Signaling through the interleukin-4 and interleukin-13 receptor complexes regulates cholangiocyte TMEM16A expression and biliary secretion

Amal K. Dutta, Kristy Boggs, Al Karim Khimji, Yonas Getachew, Youxue Wang, Charles Kresge, Don C. Rockey, Andrew P. Feranchak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

TMEM16A is a Ca2+-activated Cl- channel in the apical membrane of biliary epithelial cells, known as cholangiocytes, which contributes importantly to ductular bile formation. Whereas cholangiocyte TMEM16A activity is regulated by extracellular ATP-binding membrane purinergic receptors, channel expression is regulated by interleukin- 4 (IL-4) through an unknown mechanism. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to identify the signaling pathways involved in TMEM16A expression and cholangiocyte secretion. Studies were performed in polarized normal rat cholangiocyte monolayers, human Mz-Cha-1 biliary cells, and cholangiocytes isolated from murine liver tissue. The results demonstrate that all the biliary models expressed the IL-4Rα/IL-13Rα1 receptor complex. Incubation of cholangiocytes with either IL-13 or IL-4 increased the expression of TMEM16A protein, which was associated with an increase in the magnitude of Ca2+-activated Cl- currents in response to ATP in single cells and the short-circuit current response in polarized monolayers. The IL-4- and IL-13-mediated increase in TMEM16A expression was also associated with an increase in STAT6 phosphorylation. Specific inhibition of JAK-3 inhibited the increase in TMEM16A expression and the IL-4-mediated increase in ATP-stimulated currents, whereas inhibition of STAT6 inhibited both IL-4- and IL-13-mediated increases in TMEM16A expression and ATP-stimulated secretion. These studies demonstrate that the cytokines IL-13 and IL-4 regulate the expression and function of biliary TMEM16A channels through a signaling pathway involving STAT6. Identification of this regulatory pathway provides new insight into biliary secretion and suggests new targets to enhance bile formation in the treatment of cholestatic liver disorders. NEW & NOTEWORTHY The Ca2+-activated Cl- channel transmembrane member 16A (TMEM16A) has emerged as an important regulator of biliary secretion and hence, ductular bile formation. The present studies represent the initial description of the regulation of TMEM16A expression in biliary epithelium. Identification of this regulatory pathway involving the IL-4 and IL-13 receptor complex and JAK-3 and STAT-6 signaling provides new insight into biliary secretion and suggests new therapeutic targets to enhance bile formation in the treatment of cholestatic liver disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G763-G771
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Volume318
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Bile formation
  • Biliary epithelium
  • Calcium-activated chloride channels
  • Interleukin-13
  • Interleukin-4
  • Janus kinase
  • Signal transducer and activator of transcription 6

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)

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