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Prospection of bioactive peptides with antitumor activity isolated from scorpion venoms from the Brazilian Amazon

Abstract

Cancer is one of the diseases with the highest incidence, morbidity, and mortality worldwide. InBrazil, the incidence in 2020 was estimated at 670 thousand new cases. Despite scientific andtechnological advances, antitumor treatments have been practiced in the same way for about acentury, that is, combined treatment modalities/techniques: surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, andimmunotherapy. Venoms from scorpions are made up of a complex mixture of organic compoundswith great potential for biotechnological application. Among these, peptides are an important sourceof molecules with potential for important biological actions and, consequently, the generation of newdrugs. In this light, the isolation of new molecules derived from venoms becomes a promisingalternative for the discovery of new drugs. In the present study, we will isolate the peptides from thecrude venom of the scorpions Tityus silvestres, Tityus strandi, Tityus metuendus and Brotheasamazonicus and characterize the biological activity of these peptides in breast tumor cells (MCF-7,SKBr3 and MDA-MB231) using MCF10A breast epithelial cells as a control. We will first investigatethe direct action of these peptides on tumor cells, as well as the intracellular pathways induced by thepeptides that lead to tumor growth inhibition. The results obtained will contribute to the generationof new drugs with potential therapeutic application in the treatment of breast cancer. (AU)

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