Activation of the Drosophila TRP and TRPL channels requires both Ca2+ and protein dephosphorylation

The Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) proteins constitute a large and diverse family of channel proteins, which is conserved through evolution. TRP channel proteins have critical functions in many tissues and cell types, but their gating mechanism is an enigma. In the present study patch-clamp whole-cell recordings was applied to measure the TRP- and TRP-like (TRPL)-dependent currents in isolated Drosophila ommatidia. Also, voltage responses to light and to metabolic stress were recorded from the eye in vivo. We report new insight into the gating of the Drosophila light-sensitive TRP and TRPL channels, by which both Ca2+ and protein dephosphorylation are required for channel activation. ATP depletion or inhibition of protein kinase C activated the TRP channels, while photo-release of caged ATP or application of phorbol ester antagonized channels openings in the dark. Furthermore, Mg2+-dependent stable phosphorylation event by ATPγS or protein phosphatase inhibition by calyculin A abolished activation of the TRP and TRPL channels. While a high reduction of cellular Ca2+ abolished channel activation, subsequent application of Ca2+ combined with ATP depletion induced a robust dark current that was reminiscent of light responses. The results suggest that the combined action of Ca2+ and protein dephosphorylation activate the TRP and TRPL channels, while protein phosphorylation by PKC antagonized channels openings.

Authors: Agam, K., Frechter, S. and Minke, B
Year of publication: 2004
Journal: Cell Calcium, Volume 35, Issue 2, Pages 87-105

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