Hyaluronidase, ubiquitous enzyme in snake venoms, known originally as "spreading factor", has not been well studied. The present study describes the purification and characterization of hyaluronidase from Indian cobra (Naja naja) venom and provides systematic evaluation of the spreading property of the enzyme. Hyaluronidase (NNH1) has been purified through gel permeation and ion exchange chromatography. The molecular mass was found to be 70.406 kDa by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and with the pi pI of 9.2. The amino acid sequence of the N-terminus was found to be NEQSTHGAYV. The enzyme shows absolute specificity for hyaluronan and belongs to the group of neutral active enzymes. Tetrasaccharides are the final product of hyaluronan digestion. The enzyme cleaves ß 1,4-glycosidic linkage and belongs to a group of endo-ß-N-acetyl hexosaminidases. Hyaluronidase indirectly potentiates the myotoxicity of VRV-PL-VIII, a phospholipolytic myotoxin, and also the hemorrhagic potency of a hemorrhagic complex-I. Localization of hyaluronan in human skin section and selective degradation by venom hyaluronidase (NNH1) corroborate the plausible in vivo degradation of hyaluronan in the extracellular matrix (ECM) resulting in easy dissemination of VRV-PL-VIII myotoxin and hemorrhagic complex-I.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/rangaiah_shashidharamurthy/6/