Researchers at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) at The University of Queensland (UQ) have developed a novel peptide-based inhibitor of the voltage-gated sodium channel 1.7 (NaV1.7). NaVs are integral membrane proteins that allow influx of sodium ions, which is essential for action potential generation and propagation in electrically excitable cells. Mammalian NaV channels consist of nine subtypes (NaV1.1-1.9) that have distinct expression profiles and subsequent functional roles, with compelling genetic evidence linking NaV 1.7 to pain.
Therapeutic applications of the NaV1.7 inhibitor include:
- Chronic pain;
- Acute pain;
- Chronic cough;
- Cancer; and