elapid venoms


Summary: Venoms from snakes of the family Elapidae, including cobras, kraits, mambas, coral, tiger, and Australian snakes. The venoms contain polypeptide toxins of various kinds, cytolytic, hemolytic, and neurotoxic factors, but fewer enzymes than viper or crotalid venoms. Many of the toxins have been characterized.

Top Publications

  1. Dokmetjian J, Del Canto S, Vinzón S, de Jiménez Bonino M. Biochemical characterization of the Micrurus pyrrhocryptus venom. Toxicon. 2009;53:375-82 pubmed publisher
    ..pyrrhocryptus venom and one of the few fully determined in members of the Micrurus genus...
  2. Lee C, Chen H, Lisy O, Swan S, Cannon C, Lieu H, et al. Pharmacodynamics of a novel designer natriuretic peptide, CD-NP, in a first-in-human clinical trial in healthy subjects. J Clin Pharmacol. 2009;49:668-73 pubmed publisher
  3. 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
    ..ETP is a useful assay to investigate mechanisms of other procoagulant venoms and is a robust method of assessing antivenom efficacy...
  4. Birrell G, Earl S, Masci P, de Jersey J, Wallis T, Gorman J, et al. Molecular diversity in venom from the Australian Brown snake, Pseudonaja textilis. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2006;5:379-89 pubmed
    ..Indeed two of the identified proteins, a procoagulant and a plasmin inhibitor, are currently in development as human therapeutic agents...
  5. Correa Netto C, Junqueira de Azevedo I, Silva D, Ho P, Leitão de Araújo M, Alves M, et al. Snake venomics and venom gland transcriptomic analysis of Brazilian coral snakes, Micrurus altirostris and M. corallinus. J Proteomics. 2011;74:1795-809 pubmed publisher
    ..altirostris and M. corallinus toxins, hampering the possibility to raise an antivenom against a simple venom mixture exhibiting paraspecific neutralization of other Micrurus venoms...
  6. Fry B, Wickramaratana J, Lemme S, Beuve A, Garbers D, Hodgson W, et al. Novel natriuretic peptides from the venom of the inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus): isolation, chemical and biological characterisation. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005;327:1011-5 pubmed
    ..Thus, these naturally occurring isoforms provide a new platform for further investigation of structure-function relationships of natriuretic peptides...
  7. Guo X, Zeng L, Lee W, Zhang Y, Jin Y. Isolation and cloning of a metalloproteinase from king cobra snake venom. Toxicon. 2007;49:954-65 pubmed
    ..Sequence analysis and phylogenetic analysis indicated that metalloproteinases from elapid snake venoms form a new subgroup of P-III SVMPs. ..
  8. Rouget C, Quinton L, Maïga A, Gales C, Masuyer G, Malosse C, et al. Identification of a novel snake peptide toxin displaying high affinity and antagonist behaviour for the ?2-adrenoceptors. Br J Pharmacol. 2010;161:1361-74 pubmed publisher
    ..Additionally, its affinity and atypical mode of interaction open up the possibility of its use as a new pharmacological tool, in the study of the physiological roles of ?(2)-adrenoceptor subtypes...
  9. Isbister G, O Leary M, Schneider J, Brown S, Currie B. Efficacy of antivenom against the procoagulant effect of Australian brown snake (Pseudonaja sp.) venom: in vivo and in vitro studies. Toxicon. 2007;49:57-67 pubmed
    ..One vial of antivenom appears to be sufficient to bind and neutralise all venom in patients with severe brown snake envenoming...

More Information


  1. St Pierre L, Flight S, Masci P, Hanchard K, Lewis R, Alewood P, et al. Cloning and characterisation of natriuretic peptides from the venom glands of Australian elapids. Biochimie. 2006;88:1923-31 pubmed
    ..The data presented in this study represent a significant resource for understanding the role of various natriuretic peptides isoforms during the envenomation process by Australian elapid snakes...
  2. Hasegawa Y, Honma T, Nagai H, Ishida M, Nagashima Y, Shiomi K. Isolation and cDNA cloning of a potassium channel peptide toxin from the sea anemone Anemonia erythraea. Toxicon. 2006;48:536-42 pubmed
    ..In addition, the dyad comprising Lys and Tyr, which is considered to be essential for the binding of the known type 1 toxins to potassium channels, is also conserved in AETX K. ..
  3. McKie P, Sangaralingham S, Burnett J. CD-NP: an innovative designer natriuretic peptide activator of particulate guanylyl cyclase receptors for cardiorenal disease. Curr Heart Fail Rep. 2010;7:93-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, CD-NP has emerged as an appealing novel therapeutic strategy for heart failure. The endogenous NP system, the development rationale for CD-NP, as well as in vitro, animal, and human studies and future directions will be reviewed. ..
  4. Flight S, Johnson L, Trabi M, Gaffney P, Lavin M, de Jersey J, et al. Comparison of textilinin-1 with aprotinin as serine protease inhibitors and as antifibrinolytic agents. Pathophysiol Haemost Thromb. 2005;34:188-93 pubmed
    ..9 +/- 0.7). The same trend was found with the lysis of euglobulin fractions. From these data textilinin-1 appears to be a more specific plasmin inhibitor than aprotinin but aprotinin inhibits clot lysis to a greater extent. ..
  5. Lisy O, Huntley B, McCormick D, Kurlansky P, Burnett J. Design, synthesis, and actions of a novel chimeric natriuretic peptide: CD-NP. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008;52:60-8 pubmed publisher
  6. St Pierre L, Earl S, Filippovich I, Sorokina N, Masci P, de Jersey J, et al. Common evolution of waprin and kunitz-like toxin families in Australian venomous snakes. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2008;65:4039-54 pubmed publisher
  7. Miller M, Okaty B, Nelson S. Region-specific spike-frequency acceleration in layer 5 pyramidal neurons mediated by Kv1 subunits. J Neurosci. 2008;28:13716-26 pubmed publisher
  8. Flight S, Johnson L, Du Q, Warner R, Trabi M, Gaffney P, et al. Textilinin-1, an alternative anti-bleeding agent to aprotinin: Importance of plasmin inhibition in controlling blood loss. Br J Haematol. 2009;145:207-11 pubmed publisher
    ..Based on these data, textilinin-1 merits further investigation as a therapeutic alternative to aprotinin. ..
  9. Norris R, Pfalzgraf R, Laing G. Death following coral snake bite in the United States--first documented case (with ELISA confirmation of envenomation) in over 40 years. Toxicon. 2009;53:693-7 pubmed
    ..The clinical significance of the impending absence of commercially available antivenom for coral snake bites in the U.S. is highlighted...
  10. Barber C, Isbister G, Hodgson W. Solving the 'Brown snake paradox': in vitro characterisation of Australasian snake presynaptic neurotoxin activity. Toxicol Lett. 2012;210:318-23 pubmed publisher
    ..Compared with taipoxin, textilotoxin is less potent and constitutes a smaller proportion of the venom. This is likely to be the reason for the absence of neurotoxicity in envenomed humans thus explaining the 'Brown snake paradox'. ..
  11. Isbister G. Antivenom efficacy or effectiveness: the Australian experience. Toxicology. 2010;268:148-54 pubmed publisher
  12. Pahari S, Bickford D, Fry B, Kini R. Expression pattern of three-finger toxin and phospholipase A2 genes in the venom glands of two sea snakes, Lapemis curtus and Acalyptophis peronii: comparison of evolution of these toxins in land snakes, sea kraits and sea snakes. BMC Evol Biol. 2007;7:175 pubmed
    ..It is therefore interesting to examine the evolution of toxins in sea snake venoms compared to that of land snakes...
