Pamphobeteus verdolaga is a recently described Theraphosidae spider from the Andean region of Colombia. Previous reports partially characterized its venom profile. In this study, we conducted a detailed analysis that includes reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (rp-HPLC), calcium influx assays, tandem mass spectrometry analysis (tMS/MS), and venom-gland transcriptome. rp-HPLC fractions of P. verdolaga venom showed activity on CaV2.2, CaV3.2, and NaV1.7 ion channels. Active fractions contained several peptides with molecular masses ranging from 3399.4 to 3839.6 Da. The tMS/MS analysis of active fraction displaying the strongest activity to inhibit calcium channels showed sequence fragments similar to one of the translated transcripts detected in the venom-gland transcriptome. The putative peptide of this translated transcript corresponded to a toxin, here named ω-theraphositoxin-Pv3a, a potential ion channel modulator toxin that is, in addition, very similar to other theraphositoxins affecting calcium channels (i.e., ω-theraphotoxin-Asp1a). Additionally, using this holistic approach, we found that P. verdolaga venom is an important source of disulfide-rich proteins expressing at least eight superfamilies.
We report on the first studies on the characterization of venom from Phoneutria boliviensis (Aranae:Ctenidae) (F. O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1897), done with Colombian species. After the electrostimulation extraction process, the venom showed physicochemical properties corresponding to a colorless and water-soluble liquid with a density of 0.86 mg/mL and 87% aqueous content. P. boliviensis venom and RP-HPLC fractions showed hemolytic activity and hydrolyzed the synthetic substrate 4-nitro-3-octanoyloxy-benzoic acid, indicating the presence of phospholipases A2 enzymes. The electrophoretic profile showed an important protein content with molecular masses below 14 kDa, and differences between male and female protein content were also revealed. The RP-HPLC venom profile exposes differences between males and female content consistent with the electrophoretic profile. Five fractions collected from the RP-HPLC displayed significant larvicidal activity. Mass analysis indicates the presence of peptides ranging from 1047.71 to 3278.07 Da. Two peptides, Ctenitoxin-Pb48 and Ctenitoxin-Pb53, were partially identified using HPLC-nESI-MS/MS, which showed a high homology with other Ctenitoxins (family Tx3) from Phoneutria nigriventer, Phoneutria keyserlingi and Phoneutria reidyi affecting voltage-gated calcium receptors (Cav 1, 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3) and NMDA-glutamate receptors.
We report the first description studies, partial characterization, and intraspecific difference of Centruroides edwardsii, Gervais 1843, venom. C. edwardsii from two Colombian regions (Antioquia and Tolima) were evaluated. Both venoms showed hemolytic activity, possibly dependent of enzymatic active phospholipases, and neither coagulant nor proteolytic activities were observed. Venom electrophoretic profile showed significant differences between C. edwardsii venom from both regions. A high concentration of proteins with molecular masses between 31 kDa and 97.4 kDa, and an important concentration close or below 14.4 kDa were detected. RP-HPLC retention times between 38.2 min and 42.1 min, showed bands close to 14.4 kDa, which may correspond to phospholipases. RP-HPLC venom profile showed a well conserved region in both venoms between 7 and 17 min, after this, significant differences were detected. From Tolima region venom, 50 well-defined peaks were detected, while in the Antioquia region venom, 55 well-defined peaks were detected. Larvicidal activity was only detected in the C. edwardsii venom from Antioquia. No antimicrobial activity was observed using complete venom or RP-HPLC collected fractions of both venoms. Lethally activity (carried out on female albino swiss mice) was detected at doses over 19.2 mg/kg of crude venom. Toxic effects included distress, excitability, eye irritation and secretions, hyperventilation, ataxia, paralysis, and salivation.
Scorpions use their venom in defensive situations as well as for subduing prey. Since some species of scorpion use their venom more in defensive situations than others, this may have led to selection for differences in effectiveness in defensive situations. Here, we compared the LD50 of the venom of 10 species of scorpions on five different species of target organisms; two insects and three vertebrates. We found little correlation between the target species in the efficacy of the different scorpion venoms. Only the two insects showed a positive correlation, indicating that they responded similarly to the panel of scorpion venoms. We discuss the lack of positive correlation between the vertebrate target species in the light of their evolution and development. When comparing the responses of the target systems to individual scorpion venoms pairwise, we found that closely related scorpion species tend to elicit a similar response pattern across the target species. This was further reflected in a significant phylogenetic signal across the scorpion phylogeny for the LD50 in mice and in zebrafish. We also provide the first mouse LD50 value for Grosphus grandidieri.
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