibiana M; Cavalcante, Walter L G; Palma, Mário S; Rosa, José C; Fuly, André L; Fontes, Marcos R M; Gallacci, Márcia; Butzke, Diana S; Calderon, Leonardo A; Stábeli, Rodrigo G; Giglio, José R; Soares, Andreimar M

    2013-12-01

    Crotoxin is a neurotoxin from Crotalus durissus terrificus venom that shows immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antitumor and analgesic activities. Structurally, this toxin is a heterodimeric complex composed by a toxic basic PLA2 (Crotoxin B or CB) non-covalently linked to an atoxic non-enzymatic and acidic component (Crotapotin, Crotoxin A or CA). Several CA and CB isoforms have been isolated and characterized, showing that the crotoxin venom fraction is, in fact, a mixture of different molecules derived from the combination of distinct subunit isoforms. Intercro (IC) is a protein from the same snake venom which presents high similarity in primary structure to CB, indicating that it could be an another isoform of this toxin. In this work, we compare IC to the crotoxin complex (CA/CB) and/or CB in order to understand its functional aspects. The experiments with IC revealed that it is a new toxin with different biological activities from CB, keeping its catalytic activity but presenting low myotoxicity and absence of neurotoxic activity. The results also indicated that IC is structurally similar to CB isoforms, but probably it is not able to form a neurotoxic active complex with crotoxin A as observed for CB. Moreover, structural and phylogenetic data suggest that IC is a new toxin with possible toxic effects not related to the typical CB neurotoxin. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

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

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    Caroline M. Cremonez

    2016-09-01

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

  8. Structural and functional characterization of a novel homodimeric three-finger neurotoxin from the venom of Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Amrita; Zhou, Xingding; Chong, Ming Zhi; D'hoedt, Dieter; Foo, Chun Shin; Rajagopalan, Nandhakishore; Nirthanan, Selvanayagam; Bertrand, Daniel; Sivaraman, J; Kini, R Manjunatha

    2010-03-12

    Snake venoms are a mixture of pharmacologically active proteins and polypeptides that have led to the development of molecular probes and therapeutic agents. Here, we describe the structural and functional characterization of a novel neurotoxin, haditoxin, from the venom of Ophiophagus hannah (King cobra). Haditoxin exhibited novel pharmacology with antagonism toward muscle (alphabetagammadelta) and neuronal (alpha(7), alpha(3)beta(2), and alpha(4)beta(2)) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) with highest affinity for alpha(7)-nAChRs. The high resolution (1.5 A) crystal structure revealed haditoxin to be a homodimer, like kappa-neurotoxins, which target neuronal alpha(3)beta(2)- and alpha(4)beta(2)-nAChRs. Interestingly however, the monomeric subunits of haditoxin were composed of a three-finger protein fold typical of curaremimetic short-chain alpha-neurotoxins. Biochemical studies confirmed that it existed as a non-covalent dimer species in solution. Its structural similarity to short-chain alpha-neurotoxins and kappa-neurotoxins notwithstanding, haditoxin exhibited unique blockade of alpha(7)-nAChRs (IC(50) 180 nm), which is recognized by neither short-chain alpha-neurotoxins nor kappa-neurotoxins. This is the first report of a dimeric short-chain alpha-neurotoxin interacting with neuronal alpha(7)-nAChRs as well as the first homodimeric three-finger toxin to interact with muscle nAChRs.

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

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    Pinyachat, Anuwat

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Understanding structural and functional aspects of PII snake venom metalloproteinases: characterization of BlatH1, a hemorrhagic dimeric enzyme from the venom of Bothriechis lateralis.

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    Camacho, Erika; Villalobos, Eva; Sanz, Libia; Pérez, Alicia; Escalante, Teresa; Lomonte, Bruno; Calvete, Juan J; Gutiérrez, José María; Rucavado, Alexandra

    2014-06-01

    A new homodimeric PII metalloproteinase, named BlatH1, was purified from the venom of the Central American arboreal viperid snake Bothriechis lateralis by a combination of anion-exchange chromatography, hydrophobic interaction chromatography, and gel filtration. BlatH1 is a glycoprotein of 84 kDa. The mature protein contains a metalloproteinase domain, with the characteristic zinc-binding motif (HEXXHXXGXXH) followed by the sequence CIM at the Met-turn. In the disintegrin domain, the tripeptide sequence TDN substitutes the characteristic RGD motif found in many disintegrins. BlatH1 hydrolyzed azocasein, gelatin and fibrinogen, and exerts a potent local and systemic hemorrhagic activity in mice. The hemorrhagic activity of BlatH1 is not inhibited by the plasma proteinase inhibitor α2-macroglobulin, although the SVMP is able to cleave this plasma inhibitor, generating a 90 kDa product. BlatH1 inhibits ADP- and collagen-induced human platelet aggregation (IC50 = 0.3 μM and 0.7 μM for ADP and collagen, respectively). This activity is abrogated when the enzyme is preincubated with the metalloproteinase inhibitor Batimastat, implying that it depends on proteolysis. In agreement, a synthetic peptide containing the sequence TDN of the disintegrin domain is unable to inhibit platelet aggregation. BlatH1 is a valuable tool to understand the structural determinants of toxicity in PII SVMPs. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  11. Structure-function relationships in the receptor for urokinase-type plasminogen activator. Comparison to other members of the Ly-6 family and snake venom alpha-neurotoxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ploug, M; Ellis, V

    1994-01-01

    -anchored membrane proteins. Recent evidence has highlighted similarities between the individual domains of uPAR and the large family of secreted, single domain snake venom alpha-neurotoxins, suggesting that uPAR may adopt the same gross folding pattern as these structurally well characterized proteins. Structural...

  12. Are ticks venomous animals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

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

  13. The putative serine protease inhibitor Api m 6 from Apis mellifera venom: recombinant and structural evaluation.

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    Michel, Y; McIntyre, M; Ginglinger, H; Ollert, M; Cifuentes, L; Blank, S; Spillner, E

    2012-01-01

    Immunoglobulin (Ig) E-mediated reactions to honeybee venom can cause severe anaphylaxis, sometimes with fatal consequences. Detailed knowledge of the allergic potential of all venom components is necessary to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment of allergy and to gain a better understanding of the allergological mechanisms of insect venoms. Our objective was to undertake an immunochemical and structural evaluation of the putative low-molecular-weight serine protease inhibitor Api m 6, a component of honeybee venom. We recombinantly produced Api m 6 as a soluble protein in Escherichia coli and in Spodoptera frugiperda (Sf9) insect cells.We also assessed specific IgE reactivity of venom-sensitized patients with 2 prokaryotically produced Api m 6 variants using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Moreover, we built a structural model ofApi m 6 and compared it with other protease inhibitor structures to gain insights into the function of Api m 6. In a population of 31 honeybee venom-allergic patients, 26% showed specific IgE reactivity with prokaryotically produced Api m 6, showing it to be a minor but relevant allergen. Molecular modeling of Api m 6 revealed a typical fold of canonical protease inhibitors, supporting the putative function of this venom allergen. Although Api m 6 has a highly variant surface charge, its epitope distribution appears to be similar to that of related proteins. Api m 6 is a honeybee venom component with IgE-sensitizing potential in a fraction of venom-allergic patients. Recombinant Api m 6 can help elucidate individual component-resolved reactivity profiles and increase our understanding of immune responses to low-molecular-weight allergens

  14. Molecular diversity of the telson and venom components from Pandinus cavimanus (Scorpionidae Latreille 1802): transcriptome, venomics and function.

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    Diego-García, Elia; Peigneur, Steve; Clynen, Elke; Marien, Tessa; Czech, Lene; Schoofs, Liliane; Tytgat, Jan

    2012-01-01

    Venom from the scorpion Pandinus cavimanus was obtained by electrical stimulation of the telson (stinger). Total venom was toxic to crickets at 7-30 μg and a paralysis or lethal effect was observed at 30 μg of venom (death at 1.5 μg/mg of cricket). Electrophysiological analyses showed cytolytic activity of total venom on oocytes at 7 μg. HPLC allowed separation of the venom components. A total of 38 fractions from total venom were tested on voltage-gated Na(+) and K(+) channels. Some fractions block K(+) currents in different degrees. By using MS analysis, we obtained more than 700 different molecular masses from telson and venom fractions (by LC-MS/MS and MALDI-TOF MS analyses). The number of disulfide bridges of the telson components was determined. A cDNA library from P. cavimanus scorpion was constructed and a random sequencing screening of transcripts was conducted. Different clones were obtained and were analyzed by bioinformatics tools. Our results reveal information about new genes related to some cellular processes and genes involved in venom gland functions (toxins, phospholipases and antimicrobial peptides). Expressed sequence tags from venom glands provide complementary information to MS and reveal undescribed components related to the biological activity of the venom. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  15. Structural Characterization of Myotoxic Ecarpholin S From Echis carinatus Venom

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    Zhou, X.; Tan, T; Valiyaveettil, S; Go, M; Kini, R; Velazquez-Campoy, A; Sivaraman, J

    2008-01-01

    Phospholipase A2 (PLA2), a common toxic component of snake venom, has been implicated in various pharmacological effects. Ecarpholin S, isolated from the venom of the snake Echis carinatus sochureki, is a phospholipase A2 (PLA2) belonging to the Ser49-PLA2 subgroup. It has been characterized as having low enzymatic but potent myotoxic activities. The crystal structures of native ecarpholin S and its complexes with lauric acid, and its inhibitor suramin, were elucidated. This is the first report of the structure of a member of the Ser49-PLA2 subgroup. We also examined interactions of ecarpholin S with phosphatidylglycerol and lauric acid, using surface plasmon resonance, and of suramin with isothermal titration calorimetry. Most Ca2+-dependent PLA2 enzymes have Asp in position 49, which plays a crucial role in Ca2+ binding. The three-dimensional structure of ecarpholin S reveals a unique conformation of the Ca2+-binding loop that is not favorable for Ca2+ coordination. Furthermore, the endogenously bound fatty acid (lauric acid) in the hydrophobic channel may also interrupt the catalytic cycle. These two observations may account for the low enzymatic activity of ecarpholin S, despite full retention of the catalytic machinery. These observations may also be applicable to other non-Asp49-PLA2 enzymes. The interaction of suramin in its complex with ecarpholin S is quite different from that reported for the Lys49-PLA2/suramin complex, where the interfacial recognition face (i-face), C-terminal region, and N-terminal region of ecarpholin S play important roles. This study provides significant structural and functional insights into the myotoxic activity of ecarpholin S and, in general, of non-Asp49-PLA2 enzymes.

  16. Cabinet of Curiosities: Venom Systems and Their Ecological Function in Mammals, with a Focus on Primates.

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    Rode-Margono, Johanna E; Nekaris, K Anne-Isola

    2015-07-17

    Venom delivery systems (VDS) are common in the animal kingdom, but rare amongst mammals. New definitions of venom allow us to reconsider its diversity amongst mammals by reviewing the VDS of Chiroptera, Eulipotyphla, Monotremata, and Primates. All orders use modified anterior dentition as the venom delivery apparatus, except Monotremata, which possesses a crural system. The venom gland in most taxa is a modified submaxillary salivary gland. In Primates, the saliva is activated when combined with brachial gland exudate. In Monotremata, the crural spur contains the venom duct. Venom functions include feeding, intraspecific competition, anti-predator defense and parasite defense. Including mammals in discussion of venom evolution could prove vital in our understanding protein functioning in mammals and provide a new avenue for biomedical and therapeutic applications and drug discovery.

  17. Purification and functional characterisation of rhiminopeptidase A, a novel aminopeptidase from the venom of Bitis gabonica rhinoceros.

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    Sakthivel Vaiyapuri

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Snake bite is a major neglected public health issue within poor communities living in the rural areas of several countries throughout the world. An estimated 2.5 million people are bitten by snakes each year and the cost and lack of efficacy of current anti-venom therapy, together with the lack of detailed knowledge about toxic components of venom and their modes of action, and the unavailability of treatments in rural areas mean that annually there are around 125,000 deaths worldwide. In order to develop cheaper and more effective therapeutics, the toxic components of snake venom and their modes of action need to be clearly understood. One particularly poorly understood component of snake venom is aminopeptidases. These are exo-metalloproteases, which, in mammals, are involved in important physiological functions such as the maintenance of blood pressure and brain function. Although aminopeptidase activities have been reported in some snake venoms, no detailed analysis of any individual snake venom aminopeptidases has been performed so far. As is the case for mammals, snake venom aminopeptidases may also play important roles in altering the physiological functions of victims during envenomation. In order to further understand this important group of snake venom enzymes we have isolated, functionally characterised and analysed the sequence-structure relationships of an aminopeptidase from the venom of the large, highly venomous West African gaboon viper, Bitis gabonica rhinoceros.The venom of B. g. rhinoceros was fractionated by size exclusion chromatography and fractions with aminopeptidase activities were isolated. Fractions with aminopeptidase activities showed a pure protein with a molecular weight of 150 kDa on SDS-PAGE. In the absence of calcium, this purified protein had broad aminopeptidase activities against acidic, basic and neutral amino acids but in the presence of calcium, it had only acidic aminopeptidase activity (APA. Together

  18. The complexity and structural diversity of ant venom peptidomes is revealed by mass spectrometry profiling.

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

    2015-03-15

    Compared with other animal venoms, ant venoms remain little explored. Ants have evolved complex venoms to rapidly immobilize arthropod prey and to protect their colonies from predators and pathogens. Many ants have retained peptide-rich venoms that are similar to those of other arthropod groups. With the goal of conducting a broad and comprehensive survey of ant venom peptide diversity, we investigated the peptide composition of venoms from 82 stinging ant species from nine subfamilies using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOFMS). We also conducted an in-depth investigation of eight venoms using reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) separation coupled with offline MALDI-TOFMS. Our results reveal that the peptide compositions of ant venom peptidomes from both poneroid and formicoid ant clades comprise hundreds of small peptides (4 kDa) are also present in the venom of formicoids. Chemical reduction revealed the presence of disulfide-linked peptides in most ant subfamilies, including peptides structured by one, two or three disulfide bonds as well as dimeric peptides reticulated by three disulfide bonds. The biochemical complexity of ant venoms, associated with an enormous ecological and taxonomic diversity, suggests that stinging ant venoms constitute a promising source of bioactive molecules that could be exploited in the search for novel drug and biopesticide leads. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  19. Chain structure of cobra venom factor from Naja naja and Naja haje venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Zabern, I; Przyklenk, H; Vogt, W

    1982-04-01

    The chain structure of cobra venom factor, whether isolated from Naja naja venom (CVFn) or from Naja Haje (CVFh) is similar. Both homologous proteins are composed of three disulphide-linked chains (A, B, and C) with apparent molecular weights of 72,000, 54,000, and 27,000-35,000 for CVFn and 68,000, 51,000 and 30,000-32,000 CVFh. That all three polypeptides are integral parts of CVF was demonstrated by investigation of the chain pattern after partial reduction. Reduction with 1-2 mM dithiothreitol under non-denaturing conditions yielded free B-chain, together with an intermediate product composed of disulphide-linked A- and C-chains. The C-chain was heterogenous when investigated by electrophoresis in polyacrylamide slab gels in the presence of SDS. Similarly, isoelectric focusing of CVFn and CVFh showed a multiplicity of bands in the pH range 5.2-6.4. Limited tryptic digestion resulted primarily in the fragmentation of the B-chain. CVFh is much more sensitive to tryptic attack than CVFn. In all our preparations of CVFh a partial, trypsin-like fragmentation of the B-chain was detectable to various extents.

  20. Venom peptides as therapeutics: advances, challenges and the future of venom-peptide discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Samuel D; Undheim, Eivind A B; Ueberheide, Beatrix; King, Glenn F

    2017-10-01

    Animal venoms are complex chemical arsenals. Most venoms are rich in bioactive peptides with proven potential as research tools, drug leads and drugs. Areas covered: We review recent advances in venom-peptide discovery, particularly the adoption of combined transcriptomic/proteomic approaches for the exploration of venom composition. Expert commentary: Advances in transcriptomics and proteomics have dramatically altered the manner and rate of venom-peptide discovery. The increasing trend towards a toxin-driven approach, as opposed to traditional target-based screening of venoms, is likely to expedite the discovery of venom-peptides with novel structures and new and unanticipated mechanisms of action. At the same time, these advances will drive the development of higher-throughput approaches for target identification. Taken together, these approaches should enhance our understanding of the natural ecological function of venom peptides and increase the rate of identification of novel venom-derived pharmacological tools, drug leads and drugs.

  1. Crystal structure of a snake venom cardiotoxin

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

    1987-05-01

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

  2. SjAPI, the first functionally characterized Ascaris-type protease inhibitor from animal venoms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zongyun Chen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Serine protease inhibitors act as modulators of serine proteases, playing important roles in protecting animal toxin peptides from degradation. However, all known serine protease inhibitors discovered thus far from animal venom belong to the Kunitz-type subfamily, and whether there are other novel types of protease inhibitors in animal venom remains unclear. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, by screening scorpion venom gland cDNA libraries, we identified the first Ascaris-type animal toxin family, which contains four members: Scorpiops jendeki Ascaris-type protease inhibitor (SjAPI, Scorpiops jendeki Ascaris-type protease inhibitor 2 (SjAPI-2, Chaerilus tricostatus Ascaris-type protease inhibitor (CtAPI, and Buthus martensii Ascaris-type protease inhibitor (BmAPI. The detailed characterization of Ascaris-type peptide SjAPI from the venom gland of scorpion Scorpiops jendeki was carried out. The mature peptide of SjAPI contains 64 residues and possesses a classical Ascaris-type cysteine framework reticulated by five disulfide bridges, different from all known protease inhibitors from venomous animals. Enzyme and inhibitor reaction kinetics experiments showed that recombinant SjAPI was a dual function peptide with α-chymotrypsin- and elastase-inhibiting properties. Recombinant SjAPI inhibited α-chymotrypsin with a Ki of 97.1 nM and elastase with a Ki of 3.7 μM, respectively. Bioinformatics analyses and chimera experiments indicated that SjAPI contained the unique short side chain functional residues "AAV" and might be a useful template to produce new serine protease inhibitors. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: To our knowledge, SjAPI is the first functionally characterized animal toxin peptide with an Ascaris-type fold. The structural and functional diversity of animal toxins with protease-inhibiting properties suggested that bioactive peptides from animal venom glands might be a new source of protease inhibitors, which will accelerate the

  3. Functional proteomic analyses of Bothrops atrox venom reveals phenotypes associated with habitat variation in the Amazon.

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    Sousa, Leijiane F; Portes-Junior, José A; Nicolau, Carolina A; Bernardoni, Juliana L; Nishiyama-Jr, Milton Y; Amazonas, Diana R; Freitas-de-Sousa, Luciana A; Mourão, Rosa Hv; Chalkidis, Hipócrates M; Valente, Richard H; Moura-da-Silva, Ana M

    2017-04-21

    Venom variability is commonly reported for venomous snakes including Bothrops atrox. Here, we compared the composition of venoms from B. atrox snakes collected at Amazonian conserved habitats (terra-firme upland forest and várzea) and human modified areas (pasture and degraded areas). Venom samples were submitted to shotgun proteomic analysis as a whole or compared after fractionation by reversed-phase chromatography. Whole venom proteomes revealed a similar composition among the venoms with predominance of SVMPs, CTLs, and SVSPs and intermediate amounts of PLA2s and LAAOs. However, when distribution of particular isoforms was analyzed by either method, the venom from várzea snakes showed a decrease in hemorrhagic SVMPs and an increase in SVSPs, and procoagulant SVMPs and PLA2s. These differences were validated by experimental approaches including both enzymatic and in vivo assays, and indicated restrictions in respect to antivenom efficacy to variable components. Thus, proteomic analysis at the isoform level combined to in silico prediction of functional properties may indicate venom biological activity. These results also suggest that the prevalence of functionally distinct isoforms contributes to the variability of the venoms and could reflect the adaptation of B. atrox to distinct prey communities in different Amazon habitats. In this report, we compared isoforms present in venoms from snakes collected at different Amazonian habitats. By means of a species venom gland transcriptome and the in silico functional prediction of each isoform, we were able to predict the principal venom activities in vitro and in animal models. We also showed remarkable differences in the venom pools from snakes collected at the floodplain (várzea habitat) compared to other habitats. Not only was this venom less hemorrhagic and more procoagulant, when compared to the venom pools from the other three habitats studied, but also this enhanced procoagulant activity was not efficiently

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardoni, Juliana L; Sousa, Leijiane F; Wermelinger, Luciana S; Lopes, Aline S; Prezoto, Benedito C; Serrano, Solange M T; Zingali, Russolina B; Moura-da-Silva, Ana M

    2014-01-01

    Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) are major components in most viperid venoms that induce disturbances in the hemostatic system and tissues of animals envenomated by snakes. These disturbances are involved in human pathology of snake bites and appear to be essential for the capture and digestion of snake's prey and avoidance of predators. SVMPs are a versatile family of venom toxins acting on different hemostatic targets which are present in venoms in distinct structural forms. However, the reason why a large number of different SVMPs are expressed in some venoms is still unclear. In this study, we evaluated the interference of five isolated SVMPs in blood coagulation of humans, birds and small rodents. P-III class SVMPs (fractions Ic, IIb and IIc) possess gelatinolytic and hemorrhagic activities, and, of these, two also show fibrinolytic activity. P-I class SVMPs (fractions IVa and IVb) are only fibrinolytic. P-III class SVMPs reduced clotting time of human plasma. Fraction IIc was characterized as prothrombin activator and fraction Ic as factor X activator. In the absence of Ca2+, a firm clot was observed in chicken blood samples with fractions Ic, IIb and partially with fraction IIc. In contrast, without Ca2+, only fraction IIc was able to induce a firm clot in rat blood. In conclusion, functionally distinct forms of SVMPs were found in B. neuwiedi venom that affect distinct mechanisms in the coagulation system of humans, birds and small rodents. Distinct SVMPs appear to be more specialized to rat or chicken blood, strengthening the current hypothesis that toxin diversity enhances the possibilities of the snakes for hunting different prey or evading different predators. This functional diversity also impacts the complexity of human envenoming since different hemostatic mechanisms will be targeted by SVMPs accounting for the complexity of the response of humans to venoms.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

    It has been previously shown that octopus venoms contain novel tachykinin peptides that despite being isolated from an invertebrate, contain the motifs characteristic of vertebrate tachykinin peptides rather than being more like conventional invertebrate tachykinin peptides. Therefore, in this study we examined the effect of three variants of octopus venom tachykinin peptides on invertebrate and vertebrate tissues. While there were differential potencies between the three peptides, their relative effects were uniquely consistent between invertebrate and vertebrae tissue assays. The most potent form (OCT-TK-III) was not only the most anionically charged but also was the most structurally stable. These results not only reveal that the interaction of tachykinin peptides is more complex than previous structure-function theories envisioned, but also reinforce the fundamental premise that animal venoms are rich resources of novel bioactive molecules, which are useful investigational ligands and some of which may be useful as lead compounds for drug design and development. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Hybrid proteins of Cobra Venom Factor and cobra C3: tools to identify functionally important regions in Cobra Venom Factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hew, Brian E; Wehrhahn, Daniel; Fritzinger, David C; Vogel, Carl-Wilhelm

    2012-09-15

    Cobra Venom Factor (CVF) is the complement-activating protein in cobra venom. CVF is structurally and functionally highly homologous to complement component C3. CVF, like C3b, the activated form of C3, forms a bimolecular complex with Factor B in serum, called C3/C5 convertase, an enzyme which activates complement components C3 and C5. Despite the high degree of homology, the two C3/C5 convertases exhibit significant functional differences. The most important difference is that the convertase formed with CVF (CVF,Bb) is physico-chemically far more stable than the convertase formed with C3b (C3b,Bb). In addition, the CVF,Bb convertase and CVF are completely resistant to inactivation by the complement regulatory proteins Factor H and Factor I. Furthermore, the CVF,Bb enzyme shows efficient C5-cleaving activity in fluid phase. In contrast, the C3b,Bb enzyme is essentially devoid of fluid-phase C5-cleaving activity. By taking advantage of the high degree of sequence identity at both the amino acid (85%) and DNA levels (93%) between CVF and cobra C3, we created hybrid proteins of CVF and cobra C3 where sections, or only a few amino acids, of the CVF sequence were replaced with the homologous amino acid sequence of cobra C3. In a first set of experiments, we created five hybrid proteins, termed H1 through H5, where the cobra C3 substitutions collectively spanned the entire length of the CVF protein. We also created three additional hybrid proteins where only four or five amino acid residues in CVF were exchanged with the corresponding amino acid residues from cobra C3. Collectively, these hybrid proteins, representing loss-of-function mutants of CVF, allowed the identification of regions and individual amino acid residues important for the CVF-specific functions. The results include the observation that the CVF β-chain is crucially important for forming a stable convertase, whereas the CVF α-chain appears to harbor no CVF-specific functions. Furthermore, the CVF

  8. A Comprehensive View of the Structural and Functional Alterations of Extracellular Matrix by Snake Venom Metalloproteinases (SVMPs): Novel Perspectives on the Pathophysiology of Envenoming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez, José María; Escalante, Teresa; Rucavado, Alexandra; Herrera, Cristina; Fox, Jay W

    2016-10-22

    Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) affect the extracellular matrix (ECM) in multiple and complex ways. Previously, the combination of various methodological platforms, including electron microscopy, histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, and Western blot, has allowed a partial understanding of such complex pathology. In recent years, the proteomics analysis of exudates collected in the vicinity of tissues affected by SVMPs has provided novel and exciting information on SVMP-induced ECM alterations. The presence of fragments of an array of ECM proteins, including those of the basement membrane, has revealed a complex pathological scenario caused by the direct action of SVMPs. In addition, the time-course analysis of these changes has underscored that degradation of some fibrillar collagens is likely to depend on the action of endogenous proteinases, such as matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), synthesized as a consequence of the inflammatory process. The action of SVMPs on the ECM also results in the release of ECM-derived biologically-active peptides that exert diverse actions in the tissue, some of which might be associated with reparative events or with further tissue damage. The study of the effects of SVMP on the ECM is an open field of research which may bring a renewed understanding of snake venom-induced pathology.

  9. Fine structural analysis of the stinger in venom apparatus of the scorpion Euscorpius mingrelicus (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N Yigit

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available In this study, the morphology, histology and fine structure of the stinger, a part of the venom apparatus of Euscorpius mingrelicus (Kessler, 1874 (Scorpiones: Euscorpiidae were studied by light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM. The stinger, located at the end section of the telson, is sickle-shaped. The venom is ejected through a pair of venom pores on its subterminal portion. Both venom ducts extend along the stinger without contact with each other since they are separated by connective tissue cells. The stinger cuticle is composed of two layers. Additionally, there are many pore canals and some hemolymph vessels in the cuticle. This work constitutes the first histological and fine structure study on Euscorpius mingrelicus stinger.

  10. Microvesicles in the venom of Crotalus durissus terrificus (Serpentes, Viperidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carneiro, Sylvia Mendes; Fernandes, Wilson; Sant'Anna, Sávio Stefanini; Yamanouye, Norma

    2007-01-01

    Microvesicles with electron-dense content are consistently observed by transmission electron microscopy on the luminal face of secretory cells of venom glands of viperid snakes. In this work, we evaluated their presence in Crotalus durissus terrificus venom glands and also in freshly collected venom. Microvesicles were found in the venom glands mainly in regions of exocytosis. They ranged from 40 to 80 nm in diameter. Freeze-fracture replicas of the glands revealed particles on the cytoplasmic leaflet (P-face) of these vesicles, suggesting that they carry transmembrane proteins. Vesicles separated by ultracentrifugation from cell-free venom were similar in size and structure to the microvesicles observed in the glands. A fine fuzzy coat surrounded each microvesicle. The function of these venom vesicles is still unknown, but they may contribute to inactivation of stored venom components, or their activation after the venom is released.

  11. Fine structure of the stinger, histology and histochemistry of the venom gland in the scorpion Androctonus amoreuxi (Buthidae

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    Belal A. Soliman

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The venom apparatus of the scorpion Androctonus amoreuxi has been identified histologically and histochemically in the present study. The results showed that this apparatus composed of a pair of venom glands and a stinger located in the terminal segment called telson. The stinger of the venom apparatus has been studied by the light microscope and SEM. The stinger, located at the end section of the telson, is sickle-shaped. The venom is ejected through a pair of venom pores on its subterminal portion. Both venom ducts extend along the stinger without contact with each other since they are separated by connective tissue cells. The stinger is covered by cuticle and spines. Each venom gland is covered by a sheath of striated muscle and is lined with extensively folded secretory epithelium that consists of non-secretory and secretory venom-producing cells. The venom-producing cells reacted positively to histochemical tests for carbohydrates and proteins. The outcomes also revealed that the venom-producing cells of both glands produce neutral mucosubstances. The structure and secretion of scorpion venom glands are discussed within the context of the present results.

  12. A Tricky Trait: Applying the Fruits of the "Function Debate" in the Philosophy of Biology to the "Venom Debate" in the Science of Toxinology.

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    Jackson, Timothy N W; Fry, Bryan G

    2016-09-07

    The "function debate" in the philosophy of biology and the "venom debate" in the science of toxinology are conceptually related. Venom systems are complex multifunctional traits that have evolved independently numerous times throughout the animal kingdom. No single concept of function, amongst those popularly defended, appears adequate to describe these systems in all their evolutionary contexts and extant variations. As such, a pluralistic view of function, previously defended by some philosophers of biology, is most appropriate. Venom systems, like many other functional traits, exist in nature as points on a continuum and the boundaries between "venomous" and "non-venomous" species may not always be clearly defined. This paper includes a brief overview of the concept of function, followed by in-depth discussion of its application to venom systems. A sound understanding of function may aid in moving the venom debate forward. Similarly, consideration of a complex functional trait such as venom may be of interest to philosophers of biology.

  13. Primary structures and partial toxicological characterization of two phospholipases A2from Micrurus mipartitus and Micrurus dumerilii coral snake venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rey-Suárez, Paola; Núñez, Vitelbina; Saldarriaga-Córdoba, Mónica; Lomonte, Bruno

    2017-06-01

    Snake venom phospholipases A 2 (PLA 2 ) share high sequence identities and a conserved structural scaffold, but show important functional differences. Only a few PLA 2 s have been purified and characterized from coral snake (Micrurus spp.) venoms, and their role in envenomation remains largely unknown. In this report, we describe the isolation, sequencing and partial functional characterization of two Micrurus PLA 2 s: MmipPLA 2 from Micrurus mipartitus and MdumPLA 2 from Micrurus dumerilii, two species of clinical importance in Colombia. MmipPLA 2 consisted of 119 amino acid residues with a predicted pI of 8.4, whereas MdumPLA 2 consisted of 117 residues with a pI of 5.6. Both PLA 2 s showed the conserved 'group I' cysteine pattern and were enzymatically active, although MdumPLA 2 had higher activity. The two enzymes differed notably in their toxicity, with MmipPLA 2 being highly lethal to mice and mildly myotoxic, whereas MdumPLA 2 was not lethal (up to 3 μg/g body weight) but strongly myotoxic. MdumPLA 2 displayed higher anticoagulant activity than MmipPLA 2 in vitro and caused more sustained edema in the mouse footpad assay. Neither of these enzymes was cytolytic to cultured skeletal muscle C2C12 myotubes. Based on their structural differences, the two enzymes were placed in separate lineages in a partial phylogeny of Micrurus venom PLA 2 s and this classification agreed with their divergent biological activities. Overall, these findings highlight the structural and functional diversity of Micrurus venom PLA 2 s. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. and Société Française de Biochimie et Biologie Moléculaire (SFBBM). All rights reserved.

  14. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

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    Axel Touchard

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Ants (Formicidae represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to develop complex collaborative strategies, partly involving their venom secretions, to defend their nest against predators, microbial pathogens, ant competitors, and to hunt prey. Activities of ant venom include paralytic, cytolytic, haemolytic, allergenic, pro-inflammatory, insecticidal, antimicrobial, and pain-producing pharmacologic activities, while non-toxic functions include roles in chemical communication involving trail and sex pheromones, deterrents, and aggregators. While these diverse activities in ant venoms have until now been largely understudied due to the small venom yield from ants, modern analytical and venomic techniques are beginning to reveal the diversity of toxin structure and function. As such, ant venoms are distinct from other venomous animals, not only rich in linear, dimeric and disulfide-bonded peptides and bioactive proteins, but also other volatile and non-volatile compounds such as alkaloids and hydrocarbons. The present review details the unique structures and pharmacologies of known ant venom proteinaceous and alkaloidal toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents.

  15. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Touchard, Axel; Aili, Samira R; Fox, Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson; Escoubas, Pierre; Orivel, Jérôme; Nicholson, Graham M; Dejean, Alain

    2016-01-20

    Ants (Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to develop complex collaborative strategies, partly involving their venom secretions, to defend their nest against predators, microbial pathogens, ant competitors, and to hunt prey. Activities of ant venom include paralytic, cytolytic, haemolytic, allergenic, pro-inflammatory, insecticidal, antimicrobial, and pain-producing pharmacologic activities, while non-toxic functions include roles in chemical communication involving trail and sex pheromones, deterrents, and aggregators. While these diverse activities in ant venoms have until now been largely understudied due to the small venom yield from ants, modern analytical and venomic techniques are beginning to reveal the diversity of toxin structure and function. As such, ant venoms are distinct from other venomous animals, not only rich in linear, dimeric and disulfide-bonded peptides and bioactive proteins, but also other volatile and non-volatile compounds such as alkaloids and hydrocarbons. The present review details the unique structures and pharmacologies of known ant venom proteinaceous and alkaloidal toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents.

  16. Extracellular superoxide dismutase in insects: characterization, function, and interspecific variation in parasitoid wasp venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colinet, Dominique; Cazes, Dominique; Belghazi, Maya; Gatti, Jean-Luc; Poirié, Marylène

    2011-11-18

    Endoparasitoid wasps inject venom proteins with their eggs to protect them from the host immune response and ensure successful parasitism. Here we report identification of Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD) transcripts for both intracellular SOD1 and extracellular SOD3 in the venom apparatus of two Leptopilina species, parasitoids of Drosophila. Leptopilina SODs show sequence and structure similarity to human SODs, but phylogenetic analyses indicate that the extracellular SODs are more related to cytoplasmic vertebrate SODs than to extracellular SODs, a feature shared by predicted insect extracellular SODs. We demonstrate that L. boulardi SOD3 is indeed secreted and active as monomeric glycosylated forms in venom. Our results also evidence quantitative variation in SOD3 venom contents between closely related parasitoid species, as sod3 is 100-fold less expressed in Leptopilina heterotoma venom apparatus and no protein and SOD activity are detected in its venom. Leptopilina recombinant SOD3s as well as a mammalian SOD in vitro inhibit the Drosophila phenoloxidase activity in a dose-dependent manner, demonstrating that SODs may interfere with the Drosophila melanization process and, therefore, with production of cytotoxic compounds. Although the recombinant L. boulardi SOD3 quantity needed to observe this effect precludes a systemic effect of the wasp venom SOD3, it is still consistent with a local action at oviposition. This work provides the first demonstration that insect extracellular SODs are indeed secreted and active in an insect fluid and can be used as virulence factors to counteract the host immune response, a strategy largely used by bacterial and fungal pathogens but also protozoan parasites during infection.

  17. Mad, bad and dangerous to know: the biochemistry, ecology and evolution of slow loris venom

    OpenAIRE

    Nekaris, K. Anne-Isola; Moore, Richard S; Rode, E. Johanna; Fry, Bryan G.

    2013-01-01

    Only seven types of mammals are known to be venomous, including slow lorises (Nycticebus spp.). Despite the evolutionary significance of this unique adaptation amongst Nycticebus, the structure and function of slow loris venom is only just beginning to be understood. Here we review what is known about the chemical structure of slow loris venom. Research on a handful of captive samples from three of eight slow loris species reveals that the protein within slow loris venom resembles the disulph...

  18. Snake Venom Metalloproteinases

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    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.

  19. Functional and proteomic comparison of Bothrops jararaca venom from captive specimens and the Brazilian Bothropic Reference Venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farias, Iasmim Baptista de; Morais-Zani, Karen de; Serino-Silva, Caroline; Sant'Anna, Sávio S; Rocha, Marisa M T da; Grego, Kathleen F; Andrade-Silva, Débora; Serrano, Solange M T; Tanaka-Azevedo, Anita M

    2018-03-01

    Snake venom is a variable phenotypic trait, whose plasticity and evolution are critical for effective antivenom production. A significant reduction of the number of snake donations to Butantan Institute (São Paulo, Brazil) occurred in recent years, and this fact may impair the production of the Brazilian Bothropic Reference Venom (BBRV). Nevertheless, in the last decades a high number of Bothrops jararaca specimens have been raised in captivity in the Laboratory of Herpetology of Butantan Institute. Considering these facts, we compared the biochemical and biological profiles of B. jararaca venom from captive specimens and BBRV in order to understand the potential effects of snake captivity upon the venom composition. Electrophoretic analysis and proteomic profiling revealed few differences in venom protein bands and some differentially abundant toxins. Comparison of enzymatic activities showed minor differences between the two venoms. Similar cross-reactivity recognition pattern of both venoms by the antibothropic antivenom produced by Butantan Institute was observed. Lethality and neutralization of lethality for B. jararaca venom from captive specimens and BBRV showed similar values. Considering these results we suggest that the inclusion of B. jararaca venom from captive specimens in the composition of BBRV would not interfere with the quality of this reference venom. Snakebite envenomation is a neglected tropical pathology whose treatment is based on the use of specific antivenoms. Bothrops jararaca is responsible for the majority of snakebites in South and Southeastern Brazil. Its venom shows individual, sexual, and ontogenetic variability, however, the effect of animal captivity upon venom composition is unknown. Considering the reduced number of wild-caught snakes donated to Butantan Institute in the last decades, and the increased life expectancy of the snakes raised in captivity in the Laboratory of Herpetology, this work focused on the comparative

  20. Biochemical and Functional Characterization of Parawixia bistriata Spider Venom with Potential Proteolytic and Larvicidal Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gimenez, Gizeli S.; Coutinho-Neto, Antonio; Kayano, Anderson M.; Simões-Silva, Rodrigo; Trindade, Frances; de Almeida e Silva, Alexandre; Marcussi, Silvana; da Silva, Saulo L.; Fernandes, Carla F. C.; Zuliani, Juliana P.; Calderon, Leonardo A.; Soares, Andreimar M.; Stábeli, Rodrigo G.

    2014-01-01

    Toxins purified from the venom of spiders have high potential to be studied pharmacologically and biochemically. These biomolecules may have biotechnological and therapeutic applications. This study aimed to evaluate the protein content of Parawixia bistriata venom and functionally characterize its proteins that have potential for biotechnological applications. The crude venom showed no phospholipase, hemorrhagic, or anti-Leishmania activities attesting to low genotoxicity and discrete antifungal activity for C. albicans. However the following activities were observed: anticoagulation, edema, myotoxicity and proteolysis on casein, azo-collagen, and fibrinogen. The chromatographic and electrophoretic profiles of the proteins revealed a predominance of acidic, neutral, and polar proteins, highlighting the presence of proteins with high molecular masses. Five fractions were collected using cation exchange chromatography, with the P4 fraction standing out as that of the highest purity. All fractions showed proteolytic activity. The crude venom and fractions P1, P2, and P3 showed larvicidal effects on A. aegypti. Fraction P4 showed the presence of a possible metalloprotease (60 kDa) that has high proteolytic activity on azo-collagen and was inhibited by EDTA. The results presented in this study demonstrate the presence of proteins in the venom of P. bistriata with potential for biotechnological applications. PMID:24895632

  1. Venomics of New World pit vipers: Genus-wide comparisons of venom proteomes across Agkistrodon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lomonte, Bruno; Tsai, Wan-Chih; Ureña-Diaz, Juan Manuel; Sanz, Libia; Mora-Obando, Diana; Sánchez, Elda E.; Fry, Bryan G.; Gutiérrez, José María; Gibbs, H. Lisle; Sovic, Michael G.; Calvete, Juan J.

    2015-01-01

    We report a genus-wide comparison of venom proteome variation across New World pit vipers in the genus Agkistrodon. Despite the wide variety of habitats occupied by this genus and that all its taxa feed on diverse species of vertebrates and invertebrate prey, the venom proteomes of copperheads, cottonmouths, and cantils are remarkably similar, both in the type and relative abundance of their different toxin families. The venoms from all the eleven species and subspecies sampled showed relatively similar proteolytic and PLA2 activities. In contrast, quantitative differences were observed in hemorrhagic and myotoxic activities in mice. The highest myotoxic activity was observed with the venoms of A. b. bilineatus, followed by A. p. piscivorus, whereas the venoms of A. c. contortrix and A. p. leucostoma induced the lowest myotoxic activity. The venoms of Agkistrodon bilineatus subspecies showed the highest hemorrhagic activity and A. c. contortrix the lowest. Compositional and toxicological analyses agree with clinical observations of envenomations by Agkistrodon in the USA and Central America. A comparative analysis of Agkistrodon shows that venom divergence tracks phylogeny of this genus to a greater extent than in Sistrurus rattlesnakes, suggesting that the distinct natural histories of Agkistrodon and Sistrurus clades may have played a key role in molding the patterns of evolution of their venom protein genes. Biological significance A deep understanding of the structural and functional profiles of venoms and of the principles governing the evolution of venomous systems is a goal of venomics. Isolated proteomics analyses have been conducted on venoms from many species of vipers and pit vipers. However, making sense of these large inventories of data requires the integration of this information across multiple species to identify evolutionary and ecological trends. Our genus-wide venomics study provides a comprehensive overview of the toxic arsenal across

  2. Beyond the antipredatory defence: honey bee venom function as a component of social immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baracchi, David; Francese, Simona; Turillazzi, Stefano

    2011-11-01

    The honey bee colonies, with the relevant number of immature brood and adults, and stable, high levels of humidity and temperatures of their nests, result in suitable environments for the development of microorganisms including pathogens. In response, honey bees evolved several adaptations to face the increased risks of epidemic diseases. As the antimicrobial venom peptides of Apis mellifera are present both on the cuticle of adult bees and on the nest wax it has been recently suggested that these substances act as a social antiseptic device. Since the use of venom by honey bees in the context of social immunity needs to be more deeply investigated, we extended the study of this potential role of the venom to different species of the genus Apis (A. mellifera, Apis dorsata, Apis cerana and Apis andreniformis) using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry techniques. In particular we investigated whether (similarly to A. mellifera) the venom is spread over the body cuticle and on the comb wax of these three Asian species. Our results confirm the idea that the venom functions are well beyond the classical stereotype of defence against predators, and suggest that the different nesting biology of these species may be related to the use of the venom in a social immunity context. The presence of antimicrobial peptides on the comb wax of the cavity-dwelling species and on the cuticle of workers of all the studied species represents a good example of "collective immunity" and a component of the "social immunity " respectively. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Proteomic and functional analyses of the venom of Porthidium lansbergii lansbergii (Lansberg's hognose viper) from the Atlantic Department of Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Charris, Eliécer; Montealegre-Sanchez, Leonel; Solano-Redondo, Luis; Mora-Obando, Diana; Camacho, Erika; Castro-Herrera, Fernando; Fierro-Pérez, Leonardo; Lomonte, Bruno

    2015-01-30

    The venom of the Lansberg's hognose pitviper, Porthidium lansbergii lansbergii, a species found in the northern region of Colombia, is poorly known. Aiming to increase knowledge on Porthidium species venoms, its proteomic analysis and functional evaluation of in vitro and in vivo activities relevant to its toxicity were undertaken. Out of 51 protein components resolved by a combination of RP-HPLC and SDS-PAGE, 47 were assigned to 12 known protein families. In similarity with two previously characterized venoms from species within this genus, Porthidium nasutum and Porthidium ophryomegas, that of P. lansbergii lansbergii was dominated by metalloproteinases, although in lower proportion. A common feature of the three Porthidium venoms appears to be a high content of disintegrins. Proteins not previously observed in Porthidium venoms belong to the vascular endothelium growth factor, phosphodiesterase, and phospholipase B families. P. lansbergii lansbergii venom showed relatively weak lethal activity to mice, and induced a moderate local myotoxicity, but considerable hemorrhage. Its isolated VEGF component showed potent edema-inducing activity in the mouse footpad assay. Significant thrombocytopenia, but no other major hematological changes, were observed in envenomed mice. In vitro, this venom lacked coagulant effect on human plasma, and induced a potent inhibition of platelet aggregation which was reproduced by its purified disintegrin components. Phospholipase A2 and proteolytic activities were also demonstrated. Overall, the compositional and functional data herein described for the venom of P. lansbergii lansbergii may contribute to a better understanding of envenomings by this pitviper species, for which specific clinical information is lacking. Porthidium lansbergii lansbergii is estimated to be responsible for nearly 20% of snakebite envenoming cases at the Atlantic Department of Colombia, but the identity and functional properties of its venom components are

  4. The venom optimization hypothesis revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgenstern, David; King, Glenn F

    2013-03-01

    Animal venoms are complex chemical mixtures that typically contain hundreds of proteins and non-proteinaceous compounds, resulting in a potent weapon for prey immobilization and predator deterrence. However, because venoms are protein-rich, they come with a high metabolic price tag. The metabolic cost of venom is sufficiently high to result in secondary loss of venom whenever its use becomes non-essential to survival of the animal. The high metabolic cost of venom leads to the prediction that venomous animals may have evolved strategies for minimizing venom expenditure. Indeed, various behaviors have been identified that appear consistent with frugality of venom use. This has led to formulation of the "venom optimization hypothesis" (Wigger et al. (2002) Toxicon 40, 749-752), also known as "venom metering", which postulates that venom is metabolically expensive and therefore used frugally through behavioral control. Here, we review the available data concerning economy of venom use by animals with either ancient or more recently evolved venom systems. We conclude that the convergent nature of the evidence in multiple taxa strongly suggests the existence of evolutionary pressures favoring frugal use of venom. However, there remains an unresolved dichotomy between this economy of venom use and the lavish biochemical complexity of venom, which includes a high degree of functional redundancy. We discuss the evidence for biochemical optimization of venom as a means of resolving this conundrum. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-23

    In our earlier study, we have reported that a phenolic compound 2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzaldehyde from Janakia arayalpatra root extract was active against Viper and Cobra envenomations. Based on the structure of this natural product, libraries of synthetic structurally variant phenolic compounds were studied through molecular docking on the venom protein. To validate the activity of eight selected compounds, we have tested them in in vivo and in vitro models. The compound 21 (2-hydroxy-3-methoxy benzaldehyde), 22 (2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzaldehyde) and 35 (2-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzylalcohol) were found to be active against venom-induced pathophysiological changes. The compounds 20, 15 and 35 displayed maximum anti-hemorrhagic, anti-lethal and PLA2 inhibitory activity respectively. In terms of SAR, the presence of a formyl group in conjunction with a phenolic group was seen as a significant contributor towards increasing the antivenom activity. The above observations confirmed the anti-venom activity of the phenolic compounds which needs to be further investigated for the development of new anti-snake venom leads. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  7. The venom of South American rattlesnakes inhibits macrophage functions and is endowed with anti-inflammatory properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria C. C. de Sousa e Silva

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available The injection of Crotalus durissus terrificus venom into the foot pad of mice did not induce a significant inflammatory response as evaluated by oedema formation, increased vascular permeability and cell migration. The subcutaneous injection of the venom, or its addition to cell cultures, had an inhibitory effect on the spreading and phagocytosis of resident macrophages, without affecting the viability of the cells. This effect was not observed when the venom was added to cultures of thioglycollate elicited macrophages, but it was able to inhibit these macrophage functions when the cells were obtained from animals injected simultaneously with the venom and thioglycollate. These observations suggest that the venom interferes with the mechanisms of macrophage activation. Leukocyte migration induced by intraperitoneal injection of thioglycollate was also inhibited by previous venom injection. This down-regulatory activity of the venom on macrophage functions could account for the mild inflammatory response observed in the site of the snake bite in Crotalus durissus terrificus envenomation in man.

  8. The first venomous crustacean revealed by transcriptomics and functional morphology: remipede venom glands express a unique toxin cocktail dominated by enzymes and a neurotoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Reumont, Björn M; Blanke, Alexander; Richter, Sandy; Alvarez, Fernando; Bleidorn, Christoph; Jenner, Ronald A

    2014-01-01

    Animal venoms have evolved many times. Venomous species are especially common in three of the four main groups of arthropods (Chelicerata, Myriapoda, and Hexapoda), which together represent tens of thousands of species of venomous spiders, scorpions, centipedes, and hymenopterans. Surprisingly, despite their great diversity of body plans, there is no unambiguous evidence that any crustacean is venomous. We provide the first conclusive evidence that the aquatic, blind, and cave-dwelling remipede crustaceans are venomous and that venoms evolved in all four major arthropod groups. We produced a three-dimensional reconstruction of the venom delivery apparatus of the remipede Speleonectes tulumensis, showing that remipedes can inject venom in a controlled manner. A transcriptomic profile of its venom glands shows that they express a unique cocktail of transcripts coding for known venom toxins, including a diversity of enzymes and a probable paralytic neurotoxin very similar to one described from spider venom. We screened a transcriptomic library obtained from whole animals and identified a nontoxin paralog of the remipede neurotoxin that is not expressed in the venom glands. This allowed us to reconstruct its probable evolutionary origin and underlines the importance of incorporating data derived from nonvenom gland tissue to elucidate the evolution of candidate venom proteins. This first glimpse into the venom of a crustacean and primitively aquatic arthropod reveals conspicuous differences from the venoms of other predatory arthropods such as centipedes, scorpions, and spiders and contributes valuable information for ultimately disentangling the many factors shaping the biology and evolution of venoms and venomous species.

  9. Proteomic analysis of the venom from the fish eating coral snake Micrurus surinamensis: novel toxins, their function and phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olamendi-Portugal, Timoteo; Batista, Cesar V F; Restano-Cassulini, Rita; Pando, Victoria; Villa-Hernandez, Oscar; Zavaleta-Martínez-Vargas, Alfonso; Salas-Arruz, Maria C; Rodríguez de la Vega, Ricardo C; Becerril, Baltazar; Possani, Lourival D

    2008-05-01

    The protein composition of the soluble venom from the South American fish-eating coral snake Micrurus surinamensis surinamensis, here abbreviated M. surinamensis, was separated by RP-HPLC and 2-DE, and their components were analyzed by automatic Edman degradation, MALDI-TOF and ESI-MS/MS. Approximately 100 different molecules were identified. Sixty-two components possess molecular masses between 6 and 8 kDa, are basically charged molecules, among which are cytotoxins and neurotoxins lethal to fish (Brachidanios rerio). Six new toxins (abbreviated Ms1-Ms5 and Ms11) were fully sequenced. Amino acid sequences similar to the enzymes phospholipase A2 and amino acid oxidase were identified. Over 20 additional peptides were identified by sequencing minor components of the HPLC separation and from 2-DE gels. A functional assessment of the physiological activity of the six toxins was also performed by patch clamp using muscular nicotinic acetylcholine receptor assays. Variable degrees of blockade were observed, most of them reversible. The structural and functional data obtained were used for phylogenetic analysis, providing information on some evolutionary aspects of the venom components of this snake. This contribution increases by a factor of two the total number of alpha-neurotoxins sequenced from the Micrurus genus in currently available literature.

  10. Comparative analyses of glycerotoxin expression unveil a novel structural organization of the bloodworm venom system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Sandy; Helm, Conrad; Meunier, Frederic A; Hering, Lars; Campbell, Lahcen I; Drukewitz, Stephan H; Undheim, Eivind A B; Jenner, Ronald A; Schiavo, Giampietro; Bleidorn, Christoph

    2017-03-04

    We present the first molecular characterization of glycerotoxin (GLTx), a potent neurotoxin found in the venom of the bloodworm Glycera tridactyla (Glyceridae, Annelida). Within the animal kingdom, GLTx shows a unique mode of action as it can specifically up-regulate the activity of Cav2.2 channels (N-type) in a reversible manner. The lack of sequence information has so far hampered a detailed understanding of its mode of action. Our analyses reveal three ~3.8 kb GLTx full-length transcripts, show that GLTx represents a multigene family, and suggest it functions as a dimer. An integrative approach using transcriptomics, quantitative real-time PCR, in situ hybridization, and immunocytochemistry shows that GLTx is highly expressed exclusively in four pharyngeal lobes, a previously unrecognized part of the venom apparatus. Our results overturn a century old textbook view on the glycerid venom system, suggesting that it is anatomically and functionally much more complex than previously thought. The herein presented GLTx sequence information constitutes an important step towards the establishment of GLTx as a versatile tool to understand the mechanism of synaptic function, as well as the mode of action of this novel neurotoxin.

  11. The Crystal Structure of Cobra Venom Factor, a Cofactor for C3- and C5-Convertase CVFBb

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krishnan, Vengadesan; Ponnuraj, Karthe; Xu, Yuanyuan; Macon, Kevin; Volanakis, John E.; Narayana, Sthanam V.L.; (Madras); (UAB)

    2009-05-26

    Cobra venom factor (CVF) is a functional analog of human complement component C3b, the active fragment of C3. Similar to C3b, in human and mammalian serum, CVF binds factor B, which is then cleaved by factor D, giving rise to the CVFBb complex that targets the same scissile bond in C3 as the authentic complement convertases C4bC2a and C3bBb. Unlike the latter, CVFBb is a stable complex and an efficient C5 convertase. We solved the crystal structure of CVF, isolated from Naja naja kouthia venom, at 2.6 {angstrom} resolution. The CVF crystal structure, an intermediate between C3b and C3c, lacks the TED domain and has the CUB domain in an identical position to that seen in C3b. The similarly positioned CUB and slightly displaced C345c domains of CVF could play a vital role in the formation of C3 convertases by providing important primary binding sites for factor B.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvete, Juan J

    2013-12-01

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

  14. Crystal structure of Sol I 2: a major allergen from fire ant venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borer, Aline S; Wassmann, Paul; Schmidt, Margit; Hoffman, Donald R; Zhou, Jing-Jiang; Wright, Christine; Schirmer, Tilman; Marković-Housley, Zora

    2012-01-27

    Sol i 2 is a potent allergen from the venom of red imported fire ant, which contains allergens Sol i 1, Sol i 2, Sol i 3, and Sol i 4 that are known to be powerful triggers of anaphylaxis. Sol i 2 causes IgE antibody production in about one-third of individuals stung by fire ants. Baculovirus recombinant dimeric Sol i 2 was crystallized as a native and selenomethionyl-derivatized protein, and its structure has been determined by single-wavelength anomalous dispersion at 2.6 Å resolution. The overall fold of each subunit consists of five helices that enclose a central hydrophobic cavity. The structure is stabilized by three intramolecular disulfide bridges and one intermolecular disulfide bridge. The nearest structural homologue is the sequence-unrelated odorant binding protein and pheromone binding protein LUSH of the fruit fly Drosophila, which may suggest a similar biological function. To test this hypothesis, we measured the reversible binding of various pheromones, plant odorants, and other ligands to Sol i 2 by the changes in N-phenyl-1-naphthylamine fluorescence emission upon binding of ligands that compete with N-phenyl-1-naphthylamine. The highest binding affinity was observed for hydrophobic ligands such as aphid alarm pheromone (E)-β-farnesene, analogs of ant alarm pheromones, and plant volatiles decane, undecane, and β-caryophyllene. Conceivably, Sol i 2 may play a role in capturing and/or transporting small hydrophobic ligands such as pheromones, odors, fatty acids, or short-living hydrophobic primers. Molecular surface analysis, in combination with sequence alignment, can explain the serological cross-reactivity observed between some ant species. Copyright © 2011 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. Purification and Functional Characterisation of Rhinocerase, a Novel Serine Protease from the Venom of Bitis gabonica rhinoceros

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaiyapuri, Sakthivel; Harrison, Robert A.; Bicknell, Andrew B.; Gibbins, Jonathan M.; Hutchinson, Gail

    2010-01-01

    Background Serine proteases are a major component of viper venoms and are thought to disrupt several distinct elements of the blood coagulation system of envenomed victims. A detailed understanding of the functions of these enzymes is important both for acquiring a fuller understanding of the pathology of envenoming and because these venom proteins have shown potential in treating blood coagulation disorders. Methodology/Principal Findings In this study a novel, highly abundant serine protease, which we have named rhinocerase, has been isolated and characterised from the venom of Bitis gabonica rhinoceros using liquid phase isoelectric focusing and gel filtration. Like many viper venom serine proteases, this enzyme is glycosylated; the estimated molecular mass of the native enzyme is approximately 36kDa, which reduces to 31kDa after deglycosylation. The partial amino acid sequence shows similarity to other viper venom serine proteases, but is clearly distinct from the sequence of the only other sequenced serine protease from Bitis gabonica. Other viper venom serine proteases have been shown to exert distinct biological effects, and our preliminary functional characterization of rhinocerase suggest it to be multifunctional. It is capable of degrading α and β chains of fibrinogen, dissolving plasma clots and of hydrolysing a kallikrein substrate. Conclusions/Significance A novel multifunctional viper venom serine protease has been isolated and characterised. The activities of the enzyme are consistent with the known in vivo effects of Bitis gabonica envenoming, including bleeding disorders, clotting disorders and hypotension. This study will form the basis for future research to understand the mechanisms of serine protease action, and examine the potential for rhinocerase to be used clinically to reduce the risk of human haemostatic disorders such as heart attacks and strokes. PMID:20300193

  17. Modern trends in animal venom research - omics and nanomaterials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utkin, Yuri N

    2017-02-26

    Animal venom research is a specialized investigation field, in which a number of different methods are used and this array is constantly expanding. Thus, recently emerged omics and nanotechnologies have already been successfully applied to venom research. Animal venoms have been studied for quite a long time. The traditional reductionist approach has been to isolate individual toxins and then study their structure and function. Unfortunately, the characterization of the venom as a whole system and its multiple effects on an entire organism were not possible until recent times. The development of new methods in mass spectrometry and sequencing have allowed such characterizations of venom, encompassing the identification of new toxins present in venoms at extremely low concentrations to changes in metabolism of prey organisms after envenomation. In particular, this type of comprehensive research has become possible due to the development of the various omics technologies: Proteomics, peptidomics, transcriptomics, genomics and metabolomics. As in other research fields, these omics technologies ushered in a revolution for venom studies, which is now entering the era of big data. Nanotechnology is a very new branch of technology and developing at an extremely rapid pace. It has found application in many spheres and has not bypassed the venom studies. Nanomaterials are quite promising in medicine, and most studies combining venoms and nanomaterials are dedicated to medical applications. Conjugates of nanoparticles with venom components have been proposed for use as drugs or diagnostics. For example, nanoparticles conjugated with chlorotoxin - a toxin in scorpion venom, which has been shown to bind specifically to glioma cells - are considered as potential glioma-targeted drugs, and conjugates of neurotoxins with fluorescent semiconductor nanoparticles or quantum dots may be used to detect endogenous targets expressed in live cells. The data on application of omics and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-13

    establishment of venom proteomic profiles offers a fundamental platform to assess the detailed immunorecognition of individual proteins/peptides by therapeutic or experimental antivenoms, an evolving methodology for which the term 'antivenomics' was coined (as described in an accompanying paper in this special issue). Venoms represent an adaptive trait and an example of both divergent and convergent evolution. A deep understanding of the composition of venoms and of the principles governing the evolution of venomous systems is of applied importance for exploring the enormous potential of venoms as sources of chemical and pharmacological novelty but also to fight the consequences of snakebite envenomings. Key to this is the identification of evolutionary and ecological trends at different taxonomical levels. However, the evolution of venomous species and their venoms do not always follow the same course, and the identification of structural and functional convergences and divergences among venoms is often unpredictable by a phylogenetic hypothesis. Snake venomics is a proteomic-centered strategy to deconstruct the complex molecular phenotypes the venom proteomes. The proteomic profiles of venoms from sixteen out of the 22 venomous species within the Viperidae and Elapidae families found in Costa Rica have been completed so far. An integrative view of their venom composition, including the identification of geographic and ontogenic variations, is hereby presented. Venom proteomic profiles offer a fundamental platform to assess the detailed immunorecognition of individual venom components by therapeutic or experimental antivenoms. This aspect is reviewed in the companion paper. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Proteomics of non-model organisms. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Crystal structure of Sol I 2: a major allergen from fire ant venom.

    OpenAIRE

    Borer Aline S.; Wassmann Paul; Schmidt Margit; Hoffman Donald R.; Zhou Jing-Jiang; Wright Christine; Schirmer Tilman; Markovic-Housley Zora

    2012-01-01

    Sol i 2 is a potent allergen from the venom of red imported fire ant which contains allergens Sol i 1 Sol i 2 Sol i 3 and Sol i 4 that are known to be powerful triggers of anaphylaxis. Sol i 2 causes IgE antibody production in about one third of individuals stung by fire ants. Baculovirus recombinant dimeric Sol i 2 was crystallized as a native and selenomethionyl derivatized protein and its structure has been determined by single wavelength anomalous dispersion at 2.6 Å resolution. The overa...

  20. Functional proteomic approach to discover geographic variations of king cobra venoms from Southeast Asia and China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Hui-Ching; Tsai, Tein-Shun; Tsai, Inn-Ho

    2013-08-26

    This study deciphers the geographic variations of king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) venom using functional proteomics. Pooled samples of king cobra venom (abbreviated as Ohv) were obtained from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and two provinces of China, namely Guangxi and Hainan. Using two animal models to test and compare the lethal effects, we found that the Chinese Ohvs were more fatal to mice, while the Southeast Asian Ohvs were more fatal to lizards (Eutropis multifasciata). Various phospholipases A2 (PLA2s), three-finger toxins (3FTxs) and Kunitz-type inhibitors were purified from these Ohvs and compared. Besides the two Chinese Ohv PLA2s with known sequences, eight novel PLA2s were identified from the five Ohv samples and their antiplatelet activities were compared. While two 3FTxs (namely oh-55 and oh-27) were common in all the Ohvs, different sets of 3FTx markers were present in the Chinese and Southeast Asian Ohvs. All the Ohvs contain the Kunitz inhibitor, OH-TCI, while only the Chinese Ohvs contain the inhibitor variant, Oh11-1. Relative to the Chinese Ohvs which contained more phospholipases, the Southeast Asian Ohvs had higher metalloproteinase, acetylcholine esterase, and alkaline phosphatase activities. Remarkable variations in five king cobra geographic samples reveal fast evolution and dynamic translational regulation of the venom which probably adapted to different prey ecology as testified by the lethal tests on mice and lizards. Our results predict possible variations of the king cobra envenoming to human and the importance of using local antivenin for snakebite treatment. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Isolation and Functional Characterization of an Acidic Myotoxic Phospholipase A2 from Colombian Bothrops asper Venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Posada Arias

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Myotoxic phospholipases A2 (PLA2 are responsible for many clinical manifestations in envenomation by Bothrops snakes. A new myotoxic acidic Asp49 PLA2 (BaCol PLA2 was isolated from Colombian Bothrops asper venom using reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC. BaCol PLA2 had a molecular mass of 14,180.69 Da (by mass spectrometry and an isoelectric point of 4.4. The complete amino acid sequence was obtained by cDNA cloning (GenBank accession No. MF319968 and revealed a mature product of 124 amino acids with Asp at position 49. BaCol PLA2 showed structural homology with other acidic PLA2 isolated from Bothrops venoms, including a non-myotoxic PLA2 from Costa Rican B. asper. In vitro studies showed cell membrane damage without exposure of phosphatidylserine, an early apoptosis hallmark. BaCol PLA2 had high indirect hemolytic activity and moderate anticoagulant action. In mice, BaCol PLA2 caused marked edema and myotoxicity, the latter seen as an increase in plasma creatine kinase and histological damage to gastrocnemius muscle fibers that included vacuolization and hyalinization necrosis of the sarcoplasm.

  2. Strategies toward structural and functional 'optimization' of animal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... and 'improving' the pharmacological profile of some venom toxins, mainly because of their structural/functional diversity and potential value as chemotherapeutic drugs in the treatment of specific human pathologies. Materials and methods: This study reviews the strategies towards optimization of animal peptide toxins.

  3. State of functionally essential Trp-29 in snake venom neurotoxins: a proton nuclear magnetic resonance study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endo, T; Oya, M; Joubert, F J; Hayashi, K; Miyazawa, T

    1989-08-01

    Proton nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra have been recorded of various neurotoxins from snake venoms. pH dependence of the chemical shifts and resonance intensity has been followed for the functionally essential Trp-29. The indole N-1 proton of Trp-29 in alpha-bungarotoxin, toxin B, and cobrotoxin exhibits appreciably large upfield shifts as the pH is lowered and the suppressed exchange with the solvent hydrogen at pH 3-4, but not in Naja haje annulifera 10 where Asp-31 is replaced with Gly-31. This observation strongly suggests the presence of a hydrogen bond between Trp-29 and Asp-31 that is probably important in stabilizing the arrangement of the functionally essential residues to form a distinct binding region for the receptor.

  4. Functional characterizations of venom phenotypes in the eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) and evidence for expression-driven divergence in toxic activities among populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margres, Mark J; Walls, Robert; Suntravat, Montamas; Lucena, Sara; Sánchez, Elda E; Rokyta, Darin R

    2016-09-01

    Phenotypes frequently vary across and within species. The connection between specific phenotypic effects and function, however, is less understood despite being essential to our understanding of the adaptive process. Snake venoms are ideal for identifying functionally important phenotypic variation because venom variation is common, and venoms can be functionally characterized through simple assays and toxicity measurements. Previous work with the eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) used multivariate statistical approaches to identify six unique venom phenotypes. We functionally characterized hemolytic, gelatinase, fibrinogenolytic, and coagulant activity for all six phenotypes, as well as one additional venom, to determine if the statistically significant differences in toxin expression levels previously documented corresponded to differences in venom activity. In general, statistical differences in toxin expression predicted the identified functional differences, or lack thereof, in toxic activity, demonstrating that the statistical approach used to characterize C. adamanteus venoms was a fair representation of biologically meaningful differences. Minor differences in activity not accounted for by the statistical model may be the result of amino-acid differences and/or post-translational modifications, but overall we were able to link variation in protein expression levels to variation in function as predicted by multivariate statistical approaches. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. A Comparison of the Crystal Structures of Phospholipase A2 from Bovine Pancreas and Crotalus atrox Venom

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    RENETSEDER, R; BRUNIE, S; DRENTH, J; SIGLER, PB

    1985-01-01

    The refined high resolution crystal structure of the bovine phospholipase A2 was compared with its counterpart from the venom of Crotalus atrox, the western diamondbacked rattlesnake. The strong similarity in their backbone conformations forms the basis of a common numbering system for the amino

  6. Crotalus durissus terrificus Venom Interferes With Morphological, Functional, and Biochemical Changes in Murine Macrophage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández Cruz, Anselmo; Z. Mendonça, Ronaldo; L. Petricevich, Vera

    2005-01-01

    Crotalus durissus terrificus venom (Cdt) is toxic for a variety of eukaryotic cells, especially at high concentrations. However its effects on host immune cells are not well known. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of Cdt on functional status and the mediators production in peritoneal macrophages. The effects of Cdt were analyzed in vitro and were detected using functional status of macrophages as determined by the H2O2 release, spreading percentage, phagocytic index, vacuole formation, and mediators production. Several functional bioassays were employed: cytotoxicity was determined by taking the lyses percentage and the presence of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in macrophages, using the horseradish peroxidase-dependent oxidation of phenol red and nitric oxide (NO) in the supernatants of macrophages by the Griess reaction. The tumor necrosis factor (TNF) activity was detected by measuring its cytotoxic activity on L929 cells, and the production the level of other cytokines was assayed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. In vitro studies revealed that Cdt produced (a) a discrete increase in the release of H2O2 and vacuole formation; (b) a decrease in spreading percentage and in the phagocytic index; and (c) an increment in the mediators production. More pronounced increments of IL-6 and TNF were observed after 24 and 48 hours, respectively. Maximum levels of IFN-γ and NO were observed after 96 hours. Interestingly, levels of all mediators presented a discreet decrease, as the amount of Cdt was increased. In contrast, the IL-10 levels observed for all doses studied here did not alter. The IL-6/IL-10 ratio may possibly reflect the balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in macrophages, which may be manifested in the inflammatory status during the envenoming processes. Taken together, these data indicate that Cdt have a differential effect on macrophage activation and that this venom is a potent inhibitor of anti-inflammatory response. PMID

  7. Structures of spider toxins: hydroxyindole-3-acetylpolyamines and a new generalized structure of type-E compounds obtained from the venom of the Joro spider, Nephila clavata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hisada, M; Fujita, T; Naoki, H; Itagaki, Y; Irie, H; Miyashita, M; Nakajima, T

    1998-08-01

    Facile structure determination of acylpolyamines, glutamatergic nerve blocker obtained from the venom of the Joro spider (Nephila clavata) was carried out with the use of micro-column LC/MS and high energy collision induced dissociation (CID) mass spectrometry. 6-hydroxyindole-3-acetyl was proposed previously as a putative partial structure, for the acyl moiety of hydroxyindole-type polyamines (NPTX-1 to -6). The NMR data obtained for NPTX-6, NPTX-687 and hydroxyindole-3-acetic acid which was released by acid hydrolysis of Nephila clavata crude venom extracts proved that the lipophilic head is the 4-hydroxyindole-3-acetic acid. Various hydroxyindole-3-acetyl polyamines were found in N. Clavata venom and characterized by mass spectrometry. As a result, type-E, a new class of generalized acylpolyamine structure was proposed in addition to the previously reported polyamine backbones type-A to -D.

  8. Venomous snakebites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adukauskienė, Dalia; Varanauskienė, Eglė; Adukauskaitė, Agnė

    2011-01-01

    heat should be applied. A doctor must monitor respiratory rate, blood pressure, heart rate, renal function, fluid balance, and coagulation status. The only specific treatment method is antivenin--serum with antibodies against antigens of snake venom. Antivenins against pit vipers used in the United States are Antivenin Crotalidae Polyvalent (ACP) and a more purified and hence causing less adverse reactions--Crotalidae Polyvalent Immune Fab (CroFab). In Europe, a polyvalent antiserum against Viperidae family snakes (including the common adder) can be used. Antivenins often may cause severe hypersensitivity reactions because of their protein nature. The bite of the common adder (the only poisonous snake in such countries as Lithuania and Great Britain) relatively rarely results in death; thus, considering the risk of dangerous reactions the antivenin causes itself, the usage of it is recommended to be limited only to life-threatening conditions.

  9. Venom Evolution

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    The term venom is used for a variety of toxins that are injected by certain animals into a victim through a specialized apparatus. Though venom is most commonly employed as a means of defense and predation, it is also used as a means of asserting dominance over conspecifics. Venomous animals include sea anemones ...

  10. 3D flow in the venom channel of a spitting cobra: do the ridges in the fangs act as fluid guide vanes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Triep, Michael; Hess, David; Chaves, Humberto; Brücker, Christoph; Balmert, Alexander; Westhoff, Guido; Bleckmann, Horst

    2013-01-01

    The spitting cobra Naja pallida can eject its venom towards an offender from a distance of up to two meters. The aim of this study was to understand the mechanisms responsible for the relatively large distance covered by the venom jet although the venom channel is only of micro-scale. Therefore, we analysed factors that influence secondary flow and pressure drop in the venom channel, which include the physical-chemical properties of venom liquid and the morphology of the venom channel. The cobra venom showed shear-reducing properties and the venom channel had paired ridges that span from the last third of the channel to its distal end, terminating laterally and in close proximity to the discharge orifice. To analyze the functional significance of these ridges we generated a numerical and an experimental model of the venom channel. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and Particle-Image Velocimetry (PIV) revealed that the paired interior ridges shape the flow structure upstream of the sharp 90° bend at the distal end. The occurrence of secondary flow structures resembling Dean-type vortical structures in the venom channel can be observed, which induce additional pressure loss. Comparing a venom channel featuring ridges with an identical channel featuring no ridges, one can observe a reduction of pressure loss of about 30%. Therefore it is concluded that the function of the ridges is similar to guide vanes used by engineers to reduce pressure loss in curved flow channels.

  11. 3D flow in the venom channel of a spitting cobra: do the ridges in the fangs act as fluid guide vanes?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Triep

    Full Text Available The spitting cobra Naja pallida can eject its venom towards an offender from a distance of up to two meters. The aim of this study was to understand the mechanisms responsible for the relatively large distance covered by the venom jet although the venom channel is only of micro-scale. Therefore, we analysed factors that influence secondary flow and pressure drop in the venom channel, which include the physical-chemical properties of venom liquid and the morphology of the venom channel. The cobra venom showed shear-reducing properties and the venom channel had paired ridges that span from the last third of the channel to its distal end, terminating laterally and in close proximity to the discharge orifice. To analyze the functional significance of these ridges we generated a numerical and an experimental model of the venom channel. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD and Particle-Image Velocimetry (PIV revealed that the paired interior ridges shape the flow structure upstream of the sharp 90° bend at the distal end. The occurrence of secondary flow structures resembling Dean-type vortical structures in the venom channel can be observed, which induce additional pressure loss. Comparing a venom channel featuring ridges with an identical channel featuring no ridges, one can observe a reduction of pressure loss of about 30%. Therefore it is concluded that the function of the ridges is similar to guide vanes used by engineers to reduce pressure loss in curved flow channels.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  13. Biochemical and biological characterization of the venoms of Bothriopsis bilineata and Bothriopsis taeniata (Serpentes: Viperidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porto, Bárbara N; Telli, Caliandra A; Dutra, Tatiana P; Alves, Letícia S; Bozza, Marcelo T; Fin, Cyntia A; Thiesen, Flavia V; Renner, Márcia F

    2007-08-01

    Snake venom is a complex mixture containing diverse protein components with different structures and functions that are used for prey immobilization and death. Snake venoms from the family Viperidae cause pronounced local and systemic effects, such as pain, edema, hemorrhage and necrosis. Here, we investigated the enzymatic and biological activities of venoms from two Amazonian snakes, Bothriopsis bilineata and Bothriopsis taeniata. Both venoms presented high enzymatic activities for proteases kallikrein, thrombin and plasmin, low levels of trypsin, cathepsin C and leucine aminopeptidase activities, while lacked acetylcholinesterase activity. B. taeniata and B. bilineata crude venoms caused inflammation inducing neutrophil recruitment into peritoneal cavity of mice 4h after injection. Neutrophil recruitment induced by B. taeniata venom was accompanied by hemorrhage. EDTA treatment profoundly impaired neutrophil recruitment, suggesting the involvement of a metalloproteinase on venoms-induced neutrophil recruitment. Pretreatment with dexamethasone and zileuton, a 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor, significantly reduced neutrophil migration, but indomethacin and montelukast, a cysteinyl leukotriene receptor antagonist, had no effect, suggesting the involvement of lipoxygenase-derived metabolites, probably LTB(4). Together, these results show that B. bilineata and B. taeniata venoms induce a marked inflammatory reaction, with leukocyte recruitment, and hemorrhage, which parallels to a high proteolytic activity found in these venoms.

  14. Biochemical and functional studies of ColTx-I, a new myotoxic phospholipase A2 isolated from Crotalus oreganus lutosus (Great Basin rattlesnake) snake venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, J R; Resende, L M; Silva, A G; Ribeiro, R I M A; Stábeli, R G; Soares, A M; Calderon, L A; Marangoni, S; Da Silva, S L

    2016-07-01

    Commonly, phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) play key roles in the pathogenesis of the local tissue damage characteristic of crotaline and viperine snake envenomations. Crotalus oreganus lutosus snake venom has not been extensively studied; therefore, the characterization of its components represents a valuable biotechnological tool for studying pathophysiological processes of envenoming and for gaining a deeper understanding of its biological effects. In this study, for the first time, a basic PLA2 myotoxin, ColTx-I, was purified from C. o. lutosus through two chromatographic steps. ColTx-I is monomeric with calculated molecular mass weight (Mw) of 14,145 Da and a primary structure closely related to basic PLA2s from viperid venoms. The pure enzyme has a specific activity of 15.87 ± 0.65 nmol/min/mg at optimal conditions (pH 8.0 and 37 °C). ColTx-I activity was found to be dependent on Ca(2+), as its substitution by other ionic species as well as the addition of chelating agents significantly reduced its phospholipase activity. In vivo, ColTx-I triggered dose-dependent inflammatory responses, measured using the paw edema model, with an increase in IL-6 levels, systemic and local myotoxicity, characterized by elevated plasma creatine kinase activity. ColTx-I induced a complex series of degenerative events associated with edema, inflammatory infiltrate and skeletal muscle necrosis. These biochemical and functional results suggest that ColTx-I, a myotoxic and inflammatory mediator, plays a relevant role in C. o. lutosus envenomation. Thus, detailed studies on its mechanism of action, such as evaluating the synergism between ColTx-I and other venom components may reveal targets for the development of more specific and effective therapies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Does the administration of pilocarpine prior to venom milking influence the composition of Micrurus corallinus venom?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morais-Zani, Karen de; Serino-Silva, Caroline; Galizio, Nathália da Costa; Tasima, Lídia Jorge; Pagotto, Josias Falararo; Rocha, Marisa Maria Teixeira da; Marcelino, José Roberto; Sant'Anna, Sávio Stefanini; Tashima, Alexandre Keiji; Tanaka-Azevedo, Anita Mitico; Grego, Kathleen Fernandes

    2018-03-01

    Considering that the scarcity of venom represents a huge challenge for biochemical and functional studies of Micrurus species (coral snakes), in this report we describe for the first time the influence of pilocarpine administration prior to venom milking on the yield and protein composition of Micrurus corallinus venom. The administration of pilocarpine resulted in an increase of about 127% in the volume of venom milked, with similar protein content. Venoms showed similar protein bands distribution and intensity by SDS-PAGE and equivalents RP-HPLC profiles. Our proteomic analysis showed that venoms milked in the presence and absence of pilocarpine presented comparable protein profiles, in terms of protein composition and relative abundance. The toxins identified were assigned to 13 protein families and represent the most complete M. corallinus venom proteome described so far, in terms of number of protein families identified. Our data indicate that the administration of pilocarpine prior to venom milking increases the venom yield and does not change significantly the venom composition of M. corallinus. The employment of pilocarpine represents a useful approach to increase the yield of venom not only for Micrurus species, but also for other genera of snakes with limitations regarding the amount of venom available. In this report, we evaluated the influence of pilocarpine administration prior to venom milking in the overall composition of M. corallinus venom. We showed that the use of pilocarpine 10min before M. corallinus venom milking increases venom yield by ~127%. Not only the volume of venom obtained is higher, but also the protein concentration of both venoms is similar, opposing the idea that a more diluted venom is obtained as a result of pilocarpine administration, observed in non-front-fanged snakes. Shotgun proteomics analysis revealed that venom milked with and without the use of this drug showed similar overall protein composition and relative abundances

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Snake Venom Cytotoxins, Phospholipase A2s, and Zn(2+)-dependent Metalloproteinases: Mechanisms of Action and Pharmacological Relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-25

    Snake venom toxins are responsible for causing severe pathology and toxicity following envenomation including necrosis, apoptosis, neurotoxicity, myotoxicity, cardiotoxicity, profuse hemorrhage, and disruption of blood homeostasis. Clinically, snake venom toxins therefore represent a significant hazard to snakebite victims which underscores the need to produce more efficient anti-venom. Some snake venom toxins, however, have great potential as drugs for treating human diseases. In this review, we discuss the biochemistry, structure/function, and pathology induced by snake venom toxins on human tissue. We provide a broad overview of cobra venom cytotoxins, catalytically active and inactive phospholipase A2s (PLA2s), and Zn(2+)-dependent metalloproteinases. We also propose biomedical applications whereby snake venom toxins can be employed for treating human diseases. Cobra venom cytotoxins, for example, may be utilized as anti-cancer agents since they are efficient at destroying certain types of cancer cells including leukemia. Additionally, increasing our understanding of the molecular mechanism(s) by which snake venom PLA2s promote hydrolysis of cell membrane phospholipids can give insight into the underlying biomedical implications for treating autoimmune disorders that are caused by dysregulated endogenous PLA2 activity. Lastly, we provide an exhaustive overview of snake venom Zn(2+)-dependent metalloproteinases and suggest ways by which these enzymes can be engineered for treating deep vein thrombosis and neurodegenerative disorders.

  18. The crystal structure of a phospholipase-like from Bothrops godmani venom

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fontes, Marcos R.M. [UNESP, Botucatu, SP (Brazil). Dept. de Fisica e Biofisica; Azevedo, W.F. [UNESP, Sao Jose do Rio Preto, SP (Brazil). Inst. de Biociencias, Letras e Ciencias Exatas; Gutierrez, J.M.; Arni, R.K. [Instituto Clodomiro Picado, San Jose (Costa Rica)

    1997-12-31

    Full text. Phospho lipases A2 are common components of bothropic venoms responsible for disruption of the cell membrane integrity via hydrolysis of its phospholipids, culminating with cell death. These enzymes have an Asp at position 49 (D49) which is a part of the Ca++ loop which promotes the catalytic activity on phosphatidylcholine (lecithin) from egg yolk. More recently however, a new class of PLA{sub 2}-like proteins has been described which, although devoid of PLA{sub 2} activity on phosphatidylcholine, due to a mutation D49K, are still highly myonecrotic, their effect being Ca++ independent and still not completely understood. In this work we show the X-ray structure determination and refinement process of this toxin. The crystals were obtained by hanging drop, a vapour diffusion method. The data collection was made using a image plate detector R-AXIS IIC from RIGAKU (IFSC/USP), Cu K{alpha} radiation at room temperature. Data was collected up to 2.8 A resolution and the merging of all equivalent reflections resulted in a dataset which is about 80 % complete. The crystals belong to the space group P4{sub 3}2{sub 1}2 with cell constants a= b=60.56 A and c=84.72 A. The structure was solved by Molecular Replacement method using AMORE program. The structure refinement process have been made using he X-PLOR program; the final R-factor was 17.9 % and free R-factor is 25.8 % including 69 water molecules. (author)

  19. Human antibody fragments specific for Bothrops jararacussu venom reduce the toxicity of other Bothrops sp. venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roncolato, Eduardo Crosara; Pucca, Manuela Berto; Funayama, Jaqueline Carlos; Bertolini, Thaís Barboza; Campos, Lucas Benício; Barbosa, José Elpidio

    2013-01-01

    Approximately 20,000 snakebites are registered each year in Brazil. The classical treatment for venomous snakebite involves the administration of sera obtained from immunized horses. Moreover, the production and care of horses is costly, and the use of heterologous sera can cause hypersensitivity reactions. The production of human antibody fragments by phage display technology is seen as a means of overcoming some of these disadvantages. The studies here attempted to test human monoclonal antibodies specific to Bothrops jararacussu against other Bothrops sp. venoms, using the Griffin.1 library of human single-chain fragment-variable (scFv) phage antibodies. Using the Griffin.1 phage antibody library, this laboratory previously produced scFvs capable of inhibiting the phospholipase and myotoxic activities of Bothrops jararacussu venom. The structural and functional similarities of the various forms of phospholipase A2 (PLA₂) in Bothrops venom served as the basis for the present study wherein the effectiveness of those same scFvs were evaluated against B. jararaca, B. neuwiedi, and B. moojeni venoms. Each clone was found to recognize all three Bothrops venoms, and purified scFvs partially inhibited their in vitro phospholipase activity. In vivo assays demonstrated that the scFv clone P2B7 reduced myotoxicity and increased the survival of animals that received the test venoms. The results here indicate that the scFv P2B7 is a candidate for inclusion in a mixture of specific antibodies to produce a human anti-bothropic sera. This data demonstrates that the human scFv P2B7 represents an alternative therapeutic approach to heterologous anti-bothropic sera available today.

  20. Venom proteome of the box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Venom proteome of the box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diane L Brinkman

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

  2. Enter the Dragon: The Dynamic and Multifunctional Evolution of Anguimorpha Lizard Venoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koludarov, Ivan; Jackson, Timothy NW; op den Brouw, Bianca; Dobson, James; Dashevsky, Daniel; Clemente, Christofer J.; Stockdale, Edward J.; Cochran, Chip; Debono, Jordan; Stephens, Carson; Panagides, Nadya; Li, Bin; Roy Manchadi, Mary-Louise; Violette, Aude; Fourmy, Rudy; Hendrikx, Iwan; Nouwens, Amanda; Clements, Judith; Martelli, Paolo; Kwok, Hang Fai; Fry, Bryan G.

    2017-01-01

    While snake venoms have been the subject of intense study, comparatively little work has been done on lizard venoms. In this study, we have examined the structural and functional diversification of anguimorph lizard venoms and associated toxins, and related these results to dentition and predatory ecology. Venom composition was shown to be highly variable across the 20 species of Heloderma, Lanthanotus, and Varanus included in our study. While kallikrein enzymes were ubiquitous, they were also a particularly multifunctional toxin type, with differential activities on enzyme substrates and also ability to degrade alpha or beta chains of fibrinogen that reflects structural variability. Examination of other toxin types also revealed similar variability in their presence and activity levels. The high level of venom chemistry variation in varanid lizards compared to that of helodermatid lizards suggests that venom may be subject to different selection pressures in these two families. These results not only contribute to our understanding of venom evolution but also reveal anguimorph lizard venoms to be rich sources of novel bioactive molecules with potential as drug design and development lead compounds. PMID:28783084

  3. Enter the Dragon: The Dynamic and Multifunctional Evolution of Anguimorpha Lizard Venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Koludarov

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available While snake venoms have been the subject of intense study, comparatively little work has been done on lizard venoms. In this study, we have examined the structural and functional diversification of anguimorph lizard venoms and associated toxins, and related these results to dentition and predatory ecology. Venom composition was shown to be highly variable across the 20 species of Heloderma, Lanthanotus, and Varanus included in our study. While kallikrein enzymes were ubiquitous, they were also a particularly multifunctional toxin type, with differential activities on enzyme substrates and also ability to degrade alpha or beta chains of fibrinogen that reflects structural variability. Examination of other toxin types also revealed similar variability in their presence and activity levels. The high level of venom chemistry variation in varanid lizards compared to that of helodermatid lizards suggests that venom may be subject to different selection pressures in these two families. These results not only contribute to our understanding of venom evolution but also reveal anguimorph lizard venoms to be rich sources of novel bioactive molecules with potential as drug design and development lead compounds.

  4. Venomic analyses of Scolopendra viridicornis nigra and Scolopendra angulata (Centipede, Scolopendromorpha): shedding light on venoms from a neglected group.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rates, Breno; Bemquerer, Marcelo P; Richardson, Michael; Borges, Márcia H; Morales, Rodrigo A V; De Lima, Maria Elena; Pimenta, Adriano M C

    2007-05-01

    Centipedes are venomous arthropods responsible for a significant number of non-lethal human envenomations. Despite this, information about the composition and function of their venom contents is scarce. In this study, we have used a 'structure to function' proteomic approach combining two-dimensional chromatography (2D-LC), electrospray ionization quadrupole/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (ESI-Q-TOF/MS), N-terminal sequencing and similarity searching to better understand the complexities of the venoms from two Brazilian centipede species: Scolopendra viridicornis nigra and Scolopendra angulata. Comparisons between the LC profiles and the mass compositions of the venoms of the two species are provided. The observed molecular masses ranged from 3019.62 to 20996.94Da in S. viridicornis nigra (total: 62 molecular masses) and from 1304.73 to 22639.15Da in S. angulata (total: 65 molecular masses). Also, the N-termini of representatives of 10 protein/peptide families were successfully sequenced where nine of them showed no significant similarity to other protein sequences deposited in the Swiss-Prot database. A screening for insecto-toxic activities in fractions from S. viridicornis venom has also been performed. Six out of the 12 tested fractions were responsible for clear toxic effects in house flies. This work demonstrates that centipede venoms might be a neglected but important source of new bioactive compounds.

  5. Intravascular hemolysis induced by phospholipases A2from the venom of the Eastern coral snake, Micrurus fulvius: Functional profiles of hemolytic and non-hemolytic isoforms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, María Laura; Quartino, Pablo Yunes; Arce-Bejarano, Ruth; Fernández, Julián; Camacho, Luis F; Gutiérrez, José María; Kuemmel, Daniel; Fidelio, Gerardo; Lomonte, Bruno

    2018-04-01

    A unique feature of the venom of Micrurus fulvius (Eastern coral snake) is its ability to induce severe intravascular hemolysis in particular species, such as dogs or mice. This effect was previously shown to be induced by distinct phospholipase A 2 (PLA 2 ) isoforms which cause direct hemolysis in vitro, an uncommon finding for such enzymes. The functional profiles of PLA 2 -17, a direct hemolytic enzyme, and PLA 2 -12, a co-existing venom isoform lacking such effect, were compared. The enzymes differed not only in their ability to cause intravascular hemolysis: PLA 2 -17 additionally displayed lethal, myotoxic, and anticoagulant actions, whereas PLA 2 -12 lacked these effects. PLA 2 -12 was much more active in hydrolyzing a monodisperse synthetic substrate than PLA 2 -17, but the catalytic activity of latter was notably higher on a micellar substrate, or towards pure phospholipid artificial monolayers under controlled lateral pressures. Interestingly, PLA 2 -17 could hydrolyze substrate at a pressure of 20 mN m -1 , in contrast to PLA 2 -12 or the non-toxic pancreatic PLA 2 . This suggests important differences in the monolayer penetrating power, which could be related to differences in toxicity. Comparative examination of primary structures and predicted three-dimensional folding of PLA 2 -12 and PLA 2 -17, revealed that differences concentrate in their N-terminal and central regions, leading to variations of the surface properties at the membrane interacting interface. PLA 2 -17 presents a less basic interfacial surface than PLA 2 -12, but more bulky aromatic residues, which could be associated to its higher membrane-penetrating strength. Altogether, these structural and functional comparative observations suggest that the ability of PLA 2 s to penetrate substrate interfaces could be a major determinant of toxicity, perhaps more important than protein surface charge. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-19

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aida Verdes

    2016-04-01

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

  8. Purification and functional characterization of AAV1, a novel P-III metalloproteinase, from Formosan Agkistrodon acutus venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wen-Jeng

    2007-01-01

    AAV1, an alkaline glycoprotein (GP), was purified from Agkistrodon acutus venom by two chromatographic steps on successive DEAE-Sephadex A-50 and Superdex 75 FPLC columns. AAV1 on SDS-PAGE under non-reducing conditions migrated as a monomeric and a polymeric forms with apparent molecular mass of 57 and 180 kDa, respectively. Upon reduction, it appeared as a single broad band with a mass of 50.3 kDa corresponding to the size of a typical P-III metalloproteinase acurhagin. The N-terminal sequence of an autoproteolytical 30 kDa-fragment of AAV1 showed a high homology to that of venom proteins with Metalloproteinase, Disintegrin-like, and Cysteine-rich (MDC) domains. Although it was devoid of cleaving activity toward gelatin, fibronectin and prothrombin, AAV1 preferentially digested the Aalpha chain of fibrinogen and followed by the Bbeta chain, leading to the inhibition of fibrinogen-induced platelet aggregation in elastase-treated human platelets. However, the proteolytic activity of AAV1 was completely inactivated by the chelating agent but not serine proteinase inhibitor. Furthermore, AAV1 could concentration-dependently inhibit platelet aggregation and suppress tyrosine phosphorylation of intracellular proteins in collagen- and convulxin-stimulated platelets, respectively. The interaction of MDC domains in AAV1 molecule with platelet GPVI was responsible for the inhibitory effect of AAV1 on collagen- and convulxin-induced platelet aggregation. Taken together, these pieces of evidence suggest that AAV1 from Formosan viper venom belongs to a new member of high-molecular mass metalloproteinase family and functions as a GPVI antagonist.

  9. Ant venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Donald R

    2010-08-01

    The review summarizes knowledge about ants that are known to sting humans and their venoms. Fire ants and Chinese needle ants are showing additional spread of range. Fire ants are now important in much of Asia. Venom allergens have been characterized and studied for fire ants and jack jumper ants. The first studies of Pachycondyla venoms have been reported, and a major allergen is Pac c 3, related to Sol i 3 from fire ants. There are very limited data available for other ant groups. Ants share some common proteins in venoms, but each group appears to have a number of possibly unique components. Further proteomic studies should expand and clarify our knowledge of these fascinating animals.

  10. Functional characterization of fibrinolytic metalloproteinases (colombienases) isolated from Bothrops colombiensis venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girón, María E; Guerrero, Belsy; Salazar, Ana María; Sánchez, Elda E; Alvarez, Marco; Rodríguez-Acosta, Alexis

    2013-11-01

    Researchers trying to improve the safety and efficacy of fibrinolytic therapy have been isolating fibrinolytic enzymes from snake venoms. Two fibrinolytic enzymes, colombienases 1 and 2, with significant activity have been isolated from the venom of Bothrops colombiensis. The colombienases were characterized for various biological activities which include hemorrhagic, fibrinogenolytic, proteolytic, hemolytic, edematogenic and cytotoxic. Colombienases directly acted on fibrin by degrading fibrinogen Aα and Bβ chains without activating the fibrinolytic system (plasminogen/plasmin), additionally colombienase-2 degraded fibrinogen γ chains as well as the fibronectin molecule. Laminin and type IV collagen were colombienases resistant. Gelatin-zymogram activity was present in B. colombiensis venom (BcV) bands between 64 and 148 kDa. All activities were abolished by metalloproteinases inhibitors. Both enzymes lacked hemorrhagic, hemolytic, cytotoxic, plasminogen activator and coagulant activities. Both colombienases had direct fibrino(geno)lytic activity without other toxic side effects including in vivo hemorrhaging, which could be promising in terms of therapeutic potential as thrombolytic agents. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-08-01

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

  12. Crystal structure of myotoxin-II: a myotoxic phospholipase A{sub 2} - homologue from Bothrops moojeni venom

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Azevedo, W.F.; Ward, R.J.; Lombardi, F.R.; Arni, R.K. [UNESP, Sao Jose do Rio Preto, SP (Brazil). Inst. de Biociencias, Letras e Ciencias Exatas; Soares, A.M.; Giglio, J.R. [Sao Paulo Univ., Ribeirao Preto, SP (Brazil). Escola de Medicina; Fontes, M.R.M. [UNESP, Botucatu, SP (Brazil). Inst. Biofisica

    1997-12-31

    Full text. Phospho lipases A2 (PLA{sub 2}; E C 3.1.1.4, phosphatides s n-2 acyl hydrolases) hydrolysis the s n-2 ester bond of phospholipids showing enhanced activity at lamellar or membrane surfaces. Intracellular PLA{sub 2} s are involved at phospholipid metabolism and signal transduction, whereas extracellular PLA{sub 2} s are found in mammalian pancreatic juices, the venoms of snakes, lizards and insects. Based on their high primary sequence similarity, extracellular PLA{sub 2} s are separated into Classes I, II and III. Class II PLA{sub 2} s are found in snake venoms of Crotalidae an Viperidae species, and include the sub-family of Lys PLA{sub 2} s homologue. he coordination of the Ca{sup 2+} ion in the PLA{sub 2} calcium-binding loop includes and aspartate at position 49. In the catalytically active PLA{sub 2} s, this calcium ion plays a critical role in the stabilization of the tetrahedral transition state intermediate in the catalytic mechanism. The conservative substitution Asp49-Lys results in a decreased calcium affinity with a concomitant loss of catalytic activity, and naturally occurring PLA{sub 2} s-homologues showing the same substitution are catalytically inactive. However, the Lys PLA{sub 2} s possess cytolytic and myotoxic activities and furthermore retain the ability to disrupt the integrity of both plasma membranes and model lipid layers by a ca{sup 2+}-independent mechanism for which there is no evidence of lipid hydrolysis. Lys 49 PLA{sub 2} homologues have been isolated from several Bothrops spp. venoms including B. moojeni. Therefore, in order to improve our understanding of the molecular basis of the myotoxic and Ca{sup 2+} independent membrane damaging activities we have determined the crystal structure of MjTX-II, a Lys 49 homologue from the venom of B. moojeni. The model presented has been determined at 2.0 A resolution and refined to a crystallographic residual of 19.7% (R{sub f}ree=28.1%). (author)

  13. Naja haje haje (Egyptian cobra) venom. Some properties and the complete primary structure of three toxins (CM-2, CM-11 and CM-12).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joubert, F J; Taljaard, N

    1978-10-01

    Three toxins (CM-2, CM-11 and CM-12) were purified from Naja haje haje (Egyptian cobra) venom. Whereas toxin CM-11 contains 65 amino acid residues and five intrachain disulphide bridges, toxin CM-2 and CM-12 comprise, respectively, 61 and 62 residues but both contain four disulphide bridges. The complete primary structures of the three toxins have been established. The sequence and the invarient amino acid residues of CM-2 resemble those of part of a long neurotoxin, a short neurotoxin and a cytotoxin. The sequence of CM-11 reveals that it is a homologue of the neurotoxins and to some extent also a cytotoxin. The immunochemical properties and the sequences of CM-12 suggest that it is related to the cytotoxin group. Further, the sequences of CM-11 and CM-12 from Naja haje haje venom show a high degree of homology with those of the corresponding toxins isolated from NaJA annulifera or NaJA melanoleuca venoms.

  14. Snake venom metalloproteinases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markland, Francis S; Swenson, Stephen

    2013-02-01

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

  15. Walterinnesia aegyptia venom combined with silica nanoparticles enhances the functioning of normal lymphocytes through PI3K/AKT, NFκB and ERK signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badr, Gamal; Al-Sadoon, Mohamed K; El-Toni, Ahmed M; Daghestani, Maha

    2012-02-15

    The toxicity of snake venom varies over time in some species. The venom of newborn and small juvenile snakes appears to be more potent than adults of the same species, and a bite from a snake that has not fed recently, such as one that has just emerged from hibernation, is more dangerous than one that has recently fed due to the larger volume of venom injected. Therefore, the potency of a snake's venom is typically determined using the LD50 or IC50 tests. In the present study, we evaluated the anti-tumor potential of snake venom from Walterinnesia aegyptia (WEV) on the human breast carcinoma cell line MDA-MB-231, as well as its effect on the normal mice peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). This venom was used alone (WEV) or in combination with silica nanoparticles (WEV+NP). The IC50 values of WEV alone and WEV+NP in the MDA-MB-231 cells were determined to be 50 ng/ml and 20 ng/ml, respectively. Interestingly, at these concentrations, the venom did not affect the viability of normal human PBMCs. To investigate the in vivo effects of this venom further, three groups of mice were used (15 mice in each group): Group I was the control, Group II was subcutaneously injected with WEV, and Group III was injected with WEV+NP. Using flow cytometry and western blot analysis, we found that the blood lymphocytes of WEV-injected mice exhibited a significant increase in actin polymerization and cytoskeletal rearrangement in response to CXCL12 through the activation of AKT, NF-κB and ERK. These lymphocytes also showed a significant increase in their proliferative capacity in response to mitogen stimulation compared with those isolated from the control mice (P < 0.05). More importantly, in the WEV+NP-treated mice, the biological functions of normal lymphocytes were significantly (P < 0.05) enhanced in comparison with those of WEV-treated mice. Our data reveal the unique biological effects of WEV, and we demonstrated that its combination with nanoparticles strongly enhanced

  16. Molecular models of the Mojave rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus) venom metalloproteinases reveal a structural basis for differences in hemorrhagic activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dagda, Ruben K; Gasanov, Sardar E; Zhang, Boris; Welch, William; Rael, Eppie D

    2014-03-01

    Rattlesnake venom can differ in composition and in metalloproteinase-associated activities. The molecular basis for this intra-species variation in Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus (Mojave rattlesnake) remains an enigma. To understand the molecular basis for intra-species variation of metalloproteinase-associated activities, we modeled the three-dimensional structures of four metalloproteinases based on the amino acid sequence of four variations of the proteinase domain of the C. s. scutulatus metalloproteinase gene (GP1, GP2, GP3, and GP4). For comparative purposes, we modeled the atrolysin metalloproteinases of C. atrox as well. All molecular models shared the same topology. While the atrolysin metalloproteinase molecular models contained highly conserved substrate binding sites, the Mojave rattlesnake metalloproteinases showed higher structural divergence when superimposed onto each other. The highest structural divergence among the four C. s. scutulatus molecular models was located at the northern cleft wall and the S'1-pocket of the substrate binding site, molecular regions that modulate substrate selectivity. Molecular dynamics and field potential maps for each C. s. scutulatus metalloproteinase model demonstrated that the non-hemorrhagic metalloproteinases (GP2 and GP3) contain highly basic molecular and field potential surfaces while the hemorrhagic metalloproteinases GP1 and atrolysin C showed extensive acidic field potential maps and shallow but less dynamic active site pockets. Hence, differences in the spatial arrangement of the northern cleft wall, the S'1-pocket, and the physico-chemical environment surrounding the catalytic site contribute to differences in metalloproteinase activities in the Mojave rattlesnake. Our results provide a structural basis for variation of metalloproteinase-associated activities in the rattlesnake venom of the Mojave rattlesnake.

  17. Three-dimensional structure of a protein from scorpion venom: a new structural class of neurotoxins.

    OpenAIRE

    Fontecilla-Camps, J C; Almassy, R J; Suddath, F. L.; Watt, D D; Bugg, C E

    1980-01-01

    The three-dimensional crystal structure of variant-3 toxin from the scorpion Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing has been determined at 3 A resolution. Phases were obtained by use of K2PtCl4 and K2IrCl6 derivatives. The most prominent secondary structural features are two and a half turns of alpha-helix and a three-strand stretch of antiparallel beta-sheet, which runs parallel to the alpha-helix. The helix is connected to the middle strand of the beta-sheet by two disulfide bridges; a third disul...

  18. Chromosome structure and function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Risley, M.S.

    1986-01-01

    This book presents topics in chromosome structure and function. Topics covered include: the structure of interphase chromatin; chromatin structure, gene expression and differentiation; organization of mitotic chromosomes; organization of meiotic chromosomes and synaptonimal complexes; the lampbrush chromsome of animal oocytes; dosage compensation in mammals: x chromosome inactivation; and polytene chromosomes.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor Corasolla Carregari

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

    Inhibitor cysteine knot (ICK) peptides exhibit ion channel blocking, insecticidal, and antimicrobial activities, but currently, no functional roles for bee-derived ICK peptides have been identified. In this study, a bee (Apis cerana) ICK peptide (AcICK) that acts as an antifungal peptide and as an insecticidal venom toxin was identified. AcICK contains an ICK fold that is expressed in the epidermis, fat body, or venom gland and is present as a 6.6-kDa peptide in bee venom. Recombinant AcICK peptide (expressed in baculovirus-infected insect cells) bound directly to Beauveria bassiana and Fusarium graminearum, but not to Escherichia coli or Bacillus thuringiensis. Consistent with these findings, AcICK showed antifungal activity, indicating that AcICK acts as an antifungal peptide. Furthermore, AcICK expression is induced in the fat body and epidermis after injection with B. bassiana. These results provide insight into the role of AcICK during the innate immune response following fungal infection. Additionally, we show that AcICK has insecticidal activity. Our results demonstrate a functional role for AcICK in bees: AcICK acts as an antifungal peptide in innate immune reactions in the body and as an insecticidal toxin in venom. The finding that the AcICK peptide functions with different mechanisms of action in the body and in venom highlights the two-pronged strategy that is possible with the bee ICK peptide. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Pulsed ultrasound therapy accelerates the recovery of skeletal muscle damage induced by Bothrops jararacussu venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Saturnino-Oliveira

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available We studied the effect of pulsed ultrasound therapy (UST and antibothropic polyvalent antivenom (PAV on the regeneration of mouse extensor digitorum longus muscle following damage by Bothrops jararacussu venom. Animals (Swiss male and female mice weighing 25.0 ± 5.0 g; 5 animals per group received a perimuscular injection of venom (1 mg/kg and treatment with UST was started 1 h later (1 min/day, 3 MHz, 0.3 W/cm², pulsed mode. Three and 28 days after injection, muscles were dissected and processed for light microscopy. The venom caused complete degeneration of muscle fibers. UST alone and combined with PAV (1.0 mL/kg partially protected these fibers, whereas muscles receiving no treatment showed disorganized fascicules and fibers with reduced diameter. Treatment with UST and PAV decreased the effects of the venom on creatine kinase content and motor activity (approximately 75 and 48%, respectively. Sonication of the venom solution immediately before application decreased the in vivo and ex vivo myotoxic activities (approximately 60 and 50%, respectively. The present data show that UST counteracts some effects of B. jararacussu venom, causing structural and functional improvement of the regenerated muscle after venom injury.

  2. Three-dimensional structure of a protein from scorpion venom: a new structural class of neurotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontecilla-Camps, J C; Almassy, R J; Suddath, F L; Watt, D D; Bugg, C E

    1980-11-01

    The three-dimensional crystal structure of variant-3 toxin from the scorpion Centruroides sculpturatus Ewing has been determined at 3 A resolution. Phases were obtained by use of K2PtCl4 and K2IrCl6 derivatives. The most prominent secondary structural features are two and a half turns of alpha-helix and a three-strand stretch of antiparallel beta-sheet, which runs parallel to the alpha-helix. The helix is connected to the middle strand of the beta-sheet by two disulfide bridges; a third disulfide bridge is located nearby. Several loops extend out of this dense core of secondary structure. The largest loop is joined to the COOH terminus of the molecule by the fourth disulfide bridge. The overall shape of the molecule resembles a right-hand fist: the alpha-helix runs along the knuckles of the fist; the beta-sheet lies along the second and third joints of the fingers; the thumb is defined by two short loops that are composed of residues 16-21 and residues 41-46; the wrist corresponds to the COOH-terminal stretch of residues 52-65 and a loop composed of residues 5-14; and the second joint of the little finger is near the NH2 terminus of the molecule. The alpha-carbon backbone displays a large flat surface that lies along the second joints of the fingers and the heel of the hand in the fist model. Several of the conserved residues in the scorpion neurotoxins are clustered on this surface, which may play a role in interactions of scorpion toxins with sodium channels of excitable membranes.

  3. Solution structure of toxin b, a long neurotoxin from the venom of the king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, S S; Kumar, T K; Jayaraman, G; Chang, C C; Yu, C

    1997-03-21

    The solution structure of toxin b, a long neurotoxin (73 amino acids and 5 disulfides) from the venom of Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra), has been determined using 1H NMR and dynamical simulated annealing techniques. The structures were calculated using 485 distance constraints and 52 dihedral angle restraints. The 21 structures that were obtained satisfy the experimental restraints and possess good nonbonded contacts. Analysis of the converged structures revealed that the protein consists of a core region from which three finger-like loops extend outwards. The regular secondary structure in toxin b includes a double and a triple stranded antiparallel beta sheet. Comparison with the solution structures of other long neurotoxins reveals that although the structure of toxin b is similar to those of previously reported long neurotoxins, clear local structural differences are observed in regions proposed to be involved in binding to the acetylcholine receptor. A positively charged cluster is found in the C-terminal tail, in Loop III, and in the tip of Loop II. This cationic cluster could be crucial for the binding of the long neurotoxins to the acetylcholine receptor.

  4. cDNA cloning and primary structure of a white-face hornet venom allergen, antigen 5.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, K S; Vitale, M; Fehlner, P; King, T P

    1988-01-01

    A major allergen of white-face hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) venom is antigen 5 (also designated Dol m V). We have determined the primary structures of two forms of this protein by cDNA and protein sequencings. These two forms with 204 and 205 amino acid residues differ in 23% of their sequences but they are antigenically similar. Both forms have sequence similarity with a pathogenesis-related protein of tobacco leaf. In a 130-residue overlap of these proteins, 35-39 residues were identical. Hornet antigen 5 cDNAs were isolated from an expression library in lambda gt11 phage using antibody probes. Several of the cDNAs were not full length, but the fusion fragments expressed were immunoreactive. These results suggest that antigenic determinants of the sequential type are distributed throughout the entire molecule of antigen 5. After subcloning, antigen 5 was also expressed in pKK233-2 plasmid. Images PMID:3422469

  5. Combined venomics, antivenomics and venom gland transcriptome analysis of the monocoled cobra (Naja kaouthia) from China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Ning; Zhao, Hong-Yan; Yin, Yin; Shen, Shan-Shan; Shan, Lin-Lin; Chen, Chuan-Xi; Zhang, Yan-Xia; Gao, Jian-Fang; Ji, Xiang

    2017-04-21

    We conducted an omics-analysis of the venom of Naja kaouthia from China. Proteomics analysis revealed six protein families [three-finger toxins (3-FTx), phospholipase A2 (PLA2), nerve growth factor, snake venom metalloproteinase (SVMP), cysteine-rich secretory protein and ohanin], and venom-gland transcriptomics analysis revealed 28 protein families from 79 unigenes. 3-FTx (56.5% in proteome/82.0% in transcriptome) and PLA2 (26.9%/13.6%) were identified as the most abundant families in venom proteome and venom-gland transcriptome. Furthermore, N. kaouthia venom expressed strong lethality (i.p. LD50: 0.79μg/g) and myotoxicity (CK: 5939U/l) in mice, and showed notable activity in PLA2 but weak activity in SVMP, l-amino acid oxidase or 5' nucleotidase. Antivenomic assessment revealed that several venom components (nearly 17.5% of total venom) from N. kaouthia could not be thoroughly immunocaptured by commercial Naja atra antivenom. ELISA analysis revealed that there was no difference in the cross-reaction between N. kaouthia and N. atra venoms against the N. atra antivenom. The use of commercial N. atra antivenom in treatment of snakebites caused by N. kaouthia is reasonable, but design of novel antivenom with the attention on enhancing the immune response of non-immunocaptured components should be encouraged. The venomics, antivenomics and venom-gland transcriptome of the monocoled cobra (Naja kaouthia) from China have been elucidated. Quantitative and qualitative differences are evident when venom proteomic and venom-gland transcriptomic profiles are compared. Two protein families (3-FTx and PLA2) are found to be the predominated components in N. kaouthia venom, and considered as the major players in functional role of venom. Other protein families with relatively low abundance appear to be minor in the functional significance. Antivenomics and ELISA evaluation reveal that the N. kaouthia venom can be effectively immunorecognized by commercial N. atra antivenom

  6. Effects of Sweet Bee Venom on the Central Nervous System in Rats -using the Functional Observational Battery-

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joong Chul An

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: This study was performed to analyse the effects of Sweet Bee Venom(Sweet BV-pure melittin, the major component of honey bee venom on the central nervous system in rats. Methods: All experiments were conducted at Biotoxtech Company, a non-clinical studies authorized institution, under the regulations of Good Laboratory Practice (GLP. Male rats of 5 weeks old were chosen for this study and after confirming condition of rats was stable, Sweet BV was administered in thigh muscle of rats. And checked the effects of Sweet BV on the central nervous system using the functional observational battery (FOB, which is a neuro-toxicity screening assay composed of 30 descriptive, scalar, binary, and continuous endpoints. And home cage observations, home cage removal and handling, open field activity, sensorimotor reflex test/physiological measurements were conducted. Results: 1. In the home cage observation, there was not observed any abnormal signs in rats. 2. In the observation of open field activity, the reduction of number of unit areas crossed and rearing count was observed caused by Sweet BV treatment. 3. In the observation of handling reactivity, there was not observed any abnormal signs in rats. 4. In the observation of sensorimotor reflex tests/physiological measurements, there was not observed any neurotoxic signs in rats. 5. In the measurement of rectal temperature, treatment of Sweet BV did not showed great influences in the body temperature of rats. Conclusions: Above findings suggest that Sweet BV is relatively safe treatment in the central nervous system. But in the using of over dose, Sweet BV may the cause of local pain and disturbance of movement. Further studies on the subject should be conducted to yield more concrete evidences.

  7. The venom of the fishing spider Dolomedes sulfurous contains various neurotoxins acting on voltage-activated ion channels in rat dorsal root ganglion neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hengyun; Zhang, Fan; Li, Dan; Xu, Shiyan; He, Juan; Yu, Hai; Li, Jiayan; Liu, Zhonghua; Liang, Songping

    2013-04-01

    Dolomedes sulfurous is a venomous spider distributed in the south of China and characterized with feeding on fish. The venom exhibits great diversity and contains hundreds of peptides as revealed by off-line RP-HPLC/MALDI-TOF-MS analysis. The venom peptides followed a triple-modal distribution, with 40.7% of peptides falling in the mass range of 1000-3000 Da, 25.6% peptides in the 7000-9000 Da range and 23.5% peptides in the 3000-5000 Da range. This distribution modal is rather different from these of peptides from other spider venoms analyzed. The venom could inhibit voltage-activated Na(+), K(+) and Ca(2+) channels in rat DRG neurons as revealed by voltage-clamp analysis. Significantly, the venom exhibited inhibitory effects on TTX-R Na(+) and T-type Ca(2+) currents, suggesting that there exist both channel antagonists which might be valuable tools for investigation of both channels and drug development. Additionally, intrathoracically injection of venom could cause serve neurotoxic effects on zebrafish and death at higher concentrations. The LD50 value was calculated to be 28.8 μg/g body weight. Our results indicated that the venom of D. sulfurous contain diverse neurotoxins which serve to capture prey. Intensive studies will be necessary to investigate the structures and functions of specific peptides of the venom in the future. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Observable structure functions.

