Functional evolution and therapeutic potential of snake venom coagulotoxins (2019–2022)
In recent years, snake venom compounds have been demonstrated as incredibly useful models from which to synthesise therapeutic drugs to improve health and well-being. This project aims to identify and understand the factors that influence the useful function of key residues (parts of larger compounds) in Australian snake venom coagulotoxins, which alter blood-clotting ability. We will test these important toxins on model systems that represent natural prey items in order to determine the molecular and functional evolution of procoagulant (blood-clot forming) enzymes. Expected outcomes include substantial contributions to the body of evolutionary biology knowledge, as well as narrowing the vast search for the ultimate drug candidates.