The snake Bothrops atrox is known as one of the most lethal to humans in South America. It can be found across the north of the South American continent and east of the Andes. Most of the active biological components of its venom are proteins and peptides, elaborated and refined over millions of years of evolution. Venom toxins have been sources of inspiration for drug research and have been important in elucidating important biochemical and physiological mechanisms in vertebrates. However, despite a large number of sequences revealed and the maturity achieved by proteomic studies, venom peptidomics is still an emerging field. Mass spectrometry-based analytical techniques in peptide studies resulted in the elucidation of novel biologically active venom peptides. It is also observed that few mutations may have significant effects on the biological activities of peptides within the same class. Taking into account the richness of the yet unexplored peptidomes of venoms of Brazilian snakes, we propose in this project the peptidomics analysis of Bothrops atrox venoms with the aim of unraveling peptide sequences present in each venom, mapping differences between males and females and prospect biological activities of new peptides.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: