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Molekulare Physiologie der Tiere

Prof. Dr. Stephan Frings

Genovese, F., Bauersachs, H.G., Gräßer, I., Kupke, J., Magin, L., Daiber, P., Nakajima, J., Möhrlen, F., Messlinger, K., Frings, S. (2017) Possible role of calcitonin gene-related peptide in trigeminal modulation of glomerular microcircuits of the rodent olfactory bulb. European Journal of Neuroscience   45: 587-600   
 

Frings, S. (2016) Smelling better with chloride Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA   113: 11063-11065

 

Genovese, F., Thews, M., Möhrlen, F., Frings, S. (2016) Properties of an optogenetic model for olfactory stimulation Journal of Physiology   595: 3501-3516   

 

Zhang, W., Schmelzeisen, S., Parthier, D., Frings, S., Möhrlen, F. (2015) Anoctamin calcium-activated chloride channels may modulate inhibitory transmission in the cerebellar cortex PLOS ONE 10(11):e014216       Open Access

 

Vocke, K., Dauner, K., Hahn, A., Ulbrich, A., Broecker, J., Keller, S., Frings, S., Möhrlen, F. (2013)
Calmodulin-dependent activation and inactivation of anoctamin calcium-gated chloride channels.
Journal of General Physiology    142: 381-404.   
 

Dauner, K., Möbus, C., Frings, S., Möhrlen, F. (2013) Targeted expression of anoctamin calcium-activated chloride channels in rod photoreceptor terminals of the rodent retina Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science    54: 3126-3136.   
 

Daiber, P., Genovese, F., Schriever, V., Hummel, T., Möhrlen, F., Frings, S. (2013) Neuropeptide receptors provide a signalling pathway for trigeminal modulation of olfactory transduction European Journal of Neuroscience   37: 572-582   

 

Frings, S. (2012) Basic mechanisms in sensory systems. in: Sensory perception - Mind and Matter, Barth, F.G., Giampieri-Deutsch, P., Klein, H.-D. edts. Springer Wien, pp. 3-21.

 

Daiber P, Genovese F, Schriever VA, Hummel T, Möhrlen F, Frings S. (2012). Neuropeptide receptors provide a signalling pathway for trigeminal modulation of olfactory transduction. Eur J Neurosci. 37(4):572-82.

Abstract

The mammalian olfactory epithelium contains olfactory receptor neurons and trigeminal sensory endings. The former mediate odor detection, the latter the detection of irritants. The two apparently parallel chemosensory systems are in reality interdependent in various well-documented ways. Psychophysical studies have shown that virtually all odorants can act as irritants, and that most irritants have an odor. Thus, the sensory perception of odorants and irritants is based on simultaneous input from the two systems. Moreover, functional interactions between the olfactory system and the trigeminal system exist on both peripheral and central levels. Here we examine the impact of trigeminal stimulation on the odor response of olfactory receptor neurons. Using an odorant with low trigeminal potency (phenylethyl alcohol) and a non-odorous irritant (CO(2) ), we have explored this interaction in psychophysical experiments with human subjects and in electroolfactogram (EOG) recordings from rats. We have demonstrated that simultaneous activation of the trigeminal system attenuates the perception of odor intensity and distorts the EOG response. On the molecular level, we have identified a route for this cross-modal interaction. The neuropeptide calcitonin-gene related peptide (CGRP), which is released from trigeminal sensory fibres upon irritant stimulation, inhibits the odor response of olfactory receptor neurons. CGRP receptors expressed by these neurons mediate this neuromodulatory effect. This study demonstrates a site of trigeminal-olfactory interaction in the periphery. It reveals a pathway for trigeminal impact on olfactory signal processing that influences odor perception.

Pubmed 

Frings S. (2012). Primary processes in sensory cells: current advances. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2012;739:32-58.

Abstract

In the course of evolution, the strong and unremitting selective pressure on sensory performance has driven the acuity of sensory organs to its physical limits. As a consequence, the study of primary sensory processes illustrates impressively how far a physiological function can be improved, if the survival of a species depends on it. Sensory cells that detect single-photons, single molecules, mechanical motions on a nanometer scale, or incredibly small fluctuations of electromagnetic fields have fascinated physiologists for a long time. It is a great challenge to understand the primary sensory processes on a molecular level. This chapter points out some important recent developments in the search for primary processes in sensory cells that mediate touch perception, hearing, vision, taste, olfaction, as well as the analysis of light polarization and the orientation in the Earth's magnetic field. The data are screened for common transduction strategies and common transduction molecules, an aspect that may be helpful for researchers in the field.

Dauner K, Lissmann J, Jeridi S, Frings S, Möhrlen F. (2012). Expression patterns of anoctamin 1 and anoctamin 2 chloride channels in the mammalian nose. Cell Tissue Res. 347(2):327-41.

Abstract

Calcium-activated chloride channels are expressed in chemosensory neurons of the nose and contribute to secretory processes and sensory signal transduction. These channels are thought to be members of the family of anoctamins (alternative name: TMEM16 proteins), which are opened by micromolar concentrations of intracellular Ca(2+). Two family members,ANO 1 (TMEM16A) and ANO 2 (TMEM16B), are expressed in the various sensory and respiratory tissues of the nose.We have examined the tissue specificity and sub-cellular localization of these channels in the nasal respiratory epithelium and in the five chemosensory organs of the nose: the main olfactory epithelium, the septal organ of Masera, the vomeronasal organ, the Grueneberg ganglion and the trigeminal system. We have found that the two channels show mutually exclusive expression patterns. ANO 1 is present in the apical membranes of various secretory epithelia in which it is co-localized with the water channel aquaporin 5. It has also been detected in acinar cells and duct cells of subepithelial glands and in the supporting cells of sensory epithelia. In contrast, ANO 2 expression is restricted to chemosensory neurons in which it has been detected in microvillar and ciliary surface structures. The different expression patterns of ANO 1 and ANO 2 have been observed in the olfactory, vomeronasal and respiratory epithelia. No expression has been detected in the Grueneberg ganglion or trigeminal sensory fibers. On the basis of this differential expression, we derive the main functional features of ANO 1 and ANO 2 chloride channels in the nose and suggest their significance for nasal physiology.

Ungerer N, Mücke N, Broecker J, Keller S, Frings S, Möhrlen F. (2011). Distinct binding properties distinguish LQ-type calmodulin-binding domains in cyclic nucleotide-gated channels. Biochemistry. 50(15):3221-8.

Abstract

Cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channels operate as transduction channels in photoreceptors and olfactory receptor neurons. Direct binding of cGMP or cAMP opens these channels which conduct a mixture of monovalent cations and Ca(2+). Upon activation, CNG channels generate intracellular Ca(2+) signals that play pivotal roles in the transduction cascades of the visual and olfactory systems. Channel activity is controlled by negative feedback mechanisms that involve Ca(2+)-calmodulin, for which all CNG channels possess binding sites. Here we compare the binding properties of the two LQ-type calmodulin binding sites, both of which are thought to be involved in channel regulation. They reside on the isoforms CNGB1 and CNGA4. The CNGB1 subunit is present in rod photoreceptors and olfactory receptor neurons. The CNGA4 subunit is only expressed in olfactory receptor neurons, and there are conflicting results as to its role in calmodulin-mediated feedback inhibition. We examined the interaction of Ca(2+)-calmodulin with two recombinant proteins that encompass either of the two LQ sites. Comparing binding properties, we found that the LQ site of CNGB1 binds Ca(2+)-calmodulin at 10-fold lower Ca(2+) levels than the LQ site of CNGA4. Our data provide biochemical evidence against a contribution of CNGA4 to feedback inhibition. In accordance with previous work on photoreceptor CNG channels, our results indicate that feedback control is the exclusive role of the B-subunits in photoreceptors and olfactory receptor neurons.

Frings S. (2010). The sour taste of a proton current. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 107(51):21955-6.

Abstract

Comment on Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Dec 21;107(51):22320-5.

Hengl T, Kaneko H, Dauner K, Vocke K, Frings S, Möhrlen F. (2010). Molecular components of signal amplification in olfactory sensory cilia. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 107(13):6052-7.

Abstract

The mammalian olfactory system detects an unlimited variety of odorants with a limited set of odorant receptors. To cope with the complexity of the odor world, each odorant receptor must detect many different odorants. The demand for low odor selectivity creates problems for the transduction process: the initial transduction step, the synthesis of the second messenger cAMP, operates with low efficiency, mainly because odorants bind only briefly to their receptors. Sensory cilia of olfactory receptor neurons have developed an unusual solution to this problem. They accumulate chloride ions at rest and discharge a chloride current upon odor detection. This chloride current amplifies the receptor potential and promotes electrical excitation. We have studied this amplification process by examining identity, subcellular localization, and regulation of its molecular components. We found that the Na(+)/K(+)/2Cl(-) cotransporter NKCC1 is expressed in the ciliary membrane, where it mediates chloride accumulation into the ciliary lumen. Gene silencing experiments revealed that the activity of this transporter depends on the kinases SPAK and OSR1, which are enriched in the cilia together with their own activating kinases, WNK1 and WNK4. A second Cl(-) transporter, the Cl(-)/HCO(3)(-) exchanger SLC4A1, is expressed in the cilia and may support Cl(-) accumulation. The calcium-dependent chloride channel TMEM16B (ANO2) provides a ciliary pathway for the excitatory chloride current. These findings describe a specific set of ciliary proteins involved in anion-based signal amplification. They provide a molecular concept for the unique strategy that allows olfactory sensory neurons to operate as efficient transducers of weak sensory stimuli.

