Transient receptor potential channels as molecular substrates of receptor-mediated cation entry

J Mol Med (Berl). 2000;78(1):14-25. doi: 10.1007/s001099900070.


Calcium is a versatile multitarget intracellular second messenger in eukaryotic cells. In addition to calcium release from intracellular stores and influx via voltage- or ligand-operated channels, agonist-induced calcium entry constitutes one of the main pathways by which cytosolic calcium is elevated. Receptor-stimulated currents are initiated in response to agonist binding to G-protein-coupled receptors and to receptor tyrosine kinases. Within the past few years our knowledge about the molecular identity of receptor-stimulated channels has expanded substantially. Drosophila melanogaster visual transduction channels associated with the transient receptor potential (trp) and the trp-like (trpl) mutant visual phenotypes were the first members of this category of channels to be identified at the molecular level. Since then an entire mammalian gene family of TRP homologues has been discovered by homology cloning. Only now are we beginning to fully understand the functional roles of TRP channels in mammalian cells. We review recent findings in TRP channel research and discuss the role of these proteins for receptor-activated cation entry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Channels / genetics
  • Calcium Channels / metabolism*
  • Calmodulin-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Calmodulin-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cations / metabolism
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Humans
  • Insect Proteins / genetics
  • Insect Proteins / metabolism*
  • Ion Pumps / genetics
  • Ion Pumps / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phylogeny
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Transient Receptor Potential Channels


  • Calcium Channels
  • Calmodulin-Binding Proteins
  • Cations
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Insect Proteins
  • Ion Pumps
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Transient Receptor Potential Channels
  • trp protein, Drosophila
  • trpl protein, Drosophila