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The Peptides and Proteins lab at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) has published a paper in Chemical Communications describing the use of a peptide derived from chlorotoxin, found in scorpion venom to carry drugs across the blood-brain barrier (BBB).
The barrier serves to protect the brain from toxic substances, but it also prevents many potential therapeutic drugs from entering. "About 98 percent of drugs that could have therapeutic applications cannot be used because they cannot cross this barrier," explains the head of the lab, Ernest Giralt.
Researchers - Chlorotoxin - Series - Analogues - Properties
The researchers have chemically synthesised chlorotoxin and a series of analogues that retain some of the properties of the parent peptide. They have studied the efficiency of these compounds in cell models of the BBB and have demonstrated that the peptide MiniCTX3 has the capacity to transport compounds across the BBB "with great efficiency."
In the same way that traditional medicine uses natural products such as plants and flowers to treat a range of diseases, the IRB Barcelona lab has sought inspiration from venom with the objective...
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