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Join our final episode in this Peptide Therapeutics event series - 16th December at 12pm GMT with Dr Francisca Isabel Bravo, Universitat Rovira i Virgili.


What are we going to talk about in this episode?


Hypertension is considered one of the most important public health problems in our society. The treatment of this pathology is based on lifestyle modifications and pharmacology treatment. However, for those patients developing hypertension, whose blood pressure is not high enough to warrant pharmacology treatment, the use nutraceuticals or functional foods with antihypertensive properties have attracted considerable interest. These antihypertensive natural agents could be a good strategy to avoid the development of hypertension. One of the most important bioactive compounds obtained from dietary sources are the bioactive peptides.


Considering these facts, the present research aimed to obtain antihypertensive peptides through the hydrolysis of chicken foot proteins, a by-product from poultry industries. Thus, the hydrolysate Hpp11 was obtained by hydrolyzing chicken feet with Protamex®. It exerted a strong antihypertensive effect after both its acute and chronic administration to hypertensive rats. The blood pressure-lowering effect of Hpp11 was associated to an improvement of the endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress. Additionally, the peptides present in Hpp11 were isolated and identified. Two of them, AVFQHNCQE and QVGPLIGRYCG, showed antihypertensive effects in spontaneously hypertensive rats. In addition, it was observed that the peptide AVFQHNCQE was not absorbed by intestinal cells, producing its antihypertensive effect through its interaction with opioid receptors from the gastrointestinal tract. The interaction with these receptors leaded to a nitric oxide-mediated antihypertensive effect. Moreover, the peptide contributed to enhance nitric oxide by exhibiting antioxidant effect and improving endothelial function.


The results of this research open the doors to the use of the antihypertensive hydrolysate and its derived peptides in nutraceuticals or functional foods for the control and prevention of hypertension. At the same time, the valorization of chicken feet allows for obtaining value-added products and making slaughterhouses more environmentally friendly. 


The paper related to this event can be found here.


Series programme:


  • 14th September at 4pm BST / 3pm GMT - ‘Exploring hyperbranched peptide compounds in antimicrobial research’ with Dr Orode Aniejurengho, University of Essex Online


  • 12th October, 10am BST/9am GMT – ‘BioSAXS – A Method To Accelerate And De-risk Antimicrobial Drug Development’ with Dr Kai Hilpert, St George's, University of London


  • 16th December, 12pm GMT – ‘Peptides from chicken feet to manage hypertension’ with Dr Francisca Isabel Bravo, Universitat Rovira i Virgili



Relevant papers:


Dose-related antihypertensive properties and the corresponding mechanisms of a chicken foot hydrolysate in hypertensive rats. (2018)


Long-term administration of protein hydrolysate from chicken feet induces antihypertensive effect and confers vasoprotective pattern in diet-induced hypertensive rats. (2019)


Novel antihypertensive peptides derived from chicken foot proteins. (2019)


Evidence that nitric oxide is involved in the blood pressure lowering effect of the peptide AVFQHNCQE in spontaneously hypertensive rats. (2019)


Implication of opioid receptors in the antihypertensive effect of a novel chicken foot-derived peptide. (2020)


If you'd like to present at your own Researcher Live event, please email kristine.lennie@researcher-app.com 


Please find the recording of our Peptide Therapeutics: disease screening and drug design Vol 1 series here:


 A Killer solution for vaginal candidiasis: New generation of antifungal peptides with Dr Miguel Fernández de Ullivarri, APC Microbiome Institute 


Peptide Hydrogel and Nanotubes for Drug Delivery and Biomaterial Applications with Dr Garry Laverty, Senior Lecturer at Queen’s University in Belfast


Date and Time
Friday, December 16, 2022
12:00 pm GMT / BST
Speakers Avatar Dr Francisca Isabel Bravo, Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Dr Francisca Isabel Bravo holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences (Universidad de Extremadura), and a PhD in Food Science and Technology (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid). In 2019, she got a position of Serra Húnter Tenure at the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology in the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV). In addition, she is a researcher in the Nutrigenomics Research Group. Her scientific career has been developed in different national and international research centers, such as the 'Instituto de Fermentaciones Industriales' (IFI, CSIC), 'Instituto de Ciencias de la Alimentación' (CIAL, CSIC-UAM), ‘Centre Tecnològic de Nutrició i Salut’ (CTNS), 'Universidad Complutense de Madrid' or APC Microbiome Ireland (University College Cork).

During her predoctoral period, she got a great knowledge of protein structure and how their physico-chemical and biological functionalities can be changed using high hydrostatic pressures. Currently, her main research line focuses on the development of new functional ingredients based mainly on bioactive peptides, able to prevent several diseases associated with metabolic syndrome. In fact, she has stablished and runs a screening platform for the development and validation of these functional ingredients. Some of the steps of this platform are the characterization and evaluation of possible raw materials, the obtainment of bioactive peptides, the evaluation of biological activities (in vitro and in vivo), the identification of the compounds responsible for the bioactivities, and the study of the underlying mechanisms of action. Moreover, she also works in chrononutrition, evaluating the changes in the functional ingredients effectiveness or bioavailability depending on seasonal and circadian rhythms. Dr. Bravo has an h-index of 18 and has published 51 peer-review publications with over 795 citations and 3 book chapters. Moreover, have development 7 functional ingredients, which have been already patented.

DOI: 12DXEGCt4S0ZRAIPadWy_prepost_2

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