BK channels are linked to inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate receptors via lipid rafts: a novel mechanism for coupling [Ca(2+)](i) to ion channel activation.
ABSTRACT: Glioma cells prominently express a unique splice variant of a large conductance, calcium-activated potassium channel (BK channel). These channels transduce changes in intracellular calcium to changes of K(+) conductance in the cells and have been implicated in growth control of normal and malignant cells. The Ca(2+) increase that facilitates channel activation is thought to occur via activation of intracellular calcium release pathways or influx of calcium through Ca(2+)-permeable ion channels. We show here that BK channel activation involves the activation of inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate receptors (IP(3)R), which localize near BK channels in specialized membrane domains called lipid rafts. Disruption of lipid rafts with methyl-beta-cyclodextrin disrupts the functional association of BK channel and calcium source resulting in a >50% reduction in K(+) conductance mediated by BK channels. The reduction of BK current by lipid raft disruption was overcome by the global elevation of intracellular calcium through inclusion of 750 nm Ca(2+) in the pipette solution, indicating that neither the calcium sensitivity of the channel nor their overall number was altered. Additionally, pretreatment of glioma cells with 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate to inhibit IP(3)Rs negated the effect of methyl-beta-cyclodextrin, providing further support that IP(3)Rs are the calcium source for BK channels. Taken together, these data suggest a privileged association of BK channels in lipid raft domains and provide evidence for a novel coupling of these Ca(2+)-sensitive channels to their second messenger source.
Project description:Interaction of large conductance Ca(2+)- and voltage-activated K(+) (BK(Ca)) channels with Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase, caveolin-1, and cholesterol was studied in human melanoma IGR39 cells. Functional BK(Ca) channels were enriched in caveolin-rich and detergent-resistant membranes, i.e. rafts, and blocking of the channels by a specific BK(Ca) blocker paxilline reduced proliferation of the cells. Disruption of rafts by selective depletion of cholesterol released BK(Ca) channels from these domains with a consequent increase in their activity. Consistently, cholesterol enrichment of the cells increased the proportion of BK(Ca) channels in rafts and decreased their activity. Immunocytochemical analysis showed that BK(Ca) channels co-localize with Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase in a cholesterol-dependent manner, thus suggesting their co-presence in rafts. Supporting this, ouabain, a specific blocker of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase, inhibited BK(Ca) whole-cell current markedly in control cells but not in cholesterol-depleted ones. This inhibition required the presence of external Na(+). Collectively, these data indicate that the presence of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase in rafts is essential for efficient functioning of BK(Ca) channels, presumably because the pump maintains a low intracellular Na(+) proximal to the BK(Ca) channel. In conclusion, cholesterol could play an important role in cellular ion homeostasis and thus modulate many cellular functions and cell proliferation.
Project description:Calcium-activated chloride channels (CACCs) share common pharmacological properties with Kcnma1-encoded large conductance K(+) channels (BK(Ca) or K(Ca)1.1) and it has been suggested that they may co-exist in a macromolecular complex. As K(Ca)1.1 channels are known to localize to cholesterol and caveolin-rich lipid rafts (caveolae), the present study investigated whether Ca(2+)-sensitive Cl(-) currents in vascular myocytes were affected by the cholesterol depleting agent methyl-beta-cyclodextrin (M-betaCD).Calcium-activated chloride and potassium currents were recorded from single murine portal vein myocytes in whole cell voltage clamp. Western blot was undertaken following sucrose gradient ultracentrifugation using protein lysates from whole portal veins. Ca(2+)-activated Cl(-) currents were augmented by 3 mg mL(-1) M-betaCD with a rapid time course (t(0.5) = 1.8 min). M-betaCD had no effect on the bi-modal response to niflumic acid or anthracene-9-carboxylate but completely removed the inhibitory effects of the K(Ca)1.1 blockers, paxilline and tamoxifen, as well as the stimulatory effect of the K(Ca)1.1 activator NS1619. Discontinuous sucrose density gradients followed by western blot analysis revealed that the position of lipid raft markers caveolin and flotillin-2 was altered by 15 min application of 3 mg mL(-1) M-betaCD. The position of K(Ca)1.1 and the newly identified candidate for CACCs, TMEM16A, was also affected by M-betaCD.These data reveal that CACC properties are influenced by lipid raft integrity.
Project description:Large-conductance voltage- and calcium-dependent potassium channels (BK, "Big K+") are important controllers of cell excitability. In the BK channel, a large C-terminal intracellular region containing a "gating-ring" structure has been proposed to transduce Ca(2+) binding into channel opening. Using patch-clamp fluorometry, we have investigated the calcium and voltage dependence of conformational changes of the gating-ring region of BK channels, while simultaneously monitoring channel conductance. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) between fluorescent protein inserts indicates that Ca(2+) binding produces structural changes of the gating ring that are much larger than those predicted by current X-ray crystal structures of isolated gating rings.
Project description:Calcium-dependent gating of large-conductance calcium-activated potassium (BK(Ca)) channels is mediated by the intracellular carboxyl terminus, which contains two domains of regulator of K(+) conductance (RCK). In mammalian BK(Ca) channels, the two RCK domains are separated by a protein segment of 101 residues that is poorly conserved in evolution and predicted to have no regular secondary structures. We investigated the functional importance of this loop using a series of deletion mutations. We found that the length, rather than the specific sequence at the central region of the segment, is critical for the functionality of the channel. As the length of the loop is progressively shorted, the conductance-voltage relationship gradually shifts toward more positive voltages with a minimum length of 70 amino acids, in an apparent response to increased tension within the loop. Thus, the functional activity of the BK(Ca) channel can be modulated by altering the tension of this loop region.
Project description:Calcium-sensitive potassium (K(Ca)) channels have been shown to modulate the diameter of cerebral pial arteries; however, little is known regarding their roles in controlling cerebral parenchymal arterioles (PAs). We explored the function and cellular distribution of small-conductance (SK(Ca)) and intermediate-conductance (IK(Ca)) K(Ca) channels and large-conductance K(Ca) (BK(Ca)) channels in endothelial cells (ECs) and smooth muscle cells (SMCs) of PAs. Both SK(Ca) and IK(Ca) channels conducted the outward current in isolated PA ECs (current densities, ~20?pA/pF and ~28?pA/pF at +40?mV, respectively), but these currents were not detected in PA SMCs. In contrast, BK(Ca) currents were prominent in PA SMCs (~154?pA/pF), but were undetectable in PA ECs. Pressurized PAs constricted to inhibition of SK(Ca) (~16%) and IK(Ca) (~16%) channels, but were only modestly affected by inhibition of BK(Ca) channels (~5%). Blockade of SK(Ca) and IK(Ca) channels decreased resting cortical cerebral blood flow (CBF) by ~15%. NS309 (6,7-dichloro-1H-indole-2,3-dione3-oxime), a SK(Ca)/IK(Ca) channel opener, hyperpolarized PA SMCs by ~27?mV, maximally dilated pressurized PAs, and increased CBF by ~40%. In conclusion, these data show that SK(Ca) and IK(Ca) channels in ECs profoundly modulate PA tone and CBF, whereas BK(Ca) channels in SMCs only modestly influence PA diameter.
Project description:Large-conductance (BK-type) Ca(2+)-activated potassium channels are activated by membrane depolarization and cytoplasmic Ca(2+). BK channels are expressed in a broad variety of cells and have a corresponding diversity in properties. Underlying much of the functional diversity is a family of four tissue-specific accessory subunits (beta1-beta4). Biophysical characterization has shown that the beta4 subunit confers properties of the so-called "type II" BK channel isotypes seen in brain. These properties include slow gating kinetics and resistance to iberiotoxin and charybdotoxin blockade. In addition, the beta4 subunit reduces the apparent voltage sensitivity of channel activation and has complex effects on apparent Ca(2+) sensitivity. Specifically, channel activity at low Ca(2+) is inhibited, while at high Ca(2+), activity is enhanced. The goal of this study is to understand the mechanism underlying beta4 subunit action in the context of a dual allosteric model for BK channel gating. We observed that beta4's most profound effect is a decrease in P(o) (at least 11-fold) in the absence of calcium binding and voltage sensor activation. However, beta4 promotes channel opening by increasing voltage dependence of P(o)-V relations at negative membrane potentials. In the context of the dual allosteric model for BK channels, we find these properties are explained by distinct and opposing actions of beta4 on BK channels. beta4 reduces channel opening by decreasing the intrinsic gating equilibrium (L(0)), and decreasing the allosteric coupling between calcium binding and voltage sensor activation (E). However, beta4 has a compensatory effect on channel opening following depolarization by shifting open channel voltage sensor activation (Vh(o)) to more negative membrane potentials. The consequence is that beta4 causes a net positive shift of the G-V relationship (relative to alpha subunit alone) at low calcium. At higher calcium, the contribution by Vh(o) and an increase in allosteric coupling to Ca(2+) binding (C) promotes a negative G-V shift of alpha+beta4 channels as compared to alpha subunits alone. This manner of modulation predicts that type II BK channels are downregulated by beta4 at resting voltages through effects on L(0). However, beta4 confers a compensatory effect on voltage sensor activation that increases channel opening during depolarization.
