Desensitization of Capsaicin-activated Currents in the Vanilloid Receptor TRPV1 Is Decreased by the Cyclic AMP-dependent Protein Kinase Pathway

Durga P. Mohapatra, Carla Nau*

*Corresponding author for this work
211 Citations (Scopus)


Proinflammatory prostaglandin E2 is known to sensitize sensory neurons to noxious stimuli. This sensitization is mediated by the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) signal pathway. The capsaicin receptor TRPV1, a non-selective cation channel of sensory neurons involved in the sensation of inflammatory pain, is a target of PKA-mediated phosphorylation. Our goal was to investigate the influence of PKA on Ca2+-dependent desensitization of capsaicin-activated currents. By using site-directed mutagenesis, we created point mutations at PKA consensus sites and studied wild-type and mutant channels transiently expressed in HEK293t cells under whole-cell voltage clamp. We found that forskolin, a stimulator of adenylate cyclase, decreased desensitization of TRPV1. The selective PKA inhibitor H89 inhibited this effect. Mimicking phosphorylation at PKA consensus sites by replacing Ser-6, Ser-116, Thr-144, Thr-370, Ser-502, Ser-774, or Ser-820 with aspartate resulted in five mutations (S116D, T144D, T370D, S774D, and S820D) that exhibited decreased desensitization as well. However, disrupting phosphorylation by replacing respective sites with alanine resulted in four mutations (S6A, T144A, T370A, and S820A) with desensitization properties resembling those of the aspartate mutations. Significant changes in relative permeabilities for Ca2+ over Na+ or in capsaicin sensitivity could not explain changes in desensitization properties of mutant channels. In mutations S116A, S116D, T370A, and T370D, pretreatment of cells with forskolin did not reduce desensitization as compared with wild-type and other mutant channels. We conclude that Ser-116 and possibly Thr-370 are the most important residues involved in the mechanism of PKA-dependent reduction of desensitization of capsaicin-activated currents.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number50
Pages (from-to)50080-50090
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 12.12.2003


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