β-Subunit of the voltage-gated Ca2+ channel Cav1.2 drives signaling to the nucleus via H-Ras.
ABSTRACT: Depolarization-induced signaling to the nucleus by the L-type voltage-gated calcium channel Cav1.2 is widely assumed to proceed by elevating intracellular calcium. The apparent lack of quantitative correlation between Ca2+ influx and gene activation suggests an alternative activation pathway. Here, we demonstrate that membrane depolarization of HEK293 cells transfected with α11.2/β2b/α2δ subunits (Cav1.2) triggers c-Fos and MeCP2 activation via the Ras/ERK/CREB pathway. Nuclear signaling is lost either by absence of the intracellular β2 subunit or by transfecting the cells with the channel mutant α11.2W440A/β2b/α2δ, a mutation that disrupts the interaction between α11.2 and β2 subunits. Pulldown assays in neuronal SH-SY5Y cells and in vitro binding of recombinant H-Ras and β2 confirmed the importance of the intracellular β2 subunit for depolarization-induced gene activation. Using a Ca2+-impermeable mutant channel α11.2L745P/β2b/α2δ or disrupting Ca2+/calmodulin binding to the channel using the channel mutant α11.2I1624A/β2b/α2δ, we demonstrate that depolarization-induced c-Fos and MeCP2 activation does not depend on Ca2+ transport by the channel. Thus, in contrast to the paradigm that elevated intracellular Ca2+ drives nuclear signaling, we show that Cav1.2-triggered c-Fos or MeCP2 is dependent on extracellular Ca2+ and Ca2+ occupancy of the open channel pore, but is Ca2+-influx independent. An indispensable β-subunit interaction with H-Ras, which is triggered by conformational changes at α11.2 independently of Ca2+ flux, brings to light a master regulatory role of β2 in transcriptional activation via the ERK/CREB pathway. This mode of H-Ras activation could have broad implications for understanding the coupling of membrane depolarization to the rapid induction of gene transcription.
Project description:Voltage-activated CaV1.2 calcium channels require association of the pore-forming alpha1C subunit with accessory CaVbeta and alpha2delta subunits. Binding of a single calmodulin (CaM) to alpha1C supports Ca2+-dependent inactivation (CDI). The human CaV1.2 channel is silent in the absence of CaVbeta and/or alpha2delta. Recently, we found that coexpression of exogenous CaM (CaMex) supports plasma membrane targeting, gating facilitation and CDI of the channel in the absence of CaVbeta. Here we discovered that CaMex and its Ca2+-insensitive mutant (CaM1234) rendered active alpha1C/CaVbeta channel in the absence of alpha2delta. Coexpression of CaMex with alpha1C and beta2d in calcium-channel-free COS-1 cells recovered gating of the channel and supported CDI. Voltage-dependence of activation was shifted by approximately +40 mV to depolarization potentials. The calcium current reached maximum at +40 mV (20 mM Ca2+) and exhibited approximately 3 times slower activation and 5 times slower inactivation kinetics compared to the wild-type channel. Furthermore, both CaMex and CaM1234 accelerated recovery from inactivation and induced facilitation of the calcium current by strong depolarization prepulse, the properties absent from the human vascular/neuronal CaV1.2 channel. The data suggest a previously unknown action of CaM that in the presence of CaVbeta; translates into activation of the alpha2delta-deficient calcium channel and alteration of its properties.
