ZK002 is a novel protein isolated from the venom of the snake Deinagkistrodon acutus. It has been shown to have both anti-angiogenic and anti-inflammatory activities in both in vitro and in vivo studies.
Mechanistically, ZK002 inhibits activation of VEGF signaling and related mediators, upregulates the metalloproteinase inhibitor TIMP3, and inhibits components of the VEGF-induced signaling cascade. ZK002 can also inhibit the in vitro expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and reduce paw swelling and the production of inflammatory cytokines in the carrageenin-induced edema rat model.
These findings suggest that ZK002 has the potential to be developed as a dual function therapeutic against diseases with involvement of pathogenic angiogenesis and chronic inflammation, such as cancer, diabetic retinopathy, psoriasis, arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease.
More research is needed to fully characterize the safety and efficacy of ZK002 in humans, but the current findings provide a strong rationale for further development of this promising new therapeutic agent.
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