Effect of king cobra venom on α2-macroglobulin and proteases in human blood plasma

Maya Roche, T. N. Pattabiraman

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Normal human blood plasma showed hydrolytic activities on several synthetic substrates for proteases, the most effective being H-D-Ile-Pro-Arg-p-nitroanilide, H-D-Pro-Phe-Arg-p-nitroanilide and H-D-Val-Leu-Arg-p-nitroanilide. When plasma was preincubated for 12 h at 37°C, there was no significant alteration of the hydrolytic activities. On incubation for 12 h with king cobra venom (2 μg for 0.1 ml plasma), there was considerable decrease in the activities and complete abolition of the protease binding capacity of α2-macroglobulin. On chromatography on Sephadex G-200, α2-macroglobulin activity and bulk of the protease activity of normal plasma were eluted in the void volume region. A minor protease peak was eluted with a Ve/Vo value of 2.5. With venom treated plasma, there was no decrease with this peak. The major protease peak and α2-macroglobulin activity were drastically reduced. Chromatography on red Sepharose showed that all the α 2 - acroglobulin activity and bulk of the protease activity in normal plasma were bound to the column. In venom treated plasma there was marked reduction in the bound fraction. The data suggest that cobra venom proteases directly or through proteases generated in plasma in situ causes limited cleavage of α2-macroglobulin as well as α2-macroglobulin bound proteases, inactivating them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-66
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biosciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-06-1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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