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J Biol Chem. 2010 Apr 9;285(15):11188-96. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.097675. Epub 2010 Feb 5.

Molecular interaction and functional regulation of ClC-3 by Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) in human malignant glioma.

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  • 1Department of Neurobiology and Center for Glial Biology in Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama 35294, USA.


Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common and lethal primary brain cancer in adults. Tumor cells diffusely infiltrate the brain making focal surgical and radiation treatment challenging. The invasion of glioma cells into normal brain is facilitated by the activity of ion channels aiding dynamic regulation of cell volume. Recent studies have specifically implicated ClC-3, a voltage-gated chloride channel, in this process. However, the interaction between ClC-3 activity and cell movement is poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that ClC-3 is highly expressed on the plasma membrane of human glioma cells where its activity is regulated through phosphorylation via Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII). Intracellular infusion of autoactivated CaMKII via patch pipette enhanced chloride currents 3-fold, and this regulation was inhibited by autocamtide-2 related inhibitory peptide, a CaMKII-specific inhibitor. CaMKII modulation of chloride currents was also lost upon stable small hairpin RNA knockdown of ClC-3 channels indicating a specific interaction of ClC-3 and CaMKII. In ClC-3-expressing cells, inhibition of CaMKII reduced glioma invasion to the same extent as direct inhibition of ClC-3. The importance of the molecular interaction of ClC-3 and CaMKII is further supported by our finding that CaMKII co-localizes and co-immunoprecipitates with ClC-3. ClC-3 and CaMKII also co-immunoprecipitate in tissue biopsies from patients diagnosed with grade IV glioblastoma. These tumor samples show 10-fold higher ClC-3 protein expression than nonmalignant brain. These data suggest that CaMKII is a molecular link translating intracellular calcium changes, which are intrinsically associated with glioma migration, to changes in ClC-3 conductance required for cell movement.

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