Exploring the proteomes of the venoms of the Peruvian pit vipers Bothrops atrox, B. barnetti and B. pictus

Markus Kohlhoff, Marcia H. Borges, Armando Yarleque, Cesar Cabezas, Michael Richardson, Eladio F. Sanchez

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47 Scopus citations


We report the comparative proteomic characterization of the venoms of Bothrops atrox, B. barnetti and B. pictus. The venoms were subjected to RP-HPLC and the resulting fractions analyzed by SDS-PAGE. The proteins were cut from the gels, digested with trypsin and identified via peptide mass fingerprint and manual sequencing of selected peptides by MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry. Around 20-25 proteins were identified belonging to only 6-7 protein families. Metalloproteinases of the classes P-I and P-III were the most abundant proteins in all venoms (58-74% based on peak area A214 nm), followed by phospholipases-A 2 (6.4-14%), disintegrins (3.2-9%) and serine proteinases (7-11%), and some of these proteins occurred in several isoforms. In contrast cysteine-rich secretory proteins and L-amino acid oxidases appeared only as single isoforms and were found only in B. atrox and B. barnetti. C-type lectins were also detected in all venoms but at low levels (~ 5%). Furthermore, the venoms contain variable numbers of peptides (<3kDa) and non-protein compounds which were not considered in this work. The protein composition of the investigated Bothrops species is in agreement with their pharmacological and pathological effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2181-2195
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Proteomics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Prof. F.S. Markland (University of Southern California) for critical comments. This work was supported by the Brazilian Agencies Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG, Grants: CBB 359/06 and CBB-APQ-01791-10 to EFS) and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) .


  • Bothrops atrox
  • Bothrops barnetti
  • Bothrops pictus
  • Proteomics
  • Snake venomics


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