Mutations in sodium-channel gene SCN9A cause a spectrum of human genetic pain disorders.
SourceJournal of Clinical Investigation, 117, 12, (2007), pp. 3603-3609
Article / Letter to editor
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Journal of Clinical Investigation
SubjectIGMD 2: Molecular gastro-enterology and hepatology; NCMLS 5: Membrane transport and intracellular motility; UMCN 5.1: Genetic defects of metabolism
The voltage-gated sodium-channel type IX alpha subunit, known as Na(v)1.7 and encoded by the gene SCN9A, is located in peripheral neurons and plays an important role in action potential production in these cells. Recent genetic studies have identified Na(v)1.7 dysfunction in three different human pain disorders. Gain-of-function missense mutations in Na(v)1.7 have been shown to cause primary erythermalgia and paroxysmal extreme pain disorder, while nonsense mutations in Na(v)1.7 result in loss of Na(v)1.7 function and a condition known as channelopathy-associated insensitivity to pain, a rare disorder in which affected individuals are unable to feel physical pain. This review highlights these recent developments and discusses the critical role of Na(v)1.7 in pain sensation in humans.
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