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J Thromb Haemost. 2005 Aug;3(8):1791-9.

Snake venoms and hemostasis.

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Theodor Kocher Institute, University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland.


Snake venoms are complex mixtures of biologically active proteins and peptides. Many of them affect hemostasis by activating or inhibiting coagulant factors or platelets, or by disrupting endothelium. Based on sequence, these snake venom components have been classified into various families, such as 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. For almost every factor involved in coagulation or fibrinolysis there is a venom protein that can activate or inactivate it. Venom proteins affect platelet function by binding or degrading vWF or platelet receptors, activating protease-activated receptors or modulating ADP release and thromboxane A2 formation. Some venom enzymes cleave key basement membrane components and directly affect capillary blood vessels to cause hemorrhaging. L-Amino acid oxidases activate platelets via H2O2 production.

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