Identification of novel haemoglobin-modifying activity in snake venom libraries

Paul Hayter (1), Anthony Baines (2), Lorraine Croucher (3), Catherine Wark (3), Steven Trim (1) (1) Venomtech Ltd., (2) University of Kent, (3) BMG LABTECH 05/2014

Snake venoms have long been known for disturbing hemostasis but direct effects on the oxygen transporter hemoglobin are widely unknown. This application note shows how absorbance spectra of mammalian blood indicate effects of snake venoms on hemoglobin.

Lysed sheep or rabbit blood was clarified by centrifugation and treated with substances of a venom array (T-VDAcv). Absorbance spectra of samples treated for 0.5 h and 16 h were compared. The early time point as well as non-treated samples showed a spectrum characteristic for oxyhemoglobin. The absorbance spectra of samples treated for 16 h with venom from the Viperidae family shifted to be more specific for methemoglobin.

We showed that the absorbance scanning function of the PHERAstar® allows for screening substance arrays regarding their activity on hemoglobin in 384 well format and a total volume of 20 µl.

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