Channels (Austin, Tex.) | VOL. 15

Assessing the impact of pain-linked Nav1.7 variants: An example of two variants with no biophysical effect.

Publication Date Dec 1, 2021


Mutations in the voltage-gated sodium channel Nav1.7 are linked to human pain. The Nav1.7/N1245S variant was described before in several patients suffering from primary erythromelalgia and/or olfactory hypersensitivity. We have identified this variant in a pain patient and a patient suffering from severe and life-threatening orthostatic hypotension. In addition, we report a female patient suffering from muscle pain and carrying the Nav1.7/E1139K variant. We tested both Nav1.7 variants by whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings in HEK293 cells, revealing a slightly enhanced current density for the N1245S variant when co-expressed with the β1 subunit. This effect was counteracted by an enhanced slow inactivation. Both variants showed similar voltage dependence of activation and steady-state fast inactivation, as well as kinetics of fast inactivation, deactivation, and use-dependency compared to WT Nav1.7. Finally, homology modeling revealed that the N1245S substitution results in different intramolecular interaction partners. Taken together, these experiments do not point to a clear pathogenic effect of either the N1245S or E1139K variant and suggest they may not be solely responsible for the patients' pain symptoms. As discussed previously for other variants, investigations in heterologous expression systems may not sufficiently mimic the pathophysiological situation in pain patients, and single nucleotide variants in other genes or modulatory proteins are necessary for these specific variants to show their effect. Our findings s...


Kinetics Of Fast Inactivation Voltage-gated Sodium Channel Nav1 Steady-state Fast Inactivation Erythromelalgia Human Sensory Neurons Olfactory Hypersensitivity Single Nucleotide Variants HEK293 Pain Symptoms Muscle Pain

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