PubMed 17442834

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: KCNQ2 , Kv7.2

Title: MrgD activation inhibits KCNQ/M-currents and contributes to enhanced neuronal excitability.

Authors: Robert A Crozier, Seena K Ajit, Edward J Kaftan, Mark H Pausch

Journal, date & volume: J. Neurosci., 2007 Apr 18 , 27, 4492-6

PubMed link:

The recently identified Mas-related gene (Mrg) family of G-protein-coupled receptors is expressed almost exclusively in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. The expression of one family member, MrgD, is even further confined to IB4+, nonpeptidergic, small-diameter nociceptors. Although the functional consequences of MrgD activation are not known, this expression profile provides intriguing potential for a role in pain sensation or modulation. In a recombinant cell line, we first assessed the functional significance of MrgD activation by coexpressing MrgD with the KCNQ2/3 potassium channel, a channel implicated in pain. Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings revealed that bath application of the ligand for MrgD, beta-alanine, resulted in robust inhibition of KCNQ2/3 activity. Pharmacological blockade of G(i/o) and phospholipase C signaling revealed a partial and complete block of the response, respectively. We extended these observations to dissociated DRG neuron cultures by examining MrgD modulation of M-currents (carried primarily by KCNQ2/3). Here too, beta-alanine-induced activation of endogenous MrgD inhibited M-currents, but primarily via a pertussis toxin-sensitive pathway. Finally, we assessed the consequence of beta-alanine-induced activation of MrgD in phasic neurons. Phasic neurons that fired a single action potential (AP) before beta-alanine application fired multiple APs during beta-alanine exposure. In sum, we provide evidence for a novel interaction between MrgD and KCNQ/M-type potassium channels that contributes to an increase in excitability of DRG neurons and thus may enhance the signaling of primary afferent nociceptive neurons.