CP contributed to the discovery of a new ion channel in a joint project with the University of Vienna. The ß-subunits of GABAA receptors were shown to form novel proton receptors with inhibitory function (Garifulina et al. 2022).
Protonation of H267 effects pore features as well as Cl– occupancy. Figure is from Garifulina et al. 2022
Abstract: Оligoarginines were recently discovered (Lebedev et al., 2019 Nov) as a novel class of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) inhibitors, octaoligoarginine R8 showing a relatively high affinity (44 nM) for the α9/α10 nAChR. Since the inhibition of α9/α10 nAChR by α-conotoxin RgIA and its analogs is a possible way to drugs against neuropathic pain, here in a mice model we compared R8 with α-conotoxin RgIA in the effects on the chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), namely on the long-term oxaliplatin induced neuropathy. Tests of cold allodynia, hot plate, Von Frey and grip strength analysis revealed for R8 and α-conotoxin RgIA similar positive effects, expressed most prominently after two weeks of administration. Histological analysis of the dorsal root ganglia sections showed for R8 and RgIA a similar partial correction of changes in the nuclear morphology of neurons. Since α9/α10 nAChR might be not the only drug target for R8, we analyzed the R8 action on rat TRPV1 and TRPA1, well-known nociceptive receptors. Against rTRPV1 at 25 μM there was no inhibition, while for rTRPA1 IC50 was about 20 μM. Thus, involvement of rTRPA1 cannot be excluded, but in view of the R8 much higher affinity for α9/α10 nAChR the latter seems to be the main target and the easily synthesized R8 can be considered as a potential candidate for a drug design.