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J Gen Physiol. 2006 Apr;127(4):421-34. Epub 2006 Mar 13.

TRPM7 channel is regulated by magnesium nucleotides via its kinase domain.

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


TRPM7 is a Ca(2+)- and Mg(2+)-permeable cation channel that also contains a protein kinase domain. While there is general consensus that the channel is inhibited by free intracellular Mg(2+), the functional roles of intracellular levels of Mg.ATP and the kinase domain in regulating TRPM7 channel activity have been discussed controversially. To obtain insight into these issues, we have determined the effect of purine and pyrimidine magnesium nucleotides on TRPM7 currents and investigated the possible involvement of the channel's kinase domain in mediating them. We report here that physiological Mg.ATP concentrations can inhibit TRPM7 channels and strongly enhance the channel blocking efficacy of free Mg(2+). Mg.ADP, but not AMP, had similar, albeit smaller effects, indicating a double protection against possible Mg(2+) and Ca(2+) overflow during variations of cell energy levels. Furthermore, nearly all Mg-nucleotides were able to inhibit TRPM7 activity to varying degrees with the following rank in potency: ATP > TTP > CTP > or = GTP > or = UTP > ITP approximately free Mg(2+) alone. These nucleotides also enhanced TRPM7 inhibition by free Mg(2+), suggesting the presence of two interacting binding sites that jointly regulate TRPM7 channel activity. Finally, the nucleotide-mediated inhibition was lost in phosphotransferase-deficient single-point mutants of TRPM7, while the Mg(2+)-dependent regulation was retained with reduced efficacy. Interestingly, truncated mutant channels with a complete deletion of the kinase domain regained Mg.NTP sensitivity; however, this inhibition did not discriminate between nucleotide species, suggesting that the COOH-terminal truncation exposes the previously inaccessible Mg(2+) binding site to Mg-nucleotide binding without imparting nucleotide specificity. We conclude that the nucleotide-dependent regulation of TRPM7 is mediated by the nucleotide binding site on the channel's endogenous kinase domain and interacts synergistically with a Mg(2+) binding site extrinsic to that domain.

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