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The transient receptor potential melastatin type 6 (TRPM6) ion channel regulates the body Mg(2+) homeostasis by mediating transcellular Mg(2+) absorption in kidney and intestine. Here, the P2X4 receptor was established as a novel regulator of TRPM6 activity. Using RT-qPCR on a mouse tissue panel, P2x4 and P2x6 were shown to be expressed in the epithelium of the colon and of the kidney, two major sites of Mg(2+) reabsorption. While P2x4 was highly expressed in the colon, both P2x4 and P2x6 mRNA were prominently expressed in the distal convoluted tubule segment of the kidney, a segment with high Trpm6 expression. Using whole-cell patch clamp, an inhibitory role of P2X4 on TRPM6 activity was determined. Expression of P2X6, which does not form functional channels in mammalian cells, did not affect the function of TRPM6. The inhibition was dependent on the activity of P2X4, since a P2X4 mutant with altered ATP sensitivity was not able to inhibit TRPM6. Additionally, P2X4 was unable to inhibit TRPM7, a close homologue of TRPM6, suggesting that the inhibition is specific for TRPM6. To identify the intracellular signaling molecules that mediate the P2X4-dependent inhibition of TRPM6, the cells were treated with inhibitors of protein kinase c, protein kinase a, and phosphoinositide 3-kinase. However, none of these inhibitors prevented the inhibition of TRPM6 by P2X4. In conclusion, we propose that P2X4 receptor mediated purinergic signaling is a new regulatory mechanism of TRPM6 Mg(2+) channels.

Original publication




Journal article


Pflugers Arch

Publication Date





1941 - 1952


Animals, Colon, Epithelial Cells, HEK293 Cells, Humans, Kidney Tubules, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Protein Kinase Inhibitors, Receptors, Purinergic P2X4, Signal Transduction, TRPM Cation Channels