Résumé : PR homology domain-containing member 12 (PRDM12) is a highly evolutionary conserved member of the Prdm family of transcription factors that play essential roles in many cell fate decisions. In human, PRDM12 coding mutations have been recently identified in several patients with hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy (HSAN) (submitted elsewhere). Here we show that PRDM12 is involved in sensory neurogenesis in Xenopus and that several of the human Prdm12 mutants show altered structure, subcellular localization and function. In Drosophila, we demonstrate that the sensory neuron specific RNAi knockdown of the Prdm12 ortholog Hamlet induces impaired nociception and that a similar phenotype is observed in hypomorph hamlet mutants. In human fibroblasts of patients with PRDM12 mutations, we identified additional possible downstream target genes including thyrotropin-releasing hormone degrading enzyme (TRHDE). Knock-down of fly TRHDE in sensory neurons resulted in altered nociceptive neurons and impaired nociception. Collectively, these findings provide the first evidence showing that Prdm12 plays an important role in sensory neuron development. They also suggest that it has a critical evolutionarily conserved role in pain perception via modulation of the TRH signaling pathway.