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Papers of the Week

Papers: 23 Mar 2024 - 29 Mar 2024

2024 Feb 27

Mar Drugs




Rational Design of Potent α-Conotoxin PeIA Analogues with Non-Natural Amino Acids for the Inhibition of Human α9α10 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors.


Li T, Tae HS, Liang J, Zhang Z, Li X, Jiang T, Adams DJ, Yu R


α-Conotoxins (α-CTxs) are structurally related peptides that antagonize nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), which may serve as new alternatives to opioid-based treatment for pain-related conditions. The non-natural amino acid analogues of α-CTxs have been demonstrated with improved potency compared to the native peptide. In this study, we chemically synthesized Dab/Dap-substituted analogues of α-CTx PeIA and evaluated their activity at heterologously expressed human α9α10 nAChRs. PeIA[S4Dap, S9Dap] had the most potent half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC) of 0.93 nM. Molecular dynamic simulations suggested that the side chain amino group of Dap4 formed additional hydrogen bonds with S168 and D169 of the receptor and Dap9 formed an extra hydrogen bond interaction with Q34, which is distinctive to PeIA. Overall, our findings provide new insights into further development of more potent analogues of α-CTxs, and PeIA[S4Dap, S9Dap] has potential as a drug candidate for the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain.