External Na+ self-inhibition is an intrinsic feature of epithelial sodium channels (ENaC). Cpt-cAMP regulates heterologous guinea pig but not rat αβγ ENaC in a ligand-gated manner. We hypothesized that cpt-cAMP may eliminate the self-inhibition of human ENaC thereby open channels. Regulation of self-inhibition by this compound in oocytes was analyzed using the two-electrode voltage clamp and Ussing chamber setups. External cpt-cAMP stimulated human but not rat and murine αβγ ENaC in a dose- and external Na+ concentration-dependent fashion. Intriguingly, cpt-cAMP activated human δβγ more potently than αβγ channels, suggesting that structural diversity in ectoloop between human α, δ, and those ENaC of other species determines the stimulating effects of cpt-cAMP. Cpt-cAMP increased the ratio of stationary and maximal currents. Mutants having abolished self-inhibition (βΔV348 and γH233R) almost completely eliminated cpt-cAMP mediated activation of ENaC. On the other hand, mutants both enhancing self-inhibition and elevating cpt-cAMP sensitivity increased the stimulating effects of the compound. This compound, however, could not activate already fully opened channels, e.g., degenerin mutation (αβS520Cγ) and the proteolytically cleaved ENaC by plasmin. Cpt-cAMP activated native ENaC to the same extent as that for heterologous ENaC in human lung epithelial cells. Our data demonstrate that cpt-cAMP, a broadly used PKA activator, stimulates human αβγ and δβγ ENaC channels by relieving self-inhibition.
Pleural effusions are commonly clinical disorders, resulting from the imbalance between pleural fluid turnover and reabsorption. The mechanisms underlying pleural fluid clearance across the mesothelium remain to be elucidated. We hypothesized that epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) is expressed and forms the molecular basis of the amiloride-sensitive resistance in human mesothelial cells. Our RT-PCR results showed that three ENaC subunits, namely, α, β, γ, and two δ ENaC subunits, are expressed in human primary pleural mesothelial cells, a human mesothelioma cell line (M9K), and mouse pleural tissue. In addition, Western blotting and immunofluorescence microscopy studies revealed that α, β, γ, and δ ENaC subunits are expressed in primary human mesothelial cells and M9K cells at the protein level. An amiloride-inhibitable short-circuit current was detected in M9K monolayers and mouse pleural tissues when mounted in Ussing chambers. Whole-cell patch clamp recordings showed an ENaC-like channel with an amiloride concentration producing 50% inhibition of 12 μM in M9K cells. This cation channel has a high affinity for extracellular Na+ ions (Km: 53 mM). The ion selectivity of this channel to cations follows the same order as ENaC: Li+ > Na+ > K+. The unitary Li+ conductance was 15 pS in on-cell patches. Four ENaC subunits form a functional Na+ channel when coinjected into Xenopus oocytes. Furthermore, we found that both forskolin and cGMP increased the short-circuit currents in mouse pleural tissues. Taken together, our data demonstrate that the ENaC channels are biochemically and functionally expressed in human pleural mesothelial cells, and can be up-regulated by cyclic AMP and cyclic GMP.
M9K mesothelioma cells; Ussing chamber; protein kinase A; protein kinase G; human primary mesothelial cells
Lung epithelial Na+ channels (ENaC) are regulated by cell Ca2+ signal, which may contribute to calcium antagonist-induced noncardiogenic lung edema. Although K+ channel modulators regulate ENaC activity in normal lungs, the therapeutical relevance and the underlying mechanisms have not been completely explored. We hypothesized that K+ channel openers may restore calcium channel blocker-inhibited alveolar fluid clearance (AFC) by up-regulating both apical and basolateral ion transport.
Verapamil-induced depression of heterologously expressed human αβγ ENaC in Xenopus oocytes, apical and basolateral ion transport in monolayers of human lung epithelial cells (H441), and in vivo alveolar fluid clearance were measured, respectively, using the two-electrode voltage clamp, Ussing chamber, and BSA protein assays. Ca2+ signal in H441 cells was analyzed using Fluo 4AM.
The rate of in vivo AFC was reduced significantly (40.6 ± 6.3% of control, P < 0.05, n = 12) in mice intratracheally administrated verapamil. KCa3.1 (1-EBIO) and KATP (minoxidil) channel openers significantly recovered AFC. In addition to short-circuit current (Isc) in intact H441 monolayers, both apical and basolateral Isc levels were reduced by verapamil in permeabilized monolayers. Moreover, verapamil significantly altered Ca2+ signal evoked by ionomycin in H441 cells. Depletion of cytosolic Ca2+ in αβγ ENaC-expressing oocytes completely abolished verapamil-induced inhibition. Intriguingly, KV (pyrithione-Na), K Ca3.1 (1-EBIO), and KATP (minoxidil) channel openers almost completely restored the verapamil-induced decrease in Isc levels by diversely up-regulating apical and basolateral Na+ and K+ transport pathways.