Waldeck C, Vocke K, Ungerer N, Frings S, Möhrlen F. (2009). Activation and desensitization of the olfactory cAMP-gated transduction channel: identification of functional modules. J Gen Physiol. 134(5):397-408.

Abstract

Olfactory receptor neurons respond to odor stimulation with a receptor potential that results from the successive activation of cyclic AMP (cAMP)-gated, Ca(2+)-permeable channels and Ca(2+)-activated chloride channels. The cAMP-gated channels open at micromolar concentrations of their ligand and are subject to a Ca(2+)-dependent feedback inhibition by calmodulin. Attempts to understand the operation of these channels have been hampered by the fact that the channel protein is composed of three different subunits, CNGA2, CNGA4, and CNGB1b. Here, we explore the individual role that each subunit plays in the gating process. Using site-directed mutagenesis and patch clamp analysis, we identify three functional modules that govern channel operation: a module that opens the channel, a module that stabilizes the open state at low cAMP concentrations, and a module that mediates rapid Ca(2+)-dependent feedback inhibition. Each subunit could be assigned to one of these functions that, together, define the gating logic of the olfactory transduction channel.

Klimmeck D, Daiber PC, Brühl A, Baumann A, Frings S, Möhrlen F. (2009). Bestrophin 2: an anion channel associated with neurogenesis in chemosensory systems. J Comp Neurol. 515(5):585-99.

Abstract

The chemosensory neuroepithelia of the vertebrate olfactory system share a life-long ability to regenerate. Novel neurons proliferate from basal stem cells that continuously replace old or damaged sensory neurons. The sensory neurons of the mouse and rat olfactory system specifically express bestrophin 2, a member of the bestrophin family of calcium-activated chloride channels. This channel was recently proposed to operate as a transduction channel in olfactory sensory cilia. We raised a polyclonal antibody against bestrophin 2 and characterized the expression pattern of this protein in the mouse main olfactory epithelium, septal organ of Masera, and vomeronasal organ. Comparison with the maturation markers growth-associated protein 43 and olfactory marker protein revealed that bestrophin 2 was expressed in developing sensory neurons of all chemosensory neuroepithelia, but was restricted to proximal cilia in mature sensory neurons. Our results suggest that bestrophin 2 plays a critical role during differentiation and growth of axons and cilia. In mature olfactory receptor neurons, it appears to support growth and function of sensory cilia.

Pubmed 

Mayer U, Küller A, Daiber PC, Neudorf I, Warnken U, Schnölzer M, Frings S, Möhrlen F. (2009). The proteome of rat olfactory sensory cilia. Proteomics. 9(2):322-34.

Abstract

Olfactory sensory neurons expose to the inhaled air chemosensory cilia which bind odorants and operate as transduction organelles. Odorant receptors in the ciliary membrane activate a transduction cascade which uses cAMP and Ca(2+) for sensory signaling in the ciliary lumen. Although the canonical transduction pathway is well established, molecular components for more complex aspects of sensory transduction, like adaptation, regulation, and termination of the receptor response have not been systematically identified. Moreover, open questions in olfactory physiology include how the cilia exchange solutes with the surrounding mucus, assemble their highly polarized set of proteins, and cope with noxious substances in the ambient air. A specific ciliary proteome would promote research efforts in all of these fields. We have improved a method to detach cilia from rat olfactory sensory neurons and have isolated a preparation specifically enriched in ciliary membrane proteins. Using LC-ESI-MS/MS analysis, we identified 377 proteins which constitute the olfactory cilia proteome. These proteins represent a comprehensive data set for olfactory research since more than 80% can be attributed to the characteristic functions of olfactory sensory neurons and their cilia: signal processing, protein targeting, neurogenesis, solute transport, and cytoprotection. Organellar proteomics thus yielded decisive information about the diverse physiological functions of a sensory organelle.

Frings S. (2008). Primary processes in sensory cells: current advances. J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol. 195(1):1-19.

Abstract

In the course of evolution, the strong and unremitting selective pressure on sensory performance has driven the acuity of sensory organs to its physical limits. As a consequence, the study of primary sensory processes illustrates impressively how far a physiological function can be improved if the survival of a species depends on it. Sensory cells that detect single-photons, single molecules, mechanical motions on a nanometer scale, or incredibly small fluctuations of electromagnetic fields have fascinated physiologists for a long time. It is a great challenge to understand the primary sensory processes on a molecular level. This review points out some important recent developments in the search for primary processes in sensory cells that mediate touch perception, hearing, vision, taste, olfaction, as well as the analysis of light polarization and the orientation in the Earth's magnetic field. The data are screened for common transduction strategies and common transduction molecules, an aspect that may be helpful for researchers in the field.

Funk K, Woitecki A, Franjic-Würtz C, Gensch T, Möhrlen F, Frings S. (2008). Modulation of chloride homeostasis by inflammatory mediators in dorsal root ganglion neurons. Mol Pain. 4:32.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Chloride currents in peripheral nociceptive neurons have been implicated in the generation of afferent nociceptive signals, as Cl- accumulation in sensory endings establishes the driving force for depolarizing, and even excitatory, Cl- currents. The intracellular Cl- concentration can, however, vary considerably between individual DRG neurons. This raises the question, whether the contribution of Cl- currents to signal generation differs between individual afferent neurons, and whether the specific Cl- levels in these neurons are subject to modulation. Based on the hypothesis that modulation of the peripheral Cl- homeostasis is involved in the generation of inflammatory hyperalgesia, we examined the effects of inflammatory mediators on intracellular Cl- concentrations and on the expression levels of Cl- transporters in rat DRG neurons. RESULTS: We developed an in vitro assay for testing how inflammatory mediators influence Cl- concentration and the expression of Cl- transporters. Intact DRGs were treated with 100 ng/ml NGF, 1.8 microM ATP, 0.9 microM bradykinin, and 1.4 microM PGE2 for 1-3 hours. Two-photon fluorescence lifetime imaging with the Cl--sensitive dye MQAE revealed an increase of the intracellular Cl- concentration within 2 hours of treatment. This effect coincided with enhanced phosphorylation of the Na+-K+-2Cl- cotransporter NKCC1, suggesting that an increased activity of that transporter caused the early rise of intracellular Cl- levels. Immunohistochemistry of NKCC1 and KCC2, the main neuronal Cl- importer and exporter, respectively, exposed an inverse regulation by the inflammatory mediators. While the NKCC1 immunosignal increased, that of KCC2 declined after 3 hours of treatment. In contrast, the mRNA levels of the two transporters did not change markedly during this time. These data demonstrate a fundamental transition in Cl- homeostasis toward a state of augmented Cl- accumulation, which is induced by a 1-3 hour treatment with inflammatory mediators. CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate that inflammatory mediators impact on Cl- homeostasis in DRG neurons. Inflammatory mediators raise intracellular Cl- levels and, hence, the driving force for depolarizing Cl- efflux. These findings corroborate current concepts for the role of Cl- regulation in the generation of inflammatory hyperalgesia and allodynia. As the intracellular Cl- concentration rises in DRG neurons, afferent signals can be boosted by excitatory Cl- currents in the presynaptic terminals. Moreover, excitatory Cl- currents in peripheral sensory endings may also contribute to the generation or modulation of afferent signals, especially in inflamed tissue.

Klimmeck D, Mayer U, Ungerer N, Warnken U, Schnölzer M, Frings S, Möhrlen F. (2007). Calcium-signaling networks in olfactory receptor neurons. Neuroscience. 151(3):901-12.

Abstract

The olfactory neuroepithelium represents a unique interface between the brain and the external environment. Olfactory function comprises a distinct set of molecular tasks: sensory signal transduction, cytoprotection and adult neurogenesis. A multitude of biochemical studies has revealed the central role of Ca(2+) signaling in the function of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs). We set out to establish Ca(2+)-dependent signaling networks in ORN cilia by proteomic analysis. We subjected a ciliary membrane preparation to Ca(2+)/calmodulin-affinity chromatography using mild detergent conditions in order to maintain functional protein complexes involved in olfactory Ca(2+) signaling. Thus, calmodulin serves as a valuable tool to gain access to novel Ca(2+)-regulated protein complexes. Tandem mass spectrometry (nanoscale liquid-chromatography-electrospray injection) identified 123 distinct proteins. Ninety-seven proteins (79%) could be assigned to specific olfactory functions, including 32 to sensory signal transduction and 40 to cytoprotection. We point out novel perspectives for research on the Ca(2+)-signaling networks in the olfactory system of the rat.

