Disintegrins are non-enzymatic proteins that interfere on cell–cell interactions and signal
transduction, contributing to the toxicity of snake venoms and play an essential role in envenomations.
Most of their pharmacological and toxic effects are the result of the interaction of these molecules with
cell surface ligands, which has been widely described and studied. These proteins may act on platelets,
leading to hemorrhage, and may also induce apoptosis and cytotoxicity, which highlights a high pharmacological
potential for the development of thrombolytic and antitumor agents. Additionally, these molecules
interfere with the functions of integrins by altering various cellular processes such as migration, adhesion
and proliferation. This review gathers information on functional characteristics of disintegrins isolated
from snake venoms, emphasizing a comprehensive view of the possibility of direct use of these
molecules in the development of new drugs, or even indirectly as structural models.
Keywords: Disintegrins, hemostasis, antitumor, cell specificity, integrins, pharmacological applications.
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