1 Tahrcountry Musings: King Cobra Charms Researchers

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

King Cobra Charms Researchers

Here is yet another bonanza arising from conserving wildlife. This time it comes from King Cobra.
Researchers have been studying King Cobra venom for the past 50 years. They are still   continuing to find new compounds. The latest discovery of a new protein has enormous potential for new drug discovery and to advance understanding of disease mechanisms.

Many common drugs such as the widely prescribed blood pressure medication Captopril and anti-clotting drug Eptifibatide have been developed from snake and other animal venoms.  

The newly discovered protein has been named haditoxin. Haditoxin was discovered in Professor     Manjunatha Kini's laboratory at the National University of Singapore Co- researcher is Dr S   Niru Nirthanan, now at Griffith University on the Gold Coast.  

The new toxin is a relatively large complex made up of two identical protein molecules known as three-finger toxins linked together.This has enormous potential according to researchers. The new discovery has the potential for developing drugs for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, anxiety and depressive disorders and nicotine addiction.  

The details of the research appear in Journal of Biological Chemistry (March 12, 2010). The editorial board of the journal has selected this work as the "Paper of the Week"

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