Our observations demonstrate that K+ channel openers are capable of rescuing reduced vectorial Na+ transport across lung epithelial cells with impaired Ca2+ signal.
The α subunit of the amiloride-sensitive epithelial sodium channel (α ENaC) is critical for the expression of functional channels. In humans and rats, non functional alternatively spliced forms of α ENaC have been proposed to act as negative regulatory components for ENaC. The purpose of this study was to examine the presence and consequently investigate the mRNA expression levels of alternatively spliced forms of α ENaC in kidney cortex of Dahl salt-resistant rats (R) versus Dahl salt-sensitive rats (S) on high salt and normal diets.
Using quantitative RT-PCR strategy, we examined the mRNA expression levels of previously reported α ENaC-a and -b alternatively spliced forms in kidney cortex of Dahl S and R rats on normal and four-week high salt diet and compared their corresponding abundance to wildtype α ENaC mRNA levels. We identified 2 novel non-coding C-terminus spliced forms and examined their mRNA expression in Dahl R versus S rat kidney cortex. We also tested the presence of five previously reported lung-specific α ENaC spliced forms in Dahl rat kidney cortex (CK479583, CK475461, CK364785, CK475819, and CB690980).
Previously reported α ENaC-a and -b alternatively spliced forms are present in Dahl rat kidney cortex and are significantly higher in Dahl R versus S rats (P < 0.05). Four-week high salt diet significantly increases α ENaC-b (P < 0.05), but not α ENaC-a transcript abundance in Dahl R, but not S rats. Two non-coding α ENaC spliced forms -c and -d are newly identified in the present study, whose levels are comparable in Dahl R and S rats. Compared to α ENaC-wt, α ENaC-a, -c and -d are low abundance transcripts (4 +/- 2, 110 +/- 20, and 10 +/- 2 fold less respectively), in contrast to α ENaC-b abundance that exceeds α ENaC-wt by 32 +/- 3 fold. We could not identify any of the five previously reported lung-specific α ENaC spliced forms (CK479583, CK475461, CK364785, CK475819, and CB690980) in Dahl rat kidney cortex.
α ENaC alternative splicing might regulate α ENaC by the formation of coding RNA species (α ENaC-a and -b) and non-coding RNA species (α ENaC-c and -d). α ENaC-a and -b mRNA levels are significantly higher in Dahl R versus S rats. Additionally, α ENaC-b is a salt-sensitive transcript whose levels are significantly higher 4-weeks post high salt diet compared to normal salt diet in Dahl R rats. Among the four α ENaC transcripts (-a, -b, -c and -d), α ENaC-b is a predominant transcript that exceeds α ENaC-wt abundance by ~32 fold. α ENaC-a and -b spliced forms, particularly, α ENaC-b, might potentially act as dominant negative proteins for ENaC activity, thereby rescuing Dahl R rats from developing salt-sensitive hypertension on high salt diet. On the other hand, non-coding α ENaC-c and -d might assist alternative splicing, facilitate RNA processing, or regulate α ENaC as well as each other.
A variety of studies have shown that Na+ reabsorption across epithelial cells depends on the protease–antiprotease balance. Herein, we investigate the mechanisms by which α1-antitrypsin (A1AT), a major anti-serine protease in human plasma and lung epithelial fluid and lacking a Kunitz domain, regulates amiloride-sensitive epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) function in vitro and in vivo. A1AT (0.05 mg/ml = 1 μM) decreased ENaC currents across Xenopus laevis oocytes injected with human α,β,γ-ENaC (hENaC) cRNAs, and human lung Clara-like (H441) cells expressing native ENaC, in a partially irreversible fashion. A1AT also decreased ENaC single-channel activity when added in the pipette but not in the bath solutions of ENaC-expressing oocytes patched in the cell-attached mode. Incubation of A1AT with peroxynitrite (ONOO−), an oxidizing and nitrating agent, abolished its antiprotease activity and significantly decreased its ability to inhibit ENaC. Intratracheal instillation of normal but not ONOO−-treated A1AT (1 μM) in C57BL/6 mice also decreased Na+-dependent alveolar fluid clearance to the same level as amiloride. Incubation of either H441 cells or ENaC-expressing oocytes with normal but not ONOO−-treated A1AT decreased their ability to cleave a substrate of serine proteases. A1AT had no effect on amiloride-sensitive currents of oocytes injected with hENaC bearing Liddle mutations, presumably because these channels remain at the surface longer than the wild-type channels. These data indicate that A1AT may be an important modulator of ENaC activity and of Na+-dependent fluid clearance across the distal lung epithelium in vivo by decreasing endogenous protease activity needed to activate silent ENaC.