Mayer U, Ungerer N, Klimmeck D, Warnken U, Schnölzer M, Frings S, Möhrlen F. (2007). Proteomic analysis of a membrane preparation from rat olfactory sensory cilia. Chem Senses. 33(2):145-62.

Abstract

The cilia of mammalian olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) represent the sensory interface that is exposed to the air within the nasal cavity. The cilia are the site where odorants bind to specific receptors and initiate olfactory transduction that leads to excitation of the neuron. This process involves a multitude of ciliary proteins that mediate chemoelectrical transduction, amplification, and adaptation of the primary sensory signal. Many of these proteins were initially identified by their enzymatic activities using a membrane protein preparation from olfactory cilia. This so-called "calcium-shock" preparation is a versatile tool for the exploration of protein expression, enzyme kinetics, regulatory mechanisms, and ciliary development. To support such studies, we present a first proteomic analysis of this membrane preparation. We subjected the cilia preparation to liquid chromatography-electrospray ionisation (LC-ESI-MS/MS) tandem mass spectrometry and identified 268 proteins, of which 49% are membrane proteins. A detailed analysis of their cellular and subcellular localization showed that the cilia preparation obtained by calcium shock not only is highly enriched in ORN proteins but also contains a significant amount of nonciliary material. Although our proteomic study does not identify the entire set of ciliary and nonciliary proteins, it provides the first estimate of the purity of the calcium-shock preparation and provides valuable biochemical information for further research.

Gilbert D, Franjic-Würtz C, Funk K, Gensch T, Frings S, Möhrlen F. (2007). Differential maturation of chloride homeostasis in primary afferent neurons of the somatosensory system. Int J Dev Neurosci. 25(7):479-89.

Abstract

Recent research into the generation of hyperalgesia has revealed that both the excitability of peripheral nociceptors and the transmission of their afferent signals in the spinal cord are subject to modulation by Cl(-) currents. The underlying Cl(-) homeostasis of nociceptive neurons, in particular its postnatal maturation, is, however, poorly understood. Here we measure the intracellular Cl(-) concentration, [Cl(-)]i, of somatosensory neurons in intact dorsal root ganglia of mice. Using two-photon fluorescence-lifetime imaging microscopy, we determined [Cl(-)]i in newborn and adult animals. We found that the somatosensory neurons undergo a transition of Cl(-) homeostasis during the first three postnatal weeks that leads to a decline of [Cl(-)]i in most neurons. Immunohistochemistry showed that a major fraction of neurons in the dorsal root ganglia express the cation-chloride co-transporters NKCC1 and KCC2, indicating that the molecular equipment for Cl(-) accumulation and extrusion is present. RT-PCR analysis showed that the transcription pattern of electroneutral Cl(-) co-transporters does not change during the maturation process. These findings demonstrate that dorsal root ganglion neurons undergo a developmental transition of chloride homeostasis during the first three postnatal weeks. This process parallels the developmental "chloride switch" in the central nervous system. However, while most CNS neurons achieve homogeneously low [Cl(-)]i levels - which is the basis of GABAergic and glycinergic inhibition - somatosensory neurons maintain a heterogeneous pattern of [Cl(-)]i values. This suggests that Cl(-) currents are excitatory in some somatosensory neurons, but inhibitory in others. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that Cl(-) homeostasis in somatosensory neurons is regulated through posttranslational modification of cation-chloride co-transporters.

Gilbert D, Funk K, Dekowski B, Lechler R, Keller S, Möhrlen F, Frings S, Hagen V. (2007). Caged capsaicins: New tools for the examination of TRPV1 channels in somatosensory neurons. Chembiochem. 8(1):89-97.

Abstract

The vanilloid capsaicin, N-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzyl)-8-methylnon-6-enamide, is the pungent ingredient of chili peppers and is used in pain research as an activating ligand of heat-sensitive transduction channels in nociceptive neurons. Here we describe the synthesis and application of two capsaicin derivatives modified at the hydroxy function of the vanillyl motif: alpha-carboxy-4,5-dimethoxy-2-nitrobenzyl-caged (CDMNB-caged) capsaicin and {7-[bis(carboxymethyl)amino]coumarin-4-yl}methoxycarbonyl-caged (BCMACMOC-caged) capsaicin. These compounds show dramatically reduced pungency, but release active capsaicin upon irradiation with UV light. CDMNB-caged capsaicin can be used to perform concentration-jump experiments, while BCMACMOC-caged capsaicin is membrane-impermeant and can be applied selectively to the intracellular or extracellular sides of a plasma membrane. Both compounds can serve as valuable research tools in pain physiology.

Jach G, Pesch M, Richter K, Frings S, Uhrig JF. (2006). An improved mRFP1 adds red to bimolecular fluorescence complementation. Nat Methods. 3(8):597-600.

Abstract

Protein-protein interactions are fundamental to virtually every aspect of cellular functions. Blue, green and yellow bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) systems based on GFP and its variants allow the investigation of protein-protein interactions in vivo. We have developed the first red BiFC system based on an improved monomeric red fluorescent protein (mRFP1-Q66T), expanding the range of possible applications for BiFC.

Kaneko H, Möhrlen F, Frings S. (2006). Calmodulin contributes to gating control in olfactory calcium-activated chloride channels. J Gen Physiol. 127(6):737-48.

Abstract

In sensory neurons of the peripheral nervous system, receptor potentials can be amplified by depolarizing Cl currents. In mammalian olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs), this anion-based signal amplification results from the sequential activation of two distinct types of transduction channels: cAMP-gated Ca channels and Ca-activated Cl channels. The Cl current increases the initial receptor current about 10-fold and leads to the excitation of the neuron. Here we examine the activation mechanism of the Ca-dependent Cl channel. We focus on calmodulin, which is known to mediate Ca effects on various ion channels. We show that the cell line Odora, which is derived from OSN precursor cells in the rat olfactory epithelium, expresses Ca-activated Cl channels. Single-channel conductance, ion selectivity, voltage dependence, sensitivity to niflumic acid, and Ca sensitivity match between Odora channels and OSN channels. Transfection of Odora cells with CaM mutants reduces the Ca sensitivity of the Cl channels. This result points to the participation of calmodulin in the gating process of Ca-ativated Cl channels, and helps to understand how signal amplification works in the olfactory sensory cilia. Calmodulin was previously shown to mediate feedback inhibition of cAMP-synthesis and of the cAMP-gated Ca channels in OSNs. Our results suggest that calmodulin may also be instrumental in the generation of the excitatory Cl current. It appears to play a pivotal role in the peripheral signal processing of olfactory sensory information. Moreover, recent results from other peripheral neurons, as well as from smooth muscle cells, indicate that the calmodulin-controlled, anion-based signal amplification operates in various cell types where it converts Ca signals into membrane depolarization.

Bradley J, Reisert J, Frings S. (2005). Regulation of cyclic nucleotide-gated channels. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 15(3):343-9.

Abstract

Cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channels are found in several cell types, and are best studied in photoreceptors and olfactory sensory neurons. There, CNG channels are gated by the second messengers of the visual and olfactory signalling cascades, cGMP and cAMP respectively, and operate as transduction channels generating the stimulus-induced receptor potentials. In visual and olfactory sensory cells CNG channels conduct cationic currents. Calcium can contribute a large fraction of this current, and calcium influx serves a modulatory role in CNG-channel mediated signal transduction. There have been recent developments in our understanding of how the regulation of CNG channels contributes to the physiological properties of photoreceptors and olfactory sensory cells, and in particular on the role of calcium-mediated feedback.

Kruger W, Gilbert D, Hawthorne R, Hryciw DH, Frings S, Poronnik P, Lynch JW. (2005). A yellow fluorescent protein-based assay for high-throughput screening of glycine and GABAA receptor chloride channels. Neurosci Lett. 380(3):340-5.

Abstract

There is a significant clinical need to identify novel ligands with high selectivity and potency for GABA(A), GABA(C) and glycine receptor Cl- channels. Two recently developed, yellow fluorescent protein variants (YFP-I152L and YFP-V163S) are highly sensitive to quench by small anions and are thus suited to reporting anionic influx into cells. The aim of this study was to establish the optimal conditions for using these constructs for high-throughput screening of GABA(A), GABA(C) and glycine receptors transiently expressed in HEK293 cells. We found that a 70% fluorescence reduction was achieved by quenching YFP-I152L with a 10 s influx of I- ions, driven by an external I- concentration of at least 50 mM. The fluorescence quench was rapid, with a mean time constant of 3 s. These responses were similar for all anion receptor types studied. We also show the assay is sufficiently sensitive to measure agonist and antagonist concentration-responses using either imaging- or photomultiplier-based detection systems. The robustness, sensitivity and low cost of this assay render it suited for high-throughput screening of transiently expressed anionic ligand-gated channels.

