According to a recent Medgadget article, researchers at NYU have made significant strides in the field of gene therapy by creating a novel approach to alleviate chronic pain. The team focused on a critical component of pain perception – the NaV1.7 sodium ion channel found on neurons. With genetic engineering, they encoded a specialized peptide that facilitates the binding of a modulatory protein known as CRMP2 to the NaV1.7 channel. This engineered change disrupted CRMP2's normal interaction with the sodium channel, resulting in decreased pain transmission.
The results were promising, with the therapy reducing pain sensitivity to cold, heat, and touch in mice. Rajesh Khanna, a key researcher on the project, heralded this innovation as a pivotal moment in the field of gene therapy, showcasing its potential for revolutionizing pain management.