Intracellular Calcium Mobilization in Response to Ion Channel Regulators via a Calcium-Induced Calcium Release Mechanism


The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics


Terry Petrou, Hervør L. Olsen, Christopher Thrasivoulou, John R. Masters, Jonathan F. Ashmore, and Aamir Ahmed



Free intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i), in addition to being an important second messenger, is a key regulator of many cellular processes including cell membrane potential, proliferation, and apoptosis. In many cases, the mobilization of ([Ca2+]i) is controlled by intracellular store activation and calcium influx. We have investigated the effect of several ion channel modulators, which have been used to treat a range of human diseases, on ([Ca2+]i) release, by ratiometric calcium imaging. We show that six such modulators [amiodarone (Ami), dofetilide, furosemide (Fur), minoxidil (Min), loxapine (Lox), and Nicorandil] initiate release of ([Ca2+]i) in prostate and breast cancer cell lines, PC3 and MCF7, respectively. Whole-cell currents in PC3 cells were inhibited by the compounds tested in patch-clamp experiments in a concentration-dependent manner. In all cases ([Ca2+]i) was increased by modulator concentrations comparable to those used clinically. The increase in ([Ca2+]i) in response to Ami, Fur, Lox, and Min was reduced significantly (P < 0.01) when the external calcium was reduced to nM concentration by chelation with EGTA. The data suggest that many ion channel regulators mobilize ([Ca2+]i). We suggest a mechanism whereby calcium-induced calcium release is implicated; such a mechanism may be important for understanding the action of these compounds.

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