Proton-sensing G protein-coupled receptor mobilizes calcium in human synovial cells.
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Lowered extracellular pH in a variety of tissues is associated with increased tissue destruction and initiation of inflammatory processes. Although the acid-sensing receptors described previously are ion channels, we describe a G protein-coupled proton-sensitive receptor that stimulates Ca(2+) release from intracellular stores in a tumor-derived synoviocyte cell line (SW982) and in primary cultures of human synovial cells from patients with inflammatory arthropathies. We established a link between proton-dependent receptor activation and intracellular Ca(2+) mobilization by demonstrating 1) dependence on the integrity of the intracellular Ca(2+) store, 2) independence from extracellular Ca(2+), and 3) proton-induced production of inositol phosphate and 4) by abolishing the effect with GTPase inhibitors. We propose that this G protein-coupled acid-sensing receptor linked to intracellular Ca(2+) mobilization in synoviocytes can contribute to downstream inflammatory and cellular proliferative processes in synovial fibroblasts. The acid-sensing receptor has distinct characteristics as a metabotropic G protein-coupled receptor on human synoviocytes in this emerging new class of receptors.