A gain-of-function sodium channel ?2-subunit mutation in painful diabetic neuropathy.
ABSTRACT: Diabetes mellitus is a global challenge with many diverse health sequelae, of which diabetic peripheral neuropathy is one of the most common. A substantial number of patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy develop chronic pain, but the genetic and epigenetic factors that predispose diabetic peripheral neuropathy patients to develop neuropathic pain are poorly understood. Recent targeted genetic studies have identified mutations in ?-subunits of voltage-gated sodium channels (Navs) in patients with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Mutations in proteins that regulate trafficking or functional properties of Navs could expand the spectrum of patients with Nav-related peripheral neuropathies. The auxiliary sodium channel ?-subunits (?1-4) have been reported to increase current density, alter inactivation kinetics, and modulate subcellular localization of Nav. Mutations in ?-subunits have been associated with several diseases, including epilepsy, cancer, and diseases of the cardiac conducting system. However, mutations in ?-subunits have never been shown previously to contribute to neuropathic pain. We report here a patient with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy and negative genetic screening for mutations in SCN9A, SCN10A, and SCN11A-genes encoding sodium channel ?-subunit that have been previously linked to the development of neuropathic pain. Genetic analysis revealed an aspartic acid to asparagine mutation, D109N, in the ?2-subunit. Functional analysis using current-clamp revealed that the ?2-D109N rendered dorsal root ganglion neurons hyperexcitable, especially in response to repetitive stimulation. Underlying the hyperexcitability induced by the ?2-subunit mutation, as evidenced by voltage-clamp analysis, we found a depolarizing shift in the voltage dependence of Nav1.7 fast inactivation and reduced use-dependent inhibition of the Nav1.7 channel.
Project description:Voltage-gated sodium channels (Navs) are glycoproteins composed of a pore-forming ?-subunit and associated ?-subunits that regulate Nav ?-subunit plasma membrane density and biophysical properties. Glycosylation of the Nav ?-subunit also directly affects Navs gating. ?-subunits and glycosylation thus comodulate Nav ?-subunit gating. We hypothesized that ?-subunits could directly influence ?-subunit glycosylation. Whole-cell patch clamp of HEK293 cells revealed that both ?1- and ?3-subunits coexpression shifted V ½ of steady-state activation and inactivation and increased Nav1.7-mediated I Na density. Biotinylation of cell surface proteins, combined with the use of deglycosydases, confirmed that Nav1.7 ?-subunits exist in multiple glycosylated states. The ?-subunit intracellular fraction was found in a core-glycosylated state, migrating at ~250 kDa. At the plasma membrane, in addition to the core-glycosylated form, a fully glycosylated form of Nav1.7 (~280 kDa) was observed. This higher band shifted to an intermediate band (~260 kDa) when ?1-subunits were coexpressed, suggesting that the ?1-subunit promotes an alternative glycosylated form of Nav1.7. Furthermore, the ?1-subunit increased the expression of this alternative glycosylated form and the ?3-subunit increased the expression of the core-glycosylated form of Nav1.7. This study describes a novel role for ?1- and ?3-subunits in the modulation of Nav1.7 ?-subunit glycosylation and cell surface expression.