alveolar fluid clearance; serine proteases; H441 cells; Xenopus oocytes; ENaC
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
Hypoxia and epithelial stretch that are commonly observed in patients with acute lung injury have been shown to promote the release of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) in vitro. However, whether 5-HT contributes to the decrease of alveolar epithelial fluid transport, which is a hallmark of lung injury, is unknown. Thus, we investigated the effect of 5-HT on ion and fluid transport across the alveolar epithelium. 5-HT caused a dose-dependent inhibition of the amiloride-sensitive current across primary rat and human alveolar epithelial type II cell monolayers, but did not affect Na+/K+ ATPase function. Furthermore, we found that the 5-HT induced inhibition of ion transport across the lung epithelium was receptor independent, as it was not prevented by the blockade of 5-HT2R (5-HT receptor 2), 5-HT3R (5-HT receptor 3), or by pretreatment with an intracellular calcium-chelating agent, BAPTA-AM (1,2-bis(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N′,N′-tetraacetic acid tetra(acetoxymethyl) ester). In addition, the stimulation of 5-HT1R (5-HT receptor 1), 5-HT2R (5-HT receptor 2), 5-HT4R (5-HT receptor 4), and 5-HT7R (5-HT receptor 7) failed to reproduce the 5-HT effect on amiloride-sensitive sodium transport. We ascertained that 5-HT directly inhibited the function of rat αβγ epithelial sodium channel (ENaC), as determined by heterologous expression of rat ENaC in Xenopus oocytes that do not express endogenous ENaC nor 5-HT receptors (5-HTR). Exposure of mice to hypoxia for 1 hour induced a 30% increase of 5-HT secretion into the distal airways of mice. Finally, the intratracheal instillation of 5-HT inhibited the amiloride-sensitive fraction of alveolar fluid clearance in mice. Together, these results indicate that 5-HT inhibits the amiloride-sensitive fraction of the alveolar epithelial fluid transport via a direct interaction with ENaC, and thus can be an endogenous inhibitor of this ion channel.
alveolar; epithelial; ion transport; serotonin
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.
Transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) proteins play important roles in chronically hypoxic pulmonary hypertension (CHPH). Previous results indicated that sildenafil inhibited TRPC1 and TRPC6 expression in rat distal pulmonary arteries (PAs). However, the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. We undertook this study to investigate the downstream signaling of sildenafil’s regulation on TRPC1 and TRPC6 expression in pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMCs). Hypoxia-exposed rats (10% O2 for 21 d) and rat distal PASMCs (4% O2 for 60 h) were taken as models to mimic CHPH. Real-time PCR, Western blotting, and Fura-2–based fluorescent microscopy were performed for mRNA, protein, and Ca2+ measurements, respectively. The cellular cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) analogue 8-(4-chlorophenylthio)-guanosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate sodium salt (CPT-cGMP) (100 μM) inhibited TRPC1 and TRPC6 expression, store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE), and the proliferation and migration of PASMCs exposed to prolonged hypoxia. The inhibition of CPT-cGMP on TRPC1 and TRPC6 expression in PASMCs was relieved by either the inhibition or knockdown of cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) and peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor γ (PPARγ) expression. Under hypoxic conditions, CPT-cGMP increased PPARγ expression. This increase was abolished by the PKG antagonists Rp8 or KT5823. PPARγ agonist GW1929 significantly decreased TRPC1 and TRPC6 expression in PASMCs. Moreover, hypoxia exposure decreased, whereas sildenafil treatment increased, PKG and PPARγ expression in PASMCs ex vivo, and in rat distal PAs in vivo. The suppressive effects of sildenafil on TRPC1 and TRPC6 in rat distal PAs and on the hemodynamic parameters of CHPH were inhibited by treatment with the PPARγ antagonist T0070907. We conclude that sildenafil inhibits TRPC1 and TRPC6 expression in PASMCs via cGMP-PKG-PPARγ–dependent signaling during CHPH.
sildenafil; PKG; PPARγ; TRPC; PASMCs
To determine if achromatopsia associated F525N and T383fsX mutations in the CNGB3 subunit of cone photoreceptor cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channels increases susceptibility to cell death in photoreceptor-derived cells.
Photoreceptor-derived 661W cells were transfected with cDNA encoding wild-type (WT) CNGA3 subunits plus WT or mutant CNGB3 subunits, and incubated with the membrane-permeable CNG channel activators 8-(4-chlorophenylthio) guanosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate (CPT-cGMP) or CPT-adenosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate (CPT-cAMP). Cell viability under these conditions was determined by measuring lactate dehydrogenase release. Channel ligand sensitivity was calibrated by patch-clamp recording after expression of WT or mutant channels in Xenopus oocytes.
Coexpression of CNGA3 with CNGB3 subunits containing F525N or T383fsX mutations produced channels exhibiting increased apparent affinity for CPT-cGMP compared to WT channels. Consistent with these effects, cytotoxicity in the presence of 0.1 μM CPT-cGMP was enhanced relative to WT channels, and the increase in cell death was more pronounced for the mutation with the largest gain-of-function effect on channel gating, F525N. Increased susceptibility to cell death was prevented by application of the CNG channel blocker L-cis-diltiazem. Increased cytotoxicity was also found to be dependent on the presence of extracellular calcium.
