Activation of human TRPC6 channels by receptor stimulation.
The human TRPC6 channel was expressed in human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells, and activity was monitored using the giga-seal technique. Whole cell membrane currents with distinctive inward and outward rectification were activated by carbachol (CCh) in TRPC6-expressing cells, but not in lacZ-transfected controls. The effect of CCh was steeply dose-dependent with a K(0.5) of approximately 10 microm and a Hill coefficient of 3-4. A steep concentration-response relationship was also observed when TRPC6 activity was measured using a fluorescence-based imaging plate reader (FLIPR) assay for membrane depolarization. Ionomycin, thapsigargin, and dialysis of the cell with inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate via the patch pipette had no effect on TRPC6 currents, but exogenous application of 1-oleoyl acetyl-sn-glycerol (OAG, 30-300 microm) produced a slow increase in channel activity. The PKC activator, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA, 0.5 microm) had no significant acute effect on TRPC6, or on the subsequent response to OAG. In contrast, the response to CCh was blocked >90% by PMA pretreatment. To further explore the role of DAG in receptor stimulation, TRPC6 currents were monitored following the sequential addition of CCh and OAG. Surprisingly, concentrations of CCh that produced little or no response in the absence of OAG, produced increases in TRPC6 currents in the presence of OAG that were larger than the sum of either agent alone. Likewise, the response to OAG was superadditive following prior stimulation of the cells with near threshold concentrations of CCh. Overall, these results suggest that generation of DAG alone may not fully account for activation of TRPC6, and that other receptor-mediated events act synergistically with DAG to stimulate channel activity. This synergy may explain, at least in part, the steep dose-response relationship observed for CCh-induced TRPC6 currents expressed in HEK cells.
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