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Title: Expression of two-pore channels in mammalian primary cells and tissues, and their role in adipose tissue formation and function
Author: Tunn, Ruth Elizabeth
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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Two-pore channels (TPCs, gene name Tpcn) have recently been identified as endolysosomal cation channels modulated by the potent calcium (Ca2+) releasing messenger nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP). Gene knockout (KO) and RNA knockdown studies have implicated TPCs in fundamental cellular processes, including secretion, of insulin in pancreatic islets, and differentiation, of skeletal myoblasts and osteoclasts. Investigations of Tpcn1 and Tpcn2 mRNA expression have indicated widespread tissue distribution, but a lack of suitable antibodies has impeded study of the endogenous proteins. In this study, an anti-TPC1 antibody was purified from immune sera and used in immunoblotting investigations to demonstrate TPC1 protein expression in a wide range of mouse tissues, with highest expression levels observed in kidney, liver and adipose tissue. Endogenous mouse TPC1 was demonstrated to be glycosylated, with apparent differences in the extent of glycosylation in different tissues based on the indicated molecular weight before and after treatment with a deglycosylating enzyme, which may have implications for the functional regulation of channel activity. Given the increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes and obesity, an understanding of the molecular basis of glucose homeostasis and adipose tissue formation and function is an important scientific goal. Tpcn KO mice have been developed; in both Tpcn1 KOs and Tpcn2 KOs, impaired pancreatic β-cell Ca2+ signalling and reduced insulin secretion from the whole pancreas were demonstrated. However, the whole-animal phenotype has not been extensively researched. In this study, intraperitoneal glucose tolerance tests were conducted in Tpcn KO mice. These indicated that glucose homeostasis was not significantly affected in Tpcn2 KOs or Tpcn1/2 double KOs (DKOs), and only mildly impaired in Tpcn1 KOs, despite the defects previously observed at the cellular and tissue level. In addition, body composition was investigated in Tpcn1 KO, Tpcn2 KO and Tpcn1/2 DKO animals using magnetic resonance spectroscopy and time domain-nuclear magnetic resonance. Single Tpcn KOs were found to have lower adipose tissue levels as a percentage of body composition, while Tpcn1/2 DKOs were shown to have increased bodyweight but normal body composition. To investigate potential roles for TPCs in adipose tissue formation, Tpcn expression during adipogenesis was investigated using an in vitro multipotent mesenchymal stem cell line model of adipogenic differentiation. Tpcn2 mRNA levels were demonstrated by quantitative PCR to be transiently increased during the early stages of adipogenic differentiation, and cyclic AMP (cAMP) was identified as the factor that induced this upregulation. Lentiviruses were developed to express fluorescently-tagged TPCs, and overexpression of TPC2 was demonstrated to partially overcome the requirement for the cAMP-inducing agent in the medium used for the induction of adipogenesis. Collectively, these data suggest that TPCs may play a role in the formation and/or function of adipose tissue.
Supervisor: Parrington, John Sponsor: Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cell Biology (see also Plant sciences) ; Genetics (life sciences) ; Pharmacology ; Physiology ; Intracellular signalling ; gene expression ; calcium signalling