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Cell. 2005 Jan 28;120(2):275-85.

Cleavage of the plasma membrane Na+/Ca2+ exchanger in excitotoxicity.

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  • 1MRC Toxicology Unit, University of Leicester, Hodgkin Building, Lancaster Road LE1 9HN, Leicester, United Kingdom.

Abstract

In brain ischemia, gating of postsynaptic glutamate receptors and other membrane channels triggers intracellular Ca2+ overload and cell death. In excitotoxic settings, the initial Ca2+ influx through glutamate receptors is followed by a second uncontrolled Ca2+ increase that leads to neuronal demise. Here we report that the major plasma membrane Ca2+ extruding system, the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX), is cleaved during brain ischemia and in neurons undergoing excitotoxicity. Inhibition of Ca2+-activated proteases (calpains) by overexpressing their endogenous inhibitor protein, calpastatin or the expression of an NCX isoform not cleaved by calpains, prevented Ca2+ overload and rescued neurons from excitotoxic death. Conversely, down-regulation of NCX by siRNA compromised neuronal Ca2+ handling, transforming the Ca2+ transient elicited by non-excitotoxic glutamate concentrations into a lethal Ca2+overload. Thus, proteolytic inactivation of NCX-driven neuronal Ca2+ extrusion is responsible for the delayed excitotoxic Ca2+ deregulation and neuronal death.

PMID:
15680332
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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