Ligand determinants of fatty acid activation of the pronociceptive ion channel TRPA1

William John Redmond*, Liuqiong Gu, Maxime Camo, Peter McIntyre, Mark Connor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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Background and purpose: Arachidonic acid (AA) and its derivatives are important modulators of cellular signalling. The transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily A, member 1 (TRPA1) is a cation channel with important functions in mediating cellular responses to noxious stimuli and inflammation. There is limited information about the interactions between AA itself and TRPA1, so we investigated the effects of AA and key ethanolamide and amino acid/neurotransmitter deriva-tives of AA on hTRPA1. Experimental approach: HEK 293 cells expressing hTRPA1 were studied by mea-suring changes in intracellular calcium ([Ca]i) with a fluorescent dye and by stan-dard whole cell patch clamp recordings. Key results: AA (30 μM) increased fluorescence in hTRPA1 expressing cells by 370% (notional EC50 13 μM). The covalent TRPA1 agonist cinnamaldehyde (300 μM) increased fluorescence by 430% (EC50, 11 μM). Anandamide (230%) and N-arachidonoyl tyrosine (170%) substantially activated hTRPA1 at 30 μM, how-ever, N-arachidonoyl conjugates of glycine and taurine were less effective while N-acyl conjugates of 5-HT did not affect hTRPA1. Changing the acyl chain length or the number and position of double bonds reduced fatty acid efficacy at hTRPA1. Mutant hTRPA1 (Cys621, Cys641 and Cys665 changed to Ser) could be activated by AA (100 μM, 40% of wild type) but not by cinnamaldehyde (300 μM). Conclusions and implications: AA is a more potent activator of TRPA1 than its ethanolamide or amino acid/neurotransmitter derivatives and acts via a mechanism distinct from that of cinnamaldehyde, further underscoring the likelyhood of multi-ple pharmacologically exploitable sites on hTRPA1.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere248
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2014

Bibliographical note

Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY 3.0):


  • Arachidonic acid
  • Arachidonoyl amino acid/neurotransmitter conjugate
  • Inflammation
  • Pain
  • TRP channel

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