Balfanz S, Strünker T, Frings S, Baumann A. (2005). A family of octopamine [corrected] receptors that specifically induce cyclic AMP production or Ca2+ release in Drosophila melanogaster. J Neurochem. 93(2):440-51.

Abstract

Erratum in J Neurochem. 2005 Aug;94(4):1168.

Pubmed 

Kaneko H, Putzier I, Frings S, Kaupp UB, Gensch T. (2004). Chloride accumulation in mammalian olfactory sensory neurons. J Neurosci. 24(36):7931-8.

Abstract

The generation of an excitatory receptor current in mammalian olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) involves the sequential activation of two distinct types of ion channels: cAMP-gated Ca(2+)-permeable cation channels and Ca(2+)-gated Cl(-) channels, which conduct a depolarizing Cl(-) efflux. This unusual transduction mechanism requires an outward-directed driving force for Cl(-), established by active accumulation of Cl(-) within the lumen of the sensory cilia. We used two-photon fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy of the Cl(-)-sensitive dye 6-methoxy-quinolyl acetoethyl ester to measure the intracellular Cl(-) concentration in dendritic knobs of OSNs from mice and rats. We found a uniform intracellular Cl(-) concentration in the range of 40-50 mm, which is indicative of active Cl(-) accumulation. Functional assays and PCR experiments revealed that NKCC1-mediated Cl(-) uptake through the apical membrane counteracts Cl(-) depletion in the sensory cilia, and thus maintains the responsiveness of OSNs to odor stimulation. To permit Cl(-) accumulation, OSNs avoid the "chloride switch": they do not express KCC2, the main Cl(-) extrusion cotransporter operating in neurons of the adult CNS. Cl(-) accumulation provides OSNs with the driving force for the depolarizing Cl(-) current that is the basis of the low-noise receptor current in these neurons.

Bradley J, Bönigk W, Yau KW, Frings S. (2004). Calmodulin permanently associates with rat olfactory CNG channels under native conditions. Nat Neurosci. 7(7):705-10.

Abstract

An important mechanism by which vertebrate olfactory sensory neurons rapidly adapt to odorants is feedback modulation of the Ca(2+)-permeable cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) transduction channels. Extensive heterologous studies of homomeric CNGA2 channels have led to a molecular model of channel modulation based on the binding of calcium-calmodulin to a site on the cytoplasmic amino terminus of CNGA2. Native rat olfactory CNG channels, however, are heteromeric complexes of three homologous but distinct subunits. Notably, in heteromeric channels, we found no role for CNGA2 in feedback modulation. Instead, an IQ-type calmodulin-binding site on CNGB1b and a similar but previously unidentified site on CNGA4 are necessary and sufficient. These sites seem to confer binding of Ca(2+)-free calmodulin (apocalmodulin), which is then poised to trigger inhibition of native channels in the presence of Ca(2+).

Tewes M, Schleucher N, Achterrath W, Wilke HJ, Frings S, Seeber S, Harstrick A, Rustum YM, Vanhoefer U. (2003). Capecitabine and irinotecan as first-line chemotherapy in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer: results of an extended phase I study. Ann Oncol. 14(9):1442-8.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: To define the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) and to evaluate the dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) of the combination of capecitabine and irinotecan in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Thirty-seven patients with measurable metastatic colorectal cancer with no prior chemotherapy for metastatic disease were treated at three dose levels (DLs). For the first two dose levels, irinotecan (70 mg/m(2)) was administered once a week for 6 weeks in combination with 2 weeks of capecitabine at 1000 mg/m(2) (DL1) or 1250 mg/m(2) (DL2) twice daily, starting on days 1 and 22. In the last dose escalation step, the dose of irinotecan was increased to 80 mg/m(2) (DL3). One cycle lasted 7 weeks. RESULTS: In the subsequent phase I trial, 96 cycles of capecitabine and irinotecan were administered. At DL3, three out of six patients experienced DLTs (diarrhea, neutropenia, asthenia). In order to confirm the safety of the recommended dose, DL2 was extended to 15 patients. Five patients (33%) showed DLTs at this dose level, which was considered too high to embark on further clinical studies. Subsequently, the starting dose (DL1) was extended to a total of 16 patients, with diarrhea being the main toxicity. The overall response rate was 38% [95% confidence interval (CI) 21% to 58%], with a median response duration of 8.7 months (95% CI 6.4-11.5 months). CONCLUSIONS: The recommended doses for further studies are irinotecan 70 mg/m(2) and capecitabine 1000 mg/m(2). The combination of capecitabine and irinotecan appears to have significant therapeutic efficacy with manageable toxicity.

Reisert J, Bauer PJ, Yau KW, Frings S. (2003). The Ca-activated Cl channel and its control in rat olfactory receptor neurons. J Gen Physiol. 122(3):349-63.

Abstract

Odorants activate sensory transduction in olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) via a cAMP-signaling cascade, which results in the opening of nonselective, cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channels. The consequent Ca2+ influx through CNG channels activates Cl channels, which serve to amplify the transduction signal. We investigate here some general properties of this Ca-activated Cl channel in rat, as well as its functional interplay with the CNG channel, by using inside-out membrane patches excised from ORN dendritic knobs/cilia. At physiological concentrations of external divalent cations, the maximally activated Cl current was approximately 30 times as large as the CNG current. The Cl channels on an excised patch could be activated by Ca2+ flux through the CNG channels opened by cAMP. The magnitude of the Cl current depended on the strength of Ca buffering in the bath solution, suggesting that the CNG and Cl channels were probably not organized as constituents of a local transducisome complex. Likewise, Cl channels and the Na/Ca exchanger, which extrudes Ca2+, appear to be spatially segregated. Based on the theory of buffered Ca2+ diffusion, we determined the Ca2+ diffusion coefficient and calculated that the CNG and Cl channel densities on the membrane were approximately 8 and 62 micro m-2, respectively. These densities, together with the Ca2+ diffusion coefficient, demonstrate that a given Cl channel is activated by Ca2+ originating from multiple CNG channels, thus allowing low-noise amplification of the olfactory receptor current.

Hagen V, Frings S, Wiesner B, Helm S, Kaupp UB, Bendig J. (2003). [7-(Dialkylamino)coumarin-4-yl]methyl-Caged Compounds as Ultrafast and Effective Long-Wavelength Phototriggers of 8-Bromo-Substituted Cyclic Nucleotides. Chembiochem. 4(5):434-42.

Abstract

[7-(Dimethylamino)coumarin-4-yl]methyl (DMACM) and [7-(diethylamino)coumarin-4-yl]methyl (DEACM) esters of 8-bromoadenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (8-Br-cAMP) and 8-bromoguanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (8-Br-cGMP) are described as novel caged compounds for 8-bromo-substituted cyclic nucleotides. Synthesis is accomplished by treatment of the free acids of the cyclic nucleotides with the corresponding 7(dialkylamino)-substituted 4(diazomethyl)coumarins. Irradiation of the DMACM- and DEACM-caged cyclic nucleotides with UV light stimulates the release of the cyclic nucleotides within roughly a nanosecond. The new caged compounds are resistant to hydrolysis in aqueous buffers and exhibit long-wavelength absorption properties with maxima at 400 nm, high extinction coefficients, and high quantum yields (0.15-0.31). Their favorable properties render these compounds the most efficient and rapid phototriggers of 8-bromo-substituted cyclic nucleotides known. The usefulness of the compounds for physiological studies under nondamaging light conditions was examined in HEK293 cells expressing the alpha subunit of the cyclic-nucleotide-gated (CNG) channel of cone photoreceptors (CNGA3) and of olfactory neurons (CNGA2) by using confocal laser scanning microscopy and the patch clamp technique.

Hagen V, Frings S, Bendig J, Lorenz D, Wiesner B, Kaupp UB. (2002). Fluorescence spectroscopic quantification of the release of cyclic nucleotides from photocleavable [bis(carboxymethoxy)coumarin-4-yl]methyl esters inside cells. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 41(19):3625-8, 3516.

Abstract

PMID: 12370911 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Dunst J, Reese T, Sutter T, Zühlke H, Hinke A, Kölling-Schlebusch K, Frings S. (2002). Phase I trial evaluating the concurrent combination of radiotherapy and capecitabine in rectal cancer. J Clin Oncol. 20(19):3983-91.

