Snake venom vascular endothelial growth factors (svVEGFs): Unravelling their molecular structure, functions, and research potential

Isabela Gobbo Ferreira, Manuela Berto Pucca, Isadora Sousa de Oliveira, Felipe Augusto Cerni, Beatriz de Cássia da Silva Jacob, Eliane Candiani Arantes.

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a key regulator of angiogenesis, a physiological process charac-terized by the formation of new vessels from a preexisting endothelium. VEGF has also been implicated in pathologic states, such as neoplasias, intraocular neovascular disorders, among other conditions. VEGFs are distributed in seven different families: VEGF-A, B, C, D, and PIGF (placental growth factor), which are identified in mammals; VEGF-E, which are encountered in viruses; and VEGF-F or svVEGF (snake venom VEGF) described in snake venoms. This is the pioneer review of svVEGF family, exploring its distribution among the snake venoms, molecular structure, main functions, and potential applications.