TRPC channels are a subset of the transient receptor potential (TRP) proteins widely expressed in mammalian cells. They are thought to be primarily involved in determining calcium or sodium entry and have broad-ranging functions that include regulation of cell proliferation, motility and contraction. The channels do not respond to a single stimulator but rather are activated or modulated by a multiplicity of factors, potentially existing as integrators at the plasma membrane. This review considers the sensitivity of TRPCs to lipid factors, with focus on sensitivities to diacylglycerols, lysophospholipids, arachidonic acid and its metabolites, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), cholesterol and derivatives, and other lipid factors such as gangliosides. Promiscuous and selective lipid-sensing are apparent. In many cases the lipids stimulate channel function or increase insertion of channels in the membrane. Both direct and indirect (receptor-dependent) lipid effects are evident. Although information is limited, the lipid profiles are consistent with TRPCs having close working relationships with phospholipase C and A2 enzymes. We need much more information about lipid-sensing by TRPCs if we are to fully appreciate its significance, but the available data suggest that lipid-sensing is a key, but not exclusive, aspect of TRPC biology.
- Cationic channel
- Transient receptor potential