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Preliminary Biochemical and Venomic Characterization of the Venom of Phalotris lemniscatus (Serpentes, Colubridae)

[ Vol. 19 , Issue. 22 ]

Author(s):

Jeny Bastida*, Alejandro Crampet, Melitta Meneghel and Victor Morais*   Pages 1981 - 1989 ( 9 )

Abstract:


Background: For many decades, research on snake venom toxinology focused mainly on the venoms of Viperidae and Elapidae species, which were traditionally the only ones considered as venomous. However, much less interest has been given to the venom produced by opisthoglyphous colubrid snakes, since they were typically considered of no clinical relevance.

Objective: The aim of this work is to perform a preliminary biochemical and venomic characterization of the venom of the colubrid snake Phalotris lemniscatus, a species that has been responsible for two relevant cases of envenomation in Uruguay.

Methods: We extracted venom from collected specimens and performed different biochemical and proteomic assays to understand its toxin composition.

Results: We found that the venom of P. lemniscatus is composed of protein families typically present in snake venoms, such as metallo and serine preoteases, L-amino acid oxidases, phospholipases A2s, Ctype lectines-like, Kunitz-type proteins and three-finger toxins. Activity assays demonstrated a highly active gelatinolytic component as well as a potent capability to induce blood coagulation.

Conclusion: The results indicate that the venom of P. lemniscatus contains hemotoxic activities and components that resemble those found in Viperidae (Bothrops) snakes and that can induce a clinically relevant accident. Further studies are needed to better understand the venom composition of this colubrid snake and its most active compounds.

Keywords:

Snake venom, Colubridae, Phalotris lemniscatus, Proteomics, Envenomation, Hemotoxicity.

Affiliation:

Departamento de Desarrollo Biotecnologico, Instituto de Higiene, Universidad de la Republica, Montevideo, Bioterio de Animales Ponzonosos - Serpentario, Instituto de Higiene, Universidad de la Republica, Montevideo, Bioterio de Animales Ponzonosos - Serpentario, Instituto de Higiene, Universidad de la Republica, Montevideo, Departamento de Desarrollo Biotecnologico, Instituto de Higiene, Universidad de la Republica, Montevideo

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