Ion Channels as Medicinal Targets of Biological Toxins: The Impact of Automated Patch-Clamp Electrophysiology

Author(s): Arturo Picones.

Journal Name: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry

Volume 15 , Issue 7 , 2015

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Abstract:

Patch-Clamp electrophysiology, the “gold standard” for the functional study of ion channels has become automated. This innovative technology, already over a decade old, has revolutionized the strategies for the search of medicinal compounds which now can be screened at unprecedented speed, approaching the high throughput standards required by primary screening campaigns emblematic of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Consequently, an acceleration of the discovery and development of new drugs targeting ion channels is expected. These pore forming membrane proteins had been relegated as crucial therapeutic drug targets due to the difficulty of their experimental analysis. This new technological approach has begun to impact the finding of new toxins which are conspicuously relevant as medicinal agents given their extraordinary potency and specificity when acting upon ion channels. The introduction of automated patch-clamp instrumentation to academic labs and institutions pursuing the finding of new pharmacological agents, peptide toxins in particular, will certainly enrich these scientific and technological fields by contributing with their always prolific generosity of originality and innovation.

Keywords: Automated patch-clamp electrophysiology, Ion channels, Toxins.

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Article Details

VOLUME: 15
ISSUE: 7
Year: 2015
Page: [631 - 637]
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.2174/1568026615666150309145928
Price: $58

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