The mechanism behind Ca2+ entry into the parathyroid cells has been widely debated, and the molecular identities of the responsible ion channels have not been established yet. In this study, we show that the parathyroid cells lack voltage-operated Ca2+ channels. Passive store depletion by thapsigargin, on the other hand, induces a large non-voltage-activated non-selective cation current. The increase in intracellular Ca2+ caused by thapsigargin is attenuated by 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate, a blocker of store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE). Candidate molecules for non-voltage-operated Ca2+ signaling were investigated. These included members of the transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) ion channel family, as well as Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ modulator 1 (Orai1) and stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM1) that are key proteins in the SOCE pathway. Using RT-PCR screening, quantitative real-time PCR, and western blot, we showed expression of TRPC1, TRPC4, and TRPC6; Orai1; and STIM1 genes and proteins in normal and adenomatous human parathyroid tissues. Furthermore, co-immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated a ternary complex of TRPC1-Orai1-STIM1, supporting a physical interaction between these molecules in human parathyroid.
2010. Vol. 44, no 5, 285-294 p.