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Mar. Drugs 2016, 14(4), 66; doi:10.3390/md14040066

In Vitro Effect of the Synthetic cal14.1a Conotoxin, Derived from Conus californicus, on the Human Parasite Toxoplasma gondii

1
Departamento de Innovación Biomédica, Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada (CICESE), Baja California, C.P. 22860, Mexico
2
Subdirección de Investigación Básica, Instituto Nacional de Cancerología, Secretaría de Salud, San Fernando No. 22, Col. Sección XVI, Tlalpan, Ciudad de Mexico, C.P. 14080, Mexico
3
Departamento de Inmunología, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico; Ciudad de Mexico, C.P. 04510, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Peer Jacobson
Received: 21 January 2016 / Revised: 11 March 2016 / Accepted: 18 March 2016 / Published: 8 April 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2012 KB, uploaded 8 April 2016]   |  

Abstract

Toxins that are secreted by cone snails are small peptides that are used to treat several diseases. However, their effects on parasites with human and veterinary significance are unknown. Toxoplasma gondii is an opportunistic parasite that affects approximately 30% of the world’s population and can be lethal in immunologically compromised individuals. The conventional treatment for this parasitic infection has remained the same since the 1950s, and its efficacy is limited to the acute phase of infection. These findings have necessitated the search for new drugs that specifically target T. gondii. We examined the effects of the synthetic toxin cal14.1a (s-cal14.1a) from C. californicus on the tachyzoite form of T. gondii. Our results indicate that, at micromolar concentrations, s-cal14.1a lowers viability and inhibits host cell invasion (by 50% and 61%, respectively) on exposure to extracellular parasites. Further, intracellular replication decreased significantly while viability of the host cell was unaffected. Our study is the first report on the antiparasitic activity of a synthetic toxin of C. californicus. View Full-Text
Keywords: conotoxin; Conus californicus; Toxoplasma gondii; antiparasitic toxin; parasite replication; host-cell invasion conotoxin; Conus californicus; Toxoplasma gondii; antiparasitic toxin; parasite replication; host-cell invasion
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

De León-Nava, M.A.; Romero-Núñez, E.; Luna-Nophal, A.; Bernáldez-Sarabia, J.; Sánchez-Campos, L.N.; Licea-Navarro, A.F.; Morales-Montor, J.; Muñiz-Hernández, S. In Vitro Effect of the Synthetic cal14.1a Conotoxin, Derived from Conus californicus, on the Human Parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Mar. Drugs 2016, 14, 66.

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