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Article

Impact of Naja nigricollis Venom on the Production of Methaemoglobin

1
School of Pharmacy, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6UB, UK
2
Venomtech, Discovery Park, Sandwich, Kent CT13 9ND, UK
3
School of Biosciences, University of Kent, Kent CT2 7NZ, UK
4
BMG LabTech, Buckinghamshire HP19 8JR, UK
5
School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6UB, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Authors contributed equally to this work.
Toxins 2018, 10(12), 539; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10120539
Received: 19 October 2018 / Revised: 11 December 2018 / Accepted: 14 December 2018 / Published: 15 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Venoms)
Snakebite envenomation is an affliction currently estimated to be killing upwards of 100,000 people annually. Snakebite is associated with a diverse pathophysiology due to the magnitude of variation in venom composition that is observed worldwide. The haemolytic (i.e., lysis of red blood cells) actions of snake venoms are well documented, although the direct impact of venoms on haemoglobin is not fully understood. Here we report on the varied ability of a multitude of snake venoms to oxidise haemoglobin into methaemoglobin. Moreover, our results demonstrate that the venom of an elapid, the black necked spitting cobra, Naja nigricollis, oxidises oxyhaemoglobin (Fe2+) into methaemoglobin (Fe3+) in a time- and concentration-dependent manner that is unparalleled within the 47 viper and elapid venoms evaluated. The treatment of venom with a reducing agent, dithiothreitol (DTT) is observed to potentiate this effect at higher concentrations, and the use of denatured venom demonstrates that this effect is dependent upon the heat-sensitive proteinaceous elements of the venom. Together, our results suggest that Naja nigricollis venom appears to promote methaemoglobin production to a degree that is rare within the Elapidae family, and this activity appears to be independent of proteolytic activities of venom components on haemoglobin. View Full-Text
Keywords: Snakebite; venom; methaemoglobin; haemoglobin; neglected tropical disease; spitting cobra Snakebite; venom; methaemoglobin; haemoglobin; neglected tropical disease; spitting cobra
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MDPI and ACS Style

Williams, H.F.; Hayter, P.; Ravishankar, D.; Baines, A.; Layfield, H.J.; Croucher, L.; Wark, C.; Bicknell, A.B.; Trim, S.; Vaiyapuri, S. Impact of Naja nigricollis Venom on the Production of Methaemoglobin. Toxins 2018, 10, 539. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10120539

AMA Style

Williams HF, Hayter P, Ravishankar D, Baines A, Layfield HJ, Croucher L, Wark C, Bicknell AB, Trim S, Vaiyapuri S. Impact of Naja nigricollis Venom on the Production of Methaemoglobin. Toxins. 2018; 10(12):539. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10120539

Chicago/Turabian Style

Williams, Harry F., Paul Hayter, Divyashree Ravishankar, Anthony Baines, Harry J. Layfield, Lorraine Croucher, Catherine Wark, Andrew B. Bicknell, Steven Trim, and Sakthivel Vaiyapuri. 2018. "Impact of Naja nigricollis Venom on the Production of Methaemoglobin" Toxins 10, no. 12: 539. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10120539

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