The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 209, Issue 1, pp 31–41 | Cite as

The Role of TRP Channels in Oxidative Stress-induced Cell Death

  • B.A. MillerEmail author


The transient receptor potential (TRP) protein superfamily is a diverse group of voltage-independent calcium-permeable cation channels expressed in mammalian cells. These channels have been divided into six subfamilies, and two of them, TRPC and TRPM, have members that are widely expressed and activated by oxidative stress. TRPC3 and TRPC4 are activated by oxidants, which induce Na+ and Ca2+ entry into cells through mechanisms that are dependent on phospholipase C. TRPM2 is activated by oxidative stress or TNFα, and the mechanism involves production of ADP-ribose, which binds to an ADP-ribose binding cleft in the TRPM2 C-terminus. Treatment of HEK 293T cells expressing TRPM2 with H2O2 resulted in Ca2+ influx and increased susceptibility to cell death, whereas coexpression of the dominant negative isoform TRPM2-S suppressed H2O2-induced Ca2+ influx, the increase in [Ca2+]i, and onset of apoptosis. U937-ecoR monocytic cells expressing increased levels of TRPM2 also exhibited significantly increased [Ca2+]i and increased apoptosis after treatment with H2O2 or TNFα. A dramatic increase in caspase 8, 9, 3, 7, and PARP cleavage was observed in TRPM2-expressing cells, demonstrating a downstream mechanism through which cell death is mediated. Inhibition of endogenous TRPM2 function through three approaches, depletion of TRPM2 by RNA interference, blockade of the increase in [Ca2+]i through TRPM2 by calcium chelation, or expression of the dominant negative splice variant TRPM2-S protected cell viability. H2O2 and amyloid β-peptide also induced cell death in primary cultures of rat striatal cells, which endogenously express TRPM2. TRPM7 is activated by reactive oxygen species/nitrogen species, resulting in cation conductance and anoxic neuronal cell death, which is rescued by suppression of TRPM7 expression. TRPM2 and TRPM7 channels are physiologically important in oxidative stress-induced cell death.


Apoptosis Intracellular Ca2+ Oxidative stress TRPC3 TRPM2 TRPM7 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Departments of Pediatrics and Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyThe Pennsylvania State University College of MedicineHersheyUSA

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