1000-times more potent than morphine: the venom of the cone snail pain revolutionized therapy

Conotoxine be obtained poison from the nerves, the cone snails prey or attacker to paralyze and kill. An Austro-Australian team of researchers has now investigated, what are the new approaches of active ingredient specifically for the chronic pain therapy opened. Their findings, the scientists published in the journal “Chemical Reviews”.

With a harpoon, and the poison is shot into the victim

The carnivorous marine gastropods of the genus Conus are known for their very effective poisoning mechanism. The conical screw to inject the paralyzing and deadly poison by a kind of harpoon in their victim or attacker.

Snails is available variety of gift mixes

"It has been already shown that the snails can control what toxic combination for what is the purpose of use in hunting, or in the case of the Verteidigung", Markus Muttenthaler from the Institute of Biological chemistry at the University of Vienna says. As a result, the researchers expect the findings to be able to pain relievers more targeted use.

Understanding of pain improves significantly

"With their extraordinary effect and selectivity have Conotoxine the pain research is revolutionizing our understanding of pain conduction fundamentally verbessert", Muttenthaler said. With the help of the active ingredients, researchers could clarify the role of different Receptor subtypes.

Conotoxin blocked pain specifically in the spinal cord

As the University explains in a press release, there are already a Conotoxin (Prialt®), which is used for chronic pain relief. In the back of the market is injected in the pain conduction: &quot blocked, therefore, it is very targeted;1000-times more potent than morphine and without Abhängigkeitserscheinungen", Muttenthaler said.

The pain will sooner be caught

The aim of the researchers is that the next Generation of Conotoxin agents to intercept the pain, before they arrive in the spinal cord by placing the material in the upstream dorsal root ganglia.

High species and link diversity

So far, estimated 750 species of cone snails, as well as more than 10,000 of Conotoxin sequences known. The poison of the sea animals contains hundreds to thousands of bioactive and with a typical length of 10 to 40 amino acids – a relatively short peptides, which can form molecular diverse Compounds.

As the toxins act

These peptide mixtures can, in turn, also affect the human nervous system and, for example, ion channels, block, or activate. This is of particular interest because ion channels in the pain conduction can selectively be affected.

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