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Rattlesnake venom is used to create molecule that can reduce tumors.

Publicado em 23 novembro 2021

The research carried out by Belgian and Brazilian specialists developed a molecule, PEG-collinein-1, from the rattlesnake’s venom. The new compound may modulate blood clotting and even become a new option for tumor reduction.

Experts have developed PEG-collinein-1 from a protein from the rattlesnake’s venom, whose processing has made the new molecule more stable in the human body and at the same time resistant to its immune system. At that time, scientists found a new use for the drug: its ability to modulate blood clotting. Which led to the research being published in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules.

“The technique aims to keep PEG-collinein-1 circulating in the body for longer, which can reduce the interval between administrations if it becomes a drug”, said Pharmacist-Biochemist Ernesto Lopes Pinheiro Júnior, who participated in the article .

Tumor reduction expectation

On another front of protein research of rattlesnake venom, the teacher Eliane Candiani Arantes, from FCFRP-USP, also co-author of the study, managed to clone the gene that produces collinein-1 and, later, developed a version of the yeast Pichia pastoris, a recombinant yeast.

Shortly after these results, an experiment at the university at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, supervised by scientist Jan Tytgat, tested the recombinant yeast in some biological structures present in tumors.

According to Eliane: “it was unlikely to work, since collinein-1 is considered a large protein and we usually test smaller molecules in the so-called ion channels, which are the targets of some cancer drugs”, she reported to Portal UOL.

However, the protein interfered with the structure of the tumor’s potassium channel, significantly reducing its surface. The discovery could be a new way to treat certain tumors.

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