Transient receptor potential (TRP) proteins have been identified as cation channels that are activated by agonist-receptor coupling and mediate various cellular functions. TRPC7, a homologue of TRP channels, has been shown to act as a Ca2+ channel activated by G protein-coupled stimulation and to be abundantly expressed in the heart with an as-yet-unknown function. We studied the role of TRPC7 in G protein-activated signaling in HEK293 cells and cultured cardiomyocytes in vitro transfected with FLAG-tagged TRPC7 cDNA and in Dahl salt-sensitive rats with heart failure in vivo. TRPC7-transfected HEK293 cells showed an augmentation of carbachol-induced intracellular Ca2+ transient, which was attenuated under a Ca2+ -free condition or in the presence of SK&F96365 (a Ca2+ -permeable channel blocker). Upon stimulation with angiotensin II (Ang II), cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes transfected with TRPC7 exhibited a significant increase in apoptosis detected by TUNEL staining, accompanied with a decrease in the expression of atrial natriuretic factor and destruction of actin fibers, as compared with non-transfected cardiomyocytes. Ang II-induced apoptosis was inhibited by CV-11974 (Candesartan; Ang II type 1 [AT1] receptor blocker), SK&F96365, and FK506 (calcineurin inhibitor). In Dahl salt-sensitive rats, apoptosis and TRPC7 expression were increased in the failing myocardium, and a long-term treatment with temocapril, an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, suppressed both. Our findings suggest that TRPC7 could act as a Ca2+ channel activated by AT1 receptors, leading to myocardial apoptosis possibly via a calcineurin-dependent pathway. TRPC7 might be a key initiator linking AT1-activation to myocardial apoptosis, and thereby contributing to the process of heart failure.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Cell Biology