Antitumoural Effect of an L-Amino Acid Oxidase Isolated from Bothrops jararaca Snake Venom

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An L-amino acid oxidase (BjarLAAO-I) from Bothrops jararacasnake venom was highly purified using a stepwise sequential chromatography on Sephadex G-75, Benzamidine Sepharose and Phenyl Sepharose. Purified BjarLAAO-I showed a molecular weight around 60,000 under reducing conditions and about 125,000 in the native form, when analysed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and gel filtration, respectively. BjarLAAO-I is a homodimeric acidic glycoprotein, pI ∼5.0, and N-terminal sequence showing close structural homology with other snake venom LAAOs. The purified enzyme catalysed the oxidative deamination of L-amino acids, the most specific substrate being L-Phe. Five amino acids, L-Ser, L-Pro, L-Gly, L-Thr and L-Cys were not oxidized, clearly indicating a significant specificity. BjarLAAO-I significantly inhibited Ehrlich ascites tumour growth and induced an influx of polymorphonuclear cells, as well as spontaneous liberation of H2O2 from peritoneal macrophages. Later, BjarLAAO-I induced mononuclear influx and peritoneal macrophage spreading. Animals treated with BjarLAAO-I showed higher survival time.

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