In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (16)

Articles by J. Ashot Kozak in JoVE

Other articles by J. Ashot Kozak on PubMed

Distinct Properties of CRAC and MIC Channels in RBL Cells

The Journal of General Physiology. Aug, 2002  |  Pubmed ID: 12149283

In rat basophilic leukemia (RBL) cells and Jurkat T cells, Ca(2+) release-activated Ca(2+) (CRAC) channels open in response to passive Ca(2+) store depletion. Inwardly rectifying CRAC channels admit monovalent cations when external divalent ions are removed. Removal of internal Mg(2+) exposes an outwardly rectifying current (Mg(2+)-inhibited cation [MIC]) that also admits monovalent cations when external divalent ions are removed. Here we demonstrate that CRAC and MIC currents are separable by ion selectivity and rectification properties: by kinetics of activation and susceptibility to run-down and by pharmacological sensitivity to external Mg(2+), spermine, and SKF-96365. Importantly, selective run-down of MIC current allowed CRAC and MIC current to be characterized under identical ionic conditions with low internal Mg(2+). Removal of internal Mg(2+) induced MIC current despite widely varying Ca(2+) and EGTA levels, suggesting that Ca(2+)-store depletion is not involved in activation of MIC channels. Increasing internal Mg(2+) from submicromolar to millimolar levels decreased MIC currents without affecting rectification but did not alter CRAC current rectification or amplitudes. External Mg(2+) and Cs(+) carried current through MIC but not CRAC channels. SKF-96365 blocked CRAC current reversibly but inhibited MIC current irreversibly. At micromolar concentrations, both spermine and extracellular Mg(2+) blocked monovalent MIC current reversibly but not monovalent CRAC current. The biophysical characteristics of MIC current match well with cloned and expressed TRPM7 channels. Previous results are reevaluated in terms of separate CRAC and MIC channels.

A Transient Receptor Potential Channel Expressed in Taste Receptor Cells

Nature Neuroscience. Nov, 2002  |  Pubmed ID: 12368808

We used differential screening of cDNAs from individual taste receptor cells to identify candidate taste transduction elements in mice. Among the differentially expressed clones, one encoded Trpm5, a member of the mammalian family of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels. We found Trpm5 to be expressed in a restricted manner, with particularly high levels in taste tissue. In taste cells, Trpm5 was coexpressed with taste-signaling molecules such as alpha-gustducin, Ggamma13, phospholipase C-beta2 (PLC-beta2) and inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor type III (IP3R3). Our heterologous expression studies of Trpm5 indicate that it functions as a cationic channel that is gated when internal calcium stores are depleted. Trpm5 may be responsible for capacitative calcium entry in taste receptor cells that respond to bitter and/or sweet compounds.

MIC Channels Are Inhibited by Internal Divalent Cations but Not ATP

Biophysical Journal. Feb, 2003  |  Pubmed ID: 12547774

TRPM7 channels are nonselective cation channels that possess a functional alpha-kinase domain. It has been proposed that heterologously expressed TRPM7 channels are activated (Runnels et al., 2001) or inhibited (Nadler et al., 2001) by dialyzing the cell with millimolar levels of ATP. The endogenous correlate of TRPM7 has been identified in T-lymphocytes and RBL (rat basophilic leukemia) cells and named MagNuM (for Mg(2+)-nucleotide-inhibited metal) or MIC (for Mg(2+)-inhibited cation). Here, we report that internal Mg(2+) rather than MgATP inhibits this current. Cytoplasmic MgATP, supplied by dialysis at millimolar concentrations, effectively inhibits only when a weak Mg(2+) chelator is present in the pipette solution. Thus, MgATP acts as a source of Mg(2+) rather than a source of ATP. Using an externally accessible site within the pore of the MIC channel itself as a bioassay, we show that equimolar MgCl(2) and MgATP solutions contain similar amounts of free Mg(2+), explaining the fact that numeric values of Mg(2+) and MgATP concentrations necessary for complete inhibition are the same. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Mg(2+) is not unique in its inhibitory action, as Ba(2+), Sr(2+), Zn(2+), and Mn(2+) can substitute for Mg(2+), causing complete inhibition. We conclude that MIC current inhibition occurs simply by divalent cations.

Polyvalent Cations As Permeant Probes of MIC and TRPM7 Pores

Biophysical Journal. Apr, 2003  |  Pubmed ID: 12668438

Recent studies in Jurkat T cells and in rat basophilic leukemia cells revealed an Mg(2+)-inhibited cation (MIC) channel that has electrophysiological properties similar to TRPM7 Eyring rate model expressed exogenously in mammalian cells. Here we compare the characteristics of several polyvalent cations and Mg(2+) to block monovalent MIC current from the outside. Putrescine, spermidine, spermine, PhTX-343 (a derivative of the naturally occurring polyamine toxin philanthotoxin), and Mg(2+) each blocked in a dose- and voltage-dependent manner, indicating a blocking site within the electric field of the ion channel. Spermine and the relatively bulky PhTX-343 exhibited voltage dependence steeper than that expected for the number of charges on the molecule. Polyamines and Mg(2+) are permeant blockers, as judged by relief of block at strongly negative membrane potentials. Intracellular dialysis with spermine (300 microM) had no effect, indicating an asymmetrical pore. At the single-channel level, spermine and Mg(2+) induced flickery block of 40-pS single channels. I/V characteristics and polyamine block are similar in expressed TRPM7 and in native MIC currents, consistent with the conclusion that native MIC channels are composed of TRPM7 subunits. An Eyring rate model is developed to account for I/V characteristics and block of MIC channels by polyvalent cations from the outside.

Channel Function is Dissociated from the Intrinsic Kinase Activity and Autophosphorylation of TRPM7/ChaK1

The Journal of Biological Chemistry. May, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 15781465

TRPM7/ChaK1 is a unique channel/kinase that contains a TRPM channel domain with 6 transmembrane segments fused to a novel serine-threonine kinase domain at its C terminus. The goal of this study was to investigate a possible role of kinase activity and autophosphorylation in regulation of channel activity of TRPM7/ChaK1. Residues essential for kinase activity were identified by site-directed mutagenesis. Two major sites of autophosphorylation were identified in vitro by mass spectrometry at Ser(1511) and Ser(1567), and these sites were found to be phosphorylated in intact cells. TRPM7/ChaK1 is a cation-selective channel that exhibits strong outward rectification and inhibition by millimolar levels of internal [Mg(2+)]. Mutation of the two autophosphorylation sites or of a key catalytic site that abolished kinase activity did not alter channel activity measured by whole-cell recording or Ca(2+) influx. Inhibition by internal Mg(2+) was also unaffected in the autophosphorylation site or "kinase-dead" mutants. Moreover, kinase activity was enhanced by Mg(2+), was decreased by Zn(2+), and was unaffected by Ca(2+). In contrast, channel activity was inhibited by all three of these divalent cations. However, deletion of much of C-terminal kinase domain resulted in expression of an apparently inactive channel. We conclude that neither current activity nor regulation by internal Mg(2+) is affected by kinase activity or autophosphorylation but that the kinase domain may play a structural role in channel assembly or subcellular localization.

STIM1, an Essential and Conserved Component of Store-operated Ca2+ Channel Function

The Journal of Cell Biology. May, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 15866891

Store-operated Ca2+ (SOC) channels regulate many cellular processes, but the underlying molecular components are not well defined. Using an RNA interference (RNAi)-based screen to identify genes that alter thapsigargin (TG)-dependent Ca2+ entry, we discovered a required and conserved role of Stim in SOC influx. RNAi-mediated knockdown of Stim in Drosophila S2 cells significantly reduced TG-dependent Ca2+ entry. Patch-clamp recording revealed nearly complete suppression of the Drosophila Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) current that has biophysical characteristics similar to CRAC current in human T cells. Similarly, knockdown of the human homologue STIM1 significantly reduced CRAC channel activity in Jurkat T cells. RNAi-mediated knockdown of STIM1 inhibited TG- or agonist-dependent Ca2+ entry in HEK293 or SH-SY5Y cells. Conversely, overexpression of STIM1 in HEK293 cells modestly enhanced TG-induced Ca2+ entry. We propose that STIM1, a ubiquitously expressed protein that is conserved from Drosophila to mammalian cells, plays an essential role in SOC influx and may be a common component of SOC and CRAC channels.