Abstract

PURPOSE: To establish the feasibility of concurrent radiotherapy and capecitabine and define the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) in patients with rectal cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Thirty-six patients with rectal cancer received treatment in the adjuvant, neoadjuvant, or palliative setting with a total irradiation dose of 50.4 Gy with 1.8 Gy/d in approximately 6 weeks. Capecitabine was administered at escalating doses from 250 to 1,250 mg/m(2) bid (including weekends) for the duration of radiotherapy. The MTD was defined when two or more patients in a cohort of three or six patients experienced dose-limiting toxicities. RESULTS: Dose-limiting grade 3 hand-foot syndrome was observed in two of six patients treated at a capecitabine dose of 1,000 mg/m(2) bid. Other toxicities were generally rare and/or mild, with only one case of non-dose-limiting grade 3 diarrhea and a single patient with grade 3 skin toxicity. Myelosuppression consisted mainly of leukocytopenia, with a maximum severity of grade 2. Thus, a dosage of 825 mg/m(2) bid is the recommended dose level for further evaluation. One pathologic complete remission of a T3N1 tumor and nine partial remissions were observed in 10 patients treated in the neoadjuvant setting. CONCLUSION: The recommended dose for phase II evaluation is capecitabine 825 mg/m(2) bid, administered without break during a conventional radiotherapy period of about 6 weeks. This combined-modality approach proved to be a feasible and well-tolerated treatment option with promising preliminary efficacy results in rectal cancer.

Bradley J, Frings S, Yau KW, Reed R. (2001). Nomenclature for ion channel subunits. Science. 294(5549):2095-6.

Abstract

Bradley J, Reuter D, Frings S. (2001). Facilitation of calmodulin-mediated odor adaptation by cAMP-gated channel subunits. Science. 294(5549):2176-8.

Abstract

Calcium (Ca2+) influx through Ca2+-permeable ion channels plays a pivotal role in a variety of neuronal signaling processes, and negative-feedback control of this influx by Ca2+ itself is often equally important for modulation of such signaling. Negative modulation by Ca2+ through calmodulin (CaM) on cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channels underlies the adaptation of olfactory receptor neurons to odorants. We show that this feedback requires two additional subunits of the native olfactory channel, CNGA4 and CNGB1b, even though the machinery for CaM binding and modulation is present in the principal subunit CNGA2. This provides a rationale for the presence of three distinct subunits in the native olfactory channel and underscores the subtle link between the molecular make-up of an ion channel and the physiological function it subserves.

Frings S. (2001). Chemoelectrical signal transduction in olfactory sensory neurons of air-breathing vertebrates. Cell Mol Life Sci. 58(4):510-9.

Abstract

When odorants bind to the sensory cilia of olfactory sensory neurons, the cells respond with an electrical output signal, typically a short train of action potentials. This review describes the present state of knowledge about the olfactory signal transduction process. In the last decade, a set of transduction molecules has been identified which help to explain many aspects of the sensory response. Odor-induced second-messenger production, activation of transduction channels, the central role of the ciliary Ca2+ concentration, as well as mechanisms that mediate adaptation, are all qualitatively understood on the basis of a consistent scheme for chemoelectrical transduction. This scheme, although necessarily incomplete, can serve as a working model for further experimentation which may reveal kinetical aspects of signal transduction processes in olfactory sensory neurons.

Hagen V, Bendig J, Frings S, Eckardt T, Helm S, Reuter D, Kaupp UB. (2001). Highly Efficient and Ultrafast Phototriggers for cAMP and cGMP by Using Long-Wavelength UV/Vis-Activation This work was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the European Union, and the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie. We thank B. Dekowski and J. Loßmann for technical assistance and S. Hecht for proof reading. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 40(6):1045-1048.

Abstract

PMID: 11268067 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Ohyama T, Hackos DH, Frings S, Hagen V, Kaupp UB, Korenbrot JI. (2000). Fraction of the dark current carried by Ca(2+) through cGMP-gated ion channels of intact rod and cone photoreceptors. J Gen Physiol. 116(6):735-54.

Abstract

The selectivity for Ca(2+) over Na(+), PCa/PNa, is higher in cGMP-gated (CNG) ion channels of retinal cone photoreceptors than in those of rods. To ascertain the physiological significance of this fact, we determined the fraction of the cyclic nucleotide-gated current specifically carried by Ca(2+) in intact rods and cones. We activated CNG channels by suddenly (<5 ms) increasing free 8Br-cGMP in the cytoplasm of rods or cones loaded with a caged ester of the cyclic nucleotide. Simultaneous with the uncaging flash, we measured the cyclic nucleotide-dependent changes in membrane current and fluorescence of the Ca(2+)-binding dye, Fura-2, also loaded into the cells. The ratio of changes in fura-2 fluorescence and the integral of the membrane current, under a restricted set of experimental conditions, is a direct measure of the fractional Ca(2+) flux. Under normal physiological salt concentrations, the fractional Ca(2+) flux is higher in CNG channels of cones than in those of rods, but it differs little among cones (or rods) of different species. Under normal physiological conditions and for membrane currents </=200 pA, the Ca(2+) fractional flux in single cones of striped bass was 33 +/- 2%, and 34 +/- 6% in catfish cones. Under comparable conditions, the Ca(2+) fractional flux in rod outer segments of tiger salamander was 21 +/- 1%, and 14 +/- 1% in catfish rods. Fractional Ca(2+) flux increases as extracellular Ca(2+) rises, with a dependence well described by the Michaelis-Menten equation. KCa, the concentration at which Ca(2+) fractional flux is 50% was 1.98 mM in bass cones and 4.96 mM in tiger salamander rods. Because Ca(2+) fractional flux is higher in cones than in rods, light flashes that generate equal photocurrents will cause a larger change in cytoplasmic Ca(2+) in cones than in rods.

Mould JA, Drury JE, Frings SM, Kaupp UB, Pekosz A, Lamb RA, Pinto LH. (2000). Permeation and activation of the M2 ion channel of influenza A virus. J Biol Chem. 275(40):31038-50.

Abstract

The M(2) ion channel protein of influenza A virus is essential for mediating protein-protein dissociation during the virus uncoating process that occurs when the virus is in the acidic environment of the lumen of the secondary endosome. The difficulty of determining the ion selectivity of this minimalistic ion channel is due in part to the fact that the channel activity is so great that it causes local acidification in the expressing cells and a consequent alteration of reversal voltage, V(rev). We have confirmed the high proton selectivity of the channel (1.5-2.0 x 10(6)) in both oocytes and mammalian cells by using four methods as follows: 1) comparison of V(rev) with proton equilibrium potential; 2) measurement of pH(in) and V(rev) while Na(+)(out) was replaced; 3) measurements with limiting external buffer concentration to limit proton currents specifically; and 4) comparison of measurements of M(2)-expressing cells with cells exposed to a protonophore. Increased currents at low pH(out) are due to true activation and not merely increased [H(+)](out) because increased pH(out) stops the outward current of acidified cells. Although the proton conductance is the biologically relevant conductance in an influenza virus-infected cell, experiments employing methods 1-3 show that the channel is also capable of conducting NH(4)(+), probably by a different mechanism from H(+).

Frings S, Hackos DH, Dzeja C, Ohyama T, Hagen V, Kaupp UB, Korenbrot JI. ( 38. Methods Enzymol. 2000;315:797-817. ). Determination of fractional calcium ion current in cyclic nucleotide-gated channels. 38. Methods Enzymol. 2000;315:797-817.

Abstract

PMID: 10736742 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Hagen V, Bendig J, Frings S, Wiesner B, Schade B, Helm S, Lorenz D, Kaupp UB. (1999). Synthesis, photochemistry and application of (7-methoxycoumarin-4-yl)methyl-caged 8-bromoadenosine cyclic 3',5'-monophosphate and 8-bromoguanosine cyclic 3',5'-monophosphate photolyzed in the nanosecond time region. J Photochem Photobiol B. 53(1-3):91-102.

Abstract

New caged derivatives of hydrolysis-resistant 8-bromoadenosine cyclic 3',5'-monophosphate (8-Br-cAMP) and 8-bromoguanosine cyclic 3',5'-monophosphate (8-Br-cGMP) are described. The compounds are the axial and equatorial isomers of the (7-methoxycoumarin-4-yl)methyl (MCM) esters of cyclic nucleotides. Synthesis is accomplished by treatment of 4-bromomethyl-7-methoxycoumarin with the tetra-n-butylammonium salts of the 8-bromo-substituted cyclic nucleotides or with the free acids of 8-Br-cAMP and 8-Br-cGMP in the presence of silver(I) oxide. MCM-caged 8-Br-cAMP and MCM-caged 8-Br-cGMP liberate 8-Br-cAMP and 8-Br-cGMP during irradiation with ultraviolet light within a few nanoseconds. They show favorable absorption properties and quantum yields and are resistant to hydrolysis in aqueous buffer solutions. The moderate fluorescence properties of the caged compounds in comparison with the strongly fluorescent 4-hydroxymethyl-7-methoxycoumarin (MCM-OH) photoproduct allow the indirect estimation of the amount of photolytically released cyclic nucleotides in aqueous buffer solutions using fluorescence measurements. Their usefulness for physiological studies has been examined in a mammalian cell line expressing the cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channel of bovine olfactory sensory neurons using the patch-clamp technique and confocal laser scanning microscopy. The caged compounds serve as efficient and rapid intracellular sources of 8-Br-cAMP and 8-Br-cGMP. However, at least in HEK 293 cells, fluorescence signals cannot be used to monitor the photolysis of MCM-caged 8-Br-cAMP and 8-Br-cGMP, due to quenching of the fluorescence of MCM-OH.

