Compositional and functional investigation of individual and pooled venoms from long-term captive and recently wild-caught Bothrops jararaca snakes

Intraspecific venom variability has been extensively reported in a number of species and is documented to be the result of several factors. However, current evidence for snake venom variability related to captivity maintenance is controversial. Here we report a compositional and functional investigation of individual and pooled venoms from long-term captive (LTC) and recently wild-caught (RWC) B. jararaca snakes. The composition of individual venoms showed a remarkable variability in terms of relative abundance of toxins (evidenced by 1-DE and RP-HPLC), enzymatic activities (proteolytic, PLA2, and LAAO) and coagulant activity, even among captive specimens. Thus, no compositional and functional pattern could be established to assign each individual venom to a specific group. Conversely, pooled venom from LTC and RWC snakes showed no significant differences regarding protein composition (characterized by 1-DE and shotgun proteomics), enzymatic activities (proteolytic, PLA2 and LAAO) and biological function (coagulant, hemorrhagic and lethal activities), except for edematogenic activity, which was more prominent in RWC venom pool. Additionally, both pooled venoms displayed similar immunoreactivity with the bothropic antivenom produced by Instituto Butantan. Taken together, our results highlight the complexity and the high intraspecific variation of B. jararaca venom, that is not influenced at a discernible extent by captivity maintenance. Biological significance: Bothrops jararaca snakes are one of the main causes of snakebites in Southeastern Brazil. Due to its medical interest, the venom of this species is the most studied and characterized among Brazilian snakes and captive B. jararaca specimens are maintained for long periods of time in our venom production facility. However, knowledge on the influence of captivity maintenance on B. jararaca venom variability is scarce. In this report, we described a high compositional and functional variability of individual venoms from LTC and RWC B. jararaca snakes, which are not observed between LTC and RWC pooled venoms. This intraspecific variability is more likely to be due to genetic/populational differences rather than "captivity vs wild" conditions. In this regard, data generated by the present work support the use of venom from captive and wild snakes for antivenom production and scientific research. Moreover, the data generated by this study highlight the importance of analyzing individual venom samples in studies involving intraspecific venom variability.
Keywords
Snake venom;  Intraspecific venom variability;  Bothrops jararaca;  Captivity maintenance;  Venom composition;  Antivenom

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Galizio NC, Silva CS, Stuginski DR, Abreu PAE, Sant'Anna SS, Grego KF, et al. Compositional and functional investigation of individual and pooled venoms from long-term captive and recently wild-caught Bothrops jararaca snakes. J. Proteomics. 2018 Aug;186:56-70. doi:10.1016/j.jprot.2018.07.007.
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