TRP (transient receptor potential) cationic channels are key molecules that are involved in a variety of diverse biological processes ranging from fertility to osmosensation and nociception. Increasing our knowledge of these channels will help us to understand a range of physiological and pathogenic processes, as well as highlighting potential therapeutic drug targets. The founding members of the TRP family, Drosophila TRP and TRPL (TRP-like) proteins, were identified within the last two decades and there has been a subsequent explosion in the number and type of TRP channel described. Although information is accumulating as to the function of some of the TRP channels, the activation and inactivation mechanisms, structure, and interacting proteins of many, if not most, are awaiting elucidation. The Cell and Molecular Biology of TRP Channels Meeting held at the University of Bath included speakers working on a number of the different subfamilies of TRP channels and provided a basis for highlighting both similarities and differences between these groups. As the TRP channels mediate diverse functions, this meeting also brought together an audience with wide-ranging research interests, including biochemistry, cell biology, physiology and neuroscience, and inspired lively discussion on the issues reviewed herein.

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