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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1988 Jul;264(1):270-80.

Isolation and characterization of horridum toxin with arginine ester hydrolase activity from Heloderma horridum (beaded lizard) venom.

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Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Meijo University, Nagoya, Japan.


A hemorrhagic toxin with lethal and arginine ester hydrolytic activities was isolated from Heloderma horridum (beaded lizard) venom by Sephadex G-75, DEAE-Sephacel, and Q-Sepharose column chromatography. The hemorrhagic toxin was shown to be homogeneous as demonstrated by a single band on acrylamide gel electrophoresis and immunodiffusion. Its molecular weight is approximately 31,000 with an isoelectric point of 3.9. Hemorrhagic, lethal, and benzoyl-L-arginine ethyl ester hydrolytic activities of this preparation were inhibited by diisopropyl fluorophosphate (DFP), N-bromosuccinimide, and beta-mercaptoethanol, suggesting that serine, tryptophan, and disulfide bonds are involved in these activities. Also there was an increase in creatine kinase activity in mice serum which is an indicator that the toxin is involved in muscle damage. This protein was stable to heat and pH ranges between 2 and 11. The Michaelis constant (Km), for benzoyl-L-arginine ethyl ester, and inhibition constant (Ki), for DFP, were found to be 6.9 X 10(-3) and 1.93 X 10(-4) M, respectively.

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