CaMK4 is a downstream effector of the a1G T-type calcium channel to determine the angiogenic potential of pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells

Academic Article


  • Pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (PMVECs) uniquely express an a1G-subtype of voltage-gated T-type Ca2+ channel. We have previously revealed that the a1G channel functions as a background Ca2+ entry pathway that is critical for the cell proliferation, migration, and angiogenic potential of PMVECs, a novel function attributed to the coupling between a1G-mediated Ca2+ entry and constitutive Akt phosphorylation and activation. Despite this significance, mechanism(s) that link the a1G-mediated Ca2+ entry to Akt phosphorylation remain incompletely understood. In this study, we demonstrate that Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMK) 4 serves as a downstream effector of the a1G-mediated Ca2+ entry to promote the angiogenic potential of PMVECs. Notably, CaMK2 and CaMK4 are both expressed in PMVECs. Pharmacological blockade or genetic knockdown of the a1G channel led to a significant reduction in the phosphorylation level of CaMK4 but not the phosphorylation level of CaMK2. Pharmacological inhibition as well as genetic knockdown of CaMK4 significantly decreased cell proliferation, migration, and network formation capacity in PMVECs. However, CaMK4 inhibition or knockdown did not alter Akt phosphorylation status in PMVECs, indicating that a1G/Ca2+/CaMK4 is independent of the a1G/Ca2+/Akt pathway in sustaining the cells' angiogenic potential. Altogether, these findings suggest a novel a1G-CaMK4 signaling complex that regulates the Ca2+-dominated angiogenic potential in PMVECs.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Zheng Z; Wang X; Wang Y; King JAC; Xie P; Wu S
  • Start Page

  • C964
  • End Page

  • C977
  • Volume

  • 321
  • Issue

  • 6