Bases moléculaires de la mécanotransduction et implication dans la douleur

 

Reza  Sharif Naeini

Université McGill

 

Domaine : neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies

Programme Chercheurs-boursiers - Junior 2

Concours 2018-2019

Mechanotransduction is the conversion of a mechanical stimulus into a biological signal that our cells can understand. We can detect painful mechanical stimuli because membrane proteins, termed ion channels, located in our pain-sensing neurons can convert these stimuli into electrical signals. Although the importance of these channels to pain sensing was established almost 20 years ago, their identity has remained elusive. Identification of these ion channels would lead to the generation of novel therapeutic targets in the treatment of pathological pain conditions associated with hypersensitivity to mechanical stimuli such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, diseases affecting almost 5 million Canadians.

We have identified a channel, termed TACAN, which is responsible for sensing painful mechanical stimuli. Our preliminary data suggest it is essential for sensing painful mechanical pain. In this application, we propose to examine the mechanisms through which TACAN is mechanosensitive and determine its contribution to mechanical hypersensitivity in preclinical models of chronic pain such as osteoarthritis.