Bothrops jararaca accessory venom gland is an ancillary source of toxins to the snake

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In Viperidae snakes, it has been attributed to the main venom gland, a component of the venom gland apparatus, the function of synthesizing all venom toxins and storing them inside a basal-central lumen. However, the role of the accessory gland is still unknown. Here, we analyzed the proteome and the transcriptome of the accessory gland during venom production and secretion cycle. We showed that the accessory gland expresses and synthesizes toxins that are similar to those produced by the main venom gland such as C-type lectin/C-type lectin-like proteins, metalloproteinase, phospholipase A(2), cysteine rich secretory protein, nerve growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, serine proteinase, and L-amino acid oxidase. Our data have shown that toxin synthesis in the accessory gland is asynchronous when compared to the same process in the venom gland. Moreover, this gland also expresses inhibitors of venom phospholipases A(2) and metalloproteinases. Transcriptome analysis showed that the transcripts that correspond to toxins in the accessory gland have a good correlation to the main venom gland transcripts. Therefore, it is proposed that the accessory gland is an ancillary source of toxins to the snake, and provides inhibitors that could control venom toxicity (and integrity) during storage. Significance: In this study, we propose that the accessory venom gland acts as an important ancillary source of toxins to the snake, in lieu of a depleted main venom gland, and provides inhibiting agents that control venom toxicity (and integrity) during its storage.
Valente RH, Luna MS, Oliveira UC, Nishiyama Junior MY, Junqueira-de-Azevedo ILM, Portes Júnior JA, et al. Bothrops jararaca accessory venom gland is an ancillary source of toxins to the snake. J. Proteomics. 2018 Apr;177:137-47. doi:10.1016/j.jprot.2017.12.009.
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