Pharma / Biotech

CRAC channels as targets for drug discovery and development.

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CRAC channels as targets for drug discovery and development.

Cell Calcium. 2018 Jul 18;74:147-159

Authors: Stauderman KA

Abstract
Calcium release-activated calcium (CRAC) channels have been the target of drug discovery for many years. The identification of STIM and Orai proteins as key components of CRAC channels greatly facilitated this process because their co-expression in cell lines produced electrophysiological currents (ICRAC) much larger than those in native cells, making it easier to confirm and characterize the effects of modulatory compounds. A driving force in the quest for CRAC channel drugs has been the immunocompromised phenotype displayed by humans and mice with null or loss-of-function mutations in STIM1 or Orai1, suggesting that CRAC channel inhibitors could be useful therapeutics for autoimmune or inflammatory conditions. Emerging data also suggests that other therapeutic conditions may benefit from CRAC channel inhibition. However, only recently have CRAC channel inhibitors reached clinical trials. This review discusses the challenges associated with drug discovery and development on CRAC channels and the approaches employed to date, as well as the results, starting from initial high-throughput screens for CRAC channel modulators and progressing through target selection and justification, descriptions of pharmacological, safety and toxicological profiles of compounds, and finally the entry of CRAC channel inhibitors into clinical trials.

PMID: 30075400 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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