Functional expression of calcium-permeable canonical transient receptor potential 4-containing channels promotes migration of medulloblastoma cells

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Aberrant intracellular Ca2+ signalling contributes to the formation and progression of a range of distinct pathologies including cancers. Rises in intracellular Ca2+ concentration occur in response to Ca2+ influx through plasma membrane channels and Ca2+ release from intracellular Ca2+ stores, which can be mobilized in response to activation of cell surface receptors. Ovarian cancer G protein coupled receptor 1 (OGR1, aka GPR68) is a proton-sensing Gq-coupled receptor that is most highly expressed in cerebellum. Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common paediatric brain tumour that arises from cerebellar precursor cells. We found that nine distinct human MB samples all expressed OGR1. In both normal granule cells and the transformed human cerebellar granule cell line DAOY, OGR1 promoted expression of the proton-potentiated member of the canonical transient receptor potential (TRPC) channel family, TRPC4. Consistent with a role for TRPC4 in MB, we found that all MB samples also expressed TRPC4. In DAOY cells, activation of TRPC4-containing channels resulted in large Ca2+ influx and enhanced migration, while in normal cerebellar granule (precursor) cells and MB cells not derived from granule precursors, only small levels of Ca2+ influx and no enhanced migration were observed. Our results suggest that OGR1-dependent increases in TRPC4 expression may favour formation of highly Ca2+-permeable TRPC4-containing channels that promote transformed granule cell migration. Increased motility of cancer cells is a prerequisite for cancer invasion and metastasis, and our findings may point towards a key role for TRPC4 in progression of certain types of MB.

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