The molecular identification of novel ion channels expressed in the immune context provides very attractive potential targets for new therapeutic drugs designed to modulate immune system function. Several members of the recently discovered TRPM family of cation channels are expressed in immune cells. The TRPM channels show an astonishing diversity regarding their gating mechanisms and permeability profiles. First functional studies demonstrate that this diversity correlates with the range of potential biological processes TRPM channels might be involved in. Even though this field of research is still in its infancy, new insights into the regulation of ion homeostasis in immune cells start to emerge. An overview of the current knowledge about the TRPM family members in general, and in the immune context in particular, will be given throughout this review.
Keywords: trpm ion channels, adp-ribose, oxidant stress, nad-glycohydrolases, nudix enzymes, can channels, mg homeostasis, eef a kinase family
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