American Journal of Physiology. Cell Physiology vol:283 issue:1 pages:C115-25
Cell swelling triggers in most cell types an outwardly rectifying anion current, I(Cl,swell), via volume-regulated anion channels (VRACs). We have previously demonstrated in calf pulmonary artery endothelial (CPAE) cells that inhibition of the Rho/Rho kinase/myosin light chain phosphorylation pathway reduces the swelling-dependent activation of I(Cl,swell). However, these experiments did not allow us to discriminate between a direct activator role or a permissive effect. We now show that the Rho pathway did not affect VRAC activity if this pathway was activated by transfecting CPAE cells with constitutively active isoforms of Galpha (a Rho activating heterotrimeric G protein subunit), Rho, or Rho kinase. Furthermore, biochemical and morphological analysis failed to demonstrate activation of the Rho pathway during hypotonic cell swelling. Finally, manipulating the Rho pathway with either guanosine 5'-O-(3-thiotriphosphate) or C3 exoenzyme had no effect on VRACs in caveolin-1-expressing Caco-2 cells. We conclude that the Rho pathway exerts a permissive effect on VRACs in CPAE cells, i.e., swelling-induced opening of VRACs requires a functional Rho pathway, but not an activation of the Rho pathway.