Molecular Mapping of the Binding Sites of a Nav1.1 Activator

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Hector Jose Botella Valle
Schizophrenia constitutes one of the most complex psychiatric diseases whose
environmental and genetic etiology make difficult to treat. The diverse pathologic targets implied,
and an extreme genotypic variability in patients considerably reduce treatment efficacy. A
continuous search for newer drugs is ongoing, as current pharmacological treatments fail to
address broad cohorts of patients and, in the best of cases, only partly ameliorate the psychotic
Latter research has set the focus on the role of interneurons in the regulation of neural
networks and their significance in seizure episodes of several epilepsies
. The parvalbuminpositive (PV
), GABAergic fast-spiking interneurons (FSINs) send inhibitory inputs to regulate the
general excitatory output in a brain region
. Abundantly found on the axon initial segment (AIS)
of these FSINs
, the voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC) Nav1.1 has become an attractive
target to use to potentiate their inhibitory effect over de-coordinated brain regions
The newly discovered Nav1.1-specific Lundbeck modulator AA43279[9]
binds to a yet-tobe discovered region in said channel. This project attempted to trace its exact mode of action by
exchanging entire structural domains between VGSCs, and examining whether its effects vary
along with the presence or absence of said channel subunits in the resulting whole chimeric
constructs. But despite the majority of split Nav domains with tagged sfGFP were not functional,
this strategy succeeded with simpler Kv2.1 monomers and may hold promising results when
applied to other VGICs or LGICs, to allow their modification at a subunit-level and the analysis of
their live functionalization in situ.
Publication date7 Sept 2018
Number of pages95
External collaboratorH. Lundbeck A/S
Tau Benned-Jensen
Place of Internship
ID: 286676855