Open Access Medical Books



Edited by Gandhi Rádis Baptista . 

544 pages .
Open Access .
ISBN 978-953-51-1151-1 .

Molecular Toxinology has been consolidated as a scientific field focused on the intertwined description of ecological, biochemical, clinical, pharmacological and structural aspects of animal toxins. In an inquiring biological world, where the practical scientific responses are given ultimately to improve the human health, animal toxins have arisen as an invaluable source for the discovery of therapeutic peptides and proteins. Both basic and applied research in academy and pharmaceutical industries are granted and benefited from million of years of natural history by which families of toxins in animal venoms have evolved and were improved in terms of selectivity and target specificity. Another advantage is that nature has selected several toxin structures and scaffolds to act effectively as poison but indeed have similar counterparts in the human body. No matter if organic or polypeptide, animal toxins rely on specific chemical interactions with their partner molecule to exert their biological actions.
Obviously, better the comprehension of how molecules interact and discriminate (recognize) their target, better the benefits we can achieve for rational exploration of the bioactive peptides and polypeptides as therapeutics. In this respect, a deep investigation of the molecular mechanism of interaction and recognition by which a given polypeptide acts as ligand or target molecule offers a window of opportunities for the pharmaceutical industry and clinical medicine.
This book is dedicated to present to the reader selected elegant examples of two interconnected themes - molecular recognition and toxinology–concerning to the integration between analytical procedures and biomedical applications. With this aim, the book is divided in three sections, where the first combines chapters on molecular toxinology, the second deals on molecular cloning and genetics, and the third brings into focus basic and applied works on molecular recognition.
Thus, by means of proteomic and pharmacological concepts, Cunha's group (Chapter 1) and Fernandes-Pedrosa (Chapter 2) describe several examples of venom toxins from the main poisonous animal groups and illustrate the potential application of isolated venom components to modulate physiological and pathological processes, particularly, in mammals. In Chapter 3, Mortari and Siqueira Cunha present a comprehensive review concerning to the arthropod neurotoxic polypeptides useful for target-driven drug discovery, and in Chapter 4 Giuliatti shows in detail how to apply distinct computational methods to elaborate threedimensional protein models and search for binders and ligands. Lameu and collaborators, in Chapter 5, review the multiple biological roles of venom bradikinin potetiating peptides–a component of kallikrein-kinin system–and the importance of these molecules in programs of drug development for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. In Chapter 6, Yanomine and co-workers discuss about serine proteases from snake venom, taking into account the cloning, expression and use of this class of thrombin-like enzymes in controlling coagulopathies.
In Chapter 7, Chudzinski-Tavassi's group paradigmatically covers robust analytical procedures to understand the Lonomia obliqua (caterpillar) envenomation, compositional determination of bristle secretion, and biomedical application of its components on blood coagulation system. In a moment that several species of hymenoptera have their genome sequenced and annotated, Torres and co-authors bring to view, in Chapter 8, the current status and recent progress on the venom from ants, dedicating particular attention to the giant ant Dinoponera quadriceps. Connecting the molecular mechanism by which toxins induce tissue damage, Bruzan and collaborators (Chapter 9) elegantly discuss the role of miRNA in the mechanism of intoxication caused by microcystin - a hepatotoxin produced by
Section two is opened with a work written by Perez de la Lastra et al. (Chapter 10) devoted to the identification of key components from vulture immune system involved in the neutralization of noxious microorganisms taking during carcass feeding. Related to host mechanisms of detoxification and control of disease-causing plague's vector, the article authored by Shahein et al. (Chapter 11) introduces the genetic, structural and functional characteristics of GST from ticks and its amenability to serve as an antigen for parasite killing using anti-tick vaccines. In connection, Castillo & Porta (Chapter 12) focus on presenting concepts and practice of preparing structurally modified recombinant allergens for diagnosis and allergen- specific immunotherapy to treat allergy syndrome. In biotechnology, different biological platforms are used for genome modification and developed for recombinant protein expression. The review article (Chapter 13) by Murakami brings into focus the recent advances in genetic transformation of macroalgae–a photosynthetic biological system of high economic, industrial and medical importance. Closing the section two, Noriyuki and
collaborators report, in Chapter 14, the genetic diversity and population balance of Hotoke loach in rivers from rural area of Japan, bringing to discussion an actual ecological case that can be applicable as model for the evaluation of population status and genetic background of other endangered species of animals.
Section three starts (Chapter 15) with the examination of the mechanistic and structural characteristics of molecular recognition between HIV-1 integrase and its inhibitor raltegravir, by Tchertanov and Arora. This survey sets the basis for target-based drug discovery and clinical application of highly specific allosteric inhibitor in HIV therapy. In Chapter 16, Fierro and collaborators present theoretical and original data from protein crystal structure and computational molecular modelling to evaluate ligand-binding sites of monoamine oxidases and experimentally test several selective inhibitors. Hibino and co-authors (Chapter 17) treat sharply on a powerful and sophisticated technology to investigate and quantify the ligand association/dissociation with their respective receptors based on single-molecule imaging (SMI). The authors offer some examples of the actual use of SMI in Life Sciences and its applicability in the field of Toxinology. The molecular interaction and recognition between saccharides and polypeptides play a crucial role in biological process and signaling. In Chapter 18, Miura and collaborators exemplify several aspects of sugar-protein discrimination and interaction, discussing the fabrication of glycopolymeric biomaterials for analytical and nanotechnological purposes. In Chapter 19, Khalafi and Rafiee present fundaments of how spectral changes of cyclodextrin are observed and illustrate practical uses of this system in molecular recognition of distinct compounds, including toxins. Another technique of evaluating recognition of molecules involves the application of potentiometry, as discussed by Radecki and Radecka, in Chapter 20. Closing the section three, Akitsu and Kominato bring into view the backgrounds of conformational changes occurring in consequence of molecular recognition based on Schiff-base interaction. This principle can be applicable for spectroscopic analysis and docking studies of metal-Schiff base complexes in proteins.
I hope the readers will enjoy the selected and interconnected themes compiled here and that the chapters in this book will serve as useful reference for productive research and technological application.
I am very thankful to all authors for their contribution and sharing their knowledge, what surely is the result from constant and dedicated works. I manifest my gratitude to InTech editorial office for making possible the concretization of this book project.

