Structural and functional characterization of myotoxin I, a Lys49 phospholipase A2 homologue from the venom of the snake Bothrops atrox
Núñez Rangel, Vitelbina
Gutiérrez, José María
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A new myotoxin was isolated from the venom of Bothrops atrox from Colombia. B. atrox myotoxin I is a homodimer, with a subunit molecular mass of 13,826, and a pI of 8.9. Its complete nucleotide sequence was obtained by cDNA cloning, indicating a mature product of 122 residues that belongs to the family of Lys49 phospholipase A2 (PLA2) homologues, a subgroup of catalytically inactive proteins within the group IIA. Accordingly, the toxin was devoid of phospholipase and anticoagulant activities, in vitro. In mice, it induced conspicuous local myonecrosis, edema, and a systemic interleukin-6 response. In vitro, it was cytolytic upon myoblasts, and weakly bactericidal. The toxin showed highest homology with other Lys49 PLA2s, both in its primary and three-dimensional modeled structure, although with an evident difference in the C-terminal region. Unlike Lys49 proteins of American crotalids having 121 residues, this toxin presents an insertion (Asn) between positions 118 and 119. Despite several substitutions within the C-terminal region 115–129 between B. atrox myotoxin I and B. asper myotoxin II, antibodies against synthetic peptide 115–129 of the latter were strongly cross-reactive to the former, indicating the antigenic conservation of this site, known to be critical for the membrane-damaging activities of Lys49 myotoxins.
- Microbiología