Discovering candidate molecules from animal toxins with potential application in biotechnology

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Discovering candidate molecules from animal toxins with potential application in biotechnology

Call for papers in the Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases.

Edited by Suely V. Sampaio, Eliane C. Arantes and Marco A. Sartim

Envenoming caused by venomous and poisonous animals is considered an important public health threat in tropical countries due to their wide distribution and the high occurrence of accidents in urban and rural areas. This health issue has been encouraging the scientific community to investigate the clinical aspects of envenoming and to search for more effective antivenom therapies. Moreover, the growing concern in discovering novel molecules with potential application as therapeutic agents and/or as biotechnological tools has increased the interest in exploring venoms as natural sources of pharmacologically active compounds. The advances in high throughput approaches in Toxinology, such as the genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic techniques, have unveiled a remarkable functional and structural complexity in venom and poison composition, revealing a variety of molecules that target proteins, receptors, or ion channels with distinct potency and specificity.

Considering the relevance of this issue, the Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases is calling for papers in a thematic series on “Discovering candidate molecules from animal toxins with potential application in biotechnology”edited by Dr. Suely V. Sampaio, Dr. Eliane C. Arantes and Dr. Marco A. Sartim (University of São Paulo, Brazil). The series will accept research approaching “omics” analysis, structural and biological studies, and biotechnological application comprising venoms and/or isolated toxins from animals.

The submission deadline is July 31, 2018.

Manuscripts should be formatted according to our submission guidelines and submitted via the online submission system. In the submission system, please make sure the correct collection title is chosen from the additional information tab. Please also indicate clearly in the covering letter that the manuscript is to be considered for the “Discovering candidate molecules from animal toxins with potential application in biotechnology” series.

If you would like to enquiry about the suitability of a manuscript for consideration, please email a pre-submission enquiry to



Cytotoxic and pro-apoptotic action of MjTX-I, a phospholipase A2 isolated from Bothrops moojeni snake venom, towards leukemic cells

Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a BCR-ABL1+ myeloproliferative neoplasm marked by increased myeloproliferation and presence of leukemic cells resistant to apoptosis. The current first-line therapy for CML is ad…

Authors:Rogério Bodini Benati, Tássia Rafaela Costa, Maira da Costa Cacemiro, Suely Vilela Sampaio, Fabíola Attié de Castro and Sandra Mara Burin

Citation:Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases 2018 24:40

Published on: 20 December 2018


Immunotherapeutic potential of Crotoxin: anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties

For the past 80 years, Crotoxin has become one of the most investigated isolated toxins from snake venoms, partially due to its major role as the main toxic component in the venom of the South American rattles…

Authors:Marco Aurélio Sartim, Danilo Luccas Menaldo and Suely Vilela Sampaio

Citation:Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases 2018 24:39

Published on: 17 December 2018


Kinetic investigations and stability studies of two Bothrops L-amino acid oxidases

L-amino acid oxidases isolated from snake venoms (SV-LAAOs) are enzymes that have great therapeutic potential and are currently being investigated as tools for developing new strategies to treat various diseas…

Authors:Tássia R. Costa, Sante E. I. Carone, Luiz F. F. Tucci, Danilo L. Menaldo, Nathalia G. Rosa-Garzon, Hamilton Cabral and Suely V. Sampaio

Citation:Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases 2018 24:37

Published on: 4 December 2018


Deep sequencing analysis of toad Rhinella schneideri skin glands and partial biochemical characterization of its cutaneous secretion

Animal poisons and venoms are sources of biomolecules naturally selected. Rhinella schneideri toads are widespread in the whole Brazilian territory and they have poison glands and mucous gland. Recently, protein …

Authors:Priscila Yumi Tanaka Shibao, Camila Takeno Cologna, Romualdo Morandi-Filho, Gisele Adriano Wiezel, Patricia Tiemi Fujimura, Carlos Ueira-Vieira and Eliane Candiani Arantes

Citation:Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases 2018 24:36

Published on: 29 November 2018


Cytotoxic and inflammatory potential of a phospholipase A2 from Bothrops jararaca snake venom

Snake venom phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) have been reported to induce myotoxic, neurotoxic, hemolytic, edematogenic, cytotoxic and proinflammatory effects. This work aimed at the isolation and functional characteriz…

Authors:Rafhaella C. A. Cedro, Danilo L. Menaldo, Tássia R. Costa, Karina F. Zoccal, Marco A. Sartim, Norival A. Santos-Filho, Lúcia H. Faccioli and Suely V. Sampaio

Citation:Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases 2018 24:33

Published on: 23 November 2018


Purification and enzymatic characterization of a novel metalloprotease from Lachesis muta rhombeata snake venom

Lachesis muta rhombeata (Lmr) is the largest venomous snake in Latin America and its venom contains mainly enzymatic components, such as serine and metalloproteases, L-amino acid oxidase and phospholipases A2. Me…

