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J Biol Chem. 2005 Nov 25;280(47):39185-92. Epub 2005 Sep 26.

Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate rescues TRPM4 channels from desensitization.

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  • 1Division of Neurobiology, Department of Biological Sciences and Program in Neuroscience, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089, USA.


TRPM4 is a Ca(2+)-activated nonselective cation channel that regulates membrane potential in response to intracellular Ca(2+) signaling. In lymphocytes it plays an essential role in shaping the pattern of intracellular Ca(2+) oscillations that lead to cytokine secretion. To better understand its role in this and other physiological processes, we investigated mechanisms by which TRPM4 is regulated. TRPM4 was expressed in ChoK1 cells, and currents were measured in excised patches. Under these conditions, TRPM4 currents were activated by micromolar concentrations of cytoplasmic Ca(2+) and progressively desensitized. Here we show that desensitization can be explained by a loss of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P(2)) from the channels. Poly-l-lysine, a PI(4,5)P(2) scavenger, caused rapid desensitization, whereas MgATP, at concentrations that activate lipid kinases, promoted recovery of TRPM4 currents. Application of exogenous PI(4,5)P(2) to the intracellular surface of the patch restored the properties of TRPM4 currents. Our results suggest that PI(4,5)P(2) acts to uncouple channel opening from changes in the transmembrane potential, allowing current activation at physiological voltages. These data argue that hydrolysis of PI(4,5)P(2) underlies desensitization of TRPM4 and support the idea that PI(4,5)P(2) is a general regulator for the gating of TRPM ion channels.

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