Festuca pratensis (meadow fescue) as the most frost-tolerant species within the Lolium-Festuca complex was used as a model for research aimed at identifying the cellular components involved in the cold acclimation (CA) of forage grasses. The work presented here also comprises the first comprehensive proteomic research on CA in a group of monocotyledonous species which are able to withstand winter conditions. Individual F. pratensis plants with contrasting levels of frost tolerance, high frost tolerant (HFT) and low frost tolerant (LFT) plants, were selected for comparative proteomic research. The work focused on the analysis of leaf protein accumulation before and after 2, 8, and 26 h, and 3, 5, 7, 14, and 21 d of CA, using high-throughput two-dimensional electrophoresis, and on the identification of proteins which were accumulated differentially between the selected plants by the application of mass spectrometry. The analyses of approximately 800 protein profiles revealed a total of 41 (5.1%) proteins that showed a minimum of a 1.5-fold difference in abundance, at a minimum of one time point of CA for HFT and LFT genotypes. It was shown that significant differences in profiles of protein accumulation between the analysed plants appeared relatively early during cold acclimation, most often after 26 h (on the 2nd day) of CA and one-half of the differentially accumulated proteins were all parts of the photosynthetic apparatus. Several proteins identified here have been reported to be differentially accumulated during cold conditions for the first time in this paper. The functions of the selected proteins in plant cells and their probable influence on the level of frost tolerance in F. pratensis, are discussed.
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 PLA2s (Phospholipases A2). 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.
Snake venom is a rich source of peptides and proteins with a wide range of actions. Many of the venom components are currently being tested for their usefulness in the treatment of many diseases ranging from neurological and cardiovascular to cancer. It is also important to constantly search for new proteins and peptides with properties not yet described. The venom of Vipera berus berus has hemolytic, proteolytic and cytotoxic properties, but its exact composition and the factors responsible for these properties are not known. Therefore, an attempt was made to identify proteins and peptides derived from this species venom by using high resolution two-dimensional electrophoresis and MALDI ToF/ToF mass spectrometry. A total of 11 protein classes have been identified mainly proteases but also L-amino acid oxidases, C-type lectin like proteins, cysteine-rich venom proteins and phospholipases A 2 and 4 peptides of molecular weight less than 1500 Da. Most of the identified proteins are responsible for the highly hemotoxic properties of the venom. Presence of venom phospholipases A 2 and L-amino acid oxidases cause moderate neuro-, myo-and cytotoxicity. All successfully identified peptides belong to the bradykinin-potentiating peptides family. The mass spectrometry data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD004958.
One of the key problems of modern infectious disease medicine is the growing number of drug-resistant and multi-drug-resistant bacterial strains. For this reason, many studies are devoted to the search for highly active antimicrobial substances that could be used in therapy against bacterial infections. As it turns out, snake venoms are a rich source of proteins that exert a strong antibacterial effect, and therefore they have become an interesting research material. We analyzed Naja ashei venom for such antibacterial properties, and we found that a specific composition of proteins can act to eliminate individual bacterial cells, as well as the entire biofilm of Staphylococcus epidermidis. In general, we used ion exchange chromatography (IEX) to obtain 10 protein fractions with different levels of complexity, which were then tested against certified and clinical strains of S. epidermidis. One of the fractions (F2) showed exceptional antimicrobial effects both alone and in combination with antibiotics. The protein composition of the obtained fractions was determined using mass spectrometry techniques, indicating a high proportion of phospholipases A2, three-finger toxins, and L-amino acids oxidases in F2 fraction, which are most likely responsible for the unique properties of this fraction. Moreover, we were able to identify a new group of low abundant proteins containing the Ig-like domain that have not been previously described in snake venoms.
Abiotic stresses, including low temperature, can significantly reduce plant yielding. The knowledge on the molecular basis of stress tolerance could help to improve its level in species of relatively high importance to agriculture. Unfortunately, the complex research performed so far mainly on model species and also, to some extent, on cereals does not fully cover the demands of other agricultural plants of temperate climate, including forage grasses. Two Lolium perenne (perennial ryegrass) genotypes with contrasting levels of frost tolerance, the high frost tolerant (HFT) and the low frost tolerant (LFT) genotypes, were selected for comparative metabolomic research. The work focused on the analysis of leaf metabolite accumulation before and after seven separate time points of cold acclimation. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) was used to identify amino acids (alanine, proline, glycine, glutamic and aspartic acid, serine, lysine and asparagine), carbohydrates (fructose, glucose, sucrose, raffinose and trehalose) and their derivatives (mannitol, sorbitol and inositol) accumulated in leaves in low temperature. The observed differences in the level of frost tolerance between the analysed genotypes could be partially due to the time point of cold acclimation at which the accumulation level of crucial metabolite started to increase. In the HFT genotype, earlier accumulation was observed for proline and asparagine. The increased amounts of alanine, glutamic and aspartic acids, and asparagine during cold acclimation could be involved in the regulation of photosynthesis intensity in L. perenne. Among the analysed carbohydrates, only raffinose revealed a significant association with the acclimation process in this species.
An increasing problem in the field of health protection is the emergence of drug-resistant and multi-drug-resistant bacterial strains. They cause a number of infections, including hospital infections, which currently available antibiotics are unable to fight. Therefore, many studies are devoted to the search for new therapeutic agents with bactericidal and bacteriostatic properties. One of the latest concepts is to search for this type of substances among toxins produced by venomous animals. In this approach, however, special attention is paid to snake venom because it contains molecules with antibacterial properties. Thorough investigations have shown that the phospholipases A 2 (PLA 2) and l-amino acids oxidases (LAAO), as well as fragments of these enzymes, are mainly responsible for the bactericidal properties of snake venoms. Some preliminary research studies also suggest that fragments of three-finger toxins (3FTx) are bactericidal. It has also been proven that some snakes produce antibacterial peptides (AMP) homologous to human defensins and cathelicidins. The presence of these proteins and peptides means that snake venoms continue to be an interesting material for researchers and can be perceived as a promising source of antibacterial agents.
Snake venom is a complex mixture of proteins and peptides which in the Viperidae is mainly hemotoxic. The diversity of these components causes the venom to be an extremely interesting object of study. Discovered components can be used in search for new pharmaceuticals used primarily in the treatment of diseases of the cardiovascular system. In order to determine the protein composition of the southern copperhead venom, we have used high resolution two dimensional electrophoresis and MALDI ToF/ToF MS-based identification. We have identified 10 groups of proteins present in the venom, of which phospholipase A2 and metalloprotease and serine proteases constitute the largest groups. For the first time presence of 5′-nucleotidase in venom was found in this group of snakes. Three peptides present in the venom were also identified. Two of them as bradykinin-potentiating agents and one as an inhibitor.
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