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J Cell Biochem. 2018 Dec 2. doi: 10.1002/jcb.28115. [Epub ahead of print]

Plant DNases are potent therapeutic agents against Echis carinatus venom-induced tissue necrosis in mice.

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Department of Studies in Biochemistry, University of Mysore, Manasagangothri, Mysuru, India.
Department of Studies in Bioscience, University of Mysore, Hemagangothri, Hassan, India.


Echis carinatus envenomation leads to severe tissue necrosis at the bitten site by releasing DNA from immune cells that blocks the blood flow. An earlier report has shown that exogenous DNase 1 offers protection against such severe local tissue necrosis. Tricosanthus tricuspidata is a medicinal plant and the paste prepared from its leaves has been used extensively for the treatment of snakebite-induced tissue necrosis. Most studies including reports from our laboratory focused on plant secondary metabolite as therapeutic molecules against snakebite envenomation. However, the involvement of hydrolytic enzymes including DNase in treating snake venom-induced tissue necrosis has not been addressed. Several folk medicinal plants used against snakebite treatment showed the presence of DNase activity and found to be rich in T. tricuspidata. Further, purified T. tricuspidata DNase showed a single sharp peak in reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) with an apparent molecular mass of 17 kDa. T. tricuspidata DNase exhibited potent DNA degrading activity performed using agarose gel electrophoresis, spectrophotometric assay, and DNA zymography. In addition, purified DNase from T. tricuspidata was able to neutralize E. carinatus venom-induced mouse tail tissue necrosis and normalized elevated serum creatine kinase (CK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels 30 minutes post venom injection. T. tricuspidata DNase was also able to reverse E. carinatus venom-induced histopathological changes and collagen depletion in mice tail tissue. All these observed pharmacological actions of T. tricuspidata DNase were inhibited by sodium fluoride (NaF). This study provides scientific validation of the traditional use of T. tricuspidata leaf paste in the healing of snakebite-induced tissue necrosis and might be exploited to treat snake venom-induced local toxicity.


NETs; antivenom; extracellular matrix; plant DNase; tissue necrosis


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