Luciana S Wermelinger

Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Publications (9)26.61 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Ecotin is an Escherichia coli-derived protein that can inhibit serine proteases. It has been suggested that this protein (ecotin-WT) and some of its variants could be used to develop a prototype to treat thrombosis. In this work, the effect of ecotin-WT and a variant of this protein harboring two mutations (Met84Arg and Met85Arg, ecotin-RR) were analyzed to determine their ability to prevent thrombus formation using in vivo models. Ecotins were analyzed in vitro using the coagulation tests. An in vivo venous thrombosis rat model and a pulmonary thromboembolism mouse model were used to investigate the antithrombotic activity. The bleeding time in rats using a tail-transection model was evaluated as a possible side effect caused by the administration of the proteins. Ecotin-RR was more effective in inhibiting thrombin than ecotin-WT. Both ecotins presented similar mechanisms of anticoagulation activity and were able to decrease thrombus formation. In contrast, only ecotin-RR increased survival rates in the in vivo pulmonary thromboembolism model, reinforcing the antithrombotic activity of ecotin-RR. Ecotin-WT and more so ecotin-RR showed potent antithrombotic effects, not associated with bleeding. The presented results indicate that ecotin-WT and ecotin-RR may be new scaffolds that could be used to develop anticoagulation molecules. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · International journal of biological macromolecules
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    ABSTRACT: Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) are major components in most viperid venoms that induce disturbances in the hemostatic system and tissues of animals envenomated by snakes. These disturbances are involved in human pathology of snake bites and appear to be essential for the capture and digestion of snake's prey and avoidance of predators. SVMPs are a versatile family of venom toxins acting on different hemostatic targets which are present in venoms in distinct structural forms. However, the reason why a large number of different SVMPs are expressed in some venoms is still unclear. In this study, we evaluated the interference of five isolated SVMPs in blood coagulation of humans, birds and small rodents. P-III class SVMPs (fractions Ic, IIb and IIc) possess gelatinolytic and hemorrhagic activities, and, of these, two also show fibrinolytic activity. P-I class SVMPs (fractions IVa and IVb) are only fibrinolytic. P-III class SVMPs reduced clotting time of human plasma. Fraction IIc was characterized as prothrombin activator and fraction Ic as factor X activator. In the absence of Ca2+, a firm clot was observed in chicken blood samples with fractions Ic, IIb and partially with fraction IIc. In contrast, without Ca2+, only fraction IIc was able to induce a firm clot in rat blood. In conclusion, functionally distinct forms of SVMPs were found in B. neuwiedi venom that affect distinct mechanisms in the coagulation system of humans, birds and small rodents. Distinct SVMPs appear to be more specialized to rat or chicken blood, strengthening the current hypothesis that toxin diversity enhances the possibilities of the snakes for hunting different prey or evading different predators. This functional diversity also impacts the complexity of human envenoming since different hemostatic mechanisms will be targeted by SVMPs accounting for the complexity of the response of humans to venoms.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Papaya meleira virus (PMeV) is so far the only described laticifer-infecting virus, the causal agent of papaya (Carica papaya L.) sticky disease. The effects of PMeV on the laticifers' regulatory network were addressed here through the proteomic analysis of papaya latex. Using both 1-DE- and 1D-LC-ESI-MS/MS, 160 unique papaya latex proteins were identified, representing 122 new proteins in the latex of this plant. Quantitative analysis by normalized spectral counting revealed 10 down-regulated proteins in the latex of diseased plants, 9 cysteine proteases (chymopapain) and 1 latex serine proteinase inhibitor. A repression of papaya latex proteolytic activity during PMeV infection was hypothesized. This was further confirmed by enzymatic assays that showed a reduction of cysteine-protease-associated proteolytic activity in the diseased papaya latex. These findings are discussed in the context of plant responses against pathogens and may greatly contribute to understand the roles of laticifers in plant stress responses.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2012 · Journal of proteomics
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    ABSTRACT: A joint transcriptomic and proteomic approach employing two-dimensional electrophoresis, liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry was carried out to identify peptides and proteins expressed by the venom gland of the snake Bothrops insularis, an endemic species of Queimada Grande Island, Brazil. Four protein families were mainly represented in processed spots, namely metalloproteinase, serine proteinase, phospholipase A(2) and lectin. Other represented families were growth factors, the developmental protein G10, a disintegrin and putative novel bradykinin-potentiating peptides. The enzymes were present in several isoforms. Most of the experimental data agreed with predicted values for isoelectric point and M(r) of proteins found in the transcriptome of the venom gland. The results also support the existence of posttranslational modifications and of proteolytic processing of precursor molecules which could lead to diverse multifunctional proteins. This study provides a preliminary reference map for proteins and peptides present in Bothrops insularis whole venom establishing the basis for comparative studies of other venom proteomes which could help the search for new drugs and the improvement of venom therapeutics. Altogether, our data point to the influence of transcriptional and post-translational events on the final venom composition and stress the need for a multivariate approach to snake venomics studies.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2009 · Journal of Proteomics
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    ABSTRACT: alphaIIbbeta3 is an integrin that is involved in platelet adhesion and aggregation. This receptor may be inhibited by cysteine-rich peptides known as disintegrins. We isolated two disintegrins from Bothrops jararaca venom called jarastatin and jararacin. We evaluated the structural characteristics and the effects on human platelet aggregation of these disintegrins. Inhibitory profiles were compared to six distinct peptides synthesized based on their RGD hairpin loop primary sequences. Both jarastatin and jararacin inhibited ADP and thrombin induction. Conversely, none of the cyclic peptides showed high-quality activity in assays induced by ADP or thrombin. We constructed homology models for all of these molecules, and theoretically evaluated their interaction with the alphaIIbbeta3 crystal structure using a molecular modeling approach. These results support the observations that the cyclic peptides had little effects, and also reinforce the observation that residues outside the disintegrin RGD sequence are required for interactions with receptor.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2009 · Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
