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Special Issue "Ion Channel and Ion-Related Signaling 2020"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Biochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Susumu Ohya
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Pharmacology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya City University, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya 467-8601, Japan
Interests: molecular pharmacological study of ion channel related diseases
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is a continuation of our 2019 Special Issue, “Ion Channel and Ion-Related Signaling 2019”.

Ion channels play important roles in cellular functions in various organ systems, such as nervous, cardiovascular, immune, and endocrine systems, and are potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of their dysfunction, “Channelopathy”. Ion channels modulate the diverse intracellular signaling pathways involved in neuronal activity, muscle contraction, cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and transcription. In addition, ion channel regulatory proteins alter the electrophysiological characteristics, cellular localization/membrane trafficking, and drug sensitivity of ion channels, and contribute to the functional diversity and cell-specific responses. Organellar ion channels in the endoplasmic/sarcoplasmic reticulum and mitochondrial inner membrane are also focused on the new therapeutic targets in cellular function and dysfunction.

In this Special Issue, original studies on all aspects of ion channel and ion-related signaling are welcome and, in particular, molecular analyses of the ion channels and their related intracellular signaling in multiple body systems are favorable. It will also cover reports providing new insights into the molecular mechanisms of “Channelopathies”, including the transcriptional, spliceosomal, epigenetic, and post-translational regulation of ion channels and the impact of novel screening technologies on ion-channel drug discovery.

Prof. Dr. Susumu Ohya
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • ion channel
  • Ca2+ signaling
  • channelopathy
  • mitochondria ion channel
  • lipid raft
  • cardiovascular disease
  • immune disease
  • membrane trafficking
  • epigenetics
  • post-translational regulation

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Published Papers (14 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Tyrosine Phosphorylation of the Kv2.1 Channel Contributes to Injury in Brain Ischemia
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(24), 9538; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21249538 - 15 Dec 2020
Abstract
In brain ischemia, oxidative stress induces neuronal apoptosis, which is mediated by increased activity of the voltage-gated K+ channel Kv2.1 and results in an efflux of intracellular K+. The molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of Kv2.1 [...] Read more.
In brain ischemia, oxidative stress induces neuronal apoptosis, which is mediated by increased activity of the voltage-gated K+ channel Kv2.1 and results in an efflux of intracellular K+. The molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of Kv2.1 and its activity during brain ischemia are not yet fully understood. Here this study provides evidence that oxidant-induced apoptosis resulting from brain ischemia promotes rapid tyrosine phosphorylation of Kv2.1. When the tyrosine phosphorylation sites Y124, Y686, and Y810 on the Kv2.1 channel are mutated to non-phosphorylatable residues, PARP-1 cleavage levels decrease, indicating suppression of neuronal cell death. The tyrosine residue Y810 on Kv2.1 was a major phosphorylation site. In fact, cells mutated Y810 were more viable in our study than were wild-type cells, suggesting an important role for this site during ischemic neuronal injury. In an animal model, tyrosine phosphorylation of Kv2.1 increased after ischemic brain injury, with an observable sustained increase for at least 2 h after reperfusion. These results demonstrate that tyrosine phosphorylation of the Kv2.1 channel in the brain may play a critical role in regulating neuronal ischemia and is therefore a potential therapeutic target in patients with brain ischemia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Channel and Ion-Related Signaling 2020)
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Open AccessArticle
Inter-Regulation of Kv4.3 and Voltage-Gated Sodium Channels Underlies Predisposition to Cardiac and Neuronal Channelopathies
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(14), 5057; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21145057 - 17 Jul 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Background: Genetic variants in voltage-gated sodium channels (Nav) encoded by SCNXA genes, responsible for INa, and Kv4.3 channels encoded by KCND3, responsible for the transient outward current (Ito), contribute to the manifestation of both [...] Read more.
Background: Genetic variants in voltage-gated sodium channels (Nav) encoded by SCNXA genes, responsible for INa, and Kv4.3 channels encoded by KCND3, responsible for the transient outward current (Ito), contribute to the manifestation of both Brugada syndrome (BrS) and spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA19/22). We examined the hypothesis that Kv4.3 and Nav variants regulate each other’s function, thus modulating INa/Ito balance in cardiomyocytes and INa/I(A) balance in neurons. Methods: Bicistronic and other constructs were used to express WT or variant Nav1.5 and Kv4.3 channels in HEK293 cells. INa and Ito were recorded. Results: SCN5A variants associated with BrS reduced INa, but increased Ito. Moreover, BrS and SCA19/22 KCND3 variants associated with a gain of function of Ito, significantly reduced INa, whereas the SCA19/22 KCND3 variants associated with a loss of function (LOF) of Ito significantly increased INa. Auxiliary subunits Navβ1, MiRP3 and KChIP2 also modulated INa/Ito balance. Co-immunoprecipitation and Duolink studies suggested that the two channels interact within the intracellular compartments and biotinylation showed that LOF SCN5A variants can increase Kv4.3 cell-surface expression. Conclusion: Nav and Kv4.3 channels modulate each other’s function via trafficking and gating mechanisms, which have important implications for improved understanding of these allelic cardiac and neuronal syndromes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Channel and Ion-Related Signaling 2020)
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Open AccessArticle
GABAA Receptor/STEP61 Signaling Pathway May Be Involved in Emulsified Isoflurane Anesthesia in Rats
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(11), 4078; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21114078 - 07 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
(1) Background: Emulsified isoflurane (EISO) is a type of intravenous anesthetic. How emulsified isoflurane works in the brain is still unclear. The aim of this study was to explore whether epigenetic mechanisms affect anesthesia and to evaluate the anesthetic effects of emulsified isoflurane [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Emulsified isoflurane (EISO) is a type of intravenous anesthetic. How emulsified isoflurane works in the brain is still unclear. The aim of this study was to explore whether epigenetic mechanisms affect anesthesia and to evaluate the anesthetic effects of emulsified isoflurane in rats. (2) Methods: Rats were randomly divided into four groups (n = 8/group): The tail vein was injected with normal saline 0.1 mL·kg−1·min−1 for the control (Con) group, with intralipid for the fat emulsion (FE) group, with EISO at 60 mg·kg−1·min−1 for the high-concentration (HD) group, and 45 mg·kg−1·min−1 for the low-concentration (LD) group. The consciousness state, motor function of limbs, and response to nociceptive stimulus were observed after drug administration. (3) Results: Using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to assess the promoter methylation of ion channel proteins in the cerebral cortex of rats anesthetized by EISO, we demonstrated that the change in the promoters’ methylation of the coding genes for gamma-aminobutyric acid A receptor α1 subunit (GABAAα1), N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit 1 (NMDAR1), and mu opioid receptor 1 (OPRM1) was accompanied by the change in messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) and protein expression by these genes. (4) Conclusion: These data suggest that the epigenetic factors’ modulation might offer a novel approach to explore the anesthetic mechanism of EISO. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Channel and Ion-Related Signaling 2020)
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Open AccessArticle
Interactive Actions of Aldosterone and Insulin on Epithelial Na+ Channel Trafficking
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(10), 3407; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21103407 - 12 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) participates in renal epithelial Na+ reabsorption, controlling blood pressure. Aldosterone and insulin elevate blood pressure by increasing the ENaC-mediated Na+ reabsorption. However, little information is available on the interactive action of aldosterone and insulin on the [...] Read more.
Epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) participates in renal epithelial Na+ reabsorption, controlling blood pressure. Aldosterone and insulin elevate blood pressure by increasing the ENaC-mediated Na+ reabsorption. However, little information is available on the interactive action of aldosterone and insulin on the ENaC-mediated Na+ reabsorption. In the present study, we tried to clarify if insulin would modify the aldosterone action on the ENaC-mediated Na+ reabsorption from a viewpoint of intracellular ENaC trafficking. We measured the ENaC-mediated Na+ transport as short-circuit currents using a four-state mathematical ENaC trafficking model in renal A6 epithelial cells with or without aldosterone treatment under the insulin-stimulated and -unstimulated conditions. We found that: (A) under the insulin-stimulated condition, aldosterone treatment (1 µM for 20 h) significantly elevated the ENaC insertion rate to the apical membrane ( k I ) 3.3-fold and the ENaC recycling rate ( k R ) 2.0-fold, but diminished the ENaC degradation rate ( k D ) 0.7-fold without any significant effect on the ENaC endocytotic rate ( k E ); (B) under the insulin-unstimulated condition, aldosterone treatment decreased k E 0.5-fold and increased k R 1.4-fold, without any significant effect on k I or k D . Thus, the present study indicates that: (1) insulin masks the well-known inhibitory action of aldosterone on the ENaC endocytotic rate; (2) insulin induces a stimulatory action of aldosterone on ENaC apical insertion and an inhibitory action of aldosterone on ENaC degradation; (3) insulin enhances the aldosterone action on ENaC recycling; (4) insulin has a more effective action on diminution of ENaC endocytosis than aldosterone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Channel and Ion-Related Signaling 2020)
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Open AccessArticle
Possible Contribution of Inflammation-Associated Hypoxia to Increased K2P5.1 K+ Channel Expression in CD4+ T Cells of the Mouse Model for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21010038 - 19 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Previous studies have reported the up-regulation of the two-pore domain K+ channel K2P5.1 in the CD4+ T cells of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), as well as in a mouse model of inflammatory bowel disease [...] Read more.
Previous studies have reported the up-regulation of the two-pore domain K+ channel K2P5.1 in the CD4+ T cells of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), as well as in a mouse model of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, the mechanisms underlying this up-regulation remain unclear. Inflammation-associated hypoxia is involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases, such as IBD, MS, and RA, and T cells are exposed to a hypoxic environment during their recruitment from inflamed tissues to secondary lymphoid tissues. We herein investigated whether inflammation-associated hypoxia is attributable to the increased expression and activity of K2P5.1 in the splenic CD4+ T cells of chemically-induced IBD model mice. Significant increases in hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α transcripts and proteins were found in the splenic CD4+ T cells of the IBD model. In the activated splenic CD4+ T cells, hypoxia (1.5% O2) increased K2P5.1 expression and activity, whereas a treatment with the HIF inhibitor FM19G11 but not the selective HIF-2 inhibitor exerted the opposite effect. Hypoxia-exposed K2P5.1 up-regulation was also detected in stimulated thymocytes and the mouse T-cell line. The class III histone deacetylase sirtuin-1 (SIRT1) is a downstream molecule of HIF-1α signaling. We examined the effects of the SIRT1 inhibitor NCO-01 on K2P5.1 transcription in activated CD4+ T cells, and we found no significant effects on the K2P5.1 transcription. No acute compensatory responses of K2P3.1–K2P5.1 up-regulation were found in the CD4+ T cells of the IBD model and the hypoxia-exposed T cells. Collectively, these results suggest a mechanism for K2P5.1 up-regulation via HIF-1 in the CD4+ T cells of the IBD model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Channel and Ion-Related Signaling 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
Windup of Nociceptive Flexion Reflex Depends on Synaptic and Intrinsic Properties of Dorsal Horn Neurons in Adult Rats
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(24), 6146; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20246146 - 05 Dec 2019
Abstract
Windup, a progressive increase in spinal response to repetitive stimulations of nociceptive peripheral fibers, is a useful model to study central sensitization to pain. Windup is expressed by neurons in both the dorsal and ventral horn of the spinal cord. In juvenile rats, [...] Read more.
