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Cell Rep. 2013 Jul 25;4(2):302-15. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2013.06.022. Epub 2013 Jul 11.

Polyester modification of the mammalian TRPM8 channel protein: implications for structure and function.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, New Jersey Medical School, UMDNJ, 185 South Orange Avenue, MSB H626, Newark, NJ 07103, USA.


The TRPM8 ion channel is expressed in sensory neurons and is responsible for sensing environmental cues, such as cold temperatures and chemical compounds, including menthol and icilin. The channel functional activity is regulated by various physical and chemical factors and is likely to be preconditioned by its molecular composition. Our studies indicate that the TRPM8 channel forms a structural-functional complex with the polyester poly-(R)-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB). We identified by mass spectrometry a number of PHB-modified peptides in the N terminus of the TRPM8 protein and in its extracellular S3-S4 linker. Removal of PHB by enzymatic hydrolysis and site-directed mutagenesis of both the serine residues that serve as covalent anchors for PHB and adjacent hydrophobic residues that interact with the methyl groups of the polymer resulted in significant inhibition of TRPM8 channel activity. We conclude that the TRPM8 channel undergoes posttranslational modification by PHB and that this modification is required for its normal function.

Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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