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February 1, 2014 (Vol. 34 , No. 3)

Peptide Toxin

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Peptides International

μ-SLPTX-Ssm6a, a 46-residue peptide toxin derived from the Chinese redheaded centipede (Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans), is now commercially available. It has implications for drug discovery because it potently and selectively blocks the human NaV1.7 channel, which is currently a target of interest for pain management. (Because loss-of-function mutations in the human voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.7 result in a congenital indifference to pain, selective inhibitors of NaV1.7 are likely to be powerful analgesics for treating a broad range of pain conditions. In rodent pain models, NaV1.7’s analgesic efficacy has been found to exceed that of morphine.) This peptide toxin has no homology to previously reported NaV1.7 blockers such as ProTx-II.

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