Faculty Advisor

Dominko, Tanja

Faculty Advisor

Rolle, Marsha W.


Chronic pain accompanies many diseases; however, the pain pathways are not completely understood. Investigating the pre-synapse has revealed involvement of P2X3 receptors and CASK proteins. While their interaction has been described in rats, much less is known about their existence in humans. This was the aim of our studies. Through overexpression of human P2X3 and CASK in HEK cells, co-immunoprecipitation, Western blotting, and immunostaining, we studied the P2X3/CASK complex, focusing on the C-terminus. Overexpression of P2X3 and CASK was stable along with subcellular co-localization. CASK proteins were pulled down with human P2X3 receptors verifying an interaction. The mechanism of interaction remains under investigation and is a new target for the development of pain relief medication.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

December 2013


Biology and Biotechnology

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology

Advisor Department

Biomedical Engineering