Melastatin-related Transient Receptor Potential 6 and 7 (TRPM6 and TRPM7) are cation
channels with the almost unique trait of each possessing a kinase domain in its C terminus. Both the
transmembrane pore and kinase are functional, and have been characterized experimentally, but
whether one domain regulates the function of the other, or vice versa has remained largely unsettled.
These proteins play important physiological roles in magnesium homeostasis and other cellular
processes such as cell death, proliferation, differentiation and migration, and are consequently
associated with several types of pathologies. Recently, studies performed in mice expressing a TRPM7 kinase-dead
mutant suggest that the enzyme may function as part of a Mg2+ sensor and transducer of signaling pathways during
stressful environmental conditions. Additionally, it has been shown that TRPM7's kinase can act on its own in chromatin
remodeling processes. Thus, the recent work in this field has provided new insights into the function of these interesting
proteins and how they might be involved in human disease.
Keywords: Alpha-kinase, chromatin remodeling, Mg2+ homeostasis, Mg2+ sensing, transcription factors, TRPM
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