Holton, Marylouisa (University of Wolverhampton, 2009)
Plasma membrane calcium/calmodulin-dependent calcium ATPases (PMCAs) are high affinity calcium pumps regulating many calcium-dependent processes and advances in its characterisation have discovered that it may play a novel role in signal transduction pathways. It was the aim of this work to further characterise and confirm the role PMCA plays in regulating calcium/calmodulin-dependent signal transduction pathways. PMCA4 has already been shown to inhibit the NFAT family of transcription factors by its interaction with calcineurin A in mammalian cells when ectopically expressed. This prompted the investigation into other isoforms of PMCA that may interact with the calcium/calmodulin-dependent calcineurin, to determine if this interaction was isoform-specific in a variety of cell lines. Endogenous proteins were isolated by immunoprecipitation with calcineurin A antibody and the presence of PMCA isoforms was determined by western blot using isoform-specific antibodies. This work has demonstrated that the PMCA and calcineurin interaction occurs in vitro at endogenous levels in MCF-7 human breast adenocarcinoma cells and endothelial cells and is isoform specific, predominantly for PMCA2. The characterisation of the PMCA2b-calcineurin A interactive domain was performed and it was demonstrated that PMCA2b significantly inhibits the NFAT/calcineurin pathway. These results indicate that PMCA2 is important in regulating the calcineurin/NFAT pathway in tissues where it is highly expressed. This work also demonstrates that the Flag-tagged, characterised interaction domain of PMCA2 with calcineurin, F-PMCA(462-684) when overexpressed, can disrupt the inhibitory PMCA2/calcineurin interaction in endothelial cells and significantly increase calcineurin activity. The expression of PMCA in endothelial cells prompted the investigation of calcium/calmodulin-dependent proteins in endothelial cells as evidence for the important role of PMCA in regulating signal transduction pathways. Nitric oxide synthases have been shown to be regulated by PMCA4 in cardiac cells. To further characterise the regulation of NOS by PMCA, this work shows that there is a novel molecular interaction between endogenous eNOS and the plasma membrane calcium ATPase (PMCA) in HUVEC primary endothelial cells. PMCA2 has been identified as the major isoform interacting with eNOS in endothelial cells. The interaction between the two proteins has been mapped to the region 735-934 of eNOS and 462-684 of human PMCA2b. NO production was found to be inhibited by ectopic expression of PMCA2b in HUVEC cells. Moreover, disruption of the interaction between endogenous PMCA and eNOS by overexpression of theFlag-tagged, PMCA2b interaction domain, F-PMCA2(462-684), significantly increased NO levels in activated HUVEC endothelial cells. In summary, these results offer strong evidence for a novel functional interaction between endogenous PMCA and eNOS in endothelial cells, suggesting a role for endothelial PMCA2 as a negative modulator of eNOS activity, and, therefore, NO-dependent signal transduction pathways. Overall this is a novel discovery which clearly demonstrates that PMCA is an important regulator of calcium/calmodulin-dependent signal transduction pathways in various cell types. Parts of this work have been published; ‘Holton, M., Yang, D., Wang, W., Mohamed, T.M., Neyses, L. and Armesilla, A. (2007) The interaction between endogenous calcineurin and the plasma membrane calcium-dependent ATPase is isoform specific in breast cancer cells. FEBS letter. 581(21), 4115-4119.’ and presented at ‘The 14th congress of calcium binding proteins, La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain. 2007’ and ‘The 25th Conference of the European Society on Microcirculation (August 26-29, 2008, Budapest, Hungary).’
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