Structure of the cold- and menthol-sensing ion channel TRPM8

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  12 Jan 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6372, pp. 237-241
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan4325

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Architecture of the TRPM subfamily

Transient receptor potential melastatin (TRPM) ion channels constitute the largest TRP subfamily and are involved in many physiological processes. TRPM8 is the primary cold and menthol sensor, and TRPM4 is associated with cardiovascular disorders. Yin et al. and Autzen et al. shed light on the general architecture of the TRPM subfamily by solving the structures of TRPM8 and TRPM4, respectively (see the Perspective by Bae et al.). The three-layered architecture of the TRPM8 channel provides the framework for understanding the mechanisms of cold and menthol sensing. The two distinct closed states of TRPM4, with and without calcium, reveal a calcium-binding site and calcium-binding-induced conformational changes.

Science, this issue p. 237, p. 228; see also p. 160


Transient receptor potential melastatin (TRPM) cation channels are polymodal sensors that are involved in a variety of physiological processes. Within the TRPM family, member 8 (TRPM8) is the primary cold and menthol sensor in humans. We determined the cryo–electron microscopy structure of the full-length TRPM8 from the collared flycatcher at an overall resolution of ~4.1 ångstroms. Our TRPM8 structure reveals a three-layered architecture. The amino-terminal domain with a fold distinct among known TRP structures, together with the carboxyl-terminal region, forms a large two-layered cytosolic ring that extensively interacts with the transmembrane channel layer. The structure suggests that the menthol-binding site is located within the voltage-sensor–like domain and thus provides a structural glimpse of the design principle of the molecular transducer for cold and menthol sensation.

View Full Text