Review ARTICLE

Front. Physiol., 09 August 2012 | doi: 10.3389/fphys.2012.00324

TRP channels: sensors and transducers of gasotransmitter signals

  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Department of Synthetic Chemistry and Biological Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
  • 2Advanced Biomedical Engineering Research Unit, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
  • 3CREST, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
  • 4Laboratory of Environmental Systems Biology, Department of Technology and Ecology, Hall of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan

The transient receptor potential (trp) gene superfamily encodes cation channels that act as multimodal sensors for a wide variety of stimuli from outside and inside the cell. Upon sensing, they transduce electrical and Ca2+ signals via their cation channel activities. These functional features of TRP channels allow the body to react and adapt to different forms of environmental changes. Indeed, members of one class of TRP channels have emerged as sensors of gaseous messenger molecules that control various cellular processes. Nitric oxide (NO), a vasoactive gaseous molecule, regulates TRP channels directly via cysteine (Cys) S-nitrosylation or indirectly via cyclic GMP (cGMP)/protein kinase G (PKG)-dependent phosphorylation. Recent studies have revealed that changes in the availability of molecular oxygen (O2) also control the activation of TRP channels. Anoxia induced by O2-glucose deprivation and severe hypoxia (1% O2) activates TRPM7 and TRPC6, respectively, whereas TRPA1 has recently been identified as a novel sensor of hyperoxia and mild hypoxia (15% O2) in vagal and sensory neurons. TRPA1 also detects other gaseous molecules such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and carbon dioxide (CO2). In this review, we focus on how signaling by gaseous molecules is sensed and integrated by TRP channels.

Keywords: TRP channels, gasotransmitter, nitric oxide, oxygen, TRPC5, TRPC6, TRPV1, TRPA1

Citation: Takahashi N, Kozai D and Mori Y (2012) TRP channels: sensors and transducers of gasotransmitter signals. Front. Physio. 3:324. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2012.00324

Received: 12 May 2012; Paper pending published: 06 June 2012;
Accepted: 24 July 2012; Published online: 09 August 2012.

Edited by:

Mike Althaus, Justus-Liebig University of Giessen, Germany

Reviewed by:

Scott Earley, Colorado State University, USA
John Q. Wang, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, USA
Christina Nassenstein, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany

Copyright © 2012 Takahashi, Kozai and Mori. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.

*Correspondence: Yasuo Mori, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Department of Synthetic Chemistry and Biological Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, and Laboratory of Environmental Systems Biology, Department of Technology and Ecology, Hall of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Kyoto 615-8510, Japan. e-mail: mori@sbchem.kyoto-u.ac.jp

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