snake venoms


Summary: Solutions or mixtures of toxic and nontoxic substances elaborated by snake (Ophidia) salivary glands for the purpose of killing prey or disabling predators and delivered by grooved or hollow fangs. They usually contain enzymes, toxins, and other factors.

Top Publications

  1. Leanpolchareanchai J, Pithayanukul P, Bavovada R. Anti-necrosis potential of polyphenols against snake venoms. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2009;31:556-62 pubmed publisher
    ..The inhibitory activity of plant polyphenols against local tissue necrosis induced by snake venoms may be caused by inhibition of inflammatory reactions, hemorrhage, and necrosis...
  2. Saldanha Gama R, Moraes J, Mariano Oliveira A, Coelho A, Walsh E, Marcinkiewicz C, et al. alpha(9)beta(1) integrin engagement inhibits neutrophil spontaneous apoptosis: involvement of Bcl-2 family members. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2010;1803:848-57 pubmed publisher
  3. Correa Netto C, Teixeira Araujo R, Aguiar A, Melgarejo A, De Simone S, Soares M, et al. Immunome and venome of Bothrops jararacussu: a proteomic approach to study the molecular immunology of snake toxins. Toxicon. 2010;55:1222-35 pubmed publisher
    ..These results also reinforce the importance of neutralizing the highly toxic proteins inclusive those with low immunogenicity in commercial antivenom production to obtain a highly protective serum against snake venoms.
  4. Georgieva D, Arni R, Betzel C. Proteome analysis of snake venom toxins: pharmacological insights. Expert Rev Proteomics. 2008;5:787-97 pubmed publisher
    b>Snake venoms are an extremely rich source of pharmacologically active proteins with a considerable clinical and medical potential...
  5. Pawlak J, Mackessy S, Sixberry N, Stura E, Le Du M, Ménez R, et al. Irditoxin, a novel covalently linked heterodimeric three-finger toxin with high taxon-specific neurotoxicity. FASEB J. 2009;23:534-45 pubmed publisher
    ..Covalently linked heterodimeric three-finger toxins found in colubrid venoms constitute a new class of venom peptides, which may be a useful source of new neurobiology probes and therapeutic leads. ..
  6. Juárez P, Comas I, Gonzalez Candelas F, Calvete J. Evolution of snake venom disintegrins by positive Darwinian selection. Mol Biol Evol. 2008;25:2391-407 pubmed publisher
    ..Perhaps, this represents a consequence of the neofunctionalization potential of the disintegrin domain, a feature that may underlie its recruitment into the venom proteome followed by its successful transformation into a toxin...
  7. OmPraba G, Chapeaurouge A, Doley R, Devi K, Padmanaban P, Venkatraman C, et al. Identification of a novel family of snake venom proteins Veficolins from Cerberus rynchops using a venom gland transcriptomics and proteomics approach. J Proteome Res. 2010;9:1882-93 pubmed publisher
    ..Overall, our combined approach of transcriptomics and proteomics revealed that C. rynchops venom is among the least complex snake venom characterized to date despite the presence of a new family of snake venom proteins. ..
  8. Ching A, Paes Leme A, Zelanis A, Rocha M, Furtado M, Silva D, et al. Venomics profiling of Thamnodynastes strigatus unveils matrix metalloproteinases and other novel proteins recruited to the toxin arsenal of rear-fanged snakes. J Proteome Res. 2012;11:1152-62 pubmed publisher
    ..These results support the evidence that the arsenals of these snakes are very diverse and harbor new types of biologically important molecules. ..
  9. Pithayanukul P, Leanpolchareanchai J, Bavovada R. Inhibitory effect of tea polyphenols on local tissue damage induced by snake venoms. Phytother Res. 2010;24 Suppl 1:S56-62 pubmed publisher
    ..It is suggested that the inhibitory potential of the CS extract against local tissue damage induced by snake venoms may be attributed to complexation and chelation between the venom proteins and the phenolic contents of the ..

More Information


  1. Isbister G, Brown S, Macdonald E, White J, Currie B. Current use of Australian snake antivenoms and frequency of immediate-type hypersensitivity reactions and anaphylaxis. Med J Aust. 2008;188:473-6 pubmed
    ..Antivenom was used appropriately, and most commonly for coagulopathy. Hypersensitivity reactions were common, but most were not severe. The discretionary use of premedication was not associated with any reduction in reactions. ..
  2. McCleary R, Kini R. Non-enzymatic proteins from snake venoms: a gold mine of pharmacological tools and drug leads. Toxicon. 2013;62:56-74 pubmed publisher
    Non-enzymatic proteins from snake venoms play important roles in the immobilization of prey, and include some large and well-recognized families of toxins...
  3. Fujisawa D, Yamazaki Y, Lomonte B, Morita T. Catalytically inactive phospholipase A2 homologue binds to vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 via a C-terminal loop region. Biochem J. 2008;411:515-22 pubmed publisher
    ..The results of the present study provide insight into the binding of inactive PLA(2) homologues to KDR, and may also assist in the design of novel anti-KDR molecules for anti-angiogenic therapy. ..
  4. Voss R. Opossums (Mammalia: Didelphidae) in the diets of Neotropical pitvipers (Serpentes: Crotalinae): evidence for alternative coevolutionary outcomes?. Toxicon. 2013;66:1-6 pubmed publisher
    ..Because molecular antagonists (e.g., venom toxins and toxin-neutralizing serum proteins) that could mediate such outcomes have been plausibly identified, this system is a potentially fruitful field for evolutionary research...
  5. Souza G, Catharino R, Ifa D, Eberlin M, Hyslop S. Peptide fingerprinting of snake venoms by direct infusion nano-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry: potential use in venom identification and taxonomy. J Mass Spectrom. 2008;43:594-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Most of these studies have concentrated on components heavier than 3 kDa, but Bothrops snake venoms contain many biologically active peptides, principally C-type natriuretic peptides and bradykinin-potentiating ..
  6. Magro A, Fernandes C, dos Santos J, Fontes M. Influence of quaternary conformation on the biological activities of the Asp49-phospholipases A2s from snake venoms. Protein Pept Lett. 2009;16:852-9 pubmed
    One of the main components of snake venoms are the Asp49-phospholipases A(2), also known as svPLA(2)s. The study of these toxins is a matter of great scientific interest due to their wide variety of biological effects...
  7. Espino Solis G, Riaño Umbarila L, Becerril B, Possani L. Antidotes against venomous animals: state of the art and prospectives. J Proteomics. 2009;72:183-99 pubmed publisher
  8. Calvete J, Sanz L, Angulo Y, Lomonte B, Gutierrez J. Venoms, venomics, antivenomics. FEBS Lett. 2009;583:1736-43 pubmed publisher
    ..Here we review our proteomic protocols for uncoiling the composition, immunological profile, and evolution of snake venoms. Our long-term goal is to gain a deep insight of all viperid venom proteomes...
  9. Bazaa A, Pasquier E, Defilles C, Limam I, Kessentini Zouari R, Kallech Ziri O, et al. MVL-PLA2, a snake venom phospholipase A2, inhibits angiogenesis through an increase in microtubule dynamics and disorganization of focal adhesions. PLoS ONE. 2010;5:e10124 pubmed publisher
    ..We propose that the enhancement of microtubule dynamics may explain the alterations in the formation of focal adhesions, leading to inhibition of cell adhesion and migration. ..
  10. Costa J, Fonseca K, Garrote Filho M, Cunha C, de Freitas M, Silva H, et al. Structural and functional comparison of proteolytic enzymes from plant latex and snake venoms. Biochimie. 2010;92:1760-5 pubmed publisher
    ..classification, functions, location, inhibition, activation, and therapeutic applications of proteases from snake venoms and vegetables...
  11. Dhananjaya B, D Souza C. The pharmacological role of phosphatases (acid and alkaline phosphomonoesterases) in snake venoms related to release of purines - a multitoxin. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2011;108:79-83 pubmed publisher
    ..This has not been verified by pharmacological studies using purified enzymes. Further research is needed to biologically characterize these enzymes in snake venoms, such that their role in venom is clearly established.
  12. Isbister G, O Leary M, Elliott M, Brown S. Tiger snake (Notechis spp) envenoming: Australian Snakebite Project (ASP-13). Med J Aust. 2012;197:173-7 pubmed
    ..To describe the clinical syndrome associated with definite tiger snake (Notechis spp) envenoming and to examine the ability of tiger snake antivenom (TSAV) to bind free venom in vivo...
  13. Heyborne W, Mackessy S. Identification and characterization of a taxon-specific three-finger toxin from the venom of the Green Vinesnake (Oxybelis fulgidus; family Colubridae). Biochimie. 2013;95:1923-32 pubmed publisher
    b>Snake venoms contain a variety of protein and peptide toxins, and the three-finger toxins (3FTxs) are among the best characterized family of venom proteins...
  14. Yau T, Kuchel R, Koh J, Szekely D, Mirtschin P, Kuchel P. Cytoskeletal rearrangements in human red blood cells induced by snake venoms: light microscopy of shapes and NMR studies of membrane function. Cell Biol Int. 2012;36:87-97 pubmed publisher
    ..b>Snake venoms are lethal biochemical 'cocktails' that often contain haemotoxins, metalloproteinases, myotoxins, neurotoxins, ..
  15. Kozminsky Atias A, Zilberberg N. Molding the business end of neurotoxins by diversifying evolution. FASEB J. 2012;26:576-86 pubmed publisher
    ..Furthermore, we propose that the binding domains of unstudied toxins could be readily predicted using evolutionary considerations. ..
  16. Gutierrez J, Lomonte B. Phospholipases A2: unveiling the secrets of a functionally versatile group of snake venom toxins. Toxicon. 2013;62:27-39 pubmed publisher
    Phospholipases A(2) (PLA(2)s) are abundant components of snake venoms, where they play toxic and digestive roles...
  17. Terrat Y, Sunagar K, Fry B, Jackson T, Scheib H, Fourmy R, et al. Atractaspis aterrima toxins: the first insight into the molecular evolution of venom in side-stabbers. Toxins (Basel). 2013;5:1948-64 pubmed publisher
    Although snake venoms have been the subject of intense research, primarily because of their tremendous potential as a bioresource for design and development of therapeutic compounds, some specific groups of snakes, such as the genus ..
  18. Sanchez E, Rodriguez Acosta A. Inhibitors of snake venoms and development of new therapeutics. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2008;30:647-78 pubmed
    Natural inhibitors of snake venoms play a significant role in the ability to neutralize the degradation effects induced by venom toxins...
  19. Sanchez E, Rodriguez Acosta A, Palomar R, Lucena S, Bashir S, Soto J, et al. Colombistatin: a disintegrin isolated from the venom of the South American snake (Bothrops colombiensis) that effectively inhibits platelet aggregation and SK-Mel-28 cell adhesion. Arch Toxicol. 2009;83:271-9 pubmed publisher
    b>Snake venoms are complex mixtures of proteins, which affect the vital biologic systems of prey, as well as humans. Envenomation leads to immobilization by paralysis, cardiac, and circulatory failure...
  20. Warrell D. Commissioned article: management of exotic snakebites. QJM. 2009;102:593-601 pubmed publisher
    ..Respiratory and cardiovascular resuscitation may be required and when systemic or severe local envenoming develops, specific (equine or ovine) antivenom is indicated. ..
  21. Pahari S, Mackessy S, Kini R. The venom gland transcriptome of the Desert Massasauga rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii): towards an understanding of venom composition among advanced snakes (Superfamily Colubroidea). BMC Mol Biol. 2007;8:115 pubmed
    b>Snake venoms are complex mixtures of pharmacologically active proteins and peptides which belong to a small number of superfamilies...
