We have isolated and characterized EMS16, a potent and selective inhibitor of the alpha2beta1 integrin, from Echis multisquamatus venom. It belongs to the family of C-lectin type of proteins (CLPs), and its amino acid sequence is homologous with other members of this protein family occurring in snake venoms. EMS16 (M(r) approximately 33K) is a heterodimer composed of two distinct subunits linked by S-S bonds. K562 cells transfected with alpha2 integrin selectively adhere to immobilized EMS16, but not to two other snake venom-derived CLPs, echicetin and alboaggregin B. EMS16 inhibits adhesion of alpha2beta1-expressing cells to immobilized collagen I at picomolar concentrations, and the platelet/collagen I interaction in solution at nanomolar concentrations. EMS16 inhibits binding of isolated, recombinant I domain of alpha2 integrin to collagen in an ELISA assay, but not the interaction of isolated I domain of alpha1 integrin with collagen IV. Studies with monoclonal antibodies suggested that EMS16 binds to the alpha2 subunit of the integrin. EMS16 inhibits collagen-induced platelet aggregation, but has no effect on aggregation induced by other agonists such as ADP, thromboxane analogue (U46619), TRAP, or convulxin. EMS16 also inhibits collagen-induced, but not convulxin-induced, platelet cytosolic Ca(2+) mobilization. In addition, EMS16 inhibits HUVEC migration in collagen I gel. In conclusion, we report a new, potent viper venom-derived inhibitor of alpha2beta1 integrin, which does not belong to the disintegrin family.