Dendritic cells (DCs) are multi-potent regulators of the immune system. Many critical DC functions involve calcium (Ca2+) signaling. Ca2+ is the most versatile eukaryotic intracellular messenger that mediates regulation of many processes important to cell life. Ca2+ levels in DCs and many other immune cell types are tightly regulated through multiple mechanisms during the resting state as well as during activation. Chemokine receptor stimulation increases intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) and chemotaxis in DCs. Despite important advances in our understanding of Ca2+ signaling in lymphocytes, the molecular players involved in shaping intracellular Ca2+ in DCs remain to be characterized. The current paradigm states that increases in DC cytosolic Ca2+ levels are caused by release from endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2+ stores and/or via influx of extracellular Ca2+ by opening of store-operated Ca2+ channels at the plasma membrane. We propose a novel Ca2+ release mechanism in DCs, which operates via a Ca2+ channel expressed on lysosomal compartments and, we postulate this pathway is essential for Ca2+-dependent DC functions. Preliminary data that support our proposal show: i) Exclusive localization of functional Ca2+-permeant melastatin-related transient receptor potential channel (TRPM2) in endolysosomal compartments of DCs. ii) Both adenosine diphosphoribose (ADPR) and chemokines induce TRPM2 mediated Ca2+ signals in DCs, iii) TRPM2 channel acts as a Ca2+ release channel in DCs. iv) TRPM2-deficient DCs exhibit impaired chemotactic responses to chemokines. v) TRPM2-deficient mice elicit reduced inflammatory recruitment upon infection. Based upon these data, we hypothesize that: TRPM2 functions as an intracellular lysosome- associated calcium release channel that regulates Ca2+-dependent processes in DCs. To critically test our hypothesis, we propose the following specific aims:
Aim 1. Identify mechanisms of activation of Ca2+ release via TRPM2 channel, and elucidate how this pathway impacts on DC Ca2+-dependent functions.
Aim 2. Define the specific roles for TRPM2-mediated Ca2+ signaling in DCs during inflammation, immunization and cellular inflammatory infiltration to the mucosa using a mouse model of urinary tract infection. The findings from this proposal will provide insights into how the intracellular function of TRPM2 channel affects Ca2+-mediated signal transduction pathways that play a central regulatory role during DC responses. The completion of these studies will unveil the utility of new pharmacological targets (ADPR and/or TRPM2) for manipulation of DCs'Ca2+responses and functions, and will further facilitate the design of new therapeutic strategies for chronic inflammatory or infectious diseases, where DCs may play important pathogenic roles.

Public Health Relevance

Dendritic cells play a critical role in initiating and regulating immunity. This grant proposes to elucidate a novel calcium release mechanism that regulates calcium homeostasis and therefore, calcium-dependent functions in dendritic cells. The successful completion of the experiments proposed here will provide insights into a signaling pathway in dendritic cells, which has strong potential to uncover novel therapeutic targets, and unappreciated approaches for chronic inflammatory diseases.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Research Project (R01)
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Innate Immunity and Inflammation Study Section (III)
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Palker, Thomas J
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Nationwide Children's Hospital
United States
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