Date: 01 Oct 2013

Transient Receptor Potential and Orai Channels in Airway Smooth Muscle Cells

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Abstract

Airway smooth muscle cells (ASMCs) are a crucial component of the airway passage. In ASMCs, an increase in intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) acts as a key determinant of force generation, cell proliferation, and other cellular responses. [Ca2+]i is generated and controlled by numerous ion channels. Recent studies demonstrate that multiple members of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, including TRPC1-6 and TRPV1, 2, and 4, are expressed and important for the regulation of [Ca2+]i in ASMCs. In particular, TRPC channels play an important role in the control of the resting [Ca2+]i and extracellular Ca2+ influx. Three Orai molecules, known as the pore-forming subunits of specific store-operated Ca2+ channels (SOCCs), are expressed in ASMCs. Two stromal-interacting molecule proteins (Stim1 and Stim2), which serve as the endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ sensors and thus are the major molecular components of SOCCs, are expressed in ASMCs. Identification of TRP, Orai, and Stim molecules involved in controlling and regulating [Ca2+]i, contractility, and proliferation in ASMCs offers the exciting prospect of new and novel therapies for the treatment of airway diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and others.