Frings S, Reuter D, Kleene SJ. (2000). Neuronal Ca2+ -activated Cl- channels--homing in on an elusive channel species. Prog Neurobiol. 60(3):247-89.

Abstract

Ca2+ -activated Cl- channels control electrical excitability in various peripheral and central populations of neurons. Ca2+ influx through voltage-gated or ligand-operated channels, as well as Ca2+ release from intracellular stores, have been shown to induce substantial Cl- conductances that determine the response to synaptic input, spike rate, and the receptor current of various kinds of neurons. In some neurons, Ca2+ -activated Cl- channels are localized in the dendritic membrane, and their contribution to signal processing depends on the local Cl- equilibrium potential which may differ considerably from those at the membranes of somata and axons. In olfactory sensory neurons, the channels are expressed in ciliary processes of dendritic endings where they serve to amplify the odor-induced receptor current. Recent biophysical studies of signal transduction in olfactory sensory neurons have yielded some insight into the functional properties of Ca2+ -activated Cl- channels expressed in the chemosensory membrane of these cells. Ion selectivity, channel conductance, and Ca2+ sensitivity have been investigated, and the role of the channels in the generation of receptor currents is well understood. However, further investigation of neuronal Ca2+ -activated Cl- channels will require information about the molecular structure of the channel protein, the regulation of channel activity by cellular signaling pathways, as well as the distribution of channels in different compartments of the neuron. To understand the physiological role of these channels it is also important to know the Cl- equilibrium potential in cells or in distinct cell compartments that express Ca2+ -activated Cl- channels. The state of knowledge about most of these aspects is considerably more advanced in non-neuronal cells, in particular in epithelia and smooth muscle. This review, therefore, collects results both from neuronal and from non-neuronal cells with the intent of facilitating research into Ca2+ -activated Cl- channels and their physiological functions in neurons.

Bönigk W, Bradley J, Müller F, Sesti F, Boekhoff I, Ronnett GV, Kaupp UB, Frings S. (1999). The native rat olfactory cyclic nucleotide-gated channel is composed of three distinct subunits. J Neurosci. 19(13):5332-47.

Abstract

Cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channels play central roles in visual and olfactory signal transduction. In the retina, rod photoreceptors express the subunits CNCalpha1 and CNCbeta1a. In cone photoreceptors, only CNCalpha2 expression has been demonstrated so far. Rat olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) express two homologous subunits, here designated CNCalpha3 and CNCalpha4. This paper describes the characterization of CNCbeta1b, a third subunit expressed in OSNs and establishes it as a component of the native channel. CNCbeta1b is an alternate splice form of the rod photoreceptor CNCbeta1a subunit. Analysis of mRNA and protein expression together suggest co-expression of all three subunits in sensory cilia of OSNs. From single-channel analyses of native rat olfactory channels and of channels expressed heterologously from all possible combinations of the CNCalpha3, -alpha4, and -beta1b subunits, we conclude that the native CNG channel in OSNs is composed of all three subunits. Thus, CNG channels in both rod photoreceptors and olfactory sensory neurons result from coassembly of specific alpha subunits with various forms of an alternatively spliced beta subunit.

Frings S. (1999). Tuning Ca2+ permeation in cyclic nucleotide-gated channels. J Gen Physiol. 113(6):795-8.

Abstract

Comment on J Gen Physiol. 1999 Jun;113(6):799-818.

Dzeja C, Hagen V, Kaupp UB, Frings S. (1999). Ca2+ permeation in cyclic nucleotide-gated channels. EMBO J. 18(1):131-44.

Abstract

Cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channels conduct Na+, K+ and Ca2+ currents under the control of cGMP and cAMP. Activation of CNG channels leads to depolarization of the membrane voltage and to a concomitant increase of the cytosolic Ca2+ concentration. Several polypeptides were identified that constitute principal and modulatory subunits of CNG channels in both neurons and non-excitable cells, co-assembling to form a variety of heteromeric proteins with distinct biophysical properties. Since the contribution of each channel type to Ca2+ signaling depends on its specific Ca2+ conductance, it is necessary to analyze Ca2+ permeation for each individual channel type. We have analyzed Ca2+ permeation in all principal subunits of vertebrates and for a principal subunit from Drosophila melanogaster. We measured the fractional Ca2+ current over the physiological range of Ca2+ concentrations and found that Ca2+ permeation is determined by subunit composition and modulated by membrane voltage and extracellular pH. Ca2+ permeation is controlled by the Ca2+-binding affinity of the intrapore cation-binding site, which varies profoundly between members of the CNG channel family, and gives rise to a surprising diversity in the ability to generate Ca2+ signals.

Reuter D, Zierold K, Schröder WH, Frings S. (1998). A depolarizing chloride current contributes to chemoelectrical transduction in olfactory sensory neurons in situ. J Neurosci. 18(17):6623-30.

Abstract

Recent biophysical investigations of vertebrate olfactory signal transduction have revealed that Ca2+-gated Cl- channels are activated during odorant detection in the chemosensory membrane of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs). To understand the role of these channels in chemoelectrical signal transduction, it is necessary to know the Cl--equilibrium potential that determines direction and size of Cl- fluxes across the chemosensory membrane. We have measured Cl-, Na+, and K+ concentrations in ultrathin cryosections of rat olfactory epithelium, as well as relative element contents in isolated microsamples of olfactory mucus, using energy-dispersive x-ray microanalysis. Determination of the Cl- concentrations in dendritic knobs and olfactory mucus yielded an estimate of the Cl--equilibrium potential ECl in situ. With Cl- concentrations of 69 mM in dendritic knobs and 55 mM in olfactory mucus, we obtained an ECl value of +6 +/- 12 mV. This indicates that Ca2+-gated Cl- channels in olfactory cilia conduct inward currents in vivo carried by Cl- efflux into the mucus. Our results show that rat OSNs are among the few known types of neurons that maintain an elevated level of cytosolic Cl-. In these cells, activation of Cl- channels leads to depolarization of the membrane voltage and can induce electrical excitation. The depolarizing Cl- current in mammalian OSNs appears to contribute a major fraction to the receptor current and may sustain olfactory function in sweet-water animals.

Kaupp UB, Dzeja C, Frings S, Bendig J, Hagen V. ( 45. Methods Enzymol. 1998;291:415-30. ). Applications of caged compounds of hydrolysis-resistant analogs of cAMP and cGMP. 45. Methods Enzymol. 1998;291:415-30.

Abstract

PMID: 9661162 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Frings S, Brüll N, Dzeja C, Angele A, Hagen V, Kaupp UB, Baumann A. (1998). Characterization of ether-à-go-go channels present in photoreceptors reveals similarity to IKx, a K+ current in rod inner segments. J Gen Physiol. 111(4):583-99.

Abstract

In this study, we describe two splice variants of an ether-à-go-go (EAG) K+ channel cloned from bovine retina: bEAG1 and bEAG2. The bEAG2 polypeptide contains an additional insertion of 27 amino acids in the extracellular linker between transmembrane segments S3 and S4. The heterologously expressed splice variants differ in their activation kinetics and are differently modulated by extracellular Mg2+. Cooperativity of modulation by Mg2+ suggests that each subunit of the putative tetrameric channel binds a Mg2+ ion. The channels are neither permeable to Ca2+ ions nor modulated by cyclic nucleotides. In situ hybridization localizes channel transcripts to photoreceptors and retinal ganglion cells. Comparison of EAG currents with IKx, a noninactivating K+ current in the inner segment of rod photoreceptors, reveals an intriguing similarity, suggesting that EAG polypeptides are involved in the formation of Kx channels.

Müller F, Bönigk W, Sesti F, Frings S. (1998). Phosphorylation of mammalian olfactory cyclic nucleotide-gated channels increases ligand sensitivity. J Neurosci. 18(1):164-73.

Abstract

In vertebrate olfactory sensory neurons, odorant receptors couple the sensory signal to the synthesis of the second messenger cAMP. Cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channels are activated by binding of cAMP and conduct a depolarizing receptor current that leads to electrical excitation of the neuron. The sensitivity of olfactory CNG channels for cAMP can be significantly reduced by binding of calmodulin to a regulatory domain that resides within the N-terminus of the alpha-subunit of the channel. This regulatory domain also contains a consensus phosphorylation sequence for protein kinase C (PKC). We have investigated the effect of channel phosphorylation by PKC and found that phosphorylation increases ligand sensitivity without counteracting modulation of the channel by calmodulin. We have identified the amino acid residue that is phosphorylated by PKC and have localized three isoforms of PKC in olfactory sensory cilia. The results of this study provide information about the control of ligand sensitivity in olfactory CNG channels by an intrinsic regulatory domain, representing both a calmodulin-binding site and a substrate for PKC.

