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J Biol Chem. 2006 Mar 10;281(10):6528-38. Epub 2005 Dec 14.

The carboxyl terminus of the alpha-subunit of the amiloride-sensitive epithelial sodium channel binds to F-actin.

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  • 1Department of Physiology and Biophysics and Department of Cell Biology, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama 35294, USA.


The activity of the amiloride-sensitive epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) is modulated by F-actin. However, it is unknown if there is a direct interaction between alpha-ENaC and actin. We have investigated the hypothesis that the actin cytoskeleton directly binds to the carboxyl terminus of alpha-ENaC using a combination of confocal microscopy, co-immunoprecipitation, and protein binding studies. Confocal microscopy of Madin-Darby canine kidney cell monolayers stably transfected with wild type, rat isoforms of alpha-, beta-, and gamma-ENaC revealed co-localization of alpha-ENaC with the cortical F-actin cytoskeleton both at the apical membrane and within the subapical cytoplasm. F-actin was found to co-immunoprecipitate with alpha-ENaC from whole cell lysates of this cell line. Gel overlay assays demonstrated that F-actin specifically binds to the carboxyl terminus of alpha-ENaC. A direct interaction between F-actin and the COOH terminus of alpha-ENaC was further corroborated by F-actin co-sedimentation studies. This is the first study to report a direct and specific biochemical interaction between F-actin and ENaC.

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