FEBS Lett. 1989 Feb 13;244(1):167-73.
Rabbit antibodies were prepared against both purified catalytic (component-B) and purified non-catalytic (component-A) subunits of crotoxin, the major phospholipase A2 neurotoxin from the South American rattlesnake. They cross-react with crotoxin-like toxins from the venom of several Crotalus species as well as with single-chain phospholipase A2 neurotoxins from Crotalid and Viperid venoms (agkistrodontoxin and ammodytoxin A) but not from Elapid venoms (notexin). Immunological cross-reactions of anti-component-A and anti-component-B sera with crotoxin and with its isolated components A and B showed that component-A exposes determinants of low immunogenicity which are present on component-B, whereas the major antigenic determinants of component-B are not present on component-A. Anti-component-B antibodies, but not anti-component-A antibodies, neutralize the lethal potency of crotoxin and inhibit its enzymatic activity. Furthermore, non-precipitating anti-component-B Fab fragments were as potent as antibodies, indicating that crotoxin neutralization results from the binding of the antibodies to the catalytic subunit, rather than the formation of an immunoprecipitate.