Authors:Francielle Almeida Cordeiro, Bárbara Marques Coutinho, Gisele Adriano Wiezel, Karla de Castro Figueiredo Bordon, Cristiane Bregge-Silva, Nathalia Gonsales Rosa-Garzon, Hamilton Cabral, Beatrix Ueberheide and Eliane Candiani Arantes

Citation:Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases 2018 24:32

Published on: 22 November 2018


Cell migration inhibition activity of a non-RGD disintegrin from Crotalus durissus collilineatus venom

In recent decades, snake venom disintegrins have received special attention due to their potential use in anticancer therapy. Disintegrins are small and cysteine-rich proteins present in snake venoms and can i…

Authors:Isadora Sousa de Oliveira, Rafaella Varzoni Manzini, Isabela Gobbo Ferreira, Iara Aimê Cardoso, Karla de Castro Figueiredo Bordon, Ana Rita Thomazela Machado, Lusânia Maria Greggi Antunes, José Cesar Rosa and Eliane Candiani Arantes

Citation:Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases 2018 24:28

Published on: 20 October 2018



BjussuLAAO-II induces cytotoxicity and alters DNA methylation of cell-cycle genes in monocultured/co-cultured HepG2 cells

The use of animal venoms and their toxins as material sources for biotechnological applications has received much attention from the pharmaceutical industry. L-amino acid oxidases from snake venoms (SV-LAAOs) have demonstrated innumerous biological effects and pharmacological potential against different cancer types. Hepatocellular carcinoma has increased worldwide, and the aberrant DNA methylation of liver cells is a common mechanism to promote hepatic tumorigenesis. Moreover, tumor microenvironment plays a major role in neoplastic transformation. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms responsible for the cytotoxic effects of SV-LAAO in human cancer cells, this study aimed to evaluate the cytotoxicity and the alterations in DNA methylation profiler in the promoter regions of cell-cycle genes induced by BjussuLAAO-II, an LAAO from Bothrops jaracussu venom, in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cells in monoculture and co-culture with endothelial (HUVEC) cells.

Authors:Ana Rita Thomazela Machado, Alexandre Ferro Aissa, Diego Luis Ribeiro, Rui Seabra Ferreira Jr, Suely Vilela Sampaio, Lusânia Maria Greggi Antunes

Citation:Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases 2019;25:e147618

Published on: March 11, 2019



Functional and biological insights of rCollinein-1, a recombinant serine protease from Crotalus durissus collilineatus

The prevalent class of snake venom serine proteases (SVSP) in Viperidae venoms is the thrombin-like enzymes, which, similarly to human thrombin, convert fibrinogen into insoluble fibrin monomers. However, thrombin-like serine proteases differ from thrombin by being unable to activate factor XIII, thus leading to the formation of loose clots and fibrinogen consumption. We report the functional and biological characterization of a recombinant thrombin-like serine protease from Crotalus durissus collilineatus, named rCollinein-1.

Authors: Johara Boldrini-França, Ernesto Lopes Pinheiro-Junior, Eliane Candiani Arantes

Citation:Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases 2019;25:e147118

Published on: April 8, 2019



Subproteome of Lachesis muta rhombeata venom and preliminary studies on LmrSP-4, a novel snake venom serine proteinase

Lachesis muta rhombeata is one of the venomous snakes of medical importance in Brazil whose envenoming is characterized by local and systemic effects which may produce even shock and death. Its venom is mainly comprised of serine and metalloproteinases, phospholipases A2 and bradykinin-potentiating peptides. Based on a previously reported fractionation of L. m. rhombeata venom (LmrV), we decided to perform a subproteome analysis of its major fraction and investigated a novel component present in this venom.

Authors: Gisele A Wiezel, Karla CF Bordon, Ronivaldo R Silva, Mário SR Gomes, Hamilton Cabral, Veridiana M Rodrigues, Beatrix Ueberheide, Eliane C Arantes

Citation:Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases 2019;25:e147018

Published on: April 15, 2019



Scorpion toxins targeting Kv1.3 channels: insights into immunosuppression

Scorpion venoms are natural sources of molecules that have, in addition to their toxic function, potential therapeutic applications. In this source the neurotoxins can be found especially those that act on potassium channels. Potassium channels are responsible for maintaining the membrane potential in the excitable cells, especially the voltage-dependent potassium channels (Kv), including Kv1.3 channels. These channels (Kv1.3) are expressed by various types of tissues and cells, being part of several physiological processes. However, the major studies of Kv1.3 are performed on T cells due its importance on autoimmune diseases. Scorpion toxins capable of acting on potassium channels (KTx), mainly on Kv1.3 channels, have gained a prominent role for their possible ability to control inflammatory autoimmune diseases. Some of these toxins have already left bench trials and are being evaluated in clinical trials, presenting great therapeutic potential. Thus, scorpion toxins are important natural molecules that should not be overlooked in the treatment of autoimmune and other diseases.

