Proteomic and biological characterization of the venom of the redtail coral snake, Micrurus mipartitus (Elapidae), from Colombia and Costa Rica
Rey Suárez, Paola
Núñez Rangel, Vitelbina
Gutiérrez, José María
Venoms of the redtail coral snake Micrurus mipartitus from Colombia and Costa Rica were analyzed by “venomics”, a proteomic strategy to determine their composition. Proteins were separated by RP-HPLC, followed by SDS-PAGE, in-gel tryptic digestion, identification by MALDI or ESI tandem mass spectrometry, and assignment to known protein families by similarity. These analyses were complemented with a characterization of venom activities in vitro and in vivo. Proteins belonging to seven families were found in Colombian M. mipartitus venom, including abundant three-finger toxins (3FTx; ~60% of total proteins) and phospholipases A2 (PLA2; ~30%), with the remaining ~10% distributed among L-amino acid oxidase, P-III metalloproteinase, Kunitz-type inhibitor, serine proteinase, and C-type lectin-like families. The venoms of two M. mipartitus specimens from Costa Rica, also referred to as M. multifasciatus in some taxonomic classifications, were also analyzed. Both samples were highly similar to each other, and partially resembled the chromatographic and identity profiles of M. mipartitus from Colombia, although presenting a markedly higher proportion of 3FTxs (~83.0%) in relation to PLA2s (~8.2%), and a small amount of acetylcholinesterase, not detected in the venom from Colombia. An equine antivenom against the Central American coral snake, M. nigrocinctus, did not recognize venom components of M. mipartitus from Colombia or Costa Rica by enzyme-immunoassay. Four major components of Colombian M. mipartitus venom were isolated and partially characterized. Venomics of Micrurus species may provide a valuable platform for the rational design of immunizing cocktails to obtain polyspecific antivenoms for this highly diverse group of American elapids.