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J Biol Chem. 1999 May 14;274(20):13894-9.

Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator inhibits epithelial Na+ channels carrying Liddle's syndrome mutations.

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Physiologisches Institut, Albert-Ludwigs-Universit├Ąt Freiburg, Hermann-Herder-Strasse 7, 79104 Freiburg, Germany.


Epithelial Na+ channels (ENaC) are inhibited by the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) upon activation by protein kinase A. It is, however, still unclear how CFTR regulates the activity of ENaC. In the present study we examined whether CFTR interacts with ENaC by interfering with the Nedd4- and ubiquitin-mediated endocytosis of ENaC. Various C-terminal mutations were introduced into the three alpha-, beta-, and gamma-subunits of the rat epithelial Na+ channel, thereby eliminating PY motifs, which are important binding domains for the ubiquitin ligase Nedd4. When expressed in Xenopus oocytes, most of the ENaC stop (alpha-H647X, beta-P565X, gamma-S608X) or point (alpha-P671A, beta-Y618A, gamma-P(624-626)A) mutations induced enhanced Na+ currents when compared with wild type alpha,beta,gamma-rENaC. However, ENaC currents formed by either of the mutant alpha-, beta-, or gamma-subunits were inhibited during activation of CFTR by forskolin (10 micromol/l) and 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (1 mmol/l). Antibodies to dynamin or ubiquitin enhanced alpha,beta,gamma-rENaC whole cell Na+ conductance but did not interfere with inhibition of ENaC by CFTR. Another mutant, beta-T592M,T593A-ENaC, also showed enhanced Na+ currents, which were down-regulated by CFTR. Moreover, activation of ENaC by extracellular proteases and xCAP1 does not disturb CFTR-dependent inhibition of ENaC. We conclude that regulation of ENaC by CFTR is distal to other regulatory limbs and does not involve Nedd4-dependent ubiquitination.

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