Voltage Sensing in Thermo-TRP Channels

Chapter

Abstract

Membrane voltage, ligand binding, mechanical force and temperature can all induce conformational changes that open ion channel pores. A key question in understanding ion channel function is how the protein domains involved in sensing stimuli (sensors) communicate with the pore to gate its opening and closing. TRP channels are considered six-transmembrane cation-permeable channels, distant relatives of voltage-gated potassium channels (Kv), which are known to be activated by membrane depolarization. Understanding the molecular nature of thermo-TRP channel gating offers a fair challenge to biophysicists. This chapter will summarize our present knowledge on the effect of voltage and temperature during thermo-TRP channel activation.

Keywords

TRP channels Voltage activation Temperature Voltage sensor Thermo-TRP TRPM8 TRPV1 Allosteric models Polymodal activation Thermodynamics 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facultad de MedicinaInstituto de Fisiologia, Universidad Austral de ChileValdiviaChile
  2. 2.Centro Interdisciplinario de Neurociencia de Valparaíso (CINV)Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de ValparaísoValparaísoChile

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