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Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins

Print version ISSN 0104-7930On-line version ISSN 1678-4936

J. Venom. Anim. Toxins vol.6 n.2 Botucatu  2000 

Biochemical and pharmacological studies of native and irradiated crotamine with gamma radiation of Co60



THESIS: M. B. Mitake submitted this thesis for her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Nuclear Technology publicly examined in the Institute for Energy and Nuclear Research/Instituto de Pesquisas Energéticas e Nucleares, University of São Paulo/São Paulo University, São Paulo, Brazil, in 2000

Advisor: Prof. Dr. José Roberto Rogero.



ABSTRACT. Ionizing radiation can change the molecular structure and affect the biological properties of biomolecules. This has been employed to attenuate animal toxins. Crotamine is a strongly basic polypeptide from South American rattlesnake venom, composed of 42 amino acid residues. It induces skeletal muscle spasms, leading to a spastic paralysis of hind limbs in mice. The objective was to carry out biochemical and pharmacological studies of native and irradiated crotamine with Co . Crotamine was purified from Crotalus durissus terrificus venom by Sephadex G-100 gel filtration followed by ion exchange chromatography, using a Fast performance Liquid Chromatography (FPLC) system. It was irradiated at 2 mg/ml in 0.15 m NaCl with 2.0 kGy gamma radiation emitted by a Co source. Native and irradiated crotamine were evaluated by biochemical characterization, toxic activity (LD50), and biodistribution. The native and irradiated crotamine were labeled with 29.6 MBq of I using chloramine T method and separated in a Sephadex G-50 column. Male Swiss mice (35 ± 5 g) were injected IP with 0.1 mL (2.4x10 cpm/mouse) of I native crotamine or with 0.4 mL (1.3 x 10 cpm/mouse) of I irradiated crotamine. The animals were sacrificed by ether inhalation at 0.08, 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 12, and 24 hours. Blood, spleen, liver, kidneys, brain, lungs, heart, and skeletal muscle were collected in order to determine radioactivity content. The results showed that gamma radiation did not change protein concentration, electrophoretic profile, or protein primary structure, although differences could be seen by spectroscopic techniques. Gamma radiation reduced crotamine toxicity, but did not eliminate bioactivity. Biodistribution studies showed that native and irradiated crotamine have hepatic metabolism and renal elimination. Native and irradiated crotamine have an affinity to skeletal muscle and did not cross the blood-brain barrier.
KEY WORDS: Crotamine, ionizing radiation, biodistribution.



M. B. MITAKE – IPEN/CNEN, Travessa R, no. 400, Caixa Postal 11049, CEP: 055508-900, São Paulo, SP, Brasil.

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