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Biochemistry. 2006 Jun 13;45(23):7404-14.

Synthetic muO-conotoxin MrVIB blocks TTX-resistant sodium channel NaV1.8 and has a long-lasting analgesic activity.

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Department of Biology, The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112, USA.


MuO-conotoxin MrVIB is a blocker of voltage-gated sodium channels, including TTX-sensitive and -resistant subtypes. A comprehensive characterization of this peptide has been hampered by the lack of sufficient synthetic material. Here, we describe the successful chemical synthesis and oxidative folding of MrVIB that has made an investigation of the pharmacological properties and therapeutic potential of the peptide feasible. We show for the first time that synthetic MrVIB blocks rat NaV1.8 sodium channels and has potent and long-lasting local anesthetic effects when tested in two pain assays in rats. Furthermore, MrVIB can block propagation of action potentials in A- and C-fibers in sciatic nerve as well as skeletal muscle in isolated preparations from rat. Our work provides the first example of analgesia produced by a conotoxin that blocks sodium channels. The emerging diversity of antinociceptive mechanisms targeted by different classes of conotoxins is discussed.

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