RECENT FINDINGS: Over the years, immunological therapy has become the center of attraction to treat T1D. Immunomodulatory approaches on non-antigens involving agents such as cyclosporine A, mycophenolate mofetil, anti-CD20, cytotoxic T cells, anti-TNF, anti-CD3, and anti-thymocyte globulin as well as immunomodulative approaches on antigens such as insulin, glutamic acid decarboxylase, and heat shock protein 60 have been studied. Aside from these two approaches, studies and trials have also been conducted on regulatory T cells, dendritic cells, interleukin 2, interleukin 4, M2 macrophages, and rapamycin/interleukin 2 combination therapy to test their effects on patients with T1D. Many of these agents have successfully suppressed T1D in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice and in human trials. However, some have shown negative results. To date, the insights into the management of the immune system have been increasing rapidly to search for potential therapies and treatments for T1D. Nevertheless, some of the challenges are still inevitable. A lot of work and effort need to be put into the investigation on T1D through immunological therapy, particularly to reduce complications to improve and enhance clinical outcomes.
METHODS: We performed electrophysiologic, biochemical, and biophysical experiments to elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying calmodulin (CaM)-mediated Ca2+-dependent inactivation (CDI) of TRPC6. To address the pathophysiologic contribution of CDI, we assessed the actin filament organization in cultured mouse podocytes.
RESULTS: Both lobes of CaM helped induce CDI. Moreover, CaM binding to the TRPC6 CaM-binding domain (CBD) was Ca2+-dependent and exhibited a 1:2 (CaM/CBD) stoichiometry. The TRPC6 coiled-coil assembly, which brought two CBDs into adequate proximity, was essential for CDI. Deletion of the coiled-coil slowed CDI of TRPC6, indicating that the coiled-coil assembly configures both lobes of CaM binding on two CBDs to induce normal CDI. The FSGS-associated TRPC6 mutations within the coiled-coil severely delayed CDI and often increased TRPC6 current amplitudes. In cultured mouse podocytes, FSGS-associated channels and CaM mutations led to sustained Ca2+ elevations and a disorganized cytoskeleton.
CONCLUSIONS: The gain-of-function mechanism found in FSGS-causing mutations in TRPC6 can be explained by impairments of the CDI, caused by disruptions of TRPC's coiled-coil assembly which is essential for CaM binding. The resulting excess Ca2+ may contribute to structural damage in the podocytes.