Nerve growth factor (NGF), by binding to TrkA and p75(NTR) receptors, regulates the survival and differentiation of sensory neurons during development and mediates pain transmission and perception during adulthood, by acting at different levels of the nervous system. Key to understanding the role of NGF as a pain mediator is the finding that mutations (namely, R121W, V232fs and R221W) in the NGF gene cause painlessness disease Hereditary Sensory and Autonomic Neuropathy type V (HSAN V). Here we shall review the consequences of these NGF mutations, each of which results in specific clinical signs: R221W determines congenital pain insensitivity with no overt cognitive disabilities, whereas V232fs and R121W also result in intellectual disability, thus showing similarities to HSAN IV, which is caused by mutations in TrkA, rather than to HSAN V. Comparing the cellular, biochemical and clinical findings of these mutations could help in better understanding not only the possible mechanisms underlying HSAN V, but also mechanisms of NGF signalling and roles. These mutations alter the balance between NGF and proNGF in favour of an accumulation of the latter, suggesting a possible role of proNGF as a molecule with an analgesic role. Furthermore, the neurotrophic and pronociceptive functions of NGF are split by the R221W mutation, making NGF variants based on this mutation interesting for designing therapeutic applications for many diseases. This review emphasizes the possibility of using the mutations involved in "painlessness" clinical disorders as an innovative approach to identify new proteins and pathways involved in pain transmission and perception.Outstanding questions: Why do homozygous HSAN V die postnatally? What is the cause of this early postnatal lethality?Is the development of a mouse or a human feeling less pain affecting higher cognitive and perceptual functions?What is the consequence of the HSAN V mutation on the development of joints and bones? Are the multiple fractures observed in HSAN V patients due exclusively to the carelessness consequent to not feeling pain, or also to an intrinsic frailty of their bones?Are heterodimers of NGF(WT) and NGF(R221W) in the heterozygote state formed? And if so, what are the properties of these heterodimeric proteins?How is the processing of proNGF(R221W) to NGF(R221W) affected by the mutation?

Understanding pain perception through genetic painlessness diseases : the role of NGF and proNGF

Testa, Giovanna;Cattaneo, Antonino;Capsoni, Simona
2021

Abstract

Nerve growth factor (NGF), by binding to TrkA and p75(NTR) receptors, regulates the survival and differentiation of sensory neurons during development and mediates pain transmission and perception during adulthood, by acting at different levels of the nervous system. Key to understanding the role of NGF as a pain mediator is the finding that mutations (namely, R121W, V232fs and R221W) in the NGF gene cause painlessness disease Hereditary Sensory and Autonomic Neuropathy type V (HSAN V). Here we shall review the consequences of these NGF mutations, each of which results in specific clinical signs: R221W determines congenital pain insensitivity with no overt cognitive disabilities, whereas V232fs and R121W also result in intellectual disability, thus showing similarities to HSAN IV, which is caused by mutations in TrkA, rather than to HSAN V. Comparing the cellular, biochemical and clinical findings of these mutations could help in better understanding not only the possible mechanisms underlying HSAN V, but also mechanisms of NGF signalling and roles. These mutations alter the balance between NGF and proNGF in favour of an accumulation of the latter, suggesting a possible role of proNGF as a molecule with an analgesic role. Furthermore, the neurotrophic and pronociceptive functions of NGF are split by the R221W mutation, making NGF variants based on this mutation interesting for designing therapeutic applications for many diseases. This review emphasizes the possibility of using the mutations involved in "painlessness" clinical disorders as an innovative approach to identify new proteins and pathways involved in pain transmission and perception.Outstanding questions: Why do homozygous HSAN V die postnatally? What is the cause of this early postnatal lethality?Is the development of a mouse or a human feeling less pain affecting higher cognitive and perceptual functions?What is the consequence of the HSAN V mutation on the development of joints and bones? Are the multiple fractures observed in HSAN V patients due exclusively to the carelessness consequent to not feeling pain, or also to an intrinsic frailty of their bones?Are heterodimers of NGF(WT) and NGF(R221W) in the heterozygote state formed? And if so, what are the properties of these heterodimeric proteins?How is the processing of proNGF(R221W) to NGF(R221W) affected by the mutation?
2021
Settore BIO/09 - Fisiologia
Hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathies; Nerve growth factor; Nociception; P75(NTR); Pain; TrkA
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11384/126849
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