Molecular Physiology of TRPC Channels

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The long-term objective of this research proposal is to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in controlling hormone-induced Ca2+ influx. Receptor-operated and store-operated cation channels (ROC and SOC) represent vital Ca2+ influx pathways in almost all cellular systems. ROC and SOC play a crucial role in mediating numerous cellular functions including exocytosis and contraction. In adrenal chromaffin cells (ACC), circulating-hormone-activated ROC and SOC channels act in concert with voltage-gated Ca2+ channels to modulate exocytosis of catecholamines, essential regulators of vascular tone, cardiac output and heart rate. Little is known about the molecular nature of hormone-activated ROC and SOC in ACC. A growing body of evidence suggests that Canonical Transient Receptor Potential (TRPC) channels can form, or be a component of, ROC and SOC in various cell types. We have shown that TRPC channels are expressed in ACC and that over-expression of TRPCs increases sustained Ca influx and catecholamine secretion. A factor that determines Ca2+ influx through TRPCs is channel permeability. Regulation of TRPC channel permeability is not well understood, however, certain heteromers of TRPC channels exhibit reduced permeability. We hypothesize that TRPCs mediate hormone-evoked exocytosis in ACC and their heteromerization serves to regulate this ability. This project is aimed to identify the role and the regulation of endogenous TRPC channels in ACC. To do this we will use molecular biological, biochemical, patch-clamp and fluorescence imaging methods to address the following specific aims: (1) identify which TRPCs are endogenously expressed in ACC; (2) identify mechanisms regulating the expression of endogenous TRPCs in ACC; and (3) identify the molecular determinants governing heteromeric TRPC permeability. Together these studies will shed light on the mechanisms regulating circulating-hormone-activated catecholamine exocytosis in ACC. Catecholamines are crucial regulators of the cardiovascular function, therefore, understanding mechanisms involved in controlling secretion of catecholamines in ACC is an important health care issue.
Effective start/end date12/4/066/30/13


  • National Institutes of Health: $367,766.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $367,766.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $367,766.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $340,125.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $367,766.00


  • Medicine(all)

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