Fusion of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) to the C-terminal of rat Na,K-ATPase a1-subunit is introduced as a novel procedure for visualizing trafficking of Na,K-pumps in living COS-1 renal cells in response to PKA or PKC stimulation. Stable, functional expression of the fluorescent chimera (Na,K-EGFP) was achieved in COS-1 cells using combined puromycin and ouabain selection procedures. Na,K-pump activities were unchanged after fusion with EGFP, both in basal and regulated states. In confocal laser scanning and fluorescence microscopes, the Na,K-EGFP chimera was distributed mainly along the plasma membrane of COS cells. In unstimulated COS cells, Na,K-EGFP was also present in lysosomes and in vesicles en route from the endoplasmic reticulum to the plasma membrane, but it was almost absent from recycling endosomes labelled with fluorescent transferrin. After activation of protein kinase A or C, the density of co-localizing Na,K-EGFP and transferrin vesicles was increased 3–4-fold, while the ouabain-sensitive 86Rb uptake was reduced by 22%. Simultaneous activation of PKA and PKC had additive effects with a 6-fold increase of co-localization and a 38% reduction of 86Rb uptake. Responses of similar magnitude were seen after inhibition of protein phosphatase by okadaic acid. Reduction of the amount of Na,K-ATPase in surface plasma membranes through internalization in recycling endosomes may thus in part explain a decrease in Na,K-pump activity following protein kinase activation or protein phosphatase inhibition.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2003
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