A complete amino acid sequence for the basic subunit of crotoxin

Arch Biochem Biophys. 1986 Sep;249(2):296-300. doi: 10.1016/0003-9861(86)90005-6.


The complete amino acid sequence of the basic subunit of crotoxin from the venom of Crotalus durissus terrificus has been determined. Fragmentation of the protein was achieved by using cyanogen bromide and arginine- and lysine-specific endoproteases. Sixteen Glx and Asx residues reported by Fraenkel-Conrat et al. (1980) in Natural Toxins (D. Eaker and T. Wadstrom, eds.), pp. 561-567, Pergamon, Oxford.) have been resolved as Glu or Gln and Asp or Asn residues, respectively. Most of the remaining sequence is identical to that reported by the foregoing authors although several significant differences were evident in our protein. Tyr-61 was not present; thus the correct sequence is Lys-60, Trp-61. The latter sequence aligns with sequences of all other known viperid and crotalid phospholipases A2 (S. D. Aird, I. I. Kaiser, R. V. Lewis, and W. G. Kruggel (1985) Biochemistry 24, 7054-7058). Other differences include Asx-99, which is Ser, and Asx-105, which is Tyr. Some positions display allelic variation. In some lots of venom Glx-33 is Gln, while in others it is Arg. Positions 37 and 69 occur as mixtures of both Lys and Arg. Amino acid sequence comparisons between the basic and acidic subunits of crotoxin and between the basic subunit and other phospholipase A2 molecules indicate that the basic subunit is structurally most similar to the monomers of nontoxic, dimeric phospholipases A2 from the venoms of Crotalus adamanteus, Crotalus atrox, and Trimeresurus okinavensis, and to the toxic monomeric phospholipase A2 from the venom of Bitis caudalis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Crotalid Venoms / isolation & purification*
  • Crotoxin / isolation & purification*
  • Peptide Fragments / analysis
  • Snake Venoms
  • X-Ray Diffraction


  • Crotalid Venoms
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Snake Venoms
  • Crotoxin