Role of calcium in adult onset polycystic kidney disease

Murali K. Yanda, Qiangni Liu, Valeriu Cebotaru, William B. Guggino, Liudmila Cebotaru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is caused by mutations in genes encoding the polycystin (PC) 1 and 2 proteins. The goal of this study was to determine the role of calcium in regulating cyst growth. Stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM1) protein expression was 15-fold higher in PC1-null proximal tubule cells (PN) than in heterozygote (PH) controls and 2-fold higher in an inducible, PC1 knockout, mouse model of ADPKD compared to a non-cystic match control. IP3 receptor protein expression was also higher in the cystic mice. Knocking down STIM1 with siRNA reduced cyst growth and lowered cAMP levels in PN cells. Fura2 measurements of intracellular Ca2+ showed higher levels of intracellular Ca2+, SOCE and thaspigargin-stimulated ER Ca2+ release in PN vs. PH cells. There was a dramatic reduction in thapsigargin-stimulated release of ER Ca2+ following STIM1 silencing or application of 2-APB, consistent with altered ER Ca2+ movement; the protein expression of the Ca2+-dependent adenylyl cyclases (AC) AC3 and AC6 was up- and down-regulated, respectively. Like STIM1 knockdown, application of the calmodulin inhibitor W7 lowered cAMP levels, further indicating that STIM1 regulates AC3 via Ca2+ We conclude that the high levels of STIM1 in ADPKD cells play a role in supporting cyst growth and promoting high cAMP levels and an increased release of Ca2+ from the ER. Thus, our results provide novel therapeutic targets for treating ADPKD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-150
Number of pages11
JournalCellular Signalling
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease
  • Calcium
  • STIM
  • cAMP
  • cysts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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