Maria Ikonomopoulou

Maria Ikonomopoulou
Madrid Institute for Advanced Studies | IMDEA · IMDEA-Food

PhD, MSc, BSc(Hons)

About

55
Publications
18,037
Reads
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709
Citations
Citations since 2016
32 Research Items
620 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
Introduction
In the Translational Venomics Group we are committed to carry out innovative research on the biodiscovery of novel toxins and on the pharmacological properties of animal venoms and with direct translational potentials into cancer and other metabolic-related therapies.
Additional affiliations
September 2017 - present
Madrid Institute for Advanced Studies
Position
  • Fellow
September 2014 - August 2017
Queensland Institute of Medical Research
Position
  • Research Officer
January 2010 - July 2014
The University of Queensland
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (55)
Article
Background and purpose: Over past decades, targeted therapies and immunotherapy have improved survival and reduced the morbidity of patients with BRAF-mutated melanoma. However, drug resistance and relapse hinder overall success. Therefore, there is an urgent need for novel compounds with therapeutic efficacy against BRAF-melanoma. This prompted u...
Article
Full-text available
Venoms have evolved >100 times in all major animal groups, and their components, known as toxins, have been fine-tuned over millions of years into highly effective biochemical weapons. There are many outstanding questions on the evolution of toxin arsenals, such as how venom genes originate, how venom contributes to the fitness of venomous species,...
Chapter
The scarcity of the results obtained for the treatment of obesity leads us to consider new strategies, contemplating all the factors involved in the development of the disease. One of the key molecules for controlling body weight and energy homeostasis is the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This work summarizes the mechanisms in which BDN...
Article
Full-text available
Venoms are a rich source of potential lead compounds for drug discovery, and descriptive studies of venom form the first phase of the biodiscovery process. In this study, we investigated the pharmacological potential of crude Pseudocerastes and Eristicophis snake venoms in haematological disorders and cancer treatment. We assessed their antithrombo...
Article
Full-text available
Venoms are complex mixtures of toxic compounds delivered by bite or sting. In humans, the consequences of envenomation range from self-limiting to lethal. Critical host defence against envenomation comprises innate and adaptive immune strategies targeted towards venom detection, neutralisation, detoxification, and symptom resolution. In some instan...
Article
Full-text available
Article LXR stimulates a metabolic switch and reveals cholesterol homeostasis as a statin target in Tasmanian devil facial tumor disease Graphical Abstract Highlights d Liver-X nuclear receptor-b signaling enhances the proliferation of DFTD cells d DFTD cells depend on carbohydrate metabolism to proliferate d Maintaining cholesterol homeostasis is...
Article
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Melanoma is the main cause of skin cancer deaths, with special emphasis in those cases carrying BRAF mutations that trigger the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) signaling and unrestrained cell proliferation in the absence of mitogens. Current therapies targeting MAPK are hindered by drug resistance and relapse that rely on metabolic rewirin...
Article
Full-text available
Snakes of the genera Pseudocerastes and Eristicophis (Viperidae: Viperinae) are known as the desert vipers due to their association with the arid environments of the Middle East. These species have received limited research attention and little is known about their venom or ecology. In this study, a comprehensive analysis of desert viper venoms was...
Article
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Fibromyalgia (FM), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) are some of the central sensitization syndromes (CSSs). The complexity of their diagnosis, the high interindividual heterogeneity and the existence of multi-syndromic patients requires a multifaceted treatment. The scientific literature is contradictory regard...
Article
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Venoms act with remarkable specificity upon a broad diversity of physiological targets. Venoms are composed of proteins, peptides, and small molecules, providing the foundation for the development of novel therapeutics. This study assessed the effect of venom from the red-bellied black snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus) on human primary leukocytes usi...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
Full-text available
Document recommendation systems for locating relevant literature have mostly relied on methods developed a decade ago. This is largely due to the lack of a large offline gold-standard benchmark of relevant documents that cover a variety of research fields such that newly developed literature search techniques can be compared, improved and translate...
Article
