Signaling mechanism for receptor-activated canonical transient receptor potential 3 (TRPC3) channels

Mohamed Trebak, Gary St J. Bird, Richard R. McKay, Lutz Birnbaumer, James W. Putney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

149 Scopus citations


Canonical transient receptor potential 3 (TRPC3) is a receptor-activated, calcium permeant, non-selective cation channel. TRPC3 has been shown to interact physically with the N-terminal domain of the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor, consistent with a "conformational coupling" mechanism for its activation. Here we show that low concentrations of agonists that fail to produce levels of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate sufficient to induce Ca2+ release from intracellular stores substantially activate TRPC3. By several experimental approaches, we demonstrate that neither inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate nor G proteins are required for TRPC3 activation. However, diacylglycerols were sufficient to activate TRPC3 in a protein kinase C-independent manner. Surface receptor agonists and exogenously applied diacylglycerols were not additive in activating TRPC3. In addition, inhibition of metabolism of diacylglycerol slowed the reversal of receptor-dependent TRPC3 activation. We conclude that receptor-mediated activation of phospholipase C in intact cells activates TRPC3 via diacylglycerol production, independently of G proteins, protein kinase C, or inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16244-16252
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 2 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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