Snake venoms are very complex mixtures of biologically active proteins and peptides that may affect hemostasis in many ways, by activating or inhibiting coagulant factors or platelets, or by disrupting endothelium. They have been classified into various families, including serine proteases, metalloproteinases, C-type lectins, disintegrins and phospholipases. The various members of a particular family act selectively on different blood coagulation factors, blood cells or tissues. Venom proteins affect platelet function in particular by binding to and blocking or clustering and activating receptors or by cleaving receptors or von Willebrand factor. They may also activate protease-activated receptors or modulate ADP release or thromboxane A2 formation. L-amino acid oxidases activate platelets by producing H2O2. Many of these purified components are valuable tools in platelet research, providing new information about receptor function and signaling.
Keywords: Disintegrins, serine proteases, metalloproteinases, phospholipases, C-type lectins, L-amino acid oxidases
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