Expression of the Transient Receptor Potential 4 Channel Protein in Human Gingival Keratinocytes
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The TRP4 (transient receptor potential) protein channel is one of seven similar channels known to exist in a variety of human cell types. These proteins are part of a family of proteins called TRP proteins that were first discovered in the eye of Drosophila. TRP proteins, classified as non-selective cationic channels, have a large functional diversity, and share a region of highly conserved amino acids known as the TRP domain. Some members of this family, such as TRP4, are suspected to be responsible for store operated Ca2+ entry into the cell. Ca2+ enters non-excitable cells, such as epithelial and kidney cells, through calcium release activated calcium current channels, or Icracs. Recently a Ca2+ entry channel was discovered in human gingival keratinocytes (HGK cells), which led to the search for the proteins that are responsible for this channel. The TRP4 protein has been widely reported to be part of the Icrac channel. In this study we investigated these reports by identifying the TRP 4 gene by using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and by investigating the gene's expression as a TRP channel protein in the membrane by using Western Blot in undifferentiated and differentiated HGK cells. The results of this study indicate that the TRP4 gene is expressed as TRP4 channel protein in the membrane of HGK cells and that TRP4 channel expression decreases as HGK cells differentiate.