Frings S. ( 48. Adv Second Messenger Phosphoprotein Res. 1997;31:75-82. ). Cyclic nucleotide-gated channels and calcium: an intimate relation. 48. Adv Second Messenger Phosphoprotein Res. 1997;31:75-82.

Abstract

PMID: 9344243 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Hagen V, Dzeja C, Frings S, Bendig J, Krause E, Kaupp UB. (1996). Caged compounds of hydrolysis-resistant analogues of cAMP and cGMP: synthesis and application to cyclic nucleotide-gated channels. Biochemistry. 35(24):7762-71.

Abstract

Photolabile compounds which rapidly release cAMP or cGMP after photolysis are widely used for in situ studies of signaling pathways inside cells. We synthesized two novel caged compounds, 4,5-dimethoxy-2-nitrobenzyl 8-Br-cAMP (caged 8-Br-cAMP) and 4,5-dimethoxy-2-nitrobenzyl 8-Br-cGMP caged 8-BR-cGMP), which respectively release the hydrolysis-resistant analogues 8-Br-cAMP and 8-Br-cGMP. Their usefulness for physiological studies was examined in a mammalian cell line expressing the cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) ion channel of bovine olfactory sensory neurons. The synthesis procedure resulted in diastereomeric mixtures which were chromatographically separated into the axial and equatorial isomers of caged 8-BR-cAMP and of caged 8-BR-cGMP. The axial isomers which have a higher solubility and better solvolytic stability than the equatorial forms were used for experiments with CNG channels. Flashes of UV light produced steps in the concentration of 8-Br-cGMP which activated currents through CNG channels. Concentration steps inside the cell could be calibrated precisely using the relation between the ligand concentration and the normalized current. Similar results were obtained with caged 8-Br-cAMP. Control experiments with caged cGMP showed that flash-induced currents decayed within a few minutes because photoreleased cGMP was degraded by endogenous phosphodiesterase activity. The rise time of the 8-Br-cGMP-activated whole-cell current was consistent with a bimolecular reaction between channel and ligand.

Frings S, Seifert R, Godde M, Kaupp UB. (1995). Profoundly different calcium permeation and blockage determine the specific function of distinct cyclic nucleotide-gated channels. Neuron. 15(1):169-79.

Abstract

Sensory transduction in vertebrate photoreceptors and olfactory sensory neurons is mediated by cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channels that conduct mono- and divalent cations. Ca2+ entering the cell through CNG channels intimately controls signaling pathways by regulating several key enzymes. Cloned CNG channels from photoreceptors and olfactory sensory neurons profoundly differ in their relative Ca2+ permeability, their blockage by external divalent cations, and the fraction of current carried by Ca2+. In particular, CNG channels from cone photoreceptors conduct significantly more Ca2+ than those from rod photoreceptors. Furthermore, the current through the olfactory CNG channel is entirely carried by Ca2+ at approximately 3 mM extracellular Ca2+. These results suggest that a major function of CNG channels is to provide a pathway for Ca2+ entry.

Baumann A, Frings S, Godde M, Seifert R, Kaupp UB. (1994). Primary structure and functional expression of a Drosophila cyclic nucleotide-gated channel present in eyes and antennae. EMBO J. 13(21):5040-50.

Abstract

Cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) ion channels serve as downstream targets of signalling pathways in vertebrate photoreceptors and olfactory sensory neurons. Whether CNG channels subserve similar functions in invertebrate photoreception and olfaction is unknown. We have cloned genomic DNA and cDNA encoding a cGMP-gated channel from Drosophila. The gene contains at least seven exons. Heterologous expression of cloned cDNA in both Xenopus oocytes and HEK 293 cells gives rise to functional ion channels. The Drosophila CNG channel is approximately 50-fold more sensitive to cGMP than to cAMP. The voltage dependence of blockage by divalent cations is different compared with the CNG channel of rod photoreceptors, and the Ca2+ permeability is much larger. The channel mRNA is expressed in antennae and the visual system of Drosophila. It is proposed that CNG channels are involved in transduction cascades of both invertebrate photoreceptors and olfactory sensillae.

Weyand I, Godde M, Frings S, Weiner J, Müller F, Altenhofen W, Hatt H, Kaupp UB. (1994). Cloning and functional expression of a cyclic-nucleotide-gated channel from mammalian sperm. Nature. 368(6474):859-63.

Abstract

Cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channels serve as downstream targets of signalling pathways in vertebrate photoreceptor cells and olfactory sensory neurons (see ref. 1 for review). Ca2+ ions that enter through CNG channels intimately control these signalling pathways by regulating synthesis or hydrolysis of cyclic nucleotides, and by decreasing ligand sensitivity of CNG channels. Several lines of evidence suggest that cyclic nucleotides and Ca2+ play important roles in chemotaxis of invertebrate sperm and fertilization (see ref. 9 for review), whereas their mechanisms of action in vertebrate sperm are largely unknown. Here we report the cloning and functional expression of a novel CNG channel from bovine testis. The channel polypeptide was functionally localized in sperm, but is also specifically expressed in cone photoreceptor cells. These channels might be involved in chemotaxis of sperm by controlling Ca2+ entry through a cyclic-nucleotide signalling pathway.

Frings S. (1993). Protein kinase C sensitizes olfactory adenylate cyclase. J Gen Physiol. 101(2):183-205.

Abstract

Effects of neurotransmitters on cAMP-mediated signal transduction in frog olfactory receptor cells (ORCs) were studied using in situ spike recordings and radioimmunoassays. Carbachol, applied to the mucosal side of olfactory epithelium, amplified the electrical response of ORCs to cAMP-generating odorants, but did not affect unstimulated cells. A similar augmentation of odorant response was observed in the presence of phorbol dibutyrate (PDBu), an activator of protein kinase C (PKC). The electrical response to forskolin, an activator of adenylate cyclase (AC), was also enhanced by PDBu, and it was attenuated by the PKC inhibitor Goe 6983. Forskolin-induced accumulation of cAMP in olfactory tissue was potentiated by carbachol, serotonin, and PDBu to a similar extent. Potentiation was completely suppressed by the PKC inhibitors Goe 6983, staurosporine, and polymyxin B, suggesting that the sensitivity of olfactory AC to stimulation by odorants and forskolin was increased by PKC. Experiments with deciliated olfactory tissue indicated that sensitization of AC was restricted to sensory cilia of ORCs. To study the effects of cell Ca2+ on these mechanisms, the intracellular Ca2+ concentration of olfactory tissue was either increased by ionomycin or decreased by BAPTA/AM. Increasing cell Ca2+ had two effects on cAMP production: (a) the basal cAMP production was enhanced by a mechanism sensitive to inhibitors of calmodulin; and (b) similar to phorbol ester, cell Ca2+ caused sensitization of AC to stimulation by forskolin, an effect sensitive to Goe 6983. Decreasing cell Ca2+ below basal levels rendered AC unresponsive to stimulation by forskolin. These data suggest that a crosstalk mechanism is functional in frog ORCs, linking the sensitivity of AC to the activity of PKC. At increased activity of PKC, olfactory AC becomes more responsive to stimulation by odorants, forskolin, and cell Ca2+. Neurotransmitters appear to use this crosstalk mechanism to regulate olfactory sensitivity.

Frings S, Lynch JW, Lindemann B. (1992). Properties of cyclic nucleotide-gated channels mediating olfactory transduction. Activation, selectivity, and blockage. J Gen Physiol. 100(1):45-67.

Abstract

Cyclic nucleotide-gated channels (cng channels) in the sensory membrane of olfactory receptor cells, activated after the odorant-induced increase of cytosolic cAMP concentration, conduct the receptor current that elicits electrical excitation of the receptor neurons. We investigated properties of cng channels from frog and rat using inside-out and outside-out membrane patches excised from isolated olfactory receptor cells. Channels were activated by cAMP and cGMP with activation constants of 2.5-4.0 microM for cAMP and 1.0-1.8 for cGMP. Hill coefficients of dose-response curves were 1.4-1.8, indicating cooperativity of ligand binding. Selectivity for monovalent alkali cations and the Na/Li mole-fraction behavior identified the channel as a nonselective cation channel, having a cation-binding site of high field strength in the pore. Cytosolic pH effects suggest the presence of an additional titratable group which, when protonated, inhibits the cAMP-induced current with an apparent pK of 5.0-5.2. The pH effects were not voltage dependent. Several blockers of Ca2+ channels also blocked olfactory cng channels. Amiloride, D 600, and diltiazem inhibited the cAMP-induced current from the cytosolic side. Inhibition constants were voltage dependent with values of, respectively, 0.1, 0.3, and 1 mM at -60 mV, and 0.03, 0.02, and 0.2 mM at +60 mV. Our results suggest functional similarity between frog and rat cng channels, as well as marked differences to cng channels from photoreceptors and other tissues.

