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J Biol Chem. 2003 Mar 28;278(13):11002-6. Epub 2003 Jan 15.

Critical intracellular Ca2+ dependence of transient receptor potential melastatin 2 (TRPM2) cation channel activation.

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  • 1School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, United Kingdom.


TRPM2 is a member of the melastatin-related TRP (transient receptor potential) subfamily. It is expressed in brain and lymphocytes and forms a cation channel that is activated by intracellular ADP-ribose and associated with cell death. In this study we investigated the calcium dependence of human TRPM2 expressed under a tetracycline-dependent promoter in HEK-293 cells. TRPM2 expression was associated with enhanced hydrogen peroxide-evoked intracellular calcium signals. In whole-cell patch clamp recordings, switching from barium- to calcium-containing extracellular solution markedly activated TRPM2 as long as ADP-ribose was in the patch pipette and exogenous intracellular calcium buffering was minimal. We suggest this effect reveals a critical dependence of TRPM2 channel activity on intracellular calcium. In the absence of extracellular calcium we observed concentration-dependent activation of TRPM2 channels by calcium delivered from the patch pipette (EC(50) 340 nM, slope 4.9); the maximum effect was at least as large as that evoked by extracellular calcium. Intracellular dialysis of cells with high concentrations of EGTA or 1,2-bis(o-Aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid (BAPTA) strongly reduced the amplitude of the extracellular calcium response, and the residual response was abolished by a mixture of high and low affinity calcium buffers. TRPM2 channel currents in inside-out patches showed a strong requirement for Ca(2+) at the intracellular face of the membrane. We suggest that calcium entering via TRPM2 proteins acts at an intracellular calcium sensor closely associated with the channel, providing essential positive feedback for channel activation.

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