Nicotine exerts its oncogenic effects through the binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and the activation of downstream pathways that block apoptosis and promote neo-angiogenesis. The nAChRs of the α7 subtype are present on a wide variety of cancer cells and their inhibition by cobra venom neurotoxins has been proposed in several articles and reviews as a potential innovative lung cancer therapy. However, since part of the published results was recently retracted, we believe that the antitumoral activity of cobra venom neurotoxins needs to be independently re-evaluated.
We determined the activity of α-neurotoxins from
No statistically significant reduction in tumor growth was observed in the treatment arms in comparison to the control for both toxins. Paradoxically α-cobrotoxin from
In conclusion our results show that, in contrast with other reports, the nAChR inhibitors α-cobratoxin from
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Date Published: 13-June-2011
Author(s): Alama A., Bruzzo C., Cavalieri Z., Forlani A., Utkin Y., Casciano I., Romani M.