The Capsaicin Receptor: A Heat-Activated Ion Channel in the Pain Pathway

Nature. 1997 Oct 23;389(6653):816-24. doi: 10.1038/39807.

Abstract

Capsaicin, the main pungent ingredient in 'hot' chilli peppers, elicits a sensation of burning pain by selectively activating sensory neurons that convey information about noxious stimuli to the central nervous system. We have used an expression cloning strategy based on calcium influx to isolate a functional cDNA encoding a capsaicin receptor from sensory neurons. This receptor is a non-selective cation channel that is structurally related to members of the TRP family of ion channels. The cloned capsaicin receptor is also activated by increases in temperature in the noxious range, suggesting that it functions as a transducer of painful thermal stimuli in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / metabolism
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Calcium Channels / chemistry
  • Capsaicin / metabolism*
  • Capsaicin / pharmacology
  • Capsicum
  • Cell Death / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Electrophysiology
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Humans
  • Insect Proteins / chemistry
  • Ion Channel Gating
  • Ion Channels / genetics
  • Ion Channels / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neurons, Afferent / metabolism
  • Neurotoxins / metabolism
  • Neurotoxins / pharmacology
  • Nociceptors / metabolism*
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Protons
  • Receptors, Drug / chemistry
  • Receptors, Drug / genetics
  • Receptors, Drug / metabolism*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Transient Receptor Potential Channels
  • Xenopus

Substances

  • Calcium Channels
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Insect Proteins
  • Ion Channels
  • Neurotoxins
  • Protons
  • Receptors, Drug
  • Transient Receptor Potential Channels
  • trp protein, Drosophila
  • Capsaicin
  • Calcium

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF029310