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The Journal of biological chemistry

C-terminal dimerization activates the nociceptive transduction channel transient receptor potential vanilloid 1.


PMID 21926175

Abstract

Covalent modification of the specific cysteine residue(s) by oxidative stress robustly potentiates transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) and sensitizes nociception. Here we provide biochemical evidence of dimerization of TRPV1 subunits upon exposure to phenylarsine oxide and hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)), two chemical surrogates of oxidative stress. A disulfide bond formed between apposing cysteines ligates two C termini, serving as the structural basis of channel sensitization by oxidative covalent C-terminal modification. Systematic cysteine scanning of the C terminus of a cysteineless TRPV1 channel revealed a critical region within which any cysteine introduced phenylarsine oxide activation to mutant TRPV1. Oxidative sensitization persisted even when this region is substituted with a random peptide linker containing a single cysteine. So did insertion of this region to TRPV3, a homolog lacking the corresponding region and resistant to oxidative challenge. These results suggest that the non-conserved linker in the TRPV1 C terminus senses environmental oxidative stress and adjusts channel activity during cumulative oxidative damage by lowering the activation threshold of gating elements shared by TRPV channels.

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P3075
Phenylarsine oxide, ≥97%, powder
C6H5AsO