Mechanosensitive Pannexin 1 Activity Is Modulated by Stomatin in Human Red Blood Cells.
Pannexin 1 (PANX1) was proposed to drive ATP release from red blood cells (RBCs) in response to stress conditions. Stomatin, a membrane protein regulating mechanosensitive channels, has been proposed to modulate PANX1 activity in non-erythroid cells. To determine whether stomatin modulates PANX1 activity in an erythroid context, we have (i) assessed the in situ stomatin-PANX1 interaction in RBCs, (ii) measured PANX1-stimulated activity in RBCs expressing stomatin or from OverHydrated Hereditary Stomatocytosis (OHSt) patients lacking stomatin, and in erythroid K562 cells invalidated for stomatin. Proximity Ligation Assay coupled with flow imaging shows 27.09% and 6.13% positive events in control and OHSt RBCs, respectively. The uptake of dyes 5(6)-Carboxyfluorescein (CF) and TO-PRO-3 was used to evaluate PANX1 activity. RBC permeability for CF is 34% and 11.8% in control and OHSt RBCs, respectively. PANX1 permeability for TO-PRO-3 is 35.72% and 18.42% in K562 stom+ and stom- clones, respectively. These results suggest an interaction between PANX1 and stomatin in human RBCs and show a significant defect in PANX1 activity in the absence of stomatin. Based on these results, we propose that stomatin plays a major role in opening the PANX1 pore by being involved in a caspase-independent lifting of autoinhibition.