New Peptide Discovered by Researchers at Indiana University

A peptide was discovered that can be given systematically to block pain in chronic and acute cases.

An axonal protein, CRMP-2, on the calcium channel “[acts] like a remote control” to alter the communication of excitability and pain signals in the body, Rajesh Khanna, MD, stated in a press release. “After opioids – the gold standard for pain control – the next target is calcium channels. Along the pain pathway in the spinal cord, there are pain-sensing neurons called nociceptors that have an abundance of calcium channels.”

CBD3, a part of the CRMP-2 protein, binds to the calcium channel, which acts as a pathway for pain signals, and reduces the number of signals without reducing the influx of calcium. When these signals reach the brain, they are interpreted as pain.

“Since our approach does not directly inhibit calcium entry through voltage-gated channels, we expect that this molecule will be more specific and have fewer side effects than currently available analgesics,” Khanna, stated. “We anticipate that this peptide will serve as a novel pharmacological therapeutic for the relief of chronic pain.””

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