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Papers of the Week

Papers: 20 Jan 2024 - 26 Jan 2024

2024 Jan 21

Mol Pain


Isolectin B4 (IB4)-conjugated streptavidin for the selective knockdown of proteins in IB4-positive (+) nociceptors.


Bogen O, Araldi D, Sucher A, Kober K, Ohara P, Levine J


In vivo analysis of protein function in nociceptor subpopulations using antisense oligonucleotides and short interfering RNAs is limited by their non-selective cellular uptake. To address the need for selective transfection methods, we covalently linked isolectin B4 (IB4) to streptavidin and analyzed whether it could be used to study protein function in IB4(+)-nociceptors. Rats treated intrathecally with IB4-conjugated streptavidin complexed with biotinylated antisense oligonucleotides for protein kinase C epsilon (PKCe) mRNA were found to have: a) less PKCe in dorsal root ganglia (DRG), b) reduced PKCe expression in IB4(+) but not IB4(-) DRG neurons, and c) fewer transcripts of the PKCe gene in the DRG. This knockdown in PKCe expression in IB4(+) DRG neurons is sufficient to reverse hyperalgesic priming, a rodent model of chronic pain that is dependent on PKCe in IB4(+)-nociceptors. These results establish that IB4-streptavidin can be used to study protein function in a defined subpopulation of nociceptive C-fiber afferents.