Ca2+ is a regulator of the WNK/OSR1/NKCC pathway in a human salivary gland cell line

Soonhong Park, Sang Kyun Ku, Hye Won Ji, Jong Hoon Choi, Dong Min Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Wnk kinase maintains cell volume, regulating various transporters such as sodium-chloride cotransporter, potassium-chloride cotransporter, and sodium-potassium-chloride cotransporter 1 (NKCC1) through the phosphorylation of oxidative stress responsive kinase 1 (OSR1) and STE20/SPS1-related proline/alanine-rich kinase (SPAK). However, the activating mechanism of Wnk kinase in specific tissues and specific conditions is broadly unclear. In the present study, we used a human salivary gland (HSG) cell line as a model and showed that Ca2+ may have a role in regulating Wnk kinase in the HSG cell line. Through this study, we found that the HSG cell line expressed molecules participating in the WNK-OSR1-NKCC pathway, such as Wnk1, Wnk4, OSR1, SPAK, and NKCC1. The HSG cell line showed an intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) increase in response to hypotonic stimulation, and the response was synchronized with the phosphorylation of OSR1. Interestingly, when we inhibited the hypotonically induced [Ca2+]i increase with nonspecific Ca2+ channel blockers such as 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate, gadolinium, and lanthanum, the phosphorylated OSR1 level was also diminished. Moreover, a cyclopiazonic acid-induced passive [Ca2+]i elevation was evoked by the phosphorylation of OSR1, and the amount of phosphorylated OSR1 decreased when the cells were treated with BAPTA, a Ca2+ chelator. Finally, through that process, NKCC1 activity also decreased to maintain the cell volume in the HSG cell line. These results indicate that Ca2+ may regulate the WNK-OSR1 pathway and NKCC1 activity in the HSG cell line. This is the first demonstration that indicates upstream Ca2+ regulation of the WNK-OSR1 pathway in intact cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-255
Number of pages7
JournalKorean Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015 May 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology


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