[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Erectile dysfunction (ED) mechanisms in diabetic patients are multifactorial and often lead to resistance to current therapy. Animal toxins have been used as pharmacological tools to study penile erection. Human accidents involving the venom of Phoneutria nigriventer spider are characterized by priapism. We hypothesize that PnTx2-6 potentiates cavernosal relaxation in diabetic mice by increasing cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). This effect is neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) dependent. Cavernosal strips were contracted with phenylephrine (10(-5) M) and relaxed by electrical field stimulation (20 V, 1-32 Hz) in the presence or absence of PnTx2-6 (10(-8) M). Cavernosal strips from nNOS- and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS)-knockout (KO) mice, besides nNOS inhibitor (10(-5) M), were used to evaluate the role of this enzyme in the potentiation effect evoked by PnTx2-6. Tissue cGMP levels were determined after stimulation with PnTx2-6 in presence or absence of N-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) (10(-4) M) and ω-conotoxin GVIA (10(-6) M), an N-type calcium channel inhibitor. Results showed that PnTx2-6 enhanced cavernosal relaxation in diabetic mice (65%) and eNOS KO mice, but not in nNOS KO mice. The toxin effect in the cavernosal relaxation was abolished by nNOS inhibitor. cGMP levels are increased by PnTx2-6, however, L-NAME abolished this enhancement as well as ω-conotoxin GVIA. We conclude that PnTx2-6 facilitates penile relaxation in diabetic mice through a mechanism dependent on nNOS, probably via increasing nitric oxide/cGMP production.
International journal of impotence research 10/2011; 24(2):69-76. · 2.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phα1β is a potent toxin obtained from the spider Phoneutria nigriventer that blocks neuronal voltage-sensitive Ca2+ channels. This study compared the antiallodynic effects of Phα1β, ω-conotoxin MVIIA and morphine in mice and their side effects in rats. Mechanical allodynia was measured in mice receiving single intrathecal administration of Phα1β, ω-conotoxin MVIIA or morphine before or after the incisional plantar procedure. The effect of the treatments on cardiovascular profile and global neurological were evaluated in rats. The expression of pro or anti-inflammatory cytokines of human polymorph mononuclear cells was also evaluated. Preemptive use of ω-conotoxin MVIIA (1.0 or 10 pmol/site) or morphine (1000 pmol/site) induced shorter antiallodynic effect than Phα1β (100 pmol/site) in mice. Post-incision administration of Phα1β (200 pmol/site) induced longer mechanical antiallodynic effect than ω-conotoxin MVIIA (1.0 or 10 pmol/site) or morphine (1000 pmol/site). Intrathecal injection of Phα1β (200 pmol/site) and morphine (433 pmol/site) did not change while ω-conotoxin MVIIA (100 pmol/site) increased the heart rate in rats 3 h after its administration. Phα1β (200 pmol/site), ω-conotoxin MVIIA (100 pmol/site) and morphine (433 pmol/site) did not change mean arterial pressure 0.5 and 3 h after their administration. The treatments did not alter neurological performance assessed by global neurological evaluation and open-field test. The tested drugs did not induced expression of pro or anti-inflammatory cytokines in CD4 monocytes. In conclusion, preemptive administration Phα1β in mice induced longer antiallodynic effect than ω-conotoxin MVIIA and morphine. Phα1β also induced a longer mechanical antiallodynic effect than ω-conotoxin MVIIA and morphine when used after the surgical incision. The present results suggest that Phα1β has a potential application in the management of postoperative pain with low side effects.Highlights► Phα1β induced longer postoperative pain reduction effect than ω-conotoxin MVIIA or morphine. ► The drugs did not change mean arterial pressure after intrathechal injection. ► Intrathecal administration of ω-conotoxin MVIIA increased the heart rate while Phα1β or morphine had no effect. ► The drugs did not alter neurological performance and the expression of pro or anti-inflammatory cytokines. ► Phα1β has a potential application in the management of postoperative pain with low side effects.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies revealed that the venom of the Brazilian "armed" spider Phoneutria nigriventer contains potent neurotoxins that caused excitatory symptoms such as salivation, lachrymation, priapism, convulsions, flaccid and spastic paralysis. It was also reported that the main mechanism of action of those neurotoxins are effects on ion channels such as inhibition of the inactivation of Na+ channels, blockage of K+ channels and blockage of calcium channels. The venom from Phoneutria keyserlingi, as might be expected, contains a series of polypeptides that are very similar, but not identical, to the proteins previously obtained from the venom of P. nigriventer in terms of their amino acid sequences and biological activities. We evaluated the effects of some of the toxins of P. nigriventer and P. keyserlingi on glutamate release and the decrease in [Ca2+]i by using synaptosomes of rat brain cortices and fluorimetric assays. Sequence comparisons between the Phoneutria toxins of both the species showed great similarity in the location of cysteine residues. However, thus far, no pharmacological assays were performed to evaluate the extension of those biochemical modifications. Our results showed that differences between the amino acid sequences of Phoneutria toxins of both the species lead to the significant changes in the pharmacological properties of these toxins.