Gnanasekaran, Bele, 2013

2013 - Mol Pain. 2013 Dec 2;9:62.

Mutated CaV2.1 channels dysregulate CASK/P2X3 signaling in mouse trigeminal sensory neurons of R192Q Cacna1a knock-in mice

Gnanasekaran A, Bele T, Hullugundi S, Simonetti M, Ferrari MD, van den Maagdenberg AM, Nistri A, Fabbretti E.



ATP-gated P2X3 receptors of sensory ganglion neurons are important transducers of pain as they adapt their expression and function in response to acute and chronic nociceptive signals. The present study investigated the role of calcium/calmodulin-dependent serine protein kinase (CASK) in controlling P2X3 receptor expression and function in trigeminal ganglia from Cacna1a R192Q-mutated knock-in (KI) mice, a genetic model for familial hemiplegic migraine type-1.


KI ganglion neurons showed more abundant CASK/P2X3 receptor complex at membrane level, a result that likely originated from gain-of-function effects of R192Q-mutated CaV2.1 channels and downstream enhanced CaMKII activity. The selective CaV2.1 channel blocker ω-Agatoxin IVA and the CaMKII inhibitor KN-93 were sufficient to return CASK/P2X3 co-expression to WT levels. After CASK silencing, P2X3 receptor expression was decreased in both WT and KI ganglia, supporting the role of CASK in P2X3 receptor stabilization. This process was functionally observed as reduced P2X3 receptor currents.


We propose that, in trigeminal sensory neurons, the CASK/P2X3 complex has a dynamic nature depending on intracellular calcium and related signaling, that are enhanced in a transgenic mouse model of genetic hemiplegic migraine.


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