These results indicate a connection between disease-associated mutations in cone CNG channel subunits, altered CNG channel-activation properties, and photoreceptor cytotoxicity. The rescue of cell viability via CNG channel block or removal of extracellular calcium suggests that cytotoxicity in this model depends on calcium entry through hyperactive CNG channels.
Stimulation of epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) increases Na+ transport, a driving force of alveolar fluid clearance (AFC) to keep alveolar spaces free of edema fluid that is beneficial for acute lung injury (ALI). It is well recognized that regulation of ENaC by insulin via PI3K pathway, but the mechanism of this signaling pathway to regulate AFC and ENaC in ALI remains unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of insulin on AFC in ALI and clarify the pathway in which insulin regulates the expression of ENaC in vitro and in vivo.
A model of ALI (LPS at a dose of 5.0 mg/kg) with non-hyperglycemia was established in Sprague-Dawley rats receiving continuous exogenous insulin by micro-osmotic pumps and wortmannin. The lungs were isolated for measurement of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid(BALF), total lung water content(TLW), and AFC after ALI for 8 hours. Alveolar epithelial type II cells were pre-incubated with LY294002, Akt inhibitor and SGK1 inhibitor 30 minutes before insulin treatment for 2 hours. The expressions of α-,β-, and γ-ENaC were detected by immunocytochemistry, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and western blotting.
In vivo, insulin decreased TLW, enchanced AFC, increased the expressions of α-,β-, and γ-ENaC and the level of phosphorylated Akt, attenuated lung injury and improved the survival rate in LPS-induced ALI, the effects of which were blocked by wortmannin. Amiloride, a sodium channel inhibitor, significantly reduced insulin-induced increase in AFC. In vitro, insulin increased the expressions of α-,β-, and γ-ENaC as well as the level of phosphorylated Akt but LY294002 and Akt inhibitor significantly prevented insulin-induced increase in the expression of ENaC and the level of phosphorylated Akt respectively. Immunoprecipitation studies showed that levels of Nedd4-2 binding to ENaC were decreased by insulin via PI3K/Akt pathway.
Our study demonstrated that insulin alleviated pulmonary edema and enhanced AFC by increasing the expression of ENaC that dependent upon PI3K/Akt pathway by inhibition of Nedd4-2.
Alveolar fluid clearance; Akt; Epithelial sodium channel; Insulin; Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase; Acute lung injury
The process of regulation of NOS after production of nitric oxide is not yet delineated. Protein kinase G may exert a feedback regulation of this enzyme. We used diaminofluorescein assays to detect changes in basal nitric oxide production caused by modulators of protein kinase G activity in freshly isolated ovine lung microvascular endothelial cells. We also used fluorescence activated cell sorter analysis (FACS) to determine molecular and phosphorylation changes caused by PKG activation with 8-Br-cGMP. The PKG activator, 8-Br-cGMP (100 μM) produced a shift in the basal NO production curve downward. The inhibition began within 5 minutes and was sustained over 4.5h. The two protein kinase G inhibitors 100 μM Rp-8-Br-PET-cGMPS and 50 nM guanosine 3′-5′-cyclic monophosphoro thionate-8-Br-Rp isomer Na salt and the cGMP inhibitor 4 μM Rp-8-pCPT-cGMPS all enhanced NO production as seen by the upward shift in the basal NO curve. Conversely, the PKG activator drug, 100 μM guanosine-3′-5′-cyclic monophosphate-β-phenyl-1NF-ethano-8-bromo sodium salt decreased NO production causing a downward shift in the basal curve. FACS analysis revealed that 5 μM 8-Br-cGMP in <5 min caused an increase in N-terminal labeling of NOS and a decrease in both C-terminal and serine 1177 labeling of NOS. 8-Br-cGMP appeared to increase PKG 1α and to decrease PKG 1β labeling. Changes in other phosphorylation sites were less consistent but overall mean channel fluorescence increased from 19.92 to 217.36 for serine 116 and decreased from 329.27 to 254.03 for threonine 495 phosphorylation. Data indicated that PKG caused both molecular and phosphorylation changes in NOS.
nitric oxide sythase; protein kinase G; nitric oxide; phosphorylation
CK2 is a ubiquitous, pleiotropic, and constitutively active Ser/Thr protein
kinase that controls protein expression, cell signaling, and ion channel
activity. Phosphorylation sites for CK2 are located in the C terminus of both
β- and γ-subunits of the epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC).
