The C-terminal domain of TRPV4 is essential for plasma membrane localization

Mol Membr Biol. 2008 Feb;25(2):139-51. doi: 10.1080/09687680701635237.


Many members of the TRP superfamily oligomerize in the ER before trafficking to the plasma membrane. For membrane localization of the non-selective cation channel TRPV4 specific domains in the N-terminus are required, but the role of the C-terminus in the oligomerization and trafficking process has been not determined until now. Therefore, the localization of recombinant TRPV4 in two cell models was analyzed: HaCaT keratinocytes that express TRPV4 endogenously were compared to CHO cells that are devoid of endogenous TRPV4. When deletions were introduced in the C-terminal domain three states of TRPV4 localization were defined: a truncated TRPV4 protein of 855 amino acids was exported to the plasma membrane like the full-length channel (871 aa) and was also functional. Mutants with a length of 828 to 844 amino acids remained in the ER of CHO cells, but in HaCaT cells plasma membrane localization was partially rescued by oligomerization with endogenous TRPV4. This was confirmed by coexpression of recombinant full-length TRPV4 together with these deletion mutants, which resulted in an almost complete plasma membrane localization of both proteins and significant FRET in the plasma membrane and the ER. All deletions upstream of amino acid 828 resulted in total ER retention that could not rescued by coexpression with the full-length protein. However, these deletion mutants did not impair export of full-length TRPV4, implying that no oligomerization took place. These data indicate that the C-terminus of TRPV4 is required for oligomerization, which takes place in the ER and precedes plasma membrane trafficking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CHO Cells
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mutant Proteins / metabolism
  • Protein Structure, Quaternary
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Protein Transport
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Sequence Deletion
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • TRPV Cation Channels / chemistry*
  • TRPV Cation Channels / metabolism*
  • Transfection


  • Mutant Proteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • TRPV Cation Channels
  • TRPV4 protein, human
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins