Sphingomyelinase disables Piezo1 channel inactivation to enable sustained response to mechanical force

Jian Shi, Adam J Hyman, Dario De Vecchis, Jiehan Chong, Laeticia Lichtenstein, T. Simon Futers, Myriam Rouahi, Anne Negre Salvayre, Nathalie Auge, Antreas C Kalli and David J Beech

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Oct 08, 2019
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Received Date: 23rd September 19

Piezo1 channels are determinants of vascular responses to fluid flow. They importantly provide sustained response to flow, but this property contrasts with the rapid inactivation that has become a hallmark of the channels in heterologous overexpression studies. Here we reveal a mechanism by which blood vessels disable inactivation to enable sustained physiological response. Creation of a molecular model of Piezo1 channel in defined lipid membranes suggested potential modulation by sphingomyelin and its product ceramide. Biological relevance was indicated by the observation that exogenous sphingomyelinase enhanced Piezo1-mediated Ca2+ entry in cultured endothelial cells. We therefore hypothesised that endogenous sphingomyelinase suppresses channel inactivation. Remarkably, in endothelium freshly-isolated from murine artery, neutral sphingomyelinase inhibitors or genetic disruption of sphingomyelin phosphodiesterase 3 (SMPD3) caused flow- and pressure-activated Piezo1 channels to become inactivating. SMPD3 retained its ability to disable inactivation in cell-free membrane patches, providing evidence for a membrane localised effect. The data suggest that inherent inactivation of Piezo1 channels is disabled by enzymatic control of lipid environment to enable physiological response to mechanical force.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

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