Isolation of an L-amino acid oxidase from Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix (Southern copperhead)

Hudson, Nicholas
Snake venom is a source of biological study for its ability to induce apoptosis, platelet aggregation, hemorrhage, and edema. L-amino acid oxidases (LAAOs) are components of snake venom that can induce apoptosis, and they are under extensive review for cancer therapy. These LAAOs act on L-amino acid substrates to generate an excess amount of hydrogen peroxide placing the cell under severe oxidative stress, leading to the induction of apoptosis via the intrinsic pathway. Isolation of an LAAO from Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix snake venom was accomplished with a combination of size exclusion and ion exchange chromatographies. The molecular weight of the LAAO was determined using SDS-PAGE. Preliminary data for the purified LAAO will be presented as well as ideas focusing toward the effects of LAAO coupled with heat shock therapy on cells in vitro.
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