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Mol Pharmacol. 2012 Sep;82(3):372-82. doi: 10.1124/mol.112.078006. Epub 2012 May 23.

Vm24, a natural immunosuppressive peptide, potently and selectively blocks Kv1.3 potassium channels of human T cells.

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  • 1Department of Biophysics and Cell Biology, Medical and Health Science Center, University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary.


Blockade of Kv1.3 K(+) channels in T cells is a promising therapeutic approach for the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes mellitus. Vm24 (α-KTx 23.1) is a novel 36-residue Kv1.3-specific peptide isolated from the venom of the scorpion Vaejovis mexicanus smithi. Vm24 inhibits Kv1.3 channels of human lymphocytes with high affinity (K(d) = 2.9 pM) and exhibits >1500-fold selectivity over other ion channels assayed. It inhibits the proliferation and Ca(2+) signaling of human T cells in vitro and reduces delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions in rats in vivo. Our results indicate that Vm24 has exceptional pharmacological properties that make it an excellent candidate for treatment of certain autoimmune diseases.

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