Effects of arginine 10 to lysine substitution on ω-conotoxin CVIE and CVIF block of Cav2.2 channels
Background and Purpose ω-Conotoxins CVIE and CVIF (CVIE&F) selectively inhibit Cav2.2 channels and are lead molecules in the development of novel analgesics. At physiological membrane potentials, CVIE&F block of Cav2.2 channels is weakly reversible. To improve reversibility, we designed and synthesized arginine CVIE&F analogues in which arginine was substituted for lysine at position 10 ([R10K]CVIE&F), and investigated their serum stability and pharmacological actions on voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs). Experimental Approach Changes in peptide structure due to R10K substitution were assessed by NMR. Peptide stability in human serum was analysed by reversed-phase HPLC and MS over a 24 h period. Two-electrode voltage-clamp and whole-cell patch clamp techniques were used to study [R10K]CVIE&F effects on VGCC currents in Xenopus oocytes and rat dorsal root ganglion neurons respectively. Key Results R10K substitution did not change the conserved ω-conotoxin backbone conformations of CVIE&F nor the ω-conotoxin selectivity for recombinant or native Cav2.2 channels, although the inhibitory potency of [R10K]CVIF was better than that of CVIF. At −80 mV, the R10K chemical modification significantly affected ω-conotoxin−channel interaction, resulting in faster onset kinetics than those of CVIE&F. Heterologous and native Cav2.2 channels recovered better from [R10K]CVIE&F block than CVIE&F. In human serum, the ω-conotoxin half-lives were 6−10 h. CVIE&F and [R10K]CVIE&F were more stable than CVID. Conclusions and Implications R10K substitution in CVIE&F significantly alters the kinetics of ω-conotoxin action and improves reversibility without diminishing conotoxin potency and specificity for the Cav2.2 channel and without diminishing the serum stability. These results may help generate ω-conotoxins with optimized kinetic profiles for target binding.