Purification and characterization of a new cystatin inhibitor from Taiwan cobra (Naja naja atra) venom.
ABSTRACT: Cobra cystatin, a new cysteine-proteinase inhibitor of the cystatin superfamily, was isolated from the venom of the Taiwan cobra (Naja naja atra) by affinity chromatography on S-carboxymethylpapain-Sepharose and reverse-phase chromatography. The venom contained two forms of the inhibitor, one of 11870 Da and the other of 12095 Da, as determined by MS, and pI values of 6.2 and 6.1. Cobra cystatin strongly inhibits cysteine proteinases of the papain family, but not calpain. Papain, cathepsin L, cathepsin B and cathepsin S are inhibited with Ki values of 0.19, 0.1, 2.5 and 1.2 nM respectively. The amino acid sequence of cobra cystatin shows that it is a Type 2 cystatin. The amino acid sequence is 73% identical with that of the cystatin in African-puff-adder (Bitis arietans) venom, with which it shares a unique six-residue insertion in a region opposite the reactive inhibitory site. Cobra cystatin is 25-42% identical with other Type 2 cystatins, the most closely related being the recently described human cystatin M, which also has a similar five-residue insertion starting at position 76 (chicken cystatin numbering). A molecular phylogenetic tree of 16 representative members of Family 2 cystatins was constructed by parsimony analysis; it suggests that snake cystatins, together with Tachypleus tridentatus (Japanese horseshoe crab) cystatin and human cystatin M, form a new subfamily within cystatin Family 2.
Project description:The protein abundances of phospholipases A? in cobra venom proteomes appear to vary among cobra species. To determine the unique distribution of snake venom phospholipases A? (svPLA?) in the cobras, the svPLA? activities for 15 cobra species were examined with an acidimetric and a colorimetric assay, using egg yolk suspension and 4-nitro-3-octanoyloxy benzoic acid (NOBA) as the substrate. The colorimetric assay showed significant correlation between svPLA? enzymatic activities with the svPLA? protein abundances in venoms. High svPLA? activities were observed in the venoms of Asiatic spitting cobras (Naja sputatrix, Naja sumatrana) and moderate activities in Asiatic non-spitters (Naja naja, Naja atra, Naja kaouthia), African spitters (subgenus Afronaja), and forest cobra (subgenus Boulengerina). African non-spitting cobras of subgenus Uraeus (Naja haje, Naja annulifera, Naja nivea, Naja senegalensis) showed exceptionally low svPLA? enzymatic activities. The negligible PLA? activity in Uraeus cobra venoms implies that PLA? may not be ubiquitous in all snake venoms. The svPLA? in cobra envenoming varies depending on the cobra species. This may potentially influence the efficacy of cobra antivenom in specific use for venom neutralization.
Project description:Coix lacryma-jobi, commonly known as job's tear, is a tall grain-bearing tropical plant of the family Poaceae. The ethanolic root extract (ERE) of the plant was investigated for the first time for anti-venom activity against Indian cobra Naja naja venom. In-vitro studies were conducted to determine neutralization of phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activity of the Naja naja venom by the ERE. ERE showed significant inhibition of PLA2 activity, which was further confirmed from effective neutralization of human red blood cells (HRBC) lysis induced by the venom. In addition, venom-induced proteolysis, fibrinogenolysis, DNase activity were also neutralized by the ERE, which contained carbohydrates, glycolides, resins and tannins. Oral administration of ERE at doses levels 100, 200 and 400 mg/kg effectively inhibited Naja naja venom-induced lethality in mice. Myotoxicity induced by Naja naja venom, measured by creatine kinase activity in rats was significantly neutralized by the ERE at a dose of 200 mg/kg. Stigmasterol, as one of the component isolated from the ERE, was found to have venom phospholipase A2 inhibition potential, which was confirmed by molecular docking studies with PLA2. In summary, these studies indicate the ability of ERE of Coix lacryma-jobi to effectively neutralize the toxic effects of the venom is, in part, contributed by the inhibition of PLA2 activity among other venom-derived factors.
Project description:The amino acid sequence of a cystatin from the venom of the African puff adder (Bitis arietans) is reported. It shows the protein to be more closely related to the Type 2 cystatins than the others, and yet it is only 31-37% identical to the known Type 2 cystatins, and differs strikingly in the insertion of a six-residue segment.
