The Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) ion channel is expressed mainly by sensory neurons that detect noxious stimuli from the environment such as high temperatures and pungent compounds (such as allicin and capsaicin) and has been extensively linked to painful and inflammatory processes. This extraordinary protein also responds to endogenous stimuli among which we find molecules of a lipidic nature. We recently described that lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a bioactive lysophospholipid linked to the generation and maintenance of pain, can directly activate TRPV1 and produce pain by binding to the channels' C-terminal region, specifically to residue K710. In an effort to further understand how activation of TRPV1 is achieved by this negatively-charged lipid, we used several synthetic and naturally-occurring lipids to determine the structural requirements that need to be met by these charged lipids in order to produce the activation of TRPV1. In this review, we detail the findings obtained by other research groups and our own on the field of TRPV1-regulation by negatively-charged lipids and discuss the possible therapeutic relevance of these findings on the basis of the role of TRPV1 in pathophysiological processes.
Keywords: Ion channels; Lipids; Lysophosphatidic acid; Pain; TRPV1.
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