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The venom of the spider Phoneutria nigriventer contains several toxins that have bioactivity in mammals and insects. Accidents involving humans are characterized by various symptoms including penile erection. Here we investigated the action of Tx2-6, a toxin purified from the P. nigriventer spider venom that causes priapism in rats and mice. Erectile function was evaluated through changes in intracavernosal pressure/mean arterial pressure ratio (ICP/MAP) during electrical stimulation of the major pelvic ganglion (MPG) of normotensive and deoxycorticosterone-acetate (DOCA)-salt hypertensive rats. Nitric oxide (NO) release was detected in cavernosum slices with fluorescent dye (DAF-FM) and confocal microscopy. The effect of Tx2-6 was also characterized after intracavernosal injection of a non-selective nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor, L-NAME. Subcutaneous or intravenous injection of Tx2-6 potentiated the elevation of ICP/MAP induced by ganglionic stimulation. L-NAME inhibited penile erection and treatment with Tx2-6 was unable to reverse this inhibition. Tx2-6 treatment induced a significant increase of NO release in cavernosum tissue. Attenuated erectile function of DOCA-salt hypertensive rats was fully restored after toxin injection. Tx2-6 enhanced erectile function in normotensive and DOCA-salt hypertensive rats, via the NO pathway. Our studies suggest that Tx2-6 could be important for development of new pharmacological agents for treatment of erectile dysfunction.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A family of 4kDa neurotoxic peptides was purified from venoms of Phoneutria spiders. All have six cysteine residues, and low similarity with other neurotoxins. Three toxins caused moderate inhibition of L-type Ca(2+) channels. The structure of toxin PRTx27C3 was modeled and compared with toxin ADO1. The importance of four residues is suggested.
Protein and Peptide Letters 02/2008; 15(7):700-8. · 1.99 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two proteins with phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)) activity were purified to homogeneity from Bothrops leucurus (white-tailed-jararaca) snake venom through three chromatographic steps: Conventional gel filtration on Sephacryl S-200, ion-exchange on Q-Sepharose and reverse phase on Vydac C4 HPLC column. The molecular mass for both enzymes was estimated to be approximately 14 kDa by SDS-PAGE. The N-terminal sequences (48 residues) show that one enzyme presents lysine at position 48 and the other an aspartic acid in this position, and therefore they were designated blK-PLA(2) and blD-PLA(2) respectively. blK-PLA(2) presented negligible levels of PLA(2) activity as compared to that of blD-PLA(2). The PLA(2) activity of both enzymes is Ca(2+)-dependent. blD-PLA(2) did not have any effect upon platelet aggregation induced by arachidonic acid, ADP or collagen, but strongly inhibits coagulation and is able to stimulate Ehrlich tumor growth but not angiogenesis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Various neurotoxins have been described from the venom of the Brazilian spider Phoneutria nigriventer, but little is known about the venoms of the other species of this genus. In the present work, we describe the purification and some structural and pharmacological features of a new toxin (PRTx3-7) from Phoneutria reidyi that causes flaccid paralysis in mice. The observed molecular mass (4627.26 Da) was in accordance with the calculated mass for the amidated form of the amino acid sequence (4627.08 Da). The presence of an alpha-amidated C-terminus was confirmed by MS/MS analysis of the C-terminal peptide, isolated after enzymatic digestion of the native protein with Glu-C endoproteinase. The purified protein was injected (intracerebro-ventricular) into mice at dose levels of 5 microg/mouse causing immediate agitation and clockwise gyration, followed by the gradual development of general flaccid paralysis. PRTx3-7 at 1 microM inhibited by 20% the KCl-induced increase on [Ca2+]i in rat brain synaptosomes. The HEK cells permanently expressing L, N, P/Q and R HVA Ca2+ channels were also used to better characterize the pharmacological features of PRTx3-7. To our surprise, PRTx3-7 shifted the voltage-dependence for activation towards hyperpolarized membrane potentials for L (-4 mV), P/Q (-8 mV) and R (-5 mV) type Ca2+ currents. In addition, the new toxin also affected the steady state of inactivation of L-, N- and P/Q-type Ca2+ currents.
Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology 03/2007; 27(1):129-46. · 2.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Arachnids have a venom apparatus and secrete a complex chemical mixture of low molecular mass organic molecules, enzymes and polypeptide neurotoxins designed to paralyze or kill their prey. Most of these toxins are specific for membrane voltage-gated sodium channels, although some may also target calcium or potassium channels and other membrane receptors. Scorpions and spiders have provided the greatest number of the neurotoxins studied so far, for which, a good number of primary and 3D structures have been obtained. Structural features, comprising a folding that determines a similar spatial distribution of charged and hydrophobic side chains of specific amino acids, are strikingly common among the toxins from spider and scorpion venoms. Such similarities are, in turn, the key feature to target and bind these proteins to ionic channels. The search for new insecticidal compounds, as well as the study of their modes of action, constitutes a current approach to rationally design novel insecticides. This goal tends to be more relevant if the resistance to the conventional chemical products is considered. A promising alternative seems to be the biotechnological approach using toxin-expressing recombinant baculovirus. Spider and scorpion toxins having insecticidal activity are reviewed here considering their structures, toxicities and action mechanisms in sodium channels of excitable membranes.
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C Toxicology & Pharmacology 10/2006; 146(1-2):264-79. · 2.71 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A new insecticidal toxin Tx4(5-5) was isolated from the fraction PhTx4 of the venom of the spider Phoneutria nigriventer by reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and anion exchange HPLC. The complete amino acid sequence determined by automated Edman degradation showed that Tx4(5-5) is a single chain polypeptide composed of 47 amino acid residues, including 10 cysteines, with a calculated molecular mass of 5175 Da. Tx4(5-5) shows 64% of sequence identity with Tx4(6-1), another insecticidal toxin from the same venom. Tx4(5-5) was highly toxic to house fly (Musca domestica), cockroach (Periplaneta americana) and cricket (Acheta domesticus ), producing neurotoxic effects (knock-down, trembling with uncoordinated movements) at doses as low as 50 ng/g (house fly), 250 ng/g (cockroach) and 150 ng/g (cricket). In contrast, intracerebroventricular injections (30 microg) into mice induced no behavioural effects. Preliminary electrophysiological studies carried out on whole-cell voltage-clamped rat hippocampal neurones indicated that Tx4(5-5) (at 1 microM) reversibly inhibited the N-methyl-D-aspartate-subtype of ionotropic glutamate receptor, while having little or no effect on kainate-, alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionic acid- or gamma-aminobutyric acid-activated currents.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An insecticidal peptide referred to as Tx4(6-1) was purified from the venom of the spider Phoneutria nigriventer by a combination of gel filtration, reverse-phase fast liquid chromatography on Pep-RPC, reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) on Vydac C18 and ion-exchange HPLC on cationic columns. Tx4(6-1) is highly toxic to house flies. At levels of 0.5 ng/house fly it caused excitatory symptoms immediately after intrathoracical injection. However, in mice injections of 0.03 mg of the toxin intracerebroventricularly resulted in no apparent symptoms of intoxication. These results demonstrate that Tx4(6-1) of P. nigriventer has no toxicity for mice, and suggest that it is a specific anti-insect toxin. The mol. wt (5244.6) and purity of the toxin were determined by desorption mass spectroscopy. The complete amino acid sequence of this toxin was established by direct automated Edman degradation and manual 4-N,N'-dimethylaminoazobenzene-4'isothiocyanate/phenyl-isothiocyanate microsequence analyses of peptides obtained from digests with various proteases. The protein contains 48 amino acids including 10 Cys and 6 Lys. The N-terminal and C-terminal residues were Cys. The Tx4(6-1) sequence differs from that of previously characterized neurotoxins found in the same and other venom spiders, but exhibited sequence similarities in the location of the Cys residues.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The complete amino acid sequence of a thrombin-like enzyme with gyroxin activity isolated from the venom of the bushmaster snake Lachesis muta muta was determined by automated and DABITC/PITC microsequencing of the intact protein; fragments derived from it by separate cleavages with cyanogen bromide, iodosobenzoic acid and hydroxylamine; and peptides resulting from enzymatic digestions with trypsin, pepsin, chymotrypsin, and elastase. The protein, which is composed of 228 residues, contains four putative sites of N-linked glycosylation and exhibits significant sequence similarities with other serine proteases reported from snake venoms.