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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Mastoparan activates apical chloride and potassium conductances, decreases cell volume, and increases permeability of cultured epithelial cell monolayers.

Mastoparan is a tetradecapeptide. Mastoparan added to the apical surface of monolayers of Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) epithelial cells, cultured on micropore filters, activated ion transport and increased the permeability of the paracellular pathway across the monolayers. In monolayers of similar MDCK cells in which the basolateral membrane was permeabilized with Staphylococcus aureus alpha toxin (Staph. alpha toxin), the effects of mastoparan on apical membrane ion conductances were dependent on the presence of guanosine triphosphate (GTP). Mastoparan and GTP increased apical membrane chloride conductance more than potassium conductance, with very little change in sodium conductance. In intact monolayers, addition of barium to the apical bath prevented mastoparan activation of ion transport and the increase in paracellular permeability. Increasing bath potassium to 130 mM also reduced ion transport and prevented the increase in paracellular permeability. We hypothesized that these observations could be linked by mastoparan activation of apical chloride and potassium conductances, with consequent decreases in cell volume and resultant increases in paracellular permeability. Addition of 270 mM mannitol to isosmotic media to decrease cell volume decreased MDCK monolayer transepithelial resistance. Addition of mastoparan to monolayers of MDCK cells grown on micropore filters decreased cell volume to the same extent as addition of 270 mM mannitol to isosmotic media. Addition of the potassium channel inhibitor, barium, prevented the decrease in cell volume in response to mastoparan. Mastoparan activates apical membrane chloride and potassium conductances in MDCK cells. The loss of these ions from the cells decreases cell volume, and the decrease in cell volume increases the permeability of the paracellular pathway.[1]


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