Navigation Links
Scientists discover how to design drugs that could target particular nerve cells
Date:11/10/2011

The future of drug design lies in developing therapies that can target specific cellular processes without causing adverse reactions in other areas of the nervous system. Scientists at the Universities of Bristol and Lige in Belgium have discovered how to design drugs to target specific areas of the brain.

The research, led by Professor Neil Marrion at Bristol's School of Physiology and Pharmacology and published in this week's Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS), will enable the design of more effective drug compounds to enhance nerve activity in specific nerves.

The team has been working on a subtype of ion channel called SK channels. Ion channels are proteins that act as pores in a cell membrane and help control the excitability of nerves.

Rather like an electrical circuit, ion channels work by allowing the flow of 'charged' potassium, sodium and calcium ions to enter or exit cell membranes through a network of pores formed by the channels, a subtype of which is the SK channel family.

The researchers have been using a natural toxin found in bee venom, called apamin, known for its ability to block different types of SK channel. SK channels enable a flow of potassium ions in and out of nerve cells that controls activity. The researchers have taken advantage of apamin being able to block one subtype of SK channel better than the others, to identify how three subtype SK channels [SK1-3] can be selectively blocked.

Neil Marrion, Professor of Neuroscience at the University, said: "The problem with developing drugs to target cellular processes has been that many cell types distributed throughout the body might all have the same ion channels. SK channels are also distributed throughout the brain, but it is becoming obvious that these channels might be made of more than one type of SK channel subunit. It is likely that different nerves have SK channels made from different subunits. This would mean that developing a drug to block a channel made of only one SK channel protein will not be therapeutically useful, but knowing that the channels are comprised of multiple SK subunits will be the key."

The study's findings have identified how SK channels are blocked by apamin and other ligands. Importantly, it shows how channels are folded to allow a drug to bind. This will enable drugs to be designed to block those SK channels that are made of more than one type of SK channel subunit, to target the symptoms of dementia and depression more effectively.

Vincent Seutin, one co-author of the paper, said: "Our study also shows a difference in the way apamin and nonpeptidic (potentially a useful drug) ligands interact with the channel. This may have important implications in terms of drug design."


'/>"/>
Contact: Caroline Clancy
caroline.clancy@bristol.ac.uk
44-011-792-88086
University of Bristol
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists Pinpoint Area of Brain That Fears Losing Money
2. Scientists Discover How HIV Is Transmitted Between Men
3. Prevention Is Key Research Goal for Premature Babies, Scientists Say
4. Scientists Discover Molecular Pathway for Organ Tissue Regeneration and Repair
5. Scientists find donut-shaped structure of enzyme involved in energy metabolism
6. Neuroscientists reveal new links that regulate brain electrical activity
7. Two UCSF Scientists to Receive Prestigious Dementia Research Honor
8. Johns Hopkins scientists develop personalized blood tests for cancer using whole genome sequencing
9. Scientists Spot Genetic Fingerprints of Individual Cancers
10. Scientists Unravel Mysteries of Intelligence
11. MSU scientists develop more effective method of predicting lead-poisoning risk
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/22/2017)... ... August 22, 2017 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently gave a ... fight Fatigue . , As the stress of modern life continually makes more demands ... Constant use of artificial stimulants can trap people in vicious high/low cycles and can ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... Although Labor Day is not as popular for fireworks ... weekend displays, and numerous households celebrate the unofficial end of summer with backyard fireworks ... pets. , Kris Zambo, owner of Dynamite Fireworks in Hammond, Indiana, ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... ... August 22, 2017 , ... ... risk to health and safety. By learning and implementing best practices for containment ... In this webinar, attendees will gain a better understanding of a method for ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 21, 2017 , ... ... the addition of two plastic surgery fellows for academic year 2017-2018, Christina M. ... candidates who have successfully completed residency in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. The ...
(Date:8/21/2017)... ... August 21, 2017 , ... SportsEngine, Inc. , ... Official Technology Partner of North Country Region Volleyball and will power registration, scheduling, ... along with providing sport management software to their member clubs. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... , Aug. 15, 2017  Axium Pharmaceuticals Inc., the creator of ... to be in the beginning stages of an IPO. ... epilepsy medications with the average cost of a prescription epilepsy drug being ... AXIUM ... Another staggering figure is the fact that ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... N.J. and PETACH TIKVAH, Israel ... Inc. (NASDAQ: BCLI), a leading developer of adult stem ... the second quarter ending June 30, 2017. ... stages of preparing for our pivotal Phase 3 trial ... Chaim Lebovits , President and Chief Executive Officer of ...
(Date:8/8/2017)... 2017  BioLineRx Ltd. (NASDAQ/TASE: BLRX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical ... financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, ... quarter 2017 and to date: ... for the Company,s lead project, BL-8040: ... BL-8040 as novel stem cell mobilization treatment for autologous ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: