Yin S, Hu Q, Luo J, Li Y, Lu C, Chen X and Hu H (2014). Loureirin B, an essential component of Sanguis Draxonis, inhibits Kv1.3 channel and suppresses cytokine release from Jurkat T cells. Cell & Biosci 4: 78. PMID: 25937895
Sanguis draxonis (SD), also known as "Dragon's Blood", is a traditional herb medicine that has been used to treat a variety of complications with unknown mechanisms. Recent studies show that SD displays immunosuppressive activities and improves symptoms of type I diabetes in animal models. However, the mechanisms underlying SD's immunosuppressive actions are not completely understood. The voltage-gatedKv1.3 channel plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases by regulating the functions of both T cells and B cells. Here we investigated the effect of SD and one of its active components loureirin B (LrB) on Kv1.3. Both SD and LrB inhibited Kv1.3-mediated currents, produced a membrane depolarization, and reduced Ca(2+) influx in Jurkat T cells. In addition, application of LrB inhibited phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-induced IL-2 release from activated Jurkat T cells. Furthermore, point mutations in the selective filter region significantly reduced the inhibitory effect of LrB on Kv1.3. The results of these experiments provide evidence that LrB is a channel blocker ofKv1.3 by interacting with amino acid residues in its selective filter region. Direct inhibition of Kv1.3 in T cells by SD and LrB might be the cellular and molecular basis of SD-mediated immunosuppression.