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Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology

KIOST Discovers Dementia-fighting Substance in Jellyfish Venom

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  • Date : 2023-10-19
Fig. 1. Small box jellyfish 바로보기 Fig. 2. Sanderia malayensis 바로보기 Fig. 3. Effectiveness of small box jellyfish toxin CBRV1-04369 in inhibiting amyloid oligomerization (left) and amyloid fibrosis (right) 바로보기 Fig. 4. Effectiveness of Sanderia malayensis toxin SMA_04088-2 in inhibiting amyloid oligomerization (left) and amyloid fibrosis (right) 바로보기

The Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST, President Kang Do-hyung) announced the discovery of a peptide1) that inhibits the formation of amyloid beta plaque, a substance known to cause dementia, from a toxic protein in jellyfish and has registered two patents.2), 3)

1) Small-molecule proteinaceous substance consisting of 12 to 50 amino acids

2) Korean Patent Registration 10-2565471, Aug. 4, 2023 (patent title: Amyloid beta-specific peptide CBRV1-04369 and a composition for treating Alzheimer's disease comprising the same)

3) Korean Patent Registration 10-2565470, Aug. 4, 2023 (patent title: Amyloid beta-specific peptide SMA_04088-2 and a composition for treating Alzheimer's disease comprising the same)


A KIOST research team led by Dr. Seung Shic Yum extracted information on toxic proteins expected to have neurological effects from the genome information of small box jellyfish, a toxic jellyfish species mainly found on the southern coast of Korea, and Sanderia malayensis, which mainly lives in subtropical regions. The team synthesized a part of the information to conduct a functional analysis.


As a result, the team confirmed that peptide CBRV1-04369 extracted from small box jellyfish and peptide SMA_04088-2 extracted from Sanderia malayensis prevent the oligomerization4) and fibrosis5) of amyloid beta, thereby preventing the formation of amyloid plaques, which are known to cause dementia. The team registered patents for both peptides in collaboration with the research teams of Professor Seong Soo An and Professor Keun-a Chang at Gachon University.

4) Accumulation of amyloid beta becomes amyloid oligomers, and an aggregation of oligomers forms amyloid fibrils.

5) Amyloid fibrils aggregate to form amyloid plaques.


Given the growing interest in preventing and treating geriatric diseases such as dementia due to the rapid population aging occurring worldwide, further research based on the results of this study may lead to the development of an agent for alleviating or treating dementia.


This study was conducted as part of the project to develop marine protein-based biomedical materials (principal investigator: Dr. Jung Hyun Lee, KIOST) of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries and the project to produce and analyze marine animal genome information (principal investigator: Dr. Seung Shic Yum, KIOST) of the Korea Post-Genome Project.6)

6) A national research and development project (2014-2021) involving seven ministries and organizations (Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Ministry of Science and ICT, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Rural Development Administration, and Forest Service) to analyze genomic information by field and develop utilization techniques.


KIOST President Kang Do-hyung said, “This research achievement is significant in that it raises the possibility of using jellyfish venom, a harmful marine toxin, as a useful marine biomaterial.” He added, “We will promote follow-up research to help ensure that future research results lead to commercialization.”


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Last Update : 2023-11-09