Molecules from the world’s largest spider venom help researchers led by the University of Queensland prepare painkillers for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Researchers screened 28 spiders and poison It shows the most promising of the Venezuelan Pink Foot Goliath Tarantulas (leg spans up to 30 cm).
A team led by Professor Stuart Briary of Flinders University and Professor Richard Lewis of the Institute of Molecular Biology at UQ, jointly with the South Australian Institute of Health, wants to find effective pain relief for chronic intestinal pain. thinking about.
“All pain is complex, but bowel pain is particularly difficult to treat and affects about 20% of the world’s population,” said Professor Lewis.
“Current drugs fail to produce effective pain relief in many patients before the side effects limit the doses that can be administered,” said Briary, who said that IBS and other gastrointestinal and bladder disorders Said to cause chronic visceral pain, this Internal organs..
“The internal organs have a complex network of sensory nerves and various voltage-gated gates. Ion channel And a receptor for detecting stimuli, “he said.
“The hypersensitivity of these nerves in the disease often contributes to the development of pain.”
Voltage-gated ion channels open and close in response to overall changes Cell membrane, Its dysfunction has been identified as the cause of chronic visceral pain.
Professor Lewis said spider venom contains hundreds of miniproteins known as peptides that can block the opening of voltage-gated ion channels.
“Unfortunately, these peptides are not completely selective for pain targets,” he said.
“Our goal was to find a more specialized analgesic that targets the pain sodium channel of strong chronic visceral pain rather than being active in the heart or other channels.”
The team found that two peptides isolated from the tarantula venom block the most important ion channels that underlie the pain.
“We now have a really strong understanding of the structure and function of these spider venom peptides,” said Professor Lewis.
“Very selective ones have potential as a cure for pain, while others are useful as new research tools to understand our underlying driver. pain With various illnesses ”
Fernanda C Cardoso et al, a spider venom peptide with multi-target activity for sodium and calcium channels, relieves chronic visceral pain in a model of irritable bowel syndrome, pain (2020). DOI: 10.1097 / j.pain.0000000000002041
University of Queensland
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