Frings S, Benz S, Lindemann B. (1991). Current recording from sensory cilia of olfactory receptor cells in situ. II. Role of mucosal Na+, K+, and Ca2+ ions. J Gen Physiol. 97(4):725-47.

Abstract

Action potential-driven current transients were recorded from sensory cilia and used to monitor the spike frequency generated by olfactory receptor neurons, which were maintained in their natural position in the sensory epithelium. Both basal and messenger-induced activities, as elicited with forskolin or cyclic nucleotides, were dependent on the presence of mucosal Na+. The spike rate decreased to approximately 20% when mucosal Na+ was lowered from 120 to 60 mM (replaced by N-methyl-D-glucamine+), without clear changes in amplitude and duration of the recorded action potential-driven transients. Mucosal Ca2+ and Mg2+ blocked spike discharge completely when increased from 1 to 10 mM in Ringer solution. Lowering mucosal Ca2+ below 1 mM increased the spike rate. These results can be explained by the presence of a cyclic nucleotide-dependent, Ca(2+)-sensitive cation conductance, which allows a depolarizing Na+ inward current to flow through the apical membrane of in situ receptor cells. A conductance with these properties, thought to provide the receptor current, was first described for isolated olfactory cells by Nakamura and Gold (1987. Nature (Lond.). 325:442-444). The forskolin-stimulated spike rate decreased when l-cis-diltiazem, a known blocker of the cyclic nucleotide-dependent receptor current, was added to the mucosal solution. Spike rate also decreased when the mucosal K+ concentration was lowered. Mucosal Ba2+ and 4-aminopyridine, presumably by means of cell depolarization, rapidly increased the spike rate. This suggests the presence of apical K+ channels that render the receptor cells sensitive to the K+ concentration of the olfactory mucus. With a slower time course, mucosal Ba2+ and 4-aminopyridine decreased the amplitude and caused rectification of the fast current transients (prolongation of action potentials). Abolishment of the apical Na+ current (by removal of mucosal Na+), as indicated by a strong decrease in spike rate, could be counteracted by adding 10 mM Ba2+ or 1 mM 4-aminopyridine to the mucosal solution, which re-established spiking. Similarly, blockage of the apical cation conductance with 10 mM Ca could be counteracted by adding 10 mM Ba2+ or by raising the mucosal K+ concentration. Thus mucosal concentrations of Na+, K+, and Ca2+ will jointly affect the sensitivity of odor detection.

Frings S, Lindemann B. (1991). Current recording from sensory cilia of olfactory receptor cells in situ. I. The neuronal response to cyclic nucleotides. J Gen Physiol. 97(1):1-16.

Abstract

The olfactory mucosa of the frog was isolated, folded (the outer, ciliated side faced outward), and separately superfused with Ringers solution on each side. A small number of sensory cilia (one to three) were pulled into the orifice of a patch pipette and current was recorded from them. Fast bipolar current transients, indicating the generation of action potentials by the receptor cells, were transmitted to the pipette, mainly through the ciliary capacitance. Basal activity was near 1.5 spikes s-1. Exposure of apical membrane areas outside of the pipette to permeant analogues of cyclic nucleotides, to forskolin, and to phosphodiesterase inhibitors resulted in a dose-dependent acceleration of spike rate of all cells investigated. Values of 10-20 s-1 were reached. These findings lend further support to the notion that cyclic nucleotides act as second messengers, which cause graded membrane depolarization and thereby a graded increase in spike rate. The stationary spike rate induced by forskolin was very regular, while phosphodiesterase inhibitors caused (in the same cell) an irregular pattern of bursts of spikes. The response of spike rate was phasic-tonic in the case of strong stimulation, even when elicited by inhibitors of phosphodiesterase or by analogues of cyclic nucleotides that are not broken down by the enzyme. Thus, one of the mechanisms contributing to desensitization appears to operate at the level of the nucleotide-induced ciliary conductance. However, desensitization at this level was slow and only partial, in contrast to results obtained with isolated, voltage-clamped receptor cells.

Frings S, Lindemann B. (1990). Single unit recording from olfactory cilia. Biophys J. 57(5):1091-4.

Abstract

Sensory cilia from olfactory receptor cells can be pulled into a patch pipette located above the mucus layer of an olfactory mucosa. While the pipette does not form a tight electrical seal with the ciliary membrane, it nevertheless allows to record current transients driven by action potentials arising in the olfactory neuron. This method is an alternative to single-unit-recording with electrodes pushed into the mucosa and, in some respects, to patch clamp recordings from isolated olfactory cells. Its advantage is technical simplicity and minimal disturbance of the neuron from which signals are derived. Less than 5% of the chemosensitive apical surface of the neuron is covered by the pipette. The neuron remains in situ and its cilia remain covered with some mucus. (However, mucus is in part dissolved by the bathing solution). Odorant thresholds in the picomolar range were thus obtained.

Frings SM, Purves RD, Macknight AD. (1990). Ion channels in urinary bladder. Ren Physiol Biochem. 13(1-2):112-28.

Abstract

Urinary epithelia separate urine from interstitial fluid. In the mammal, this tight epithelium has a limited transport capacity but is capable of moving sodium from urine to blood through an aldosterone-sensitive cellular pathway. In lower vertebrates, absorption of ions and water from the urine can contribute significantly to fluid and electrolyte homeostasis. Transepithelial ion transport and maintenance of cellular composition are interdependent, requiring a balance between movements across the apical and basolateral plasma membranes through a variety of pathways including electrodiffusion through ion channels. A variety of such channels has been identified in urinary epithelia. Apical membranes contain amiloride-sensitive, highly selective sodium channels of low conductance (approximately 5-10 pS). There is evidence that in mammalian bladders trypsin-like enzymes in the urine continually degrade these channels, decrease in cation selectivity being followed by loss of the channels from the membrane. New channels stored in the cytoplasm appear to provide a source for replenishment of the membrane. Other channels of higher conductance and lower selectivity have also been described in both mammalian and amphibian bladders, but their physiological significance remains to be established. Basolateral membranes contain potassium channels. In the mammalian bladder, in which chloride appears to be distributed at electrochemical equilibrium, chloride conductance exceeds potassium conductance and patch clamp studies have revealed a chloride channel of conductance approximately 60 pS detectable immediately on patch excision and active at normal membrane potentials. In the amphibian bladder, a variety of findings indicates the presence of a basolateral membrane chloride conductance, but patch clamp data are not yet available.

Frings S, Purves RD, Macknight AD. (1988). Single-channel recordings from the apical membrane of the toad urinary bladder epithelial cell. J Membr Biol. 106(2):157-72.

Abstract

The patch-clamp technique for the recording of single-channel currents was used to investigate the activity of ion channels in the intact epithelium of the toad urinary bladder. High resistance seals were obtained from the apical membrane of tightly stretched tissue. Single-channel recordings revealed the activity of a variety of ion channels that could be classified in 4 groups according to their mean ion conductances, ranging from 5 to 59 pS. In particular, we observed highly selective, amiloride-sensitive Na channels with a mean conductance of 4.8 pS, channels with a similar conductance that were not Na-selective and channels with mean conductance values of 17-58 pS that were mostly seen after stimulation of the tissue with vasopressin or cAMP. When inside-out patches from the apical membrane were exposed to 110 mM fluoride, large conductances (86-490 pS) appeared.

Frings S, Lindemann B. (1988). Odorant response of isolated olfactory receptor cells is blocked by amiloride. J Membr Biol. 105(3):233-43.

Abstract

Olfactory receptor cells were isolated from the nasal mucosa of Rana esculenta and patch clamped. Best results were obtained with free-floating cells showing ciliary movement. 1) On-cell mode: Current records were obtained for up to 50 min. Under control conditions they showed only occasional action potentials. The odorants cineole, amyl acetate and isobutyl methoxypyrazine were applied in saline by prolonged superfusion. At 500 nanomolar they elicited periodic bursts of current transients arising from cellular action potentials. The response was rapidly, fully and reversibly blocked by 50 microM amiloride added to the odorant solution. With 10 microM amiloride, the response to odorants was only partially abolished. 2) Whole-cell mode: Following breakage of the patch, the odorant response was lost within 5 to 15 min. Prior to this, odorants evoked a series of slow transient depolarizations (0.1/sec, 45 mV peak to peak) which reached threshold and thus elicited the periodic discharge of action potentials. These slow depolarizing waves were reversibly blocked by amiloride, which stabilized the membrane voltage between -80 and -90 mV. We conclude that amiloride inhibits chemosensory transduction of olfactory receptor cells, probably by blocking inward current pathways which open in response to odorants.

 


/var/www/cos/ / http://www.cos.uni-heidelberg.de/ Prof. Dr. Stephan Frings