Transient receptor potential canonical channels are essential for chemotactic migration of human malignant gliomas



The majority of malignant primary brain tumors are gliomas, derived from glial cells. Grade IV gliomas, Glioblastoma multiforme, are extremely invasive and the clinical prognosis for patients is dismal. Gliomas utilize a number of proteins and pathways to infiltrate the brain parenchyma including ion channels and calcium signaling pathways. In this study, we investigated the localization and functional relevance of transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) channels in glioma migration. We show that gliomas are attracted in a chemotactic manner to epidermal growth factor (EGF). Stimulation with EGF results in TRPC1 channel localization to the leading edge of migrating D54MG glioma cells. Additionally, TRPC1 channels co-localize with the lipid raft proteins, caveolin-1 and β-cholera toxin, and biochemical assays show TRPC1 in the caveolar raft fraction of the membrane. Chemotaxis toward EGF was lost when TRPC channels were pharmacologically inhibited or by shRNA knockdown of TRPC1 channels, yet without affecting unstimulated cell motility. Moreover, lipid raft integrity was required for gliomas chemotaxis. Disruption of lipid rafts not only impaired chemotaxis but also impaired TRPC currents in whole cell recordings and decreased store-operated calcium entry as revealed by ratiomeric calcium imaging. These data indicated that TRPC1 channel association with lipid rafts is essential for glioma chemotaxis in response to stimuli, such as EGF. J. Cell. Physiol. 226: 1879–1888, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.