Caister Academic Press

Animal Venoms as Natural Sources of Antimicrobials

R. Perumal Samy, S. Satyanarayanajois, O. L. Franco, B. G. Stiles and P. Gopalakrishnakone
from: Antibiotics: Current Innovations and Future Trends (Edited by: Sergio Sánchez and Arnold L. Demain). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2015) Pages: 229-248.


A number of naturally occurring proteins/peptides exert antimicrobial activities reported throughout the literature, of which snake venoms (SV) represent a vast natural source of protein/peptides not thoroughly explored to date. Snake venoms represent rich sources of bioactive compounds, which are produced by venom glands located around the snake's jawbone. In this review, we focus more on the basis of antimicrobial potential within SV and further need to search for novel antibiotic prototypes. Several enzymes [i.e. phospholipase A2 (PLA2) (these are part of PLA22) L-amino acid oxidase and metalloproteinase], as well as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) such as cathelicidine and defensin, have been isolated by various groups from SV. Antimicrobial proteins/peptides work in various ways that include hydrolyzing phospholipids on the bacterial surface. The presence of unusual amino acids and structure motifs in AMPs confer unique structural properties that contribute their specific mode of action. The ability of these active AMPs to act as multifunctional effectors such as signaling molecules and antibacterial agents makes them interesting candidates for structural and biological studies for prophylactic and therapeutic applications. In this review, we focus on the diversity and antimicrobial activities of various SV-derived molecules potentially useful as drug candidates for the pharmaceutical industry read more ...
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