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.
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.
Honey is a natural sweetener composed mostly of sugars, but it contains also pollen grains, proteins, free amino acids, and minerals. The amounts and proportions of these components depend on the honey type and bee species. Despite the low content of honey protein, they are becoming a popular study object, and have recently been used as markers of the authenticity and quality of honey. Currently, the most popular methods of protein isolation from honey are dialysis against distilled water, lyophilization of dialysate, or various precipitation protocols. In this work, we propose a new method based on saturated phenol. We tested it on three popular polish honey types and we proved its compatibility with both 1D and 2D polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) and MS (mass spectrometry) techniques. The elaborated technique is also potentially less expensive and less time-consuming than other previously described methods, while being equally effective.
The dynamic development of venomics in recent years has resulted in a significant increase in publicly available proteomic data. The information contained therein is often used for comparisons between different datasets and to draw biological conclusions therefrom. In this article, we aimed to show the possible differences that can arise, in the final results of the proteomic experiment, while using different research workflows. We applied two software solutions (PeptideShaker and MaxQuant) to process data from shotgun LC-MS/MS analysis of Naja ashei venom and collate it with the previous report concerning this species. We were able to provide new information regarding the protein composition of this venom but also present the qualitative and quantitative limitations of currently used proteomic methods. Moreover, we reported a rapid and straightforward technique for the separation of the fraction of proteins from the three-finger toxin family. Our results underline the necessary caution in the interpretation of data based on a comparative analysis of data derived from different studies.
Snake venoms are widely studied in terms of their systemic toxicity and proteolytic, hemotoxic, neurotoxic, and cytotoxic activities. However, little is known about snakevenom-mediated effects when used at low, noncytotoxic concentrations. In the current study, two human fibroblast cell lines of different origin, namely WI-38 fetal lung fibroblasts and BJ foreskin fibroblasts were used to investigate snake-venominduced adaptive response at a relatively noncytotoxic concentration (0.01 µg/ml).The venoms of Indochinese spitting cobra (Naja siamensis), western green mamba (Dendroaspis viridis), forest cobra (Naja melanoleuca), and southern copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) were considered. Snake venoms promoted FOXO3a-mediated oxidative stress response and to a lesser extent DNA damage response, which lead to changes in cell cycle regulators both at messenger RNA and protein levels, limited cell proliferation and migration, and induced cellular senescence. Taken together, we have shown for the first time that selected snake venoms may also exert adverse effects when used at relatively noncytotoxic concentrations. K E Y W O R D Scellular senescence, fibroblasts, oxidative stress and DNA damage response (DDR), proliferation, snake venoms
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