Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Bee-Derived Molecular Shuttle is the Newest Venom Product

Discover, 4/19/2017

The mechanism for molecular Trojan horses is simple. Just as the infamous Trojan horse ferried hidden soldiers past Troy’s well-guarded gates to gain access to the vulnerable city, molecules that are already capable of passing the blood-brain barrier could theoretically be used to shuttle therapeutic ones to where they are needed most. Lots of research effort recently has gone into identifying potential molecular horses and testing their abilities to drag other compounds across the divide.

Of course, apamin itself is a toxin—not exactly the kind of compound we want a lot of in our brains. So simply shuttling drugs with apamin was out of the question. But a team of scientists, led by the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Barcelona’s Ernest Giralt, believed they could modify the compound, removing its toxic nature while retaining its brain-accessing abilities.

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