Involvement of the putative Ca²⁺-permeable mechanosensitive channels, NtMCA1 and NtMCA2, in Ca²⁺ uptake, Ca²⁺-dependent cell proliferation and mechanical stress-induced gene expression in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) BY-2 cells

J Plant Res. 2012 Jul;125(4):555-68. doi: 10.1007/s10265-011-0462-6. Epub 2011 Nov 13.


To gain insight into the cellular functions of the mid1-complementing activity (MCA) family proteins, encoding putative Ca²⁺-permeable mechanosensitive channels, we isolated two MCA homologs of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) BY-2 cells, named NtMCA1 and NtMCA2. NtMCA1 and NtMCA2 partially complemented the lethality and Ca²⁺ uptake defects of yeast mutants lacking mechanosensitive Ca²⁺ channel components. Furthermore, in yeast cells overexpressing NtMCA1 and NtMCA2, the hypo-osmotic shock-induced Ca²⁺ influx was enhanced. Overexpression of NtMCA1 or NtMCA2 in BY-2 cells enhanced Ca²⁺ uptake, and significantly alleviated growth inhibition under Ca²⁺ limitation. NtMCA1-overexpressing BY-2 cells showed higher sensitivity to hypo-osmotic shock than control cells, and induced the expression of the touch-inducible gene, NtERF4. We found that both NtMCA1-GFP and NtMCA2-GFP were localized at the plasma membrane and its interface with the cell wall, Hechtian strands, and at the cell plate and perinuclear vesicles of dividing cells. NtMCA2 transcript levels fluctuated during the cell cycle and were highest at the G1 phase. These results suggest that NtMCA1 and NtMCA2 play roles in Ca²⁺-dependent cell proliferation and mechanical stress-induced gene expression in BY-2 cells, by regulating the Ca²⁺ influx through the plasma membrane.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport / genetics
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Calcium Channels / genetics*
  • Calcium Channels / metabolism*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane Permeability / genetics
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / genetics*
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular / genetics*
  • Osmotic Pressure
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Stress, Physiological / genetics
  • Tobacco / cytology*
  • Tobacco / genetics*
  • Tobacco / metabolism


  • Calcium Channels
  • Calcium