A protein in snake venom, Tropidolaemus waglerix, can help to prevent blood clots in heart disease patients.
Anti-platelet drugs are widely used to treat heart diseases. The drug prevents a type of blood cell called platelets from clumping together, which reduces the formation of blood clots.
Current antiplatelet medications, such as aspirin can prevent blood clot formation, one major side-effect is excessive bleeding after injury.
Previous research revealed that a trowaglerix protein in the venom of the snake, stimulated platelets to form blood clots by latching onto GPVI. The study indicated that platelets missing GPVI do not form blood clots, and do not reduce severe bleeding in patients.
Researchers thought that blocking GPVI could prevent blood clotting while avoiding the side-effects of prolonged bleeding.
Researchers from National Taiwan University designed a molecule based on the structure of trowaglerix to block glycoprotein VI (GPVI) protein activity.
On testing the newly developed drug on platelets, the researchers found that it stopped them from clumping.
To research on mice the new drug was showed a slower blood clot formation compared to untreated mice. In addition, the treated mice did not bleed longer than untreated mice.
Researchers said, this type of molecule design does not last long in the body, so formulation or delivery system techniques are needed to extend the exposure time in the human body.
The design of the molecule only interacts with GPVI and not other proteins, which can cause unintended reactions.
More information: [Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology]