A team of scientists can have just found an antidote to one of the world’s most notorious natural toxins: the death cap mushroom. In a new studyThey detail experiments showing that a common medicinal dye can counteract the deadly effects of the fungus in mice. Given its already approved uses, the team believes the dye could save many lives in the near future.
As tasty and useful as many mushrooms are, some species can be very dangerous. In China, where eating wild mushrooms is common, mushrooms might be the way to go most common cause of reported foodborne illness outbreaks, which accounted for over 30,000 cases and almost 800 deaths over a 10-year period a recent study. And even in the US there are some Thousands of poison control calls related to poisonous mushrooms each year.
Death cap (Amanita phalloides) in particular is a common source of ailments caused by fungi. It is estimated that it is responsible for more than 90% of fungal infections.related deaths. To make matters worse, death caps can easily be confused with others, actually edible Mushrooms.
Given that With the danger lingering, scientists in China set out to find a possible antidote to the death cap. They focused on alpha-amanitin, the fungus’s main toxin. Despite its good reputation, scientists still don’t fully understand why alpha-amanitin is so lethal to humans. So the team relied on a variety of methods, including a relatively new technology that uses the gene-editing technique CRISPR, to look for chemicals that appeared to help make alpha-amanitin as toxic as it is.
Their extensive search led them to a potential key protein called STT3B. They then looked for existing drugs that might interfere with the interaction between STT3B and alpha-amanitin and found indocyanine green (ICG). Finally, to test your hypothesisthey gave ICG to liver cells in the lab and male mice exposed to alpha-amanitin. AAs hoped, ICG significantly inhibited the toxicity of the fungus. Less than 25% of mice are exposed to it Alpha-amanitin alone survived to age 30.Daily mark, compared to 50% of those who also received ICG.
The team’s results were published Tuesday in Nature Communications.
“This molecule holds tremendous potential for treating cases of human fungal poisoning and could be the first specific antidote with a targeted protein,” said lead study author Qiaoping Wang, a researcher at China’s Sun Yat-sen University. told the AFP.
The results need to be validated by further studies. However, since ICG is already widely used as a fluorescent medical dye in humans, it should be easier to safely test as a possible cure for the disease of death. And the researchers are already planning to conduct human trials soon.
“It could save many lives if it were as effective in humans as it is in mice,” Wang said.