Venomous snakes of Costa Rica: biological and medical implications of their venom proteomic profiles analyzed through the strategy of snake venomics
Fernández Ulate, Julián
Angulo Ugalde, Yamileth
Sasa Marín, Mahmood
Gutiérrez, José María
Calvete Chornet, Juan José
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In spite of its small territory of ~50,000 km2, Costa Rica harbors a remarkably rich biodiversity. Its herpetofauna includes 138 species of snakes, of which sixteen pit vipers (family Viperidae, subfamily Crotalinae), five coral snakes (family Elapidae, subfamily Elapinae), and one sea snake (Family Elapidae, subfamily Hydrophiinae) pose potential hazards to human and animal health. In recent years, knowledge on the composition of snake venoms has expanded dramatically thanks to the development of increasingly fast and sensitive analytical techniques in mass spectrometry and separation science applied to protein characterization. Among several analytical strategies to determine the overall protein/peptide composition of snake venoms, the methodology known as ‘snake venomics’ has proven particularly well suited and informative, by providing not only a catalog of protein types/families present in a venom, but also a semi-quantitative estimation of their relative abundances. Through a collaborative research initiative between Instituto de Biomedicina de Valencia (IBV) and Instituto Clodomiro Picado (ICP), this strategy has been applied to the study of venoms of Costa Rican snakes, aiming to obtain a deeper knowledge on their composition, geographic and ontogenic variations, relationships to taxonomy, correlationwithtoxic activities, and discovery of novel components. The proteomic profiles of venoms from sixteen out of the 22 species within the Viperidae and Elapidae families found in Costa Rica have been reported so far, and an integrative viewof these studies is hereby presented. In linewith other venomic projects by research groups focusing on a wide variety of snakes around the world, these studies contribute to a deeper understanding of the biochemical basis for the diverse toxic profiles evolved by venomous snakes. In addition, these studies provide opportunities to identify novel molecules of potential pharmacological interest. Furthermore, the establishment of venom proteomic profiles offers a fundamental platform to assess the detailed immunorecognition of individual proteins/peptides by therapeutic or experimental antivenoms, an evolving methodology for which the term‘antivenomics’ was coined (as described in an accompanying paper in this special issue).
artículo (arbitrado)-- Universidad de Costa Rica, Instituto de Investigación Clodomiro Picado, 2014. Este documento es privado debido a limitaciones de derechos de autor.
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