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Cell Calcium. 2016 Jun;59(6):271-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ceca.2016.03.012. Epub 2016 Apr 16.

Mechanisms of lipid regulation and lipid gating in TRPC channels.

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Institute of Biophysics, Medical University of Graz, A-8010 Graz, Austria.
Institute of Biophysics, Medical University of Graz, A-8010 Graz, Austria. Electronic address:


TRPC proteins form cation channels that integrate and relay cellular signals by mechanisms involving lipid recognition and lipid-dependent gating. The lipohilic/amphiphilic molecules that function as cellular activators or modulators of TRPC proteins span a wide range of chemical structures. In this context, cellular redox balance is likely linked to the lipid recognition/gating features of TRPC channels. Both classical ligand-protein interactions as well as indirect and promiscuous sensory mechanisms have been proposed. Some of the recognition processes are suggested to involve ancillary lipid-binding scaffolds or regulators as well as dynamic protein-protein interactions determined by bilayer architecture. A complex interplay of protein-protein and protein-lipid interactions is likely to govern the gating and/or plasma membrane recruitment of TRPC channels, thereby providing a distinguished platform for signal integration and coincident signal detection. Both the primary molecular event(s) of lipid recognition by TRPC channels as well as the transformation of these events into distinct gating movements is poorly understood at the molecular level, and it remains elusive whether lipid sensing in TRPCs is conferred to a distinct sensor domain. Recent structural information on the molecular action of lipophilic activators in distantly related members of the TRP superfamily encourages speculations on TRPC gating mechanisms involved in lipid recognition/gating. This review aims to provide an update on the current understanding of the lipid-dependent control of TRPC channels with focus on the TRPC lipid sensing, signal-integration hub and a short discussion of potential links to redox signaling.


Gating mechanism; Lipid mediators; Lipid metabolism; Lipid rafts; TRPC channels

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