The human ion channel TRPM2 modulates neuroblastoma cell survival and mitochondrial function through Pyk2, CREB, and MCU activation

Iwona Hirschler-Laszkiewicz, Shu Jen Chen, Lei Bao, Jufang Wang, Xue Qian Zhang, Santhanam Shanmughapriya, Kerry Keefer, Muniswamy Madesh, Joseph Y. Cheung, Barbara A. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Transient receptor potential melastatin channel subfamily member 2 (TRPM2) has an essential function in cell survival and is highly expressed in many cancers. Inhibition of TRPM2 in neuroblastoma by depletion with CRISPR technology or expression of dominant negative TRPM2-S has been shown to significantly reduce cell viability. Here, the role of proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 (Pyk2) in TRPM2 modulation of neuroblastoma viability was explored. In TRPM2-depleted cells, phosphorylation and expression of Pyk2 and cAMP-responsive element-binding protein (CREB), a downstream target, were significantly reduced after application of the chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin. Overexpression of wild-type Pyk2 rescued cell viability. Reduction of Pyk2 expression with shRNA decreased cell viability and CREB phosphorylation and expression, demonstrating Pyk2 modulates CREB activation. TRPM2 depletion impaired phosphorylation of Src, an activator of Pyk2, and this may be a mechanism to reduce Pyk2 phosphorylation. TRPM2 inhibition was previously demonstrated to decrease mitochondrial function. Here, CREB, Pyk2, and phosphorylated Src were reduced in mitochondria of TRPM2-depleted cells, consistent with their role in modulating expression and activation of mitochondrial proteins. Phosphorylated Src and phosphorylated and total CREB were reduced in TRPM2-depleted nuclei. Expression and function of mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU), a target of phosphorylated Pyk2 and CREB, were significantly reduced. Wild-type TRPM2 but not Ca2+-impermeable mutant E960D reconstituted phosphorylation and expression of Pyk2 and CREB in TRPM2-depleted cells exposed to doxorubicin. Results demonstrate that TRPM2 expression protects the viability of neuroblastoma through Src, Pyk2, CREB, and MCU activation, which play key roles in maintaining mitochondrial function and cellular bioenergetics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C571-C586
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 6 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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