A molecule that is present in a scorpion venom could be used to transport medicines to the brain. Today, around 98% of medicines that may be useful in neurology can not be used.
A huge yellow scorpion of Israel
Researchers from the Barcelona Biomedical Research Institute of Peptides and Proteins have again shown that scorpions have many to contribute to science. In the Chemical Communications magazine, they introduced a small protein (peptide) that derived from chlorotoxin, found in a yellow scorpion poison (Israeli Yellow Grass Scorpion) and could revolutionize neurological treatments.
The protein can cross the blood-brain barrier, which is responsible for the prevention of toxic substances moving to the brain. This natural barrier that protects our nervous system of many threats is also a problem because of when it comes to drug use, it makes it difficult for many drugs to reach the brain. "Up to 98% of the medicines that may be useful can not be used because they can not cross this barrier," said the laboratory head, Ernest Giralt, by statement.
The researchers said that they had done the chemical synthesis of chlorotoxin and a series of clauses, shorter length and more simplicity, which supports part of the original peptide properties. They have evaluated the efficacy of the cellular block obstruction of the laboratory that they have in the laboratory and have proven that the peptide of the MiniCTX3 name can transport compounds of a "large efficiency" nature through this obstruction.
Animal toxins for the brain
This type of molecules is called a peptide litter. Before finding this protein in the scorpion venom, the same group had identified one similar in bees. "We aim to help drugs reach the brain and that's why we're joining them with peptides designed to cross the blood barrier," said Meritxell Teixidó, research colleague and co-leader of the work. . "Only two or three groups in the world explore the shuttle peptides, we work with different strategies and one is poisoning," added Giralt.
"Thousands of toxins are described that contain millions of peptides with the potential to be lanterns, we select chlorotoxin because it has already described as a function of brain toxin , "said Teixidó.