TRPV4: A trigger of pathological RhoA activation in neurological disease

Anna M. Bagnell, Charlotte J. Sumner, Brett A. McCray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4), a member of the TRP superfamily, is a broadly expressed, cell surface-localized cation channel that is activated by a variety of environmental stimuli. Importantly, TRPV4 has been increasingly implicated in the regulation of cellular morphology. Here we propose that TRPV4 and the cytoskeletal remodeling small GTPase RhoA together constitute an environmentally sensitive signaling complex that contributes to pathological cell cytoskeletal alterations during neurological injury and disease. Supporting this hypothesis is our recent work demonstrating direct physical and bidirectional functional interactions of TRPV4 with RhoA, which can lead to activation of RhoA and reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton. Furthermore, a confluence of evidence implicates TRPV4 and/or RhoA in pathological responses triggered by a range of acute neurological insults ranging from stroke to traumatic injury. While initiated by a variety of insults, TRPV4–RhoA signaling may represent a common pathway that disrupts axonal regeneration and blood–brain barrier integrity. These insights also suggest that TRPV4 inhibition may represent a safe, feasible, and precise therapeutic strategy for limiting pathological TRPV4–RhoA activation in a range of neurological diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2100288
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • RhoA
  • TRPV4
  • cytoskeleton
  • peripheral neuropathy
  • spinal cord injury
  • stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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