Home Breaking News Scorpion venom inhibits the spread of cancer in the skin, breast and...

Scorpion venom inhibits the spread of cancer in the skin, breast and prostate: UNAM

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Scorpion venom may have encouraging anti-cancer effects, above all, in which it manifests itself in:

Thanks to the double mutant of the potent toxin from the Indian red scorpion, also known as tamapine, is capable of inhibiting metastasis; that is, mitigate some types of cancer cells from 60 to 70 percent of these three types of cancer.

Where did this news about scorpion venom come from?

The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), reported through a statement than the double mutant of the powerful red scorpion toxin from India, called tamapina, which contains its poison, is able to inhibit metastasis; that is to say, migration of some types of cancer cells, according to the results obtained by scientists from the Institute of Chemistry (IQ) of said institution.

  • Due to its relevance, this mutant is in the patent process.

Federico del Río Portilla, a researcher at the IQ, and his doctoral student, Marlen Mayorga Flores, stated that modifying the Tamapina causes the “blockade” of the movement of malignant cells from 60 to 70 percent using a small concentration of the toxin in the Mesobuthus tamulus, specifically for certain types of cancer: breast, skin and prostate.

The University academic explained that the first step for malignant cells to become metastatic is for them to start migrating. Initially they develop into a small organ or tumor that later grows; as time passes they can begin to move to other parts of the body. That phase is responsible for the death of people with cancer.

Cells, he explained, have “pores” called ion channels, where they “feed”. Thus, for example, salts enter, such as sodium, potassium or calcium ions, sugar and other nutrients.

The phenomenon previously described is called hyperpolarization, and modifies the volume of cells, which makes it easier for them to migrate. However, when the potassium ion channel, especially SK3, is inhibited, hyperpolarization does not occur and therefore the cell does not migrate, adds the maximum house of studies.

The venom of the scorpion could have encouraging effects against cancer. | Photo: UNAM

The UNAM academics reported that SK3 ion channels are associated with certain types of cancer. “We know that they are generated in breast, skin and prostate cancer. In other words, this toxin would be useful when cancer cells have these channels, which are the target of the tamapine mutant ”.

The academics conducted experiments to determine whether the toxins, in addition to blocking those channels they were capable of attacking malignant cells. “We did not see a cytotoxic effect, but we did see a clear inhibition of the migration of cell lines that are highly metastatic”, UNAM referred through its statement.

What is the next phase of the investigation?

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The next phase of research is, as in any other drug, to carry out the preclinical and clinical stages to check its correct operation.

“We are at the point of improving it and beginning tests in animal models in collaboration with Mexican researchers.”

The encouraging results of this research were published in an American Chemical Society journal, Medicinal Chemistry Letters, last July.

That would be the next step, together with obtaining the national patent, a process that began last September.

The French team from the University of Tours was included in the registry, dedicated to the study of metastasis and the implication of ion channel modulation to stop this carcinogenic process. “We proposed the model and they have developed it and supported us in an impressive way,” acknowledged the scientist.

However, “we must put our feet on the ground because obtaining a drug takes a long time. We believe that we can inhibit metastasis, but we must be cautious. We do not want to generate false hope for the immediate future, but we are trying to improve the lives of people with this disease, “concluded the scientist.





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