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Papers of the Week

Papers: 29 Jun 2024 - 5 Jul 2024

2024 Jul 01

J Clin Invest




Disordered but effective: short linear motifs as gene therapy targets for hyperexcitability disorders.


Dib-Hajj SD, Waxman SG


Multiple approaches have targeted voltage-gated sodium (Nav) channels for analgesia. In this issue of the JCI, Shin et al. identified a peptide aptamer, NaViPA1, carrying a short polybasic motif flanked by serine residues in a structurally disordered region of loop 1 in tetrodotoxin-sensitive (TTX-S) but not tetrodotoxin-resistant (TTX-R) channels. NaViPA1h inhibited TTX-S NaV channels and attenuated excitability of sensory neurons. Delivery of NaViPA1 in vivo via adeno-associated virions restricted its expression to peripheral sensory neurons and induced analgesia in rats. Targeting of short linear motifs in this manner may provide a gene therapy modality, with minimal side effects due to its peripherally-restricted biodistribution, which opens up a therapeutic strategy for hyperexcitability disorders, including pain.