Venom protein nomenclature

This page shows the principal references on nomenclature of different types of venom proteins, as well as links to lists where these proteins are classified (red boxes) or databases in which they are available (blue boxes).

Several attempts to establish a general rational nomenclature have been made in the past, the most recent being King et al. (2008) . These authors propose a rational nomenclature for naming peptide toxins from spiders, nomenclature which can be extended to other venomous animals' toxins. This proposition has already been followed for naming sea anemone toxins (Oliveira et al., 2012).
Briefly, this nomenclature proposition gives three pieces of information in the name; toxin activity (see the list of Greek symbol descriptors), biological source and relationship to other toxins of the same species.

Cone snail

McIntosh et al., 1999
Conus peptides targeted to specific nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes.
Puillandre et al., 2012
Molecular phylogeny, classification and evolution of conopeptides.
Names in database ConoServer
UniProtKB image


Scorpion potassium channel toxins:
Tytgat et al., 1999
A unified nomenclature for short-chain peptides isolated from scorpion venoms: alpha-KTx molecular subfamilies.
Rodriguez de la Vega et al., 2004
Current views on scorpion toxins specific for K+-channels.

List &  Names in database Scorpion potassium channel toxin (scorpktx in VenomZone)
UniProtKB image

Scorpion non-disulfide-bridged peptides (NDBP):
Zeng et al., 2005
Scorpion venom peptides without disulfide bridges.
Almaaytah and Albalas, 2014
Scorpion venom peptides with no disulfide bridges: a review.

List &  Names in database Scorpion non-disulfide-bridged peptides (NDBP)
UniProtKB image

Tityus scorpion sodium channel toxins:
Guerrero-Vargas et al., 2012
Identification and phylogenetic analysis of Tityus pachyurus and Tityus obscurus novel putative Na+-channel
scorpion toxins.

Names in database UniProtKB image

Sea anemone

Sea anemone toxins:
Oliveira et al., 2012
Development of a rational nomenclature for naming peptide and protein toxins from sea anemones.
Names in database UniProtKB image


Most spider venom proteins:
King and colleagues (2008)
A rational nomenclature for naming peptide toxins from spiders and other venomous animals.

Names in database ArachnoServer
UniProtKB image
Spider phospholipase D (SicTox family):
Binford et al., 2009
Molecular evolution, functional variation, and proposed nomenclature of the gene family
that includes sphingomyelinase D in sicariid spider venoms.

Names in database UniProtKB image

Ant (Insect)
Ant toxins:
Touchard et al., 2016
The biochemical toxin arsenal from ant venoms.
Names in database UniProtKB image