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. 2019 Oct 1;317(4):C825-C842.
doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00160.2019. Epub 2019 Jul 31.

The Lipidated Connexin Mimetic Peptide SRPTEKT- Hdc Is a Potent Inhibitor of Cx43 Channels With Specificity for the pS368 Phospho-Isoform

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The Lipidated Connexin Mimetic Peptide SRPTEKT- Hdc Is a Potent Inhibitor of Cx43 Channels With Specificity for the pS368 Phospho-Isoform

Maura L Cotter et al. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. .
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Abstract

Connexin (Cx) mimetic peptides derived from extracellular loop II sequences (e.g., Gap27: SRPTEKTIFII; Peptide5: VDCFLSRPTEKT) have been used as reversible, Cx-specific blockers of hemichannel (HCh) and gap junction channel (GJCh) function. These blockers typically require high concentrations (~5 µM, <1 h for HCh; ~100 µM, >1 h for GJCh) to achieve inhibition. We have shown that addition of a hexadecyl (Hdc) lipid tail to the conserved SRPTEKT peptide sequence (SRPTEKT-Hdc) results in a novel, highly efficacious, and potent inhibitor of mechanically induced Ca2+-wave propagation (IC50 64.8 pM) and HCh-mediated dye uptake (IC50 45.0 pM) in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells expressing rat Cx43 (MDCK43). The lack of similar effect on dye coupling (NBD-MTMA) suggested channel conformation-specific inhibition. Here we report that SRPTEKT-Hdc inhibition of Ca2+-wave propagation, dye coupling, and dye uptake depended on the functional configuration of Cx43 as determined by phosphorylation at serine 368 (S368). Ca2+-wave propagation was enhanced in MDCK cells expressing single-site mutants of Cx43 that mimicked (MDCK43-S368D) or favored (MDCK43-S365A) phosphorylation at S368. Furthermore, SRPTEKT-Hdc potently inhibited GJCh-mediated Ca2+-wave propagation (IC50 230.4 pM), dye coupling, and HCh-mediated dye uptake in MDCK43-S368D and -S365A cells. In contrast, Ca2+-wave propagation, dye coupling, and dye uptake were largely unaffected (IC50 12.3 μM) by SRPTEKT-Hdc in MDCK43-S368A and -S365D cells, mutations that mimic or favor dephosphorylation at S368. Together, these data indicate that SRPTEKT-Hdc is a potent inhibitor of physiological Ca2+-wave signaling mediated specifically by the pS368 phosphorylated form of Cx43.

Keywords: Ca2+-wave propagation; conformation-specific gap junction channel inhibitor; connexin 43; hemichannel inhibitor.

Conflict of interest statement

No conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise, are declared by the authors.

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