Appu K Singh
Articles written in Resonance – Journal of Science Education
Volume 26 Issue 12 December 2021 pp 1649-1661 General Article
Our bodies sense changes in temperature, pain, and touch through ion channel proteins called Transient Receptor Potential (TRPs) and Piezos that are expressed in the sensory neurons. TRPs are polymodal sensors that can detect changes in temperature, pH, and pungent chemicals to elicit the sensation of itch or burning pain. Piezo channels are predominantly mechanosensitive that open upon the application of physical force, enabling sensations of change in pressure, stretch, or touch. These ion channels are important targets for designing therapeutics for diseases that cause chronic pain. The scientists who discovered these receptors---David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian--were awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. In this brief review, we describe how TRPs and Piezo channels were discovered as the molecular sensors of temperature change and mechanical stimuli.
Volume 28 | Issue 9