    OpenAIRE

    Montero, Javier

    1993-01-01

    Considers the concept of structure function in reliability theory. Complete lattices are considered in order to model the space of performance levels for both system and components, leading to a general concept of structure function. Measurability with respect to the associate order topology is also assumed. On one hand, some basic concepts in classical reliability theory are translated into this context, where a particular measure has been defined over the space of components. On the other h...

  9. Structure function monitor

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGraw, John T [Placitas, NM; Zimmer, Peter C [Albuquerque, NM; Ackermann, Mark R [Albuquerque, NM

    2012-01-24

    Methods and apparatus for a structure function monitor provide for generation of parameters characterizing a refractive medium. In an embodiment, a structure function monitor acquires images of a pupil plane and an image plane and, from these images, retrieves the phase over an aperture, unwraps the retrieved phase, and analyzes the unwrapped retrieved phase. In an embodiment, analysis yields atmospheric parameters measured at spatial scales from zero to the diameter of a telescope used to collect light from a source.

  10. Exon Shuffling and Origin of Scorpion Venom Biodiversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xueli Wang

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Scorpion venom is a complex combinatorial library of peptides and proteins with multiple biological functions. A combination of transcriptomic and proteomic techniques has revealed its enormous molecular diversity, as identified by the presence of a large number of ion channel-targeted neurotoxins with different folds, membrane-active antimicrobial peptides, proteases, and protease inhibitors. Although the biodiversity of scorpion venom has long been known, how it arises remains unsolved. In this work, we analyzed the exon-intron structures of an array of scorpion venom protein-encoding genes and unexpectedly found that nearly all of these genes possess a phase-1 intron (one intron located between the first and second nucleotides of a codon near the cleavage site of a signal sequence despite their mature peptides remarkably differ. This observation matches a theory of exon shuffling in the origin of new genes and suggests that recruitment of different folds into scorpion venom might be achieved via shuffling between body protein-coding genes and ancestral venom gland-specific genes that presumably contributed tissue-specific regulatory elements and secretory signal sequences.

  11. Chromatin Structure and Function

    CERN Document Server

    Wolffe, Alan P

    1999-01-01

    The Third Edition of Chromatin: Structure and Function brings the reader up-to-date with the remarkable progress in chromatin research over the past three years. It has been extensively rewritten to cover new material on chromatin remodeling, histone modification, nuclear compartmentalization, DNA methylation, and transcriptional co-activators and co-repressors. The book is written in a clear and concise fashion, with 60 new illustrations. Chromatin: Structure and Function provides the reader with a concise and coherent account of the nature, structure, and assembly of chromatin and its active

  12. Crystallographic characterization of functional sites of crotoxin and ammodytoxin, potent β-neurotoxins from Viperidae venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faure, Grazyna; Saul, Frederick

    2012-09-15

    This review will focus on a description of the three-dimensional structures of two β-neurotoxins, the monomeric PLA(2) ammodytoxin from Vipera ammodytes ammodytes, and heterodimeric crotoxin from Crotalus durissus terrificus, and a detailed structural analysis of their multiple functional sites. We have recently determined at high resolution the crystal structures of two natural isoforms of ammodytoxin (AtxA and AtxC) (Saul et al., 2010) which exhibit different toxicity profiles and different anticoagulant properties. Comparative structural analysis of these two PLA(2) isoforms, which differ only by two amino acid residues, allowed us to detect local conformational changes and delineate the role of critical residues in the anticoagulant and neurotoxic functions of these PLA(2) (Saul et al., 2010). We have also determined, at 1.35Å resolution, the crystal structure of heterodimeric crotoxin (Faure et al., 2011). The three-dimensional structure of crotoxin revealed details of the binding interface between its acidic (CA) and basic (CB) subunits and allowed us to identify key residues involved in the stability and toxicity of this potent heterodimeric β-neurotoxin (Faure et al., 2011). The precise spatial orientation of the three covalently linked polypeptide chains in the mature CA subunit complexed with CB helps us to understand the role played by critical residues of the CA subunit in the increased toxicity of the crotoxin complex. Since the CA subunit is a natural inhibitor of the catalytic and anticoagulant activities of CB, identification of the CA-CB binding interface describes residues involved in this inhibition. We propose future research directions based on knowledge of the recently reported 3D structures of crotoxin and ammodytoxin. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-08-24

    and the lack of this effect in M. altirostris venom. The anti-Micrurus (corallinus and frontalis) antivenom produced by Instituto Butantan quantitatively immunodepleted the minor toxins from M. altirostris and M. corallinus venoms but showed impaired crossreactivity towards their major 3FTx and PLA(2) molecules. The structural diversity of 3FTxs among Micrurus sp. may underlay the impaired cross-immunoreactivity of the Butantan antivenom towards M. altirostris and M. corallinus toxins, hampering the possibility to raise an antivenom against a simple venom mixture exhibiting paraspecific neutralization of other Micrurus venoms. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Animal venoms as antimicrobial agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perumal Samy, Ramar; Stiles, Bradley G; Franco, Octavio L; Sethi, Gautam; Lim, Lina H K

    2017-06-15

    Hospitals are breeding grounds for many life-threatening bacteria worldwide. Clinically associated gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus/methicillin-resistant S. aureus and many others increase the risk of severe mortality and morbidity. The failure of antibiotics to kill various pathogens due to bacterial resistance highlights the urgent need to develop novel, potent, and less toxic agents from natural sources against various infectious agents. Currently, several promising classes of natural molecules from snake (terrestrial and sea), scorpion, spider, honey bee and wasp venoms hold promise as rich sources of chemotherapeutics against infectious pathogens. Interestingly, snake venom-derived synthetic peptide/snake cathelicidin not only has potent antimicrobial and wound-repair activity but is highly stable and safe. Such molecules are promising candidates for novel venom-based drugs against S. aureus infections. The structure of animal venom proteins/peptides (cysteine rich) consists of hydrophobic α-helices or β-sheets that produce lethal pores and membrane-damaging effects on bacteria. All these antimicrobial peptides are under early experimental or pre-clinical stages of development. It is therefore important to employ novel tools for the design and the development of new antibiotics from the untapped animal venoms of snake, scorpion, and spider for treating resistant pathogens. To date, snail venom toxins have shown little antibiotic potency against human pathogens. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Coagulating Colubrids: Evolutionary, Pathophysiological and Biodiscovery Implications of Venom Variations between Boomslang (Dispholidus typus and Twig Snake (Thelotornis mossambicanus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordan Debono

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Venoms can deleteriously affect any physiological system reachable by the bloodstream, including directly interfering with the coagulation cascade. Such coagulopathic toxins may be anticoagulants or procoagulants. Snake venoms are unique in their use of procoagulant toxins for predatory purposes. The boomslang (Dispholidus typus and the twig snakes (Thelotornis species are iconic African snakes belonging to the family Colubridae. Both species produce strikingly similar lethal procoagulant pathologies. Despite these similarities, antivenom is only produced for treating bites by D. typus, and the mechanisms of action of both venoms have been understudied. In this study, we investigated the venom of D. typus and T. mossambicanus utilising a range of proteomic and bioactivity approaches, including determining the procoagulant properties of both venoms in relation to the human coagulation pathways. In doing so, we developed a novel procoagulant assay, utilising a Stago STA-R Max analyser, to accurately detect real time clotting in plasma at varying concentrations of venom. This approach was used to assess the clotting capabilities of the two venoms both with and without calcium and phospholipid co-factors. We found that T. mossambicanus produced a significantly stronger coagulation response compared to D. typus. Functional enzyme assays showed that T. mossambicanus also exhibited a higher metalloprotease and phospholipase activity but had a much lower serine protease activity relative to D. typus venom. The neutralising capability of the available boomslang antivenom was also investigated on both species, with it being 11.3 times more effective upon D. typus venom than T. mossambicanus. In addition to being a faster clotting venom, T. mossambicanus was revealed to be a much more complex venom composition than D. typus. This is consistent with patterns seen for other snakes with venom complexity linked to dietary complexity. Consistent with the

  16. Serine Protease Variants Encoded by Echis ocellatus Venom Gland cDNA: Cloning and Sequencing Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. S. Hasson

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Envenoming by Echis saw-scaled viper is the leading cause of death and morbidity in Africa due to snake bite. Despite its medical importance, there have been few investigations into the toxin composition of the venom of this viper. Here, we report the cloning of cDNA sequences encoding four groups or isoforms of the haemostasis-disruptive Serine protease proteins (SPs from the venom glands of Echis ocellatus. All these SP sequences encoded the cysteine residues scaffold that form the 6-disulphide bonds responsible for the characteristic tertiary structure of venom serine proteases. All the Echis ocellatus EoSP groups showed varying degrees of sequence similarity to published viper venom SPs. However, these groups also showed marked intercluster sequence conservation across them which were significantly different from that of previously published viper SPs. Because viper venom SPs exhibit a high degree of sequence similarity and yet exert profoundly different effects on the mammalian haemostatic system, no attempt was made to assign functionality to the new Echis ocellatus EoSPs on the basis of sequence alone. The extraordinary level of interspecific and intergeneric sequence conservation exhibited by the Echis ocellatus EoSPs and analogous serine proteases from other viper species leads us to speculate that antibodies to representative molecules should neutralise (that we will exploit, by epidermal DNA immunization the biological function of this important group of venom toxins in vipers that are distributed throughout Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent.

  17. DNA: Structure and function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sinden, Richard R.; E. Pearson, Christopher; N. Potaman, Vladimir

    1998-01-01

    This chapter discusses the structure and function of DNA. DNA occupies a critical role in cells, because it is the source of all intrinsic genetic information. Chemically, DNA is a very stable molecule, a characteristic important for a macromolecule that may have to persist in an intact form...... for a long period of time before its information is accessed by the cell. Although DNA plays a critical role as an informational storage molecule, it is by no means as unexciting as a computer tape or disk drive. The structure of the DNA described by Watson and Crick in 1953 is a right handed helix of two...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  19. Comparative study of structure and activity of cytotoxins from venom of the cobras Naja oxiana, Naja kaouthia, and Naja haje.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feofanov, A V; Sharonov, G V; Dubinnyi, M A; Astapova, M V; Kudelina, I A; Dubovskii, P V; Rodionov, D I; Utkin, Yu N; Arseniev, A S

    2004-10-01

    Cytotoxins are positively charged polypeptides that constitute about 60% of all proteins in cobra venom; they have a wide spectrum of biological activities. By CD spectroscopy, cytotoxins CT1 and CT2 Naja oxiana, CT3 Naja kaouthia, and CT1 and CT2 Naja haje were shown to have similar secondary structure in an aqueous environment, with dominating beta-sheet structure, and to vary in the twisting angle of the beta-sheet and the conformation of disulfide groups. Using dodecylphosphocholine micelles and liposomes, CT1 and CT2 Naja oxiana were shown to incorporate into lipid structures without changes in the secondary structure of the peptides. The binding of CT1 and CT2 Naja oxiana with liposomes was associated with an increase in the beta-sheet twisting and a sign change of the dihedral angle of one disulfide group. The cytotoxins were considerably different in cytotoxicity and cooperativity of the effect on human promyelocytic leukemia cells HL60, mouse myelomonocytic cells WEHI-3, and human erythroleukemic cells K562. The most toxic CT2 Naja oxiana and CT3 Naja kaouthia possessed low cooperativity of interaction (Hill coefficient h = 0.6-0.8), unlike 10-20-fold less toxic CT1 and CT2 Naja haje (h = 1.2-1.7). CT1 Naja oxiana has an intermediate position on the cytotoxicity scale and is characterized by h = 0.5-0.8. The cytotoxins under study induced necrosis of HL60 cells and failed to activate apoptosis. The differences in cytotoxicity are supposed to be related not with features of the secondary structure of the peptides, but with interactions of side chains of variable amino acid residues with lipids and/or membrane proteins.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex Chapeaurouge

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Anticoagulant Activity of Low-Molecular Weight Compounds from Heterometrus laoticus Scorpion Venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thien Vu Tran

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Scorpion venoms are complex polypeptide mixtures, the ion channel blockers and antimicrobial peptides being the best studied components. The coagulopathic properties of scorpion venoms are poorly studied and the data about substances exhibiting these properties are very limited. During research on the Heterometrus laoticus scorpion venom, we have isolated low-molecular compounds with anticoagulant activity. Determination of their structure has shown that one of them is adenosine, and two others are dipeptides LeuTrp and IleTrp. The anticoagulant properties of adenosine, an inhibitor of platelet aggregation, are well known, but its presence in scorpion venom is shown for the first time. The dipeptides did not influence the coagulation time in standard plasma coagulation tests. However, similarly to adenosine, both peptides strongly prolonged the bleeding time from mouse tail and in vitro clot formation in whole blood. The dipeptides inhibited the secondary phase in platelet aggregation induced by ADP, and IleTrp decreased an initial rate of platelet aggregation induced by collagen. This suggests that their anticoagulant effects may be realized through the deterioration of platelet function. The ability of short peptides from venom to slow down blood coagulation and their presence in scorpion venom are established for the first time. Further studies are needed to elucidate the precise molecular mechanism of dipeptide anticoagulant activity.

  3. Chironex fleckeri (Box Jellyfish) Venom Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinkman, Diane L.; Konstantakopoulos, Nicki; McInerney, Bernie V.; Mulvenna, Jason; Seymour, Jamie E.; Isbister, Geoffrey K.; Hodgson, Wayne C.

    2014-01-01

    The box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri produces extremely potent and rapid-acting venom that is harmful to humans and lethal to prey. Here, we describe the characterization of two C. fleckeri venom proteins, CfTX-A (∼40 kDa) and CfTX-B (∼42 kDa), which were isolated from C. fleckeri venom using size exclusion chromatography and cation exchange chromatography. Full-length cDNA sequences encoding CfTX-A and -B and a third putative toxin, CfTX-Bt, were subsequently retrieved from a C. fleckeri tentacle cDNA library. Bioinformatic analyses revealed that the new toxins belong to a small family of potent cnidarian pore-forming toxins that includes two other C. fleckeri toxins, CfTX-1 and CfTX-2. Phylogenetic inferences from amino acid sequences of the toxin family grouped CfTX-A, -B, and -Bt in a separate clade from CfTX-1 and -2, suggesting that the C. fleckeri toxins have diversified structurally and functionally during evolution. Comparative bioactivity assays revealed that CfTX-1/2 (25 μg kg−1) caused profound effects on the cardiovascular system of anesthetized rats, whereas CfTX-A/B elicited only minor effects at the same dose. Conversely, the hemolytic activity of CfTX-A/B (HU50 = 5 ng ml−1) was at least 30 times greater than that of CfTX-1/2. Structural homology between the cubozoan toxins and insecticidal three-domain Cry toxins (δ-endotoxins) suggests that the toxins have a similar pore-forming mechanism of action involving α-helices of the N-terminal domain, whereas structural diversification among toxin members may modulate target specificity. Expansion of the cnidarian toxin family therefore provides new insights into the evolutionary diversification of box jellyfish toxins from a structural and functional perspective. PMID:24403082

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-09-15

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

  5. Diagnosis of Hymenoptera venom allergy.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily S W Wong

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Md Abdul Hakim

    2015-11-01

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

  8. Molecular characterization and functional analysis of venom allergen-like protein genes in the potato cyst nematode, Globodera rostochiensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venom allergen-like proteins (VAPs) are members of the SCP/Tpx-1/Ag5/PR-1/Sc7 family of eukaryotic secreted proteins. We have identified a VAP gene (designated GrVAP-1) from the potato cyst nematode Globodera rostochiensis. The GrVAP-1 gene contains an open reading frame (660 bp) encoding a putative...

  9. Functional structure of stomodeum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chependyuk Т.А.

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: identification of the structure providing outflow of liquid from stomodeum in the process of formation. Material and Methods. 150 stomodea have been investigated for the ways of removal of liquid by the following methods: stage-by-stage freezing, contrasting and macerations. Result. One of the ways of removal of liquid from enamel of a being formed tooth is the crypt canal. Conclusion. Function of the channel of a crypt of developing teeth consists of removal of biological specific dental fluid from a surface of enamel of stomodeum in a mouth in the following options: on an oral surface of alveolar processes, near a periodontal fissure, or directly in a periodontium of a milk tooth — predecessor.

  10. DNA structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Travers, Andrew; Muskhelishvili, Georgi

    2015-06-01

    The proposal of a double-helical structure for DNA over 60 years ago provided an eminently satisfying explanation for the heritability of genetic information. But why is DNA, and not RNA, now the dominant biological information store? We argue that, in addition to its coding function, the ability of DNA, unlike RNA, to adopt a B-DNA structure confers advantages both for information accessibility and for packaging. The information encoded by DNA is both digital - the precise base specifying, for example, amino acid sequences - and analogue. The latter determines the sequence-dependent physicochemical properties of DNA, for example, its stiffness and susceptibility to strand separation. Most importantly, DNA chirality enables the formation of supercoiling under torsional stress. We review recent evidence suggesting that DNA supercoiling, particularly that generated by DNA translocases, is a major driver of gene regulation and patterns of chromosomal gene organization, and in its guise as a promoter of DNA packaging enables DNA to act as an energy store to facilitate the passage of translocating enzymes such as RNA polymerase. © 2015 FEBS.

  11. Expression of a new serine protease from Crotalus durissus collilineatus venom in Pichia pastoris and functional comparison with the native enzyme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boldrini-França, Johara; Santos Rodrigues, Renata; Santos-Silva, Ludier Kesser; de Souza, Dayane Lorena Naves; Gomes, Mário Sérgio Rocha; Cologna, Camila Takeno; de Pauw, Edwin; Quinton, Loïc; Henrique-Silva, Flávio; de Melo Rodrigues, Veridiana; Arantes, Eliane Candiani

    2015-12-01

    Snake venom serine proteases (SVSPs) act primarily on plasma proteins related to blood clotting and are considered promising for the treatment of several hemostatic disorders. We report the heterologous expression of a serine protease from Crotalus durissus collilineatus, named collinein-1, in Pichia pastoris, as well as the enzymatic comparative characterization of the toxin in native and recombinant forms. The complementary DNA (cDNA) encoding collinein-1 was amplified from cDNA library of C. d. collilineatus venom gland and cloned into the pPICZαA vector. The recombinant plasmid was used to transform cells of KM71H P. pastoris. Heterologous expression was induced by methanol and yielded 56 mg of recombinant collinein-1 (rCollinein-1) per liter of culture. The native collinein-1 was purified from C. d. collilineatus venom, and its identity was confirmed by amino acid sequencing. The native and recombinant enzymes showed similar effects upon bovine fibrinogen by releasing preferentially fibrinopeptide A. Although both enzymes have induced plasma coagulation, native Colinein-1 has shown higher coagulant activity. The serine proteases were able to hydrolyze the chromogenic substrates S-2222, S-2238, and S2302. Both enzymes showed high stability on different pH and temperature, and their esterase activities were inhibited in the presence of Zn2+ and Cu2+. The serine proteases showed similar k cat/K m values in enzyme kinetics assays, suggesting no significant differences in efficiency of these proteins to hydrolyze the substrate. These results demonstrated that rCollinein-1 was expressed with functional integrity on the evaluated parameters. The success in producing a functionally active recombinant SVSP may generate perspectives to their future therapeutic applications.

  12. Molecular Characterization of Three Novel Phospholipase A₂ Proteins from the Venom of Atheris chlorechis, Atheris nitschei and Atheris squamigera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, He; Chen, Xiaole; Zhou, Mei; Wang, Lei; Chen, Tianbao; Shaw, Chris

    2016-06-01

    Secretory phospholipase A₂ (sPLA₂) is known as a major component of snake venoms and displays higher-order catalytic hydrolysis functions as well as a wide range of pathological effects. Atheris is not a notoriously dangerous genus of snakes although there are some reports of fatal cases after envenomation due to the effects of coagulation disturbances and hemorrhaging. Molecular characterization of Atheris venom enzymes is incomplete and there are only a few reports in the literature. Here, we report, for the first time, the cloning and characterization of three novel cDNAs encoding phospholipase A₂ precursors (one each) from the venoms of the Western bush viper (Atheris chlorechis), the Great Lakes bush viper (Atheris nitschei) and the Variable bush viper (Atheris squamigera), using a "shotgun cloning" strategy. Open-reading frames of respective cloned cDNAs contained putative 16 residue signal peptides and mature proteins composed of 121 to 123 amino acid residues. Alignment of mature protein sequences revealed high degrees of structural conservation and identity with Group II venom PLA₂ proteins from other taxa within the Viperidae. Reverse-phase High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) profiles of these three snake venoms were obtained separately and chromatographic fractions were assessed for phospholipase activity using an egg yolk suspension assay. The molecular masses of mature proteins were all identified as approximately 14 kDa. Mass spectrometric analyses of the fractionated oligopeptides arising from tryptic digestion of intact venom proteins, was performed for further structural characterization.

  13. Identification of unusual peptides with new Cys frameworks in the venom of the cold-water sea anemone Cnidopus japonicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babenko, Vladislav V; Mikov, Alexander N; Manuvera, Valentin A; Anikanov, Nickolay A; Kovalchuk, Sergey I; Andreev, Yaroslav A; Logashina, Yulia A; Kornilov, Daniil A; Manolov, Alexander I; Sanamyan, Nadya P; Sanamyan, Karen E; Kostryukova, Elena S; Kozlov, Sergey A; Grishin, Eugene V; Govorun, Vadim M; Lazarev, Vassili N

    2017-11-06

    Sea anemones (Actiniaria) are intensely popular objects of study in venomics. Order Actiniaria includes more than 1,000 species, thus presenting almost unlimited opportunities for the discovery of novel biologically active molecules. The venoms of cold-water sea anemones are studied far less than the venoms of tropical sea anemones. In this work, we analysed the molecular venom composition of the cold-water sea anemone Cnidopus japonicus. Two sets of NGS data from two species revealed molecules belonging to a variety of structural classes, including neurotoxins, toxin-like molecules, linear polypeptides (Cys-free), enzymes, and cytolytics. High-throughput proteomic analyses identified 27 compounds that were present in the venoms. Some of the toxin-like polypeptides exhibited novel Cys frameworks. To characterise their function in the venom, we heterologously expressed 3 polypeptides with unusual Cys frameworks (designated CjTL7, CjTL8, and AnmTx Cj 1c-1) in E. coli. Toxicity tests revealed that the CjTL8 polypeptide displays strong crustacean-specific toxicity, while AnmTx Cj 1c-1 is toxic to both crustaceans and insects. Thus, an improved NGS data analysis algorithm assisted in the identification of toxins with unusual Cys frameworks showing no homology according to BLAST. Our study shows the advantage of combining omics analysis with functional tests for active polypeptide discovery.

  14. Structural aspects of crotalic venom proteins modified by ionizing radiation; Aspectos estruturais de proteinas do veneno crotalico modificadas por radiacao ionizante

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oliveira, Karina Corleto de

    2010-07-01

    Snake bites are a serious public health problem, especially in subtropical countries. In Brazil, the Ministry of Health notified around 26 000 accidents in 2008. The genus Crotalus (rattlesnakes) accounts for approximately 7% of the total, with a high mortality rate of 72% when untreated with the specific serum, the only effective treatment in case of snake bites. In Brazil, the serum is produced in horses which, despite the large size, have a reduced lifespan due to the high toxicity of the antigen. Ionizing radiation has proven to be an excellent tool for reducing the toxicity of venoms and isolated toxins, resulting in better immunogens for serum production, and contributing to the welfare of serum producing animals. Since the action of gamma radiation on venoms and toxins has not been yet fully clarified from the structural point of view, we proposed in this paper, to characterize two toxins of the species Crotalus durissus terrificus: crotoxin and crotamine. After isolation of the toxins of interest by chromatographic techniques, they were subjected to structural analysis with the application of the following methods: Fluorescence, Circular Dichroism, Differential Calorimetry and Infrared Spectroscopy. These tests showed that both crotamine as crotoxin when subjected to gamma radiation, showed changes in their structural conformation compared with the samples in the native state. Such changes probably occur in the secondary and tertiary structure and may explain the changes on the biological activity of these toxins. (author)

  15. Structures of Azemiops feae venom phospholipases and cys-rich-secretory protein and implications for taxonomy and toxinology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Inn-Ho; Wang, Ying-Ming; Huang, Kai-Fa

    2016-05-01

    The Azemiops snakes are pit-less and phylogenetically located at the Crotalinae and Viperinae divergence. cDNAs encoding five Azemiops venom phospholipase (sPLA2) molecules were cloned and sequenced; their signal-peptides were similar to those of crotalid sPLA2s. Based on their calculated pI-values and residue-49 substitutions, they were designated as Af-E6, Af-N49a, Af-N49a1, Af-N49a2, and Af-N49b, respectively. The first three isoforms, comprising 3-4% of the venom proteins, were purified by reversed-phase HPLC. Af-E6 is catalytically active and has >80% sequence-similarity to other Glu(6)-PLA2 (a pitviper venom-marker). Results of phylogenetic analyses reveal that acidic Af-N49a and Af-N49a1 are rather unique and loosely linked with crotalid PLA2s, while Af-N49b is related to the viperid PLA2s with Ser(1) substitution. Notably, the Asn(49)-substitutions in these molecules imply catalytic-independent mechanisms. The 3D-models of Af-E6 and Af-N49a have surface electropotential maps similar to each other and to those of antiplatelet PLA2s, while the Af-N49b model is similar to basic and myotoxic sPLA2 molecules. From Azemiops feae and four other Viperidae, we cloned five novel Cys-rich secretory proteins (CRISPs). Azemiops CRISP and natriuretic-peptide precursors share more sequence similarities with those of crotalid venoms than with viperid venoms, further supporting the theory that Azemiops are sister taxons to pit vipers, especially Tropedolaemus. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. House spider genome uncovers evolutionary shifts in the diversity and expression of black widow venom proteins associated with extreme toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gendreau, Kerry L; Haney, Robert A; Schwager, Evelyn E; Wierschin, Torsten; Stanke, Mario; Richards, Stephen; Garb, Jessica E

    2017-02-16

    Black widow spiders are infamous for their neurotoxic venom, which can cause extreme and long-lasting pain. This unusual venom is dominated by latrotoxins and latrodectins, two protein families virtually unknown outside of the black widow genus Latrodectus, that are difficult to study given the paucity of spider genomes. Using tissue-, sex- and stage-specific expression data, we analyzed the recently sequenced genome of the house spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum), a close relative of black widows, to investigate latrotoxin and latrodectin diversity, expression and evolution. We discovered at least 47 latrotoxin genes in the house spider genome, many of which are tandem-arrayed. Latrotoxins vary extensively in predicted structural domains and expression, implying their significant functional diversification. Phylogenetic analyses show latrotoxins have substantially duplicated after the Latrodectus/Parasteatoda split and that they are also related to proteins found in endosymbiotic bacteria. Latrodectin genes are less numerous than latrotoxins, but analyses show their recruitment for venom function from neuropeptide hormone genes following duplication, inversion and domain truncation. While latrodectins and other peptides are highly expressed in house spider and black widow venom glands, latrotoxins account for a far smaller percentage of house spider venom gland expression. The house spider genome sequence provides novel insights into the evolution of venom toxins once considered unique to black widows. Our results greatly expand the size of the latrotoxin gene family, reinforce its narrow phylogenetic distribution, and provide additional evidence for the lateral transfer of latrotoxins between spiders and bacterial endosymbionts. Moreover, we strengthen the evidence for the evolution of latrodectin venom genes from the ecdysozoan Ion Transport Peptide (ITP)/Crustacean Hyperglycemic Hormone (CHH) neuropeptide superfamily. The lower expression of latrotoxins in

  17. Alexander Mikhailovich Zakharov and his works on the venom apparatus and venoms of some poisonous snakes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cherlin Vladimir Alexandrovich

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The article gives brief biographical information about a very talented herpetologist Alexander M. Zakharov, and describes the general results of his works on the structure and function of venom glands of some poisonous snakes and their venoms. In his studies, he got the results, which are fundamentally different from the conventional concept of 30s - 70s of the XX century. Unfortunately, among physicians this concept has not changed up today. At that time it was thought that the poisons of Viperidae snakes are almost completely hemotoxic, and poisons of Elapidae (cobra are almost neurotoxic. But A.M.Zaharov found out, that poisons of both types of snakes (Viperidae and Elapidae include three groups of substances: hemotoxins, neurotoxins and non-toxic component – hyaluronidase. Each of these groups of substances is produced by independent part of venom glands and has its own special effect. Neurotoxins act on the central nervous system (mainly the respiratory center, but are greatly destroyed by means of the blood antigen properties and cannot pass through the hematoencephalic barrier. Hyaluronidase , connecting with neurotoxins, has an important property – to "smuggle" neurotoxins through the hematoencephalic barrier exactly into the target organ – the respiratory center in the central nervous system. In this case, neurotoxin enters the respiratory center not through the blood and lymph vessels, but directly through the nerve channel, through synapsis. The main function of hemotoxins is not to kill the victim, but to protect neurotoxins and hyaluronidase from the destructive activity of the victim's blood. Therefore, the target of the poisons of Viperidae and Elapidae snakes is the central nervous system of victims, but Elapidae has almost no hemotoxins. That’s why their striking effect can be achieved only by a strong increase in the amount of neurotoxins and hyaluronidase. Hemotoxins of Viperidae venoms permits to reduce the amount of

  18. Examination of biochemical and biological activities of Bothrops jararaca (Serpentes: Viperidae; Wied-Neuwied 1824) snake venom after up to 54 years of storage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatakeyama, Daniela M; de Morais-Zani, Karen; Serino-Silva, Caroline; Grego, Kathleen F; Sant'Anna, Savio S; Fernandes, Wilson; Aniz, Patrícia A E A; Torquato, Ricardo J S; Tanaka, Aparecida S; Sanz, Libia; Calvete, Juan J; Tanaka-Azevedo, Anita M

    2018-01-01

    The number of snakes donated to the Brazilian Instituto Butantan has been decreasing in the past 10 years. This circumstance motivated us to compare the properties of five venom pools of Bothrops jararaca snake stored for up to 54 years. Results showed differences among venom pools regarding enzymatic and other biological activities, such as caseinolytic, phospholipase A2, hemorrhagic and coagulant activities, as well as antigenicity. Protein content, reverse-phase chromatographic profile, and immunorecognition by commercial Bothrops antivenom were comparable for all venom pools, although lethality of the most recent preparations was higher. Since the lowest functional activities did not always correspond to older venoms, differences among venom pools used for antivenom production during the period 1963-2008 may correlate with the different proportions of venoms from different localities used in their generation, rather than to long-term storage. We conclude that B. jararaca venoms properly stored for long periods of time retain their structural and pharmacological activities, thus representing useful materials for scientific research and antivenom production. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Blocking effect and crystal structure of natrin toxin, a cysteine-rich secretory protein from Naja atra venom that targets the BKCa channel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jing; Shen, Bing; Guo, Min; Lou, Xiaohua; Duan, Yuanyuan; Cheng, Xin Ping; Teng, Maikun; Niu, Liwen; Liu, Qun; Huang, Qingqiu; Hao, Quan

    2005-08-02

    Cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISPs) are widespread in snake venoms. Some members of these CRISPs recently have been found to block L-type Ca(2+) channels or cyclic nucleotide-gated ion (CNG) channels. Here, natrin purified from Naja atra venom, a member of the CRISP family, can induce a further contractile response in the endothelium-denuded thoracic aorta of mouse which has been contracted by a high-K(+) solution. Further experiments show it can block the high-conductance calcium-activated potassium (BK(Ca)) channel in a concentration-dependent manner with an IC(50) of 34.4 nM and a Hill coefficient of 1.02, which suggests that only a single natrin molecule is required to bind an ion channel to block BK(Ca) current. The crystal structure of natrin displaying two domains in tandem shows its cysteine-rich domain (CRD) has relatively independent flexibility, especially for the C-terminal long loop (loop I) of CRD to participate in the interface of two domains. On the basis of previous studies of CNG channel and L-Ca(2+) channel blockers, and the sequence and structural comparison of natrin and stecrisp, the deviation of the vital loop I of CRD is suggested to contribute to different effects of some CRISPs in protein-protein interaction.

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, Vincent J

    2007-01-18

    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. 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. 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.

  2. Purification, some properties and the primary structures of three reduced and S-carboxymethylated toxins (CM-5, CM-6 and CM-10a) from Naje haje haje (Egyptian cobra) venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joubert, F; Taljaard, N

    1978-11-20

    Three reduced and S-carboxymethylated toxins (CM-5, CM-6 and CM-10a) were purified from Naja haje haje (Egyptian cobra) venom. Whereas toxin CM-5 comprises 71 amino acid residues and five intrachain disulphide bridges, toxins CM-6 and CM-10a contain each 61 residues and four disulphide bridges. The complete primary structures of the three toxins have been established. The toxicity, the immunochemical properties, the sequence and the invariant amino acid residues of toxin CM-5 resemble the properties of the long neurotoxin group, while those of toxin CM-6 and CM-10a are related to the short neurotoxin group. Further, the sequences of the three toxins from Naja haje haje venom reveal a high degree of homology with those of the corresponding neurotoxins isolated from Naja haje annulifera or Naja nivea venoms.

  3. The structure of functions

    CERN Document Server

    Triebel, Hans

    2012-01-01

    This book deals with the constructive Weierstrassian approach to the theory of function spaces and various applications. The first chapter is devoted to a detailed study of quarkonial (subatomic) decompositions of functions and distributions on euclidean spaces, domains, manifolds and fractals. This approach combines the advantages of atomic and wavelet representations. It paves the way to sharp inequalities and embeddings in function spaces, spectral theory of fractal elliptic operators, and a regularity theory of some semi-linear equations. The book is self-contained, although some parts may

  4. Are ticks venomous animals?

    OpenAIRE

    Cabezas-Cruz, Alejandro; Valdés, James J

    2014-01-01

    [Introduction]: As an ecological adaptation venoms have evolved independently in several species of Metazoa. As haematophagous arthropods ticks are mainly considered as ectoparasites due to directly feeding on the skin of animal hosts. Ticks are of major importance since they serve as vectors for several diseases affecting humans and livestock animals. Ticks are rarely considered as venomous animals despite that tick saliva contains several protein families present in venomous taxa and that m...

  5. Structural and biophysical studies with the MjTX-I, a Lys49-phospholipase A{sub 2} homologue from Bothrops moojeni venom

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Salvador, G.H.M.; Fernandes, C.A.H.; Fernandez, R.M.; Fontes, M.R.M. [UNESP, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Botucatu, SP (Brazil); Marchi-Salvador, D.P. [Universidade Federal da Paraiba (UFPB), Joao Pessoa, PB (Brazil); Soares, A.M. [Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP-RP), Ribeirao Preto, SP (Brazil); Oliveira, C.L.P [Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP), SP (Brazil)

    2012-07-01

    Full text: Phospholipases A{sub 2} (PLA{sub 2}) are small proteins found in a great diversity of organisms and belong to a superfamily of proteins involved in many important pharmacological processes, such as neurotoxicity, myotoxicity, platelet aggregation, and anticoagulant activity. Ophidic accidents caused by snakes from Bothrops genus are not efficiently neutralized by conventional serum therapy, and then detailed studies with this class of proteins may be very important to supplement this conventional therapy. Miotoxin-I (MjTX-I) is a basic Lys49-PLA{sub 2}, isolated from Bothrops moojeni snake venom, which induces a drastic local myonecrosis. Crystal structure of MjTX-I shows four molecules in the asymmetric unit, an unusually oligomeric conformation for snake venom Lys49-PLA{sub 2}s. However, bioinformatics techniques indicate a dimer as the biological oligomeric conformation. To get additional information of its biological conformation, we also performed Dynamic Light Scattering, Size Exclusion Chromatography and Small Angle X-ray Scattering experiments. These techniques showed a monomer as the most probable biological conformation in water; however small changes in pH and ionic strength result in different oligomeric assemblies. These novel information for Lys49-PLA{sub 2}s may result in important conclusions for this intriguing class of toxins. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-07

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

  7. Isolation, N-glycosylations and Function of a Hyaluronidase-Like Enzyme from the Venom of the Spider Cupiennius salei.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier Biner

    Full Text Available Hyaluronidases are important venom components acting as spreading factor of toxic compounds. In several studies this spreading effect was tested on vertebrate tissue. However, data about the spreading activity on invertebrates, the main prey organisms of spiders, are lacking. Here, a hyaluronidase-like enzyme was isolated from the venom of the spider Cupiennius salei. The amino acid sequence of the enzyme was determined by cDNA analysis of the venom gland transcriptome and confirmed by protein analysis. Two complex N-linked glycans akin to honey bee hyaluronidase glycosylations, were identified by tandem mass spectrometry. A C-terminal EGF-like domain was identified in spider hyaluronidase using InterPro. The spider hyaluronidase-like enzyme showed maximal activity at acidic pH, between 40-60°C, and 0.2 M KCl. Divalent ions did not enhance HA degradation activity, indicating that they are not recruited for catalysis.Besides hyaluronan, the enzyme degrades chondroitin sulfate A, whereas heparan sulfate and dermatan sulfate are not affected. The end products of hyaluronan degradation are tetramers, whereas chondroitin sulfate A is mainly degraded to hexamers. Identification of terminal N-acetylglucosamine or N-acetylgalactosamine at the reducing end of the oligomers identified the enzyme as an endo-β-N-acetyl-D-hexosaminidase hydrolase. The spreading effect of the hyaluronidase-like enzyme on invertebrate tissue was studied by coinjection of the enzyme with the Cupiennius salei main neurotoxin CsTx-1 into Drosophila flies. The enzyme significantly enhances the neurotoxic activity of CsTx-1. Comparative substrate degradation tests with hyaluronan, chondroitin sulfate A, dermatan sulfate, and heparan sulfate with venoms from 39 spider species from 21 families identified some spider families (Atypidae, Eresidae, Araneidae and Nephilidae without activity of hyaluronidase-like enzymes. This is interpreted as a loss of this enzyme and fits quite well

  8. Isolation, N-glycosylations and Function of a Hyaluronidase-Like Enzyme from the Venom of the Spider Cupiennius salei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biner, Olivier; Trachsel, Christian; Moser, Aline; Kopp, Lukas; Langenegger, Nicolas; Kämpfer, Urs; von Ballmoos, Christoph; Nentwig, Wolfgang; Schürch, Stefan; Schaller, Johann; Kuhn-Nentwig, Lucia

    2015-01-01

    Hyaluronidases are important venom components acting as spreading factor of toxic compounds. In several studies this spreading effect was tested on vertebrate tissue. However, data about the spreading activity on invertebrates, the main prey organisms of spiders, are lacking. Here, a hyaluronidase-like enzyme was isolated from the venom of the spider Cupiennius salei. The amino acid sequence of the enzyme was determined by cDNA analysis of the venom gland transcriptome and confirmed by protein analysis. Two complex N-linked glycans akin to honey bee hyaluronidase glycosylations, were identified by tandem mass spectrometry. A C-terminal EGF-like domain was identified in spider hyaluronidase using InterPro. The spider hyaluronidase-like enzyme showed maximal activity at acidic pH, between 40-60°C, and 0.2 M KCl. Divalent ions did not enhance HA degradation activity, indicating that they are not recruited for catalysis. Besides hyaluronan, the enzyme degrades chondroitin sulfate A, whereas heparan sulfate and dermatan sulfate are not affected. The end products of hyaluronan degradation are tetramers, whereas chondroitin sulfate A is mainly degraded to hexamers. Identification of terminal N-acetylglucosamine or N-acetylgalactosamine at the reducing end of the oligomers identified the enzyme as an endo-β-N-acetyl-D-hexosaminidase hydrolase. The spreading effect of the hyaluronidase-like enzyme on invertebrate tissue was studied by coinjection of the enzyme with the Cupiennius salei main neurotoxin CsTx-1 into Drosophila flies. The enzyme significantly enhances the neurotoxic activity of CsTx-1. Comparative substrate degradation tests with hyaluronan, chondroitin sulfate A, dermatan sulfate, and heparan sulfate with venoms from 39 spider species from 21 families identified some spider families (Atypidae, Eresidae, Araneidae and Nephilidae) without activity of hyaluronidase-like enzymes. This is interpreted as a loss of this enzyme and fits quite well the current

  9. Polarized structure functions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulders, P.J.G.

    2005-01-01

    We discuss the spin structure of quarks in hadrons, in particular the transverse spin polarization or transversity. The most direct way to probe transversity appears to be via azimuthal spin asymmetries. This brings in the role of intrinsic transverse momenta of quarks in hadrons and the study of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-04-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Vonk, F.J.; Casewell, N. R.; Henkel, C.V.; Heimberg, A. M.; Jansen, H.J.; McCleary, R.J.R.; Kerkkamp, H. M. E.; Vos, R. A.; Guerreiro, I.; Calvete, J. J.; Wüster, W; Woods, A E; Logan, J. M.; Harrison, R. A.; Castoe, T. A.

    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 ...

  12. AaeAP1 and AaeAP2: Novel Antimicrobial Peptides from the Venom of the Scorpion, Androctonus aeneas: Structural Characterisation, Molecular Cloning of Biosynthetic Precursor-Encoding cDNAs and Engineering of Analogues with Enhanced Antimicrobial and Anticancer Activities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiang Du

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The main functions of the abundant polypeptide toxins present in scorpion venoms are the debilitation of arthropod prey or defence against predators. These effects are achieved mainly through the blocking of an array of ion channel types within the membranes of excitable cells. However, while these ion channel-blocking toxins are tightly-folded by multiple disulphide bridges between cysteine residues, there are additional groups of peptides in the venoms that are devoid of cysteine residues. These non-disulphide bridged peptides are the subject of much research interest, and among these are peptides that exhibit antimicrobial activity. Here, we describe two novel non-disulphide-bridged antimicrobial peptides that are present in the venom of the North African scorpion, Androctonus aeneas. The cDNAs encoding the biosynthetic precursors of both peptides were cloned from a venom-derived cDNA library using 3'- and 5'-RACE strategies. Both translated precursors contained open-reading frames of 74 amino acid residues, each encoding one copy of a putative novel nonadecapeptide, whose primary structures were FLFSLIPSVIAGLVSAIRN and FLFSLIPSAIAGLVSAIRN, respectively. Both peptides were C-terminally amidated. Synthetic versions of each natural peptide displayed broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities, but were devoid of antiproliferative activity against human cancer cell lines. However, synthetic analogues of each peptide, engineered for enhanced cationicity and amphipathicity, exhibited increases in antimicrobial potency and acquired antiproliferative activity against a range of human cancer cell lines. These data clearly illustrate the potential that natural peptide templates provide towards the design of synthetic analogues for therapeutic exploitation.

  13. AaeAP1 and AaeAP2: novel antimicrobial peptides from the venom of the scorpion, Androctonus aeneas: structural characterisation, molecular cloning of biosynthetic precursor-encoding cDNAs and engineering of analogues with enhanced antimicrobial and anticancer activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Qiang; Hou, Xiaojuan; Wang, Lei; Zhang, Yingqi; Xi, Xinping; Wang, Hui; Zhou, Mei; Duan, Jinao; Wei, Minjie; Chen, Tianbao; Shaw, Chris

    2015-01-23

    The main functions of the abundant polypeptide toxins present in scorpion venoms are the debilitation of arthropod prey or defence against predators. These effects are achieved mainly through the blocking of an array of ion channel types within the membranes of excitable cells. However, while these ion channel-blocking toxins are tightly-folded by multiple disulphide bridges between cysteine residues, there are additional groups of peptides in the venoms that are devoid of cysteine residues. These non-disulphide bridged peptides are the subject of much research interest, and among these are peptides that exhibit antimicrobial activity. Here, we describe two novel non-disulphide-bridged antimicrobial peptides that are present in the venom of the North African scorpion, Androctonus aeneas. The cDNAs encoding the biosynthetic precursors of both peptides were cloned from a venom-derived cDNA library using 3'- and 5'-RACE strategies. Both translated precursors contained open-reading frames of 74 amino acid residues, each encoding one copy of a putative novel nonadecapeptide, whose primary structures were FLFSLIPSVIAGLVSAIRN and FLFSLIPSAIAGLVSAIRN, respectively. Both peptides were C-terminally amidated. Synthetic versions of each natural peptide displayed broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities, but were devoid of antiproliferative activity against human cancer cell lines. However, synthetic analogues of each peptide, engineered for enhanced cationicity and amphipathicity, exhibited increases in antimicrobial potency and acquired antiproliferative activity against a range of human cancer cell lines. These data clearly illustrate the potential that natural peptide templates provide towards the design of synthetic analogues for therapeutic exploitation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Diversity of peptide toxins from stinging ant venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-15

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

  16. Coralsnake Venomics: Analyses of Venom Gland Transcriptomes and Proteomes of Six Brazilian Taxa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aird, Steven D.; da Silva, Nelson Jorge; Qiu, Lijun; Villar-Briones, Alejandro; Saddi, Vera Aparecida; Pires de Campos Telles, Mariana; Grau, Miguel L.; Mikheyev, Alexander S.

    2017-01-01

    Venom gland transcriptomes and proteomes of six Micrurus taxa (M. corallinus, M. lemniscatus carvalhoi, M. lemniscatus lemniscatus, M. paraensis, M. spixii spixii, and M. surinamensis) were investigated, providing the most comprehensive, quantitative data on Micrurus venom composition to date, and more than tripling the number of Micrurus venom protein sequences previously available. The six venomes differ dramatically. All are dominated by 2–6 toxin classes that account for 91–99% of the toxin transcripts. The M. s. spixii venome is compositionally the simplest. In it, three-finger toxins (3FTxs) and phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) comprise >99% of the toxin transcripts, which include only four additional toxin families at levels ≥0.1%. Micrurus l. lemniscatus venom is the most complex, with at least 17 toxin families. However, in each venome, multiple structural subclasses of 3FTXs and PLA2s are present. These almost certainly differ in pharmacology as well. All venoms also contain phospholipase B and vascular endothelial growth factors. Minor components (0.1–2.0%) are found in all venoms except that of M. s. spixii. Other toxin families are present in all six venoms at trace levels (venom components differ in each venom. Numerous novel toxin chemistries include 3FTxs with previously unknown 8- and 10-cysteine arrangements, resulting in new 3D structures and target specificities. 9-cysteine toxins raise the possibility of covalent, homodimeric 3FTxs or heterodimeric toxins with unknown pharmacologies. Probable muscarinic sequences may be reptile-specific homologs that promote hypotension via vascular mAChRs. The first complete sequences are presented for 3FTxs putatively responsible for liberating glutamate from rat brain synaptosomes. Micrurus C-type lectin-like proteins may have 6–9 cysteine residues and may be monomers, or homo- or heterodimers of unknown pharmacology. Novel KSPIs, 3× longer than any seen previously, appear to have arisen in three species

  17. Coralsnake Venomics: Analyses of Venom Gland Transcriptomes and Proteomes of Six Brazilian Taxa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven D. Aird

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Venom gland transcriptomes and proteomes of six Micrurus taxa (M. corallinus, M. lemniscatus carvalhoi, M. lemniscatus lemniscatus, M. paraensis, M. spixii spixii, and M. surinamensis were investigated, providing the most comprehensive, quantitative data on Micrurus venom composition to date, and more than tripling the number of Micrurus venom protein sequences previously available. The six venomes differ dramatically. All are dominated by 2–6 toxin classes that account for 91–99% of the toxin transcripts. The M. s. spixii venome is compositionally the simplest. In it, three-finger toxins (3FTxs and phospholipases A2 (PLA2s comprise >99% of the toxin transcripts, which include only four additional toxin families at levels ≥0.1%. Micrurus l. lemniscatus venom is the most complex, with at least 17 toxin families. However, in each venome, multiple structural subclasses of 3FTXs and PLA2s are present. These almost certainly differ in pharmacology as well. All venoms also contain phospholipase B and vascular endothelial growth factors. Minor components (0.1–2.0% are found in all venoms except that of M. s. spixii. Other toxin families are present in all six venoms at trace levels (<0.005%. Minor and trace venom components differ in each venom. Numerous novel toxin chemistries include 3FTxs with previously unknown 8- and 10-cysteine arrangements, resulting in new 3D structures and target specificities. 9-cysteine toxins raise the possibility of covalent, homodimeric 3FTxs or heterodimeric toxins with unknown pharmacologies. Probable muscarinic sequences may be reptile-specific homologs that promote hypotension via vascular mAChRs. The first complete sequences are presented for 3FTxs putatively responsible for liberating glutamate from rat brain synaptosomes. Micrurus C-type lectin-like proteins may have 6–9 cysteine residues and may be monomers, or homo- or heterodimers of unknown pharmacology. Novel KSPIs, 3× longer than any seen

  18. Comparison of the primary structures, cytotoxicities, and affinities to phospholipids of five kinds of cytotoxins from the venom of Indian cobra, Naja naja.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki-Matsubara, Mieko; Athauda, Senarath B P; Suzuki, Yoshiyuki; Matsubara, Kazumi; Moriyama, Akihiko

    2016-01-01

    The molecular mechanism underlying the hemolytic and cytolytic processes of cobra cytotoxins (CTXs) is not yet fully elucidated. To examine this, we analyzed the amino acid sequences, hemolytic and cytotoxic activities, and affinities to phospholipids of the five major CTXs purified from the venom of Indian cobra, Naja naja. CTX2, CTX7, and CTX8 belonged to S-type, and CTX9 and CTX10 to P-type. Comparisons of CTX7 with CTX8 and CTX9 with CTX10 revealed similar primary structures and hemolytic and cytolytic activities. CTX2, whose primary structure was rather different from the others, showed several times weaker hemolytic and cytolytic biological activities than the others. The comparison of CTX2 with CTX7 suggested the importance of Lys30 in loop II for the strong hemolytic and cytolytic activities of S-type CTXs. Cloning of 12 CTX cDNAs from the Naja naja venom cDNA library revealed that 18 out of 23 substitutions found in CTX cDNAs were nonsynonymous. This clearly indicated the accelerated evolution of CTX genes. Multiple sequence alignment of 51 kinds of CTX cDNAs and calculations of nonsynonymous and synonymous substitutions indicated that the codons coding the three loops' regions, which may interact with the hydrophobic tails of phospholipids, have undergone an accelerated evolution. In contrast, the codons coding for amino acid residues considered to participate in the recognition and binding of the hydrophilic head groups of phospholipids, eight Cys residues, and those likely stabilizing β core structure, were all conserved. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Ohanin, a novel protein from king cobra venom, induces hypolocomotion and hyperalgesia in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pung, Yuh Fen; Wong, Peter T H; Kumar, Prakash P; Hodgson, Wayne C; Kini, R Manjunatha

    2005-04-01

    We have identified, purified, and determined the complete amino acid sequence of a novel protein, ohanin from Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra) venom. It is a small protein containing 107 amino acid residues with a molecular mass of 11951.47 +/- 0.67 Da as assessed by electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry. It does not show similarity to any known families of snake venom proteins and hence is the first member of a new family of snake venom proteins. It shows similarity to PRY and SPRY domain proteins. It is nontoxic up to 10 mg/kg when injected intraperitoneally in mice. Ohanin produced statistically significant and dose-dependent hypolocomotion in mice. In a pain threshold assay, it showed dose-dependent hyperalgesic effect. The ability of the protein to elicit a response at greatly reduced doses when injected intracerebroventricularly as compared with intraperitoneal administration in both the locomotion and hot plate experiments strongly suggests that ohanin acts on the central nervous system. Since the natural abundance of the protein in the venom is low (approximately 1 mg/g), a synthetic gene was constructed and expressed. The recombinant protein, which was obtained in the insoluble fraction in Escherichia coli, was purified under denaturing condition and was refolded. Recombinant ohanin is structurally and functionally similar to native protein as determined by circular dichroism and hot plate assay, suggesting that it will be useful in future structure-function relationship studies.

  20. Testing the 'toxin hypothesis of allergy': mast cells, IgE, and innate and acquired immune responses to venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

    Work in mice indicates that innate functions of mast cells, particularly degradation of venom toxins by mast cell-derived proteases, can enhance resistance to certain arthropod or reptile venoms. Recent reports indicate that acquired Th2 immune responses associated with the production of IgE antibodies, induced by Russell's viper venom or honeybee venom, or by a component of honeybee venom, bee venom phospholipase 2 (bvPLA2), can increase the resistance of mice to challenge with potentially lethal doses of either of the venoms or bvPLA2. These findings support the conclusion that, in contrast to the detrimental effects associated with allergic type 2 (Th2) immune responses, mast cells and IgE-dependent immune responses to venoms can contribute to innate and adaptive resistance to venom-induced pathology and mortality. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Crystal structure of pira toxin-I: a calcium-independent, myotoxic phospholipase A{sub 2} - homologue from Bothrops pirajai venom

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Canduri, R.J.; Ward, R.J.; Azevedo Junior, G.W.F. de; Arni, R.K. [UNESP, Sao Jose do Rio Preto, SP (Brazil). Inst. de Biociencias, Letras e Ciencias Exatas; Soares, A.M.; Giglio, J.R. [Sao Paulo Univ., Ribeirao Preto, SP (Brazil). Escola de Medicina

    1997-12-31

    Full text. Phospho lipases A2 (PLA{sub 2}) are small enzymes that specifically hydrolysed the sn-2 ester bond of phospholipids, preferentially in lamellar or micellar aggregates at membrane surfaces. These enzymes are widely distributed in nature and have been extensively studied. Toxic proteins from venoms from Bothrops species include catalytically active PLA{sub 2}s and calcium independent PLA{sub 2L}ys 49 homologues. The substitution of Asp49 by Lys greatly diminishes the ability of these PLA{sub 2} to bind calcium, an ion that plays a critical role in the stabilization of the tetrahedral transition state intermediate in the catalytic mechanism. The Lys 49 PLA{sub 2} homologues and therefore catalytically inactive yet maintain cytolytic and myotoxic activities and furthermore retain the ability to disrupt the integrity of both plasma membranes and model lipid bilayers by a poorly understood Ca {sup 2+} independente mechanism. Lys49 PLA{sub 2} homologues demonstrate a specific toxic activity against skeletal muscle, affecting only muscle fibers and leaving other tissue structure such as connective tissue, nerves and vessels essentially unharmed. In order to improve our understanding of the molecular basis of the myotoxic and Ca {sup 2+} -independent membrane damaging activities, we have determined the crystal structure of Pr TX-I, a Lys49 variant from the venom of B. pirajai. The model presented has been determined at 2.8 angstrom resolution and refined to a crystallographic residual of 19.7% (R{sub free}=29.7%). (author)

  2. Proteomic analysis of the venom of the predatory ant Pachycondyla striata (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Pollyanna Pereira; Games, Patricia Dias; Azevedo, Dihego Oliveira; Barros, Edvaldo; de Oliveira, Leandro Licursi; de Oliveira Ramos, Humberto Josué; Baracat-Pereira, Maria Cristina; Serrão, José Eduardo

    2017-11-01

    The ants use their venom for predation, defense, and communication. The venom of these insects is rich in peptides and proteins, and compared with other animal venoms, ant venoms remain poorly explored. The objective of this study was to evaluate the protein content of the venom in the Ponerinae ant Pachycondyla striata. Venom samples were collected by manual gland reservoir dissection, and samples were submitted to two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and separation by ion-exchange and reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography followed by mass spectrometry using tanden matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization with time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF/TOF) mass spectrometry and electrospray ionization-quadrupole with time-of-flight (ESI-Q/TOF) mass spectrometry for obtaining amino acid sequence. Spectra obtained were searched against the NCBInr and SwissProt database. Additional analysis was performed using PEAKS Studio 7.0 (Sequencing de novo). The venom of P. striata has a complex mixture of proteins from which 43 were identified. Within the identified proteins are classical venom proteins (phospholipase A, hyaluronidase, and aminopeptidase N), allergenic proteins (different venom allergens), and bioactive peptides (U10-ctenitoxin Pn1a). Venom allergens are among the most expressed proteins, suggesting that P. striata venom has high allergenic potential. This study discusses the possible functions of the proteins identified in the venom of P. striata. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Functional insights from structural genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forouhar, Farhad; Kuzin, Alexandre; Seetharaman, Jayaraman; Lee, Insun; Zhou, Weihong; Abashidze, Mariam; Chen, Yang; Yong, Wei; Janjua, Haleema; Fang, Yingyi; Wang, Dongyan; Cunningham, Kellie; Xiao, Rong; Acton, Thomas B; Pichersky, Eran; Klessig, Daniel F; Porter, Carl W; Montelione, Gaetano T; Tong, Liang

    2007-09-01

    Structural genomics efforts have produced structural information, either directly or by modeling, for thousands of proteins over the past few years. While many of these proteins have known functions, a large percentage of them have not been characterized at the functional level. The structural information has provided valuable functional insights on some of these proteins, through careful structural analyses, serendipity, and structure-guided functional screening. Some of the success stories based on structures solved at the Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium (NESG) are reported here. These include a novel methyl salicylate esterase with important role in plant innate immunity, a novel RNA methyltransferase (H. influenzae yggJ (HI0303)), a novel spermidine/spermine N-acetyltransferase (B. subtilis PaiA), a novel methyltransferase or AdoMet binding protein (A. fulgidus AF_0241), an ATP:cob(I)alamin adenosyltransferase (B. subtilis YvqK), a novel carboxysome pore (E. coli EutN), a proline racemase homolog with a disrupted active site (B. melitensis BME11586), an FMN-dependent enzyme (S. pneumoniae SP_1951), and a 12-stranded beta-barrel with a novel fold (V. parahaemolyticus VPA1032).

