Pflugers Archiv : European journal of physiology

Dexamethasone activates transient receptor potential canonical 4 (TRPC4) channels via Rasd1 small GTPase pathway.

PMID 25502319


Canonical transient receptor potential 4 (TRPC4) channels are calcium-permeable, nonselective cation channels that are widely distributed in mammalian cells. It is generally speculated that TRPC4 channels are activated by Gq/11-PLC pathway or directly activated by Gi/o proteins. Although many mechanistic studies regarding TRPC4 have dealt with heterotrimeric G proteins, here, we first report the functional relationship between TRPC4 and small GTPase, Rasd1. Rasd1 selectively activated TRPC4 channels, and it was the only Ras protein among Ras protein family that can activate TRPC4 channels. For this to occur, it was found that certain population of functional Gαi1 and Gαi3 proteins are essential. Meanwhile, dexamethasone, a synthetic glucocorticoid and anti-inflammatory drug was known to increase messenger RNA (mRNA) level of Rasd1 in pancreatic β-cells. We have found that dexamethasone triggers TRPC4-like cationic current in INS-1 cells via increasing protein expression level of Rasd1. This relationship among dexamethasone, Rasd1, and TRPC4 could suggest a new therapeutic agent for hospitalized diabetes mellitus (DM) patients with prolonged dexamethasone prescription.