trp, a novel mammalian gene family essential for agonist-activated capacitative Ca2+ entry.
SUMMARY: Capacitative calcium entry (CCE) describes CA2+ influx into cells that replenishes CA2+ stores emptied through the action of IP3 and other agents. It is an essential component of cellular responses to many hormones and growth factors. The molecular basis of this form of Ca2+ entry is complex and may involve more than one type of channel. Studies on visual signal transduction in Drosophila led to the hypothesis that a protein encoded in trp may be a component of CCE channels. We reported the existence of six trp-related genes in the mouse genome. Expression in L cells of small portions of these genes in antisense orientation suppressed CCE. Expression in COS cells of two full-length cDNAs encoding human trp homologs, Htrp1 and Htrp3, increased CCE. This identifies mammalian gene products that participate in CCE. We propose that trp homologs are subunits of CCE channels, not unlike those of classical voltage-gated ion channels.