Na+/Ca2+ exchange in enamel cells is dominated by the K+-dependent NCKX exchanger
Calcium (Ca2+) extrusion is an essential function of the enamel-forming ameloblasts, providing Ca2+ for extracellular mineralization. The plasma membrane Ca2+ ATPases (PMCAs) remove cytosolic Ca2+ (cCa2+) and were recently shown to be efficient when ameloblasts experienced low cCa2+ elevation. Sodium-calcium (Na+/Ca2+) exchange has higher capacity to extrude cCa2+, but there is limited evidence on the function of the two main families of Na+/Ca2+ exchangers in enamel formation. The purpose of this study was to analyze the function of the NCX (coded by SLC8) and the K+-dependent NCKX (coded by SLC24) exchangers in rat ameloblasts and to compare their efficacy in the two main stages of enamel formation: the enamel forming secretory stage and the mineralizing or maturation stage. mRNA expression profiling confirmed the expression of Slc8 and Slc24 genes in enamel cells, Slc24a4 being the most highly upregulated transcript during the maturation stage, when Ca2+ transport increases. Na+/Ca2+ exchange was analyzed in the Ca2+ influx mode in Fura-2 AM-loaded ameloblasts. We show that maturation-stage ameloblasts have a higher Na+/Ca2+ exchange capacity than secretory-stage cells. We also show that Na+/Ca2+ exchange in both stages is dominated by NCKX over NCX. The importance of NCKX function in ameloblasts may partly explain why mutations in the SLC24A4 gene, but not in SLC8 genes, result in enamel disease. Our results demonstrate that Na+/Ca2+ exchangers are fully operational in ameloblasts and that their contribution to Ca2+ homeostasis increases in the maturation stage, when Ca2+ transport need is higher.
The Ca2+ channel ORAI1 is a regulator of oral cancer growth and nociceptive pain
Oral cancer causes pain associated with cancer progression. We report here that the function of the Ca2+ channel ORAI1 is an important regulator of oral cancer pain. ORAI1 was highly expressed in tumor samples from patients with oral cancer, and ORAI1 activation caused sustained Ca2+ influx in human oral cancer cells. RNA-seq analysis showed that ORAI1 regulated many genes encoding oral cancer markers such as metalloproteases (MMPs) and pain modulators. Compared with control cells, oral cancer cells lacking ORAI1 formed smaller tumors that elicited decreased allodynia when inoculated into mouse paws. Exposure of trigeminal ganglia neurons to MMP1 evoked an increase in action potentials. These data demonstrate an important role of ORAI1 in oral cancer progression and pain, potentially by controlling MMP1 abundance.
High-Throughput Microscopy Analysis of Mitochondrial Membrane Potential in 2D and 3D Models
Recent proteomic, metabolomic, and transcriptomic studies have highlighted a connection between changes in mitochondria physiology and cellular pathophysiological mechanisms. Secondary assays to assess the function of these organelles appear fundamental to validate these -omics findings. Although mitochondrial membrane potential is widely recognized as an indicator of mitochondrial activity, high-content imaging-based approaches coupled to multiparametric to measure it have not been established yet. In this paper, we describe a methodology for the unbiased high-throughput quantification of mitochondrial membrane potential in vitro, which is suitable for 2D to 3D models. We successfully used our method to analyze mitochondrial membrane potential in monolayers of human fibroblasts, neural stem cells, spheroids, and isolated muscle fibers. Moreover, by combining automated image analysis and machine learning, we were able to discriminate melanoma cells from macrophages in co-culture and to analyze the subpopulations separately. Our data demonstrated that our method is a widely applicable strategy for large-scale profiling of mitochondrial activity.
Mugharet el'Aliya: Affinities of an enigmatic north African Aterian maxillary fragment
Objectives: This study uses a virtual framework to examine the left maxillary fragment of the juvenile fossil from Mugharet el'Aliya, Morocco, found in association with an Aterian lithic industry. Previously, this fossil had been ascribed to modern humans or the Neanderthal lineage based on its "archaic"/"Neanderthal-like" features and apparent large size. Here, we conducted a novel 3D shape comparative analysis of the maxillary fragment to clarify its taxonomic affinities with regard to its size and ontogeny. Materials and Methods: Eighty Computed Tomography and surface scans representing ontogenetic samples of Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis were used to capture species-specific differences. The toolkit of geometric morphometrics in combination with surface registration and an elastic iterative closest point algorithm were used to create a dataset of meshes with an identical number of corresponding vertices for the maxillae. Multivariate statistics were applied to Procrustes superimposed coordinates derived from the vertices of this dataset. Results: Our analysis showed affinities of the Mugharet el'Aliya individual with our H. sapiens sample, especially with a subadult individual from Qafzeh. No size-independent affinities with Neanderthals of comparable dental age could be identified. Discussion: Our results add to the evidence connecting fossils from western Asia, especially Qafzeh and Skhul, and the North African Aterian. Furthermore, Mugharet el'Aliya adds to our knowledge of the ontogenetic development of adult morphology that is frequently used to characterize hominin groups, for example, Neanderthals and modern humans.
PMCA Ca2+ clearance in dental enamel cells depends on the magnitude of cytosolic Ca2
Enamel formation (amelogenesis) is a two-step process whereby crystals partially grow during the secretory stage followed by a significant growth expansion during the maturation stage concurrent with an increase in vectorial Ca2+ transport. This requires tight regulation of cytosolic Ca2+ (c Ca2+ ) concentration in the enamel forming ameloblasts by controlling Ca2+ influx (entry) and Ca2+ extrusion (clearance). Gene and protein expression studies suggest that the plasma membrane Ca2+ -ATPases (PMCA1-4) are likely involved in c Ca2+ extrusion in ameloblasts, yet no functional analysis of these pumps has been reported nor whether their activity changes across amelogenesis. PMCAs have high Ca2+ affinity and low Ca2+ clearance which may be a limiting factor in their contribution to enamel formation as maturation stage ameloblasts handle high Ca2+ loads. We analyzed PMCA function in rat secretory and maturation ameloblasts by blocking or potentiating these pumps. Low/moderate elevations in c Ca2+ measured using the Ca2+ probe Fura-2-AM show that secretory ameloblasts clear Ca2+ faster than maturation stage cells through PMCAs. This process was completely inhibited by an external alkaline (pH 9.0) solution or was significantly delayed by the PMCA blockers vanadate and caloxin 1b1. Eliciting higher c Ca2+ transients via the activation of the ORAI1 Ca2+ channel showed that the PMCAs of maturation ameloblasts were more efficient. Inhibiting PMCAs decreased the rate of Ca2+ influx via ORAI1 but potentiation with forskolin had no effect. Our findings suggest that PMCAs are functional Ca2+ pumps during amelogenesis regulating c Ca2+ upon low and/or moderate Ca2+ stimulus in secretory stage, thus participating in amelogenesis.
Overexpression of RCAN1, a Gene on Human Chromosome 21, Alters Cell Redox and Mitochondrial Function in Enamel Cells
The regulator of calcineurin (RCAN1) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of Down syndrome (DS). Individuals with DS show dental abnormalities for unknown reasons, and RCAN1 levels have been found to be elevated in several tissues of DS patients. A previous microarray analysis comparing cells of the two main formative stages of dental enamel, secretory and maturation, showed a significant increase in RCAN1 expression in the latter. Because the function of RCAN1 during enamel formation is unknown, there is no mechanistic evidence linking RCAN1 with the dental anomalies in individuals with DS. We investigated the role of RCAN1 in enamel by overexpressing RCAN1 in the ameloblast cell line LS8 (LS8+RCAN1). We first confirmed that RCAN1 is highly expressed in maturation stage ameloblasts by qRT-PCR and used immunofluorescence to show its localization in enamel-forming ameloblasts. We then analyzed cell redox and mitochondrial bioenergetics in LS8+RCAN1 cells because RCAN1 is known to impact these processes. We show that LS8+RCAN1 cells have increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) and decreased mitochondrial bioenergetics without changes in the expression of the complexes of the electron transport chain, or in NADH levels. However, LS8+RCAN1 cells showed elevated mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake and decreased expression of several enamel genes essential for enamel formation. These results provide insight into the role of RCAN1 in enamel and suggest that increased RCAN1 levels in the ameloblasts of individuals with DS may impact enamel formation by altering both the redox environment and mitochondrial function, as well as decreasing the expression of enamel-specific genes.
