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J Biol Chem. 2005 Nov 18;280(46):38264-70. Epub 2005 Sep 19.

Progesterone down-regulates the open probability of the amiloride-sensitive epithelial sodium channel via a Nedd4-2-dependent mechanism.

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  • 1D√©partement de Pharmacologie et de Toxicologie, Universit√© de Lausanne, 27, rue du Bugnon, CH-1005 Lausanne, Switzerland.


Activation of the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase cascade by progesterone in Xenopus oocytes leads to a marked down-regulation of activity of the amiloride-sensitive epithelial sodium channel (ENaC). Here we have studied the signaling pathways involved in progesterone effect on ENaC activity. We demonstrate that: (i) the truncation of the C termini of the alphabetagammaENaC subunits results in the loss of the progesterone effect on ENaC; (ii) the effect of progesterone was also suppressed by mutating conserved tyrosine residues in the Pro-X-X-Tyr (PY) motif of the C termini of the beta and gamma ENaC subunits (beta(Y618A) and gamma(Y628A)); (iii) the down-regulation of ENaC activity by progesterone was also suppressed by co-expression ENaC subunits with a catalytically inactive mutant of Nedd4-2, a ubiquitin ligase that has been previously demonstrated to decrease ENaC cell-surface expression via a ubiquitin-dependent internalization/degradation mechanism; (iv) the effect of progesterone was significantly reduced by suppression of consensus sites (beta(T613A) and gamma(T623A)) for ENaC phosphorylation by the extracellular-regulated kinase (ERK), a MAP kinase previously shown to facilitate the binding of Nedd4 ubiquitin ligases to ENaC; (v) the quantification of cell-surface-expressed ENaC subunits revealed that progesterone decreases ENaC open probability (whole cell P(o), wcP(o)) and not its cell-surface expression. Collectively, these results demonstrate that the binding of active Nedd4-2 to ENaC is a crucial step in the mechanism of ENaC inhibition by progesterone. Upon activation of ERK, the effect of Nedd4-2 on ENaC open probability can become more important than its effect on ENaC cell-surface expression.

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