Upstream intermediates of intracellular signaling involved in cell volume regulation remain poorly explored. Recently, we demonstrated that osmolarity-induced volume changes in permeabilized cells were several-fold higher than those observed with intact cells, indicating the osmosensing properties of cytoplasmic gel. To further examine the role of cytoplasmic biogel in cell volume regulation, we compared the action of short-term heat treatment on volume changes in intact and permeabilized A549 cells. Pretreatment of A549 cells at 48 °C suppressed swelling triggered by dissipation of Donnan’s equilibrium as well as by hyposmotic medium. Significantly, heat treatment completely abolished the action of hyposomotic medium on volume changes in permeabilized cells, showing that temperature elevation suppresses osmosensing properties via its effect on biogel rather than on plasma membrane water permeability. Identical heat treatment blocked the regulatory volume decrease (RVD) as well as the increment of Ba2+-sensitive K+-channel activity seen in control cells exposed to hyposmotic swelling. Unlike swelling, hyperosmotic shrinkage was decreased by twofold in cells subjected to 10-min preincubation at 50 °C. Our results disclose that osmosensing by cytoplasmic gel is a key event in the RVD triggered by hypotonic swelling. The role of biogel and plasma membrane in intracellular signaling triggered by hyperosmotic shrinkage should be further investigated.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: May 20, 2014
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