Palmitoyl-lysophosphatidylcholine promotes a transient calcium influx in lymphoma cells. Previously, it was observed that this influx was accompanied by a temporary increase in propidium iodide permeability that appeared linked to calcium entry. Those studies demonstrated that cobalt or nickel could block the response to lysophosphatidylcholine and raised the question of whether the calcium conductance involved specific channels. This communication describes a series of experiments to address that issue. The time dependence and structural specificity of the responses to lysophosphatidylcholine reinforced the hypothesis of a specific channel or transporter. Nevertheless, observations using patch clamp or calcium channel blockers suggested that this “channel” does not involve proteins. Alternative protein-mediated mechanisms such as indirect involvement of the sodium-calcium exchanger and the sodium-potassium ATPase were also excluded. Experiments with extracellular and intracellular calcium chelators suggested a common route of entry for calcium and propidium iodide. More directly, the ability of lysophosphatidylcholine to produce cobalt-sensitive permeability to propidium iodide was reproduced in protein-free artificial membranes. Finally, the transient nature of the calcium time course was rationalized quantitatively by the kinetics of lysophosphatidylcholine metabolism. These results suggest that physiological concentrations of lysophosphatidylcholine can directly produce membrane pores that mimic some of the properties of specific protein channels.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2004
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