  4. Transcriptome and venom proteome of the box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinkman, Diane L; Jia, Xinying; Potriquet, Jeremy; Kumar, Dhirendra; Dash, Debasis; Kvaskoff, David; Mulvenna, Jason

    2015-05-27

    The box jellyfish, Chironex fleckeri, is the largest and most dangerous cubozoan jellyfish to humans. It produces potent and rapid-acting venom and its sting causes severe localized and systemic effects that are potentially life-threatening. In this study, a combined transcriptomic and proteomic approach was used to identify C. fleckeri proteins that elicit toxic effects in envenoming. More than 40,000,000 Illumina reads were used to de novo assemble ∼ 34,000 contiguous cDNA sequences and ∼ 20,000 proteins were predicted based on homology searches, protein motifs, gene ontology and biological pathway mapping. More than 170 potential toxin proteins were identified from the transcriptome on the basis of homology to known toxins in publicly available sequence databases. MS/MS analysis of C. fleckeri venom identified over 250 proteins, including a subset of the toxins predicted from analysis of the transcriptome. Potential toxins identified using MS/MS included metalloproteinases, an alpha-macroglobulin domain containing protein, two CRISP proteins and a turripeptide-like protease inhibitor. Nine novel examples of a taxonomically restricted family of potent cnidarian pore-forming toxins were also identified. Members of this toxin family are potently haemolytic and cause pain, inflammation, dermonecrosis, cardiovascular collapse and death in experimental animals, suggesting that these toxins are responsible for many of the symptoms of C. fleckeri envenomation. This study provides the first overview of a box jellyfish transcriptome which, coupled with venom proteomics data, enhances our current understanding of box jellyfish venom composition and the molecular structure and function of cnidarian toxins. The generated data represent a useful resource to guide future comparative studies, novel protein/peptide discovery and the development of more effective treatments for jellyfish stings in humans. (Length: 300).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-18

    . However, in the recent years the development of software tools for de novo sequencing and homology searches have improved significantly facilitating the first global analysis of the major protein components of helodermatid venom presented in this study. We have used a 2D-gel approach and determined the protein components in the 58 major spots resulting in the identification of 39 unique proteins. Of these, 19 have not previously been identified in helodermatid venom. The analysis provides results with impact on our understanding of the function and evolution of venom proteins, and serves as a basis for further unraveling of the pharmaceutical potential of the venom components. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. High throughput quantitative expression screening and purification applied to recombinant disulfide-rich venom proteins produced in E. coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saez, Natalie J; Nozach, Hervé; Blemont, Marilyne; Vincentelli, Renaud

    2014-07-30

    Escherichia coli (E. coli) is the most widely used expression system for the production of recombinant proteins for structural and functional studies. However, purifying proteins is sometimes challenging since many proteins are expressed in an insoluble form. When working with difficult or multiple targets it is therefore recommended to use high throughput (HTP) protein expression screening on a small scale (1-4 ml cultures) to quickly identify conditions for soluble expression. To cope with the various structural genomics programs of the lab, a quantitative (within a range of 0.1-100 mg/L culture of recombinant protein) and HTP protein expression screening protocol was implemented and validated on thousands of proteins. The protocols were automated with the use of a liquid handling robot but can also be performed manually without specialized equipment. Disulfide-rich venom proteins are gaining increasing recognition for their potential as therapeutic drug leads. They can be highly potent and selective, but their complex disulfide bond networks make them challenging to produce. As a member of the FP7 European Venomics project (www.venomics.eu), our challenge is to develop successful production strategies with the aim of producing thousands of novel venom proteins for functional characterization. Aided by the redox properties of disulfide bond isomerase DsbC, we adapted our HTP production pipeline for the expression of oxidized, functional venom peptides in the E. coli cytoplasm. The protocols are also applicable to the production of diverse disulfide-rich proteins. Here we demonstrate our pipeline applied to the production of animal venom proteins. With the protocols described herein it is likely that soluble disulfide-rich proteins will be obtained in as little as a week. Even from a small scale, there is the potential to use the purified proteins for validating the oxidation state by mass spectrometry, for characterization in pilot studies, or for sensitive

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-11-01

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

  8. Quo Vadis Venomics? A Roadmap to Neglected Venomous Invertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Venomics research is being revolutionized by the increased use of sensitive -omics techniques to identify venom toxins and their transcripts in both well studied and neglected venomous taxa. The study of neglected venomous taxa is necessary both for understanding the full diversity of venom systems that have evolved in the animal kingdom, and to robustly answer fundamental questions about the biology and evolution of venoms without the distorting effect that can result from the current bias introduced by some heavily studied taxa. In this review we draw the outlines of a roadmap into the diversity of poorly studied and understood venomous and putatively venomous invertebrates, which together represent tens of thousands of unique venoms. The main groups we discuss are crustaceans, flies, centipedes, non-spider and non-scorpion arachnids, annelids, molluscs, platyhelminths, nemerteans, and echinoderms. We review what is known about the morphology of the venom systems in these groups, the composition of their venoms, and the bioactivities of the venoms to provide researchers with an entry into a large and scattered literature. We conclude with a short discussion of some important methodological aspects that have come to light with the recent use of new -omics techniques in the study of venoms. PMID:25533518

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-19

    Venomics research is being revolutionized by the increased use of sensitive -omics techniques to identify venom toxins and their transcripts in both well studied and neglected venomous taxa. The study of neglected venomous taxa is necessary both for understanding the full diversity of venom systems that have evolved in the animal kingdom, and to robustly answer fundamental questions about the biology and evolution of venoms without the distorting effect that can result from the current bias introduced by some heavily studied taxa. In this review we draw the outlines of a roadmap into the diversity of poorly studied and understood venomous and putatively venomous invertebrates, which together represent tens of thousands of unique venoms. The main groups we discuss are crustaceans, flies, centipedes, non-spider and non-scorpion arachnids, annelids, molluscs, platyhelminths, nemerteans, and echinoderms. We review what is known about the morphology of the venom systems in these groups, the composition of their venoms, and the bioactivities of the venoms to provide researchers with an entry into a large and scattered literature. We conclude with a short discussion of some important methodological aspects that have come to light with the recent use of new -omics techniques in the study of venoms.

  10. Quo Vadis Venomics? A Roadmap to Neglected Venomous Invertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bjoern Marcus von Reumont

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Venomics research is being revolutionized by the increased use of sensitive -omics techniques to identify venom toxins and their transcripts in both well studied and neglected venomous taxa. The study of neglected venomous taxa is necessary both for understanding the full diversity of venom systems that have evolved in the animal kingdom, and to robustly answer fundamental questions about the biology and evolution of venoms without the distorting effect that can result from the current bias introduced by some heavily studied taxa. In this review we draw the outlines of a roadmap into the diversity of poorly studied and understood venomous and putatively venomous invertebrates, which together represent tens of thousands of unique venoms. The main groups we discuss are crustaceans, flies, centipedes, non-spider and non-scorpion arachnids, annelids, molluscs, platyhelminths, nemerteans, and echinoderms. We review what is known about the morphology of the venom systems in these groups, the composition of their venoms, and the bioactivities of the venoms to provide researchers with an entry into a large and scattered literature. We conclude with a short discussion of some important methodological aspects that have come to light with the recent use of new -omics techniques in the study of venoms.

  11. The structure of rigid functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balka, Richárd; Elekes, Márton

    2008-09-01

    A function is called vertically rigid if graph(cf) is isometric to graph(f) for all c[not equal to]0. We prove Jankovic's conjecture by showing that a continuous function is vertically rigid if and only if it is of the form a+bx or a+bekx (). We answer the question of Cain, Clark and Rose by showing that there exists a Borel measurable vertically rigid function which is not of the above form. We discuss the Lebesgue and Baire measurable case, consider functions bounded on some interval and functions with at least one point of continuity. We also introduce horizontally rigid functions, and show that a certain structure theorem can be proved without assuming any regularity.

  12. Longitudinal heavy quark structure function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Khorramian, Ali N. [Physics Department, Semnan University, Semnan (Iran, Islamic Republic of); School of Particles and Accelerators, IPM - Institute for Studies in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics, P.O. Box 19395-5531, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of)], E-mail: khorramiana@theory.ipm.ac.ir; Atashbar Tehrani, S. [Physics Department, Semnan University, Semnan (Iran, Islamic Republic of); School of Particles and Accelerators, IPM - Institute for Studies in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics, P.O. Box 19395-5531, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of)], E-mail: atashbar@ipm.ir; Mirjalili, A. [Physics Department, Yazd University, Yazd (Iran, Islamic Republic of); School of Particles and Accelerators, IPM - Institute for Studies in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics, P.O. Box 19395-5531, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of)], E-mail: mirjalili@ipm.ir

    2009-01-15

    In this paper we study the heavy-quark contribution to the proton non-singlet structure functions F{sub L}{sup NS}(x,Q{sup 2}). In this way we use very recently results for massive operator matrix elements, which contribute to the heavy flavor Wilson coefficients in unpolarized deeply inelastic scattering in the region Q{sup 2}>>m{sup 2}. The method of QCD analysis of non-singlet structure function, based on their Jacobi polynomials reconstruction from perturbative QCD predictions for the Mellin moments, is also described.

  13. Outcome survey of insect venom allergic patients with venom immunotherapy in a rural population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roesch, Alexander; Boerzsoenyi, Julia; Babilas, Philipp; Landthaler, Michael; Szeimies, Rolf-Markus

    2008-04-01

    Hymenoptera venom anaphylaxis is a frightening event that affects physical and psychical functioning. Retrospective survey of 182 Hymenoptera venom allergic patients living in a rural area using a questionnaire targeting on patients' satisfaction during therapy, fear of anaphylactic recurrences and changes in lifestyle before and after venom immunotherapy (VIT). Additionally, patients' self-assessment of quality of life, daily outdoor time and re-sting rate were recorded. 146 patients returned the questionnaire (58.9% male, 41.1% female, 25.3% honey bee allergic, 67.8% wasp allergic, 41.1% re-sting rate, mean follow-up time 6.5 years). Measurement of the parameters fear, satisfaction and changes in lifestyle revealed a significant improvement after VIT. This correlated with the patients'self-assessment of quality of life,when 89.7% declared an improvement after VIT. Although the improvement was higher in patients with re-stings, also patients without re-stings clearly benefited from VIT. Interestingly, females were significantly more affected by Hymenoptera venom allergy than males,whereas both genders showed a similar improvement after VIT. Patients with Hymenoptera venom sting allergy significantly benefit from VIT in regard to both biological and psychological outcome. VIT should still be provided to all Hymenoptera venom allergic patients as standard of care.

  14. Structure functions and parton distributions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, A.D.; Stirling, W.J. [Univ. of Durham (United Kingdom); Roberts, R.G. [Rutherford Appleton Lab., Chilton, Didcot (United Kingdom)

    1995-07-01

    The MRS parton distribution analysis is described. The latest sets are shown to give an excellent description of a wide range of deep-inelastic and other hard scattering data. Two important theoretical issues-the behavior of the distributions at small x and the flavor structure of the quark sea-are discussed in detail. A comparison with the new structure function data from HERA is made, and the outlook for the future is discussed.

  15. Venom toxicity and composition in three Pseudomyrmex ant species having different nesting modes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Touchard, Axel; Labrière, Nicolas; Roux, Olivier; Petitclerc, Frédéric; Orivel, Jérôme; Escoubas, Pierre; Koh, Jennifer M S; Nicholson, Graham M; Dejean, Alain

    2014-09-01

    We aimed to determine whether the nesting habits of ants have influenced their venom toxicity and composition. We focused on the genus Pseudomyrmex (Pseudomyrmecinae) comprising terrestrial and arboreal species, and, among the latter, plant-ants that are obligate inhabitants of myrmecophytes (i.e., plants sheltering ants in hollow structures). Contrary to our hypothesis, the venom of the ground-dwelling species, Pseudomyrmex termitarius, was as efficacious in paralyzing prey as the venoms of the arboreal and the plant-ant species, Pseudomyrmex penetrator and Pseudomyrmex gracilis. The lethal potency of P. termitarius venom was equipotent with that of P. gracilis whereas the venom of P. penetrator was less potent. The MALDI-TOF MS analysis of each HPLC fraction of the venoms showed that P. termitarius venom is composed of 87 linear peptides, while both P. gracilis and P. penetrator venoms (23 and 26 peptides, respectively) possess peptides with disulfide bonds. Furthermore, P. penetrator venom contains three hetero- and homodimeric peptides consisting of two short peptidic chains linked together by two interchain disulfide bonds. The large number of peptides in P. termitarius venom is likely related to the large diversity of potential prey plus the antibacterial peptides required for nesting in the ground. Whereas predation involves only the prey and predator, P. penetrator venom has evolved in an environment where trees, defoliating insects, browsing mammals and ants live in equilibrium, likely explaining the diversity of the peptide structures. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Structure, fragmentation and fracture functions

    CERN Document Server

    Canal-Garcia, C A

    2000-01-01

    We address the partonic description of the proton, the photon and the "color singlet, " as seen in inclusive and semi-inclusive DIS, in e /sup +/e/sup $/collisions, and in diffractive processes, respectively. Their formal treatment using structure, fragmentation, and fracture functions is outlined giving an insight into the perturbative QCD framework for these functions. Examples and comparisons with experimental data from LEP, HERA, and Tevatron are also covered. (52 refs).

  17. Walterinnesia aegyptia venom combined with silica nanoparticles enhances the functioning of normal lymphocytes through PI3K/AKT, NFκB and ERK signaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Badr Gamal

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The toxicity of snake venom varies over time in some species. The venom of newborn and small juvenile snakes appears to be more potent than adults of the same species, and a bite from a snake that has not fed recently, such as one that has just emerged from hibernation, is more dangerous than one that has recently fed due to the larger volume of venom injected. Therefore, the potency of a snake's venom is typically determined using the LD50 or IC50 tests. In the present study, we evaluated the anti-tumor potential of snake venom from Walterinnesia aegyptia (WEV on the human breast carcinoma cell line MDA-MB-231, as well as its effect on the normal mice peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs. Results This venom was used alone (WEV or in combination with silica nanoparticles (WEV+NP. The IC50 values of WEV alone and WEV+NP in the MDA-MB-231 cells were determined to be 50 ng/ml and 20 ng/ml, respectively. Interestingly, at these concentrations, the venom did not affect the viability of normal human PBMCs. To investigate the in vivo effects of this venom further, three groups of mice were used (15 mice in each group: Group I was the control, Group II was subcutaneously injected with WEV, and Group III was injected with WEV+NP. Using flow cytometry and western blot analysis, we found that the blood lymphocytes of WEV-injected mice exhibited a significant increase in actin polymerization and cytoskeletal rearrangement in response to CXCL12 through the activation of AKT, NF-κB and ERK. These lymphocytes also showed a significant increase in their proliferative capacity in response to mitogen stimulation compared with those isolated from the control mice (P Conclusion Our data reveal the unique biological effects of WEV, and we demonstrated that its combination with nanoparticles strongly enhanced these biological effects.

  18. Structure and Function of Wood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alex C. Wiedenhoeft

    2012-01-01

    Wood is a complex biological structure, a composite of many cell types and chemistries acting together to serve the needs of living plant. Attempting to understand wood inthe context of wood technology, we have often overlooked the basic fact that wood evolved over the course of millions of years to serve three main functions in plants-conduction of water from the...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-18

    venomous species including cone snails, scorpions, spiders, and anemones. Enhanced activation or delayed inactivation of sodium channels by toxins is associated with the extremely rapid onset of tetanic/excitatory paralysis in envenomed prey animals. A strong selection pressure exists for the evolution of such toxins where there is a high chance of prey escape. However, despite their prevalence in other venomous species, toxins causing delay of sodium channel inhibition have never previously been described in vertebrate venoms. Here we show that Na V modulators, convergent with those of invertebrates, have evolved in the venom of the long-glanded coral snake. Calliotoxin represents a functionally novel class of 3FTx and a structurally novel class of Na V toxins that will provide significant insights into the pharmacology and physiology of Na V . The toxin represents a remarkable case of functional convergence between invertebrate and vertebrate venom systems in response to similar selection pressures. These results underscore the dynamic evolution of the Toxicofera reptile system and reinforces the value of using evolution as a roadmap for biodiscovery.

  20. Snake Venom Peptides and Low Mass Proteins: Molecular Tools and Therapeutic Agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, J R; Resende, L M; Watanabe, R K; Carregari, V C; Huancahuire-Vega, S; da S Caldeira, C A; Coutinho-Neto, A; Soares, A M; Vale, N; de C Gomes, P A; Marangoni, S; de A Calderon, L; Da Silva, S L

    2017-01-01

    Snake venoms are natural sources of biologically active molecules that are able to act selectively and specifically on different cellular targets, modulating physiological functions. Thus, these mixtures, composed mainly of proteins and peptides, provide ample and challenging opportunities and a diversified molecular architecture to design and develop tools and agents of scientific and therapeutic interest. Among these components, peptides and small proteins play diverse roles in numerous physiological processes, exerting a wide range of pharmacological activities, such as antimicrobial, antihypertensive, analgesic, antitumor, analgesic, among others. The pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries have recognized the huge potential of these privileged frameworks and believe them to be a promising alternative to contemporary drugs. A number of natural or synthetic peptides from snake venoms have already found preclinical or clinical applications for the treatment of pain, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and aging skin. A well-known example is captopril, whose natural peptide precursor was isolated from Bothrops jararaca snake venom, which is a peptide-based drug that inhibits the angiotensin-converting enzyme, producing an anti-hypertensive effect. The present review looks at the main peptides (natriuretic peptides, bradykinin-potentiating peptides and sarafotoxins) and low mass proteins (crotamine, disintegrins and three-Finger toxins) from snake venoms, as well as synthetic peptides inspired by them, describing their biochemical, structural and physiological features, as well as their applications as research tools and therapeutic agents. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  1. Abarema cochliacarpos Extract Decreases the Inflammatory Process and Skeletal Muscle Injury Induced by Bothrops leucurus Venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeison Saturnino-Oliveira

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Snakebites are a public health problem, especially in tropical countries. However, treatment with antivenom has limited effectiveness against venoms’ local effects. Here, we investigated the ability of Abarema cochliacarpos hydroethanolic extract (EAc to protect mice against injection of Bothrops leucurus venom. Swiss mice received perimuscular venom injection and were subsequently treated orally with EAc in different doses. Treatment with EAc 100, 200, and 400 mg/kg reduced the edema induced by B. leucurus in 1%, 13%, and 39%, respectively. Although lower doses showed no antihypernociceptive effect in the Von Frey test, the higher dose significantly reduced hyperalgesia induced by the venom. Antimyotoxic activity of EAc was also observed by microscopy assessment, with treated muscles presenting preserved structures, decreased edema, and inflammatory infiltrate as compared to untreated ones. Finally, on the rotarod test, the treated mice showed better motor function, once muscle fibers were preserved and there were less edema and pain. Treated mice could stand four times more time on the rotating rod than untreated ones. Our results have shown that EAc presented relevant activities against injection of B. leucurus venom in mice, suggesting that it can be considered as an adjuvant in the treatment of envenomation.

  2. Structure and function of wood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alex Wiedenhoeft

    2010-01-01

    Wood is a complex biological structure, a composite of many chemistries and cell types acting together to serve the needs of a living plant. Attempting to understand wood in the context of wood technology, we have often overlooked the key and basic fact that wood evolved over the course of millions of years to serve three main functions in plants― conduction of water...

  3. Proteomic analysis of the honey bee worker venom gland focusing on the mechanisms of protection against tissue damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peiren, Nico; de Graaf, Dirk C; Vanrobaeys, Frank; Danneels, Ellen L; Devreese, Bart; Van Beeumen, Jozef; Jacobs, Frans J

    2008-07-01

    Honey bee workers use venom for the defence of the colony and themselves when they are exposed to dangers and predators. It is produced by a long thin, convoluted, and bifurcated gland, and consists of several toxic proteins and peptides. The present study was undertaken in order to identify the mechanisms that protect the venom gland secretory cells against these harmful components. Samples of whole venom glands, including the interconnected reservoirs, were separated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and the most abundant protein spots were subjected to mass spectrometric identification using MALDI TOF/TOF-MS and LC MS/MS. This proteomic study revealed four antioxidant enzymes: CuZn superoxide dismutase (SOD1), glutathione-S-transferase sigma 1 isoform A (GSTS1), peroxiredoxin 2540 (PXR2540) and thioredoxin peroxidase 1 isoform A (TPX1). Although glutathione-S-transferase (GST) has also been associated with xenobiotic detoxification, the protein we found belongs to the GST Sigma class which is known to protect against oxidative stress only. Moreover, we could demonstrate that the GST and SOD activity of the venom gland was low and moderate, respectively, when compared to other tissues from the adult honey bee. Several proteins involved in other forms of stress were likewise found but it remains uncertain what their function is in the venom gland. In addition to major royal jelly protein 9 (MRJP9), already found in a previous proteomic study, we identified MRJP8 as second member of the MRJP protein family to be associated with the venom gland. Transcripts of both MRJPs were amplified and sequenced. Two endocuticular structural proteins were abundantly present in the 2D-gel and most probably represent a structural component of the epicuticular lining that protects the secretory cells from the toxins they produce.

  4. Molecular Characterization of Three Novel Phospholipase A2 Proteins from the Venom of Atheris chlorechis, Atheris nitschei and Atheris squamigera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    He Wang

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2 is known as a major component of snake venoms and displays higher-order catalytic hydrolysis functions as well as a wide range of pathological effects. Atheris is not a notoriously dangerous genus of snakes although there are some reports of fatal cases after envenomation due to the effects of coagulation disturbances and hemorrhaging. Molecular characterization of Atheris venom enzymes is incomplete and there are only a few reports in the literature. Here, we report, for the first time, the cloning and characterization of three novel cDNAs encoding phospholipase A2 precursors (one each from the venoms of the Western bush viper (Atheris chlorechis, the Great Lakes bush viper (Atheris nitschei and the Variable bush viper (Atheris squamigera, using a “shotgun cloning” strategy. Open-reading frames of respective cloned cDNAs contained putative 16 residue signal peptides and mature proteins composed of 121 to 123 amino acid residues. Alignment of mature protein sequences revealed high degrees of structural conservation and identity with Group II venom PLA2 proteins from other taxa within the Viperidae. Reverse-phase High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC profiles of these three snake venoms were obtained separately and chromatographic fractions were assessed for phospholipase activity using an egg yolk suspension assay. The molecular masses of mature proteins were all identified as approximately 14 kDa. Mass spectrometric analyses of the fractionated oligopeptides arising from tryptic digestion of intact venom proteins, was performed for further structural characterization.

  5. The structure and function of fungal cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nozawa, Y.

    1984-01-01

    The structure and function of fungal cell walls were studied with particular emphasis on dermatophytes. Extraction, isolation, analysis, and observation of the cell wall structure and function were performed. The structure is described microscopically and chemically.

  6. Structural determinants of arrestin functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurevich, Vsevolod V; Gurevich, Eugenia V

    2013-01-01

    Arrestins are a small protein family with only four members in mammals. Arrestins demonstrate an amazing versatility, interacting with hundreds of different G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) subtypes, numerous nonreceptor signaling proteins, and components of the internalization machinery, as well as cytoskeletal elements, including regular microtubules and centrosomes. Here, we focus on the structural determinants that mediate various arrestin functions. The receptor-binding elements in arrestins were mapped fairly comprehensively, which set the stage for the construction of mutants targeting particular GPCRs. The elements engaged by other binding partners are only now being elucidated and in most cases we have more questions than answers. Interestingly, even very limited and imprecise identification of structural requirements for the interaction with very few other proteins has enabled the development of signaling-biased arrestin mutants. More comprehensive understanding of the structural underpinning of different arrestin functions will pave the way for the construction of arrestins that can link the receptor we want to the signaling pathway of our choosing. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Tissue Factor Structure and Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saulius Butenas

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Tissue factor (TF is an integral membrane protein that is essential to life. It is a component of the factor VIIa-TF complex enzyme and plays a primary role in both normal hemostasis and thrombosis. With a vascular injury, TF becomes exposed to blood and binds plasma factor VIIa, and the resulting complex initiates a series of enzymatic reactions leading to clot formation and vascular sealing. Many cells, both healthy, and tumor cells, produce detectable amounts of TF, especially when they are stimulated by various agents. Despite the relative simplicity and small size of TF, there are numerous contradictory reports about the synthesis and presentation of TF on blood cells and circulation in normal blood either on microparticles or as a soluble protein. Another subject of controversy is related to the structure/function of TF. It has been almost commonly accepted that cell-surface-associated TF has low (if any activity, that is, is “encrypted” and requires specific conditions/reagents to become active, that is, “decrypted.” However there is a lack of agreement related to the mechanism and processes leading to alterations in TF function. In this paper TF structure, presentation, and function, and controversies concerning these features are discussed.

  8. CYCLOPHILIN A: STRUCTURE AND FUNCTIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. Kalinina

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Cyclophilins belong to a large family of ancient conservative proteins with peptidyl-prolyl-cis-trans isomerase activity. The main member of this family – cyclophilin A – was discovered as an intracellular ligand for cyclosporine A. Further investigations revealed a wide range of functions of cyclophilin A. Cyclophilin A is involved in T-cell signaling, it takes part in folding, assembly and intracellular transport of proteins, as well as acts as an antioxidant. Different cell types secrete cyclophilin A under infection or oxidative stress. Cyclophilin A is one of the main factors involved in inflammation and pathogenesis of autoimmune, cardiovascular and other diseases. This protein is thought to take part in tumor progression. In this review we describe the structure of cyclophilin A and its main known functions in health and disease.

  9. Supramolecular Structure and Function 9

    CERN Document Server

    Pifat-Mrzljak, Greta

    2007-01-01

    The book is based on International Summer Schools on Biophysics held in Croatia which, contrary to other workshops centered mainly on one topic or technique, has very broad scope providing advanced training in areas related to biophysics. This volume is presenting papers in the field of biophysics for studying biological phenomena by using physical methods (NMR, EPR, FTIR, Mass Spectrometry, etc.) and/or concepts (predictions of protein-protein interactions, virtual ligand screening etc.). The interrelationship of supramolecular structures and there functions is enlightened by applications of principals of these physical methods in the biophysical and molecular biology context.

  10. Structure and Function of Lipase

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skjold-Jørgensen, Jakob

    towards an open conformation enabling the substrate to gain access, thus initiating catalysis.Lipases have been studied for decades and their functional features have drawn much attention withinindustrial applications since their first discovery. However, given that their molecular action takes placeat......). The crystal structure of this mutant was obtained and revealed the presence of asuccessfully formed disulfide bond spanning the active site pocket locking the lid in a closed, slightlystrained conformation. Using a conventional reducing agent, this bond was readily and specificallyreduced resulting...

  11. Unveiling the elusive and exotic: Venomics of the Malayan blue coral snake (Calliophis bivirgata flaviceps).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Choo Hock; Fung, Shin Yee; Yap, Michelle Khai Khun; Leong, Poh Kuan; Liew, Jia Lee; Tan, Nget Hong

    2016-01-30

    The venom proteome of the Malayan blue coral snake, Calliophis bivirgata flaviceps from west Malaysia was investigated by 1D-SDS-PAGE and shotgun-LCMS/MS. A total of 23 proteins belonging to 11 protein families were detected from the venom proteome. For the toxin proteins, the venom consists mainly of phospholipase A2 (41.1%), cytotoxin (22.6%), SVMPs (18.7%) and vespryns (14.6%). However, in contrast to the venoms of New World coral snakes and most elapids, there was no post-synaptic α-neurotoxin detected. The proteome also revealed a relatively high level of phosphodiesterase (1.3%), which may be associated with the reported high level of adenosine in the venom. Also detected were 5'-nucleotidase (0.3%), hyaluronidase (0.1%) and cysteine-type endopeptide inhibitor (0.6%). Enzymatic studies confirmed the presence of phospholipase A2, phosphodiesterase, 5'-nucleotidase and acetylcholinesterase activities but not l-amino acid oxidase activity. The venom exhibited moderate cytotoxic activity against CRL-2648 fibroblast cell lines (IC50=62.14±0.87 μg/mL) and myotoxicity in mice, presumably due to the action of its cytotoxin or its synergistic action with phospholipase A2. Interestingly, the venom lethality could be cross-neutralized by a neurotoxic bivalent antivenom from Taiwan. Together, the findings provide insights into the composition and functions of the venom of this exotic oriental elapid snake. While venoms of the New World coral snake have been extensively studied, literature pertaining to the Old World or Asiatic coral snake venoms remains lacking. This could be partly due to the inaccessibility to the venom of this rare species and infrequent cases of envenomation reported. This study identified and profiled the venom proteome of the Malayan blue coral snake (C. b. flaviceps) through SDS-PAGE and a high-resolution nano-LCMS/MS method, detailing the types and abundance of proteins found in the venom. The biological and toxic activities of the venom were

  12. Structural and functional studies of a bothropic myotoxin complexed to rosmarinic acid: new insights into Lys49-PLA₂ inhibition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliana I Dos Santos

    Full Text Available Snakebite envenoming is an important public health problem in many tropical and subtropical countries, and is considered a neglected tropical disease by the World Health Organization. Most severe cases are inflicted by species of the families Elapidae and Viperidae, and lead to a number of systemic and local effects in the victim. One of the main problems regarding viperidic accidents is prominent local tissue damage whose pathogenesis is complex and involves the combined actions of a variety of venom components. Phospholipases A₂ (PLA₂s are the most abundant muscle-damaging components of these venoms. Herein, we report functional and structural studies of PrTX-I, a Lys49-PLA₂ from Bothops pirajai snake venom, and the influence of rosmarinic acid (RA upon this toxin's activities. RA is a known active component of some plant extracts and has been reported as presenting anti-myotoxic properties related to bothopic envenomation. The myotoxic activity of Lys49-PLA₂s is well established in the literature and although no in vivo neurotoxicity has been observed among these toxins, in vitro neuromuscular blockade has been reported for some of these proteins. Our in vitro studies show that RA drastically reduces both the muscle damage and the neuromuscular blockade exerted by PrTX-I on mice neuromuscular preparations (by ∼80% and ∼90%, respectively. These results support the hypothesis that the two effects are closely related and lead us to suggest that they are consequences of the muscle membrane-destabilizing activity of the Lys49-PLA₂. Although the C-terminal region of these proteins has been reported to comprise the myotoxic site, we demonstrate by X-ray crystallographic studies that RA interacts with PrTX-I in a different region. Consequently, a new mode of Lys49-PLA₂ inhibition is proposed. Comparison of our results with others in the literature suggests possible new ways to inhibit bothropic snake venom myotoxins and improve serum

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharon A Jansa

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

  14. Peptidomic and transcriptomic profiling of four distinct spider venoms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera Oldrati

    Full Text Available Venom based research is exploited to find novel candidates for the development of innovative pharmacological tools, drug candidates and new ingredients for cosmetic and agrochemical industries. Moreover, venomics, as a well-established approach in systems biology, helps to elucidate the genetic mechanisms of the production of such a great molecular biodiversity. Today the advances made in the proteomics, transcriptomics and bioinformatics fields, favor venomics, allowing the in depth study of complex matrices and the elucidation even of minor compounds present in minute biological samples. The present study illustrates a rapid and efficient method developed for the elucidation of venom composition based on NextGen mRNA sequencing of venom glands and LC-MS/MS venom proteome profiling. The analysis of the comprehensive data obtained was focused on cysteine rich peptide toxins from four spider species originating from phylogenetically distant families for comparison purposes. The studied species were Heteropoda davidbowie (Sparassidae, Poecilotheria formosa (Theraphosidae, Viridasius fasciatus (Viridasiidae and Latrodectus mactans (Theridiidae. This led to a high resolution profiling of 284 characterized cysteine rich peptides, 111 of which belong to the Inhibitor Cysteine Knot (ICK structural motif. The analysis of H. davidbowie venom revealed a high richness in term of venom diversity: 95 peptide sequences were identified; out of these, 32 peptides presented the ICK structural motif and could be classified in six distinct families. The profiling of P. formosa venom highlighted the presence of 126 peptide sequences, with 52 ICK toxins belonging to three structural distinct families. V. fasciatus venom was shown to contain 49 peptide sequences, out of which 22 presented the ICK structural motif and were attributed to five families. The venom of L. mactans, until now studied for its large neurotoxins (Latrotoxins, revealed the presence of 14

  15. Molecular Diversity and Gene Evolution of the Venom Arsenal of Terebridae Predatory Marine Snails.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorson, Juliette; Ramrattan, Girish; Verdes, Aida; Wright, Elizabeth M; Kantor, Yuri; Rajaram Srinivasan, Ramakrishnan; Musunuri, Raj; Packer, Daniel; Albano, Gabriel; Qiu, Wei-Gang; Holford, Mandë

    2015-05-28

    Venom peptides from predatory organisms are a resource for investigating evolutionary processes such as adaptive radiation or diversification, and exemplify promising targets for biomedical drug development. Terebridae are an understudied lineage of conoidean snails, which also includes cone snails and turrids. Characterization of cone snail venom peptides, conotoxins, has revealed a cocktail of bioactive compounds used to investigate physiological cellular function, predator-prey interactions, and to develop novel therapeutics. However, venom diversity of other conoidean snails remains poorly understood. The present research applies a venomics approach to characterize novel terebrid venom peptides, teretoxins, from the venom gland transcriptomes of Triplostephanus anilis and Terebra subulata. Next-generation sequencing and de novo assembly identified 139 putative teretoxins that were analyzed for the presence of canonical peptide features as identified in conotoxins. To meet the challenges of de novo assembly, multiple approaches for cross validation of findings were performed to achieve reliable assemblies of venom duct transcriptomes and to obtain a robust portrait of Terebridae venom. Phylogenetic methodology was used to identify 14 teretoxin gene superfamilies for the first time, 13 of which are unique to the Terebridae. Additionally, basic local algorithm search tool homology-based searches to venom-related genes and posttranslational modification enzymes identified a convergence of certain venom proteins, such as actinoporin, commonly found in venoms. This research provides novel insights into venom evolution and recruitment in Conoidean predatory marine snails and identifies a plethora of terebrid venom peptides that can be used to investigate fundamental questions pertaining to gene evolution. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  16. Alkaloid venom weaponry of three Megalomyrmex thief ants and the behavioral response of Cyphomyrmex costatus host ants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Rachelle M M; Jones, Tappey H; Longino, John T; Weatherford, Robert G; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2015-04-01

    Social parasites exploit other societies by invading and stealing resources. Some enter protected nests using offensive chemical weaponry made from alkaloid-based venom. We characterized the venoms of three Megalomyrmex thief ant species (M. mondabora, M. mondaboroides, and M. silvestrii) that parasitize the fungus-growing ants, and developed an ethogram to describe host ant reactions to raiding M. mondaboroides and M. silvestrii parasites. We compared piperidine, pyrrolidine, and pyrolizidine venom alkaloid structures with synthetic samples from previous studies, and describe the novel stereochemistry of trans 2-hexyl-5-[8-oxononyl]-pyrrolidine (3) from M. mondabora. We showed that workers of Cyphomyrmex costatus, the host of M. mondaboroides and M. silvestrii, react to a sting by Megalomyrmex parasites mainly with submissive behavior, playing dead or retreating. Host submission also followed brief antennal contact. The behavior of C. costatus ants observed in this study was similar to that of Cyphomyrmex cornutus, host of M. mondabora, suggesting that the alkaloidal venoms with pyrrolidines from M. mondabora, piperidines from M. mondaboroides, and pyrolizidines from M. silvestrii may function similarly as appeasement and repellent allomones against host ants, despite their different chemical structure. With the use of these chemical weapons, the Megalomyrmex thief ants are met with little host resistance and easily exploit host colony resources.

  17. [GABAC receptors: structure and functions].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perfilova, V N; Tiurenkov, I N

    2011-01-01

    Data on the structure, localization, physiology and pharmacology of GABA(C) receptors are reviewed. Thece receptors belong to cys-loop receptors and consist of rho1-3 subunits representing pentamers with five subunits that form a chloride channel. They are found in both central nervous system and peripheral organs. The pentamer can be homomeric, consisting of five similar protomers (e.g., p1), or heteromeric (pseudo-homomeric), consisting of rho1 and rho2 subunits. Chloride channel function also depends on the GABA(C) receptor subunit composition. The activation of GABAc receptors is accompanied by a change in the permeability of plasmatic membranes for C1 ions, which is followed by depolarization (presynaptic inhibition) or hyperpolarization (postsynaptic inhibition). There are a great number of the allosteric modulators, agonists and antagonists of GABA(C) receptors.

  18. Structures and Functions of Oligosaccharins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Albersheim, Peter

    1995-12-01

    We have made considerable progress during the 2.5 year funding period just ending in our studies of the structures and functions of oligosaccharide signal molecules (oligosaccharins). We have emphasized studies of the enzymes that solubilize, process, and degrade oligosaccharins and of the proteins that inhibit those enzymes. We have been especially interested in elucidating how oligosaccharins and their processing enzymes participate in determining the outcome of challenges to plants by pathogenic microbes. We have studied, to a lesser extent, the roles of oligosaccharins in plant growth and development. Abstracts of papers describing results acquired with support from this grant that have been published, submitted, or in preparation are presented to summarize the progress made during the last two and one half years. The report highlights the most important contributions made in our oiigosaccharin research during this time period, and the corresponding abstract is referenced. Results of work in progress are described primarily in conjunction with our application for continued support.

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-03-04

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-14

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

  2. Structure and functions of fungal cell surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nozawa, Y.

    1984-01-01

    A review with 24 references on the biochemistry, molecular structure, and function of cell surfaces of fungi, especially dermatophytes: the chemistry and structure of the cell wall, the effect of polyene antibiotics on the morphology and function of cytoplasmic membranes, and the chemical structure and function of pigments produced by various fungi are discussed.

  3. Novel Structure and Function of Typhoid Toxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Matters NIH Research Matters July 29, 2013 Novel Structure and Function of Typhoid Toxin Structure of typhoid toxin, showing the 2 A subunits ( ... to cultured cells. The scientists next determined the structure of the typhoid toxin. The toxin was already ...

  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

    invertebrate venomous species including cone snails, scorpions, spiders, and anemones. Enhanced activation or delayed inactivation of sodium channels by toxins is associated with the extremely rapid onset of tetanic/excitatory paralysis in envenomed prey animals. A strong selection pressure exists for the evolution of such toxins where there is a high chance of prey escape. However, despite their prevalence in other venomous species, toxins causing delay of sodium channel inhibition have never previously been described in vertebrate venoms. Here we show that NaV modulators, convergent with those of invertebrates, have evolved in the venom of the long-glanded coral snake. Calliotoxin represents a functionally novel class of 3FTx and a structurally novel class of NaV toxins that will provide significant insights into the pharmacology and physiology of NaV. The toxin represents a remarkable case of functional convergence between invertebrate and vertebrate venom systems in response to similar selection pressures. These results underscore the dynamic evolution of the Toxicofera reptile system and reinforces the value of using evolution as a roadmap for biodiscovery.

  5. 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)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    venomous species including cone snails, scorpions, spiders, and anemones. Enhanced activation or delayed inactivation of sodium channels by toxins is associated with the extremely rapid onset of tetanic/excitatory paralysis in envenomed prey animals. A strong selection pressure exists for the evolution of such toxins where there is a high chance of prey escape. However, despite their prevalence in other venomous species, toxins causing delay of sodium channel inhibition have never previously been described in vertebrate venoms. Here we show that NaV modulators, convergent with those of invertebrates, have evolved in the venom of the long-glanded coral snake. Calliotoxin represents a functionally novel class of 3FTx and a structurally novel class of NaV toxins that will provide significant insights into the pharmacology and physiology of NaV. The toxin represents a remarkable case of functional convergence between invertebrate and vertebrate venom systems in response to similar selection pressures. These results underscore the dynamic evolution of the Toxicofera reptile system and reinforces the value of using evolution as a roadmap for biodiscovery. PMID:27763551

  6. 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...

  7. No safety in the trees: Local and species-level adaptation of an arboreal squirrel to the venom of sympatric rattlesnakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomento, Abby M; Perry, Blair W; Denton, Robert D; Gibbs, H Lisle; Holding, Matthew L

    2016-08-01

    Within some species, squirrels respond to variable selection from venomous snake predators by showing population-level variation in resistance, while between species, some rattlesnakes possess venom that is more effective at overcoming venom resistance in different species of squirrels. A functional evaluation of resistance variation to venom within and between species of squirrels and snakes can link resistance variation to its evolutionary causes across these different evolutionary scales. To do this, we compared the effectiveness of squirrel sera in inhibiting rattlesnake (Crotalus spp.) venom metalloproteinase activity between populations and between species to test for a response to local variation in selection from a single rattlesnake predator and for specialization of two resistant squirrel species to each of their distinct sympatric snake predators. We found that Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) venom inhibition by Eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) is higher at a site where the rattlesnakes are present, which suggests selection may maintain venom resistance in populations separated by short distances. Next, we performed a reciprocal cross of venoms and sera from two rattlesnake and two squirrel species. This showed that squirrel resistance is lower when tested against venom from allopatric compared to sympatric rattlesnake species, demonstrating that squirrel inhibitors are specialized to sympatric venom and suggesting a tradeoff in terms of specialization to the venom of a specific species of rattlesnake predator. This pattern can be explained if inhibitors must recognize venom proteins and resistance evolution tracks venom evolution. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Effects of Gene Duplication, Positive Selection, and Shifts in Gene Expression on the Evolution of the Venom Gland Transcriptome in Widow Spiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haney, Robert A.; Clarke, Thomas H.; Gadgil, Rujuta; Fitzpatrick, Ryan; Hayashi, Cheryl Y.; Ayoub, Nadia A.; Garb, Jessica E.

    2016-01-01

    Gene duplication and positive selection can be important determinants of the evolution of venom, a protein-rich secretion used in prey capture and defense. In a typical model of venom evolution, gene duplicates switch to venom gland expression and change function under the action of positive selection, which together with further duplication produces large gene families encoding diverse toxins. Although these processes have been demonstrated for individual toxin families, high-throughput multitissue sequencing of closely related venomous species can provide insights into evolutionary dynamics at the scale of the entire venom gland transcriptome. By assembling and analyzing multitissue transcriptomes from the Western black widow spider and two closely related species with distinct venom toxicity phenotypes, we do not find that gene duplication and duplicate retention is greater in gene families with venom gland biased expression in comparison with broadly expressed families. Positive selection has acted on some venom toxin families, but does not appear to be in excess for families with venom gland biased expression. Moreover, we find 309 distinct gene families that have single transcripts with venom gland biased expression, suggesting that the switching of genes to venom gland expression in numerous unrelated gene families has been a dominant mode of evolution. We also find ample variation in protein sequences of venom gland–specific transcripts, lineage-specific family sizes, and ortholog expression among species. This variation might contribute to the variable venom toxicity of these species. PMID:26733576

  9. The transcriptomic and proteomic basis for the evolution of a novel venom phenotype within the Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rokyta, Darin R; Wray, Kenneth P; McGivern, James J; Margres, Mark J

    2015-05-01

    The genetics underlying adaptive trait evolution describes the intersection between the probability that particular types of mutation are beneficial and the rates they arise. Snake venoms can vary in a directly meaningful manner through coding mutations and regulatory mutations. The amounts of different components determine venom efficacy, but point mutations in coding sequences can also change efficacy and function. The Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) has populations that have evolved neurotoxic venom from the typical hemorrhagic rattlesnake venom present throughout most of its range. We identified only a handful of nonsynonymous differences in just five loci between animals with each venom type, and these differences affected lower-abundance toxins. Expression of at least 18 loci encoding hemorrhagic toxins was severely reduced in the production of neurotoxic venom. The entire phospholipase A2 toxin family was completely replaced in the neurotoxic venom, possibly through intergeneric hybridization. Venom paedomorphosis could, at best, explain only some of the loss of expression of hemorrhagic toxins. The number of potential mechanisms for altering venom composition and the patterns observed for C. horridus suggest that rapid venom evolution should occur primarily through changes in venom composition, rather than point mutations affecting coding sequences. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. [Bufadienolides from venom of Bufo bufo gargarizans].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Peng-Wei; Jiang, Ren-Wang; Ye, Wen-Cai; Tian, Hai-Yan

    2014-03-01

    Twelve compounds were isolated from the venom of Bufo bufo gargarizans. On the basis of their physical and chemical properties and spectral data, their structures were identified as resibufagenin (1), bufotalin (2), desacetylcinobufagin (3), 19-oxodesacetylcinobufotalin (4), cinobufotalin (5), 1beta-hydroxylbufalin (6), 12alpha-hydroxybufalin (7), bufotalinin (8), Hellebrigenin (9), telocinobufagin (10), hellebrigenol (11) and cinobufagin-3-hemisuberate methyl ester (12), respectively. Compounds 7 and 12 are new natural products.

  11. Potassium Channels Blockers from the Venom of Androctonus mauretanicus mauretanicus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie-France Martin-Eauclaire

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available K+ channels selectively transport K+ ions across cell membranes and play a key role in regulating the physiology of excitable and nonexcitable cells. Their activation allows the cell to repolarize after action potential firing and reduces excitability, whereas channel inhibition increases excitability. In eukaryotes, the pharmacology and pore topology of several structural classes of K+ channels have been well characterized in the past two decades. This information has come about through the extensive use of scorpion toxins. We have participated in the isolation and in the characterization of several structurally distinct families of scorpion toxin peptides exhibiting different K+ channel blocking functions. In particular, the venom from the Moroccan scorpion Androctonus mauretanicus mauretanicus provided several high-affinity blockers selective for diverse K+ channels  (SKCa,  Kv4.x, and  Kv1.x K+ channel families. In this paper, we summarize our work on these toxin/channel interactions.

  12. Venomous animals: clinical toxinology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Julian

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Disgust: Evolved function and structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tybur, J.M.; Lieberman, D.; Kurzban, R.; DeScioli, P.

    2013-01-01

    Interest in and research on disgust has surged over the past few decades. The field, however, still lacks a coherent theoretical framework for understanding the evolved function or functions of disgust. Here we present such a framework, emphasizing 2 levels of analysis: that of evolved function and

  14. Molecular Evolution of Vertebrate Neurotrophins: Co-Option of the Highly Conserved Nerve Growth Factor Gene into the Advanced Snake Venom Arsenalf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunagar, Kartik; Fry, Bryan Grieg; Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Casewell, Nicholas R.; Undheim, Eivind A. B.; Vidal, Nicolas; Ali, Syed A.; King, Glenn F.; Vasudevan, Karthikeyan; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2013-01-01

    Neurotrophins are a diverse class of structurally related proteins, essential for neuronal development, survival, plasticity and regeneration. They are characterized by major family members, such as the nerve growth factors (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), which have been demonstrated here to lack coding sequence variations and follow the regime of negative selection, highlighting their extremely important conserved role in vertebrate homeostasis. However, in stark contrast, venom NGF secreted as part of the chemical arsenal of the venomous advanced snake family Elapidae (and to a lesser extent Viperidae) have characteristics consistent with the typical accelerated molecular evolution of venom components. This includes a rapid rate of diversification under the significant influence of positive-selection, with the majority of positively-selected sites found in the secreted β-polypeptide chain (74%) and on the molecular surface of the protein (92%), while the core structural and functional residues remain highly constrained. Such focal mutagenesis generates active residues on the toxin molecular surface, which are capable of interacting with novel biological targets in prey to induce a myriad of pharmacological effects. We propose that caenophidian NGFs could participate in prey-envenoming by causing a massive release of chemical mediators from mast cells to mount inflammatory reactions and increase vascular permeability, thereby aiding the spread of other toxins and/or by acting as proapoptotic factors. Despite their presence in reptilian venom having been known for over 60 years, this is the first evidence that venom-secreted NGF follows the molecular evolutionary pattern of other venom components, and thus likely participates in prey-envenomation. PMID:24312363

  15. Molecular evolution of vertebrate neurotrophins: co-option of the highly conserved nerve growth factor gene into the advanced snake venom arsenalf.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kartik Sunagar

    Full Text Available Neurotrophins are a diverse class of structurally related proteins, essential for neuronal development, survival, plasticity and regeneration. They are characterized by major family members, such as the nerve growth factors (NGF, brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3, which have been demonstrated here to lack coding sequence variations and follow the regime of negative selection, highlighting their extremely important conserved role in vertebrate homeostasis. However, in stark contrast, venom NGF secreted as part of the chemical arsenal of the venomous advanced snake family Elapidae (and to a lesser extent Viperidae have characteristics consistent with the typical accelerated molecular evolution of venom components. This includes a rapid rate of diversification under the significant influence of positive-selection, with the majority of positively-selected sites found in the secreted β-polypeptide chain (74% and on the molecular surface of the protein (92%, while the core structural and functional residues remain highly constrained. Such focal mutagenesis generates active residues on the toxin molecular surface, which are capable of interacting with novel biological targets in prey to induce a myriad of pharmacological effects. We propose that caenophidian NGFs could participate in prey-envenoming by causing a massive release of chemical mediators from mast cells to mount inflammatory reactions and increase vascular permeability, thereby aiding the spread of other toxins and/or by acting as proapoptotic factors. Despite their presence in reptilian venom having been known for over 60 years, this is the first evidence that venom-secreted NGF follows the molecular evolutionary pattern of other venom components, and thus likely participates in prey-envenomation.

  16. Isolation and properties of a complement inhibitor from Naja haje venom, distinct from known anticomplementary factors in cobra venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Zabern, I; Przyklenk, H; Damerau, B; Zimmermann, B

    1981-08-01

    A complement inhibitor (CI) has been isolated from cobra (Naja haje) venom which is distinct from the two known anticomplementary factors in cobra venom [1], in functional properties as well as structure. CI is a small (mol. wt 26,000, determined by sodium dodecyl sulphate gel electrophoresis), heat-labile glycoprotein; the amino acid composition is that of a globular protein. CI interferes at various steps of the complement sequence, including reactions of the classical and alternative pathway. No effect was observed on C4 fixation and on the assembly of the membrane attack complex from C6-9 (minor inhibiting effects, if present, have not been excluded). Initiation of the alternative pathway is inhibited by CI already at the stage of cleavage of factor B. CI binds to C4, C4b, C3 and C3b; since the major inhibitory action of CI is lost after washing of cell intermediates, complex formation and, as a consequence, steric hindrance may be responsible for the inhibiting effects of CI. CI also interferes with binding of C3b to C3b receptors on human erythrocytes. CI is non-toxic in mice when given intraperitoneally in doses of 5 microgram/g.

  17. Enhanced functional and structural domain assignments using ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    biology of MTB, yet the functions of many MTB proteins are unknown. We have used sensitive profile-based search procedures to assign functional and structural domains to infer functions of gene products encoded in. MTB. These domain assignments have been made using a compendium of sequence and structural ...

  18. 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.

  19. Macroevolution of venom apparatus innovations in auger snails (Gastropoda; Conoidea; Terebridae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castelin, M; Puillandre, N; Kantor, Yu I; Modica, M V; Terryn, Y; Cruaud, C; Bouchet, P; Holford, M

    2012-07-01

    The Terebridae are a diverse family of tropical and subtropical marine gastropods that use a complex and modular venom apparatus to produce toxins that capture polychaete and enteropneust preys. The complexity of the terebrid venom apparatus suggests that venom apparatus development in the Terebridae could be linked to the diversification of the group and can be analyzed within a molecular phylogenetic scaffold to better understand terebrid evolution. Presented here is a molecular phylogeny of 89 terebrid species belonging to 12 of the 15 currently accepted genera, based on Bayesian inference and Maximum Likelihood analyses of amplicons of 3 mitochondrial (COI, 16S and 12S) and one nuclear (28S) genes. The evolution of the anatomy of the terebrid venom apparatus was assessed by mapping traits of six related characters: proboscis, venom gland, odontophore, accessory proboscis structure, radula, and salivary glands. A novel result concerning terebrid phylogeny was the discovery of a previously unrecognized lineage, which includes species of Euterebra and Duplicaria. The non-monophyly of most terebrid genera analyzed indicates that the current genus-level classification of the group is plagued with homoplasy and requires further taxonomic investigations. Foregut anatomy in the family Terebridae reveals an inordinate diversity of features that covers the range of variability within the entire superfamily Conoidea, and that hypodermic radulae have likely evolved independently on at least three occasions. These findings illustrate that terebrid venom apparatus evolution is not perfunctory, and involves independent and numerous changes of central features in the foregut anatomy. The multiple emergence of hypodermic marginal radular teeth in terebrids are presumably associated with variable functionalities, suggesting that terebrids have adapted to dietary changes that may have resulted from predator-prey relationships. The anatomical and phylogenetic results presented

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casewell, Nicholas R

    2012-09-15

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

  2. Functional keratin as structural platforms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wool with up to 95% keratin by weight is a rich and pure source of proteinous biomaterial. As polymeric polyamide it exhibits high functionality through amide, carboxyl, sulfoxide, sulfide, and thiosulfide functions. Solubilized wool was transformed into keratin morphologies with the unique characte...

  3. Hymenoptera venom allergy: work disability and occupational impact of venom immunotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paolocci, Giulia; Folletti, Ilenia; Torén, Kjell; Muzi, Giacomo; Murgia, Nicola

    2014-08-06

    Little is known about the Hymenoptera venom allergy impact on work ability and the effect of venom immunotherapy (VIT) on work. The objective of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and predictors of work disability in patients treated with VIT and the effects of VIT on occupational functioning. 181 patients, aged 18-71 years, treated with VIT while working, were investigated by questionnaire. Participants were classified into employed and self-employed and, based on work exposure to Hymenoptera, into three risk categories: high risk, occasionally high risk and low risk. Work disability was defined as having to have changed jobs/tasks and/or suffered economic loss because of Hymenoptera venom allergy. Predictors of work disability were assessed in logistic regression models. 31 (17%) patients reported work disability. Being self-employed and having the severe reaction at work were associated with work disability (pallergy could determine work disability. Patients with Hymenoptera venom allergy having a high-risk job for exposure to Hymenoptera seem to have higher risk of work disability and refer more frequently a positive effect of VIT on work. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  4. cDNA and deduced primary structure of basic phospholipase A2 with neurotoxic activity from the venom secretion of the Crotalus durissus collilineatus rattlesnake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F.H.R. Fagundes

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available To illustrate the construction of precursor complementary DNAs, we isolated mRNAs from whole venom samples. After reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR, we amplified the cDNA coding for a neurotoxic protein, phospholipase A2 D49 (PLA2 D49, from the venom of Crotalus durissus collilineatus (Cdc PLA2. The cDNA encoding Cdc PLA2 from whole venom was sequenced. The deduced amino acid sequence of this cDNA has high overall sequence identity with the group II PLA2 protein family. Cdc PLA2 has 14 cysteine residues capable of forming seven disulfide bonds that characterize this group of PLA2 enzymes. Cdc PLA2 was isolated using conventional Sephadex G75 column chromatography and reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC. The molecular mass was estimated using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. We tested the neuromuscular blocking activities on chick biventer cervicis neuromuscular tissue. Phylogenetic analysis of Cdc PLA2 showed the existence of two lines of N6-PLA2, denominated F24 and S24. Apparently, the sequences of the New World’s N6-F24-PLA2 are similar to those of the agkistrodotoxin from the Asian genus Gloydius. The sequences of N6-S24-PLA2 are similar to the sequence of trimucrotoxin from the genus Protobothrops, found in the Old World.

