Capsaicin Receptor: TRPV1 A Promiscuous TRP Channel

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Abstract

TRPV1, the archetypal member of the vanilloid TRP family, was initially identified as the receptor for capsaicin, the pungent ingredient in hot chili peppers. The receptor has a diverse tissue distribution, with high expression in sensory neurons. TRPV1 is a nonselective cation channel with significant permeability to calcium, protons, and large polyvalent cations. It is the most polymodal TRP channel, being activated by numerous stimuli, including heat, voltage, vanilloids, lipids, and protons/cations. TRPV1 acts as a molecular integrator of physical and chemical stimuli in peripheral nociceptor terminals and plays a critical role in thermal inflammatory hyperalgesia. In addition, TRPV1 may regulate a variety of physiological functions in different organ systems. Various second messenger systems regulate TRPV1 activity, predominantly by serine-threonine phosphorylation. In this review, we provide a concise summary of the information currently available about this channel.