Two color morphs of the pelagic yellow-bellied sea snake, pelamis platura, from different locations of Costa Rica: snake venomics, toxicity, and neutralization by antivenom
Pla Ferrer, Davinia
Sasa Marín, Mahmood
Solórzano López, Alejandro
Ureña Diaz, Juan M.
Fernández Montes de Oca, María Laura
Mora Obando, Diana
Gutiérrez, José María
Calvete Chornet, Juan José
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The yellow-bellied sea snake, Pelamis platura, is the most broadly distributed snake species. Despite being endowed with a highly lethal venom, a proteomic analysis of its toxin composition was unavailable. The venoms of specimens collected in Golfo de Papagayo and Golfo Dulce (Costa Rica), where two distinctive color morphs occur, were chromatographically compared. The latter inhabits a fjord-like gulf where the transit of oceanic sea snakes into and from the basin is restricted, thus possibly affecting gene flow. RP-HPLC evidenced a conserved venom protein profile in both populations, despite their divergent color phenotypes. Following a trend observed in other sea snakes, P. platura venom is relatively simple, being composed of proteins of the three-finger toxin (3FTx), phospholipase A2 (PLA2), cysteine-rich secretory protein (CRISP), 5′-nucleotidase, and metalloproteinase families. The first three groups represent 49.9%, 32.9%, and 9.1% of total venom protein, respectively. The most abundant component (~ 26%) is pelamitoxin (P62388), a short-chain 3FTx, followed by a major basic PLA2 (~ 20%) and a group of three isoforms of CRISPs (~ 9%). Whereas isolated pelamitoxin was highly lethal to mice, neither the PLA2 nor the CRISP fraction caused death. However, the PLA2 rapidly increased plasma creatine kinase activity after intramuscular injection, indicating its myotoxic action. Differing from myotoxic PLA2s of viperids, this PLA2 was not cytolytic to murine myogenic cells in vitro, suggesting possible differences in its mechanism of action. The median lethal dose (LD50) estimates for P. platura crude venom in mice and in three species of fishes did not differ significantly. The sea snake antivenom manufactured by CSL Ltd. (Australia), which uses Enhydrina schistosa as immunogen, cross-recognized the three major components of P. platura venom and, accordingly, neutralized the lethal activity of crude venom and pelamitoxin, therefore being of potential usefulness in the treatment of envenomations by this species.
artículo (preprint) -- Universidad de Costa Rica, Instituto de Investigaciones Clodomiro Picado, 2014
- Microbiología 
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