The pivotal role of TRP channels in homeostasis and diseases throughout the gastrointestinal tract

Alessandro Alaimo*, Josep Rubert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The transient receptor potential (TRP) channels superfamily are a large group of proteins that play crucial roles in cellular processes. For example, these cation channels act as sensors in the detection and transduction of stimuli of temperature, small molecules, voltage, pH, and mechanical constrains. Over the past decades, different members of the TRP channels have been identified in the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract playing multiple modulatory roles. Noteworthy, TRPs support critical functions related to the taste perception, mechanosensation, and pain. They also participate in the modulation of motility and secretions of the human gut. Last but not least, altered expression or activity and mutations in the TRP genes are often related to a wide range of disorders of the gut epithelium, including inflammatory bowel disease, fibrosis, visceral hyperalgesia, irritable bowel syndrome, and colorectal cancer. TRP channels could therefore be promising drug targets for the treatment of GI malignancies. This review aims at providing a comprehensive picture of the most recent advances highlighting the expression and function of TRP channels in the GI tract, and secondly, the description of the potential roles of TRPs in relevant disorders is discussed reporting our standpoint on GI tract–TRP channels interactions

Original languageEnglish
Article number5277
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Gastrointestinal tract
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Microbioma
  • Sensory transduction
  • Transient receptor potential ion channels
  • Visceral hypersensitivity


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