Crotalus durissus collilineatus venom gland transcriptome: analysis of gene expression profile.Biochimie. 2009 May; 91(5):586-95.B
Crotalus durissus rattlesnakes are responsible for the most lethal cases of snakebites in Brazil. Crotalus durissus collilineatus subspecies is related to a great number of accidents in Southeast and Central West regions, but few studies on its venom composition have been carried out to date. In an attempt to describe the transcriptional profile of the C. durissus collilineatus venom gland, we generated a cDNA library and the sequences obtained could be identified by similarity searches on existing databases. Out of 673 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) 489 produced readable sequences comprising 201 singletons and 47 clusters of two or more ESTs. One hundred and fifty reads (60.5%) produced significant hits to known sequences. The results showed a predominance of toxin-coding ESTs instead of transcripts coding for proteins involved in all cellular functions. The most frequent toxin was crotoxin, comprising 88% of toxin-coding sequences. Crotoxin B, a basic phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)) subunit of crotoxin, was represented in more variable forms comparing to the non-enzymatic subunit (crotoxin A), and most sequences coding this molecule were identified as CB1 isoform from Crotalus durissus terrificus venom. Four percent of toxin-related sequences in this study were identified as growth factors, comprising five sequences for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and one for nerve growth factor (NGF) that showed 100% of identity with C. durissus terrificus NGF. We also identified two clusters for metalloprotease from PII class comprising 3% of the toxins, and two for serine proteases, including gyroxin (2.5%). The remaining 2.5% of toxin-coding ESTs represent singletons identified as homologue sequences to cardiotoxin, convulxin, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor and C-type natriuretic peptide, Ohanin, crotamin and PLA(2) inhibitor. These results allowed the identification of the most common classes of toxins in C. durissus collilineatus snake venom, also showing some unknown classes for this subspecies and even for C. durissus species, such as cardiotoxins and VEGF.