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Production, modification and characterization of animal toxins with potential biotechnological application

Grant number: 19/10173-6
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: March 01, 2020 - February 28, 2022
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Pharmacy - Toxicological Analysis
Principal Investigator:Eliane Candiani Arantes Braga
Grantee:Eliane Candiani Arantes Braga
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto (FCFRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


Animal venoms and poisons constitute a rich source of substances with wide-ranging pharmacological activities. The bioprospecting of molecules from animal poisons and venoms combined with the use of biotechnological tools, such as the heterologous expression of toxins and the bioconjugation with polyethylene glycols (PEGs), allows the application of toxins in the development of new therapeutic strategies with better pharmacokinetic behavior and lower immunogenicity. In addition, the study of animal toxins helps to better understand the mechanism of toxicity of these molecules during the envenoming, enabling the development of more effective therapies and antivenoms. In this context, this proposal aims the bioprospecting of molecules from venoms from snakes Crotalus durissus terrificus and Crotalus durissus collilineatus and scorpion Tityus serrulatus with potential biotechnological application. Priority will be given to studies of serine proteases, vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF), phospholipase A2 inhibitors (PLI), phosphodiesterases (PDE) and neurotoxins that act on voltage-gated sodium or potassium channels, using modern approaches of heterologous production, PEGylation and structural and functional characterization. These studies of components from different animal venoms aim to explore the therapeutic potential of toxins for the development of new drugs. (AU)