Advances in venomics: Modern separation techniques and mass spectrometry

Tarek Mohamed Abd El-Aziz, Antonio G. Soares, James D. Stockand

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Snake venoms are complex chemical mixtures of biologically active proteins and non-protein components. Toxins have a wide range of targets and effects to include ion channels and membrane receptors, and platelet aggregation and platelet plug formation. Toxins target these effectors and effects at high affinity and selectivity. From a pharmacological perspective, snake venom compounds are a valuable resource for drug discovery and development. However, a major challenge to drug discovery using snake venoms is isolating and analyzing the bioactive proteins and peptides in these complex mixtures. Getting molecular information from complex mixtures such as snake venoms requires proteomic analyses, generally combined with transcriptomic analyses of venom glands. The present review summarizes current knowledge and highlights important recent advances in venomics with special emphasis on contemporary separation techniques and bioinformatics that have begun to elaborate the complexity of snake venoms. Several analytical techniques such as two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, RP-HPLC, size exclusion chromatography, ion exchange chromatography, MALDI-TOF-MS, and LC-ESI-QTOF-MS have been employed in this regard. The improvement of separation approaches such as multidimensional-HPLC, 2D-electrophoresis coupled to soft-ionization (MALDI and ESI) mass spectrometry has been critical to obtain an accurate picture of the startling complexity of venoms. In the case of bioinformatics, a variety of software tools such as PEAKS also has been used successfully. Such information gleaned from venomics is important to both predicting and resolving the biological activity of the active components of venoms, which in turn is key for the development of new drugs based on these venom components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number122352
JournalJournal of Chromatography B: Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences
Volume1160
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

Keywords

  • Animal venoms
  • Drug discovery
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Separation methods
  • Venomic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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