Dracula's children may lead to novel drug design

Jun 20, 2013

(Phys.org) —Vampire bat venom could hold the key to new treatments for stroke and high blood pressure.

An international team of scientists led by UQ's Associate Professor Bryan Fry from the School of Biological Sciences has discovered that vampire bat venom contains molecules capable of evading the victim's immune system.

"Our team's results point to entirely new forms of in the venom, as well as novel molecules that cause dilation of the small arteries near the skin," Associate Professor Fry said.

"Just as has developed rapidly to stay ahead of evolving resistance in prey, are rapidly evolving their venom to prevent the immune system of the prey from generating antibodies against the venom molecules."

Associate Professor Fry said vampire bats secreted multiple forms of the same , with myriad tiny changes scattered across the surface of the molecule.

"This means that even if an antibody is generated against one molecule, there are a number of other ones that will sneak past the prey's defence system and keep the blood flowing.

"This means the same victim can be fed on night after night.

"The discovery reveals a vast array of novel molecules, which have tremendous potential to yield new treatments for stroke and ."

The study's findings are published in the Journal of Proteomics.

Explore further: Two-armed control of ATR, a master regulator of the DNA damage checkpoint

More information: www.sciencedirect.com/science/… ii/S1874391913003102

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Python venom traces could waste antivenom

Apr 16, 2013

A University of Queensland researcher has found the potential for Australian doctors to prescribe expensive antivenom to snake bite victims who don't need it.

Deadly sea snake has a doppelganger

Nov 19, 2012

(Phys.org)—Scientists have discovered that the lethal beaked sea snake is actually two species with separate evolutions, which resulted in identical snakes.

New species of sea snake discovered

Feb 21, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists have discovered a new species of sea snake in the Gulf of Carpenteria, northern Australia, which is unique in having raised scales.

Biting back: Snake venom contains toxic clotting factors

Feb 27, 2013

The powerful venom of the saw-scaled viper Echis carinatus contains both anticoagulants and coagulants finds a study published in the launch edition of BioMed Central's open access journal Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxin ...

Recommended for you

Japanese scientist resigns over stem cell scandal

Dec 19, 2014

A researcher embroiled in a fabrication scandal that has rocked Japan's scientific establishment said Friday she would resign after failing to reproduce results of what was once billed as a ground-breaking study on ...

'Hairclip' protein mechanism explained

Dec 18, 2014

Research led by the Teichmann group on the Wellcome Genome Campus has identified a fundamental mechanism for controlling protein function. Published in the journal Science, the discovery has wide-ranging implications for bi ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.