I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 27 Jan 2024 - 2 Feb 2024

2024 Feb 06

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A




Editor's Pick

FOXD3-mediated transactivation of ALKBH5 promotes neuropathic pain via mA-dependent stabilization of 5-HT3A mRNA in sensory neurons.


Huang Z, Zhang Y, Wang S, Qi R, Tao Y, Sun Y, Jiang D, Jiang X, Tao J


The N6-methyladenosine (mA) modification of RNA is an emerging epigenetic regulatory mechanism that has been shown to participate in various pathophysiological processes. However, its involvement in modulating neuropathic pain is still poorly understood. In this study, we elucidate a functional role of the mA demethylase alkylation repair homolog 5 (ALKBH5) in modulating trigeminal-mediated neuropathic pain. Peripheral nerve injury selectively upregulated the expression level of ALKBH5 in the injured trigeminal ganglion (TG) of rats. Blocking this upregulation in injured TGs alleviated trigeminal neuropathic pain, while mimicking the upregulation of ALKBH5 in intact TG neurons sufficiently induced pain-related behaviors. Mechanistically, histone deacetylase 11 downregulation induced by nerve injury increases histone H3 lysine 27 acetylation (H3K27ac), facilitating the binding of the transcription factor forkhead box protein D3 (FOXD3) to the promoter and promoting transcription. The increased ALKBH5 erases mA sites in messenger RNA (mRNA), resulting in an inability of YT521-B homology domain 2 (YTHDF2) to bind to mRNA, thus causing an increase in 5-HT3A protein expression and 5-HT3 channel currents. Conversely, blocking the increased expression of ALKBH5 in the injured TG destabilizes nerve injury-induced 5-HT3A upregulation and reverses mechanical allodynia, and the effect can be blocked by 5-HT3A knockdown. Together, FOXD3-mediated transactivation of ALKBH5 promotes neuropathic pain through mA-dependent stabilization of mRNA in TG neurons. This mechanistic understanding may advance the discovery of new therapeutic targets for neuropathic pain management.