A serine protease from Bothrops atrox (Peruvian specimen's venom) was isolated in two chromatographic steps in LC molecular exclusion and reverse phase-HPLC. This protein was denominated Ba III-4 (33,080.265 Da determinated by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry) and showed pI of 5.06, Km 0.2 × 10 -1 M and the Vmáx 4.1 × 10-1nmoles p-NA/lt/min on the synthetic substrate BapNA. Ba III-4 also showed ability to coagulate bovine fibrinogen. The serine protease was inhibited by soyben trypsin inhibitor and DA2II, which is an anti-hemorrhagic factor isolated from the opossum specie Didelphis albiventris. The primary structure of Ba III-4 showed the presence of His(44), Asp(94) and Ser(193) residues in the corresponding positions to the catalytic triad established in the serine proteases and Ser(193) are inhibited by phenylmethylsulfonylfluoride (PMSF). Amino acid analysis showed a high content of Asp, Glu, Gly, Ser, Ala and Pro, as well as 12 half-cysteine residues. Ba III-4 contained 293 amino acid residues and the primary structure of VIGGDECDIN EHPFLAFMYY SPRYFCGMTL INQEWVLTAA HCRYFCGMTL IHLGVHRESE KANYDEVRRF PKEKYFIFCD NNFTDDEVDK DIMLIRLDKP VSNSEHIAPL SLPSNPPSVG SVCRIMGWGQ TTTSPIDVLS PDEPHCANIN LFDNTVCHTA HPQVANTRTS TDTLCAGDLQ GGRDTCNGDS GGPLICNEQL HGILSWGGDP CAQPNKPAFY TKVYYFDHPW IKSIIAGNKK TVNFTCPPLR SDAKDDSTTY INQEWDWVLT AEHCDRTHMR NSFYDYSSIN SDS. Titration experiments did not show the presence of free sulfhydryl groups after 4 h incubation, nor were differences found in relation to titration kinetics in the presence of nondenaturating buffer. The isolation of this protein, Ba III-4, is of potential interest for the understanding of the pathomechanism of the snake venom action and for the identification of new blood coagulation enzymes of natural sources.
Nota bibliográficaFunding Information:
The authors thank Marino Forner and Paulo A. Baldasso for technical assistance. This work was supported by the Fundac¸ ão de Amparo a Pesquisa, São Paulo (FAPESP).