The mammalian melastatin-related transient receptor potential cation channels: an overview

Pflugers Arch. 2005 Oct;451(1):204-11. doi: 10.1007/s00424-005-1428-0. Epub 2005 May 14.


The mammalian melastatin-related transient receptor potential (TRPM) subfamily contains eight members. TRPM proteins, consisting of six putative transmembrane domains and intracellular N and C termini, form monovalent-permeable cation channels with variable selectivity for Ca(2+), Mg(2+) and other divalent cations. Some functions are linked to their individual cation selectivity: the highly divalent-permeable cation channels TRPM6 and TRPM7 are involved in the control of Mg(2+) influx, whereas the Ca(2+)-impermeable channels TRPM4 and TRPM5 modulate cellular Ca(2+) entry by determining the membrane potential. TRPM2, TRPM3 and TRPM8 mediate a direct influx of Ca(2+) in response to specific stimuli. Electrophysiological properties of the founding member, melastatin (TRPM1), are unexplored. The individual TRPM members are activated by different stimuli, including voltage, Ca(2+), temperature, cell swelling, lipid compounds and other endogenous or exogenous ligands. This review summarizes molecular features, activation mechanisms, biophysical properties and modulators of TRPM channels.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Homeostasis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Magnesium / metabolism
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology
  • TRPM Cation Channels / chemistry
  • TRPM Cation Channels / drug effects
  • TRPM Cation Channels / physiology*


  • TRPM Cation Channels
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium