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J Biol Chem. 1999 Apr 30;274(18):12252-6.

Expression and functional role of the gamma subunit of the Na, K-ATPase in mammalian cells.

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Department of Biochemistry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3G 1A4, Canada.


The functional role of the gamma subunit of the Na,K-ATPase was studied using rat gamma cDNA-transfected HEK-293 cells and an antiserum (gammaC33) specific for gamma. Although the sequence for gamma was verified and shown to be larger (7237 Da) than first reported, it still comprises a single initiator methionine despite the expression of a gammaC33-reactive doublet on immunoblots. Kinetic analysis of the enzyme of transfected compared with control cells and of gammaC33-treated kidney pumps shows that gamma regulates the apparent affinity for ATP. Thus, gamma-transfected cells have a decreased K'ATP as shown in measurements of (i) K'ATP of Na,K-ATPase activity and (ii) K+ inhibition of Na-ATPase at 1 microM ATP. Consistent with the behavior of gamma-transfected cells, gammaC33 pretreatment increases K'ATP of the kidney enzyme and K+ inhibition (1 microM ATP) of both kidney and gamma-transfected cells. These results are consistent with previous findings that an antiserum raised against the pig gamma subunit stabilizes the E2(K) form of the enzyme (Therien, A. G., Goldshleger, R., Karlish, S. J., and Blostein, R. (1997) J. Biol. Chem. 272, 32628-32634). Overall, our data demonstrate that gamma is a tissue (kidney)-specific regulator of the Na,K-ATPase that can increase the apparent affinity of the enzyme for ATP in a manner that is reversible by anti-gamma antiserum.

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