Aquatic chemo-modulators - a novel source for potent molecular probes (2019–2021)
Chemical signalling constitutes much of the language of life underwater and this project investigates peptides that modulate prey behaviour. Certain cone snails evolved a hunting strategy, where they release potent peptides to modulate fish behaviour through yet unknown mechanisms. The snail then expands its mouth and eats the fish without resistance. We will investigate the mechanisms at play using transcriptomics, proteomics, peptide synthesis, behavioural pharmacology and NMR. This will advance the knowledge of aquatic chemo-modulators on a functional, structural and evolutionary level, and provide a novel source of molecular probes with unique pharmacology and applications in human physiology, developmental biology and aquacultures.