As more data are generated from proteome and transcriptome analysis revealing that metalloproteinases represent most of the Viperid and Colubrid venom components authors decided to describe in a short review a classification and some of the multiple activities of snake venom metalloproteinases. SVMPs are classified in three major classes (P-I, P-II and P-III classes) based on the presence of various domain structures and according to their domain organization. Furthermore, P-II and P-III classes were separated in subclasses based on distinctive post-translational modifications. SVMPs are synthesized in a latent form, being activated through a Cys-switch mechanism similar to matrix metalloproteinases. Most of the metalloproteinases of the snake venom are responsible for the hemorrhagic events but also have fibrinogenolytic activity, poses apoptotic activity, activate blood coagulation factor II and X, inhibit platelet aggregation, demonstrating that SVMPs have multiple functions in addition to well-known hemorrhagic function.
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