Snake venom characteristic peptides: novel fingerprints for species identification by sheathless capillary electrophoresis - electrospray ionization - mass spectrometry
Snake venom is a complex mixture mainly consisting of proteins and peptides which varies with different species. These variations lead to different toxic mechanisms, different anti-venom serums for treatment and determine their use as drugs. Hence, it is important to develop a sensitive and reliable method to identify species of snakes from venoms. Here, we present a novel strategy based on sheathless capillary electrophoresis - electrospray ionization - mass spectrometry (CESI-MS) system to characterize snake venom proteins. Through the determination of peptides, we found the characteristic peptides of 8 different snakes with high sensitivity (1 μg/mL) and high selectivity, which provided a reliable method for the species identification and purity detection of snake venom products.