We examined the role of CK2 on the regulation of both endogenous ENaC in
native murine epithelia and in Xenopus oocytes expressing rENaC. In
Ussing chamber experiments with mouse airways, colon, and cultured
M1-collecting duct cells, amiloride-sensitive Na+ transport was
inhibited dose-dependently by the selective CK2 inhibitor
4,5,6,7-tetrabromobenzotriazole (TBB). In oocytes, ENaC currents were also
inhibited by TBB and by the structurally unrelated inhibitors heparin and
poly(E:Y). Expression of a trimeric channel lacking both CK2 sites
(αβS631AγT599A) produced a largely
attenuated amiloride-sensitive whole cell conductance and rendered the mutant
channel insensitive to CK2. In Xenopus oocytes, CK2 was translocated
to the cell membrane upon expression of wt-ENaC but not of
αβS631AγT599A-ENaC. Phosphorylation by
CK2 is essential for ENaC activation, and to a lesser degree, it also controls
membrane expression of αβγ-ENaC. Channels lacking the Nedd4-2
binding motif in β-ENaC (R561X, Y618A) no longer required the CK2 site
for channel activity and siRNA-knockdown of Nedd4-2 eliminated the effects of
TBB. This implies a role for CK2 in inhibiting the Nedd4-2 pathway. We propose
that the C terminus of β-ENaC is targeted by this essential, conserved
pleiotropic kinase that directs its constitutive activity toward many cellular
The epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) that mediates regulated Na+ reabsorption by epithelial cells in the kidney and lungs can be activated by endogenous proteases such as channel activating protease 1 and exogenous proteases such as trypsin and neutrophil elastase (NE). The mechanism by which exogenous proteases activate the channel is unknown. To test the hypothesis that residues on ENaC mediate protease-dependent channel activation wild-type and mutant ENaC were stably expressed in the FRT epithelial cell line using a tripromoter human ENaC construct, and protease-induced short-circuit current activation was measured in aprotinin-treated cells. The amiloride-sensitive short circuit current (INa) was stimulated by aldosterone (1.5-fold) and dexamethasone (8-fold). Dexamethasone-treated cells were used for all subsequent studies. The serum protease inhibitor aprotinin decreased baseline INa by approximately 50% and INa could be restored to baseline control values by the exogenous addition of trypsin, NE, and porcine pancreatic elastase (PE) but not by thrombin. All protease experiments were thus performed after exposure to aprotinin. Because NE recognition of substrates occurs with a preference for binding valines at the active site, several valines in the extracellular loops of α and γ ENaC were sequentially substituted with glycines. This scan yielded two valine residues in γ ENaC at positions 182 and 193 that resulted in inhibited responses to NE when simultaneously changed to other amino acids. The mutations resulted in decreased rates of activation and decreased activated steady-state current levels. There was an ∼20-fold difference in activation efficiency of NE against wild-type ENaC compared to a mutant with glycine substitutions at positions 182 and 193. However, the mutants remain susceptible to activation by trypsin and the related elastase, PE. Alanine is the preferred P1 position residue for PE and substitution of alanine 190 in the γ subunit eliminated INa activation by PE. Further, substitution with a novel thrombin consensus sequence (LVPRG) beginning at residue 186 in the γ subunit (γTh) allowed for INa activation by thrombin, whereas wild-type ENaC was unresponsive. MALDI-TOF mass spectrometric evaluation of proteolytic digests of a 23-mer peptide encompassing the identified residues (T176-S198) showed that hydrolysis occurred between residues V193 and M194 for NE and between A190 and S191 for PE. In vitro translation studies demonstrated thrombin cleaved the γTh but not the wild-type γ subunit. These results demonstrate that γ subunit valines 182 and 193 are critical for channel activation by NE, alanine 190 is critical for channel activation by PE, and that channel activation can be achieved by inserting a novel thrombin consensus sequence. These results support the conclusion that protease binding and perhaps cleavage of the γ subunit results in ENaC activation.
Recent studies have demonstrated that nitric oxide (NO) activates transient receptor potential vanilloid subtype 1 (TRPV1) via S-nitrosylation of the channel protein. NO also modulates various cellular functions via activation of the soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC)/protein kinase G (PKG) pathway and the direct modification of proteins. Thus, in the present study, we investigated whether NO could indirectly modulate the activity of TRPV1 via a cGMP/PKG-dependent pathway in cultured rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. NO donors, sodium nitroprusside (SNP) and S-nitro-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP), decreased capsaicin-evoked currents (Icap). NO scavengers, hemoglobin and 2-(4-carboxyphenyl)-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl-3-oxide (CPTIO), prevented the inhibitory effect of SNP on Icap. Membrane-permeable cGMP analogs, 8-bromoguanosine 3', 5'-cyclic monophosphate (8bromo-cGMP) and 8-(4chlorophenylthio)-guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (8-pCPT-cGMP), and the guanylyl cyclase stimulator YC-1 mimicked the effect of SNP on Icap. The PKG inhibitor KT5823 prevented the inhibition of Icap by SNP. These results suggest that NO can downregulate the function of TRPV1 through activation of the cGMP/PKG pathway in peripheral sensory neurons.
