Influence of membrane cholesterol in the molecular evolution and functional regulation of TRPV4

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2015 Jan 2;456(1):312-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2014.11.077. Epub 2014 Nov 28.


TRPV4 is involved in several physiological and sensory functions as well as with several diseases and genetic disorders, though the molecular mechanisms for these are unclear. In this work we have analyzed molecular evolution and structure-function relationship of TRPV4 using sequences from different species. TRPV4 has evolved during early vertebrate origin (450million years). Synteny analysis confirms that TRPV4 has coevolved with two enzymes involved in sterol biosynthesis, namely MVK and GLTP. Cholesterol-recognizing motifs are present within highly conserved TM4-Loop4-TM5 region of TRPV4. TRPV4 is present in lipid raft where it co-localizes with Caveolin1 and Filipin. TM4-Loop4-TM5 region as well as Loop4 alone can physically interact with cholesterol, its precursor mevalonate and derivatives such as stigmasterol and aldosterone. Mobility of TRPV4-GFP depends on membrane cholesterol level. Molecular evolution of TRPV4 shared striking parallelism with the cholesterol bio-synthesis pathways at the genetic, molecular and metabolic levels. We conclude that interaction with sterols and cholesterol-dependent membrane dynamics have influence on TRPV4 function. These results may have importance on TRPV4-medaited cellular functions and pathophysiology.

Keywords: CRAC-motif; Channelopathy; Gain-of-function mutations; Molecular evolution; Pain; Steroids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Caveolin 1 / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Cholesterol / metabolism*
  • Computational Biology
  • Databases, Protein
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Filipin / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Membrane Microdomains / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Software
  • TRPV Cation Channels / genetics*
  • TRPV Cation Channels / metabolism*


  • Caveolin 1
  • TRPV Cation Channels
  • TRPV4 protein, human
  • Filipin
  • Cholesterol