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Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2007;(179):125-41.


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  • 1Institut für Pharmakologie u. Toxikologie, FB. Medizin, Philipps-Universität Marburg, 35033 Marburg, Germany.


TRPC6 is a Ca(2+)-permeable non-selective cation channel expressed in brain, smooth muscle containing tissues and kidney, as well as in immune and blood cells. Channel homomers heterologously expressed have a characteristic doubly rectifying current-voltage relationship and are six times more permeable for Ca2+ than for Na+. In smooth muscle tissues, however, Na+ influx and activation of voltage-gated calcium channels by membrane depolarization rather than Ca2+ elevation by TRPC6 channels is the driving force for contraction. TRPC6 channels are directly activated by the second messenger diacylglycerol (DAG) and regulated by specific tyrosine or serine phosphorylation. Extracellular Ca2+ has inhibitory effects, while Ca2+/calmodulin acting from the intracellular side has potentiator effects on channel activity. Given its specific expression, TRPC6 is likely to play a number of physiological roles. Studies with TRPC6(-/-) mice suggest a role for the channel in the regulation of vascular and pulmonary smooth muscle contraction. TRPC6 was identified as an essential component of the slit diaphragm architecture of kidney podocytes. Other functions in immune and blood cells, as well as in brain and in smooth muscle-containing tissues such as stomach, colon and myometrium, remain elusive.

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