Windup, a progressive increase in spinal response to repetitive stimulations of nociceptive peripheral fibers, is a useful model to study central sensitization to pain. Windup is expressed by neurons in both the dorsal and ventral horn of the spinal cord. In juvenile rats, it has been demonstrated both in vivo and in vitro that windup depends on calcium-dependent intrinsic properties and their modulation by synaptic components. However, the involvement of these two components in the adults remains controversial. In the present study, by means of electromyographic and extracellular recordings, we show that windup in adults, in vivo, depends on a synaptic balance between excitatory N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors and inhibitory glycinergic receptors. We also demonstrate the involvement of L-type calcium channels in both the dorsal and ventral horn of the spinal cord. These results indicate that windup in adults is similar to juvenile rats and that windup properties are the same regardless of the spinal network, i.e., sensory or motor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Channel and Ion-Related Signaling 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
RBM20 Regulates CaV1.2 Surface Expression by Promoting Exon 9* Inclusion of CACNA1C in Neonatal Rat Cardiomyocytes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(22), 5591; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20225591 - 08 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The CACNA1C gene encodes for the CaV1.2 protein, which is the pore subunit of cardiac l-type voltage-gated calcium (Ca2+) channels (l-channels). Through alternative splicing, CACNA1C encodes for various CaV1.2 isoforms with different electrophysiological properties. Splice variants of CaV1.2 [...] Read more.
The CACNA1C gene encodes for the CaV1.2 protein, which is the pore subunit of cardiac l-type voltage-gated calcium (Ca2+) channels (l-channels). Through alternative splicing, CACNA1C encodes for various CaV1.2 isoforms with different electrophysiological properties. Splice variants of CaV1.2 are differentially expressed during heart development or pathologies. The molecular mechanisms of CACNA1C alternative splicing still remain incompletely understood. RNA sequencing analysis has suggested that CACNA1C is a potential target of the splicing factor RNA-binding protein motif 20 (RBM20). Here, we aimed at elucidating the role of RBM20 in the regulation of CACNA1C alternative splicing. We found that in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes (NRCMs), RBM20 overexpression promoted the inclusion of CACNA1C’s exon 9*, whereas the skipping of exon 9* occurred upon RBM20 siRNA knockdown. The splicing of other known alternative exons was not altered by RBM20. RNA immunoprecipitation suggested that RBM20 binds to introns flanking exon 9*. Functionally, in NRCMs, RBM20 overexpression decreased l-type Ca2+ currents, whereas RBM20 siRNA knockdown increased l-type Ca2+ currents. Finally, we found that RBM20 overexpression reduced CaV1.2 membrane surface expression in NRCMs. Taken together, our results suggest that RBM20 specifically regulates the inclusion of exon 9* in CACNA1C mRNA, resulting in reduced cell-surface membrane expression of l-channels in cardiomyocytes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Channel and Ion-Related Signaling 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
Single-Channel Properties of the ROMK-Pore-Forming Subunit of the Mitochondrial ATP-Sensitive Potassium Channel
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(21), 5323; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20215323 - 25 Oct 2019
Cited by 10
Abstract
An increased flux of potassium ions into the mitochondrial matrix through the ATP-sensitive potassium channel (mitoKATP) has been shown to provide protection against ischemia-reperfusion injury. Recently, it was proposed that the mitochondrial-targeted isoform of the renal outer medullary potassium channel (ROMK) [...] Read more.
An increased flux of potassium ions into the mitochondrial matrix through the ATP-sensitive potassium channel (mitoKATP) has been shown to provide protection against ischemia-reperfusion injury. Recently, it was proposed that the mitochondrial-targeted isoform of the renal outer medullary potassium channel (ROMK) protein creates a pore-forming subunit of mitoKATP in heart mitochondria. Our research focuses on the properties of mitoKATP from heart-derived H9c2 cells. For the first time, we detected single-channel activity and describe the pharmacology of mitoKATP in the H9c2 heart-derived cells. The patch-clamping of mitoplasts from wild type (WT) and cells overexpressing ROMK2 revealed the existence of a potassium channel that exhibits the same basic properties previously attributed to mitoKATP. ROMK2 overexpression resulted in a significant increase of mitoKATP activity. The conductance of both channels in symmetric 150/150 mM KCl was around 97 ± 2 pS in WT cells and 94 ± 3 pS in cells overexpressing ROMK2. The channels were inhibited by 5-hydroxydecanoic acid (a mitoKATP inhibitor) and by Tertiapin Q (an inhibitor of both the ROMK-type channels and mitoKATP). Additionally, mitoKATP from cells overexpressing ROMK2 were inhibited by ATP/Mg2+ and activated by diazoxide. We used an assay based on proteinase K to examine the topology of the channel in the inner mitochondrial membrane and found that both termini of the protein localized to the mitochondrial matrix. We conclude that the observed activity of the channel formed by the ROMK protein corresponds to the electrophysiological and pharmacological properties of mitoKATP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Channel and Ion-Related Signaling 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
Functional Consequences of the SCN5A-p.Y1977N Mutation within the PY Ubiquitylation Motif: Discrepancy between HEK293 Cells and Transgenic Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(20), 5033; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20205033 - 11 Oct 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Dysfunction of the cardiac sodium channel Nav1.5 (encoded by the SCN5A gene) is associated with arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. SCN5A mutations associated with long QT syndrome type 3 (LQT3) lead to enhanced late sodium current and consequent action potential (AP) prolongation. Internalization [...] Read more.
Dysfunction of the cardiac sodium channel Nav1.5 (encoded by the SCN5A gene) is associated with arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. SCN5A mutations associated with long QT syndrome type 3 (LQT3) lead to enhanced late sodium current and consequent action potential (AP) prolongation. Internalization and degradation of Nav1.5 is regulated by ubiquitylation, a post-translational mechanism that involves binding of the ubiquitin ligase Nedd4-2 to a proline-proline-serine-tyrosine sequence of Nav1.5, designated the PY-motif. We investigated the biophysical properties of the LQT3-associated SCN5A-p.Y1977N mutation located in the Nav1.5 PY-motif, both in HEK293 cells as well as in newly generated mice harboring the mouse homolog mutation Scn5a-p.Y1981N. We found that in HEK293 cells, the SCN5A-p.Y1977N mutation abolished the interaction between Nav1.5 and Nedd4-2, suppressed PY-motif-dependent ubiquitylation of Nav1.5, and consequently abrogated Nedd4-2 induced sodium current (INa) decrease. Nevertheless, homozygous mice harboring the Scn5a-p.Y1981N mutation showed no electrophysiological alterations nor changes in AP or (late) INa properties, questioning the in vivo relevance of the PY-motif. Our findings suggest the presence of compensatory mechanisms, with additional, as yet unknown, factors likely required to reduce the “ubiquitylation reserve” of Nav1.5. Future identification of such modulatory factors may identify potential triggers for arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in the setting of LQT3 mutations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Channel and Ion-Related Signaling 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
PIEZO1 and TRPV4, which Are Distinct Mechano-Sensors in the Osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 Cells, Modify Cell-Proliferation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(19), 4960; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20194960 - 08 Oct 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Mechanical-loading and unloading can modify osteoblast functioning. Ca2+ signaling is one of the earliest events in osteoblasts to induce a mechanical stimulus, thereby demonstrating the importance of the underlying mechanical sensors for the sensation. Here, we examined the mechano-sensitive channels PIEZO1 and [...] Read more.
