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In silico Evaluation of Mandacaru Molecules (Cereus jamacaru: Cereeae) in the Treatment of Obesity and Cardiovascular Diseases: A Molecular Docking Approach.

Grant number: 23/06831-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2024
Effective date (End): March 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry
Principal Investigator:Danilo Trabuco do Amaral
Grantee:Maria Izadora Oliveira Cardoso
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Naturais e Humanas (CCNH). Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC). Ministério da Educação (Brasil). Santo André , SP, Brazil


Bioprospecting involves the search for molecules of biological origin with the purpose of discovering applications of economic, ecological, and social interest. Historically, plants have been prospected for a long time, being part of the culture of many peoples who have observed their medicinal, cosmetic, and even nutritional properties. In this sense, what is observed today is the discovery of new bioactive compounds, such as drugs, industrial enzymes, and natural chemicals, using innovative and sustainable techniques. The potential bioactivity of plants from the Brazilian semi-arid climate, such as the mandacaru cactus (Cereus jamacaru D.C.), widely distributed in the Northeast region of the country, is still underexplored. Its use is quite common in the folk medicine of this region; however, there is still a lack of understanding regarding the biomolecules involved in the biotechnological processes of mandacaru. This project aims, through omics data and bioinformatics tools, to investigate the properties of C. jamacaru in the treatment of obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Elevated levels of triglycerides in the blood are one of the main contributing factors to the development of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) on a global scale. However, it is important to emphasize that the roots of this condition are even more pronounced when associated with the problem of obesity. Thus, data on genes, isoforms, and metabolic pathways involved in the medicinal properties of this plant will be used to potentially control triglyceride levels in the bloodstream. The project aims to fill gaps in knowledge about the medicinal properties of mandacaru, which could be used in the future for the production of drugs for the treatment of obesity-a disease increasingly prevalent in contemporary society and directly linked to a higher incidence of cardiovascular diseases.

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