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Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2004 Dec;25(12):633-9.

The TRPM ion channel subfamily: molecular, biophysical and functional features.

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  • 1Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Signaling, Center for Biomedical Research, The Queen's Medical Center and Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, John A. Burns School of Medicine, The University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA.


Significant progress in the molecular and functional characterization of a subfamily of genes that encode melastatin-related transient receptor potential (TRPM) cation channels has been made during the past few years. This subgroup of the TRP superfamily of ion channels contains eight mammalian members and has isoforms in most eukaryotic organisms. The individual members of the TRPM subfamily have specific expression patterns and ion selectivity, and their specific gating and regulatory mechanisms are tailored to integrate multiple signaling pathways. The diverse functional properties of these channels have a profound effect on the regulation of ion homoeostasis by mediating direct influx of Ca2+, controlling Mg2+ entry, and determining the potential of the cell membrane. TRPM channels are involved in several physiological and pathological conditions in electrically excitable and non-excitable cells, which make them exciting targets for drug discovery.

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