Non-blocking modulation contributes to sodium channel inhibition by a covalently attached photoreactive riluzole analog.
Sodium channel inhibitor drugs decrease pathological hyperactivity in various diseases including pain syndromes, myotonia, arrhythmias, nerve injuries and epilepsies. Inhibiting pathological but not physiological activity, however, is a major challenge in drug development. Sodium channel inhibitors exert their effects by a dual action: they obstruct ion flow ("block"), and they alter the energetics of channel opening and closing ("modulation"). Ideal drugs would be modulators without blocking effect, because modulation is inherently activity-dependent, therefore selective for pathological hyperactivity. Can block and modulation be separated?
This paper was now published by Emilio Casanova and co-workers in Sci Rep. 2018 May 25;8(1):8110. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-26444-y.