Lead poisoning: acute exposure of the heart to lead ions promotes changes in cardiac function and Cav1.2 ion channels.
ABSTRACT: Lead ions (Pb2+) possess characteristics similar to Ca2+. Because of this and its redox capabilities, lead causes different toxic effects. The neurotoxic effects have been well documented; however, the toxic effects on cardiac tissues remain allusive. We utilized isolated guinea pig hearts and measured the effects of Pb2+ on their contractility and excitability. Acute exposure to extracellular Pb2+ had a negative inotropic effect and increased diastolic tension. The speed of contraction and relaxation were affected, though the effects were more dramatic on the speed of contraction. Excitability was also altered. Heart beat frequency increased and later diminished after lead ion exposure. Pro-arrhytmic events, such as early after-depolarization and a reduction of the action potential plateau, were also observed. In isolated cardiomyocytes and tsA 201 cells, extracellular lead blocked currents through Cav1.2 channels, diminished their activation, and enhanced their fast inactivation, negatively affecting their gating currents. Thus, Pb2+ was cardiotoxic and reduced cardiac contractility, making the heart prone to arrhythmias. This was due, in part, to Pb2+ effects on the Cav1.2 channels; however, other channels, transporters or pathways may also be involved. Acute cardiotoxic effects were observed at Pb2+ concentrations achievable during acute lead poisoning. The results suggest how Cav1.2 gating can be affected by divalent cations, such as Pb2, and also suggest a more thorough evaluation of heart function in individuals affected by lead poisoning.
Project description:L-type voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels (LVDCC) and large conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels (BKCa) are the major factors defining membrane excitability in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). The Ca(2+) release from sarcoplasmic reticulum through ryanodine receptor significantly contributes to BKCa activation in VSMCs. In this study direct coupling between LVDCC (Cav1.2) and BKCa and the role of caveoline-1 on their interaction in mouse mesenteric artery SMCs were examined. The direct activation of BKCa by Ca(2+) influx through coupling LVDCC was demonstrated by patch clamp recordings in freshly isolated VSMCs. Using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, it was found that a large part of yellow fluorescent protein-tagged BKCa co-localized with the cyan fluorescent protein-tagged Cav1.2 expressed in the plasma membrane of primary cultured mouse VSMCs and that the two molecules often exhibited FRET. It is notable that each BK? subunit of a tetramer in BKCa can directly interact with Cav1.2 and promotes Cav1.2 cluster in the molecular complex. Furthermore, caveolin-1 deficiency in knock-out (KO) mice significantly reduced not only the direct coupling between BKCa and Cav1.2 but also the functional coupling between BKCa and ryanodine receptor in VSMCs. The measurement of single cell shortening by 40 mm K(+) revealed enhanced contractility in VSMCs from KO mice than wild type. Taken together, caveolin-1 facilitates the accumulation/clustering of BKCa-LVDCC complex in caveolae, which effectively regulates spatiotemporal Ca(2+) dynamics including the negative feedback, to control the arterial excitability and contractility.
Project description:Voltage-gated Cav1.2 and Cav1.3 (L-type) Ca2+ channels regulate neuronal excitability, synaptic plasticity, and learning and memory. Densin-180 (densin) is an excitatory synaptic protein that promotes Ca2+-dependent facilitation of voltage-gated Cav1.3 Ca2+ 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 Cav1.2 than Cav1.3. Therefore, we investigated the functional impact of densin on Cav1.2. We report that densin is an essential regulator of Cav1.2 in neurons, but has distinct modulatory effects compared with its regulation of Cav1.3. Densin binds to the N-terminal domain of Cav1.2, but not that of Cav1.3, and increases Cav1.2 currents in transfected cells and in neurons. In transfected cells, densin accelerates the forward trafficking of Cav1.2 channels without affecting their endocytosis. Consistent with a role for densin in increasing the number of postsynaptic Cav1.2 channels, overexpression of densin increases the clustering of Cav1.2 in dendrites of hippocampal neurons in culture. Compared with wild-type mice, the cell surface levels of Cav1.2 in the brain, as well as Cav1.2 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 Cav1 channels and ensures efficient Cav1.2 Ca2+ signaling at excitatory synapses.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The number and localization of voltage-gated Cav Ca2+ 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 Cav1.2 L-type Ca2+ channels in neurons. This interaction promotes coupling of Cav1.2 channels to activity-dependent gene transcription. Our results reveal a mechanism that may contribute to the roles of Cav1.2 in regulating cognition and mood.
Project description:Pb2+ activated native chick-embryo liver mitochondrial delta-aminoaevulinate synthase (EC 126.96.36.199). This result contradicted with the inhibitory effect observed by earlier workers who used degraded enzyme preparations. Enzyme activation was biphasic. An initial activation phase was observed with Pb2+ concentrations up to 200 microM, and a secondary phase with concentrations from 200 microM to at least 2mM. Maximum primary activation was 2.5-fold at 200 microM-Pb2+, with a further 2-fold activation observed at 2mM-Pb2+. Primary activation was not affected by a 10-fold molar excess of dithioerythritol, but the secondary activation was abolished by dithioerythritol. Secondary-phase activation was lost upon increasing time of incubation of the enzyme with Pb2+. The implications of these findings are discussed with reference to lead poisoning and the mechanism of delta-aminolaevulinate synthase.
