Poly(Ethylene Glycol) as a Scaffold for High-Affinity Open-Channel Blockers of the Mouse Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor

>High-affinity blockers for an ion channel often have complex molecular structures that are synthetically challenging and/or laborious. Here we show that high-affinity blockers for the mouse nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) can be prepared from a structurally simple material, poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). The PEG-based blockers (PQ15), comprised of a flexible octa(ethylene glycol) scaffold and two terminal quaternary ammonium groups, exert low- to sub-micromolar affinities for the open AChR pore (measured via single-channel analysis of AChRs expressed in human embryonic kidney cells). PQ15 are comparable in pore-binding affinity to the strongest AChR open-channel blockers previously reported, which have complex molecular structures. These results suggest a general approach for designing potent open-channel blockers from a structurally flexible polymer. This design strategy involves simple synthetic procedures and does not require detailed information about the structure of an ion-channel pore.

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Source URL:http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0112088