Regulated phosphorylation of the K-Cl cotransporter KCC3 is a molecular switch of intracellular potassium content and cell volume homeostasis.
ABSTRACT: The defense of cell volume against excessive shrinkage or swelling is a requirement for cell function and organismal survival. Cell swelling triggers a coordinated homeostatic response termed regulatory volume decrease (RVD), resulting in K(+) and Cl(-) efflux via activation of K(+) channels, volume-regulated anion channels (VRACs), and the K(+)-Cl(-) cotransporters, including KCC3. Here, we show genetic alanine (Ala) substitution at threonines (Thr) 991 and 1048 in the KCC3a isoform carboxyl-terminus, preventing inhibitory phosphorylation at these sites, not only significantly up-regulates KCC3a activity up to 25-fold in normally inhibitory isotonic conditions, but is also accompanied by reversal of activity of the related bumetanide-sensitive Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) cotransporter isoform 1 (NKCC1). This results in a rapid (<10 min) and significant (>90%) reduction in intracellular K(+) content (Ki) via both Cl-dependent (KCC3a + NKCC1) and Cl-independent [DCPIB (VRAC inhibitor)-sensitive] pathways, which collectively renders cells less prone to acute swelling in hypotonic osmotic stress. Together, these data demonstrate the phosphorylation state of Thr991/Thr1048 in KCC3a encodes a potent switch of transporter activity, Ki homeostasis, and cell volume regulation, and reveal novel observations into the functional interaction among ion transport molecules involved in RVD.
Project description:Cell volume homeostasis requires the dynamically regulated transport of ions across the plasmalemma. While the ensemble of ion transport proteins involved in cell volume regulation is well established, the molecular coordinators of their activities remain poorly characterized. We utilized a functional kinomics approach including a kinome-wide siRNA-phosphoproteomic screen, a high-content kinase inhibitor screen, and a kinase trapping-Orbitrap mass spectroscopy screen to systematically identify essential kinase regulators of KCC3 Thr991/Thr1048 phosphorylation - a key signaling event in cell swelling-induced regulatory volume decrease (RVD). In the mammalian brain, we found the Cl--sensitive WNK3-SPAK kinase complex, required for cell shrinkage-induced regulatory volume decrease (RVI) via the stimulatory phosphorylation of NKCC1 (Thr203/Thr207/Thr212), is also essential for the inhibitory phosphorylation of KCC3 (Thr991/Thr1048). This is mediated in vivo by an interaction between the CCT domain in SPAK and RFXV/I domains in WNK3 and NKCC1/KCC3. Accordingly, genetic or pharmacologic WNK3-SPAK inhibition prevents cell swelling in response to osmotic stress and ameliorates post-ischemic brain swelling through a simultaneous inhibition of NKCC1-mediated Cl- uptake and stimulation of KCC3-mediated Cl- extrusion. We conclude that WNK3-SPAK is an integral component of the long-sought "Cl-/volume-sensitive kinase" of the cation-Cl- cotransporters, and functions as a molecular rheostat of cell volume in the mammalian brain.
Project description:Using exome sequencing, we identified a de novo mutation (c.2971A>G; T991A) in SLC12A6, the gene encoding the K(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter KCC3, in a patient with an early-onset, progressive, and severe peripheral neuropathy primarily affecting motor neurons. Normally, the WNK kinase-dependent phosphorylation of T(991) tonically inhibits KCC3; however, cell swelling triggers Thr(991) dephosphorylation to activate the transporter and restore cell volume. KCC3 T991A mutation in patient cells abolished Thr(991) phosphorylation, resulted in constitutive KCC3 activity, and compromised cell volume homeostasis. KCC3(T991A/T991A) mutant mice exhibited constitutive KCC3 activity and recapitulated aspects of the clinical, electrophysiological, and histopathological findings of the patient. These results suggest that the function of the peripheral nervous system depends on finely tuned, kinase-regulated KCC3 activity and implicate abnormal cell volume homeostasis as a previously unreported mechanism of axonal degeneration.
