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Insulin Release Mechanism Modulated by Toxins Isolated from Animal Venoms: From Basic Research to Drug Development Prospects

Departamento de Ciências Fisiológicas, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade de Brasília, Brasília, DF 70910-900, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Paula A. C. Gomes, Stefania Galdiero and Cátia Teixeira
Molecules 2019, 24(10), 1846;
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 23 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 May 2019 / Published: 14 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Peptides—From Therapy to Nutrition)
PDF [366 KB, uploaded 14 May 2019]


Venom from mammals, amphibians, snakes, arachnids, sea anemones and insects provides diverse sources of peptides with different potential medical applications. Several of these peptides have already been converted into drugs and some are still in the clinical phase. Diabetes type 2 is one of the diseases with the highest mortality rate worldwide, requiring specific attention. Diverse drugs are available (e.g., Sulfonylureas) for effective treatment, but with several adverse secondary effects, most of them related to the low specificity of these compounds to the target. In this context, the search for specific and high-affinity compounds for the management of this metabolic disease is growing. Toxins isolated from animal venom have high specificity and affinity for different molecular targets, of which the most important are ion channels. This review will present an overview about the electrical activity of the ion channels present in pancreatic β cells that are involved in the insulin secretion process, in addition to the diversity of peptides that can interact and modulate the electrical activity of pancreatic β cells. The importance of prospecting bioactive peptides for therapeutic use is also reinforced. View Full-Text
Keywords: diabetes; insulin release; ion channel; natural products; toxins diabetes; insulin release; ion channel; natural products; toxins
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

Sarmiento, B.E.; Santos Menezes, L.F.; Schwartz, E.F. Insulin Release Mechanism Modulated by Toxins Isolated from Animal Venoms: From Basic Research to Drug Development Prospects. Molecules 2019, 24, 1846.

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