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Am J Physiol. 1999 Jul;277(1):C174-80. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.1999.277.1.C174.

Syntaxin 1A inhibits regulated CFTR trafficking in xenopus oocytes.

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Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261, USA.


The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is an epithelial cell Cl channel, whose gating activity and membrane trafficking are controlled by cAMP/protein kinase A (PKA)-mediated phosphorylation. CFTR Cl currents are regulated also by syntaxin 1A (A. P. Naren, D. J. Nelson, W. W. Xie, B. Jovov, J. Pevsner, M. K. Bennett, D. J. Benos, M. W. Quick, and K. L. Kirk. Nature 390: 302-305, 1997), a protein best known for its role in membrane trafficking and neurosecretion. To examine the mechanism of syntaxin 1A inhibition, we expressed these proteins in Xenopus oocytes and monitored agonist-induced changes in plasma membrane capacitance and cell surface fluorescence of CFTR that contains an external epitope tag. cAMP stimulation elicited large increases in membrane capacitance and in cell surface labeling of flag-tagged CFTR. Coexpression of CFTR with syntaxin 1A, but not syntaxin 3, inhibited cAMP-induced increases in membrane capacitance and plasma membrane CFTR content. Injection of botulinum toxin/C1 rapidly reversed syntaxin's effects on current and capacitance, indicating that they cannot be explained by an effect on CFTR synthesis. Functional expression of other integral membrane proteins, including Na-coupled glucose transporter hSGLT1, inwardly rectified K channel hIK1, P2Y2 nucleotide receptor, and viral hemagglutinin protein, was not affected by syntaxin 1A coexpression. These findings indicate that acute regulation of the number of CFTR Cl channels in plasma membrane is one mechanism by which cAMP/PKA regulates Cl currents. Inhibition of plasma membrane CFTR content by syntaxin 1A is consistent with the concept that syntaxin and other components of the SNARE machinery are involved in regulated trafficking of CFTR.

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