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Papers of the Week

Papers: 29 Apr 2023 - 5 May 2023

Basic Science

In Vitro Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2023 May 04

Acta Pharmacol Sin


Naphthylisoquinoline alkaloids, a new structural template inhibitor of Nav1.7 sodium channel.


Wang QQ, Wang L, Zhang WB, Tang CP, Chen XQ, Zheng YM, Yao S, Gao ZB, Ye Y


Voltage-gated sodium channel 1.7 (Nav1.7) remains one of the most promising drug targets for pain relief. In the current study, we conducted a high-throughput screening of natural products in our in-house compound library to discover novel Nav1.7 inhibitors, then characterized their pharmacological properties. We identified 25 naphthylisoquinoline alkaloids (NIQs) from Ancistrocladus tectorius to be a novel type of Nav1.7 channel inhibitors. Their stereostructures including the linkage modes of the naphthalene group at the isoquinoline core were revealed by a comprehensive analysis of HRESIMS, 1D, and 2D NMR spectra as well as ECD spectra and single-crystal X-ray diffraction analysis with Cu Kα radiation. All the NIQs showed inhibitory activities against the Nav1.7 channel stably expressed in HEK293 cells, and the naphthalene ring in the C-7 position displayed a more important role in the inhibitory activity than that in the C-5 site. Among the NIQs tested, compound 2 was the most potent with an IC of 0.73 ± 0.03 µM. We demonstrated that compound 2 (3 µM) caused dramatical shift of steady-state slow inactivation toward the hyperpolarizing direction (V values were changed from -39.54 ± 2.77 mV to -65.53 ± 4.39 mV, which might contribute to the inhibition of compound 2 against the Nav1.7 channel. In acutely isolated dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, compound 2 (10 μM) dramatically suppressed native sodium currents and action potential firing. In the formalin-induced mouse inflammatory pain model, local intraplantar administration of compound 2 (2, 20, 200 nmol) dose-dependently attenuated the nociceptive behaviors. In summary, NIQs represent a new type of Nav1.7 channel inhibitors and may act as structural templates for the following analgesic drug development.