Project description:L-Type (Cav1.2) Ca(2+) channels are critical regulators of muscle and neural function. Although Cav1.2 channel activity varies regionally, little is known about the mechanisms underlying this heterogeneity.To test the hypothesis that Cav1.2 channels can gate coordinately.We used optical and electrophysiological approaches to record Cav1.2 channel activity in cardiac, smooth muscle, and tsA-201 cells expressing Cav1.2 channels. Consistent with our hypothesis, we found that small clusters of Cav1.2 channels can open and close in tandem. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer and electrophysiological studies suggest that this coupling of Cav1.2 channels involves transient interactions between neighboring channels via their C termini. The frequency of coupled gating events increases in hypertensive smooth muscle and in cells expressing a mutant Cav1.2 channel that causes arrhythmias and autism in humans with Timothy syndrome (LQT8).Coupled gating of Cav1.2 channels may represent a novel mechanism for the regulation of Ca(2+) influx and excitability in neurons, cardiac, and arterial smooth muscle under physiological and pathological conditions.
Project description:L-type CaV1.2 channels are key regulators of gene expression, cell excitability and muscle contraction. CaV1.2 channels organize in clusters throughout the plasma membrane. This channel organization has been suggested to contribute to the concerted activation of adjacent CaV1.2 channels (e.g. cooperative gating). Here, we tested the hypothesis that dynamic intracellular and perimembrane trafficking of CaV1.2 channels is critical for formation and dissolution of functional channel clusters mediating cooperative gating. We found that CaV1.2 moves in vesicular structures of circular and tubular shape with diverse intracellular and submembrane trafficking patterns. Both microtubules and actin filaments are required for dynamic movement of CaV1.2 vesicles. These vesicles undergo constitutive homotypic fusion and fission events that sustain CaV1.2 clustering, channel activity and cooperative gating. Our study suggests that CaV1.2 clusters and activity can be modulated by diverse and unique intracellular and perimembrane vesicular dynamics to fine-tune Ca2+ signals.
Project description:Lead (Pb) poisoning has been a major public health issue globally and the recent Flint water crisis has drawn nation-wide attention to its effects. To better understand how lead plays a role as a neurotoxin, we utilized the Drosophila melanogaster model to study the genetic effects of lead exposure during development and identified lead-responsive genes. In our previous studies, we have successfully identified hundreds of lead-responsive expression QTLs (eQTLs) by using RNA-seq analysis on heads collected from the Drosophila Synthetic Population Resource. Cis-eQTLs, also known as allele-specific expression (ASE) polymorphisms, are generally single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the promoter regions of genes that affect expression of the gene, such as by inhibiting the binding of transcription factors. Trans-eQTLs are genes that regulate mRNA levels for many genes, and are generally thought to be SNPs in trans-acting transcription or translation factors. In this study, we focused our attention on alternative splicing events that are affected by lead exposure. Splicing QTLs (sQTLs), which can be caused by SNPs that alter splicing or alternative splicing (AS), such as by changing the sequence-specific binding affinity of splicing factors to the pre-mRNA. We applied two methods in search for sQTLs by using RNA-seq data from control and lead-exposed w1118Drosophila heads. First, we used the fraction of reads in a gene that falls in each exon as the phenotype. Second, we directly compared the transcript counts among the various splicing isoforms as the phenotype. Among the 1,236 potential Pb-responsive sQTLs (p < 0.0001, FDR < 0.39), mostly cis-sQTLs, one of the most distinct genes is Dscam1 (Down Syndrome Cell Adhesion Molecule), which has over 30,000 potential alternative splicing isoforms. We have also identified a candidate Pb-responsive trans-sQTL hotspot that appears to regulate 129 genes that are enriched in the "cation channel" gene ontology category, suggesting a model in which alternative splicing of these channels might lead to an increase in the elimination of Pb2+ from the neurons encoding these channels. To our knowledge, this is the first paper that uses sQTL analyses to understand the neurotoxicology of an environmental toxin in any organism, and the first reported discovery of a candidate trans-sQTL hotspot.