Project description:Paclitaxel, a chemotherapeutic agent, causes neuropathic pain whose supraspinal pathophysiology is not fully understood. Dysregulation of sodium channel expression, studied mainly in the periphery and spinal cord level, contributes to the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain. We examined gene expression of sodium channel (Nav) subunits by real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) at day 7 post first administration of paclitaxel, when mice had developed paclitaxel-induced thermal hyperalgesia. The ACC was chosen because increased activity in the ACC has been observed during neuropathic pain. In the ACC of vehicle-treated animals the threshold cycle (Ct) values for Nav1.4, Nav1.5, Nav1.7, Nav1.8 and Nav1.9 were above 30 and/or not detectable in some samples. Thus, comparison in mRNA expression between untreated control, vehicle-treated and paclitaxel treated animals was done for Nav1.1, Nav1.2, Nav1.3, Nav1.6, Nax as well as Nav?1-Nav?4. There were no differences in the transcript levels of Nav1.1-Nav1.3, Nav1.6, Nax, Nav?1-Nav?3 between untreated and vehicle-treated mice, however, vehicle treatment increased Nav?4 expression. Paclitaxel treatment significantly increased the mRNA expression of Nav1.1, Nav1.2, Nav1.6 and Nax, but not Nav1.3, sodium channel alpha subunits compared to vehicle-treated animals. Treatment with paclitaxel significantly increased the expression of Nav?1 and Nav?3, but not Nav?2 and Nav?4, sodium channel beta subunits compared to vehicle-treated animals. These findings suggest that during paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain (PINP) there is differential upregulation of sodium channels in the ACC, which might contribute to the increased neuronal activity observed in the area during neuropathic pain.
Project description:Voltage-gated sodium channels (Navs) play an important role in human pain sensation. However, the expression and role of Nav subtypes in native human sensory neurons are unclear. To address this issue, we obtained human dorsal root ganglion (hDRG) tissues from healthy donors. PCR analysis of seven DRG-expressed Nav subtypes revealed that the hDRG has higher expression of Nav1.7 (~50% of total Nav expression) and lower expression of Nav1.8 (~12%), whereas the mouse DRG has higher expression of Nav1.8 (~45%) and lower expression of Nav1.7 (~18%). To mimic Nav regulation in chronic pain, we treated hDRG neurons in primary cultures with paclitaxel (0.1-1 μmol/L) for 24 h. Paclitaxel increased the Nav1.7 but not Nav1.8 expression and also increased the transient Na<sup>+</sup> currents and action potential firing frequency in small-diameter (<50 μm) hDRG neurons. Thus, the hDRG provides a translational model in which to study "human pain in a dish" and test new pain therapeutics.
Project description:Neuropathic pain in patients carrying sodium channel gain-of-function mutations is generally refractory to pharmacotherapy. However, we have shown that pretreatment of cells with clinically achievable concentration of carbamazepine (CBZ; 30 ?M) depolarizes the voltage dependence of activation in some NaV1.7 mutations such as S241T, a novel CBZ mode of action of this drug. CBZ reduces the excitability of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons expressing NaV1.7-S241T mutant channels, and individuals carrying the S241T mutation respond to treatment with CBZ. Whether the novel activation-modulating activity of CBZ is specific to NaV1.7, and whether this pharmacogenomic approach can be extended to other sodium channel subtypes, are not known. We report here the novel NaV1.8-S242T mutation, which corresponds to the NaV1.7-S241T mutation, in a patient with neuropathic pain and diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Voltage-clamp recordings demonstrated hyperpolarized and accelerated activation of NaV1.8-S242T. Current-clamp recordings showed that NaV1.8-S242T channels render DRG neurons hyperexcitable. Structural modeling shows that despite a substantial difference in the primary amino acid sequence of NaV1.7 and NaV1.8, the S242 (NaV1.8) and S241 (NaV1.7) residues have similar position and orientation in the domain I S4-S5 linker of the channel. Pretreatment with a clinically achievable concentration of CBZ corrected the voltage dependence of activation of NaV1.8-S242T channels and reduced DRG neuron excitability as predicted from our pharmacogenomic model. These findings extend the novel activation modulation mode of action of CBZ to a second sodium channel subtype, NaV1.8.
Project description:Little is known about the neuronal voltage-gated sodium channels (NaVs) that control neurotransmission in the parasympathetic nervous system. We evaluated the expression of the ? subunits of each of the nine NaVs in human, guinea pig, and mouse airway parasympathetic ganglia. We combined this information with a pharmacological analysis of selective NaV blockers on parasympathetic contractions of isolated airway smooth muscle. As would be expected from previous studies, tetrodotoxin potently blocked the parasympathetic responses in the airways of each species. Gene expression analysis showed that that NaV 1.7 was virtually the only tetrodotoxin-sensitive NaV1 gene expressed in guinea pig and human airway parasympathetic ganglia, where mouse ganglia expressed NaV1.1, 1.3, and 1.7. Using selective pharmacological blockers supported the gene expression results, showing that blocking NaV1.7 alone can abolish the responses in guinea pig and human bronchi, but not in mouse airways. To block the responses in mouse airways requires that NaV1.7 along with NaV1.1 and/or NaV1.3 is blocked. These results may suggest novel indications for NaV1.7-blocking drugs, in which there is an overactive parasympathetic drive, such as in asthma. The data also raise the potential concern of antiparasympathetic side effects for systemic NaV1.7 blockers.
Project description:Improper function of voltage-gated sodium channels (NaVs), obligatory membrane proteins for bioelectrical signaling, has been linked to a number of human pathologies. Small-molecule agents that target NaVs hold considerable promise for treatment of chronic disease. Absent a comprehensive understanding of channel structure, the challenge of designing selective agents to modulate the activity of NaV subtypes is formidable. We have endeavored to gain insight into the 3D architecture of the outer vestibule of NaV through a systematic structure-activity relationship (SAR) study involving the bis-guanidinium toxin saxitoxin (STX), modified saxitoxins, and protein mutagenesis. Mutant cycle analysis has led to the identification of an acetylated variant of STX with unprecedented, low-nanomolar affinity for human NaV1.7 (hNaV1.7), a channel subtype that has been implicated in pain perception. A revised toxin-receptor binding model is presented, which is consistent with the large body of SAR data that we have obtained. This new model is expected to facilitate subsequent efforts to design isoform-selective NaV inhibitors.
Project description:Voltage-gated sodium channel (NaV) trafficking is incompletely understood. Post-translational modifications of NaVs and/or auxiliary subunits and protein-protein interactions have been posited as NaV-trafficking mechanisms. Here, we tested if modification of the axonal collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) by a small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) could affect NaV trafficking; CRMP2 alters the extent of NaV slow inactivation conferred by the anti-epileptic (R)-lacosamide, implying NaV-CRMP2 functional coupling. Expression of a CRMP2 SUMOylation-incompetent mutant (CRMP2-K374A) in neuronal model catecholamine A differentiated (CAD) cells did not alter lacosamide-induced NaV slow inactivation compared with CAD cells expressing wild type CRMP2. Like wild type CRMP2, CRMP2-K374A expressed robustly in CAD cells. Neurite outgrowth, a canonical CRMP2 function, was moderately reduced by the mutation but was still significantly higher than enhanced GFP-transfected cortical neurons. Notably, huwentoxin-IV-sensitive NaV1.7 currents, which predominate in CAD cells, were significantly reduced in CAD cells expressing CRMP2-K374A. Increasing deSUMOylation with sentrin/SUMO-specific protease SENP1 or SENP2 in wild type CRMP2-expressing CAD cells decreased NaV1.7 currents. Consistent with a reduction in current density, biotinylation revealed a significant reduction in surface NaV1.7 levels in CAD cells expressing CRMP2-K374A; surface NaV1.7 expression was also decreased by SENP1 + SENP2 overexpression. Currents in HEK293 cells stably expressing NaV1.7 were reduced by CRMP2-K374A in a manner dependent on the E2-conjugating enzyme Ubc9. No decrement in current density was observed in HEK293 cells co-expressing CRMP2-K374A and NaV1.1 or NaV1.3. Diminution of sodium currents, largely NaV1.7, was recapitulated in sensory neurons expressing CRMP2-K374A. Our study elucidates a novel regulatory mechanism that utilizes CRMP2 SUMOylation to choreograph NaV1.7 trafficking.