  22. Tentori L, Dorio A, Muzi A, Lacal P, Ruffini F, Navarra P, et al. The integrin antagonist cilengitide increases the antitumor activity of temozolomide against malignant melanoma. Oncol Rep. 2008;19:1039-43 pubmed
    ..In conclusion, this study proposes the use of cilengitide in combination with TMZ for the treatment of metastatic melanoma, thereby opening novel perspectives for the use of integrin inhibitors to enhance the efficacy of chemotherapy. ..
  23. Kini R, Doley R. Structure, function and evolution of three-finger toxins: mini proteins with multiple targets. Toxicon. 2010;56:855-67 pubmed publisher
    b>Snake venoms are complex mixtures of pharmacologically active peptides and proteins. These protein toxins belong to a small number of superfamilies of proteins...
  24. Sohn Y, Cho K, Sun S, Sung H, Kwak K, Hong S, et al. Suppressive effect and mechanism of saxatilin, a disintegrin from Korean snake (Gloydius saxatilis), in vascular smooth muscle cells. Toxicon. 2008;52:474-80 pubmed publisher
    ..These results may have significant implications for integrin antagonistic therapy used for the treatment of atherosclerosis and restenosis. ..
  25. Pinho F, Yu L, Burdmann E. Snakebite-induced acute kidney injury in Latin America. Semin Nephrol. 2008;28:354-62 pubmed publisher
    ..In this article the main characteristics of Bothrops and Crotalus snakes and their venoms, the clinical picture, and the pattern of accidents, risk factors, and mechanisms of renal injury are reviewed. ..
  26. Tashima A, Zelanis A, Kitano E, Ianzer D, Melo R, Rioli V, et al. Peptidomics of three Bothrops snake venoms: insights into the molecular diversification of proteomes and peptidomes. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2012;11:1245-62 pubmed publisher
    ..The use of proteinase inhibitors clearly showed different outcomes in the peptidome characterization and suggested that degradomic-peptidomic analysis of snake venoms is highly sensitive to the conditions of sampling procedures.
  27. Johnston C, O Leary M, Brown S, Currie B, Halkidis L, Whitaker R, et al. Death adder envenoming causes neurotoxicity not reversed by antivenom--Australian Snakebite Project (ASP-16). PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2012;6:e1841 pubmed publisher
    ..Death adders (Acanthophis spp) are found in Australia, Papua New Guinea and parts of eastern Indonesia. This study aimed to investigate the clinical syndrome of death adder envenoming and response to antivenom treatment...
  28. Casewell N, Wagstaff S, Harrison R, Wüster W. Gene tree parsimony of multilocus snake venom protein families reveals species tree conflict as a result of multiple parallel gene loss. Mol Biol Evol. 2011;28:1157-72 pubmed publisher
    ..These results highlight the potential for gene tree parsimony analyses to be undermined by rapidly evolving multilocus gene families under strong natural selection...
  29. Calvete J, Borges A, Segura A, Flores Díaz M, Alape Girón A, Gutierrez J, et al. Snake venomics and antivenomics of Bothrops colombiensis, a medically important pitviper of the Bothrops atrox-asper complex endemic to Venezuela: Contributing to its taxonomy and snakebite management. J Proteomics. 2009;72:227-40 pubmed publisher
    ..colombiensis and B. asper venom components, most notably medium-size disintegrins, bradykinin-potentiating peptides, PLA(2) proteins, and PI Zn(2+)-metalloproteinases. ..
  30. Isbister G, Woods D, Alley S, O Leary M, Seldon M, Lincz L. Endogenous thrombin potential as a novel method for the characterization of procoagulant snake venoms and the efficacy of antivenom. Toxicon. 2010;56:75-85 pubmed publisher
    ..consumption coagulopathy occurs in snake envenoming worldwide but the interaction between procoagulant snake venoms and human coagulation remains poorly understood...
  31. Fox J, Serrano S. Exploring snake venom proteomes: multifaceted analyses for complex toxin mixtures. Proteomics. 2008;8:909-20 pubmed publisher
    ..In this review, we will discuss the technological approaches used in the study of venom proteomics highlighting the advances made and future directions. ..
