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Compr Physiol. 2013 Jan;3(1):221-42. doi: 10.1002/cphy.c120001.

Molecular mechanism of TRP channels.

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Department of Physiology and Membrane Biology, University of California School of Medicine, Davis, California, USA.


Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels are cellular sensors for a wide spectrum of physical and chemical stimuli. They are involved in the formation of sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste, temperature, and pain sensation. TRP channels also play fundamental roles in cell signaling and allow the host cell to respond to benign or harmful environmental changes. As TRP channel activation is controlled by very diverse processes and, in many cases, exhibits complex polymodal properties, understanding how each TRP channel responds to its unique forms of activation energy is both crucial and challenging. The past two decades witnessed significant advances in understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie TRP channels activation. This review focuses on our current understanding of the molecular determinants for TRP channel activation.

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