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 and different anti-venom serums for treatment and the determination of their use as drugs. Hence, it is important to develop a sensitive and reliable method to identify the species of snakes from venoms. Herein, we present a novel strategy based on the 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−1) and high selectivity, which provided a reliable method for the species identification and purity detection of snake venom samples.