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Disintegrins from the venom of Vipera ammodytes ammodytes efficiently inhibit migration of breast cancer cells

Zorica Latinović, Adrijana Leonardi, Toni Petan, Margareta Žlajpah, Igor Križaj


Integrins are plasma membrane proteins, dysfunction frequently result in cancer pathology, so they represent important targets of anti-tumor therapy. Snake venoms are known source of disintegrins (Dis), proteins that specifically bind integrins and thus interfere with their functions. In attempts to discover new molecules for treatment of breast cancer, the leading type of cancer in women, we isolated from the venom of the nose-horned viper a dimeric Dis (Vaa-Dis). By cell viability testing we demonstrated that 50 nM and higher concentrations of Vaa-Dis were are toxic to the highly invasive human breast adenocarcinoma cell line MDA-MB-231. Wound-healing assays revealed that one order of magnitude lower concentrations (2.5 nM) of Vaa-Dis efficiently inhibit MDA-MB-231 cell migration. This exposes a high anti-metastatic potential of Vaa-Dis, giving a perspective for further research and development of this natural snake venom protein towards a new drug candidate for breast cancer treatment.


snake venom; disintegrin; integrin; cancer; metastasis; drug

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