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Papers of the Week

Papers: 25 Jun 2022 - 1 Jul 2022

2022 Jul




Global analyses of mRNA expression in human sensory neurons reveal eIF5A as a conserved target for inflammatory pain.


Chase R, de la Peña J B, Smith PR, Lawson J, Lou T-F, Stanowick AD, Black BJ, Campbell ZT
FASEB J. 2022 Jul; 36(7):e22422.
PMID: 35747924.


Nociceptors are a type of sensory neuron that are integral to most forms of pain. Targeted disruption of nociceptor sensitization affords unique opportunities to prevent pain. An emerging model for nociceptors are sensory neurons derived from human stem cells. Here, we subjected five groups to high-throughput sequencing: human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) prior to differentiation, mature hiPSC-derived sensory neurons, mature co-cultures containing hiPSC-derived astrocytes and sensory neurons, mouse dorsal root ganglion (DRG) tissues, and mouse DRG cultures. Co-culture of nociceptors and astrocytes promotes expression of transcripts enriched in DRG tissues. Comparisons of the hiPSC models to tissue samples reveal that many key transcripts linked to pain are present. Markers indicative of a range of neuronal subtypes present in the DRG were detected in mature hiPSCs. Intriguingly, translation factors were maintained at consistently high expression levels across species and culture systems. As a proof of concept for the utility of this resource, we validated expression of eukaryotic initiation factor 5A (eIF5A) in DRG tissues and hiPSC samples. eIF5A is subject to a unique posttranslational hypusine modification required for its activity. Inhibition of hypusine biosynthesis prevented hyperalgesic priming by inflammatory mediators in vivo and diminished hiPSC activity in vitro. Collectively, our results illuminate the transcriptomes of hiPSC sensory neuron models. We provide a demonstration for this resource through our investigation of eIF5A. Our findings reveal hypusine as a potential target for inflammation associated pain in males.