An international study has discovered that a compound extracted from the Australian funnel-web spider is highly effective at killing melanoma cells, as well as cells taken from facial tumours on Tasmanian devils.
It is believed to be the first time the spider-derived peptide has been found to have anti-cancer properties in melanoma and Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) cells. The findings mean the compound could potentially become the basis for a new treatment for DFTD and melanoma in future.
The study was led by QIMR Berghofer researchers Dr Maria Ikonomopoulou and Dr Manuel A. Fernandez-Rojo, along with collaborators from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland.
The researchers tested the peptide – which is very similar to the known Gomesin peptide from the Brazilian spider Acanthoscurria gomesiana – in a series of laboratory experiments.
Dr Maria Ikonomopoulou, who led the study, said the early results were very promising.
“We decided to test this spider compound because it was very similar in chemical composition to a compound from a Brazilian spider, which was already known to have anti-cancer properties although it had never been tested in devil facial tumour cells,” Dr Ikonomopoulou said.
“In our laboratory experiments we found that the Australian funnel-web spider peptide was better at killing melanoma cancer cells and stopping them from spreading than the Brazilian spider peptide. Additionally, the Australian spider peptide did not have a toxic effect on healthy skin cells.
“When we tested the Australian spider peptide on human melanoma cells in the laboratory, it killed the majority of them. We also found the peptide slowed the growth of melanomas in mice.”
Dr Ikonomopoulou and Dr Fernandez-Rojo also tested the compound on cells taken from facial tumours on Tasmanian devils.
“Similar to the effect in melanoma cells, we found that the Australian spider peptide killed the DFTD cells, but didn’t affect the healthy cells as much,” she said.
“We also experimented with different versions of the compound to try to find which one would be best at killing the DFTD cells,” she said.
“When we altered two particular amino acids in the peptide chain, the compound became even better at destroying the DFTD cells”.
“This research is still at a very early stage, but these results are very promising. There are many years of work ahead, but we hope that this compound could in the future be developed into a new treatment for melanoma and DFTD.
“These findings prompt us to continue investigating the potential of bioactive compounds derived from venom to treat melanoma, liver diseases, obesity and metabolism, as well as against the Tasmanian devil tumors in collaboration with the biopharmaceutical industry.”
Receive an email update when we add a new SPIDER PEPTIDE article.
The Latest on: Spider peptide
via Google News
The Latest on: Spider peptide
Peptide from Tarantula Venom Shows Promise as Treatment for Muscular Dystrophy, Incontinence, Atrial Fibrillation
on October 28, 2018 at 5:00 pm
He keeps spiders there ... Buffalo's School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences have isolated a peptide from tarantula venom that shows promise as a therapy for conditions as disparate as muscular dys... […]
A Chemical in Spider Venom Could Be a Key to Killing Skin Cancer Cells
on October 10, 2018 at 10:03 am
Identifying a similar peptide in the Australian spider, the researchers demonstrated that the chemical was effective in killing skin cancer cells while leaving healthy skin cells alone. […]
Deadly spider venom may hold cure for skin cancer
on October 8, 2018 at 10:06 pm
Venom from one of the world’s deadliest spiders may contain a peptide that holds the cure for melanoma, and cancerous facial tumours that are close to destroying the Tasmanian Devil populations in Aus... […]
Funnel-web spider venom found to contain potent killer of skin cancer cells
on October 7, 2018 at 7:30 pm
This peptide, called Gomesin, is known to have cancer-fighting properties, and because the Australian funnel-web spider's venom carries a peptide of a similar chemical nature, the team thought it ... […]
Spider peptide shown to kill Melanoma cells
on October 5, 2018 at 8:06 pm
Researchers have now discovered funnel-web spiders can be used to kill certain cancer cells. The QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute study found peptide has anti-cancer properties that can kill ... […]
Spider venom strikes a blow against childhood epilepsy
on August 6, 2018 at 7:59 am
A devastating form of childhood epilepsy that is resistant to traditional drugs may have met its match in spider venom. Researchers from The University of Queensland and the Florey Institute of Neuros... […]
Efficient immunotherapy using spider silk
on June 14, 2018 at 5:23 am
The reason is that a large portion of the peptide is broken down in the body before it ever reaches the immune cells. However, if it is packed in spider silk, it is able to reach its destination safel... […]
A new kind of vaccine based on spider silk
on June 12, 2018 at 7:05 am
"We recreated this special silk in the lab to insert a peptide with vaccine properties," explains Thomas Scheibel, a world specialist of spider silk from the University of Bayreuth who participated in ... […]
via Bing News