Unveiling the nature of black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) venom through venomics and antivenom immunoprofiling: Identification of key toxin targets for antivenom development

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  • Andreas Hougaard Laustsen
  • Bruno Lomonte
  • Lohse, Brian
  • Julian Fernandez
  • José María Gutiérrez
The venom proteome of the black mamba, Dendroaspis polylepis, from Eastern Africa, was, for the first time, characterized. Forty- different proteins and one nucleoside were identified or assigned to protein families. The most abundant proteins were Kunitz-type proteinase inhibitors, which include the unique mamba venom components ‘dendrotoxins’, and α-neurotoxins and other representatives of the three-finger toxin family. In addition, the venom contains lower percentages of proteins from other families, including metalloproteinase, hyaluronidase, prokineticin, nerve growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, phospholipase A2, 5′-nucleotidase, and phosphodiesterase. Assessment of acute toxicity revealed that the most lethal components were α-neurotoxins and, to a lower extent, dendrotoxins. This venom also contains a relatively high concentration of adenosine, which might contribute to toxicity by influencing the toxin biodistribution. ELISA immunoprofiling and preclinical assessment of neutralization showed that polyspecific antivenoms manufactured in South Africa and India were effective in the neutralization of D. polylepis venom, albeit showing different potencies. Antivenoms had higher antibody titers against α-neurotoxins than against dendrotoxins, and displayed high titers against less toxic proteins of high molecular mass. Our results reveal the complexity of D. polylepis venom, and provide information for the identification of its most relevant toxins to be neutralized by antivenoms.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Proteomics
Pages (from-to)126–142
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ID: 134704827