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

Ethanol inhibits cold-menthol receptor TRPM8 by modulating its interaction with membrane phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate.

Ethanol has opposite effects on two members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) family of ion channels: it inhibits the cold-menthol receptor TRPM8, whereas it potentiates the activity of the heat- and capsaicin-gated vanilloid receptor TRPV1. Both thermosensitive cation channels are critically regulated by the membrane lipid, phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP(2)). The effects of this phospholipid on TRPM8 and TRPV1 are also functionally opposite: PIP(2) is necessary for the activation of TRPM8 but it constitutively inhibits TRPV1. This parallel led us to investigate the possible role of PIP(2) in the ethanol-induced modulation of rat TRPM8, heterologously expressed in HEK293T cells. In this study, we characterize the effects of ethanol (0.1-10%) on whole-cell currents produced by menthol and by low temperature (< 17 degrees C). We show that the inclusion of PIP(2) in the intracellular solution results in a strong reduction in the ethanol-induced inhibition of menthol-evoked responses. Conversely, intracellular dialysis with anti-PIP(2) antibody or with the PIP(2) scavenger, poly L-lysine, enhanced the ethanol-induced inhibition of TRPM8. A 20 min pre-incubation with wortmannin caused a modest decrease in inhibition produced by 1% ethanol, indicating that the ethanol-induced inhibition is not mediated by lipid kinases. These findings suggest that ethanol inhibits TRPM8 by weakening the PIP(2)-TRPM8 channel interaction; a similar mechanism may contribute to the ethanol-mediated modulation of some other PIP(2)-sensitive TRP channels.[1]


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