Snake venom disintegrins and cell migration

Toxins (Basel). 2010 Nov;2(11):2606-21. doi: 10.3390/toxins2112606. Epub 2010 Oct 29.


Cell migration is a key process for the defense of pluricellular organisms against pathogens, and it involves a set of surface receptors acting in an ordered fashion to contribute directionality to the movement. Among these receptors are the integrins, which connect the cell cytoskeleton to the extracellular matrix components, thus playing a central role in cell migration. Integrin clustering at focal adhesions drives actin polymerization along the cell leading edge, resulting in polarity of cell movement. Therefore, small integrin-binding proteins such as the snake venom disintegrins that inhibit integrin-mediated cell adhesion are expected to inhibit cell migration. Here we review the current knowledge on disintegrin and disintegrin-like protein effects on cell migration and their potential use as pharmacological tools in anti-inflammatory therapy as well as in inhibition of metastatic invasion.

Keywords: ADAM; cell migration; disintegrin; snake venom; αvβ3 integrin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anoikis / drug effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects*
  • Cell Movement / drug effects*
  • Disintegrins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Disintegrins / toxicity*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / drug therapy
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / drug effects
  • Neutrophils / drug effects*
  • Snake Venoms / chemistry*
  • Snake Venoms / pharmacology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Disintegrins
  • Snake Venoms