Despite the large body of literature on transient receptor potential (TRP) channelsion channels that are directly involved in vision, taste, hearing, touch, olfaction, and other sensesvery little is known about their biophysics and protein structure, or the mechanisms that control their gating processes.
In its latest Perspectives in General Physiology series (http://jgp.rupress.org/current.shtml), the Journal of General Physiology (JGP) utilizes the contributions of leading experts to provide a critical overview of current research about TRP channel structure, and to point out areas in need of further exploration. The series gives special attention to the TRPA1 channel, which has been assigned many different functions.
In his introduction to the series, guest editor Ramon Lattore (Universidad de Valparaiso) provides an historical context for the TRP channel story, which dates back to the 1960s and now includes more than 85 known channels.
Series contributors include Rachelle Gaudet (Harvard University), Vera Moiseenkova-Bell and Theodore Wensel (Baylor College of Medicine), who write about the three-dimensional structure of TRP channels.
According to Latorre, knowing "how these channels are assembled from a structural point of view is critical to understand the molecular workings of these proteins and will allow for the development of intelligent strategies for the design of [targeted drugs]."
Other Perspectives contributors include Ombretta Caspani and Paul A. Heppenstall (EMBL Monterotondo and Universittsmedizin Berlin), Kelvin Y. Kwan and David P. Corey (Harvard University), and Sangsu Bang and Sun Wook Hwang (Korea University Graduate School of Medicine), who share their views about the questions concerning the modulation of the functional properties of the TRPA1 channel and, in particular, that regarding its temperature sensitivity.
|Contact: Rita Sullivan|
Rockefeller University Press