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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Conservation of functional and pharmacological properties in the distantly related temperature sensors TRVP1 and TRPM8.

Members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) superfamily of ion channels have now been defined as molecular transducers capable of reproducing the spectrum of temperature sensation exhibited by mammals. Because of their pivotal role in sensory transduction, many of these channels represent good targets for drug discovery. With a view to gaining further insight into the functional and pharmacological properties of these channels, we have used the whole-cell patch-clamp technique to study the human cold-sensitive menthol receptor transient receptor potential melastatin 8 (TRPM8) and compared its behavior with that of its distant relative, the heat-sensitive capsaicin-gated transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1). It is remarkable to find that TRPM8, in addition to its behavior as an outwardly rectifying, nonselective cation channel, shares many functional and pharmacological properties with TRPV1. TRPM8 exhibits prominent time- and voltage-dependent behavior, a property that may underlie the conserved rectification or gating mechanisms exhibited by these channels. We also show that TRPM8 is modulated by ethanol but unlike TRPV1 is insensitive to extracellular acidification. There is also significant overlap in the antagonist pharmacology of these channels with many TRPV1 antagonists such as capsazepine, N-(4-tertiarybutylphenyl)-4-(3-chloropyridin-2-yl) tetrahydropyrazine-1(2H)-carboxamide (BCTC), (2R)-4-(3-chloro-2-pyridinyl)-2-methyl-N-[4-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]-1-piperazinecarboxamide (CTPC), and N-(2-bromophenyl)-N'-{2-[ethyl(3-methylphenyl)amino]ethyl}-urea (SB-452533) exhibiting similar activity at TRPM8. Overall, the degree of pharmacological overlap between TRPV1 and TRPM8 has implications for the interpretation of studies conducted with these ligands to date and highlights a clear challenge for the design of selective TRP channel antagonists. Our finding that N-(3-methoxyphenyl)-4-chlorocinnamide (SB-366791), at least, represents an apparently selective antagonist for TRPV1 suggests that this goal is attainable.[1]


  1. Conservation of functional and pharmacological properties in the distantly related temperature sensors TRVP1 and TRPM8. Weil, A., Moore, S.E., Waite, N.J., Randall, A., Gunthorpe, M.J. Mol. Pharmacol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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