Authors: Isadora S Oliveira, Isabela G Ferreira, Gabriel M Alexandre-Silva, Felipe A Cerni, Caroline M Cremonez, Eliane C Arantes, Umberto Zottich, Manuela B Pucca

Citation: Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases. 2019;25:e148118

Published on: April 15, 2019



Proteome of fraction from Tityus serrulatus venom reveals new enzymes and toxins

Tityus serrulatus venom (Ts venom) is a complex mixture of several compounds with biotechnological and therapeutical potentials, which highlights the importance of the identification and characterization of these components. Although a considerable number of studies have been dedicated to the characterization of this complex cocktail, there is still a limitation of knowledge concerning its venom composition. Most of Ts venom studies aim to isolate and characterize their neurotoxins, which are small, basic proteins and are eluted with high buffer concentrations on cation exchange chromatography. The first and largest fraction from carboxymethyl cellulose-52 (CMC-52) chromatography of Ts venom, named fraction I (Fr I), is a mixture of proteins of high and low molecular masses, which do not interact with the cation exchange resin, being therefore a probable source of components still unknown of this venom. Thus, the present study aimed to perform the proteome study of Fraction I from Ts venom, by high resolution mass spectrometry, and its biochemical characterization, by the determination of several enzymatic activities.

Authors: Fernanda Gobbi Amorim, Heloisa Tavoni Longhim, Camila Takeno Cologna, Michel Degueldre, Edwin De Pauw, Loïc Quinton, Eliane Candiani Arantes

Citation:Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases 2019;25:e148218

Published on: April 18, 2019



Assessment of neuropharmacological potential of low molecular weight components extracted from Rhinella schneideri toad poison

Studies on toad poison are relevant since they are considered a good source of toxins that act on different biological systems. Among the molecules found in the toad poison, it can be highlighted the cardiotonic heterosides, which have a known mechanism that inhibit Na+/K+-ATPase enzyme. However, these poisons have many other molecules that may have important biological actions. Therefore, this work evaluated the action of the low molecular weight components from Rhinella schneideri toad poison on Na+/K+-ATPase and their anticonvulsive and / or neurotoxic effects, in order to detect molecules with actions of biotechnological interest.

Authors: Mateus Amaral Baldo, Alexandra Olimpio Siqueira Cunha, Lívea Dornela Godoy, José Luiz Liberato, Juliana Sakamoto Yoneda, Elisa Correa Fornari-Baldo, Pietro Ciancaglini, Wagner Ferreira dos Santos, Eliane Candiani Arantes

Citation: Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases 2019;25:e148418

Published on: April 18, 2019



Neuroprotective properties of RT10, a fraction isolated from Parawixia bistriata spider venom, against excitotoxicity injury in neuron-glia cultures

L-Glutamate (L-Glu), the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian Central Nervous System (CNS), is essential to cognitive functions. However, when L-Glu is accumulated in large concentrations at the synaptic cleft, it can induce excitotoxicity that results in secondary damage implicated in many neurological disorders. Current therapies for the treatment of neurological disorders are ineffective and have side effects associated with their use; therefore, there is a need to develop novel treatments. In this regard, previous studies have shown that neuroactive compounds obtained from the venom of the spider Parawixia bistriata have neuroprotective effects in vitro and in vivo. In this sense, this work aimed to evaluate potential neuroprotective effects of fraction RT10, obtained from this spider venom, on primary cultures of neuron and glial cells subjected to glutamate excitotoxicity insults.

Authors: Eduardo Octaviano Primini, José Luiz Liberato, Andreia Cristina Karklin Fontana, Wagner Ferreira dos Santos

Citation:Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases 2019;25:e148818

Published on: May 16, 2019



Spider venom peptides as potential drug candidates due to their anticancer and antinociceptive activities

Spider venoms are known to contain proteins and polypeptides that perform various functions including antimicrobial, neurotoxic, analgesic, cytotoxic, necrotic, and hemagglutinic activities. Currently, several classes of natural molecules from spider venoms are potential sources of chemotherapeutics against tumor cells. Some of the spider peptide toxins produce lethal effects on tumor cells by regulating the cell cycle, activating caspase pathway or inactivating mitochondria. Some of them also target the various types of ion channels (including voltage-gated calcium channels, voltage-gated sodium channels, and acid-sensing ion channels) among other pain-related targets. Herein we review the structure and pharmacology of spider-venom peptides that are being used as leads for the development of therapeutics against the pathophysiological conditions including cancer and pain.

Authors: Ting Wu, Meng Wang, Wenfang Wu, Qianxuan Luo, Liping Jiang, Huai Tao, Meichun Deng

Citation:Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases 2019;25:e146318

Published on: June 3, 2019

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