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Anal Biochem. 2005 Jun 15;341(2):316-25.

Screening of plants containing Naja naja siamensis cobra venom inhibitory activity using modified ELISA technique.

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Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand.


Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) has been modified for screening plants with antagonistic activity to Naja naja siamensis cobra venom. Aqueous extracts from plants were investigated for their inhibitory effects on the binding of anti-cobra venom antibody to antigen, cobra venom, fixed onto 96-well microtiter plates. Ingredients in extracts were allowed to react with immobilized venom before the subsequent addition of antivenom antibody. Venom components affected by exposure to the extracts, unable to interact with their specific antibody, were predicted to be unable to bind to their native destinations or natural receptors. Curcuma cf. zedoaria, an old Thai medicinal plant, showed clear inhibitory activity in the ELISA test. Neurotoxin and protein degradative enzymes, major components in venom, were identified as targets of this extract in Western immunoblotting analysis. Ingredients in the extract showed high affinity to the toxin in competition assay by immunoprecipitation. The extract attenuated toxin activity by extending contraction time of diaphragm muscle after envenomation and had a potency to protect cellular proteins from venom degradative enzymes. Curcuma parviflora, with less activity in ELISA, exhibited acceptable results in two experiments but negative results in two experiments, whereas Curcuma longa, having low activity in the ELISA test, never showed any favorable results. Screening of 36 samples could classify plants into an inhibition range of 0 to 86%. This modified ELISA is recommended as a preliminary screening method for inhibitors with a large number of samples.

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