The pathophysiological significance of a toxic fraction (GF-VI DEAE-II) isolated from Russell's viper venom (RVV) is characterized. GF-VI DEAE-II represents 1.6% of the total RVV protein and it comprises of a 27.6kDa minor component (RP-I) (0.04%, w/w) and a major 6.6kDa non-enzymatic peptide (1.11%, w/w), named Rusvitoxin. The LC-MS/MS analysis of RP-I showed its identity to snake venom serine proteases, whereas Rusvitoxin demonstrated its close identity with snake venom three finger toxins, cytotoxins and cardiotoxins particularly from Naja sp. GF-VI DEAE-II was found to be non-cytotoxic to the tested mammalian cancer cells and non-hemolytic; nevertheless, it demonstrated α-fibrin(ogen)ase activity and in vivo toxicity in BALB/c mice with an LD50 (i.p.) of 2.3mg/kg. GF-VI DEAE-II induced lethargy and hind-leg paralysis in mice within 10min of i.p. injection. GF-VI DEAE-II induced hyperfibrinogenomia, and significantly altered (p<0.05) the plasma levels of factor X, pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines viz. TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-10 in treated mice. Histological observations of tissues and biochemical properties of serum from GF-VI DEAE-II-treated mice suggested multiple organ dysfunctions. Conversely, Rusvitoxin at a dose of 5mg/kg did not induce toxicity in BALB/c mice. At 1:15 (antigen: antivenom, w/w) ratio, commercially polyvalent and monovalent antivenoms neutralized more than 80% of the fibrinolytic and anticoagulant activities of GF-VI DEAE-II. The present study suggests the significant role of GF-VI DEAE-II in RVV-induced pathogenesis in victim/prey.
Keywords: Cytotoxin; Hyperfibrinogenomia; Inflammatory cytokines; Multiple organ dysfunction; Prey immobilization; Protease; Russell's viper venom.
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