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Toad Venom Antiproliferative Activities on Metastatic Melanoma: Bio-Guided Fractionation and Screening of the Compounds of Two Different Venoms

Laura Soumoy, etc

Biology 2020, 9(8), 218;

Melanoma is the most common cancer in young adults, with a constantly increasing incidence. Metastatic melanoma is a very aggressive cancer with a 5-year survival rate of about 22−25%. This is, in most cases, due to a lack of therapies which are effective on the long term. Hence, it is crucial to find new therapeutic agents to increase patient survival. Toad venoms are a rich source of potentially pharmaceutically active compounds and studies have highlighted their possible effect on cancer cells. We focused on the venoms of two different toad species: Bufo bufo and Rhinella marina. We screened the venom crude extracts, the fractions from crude extracts and isolated biomolecules by studying their antiproliferative properties on melanoma cells aiming to determine the compound or the combination of compounds with the highest antiproliferative effect. Our results indicated strong antiproliferative capacities of toad venoms on melanoma cells. We found that these effects were mainly due to bufadienolides that are cardiotonic steroids potentially acting on the Na+/K+ ATPase pump which is overexpressed in melanoma. Finally, our results indicated that bufalin alone was the most interesting compound among the isolated bufadienolides because it had the highest antiproliferative activity on melanoma cells.

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