Inhibition of the Aquaporin-1 Cation Conductance by Selected Furan Compounds Reduces Red Blood Cell Sickling

Chow, Pak Hin and Cox, Charles D. and Pei, Jinxin V. and Anabaraonye, Nancy and Nourmohammadi, Saeed and Henderson, Sam W. and Martinac, Boris and Abdulmalik, Osheiza and Yool, Andrea J. (2022) Inhibition of the Aquaporin-1 Cation Conductance by Selected Furan Compounds Reduces Red Blood Cell Sickling. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 12. ISSN 1663-9812

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In sickle cell disease (SCD), the pathological shift of red blood cells (RBCs) into distorted morphologies under hypoxic conditions follows activation of a cationic leak current (Psickle) and cell dehydration. Prior work showed sickling was reduced by 5-hydroxylmethyl-2-furfural (5-HMF), which stabilized mutant hemoglobin and also blocked the Psickle current in RBCs, though the molecular basis of this 5-HMF-sensitive cation current remained a mystery. Work here is the first to test the hypothesis that Aquaporin-1 (AQP1) cation channels contribute to the monovalent component of Psickle. Human AQP1 channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes were evaluated for sensitivity to 5-HMF and four derivatives known to have differential efficacies in preventing RBC sickling. Ion conductances were measured by two-electrode voltage clamp, and osmotic water permeability by optical swelling assays. Compounds tested were: 5-HMF; 5-PMFC (5-(phenoxymethyl)furan-2-carbaldehyde); 5-CMFC (5-(4-chlorophenoxymethyl)furan-2-carbaldehyde); 5-NMFC (5-(2-nitrophenoxymethyl)-furan-2-carbaldehyde); and VZHE006 (tert-butyl (5-formylfuran-2-yl)methyl carbonate). The most effective anti-sickling agent, 5-PMFC, was the most potent inhibitor of the AQP1 ion conductance (98% block at 100 microM). The order of sensitivity of the AQP1 conductance to inhibition was 5-PMFC > VZHE006 > 5-CMFC >/= 5-NMFC, which corresponded with effectiveness in protecting RBCs from sickling. None of the compounds altered AQP1 water channel activity. Combined application of a selective AQP1 ion channel blocker AqB011 (80 microM) with a selective hemoglobin modifying agent 5-NMFC (2.5 mM) increased anti-sickling effectiveness in red blood cells from human SCD patients. Another non-selective cation channel known to be expressed in RBCs, Piezo1, was unaffected by 2 mM 5-HMF. Results suggest that inhibition of AQP1 ion channels and capacity to modify hemoglobin are combined features of the most effective anti-sickling agents. Future therapeutics aimed at both targets could hold promise for improved treatments for SCD.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2022 04:21
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2022 04:01

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