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  • Ignazio Avella
    Universidade do Porto
  • Juan J. Calvete
    Instituto de Biomedicina de Valencia
  • Libia Sanz
    Instituto de Biomedicina de Valencia
  • Wolfgang Wüster
  • Fulvio Licata
    Universidade do Porto
  • Sarai Quesada-Bernat
    Instituto de Biomedicina de Valencia
  • Yania Rodriguez
    Instituto de Biomedicina de Valencia
  • Fernando Martínez-Freiría
    Universidade do Porto
Lataste's viper (Vipera latastei) is a venomous European viper endemic to the Iberian Peninsula, recognised as medically important by the World Health Organization. To date, no comprehensive characterisation of this species' venom has been reported. Here, we analysed the venoms of juvenile and adult specimens of V. latastei from two environmentally different populations from northern Portugal. Using bottom-up venomics, we produced six venom proteomes (three per population) from vipers belonging to both age classes (i.e., two juveniles and four adults), and RP-HPLC profiles of 54 venoms collected from wild specimens. Venoms from juveniles and adults differed in their chromatographic profiles and relative abundances of their toxins, suggesting the occurrence of ontogenetic changes in venom composition. Specifically, snake venom metalloproteinase (SVMP) was the most abundant toxin family in juvenile venoms, while snake venom serine proteinases (SVSPs), phospholipases A2 (PLA2s), and C-type lectin-like (CTLs) proteins were the main toxins comprising adult venoms. The RP-HPLC venom profiles were found to vary significantly between the two sampled localities, indicating geographic variability. Furthermore, the presence/absence of certain peaks in the venom chromatographic profiles appeared to be significantly correlated also to factors like body size and sex of the vipers. Our findings show that V. latastei venom is a variable phenotype. The intraspecific differences we detected in its composition likely mirror changes in the feeding ecology of this species, taking place during different life stages and under different environmental pressures.


  • snake venom, toxins, bottom-up proteomics, ontogenetic change, geographic variability, venom variation
Original languageEnglish
Article number104613
JournalJournal of Proteomics
Early online date16 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2022
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