The AQP-3 water channel and the ClC-3 chloride channel coordinate the hypotonicity-induced swelling volume in nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells.Int J Biochem Cell Biol 2014; 57:96-107IJ
Cell volume regulation is a fundamental activity to maintain cell survival, and aquaporins and chloride channels play important roles in this process. However, the interactions between these channels are far from clear. In this study, the interactions between AQP-3 and ClC-3 were investigated in CNE-1 and CNE-2Z nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells, which are well and poorly differentiated, respectively. The correlation coefficient of AQP-3 and ClC-3 protein phylogenetic trees was 0.319. In CNE-1 cells, there are overlapping distributions of AQP-3 and ClC-3, mainly in the plasma membrane. This was confirmed by the co-immunoprecipitation of AQP-3 and ClC-3, showing that they could be interlinked and form complexes. AQP-3 over-expression had no significant effects on swelling-induced Cl(-) currents (ICl,swell); however, ICl,swell could be inhibited by aquaporin blockers, anti-AQP-3 antibodies and AQP-3-siRNAs. In addition, the AQP-3 expression was decreased by down-regulation of ClC-3 expression, indicating that ClC-3 can modulate the expression of AQP-3 proteins. The effects of aquaporin blockers, anti-AQP-3 antibodies and AQP-3 over-expression on ICl,swell in CNE-2Z cells were consistent with those in CNE-1 cells. In conclusion, AQP-3 and ClC-3 are functionally-related integral membrane channel proteins, and their interactions are involved in cell volume regulation in CNE-1 and CNE-2Z cells. The opening of ClC-3 transports Cl(-) across the cell membrane and then drives the efflux of water through AQP-3 channels and ion channels; AQP-3 may interact with ClC-3 in order to regulate the effluxes of chloride and water.