In humans, gain-of-function mutations of the calcium-sensing receptor (CASR) gene are the cause of autosomal dominant hypocalcemia or type 5 Bartter syndrome characterized by an abnormality of calcium metabolism with low parathyroid hormone levels and excessive renal calcium excretion. Functional characterization of CaSR activating variants has been so far limited at demonstrating an increased sensitivity to external calcium leading to lower Ca-EC50. Here we combine high resolution fluorescence based techniques and provide evidence that for the efficiency of calcium signaling system, cells expressing gain-of-function variants of CaSR monitor cytosolic and ER calcium levels increasing the expression of the Sarco-Endoplasmic Reticulum Calcium-ATPase (SERCA) and reducing expression of Plasma Membrane Calcium-ATPase (PMCA). Wild-type CaSR (hCaSR-wt) and its gain-of-function (hCaSR-R990G; hCaSR-N124K) variants were transiently transfected in HEK-293 cells. Basal intracellular calcium concentration was significantly lower in cells expressing hCaSR-wt and its gain of function variants compared to mock. In line, FRET studies using the D1ER probe, which detects [Ca2+]ER directly, demonstrated significantly higher calcium accumulation in cells expressing the gain of function CaSR variants compared to hCaSR-wt. Consistently, cells expressing activating CaSR variants showed a significant increase in SERCA activity and expression and a reduced PMCA expression. This combined parallel regulation in protein expression increases the ER to cytosol calcium gradient explaining the higher sensitivity of CaSR gain-of-function variants to external calcium. This control principle provides a general explanation of how cells reliably connect (and exacerbate) receptor inputs to cell function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)