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J Biol Chem. 2010 Oct 1;285(40):30634-43. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.116681. Epub 2010 Jul 26.

Plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPase overexpression depletes both mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ stores and triggers apoptosis in insulin-secreting BRIN-BD11 cells.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Pharmacodynamie et de Thérapeutique, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Faculté deMédecine, Bâtiment GE, 808 route de Lennik, B-1070 Brussels, Belgium.


Ca(2+) may trigger apoptosis in β-cells. Hence, the control of intracellular Ca(2+) may represent a potential approach to prevent β-cell apoptosis in diabetes. Our objective was to investigate the effect and mechanism of action of plasma membrane Ca(2+)-ATPase (PMCA) overexpression on Ca(2+)-regulated apoptosis in clonal β-cells. Clonal β-cells (BRIN-BD11) were examined for the effect of PMCA overexpression on cytosolic and mitochondrial [Ca(2+)] using a combination of aequorins with different Ca(2+) affinities and on the ER and mitochondrial pathways of apoptosis. β-cell stimulation generated microdomains of high [Ca(2+)] in the cytosol and subcellular heterogeneities in [Ca(2+)] among mitochondria. Overexpression of PMCA decreased [Ca(2+)] in the cytosol, the ER, and the mitochondria and activated the IRE1α-XBP1s but inhibited the PRKR-like ER kinase-eIF2α and the ATF6-BiP pathways of the ER-unfolded protein response. Increased Bax/Bcl-2 expression ratio was observed in PMCA overexpressing β-cells. This was followed by Bax translocation to the mitochondria with subsequent cytochrome c release, opening of the permeability transition pore, and apoptosis. In conclusion, clonal β-cell stimulation generates microdomains of high [Ca(2+)] in the cytosol and subcellular heterogeneities in [Ca(2+)] among mitochondria. PMCA overexpression depletes intracellular [Ca(2+)] stores and, despite a decrease in mitochondrial [Ca(2+)], induces apoptosis through the mitochondrial pathway. These data open the way to new strategies to control cellular Ca(2+) homeostasis that could decrease β-cell apoptosis in diabetes.

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