STIM1 is a Ca2+ Sensor That Activates CRAC Channels and Migrates from the Ca2+ Store to the Plasma Membrane

Nature. Oct, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 16208375

As the sole Ca2+ entry mechanism in a variety of non-excitable cells, store-operated calcium (SOC) influx is important in Ca2+ signalling and many other cellular processes. A calcium-release-activated calcium (CRAC) channel in T lymphocytes is the best-characterized SOC influx channel and is essential to the immune response, sustained activity of CRAC channels being required for gene expression and proliferation. The molecular identity and the gating mechanism of SOC and CRAC channels have remained elusive. Previously we identified Stim and the mammalian homologue STIM1 as essential components of CRAC channel activation in Drosophila S2 cells and human T lymphocytes. Here we show that the expression of EF-hand mutants of Stim or STIM1 activates CRAC channels constitutively without changing Ca2+ store content. By immunofluorescence, EM localization and surface biotinylation we show that STIM1 migrates from endoplasmic-reticulum-like sites to the plasma membrane upon depletion of the Ca2+ store. We propose that STIM1 functions as the missing link between Ca2+ store depletion and SOC influx, serving as a Ca2+ sensor that translocates upon store depletion to the plasma membrane to activate CRAC channels.

Charge Screening by Internal PH and Polyvalent Cations As a Mechanism for Activation, Inhibition, and Rundown of TRPM7/MIC Channels

The Journal of General Physiology. Nov, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 16260839

The Mg2+-inhibited cation (MIC) current, believed to represent activity of TRPM7 channels, is found in lymphocytes and mast cells, cardiac and smooth muscle, and several other eukaryotic cell types. MIC current is activated during whole-cell dialysis with divalent-free internal solutions. Millimolar concentrations of intracellular Mg2+ (or other divalent metal cations) inhibit the channels in a voltage-independent manner. The nature of divalent inhibition and the mechanism of channel activation in an intact cell remain unknown. We show that the polyamines (spermine, spermidine, and putrescine) inhibit the MIC current, also in a voltage-independent manner, with a potency that parallels the number of charges. Neomycin and poly-lysine also potently inhibited MIC current in the absence of Mg2+. These same positively charged ions inhibited IRK1 current in parallel with MIC current, suggesting that they probably act by screening the head group phosphates on PIP2 and other membrane phospholipids. In agreement with this hypothesis, internal protons also inhibited MIC current. By contrast, tetramethylammonium, tetraethylammonium, and hexamethonium produced voltage-dependent block but no inhibition. We show that inhibition by internal polyvalent cations can be relieved by alkalinizing the cytosol using externally applied ammonium or by increasing pH in inside-out patches. Furthermore, in perforated-patch and cell-attached recordings, when intracellular Mg2+ is not depleted, endogenous MIC or recombinant TRPM7 currents are activated by cytosolic alkalinization and inhibited by acidification; and they can be reactivated by PIP2 following rundown in inside-out patches. We propose that MIC (TRPM7) channels are regulated by a charge screening mechanism and may function as sensors of intracellular pH.

Soluble Amyloid Oligomers Increase Bilayer Conductance by Altering Dielectric Structure

The Journal of General Physiology. Dec, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 17101816

