Send to

Choose Destination
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2007 Aug;1772(8):1022-7. Epub 2007 Jan 17.

TRP channels as candidates for hearing and balance abnormalities in vertebrates.

Author information

Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, 801 Welch Road, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


In this review, we summarize the potential functional roles of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels in the vertebrate inner ear. The history of TRP channels in hearing and balance is characterized at great length by the hunt for the elusive transduction channel of sensory hair cells. Such pursuit has not resulted in unequivocal identification of the transduction channel, but nevertheless revealed a number of candidates, such as TRPV4, TRPN1, TRPA1, and TRPML3. Much of the circumstantial evidence indicates that these TRP channels potentially play significant roles in inner ear physiology. Based on mutations in the corresponding mouse genes, TRPV4 and TRPML3 are possible candidates for human hearing, and potentially also balance disorders. We further discuss the role of the invertebrate TRP channels Nanchung, Inactive, and TRPN1 and how the functional analysis of these channels provides a link to vertebrate hearing and balance. In summary, only a few TRP channels have been analyzed thus far for a prospective role in the inner ear, and this makes the search for additional TRPs associated with inner ear function quite a tantalizing endeavor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center