The study of the structure–function relationship of ion channels has been one of the most challenging goals in contemporary physiology. Revelation of the three-dimensional (3D) structure of ion channels has facilitated our understanding of many of the submolecular mechanisms inside ion channels, such as selective permeability, voltage dependency, agonist binding, and inter-subunit multimerization. Identifying the structure–function relationship of the ion channels is clinically important as well since only such knowledge can imbue potential therapeutics with practical possibilities. In a sense, recent advances in the understanding of the structure–relationship of transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) channels look promising since human TRPC channels are calcium-permeable, non-selective cation channels expressed in many tissues such as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, kidney, heart, vasculature, and brain. TRPC channels are known to regulate GI contractility and motility, pulmonary hypertension, right ventricular hypertrophy, podocyte injury, seizure, fear, anxiety-like behavior, and many others. In this article, we tried to elaborate recent findings of Cryo-EM (cryogenic-electron microscopy) based structural information of TRPC 4 and 5 channels and domain-specific functions of the channel, such as G-protein mediated activation mechanism, extracellular modification of the channel, homo/hetero-tetramerization, and pharmacological gating mechanisms.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited