Animal venoms are considered a large natural library, constantly selected and refined by the processes of natural evolution, in which each molecule is endowed with pharmacological property highly valuable for human use. It is estimated that the total number of molecules present in animal venoms is a collection of 40 million different compounds and, despite the efforts made, only 3,000 have been identified and characterized to date. Given these data, the use of animal venoms as a source of biomolecules for the development of new drugs is evident. The concept of turning a toxin to a commercially viable drug is not a new strategy: captopril, developed in the 70s, is the most successful example of a drug derived from animal venom. Despite the commitment, the exploration of these bio-libraries still remains limited. This may be related to the technological limitations that prevent full-scale investigation of these venoms. In addition, the conventional methods used to explore animal venoms are still time-consuming and require large amounts of samples, which restrict the studies for a few species. However, recent improvements in the techniques of molecular biology and mass spectrometry have been contributing to the advance of this promising area. The sensitivity improvement of these instruments allows the study of minimum amounts of sample, but with a wealth of information. This project aims to explore peptides of biotechnological interest present in the venom of the ant Pachycondilyla villosa through the venomics plataform. In this in ascension strategy, a combinatorial approach between transcriptome and proteome form the perfect couple for characterization and description of new toxins of biotechnological interest in a quickly and efficiently way.
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