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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Dec 11;390(2):319-24. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.09.121. Epub 2009 Oct 1.

Erythromelalgia mutation L823R shifts activation and inactivation of threshold sodium channel Nav1.7 to hyperpolarized potentials.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA. AngelikaLampert@web.de


Erythromelalgia (also termed erythermalgia) is a neuropathic pain syndrome, characterized by severe burning pain combined with redness in the extremities, triggered by mild warmth. The inherited form of erythromelalgia (IEM) has recently been linked to mutations in voltage-gated sodium channel Nav1.7, which is expressed in peripheral nociceptors. Here, we used whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings in HEK293 cells to characterize the IEM mutation L823R, which introduces an additional positive charge into the S4 voltage sensor of domain II. The L823R mutation produces an approximately 15mV hyperpolarizing shift in the midpoint of activation and also affects the activation slope factor. Closing of the channel from the open state (deactivation) is slowed, increasing the likelihood of the channel remaining in the open state. The L823R mutation induces a approximately 10mV hyperpolarizing shift in fast-inactivation. L823R is the only naturally-occurring IEM mutation studied thus far to shift fast-inactivation to more negative potentials. We conclude that introduction of an additional charge into the S4 segment of domain II of Nav1.7 leads to a pronounced hyperpolarizing shift of activation, a change that is expected to increase nociceptor excitability despite the hyperpolarizing shift in fast-inactivation, which is unique among the IEM mutations.

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