Accessibility of ENaC extracellular domain central core residuesThe epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC)/degenerin family has a similar extracellular architecture, where specific regulatory factors interact and alter channel gating behavior. The extracellular palm domain serves as a key link to the channel pore. In this study, we used cysteine-scanning mutagenesis to assess the functional effects of Cys-modifying reagents on palm domain β10 strand residues in mouse ENaC. Of the 13 ENaC α subunit mutants with Cys substitutions examined, only mutants at sites in the proximal region of β10 exhibited changes in channel activity in response to methanethiosulfonate reagents.
Paraoxonase 3 functions as a chaperone to decrease functional expression of the epithelial sodium channelThe paraoxonase (PON) family comprises three highly conserved members: PON1, PON2, and PON3. They are orthologs of Caenorhabditis elegans MEC-6, an endoplasmic reticulum–resident chaperone that has a critical role in proper assembly and surface expression of the touch-sensing degenerin channel in nematodes. We have shown recently that MEC-6 and PON2 negatively regulate functional expression of the epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC), suggesting that the chaperone function is conserved within this family.
Analyses of epithelial Na+ channel variants reveal that an extracellular β-ball domain critically regulates ENaC gatingEpithelial Na+ channel (ENaC)-mediated Na+ transport has a key role in the regulation of extracellular fluid volume, blood pressure, and extracellular [K+]. Among the thousands of human ENaC variants, only a few exist whose functional consequences have been experimentally tested. Here, we used the Xenopus oocyte expression system to investigate the functional roles of four nonsynonymous human ENaC variants located within the β7-strand and its adjacent loop of the α-subunit extracellular β-ball domain.
Pharmacological reversal of renal cysts from secretion to absorption suggests a potential therapeutic strategy for managing autosomal dominant polycystic kidney diseaseAutosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) induces a secretory phenotype, resulting in multiple fluid-filled cysts. We have previously demonstrated that VX-809, a corrector of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), reduces cyst growth. Here, we show that in normal mice CFTR is located within the cells and also at the apical and basolateral membranes. However, in polycystic kidney disease (pkd1)-knockout mice, CFTR was located at the plasma membrane, consistent with its role in cAMP-dependent fluid secretion.
An extracellular acidic cleft confers profound H+-sensitivity to epithelial sodium channels containing the δ-subunit in Xenopus laevisThe limited sodium availability of freshwater and terrestrial environments was a major physiological challenge during vertebrate evolution. The epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) is present in the apical membrane of sodium-absorbing vertebrate epithelia and evolved as part of a machinery for efficient sodium conservation. ENaC belongs to the degenerin/ENaC protein family and is the only member that opens without an external stimulus. We hypothesized that ENaC evolved from a proton-activated sodium channel present in ionocytes of freshwater vertebrates and therefore investigated whether such ancestral traits are present in ENaC isoforms of the aquatic pipid frog Xenopus laevis.
Murine epithelial sodium (Na+) channel regulation by biliary factorsThe epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) mediates Na+ transport in several epithelia, including the aldosterone-sensitive distal nephron, distal colon, and biliary epithelium. Numerous factors regulate ENaC activity, including extracellular ligands, post-translational modifications, and membrane-resident lipids. However, ENaC regulation by bile acids and conjugated bilirubin, metabolites that are abundant in the biliary tree and intestinal tract and are sometimes elevated in the urine of individuals with advanced liver disease, remains poorly understood.
The epithelial Na+ channel γ subunit autoinhibitory tract suppresses channel activity by binding the γ subunit's finger–thumb domain interfaceEpithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) maturation and activation require proteolysis of both the α and γ subunits. Cleavage at multiple sites in the finger domain of each subunit liberates their autoinhibitory tracts. Synthetic peptides derived from the proteolytically released fragments inhibit the channel, likely by reconstituting key interactions removed by the proteolysis. We previously showed that a peptide derived from the α subunit's autoinhibitory sequence (α-8) binds at the α subunit's finger–thumb domain interface.
Pore-lining residues of MEC-4 and MEC-10 channel subunits tune the Caenorhabditis elegans degenerin channel's response to shear stressThe Caenorhabditis elegans MEC-4/MEC-10 channel mediates the worm's response to gentle body touch and is activated by laminar shear stress (LSS) when expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Substitutions at multiple sites within the second transmembrane domain (TM2) of MEC-4 or MEC-10 abolish the gentle touch response in worms, but the roles of these residues in mechanosensing are unclear. The present study therefore examined the role of specific MEC-4 and MEC-10 TM2 residues in the channel's response to LSS.
