PubMed 20808839

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: BK , SK2

Title: Calcium-activated potassium channels BK and IK1 are functionally expressed in human gliomas but do not regulate cell proliferation.

Authors: Iskandar F Abdullaev, Alena Rudkouskaya, Alexander A Mongin, Yu-Hung Kuo

Journal, date & volume: PLoS ONE, 2010 , 5, e12304

PubMed link:

Gliomas are morbid brain tumors that are extremely resistant to available chemotherapy and radiology treatments. Some studies have suggested that calcium-activated potassium channels contribute to the high proliferative potential of tumor cells, including gliomas. However, other publications demonstrated no role for these channels or even assigned them antitumorogenic properties. In this work we characterized the expression and functional contribution to proliferation of Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels in human glioblastoma cells. Quantitative RT-PCR detected transcripts for the big conductance (BK), intermediate conductance (IK1), and small conductance (SK2) K(+) channels in two glioblastoma-derived cell lines and a surgical sample of glioblastoma multiforme. Functional expression of BK and IK1 in U251 and U87 glioma cell lines and primary glioma cultures was verified using whole-cell electrophysiological recordings. Inhibitors of BK (paxilline and penitrem A) and IK1 channels (clotrimazole and TRAM-34) reduced U251 and U87 proliferation in an additive fashion, while the selective blocker of SK channels UCL1848 had no effect. However, the antiproliferative properties of BK and IK1 inhibitors were seen at concentrations that were higher than those necessary to inhibit channel activity. To verify specificity of pharmacological agents, we downregulated BK and IK1 channels in U251 cells using gene-specific siRNAs. Although siRNA knockdowns caused strong reductions in the BK and IK1 current densities, neither single nor double gene silencing significantly affected rates of proliferation. Taken together, these results suggest that Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels do not play a critical role in proliferation of glioma cells and that the effects of pharmacological inhibitors occur through their off-target actions.