The publication data currently available has been vetted by Vanderbilt faculty, staff, administrators and trainees. The data itself is retrieved directly from NCBI's PubMed and is automatically updated on a weekly basis to ensure accuracy and completeness.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
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.
Voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels translate the electrical inputs of excitable cells into biochemical outputs by controlling influx of the ubiquitous second messenger Ca(2+) . As such the channels play pivotal roles in many cellular functions including the triggering of neurotransmitter and hormone release by CaV2.1 (P/Q-type) and CaV2.2 (N-type) channels. It is well established that G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) orchestrate precise regulation neurotransmitter and hormone release through inhibition of CaV2 channels. Although the GPCRs recruit a number of different pathways, perhaps the most prominent, and certainly most studied among these is the so-called voltage-dependent inhibition mediated by direct binding of Gβγ to the α1 subunit of CaV2 channels. This article will review the basics of Ca(2+) -channels and G protein signaling, and the functional impact of this now classical inhibitory mechanism on channel function. It will also provide an update on more recent developments in the field, both related to functional effects and crosstalk with other signaling pathways, and advances made toward understanding the molecular interactions that underlie binding of Gβγ to the channel and the voltage-dependence that is a signature characteristic of this mechanism.
Inhibition of presynaptic voltage-gated calcium channels by direct G-protein betagamma subunit binding is a widespread mechanism that regulates neurotransmitter release. Voltage-dependent relief of this inhibition (facilitation), most likely to be due to dissociation of the G-protein from the channel, may occur during bursts of action potentials. In this paper we compare the facilitation of N- and P/Q-type Ca(2+) channels during short trains of action potential-like waveforms (APWs) using both native channels in adrenal chromaffin cells and heterologously expressed channels in tsA201 cells. While both N- and P/Q-type Ca(2+) channels exhibit facilitation that is dependent on the frequency of the APW train, there are important quantitative differences. Approximately 20 % of the voltage-dependent inhibition of N-type I(Ca) was reversed during a train while greater than 40 % of the inhibition of P/Q-type I(Ca) was relieved. Changing the duration or amplitude of the APW dramatically affected the facilitation of N-type channels but had little effect on the facilitation of P/Q-type channels. Since the ratio of N-type to P/Q-type Ca(2+) channels varies widely between synapses, differential facilitation may contribute to the fine tuning of synaptic transmission, thereby increasing the computational repertoire of neurons.
Histamine is a known secretagogue in adrenal chromaffin cells. Activation of G-protein linked H(1) receptors stimulates phospholipase C, which generates inositol trisphosphate leading to release of intracellular calcium stores and stimulation of calcium influx through store operated and other channels. This calcium leads to the release of catecholamines. In chromaffin cells, the main physiological trigger for catecholamine release is calcium influx through voltage-gated calcium channels (I(Ca)). Therefore, these channels are important targets for the regulation of secretion. In particular N- and P/Q-type I(Ca) are subject to inhibition by transmitter/hormone receptor activation of heterotrimeric G-proteins. However, the direct effect of histamine on I(Ca) in chromaffin cells is unknown. This paper reports that histamine inhibited I(Ca) in cultured bovine adrenal chromaffin cells and this response was blocked by the H(1) antagonist mepyramine. With high levels of calcium buffering in the patch pipette solution (10 mM EGTA), histamine slowed the activation kinetics and inhibited the amplitude of I(Ca). A conditioning prepulse to +100 mV reversed the kinetic slowing and partially relieved the inhibition. These features are characteristic of a membrane delimited, voltage-dependent pathway which is thought to involve direct binding of G-protein betagamma subunits to the Ca channels. However, unlike virtually every other example of this type of inhibition, the response to histamine was not blocked by pretreating the cells with pertussis toxin (PTX). The voltage-dependent, PTX insensitive inhibition produced by histamine was modest compared with the PTX sensitive inhibition produced by ATP (28% vs. 53%). When histamine and ATP were applied concomitantly there was no additivity of the inhibition beyond that produced by ATP alone (even though the agonists appear to activate distinct G-proteins) suggesting that the inhibition produced by ATP is maximal. When experiments were carried out under conditions of low levels of calcium buffering in the patch pipette solution (0.1 mM EGTA), histamine inhibited I(Ca) in some cells using an entirely voltage insensitive pathway. We demonstrate that activation of PTX insensitive G-proteins (most likely Gq) by H(1) receptors inhibits I(Ca). This may represent a mechanism by which histamine exerts inhibitory (in addition to previously identified stimulatory) effects on catecholamine release.