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A novel human pain insensitivity disorder caused by a point mutation in ZFHX2

Habib, AM; Matsuyama, A; Okorokov, AL; Santana, S; Bras, JT; Aloisi, AM; Emery, EC; ... Cox, JJ; + view all (2018) A novel human pain insensitivity disorder caused by a point mutation in ZFHX2. Brain , 141 (2) pp. 365-376. 10.1093/brain/awx326. Green open access

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Abstract

Chronic pain is a major global public health issue causing a severe impact on both the quality of life for sufferers and the wider economy. Despite the significant clinical burden, little progress has been made in terms of therapeutic development. A uniquepowerful approach to identifying new human-validated analgesic drug targets is to study rare families with inherited pain insensitivity. Here we have analysed an otherwise normal family where six affected individuals display a pain insensitive phenotype that is characterized by hyposensitivity to noxious heat and painless bone fractures. This autosomal dominant disorder is found in three generations and is not associated with a peripheral neuropathy. A novel point mutation in ZFHX2, encoding a putative transcription factor expressed in small diameter sensory neurons, was identified by whole exome sequencing that segregates with the pain insensitivity. The mutation is predicted to change an evolutionarily highly conserved arginine residue 1913 to a lysine within a homeodomain. BAC transgenic mice bearing the orthologous murine p.R1907K mutation, as well as Zfhx2 null mutant mice, have significant deficits in pain sensitivity. Gene expression analyses in dorsal root ganglia from mutant and wild-type mice show altered expression of genes implicated in peripheral pain mechanisms. The ZFHX2 variant and downstream regulated genes associated with a human paininsensitive phenotype are therefore potential novel targets for the development of new analgesic drugs.

Type: Article
Title: A novel human pain insensitivity disorder caused by a point mutation in ZFHX2
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/brain/awx326
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awx326
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Pain insensitivity; Mendelian; dorsal root ganglia; transcription factor.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Department of Neuromuscular Diseases
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Neurodegenerative Diseases
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Wolfson Inst for Biomedical Research
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Developmental Neurosciences Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10037789
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