15 February, 2008

Another Leiurus peptid may be important in fighting serious diseases

The venom of Leiurus quinquestriatus has been subjected to massive research in the last years. It has already been shown that a syntetic version the peptid Chlorotoxin (TM-601) binds to malignant brain tumor cells (gliomas) with high affinity and does not seem to bind to normal brain tissue. This ability has been promising in developing new treatment for this serious disease, and the first human trials have been conducted.

In a recent article in Journal of Biological Chemistry, an international research team describes a new peptid from Leiurus (GaTx1). This peptid controls the movement of ions and water out of cells by interacting with a crucial chlorid channel. This particular ability may be instrumental in developing treatment for the very serious disease cystic fibrosis, which affect more than 70 000 peoples worldwide.

A lot more research is of course neccessary before we know for sure that GaTx1 can be used in treating cystic fibrosis, but it is very interesting that what is belived to be the most venomous scorpion in the world also can save lives.

Read more about this story here:
Scorpion peptide may be key to secretory diseases

Original article:
Fuller, M.D., Thompson, C.H., Zhang, Z. R., Freeman, C.S., Schay, E., Szakacs, G., Bakos, E., Sarkadi, B., McMaster, D., French, R.J., Pohl, J., Kubanek, J. & McCarty, N. A. State-dependent inhibition of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator chloride channels by a novel peptide toxin. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2007. 282(52):37545-55 (Subscription required for fulltext).

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