Cannabidiol sensitizes TRPV2 channels to activation by 2-APB

bioRxiv. 2023 Jan 27;2023.01.27.525817. doi: 10.1101/2023.01.27.525817. Preprint


The cation-permeable TRPV2 channel is essential for cardiac and immune cells. Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid of clinical relevance, is one of the few molecules known to activate TRPV2. Using the patch-clamp technique we discover that CBD can sensitize current responses of the rat TRPV2 channel to the synthetic agonist 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate (2- APB) by over two orders of magnitude, without sensitizing channels to activation by moderate (40 ⁰C) heat. Using cryo-EM we uncover a new small-molecule binding site in the pore domain of rTRPV2 that can be occupied by CBD in addition to a nearby CBD site that had already been reported. The TRPV1 and TRPV3 channels share >40% sequence identity with TRPV2 are also activated by 2-APB and CBD, but we only find a strong sensitizing effect of CBD on the response of mouse TRPV3 to 2-APB. Mutations at non-conserved positions between rTRPV2 and rTRPV1 in either the pore domain or the CBD sites failed to confer strong sensitization by CBD in mutant rTRPV1 channels. Together, our results indicate that CBD-dependent sensitization of TRPV2 channels engages multiple channel regions and possibly involves more than one CBD and 2-APB sites. The remarkably robust effect of CBD on TRPV2 and TRPV3 channels offers a promising new tool to both understand and overcome one of the major roadblocks in the study of these channels - their resilience to activation.

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  • Preprint