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J Neurosci. 2013 Jun 19;33(25):10559-67. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4629-12.2013.

Evaluation of a novel calcium channel agonist for therapeutic potential in Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience, Center for Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261, USA.


We developed a novel calcium (Ca(2+)) channel agonist that is selective for N- and P/Q-type Ca(2+) channels, which are the Ca(2+) channels that regulate transmitter release at most synapses. We have shown that this new molecule (GV-58) slows the deactivation of channels, resulting in a large increase in presynaptic Ca(2+) entry during activity. GV-58 was developed as a modification of (R)-roscovitine, which was previously shown to be a Ca(2+) channel agonist, in addition to its known cyclin-dependent kinase activity. In comparison with the parent molecule, (R)-roscovitine, GV-58 has a ∼20-fold less potent cyclin-dependent kinase antagonist effect, a ∼3- to 4-fold more potent Ca(2+) channel agonist effect, and ∼4-fold higher efficacy as a Ca(2+) channel agonist. We have further evaluated GV-58 in a passive transfer mouse model of Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome and have shown that weakened Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome-model neuromuscular synapses are significantly strengthened following exposure to GV-58. This new Ca(2+) channel agonist has potential as a lead compound in the development of new therapeutic approaches to a variety of disorders that result in neuromuscular weakness.

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