TRPV channels' role in osmotransduction and mechanotransduction.
In signal transduction of metazoan cells, transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels have been identified that respond to diverse external and internal stimuli, among them osmotic and mechanical stimuli. This chapter will summarize findings on the TRPV subfamily, both its vertebrate and invertebrate members. Of the six mammalian TRPV channels, TRPV1, -V2, and -V4 were demonstrated to function in transduction of osmotic and/or mechanical stimuli. TRPV channels have been found to function in cellular as well as systemic osmotic homeostasis in vertebrates. Invertebrate TRPV channels, five in Caenorhabditis elegans and two in Drosophila, have been shown to play a role in mechanosensation, such as hearing and proprioception in Drosophila and nose touch in C. elegans, and in the response to osmotic stimuli in C. elegans. In a striking example of evolutionary conservation of function, mammalian TRPV4 has been found to rescue mechanosensory and osmosensory deficits of the TRPV mutant line osm-9 in C. elegans, despite no more than 26% orthology of the respective amino acid sequences.
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