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Rosenbaum, Tamara; Morales-Lazaro, Sara L; Islas, Leon D (2022)

TRP CHANNELS: A JOURNEY TOWARDS A MOLECULAR UNDERSTANDING OF PAIN

Nat Rev Neurosci ():
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The perception of nociceptive signals, which are translated into pain, plays a fundamental role in the survival of organisms. Because pain is linked to a negative sensation, animals learn to avoid noxious signals. These signals are detected by receptors, which include some members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) family of ion channels that act as transducers of exogenous and endogenous noxious cues. These proteins have been in the focus of the field of physiology for several years, and much knowledge of how they regulate the function of the cell types and organs where they are expressed has been acquired. The last decade has been especially exciting because the 'resolution revolution' has allowed us to learn the molecular intimacies of TRP channels using cryogenic electron microscopy. These findings, in combination with functional studies, have provided insights into the role played by these channels in the generation and maintenance of pain.