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Open Access Ion Channels as Drug Targets in Central Nervous System Disorders

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Ion channel targeted drugs have always been related with either the central nervous system (CNS), the peripheral nervous system, or the cardiovascular system. Within the CNS, basic indications of drugs are: sleep disorders, anxiety, epilepsy, pain, etc. However, traditional channel blockers have multiple adverse events, mainly due to low specificity of mechanism of action. Lately, novel ion channel subtypes have been discovered, which gives premises to drug discovery process led towards specific channel subtypes. An example is Na+ channels, whose subtypes 1.3 and 1.7-1.9 are responsible for pain, and 1.1 and 1.2 – for epilepsy. Moreover, new drug candidates have been recognized. This review is focusing on ion channels subtypes, which play a significant role in current drug discovery and development process. The knowledge on channel subtypes has developed rapidly, giving new nomenclatures of ion channels. For example, Ca2+ channels are not any more divided to T, L, N, P/Q, and R, but they are described as Cav1.1-Cav3.3, with even newer nomenclature α1A-α1I and α1S. Moreover, new channels such as P2X1-P2X7, as well as TRPA1-TRPV1 have been discovered, giving premises for new types of analgesic drugs.

Keywords: ASIC; CNS; KCNQ; NMDA; P2X; TRP; central nervous system; ion channels

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2013

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.

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