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A. Spät, I. Balla, T. Balla, E. J. Cragoe Jr, Gy. Hajnóczky, and L. Hunyady


Initial 45Ca uptake was measured in isolated rat glomerulosa cells. A small reduction in membrane potential produced by increasing the K+ concentration from 2 to 3·6 mmol/l stimulated 45Ca uptake by about 35%, while a bigger depolarization induced by 18·5 mmol K+/l increased the uptake by about 100%. Since Ca2+ influx was already activated at a calculated membrane potential below −70 mV, and was found to be sensitive to the dihydropyridine antagonist nifedipine (1 μmol/l), but insensitive to nickel ions (100 μmol/l), it does not meet the criteria established for T- or L-type voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels. Exposure of glomerulosa cells to angiotensin II (AII) for 10 min also enhanced the rate of 45Ca influx. The effect of AII was not sensitive to 1 μmol nifedipine/l, but was strongly inhibited by 5-(N-4-chlorobenzyl)-N-(2′,4′-dimethyl)benzamil (CBDMB, 30 μmol/l), an inhibitor of the Na+/Ca2+ antiporter. These observations suggest that during the sustained phase of stimulation with AII, a CBDMB-sensitive mechanism, rather than dihydropyridine-sensitive calcium channels, is involved in Ca2+ uptake in rat glomerulosa cells. The bulk Ca2+ influx did not correlate with aldosterone production; however, the maintained activity of different Ca2+ entry mechanisms seems to be essential for AII-induced aldosterone production.

Journal of Endocrinology (1989) 122, 361–370

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LA Noon, JM Franklin, PJ King, NJ Goulding, L Hunyady, and AJ Clark

Difficulty in expressing the adrenocorticotrophin (ACTH) receptor (melanocortin 2 receptor; MC2R) after transfection of various MC2R expression vectors has been experienced by many researchers. Reproducible evidence for expression has been obtained only in the Y6/OS3 corticoadrenal cell lines or in cells expressing endogenous melanocortin receptors. In order to determine the cause of this failure of expression we have undertaken the following studies. An MC2R expression plasmid was constructed in which the green fluorescent protein (GFP) coding region had been added to the C-terminus of the mature protein. Transfection of this plasmid into Y6 cells with a cAMP-responsive reporter plasmid demonstrated normal function of this receptor. Imaging of CHO cells expressing MC2R-GFP revealed perinuclear expression, although a cholecystokinin receptor (CCKR)-GFP construct was efficiently expressed at the cell surface. Y6 cells, in contrast, showed cell surface fluorescence after transfection with MC2R-GFP. Several other cell types showed a similar pattern of GFP distribution characteristic of retention in the endoplasmic reticulum. Counterstaining with an anti-KDEL antibody confirmed this location. Co-expression of the MC2R and the CCKR-GFP did not impair CCKR trafficking to the cell surface, implying a receptor-specific impairment to trafficking in the CHO cell which was absent in the Y6 cell.