Kinesins: Motor Proteins as Novel Target for the Treatment of Chronic Pain


Kinesins are one of the neoteric and efficacious targets recently reported to play an important role in the initiation and progression of chronic pain. Kinesins are anterograde microtubule-based motor proteins that are involved in trafficking of receptors including nociceptors and progression of pain. The specific kinesin and regulatory proteins interplay is crucial for the delivery of nociceptors to the synapse. If this complex and less understood interplay is inhibited, it may result in a decrease in central sensitization, and thus attenuation of pain. This review is focused on the transportation process of receptors/cargos, the role of regulatory proteins influencing the respective kinesin, and their relationship with chronic pain. The review also features specific strategies adopted by researchers for targeting kinesin and chronic pain. Considering the recent preclinical success of kinesin inhibition in pain, it is expected that inhibitors for kinesin or enzymes responsible for kinesin activation could be developed or repurposed as alternative, safe, and potential therapies for the treatment of chronic pain.

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  • 17 September 2020

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The authors wish to express their thanks to Prof. D.K. Singh for his editorial contribution and to the Director, NIPER Ahmedabad for providing necessary facilities and infrastructure.


This work is supported by Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizers, Govt of India, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India and Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, Early Career Research Grant (ECR/2016/001846) awarded to Dr. Vinod Tiwari and by NIH grants (R01NS094664, R01NS094224, and R01DA033390) for Yuan-Xiang Tao.

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Correspondence to Vinod Tiwari.

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Shantanu, P.A., Sharma, D., Sharma, M. et al. Kinesins: Motor Proteins as Novel Target for the Treatment of Chronic Pain. Mol Neurobiol 56, 3854–3864 (2019).

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  • Bone cancer pain
  • Calcium calmodulin kinase 2
  • Cyclin-dependent kinesins
  • KIF13B
  • KIF17
  • NMDA, pain
  • Sodium channels
  • TRPV1