Suppression of inflammatory and neuropathic pain by uncoupling CRMP-2 from the presynaptic Ca2+ channel complex

Joel M. Brittain, Djane B. Duarte, Sarah M. Wilson, Weiguo Zhu, Carrie Ballard, Philip L. Johnson, Naikui Liu, Wenhui Xiong, Matthew S. Ripsch, Yuying Wang, Jill C. Fehrenbacher, Stephanie D. Fitz, May Khanna, Chul Kyu Park, Brian S. Schmutzler, Bo Myung Cheon, Michael R. Due, Tatiana Brustovetsky, Nicole M. Ashpole, Andy HudmonSamy O. Meroueh, Cynthia M. Hingtgen, Nickolay Brustovetsky, Ru Rong Ji, Joyce H. Hurley, Xiaoming Jin, Anantha Shekhar, Xiao Ming Xu, Gerry S. Oxford, Michael R. Vasko, Fletcher A. White, Rajesh Khanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The use of N-type voltage-gated calcium channel (CaV2.2) blockers to treat pain is limited by many physiological side effects. Here we report that inflammatory and neuropathic hypersensitivity can be suppressed by inhibiting the binding of collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP-2) to CaV2.2 and thereby reducing channel function. A peptide of CRMP-2 fused to the HIV transactivator of transcription (TAT) protein (TAT-CBD3) decreased neuropeptide release from sensory neurons and excitatory synaptic transmission in dorsal horn neurons, reduced meningeal blood flow, reduced nocifensive behavior induced by formalin injection or corneal capsaicin application and reversed neuropathic hypersensitivity produced by an antiretroviral drug. TAT-CBD3 was mildly anxiolytic without affecting memory retrieval, sensorimotor function or depression. At doses tenfold higher than that required to reduce hypersensitivity in vivo, TAT-CBD3 caused a transient episode of tail kinking and body contortion. By preventing CRMP-2-mediated enhancement of CaV2.2 function, TAT-CBD3 alleviated inflammatory and neuropathic hypersensitivity, an approach that may prove useful in managing chronic pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)822-829
Number of pages8
JournalNature Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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