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Proteomics. 2008 Feb;8(4):909-20. doi: 10.1002/pmic.200700777.

Exploring snake venom proteomes: multifaceted analyses for complex toxin mixtures.

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Department of Microbiology, Health Sciences Center, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA.


Snake venom proteomes are complex mixtures of a large number of distinct proteins. In a sense, the field of snake venom proteomics has been under investigation since the very earliest biochemical studies on venoms where peptides and proteins were isolated and structurally and biologically characterized. With the recent developments in mass spectrometry for the identification of proteins, coupled with venom gland transcriptomes, has the field of snake venom proteomics began to flourish. These developments have led to exciting insights into the protein composition of venoms and subsequently their pathological activities. In this review, we will discuss the state of art of snake venom proteomics. Although we have not reached the ultimate goal of characterizing and quantifying all unique proteins in a venom proteome, current technologies have opened many opportunities for high-throughput proteomic studies that have gone beyond simple protein identification to analyzing various functional aspects, such as post-translational modifications, proteolytic processing and toxin-target interactions. In this review, we will discuss the technological approaches used in the study of venom proteomics highlighting the advances made and future directions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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