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Toxins 2016, 8(5), 138; doi:10.3390/toxins8050138

Venom of the Coral Snake Micrurus clarki: Proteomic Profile, Toxicity, Immunological Cross-Neutralization, and Characterization of a Three-Finger Toxin

1
Instituto Clodomiro Picado, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José 11501, Costa Rica
2
Programa de Ofidismo y Escorpionismo, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín 050010, Colombia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stephen P. Mackessy
Received: 26 March 2016 / Revised: 25 April 2016 / Accepted: 2 May 2016 / Published: 5 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Venomics, Venom Proteomics and Venom Transcriptomics)
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Abstract

Micrurus clarki is an uncommon coral snake distributed from the Southeastern Pacific of Costa Rica to Western Colombia, for which no information on its venom could be found in the literature. Using a ‘venomics’ approach, proteins of at least nine families were identified, with a moderate predominance of three-finger toxins (3FTx; 48.2%) over phospholipase A2 (PLA2; 36.5%). Comparison of this venom profile with those of other Micrurus species suggests that it may represent a more balanced, ‘intermediate’ type within the dichotomy between 3FTx- and PLA2-predominant venoms. M. clarki venom was strongly cross-recognized and, accordingly, efficiently neutralized by an equine therapeutic antivenom against M. nigrocinctus, revealing their high antigenic similarity. Lethal activity for mice could be reproduced by a PLA2 venom fraction, but, unexpectedly, not by fractions corresponding to 3FTxs. The most abundant venom component, hereby named clarkitoxin-I, was identified as a short-chain (type I) 3FTx, devoid of lethal effect in mice, whose target remains to be defined. Its amino acid sequence of 66 residues shows high similarity with predicted sequences of venom gland transcripts described for M. fulvius, M. browni, and M. diastema. View Full-Text
Keywords: monadal coral snake; venom; toxin; Micrurus; antivenom; proteome; Elapidae; neutralization monadal coral snake; venom; toxin; Micrurus; antivenom; proteome; Elapidae; neutralization
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lomonte, B.; Sasa, M.; Rey-Suárez, P.; Bryan, W.; Gutiérrez, J.M. Venom of the Coral Snake Micrurus clarki: Proteomic Profile, Toxicity, Immunological Cross-Neutralization, and Characterization of a Three-Finger Toxin. Toxins 2016, 8, 138.

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