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel B Currier

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

  7. Antivenom action on renal effects induced by Thalassophryne nattereri venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    AMC Martins

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Thalassophryne nattereri (niquim is a venomous fish responsible for numerous accidents involving fishermen in northern and northeastern Brazil. The aim of the present investigation was to evaluate the action of antivenom on renal effects caused by Thalassophryne nattereri venom. Isolated kidneys of Wistar rats were perfused with a previously dialyzed Krebs-Henseleit solution containing 6 g% bovine serum albumin. The antivenom action was studied through perfusion pressure (PP, renal vascular resistance (RVR, urinary flow (UF and glomerular filtration rate (GFR. The niquim venom (1 µg/mL, the antivenom alone (1 µg/mL or the venom incubated with antivenom were added to the system 30 minutes after the beginning of each perfusion. Previous works have shown venom induced-alterations of renal function parameters. In the isolated rat kidney, T. nattereri venom (1 µg/mL increased the perfusion pressure and renal vascular resistance at 60, 90 and 120 minutes. UF and GFR also increased at 60, 90 and 120 minutes when compared with the control group; however, no effects were observed on the percent of sodium (%TNa+control = 81.1 ±0.86; %TNa+60 = 78.04 ±1.18; %TNa+90 = 76.16 ±3.34; %TNa+120 = 79.49 ±0.87 and potassium (%TK+control = 72.29 ±1.12; %TK+60 = 75.41 ±0.65; %TK+90 = 71.23 ±2.55; %TK+120 = 76.62 ±1.04 tubular transport. The administration of the antivenom (1 µg/mL incubated with venom (1 µg/mL reduced the changes in PP, RVR, UF and GFR provoked by Thalassophryne nattereri venom. The group perfused with venom alone showed a moderate deposit of a proteinaceous material in the tubules and urinary space. The group perfused with the antivenom presented similar results to the control group. In conclusion, the antivenom was able to decrease the effects induced by T. nattereri venom in isolated rat kidney.

  8. Profiling the short, linear, non-disulfide bond-containing peptidome from the venom of the scorpion Tityus obscurus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dias, Nathalia Baptista; de Souza, Bibiana Monson; Cocchi, Fernando Kamimura; Chalkidis, Hipócrates M; Dorce, Valquíria Abrão Coronado; Palma, Mario Sergio

    2018-01-06

    Many scorpion accidents occur in the Brazilian Amazonian region and are frequently caused by Tityus obscurus. Approximately 5% of the crude venom of this species is composed of short linear, non-disulfide-bridged peptides, which have not been intensively investigated. As a consequence, only a few of these peptides have been structurally and functionally characterized to date. In the present paper, the peptide fraction of the venom was subjected to peptide profiling using an LCMS-IT-TOF/MS and MS(n) system. The analysis detected 320 non-disulfide bond-containing peptides (NDBPs), of which twenty-seven had their sequences assigned; among them, thirteen peptides were characterized, constituting novel toxins in T. obscurus venom. Some of the novel peptides showed similarities to hypotensin-like toxins, while other peptides appear to be natural fragments of neurotoxins. The novel peptides were submitted to a series of bioassays, revealing that many are multifunctional toxins that cause, for example, pain, edema formation and hemolysis to potentiate strong inflammatory processes and alterations in the locomotion and lifting activities in the victims of stinging. Knowledge of the complex matrix of peptides composing the venom of T. obscurus will contribute to better understanding of the complex mechanism of envenoming caused by stinging accidents. The scorpion Tityus obscurus causes many envenoming accidents of medical importance in Brazilian Amazon region; despite to this, very few is known about the toxinology of this animal. The knowledge about the venom composition and mechanisms of action is very important to understand the physiopathology processes related to the envenoming caused by this animal. The proteopeptidomic investigations of scorpion venoms in general have focused mainly the neurotoxins (which are disulfide bonds containing peptides) and large proteins. The short, linear, non-disulfide bonds containing peptides (NDBPs) represent up to 5% of scorpion venom

  9. Structure and function of wood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alex C. Wiedenhoeft; Regis B. Miller

    2005-01-01

    Despite the many human uses to which various woods are suited, at a fundamental level wood is a complex biological structure, itself a composite of many chemistries and cell types acting together to serve the needs of the plant. Although humans have striven to understand wood in the context of wood technology, we have often overlooked the key and basic fact that wood...

  10. Structural symmetry and protein function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodsell, D S; Olson, A J

    2000-01-01

    The majority of soluble and membrane-bound proteins in modern cells are symmetrical oligomeric complexes with two or more subunits. The evolutionary selection of symmetrical oligomeric complexes is driven by functional, genetic, and physicochemical needs. Large proteins are selected for specific morphological functions, such as formation of rings, containers, and filaments, and for cooperative functions, such as allosteric regulation and multivalent binding. Large proteins are also more stable against denaturation and have a reduced surface area exposed to solvent when compared with many individual, smaller proteins. Large proteins are constructed as oligomers for reasons of error control in synthesis, coding efficiency, and regulation of assembly. Symmetrical oligomers are favored because of stability and finite control of assembly. Several functions limit symmetry, such as interaction with DNA or membranes, and directional motion. Symmetry is broken or modified in many forms: quasisymmetry, in which identical subunits adopt similar but different conformations; pleomorphism, in which identical subunits form different complexes; pseudosymmetry, in which different molecules form approximately symmetrical complexes; and symmetry mismatch, in which oligomers of different symmetries interact along their respective symmetry axes. Asymmetry is also observed at several levels. Nearly all complexes show local asymmetry at the level of side chain conformation. Several complexes have reciprocating mechanisms in which the complex is asymmetric, but, over time, all subunits cycle through the same set of conformations. Global asymmetry is only rarely observed. Evolution of oligomeric complexes may favor the formation of dimers over complexes with higher cyclic symmetry, through a mechanism of prepositioned pairs of interacting residues. However, examples have been found for all of the crystallographic point groups, demonstrating that functional need can drive the evolution of

  11. Bioactive Components in Fish Venoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziegman, Rebekah; Alewood, Paul

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Venom Profiling of a Population of the Theraphosid Spider Phlogius crassipes Reveals Continuous Ontogenetic Changes from Juveniles through Adulthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santana, Renan C; Perez, David; Dobson, James; Panagides, Nadya; Raven, Robert J; Nouwens, Amanda; Jones, Alun; King, Glenn F; Fry, Bryan G

    2017-03-25

    Theraphosid spiders (tarantulas) are venomous arthropods found in most tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Tarantula venoms are a complex cocktail of toxins with potential use as pharmacological tools, drugs and bioinsecticides. Although numerous toxins have been isolated from tarantula venoms, little research has been carried out on the venom of Australian tarantulas. We therefore investigated the venom profile of the Australian theraphosid spider Phlogius crassipes and examined whether there are ontogenetic changes in venom composition. Spiders were divided into four ontogenic groups according to cephalothorax length, then the venom composition of each group was examined using gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. We found that the venom of P. crassipes changes continuously during development and throughout adulthood. Our data highlight the need to investigate the venom of organisms over the course of their lives to uncover and understand the changing functions of venom and the full range of toxins expressed. This in turn should lead to a deeper understanding of the organism's ecology and enhance the potential for biodiscovery.

  13. Crude venom from nematocysts of Pelagia noctiluca (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) elicits a sodium conductance in the plasma membrane of mammalian cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morabito, Rossana; Costa, Roberta; Rizzo, Valentina; Remigante, Alessia; Nofziger, Charity; La Spada, Giuseppa; Marino, Angela; Paulmichl, Markus; Dossena, Silvia

    2017-01-01

    Cnidarians may negatively impact human activities and public health but concomitantly their venom represents a rich source of bioactive substances. Pelagia noctiluca is the most venomous and abundant jellyfish of the Mediterranean Sea and possesses a venom with hemolytic and cytolytic activity for which the mechanism is largely unknown. Here we show that exposure of mammalian cells to crude venom from the nematocysts of P. noctiluca profoundly alters the ion conductance of the plasma membrane, therefore affecting homeostatic functions such as the regulation and maintenance of cellular volume. Venom-treated cells exhibited a large, inwardly rectifying current mainly due to permeation of Na+ and Cl-, sensitive to amiloride and completely abrogated following harsh thermal treatment of crude venom extract. Curiously, the plasma membrane conductance of Ca2+ and K+ was not affected. Current-inducing activity was also observed following delivery of venom to the cytosolic side of the plasma membrane, consistent with a pore-forming mechanism. Venom-induced NaCl influx followed by water and consequent cell swelling most likely underlie the hemolytic and cytolytic activity of P. noctiluca venom. The present study underscores unique properties of P. noctiluca venom and provides essential information for a possible use of its active compounds and treatment of envenomation.

  14. Hepatotoxicity and oxidative stress induced by Naja haje crude venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Quraishy, Saleh; Dkhil, Mahamed A; Abdel Moneim, Ahmed Esmat

    2014-01-01

    Snake venoms are synthesized and stored in venom glands. Most venoms are complex mixtures of several proteins, peptides, enzymes, toxins and non-protein components. In the present study, we investigated the oxidative stress and apoptosis in rat liver cells provoked by Naja haje crude injection (LD50) after four hours. Wistar rats were randomly divided into two groups, the control group was intraperitoneally injected with saline solution while LD50-dose envenomed group was intraperitoneally injected with venom at a dose of 0.025 μg/kg of body weight. Animals were killed four hours after the injection. Lipid peroxidation, nitric oxide and glutathione levels were measured as oxidative markers in serum and liver homogenate. In addition, liver function parameters and activities of antioxidant enzymes were determined. N. haje crude venom (0.025 μg/kg of body weight) enhanced lipid peroxidation and nitric oxide production in both serum and liver with concomitant reduction in glutathione, catalase, glutathione reductase and glutathione-S-transferase activities. Superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activities were significantly increased in liver of envenomed rats. These findings were associated with apoptosis induction in the liver. In addition, N. haje crude venom caused hepatic injury as indicated by histopathological changes in the liver tissue with an elevation in total bilirubin, serum alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, γ-glutamyl transpeptidase, and alkaline phosphatase. Based on the present results, it can hypothesized that N. haje crude venom is a potent inducer of toxin-mediated hepatotoxicity associated with apoptosis in the liver.

  15. Inhibition of human complement components by Loxosceles reclusa venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Futrell, J M; Morgan, P N

    1978-01-01

    Venom from the brown recluse spider, Loxosceles reclusa, was capable of inactivation human C1-C7 in vitro. This inactivation occurred if venom was added to fresh adult human serum, human cord serum, or functionally pure specific human components. Optimal incubation conditions for the inactivation of each component were determined and were found generally to be in the range of 25 or 37 degrees C for 30-60 min. The alternative complement pathway did not appear to be involved, since C1, C4, and C2 were readily inactivated, and inactivation took place in sera depleted of factor B of the properdin system. Venom-induced inactivation appeared to require few, if any, serum cofactors, because, with the possible exception of C2, functionally pure components, as well as those in sera, were readily inactivated.

  16. [GABA receptors: structure and functions].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiurenkov, I N; Perfilova, V N

    2010-10-01

    Data on the structure, localization, physiology, and pharmacology of GABA receptors are reviewed. These receptors belong to cis-loop receptors and consist of 16 subunits in various combinations and occur in both central nervous system and peripheral organs. There are a great number of their allosteric modulators, agonists and antagonists. Activation of GABA receptors is accompanied by changes in the permeability of plasmatic membranes for chloride ions, which is followed by depolarization (presynaptic inhibition) or hyperpolarization (postsynaptic inhibition). GABA receptors contain some topographically different binding sites, intended for the interaction both with the main mediator (GABA) and with allosteric regulators such as benzodiazepines, barbiturates, convulsants, ethanol, and neurosteroids.

  17. Enhanced functional and structural domain assignments using ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The sequencing of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) H37Rv genome has facilitated deeper insights into the biology of MTB, yet the functions of many MTB proteins are unknown. We have used sensitive profile-based search procedures to assign functional and structural domains to infer functions of gene products ...

  18. Venom-derived peptides inhibiting Kir channels: Past, present, and future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doupnik, Craig A

    2017-07-14

    Inwardly rectifying K(+) (Kir) channels play a significant role in vertebrate and invertebrate biology by regulating the movement of K(+) ions involved in membrane transport and excitability. Yet unlike other ion channels including their ancestral K(+)-selective homologs, there are very few venom toxins known to target and inhibit Kir channels with the potency and selectivity found for the Ca(2+)-activated and voltage-gated K(+) channel families. It is unclear whether this is simply due to a lack of discovery, or instead a consequence of the evolutionary processes that drive the development of venom components towards their targets based on a collective efficacy to 1) elicit pain for defensive purposes, 2) promote paralysis for prey capture, or 3) facilitate delivery of venom components into the circulation. The past two decades of venom screening has yielded three venom peptides with inhibitory activity towards mammalian Kir channels, including the discovery of tertiapin, a high-affinity pore blocker from the venom of the European honey bee Apis mellifera. Venomics and structure-based computational approaches represent exciting new frontiers for venom peptide development, where re-engineering peptide 'scaffolds' such as tertiapin may aid in the quest to expand the palette of potent and selective Kir channel blockers for future research and potentially new therapeutics. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Identification of Venom Proteins of the Indigenous Endoparasitoid Chouioia cunea (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xin, Bei; Liu, Peixuan; Xu, Xiaorui; Zhang, Shun; Zheng, Yanan

    2017-10-01

    Chouioia cunea (Yang) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) is an indigenous pupal endoparasitoid that effectively attacks the exotic fall webworm Hyphantria cunea (Drury) (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) in China. In this novel association, the parasitoid's venom has played an important role in subduing the immune defense of the host although little is known about the composition and functions of the parasitoid's venom. We therefore first identified the parasitoid's major venom proteins using electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). Approximately 207 different proteins were identified from C. cunea's venom; among them 26 types widely existed in other endoparasitoids' venom, including calreticulin and arginine kinase, which inhibited the host immune system. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Functional materials discovery using energy-structure-function maps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulido, Angeles; Chen, Linjiang; Kaczorowski, Tomasz; Holden, Daniel; Little, Marc A; Chong, Samantha Y; Slater, Benjamin J; McMahon, David P; Bonillo, Baltasar; Stackhouse, Chloe J; Stephenson, Andrew; Kane, Christopher M; Clowes, Rob; Hasell, Tom; Cooper, Andrew I; Day, Graeme M

    2017-03-30

    Molecular crystals cannot be designed in the same manner as macroscopic objects, because they do not assemble according to simple, intuitive rules. Their structures result from the balance of many weak interactions, rather than from the strong and predictable bonding patterns found in metal-organic frameworks and covalent organic frameworks. Hence, design strategies that assume a topology or other structural blueprint will often fail. Here we combine computational crystal structure prediction and property prediction to build energy-structure-function maps that describe the possible structures and properties that are available to a candidate molecule. Using these maps, we identify a highly porous solid, which has the lowest density reported for a molecular crystal so far. Both the structure of the crystal and its physical properties, such as methane storage capacity and guest-molecule selectivity, are predicted using the molecular structure as the only input. More generally, energy-structure-function maps could be used to guide the experimental discovery of materials with any target function that can be calculated from predicted crystal structures, such as electronic structure or mechanical properties.

  1. SAFETY OF VENOMENHAL® VENOM IN MAINTENANCE HYMENOPTERA VENOM IMMUNOTHERAPY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mitja Košnik

    2001-10-01

    Full Text Available Background. Venomenhal® (V is a new brand ofHymenoptera venom allergen for diagnosis and immunotherapyof venom allergy. We studied the safety of switching thepatients treated with other brands of venom to V. Methods. We performed duplicate skin prick tests with V andALK Reless® (R venom extract (100 μg/ml in 68 patients (50males, 42 ± 15 years on maintenance immunotherapy withhoney bee (26 or wasp (42 venom. On two consecutive maintenanceinjection days 53 patients received in random ordereither 100 μg of R or V venom. Results. Weal diameter in skin prick tests (mean ± st.dev. were3.9 ± 1.1 mm (V and 4.1 ± 1.0 mm (R for bee venom (NSand 3.4 ± 1.0 mm (V and 3.9 ± 1.2 mm (R for wasp venom (p< 0.01. Local reaction 30 minutes after maintenance injectionwere 6.1 ± 1.7 cm (V and 5.4 ± 2.5 cm (R for bee venom(NS and 5.1 ± 1.8 cm (V and 6.1 ± 1.8 cm (R for wasp venom(p < 0.05.Late local reactions (LLR and tiredness (T on the day of injectionand 24 hours after injection were equally distributedamong both groups and were mild (LLR on the day of injection:38% of patients [V] vs. 43% [R]. LLR after 24 hours: 28%[V] vs. 28% [R]. T on the day of injection: 21% [V] vs. 23% [R].T after 24 hours: 0% [V] vs. 6% [R]. Conclusions. V was at least as safe as A. There were no adversereactions due to switching from one brand to another. Slightlybut significantly smaller weal in skin prick tests and immediatelocal reactions might be due to lesser potency or betterpurification of V wasp extract.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-11-01

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

  3. Nitric oxide synthases: structure, function and inhibition

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Alderton, W K; Cooper, C E; Knowles, R G

    2001-01-01

    This review concentrates on advances in nitric oxide synthase (NOS) structure, function and inhibition made in the last seven years, during which time substantial advances have been made in our understanding of this enzyme family...

  4. Understanding Microbial Communities: Function, Structure and Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-02-11

    microbial communities: Function, structure and dynamics’, at the Isaac Newton Institute, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, from August to...dynamics’, at the Isaac Newton Institute, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, from August to December 2014. The programme involved over 150...Communities: Function, Structure and Dynamics’, at the Isaac Newton Institute, Cambridge University, UK, from 19th August 2014 – 19th December 2014

  5. Structural and Functional Studies of a Bothropic Myotoxin Complexed to Rosmarinic Acid: New Insights into Lys49-PLA2 Inhibition

    Science.gov (United States)

    dos Santos, Juliana I.; Cardoso, Fábio F.; Soares, Andreimar M.; dal Pai Silva, Maeli; Gallacci, Márcia; Fontes, Marcos R. M.

    2011-01-01

    Snakebite envenoming is an important public health problem in many tropical and subtropical countries, and is considered a neglected tropical disease by the World Health Organization. Most severe cases are inflicted by species of the families Elapidae and Viperidae, and lead to a number of systemic and local effects in the victim. One of the main problems regarding viperidic accidents is prominent local tissue damage whose pathogenesis is complex and involves the combined actions of a variety of venom components. Phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) are the most abundant muscle-damaging components of these venoms. Herein, we report functional and structural studies of PrTX-I, a Lys49-PLA2 from Bothops pirajai snake venom, and the influence of rosmarinic acid (RA) upon this toxin's activities. RA is a known active component of some plant extracts and has been reported as presenting anti-myotoxic properties related to bothopic envenomation. The myotoxic activity of Lys49-PLA2s is well established in the literature and although no in vivo neurotoxicity has been observed among these toxins, in vitro neuromuscular blockade has been reported for some of these proteins. Our in vitro studies show that RA drastically reduces both the muscle damage and the neuromuscular blockade exerted by PrTX-I on mice neuromuscular preparations (by ∼80% and ∼90%, respectively). These results support the hypothesis that the two effects are closely related and lead us to suggest that they are consequences of the muscle membrane-destabilizing activity of the Lys49-PLA2. Although the C-terminal region of these proteins has been reported to comprise the myotoxic site, we demonstrate by X-ray crystallographic studies that RA interacts with PrTX-I in a different region. Consequently, a new mode of Lys49-PLA2 inhibition is proposed. Comparison of our results with others in the literature suggests possible new ways to inhibit bothropic snake venom myotoxins and improve serum therapy. PMID:22205953

  6. Synthesis, Crystal Structure, Density Function Theory, Molecular ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Conclusion: The test compound has a moderate antimicrobial activity and the optimized molecular structure of the studied compound using B3LYP/6-31G (d,p) method showed good agreement with the reported x-ray structure. Keywords: Isoindoline-1, 3-dione, X-ray analysis, Density function theory, Antimicrobial, Molecular ...

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    Research into snake venoms has revealed extensive variation at all taxonomic levels. Lizard venoms, however, have received scant research attention in general, and no studies of intraclade variation in lizard venom composition have been attempted to date. Despite their iconic status and proven usefulness in drug design and discovery, highly venomous helodermatid lizards (gila monsters and beaded lizards) have remained neglected by toxinological research. Proteomic comparisons of venoms of thr...

  10. 2004 Structural, Function and Evolutionary Genomics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Douglas L. Brutlag Nancy Ryan Gray

    2005-03-23

    This Gordon conference will cover the areas of structural, functional and evolutionary genomics. It will take a systematic approach to genomics, examining the evolution of proteins, protein functional sites, protein-protein interactions, regulatory networks, and metabolic networks. Emphasis will be placed on what we can learn from comparative genomics and entire genomes and proteomes.

  11. Huntington's disease : functional and structural biomarkers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dumas, Eve Marie

    2012-01-01

    The aims of this thesis were to gain insight into specific disease processes in Huntington’s Disease (HD) and to identify biomarkers. To achieve these aims, cognitive functioning, structural brain characteristics and intrinstic functional brain connectivity of premanifest and early HD subjects were

  12. Toward a "structural BLAST": using structural relationships to infer function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dey, Fabian; Cliff Zhang, Qiangfeng; Petrey, Donald; Honig, Barry

    2013-04-01

    We outline a set of strategies to infer protein function from structure. The overall approach depends on extensive use of homology modeling, the exploitation of a wide range of global and local geometric relationships between protein structures and the use of machine learning techniques. The combination of modeling with broad searches of protein structure space defines a "structural BLAST" approach to infer function with high genomic coverage. Applications are described to the prediction of protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions. In the context of protein-protein interactions, our structure-based prediction algorithm, PrePPI, has comparable accuracy to high-throughput experiments. An essential feature of PrePPI involves the use of Bayesian methods to combine structure-derived information with non-structural evidence (e.g. co-expression) to assign a likelihood for each predicted interaction. This, combined with a structural BLAST approach significantly expands the range of applications of protein structure in the annotation of protein function, including systems level biological applications where it has previously played little role. Copyright © 2013 The Protein Society.

  13. Novel venom gene discovery in the platypus

    OpenAIRE

    Mitreva, Makedonka; Papenfuss, Antony T.; Whittington, Camilla M.; Locke, Devin P.; Mardis, Elaine; Wilson, Richard K.; Abubucker, Sahar; Wong, Emily SW; Hsu, Artur; Kuchei, Philip W.; Belov, Katherine; Warren, Wesley

    2010-01-01

    Background: To date, few peptides in the complex mixture of platypus venom have been identified and sequenced, in part due to the limited amounts of platypus venom available to study. We have constructed and sequenced a cDNA library from an active platypus venom gland to identify the remaining components. Results: We identified 83 novel putative platypus venom genes from 13 toxin families, which are homologous to known toxins from a wide range of vertebrates (fish, reptiles, insectivores)...

  14. Structure functions in the chiral bag model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sanjose, V.; Vento, V.

    1989-07-13

    We calculate the structure functions of an isoscalar nuclear target for the deep inelastic scattering by leptons in an extended version of the chiral bag model which incorporates the qanti q structure of the pions in the cloud. Bjorken scaling and Regge behavior are satisfied. The model calculation reproduces the low-x behavior of the data but fails to explain the medium- to large-x behavior. Evolution of the quark structure functions seem inevitable to attempt a connection between the low-energy models and the high-energy behavior of quantum chromodynamics. (orig.).

  15. Protein Profile Analysis of Two Australian Snake Venoms by One- Dimensional Gel Electrophoresis and MS/MS Experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgieva, Dessislava; Hildebrand, Diana; Simas, Rodrigo; Coronado, Monika A; Kwiatkowski, Marcel; Schlüter, Hartmut; Arni, Raghuvir; Spencer, Patrick; Betzel, Christian

    2017-01-01

    The Pseudechis colletti and Pseudechis butleri venoms were analyzed by 1-D gel electrophoresis, followed by mass spectrometric analysis of tryptic peptides obtained from the protein bands. Both venoms contain highly potent pharmacologically active components, which were assigned to the following protein families: basic and acidic phospholipases A2 (PLA2s), L-amino acid oxidases (LAAOs), P-III metalloproteinases (P-III SVMPs), 5'- nucleotidases (5'-NTDs), cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISPs), venom nerve growth factors (VNGFs) and post-synaptic neurotoxins. Considerable predominance of PLA2s over other toxins is a characteristic feature of both venoms. The major differences in the venom compositions are the higher concentration of SVMPs and CRISPs in the P. butleri venom, as well as the presence of post-synaptic neurotoxins. Furthermore, the analysis revealed a high concentration of proteins with myotoxic, coagulopathic and apoptotic activities. PLA2s are responsible for the myotoxic and anticoagulant effects observed in patients after envenomation (4). The other protein families, encountered in the two venoms, probably contribute to the major symptoms described for these venoms. These results explain the observed clinical effects of the black snake envenomation. The analyzed venoms contain group P-III metalloproteinases of medical importance with the potency to be used for diagnostic purposes of von Willebrand factor (vWF) disease, for regulation of vWF in thrombosis and haemostasis, for studying the function of the complement system in host defense and in the pathogenesis of diseases. Comparison of venomic data showed similarities in the major venom components of snakes from the genus Pseudechis, resulting in common clinical effects of envenomation, and demonstrating close relationships between venom toxins of Elapidae snakes. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  16. Predicting protein structure classes from function predictions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sommer, I.; Rahnenfuhrer, J.; de Lichtenberg, Ulrik

    2004-01-01

    We introduce a new approach to using the information contained in sequence-to-function prediction data in order to recognize protein template classes, a critical step in predicting protein structure. The data on which our method is based comprise probabilities of functional categories; for given...... query sequences these probabilities are obtained by a neural net that has previously been trained on a variety of functionally important features. On a training set of sequences we assess the relevance of individual functional categories for identifying a given structural family. Using a combination...... of the most relevant categories, the likelihood of a query sequence to belong to a specific family can be estimated. Results: The performance of the method is evaluated using cross-validation. For a fixed structural family and for every sequence, a score is calculated that measures the evidence for family...

  17. Magnetism and Structure in Functional Materials

    CERN Document Server

    Planes, Antoni; Saxena, Avadh

    2005-01-01

    Magnetism and Structure in Functional Materials addresses three distinct but related topics: (i) magnetoelastic materials such as magnetic martensites and magnetic shape memory alloys, (ii) the magnetocaloric effect related to magnetostructural transitions, and (iii) colossal magnetoresistance (CMR) and related magnanites. The goal is to identify common underlying principles in these classes of materials that are relevant for optimizing various functionalities. The emergence of apparently different magnetic/structural phenomena in disparate classes of materials clearly points to a need for common concepts in order to achieve a broader understanding of the interplay between magnetism and structure in this general class of new functional materials exhibiting ever more complex microstructure and function. The topic is interdisciplinary in nature and the contributors correspondingly include physicists, materials scientists and engineers. Likewise the book will appeal to scientists from all these areas.

  18. Toxicity and utilization of chemical weapons: does toxicity and venom utilization contribute to the formation of species communities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westermann, Fabian L; McPherson, Iain S; Jones, Tappey H; Milicich, Lesley; Lester, Philip J

    2015-08-01

    Toxicity and the utilization of venom are essential features in the ecology of many animal species and have been hypothesized to be important factors contributing to the assembly of communities through competitive interactions. Ants of the genus Monomorium utilize a variety of venom compositions, which have been reported to give them a competitive advantage. Here, we investigate two pairs of Monomorium species, which differ in the structural compositions of their venom and their co-occurrence patterns with the invasive Argentine ant. We looked at the effects of Monomorium venom toxicity, venom utilization, and aggressive physical interactions on Monomorium and Argentine ant survival rates during arena trials. The venom toxicity of the two species co-occurring with the invasive Argentine ants was found to be significantly higher than the toxicity of the two species which do not. There was no correlation between venom toxicity and Monomorium survival; however, three of the four Monomorium species displayed significant variability in their venom usage which was associated with the number of Argentine ant workers encountered during trials. Average Monomorium mortality varied significantly between species, and in Monomorium smithii and Monomorium antipodum, aggressive interactions with Argentine ants had a significant negative effect on their mortality. Our study demonstrates that different factors and strategies can contribute to the ability of a species to withstand the pressure of a dominant invader at high abundance, and venom chemistry appears to be only one of several strategies utilized.

  19. 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 ...

  20. Biological characterization of the Amazon coral Micrurus spixii snake venom: Isolation of a new neurotoxic phospholipase A2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terra, Angelo L C; Moreira-Dill, Leandro S; Simões-Silva, Rodrigo; Monteiro, José Roniele N; Cavalcante, Walter L G; Gallacci, Márcia; Barros, Neuza B; Nicolete, Roberto; Teles, Carolina B G; Medeiros, Patrícia S M; Zanchi, Fernando B; Zuliani, Juliana P; Calderon, Leonardo A; Stábeli, Rodrigo G; Soares, Andreimar M

    2015-09-01

    The Micrurus genus is the American representative of Elapidae family. Micrurus spixii is endemic of South America and northern states of Brazil. Elapidic venoms contain neurotoxins that promote curare-mimetic neuromuscular blockage. In this study, biochemical and functional characterizations of M. spixii crude venom were performed and a new neurotoxic phospholipase A2 called MsPLA2-I was isolated. M. spixii crude venom caused severe swelling in the legs of tested mice and significant release of creatine kinase (CK) showing its myotoxic activity. Leishmanicidal activity against Leishmania amazonensis (IC50 1.24 μg/mL) was also observed, along with antiplasmodial activity against Plasmodium falciparum, which are unprecedented for Micrurus venoms. MsPLA2-I with a Mr 12,809.4 Da was isolated from the crude venom of M. spixii. The N-terminal sequencing of a fragment of 60 amino acids showed 80% similarity with another PLA2 from Micrurus altirostris. This toxin and the crude venom showed phospholipase activity. In a mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparation, M. spixii venom and MsPLA2-I induced the blockage of both direct and indirect twitches. While the venom presented a pronounced myotoxic activity, MsPLA2-I expressed a summation of neurotoxic activity. The results of this study make M. spixii crude venom promising compounds in the exploration of molecules with microbicidal potential. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Combined Peptidomic and Proteomic Analysis of Electrically Stimulated and Manually Dissected Venom from the South American Bullet Ant Paraponera clavata.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-03

    Ants have evolved venoms rich in peptides and proteins used for predation, defense, and communication. However, they remain extremely understudied due to the minimal amount of venom secreted by each ant. The present study investigated the differences in the proteome and peptidome of the venom from the bullet ant, Paraponera clavata. Venom samples were collected from a single colony either by manual venom gland dissection or by electrical stimulation and were compared using proteomic methods. Venom proteins were separated by 2D-PAGE and identified by nanoLC-ESI-QTOF MS/MS. Venom peptides were initially separated using C18 reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography, then analyzed by MALDI-TOF MS. The proteomic analysis revealed numerous proteins that could be assigned a biological function (total 94), mainly as toxins, or roles in cell regulation and transport. This investigation found that ca. 73% of the proteins were common to venoms collected by the two methods. The peptidomic analysis revealed a large number of peptides (total 309) but with ant colonies. These findings demonstrate the rich composition and variability of P. clavata venom.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2013-01-01

    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...

  3. GRASPs in Golgi Structure and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiaoyan; Wang, Yanzhuang

    2016-01-01

    The Golgi apparatus is a central intracellular membrane organelle for trafficking and modification of proteins and lipids. Its basic structure is a stack of tightly aligned flat cisternae. In mammalian cells, dozens of stacks are concentrated in the pericentriolar region and laterally connected to form a ribbon. Despite extensive research in the last decades, how this unique structure is formed and why its formation is important for proper Golgi functioning remain largely unknown. The Golgi ReAssembly Stacking Proteins, GRASP65, and GRASP55, are so far the only proteins shown to function in Golgi stacking. They are peripheral membrane proteins on the cytoplasmic face of the Golgi cisternae that form trans-oligomers through their N-terminal GRASP domain, and thereby function as the “glue” to stick adjacent cisternae together into a stack and to link Golgi stacks into a ribbon. Depletion of GRASPs in cells disrupts the Golgi structure and results in accelerated protein trafficking and defective glycosylation. In this minireview we summarize our current knowledge on how GRASPs function in Golgi structure formation and discuss why Golgi structure formation is important for its function. PMID:26779480

  4. GRASPs in Golgi Structure and Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoyan eZhang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The Golgi apparatus is a central intracellular membrane organelle for trafficking and modification of proteins and lipids. Its basic structure is a stack of tightly aligned flat cisternae. In mammalian cells, dozens of stacks are concentrated in the pericentriolar region and laterally connected to form a ribbon. Despite extensive research in the last decades, how this unique structure is formed and why its formation is important for proper Golgi functioning remain largely unknown. The Golgi ReAssembly Stacking Proteins, GRASP65 and GRASP55, are so far the only proteins shown to function in Golgi stacking. They are peripheral membrane proteins on the cytoplasmic face of the Golgi cisternae that form trans-oligomers through their N-terminal GRASP domain, and thereby function as the glue to stick adjacent cisternae together into a stack and to link Golgi stacks into a ribbon. Depletion of GRASPs in cells disrupts the Golgi structure and results in accelerated protein trafficking and defective glycosylation. In this minireview we summarize our current knowledge on how GRASPs function in Golgi structure formation and discuss why Golgi structure formation is important for its function.

  5. Lactoferrin: Structure, function, denaturation and digestion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bo; Timilsena, Yakindra Prasad; Blanch, Ewan; Adhikari, Benu

    2017-09-21

    Lactoferrin (LF) is a multifunctional protein occurring in many biological secretions including milk. It possesses iron binding/transferring, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. These functional properties intimately depend on the structural integrity of LF especially its higher order conformation. LF is primarily extracted from bovine milk and it is subsequently added into many commercial products such as nutritional supplements, infant formula, cosmetics and toothpaste. LF is sensitive to denaturation induced by temperature and other physicochemical stresses. Hence, the extraction, powder formation processes of LF and processing parameters of LF-containing products have to be optimized to minimise its undesired denaturation. This review documents the advances made on structure-function relationships and discusses the effectiveness of methods used to preserve the structure of LF during thermal processing. Oral delivery, as the most convenient way for administering LF, is also discussed focusing on digestion of LF in oral, gastric and intestinal stages. The effectiveness of methods used to deliver LF to intestinal digestion stage in structurally intact form is also compared. Altogether, this work comprehensively reviews the fate of LF during thermal processing and digestion, and suggests suitable means to preserve its structural integrity and functional properties. Scope of review The manuscript aims at providing a comprehensive review of the latest publications on four aspects of LF: structural features, functional properties, nature and extent of denaturation and gastrointestinal digestion. It also analyses how these publications benefit food and pharmaceutical industries.

  6. Immunological Studies of Brown Recluse Spider Venom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elgert, Klaus D.; Ross, Milton A.; Campbell, Benedict J.; Barrett, James T.

    1974-01-01

    Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of Loxosceles reclusa venom demonstrated that only one of seven or eight major (plus three or four minor) protein components caused necrosis in guinea pig skin. Sephadex gel filtration separated the venom into three major peaks, the second peak of which contained the dermonecrotic activity. Hyperimmunization of rabbits with increasing doses of venom from L. reclusa produced potent precipitating antisera, and the rabbits became resistant to lesion development. Ouchterlony-type immunodiffusion and immunoelectrophoretic studies revealed six to seven distinct precipitation lines, one of which stained intensely for esterase activity. Immunohistochemical techniques failed to detect any protease, lipase, catalase, acid phosphatase, alkaline phosphatase, or amylase activity in the venom. The spreading activity of recluse spider venom in guinea pig skin was inhibited as much as 71% by antivenom. Venom preincubated with antivenom was unable to incite lesions in guinea pig skin. Passive immunization of guinea pigs 18 h before an injection of venom conferred venom resistance upon the animals. Local injections of antivenom immediately after intradermal injections of venom markedly reduced the dermal lesion. Heparin reduced the local and systemic effects of venom when preincubated with whole venom or when administered systemically before an intradermal injection of venom. Treatment of whole venom with the chelating agent ethylenediaminetetraacetate did not inhibit its necrotic activity. Transfer studies from a 24-h lesion indicated that the necrotic activity was localized and remained active in tissue for at least 24 h but not for 5 days. No lesions developed when high concentrations of venom were intradermally injected into the skin of sacrificed guinea pigs, indicating that an interaction of body constituents and venom is essential for the development of a lesion. Images PMID:4140161

  7. Electronic Structure of Matter Wave Functions and Density Functionals.

    CERN Document Server

    Kohn, W

    1999-01-01

    Since the 1920's Schroedinger wave functions have been the principal theoretical concept for understanding and computing the electronic structure of matter. More recently, Density Functional Theory (DFT), couched in terms of the electronic density distribution, n(r), has provided a new perspective and new computational possibilities, especially for systems consisting of very many (up to ~1000) atoms. In this talk some fundamental limitations of wave function methods for very-many-atom-systems will be discussed. The DFT approach will be explained together with some physical/chemical applications and a discussion of its strenghts and weaknesses.

  8. Carbohydrate recognition by the rhamnose-binding lectin SUL-I with a novel three-domain structure isolated from the venom of globiferous pedicellariae of the flower sea urchin Toxopneustes pileolus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatakeyama, Tomomitsu; Ichise, Ayaka; Unno, Hideaki; Goda, Shuichiro; Oda, Tatsuya; Tateno, Hiroaki; Hirabayashi, Jun; Sakai, Hitomi; Nakagawa, Hideyuki

    2017-08-01

    The globiferous pedicellariae of the venomous sea urchin Toxopneustes pileolus contains several biologically active proteins. We have cloned the cDNA of one of the toxin components, SUL-I, which is a rhamnose-binding lectin (RBL) that acts as a mitogen through binding to carbohydrate chains on target cells. Recombinant SUL-I (rSUL-I) was produced in Escherichia coli cells, and its carbohydrate-binding specificity was examined with the glycoconjugate microarray analysis, which suggested that potential target carbohydrate structures are galactose-terminated N-glycans. rSUL-I exhibited mitogenic activity for murine splenocyte cells and toxicity against Vero cells. The three-dimensional structure of the rSUL-I/l-rhamnose complex was determined by X-ray crystallographic analysis at a 1.8 Å resolution. The overall structure of rSUL-I is composed of three distinctive domains with a folding structure similar to those of CSL3, a RBL from chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) eggs. The bound l-rhamnose molecules are mainly recognized by rSUL-I through hydrogen bonds between its 2-, 3-, and 4-hydroxy groups and Asp, Asn, and Glu residues in the binding sites, while Tyr and Ser residues participate in the recognition mechanism. It was also inferred that SUL-I may form a dimer in solution based on the molecular size estimated via dynamic light scattering as well as possible contact regions in its crystal structure. © 2017 The Protein Society.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-01

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

  10. General characterization of venom from the Moroccan snakes Macrovipera mauritanica and Cerastes cerastes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N Oukkache

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Ophidian envenomation accidents constitute a serious public health problem in many countries around the globe. Over 5 million such accident cases occur each year causing more than 100,000 deaths. In Africa, more than 20,000 deaths per year are registered while 400,000 envenomation victims retain severe and permanent functional sequelae. In Morocco, snakebites are frequent and of greater severity in children. They occur mostly in rural areas. The incidence of these bites remains poorly understood and vastly underestimated. The epidemiological data are not well known due to the absence of a national registry, whereas a significant proportion of envenomations receive only traditional treatment methods in non-medical intensive care. This prompted us to investigate the enzymatic and biological properties of venom biochemical constituents from two of the most dangerous snake venoms in Morocco: Cerastes cerastes (Cc and Macrovipera mauritanica (Mm. Also, we studied the immune cross-reactivity of Cc and Mm venoms in comparison to that of another important dangerous Moroccan viper, Bitis arietans (Ba, to identify the best candidates (venom or a mixture of venoms for producing the most efficient and protective antivenom. In the present study, we report a preliminary venom characterization of Cc and Mm and the cross-reactivity that may exist between their venoms and Ba. These venoms are known to be highly toxic and contain several proteins that differ by molecular weights. Interestingly, both Cc and Mm venoms are characterized by intense hemorrhagic and phospholipase A2 activities and their ability to degrade the α and γ chains of fibrinogen. They display very low proteolysis through the casein test. After injection into mice, Cc and Mm induce myonecrosis in skeletal muscles, which most likely reflects direct action of myotoxins and indirect action of hemorrhagic molecules present in these venoms. In mice, this myonecrosis diminishes serum creatine

  11. Vortex structure and characterization of quasiperiodic functions

    CERN Document Server

    Dana, I

    2002-01-01

    Quasiperiodic functions (QPFs) are characterized by their full vortex structure in one unit cell. This characterization is much finer and more sensitive than the topological one given by the total vorticity per unit cell (the 'Chern index'). It is shown that QPFs with an arbitrarily prescribed vortex structure exist by constructing explicitly such a 'standard' QPF. Two QPFs with the same vortex structure are equivalent, in the sense that their ratio is a function which is strictly periodic, nonvanishing and at least continuous. A general QPF can then be approximately reconstructed from its vortex structure on the basis of the standard QPF and the equivalence concept. As another application of this concept, a simple method is proposed for calculating the quasiperiodic eigenvectors of periodic matrices. Possible applications to the quantum-chaos problem on a phase-space torus are briefly discussed.

  12. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy N. W. Jackson

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available 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

  14. Structure and Function of Caliciviral RNA Polymerases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji-Hye Lee

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Caliciviruses are a leading agent of human and animal gastroenteritis and respiratory tract infections, which are growing concerns in immunocompromised individuals. However, no vaccines or therapeutics are yet available. Since the rapid rate of genetic evolution of caliciviruses is mainly due to the error-prone nature of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp, this article focuses on recent studies of the structures and functions of RdRp from caliciviruses. It also provides recent advances in the interactions of RdRp with virion protein genome-linked (VPg and RNA and the structural and functional features of its precursor.

  15. Justification identification criterion cellular structures state functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Владимир Георгиевич Куликов

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The paper considers the possibility of presenting situations the state of cellular structures functions of the state in the form of regression equations. This allows you to create a replica of an information storage medium on the system status at a given time. The process of system transition from the initial to the final state are invited to formalize a coherent set of regression equations. The regression equations as state functions allow the verbal process of representing the states to replace the system - model. This, in turn, allows the development of parametric methods of management structure formation.

  16. Quark-hadron duality in structure functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wally Melnitchouk

    2011-09-01

    We review recent progress in the study of quark-hadron duality in electron–nucleon structure functions. New developments include insights into the local aspects of duality obtained using truncated moments of structure functions, which allow duality-violating higher-twist contributions to be identified in individual resonance regions. Preliminary studies of pion electropro-duction have also showed the first glimpses of duality in semi-inclusive cross sections, which if confirmed would greatly expand the scope of constraining the flavor and spin dependence of parton distributions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macrander, Jason; Broe, Michael; Daly, Marymegan

    2016-08-25

    Cnidarians represent one of the few groups of venomous animals that lack a centralized venom transmission system. Instead, they are equipped with stinging capsules collectively known as nematocysts. Nematocysts vary in abundance and type across different tissues; however, the venom composition in most species remains unknown. Depending on the tissue type, the venom composition in sea anemones may be vital for predation, defense, or digestion. Using a tissue-specific RNA-seq approach, we characterize the venom assemblage in the tentacles, mesenterial filaments, and column for three species of sea anemone (Anemonia sulcata, Heteractis crispa, and Megalactis griffithsi). These taxa vary with regard to inferred venom potency, symbiont abundance, and nematocyst diversity. We show that there is significant variation in abundance of toxin-like genes across tissues and species. Although the cumulative toxin abundance for the column was consistently the lowest, contributions to the overall toxin assemblage varied considerably among tissues for different toxin types. Our gene ontology (GO) analyses also show sharp contrasts between conserved GO groups emerging from whole transcriptome analysis and tissue-specific expression among GO groups in our differential expression analysis. This study provides a framework for future characterization of tissue-specific venom and other functionally important genes in this lineage of simple bodied animals. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macrander, Jason; Broe, Michael; Daly, Marymegan

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Arthropod venom citrate inhibits phospholipase A2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fenton, A W; West, P R; Odell, G V; Hudiburg, S M; Ownby, C L; Mills, J N; Scroggins, B T; Shannon, S B

    1995-06-01

    Citrate has been identified as a major component of honey bee (Apis mellifera) venom by gas liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. A citrate concentration of 9% was found for dried bee venom by a coupled enzyme assay, aconitase-isocitric dehydrogenase. A liquid honey bee venom would contain 140 mM citrate concentration (if the solids content were 30%). Bee venom phospholipase was inhibited at a 43% level with a citrate concentration of 20 mM and calcium ion at 3 mM with the enzyme assay. Citrate was also found in the venoms of bumble bee, Bombus fervidus, 7%; yellow jacket, Vespula maculifrons, 4%; scorpion, Centruroides sculpturatus, 8%; tarantula, Grammastola cala, 8% and brown recluse spider venom gland extract, Loxoceles reclusa, 1.5% based on dried venom solids. Citrate may serve as an endogenous inhibitor of divalent metal ion-dependent enzymes in arthropod venoms as described by Francis et al. (1992, Toxicon 30, 1239-1246). Many arthropod venoms contain calcium-dependent phospholipases. A direct effect of citrate as a venom component may be possible. The presence of citrate in venoms must be considered in research on receptors, ion channels and divalent ion-dependent toxins.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Therapeutical Potential of Venom Peptides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    İlker Kelle

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The term of pharmazooticals is known as a few amount of drugs derived from natural sources such as plants, venomous species of snakes, spiders, scorpions, frogs, lizards and cone snails. Peptide components of venoms are directed against wide variety of pharmacological targets such as ion channels and receptors. At the beginning, a number of these peptides have been used in experimental studies for defining the physiological, biochemical and immunological activities of organisms like mammalians. In recent studies, it has been shown that venom peptides can be valuable in treatment of acute and chronic pain, autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders and chronic inflammatory and tumoral processes. Therefore particularly in clinical approaches, these peptide molecules or their synthetic analogues are considered as alternative agents that can be used instead of classical drugs for many clinical disorders due to their potent activity besides very few side effects.

  2. Latent structures of male sexual functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Joana; Vieira, Armando Luís; Nobre, Pedro

    2011-09-01

    Strong debate has been brought out around the upcoming editions of the International Classification of Diseases, the World Health Organization, and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (American Psychiatric Association) regarding new criteria for sexual dysfunction. Although criteria for male sexual dysfunction have been supported by traditional models of sexual response, recent data suggest that male sexual functioning could be conceptualized differently, offering new directions for diagnostic and assessment tools. The aim of this study was to test, through structural equation modeling, four conceptual alternative models of male sexual response. A modified version of the International Index of Erectile Function was used, assessing sexual desire, erectile function, orgasmic function, and premature ejaculation. A total of 1,558 Portuguese men participated in the study. Participants were divided into two groups according to the presence or absence of sexual difficulties. Findings suggested different factor solutions for men with and without sexual difficulties. Male sexual response of men with sexual difficulties was best characterized by a two-factor structure: (i) a general sexual function factor (including sexual desire, erectile function, and orgasmic function); and (ii) premature ejaculation; while a three-factor solution was the model that best fitted the data regarding men without sexual difficulties: (i) sexual desire; (ii) erectile and orgasmic function (which merged into a single dimension); and (iii) premature ejaculation. Discriminant validity between factors was strongly supported, suggesting that these dimensions measure distinct phenomena in both samples. Results regarding sexually healthy men suggest that erectile function is structurally independent from sexual desire, and that ejaculatory control could be conceptualized as a different phenomenon in relation to the current orgasmic disorders. Additionally, findings related to

  3. Arachnids of medical importance in Brazil: main active compounds present in scorpion and spider venoms and tick saliva.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordeiro, Francielle A; Amorim, Fernanda G; Anjolette, Fernando A P; Arantes, Eliane C

    2015-01-01

    Arachnida is the largest class among the arthropods, constituting over 60,000 described species (spiders, mites, ticks, scorpions, palpigrades, pseudoscorpions, solpugids and harvestmen). Many accidents are caused by arachnids, especially spiders and scorpions, while some diseases can be transmitted by mites and ticks. These animals are widely dispersed in urban centers due to the large availability of shelter and food, increasing the incidence of accidents. Several protein and non-protein compounds present in the venom and saliva of these animals are responsible for symptoms observed in envenoming, exhibiting neurotoxic, dermonecrotic and hemorrhagic activities. The phylogenomic analysis from the complementary DNA of single-copy nuclear protein-coding genes shows that these animals share some common protein families known as neurotoxins, defensins, hyaluronidase, antimicrobial peptides, phospholipases and proteinases. This indicates that the venoms from these animals may present components with functional and structural similarities. Therefore, we described in this review the main components present in spider and scorpion venom as well as in tick saliva, since they have similar components. These three arachnids are responsible for many accidents of medical relevance in Brazil. Additionally, this study shows potential biotechnological applications of some components with important biological activities, which may motivate the conducting of further research studies on their action mechanisms.

  4. Isolation, expression and characterization of a novel dual serine protease inhibitor, OH-TCI, from king cobra venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Ying-Ying; Liu, Shu-Bai; Lee, Wen-Hui; Qian, Jin-Qiao; Zhang, Yun

    2008-10-01

    Snake venom Kunitz/BPTI members are good tools for understanding of structure-functional relationship between serine proteases and their inhibitors. A novel dual Kunitz/BPTI serine proteinase inhibitor named OH-TCI (trypsin- and chymotrypsin-dual inhibitor from Ophiophagus hannah) was isolated from king cobra venom by three chromatographic steps of gel filtration, trypsin affinity and reverse phase HPLC. OH-TCI is composed of 58 amino acid residues with a molecular mass of 6339Da. Successful expression of OH-TCI was performed as the maltose-binding fusion protein in E. coli DH5alpha. Much different from Oh11-1, the purified native and recombinant OH-TCI both had strong inhibitory activities against trypsin and chymotrypsin although the sequence identity (74.1%) between them is very high. The inhibitor constants (K(i)) of recombinant OH-TCI were 3.91 x 10(-7) and 8.46 x10(-8)M for trypsin and chymotrypsin, respectively. To our knowledge, it was the first report of Kunitz/BPTI serine proteinase inhibitor from snake venom that had equivalent trypsin and chymotrypsin inhibitory activities.

  5. Isolation and characterization of SsmTx-I, a Specific Kv2.1 blocker from the venom of the centipede Scolopendra Subspinipes Mutilans L. Koch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Minzhi; Li, Jing; Zhang, Fan; Liu, Zhonghua

    2014-03-01

    Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans, also known as Chinese red-headed centipede, is a venomous centipede from East Asia and Australasia. Venom from this animal has not been researched as thoroughly as venom from snakes, snails, scorpions, and spiders. In this study, we isolated and characterized SsmTx-I, a novel neurotoxin from the venom of S. subspinipes mutilans. SsmTx-I contains 36 residues with four cysteines forming two disulfide bonds. It had low sequence similarity (<10%) with other identified peptide toxins. By whole-cell recording, SsmTx-I significantly blocked voltage-gated K⁺ channels in dorsal root ganglion neurons with an IC₅₀ value of 200 nM, but it had no effect on voltage-gated Na⁺ channels. Among the nine K⁺ channel subtypes expressed in human embryonic kidney 293 cells, SsmTx-I selectively blocked the Kv2.1 current with an IC₅₀ value of 41.7 nM, but it had little effect on currents mediated by other K⁺ channel subtypes. Blockage of Kv2.1 by SsmTx-I was not associated with significant alteration of steady-state activation, suggesting that SsmTx-I might act as a simple inhibitor or channel blocker rather than a gating modifier. Our study reported a specific Kv2.1-blocker from centipede venom and provided a basis for future investigations of SsmTx-I, for example on structure-function relationships, mechanism of action, and pharmacological potential. Copyright © 2014 European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  6. Structure and functional significance of branched anastomosing ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Animal Research International ... Abstract. Histology has provided morphologist a powerful tool that enhances the nature, form and detailed structure of organs. ... The predominating acid mucin suggest air-breathing function since the acid will always make the epithelium moist for gaseous exchange between dissolved air in ...

  7. Structural and functional analysis of rice genome

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Genetics; Volume 83; Issue 1. Structural and functional analysis of rice genome ... Abstract. Rice is an excellent system for plant genomics as it represents a modest size genome of 430 Mb. It feeds more than half the population of the world. Draft sequences of the rice genome, derived by ...

  8. Progress on nuclear modifications of structure functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kumano S.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available We report progress on nuclear structure functions, especially on their nuclear modifications and a new tensor structure function for the deuteron. To understand nuclear structure functions is an important step toward describing nuclei and QCD matters from low to high densities and from low to high energies in terms of fundamental quark and gluon degrees of freedom beyond conventional hadron and nuclear physics. It is also practically important for understanding new phenomena in high-energy heavy-ion collisions at RHIC and LHC. Furthermore, since systematic errors of current neutrinooscillation experiments are dominated by uncertainties of neutrino-nucleus interactions, such studies are valuable for finding new physics beyond current framework. Next, a new tensor-polarized structure function b1 is discussed for the deuteron. There was a measurement by HERMES; however, its data are inconsistent with the conventional convolution estimate based on the standard deuteron model with D-state admixture. This fact suggests that a new hadronic phenomenon should exist in the tensor-polarized deuteron at high energies, and it will be experimentally investigated at JLab from the end of 2010’s.

  9. The Refined Function-Behaviour-Structure Framework

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Diertens, B.

    2013-01-01

    We refine the function-behaviour-structure framework for design introduced by John Gero in order to deal with complexity. We do this by connecting the frameworks for the desing of two models, one the refinement of the other. The result is a refined framework for the design of an object on two levels

  10. Transcriptome analysis of the venom gland of the Mexican scorpion Hadrurus gertschi (Arachnida: Scorpiones)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Elisabeth F; Diego-Garcia, Elia; Rodríguez de la Vega, Ricardo C; Possani, Lourival D

    2007-01-01

    Background Scorpions like other venomous animals posses a highly specialized organ that produces, secretes and disposes the venom components. In these animals, the last postabdominal segment, named telson, contains a pair of venomous glands connected to the stinger. The isolation of numerous scorpion toxins, along with cDNA-based gene cloning and, more recently, proteomic analyses have provided us with a large collection of venom components sequences. However, all of them are secreted, or at least are predicted to be secretable gene products. Therefore very little is known about the cellular processes that normally take place inside the glands for production of the venom mixture. To gain insights into the scorpion venom gland biology, we have decided to perform a transcriptomic analysis by constructing a cDNA library and conducting a random sequencing screening of the transcripts. Results From the cDNA library prepared from a single venom gland of the scorpion Hadrurus gertschi, 160 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were analyzed. These transcripts were further clustered into 68 unique sequences (20 contigs and 48 singlets), with an average length of 919 bp. Half of the ESTs can be confidentially assigned as homologues of annotated gene products. Annotation of these ESTs, with the aid of Gene Ontology terms and homology to eukaryotic orthologous groups, reveals some cellular processes important for venom gland function; including high protein synthesis, tuned posttranslational processing and trafficking. Nonetheless, the main group of the identified gene products includes ESTs similar to known scorpion toxins or other previously characterized scorpion venom components, which account for nearly 60% of the identified proteins. Conclusion To the best of our knowledge this report contains the first transcriptome analysis of genes transcribed by the venomous gland of a scorpion. The data were obtained for the species Hadrurus gertschi, belonging to the family

  11. Transcriptome analysis of the venom gland of the Mexican scorpion Hadrurus gertschi (Arachnida: Scorpiones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodríguez de la Vega Ricardo C

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Scorpions like other venomous animals posses a highly specialized organ that produces, secretes and disposes the venom components. In these animals, the last postabdominal segment, named telson, contains a pair of venomous glands connected to the stinger. The isolation of numerous scorpion toxins, along with cDNA-based gene cloning and, more recently, proteomic analyses have provided us with a large collection of venom components sequences. However, all of them are secreted, or at least are predicted to be secretable gene products. Therefore very little is known about the cellular processes that normally take place inside the glands for production of the venom mixture. To gain insights into the scorpion venom gland biology, we have decided to perform a transcriptomic analysis by constructing a cDNA library and conducting a random sequencing screening of the transcripts. Results From the cDNA library prepared from a single venom gland of the scorpion Hadrurus gertschi, 160 expressed sequence tags (ESTs were analyzed. These transcripts were further clustered into 68 unique sequences (20 contigs and 48 singlets, with an average length of 919 bp. Half of the ESTs can be confidentially assigned as homologues of annotated gene products. Annotation of these ESTs, with the aid of Gene Ontology terms and homology to eukaryotic orthologous groups, reveals some cellular processes important for venom gland function; including high protein synthesis, tuned posttranslational processing and trafficking. Nonetheless, the main group of the identified gene products includes ESTs similar to known scorpion toxins or other previously characterized scorpion venom components, which account for nearly 60% of the identified proteins. Conclusion To the best of our knowledge this report contains the first transcriptome analysis of genes transcribed by the venomous gland of a scorpion. The data were obtained for the species Hadrurus gertschi, belonging

  12. EMC effect and nuclear structure functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Atashbar Tehrani, S. [Physics Department, Persian Gulf University, Boushehr, Iran and Institute for Studies in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics, P.O.Box 19395-5531, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of)], E-mail: Atashbar@ipm.ir; Mirjalili, A. [Physics Department, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran and Institute for Studies in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics, P.O.Box 19395-5531, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of)], E-mail: Mirjalili@ipm.ir; Khorramian, Ali N. [Physics Department, Semnan University, Semnan, Iran and Institute for Studies in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics, P.O.Box 19395-5531, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of)], E-mail: Alinaghi.Khorramian@cern.ch

    2007-02-15

    We analyze experimental data of nuclear structure function ratios F{sub 2}{sup A}/F{sub 2}{sup D} for obtaining optimum parton distribution functions (PDFs) in nuclei. Then, uncertainties of the nuclear PDFs are estimated by the Hessian method. Parametrization of nuclear parton distribution is investigated in the leading order of {alpha}{sub s}. The parton distribution are provided at Q{sup 2}=1GeV{sup 2} with a number of parameters, which are determined by a {chi}{sup 2} analysis of the data on nuclear structure function. From the analysis, we propose parton distributions at Q{sup 2}=1GeV{sup 2} for nuclei from deuteron to heavy ones with a mass number A{approx}208.