Ca2+-activated chloride channel ANO1: A new regulator of osteoclast function
A paper by Sun etÂ al. identified the Ca2+-activated Cl- channel anoctamin 1 or ANO1 (TMEM16A) as an important regulator of osteoclast function by interacting with RANKL activating signaling pathways involved in bone resorption. Although Cl- transporters (e.g. ClC7, CLIC5) have been known to be involved in the active process of bone resorption, ANO1 appears to control osteoclast differentiation and function to levels beyond those of other Cl-transporters. Regulating ANO1 function might be a useful target for therapeutics in osteoporosis.
On the Connections between TRPM Channels and SOCE
Plasma membrane protein channels provide a passageway for ions to access the intracellular milieu. Rapid entry of calcium ions into cells is controlled mostly by ion channels, while Ca2+-ATPases and Ca2+ exchangers ensure that cytosolic Ca2+ levels ([Ca2+]cyt) are maintained at low (~100 nM) concentrations. Some channels, such as the Ca2+-release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channels and voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels (CACNAs), are highly Ca2+-selective, while others, including the Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin (TRPM) family, have broader selectivity and are mostly permeable to monovalent and divalent cations. Activation of CRAC channels involves the coupling between ORAI1-3 channels with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) located Ca2+ store sensor, Stromal Interaction Molecules 1-2 (STIM1/2), a pathway also termed store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE). The TRPM family is formed by 8 members (TRPM1-8) permeable to Mg2+, Ca2+, Zn2+ and Na+ cations, and is activated by multiple stimuli. Recent studies indicated that SOCE and TRPM structure-function are interlinked in some instances, although the molecular details of this interaction are only emerging. Here we review the role of TRPM and SOCE in Ca2+ handling and highlight the available evidence for this interaction.
Mitochondria modulate ameloblast Ca2+ signaling
The role of mitochondria in enamel, the most mineralized tissue in the body, is poorly defined. Enamel is formed by ameloblast cells in two main sequential stages known as secretory and maturation. Defining the physiological features of each stage is essential to understand mineralization. Here, we analyzed functional features of mitochondria in rat primary secretory and maturation-stage ameloblasts focusing on their role in Ca2+ signaling. Quantification of the Ca2+ stored in the mitochondria by trifluoromethoxy carbonylcyanide phenylhydrazone stimulation was comparable in both stages. The release of endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ pools by adenosine triphosphate in rhod2AM-loaded cells showed similar mitochondrial Ca2+ (m Ca2+ ) uptake. However, m Ca2+ extrusion via Na+ -Li+ -Ca2+ exchanger was more prominent in maturation. To address if m Ca2+ uptake via the mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter (MCU) played a role in cytosolic Ca2+ (c Ca2+ ) buffering, we stimulated Ca2+ influx via the store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) and blocked MCU with the inhibitor Ru265. This inhibitor was first tested using the enamel cell line LS8 cells. Ru265 prevented c Ca2+ clearance in permeabilized LS8 cells like ruthenium red, and it did not affect Î”Î¨m in intact cells. In primary ameloblasts, SOCE stimulation elicited a significantly higher m Ca2+ uptake in maturation ameloblasts. The uptake of Ca2+ into the mitochondria was dramatically decreased in the presence of Ru265. Combined, these results suggest an increased mitochondrial Ca2+ handling in maturation but only upon stimulation of Ca2+ influx via SOCE. These functional studies provide insights not only on the role of mitochondria in ameloblast Ca2+ physiology, but also advance the concept that SOCE and m Ca2+ uptake are complementary processes in biological mineralization.
Mugharet el'Aliya: Affinities of an enigmatic north African Aterian maxillary fragment