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Current Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 0929-8673
ISSN (Online): 1875-533X

Review Article

Animal Venom Peptides as a Treasure Trove for New Therapeutics Against Neurodegenerative Disorders

Author(s): Xinwang Yang*, Ying Wang, Chunyun Wu and Eng-Ang Ling*

Volume 26 , Issue 25 , 2019

Page: [4749 - 4774] Pages: 26

DOI: 10.2174/0929867325666181031122438

Price: $65


Background: Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and cerebral ischemic stroke, impose enormous socio-economic burdens on both patients and health-care systems. However, drugs targeting these diseases remain unsatisfactory, and hence there is an urgent need for the development of novel and potent drug candidates.

Methods: Animal toxins exhibit rich diversity in both proteins and peptides, which play vital roles in biomedical drug development. As a molecular tool, animal toxin peptides have not only helped clarify many critical physiological processes but also led to the discovery of novel drugs and clinical therapeutics.

Results: Recently, toxin peptides identified from venomous animals, e.g. exenatide, ziconotide, Hi1a, and PcTx1 from spider venom, have been shown to block specific ion channels, alleviate inflammation, decrease protein aggregates, regulate glutamate and neurotransmitter levels, and increase neuroprotective factors.

Conclusion: Thus, components of venom hold considerable capacity as drug candidates for the alleviation or reduction of neurodegeneration. This review highlights studies evaluating different animal toxins, especially peptides, as promising therapeutic tools for the treatment of different neurodegenerative diseases and disorders.

Keywords: Animal toxins, small peptides, molecular mechanisms, therapeutics, neurodegenerative diseases, excitotoxicity.

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