Functional characterisation of an important heteromeric Acid-Sensing Ion Channels of the PNS

Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are proton-gated ion channels that are also expressed in the peripheral nervous system where they detect painful acidosis. ASICs assemble as homo- or heterotrimers. In the PNS, among other ASICs, the subunits ASIC2a and ASIC3 are expressed. In our most recent study, which was published in the multidisciplinary journal Communications Biology (, we functionally characterized the two possible ASIC2a/3 heteromers. We found that these heteromers have profoundly different electrophysiological properties and that the heteromer with a 1:2 (ASIC2a:ASIC3) stoichiometry is the physiologically relevant heteromer. Our results increase our understanding of ASICs in sensory neurons and could in the long term contribute to a better pain therapy.

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