Project description:The cardiac L-type calcium channel is a multi-subunit complex that requires co-assembling of the pore-forming subunit CaV1.2 with auxiliary subunits CaV?2? and CaV?. Its traffic has been shown to be controlled by these subunits and by the activation of various G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR). Here, we explore the consequences of the prolonged activation of angiotensin receptor type 1 (AT1R) over CaV1.2 channel trafficking. Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer (BRET) assay between ?-arrestin and L-type channels in angiotensin II-stimulated cells was used to assess the functional consequence of AT1R activation, while immunofluorescence of adult rat cardiomyocytes revealed the effects of GPCR activation on CaV1.2 trafficking. Angiotensin II exposure results in ?-arrestin1 recruitment to the channel complex and an apparent loss of CaV1.2 immunostaining at the T-tubules. Accordingly, angiotensin II stimulation causes a decrease in L-type current, Ca2+ transients and myocyte contractility, together with a faster repolarization phase of action potentials. Our results demonstrate that prolonged AT1R activation induces ?-arrestin1 recruitment and the subsequent internalization of CaV1.2 channels with a half-dose of AngII on the order of 100?nM, suggesting that this effect depends on local renin-angiotensin system. This novel AT1R-dependent CaV1.2-trafficking modulation likely contributes to angiotensin II-mediated cardiac remodeling.
Project description:CaV1.2 voltage-gated calcium channels play critical roles in the control of membrane excitability, gene expression, and muscle contraction. These channels show diverse functional properties generated by alternative splicing at multiple sites within the CaV1.2 pre-mRNA. The molecular mechanisms controlling this splicing are not understood. We find that two exons in the CaV1.2 channel are controlled in part by members of the Fox family of splicing regulators. Exons 9* and 33 confer distinct electrophysiological properties on the channel and show opposite patterns of regulation during cortical development, with exon 9* progressively decreasing its inclusion in the CaV1.2 mRNA over time and exon 33 progressively increasing. Both exons contain Fox protein binding elements within their adjacent introns, and Fox protein expression is induced in cortical neurons in parallel with the changes in CaV1.2 splicing. We show that knocking down expression of Fox proteins in tissue culture cells has opposite effects on exons 9* and 33. The loss of Fox protein increases exon 9* splicing and decreases exon 33, as predicted by the positions of the Fox binding elements and by the pattern of splicing in development. Conversely, overexpression of Fox1 and Fox2 proteins represses exon 9* and enhances exon 33 splicing in the endogenous CaV1.2 mRNA. These effects of Fox proteins on exons 9* and 33 can be recapitulated in transfected minigene reporters. Both the repressive and the enhancing effects of Fox proteins are dependent on the Fox binding elements within and adjacent to the target exons, indicating that the Fox proteins are directly regulating both exons. These results demonstrate that the Fox protein family is playing a key role in tuning the properties of CaV1.2 calcium channels during neuronal development.
Project description:The voltage-gated L-type Ca2+ channel CaV1.2 is crucial for initiating heartbeat and control of a number of neuronal functions such as neuronal excitability and long-term potentiation. Mutations of CaV1.2 subunits result in serious health problems, including arrhythmia, autism spectrum disorders, immunodeficiency, and hypoglycemia. Thus, precise control of CaV1.2 surface expression and localization is essential. We previously reported that ?-actinin associates and colocalizes with neuronal CaV1.2 channels and that shRNA-mediated depletion of ?-actinin significantly reduces localization of endogenous CaV1.2 in dendritic spines in hippocampal neurons. Here we investigated the hypothesis that direct binding of ?-actinin to CaV1.2 supports its surface expression. Using two-hybrid screens and pull-down assays, we identified three point mutations (K1647A, Y1649A, and I1654A) in the central, pore-forming ?11.2 subunit of CaV1.2 that individually impaired ?-actinin binding. Surface biotinylation and flow cytometry assays revealed that CaV1.2 channels composed of the corresponding ?-actinin-binding-deficient mutants result in a 35-40% reduction in surface expression compared to that of wild-type channels. Moreover, the mutant CaV1.2 channels expressed in HEK293 cells exhibit a 60-75% decrease in current density. The larger decrease in current density as compared to surface expression imparted by these ?11.2 subunit mutations hints at the possibility that ?-actinin not only stabilizes surface localization of CaV1.2 but also augments its ion conducting activity.
Project description:Lead poisoning is one of the most significant health problem of environmental origin. It is known to cause different damages in the central and peripheral nervous system which could be represented by several neurophysiological and behavioral symptoms. In this study we firstly investigated the effect of lead prenatal exposure in rats to (3g/L), from neonatal to young age, on the motor/sensory performances, excitability of the spinal cord and gaits during development. Then we evaluated neuroprotective effects of curcumin I (Cur I) against lead neurotoxicity, by means of grasping and cliff avoidance tests to reveal the impairment of the sensorimotor functions in neonatal rats exposed prenatally to lead. In addition, extracellular recordings of motor output in spinal cord revealed an hyper-excitability of spinal networks in lead treated rats. The frequency of induced fictive locomotion was also increased in treated rats. At the young age, rats exhibited an impaired locomotor gait. All those abnormalities were attenuated by Cur I treatment at a dose of 16g/kg. Based on our finding, Cur I has shown features of a potent chemical compound able to restore the neuronal and the relative locomotor behaviors disturbances induced by lead intoxication. Therefore, this chemical can be recommended as a new therapeutic trial against lead induced neurotoxicity.