Dorsal root ganglion neuron; Nitric oxide; Protein kinase G; Rat; TRPV1
Agents which increase the intracellular cyclic GMP (cGMP) concentration and cGMP analogs inhibit cell growth in several different cell types, but it is not known which of the intracellular target proteins of cGMP is (are) responsible for the growth-suppressive effects of cGMP. Using baby hamster kidney (BHK) cells, which are deficient in cGMP-dependent protein kinase (G-kinase), we show that 8-(4-chlorophenylthio)guanosine-3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate and 8-bromoguanosine-3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate inhibit cell growth in cells stably transfected with a G-kinase Iβ expression vector but not in untransfected cells or in cells transfected with a catalytically inactive G-kinase. We found that the cGMP analogs inhibited epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced activation of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase and nuclear translocation of MAP kinase in G-kinase-expressing cells but not in G-kinase-deficient cells. Ras activation by EGF was not impaired in G-kinase-expressing cells treated with cGMP analogs. We show that activation of G-kinase inhibited c-Raf kinase activation and that G-kinase phosphorylated c-Raf kinase on Ser43, both in vitro and in vivo; phosphorylation of c-Raf kinase on Ser43 uncouples the Ras-Raf kinase interaction. A mutant c-Raf kinase with an Ala substitution for Ser43 was insensitive to inhibition by cGMP and G-kinase, and expression of this mutant kinase protected cells from inhibition of EGF-induced MAP kinase activity by cGMP and G-kinase, suggesting that Ser43 in c-Raf is the major target for regulation by G-kinase. Similarly, B-Raf kinase was not inhibited by G-kinase; the Ser43 phosphorylation site of c-Raf is not conserved in B-Raf. Activation of G-kinase induced MAP kinase phosphatase 1 expression, but this occurred later than the inhibition of MAP kinase activation. Thus, in BHK cells, inhibition of cell growth by cGMP analogs is strictly dependent on G-kinase and G-kinase activation inhibits the Ras/MAP kinase pathway (i) by phosphorylating c-Raf kinase on Ser43 and thereby inhibiting its activation and (ii) by inducing MAP kinase phosphatase 1 expression.
Previously, in an attempt to understand the mechanisms involved in the regulation of plasma cyclic nucleotides, we measured concentrations of adenosine 3′,5′-monophosphate (cAMP) and guanosine 3′,5′-monophosphate (cGMP) in plasma from selected blood vessels of anesthetized dogs. The observation that the renal venous plasma concentrations of both cyclic nucleotides were less than arterial concentrations suggested that the kidney might be an important site for the elimination of these compounds from plasma and prompted further investigation of the renal handling of these compounds.
Tracer doses of either [3H]cAMP or [3H]cGMP were administered to anesthetized dogs by constant intravenous infusion, and metabolic clearance rates were determined. Concentrations of endogenous cyclic nucleotide and of cyclic nucleotide radioactivity were measured in aortic and renal venous plasma as well as in urine. Renal venous plasma [3H]cGMP was 39% and [3H]cAMP was 65% of the concentration in arterial plasma. Endogenous cyclic nucleotide levels showed a similar relationship. The plasma clearance rates (PCR) were 271±27 ml/min (mean±SE) for cGMP and 261±17 for cAMP. The total kidney clearance (calculated as the renal plasma flow × renal cyclic nucleotide extraction ratio) accounted for 52±4% and 30±2% of the PCR for cGMP and cAMP, respectively. Only about two-thirds of the total kidney clearance of each cyclic nucleotide could be accounted for by urinary excretion, the remainder presumably being the result of renal metabolism.
The urinary clearances of 3H-labeled cGMP (40.9±4.2 ml/min) and endogenous cGMP (45.0±2.3 ml/min) were not significantly different from each other. Both were approximately 50% greater than the glomerular filtration rate, which was 27.1±2.0 ml/min, indicating that a significant amount of urinary cGMP is derived from plasma by tubular secretion.
In contrast, the urinary clearances of 3H-labeled cAMP (23.7±1.9 ml/min) and endogenous cAMP (27.2±2.6 ml/min) were nearly equal both to each other and to the glomerular filtration rate, which was 24.6±1.7 ml/min. Thus, in the dog, glomerular filtration of plasma cAMP appears to be responsible for most of the cAMP found in urine. Renla production of cAMP, which in humans contributes from a third to a half of the urinary cAMP, was quantitatively of minor importance in the dog.
Thus, under the conditions of these experiments in dogs, renal elimination appears to be responsible for half of the PCR of cGMP and about a third of the PCR of cAMP. About a third of the renal elimination of both cyclic nucleotides appears to be due to metabolic degradation within the kidney, and the balance is due to excretion in the urine.