Project description:Snake venom is a complex mixture of proteins and peptides, and a number of studies have described the biological properties of several venomous proteins. Nevertheless, a complete proteomic profile of venom from any of the many species of snake is not available. Proteomics now makes it possible to globally identify proteins from a complex mixture. To assess the venom proteomic profiles from Naja naja atra and Agkistrodon halys, snakes common to southern China, we used a combination strategy, which included the following four different approaches: (i) shotgun digestion plus HPLC with ion-trap tandem MS, (ii) one-dimensional SDS/PAGE plus HPLC with tandem MS, (iii) gel filtration plus HPLC with tandem MS and (iv) gel filtration and 2DE (two-dimensional gel electrophoresis) plus MALDI-TOF (matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight) MS. In the present paper, we report the novel identification of 124 and 74 proteins and peptides in cobra and viper venom respectively. Functional analysis based upon toxin categories reveals that, as expected, cobra venom has a high abundance of cardio- and neurotoxins, whereas viper venom contains a significant amount of haemotoxins and metalloproteinases. Although approx. 80% of gel spots from 2DE displayed high-quality MALDI-TOF-MS spectra, only 50% of these spots were confirmed to be venom proteins, which is more than likely to be a result of incomplete protein databases. Interestingly, these data suggest that post-translational modification may be a significant characteristic of venomous proteins.
Project description:In Southeast Asia, envenoming resulting from cobra snakebites is an important public health issue in many regions, and antivenom therapy is the standard treatment for the snakebite. Because these cobras share a close evolutionary history, the amino acid sequences of major venom components in different snakes are very similar. Therefore, either monovalent or polyvalent antivenoms may offer paraspecific protection against envenomation of humans by several different snakes. In Taiwan, a bivalent antivenom-freeze-dried neurotoxic antivenom (FNAV)-against Bungarus multicinctus and Naja atra is available. However, whether this antivenom is also capable of neutralizing the venom of other species of snakes is not known. Here, to expand the clinical application of Taiwanese FNAV, we used an animal model to evaluate the neutralizing ability of FNAV against the venoms of three common snakes in Southeast Asia, including two 'true' cobras Naja kaouthia (Thailand) and Naja siamensis (Thailand), and the king cobra Ophiophagus hannah (Indonesia). We further applied mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomic techniques to characterize venom proteomes and identify FNAV-recognizable antigens in the venoms of these Asian snakes. Neutralization assays in a mouse model showed that FNAV effectively neutralized the lethality of N. kaouthia and N. siamensis venoms, but not O. hannah venom. MS-based venom protein identification results further revealed that FNAV strongly recognized three-finger toxin and phospholipase A2, the major protein components of N. kaouthia and N. siamensis venoms. The characterization of venom proteomes and identification of FNAV-recognizable venom antigens may help researchers to further develop more effective antivenom designed to block the toxicity of dominant toxic proteins, with the ultimate goal of achieving broadly therapeutic effects against these cobra snakebites.
Project description:Seven monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were developed against neurotoxin I (NT-1), a protein from central Asian cobra (Naja naja oxiana) venom which binds specifically to nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AchR). All of the mAbs cross-reacted with another long-chain post-synaptic neurotoxin, Bungarus multicinctus alpha-bungarotoxin (alpha-BT), but not Naja naja kaouthia alpha-cobratoxin, in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (e.l.i.s.a.). Short-chain post-synaptic neurotoxins like Naja naja atra cobrotoxin, Laticauda semifasciata erabutoxin b, or N. n. oxiana neurotoxin II did not cross-react with the NT-1 mAbs, but an antigen(s) found in Dendroaspis polylepis, Acanthophis antarcticus and Pseudechis australis venoms was immunoreactive. The e.l.i.s.a. readings for dithiothreitol-reduced NT-1 and NT-1 mAbs ranged from 13 to 27% of those for native toxin but reduced alpha-BT was not immunoreactive. Synthetic NT-1 peptides were used in epitope-mapping studies and two, non-contiguous regions (Cys15-Tyr23 and Lys25-Gly33 or Pro17-Lys25 and Asp29-Lys37) were recognized by the NT-1 mAbs. The NT-1 mAbs individually inhibited 31-71% of alpha-BT binding to AchR in vitro and afforded a slight protective effect in vivo with a toxin: antibody mole ratio of 1:1.5. This report is the first to describe mAbs which recognize and protect against a heterologous, long-chain, post-synaptic neurotoxin from snake venom.
Project description:Venoms from eight snakes have been screened for inhibitory activity against papain, strong activity being found in that of the African puff adder, Bitis arietans. The inhibitor from B. arietans venom has been purified by affinity chromatography on carboxymethyl-papain-Sepharose and ion-exchange chromatography. The inhibitor had an apparent Mr of 13,000 in SDS/polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and pI value of 6.5 (major component) or 6.3 (minor component). Values of Ki for the inhibition of papain, cathepsin B and dipeptidyl peptidase I were 0.10, 2.7 and 0.23 nM, respectively; chicken calpain was not inhibited.
Project description:The Senegalese cobra, <i>Naja senegalensis</i>, is a non-spitting cobra species newly erected from the <i>Naja haje</i> complex. <i>Naja senegalensis</i> causes neurotoxic envenomation in Western Africa but its venom properties remain underexplored. Applying a protein decomplexation proteomic approach, this study unveiled the unique complexity of the venom composition. Three-finger toxins constituted the major component, accounting for 75.91% of total venom proteins. Of these, cardiotoxin/cytotoxin (~53%) and alpha-neurotoxins (~23%) predominated in the venom proteome. Phospholipase A<sub>2</sub>, however, was not present in the venom, suggesting a unique snake venom phenotype found in this species. The venom, despite the absence of PLA<sub>2</sub>, is highly lethal with an intravenous LD<sub>50</sub> of 0.39 µg/g in mice, consistent with the high abundance of alpha-neurotoxins (predominating long neurotoxins) in the venom. The hetero-specific VINS African Polyvalent Antivenom (VAPAV) was immunoreactive to the venom, implying conserved protein antigenicity in the venoms of <i>N. senegalensis</i> and <i>N. haje</i>. Furthermore, VAPAV was able to cross-neutralize the lethal effect of <i>N. senegalensis</i> venom but the potency was limited (0.59 mg venom completely neutralized per mL antivenom, or ~82 LD<sub>50</sub> per ml of antivenom). The efficacy of antivenom should be further improved to optimize the treatment of cobra bite envenomation in Africa.
Project description:Naja ashei is an African spitting cobra species closely related to N. mossambica and N. nigricollis. It is known that the venom of N. ashei, like that of other African spitting cobras, mainly has cytotoxic effects, however data about its specific protein composition are not yet available. Thus, an attempt was made to determine the venom proteome of N. ashei with the use of 2-D electrophoresis and MALDI ToF/ToF (Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time of Flight) mass spectrometry techniques. Our investigation revealed that the main components of analysed venom are 3FTxs (Three-Finger Toxins) and PLA?s (Phospholipases A?). Additionally the presence of cysteine-rich venom proteins, 5'-nucleotidase and metalloproteinases has also been confirmed. The most interesting fact derived from this study is that the venom of N. ashei includes proteins not described previously in other African spitting cobras-cobra venom factor and venom nerve growth factor. To our knowledge, there are currently no other reports concerning this venom composition and we believe that our results will significantly increase interest in research of this species.
Project description:The venom of the spitting cobra, Naja naja sputatrix contains highly potent alpha-neurotoxins (NTXs) in addition to phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and cardiotoxin (CTX). In this study, we report the complete characterization of three genes that are responsible for the synthesis of three isoforms of alpha-NTX in the venom of a single spitting cobra. DNA amplification by long-distance polymerase chain reaction (LD-PCR) and genome walking have provided information on the gene structure including their promoter and 5' and 3' UTRs. Each NTX isoform is approximately 4 kb in size and contains three exons and two introns. The sequence homology among these isoforms was found to be 99%. Two possible transcription sites were identified by primer extension analysis and they corresponded to the adenine (A) nucleotide at positions +1 and -45. The promoter also contains two TATA boxes and a CCAAT box. Putative binding sites for transcriptional factors AP-2 and GATA are also present. The high percentage of similarity observed among the NTX gene isoforms of N. n. sputatrix as well as with the alpha-NTX and kappa-NTX genes from other land snakes suggests that the NTX gene has probably evolved from a common ancestral gene.