A warm sensor maintains skin barrier

May 14, 2010

Japanese research group led by Prof. Makoto Tominaga and Dr. Takaaki Sokabe (National Institute for Physiological Sciences: NIPS) found that TRPV4 ion channel in skin keratinocytes is important for formation and maintenance of barrier function to prevent dehydration. Their finding was reported in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

TRPV4 is one of the temperature-sensitive Ca2+-permeable channels, namely "thermoTRPs". It is expressed in skin, acting as a warm sensor (>27oC) to choose preferred environmental temperatures in mammals. The research group sought the alternative function of TRPV4, since skin keratinocytes express another thermoTRP named TRPV3, which also functions as a warm sensor.

TRPV4 was found to interact with b-catenin, an adaptor protein between and E-cadherin in cell-cell junction complex. When TRPV4 was genetically removed from keratinocytes, Ca2+-induced cell-cell junction formation was delayed and immature, resulting in leaky junctions. Consistently, intercellular junction-dependent skin barrier in TRPV4-deficient mice became weak (leaky intercellular pathway) compared to wild-type mice. Interestingly, these phenotypes were TRPV4-specific, but not TRPV3-dependent.

Dr. Sokabe said, "TRPV4 may utilize to provide Ca2+ for cell-cell junction complexes to reinforce their tightness. For instance, dried skin in cold seasons or regions could be due to low activity of TRPV4 caused by low skin temperature. Development of chemicals modulating TRPV4 activity would be useful for barrier repair of damaged skin."

Explore further: Structure of sodium channels different than previously believed

Provided by National Institute for Physiological Sciences

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Bladder cells feel stretch

Aug 07, 2009

Japanese research group led by Prof. Makoto Tominaga and Dr. Takaaki Sokabe (National Institute for Physiological Sciences: NIPS), and Prof. Masayuki Takeda, Dr. Isao Araki and Dr. Tsutomu Mochizuki (Yamanashi Univ.), found ...

ATP is a key to feel warm temperature

Oct 08, 2009

A Japanese research group led by Prof. Makoto Tominaga and Dr. Sravan Mandadi (National Institute for Physiological Sciences: NIPS) found that ATP plays a key role in transmitting temperature information from skin keratinocytes ...

Newly Discovered Gene Mutation Linked to Nerve Diseases

Dec 28, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine have identified mutations in the gene for TRPV4 that cause two related degenerative motor nerve disorders, scapuloperoneal spinal muscular ...

Painful heat sensed by 'painless' in flies

Sep 30, 2008

Japanese research group led by Prof Makoto Tominaga and Dr Takaaki Sokabe, National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS), Japan, found that a small fly, drosophila, has a receptor for noxious heat. The research group ...

Recommended for you

Breakthrough points to new drugs from nature

Apr 16, 2014

Researchers at Griffith University's Eskitis Institute have developed a new technique for discovering natural compounds which could form the basis of novel therapeutic drugs.

World's first successful visualisation of key coenzyme

Apr 16, 2014

Japanese researchers have successfully developed the world's first imaging method for visualising the behaviour of nicotine-adenine dinucleotide derivative (NAD(P)H), a key coenzyme, inside cells. This feat ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.