  13. Generalized functions, convergence structures, and their applications

    CERN Document Server

    Pap, Endre; Pilipović, Stevan; Vladimirov, Vasilij; International Conference "Generalized functions, convergence structures and their applications" (GFCA-87)

    1988-01-01

    This Proceedings consists of a collection of papers presented at the International Conference "Generalized functions, convergence structures and their applications" held from June 23-27, 1987 in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia (GFCA-87): 71 participants from 21 countr~es from allover the world took part in the Conference. Proceedings reflects the work of the Conference. Plenary lectures of J. Burzyk, J. F. Colombeau, W. Gahler, H. Keiter, H. Komatsu, B. Stankovic, H. G. Tillman, V. S. Vladimirov provide an up-to-date account of the cur­ rent state of the subject. All these lectures, except H. G. Tillman's, are published in this volume. The published communications give the contemporary problems and achievements in the theory of generalized functions, in the theory of convergence structures and in their applications, specially in the theory of partial differential equations and in the mathematical physics. New approaches to the theory of generalized functions are presented, moti­ vated by concrete problems of applicat...

  14. A Polychaete's powerful punch: venom gland transcriptomics of Glycera reveals a complex cocktail of toxin homologs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Reumont, Björn M; Campbell, Lahcen I; Richter, Sandy; Hering, Lars; Sykes, Dan; Hetmank, Jörg; Jenner, Ronald A; Bleidorn, Christoph

    2014-09-05

    Glycerids are marine annelids commonly known as bloodworms. Bloodworms have an eversible proboscis adorned with jaws connected to venom glands. Bloodworms prey on invertebrates, and it is known that the venom glands produce compounds that can induce toxic effects in animals. Yet, none of these putative toxins has been characterized on a molecular basis. Here we present the transcriptomic profiles of the venom glands of three species of bloodworm, Glycera dibranchiata, Glycera fallax and Glycera tridactyla, as well as the body tissue of G. tridactyla. The venom glands express a complex mixture of transcripts coding for putative toxin precursors. These transcripts represent 20 known toxin classes that have been convergently recruited into animal venoms, as well as transcripts potentially coding for Glycera-specific toxins. The toxins represent five functional categories: Pore-forming and membrane-disrupting toxins, neurotoxins, protease inhibitors, other enzymes, and CAP domain toxins. Many of the transcripts coding for putative Glycera toxins belong to classes that have been widely recruited into venoms, but some are homologs of toxins previously only known from the venoms of scorpaeniform fish and monotremes (stonustoxin-like toxin), turrid gastropods (turripeptide-like peptides), and sea anemones (gigantoxin I-like neurotoxin). This complex mixture of toxin homologs suggests that bloodworms employ venom while predating on macroscopic prey, casting doubt on the previously widespread opinion that G. dibranchiata is a detritivore. Our results further show that researchers should be aware that different assembly methods, as well as different methods of homology prediction, can influence the transcriptomic profiling of venom glands. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  15. Structure and function of echinoderm telomerase RNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podlevsky, Joshua D; Li, Yang; Chen, Julian J-L

    2016-02-01

    Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein (RNP) enzyme that requires an integral telomerase RNA (TR) subunit, in addition to the catalytic telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT), for enzymatic function. The secondary structures of TRs from the three major groups of species, ciliates, fungi, and vertebrates, have been studied extensively and demonstrate dramatic diversity. Herein, we report the first comprehensive secondary structure of TR from echinoderms-marine invertebrates closely related to vertebrates-determined by phylogenetic comparative analysis of 16 TR sequences from three separate echinoderm classes. Similar to vertebrate TR, echinoderm TR contains the highly conserved template/pseudoknot and H/ACA domains. However, echinoderm TR lacks the ancestral CR4/5 structural domain found throughout vertebrate and fungal TRs. Instead, echinoderm TR contains a distinct simple helical region, termed eCR4/5, that is functionally equivalent to the CR4/5 domain. The urchin and brittle star eCR4/5 domains bind specifically to their respective TERT proteins and stimulate telomerase activity. Distinct from vertebrate telomerase, the echinoderm TR template/pseudoknot domain with the TERT protein is sufficient to reconstitute significant telomerase activity. This gain-of-function of the echinoderm template/pseudoknot domain for conferring telomerase activity presumably facilitated the rapid structural evolution of the eCR4/5 domain throughout the echinoderm lineage. Additionally, echinoderm TR utilizes the template-adjacent P1.1 helix as a physical template boundary element to prevent nontelomeric DNA synthesis, a mechanism used by ciliate and fungal TRs. Thus, the chimeric and eccentric structural features of echinoderm TR provide unparalleled insights into the rapid evolution of telomerase RNP structure and function. © 2016 Podlevsky et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for the RNA Society.

  16. Structure of N-terminal sequence Asp-Ala-Glu-Phe-Arg-His-Asp-Ser of Aβ-peptide with phospholipase A2 from venom of Andaman Cobra sub-species Naja naja sagittifera at 2.0 Å resolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirza, Zeenat; Pillai, Vikram Gopalakrishna; Zhong, Wei-Zhu

    2014-03-10

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is one of the most significant social and health burdens of the present century. Plaques formed by extracellular deposits of amyloid β (Aβ) are the prime player of AD's neuropathology. Studies have implicated the varied role of phospholipase A2 (PLA2) in brain where it contributes to neuronal growth and inflammatory response. Overall contour and chemical nature of the substrate-binding channel in the low molecular weight PLA2s are similar. This study involves the reductionist fragment-based approach to understand the structure adopted by N-terminal fragment of Alzheimer's Aβ peptide in its complex with PLA2. In the current communication, we report the structure determined by X-ray crystallography of N-terminal sequence Asp-Ala-Glu-Phe-Arg-His-Asp-Ser (DAEFRHDS) of Aβ-peptide with a Group I PLA2 purified from venom of Andaman Cobra sub-species Naja naja sagittifera at 2.0 Å resolution (Protein Data Bank (PDB) Code: 3JQ5). This is probably the first attempt to structurally establish interaction between amyloid-β peptide fragment and hydrophobic substrate binding site of PLA2 involving H bond and van der Waals interactions. We speculate that higher affinity between Aβ and PLA2 has the therapeutic potential of decreasing the Aβ-Aβ interaction, thereby reducing the amyloid aggregation and plaque formation in AD.

  17. Structure of N-Terminal Sequence Asp-Ala-Glu-Phe-Arg-His-Asp-Ser of Aβ-Peptide with Phospholipase A2 from Venom of Andaman Cobra Sub-Species Naja naja sagittifera at 2.0 Å Resolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zeenat Mirza

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer’s disease (AD is one of the most significant social and health burdens of the present century. Plaques formed by extracellular deposits of amyloid β (Aβ are the prime player of AD’s neuropathology. Studies have implicated the varied role of phospholipase A2 (PLA2 in brain where it contributes to neuronal growth and inflammatory response. Overall contour and chemical nature of the substrate-binding channel in the low molecular weight PLA2s are similar. This study involves the reductionist fragment-based approach to understand the structure adopted by N-terminal fragment of Alzheimer’s Aβ peptide in its complex with PLA2. In the current communication, we report the structure determined by X-ray crystallography of N-terminal sequence Asp-Ala-Glu-Phe-Arg-His-Asp-Ser (DAEFRHDS of Aβ-peptide with a Group I PLA2 purified from venom of Andaman Cobra sub-species Naja naja sagittifera at 2.0 Å resolution (Protein Data Bank (PDB Code: 3JQ5. This is probably the first attempt to structurally establish interaction between amyloid-β peptide fragment and hydrophobic substrate binding site of PLA2 involving H bond and van der Waals interactions. We speculate that higher affinity between Aβ and PLA2 has the therapeutic potential of decreasing the Aβ–Aβ interaction, thereby reducing the amyloid aggregation and plaque formation in AD.

  18. Connectivity maps for biosimilar drug discovery in venoms: the case of Gila monster venom and the anti-diabetes drug Byetta®.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aramadhaka, Lavakumar Reddy; Prorock, Alyson; Dragulev, Bojan; Bao, Yongde; Fox, Jay W

    2013-07-01

    instances and negative correlation with 868 instances. Interestingly, the Gila monster venom and Byetta(®) both showed positive correlation with the anti-diabetic drugs troglitazone, of the thiazolidinedione class, and metformin, of the biguanide class, although Byetta(®) as a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist functions in a different manner than either of these two classes of anti-diabetic drugs. In summary, despite the fact that Gila monster venom contains a mixture of biologically active molecules, similarities in terms of perturbation of gene expression profiles on MCF7 cells were observed between the venom and the drug Byetta(®). Furthermore, using Connectivity Mapping the Gila monster venom was demonstrated to have nodes of positive correlation to several anti-diabetic drugs two of which were the same as observed with Byetta(®). Therefore, this study suggests that by using this approach novel drug activities heretofore unconsidered may be discovered in venoms using informatic tools and Connectivity Mapping. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Colubrid Venom Composition: An -Omics Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-23

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

  20. Structure and function of podocytes: an update.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mundel, P; Kriz, W

    1995-11-01

    Glomerular visceral epithelial cells, also termed podocytes, are highly specialized epithelial cells that cover the outer aspect of the glomerular basement membrane. Recent studies point to an important role of podocytes in the physiology and pathophysiology of the glomerulus. This review summarizes the structure-function relationships of podocytes. Following a description of the general morphology of podocytes, the technical problems associated with studying these cells are discussed. A survey of podocyte function forms the center of this review. Finally, selected aspects of podocyte development and cell division are discussed.

  1. The structure and function of endophilin proteins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjaerulff, Ole; Brodin, Lennart; Jung, Anita

    2011-01-01

    Members of the BAR domain protein superfamily are essential elements of cellular traffic. Endophilins are among the best studied BAR domain proteins. They have a prominent function in synaptic vesicle endocytosis (SVE), receptor trafficking and apoptosis, and in other processes that require...... remodeling of the membrane structure. Here, we discuss the role of endophilins in these processes and summarize novel insights into the molecular aspects of endophilin function. Also, we discuss phosphorylation of endophilins and how this and other mechanisms may contribute to disease....

  2. Metallosupramolecular squares: from structure to function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Würthner, Frank; You, Chang-Cheng; Saha-Möller, Chantu R

    2004-03-30

    Metallosupramolecular squares have been successfully evolved over the past years as versatile substitutes of the conventional organic macrocycles owing to the development of reliable synthetic protocols and abundant structural variability (metals and ligands). In this review we have presented the fundamental aspects of metallosupramolecular squares such as the strategies for their construction (self-assembly vs. kinetically controlled macrocyclization) and characterization. The major emphasis of this tutorial review lies on the function of metallosupramolecular squares. Thus, the introduction of functionality into these systems has been discussed in detail by highlighting the recent progress toward application in various fields, including molecular recognition, enantioselective sensing, photoluminescence, redox activity and electrochemical sensing, and homogeneous catalysis.

  3. Anaphylaxis to Insect Venom Allergens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ollert, Markus; Blank, Simon

    2015-01-01

    Anaphylaxis due to Hymenoptera stings is one of the most severe consequences of IgE-mediated hypersensitivity reactions. Although allergic reactions to Hymenoptera stings are often considered as a general model for the underlying principles of allergic disease, diagnostic tests are still hampered......, and to contribute to the understanding of the immunological mechanisms elicited by insect venoms....

  4. Diagnosis of Hymenoptera venom allergy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bilo, BM; Rueff, F; Mosbech, H; Bonifazi, F; Oude Elberink, JNG

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of diagnostic procedure is to classify a sting reaction by history, identify the underlying pathogenetic mechanism, and identify the offending insect. Diagnosis of Hymenoptera venom allergy thus forms the basis for the treatment. In the central and northern Europe vespid (mainly Vespula

  5. Isolation and characterisation of insulin-releasing compounds from Crotalus adamanteus, Crotalus vegrandis and Bitis nasicornis venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Sara W M; Bhat, Vikas K; Flatt, Peter R; Gault, Victor A; McClean, Stephen

    2015-07-01

    Crude venom from three venomous snakes, Crotalus adamanteus, Crotalus vegrandis and Bitis nasicornis was fractionated by gel filtration chromatography, and selected fractions screened for in-vitro insulinotropic activity using clonal pancreatic BRIN-BD11 cells. Nineteen fractions stimulated insulin secretion and the structural identity of bioactive compounds responsible was probed using MALDI-ToF MS and N-terminal Edman degradation sequencing. Partial N-terminal sequences were determined and their homology to existing sequences identified using BLAST searching. The main insulinotropic peptide families identified were made up of snake venom serine proteinases, phospholipases A2 (PLA2) and disintegrins. Snake venom constituents may have therapeutic potential for diabetes, with each of the three viper venoms tested providing insulinotropic compounds from a range of different toxin families. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Proteins with Novel Structure, Function and Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohorille, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Recently, a small enzyme that ligates two RNA fragments with the rate of 10(exp 6) above background was evolved in vitro (Seelig and Szostak, Nature 448:828-831, 2007). This enzyme does not resemble any contemporary protein (Chao et al., Nature Chem. Biol. 9:81-83, 2013). It consists of a dynamic, catalytic loop, a small, rigid core containing two zinc ions coordinated by neighboring amino acids, and two highly flexible tails that might be unimportant for protein function. In contrast to other proteins, this enzyme does not contain ordered secondary structure elements, such as alpha-helix or beta-sheet. The loop is kept together by just two interactions of a charged residue and a histidine with a zinc ion, which they coordinate on the opposite side of the loop. Such structure appears to be very fragile. Surprisingly, computer simulations indicate otherwise. As the coordinating, charged residue is mutated to alanine, another, nearby charged residue takes its place, thus keeping the structure nearly intact. If this residue is also substituted by alanine a salt bridge involving two other, charged residues on the opposite sides of the loop keeps the loop in place. These adjustments are facilitated by high flexibility of the protein. Computational predictions have been confirmed experimentally, as both mutants retain full activity and overall structure. These results challenge our notions about what is required for protein activity and about the relationship between protein dynamics, stability and robustness. We hypothesize that small, highly dynamic proteins could be both active and fault tolerant in ways that many other proteins are not, i.e. they can adjust to retain their structure and activity even if subjected to mutations in structurally critical regions. This opens the doors for designing proteins with novel functions, structures and dynamics that have not been yet considered.

  7. Morphological characterization of the venom apparatus in the wolf spider Lycosa singoriensis (Laxmann, 1770

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N Yigit

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The wolf spider Lycosa singoriensis (Laxmann, 1770 (Lycosidae: Araneae is distributed throughout central and eastern Europe, including Russia, Kazakhistan and Turkey. This study describes the venom apparatus morphology of L. singoriensis through scanning electron microscopy (SEM. Its structure follows the general architecture observed in other spiders. Generally, a venom apparatus is composed by a pair of venom glands and chelicerae. L. singoriensis chelicerae are robust and consist of a stout basis and a movable apical segment (fang. The fang rests in a groove on the basal segment that is covered by different types of hair. L. singoriensis venom glands present equal size and measure about 4 mm in length. Each gland is enclosed by irregular muscular layers.

  8. Phosphatidylinositol 4-kinases: Function, structure, and inhibition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boura, Evzen, E-mail: boura@uochb.cas.cz; Nencka, Radim, E-mail: nencka@uochb.cas.cz

    2015-10-01

    The phosphatidylinositol 4-kinases (PI4Ks) synthesize phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PI4P), a key member of the phosphoinositide family. PI4P defines the membranes of Golgi and trans-Golgi network (TGN) and regulates trafficking to and from the Golgi. Humans have two type II PI4Ks (α and β) and two type III enzymes (α and β). Recently, the crystal structures were solved for both type II and type III kinase revealing atomic details of their function. Importantly, the type III PI4Ks are hijacked by +RNA viruses to create so-called membranous web, an extensively phosphorylated and modified membrane system dedicated to their replication. Therefore, selective and potent inhibitors of PI4Ks have been developed as potential antiviral agents. Here we focus on the structure and function of PI4Ks and their potential in human medicine.

  9. Functional and structural responses to marine urbanisation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer-Pinto, M.; Cole, V. J.; Johnston, E. L.; Bugnot, A.; Hurst, H.; Airoldi, L.; Glasby, T. M.; Dafforn, K. A.

    2018-01-01

    Urban areas have broad ecological footprints with complex impacts on natural systems. In coastal areas, growing populations are advancing their urban footprint into the ocean through the construction of seawalls and other built infrastructure. While we have some understanding of how urbanisation might drive functional change in terrestrial ecosystems, coastal systems have been largely overlooked. This study is one of the first to directly assess how changes in diversity relate to changes in ecosystem properties and functions (e.g. productivity, filtration rates) of artificial and natural habitats in one of the largest urbanised estuaries in the world, Sydney Harbour. We complemented our surveys with an extensive literature search. We found large and important differences in the community structure and function between artificial and natural coastal habitats. However, differences in diversity and abundance of organisms do not necessarily match observed functional changes. The abundance and composition of important functional groups differed among habitats with rocky shores having 40% and 70% more grazers than seawalls or pilings, respectively. In contrast, scavengers were approximately 8 times more abundant on seawalls than on pilings or rocky shores and algae were more diverse on natural rocky shores and seawalls than on pilings. Our results confirm previous findings in the literature. Oysters were more abundant on pilings than on rocky shores, but were also smaller. Interestingly, these differences in oyster populations did not affect in situ filtration rates between habitats. Seawalls were the most invaded habitats while pilings supported greater secondary productivity than other habitats. This study highlights the complexity of the diversity-function relationship and responses to ocean sprawl in coastal systems. Importantly, we showed that functional properties should be considered independently from structural change if we are to design and manage artificial

  10. Insights into the venom composition and evolution of an endoparasitoid wasp by combining proteomic and transcriptomic analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Zhichao; Fang, Qi; Wang, Lei; Liu, Jinding; Zhu, Yu; Wang, Fei; Li, Fei; Werren, John H; Ye, Gongyin

    2016-01-25

    Parasitoid wasps are abundant and diverse hymenopteran insects that lay their eggs into the internal body (endoparasitoid) or on the external surface (ectoparasitoid) of their hosts. To make a more conducive environment for the wasps' young, both ecto- and endoparasitoids inject venoms into the host to modulate host immunity, metabolism and development. Endoparasitoids have evolved from ectoparasitoids independently in different hymenopteran lineages. Pteromalus puparum, a pupal endoparasitoid of various butterflies, represents a relatively recent evolution of endoparasitism within pteromalids. Using a combination of transcriptomic and proteomic approaches, we have identified 70 putative venom proteins in P. puparum. Most of them show higher similarity to venom proteins from the related ectoparasitoid Nasonia vitripennis than from other more distantly related endoparasitoids. In addition, 13 venom proteins are similar to venoms of distantly related endoparasitoids but have no detectable venom matches in Nasonia. These venom proteins may have a role in adaptation to endoparasitism. Overall, these results lay the groundwork for more detailed studies of venom function and adaptation to the endoparasitic lifestyle.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skejić, Jure; Hodgson, Wayne C.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Population divergence in venom bioactivities of elapid snake Pseudonaja textilis: role of procoagulant proteins in rapid rodent prey incapacitation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jure Skejić

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

  14. Venom-gland transcriptome and venom proteome of the Malaysian king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah)

    OpenAIRE

    Tan, Choo Hock; Tan, Kae Yi; Fung, Shin Yee; Tan, Nget Hong

    2015-01-01

    Background The king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is widely distributed throughout many parts of Asia. This study aims to investigate the complexity of Malaysian Ophiophagus hannah (MOh) venom for a better understanding of king cobra venom variation and its envenoming pathophysiology. The venom gland transcriptome was investigated using the Illumina HiSeq™ platform, while the venom proteome was profiled by 1D-SDS-PAGE-nano-ESI-LCMS/MS. Results Transcriptomic results reveal high redundancy of tox...

  15. Structure and function of mammalian cilia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Satir, Peter; Christensen, Søren T

    2008-01-01

    In the past half century, beginning with electron microscopic studies of 9 + 2 motile and 9 + 0 primary cilia, novel insights have been obtained regarding the structure and function of mammalian cilia. All cilia can now be viewed as sensory cellular antennae that coordinate a large number...... of cellular signaling pathways, sometimes coupling the signaling to ciliary motility or alternatively to cell division and differentiation. This view has had unanticipated consequences for our understanding of developmental processes and human disease....

  16. Diaphragm muscle: structural and functional organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sieck, G C

    1988-06-01

    The structural and functional organization of the diaphragm muscle is described in terms of the essential units for neuromotor control. These motor units in the diaphragm vary markedly in their metabolic, contractile, and fatigue properties. Thus, the forces generated by the diaphragm during different ventilatory and nonventilatory behaviors will depend on the number and type of motor units recruited. It is therefore important to understand the basic properties of diaphragm motor units and the mechanisms underlying their recruitment.

  17. Theoretical Analysis of Polarized Structure Functions

    CERN Document Server

    Altarelli, Guido; Forte, Stefano; Ridolfi, G

    1998-01-01

    We review the analysis of polarized structure function data using perturbative QCD at next-to-leading order. We use the most recent experimental data to obtain updated results for polarized parton distributions, first moments and the strong coupling. We also discuss several theoretical issues involved in this analysis and in the interpretation of its results. Finally, we compare our results with other similar analyses in the recent literature.

  18. Chironex fleckeri (box jellyfish) venom proteins: expansion of a cnidarian toxin family that elicits variable cytolytic and cardiovascular effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinkman, Diane L; Konstantakopoulos, Nicki; McInerney, Bernie V; Mulvenna, Jason; Seymour, Jamie E; Isbister, Geoffrey K; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2014-02-21

    The box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri produces extremely potent and rapid-acting venom that is harmful to humans and lethal to prey. Here, we describe the characterization of two C. fleckeri venom proteins, CfTX-A (∼40 kDa) and CfTX-B (∼42 kDa), which were isolated from C. fleckeri venom using size exclusion chromatography and cation exchange chromatography. Full-length cDNA sequences encoding CfTX-A and -B and a third putative toxin, CfTX-Bt, were subsequently retrieved from a C. fleckeri tentacle cDNA library. Bioinformatic analyses revealed that the new toxins belong to a small family of potent cnidarian pore-forming toxins that includes two other C. fleckeri toxins, CfTX-1 and CfTX-2. Phylogenetic inferences from amino acid sequences of the toxin family grouped CfTX-A, -B, and -Bt in a separate clade from CfTX-1 and -2, suggesting that the C. fleckeri toxins have diversified structurally and functionally during evolution. Comparative bioactivity assays revealed that CfTX-1/2 (25 μg kg(-1)) caused profound effects on the cardiovascular system of anesthetized rats, whereas CfTX-A/B elicited only minor effects at the same dose. Conversely, the hemolytic activity of CfTX-A/B (HU50 = 5 ng ml(-1)) was at least 30 times greater than that of CfTX-1/2. Structural homology between the cubozoan toxins and insecticidal three-domain Cry toxins (δ-endotoxins) suggests that the toxins have a similar pore-forming mechanism of action involving α-helices of the N-terminal domain, whereas structural diversification among toxin members may modulate target specificity. Expansion of the cnidarian toxin family therefore provides new insights into the evolutionary diversification of box jellyfish toxins from a structural and functional perspective.

  19. Peptidomics combined with cDNA library unravel the diversity of centipede venom

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rong, Mingqiang; Yang, Shilong; Wen, Bo

    2015-01-01

    UNLABELLED: Centipedes are one of the oldest venomous arthropods using toxin as their weapon to capture prey. But little attention was focused on them and only few centipede toxins were demonstrated with activity on ion channels. Therefore, more deep works are needed to understand the diversity...... are one of the most used Chinese traditional medicines, but little was known about the active components. The venom of Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans L. Koch is first deeply analyzed in this work and most of peptides were never discovered before. Interestingly, the number and arrangement of cysteine...... showed a larger different to known peptide toxins such spider or scorpion toxins. Moreover, only 29 peptides from this centipede venom were identified with known function. It suggested that our work not only important to understand the composition of centipede venom, but also provide many valuable...

  20. Industrial entrepreneurial network: Structural and functional analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medvedeva, M. A.; Davletbaev, R. H.; Berg, D. B.; Nazarova, J. J.; Parusheva, S. S.

    2016-12-01

    Structure and functioning of two model industrial entrepreneurial networks are investigated in the present paper. One of these networks is forming when implementing an integrated project and consists of eight agents, which interact with each other and external environment. The other one is obtained from the municipal economy and is based on the set of the 12 real business entities. Analysis of the networks is carried out on the basis of the matrix of mutual payments aggregated over the certain time period. The matrix is created by the methods of experimental economics. Social Network Analysis (SNA) methods and instruments were used in the present research. The set of basic structural characteristics was investigated: set of quantitative parameters such as density, diameter, clustering coefficient, different kinds of centrality, and etc. They were compared with the random Bernoulli graphs of the corresponding size and density. Discovered variations of random and entrepreneurial networks structure are explained by the peculiarities of agents functioning in production network. Separately, were identified the closed exchange circuits (cyclically closed contours of graph) forming an autopoietic (self-replicating) network pattern. The purpose of the functional analysis was to identify the contribution of the autopoietic network pattern in its gross product. It was found that the magnitude of this contribution is more than 20%. Such value allows using of the complementary currency in order to stimulate economic activity of network agents.

  1. Structure-Function Relationship of TCTP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xoconostle-Cázares, Beatriz; Ruiz-Medrano, Roberto

    2017-01-01

    The translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP) is a small, multifunctional protein found in most, if not all, eukaryotic lineages, involved in a myriad of key regulatory processes. Among these, the control of proliferation and inhibition of cell death, as well as differentiation, are the most important, and it is probable that other responses are derived from the ability of TCTP to influence them in both unicellular and multicellular organisms. In the latter, an additional function for TCTP stems from its capacity to be secreted via a nonclassical pathway and function in a non-cell autonomous (paracrine) manner, thus affecting the responses of neighboring or distant cells to developmental or environmental stimuli (as in the case of serum TCTP/histamine-releasing factor in mammals and phloem TCTP in Arabidopsis). The additional ability to traverse membranes without a requirement for transmembrane receptors adds to its functional flexibility. The long-distance transport of TCTP mRNA and protein in plants via the vascular system supports the notion that an important aspect of TCTP function is its ability to influence the response of neighboring and distant cells to endogenous and exogenous signals in a supracellular manner. The predicted tridimensional structure of TCTPs indicates a high degree of conservation, more than its amino acid sequence similarity could suggest. However, subtle differences in structure could lead to different activities, as evidenced by TCTPs secreted by Plasmodium spp. Similar structural variations in animal and plant TCTPs, likely the result of convergent evolution, could lead to deviations from the canonical function of this group of proteins, which could have an impact from a biomedical and agricultural perspectives.

  2. Kinins in ant venoms--a comparison with venoms of related Hymenoptera

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Piek, T.; Schmidt, J. O.; de Jong, J. M.; Mantel, P.

    1989-01-01

    1. Venom preparations have been made of six ant, one pompilid wasp, two mutillid wasp, and four social wasp species. 2. The venoms were analysed pharmacologically in order to detect kinin-like activity. 3. Due to the small amounts of venoms available only a cascade of smooth muscle preparation could

  3. Inhibition of Melanization by a Parasitoid Serine Protease Homolog Venom Protein Requires Both the Clip and the Non-Catalytic Protease-Like Domains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sassan Asgari

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Endoparasitoid wasps inject a variety of components into their host hemocoel at oviposition to facilitate successful development of their progeny. Among these are venom proteins which have been shown to play crucial roles in host regulation. A serine protease homolog (SPH-like venom protein from Cotesia rubecula was previously shown to inhibit melanization in the host hemolymph by blocking activation of prophenoloxidase to phenoloxidase, a key enzyme in melanin formation. Similar to other SPHs, Vn50 consists of a clip and a protease-like (SPL domain. Protein modeling demonstrated that Vn50 has a very similar structure to known SPHs and functional analysis of Vn50 domains expressed in insect cells indicated that neither of the domains on its own has an inhibitory effect on melanization.

  4. Laterally Transferred Gene Recruited as a Venom in Parasitoid Wasps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinson, Ellen O.; Werren, John H.

    2016-01-01

    Parasitoid wasps use venom to manipulate the immunity and metabolism of their host insects in a variety of ways to provide resources for their offspring. Yet, how genes are recruited and evolve to perform venom functions remain open questions. A recently recognized source of eukaryotic genome innovation is lateral gene transfer (LGT). Glycoside hydrolase family 19 (GH19) chitinases are widespread in bacteria, microsporidia, and plants where they are used in nutrient acquisition or defense, but have previously not been known in metazoans. In this study, a GH19 chitinase LGT is described from the unicellular microsporidia/Rozella clade into parasitoid wasps of the superfamily Chalcidoidea, where it has become recruited as a venom protein. The GH19 chitinase is present in 15 species of chalcidoid wasps representing four families, and phylogenetic analysis indicates that it was laterally transferred near or before the origin of Chalcidoidea (∼95 Ma). The GH19 chitinase gene is highly expressed in the venom gland of at least seven species, indicating a role in the complex host manipulations performed by parasitoid wasp venom. RNAi knockdown in the model parasitoid Nasonia vitripennis reveals that—following envenomation—the GH19 chitinase induces fly hosts to upregulate genes involved in an immune response to fungi. A second, independent LGT of GH19 chitinase from microsporidia into mosquitoes was also found, also supported by phylogenetic reconstructions. Besides these two LGT events, GH19 chitinase is not found in any other sequenced animal genome, or in any fungi outside the microsporidia/Rozella clade. PMID:26715630

  5. Snake venom antibodies in Ecuadorian Indians.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1981-10-01

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

  6. Cytotoxicity of Southeast Asian snake venoms

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    A Jamunaa

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Cytotoxicity of venoms from eleven medically important snakes found in Southeast Asia (Naja kaouthia, Naja siamensis, Naja sumatrana, Ophiophagus hannah, Bungarus candidus, Bungarus fasciatus, Enhydrina schistosa, Calloselasma rhodostoma, Trimeresurus purpureomaculatus and Tropidolaemus sumatranus was determined, based on the MTS cytotoxicity assay, which determines the survival of viable cells in monolayer MDCK and Vero cell cultures upon exposure to the snake venoms. Snake venom toxicity was expressed as the venom dose that killed 50% of the cells (CTC50 under the assay conditions. Venoms of C. rhodostoma (2.6 µg/mL, 1.4 µg/mL and O. hannah were the most cytotoxic (3.8 µg/mL, 1.7 µg/mL whereas N. siamensis venom showed the least cytotoxicity (51.9 µg/mL, 45.7 µg/mL against Vero and MDCK cells, respectively. All the viper venoms showed higher cytotoxic potency towards both Vero and MDCK cell lines, in comparison to krait and cobra venoms. E. schistosa did not cause cytotoxicity towards MDCK or Vero cells at the tested concentrations. The cytotoxicity correlates well with the known differences in the composition of venoms from cobras, kraits, vipers and sea snakes.

  7. Snake venom toxins: toxicity and medicinal applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  8. Prevention of anaphylaxis with ant venom immunotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Simon G A; Heddle, Robert J

    2003-12-01

    Worldwide, eight genera of ants have been associated with sting allergy. Until recently only whole ant body extracts have been used for immunotherapy. The purpose of this review is to examine recent advances in the understanding of ant venom allergy and treatment using venom immunotherapy. Public health problems due to severe ant sting anaphylaxis are not confined to the imported fire ant of North America. Pachycondyla sennaarensis (samsum ant), Pachycondyla chinensis, and Myrmecia pilosula (jack jumper ant) also appear to pose notable threats. The risk to humans from a particular species probably depends on complex interactions between likelihood of human contact, insect aggression, efficiency of the venom delivery apparatus, and venom allergenicity. The highest population prevalence of clinical ant sting allergy so far (3.0%) was reported from south-eastern Australia, due mainly to M. pilosula. Prospective follow-up of untreated people suggests that those older than 30 years with a history of severe reactions (respiratory compromise or hypotension) will benefit most from venom immunotherapy. Whereas the efficacy of ant whole body extract immunotherapy remains to be proven, ant venom immunotherapy has been demonstrated to reduce the risk of systemic reactions to M. pilosula from 72% to 3%. Although a simple method of venom extraction has been developed, small market size means that the treatment may never become widely available. Ant venom immunotherapy is feasible and highly efficacious. However, the limited geographical distribution of each species presents a major challenge to making venom extracts available for clinical use.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  10. The structure and function of presynaptic endosomes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jähne, Sebastian, E-mail: sebastian.jaehne1@stud.uni-goettingen.de [Department of Neuro- and Sensory Physiology, University of Göttingen Medical Center, Cluster of Excellence Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the Brain, Humboldtallee 23, 37073 Göttingen (Germany); International Max Planck Research School for Neurosciences, 37077 Göttingen (Germany); Rizzoli, Silvio O. [Department of Neuro- and Sensory Physiology, University of Göttingen Medical Center, Cluster of Excellence Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the Brain, Humboldtallee 23, 37073 Göttingen (Germany); Helm, Martin S., E-mail: martin.helm@med.uni-goettingen.de [Department of Neuro- and Sensory Physiology, University of Göttingen Medical Center, Cluster of Excellence Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the Brain, Humboldtallee 23, 37073 Göttingen (Germany); International Max Planck Research School for Molecular Biology, 37077 Göttingen (Germany)

    2015-07-15

    The function of endosomes and of endosome-like structures in the presynaptic compartment is still controversial. This is in part due to the absence of a consensus on definitions and markers for these compartments. Synaptic endosomes are sometimes seen as stable organelles, permanently present in the synapse. Alternatively, they are seen as short-lived intermediates in synaptic vesicle recycling, arising from the endocytosis of large vesicles from the plasma membrane, or from homotypic fusion of small vesicles. In addition, the potential function of the endosome is largely unknown in the synapse. Some groups have proposed that the endosome is involved in the sorting of synaptic vesicle proteins, albeit others have produced data that deny this possibility. In this review, we present the existing evidence for synaptic endosomes, we discuss their potential functions, and we highlight frequent technical pitfalls in the analysis of this elusive compartment. We also sketch a roadmap to definitely determine the role of synaptic endosomes for the synaptic vesicle cycle. Finally, we propose a common definition of synaptic endosome-like structures.

  11. Structure and function of complex brain networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sporns, Olaf

    2013-01-01

    An increasing number of theoretical and empirical studies approach the function of the human brain from a network perspective. The analysis of brain networks is made feasible by the development of new imaging acquisition methods as well as new tools from graph theory and dynamical systems. This review surveys some of these methodological advances and summarizes recent findings on the architecture of structural and functional brain networks. Studies of the structural connectome reveal several modules or network communities that are interlinked by hub regions mediating communication processes between modules. Recent network analyses have shown that network hubs form a densely linked collective called a “rich club,” centrally positioned for attracting and dispersing signal traffic. In parallel, recordings of resting and task-evoked neural activity have revealed distinct resting-state networks that contribute to functions in distinct cognitive domains. Network methods are increasingly applied in a clinical context, and their promise for elucidating neural substrates of brain and mental disorders is discussed. PMID:24174898

  12. FACTOR STRUCTURE OF FUNCTIONAL CAPABILITIES OF BODYBUILDERS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Predrag Milenović

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available It is evident that researches in the fi eld of kineziology and sports sciences on the topic of body-building here are very rare mainly and probably because of its place in the system of hyerarchy of sports. Lack of interest in body-building and its insuffi cient popularization springs probably, among other things, from its different interpretation and, according to some people, from its ultimate goals which are not justifi ed by many. Others, experts from the fi eld of body-building, starting from the basic principles of its exercising point out its numerous positive characteristics and sides. Undoubtedly, characteristics of functional capabilities of sportspeople are specifi c for each sport or discipline. In body-building the functional sphere is bordered and defi ned by the nature of the sport’s activity itself, as well as by genetics and internal and external factors in a very complex training process of a bodu-builder. The goal of this research was determining the structure of the functional sphere of a body-builder. It was performed on the sample of 30 selected sportsmen, body-builders, of chronological age between 17 and 19 ( 6 months, members of the Sports' Club Strength ''Leskovac'', the Weight Lifters' Club '' Dubočica'' and the Body-building Club '' Dubočica'' from Leskovac. All the examiees have been submitted to training processes during a period longer than a year. For the purpose of determining the structure of the morphological sphere the Factor Analysis has been applied. Based on the data from the matrix of the Factor Structure the isolated factors can be interpreted in the following manner: The fi rst isolated factor in the sphere of applied functional variables is best defi ned by the variable of pulse under stress (FPUOP and the variable of maximum Oxygen consumption in liters per minute (FOLM. This isolated factor can be defi ned as a dimension of the transportation system of Oxygen. The second isolated factor in the

  13. STRUCTURE AND GRAMMATICAL FUNCTION OF LEO LANGUAGE

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    I Ketut Yudha

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Lio language is a language spoken in Central Flores. Having limited morphological process in general and affixation process involving verbs (head marking and nouns (dependent marking in particular, it is classified into an isolating language. The studies exploring the languages spoken in the eastern part of Indonesia using Lexical Functional Grammar and the theory of typology are highly limited. In addition, Lio language is merely an isolating one and does not have cross referencing. It is this which inspired the writer to conduct research in syntax. This study aims at investigating the canonic structure, the types of verbs used as predicates, the grammatical function, the alternate of clausal structure, the mapping and the pivotance in Lio language. The results of analysis show that the clauses in Lio language can be divided into basic clauses with verbal and nonverbal predicates. The  predicates of the verbal clauses are classified into simple, serial, and causative.  The serial verbal constructions are distinguished based on the semantic features of the verbal components forming the serial verbal constructions. These types can be observed from the nature of the relationships among the components forming the serial verbal constructions. A serial verbal construction is made up of more than one verbs and behaves as a simple predicate. There is no dependence marker among the components forming the serial verb.  The causative structure also forms monoclause and biclause. The functional mapping uses the features [+/-r] and [+/-o], the argument uses the features [-r] and [-o] which are mapped to  SUBJ, [-r] and [+o] are mapped to OBJ, [+r] and [+o] are mapped to OBJ2 or OBJ? and [+r] and [-o] are mapped to OBL (Oblique. Lio language has GF SUBJ and OBJ as the nuclear GF (nuclear grammatical function, and OBL, COMP, and ADJ as the nonnuclear grammatical functions. The SUBJ appears before the verb (preverbal position and the OBJ appears after the

  14. Comparative venom gland transcriptomics of Naja kaouthia (monocled cobra) from Malaysia and Thailand: elucidating geographical venom variation and insights into sequence novelty.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    The monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia) is a medically important venomous snake in Southeast Asia. Its venom has been shown to vary geographically in relation to venom composition and neurotoxic activity, indicating vast diversity of the toxin genes within the species. To investigate the polygenic trait of the venom and its locale-specific variation, we profiled and compared the venom gland transcriptomes of N. kaouthia from Malaysia (NK-M) and Thailand (NK-T) applying next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology. The transcriptomes were sequenced on the Illumina HiSeq platform, assembled and followed by transcript clustering and annotations for gene expression and function. Pairwise or multiple sequence alignments were conducted on the toxin genes expressed. Substitution rates were studied for the major toxins co-expressed in NK-M and NK-T. The toxin transcripts showed high redundancy (41-82% of the total mRNA expression) and comprised 23 gene families expressed in NK-M and NK-T, respectively (22 gene families were co-expressed). Among the venom genes, three-finger toxins (3FTxs) predominated in the expression, with multiple sequences noted. Comparative analysis and selection study revealed that 3FTxs are genetically conserved between the geographical specimens whilst demonstrating distinct differential expression patterns, implying gene up-regulation for selected principal toxins, or alternatively, enhanced transcript degradation or lack of transcription of certain traits. One of the striking features that elucidates the inter-geographical venom variation is the up-regulation of α-neurotoxins (constitutes ∼80.0% of toxin's fragments per kilobase of exon model per million mapped reads (FPKM)), particularly the long-chain α-elapitoxin-Nk2a (48.3%) in NK-T but only 1.7% was noted in NK-M. Instead, short neurotoxin isoforms were up-regulated in NK-M (46.4%). Another distinct transcriptional pattern observed is the exclusively and abundantly expressed cytotoxin CTX-3 in

  15. Comparative venom gland transcriptomics of Naja kaouthia (monocled cobra from Malaysia and Thailand: elucidating geographical venom variation and insights into sequence novelty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kae Yi Tan

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Background The monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia is a medically important venomous snake in Southeast Asia. Its venom has been shown to vary geographically in relation to venom composition and neurotoxic activity, indicating vast diversity of the toxin genes within the species. To investigate the polygenic trait of the venom and its locale-specific variation, we profiled and compared the venom gland transcriptomes of N. kaouthia from Malaysia (NK-M and Thailand (NK-T applying next-generation sequencing (NGS technology. Methods The transcriptomes were sequenced on the Illumina HiSeq platform, assembled and followed by transcript clustering and annotations for gene expression and function. Pairwise or multiple sequence alignments were conducted on the toxin genes expressed. Substitution rates were studied for the major toxins co-expressed in NK-M and NK-T. Results and discussion The toxin transcripts showed high redundancy (41–82% of the total mRNA expression and comprised 23 gene families expressed in NK-M and NK-T, respectively (22 gene families were co-expressed. Among the venom genes, three-finger toxins (3FTxs predominated in the expression, with multiple sequences noted. Comparative analysis and selection study revealed that 3FTxs are genetically conserved between the geographical specimens whilst demonstrating distinct differential expression patterns, implying gene up-regulation for selected principal toxins, or alternatively, enhanced transcript degradation or lack of transcription of certain traits. One of the striking features that elucidates the inter-geographical venom variation is the up-regulation of α-neurotoxins (constitutes ∼80.0% of toxin’s fragments per kilobase of exon model per million mapped reads (FPKM, particularly the long-chain α-elapitoxin-Nk2a (48.3% in NK-T but only 1.7% was noted in NK-M. Instead, short neurotoxin isoforms were up-regulated in NK-M (46.4%. Another distinct transcriptional pattern observed is the

  16. Comparative venom gland transcriptomics of Naja kaouthia (monocled cobra) from Malaysia and Thailand: elucidating geographical venom variation and insights into sequence novelty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chanhome, Lawan; Tan, Nget Hong

    2017-01-01

    Background The monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia) is a medically important venomous snake in Southeast Asia. Its venom has been shown to vary geographically in relation to venom composition and neurotoxic activity, indicating vast diversity of the toxin genes within the species. To investigate the polygenic trait of the venom and its locale-specific variation, we profiled and compared the venom gland transcriptomes of N. kaouthia from Malaysia (NK-M) and Thailand (NK-T) applying next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology. Methods The transcriptomes were sequenced on the Illumina HiSeq platform, assembled and followed by transcript clustering and annotations for gene expression and function. Pairwise or multiple sequence alignments were conducted on the toxin genes expressed. Substitution rates were studied for the major toxins co-expressed in NK-M and NK-T. Results and discussion The toxin transcripts showed high redundancy (41–82% of the total mRNA expression) and comprised 23 gene families expressed in NK-M and NK-T, respectively (22 gene families were co-expressed). Among the venom genes, three-finger toxins (3FTxs) predominated in the expression, with multiple sequences noted. Comparative analysis and selection study revealed that 3FTxs are genetically conserved between the geographical specimens whilst demonstrating distinct differential expression patterns, implying gene up-regulation for selected principal toxins, or alternatively, enhanced transcript degradation or lack of transcription of certain traits. One of the striking features that elucidates the inter-geographical venom variation is the up-regulation of α-neurotoxins (constitutes ∼80.0% of toxin’s fragments per kilobase of exon model per million mapped reads (FPKM)), particularly the long-chain α-elapitoxin-Nk2a (48.3%) in NK-T but only 1.7% was noted in NK-M. Instead, short neurotoxin isoforms were up-regulated in NK-M (46.4%). Another distinct transcriptional pattern observed is the

  17. Antitumoral Potential of Tunisian Snake Venoms Secreted Phospholipases A2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raoudha Zouari-Kessentini

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Phospholipases type A2 (PLA2s are the most abundant proteins found in Viperidae snake venom. They are quite fascinating from both a biological and structural point of view. Despite similarity in their structures and common catalytic properties, they exhibit a wide spectrum of pharmacological activities. Besides being hydrolases, secreted phospholipases A2 (sPLA2 are an important group of toxins, whose action at the molecular level is still a matter of debate. These proteins can display toxic effects by different mechanisms. In addition to neurotoxicity, myotoxicity, hemolytic activity, antibacterial, anticoagulant, and antiplatelet effects, some venom PLA2s show antitumor and antiangiogenic activities by mechanisms independent of their enzymatic activity. This paper aims to discuss original finding against anti-tumor and anti-angiogenic activities of sPLA2 isolated from Tunisian vipers: Cerastes cerastes and Macrovipera lebetina, representing new tools to target specific integrins, mainly, and integrins.

  18. Antitumoral Potential of Tunisian Snake Venoms Secreted Phospholipases A2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zouari-Kessentini, Raoudha; Srairi-Abid, Najet; Bazaa, Amine; El Ayeb, Mohamed; Luis, Jose; Marrakchi, Naziha

    2013-01-01

    Phospholipases type A2 (PLA2s) are the most abundant proteins found in Viperidae snake venom. They are quite fascinating from both a biological and structural point of view. Despite similarity in their structures and common catalytic properties, they exhibit a wide spectrum of pharmacological activities. Besides being hydrolases, secreted phospholipases A2 (sPLA2) are an important group of toxins, whose action at the molecular level is still a matter of debate. These proteins can display toxic effects by different mechanisms. In addition to neurotoxicity, myotoxicity, hemolytic activity, antibacterial, anticoagulant, and antiplatelet effects, some venom PLA2s show antitumor and antiangiogenic activities by mechanisms independent of their enzymatic activity. This paper aims to discuss original finding against anti-tumor and anti-angiogenic activities of sPLA2 isolated from Tunisian vipers: Cerastes cerastes and Macrovipera lebetina, representing new tools to target specific integrins, mainly, α5β1 and αv integrins. PMID:23509718

  19. Disorders of pupillary structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaeser, Pierre-François; Kawasaki, Aki

    2010-08-01

    Neurologists are frequently consulted because of a pupillary abnormality. An unequal size of the pupils, an unusual shape, white colored pupils, or a poorly reactive pupil are common reasons for referral. A directed history and careful observation of the iris and pupil movements can bear out ocular pathology such as congenital or structural anomalies as the cause of abnormal pupils. Thereafter, it is important to evaluate the neurologic causes of anisocoria and poor pupil function. The first part of this article emphasizes pupillary abnormalities frequently encountered in infants and children and discusses some of the more common acquired iris structural defects. The second part focuses on evaluation of lesions in the neural pathways that result in pupillary dysfunction, with particular attention to those conditions having neurologic, systemic, or visual implications. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. MRI in Optic Neuritis: Structure, Function, Interactions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fuglø, Dan

    2011-01-01

    resonance imaging (MRI), and the visual evoked potential (VEP) continues to show a delayed P100 indicating persistent demyelination. The explanation for this apparent discrepancy between structure and function could be due to either a redundancy in the visual pathways so that some degree of signal loss...... are low. Functional MRI (fMRI) is a non-invasive technique that can measure brain activity with a high spatial resolution. Recently, technical and methodological advancements have made it feasible to record VEPs and fMRI simultaneously and the relationship between averaged VEPs and averaged fMRI signals...... have been described. Still, to take full advantage of simultaneously recorded VEP-fMRI one would ideally want to track single-trial changes in the VEP and use this information in the fMRI analysis. In order to do this we examined 10 healthy volunteers with simultaneous VEP-fMRI. Different measures...

  1. IgE antibodies, FcεRIα, and IgE-mediated local anaphylaxis can limit snake venom toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starkl, Philipp; Marichal, Thomas; Gaudenzio, Nicolas; Reber, Laurent Lionel; Sibilano, Riccardo; Tsai, Mindy; Galli, Stephen Joseph

    2016-01-01

    Type 2 cytokine-related immune responses associated with development of antigen-specific IgE antibodies can contribute to pathology in patients with allergic diseases and to fatal anaphylaxis. However, recent findings in mice indicate that IgE also can enhance defense against honeybee venom. We tested whether IgE antibodies, IgE-dependent effector mechanisms, and a local anaphylactic reaction to an unrelated antigen can enhance defense against Russell viper venom (RVV) and determined whether such responses can be influenced by immunization protocol or mouse strain. We compared the resistance of RVV-immunized wild-type, IgE-deficient, and Fcer1a-deficient mice after injection of a potentially lethal dose of RVV. A single prior exposure to RVV enhanced the ability of wild-type mice, but not mice lacking IgE or functional FcεRI, to survive challenge with a potentially lethal amount of RVV. Moreover, IgE-dependent local passive cutaneous anaphylaxis in response to challenge with an antigen not naturally present in RVV significantly enhanced resistance to the venom. Finally, we observed different effects on resistance to RVV or honeybee venom in BALB/c versus C57BL/6 mice that had received a second exposure to that venom before challenge with a high dose of that venom. These observations illustrate the potential benefit of IgE-dependent effector mechanisms in acquired host defense against venoms. The extent to which type 2 immune responses against venoms can decrease pathology associated with envenomation seems to be influenced by the type of venom, the frequency of venom exposure, and the genetic background of the host. Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. NuTeV Structure Function Measurement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tzanov, M.; Adams, T.; Alton, A.; Avvakumov, S.; de Barbaro, L.; de Barbaro, P.; Bernstein, R. H.; Bodek, A.; Bolton, T.; Boyd, S.; Brau, J.; Buchholz, D.; Budd, H.; Bugel, L.; Conrad, J.; Drucker, R. B.; Fleming, B. T.; Formaggio, J.; Frey, R.; Goldman, J.; Goncharov, M.; Harris, D. A.; Kim, J. H.; Koutsoliotas, S.; Johnson, R. A.; Lamm, M. J.; Marsh, W.; Mason, D.; McFarland, K. S.; McNulty, C.; Naples, D.; Nienaber, P.; Radescu, V.; Romosan, A.; Sakumoto, W. K.; Schellman, H.; Shaevitz, M. H.; Spentzouris, P.; Stern, E. G.; Suwonjandee, N.; Tobien, N.; Vaitaitis, A.; Vakili, M.; Yang, U. K.; Yu, J.; Zeller, G. P.; Zimmerman, E. D.

    The NuTeV experiment obtained high statistics samples of neutrino and antineutrino charged current events during the 1996-1997 Fermilab fixed target run. The experiment combines sign-selected neutrino and antineutrino beams and the upgraded CCFR iron-scintillator neutrino detector. A precision continuous calibration beam was used to determine the muon and hadron energy scales to a precision of 0.7% and 0.43% respectively. The structure functions F2(x, Q2) and xF3(x, Q2) obtained by fitting the y-dependence of the sum and the difference of the ν and bar {ν } differential cross sections are presented.

  3. GH62 arabinofuranosidases: Structure, function and applications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wilkens, Casper; Andersen, Susan; Dumon, Claire

    2017-01-01

    provides novel insights into structure/function relationships of GH62. Overall GH62 α-l-arabinofuranosidases are believed to play important roles in nature by acting in synergy with several cell wall degrading enzymes and members of GH62 represent promising candidates for biotechnological improvements...... hydrolytic release of α-l-arabinofuranosyl residues, which decorate xylan or arabinan backbones in lignocellulosic and pectin constituents of plant cell walls. The CAZy database classifies α-l-arabinofuranosidases in Glycoside Hydrolase (GH) families GH2, GH3, GH43, GH51, GH54 and GH62. Only GH62 contains...

  4. Assessment of subendocardial structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanton, Tony; Marwick, Thomas H

    2010-08-01

    The combination of high energy expenditure and the borderline adequacy of perfusion make the subendocardium uniquely vulnerable to injury. Selective subendocardial involvement is usually a marker of subclinical disease. Technical advances in new noninvasive imaging modalities, especially in spatial resolution, now permit qualitative and quantitative assessment of subendocardial structure, function, and perfusion. Many newer techniques have the potential to provide superior prognostic information to current standard assessment methods. This review describes the contemporary capabilities of multiple imaging modalities for assessment of the subendocardium, and seeks to guide the clinician regarding the information and technical deficiencies of each modality.

  5. Grooves to tubes: evolution of the venom delivery system in a Late Triassic "reptile"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Jonathan S.; Heckert, Andrew B.; Sues, Hans-Dieter

    2010-12-01

    Venom delivery systems occur in a wide range of extant and fossil vertebrates and are primarily based on oral adaptations. Teeth range from unmodified (Komodo dragons) to highly specialized fangs similar to hypodermic needles (protero- and solenoglyphous snakes). Developmental biologists have documented evidence for an infolding pathway of fang evolution, where the groove folds over to create the more derived condition. However, the oldest known members of venomous clades retain the same condition as their extant relatives, resulting in no fossil evidence for the transition. Based on a comparison of previously known specimens with newly discovered teeth from North Carolina, we describe a new species of the Late Triassic archosauriform Uatchitodon and provide detailed analyses that provide evidence for both venom conduction and document a complete structural series from shallow grooves to fully enclosed tubular canals. While known only from teeth, Uatchitodon is highly diagnostic in possessing compound serrations and for having two venom canals on each tooth in the dentition. Further, although not a snake, Uatchitodon sheds light on the evolutionary trajectory of venom delivery systems in amniotes and provide solid evidence for venom conduction in archosaur-line diapsids.

