Snake Venom $ Its Enzymes

Snake is considered to be the enemy of man. The other side of coin is ,that its poison is greatest friend of man if used judiciously and Homoeopathically in finite doses—–


Venomous snakes are found throughout the world; they are even lurking in our oceans and mountains. The major culprits are vipers, elapids, colubrids and sea snakes.  Of these, elapids such as cobras and kraits have developed the most potent toxins.  Snake venoms contain a multitude of biologically active toxins that work together for the capture of prey

Snakes are considered to be enemy of man and its venom is considered very lethal to its victim. Both of above statements are wrong and misleading. Not all species of snakes produce venom or are injurious. Snake venom is saliva, rather highly modified saliva. It is produced by modified salivary glands.  Venom is highly modified saliva that is produced by special glands of certain species of snakes. Snakes belong to reptiles’ class of species. Many of these proteins are harmless but a percentage of them are toxins. The chemical composition of these toxins varies widely from species to species. This complexity of venom accounts for the widely differing effects of snakebite.  The gland which secretes the zootoxin is a modification of the parotid salivary gland of other vertebrates, and is usually situated on each side of the head below and behind the eye, invested in a muscular sheath. It is provided with large alveoli in which the venom is stored before being conveyed by a duct to the base of the channeled or tubular fang through which it is ejected. Snake venom is a combination of many different proteins and enzymes. Many of these proteins are harmless to humans, but some are dangerously toxins. Snake venom consists of proteins, enzymes, substances with a cytotoxic effect, neurotoxins and coagulants. The main enzymes of snake venom and their functions are as below

· Phosphodiesterases: are those enzymes that mainly affect the cardiac system by lowering the blood pressure.

· Phospholipase A2: is hemolytic in nature and it causes hemolysis by lysing the phospholipids cell membranes of red blood cells

· Hyaluronidase: increases tissue permeability to increase the rate that other enzymes are absorbed into the prey’s tissues.

· Amino acid oxidases and proteases:  These are used for digestion. Amino acid oxidase also triggers some other enzymes and is responsible for the yellow color of the venom of some species.

· Snake venom often contains ATPase, an enzyme which catalyzes the hydrolysis of ATP to ADP and a free phosphate ion or to AMP and diphosphate

Nature of snake poison

@ Neurotoxins – This type of poison paralyses the nervous system of its prey

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