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Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2006 Aug;291(2):C366-74. Epub 2006 Mar 8.

Loss of acidification of anterior prostate fluids in Atp12a-null mutant mice indicates that nongastric H-K-ATPase functions as proton pump in vivo.

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  • 1Dept. of Physiology, Pharmacology, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Sciences, Med. Univ. of Ohio, 3035 Arlington Ave., Toledo, OH 43614, USA.


The physiological functions of nongastric (colonic) H-K-ATPase (gene symbol Atp12a), unlike those of Na-K-ATPase and gastric H-K-ATPase, are poorly understood. It has been suggested that it pumps Na+ more efficiently than H+; however, so far, there is no direct evidence that it pumps H+ in vivo. Previously, we found that the nongastric H-K-ATPase alpha-subunit is expressed in apical membranes of rodent anterior prostate epithelium, in a complex with the Na-K-ATPase beta1-subunit. Here we report the effects of Atp12a gene ablation on polarization of the beta1-subunit and secretory function of the anterior prostate. In nongastric H-K-ATPase-deficient prostate, the Na-K-ATPase alpha-subunit resided exclusively in basolateral membranes; however, the beta1-subunit disappeared from apical membranes, demonstrating that beta1 is an authentic subunit of nongastric H-K-ATPase in vivo and that apical localization of beta1 in the prostate is completely dependent on its association with the nongastric H-K-ATPase alpha-subunit. A remarkable reduction in acidification of anterior prostate fluids was observed: pH 6.38 +/- 0.14 for wild-type mice and 6.96 +/- 0.10 for homozygous mutants. These results show that nongastric H-K-ATPase is required for acidification of luminal prostate fluids, thereby providing a strong in vivo correlate of previous functional expression studies demonstrating that it operates as a proton pump.

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