TRPM6 is crucial for human Mg2+ homeostasis as patients carrying TRPM6 mutations develop hypomagnesemia and secondary hypocalcemia (HSH). However, the activation mechanism of TRPM6 has remained unknown. Here we demonstrate that phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphophate (PIP2) controls TRPM6 activation and Mg2+ influx. Stimulation of PLC-coupled M1-receptors to deplete PIP2 potently inactivates TRPM6. Translocation of over-expressed 5-phosphatase to cell membrane to specifically hydrolyze PIP2 also completely inhibits TRPM6. Moreover, depolarization-induced-activation of the voltage-sensitive-phosphatase (Ci-VSP) simultaneously depletes PIP2 and inhibits TRPM6. PLC-activation induced PIP2-depletion not only inhibits TRPM6, but also abolishes TRPM6-mediated Mg2+ influx.Furthermore, neutralization of basic residues in the TRP domain leads to nonfunctional or dysfunctional mutants with reduced activity by PIP2, suggesting that they are likely to participate in interactions with PIP2.Our data indicate that PIP2 is required for TRPM6 channel function; hydrolysis of PIP2 by PLC-coupled hormones/agonists may constitute an important pathway for TRPM6 gating, and perhaps Mg2+ homeostasis.