TRP Channels as Sensors of Aldehyde and Oxidative Stress

Biomolecules. 2021 Sep 24;11(10):1401. doi: 10.3390/biom11101401.


The transient receptor potential (TRP) cation channel superfamily comprises more than 50 channels that play crucial roles in physiological processes. TRP channels are responsive to several exogenous and endogenous biomolecules, with aldehydes emerging as a TRP channel trigger contributing to a cellular cascade that can lead to disease pathophysiology. The body is not only exposed to exogenous aldehydes via tobacco products or alcoholic beverages, but also to endogenous aldehydes triggered by lipid peroxidation. In response to lipid peroxidation from inflammation or organ injury, polyunsaturated fatty acids undergo lipid peroxidation to aldehydes, such as 4-hydroxynonenal. Reactive aldehydes activate TRP channels via aldehyde-induced protein adducts, leading to the release of pro-inflammatory mediators driving the pathophysiology caused by cellular injury, including inflammatory pain and organ reperfusion injury. Recent studies have outlined how aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 protects against aldehyde toxicity through the clearance of toxic aldehydes, indicating that targeting the endogenous aldehyde metabolism may represent a novel treatment strategy. An addition approach can involve targeting specific TRP channel regions to limit the triggering of a cellular cascade induced by aldehydes. In this review, we provide a comprehensive summary of aldehydes, TRP channels, and their interactions, as well as their role in pathological conditions and the different therapeutical treatment options.

Keywords: ALDH2; TRP channels; TRPV1; aldehyde; oxidative stress.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Aldehydes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxidation / genetics
  • Oxidative Stress / genetics*
  • Reperfusion Injury / genetics
  • TRPV Cation Channels / genetics*
  • Transient Receptor Potential Channels / genetics*


  • Aldehydes
  • TRPV Cation Channels
  • TRPV1 protein, human
  • Transient Receptor Potential Channels
  • ALDH2 protein, human
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase, Mitochondrial