Sep 23, 2014

Extreme venom variation in Middle Eastern vipers: a proteomics comparison of Eristicophis macmahonii, Pseudocerastes fieldi and Pseudocerastes persicus

Journal of Proteomics
Syed A AliBryan G Fry


Venoms of the viperid sister genera Eristicophis and Pseudocerastes are poorly studied despite their anecdotal reputation for producing severe or even lethal envenomations. This is due in part to the remote and politically unstable regions that they occupy. All species contained are sit and wait ambush feeders. Thus, this study examined their venoms through proteomics techniques in order to establish if this feeding ecology, and putatively low levels of gene flow, have resulted in significant variations in venom profile. The techniques indeed revealed extreme venom variation. This has immediate implications as only one antivenom is made (using the venom of Pseudocerastes persicus) yet the proteomic variation suggests that it would be of only limited use for the other species, even the sister species Pseudocerastes fieldi. The high degree of variation however also points toward these species being rich resources for novel compounds which may have use as lead molecules in drug design and development. These results show extreme venom variation between these closely related snakes. These results have direct implications for the treatment of the envenomed patient.

  • References44
  • Citations3

Mentioned in this Paper

PLA2G1B gene
Puffinus persicus
PLA2G2A gene
PLA2G2A protein, human
Snake Venoms
Formicum acidum, formic acid, Homeopathic preparation
Coomassie Brilliant Blue
Vipera lebetina

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