March 30, 2007

Purdue University researchers have found that a complex nanomolecule and snake venom may develop a more reliable method of diagnosing human diseases and developing new drugs.

The researchers bound dendrimer with a glowing identification tag that was delivered to specific proteins in living rattlesnake venom cells in an effort to find a better way to detect the presence, concentration, and function of proteins involved in disease processes.

Using dendrimers allowed the scientists to determine the activities of proteins that play roles in specific diseases because they pass through cell walls with little disturbance. Snake venom cells were used because they have a very high concentration of proteins similar to some found in human blood.

The scientists call their new strategy to discover proteins and protein levels soluble polymer-based isotopic labeling (SoPIL), and reported their findings in the current issue of the journal Chemical Communications.

[Source: Newswise]