I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 2 Apr 2022 - 8 Apr 2022

Pharmacology/Drug Development

2022 Mar 30


Peptide antagonists of NMDA receptors: Structure-activity relationships for potential therapeutics.


The N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors are heteromeric cation channels involved in memory, learning, and synaptic plasticity. The dysfunction associated with NMDA receptors results in neurodegenerative conditions. The conantokins comprise a family of Conus venom peptides that induce sleep upon intracranial injection into young mice and are known to be NMDA receptor antagonists. This work comprehensibly documents the conantokins that have been characterized to date, focusing on the biochemistry, solution structures in the presence or absence of divalent cations, functions as selective NMDA receptor antagonists, and structure-activity relationships. Furthermore, the applications of conantokins as potential therapeutics for certain neurological conditions, including neuropathic pain, epilepsy, and ischemia that are linked to NMDA receptor dysfunction are reviewed.