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Pharmacological Insights of Venoms

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Pharmacology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 3375

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
LAQV-REQUIMTE, Departamento de Química e Bioquímica, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal
Interests: antimicrobial agents; metalloantibiotics; microbiology; bacteria resistance; mechanism of action; biophysical spectroscopy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The “dark side” of venoms is usually the best known, as venomous living beings have evolved to use necrotoxins, cytotoxins, neurotoxins, and/or haemotoxins in their venoms to neutralize enemies and preys. However, there is a remarkable “bright side” to venoms, as they are highly diverse sources of natural compounds, mainly but not exclusively proteins and peptides, with a huge therapeutic potential. Insects, reptiles, mollusks, amphibians, plants, and microorganisms, among others, produce secretions that, while used by Nature for protection or as weapons, are a vast pool of molecules deserving wider and deeper (bio)chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, and molecular medicine studies envisaging their therapeutic application for quite diverse indications.

In line with the above, this Special Issue welcomes high-quality articles, either comprehensive reviews or original research papers, focused on molecular-level research highlighting the therapeutic/pharmacological relevance of venom components and their derivatives or analogues.

Prof. Dr. Paula A. C. Gomes
Prof. Dr. Paula Gameiro
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • bacteria
  • bee
  • cone-snail
  • frog
  • poison
  • scorpion
  • snake
  • spider
  • toad
  • toxin
  • venom
  • wasp

Published Papers (1 paper)

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15 pages, 2603 KiB  
First Insights into the Venom Composition of Two Ecuadorian Coral Snakes
by Josselin A. Hernández-Altamirano, David Salazar-Valenzuela, Evencio J. Medina-Villamizar, Diego R. Quirola, Ketan Patel, Sakthivel Vaiyapuri, Bruno Lomonte and José R. Almeida
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(23), 14686; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232314686 - 24 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2262
Micrurus is a medically relevant genus of venomous snakes composed of 85 species. Bites caused by coral snakes are rare, but they are usually associated with very severe and life-threatening clinical manifestations. Ecuador is a highly biodiverse country with a complex natural environment, [...] Read more.
Micrurus is a medically relevant genus of venomous snakes composed of 85 species. Bites caused by coral snakes are rare, but they are usually associated with very severe and life-threatening clinical manifestations. Ecuador is a highly biodiverse country with a complex natural environment, which is home to approximately 20% of identified Micrurus species. Additionally, it is on the list of Latin American countries with the highest number of snakebites. However, there is no local antivenom available against the Ecuadorian snake venoms, and the biochemistry of these venoms has been poorly explored. Only a limited number of samples collected in the country from the Viperidae family were recently characterised. Therefore, this study addressed the compositional patterns of two coral snake venoms from Ecuador, M. helleri and M. mipartitus, using venomics strategies, integrating sample fractionation, gel electrophoresis, and mass spectrometry. Chromatographic and electrophoretic profiles of these snake venoms revealed interspecific variability, which was ascertained by mass spectrometry. The two venoms followed the recently recognised dichotomic toxin expression trends displayed by Micrurus species: M. helleri venom contains a high proportion (72%) of phospholipase A2, whereas M. mipartitus venom is dominated by three-finger toxins (63%). A few additional protein families were also detected in these venoms. Overall, these results provide the first comprehensive views on the composition of two Ecuadorian coral snake venoms and expand the knowledge of Micrurus venom phenotypes. These findings open novel perspectives to further research the functional aspects of these biological cocktails of PLA2s and 3FTxs and stress the need for the preclinical evaluation of the currently used antivenoms for therapeutic purposes in Ecuador. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacological Insights of Venoms)
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