Vasopressin stimulates the activity of the epithelial Na channel (ENaC) through the cAMP/PKA pathway in the cortical collecting tubule, or in similar amphibian epithelia, but the mechanism of this regulation is not yet understood. This stimulation by cAMP could not be reproduced with the rat or Xenopus ENaC expressed in Xenopus oocyte. Recently, it was shown that the α-subunit cloned from the guinea-pig colon (αgp) could confer the ability to be activated by the membrane-permeant cAMP analogue 8-chlorophenyl-thio-cAMP (cpt-cAMP) to channels produced by expression of αgp, βrat and γrat ENaC subunits. In this study we investigate the mechanism of this activation. Forskolin treatment, endogenous production of cAMP by activation of coexpressed β adrenergic receptors, or intracellular perfusion with cAMP did not increase the amiloride-sensitive Na current, even though these maneuvers stimulated CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator)-mediated Cl currents. In contrast, extracellular 8-cpt-cAMP increased αgp, βrat and γrat ENaC activity but had no effect on CFTR. Swapping intracellular domains between the cpt-cAMP-sensitive αgp and the cpt-cAMP-resistant αrat-subunit showed that neither the N-terminal nor the C-terminal of α ENaC was responsible for the effect of cpt-cAMP. The mechanisms of activation of ENaC by cpt-cAMP and of CFTR by the cAMP/PKA pathway are clearly different. cpt-cAMP seems to increase the activity of ENaC formed by αgp and βγrat by interacting with the extracellular part of the protein.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 2001
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