Document recommendation systems for locating relevant literature have mostly relied on methods developed a decade ago. This is largely due to the lack of a large offline gold-standard benchmark of relevant documents that cover a variety of research fields such that newly developed literature search techniques can be compared, improved and translate...
Article
Full-text available
Compounds with specific cytotoxic activity in senescent cells, or senolytics, support the causal involvement of senescence in aging and offer therapeutic interventions. Here we report the identification of Cardiac Glycosides (CGs) as a family of compounds with senolytic activity. CGs, by targeting the Na+/K+ATPase pump, cause a disbalanced electroc...
Article
Full-text available
Consistent with their diverse pharmacology, peptides derived from venomous animals have been developed as drugs to treat disorders as diverse as hypertension, diabetes and chronic pain. Melanoma has a poor prognosis due in part to its metastatic capacity, warranting further development of novel targeted therapies. This prompted us to examine the an...
Article
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The Tasmanian devil faces extinction due to devil facial tumour disease (DFTD), a highly transmittable clonal form of cancer without available treatment. In this study, we report the cell-autonomous antiproliferative and cytotoxic activities exhibited by the spider peptide gomesin (AgGom) and gomesin-like homologue (HiGom) in DFTD cells. Mechanisti...
Article
Pseudechis (black snakes) is an Australasian elapid snake genus that inhabits much of mainland Australia, with two representatives confined to Papua New Guinea. The present study is the first to analyse the venom of all 9 described Pseudechis species (plus one undescribed species) to investigate the evolution of venom composition and functional act...
Article
This review catalogues recent advances in knowledge on venoms as standalone therapeutic agents or as blueprints for drug design, with an emphasis on venom-derived compounds that affects the immune system. We discuss venoms and venom-derived compounds that affect total immune cell numbers, immune cell proliferation, immune cell migration, immune cel...
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Full-text available
Many chemical insecticides are becoming less efficacious due to rising resistance in pest species, which has created much interest in the development of new, eco-friendly bioinsecticides. Since insects are the primary prey of most spiders, their venoms are a rich source of insect-active peptides that can be used as leads for new bioinsecticides or...
Article
The cytotoxicity of the venom of 25 species of Old World elapid snake was tested and compared with the morphological and behavioural adaptations of hooding and spitting. We determined that, contrary to previous assumptions, the venoms of spitting species are not consistently more cytotoxic than those of closely related non-spitting species. While t...
Article
Sheep flystrike is caused by parasitic flies laying eggs on soiled wool or open wounds, after which the hatched maggots feed on the sheep flesh and often cause large lesions. It is a significant economic problem for the livestock industry as infestations are difficult to control due to ongoing cycles of larval development into flies followed by fur...
Article
Full-text available
The inexorable decline in the armament of registered chemical insecticides has stimulated research into environmentally-friendly alternatives. Insecticidal spider-venom peptides are promising candidates for bioinsecticide development but it is challenging to find peptides that are specific for targeted pests. In the present study, we isolated an in...
Article
Over a period of more than 300 million years, spiders have evolved complex venoms containing an extraordinary array of toxins for prey capture and defense against predators. The major components of most spider venoms are small disulfide-bridged peptides that are highly stable and resistant to proteolytic degradation. Moreover, many of these peptide...
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Herbivorous turtle, Chelonia mydas, inhabiting the south China Sea and breeding in Peninsular Malaysia, and Natator depressus, a carnivorous turtle inhabiting the Great Barrier Reef and breeding at Curtis Island in Queensland, Australia, differ both in diet and life history. Analysis of plasma metabolites levels and six sex steroid hormones during...
Article
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Caveolae and caveolin-1 (CAV1) have been linked to several cellular functions. However, a model explaining their roles in mammalian tissues in vivo is lacking. Unbiased expression profiling in several tissues and cell types identified lipid metabolism as the main target affected by CAV1 deficiency. CAV1-/- mice exhibited impaired hepatic peroxisome...
Article
A variety of trace metals were measured in the egg contents of three clutches of Chelonia mydas collected from Kuala Terengganu state in Peninsular Malaysia. We quantified Mn, Cu, Zn, Se (essential trace metals) and As (anthropogenic pollutant) at several developmental stages obtained by incubating eggs at two different temperatures (27°C and 31°C)...
