The mammalian protein responsible for Ca2+ release-activated current (Icrac) may be homologous to the Drosophila protein designated trp. Thus the activity of trp, and another Drosophila protein designated trp-like or trpl, may be linked to depletion of the internal Ca2+ store via the so-called capacitative Ca2+ entry mechanism. To test this hypothesis, the effect of thapsigargin, a selective inhibitor of the endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ pump, on trp- and trpl-induced whole cell membrane current was determined using the baculovirus Sf9 insect cell expression system. The results demonstrate that trp and trpl form Ca(2+)-permeable cation channels. The trpl encodes a nonselective cation channel that is constitutively active under basal nonstimulated conditions and is unaffected by thapsigargin, whereas trp is more selective for Ca2+ than Na+ and is activated by depletion of the internal Ca2+ store. Although evaluation of cation selectivity suggests that trp is not identical to the channel responsible for Icrac, these channels must share some structural feature(s) since both are activated by thapsigargin. A unique proline-rich region in the COOH-terminal tail of trp, which is absent in trpl, may be necessary for capacitative Ca2+ entry.
- Copyright © 1994 the American Physiological Society