Navigation Links
Does the victim affect snake venom composition?
Date:9/26/2007

A snake's intended prey might affect the type and evolution of toxins in their venom, research published in the online open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology shows.

In snakes, venom composition varies both between species and within a particular species. Land snakes feed on a range of animals and birds, so scientists think that these snakes need a diverse array of toxins in their venom. Sea snakes, on the other hand, tend to have a more restricted diet, feeding only on fish. The toxins in these snakes have now been shown to be less diverse than those in terrestrial snakes.

Professor R Manjunatha Kini and colleagues from the National University of Singapore examined two kinds of sea snakes. They constructed complementary DNA libraries from the venom glands of the reptiles, representing only the stretches of DNA that code for venom gland proteins, and studied two types of protein toxins. The three-finger toxins (3FTx) and the phospholipase A2 (PLA2) enzymes are the main components of sea snake venom.

Although the sea snakes studied lived in very different aquatic environments, the toxins examined were similar in both and the genes encoding the toxins were highly conserved. By contrast, the same toxins in land snakes and sea kraits (which fall between land and sea snakes) showed much greater diversity. The researchers suggest that the toxin genes in sea snakes have remained relatively unchanged because of sea snakes share the same kind of feeding behaviour and diet.

"We examine toxin genes of snakes to identify new toxins, some of which will be useful in developing new therapeutic strategies to treat human diseases," says Prof Kini from the Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. "A new anticoagulant or a hypotensive toxin may help us develop new cardiovascular drugs to block unwanted clot formation or to lower the blood pressure."


'/>"/>

Contact: Charlotte Webber
press@biomedcentral.com
44-020-763-19980
BioMed Central
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. New tooth enamel dating technique could help identify disaster victims
2. Spray-on skin relieves emotional trauma for child burn victims
3. Malaria vaccine prompts victims immune system to eliminate parasite from mosquitoes
4. Cytoplasm affects the number of vertebrae in carp-goldfish clones
5. Clam embryo study shows pollutant mixture adversely affects nerve cell development
6. A new study examines how shared pathogens affect host populations
7. Researchers discover chemical compounds that affect plant growth
8. WHO Warns Of Increased Risk Of Vector-borne Diseases In Tsunami-affected Areas
9. Road salt affects mitigation wetlands
10. Retrovirus struck ancestors of chimpanzees and gorillas millions of years ago, but did not affect ancestral humans
11. Exercise training in ordinary people affects the activity of 500 genes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/30/2016)... Nov. 30, 2016  higi SH llc (higi) ... initiative targeting national brands, industry thought-leaders and celebrity ... respective audiences for taking steps to live healthier, ... in 2012, higi has built the largest self-screening ... 38 million people who have conducted over 185 ...
(Date:11/29/2016)... , Nov. 29, 2016   Neurotechnology ... and object recognition technologies, today released FingerCell ... fingerprint recognition solutions that run on low-power, ... template using less than 128KB of memory, ... devices that have limited on-board resources, such ...
(Date:11/28/2016)... -- "The biometric system market projected ... biometric system market is in the growth stage and ... The biometric system market is expected to be valued ... of 16.79% between 2016 and 2022. Government initiative in ... smartphones, rising use of biometric technology in financial institutes ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/9/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 09, 2016 , ... There’s a ... for 2016 by the Orange County Register, after winning the award last year as ... a sought-after employer. President and COO Daniel Vesely pointed to the tech company’s upbeat ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... 9, 2016  A platform of orthopedic device technologies ... one step closer to becoming viable options for ... Inc., a start-up company from Philadelphia, ... for these novel absorbable bone fixation and regenerative ... commercial use. The company has leased space within ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... -- The Board of Directors of the Pittsburgh Life ... only pure life sciences investment firm, today announced ... plan developed by the Nominating and Governance Committee over ... F. Jordan is selected to serve as President ... , who is elected to the position of Executive ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 ... ... fan engagement platforms, the business of innovation is taking over sports. On Thursday, ... executive will explore how technology is disrupting the playing field at a Smart ...
Breaking Biology Technology: