11 thoughts on “D45 – Vinod

  1. You mentioned that Chlorotoxin derives from the venom of a scorpion. Are there other ways of obtaining this particular 36-amino acid peptide in other specimens?

    1. I believe you can only obtain chlorotoxin from the scorpion venom itself. Chlorotoxin is widely studied due to it’s ability to selectively bind to tumor cells, so it’s readily available to purchase but the chlorotoxin itself originates from the deathstalker scorpion.

  2. Were you assigned to study Chlorotoxin or did you get to chose it? If you got to chose it, what made it stand out to you? If you were assigned it, do you know why this particular toxin chosen over others?

    1. We chose chlorotoxin due to in vitro studies demonstrating chlorotoxin’s ability to selectively bind to glioma/ brain tumor cells, as our primary focus with this experiment was researching head and neck cancers. Chlorotoxin can also reduce the activities of matrix metalloproteinases, MMPs for short which are enzymes that aid with cells to metastasize, to prevent cells from metastasizing/ spreading throughout the body. Some studies proved chlorotoxin worked as a potential chemotherapeutic in a certain mouse model organism and we wanted to test it on our model organism Drosophila melanogaster, also known as fruit flies, to see if chlorotoxin worked on other organisms. Also our group thought it would be very interesting to experiment with a component of a venom, specifically scorpion venom.

  3. Did you chose to study Chlorotoxin or were you assigned it? If you chose it, why did you chose it over others? If you were assigned it, do you know why it was chosen over others?

    1. We chose third instar larvae because that’s when the flies are fully developed and become adult flies and hence can endure radiation. After the third instar larvae is developed, the pupae cases are formed in the vials which are then used to determine percent survival.

  4. Why were colchicine and DMSO used as your positive and negative controls respectively?

    1. Colchicine is a known effective chemotherapy so we used it as our positive control. Colchicine has shown to work to eliminate cancer cells and so the percent survival for cells treated with colchicine should be close around. Unfortunately in our max dosage experiment, colchicine presented an average 41 percent survival however in our dilution series, the composite class control had an average of 4% survival. DMSO or dimethyl sulfoxide is the compound in which our compound, chlorotoxin, was soluble in. DMSO has proved to have a high percent survival in the organism and since our compound was soluble in it, we used it as our negative control. Also DMSO shouldn’t affect the results.

  5. You mentioned future directions included testing on healthy human brain cells. Would you consider trying any other type of human cell? Or even cancerous cells?

    1. Various studies have shown chlorotoxin’s ability to bind to glioma/brain tumor cells so it would be advised to test on human brain tumor cells. However due to insufficient research on chlorotoxin’s effect on other cells it would be hard to advice testing chlorotoxin on other cells. I think more evidence is needed to support this claim. Chlorotoxin is very toxic to the body so it must be administered to the cells carefully but since it’s specifically binds to glioma cells, I would recommend only testing on human brain cells or brain cells of other organisms.

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