PubMed 25995458

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Nav1 , Nav1.7 , Slo1

Title: Novel SCN9A mutations underlying extreme pain phenotypes: unexpected electrophysiological and clinical phenotype correlations.

Authors: Edward C Emery, Abdella M Habib, James J Cox, Adeline K Nicholas, Fiona M Gribble, C Geoffrey Woods, Frank Reimann

Journal, date & volume: J. Neurosci., 2015 May 20 , 35, 7674-81

PubMed link:

The importance of NaV1.7 (encoded by SCN9A) in the regulation of pain sensing is exemplified by the heterogeneity of clinical phenotypes associated with its mutation. Gain-of-function mutations are typically pain-causing and have been associated with inherited erythromelalgia (IEM) and paroxysmal extreme pain disorder (PEPD). IEM is usually caused by enhanced NaV1.7 channel activation, whereas mutations that alter steady-state fast inactivation often lead to PEPD. In contrast, nonfunctional mutations in SCN9A are known to underlie congenital insensitivity to pain (CIP). Although well documented, the correlation between SCN9A genotypes and clinical phenotypes is still unclear. Here we report three families with novel SCN9A mutations. In a multiaffected dominant family with IEM, we found the heterozygous change L245 V. Electrophysiological characterization showed that this mutation did not affect channel activation but instead resulted in incomplete fast inactivation and a small hyperpolarizing shift in steady-state slow inactivation, characteristics more commonly associated with PEPD. In two compound heterozygous CIP patients, we found mutations that still retained functionality of the channels, with two C-terminal mutations (W1775R and L1831X) exhibiting a depolarizing shift in channel activation. Two mutations (A1236E and L1831X) resulted in a hyperpolarizing shift in steady-state fast inactivation. To our knowledge, these are the first descriptions of mutations with some retained channel function causing CIP. This study emphasizes the complex genotype-phenotype correlations that exist for SCN9A and highlights the C-terminal cytoplasmic region of NaV1.7 as a critical region for channel function, potentially facilitating analgesic drug development studies.