Alternative Strategy to Opioid-Based Pain Relief Treatment That Can Save Millions of Lives
Published on 05.12.2023
Millions of lives have been lost in the United States alone due to addiction caused by opioid-based pain relief treatment. We probed an alternative, addiction-free strategy to conventional opioid-based pain relief treatment that targets the actual receptors of pain at the very origin of pain perception – the channel protein and pain receptor TRPV1. In study led by Arthur Neuberger in our lab, we resolved the detailed architecture of human TRPV1, a receptor that has been shown to serve as a critical pain sensor. We explored ways to resolve the detailed architecture of human TRPV1 with a resolution high enough to visualize the channel’s molecular anatomy: alike visualizing every bolt and other pieces of assembly in a most complex engine for the first time. We studied this channel in both its resting natural state as well as in a state when it is tightly blocked by a high-affinity and TRPV1-specific pain killer drug that is currently undergoing clinical development.
«We are excited about the potential of this new pain relief strategy. By targeting the actual receptors of pain, we can develop a safer and more effective way to manage pain without the risk of addiction,” – said Arthur, the lead author of this study, “Our research has provided valuable insights into the detailed architecture of human TRPV1, which can be used to design even better drugs targeting TRPV1 for new pain therapy.»
This work was done in collaboration with Dr. E. Gracheva and Dr. S. Bagriantsev groups.
This is an open access article can be found here.