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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Nov 26;324(4):1346-51.

The low molecular weight inhibitor of NCX1 interacts with a cytosolic domain that differs from the ion-transport site of the Na/Ca exchanger.

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  • 1Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Ramat-Aviv 69978, Israel.


The endogenous inhibitory factor (NCX(IF)) of the cardiac Na/Ca exchanger (NCX1) is a low molecular weight substance, which has a strong capacity to modulate the ventricle muscle contractility. Previously, we have shown that NCX(IF) can completely inhibit either the forward (Na(i)-dependent Ca-uptake) or reverse (Na(o)-dependent Ca-release) mode of Na/Ca exchange as well as its partial reaction, the Ca/Ca exchange. Although the preliminary studies have shown that NCX(IF) can rapidly (within few milliseconds) interact with a putative inhibitory site of the Na/Ca exchanger protein (or within its vicinity), it was not clear whether the NCX(IF) can directly interact with the ion transport sites of the exchanger protein or the interaction site of NCX(IF) is distinct from the ion-binding/transport site of NCX1. In order to segregate between these possibilities the NCX(IF) was tested for its capacity to compete with Ca at the cytosolic side by using the preparation of sarcolemma vesicles having predominantly the inside-out orientation. For this goal, the initial rates of Na(i)-dependent (45)Ca-uptake were measured in the presence of extravesicular (cytosolic) NCX(IF) under conditions in which the concentration of extravesicular Ca was varied (2-200 microM) and intravesicular Na was kept fixed at saturating concentration (160 mM). Under these conditions the NCX(IF) results in several fold decrease in V(max) values, while having no significant effect on the K(m). Taking into account the molecular weight of 350-550 Da (derived from the gel-filtration and mass-spectra data), the experimentally measured inhibitory potency of NCX(IF) can be estimated as the IC(50) = 0.3-0.6 microM. Therefore, it is concluded that the NCX(IF) is reasonably potent blocker, which interacts with cytosolic domain thereby preventing the ion-translocation (and not ion-binding) events.

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