  13. Leão L, Ho P, Junqueira de Azevedo I. Transcriptomic basis for an antiserum against Micrurus corallinus (coral snake) venom. BMC Genomics. 2009;10:112 pubmed publisher
    ..In addition, their immunogenicity was tested using DNA immunization...
  14. Millers E, Trabi M, Masci P, Lavin M, de Jersey J, Guddat L. Crystal structure of textilinin-1, a Kunitz-type serine protease inhibitor from the venom of the Australian common brown snake (Pseudonaja textilis). FEBS J. 2009;276:3163-75 pubmed publisher
    ..5 nm versus 0.053 nm) and could also account for an observed narrower binding specificity. ..
  15. Xu C, Ma D, Yu H, Li Z, Liang J, Lin G, et al. A bactericidal homodimeric phospholipases A2 from Bungarus fasciatus venom. Peptides. 2007;28:969-73 pubmed
    ..This study is the first report about gram-positive bactericidal activity of sPLA(2)-I...
  16. Al Sadoon M, Abdel Maksoud M, Rabah D, Badr G. Induction of apoptosis and growth arrest in human breast carcinoma cells by a snake (Walterinnesia aegyptia) venom combined with silica nanoparticles: crosstalk between Bcl2 and caspase 3. Cell Physiol Biochem. 2012;30:653-65 pubmed publisher
    ..05) reduction in actin polymerization and cytoskeletal rearrangement in response to CXCL12. Our data reveal biological effects of WEV or WEV+NP and the underlying mechanisms to fight breast cancer cells...
  17. Maïga A, Mourier G, Quinton L, Rouget C, Gales C, Denis C, et al. G protein-coupled receptors, an unexploited animal toxin targets: Exploration of green mamba venom for novel drug candidates active against adrenoceptors. Toxicon. 2012;59:487-96 pubmed publisher
    ..These results highlight possible exploitation of ?-Da1a and ?-Da1b in important pathologies...
  18. Dickey D, Potter L. Dendroaspis natriuretic peptide and the designer natriuretic peptide, CD-NP, are resistant to proteolytic inactivation. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2011;51:67-71 pubmed publisher
    ..We suggest that this property may be exploited to increase the half-life of NP-based drugs. ..
  19. Ciscotto P, Rates B, Silva D, Richardson M, Silva L, Andrade H, et al. Venomic analysis and evaluation of antivenom cross-reactivity of South American Micrurus species. J Proteomics. 2011;74:1810-25 pubmed publisher
    ..lemniscatus venom, similar to 3FTx, PLA(2) and Kunitz-type protease inhibitor from other Micrurus and elapid venoms are reported...
  20. Hodgson W, Dal Belo C, Rowan E. The neuromuscular activity of paradoxin: a presynaptic neurotoxin from the venom of the inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus). Neuropharmacology. 2007;52:1229-36 pubmed
    ..PDX exhibits all the pharmacology associated with beta-neurotoxins, and appears to be one of the most potent, if not the most potent beta-neurotoxin yet discovered. ..
  21. Plant D, Colarossi F, Lynch G. Notexin causes greater myotoxic damage and slower functional repair in mouse skeletal muscles than bupivacaine. Muscle Nerve. 2006;34:577-85 pubmed
    ..05). The results demonstrate that notexin causes a more extensive and complete injury than bupivacaine, and is a useful model for studying muscle regeneration in mice. ..
  22. FERNANDEZ J, Alape Girón A, Angulo Y, Sanz L, Gutierrez J, Calvete J, et al. Venomic and antivenomic analyses of the Central American coral snake, Micrurus nigrocinctus (Elapidae). J Proteome Res. 2011;10:1816-27 pubmed publisher
    ..nigrocinctus equine antivenom revealed differences in immunorecognition of venom proteins that correlate with their molecular mass, with the weakest recognition observed toward 3FTxs...
