Platypus Venom for Diabetes Research?

New research out of Flinders University and the University of Adelaide finds that the platypus and echidna produce a version of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) that does not dissipate in the body as readily as the human version. These researchers also noticed that the platypus and echidna make GLP-1 in their venom. It seems that GLP-1 plays a dual role in the platypus, first as a gut regulator of glucose and second as a venom for defense during mating1. The stability in the body seems to be due to its DPP-4 resistance. DPP-4 resistance has been seen previously in the gila monster, where Exendin-4 experiences resistance to DPP-4 cleavage2. The findings can be useful since platypus GLP-1 is longer-lasting and can be useful in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. These changes to the second amino acid present in the sequence seem to play an important role in conferring this enhanced stability as shown in the figure taken from this report.


  1. Seeker. (2016). Platypus venom could be the answer to diabetes. Retrieved from
  2. E. Tsend-Ayush, et al., (2016), Monotreme glucagon-like peptide-1 in venom and gut: one gene – two very different functions, Nature Scientific Reports, 6, 37744. Retrieved from
Industry News , Biologically Active Peptides , Diabetes

Denise Karounos

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Denise Karounos joined Peptides International in October 2016. After completing her BS in chemistry from West Virginia University, she spent time as an organic chemist at Bachem Bioscience synthesizing peptides and amino acid derivatives. Denise has experience with both solid and solution-phase peptide synthesis, and has worked under both research and cGMP settings. After completing her MBA from Saint Joseph’s University, Denise transitioned into product management of peptides and amino acid derivatives. In her marketing role, she had many duties including but not limited to product management, market research, creating and producing marketing materials, handling US catalog distribution and customer database, email marketing, quoting and inside sales, sales calls, and coordinating and attending trade conferences. 

At PI, Denise's duties encompass both sales and marketing, bringing to bear her extensive lab and sales support experience. Contact her today and see how Denise can assist you with your peptide research project.