In 1969, a Drosophila melanogaster mutant was described that exhibits a defect in the response of photoreceptor cells to sustained light stimulation of moderate to high intensities, which was later named “transient receptor potential” or trp. The cDNA of the mutated gene was cloned in 1989 and subsequently shown, by patch-clamping Drosophila photoreceptor cells, to code for ligand-gated and Ca2+-permeable ion channels. As the first identified member of such a class of ion channels, up to then completely elusive, these discoveries triggered an intense search for mammalian homologues of the Drosophila TRP channel. After the initial, quick discovery of the seven members of the TRPC (C for canonical or classical) subfamily (displaying the highest homology with the original Drosophila...
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