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Venoms of Russell's vipers (genus Daboia) are known for their deadly coagulopathic and other effects. We herein studied various isoforms of venom phospholipases A(2) (PLAs) from two Daboia species at their geographic boundary. From Myanmar Daboia siamensis venom (designated as DsM), four PLAs (designated DsM-aI, aI', aII' and bI') were purified, and the cDNAs encoding two acidic (DsM-aI and aII) and two basic PLAs (DsM-bI and S1) were also cloned from its venom-glands. DsM-S1 is identical to the major venom PLA of southern India Daboia russelii, but the protein is absent from the venom. Additionally, four PLAs (designated DrK-aI, aII, bI and bII) were cloned from cDNA obtained from venom glands of a Kolkata D. russelii, and the PLAs were purified from the pooled venom (designated as DrK). The acidic DrK-aI is the most neurotoxic and lethal among these PLAs; DsM-aI which differs from DrK-aI by only the Phe2 substitution shows greatly reduced enzymatic activity and lethality. Both acidic PLAs do not form dimeric complex with basic PLAs in the same venoms. DsM-bI' is neurotoxic and lethal but its orthologous DrK-bI (97% identical to DsM-bI') is a much weaker toxin. Given the fact that most of the orthologous PLAs of DrK and DsM share 97-100% sequence identity, Daboia vipers of Myanmar and Kolkata must be closely related. Molecular phylogenetic analyses on 30 venom PLAs of Eurasian vipers' revealed co-evolution of five subtypes of venom PLAs in both Daboia and Vipera genera. Our results shed light on the intra- and inter-species variations and structure-function relationships of viperid venom PLAs.

Original publication




Journal article


Biochim Biophys Acta

Publication Date





1020 - 1028


Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Cloning, Molecular, Evolution, Molecular, India, Molecular Sequence Data, Phospholipases A, Phylogeny, Russell's Viper, Viper Venoms