Take 2 Death Caps and Have Your Next of Kin Call Me in the Morning

“Mushrooms are prolific chemical factories, yet only a few of their peptides are poisonous,” he said. “These toxins survive the high temperatures of cooking and the acids of digestion, and yet they’re readily absorbed by the bloodstream and go directly to their intended target. These are the exact qualities needed for an effective medicine.”

Amanita phalloides, commonly known as the death cap, is a deadly poisonous basidiomycete fungus, one of many in the genus Amanita.

Amanita phalloides, commonly known as the death cap, is a deadly poisonous basidiomycete fungus, one of many in the genus Amanita.

A team of Michigan State University scientists has discovered an enzyme that is the key to the lethal potency of poisonous mushrooms. The results, published in the current issue of the journal Chemistry and Biology, reveal the enzyme’s ability to create the mushroom’s molecules that harbor missile-like proficiency in attacking and annihilating a single vulnerable target in the human liver.

Walton and his teammates disassembled one of its poisonous peptides, which can be compared to a laser-guided missile with a nuclear warhead.By removing the molecular equivalent of the deadly warhead, they now have a sturdy, precise delivery system that can supply medicine — rather than poison — to a single target. By taking a laser, rather than a shotgun approach, scientists could develop medicines capable of curing disease without the patient suffering any side effects.

If my explanation is too simplistic you can read the published paper,
Peptide Macrocyclization Catalyzed by a Prolyl Oligopeptidase Involved in α-Amanitin Biosynthesis.
here:
http://www.cell.com/chemistry-biology/abstract/S1074-5521(14)00381-0

About Stan Flouride

THIS BLOG IS ALWAYS AD-FREE I make stuff and do things.
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One Response to Take 2 Death Caps and Have Your Next of Kin Call Me in the Morning

  1. rennea says:

    I was was in Italy with a mushroom expert and we walked around the forest looking for edibles but we mostly found these deadly ones. : (

    Liked by 1 person

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