The pain receptor TRPV1 displays agonist-dependent activation stoichiometry

Adina Hazan, Rakesh Kumar, Henry Matzner, Avi Priel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The receptor channel TRPV1 (Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1) is expressed by primary afferent sensory neurons of the pain pathway, where it functions as a sensor of noxious heat and various chemicals, including eicosanoids, capsaicin, protons and peptide toxins. Comprised of four identical subunits that organize into a non-selective cationic permeable channel, this receptor has a variety of binding sites responsible for detecting their respective agonists. Although its physiological role as a chemosensor has been described in detail, the stoichiometry of TRPV1 activation by its different ligands remains unknown. Here, we combined the use of concatemeric constructs harboring mutated binding sites with patch-clamp recordings in order to determine the stoichiometry for TRPV1 activation through the vanilloid binding site and the outer-pore domain by capsaicin and protons, respectively. We show that, while a single capsaicin-bound subunit was sufficient to achieve a maximal open-channel lifetime, all four proton-binding sites were required. Thus, our results demonstrate a distinct stoichiometry of TRPV1 activation through two of its different agonist-binding domains.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number12278
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 21 Jul 2015

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