Differential repression by the transcription factor REST/NRSF of the various Ca2+ signalling mechanisms in pheochromocytoma PC12 cells

P. Ariano, P. Zamburlin, R. D'Alessandro, J. Meldolesi, D. Lovisolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Expression of the nerve cell phenotype is orchestrated by the REST/NRSF transcription repressor, working on hundreds of genes recognized at a specific regulatory binding sequence. Most PC12 clones, the most frequently employed neuronal model, maintain low levels of REST; however a few, defective of neurosecretion, express high levels. To investigate the role of REST in Ca2+ signalling we studied the [Ca2+]i changes in single cells of four clones, two wild-type and two defective, pre-treated for 5 days with NGF. We focused on Ca2+ influxes induced by depolarization and ATP. Only a subpopulation (∼15%) of the defective, high REST cells responded to depolarization (CaV expression ∼10%). The ATP-induced intracellular Ca2+ release was little changed, whereas influx via ionotropic P2X receptors was decreased, in agreement with the decreased expression of P2X2 receptors. The percentage of defective cells expressing store-operated calcium entry (SOCE) following ATP stimulation was also lower. The responses of the defective clones were little affected by their differentiated state. In conclusion, our results revealed important new aspects of REST control of Ca2+ homeostasis, of potential physiological importance. The mechanisms of this control remain to be investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-368
Number of pages9
JournalCell Calcium
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010



  • Calcium signalling
  • PC12
  • REST (RE-1 silencing transcription factor)
  • SOCE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology

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