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Application of an Extracellular Matrix-Mimicking Fluorescent Polymer for the Detection of Proteolytic Venom Toxins

Wachtel, Eric, Bittenbinder, Matyas A., van de Velde, Bas, Slagboom, Julien, de Monts de Savasse, Axel, Alonso, Luis L., Casewell, Nicholas ORCID:, Vonk, Freek J. and Kool, Jeroen (2023) 'Application of an Extracellular Matrix-Mimicking Fluorescent Polymer for the Detection of Proteolytic Venom Toxins'. Toxins, Vol 15, Issue 4, e294.

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The cytotoxicity caused by snake venoms is a serious medical problem that greatly contributes to the morbidity observed in snakebite patients. The cytotoxic components found in snake venoms belong to a variety of toxin classes and may cause cytotoxic effects by targeting a range of molecular structures, including cellular membranes, the extracellular matrix (ECM) and the cytoskeleton. Here, we present a high-throughput assay (384-well plate) that monitors ECM degradation by snake venom toxins via the application of fluorescent versions of model ECM substrates, specifically gelatin and collagen type I. Both crude venoms and fractionated toxins of a selection of medically relevant viperid and elapid species, separated via size-exclusion chromatography, were studied using the self-quenching, fluorescently labelled ECM–polymer substrates. The viperid venoms showed significantly higher proteolytic degradation when compared to elapid venoms, although the venoms with higher snake venom metalloproteinase content did not necessarily exhibit stronger substrate degradation than those with a lower one. Gelatin was generally more readily cleaved than collagen type I. In the viperid venoms, which were subjected to fractionation by SEC, two (B. jararaca and C. rhodostoma, respectively) or three (E. ocellatus) active proteases were identified. Therefore, the assay allows the study of proteolytic activity towards the ECM in vitro for crude and fractionated venoms.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QW Microbiology and Immunology > Immunity by Type > QW 568 Cellular immunity. Immunologic cytotoxicity. Immunocompetence. Immunologic factors (General)
QW Microbiology and Immunology > Antigens and Antibodies. Toxins and Antitoxins > QW 630 Toxins. Antitoxins
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Department of Tropical Disease Biology
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Pubrouter
Depositing User: JISC Pubrouter
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2023 09:27
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2023 09:27


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