Public Release:  Food dye could provide 'blueprint' for treatment of Panx1-related diseases

Rockefeller University Press

The food dye Brilliant Blue FCF (BB FCF) could be a useful tool in the development of treatments for a variety of conditions involving the membrane channel protein Pannexin 1(Panx1), according to a study in The Journal of General Physiology. Panx1, which is involved in signaling events leading to inflammation and cell death, has been implicated in such diverse diseases as Crohn's, AIDS, melanoma, epilepsy, spinal cord injury, and stroke, among others. Thus, there is a demand for the development of pharmacological tools to inhibit Panx1.

Researchers from the University of Miami School of Medicine now demonstrate that BB FCF is a selective inhibitor of Panx1 and might therefore be added to the repertoire of drugs used to battle certain diseases associated with the protein. However, because an unintended consequence of treatment with BB FCF could be a temporary blue skin tone in patients, the researchers conclude that BB FCF would be best used to identify structurally similar substances to aid treatment.

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About The Journal of General Physiology

Founded in 1918, The Journal of General Physiology (JGP) is published by The Rockefeller University Press. All editorial decisions on manuscripts submitted are made by active scientists in conjunction with our in-house scientific editor. JGP content is posted to PubMed Central, where it is available to the public for free six months after publication. Authors retain copyright of their published works and third parties may reuse the content for non-commercial purposes under a creative commons license. For more information, please visit http://www.jgp.org.

Wang, J., et al. 2013. J. Gen. Physiol. doi:10.1085/jgp.201310966

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