It is time for top-down venomics

Rafael D. Melani*, Fabio C.S. Nogueira, Gilberto B. Domont

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The protein composition of animal venoms is usually determined by peptide-centric proteomics approaches (bottom-up proteomics). However, this technique cannot, in most cases, distinguish among toxin proteoforms, herein called toxiforms, because of the protein inference problem. Top-down proteomics (TDP) analyzes intact proteins without digestion and provides high quality data to identify and characterize toxiforms. Denaturing top-down proteomics is the most disseminated subarea of TDP, which performs qualitative and quantitative analyzes of proteoforms up to ~30 kDa in high-throughput and automated fashion. On the other hand, native top-down proteomics provides access to information on large proteins (> 50 kDA) and protein interactions preserving non-covalent bonds and physiological complex stoichiometry. The use of native and denaturing top-down venomics introduced novel and useful techniques to toxinology, allowing an unprecedented characterization of venom proteins and protein complexes at the toxiform level. The collected data contribute to a deep understanding of venom natural history, open new possibilities to study the toxin evolution, and help in the development of better biotherapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number44
JournalJournal of Venomous Animals and Toxins Including Tropical Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 18 2017


  • Denaturing top-down proteomics
  • Native top-down proteomics
  • Top-down proteomics
  • Toxiforms
  • Venomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Parasitology
  • Toxicology


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