Integration of transient receptor potential canonical channels with lipids

Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2012 Feb;204(2):227-37. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-1716.2011.02311.x. Epub 2011 May 27.


Transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) channels are the canonical (C) subset of the TRP proteins, which are widely expressed in mammalian cells. They are thought to be primarily involved in determining calcium and sodium entry and have wide-ranging functions that include regulation of cell proliferation, motility and contraction. The channels are modulated by a multiplicity of factors, putatively existing as integrators in the plasma membrane. This review considers the sensitivities of TRPC channels to lipids that include diacylglycerols, phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate, lysophospholipids, oxidized phospholipids, arachidonic acid and its metabolites, sphingosine-1-phosphate, cholesterol and some steroidal derivatives and other lipid factors such as gangliosides. Promiscuous and selective lipid sensing have been detected. There appear to be close working relationships with lipids of the phospholipase C and A(2) enzyme systems, which may enable integration with receptor signalling and membrane stretch. There are differences in the properties of each TRPC channel that are further complicated by TRPC heteromultimerization. The lipids modulate activity of the channels or insertion in the plasma membrane. Lipid microenvironments and intermediate sensing proteins have been described that include caveolae, G protein signalling, SEC14-like and spectrin-type domains 1 (SESTD1) and podocin. The data suggest that lipid sensing is an important aspect of TRPC channel biology enabling integration with other signalling systems.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arachidonic Acid / metabolism
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lysophospholipids / metabolism
  • Membrane Lipids / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Phospholipids / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Sphingosine / analogs & derivatives
  • Sphingosine / metabolism
  • TRPC Cation Channels / metabolism*


  • Lysophospholipids
  • Membrane Lipids
  • Phospholipids
  • TRPC Cation Channels
  • sphingosine 1-phosphate
  • Arachidonic Acid
  • Cholesterol
  • Sphingosine
  • Calcium