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Novel method reveals how menthol discovery could point towards new or improved pain therapies

ature of these experiments limits the number of mutant ion channels that can be made and analyzed. Our new high-throughput screening methodology allowed us to analyze 14,000 mutants out of which we isolated five that specifically affected menthol activity. Our experiments yielded significant insights into the functional elements of TRPM8 ion channel protein that would have been difficult to obtain using other mutagenesis methods."

Because the methodology can be used to screen for activation or inhibition, Bandell added, it could prove to be useful as a general method to analyze the mechanism by which drugs can activate or inhibit ion channels or other receptors. Specifically, the new methodology could be used to identify amino acid residues in certain ion channel proteins and G-protein coupled receptors (proteins involved in stimulus-response pathways) that are involved in the interaction with small molecules that affect their function.


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Source:Scripps Research Institute


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