  6. Identification of a novel melittin isoform from Africanized Apis mellifera venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sciani, Juliana Mozer; Marques-Porto, Rafael; Lourenço Junior, Airton; Orsi, Ricardo de Oliveira; Ferreira Junior, Rui Seabra; Barraviera, Benedito; Pimenta, Daniel Carvalho

    2010-08-01

    Apis mellifera, the European honey bee, is perhaps the most studied insect in the Apidae family. Its venom is comprised basically of melittin, phospholipase A(2), histamine, hyaluronidase, cathecolamines and serotonin. Some of these components have been associated to allergic reactions, among several other symptoms. On the other hand, bee mass-stinging is increasingly becoming a serious public health issue; therefore, the development of efficient serum-therapies has become necessary, with a consequent better characterization of the venom. In this work, we report the isolation and biochemical characterization of melittin-S, an isoform of melittin comprising a Ser residue at the 10th position, from the venom of Africanized A. mellifera. This peptide demonstrated to be less hemolytic than melittin and to adopt a less organized secondary structure, as assessed by circular dichroism spectroscopy. Melittin-S venom contents varied seasonally, and the maximum secretion occurred during the (southern) winter months. Data on the variation of the honey bee venom composition are necessary to guide future immunological studies, aiming for the development of an efficient anti-serum against Africanized A. mellifera venom and, consequently, an effective treatment for the victims of mass-stinging. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Cardiovascular effects of Nemopilema nomurai (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae) jellyfish venom in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Euikyung; Lee, Seunghwan; Kim, Jong-Shu; Yoon, Won Duk; Lim, Donghyun; Hart, Andrew J; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2006-12-15

    Over the past few years, populations of the giant jellyfish Nemopilema nomurai (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomeae) have increased dramatically in the waters of China, Korea, and Japan without any definitive reason. This has resulted in severe damage to fisheries in the areas. During a pilot study, we observed that the venom of N. nomurai produced a functional cardiac depression in mice. However, the mechanism of action was not examined. In the present study, we investigated the cardiovascular effects of nematocyst-derived venom from N. nomurai in anesthetized rats. Venom (0.1-2.4 mg protein/kg, i.v.) produced dose-dependent hypotension (65+/-12% of initial at a cumulative dose of 3 mg/kg) and bradycardia (80+/-5% of initial at a cumulative dose of 3 mg/kg). At the highest dose, this was characterized by a transient decrease in blood pressure (phase 1) followed by a return to basal level and then a slower decrease in blood pressure (phase 2). Venom also produced a decrease in rate and force of contraction in the rat isolated atria. Interestingly, venom induced a contraction of isolated aortic rings which was blocked by felodipine but not by prazosin, suggesting the contraction is mediated by calcium channel activation. These results suggest that the negative inotropic and chronotropic effects of the venom of N. nomurai may be due to a direct effect on the heart.

  8. Biological effects of Naja haje crude venom on the hepatic and renal tissues of mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amany A. Tohamy

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Snake venoms are known to cause different metabolic disorders, altering cellular and enzymatic activities in animals and releasing pharmacological substances. In this study, the lethality as well as biochemical and histopathological effect of Egyptian cobra (Naja haje; N. haje crude venom at a sublethal dose have been investigated on liver and kidney of male mice. Venom injected intramuscularly in mice with 1/2 LD50 (approximately 0.0115 μg/g body weight of mice and the animals were sacrificed 6 days post injection. Results indicated that the injection of crude venom of the N. haje induced a significant disturbance in liver and kidney functions. In addition, results revealed that N. haje venom has a potent oxidative activity by increasing the level of reactive oxygen species with concomitant significant increase in hydrogen peroxide, lipid peroxidation, carbonyl protein and nitric oxide levels in hepatic and renal tissues. This activity was extended to decrease non-enzymatic and enzymatic antioxidant defense components such as glutathione, superoxide dismutase and catalase. Additionally, the biochemical alternations induced in hepatic and renal tissues were associated with significant alternations in the histological architecture of liver and kidney of injected mice. From this study, we can conclude that such injury could be considered among the factors that lead to death caused by N. haje venom.

  9. Computational and in vitro insights on snake venom phospholipase A2 inhibitor of phytocompound ikshusterol3-O-glucoside of Clematis gouriana Roxb. ex DC.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muthusamy, Karthikeyan; Chinnasamy, Sathishkumar; Nagarajan, Subbiah; Sivaraman, Thirunavukkarasu

    2017-12-14

    Ikshusterol3-O-glucoside was isolated from Clematis gouriana Roxb. ex DC. root. A structure of the isolated compound was determined on the basis of various spectroscopic interpretations (UV, NMR, FTIR, and GC-MS-EI). This structure was submitted in the PubChem compound database (SID 249494133). SID 249494133 was carried out by density functional theory calculation to observe the chemical stability and electrostatic potential of this compound. The absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion property of this compound was predicted to evaluate the drug likeness and toxicity. In addition, molecular docking, quantum polarized ligand docking, prime MMGBSA calculation, and induced fit docking were performed to predict the binding status of SID 249494133 with the active site of phospholipase A2 (PLA2) (PDB ID: 1A3D). The stability of the compound in the active site of PLA2 was carried out using molecular dynamics simulation. Further, the anti-venom activity of the compound was assessed using the PLA2 assay against Naja naja (Indian cobra) crude venom. The results strongly show that Ikshusterol3-O-glucoside has a potent snake-venom neutralizing capacity and it might be a potential molecule for the therapeutic treatment for snakebites.

  10. [Gelsolin - variety of structure and functions].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadzyński, Adam; Kurek, Krzysztof; Konończuk, Tomasz; Zendzian-Piotrowska, Małgorzata

    2010-06-18

    Gelsolin is an actin-binding and an actin-fragmenting protein. It contains 730 amino-acids, organized in six G1-G6 homologous domains which determine different functions of the protein. Two variants of gelsolin, cytoplasmic and secreted (contained in plasma) are described. Cytoplasmic gelsolin re-organizes the structure of cytoskeleton and plays an important role as a capping protein. In addition, cytoplasmic gelsolin binds bacterial lipopolysaccharide and ATP and exhibits antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Plasma gelsolin is synthesized mainly in skeletal and smooth muscles and myocardium. Plasma gelsolin was also found in: blood, lymph, bronchial epithelia, synovial fluids and cerebro-spinal fluid. The protein plays a role in the immune response, moreover it is involved in extracellular and blood actin-scavenger system. Plasma gelsolin has anti-amyloidogenic, anti-oxidant and anti-apoptotic properties and it has a potential for treatment of Alzheimer disease. Decreased levels of the gelsolin plasma isoform was observed in patients with sepsis, myocardial infarction, liver failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome, inflammations and after burns. On the other hand, after rhabdomyolysis and in amyloidosis gelsolin plasma level are increased. In this review we present recent data on the structure and functions of gelsolin and changes of its activity in some pathological processes.

  11. Gelsolin – variety of structure and functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Sadzyński

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Gelsolin is an actin-binding and an actin-fragmenting protein. It contains 730 amino-acids, organized in six G1–G6 homologous domains which determine different functions of the protein. Two variants of gelsolin, cytoplasmic and secreted (contained in plasma are described. Cytoplasmic gelsolin re-organizes the structure of cytoskeleton and plays an important role as a capping protein. In addition, cytoplasmic gelsolin binds bacterial lipopolysaccharide and ATP and exhibits antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Plasma gelsolin is synthesized mainly in skeletal and smooth muscles and myocardium. Plasma gelsolin was also found in: blood, lymph, bronchial epithelia, synovial fluids and cerebro-spinal fluid. The protein plays a role in the immune response, moreover it is involved in extracellular and blood actin-scavenger system. Plasma gelsolin has anti-amyloidogenic, anti-oxidant and anti-apoptotic properties and it has a potential for treatment of Alzheimer disease. Decreased levels of the gelsolin plasma isoform was observed in patients with sepsis, myocardial infarction, liver failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome, inflammations and after burns. On the other hand, after rhabdomyolysis and in amyloidosis gelsolin plasma level are increased. In this review we present recent data on the structure and functions of gelsolin and changes of its activity in some pathological processes.

  12. The cancer genome: from structure to function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geurts van Kessel, Ad

    2014-06-01

    The 2014 joint meeting of the International Society for Cellular Oncology (ISCO) and the European Workshop on Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics of Solid Tumors (EWCMST), organized by Nick Gilbert, Juan Cigudosa and Bauke Ylstra, was held from 11 to 14 May in Malaga, Spain. Since the previous meeting in 2012, the ever increasing availability of new sequencing technologies has enabled the analysis of cancer genomes at an increasingly greater detail. In addition to structural changes in the genome (i.e., translocations, deletions, amplifications), frequent mutations in important regulatory genes have been found to occur, as also frequent alterations in a large number of epigenetic factors. The challenge now is to relate structural changes in cancer genomes to the underlying disease mechanisms and to reveal opportunities for the design of novel (targeted) therapies. During the meeting, various topics related to these challenges and opportunities were addressed, including those dealing with functional genomics, genome instability, biomarkers and diagnostics, cancer genetics and epigenomics. Special attention was paid to therapy-driven cancer evolution (keynote lecture) and relationships between DNA repair, cancer and ageing (Prof. Ploem lecture). Based on the information presented at the meeting, several aspects of the cancer genome and its functional implications are provided in this report.

  13. 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 ...

  14. Rush Venom Immunotherapy in Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Confino-Cohen, Ronit; Rosman, Yossi; Goldberg, Arnon

    Rush venom immunotherapy (VIT) is highly effective in Hymenoptera venom allergy. Still, specific data regarding its safety and efficiency in children are rather sparse. The objective of this study was to better evaluate the safety and efficiency of rush VIT in this specific age group. Children younger than 16 years with systemic reaction to insect sting involving, at least, one body system other than skin and children aged 16-18 years with any kind of systemic reaction were offered conventional or rush VIT with a build-up phase that lasted 3 days. Eighty-four of 127 children together with their caregivers chose to receive rush VIT. Seventy of them were allergic to bee venom only. There was no difference between the children receiving rush or conventional VIT in the incidence of systemic reactions during the build-up phase (19% and 23.2%, respectively), nor was there any difference in regard to the severity of these reactions. Efficiency was improved with rush VIT, as reflected by a higher number of patients achieving the 100 mcg maintenance dose with the primary protocol (83 of 84 patients, 98.8%, and 39 of 43, 90.7%, for rush and conventional, respectively, P = .04). Rush VIT in children is as safe as and more efficient than conventional VIT. Copyright © 2016 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Structure and Function of KH Domains

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Valverde, R.; Regan, E

    2008-01-01

    The hnRNP K homology (KH) domain was first identified in the protein human heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K (hnRNP K) 14 years ago. Since then, KH domains have been identified as nucleic acid recognition motifs in proteins that perform a wide range of cellular functions. KH domains bind RNA or ssDNA, and are found in proteins associated with transcriptional and translational regulation, along with other cellular processes. Several diseases, e.g. fragile X mental retardation syndrome and paraneoplastic disease, are associated with the loss of function of a particular KH domain. Here we discuss the progress made towards understanding both general and specific features of the molecular recognition of nucleic acids by KH domains. The typical binding surface of KH domains is a cleft that is versatile but that can typically accommodate only four unpaired bases. Van der Waals forces and hydrophobic interactions and, to a lesser extent, electrostatic interactions, contribute to the nucleic acid binding affinity. 'Augmented' KH domains or multiple copies of KH domains within a protein are two strategies that are used to achieve greater affinity and specificity of nucleic acid binding. Isolated KH domains have been seen to crystallize as monomers, dimers and tetramers, but no published data support the formation of noncovalent higher-order oligomers by KH domains in solution. Much attention has been given in the literature to a conserved hydrophobic residue (typically Ile or Leu) that is present in most KH domains. The interest derives from the observation that an individual with this Ile mutated to Asn, in the KH2 domain of fragile X mental retardation protein, exhibits a particularly severe form of the syndrome. The structural effects of this mutation in the fragile X mental retardation protein KH2 domain have recently been reported. We discuss the use of analogous point mutations at this position in other KH domains to dissect both structure and

  16. Structure-function relationships of human meniscus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danso, Elvis K; Oinas, Joonas M T; Saarakkala, Simo; Mikkonen, Santtu; Töyräs, Juha; Korhonen, Rami K

    2017-03-01

    Biomechanical properties of human meniscus have been shown to be site-specific. However, it is not known which meniscus constituents at different depths and locations contribute to biomechanical properties obtained from indentation testing. Therefore, we investigated the composition and structure of human meniscus in a site- and depth-dependent manner and their relationships with tissue site-specific biomechanical properties. Elastic and poroelastic properties were analyzed from experimental stress-relaxation and sinusoidal indentation measurements with fibril reinforced poroelastic finite element modeling. Proteoglycan (PG) and collagen contents, as well as the collagen orientation angle, were determined as a function of tissue depth using microscopic and spectroscopic methods, and they were compared with biomechanical properties. For all the measurement sites (anterior, middle and posterior) of lateral and medial menisci (n=26), PG content and collagen orientation angle increased as a function of tissue depth while the collagen content had an initial sharp increase followed by a decrease across tissue depth. The highest values (pbiomechanical parameters (strain-dependent fibril network modulus and permeability) were observed in the anterior horn of the medial meniscus. This location had also higher (pmeniscus, higher (pmedial meniscus) significantly higher (pmeniscus modulus and/or nonlinear permeability. This study suggests that nonlinear biomechanical properties of meniscus, caused by the collagen network and fluid, may be strongly influenced by tissue osmotic swelling from the deep meniscus caused by the increased PG content, leading to increased collagen fibril tension. These nonlinear biomechanical properties are suggested to be further amplified by higher collagen content at all tissue depths and superficial collagen fibril orientation. However, these structure-function relationships are suggested to be highly site-specific. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd

  17. Blast sampling for structural and functional analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedrich, Anne; Ripp, Raymond; Garnier, Nicolas; Bettler, Emmanuel; Deléage, Gilbert; Poch, Olivier; Moulinier, Luc

    2007-02-23

    The post-genomic era is characterised by a torrent of biological information flooding the public databases. As a direct consequence, similarity searches starting with a single query sequence frequently lead to the identification of hundreds, or even thousands of potential homologues. The huge volume of data renders the subsequent structural, functional and evolutionary analyses very difficult. It is therefore essential to develop new strategies for efficient sampling of this large sequence space, in order to reduce the number of sequences to be processed. At the same time, it is important to retain the most pertinent sequences for structural and functional studies. An exhaustive analysis on a large scale test set (284 protein families) was performed to compare the efficiency of four different sampling methods aimed at selecting the most pertinent sequences. These four methods sample the proteins detected by BlastP searches and can be divided into two categories: two customisable methods where the user defines either the maximal number or the percentage of sequences to be selected; two automatic methods in which the number of sequences selected is determined by the program. We focused our analysis on the potential information content of the sampled sets of sequences using multiple alignment of complete sequences as the main validation tool. The study considered two criteria: the total number of sequences in BlastP and their associated E-values. The subsequent analyses investigated the influence of the sampling methods on the E-value distributions, the sequence coverage, the final multiple alignment quality and the active site characterisation at various residue conservation thresholds as a function of these criteria. The comparative analysis of the four sampling methods allows us to propose a suitable sampling strategy that significantly reduces the number of homologous sequences required for alignment, while at the same time maintaining the relevant information

  18. Blast sampling for structural and functional analyses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Friedrich Anne

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The post-genomic era is characterised by a torrent of biological information flooding the public databases. As a direct consequence, similarity searches starting with a single query sequence frequently lead to the identification of hundreds, or even thousands of potential homologues. The huge volume of data renders the subsequent structural, functional and evolutionary analyses very difficult. It is therefore essential to develop new strategies for efficient sampling of this large sequence space, in order to reduce the number of sequences to be processed. At the same time, it is important to retain the most pertinent sequences for structural and functional studies. Results An exhaustive analysis on a large scale test set (284 protein families was performed to compare the efficiency of four different sampling methods aimed at selecting the most pertinent sequences. These four methods sample the proteins detected by BlastP searches and can be divided into two categories: two customisable methods where the user defines either the maximal number or the percentage of sequences to be selected; two automatic methods in which the number of sequences selected is determined by the program. We focused our analysis on the potential information content of the sampled sets of sequences using multiple alignment of complete sequences as the main validation tool. The study considered two criteria: the total number of sequences in BlastP and their associated E-values. The subsequent analyses investigated the influence of the sampling methods on the E-value distributions, the sequence coverage, the final multiple alignment quality and the active site characterisation at various residue conservation thresholds as a function of these criteria. Conclusion The comparative analysis of the four sampling methods allows us to propose a suitable sampling strategy that significantly reduces the number of homologous sequences required for alignment, while

  19. Complex Analyses of Plankton Structure and Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karl E. Havens

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper critically evaluates some complex methods that have been used to characterize the structure and function of freshwater plankton communities. The focus is on methods related to plankton size structure and carbon transfer. The specific methods reviewed are 1 size spectrum analysis, 2 size-fractionated phytoplankton productivity, 3 size-fractionated zooplankton grazing, 4 plankton ecological transfer efficiency, and 5 grazer effects on phytoplankton community structure. Taken together, these methods can provide information on community ecological properties that are directly related to practical issues including water quality and fisheries productivity. However, caution is warranted since application without a complete understanding of assumptions and context of the manipulations could lead to erroneous conclusions. As an example, experimental studies involving the addition or removal of zooplankton, especially when coupled with nutrient addition treatments, could provide information on the degree of consumer vs. resource control of phytoplankton. Resource managers subsequently could use this information in developing effective measures for controlling nuisance algal biomass. However, the experiments must be done critically and with sufficient safeguards and other measurements to ensure that treatments (e.g., zooplankton exclosure by screening of water actually are successful and do not introduce other changes in the community (e.g., removal of large algae. In all of the methods described here, the investigator must take care when generalizing results and, in particular, carry out a sufficient number of replications to encompass both the major seasonal and spatial variation that occurs in the ecosystem.

  20. Melanocortin 1 Receptor: Structure, Function and Regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin Marissa Wolf Horrell

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R is a melanocytic Gs protein coupled receptor that regulates skin pigmentation, UV responses, and melanoma risk. It is a highly polymorphic gene, and loss of function correlates with a fair, UV-sensitive, and melanoma-prone phenotype due to defective epidermal melanization and sub-optimal DNA repair. MC1R signaling, achieved through adenylyl cyclase activation and generation of the second messenger cAMP, is hormonally controlled by the positive agonist melanocortin, the negative agonist agouti signaling protein, and the neutral antagonist β-defensin 3. Activation of cAMP signaling up-regulates melanin production and deposition in the epidermis which functions to limit UV penetration into the skin and enhances nucleotide excision repair, the genomic stability pathway responsible for clearing UV photolesions from DNA to avoid mutagenesis. Herein we review MC1R structure and function and summarize our laboratory’s findings on the molecular mechanisms by which MC1R signaling impacts nucleotide excision repair.

  1. Melanocortin 1 Receptor: Structure, Function, and Regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf Horrell, Erin M.; Boulanger, Mary C.; D’Orazio, John A.

    2016-01-01

    The melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) is a melanocytic Gs protein coupled receptor that regulates skin pigmentation, UV responses, and melanoma risk. It is a highly polymorphic gene, and loss of function correlates with a fair, UV-sensitive, and melanoma-prone phenotype due to defective epidermal melanization and sub-optimal DNA repair. MC1R signaling, achieved through adenylyl cyclase activation and generation of the second messenger cAMP, is hormonally controlled by the positive agonist melanocortin, the negative agonist agouti signaling protein, and the neutral antagonist β-defensin 3. Activation of cAMP signaling up-regulates melanin production and deposition in the epidermis which functions to limit UV penetration into the skin and enhances nucleotide excision repair (NER), the genomic stability pathway responsible for clearing UV photolesions from DNA to avoid mutagenesis. Herein we review MC1R structure and function and summarize our laboratory’s findings on the molecular mechanisms by which MC1R signaling impacts NER. PMID:27303435

  2. Cytoskeleton, endoplasmic reticulum and nucleus alterations in CHO-K1 cell line after Crotalus durissus terrificus (South American rattlesnake venom treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. P. Tamieti

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Snake venoms are toxic to a variety of cell types. However, the intracellular damages and the cell death fate induced by venom are unclear. In the present work, the action of the South American rattlesnake Crotalus durissus terrificus venom on CHO-K1 cell line was analyzed. The cells CHO-K1 were incubated with C. d. terrificus venom (10, 50 and 100g/ml for 1 and 24 hours, and structural alterations of actin filaments, endoplasmic reticulum and nucleus were assessed using specific fluorescent probes and agarose gel electrophoresis for DNA fragmentation. Significant structural changes were observed in all analyzed structures. DNA fragmentation was detected suggesting that, at the concentrations used, the venom induced apoptosis.

  3. In-vitro diagnostics of Hymenoptera venom allergy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rueff, F.; Vos, B.; Przybilla, B.

    In-vitro diagnostics of Hymenoptera venom allergy Patients with a history of anaphylactic sting reactions require an allergological work-up (history, in-vitro tests, and skin tests) to clarify indications on venom immunotherapy and on the type of venom to be used. To demonstrate a venom

  4. Collagen Structure of Tendon Relates to Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Franchi

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available A tendon is a tough band of fibrous connective tissue that connects muscle to bone, designed to transmit forces and withstand tension during muscle contraction. Tendon may be surrounded by different structures: 1 fibrous sheaths or retinaculae; 2 reflection pulleys; 3 synovial sheaths; 4 peritendon sheaths; 5 tendon bursae. Tendons contain a few cells, mostly represented by tenoblasts along with endothelial cells and some chondrocytes; b proteoglycans (PGs, mainly decorin and hyaluronan, and c collagen, mostly type I. Tendon is a good example of a high ordered extracellular matrix in which collagen molecules assemble into filamentous collagen fibrils (formed by microfibrils which aggregate to form collagen fibers, the main structural components. It represents a multihierarchical structure as it contains collagen molecules arranged in fibrils then grouped in fibril bundles, fascicles and fiber bundles that are almost parallel to the long axis of the tendon, named as primary, secondary and tertiary bundles. Collagen fibrils in tendons show prevalently large diameter, a D-period of about 67 nm and appear built of collagen molecules lying at a slight angle (< 5°. Under polarized light microscopy the collagen fiber bundles appear crimped with alternative dark and light transverse bands. In recent studies tendon crimps observed via SEM and TEM show that the single collagen fibrils suddenly changing their direction contain knots. These knots of collagen fibrils inside each tendon crimp have been termed “fibrillar crimps”, and even if they show different aspects they all may fulfil the same functional role. As integral component of musculoskeletal system, the tendon acts to transmit muscle forces to the skeletal system. There is no complete understanding of the mechanisms in transmitting/absorbing tensional forces within the tendon; however it seems likely that a flattening of tendon crimps may occur at a first stage of tendon stretching

  5. Lipase and phospholipase activities of Hymenoptera venoms ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    native gel), Polistes flavis venom has four major protein bands, one of which has lipase activity; with sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS-PAGE), the venom had eighteen bands with molecular weights ranging from a maximum of 94 kD and a minimum of ...

  6. Location of brown recluse venom attachment sites on human erythrocytes by the firritin-labeled antibody technique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Futrell, J. M.; Morgan, P. N.; Su, S. P.; Roth, S. I.

    1979-01-01

    Brown recluse spider (loxosceles reclusa) venom has been demonstrated by a ferritin-labeled antibody technique to attach to human erythrocyte cell membranes. The number of individual attachment sites per cell is proportional to the concentration of the venom used to sensitize the erythrocytes. Structural changes in the red cell membrane are associated with the venom attachment. These sites may be related to the red cell hemolysis which sometimes occurs in the human as a result of the spider bite. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 PMID:377995

  7. Reappraisal of Vipera aspis venom neurotoxicity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabeth Ferquel

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The variation of venom composition with geography is an important aspect of intraspecific variability in the Vipera genus, although causes of this variability remain unclear. The diversity of snake venom is important both for our understanding of venomous snake evolution and for the preparation of relevant antivenoms to treat envenomations. A geographic intraspecific variation in snake venom composition was recently reported for Vipera aspis aspis venom in France. Since 1992, cases of human envenomation after Vipera aspis aspis bites in south-east France involving unexpected neurological signs were regularly reported. The presence of genes encoding PLA(2 neurotoxins in the Vaa snake genome led us to investigate any neurological symptom associated with snake bites in other regions of France and in neighboring countries. In parallel, we used several approaches to characterize the venom PLA(2 composition of the snakes captured in the same areas. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted an epidemiological survey of snake bites in various regions of France. In parallel, we carried out the analysis of the genes and the transcripts encoding venom PLA(2s. We used SELDI technology to study the diversity of PLA(2 in various venom samples. Neurological signs (mainly cranial nerve disturbances were reported after snake bites in three regions of France: Languedoc-Roussillon, Midi-Pyrénées and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. Genomes of Vipera aspis snakes from south-east France were shown to contain ammodytoxin isoforms never described in the genome of Vipera aspis from other French regions. Surprisingly, transcripts encoding venom neurotoxic PLA(2s were found in snakes of Massif Central region. Accordingly, SELDI analysis of PLA(2 venom composition confirmed the existence of population of neurotoxic Vipera aspis snakes in the west part of the Massif Central mountains. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The association of epidemiological studies to

  8. The effects of Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom to the preadipocyte proliferation and lipolysis of adipocyte, localized fat accumulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min-Ki Kim

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Objectives : The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom to the primary cultured preadipocyte, adipocytes, and localized fat tissue. Methods : Decreased preadipocyte proliferation and decreased lipogenesis are mechanisms to reduce obesity. So, preadipocytes and adipocytes were performed on cell cultures using Sprague-Dawley Rats and treated with 0.01-1mg/㎖ Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom. And porcine skin including fat tissue after treated Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom according to the dosage dependent variation are investigated the histologic changes after injection of these Pharmacopuncture. Result : Following results were obtained from the preadipocyte proliferation and lipolysis of adipocyte and histologic investigation of fat tissue. 1. Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom showed the effect of decreased preadipocyte proliferation depend on concentration. 2. Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom showed the effect of decreased the activity of glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase(GPDH significantly. 3. Bee Venom was not showed the effect of lipolysis, but Sweet Bee Venom was increased in low dosage and decreased in high dosage. 4. Investigated the histologic changes in porcine fat tissue after treated Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom, we knew that these Pharmacopuncture was activated nonspecific lysis of cell membranes depend on concentration. Conclusion : These results suggest that Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom efficiently induces decreased proliferation of preadipocyte and lipolysis in adipose tissue

  9. Tears of Venom: Hydrodynamics of Reptilian Envenomation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Bruce A.; Herzog, Florian; Friedel, Paul; Rammensee, Sebastian; Bausch, Andreas; van Hemmen, J. Leo

    2011-05-01

    In the majority of venomous snakes, and in many other reptiles, venom is conveyed from the animal’s gland to the prey’s tissue through an open groove on the surface of the teeth and not through a tubular fang. Here we focus on two key aspects of the grooved delivery system: the hydrodynamics of venom as it interacts with the groove geometry, and the efficiency of the tooth-groove-venom complex as the tooth penetrates the prey’s tissue. We show that the surface tension of the venom is the driving force underlying the envenomation dynamics. In so doing, we explain not only the efficacy of the open groove, but also the prevalence of this mechanism among reptiles.

  10. Identification of bradykinins in solitary wasp venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konno, Katsuhiro; Palma, Mario Sergio; Hitara, Izaura Yoshico; Juliano, Maria Aparecida; Juliano, Luiz; Yasuhara, Tadashi

    2002-03-01

    Bradykinins were identified in three solitary wasp venoms. Purification and characterization of the venom extract of the scoliid wasp Megacampsomeris prismatica led to the identification of bradykinin and threonine(6)-bradykinin as the major peptide components. The survey of a number of extracts from solitary wasp venom by MALDI-TOF MS revealed that the venoms of two other scoliid wasps, Campsomeriella annulata annulata and Carinoscolia melanosoma fascinata, also contained Thr(6)-BK as one of the major components. Thus, this study showed the presence of bradykinins in some of the solitary wasp venoms. Moreover, it indicated that these peptides play a major role in their paralyzing action for prey capture because these bradykinins have been shown to block the synaptic transmission of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in the insect central nervous system.

  11. [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.

  12. Aegerolysins: structure, function, and putative biological role.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berne, Sabina; Lah, Ljerka; Sepcić, Kristina

    2009-04-01

    Aegerolysins, discovered in fungi, bacteria and plants, are highly similar proteins with interesting biological properties. Certain aegerolysins possess antitumoral, antiproliferative, and antibacterial activities. Further possible medicinal applications include their use in the prevention of atherosclerosis, or as vaccines. Additional biotechnological value of fungal aegerolysins lies in their involvement in development, which could improve cultivation of commercially important edible mushrooms. Besides, new insights on microheterogeneity of raft-like membrane domains could be gained by using aegerolysins as specific markers in cell and molecular biology. Although the exact function of aegerolysins in their producing organisms remains to be explained, they are biochemically well characterized all-beta structured proteins sharing the following common features: low isoelectric points, similar molecular weights (15-17 kDa), and stability in a wide pH range.

  13. Structure and function of histone acetyltransferase MOF.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Qiao Yi; Costa, Max; Sun, Hong

    2015-01-01

    MOF was first identified in Drosophila melanogaster as an important component of the dosage compensation complex. As a member of MYST family of histone acetyltransferase, MOF specifically deposits the acetyl groups to histone H4 lysine 16. Throughout evolution, MOF and its mammalian ortholog have retained highly conserved substrate specificity and similar enzymatic activities. MOF plays important roles in dosage compensation, ESC self-renewal, DNA damage and repair, cell survival, and gene expression regulation. Dysregulation of MOF has been implicated in tumor formation and progression of many types of human cancers. This review will discuss the structure and activity of mammalian hMOF as well as its function in H4K16 acetylation, DNA damage response, stem cell pluripotency, and carcinogenesis.

  14. Structural and Functional Views of Mechatronic Products

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Kjeld; Petersen, Thomas Ditlev; Jørgensen, Kaj Asbjørn

    2011-01-01

    The development and subsequent production of industrial products are often complicated tasks. The complication increases with combined product as mechatronic products and is further complicated when large variety is required. Modularity is often used to achieve optimum in these complications both...... in the costumer view as well in the production view. In this paper, the relationships in mechatronic products between the functional and structural levels are explored in relation to modularity. A list of commonly used module drivers is presented and a qualitative survey is used to explore significance...... of influence on these module drivers when applying mechatronic product technology and view levels. The result is summarized in a list of which drivers should be addressed in a mechatronic product approach to modularity. Keywords:...

  15. In-Depth Glyco-Peptidomics Approach Reveals Unexpected Diversity of Glycosylated Peptides and Atypical Post-Translational Modifications in Dendroaspis angusticeps Snake Venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michel Degueldre

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Animal venoms represent a valuable source of bioactive peptides that can be derived into useful pharmacological tools, or even innovative drugs. In this way, the venom of Dendroaspis angusticeps (DA, the Eastern Green Mamba, has been intensively studied during recent years. It mainly contains hundreds of large toxins from 6 to 9 kDa, each displaying several disulfide bridges. These toxins are the main target of venom-based studies due to their valuable activities obtained by selectively targeting membrane receptors, such as ion channels or G-protein coupled receptors. This study aims to demonstrate that the knowledge of venom composition is still limited and that animal venoms contain unexpected diversity and surprises. A previous study has shown that Dendroaspis angusticeps venom contains not only a cocktail of classical toxins, but also small glycosylated peptides. Following this work, a deep exploration of DA glycopeptidome by a dual nano liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (nanoLC-ESI-MS and Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS analyses was initiated. This study reveals unsuspected structural diversity of compounds such as 221 glycopeptides, displaying different glycan structures. Sequence alignments underline structural similarities with natriuretic peptides already characterized in Elapidae venoms. Finally, the presence of an S-cysteinylation and hydroxylation of proline on four glycopeptides, never described to date in snake venoms, is also revealed by proteomics and affined by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR experiments.

  16. Structures, structural hierarchy, and function in sea urchin spines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stock, S. R.; Ebert, T. A.; Ignatiev, K.; De Carlo, F.

    2006-08-01

    Sea urchin spines protect the animal's body from predators and from the effect of high energy environments. The spines of urchins from different orders, families and genera have very different sizes, morphologies and microarchitectures, and the different designs of sea urchin spines reveal much about the design space available for functional biogenic calcite-based structures. The 3D microarchitecture of primary spines of a number of sea urchins was studied with synchrotron microCT and reconstructed with 5 μm or smaller voxels (volume elements), and similarities and differences were determined in order to better understand the design space. Hollow spines from different genera of the family Diadematidae, order Diadematoida, are one type of solution, but significant differences were observed within this phylogenic subset. Spines from members of order Echinoidea, family Toxopneustidae, employ a very different strategy, one that emphasizes interconnected trabeculae to a greater degree than do the diadematids. Numerical data for some 3D structural characteristics are presented, data that would be impractical to obtain by methods other than microCT.

  17. Mast cells and IgE in defense against venoms: Possible “good side” of allergy?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen J. Galli

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Physicians think of mast cells and IgE primarily in the context of allergic disorders, including fatal anaphylaxis. This ‘bad side’ of mast cells and IgE is so well accepted that it can be difficult to think of them in other contexts, particularly those in which they may have beneficial functions. However, there is evidence that mast cells and IgE, as well as basophils (circulating granulocytes whose functions partially overlap with those of mast cells, can contribute to host defense as components of adaptive type 2 immune responses to helminths, ticks and certain other parasites. Accordingly, allergies often are conceptualized as “misdirected” type 2 immune responses, in which IgE antibodies are produced against any of a diverse group of apparently harmless antigens, as well as against components of animal venoms. Indeed, certain unfortunate patients who have become sensitized to venoms develop severe IgE-associated allergic reactions, including fatal anaphylaxis, upon subsequent venom exposure. In this review, we will describe evidence that mast cells can enhance innate resistance to reptile or arthropod venoms during a first exposure to such venoms. We also will discuss findings indicating that, in mice which survive an initial encounter with venom, acquired type 2 immune responses, IgE antibodies, the high affinity IgE receptor (FcɛRI, and mast cells can contribute to acquired resistance to the lethal effects of both honeybee venom and Russell's viper venom. These findings support the hypothesis that mast cells and IgE can help protect the host against venoms and perhaps other noxious substances.

  18. Dracula's children: molecular evolution of vampire bat venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Low, Dolyce H W; Sunagar, Kartik; Undheim, Eivind A B; Ali, Syed A; Alagon, Alejandro C; Ruder, Tim; Jackson, Timothy N W; Pineda Gonzalez, Sandy; King, Glenn F; Jones, Alun; Antunes, Agostinho; Fry, Bryan G

    2013-08-26

    While vampire bat oral secretions have been the subject of intense research, efforts have concentrated only on two components: DSPA (Desmodus rotundus salivary plasminogen activator) and Draculin. The molecular evolutionary history of DSPA has been elucidated, while conversely draculin has long been known from only a very small fragment and thus even the basic protein class was not even established. Despite the fact that vampire bat venom has a multitude of effects unaccounted by the documented bioactivities of DSPA and draculin, efforts have not been made to establish what other bioactive proteins are secreted by their submaxillary gland. In addition, it has remained unclear whether the anatomically distinct anterior and posterior lobes of the submaxillary gland are evolving on separate gene expression trajectories or if they remain under the shared genetic control. Using a combined proteomic and transcriptomic approach, we show that identical proteins are simultaneously expressed in both lobes. In addition to recovering the known structural classes of DSPA, we recovered a novel DSPA isoform as well as obtained a very large sequence stretch of draculin and thus established that it is a mutated version of the lactotransferrin scaffold. This study reveals a much more complex secretion profile than previously recognised. In addition to obtaining novel versions of scaffolds convergently recruited into other venoms (allergen-like, CRiSP, kallikrein, Kunitz, lysozyme), we also documented novel expression of small peptides related to calcitonin, PACAP, and statherin. Other overexpressed protein types included BPI-fold, lacritin, and secretoglobin. Further, we investigate the molecular evolution of various vampire bat venom-components and highlight the dominant role of positive selection in the evolution of these proteins. Conspicuously many of the proteins identified in the proteome were found to be homologous to proteins with known activities affecting vasodilation and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romano, Joseph D; Tatonetti, Nicholas P

    2015-11-24

    Animal venoms have been used for therapeutic purposes since the dawn of recorded history. Only a small fraction, however, have been tested for pharmaceutical utility. Modern computational methods enable the systematic exploration of novel therapeutic uses for venom compounds. Unfortunately, there is currently no comprehensive resource describing the clinical effects of venoms to support this computational analysis. We present VenomKB, a new publicly accessible knowledge base and website that aims to act as a repository for emerging and putative venom therapies. Presently, it consists of three database tables: (1) Manually curated records of putative venom therapies supported by scientific literature, (2) automatically parsed MEDLINE articles describing compounds that may be venom derived, and their effects on the human body, and (3) automatically retrieved records from the new Semantic Medline resource that describe the effects of venom compounds on mammalian anatomy. Data from VenomKB may be selectively retrieved in a variety of popular data formats, are open-source, and will be continually updated as venom therapies become better understood.

  20. Structure and biological functions of fungal cerebrosides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barreto-Bergter Eliana

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Ceramide monohexosides (CMHs, cerebrosides are glycosphingolipids composed of a hydrophobic ceramide linked to one sugar unit. In fungal cells, CMHs are very conserved molecules consisting of a ceramide moiety containing 9-methyl-4,8-sphingadienine in amidic linkage to 2-hydroxyoctadecanoic or 2-hydroxyhexadecanoic acids, and a carbohydrate portion consisting of one residue of glucose or galactose. 9-Methyl 4,8-sphingadienine-containing ceramides are usually glycosylated to form fungal cerebrosides, but the recent description of a ceramide dihexoside (CDH presenting phytosphingosine in Magnaporthe grisea suggests the existence of alternative pathways of ceramide glycosylation in fungal cells. Along with their unique structural characteristics, fungal CMHs have a peculiar subcellular distribution and striking biological properties. In Pseudallescheria boydii, Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, Aspergillus nidulans, A. fumigatus, and Schizophyllum commune, CMHs are apparently involved in morphological transitions and fungal growth. The elucidation of structural and functional aspects of fungal cerebrosides may therefore contribute to the design of new antifungal agents inhibiting growth and differentiation of pathogenic species.

  1. Structure and functionality of bromine doped graphite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamdan, Rashid; Kemper, A F; Cao, Chao; Cheng, H P

    2013-04-28

    First-principles calculations are used to study the enhanced in-plane conductivity observed experimentally in Br-doped graphite, and to study the effect of external stress on the structure and functionality of such systems. The model used in the numerical calculations is that of stage two doped graphite. The band structure near the Fermi surface of the doped systems with different bromine concentrations is compared to that of pure graphite, and the charge transfer between carbon and bromine atoms is analyzed to understand the conductivity change along different high symmetry directions. Our calculations show that, for large interlayer separation between doped graphite layers, bromine is stable in the molecular form (Br2). However, with increased compression (decreased layer-layer separation) Br2 molecules tend to dissociate. While in both forms, bromine is an electron acceptor. The charge exchange between the graphite layers and Br atoms is higher than that with Br2 molecules. Electron transfer to the Br atoms increases the number of hole carriers in the graphite sheets, resulting in an increase of conductivity.

  2. The Structural and Functional Organization of Cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snow, Peter J.

    2016-01-01

    This article proposes that what have been historically and contemporarily defined as different domains of human cognition are served by one of four functionally- and structurally-distinct areas of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Their contributions to human intelligence are as follows: (a) BA9, enables our emotional intelligence, engaging the psychosocial domain; (b) BA47, enables our practical intelligence, engaging the material domain; (c) BA46 (or BA46-9/46), enables our abstract intelligence, engaging the hypothetical domain; and (d) BA10, enables our temporal intelligence, engaging in planning within any of the other three domains. Given their unique contribution to human cognition, it is proposed that these areas be called the, social (BA9), material (BA47), abstract (BA46-9/46) and temporal (BA10) mind. The evidence that BA47 participates strongly in verbal and gestural communication suggests that language evolved primarily as a consequence of the extreme selective pressure for practicality; an observation supported by the functional connectivity between BA47 and orbital areas that negatively reinforce lying. It is further proposed that the abstract mind (BA46-9/46) is the primary seat of metacognition charged with creating adaptive behavioral strategies by generating higher-order concepts (hypotheses) from lower-order concepts originating from the other three domains of cognition. PMID:27799901

  3. The Structural and Functional Organisation of Cognition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter John Snow

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes that what have been historically and contemporarily defined as different domains of human cognition are served by one of four functionally- and structurally-distinct areas of the prefrontal cortex. Their contributions to human intelligence are as follows: (a BA9, enables our emotional intelligence, engaging the psychosocial domain, (b BA47, enables our practical intelligence, engaging the material domain, (c BA46 (or BA46-9/46, enables our abstract intelligence, engaging the hypothetical domain and (d BA10, enables our temporal intelligence, engaging in planning within any of the other three domains. Given their unique contribution to human cognition, it is proposed that these areas be called the, social (BA9, material (BA47, abstract (BA46-9/46 and temporal (BA10 mind. The evidence that BA47 participates strongly in verbal and gestural communication suggests that language evolved primarily as a consequence of the extreme selective pressure for practicality; an observation supported by the functional connectivity between BA47 and orbital areas that negatively reinforce lying. It is further proposed that the abstract mind (BA46-9/46 is the primary seat of metacognition charged with creating adaptive behavioral strategies by generating higher-order concepts (hypotheses from lower-order concepts originating both from our perceptual representations and the other three domains of cognition.

  4. Structure, Expression, and Function of ICAM-5

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heping Yang

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Cell adhesion is of utmost importance in normal development and cellular functions. ICAM-5 (intercellular adhesion molecule-5, telencephalin, TLN is a member of the ICAM family of adhesion proteins. As a novel cell adhesion molecule, ICAM-5 shares many structural similarities with the other members of IgSF, especially the ICAM subgroup; however, ICAM-5 has several unique properties compared to the other ICAMs. With its nine extracellular Ig domains, ICAM-5 is the largest member of ICAM subgroup identified so far. Therefore, it is much more complex than the other ICAMs. The expression of ICAM-5 is confined to the telencephalic neurons of the central nervous system whereas all the other ICAM members are expressed mostly by cells in the immune and blood systems. The developmental appearance of ICAM-5 parallels the time of dendritic elongation and branching, and synapse formation in the telencephalon. As a somatodendrite-specific adhesion molecule, ICAM-5 not only participates in immune-nervous system interactions, it could also participate in neuronal activity, Dendrites’ targeting signals, and cognition. It would not be surprising if future investigations reveal more binding partners and other related functions of ICAM-5.

  5. Structural and Functional Genomics of Tomato

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barone, Amalia; Chiusano, Maria Luisa; Ercolano, Maria Raffaella; Giuliano, Giovanni; Grandillo, Silvana; Frusciante, Luigi

    2008-01-01

    Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is the most intensively investigated Solanaceous species both in genetic and genomics studies. It is a diploid species with a haploid set of 12 chromosomes and a small genome (950 Mb). Based on the detailed knowledge on tomato structural genomics, the sequencing of the euchromatic regions started in the year 2005 as a common effort of different countries. The manuscript focuses on markers used for tomato, on mapping efforts mainly based on exploitation of natural biodiversity, and it gives an updated report on the international sequencing activities. The principal tools developed to explore the function of tomato genes are also summarized, including mutagenesis, genetic transformation, and transcriptome analysis. The current progress in bioinformatic strategies available to manage the overwhelming amount of data generated from different tomato “omics” approaches is reported, and emphasis is given to the effort of producing a computational workbench for the analysis of the organization, as well as the functionality and evolution of the Solanaceae family. PMID:18317508

  6. Structure, Function, and Evolution of Rice Centromeres

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jiang, Jiming

    2010-02-04

    The centromere is the most characteristic landmark of eukaryotic chromosomes. Centromeres function as the site for kinetochore assembly and spindle attachment, allowing for the faithful pairing and segregation of sister chromatids during cell division. Characterization of centromeric DNA is not only essential to understand the structure and organization of plant genomes, but it is also a critical step in the development of plant artificial chromosomes. The centromeres of most model eukaryotic species, consist predominantly of long arrays of satellite DNA. Determining the precise DNA boundary of a centromere has proven to be a difficult task in multicellular eukaryotes. We have successfully cloned and sequenced the centromere of rice chromosome 8 (Cen8), representing the first fully sequenced centromere from any multicellular eukaryotes. The functional core of Cen8 spans ~800 kb of DNA, which was determined by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) using an antibody against the rice centromere-specific H3 histone. We discovered 16 actively transcribed genes distributed throughout the Cen8 region. In addition to Cen8, we have characterized eight additional rice centromeres using the next generation sequencing technology. We discovered four subfamilies of the CRR retrotransposon that is highly enriched in rice centromeres. CRR elements are constitutively transcribed and different CRR subfamilies are differentially processed by RNAi. These results suggest that different CRR subfamilies may play different roles in the RNAi-mediated pathway for formation and maintenance of centromeric chromatin.

  7. Apparent membrane pore-formation by Portuguese Man-of-war (Physalia physalis) venom in intact cultured cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Lincoln P; Whitter, Ernest; Hessinger, David A

    2002-09-01

    Intracellular, ratiometric microfluorimetry with fura-2 reveals that low doses of Portuguese Man-of-war (Physalia physalis) venom cause a linear increase in intracellular calcium accumulation by cultured L-929 cells. The influx of calcium is preceded by a lag period that is relatively independent of venom concentration, except at very low concentrations. Electron micrographs of negatively stained preparations of membranes from venom-treated L-929 and GH(4)C(1) cells exhibit 10-80 nm diameter lesions. The number and diameter of these lesions correlate with venom concentration. The venom forms lesions in GH(4)C(1) cells at much lower concentrations than in L-929 cells. Osmotic protectants such as sucrose and polyethylene glycol (PEG), reduce the extent of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release from venom-treated cells with the higher molecular weight PEG causing a greater inhibition of LDH release than sucrose. These results imply that Man-of-war venom produces pore-like structures in the membranes of target cells, which leads to colloid osmotic swelling with subsequent release of intracellular proteins and cell lysis.

  8. Complex network perspective on structure and function of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    , uncovering complex network structure and function from these networks is becoming one of the most important topics in system biology. This work aims at studying the structure and function of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) metabolic ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

    The vast amounts of toxins within the venom of snakes, while known to cause medical emergencies, display various biological functions. Trans-pecos copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix pictigaster) crude venom separated by cation-exchange chromatography showed several fractions with fibrinolytic, hemorrhagic, gelatinase and platelet activities. Venom fractions 1, 2, 4, 5, and 12-17 contained fibrinolytic activity. Venom fractions 1, 2, 5 and 12-14 had hemorrhagic activity. Fractions 1, 2, 12, 13 and 17 contained gelatinase activity. Reverse-Phase C18 High Performance Liquid Chromatography was also used to purify and isolated disintegrins from this venom. Anti-platelet aggregation activity of the C18 fractions collected and performed on whole human blood showed that they inhibited platelet aggregation in presence of several agonists. Results from both SDS-PAGE and N-terminal sequencing determined that pictistatin 1 obtained from the Trans-Pecos copperhead venom was a dimeric disintegrin, and pictistatin 2 was a heterodimeric disintegrin. The molecules with anti-platelet activity could be considered in the development of more effective drugs, for numerous blood-related diseases such as stroke, heart attacks, thrombosis, and other medical conditions. In this study, we are presenting the first report of the purification, isolation, and partial characterization of two new dimeric disintegrins isolated from the venom of trans-pecos copperhead. Copyright © 2016 International Alliance for Biological Standardization. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Effect of iron and carbon monoxide on fibrinogenase-like degradation of plasmatic coagulation by venoms of four Crotalus species.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Annually, thousands suffer poisonous snake bite, often from defibrinogenating species. Iron and carbon monoxide (CO) improve coagulation kinetics by modulation of fibrinogen as demonstrated in various Agkistrodon species and Crotalus atrox. Thus, we sought to determine whether pretreatment of plasma with iron and CO could attenuate venom-mediated catalysis of fibrinogen obtained from four common Crotalus species with known fibrinogenase activity. Human plasma was pretreated with ferric chloride (0-10 μmol/l) and CO-releasing molecule-2 (0-100 μmol/l) prior to exposure to venom from a Northern Pacific rattlesnake, Arizona black rattlesnake, prairie rattlesnake, or red diamond rattlesnake. The concentration of venom used decreased coagulation function of one or more kinetic parameters by at least 50% of normal values. Coagulation kinetics were determined with thrombelastography.Three snake venoms significantly degraded plasmatic coagulation kinetics, prolonging the onset to clot formation, diminishing velocity of clot growth and decreasing clot strength. However, red diamond rattlesnake venom exposure resulted in mixed coagulation kinetics, significantly decreasing the time to onset of coagulation without decreasing the velocity of clot growth. Iron and CO attenuated these coagulation kinetic changes in a species-specific manner. Further in vitro investigation of other fibrinogenolytic venoms is indicated to determine if iron and CO can attenuate venom compromised coagulation.

  11. Activated entomopathogenic nematode infective juveniles release lethal venom proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dihong Lu

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs are unique parasites due to their symbiosis with entomopathogenic bacteria and their ability to kill insect hosts quickly after infection. It is widely believed that EPNs rely on their bacterial partners for killing hosts. Here we disproved this theory by demonstrating that the in vitro activated infective juveniles (IJs of Steinernema carpocapsae (a well-studied EPN species release venom proteins that are lethal to several insects including Drosophila melanogaster. We confirmed that the in vitro activation is a good approximation of the in vivo process by comparing the transcriptomes of individual in vitro and in vivo activated IJs. We further analyzed the transcriptomes of non-activated and activated IJs and revealed a dramatic shift in gene expression during IJ activation. We also analyzed the venom proteome using mass spectrometry. Among the 472 venom proteins, proteases and protease inhibitors are especially abundant, and toxin-related proteins such as Shk domain-containing proteins and fatty acid- and retinol-binding proteins are also detected, which are potential candidates for suppressing the host immune system. Many of the venom proteins have conserved orthologs in vertebrate-parasitic nematodes and are differentially expressed during IJ activation, suggesting conserved functions in nematode parasitism. In summary, our findings strongly support a new model that S. carpocapsae and likely other Steinernema EPNs have a more active role in contributing to the pathogenicity of the nematode-bacterium complex than simply relying on their symbiotic bacteria. Furthermore, we propose that EPNs are a good model system for investigating vertebrate- and human-parasitic nematodes, especially regarding the function of excretory/secretory products.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

    The application of proteomic tools to the study of snake venoms has led to an impressive growth in the knowledge about their composition (venomics), immunogenicity (antivenomics), and toxicity (toxicovenomics). About one-third of all venomic studies have focused on elapid species, especially those of the Old World. The New World elapids, represented by coral snakes, have been less studied. In recent years, however, a number of venomic studies on Micrurus species from North, Central, and South America have been conducted. An overview of these studies is presented, highlighting the emergence of some patterns and trends concerning their compositional, functional, and immunological characteristics. Results gathered to date, encompassing 18 out of the approximately 85 species of Micrurus, reveal a dichotomy of venom phenotypes regarding the relative abundance of the omnipresent phospholipases A 2 (PLA 2 ) and 'three-finger' toxins (3FTx): a group of species express a PLA 2 -predominant venom composition, while others display a 3FTx-predominant compositional pattern. These two divergent toxin expression phenotypes appear to be related to phylogenetic positions and geographical distributions along a North-South axis in the Americas, but further studies encompassing a higher number of species are needed to assess these hypotheses. The two contrasting phenotypes also show correlations with some toxic functionalities, complexity in the diversity of proteoforms, and immunological cross-recognition patterns. The biological significance for the emergence of a dichotomy of venom compositions within Micrurus, in some cases observed even among sympatric species that inhabit relatively small geographic areas, represents a puzzling and challenging area of research which warrants further studies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Photon Structure Functions: Target Photon Mass Effects and QCD Corrections

    OpenAIRE

    Mathews, Prakash(Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, 1/AF Bidhan Nagar, Kolkata, 700 064, India); Ravindran, V.

    1994-01-01

    We present a systematic analysis of the polarised and unpolarised processes $e^+ ~e^- \\rightarrow e^+ ~e^- X$ in the deep inelastic limit and study the effects of target photon mass (virtuality) on the photon structure functions. The effect of target photon virtuality manifests as new singly polarised structure functions and also alters the physical interpretation of the unpolarised structure functions. The physical interpretation of these structure functions in terms of hadronic components i...

  14. [Venomous and poisonous animals. IV. Envenomations by venomous aquatic vertebrates].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bédry, R; De Haro, L

    2007-04-01

    Epidemiological information on marine envenomation is generally less extensive in Europe than in tropical regions where these injuries are more severe and the need for medical advice is more frequent. For these reasons use of regional Poison Control Centers in the area where the injury occurs must be encouraged. The purpose of this review is to describe envenomation by bony fish (lion fish, stone fish, and catfish), cartilaginous fish (stingrays and poisonous sharks), or other venomous aquatic vertebrates (moray-eels and marine snakes). Understanding of these envenomation syndromes is important not only in tropical areas but also in Europe where importation of dangerous species has increased in recent years.

  15. Mipartoxin-I, a novel three-finger toxin, is the major neurotoxic component in the venom of the redtail coral snake Micrurus mipartitus (Elapidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rey-Suárez, Paola; Floriano, Rafael Stuani; Rostelato-Ferreira, Sandro; Saldarriaga-Córdoba, Mónica; Núñez, Vitelbina; Rodrigues-Simioni, Léa; Lomonte, Bruno

    2012-10-01

    The major venom component of Micrurus mipartitus, a coral snake distributed from Nicaragua to northern South America, was characterized biochemically and functionally. This protein, named mipartoxin-I, is a novel member of the three-finger toxin superfamily, presenting the characteristic cysteine signature and amino acid sequence length of the short-chain, type-I, α-neurotoxins. Nevertheless, it varies considerably from related toxins, with a sequence identity not higher than 70% in a multiple alignment of 67 proteins within this family. Its observed molecular mass (7030.0) matches the value predicted by its amino acid sequence, indicating lack of post-translational modifications. Mipartoxin-I showed a potent lethal effect in mice (intraperitoneal median lethal dose: 0.06 μg/g body weight), and caused a clear neuromuscular blockade on both avian and mouse nerve-muscle preparations, presenting a post-synaptic action through the cholinergic nicotinic receptor. Since mipartoxin-I is the most abundant (28%) protein in M. mipartitus venom, it should play a major role in its toxicity, and therefore represents an important target for developing a therapeutic antivenom, which is very scarce or even unavailable in the regions where this snake inhabits. The structural information here provided might help in the preparation of a synthetic or recombinant immunogen to overcome the limited venom availability. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Functional differentiation of proteins: implications for structural genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedberg, Iddo; Godzik, Adam

    2007-04-01

    Structural genomics is a broad initiative of various centers aiming to provide complete coverage of protein structure space. Because it is not feasible to experimentally determine the structures of all proteins, it is generally agreed that the only viable strategy to achieve such coverage is to carefully select specific proteins (targets), determine their structure experimentally, and then use comparative modeling techniques to model the rest. Here we suggest that structural genomics centers refine the structure-driven approach in target selection by adopting function-based criteria. We suggest targeting functionally divergent superfamilies within a given structural fold so that each function receives a structural characterization. We have developed a method to do so, and an itemized survey of several functionally rich folds shows that they are only partially functionally characterized. We call upon structural genomics centers to consider this approach and upon computational biologists to further develop function-based targeting methods.

  17. A Polychaete’s Powerful Punch: Venom Gland Transcriptomics of Glycera Reveals a Complex Cocktail of Toxin Homologs

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Reumont, Björn M.; Richter, Sandy; Hering, Lars; Sykes, Dan; Hetmank, Jörg; Jenner, Ronald A.; Bleidorn, Christoph

    2014-01-01

    Glycerids are marine annelids commonly known as bloodworms. Bloodworms have an eversible proboscis adorned with jaws connected to venom glands. Bloodworms prey on invertebrates, and it is known that the venom glands produce compounds that can induce toxic effects in animals. Yet, none of these putative toxins has been characterized on a molecular basis. Here we present the transcriptomic profiles of the venom glands of three species of bloodworm, Glycera dibranchiata, Glycera fallax and Glycera tridactyla, as well as the body tissue of G. tridactyla. The venom glands express a complex mixture of transcripts coding for putative toxin precursors. These transcripts represent 20 known toxin classes that have been convergently recruited into animal venoms, as well as transcripts potentially coding for Glycera-specific toxins. The toxins represent five functional categories: Pore-forming and membrane-disrupting toxins, neurotoxins, protease inhibitors, other enzymes, and CAP domain toxins. Many of the transcripts coding for putative Glycera toxins belong to classes that have been widely recruited into venoms, but some are homologs of toxins previously only known from the venoms of scorpaeniform fish and monotremes (stonustoxin-like toxin), turrid gastropods (turripeptide-like peptides), and sea anemones (gigantoxin I-like neurotoxin). This complex mixture of toxin homologs suggests that bloodworms employ venom while predating on macroscopic prey, casting doubt on the previously widespread opinion that G. dibranchiata is a detritivore. Our results further show that researchers should be aware that different assembly methods, as well as different methods of homology prediction, can influence the transcriptomic profiling of venom glands. PMID:25193302

  18. Structure-based inference of molecular functions of proteins of unknown function from Berkeley Structural Genomics Center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Dong Hae; Hou, Jingtong; Chandonia, John-Marc; Das, Debanu; Choi, In-Geol; Kim, Rosalind; Kim, Sung-Hou

    2007-09-01

    Advances in sequence genomics have resulted in an accumulation of a huge number of protein sequences derived from genome sequences. However, the functions of a large portion of them cannot be inferred based on the current methods of sequence homology detection to proteins of known functions. Three-dimensional structure can have an important impact in providing inference of molecular function (physical and chemical function) of a protein of unknown function. Structural genomics centers worldwide have been determining many 3-D structures of the proteins of unknown functions, and possible molecular functions of them have been inferred based on their structures. Combined with bioinformatics and enzymatic assay tools, the successful acceleration of the process of protein structure determination through high throughput pipelines enables the rapid functional annotation of a large fraction of hypothetical proteins. We present a brief summary of the process we used at the Berkeley Structural Genomics Center to infer molecular functions of proteins of unknown function.

