Next Article in Journal
Extracts of Renealmia alpinia (Rottb.) MAAS Protect against Lethality and Systemic Hemorrhage Induced by Bothrops asper Venom: Insights from a Model with Extract Administration before Venom Injection
Next Article in Special Issue
Natural Compounds Interacting with Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors: From Low-Molecular Weight Ones to Peptides and Proteins
Previous Article in Journal
Membrane-Pore Forming Characteristics of the Bordetella pertussis CyaA-Hemolysin Domain
Previous Article in Special Issue
Firing the Sting: Chemically Induced Discharge of Cnidae Reveals Novel Proteins and Peptides from Box Jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri) Venom
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview

Bioactive Components in Fish Venoms

Institute for Molecular Bioscience, the University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Bryan Grieg Fry
Toxins 2015, 7(5), 1497-1531;
Received: 8 April 2015 / Revised: 21 April 2015 / Accepted: 23 April 2015 / Published: 30 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the 5th Venoms to Drugs Meeting)
PDF [1057 KB, uploaded 4 May 2015]


Animal venoms are widely recognized excellent resources for the discovery of novel drug leads and physiological tools. Most are comprised of a large number of components, of which the enzymes, small peptides, and proteins are studied for their important bioactivities. However, in spite of there being over 2000 venomous fish species, piscine venoms have been relatively underrepresented in the literature thus far. Most studies have explored whole or partially fractioned venom, revealing broad pharmacology, which includes cardiovascular, neuromuscular, cytotoxic, inflammatory, and nociceptive activities. Several large proteinaceous toxins, such as stonustoxin, verrucotoxin, and Sp-CTx, have been isolated from scorpaenoid fish. These form pores in cell membranes, resulting in cell death and creating a cascade of reactions that result in many, but not all, of the physiological symptoms observed from envenomation. Additionally, Natterins, a novel family of toxins possessing kininogenase activity have been found in toadfish venom. A variety of smaller protein toxins, as well as a small number of peptides, enzymes, and non-proteinaceous molecules have also been isolated from a range of fish venoms, but most remain poorly characterized. Many other bioactive fish venom components remain to be discovered and investigated. These represent an untapped treasure of potentially useful molecules. View Full-Text
Keywords: fish venom; venom proteins; venom peptides; pharmacology; pore forming toxins; stonefish toxins fish venom; venom proteins; venom peptides; pharmacology; pore forming toxins; stonefish toxins

Figure 1

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 (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Ziegman, R.; Alewood, P. Bioactive Components in Fish Venoms. Toxins 2015, 7, 1497-1531.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Toxins EISSN 2072-6651 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top