Snake venoms are natural sources of biologically active molecules that are able to act selectively and specifically on different cellular targets, modulating physiological functions. Thus, these mixtures, composed mainly of proteins and peptides, provide ample and challenging opportunities and a diversified molecular architecture to design and develop tools and agents of scientific and therapeutic interest. Among these components, peptides and small proteins play diverse roles in numerous physiological processes, exerting a wide range of pharmacological activities, such as antimicrobial, antihypertensive, analgesic, antitumor, analgesic, among others. The pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries have recognized the huge potential of these privileged frameworks and believe them to be a promising alternative to contemporary drugs. A number of natural or synthetic peptides from snake venoms have already found preclinical or clinical applications for the treatment of pain, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and aging skin. A well-known example is captopril, whose natural peptide precursor was isolated from Bothrops jararaca snake venom, which is a peptide-based drug that inhibits the angiotensin-converting enzyme, producing an anti-hypertensive effect. The present review looks at the main peptides (natriuretic peptides, bradykinin-potentiating peptides and sarafotoxins) and low mass proteins (crotamine, disintegrins and three-Finger toxins) from snake venoms, as well as synthetic peptides inspired by them, describing their biochemical, structural and physiological features, as well as their applications as research tools and therapeutic agents.
Keywords: Crotamine, sarafotoxin, natriuretic peptide, bradykinin-potentiating peptide, disintegrin, three-finger toxin.
Mutations of Mitochondrial DNA in Atherosclerosis and Atherosclerosis-Related Diseases
Current Pharmaceutical Design Left Ventricular Hypertrophy and Angiotensin II Receptor Blocking Agents
Current Medicinal Chemistry - Cardiovascular & Hematological Agents Mean Platelet Volume: A Link Between Thrombosis and Inflammation?
Current Pharmaceutical Design A Prevention of Pre-eclampsia with the Use of Acetylsalicylic Acid and Low-molecular Weight Heparin – Molecular Mechanisms
Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Orthostatic Hypotension: Evaluation and Treatment
Cardiovascular & Hematological Disorders-Drug Targets The Impact of Hypertension as a Road to Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction: Diagnostic Value of Two-Dimensional Speckle Tracking Echocardiography for the Early Impairment of Left Atrial-Left Ventricular-Arterial Coupling
Current Hypertension Reviews Renin-angiotensin System Blockers and Modulation of Radiation-Induced Brain Injury
Current Drug Targets Collagen Cross-link Breakers:A Beginning of a New Era in the Treatment of Cardiovascular Changes Associated with Aging,Diabetes,and Hypertension
Current Drug Targets - Cardiovascular & Hematological Disorders Protective Effect of Dietary Potassium against Cardiovascular Damage in Salt-Sensitive Hypertension: Possible Role of its Antioxidant Action
Current Vascular Pharmacology Central Hemodynamics for Risk Reduction Strategies: Additive Value Over and Above Brachial Blood Pressure
Current Pharmaceutical Design Molecular Determinants of Vascular Calcification: A Bench to Bedside View
Current Molecular Medicine Therapeutic Potential of Voltage Gated Calcium Channels
Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry Mechanisms of the Penetration of Blood-Borne Substances into the Brain
Current Neuropharmacology The Clinical Pathway for Hypertensive Patient of Local Health Unit, Hospitals and General Practitioners, the Milan Experience
Reviews on Recent Clinical Trials Pharmacological Treatments for Obesity-Related Hypertension
Current Hypertension Reviews Atherosclerosis and Arterial Blood Pressure in Mice
Current Drug Targets Peptide Metabolism and the Control of Body Fluid Homeostasis
Current Medicinal Chemistry - Cardiovascular & Hematological Agents A Newly Found Gasotransmitter, Hydrogen Sulfide, in the Pathogenesis of Hypertension and Other Cardiovascular Diseases
Current Hypertension Reviews Polyphenols: Potential Use in the Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Diseases
Current Pharmaceutical Design Impact of Antihypertensive Drug Use on Bone Mineral Density and Osteoporotic Fracture - From an Epidemiological Perspective
Recent Patents on Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Drug Discovery (Under Re-organization)