The role of TRP proteins for mast cell activation

(Project leader: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Marc Freichel)


Ca2+ influx is essential for mast cell activation induced by various ligands. It does not only rely on the opening of Ca2+-conducting channels but depends critically on the membrane potential. TRP channels form cation entry channels thereby either contributing to Ca2+ entry or depolarisation. Recently, we showed that TRPM4 acts as a Ca2+-activated non-selective cation channel and critically determines the driving force for Ca2+ influx in mast cells following FcεRI-stimulation. Activated Trpm4–/– cells released excessive histamine and tumor necrosis factor leading to a more severe acute anaphylactic response in the skin (Vennekens et al., Nature Immunology 8: 312-20, 2007; Freichel et al., Front Immunol. 3:150, 2012). In this project we will expand our analysis on additional TRP proteins expressed primary mast cells and the assembly of TRP channel complexes and analyse their role for Ca2+ entry and mast cell mediated immune functions using TRP-deficient mouse lines.

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Dr. Volodymyr Tsvilovskyy
Dr. Ulrich Kriebs
Dipl.Biol. Julia Geminn
Christin Matka

Contact information:

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Marc Freichel
Pharmakologisches Institut
Abt. Allgemeine Pharmakologie
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 366
D-69120 Heidelberg

Tel.: +49-6221-54-86861
Fax: +49-6221-54-8644

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