Project description:Current treatments for chronic pain rely largely on opioids despite their significant side effects and risk of addiction. Genetic studies have identified in humans key targets pivotal to nociceptive processing. In particular, a hereditary loss-of-function mutation in NaV1.7, a sodium channel protein associated with signaling in nociceptive sensory afferents, leads to insensitivity to pain without other neurodevelopmental alterations. However, the high sequence and structural similarity between NaV subtypes has frustrated efforts to develop selective inhibitors. Here, we investigated targeted epigenetic repression of NaV1.7 in primary afferents via epigenome engineering approaches based on clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-dCas9 and zinc finger proteins at the spinal level as a potential treatment for chronic pain. Towards this end, we first optimized the efficiency of NaV1.7 repression in vitro in Neuro2A cells, and then by the lumbar intrathecal route delivered both epigenome-engineering platforms via adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) to assess their effects in three mouse models of pain: carrageenan-induced inflammatory pain, paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain and BzATP-induced pain. Our results demonstrate: i) effective repression of NaV1.7 in lumbar dorsal root ganglia; ii) reduced thermal hyperalgesia in the inflammatory state; iii) decreased tactile allodynia in the neuropathic state; and iv) no changes in normal motor function. We anticipate this genomically scarless and non-addictive pain prevention and amelioration approach enabling Long-lasting Analgesia via Targeted in vivo Epigenetic Repression of NaV1.7, a methodology we dub pain LATER, will have significant therapeutic potential in management of persistent pain states. Overall design: We assess gene expression changes in Neuro2a cells due to zinc-finger and CRISPR/dCas9 knockdown of SCN9A, encoding the soduim channel Nav1.7
Project description:Treatment with anti-neoplastic agents can lead to the development of chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), which is long lasting and often refractory to treatment. This neuropathic pain develops along dermatomes innervated by peripheral nerves with cell bodies located in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG). The voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.7 is expressed at high levels in peripheral nerve tissues and has been implicated in the development of CIPN. Efforts to develop novel analgesics directly inhibiting NaV1.7 have been unsuccessful, and our group has pioneered an alternative approach based on indirect modulation of channel trafficking by the accessory protein collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2). We have recently reported a small molecule, compound 194, that inhibits CRMP2 SUMOylation by the E2 SUMO-conjugating enzyme Ubc9 (Cai et al. , Sci. Transl. Med. 2021 13(6 1 9):eabh1314). Compound 194 is a potent and selective inhibitor of NaV1.7 currents in DRG neurons and reverses mechanical allodynia in models of surgical, inflammatory, and neuropathic pain, including spared nerve injury and paclitaxelinduced peripheral neuropathy. Here we report that, in addition to its reported effects in rats, 194 also reduces mechanical allodynia in male CD-1 mice treated with platinumcomplex agent oxaliplatin. Importantly, treatment with 194 prevented the development of mechanical allodynia when co-administered with oxaliplatin. No effects were observed on the body weight of animals treated with oxaliplatin or 194 throughout the study period. These findings support the notion that 194 is a robust inhibitor of CIPN that reduces established neuropathic pain and prevents the emergence of neuropathic pain during treatment with multiple anti-neoplastic agents in both mice and rats.
Project description:Neuropathic pain is a frequent condition caused by a lesion or disease of the central or peripheral somatosensory nervous system. A frequent cause of peripheral neuropathic pain is diabetic neuropathy. Its complex pathophysiology is not yet fully elucidated, which contributes to underassessment and undertreatment. A mechanism-based treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy is challenging but phenotype-based stratification might be a way to develop individualized therapeutic concepts. Our goal is to review current knowledge of the pathophysiology of peripheral neuropathic pain, particularly painful diabetic neuropathy. We discuss state-of-the-art clinical assessment, validity of diagnostic and screening tools, and recommendations for the management of diabetic neuropathic pain including approaches towards personalized pain management. We also propose a research agenda for translational research including patient stratification for clinical trials and improved preclinical models in relation to current knowledge of underlying mechanisms.