Exercise, decompensated heart failure, and exposure to high altitude have been shown to cause symptoms of pulmonary edema in some, but not all, subjects, suggesting a genetic component to this response. Epithelial Na+ Channels (ENaC) regulate Na+ and fluid reabsorption in the alveolar airspace in the lung. An increase in number and/or activity of ENaC has been shown to increase lung fluid clearance. Previous work has demonstrated common functional genetic variants of the α-subunit of ENaC, including an A→T substitution at amino acid 663 (αA663T). We sought to determine the influence of the T663 variant of αENaC on lung diffusion at rest and at peak exercise in healthy humans. Thirty healthy subjects were recruited for study and grouped according to their SCNN1A genotype [n= 17vs.13, age=25±7vs.30±10yrs., BMI= 23±4vs.25±4kg/m2, V̇O2peak= 95±30vs.100±31%pred., mean±SD, for AA (homozygous for αA663) vs. AT/TT groups (at least one αT663), respectively]. Measures of the diffusing capacity of the lungs for carbon monoxide (DLCO), the diffusing capacity of the lungs for nitric oxide (DLNO), alveolar volume (VA), and alveolar-capillary membrane conductance (DM) were taken at rest and at peak exercise. Subjects expressing the AA polymorphism of ENaC showed a significantly greater percent increase in DLCO and DLNO, and a significantly greater decrease in systemic vascular resistance from rest to peak exercise than those with the AT/TT variant (DLCO=51±12vs.36±17%, DLNO=51±24vs.32±25%, SVR=−67±3vs.−50±8%, p<0.05). The AA ENaC group also tended to have a greater percent increase in DLCO/VA from rest to peak exercise, although this did not reach statistical significance (49±26vs.33±26%, p=0.08). These results demonstrate that genetic variation of the α-subunit of ENaC at amino acid 663 influences lung diffusion at peak exercise in healthy humans, suggesting differences in alveolar Na+ and, therefore, fluid handling. These findings could be important in determining who may be susceptible to pulmonary edema in response to various clinical or environmental conditions.
DLCO; DLNO; polymorphism; lung fluid balance; epithelial sodium channel
The secretory and transmembrane isoforms of Prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) can dephosphorylate extracellular adenosine 5′-monophosphate (AMP) to adenosine, classifying PAP as an ectonucleotidase. Currently, there are no compounds that inhibit PAP in living cells. To identify small molecule modulators of PAP, we used a 1,536-well based quantitative high-throughput fluorogenic assay to screen the Library of Pharmacologically Active Compounds (LOPAC1280) arrayed as eight-concentration dilution series. This fluorogenic assay used difluoro-4-methylumbelliferyl phosphate (DiFMUP) as substrate and collected data in kinetic mode. Candidate hits were subsequently tested in an orthogonal absorbance-based biochemical assay that used AMP as substrate. From these initial screens, three inhibitors of secretory human (h) and mouse (m)PAP were identified: 8-(4-chlorophenylthio) cAMP (pCPT-cAMP), calmidazolium chloride and nalidixic acid. These compounds did not inhibit recombinant alkaline phosphatase. Of these compounds, only pCPT-cAMP and a related cyclic nucleotide analog [8-(4-chlorophenylthio) cGMP; pCPT-cGMP] inhibited the ectonucleotidase activity of transmembrane PAP in a cell-based assay. These cyclic nucleotides are structurally similar to AMP but cannot be hydrolyzed by PAP. In summary, we identified two cyclic nucleotide analogs that inhibit secretory and transmembrane PAP in vitro and in live cells.
ectonucleotidase; prostatic acid phosphatase; ACPP; pain; nociception
Proteolytic activation of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) involves cleavage of its γ subunit in a critical region targeted by several proteases. Our aim was to identify cleavage sites in this region that are functionally important for activation of human ENaC by plasmin and chymotrypsin. Sequence alignment revealed a putative plasmin cleavage site in human γENaC (K189) that corresponds to a plasmin cleavage site (K194) in mouse γENaC. We mutated this site to alanine (K189A) and expressed human wild-type (wt) αβγENaC and αβγK189AENaC in Xenopus laevis oocytes. The γK189A mutation reduced but did not abolish activation of ENaC whole cell currents by plasmin. Mutating a putative prostasin site (γRKRK178AAAA) had no effect on the stimulatory response to plasmin. In contrast, a double mutation (γRKRK178AAAA;K189A) prevented the stimulatory effect of plasmin. We conclude that in addition to the preferential plasmin cleavage site K189, the putative prostasin cleavage site RKRK178 may serve as an alternative site for proteolytic channel activation by plasmin. Interestingly, the double mutation delayed but did not abolish ENaC activation by chymotrypsin. The time-dependent appearance of cleavage products at the cell surface nicely correlated with the stimulatory effect of chymotrypsin on ENaC currents in oocytes expressing wt or double mutant ENaC. Delayed proteolytic activation of the double mutant channel with a stepwise recruitment of so-called near-silent channels was confirmed in single-channel recordings from outside-out patches. Mutating two phenylalanines (FF174) in the vicinity of the prostasin cleavage site prevented proteolytic activation by chymotrypsin. This indicates that chymotrypsin preferentially cleaves at FF174. The close proximity of FF174 to the prostasin site may explain why mutating the prostasin site impedes channel activation by chymotrypsin. In conclusion, this study supports the concept that different proteases have distinct preferences for certain cleavage sites in γENaC, which may be relevant for tissue-specific proteolytic ENaC activation.
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.
