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Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2003 Jun;284(6):C1550-60. Epub 2003 Feb 26.

Role of caveolae in signal-transducing function of cardiac Na+/K+-ATPase.

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Department of Pharmacology, Medical College of Ohio, Toledo, Ohio 43614, USA.


Ouabain binding to Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase activates Src/epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) to initiate multiple signal pathways that regulate growth. In cardiac myocytes and the intact heart, the early ouabain-induced pathways that cause rapid activations of ERK1/2 also regulate intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) and contractility. The goal of this study was to explore the role of caveolae in these early signaling events. Subunits of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase were detected by immunoblot analysis in caveolae isolated from cardiac myocytes, cardiac ventricles, kidney cell lines, and kidney outer medulla by established detergent-free procedures. Isolated rat cardiac caveolae contained Src, EGFR, ERK1/2, and 20-30% of cellular contents of alpha(1)- and alpha(2)-isoforms of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase, along with nearly all of cellular caveolin-3. Immunofluorescence microscopy of adult cardiac myocytes showed the presence of caveolin-3 and alpha-isoforms in peripheral sarcolemma and T tubules and suggested their partial colocalization. Exposure of contracting isolated rat hearts to a positive inotropic dose of ouabain and analysis of isolated cardiac caveolae showed that ouabain caused 1) no change in total caveolar ERK1/2, but a two- to threefold increase in caveolar phosphorylated/activated ERK1/2; 2) no change in caveolar alpha(1)-isoform and caveolin-3; and 3) 50-60% increases in caveolar Src and alpha(2)-isoform. These findings, in conjunction with previous observations, show that components of the pathways that link Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase to ERK1/2 and [Ca(2+)](i) are organized within cardiac caveolae microdomains. They also suggest that ouabain-induced recruitments of Src and alpha(2)-isoform to caveolae are involved in the manifestation of the positive inotropic effect of ouabain.

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