Article of Michael Raghunath's research group published in FASEB J with front page cover

TRP channels in brown and white adipogenesis from human progenitors: new therapeutic targets and the caveats associated with the common antibiotic, streptomycin.

Michael Raghunath’s group published an article FASEB J that shows that transient receptor potential channels are expressed in brown differentiation of human progenitor cells from bone marrow and the stromal vascular fraction of subcutaneous adipose tissue. They found two receptors particularly involved in browning, namely the cold receptor TRPM8 which also responds to menthol, and TRP3. The new finding on TRPM8 is that it appears important in the brown differentiation steps rather than in in the activation of a mature brown fat cell. TRP3 seems to be involved in white adipogenesis; surprisingly it has been described as the receptor for sour taste on the tongue. Its current role in adipogenesis awaits further unravelling. Finally, the authors show that the common antibiotic culture medium additive streptomycin blocks TRPM8 and therefore prevents brown differentiation. This finding has particular impact on the way culture media should be employed and that these additives can skew stem cell differentiation data in vitro.

Published: The FASEB Journal, August 2017, Volume 31, Number 8: 3251-3266.