TRPM6 and TRPM7 differentially contribute to the relief of heteromeric TRPM6/7 channels from inhibition by cytosolic Mg 2+ and Mg·ATP

Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 18;7(1):8806. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-08144-1.


TRPM6 and its homologue TRPM7 are α-kinase-coupled divalent cation-selective channels activated upon reduction of cytosolic levels of Mg2+ and Mg·ATP. TRPM6 is vital for organismal Mg2+ balance. However, mechanistically the cellular role and functional nonredundancy of TRPM6 remain incompletely understood. Comparative analysis of native currents in primary cells from TRPM6- versus TRPM7-deficient mice supported the concept that native TRPM6 primarily functions as a constituent of heteromeric TRPM6/7 channels. However, heterologous expression of the human TRPM6 protein engendered controversial results with respect to channel characteristics including its regulation by Mg2+ and Mg·ATP. To resolve this issue, we cloned the mouse TRPM6 (mTRPM6) cDNA and compared its functional characteristics to mouse TRPM7 (mTRPM7) after heterologous expression. Notably, we observed that mTRPM6 and mTRPM7 differentially regulate properties of heteromeric mTRPM6/7 channels: In the presence of mTRPM7, the extreme sensitivity of functionally expressed homomeric mTRPM6 to Mg2+ is tuned to higher concentrations, whereas mTRPM6 relieves mTRPM7 from the tight inhibition by Mg·ATP. Consequently, the association of mTRPM6 with mTRPM7 allows for high constitutive activity of mTRPM6/7 in the presence of physiological levels of Mg2+ and Mg·ATP, thus laying the mechanistic foundation for constant vectorial Mg2+ transport specifically into epithelial cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cytosol / metabolism
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Magnesium / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Models, Molecular
  • Permeability
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Multimerization*
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / chemistry
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • TRPM Cation Channels / chemistry
  • TRPM Cation Channels / genetics
  • TRPM Cation Channels / metabolism*
  • Trophoblasts / metabolism


  • TRPM Cation Channels
  • TRPM6 protein, human
  • Trpm6 protein, mouse
  • Trpm7 protein, mouse
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • TRPM7 protein, human
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases
  • Magnesium