We here report on studies on the frog skin epithelium to identify the nature of its excretory H+ pump by comparing transport studies, using inhibitors highly specific for V-ATPases, with results from immunocytochemistry using V-ATPase-directed antibodies. Bafilomycin A1 (10 μm) blocked H+ excretion (69 ± 8% inhibition) and therefore Na+ absorption (61 ± 17% inhibition after 60 min application, n= 6) in open-circuited skins bathed on their apical side with a 1 mm Na2SO4 solution, ``low-Na+ conditions'' under which H+ and Na+ fluxes are coupled 1:1. The electrogenic outward H+ current measured in absence of Na+ transport (in the presence of 50 μm amiloride) was also blocked by 10 μm bafilomycin A1 or 5 μm concanamycin A. In contrast, no effects were found on the large and dominant Na+ transport (short-circuit current), which develops with apical solutions containing 115 mm Na+ (``high-Na+ conditions''), demonstrating a specific action on H+ transport. In immunocytochemistry, V-ATPase-like immunoreactivity to the monoclonal antibody E11 directed to the 31-kDa subunit E of the bovine renal V-ATPase was localized only in mitochondria-rich cells (i) in their apical region which corresponds to apical plasma membrane infoldings, and (ii) intracellularly in their neck region and apically around the nucleus. In membrane extracts of the isolated frog skin epithelium, the selectivity of the antibody binding was tested with immunoblots. The antibody labeled exclusively a band of about 31 kDa, very likely the corresponding subunit E of the frog V-ATPase. Our investigations now deliver conclusive evidence that H+ excretion is mediated by a V-ATPase being the electrogenic H+ pump in frog skin.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: May 15, 1997
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