Development of potent and specific modulators of the human sodium channel Nav1.7 (2011–2014)
In recent years, the Nav1.7 sodium channel has emerged as an excellent target for the treatment of chronic pain. Using a unique in-house collection of 156 tarantula venoms, we recently demonstrated that spider venoms are perhaps the richest natural source of Nav1.7 modulators. This unique access to a large panel of peptidic Nav1.7 modulators will enable us to elucidate the molecular basis of the interaction between these peptides and Nav1.7. The overall goal of this project is to develop potent and specific blockers of Nav1.7 that can be used to further assess the role of this ion channel in nociception and which may have potential as leads for the development of analgesics that target Nav1.7.