  23. Birrell G, Earl S, Wallis T, Masci P, de Jersey J, Gorman J, et al. The diversity of bioactive proteins in Australian snake venoms. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2007;6:973-86 pubmed
  24. Armugam A, Gong N, Li X, Siew P, Chai S, Nair R, et al. Group IB phospholipase A2 from Pseudonaja textilis. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2004;421:10-20 pubmed
    ..In the present study, we report that the Pt-PLA2 gene could be responsible for the production of PL1, 2, and 3 possibly via RNA editing process. ..
  25. Herrera M, FERNANDEZ J, Vargas M, Villalta M, Segura A, León G, et al. Comparative proteomic analysis of the venom of the taipan snake, Oxyuranus scutellatus, from Papua New Guinea and Australia: role of neurotoxic and procoagulant effects in venom toxicity. J Proteomics. 2012;75:2128-40 pubmed publisher
    ..However, at high doses, such as those injected in natural bites, intravascular thrombosis due to the action of the prothrombin activator may constitute a potent and very rapid mechanism for killing prey...
  26. Nawarak J, Sinchaikul S, Wu C, Liau M, Phutrakul S, Chen S. Proteomics of snake venoms from Elapidae and Viperidae families by multidimensional chromatographic methods. Electrophoresis. 2003;24:2838-54 pubmed
    ..We have isolated and identified proteins that may be unique for each species for further studies in the proteome of snake venoms and their potentially use in the pharmaceutical applications. ..
  27. Renjifo C, Smith E, Hodgson W, Renjifo J, Sánchez A, Acosta R, et al. Neuromuscular activity of the venoms of the Colombian coral snakes Micrurus dissoleucus and Micrurus mipartitus: an evolutionary perspective. Toxicon. 2012;59:132-42 pubmed publisher
  28. Murakami M, Kini R, Arni R. Crystal structure of bucain, a three-fingered toxin from the venom of the Malayan krait (Bungarus candidus). Protein Pept Lett. 2009;16:1473-7 pubmed
    ..10 A resolution and based on the molecular topology and hydrophobicity profile is structurally classified as a three-fingered alpha-neurotoxin possessing a positively charged AChR-binding site...
  29. Gulati A, Isbister G, Duffull S. Effect of Australian elapid venoms on blood coagulation: Australian Snakebite Project (ASP-17). Toxicon. 2013;61:94-104 pubmed publisher
    ..The model also predicted that snakes with "Xa-like" venoms may produce a less severe VICC than snakes with "Xa:Va-like" venoms. ..
  30. Bohlen C, Chesler A, Sharif Naeini R, Medzihradszky K, Zhou S, King D, et al. A heteromeric Texas coral snake toxin targets acid-sensing ion channels to produce pain. Nature. 2011;479:410-4 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings reveal a mechanism whereby snake venoms produce pain, and highlight an unexpected contribution of ASIC1 channels to nociception...
  31. Rey Suárez P, Núñez V, Gutierrez J, Lomonte B. Proteomic and biological characterization of the venom of the redtail coral snake, Micrurus mipartitus (Elapidae), from Colombia and Costa Rica. J Proteomics. 2011;75:655-67 pubmed publisher
    ..Venomics of Micrurus species may provide a valuable platform for the rational design of immunizing cocktails to obtain polyspecific antivenoms for this highly diverse group of American elapids...
  32. Quinton L, Girard E, Maiga A, Rekik M, Lluel P, Masuyer G, et al. Isolation and pharmacological characterization of AdTx1, a natural peptide displaying specific insurmountable antagonism of the alpha1A-adrenoceptor. Br J Pharmacol. 2010;159:316-25 pubmed publisher
    ..Venoms are a rich source of ligands for ion channels, but very little is known about their capacity to modulate G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) activity. We developed a strategy to identify novel toxins targeting GPCRs...
  33. Marquer C, Fruchart Gaillard C, Letellier G, Marcon E, Mourier G, Zinn Justin S, et al. Structural model of ligand-G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) complex based on experimental double mutant cycle data: MT7 snake toxin bound to dimeric hM1 muscarinic receptor. J Biol Chem. 2011;286:31661-75 pubmed publisher
    ..These results structurally support the high affinity and selectivity of the MT7-hM1 interaction and highlight the atypical mode of interaction of this allosteric ligand on its G protein-coupled receptor target. ..
