Kosiorek M, Zylinska L, Zablocki K, Pikula S
BACKGROUND: Plasma membrane Ca(2+)-ATPases (PMCA) extrude Ca(2+) ions out of the cell and contribute to generation of calcium oscillations. Calcium signaling is crucial for transcriptional regulation of dopamine secretion by neuroendocrine PC12 cells. Low resting [Ca(2+)]c in PC12 cells is maintained mainly by two Ca(2+)-ATPases, PMCA2 and PMCA3. Recently, we found that Ca(2+) dependent phosphatase calcineurin was excessively activated under conditions of experimental downregulation of PMCA2 or PMCA3. Thus, the aim of this study was to explain if, via modulation of the Ca(2+)/calcineurin-dependent nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) pathway, PMCA2 and PMCA3 affect intracellular signaling in pheochromocytoma/neuronal cells/PC12 cells. Secondly, we tested whether this might influence dopamine secretion by PC12 cells. RESULTS: PMCA2- and PMCA3-deficient cells displayed profound decrease in dopamine secretion accompanied by a permanent increase in [Ca(2+)]c. Reduction in secretion might result from changes in NFAT signaling, following altered PMCA pattern. Consequently, activation of NFAT1 and NFAT3 transcription factors was observed in PMCA2- or PMCA3-deficient cells. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation assay indicated that NFATs could be involved in repression of Vamp genes encoding vesicle associated membrane proteins (VAMP). CONCLUSIONS: PMCA2 and PMCA3 are crucial for dopamine secretion in PC12 cells. Reduction in PMCA2 or PMCA3 led to calcium-dependent activation of calcineurin/NFAT signaling and, in consequence, to repression of the Vamp gene and deterioration of the SNARE complex formation in PC12 cells.