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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2007 Nov;293(5):L1118-26. Epub 2007 Aug 17.

Caveolins and intracellular calcium regulation in human airway smooth muscle.

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  • 1Departments of Anesthesiology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota, USA .


Regulation of intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) is a key factor in airway smooth muscle (ASM) tone. In vascular smooth muscle, specialized membrane microdomains (caveolae) expressing the scaffolding protein caveolin-1 are thought to facilitate cellular signal transduction. In human ASM cells, we tested the hypothesis that caveolae mediate Ca(2+) responses to agonist stimulation. Fluorescence immunocytochemistry with confocal microscopy, as well as Western blot analysis, was used to determine that agonist receptors (M(3) muscarinic, bradykinin, and histamine) and store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE)-regulatory mechanisms colocalize with caveolin-1. Although caveolin-2 coexpressed with caveolin-1, caveolin-3 was absent. In fura 2-loaded ASM cells, [Ca(2+)](i) responses to 1 microM ACh, 10 microM histamine, and 10 nM bradykinin, as well as SOCE, were attenuated (each to a different extent) after disruption of caveolae by the cholesterol-chelating drug methyl-beta-cyclodextrin. Transfection of ASM cells with 50 nM caveolin-1 small interfering RNA significantly weakened caveolin-1 expression and blunted [Ca(2+)](i) responses to bradykinin and histamine, as well as SOCE, but the response to ACh was less intense. These results indicate that caveolae are present in ASM and that caveolin-1 contributes to regulation of [Ca(2+)](i) responses to agonist.

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