TRPV1 SUMOylation suppresses itch by inhibiting TRPV1 interaction with H1 receptors

Gao, Yingwei, et al. “TRPV1 SUMOylation suppresses itch by inhibiting TRPV1 interaction with H1 receptors.” Cell Reports 39.11 (2022): 110972.


The molecular mechanism underlying the functional interaction between H1R and TRPV1 remains unclear. We show here that H1R directly binds to the carboxy-terminal region of TRPV1 at residues 715–725 and 736–749. Cell-penetrating peptides containing these sequences suppress histamine-induced scratching behavior in a cheek injection model. The H1R-TRPV1 binding is kept at a minimum at rest in mouse trigeminal neurons due to TRPV1 SUMOylation and it is enhanced upon histamine treatment through a transient TRPV1 deSUMOylation. The knockin of the SUMOylation-deficient TRPV1K823R mutant in mice leads to constitutive enhancement of H1R-TRPV1 binding, which exacerbates scratching behaviors induced by histamine. Conversely, SENP1 conditional knockout in sensory neurons enhances TRPV1 SUMOylation and suppresses the histamine-induced scratching response. In addition to interfering with binding, TRPV1 SUMOylation promotes H1R degradation through ubiquitination. Our work unveils the molecular mechanism of histaminergic itch by which H1R directly binds to deSUMOylated TRPV1 to facilitate the transduction of the pruritogen signal to the scratching response.