Jpn. J. Pharmacol. 87 (4), 245-252 (2001)

REVIEW -Current Perspective-
Dissecting Receptor-Mediated Ca2+ Influx Pathways: TRP Channels and Their Native Counterparts

Yasuo Mori1,2,4,*, Ryuji Inoue5, Masakazu Ishii1,2, Yuji Hara1,3,4 and Keiji Imoto3,4

1Center for Integrative Bioscience, Okazaki National Research Institutes, Okazaki 444-8585, Japan
2Departmet of Cell Physiology, 3Department of Information Physiology, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Okazaki National Research Institutes, Okazaki 444-8585, Japan
4School of Life Science, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, Okazaki 444-8585, Japan
5Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan

*Corresponding author (affiliation #1). FAX: +81-564-55-7721, E-mail:

Abstract: Cellular stimulation from the surrounding extracellular environment via receptors and other pathways evoke activation of Ca2+-permeable cation channels that form essential signaling pathways in controlling biological responses. An important clue to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying these cation channels (tentatively termed as receptor-mediated cation channels (RMCC)) was first provided through molecular studies of the transient receptor potential (trp) protein (TRP), which controls light-induced depolarization in Drosophila photoreceptor cells. Use of the genetic information and recombinant expression technique lead to the discovery of numerous mammalian TRP homologues revealing novel RMCCs. In this review, we focus on the dramatic progress in the molecular investigation of RMCC in mammalian systems. The recent findings should provide powerful tools for the development of novel pharmaceutical targets.

Keywords: Receptor-mediated Ca2+ channel, TRP, Ca2+-permeable cation channel

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