University of Dhaka

Department of Genetic Engineering &
Biotechnology, University of Dhaka
Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh


Among hundreds, even thousands of proteins found in the venom, there are toxins, as well as nontoxic proteins (which also have pharmacological properties), and many enzymes. High catalytic efficiency, thermal stability and resistance to proteolysis make venom components attractive models to investigate. The venom has been used in the treatment of a variety of patho-physiological conditions in Ayurveda, homeopathy and folk medicine for Centuries. Snake venom toxins affect major systems, like the central nervous system (CNS), cardiovascular system, muscular and vascular systems. With the advent of biotechnology, the efficacy of such treatments has been substantiated by purifying venom components and delineating their therapeutic properties. Various neurotoxicerapeutic properties. Various neurotoxic, cytotoxic or other compounds separated from snake venom are currently used as therapeutic agents like;

  • Neurotoxic compounds can be modified to be used as a vector for drug delivery (crossing blood-brain barrier). Neurotoxins affect the nervous system, leading to everything from seizures to death. They can be presynaptic or postsynaptic in action.
  • Cytotoxic compounds function as anti-tumor agent
  • Some proteins like L-amino acid oxidase can be used as anti-microbial agent
  • Cardiotoxic compounds like three-finger toxins can be used for controlling high blood pressure
  • Summary table: