A structural overview of the ion channels of the TRPM family

Cell Calcium. 2020 Jan;85:102111. doi: 10.1016/j.ceca.2019.102111. Epub 2019 Nov 24.


The TRPM (transient receptor potential melastatin) family belongs to the superfamily of TRP cation channels. The TRPM subfamily is composed of eight members that are involved in diverse biological functions such as temperature sensing, inflammation, insulin secretion, and redox sensing. Since the first cloning of TRPM1 in 1998, tremendous progress has been made uncovering the function, structure, and pharmacology of this family. Complete structures of TRPM2, TRPM4, and TRPM8, as well as a partial structure of TRPM7, have been determined by cryo-EM, providing insights into their channel assembly, ion permeation, gating mechanisms, and structural pharmacology. Here we summarize the current knowledge about channel structure, emphasizing general features and principles of the structure of TRPM channels discovered since 2017. We also discuss some of the key unresolved issues in the field, including the molecular mechanisms underlying voltage and temperature dependence, as well as the functions of the TRPM channels' C-terminal domains.

Keywords: Gating mechanism; Structures; TRPM channels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Humans
  • Ion Channel Gating
  • Ligands
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Domains
  • TRPM Cation Channels / chemistry*


  • Ligands
  • TRPM Cation Channels