Ferreira, Isabela Gobbo, et al. “Insights into structure and function of CdcVEGFs, the vascular endothelial growth factor from Crotalus durissus collilineatus snake venom.” Biochimie (2022). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biochi.2022.05.009
Vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs) are crucial molecules involved in the modulation of angiogenesis. Snake venom-derived VEGFs (svVEGFs) are known to contribute significantly to the envenoming due to their capacity of increasing vascular permeability. In our work, we isolated and analyzed the biochemical and functional properties of the VEGF from Crotalus durissus collilineatus venom (CdcVEGF). The venom was fractionated by reversed phase chromatography on FPLC system (Fast Protein Liquid Chromatography) and the eluted fractions were submitted to an ELISA assay using an anti-VEGF-F antibody, for identification of svVEGF. Positive fractions for svVEGF were submitted to SDS-PAGE and to an anion exchange chromatography to isolate the molecule. The subfractions were analyzed by ELISA and SDS-PAGE and six of them presented svVEGFs, named CdcVEGF1 (Q23-3), CdcVEGF2 (Q24-3), CdcVEGF3 (Q24-4), CdcVEGF4 (Q25-3), CdcVEGF5 (Q25-4), and CdcVEGF6 (Q25-5). Their structural characterization was accomplished by mass spectrometry analysis using MALDI-TOF to determine their molecular masses and UPLC-ESI-QTOF to determine their amino acid sequence. Interestingly, all isolated CdcVEGFs induced angiogenesis on HUVEC cells through tube formation on Matrigel when compared to culture medium (negative control). Moreover, CdcVEGF2 and CdcVEGF3 also induced a significant increase in tube formation when compared to the positive control (basic fibroblast growth factor – bFGF). Additionally, crotalid antivenom produced by the Instituto Butantan was able to recognize CdcVEGFs, demonstrating to be immunogenic. This study demonstrates that snake venom cocktail can reveal novel and important molecules, which are potential molecular tools to study diverse biological processes, such as angiogenesis.