A group of Brazilian and Belgian scientists developed a molecule from one of the proteins in the venom of a South American snake that modulates blood clotting and can be used in medicines to treat thrombosis or in wound dressing.
The molecule was developed from a technique that allows the modification of PEG-chollinein-1, a protein extracted from the venom of the so-called southern tropical rattlesnake, a subspecies of Crotalus durissus, poisonous snakes that live in central and western South America..
The work was coordinated by the Brazilian Ernesto Lopes Pinheiro Junior, a researcher at the University of Sao Paulo (USP) and the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), reported this Monday the Foundation for Research Support in the State of Sao Paulo ( FAPESP), which financed the project.
The research results were featured in the latest issue of the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules.
The technology to modify the protein of medicinal interest allowed the substance to have a more stable behavior in the body and to be more resistant to the immune system, according to FAPESP.
“The objective of the procedure was to keep PEG-chollinein-1 circulating in the body for longer, which can reduce the interval between administrations in case it can be converted into a medicine. In addition, it reduces the degradation by components of the human organism and improves its functional properties », he claimed Junior Pine.
To modify the protein, the researcher added polyethylene glycol (PEG), a substance that helps reduce interaction with the immune system and prevents the formation of aggregates that decrease the activity of the molecule in the body.
«It is a technique widely used by the pharmaceutical industry. There are already 19 approved medicines that use this technique, although it is the first time it has been used in an animal toxin », stated Eliane Candiani Arantes, researcher at USP and who guided the project.
The protein extracted from snake venom is responsible for causing bleeding in those who are bitten by the animal, but when administered in small doses, it can prevent the formation of thrombi that cause cerebral vascular accidents.
And when applied directly to the skin, it can clot blood in hard-to-heal wounds.
The Brazilian researchers working with the venom of this snake have already developed technologies that allow the proteins of interest to be produced synthetically, which avoids depending on the little venom that can be extracted from the Crotalus durissus, facilitates its manipulation in the laboratory and its manufacture. in scale, and reduces your cost.