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Molecular basis of FAAH-OUT-associated human pain insensitivity

Mikaeili, Hajar; Habib, Abdella M; Yeung, Charlix Wai-Lok; Santana-Varela, Sonia; Luiz, Ana P; Panteleeva, Kseniia; Zuberi, Sana; ... Cox, James J; + view all (2023) Molecular basis of FAAH-OUT-associated human pain insensitivity. Brain , Article awad098. 10.1093/brain/awad098. Green open access

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Abstract

Chronic pain affects millions of people worldwide and new treatments are needed urgently. One way to identify novel analgesic strategies is to understand the biological dysfunctions that lead to human inherited pain insensitivity disorders. Here we report how the recently discovered brain and dorsal root ganglia-expressed FAAH-OUT long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) gene, which was found from studying a pain-insensitive patient with reduced anxiety and fast wound healing, regulates the adjacent key endocannabinoid system gene FAAH, which encodes the anandamide-degrading fatty acid amide hydrolase enzyme. We demonstrate that the disruption in FAAH-OUT lncRNA transcription leads to DNMT1-dependent DNA methylation within the FAAH promoter. In addition, FAAH-OUT contains a conserved regulatory element, FAAH-AMP, that acts as an enhancer for FAAH expression. Furthermore, using transcriptomic analyses in patient-derived cells we have uncovered a network of genes that are dysregulated from disruption of the FAAH-FAAH-OUT axis, thus providing a coherent mechanistic basis to understand the human phenotype observed. Given that FAAH is a potential target for the treatment of pain, anxiety, depression and other neurological disorders, this new understanding of the regulatory role of the FAAH-OUT gene provides a platform for the development of future gene and small molecule therapies.

Type: Article
Title: Molecular basis of FAAH-OUT-associated human pain insensitivity
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/brain/awad098
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awad098
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: endocannabinoid system, pain, pseudogene, regulatory RNA, anandamide
UCL classification: UCL
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 Medical Sciences
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 Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
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 Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Wolfson Inst for Biomedical Research
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10170813
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