Nitric oxide (NO) is a free radical that is important in retinal signal transduction and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) is a critical downstream messenger of NO. The NO/cGMP signaling pathway has been shown to modulate neurotransmitter release and gap junction coupling in horizontal cells and amacrine cells, and increase the gain of the light response in photoreceptors. However, many of the mechanisms controlling the production of NO and cGMP remain unclear. Previous studies have shown activation of NO/cGMP production in response to stimulation with N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) or nicotine, and the differential modulation of cGMP production by GABAA and GABAC receptors (GABAARs and GABACRs). This study used cGMP immunocytochemistry and NO imaging to investigate how the inhibitory GABAergic and glycinergic systems modulate the production of NO and cGMP. Our data show that blocking glycine receptors (GLYR) with strychnine (STRY) produced moderate increases in cGMP-like immunoreactivity (cGMP-LI) in select types of amacrine and bipolar cells, and strong increases in NO-induced fluorescence (NO-IF). TPMPA, a selective GABACR antagonist, greatly reduced the increases in cGMP-LI stimulated by STRY, but did not influence the increase in NO-IF stimulated by STRY. Bicuculline (BIC), a GABAAR antagonist, however, enhanced the increases in both the cGMP-LI and NO-IF stimulated by STRY. CNQX, a selective antagonist for α-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazoleproprionic acid hydrobromide/kainic acid (AMPA/KA) receptors, eliminated both the increases in cGMP-LI and NO-IF stimulated by STRY, while MK801, a selective antagonist for NMDA receptors, slightly increased the cGMP-LI and slightly decreased the NO-IF stimulated by STRY. Finally, double labeling of NO-stimulated cGMP and either GLY or GABA indicated that cGMP predominantly colocalized with GLY. Taken together, these findings support the hypothesis that GLY and GABA interact in the regulation of the NO/cGMP signaling pathway, where GLY primarily inhibits NO production and GABA has a greater effect on cGMP production. Such interacting inhibitory pathways could shape the course of signal transduction of the NO/cGMP pathway under different physiological situations.
Nitric oxide; cGMP; GABA; Glycine; Turtle; Retina
Rationale: Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a significant cause of pneumonia in humans.
Objectives: To determine the impact of mycoplasma infection and the host inflammatory response on alveolar type II (ATII) cell ion transport in vivo and in vitro.
Methods: Mice were infected with M. pulmonis for measurements of alveolar fluid clearance (AFC) in vivo and isolation of ATII cells. ATII cells were infected in vivo for determination of epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) total and cell surface protein levels by biotinylation and Western blot and in vitro for whole cell patch clamp recording and measurement of nitric oxide (NO) production by chemiluminescence.
Results: Mycoplasma infection significantly inhibited AFC at 24 h and total and amiloride-sensitive AFC by 48 h postinfection (pi). In contrast, infected myeloperoxidase-deficient mice had similar basal and amiloride-sensitive AFC values to uninfected control mice at 48 h pi. Addition of forskolin restored total and amiloride-sensitive AFC to control values at 48 h pi. ATII cells isolated from infected mice demonstrated normal α, β, and γ ENaC total protein levels; however, infected whole-lung cell-surface levels of γ ENaC were significantly decreased. Patch-clamp recordings demonstrated a significant decrease in total and amiloride-sensitive Na+ currents at 24 h pi. ATII cells demonstrated a significant increase in the production of NO at 24 h pi and inhibition of NO by ATII cells before infection reversed the decrease in total Na+ currents.
Conclusions: These data indicate that mycoplasma infection results in decreased AFC and functional ENaC via the production of reactive oxygen nitrogen intermediates.
alveolar fluid clearance; amiloride; chemiluminescence; epithelial sodium channels; nitric oxide synthase; patch clamp
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
In acute lung injury (ALI), angiotensin II (Ang II) plays a vital role in the stimulation of pulmonary permeability edema formation through the angiotensin type 1 (AT1) receptor. The effect of Ang II on alveolar fluid clearance (AFC) in ALI remains unknown.
Sprague Dawley rats were anesthetized and intratracheally injected with 1 mg/kg lipopolysaccharide (LPS), while control rats received saline. The AT1 receptor antagonist ZD7155 was injected intraperitoneally (10 mg/kg) 30 min before LPS administration. The lungs were isolated for AFC measurement, and alpha-epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) messenger RNA and protein expression were detected by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and Western blot.
LPS-induced ALI caused an increase in Ang II levels in plasma and lung tissue but a decrease in AFC. The time course of Ang II levels paralleled that of AFC. Pretreatment with ZD7155 prevented ALI-induced reduction of AFC. ZD7155 also reversed the ALI-induced reduction of beta-ENaC and gamma-ENaC levels, and further decreased alpha-ENaC levels.
These findings suggest that endogenous Ang II inhibits AFC and dysregulates ENaC expression via AT1 receptors, which contribute to alveolar filling and pulmonary edema in LPS-induced ALI.
Acute lung injury; Alveolar fluid clearance; Angiotensin II; Epithelial sodium channel