Project description:Elevation of intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) activates Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinases (CaMK) and promotes gene transcription. This essential signaling pathway is referred to as excitation-transcription (E-T) coupling. Although vascular myocytes can exhibit E-T coupling, the molecular mechanisms and physiological/pathological roles are unknown. Multiscale analysis spanning from single molecules to whole organisms has revealed essential steps in mouse vascular smooth muscle E-T coupling: (1) Upon depolarizing stimulus Ca2+ influx through voltage-dependent Ca2+ channel Cav1.2 activates CaMKK2, which results in phosphorylation of CaMK1a and CREB in the nucleus. (2) Within caveolae the formation of molecular complex of Cav1.2/CaMKK2/CaMK1a is promoted in the vascular myocytes. (3) Ca2+ influx through Cav1.2 localized to caveolae directly activates CaMKK2. (4) CaMK1a is phosphorylated by CaMKK2 at caveolae and translocated to the nucleus upon membrane depolarization. In addition, RNAseq analysis revealed that sustained depolarization of mesenteric artery preparation selectively induced genes related to chemotaxis, leukocyte adhesion and inflammation, and these changes were reversed by inhibitors of Cav1.2, CaMKK2 and CaMK or disruption of caveolae. In the context of pathophysiology, when mesenteric artery was loaded by high pressure in vivo, we noted CREB phosphorylation in myocytes, macrophage accumulation at adventitia, and increased thickness and cross-sectional area of tunica media. These changes were reduced in caveolin1-KO mice or in mice treated with a CaMKK2 inhibitor STO609. In summary, E-T coupling depend on Cav1.2/CaMKK2/CaMK1a localized to caveolae, and this molecular complex converts [Ca2+]i changes to gene transcription, leading to macrophage accumulation and media remodeling for adaptation to increased circumferential stretch. Overall design: Mesenteric artery mRNA profiles of 10 weeks old wild type (WT) mice
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:The secretory signal elicited by membrane depolarization traverses from the Ca2+-bound ?11.2 pore-forming subunit of the L-type Ca2+-channel (Cav1.2) to syntaxin 1?A (Sx1A) via an intra-membrane signaling mechanism. Here, we report the use of two-color Photo-Activated-Localization-Microscopy (PALM) to determine the relation between Cav1.2 and Sx1A in single-molecule detail. We observed nanoscale co-clusters of PAmCherry-tagged Sx1A and Dronpa-tagged ?11.2 at a ~1:1 ratio. PAmCherry-tagged Sx1AC145A, or PAmCherry-tagged Sx2, an inactive Cav1.2 modulator, in which Cys145 is a Ser residue, showed no co-clustering. These results are consistent with the crucial role of the single cytosolic Sx1ACys145 in clustering with Cav1.2. Cav1.2 and the functionally inactive transmembrane-domain double mutant Sx1AC271V/C272V engendered clusters with a ~2:1 ratio. A higher extent of co-clustering, which coincides with compromised depolarization-evoked transmitter-release, was observed also by oxidation of Sx1ACys271 and Cys272. Our super-resolution-imaging results set the stage for studying co-clustering of the channel with other exocytotic proteins at a single-molecule level.
Project description:Voltage-gated Ca2+ channels couple membrane depolarization to Ca2+-dependent intracellular signaling events. This is achieved by mediating Ca2+ ion influx or by direct conformational coupling to intracellular Ca2+ release channels. The family of Cav1 channels, also termed L-type Ca2+ channels (LTCCs), is uniquely sensitive to organic Ca2+ channel blockers and expressed in many electrically excitable tissues. In this review, we summarize the role of LTCCs for human diseases caused by genetic Ca2+ channel defects (channelopathies). LTCC dysfunction can result from structural aberrations within their pore-forming alpha1 subunits causing hypokalemic periodic paralysis and malignant hyperthermia sensitivity (Cav1.1 alpha1), incomplete congenital stationary night blindness (CSNB2; Cav1.4 alpha1), and Timothy syndrome (Cav1.2 alpha1; reviewed separately in this issue). Cav1.3 alpha1 mutations have not been reported yet in humans, but channel loss of function would likely affect sinoatrial node function and hearing. Studies in mice revealed that LTCCs indirectly also contribute to neurological symptoms in Ca2+ channelopathies affecting non-LTCCs, such as Cav2.1 alpha1 in tottering mice. Ca2+ channelopathies provide exciting disease-related molecular detail that led to important novel insight not only into disease pathophysiology but also to mechanisms of channel function.
Project description:CatSper family proteins are putative ion channels expressed exclusively in membranes of the sperm flagellum and required for male fertility. Here, we show that mouse CatSper1 is essential for depolarization-evoked Ca2+ entry and for hyperactivated movement, a key flagellar function. CatSper1 is not needed for other developmental landmarks, including regional distributions of CaV1.2, CaV2.2, and CaV2.3 ion channel proteins, the cAMP-mediated activation of motility by HCO3-, and the protein phosphorylation cascade of sperm capacitation. We propose that CatSper1 functions as a voltage-gated Ca2+ channel that controls Ca2+ entry to mediate the hyperactivated motility needed late in the preparation of sperm for fertilization.
Project description:Large conductance K+ (BK) channels are expressed widely in neurons, where their activation is regulated by membrane depolarization and intracellular Ca2+ (Ca2+i). To enable this regulation, BK channels functionally couple to both voltage-gated Ca2+ channels (VGCCs) and channels mediating Ca2+ release from intracellular stores. However, the relationship between BK channels and their specific Ca2+ source for particular patterns of excitability is not well understood. In neurons within the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN)-the brain's circadian clock-BK current, VGCC current, and Ca2+i are diurnally regulated, but paradoxically, BK current is greatest at night when VGCC current and Ca2+i are reduced. Here, to determine whether diurnal regulation of Ca2+ is relevant for BK channel activation, we combine pharmacology with day and night patch-clamp recordings in acute slices of SCN. We find that activation of BK current depends primarily on three types of channels but that the relative contribution changes between day and night. BK current can be abrogated with nimodipine during the day but not at night, establishing that L-type Ca2+ channels (LTCCs) are the primary daytime Ca2+ source for BK activation. In contrast, dantrolene causes a significant decrease in BK current at night, suggesting that nighttime BK activation is driven by ryanodine receptor (RyR)-mediated Ca2+i release. The N- and P/Q-type Ca2+ channel blocker ω-conotoxin MVIIC causes a smaller reduction of BK current that does not differ between day and night. Finally, inhibition of LTCCs, but not RyRs, eliminates BK inactivation, but the BK β2 subunit was not required for activation of BK current by LTCCs. These data reveal a dynamic coupling strategy between BK channels and their Ca2+ sources in the SCN, contributing to diurnal regulation of SCN excitability.
