Many epigenetic regulators are involved in pain-associated spinal plasticity. Coactivator-associated arginine methyltransferase 1 (CARM1), an epigenetic regulator of histone arginine methylation, is a highly interesting target in neuroplasticity. However, its potential contribution to spinal plasticity–associated neuropathic pain development remains poorly explored. Here, we report that nerve injury decreased the expression of spinal CARM1 and induced allodynia. Moreover, decreasing spinal CARM1 expression by Fbxo3-mediated CARM1 ubiquitination promoted H3R17me2 decrement at the K+ channel promoter, thereby causing K+ channel epigenetic silencing and the development of neuropathic pain. Remarkably, in naïve rats, decreasing spinal CARM1 using CARM1 siRNA or a CARM1 inhibitor resulted in similar epigenetic signaling and allodynia. Furthermore, intrathecal administration of BC-1215 (a novel Fbxo3 inhibitor) prevented CARM1 ubiquitination to block K+ channel gene silencing and ameliorate allodynia after nerve injury. Collectively, the results reveal that this newly identified spinal Fbxo3-CARM1-K+ channel gene functional axis promotes neuropathic pain. These findings provide essential insights that will aid in the development of more efficient and specific therapies against neuropathic pain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas