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A paradigm of thermal adaptation in penguins and elephants by tuning cold activation in TRPM8
2020-04-01 | Author: | From:
A paradigm of thermal adaptation in penguins and elephants by tuning cold activation in TRPM8. PNAS, 2020.

Title:Yang SL, Lu XC, Wang YF, Xu LZ, Chen XY, Yang F, Lai R.

Author:Liu W, Li W, Cai X, Yang Z, Li H, Su X, Song M, Zhou DS, Li X, Zhang C, Shao M, Zhang L, Yang Y, Zhang Y, Zhao J, Chang H, Yao YG, Fang Y, Lv L, Li M, Xiao X.

Publication Name: PNAS

Pub Year:2020



Abstract:To adapt to habitat temperature, vertebrates have developed sophisticated physiological and ecological mechanisms through evolution. Transient receptor potential melastatin 8 (TRPM8) serves as the primary sensor for cold. However, how cold activates TRPM8 and how this sensor is tuned for thermal adaptation remain largely unknown. Here we established a molecular framework of how cold is sensed in TRPM8 with a combination of patch-clamp recording, unnatural amino acid imaging, and structural modeling. We first observed that the maximum cold activation of TRPM8 in eight different vertebrates (i.e., African elephant and emperor penguin) with distinct side-chain hydrophobicity (SCH) in the pore domain (PD) is tuned to match their habitat temperature. We further showed that altering SCH for residues in the PD with solvent-accessibility changes leads to specific tuning of the cold response in TRPM8. We also observed that knockin mice expressing the penguin's TRPM8 exhibited remarkable tolerance to cold. Together, our findings suggest a paradigm of thermal adaptation in vertebrates, where the evolutionary tuning of the cold activation in the TRPM8 ion channel through altering SCH and solvent accessibility in its PD largely contributes to the setting of the cold-sensitive/tolerant phenotype.

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