Project description:Small-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ (SK) channels regulate the excitability of cardiomyocytes by integrating intracellular Ca2+ and membrane potentials on a beat-to-beat basis. The inextricable interplay between activation of SK channels and Ca2+ dynamics suggests the pathology of one begets another. Yet, the exact mechanistic underpinning for the activation of cardiac SK channels remains unaddressed. Here, we investigated the intracellular Ca2+ microdomains necessary for SK channel activation. SK currents coupled with Ca2+ influx via L-type Ca2+ channels (LTCCs) continued to be elicited after application of caffeine, ryanodine or thapsigargin to deplete SR Ca2+ store, suggesting that LTCCs provide the immediate Ca2+ microdomain for the activation of SK channels in cardiomyocytes. Super-resolution imaging of SK2, Cav1.2 Ca2+ channel, and ryanodine receptor 2 (RyR2) was performed to quantify the nearest neighbor distances (NND) and localized the three molecules within hundreds of nanometers. The distribution of NND between SK2 and RyR2 as well as SK2 and Cav1.2 was bimodal, suggesting a spatial relationship between the channels. The activation mechanism revealed by our study paved the way for the understanding of the roles of SK channels on the feedback mechanism to regulate the activities of LTCCs and RyR2 to influence local and global Ca2+ signaling.
Project description:Rem, Rem2, Rad, and Gem/Kir (RGK) represent a distinct GTPase family with largely unknown physiological functions. We report here that both Rem and Rad bind directly to Ca2+ channel beta-subunits (CaV beta) in vivo. No calcium currents are recorded from human embryonic kidney 293 cells coexpressing the L type Ca2+ channel subunits CaV1.2, CaV beta 2a, and Rem or Rad, but CaV1.2 and CaV beta 2a transfected cells elicit Ca2+ channel currents in the absence of these small G proteins. Importantly, CaV3 (T type) Ca2+ channels, which do not require accessory subunits for ionic current expression, are not inhibited by expression of Rem. Rem is expressed in primary skeletal myoblasts and, when overexpressed in C2C12 myoblasts, wild-type Rem inhibits L type Ca2+ channel activity. Deletion analysis demonstrates a critical role for the Rem C terminus in both regulation of functional Ca2+ channel expression and beta-subunit association. These results suggest that all members of the RGK GTPase family, via direct interaction with auxiliary beta-subunits, serve as regulators of L type Ca2+ channel activity. Thus, the RGK GTPase family may provide a mechanism for achieving cross talk between Ras-related GTPases and electrical signaling pathways.
Project description:In ventricular myocytes, membrane depolarization during the action potential (AP) causes synchronous activation of multiple L-type CaV1.2 channels (LTCCs), which trigger the release of calcium (Ca2+) from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). This results in an increase in intracellular Ca2+ (Cai) that initiates contraction. During pulsus alternans, cardiac contraction is unstable, going from weak to strong in successive beats despite a constant heart rate. These cardiac alternans can be caused by the instability of membrane potential (Vm) due to steep AP duration (APD) restitution (Vm-driven alternans), instability of Cai cycling (Ca2+-driven alternans), or both, and may be modulated by functional coupling between clustered CaV1.2 (e.g. cooperative gating). Here, mathematical analysis and computational models were used to determine how changes in the strength of cooperative gating between LTCCs may impact membrane voltage and intracellular Ca2+ dynamics in the heart. We found that increasing the degree of coupling between LTCCs increases the amplitude of Ca2+ currents (ICaL) and prolongs AP duration (APD). Increased AP duration is known to promote cardiac alternans, a potentially arrhythmogenic substrate. In addition, our analysis shows that increasing the strength of cooperative activation of LTCCs makes the coupling of Ca2+ on the membrane voltage (Cai?Vm coupling) more positive and destabilizes the Vm-Cai dynamics for Vm-driven alternans and Cai-driven alternans, but not for quasiperiodic oscillation. These results suggest that cooperative gating of LTCCs may have a major impact on cardiac excitation-contraction coupling, not only by prolonging APD, but also by altering Cai?Vm coupling and potentially promoting cardiac arrhythmias.