Send to

Choose Destination
J Physiol. 2016 Aug 1;594(15):4151-69. doi: 10.1113/JP270935.

TRPA1 channels: molecular sentinels of cellular stress and tissue damage.

Author information

Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante, Universidad Miguel Hernández-CSIC, Alicante, Spain.


TRPA1 is a non-selective cation channel expressed in mammalian peripheral pain receptors, with a major role in chemonociception. TRPA1 has also been implicated in noxious cold and mechanical pain sensation. TRPA1 has an ancient origin and plays important functions in lower organisms, including thermotaxis, mechanotransduction and modulation of lifespan. Here we highlight the role of TRPA1 as a multipurpose sensor of harmful signals, including toxic bacterial products and UV light, and as a sensor of stress and tissue damage. Sensing roles span beyond the peripheral nervous system to include major barrier tissues: gut, skin and lung. Tissue injury, environmental irritants and microbial pathogens are danger signals that can threaten the health of organisms. These signals lead to the coordinated activation of the nociceptive and the innate immune system to provide a homeostatic response trying to re-establish physiological conditions including tissue repair. Activation of TRPA1 participates in protective neuroimmune interactions at multiple levels, sensing ROS and bacterial products and triggering the release of neuropeptides. However, an exaggerated response to danger signals is maladaptive and can lead to the development of chronic inflammatory conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center