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J Biol Chem. 1999 Jun 18;274(25):17518-24.

Specific association of megalin and the Na+/H+ exchanger isoform NHE3 in the proximal tubule.

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  • 1Departments of Internal Medicine and of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8029, USA.


We investigated whether the renal brush border Na+/H+ exchanger NHE3 exists in assemblies with other proteins in native kidney membranes. To this end we generated monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against affinity purified NHE3 protein complexes. Hybridomas were selected based on ability to immunoprecipitate NHE3. One of the resulting mAbs (10A3) labeled a high molecular mass (>200 kDa) protein and stained primarily the coated pit region of the proximal tubule in a manner similar to that described for megalin (gp330). We then confirmed that both mAb 10A3 and a known anti-megalin mAb immunoprecipitated and immunoblotted the same protein, namely megalin. mAb 10A3 specifically co-precipitated NHE3 but not villin or NaPi-2 from solubilized renal membranes, indicating specificity of the NHE3-megalin interaction. When immunoprecipitations were performed using either 10A3 or anti-NHE3 mAb 2B9 after separation of solubilized renal proteins by sucrose velocity gradient centrifugation, we found that NHE3 exists in two states with distinct sedimentation coefficients, a 9.6 S megalin-free form and a 21 S megalin-bound form, and that when NHE3 assembles with megalin, epitopes within the carboxyl-terminal 131 amino acids of NHE3 are blocked. Taken together, these findings indicate that a significant pool of NHE3 exists as a multimeric complex with megalin in the brush border of the proximal tubule.

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