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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2010 Dec;67(24):4269-85. doi: 10.1007/s00018-010-0442-3. Epub 2010 Jul 8.

Functional interaction between TRPC1 channel and connexin-43 protein: a novel pathway underlying S1P action on skeletal myogenesis.

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  • 1Department of Biochemical Sciences, University of Florence, Viale GB Morgagni 50, 50134, Florence, Italy.


We recently demonstrated that skeletal muscle differentiation induced by sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) requires gap junctions and transient receptor potential canonical 1 (TRPC1) channels. Here, we searched for the signaling pathway linking the channel activity with Cx43 expression/function, investigating the involvement of the Ca(2+)-sensitive protease, m-calpain, and its targets in S1P-induced C2C12 myoblast differentiation. Gene silencing and pharmacological inhibition of TRPC1 significantly reduced Cx43 up-regulation and Cx43/cytoskeletal interaction elicited by S1P. TRPC1-dependent functions were also required for the transient increase of m-calpain activity/expression and the subsequent decrease of PKCĪ± levels. Remarkably, Cx43 expression in S1P-treated myoblasts was reduced by m-calpain-siRNA and enhanced by pharmacological inhibition of classical PKCs, stressing the relevance for calpain/PKCĪ± axis in Cx43 protein remodeling. The contribution of this pathway in myogenesis was also investigated. In conclusion, these findings provide novel mechanisms by which S1P regulates myoblast differentiation and offer interesting therapeutic options to improve skeletal muscle regeneration.

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