Sodium absorption by semicircular canal duct (SCCD) epithelial cells is thought to contribute to the homeostasis of the volume of vestibular endolymph. It was previously shown that the epithelial cells could absorb Na+ under control of a glucocorticoid hormone (dexamethasone) and the absorptive transepithelial current was blocked by amiloride. The most commonly-observed target of amiloride is the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC), comprised of the three subunits α-, β- and γ-ENaC. However, other cation channels have also been observed to be sensitive in a similar concentration range. The aim of this study was to determine whether SCCD epithelial cells absorb only Na+ or also K+ through an amiloride-sensitive pathway. Parasensory K+ absorption could contribute to regulation of the transduction current through hair cells, as found to occur via vestibular transitional cells [S. H. Kim and D. C. Marcus. Regulation of sodium transport in the inner ear. Hear.Res. doi:10.1016/j.heares.2011.05.003, 2011].
We determined the molecular and functional expression of candidate cation channels with gene array (GEO GSE6197), whole-cell patch clamp and transepithelial recordings in primary cultures of rat SCCD. α-, β- and γ-ENaC were all previously reported as present. The selectivity of the amiloride-sensitive transepithelial and cell membrane currents was observed in Ussing chamber and whole-cell patch clamp recordings. The cell membrane currents were carried by Na+ but not K+, but the Na+ selectivity disappeared when the cells were cultured on impermeable supports. Transepithelial currents across SCCD were also carried exclusively by Na+.
These results are consistent with the amiloride-sensitive absorptive flux of SCCD mediated by a highly Na+-selective channel, likely αβγ-ENaC. These epithelial cells therefore absorb only Na+ via the amiloride-sensitive pathway and do not provide a parasensory K+ efflux from the canals via this pathway. The results further provide caution to the culture of epithelial cells on impermeable surfaces.
Na+ concentrations in endolymph must be controlled to maintain hair cell function since the transduction channels of hair cells are cation-permeable, but not K+-selective. Flooding or fluctuations of the hair cell cytosol with Na+ would be expected to lead to cellular dysfunction, hearing loss and vertigo. This review briefly describes cellular mechanisms known to be responsible for Na+homeostasis in each compartment of the inner ear, including the cochlea, saccule, semicircular canals and endolymphatic sac. The influx of Na+into endolymph of each of the organs is likely via passive diffusion, but these pathways have not yet been identified or characterized. Na+ absorption is controlled by gate -keeper channels in the apical (endolymphatic) membrane of the transporting cells. Highly Na+-selective epithelial sodium channels (ENaC) control absorption by Reissner’s membrane, saccular extramacular epithelium, semicircular canal duct epithelium and endolymphatic sac. ENaC activity is controlled by a number of signal pathways, but most notably by genomic regulation of channel numbers in the membrane via glucocorticoid signaling. Nonselective cation channels in the apical membrane of outer sulcus epithelial cells and vestibular transitional cells mediate Na+ and parasensory K+ absorption. The K+-mediated transduction current in hair cells is also accompanied by a Na+ flux since the transduction channels are nonselective cation channels. Cation absorption by all of these cells is regulated by extracellular ATP via apical nonselective cation channels (P2X receptors). The heterogeneous population of epithelial cells in the endolymphatic sac is thought to have multiple absorptive pathways for Na+ with regulatory pathways that include glucocorticoids and purinergic agonists.
inner ear; sodium homeostasis; epithelial sodium channel; Meniere’s disease
Transepithelial transport of Na+ across the lung epithelium via amiloride-sensitive Na+ channels (ENaC) regulates fluid volume in the lung lumen. Activators of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), the adenosine monophosphate mimetic AICAR, and the biguanide metformin decreased amiloride-sensitive apical Na+ conductance (GNa+) in human H441 airway epithelial cell monolayers. Cell-attached patch-clamp recordings identified two distinct constitutively active cation channels in the apical membrane that were likely to contribute to GNa+: a 5-pS highly Na+ selective ENaC-like channel (HSC) and an 18-pS nonselective cation channel (NSC). Substituting NaCl with NMDG-Cl in the patch pipette solution shifted the reversal potentials of HSC and NSC, respectively, from +23 mV to −38 mV and 0 mV to −35 mV. Amiloride at 1 μM inhibited HSC activity and 56% of short-circuit current (Isc), whereas 10 μM amiloride partially reduced NSC activity and inhibited a further 30% of Isc. Neither conductance was associated with CNG channels as there was no effect of 10 μM pimoside on Isc, HSC, or NSC activity, and 8-bromo-cGMP (0.3–0.1 mM) did not induce or increase HSC or NSC activity. Pretreatment of H441 monolayers with 2 mM AICAR inhibited HSC/NSC activity by 90%, and this effect was reversed by the AMPK inhibitor Compound C. All three ENaC proteins were identified in the apical membrane of H441 monolayers, but no change in their abundance was detected after treatment with AICAR. In conclusion, activation of AMPK with AICAR in H441 cell monolayers is associated with inhibition of two distinct amiloride-sensitive Na+-permeable channels by a mechanism that likely reduces channel open probability.
5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-1-β-d-ribofuranoside; AMP-activated protein kinase; ENaC
The terminal nephron segment, the inner medullary collecting duct (IMCD), absorbs Na+ by an electrogenic process that involves the entry through an apical (luminal) membrane Na+ channel. To understand the nature of this Na+ channel, we employed the patch clamp technique on the apical membrane of primary cultures of rat IMCD cells grown on permeable supports. We found that all ion channels detected in the cell-attached configuration were highly selective for Na+ (Li+) over K+. The open/closed transitions showed slow kinetics, had a slope conductance of 6-11 pS, and were sensitive to amiloride and benzamil. Nonselective cation channels with a higher conductance (25-30 pS), known to be present in IMCD cells, were not detected in the cell-attached configuration, but were readily detected in excised patches. The highly selective channels had properties similar to the recently described rat epithelial Na+ channel complex, rENaC. We therefore asked whether rENaC mRNA was present in the IMCD. We detected mRNA for all three rENaC subunits in rat renal papilla and also in primary cultures of the IMCD. Either glucocorticoid hormone or mineralocorticoid hormone increased the amount of alpha-rENaC subunit mRNA but had no effect on the mRNA level of the beta-rENaC or gamma-rENaC subunits. From these data, taken in the context of other studies on the characteristics of Na+ selective channels and the distribution of rENaC mRNA, we conclude that steroid stimulated Na+ absorption by the IMCD is mediated primarily by Na+ channels having properties of the rENaC subunit complex.
The amiloride-sensitive epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) plays a prominent role in sodium uptake from alveolar fluid, and is the major component in alveolar fluid clearance in normal and diseased lungs. The lectin-like domain of TNF-α has been shown to activate amiloride-sensitive sodium uptake in type II alveolar epithelial cells. Therefore, several synthetic peptides that mimic the lectin-like domain of TNF-α (TIP) were synthesised and their ability to enhance sodium current through ENaC was studied in A549 cells with the patch clamp technique. Our data suggest that a free positively-charged N-terminal amino group on residue 1 and/or a free negatively-charged carboxyl group on residue 17 of the TIP peptide is essential for the ENaC-activating effect. Ventilation strategies apart, no standard treatment exists for pulmonary permeability oedema. Therefore, novel therapies activating sodium uptake from the alveolar fluid via ENaC could improve clinical outcome.
The amiloride-sensitive epithelial sodium channel (ENaC), a plasma membrane protein mediates sodium reabsorption in epithelial tissues, including the distal nephron and colon. Syntaxin1A, a trafficking protein of the t-SNARE family has been reported to inhibit ENaC in the Xenopus oocyte expression and artificial lipid bilayer systems. The present report describes the regulation of the epithelial sodium channel by syntaxin1A in a human cell line that is physiologically relevant as it expresses both components and also responds to aldosterone stimulation. In order to evaluate the physiological significance of syntaxin1A interaction with natively expressed ENaC, we over-expressed HT-29 with syntaxin1A constructs comprising various motifs. Unexpectedly, we observed the augmentation of amiloride-sensitive currents with wild-type syntaxin1A full-length construct (1-288) in this cell line. Both γENaC and neutralizing syntaxin1A antibodies blocked native expression as amiloride-sensitive sodium currents were inhibited while munc18-1 antibody reversed this effect. The coiled-coiled domain H3 (194-266) of syntaxin1A inhibited, however the inclusion of the transmembrane domain to this motif (194-288) augmented amiloride sensitive currents. More so, data suggest that ENaC interacts with multiple syntaxin1A domains, which differentially regulate channel function. This functional modulation is the consequence of the physical enhancement of ENaC at the cell surface in cells over-expressed with syntaxin(s). Our data further suggest that syntaxin1A up-regulates ENaC function by multiple mechanisms that include PKA, PLC, PI3 and MAP Kinase (p42/44) signaling systems. We propose that syntaxin1A possesses distinct inhibitory and stimulatory domains that interact with ENaC subunits, which critically determines the overall ENaC functionality/regulation under distinct physiological conditions.
ENaC; Syntaxin1A; HT-29 colonic epithelial cells
Regulation of sodium balance is a critical factor in the maintenance of euvolemia, and dysregulation of renal sodium excretion results in disorders of altered intravascular volume, such as hypertension. The amiloride-sensitive epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) is thought to be the only mechanism for sodium transport in the cortical collecting duct (CCD) of the kidney. However, it has been found that much of the sodium absorption in the CCD is actually amiloride insensitive and sensitive to thiazide diuretics, which also block the Na-Cl cotransporter (NCC) located in the distal convoluted tubule. In this study, we have demonstrated the presence of electroneutral, amiloride-resistant, thiazide-sensitive, transepithelial NaCl absorption in mouse CCDs, which persists even with genetic disruption of ENaC. Furthermore, hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) increased excretion of Na+ and Cl– in mice devoid of the thiazide target NCC, suggesting that an additional mechanism might account for this effect. Studies on isolated CCDs suggested that the parallel action of the Na+-driven Cl–/HCO3– exchanger (NDCBE/SLC4A8) and the Na+-independent Cl–/HCO3– exchanger (pendrin/SLC26A4) accounted for the electroneutral thiazide-sensitive sodium transport. Furthermore, genetic ablation of SLC4A8 abolished thiazide-sensitive NaCl transport in the CCD. These studies establish what we believe to be a novel role for NDCBE in mediating substantial Na+ reabsorption in the CCD and suggest a role for this transporter in the regulation of fluid homeostasis in mice.
Endogenous serine proteases have been reported to control the reabsorption of Na+ by kidney- and lung-derived epithelial cells via stimulation of electrogenic Na+ transport mediated by the epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC). In this study we investigated the effects of aprotinin on ENaC single channel properties using transepithelial fluctuation analysis in the amphibian kidney epithelium, A6. Aprotinin caused a time- and concentration-dependent inhibition (84 ± 10.5%) in the amiloride-sensitive sodium transport (INa) with a time constant of 18 min and half maximal inhibition constant of 1 μM. Analysis of amiloride analogue blocker–induced fluctuations in INa showed linear rate–concentration plots with identical blocker on and off rates in control and aprotinin-inhibited conditions. Verification of open-block kinetics allowed for the use of a pulse protocol method (Helman, S.I., X. Liu, K. Baldwin, B.L. Blazer-Yost, and W.J. Els. 1998. Am. J. Physiol. 274:C947–C957) to study the same cells under different conditions as well as the reversibility of the aprotinin effect on single channel properties. Aprotinin caused reversible changes in all three single channel properties but only the change in the number of open channels was consistent with the inhibition of INa. A 50% decrease in INa was accompanied by 50% increases in the single channel current and open probability but an 80% decrease in the number of open channels. Washout of aprotinin led to a time-dependent restoration of INa as well as the single channel properties to the control, pre-aprotinin, values. We conclude that protease regulation of INa is mediated by changes in the number of open channels in the apical membrane. The increase in the single channel current caused by protease inhibition can be explained by a hyperpolarization of the apical membrane potential as active Na+ channels are retrieved. The paradoxical increase in channel open probability caused by protease inhibition will require further investigation but does suggest a potential compensatory regulatory mechanism to maintain INa at some minimal threshold value.
Proteolytic processing of the amiloride-sensitive epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) by serine proteases is known to be important for channel activation. Inappropriate ENaC activation by proteases may contribute to the pathophysiology of cystic fibrosis and could be involved in sodium retention and the pathogenesis of arterial hypertension in the context of renal disease. We hypothesized that in addition to serine proteases, cathepsin proteases may activate ENaC. Cathepsin proteases belong to the group of cysteine proteases and play a pathophysiological role in inflammatory diseases. Under pathophysiological conditions, cathepsin-S (Cat-S) may reach ENaC in the apical membrane of epithelial cells. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of purified Cat-S on human ENaC heterologously expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes and on ENaC-mediated sodium transport in cultured M-1 mouse renal collecting duct cells. We demonstrated that Cat-S activates amiloride-sensitive whole-cell currents in ENaC-expressing oocytes. The stimulatory effect of Cat-S was preserved at pH 5. ENaC stimulation by Cat-S was associated with the appearance of a γENaC cleavage fragment at the plasma membrane indicating proteolytic channel activation. Mutating two valine residues (V182 and V193) in the critical region of γENaC prevented proteolytic activation of ENaC by Cat-S. Pre-incubation of the oocytes with the Cat-S inhibitor morpholinurea-leucine-homophenylalanine-vinylsulfone-phenyl (LHVS) prevented the stimulatory effect of Cat-S on ENaC. In contrast, LHVS had no effect on ENaC activation by the prototypical serine proteases trypsin and chymotrypsin. Cat-S also stimulated ENaC in differentiated renal epithelial cells. These findings demonstrate that the cysteine protease Cat-S can activate ENaC which may be relevant under pathophysiological conditions.
Epithelial sodium channel (ENaC); Proteolytic channel activation; Cathepsin; Two-electrode voltage clamp; Transepithelial Na+ transport
Epithelial cells are exposed to a variety of mechanical stimuli. Epithelial Na+ channels (ENaC) mediate sodium transport across apical membranes of epithelial cells that line the distal nephron, airway and alveoli, and distal colon. Early investigations into stretch sensitivity of ENaC were controversial. However, recent studies are supportive of ENaC's mechanosensitivity. This work studied whether flow-dependent activation of ENaC is modulated by changes in the state of the actin cytoskeleton and whether small GTPase RhoA is involved in flow-mediated increase of ENaC activity.
Pretreatment with Cytochalasin D and Latrunculin B for 20 min and 1-2 hrs to disassemble F-actin had no effect on flow-mediated increase of amiloride-sensitive current. Overexpression of ENaC with constitutively active (G14V) or dominant negative (T19N) RhoA similarly had no effect on flow-dependent activation of ENaC activity. In addition, we did not observe changes when we inhibited Rho-kinase with Y27632.
Our results suggest that the flow-dependent activation of ENaC is not influenced by small GTPase RhoA and modifications in the actin cytoskeleton.
Amiloride-sensitive epithelial sodium (Na+) channels (ENaC) play a crucial role in Na+ transport and fluid reabsorption in the kidney, lung, and colon. The magnitude of ENaC-mediated Na+ transport in epithelial cells depends on the average open probability of the channels and the number of channels on the apical surface of epithelial cells. The number of channels in the apical membrane, in turn, depends upon a balance between the rate of ENaC insertion and the rate of removal from the apical membrane. ENaC is made up of three homologous subunits, α, β, and γ. The C-terminal domain of all three subunits is intracellular and contains a proline rich motif (PPxY). Mutations or deletion of this PPxY motif in the β and γ subunits prevent the binding of one isoform of a specific ubiquitin ligase, neural precursor cell expressed developmentally down-regulated protein (Nedd4-2) to the channel in vitro and in transfected cell systems, thereby impeding ubiquitin conjugation of the channel subunits. Ubiquitin conjugation would seem to imply that ENaC turnover is determined by the ubiquitin-proteasome system, but when MDCK cells are transfected with ENaC, ubiquitin conjugation apparently leads to lysosomal degradation. However, in untransfected epithelial cells (A6) expressing endogenous ENaC, ENaC appears to be degraded by the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Nonetheless, in both transfected and untransfected cells, the rate of ENaC degradation is apparently controlled by the rate of Nedd4-2–mediated ENaC ubiquitination. Controlling the rate of degradation is apparently important enough to have multiple, redundant pathways to control Nedd4-2 and ENaC ubiquitination.
ENaC; degradation; trafficking; proteasome
Sensory transduction in the cochlea depends on regulated ion secretion and absorption. Results of whole-organ experiments suggested that Reissner’s membrane may play a role in the control of luminal Cl−. We tested for the presence of Cl− transport pathways in isolated mouse Reissner’s membrane using whole-cell patch clamp recording and gene transcript analyses using RT-PCR. The current-voltage (I-V) relationship in the presence of symmetrical NMDG-Cl was strongly inward-rectifying at negative voltages, with a small outward current at positive voltages. The inward-rectifying component of the I-V curve had several properties similar to those of the ClC-2 Cl− channel. It was stimulated by extracellular acidity and inhibited by extracellular Cd2+, Zn2+, and intracellular ClC-2 antibody. Channel transcripts expressed include ClC-2, Slc26a7 and ClC-Ka, but not Cftr, ClC-1, ClCa1, ClCa2, ClCa3, ClCa4, Slc26a9, ClC-Kb, Best1, Best2, Best3 or the beta-subunit of ClC-K, barttin. ClC-2 is the only molecularly-identified channel present that is a strong inward rectifier. This study is the first report of conductive Cl− transport in epithelial cells of Reissner’s membrane and is consistent with an important role in endolymph anion homeostasis.
Cl− channel; epithelial transport; cochlea
Aldosterone controls the final sodium reabsorption and potassium secretion in the kidney by regulating the activity of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) in the aldosterone-sensitive distal nephron (ASDN). ASDN consists of the last portion of the distal convoluted tubule (late DCT), the connecting tubule (CNT), and the collecting duct (CD) (i.e., the cortical CD [CCD] and the medullary CD [MCD]). It has been proposed that the control of sodium transport in the CCD is essential for achieving sodium and potassium balance. We have tested this hypothesis by inactivating the α subunit of ENaC in the CD but leaving ENaC expression in the late DCT and CNT intact. Under salt restriction or under aldosterone infusion, whole-cell voltage clamp of principal cells of CCD showed no detectable ENaC activity, whereas large amiloride-sensitive currents were observed in control littermates. The animals survive well and are able to maintain sodium and potassium balance, even when challenged by salt restriction, water deprivation, or potassium loading. We conclude that the expression of ENaC in the CD is not a prerequisite for achieving sodium and potassium balance in mice. This stresses the importance of more proximal nephron segments (late DCT/CNT) to achieve sodium and potassium balance.
The amiloride-sensitive Epithelial Sodium Channel (ENaC) is critical in maintaining Na+ balance, extracellular fluid volume and long term blood pressure control. ENaC is composed of three main subunits α, β, & γ. While α ENaC is critical for channel functionality, β & γ ENaC maximize channel function. To date, there are four alternatively spliced forms of the α subunit of ENaC (α ENaC-a, -b, -c, & -d) that have been published in rats, in addition to the major α ENaC transcript. While α ENaC-a, -c & -d transcripts are low abundance transcripts compared to full-length α ENaC, α ENaC-b is a higher abundance and salt-sensitive transcript compared to full-length α ENaC.
Presentation of the hypothesis
α ENaC-b protein, which is preferentially produced in Dahl R rats, to a greater extent on high salt diet, exerts a dominant negative effect on full-length α ENaC subunit by physically binding to and trapping full-length α ENaC subunit in the endoplasmic reticulum, and finally accelerating full-length α ENaC proteolytic degradation in a dose-dependent manner.
Testing the hypothesis
1) To examine the mRNA and protein abundance of α ENaC-b relative to α ENaC full-length in kidney, lung, and taste tissues of Dahl rats. 2) To compare the expression (mRNA and protein) of α ENaC-b in kidneys of Dahl S and R rats on regular and high salt diet. 3) To examine the putative binding of α ENaC-b proteins to full-length α ENaC in vitro and to determine the impact of such binding on full-length α ENaC expression in vitro.
Implications of the hypothesis
Our studies will be the first to demonstrate the over-expression of salt-sensitive α ENaC-b spliced form in kidney tissues of Dahl R rats at the expense of full-length α ENaC. The current proposal will provide highly novel insights into the putative mechanisms leading to ENaC hypoactivity in high-salt-fed Dahl R rats. Finally, findings from the present proposal will uncover a new mechanism by which alternative splicing may control the regulation of ENaC expression/function.
We have investigated the effect of extracellular proteases on the amiloride-sensitive Na+ current (INa) in Xenopus oocytes expressing the three subunits α, β, and γ of the rat or Xenopus epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC). Low concentrations of trypsin (2 μg/ml) induced a large increase of INa within a few minutes, an effect that was fully prevented by soybean trypsin inhibitor, but not by amiloride. A similar effect was observed with chymotrypsin, but not with kallikrein. The trypsin-induced increase of INa was observed with Xenopus and rat ENaC, and was very large (∼20-fold) with the channel obtained by coexpression of the α subunit of Xenopus ENaC with the β and γ subunits of rat ENaC. The effect of trypsin was selective for ENaC, as shown by the absence of effect on the current due to expression of the K+ channel ROMK2. The effect of trypsin was not prevented by intracellular injection of EGTA nor by pretreatment with GTP-γS, suggesting that this effect was not mediated by G proteins. Measurement of the channel protein expression at the oocyte surface by antibody binding to a FLAG epitope showed that the effect of trypsin was not accompanied by an increase in the channel protein density, indicating that proteolysis modified the activity of the channel present at the oocyte surface rather than the cell surface expression. At the single channel level, in the cell-attached mode, more active channels were observed in the patch when trypsin was present in the pipette, while no change in channel activity could be detected when trypsin was added to the bath solution around the patch pipette. We conclude that extracellular proteases are able to increase the open probability of the epithelial sodium channel by an effect that does not occur through activation of a G protein-coupled receptor, but rather through proteolysis of a protein that is either a constitutive part of the channel itself or closely associated with it.
trypsin; chymotrypsin; amiloride; G protein; epithelial Na+ channel
The epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC), located in the apical membrane of tight epithelia, allows vectorial Na+ absorption. The amiloride-sensitive ENaC is highly selective for Na+ and Li+ ions. There is growing evidence that the short stretch of amino acid residues (preM2) preceding the putative second transmembrane domain M2 forms the outer channel pore with the amiloride binding site and the narrow ion-selective region of the pore. We have shown previously that mutations of the αS589 residue in the preM2 segment change the ion selectivity, making the channel permeant to K+ ions. To understand the molecular basis of this important change in ionic selectivity, we have substituted αS589 with amino acids of different sizes and physicochemical properties. Here, we show that the molecular cutoff of the channel pore for inorganic and organic cations increases with the size of the amino acid residue at position α589, indicating that αS589 mutations enlarge the pore at the selectivity filter. Mutants with an increased permeability to large cations show a decrease in the ENaC unitary conductance of small cations such as Na+ and Li+. These findings demonstrate the critical role of the pore size at the αS589 residue for the selectivity properties of ENaC. Our data are consistent with the main chain carbonyl oxygens of the αS589 residues lining the channel pore at the selectivity filter with their side chain pointing away from the pore lumen. We propose that the αS589 side chain is oriented toward the subunit–subunit interface and that substitution of αS589 by larger residues increases the pore diameter by adding extra volume at the subunit–subunit interface.