Project description:The structural basis underlying the gating of large conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (BK) channels remains elusive. We found that substitution of Leu-312 in the S6 transmembrane segment of mSlo1 BK channels with hydrophilic amino acids of smaller side-chain volume favored the open state. The sensitivities of channels to calcium and voltage were modified by some mutations and completely abolished by others. Interpretation of the results in terms of an allosteric model suggests that the calcium-insensitive mutants greatly destabilize the closed relative to the open conformation and may also disrupt the allosteric coupling between Ca(2+) or voltage sensors and the gate. Some Phe-315 mutations also favor the open state, suggesting that Leu-312 and Phe-315 may interact in the closed state, forming a major energy barrier that the channel has to overcome to open. Homology modeling and molecular dynamic simulations further support that the side chain of Leu-312 can couple strongly with the aromatic ring of Phe-315 in neighboring subunits (L-F coupling) to maintain the channel closed. Additionally, single-channel recordings indicate that the calcium-insensitive mutants, whose kinetics can be approximately characterized by a two-state closed-open (C-O) model, exhibit nearly 100% open probability under physiological conditions without alterations in single-channel conductance. These findings provide a basis for understanding the structure and gating of the BK channel pore.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Sulphatides are sulphated glycosphingolipids expressed on the surface of many cell types, particularly neurones. Changes in sulphatide species or content have been associated with epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease. As the large conductance, calcium sensitive K(+) channel (BK(Ca)) are modulated by membrane lipids, the aim of the study was to explore possible effects of sulphatides on BK(Ca) channels. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: Using patch-clamp techniques, we studied effects of exogenous sulphatides on BK(Ca) channels expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells. KEY RESULTS: Sulphatides reversibly increased the whole-cell current and the single channel open probability of BK(Ca) channels dose-dependently. The EC(50) value on the channel at +10 mV was 1.6 microM and the Hill coefficient was 2.5. In inside-out patches, sulphatides increased the single channel open probability from both intra- and extra-cellular faces of the membrane, but more effectively with external application. Furthermore, activation of the channels by sulphatides was independent of intracellular Ca(2+) concentration. Sulphatides also shifted the activation curve of the channels to less positive membrane potentials. Mutant BK(Ca) channels lacking a 59 aminoacid region important for amphipath activation (STREX) were less activated by the sulphatides. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Sulphatides are novel activators of BK(Ca) channels, independent of intracellular Ca(2+) or other signalling molecules but partly dependent on the STREX sequence of the channel protein. As changes of sulphatide content are associated with neuronal dysfunction, as in epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease, our results imply that these effects of sulphatides may play important pathophysiological roles in regulation of BK(Ca) channels.
Project description:Large conductance, calcium-activated K(+) (BK) channels are important regulators of cell excitability and recognized targets of intracellular kinases. BK channel modulation by tyrosine kinases, including focal adhesion kinase and c-src, suggests their potential involvement in integrin signaling. Recently, we found that fibronectin, an endogenous alpha5beta1 integrin ligand, enhances BK channel current through both Ca(2+)- and phosphorylation-dependent mechanisms in vascular smooth muscle. Here, we show that macroscopic currents from HEK 293 cells expressing murine BK channel alpha-subunits (mSlo) are acutely potentiated following alpha5beta1 integrin activation. The effect occurs in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner, 1-3 min after integrin engagement. After integrin activation, normalized conductance-voltage relations for mSlo are left-shifted at free Ca(2+) concentrations >or=1 microm. Overexpression of human c-src with mSlo, in the absence of integrin activation, leads to similar shifts in mSlo Ca(2+) sensitivity, whereas overexpression of catalytically inactive c-src blocks integrin-induced potentiation. However, neither integrin activation nor c-src overexpression potentiates current in BK channels containing a point mutation at Tyr-766. Biochemical tests confirmed the critical importance of residue Tyr-766 in integrin-induced channel phosphorylation. Thus, BK channel activity is enhanced by alpha5beta1 integrin activation, likely through an intracellular signaling pathway involving c-src phosphorylation of the channel alpha-subunit at Tyr-766. The net result is increased current amplitude, enhanced Ca(2+) sensitivity, and rate of activation of the BK channel, which would collectively promote smooth muscle hyperpolarization in response to integrin-extracellular matrix interactions.
Project description:Ca(2+) ions play crucial roles in mediating physiological and pathophysiological processes, yet Ca(2+) dynamics local to the Ca(2+) source, either from influx via calcium permeable ion channels on plasmic membrane or release from internal Ca(2+) stores, is difficult to delineate. Large-conductance calcium-activated K(+) (BK-type) channels, abundantly distribute in excitable cells and often localize to the proximity of voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels (VGCCs), spatially enabling the coupling of the intracellular Ca(2+) signal to the channel gating to regulate membrane excitability and spike firing patterns. Here we utilized the sensitivity and dynamic range of BK to explore non-uniform Ca(2+) local transients in the microdomain of VGCCs. Accordingly, we applied flash photolysis of caged Ca(2+) to activate BK channels and determine their intrinsic sensitivity to Ca(2+). We found that uncaging Ca(2+) activated biphasic BK currents with fast and slow components (time constants being τf ≈ 0.2 ms and τs ≈ 10 ms), which can be accounted for by biphasic Ca(2+) transients following light photolysis. We estimated the Ca(2+)-binding rate constant kb (≈1.8 × 10(8) M(-1) s(-1)) for mSlo1 and further developed a model in which BK channels act as a calcium sensor capable of quantitatively predicting local microdomain Ca(2+) transients in the vicinity of VGCCs during action potentials.