The amyloid hypothesis of Alzheimer's toxicity has undergone a resurgence with increasing evidence that it is not amyloid fibrils but a smaller oligomeric species that produces the deleterious results. In this paper we address the mechanism of this toxicity. Only oligomers increase the conductance of lipid bilayers and patch-clamped mammalian cells, producing almost identical current-voltage curves in both preparations. Oligomers increase the conductance of the bare bilayer, the cation conductance induced by nonactin, and the anion conductance induced by tetraphenyl borate. Negative charge reduces the sensitivity of the membrane to amyloid, but cholesterol has little effect. In contrast, the area compressibility of the lipid has a very large effect. Membranes with a large area compressibility modulus are almost insensitive to amyloid oligomers, but membranes formed from soft, highly compressible lipids are highly susceptible to amyloid oligomer-induced conductance changes. Furthermore, membranes formed using the solvent decane (instead of squalane) are completely insensitive to the presence of oligomers. One simple explanation for these effects on bilayer conductance is that amyloid oligomers increase the area per molecule of the membrane-forming lipids, thus thinning the membrane, lowering the dielectric barrier, and increasing the conductance of any mechanism sensitive to the dielectric barrier.

Orai1 and STIM1 Move to the Immunological Synapse and Are Up-regulated During T Cell Activation

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Feb, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18250319

For efficient development of an immune response, T lymphocytes require long-lasting calcium influx through calcium release-activated calcium (CRAC) channels and the formation of a stable immunological synapse (IS) with the antigen-presenting cell (APC). Recent RNAi screens have identified Stim and Orai in Drosophila cells, and their corresponding mammalian homologs STIM1 and Orai1 in T cells, as essential for CRAC channel activation. Here, we show that STIM1 and Orai1 are recruited to the immunological synapse between primary human T cells and autologous dendritic cells. Both STIM1 and Orai1 accumulated in the area of contact between either resting or super-antigen (SEB)-pretreated T cells and SEB-pulsed dendritic cells, where they were colocalized with T cell receptor (TCR) and costimulatory molecules. In addition, imaging of intracellular calcium signaling in T cells loaded with EGTA revealed significantly higher Ca2+ concentration near the interface, indicating Ca2+ influx localized at the T cell/dendritic cell contact area. Expression of a dominant-negative Orai1 mutant blocked T cell Ca2+ signaling but did not interfere with the initial accumulation of STIM1, Orai1, and CD3 in the contact zone. In activated T cell blasts, mRNA expression for endogenous STIM1 and all three human homologs of Orai was up-regulated, accompanied by a marked increase in Ca2+ influx through CRAC channels. These results imply a positive feedback loop in which an initial TCR signal favors up-regulation of STIM1 and Orai proteins that would augment Ca2+ signaling during subsequent antigen encounter.

Store-dependent and -independent Modes Regulating Ca2+ Release-activated Ca2+ Channel Activity of Human Orai1 and Orai3

The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Jun, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18420579

We evaluated currents induced by expression of human homologs of Orai together with STIM1 in human embryonic kidney cells. When co-expressed with STIM1, Orai1 induced a large inwardly rectifying Ca(2+)-selective current with Ca(2+)-induced slow inactivation. A point mutation of Orai1 (E106D) altered the ion selectivity of the induced Ca(2+) release-activated Ca(2+) (CRAC)-like current while retaining an inwardly rectifying I-V characteristic. Expression of the C-terminal portion of STIM1 with Orai1 was sufficient to generate CRAC current without store depletion. 2-APB activated a large relatively nonselective current in STIM1 and Orai3 co-expressing cells. 2-APB also induced Ca(2+) influx in Orai3-expressing cells without store depletion or co-expression of STIM1. The Orai3 current induced by 2-APB exhibited outward rectification and an inward component representing a mixed calcium and monovalent current. A pore mutant of Orai3 inhibited store-operated Ca(2+) entry and did not carry significant current in response to either store depletion or addition of 2-APB. Analysis of a series of Orai1-3 chimeras revealed the structural determinant responsible for 2-APB-induced current within the sequence from the second to third transmembrane segment of Orai3. The Orai3 current induced by 2-APB may reflect a store-independent mode of CRAC channel activation that opens a relatively nonselective cation pore.

