UBC Faculty Research and Publications

TAT-Modified ω-Conotoxin MVIIA for Crossing the Blood-Brain Barrier Yu, Shuo; Li, Yumeng; Chen, Jinqin; Zhang, Yue; Tao, Xinling; Dai, Qiuyun; Wang, Yutian; Li, Shupeng; Dong, Mingxin


As the first in a new class of non-opioid drugs, ω-Conotoxin MVIIA was approved for the management of severe chronic pains in patients who are unresponsive to opioid therapy. Unfortunately, clinical application of MVIIA is severely limited due to its poor ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier (BBB), reaching the central nervous system (CNS). In the present study, we have attempted to increase MVIIA’s ability to cross the BBB via a fusion protein strategy. Our results showed that when the TAT-transducing domain was fused to the MVIIA C-terminal with a linker of varied numbers of glycine, the MVIIA-TAT fusion peptide exhibited remarkable ability to cross the bio-membranes. Most importantly, both intravenous and intranasal administrations of MVIIA-TAT in vivo showed therapeutic efficacy of analgesia. Compared to the analgesic effects of intracerebral administration of the nascent MVIIA, these systemic administrations of MVIIA-TAT require higher doses, but have much prolonged effects. Taken together, our results showed that TAT conjugation of MVIIA not only enables its peripheral administration, but also maintains its analgesic efficiency with a prolonged effective time window. Intranasal administration also rendered the MVIIA-TAT advantages of easy applications with potentially reduced side effects. Our results may present an alternative strategy to improve the CNS accessibility for neural active peptides.

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