Snake Venom Disintegrins and Disintegrin-Like Domains: Soluble Antagonists and Cellular Ligands of Integrin Receptors

  • Juan J. Calvete


Snake venoms contain a complex mixture of pharmacologically active peptides and proteins which have many biological activities. Venoms of the Elapidae and Hydrophiidae families are neurotoxic, whereas those from Viperidae and Crotalidae species cause death by either intravascular clotting or systemic and local hemorrhage.1 Predominant in the group of venom proteins that inhibit hemostasis through a nonenzymatic mechanism are the disintegrins, a family of low molecular mass (5–9 kDa), cysteine-rich peptides.2 Disintegrins are potent inhibitors of platelet aggregation with IC50s in the nanomolar range. They exert their biological activities by competing with, and preventing, the binding of adhesive ligands to platelet integrin αIIbβ3, the fibrinogen receptor.2 In addition, several cells other than platelets have been shown to bind disintegrins in adhesion-inhibition assays and these interactions may primarily involve integrins αvβ3 and α5β1, known as the classical vitronectin and fibronectin receptors, respectively.3


Snake Venom Disulphide Bridge Integrin Antagonist Metalloproteinase Domain Platelet Integrin 


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1997

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  • Juan J. Calvete

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