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The multiplicity of cardiotoxins from Naja naja atra (Taiwan cobra) venom.

Chang L.-S., Huang H.-B., Lin S.-R.

Four novel cardiotoxins were isolated from Naja naja atra (Taiwan cobra) venom by successive separation on a SP-Sephadex C-25 column and a reverse phase column. Amino acid sequences of the cardiotoxins were determined by Edman degradation and carboxypeptidase digestion. It shows that these cardiotoxins comprise 60 amino acid residues. Comparative analyses on the amino acid sequences of cardiotoxins from the venoms of N. naja atra and other Naja species indicated that amino acid substitutions of cardiotoxin isoforms frequently occurred at positions 7-11, 27-32 and 45-47. The hypervariable segments encoded by the second and third exon of cardiotoxin genes are located at or near the tips of loop structure of cardiotoxin molecules. These results, together with the suggestions that the residues at the tips of cardiotoxins' loop structure were involved in the manifestation of the biological activities of cardiotoxins, reflect that the preferential mutations may contribute to alterations in the function of cardiotoxin molecules. Analysis on the secondary structure of pre-mRNAs of N. naja atra cardiotoxin 4 gene and N. naja sputatrix cardiotoxin 3 gene has shown that the hypervariable regions of the exon 2 pertain to form intra-exon pairings and are not involved in the formation of intron-exon pairings. Since the pairings of splice sites and gene architecture were supposed to be associated with intron-exon recognition, it is likely that the preferred loci of mutations occurring with the evolution of cardiotoxin genes would not affect the processing of cardiotoxin precursors.

Toxicon 38:1065-1076(2000) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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