ATP-sensitive potassium channel subcellular trafficking during ischemia, reperfusion, and preconditioning
Ho, Joanne Cin-Yee
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Ischemic preconditioning is an endogenous cardioprotective mechanism in which short periods of ischemia and reperfusion provide protection when given before a subsequent ischemic event. Early mechanistic studies showed ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels to play an important role in ischemic preconditioning. KATP channels link intracellular energy metabolism to membrane excitability and contractility. It is thought that KATP channels provide a cardioprotective role during ischemia by inducing action potential shortening, reducing an excessive Ca^2+ influx, and by preventing arrhythmias. However, the mechanisms by which KATP channels protect during ischemic preconditioning are not known. In this study, we investigated a novel potential mechanism in which alterations in subcellular KATP channel trafficking during ischemia and ischemic preconditioning may result in altered levels of surface channel density, and therefore, a greater degree of cardioprotection. In the optimization of our experiments, we compared various antibodies for their specificity and sensitivity for channel subunit detection in immunoblotting. In addition, we examined the effects of varying salt concentrations during tissue homogenization in order to determine the optimal conditions for protein isolation. Furthermore, we examined the effect of heating the samples prior to SDS-PAGE for improved detection of channel proteins by immunoblotting. The subcellular trafficking of some membrane proteins is altered by ischemia. For example, the glucose transporter, Glut4, translocates from endosomal compartments to the sarcolemma (Sun, Nguyen, DeGrado, Schwaiger, & Brosius, 1994). Conflicting data exists regarding the effects of ischemia on KATP channel subcellular trafficking and the regulation of KATP channel surface density (Edwards et al., 2009 and Bao, Hadjiolova, Coetzee, & Rindler, 2011). We therefore, sought to test our hypothesis that KATP channels are internalized from the surface of cardiomyocytes to endosomal compartments during ischemia, and this internalization can be reduced and/or reversed by ischemic preconditioning. We subjected isolated Langendorff-perfused mouse hearts to ischemia, reperfusion, or ischemic preconditioning events and measured the density of KATP channels in the sarcolemmal and endosomal compartments. We also determined the degree of injury by staining heart slices with triphenyltetrazolium chloride and compared infarct sizes between hearts subjected to ischemia and ischemic preconditioning. Our data demonstrated that KATP channels are, in fact, internalized during ischemia and that reperfusion led to a slow recovery of surface KATP channel density. Interestingly, ischemic preconditioning reduced the size of infarcts induced by ischemia and also prevented the ischemia-induced decrease of KATP channel surface density, thereby, contributing to cardioprotection.