The potassium channel Kv1.3 is highly expressed in the mitochondria of various cancerous cells. Here we show that direct inhibition of Kv1.3 using two mitochondria-targeted inhibitors alters mitochondrial function and leads to reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated death of even chemoresistant cells independently of p53 status. These inhibitors killed 98% of ex vivo primary chronic B-lymphocytic leukemia tumor cells while sparing healthy B cells. In orthotopic mouse models of melanoma and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, the compounds reduced tumor size by more than 90% and 60%, respectively, while sparing immune and cardiac functions. Our work provides direct evidence that specific pharmacological targeting of a mitochondrial potassium channel can lead to ROS-mediated selective apoptosis of cancer cells in vivo, without causing significant side effects.
Over the past 30years the mitochondrial permeability transition - the permeabilization of the inner mitochondrial membrane due to the opening of a wide pore - has progressed from being considered a curious artifact induced in isolated mitochondria by Ca(2+) and phosphate to a key cell-death-inducing process in several major pathologies. Its relevance is by now universally acknowledged and a pharmacology targeting the phenomenon is being developed. The molecular nature of the pore remains to this day uncertain, but progress has recently been made with the identification of the FOF1 ATP synthase as the probable proteic substrate. Researchers sharing this conviction are however divided into two camps: these believing that only the ATP synthase dimers or oligomers can form the pore, presumably in the contact region between monomers, and those who consider that the ring-forming c subunits in the FO sector actually constitute the walls of the pore. The latest development is the emergence of a new candidate: Spastic Paraplegia 7 (SPG7), a mitochondrial AAA-type membrane protease which forms a 6-stave barrel. This review summarizes recent developments of research on the pathophysiological relevance and on the molecular nature of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Mitochondrial Channels edited by Pierre Sonveaux, Pierre Maechler and Jean-Claude Martinou.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness among the elderly population in the industrialized world. One of the typical features of this pathology is the gradual death of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells, which are essential for maintaining photoreceptor functions and survival. The etiology is multifactorial, and oxidative stress is clearly one of the key factors involved in disease pathogenesis. Recent work has revealed the presence of phosphorylated signaling proteins in the vitreous humour of patients affected by AMD or other retinal diseases. While the location of these signaling proteins is typically the cell membrane or intracellular compartments, vitreous samples were proven to be cell-free. To gain a better understanding of how these proteins can be shed into the vitreous, we used Reverse Phase Protein Arrays (RPMA) to analyze the protein and phosphoprotein content of exosomes shed by cultured ARPE-19 cells under oxidative stress conditions. 72 proteins were shown to be released by ARPE-19 cells and compartmentalized within exosomes. 41 of them were selectively detected in their post-translationally modified form (i.e., phosphorylated or cleaved) for the first time in exosomes. Sets of these proteins were linked together reflecting activation of pathway units within exosomes. A subset of (phospho)proteins were altered in exosomes secreted by ARPE-19 cells subjected to oxidative stress, compared to that secreted by control/non stressed cells. Stress-altered exosome proteins were found to be involved in pathways regulating apoptosis/survival (i.e, Bak, Smac/Diablo, PDK1 (S241), Akt (T308), Src (Y416), Elk1 (S383), ERK 1/2 (T202/Y204)) and cell metabolism (i.e., AMPK α1 (S485), Acetyl-CoA carboxylase (S79), LDHA). Exosomes may thus represent the conduit through which membrane and intracellular signaling proteins are released into the vitreous. Changes in their (phospho)protein content upon stress conditions suggest their possible role in mediating cell-cell signaling during physio-pathological events; furthermore, exosomes may represent a potential source of biomarkers.
AUC(Pt) was ∼2- to ∼25-fold higher in tissues than in blood; this may explain its bioactivity despite barely detectable blood levels. Of particular interest is the high fraction of nonmetabolized Pt in the brain, given the reports of its activity at the level of the central nervous system.
Several types of channels play a role in the maintenance of ion homeostasis in subcellular organelles including endoplasmatic reticulum, nucleus, lysosome, endosome, and mitochondria. Here we give a brief overview of the contribution of various mitochondrial and other organellar channels to cancer cell proliferation or death. Much attention is focused on channels involved in intracellular calcium signaling and on ion fluxes in the ATP-producing organelle mitochondria. Mitochondrial K+ channels (Ca2+-dependent BKCa and IKCa, ATP-dependent KATP, Kv1.3, two-pore TWIK-related Acid-Sensitive K+ channel-3 (TASK-3)), Ca2+ uniporter MCU, Mg2+-permeable Mrs2, anion channels (voltage-dependent chloride channel VDAC, intracellular chloride channel CLIC) and the Permeability Transition Pore (MPTP) contribute importantly to the regulation of function in this organelle. Since mitochondria play a central role in apoptosis, modulation of their ion channels by pharmacological means may lead to death of cancer cells. The nuclear potassium channel Kv10.1 and the nuclear chloride channel CLIC4 as well as the endoplasmatic reticulum (ER)-located inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) receptor, the ER-located Ca2+ depletion sensor STIM1 (stromal interaction molecule 1), a component of the store-operated Ca2+ channel and the ER-resident TRPM8 are also mentioned. Furthermore, pharmacological tools affecting organellar channels and modulating cancer cell survival are discussed. The channels described in this review are summarized on Figure 1. Overall, the view is emerging that intracellular ion channels may represent a promising target for cancer treatment.
The Ca(2+)- and oxidative stress-induced mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT) plays an important role in phenomena ranging from tissue damage upon infarction to muscle wasting in some forms of dystrophy. The process is due to the activation of a large pore in the inner mitochondrial membrane. Anti-oxidants are considered a preventive and remedial tool, and mitochondria-targeted redox-active compounds have been developed. Plant polyphenols are generally considered as anti-oxidants, and thus candidates to the role of mitochondria-protecting agents. In patch-clamp experiments, easily oxidizable polyphenols induced closure of the MPT channel. In swelling experiments with suspensions of mitochondria, high (20-50 microM) concentrations of quercetin, the most efficient inhibitor, promoted instead the onset of the MPT. Chelators of Fe(2+/3+) and Cu(+/2+) ions counteracted this effect. Fluorescent indicators of superoxide production confirmed that quercetin potentiates O(2)(*-) generation by isolated mitochondria and cultured cells. Since this was not affected by chelating Fe and Cu ions, the MPT-inducing effect can be ascribed to a "secondary", metal ion-catalyzed production of ROS. These results are a direct demonstration of the ambivalent redox character of polyphenols. Their mode of action in vivo cannot be taken for granted, but needs to be experimentally verified.
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