Transient receptor potential, Melastatin-2 (TRPM2) blockade: perspectives on potential novel clinical utility in cancer
A recent article published in Scientific Reports presents compelling evidence that a member of the transient receptor potential melastatin (TRPM) family of plasma membrane ion channels has essential roles in the survival and migration of tongue carcinoma cells. The work thus identifies the targeting of this ion channel, TRPM2, as a potential strategy to selectively treat oral cancer. Previously, TRPM2 was reported to have similar roles in other types of cancer, such as breast cancer, metastatic melanoma, prostate cancer, and neuroblastoma. Accordingly, this study offers further evidence that multiple types of cancer appear to utilize TRPM2 in a unique fashion, most likely in order to survive and proliferate. Intriguingly, this alternative use of TRPM2 appears to occur in the nuclei of these cancer cells. Elucidating this nuclear role and further determining the extent of this nuclear function of TRPM2 in other cancers may provide the data necessary to selectively and efficaciously treat human cancers in the future.