Molecular cloning and sequence analysis of cDNAs coding for a serine proteinase and a Kunitz-type inhibitor in the venom gland of the Vipera nikolskii viper
ABSTRACT Serine proteinases and Kunitz-type inhibitors are widely represented in the venoms of snakes belonging to different genera.
During the studies of the venoms of snakes inhabiting Russia, we have cloned cDNAs coding for novel proteins of these families.
A novel serine proteinase that we named nikobin was identified in the venom gland of the Nikolsky viper. The amino acid sequence
of nikobin deduced from the cDNA sequence slightly differs from those of the serine proteinases found in other snakes, displaying
15 unique amino acid substitutions. This is the first serine proteinase from a viper of the Vipera genus for which the complete amino acid sequence has been determined. A cDNA coding for a Kunitz-type inhibitor has also
been cloned. The deduced amino acid sequence of the inhibitor displays overall homology to the already known sequences of
analogous proteins from vipers of the Vipera genus. However, several unusual amino acid substitutions that can cause a change of the inhibitor activity have been detected.
Keywordsserine proteinase–Kunitz-type inhibitor–cloning–amino acid sequence–Vipera nikolskii viper