Biochemical and functional studies of ColTx-I, a new myotoxic phospholipase A2 isolated from Crotalus oreganus lutosus (Great Basin rattlesnake) snake venom

Toxicon. 2016 Jul;117:1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2016.03.008. Epub 2016 Mar 17.


Commonly, phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) play key roles in the pathogenesis of the local tissue damage characteristic of crotaline and viperine snake envenomations. Crotalus oreganus lutosus snake venom has not been extensively studied; therefore, the characterization of its components represents a valuable biotechnological tool for studying pathophysiological processes of envenoming and for gaining a deeper understanding of its biological effects. In this study, for the first time, a basic PLA2 myotoxin, ColTx-I, was purified from C. o. lutosus through two chromatographic steps. ColTx-I is monomeric with calculated molecular mass weight (Mw) of 14,145 Da and a primary structure closely related to basic PLA2s from viperid venoms. The pure enzyme has a specific activity of 15.87 ± 0.65 nmol/min/mg at optimal conditions (pH 8.0 and 37 °C). ColTx-I activity was found to be dependent on Ca(2+), as its substitution by other ionic species as well as the addition of chelating agents significantly reduced its phospholipase activity. In vivo, ColTx-I triggered dose-dependent inflammatory responses, measured using the paw edema model, with an increase in IL-6 levels, systemic and local myotoxicity, characterized by elevated plasma creatine kinase activity. ColTx-I induced a complex series of degenerative events associated with edema, inflammatory infiltrate and skeletal muscle necrosis. These biochemical and functional results suggest that ColTx-I, a myotoxic and inflammatory mediator, plays a relevant role in C. o. lutosus envenomation. Thus, detailed studies on its mechanism of action, such as evaluating the synergism between ColTx-I and other venom components may reveal targets for the development of more specific and effective therapies.

Keywords: Biological activities; Crotalus oreganus lutosus; Myotoxin; Phospholipase A(2); Snake venom.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Crotalid Venoms / chemistry*
  • Crotalus*
  • Mice
  • Phospholipases A2 / chemistry
  • Phospholipases A2 / isolation & purification
  • Phospholipases A2 / toxicity*
  • Phylogeny
  • Reptilian Proteins / chemistry
  • Reptilian Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Reptilian Proteins / toxicity*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, Protein


  • Crotalid Venoms
  • Reptilian Proteins
  • Phospholipases A2