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Applications of Venom Proteins as Potential Anticancer Agents

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Background: Venoms, the secretions of venomous animals, are conventionally thought to be the source of toxic substances though the views about venoms in the recent era have been changed. Venoms are the proven source of many biologically and pharmacologically important useful molecules. Bioactive components present in different venoms are mainly proteins and peptides either enzymatic or non-enzymatic which have tremendous therapeutic potential and are being used for the treatment of variety of diseases including cancer. Many venom proteins and peptides have been reported as potential anticancer agents.

Conclusion: Venom proteins kill cancer cells through a variety of mechanisms which induce apoptosis and ultimately lead to cell death. Therefore, the understanding regarding sources and classification of venoms, biological role of venomous proteins, their anticancer potential and mechanisms to suppress/kill cancer cells needs to be addressed. The present review is an attempt to highlight the reported work and develop strategies to answer the key questions regarding the use of venomous proteins as therapeutic agents.
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Keywords: Snake venom; Venoms; anticancer; bee venom; biological role of venoms; scorpion venom; toxins

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: July 1, 2018

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  • Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.
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