TRPM channels mediate zinc homeostasis and cellular growth during Drosophila larval development

Cell Metab. 2010 Oct 6;12(4):386-397. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2010.08.012.


TRPM channels have emerged as key mediators of diverse physiological functions. However, the ionic permeability relevant to physiological function in vivo remains unclear for most members. We report that the single Drosophila TRPM gene (dTRPM) generates a conductance permeable to divalent cations, especially Zn(2+) and in vivo a loss-of-function mutation in dTRPM disrupts intracellular Zn(2+) homeostasis. TRPM deficiency leads to profound reduction in larval growth resulting from a decrease in cell size and associated defects in mitochondrial structure and function. These phenotypes are cell-autonomous and can be recapitulated in wild-type animals by Zn(2+) depletion. Both the cell size and mitochondrial defect can be rescued by extracellular Zn(2+) supplementation. Thus our results implicate TRPM channels in the regulation of cellular Zn(2+) in vivo. We propose that regulation of Zn(2+) homeostasis through dTRPM channels is required to support molecular processes that mediate class I PI3K-regulated cell growth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Size
  • Drosophila / growth & development
  • Homeostasis*
  • Larva / growth & development*
  • Mitochondria / pathology
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • TRPM Cation Channels / deficiency
  • TRPM Cation Channels / physiology*
  • Zinc / deficiency
  • Zinc / metabolism*


  • TRPM Cation Channels
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Zinc