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The activation of neuronal plasma membrane Ca channels stimulates many intracellular responses. Scaffolding proteins can preferentially couple specific Ca channels to distinct downstream outputs, such as increased gene expression, but the molecular mechanisms that underlie the exquisite specificity of these signaling pathways are incompletely understood. Here, we show that complexes containing CaMKII and Shank3, a postsynaptic scaffolding protein known to interact with L-type calcium channels (LTCCs), can be specifically coimmunoprecipitated from mouse forebrain extracts. Activated purified CaMKIIα also directly binds Shank3 between residues 829 and 1130. Mutation of Shank3 residues Arg-Arg-Lys to three alanines disrupts CaMKII binding and CaMKII association with Shank3 in heterologous cells. Our shRNA/rescue studies revealed that Shank3 binding to both CaMKII and LTCCs is important for increased phosphorylation of the nuclear CREB transcription factor and expression of c-Fos induced by depolarization of cultured hippocampal neurons. Thus, this novel CaMKII-Shank3 interaction is essential for the initiation of a specific long-range signal from LTCCs in the plasma membrane to the nucleus that is required for activity-dependent changes in neuronal gene expression during learning and memory. Precise neuronal expression of genes is essential for normal brain function. Proteins involved in signaling pathways that underlie activity-dependent gene expression, such as CaMKII, Shank3, and L-type calcium channels, are often mutated in multiple neuropsychiatric disorders. Shank3 and CaMKII were previously shown to bind L-type calcium channels, and we show here that Shank3 also binds to CaMKII. Our data show that each of these interactions is required for depolarization-induced phosphorylation of the CREB nuclear transcription factor, which stimulates the expression of c-Fos, a neuronal immediate early gene with key roles in synaptic plasticity, brain development, and behavior.
Copyright © 2020 the authors.
BACKGROUND - Commercial genetic testing for long QT syndrome (LQTS) has rapidly expanded, but the inability to accurately predict whether a rare variant is pathogenic has limited its clinical benefit. Novel missense variants are routinely reported as variant of unknown significance (VUS) and cannot be used to screen family members at risk for sudden cardiac death. Better approaches to determine the pathogenicity of VUS are needed.
OBJECTIVE - The purpose of this study was to rapidly determine the pathogenicity of a CACNA1C variant reported by commercial genetic testing as a VUS using a patient-independent human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) model.
METHODS - Using CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, CACNA1C-p.N639T was introduced into a previously established hiPSC from an unrelated healthy volunteer, thereby generating a patient-independent hiPSC model. Three independent heterozygous N639T hiPSC lines were generated and differentiated into cardiomyocytes (CM). Electrophysiological properties of N639T hiPSC-CM were compared to those of isogenic and population control hiPSC-CM by measuring the extracellular field potential (EFP) of 96-well hiPSC-CM monolayers and by patch clamp.
RESULTS - Significant EFP prolongation was observed only in optically stimulated but not in spontaneously beating N639T hiPSC-CM. Patch-clamp studies revealed that N639T prolonged the ventricular action potential by slowing voltage-dependent inactivation of Ca1.2 currents. Heterologous expression studies confirmed the effect of N639T on Ca1.2 inactivation.
CONCLUSION - The patient-independent hiPSC model enabled rapid generation of functional data to support reclassification of a CACNA1C VUS to likely pathogenic, thereby establishing a novel LQTS type 8 mutation. Furthermore, our results indicate the importance of controlling beating rates to evaluate the functional significance of LQTS VUS in high-throughput hiPSC-CM assays.
Copyright © 2019 Heart Rhythm Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Pancreatic α-cells exhibit oscillations in cytosolic Ca (Ca), which control pulsatile glucagon (GCG) secretion. However, the mechanisms that modulate α-cell Ca oscillations have not been elucidated. As β-cell Ca oscillations are regulated in part by Ca-activated K (K) currents, this work investigated the role of K in α-cell Ca handling and GCG secretion. α-Cells displayed K currents that were dependent on Ca influx through L- and P/Q-type voltage-dependent Ca channels (VDCCs) as well as Ca released from endoplasmic reticulum stores. α-Cell K was decreased by small-conductance Ca-activated K (SK) channel inhibitors apamin and UCL 1684, large-conductance Ca-activated K (BK) channel inhibitor iberiotoxin (IbTx), and intermediate-conductance Ca-activated K (IK) channel inhibitor TRAM 34. Moreover, partial inhibition of α-cell K with apamin depolarized membrane potential ( V) (3.8 ± 0.7 mV) and reduced action potential (AP) amplitude (10.4 ± 1.9 mV). Although apamin transiently increased Ca influx into α-cells at low glucose (42.9 ± 10.6%), sustained SK (38.5 ± 10.4%) or BK channel inhibition (31.0 ± 11.7%) decreased α-cell Ca influx. Total α-cell Ca was similarly reduced (28.3 ± 11.1%) following prolonged treatment with high glucose, but it was not decreased further by SK or BK channel inhibition. Consistent with reduced α-cell Ca following prolonged K inhibition, apamin decreased GCG secretion from mouse (20.4 ± 4.2%) and human (27.7 ± 13.1%) islets at low glucose. These data demonstrate that K activation provides a hyperpolarizing influence on α-cell V that sustains Ca entry during hypoglycemic conditions, presumably by preventing voltage-dependent inactivation of P/Q-type VDCCs. Thus, when α-cell Ca is elevated during secretagogue stimulation, K activation helps to preserve GCG secretion.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a highly heterogeneous disease displaying considerable interfamilial and intrafamilial phenotypic variation, including disease severity, age of onset, and disease progression. This poorly understood variance raises the possibility of genetic modifier effects, particularly in MYBPC3-associated HCM.In a large consanguineous Chinese HCM family, we identified 8 members harboring the MYBPC3 c.3624delC (p.Lys1209Serfs) disease-causing mutation, but with very disparate phenotypes. Genotyping ruled out the modifying effect of previously described variants in renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Afterwards, we screened for modifying variants in all known causing genes and closely related genes for cardiomyopathy and channelopathy by performing targeted next-generation sequencing. For first time, we showed that a c.1598C>T (p.Ser533Leu) mutation in voltage-dependent l-type calcium channel subunit beta-2 (CACNB2) was present in all severely affected HCM patients, but not in those moderately affected or genotype-positive phenotype-negative patients. This CACNB2 p.Ser533Leu mutation is extremely conserved in evolution, and was not found in 550 healthy controls.Our results suggest that CACNB2 is a possible candidate genetic modifier of MYBPC3-associated familial HCM, but more genetic evidence and functional experiments are needed to confirm.
BACKGROUND - The widely used macrolide antibiotic azithromycin increases risk of cardiovascular and sudden cardiac death, although the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Case reports, including the one we document here, demonstrate that azithromycin can cause rapid, polymorphic ventricular tachycardia in the absence of QT prolongation, indicating a novel proarrhythmic syndrome. We investigated the electrophysiological effects of azithromycin in vivo and in vitro using mice, cardiomyocytes, and human ion channels heterologously expressed in human embryonic kidney (HEK 293) and Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells.
METHODS AND RESULTS - In conscious telemetered mice, acute intraperitoneal and oral administration of azithromycin caused effects consistent with multi-ion channel block, with significant sinus slowing and increased PR, QRS, QT, and QTc intervals, as seen with azithromycin overdose. Similarly, in HL-1 cardiomyocytes, the drug slowed sinus automaticity, reduced phase 0 upstroke slope, and prolonged action potential duration. Acute exposure to azithromycin reduced peak SCN5A currents in HEK cells (IC=110±3 μmol/L) and Na current in mouse ventricular myocytes. However, with chronic (24 hour) exposure, azithromycin caused a ≈2-fold increase in both peak and late SCN5A currents, with findings confirmed for I in cardiomyocytes. Mild block occurred for K currents representing I (CHO cells expressing hERG; IC=219±21 μmol/L) and I (CHO cells expressing KCNQ1+KCNE1; IC=184±12 μmol/L), whereas azithromycin suppressed L-type Ca currents (rabbit ventricular myocytes, IC=66.5±4 μmol/L) and I (HEK cells expressing Kir2.1, IC=44±3 μmol/L).
CONCLUSIONS - Chronic exposure to azithromycin increases cardiac Na current to promote intracellular Na loading, providing a potential mechanistic basis for the novel form of proarrhythmia seen with this macrolide antibiotic.
© 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.
Voltage-gated Ca1.2 and Ca1.3 (L-type) Ca channels regulate neuronal excitability, synaptic plasticity, and learning and memory. Densin-180 (densin) is an excitatory synaptic protein that promotes Ca-dependent facilitation of voltage-gated Ca1.3 Ca channels in transfected cells. Mice lacking densin (densin KO) exhibit defects in synaptic plasticity, spatial memory, and increased anxiety-related behaviors-phenotypes that more closely match those in mice lacking Ca1.2 than Ca1.3. Therefore, we investigated the functional impact of densin on Ca1.2. We report that densin is an essential regulator of Ca1.2 in neurons, but has distinct modulatory effects compared with its regulation of Ca1.3. Densin binds to the N-terminal domain of Ca1.2, but not that of Ca1.3, and increases Ca1.2 currents in transfected cells and in neurons. In transfected cells, densin accelerates the forward trafficking of Ca1.2 channels without affecting their endocytosis. Consistent with a role for densin in increasing the number of postsynaptic Ca1.2 channels, overexpression of densin increases the clustering of Ca1.2 in dendrites of hippocampal neurons in culture. Compared with wild-type mice, the cell surface levels of Ca1.2 in the brain, as well as Ca1.2 current density and signaling to the nucleus, are reduced in neurons from densin KO mice. We conclude that densin is an essential regulator of neuronal Ca1 channels and ensures efficient Ca1.2 Ca signaling at excitatory synapses. The number and localization of voltage-gated Ca Ca channels are crucial determinants of neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission. We report that the protein densin-180 is highly enriched at excitatory synapses in the brain and enhances the cell surface trafficking and postsynaptic localization of Ca1.2 L-type Ca channels in neurons. This interaction promotes coupling of Ca1.2 channels to activity-dependent gene transcription. Our results reveal a mechanism that may contribute to the roles of Ca1.2 in regulating cognition and mood.
Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/374679-13$15.00/0.
BACKGROUND - Despite increased secondary cardiovascular events in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM), the expression of innate cardiac protective molecules in the hearts of patients with ICM is incompletely characterized. Therefore, we used a nonbiased RNAseq approach to determine whether differences in cardiac protective molecules occur with ICM.
METHODS AND RESULTS - RNAseq analysis of human control and ICM left ventricular samples demonstrated a significant decrease in expression with ICM. encodes the Kir6.2 subunit of the cardioprotective K channel. Using wild-type mice and -deficient (-null) mice, we examined the effect of expression on cardiac function during ischemia-reperfusion injury. Reactive oxygen species generation increased in -null hearts above that found in wild-type mice hearts after ischemia-reperfusion injury. Continuous left ventricular pressure measurement during ischemia and reperfusion demonstrated a more compromised diastolic function in -null compared with wild-type mice during reperfusion. Analysis of key calcium-regulating proteins revealed significant differences in -null mice. Despite impaired relaxation, -null hearts increased phospholamban Ser16 phosphorylation, a modification that results in the dissociation of phospholamban from sarcoendoplasmic reticulum Ca, thereby increasing sarcoendoplasmic reticulum Ca-mediated calcium reuptake. However, -null mice also had increased 3-nitrotyrosine modification of the sarcoendoplasmic reticulum Ca-ATPase, a modification that irreversibly impairs sarcoendoplasmic reticulum Ca function, thereby contributing to diastolic dysfunction.
CONCLUSIONS - expression is decreased in human ICM. Lack of expression increases peroxynitrite-mediated modification of the key calcium-handling protein sarcoendoplasmic reticulum Ca-ATPase after myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury, contributing to impaired diastolic function. These data suggest a mechanism for ischemia-induced diastolic dysfunction in patients with ICM.
