Peptide targets could help determine uranium toxicity

Categorie(s) : News, Research

Published : 4 December 2017

It is not very well known exactly why uranium is toxic to or how it interacts with living organisms. A team of researchers at INAC used a biomimetic approach to tackle the issue. The researchers created small peptide sequences that model the protein-metal bonds, and then placed them in contact with uranyl, the uranium ion that is the most stable in living organisms.
The approach confirmed phosphorus amino acids’ strong affinity for uranyl. A protein like osteopontin, present in bones and highly phosphorylated, is thus considered a potential in vivo target for uranyl. In the long term, the results of the research could aid in the development of decorporants to treat uranium poisoning.


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