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J Gen Physiol. 2004 Nov;124(5):513-26. Epub 2004 Oct 11.

Voltage-dependent anion channel-1 (VDAC-1) contributes to ATP release and cell volume regulation in murine cells.

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  • 1Cystic Fibrosis/Pulmonary Research and Treatment Center, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


Extracellular ATP regulates several elements of the mucus clearance process important for pulmonary host defense. However, the mechanisms mediating ATP release onto airway surfaces remain unknown. Mitochondrial voltage-dependent anion channels (mt-VDACs) translocate a variety of metabolites, including ATP and ADP, across the mitochondrial outer membrane, and a plasmalemmal splice variant (pl-VDAC-1) has been proposed to mediate ATP translocation across the plasma membrane. We tested the involvement of VDAC-1 in ATP release in a series of studies in murine cells. First, the full-length coding sequence was cloned from a mouse airway epithelial cell line (MTE7b-) and transfected into NIH 3T3 cells, and pl-VDAC-1-transfected cells exhibited higher rates of ATP release in response to medium change compared with mock-transfected cells. Second, ATP release was compared in cells isolated from VDAC-1 knockout [VDAC-1 (-/-)] and wild-type (WT) mice. Fibroblasts from VDAC-1 (-/-) mice released less ATP than WT mice in response to a medium change. Well-differentiated cultures from nasal and tracheal epithelia of VDAC-1 (-/-) mice exhibited less ATP release in response to luminal hypotonic challenge than WT mice. Confocal microscopy studies revealed that cell volume acutely increased in airway epithelia from both VDAC-1 (-/-) and WT mice after luminal hypotonic challenge, but VDAC-1 (-/-) cells exhibited a slower regulatory volume decrease (RVD) than WT cells. Addition of ATP or apyrase to the luminal surface of VDAC-1 (-/-) or WT cultures with hypotonic challenge produced similar initial cell height responses and RVD kinetics in both cell types, suggesting that involvement of VDAC-1 in RVD is through ATP release. Taken together, these studies suggest that VDAC-1, directly or indirectly, contributes to ATP release from murine cells. However, the observation that VDAC-1 knockout cells released a significant amount of ATP suggests that other molecules also play a role in this function.

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