Connexin (Cx) hemichannels (HCs) are large pore hexameric structures that allow the exchange of ions, metabolites and a variety of other molecules between the cell cytoplasm and extracellular milieu. HC inhibitors are attracting growing interest as drug candidates because deregulated fluxes through HCs have been implicated in a plethora of genetic conditions and other diseases. HC activity has been mainly investigated by electrophysiological methods and/or using HC-permeable dye uptake measurements. Here, we present an all-optical assay based on fluorometric measurements of ionized calcium (Ca2+) uptake with a Ca2+-selective genetically encoded indicator (GCaMP6s) that permits the optical tracking of cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+](cyt)) changes with high sensitivity. We exemplify use of the assay in stable pools of HaCaT cells overexpressing human Cx26, Cx46, or the pathological mutant Cx26G45E, under control of a tetracycline (Tet) responsive element (TRE) promoter (Tet-on). We demonstrate the usefulness of the assay for the characterization of new monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) targeting the extracellular domain of the HCs. Although we developed the assay on a spinning disk confocal fluorescence microscope, the same methodology can be extended seamlessly to high-throughput high-content platforms to screen other kinds of inhibitors and/or to probe HCs expressed in primary cells and microtissues.

A Quantitative Assay for Ca2+ Uptake through Normal and Pathological Hemichannels

Donati, Viola;Peres, Chiara;Zonta, Francesco;Mammano, Fabio
Conceptualization
2022

Abstract

Connexin (Cx) hemichannels (HCs) are large pore hexameric structures that allow the exchange of ions, metabolites and a variety of other molecules between the cell cytoplasm and extracellular milieu. HC inhibitors are attracting growing interest as drug candidates because deregulated fluxes through HCs have been implicated in a plethora of genetic conditions and other diseases. HC activity has been mainly investigated by electrophysiological methods and/or using HC-permeable dye uptake measurements. Here, we present an all-optical assay based on fluorometric measurements of ionized calcium (Ca2+) uptake with a Ca2+-selective genetically encoded indicator (GCaMP6s) that permits the optical tracking of cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+](cyt)) changes with high sensitivity. We exemplify use of the assay in stable pools of HaCaT cells overexpressing human Cx26, Cx46, or the pathological mutant Cx26G45E, under control of a tetracycline (Tet) responsive element (TRE) promoter (Tet-on). We demonstrate the usefulness of the assay for the characterization of new monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) targeting the extracellular domain of the HCs. Although we developed the assay on a spinning disk confocal fluorescence microscope, the same methodology can be extended seamlessly to high-throughput high-content platforms to screen other kinds of inhibitors and/or to probe HCs expressed in primary cells and microtissues.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3453137
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