Detailed Examination of Mg2+ and PH Sensitivity of Human TRPM7 Channels

American Journal of Physiology. Cell Physiology. Apr, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22301056

TRPM7 channel kinase is a protein highly expressed in cells of hematopoietic lineage, such as lymphocytes. Studies performed in native and heterologous expression systems have shown that TRPM7 forms nonselective cation channels functional in the plasma membrane and activated on depletion of cellular Mg(2+). In addition to internal Mg(2+), cytosolic pH and the phospholipid phosphatidylinositol-(4,5)-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P(2)] are potent physiological regulators of this channel: protons inhibit, while PI(4,5)P(2) is required for TRPM7 channel activity. These channels are also inhibited from inside by other metal cations and polyamines. While the regulation of TRPM7 channels by internal metal ions, acidic pH, and PI(4,5)P(2) is voltage independent, extracellular metal cations and polyamines block voltage dependently at micromolar concentrations and appear to occupy a distinct blocking site. In the present study we investigated intracellular Mg(2+) and pH dependence of native TRPM7 currents using whole cell patch-clamp electrophysiology in human Jurkat T lymphocytes and HEK293 cells. Our main findings are 1) Mg(2+) inhibition involves not one but two separate sites of high (∼10 μM) and low (∼165 μM) affinity; and 2) while sharing certain characteristics with Mg(2+) inhibition, protons most likely inhibit through one inhibitory site, corresponding to the low-affinity Mg(2+) site, with an estimated IC(50) of pH 6.3. Additionally, we present data on amplitude distribution of preactivated TRPM7 currents in Jurkat T lymphocytes in the absence of prior Mg(2+) or proton depletion.

Sensitivity of TRPM7 Channels to Mg2+ Characterized in Cell-free Patches of Jurkat T Lymphocytes

American Journal of Physiology. Cell Physiology. Jun, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22460708

Transient receptor potential melastatin 7 (TRPM7) channels were originally identified electrophysiologically when depletion of cytosolic Mg(2+) resulted in the gradual development of an outwardly rectifying cation current. Conversely, inclusion of millimolar Mg(2+) in internal solutions prevented activation of these channels in whole cell patch clamp. We recently demonstrated that the Jurkat T-cell whole cell TRPM7 channels are inhibited by internal Mg(2+) in a biphasic manner, displaying high [IC(50(1)) ≈ 10 μM] and low [IC(50(2)) ≈ 165 μM] affinity inhibitor sites. In that study, we had characterized the dependence of the maximum cell current density on intracellular Mg(2+) concentration. To characterize Mg(2+) inhibition in Jurkat T cells in more detail and compare it to whole cell results, we recorded single TRPM7 channels in cell-free membrane patches and investigated the dependence of their activity on Mg(2+) added on the cytoplasmic side. We systematically varied free Mg(2+) from 265 nM to 407 μM and evaluated the extent of channel inhibition in inside-out patch for 58 patches. We found that the TRPM7 channel shows two conductance levels of 39.0 pS (γ(1)) and 18.6 pS (γ(2)) and that both are reversibly inhibited by internal Mg(2+). The 39.0-pS conductance is the dominant state of the channel, observed most frequently in this recording configuration. The dose-response relation in inside-out patches shows a steeper Mg(2+) dependence than in whole cell, yielding IC(50(1)) of 25.1 μM and IC(50(2)) of 91.2 μM.. Single-channel analysis shows that the primary effect of Mg(2+) in multichannel patches is a reversible reduction of the number of conducting channels (N(o)). Additionally, at high Mg(2+) concentrations, we observed a saturating 20% reduction in unitary conductance (γ(1)). Thus Mg(2+) inhibition in whole cell can be explained by a drop in individual participating channels and a modest reduction in conductance. We also found that TRPM7 channels in some patches were not sensitive to this ion at submaximal Mg(2+) concentrations. Interestingly, Mg(2+) inhibition showed the property of use dependence: with repeated applications, Mg(2+) effect became gradually more potent, which suggests that Mg(2+) sensitivity of the channel is a dynamic characteristic that depends on other membrane factors.

