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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012 May;1818(5):1359-64. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2012.02.001. Epub 2012 Feb 8.

Molecular events associated with Macrovipera lebetina obtusa and Montivipera raddei venom intoxication and condition of biomembranes.

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Department of Biophysics, Faculty of Biology, Yerevan State University, Yerevan, Armenia.


Studies on the interaction of snake venom and organized lipid interfaces have been conducted using a variety of systems, including BLMs, SUVs and GUVs. The present study was undertaken to elucidate how the plastic properties (namely, its microviscosity, thickness, permeability) of model membranes from native lipids of different tissues of rats change in the course of Macrovipera lebetina obtusa (MLO), Montivipera raddei (MR) and Naja kaouthia (NK) venoms processing. The presence of viper venom in organism leads to increasing of the electrical resistance of BLMs from liver and muscle lipids approximately on a sequence, while the BLMs from brain lipids have not shown noticeable differences of plastic properties compared to the control. Giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) with a mean diameter of 30μm have a minimum curvature and mimic cell membranes in this respect. Snake venom was added to the sample chamber before the vesicles were formed. The membrane fluorescence probes, ANS and pyrene, were used to assess the state of the membrane and specifically mark the phospholipid domains. Fluorescent spectra were acquired on a Varian fluorometer instrument. ANS and pyrene allow us to quantify the fluidity changes in the membrane by measuring of the fluorescence intensity. The presence of viper venom in GUVs media reveals a noticeable decreasing of membrane fluidity compared to the control, while the binding of fluorophores with GUVs modified by venom leads to the appearance of channel activity. These studies also emphasize the importance of a membrane surface curvature for its interaction with enzymatic components of venom.

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