Chris Murdock, Biology
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Houston Cole Library, 11th Floor | 10:15-10:25 a.m.
Snake venoms are rich in enzymes and other biologically-active peptides. These proteins tend to be relatively small, with their primary functions to immobilize, kill, and begin the digestion processes of prey. In addition to the obvious toxic effects of snake venom, they have the potential to be a source for novel proteins with medical/pharmacological applications. For example, some venom components such as disintegrins, phospholipase A2 (PLA2), and metalloproteinases have been used in the treatment of thrombosis, arthritis, cancer, strokes, and heart attacks. In our research we have created normalized cDNA libraries from venom gland tissues from Crotalus horridus. Recently, we have identified a vascular endothelial growth factor-like protein, cratrin, from our cDNA libraries. These types of vascular endothelial growth factors are crucial in the development and maintenance of blood and lymphatic vessels. They are one of the main drivers of angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels from existing ones. They are also implicated in several pathologies including tumor growth. This is the first reported cratrin homolog from C. horridus venom transcriptome. Due to its integral role as both a growth factor as well as its implicated toxicity contribution to the venom, understanding the regulation of expression and protein structure are of utmost interests. Continuing research in our lab is focused on elucidating functions of cratrin in C. horridus, as it relates to other vascular endothelial growth factors.
student presentations, student papers, snake venom
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Alvarez, Mariana, "Isolation and Characterization of a Venom Protein, Cratrin, from Crotalus horridus (Timber Rattlesnake)" (2020). JSU Student Symposium 2020. 39.