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Papers of the Week

Papers: 8 Jan 2022 - 14 Jan 2022

Pharmacology/Drug Development

2022 Jan-Jul

Neurobiol Pain


Small molecule targeting NaV1.7 via inhibition of the CRMP2-Ubc9 interaction reduces and prevents pain chronification in a mouse model of oxaliplatin-induced neuropathic pain.


Treatment with anti-neoplastic agents can lead to the development of chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), which is long lasting and often refractory to treatment. This neuropathic pain develops along dermatomes innervated by peripheral nerves with cell bodies located in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG). The voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.7 is expressed at high levels in peripheral nerve tissues and has been implicated in the development of CIPN. Efforts to develop novel analgesics directly inhibiting NaV1.7 have been unsuccessful, and our group has pioneered an alternative approach based on indirect modulation of channel trafficking by the accessory protein collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2). We have recently reported a small molecule, compound 194, that inhibits CRMP2 SUMOylation by the E2 SUMO-conjugating enzyme Ubc9 (Cai et al. , Sci. Transl. Med. 2021 13(6 1 9):eabh1314). Compound 194 is a potent and selective inhibitor of NaV1.7 currents in DRG neurons and reverses mechanical allodynia in models of surgical, inflammatory, and neuropathic pain, including spared nerve injury and paclitaxelinduced peripheral neuropathy. Here we report that, in addition to its reported effects in rats, 194 also reduces mechanical allodynia in male CD-1 mice treated with platinumcomplex agent oxaliplatin. Importantly, treatment with 194 prevented the development of mechanical allodynia when co-administered with oxaliplatin. No effects were observed on the body weight of animals treated with oxaliplatin or 194 throughout the study period. These findings support the notion that 194 is a robust inhibitor of CIPN that reduces established neuropathic pain and prevents the emergence of neuropathic pain during treatment with multiple anti-neoplastic agents in both mice and rats.