Intact protein mass spectrometry reveals intraspecies variations in venom composition of a local population of Vipera kaznakovi in Northeastern Turkey

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PETRAS D., Hempel B., GOCMEN B. , Karış M., Whiteley G., Wagstaff S., ...More

JOURNAL OF PROTEOMICS, vol.199, pp.31-50, 2019 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 199
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jprot.2019.02.004
  • Title of Journal : JOURNAL OF PROTEOMICS
  • Page Numbers: pp.31-50


We report on the variable venom composition of a population of the Caucasus viper (Vipera kaznakovi) in Northeastern Turkey. We applied a combination of venom gland transcriptomics, de-complexing bottom-up and top-down venomics. In contrast to sole bottom-up venomics approaches and gel or chromatography based venom comparison, our combined approach enables a faster and more detailed comparison of venom proteomes from multiple individuals. In total, we identified peptides and proteins from 15 toxin families, including snake venom metalloproteinases (svMP; 37.8%), phospholipases A(2) (PLA(2); 19.0%), snake venom serine proteinases (svSP; 11.5%), C-type lectins (CTL; 6.9%) and cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISP; 5.0%), in addition to several low abundant toxin families. Furthermore, we identified intraspecies variations of the venom composition of V. kaznakovi, and find these were mainly driven by the age of the animals, with lower svSP abundance detected in juveniles. On the proteoform level, several small molecular weight toxins between 5 and 8 kDa in size, as well as PLA(2)s, drove the differences observed between juvenile and adult individuals. This study provides novel insights into the venom variability of V. kaznakovi and highlights the utility of intact mass profiling for fast and detailed comparison of snake venom.