Prof. Ren Lai, Principle Investigator and research fellow of Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, deputy editor-in-chief of J Venom Res, and the winner of the National Science Foundation for Distinguished Young Scholar. His team mainly focus on peptideomics and proteomics of natural medicines, functions and mechanisms of bioactive peptides and proteins, structural modification of native peptides/proteins and drug research and development. More than 120 papers have been published in PNAS, Hypertension, Mol Cell Proteomics, J Proteome Res, FASEB J, Allergy, Eur J Pharm Biopharm, J Control Release, Free Radic Biol Med and JBC.
We mainly focus on peptideomics and proteomics of natural medicines, functions and mechanisms of bioactive peptides and proteins, structural modification of native peptides/proteins and drug research and development. The techniques routinely used include Peptideomics/proteomics, patch-clamp whole-cell, animal models of human diseases, pharmacology and pharmacy.
In 2013, Prof. Lai’s team and researchers of the University of Queensland have discovered a toxin (NaV1.7 inhibitor, µ-SLPTX-Ssm6a) from centipedes capable of blocking pain. The toxin is a unique 46-residue peptide from centipede venom that potently inhibits NaV1.7 with an IC50 of ∼25 nM. µ-SLPTX-Ssm6a has more than 150-fold selectivity for NaV1.7 over all other human NaV subtypes, with the exception of NaV1.2, for which the selectivity is 32-fold. µ-SLPTX-Ssm6a contains three disulfide bonds with a unique connectivity pattern, and it has no significant sequence homology with any previously characterized peptide or protein. µ-SLPTX-Ssm6a has been proved to be a more potent analgesic than morphine in a rodent model of chemical-induced pain, and it is equipotent with morphine in rodent models of thermal and acid-induced pain. This study establishes µ-SPTX-Ssm6a as a promising lead molecule for the development of novel analgesics targeting NaV1.7, which may be suitable for treating a wide range of human pain pathologies (Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013;110:17534-9). This study was highlighted by Nature and Nature Medicine.
Dr. Ming-Qiang Rong, Associate Professor, rongmingqiang@ mail.kiz.ac.cn
Dr. Qiumin Lv, Associate Professor, lvqm@ mail.kiz.ac.cn
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Jing Tang, Xue Hao, Zhi-Ye Zhang, Shi-Long Yang, Jie Liu, Mei-Ling Zhang, Di Kang , Cheng-Bo Long, Chuan-Bin Shen, Zi-Lei Duan , Cheng Xu, Hakim, Xiao-Peng Tang, Bo-Wen Li, Lei Luo