Table 2

Expression and function of human and mouse TRP channels

Channel subunit

Chromosomal location

Cellular expression

Physiological functions

TRPC subfamily


Human: 3q22-q24; mouse: 9 E4


Generation of the excitatory postsynaptic potential in brain; netrin-1 and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-mediated growth cone guidance; connections to sleep/wakefulness states, alertness and appetite; brain development (together with TRPC5); glutamate signaling in hippocampus; regulation of smooth muscle contraction pulmonary system; platelet function; skeletal muscle differentiation; mechano-sensation?


Human: 11p15.4-p15.3 (pseudogene); mouse: 7 F1

Dendritic tips of the vomeronasal sensory neurons and spermatozoa (mouse)

Pheromone detection that regulates sexual and social behaviors, such as gender recognition and male-male aggression (mouse)


Human: 4q25-q27; mouse: 3 B

Central nervous system (CNS) and smooth and cardiac muscle cells

BDNF-mediated growth cone guidance (TRPC1-independent); spine formation in brain; γ-aminobutyric acid signaling in striatum; astrocyte function; moto-control in cerebellum; cerebral vaso-motor control; erythropoietin function; functional coupling to orexin receptor


Human: 13q13.1-q13.2; mouse: 3 D

Placenta, adrenal gland, CNS, endothelium, smooth muscle cells, kidney, intestinal cells of Cajal

Endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation and regulation of transcellular permeation of the endothelial layer; cell-cell adhesion in endothelium through junctional proteins; hypoxia sensing together with TRPC1


Human: Xq23-q24; mouse: X F2

Brain, especially in fetal brain and very weak expression in other tissues

Brain development (together with TRPC1); neurite growth, growth cone guidance and morphology; anxiety, fear and reward processing in nucleus accumbens


Human: 11q21-q22; mouse: 9 A1

Smooth muscle cells, lung, brain, placenta, kidney (podocyte foot processes), spleen, ovary and small intestine, neutrophils

Vaso-motor regulation; α1 signaling in smooth muscle; smooth muscle proliferation; angiogenesis; endocannabinoid signaling in the brain; promotion of dendrite growth and synapse forming in the developing brain; glomerular filter integrity in the kidney; platelet function; redox sensor; mechano-sensor?


Human: 5q31.2; mouse: 13 B2

Pituitary glands, kidney and CNS (human); heart and lung; weak in CNS and kidney (mouse)

Controls respiratory rhythm activity in pre-Bötzinger complex in the brain

TRPV subfamily


Human: 17p13.3; mouse: 11 B3

Dorsal root and trigeminal ganglia; spinal and peripheral nerve terminals, brain, skin (cutaneous sensory nerve fibers, mast cells, epidermal keratinocytes, dermal blood vessels, the inner root sheet and the infundibulum of hair follicles, differentiated sebocytes, sweat gland ducts, and the secretory portion of eccrine sweat glands), pancreas, bladder (urothelium, smooth muscle, blood vessels and neurons)

Thermo-sensation (heat); autonomic thermoregulation; nociception; pain management; synaptic plasticity in the brain (long-term depression); endocannabinoid signaling in the brain; food intake regulation; growth cone guidance in the brain; osmosensing in the brain by a particular TRPV1 variant; multiple functions in the gut


Human: 17p11.2; mouse: 11 B2

Dorsal root ganglia and CNS neurons, gastro-intestinal tract, spleen, mast cells, smooth, cardiac and skeletal muscle cells

Thermo-sensation (noxious heat); nociception; axon outgrowth in spinal motor neurons; critical for phagocytosis in macrophages


Human: 17p13.3; mouse: 11 B4

Dorsal root and trigeminal ganglion neurons, brain, keratinocytes, hair follicles, tongue and testis

Thermo-sensation (moderate heat); nociception; skin integrity, wound healing, hair growth and sebocyte function


Human: 12q24.1; mouse: 5 F

CNS (large neurons), trigeminal ganglia, heart, liver, kidney, skin (keratinocytes), osteoblasts, blood vessels (endothelium), bladder (urothelium) and testis, cochlea (inner and outer hair cells, marginal cells of the cochlear stria vascularis), kidney (epithelial cells of tubules and glomeruli)

Thermo-sensation (moderate heat); mechano-sensation; osmo-sensation; nociception; modulation of cell migration; endothelium vaso-motor control and possible shear stress sensor; mechano-receptor in urothelium (important for voiding control); osteogenesis and osteoclast function; important in human bone and neurodegenerative diseases; control adherens junctions in skin; cochlea


Human: 7q35; mouse: 6 B2

High in kidney; lower in gastro-intestinal tract, pancreas, testis, prostate, placenta, brain and salivary gland

Ca2+ (re)absorption channel in kidney and intestines


Human: 7q33-q34; mouse: 6 B2

High in gastro-intestinal tract; lower in kidney, pancreas, testis, prostate, placenta, brain and salivary gland

Ca2+ (re)absorption channel in intestines and kidney; key player in Ca2+/1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3-induced keratinocyte development in the skin

TRPM subfamily


Human: 15q13-q14; mouse: 7 C

Skin melanocytes, retinal bipolar ganglia

Light response in ON bipolar retinal ganglia cells; tumor repressor in melanoma cells


Human: 21q22.3; mouse: 10 C1

Brain, bone marrow, peripheral blood cells (neutrophils), lung, spleen, eye, heart and liver

Oxidative and nitrosative stress response; activation of granulocytes; pancreas insulin release; critical in apoptosis


Human: 9q21.13; mouse: 19 C1

Primarily in kidney; lower in brain, sensory neurons, testis, ovary, pancreas and spinal cord

Steroid hormone (pregnanolon) sensor; possible regulator in endocrine pancreas, glia cells and cerebellar Purkinje cells


Human: 19q13.32; mouse: 7 B4

Heart, exo- and endocrine pancreas, mast cells, smooth muscle, macula densa, lung and placenta

Mast cell degranulation (histamine release) and migration as a critical Ca-impermeable cation channel regulating Ca2+ entry; catecholamine release from chromaffin cells; vasopressin release from paraventricular and supraoptic hypothalamic nuclei


Human: 11p15.5; mouse: 7 F5

Tongue (taste bud cells), lungs, testis, digestive system, brain, endocrine pancreas

Taste (sweet, bitter, umami); positive regulator of glucose-induced insulin release; trigeminal nasal chemoreception


Human: 9q21.13; mouse: 19 B

Kidney, colon and intestine

Mg2+ homeostasis and reabsorption in kidney and intestine


Human: 15q21; mouse: 2 F2


Mg2+ homeostasis and reabsorption in kidney and intestine; cell cycle control; gastrulation; development of thymocytes (thymopoiesis); cell migration; shear stress sensor?; skeletogenesis?


Human: 2q37.1; mouse: 1 C5

Sensory dorsal root and trigeminal ganglia neurons, nodose ganglion cells innervating the upper gut, vascular smooth muscle cells, liver, gastric fundus, bladder (urothelium) and different tissues of the male genital tract; high in tumors from prostate, breast, colon, lung and skin

Thermo-sensation (cold); sperm motility, acrosome reaction

TRPA1 subfamily


Human: 8q13; mouse: 1 A3

Hair cells, sensory dorsal root and trigeminal ganglia neurons, fibroblasts

Thermo-sensation (noxious cold); the most versatile chemo-sensor; mechano-sensation?; nociception; olfactory responses; cold-induced contraction in colon and bladder

TRPML subfamily


Human: 19p13.3-13.2; mouse: 8 A1.1

Ubiquitous; intracellular ion channel

Essential for endocytosis and endosomal/lysosomal function; regulation of autophagy


Human: 1p22; mouse: 3 H3

Ubiquitous; intracellular ion channel

Endosomal/lysosomal function


Human: 1p22.3; mouse: 3 H3

Hair cells (stria vascularis, stereocilia); intracellular ion channel

Endosomal/lysosomal function; autophagy; hair cell maturation?

TRPP subfamily


Human: 4q22; mouse: 5 E4

Ubiquitous; mostly in ovary, fetal and adult kidney, testis, and small intestine in both motile and primary cilia

Cardiac, skeletal and renal development; integrity of the vessel wall; negative regulator of endogenous mechano-sensitive channels; mechano-receptor and flow-sensor in endothelium; apoptosis


Human: 10q24-q25; mouse: 19 D1

Adult heart, skeletal muscle, brain, spleen, testis, retina and liver

Renal development; part of putative sour sensor


Human: 5q31; mouse: 18 B3

Testis, brain and kidney


BDNF, brain-derived neurotrophic factor; CNS, central nervous system.

Nilius and Owsianik Genome Biology 2011 12:218   doi:10.1186/gb-2011-12-3-218