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J Biol Chem. 1991 May 25;266(15):9359-62.

Barbourin. A GPIIb-IIIa-specific integrin antagonist from the venom of Sistrurus m. barbouri.

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  • 1COR Therapeutics, Inc., South San Francisco, California 94080.


Sixty-two snake venoms were screened to identify those which specifically inhibit the adhesive protein binding function of the glycoprotein (GP) IIb-IIIa complex, the receptor-mediating platelet aggregation. Although 52 of these venoms inhibited GPIIb-IIIa, only one of these, from the southeastern pigmy rattlesnake, Sistrurus m. barbouri, was specific for GPIIb-IIIa versus other integrins. The peptide responsible for this activity, termed barbourin, was sequenced and found to be highly homologous to other peptides of the viper venom GPIIb-IIIa antagonist family but was the first member which did not contain the Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) amino acid sequence, believed to be required for inhibition of receptor function. Instead, barbourin contains the sequence, Lys-Gly-Asp (KGD). The conservative Lys for Arg substitution appears to be the sole structural feature which imparts integrin specificity to barbourin, since venom peptide analogs with Lys substitutions were also specific for GPIIb-IIIa. Thus, barbourin represents a new structural model useful for designing potent and GPIIb-IIIa-specific compounds that may have therapeutic value as platelet aggregation inhibitors.

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