Biochemistry and toxicology of toxins purified from the venom of the snake Bothrops asper
Angulo Ugalde, Yamileth
The isolation and study of individual snake venom components paves the way for a deeper understanding of the pathophysiology of envenomings – thus potentially contributing to improved therapeutic modalities in the clinical setting – and also opens possibilities for the discovery of novel toxins that might be useful as tools for dissecting cellular and molecular processes of biomedical importance. This review provides a summary of the different toxins that have been isolated and characterized from the venom of Bothrops asper, the snake species causing the majority of human envenomings in Central America. This venom contains proteins belonging to at least eight families: metalloproteinase, serine proteinase, C-type lectin-like, L-amino acid oxidase, disintegrin, DC-fragment, cystein-rich secretory protein, and phospholipase A2. Some 25 venom proteins within these families have been isolated and characterized. Their main biochemical properties and toxic actions are described, including, in some cases, their possible relationships to the pathologic effects induced by B. asper venom.