Mechanical-loading and unloading can modify osteoblast functioning. Ca2+ signaling is one of the earliest events in osteoblasts to induce a mechanical stimulus, thereby demonstrating the importance of the underlying mechanical sensors for the sensation. Here, we examined the mechano-sensitive channels PIEZO1 and TRPV4 were involved in the process of mechano-sensation in the osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells. The analysis of mRNA expression revealed a high expression of Piezo1 and Trpv4 in these cells. We also found that a PIEZO1 agonist, Yoda1, induced Ca2+ response and activated cationic currents in these cells. Ca2+ response was elicited when mechanical stimulation (MS), with shear stress, was induced by fluid flow in the MC3T3-E1 cells. Gene knockdown of Piezo1 in the MC3T3-E1 cells, by transfection with siPiezo1, inhibited the Yoda1-induced response, but failed to inhibit the MS-induced response. When MC3T3-E1 cells were transfected with siTrpv4, the MS-induced response was abolished and Yoda1 response was attenuated. Moreover, the MS-induced response was inhibited by a TRPV4 antagonist HC-067047 (HC). Yoda1 response was also inhibited by HC in MC3T3-E1 cells and HEK cells, expressing both PIEZO1 and TRPV4. Meanwhile, the activation of PIEZO1 and TRPV4 reduced the proliferation of MC3T3-E1, which was reversed by knockdown of PIEZO1, and TRPV4, respectively. In conclusion, TRPV4 and PIEZO1 are distinct mechano-sensors in the MC3T3-E1 cells. However, PIEZO1 and TRPV4 modify the proliferation of these cells, implying that PIEZO1 and TRPV4 may be functional in the osteoblastic mechano-transduction. Notably, it is also found that Yoda1 can induce TRPV4-dependent Ca2+ response, when both PIEZO1 and TRPV4 are highly expressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Channel and Ion-Related Signaling 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
Castration Induces Down-Regulation of A-Type K+ Channel in Rat Vas Deferens Smooth Muscle
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(17), 4073; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20174073 - 21 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
A-type K+ channels contribute to regulating the propagation and frequency of action potentials in smooth muscle cells (SMCs). The present study (i) identified the molecular components of A-type K+ channels in rat vas deferens SMs (VDSMs) and (ii) showed the long-term, [...] Read more.
A-type K+ channels contribute to regulating the propagation and frequency of action potentials in smooth muscle cells (SMCs). The present study (i) identified the molecular components of A-type K+ channels in rat vas deferens SMs (VDSMs) and (ii) showed the long-term, genomic effects of testosterone on their expression in VDSMs. Transcripts of the A-type K+ channel α subunit, Kv4.3L and its regulatory β subunits, KChIP3, NCS1, and DPP6-S were predominantly expressed in rat VDSMs over the other related subtypes (Kv4.2, KChIP1, KChIP2, KChIP4, and DPP10). A-type K+ current (IA) density in VDSM cells (VDSMCs) was decreased by castration without changes in IA kinetics, and decreased IA density was compensated for by an oral treatment with 17α-methyltestosterone (MET). Correspondingly, in the VDSMs of castrated rats, Kv4.3L and KChIP3 were down-regulated at both the transcript and protein expression levels. Changes in Kv4.3L and KChIP3 expression levels were compensated for by the treatment with MET. These results suggest that testosterone level changes in testosterone disorders and growth processes control the functional expression of A-type K+ channels in VDSMCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Channel and Ion-Related Signaling 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
Formation Mechanism of Ion Channel in Channelrhodopsin-2: Molecular Dynamics Simulation and Steering Molecular Dynamics Simulations
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(15), 3780; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20153780 - 02 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) is a light-activated and non-selective cationic channel protein that can be easily expressed in specific neurons to control neuronal activity by light. Although ChR2 has been extensively used as an optogenetic tool in neuroscience research, the molecular mechanism of cation channel [...] Read more.
Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) is a light-activated and non-selective cationic channel protein that can be easily expressed in specific neurons to control neuronal activity by light. Although ChR2 has been extensively used as an optogenetic tool in neuroscience research, the molecular mechanism of cation channel formation following retinal photoisomerization in ChR2 is not well understood. In this paper, studies of the closed and opened state ChR2 structures are presented. The formation of the cationic channel is elucidated in atomic detail using molecular dynamics simulations on the all-trans-retinal (ChR2-trans) configuration of ChR2 and its isomerization products, 13-cis-retinal (ChR2-cis) configuration, respectively. Photoisomerization of the retinal-chromophore causes the destruction of interactions among the crucial residues (e.g., E90, E82, N258, and R268) around the channel and the extended H-bond network mediated by numerous water molecules, which opens the pore. Steering molecular dynamics (SMD) simulations show that the electrostatic interactions at the binding sites in intracellular gate (ICG) and central gate (CG) can influence the transmembrane transport of Na+ in ChR2-cis obviously. Potential of mean force (PMF) constructed by SMD and umbrella sampling also found the existing energy wells at these two binding sites during the transportation of Na+. These wells partly hinder the penetration of Na+ into cytoplasm through the ion channel. This investigation provides a theoretical insight on the formation mechanism of ion channels and the mechanism of ion permeation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Channel and Ion-Related Signaling 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
Extracellular l-arginine Enhances Relaxations Induced by Opening of Calcium-Activated SKCa Channels in Porcine Retinal Arteriole
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 2032; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20082032 - 25 Apr 2019
Abstract
We investigated whether the substrate for nitric oxide (NO) production, extracellular l-arginine, contributes to relaxations induced by activating small (SKCa) conductance Ca2+-activated potassium channels. In endothelial cells, acetylcholine increased 3H-l-arginine uptake, while blocking the SKCa and the [...] Read more.