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Six neurotoxic peptides (Tx3-1 to Tx3-6) were purified from the venom of the spider Phoneutria nigriventer by a combination of gel filtration, reverse phase FPLC on PEP-RPC and PRO-RPC columns, reverse phase HPLC on Vydac C18, and ion exchange HPLC on cationic and anionic columns. These toxins caused different neurological symptoms in mice after intracerebroventricular injection. At dose levels of 5 micrograms/mouse, Tx3-3 and Tx3-4 caused rapid general flaccid paralysis followed by death in 10-30 min; Tx3-2 induced immediate clockwise gyration and flaccid paralysis after 6 hr; Tx3-1, Tx3-5 and Tx3-6 produced paralysis only in the posterior limbs and gradual decreases in movement and aggression during 24 hr. The mol. wt of these cystine-rich peptides were found to be in the range of 3500-8500 by mass spectroscopy and SDS-PAGE. The complete amino acid sequences of the neurotoxins Tx3-1 (40 residues), Tx3-2 (34 residues) and Tx3-6 (55 residues), and the N-terminal sequences of Tx3-3 (34 res.), Tx3-4 (40 res.) and Tx3-5 (36 res.) were established by direct automated Edman degradation, and manual DABITC/PITC microsequence analyses of peptides obtained from digests with various proteases. The structures of these Tx3 neurotoxins from Phoneutria nigriventer exhibited sequence similarities to one another and to the neurotoxins from the venoms of the spiders Hololena curta and Agelenopsis aperta, which were most evident in the location of the Cys residues.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Four neurotoxic polypeptides (Tx2-1, Txt2-5, Tx2-6 and Tx2-9) were purified from the venom of the South American 'armed' spider Phoneutria nigriventer (Keys) by gel filtration and reverse phase FPLC and HPLC. These cysteine-rich polypeptides exhibited different levels of neurotoxicity in mice after intracerebroventricular injection. Tx2-1, Tx2-5 and Tx2-6 caused spastic paralysis and death, but the less toxic Tx2-9 produced only tail erection and scratching. The molecular weights of the polypeptides as determined by desorption mass spectroscoopy were 5838.8 for Tx2-1, 5116.6 (Tx2-5), 5291.3 (Tx2-6) and 3742.1 (Tx2-9). The complete amino acid sequences of the neurotoxins were determined by automated Edman degradation and by manual DABITC-PITC microsequence analysis of peptides obtained after digestions with various proteases. The amino acid sequences of Tx2-1 (53 residues), Tx2-5 (49 residues) and Tx2-6 (48 residues) were homologous, but had only limited similarities to the less toxic Tx2-9 (32 residues). All four polypeptides had varying sequence identities with other neurotoxins from different spider species and biologically active peptides from scorpions, a sea snail and seeds of Mirabilis jalapa.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The complete amino acid sequence the haemorrhagic agent LHFII, a Zn and Ca containing metalloproteinase isolated from the venom of the Bushmaster snake Lachesis muta muta was determined by automated and DABITC/PITC microsequencing of the intact protein, fragments derived by cleavage with cyanogen bromide, and peptides resulting from enzymatic digestions with trypsin and the protease from S. aureus V8. The protein is composed of 200 residues and exhibits considerable sequence homology with the haemorrhagic toxins from a number of other snake venoms, and some metalloproteinases in the region of the putative Zn-binding sites.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A lethal neurotoxic polypeptide of Mr 8 kDa was purified from the venom of the South American 'armed' or wandering spider Phoneutria nigriventer by centrifugation, gel filtration on Superose 12, and reverse phase FPLC on columns of Pharmacia PepRPC and ProRPC. The purified neurotoxin Tx1 had an LD50 of 0.05 mg/kg in mice following intracerebroventricular injection. The complete amino acid sequence of the neurotoxin was determined by automated Edman degradation of the native and S-carboxymethylated protein in pulsed liquid and dual phase sequencers, and by the manual DABITC/PITC double coupling method applied to fragments obtained after digestions with the S. aureus V8 protease and trypsin. The neurotoxin Tx1 consists of a single chain of 77 amino acid residues, which contains a high proportion of cysteine. The primary structure showed no homology to other identified spider toxins.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The proteomes of the venoms of the Brazilian wandering "armed" spiders Phoneutria nigriventer, Phoneutria reidyi, and Phoneutria keyserlingi, were compared using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. The venom components were also fractionated using a combination of preparative reverse phase HPLC on Vydac C4, analytical RP-HPLC on Vydac C8 and C18 and cation exchange FPLC on Resource S at pH 6.1 and 4.7, or anion exchange HPLC on Synchropak AX-300 at pH 8.6. The amino acid sequences of the native and S-pyridyl-ethylated proteins and peptides derived from them by enzymatic digestion and chemical cleavages were determined using a Shimadzu PPSQ-21(A) automated protein sequencer, and by MS/MS collision induced dissociations. To date nearly 400 peptides and proteins (1.2-27 kDa) have been isolated in a pure state and, of these, more than 100 have had their complete or partial amino acid sequences determined. These sequences demonstrate, as might be expected, that the venoms of P. reidyi and P. keyserlingi (Family: Ctenidae) both contain a similar range of isoforms of the neurotoxins as those previously isolated from P. nigriventer which are active on neuronal ion (Ca(2+), Na(+) and K(+)) channels and NMDA-type glutamate receptors. In addition two new families of small (3-4 kDa) toxins, some larger protein (>10 kDa) components, and two serine proteinases of the venom of P. nigriventer are described. These enzymes may be responsible for some of the post-translational modification observed in some of the venom components.
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C Toxicology & Pharmacology 142(3-4):173-87. · 2.71 Impact Factor