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Exploring the Utility of ssDNA Aptamers Directed against Snake Venom Toxins as New Therapeutics for Snakebite Envenoming.

Alomran, Nessrin ORCID:, Chinnappan, Raja, Alsolaiss, Jaffar, Casewell, Nicholas ORCID: and Zourob, Mohammed (2022) 'Exploring the Utility of ssDNA Aptamers Directed against Snake Venom Toxins as New Therapeutics for Snakebite Envenoming.'. Toxins, Vol 14, Issue 7, e469.

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Snakebite is a neglected tropical disease that causes considerable death and disability in the tropical world. Although snakebite can cause a variety of pathologies in victims, haemotoxic effects are particularly common and are typically characterised by haemorrhage and/or venom-induced consumption coagulopathy. Antivenoms are the mainstay therapy for treating the toxic effects of snakebite, but despite saving thousands of lives annually, these therapies are associated with limited cross-snake species efficacy due to venom variation, which ultimately restricts their therapeutic utility to particular geographical regions. In this study, we sought to explore the potential of ssDNA aptamers as toxin-specific inhibitory alternatives to antibodies. As a proof of principle model, we selected snake venom serine protease toxins, which are responsible for contributing to venom-induced coagulopathy following snakebite envenoming, as our target. Using SELEX technology, we selected ssDNA aptamers against recombinantly expressed versions of the fibrinogenolytic SVSPs ancrod from the venom of <i>C. rhodostoma</i> and batroxobin from <i>B. atrox</i>. From the resulting pool of specific ssDNA aptamers directed against each target, we identified candidates that exhibited low nanomolar binding affinities to their targets. Downstream aptamer-linked immobilised sorbent assay, fibrinogenolysis, and coagulation profiling experiments demonstrated that the candidate aptamers were able to recognise native and recombinant SVSP toxins and inhibit the toxin- and venom-induced prolongation of plasma clotting times and the consumption of fibrinogen, with inhibitory potencies highly comparable to commercial polyvalent antivenoms. Our findings demonstrate that rationally selected toxin-specific aptamers can exhibit broad in vitro cross-reactivity against toxin isoforms found in different snake venoms and are capable of inhibiting toxins in pathologically relevant in vitro and ex vivo models of venom activity. These data highlight the potential utility of ssDNA aptamers as novel toxin-inhibiting therapeutics of value for tackling snakebite envenoming.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QU Biochemistry > Proteins. Amino Acids. Peptides > QU 58.5 DNA.
QW Microbiology and Immunology > Antigens and Antibodies. Toxins and Antitoxins > QW 630 Toxins. Antitoxins
WD Disorders of Systemic, Metabolic or Environmental Origin, etc > Animal Poisons > WD 410 Reptiles
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Department of Tropical Disease Biology
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Pubrouter
Depositing User: JISC Pubrouter
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2022 10:33
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2022 10:33


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