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TRP channels as chemo- and temperature sensors

CRC-seminars
The ability of an organism to detect injury or potentially harmful thermal, mechanical and chemical stimuli – a process generally referred to as nociception – is crucial for survival. The recent discovery of TRP channels as molecular sensors of multiple noxious stimulus modalities (thermal, mechanical and chemical stimuli) in primary sensory neurons has opened-up new avenues for understanding how organisms monitor their internal and external environment. The first TRP ion channel was identified in a Drosophila melanogaster (a fruit fly) mutant, in which the photoreceptor cells responded with a transient rather than a sustained receptor potential to continuous light. The mutant was therefore named trp. The trp gene encodes a calcium permeable ion channel – the founding member of a large family of cation channels present in worms, insects, fish and mammals. However, the discovery of mammalian thermosensitive TRP ion channels in sensory neurons was triggered by the use of natural products derived from chili pepper, cannabis, garlic, mustard and peppermint independently of Drosophila research. Some of these ion channels, notably TRPV1 (chili pepper receptor) and TRPA1 (garlic receptor), have emerged as detectors of endogenous lipids and harmful chemical compounds, including thiol-reactive electrophilic compounds and oxidants, in the environment. Both TRPV1 and TRPA1 are potential drug for treating pain and sensory hyperreactivity. Additional TRP ion channels such as TRPV2, TRPV3, TRPV4 and TRPM8 have also been proposed to act as thermosensors. However, only TRPM8, TRPV1 and TRPA1 have been shown to be true thermosensors i.e., they possess intrinsic thermosensitive properties. The existence of distinct temperature-sensing domains in thermosensitive TRP channels is much debated. For example, it has been suggested that in snakes the intracellular N-terminal ankyrin repeat domain (ARD) of TRPA1 contains the necessary thermosensitive modules for heat detection, whereas both the N-terminal ARD and the pore region of Drosophila TRPA1 may contain heat-sensitive elements. Our studies on purified human TRPA1 cold- and heat responsiveness together with results on the purified TRPA1 from the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae (AgTRPA1), indicate that any thermosensitive region should be searched for outside the N-terminus ARD.

Speaker: Peter Zygmunt, Pharmacology, Lund University, Sweden

Host: Maria Gomez

Time: 
15 February 2018 16:00 to 17:00
Location: 
Agardh-salen, CRC, Jan Waldenströms gata 35, SUS Malmö

About the event

Time: 
15 February 2018 16:00 to 17:00
Location: 
Agardh-salen, CRC, Jan Waldenströms gata 35, SUS Malmö

Lund University Diabetes Centre, CRC, SUS Malmö, Entrance 72, House 91:12. SE-205 02 Malmö. Telephone: +46 40 39 10 00