Enzyme Works to Curb Pain

August 4, 2010

The enzyme prostatic acid phosphates (PAP), discovered by researchers at the University of North Carolina, blocks pain in animal models, according to a new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

The enzyme prostatic acid phosphates (PAP), discovered by researchers at the University of North Carolina, blocks pain in animal models, according to a new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

The enzyme siphons off the molecule PIP2, which is a component in chronic pain, and contines to block pain symptoms post-injection for some time.

“If you inject PAP before nerve injury or before causing inflammation, PAP has very long-lasting effect on the pain sensitization that follows,” said Mark J. Zylka, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology and the UNC Neuroscience Center, and lead investigator for the study, in a press release. “It has the potential to block or dramatically reduce pain, possibly in surgical settings.’

By injecting PAP before an injury would take place, researchers were able to prevent pain manifestation from forming.

“Essentially PAP robs the cell of PIP2 so pro-pain pathways can't signal as effectively,” said Zylka.