Incorporation of the δ-subunit into the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) generates protease-resistant ENaCs in Xenopus laevisThe epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) is a critical regulator of vertebrate electrolyte homeostasis. ENaC is the only constitutively open ion channel in the degenerin/ENaC protein family, and its expression, membrane abundance, and open probability therefore are tightly controlled. The canonical ENaC is composed of three subunits (α, β, and γ), but a fourth δ-subunit may replace α and form atypical δβγ-ENaCs. Using Xenopus laevis as a model, here we found that mRNAs of the α- and δ-subunits are differentially expressed in different tissues and that δ-ENaC predominantly is present in the urogenital tract.
Conserved cysteines in the finger domain of the epithelial Na+ channel α and γ subunits are proximal to the dynamic finger–thumb domain interfaceThe epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) is a member of the ENaC/degenerin family of ion channels. In the structure of a related family member, the “thumb” domain’s base interacts with the pore, and its tip interacts with the divergent “finger” domain. Between the base and tip, the thumb domain is characterized by a conserved five-rung disulfide ladder holding together two anti-parallel α helices. The ENaC α and γ subunits’ finger domains harbor autoinhibitory tracts that can be proteolytically liberated to activate the channel and also host an ENaC-specific pair of cysteines.
Knockout of mitochondrial voltage-dependent anion channel type 3 increases reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels and alters renal sodium transportIt has been suggested that voltage-dependent anion channels (VDACs) control the release of superoxide from mitochondria. We have previously shown that reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as superoxide ( O 2 ⋅ ¯ ) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) stimulate epithelial sodium channels (ENaCs) in sodium-transporting epithelial tissue, including cortical collecting duct (CCD) principal cells. Therefore, we hypothesized that VDACs could regulate ENaC by modulating cytosolic ROS levels. Herein, we find that VDAC3-knockout(KO) mice can maintain normal salt and water balance on low-salt and high-salt diets.
The nonproton ligand of acid-sensing ion channel 3 activates mollusk-specific FaNaC channels via a mechanism independent of the native FMRFamide peptideThe degenerin/epithelial sodium channel (DEG/ENaC) superfamily of ion channels contains subfamilies with diverse functions that are fundamental to many physiological and pathological processes, ranging from synaptic transmission to epileptogenesis. The absence in mammals of some DEG/ENaCs subfamily orthologues such as FMRFamide peptide–activated sodium channels (FaNaCs), which have been identified only in mollusks, indicates that the various subfamilies diverged early in evolution. We recently reported that the nonproton agonist 2-guanidine-4-methylquinazoline (GMQ) activates acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs), a DEG/ENaC subfamily mainly in mammals, in the absence of acidosis.
Regulation of the epithelial Na+ channel by paraoxonase-2Paraoxonase-2 (PON-2) is a membrane-bound lactonase with unique anti-oxidative and anti-atherosclerotic properties. PON-2 shares key structural elements with MEC-6, an endoplasmic reticulum–resident molecular chaperone in Caenorhabditis elegans. MEC-6 modulates the expression of a mechanotransductive ion channel comprising MEC-4 and MEC-10 in touch-receptor neurons. Because pon-2 mRNA resides in multiple rat nephron segments, including the aldosterone-sensitive distal nephron where the epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) is expressed, we hypothesized that PON-2 would similarly regulate ENaC expression.
Specific Palmitoyltransferases Associate with and Activate the Epithelial Sodium ChannelThe epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) has an important role in regulating extracellular fluid volume and blood pressure, as well as airway surface liquid volume and mucociliary clearance. ENaC is a trimer of three homologous subunits (α, β, and γ). We previously reported that cytoplasmic residues on the β (βCys-43 and βCys-557) and γ (γCys-33 and γCys-41) subunits are palmitoylated. Mutation of Cys that blocked ENaC palmitoylation also reduced channel open probability. Furthermore, γ subunit palmitoylation had a dominant role over β subunit palmitoylation in regulating ENaC.
