Calcium Signaling In Airway Smooth Muscle Cells

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Transient Receptor Potential and Orai Channels in Airway Smooth Muscle Cells

  • Jun-Hua XiaoAffiliated withDepartment of Pharmacology, Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology
  • , Yong-Xiao WangAffiliated withCenter for Cardiovascular Sciences (MC-8), Albany Medical College
  • , Yun-Min ZhengAffiliated withCenter for Cardiovascular Sciences (MC-8), Albany Medical College Email author 

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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.


Transient receptor potential channels Orai molecules Stromal-interacting molecule proteins Store-operated Ca2+ channels Airway smooth muscle cells