TRP Channels as Sensors of Oxygen Availability

Authors: Tomohiro Numata & Nozomi Ogawa & Nobuaki Takahashi & Yasuo Mori
Source: Pflugers Arch. 2013 Aug;465(8):1075-853


An ability to adapt to changes in oxygen availability is essential for survival in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. Recently, cation channels encoded by the transient receptor potential (trp) gene superfamily have been recognized as multimodal sensors of a wide variety of factors inside the cells and in the extracellular environment and also as transducers of electrical and chemical signals mediated by ions such as Ca2+. The functional features of TRP channels enable the body to react and adapt to different forms of environmental changes, including oxygen levels. A subclass of TRP channels regulates various cellular processes in response to fluctuations in oxygen. In this article, we describe the physiological and pathological significance of the oxygen-sensitive TRP channels, which are heterogeneous in the cellular responses to acute changes in oxygen, by contrasting their oxygen monitoring function with that of other ion channels, transporters, and enzymes. We also discuss the physiological relevance of oxygen sensitive TRP channels as a novel class of target proteins for pharmaceutical therapeutics.
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