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Cells ; 11(11)2022 06 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1892776


All human life starts with a calcium (Ca2+) wave. This ion regulates a plethora of cellular functions ranging from fertilisation and birth to development and cell death. A sophisticated system is responsible for maintaining the essential, tight concentration of calcium within cells. Intricate components of this Ca2+ network are store-operated calcium channels in the cells' membrane. The best-characterised store-operated channel is the Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channel. Currents through CRAC channels are critically dependent on the correct function of two proteins: STIM1 and Orai1. A disruption of the precise mechanism of Ca2+ entry through CRAC channels can lead to defects and in turn to severe impacts on our health. Mutations in either STIM1 or Orai1 proteins can have consequences on our immune cells, the cardiac and nervous system, the hormonal balance, muscle function, and many more. There is solid evidence that altered Ca2+ signalling through CRAC channels is involved in the hallmarks of cancer development: uncontrolled cell growth, resistance to cell death, migration, invasion, and metastasis. In this work we highlight the importance of Ca2+ and its role in human health and disease with focus on CRAC channels.

Calcium Release Activated Calcium Channels , Calcium , Calcium/metabolism , Calcium Release Activated Calcium Channels/metabolism , Calcium Signaling/physiology , Humans , Literacy , ORAI1 Protein/metabolism
J Immunol ; 207(5): 1275-1287, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1771322


The airway epithelial cells (AECs) lining the conducting passageways of the lung secrete a variety of immunomodulatory factors. Among these, PGE2 limits lung inflammation and promotes bronchodilation. By contrast, IL-6 drives intense airway inflammation, remodeling, and fibrosis. The signaling that differentiates the production of these opposing mediators is not understood. In this study, we find that the production of PGE2 and IL-6 following stimulation of human AECs by the damage-associated molecular pattern extracellular ATP shares a common requirement for Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channels. ATP-mediated synthesis of PGE2 required activation of metabotropic P2Y2 receptors and CRAC channel-mediated cytosolic phospholipase A2 signaling. By contrast, ATP-evoked synthesis of IL-6 occurred via activation of ionotropic P2X receptors and CRAC channel-mediated calcineurin/NFAT signaling. In contrast to ATP, which elicited the production of both PGE2 and IL-6, the uridine nucleotide, UTP, stimulated PGE2 but not IL-6 production. These results reveal that human AECs employ unique receptor-specific signaling mechanisms with CRAC channels as a signaling nexus to regulate release of opposing immunomodulatory mediators. Collectively, our results identify P2Y2 receptors, CRAC channels, and P2X receptors as potential intervention targets for airway diseases.

Dinoprostone/metabolism , Inflammation/immunology , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Adenosine Triphosphate/pharmacokinetics , Alarmins/metabolism , Calcium Release Activated Calcium Channels/metabolism , Cells, Cultured , Humans , Immunomodulation , Interleukin-6/genetics , NFATC Transcription Factors/metabolism , Phospholipases A2/metabolism , Receptors, Purinergic P2X/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/pathology , Signal Transduction , Uracil Nucleotides/metabolism
Aging (Albany NY) ; 12(10): 8760-8765, 2020 05 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-401312


Pathological signaling in the lung induced by particulate matter (PM) air pollution partially overlaps with that provoked by COVID-19, the pandemic disease caused by infection with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Metformin is capable of suppressing one of the molecular triggers of the proinflammatory and prothrombotic processes of urban PM air pollution, namely the mitochondrial ROS/Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ channels (CRAC)/IL-6 cascade. Given the linkage between mitochondrial functionality, ion channels, and inflamm-aging, the ability of metformin to target mitochondrial electron transport and prevent ROS/CRAC-mediated IL-6 release might illuminate new therapeutic avenues to quell the raging of the cytokine and thrombotic-like storms that are the leading causes of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality in older people. The incorporation of infection rates, severity and lethality of SARS-CoV-2 infections as new outcomes of metformin usage in elderly populations at risk of developing severe COVID-19, together with the assessment of bronchial/serological titers of inflammatory cytokines and D-dimers, could provide a novel mechanistic basis for the consideration of metformin as a therapeutic strategy against the inflammatory and thrombotic states underlying the gerolavic traits of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Coronavirus Infections , Inflammation/metabolism , Metformin , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Thrombosis , Aged , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Calcium Release Activated Calcium Channels/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Drug Repositioning/methods , Humans , Hypoglycemic Agents/pharmacokinetics , Hypoglycemic Agents/therapeutic use , Inflammation/drug therapy , Interleukin-6/immunology , Metformin/pharmacokinetics , Metformin/therapeutic use , Particulate Matter/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Reactive Oxygen Species/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombosis/drug therapy , Thrombosis/metabolism