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Purification and determination of chemical structures of molecules isolated from Parawixia bistriata (Araneae, Araneidae) spider venom: neuroprotective and anticonvulsant drug models

Grant number: 14/21419-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): January 12, 2016
Effective date (End): July 11, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Applied Zoology
Principal Investigator:Wagner Ferreira dos Santos
Grantee:Wagner Ferreira dos Santos
Host Investigator: Laurent Bigler
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Zurich (UZH), Switzerland  


Neuropathologies such as epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, glaucoma and stroke, among others, are currently more prevalent, due to increased life expectancy of the world population and culture change. Treatments are usually uneffective (due to factors such as drug resistance and refractoriness), and therefore such pathologies are a huge medical and economic burden in developed countries. In poor and emerging countries, such as Brazil, this premise is even more dramatic. Pharmaceutical industries face severe challenges in the search for innovative and effective drugs. Therefore, there is an encouragement and a demand for new mechanisms of interaction in the R&D sector, including the search for new therapies based on natural products. Investments on R&D in countries like Brazil, with a biodiversity that is huge and privileged but neglected, are important and relevant. Therefore, molecules from animal venoms that modulate specifically and selectively relevant targets for the therapy of such diseases may serve as pharmacological tools to further understand the cellular mechanisms of the diseases. Moreover, such class of chemicals could be developed into feasible effective drug therapies. Hence, in this project we aim to characterize neuroactive molecules from the venom of the spider Parawixia bistriata, such as Parawixin1, 2 and 10, that we have characterized in previous studies to be potentially neuroprotective in animal models of epilepsy and glaucoma. We will use innovative biotechnological approaches to develop these molecules as novel anticonvulsant and neuroprotective drugs. We are requesting a six month budget to perform assays in the laboratory of Dr. L. Bigler to purify and elucidate the structures of these neuroactive molecules. (AU)

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