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Research Article

Cell Cycle-Dependent Localization of Voltage-Dependent Calcium Channels and the Mitotic Apparatus in a Neuroendocrine Cell Line(AtT-20)


Changes in intracellular calcium are necessary for the successful progression of mitosis in many cells. Both elevation and reduction in intracellular calcium can disrupt mitosis by mechanisms that remain ill defined. In this study we explore the role of transmembrane voltage-gated calcium channels (CaV channels) as regulators of mitosis in the mouse corticotroph cell line (AtT-20). We report that the nifedipine-sensitive isoform CaV1.2 is localized to the “poleward side” of kinetechores during metaphase and at the midbody during cytokinesis. A second nifedipine-sensitive isoform, CaV1.3, is present at the mid-spindle zone in telophase, but is also seen at the midbody. Nifedipine reduces the rate of cell proliferation, and, utilizing time-lapse microscopy, we show that this is due to a block at the prometaphase stage of the cell cycle. Using Fluo-4 we detect calcium fluxes at sites corresponding to the mid-spindle zone and the midbody region. Another calcium dye, Fura PE3/AM, causes an inhibition of mitosis prior to anaphase that we attribute to a chelation of intracellular calcium. Our results demonstrate a novel, isoform-specific localization of CaV1 channels during cell division and suggest a possible role for these channels in the calcium-dependent events underlying mitotic progression in pituitary corticotrophs.