Mammalian transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) is a polymodal nociceptor that plays an important role in pain generation, but its role as a cold nociceptor is still controversial. Here, we propose that TRPA1 can sense noxious cold via transduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) signalling. We show that inhibiting hydroxylation of a proline residue within the N-terminal ankyrin repeat of human TRPA1 by mutation or using a prolyl hydroxylase (PHD) inhibitor potentiates the cold sensitivity of TRPA1 in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. Inhibiting PHD in mice triggers mouse TRPA1 sensitization sufficiently to sense cold-evoked ROS, which causes cold hypersensitivity. Furthermore, this phenomenon underlies the acute cold hypersensitivity induced by the chemotherapeutic agent oxaliplatin or its metabolite oxalate. Thus, our findings provide evidence that blocking prolyl hydroxylation reveals TRPA1 sensitization to ROS, which enables TRPA1 to convert ROS signalling into cold sensitivity.
The transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) is a cation channel that is involved in nociceptive pain sensing. Here, the authors show that hydroxylation of a proline in the N terminus of TRPA1 renders it sensitive to reactive oxygen species resulting from noxious cold.