A Modular PIP2 Binding Site as a Determinant of Capsaicin Receptor Sensitivity

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Science  23 May 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5623, pp. 1284-1288
DOI: 10.1126/science.1083646

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The capsaicin receptor (TRPV1), a heat-activated ion channel of the pain pathway, is sensitized by phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) hydrolysis after phospholipase C activation. We identify a site within the C-terminal domain of TRPV1 that is required for PIP2-mediated inhibition of channel gating. Mutations that weaken PIP2-TRPV1 interaction reduce thresholds for chemical or thermal stimuli, whereas TRPV1 channels in which this region is replaced with a lipid-binding domain from PIP2-activated potassium channels remain inhibited by PIP2. The PIP2-interaction domain therefore serves as a critical determinant of thermal threshold and dynamic sensitivity range, tuning TRPV1, and thus the sensory neuron, to appropriately detect heat under normal or pathophysiological conditions.

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