  32. Doley R, Kini R. Protein complexes in snake venom. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2009;66:2851-71 pubmed publisher
    ..Here, we describe the structure and function of various protein complexes of snake venoms and their role in snake venom toxicity.
  33. Paoli M, Rigoni M, Koster G, Rossetto O, Montecucco C, Postle A. Mass spectrometry analysis of the phospholipase A(2) activity of snake pre-synaptic neurotoxins in cultured neurons. J Neurochem. 2009;111:737-44 pubmed publisher
    ..Although these toxins were recently shown to enter neurons, their intracellular hydrolytic action and the activation of intracellular PLA(2)s appear to contribute little, if any, to the phospholipid hydrolysis measured here. ..
  34. Isbister G. Antivenom efficacy or effectiveness: the Australian experience. Toxicology. 2010;268:148-54 pubmed publisher
  35. Gutierrez J, Lomonte B, León G, Rucavado A, Chaves F, Angulo Y. Trends in snakebite envenomation therapy: scientific, technological and public health considerations. Curr Pharm Des. 2007;13:2935-50 pubmed
    ..b) The growing knowledge on the biochemistry and toxicology of snake venoms should pave the way for the identification of natural and synthetic inhibitors of venom toxins, particularly of ..
  36. Morgenstern D, King G. The venom optimization hypothesis revisited. Toxicon. 2013;63:120-8 pubmed publisher
    ..We discuss the evidence for biochemical optimization of venom as a means of resolving this conundrum. ..
  37. Montecucco C, Gutierrez J, Lomonte B. Cellular pathology induced by snake venom phospholipase A2 myotoxins and neurotoxins: common aspects of their mechanisms of action. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2008;65:2897-912 pubmed publisher
    ..The different systemic pathophysiological consequences caused by these toxins are not due to different mechanisms of cell toxicity, but to the intrinsic anatomical and physiological properties of the targeted tissues and cells. ..
  38. Fry B, Scheib H, de L M Junqueira de Azevedo I, Silva D, Casewell N. Novel transcripts in the maxillary venom glands of advanced snakes. Toxicon. 2012;59:696-708 pubmed publisher
    ..were also recovered for the only recently characterised veficolin toxin class also shared between lizard and snake venoms. The additional complexity of snake venoms has important implications not only for understanding their ..
  39. Samy R, Stiles B, Gopalakrishnakone P, Chow V. Antimicrobial proteins from snake venoms: direct bacterial damage and activation of innate immunity against Staphylococcus aureus skin infection. Curr Med Chem. 2011;18:5104-13 pubmed
    ..Antimicrobial proteins produced by snake venoms have recently attracted significant attention due to their relevance to bacterial infection and potential ..
  40. Naumann G, Silva L, Silva L, Faria G, Richardson M, Evangelista K, et al. Cytotoxicity and inhibition of platelet aggregation caused by an l-amino acid oxidase from Bothrops leucurus venom. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011;1810:683-94 pubmed publisher
    Multifunctional l-amino acid oxidases (LAAOs) occur widely in snake venoms.
  41. Koh C, Kini R. From snake venom toxins to therapeutics--cardiovascular examples. Toxicon. 2012;59:497-506 pubmed publisher
    ..Their deadly venoms cause significant mortality and morbidity worldwide, and strike fear in most of us. Snake venoms contain a huge variety of molecules affecting vital physiological systems, and scientists are turning some of ..
  42. Maurer G, Tritschler I, Adams B, Tabatabai G, Wick W, Stupp R, et al. Cilengitide modulates attachment and viability of human glioma cells, but not sensitivity to irradiation or temozolomide in vitro. Neuro Oncol. 2009;11:747-56 pubmed publisher
    ..These data suggest that the beneficial clinical effects derived from cilengitide in vivo may arise from altered perfusion, which promotes temozolomide delivery to glioma cells. ..
  43. Dhananjaya B, D Souza C. An overview on nucleases (DNase, RNase, and phosphodiesterase) in snake venoms. Biochemistry (Mosc). 2010;75:1-6 pubmed
    ..We hope that this review will stimulate renewed interest among toxicologists to biologically characterize these enzymes and elucidate their role in envenomation. ..
