Comparative venomics of Brazilian coral snakes: Micrurus frontalis, Micrurus spixii spixii, and Micrurus surinamensis.

Affiliation

Centro Universitário São Lucas (UniSL), R. Alexandre Guimarães, 1927 - Areal, Porto Velho, RO, Brazil; Centro de Estudos de Biomoléculas Aplicadas a Saúde (CEBio), Fundação Oswaldo Cruz de Rondônia (Fiocruz Rondônia), Porto Velho, RO, Brazil. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

A comparative venom proteomic analysis of the Brazilian southern coral snake, M. frontalis, the Amazon coral snake M. spixii spixii, and the aquatic coral snake M. surinamensis is reported. Venoms from M. frontalis and M. s. spixii were composed mainly (>90% of the total venom proteome) by 3FTxs and PLA2s in different proportions, and minor proteins from 2 to 5 protein families. Conversely, the aquatic coral snake expressed a streamlined (95%) 3FTx venom with low abundance (4.2%) of PLA2 molecules. A compositional-lethal activity for natural prey correlation analysis suggests that M. surinamensis venom may has evolved under strong pressure to quickly immobilize aquatic prey. On the other hand, venoms from M. frontalis and M. s. spixii, whose diet consist mainly of amphisbaenians and colubrid snakes, may have been shaped through balancing selection. Our work provides strong evidence for the occurrence in M. frontalis venom, but not in those from M. s. spixi and M. surinamensis, of a KUN-PLA2 complex homologue to heterodimeric venom toxins from some long-tailed monadal coral snakes that target acid-sensing receptors ASIC1a/2 evoking pain. The M. frontalis protein would represent the first example of a KUN-PLA2 heterodimer in a South American short-tailed triadal coral snake venom.

Keywords

3FTx/PLA2 dichotomy,Amazon coral snake,Aquatic coral snake,Brazilian coral snakes,Brazilian southern coral snake,Genus Micrurus,Micrurus frontalis,Micrurus spixii spixii,Micrurus surinamensis,Snake venom,Venomics,