Protein identification of venoms of the African spitting cobras, naja mossambica and naja nigricincta nigricincta

Ottilie Katali, Loide Shipingana, Peter Nyarangó, Mirva Pääkkönen, Erastus Haindongo, Timothy Rennie, Peter James, John Eriksson, Christian John Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (SciVal)


Cobra snakes, including Naja mossambica and Naja nigricincta nigricincta, are one of the major groups of snakes responsible for snakebites in southern Africa, producing significant cytotoxicity and tissue damage. The venom of N. mossambica has been briefly characterised, but that of N. n. nigricincta is not reported. The current study identifies the venom proteins of N. mossambica and N. n. nigricincta. This is achieved using sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS)-polyacrylamide gel eletrophroresis (PAGE), followed by high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS). Most of the proteins were less than 17 kDa in both snakes. N. mossambica was found to have 75 proteins in total (from 16 protein families), whereas N.n. nigricincta had 73 (from 16 protein families). Of these identified proteins, 57 were common in both snakes. The proteins identified belonged to various families, including the three-finger toxins (3FTx), Cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRiSP), Phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and Venom metalloproteinase M12B (SVMP). The current study contributes to the profile knowledge of snake venom compositions, which is of fundamental value in understanding the proteins that play a major role in envenomation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number520
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by Centre for International Mobility in Finland (CIMO), Finnish Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation between Europe, Africa, Asia and the LAC Region: FinCEAL Plus Continuation (FinCEAL Plus) and Southern African'Nordic Centre (SANORD) and the Article Processing Charge (APC) was funded by University of Namibia (UNAM).


  • African spitting Cobras
  • Antivenin
  • Naja mossambica
  • Naja nigricincta nigricincta
  • Snake venom
  • Snakebites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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