Downstream Regulatory Element Antagonistic Modulator (DREAM) is a key molecule for pain regulation: By binding on the respective DNA-promoter region, DREAM inhibits the synthesis of the endogenous opioid precursor prodynorphin and therefore may represent a new target for the treatment of pain. As shown by DREAM knock-out mice, loss of DREAM broadly reduces pain, ranging from acute chemical, heat, or mechanical to internal, inflammatory, and chronic neuropathic pain.
Substances that release DREAM from the respective DNA and thereby activate the synthesis of the endogenous opioid precursor prodynorphin in essence are not analgesics per se, but trigger the production of endogenous opioids in the treated individual. Following high throughput screening and hit optimization, a first set of compounds already has been identified that selectively release bound DREAM from the respective DNA motif.
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