We investigated whether the substrate for nitric oxide (NO) production, extracellular l-arginine, contributes to relaxations induced by activating small (SKCa) conductance Ca2+-activated potassium channels. In endothelial cells, acetylcholine increased 3H-l-arginine uptake, while blocking the SKCa and the intermediate (IKCa) conductance Ca2+-activated potassium channels reduced l-arginine uptake. A blocker of the y+ transporter system, l-lysine also blocked 3H-l-arginine uptake. Immunostaining showed co-localization of endothelial NO synthase (eNOS), SKCa3, and the cationic amino acid transporter (CAT-1) protein of the y+ transporter system in the endothelium. An opener of SKCa channels, cyclohexyl-[2-(3,5-dimethyl-pyrazol-1-yl)-6-methyl-pyrimidin-4-yl]-amine (CyPPA) induced large currents in endothelial cells, and concentration-dependently relaxed porcine retinal arterioles. In the presence of l-arginine, concentration-response curves for CyPPA were leftward shifted, an effect unaltered in the presence of low sodium, but blocked by l-lysine in the retinal arterioles. Our findings suggest that SKCa channel activity regulates l-arginine uptake through the y+ transporter system, and we propose that in vasculature affected by endothelial dysfunction, l-arginine administration requires the targeting of additional mechanisms such as SKCa channels to restore endothelium-dependent vasodilatation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Channel and Ion-Related Signaling 2019)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
The Therapeutic Potential of Neuronal K-Cl Co-Transporter KCC2 in Huntington’s Disease and Its Comorbidities
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(23), 9142; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21239142 - 30 Nov 2020
Abstract
Intracellular chloride levels in the brain are regulated primarily through the opposing effects of two cation-chloride co-transporters (CCCs), namely K+-Cl co-transporter-2 (KCC2) and Na+-K+-Cl co-transporter-1 (NKCC1). These CCCs are differentially expressed throughout the course of [...] Read more.
Intracellular chloride levels in the brain are regulated primarily through the opposing effects of two cation-chloride co-transporters (CCCs), namely K+-Cl co-transporter-2 (KCC2) and Na+-K+-Cl co-transporter-1 (NKCC1). These CCCs are differentially expressed throughout the course of development, thereby determining the excitatory-to-inhibitory γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) switch. GABAergic excitation (depolarisation) is important in controlling the healthy development of the nervous system; as the brain matures, GABAergic inhibition (hyperpolarisation) prevails. This developmental switch in excitability is important, as uncontrolled regulation of neuronal excitability can have implications for health. Huntington’s disease (HD) is an example of a genetic disorder whereby the expression levels of KCC2 are abnormal due to mutant protein interactions. Although HD is primarily considered a motor disease, many other clinical manifestations exist; these often present in advance of any movement abnormalities. Cognitive change, in addition to sleep disorders, is prevalent in the HD population; the effect of uncontrolled KCC2 function on cognition and sleep has also been explored. Several mechanisms by which KCC2 expression is reduced have been proposed recently, thereby suggesting extensive investigation of KCC2 as a possible therapeutic target for the development of pharmacological compounds that can effectively treat HD co-morbidities. Hence, this review summarizes the role of KCC2 in the healthy and HD brain, and highlights recent advances that attest to KCC2 as a strong research and therapeutic target candidate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Channel and Ion-Related Signaling 2020)
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