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Microvasc Res. 2008 Mar;75(2):202-10. Epub 2007 Aug 25.

ASIC proteins regulate smooth muscle cell migration.

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Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS 39216, USA.


The purpose of the present study was to investigate Acid Sensing Ion Channel (ASIC) protein expression and importance in cellular migration. We recently demonstrated that Epithelial Na(+)Channel (ENaC) proteins are required for vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) migration; however, the role of the closely related ASIC proteins has not been addressed. We used RT-PCR and immunolabeling to determine expression of ASIC1, ASIC2, ASIC3 and ASIC4 in A10 cells. We used small interference RNA to silence individual ASIC expression and determine the importance of ASIC proteins in wound healing and chemotaxis (PDGF-bb)-initiated migration. We found ASIC1, ASIC2, and ASIC3, but not ASIC4, expression in A10 cells. ASIC1, ASIC2, and ASIC3 siRNA molecules significantly suppressed expression of their respective proteins compared to non-targeting siRNA (RISC) transfected controls by 63%, 44%, and 55%, respectively. Wound healing was inhibited by 10, 20, and 26% compared to RISC controls following suppression of ASIC1, ASIC2, and ASIC3, respectively. Chemotactic migration was inhibited by 30% and 45%, respectively, following suppression of ASIC1 and ASIC3. ASIC2 suppression produced a small, but significant, increase in chemotactic migration (4%). Our data indicate that ASIC expression is required for normal migration and may suggest a novel role for ASIC proteins in cellular migration.

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