Igor Krizaj

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An important group of toxins, whose action at the molecular level is still a matter of debate, is secreted phospholipases A(2) (sPLA(2)s) endowed with presynaptic or beta-neurotoxicity. The current belief is that these beta-neurotoxins (beta-ntxs) exert their toxicity primarily due to their extracellular enzymatic action on the plasma membrane of(More)
Highly purified human brain cathepsin H (EC 3.4.22.16) was used to study its involvement in degradation of different brain peptides. Its action was determined to be selective. On Leu-enkephalin, dynorphin (1-6), dynorphin (1-13), alpha-neoendorphin, and Lys-bradykinin, it showed a preferential aminopeptidase activity by cleaving off hydrophobic or basic(More)
Based on previous screening for keratinolytic nonpathogenic fungi, Paecilomyces marquandii and Doratomyces microsporus were selected for production of potent keratinases. The enzymes were purified and their main biochemical characteristics were determined (molecular masses, optimal temperature and pH for keratinolytic activity, N-terminal amino acid(More)
The structural features of presynaptically neurotoxic secretory phospholipases A(2) (sPLA(2)s) that are responsible for their potent and specific action are still a matter of debate. To identify the residues that distinguish a highly neurotoxic sPLA(2), ammodytoxin A (AtxA), from a structurally similar but more than two orders of magnitude less toxic(More)
Recent identification of intracellular proteins that bind ammodytoxin (calmodulin, 14-3-3 proteins, and R25) suggests that this snake venom presynaptically active phospholipase A(2) acts intracellularly. As these ammodytoxin acceptors are cytosolic and mitochondrial proteins, the toxin should be able to enter the cytosol of a target cell and remain stable(More)
A mutant form of ammodytoxin A, a neurotoxic phospholipase A(2) from the venom of the long nosed viper Vipera ammodytes ammodytes, was prepared by site-directed mutagenesis, conjugated to a nanogold particle and inoculated into the antero-lateral aspect of one hind limb of female mice. Eight hours later the mice were killed, the soleus muscles of both ipsi-(More)
Envenoming bites by Vipera ammodytes ammodytes (the long-nosed viper) can cause life-threatening neurotoxicity, particularly in children. We investigated the mechanisms of the neurotoxicity of ammodytoxin A, the principal toxin in the venom of these snakes, in isolated nerve-muscle preparations from mice. The toxin was bound selectively to the neuromuscular(More)
Ammodytoxin A, the presynaptic neurotoxin from Vipera ammodytes ammodytes venom, was found to bind specifically and with high affinity to bovine cortex synaptic membrane preparation. The detected ammodytoxin A high-affinity binding was characterized by equilibrium binding analysis which revealed a single high-affinity binding site with Kd 4.13 nM and Bmax(More)
Ammodytoxin, a group IIA secreted phospholipase A(2) from the venom of the long-nosed viper (Vipera ammodytes ammodytes), is a potent presynaptically acting neurotoxin. It blocks the secretion of neurotransmitter from the nerve cell, thus hindering the communication with the neighbouring neuron or muscle cell. To express the neurotoxicity, ammodytoxin(More)
Some phospholipases A(2) interrupt neuromuscular communication by blocking the release of neurotransmitter into the synaptic cleft. Despite numerous studies, the molecular mechanism of their action is still largely obscure. In this review the best-characterized receptors for beta-neurotoxins are presented. We propose a model which could be useful in(More)