Snake venom proteases affecting hemostasis and thrombosis

Taei Matsui, Yoshihiro Fujimura, Koiti Titani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

379 Citations (Scopus)


The structure and function of snake venom proteases are briefly reviewed by putting the focus on their effects on hemostasis and thrombosis and comparing with their mammalian counterparts. Up to date, more than 150 different proteases have been isolated and about one third of them structurally characterized. Those proteases are classified into serine proteases and metalloproteinases. A number of the serine proteases show fibrin(ogen)olytic (thrombin-like) activities, which are not susceptible to hirudin or heparin and perhaps to most endogenous serine protease inhibitors, and form abnormal fibrin clots. Some of them have kininogenase (kallikrein-like) activity releasing hypotensive bradykinin. A few venom serine proteases specifically activate coagulation factor V, protein C, plasminogen or platelets. The venom metalloproteinases, belonging to the metzincin family, generally show fibrin(ogen)olytic and extracellular matrix-degrading (hemorrhagic) activities. A few venom metalloproteinases show a unique substrate specificity toward coagulation factor X, platelet membrane receptors or von Willebrand factor. A number of the metalloproteinases have chimeric structures composed of several domains such as proteinase, disintegrin-like, Cys-rich and lectin-like domains. The disintegrin-like domain seems to facilitate the action of those metalloproteinases by interacting with platelet receptors. A more detailed analysis of snake venom proteases should find their usefulness for the medical and pharmacological applications in the field of thrombosis and hemostasis. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-156
Number of pages11
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Protein Structure and Molecular Enzymology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 07-03-2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Structural Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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