The Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) superfamily consists of cationselective and non-selective ion channels playing an important role both in sensory physiology and in physiopathology in several complex diseases including cancers. Among TRP family, the mucolipin (TRPML1, -2, and -3) channels represent a distinct subfamily of endosome/lysosome Ca2+channel proteins. Loss-of-function mutations in human TRPML-1 gene cause a neurodegenerative disease, Mucolipidosis Type IV, whereas at present no pathology has been associated to human TRPML-2 channels. Herein we found that human TRPML-2 is expressed both in normal astrocytes and neural stem/progenitor cells. By quantitative RT-PCR, western blot, cytofluorimetric and immunohistochemistry analysis we also demonstrated that TRPML-2 mRNA and protein are expressed at different levels in glioma tissues and high-grade glioma cell lines of astrocytic origin. TRPML-2 mRNA and protein levels increased with the pathological grade, starting from pylocitic astrocytoma (grade I) to glioblastoma (grade IV). Moreover, by RNA interference, we demonstrated a role played by TRPML-2 in survival and proliferation of glioma cell lines. In fact, knock-down of TRPML-2 inhibited the viability, altered the cell cycle, reduced the proliferation and induced apoptotic cell death in glioma cell lines. The DNA damage and apoptosis induced by TRPML-2 loss increased Ser139 H2AX phosphorylation and induced caspase-3 activation; furthermore, knock-down of TRPML-2 in T98 and U251 glioma cell lines completely abrogated Akt and Erk1/2 phosphorylation, as compared to untreated cells. Overall, the high TRPML-2 expression in glioma cells resulted in increased survival and proliferation signaling, suggesting a pro-tumorigenic role played by TRPML-2 in glioma progression.
Morelli, M. B., Nabissi, M., Amantini, C., Tomassoni, D., Rossi, F., Cardinali, C., … Santoni, G. (2016). Overexpression of transient receptor potential mucolipin-2 ion channels in gliomas: role in tumor growth and progression. Oncotarget, 7(28). https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9661