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In JoVE (3)

Other Publications (89)

Articles by Jianjie Ma in JoVE

 JoVE Biology

Visualization of MG53-mediated Cell Membrane Repair Using in vivo and in vitro Systems

1Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School


JoVE 2717

Described here are protocols used to visualize the dynamic process of MG53-mediated cell membrane repair in whole animals and at the cellular level. These methods can be applied to investigate the cell biology of plasma membrane resealing and regenerative medicine.

 JoVE Biology

Ex Vivo Assessment of Contractility, Fatigability and Alternans in Isolated Skeletal Muscles

1Department of Physiology and Biophysics, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 2Muscle Biology Research Group, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 3Pharmacology division, College of Pharmacy, DHLRI, Ohio State University


JoVE 4198

We describe a method to directly measure muscle force, muscle power, contractile kinetics and fatigability of isolated skeletal muscles in an in vitro system using field stimulation. Valuable information on Ca2+ handling properties and contractile machinery of the muscle can be obtained using different stimulating protocols.

 JoVE Biology

Assessment of Calcium Sparks in Intact Skeletal Muscle Fibers

1Department of Surgery, Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, 2Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, 3Department of Molecular Biophysics and Physiology, Rush University Medical Center, 4Department of Internal Medicine, Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center


JoVE 50898

Described here is a method to directly measure calcium sparks, the elementary units of Ca2+ release from sarcoplasmic reticulum in intact skeletal muscle fibers. This method utilizes osmotic-stress-mediated triggering of Ca2+ release from ryanodine receptor in isolated muscle fibers. The dynamics and homeostatic capacity of intracellular Ca2+ signaling can be employed to assess muscle function in health and disease.

Other articles by Jianjie Ma on PubMed

Stimulatory and Inhibitory Functions of the R Domain on CFTR Chloride Channel

CFTR is a chloride channel whose gating process involves coordinated interactions among the regulatory (R) domain and the nucleotide-binding folds (NBFs). Protein kinase A phosphorylation of serine residues renders the R domain from inhibitory to stimulatory and enables ATP binding and hydrolysis at the NBFs, which in turn control opening and closing of the chloride channel.

Ca(2+)-dependent Interaction Between FKBP12 and Calcineurin Regulates Activity of the Ca(2+) Release Channel in Skeletal Muscle

Calcineurin is a Ca(2+) and calmodulin-dependent protein phosphatase with diverse cellular functions. Here we examined the physical and functional interactions between calcineurin and ryanodine receptor (RyR) in a C2C12 cell line derived from mouse skeletal muscle. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments revealed that the association between RyR and calcineurin exhibits a strong Ca(2+) dependence. This association involves a Ca(2+) dependent interaction between calcineurin and FK506-binding protein (FKBP12), an accessory subunit of RyR. Pretreatment with cyclosporin A, an inhibitor of calcineurin, enhanced the caffeine-induced Ca(2+) release (CICR) in C2C12 cells. This effect was similar to those of FK506 and rapamycin, two drugs known to cause dissociation of FKBP12 from RyR. Overexpression of a constitutively active form of calcineurin in C2C12 cells, DeltaCnA(391-521) (deletion of the last 131 amino acids from calcineurin), resulted in a decrease in CICR. This decrease in CICR activity was partially recovered by pretreatment with cyclosporin A. Furthermore, overexpression of an endogenous calcineurin inhibitor (cain) or an inactive form of calcineurin (DeltaCnA(H101Q)) in C2C12 cells resulted in up-regulation of CICR. Taken together, our data suggest that a trimeric-interaction among calcineurin, FKBP12, and RyR is important for the regulation of the RyR channel activity and may play an important role in the Ca(2+) signaling of muscle contraction and relaxation.

Identification of a Dantrolene-binding Sequence on the Skeletal Muscle Ryanodine Receptor

Dantrolene is a drug that suppresses intracellular Ca(2+) release from sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) in skeletal muscle and is used as a therapeutic agent in individuals susceptible to malignant hyperthermia. Although its precise mechanism of action has not been elucidated, we have identified the N-terminal region (amino acids 1-1400) of the skeletal muscle isoform of the ryanodine receptor (RyR1), the primary Ca(2+) release channel in SR, as a molecular target for dantrolene using the photoaffinity analog [(3)H]azidodantrolene. Here, we demonstrate that heterologously expressed RyR1 retains its capacity to be specifically labeled with [(3)H]azidodantrolene, indicating that muscle specific factors are not required for this ligand-receptor interaction. Synthetic domain peptides of RyR1 previously shown to affect RyR1 function in vitro and in vivo were exploited as potential drug binding site mimics and used in photoaffinity labeling experiments. Only DP1 and DP1-2s, peptides containing the amino acid sequence corresponding to RyR1 residues 590-609, were specifically labeled by [(3)H]azidodantrolene. A monoclonal anti-RyR1 antibody that recognizes RyR1 and its 1400-amino acid N-terminal fragment recognizes DP1 and DP1-2s in both Western blots and immunoprecipitation assays and specifically inhibits [(3)H]azidodantrolene photolabeling of RyR1 and its N-terminal fragment in SR. Our results indicate that synthetic domain peptides can mimic a native, ligand-binding conformation in vitro and that the dantrolene-binding site and the epitope for the monoclonal antibody on RyR1 are equivalent and composed of amino acids 590-609.

Dysfunction of Store-operated Calcium Channel in Muscle Cells Lacking Mg29

The store-operated calcium channel (SOC) located in the plasma membrane (PM) mediates capacitative entry of extracellular calcium after depletion of intracellular calcium stores in the endoplasmic or sarcoplasmic reticulum (ER/SR). An intimate interaction between the PM and the ER/SR is essential for the operation of this calcium signalling pathway. Mitsugumin 29 (MG29) is a synaptophysin-family-related protein located in the junction between the PM and SR of skeletal muscle. Here, we identify SOC in skeletal muscle and characterise its regulation by MG29 and the ryanodine receptor (RyR) located in the SR. Targeted deletion of mg29 alters the junctional membrane structure, causes severe dysfunction of SOC and SR calcium homeostasis and increases the susceptibility of muscle to fatigue stimulation. Severe dysfunction of SOC is also identified in muscle cells lacking both type 1 and type 3 RyRs, indicating that SOC activation requires an intact interaction between the PM and the SR, and is linked to conformational changes of RyRs. Whereas defective SOC seems to be inconsequential to short-term excitation-contraction coupling, the slow cumulative calcium entry through SOC is crucial for long-term calcium homeostasis, such that reduced SOC activity exaggerates muscle fatigue under conditions of intensive exercise.

A Short Segment of the R Domain of Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator Contains Channel Stimulatory and Inhibitory Activities That Are Separable by Sequence Modification

The regulatory (R) domain of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) contains consensus phosphorylation sites for cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) that are the basis for physiological regulation of the CFTR chloride channel. A short peptide segment in the R domain with a net negative charge of B9 (amino acids 817-838, NEG2) and predicted helical tendency is shown to play a critical role in CFTR chloride channel function. Deletion of NEG2 from CFTR completely eliminates the PKA dependence of channel activity. Exogenous NEG2 peptide interacts with CFTR to exert both stimulatory and inhibitory effects on the channel function. The NEG2 peptide with sequence scrambled to remove helical tendencies also inhibits channel function, but does not stimulate. Similar results are found for a NEG2 peptide whose helical structure is disrupted by a proline residue. When six of the negatively charged carboxylic acid residues are replaced by their cognate amides, reducing net negative charge to B3, but increasing helical propensity as assessed by circular dichroism, the peptide stimulates CFTR channel function, but does not inhibit. We speculate that the NEG2 region interacts with other cytosolic domains of CFTR to control opening and closing transitions of the chloride channel.

The Transmembrane Segment of Ryanodine Receptor Contains an Intracellular Membrane Retention Signal for Ca(2+) Release Channel

The ryanodine receptor (RyR) is a large homotetrameric protein with a hydrophobic domain at the C-terminal end that resides in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) or sarcoplasmic reticulum membrane and forms the conduction pore of a Ca(2+) release channel. Our previous studies showed that RyR expressed in heterologous cells localized to the ER membrane. Confocal microscopic imaging indicated that the ER retention signal is likely present within the C-terminal portion of RyR, a region that contains four putative transmembrane segments. To identify the amino acid sequence responsible for ER retention of RyR, we expressed fusion proteins containing intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM), various fragments of RyR, and green fluorescent protein (GFP) in Chinese hamster ovary and COS-7 cells. ICAM is a plasma membrane-resident glycoprotein and serves as a reporter for protein trafficking to the cell surface membrane. Imaging analyses indicated that ICAM-GFP fusion proteins with RyR sequence preceding the four transmembrane segments, ICAM-RyR-(3661-3993)-GFP, and with RyR sequence corresponding to transmembrane segments 1, 2, and 3, ICAM-RyR-(4558-4671)-GFP and ICAM-RyR-(4830-4919)-GFP, were localized to the plasma membrane; fusion proteins containing the fourth transmembrane segment of RyR, ICAM-RyR-(4913-4943)-GFP, were retained in the ER. Biochemical assay showed that ICAM-RyR-GFP fusion proteins that target to the plasma membrane are fully glycosylated, and those retained in the intracellular membrane are core-glycosylated. Together our data indicate that amino acids 4918-4943 of RyR contain the signal sequence for ER retention of the Ca(2+) release channel.

Retrograde Activation of Store-operated Calcium Channel

Store-operated Ca2+ entry represents an important mechanism for refilling of a depleted intracellular-reticulum Ca2+ store following sustained activation of the IP3 receptor or ryanodine receptor RyR/Ca2+ release channel in the endoplasmic/sarcoplasmic reticulum (ER/SR). Recent studies have demonstrated the existence of store-operated Ca2+ channel (SOC) in muscle cells, whose activation process appears to be coupled to conformational changes of the RyR. Regulation of the plasma membrane (PM)-resided SOC by the SR-located RyR requires an integrity of the junctional membrane structure between SR and PM. Proteins that interact with RyR or influence the Ca2+ buffering capacity in the ER or SR lumen also participate in the activation process of SOC. Calsequestrin (CSQ) and calreticulin (CRT) are SR/ER-resident proteins, with highly negative charged regions at the carboxyl-terminal end that exhibit high buffering capacity for luminal Ca2+. CSQ and CRT not only modulate the intracellular Ca2+ release process but also might provide retrograde signals to regulate the function of SOC. The functional interplay between CSQ, RyR and SOC may serve essential roles of Ca2+ signaling in muscle contraction and development. A tight link between the expression of CRT and operation of SOC exist in certain cancer cells, where the reduced sensitivity to apoptosis may correlate with the altered function of SOC.

Targeting of Protein Kinase A by Muscle A Kinase-anchoring Protein (mAKAP) Regulates Phosphorylation and Function of the Skeletal Muscle Ryanodine Receptor

Protein kinase A anchoring proteins (AKAPs) tether cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) to specific subcellular locations. The muscle AKAP, mAKAP, co-localizes with the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ release channel or ryanodine receptor (RyR). The purpose of this study was to determine whether anchoring of PKA by mAKAP regulates RyR function. Either mAKAP or mAKAP-P, which is unable to anchor PKA, was expressed in CHO cells stably expressing the skeletal muscle isoform of RyR (CHO-RyR1). Immunoelectron microscopy showed that mAKAP co-localized with RyR1 in disrupted skeletal muscle. Following the addition of 10 microm forskolin to activate adenylyl cyclase, RyR1 phosphorylation in CHO-RyR1 cells expressing mAKAP increased by 42.4 +/- 6.6% (n = 4) compared with cells expressing mAKAP-P. Forskolin treatment alone did not increase the amplitude of the cytosolic Ca2+ transient in CHO-RyR1 cells expressing mAKAP or mAKAP-P; however, forskolin plus 10 mm caffeine elicited a cytosolic Ca2+ transient, the amplitude of which increased by 22% (p < 0.05) in RyR1/mAKAP-expressing cells compared with RyR1/mAKAP-P-expressing cells. Therefore, localization of PKA by mAKAP at RyR1 increases both PKA-dependent RyR phosphorylation as well as efflux of Ca2+ through the RyR. Therefore, RyR1 function is regulated by mAKAP targeting of PKA, implying an important functional role for PKA phosphorylation of RyR in skeletal muscle.

Junctional Membrane Structure and Store Operated Calcium Entry in Muscle Cells

The store-operated Ca2+ channel (SOC) located on the plasma membrane (PM) mediates capacitative entry of extracellular Ca2+ following depletion of intracellular Ca2+ stores in the endoplasmic or sarcoplasmic reticulum (ER/SR). It plays important roles in a variety of cell signaling processes, including proliferation, apoptosis, gene regulation and motility. In skeletal muscle, the L-type Ca2+ channel on the surface membrane has slow kinetics of activation in response to voltage stimulation, and therefore does not support entry of extracellular Ca2+. Recent studies have provided functional evidence for the existence of SOC in muscle cells. Severe dysfunction of SOC is identified in muscle cells lacking either ryanodine receptors located on the SR membrane, or mitsugumin 29 - a membrane protein located in the triad junction of skeletal muscle. These results indicate that SOC activation requires an intact interaction between PM and SR, and is linked to conformational changes of ryanodine receptors. The cumulative entry of Ca2+ through SOC not only provides the mechanism for refilling of intracellular Ca2+ stores, but may also add to the Ca2+ needed for muscle contraction under conditions of intensive exercise and fatigue. The proper coupling of PM with ER/SR, in the triad junction in skeletal muscle or dyad junction in cardiac muscle, is essential not only for the membrane excitation-induced intracellular Ca2+ release but also for the store depletion-initiated capacitative Ca2+ entry.

A Retrograde Signal from Calsequestrin for the Regulation of Store-operated Ca2+ Entry in Skeletal Muscle

Calsequestrin (CSQ) is a high capacity Ca(2+)-binding protein present in the lumen of sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) in striated muscle cells and has been shown to regulate the ryanodine receptor Ca(2+) release channel activity through interaction with other proteins present in the SR. Here we show that overexpression of wild-type CSQ or a CSQ mutant lacking the junction binding region (amino acids 86-191; Delta junc-CSQ) in mouse skeletal C2C12 myotube enhanced caffeine- and voltage-induced Ca(2+) release by increasing the Ca(2+) load in SR, whereas overexpression of a mutant CSQ lacking a Ca(2+) binding, aspartate-rich domain (amino acids 352-367; Delta asp-CSQ) showed the opposite effects. Depletion of SR Ca(2+) by thapsigargin initiated store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE) in C2C12 myotubes. A large component of SOCE was inhibited by overexpression of wild-type CSQ or Delta junc-CSQ, whereas myotubes transfected with Delta asp-CSQ exhibited normal function of SOCE. These results indicate that the aspartate-rich segment of CSQ, under conditions of overexpression, can sustain structural interactions that interfere with the SOCE mechanism. Such retrograde activation mechanisms are possibly taking place at the junctional site of the SR.

Mutational Analysis of Histidine Residues in Human Organic Anion Transporter 4 (hOAT4)

Human organic anion transporter 4 (hOAT4) belongs to a family of organic anion transporters which play critical roles in the body disposition of clinically important drugs, including anti-HIV therapeutics, antitumour drugs, antibiotics, anti-hypertensives and anti-inflammatories. hOAT4-mediated transport of the organic anion oestrone sulphate in COS-7 cells was inhibited by the histidine-modifying reagent DEPC (diethyl pyrocarbonate). Therefore the role of histidine residues in the function of hOAT4 was examined by site-directed mutagenesis. All five histidine residues of hOAT4 were converted into alanine, singly or in combination. Single replacement of His-47, or simultaneous replacement of His-47/52/83 or His-47/52/83/305/469 (H-less) led to a 50-80% decrease in transport activity. The decreased transport activity of these mutants was correlated with a decreased amount of cell-surface expression, although the total cell expression of these mutants was similar to that of wild-type hOAT4. These results suggest that mutation at positions 47, 47/52/83 and 47/52/83/305/469 impaired membrane expression rather than function. We also showed that, although most of the histidine mutants of hOAT4 were sensitive to inhibition by DEPC, H469A (His-469-->Ala) was completely insensitive to inhibition by this reagent. Therefore modification of His-469 is responsible for the inhibition of hOAT4 by DEPC.

Calcium-dependent Facilitation and Graded Deactivation of Store-operated Calcium Entry in Fetal Skeletal Muscle

Activation of store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE) into the cytoplasm requires retrograde signaling from the intracellular Ca(2+) release machinery, a process that involves an intimate interaction between protein components on the intracellular and cell surface membranes. The cellular machinery that governs the Ca(2+) movement in muscle cells is developmentally regulated, reflecting maturation of the junctional membrane structure as well as coordinated expression of related Ca(2+) signaling molecules. Here we demonstrate the existence of SOCE in freshly isolated skeletal muscle cells obtained from embryonic days 15 and 16 of the mouse embryo, a critical stage of muscle development. SOCE in the fetal muscle deactivates incrementally with the uptake of Ca(2+) into the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). A novel Ca(2+)-dependent facilitation of SOCE is observed in cells transiently exposed to high cytosolic Ca(2+). Our data suggest that cytosolic Ca(2+) can facilitate SOCE whereas SR luminal Ca(2+) can deactivate SOCE in the fetal skeletal muscle. This cooperative mechanism of SOCE regulation by Ca(2+) ions not only enables tight control of SOCE by the SR membrane, but also provides an efficient mechanism of extracellular Ca(2+) entry in response to physiological demand. Such Ca(2+) signaling mechanism would likely contribute to contraction and development of the fetal skeletal muscle.

The Role of Glycine Residues in the Function of Human Organic Anion Transporter 4

Human organic anion transporter 4 (hOAT4) belongs to a superfamily of organic ion transporters that play critical roles in the body disposition of clinically important drugs, including anti-HIV therapeutics, antitumor drugs, antibiotics, antihypertensives, and anti-inflammatories. In this study, we investigated the role of conserved glycine residues in hOAT4 function. We mutagenized each of the six glycine residues (at positions 11, 241, 383, 388, 400, and 466) to serine, and their functional properties were analyzed in COS-7 cells by measuring the uptake of [(3)H]estrone sulfate. Our results showed that mutants G11S, G383S, G388S, and G466S exhibited transport activities comparable with those of wild-type hOAT4. In contrast, mutants G241S and G400S almost completely lost transport function. We then further characterized Gly-241 and Gly-400 by mutagenizing these residues to amino acids with varying sizes of side chains, including alanine, valine, and leucine. We demonstrated that increasingly larger side chains at positions 241 and 400 increasingly impaired hOAT4 function. Cell-surface biotinylation using an impermeant biotinylating reagent showed that mutations of Gly-241 and Gly-400 interfered with the trafficking of the transporter onto cell surface. Immunofluorescence analysis of mutant-transfected cells confirmed these results. Substitutions of amino acids with large side chains at positions 241 and 400 resulted in decreased V(max) and increased K(m.) These results suggest that Gly-241 and Gly-400 are important both in targeting the transporter to the plasma membrane and in substrate binding. This is the first identification and characterization of critical amino acid residues in hOAT4 and may provide important insights into the structure-function relationships of the organic ion transporter family.

Nuclear Translocation of Cytochrome C During Apoptosis

Release of cytochrome c from mitochondria is a major event during apoptosis. Released cytochrome c has been shown to activate caspase-dependent apoptotic signals. In this report, we provide evidence for a novel role of cytochrome c in caspase-independent nuclear apoptosis. We showed that cytochrome c, released from mitochondria upon apoptosis induction, gradually accumulates in the nucleus as evidenced by both immunofluorescence and subcellular fractionation. Parallel to nuclear accumulation of cytochrome c, acetylated histone H2A, but not unmodified H2A, was released from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. Addition of purified cytochrome c to isolated nuclei recapitulated the preferential release of acetylated, but not deacetylated, histone H2A. Cytochrome c was also found to induce chromatin condensation. These results suggest that the nuclear accumulation of cytochrome c may be directly involved in the remodeling of chromatin. Our results provide evidence of a novel role for cytochrome c in inducing nuclear apoptosis.

Membrane Topology and Membrane Retention of the Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channel

The ryanodine receptor (RyR) is a Ca2+ release channel located in the sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane and plays a critical role in excitation-contraction coupling of skeletal and cardiac muscles. RyR normally exists in a tetrameric structure and contains two functional domains: a carboxyl-terminal hydrophobic domain that contains the conduction pore of the Ca2+ release channel, and a large amino-terminal domain that contains sites responsible for channel regulation. Recent studies involving mutagenesis and heterologous expression have helped unravel the structure-function relationship of RyR, including transmembrane topology and intracellular localization of the Ca2+-release channel. The carboxyl-terminal portion of RyR contains the putative transmembrane segments and is sufficient to form a functional Ca2+-release channel. The amino-terminal region of the protein contains sites responsible for regulation by endogenous modulators such as Ca2+ and Mg2+ and by exogenous ligands such as caffeine. The membrane topology of RyR appears to contain an even number (four or six) of transmembrane segments with a ion selectivity filter present within a region residing between the last two segments, similar to potassium channel, whose atomic structure was described recently. The transmembrane segments also contain sequences that are responsible for localization of RyR in the endoplasmic reticulum, and this sequence is highly conserved in IP3 receptors, which also function as Ca2+-release channels.

Co-expression of MG29 and Ryanodine Receptor Leads to Apoptotic Cell Death: Effect Mediated by Intracellular Ca2+ Release

Perturbation of intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis has been shown to regulate the process of cell proliferation and apoptosis. Our previous studies show that mitsugumin 29 (MG29), a synaptophysin-related protein localized in the triad junction of skeletal muscle, serves an essential role in muscle Ca2+ signaling by regulating the process of store-operated Ca2+ entry. Here we report a functional interaction between MG29 and the ryanodine receptor (RyR)/Ca2+ release channel. The purified MG29 protein enhances activity of the RyR/Ca2+ release channel incorporated into the lipid bilayer membrane. Co-expression of MG29 and RyR in Chinese hamster ovary cells leads to apoptotic cell death resulting from depletion of intracellular Ca2+ stores, despite neither protein expression alone exhibits any significant effect on cell viability. In transient expression studies, the presence of RyR in the endoplasmic reticulum leads to retention of MG29 from the plasma membrane into the intracellular organelles. This functional interaction between MG29 and RyR could have important implications in the Ca2+ signaling processes of muscle cells. Our data also show that perturbation of intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis can serve as a key signal in the initiation of apoptosis.

Negatively Charged Amino Acids Within the Intraluminal Loop of Ryanodine Receptor Are Involved in the Interaction with Triadin

In mammalian striated muscles, ryanodine receptor (RyR), triadin, junctin, and calsequestrin form a quaternary complex in the lumen of sarcoplasmic reticulum. Such intermolecular interactions contribute not only to the passive buffering of sarcoplasmic reticulum luminal Ca2+, but also to the active Ca2+ release process during excitation-contraction coupling. Here we tested the hypothesis that specific charged amino acids within the luminal portion of RyR mediate its direct interaction with triadin. Using in vitro binding assay and site-directed mutagenesis, we found that the second intraluminal loop of the skeletal muscle RyR1 (amino acids 4860-4917), but not the first intraluminal loop of RyR1 (amino acids 4581-4640) could bind triadin. Specifically, three negatively charged residues Asp4878, Asp4907, and Glu4908 appear to be critical for the association with triadin. Using deletional approaches, we showed that a KEKE motif of triadin (amino acids 200-232) is essential for the binding to RyR1. Because the second intraluminal loop of RyR has been previously shown to contain the ion-conducting pore as well as the selectivity filter of the Ca2+ release channel, and Asp4878, Asp4907, and Glu4908 residues are predicted to locate at the periphery of the pore assembly of the channel, our data suggest that a physical interaction between RyR1 and triadin could play an active role in the overall Ca2+ release process of excitation-contraction coupling in muscle cells.

Intermolecular Interaction Between R Domains of Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator

The function of the R domain of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) has not yet been fully established. The cis-trans proline isomerase cyclophilin A stimulates channel activity, and stimulation depends on the presence of highly conserved prolines at positions 740, 750, and 759. When the prolines at these positions, which normally exist in the cis conformation, are locked into the trans conformation by mutation to alanine (the P3A mutant), the open probability of P3A is high and is not further increased by cyclophilin A. We speculated that one mechanism by which this could occur was by promoting CFTR dimerization, which has been shown to increase open probability, and that the P3A-CFTR might favor dimerization more strongly than the native sequence. To test the hypothesis that R-R interaction occurs and is stronger in the P3A-R mutants, we investigated R-R interactions. GST-R and StrepII-R proteins expressed in Escherichia coli could interact with R domain protein translated in vitro as well as with full-length CFTR. In similar assays, the P3A mutant of R domain also interacts with R domain and P3A-R. The P3A-R-P3A-R interaction is stronger than the R-R interaction, which corroborates our data from the channel study and supports our hypothesis. Studies of deletion constructs of the isolated R domain and of full-length CFTR localize the region of interaction to the C-terminal portion of R (after amino acid 708). Particularly, the last 22 a.a. residues (838-859) of R are essential for this binding. R-R interaction possibly plays a role in channel gating.

Inhibition of Intestinal Tumorigenesis in Apcmin/+ Mice by (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate, the Major Catechin in Green Tea

The present study was designed to investigate the effects of two main constituents of green tea, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and caffeine, on intestinal tumorigenesis in Apc(min/+) mice, a recognized mouse model for human intestinal cancer, and to elucidate possible mechanisms involved in the inhibitory action of the active constituent. We found that p.o. administration of EGCG at doses of 0.08% or 0.16% in drinking fluid significantly decreased small intestinal tumor formation by 37% or 47%, respectively, whereas caffeine at a dose of 0.044% in drinking fluid had no inhibitory activity against intestinal tumorigenesis. In another experiment, small intestinal tumorigenesis was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner by p.o. administration of EGCG in a dose range of 0.02% to 0.32%. P.o. administration of EGCG resulted in increased levels of E-cadherin and decreased levels of nuclear beta-catenin, c-Myc, phospho-Akt, and phospho-extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) in small intestinal tumors. Treatment of HT29 human colon cancer cells with EGCG (12.5 or 20 micromol/L at different times) also increased protein levels of E-cadherin by 27% to 58%, induced the translocation of beta-catenin from nucleus to cytoplasm and plasma membrane, and decreased c-Myc and cyclin D1 (20 micromol/L EGCG for 24 hours). These results indicate that EGCG effectively inhibited intestinal tumorigenesis in Apc(min/+) mice, possibly through the attenuation of the carcinogenic events, which include aberrant nuclear beta-catenin and activated Akt and ERK signaling.

Enhanced Resistance to Fatigue and Altered Calcium Handling Properties of Sarcalumenin Knockout Mice

Sarcalumenin is a Ca2+-binding protein located in the sarcoplasmic reticulum of striated muscle cells, the physiological function of which has not been fully determined yet. Using sarcalumenin knockout (sar(-/-)) mice, we showed that sar ablation altered store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) and enhanced muscle fatigue resistance. Sar(-/-) mice fatigued less with treadmill exercise, and intact isolated soleus and extensor digitorum longus muscles from sar(-/-) mice were more resistant to intermittent fatiguing stimulation than those from wild-type mice. Enhanced SOCE was observed in the sar(-/-) muscles. Biochemical analysis revealed that sar(-/-) muscles contained significantly elevated expression of mitsugumin 29 (MG29), a synaptophysin-related membrane protein located in the triad junction of skeletal muscle. Because the ablation of mg29 has been shown to cause increased fatigability and dysfunction of SOCE, the enhanced SOCE activity seen in sar(-/-) muscle may be correlated with the increased expression of MG29. Our data suggest that systemic ablation of sarcalumenin caused enhanced resistance to muscle fatigue by compensatory changes in Ca2+ regulatory proteins that effect SOCE.

Uncontrolled Calcium Sparks Act As a Dystrophic Signal for Mammalian Skeletal Muscle

Most excitable cells maintain tight control of intracellular Ca(2+) through coordinated interaction between plasma membrane and endoplasmic or sarcoplasmic reticulum. Quiescent sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) release machinery is essential for the survival and normal function of skeletal muscle. Here we show that subtle membrane deformations induce Ca(2+) sparks in intact mammalian skeletal muscle. Spontaneous Ca(2+) sparks can be reversibly induced by osmotic shock, and participate in a normal physiological response to exercise. In dystrophic muscle with fragile membrane integrity, stress-induced Ca(2+) sparks are essentially irreversible. Moreover, moderate exercise in mdx muscle alters the Ca(2+) spark response. Thus, membrane-deformation-induced Ca(2+) sparks have an important role in physiological and pathophysiological regulation of Ca(2+) signalling, and uncontrolled Ca(2+) spark activity in connection with chronic activation of store-operated Ca(2+) entry may function as a dystrophic signal in mammalian skeletal muscle.

A Rapid and Efficient PCR-based Mutagenesis Method Applicable to Cell Physiology Study

PCR-based mutagenesis is a cornerstone of molecular biology and protein engineering studies. Herein we describe a rapid and highly efficient mutagenesis method using type IIs restriction enzymes. A template gene is amplified into two separate PCR fragments using two pairs of anchor and mutagenic primers. Mutated sequences are located near the recognition site of a type IIs restriction enzyme. After digestion of two fragments with a type IIs enzyme, exposed cohesive ends that are complementary to each other are then ligated together to generate a mutated gene. We applied this method to introduce multiple site-directed mutations in EGFP and Bcl-2 family genes and observed perfect mutagenesis efficiency at the desired sites. This efficient and cost-effective mutagenesis method can be applied to a wide variety of structural and functional studies in cell physiology.

Probing a Putative Dantrolene-binding Site on the Cardiac Ryanodine Receptor

Dantrolene is an inhibitor of intracellular Ca2+ release from skeletal muscle SR (sarcoplasmic reticulum). Direct photoaffinity labelling experiments using [3H]azidodantrolene and synthetic domain peptides have demonstrated that this drug targets amino acids 590-609 [termed DP1 (domain peptide 1)] of RyR1 (ryanodine receptor 1), the skeletal muscle RyR isoform. Although the identical sequence exists in the cardiac isoform, RyR2 (residues 601-620), specific labelling of RyR2 by dantrolene has not been demonstrated, even though some functional studies show protective effects of dantrolene on heart function. Here we test whether dantrolene-active domains exist within RyR2 and if so, whether this domain can be modulated. We show that elongated DP1 sequences from RyR1 (DP1-2s; residues 590-628) and RyR2 (DP1-2c; residues 601-639) can be specifically photolabelled by [3H]azidodantrolene. Monoclonal anti-RyR1 antibody, whose epitope is the DP1 region, can recognize RyR1 but not RyR2 in Western blot and immunoprecipitation assays, yet it recognizes both DP1-2c and DP1-2s. This suggests that although the RyR2 sequence has an intrinsic capacity to bind dantrolene in vitro, this site may be poorly accessible in the native channel protein. To examine whether it is possible to modulate this site, we measured binding of [3H]dantrolene to cardiac SR as a function of free Ca2+. We found that > or =10 mM EGTA increased [3H]dantrolene binding to RyR2 by approximately 2-fold. The data suggest that the dantrolene-binding site on RyR2 is conformationally sensitive. This site may be a potential therapeutic target in cardiovascular diseases sensitive to dysfunctional intracellular Ca2+ release.

The Role of N-linked Glycosylation in Protein Folding, Membrane Targeting, and Substrate Binding of Human Organic Anion Transporter HOAT4

We used a novel approach to evaluate how the addition/acquisition and processing/modification of N-linked oligosaccharides play a role in the functional maturation of human organic anion transporter hOAT4. Inhibition of acquisition of oligosaccharides in hOAT4 by mutating asparagine to glutamine and by tunicamycin treatment was combined with the expression of wild-type hOAT4 in a series of mutant Chinese hamster ovary (CHO)-Lec cells defective in the different steps of glycosylation processing. We showed that both the disruption of the glycosylation sites by mutagenesis and the inhibition of glycosylation by tunicamycin treatment resulted in a nonglycosylated hOAT4, which was unable to target to the cell surface. In contrast, hOAT4 synthesized in mutant CHO-Lec cells, carrying different structural forms of sugar moieties (mannose-rich in Lec1 cells, sialic acid-deficient in Lec2 cells, and sialic acid/galactose-deficient in Lec8 cells) were able to traffic to the cell surface. However, hOAT4 expressed in CHO-Lec1 cells had significantly lower binding affinity for its substrates compared with that expressed in parental CHO cells. This study provided novel information that addition/acquisition of oligosaccharides but not the processing of the added oligosaccharides participates in the membrane insertion of hOAT4. Processing of added oligosaccharides from mannose-rich type to complex type is important for enhancing the binding affinity of hOAT4 for its substrates. Glycosylation could therefore serve as a means to specifically regulate hOAT4 function in vivo.

Azumolene Inhibits a Component of Store-operated Calcium Entry Coupled to the Skeletal Muscle Ryanodine Receptor

Dantrolene reduces the elevated myoplasmic Ca(2+) generated during malignant hyperthermia, a pharmacogenetic crisis triggered by volatile anesthetics. Although specific binding of dantrolene to the type 1 ryanodine receptor (RyR1), the Ca(2+) release channel of skeletal muscle sarcoplasmic reticulum, has been demonstrated, there is little evidence for direct dantrolene inhibition of RyR1 channel function. Recent studies suggest store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE) contributes to skeletal muscle function, but the effect of dantrolene on this pathway has not been examined. Here we show that azumolene, an equipotent dantrolene analog, inhibits a component of SOCE coupled to activation of RyR1 by caffeine and ryanodine, whereas the SOCE component induced by thapsigargin is not affected. Our data suggest that azumolene distinguishes between two mechanisms of cellular signaling to SOCE in skeletal muscle, one that is coupled to and one independent from RyR1.

Muscle Aging is Associated with Compromised Ca2+ Spark Signaling and Segregated Intracellular Ca2+ Release

Reduced homeostatic capacity for intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) movement may underlie the progression of sarcopenia and contractile dysfunction during muscle aging. We report two alterations to Ca2+ homeostasis in skeletal muscle that are associated with aging. Ca2+ sparks, which are the elemental units of Ca2+ release from sarcoplasmic reticulum, are silent under resting conditions in young muscle, yet activate in a dynamic manner upon deformation of membrane structures. The dynamic nature of Ca2+ sparks appears to be lost in aged skeletal muscle. Using repetitive voltage stimulation on isolated muscle preparations, we identify a segregated [Ca2+]i reserve that uncouples from the normal excitation-contraction process in aged skeletal muscle. Similar phenotypes are observed in adolescent muscle null for a synaptophysin-family protein named mitsugumin-29 (MG29) that is involved in maintenance of muscle membrane ultrastructure and Ca2+ signaling. This finding, coupled with decreased expression of MG29 in aged skeletal muscle, suggests that MG29 expression is important in maintaining skeletal muscle Ca2+ homeostasis during aging.

Mechanism of Action of Isothiocyanates: the Induction of ARE-regulated Genes is Associated with Activation of ERK and JNK and the Phosphorylation and Nuclear Translocation of Nrf2

The up-regulation of phase II detoxifying and stress-responsive genes is believed to play an important role in cancer prevention, and many natural compounds have been shown to be potent inducers of these genes. Previous studies showed that the antioxidant responsive element (ARE), found in these genes, can be bound by the transcription factor Nrf2, and is responsive to the activation by chemopreventive compounds and by oxidative stress. In the present study, we investigated the roles of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and c-Jun-NH(2)-kinase (JNK) in the regulation of phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC)-induced and Nrf2-dependent ARE activity and ARE-driven heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) gene expression in PC-3 cells. ARE activity and HO-1 expression were strongly increased after treatment with PEITC. PEITC also increased the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and JNK1/2 and caused release of Nrf2 from sequestration by Keap1, and its subsequent translocation into the nucleus. Importantly, Nrf2 was also translocated into the nucleus after transfection with ERK or JNK and that these activated ERK and JNK colocalized with Nrf2 in the nucleus. Activation of ERK and JNK signaling also resulted in the elevation of ARE activity and HO-1 expression. Importantly, PEITC-induced ARE activity was attenuated by inhibition of ERK and JNK signaling. In vitro kinase assays showed that both ERK2 and JNK1 could directly phosphorylate glutathione S-transferase-Nrf2 protein. Taken together, these results strongly suggest a model in which PEITC treatment of PC-3 cells activates ERK and JNK, which, in turn, phosphorylate Nrf2 and induce its translocation to the nucleus. Nuclear Nrf2 activates ARE elements and induces expression of stress-responsive genes, including HO-1.

Butylated Hydroxyanisole Regulates ARE-mediated Gene Expression Via Nrf2 Coupled with ERK and JNK Signaling Pathway in HepG2 Cells

Many natural and synthetic cancer chemopreventive compounds are potent inducers of phase II detoxifying and antioxidant stress responsive genes. The phase II/antioxidant gene expression plays critical role in chemoprevention of carcinogenesis. The antioxidant responsive element (ARE), located on many phase II/antioxidant genes, binds with the transcription factor Nrf2, and is required for the activation of these phase II/antioxidant gene expression induced by many natural and synthetic cancer chemopreventive compounds. In this study, we investigated the potential roles of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) in the regulation of butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)-induced and Nrf2-dependent ARE transcriptional activity and ARE-mediated endogenous heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) protein expression in HepG2 cells. ARE transcriptional activity and HO-1 protein expression were increased dose dependently after treatment with BHA in HepG2 cells. Dose-response and time-course experiments showed that BHA increased the accumulation of Nrf2, and concomitantly decreased the protein level of Keap1. We next examined the phosphorylation of the MAPKs, and found that BHA significantly increased the phosphorylation levels of ERK1/2 and JNK1/2. Importantly BHA-induced ARE transcriptional activity was attenuated by the inhibition of ERK and JNK signaling using biochemical inhibitors and their dominant-negative mutants. Using confocal microscopy technique, treatment with BHA showed the release of Nrf2 sequestered by Keap1 in the cytosol, and that Nrf2 translocated into the nucleus. Importantly, cDNA transfections of ERK and JNK signaling pathways similarly released Nrf2 from Keap1 cytosolic sequestration and translocating Nrf2 into the nucleus. Taken together, these results strongly suggested that ERK and JNK signaling pathways played important and positive roles in BHA-induced and Nrf2-dependent regulation of ARE-mediated gene expression, as well as the nuclear translocation of Nrf2 in HepG2 cells.

The Presenilin-2 Loop Peptide Perturbs Intracellular Ca2+ Homeostasis and Accelerates Apoptosis

In cells undergoing apoptosis, a 22-amino-acid presenilin-2-loop peptide (PS2-LP, amino acids 308-329 in presenilin-2) is generated through cleavage of the carboxyl-terminal fragment of presenilin-2 by caspase-3. The impact of PS2-LP on the progression of apoptosis, however, is not known. Here we show that PS2-LP is a potent inducer of the mitochondrial-dependent cell death pathway when transduced as a fusion protein with HIV-TAT. Biochemical and functional studies demonstrate that TAT-PS2-LP can interact with the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor and activate Ca(2+) release from the endoplasmic reticulum. These results indicate that PS2-LP-mediated alteration of intracellular Ca(2+) homeostasis may be linked to the acceleration of apoptosis. Therefore, targeting the function of PS2-LP could provide a useful therapeutic tool for the treatment of cancer and degenerative diseases.

Uncoupling Store-operated Ca2+ Entry and Altered Ca2+ Release from Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Through Silencing of Junctophilin Genes

Junctophilin (JP) mediates the close contact between cell surface and intracellular membranes in muscle cells ensuring efficient excitation-contraction coupling. Here we demonstrate that disruption of triad junction structure formed by the transverse tubular (TT) invagination of plasma membrane and terminal cisternae of sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) by reduction of JP expression leads to defective Ca2+ homeostasis in muscle cells. Using adenovirus with small hairpin interference RNA (shRNA) against both JP1 and JP2 genes, we could achieve acute suppression of JPs in skeletal muscle fibers. The shRNA-treated muscles exhibit deformed triad junctions and reduced store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE), which is likely due to uncoupled retrograde signaling from SR to TT. Knockdown of JP also causes a reduction in SR Ca2+ storage and altered caffeine-induced Ca2+ release, suggesting an orthograde regulation of the TT membrane on the SR Ca2+ release machinery. Our data demonstrate that JPs play an important role in controlling overall intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis in muscle cells. We speculate that altered expression of JPs may underlie some of the phenotypic changes associated with certain muscle diseases and aging.

The Tail-anchoring Domain of Bfl1 and HCCS1 Targets Mitochondrial Membrane Permeability to Induce Apoptosis

Many Bcl2 family proteins target intracellular membranes by their C-terminal tail-anchor domain. Bfl1 is a bi-functional Bcl2 family protein with both anti- and pro-apoptotic activities and contains an amphipathic tail-anchoring peptide (ATAP; residues 147-175) with unique properties. Here we show that ATAP targets specifically to mitochondria, and induces caspase-dependent apoptosis that does not require Bax or Bak. Mutagenesis studies revealed that lysine residues flanking the ATAP sequence are involved in targeting of the peptide to the mitochondrial membrane, and charged residues that contribute to the amphipathic nature of ATAP are critical for its pro-apoptotic function. The ATAP sequence is present in another tumor suppressor gene, HCCS1, which contains an additional mitochondria-targeting signal (MTS) close to the ATAP. We propose that both ATAP and MTS could be used as therapeutic peptides to induce cell death in the treatment of cancer cells.

TRIC Channels Are Essential for Ca2+ Handling in Intracellular Stores

Cell signalling requires efficient Ca2+ mobilization from intracellular stores through Ca2+ release channels, as well as predicted counter-movement of ions across the sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum membrane to balance the transient negative potential generated by Ca2+ release. Ca2+ release channels were cloned more than 15 years ago, whereas the molecular identity of putative counter-ion channels remains unknown. Here we report two TRIC (trimeric intracellular cation) channel subtypes that are differentially expressed on intracellular stores in animal cell types. TRIC subtypes contain three proposed transmembrane segments, and form homo-trimers with a bullet-like structure. Electrophysiological measurements with purified TRIC preparations identify a monovalent cation-selective channel. In TRIC-knockout mice suffering embryonic cardiac failure, mutant cardiac myocytes show severe dysfunction in intracellular Ca2+ handling. The TRIC-deficient skeletal muscle sarcoplasmic reticulum shows reduced K+ permeability, as well as altered Ca2+ 'spark' signalling and voltage-induced Ca2+ release. Therefore, TRIC channels are likely to act as counter-ion channels that function in synchronization with Ca2+ release from intracellular stores.

Mutations in JPH2-encoded Junctophilin-2 Associated with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy in Humans

Junctophilin-2 (JPH2) is a cardiac specific member of the junctophilins, a newly characterized family of junctional membrane complex proteins important in physically approximating the plasmalemmal L-type calcium channel and the sarcoplasmic reticulum ryanodine receptor for calcium-induced calcium release. JPH2 knockout mice showed disrupted calcium transients, altered junctional membrane complex formation, cardiomyopathy, and embryonic lethality. Furthermore, JPH2 gene expression is down-regulated in murine cardiomyopathy models. To this end, we explored JPH2 as a novel candidate gene for the pathogenesis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) in humans. Using polymerase chain reaction, denaturing high performance liquid chromatography, and direct DNA sequencing, comprehensive open reading frame/splice site mutational analysis of JPH2 was performed on DNA obtained from 388 unrelated patients with HCM. HCM-associated JPH2 mutations were engineered and functionally characterized using immunocytochemistry, cell morphometry measurements, and live cell confocal calcium imaging. Three novel HCM-susceptibility mutations: S101R, Y141H and S165F, which localize to key functional domains, were discovered in 3/388 unrelated patients with HCM and were absent in 1000 ethnic-matched reference alleles. Functionally, each human mutation caused (i) protein reorganization of junctophilin-2, (ii) perturbations in intracellular calcium signaling, and (iii) marked cardiomyocyte hyperplasia. The molecular and functional evidence implicates defective junctophilin-2 and disrupted calcium signaling as a novel pathogenic mechanism for HCM and establishes HCM as the first human disease associated with genetic defects in JPH2. Whether susceptibility for other cardiomyopathies, such as dilated cardiomyopathy, can be conferred by mutations in JPH2 warrants investigation.