Project description:The K-Cl cotransporter (KCC) functions in maintaining chloride and volume homeostasis in a variety of cells. In the process of cloning the mouse KCC3 cDNA, we came across a cloning mutation (E289G) that rendered the cotransporter inactive in functional assays in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Through biochemical studies, we demonstrate that the mutant E289G cotransporter is glycosylation-deficient, does not move beyond the endoplasmic reticulum or the early Golgi, and thus fails to reach the plasma membrane. We establish through co-immunoprecipitation experiments that both wild-type and mutant KCC3 with KCC2 results in the formation of hetero-dimers. We further demonstrate that formation of these hetero-dimers prevents the proper trafficking of the cotransporter to the plasma membrane, resulting in a significant decrease in cotransporter function. This effect is due to interaction between the K-Cl cotransporter isoforms, as this was not observed when KCC3-E289G was co-expressed with NKCC1. Our studies also reveal that the glutamic acid residue is essential to K-Cl cotransporter function, as the corresponding mutation in KCC2 also leads to an absence of function. Interestingly, mutation of this conserved glutamic acid residue in the Na(+)-dependent cation-chloride cotransporters had no effect on NKCC1 function in isosmotic conditions, but diminished cotransporter activity under hypertonicity. Together, our data show that the glutamic acid residue (E289) is essential for proper trafficking and function of KCCs and that expression of a non-functional but full-length K-Cl cotransporter might results in dominant-negative effects on other K-Cl cotransporters.
Project description:Hypoxia and inhibitors of mitochondrial respiration impair the regulatory volume decrease (RVD) of cerebellar granule neurons after hypotonic swelling. RVD is linked to the opening of volume-regulated anion channels (VRACs). VRACs are outwardly rectifying, inactivate slowly during maintained depolarization, and are permeable to the cellular organic osmolyte taurine. Channel activation requires nonhydrolytic ATP binding and is not modulated by intracellular ADP. VRAC opening is reversibly depressed by hypoxia and by mitochondrial inhibitors such as oligomycin, rotenone, and antimycin A. These results demonstrate that neuronal VRAC activation and swelling are both tightly linked to cellular energy. Moreover, the findings reported in this work may have a particular significance for inherited mitochondrial human diseases, such as mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes (MELAS), which cause brain swelling and edema.
Project description:We have previously reported CNS and locomotor deficits in KCC3 knockout mice, an animal model of agenesis of the corpus callosum associated with peripheral neuropathy (ACCPN) [Howard, H.C., Mount, D.B., Rochefort, D., Byun, N., Dupre, N., Lu, J., Fan, X., Song, L., Riviere, J.B., Prevost, C., Horst, J., Simonati, A., Lemcke, B., Welch, R., England, R., Zhan, F.Q., Mercado, A., Siesser, W.B., George, A.L., Jr., McDonald, M.P., Bouchard, J.P., Mathieu, J., Delpire, E., Rouleau, G.A., 2002. The K-Cl cotransporter KCC3 is mutant in a severe peripheral neuropathy associated with agenesis of the corpus callosum. Nat. Genet. 32, 384-392]. To assess the role of KCC3 in peripheral axon and/or myelin development and maintenance, we determined its expression and performed a detailed morphometric analysis of sciatic nerves. Sciatic nerves of juvenile wild-type mice, but not of adult, express KCC3. In the knockout, Schwann cell/myelin development appears normal at P3, but axons are swollen. At P8 and into P30, some fibers accumulate fluid periaxonally. These initial swelling pathologies are followed by axon and myelin degeneration in adult nerves, leading to reduction in nerve conduction velocity. Mutant mice also exhibit decreased sensitivity to noxious pain. This evidence for fluid-related axonopathy, which ultimately result in neurodegeneration, implicates cell volume regulation as a critical component of peripheral nerve maintenance.
Project description:In response to cell swelling, volume-regulated anion channels (VRACs) participate in a process known as regulatory volume decrease (RVD). Only recently, first insight into the molecular identity of mammalian VRACs was obtained by the discovery of the leucine-rich repeats containing 8A (LRRC8A) gene. Here, we show that bestrophin 1 (BEST1) but not LRRC8A is crucial for volume regulation in human retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in RPE derived from human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) exhibit an outwardly rectifying chloride current with characteristic functional properties of VRACs. This current is severely reduced in hiPSC-RPE cells derived from macular dystrophy patients with pathologic BEST1 mutations. Disruption of the orthologous mouse gene (Best1(-/-)) does not result in obvious retinal pathology but leads to a severe subfertility phenotype in agreement with minor endogenous expression of Best1 in murine RPE but highly abundant expression in mouse testis. Sperm from Best1(-/-) mice showed reduced motility and abnormal sperm morphology, indicating an inability in RVD. Together, our data suggest that the molecular identity of VRACs is more complex--that is, instead of a single ubiquitous channel, VRACs could be formed by cell type- or tissue-specific subunit composition. Our findings provide the basis to further examine VRAC diversity in normal and diseased cell physiology, which is key to exploring novel therapeutic approaches in VRAC-associated pathologies.
Project description:Chondrocytes face extreme alterations of extracellular osmolarity and pH, which force them to appropriately regulate their cell volume (CV) and cellular pH. Perturbations of these mechanisms lead to chondrocyte death and ultimately to osteoarthritis (OA), the most common chronic joint diseases worldwide. OA hallmarks are altered cartilage hydration and severe fluid acidification. Impaired CV regulation and acidotoxicity contribute to disease progression and volume-sensitive anion channels are upregulated in OA. This study assessed the effect of hypotonicity and extracellular acidification on chondrocyte Cl<sup>-</sup> conductances and CV regulation. Cl<sup>-</sup> currents and membrane potentials were measured in human C28/I2 cells and primary human chondrocytes using the patch clamp technique. Intracellular pH was assessed by BCECF fluorescence, CV measurements were performed using the Coulter method, and cell viability/cell death by a resazurin assay. Hypotonic cell swelling caused activation of a volume-sensitive outwardly rectifying (VSOR) Cl<sup>-</sup> current followed by a regulatory volume decrease (RVD), which was attenuated by the Cl<sup>-</sup> channel blocker DCPIB. Extracellular, but not intracellular acidification to pH ? 5.0 elicited an acid-sensitive outwardly rectifying (ASOR) Cl<sup>-</sup> conductance. Activation of either current depolarized the cell membrane potential. Under simultaneous hypotonic and acidic stimulation, VSOR and ASOR currents transiently coactivated, giving rise to a mixed current phenotype. Over time the VSOR current gradually vanished and the residual conductance showed a pure ASOR current phenotype. Extracellular acidification caused an isotonic CV gain and a complete suppression of RVD under hypotonic conditions. The results suggest that deactivation of the VSOR current under acidic conditions impairs CV regulation in chondrocytes, which is likely to compromise chondrocyte viability.
Project description:The volume-regulated anion channel (VRAC) is a hexameric complex formed by LRRC8 proteins. VRACs are responsible for the regulatory volume decrease (RVD) after hypotonic cell swelling by mediating the efflux of chloride. Besides chloride, LRRC8 proteins transport other molecules including immunomodulatory cyclic dinucleotides (CDNs) such as 2’3’cGAMP. Here we identify LRRC8C as a critical component of VRACs in T cells, where its deletion abolishes VRAC currents and RVD. We find that LRRC8C mediates the transport of 2’3’cGAMP in T cells. T cells of Lrrc8c-/- mice have increased cell cycle progression, proliferation, survival, Ca2+ influx and cytokine production in vitro and enhanced T cell mediated immunity in vivo. We used RNA sequencing of CD4+ T cells from wild-type (WT) and Lrrc8c-/- mice to determine the effects of impaired cGAMP signaling in T cells. T cells of Lrrc8c-/- mice had impaired p53 signaling which was associated with decreased p53 expression. We found that uptake of 2’3’cGAMP and other CDNs via LRRC8C results in STING activation and p53 accumulation. Inhibition of STING in WT T cells recapitulates the phenotype of LRRC8C-deficient T cells whereas overexpression of p53 inhibits enhanced T cell function in the absence of LRRC8C. These findings establish cGAMP uptake through LRRC8C and subsequent STING-p53 signaling as a novel inhibitory signaling pathway in T cells and adaptive immunity. Overall design: Purified CD4+ T cells from WT and Lrrc8c-/- mice were isolated from the spleen and left unstimulated or stimulated with plate-bound anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 antibodies in 12-well plates for 24h and 48h. Additionally, WT CD4+ T cells were stimulated in the presence of 20 micromolar DCPIB (VRAC inhibitor). A total of 24 samples were analyzed by RNASeq.
