Snake‐venom resistance as a mammalian trophic adaptation: lessons from didelphid marsupials

  title={Snake‐venom resistance as a mammalian trophic adaptation: lessons from didelphid marsupials},
  author={Robert S. Voss and Sharon A. Jansa},
  journal={Biological Reviews},
Mammals that prey on venomous snakes include several opossums (Didelphidae), at least two hedgehogs (Erinaceidae), several mongooses (Herpestidae), several mustelids, and some skunks (Mephitidae). As a group, these taxa do not share any distinctive morphological traits. Instead, mammalian adaptations for ophiophagy seem to consist only in the ability to resist the toxic effects of snake venom. Molecular mechanisms of venom resistance (as indicated by biochemical research on opossums, mongooses… 

Serum-based inhibition of pitviper venom by eastern indigo snakes (Drymarchon couperi)

It is confirmed that eastern indigo snakes possess a physiological resistance to pitviper venom and speculated that venom resistance in snakes may be a product of antagonistic interactions and phylogenetically conserved traits.

Resistance of South American opossums to vWF-binding venom C-type lectins.

The Molecular Basis of Venom Resistance in a Rattlesnake-Squirrel Predator-Prey System.

A novel molecular methodology based on protein affinity columns is used to capture and identify candidate blood serum resistance proteins ('Venom Interactive Proteins' - VIPs) in California Ground Squirrels that interact with venom proteins from their main predator, Northern Pacific Rattlesnakes.

Natural Inhibitors of Snake Venom Metalloendopeptidases: History and Current Challenges

A historical account of the field of natural resistance is presented, summarizing its main discoveries and current challenges, which are mostly related to the limitations that preclude three-dimensional structural determinations of these inhibitors using “gold-standard” methods.

Arizona bark scorpion venom resistance in the pallid bat, Antrozous pallidus

It is shown with behavioral measures and direct injection of venom that the pallid bat is resistant to venom of the Arizona bark scorpion, Centruroides sculpturatus, and altered sodium ion channel function may partly underlie such resistance.

Meta-analysis of venom toxicity of 167 most lethal ophidian species provides a basis for estimating human lethal doses

Background: This is the first meta-analysis to characterize intra-ophidian-species variation in whole venom. The largest possible meta-analysis possible at this time, it encompasses all known

Widespread convergent evolution of alpha-neurotoxin resistance in African mammals

Evaluating the prevalence and ancestry of αNTX resistance in mammals finds five instances of convergent evolution within feliform carnivores, and an additional eight instances across all mammals sampled.



Adaptive Evolution of the Venom-Targeted vWF Protein in Opossums that Eat Pitvipers

The results provide the first example of rapid adaptive evolution in any venom-targeted molecule, and they support the notion that an evolutionary arms race might be driving the rapid evolution of snake venoms.

Venom ontogeny in the Pacific rattlesnakes Crotalus viridis helleri and C. v. oreganus

Analysis of gut contents of museum specimens showed that lizards constitute a major fraction of prey taken by juvenile rattlesnakes, aiding in the digestion of prey in a thermally variable environment, which facilitates efficient handling of lizards and young rodents.

Putting the brakes on snake venom evolution: the unique molecular evolutionary patterns of Aipysurus eydouxii (Marbled sea snake) phospholipase A2 toxins.

The loss of the main neurotoxin is accompanied by a much slower rate of molecular evolution of the PLA(2) toxins as a consequence of the snake's shift in ecological niche, the first case of decelerated evolution of toxins in snake venom.

Eggs-Only Diet: Its Implications for the Toxin Profile Changes and Ecology of the Marbled Sea Snake (Aipysurus eydouxii)

A dinucleotide deletion in the only three finger toxin gene expressed in the sea snake Aipysurus eydouxii (Marbled Sea Snake) venom is described and how it may have been the result of a significant change in dietary habits.

Venom Composition in Rattlesnakes: Trends and Biological Significance

Rattlesnakes represent an excellent group for studying venom evolution in squamates, and many unanswered questions remain, particularly concerning many Mexican rattlesnake taxa and with regard to comparative toxicity of venom component isoforms to native prey species.

Snake venomic of Crotalus durissus terrificus--correlation with pharmacological activities.

The snake venomic of Crotalus durissus terrificus was analyzed by 2-D and 1-D electrophoresis and subsequent MS/MS and enzymatic assays and analysis of the venom protein composition provided a catalogue for secreted toxins.

Inhibitory properties of the antibothropic complex from the South American opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) serum.

Natural protease inhibitors to hemorrhagins in snake venoms and their potential use in medicine.

  • J. PérezE. Sánchez
  • Biology, Medicine
    Toxicon : official journal of the International Society on Toxinology
  • 1999

Evolution of snake venom disintegrins by positive Darwinian selection.

The adaptive advantage of the emergence of motifs targeting beta(1) integrins and the role of positively selected sites located within nonfunctional disintegrin regions appear to be difficult to rationalize in the context of a predator-prey arms race.