Back to Journals » OncoTargets and Therapy » Volume 9

Snake venom causes apoptosis by increasing the reactive oxygen species in colorectal and breast cancer cell lines

Authors Al-Asmari AK, Riyasdeen A, Al-Shahrani MH, Islam M

Received 15 June 2016

Accepted for publication 3 September 2016

Published 20 October 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 6485—6498


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Chiung-Kuei Huang

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Samir Farghaly

Abdulrahman Khazim Al-Asmari,1 Anvarbatcha Riyasdeen,1 Mohammad Hamed Al-Shahrani,2 Mozaffarul Islam1

1Research Center, 2Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Prince Sultan Military Medical City, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Abstract: Snake venom possesses various kinds of proteins and neurotoxic polypeptides, which can negatively interfere with the neurotransmitter signaling cascade. This phenomenon occurs mainly due to the blocking of ion channels in the body system. Envenomation prevents or severely interrupts nerve impulses from being transmitted, inhibition of adenosine triphosphate synthesis, and proper functioning of the cardiac muscles. However, some beneficial properties of venoms have also been reported. The aim of this study was to examine the snake venom as an anticancer agent due to its inhibitory effects on cancer progression such as cell motility, cell invasion, and colony formation. In this study, the effect of venoms on phenotypic changes and the change on molecular level in colorectal and breast cancer cell lines were examined. A reduction of 60%–90% in cell motility, colony formation, and cell invasion was observed when these cell lines were treated with different concentrations of snake venom. In addition, the increase in oxidative stress that results in an increase in the number of apoptotic cancer cells was significantly higher in the venom-treated cell lines. Further analysis showed that there was a decrease in the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and signaling proteins, strongly suggesting a promising role for snake venom against breast and colorectal cancer cell progression. In conclusion, the snake venoms used in this study showed significant anticancer properties against colorectal and breast cancer cell lines.

Keywords: colorectal cancer, breast cancer, cell motility, colony formation, oxidative stress, apoptosis, IL-8, IL-6, RhoC, p-Erk1/2

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]