A previously unknown class of proteins chemically related to snake venom and frog skin secretions may lead to development of new treatments for stubborn digestive disorders, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, College of Medicine have found.
The discovery of the two naturally occurring human proteins, which the researchers name prokineticins, was published in the April issue of Molecular Pharmacology.
The researchers found that prokineticins controlled movement of muscles in the intestines of guinea pigs. They speculated that their finding could lead to understanding of how digestion is regulated and eventually could result in better treatments for disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, gastric reflux disease, chronic constipation, and digestive complications of diabetes.
Mitka M. Snakes, Frogs, and Digestive Disease. JAMA. 2001;285(24):3080. doi:10.1001/jama.285.24.3080-JQU10005-3-1