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Cell Calcium. 2008 Apr;43(4):334-43. Epub 2007 Aug 15.

The TRPV3 mutation associated with the hairless phenotype in rodents is constitutively active.

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Department of Neuroscience and Center for Molecular Neurobiology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


TRPV3 is a non-selective cation channel activated by warm to hot temperatures. In rodents, TRPV3 is highly expressed in basal keratinocytes of skin and oral/nasal epithelia. TRPV3 knockout mice showed impaired responses to innocuous and noxious heat but otherwise normal appearance and reactions to many sensory modalities. However, point mutations of TRPV3 at Gly573 to Ser and Cys have recently been linked to autosomal dominant hairless phenotypes and spontaneous dermatitis in mice and rats, implicating an important role for TRPV3 in alopecia and skin diseases. Exactly, how the mutations affect TRPV3 function was unexplained. Here, we show that both G573S and G573C mutations of murine TRPV3 are constitutively active in heterologous systems. In HEK 293 cells, expression of the TRPV3 mutants causes cell death. In Xenopus oocytes, the constitutively active mutant channel is irresponsive to thermal and chemical stimuli but it reduces the temperature threshold and enhances the responses to heat and TRPV3 agonists of the wild type channel when they are co-expressed. We conclude that the G573S and G573C substitutions render the TRPV3 channel spontaneously active under normal physiological conditions, which in turn alters ion homeostasis and membrane potentials of skin keratinocytes, leading to hair loss and dermatitis-like skin diseases.

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