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J Biol Chem. 2006 Dec 15;281(50):38396-404. Epub 2006 Oct 25.

Trafficking and assembly of the cold-sensitive TRPM8 channel.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Saarland, Medical Campus, 66421 Homburg, Germany.


TRPM (transient receptor potential melastatin-like) channels are distinct from many other members of the transient receptor potential family in regard to their overall size (>1000 amino acids), the lack of N-terminal ankyrin-like repeats, and hydrophobicity predictions that may allow for more than six transmembrane regions. Common to each TRPM member is a prominent C-terminal coiled coil region. Here we have shown that TRPM8 channels assemble as multimers using the putative coiled coil region within the intracellular C terminus and that this assembly can be disturbed by a single point mutation within the coiled coil region. This mutant neither gives rise to functional channels nor do its subunits interact or form protein complexes that correspond to a multimer. However, they are still transported to the plasma membrane. Furthermore, wild-type currents can be suppressed by expressing the membrane-attached C-terminal region of TRPM8. To separate assembly from trafficking, we investigated the maturation of TRPM8 protein by identifying and mutating the relevant N-linked glycosylation site and showing that glycosylation is neither essential for multimerization nor for transport to the plasma membrane per se but appears to facilitate efficient multimerization and transport.

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