Ruthenium, not carbon monoxide, inhibits the procoagulant activity of atheris, echis, and pseudonaja venoms

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16 Scopus citations


The demonstration that carbon monoxide releasing molecules (CORMs) affect experimental systems by the release of carbon monoxide, and not via the interaction of the inactivated CORM, has been an accepted paradigm for decades. However, it has recently been documented that a radical intermediate formed during carbon monoxide release from ruthenium (Ru)-based CORM (CORM-2) interacts with histidine and can inactivate bee phospholipase A2 activity. Using a thrombelastographic based paradigm to assess procoagulant activity in human plasma, this study tested the hypothesis that a Ru-based radical and not carbon monoxide was responsible for CORM-2 mediated inhibition of Atheris, Echis, and Pseudonaja species snake venoms. Assessment of the inhibitory effects of ruthenium chloride (RuCl3) on snake venom activity was also determined. CORM-2 mediated inhibition of the three venoms was found to be independent of carbon monoxide release, as the presence of histidine-rich albumin abrogated CORM-2 inhibition. Exposure to RuCl3 had little effect on Atheris venom activity, but Echis and Pseudonaja venom had procoagulant activity significantly reduced. In conclusion, a Ru-based radical and ion inhibited procoagulant snake venoms, not carbon monoxide. These data continue to add to our mechanistic understanding of how Ru-based molecules can modulate hemotoxic venoms, and these results can serve as a rationale to focus on perhaps other, complementary compounds containing Ru as antivenom agents in vitro and, ultimately, in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2970
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 2 2020


  • Carbon monoxide releasing molecule
  • Hemotoxin
  • Procoagulant
  • Ruthenium
  • Thrombelastography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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