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    ABSTRACT: The effects and molecular mechanisms of RGD-disintegrins isolated from snake venoms on the growth and metastatic potential of B16F10-melanoma cells were investigated. Jarastatin (JT) from Bothrops jararaca is a ligand of alpha(5)beta(1), alpha(v)beta(3) and alpha(m)beta(2) integrins, flavoridin (FL) from Trimeresurus flavoridis binds preferentially to alpha(5)beta(1) and kistrin (KR) from Calloselasma rhodostoma is a selective ligand of alpha(v)beta(3). When injected simultaneously with melanoma cells in mice, the three disintegrins significantly reduced tumor lung colonization. On the other hand, JT and FL, but not KR, inhibited B16F10 cell growth in vitro. Interaction of JT or FL with melanoma cells induced actin cytoskeleton rearrangement, increasing actin polymerization and FAK phosphorylation. The effect of FL correlates with the decrease in the constitutively high nuclear content of c-Fos, whereas JT interfered with NF-kappaB translocation in melanoma cells. None of the disintegrins produced alterations in the nuclear Erk-2. The results provide further evidence to suggest RGD-disintegrins as potent anti-metastatic agents in vivo, and indicate that their interaction with alpha(5)beta(1) integrin interfere with integrin-couple signaling, down-regulating transcription factors and negatively modulating cell proliferation. These effects may contribute to inhibition of melanoma cell invasion in vivo.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2008 · Toxicon
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    ABSTRACT: Disintegrins are small peptides isolated from the venom of several snake families which act as integrin-antagonists or agonists, interacting with a variety of biological processes mediated by integrins. In this work we describe five new disintegrin-like domains within metalloproteinase precursor sequences, obtained from a Bothrops jararaca venom gland cDNA library. Among the new disintegrin-like domains, four were contained in PIII metalloproteinase precursors, with three of them presenting ECD-motifs and one presenting a new KCD-motif. Moreover, we found three disintegrin-like domains within PII metalloproteinase precursors. Two of them are similar to the already described disintegrins jarastatin and jararacin. The third molecule is unusual, presenting some typical PIII metalloproteinase characteristics but lacking the cysteine-rich domain being, thus, classified as a PII metalloproteinase. Only few reports presented molecules with these characteristics. Sequence analysis suggests that these molecules are intermediate steps between the more ancient PIII and the more recent PII metalloproteinases. We also investigated disintegrin N-terminus diversity in B. jararaca crude venom by purifying jarastatin and jararacin and analyzing them by mass spectrometry.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2006 · Toxicon
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    ABSTRACT: The generation of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from the pit-viper snake Lachesis muta venom glands allowed us to identify two cDNA isoforms which encode the precursors for bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPPs) and a C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP). The sequence data derived from these cDNAs combined with the venom peptides identification using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry analysis predicted that these molecules are the precursor protein isoforms that are further processed to produce five novel BPPs and a CNP. They were identified directly in crude venom using MALDI-TOF. The BPPs sequences were further confirmed by MALDI-TOF/TOF de novo sequencing, and an unusual BPP with a residue of tryptophan at the N-terminus (usually it is pyroglutamate) was identified. The putative processing steps required to form the mature BPPs and CNP seem to be similar to those proposed for the ones found in the venom of Bothrops jararaca and Glodyus blomhoffi.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2005 · Toxicon
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    ABSTRACT: Characterization of the peptide content in snake venoms can be an important tool for the investigation of new pharmacological lead compounds. For this purpose, single-step analysis of crude venoms has recently been demonstrated using mass spectrometry (MS) techniques. Reproducible profiles of ions in MS and MS/MS spectra may also be used to compare venoms from different species. In this work matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOFMS) was used to obtain mass patterns of the major peptides (<8 kDa) found in pooled venoms from the genera Bothrops and Crotalus. Venoms from five different Bothrops species (B. jararaca, B. insularis, B. alternatus, B. jararacussu, and B. neuwiedi) and three Crotalus species (C. viridis, C. adamanteus and C. durissus terrificus) were analyzed. In agreement with other reports, venoms from Bothrops species contained a variety of peptides in the range m/z 1000-1500, and in some samples larger components (m/z 7000-8000) were detected. In the Crotalus species venoms were rich in peptides ranging from m/z 1000-1500 and 4000-5500. MS/MS experiments on the low molecular mass peptides (m/z 1000-1500) confirmed the presence of ten new bradykinin-potentiating peptides among venoms from genera Bothrops and Crotalus. In order to determine whether additional peptides could be identified after partial purification, B. jararaca venom was subjected to size-exclusion chromatography on Sephacryl S-200, and two distinct low molecular mass pools were analyzed further by MALDI-TOFMS. No additional peptides were detected from the pool with masses below 2000 Da but a substantial improvement with better resolution was observed for the pool with masses above 7000 Da, indicating that complex samples such as crude snake venoms can be analyzed for low molecular mass peptides using a single-step procedure.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2005 · Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry

Publication Stats

196 Citations
26.61 Total Impact Points


  • 2005-2015
    • Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
      • • Departamento de Análises Clínicas e Toxicológicas (DACT)
      • • Faculty of Pharmacy
      • • Institute of Medical Biochemistry
      Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 2009
    • CCS Associates
      Mountain View, California, United States