Effect of Synthetic Aβ Peptide Oligomers and Fluorinated Solvents on Kv1.3 Channel Properties and Membrane Conductance

PloS One. 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22563377

The impact of synthetic amyloid β (1-42) (Aβ(1-42)) oligomers on biophysical properties of voltage-gated potassium channels Kv 1.3 and lipid bilayer membranes (BLMs) was quantified for protocols using hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP) or sodium hydroxide (NaOH) as solvents prior to initiating the oligomer formation. Regardless of the solvent used Aβ(1-42) samples contained oligomers that reacted with the conformation-specific antibodies A11 and OC and had similar size distributions as determined by dynamic light scattering. Patch-clamp recordings of the potassium currents showed that synthetic Aβ(1-42) oligomers accelerate the activation and inactivation kinetics of Kv 1.3 current with no significant effect on current amplitude. In contrast to oligomeric samples, freshly prepared, presumably monomeric, Aβ(1-42) solutions had no effect on Kv 1.3 channel properties. Aβ(1-42) oligomers had no effect on the steady-state current (at -80 mV) recorded from Kv 1.3-expressing cells but increased the conductance of artificial BLMs in a dose-dependent fashion. Formation of amyloid channels, however, was not observed due to conditions of the experiments. To exclude the effects of HFIP (used to dissolve lyophilized Aβ(1-42) peptide), and trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) (used during Aβ(1-42) synthesis), we determined concentrations of these fluorinated compounds in the stock Aβ(1-42) solutions by (19)F NMR. After extensive evaporation, the concentration of HFIP in the 100× stock Aβ(1-42) solutions was ∼1.7 μM. The concentration of residual TFA in the 70× stock Aβ(1-42) solutions was ∼20 μM. Even at the stock concentrations neither HFIP nor TFA alone had any effect on potassium currents or BLMs. The Aβ(1-42) oligomers prepared with HFIP as solvent, however, were more potent in the electrophysiological tests, suggesting that fluorinated compounds, such as HFIP or structurally-related inhalational anesthetics, may affect Aβ(1-42) aggregation and potentially enhance ability of oligomers to modulate voltage-gated ion channels and biological membrane properties.

2-aminoethyl Diphenyl Borinate (2-APB) Inhibits TRPM7 Channels Through an Intracellular Acidification Mechanism

Channels (Austin, Tex.). Sep-Oct, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22922232

2-APB is a widely used compound in ion channel research. It affects numerous channels including inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors, store-operated calcium channels and TRP channels, TRPV3 and TRPM7 among them. A characteristic property of TRPM7 channels is their sensitivity to intracellular Mg ( 2+) and pH. Using patch clamp electrophysiology we find that in Jurkat T lymphocytes, 100-300 µM extracellular 2-APB reversibly inhibits TRPM7 channels when internal HEPES concentration is low (1 mM). Increasing the concentration to 140 mM abolishes the 2-APB effect. Using single-cell fluorescence pH video imaging, we show that at concentrations of 100 µM and higher, 2-APB potently acidifies the cytoplasm. We conclude that TRPM7 sensitivity to 2-APB is not direct but rather, can be explained by cytoplasmic acidification and a resulting channel inhibition.

Inactivation of TRPM7 Kinase Activity Does Not Impair Its Channel Function in Mice

Scientific Reports. Jul, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25030553

Transient receptor potential (TRP) family channels are involved in sensory pathways and respond to various environmental stimuli. Among the members of this family, TRPM7 is a unique fusion of an ion channel and a C-terminus kinase domain that is highly expressed in immune cells. TRPM7 serves as a key molecule governing cellular Mg(2+) homeostasis in mammals since its channel pore is permeable to Mg(2+) ions and can act as a Mg(2+) influx pathway. However, mechanistic links between its kinase activity and channel function have remained uncertain. In this study, we generated kinase inactive knock-in mutant mice by mutagenesis of a key lysine residue involved in Mg(2+)-ATP binding. These mutant mice were normal in development and general locomotor activity. In peritoneal macrophages isolated from adult animals the basal activity of TRPM7 channels prior to cytoplasmic Mg(2+) depletion was significantly potentiated, while maximal current densities measured after Mg(2+) depletion were unchanged in the absence of detectable kinase function. Serum total Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) levels were not significantly altered in kinase-inactive mutant mice. Our findings suggest that abolishing TRPM7 kinase activity does not impair its channel activity and kinase activity is not essential for regulation of mammalian Mg(2+) homeostasis.

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