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Trends Biotechnol. 2006 Jan;24(1):1-3. Epub 2005 Nov 14.

Drug discovery and sea hares: bigger is better.

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1
Faculty of Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, 2000 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa, ON L1H 7K4, Canada. todd.barsby@uoit.ca

Abstract

Traditionally, small molecules (<1kDa) have dominated the study of the chemistry and chemical ecology of marine natural products. However, as reported in a recent publication, Yang and co-workers have isolated a 60-kDa antibacterial protein from the defensive secretions of the sea hare Aplysia californica. This protein, escapin, has been characterized as an l-amino acid oxidase with bacteriostatic and bacteriocidal activities. Their work highlights the largely untapped biomedical potential of marine organism-derived proteins and addresses the problems of supply associated with invertebrate natural products. It also leads to intriguing hypotheses about the ecological function(s) of the new protein.

PMID:
16290235
DOI:
10.1016/j.tibtech.2005.11.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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