Myosin light chain kinase controls voltage-dependent calcium channels in vascular smooth muscle

Anneloes Martinsen, Olivier Schakman, Xavier Yerna, Chantal Dessy, Nicole Morel

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The Ca(2+)-dependent kinase myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) is the activator of smooth muscle contraction. In addition, it has been reported to be involved in Ca(2+) channel regulation in cultured cells, and we previously showed that the MLCK inhibitor ML-7 decreases arginine vasopressin (AVP)-induced Ca(2+) influx in rat aorta. This study was designed to investigate whether MLCK is involved in Ca(2+) regulation in resistance artery smooth muscle cell, which plays a major role in the control of blood pressure. As ML compounds were shown to have off-target effects, MLCK was downregulated by transfection with a small interfering RNA targeting MLCK (MLCK-siRNA) in rat small resistance mesenteric artery (RMA) and in the rat embryonic aortic cell line A7r5. Noradrenaline-induced contraction and Ca(2+) signal were significantly depressed in MLCK-siRNA compared to scramble-siRNA-transfected RMA. Contraction and Ca(2+) signal induced by high KCl and voltage-activated Ca(2+) current were also significantly decreased in MLCK-siRNA-transfected RMA, suggesting that MLCK depletion modifies voltage-operated Ca(2+) channels. KCl- and AVP-induced Ca(2+) signals and voltage-activated Ca(2+) current were decreased in MLCK-depleted A7r5 cells. Eventually, real-time quantitative PCR analysis indicated that in A7r5, MLCK controlled mRNA expression of CaV1.2 (L-type) and CaV3.1 (T-type) voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels. Our results suggest that MLCK controls the transcription of voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels in vascular smooth muscle cells.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationPflugers Archive
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

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