Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins
On-line version ISSN 1678-4936
SOARES, A. M. et al. POLYACRYLAMIDE GEL ELECTROPHORESIS AS A TOOL FOR THE TAXONOMIC IDENTIFICATION OF SNAKES FROM THE ELAPIDAE AND VIPERIDAE FAMILIES. J. Venom. Anim. Toxins [online]. 1998, vol.4, n.2, pp. 137-142. ISSN 1678-4936. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-79301998000200005.
Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) for basic proteins may be a useful tool for the characterization of whole snake venoms and for the taxonomic classification of snakes of the Elapidae and Viperidae families. However, due to the close proximity of molecular weights among toxins bearing different net charges, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) - PAGE was not able to provide an efficient differentiation. This article reports the electrophoretic analysis of several venoms from the genera Micrurus, Bothrops, Bothriopsis, Crotalus and Lachesis and shows a typical and distinctive electrophoretic profile for each species, with intraspecific and geographic variations. Even in cases in which extreme morphological similarities were present, such as between B. jararacussu and B. pirajai ("Bahia jararacuçu"), differentiation could be evidenced by PAGE. This simple and sensitive procedure may be applied to similar cases involving basic toxins.
Keywords : snake venoms; basic toxins; polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis; Elapidae; Viperidae.