University of Dhaka

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

Venom Components

Snake venom is a cocktail of enzymes, proteins, polypeptides and other compounds. Venom composition varies among various species and also within members of a single species. Snakes can even change its venom composition depending on age, diet, environment, temperature and geography. Snake venom contains mainly proteins and peptides (90-95% of the dry weight of venom) and they are responsible for almost all of its biological effects. The remaining (5-10%) includes carbohydrate, lipids, amines, nucleosides, metal ions and free amino acids.

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.

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