  34. Weiner L, Shnyrov V, Konstantinovskii L, Roth E, Ashani Y, Silman I. Stabilization of Torpedo californica acetylcholinesterase by reversible inhibitors. Biochemistry. 2009;48:563-74 pubmed publisher
    ..12 , 2337 - 2347 ). The low molecular weight inhibitors used in the present study may act similarly and can thus be considered as pharmacological chaperones for stabilizing the fully folded native form of the enzyme...
  35. Fruchart Gaillard C, Mourier G, Marquer C, Stura E, Birdsall N, Servent D. Different interactions between MT7 toxin and the human muscarinic M1 receptor in its free and N-methylscopolamine-occupied states. Mol Pharmacol. 2008;74:1554-63 pubmed publisher
    ..The high specificity of the MT7-M(1) receptor interaction exploits several MT7-specific residues and reveals a different mode of interaction of the toxin with the free and NMS-occupied states of the receptor. ..
  36. Johns D, Ao Z, Heidrich B, Hunsberger G, Graham T, Payne L, et al. Dendroaspis natriuretic peptide binds to the natriuretic peptide clearance receptor. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007;358:145-9 pubmed
    ..Blockade of NPR-C might represent a novel therapeutic approach in augmenting the known beneficial actions of DNP in cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and heart failure. ..
  37. Reza M, Swarup S, Kini R. Structure of two genes encoding parallel prothrombin activators in Tropidechis carinatus snake: gene duplication and recruitment of factor X gene to the venom gland. J Thromb Haemost. 2007;5:117-26 pubmed
    ..Thus, we named this segment as VERSE (Venom Recruitment/Switch Element). To our knowledge, this is the first molecular evidence for the recruitment of a duplicated gene for expression in venom glands by a simple insertion. ..
  38. Reza M, Minh Le T, Swarup S, Manjunatha Kini R. Molecular evolution caught in action: gene duplication and evolution of molecular isoforms of prothrombin activators in Pseudonaja textilis (brown snake). J Thromb Haemost. 2006;4:1346-53 pubmed
    ..As vertebrates, the snakes also contain a system to activate prothrombin in their own blood during injury. These hemostatic factors are produced in the liver...
  39. de Oliveira U, Assui A, da Silva A, de Oliveira J, Ho P. Cloning and characterization of a basic phospholipase A2 homologue from Micrurus corallinus (coral snake) venom gland. Toxicon. 2003;42:249-55 pubmed
    ..This is the first description of a complete primary structure of a phospholipase A2 homologue deduced by cDNA cloning from a coral snake. ..
  40. Ryglewski S, Duch C. Shaker and Shal mediate transient calcium-independent potassium current in a Drosophila flight motoneuron. J Neurophysiol. 2009;102:3673-88 pubmed publisher
    ..These data can now be used to investigate the roles of Shaker and Shal for motoneuron intrinsic properties, synaptic integration, and spiking output during behavior by targeted genetic manipulations. ..
  41. Chetty N, Du A, Hodgson W, Winkel K, Fry B. The in vitro neuromuscular activity of Indo-Pacific sea-snake venoms: efficacy of two commercially available antivenoms. Toxicon. 2004;44:193-200 pubmed
    ..However, the effects of CSL tiger snake antivenom are more variable. ..
  42. Isbister G, White J, Currie B, O Leary M, Brown S. Clinical effects and treatment of envenoming by Hoplocephalus spp. snakes in Australia: Australian Snakebite Project (ASP-12). Toxicon. 2011;58:634-40 pubmed publisher
    ..envenoming. Based on in vitro studies reported here, patients may be treated with one vial of TSAV, although one vial of brown snake antivenom may also be sufficient...
  43. Fry B, Wüster W, Kini R, Brusic V, Khan A, Venkataraman D, et al. Molecular evolution and phylogeny of elapid snake venom three-finger toxins. J Mol Evol. 2003;57:110-29 pubmed
    ..It is anticipated that this "three-finger toxin toolkit" will prove to be useful in providing a clearer picture of the diversity of investigational ligands or potential therapeutics available within this important family. ..
  44. Kukkonen A, PERAKYLA M, Akerman K, Näsman J. Muscarinic toxin 7 selectivity is dictated by extracellular receptor loops. J Biol Chem. 2004;279:50923-9 pubmed
    ..The results indicate that the high selectivity of MT7 for the M1 receptor depends on very few residues, thus providing good prospects for future design and synthesis of muscarinic receptor-selective ligands. ..
  45. Flight S, Mirtschin P, Masci P. Comparison of active venom components between Eastern brown snakes collected from South Australia and Queensland. Ecotoxicology. 2006;15:133-41 pubmed
    ..88 microg/ml of venom protein compared to approximately 7.5 microg/ml for the SA venoms. It is concluded that geographic differentiation of the Eastern brown snakes results in significant differences venom potency...
  46. Fruchart Gaillard C, Mourier G, Marquer C, Ménez A, Servent D. Identification of various allosteric interaction sites on M1 muscarinic receptor using 125I-Met35-oxidized muscarinic toxin 7. Mol Pharmacol. 2006;69:1641-51 pubmed
  47. Kulawickrama S, O Leary M, Hodgson W, Brown S, Jacoby T, Davern K, et al. Development of a sensitive enzyme immunoassay for measuring taipan venom in serum. Toxicon. 2010;55:1510-8 pubmed publisher
    ..The use of biotinylation and the antivenom difference method in venom EIA produces a highly sensitive assay that will be useful for determining antivenom dose, forensic and clinical diagnosis...
  48. Mourier G, Dutertre S, Fruchart Gaillard C, Ménez A, Servent D. Chemical synthesis of MT1 and MT7 muscarinic toxins: critical role of Arg-34 in their interaction with M1 muscarinic receptor. Mol Pharmacol. 2003;63:26-35 pubmed
    ..All these results and the different charge distributions observed at the two toxin surfaces of their structure models support the hypothesis that the two toxins recognize the M1 receptor differently. ..
  49. Filippovich I, Sorokina N, Masci P, de Jersey J, Whitaker A, Winzor D, et al. A family of textilinin genes, two of which encode proteins with antihaemorrhagic properties. Br J Haematol. 2002;119:376-84 pubmed
  50. Glazebrook P, Ramirez A, Schild J, Shieh C, Doan T, Wible B, et al. Potassium channels Kv1.1, Kv1.2 and Kv1.6 influence excitability of rat visceral sensory neurons. J Physiol. 2002;541:467-82 pubmed
  51. Lee J, Kim S. Dendroaspis natriuretic peptide administered intracerebroventricularly increases renal water excretion. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2002;29:195-7 pubmed
    ..c.v. DNP was markedly attenuated in rats that were deprived of their water supply for 3 days before the experiment. 4. These results suggest that DNP can act within the central nervous system to increase renal water excretion. ..
  52. Lainchbury J, Lisy O, Burnett J, Meyer D, Redfield M. Actions of a novel synthetic natriuretic peptide on hemodynamics and ventricular function in the dog. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2002;282:R993-8 pubmed
    ..05), and Tau decreased (31 +/- 2 to 27 +/- 1 ms, P < 0.05). The effects on hemodynamics, LV function, and second messenger generation suggest synthetic DNP may have a role as a cardiac unloading and lusitropic peptide. ..
  53. Qian Y, Fan C, Gong Y, Yang S. cDNA cloning and sequence analysis of six neurotoxin-like proteins from Chinese continental banded krait. Biochem Mol Biol Int. 1998;46:821-8 pubmed
    ..Comparative sequence analyses showed that they were structurally related to neurotoxin homologues. Phylogenetic analyses implied that they might represent two different evolutionary branches...