Ion channels are membrane proteins involved in almost all physiological processes, including neurotransmission, muscle contraction, pace-making activity, secretion, electrolyte and water balance, immune response, and cell proliferation. Due to their broad distribution in human body and physiological roles, ion channels are attractive targets for drug discovery and safety pharmacology. Over the years ion channels have been associated to many genetic diseases (“channelopathies”). For most of these diseases the therapy is mainly empirical and symptomatic, often limited by lack of efficacy and tolerability for a number of patients. The search for the development of new and more specific therapeutic approaches is therefore strongly pursued. At the same time acquired channelopathies or dangerous side effects (such as proarrhythmic risk) can develop as a consequence of drugs unexpectedly targeting ion channels. Several noncardiovascular drugs are known to block cardiac ion channels, leading to potentially fatal delayed ventricular repolarization. Thus, the search of reliable preclinical cardiac safety testing in early stage of drug discovery is mandatory. To fulfill these needs, both ion channels drug discovery and toxicology strategies are evolving toward comprehensive research approaches integrating ad hoc designed in silico predictions and experimental studies for a more reliable and quick translation of results to the clinic side. Here we discuss two examples of how the combination of in silico methods and patch clamp experiments can help addressing drug discovery and safety issues regarding ion channels.

Ion channels in drug discovery and safety pharmacology

Imbrici, Paola
;
Nicolotti, Orazio;Leonetti, Francesco;Conte, Diana;Liantonio, Antonella
2018

Abstract

Ion channels are membrane proteins involved in almost all physiological processes, including neurotransmission, muscle contraction, pace-making activity, secretion, electrolyte and water balance, immune response, and cell proliferation. Due to their broad distribution in human body and physiological roles, ion channels are attractive targets for drug discovery and safety pharmacology. Over the years ion channels have been associated to many genetic diseases (“channelopathies”). For most of these diseases the therapy is mainly empirical and symptomatic, often limited by lack of efficacy and tolerability for a number of patients. The search for the development of new and more specific therapeutic approaches is therefore strongly pursued. At the same time acquired channelopathies or dangerous side effects (such as proarrhythmic risk) can develop as a consequence of drugs unexpectedly targeting ion channels. Several noncardiovascular drugs are known to block cardiac ion channels, leading to potentially fatal delayed ventricular repolarization. Thus, the search of reliable preclinical cardiac safety testing in early stage of drug discovery is mandatory. To fulfill these needs, both ion channels drug discovery and toxicology strategies are evolving toward comprehensive research approaches integrating ad hoc designed in silico predictions and experimental studies for a more reliable and quick translation of results to the clinic side. Here we discuss two examples of how the combination of in silico methods and patch clamp experiments can help addressing drug discovery and safety issues regarding ion channels.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/227151
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