Transient receptor potential type vanilloid 1 suppresses skin carcinogenesis

Ann M. Bode, Yong Yeon Cho, Duo Zheng, Feng Zhu, Marna E Ericson, Wei-Ya Ma, Ke Yao, Zigang Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Blockade of the transient receptor potential channel vanilloid subfamily 1 (TRPV1) is suggested as a therapeutic approach to pain relief. However, TRPV1 is a widely expressed protein whose function might be critical in various nonneuronal physiologic conditions. The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a receptor tyrosine kinase that is overexpressed in many human epithelial cancers and is a potential target for anticancer drugs. Here, we show that TRPV1 interacts with EGFR, leading to EGFR degradation. Notably, the absence of TRPV1 in mice results in a striking increase in skin carcinogenesis. The TRPV1 is the first membrane receptor shown to have a tumor-suppressing effect associated with the down-regulation of another membrane receptor. The data suggest that, although a great deal of interest has focused on TRPV1 as a target for pain relief, the chronic blockade of this pain receptor might increase the risk for cancer development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)905-913
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2009


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