, Volume 451, Issue 1, pp 204-211
Date: 14 May 2005

The mammalian melastatin-related transient receptor potential cation channels: an overview

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The mammalian melastatin-related transient receptor potential (TRPM) subfamily contains eight members. TRPM proteins, consisting of six putative transmembrane domains and intracellular N and C termini, form monovalent-permeable cation channels with variable selectivity for Ca2+, Mg2+ and other divalent cations. Some functions are linked to their individual cation selectivity: the highly divalent-permeable cation channels TRPM6 and TRPM7 are involved in the control of Mg2+ influx, whereas the Ca2+-impermeable channels TRPM4 and TRPM5 modulate cellular Ca2+ entry by determining the membrane potential. TRPM2, TRPM3 and TRPM8 mediate a direct influx of Ca2+ in response to specific stimuli. Electrophysiological properties of the founding member, melastatin (TRPM1), are unexplored. The individual TRPM members are activated by different stimuli, including voltage, Ca2+, temperature, cell swelling, lipid compounds and other endogenous or exogenous ligands. This review summarizes molecular features, activation mechanisms, biophysical properties and modulators of TRPM channels.