A comparison of the genes coding for canonical TRP channels and their M, V and P relatives

Cell Calcium. May-Jun 2003;33(5-6):419-32. doi: 10.1016/s0143-4160(03)00068-x.


The mammalian transient receptor potential (TRP) protein gene family consists of a diverse group of cation channels that currently contain at least 26 members. The physiologic functions of many remain unknown. They are structurally similar to Drosophila TRP and have a wide tissue distribution. In the present report, we compare the chromosomal locations, the gene, and primary structures of each of these 26 human TRP family members. Based on primary amino acid analyses, these channels comprise four different subfamilies: C- (canonical or classical), V- (or vanilloid receptor related), M- (melastatin related), and P (PKD)-type. The highest homology within each subfamily and between subfamilies exists in the predicted ion channel domains. Belonging to a given subfamily, however, does not determine the activating stimuli. This is exemplified by the V- and M-subfamilies, both of which have members that respond to temperature and osmolarity. TRP genes vary in their intron-exon organization, with the greatest diversity in the P subfamily. Chromosomal organization analyses revealed that two TRP members are found as direct repeats; TRPV3 follows TRPV1 and TRPV6 follows TRPV5. Both of these duplications appear to be recent as TRPV1 and V3 are more similar to each other than to other members of the TRPV subfamily. The same holds true for TRPV5 and V6. The article presents complication of comparisons including exon-intron boundaries, the amino acid sequence alignments, and the chromosomal organization of each of the presently known TRP channels.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Calcium Channels / genetics*
  • Chromosomes / genetics
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Exons / genetics
  • Humans
  • Introns / genetics
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family*
  • Phylogeny*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • TRPC Cation Channels


  • Calcium Channels
  • TRPC Cation Channels