PIVL, a new serine protease inhibitor from Macrovipera lebetina transmediterranea venom, impairs motility of human glioblastoma cells.


  • Morjen Maram
  • Kallech-Ziri Olfa
  • Bazaa Amine
  • Othman Houcemeddine
  • Mabrouk Kamel
  • Zouari-Kessentini Raoudha
  • Sanz Libia
  • Calvete Juan José
  • Srairi-Abid Najet
  • El Ayeb Mohamed
  • Luis José
  • Marrakchi Naziha

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A novel Kunitz-type serine proteinase inhibitor, termed PIVL, was purified to homogeneity from the venom of the Tunisian snake Macrovipera lebetina transmediterranea. It is a monomeric polypeptide chain cross-linked by three disulfide linkages with an isotope-averaged molecular mass of 7691.7 Da. The 67-residue full-length PIVL sequence was deduced from a venom gland cDNA clone. Structurally, PIVL is built by a single Kunitz/BPTI-like domain. Functionally, it is able to specifically inhibit trypsin activity. Interestingly, PIVL exhibits an anti-tumor effect and displays integrin inhibitory activity without being cytotoxic. Here we show that PIVL is able to dose-dependently inhibit the adhesion, migration and invasion of human glioblastoma U87 cells. Our results also show that PIVL impairs the function of αvβ3 and to a lesser extent, the activity of αvβ6, αvβ5, α1β1 and α5β1 integrins. Interestingly, we demonstrate that the (41)RGN(43) motif of PIVL is likely responsible for its anti-cancer effect. By using time lapse videomicroscopy, we found that PIVL significantly reduced U87 cells motility and affected cell directionality persistence by 68%. These findings reveal novel pharmacological effects for a Kunitz-type serine proteinase inhibitor.

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