The TRP channels are a family of ion channel proteins that permeate Na + and Ca2+ and, in several cases, Mg2+. Most cells contain several to many TRP subunits, complicating the separation of monomeric and heteromeric channel characteristics. The multipotent phosphatidylinositol pathway is involved in most TRP channel regulation, but the details of this regulation are just beginning to be elucidated. At this time there is no unifying theme in their mechanism for activation. Since TRPs are intimately linked with intracellular Ca2+ signaling, they are implicated in the control of cell cycle progression, cell migration, and programmed cell death. TRP channels also seem to be important in epithelial uptake of divalent ions. Genetic approaches combined with robust assays have most clearly established their roles in sensory functions. Tables 1 through 28 summarize the molecular, physiological, and pharmacological properties of these ion channels in more detail.
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