ion channel; molecular sieving; pore; Xenopus oocyte; epithelial Na+ channel
The serum and glucocorticoid induced kinase 1 (SGK1) participates in the regulation of sodium reabsorption in the distal segment of the renal tubule, where it may modify the function of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC). The molecular mechanism underlying SGK1 regulation of ENaC in renal epithelial cells remains controversial. We have addressed this issue in an A6 renal epithelial cell line that expresses SGK1 under the control of a tetracycline-inducible system. Expression of a constitutively active mutant of SGK1 (SGK1TS425D) induced a sixfold increase in amiloride-sensitive short-circuit current (Isc). Using noise analysis we demonstrate that SGK1 effect on Isc is due to a fourfold increase in the number of functional ENaCs in the membrane and a 43% increase in channel open probability. Impedance analysis indicated that SGK1TS425D increased the absolute value of cell equivalent capacitance by an average of 13.7%. SGK1TS425D also produced a 1.6–1.9-fold increase in total and plasma membrane subunit abundance, without changing the half-life of channels in the membrane. We conclude that in contrast to aldosterone, where stimulation of transport can be explained simply by an increase in channel synthesis, SGK1 effects are more complex and involve at least three actions: (1) increase of ENaC open probability; (2) increase of subunit abundance within apical membranes and intracellular compartments; and (3) activation of one or more pools of preexistent channels within the apical membranes and/or intracellular compartments.
ENaC; serum- and glucocorticoid-induced kinase; sodium reabsorption; open probability; channel density
To investigate the presence of epithelial sodium channels (ENaC) in rabbit and human conjunctival epithelium and to test the effects of topical amiloride, a potassium-sparing diuretic that blocks the ENaC, on tear quantity in rabbits.
Both healthy normal human and rabbit conjunctival tissues underwent immunohistochemistry staining for ENaC-α and γ subunits as well as for reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for detection of ENaC-α and ENaC-γ subunit mRNA expression. Rabbits were instilled topical amiloride eye drops and tear function tests were performed before and after instillations.
Immunohistochemical staining for ENaC-α subunit in all rabbit eyes showed positive staining in apical and basal conjunctival epithelial cells. Human conjunctival epithelia revealed positive staining with ENaC-α antibody especially in the apical and basal layers. Immunohistochemistry staining with ENaC- γ antibody also revealed positive staining of the conjunctival epithelial cells especially in the basal layers. The ENaC-α mRNA was detected in samples from healthy white rabbit conjunctival epithelia, and ENaC-α and ENaC- γ mRNAs were detected in samples from healthy human conjunctival epithelia. The mean tear quantity showed a significant increase at 15 and 30 min compared to the pre-instillation value in eyes assigned to amiloride eye drops. The mean tear quantity at 15 and 30 min was significantly higher in the amiloride group compared to the control eyes.
Topical amiloride application appears to increase the quantity of preocular tears owing to inhibition of conjunctival epithelial sodium channels.
It is well established that the terminal renal collecting duct is capable of electrogenic Na+ absorption. The present experiments examined other active ion transport processes in primary cultures of the rat inner medullary collecting duct. When the amiloride analogue benzamil inhibited electrogenic Na+ absorption, cAMP agonists stimulated a transmonolayer short circuit current that was not dependent on the presence of Na+ in the apical solution, but was dependent on the presence of Cl- and HCO3-. This current was not inhibited by the loop diuretic bumetanide, but was inhibited by ouabain, an inhibitor of the Na+/K+ pump. The current was reduced by anion transport inhibitors, with a profile similar to that seen for inhibitors of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFATR) Cl- channel. Using several PCR strategies, we demonstrated fragments of the predicted lengths and sequence identity with the rat CFTR. Using whole-cell patch-clamp analysis, we demonstrated a cAMP-stimulated Cl- current with characteristics of the CFTR. We conclude that the rat inner medullary collecting duct has the capacity to secrete anions. It is highly likely that the CFTR Cl- channel is involved in this process.
Purpose of review
The amiloride-sensitive epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) plays a major role in the regulation of sodium transport in the collecting duct and hence sodium balance. This review describes recent findings in the regulation of ENaC function by serine proteases in particular and other regulatory aspects.
