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Animal toxins - Nature's evolutionary-refined toolkit for basic research and drug discovery.

Authors
  • Herzig, Volker1
  • Cristofori-Armstrong, Ben2
  • Israel, Mathilde R2
  • Nixon, Samantha A2
  • Vetter, Irina2
  • King, Glenn F3
  • 1 School of Science & Engineering, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, QLD, Australia; Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD, Australia. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Australia)
  • 2 Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 3 Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD, Australia. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Australia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Biochemical pharmacology
Publisher
New York, NY : Elsevier Science Inc
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2020
Volume
181
Pages
114096–114096
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.bcp.2020.114096
PMID: 32535105
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Venomous animals have evolved toxins that interfere with specific components of their victim's core physiological systems, thereby causing biological dysfunction that aids in prey capture, defense against predators, or other roles such as intraspecific competition. Many animal lineages evolved venom systems independently, highlighting the success of this strategy. Over the course of evolution, toxins with exceptional specificity and high potency for their intended molecular targets have prevailed, making venoms an invaluable and almost inexhaustible source of bioactive molecules, some of which have found use as pharmacological tools, human therapeutics, and bioinsecticides. Current biomedically-focused research on venoms is directed towards their use in delineating the physiological role of toxin molecular targets such as ion channels and receptors, studying or treating human diseases, targeting vectors of human diseases, and treating microbial and parasitic infections. We provide examples of each of these areas of venom research, highlighting the potential that venom molecules hold for basic research and drug development. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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