Individual venom profiling ofCrotalus durissus terrificus specimens from a geographically limited region: Crotamine assessment and captivity evaluation on the biological activities

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Abstract

Crotalus durissus terrificus (Cdt) venom major components comprise crotoxin, crotamine, gyroxin and convulxin. Crotamine exerts a myotoxic action, among others, but its expression varies even amid snakes from the same region. Biochemical, enzymatic and pharmacological variations of venoms may be associated with the geography, climate, gender, age, and diet, as well as captivity time and venom extraction intervals. The present study aimed to characterize the Cdt venom from the Botucatu region, (SP, Brazil), by assessing its biochemical, pharmacological and enzymatic properties. Venoms from newly captured snakes and already-captured animals were characterized comparatively to verify the sexual, environmental (length of captivity) and ontogenetic variations that could influence the venom composition. Protein concentration, SDS-PAGE and RP-HPLC were performed and the coagulant, toxic (LD50) and crotamine activities were assayed. Individual SDS-PAGE analyses (315 samples) were performed and the biological activities of the venom of 60 adults (captive and newly captured males and females) and 18 newborns were compared with the Brazilian Reference Venom. Crotamine was found in 39.7% (125/315) of the samples, as determined by SDS-PAGE and RP-HPLC. Protein concentration differed significantly between adults (75%) and newborns (60%). RP-HPLC and SDS-PAGE analyses showed highly variable protein concentration and copious crotoxin isoforms; however, the LD50 values decreased during the captivity time. Cdt venom biological activities were similar among adult groups, but diminished during the captivity period. The current findings demonstrate that venoms vary significantly in terms activity and protein concentration, despite originating from the same specie and region.

Highlights:

▸ Individual variation in Crotalus durissus terrificus venom. ▸ First record in large number of snakes. ▸ Venom variation on a restricted region.

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