PubMed 22351781

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kir6.1

Title: Connexin 43 hemichannels contribute to cytoplasmic Ca2+ oscillations by providing a bimodal Ca2+-dependent Ca2+ entry pathway.

Authors: Marijke De Bock, Nan Wang, Mélissa Bol, Elke Decrock, Raf Ponsaerts, Geert Bultynck, Geneviève Dupont, Luc Leybaert

Journal, date & volume: J. Biol. Chem., 2012 Apr 6 , 287, 12250-66

PubMed link:

Many cellular functions are driven by changes in the intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) that are highly organized in time and space. Ca(2+) oscillations are particularly important in this respect and are based on positive and negative [Ca(2+)](i) feedback on inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors (InsP(3)Rs). Connexin hemichannels are Ca(2+)-permeable plasma membrane channels that are also controlled by [Ca(2+)](i). We aimed to investigate how hemichannels may contribute to Ca(2+) oscillations. Madin-Darby canine kidney cells expressing connexin-32 (Cx32) and Cx43 were exposed to bradykinin (BK) or ATP to induce Ca(2+) oscillations. BK-induced oscillations were rapidly (minutes) and reversibly inhibited by the connexin-mimetic peptides (32)Gap27/(43)Gap26, whereas ATP-induced oscillations were unaffected. Furthermore, these peptides inhibited the BK-triggered release of calcein, a hemichannel-permeable dye. BK-induced oscillations, but not those induced by ATP, were dependent on extracellular Ca(2+). Alleviating the negative feedback of [Ca(2+)](i) on InsP(3)Rs using cytochrome c inhibited BK- and ATP-induced oscillations. Cx32 and Cx43 hemichannels are activated by <500 nm [Ca(2+)](i) but inhibited by higher concentrations and CT9 peptide (last 9 amino acids of the Cx43 C terminus) removes this high [Ca(2+)](i) inhibition. Unlike interfering with the bell-shaped dependence of InsP(3)Rs to [Ca(2+)](i), CT9 peptide prevented BK-induced oscillations but not those triggered by ATP. Collectively, these data indicate that connexin hemichannels contribute to BK-induced oscillations by allowing Ca(2+) entry during the rising phase of the Ca(2+) spikes and by providing an OFF mechanism during the falling phase of the spikes. Hemichannels were not sufficient to ignite oscillations by themselves; however, their contribution was crucial as hemichannel inhibition stopped the oscillations.