Article
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A number of arthropod predators such as centipedes, scorpions, spiders, and wasps employ venom for incapacitating prey. Spiders, in particular, are the most successful venomous animal and with the possible exception of predatory beetles they are the most abundant terrestrial predators. Since spiders are the most efficient insect killers on the plan...
Article
Low concentrations of several pesticides including organochlorines and polychlorinated biphenyls were found in the blood and eggs of nesting female flatback turtles, Natator depressus, collected from Curtis Island in Queensland, Australia.
Article
The histological characteristics of the gonads and paramesonephric ducts were investigated to allow a quantitative distinction among male, female, and intersex hatchling Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) from peninsular Malaysia. Hatchling sexes were identified initially as either males or females based on the incubation temperatures, and intersex...
Article
The blood and eggs of the flatback turtle (Natator depressus) sampled when nesting at Curtis Island, Queensland, Australia. In the blood, zinc was present at the highest concentration of 151.15 ± 1.45 μg/L followed by copper (7.74 ± 0.09 μg/L). Lead was found only in some individuals. The measured trace elements in the blood were maternally transfe...
Article
Full-text available
In this study on green turtles, Chelonia mydas, from Peninsular Malaysia, the effect of selected environmental toxicants was examined in vitro. Emphasis was placed on purported hormone-mimicking chemicals such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene, dieldrin, lead, zinc and copper. Five concentrations were used:...
Article
Full-text available
Sex steroid binding proteins were identified in hatchling female and male Chelonia mydas by dialysis and steady-state gel electrophoresis when examined at 4°C. A testosterone binding protein with high binding affinity (K a = 0.98 ± 0.5 × 108 M−1) and low to moderate binding capacity (B max = 7.58 ± 4.2 × 10−5 M) was observed in male hatchlings. An...
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Sea Turtles are long-lived marine reptiles that have existed for more than 150,000 years. All seven turtle species extant today are characterised as endangered by the World Conservation Union Red List of Threatened Species. This PhD thesis investigates aspects of endocrinology and toxicology in green (Chelonia mydas) (Peninsular Malaysia) and flatb...
Conference Paper
ln this study we observed the effect of different envir*nmentaf t*xicants and heavy rnetals at a wide range *f concentratians on the steroid-prot*1n interaciion in 14 nesting green turlles, Chelonia nydas, from Peninsular Malaysia. Emphasis ir*as placed pn hcrmone-rnimicking chemicals {i.e,, DDT, DDE, dieldrin. lead, zinc and crpper}. Five c**centl...
Article
Full-text available
We report for the first time the presence of a sex steroid-binding protein in the plasma of green sea turtles Chelonia mydas, which provides an insight into reproductive status. A high affinity, low capacity sex hormone steroid-binding protein was identified in nesting C. mydas and its thermal profile was established. In nesting C. mydas testostero...
Article
Full-text available
Marsupials are born ectothermic and gradually become endothermic during pouch occupancy. In order to study the timing of this transition, we measured the metabolic rates of eight pouch-young eastern barred bandicoots (Perameles gunnii) at 25 degrees C (the thermoneutral zone of adults), at 35 degrees C (pouch temperature), and after injection with...
Conference Paper
IDENTIFICATION OF SEX IN HATCHLING GREEN TURTLES (CHELONIA MYDAS) BY MORPHOMETRIC HISTOLOGICAL MEASUREMENTS Maria P. Ikonomopoulou1, Joan M. Whittier2,1, Rachel C. Aland1, and Ibrahim Kamarruddin3 1 The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 2 The University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia 3 Turtle and Marine Ecosyst...
Article
We investigated the metabolic rate of the Tasmanian marsupial, the eastern barred bandicoot, Perameles gunnii, before and after acclimation to cold temperature (5 °C) for a 2-week period. Although body temperature did not change significantly, we observed a significant increase in the metabolic rate (MR) when measured at 5 °C before and after cold...
Article
Full-text available
Perameles gunnii is a small to medium-sized omnivorous marsupial. We measured milk components from Week 4 until weaning at Week 8; these showed marked quantitative and qualitative changes. The milk produced in the early stages of lactation was dilute, ∼28% solid (w/w). At four weeks carbohydrate, protein and lipids were also at low levels: 2.0 g (1...
Article
We investigated the metabolic rate, thermoneutral zone and thermal conductance of the eastern barred bandicoot in Tasmania. Five adult eastern barred bandicoots (two males, three non-reproductive females) were tested at temperatures of 3, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40°C. The thermoneutral zone was calculated from oxygen consumption and body tempera...

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