Send to

Choose Destination
Biomed Biochim Acta. 1991;50(4-6):769-73.

Synthetic and endogenous inhibitors of snake venom metalloproteinases.

Author information

University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville 22908.


The venoms of most Crotalidae snakes contain metalloproteinases which are the agents responsible for the production of venom-induced hemorrhage via proteolytic destruction of capillary basement membranes. Prevention of hemorrhage by administration of antiserum is generally not totally effective against damage at the site of envenomation. Therefore, we have investigated alternate methods for the alleviation of hemorrhage by inhibition of the proteolytic activity of the hemorrhagic toxins. The first approach involves the synthesis of carboxyalkyl peptide inhibitors in which the peptide moiety is modeled on the substrate specificity of the toxins. With this approach we have determined that the carboxypentyl group for interaction with the active site Zn+ +ion is most effective. Also, longer peptide moieties enhance the inhibitors' activity giving Ki's in a range of 10(-6) M. Our second approach to hemorrhagic toxin inhibition was to search for the presence of endogenous inhibitors against the toxins in the venom. From the crude venom we have isolated several pyro-glutamate containing peptides, two of which are relatively good inhibitors of the toxins. The isolation and characterization of the endogenous toxin inhibitors as well as the synthetic inhibitors may ultimately serve as a basis for new, effective treatments against venom-induced hemorrhage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center