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Toxins 2013, 5(12), 2533-2571; doi:10.3390/toxins5122533
Review

Secreted Phospholipases A2 of Snake Venoms: Effects on the Peripheral Neuromuscular System with Comments on the Role of Phospholipases A2 in Disorders of the CNS and Their Uses in Industry

1,†,*  and 2
Received: 8 October 2013; in revised form: 2 December 2013 / Accepted: 10 December 2013 / Published: 17 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurotoxins: Health Threats and Biological Tools)
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Abstract: Neuro- and myotoxicological signs and symptoms are significant clinical features of envenoming snakebites in many parts of the world. The toxins primarily responsible for the neuro and myotoxicity fall into one of two categories—those that bind to and block the post-synaptic acetylcholine receptors (AChR) at the neuromuscular junction and neurotoxic phospholipases A2 (PLAs) that bind to and hydrolyse membrane phospholipids of the motor nerve terminal (and, in most cases, the plasma membrane of skeletal muscle) to cause degeneration of the nerve terminal and skeletal muscle. This review provides an introduction to the biochemical properties of secreted sPLA2s in the venoms of many dangerous snakes and a detailed discussion of their role in the initiation of the neurologically important consequences of snakebite. The rationale behind the experimental studies on the pharmacology and toxicology of the venoms and isolated PLAs in the venoms is discussed, with particular reference to the way these studies allow one to understand the biological basis of the clinical syndrome. The review also introduces the involvement of PLAs in inflammatory and degenerative disorders of the central nervous system (CNS) and their commercial use in the food industry. It concludes with an introduction to the problems associated with the use of antivenoms in the treatment of neuro-myotoxic snakebite and the search for alternative treatments.
Keywords: snakebite; envenoming; venoms; toxins; phospholipases A2; neurotoxicity; myotoxicity snakebite; envenoming; venoms; toxins; phospholipases A2; neurotoxicity; myotoxicity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Harris, J.B.; Scott-Davey, T. Secreted Phospholipases A2 of Snake Venoms: Effects on the Peripheral Neuromuscular System with Comments on the Role of Phospholipases A2 in Disorders of the CNS and Their Uses in Industry. Toxins 2013, 5, 2533-2571.

AMA Style

Harris JB, Scott-Davey T. Secreted Phospholipases A2 of Snake Venoms: Effects on the Peripheral Neuromuscular System with Comments on the Role of Phospholipases A2 in Disorders of the CNS and Their Uses in Industry. Toxins. 2013; 5(12):2533-2571.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Harris, John B.; Scott-Davey, Tracey. 2013. "Secreted Phospholipases A2 of Snake Venoms: Effects on the Peripheral Neuromuscular System with Comments on the Role of Phospholipases A2 in Disorders of the CNS and Their Uses in Industry." Toxins 5, no. 12: 2533-2571.


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