Académie royale de Médecine de Belgique

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Résumé de Bernd Nilius (Séance du 28 juin 2008)

TRP CATION CHANNELS AS UNIQUE CELLULAR SENSORS : FROM PROTEIN TO DISEASE

par B. NILIUS, M.D., Ph.D., (K.U.L.), invité. 

The Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) superfamily of cation channels forms a group of unique cellular sensors, which consists of 28 members in mammals, subdivided in into six subfamilies. TRP channels (TRPs) are expressed in almost every cell type. They are involved in sensory functions, e.g. the perception of temperature, smell, taste, pain, mechanical signals and respond to many natural compounds used in “traditional medicine”. TRP channels are main players in Ca2+ signaling, e.g. cell functions ranging from neurotransmitter release to gene transcription and cell death. They are also involved in homeostatic functions, e.g. epithelial Ca2+ and Mg2+ reabsorption and lysosomal pH regulation. Dysfunctions of TRPs channels will be shown causing bladder diseases, alterations in bone-remodeling, heart hypertrophy and mast cell hypersensitivity to allergic stimuli. A new TRPathy (a bone disease, autosomal recessive brachyolmia,brachyolmia), will be described which is caused by a gain-of-function mutation of a TRP channel. The involvement of TRP channels in a plethora of diseases defines these channels as valuable and novel pharmacological targets.

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