In pursuit of small molecule chemistry for calcium-permeable non-selective TRPC channels -- mirage or pot of gold?
The primary purpose of this review is to address the progress towards small molecule modulators of human Transient Receptor Potential Canonical proteins (TRPC1, TRPC3, TRPC4, TRPC5, TRPC6 and TRPC7). These proteins generate channels for calcium and sodium ion entry. They are relevant to many mammalian cell types including acinar gland cells, adipocytes, astrocytes, cardiac myocytes, cochlea hair cells, endothelial cells, epithelial cells, fibroblasts, hepatocytes, keratinocytes, leukocytes, mast cells, mesangial cells, neurones, osteoblasts, osteoclasts, platelets, podocytes, smooth muscle cells, skeletal muscle and tumour cells. There are broad-ranging positive roles of the channels in cell adhesion, migration, proliferation, survival and turning, vascular permeability, hypertrophy, wound-healing, hypo-adiponectinaemia, angiogenesis, neointimal hyperplasia, oedema, thrombosis, muscle endurance, lung hyper-responsiveness, glomerular filtration, gastrointestinal motility, pancreatitis, seizure, innate fear, motor coordination, saliva secretion, mast cell degranulation, cancer cell drug resistance, survival after myocardial infarction, efferocytosis, hypo-matrix metalloproteinase, vasoconstriction and vasodilatation. Known small molecule stimulators of the channels include hyperforin, genistein and rosiglitazone, but there is more progress with inhibitors, some of which have promising potency and selectivity. The inhibitors include 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate, 2-aminoquinolines, 2-aminothiazoles, fatty acids, isothiourea derivatives, naphthalene sulfonamides, N-phenylanthranilic acids, phenylethylimidazoles, piperazine/piperidine analogues, polyphenols, pyrazoles and steroids. A few of these agents are starting to be useful as tools for determining the physiological and pathophysiological functions of TRPC channels. We suggest that the pursuit of small molecule modulators for TRPC channels is important but that it requires substantial additional effort and investment before we can reap the rewards of highly potent and selective pharmacological modulators.