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Papers of the Week

Papers: 7 Jan 2023 - 13 Jan 2023

2023 Jan 03

Int J Mol Sci



Blockers of Skeletal Muscle Na1.4 Channels: From Therapy of Myotonic Syndrome to Molecular Determinants of Pharmacological Action and Back.


De Bellis M, Boccanegra B, Cerchiara A G, Imbrici P, De Luca A
Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Jan 03; 24(1).
PMID: 36614292.


The voltage-gated sodium channels represent an important target for drug discovery since a large number of physiological processes are regulated by these channels. In several excitability disorders, including epilepsy, cardiac arrhythmias, chronic pain, and non-dystrophic myotonia, blockers of voltage-gated sodium channels are clinically used. Myotonia is a skeletal muscle condition characterized by the over-excitability of the sarcolemma, resulting in delayed relaxation after contraction and muscle stiffness. The therapeutic management of this disorder relies on mexiletine and other sodium channel blockers, which are not selective for the Na1.4 skeletal muscle sodium channel isoform. Hence, the importance of deepening the knowledge of molecular requirements for developing more potent and use-dependent drugs acting on Na1.4. Here, we review the available treatment options for non-dystrophic myotonia and the structure-activity relationship studies performed in our laboratory with a focus on new compounds with potential antimyotonic activity.