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Proteolytic enzymes and phospholipases in snake venoms: distribution and mechanisms of action related to venom toxicity and the digestion of prey

Grant number: 18/15753-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2018
Effective date (End): August 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Pharmacology - Biochemical and Molecular Pharmacology
Cooperation agreement: NSF - Dimensions of Biodiversity and BIOTA
Principal Investigator:Ana Maria Moura da Silva
Grantee:Noranathan da Costa Guimarães
Home Institution: Instituto Butantan. Secretaria da Saúde (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:16/50127-5 - Dimensions US-BIOTA São Paulo: scales of biodiversity: integrated studies of snake venom evolution and function across multiple levels of diversity, AP.BTA.TEM


Proteolytic and phospholipases enzymes are key components in snake venoms that act to capture prey through distinct mechanisms: proteolytic enzymes target important hemostasis control targets while phospholipases act on different muscle or neuronal receptors, inducing paralysis of prey and myotoxicity. Besides the capture of prey, these enzymes are supposedly involved in the digestion of prey tissues. In this project, we will select species representative of taxonomic groups of snakes of the family Viperidae that present phenotypic differences as to the expression pattern of these enzymes. In these groups we will compare the abundance and activities of phospholipases A2, serine proteinases and metalloproteinases in individual venom samples. The highly expressed venoms of each of these enzymes will be selected and used for pharmacological approaches aimed at identifying the disorders of the hemostatic system or neurotoxicity they induce and their main mechanisms of action. They will also be tested for their digestive properties of mammalian, lizards and arthropods tissues. (AU)