Isolation and characterization of a presynaptic neurotoxin, P-elapitoxin-Bf1a from MalaysianBungarus fasciatusvenom

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Abstract

Presynaptic neurotoxins are one of the major components in Bungarus venom. Unlike other Bungarus species that have been studied, β-bungarotoxin has never been isolated from Bungarus fasciatus venom. It was hypothesized that the absence of β-bungarotoxin in this species was due to divergence during evolution prior to evolution of β-bungarotoxin. In this study, we have isolated a β-bungarotoxin isoform we named P-elapitoxin-Bf1a by using gel filtration, cation-exchange and reverse-phase chromatography from Malaysian B. fasciatus venom. The toxin consists of two heterogeneous subunits, subunit A and subunit B. LCMS/MS data showed that subunit A was homologous to acidic phospholipase A2 subunit A3 from Bungarus candidus and B. multicinctus venoms, whereas subunit B was homologous with subunit B1 from B. fasciatus venom that was previously detected by cDNA cloning. The toxin showed concentration- and time-dependent reduction of indirect-twitches without affecting contractile responses to ACh, CCh or KCl at the end of experiment in the chick biventer preparation. Toxin modification with 4-BPB inhibited the neurotoxic effect suggesting the importance of His-48. Tissue pre-incubation with monovalent B. fasciatus (BFAV) or neuro-polyvalent antivenom (NPV), at the recommended titer, was unable to inhibit the twitch reduction induced by the toxin. This study indicates that Malaysian B. fasciatus venom has a unique β-bungarotoxin isoform which was not neutralized by antivenoms. This suggests that there might be other presynaptic neurotoxins present in the venom and there is a variation in the enzymatic neurotoxin composition in venoms from different localities.

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