Dr. Gandhi Radis-Baptista
Universidade Federal do Ceara, Instituto de Ciencias do Mar - Labomar,


Section 1 Molecular Toxinology .

 1 Peptidomic Analysis of Animal Venoms 3 Ricardo Bastos Cunha

 2 Toxins from Venomous Animals: Gene Cloning, Protein Expression and Biotechnological Applications 23 Matheus F. Fernandes-Pedrosa, Juliana Félix-Silva and Yamara A. S. Menezes

 3 Computer-Based Methods of Inhibitor Prediction 73 Silvana Giuliatti

 4 New Perspectives in Drug Discovery Using Neuroactive Molecules From the Venom of Arthropods 91 Márcia Renata Mortari and Alexandra Olimpio Siqueira Cunha

 5 Venom Bradykinin-Related Peptides (BRPs) and Its Multiple Biological Roles 119 Claudiana Lameu, Márcia Neiva and Mirian A. F. Hayashi

 6 Serine proteases — Cloning, Expression and Potential Applications 153 Camila Miyagui Yonamine, Álvaro Rossan de Brandão Prieto da Silva and Geraldo Santana Magalhães

 7 Toxins from Lonomia obliqua — Recombinant Production and Molecular Approach 175 Ana Marisa Chudzinski-Tavassi, Miryam Paola Alvarez-Flores, Linda Christian Carrijo-Carvalho and Maria Esther Ricci-Silva

 8 Molecular Pharmacology and Toxinology of Venom from Ants 207 A.F.C. Torres, Y.P. Quinet, A. Havt, G. Rádis-Baptista and A.M.C. Martins

 9 Discovering the Role of MicroRNAs in Microcystin-Induced Toxicity in Fish 223 Paweł Brzuzan, Maciej Woźny, Lidia Wolińska and Michał K. Łuczyński

Section 2 Molecular Cloning and Genetics .

 10 Identification of Key Molecules Involved in the Protection of Vultures Against Pathogens and Toxins 241 Lourdes Mateos-Hernández, Elena Crespo, José de la Fuente and José M. Pérez de la Lastra

 11 Glutathione S-Transferase Genes from Ticks 267 Yasser Shahein, Amira Abouelella and Ragaa Hamed

 12 From Molecular Cloning to Vaccine Development for Allergic Diseases 291 José Cantillo and Leonardo Puerta

 13 Current Advances in Seaweed Transformation 323 Koji Mikami

 14 Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of the Hotoke Loach, Lefua echigonia, a Japanese Endangered Loach 349 Noriyuki Koizumi, Masakazu Mizutani, Keiji Watabe, Atsushi Mori, Kazuya Nishida and Takeshi Takemura

Section 3 Molecular Recognition .

 15 The HIV-1 Integrase: Modeling and Beyond 377 Rohit Arora and Luba Tchertanov

 16 Similarities Between the Binding Sites of Monoamine Oxidase (MAO) from Different Species — Is Zebrafish a Useful Model for the Discovery of Novel MAO Inhibitors? 405 Angelica Fierro, Alejandro Montecinos, Cristobal Gómez-Molina, Gabriel Núñez, Milagros Aldeco, Dale E. Edmondson, Marcelo Vilches-Herrera, Susan Lühr, Patricio Iturriaga-Vásquez and Miguel Reyes-Parada

 17 Single-Molecule Imaging Measurements of Protein-Protein Interactions in Living Cells 433 Kayo Hibino, Michio Hiroshima, Yuki Nakamura and Yasushi Sako

 18 Molecular Recognition of Glycopolymer Interface 455 Yoshiko Miura, Hirokazu Seto and Tomohiro Fukuda

 19 Cyclodextrin Based Spectral Changes 471 Lida Khalafi and Mohammad Rafiee

 20 Potentiometry for Study of Supramolecular Recognition Processes Between Uncharged Molecules 495 Jerzy Radecki and Hanna Radecka

 21 Molecular Recognition of Trans-Chiral Schiff Base Metal Complexes for Induced CD 515 Takashiro Akitsu and Chigusa Kominato . 

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Published by: younes younes - Friday, July 5, 2013


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