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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1971 Jul;68(7):1560-3.

Biological roles of the two components of crotoxin.


Crotoxin, the Brazilian rattlesnake neurotoxin, generally behaves as a homogeneous protein; however, it is a molecular complex of an acidic and a basic protein. These can be separated after alkylation or acylation of the amino groups, or on carboxymethyl cellulose at pH 4, or on DEAE-cellulose in 6 M urea. The two proteins differ greatly in composition, but one or both may exist in the form of closely related variants. Their molecular weights appear to be about 8400 and 13,000. The acidic protein lacks the hemolytic and neurotoxic activity of crotoxin and the basic protein shows only the high, indirect hemolytic activity; a mixture of the two components shows the high neurotoxicity of crotoxin.

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