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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Complete amino acid sequence of kaouthiagin, a novel cobra venom metalloproteinase with two disintegrin-like sequences.

The primary structure of kaouthiagin, a metalloproteinase from the venom of the cobra snake Naja kaouthia which specifically cleaves human von Willebrand factor ( VWF), was determined by amino acid sequencing. Kaouthiagin is composed of 401 amino acid residues and one Asn-linked sugar chain. The sequence is highly similar to those of high-molecular mass snake venom metalloproteinases from viperid and crotalid venoms comprised of metalloproteinase, disintegrin-like, and Cys-rich domains. The metalloproteinase domain had a zinc-binding motif (HEXXHXXGXXH), which is highly conserved in the metzincin family. Kaouthiagin had an HDCD sequence in the disintegrin-like domain and uniquely had an RGD sequence in the Cys-rich domain. Metalloproteinase-inactivated kaouthiagin had no effect on VWF-induced platelet aggregation but still had an inhibitory effect on the collagen-induced platelet aggregation with an IC(50) of 0.2 microM, suggesting the presence of disintegrin-like activity in kaouthiagin. To examine the effects of these HDCD and RGD sequences, we prepared synthetic peptides cyclized by an S-S linkage. Both the synthetic cyclized peptides from the disintegrin-like domain and from the Cys-rich domain) had an inhibitory effect on collagen-induced platelet aggregation with IC(50) values of approximately 90 and approximately 4.5 microM, respectively. The linear peptide (RAAKHDCDLPELC) and the cyclized peptide had little effect on collagen-induced platelet aggregation. These results suggest that kaouthiagin not only inhibits VWF-induced platelet aggregation by cleaving VWF but also disturbs the agonist-induced platelet aggregation by both the disintegrin-like domain and the RGD sequence in the Cys-rich domain. Furthermore, our results imply that the corresponding part of the Cys-rich domain in other snake venom metalloproteinases also has a synergistic disturbing effect on platelet aggregation, serving as a second disintegrin-like domain. This is the first report of an elapid venom metalloproteinase with two disintegrin-like sequences.[1]


  1. Complete amino acid sequence of kaouthiagin, a novel cobra venom metalloproteinase with two disintegrin-like sequences. Ito, M., Hamako, J., Sakurai, Y., Matsumoto, M., Fujimura, Y., Suzuki, M., Hashimoto, K., Titani, K., Matsui, T. Biochemistry (2001) [Pubmed]
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