Systemic Ablation of RyR3 Alters Ca2+ Spark Signaling in Adult Skeletal Muscle

Ca2+ sparks are localized intracellular Ca2+ release events from the sarcoplasmic reticulum in muscle cells that result from synchronized opening of ryanodine receptors (RyR). In mammalian skeletal muscle, RyR1 is the predominant isoform present in adult skeletal fibers, while some RyR3 is expressed during development. Functional studies have revealed a differential role for RyR1 and RyR3 in the overall Ca2+ signaling in skeletal muscle, but the contribution of these two isoforms to Ca2+ sparks in adult mammalian skeletal muscle has not been fully examined. When enzyme-disassociated, individual adult skeletal muscle fibers are exposed to an osmotic shock, the resting fiber converts from a quiescent to a highly active Ca2+ release state where Ca2+ sparks appear proximal to the sarcolemmal membrane. These osmotic shock-induced Ca2+ sparks occur in ryr3(-/-) muscle with a spatial distribution similar to that seen in wild type muscle. Kinetic analysis reveals that systemic ablation of RyR3 results in significant changes to the initiation, duration and amplitude of individual Ca2+ sparks in muscle fibers. These changes may reflect the adaptation of the muscle Ca2+ signaling or contractile machinery due to the loss of RyR3 expression in distal tissues, as biochemical assays identify significant changes in expression of myosin heavy chain protein in ryr3(-/-) muscle.

Conformation-dependent Stability of Junctophilin 1 (JP1) and Ryanodine Receptor Type 1 (RyR1) Channel Complex is Mediated by Their Hyper-reactive Thiols

Junctophilin 1 (JP1), a 72-kDa protein localized at the skeletal muscle triad, is essential for stabilizing the close apposition of T-tubule and sarcoplasmic reticulum membranes to form junctions. In this study we report that rapid and selective labeling of hyper-reactive thiols found in both JP1 and ryanodine receptor type 1 (RyR1) with 7-diethylamino-3-(4'-maleimidylphenyl)-4-methylcoumarin, a fluorescent thiol-reactive probe, proceeded 12-fold faster under conditions that minimize RyR1 gating (e.g. 10 mM Mg2+) compared with conditions that promote high channel activity (e.g. 100 microM Ca2+, 10 mM caffeine, 5 mM ATP). The reactivity of these thiol groups was very sensitive to oxidation by naphthoquinone, H2O2, NO, or O2, all known modulators of the RyR1 channel complex. Using preparative SDS-PAGE, in-gel tryptic digestion, high pressure liquid chromatography, and mass spectrometry-based peptide sequencing, we identified 7-diethylamino-3-(4'-maleimidylphenyl)-4-methylcoumarin-thioether adducts on three cysteine residues of JP1 (101, 402, and 627); the remaining five cysteines of JP1 were unlabeled. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated a physical interaction between JP1 and RyR1 that, like thiol reactivity, was sensitive to RyR1 conformation and chemical status of the hyper-reactive cysteines of JP1 and RyR1. These findings support a model in which JP1 interacts with the RyR1 channel complex in a conformationally sensitive manner and may contribute integral redox-sensing properties through reactive sulfhydryl chemistry.

Determination of the External Loops and the Cellular Orientation of the N- and the C-termini of the Human Organic Anion Transporter HOAT1

The OAT (organic anion transporter) family mediates the absorption, distribution and excretion of a diverse array of environmental toxins and clinically important drugs. OAT dysfunction significantly contributes to renal, hepatic, neurological and fetal toxicity and disease. As a first step to establish the topological model of hOAT1 (human OAT1), we investigated the external loops and the cellular orientation of the N- and the C-termini of this transporter. Combined approaches of immunofluorescence studies and site-directed chemical labelling were used for such purpose. Immunofluorescence microscopy of Myc-tagged hOAT1 expressed in cultured cells identified that both the N- and the C-termini of the transporter were located in the cytoplasm. Replacement of Lys59 in the predicted extracellular loop I with arginine resulted in a mutant (K59R), which was largely inaccessible for labelling by membrane-impermeable NHS (N-hydroxysuccinimido)-SS (dithio)-biotin present in the extracellular medium. This result suggests that loop I faces outside of the cell membrane. A single lysine residue introduced into putative extracellular loops III, V and VI of mutant K59R, which is devoid of extracellular lysine, reacted readily with membrane-impermeable NHS-SS-biotin, suggesting that these putative extracellular loops are in the extracellular domains of the protein. These studies provided the first experimental evidence on the extracellular loops and the cellular orientation of the N- and the C-termini of hOAT1.

Organic Anion Transporter OAT1 Undergoes Constitutive and Protein Kinase C-regulated Trafficking Through a Dynamin- and Clathrin-dependent Pathway

Organic anion transporter 1 (OAT1) mediates the body disposition of a diverse array of environmental toxins and clinically important drugs. Therefore, understanding the regulation of this transporter has profound clinical significance. We previously demonstrate that OAT1 activity was down-regulated by activation of protein kinase C (PKC), kinetically revealed as a decrease in the maximum transport velocity V(max) without significant change in the substrate affinity K(m) of the transporter. In the current study, we showed that OAT1 constitutively internalized from and recycled back to the plasma membrane, and PKC activation accelerated OAT1 internalization without affecting OAT1 recycling. We further showed that treatment of OAT1-expressing cells with concanavalin A, depletion of K(+) from the cells, or transfection of dominant negative mutants of dynamin-2 or Eps15 into the cells, all of which block the clathrin-dependent endocytotic pathway, significantly blocked constitutive and PKC-regulated OAT1 internalization. We finally showed that OAT1 colocalized with transferrin, a marker for clathrin-dependent endocytosis, at the cell surface and in the EEA1-positive early endosomes. Together, our findings demonstrated for the first time that (i) OAT1 constitutively traffics between plasma membrane and recycling endosomes, (ii) PKC activation down-regulates OAT1 activity by altering already existent OAT1 trafficking, and (iii) OAT1 internalization occurs partly through a dynamin- and clathrin-dependent pathway.

Compromised Store-operated Ca2+ Entry in Aged Skeletal Muscle

In aged skeletal muscle, changes to the composition and function of the contractile machinery cannot fully explain the observed decrease in the specific force produced by the contractile machinery that characterizes muscle weakness during aging. Since modification in extracellular Ca(2+) entry in aged nonexcitable and excitable cells has been recently identified, we evaluated the functional status of store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE) in aged mouse skeletal muscle. Using Mn(2+) quenching of Fura-2 fluorescence and confocal-microscopic imaging of Ca(2+) movement from the transverse tubules, we determined that SOCE was severely compromised in muscle fibers isolated from aged mice (26-27 months) as compared with those from young (2-5 months) mice. While reduced SOCE in aged skeletal muscle does not appear to result from altered expression levels of STIM1 or reduced expression of mRNA for Orai, this reduction in SOCE is mirrored in fibers isolated from young mice null for mitsugumin-29, a synaptophysin-related protein that displays decreased expression in aged skeletal muscle. Our data suggest that decreased mitsugumin-29 expression and reduced SOCE may contribute to the diminished intracellular Ca(2+) homeostatic capacity generally associated with muscle aging.

Altered Ca2+ Sparks in Aging Skeletal and Cardiac Muscle

Ca2+ sparks are the fundamental units that comprise Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release (CICR) in striated muscle cells. In cardiac muscle, spontaneous Ca2+ sparks underlie the rhythmic CICR activity during heart contraction. In skeletal muscle, Ca2+ sparks remain quiescent during the resting state and are activated in a plastic fashion to accommodate various levels of stress. With aging, the plastic Ca2+ spark signal becomes static in skeletal muscle, whereas loss of CICR control leads to leaky Ca2+ spark activity in aged cardiomyocytes. Ca2+ spark responses reflect the integrated function of the intracellular Ca2+ regulatory machinery centered around the triad or dyad junctional complexes of striated muscles, which harbor the principal molecular players of excitation-contraction coupling. This review highlights the contribution of age-related modification of the Ca2+ release machinery and the effect of membrane structure and membrane cross-talk on the altered Ca2+ spark signaling during aging of striated muscles.

Overexpression of Bax Induces Down-regulation of Store-operated Calcium Entry in Prostate Cancer Cells

Store-operated Ca2+ channels control homeostasis between extracellular Ca2+ reservoir and intracellular Ca2+ storage and play important roles in apoptosis in a wide variety of cells, including prostate epithelia. Recent studies have shown that the acquired apoptosis-resistant nature of androgen-independent prostate cancer is associated with reduced function of store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE). This study investigates the functional interaction between Bax and SOCE in the apoptosis signaling cascade in prostate cancer. Our previous findings show that NRP-154, an androgen-independent prostate cancer cell line, could sustain overexpression of exogenous Bax without undergoing apoptosis. Here we show that sustained overexpression of Bax in NRP-154 cells leads to down-regulation of SOCE and reduced Ca2+ storage inside the endoplasmic reticulum. While reduced SOCE may represent an adaptive mechanism for cell survival, increased levels of Bax in the latent state enhances the sensitivity of NRP-154 cells to TGF-beta and thapsigargin-induced apoptosis. This enhanced apoptosis can be reduced by 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate (2-APB), an inhibitor of SOCE, or reversed under conditions where SOCE is only partially activated. Our results demonstrate a functional interaction between Bax and SOCE in apoptosis of prostate cancer, and support the concept that improving this interaction has therapeutic implications for prostate cancer.

Immuno-proteomic Approach to Excitation--contraction Coupling in Skeletal and Cardiac Muscle: Molecular Insights Revealed by the Mitsugumins

A comprehensive understanding of excitation-contraction (E-C) coupling in skeletal and cardiac muscle requires that all the major components of the Ca(2+) release machinery be resolved. We utilized a unique immuno-proteomic approach to generate a monoclonal antibody library that targets proteins localized to the skeletal muscle triad junction, which provides a structural context to allow efficient E-C coupling. Screening of this library has identified several mitsugumins (MG); proteins that can be localized to the triad junction in mammalian skeletal muscle. Many of these proteins, including MG29 and junctophilin, are important components in maintaining the structural integrity of the triad junction. Other triad proteins, such as calumin, play a more direct role in regulation of muscle Ca(2+) homeostasis. We have recently identified a family of trimeric intracellular cation-selective (TRIC) channels that allow for K(+) movement into the endoplasmic or sarcoplasmic reticulum to counter a portion of the transient negative charge produced by Ca(2+) release into the cytosol. Further study of TRIC channel function and other novel mitsugumins will increase our understanding of E-C coupling and Ca(2+) homoeostasis in muscle physiology and pathophysiology.

Impaired Interaction Between Skeletal Ryanodine Receptors in Malignant Hyperthermia

Functional coupling between clustered membrane receptors has been identified as a novel mechanism to improve signaling performance in a number of physiological processes. The potential role of defective inter-receptor coupling in the pathogenesis of disease, however, has not previously been explored. Ryanodine receptors (RyRs), the primary calcium release channel of muscle, usually form ordered two-dimensional arrays in the sarcoplasmic reticulum membranes. Mutations in RyRs are known to cause a number of severe diseases both in skeletal muscle and in heart. Here we present a model demonstrating how impaired functional coupling between neighboring mutant RyR1(R615C) channels may contribute to the pharmacogenetic skeletal muscle sensitivity, malignant hyperthermia (MH). We find that purified RyR1(R615C) from MH susceptible porcine skeletal muscle shows significantly reduced oligomerization when compared to RyR1(WT), indicating a potential loss of intrinsic intermolecular control. The MH-triggering volatile anesthetic, halothane, activates RyR1(R615C) and RyR1(WT) to a similar extent, using [(3)H]ryanodine binding as a measure of activation. Modeling RyR1 array function with parameters modified to simulate the loss of functional inter-RyR coupling recapitulates the MH molecular phenotype-RyR1 channels leaky to Ca(2+) at rest and long open-times following exposure to halothane. Our work suggests that a defect in inter-RyR1 coupling is a novel direction for research into the pathogenesis of MH.

Mitsugumin 53 (MG53) Facilitates Vesicle Trafficking in Striated Muscle to Contribute to Cell Membrane Repair

Repair of the plasma membrane following damage is an important aspect of normal cellular physiology, and disruption of this process is observed in many pathologic states. In a recent series of publications, we resolved that Mitsugumin 53 (MG53) is a novel, muscle-specific member of the tripartite motif/RING B-box Coiled Coil (TRIM/RBCC) family of proteins (TRIM72) that contributes to vesicle trafficking in the course of normal cellular physiology. MG53 can bind phosphatidylserine (PS) with some specificity, and interacts with caveolin-3 (Cav-3) as part of its function in vesicle trafficking. As part of the response to membrane damage in muscle cells, MG53 acts in an oxidation-dependent manner to facilitate vesicle translocation to the sites of membrane injury where these vesicles are involved in patching the membrane. Here we discuss these findings and examine the implications of this work in the field of membrane repair. Further discussion is provided about potential therapeutic applications for MG53.

The Acid Test: the Discovery of Two-pore Channels (TPCs) As NAADP-gated Endolysosomal Ca(2+) Release Channels

In this review, we describe the background and implications of our recent discovery that two-pore channels (TPCs) comprise a novel class of calcium release channels gated by the intracellular messenger nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP). Their localisation to the endolysosomal system highlights a new function for these organelles as targets for NAADP-mediated Ca(2+) mobilisation. In addition, we describe how TPCs may also trigger further Ca(2+) release by coupling to the endoplasmic reticular stores through activation of IP(3) receptors and ryanodine receptors.

NAADP Mobilizes Calcium from Acidic Organelles Through Two-pore Channels

Ca(2+) mobilization from intracellular stores represents an important cell signalling process that is regulated, in mammalian cells, by inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP(3)), cyclic ADP ribose and nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP). InsP(3) and cyclic ADP ribose cause the release of Ca(2+) from sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum stores by the activation of InsP(3) and ryanodine receptors (InsP(3)Rs and RyRs). In contrast, the nature of the intracellular stores targeted by NAADP and the molecular identity of the NAADP receptors remain controversial, although evidence indicates that NAADP mobilizes Ca(2+) from lysosome-related acidic compartments. Here we show that two-pore channels (TPCs) comprise a family of NAADP receptors, with human TPC1 (also known as TPCN1) and chicken TPC3 (TPCN3) being expressed on endosomal membranes, and human TPC2 (TPCN2) on lysosomal membranes when expressed in HEK293 cells. Membranes enriched with TPC2 show high affinity NAADP binding, and TPC2 underpins NAADP-induced Ca(2+) release from lysosome-related stores that is subsequently amplified by Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release by InsP(3)Rs. Responses to NAADP were abolished by disrupting the lysosomal proton gradient and by ablating TPC2 expression, but were only attenuated by depleting endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) stores or by blocking InsP(3)Rs. Thus, TPCs form NAADP receptors that release Ca(2+) from acidic organelles, which can trigger further Ca(2+) signals via sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum. TPCs therefore provide new insights into the regulation and organization of Ca(2+) signals in animal cells, and will advance our understanding of the physiological role of NAADP.

Membrane Repair Defects in Muscular Dystrophy Are Linked to Altered Interaction Between MG53, Caveolin-3, and Dysferlin

Defective membrane repair can contribute to the progression of muscular dystrophy. Although mutations in caveolin-3 (Cav3) and dysferlin are linked to muscular dystrophy in human patients, the molecular mechanism underlying the functional interplay between Cav3 and dysferlin in membrane repair of muscle physiology and disease has not been fully resolved. We recently discovered that mitsugumin 53 (MG53), a muscle-specific TRIM (Tri-partite motif) family protein (TRIM72), contributes to intracellular vesicle trafficking and is an essential component of the membrane repair machinery in striated muscle. Here we show that MG53 interacts with dysferlin and Cav3 to regulate membrane repair in skeletal muscle. MG53 mediates active trafficking of intracellular vesicles to the sarcolemma and is required for movement of dysferlin to sites of cell injury during repair patch formation. Mutations in Cav3 (P104L, R26Q) that cause retention of Cav3 in Golgi apparatus result in aberrant localization of MG53 and dysferlin in a dominant-negative fashion, leading to defective membrane repair. Our data reveal that a molecular complex formed by MG53, dysferlin, and Cav3 is essential for repair of muscle membrane damage and also provide a therapeutic target for treatment of muscular and cardiovascular diseases that are linked to compromised membrane repair.

Glutamate at Position 227 of Junctophilin-2 is Involved in Binding to TRPC3

Canonical-type transient receptor potential cation channel type 3 (TRPC3) allows the entry of extracellular Ca(2+) and Na(+) into various cells. In mouse skeletal myotubes, functional interaction between TRPC3 and RyR1 (ryanodine receptor type 1/Ca(2+)-release channel on sarcoplasmic reticulum membrane) regulates the gain of excitation-contraction coupling. Junctophilin-2 (JP2) is a TRPC3-interacting protein in mouse skeletal myotubes. Based on these knowledge from bona-fide TRPC3-expressing cells, to identify critical binding region(s) of JP2 that participate in binding to TRPC3, various JP2 portions were subjected to co-immunoprecipitation assay with intact TRPC3 from rabbit skeletal muscle. A region covering 143 to 234 amino acids of JP2 (F1-2) was the most efficient portion binding to TRPC3. Through mutational studies, we found that the binding ability of JP2 to TRPC3 was mainly due to glutamate in the F1-2 region (E227). This substantial binding between JP2 and TRPC3 suggests that JP2 can be a regulatory protein of TRPC3 and/or TRPC3-mediated Ca(2+) homeostasis in skeletal muscle.

Mitsugumin 53-mediated Maintenance of K+ Currents in Cardiac Myocytes

Mitsugumin 53 (MG53) is a muscle-specific RBCC/TRIM family member predominantly localized on small vesicles underneath the plasma membrane. Upon cell-surface lesion MG53 recruits the vesicles to the repair site in an oxidation-dependent manner and MG53-knockout mice develop progressive myopathy associated with defective membrane repair. In this report, we focus on MG53-knockout cardiomyocytes showing abnormal action potential profile and a reduced K+ current density. In cDNA expression experiments using cultured cells, KV2.1-mediated currents were remarkably increased by MG53 without affecting the total and cell-surface levels of channel expression. In imaging analysis MG53 seemed to facilitate the mobility of KV2.1-containing endocytic vesicles with acidic pH. However, similar effects on the current density and vesicular mobility were not observed in the putative dominant-negative form of MG53. Our data suggest that MG53 is involved in a constitutive cycle of certain cell-surface proteins between the plasma membrane and endosome-like vesicles in striated muscle, and also imply that the vesicular dynamics are essential for the quality control of KV2.1 in cardiomyocytes.

The Amino-terminal Peptide of Bax Perturbs Intracellular Ca2+ Homeostasis to Enhance Apoptosis in Prostate Cancer Cells

During apoptosis, proteolytic cleavage of Bax at the amino terminus generates a truncated Bax of approximately 18 kDa (p18Bax) and an amino-terminal peptide of approximately 3 kDa (p3Bax). Whereas extensive studies have shown that p18Bax behaves like a BH3 protein with enhanced pro-apoptotic function over that of the full-length Bax (p21Bax), little is known about the function of p3Bax in apoptosis. We have previously shown that Bax and Ca2+ play a synergistic role in amplifying apoptosis signaling and that store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) contributes to Bax-mediated apoptosis in prostate cancer cells. Here we test whether p3Bax can contribute to regulation of Ca2+ signaling during apoptosis through use of a membrane-penetrating peptide to facilitate delivery of recombinant p3Bax into NRP-154 cells, a prostate epithelial cell line with tumorigenic capacity. We find that human immunodefficiency virus transactivator of transcription protein (TAT)-p3Bax fusion peptide can enhance thapsigargin-induced apoptosis in NRP-154 cells, elevate SOCE activity, and increase inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate-sensitive intracellular Ca2+ stores. Our data indicates that p3Bax can modulate the entry of extracellular Ca2+ and thus regulate the amplification of apoptosis in prostate cancer cells.

MG53 Nucleates Assembly of Cell Membrane Repair Machinery

Dynamic membrane repair and remodelling is an elemental process that maintains cell integrity and mediates efficient cellular function. Here we report that MG53, a muscle-specific tripartite motif family protein (TRIM72), is a component of the sarcolemmal membrane-repair machinery. MG53 interacts with phosphatidylserine to associate with intracellular vesicles that traffic to and fuse with sarcolemmal membranes. Mice null for MG53 show progressive myopathy and reduced exercise capability, associated with defective membrane-repair capacity. Injury of the sarcolemmal membrane leads to entry of the extracellular oxidative environment and MG53 oligomerization, resulting in recruitment of MG53-containing vesicles to the injury site. After vesicle translocation, entry of extracellular Ca(2+) facilitates vesicle fusion to reseal the membrane. Our data indicate that intracellular vesicle translocation and Ca(2+)-dependent membrane fusion are distinct steps involved in the repair of membrane damage and that MG53 may initiate the assembly of the membrane repair machinery in an oxidation-dependent manner.

MG53 Regulates Membrane Budding and Exocytosis in Muscle Cells

Membrane recycling and remodeling contribute to multiple cellular functions, including cell fusion events during myogenesis. We have identified a tripartite motif (TRIM72) family member protein named MG53 and defined its role in mediating the dynamic process of membrane fusion and exocytosis in striated muscle. MG53 is a muscle-specific protein that contains a TRIM motif at the amino terminus and a SPRY motif at the carboxyl terminus. Live cell imaging of green fluorescent protein-MG53 fusion construct in cultured myoblasts showed that although MG53 contains no transmembrane segment it is tightly associated with intracellular vesicles and sarcolemmal membrane. RNA interference-mediated knockdown of MG53 expression impeded myoblast differentiation, whereas overexpression of MG53 enhanced vesicle trafficking to and budding from sarcolemmal membrane. Co-expression studies indicated that MG53 activity is regulated by a functional interaction with caveolin-3. Our data reveal a new function for TRIM family proteins in regulating membrane trafficking and fusion in striated muscles.

Protein Kinase C-epsilon Regulates Local Calcium Signaling in Airway Smooth Muscle Cells

Protein kinase C (PKC) is known to regulate ryanodine receptor (RyR)-mediated local Ca(2+) signaling (Ca(2+) spark) in airway and vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs), but its specific molecular mechanisms and functions still remain elusive. In this study, we reveal that, in airway SMCs, specific PKCepsilon peptide inhibitor and gene deletion significantly increased the frequency of Ca(2+) sparks, and decreased the amplitude of Ca(2+) sparks in the presence of xestospogin-C to eliminate functional inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate receptors. PKCepsilon activation with phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate significantly decreased Ca(2+) spark frequency and increased Ca(2+) spark amplitude. The effect of PKCepsilon inhibition or activation on Ca(2+) sparks was completely lost in PKCepsilon(-/-) cells. PKCepsilon inhibition or PKCepsilon activation was unable to affect Ca(2+) sparks in RyR1(-/-) and RyR1(+/-) cells. Modification of RyR2 activity by FK506-binding protein 12.6 homozygous or RyR2 heterozygous gene deletion did not prevent the effect of PKCepsilon inhibition or activation. RyR3 homogenous gene deletion did not block the effect of PKCepsilon inhibition and activation, either. PKCepsilon inhibition promotes agonist-induced airway muscle contraction, whereas PKCepsilon activation produces an opposite effect. Taken together, these results indicate that PKCepsilon regulates Ca(2+) sparks by specifically interacting with RyR1, which plays an important role in the control of contractile responses in airway SMCs.

Genetic Evidence for Functional Role of Ryanodine Receptor 1 in Pulmonary Artery Smooth Muscle Cells

Ryanodine receptor 1 (RyR1) is well-known to be expressed in systemic and pulmonary vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs); however, its functional roles remain largely unknown. In the present study, we attempted to determine the potential importance of RyR1 in membrane depolarization-, neurotransmitter-, and hypoxia-induced Ca2+ release and contraction in pulmonary artery SMCs (PASMCs) using RyR1 homozygous and heterozygous gene deletion (RyR1-/- and RyR1+/-) mice. Our results indicate that spontaneous local Ca2+ release and caffeine-induced global Ca2+ release are significantly reduced in embryonic RyR1-/- and adult RyR+/- cells. An increase in [Ca2+]i following membrane depolarization with high K+ is markedly attenuated in RyR1-/- and RyR1+/- PASMCs in normal Ca2+ or Ca2+-free extracellular solution. Similarly, muscle contraction evoked by membrane depolarization is reduced in RyR1+/- pulmonary arteries in the presence or absence of extracellular Ca2+. Neurotransmitter receptor agonists and inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate elicit a much smaller increase in [Ca2+]i in both RyR1-/- and RyR1+/- cells. We have also found that neurotransmitter-evoked muscle contraction is significantly inhibited in RyR1+/- pulmonary arteries. Hypoxia-induced increase in [Ca2+]i and contraction are largely blocked in RyR1-/- and/or RyR1+/- PASMCs. Collectively, our findings provide genetic evidence for the functional importance of RyR1 in spontaneous local Ca2+ release, and membrane depolarization-, neurotransmitter-, as well as hypoxia-induced global Ca2+ release and attendant contraction in PASMCs.

An Emerging Role for NAADP-mediated Ca2+ Signaling in the Pancreatic β-cell

Several recent reports, including one in this journal, have reignited the debate about whether the calcium-mobilizing messenger, nicotinic adenine nucleotide diphosphate (NAADP) plays a central role in the regulation of calcium signalling in pancreatic β-cell. These studies have highlighted a role for NAADP-induced Ca(2+) mobilization not only in mediating the effects of the incretin, GLP-1 and the autocrine proliferative effects of insulin, but also possibly a fundamental role in glucose-mediated insulin secretion in the pancreatic β-cell.

Impaired Orai1-mediated Resting Ca2+ Entry Reduces the Cytosolic [Ca2+] and Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Ca2+ Loading in Quiescent Junctophilin 1 Knock-out Myotubes

In the absence of store depletion, plasmalemmal Ca(2+) permeability in resting muscle is very low, and its contribution in the maintenance of Ca(2+) homeostasis at rest has not been studied in detail. Junctophilin 1 knock-out myotubes (JP1 KO) have a severe reduction in store-operated Ca(2+) entry, presumably caused by physical alteration of the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) and T-tubule junction, leading to disruption of the SR signal sent by Stim1 to activate Orai1. Using JP1 KO myotubes as a model, we assessed the contribution of the Orai1-mediated Ca(2+) entry pathway on overall Ca(2+) homeostasis at rest with no store depletion. JP1 KO myotubes have decreased Ca(2+) entry, [Ca(2+)](rest), and intracellular Ca(2+) content compared with WT myotubes and unlike WT myotubes, are refractory to BTP2, a Ca(2+) entry blocker. JP1 KO myotubes show down-regulation of Orai1 and Stim1 proteins, suggesting that this pathway may be important in the control of resting Ca(2+) homeostasis. WT myotubes stably transduced with Orai1(E190Q) had similar alterations in their resting Ca(2+) homeostasis as JP1 KO myotubes and were also unresponsive to BTP2. JP1 KO cells show decreased expression of TRPC1 and -3 but overexpress TRPC4 and -6; on the other hand, the TRPC expression profile in Orai1(E190Q) myotubes was comparable with WT. These data suggest that an important fraction of resting plasmalemmal Ca(2+) permeability is mediated by the Orai1 pathway, which contributes to the control of [Ca(2+)](rest) and resting Ca(2+) stores and that this pathway is defective in JP1 KO myotubes.

Ca2+ Overload and Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Instability in Tric-a Null Skeletal Muscle

The sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) of skeletal muscle contains K(+), Cl(-), and H(+) channels may facilitate charge neutralization during Ca(2+) release. Our recent studies have identified trimeric intracellular cation (TRIC) channels on SR as an essential counter-ion permeability pathway associated with rapid Ca(2+) release from intracellular stores. Skeletal muscle contains TRIC-A and TRIC-B isoforms as predominant and minor components, respectively. Here we test the physiological function of TRIC-A in skeletal muscle. Biochemical assay revealed abundant expression of TRIC-A relative to the skeletal muscle ryanodine receptor with a molar ratio of TRIC-A/ryanodine receptor ∼5:1. Electron microscopy with the tric-a(-/-) skeletal muscle showed Ca(2+) overload inside the SR with frequent formation of Ca(2+) deposits compared with the wild type muscle. This elevated SR Ca(2+) pool in the tric-a(-/-) muscle could be released by caffeine, whereas the elemental Ca(2+) release events, e.g. osmotic stress-induced Ca(2+) spark activities, were significantly reduced likely reflecting compromised counter-ion movement across the SR. Ex vivo physiological test identified the appearance of "alternan" behavior with isolated tric-a(-/-) skeletal muscle, i.e. transient and drastic increase in contractile force appeared within the decreasing force profile during repetitive fatigue stimulation. Inhibition of SR/endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+ ATPase) function could lead to aggravation of the stress-induced alternans in the tric-a(-/-) muscle. Our data suggests that absence of TRIC-A may lead to Ca(2+) overload in SR, which in combination with the reduced counter-ion movement may lead to instability of Ca(2+) movement across the SR membrane. The observed alternan behavior with the tric-a(-/-) muscle may reflect a skeletal muscle version of store overload-induced Ca(2+) release that has been reported in the cardiac muscle under stress conditions.

Increased Store-operated Ca2+ Entry in Skeletal Muscle with Reduced Calsequestrin-1 Expression

Store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE) contributes to Ca(2+) handling in normal skeletal muscle function, as well as the progression of muscular dystrophy and sarcopenia, yet the mechanisms underlying the change in SOCE in these states remain unclear. Previously we showed that calsequestrin-1 (CSQ1) participated in retrograde regulation of SOCE in cultured skeletal myotubes. In this study, we used small-hairpin RNA to determine whether knockdown of CSQ1 in adult mouse skeletal muscle can influence SOCE activity and muscle function. Small-hairpin RNA against CSQ1 was introduced into flexor digitorum brevis muscles using electroporation. Transfected fibers were isolated for SOCE measurements using the Mn(2+) fluorescence-quenching method. At room temperature, the SOCE induced by submaximal depletion of the SR Ca(2+) store was significantly enhanced in CSQ1-knockdown muscle fibers. When temperature of the bathing solution was increased to 39 degrees C, CSQ1-knockdown muscle fibers displayed a significant increase in Ca(2+) permeability across the surface membrane likely via the SOCE pathway, and a corresponding elevation in cytosolic Ca(2+) as compared to control fibers. Preincubation with azumolene, an analog of dantrolene used for the treatment of malignant hyperthermia (MH), suppressed the elevated SOCE in CSQ1-knockdown fibers. Because the CSQ1-knockout mice develop similar MH phenotypes, this inhibitory effect of azumolene on SOCE suggests that elevated extracellular Ca(2+) entry in skeletal muscle may be a key factor for the pathophysiological changes in intracellular Ca(2+) signaling in MH.

Charade of the SR K+-channel: Two Ion-channels, TRIC-A and TRIC-B, Masquerade As a Single K+-channel

The presence of a sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) K+-selective ion-channel has been known for >30 years yet the molecular identity of this channel has remained a mystery. Recently, an SR trimeric intracellular cation channel (TRIC-A) was identified but it did not exhibit all expected characteristics of the SR K+-channel. We show that a related SR protein, TRIC-B, also behaves as a cation-selective ion-channel. Comparison of the single-channel properties of purified TRIC-A and TRIC-B in symmetrical 210 mM K+ solutions, show that TRIC-B has a single-channel conductance of 138 pS with subconductance levels of 59 and 35 pS, whereas TRIC-A exhibits full- and subconductance open states of 192 and 129 pS respectively. We suggest that the K+-current fluctuations observed after incorporating cardiac or skeletal SR into bilayers, can be explained by the gating of both TRIC-A and TRIC-B channels suggesting that the SR K+-channel is not a single, distinct entity. Importantly, TRIC-A is regulated strongly by trans-membrane voltage whereas TRIC-B is activated primarily by micromolar cytosolic Ca2+ and inhibited by luminal Ca2+. Thus, TRIC-A and TRIC-B channels are regulated by different mechanisms, thereby providing maximum flexibility and scope for facilitating monovalent cation flux across the SR membrane.

Bid Agonist Regulates Murine Hepatocyte Proliferation by Controlling Endoplasmic Reticulum Calcium Homeostasis

BH3-interacting domain death agonist (Bid), a BH3-only B cell lymphoma 2 family molecule, is generally known for its importance in activating the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway after death receptor engagement, particularly in hepatocytes. However, Bid also promotes hepatocyte proliferation during liver regeneration and carcinogenesis. This study was designed to examine the hypothesis that Bid regulates endoplasmic reticulum calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)](ER)) homeostasis to affect hepatocyte proliferation. We found that serum-stimulated hepatocyte proliferation was dependent on calcium, and the depletion of calcium with thapsigargin or ethylene glycol tetraacetic acid (EGTA) inhibited the proliferation. Subcellular fractionation showed that a portion of Bid was inserted into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-enriched membranes, and single-cell calcium imaging indicated that Bid was important for maintaining the [Ca(2+)](ER) level. Bid-deficient hepatocytes manifested delayed and reduced serum-stimulated proliferation, which was corrected by ionomycin or reconstitution of Bid, particularly an ER-targeted Bid. Finally, B cell lymphoma 2-associated X protein (Bax) could also be found in the ER-enriched membranes, and Bax deficiency caused the same proliferation defect. However, Bid/Bax double deletion in hepatocytes did not further augment the defect, which suggested that Bid and Bax worked by the same regulatory mechanism in [Ca(2+)](ER) control. CONCLUSION: Bid regulates hepatocyte proliferation by positively affecting [Ca(2+)](ER) homeostasis, and this could be important for liver regeneration and carcinogenesis.

Two-pore Channels for Integrative Ca Signaling

Two-pore channels (TPCs) are related to voltage-gated Ca(2+) and Na(+) channels. They most likely work as dimers with each of the two TPC protein subunits containing two pore-forming domains. Recent studies suggest that TPCs are expressed on the membranes of endosomes and lysosomes where they form receptors for nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP), the most potent Ca(2+) mobilizing messenger inside cells. Upon activation by NAADP, Ca(2+) release from endolysosomal stores through TPCs triggers cytoplasmic Ca(2+) signals. Because of discrete localizations of these acidic vesicles and their small, albeit variable, sizes, the Ca(2+) signals from endolysosomes are local and, perhaps, represent unique elementary Ca(2+) events. These localized signals can be converted into regenerative global Ca(2+) waves by triggering Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release from endoplasmic reticulum. We will discuss the implications of these findings and the significance of TPCs in integrative Ca(2+) signaling in animal cells.

MG53 Constitutes a Primary Determinant of Cardiac Ischemic Preconditioning

Ischemic heart disease is the greatest cause of death in Western countries. The deleterious effects of cardiac ischemia are ameliorated by ischemic preconditioning (IPC), in which transient ischemia protects against subsequent severe ischemia/reperfusion injury. IPC activates multiple signaling pathways, including the reperfusion injury salvage kinase pathway (mainly PI3K-Akt-glycogen synthase kinase-3beta [GSK3beta] and ERK1/2) and the survivor activating factor enhancement pathway involving activation of the JAK-STAT3 axis. Nevertheless, the fundamental mechanism underlying IPC is poorly understood.

2-Methoxyoestradiol Inhibits Glucose Transport in Rodent Skeletal Muscle

2-Methoxyoestradiol (2-ME) is an oestrogen derivative that inhibits superoxide dismutase (which converts superoxide anions to H(2)O(2)). Since reactive oxygen species have been implicated in glucose transport, we determined the effect of 2-ME on glucose transport in skeletal muscle. Experiments were performed on isolated mouse extensor digitorum longus (EDL, glycolytic, fast-twitch) muscle. Glucose uptake was measured using 2-deoxy-d-[1,2-(3)H]glucose. 2-Methoxyoestradiol (50 microm) reduced glucose uptake induced by insulin, contraction and hypoxia by approximately 60%. Exogenous H(2)O(2) activated glucose uptake, and this effect was also blocked by 2-ME, demonstrating that 2-ME was exerting its inhibitory effect on glucose uptake at a site other than superoxide dismutase. When glucose uptake was stimulated by insulin, followed by addition of 2-ME, there was also an attenuation of the effect of insulin (approximately 60%). Moreover, basal glucose uptake was decreased by 2-ME (approximately 50%). In contrast, insulin-mediated translocation of glucose transporter type 4 protein to the plasma membrane was not affected by 2-ME. Similar results were obtained in soleus (oxidative, slow-twitch) muscle. In conclusion, 2-ME appears to decrease glucose transport in skeletal muscle by directly interfering with the function of glucose transport proteins in surface membranes.

Cardioprotection of Ischemia/reperfusion Injury by Cholesterol-dependent MG53-mediated Membrane Repair

Unrepaired cardiomyocyte membrane injury causes irreplaceable cell loss, leading to myocardial fibrosis and eventually heart failure. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms of cardiac membrane repair are largely unknown. MG53, a newly identified striated muscle-specific protein, is involved in skeletal muscle membrane repair. But the role of MG53 in the heart has not been determined.

TPCs: Endolysosomal Channels for Ca2+ Mobilization from Acidic Organelles Triggered by NAADP

Two-pore channels (TPCs or TPCNs) are novel members of the large superfamily of voltage-gated cation channels with slightly higher sequence homology to the pore-forming subunits of voltage-gated Ca(2+) and Na(+) channels than most other members. Recent studies demonstrate that TPCs locate to endosomes and lysosomes and form Ca(2+) release channels that respond to activation by the Ca(2+) mobilizing messenger, nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP). With multiple endolysosomal targeted NAADP receptors now identified, important new insights into the regulation of endolysosomal function in health and disease will therefore be unveiled.

S165F Mutation of Junctophilin 2 Affects Ca2+ Signalling in Skeletal Muscle

JPs (junctophilins) contribute to the formation of junctional membrane complexes in muscle cells by physically linking the t-tubule (transverse-tubule) and SR (sarcoplasmic reticulum) membranes. In humans with HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), mutations in JP2 are linked to altered Ca2+ signalling in cardiomyocytes; however, the effects of these mutations on skeletal muscle function have not been examined. In the present study, we investigated the role of the dominant-negative JP2-S165F mutation (which is associated with human HCM) in skeletal muscle. Consistent with the hypertrophy observed in human cardiac muscle, overexpression of JP2-S165F in primary mouse skeletal myotubes led to a significant increase in myotube diameter and resting cytosolic Ca2+ concentration. Single myotube Ca2+ imaging experiments showed reductions in both the excitation-contraction coupling gain and RyR (ryanodine receptor) 1-mediated Ca2+ release from the SR. Immunoprecipitation assays revealed defects in the PKC (protein kinase C)-mediated phosphorylation of the JP2-S165F mutant protein at Ser165 and in binding of JP2-S165F to the Ca2+ channel TRPC3 (transient receptor potential cation canonical-type channel 3) on the t-tubule membrane. Therefore both the hypertrophy and altered intracellular Ca2+ signalling in the JP2-S165F-expressing skeletal myotubes can be linked to altered phosphorylation of JP2 and/or altered cross-talk among Ca2+ channels on the t-tubule and SR membranes.

Calcium Signaling Via Two-pore Channels: Local or Global, That is the Question

Recently, we identified, for the first time, two-pore channels (TPCs, TPCN for gene name) as a novel family of nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP)-gated, endolysosome-targeted calcium release channels. Significantly, three subtypes of TPCs have been characterized, TPC1-3, with each being targeted to discrete acidic calcium stores, namely lysosomes (TPC2) and endosomes (TPC1 and TPC3). That TPCs act as NAADP-gated calcium release channels is clear, given that NAADP binds to high- and low-affinity sites associated with TPC2 and thereby induces calcium release and homologous desensitization, as observed in the case of endogenous NAADP receptors. Moreover, NAADP-evoked calcium signals via TPC2 are ablated by short hairpin RNA knockdown of TPC2 and by depletion of acidic calcium stores with bafilomycin. Importantly, however, NAADP-evoked calcium signals were biphasic in nature, with an initial phase of calcium release from lysosomes via TPC2, being subsequently amplified by calcium-induced calcium release (CICR) from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In marked contrast, calcium release via endosome-targeted TPC1 induced only spatially restricted calcium signals that were not amplified by CICR from the ER. These findings provide new insights into the mechanisms that cells may utilize to "filter" calcium signals via junctional complexes to determine whether a given signal remains local or is converted into a propagating global signal. Essentially, endosomes and lysosomes represent vesicular calcium stores, quite unlike the ER network, and TPCs do not themselves support CICR or, therefore, propagating regenerative calcium waves. Thus "quantal" vesicular calcium release via TPCs must subsequently recruit inositol 1,4,5-trisphoshpate receptors and/or ryanodine receptors on the ER by CICR to evoke a propagating calcium wave. This may call for a revision of current views on the mechanisms of intracellular calcium signaling. The purpose of this review is, therefore, to provide an appropriate framework for future studies in this area.

Disrupted Membrane Structure and Intracellular Ca²⁺ Signaling in Adult Skeletal Muscle with Acute Knockdown of Bin1

Efficient intracellular Ca²⁺ ([Ca²⁺]i) homeostasis in skeletal muscle requires intact triad junctional complexes comprised of t-tubule invaginations of plasma membrane and terminal cisternae of sarcoplasmic reticulum. Bin1 consists of a specialized BAR domain that is associated with t-tubule development in skeletal muscle and involved in tethering the dihydropyridine receptors (DHPR) to the t-tubule. Here, we show that Bin1 is important for Ca²⁺ homeostasis in adult skeletal muscle. Since systemic ablation of Bin1 in mice results in postnatal lethality, in vivo electroporation mediated transfection method was used to deliver RFP-tagged plasmid that produced short -hairpin (sh)RNA targeting Bin1 (shRNA-Bin1) to study the effect of Bin1 knockdown in adult mouse FDB skeletal muscle. Upon confirming the reduction of endogenous Bin1 expression, we showed that shRNA-Bin1 muscle displayed swollen t-tubule structures, indicating that Bin1 is required for the maintenance of intact membrane structure in adult skeletal muscle. Reduced Bin1 expression led to disruption of t-tubule structure that was linked with alterations to intracellular Ca²⁺ release. Voltage-induced Ca²⁺ released in isolated single muscle fibers of shRNA-Bin1 showed that both the mean amplitude of Ca²⁺ current and SR Ca²⁺ transient were reduced when compared to the shRNA-control, indicating compromised coupling between DHPR and ryanodine receptor 1. The mean frequency of osmotic stress induced Ca²⁺ sparks was reduced in shRNA-Bin1, indicating compromised DHPR activation. ShRNA-Bin1 fibers also displayed reduced Ca²⁺ sparks' amplitude that was attributed to decreased total Ca²⁺ stores in the shRNA-Bin1 fibers. Human mutation of Bin1 is associated with centronuclear myopathy and SH3 domain of Bin1 is important for sarcomeric protein organization in skeletal muscle. Our study showing the importance of Bin1 in the maintenance of intact t-tubule structure and ([Ca²⁺]i) homeostasis in adult skeletal muscle could provide mechanistic insight on the potential role of Bin1 in skeletal muscle contractility and pathology of myopathy.

Mitochondrial Calcium Uptake Regulates Rapid Calcium Transients in Skeletal Muscle During Excitation-contraction (E-C) Coupling

Defective coupling between sarcoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria during control of intracellular Ca(2+) signaling has been implicated in the progression of neuromuscular diseases. Our previous study showed that skeletal muscles derived from an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) mouse model displayed segmental loss of mitochondrial function that was coupled with elevated and uncontrolled sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) release activity. The localized mitochondrial defect in the ALS muscle allows for examination of the mitochondrial contribution to Ca(2+) removal during excitation-contraction coupling by comparing Ca(2+) transients in regions with normal and defective mitochondria in the same muscle fiber. Here we show that Ca(2+) transients elicited by membrane depolarization in fiber segments with defective mitochondria display an ~10% increased amplitude. These regional differences in Ca(2+) transients were abolished by the application of 1,2-bis(O-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid, a fast Ca(2+) chelator that reduces mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake. Using a mitochondria-targeted Ca(2+) biosensor (mt11-YC3.6) expressed in ALS muscle fibers, we monitored the dynamic change of mitochondrial Ca(2+) levels during voltage-induced Ca(2+) release and detected a reduced Ca(2+) uptake by mitochondria in the fiber segment with defective mitochondria, which mirrored the elevated Ca(2+) transients in the cytosol. Our study constitutes a direct demonstration of the importance of mitochondria in shaping the cytosolic Ca(2+) signaling in skeletal muscle during excitation-contraction coupling and establishes that malfunction of this mechanism may contribute to neuromuscular degeneration in ALS.

Molecular Architecture of Ca2+ Signaling Control in Muscle and Heart Cells

Ca2+ signaling in skeletal and cardiac muscles is a bi-directional process that involves cross-talk between signaling molecules in the sarcolemmal membrane and Ca2+ release machinery in the intracellular organelles. Maintenance of a junctional membrane structure between the sarcolemmal membrane and the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) provides a framework for the conversion of action potential arrived at the sarcolemma into release of Ca2+ from the SR, leading to activation of a variety of physiological processes. Activity-dependent changes in Ca2+ storage inside the SR provides a retrograde signal for the activation of store-operated Ca2+ channel (SOC) on the sarcolemmal membrane, which plays important roles in the maintenance of Ca2+ homeostasis in physiology and pathophysiology. Research progress during the last 30 years had advanced our understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms for the control of Ca2+ signaling in muscle and cardiovascular physiology. Here we summarize the functions of three key molecules that are located in the junctional membrane complex of skeletal and cardiac muscle cells: junctophilin as a "glue" that physiologically links the SR membrane to the sarcolemmal membrane for formation of the junctional membrane framework, mitsugumin29 as a muscle-specific synaptophysin family protein that contributes to maintain the coordinated Ca2+ signaling in skeletal muscle, and TRIC as a novel cation-selective channel located on the SR membrane that provides counter-ion current during the rapid process of Ca2+ release from the SR.

Store-operated Ca(2+) Entry (SOCE) Contributes to Normal Skeletal Muscle Contractility in Young but Not in Aged Skeletal Muscle

Muscle atrophy alone is insufficient to explain the significant decline in contractile force of skeletal muscle during normal aging. One contributing factor to decreased contractile force in aging skeletal muscle could be compromised excitation-contraction (E-C) coupling, without sufficient available Ca(2+) to allow for repetitive muscle contractility, skeletal muscles naturally become weaker. Using biophysical approaches, we previously showed that store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE) is compromised in aged skeletal muscle but not in young ones. While important, a missing component from previous studies is whether or not SOCE function correlates with contractile function during aging. Here we test the contribution of extracellular Ca(2+) to contractile function of skeletal muscle during aging. First, we demonstrate graded coupling between SR Ca(2+) release channel-mediated Ca(2+) release and activation of SOCE. Inhibition of SOCE produced significant reduction of contractile force in young skeletal muscle, particularly at high frequency stimulation, and such effects were completely absent in aged skeletal muscle. Our data indicate that SOCE contributes to the normal physiological contractile response of young healthy skeletal muscle and that defective extracellular Ca(2+) entry through SOCE contributes to the reduced contractile force characteristic of aged skeletal muscle.

Imaging Superoxide Flash and Metabolism-coupled Mitochondrial Permeability Transition in Living Animals

The mitochondrion is essential for energy metabolism and production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In intact cells, respiratory mitochondria exhibit spontaneous "superoxide flashes", the quantal ROS-producing events consequential to transient mitochondrial permeability transition (tMPT). Here we perform the first in vivo imaging of mitochondrial superoxide flashes and tMPT activity in living mice expressing the superoxide biosensor mt-cpYFP, and demonstrate their coupling to whole-body glucose metabolism. Robust tMPT/superoxide flash activity occurred in skeletal muscle and sciatic nerve of anesthetized transgenic mice. In skeletal muscle, imaging tMPT/superoxide flashes revealed labyrinthine three-dimensional networks of mitochondria that operate synchronously. The tMPT/superoxide flash activity surged in response to systemic glucose challenge or insulin stimulation, in an apparently frequency-modulated manner and involving also a shift in the gating mode of tMPT. Thus, in vivo imaging of tMPT-dependent mitochondrial ROS signals and the discovery of the metabolism-tMPT-superoxide flash coupling mark important technological and conceptual advances for the study of mitochondrial function and ROS signaling in health and disease.

Redox-dependent Oligomerization Through a Leucine Zipper Motif is Essential for MG53-mediated Cell Membrane Repair

We recently discovered that MG53, a muscle-specific tripartite motif (TRIM) family protein, functions as a sensor of oxidation to nucleate the assembly of cell membrane repair machinery. Our data showed that disulfide bond formation mediated by Cys242 is critical for MG53-mediated translocation of intracellular vesicles toward the injury sites. Here we test the hypothesis that leucine zipper motifs in the coiled-coil domain of MG53 constitute an additional mechanism that facilitates oligomerization of MG53 during cell membrane repair. Two leucine zipper motifs in the coiled-coil domain of MG53 (LZ1 - L176/L183/L190/V197 and LZ2 - L205/L212/L219/L226) are highly conserved across the different animal species. Chemical cross-linking studies show that LZ1 is critical for MG53 homodimerization, whereas LZ2 is not. Mutations of the conserved leucines into alanines in LZ1, not in LZ2, diminish the redox-dependent oligomerization of MG53. Live cell imaging studies demonstrate that the movement of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged MG53 mutants (GFP-LA1 and GFP-LA2) is partially compromised in response to mechanical damage of the cell membrane, and the GFP-LA1/2 double mutant is completely ineffective in translocation toward the injury sites. In addition to the leucine zipper-mediated intermolecular interaction, redox-dependent cross talk between MG53 appears to be an obligatory step for cell membrane repair, since in vivo modification of cysteine residues with alkylating reagents can prevent the movement of MG53 toward the injury sites. Our data show that oxidation of the thiol group of Cys242 and leucine zipper-mediated interaction among the MG53 molecules both contribute to the nucleation process for MG53-mediated cell membrane repair.

A Versatile Single-plasmid System for Tissue-specific and Inducible Control of Gene Expression in Transgenic Mice

We describe a novel transgenic system for tissue-specific and inducible control of gene expression in mice. The system employs a tetracycline-responsive CMV promoter that controls transcription of a short-hairpin RNA (shRNA) that remains nonfunctional until an interrupting reporter cassette is excised by Cre recombinase. Insertion of Dicer and Drosha RNase processing sites within the shRNA allows generation of siRNA to knock down a target gene efficiently. Tissue-specific shRNA expression is achieved through the use of appropriate inducer mice with tissue-specific expression of Cre. We applied this system to regulate expression of junctophilins (JPs), genes essential for maintenance of membrane ultrastructure and Ca(2+) signaling in muscle. Transgenic mice with skeletal muscle-specific expression of shRNA against JP mRNAs displayed no basal change of JP expression before treatment with doxycycline (Dox), while inducible and reversible knockdown of JPs was achieved by feeding mice with Dox-containing water. Dox-induced knockdown of JPs led to abnormal junctional membrane structure and Ca(2+) signaling in adult muscle fibers, consistent with essential roles of JPs in muscle development and function. This transgenic approach can be applied for inducible and reversible gene knockdown or gene overexpression in many different tissues, thus providing a versatile system for elucidating the physiological gene function in viable animal models.

Ataxin-1 and Brother of Ataxin-1 Are Components of the Notch Signalling Pathway

Ataxin-1 (ATXN1), a causative factor for spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1), and the related Brother of ATXN1 (BOAT1) are human proteins involved in transcriptional repression. So far, little is known about which transcriptional pathways mediate the effects of ATXN1 and BOAT1. From our analyses of the properties of BOAT1 in Drosophila and of both proteins in mammalian cells, we report here that BOAT1 and ATXN1 are components of the Notch signalling pathway. In Drosophila, BOAT1 compromises the activities of Notch. In mammalian cells, both ATXN1 and BOAT1 bind to the promoter region of Hey1 and inhibit the transcriptional output of Notch through direct interactions with CBF1, a transcription factor that is crucial for the Notch pathway. Our results suggest that, in addition to their involvement in SCA1, ATXN1 and BOAT1 might participate in several Notch-controlled developmental and pathological processes.

TBHQ-induced HO-1 Expression is Mediated by Calcium Through Regulation of Nrf2 Binding to Enhancer and Polymerase II to Promoter Region of HO-1

Induction of Nrf2-mediated detoxifying/antioxidant enzymes is an effective strategy for cancer chemoprevention. The goal of this study was to examine the role of calcium [Ca(2+)] in regulating a well-known phenolic chemopreventive compound tertiary-butylhydroquinone (tBHQ) activation of Nrf2 and induction of Nrf2 downstream target gene heme-oxygenase (HO-1). tBHQ alone caused Nrf2 nuclear localization and induced HO-1 mRNA and protein expression in a dose-dependent manner. Using RT-PCR and Western blotting, we showed that tBHQ-induced transcription of HO-1 is Ca(2+)-dependent. Chelation of [Ca(2+)](ext) or [Ca(2+)](intra) by EGTA or BAPTA attenuated tBHQ-induced HO-1. Cotreatment of tBHQ with inhibitors of [Ca(2+)]-sensitive protein kinase C and camodulin kinase did not attenuate HO-1 induction. Nuclear translocation of Nrf2 induced by tBHQ was also not affected by treatment of EGTA or BAPTA. Additionally, EGTA and BAPTA treatments decreased basal nuclear phosphorylation of CREB and decreased tBHQ-induced Nrf2-CBP binding and Nrf2 binding to enhancer as well as polymerase II binding to the promoter of HO-1 gene. Furthermore, tBHQ in combination with higher [Ca(2+)](ext) augmented HO-1 induction both in vitro and in vivo, indicating that the modulation of [Ca(2+)](int) could be used as an adjuvant to increase the efficacy of chemopreventive agents. Taken together, our results indicated that in addition to tBHQ-induced oxidative stress-mediated Nrf2 translocation, HO-1 induction by tBHQ also appears to be dependent on a series of Ca(2+)-regulated mechanisms.

Dysferlin, Annexin A1, and Mitsugumin 53 Are Upregulated in Muscular Dystrophy and Localize to Longitudinal Tubules of the T-system with Stretch

Mutations in dysferlin cause an inherited muscular dystrophy because of defective membrane repair. Three interacting partners of dysferlin are also implicated in membrane resealing: caveolin-3 (in limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 1C), annexin A1, and the newly identified protein mitsugumin 53 (MG53). Mitsugumin 53 accumulates at sites of membrane damage, and MG53-knockout mice display a progressive muscular dystrophy. This study explored the expression and localization of MG53 in human skeletal muscle, how membrane repair proteins are modulated in various forms of muscular dystrophy, and whether MG53 is a primary cause of human muscle disease. Mitsugumin 53 showed variable sarcolemmal and/or cytoplasmic immunolabeling in control human muscle and elevated levels in dystrophic patients. No pathogenic MG53 mutations were identified in 50 muscular dystrophy patients, suggesting that MG53 is unlikely to be a common cause of muscular dystrophy in Australia. Western blot analysis confirmed upregulation of MG53, as well as of dysferlin, annexin A1, and caveolin-3 to different degrees, in different muscular dystrophies. Importantly, MG53, annexin A1, and dysferlin localize to the t-tubule network and show enriched labeling at longitudinal tubules of the t-system in overstretch. Our results suggest that longitudinal tubules of the t-system may represent sites of physiological membrane damage targeted by this membrane repair complex.

Polymerase Transcriptase Release Factor (PTRF) Anchors MG53 Protein to Cell Injury Site for Initiation of Membrane Repair

Plasma membrane repair is an essential process for maintenance of homeostasis at the cellular and tissue levels, whereas compromised repair capacity contributes to degenerative human diseases. Our recent studies show that MG53 is essential for muscle membrane repair, and defects in MG53 function are linked to muscular dystrophy and cardiac dysfunction. Here we report that polymerase I and transcript release factor (PTRF), a gene known to regulate caveolae membrane structure, is an indispensable component of the membrane repair machinery. PTRF acts as a docking protein for MG53 during membrane repair potentially by binding exposed membrane cholesterol at the injury site. Cells lacking expression of endogenous PTRF show defective trafficking of MG53 to membrane injury sites. A mutation in PTRF associated with human disease results in aberrant nuclear localization of PTRF and disrupts MG53 function in membrane resealing. Although RNAi silencing of PTRF leads to defective muscle membrane repair, overexpression of PTRF can rescue membrane repair defects in dystrophic muscle. Our data suggest that membrane-delimited interaction between MG53 and PTRF contributes to initiation of cell membrane repair, which can be an attractive target for treatment or prevention of tissue injury in human diseases.

MG53 Participates in Ischaemic Postconditioning Through the RISK Signalling Pathway

Recent studies show that ischaemic postconditioning (PostC), similar to the well-established ischaemic preconditioning (IPC), confers cardioprotection against ischaemia/reperfusion (IR) injury, and both IPC and PostC can activate the reperfusion injury salvage kinase (RISK) pathway and the survivor activating factor enhancement (SAFE) pathway. PostC is clinically more attractive because of its therapeutic application at the predictable onset of reperfusion. Our previous studies have demonstrated that MG53 is a primary component of the IPC machinery. Here, we investigated the potential role of MG53 in PostC-mediated myocardial protection and explored the underlying mechanism.

Cyclic Adenosine Diphosphate Ribose Activates Ryanodine Receptors, Whereas NAADP Activates Two-pore Domain Channels

The mechanism by which cyclic adenosine diphosphate ribose (cADPR) and nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP) mobilize intracellular Ca(2+) stores remains controversial. It is open to question whether cADPR regulates ryanodine receptors (RyRs) directly, as originally proposed, or indirectly by promoting Ca(2+) uptake into the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum by sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPases. Conversely, although we have proposed that NAADP mobilizes endolysosomal Ca(2+) stores by activating two-pore domain channels (TPCs), others suggest that NAADP directly activates RyRs. We therefore assessed Ca(2+) signals evoked by intracellular dialysis from a patch pipette of cADPR and NAADP into HEK293 cells that stably overexpress either TPC1, TPC2, RyR1, or RyR3. No change in intracellular Ca(2+) concentration was triggered by cADPR in either wild-type HEK293 cells (which are devoid of RyRs) or in cells that stably overexpress TPC1 and TPC2, respectively. By contrast, a marked Ca(2+) transient was triggered by cADPR in HEK293 cells that stably expressed RyR1 and RyR3. The Ca(2+) transient was abolished following depletion of endoplasmic reticulum stores by thapsigargin and block of RyRs by dantrolene but not following depletion of acidic Ca(2+) stores by bafilomycin. By contrast, NAADP failed to evoke a Ca(2+) transient in HEK293 cells that expressed RyR1 or RyR3, but it induced robust Ca(2+) transients in cells that stably overexpressed TPC1 or TPC2 and in a manner that was blocked following depletion of acidic stores by bafilomycin. We conclude that cADPR triggers Ca(2+) release by activating RyRs but not TPCs, whereas NAADP activates TPCs but not RyRs.

Junctophilin-2 Expression Silencing Causes Cardiocyte Hypertrophy and Abnormal Intracellular Calcium-handling

Junctophilin-2 (JPH2), a protein expressed in the junctional membrane complex, is necessary for proper intracellular calcium (Ca(2+)) signaling in cardiac myocytes. Downregulation of JPH2 expression in a model of cardiac hypertrophy was recently associated with defective coupling between plasmalemmal L-type Ca(2+) channels and sarcoplasmic reticular ryanodine receptors. However, it remains unclear whether JPH2 expression is altered in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). In addition, the effects of downregulation of JPH2 expression on intracellular Ca(2+) handling are presently poorly understood. We sought to determine whether loss of JPH2 expression is noted among patients with HCM and whether expression silencing might perturb Ca(2+) handling in a prohypertrophic manner.

Amphipathic Tail-anchoring Peptide and Bcl-2 Homology Domain-3 (BH3) Peptides from Bcl-2 Family Proteins Induce Apoptosis Through Different Mechanisms

Bcl-2 homology domain-3 (BH3) peptides are potent cancer therapeutic reagents that target regulators of apoptotic cell death in cancer cells. However, their cytotoxic effects are affected by different expression levels of Bcl-2 family proteins. We recently found that the amphipathic tail-anchoring peptide (ATAP) from Bfl-1, a bifunctional Bcl-2 family member, produced strong pro-apoptotic activity by permeabilizing the mitochondrial outer membrane. Here, we test whether the activity of ATAP requires other cellular factors and whether ATAP has an advantage over the BH3 peptides in targeting cancer cells. Confocal microscopic imaging illustrates specific targeting of ATAP to mitochondria, whereas BH3 peptides show diffuse patterns of cytosolic distribution. Although the pro-apoptotic activities of BH3 peptides are largely inhibited by either overexpression of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 or Bcl-xL or nullification of pro-apoptotic Bax and Bak in cells, the pro-apoptotic function of ATAP is not affected by these cellular factors. Reconstitution of synthetic ATAP into liposomal membranes results in release of fluorescent molecules of the size of cytochrome c from the liposomes, suggesting that the membrane permeabilizing activity of ATAP does not require additional protein factors. Because ATAP can target to the mitochondrial membrane and its pro-apoptotic activity does not depend on the content of Bcl-2 family proteins, it represents a promising candidate for anti-cancer drugs that can potentially overcome the intrinsic apoptosis-resistant nature of cancer cells.

Enhancing Muscle Membrane Repair by Gene Delivery of MG53 Ameliorates Muscular Dystrophy and Heart Failure in δ-Sarcoglycan-deficient Hamsters

Muscular dystrophies (MDs) are caused by genetic mutations in over 30 different genes, many of which encode for proteins essential for the integrity of muscle cell structure and membrane. Their deficiencies cause the muscle vulnerable to mechanical and biochemical damages, leading to membrane leakage, dystrophic pathology, and eventual loss of muscle cells. Recent studies report that MG53, a muscle-specific TRIM-family protein, plays an essential role in sarcolemmal membrane repair. Here, we show that systemic delivery and muscle-specific overexpression of human MG53 gene by recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors enhanced membrane repair, ameliorated pathology, and improved muscle and heart functions in δ-sarcoglycan (δ-SG)-deficient TO-2 hamsters, an animal model of MD and congestive heart failure. In addition, MG53 overexpression increased dysferlin level and facilitated its trafficking to muscle membrane through participation of caveolin-3. MG53 also protected muscle cells by activating cell survival kinases, such as Akt, extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK1/2), and glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) and inhibiting proapoptotic protein Bax. Our results suggest that enhancing the muscle membrane repair machinery could be a novel therapeutic approach for MD and cardiomyopathy, as demonstrated here in the limb girdle MD (LGMD) 2F model.

Nonmuscle Myosin IIA Facilitates Vesicle Trafficking for MG53-mediated Cell Membrane Repair

Repair of injury to the plasma membrane is an essential mechanism for maintenance of cellular homeostasis and integrity that involves coordinated movement of intracellular vesicles to membrane injury sites to facilitate patch formation. We have previously identified MG53 as an essential component of the cell membrane repair machinery. In order for MG53 and intracellular vesicles to translocate to membrane injury sites, motor proteins must be involved. Here, we show that nonmuscle myosin type IIA (NM-IIA) interacts with MG53 to regulate vesicle trafficking during cell membrane repair. In cells that are deficient for NM-IIA expression, MG53 cannot translocate to acute injury sites, whereas rescue of NM-IIA expression in these cells can restore MG53-mediated membrane repair. Compromised cell membrane repair is observed in cells with RNAi-mediated knockdown of NM-IIA expression, or following pharmacological alteration of NM-IIA motor function. Together, our data reveal NM-IIA as a key cytoskeleton motor protein that facilitates vesicle trafficking during MG53-mediated cell membrane repair.-Lin, P., Zhu, H., Cai, C., Wang, X., Cao, C., Xiao, R., Pan, Z., Weisleder, N., Takeshima, H., Ma, J. Nonmuscle myosin IIA facilitates vesicle trafficking for MG53-mediated cell membrane repair.

Detection of Calcium Sparks in Intact and Permeabilized Skeletal Muscle Fibers

Ca(2+) sparks are the elementary units of Ca(2+) signaling in striated muscle fibers that appear as highly localized Ca(2+) release events through ryanodine receptor (RyR) Ca(2+) release channels in the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). While these events are commonly observed in resting cardiac myocytes, they are rarely seen in resting skeletal muscle fibers. Since Ca(2+) spark analysis can provide extensive data on the Ca(2+) handling characteritsics of normal and diseased striated muscle, there has been interest in developing methods for observing Ca(2+) sparks in skeletal muscle. Previously, we discovered that stress generated by osmotic pressure changes induces a robust Ca(2+) spark response confined in close spatial proximity to the sarcolemmal membrane in wild-type intact mammalian muscles. Our studies showed these peripheral Ca(2+) sparks (PCS) were altered in dystrophic or aged skeletal muscles. Other methods to induce Ca(2+) sparks include permeabilization of the sarcolemmal membrane with detergents, such as saponin. In this chapter, we will discuss the methods for isolation of muscle fibers, the techniques for inducing Ca(2+) sparks in these isolated fibers, and provide guidance on the analysis of data from these experiments.

Mitsugumin 53 Attenuates the Activity of Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase 1a (SERCA1a) in Skeletal Muscle

Mitsugumin 53 (MG53) is a member of the membrane repair system in skeletal muscle. However, the role(s) of MG53 in the unique functions of skeletal muscle have not been addressed, although it is known that MG53 is expressed only in skeletal and cardiac muscle. In the present study, MG53-binding proteins were examined along with proteins that mediate skeletal muscle contraction and relaxation using the binding assays of various MG53 domains and quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry. MG53 binds to sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase 1a (SERCA1a) via its tripartite motif (TRIM) and PRY domains. The binding was confirmed in rabbit skeletal muscle and mouse primary skeletal myotubes by co-immunoprecipitation and immunocytochemistry. MG53 knockdown in mouse primary skeletal myotubes increased Ca(2+)-uptake through SERCA1a (more than 35%) at micromolar Ca(2+) but not at nanomolar Ca(2+), suggesting that MG53 attenuates SERCA1a activity possibly during skeletal muscle contraction or relaxation but not during the resting state of skeletal muscle. Therefore MG53 could be a new candidate for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with Brody syndrome, which is not related to the mutations in the gene coding for SERCA1a, but still accompanies exercise-induced muscle stiffness and delayed muscle relaxation due to a reduction in SERCA1a activity.

TRIM50 Protein Regulates Vesicular Trafficking for Acid Secretion in Gastric Parietal Cells

Of the TRIM/RBCC family proteins taking part in a variety of cellular processes, TRIM50 is a stomach-specific member with no defined biological function. Our biochemical data demonstrated that TRIM50 is specifically expressed in gastric parietal cells and is predominantly localized in the tubulovesicular and canalicular membranes. In cultured cells ectopically expressing GFP-TRIM50, confocal microscopic imaging revealed dynamic movement of TRIM50-associated vesicles in a phosphoinositide 3-kinase-dependent manner. A protein overlay assay detected preferential binding of the PRY-SPRY domain from the TRIM50 C-terminal region to phosphatidylinositol species, suggesting that TRIM50 is involved in vesicular dynamics by sensing the phosphorylated state of phosphoinositol lipids. Trim50 knock-out mice retained normal histology in the gastric mucosa but exhibited impaired secretion of gastric acid. In response to histamine, Trim50 knock-out parietal cells generated deranged canaliculi, swollen microvilli lacking actin filaments, and excess multilamellar membrane complexes. Therefore, TRIM50 seems to play an essential role in tubulovesicular dynamics, promoting the formation of sophisticated canaliculi and microvilli during acid secretion in parietal cells.

Switch from ER-mitochondrial to SR-mitochondrial Calcium Coupling During Muscle Differentiation

Emerging evidence indicates that mitochondria are locally coupled to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca(2+) release in myoblasts and to sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca(2+) release in differentiated muscle fibers in order to regulate cytoplasmic calcium dynamics and match metabolism with cell activity. However, the mechanism of the developmental transition from ER to SR coupling remains unclear. We have studied mitochondrial sensing of IP(3) receptor (IP3R)- and ryanodine receptor (RyR)-mediated Ca(2+) signals in H9c2 myoblasts and differentiating myotubes, as well as the attendant changes in mitochondrial morphology. Mitochondria in myoblasts were largely elongated, luminally connected and relatively few in number, whereas the myotubes were densely packed with globular mitochondria that displayed limited luminal continuity. Vasopressin, an IP(3)-linked agonist, evoked a large cytoplasmic Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)](c)) increase in myoblasts, whereas it elicited a smaller response in myotubes. Conversely, RyR-mediated Ca(2+) release induced by caffeine, was not observed in myoblasts, but triggered a large [Ca(2+)](c) signal in myotubes. Both the IP3R and the RyR-mediated [Ca(2+)](c) rise was closely associated with a mitochondrial matrix Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)](m)) signal. Every myotube that showed a [Ca(2+)](c) spike also displayed a [Ca(2+)](m) response. Addition of IP(3) to permeabilized myoblasts and caffeine to permeabilized myotubes also resulted in a rapid [Ca(2+)](m) rise, indicating that Ca(2+) was delivered via local coupling of the ER/SR and mitochondria. Thus, as RyRs are expressed during muscle differentiation, the local connection between RyR and mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake sites also appears. When RyR1 was exogenously introduced to myoblasts by overexpression, the [Ca(2+)](m) signal appeared together with the [Ca(2+)](c) signal, however the mitochondrial morphology remained unchanged. Thus, RyR expression alone is sufficient to induce the steps essential for their alignment with mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake sites, whereas the mitochondrial proliferation and reshaping utilize either downstream or alternative pathways.

Recombinant MG53 Protein Modulates Therapeutic Cell Membrane Repair in Treatment of Muscular Dystrophy

Mitsugumin 53 (MG53), a muscle-specific TRIM family protein, is an essential component of the cell membrane repair machinery. Here, we examined the translational value of targeting MG53 function in tissue repair and regenerative medicine. Although native MG53 protein is principally restricted to skeletal and cardiac muscle tissues, beneficial effects that protect against cellular injuries are present in nonmuscle cells with overexpression of MG53. In addition to the intracellular action of MG53, injury to the cell membrane exposes a signal that can be detected by MG53, allowing recombinant MG53 protein to repair membrane damage when provided in the extracellular space. Recombinant human MG53 (rhMG53) protein purified from Escherichia coli fermentation provided dose-dependent protection against chemical, mechanical, or ultraviolet-induced damage to both muscle and nonmuscle cells. Injection of rhMG53 through multiple routes decreased muscle pathology in the mdx dystrophic mouse model. Our data support the concept of targeted cell membrane repair in regenerative medicine, and present MG53 protein as an attractive biological reagent for restoration of membrane repair defects in human diseases.

Hypertrophy in Skeletal Myotubes Induced by Junctophilin-2 Mutant, Y141H, Involves an Increase in Store-operated Ca2+ Entry Via Orai1

Junctophilins (JPs) play an important role in the formation of junctional membrane complexes (JMC) in striated muscle by physically linking the transverse-tubule and sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) membranes. Researchers have found five JP2 mutants in humans with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Among these, Y141H and S165F are associated with severely altered Ca(2+) signaling in cardiomyocytes. We previously reported that S165F also induced both hypertrophy and altered intracellular Ca(2+) signaling in mouse skeletal myotubes. In the present study, we attempted to identify the dominant-negative role(s) of Y141H in primary mouse skeletal myotubes. Consistent with S165F, Y141H led to hypertrophy and altered Ca(2+) signaling (a decrease in the gain of excitation-contraction coupling and an increase in the resting level of myoplasmic Ca(2+)). However, unlike S165F, neither ryanodine receptor 1-mediated Ca(2+) release from the SR nor the phosphorylation of the mutated JP2 by protein kinase C was related to the altered Ca(2+) signaling by Y141H. Instead, abnormal JMC and increased SOCE via Orai1 were found, suggesting that the hypertrophy caused by Y141H progressed differently from S165F. Therefore JP2 can be linked to skeletal muscle hypertrophy via various Ca(2+) signaling pathways, and SOCE could be one of the causes of altered Ca(2+) signaling observed in muscle hypertrophy.

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