TRPM6 kinase activity regulates TRPM7 trafficking and inhibits cellular growth under hypomagnesic conditions

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2014 Dec;71(24):4853-67. doi: 10.1007/s00018-014-1647-7. Epub 2014 May 25.


The channel kinases TRPM6 and TRPM7 are both members of the melastatin-related transient receptor potential (TRPM) subfamily of ion channels and the only known fusions of an ion channel pore with a kinase domain. TRPM6 and TRPM7 form functional, tetrameric channel complexes at the plasma membrane by heteromerization. TRPM6 was previously shown to cross-phosphorylate TRPM7 on threonine residues, but not vice versa. Genetic studies demonstrated that TRPM6 and TRPM7 fulfill non-redundant functions and that each channel contributes uniquely to the regulation of Mg(2+) homeostasis. Although there are indications that TRPM6 and TRPM7 can influence each other's cellular distribution and activity, little is known about the functional relationship between these two channel-kinases. In the present study, we examined how TRPM6 kinase activity influences TRPM7 serine phosphorylation, intracellular trafficking, and cell surface expression of TRPM7, as well as Mg(2+)-dependent cellular growth. We found TRPM7 serine phosphorylation via the TRPM6 kinase, but no TRPM6 serine phosphorylation via the TRPM7 kinase. Intracellular trafficking of TRPM7 was altered in HEK-293 epithelial kidney cells and DT40 B cells in the presence of TRPM6 with intact kinase activity, independently of the availability of extracellular Mg(2+), but TRPM6/7 surface labeling experiments indicate comparable levels of the TRPM6/7 channels at the plasma membrane. Furthermore, using a complementation approach in TRPM7-deficient DT40 B-cells, we demonstrated that wild-type TRPM6 inhibited cell growth under hypomagnesic cell culture conditions in cells co-expressing TRPM6 and TRPM7; however, co-expression of a TRPM6 kinase dead mutant had no effect-a similar phenotype was also observed in TRPM6/7 co-expressing HEK-293 cells. Our results provide first clues about how heteromer formation between TRPM6 and TRPM7 influences the biological activity of these ion channels. We show that TRPM6 regulates TRPM7 intracellular trafficking and TRPM7-dependent cell growth. All these effects are dependent upon the presence of an active TRPM6 kinase domain. Dysregulated Mg(2+)-homeostasis causes or exacerbates many pathologies. As TRPM6 and TRPM7 are expressed simultaneously in numerous cell types, understanding how their relationship impacts regulation of Mg(2+)-uptake is thus important knowledge.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Magnesium / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Models, Molecular
  • Mutation
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Kinases / chemistry
  • Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Protein Multimerization
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Protein Structure, Quaternary
  • Protein Transport
  • Serine / genetics
  • Serine / metabolism
  • TRPM Cation Channels / chemistry
  • TRPM Cation Channels / genetics
  • TRPM Cation Channels / metabolism*


  • TRPM Cation Channels
  • TRPM6 protein, human
  • Serine
  • Protein Kinases
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • TRPM7 protein, human
  • Magnesium