To provide a cell model for studying specifically the regulation of Ca2+ entry by the epithelial calcium channel transient receptor potential-vanilloid-5 (TRPV5), green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged TRPV5 was expressed stably in Madin-Darby canine kidney type I (MDCK) cells. The localization of GFP-TRPV5 in this cell line showed an intracellular granular distribution. Ca2+ uptake in GFP-TRPV5-MDCK cells cultured on plastic supports was threefold higher than in non-transfected cells. Moreover, apical Ca2+ uptake in GFP-TRPV5-MDCK cells cultured on permeable supports was eightfold higher than basolateral Ca2+ uptake, indicating that GFP-TRPV5 is expressed predominantly in the apical membrane. Patch-clamp analysis showed the presence of typical electrophysiological features of GFP-TRPV5, such as inwardly rectifying currents, inhibition by divalent cations and Ca2+-dependent inactivation. Moreover, the TRPV5 inhibitor ruthenium red completely inhibited Ca2+ uptake in GFP-TRPV5-MDCK cells, whereas Ca2+ uptake in non-transfected cells was not inhibited. The characterized GFP-TRPV5-MDCK cell line was used to assess the regulation of TRPV5. The protein kinase C activator phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate and the cAMP-elevating compounds forskolin/3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine, 8-Br-cAMP and PGE2 stimulated TRPV5 activity in GFP-TRPV5-MDCK cells by 121+/-7, 79+/-5, 55+/-4 and 61+/-7%, respectively. These compounds did not affect Ca2+ uptake in non-transfected cells. In conclusion, the GFP-TRPV5-MDCK cell line provides a model to specifically study the regulation of TRPV5 activity.