TRP ion channels

TRP channels are a family of ion channels that play a role in various physiological processes, including sensation, temperature regulation, and cellular signaling. Multiple stimuli activate TRP channels, including temperature changes, mechanical pressure, pH changes, and chemical ligands. They are named after the first TRP channel identified, TRPV1, activated by heat and capsaicin, the compound that makes chilli peppers hot. David Julius who discovered the TRPV1 channel was awarded the 2021 Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery.

There are several subfamilies of TRP channels, including TRPC (Canonical), TRPV (Vanilloid), TRPM (Melastatin), TRPA (Ankyrin) and TRPN (Nomorphin). Each subfamily has its unique properties and functions. TRP channels are widely expressed in tissues and cells, including the nervous system, skin, and epithelial cells.

Diseases related to TRP ion channels

The dysregulation of TRP channels has been implicated in several diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and neurological disorders such as pain, depression, and anxiety. For example, TRPV1 and TRPA1 channels are involved in pain sensation and inflammation, while TRPM8 affects cold sensation and thermoregulation.

Also, TRP channels have been found to play a role in several skin diseases. For example, TRPV1 and TRPA1 are involved in the sensation of itching and pain in skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis. TRPM8 is interested in developing cold-induced urticaria, a condition characterized by hives and itching caused by cold temperatures. Dysregulation of TRPV3 has been linked to atopic dermatitis, a common inflammatory skin disease. TRP channels are also involved in regulating skin barrier function, and defects in TRP channels have been implicated in skin diseases such as ichthyosis, a group of genetic skin disorders characterized by dry, scaly skin.

Additionally, TRP channels have been identified as potential targets for developing new drugs to treat skin diseases. For example, TRPV1 antagonists are effective in treating pain and itching in skin disorders, and TRPA1 antagonists are effective in treating cold-induced urticaria.

Read more about TRP-related diseases in TRP channels in health and disease at a glance, J Cell Science 2021.

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