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The Emerging Pharmacology of TRPM8 Channels: Hidden Therapeutic Potential Underneath a Cold Surface

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Transient receptor potential melastatin 8 (TRPM8) is a non-selective cation channel activated by cold temperature and cooling agents. TRPM8 is expressed in a subpopulation of cold-sensitive sensory neurons, as well as in the male urogenital system. TRPM8 is markedly upregulated in prostate cancer and in other tumors such as breast adenocarcinoma and melanoma. Moreover, recent studies suggest the potential involvement of TRPM8 channels in the pathophysiology of cold nociception and cold allodynia. This has led to a strong interest in the pursuit of novel modulators of TRPM8 channels. This review highlights our current knowledge of TRPM8 pharmacology and modulation mechanisms, detailing structural features important for TRPM8 gating by different agonists, the mechanism of antagonism by different compounds and the potential relevance of TRPM8 for treatment of various pathological conditions.

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  • Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Each issue of the journal contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics in both pre-clinical and clinical areas of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology is an essential journal for academic, clinical, government and pharmaceutical scientists who wish to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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