Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protein responsible for the detection of extreme heat and pain discovered

Date:
May 14, 2011
Source:
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Summary:
The protein responsible for the detection of extreme heat and pain resulting from infections has been identified. The protein is a promising target for the development of new analgesic medications.

The protein responsible for the detection of extreme heat and pain resulting from infections has been identified by a team of K.U.Leuven researchers led by Professor Thomas Voets. The protein is a promising target for the development of new analgesic medications.

A rapid pain response to extreme temperatures is of vital importance to prevent being burned by touching a hot object or accidentally swallowing scolding soup, for example. Sensory nerves throughout the body -- including in our skin and mucous membranes -- detect temperature. In people who suffer from certain conditions, such as infections or nerve damage, these nerves become extra sensitive. This sometimes results in oversensitivity to innocuous temperatures and chronic pain.

There are ion channels in the cell wall around these nerves -- microscopic sluices that react to certain stimuli and then send electrical signals to the brain. Approximately ten years ago, American researchers discovered the capsaicin receptor: an ion channel that is responsible for the detection of heat and of "hot" chemical substances. Capsaicin is the substance that gives red peppers their spicy taste. Research demonstrated, however, that the capsaicin receptor is not responsible for all heat detection and that there must be other molecular detectors for extreme heat.

Research conducted by Doctor Joris Vriens, in collaboration with colleagues at the Leuven Laboratory for Ion Channel Research and German researchers, has demonstrated that the ion channel TRPM3 is also a molecular sensor for heat and for the hormone pregnenolone sulfate -- a precursor to the gender hormones oestrogen or testosterone. Mice with a defective TRPM3 gene appear to feel far less pain when exposed to heat or the steroid hormone. Moreover, these mice do not develop oversensitivity to heat when they have infections. These new discoveries make TRPM3 a promising target for the development of new analgesic medications.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Joris Vriens, Grzegorz Owsianik, Thomas Hofmann, Stephan E. Philipp, Julia Stab, Xiaodi Chen, Melissa Benoit, Fenqin Xue, Annelies Janssens, Sara Kerselaers, Johannes Oberwinkler, Rudi Vennekens, Thomas Gudermann, Bernd Nilius, Thomas Voets. TRPM3 Is a Nociceptor Channel Involved in the Detection of Noxious Heat. Neuron, Volume 70, Issue 3, 482-494, 12 May 2011 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2011.02.051

Cite This Page:

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. "Protein responsible for the detection of extreme heat and pain discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110513064107.htm>.
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. (2011, May 14). Protein responsible for the detection of extreme heat and pain discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110513064107.htm
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. "Protein responsible for the detection of extreme heat and pain discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110513064107.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins