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Am J Physiol. 1999 Jul;277(1):R154-61. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.1999.277.1.R154.

Molecular and functional evidence for Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) cotransporter expression in rat skeletal muscle.

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Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Tennessee, Memphis 38163, USA.


Doubt has been raised about the expression of a functional Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) cotransporter in rat skeletal muscle. In this study we present molecular and functional evidence for expression of a protein having the characteristics of a cotransporter. RT-PCR of RNA isolated from rat soleus muscle with primers to a conserved putative membrane-spanning domain resulted in a single product of predicted size. Sequencing of the product showed that it bears >90% homology with known rodent NKCC1 (BSC2) cotransporters. RNase protection assay of RNA isolated from the rat soleus muscle also identified this sequence. Immunologic detection of the cotransporter with two different antibodies indicated the presence of cotransporter protein, perhaps more than one, in blots of total muscle protein. Immunohistochemical detection by confocal microscopy localized the majority of expression of the protein to the muscle fibers. Functional studies of cotransport activity also indicate the appropriate sensitivity to inhibitors and ion dependence. Taken together, these data support the presence and function of Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) cotransporter activity in the soleus muscle of the rat.

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