Structural snapshots of the mechanism of TRPV2 channel activation by small-molecule agonists
Published on 07.27.2022 in Cell Calcium
Kirill D. Nadezhdin, Arthur Neuberger, Alexander I. Sobolevsky
Commentary to the recent study by Pumroy et al. which makes a significant contribution towards our understanding of TRPV2 structural dynamics that leads to opening of this channel in physiological conditions.
Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels are polymodal sensors that play critical roles in various physiological processes in living organisms. These cation-permeable channels respond to a variety of physical and chemical stimuli, including cold and hot temperatures, acidic pH, and mechanical stress, often determining a sensory frontier of defense against hostile environments. Vanilloid (V) subfamily is the most studied category of TRP channels that includes six closely related members: highly calcium-selective TRPV5-6 and non-selective TRPV1-4. A remarkable feature of TRPV1-4 is their ability to sense heat, which makes them temperature-sensitive TRP channels or thermo-TRPs. TRPV channels are associated with a multitude of human diseases, including cancers, chronic pain, cardiovascular, neurological and nociceptive disorders. Despite the great clinical interest, pharmacology of TRPV channels remains largely undeveloped because of insufficient knowledge about the mechanisms of their regulation. For instance, activation of TRPV channels by small molecules or heat remains poorly understood. Numerous identified TRPV channel agonists, while effective in physiological experiments, appear limited in their ability to act in the conditions of structural biology experiments. In this regard, the recent study by Pumroy et al.  makes a significant contribution towards our understanding of TRPV2 structural dynamics that leads to opening of this channel in physiological conditions.