Regulation of ENaC occurs at many levels (biophysical, transcriptional, post-translational modifications, assembly, membrane insertion, retrieval, recycling, degradation, etc.). Recent studies have recognized and delineated proteolytic cleavage, particularly of the α and γ subunits, as major mechanisms of activation. Release of peptide fragments from these two subunits appears to be an important aspect of activation. These proteolytic mechanisms of ENaC activation have also been demonstrated in vivo and strongly suggested in clinical circumstances, particularly the nephrotic syndrome. In the nephrotic syndrome, filtered plasminogen may be cleaved by tubular urokinase to yield plasmin which can activate ENaC. In addition to these mechanisms, regulation by ubiquitination and deubiquitination represents a pivotal process. Several important deubiquitinating enzymes have been identified as important in ENaC retention in, or recycling to, the apical membrane. New aspects of the genomic control of ENaC transcription have also been found including histone methylation.
The mechanisms of regulation of ENaC are increasingly understood to be a complex interplay of many different levels and systems. Proteolytic cleavage of α and γ subunits plays a major role in ENaC activation. This may be particularly clinically relevant in nephrotic syndrome in which plasmin may activate ENaC activity.
Epithelial sodium channel; aldosterone; prostasin; SGK-1; plasmin
We have used the patch clamp technique to study the effects of inhibiting the apical Na+ transport on the basolateral small-conductance K+ channel (SK) in cell-attached patches in cortical collecting duct (CCD) of the rat kidney. Application of 50 μM amiloride decreased the activity of SK, defined as nPo (a product of channel open probability and channel number), to 61% of the control value. Application of 1 μM benzamil, a specific Na+ channel blocker, mimicked the effects of amiloride and decreased the activity of the SK to 62% of the control value. In addition, benzamil reduced intracellular Na+ concentration from 15 to 11 mM. The effect of amiloride was not the result of a decrease in intracellular pH, since addition 50 μM 5-(n-ethyl-n-isopropyl) amiloride (EIPA), an agent that specifically blocks the Na/H exchanger, did not alter the channel activity. The inhibitory effect of amiloride depends on extracellular Ca2+ because removal of Ca2+ from the bath abolished the effect. Using Fura-2 AM to measure the intracellular Ca2+, we observed that amiloride and benzamil significantly decreased intracellular Ca2+ in the Ca2+-containing solution but had no effect in a Ca2+-free bath. Furthermore, raising intracellular Ca2+ from 10 to 50 and 100 nM with ionomycin increased the activity of the SK in cell-attached patches but not in excised patches, suggesting that changes in intracellular Ca2+ are responsible for the effects on SK activity of inhibition of the Na+ transport. Since the neuronal form of nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) is expressed in the CCD and the function of the nNOS is Ca2+ dependent, we examined whether the effects of amiloride or benzamil were mediated by the NO-cGMP–dependent pathways. Addition of 10 μM S-nitroso-n-acetyl-penicillamine (SNAP) or 100 μM 8-bromoguanosine 3′:5′-cyclic monophosphate (8Br-cGMP) completely restored channel activity when it had been decreased by either amiloride or benzamil. Finally, addition of SNAP caused a significant increase in channel activity in the Ca2+-free bath solution. We conclude that Ca2+-dependent NO generation mediates the effect of inhibiting the apical Na+ transport on the basolateral SK in the rat CCD.
nitric oxide synthase; Na+ channel; K+ channel; collecting duct; patch clamp
Ketamine is a broadly used anaesthetic for analgosedation. Accumulating clinical evidence shows that ketamine causes pulmonary edema with unknown mechanisms. We measured the effects of ketamine on alveolar fluid clearance in human lung lobes ex vivo. Our results showed that intratracheal instillation of ketamine markedly decreased the reabsorption of 5% bovine serum albumin instillate. In the presence of amiloride (a specific ENaC blocker), fluid resolution was not further decreased, suggesting that ketamine could decrease amiloride-sensitive fraction of AFC associated with ENaC. Moreover, we measured the regulation of amiloride-sensitive currents by ketamine in A549 cells using whole-cell patch clamp mode. Our results suggested that ketamine decreased amiloride-sensitive Na+ currents (ENaC activity) in a dose-dependent fashion. These data demonstrate that reduction in lung ENaC activity and lung fluid clearance following administration of ketamine may be the crucial step of the pathogenesis of resultant pulmonary edema.
