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J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2011 Nov;22(11):1891-7. doi: 10.1007/s13361-011-0210-0. Epub 2011 Jul 29.

An unusual family of glycosylated peptides isolated from Dendroaspis angusticeps venom and characterized by combination of collision induced and electron transfer dissociation.

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Laboratoire de spectrométrie de masse, Département de Chimie-GIGA-R, Université de Liège, Liège 4000, Belgium.


This study describes the structural characterization of a totally new family of peptides from the venom of the snake green mamba (Dendroaspis angusticeps). Interestingly, these peptides differ in several points from other already known mamba toxins. First of all, they exhibit very small molecular masses, ranging from 1.3 to 2.4 kDa. The molecular mass of classical mamba toxins is in the range of 7 to 25 kDa. Second, the new peptides do not contain disulfide bonds, a post-translational modification commonly encountered in animal toxins. The third difference is the very high proportion of proline residues in the sequence accounting for about one-third of the sequence. Finally, these new peptides reveal a carbohydrate moiety, indicating a glycosylation in the sequence. The last two features have made the structural characterization of the new peptides by mass spectrometry a real analytical challenge. Peptides were characterized by a combined use of MALDI- TOF/TOF and nanoESI-IT-ETD experiments to determine not only the peptide sequence but also the composition and the position of the carbohydrate moiety. Anyway, such small glycosylated and proline-rich toxins are totally different from any other known snake peptide and form, as a consequence, a new family of peptides.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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