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RNA-binding Proteins as Targets for Pain Therapeutics


RNA-binding Proteins as Targets for Pain Therapeutics

June Bryan de la Peña et al. Neurobiol Pain.


RNA-protein interactions permeate biology. Transcription, translation, processing, and mRNA decay all hinge on widespread use of regulatory information decoded by RNA-binding proteins. The final committed step of protein synthesis, translation, is intimately linked to nociceptor excitability. Understanding the factors that control translation is essential as nociceptor plasticity is a hallmark of persistent pain. Here, we review the growing body of evidence for widespread involvement of RNA-binding proteins in pain. Many of the relevant factors have been implicated in post-transcriptional and translational mechanisms of mRNA control. We propose that recent advances in the development of RNA-based therapeutics provide a potential means to exploit our current understanding of liaisons between RNAs and proteins for therapeutic purposes.

Keywords: Pain; RNA-binding proteins.

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of interest The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
RNA-protein interactions on a model mRNA. The coding sequence (CDS) is flanked by a 5′ and 3′ untranslated region (UTR). The UTR contains sequences and structures that are bound by proteins such as HuR and CPEB. Additionally, hairpins, IRES, and uORFs in the 5′ UTR can modulate protein expression. The m7G cap and Poly(A) tail are bound by the eIF4F complex and PABP respectively.

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