A great proportion of the variation in pain experience and chronicity is caused by heritable factors. Within the last decades several candidate genes have been discovered either increasing or decreasing pain sensitivity or the risk of chronic pain in humans. One of the most studied genes is the GCH1 gene coding for the enzyme GTP cyclohydrolase 1 (GCH1). GCH1 catalyses the initial and rate-limiting step in the biosynthesis of tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4). The main function of BH4 is regulation of monoamine and nitric oxide biosynthesis, all involved in nociceptive signalling.
Scandinavian Journal of Pain, 2014, Vol 5, Issue 2, p. 121-128