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Cell Calcium. 1999 Jun;25(6):429-38.

Functional characterization of thapsigargin and agonist-insensitive acidic Ca2+ stores in Drosophila melanogaster S2 cell lines.

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Babraham Institute Laboratory of Molecular Signalling, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK.


The role of acidic intracellular calcium stores in calcium homeostasis was investigated in the Drosophila Schneider cell line 2 (S2) by means of free cytosolic calcium ([Ca2+]i) and intracellular pH (pHi) imaging together with measurements of total calcium concentrations within intracellular compartments. Both a weak base (NH4Cl, 15 mM) and a Na+/H+ ionophore (monensin, 10 microM) evoked cytosolic alkalinization followed by Ca2+ release from acidic intracellular Ca2+ stores. Pretreatment of S2 cells with either thapsigargin (1 microM), an inhibitor of endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPases, or with the Ca2+ ionophore ionomycin (10 microM) was without effect on the amplitude of Ca2+ release evoked by alkalinization. Application of the cholinergic agonist carbamylcholine (100 microM) to transfected S2-DM1 cells expressing a Drosophila muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (DM1) emptied the InsP3-sensitive Ca2+ store but failed to affect the amplitude of alkalinization-evoked Ca2+ release. Glycyl-L-phenylalanine-beta-naphthylamide (200 microM), a weak hydrophobic base known to permeabilize lysosomes by osmotic swelling, triggered Ca2+ release from internal stores, while application of brefeldin A (10 microM), an antibiotic which disperses the Golgi complex, resulted in a smaller increase in [Ca2+]i. These results suggest that the alkali-evoked calcium release is largely attributable to lysosomes, a conclusion that was confirmed by direct measurements of total calcium content of S2 organelles. Lysosomes and endoplasmic reticulum were the only organelles found to have concentrations of total calcium significantly higher than the cytosol. However, NH4Cl (15 mM) reduced the level of total calcium only in lysosomes. Depletion of acidic Ca2+ stores did not elicit depletion-operated Ca2+ entry. They were refilled upon re-exposure of cells to normal saline ([Ca2+]o = 2 mM), but not by thapsigargin-induced [Ca2+]i elevation in Ca(2+)-free saline.

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