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J Mol Endocrinol. 2013 Apr 23;50(3):R75-83. doi: 10.1530/JME-12-0237. Print 2013 Jun.

Signal transduction via TRPM3 channels in pancreatic β-cells.

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  • 1Department of Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Saarland Medical Center, Building 44, D-66421 Homburg, Germany.


Transient receptor potential melastatin 3 (TRPM3) channels are non-selective cation channels that are expressed in insulinoma cells and pancreatic β-cells. Stimulation of TRPM3 with the neurosteroid pregnenolone sulfate induces an intracellular signaling cascade, involving a rise in intracellular Ca(2)(+) concentration, activation of the protein kinases Raf and ERK, and a change in the gene expression pattern of the cells. In particular, biosynthesis of insulin is altered following activation of TRPM3 by pregnenolone sulfate. Moreover, a direct effect of TRPM3 stimulation on insulin secretion has been reported. The fact that stimulation of TRPM3 induces a signaling cascade that is very similar to the signaling cascade induced by glucose in β-cells suggests that TRPM3 may influence main functions of pancreatic β-cells. The view that TRPM3 represents an ionotropic steroid receptor of pancreatic β-cells linking insulin release with steroid hormone signaling is discussed.

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