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Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2001 Apr;280(4):C993-1007.

Ca2+-RhoA signaling pathway required for polyamine-dependent intestinal epithelial cell migration.

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Department of Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


Expression of voltage-gated K(+) (Kv) channel genes is regulated by polyamines in intestinal epithelial cells (IEC-6 line), and Kv channel activity is involved in the regulation of cell migration during early restitution by controlling membrane potential (E(m)) and cytosolic free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+](cyt)). This study tests the hypothesis that RhoA of small GTPases is a downstream target of elevated ([Ca2+](cyt)) following activation of K(+) channels by increased polyamines in IEC-6 cells. Depletion of cellular polyamines by alpha-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) reduced whole cell K+ currents [I(K(v))] through Kv channels and caused membrane depolarization, which was associated with decreases in ([Ca2+](cyt)), RhoA protein, and cell migration. Exogenous polyamine spermidine reversed the effects of DFMO on I(K(v)), E(m), ([Ca2+](cyt)), and RhoA protein and restored cell migration to normal. Elevation of ([Ca2+](cyt)) induced by the Ca2+ ionophore ionomycin increased RhoA protein synthesis and stimulated cell migration, while removal of extracellular Ca2+ decreased RhoA protein synthesis, reduced protein stability, and inhibited cell motility. Decreased RhoA activity due to Clostridium botulinum exoenzyme C(3) transferase inhibited formation of myosin II stress fibers and prevented restoration of cell migration by exogenous spermidine in polyamine-deficient cells. These findings suggest that polyamine-dependent cell migration is partially initiated by the formation of myosin II stress fibers as a result of Ca2+-activated RhoA activity.

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