Phospholipase A2 inhibitor family

Snake phospholipase A2 (PLA2) inhibitors are secreted by the liver and can neutralize both the lethal and enzymatic activities of venom PLA2s. These endogenous inhibitors (PLIs) are identified in the circulating blood of snakes and belong to three different protein families (alpha-, beta-and gamma-PLIs).

Alpha-PLIs are glycoproteins made of 3-5 identical or different subunits. Each of these subunits contains a C-type lectin domain.

Beta-PLIs are trimers, contain leucine-rich repeats and have homology with the human serum alpha-glycoprotein.

Gamma-PLIs are oligomers, and have a pattern of cysteines that resemble those of mammalian proteins of the three-fingers superfamily. According to their heteromeric or oligomultimeric character, the gamma-PLIs can be subdivided in classes I or II, respectively.