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BH3 mimetic-elicited Ca2+ signals in pancreatic acinar cells are dependent on Bax and can be reduced by Ca2+-like peptides

Ferdek, Pawel E., Jakubowska, Monika A., Polina, Nicolaou, Gerasimenko, Julia V. ORCID:, Gerasimenko, Oleg V. ORCID: and Petersen, Ole H. ORCID: 2017. BH3 mimetic-elicited Ca2+ signals in pancreatic acinar cells are dependent on Bax and can be reduced by Ca2+-like peptides. Cell Death and Disease 8 , e2640. 10.1038/cddis.2017.41

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BH3 mimetics are small-molecule inhibitors of B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) and Bcl-xL, which disrupt the heterodimerisation of anti- and pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members sensitising cells to apoptotic death. These compounds have been developed as anti-cancer agents to counteract increased levels of Bcl-2 proteins often present in cancer cells. Application of a chemotherapeutic drug supported with a BH3 mimetic has the potential to overcome drug resistance in cancers overexpressing anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 proteins and thus increase the success rate of the treatment. We have previously shown that the BH3 mimetics, BH3I-2′ and HA14-1, induce Ca2+ release from intracellular stores followed by a sustained elevation of the cytosolic Ca2+ concentration. Here we demonstrate that loss of Bax, but not Bcl-2 or Bak, inhibits this sustained Ca2+ elevation. What is more, in the absence of Bax, thapsigargin-elicited responses were decreased; and in two-photon-permeabilised bax−/− cells, Ca2+ loss from the ER was reduced compared to WT cells. The Ca2+-like peptides, CALP-1 and CALP-3, which activate EF hand motifs of Ca2+-binding proteins, significantly reduced excessive Ca2+ signals and necrosis caused by two BH3 mimetics: BH3I-2′ and gossypol. In the presence of CALP-1, cell death was shifted from necrotic towards apoptotic, whereas CALP-3 increased the proportion of live cells. Importantly, neither of the CALPs markedly affected physiological Ca2+ signals elicited by ACh, or cholecystokinin. In conclusion, the reduction in passive ER Ca2+ leak in bax−/− cells as well as the fact that BH3 mimetics trigger substantial Ca2+ signals by liberating Bax, indicate that Bax may regulate Ca2+ leak channels in the ER. This study also demonstrates proof-of-principle that pre-activation of EF hand Ca2+-binding sites by CALPs can be used to ameliorate excessive Ca2+ signals caused by BH3 mimetics and shift necrotic death towards apoptosis.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Additional Information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Publisher: Springer Nature
ISSN: 2041-4889
Funders: MRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 January 2017
Date of Acceptance: 11 January 2017
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 10:59

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