Project description:1. We identified the ethacrynic-acid derivative DCPIB as a potent inhibitor of I(Cl,swell), which blocks native I(Cl,swell) of calf bovine pulmonary artery endothelial (CPAE) cells with an IC(50) of 4.1 microM. Similarly, 10 microM DCPIB almost completely inhibited the swelling-induced chloride conductance in Xenopus oocytes and in guinea-pig atrial cardiomyocytes. Block of I(Cl,swell) by DCPIB was fully reversible and voltage independent. 2. DCPIB (10 microM) showed selectivity for I(Cl,swell) and had no significant inhibitory effects on I(Cl,Ca) in CPAE cells, on chloride currents elicited by several members of the CLC-chloride channel family or on the human cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (hCFTR) after heterologous expression in Xenopus oocytes. DCPIB (10 microM) also showed no significant inhibition of several native anion and cation currents of guinea pig heart like I(Cl,PKA), I(Kr), I(Ks), I(K1), I(Na) and I(Ca). 3. In all atrial cardiomyocytes (n=7), osmotic swelling produced an increase in chloride current and a strong shortening of the action potential duration (APD). Both swelling-induced chloride conductance and AP shortening were inhibited by treatment of swollen cells with DCPIB (10 microM). In agreement with the selectivity for I(Cl,swell), DCPIB did not affect atrial APD under isoosmotic conditions. 4. Preincubation of atrial cardiomyocytes with DCPIB (10 microM) completely prevented both the swelling-induced chloride currents and the AP shortening but not the hypotonic cell swelling. 5. We conclude that swelling-induced AP shortening in isolated atrial cells is mainly caused by activation of I(Cl,swell). DCPIB therefore is a valuable pharmacological tool to study the role of I(Cl,swell) in cardiac excitability under pathophysiological conditions leading to cell swelling.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The ethacrynic acid derivative, 4-(2-butyl-6,7-dichlor-2-cyclopentylindan-1-on-5-yl) oxobutyric acid (DCPIB) is considered to be a specific and potent inhibitor of volume-regulated anion channels (VRACs). In the CNS, DCPIB was shown to be neuroprotective through mechanisms principally associated to its action on VRACs. We hypothesized that DCPIB could also regulate the activity of other astroglial channels involved in cell volume homeostasis. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: Experiments were performed in rat cortical astrocytes in primary culture and in hippocampal astrocytes in situ. The effect of DCPIB was evaluated by patch-clamp electrophysiology and immunocytochemical techniques. Results were verified by comparative analysis with recombinant channels expressed in COS-7 cells. KEY RESULTS: In cultured astrocytes, DCPIB promoted the activation of a K(+) conductance mediated by two-pore-domain K(+) (K(2P) ) channels. The DCPIB effect occluded that of arachidonic acid, which activates K(2P) channels K(2P) 2.1 (TREK-1) and K(2P) 10.1 (TREK-2) in cultured astrocytes. Immunocytochemical analysis suggests that cultured astrocytes express K(2P) 2.1 and K(2P) 10.1 proteins. Moreover, DCPIB opened recombinant K(2P) 2.1 and K(2P) 10.1 expressed in heterologous system. In brain slices, DCPIB did not augment the large background K(+) conductance in hippocampal astrocytes, but caused an increment in basal K(+) current of neurons. CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS: Our results indicate that the neuroprotective effect of DCPIB could be due, at least in part, to activation of TREK channels. DCPIB could be used as template to build new pharmacological tools able to increase background K(+) conductance in astroglia and neuronal cells.