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Word Count: 2,056
Pain is part of the bodys alerting system This unpleasant experience notifies an individual that something is wrong in the body and needs to be corrected It also serves a protective function by signaling the presence of harmful agents that may damage the body of an individual Pain protects us from our environment by teaching us what stimulus and behaviors are likely to lead to injury therefore the loss of pain sensation or exaggerated pain has serious consequences in health Furthermore pain is a sensation that evolves an emotional response and involves a complex interaction between the periphery the spinal cord the brain stem and higher cortical centers 1549 Sodium channels are intergral membrane proteins and are comprised of a large alpha subunit which forms the voltage-sensitive and ion-selective pore and smaller auxiliary beta subunit that can modulate the kinetics and voltage dependence of channel gating sodium channel Also the voltage-gated sodium channels play a critical role in the generation and conduction of action potentials and are thus important for electrical signaling by most excitable cells sodium channel To date we know of 9 isoforms of the sodium-channel a subunit Nav17 11 Nav17 19 they all share an important characteristic of transporting positively charged sodium ions playing a key role in generating and transmitting electrical signals Jneurol Here we focus on one of the subunits Nav17 because of its critical role in pain sensation Congenital insensitivity to pain CIP an autosomal recessive disorder is caused by loss of function of the voltage-gated sodium channel Nav17 encoded by SCN9A gene sodium channel Specifically Nav17 is encoded by SCN9A a 1135 kb gene comprising 26 exons The encoded sodium channel is composed of 1977amino acids organized into 4 domains each with 6 transmembrane segments and is predominantly expressed in the dorsal root ganglion DRG neurons and sympathetic ganglion neurons including A-fibres and Cfibres sodium channel Last Dib-Hajj et al states that
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