Although there are numerous reports of the presence of mRNA encoding the transient receptor potential (TRP)-1 protein in animal cells and of the detection of the heterologously expressed TRP-1 protein by Western-blot analysis, it has proved difficult to unequivocally detect endogenous TRP-1 proteins. A combination of immunoprecipitation and Western-blot techniques, employing a polyclonal antibody and a monoclonal antibody respectively, was developed. Using this technique, a band of approx. 80kDa was detected in extracts of H4-IIE rat liver hepatoma cell line and guinea-pig airway smooth muscle (ASM) cells transfected with human TRPC-1 cDNA. In extracts of untransfected H4-IIE cells, ASM cells, rat brain and guinea-pig brain, a band of approx. 92kDa was detected. Reverse transcriptase PCR experiments detected cDNA encoding both the α- and β-isoforms of TRP-1 in H4-IIE cells. Treatment of protein extracts with peptide N-glycosidase F indicated that the 92kDa band represents an N-glycosylated protein. Western blots conducted with a commercial polyclonal anti-(TRP-1) antibody (Alm) detected a band of 120kDa in extracts of H4-IIE cells and guinea-pig ASM cells. A combination of immunoprecipitation and Western-blotting techniques with the Alm antibody did not detect any bands at 92kDa or 120kDa in extracts of H4-IIE and ASM cells. It is concluded that (a) the 92-kDa band detected in untransfected H4-IIE and ASM cells corresponds to the N-glycosylated β-isoform of endogenous TRP-1, (b) the combined immunoprecipitation and Western-blot approach, employing two different antibodies, provides a reliable and specific procedure for detecting endogenous TRP-1 proteins, and (c) that caution is required in developing and utilizing anti-(TRP-1) antibodies.

Abbreviations used: ASM, airway smooth muscle; DMEM, Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium; NP40, Nonidet P40; PNGase F, peptide N-glycosidase F; RT-PCR, reverse-transcriptase PCR; TRP, transient receptor potential; hTRPC-1, human TRPC-1; TRPL, TRP-like.

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Author notes

1

These authors contributed equally to the work.