Characterisation of the divalent cation channels of the hepatocyte plasma membrane receptor-activated Ca2+ inflow system using lanthanide ions

Kekulu C. Fernando, Greg J. Barritt

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    The ability of Gd3+ to inhibit vasopressin-stimulated Ca2+ inflow to hepatocytes was compared with its effect on Mn2+ inflow. In the absence of Gd3+, the stimulation of Mn2+ inflow by vasopressin increased with increasing pH of the extracellular medium. Maximal inhibition of vasopressin-stimulated Ca2+ and Mn2+ inflow by saturating concentrations of Gd3+ was 70 and 30%, respectively. Gd3+ also inhibited thapsigargin-stimulated Ca2+ and Mn2+ inflow with maximal inhibition of 70 and 40%, respectively. It is concluded that vasopressin and thapsigargin each activate two types of Ca2+ inflow processes, one which is sensitive and one which is insensitive to lanthanides. The nature of the pore of the lanthanide-sensitive Ca2+ channel was investigated further using different lanthanides as inhibitors. Tm3+, Gd3+, Eu3+, Nd3+ and La3+ each inhibited vasopressin-stimulated Ca2+ and Mn2+ inflow but had no effect on Ca2+ inflow in the absence of an agonist, or on vasopressin-stimulated release of Ca2+ from intracellular stores. Maximal inhibition of vasopressin-stimulated Ca2+ inflow in the presence of a saturating concentration of each lanthanide ranged from 70-90%. An equation which describes a 1:1 interaction of the lanthanide with a putative binding site in the Ca2+ channel gave a good fit to dose-response curves for the inhibition of vasopressin-stimulated Ca2+ inflow by each lanthanide. Lanthanides in the middle of the series exhibited the lowest dissociation constant (Kd) values. The Kd for Gd3+ increased with increasing extracellular Ca2+ concentration, suggesting competitive inhibition of Ca2+ binding by Gd3+. In the absence of lanthanide, vasopressin-stimulated Mn2+ inflow was substantially reduced when the plasma membrane was depolarised by increasing the extracellular K+ concentration. Changing the membrane potential had little effect on the maximum inhibition by Gd3+ of vasopressin-stimulated Mn2+ inflow. The Kd for inhibition of vasopressin-stimulated Ca2+ inflow by Gd3+, measured at the lowest attainable membrane potential, was about 6-fold lower than the Kd measured at the highest attainable membrane potential. The idea that there is a site in the vasopressin-stimulated lanthanide-sensitive Ca2+ channel composed of carboxylic acid groups which bind Ca2+, Mn2+ or a lanthanide ion is consistent with the data obtained using the different lanthanides.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)97-106
    Number of pages10
    JournalBBA - Molecular Cell Research
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 1995


    • (Rat)
    • Calcium inflow
    • Hepatocyte
    • Lanthanide ion
    • Magnesium inflow
    • Thapsigargin
    • Vasopressin


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