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KTM is a rationally designed alpha-conotoxin predicted to have optimal binding affinity for the rat α3β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor isoform, a homology model for the human α6α4β2β3 receptor isoform implicated in Parkinson’s Disease. Validation of computational accuracy will help adjust computational parameters to give more accurate predictions of receptor binding, which are critical to receptor understanding and effective drug development for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s. The NMR structure of KTM is currently being solved in order to validate computational results. Current progress indicates that the NMR structure follows the predicted structure well, but is not highly constrained.
The project described was supported by Institutional Development Awards (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Grants #P20GM103408 and P20GM109095.