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J Physiol. 2006 Apr 15;572(Pt 2):359-77. Epub 2006 Jan 26.

Human TRPC6 expressed in HEK 293 cells forms non-selective cation channels with limited Ca2+ permeability.

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  • 1Rammelkamp Center for Education and Research, MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland, OH 44109-1998, USA.


TRPC6 is thought to be a Ca(2+)-permeable cation channel activated following stimulation of G-protein-coupled membrane receptors linked to phospholipase C (PLC). TRPC6 current is also activated by exogenous application of 1-oleoyl-acetyl-sn-glycerol (OAG) or by inhibiting 1,2-diacylglycerol (DAG) lipase activity using RHC80267. In the present study, both OAG and RHC80267 increased whole-cell TRPC6 current in cells from a human embryonic kidney cell line (HEK 293) stably expressing TRPC6, but neither compound increased cytosolic free Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) when the cells were bathed in high-K(+) buffer to hold the membrane potential near 0 mV. These results suggested that TRPC6 channels have limited Ca(2+) permeability relative to monovalent cation permeability and/or that Ca(2+) influx via TRPC6 is greatly attenuated by depolarization. To evaluate Ca(2+) permeability, TRPC6 currents were examined in extracellular buffer in which Ca(2+) was varied from 0.02 to 20 mm. The results were consistent with a pore-permeation model in which Ca(2+) acts primarily as a blocking ion and contributes only a small percentage ( approximately 4%) to whole-cell currents in the presence of extracellular Na(+). Measurement of single-cell fura-2 fluorescence during perforated-patch recording of TRPC6 currents showed that OAG increased [Ca(2+)](i) 50-100 nm when the membrane potential was clamped at between -50 and -80 mV, but had little or no effect if the membrane potential was left uncontrolled. These results suggest that in cells exhibiting a high input resistance, the primary effect of activating TRPC6 will be membrane depolarization. However, in cells able to maintain a hyperpolarized potential (e.g. cells with a large inwardly rectifying or Ca(2+)-activated K(+) current), activation of TRPC6 will lead to a sustained increase in [Ca(2+)](i). Thus, the contribution of TRPC6 current to both the kinetics and magnitude of the Ca(2+) response will be cell specific and dependent upon the complement of other channel types.

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