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Targeting Metastasis with Snake Toxins: Molecular Mechanisms

Anatomy and Developmental Biology Program, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of Chile, Independencia 1027, Casilla 7, Santiago 7800003, Chile
Geroscience Center for Brain Health and Metabolism, Independencia 1027, Casilla 7, Santiago 7800003, Chile
Instituto de Química de Recursos Naturales, Universidad de Talca, Casilla 747, Talca 3460000, Chile
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Steve Peigneur
Toxins 2017, 9(12), 390;
Received: 2 November 2017 / Revised: 28 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 30 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxins in Drug Discovery and Pharmacology)
Metastasis involves the migration of cancer cells from a primary tumor to invade and establish secondary tumors in distant organs, and it is the main cause for cancer-related deaths. Currently, the conventional cytostatic drugs target the proliferation of malignant cells, being ineffective in metastatic disease. This highlights the need to find new anti-metastatic drugs. Toxins isolated from snake venoms are a natural source of potentially useful molecular scaffolds to obtain agents with anti-migratory and anti-invasive effects in cancer cells. While there is greater evidence concerning the mechanisms of cell death induction of several snake toxin classes on cancer cells; only a reduced number of toxin classes have been reported on (i.e., disintegrins/disintegrin-like proteins, C-type lectin-like proteins, C-type lectins, serinproteases, cardiotoxins, snake venom cystatins) as inhibitors of adhesion, migration, and invasion of cancer cells. Here, we discuss the anti-metastatic mechanisms of snake toxins, distinguishing three targets, which involve (1) inhibition of extracellular matrix components-dependent adhesion and migration, (2) inhibition of epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and (3) inhibition of migration by alterations in the actin/cytoskeleton network. View Full-Text
Keywords: anti-cancer agents; cancer cells; invasion; migrastatic drugs; snake venom anti-cancer agents; cancer cells; invasion; migrastatic drugs; snake venom
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MDPI and ACS Style

Urra, F.A.; Araya-Maturana, R. Targeting Metastasis with Snake Toxins: Molecular Mechanisms. Toxins 2017, 9, 390.

AMA Style

Urra FA, Araya-Maturana R. Targeting Metastasis with Snake Toxins: Molecular Mechanisms. Toxins. 2017; 9(12):390.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Urra, Félix A., and Ramiro Araya-Maturana. 2017. "Targeting Metastasis with Snake Toxins: Molecular Mechanisms" Toxins 9, no. 12: 390.

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