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Nat Chem Biol. 2005 Jul;1(2):85-92.

Sensing with TRP channels.

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Laboratory of Physiology, Campus Gasthuisberg O&N, KU Leuven, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium.


Drosophila melanogaster flies carrying the trp (transient receptor potential) mutation are rapidly blinded by bright light, because of the absence of a Ca2+-permeable ion channel in their photoreceptors. The identification of the trp gene and the search for homologs in yeast, flies, worms, zebrafish and mammals has led to the discovery of a large superfamily of related cation channels, named TRP channels. Activation of TRP channels is highly sensitive to a variety of chemical and physical stimuli, allowing them to function as dedicated biological sensors that are essential in processes such as vision, taste, tactile sensation and hearing.

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