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J Gen Physiol. 2006 May;127(5):525-37.

Functional characterization of homo- and heteromeric channel kinases TRPM6 and TRPM7.

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Center for Cardiology and Cardiovascular Biology, Department of Cell Biology, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington 06030, USA.


TRPM6 and TRPM7 are two known channel kinases that play important roles in various physiological processes, including Mg2+ homeostasis. Mutations in TRPM6 cause hereditary hypomagnesemia and secondary hypocalcemia (HSH). However, whether TRPM6 encodes functional channels is controversial. Here we demonstrate several signature features of TRPM6 that distinguish TRPM6 from TRPM7 and TRPM6/7 channels. We show that heterologous expression of TRPM6 but not the mutant TRPM6(S141L) produces functional channels with divalent cation permeability profile and pH sensitivity distinctive from those of TRPM7 channels and TRPM6/7 complexes. TRPM6 exhibits unique unitary conductance that is 2- and 1.5-fold bigger than that of TRPM7 and TRPM6/7. Moreover, micromolar levels of 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate (2-APB) maximally increase TRPM6 but significantly inhibit TRPM7 channel activities; whereas millimolar concentrations of 2-APB potentiate TRPM6/7 and TRPM7 channel activities. Furthermore, Mg2+ and Ca2+ entry through TRPM6 is enhanced three- to fourfold by 2-APB. Collectively, these results indicate that TRPM6 forms functional homomeric channels as well as heteromeric TRPM6/7 complexes. The unique characteristics of these three channel types, TRPM6, TRPM7, and TRPM6/7, suggest that they may play different roles in vivo.

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