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Mol Pharmacol. 2009 Jun;75(6):1262-79. doi: 10.1124/mol.109.055624. Epub 2009 Mar 18.

Pharmacology of vanilloid transient receptor potential cation channels.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.


Depending on their primary structure, the 28 mammalian transient receptor potential (TRP) cation channels identified so far can be sorted into 6 subfamilies: TRPC ("Canonical"), TRPV ("Vanilloid"), TRPM ("Melastatin"), TRPP ("Polycystin"), TRPML ("Mucolipin"), and TRPA ("Ankyrin"). The TRPV subfamily (vanilloid receptors) comprises channels critically involved in nociception and thermosensing (TRPV1, TRPV2, TRPV3, and TRPV4), whereas TRPV5 and TRPV6 are involved in renal Ca(2+) absorption/reabsorption. Apart from TRPV1, the pharmacology of these channels is still insufficiently known. Furthermore, only few small-molecule ligands for non-TRPV1 vanilloid receptors have been identified, and little is known of their endogenous ligands, resulting in a substantial "orphan" state for these channels. In this review, we summarize the pharmacological properties of members of the TRPV subfamily, highlighting the critical issues and challenges facing their "deorphanization" and clinical exploitation.

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