Expression and Function of TRP Channels in Liver Cells
Grigori Y. Rychkov and Gregory J. Barritt
The liver plays a central role in whole body homeostasis by mediating the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, drugs and xenobiotic compounds, and bile acid and protein secretion. Hepatocytes together with endothelial cells, Kupffer cells, smooth muscle cells, stellate and oval cells comprise the functioning liver. Many members of the TRP family of proteins are expressed in hepatocytes. However, knowledge of their cellular functions is limited. There is some evidence which suggests the involvement of TRPC1 in volume control, TRPV1 and V4 in cell migration, TRPC6 and TRPM7 in cell proliferation, and TRPPM in lysosomal Ca2+ release. Altered expression of some TRP proteins, including TRPC6, TRPM2 and TRPV1, in tumorigenic cell lines may play roles in the development and progression of hepatocellular carcinoma and metastatic liver cancers. It is likely that future experiments will define important roles for other TRP proteins in the cellular functions of hepatocytes and other cell types of which the liver is composed.