The capsaicin receptor: A heat-activated ion channel in the pain pathway

Michael J. Caterina, Mark A. Schumacher, Makoto Tominaga, Tobias A. Rosen, Jon D. Levine, David Julius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Capsaicin, the main pungent ingredient in 'hot' chilli peppers, elicits a sensation of burning pain by selectively activating sensory neurons that convey information about noxious stimuli to the central nervous system. We have used an expression cloning strategy based on calcium influx to isolate a functional cDNA encoding a capsaicin receptor from sensory neurons. This receptor is a non-selective cation channel that is structurally related to members of the TRP family of ion channels. The cloned capsaicin receptor is also activated by increases in temperature In the noxious range, suggesting that it functions as a transducer of painful thermal stimuli in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)816-824
Number of pages9
JournalNature
Volume389
Issue number6653
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 7 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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