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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 391389, 9 pages
Review Article

Antitumoral Potential of Tunisian Snake Venoms Secreted Phospholipases A2

1Laboratoire des Venins et Biomolecules Therapeutiques, Institut Pasteur de Tunis, 13, Place Pasteur, 1002 Tunis, Tunisia
2Université de Tunis el Manar, 1068 Tunis, Tunisia
3Centre de Recherche en Oncologie Biologique et Oncopharmacologie (CRO2), INSERM UMR 911, Marseille, France
4Université d'Aix-Marseille, Marseille, France
5Faculté de Médecine de Tunis, 1007 Tunis, Tunisia

Received 19 July 2012; Accepted 4 September 2012

Academic Editor: Luis A. Ponce Soto

Copyright © 2013 Raoudha Zouari-Kessentini et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Phospholipases type A2 (PLA2s) are the most abundant proteins found in Viperidae snake venom. They are quite fascinating from both a biological and structural point of view. Despite similarity in their structures and common catalytic properties, they exhibit a wide spectrum of pharmacological activities. Besides being hydrolases, secreted phospholipases A2 (sPLA2) are an important group of toxins, whose action at the molecular level is still a matter of debate. These proteins can display toxic effects by different mechanisms. In addition to neurotoxicity, myotoxicity, hemolytic activity, antibacterial, anticoagulant, and antiplatelet effects, some venom PLA2s show antitumor and antiangiogenic activities by mechanisms independent of their enzymatic activity. This paper aims to discuss original finding against anti-tumor and anti-angiogenic activities of sPLA2 isolated from Tunisian vipers: Cerastes cerastes and Macrovipera lebetina, representing new tools to target specific integrins, mainly, and integrins.