The molecule present in scorpion poison can be used to transfer drugs into the brain. Today, about 98% of drugs that can be useful in neurology can not be used.
Large yellow scorpions from Israel
Researchers at the Laboratory for Peptides and Proteins of the Institute of Biomedical Research in Barcelona have once again shown that scorpions have many scientific contributions. In Chemical Communications, a small protein (peptide) derived from chlorotoksin, which is found in the gallbladder (Giant Iellov Israeli scorpion), can be introduced and can revolutionize neurological treatments.
The protein is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, which is responsible for preventing the passage of toxic substances into the brain. This natural barrier that protects our nervous system from many threats is also a problem, because with the use of drugs, many drugs make it difficult for the brain to reach it. "Up to 98% of medicines that might be useful can not be used because they can not cross this barrier," said Laboratory head Ernest Giralt in a statement.
The researchers reported that they made a chemical synthesis of chlorotoksin and a series of analogs, shorter lengths and more simplicity, which maintain a part of the properties of the original peptide. They evaluated the efficacy in the cellular blood-brain barrier models in the laboratory and showed that the MiniCTKS3 peptide was capable of transporting compounds of a different nature "with high efficiency" through this obstruction.
Animal poisons for the brain
This type of molecule is known as peptide shuttle. Prior to the discovery of this protein in the scorpion poison, the same groups were identified by similar persons in bees. "Our goal is to help drugs reach the brain and therefore join them with peptides that are designed to cross the blood-brain barrier," said Meritkell Teikido, research associate and co-leader in the work. . "Only two or three groups in the world are researching shuttlepeptides, we work with different strategies, and one is poison," Giralt added.
"There are thousands of poisonous poisons that contain millions of peptides with the potential to become chats, we chlorotoxin, because it has already been described to act as a toxin in the brain," Teikido said.