  44. Bell D, Wijegunasinghe D, Samarakoon S, Palipana H, Gunasekera S, de Silva H, et al. Neurophysiological findings in patients 1 year after snake bite induced neurotoxicity in Sri Lanka. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2010;104:351-6 pubmed publisher
    Snake bite causes significant morbidity and mortality in Sri Lanka. Snake venoms contain neurotoxins that block neuromuscular junction transmission...
  45. Bretschi M, Merz M, Komljenovic D, Berger M, Semmler W, Bauerle T. Cilengitide inhibits metastatic bone colonization in a nude rat model. Oncol Rep. 2011;26:843-51 pubmed publisher
    ..In conclusion, during early pathogenic processes of bone colonization, cilengitide treatment exerted effects on tumor cells, osteoclasts and vasculature reducing the skeletal lesion size of experimental skeletal metastases. ..
  46. Durbán J, Juárez P, Angulo Y, Lomonte B, Flores Díaz M, Alape Girón A, et al. Profiling the venom gland transcriptomes of Costa Rican snakes by 454 pyrosequencing. BMC Genomics. 2011;12:259 pubmed publisher
    ..In the absence of genome sequence, transcriptomes represent also valuable searchable databases for proteomic projects...
  47. Samy R, Gopalakrishnakone P, Stiles B, Girish K, Swamy S, Hemshekhar M, et al. Snake venom phospholipases A(2): a novel tool against bacterial diseases. Curr Med Chem. 2012;19:6150-62 pubmed
    ..In fact, the C-terminal cationic/hydrophobic segment (residues 115-129) of svPLA(2)s is bactericidal. Thus identification of the bactericidal sites in svPLA(2)s has potential for developing novel antimicrobials. ..
  48. Treppmann P, Brunk I, Afube T, Richter K, Ahnert Hilger G. Neurotoxic phospholipases directly affect synaptic vesicle function. J Neurochem. 2011;117:757-64 pubmed publisher
    ..SPANs and Ca(2+) dissociate the Syp/Syb complex as a prerequisite for exocytosis. SPANs also prevent the filling of synaptic vesicles thereby adding to the inhibition of neurotransmission. ..
  49. Valente R, Guimarães P, Junqueira M, Neves Ferreira A, Soares M, Chapeaurouge A, et al. Bothrops insularis venomics: a proteomic analysis supported by transcriptomic-generated sequence data. J Proteomics. 2009;72:241-55 pubmed publisher
    ..Altogether, our data point to the influence of transcriptional and post-translational events on the final venom composition and stress the need for a multivariate approach to snake venomics studies. ..
  50. Jain D, Kumar S. Snake venom: a potent anticancer agent. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2012;13:4855-60 pubmed
    ..In this review, the anticancer potential of snake venom is discussed. Some of the included molecules are under clinical trial and may find application for anticancer drug development in the near future. ..
  51. Gebrim L, Marcussi S, Menaldo D, de Menezes C, Nomizo A, Hamaguchi A, et al. Antitumor effects of snake venom chemically modified Lys49 phospholipase A2-like BthTX-I and a synthetic peptide derived from its C-terminal region. Biologicals. 2009;37:222-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, these antitumor properties might be of interest in the development of therapeutic strategies against cancer. ..
  52. Barber C, Isbister G, Hodgson W. Alpha neurotoxins. Toxicon. 2013;66:47-58 pubmed publisher
    Neurotoxins have been isolated from hydrophid, elapid and, more recently, colubrid snake venoms. Also referred to as postsynaptic neurotoxins or 'curare mimetic' neurotoxins, they play an important role in the capture and/or killing of ..
  53. Isbister G, Halkidis L, O Leary M, Whitaker R, Cullen P, Mulcahy R, et al. Human anti-snake venom IgG antibodies in a previously bitten snake-handler, but no protection against local envenoming. Toxicon. 2010;55:646-9 pubmed publisher
    ..However, despite the presence of antibodies to death adder venom and free venom not being detected, the patient still developed significant local myotoxicity. ..