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Toxins 2018, 10(9), 358; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10090358

Engineering Gain-of-Function Analogues of the Spider Venom Peptide HNTX-I, A Potent Blocker of the hNaV1.7 Sodium Channel

The National & Local Joint Engineering Laboratory of Animal Peptide Drug Development, College of Life Sciences, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, Hunan, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 30 August 2018 / Accepted: 31 August 2018 / Published: 4 September 2018
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Abstract

Pain is a medical condition that interferes with normal human life and work and reduces human well-being worldwide. Human voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.7 (hNaV1.7) is a compelling target that plays a key role in human pain signaling. The 33-residue peptide µ-TRTX-Hhn2b (HNTX-I), a member of NaV-targeting spider toxin (NaSpTx) family 1, has shown negligible activity on mammalian voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs), including the hNaV1.7 channel. We engineered analogues of HNTX-I based on sequence conservation in NaSpTx family 1. Substitution of Asn for Ser at position 23 or Asp for His at position 26 conferred potent activity against hNaV1.7. Moreover, multiple site mutations combined together afforded improvements in potency. Ultimately, we generated an analogue E1G–N23S–D26H–L32W with >300-fold improved potency compared with wild-type HNTX-I on hNaV1.7 (IC50 0.036 ± 0.007 µM). Structural simulation suggested that the charged surface and the hydrophobic surface of the modified peptide are responsible for binding affinity to the hNaV1.7 channel, while variable residues may determine pharmacological specificity. Therefore, this study provides a profile for drug design targeting the hNaV1.7 channel. View Full-Text
Keywords: voltage-gated sodium channels; NaV1.7; spider venom; toxin; HNTX-I; engineering voltage-gated sodium channels; NaV1.7; spider venom; toxin; HNTX-I; engineering
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Zhang, Y.; Yang, Q.; Zhang, Q.; Peng, D.; Chen, M.; Liang, S.; Zhou, X.; Liu, Z. Engineering Gain-of-Function Analogues of the Spider Venom Peptide HNTX-I, A Potent Blocker of the hNaV1.7 Sodium Channel. Toxins 2018, 10, 358.

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