Canonical transient receptor potential channel 6 (TRPC6) can play an important role in governing how cells perceive the surrounding material environment and regulate Ca(2+) signaling. We have designed a TRPC6 reporter based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) to visualize the TRPC6-mediated calcium entry and hence TRPC6 activity in live cells with high spatiotemporal resolutions. In mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), platelet-derived growth factor BB (PDGF) can activate the TRPC6 reporter, mediated by phospholipase C (PLC). This TRPC6 activation occurred mainly at lipid rafts regions of the plasma membrane because disruption of lipid raft/caveolae by methyl-β-cyclodextrin (MβCD) or the expression of dominant-negative caveolin-1 inhibited the TRPC6 activity. Culturing cells on soft materials or releasing the intracellular tension by ML-7 reduced this PDGF-induced activation of TRPC6 without affecting the PDGF-regulated Src or inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) receptor function, suggesting a specific role of mechanical tension in regulating TRPC6. We further showed that the release of intracellular tension had similar effect on the diffusion coefficients of TRPC6 and a raft marker, confirming a strong coupling between TRPC6 and lipid rafts. Therefore, our results suggest that the TRPC6 activation mainly occurs at lipid rafts, which is regulated by the mechanical cues of surrounding materials.
Keywords: Canonical transient receptor potential 6 (TRPC6); Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET); Intracellular tension; Lipid rafts; Mechanical microenvironment.
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