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Keywords:

  • cancer;
  • hyperalgesia;
  • membrane tubulin;
  • pain;
  • Taxol®;
  • TRPV1

Abstract

Existence of microtubule cytoskeleton at the membrane and submembranous regions, referred as ‘membrane tubulin’ has remained controversial for a long time. Since we reported physical and functional interaction of Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid Sub Type 1 (TRPV1) with microtubules and linked the importance of TRPV1-tubulin complex in the context of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, a few more reports have characterized this interaction in in vitro and in in vivo condition. However, the cross-talk between TRPs with microtubule cytoskeleton, and the complex feedback regulations are not well understood. Sequence analysis suggests that other than TRPV1, few TRPs can potentially interact with microtubules. The microtubule interaction with TRPs has evolutionary origin and has a functional significance. Biochemical evidence, Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer analysis along with correlation spectroscopy and fluorescence anisotropy measurements have confirmed that TRPV1 interacts with microtubules in live cell and this interaction has regulatory roles. Apart from the transport of TRPs and maintaining the cellular structure, microtubules regulate signaling and functionality of TRPs at the single channel level. Thus, TRPV1-tubulin interaction sets a stage where concept and parameters of ‘membrane tubulin’ can be tested in more details. In this review, I critically analyze the advancements made in biochemical, pharmacological, behavioral as well as cell-biological observations and summarize the limitations that need to be overcome in the future.