Lowri M Davies

University of Liverpool, Liverpool, ENG, United Kingdom

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Publications (6)22.89 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: ATP-sensitive potassium channels (K(ATP) channels) of arterial smooth muscle are important regulators of arterial tone, and hence blood flow, in response to vasoactive transmitters. Recent biochemical and electron microscopic evidence suggests that these channels localise to small vesicular invaginations of the plasma membrane, known as caveolae, and interact with the caveolae-associated protein, caveolin. Here we report that interaction with caveolin functionally regulates the activity of the vascular subtype of K(ATP) channel, Kir6.1/SUR2B. Pinacidil-evoked recombinant whole-cell Kir6.1/SUR2B currents recorded in HEK293 cells stably expressing caveolin-1 (69.6 +/- 8.3 pA pF(1), n = 8) were found to be significantly smaller than currents recorded in caveolin-null cells (179.7 +/- 35.9 pA pF(1), n = 6; P < 0.05) indicating that interaction with caveolin may inhibit channel activity. Inclusion in the pipette-filling solution of a peptide corresponding to the scaffolding domain of caveolin-1 had a similar inhibitory effect on whole-cell Kir6.1/SUR2B currents as co-expression with full-length caveolin-1, while a scrambled version of the same peptide had no effect. Interestingly, intracellular dialysis of vascular smooth muscle cells with the caveolin-1 scaffolding domain peptide (SDP) also caused inhibition of pinacidil-evoked native whole-cell K(ATP) currents, indicating that a significant proportion of vascular K(ATP) channels are susceptible to block by exogenously applied SDP. In cell-attached recordings of Kir6.1/SUR2B single channel activity, the presence of caveolin-1 significantly reduced channel open probability (from 0.05 +/- 0.01 to 0.005 +/- 0.001; P < 0.05) and the amount of time spent in a relatively long-lived open state. These changes in kinetic behaviour can be explained by a caveolin-induced shift in the channel's sensitivity to its physiological regulator MgADP. Our findings thus suggest that interaction with caveolin-1 suppresses vascular-type K(ATP) channel activity. Since caveolin expression is regulated by cellular free cholesterol and plasma levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), this interaction may have implications in both the physiological and pathophysiological control of vascular function.
    The Journal of Physiology 09/2010; 588(Pt 17):3255-66. · 4.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: FANCD2, a pivotal protein in the Fanconi anemia and BRCA pathway/network, is monoubiquitylated in the nucleus in response to DNA damage. This study examines the subcellular location and relationship with prognostic factors and patient survival of FANCD2 in breast cancer. Antibodies to FANCD2 were used to immunocytochemically stain 16 benign and 20 malignant breast specimens as well as 314 primary breast carcinomas to assess its association with subcellular compartment and prognostic factors using Fisher's Exact test or with patient survival over 20 years using Wilcoxon-Gehan statistics. Immunoreactive FANCD2 was found in the nucleus and cytoplasm of all 16 benign tissues, but nuclear staining was lost from a significant 19/20 malignant carcinomas (P < 0.0001). Antibodies to FANCD2 stained the cytoplasm of 196 primary carcinomas, leaving 118 as negatively stained. Negative cytoplasmic staining was significantly associated with positive staining for the metastasis-inducing proteins S100A4, S100P, osteopontin, and AGR2 (P < or = 0.002). Survival of patients with FANCD2-negative carcinomas was significantly worse (P < 0.0001) than those with positively stained carcinomas, and only 4% were alive at the census date. Multivariate regression analysis identified negative staining for cytoplasmic FANCD2 as the most significant indicator of patient death (P = 0.001). Thus FANCD2's cytoplasmic loss in the primary carcinomas may allow the selection of cells overexpressing proteins that can induce metastases before surgery.
    American Journal Of Pathology 04/2010; 176(6):2935-47. · 4.52 Impact Factor
  • Biophysical Journal 01/2010; 98(3). · 3.67 Impact Factor
  • Biophysical Journal - BIOPHYS J. 01/2010; 98(3).
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    ABSTRACT: Exchange proteins directly activated by cyclic AMP (Epacs or cAMP-GEF) represent a family of novel cAMP-binding effector proteins. The identification of Epacs and the recent development of pharmacological tools that discriminate between cAMP-mediated pathways have revealed previously unrecognized roles for cAMP that are independent of its traditional target cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA). Here we show that Epac exists in a complex with vascular ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channel subunits and that cAMP-mediated activation of Epac modulates KATP channel activity via a Ca2+-dependent mechanism involving the activation of Ca2+-sensitive protein phosphatase 2B (PP-2B, calcineurin). Application of the Epac-specific cAMP analogue 8-pCPT-2'-O-Me-cAMP, at concentrations that activate Epac but not PKA, caused a 41.6 +/- 4.7% inhibition (mean +/- S.E.M.; n = 7) of pinacidil-evoked whole-cell KATP currents recorded in isolated rat aortic smooth muscle cells. Importantly, similar results were obtained when cAMP was elevated by addition of the adenylyl cyclase activator forskolin in the presence of the structurally distinct PKA inhibitors, Rp-cAMPS or KT5720. Activation of Epac by 8-pCPT-2'-O-Me-cAMP caused a transient 171.0 +/- 18.0 nM (n = 5) increase in intracellular Ca2+ in Fura-2-loaded aortic myocytes, which persisted in the absence of extracellular Ca2+. Inclusion of the Ca2+-specific chelator BAPTA in the pipette-filling solution or preincubation with the calcineurin inhibitors, cyclosporin A or ascomycin, significantly reduced the ability of 8-pCPT-2'-O-Me-cAMP to inhibit whole-cell KATP currents. These results highlight a previously undescribed cAMP-dependent regulatory mechanism that may be essential for understanding the physiological and pathophysiological roles ascribed to arterial KATP channels in the control of vascular tone and blood flow.
    The Journal of Physiology 07/2009; 587(Pt 14):3639-50. · 4.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The vasoconstrictor angiotensin II (Ang II) acts at G(q/11)-coupled receptors to suppress ATP-sensitive potassium (K(ATP)) channel activity via activation of protein kinase C (PKC). The aim of this study was to determine the PKC isoforms involved in the Ang II-induced inhibition of aortic K(ATP) channel activity and to investigate potential mechanisms by which these isoforms specifically target these ion channels. We show that the inhibitory effect of Ang II on pinacidil-evoked whole-cell rat aortic K(ATP) currents persists in the presence of Gö6976, an inhibitor of the conventional PKC isoforms, but is abolished by intracellular dialysis of a selective PKCepsilon translocation inhibitor peptide. This suggests that PKC-dependent inhibition of aortic K(ATP) channels by Ang II arises exclusively from the activation and translocation of PKCepsilon. Using discontinuous sucrose density gradients and Western blot analysis, we show that Ang II induces the translocation of PKCepsilon to cholesterol-enriched rat aortic smooth muscle membrane fractions containing both caveolin, a protein found exclusively in caveolae, and Kir6.1, the pore-forming subunit of the vascular K(ATP) channel. Immunogold electron microscopy of rat aortic smooth muscle plasma membrane sheets confirms both the presence of Kir6.1 in morphologically identifiable regions of the membrane rich in caveolin and Ang II-evoked migration of PKCepsilon to these membrane compartments. Ang II induces the recruitment of the novel PKC isoform, PKCepsilon, to arterial smooth muscle caveolae. This translocation allows PKCepsilon access to K(ATP) channels compartmentalized within these specialized membrane microdomains and highlights a potential role for caveolae in targeting PKC isozymes to an ion channel effector.
    Cardiovascular Research 11/2007; 76(1):61-70. · 5.94 Impact Factor