Transient receptor potential channels in mechanosensing and cell volume regulation.Methods Enzymol. 2007; 428:183-207.ME
Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels are unique cellular sensors responding to a wide variety of extra- and intracellular signals, including mechanical and osmotic stress. In recent years, TRP channels from multiple subfamilies have been added to the list of mechano- and/or osmosensitive channels, and it is becoming increasingly apparent that Ca(2+) influx via TRP channels plays a crucial role in the response to mechanical and osmotic perturbations in a wide range of cell types. Although the events translating mechanical and osmotic stimuli into regulation of TRP channels are still incompletely understood, the specific mechanisms employed vary between different TRP isoforms, and probably include changes in the tension and/or curvature of the lipid bilayer, changes in the cortical cytoskeleton, and signaling events such as lipid metabolism and protein phosphorylation/dephosphorylation. This chapter describes candidate mechanosensitive channels from mammalian TRP subfamilies, discusses inherent and technical issues potentially confounding evaluation of mechano- and/or osmosensitivity, and presents methods relevant to the study of TRP channel regulation by mechanical and osmotic stimuli and involvement in cell volume regulation.