Snake venom proteome of Protobothrops mucrosquamatus in Taiwan: Delaying venom-induced lethality in a rodent model by inhibition of phospholipase A2 activity with varespladib.J Proteomics. 2021 03 15; 234:104084.JP
Protobothrops mucrosquamatus, also known as the brown spotted pit viper or Taiwanese habu, is a medically significant venomous snake in Taiwan, especially in the northern area. To more fully understand the proteome profile of P. mucrosquamatus, we characterized its venom composition using a bottom-up proteomic approach. Whole venom components were fractionated by RP-HPLC and then analyzed by SDS-PAGE. Each protein band in gels was excised and subjected to protein identification by LC-MS/MS. A subsequent proteomic analysis revealed the presence of 61 distinct proteins belonging to 19 families in P. mucrosquamatus venom. Snake venom metalloproteinase (SVMP; 29.4%), C-type lectin (CLEC; 21.1%), snake venom serine protease (SVSP; 17.6%) and phospholipase A2 (PLA2; 15.9%) were the most abundant protein families, whereas several low-abundance proteins, categorized into eight protein families, were demonstrated in P. mucrosquamatus venom for the first time. Because PLA2 is known to make a major contribution to venom lethality, we evaluated whether the known PLA2 inhibitor, varespladib, was capable of preventing the toxic effects of P. mucrosquamatus venom. This small-molecule drug demonstrated the ability to inhibit PLA2 activity in vitro (IC50 = 101.3 nM). It also blunted lethality in vivo, prolonging survival following venom injection in a mouse model, but it showed limited potency against venom-induced local hemorrhage in this model. Our findings provide essential biological and pathophysiological insights into the composition of P. mucrosquamatus venom and suggest PLA2 inhibition as an adjunctive or alternative therapeutic strategy in the clinical management of P. mucrosquamatus envenoming in emergency medicine.