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Old World Vipers—A Review about Snake Venom Proteomics of Viperinae and Their Variations

Damm, Maik; Hempel, Benjamin-Florian; Süssmuth, Roderich D.

Fine-tuned by millions of years of evolution, snake venoms have frightened but also fascinated humanity and nowadays they constitute potential resources for drug development, therapeutics and antivenoms. The continuous progress of mass spectrometry techniques and latest advances in proteomics workflows enabled toxinologists to decipher venoms by modern omics technologies, so-called ‘venomics’. A tremendous upsurge reporting on snake venom proteomes could be observed. Within this review we focus on the highly venomous and widely distributed subfamily of Viperinae (Serpentes: Viperidae). A detailed public literature database search was performed (2003–2020) and we extensively reviewed all compositional venom studies of the so-called Old-World Vipers. In total, 54 studies resulted in 89 venom proteomes. The Viperinae venoms are dominated by four major, four secondary, six minor and several rare toxin families and peptides, respectively. The multitude of different venomics approaches complicates the comparison of venom composition datasets and therefore we differentiated between non-quantitative and three groups of quantitative workflows. The resulting direct comparisons within these groups show remarkable differences on the intra- and interspecies level across genera with a focus on regional differences. In summary, the present compilation is the first comprehensive up-to-date database on Viperinae venom proteomes and differentiating between analytical methods and workflows.
Published in: Toxins, 10.3390/toxins13060427, MDPI