Special Issue "Identification and Functional Characterization of Novel Venom Components"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2020.
Dr. Steven D. Aird
Division of Faculty Affairs and Ecology and Evolution Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, 1919-1 Tancha, Onna-son, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa 904-0495, Japan
Interests: chemistry of animal venoms, particularly of snakes; snake envenomation strategies; contributions of individual venom components to prey immobilization; ecology of venomous animals
Throughout most of the 20th century, the toxinological literature consisted largely of pharmacological and functional characterizations of crude venoms and venom constituents, often constituents that could not be identified unambiguously. The advent of amino acid composition analysis in the 1950s enabled the first forays into physical characterizations of purified toxins, though these remained few in number until the 1970s. Then, tryptic and chymotryptic cleavage of venom proteins coupled with manual Edman degradation began to provide the first complete sequences, particularly of three-finger toxins. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and improved resins for liquid chromatography permitted improved purification and better gross structural characterization of venom components. The early 1980s saw the advent of automated Edman degradation, and entire sequences of longer proteins began to appear in the literature. Then, the molecular biology revolution made it possible to generate cDNA sequences of more and larger proteins, followed by mass spectrometry-based proteomics and quantitative high-throughput DNA sequencing and genomics. Today, we face a hitherto unprecedented situation in which our capacity to generate sequence/structural data has completely overwhelmed our capacity to characterize venom constituents functionally.
This Special Issue of Toxins is devoted specifically to the discovery and functional characterization of novel venom constituents of vertebrate and invertebrate venoms.
Dr. Steven D. Aird
Manuscript Submission Information
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