TRPM7 is a ubiquitously expressed cation channel with a fused alpha kinase domain. It is highly permeable to magnesium and calcium, and is negatively gated by intracellular Mg(2+) and Mg-ATP. Substrates for the TRPM7 kinase domain include annexinA1 and myosin IIA heavy chain, and there is evidence to suggest a functional interaction between the channel and kinase domains. Alterations in the expression and activity of TRPM7 have profound effects on cell proliferation and differentiation. Genetic deletion of TRPM7 in model systems demonstrates that this channel is critical for cellular growth and embryonic development. Here, we provide a brief overview of the activity of TRPM7 and the associated regulatory mechanisms. We will then discuss the biological functions of TRPM7, emphasizing its role in development and the potential pathophysiological significance of TRPM7 in neurological and cardiovascular disease.
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