© 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.
Late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD) has a complex genetic etiology, involving locus heterogeneity, polygenic inheritance, and gene-gene interactions; however, the investigation of interactions in recent genome-wide association studies has been limited. We used a biological knowledge-driven approach to evaluate gene-gene interactions for consistency across 13 data sets from the Alzheimer Disease Genetics Consortium. Fifteen single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-SNP pairs within 3 gene-gene combinations were identified: SIRT1 × ABCB1, PSAP × PEBP4, and GRIN2B × ADRA1A. In addition, we extend a previously identified interaction from an endophenotype analysis between RYR3 × CACNA1C. Finally, post hoc gene expression analyses of the implicated SNPs further implicate SIRT1 and ABCB1, and implicate CDH23 which was most recently identified as an AD risk locus in an epigenetic analysis of AD. The observed interactions in this article highlight ways in which genotypic variation related to disease may depend on the genetic context in which it occurs. Further, our results highlight the utility of evaluating genetic interactions to explain additional variance in AD risk and identify novel molecular mechanisms of AD pathogenesis.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Calcium signaling regulates synaptic plasticity and many other functions in striatal medium spiny neurons to modulate basal ganglia function. Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is a major calcium-dependent signaling protein that couples calcium entry to diverse cellular changes. CaMKII activation results in autophosphorylation at Thr286 and sustained calcium-independent CaMKII activity after calcium signals dissipate. However, little is known about the mechanisms regulating striatal CaMKII. To address this, mouse brain slices were treated with pharmacological modulators of calcium channels and punches of dorsal striatum were immunoblotted for CaMKII Thr286 autophosphorylation as an index of CaMKII activation. KCl depolarization increased levels of CaMKII autophosphorylation ~2-fold; this increase was blocked by an LTCC antagonist and was mimicked by treatment with pharmacological LTCC activators. The chelation of extracellular calcium robustly decreased basal CaMKII autophosphorylation within 5min and increased levels of total CaMKII in cytosolic fractions, in addition to decreasing the phosphorylation of CaMKII sites in the GluN2B subunit of NMDA receptors and the GluA1 subunit of AMPA receptors. We also found that the maintenance of basal levels of CaMKII autophosphorylation requires low-voltage gated T-type calcium channels, but not LTCCs or R-type calcium channels. Our findings indicate that CaMKII activity is dynamically regulated by multiple calcium channels in the striatum thus coupling calcium entry to key downstream substrates.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Insulin from islet β-cells maintains glucose homeostasis by stimulating peripheral tissues to remove glucose from circulation. Persistent elevation of insulin demand increases β-cell number through self-replication or differentiation (neogenesis) as part of a compensatory response. However, it is not well understood how a persistent increase in insulin demand is detected. We have previously demonstrated that a persistent increase in insulin demand by overnutrition induces compensatory β-cell differentiation in zebrafish. Here, we use a series of pharmacological and genetic analyses to show that prolonged stimulation of existing β-cells is necessary and sufficient for this compensatory response. In the absence of feeding, tonic, but not intermittent, pharmacological activation of β-cell secretion was sufficient to induce β-cell differentiation. Conversely, drugs that block β-cell secretion, including an ATP-sensitive potassium (K ATP) channel agonist and an L-type Ca(2+) channel blocker, suppressed overnutrition-induced β-cell differentiation. Genetic experiments specifically targeting β-cells confirm existing β-cells as the overnutrition sensor. First, inducible expression of a constitutively active K ATP channel in β-cells suppressed the overnutrition effect. Second, inducible expression of a dominant-negative K ATP mutant induced β-cell differentiation independent of nutrients. Third, sensitizing β-cell metabolism by transgenic expression of a hyperactive glucokinase potentiated differentiation. Finally, ablation of the existing β-cells abolished the differentiation response. Taken together, these data establish that overnutrition induces β-cell differentiation in larval zebrafish through prolonged activation of β-cells. These findings demonstrate an essential role for existing β-cells in sensing overnutrition and compensating for their own insufficiency by recruiting additional β-cells.