  19. Structure-based inference of molecular functions of proteins of unknown function from Berkeley Structural Genomics Center

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Sung-Hou; Shin, Dong Hae; Hou, Jingtong; Chandonia, John-Marc; Das, Debanu; Choi, In-Geol; Kim, Rosalind; Kim, Sung-Hou

    2007-09-02

    Advances in sequence genomics have resulted in an accumulation of a huge number of protein sequences derived from genome sequences. However, the functions of a large portion of them cannot be inferred based on the current methods of sequence homology detection to proteins of known functions. Three-dimensional structure can have an important impact in providing inference of molecular function (physical and chemical function) of a protein of unknown function. Structural genomics centers worldwide have been determining many 3-D structures of the proteins of unknown functions, and possible molecular functions of them have been inferred based on their structures. Combined with bioinformatics and enzymatic assay tools, the successful acceleration of the process of protein structure determination through high throughput pipelines enables the rapid functional annotation of a large fraction of hypothetical proteins. We present a brief summary of the process we used at the Berkeley Structural Genomics Center to infer molecular functions of proteins of unknown function.

  20. Cardiovascular-Active Venom Toxins: An Overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Purification and characterization of a chymotrypsin inhibitor from the venom of Ophiophagus hannah (King Cobra).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, L; Chung, C; Huang, H B; Lin, S

    2001-05-18

    A chymotrypsin inhibitor from the venom of Ophiophagus hannah was isolated by a combination of ion-exchange chromatography and reverse phase HPLC. Amino acid sequence analysis revealed that this protein consists of 58 amino acids, six of these being cysteine residues and is highly homologous to Kunitz-type protease inhibitors. ESI-mass spectrum showed that the protein had a mass of 6493, which is in agreement with that predicted from its primary structure. In contrast to P1 Leu, Met, Phe, Trp, and Tyr appearing in other chymotrypsin inhibitors, a P1 Asn in the novel inhibitor may cause a weak binding (Ki = 3.52 microM) with chymotrypsin. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that the functional variations of the chymotrypsin inhibitor and other Kunitz-type inhibitors probably distinguish from dendrotoxins by accelerated evolution. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

  2. Occurrence of a stonefish toxin-like toxin in the venom of the rabbitfish Siganus fuscescens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiriake, Aya; Ishizaki, Shoichiro; Nagashima, Yuji; Shiomi, Kazuo

    2017-12-15

    Rabbitfish belonging to the order Perciformes are well-known venomous fish that are frequently involved in human accidents. However little research has been done into either the whole venom toxicities or the structures and properties of their venom toxins. In this study, we first examined biological activities of the crude venom extract prepared from dorsal spines of Siganus fuscescens, a rabbitfish most commonly found along the coasts of Japan. As a result, the crude venom extract was shown to have mouse-lethal activity, hemolytic activity against rabbit erythrocytes, edema-forming activity and nociceptive activity, similar to the known scorpaeniform fish toxins (stonefish toxins and their analogues). Then, the primary structure of the S. fuscescens toxin was successfully elucidated by the same cDNA cloning strategy as previously employed for the toxins of some scorpaeniform fish (lionfish, devil stinger and waspfish). The S. fuscescens toxin is obviously an analogue of stonefish toxins, being composed of two kinds of subunits, an α-subunit of 703 amino acid residues and a β-subunit of 699 amino acid residues. Furthermore, the genes encoding both subunits were cloned from genomic DNA and shown to have an architecture of three exons and two introns, as reported for those of the scorpaeniform fish toxins. This study is the first to demonstrate the occurrence of stonefish toxin-like toxins in perciform fish. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Evolution of ecological specialization and venom of a predatory marine gastropod.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remigio, E A; Duda, T F

    2008-02-01

    Understanding the evolution of ecological specialization is important for making inferences about the origins of biodiversity. Members of the predatory, marine gastropod genus Conus exhibit a variety of diets and the ability to capture prey is linked to a venom comprised of peptide neurotoxins, termed conotoxins. We identified conotoxin transcripts from Conus leopardus, a species of Conus that uniquely preys exclusively on hemichordates, and compared its venom duct transcriptome to that of four other Conus species to determine whether a shift to a specialized diet is associated with changes in the venom composition of this species. We also examined the secondary structure of predicted amino acid sequences of conotoxin transcripts of C. leopardus to identify substitutions that may be linked to specialization on hemichordates. We identified seven distinct conotoxin sequences from C. leopardus that appear to represent transcripts of seven distinct loci. Expression levels and the diversity of conotoxins expressed by C. leopardus are considerably less than those of other Conus. Moreover, gene products of two transcripts exhibited unique secondary structures that have not been previously observed from other Conus. These results suggest that transition to a specialist diet is associated with reduction in the number of components expressed in venoms of Conus and that diverse venoms of Conus are maintained in species with a broad dietary width.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    Bears are often considered ecological equivalents of large primates, but the latter often respond with fear, avoidance, and alarm calls to snakes, both venomous and non-venomous, there is sparse information on how bears respond to snakes. We videotaped or directly observed natural encounters between black bears (Ursus americanus) and snakes. Inside the range of venomous snakes in Arkansas and West Virginia, adolescent and adult black bears reacted fearfully in seven of seven encounters upon b...

  5. 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.

  6. Neisserial surface lipoproteins: structure, function and biogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooda, Yogesh; Shin, Hyejin E; Bateman, Thomas J; Moraes, Trevor F

    2017-03-01

    The surface of many Gram-negative bacteria contains lipidated protein molecules referred to as surface lipoproteins or SLPs. SLPs play critical roles in host immune evasion, nutrient acquisition and regulation of the bacterial stress response. The focus of this review is on the SLPs present in Neisseria, a genus of bacteria that colonise the mucosal surfaces of animals. Neisseria contains two pathogens of medical interest, namely Neisseria meningitidis and N. gonorrhoeae. Several SLPs have been identified in Neisseria and their study has elucidated key strategies used by these pathogens to survive inside the human body. Herein, we focus on the identification, structure and function of SLPs that have been identified in Neisseria. We also survey the translocation pathways used by these SLPs to reach the cell surface. Specifically, we elaborate on the strategies used by neisserial SLPs to translocate across the outer membrane with an emphasis on Slam, a novel outer membrane protein that has been implicated in SLP biogenesis. Taken together, the study of SLPs in Neisseria illustrates the widespread roles played by this family of proteins in Gram-negative bacteria. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Dendritic Actin Cytoskeleton: Structure, Functions, and Regulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anja Konietzny

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Actin is a versatile and ubiquitous cytoskeletal protein that plays a major role in both the establishment and the maintenance of neuronal polarity. For a long time, the most prominent roles that were attributed to actin in neurons were the movement of growth cones, polarized cargo sorting at the axon initial segment, and the dynamic plasticity of dendritic spines, since those compartments contain large accumulations of actin filaments (F-actin that can be readily visualized using electron- and fluorescence microscopy. With the development of super-resolution microscopy in the past few years, previously unknown structures of the actin cytoskeleton have been uncovered: a periodic lattice consisting of actin and spectrin seems to pervade not only the whole axon, but also dendrites and even the necks of dendritic spines. Apart from that striking feature, patches of F-actin and deep actin filament bundles have been described along the lengths of neurites. So far, research has been focused on the specific roles of actin in the axon, while it is becoming more and more apparent that in the dendrite, actin is not only confined to dendritic spines, but serves many additional and important functions. In this review, we focus on recent developments regarding the role of actin in dendrite morphology, the regulation of actin dynamics by internal and external factors, and the role of F-actin in dendritic protein trafficking.

  8. Anisotropic nanomaterials: structure, growth, assembly, and functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sajanlal, Panikkanvalappil R.; Sreeprasad, Theruvakkattil S.; Samal, Akshaya K.; Pradeep, Thalappil

    2011-01-01

    Comprehensive knowledge over the shape of nanomaterials is a critical factor in designing devices with desired functions. Due to this reason, systematic efforts have been made to synthesize materials of diverse shape in the nanoscale regime. Anisotropic nanomaterials are a class of materials in which their properties are direction-dependent and more than one structural parameter is needed to describe them. Their unique and fine-tuned physical and chemical properties make them ideal candidates for devising new applications. In addition, the assembly of ordered one-dimensional (1D), two-dimensional (2D), and three-dimensional (3D) arrays of anisotropic nanoparticles brings novel properties into the resulting system, which would be entirely different from the properties of individual nanoparticles. This review presents an overview of current research in the area of anisotropic nanomaterials in general and noble metal nanoparticles in particular. We begin with an introduction to the advancements in this area followed by general aspects of the growth of anisotropic nanoparticles. Then we describe several important synthetic protocols for making anisotropic nanomaterials, followed by a summary of their assemblies, and conclude with major applications. PMID:22110867

  9. Yeast peroxisomes: structure, functions and biotechnological opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibirny, Andriy A

    2016-06-01

    Peroxisomes are ubiquitous organelles found in most eukaryotic cells. In yeasts, peroxisomes play important roles in cell metabolism, especially in different catabolic processes including fatty acid β-oxidation, the glyoxylic shunt and methanol metabolism, as well as some biosynthetic processes. In addition, peroxisomes are the compartment in which oxidases and catalase are localized. New peroxisomes mainly arise by fission of pre-existing ones, although they can also be formed from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Peroxisomes consist of matrix-soluble proteins and membrane proteins known as peroxins. A total of 34 PEX peroxin genes and proteins have been identified to date. and their functions have been elucidated. Protein import into peroxisomes depends on peroxins and requires specific signals in the structure of transported proteins: PTS1, PTS2 and mPTS. The mechanisms of metabolite penetration into peroxisomes are still poorly understood. Peroxisome number and the volume occupied by these organelles are tightly regulated. Methanol, fatty acids and methylamine act as efficient peroxisome proliferators, whereas glucose and ethanol induce peroxisome autophagic degradation (pexophagy). To date, 42 Atg proteins involved in pexophagy are known. Catabolism and alcoholic fermentation of the major pentose sugar, xylose, depend on peroxisomal enzymes. Overexpression of peroxisomal transketolase and transaldolase activates xylose fermentation. Peroxisomes could be useful as target organelles for overexpression of foreign toxic proteins. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Structure and function of eukaryotic chromosomes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hennig, W.

    1987-01-01

    Contents: Introduction; Polytene Chromosomel Giant Chromosomes in Ciliates; The sp-I Genes in the Balbiani Rings of Chironomus Salivary Glands; The White Locus of Drosophila Melanogaster; The Genetic and Molecular Organization of the Dense Cluster of Functionally Related Vital Genes in the DOPA Decarboxylase Region of the Drosophila melanogaster Genome; Heat Shock Puffs and Response to Environmental Stress; The Y Chromosomal Lampbrush Loops of Drosophila; Contributions of Electron Microscopic Spreading Preparations (''Miller Spreads'') to the Analysis of Chromosome Structure; Replication of DNA in Eukaryotic Chromosomes; Gene Amplification in Dipteran Chromosomes; The Significance of Plant Transposable Elements in Biologically Relevant Processes; Arrangement of Chromosomes in Interphase Cell Nuclei; Heterochromatin and the Phenomenon of Chromosome Banding; Multiple Nonhistone Protein-DNA Complexes in Chromatin Regulate the Cell- and Stage-Specific Activity of an Eukaryotic Gene; Genetics of Sex Determination in Eukaryotes; Application of Basic Chromosome Research in Biotechnology and Medicine. This book presents an overview of various aspects of chromosome research.

  11. Crustal Structure beneath Mexico from Receiver Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espindola, V.; Quintanar, L.; Espindola, J.

    2011-12-01

    The Servicio Sismológico Nacional (SSN) is Mexico's official organism in charge of the observation of seismicity in the country. Operated by the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, it counts with 32 broadband stations deployed throughout the country. The coverage includes most of the geologic provinces of the territory, which vary widely in their geologic characteristics. The availability of records from teleseisms at those stations makes feasible to obtain sound and homogeneous estimates of the structure of the crust in the Mexican territory through the analysis of receiver functions (RF). In this work we present the results of the analysis of RF obtained from events registered from 1998 to 2009 in the 32 stations of the SSN. The RF technique, which uses converted phases at major velocity discontinuities, is a well established technique to infer the velocity contrasts and thickness of the underlying crust. Using this method we were able to infer the depth of the Moho, a major intracrustal discontinuity and in some cases the depth to the base of the subducting plate. We present maps of crustal thickness in Mexico, which varies between about 29 km in the Yucatan peninsula to more than 40 km in central Mexico. Poisson's coefficient varies between 0.19 and 0.30. The position of the descending slab shows a large variation in the subduction angle (from about 6° in the SE margin of the Pacific coast to about 60° in the NW ) as has been found from other techniques.

  12. Phospholipase A2 activity of the Persian Gulf upside-down jellyfish venom (Cassiopea andromeda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gholamhossean Mohebbi

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: The venomous jellyfish Cassiopea andromeda can produce envenomation and different toxicological and biological effects by their nematocysts. The phospholipase A2 enzymes (PLA2 are toxic and induce various pharmacological effects including neurotoxicity, myotoxicity and anticoagulant activities. The main aim of the current project was to screen the in vitro PLA2 activity of the C. andromeda crude venom. To better understand the experimental result; a molecular docking study was also performed. Materials and methods: The live specimens were collected from Nayband lagoon, by a trawl net, and separation of their tentacles was done according to Bloom 's et al., method. The PLA2 activity of crude venom was performed according to the acidimetric method of Tan and Tan. The lyophilized venom was subjected to Gas Chromatography/ Mass Spectroscopy, and the obtained structures were used for docking study against PLA2. The indoxam was considered as standard control. Results: The PLA2 activity of the jellyfish crude venom was 413 ±0.08 µmol/min/mg. Analysis of the crude venom detected seven compounds (i-vii using GC-MS. Docking data was also confirmed the experimental results. According to the docking results, the highest affinity (-6.7 (kcal/mol was observed in the compound “Pregn-5-ene-3,11-dione, 17,20:20,21 bis [methylenebis(oxy]-, cyclic 3-(1,2-ethane diyl acetal”. Conclusions: A high PLA2 level was found in the venom of C. andromeda. There was a good correlation between in vitro and in silico studies.

  13. Loxosceles gaucho venom-induced acute kidney injury--in vivo and in vitro studies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui V Lucato

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Accidents caused by Loxosceles spider may cause severe systemic reactions, including acute kidney injury (AKI. There are few experimental studies assessing Loxosceles venom effects on kidney function in vivo. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In order to test Loxosceles gaucho venom (LV nephrotoxicity and to assess some of the possible mechanisms of renal injury, rats were studied up to 60 minutes after LV 0.24 mg/kg or saline IV injection (control. LV caused a sharp and significant drop in glomerular filtration rate, renal blood flow and urinary output and increased renal vascular resistance, without changing blood pressure. Venom infusion increased significantly serum creatine kinase and aspartate aminotransferase. In the LV group renal histology analysis found acute epithelial tubular cells degenerative changes, presence of cell debris and detached epithelial cells in tubular lumen without glomerular or vascular changes. Immunohistochemistry disclosed renal deposition of myoglobin and hemoglobin. LV did not cause injury to a suspension of fresh proximal tubules isolated from rats. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Loxosceles gaucho venom injection caused early AKI, which occurred without blood pressure variation. Changes in glomerular function occurred likely due to renal vasoconstriction and rhabdomyolysis. Direct nephrotoxicity could not be demonstrated in vitro. The development of a consistent model of Loxosceles venom-induced AKI and a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in the renal injury may allow more efficient ways to prevent or attenuate the systemic injury after Loxosceles bite.

  14. Brown recluse spider venom: proteomic analysis and proposal of a putative mechanism of action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    dos Santos, Lucilene D; Dias, Nathalia B; Roberto, José; Pinto, A S; Palma, Mario S

    2009-01-01

    Loxosceles intermedia spider venom was subjected to proteomic analysis through a MudPIT shot-gun approach to identify the protein composition. Were identified 39 proteins which seem to responsible by the lesion of different types of tissues, to some physiopathological actions and by the prevention of structural damage to the toxin structures.

  15. Protective effects of the antioxidant Ginkgo biloba extract and the protease inhibitor aprotinin against Leiurus quinquestriatus venom-induced tissue damage in rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. J. Fatani

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Oxidative stress and proteases have been implicated in several diseases and extensive evidence indicates that antioxidants and protease inhibitors help prevent organ functional damage. Leiurus quinquestriatus (LQQ scorpion venom causes cellular injuries that may lead to multiple organ failure. Thus, the capability of the antioxidant "natural standardized extract of Gingko biloba leaves (Gin, EGb 761" and the non-selective protease inhibitor, aprotinin, in ameliorating venom-induced biochemical alterations indicative of cellular injury and oxidative stress was studied to determine their effectiveness in protecting rats from venom-evoked cellular damages. Thus, in this study, rats were treated with LQQ venom (0.3mg.kg-1, subcutaneously alone or after Gin (150mg.kg-1, orally, daily for 2 weeks before venom and/or aprotinin (Apr, 46000 KIU.kg-1, intraperitoneally, 30 min before venom. Control groups were injected with saline or treatment modalities. Lungs and hearts were excised after decapitating rats (n=8/group 60 min after venom injection and the following activities were measured: reduced glutathione (GSH, malondialdehyde (MDA - an index of lipid peroxidation, glutathione peroxidase (GPx, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD, and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH. Our findings demonstrate that LQQ venomsignificantly elevated GSH (p<0.05 vs. control, MDA (p<0.05, G6PD (p<0.05, and LDH activities (p<0.001 in hearts of envenomed rats. The venom also elevated MDA (p<0.05 vs. control and reduced GSH and GPx (p<0.05 in the lungs of envenomed rats. In general, pretreatment with EGb761 attenuated LQQ venom-evoked increases in GSH (p<0.05 vs. venom, MDA in rat hearts and lungs (p<0.05 vs. venom, plus LDH in the heart (p<0.01. Aprotinin alone significantly reduced the venom-elicited increase in G6PD and LDH activities and the decrease in GPx levels (p<0.05. In general, these protective effects of EGb761 on GSH, MDA (p<0.01 vs. venom and LDH (p<0.001 in the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-01

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

  17. Canopy Venom: Proteomic Comparison among New World Arboreal Pit-Viper Venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debono, Jordan; Cochran, Chip; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Nouwens, Amanda; Rajapakse, Niwanthi W; Kawasaki, Minami; Wood, Kelly; Dobson, James; Baumann, Kate; Jouiaei, Mahdokht; Jackson, Timothy N W; Koludarov, Ivan; Low, Dolyce; Ali, Syed A; Smith, A Ian; Barnes, Andrew; Fry, Bryan G

    2016-07-08

    Central and South American pitvipers, belonging to the genera Bothrops and Bothriechis, have independently evolved arboreal tendencies. Little is known regarding the composition and activity of their venoms. In order to close this knowledge gap, venom proteomics and toxin activity of species of Bothriechis, and Bothrops (including Bothriopsis) were investigated through established analytical methods. A combination of proteomics and bioactivity techniques was used to demonstrate a similar diversification of venom composition between large and small species within Bothriechis and Bothriopsis. Increasing our understanding of the evolution of complex venom cocktails may facilitate future biodiscoveries.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Canopy Venom: Proteomic Comparison among New World Arboreal Pit-Viper Venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordan Debono

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Central and South American pitvipers, belonging to the genera Bothrops and Bothriechis, have independently evolved arboreal tendencies. Little is known regarding the composition and activity of their venoms. In order to close this knowledge gap, venom proteomics and toxin activity of species of Bothriechis, and Bothrops (including Bothriopsis were investigated through established analytical methods. A combination of proteomics and bioactivity techniques was used to demonstrate a similar diversification of venom composition between large and small species within Bothriechis and Bothriopsis. Increasing our understanding of the evolution of complex venom cocktails may facilitate future biodiscoveries.

  20. BEE VENOM TRAP DESIGN FOR PRODUCE BEE VENOM OF APIS MELLIFERA L. HONEY BEES

    OpenAIRE

    Budiaman

    2015-01-01

    Bee venom is one honey bee products are very expensive and are required in the pharmaceutical industry and as an anti-cancer known as nanobee, but the production technique is still done in the traditional way. The purpose of this study was to design a bee venom trap to produce bee venom of Apis mellifera L honey bees. The method used is to design several models of bee venom apparatus equipped weak current (DC current) with 3 variations of voltage, ie 12 volts, 15 volts and 18 volts coupled...

  1. Sex differences in tendon structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarver, Dylan C; Kharaz, Yalda Ashraf; Sugg, Kristoffer B; Gumucio, Jonathan P; Comerford, Eithne; Mendias, Christopher L

    2017-10-01

    Tendons play a critical role in the transmission of forces between muscles and bones, and chronic tendon injuries and diseases are among the leading causes of musculoskeletal disability. Little is known about sex-based differences in tendon structure and function. Our objective was to evaluate the mechanical properties, biochemical composition, transcriptome, and cellular activity of plantarflexor tendons from 4 month old male and female C57BL/6 mice using in vitro biomechanics, mass spectrometry-based proteomics, genome-wide expression profiling, and cell culture techniques. While the Achilles tendons of male mice were approximately 6% larger than female mice (p differences in mechanical properties (p > 0.05) of plantaris tendons were observed. Mass spectrometry proteomics analysis revealed no significant difference between sexes in the abundance of major extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins such as collagen types I (p = 0.30) and III (p = 0.68), but female mice had approximately twofold elevations (p differed by only 1%. In vitro, neither the sex of the serum that fibroblasts were cultured in, nor the sex of the ECM in which they were embedded, had profound effects on the expression of collagen and cell proliferation genes. Our results indicate that while male mice expectedly had larger tendons, male and female tendons have very similar mechanical properties and biochemical composition, with small increases in some ECM proteins and proteoglycans evident in female tendons. © 2017 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 35:2117-2126, 2017. © 2017 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Ecological venomics: How genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics can shed new light on the ecology and evolution of venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunagar, Kartik; Morgenstern, David; Reitzel, Adam M; Moran, Yehu

    2016-03-01

    Animal venom is a complex cocktail of bioactive chemicals that traditionally drew interest mostly from biochemists and pharmacologists. However, in recent years the evolutionary and ecological importance of venom is realized as this trait has direct and strong influence on interactions between species. Moreover, venom content can be modulated by environmental factors. Like many other fields of biology, venom research has been revolutionized in recent years by the introduction of systems biology approaches, i.e., genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics. The employment of these methods in venom research is known as 'venomics'. In this review we describe the history and recent advancements of venomics and discuss how they are employed in studying venom in general and in particular in the context of evolutionary ecology. We also discuss the pitfalls and challenges of venomics and what the future may hold for this emerging scientific field. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-01

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

  5. Moving pieces in a venomic puzzle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Verano-Braga, Thiago; Dutra, Alexandre A A; León, Ileana R

    2013-01-01

    Besides being a public health problem, scorpion venoms have a potential biotechnological application since they contain peptides that may be used as drug leads and/or to reveal novel pharmacological targets. A comprehensive Tityus serrulatus venom proteome study with emphasis on the phosphoproteome...... and N-glycoproteome was performed to improve our knowledge on the molecular diversity of the proteinaceous toxins. We combined two peptide identification methodologies, i.e., database search and de novo sequencing, to achieve a more comprehensive overview of the molecular diversity of the venoms...... to be a common post-translational modification in the venom since 80% of the identified molecules were, in fact, products of toxins proteolysis....

  6. [Therapy control of specific hymenoptera venom allergy].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aust, W; Wichmann, G; Dietz, A

    2010-12-01

    In Germany anaphylactic reactions after insect stings are mostly caused by honey bee (Apis mellifera) and wasp (Vespula vulgaris, Vespula germanica). In the majority of cases venom immunotherapy is a successful therapy and protects patients from recurrent systemic anaphylactic reaction. In some patients persistent severe reactions after insect sting can even occur in spite of venom therapy, as a sign of therapy failure. It is important to identify these patients, who do not benefit from venom immunotherapy, in an early stage of therapy. In this case dose rate of venom immunotherapy must be adjusted for a successful therapy outcome. Up to now skin prick tests, specific IgE-antibodies and in vitro diagnostics are not suitable for detecting therapy failure. Patients with treatment failure can be diagnosed by insect sting test and almost all of them will become fully protected by increasing the maintenance dose. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  7. Carbon monoxide releasing molecule-2 inhibition of snake venom thrombin-like activity: novel biochemical "brake"?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Vance G; Bazzell, Charles M

    2017-02-01

    A complication of defibrinogenation therapy with snake venom enzymes such as ancrod is hypofibrinogenemia associated bleeding secondary to no human-derived inhibitor being available to inactivate or diminish the activity of such enzymes. Of interest, ancrod contains a critical histidine residue without which enzymatic activity is inhibited, and carbon monoxide has been demonstrated to inhibit biomolecular function by interacting with histidine moieties in ion channels. We tested the hypothesis that exposure of three different snake venoms containing serine proteases with thrombin-like activity (which included ancrod) to carbon monoxide derived from carbon monoxide releasing molecule-2 would diminish their effects on plasmatic coagulation as assessed by thrombelastography. In the case of the Malayan pit viper and Eastern diamondback rattlesnake venoms, carbon monoxide diminished the effects of thrombin-like activity. In contrast, timber rattlesnake venom demonstrated enhancement of "thrombin-generating" activity with simultaneous loss of thrombin-like activity in response to carbon monoxide exposure. These findings may serve as the rational basis for not just continuing to investigate the potential of snake venom enzymes as clinical defibrinogenating agents, but to also to assess the potential to stop such agents from becoming a catalytic "runaway train" by judicious application of a biochemical "brake" such as carbon monoxide.

  8. South american rattlesnake venom: its hemolytic power

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Édimo Garcia de Lima

    1989-12-01

    Full Text Available The hemolytic power of rattlesnake venom (Crotalus durissus terrificus was Studied. A high percentage of sample with negative hemolytic power was detected when sheep red blood cells were used. A large number of venoms with hemolytic power, though with a low hemolysis percentage, were detected when liquid, recently extracted venom was used. When crystallized venom was used under the same experimental conditions, a higher percentage ofpositivityfor hemolysis was obtained. When the results obtained on agar plates were compared to those obtained in test tubes, a large number of animals with a higher percentage of hemolysis were detected, though this value was not proportional to the number of animals showing positive plate hemolysis. When the hemolytic power of these venoms was tested on human red blood cells, a large percentage of animals with venoms having a low hemolytic power was also detected. Hemolytic power was much greater when human red blood cells were tested with crystallized venom. The preparation of red blood cells also had an important effect and the use of red blood cells from defibrinated blood is recommended. We conclude that rattlesnake venom has hemolytic power that increases when the venom is crystallized. Red blood cells should be properly preparedfor the lysis reactions. We suggest that the lytic power of the venom is related to venom concentration and to the purity of its fractions.Foi estudado o poder hemolitico do veneno da cascavel (Crotalus durissus terrificus. Encontrou-se grande número de suas frações sem capacidade de hemolisar eritrócitos de carneiro. O veneno "in natura", recentemente extraído, e em estado líquido tem pouca atividade litica. A cristalização do veneno aumenta sua concentração e poder lítico. Os resultados de hemólise do sangue de carneiro obtidos em placas e tubos foram comparados evidenciando um grande número de animais com venenos com alto poder hemolítico. Os valores não foram

  9. Bee, wasp and ant venomics pave the way for a component-resolved diagnosis of sting allergy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Graaf, Dirk C; Aerts, Maarten; Danneels, Ellen; Devreese, Bart

    2009-03-06

    With the complete sequencing of its genome, the honey bee is now a preferred model organism for Hymenoptera species, also with respect to venomic studies. Major pitfalls in proteomic profiling are: i) highly abundant proteins masking low-copy number proteins; ii) high heterogeneity in proteomes due to isoforms, protease activity and PTMs; iii) the inability for protein function assignment. If genomic information is not available, proteins still might be identified through cross-species protein identifications or MS/MS data-based de novo sequencing techniques. Venomic approaches discovered several new proteins and peptides from honey bees, bumble bees, ants and different wasp species, and some of these constituents were proven to be of immunological significance. Further digging in the proteome/peptidome will yield more so-called "venom trace elements" with only a local function in the venom duct or reservoir or released by leakage of the gland tissue. An impressive list of recombinants venom proteins has become available from a diverse range of Hymenopterans. Protein microarray allows the determination and monitoring of allergic patients' IgE reactivity profiles to disease-causing allergens using single measurements and minute amounts of serum. The information the physician will get from such a single run will largely exceed the output from current IgE capturing tools using whole venom preparations.

  10. The cardiac sodium pump: structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonough, Alicia A; Velotta, Jeffrey B; Schwinger, Robert H G; Philipson, Kenneth D; Farley, Robert A

    2002-01-01

    Cardiac sodium pumps (Na,K-ATPase) influence cell calcium and contractility by generating the Na+ gradient driving Ca++ extrusion via the Na+/Ca++ exchanger (NCX), and are the receptors for cardiac glycosides such as digitalis which increases cardiac contractility by decreasing the Na+ gradient driving Ca++ extrusion. There are multiple isoforms of the sodium pump expressed in the heart indicating the potential for isoform specific expression patterns, function and regulation. Regarding isoform expression patterns, human heart expresses alpha1, alpha2, alpha3, beta1 and a small amount of beta2. Within the human heart, alpha3, beta1 and NCX levels are 30-50% lower in atria than ventricles, associated with increased sensitivity to inotropic stimulation. Distribution at the cellular level has been studied in the rat heart where both alpha1 and alpha2 are detected in the T-tubules along with NCX. Regarding isoform function, we focussed on human sodium pumps as cardiac glycoside receptors. A study of human sodium pump expressed alone (alpha1) or in combination (alpha1 with alpha2, or alpha1 with alpha2 and alpha3) in their native membranes aimed to determine whether different isoforms had distinct affinities for the cardiac glycoside ouabain by evaluating whether the ouabain binding data were best fit with a single site or two site model. The results indicated that the affinity of these human a subunit isoforms for ouabain is indistinguishable, and that changes in sensitivity to cardiac glycosides during heart failure are likely due to a decrease in the total number of pumps rather than a shift in expression to a more sensitive isoform. Regarding isoform regulation, we hypothesized that a primary decrease in cardiac Na,K-ATPase expression would be associated with a secondary increase in cardiac Na+/Ca++ exchanger expression as a homeostatic mechanism to blunt an increase in cell Ca++ stores (and visa versa with an increase in Na,K-ATPase). Supporting the hypothesis: in

  11. Whole-brain functional connectivity predicted by indirect structural connections

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Røge, Rasmus; Ambrosen, Karen Marie Sandø; Albers, Kristoffer Jon

    2017-01-01

    Modern functional and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI and dMRI) provide data from which macro-scale networks of functional and structural whole brain connectivity can be estimated. Although networks derived from these two modalities describe different properties of the human brain......, they emerge from the same underlying brain organization, and functional communication is presumably mediated by structural connections. In this paper, we assess the structure-function relationship by evaluating how well functional connectivity can be predicted from structural graphs. Using high......-resolution whole brain networks generated with varying density, we contrast the performance of several non-parametric link predictors that measure structural communication flow. While functional connectivity is not well predicted directly by structural connections, we show that superior predictions can be achieved...

  12. The venom-gland transcriptome of the eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Snake venoms have significant impacts on human populations through the morbidity and mortality associated with snakebites and as sources of drugs, drug leads, and physiological research tools. Genes expressed by venom-gland tissue, including those encoding toxic proteins, have therefore been sequenced but only with relatively sparse coverage resulting from the low-throughput sequencing approaches available. High-throughput approaches based on 454 pyrosequencing have recently been applied to the study of snake venoms to give the most complete characterizations to date of the genes expressed in active venom glands, but such approaches are costly and still provide a far-from-complete characterization of the genes expressed during venom production. Results We describe the de novo assembly and analysis of the venom-gland transcriptome of an eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) based on 95,643,958 pairs of quality-filtered, 100-base-pair Illumina reads. We identified 123 unique, full-length toxin-coding sequences, which cluster into 78 groups with less than 1% nucleotide divergence, and 2,879 unique, full-length nontoxin coding sequences. The toxin sequences accounted for 35.4% of the total reads, and the nontoxin sequences for an additional 27.5%. The most highly expressed toxin was a small myotoxin related to crotamine, which accounted for 5.9% of the total reads. Snake-venom metalloproteinases accounted for the highest percentage of reads mapping to a toxin class (24.4%), followed by C-type lectins (22.2%) and serine proteinases (20.0%). The most diverse toxin classes were the C-type lectins (21 clusters), the snake-venom metalloproteinases (16 clusters), and the serine proteinases (14 clusters). The high-abundance nontoxin transcripts were predominantly those involved in protein folding and translation, consistent with the protein-secretory function of the tissue. Conclusions We have provided the most complete characterization of the genes

  13. The venom-gland transcriptome of the eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rokyta, Darin R; Lemmon, Alan R; Margres, Mark J; Aronow, Karalyn

    2012-07-16

    Snake venoms have significant impacts on human populations through the morbidity and mortality associated with snakebites and as sources of drugs, drug leads, and physiological research tools. Genes expressed by venom-gland tissue, including those encoding toxic proteins, have therefore been sequenced but only with relatively sparse coverage resulting from the low-throughput sequencing approaches available. High-throughput approaches based on 454 pyrosequencing have recently been applied to the study of snake venoms to give the most complete characterizations to date of the genes expressed in active venom glands, but such approaches are costly and still provide a far-from-complete characterization of the genes expressed during venom production. We describe the de novo assembly and analysis of the venom-gland transcriptome of an eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) based on 95,643,958 pairs of quality-filtered, 100-base-pair Illumina reads. We identified 123 unique, full-length toxin-coding sequences, which cluster into 78 groups with less than 1% nucleotide divergence, and 2,879 unique, full-length nontoxin coding sequences. The toxin sequences accounted for 35.4% of the total reads, and the nontoxin sequences for an additional 27.5%. The most highly expressed toxin was a small myotoxin related to crotamine, which accounted for 5.9% of the total reads. Snake-venom metalloproteinases accounted for the highest percentage of reads mapping to a toxin class (24.4%), followed by C-type lectins (22.2%) and serine proteinases (20.0%). The most diverse toxin classes were the C-type lectins (21 clusters), the snake-venom metalloproteinases (16 clusters), and the serine proteinases (14 clusters). The high-abundance nontoxin transcripts were predominantly those involved in protein folding and translation, consistent with the protein-secretory function of the tissue. We have provided the most complete characterization of the genes expressed in an active snake

  14. The venom-gland transcriptome of the eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rokyta Darin R

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Snake venoms have significant impacts on human populations through the morbidity and mortality associated with snakebites and as sources of drugs, drug leads, and physiological research tools. Genes expressed by venom-gland tissue, including those encoding toxic proteins, have therefore been sequenced but only with relatively sparse coverage resulting from the low-throughput sequencing approaches available. High-throughput approaches based on 454 pyrosequencing have recently been applied to the study of snake venoms to give the most complete characterizations to date of the genes expressed in active venom glands, but such approaches are costly and still provide a far-from-complete characterization of the genes expressed during venom production. Results We describe the de novo assembly and analysis of the venom-gland transcriptome of an eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus based on 95,643,958 pairs of quality-filtered, 100-base-pair Illumina reads. We identified 123 unique, full-length toxin-coding sequences, which cluster into 78 groups with less than 1% nucleotide divergence, and 2,879 unique, full-length nontoxin coding sequences. The toxin sequences accounted for 35.4% of the total reads, and the nontoxin sequences for an additional 27.5%. The most highly expressed toxin was a small myotoxin related to crotamine, which accounted for 5.9% of the total reads. Snake-venom metalloproteinases accounted for the highest percentage of reads mapping to a toxin class (24.4%, followed by C-type lectins (22.2% and serine proteinases (20.0%. The most diverse toxin classes were the C-type lectins (21 clusters, the snake-venom metalloproteinases (16 clusters, and the serine proteinases (14 clusters. The high-abundance nontoxin transcripts were predominantly those involved in protein folding and translation, consistent with the protein-secretory function of the tissue. Conclusions We have provided the most complete

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evelyne Deplazes

    2017-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deplazes, Evelyne

    2017-02-27

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

  18. Structurally-informed Bayesian functional connectivity analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hinne, M.; Ambrogioni, L.; Janssen, R.J.; Heskes, T.M.; Gerven, M.A.J. van

    2014-01-01

    Functional connectivity refers to covarying activity between spatially segregated brain regions and can be studied by measuring correlation between functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) time series. These correlations can be caused either by direct communication via active axonal pathways or

  19. Combined Venom Gland Transcriptomic and Venom Peptidomic Analysis of the Predatory Ant Odontomachus monticola.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazuma, Kohei; Masuko, Keiichi; Konno, Katsuhiro; Inagaki, Hidetoshi

    2017-10-13

    Ants (hymenoptera: Formicidae) have adapted to many different environments and have become some of the most prolific and successful insects. To date, 13,258 ant species have been reported. They have been classified into 333 genera and 17 subfamilies. Except for a few Formicinae, Dolichoderinae, and members of other subfamilies, most ant species have a sting with venom. The venoms are composed of formic acid, alkaloids, hydrocarbons, amines, peptides, and proteins. Unlike the venoms of other animals such as snakes and spiders, ant venoms have seldom been analyzed comprehensively, and their compositions are not yet completely known. In this study, we used both transcriptomic and peptidomic analyses to study the composition of the venom produced by the predatory ant species Odontomachus monticola. The transcriptome analysis yielded 49,639 contigs, of which 92 encoded toxin-like peptides and proteins with 18,106,338 mapped reads. We identified six pilosulin-like peptides by transcriptomic analysis in the venom gland. Further, we found intact pilosulin-like peptide 1 and truncated pilosulin-like peptides 2 and 3 by peptidomic analysis in the venom. Our findings related to ant venom peptides and proteins may lead the way towards development and application of novel pharmaceutical and biopesticidal resources.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Combined Venom Gland Transcriptomic and Venom Peptidomic Analysis of the Predatory Ant Odontomachus monticola

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kohei Kazuma

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Ants (hymenoptera: Formicidae have adapted to many different environments and have become some of the most prolific and successful insects. To date, 13,258 ant species have been reported. They have been classified into 333 genera and 17 subfamilies. Except for a few Formicinae, Dolichoderinae, and members of other subfamilies, most ant species have a sting with venom. The venoms are composed of formic acid, alkaloids, hydrocarbons, amines, peptides, and proteins. Unlike the venoms of other animals such as snakes and spiders, ant venoms have seldom been analyzed comprehensively, and their compositions are not yet completely known. In this study, we used both transcriptomic and peptidomic analyses to study the composition of the venom produced by the predatory ant species Odontomachus monticola. The transcriptome analysis yielded 49,639 contigs, of which 92 encoded toxin-like peptides and proteins with 18,106,338 mapped reads. We identified six pilosulin-like peptides by transcriptomic analysis in the venom gland. Further, we found intact pilosulin-like peptide 1 and truncated pilosulin-like peptides 2 and 3 by peptidomic analysis in the venom. Our findings related to ant venom peptides and proteins may lead the way towards development and application of novel pharmaceutical and biopesticidal resources.

  2. Protein mechanics: a route from structure to function

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    PRAKASH KUMAR

    Why do proteins have such varied and complicated structures and how are these structures related to the functions that each protein must perform? Almost 50 years after the first protein structures were solved (Kendrew et al 1958; Perutz 1960), these questions are still very much part of molecular biology. While structures ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  4. Integrated "omics" profiling indicates that miRNAs are modulators of the ontogenetic venom composition shift in the Central American rattlesnake, Crotalus simus simus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durban, Jordi; Pérez, Alicia; Sanz, Libia; Gómez, Aarón; Bonilla, Fabián; Rodríguez, Santos; Chacón, Danilo; Sasa, Mahmood; Angulo, Yamileth; Gutiérrez, José M; Calvete, Juan J

    2013-04-10

    recruitment events in the Toxicofera clade of reptiles by which ordinary genes were duplicated, and the new genes selectively expressed in the venom gland and amplified to multigene families with extensive neofunctionalization throughout the approximately 112-125 million years of ophidian evolution. Our findings support the view that understanding the phenotypic diversity of snake venoms requires a deep knowledge of the mechanisms regulating the transcriptional and translational activity of the venom gland. Our results suggest a functional role for miRNAs. The impact of specific miRNAs in the modulation of venom composition, and the integration of the mechanisms responsible for the generation of these miRNAs in the evolutionary landscape of the snake's venom gland, are further challenges for future research.

  5. Integrated “omics” profiling indicates that miRNAs are modulators of the ontogenetic venom composition shift in the Central American rattlesnake, Crotalus simus simus

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    toxins are the result of early recruitment events in the Toxicofera clade of reptiles by which ordinary genes were duplicated, and the new genes selectively expressed in the venom gland and amplified to multigene families with extensive neofunctionalization throughout the approximately 112–125 million years of ophidian evolution. Our findings support the view that understanding the phenotypic diversity of snake venoms requires a deep knowledge of the mechanisms regulating the transcriptional and translational activity of the venom gland. Our results suggest a functional role for miRNAs. The impact of specific miRNAs in the modulation of venom composition, and the integration of the mechanisms responsible for the generation of these miRNAs in the evolutionary landscape of the snake's venom gland, are further challenges for future research. PMID:23575160

  6. Venom-gland transcriptome and venom proteome of the Malaysian king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Choo Hock; Tan, Kae Yi; Fung, Shin Yee; Tan, Nget Hong

    2015-09-10

    The king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is widely distributed throughout many parts of Asia. This study aims to investigate the complexity of Malaysian Ophiophagus hannah (MOh) venom for a better understanding of king cobra venom variation and its envenoming pathophysiology. The venom gland transcriptome was investigated using the Illumina HiSeq™ platform, while the venom proteome was profiled by 1D-SDS-PAGE-nano-ESI-LCMS/MS. Transcriptomic results reveal high redundancy of toxin transcripts (3357.36 FPKM/transcript) despite small cluster numbers, implying gene duplication and diversification within restricted protein families. Among the 23 toxin families identified, three-finger toxins (3FTxs) and snake-venom metalloproteases (SVMPs) have the most diverse isoforms. These 2 toxin families are also the most abundantly transcribed, followed in descending order by phospholipases A2 (PLA2s), cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISPs), Kunitz-type inhibitors (KUNs), and L-amino acid oxidases (LAAOs). Seventeen toxin families exhibited low mRNA expression, including hyaluronidase, DPP-IV and 5'-nucleotidase that were not previously reported in the venom-gland transcriptome of a Balinese O. hannah. On the other hand, the MOh proteome includes 3FTxs, the most abundantly expressed proteins in the venom (43 % toxin sbundance). Within this toxin family, there are 6 long-chain, 5 short-chain and 2 non-conventional 3FTx. Neurotoxins comprise the major 3FTxs in the MOh venom, consistent with rapid neuromuscular paralysis reported in systemic envenoming. The presence of toxic enzymes such as LAAOs, SVMPs and PLA2 would explain tissue inflammation and necrotising destruction in local envenoming. Dissimilarities in the subtypes and sequences between the neurotoxins of MOh and Naja kaouthia (monocled cobra) are in agreement with the poor cross-neutralization activity of N. kaouthia antivenom used against MOh venom. Besides, the presence of cobra venom factor, nerve growth factors

  7. Measurement of the Electron Structure Function at LEP energies

    CERN Document Server

    Abdallah, J; Adam, W; Adzic, P; Albrecht, T; Alemany-Fernandez, R; Allmendinger, T; Allport, P P; Amaldi, U; Amapane, N; Amato, S; Anashkin, E; Andreazza, A; Andringa, S; Anjos, N; Antilogus, P; Apel, W-D; Arnoud, Y; Ask, S; Asman, B; Augustin, J E; Augustinus, A; Baillon, P; Ballestrero, A; Bambade, P; Barbier, R; Bardin, D; Barker, G J; Baroncelli, A; Battaglia, M; Baubillier, M; Becks, K-H; Begalli, M; Behrmann, A; Ben-Haim, E; Benekos, N; Benvenuti, A; Berat, C; Berggren, M; Bertrand, D; Besancon, M; Besson, N; Bloch, D; Blom, M; Bluj, M; Bonesini, M; Boonekamp, M; Booth, P S L; Borisov, G; Botner, O; Bouquet, B; Bowcock, T J V; Boyko, I; Bracko, M; Brenner, R; Brodet, E; Bruckman, P; Brunet, J M; Buschbeck, B; Buschmann, P; Calvi, M; Camporesi, T; Canale, V; Carena, F; Castro, N; Cavallo, F; Chapkin, M; Charpentier, Ph; Checchia, P; Chierici, R; Chliapnikov, P; Chudoba, J; Chung, S U; Cieslik, K; Collins, P; Contri, R; Cosme, G; Cossutti, F; Costa, M J; Crennell, D; Cuevas, J; D'Hondt, J; da Silva, T; Da Silva, W; Della Ricca, G; De Angelis, A; De Boer, W; De Clercq, C; De Lotto, B; De Maria, N; De Min, A; de Paula, L; Di Ciaccio, L; Di Simone, A; Doroba, K; Drees, J; Eigen, G; Ekelof, T; Ellert, M; Elsing, M; Espirito Santo, M C; Fanourakis, G; Fassouliotis, D; Feindt, M; Fernandez, J; Ferrer, A; Ferro, F; Flagmeyer, U; Foeth, H; Fokitis, E; Fulda-Quenzer, F; Fuster, J; Gandelman, M; Garcia, C; Gavillet, Ph; Gazis, E; Gokieli, R; Golob, B; Gomez-Ceballos, G; Goncalves, P; Graziani, E; Grosdidier, G; Grzelak, K; Guy, J; Haag, C; Hallgren, A; Hamacher, K; Hamilton, K; Haug, S; Hauler, F; Hedberg, V; Hennecke, M; Hoffman, J; Holmgren, S-O; Holt, P J; Houlden, M A; Jackson, J N; Jarlskog, G; Jarry, P; Jeans, D; Johansson, E K; Jonsson, P; Joram, C; Jungermann, L; Kapusta, F; Katsanevas, S; Katsoufis, E; Kernel, G; Kersevan, B P; Kerzel, U; King, B T; Kjaer, N J; Kluit, P; Kokkinias, P; Kourkoumelis, C; Kouznetsov, O; Krumstein, Z; Kucharczyk, M; Lamsa, J; Leder, G; Ledroit, F; Leinonen, L; Leitner, R; Lemonne, J; Lepeltier, V; Lesiak, T; Liebig, W; Liko, D; Lipniacka, A; Lopes, J H; Lopez, J M; Loukas, D; Lutz, P; Lyons, L; MacNaughton, J; Malek, A; Maltezos, S; Mandl, F; Marco, J; Marco, R; Marechal, B; Margoni, M; Marin, J-C; Mariotti, C; Markou, A; Martinez-Rivero, C; Masik, J; Mastroyiannopoulos, N; Matorras, F; Matteuzzi, C; Mazzucato, F; Mazzucato, M; Mc Nulty, R; Meroni, C; Migliore, E; Mitaroff, W; Mjoernmark, U; Moa, T; Moch, M; Moenig, K; Monge, R; Montenegro, J; Moraes, D; Moreno, S; Morettini, P; Mueller, U; Muenich, K; Mulders, M; Mundim, L; Murray, W; Muryn, B; Myatt, G; Myklebust, T; Nassiakou, M; Navarria, F; Nawrocki, K; Nemecek, S; Nicolaidou, R; Nikolenko, M; Oblakowska-Mucha, A; Obraztsov, V; Olshevski, A; Onofre, A; Orava, R; Osterberg, K; Ouraou, A; Oyanguren, A; Paganoni, M; Paiano, S; Palacios, J P; Palka, H; Papadopoulou, Th D; Pape, L; Parkes, C; Parodi, F; Parzefall, U; Passeri, A; Passon, O; Peralta, L; Perepelitsa, V; Perrotta, A; Petrolini, A; Piedra, J; Pieri, L; Pierre, F; Pimenta, M; Piotto, E; Podobnik, T; Poireau, V; Pol, M E; Polok, G; Pozdniakov, V; Pukhaeva, N; Pullia, A; Radojicic, D; Rebecchi, P; Rehn, J; Reid, D; Reinhardt, R; Renton, P; Richard, F; Ridky, J; Rivero, M; Rodriguez, D; Romero, A; Ronchese, P; Roudeau, P; Rovelli, T; Ruhlmann-Kleider, V; Ryabtchikov, D; Sadovsky, A; Salmi, L; Salt, J; Sander, C; Savoy-Navarro, A; Schwickerath, U; Sekulin, R; Siebel, M; Sisakian, A; Slominski, W; Smadja, G; Smirnova, O; Sokolov, A; Sopczak, A; Sosnowski, R; Spassov, T; Stanitzki, M; Stocchi, A; Strauss, J; Stugu, B; Szczekowski, M; Szeptycka, M; Szumlak, T; Szwed, J; Tabarelli, T; Tegenfeldt, F; Timmermans, J; Tkatchev, L; Tobin, M; Todorovova, S; Tome, B; Tonazzo, A; Tortosa, P; Travnicek, P; Treille, D; Tristram, G; Trochimczuk, M; Troncon, C; Turluer, M L; Tyapkin, I A; Tyapkin, P; Tzamarias, S; Uvarov, V; Valenti, G; Van Dam, P; Van Eldik, J; van Remortel, N; Van Vulpen, I; Vegni, G; Veloso, F; Venus, W; Verdier, P; Verzi, V; Vilanova, D; Vitale, L; Vrba, V; Wahlen, H; Washbrook, A J; Weiser, C; Wicke, D; Wickens, J; Wilkinson, G; Winter, M; Witek, M; Yushchenko, O; Zalewska, A; Zalewski, P; Zavrtanik, D; Zhuravlov, V; Zimin, N I; Zintchenko, A; Zupan, M

    2010-01-01

    The hadronic part of the Electron Structure Function (ESF) has been measured for the first time, using e+e- data collected by the DELPHI experiment at LEP, at centre-of-mass energies sqrt(s) = 91.2-209.5 GeV. The data analysis is simpler than that of the measurement of the photon structure function. The ESF data are compared to predictions of phenomenological models based on the photon structure function. It is shown that the quasi-real photon virtuality contribution is significant. The presented data can serve as a cross-check of the photon structure function analyses and help in refining existing parametrizations.

  8. Structural and functional diversities in lepidopteran serine proteases

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Srinivasan, Ajay; Giri, Ashok P; Gupta, Vidya S

    2006-01-01

    .... Though the evolutionary significance of mutations that lead to structural diversity in serine proteases has been well characterized, detailing the resultant functional diversity has continually posed...

  9. Structural and functional loss in restored wetland ecosystems

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Moreno-Mateos, David; Power, Mary E; Comín, Francisco A; Yockteng, Roxana

    2012-01-01

    .... Ecological restoration to recover critical ecosystem services has been widely attempted, but the degree of actual recovery of ecosystem functioning and structure from these efforts remains uncertain...

  10. Enhanced functional and structural domain assignments using ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    ) by Seema Namboori, Natasha Mhatre, Sentivel Sujatha,. Narayanaswamy Srinivasan and Shashi Bhushan Pandit. The three-dimensional structure and subcellular localization of various domains and sub-domains of. Rv1318c, a putative ...

  11. Functionally Graded Metal-Metal Composite Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brice, Craig A. (Inventor)

    2017-01-01

    Methods and devices are disclosed for creating a multiple alloy composite structure by forming a three-dimensional arrangement of a first alloy composition in which the three-dimensional arrangement has a substantially open and continuous porosity. The three-dimensional arrangement of the first alloy composition is infused with at least a second alloy composition, where the second alloy composition comprises a shape memory alloy. The three-dimensional arrangement is consolidated into a fully dense solid structure, and the original shape of the second alloy composition is set for reversible transformation. Strain is applied to the fully dense solid structure, which is treated with heat so that the shape memory alloy composition becomes memory activated to recover the original shape. An interwoven composite of the first alloy composition and the memory-activated second alloy composition is thereby formed in the multiple alloy composite structure.

  12. Structure and function of yeast alcohol dehydrogenase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VLADIMIR LESKOVAC

    2000-04-01

    Full Text Available 1. Introduction 2. Isoenzymes of YADH 3. Substrate specificity 4. Kinetic mechanism 5. Primary structure 6. The active site 7. Mutations in the yeast enzyme 8. Chemical mechanism 9. Binding of coenzymes 10. Hydride transfer

  13. Shortage of Bee, Wasp Venom Stings Those with Allergies

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... news/fullstory_167081.html Shortage of Bee, Wasp Venom Stings Those With Allergies Facing expected season-long ... News) -- A shortage of honeybee, wasp and hornet venom extract has allergists concerned. The extract treats people ...

  14. A study of bacterial contamination of rattlesnake venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Garcia-Lima

    1987-03-01

    Full Text Available The authors studied the bacterial contamination of rattlesnake venom isolated from snakes in captivity and wild snakes caught recently. The captive snakes showed a relatively high incidence of bacterial contamination of their venom.

  15. Relativistic density functional for nuclear structure

    CERN Document Server

    2016-01-01

    This book aims to provide a detailed introduction to the state-of-the-art covariant density functional theory, which follows the Lorentz invariance from the very beginning and is able to describe nuclear many-body quantum systems microscopically and self-consistently. Covariant density functional theory was introduced in nuclear physics in the 1970s and has since been developed and used to describe the diversity of nuclear properties and phenomena with great success. In order to provide an advanced and updated textbook of covariant density functional theory for graduate students and nuclear physics researchers, this book summarizes the enormous amount of material that has accumulated in the field of covariant density functional theory over the last few decades as well as the latest developments in this area. Moreover, the book contains enough details for readers to follow the formalism and theoretical results, and provides exhaustive references to explore the research literature.

  16. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Witchuda Danpaiboon

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-13

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

  19. Neutralization of cobra venom by cocktail antiserum against venom proteins of cobra (Naja naja naja).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkatesan, C; Sarathi, M; Balasubramanaiyan, G; Vimal, S; Madan, N; Sundar Raj, N; Mohammed Yusuf Bilal, S; Nazeer Basha, A; Farook, M A; Sahul Hameed, A S; Sridevi, G

    2014-01-01

    Naja naja venom was characterized by its immunochemical properties and electrophoretic pattern which revealed eight protein bands (14 kDa, 24 kDa, 29 kDa, 45 kDa, 48 kDa, 65 kDa, 72 kDa and 99 kDa) by SDS-PAGE in reducing condition after staining with Coomassie Brilliant Blue. The results showed that Naja venom presented high lethal activity. Whole venom antiserum or individual venom protein antiserum (14 kDa, 29 kDa, 65 kDa, 72 kDa and 99 kDa) of venom could recognize N. naja venom by Western blotting and ELISA, and N. naja venom presented antibody titer when assayed by ELISA. The neutralization tests showed that the polyvalent antiserum neutralized lethal activities by both in vivo and in vitro studies using mice and Vero cells. The antiserum could neutralize the lethal activities in in-vivo and antivenom administered after injection of cobra venom through intraperitoneal route in mice. The cocktail antiserum also could neutralize the cytotoxic activities in Vero cell line by MTT and Neutral red assays. The results of the present study suggest that cocktail antiserum neutralizes the lethal activities in both in vitro and in vivo models using the antiserum against cobra venom and its individual venom proteins serum produced in rabbits. Copyright © 2013 The International Alliance for Biological Standardization. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Al-Asmari AK

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Abdulrahman Khazim Al-Asmari,1 Anvarbatcha Riyasdeen,1 Mohammad Hamed Al-Shahrani,2 Mozaffarul Islam1 1Research Center, 2Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Prince Sultan Military Medical City, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Ara