Evidence for Ca2+-regulated ATP release in gastrointestinal stromal tumors

Erik Berglund, David Berglund, Pinar Akcakaya, Mehran Ghaderi, Elisabetta Daré, Per Olof Berggren, Martin Köhler, Craig A. Aspinwall, Weng Onn Lui, Jan Zedenius, Catharina Larsson, Robert Bränström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are thought to originate from the electrically active pacemaker cells of the gastrointestinal tract. Despite the presence of synaptic-like vesicles and proteins involved in cell secretion it remains unclear whether GIST cells possess regulated release mechanisms. The GIST tumor cell line GIST882 was used as a model cell system, and stimulus-release coupling was investigated by confocal microscopy of cytoplasmic free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i), flow cytometry, and luminometric measurements of extracellular ATP. We demonstrate that GIST cells have an intact intracellular Ca2+-signaling pathway that regulates ATP release. Cell viability and cell membrane integrity was preserved, excluding ATP leakage due to cell death and suggesting active ATP release. The stimulus-secretion signal transduction is at least partly dependent on Ca2+ influx since exclusion of extracellular Ca2+ diminishes the ATP release. We conclude that measurements of ATP release in GISTs may be a useful tool for dissecting the signal transduction pathway, mapping exocytotic components, and possibly for the development and evaluation of drugs. Additionally, release of ATP from GISTs may have importance for tumor tissue homeostasis and immune surveillance escape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1229-1238
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - May 1 2013


  • ATP release
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Flow cytometry
  • GIST
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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