Traditional healthcare systems in China, India, Greece and the Middle East have for centuries exploited venomous creatures as a resource for medicines. This review focuses on one class of pharmacologically active compounds from venom, namely peptide toxins that target ion channels. We highlight their therapeutic potential and the specific channels they target. The field of therapeutic application is vast, including pain, inflammation, cancer, neurological disorders, cardioprotection, and autoimmune diseases. One of these peptides is in clinical use, and many others are in various stages of pre-clinical and clinical development.
Keywords: Venom, peptide toxins, ion channels, pain, immunomodulation, autoimmune disease, Therapeutic toxins, Scorpion toxins, Conotoxins, Spiders toxins
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