Ankyrin G Expression Regulates Apical Delivery of the Epithelial Sodium Channel (ENaC)The epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) is the limiting entry point for Na+ reabsorption in the distal kidney nephron and is regulated by numerous hormones, including the mineralocorticoid hormone aldosterone. Previously we identified ankyrin G (AnkG), a cytoskeletal protein involved in vesicular transport, as a novel aldosterone-induced protein that can alter Na+ transport in mouse cortical collecting duct cells. However, the mechanisms underlying AnkG regulation of Na+ transport were unknown. Here we report that AnkG expression directly regulates Na+ transport by altering ENaC activity in the apical membrane.
Activation of the Human Epithelial Sodium Channel (ENaC) by Bile Acids Involves the Degenerin SiteThe epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) is a member of the ENaC/degenerin ion channel family, which also includes the bile acid-sensitive ion channel (BASIC). So far little is known about the effects of bile acids on ENaC function. ENaC is probably a heterotrimer consisting of three well characterized subunits (αβγ). In humans, but not in mice and rats, an additional δ-subunit exists. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of chenodeoxycholic, cholic, and deoxycholic acid in unconjugated (CDCA, CA, and DCA) and tauro-conjugated (t-CDCA, t-CA, t-DCA) form on human ENaC in its αβγ- and δβγ-configuration.
Activation of the Caenorhabditis elegans Degenerin Channel by Shear Stress Requires the MEC-10 SubunitMechanotransduction in Caenorhabditis elegans touch receptor neurons is mediated by an ion channel formed by MEC-4, MEC-10, and accessory proteins. To define the role of these subunits in the channel's response to mechanical force, we expressed degenerin channels comprising MEC-4 and MEC-10 in Xenopus oocytes and examined their response to laminar shear stress (LSS). Shear stress evoked a rapid increase in whole cell currents in oocytes expressing degenerin channels as well as channels with a MEC-4 degenerin mutation (MEC-4d), suggesting that C.
Exploration of the Peptide Recognition of an Amiloride-sensitive FMRFamide Peptide-gated Sodium ChannelFMRFamide (Phe-Met-Arg-Phe-NH2)-activated sodium channel (FaNaC) is an amiloride-sensitive sodium channel activated by endogenous tetrapeptide in invertebrates, and belongs to the epithelial sodium channel/degenerin (ENaC/DEG) superfamily. The ENaC/DEG superfamily differs markedly in its means of activation, such as spontaneously opening or gating by mechanical stimuli or tissue acidosis. Recently, it has been observed that a number of ENaC/DEG channels can be activated by small molecules or peptides, indicating that the ligand-gating may be an important feature of this superfamily.
The Thumb Domain Mediates Acid-sensing Ion Channel DesensitizationAcid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are cation-selective proton-gated channels expressed in neurons that participate in diverse physiological processes, including nociception, synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory. ASIC subunits contain intracellular N and C termini, two transmembrane domains that constitute the pore, and a large extracellular loop with defined domains termed the finger, β-ball, thumb, palm, and knuckle. Here we examined the contribution of the finger, β-ball, and thumb domains to activation and desensitization through the analysis of chimeras and the assessment of the effect of covalent modification of introduced Cys at the domain-domain interfaces.
Na-H Exchanger Isoform-2 (NHE2) Mediates Butyrate-dependent Na+ Absorption in Dextran Sulfate Sodium (DSS)-induced ColitisBackground: Defective Na+ absorption is the primary cause of diarrhea in inflamed colon such as ulcerative colitis (UC).Results: Butyrate stimulates Na+ and water absorption in dextran sulfate sodium-induced inflamed colon.Conclusion: Na-H exchanger-2 (NHE2) is activated and mediates butyrate-dependent Na+ absorption in inflamed colon.Significance: Butyrate-dependent Na+ absorption would be a potential target to control UC-associated diarrhea.
Functional Roles of Clusters of Hydrophobic and Polar Residues in the Epithelial Na+ Channel Knuckle DomainBackground: There are regulatory interactions between ENaC and extracellular factors.Results: Mutations of multiple α subunit knuckle residues activate ENaC by suppressing the inhibitory effect of Na+. Channels lacking the β or γ subunit knuckle have processing defects.Conclusion: Interactions between the α subunit knuckle and palm/finger domains regulate ENaC.Significance: Intrasubunit domain-domain interactions have important regulatory roles.