The mechanisms by which the exposure of mice to Cl2 decreases vectorial Na+ transport and fluid clearance across their distal lung spaces have not been elucidated. We examined the biophysical, biochemical, and physiological changes of rodent lung epithelial Na+ channels (ENaCs) after exposure to Cl2, and identified the mechanisms involved. We measured amiloride-sensitive short-circuit currents (Iamil) across isolated alveolar Type II (ATII) cell monolayers and ENaC single-channel properties by patching ATII and ATI cells in situ. α-ENaC, γ-ENaC, total and phosphorylated extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK)1/2, and advanced products of lipid peroxidation in ATII cells were measured by Western blot analysis. Concentrations of reactive intermediates were assessed by electron spin resonance (ESR). Amiloride-sensitive Na+ channels with conductances of 4.5 and 18 pS were evident in ATI and ATII cells in situ of air-breathing mice. At 1 hour and 24 hours after exposure to Cl2, the open probabilities of these two channels decreased. This effect was prevented by incubating lung slices with inhibitors of ERK1/2 or of proteasomes and lysosomes. The exposure of ATII cell monolayers to Cl2 increased concentrations of reactive intermediates, leading to ERK1/2 phosphorylation and decreased Iamil and α-ENaC concentrations at 1 hour and 24 hours after exposure. The administration of antioxidants to ATII cells before and after exposure to Cl2 decreased concentrations of reactive intermediates and ERK1/2 activation, which mitigated the decrease in Iamil and ENaC concentrations. The reactive intermediates formed during and after exposure to Cl2 activated ERK1/2 in ATII cells in vitro and in vivo, leading to decreased ENaC concentrations and activity.
lung slices; patch clamp; radicals
Recent investigations point to an important role for peptidases in regulating transcellular ion transport by the epithelial Na+ channel, ENaC. Several peptidases, including furins and proteasomal hydrolases, modulate ENaC maturation and disposal. More idiosyncratically, apical Na+ transport by ENaC in polarized epithelia of kidney, airway, and gut is stimulated constitutively by one or more trypsin-family serine peptidases, as revealed by inhibition of amiloride-sensitive Na+ transport by broad-spectrum antipeptidases, including aprotinin and bikunin/SPINT2. In vitro, the transporting activity of aprotinin-suppressed ENaC can be restored by exposure to trypsin. The prototypical channel-activating peptidase (CAP) is a type 1 membrane-anchored tryptic peptidase first identified in Xenopus kidney cells. Frog CAP1 strongly upregulates Na+ transport when coexpressed with ENaC in oocytes. The amphibian enzyme's apparent mammalian orthologue is prostasin, otherwise known as CAP1, which is coexpressed with ENaC in a variety of epithelia. In airway cells, prostasin is the major basal regulator of ENaC activity, as suggested by inhibition and knockdown experiments. Other candidate regulators of mature ENaC include CAP2/TMPRSS4 and CAP3/matriptase (also known as membrane-type serine protease 1/ST14). Mammalian CAPs are potential targets for treatment of ENaC-mediated Na+ hyperabsorption by the airway in cystic fibrosis (CF) and by the kidney in hypertension. CAPs can be important for mammalian development, as indicated by embryonic lethality in mice with null mutations of CAP1/prostasin. Mice with selectively knocked out expression of CAP1/prostasin in the epidermis and mice with globally knocked out expression of CAP3/matriptase exhibit phenotypically similar defects in skin barrier function and neonatal death from dehydration. In rats, transgenic overexpression of human prostasin disturbs salt balance and causes hypertension. Thus, several converging lines of evidence indicate that ENaC function is regulated by peptidases, and that such regulation is critical for embryonic development and adult function of organs such as skin, kidney, and lung.
The effect of ethanol on the amiloride- and benzamil (Bz)-insensitive salt taste receptor was investigated by the measurement of intracellular Na+ activity ([Na+]i) in polarized rat fungiform taste receptor cells (TRCs) using fluorescence imaging and by chorda tympani (CT) taste nerve recordings. CT responses were monitored during lingual stimulation with ethanol solutions containing NaCl or KCl. CT responses were recorded in the presence of Bz (a specific blocker of the epithelial Na+ channel [ENaC]) or the vanilloid receptor-1 (VR-1) antagonists capsazepine or SB-366791, which also block the Bz-insensitive salt taste receptor, a VR-1 variant. CT responses were recorded at 23°C or 42°C (a temperature at which the VR-1 variant salt taste receptor activity is maximally enhanced). In the absence of permeable cations, ethanol induced a transient decrease in TRC volume, and stimulating the tongue with ethanol solutions without added salt elicited only transient phasic CT responses that were insensitive to elevated temperature or SB-366791. Preshrinking TRCs in vivo with hypertonic mannitol (0.5 M) attenuated the magnitude of the phasic CT response, indicating that in the absence of mineral salts, transient phasic CT responses are related to the ethanol-induced osmotic shrinkage of TRCs. In the presence of mineral salts, ethanol increased the Bz-insensitive apical cation flux in TRCs without a change in cell volume, increased transepithelial electrical resistance across the tongue, and elicited CT responses that were similar to salt responses, consisting of both a transient phasic component and a sustained tonic component. Ethanol increased the Bz-insensitive NaCl CT response. This effect was further enhanced by elevating the temperature from 23°C to 42°C, and was blocked by SB-366791. We conclude that in the presence of mineral salts, ethanol modulates the Bz-insensitive VR-1 variant salt taste receptor.
Na+ imaging; salt taste; SB-366791; capsazepine; chorda tympani