Purpose of review
This review aims to describe the recent findings concerning novel Mg2+ transporters as putative interesting players in renal transepithelial Mg2+ transport.
So far, the best characterized Mg2+ transport proteins are found in prokaryotes and yeast cells. In recent years, phylogenetic analysis and differential gene expression studies have led to the identification of numerous genes associated with Mg2+ transport in eukaryotes. In addition to the well known transient receptor potential channel melastatin (TRPM), members 6 and 7, and the mitochondrial transporter Mrs2, additional Mg2+-transporting protein families can be acknowledged including the magnesium (Mag) transporters, the solute carrier (SLC) family 41 members, ancient conserved domain proteins (ACDP), nonimprinted in Prader-Willi/Angelman syndrome (NIPA) proteins, membrane Mg2+ transporters (MMgT) and huntingtin-interacting protein 14 (HIP14).
The identification of several mammalian proteins involved in Mg2+ transport highlights the physiological importance of this cation and its tight regulation in numerous tissues. Further investigation of these transporters might represent a key tool to complement our current knowledge about renal Mg2+ handling.