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Tiny proteins have outsized influence on nerve health
Date:1/6/2014

nd only when that mutated crystal was exposed to a toxin did beta4 lose its ability to communicate with the sodium channel.

Bosmans says that even with evidence of the auxiliary proteins' importance mounting, such as in the epilepsy study, drug developers have continued to ignore the proteins rather than treatment opportunities. Most efforts to develop new drugs to treat epilepsy still focus exclusively on modifying the sodium channels, which don't need the beta proteins to operate. But Bosmans believes this is only part of the story.

His new finding suggests that such an approach is shortsighted, because mutations in these beta proteins may very well be causing the disease at hand. Drugs that target the beta proteins have the potential to deliver a much more focused treatment, he says.

"That's one of the new concepts that we're trying to launchkeep an eye on these little guy proteins, because they are important. If they have a mutation in them, they can cause a disease," Bosmans says.


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Contact: Vanessa McMains
vmcmain1@jhmi.edu
410-502-9410
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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