Next-generation snake venomics: protein-locus resolution through venom proteome decomplexation

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Venom research has been continuously enhanced by technological advances. High-throughput technologies are changing the classical paradigm of hypothesis-driven research to technology-driven approaches. However, the thesis advocated in this paper is that full proteome coverage at locus-specific resolution requires integrating the best of both worlds into a protocol that includes decomplexation of the venom proteome prior to liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry matching against a species-specific transcriptome. This approach offers the possibility of proof-checking the species-specific contig database using proteomics data. Immunoaffinity chromatography constitutes the basis of an antivenomics workflow designed to quantify the extent of cross-reactivity of antivenoms against homologous and heterologous venom toxins. In the author's view, snake venomics and antivenomics form part of a biology-driven conceptual framework to unveil the genesis and natural history of venoms, and their within- and between-species toxicological and immunological divergences and similarities. Understanding evolutionary trends across venoms represents the Rosetta Stone for generating broad-ranging polyspecific antivenoms.

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